By Elmer Josephson
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto
my path," said King David (Psalm 119:105). Christ said, "I am the light
of the world" (John 8:12) and the nation of Israel again is to be a light to the
"Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be
glorified . . . I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my
salvation unto the end of the earth" (Isaiah 49:3 and 6b).
The seven golden candlestick in the tabernacle and later in
the Temple was symbolic of Israels original mission as light-bearers of Gods
truth to the world.
Sex perversion, crime and war are really not causes but
symptoms of the real trouble of the inner darkness of mans spirit. The deep chasm of
darkness into which modern man has fallen is the result of rejection of the Light of God
emanating from the Book of books, given through Abraham and his seed, Israel, which was
ordained to be a light unto the nations.
The blindness of men and nations to Gods plans and
purposes for the ages in general, and to Gods role for Israel in the world in
particular, is further evidence of the need of this light. This truth must be underscored.
As Abraham came on the worlds scene around 2,000 B.C.
to shed abroad the light of God to dispel the darkness of ignorance, superstition and
fear, so today, about 2,000 A.D., God is regathering Abrahams seed to "His
Land" in preparation for world redemption and Messiahs return.
"The Lord God is a sun." His Word is
Light. Today the Word of God is cloaked, not taken into account by the
nations. The U.N. is a symbol of the worlds spiritual darkness, groping as a
blindfolded man for a wall that would not permit even a chapel for prayer in its
structure. Finally a room was permitted for meditation. The so-called
Christian nations never refer to the Scriptures in showing the purpose of Israels
ingathering and her coming role as a guiding light to bless all nations (Isa. 40:9).
Therefore, the moon, a type of the nations, are "as blood" through wars,
bloodshed and violence. And the stars, Gods messengers, continue to fall (Rev.
Shortly after God called Abraham (and his seed) to be a
light to the world with the promise, "In thee shall all the nations of the earth
be blessed," God said to Abraham, "Look now toward heaven and tell the
stars . . . so shall thy seed be" (Gen. 15:5). For thousands of years before
electronics and modern navigational equipment, the stars were the unchanging,
life-preserving guideposts in the heavens, directing ships to their desired haven. So
Daniel writes, "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the heavens and
they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever" (Daniel
Stars are symbols of Gods people. Six million of
these stars fell to the earth during the Nazi Holocaust, one-third of the worlds
Jewish population. Eternity will reveal this loss of guiding lights of brilliant doctors,
statesmen, scientists, educators and flaming heralders and prophets of righteousness,
Gods stars to keep men from shipwreck and ruin. Christs brethren have been a
salt-preserving quality in the earth as recorders of the Book of God, guardians of the Law
and champions of every righteous cause. Six million stars went out, but the
world took little note. They did not know of the darkness to follow. There was a marked
moral and spiritual disintegration on the worlds scene following the Nazi Holocaust
and World War II. But the blind and "the wicked know not at what they
stumble" (Prov. 4:19).
The Church Light
In another vein: the Redeemer in The Revelation, when
speaking of the Church (believers known by their genuine love John 13: 35) stated
that the stars in His hand were the angels (messengers) pastors of the churches.
They symbolize the light of individual believers. There was a time when the Church,
because of her holy, righteous, godly character was the "salt of the earth,"
the preserving quality of society. The unbelieving world rightly feared the Church. The
Queen of England, in that day, said she feared the prayers of John Knox more than all the
armies of Scotland. The stars of heaven shone brightly. The man of God was
highly respected as the righteous, spiritual leader in the community.
But has there ever been a time in the history of the Church
when so many men of God, ministers of the gospel, guiding stars have fallen under various
temptations, as in this day? They cannot be written off as frauds. Most were
divinely-called ministers of Gods gospel. Many such brilliant stars, and
many lay-luminaries, who in their shining days pointed many to the safe harbor of
righteousness, have fallen to the earth, their light and righteous influence extinguished.
During our brief crossing of lifes seas,
we have been grateful for the guidance and blessing these bright shining ministering stars
have been to us. We weep in our hearts as we see so many fall under the pressures of the
temptation of sex, money, popularity and becoming "men-pleasers." Their lights
are dimmed and extinguished and with the falling of each one, it gets darker.
Satan, with the sons of darkness, knows his time is short
and will continue his unrelenting attacks against the Most High and the sons of light
until the very last. The Bible indicates that at Christs return the Churchs
light will be dim (Rev. 3:14-18) and therefore "darkness shall cover the earth"
(Isa. 60:2). The sun (Christendom) is turning dark and the moon (nations) becoming blood
and stars (believers) are falling to the earth.
In William R. Newells, The Book of the Revelation,
he states, "The book of Revelation indeed plainly shows that the Church, having
failed, will give way to the kingdom (under Israel Acts 1:6) to the
Lords personal appearing" (p.77). In speaking of the condition of the
Church at that time, Christ declares, "I am about to spew thee out of my
mouth." Its condition sickens.
The Coming Sunrise
But we reiterate: it was darker when God first called
Abraham. The world lay in complete moral and spiritual, superstitious, pagan darkness.
There was no divine revelation of the true and living God on the earth. But God gave the
bright promise to Abraham and his seed, "In thee shall all the nations of the earth
be blessed" (Gen. 12:3).
Gods promise of light through Israel continued, "I
will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the
ends of the earth" (Isa. 49:6). The Redeemer-Messiah is bound up with His people
in other such promises concerning Himself: "I, the Lord, have called thee in
righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant
of the people, for a light of the Gentiles" (Isaiah 42:6).
Sons of Abraham penned the entire Book of God, this divine
lamp and light unto our feet. It has blessed nations and people with cultural, moral and
spiritual light and freedom where it has been received. Where it has been rejected
fear, bondage and superstition, moral and spiritual darkness prevails.
The Redeemer at His first coming, turned primarily to the
Gentiles as the "bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16). He is the "day
star" that has arisen "in your hearts" to lighten and brighten
the lives of millions of true believers around the world through the ages. Now that the
Gentiles have largely rejected Him, He will soon return to His own people, Israel who will
effectively minister His Word to the nations. He shall then appear and "arise as
the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings" for all people, flooding the
world with His light, fulfilling all other Messianic promises (Isaiah 11:4-9; Joel 3;
Micah 4; Zeph. 3:8-20; Zech. 12-14).
Preparations for His return continues at a feverish pace in
Israel, though not known even to some of the builders, as the word of Isaiah, the prophet,
admonished, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come and the glory of the Lord
(the pillar of fire the Shekinah, divine presence that led Israel through the
wilderness and that abode in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle and Temple; and above
all that indwelt Messiah) is risen upon thee" (Isaiah 60:1).
After 2,000 years the pendulum is now swinging back to His
people Israel from the Christian nations that have had light so long but have turned from
it. "For behold (moral, political and spiritual) darkness shall cover the
earth, and gross darkness the people (Gentiles) but the Lord shall arise upon thee
and His glory shall be seen upon thee" (Israel Isaiah 60:2).
There is even now a marked contrast between the darkness of
fear in Gentile nations to the "peace," shalom, that dwells in Israel. "And
the Gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising"
And the Lord declared to Israel, "Not for thy
righteousness or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess the land, but
for the wickedness of these nations . . . and that He may perform the word which the Lord
sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (Deut. 9:5).
It is singularly significant that Gentile nations have wild
beasts and birds as State symbols: the USA, the eagle; England, the lion; Russia, the
bear; China, the dragon, etc. But Israel has the Menorah, the seven golden candlestick, as
was ordained for the Temple and symbolic of the light of God. Israel was chosen in the
beginning from Abrahams time as "the burning lamp," as the
worlds light (Gen. 15:17). Christ, Who is of the seed of Abraham, identifies Himself
with His people, Israel, in Revelation 1:12 as the candlestick (menorah). When God in
Christ turned to the pagan world 1900 years ago, Christ became this pagan worlds
light and declared, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not
walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12). And He said of His
true followers, "Ye are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14). Since the
time of Christ, the true Church has been a candlestick as spoken by the Lord in Revelation
1:12 which has given the light of the binomial (the written and incarnate) Word of God to
the pagan nations. And we must never underestimate the power of the gospel of the true
Christ of God to transform pagan lives. Neither must we confuse the castigated and
deformed Christ of Christendom with the true Messiah of Israel.
Since the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, the retrieving and
uniting of Jerusalem, Israels regathering takes on a much greater significance in
the light of Jerusalem becoming the Bible-predicted world capital. God again will make
them the light unto the nations as His kingdom of priests, according to His original plan
(Exo. 19:6), remarkably indicated now by modern Israels State symbol, the
It is written of them: "The sun shall be no more
thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord
(Israels Redeemer-Messiah) shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God
"Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy
moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy
mourning shall be ended" (Isaiah 60: 19,20).
It is evident, therefore, that if we are to have a
knowledgeable concern in the redemption of the nations and world peace, we must be
concerned with Israels welfare, prosperity and blessing.