THE HEAVENLY DAYBREAK
BY: LARRY HODGES
“For as the lightning (Greek word, astrape-means, bright shining or glare; it does not mean a “bolt of lightning”)
cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.“ –Matthew 24:27
In a day when the leader of our nation has plumbed new depths in public immorality, when he is able to do so with seeming impunity and automatic absolution, when the moral integrity of our nation is all but entirely missing, when base immorality is fashionable in open public and morality is scorned and despised by most and even regarded as being “too religious,” when the day has finally arrived that an honest man cannot be elected to public office, when that which men once held to be pure and dear is today cast out as diseased, infected and leprous- with all the undeniable and flagrant depravity and godlessness of the day we now live in, yet, …El Elyon, Possessor of heaven and earth, remains resolutely and persistently in complete control of the eventual outcome of it all. Right in the face of such dire things, His day is nevertheless relentlessly dawning!
Like the mythical Dracula who intensely fears the light of dawn, those who have made darkness their cover are even now scurrying about frantically to escape the approaching and ever-encroaching light of a day that shall never set. We are literally witnessing that scripture being fulfilled which states “For there is nothing hid which shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret but that it should come abroad.“ – Mark 4:22 This not only refers to secret sins but also to all hidden manna and every mystery of godliness that has hitherto remained within the concealing cloak of darkness!
It reminds me of something I vividly recall from a much younger time in my life. I was suffering at the time from an acute case of deer fever. I have since been blessedly delivered of this fever. For you ladies and you gents who have never ventured into the woods with a rifle in search of game, this analogy may escape you. I was in a tree-stand awaiting the dawn so that I could see well enough to distinguish a deer from a bush. Before dawn, while it is yet quite dark, the imagination sees things the eyes will never see; bushes become deer and deer become bushes. So I waited for the light. I noticed that morning, as never before, that there is a particular, albeit brief, period when one thinks it is dawning, but the light is still so faint one cannot be at all sure. This is the first glimmer of dawn. It’s there but almost indistinguishable from the darkness all around. Next, a distinctive and peculiarly rosy tint appears on the horizon to announce the advent of the morning star. This is followed by the sunrise itself and then the light of day.
We, I believe, are in the “first glimmer” period now. As if at some prearranged signal, every bird of the forest joins in a sweet, melodious symphony, each one singing its own distinctive, charming rendition and, almost magically, the forest awakens and comes alive for the new day. Spring in microcosm! That this is what we are now experiencing both in our nation at large as well as personally within many is almost undeniable. At the same time, there has inexplicably arisen in our heart a new song, a song without words, which no man can learn but the 144,000 who have been redeemed from among men to be offered to the Father as the firstfruits of those redeemed from the earth. They actually become the song of the lamb. At a time when it seems darkest to them, a light is arising in them and a song is being heard to herald a new day.
There can be no argument from some that we have come to a point wherein we find that we can do nothing! The old religious (Pentecostal?) zeal and can-do drive which once motivated and moved us when the Spirit didn’t, is now nowhere to be found, and we are often bewildered because of it. We find that we are no longer merely quoting Jesus who said, “I can of myself do nothing,” we are finding that now we are at long-last living it. This place was surely visited by our father Abraham who at last arrived at the place where he had become physically impotent and could no longer produce even an Ishmael, and the only thing he was able to imagine was that God would have to settle for the Ishmael he had so diligently brought forth in the days when he was yet able to help God.
But all of us who have read the account know this was not to be. What was to be was a renewal of God’s covenant with him, not for God’s sake but for Abraham’s. He is now told that he will be the father of many nations, and with that promise still ringing in his ears, the next thing he hears is that his brother, Nahor, is now the father of eight sons! All Abraham has is a promise, but that promise is God’s promise and one lone seed, but that seed is Isaac – the rightful heir to the promise! Many of us have come to the place where the only thing we know is that God has promised. We have gone from holding fast to the promise to the promise holding fast to us.
We look around and see our brother bringing forth abundantly while we stand impotent and helpless to do anything about it, without even an urge to attempt trying any longer. But the God who has called us is the God who qualifies for the blessing. All of the sons brought forth by Nahor are Nahor’s sons! Assuredly they are to be blessed with a blessing but not with the blessing. They are not God’s sons brought forth at His Word by His power! None of them go by the name of Isaac and so none qualify for the blessing.
Finally, Isaac is brought forth of those who are, like so many of us, as good as dead. Out of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Isaac appears the least promising of the three. No hero is he. He seems downright spiritually anemic, if I may say so. During his lifetime he does nothing outstanding to speak of – except give a blessing he had received from his father, Abraham... and he wanted to give that to the wrong son! This is the seed through whom all the nations of the earth was, and still is, to be blessed. We stand today in much the same spiritual condition as Isaac. Surely nothing to write home about. “…not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called, but 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; and base things of the world and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.“ – I Corinthians 1:26-29
We read of some in the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.“ Revelation 6:9-11
I am often reminded these days of these souls poured out under the altar, crying incessantly, “How long, O Lord, how long? We’re so weary of waiting.” There was a time not so long ago when we were still able to do certain innocent things to find some relief from the dull tedium of every-day life. We could go out and eat, go to the library or just go for a drive. But those days now seem gone forever. Nothing of this decaying world with all its so-called allurements holds any attraction for us any longer. We have come through the phase during which we have attempted to satisfy ourselves with such things anyway and found that it wasn’t working. Even food itself appears to have lost the strong attraction it once held for us.
So what are these told who have come to such a place wherein they seem to have exhausted all reasonable patience and seem absolutely unable to wait any longer? They are told to wait. They are told to do that which is most killing–to wait for yet a little season. It may be just a little season that they are called upon to wait, but it is a most crucial season, nonetheless. It has historically been this last portion of waiting wherein man has utterly broken down and has failed. It is the undeniable evidence of an almost-but- not-quite surrendered will.
This people whose old creation is in a complete shambles, whose hope of any of it being in any way preserved has been finally and irretrievably dashed forever, whose only hope and desire is the God who called them. This barren, helpless, impotent, pitiful-looking people are the seed through whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed and through whom all creation shall eventually be released from its groaning and hard servitude.
Many have come through deep waters. They have gone where only grace could take them and where only love would take them. The time for a new awakening has come and we are all as helpless to effect it as Jesus was in the tomb to effect His own resurrection. But it is not an awakening on the order of previous religious awakenings, such as those of Charles Finney’s day, as glorious as that must have been. No, this awakening is not an awakening, but the awakening of all awakenings; the one we keep hearing about over and over throughout the prophets and elsewhere in the Bible: “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.“ – Isaiah 52:1 “Arise, shine (the margin says, ‘be enlightened’); for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.“ – Isaiah 60:1 “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.” – Ephesians 5:14 When God formed man of the dust of the earth, He first put him to sleep. We have no Biblical record of God ever awakening Adam. Adam, therefore, is still asleep, as are all who are in Adam. It is in Christ that all are awakened, enlightened and made alive to God. But the awakening seems as gradual and slow in arriving as was the death which followed the fall.
Every Word of God is tried and proven and true (“Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”) When God said, “Let us make man (that’s mankind) in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,“ – Genesis 1:26 He never changed His mind. That very Word is persistently active today and inexorably moving toward its ultimate conclusion and fulfillment. This Word is followed by other words of God to the same intent, one of which is, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man (more precious) than the golden wedge of Ophir.” – Isaiah 13:12
We have not seen such a man except in the person of Jesus Christ, but in Him we see a promise so sure, so certain of the many sons yet to be brought to the same glory that we may take heart and rest in such a promise. God does not plant trees but rather, acorns. He seems always to begin in such small, insignificant ways that it is often quite easy to miss Him in any beginning. But though the Church has long been impregnated with Christ, the incorruptible Seed, it has been but the seed-form, or some in-part stage, that has been apparent. Now, at long last, that which was from the start contained within the Seed has come to such a development that there can be no doubt as to its identity – Christ Himself!
It is to just such an awareness that God’s man is awakening and becoming conscious. Oh, the glory, the majesty with which God has thought, and has therefore undertaken, to bedeck His man completely staggers the mind and beggars the imagination! Yet we vainly continue our attempts to describe the indescribable and expound the inexplicable. Man, fallen-but-redeemed-man, draped in the omnipotence and divinity of God! It completely baffles the limited imagination of man. Let me hasten to say that man never attains his own divinity apart from God, nor does he become God, but man is made by His extraordinary and gracious Creator to share in His deity through what can be termed as nothing else but co-deification!
This is the man more precious than gold! This is the man that will set creation free! This is the man God has made in His own image and after His likeness! It is a man like no other but the Pattern Son, Jesus, for it is Jesus in His many members made comely by nothing other than His comeliness – the only garment for those invited to His feast. Many of us have been focused on the dross produced by the refining process as it has continued to rise to the surface, but that is discarded and cannot be found in the finished work. The appearance of this man is announced to all who have ears to hear, not just from the trumpet-messages going forth via voice and pen, but from the very enlightening caused by his arrival. It is none other but a coming of Christ – in His people surely but no less Himself! And make no mistake about it, even though there are presently those who would and do announce themselves as having reached the fullness of life and immortality here and now, when this life truly appears, it will announce itself and will need no man to announce it! The life is its own announcer.
The enlightenment which precedes Him is from within, to be sure, but such a light cannot long be hid. This light’s coming has already begun to alter, motivate and inspire all who come under its divine, searching, transforming influence. It is that way and has ever been that way with a living Christ. That is, one cannot come into contact in any living way with Christ and not be forever altered. It simply is not possible by the very nature of the thing! The day of words and conceptions is quickly fading as the day of realities dawns. Testimony to this is the song of the Lamb which no man can learn. It is a song which no man can learn because it is sung without words. The redeemed of the earth are become the song.
That we live in the days of the voice of the seventh angel and therefore in the time of the sounding of the seventh and “last trump” when the “mystery of God shall be finished;” shall no more be a mystery, this great awakening certifies. Many of the things which have proven so mysterious and enigmatic to us have begun to have their seal of mystery broken for some. The rest continue holding fearfully to their orthodoxy and confusion, contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints while at the same time rejecting all that does not correspond with the error of their cherished orthodoxy’s bewildering and confused views. Many of them have come out of Babylon bringing as much of Babylon with them as they ever had while still there. Every man will come in, each in His own order at His own predetermined time.
For instance, a puzzling paradox has been presented to us by the following verse. “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” – I Corinthians 15:51–52 The seeming paradox is that there are some who will not have to die, and yet those who attempt to preserve their lives in order that they might arrive at such a place are thereby disqualified from its benefits. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.“ – Mark 8:35
There is presently among many of God’s people the idea that we ought to avoid death by all means possible. This idea is so prevalent it is pointless to open it to debate. Death is an enemy and therefore ought to be shunned and avoided by every means at our disposal. But the very word, which tends to give us such adamancy against death (I Corinthians 15:51–52) is the same word that was spoken first to those of Paul’s day. The effect those words had upon those of Paul’s day was that they were provoked to feed themselves to lions without fear, to face their executioners with joy and to embrace death itself not as an enemy to be avoided but as something to be welcomed, not feared.
To my mind the difference between us and them seems to lie in one area described by this verse. “For the life was manifested and we have seen it and bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us.“ – I John 1:2 That difference is the difference between concept and life or reality. They testified that they had seen the life that was eternal and it changed them! Many of us have but heard the concept of it and simply are not willing to face death upon the authority of a concept.
If the word which moved that portion of the Body of Christ which lived in Paul’s day to relinquish their lives does not move us in the same direction, it is because we have not heard what they heard in that word. The voice of the seventh angel! The sounding of the last and final message, which they that hear shall live! Death is the last enemy to be conquered. Two things about this sentence ought to be considered: One, death is without question an enemy. Two, death is as much to be conquered by the members of Christ’s body as it was by His person!
Fear has been the great bugaboo for many. Fear of man, fear of sickness, fear of pain, fear of death, fear of this, fear of that, fear of fear – fear! It was fear, which kept the children of Israel out of their inheritance because of the fearful report brought back by the 10 out of 12 spies sent in to view the inheritance. Yes, there was also a good dose of unbelief that accompanied their fear, for unbelief is the twin brother of fear. You will seldom find one without the other. Today we stand in the same place and are seeing the same things others saw in the days of Paul. We are spying out the land, and this time we will enter and take the land, ridding it of everything, which runs counter to the will of God. Nowhere do we find written in God’s word that we are to fear our enemies! We are told to do two things to our enemies.
1. We are told to slay every enemy of God!
2. We are told to love our enemies!
If this sounds like a contradiction, it isn’t. We are to slay our enemies with love, for love never fails! You cannot fear what you love, for “there is no fear in love.” (I John 4:18) Death is often represented as the waters of Jordan, but we are told that Love is as strong as death and that many waters cannot quench love; not even the floods of Jordan can drown it!
Am I saying that we are to love death? Beloved, I am not saying anything. I am merely quoting what Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” He didn’t say, “Love some of your enemies, or all but one.” Ridiculous, you say? The One who said it overcame death! “Thou art a priest for the eon according to the order of Melchisedec. Who, in the days of His flesh, offering both petitions and supplications with strong clamor and tears to Him Who is able to save Him out of death, being hearkened to also for His piety, even He also, being a Son, learned obedience from that which He suffered” – Hebrews 5:6,-8 CLNT. It is quite interesting, I think, to note that Jesus did not (as the KJV suggests) pray that He might be saved from death. He prayed instead that He might be saved out of death! There are worlds of difference between the two. Mankind’s universal tendency is to be saved from death. Those who would be a deliverer from the bondage of death are themselves to be delivered, not from death, but out of it. And we are told that He was heard in that He reverenced God!
I have been presented with the theory that Jesus was released from the responsibility to go to the cross but that He went anyway, by the words, “and He was heard”, for the scriptures tell us in another place that, “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.“ – I John 5:15 But the petition He asked was not that He should be delivered from death, as the KJV erroneously states, but that He might not be possessed and held by death… that He might be delivered out of death. And that He was heard, His glorious resurrection loudly testifies!
My brother, sister, if Christ was not delivered from death in His person, shall He then be delivered from it in His members? If He is the Pattern Son, what pattern does He set for us? Is it not a pattern of One Who, completely unafraid of death, goes into death to prove that death has no right to hold to Him, neither in His person nor in His members. Death must therefore let Him go, both in His person and in His members. Is He anything in His person that He fails to be in His members? He is Victor over death in His person and He is Victor over death in His members! He and His members are one!
The Christ, whom we serve and whom, by His grace, we are, does not shrink from anything in heaven or hell. He is Lord of all! More than that, He stands (not, sits) Victor of all in us! In the realm to which the manchild is caught up, there is no death, no devil, no sickness, no sin, no fear, nor anything that is not of God. The first thing accomplished here in the “up hither, throne realm” is that the devil is cast out and into the earth realm where the Church and the rest of her seed remain to be further processed. If the devil is cast out of the realm to which the manchild is caught up, then there is no devil there, nor any of his works.
Certainly, when looked upon in the natural, these are not what one might typically look upon as deliverers of anything. They look more as if they themselves need deliverance. One thing more they are certainly not–the Laodicean Church! Not one of them believes he is rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing. But a door has opened to them! For it is right after the warning to the Laodicean church that we are told in Revelation 4:1 that a door was opened in heaven to the “come-up-hither” throne realm. There is about to be seen by some that a door has opened in the heavenlies out of which a ministry of unsurpassed and unimagined glory is destined to issue forth. It will issue forth from that realm that thus far has been only briefly glimpsed by mankind during that time when Jesus walked the earth so long ago. It will be the issuing forth of Ezekiel’s river of life coming forth from the throne of God and from under the threshold of a doorway, bringing life whithersoever it goes. It is there now, only not yet come forth or manifested.
When this occurs all controversy will be settled. All light and inferior claims now being put forth from various quarters with their extravagant and unsustained declarations will be put to shame in the light of the Lamb’s followers. None of them will be connected to a medical life-support system in order to insure a little more health, none of them will be using chelation therapy to insure a little longer life, none of them will be drinking medicine and eating supplements in order to shore up a crumbling body – they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. He is their life! They have come to the understanding that they cannot live apart from His presence.
But we often hear the thread-bare argument straight from the dank and musty halls of reason’s mind, “But we must do whatever we can to keep ourselves together; to keep ourselves alive until that life which is within swallows up our mortality!” How often have we heard it? Almost often enough to begin to believe it. Beloved, no sooner do we attempt to preserve our life than we are disqualified from the very thing for which we strive. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.“ – Mark 8:35
There is such a tendency on our part to water-down and weaken the requirements for the Overcomer’s crown! I have heard some say things about trusting God that is really so typical of us all. “I’m going to trust God entirely, for everything… except in emergencies!” This is said in complete seriousness. Well, when do we need God most, if not in emergencies? I am in no way making light of those who may have said this. We are all on our way and will, by God’s grace complete the journey. I simply cite this as typical of that mind set which automatically thinks that to actually trust our heavenly Father is nothing short of radical. It is not radical! It is but the normal Christian response to a loving Creator and Father. The response cited above is the instinctive, involuntary response of most of us. Allow me to quote one from another time – Jane Leade. In the portion that I am about to quote, Jane is in the midst of dialogue with the false prophet, the rational reasoning mind, which declares war in our heavens as soon as we have resolved to trust God utterly. It is quite alright to trust God – but not utterly!
“Come, come,” cried the king-crowned Beast, “Away with these innovations and receive my laws, in the performance of which there will be ease and rest. Dost thou not see how peaceably all my subjects that bear my mark and name live under me? Who are like them, great in fame and mighty through honor and riches, which they obtain by observing my orders and rules? These I will give to thee and would have thee great in my principle and not despicable as now thou art.
“Whereas it is said thou must have no other God but One and that thou must own Him as thy Creator and none other before Him; this I will permit and thou art not prohibited herefrom. Nevertheless, thou art not so strictly tied up here, but thou mayest own subordinate powers under God and obey nature’s laws for its self-preservation. This is only fair, and therefore do not slight these laws that are founded upon reason’s bottom, but sail thou with its tide, as thou desirest blessing and prosperity in this world. Is it not great folly in thee and in such as do join with thee, to be singular and to observe such laws as none are able to agree with you in, that wisely intend to maintain their interest as to the friendship and the favors from the kingdom of the world, which, as thou hast a terrestrial life and a mortal body, thou dost stand in as much need of as any of the natural offspring whatever?
“Now hath God said indeed unto thee that thou must neither consider, nor have reference to any other, either in the heavens above or in the earth beneath, but must live upon Him for all, singly and undoubtingly by a spirit of faith alone? This is a law for angelics but not for creatures that bear mortal shapes, who are fallen under the line and dominion of the starry constellations. It is unavoidable that thou must bow and be subject unto the starry heavens which govern and constitute and give forth right laws, being such as consist very well with refined reason, which you would exclude. And then, what will become of you when you shall forsake the order of sense and reason, which your new laws call low and earthy? Must you not hereby needs bring all into desolation and ruin upon your external comely station and be a byword and a derision to all your fellow creatures that you will see before your eyes as fair and flourishing branches, thriving through obedience to the laws of my present and visible kingdom?
“For I do not defer my rewards but do give them as soon as their work is done. Neither do I keep my subjects and children in such suspense and waiting for what they do not see, so awing them in the meantime as they must not so much as look awry or be company for any other but seraphics. Oh, who can bear such a life as this while living in this mortal sphere? Oh, come out, and regard not this self-destroying covenant, which will infallibly make a breach and set all at variance against thee, if thou shouldest keep to it.” The Laws of Paradise pp. 40-43, End of Quote.
It certainly does not require much comprehension to recognize the voice of the rational mind (the false prophet) in action, pleading for what is only right on behalf of our lower, fallen nature. Yes, and pleading for it from no other ground than that of rationality and reason. The rational, reasoning mind will never stand for God’s interests, and upon every departure from the heart and purpose of God it will have an abundance of so-called Scriptural bases.
No sooner is the manchild caught up to the “up-hither, throne realm” than there is war in (that) heaven.(Rev. 12:5) What we have here spoken of is but another aspect of the same thing. The heaven is our mind. The devil and his angels, which are cast out, represent that mind, along with its thoughts, found to be so prevalent in Adam. Not that the carnal mind is Satan (there never was such a mind until Adam, as a result of Eve’s reception of Satan’s word [seed], fell), but Satan has such a natural affinity with that mind that it may be quite accurately said that he is one with that mind. It is that mind which carries the mark and name of the bestial/fallen nature. The sons will, of course, have His Father’s name in their foreheads. That is, they will have another mind altogether – the mind of Christ.
HEAVENLY DAYBREAK, THE [Larry Hodges] 1