TREASURES of DARKNESS
BY: ELWIN R. ROACH
The Place of Humiliation
“Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:1-6
The expression, treasures of darkness, does not mean that they are dark treasures, but they are hidden in darkness until brought to light. The treasures of Babylon are like the treasures in a bank vault. The ones of Babylon were locked in the darkness of that kingdom until broken into and they were taken by Cyrus. It is the same in the spirit. There are treasures of the Lord Jesus that are hidden away in secret places. These secret places can be deep within individuals, in religious organizations, and also in the world. Unless it is by the eye of revelation, nobody will peer into those dark places. It will be impossible for us to see the treasures of God’s Kingdom if He does not open our eyes and give us the authority to take them.
One might not suspect that the two Babylons, one of religion and the other of the world, would be holding many treasures of God’s riches, but they do, and these treasures are not only spiritual things, but they are also people, peculiar treasures. For the most part neither do they know it nor do they know God; but He knows them and the time will come when they will know Him. As it was with Jacob, He will call them by name. It is then that they will know who they are and will know Him. Whether these treasures are individuals in the darkness of Babylon or the treasures of His attributes that are hidden within the depths of their own souls, when the anointed of the Lord invades those kingdoms, the treasures will be revealed and possessed.
These treasures of darkness are to be brought one day into the light, no longer hidden from us or the world. These treasures are not only brought into the light, unveiled, and made known; but as the hour of the unveiling comes, without delay each of us will experientially possess and present them to those in dire need of a long-awaited, refreshing rain. Until that time it can be said, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
A number of individuals, more than we can count, have promoted themselves as having the keys to the treasures of darkness, claiming they hold in their hands the rich mysteries of God’s Kingdom; but not one person whose eyes have been opened by the voice of the Son of God can lay claim to knowing anything of these treasures. Each of them must first be brought into the divine revelation before this is possible, and when this comes, the flood-tide and flow of heaven’s riches will never cease. You see, the plural word, treasures, signifies not only something laid up and hidden from common view and possession, but suggests an infinite, incalculable supply. It is an amount which cannot be exhausted. It suffices the soul and all spiritual needs and pleasures. It suffices and continually suffices, again and again, over and over, all needs and joys of His wonderful life.
When truth dawns in the person, the effectual work of our Lord Jesus begins to be a reality. It is then that the ever-flowing fullness of His grace in, through, and out of us can be known and seen. It super-abounds over sin and fills our souls with holy awe while being as natural as breathing air. When we truly see the virtue and power that we, the anointed of the Lord, have, it will produce the desired effect of manifesting those inconceivable treasures of darkness. The end purpose of the cross will be experientially known, while carnal man’s appetites are forever consumed by the glory of God’s majesty. The blood of our Lord that judiciously cleanses all from all sin will be a manifested reality. His resurrection that we already know in part will rise in us. His purity, His holiness, His righteousness which is unto all will be joyfully embraced into the ages of the ages.
Praise God! What treasures! Mercy, grace, and peace will be living realities for all those who came out of Him, namely—ALL! He loves so much everyone who were in Him that He will not retire until ALL know Him as they once did, yet in a new and living way! If it were any other way, He would not be the God the Scriptures so clearly describes and we have come to know.
To see this by the eye of revelation is to enter spiritually into His beauty of holiness. It is to comprehend the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of the love of Christ, this love that passes human knowledge and understanding. In the unfathomable ages to come, even if the sun ever wanes to a dying ember, and if the earth should fail to yield her precious increase—these treasures will ever remain; for they are in themselves infinite, inexhaustible, eternal!
The LORD said that He would give His anointed, Cyrus, the hidden riches of secret places. Those natural riches of gold, silver, and precious gems symbolized greater riches that have been hidden away and awaiting discovery by today’s anointed. They are spiritual in nature and each is worth more than a thousand worlds filled with treasures of gold, rare gems, or inexhaustible fields of grain! We yearn to see them, to know with clarity the richest discoveries of the wisdom and goodness of God. Although some have been revealed to us, many more are still a mystery. If they were not, there would be nothing lacking, and His Kingdom would be fully manifested. So, they remain concealed even from the keen eye of those who soar like the eagles.
The secret places are just that—SECRET! But when it is the Lord’s pleasure to bring them forth to those whose eyes He has opened, each will say, “Oh! Great God Almighty! It had truly never entered our hearts, nor crossed the horizons of our minds the treasures of darkness You had laid up in Your secret places for all of us!”
The anointed word of truth surpasses every conceivable thought and every expectation of the heart. These riches of secret places transcend the wealth of the entire natural earth combined with everything in man’s world of religion, economics, and government.
But it is only as these riches of secret places are opened to us that we see, feel, and know what the Lord Jesus Christ is to those who believe in and love His holy name. Joseph Philpot (1802-1869), who resisted the Church of England and was known as “The Seceder,” said it this way in one of his sermons:
“It is this bringing forth of the hidden riches of secret places which stamps a divine reality upon God’s Word, and makes it to be spirit and life to the soul. To feel the power and blessedness of these things is a part of that ‘secret of the Lord which is with those who fear Him;’ and it is by getting into these blessed secrets, handling these treasures, and obtaining possession of these riches, that we come experimentally (experientially) to realize what a blessed power there is in a divine heartfelt religion. We may see the doctrines plainly enough in the Word of God; but if that is all we know about them, it is like seeing money which is not our own, and casting up accounts of other people’s property. The grand point is not only to see the riches, but to be put in possession of them. A religion without power, without savor, without a felt blessedness in the truth of God, by the application of the Spirit, is worthless both for time and eternity. Like a school-boy’s sum, it is all upon paper–a vast amount in figures, without the possession of a penny.
“But observe how the promises are connected with ‘crooked places,’ ‘bronze gates,’ and ‘iron bars,’ and the going before of the Lord to remove them out of the way. Without this previous work we would be ignorant to our dying day of ‘the treasures of darkness;’ we would never see with our eyes, nor handle with our hands, ‘the hidden riches of secret places.’ There are but few, comparatively speaking, who know anything of the sweetness and reality of a God-taught religion; of the power of grace upon the soul, or of the riches which are stored up in the fullness of the Son of God. Most, even of those who profess the truth, are satisfied with a name to live, a sound creed, a consistent profession, and admission to church membership, without knowing or desiring to know anything of the blessed reality of communion with God, of a revelation of the Lord Jesus, of the manifestation of His love and mercy to the soul, and the sealings of the blessed Spirit on the heart.
“Is it not so in grace? The Lord may be said ‘to call His people by name,’ when, by a special work of grace upon their heart, He calls them out of the world to a knowledge of Himself. He does not speak in an audible voice, but the effect is as distinct as if He should say, ‘John,’ or ‘Mary, I want you.’ We are not indeed to expect to see the same light, or hear the same audible voice which shone upon and called Saul of Tarsus; but we must experience a measure of the same power, and feel something of the same divine influence. When, then, God thus calls a man, he will, he must come, for He puts forth a power which he cannot and will not resist—at least, not to any purpose. It is certainly grace invincible, if not grace irresistible. Now just see the process. God calls the sinner by name; and though He calls us not vocally as the Lord Jesus Christ called His disciples when He said, ‘Follow Me,’ the effect is still the same.” —End quote.
In all this, we learn that the Lord has truly called us by our name which is a genuine work of grace upon our souls. We did not just happen by accident nor decided on our own to follow after the good life of Jesus Christ. We may have thought so at times, or had our doubts and fears about it, but this did not stop us from being thoroughly tried through the years, and a few of us may have wavered with unbelief at times, and/or had many anxious misgivings; even so, the unseen work of God placed His treasures in our hearts for safe keeping, even when we felt that there may have been nothing but darkness therein.
There was a day that dawned on us that our hardened hearts had somehow softened, our unbelief was lifted, and some of those treasures of darkness were brought to light and began to bring us spiritual blessings beyond measure. We then came to know beyond a doubt that God really did call us by our name, that all His works were real, and looking back upon all the ways in which we had been led, sometimes driven, we know that the Lord had gone before us in everything and made our crooked paths straight. Thus, we can now declare with boldness that it was He who called us by our name and out of darkness, and this was because He had already written our name in His book of life. This is the King’s seal upon our hearts like living dew from heaven, even during the dark nights that were upon us at sundry times and seasons.
What a great light that shines upon God’s own and reveals them for what and who they are! Here we have before us a true religion, not man’s that is always inspired by the serpent, but one that is inspired by Him alone. In this religion there is heaven’s substance, His divine reality, Jesus personified. It is that which comes down from the throne into the soul of every son and daughter of God as they are awakened to this reality. It is not just changing views in their doctrines or an alteration in life styles, nor is it adopting a certain set of tenets of faith and doctrines, or embracing certain ministers as the only ones from which they will learn. Neither is it by being a member of a particular religious denomination regardless how long it has existed. It is not by attending a certain deep-teaching Bible study group, and it is certainly not to go back to the Old Testament Law and live our lives in a legalistic, religious manner. This is altogether something entirely different! It supersedes man’s ways as much as light supersedes darkness, joy surpasses sorrow, or the mount of transfiguration transcends the hell in the belly of Jonah’s great fish. There is that much difference between the reality of true religion, the treasures of darkness, and that of man’s religion which IS DARKNESS.
Some will surely ask, “Must all who are awakened to salvation go through such trying times?” At one time or another, it will be a must. However, I believe at the present, it depends on whether or not they are the anointed of the Lord, the firstfruits of the high calling. If they are held captive behind the walls of religious Babylon, the answer is no, they will not go through it, at least not in the day of those who are the anointed of the Lord.
The ones who are called to free the treasured captives will certainly go through seemingly impossible odds. They will find that they can neither scale the walls of religious Babylons, their own inner religious orders, nor go through or under them, and likewise with the leaved gates of brass and bars of iron that went from underneath the city walls to the bottom of the river. All that Cyrus faced was humanly impossible, and so it is with those of today’s anointed. Until God gave him the wherewithal to divert the river, he was held back from victory. The gates remained secure. However, when the hour came for it to be otherwise, no one could keep them closed; for that which the Lord opens no man can close, and that which He closes, no man can open. He works as effectually for and in us as He did for Cyrus and his forces. He sees us through all of our difficulties, as we come to grasp the need for Him. We then hold dear to our hearts His grace and omniscient power that enables us to conquer the unconquerable.
Let us not confuse Cyrus’ 539 B.C conquest with that of Darius’ when he overthrew Babylon almost twenty years later: “Following a rebellion of the Babylonian subjects, Darius Hystaspes took the city again in 520 B.C. He demolished the walls significantly and carried off the huge gates (see Jeremiah 51:58). Elsewhere, I have given a detailed account of how the city was taken—again by a ‘snare.’” Herodotus (c. 484 – 425 BC), Greek historian, called the Father of History.
The historian also wrote: “A year and seven months went by, and Darius and his army began to chafe at their inability to make any progress towards taking the city. Every trick of strategy, every possible device, had been tried; but to no purpose. The town could not be taken, not even when Darius, after all else had failed, attempted to repeat the method which Cyrus had previously used with success. The Babylonians were always on the watch with extraordinary vigilance, and gave the enemy no chance.”()
Most of us would shun God’s refining tools, as we have been noting; but understand that if we had no hardships throughout our spiritual journey, we would be of no value to the Kingdom of God. Moreover, we would most likely conclude that we do not need Him, that we could do very well on our own. We would possibly begin to believe that we can soften our own hearts, and we might say, or at least assume that we have no need for God to soften our hearts while carnally reasoning that we can believe in the Lord Jesus Christ at anytime of our choosing; there is no need for God to speak into our hearts to give us faith. We could presumptuously feel that we can do it ourselves. For it stands to reason that if a man has an overabundance of money, he can go to the grocery store or car dealership and write a check for the amount needed. He is self-sufficient and doesn’t have to ask anyone for anything. Therefore, in error, we think that it should be the same with us, to raise up sufficient faith in our own souls to get saved. With this, why would we need to go to God like homeless beggars on a street-corner and plead for Him to give us faith. If we have millions in our natural, mental banks, we can draw out as much as we please and when we choose. So, it must be the same with faith, we think, or anything else that has to do with spiritual matters. Right? No! Absolutely not! Not by any means!
We might think this scenario is unreasonable; but the fact is far from it; for this is the mind-set of the majority who are joined to the religions of Babylon. Every branch of freewill-religion thinks this way. They seem to believe that even if their life is as crooked as a barrel of rattlesnakes that with some self-effort and a little wit of their own, they can make it as straight as a well-shot arrow. Or they may feel that they can climb up to heaven by their own determination of following after creeds, doctrines, the law, and carnal ordinances. If that is remotely so, why would they need the Lord in their lives? From what we observe, they want to meet Him in the sweet by-and-by when they get to heaven; but except for times of crisis, they are pretty satisfied and accomplished in their religious practices and feel they can make it on their own.
Can we see why it is necessary for God’s people to have so many gates of brass and bars of iron; that is, trials and tribulations? Indeed so! It is to bring them into a personal relationship with their Lord and to make their religion a reality rather than like those of carnal works and the dead letter. I am persuaded that religion void of trials, temptations, and hardships is but a charade, a sham, a mockery, a put-on at the best. It is fruitless, therefore—worthless!
James spoke of a true religion which we know is of great worth; but those without Christ’s reality are of no value, not even to the individuals themselves; for religion void of Christ is not what they need. It has no power to deliver men from anything, especially the world; but that is of no great concern to most people of nominal religions; for they go hand-in-hand with the world. Although dressed up as righteous ones of the Lord, they are often empty, acting a theatrical part, living a lie. Someone once said, “The naked truth is better than well lies,” and regardless how well-dressed the act might be, untried religion can never give people the wherewithal to overcome sin. It never has and never will. It has nothing in it to equip anyone with what it takes to overcome sin. Religion without life cannot bring heaven’s bliss into a man’s soul; for one, he is very well satisfied with the world and all that it has to offer to want anything that pertains to the Spirit. Remove the tribulations which true religion knows so well, and you take away the effectual working of the Spirit in people’s lives, leaving them with a shell, an appearance, a facade of the treasures of darkness.
Let us by all means, then, praise God for all our trials in life. James said, “Count it all joy when you fall into diverse trials.” James 1:2 And count it a blessing that we were chosen of the Lord to be numbered among those who are burdened and exercised in hardships and tribulations and terrible tempests. For by Gods grace our souls will be supported, comforted, and eventually brought out of it all. We will beach upon the blissful shores of our Lord’s peace where all sorrow and tears are wiped away, as the hidden treasures of darkness become a living reality. We may read these encouraging words and rejoice, that is until we find ourselves in the prisons of darkness where there are no comforts to the soul. We may plead for mercy and for God’s vengeance to be poured out to those who have persecuted us or were responsible for our unbearable adversities that are shaking apart every sound thing in our lives. But let us not be of such demeanor; for remember, Paul and Silas were not in despair while in prison but were praying and singing hymns as the other prisoners listened. But to make matters supposedly worse, a great earthquake hit, and they had no avenue of escape. There was nowhere to run for safety. Yet that is what it took to break the bounds of Paul and Silas and free them from prison. The jailer, along with his household, was saved. You see, there were treasures of darkness in that prison (Paul, Silas, the jailer, and his family in the darkness of their home), and they were all brought forth for all to see. So, stand fast, brethren, and see your treasures brought forth and pass in review before all men everywhere.
A longtime friend of ours, Ella, had a similar experience as did Paul and Silas; but her prison was not behind iron bars. Two months ago Ella was in the kitchen and said that she felt as if a dark, foreboding cloud swirled around her head and then slammed her to the floor. She hit on her left knee, which in-turn broke her hip joint. After the surgery, she spent eight weeks in a care center where she could receive physical therapy in order to walk again.
This looked to be a terrible thing, and in a few religious orders, it would have been said that the devil did it just to hurt one of God’s anointed and hopefully to put her out of commission, or that she had some sort of sin in her life. Of course, we know better than that. Neither was the case; but we could not help wondering why this happened to such a dear, eighty-five year old saint of God. What good could come of it? We soon understood! Before she left the hospital, another friend, Daryl Chesser, told us that the Lord spoke to her and said that He was not finished with her, and she would be doing a mighty work, and it proved to be so.
The first person she encountered in the home was the admissions nurse, and she told Ella, “I know that God sent you here.” And from that time forth, members of the staff were continually coming to her room for counsel. One aide, who had always been rude and short tempered toward Ella, came to her bedside at 4:00 o’clock in the morning. She was in dire need of godly counsel. She told Ella that previously when she would be attending to her needs that it was impossible to stay and finish her job due to being so tormented by the tranquility and peace that she felt while in the room. But like a moth drawn to a flame, she could no longer resist the fire of God.
The aide sat in a chair beside Ella’s bed and poured out her heart, saying that she knew all about religion: salvation, baptism of the Holy Spirit, all the gifts of the Spirit, miracles of healing, casting out demons, and more. She went on to say that she had left the church and there was virtually nothing in the world that she had not done, but said that she was so tired of it that she wanted to die. Her sister told her that she had gone so far into sin that God would never forgive her, that she could never get back to that which she had turned her back on and left, and that she would be spending eternity in hell. (What a “sweet” sister with the gospel of “good news.” Oh! You think maybe not? And you are right. That is not the gospel by any stretch of the imagination.)
After Ella had ministered to her in such a loving way, the aide said, “What is that smell? Your room smells like roses!” Ella responded by saying, “Maybe it is the rose in the little glass over there that my husband brought me from home.” She walked around the bed and smelled it, and replied, “No, that is not it. Your entire room is filled with the fragrance of roses, like a rose garden. The smell is so rich and it is everywhere!” When finally having to leave, she was radiating with the love of God and a renewed hope. She wasn’t seen again until a day or two before Ella was discharged. The aide had been transferred to a different ward and then went on vacation; but she was still excited about her new life, the resurrection life, that Ella had imparted to her. Ella called the chair, where all the nurses and aides sat for counsel, her “confessional chair.” The week she left, the staff voted her as the number one patient for the month, and a great write-up and picture of her came out in the home care’s newspaper, and no one who knows her was a bit surprised.
So you see, that which seemed to be such an awful plight proved to be a wonderful blessing! Treasures of darkness came forth as they were freed from the prisons of their souls wherein they were held captive. The initiation of it all was with an earthquake in Ella’s kitchen and then a time of confinement in her prison of the Casa Arena Blanca nursing home. It was clear later on; but it neither came to her mind nor ours at the onset that, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.” Psalm 27:5 And that is exactly what He did! Praise God!
“He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. Psalms 18:11. “…In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion (booth, hut or lair.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance): in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.” Psalm 27:5 “I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.” Isaiah 45:3
We can grasp the idea that darkness is God’s secret place, that is, in the sense that anyone who would hide something from prying eyes, darkness would be a great covering. Yet, with God being light, this might seem contrary to who He is; but not so. When we are touched by His Spirit, we see that not only does God create darkness as read in Isaiah 45:7, but “He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deep darkness into light.” Job 12:22 (NASB)
Have we known darkness where there was no light to shine, and dark waters and thick clouds of life overwhelmed us? OH, yes! We have been there! We have very often been acquainted with such. We have known trouble. With some, it is a constant companion.
If this is the case, we should also know that we were, and are still, hidden in His pavilion. We are in His place of secrecy, and although it is very dark, it is a good place. We are in the midst of His tabernacle, in the midst of His corporate body with our security being that of Jesus Christ, our Rock. And in due season, He will give His anointed the treasures hidden in the darkness of Babylon’s secret places. Until that appointed time we shall remain hidden in His secret pavilion of darkness as we rest securely upon Him, the Rock, the One upon whom our Father has set.
Although it may not seem so, His pavilion of darkness is a place of wonderful times wherein we are hidden from trouble. During those occasions, we should echo the words of David: “…Yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Psalm 57:1 We should also say: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 Are we not so thankful that we are protected from the calamities that often befall the world? When piercing lightning bolts sorely strike in other people’s lives, there is great relief that we have been spared. We have all known such times when we remain miraculously unharmed when so many are deluged with unprecedented hardships, as we abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
However, as we progress ever closer to the end of our journey, we are becoming more aware that God’s secret place, His pavilion, is sometimes not the same as we once knew it. In the beginning of our walk as newborns, infants, and toddlers, His protection was all about us. We were spared things too numerous to recount. But now, in our travels through the valley of the shadow of death, we find ourselves being baptized in Fire. His pavilion has taken on a change. The shadow of His wings that once sheltered us from the dark storm seems now to be the storm. The shadow has become what the word means—a shade, darkness, that which lacks light. His pavilion wherein we now abide for a season is “…darkness …dark waters and thick clouds…” Psalm18:11.
The light of day is often diminished while we are overshadowed by God’s pavilion. Although He is always present, and there is great joy in the depth of our souls, a shroud of darkness can replace the illumined brightness of His warm embrace.
This darkness comes in various ways, one of which is hard to believe when it arrives. It is the darkness of rejection, not rejection from our Lord, but from our friends. It is the shadow of no one standing with us when we need them the most. Jesus was acquainted with this dark cloud of God’s pavilion, and even though He knew beforehand that those closest to Him would forsake Him, it hurt terribly. When Jesus was arrested, His most faithful followers turned their backs and denied they ever knew Him. The dark pall of that day was unprecedented; but look at the treasure that came from it—atonement for all, resurrection from the dead, glorification, and ascension!
Paul was another who was overshadowed while in the secret place of God’s tabernacle. He wrote, “At my first answer (defense, Grk) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me.” 2 Timothy 4:16 And his dark years in prison produced some of the greatest words of light contained in the Bible.
We may read and hear such words and rejoice that more of God’s mysteries are being revealed. We will be glad that we know more than we did yesterday; but when we experientially find ourselves in the prisons of darkness where there are no comforts to the soul, what then? We may plead for mercy and for God’s vengeance to be poured out to those who have persecuted us or were responsible for causing our world to fall apart around us. But let us remember something said last time. Paul and Silas were not in despair while in prison but were praying and singing hymns as the other prisoners listened. And to make matters seemingly worse, a great earthquake hit, and they had no way of escape. The prison gate was locked tight and they were chained. Yet that is what it took to open the gate and break the chains to free them from prison. The jailer, along with his household, was saved. You see, there were treasures of darkness in that prison (Paul, Silas, the jailer, and his family in the darkness of their home), and they were brought forth for all to see. So, stand fast, brethren, and see your treasures brought forth and pass in review before all men everywhere.
If you have never been rejected by those you love, you cannot imagine the deep pain that is inflicted. It sweeps over your soul like a rolling wave of suffocating darkness. Notwithstanding, there are many other things found in the shadow of God’s pavilion. To name a few: sickness and afflictions of all kinds and magnitudes; loved ones suffering from diseases and dying or being killed without warning; infidelities; divorces; wayward children; drug and alcohol addictions; depression; mental breakdowns; persecutions (religious and otherwise).
That which God is doing in the pavilion of darkness, who can know the glorious outcome? If our Lord had not been standing with us during these trying times, we could have wavered, stumbled, and fallen. Without His abiding presence and power of grace sustaining us, and changing us, we would never see His mysterious treasures rising from darkness like the fabled phoenix from the flames! The dark clouds of adversity would have devoured us. But we were not called to be devoured. Our calling has always been to rise into the radiant light of the One who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things—our Lord Jesus Christ!
After the baptism of fire has finished its purpose, we shall rise without the smell of smoke upon our garments. As lightning, we will burst forth from the clouds of darkness and bring His shining glory into all the earth! Although our lives may be blanketed with darkness for a season, it is time to rejoice; for our manifestation from darkness surely draws near.
For the moment there may be hardships; but let us not complain. They are working something far greater than we could possibly dream. It has never entered our hearts what God has prepared for us, and it certainly had never entered our minds the path that would carry us there. Oh, the mystery of it all! How could we have known that the way to life was death. It was far from our minds. We were strangers to the thought that to break forth into Christ’s effulgent light would first require a time of darkness.
If you happen to be in such a dark pavilion, feeling as if the winding sheet of death has been wrapped around you, that you will never see the light of day, take hope, brethren! For as “…wisdom excels folly…light excels darkness.” Ecclesiastes 2:13 The light always prevails! Darkness is not forever. Do you not know—the Light of Jesus Christ abides in you and cannot be quenched? If this is so, and it is, then this inextinguishable Light will excel and render void the darkness that overflows your lives. You will not remain in these pavilions forever, for pavilions, if you recall, are temporary booths. They are individual tabernacles designed to hold you only for a short time (seven days unto perfection). The Feast of Tabernacles are not a time of permanent dwellings. While in the midst of fire, when the burnt offerings are being consumed, it may seem like there will be no end to the consuming blaze. However, an end is ordained. It comes at our transformation, after the holy flames of God have finished that for which they were fashioned.
Who would have imagined that such pain we suffer could be called holy? Not a large number, we are sure. Nevertheless, if these hard things we are enduring are of God, and if they are working a holy change in our lives, they are then holy! They could be nothing less.
But God’s ways are very different from those of man. Rather than suffering loss of any kind, he is set to ever increase himself. At all cost his drive is to have more of everything, more money, power. The more he has, the more he will be able to do the things that are fixed in his heart. This is the way of the world; however, it is not relegated to the world alone. It has also saturated the church. This type of thinking has pervaded every quadrant of the religious systems of the world. For instance: If a man, saint or sinner alike, wants to become rich, he generally does not seek to become poor. If he wants to live, he flees the threat of death. When he looks to be strong, it doesn’t make sense to become weak. Should he desire to build, he will not tear down and destroy. He will not root out when he wishes to plant and bring forth a harvest. His general idea is to improve upon and add to that which he already has.
God’s thoughts, however, are different. His thoughts are not man’s thoughts, and His ways are not man’s ways. God’s thoughts and ways are foolishness to the carnal minded man. That is why many look upon those in His dark pavilions as having missed the mark. More than a few who seek after all those things that entice the Gentiles, believe God has been angered and is measuring out His wrath upon those who are under the shadow of death while in His pavilion of darkness. Religious people who are void of understanding cannot see that those under the shadow of His wing are God’s Treasure of Darkness.
Nevertheless, when we are weak He is strong. Jesus became poor that we, His body, might become rich. God told Jeremiah that before he could build or plant he had to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, Jeremiah 1:10
For Jesus to become the Lion of the tribe of Judah, He had to be led in humility as a sheep to the slaughter, Acts 8:32. Before all men could drink from the River of Life, He had to empty Himself. He divested Himself of authority so He could come forth with all authority. In death, He ceased from the Father’s works so greater works could be done by those of His corporate Body.
Jesus sounded no alarm for his followers and legions of angels to defend Him. He opened not His mouth. Rather than arraying Himself in glory, He submitted to the humility of being stripped naked. He could have taken His rightful place upon Earth’s throne, but relinquished it to endure the pain of being nailed to the cross, not a likely seat of majesty, honor, power, and authority.
Jesus could have ascended in glory upon mount Zion; but rather, with plucked beard, beaten back, face marred beyond recognition, He walked shamefully upon the hill of Golgotha. Rather than taking His position as the anointed King of kings, He emptied Himself and became the servant of all. The richest man in the universe became the poorest of all, having no place to lay His head and died without a rag to cover his nakedness. He was such a man that the grandest shrine to His honor would pale in the presence of His dead body; yet a tomb had to be borrowed for His burial. Even at His birth, the palace chambers with midwives were not there for Him. Like it would be for His tomb, a borrowed stable was His delivery room, and the animals’ feed-trough took the place of a feather-down bed. He was not born in the midst of great men who would marvel at His majesty, but among the beasts of burden. They were his companions in birth, and throughout his life such were also his friends. Oh, the wonder of it all! Out of Darkness came forth the greatest Treasure of all the ages!
He was crucified in the weakness of flesh as the son of man, but “He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4 Where men destroy their enemies by killing them, Jesus destroyed the devil through His own death. What a paradox! To the natural mind it doesn’t make sense. But who would ascribe God as having a natural mind?
Seeing, therefore, that Jesus became weak and suffered the death of the cross that we would live, can we expect it to be different with us? Are the servants greater than the Master? Absolutely not! Referring to himself, Paul spoke of the difficult road that we were to walk: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11
Day by day, the written word is opening to us in this area. It is becoming alive by the Spirit of revelation. It is also becoming increasingly clear that our lives are bearing it out. There are three things we see transpiring today:
1) The letter declares these truths
2) the Spirit is quickening them to us
3) we daily walk it out.
Who can deny such a thing, especially when that which is written and revealed to us becomes a reality?
In relation to the hardships we endure while in these tabernacles, Paul said: “For we that are in this tabernacle (tabernacle: skenos, a hut or temporary residence, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 What a paradox! While in our tabernacles, huts if you will, we groan, we are burdened, and for what purpose? That we might be clothed upon by a glorious body that mortality might be swallowed up of life! God wrought us, He made us, He called us to endure the same suffering as Jesus so we could be arrayed in the same glorious garment of life.
Again, it doesn’t make sense to the natural mind that one must die to live, weep before he can laugh, know sorrow to be filled with joy, to be humiliated to be lifted up, to become naked to be clothed, to know darkness to come forth as Light. Paradoxes, yes, but altogether true!
Today, rather than large assemblies of God’s anointed being gathered, we are dwelling in booths, huts, alone, individually or perhaps a few more of like mind and spirit. It is no wonder that we do not see those who have truly been touched by the spirit of sonship trying to build a huge church or ministry. They have no schemes to build their own kingdoms in the “name of the Lord.” Other than by mail, the internet, or by phone, many of the treasures of darkness have no fellowship whatsoever. If some are drawn together by the Spirit and meet in a building (church) for any length of time is a rarity. If it lasts, their numbers remain small.
With home fellowships, it is not uncommon for them to have two, three, or maybe a dozen like minded saints who come to know one another. They are very seldom started by the will of man. They seem to just spontaneously start after two or three have a desire to come together to share the word and life of Christ that is so precious to them, and if there are others of the same desires and calling to sonship, they seem to find those homes, coffee shops, or parks. Moreover, there are no “leaders” over the gatherings of the Lord. Only as the Spirit leads do they move. If there is no inspired word or direction, the weather might be discussed, or a number of other things that come to mind. They may pray beforehand, sing a song or two, or they may do nothing. Moreover, there may be neither of these scenarios mentioned. In some cases, there is one person buried in the darkness of a metropolis of more than million human souls jostling, cavorting in the affairs of daily life, yet being alone, so alone, yet abounding in fellowship with the sages and saints of the ages, but most likely unaware.
Those who gather in one accord—they flow in one accord, which we know is by His Spirit, and by His Spirit alone. In many of these obscure gatherings, whether in homes or buildings conveniently used (vacant other than when saints are gathered, churches) if He does not move, then they don’t move. If He does, then they enter into that River of Life, the River that He is.
Some believe that the only way to have “church” is to be alone on a mountain top overlooking the horizon of golden rays of a southwestern desert sunset. Some feel it is seeing the sunrise over the Alpine peaks of glistening snow. Others feel it in the seclusion of their closet. A few take it literally. There are many views of what “church” might be, but one thing for sure; true “church,” the “ecclesia”, the “out called,” cannot be boxed in or identified by man from beneath, for it is from above—far above!
Jesus Christ is the River of Life for all who find themselves swept away by His current. Knowing this to be true, let us consider: Can a river be diverted or alerted by its tributaries—especially the River of Life made by God? It is not only unlikely—it is impossible! That is one reason why we find the treasures of darkness in such nonconformity with main-stream religion. For the true fellowship of the saints is done nothing by rote, not by routine, or ritual. However, they almost always have Communion; but it is not what is called the Eucharist, the bread and wine, the wafer and grape juice, or white bread and water. It is much more than these earthy elements that sates natural man’s appetite and guilty conscience. The Communion of these saints is giving and receiving the true Bread and Wine! It is His broken body and shed blood. It is His Word and His Spirit!
Nothing is fabricated with these treasures of darkness. There is nothing birthed from the natural minds of men and women. These treasures are content to abide wherein they have been placed, in secret places, unseen by the world. They will abide under the shadow of His wing until they are called to rise and shine to be the daybreak, the morning, the New Day! For the time being, however, it is the season of the Feast of Tabernacles, Booths, Huts! Until that Feast has filled its course of seven days, and we rise on the eight day, we will surely remain alone. It matters not whether we are attending meetings—if we are in the Feast of Tabernacles, these treasures will still be alone with God in His Pavilion of Darkness!
Those who are caught up in the latest “moves of God,” so called, and the excitement of large crowds is where they find “life”; they are not in the Feast Tabernacles. They are not the treasures who presently abide in God’s solemn pavilions of darkness. Such worldly displays of religion are the very opposite of this solemn Feast of the Lord. Some of what we see is, no doubt, of God. We do not discount what is divinely done therein. He moves in peoples lives in every phase and facet of religion and man’s life. But it is not the Feast of Tabernacles of which the Sons of God are now partaking.
We have heard it said by some that they are already walking in the anointed fullness of Christ’s life, and the only thing anyone else has to do for the same is to realize it, believe it, and they will have the power and authority to rule and reign, to do exploits, even to raise the dead.
At the right time, at the manifestation of the sons of God, this is a true word; but their demise will come first. We were made to have the selfsame life and power of Jesus. This is understood. However, He not only made us to have the selfsame life, but also the selfsame death. We see this anointing when the woman anointed Jesus with a precious ointment from an alabaster box, and the anointing was on behalf of His death, of which Jesus said was good and was for His burial! (ref. Matthew 26:7,10,12).
Before the power of life and resurrection is known in our lives, the law of death will first be known, and not by knowledge alone—but by experience! We will be the treasures of darkness for the occasion (ref.) or “In The Beginning” Publication #163.03 free upon request). We do not find pleasure in it any more than our Lord before us; but we can endure it as He did: “…The Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Hebrews 12:2) Let us, therefore, rejoice for the joy that is set before us while being swept over with the cloud of death as we abide our appointed season as a peculiar people—the treasures of darkness.
It is in that season our burnt offerings are made. This is when the renewing of our minds is made and our transformation comes. Before we rise into the heavens which we are destined to rule, we must first descend into hell. Its dominion of darkness will embrace us sorely, this is certain; yet it can neither hold us nor destroy us. After it has worked its immutable purpose, we will turn and command it. We shall ascend with power and dominion over death, hell, and the grave.
We can now see that after the Lord had said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” he could write, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 It was Paul who also wrote, “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” 1 Corinthians 1:27 Therefore, my friends, if you happen to be among those who are acquainted with the bitter waters of grief, and the pavilion of darkness has been your place for seven days, take heart—you will shine on the morrow.
“The people which sat in darkness saw great Light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death Light is sprung up” Matthew 4:16 At various times we all have sat in darkness. Our first darkness was that of the world. It lasted until we saw the Great Light of Jesus Christ. Our souls were filled with unspeakable joy when He came forth into our lives as our Savior. He was as a warm summer’s dawn. We were delivered from the power of darkness, and set into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (ref. Colossians 1:13). Most of us joined ourselves to a church of some sort, wherein we were blessed for a season. Those confines satisfied, but not for very long. Where we had once known freedom and had seen light, darkness soon squeezed tightly about us.
Our quest for life was calling us to be free, and it was not long that we saw again His Great Light, and to our surprise, it was not in the church where we presumed it had to be. It was in us, in our own hearts and mouths (ref. Romans 10:8-9). It was in the same place we first saw it.
With this new light shining, we tried to remain and share it with our friends, yet we found this to be futile. Not only that, the longer we stayed attached to ‘our’ church, the dimmer the light grew and the lonelier we became. The sweet, and sometimes not so sweet, people could not provide that for which our souls hungered. We became the disdained talk of the church. After nine months, we were delivered from our mother’s womb. The apostle Paul mentioned in Galatians 1:15 that it had happened to him. He was never the same, and neither were we. As it was with many others throughout the world, we took a leap of faith and left the protection of our religious mother. Once again the light shined brightly and illumined our souls. We had no idea where our journey would lead; but we knew we could not remain in the stagnation of darkness to which the church system had descended. Our exodus was a must in order to continue our search for life, and life more abundant, as Jesus said He would give. Out of darkness we came. We were truly Treasures of Darkness.
We had not expected, however, to leave one darkness for another. This was not in our vision. We could see in a vague way the grand things that pertained to Sonship; but what lay between us and our destiny was out of sight. The farther we walked, the more things changed, and they were not always pleasant. And now, rather than in the midst of manifested glory, we find ourselves secured in God’s pavilion of darkness. Even so, there is the true Light that still brightens our days within. Outwardly, the dark waters and thick clouds may cover us over; but inwardly, we persevere and hold fast to that which is Life.
Many today know the pain of sorrow, anguish, and longsuffering that weigh often upon them. In the heat of the day, or the cold of the night, there seems to be little hope as the fierce winds taunt them, and the waves of the storm beat relentlessly upon the eroding shoreline of their lives. But rest assured, fellow hut dwellers, although “…weeping endures for a night, joy cometh in the morning” Psalm 30:5 Jesus will “Give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” Luke 1:79
We may presently be walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Maladies and ongoing traumas can be very real; but as this seventh day of Tabernacles draws to a close, we have cause to rejoice. The Great Light of our Lord shall guide our feet into the way of peace. It matters not if our minds and bodies are racked with pain, the truth is this—our eye is single. With our eye being single our whole body is full of light, as Jesus said in Luke 11:34. And this hidden light within the pavilion, if it has not already done so, it will guide our feet into the way of peace.
Although the darkness is not pleasant, and there can be much suffering in its confines, we are not forsaken. Darkness may shroud us on all sides, yet we are blessed. When it seems that our frail ships will sink in these fierce storms, our Lord’s presence insures safe passage. Many of us can already say that in the face of overwhelming circumstances, we have His perfect peace that passes all understanding. We do not complain but rejoice always. Although we are compassed about by adversities, inwardly we do not walk in darkness. We have Him, the light of Life (John 8:12).
Those lacking insight as to why we are dwelling in makeshift huts will be quick and ready comforters. But their comfort will be akin to the comfort Job received from his three friends. If, however, they took the words of Paul to heart, they would be a little more at ease: “But with me: yea, it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-5
Brethren, it appears to me, that whether the things hidden are the evil things of the world (John 3:20), or they are like Paul, God’s chosen vessels, treasures of darkness—when it is time for the Lord to bring them forth—every man will praise God. The manifestation of Christ in men’s lives works this way. When an evil man’s heart is made bare by the light of Jesus, and His fire burns it clean, he shall praise God. And especially with those whose hearts are fixed upon Him. They shall praise Him. His light will penetrate the darkness of their suffering as He lifts them out of the strange place of God’s dark pavilions.
To be reminded: “He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” Psalm 18:11 We are in God’s secret place. There is no doubt about it. We abide in His pavilion of dark waters and thick clouds. This is sure. Brethren, we are hidden! But praise God, we will not remain hidden forever! For He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness. He will manifest the counsel of our hearts, whether of good or of evil. Since our eye is single, the counsel of our hearts shall manifest good. These burnt offerings that we are shall come forth as light into a world of darkness. That is what we have to look forward to, to be brought forth as light into a dark world.
This is the light that shall discover (uncover) the forests, and by it everyone in the temple of God will declare His glory (Psalm 29:9). All the hidden things of the world, all those things covered over by man’s own righteousness and religious rituals (fig leaves), shall be exposed.
There are a few things that will strip a forest naked. The lack of rain will cause it to dry up and die. The icy chill of winter will rid broad-leaf trees of their covering. It takes more for the evergreen trees, those people who never change and seem to be forever determined in their self-willed ways. Fire will strip them clean. Regardless of what it takes to expose man for what he is, God will make sure it is done. And as those in His temple praise Him, it will ultimately cause every soul to praise in like manner (ref. 1 Corinthians 4:5).
The gates of Babylon did not prevail against the anointed of the Lord, and they shall not prevail against His anointed today who will bring liberty to the treasures of darkness. None can prevent God’s treasures from coming out of darkness: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 Huts of darkness may be our temporary living quarters; but we are not of the darkness. “We are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5
As treasures of darkness in God’s holy sanctuary, we may wonder on occasion how it is possible to make it through the vast valley to our destination, even if we have been called for such a thing. Remember, we are not of the night, but of the day, and when His candle shines upon our hearts, and when His light illumines our way—we will also walk through the darkness to victory. Job 29:3.
At times our sight is diminished, especially when afflicted. The enemy seems to prevail against us as he plows through our lives. Deep furrows are made in our lives; yet, like all days, these days have an end, and healing will come from His wings. Furthermore, we know our LORD is righteous, and He will cut the cords that bind us tight as the anointed Psalmist wrote. Psalms 129:1-4.
The Spirit in us refuses to relinquish. It won’t give up, for it rests neither day nor night until it brings us forth from darkness and into the full habitation of our mighty God and Father of spirits.
There is a time and season for everything, and we are now living in the time of being Kingdom Treasures of Darkness hidden in God’s Pavilion of Darkness. We are in the season of being unseen and protected in His secret place. Yet there is also the time when He will sit us up upon a Rock Psalm 27:5. And I can tell you, brethren, anyone who sits upon the Rock of Jesus Christ will no longer remain hidden! They will be in plain sight.
In the closing hours of the Feast of Tabernacles, we hear David’s words echoing down through the ages and into our own hearts in this late hour: “O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.” Psalms 90:14-17 Yes and amen! Let it be!
THE PLACE of HUMILIATION
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3 And “I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.” Isaiah 45:3
We see a similarity with the heaven and the earth of old more than two thousand years ago. Darkness was on the face of the deep until God said let there be Light, and His Word became flesh whose name was Jesus, and He dwelt among us. He was God’s Treasure in a dark world. Most of His life was hidden; but there were times when His light shone brightly, and we, like that first Treasure, have been hidden in darkness that God created. Something not realized by a lot of people is that darkness has been by the hand of our Creator. If this were not so, Isaiah would have never written these often ignored words: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7
Some will wonder, just how does God create darkness? Does He reach deep inside, deep into shadowy regions unknown to man and draw it from Himself? I do not believe so; for since “He is the Father of lights, and with Him there is no shadow of turning,” James 1:17, this cannot be. Moreover, “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all,” 1 John 1:5, therefore, none exists in Him from which to draw. So, how then, does He create darkness? It is as I remember our dear friend Preston Eby once saying that God creates darkness the same way we do, simply by turning off the light. Of course, the way He turns off the light is by withdrawing Himself or to cease from manifesting His glory.
Jesus was a light that was placed in the world of darkness, and His presence and His word lit up people’s lives round about Him. Some were not enlightened, but were exposed for who and what they were. When He spoke, the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees hated Him for revealing what creatures of darkness they were, which was a generation of vipers. As long as He spoke, His life lit up the dark world, and those whose father was the devil could not touch Him; for light is greater than darkness and will always prevail. However, after the last supper with His disciples and sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane, His light was turned off as the powers of darkness came upon Him. He had been a Lamp that shined in the darkness, but now was the Lamb being led to the slaughter. His light was not turned on again until He was seen in the garden—ALIVE!
Jesus was the greatest treasure of darkness that will ever be. He was first in the darkness of His mothers womb, then in the dark stables of Bethlehem, and after that He was in the world of darkness, not only in Egypt but in Nazareth as well. In due season, His Father turned on His light and it dispelled the darkness wherever he went. He was the Great light that those who sat in darkness saw. He was that light to those who sat in the region of the shadow of death, Matthew 4:16. Prior to His death, God was giving Jesus to the world as a Treasure of Darkness; but this was not all the treasure. There was more to come. He was yet to be glorified by the resurrection from the dead, and there was even more that remained hidden in darkness. The seed of every son of God was housed in the darkness of His loins, and they all died in that dark place with Him. They rose also from the dead with Him, but have, for the most part, been hidden in a dark world, while waiting for their Father to turn on their lights; that is, to bring about the manifestation of the sons of God! What a great mystery, God manifested again in the flesh. It is as Job said: “He reveals mysteries from the darkness, And brings the deep darkness into light.” Job 12:22 (NASB)
He first creates the heavens and the earth and places it in darkness. After a time of brooding over it all, He says, “Let there be light,” and there is an unveiling of light that he called day. Likewise with the sons of God. They were placed in darkness with His Spirit brooding over and preparing them for the time when He again says, “Let there be Light”! And that is what they will be—light—as they are revealed to the world. God’s glory in them will dispel the darkness of night as His Sons rise to bring the Day. Who they are in Him is no longer the mystery of iniquity and darkness, but the mystery of goodness and godliness, that is, God manifest in the flesh and reconciling the world to Himself. For a season, “He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies” Psalm 18:11; but as it is sensed that this season is drawing to a close, with great expectation we await the manifestation of the sons of God!
Whether in the beginning with God’s mysteries having been hidden in the deep, or it is today in the heavens, we have been veiled by darkness, by thick clouds which we believe will very soon drop down as rain upon a barren land.
It is the quest of man to not only know about mysteries but to understand them, especially those pertaining to God; but who would think to look for them in the confines of darkness. Not many that I know; yet those who are called to Sonship are destined at times to abide in those hallowed chambers.
Many today have already become acquainted with this darkness. And be sure to know, it is not the darkness of sin, it is the darkness akin to Job’s sufferings. We do not sit upon the ash-heaps of rebellion, but rather, upon the ash-heaps that work perfection.
Oh, to see the end of this thick darkness! To arrive in full glory—that is our earnest desire— but it is not yet the hour. If it were the hour, we would see ourselves rising out of the shadows of death and into the bright Light of the Day. These mysteries are still at work in the secret place of the Most High. They are grinding out perfection from where we abide alone in Him. Many, like Job’s friends, peer long and hard at our condition and suppose we must have done something wrong; for why else, they wonder, would God bring so much sorrow and painful humiliation upon us. Those, however, who are not initiated into the same cannot begin to understand such mysteries. It is impossible for them to know what is going on. For you see — they are mysteries. They are secrets. They are not laid open for all to see. They are not for every ear to hear. They are hidden from the profane. Brethren, they abide in the Treasures of Darkness!
Isaiah wrote: “Verily thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” Isaiah 45:15
We flee the darkness of the world from which we were delivered, and we should, for it works nothing but death. However, we at times also find ourselves fleeing from the abode of God. For who would venture willingly into such a secret place. It is not common for one to swim in a pavilion of dark waters, or to clothe himself in thick clouds. Nevertheless, we are driven to such dreadful places.
What a paradox—God is Light, yet the scriptures tell us that He makes darkness His secret place. Oh, the wonders of God! Who can know His mind? Let men pry, but His ways are past finding out, and one of those things men cannot find out is the treasures of light that shines in darkness. Again, I must insert, this is not the darkness of sin, rebellion, and self-willed lifestyles. This darkness is the darkness of pain, of sorrow, of rejections, of calamities, of suffering, and of many afflictions.
These are the mysteries of God that take us on a journey through dark waters, deep valleys, and thick clouds—for therein is where the Master of these Treasures of Darkness hides them along with Himself. Anyone searching for the Prince of Peace would not think of finding Him in the darkness of the lions den or fiery furnace; but that is where He was found by Daniel and his three companions. His pavilion is often the inner recesses of the dark valleys of rejection, loneliness, and debilitating infirmities. These are things we do not seek, and we don’t have to, for they come looking for us if our testimony is that of Jesus Christ.
Once we find ourselves in these dark places, we will also find Him in a way we have never known. It is then that the mysteries are secured as we are baptized, immersed, initiated, deeply into them. When the baptism has worked its purpose, our Lord of glory will be seen coming with power in these clouds of heaven. From where He was formerly hidden, He will be seen shining brightly in the treasures that were hidden in darkness.
This pavilion is different from the one wherein we walk with Him in the wonderful Light of His Spirit, wherein we enjoy the light of His day. It is not that part of God that bears us on eagles’ wings, and brings us into the safe haven of His arms while sheltering us from the storm. The treasures of darkness which we speak today abide in the habitation of adversities. They are the proving grounds for the sons of God.
We should know, however, that in the midst of the storm, when the waves roll fiercely over the bows of our ships, we are in no grave danger. Regardless of the trouble that blows through our lives, He is with us. He never fails, He never leaves, nor forsakes us. This is made clear not only in scripture (Deuteronomy 31:6 & Hebrews 13:5), but by that which we know by experience!
He may at times be found asleep in the back of our frail vessels as we are tossed about; but let us not fear; for we are on a mission with Him. We have been sent to the other side of life’s Galilee, and come rain or shine, wind or calm, hell or high water—we will arrive safely. We will disembark upon the coastline of death and finish what we were sent to do in the tombs of the Gadarenes.
Until the sons of God make their way across the troubled sea and into the portals of death and hell, not many will be made free. Those doors will remain bolted about with strong bars; but once ashore, the gates shall not prevail. The keys of death and hell are in our hands to free those appointed to death.
We may be prone to cry a little, or to groan, and question why must we suffer the ravages of these storms when the tranquil beaches of home are much more pleasant. The answer is simple, we are being prepared to set the captives free. Before they can be made free, however, we must be free. And how can we know what freedom is if we have never known captivity? We are of little good to those in the prison of corruption until we have known corruption and then put on incorruption. Until then, all we can do is to empathize with them. Immortality can only be known after we have been subjected to mortality and risen out of it. It is then that it shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “…Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Like it was with those in hell that Jesus ministered to and led them captive, there are those who have long awaited our arrival; but before we slay the dragon in the sea, we must first slay it in ourselves. Before we can bring forth those held in death, we ourselves must first rise in light and live. No soldier ever won a war unless he first suffered the hardships of battle. “Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)
We at times wonder why we are set apart from the rest of the Body. Although we are joined to the Body of Christ by His Spirit, we can’t help asking why we must be physically separated from those of like mind and spirit. Sure, we may have one or two with which to fellowship, or a handful in our assemblies as we come together; but where is the manifestation of the Body as a whole?
It matters not what we do in attempts to bring people together and motivate the Body into action, every effort fails. There may be times when it looks as if the body is being assembled for action; but they are short-lived excursions. We may even see moves, or sparks of inspiration shooting into the heavens; but they are more like perspiration than inspiration, and after a time they are gone. These moves of God, as they are sometimes called, remind us of what Isaiah penned: “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” Isaiah 50:11. The Amplified renders it: “Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fire [and work out your own plan of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts and firebrands that you set aflame! Walk by the light of your self-made fire, and in the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if your will]! But this shall you have from My hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment.”
There is little question why we don’t see any long-lasting, earth-shaking moves of God today. They are, by and large, self-made fires and sparks of passing glory of their own making. Some may feel that these laughing revivals, or healing campaigns that fill huge stadiums with thousands of people will be what ushers in the kingdom of God for every eye to see. But please be assured, my travel-weary friends, these stirrings do not have the markings of what burns in our hearts. They are far from the treasures of darkness that will be brought to light. It is nothing close to the initiation of God’s Kingdom being manifested in the earth.
What we see in the church system is not the assembling of the body of Christ. Since this is true, what about the firstfruits? Why are we not seeing the assembling of and manifestation of Christ’s Body among these? I am sure there are various factors; but part of the answer lies in where they are today, which is, in the pavilions of darkness, wherein they will abide during the Feast of Tabernacles. The feast must run its course before they have the liberty to leave. And the Kingdom of God, we can be sure, will remain obscure and hidden in darkness until those in Tabernacles exit and assemble in the eighth day.
The Hebrew meaning for pavilion (sûkkâh) is a hut or lair, as of entwined boughs (rf. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Most often the word is translated booths or tabernacles. Thus, the tabernacles (huts/lairs) of the Feast of Tabernacles (huts/lairs) are neither the main building nor permanent dwellings. Like camping tents, they do not contain all the comforts of home. Tabernacles speak of a time when we dwell in temporary booths or huts, and this is while making burnt offerings.
Each year during September and October there is heightened expectation. For it is the season for the manifestation of the Sons of God, as it is told, and it may indeed commence at this time, but only when the feast spiritually draws to a close. Although this is just cause for such anticipation and excitement, it seems there are some vital aspects to the Feast of Tabernacles that are not largely understood.
What makes this feast so difficult to understand is that practically everything written and taught about it over the past years has been a feast for the future that it is yet to be fulfilled? Perhaps we should consider that after Jesus fulfilled Passover and the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the sacrifices ceased. After the Temple was destroyed there was no more feasts of Pentecost; for Jesus had fulfilled it when He came again and filled the handful in the upper room. The need to practice the Feast of Pentecost came to an end. It is the same with us; there is no need to practice that ordinance after we have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
But what about the Feast of Tabernacles? Why are we still coming together every year and observing this feast? There is certainly nothing wrong with coming together during this time of the year. It is great to be able to hear a rich word breathed from the throne and to fellowship with the saints; but assembling during the season of Tabernacles will not speed along the manifestation of the sons of God. If our assembling is a religious practice—such as, eating bread and wine (communion), water baptisms, etc.—its life will be lost by replacing the real Tabernacles with the ritual, while those in obscure pavilions of darkness are in the true Feast of Tabernacles. Therefore, the carnal ordinance of this feast was fulfilled by Jesus and done away with when the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. and made room for the true feast to take place within us.
This has appeared strange to me. Every feast and ordinance of the law has been fulfilled except this one. I have often wondered why God would bring about all the others into a living reality in our lives and wait 2,000 years for this particular feast. The fact is swiftly appearing that He has not waited after all, as we may have presumed. There has been a fulfilling, at least in part, of Tabernacles right along with Passover and Pentecost; but due to our eyes having been veiled, we have not seen the mystery of it. It has, therefore, been projected into the future the same way everything else that is not readily seen or experienced.
Certainly, there are many things yet to be worked in our lives and manifested, including the temporary feast of huts wherein we are today. It is clear, at least to me that all three feasts—Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles— are presently working in our lives. For instance: we are dying daily as the new man suffers the deluge of many hardships—Passover. Also in Passover is the process of being saved/delivered from the lusts of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life as well as deliverance from the body of death by the life of Jesus Christ. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is a reality in our lives—Pentecost. And burnt offerings have been with us as we dwell seven days in booths—Tabernacles. Seven in scripture speaks of perfection, nothing lacking. Seven days, regardless of how long it takes to complete the task, is the process of bringing it to perfection.
Like Passover and Pentecost, without this basic understanding, people will continue practicing the ritual of Tabernacles until it is manifested in their lives as well. When reality is lacking, people will almost always revert to rituals. Going through the motions is all they know to do. Truthfully, it is much easier to go to a convention once a year and feast upon anointed messages and encouraging prophecies than to live seven days (throughout the year) in make-shift huts.
“And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook…” Leviticus 23:40a Nevertheless, the accommodations may not be the best to be had; but it was a time of rejoicing: “…and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days” Leviticus 23:40b It may be hard to imagine; but one can rejoice in the midst of difficult times. Jesus said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven…” Matthew 5:11-12 And Paul spoke of this also: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Although Tabernacles is a time of rejoicing, it is also a time to be solemn: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein” (Lev 23:36) During the seven days of Tabernacles, burnt offerings are being made. When viewing things in the light of types and shadows, we can see that the burnt offerings signified the ones who made them. And I can tell you, when our lives are going up in smoke, dying daily as unblemished burnt offerings, we have good cause to be solemn.
Truly, this is one of God’s many paradoxes. On one hand He commanded the people to rejoice before Him, and on the other He said it was to be a solemn assembly. The two words, rejoice and solemn, do not have a lot in common. For instance, rejoice speaks of “…being glad or joyful with the whole disposition as indicated by its association with the heart. Many occasions and objects cheer a man: wine (Ps 104:15); meeting a loved one (Ex 4:14); God’s feasts (Neh 12:43); but the Lord and His salvation are cited most frequently as the reason for joy (II Chr 20:27, Ps 5:11…)” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. And solemn assembly is from one word written twice, asara asara. It means “…to restrain, retain, to seize, hold back, prevent, to keep from, shut up.” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. That is, treasures of darkness shut up in God’s ordained pavilions of darkness.
Only in Christ can we be solemn and at the same time rejoice. Due to the deep working of His grace in us, we easily maintain the spirit of praise and worship before our Lord as we dwell alone as the flames of burnt offerings sweep through our lives.
We are familiar with the fire, and with dark days that often conceals the bright rays of the Sun. What we are experiencing speaks expressly that we are already in Tabernacles. To make my point, let me ask:
Are we dwelling today in large congregations of Christ? Is there an over-abundance of fellowship in our lives? Are the doors of the house of the Lord standing wide open? Has an easy access been made to God’s wonder-working power? Are the lost and weary drawn to us as a welcomed light set upon a hill? Or is it to the contrary? More often we are alone and void of fellowship. We may seek crowds of people who are of like mind and spirit, but they are seldom found. Although we enjoy Spirit-filled meetings, we find that we abide alone afterwards, and at times we are still alone while in the midst of the meetings. God’s power isn’t working in great measures throughout the Body. And we certainly do not see the world beating a path to our doors.
Brethren, try as we may, we have not been able to inject power into the body of Christ, nor have we had much success in assembling it to any degree at all. Small gatherings may be seen at times, and in various places; but this is an exception to the rule. In a word, my friends, for most part—we are dwelling alone in booths, in our own huts. God said that He “… made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt…” Leviticus 23:43, and during the time of tabernacles, every male is commanded to dwell in booths Leviticus 23:17, 42. Are you a male in Israel, that is, are you one of God’s sons? If you are, I can safely tell you, your calling is to dwell for awhile in a hut. You are one of the treasures of darkness, one of those who are called a peculiar people, that has an appointed time to be put on display for all to see!
While in Tabernacles, we don’t want to lose sight that it is a time of rejoicing; even so, we must also know why we are often alone in fellowship, and why the flames are sweeping through almost every family. The Feast of Tabernacles/Booths/Huts is fulfilled in the days following the Blowing of Trumpets, which we have been hearing and sounding for many years. The trumpets, or shofars (rams horns), call us together unto one holy convocation to begin a common activity, to offer burnt offerings as we abide alone in our tiny domiciles. Although alone, we rejoice, for the long-toiling days are over. The time of harvest has come. The promise of victory is upon the horizon. And the unveiling of the treasure chest of God’s mysteries we have long sought is at hand.
And where did we have to go to find them, or better, to find Him—“He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” Psalm 18:11 It is in Him where these mysteries are found, in the pavilion (tabernacle, booth, hut) of each son of God.
Adversity is not a pleasant thing, and I know of no one who seeks it out. They who understand, however, know that the clouds of adversity unlock untold mysteries to the ones who endure. While dwelling in our temporary booths, they bring to light those hidden things of God. There may be fear at first, as we are swept over with darkness; but ultimately it causes our ears to be opened in ways we had never heard: “While He thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and They feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son: hear Him.” Luke 9:34-35 This, my fellow hut-dwellers, is the voice we hear in darkness. It is the voice of our Father which directs us back to the voice of our Lord. You see, there is no reason to fear.
This overshadowing cloud has hidden us from the world. At times it is peaceful as we abide alone with our Father; but at other times it is not. The latter times are the ones we are addressing today. Margit and I have never seen so much pain, sorrow, suffering, anguish, turmoil, afflictions, and sundry pressures in the lives of God’s elect. It is unequaled to anything we have known, and it may get worse. The dark cloud of God’s Pavilion is engulfing so many to one degree or another. For some it is overwhelming! What a baptism with which to be baptized! Yet this is the secret place of the Most High. We could not have imagined what awaited us, and if left in our hands, we would not have chosen it. Who could have told us what had never entered the mind of man? Oh, we prophesied it here and there; but until we actually entered His Pavilion of darkness, we could not comprehend it. This is truly a trying time for all God’s children, especially those who are pressing in to Him; but be encouraged, brethren, He is putting the intricate finish on us.
As we press into Him, into His Pavilion of darkness, the intricate finish will be made whether by physical afflictions that serve as fire for these burnt offerings that we are, or other types of fire that are just as painful and sometimes more devastating. We all know those who live with the pain of rejection; divorce; loneliness, constant stress; depression; nervous breakdowns; anxieties; loss of jobs; financial straits; bankruptcies; imprisonment or children in prison; unjust lawsuits; losing homes, friends and loved ones. The list goes on.
What we are suffering is no different from what the whole world is suffering, except for what the fire is doing. The fire of Tabernacles is working a transformation in our lives. We, the burnt offerings, are consumed and transformed into a sweet-smelling savor to the LORD. Some may question and ask why would such be a sweet-smelling savor to Him? In the same way the heat of an oven is tormenting to cake batter, once it is almost done, the aroma that wafts through the house is indeed a sweet-smelling savor, and so it is with us, the treasures of darkness, and the LORD.
Those outside the Tabernacle are not a solemn work of holiness. While we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they walk through the valley of death. Some may even be in the valley of Hinnom and are suffering just retribution for their sin and rebellion. Fire does a work in everyone it touches; but it is not the same as what it does to those in Tabernacles. Our focus at the moment, however, is not on the world, but on those who are entering the Kingdom of God through much tribulation.
The above list of fiery afflictions is a small fraction of what those who are in Tabernacles are enduring. However, even in the midst of these dark waters and thick clouds, we have never known such a people who are rejoicing as they are. Yet, this does not stop us from looking forward to its end. We are eager to leave these temporary booths. For it is then that we will emerge from darkness clothed and wrapped about in God’s unsearchable riches, treasures of darkness.
It will then be said of us: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a Great Light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the Light shined.” Isaiah 9:2. I don’t know about you, brethren, but this gives me rise to shout! Upon hearing the voice of our Lord—regardless of the cloud that may shroud our lives—I rejoice and praise God with all my heart! Although Tabernacles is a time of loneliness, it is also a time of rejoicing, and only those initiated into true Tabernacles can rejoice in the face of such adversity. Furthermore, if we had it to do all over again, what would we change? For if one tittle of darkness were taken out of our lives before the work was done, something of God would be lacking. We would be half-baked and fall short of His riches as we leave the shadow of death and rise from the ashes of sorrow. But we will not leave unfinished. It will not be allowed, “For Thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalm 18:28 And “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” Psalm 112:4 Although “…weeping may endure for a night…joy cometh in the morning” Psalm 30:5 You can count on it! Oswald Chambers called the Pavilion of Darkness the Place of Humiliation. In his book, My Utmost For His Highest, October 2 reading, he said:
THE PLACE of HUMILIATION
“If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22)
“After every time of exaltation, we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they really are, where it is neither beautiful, poetic, nor thrilling. The height of the mountaintop is measured by the dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God. We see His glory on the mountain, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true worth to God—that is where our faithfulness is revealed. Most of us can do things if we are always at some heroic level of intensity, simply because of the natural selfishness of our own hearts. But God wants us to be at the drab everyday level, where we live in the valley according to our personal relationship with Him. Peter thought it would be a wonderful thing for them to remain on the mountain, but Jesus Christ took the disciples down from the mountain and into the valley, where the true meaning of the vision was explained (see Mark 9:5–6, 14–23).
“…It takes the valley of humiliation to remove the skepticism from us. Look back at your own experience and you will find that until you learned who Jesus really was, you were a skillful skeptic about His power. When you were on the mountaintop you could believe anything, but what about when you were faced with the facts of the valley? You may be able to give a testimony regarding your sanctification, but what about the thing that is a humiliation to you right now? The last time you were on the mountain with God, you saw that all the power in heaven and on earth belonged to Jesus—will you be skeptical now, simply because you are in the valley of humiliation?”
We have all known the dark valley of humiliation, and many are presently trudging through it, but take hope, brethren; for every son of God is destined to do exactly that, to pass through it. Not only that, let us remember that the LORD said to His anointed that He would “…give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.” Isaiah 45:3 We will not only possess our treasured souls, but our bodies as well. The Temple of God will then be built and set in the earth, not one made of mortar and stones, but made of His many-membered body! The treasures of darkness—the gold, silver, and precious gem stones that have been reserved in all the Babylons of religion, economics, politics, and the world in general—will be displayed with great power and authority. There will be no more darkness, no more captivity, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering, and above all—no more death! When we hear, “Let there be light,” we will rise and shine! We will emulate our Lord and lead captivity captive. All nations will be subdued. We will drop down as rain upon the barren land. Those who are called out of darkness are destined to reign with Him. It can be no other way; for such a word has proceeded from the mouth of God which cannot return unto Him void, Isaiah 55:11.
God takes us on a long journey through dark waters, deep valleys, and thick clouds—for therein is where these Treasures of Darkness take form. They are hidden by the Master along with Himself. Anyone searching for the Prince of Peace will find Him there, as well as in the lions den or the fiery furnace. That is where He was found by Daniel and his three companions, and we are no greater than those holy men of faith. We surely do not seek the dark valleys of rejection, long nights of loneliness, or ongoing, debilitating infirmities; and we do not have to. If our testimony is that of Jesus Christ, they come looking for us!
I pray that these words today will be as Jesus told His disciples: “Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52
As I was drawing this article to a close, Margit came in and read that verse to me, which was at the appointed time. It then reminded me of a word Rose Mary Garzon shared more than three years ago, and I believe it goes along with what Jesus said:
“Felt I must write to share a dream with you which the Lord gave on April 28, 2009 just before waking. Your latest publication, The Apocalypse Part 10 Publication #212.09, came in the mail the same day, which was a confirmation that the dream was surely from Him.
“I was with a group of people on the wharf near the ocean. I was aware that you were pulling up ‘things’ from the bottom of the ocean. In the dream, I was saying to someone nearby that those were ‘Treasures from the sea—treasures from the Deep.’ There seemed to be a pile of these ‘things’ you had pulled up lying there on the wharf. Suddenly, there was this huge skeleton structure that appeared to be the bones of a giant whale. The head was facing us and looked like a monstrous cavern or cave, as the mouth was open. This body was all a white bone framework—very strange looking. I awakened looking at this.”
To me, it is clear that anyone who is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven brings forth out of the darkness of God’s treasury, things new and old. And the skeletal structure, the bones like of a giant whale, speaks of the hell that Jonah was in for three days and three nights, as well as the grave that Jesus was in for the same amount of time. It is also the hell in which Jesus descended and preached to the prisoners from Adam to Noah and led them all captive. He delivered them from that dark place, leaving it totally bare, bleached white, with no more death, as the skeleton depicts. Hell’s mouth is always opened wide. It is never full; but when those called to sonship, God’s treasures of darkness, rise with power and the word of life, they pull other treasures of darkness from the deep and set them free in Christ Jesus, while leaving their hell completely void, empty, with nothing whatsoever.
Brethren, that is the sum of it—hell’s belly emptied of all it has or will swallow over the ages past, present, or future! Praise God! I like the way things add up in God’s economy! Don’t you?
TREASURES of DARKNESS, Parts 1-3 [Elwin R. Roach] 1