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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 1

The Awakening

“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. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Isaiah 52:1-2. Read also Isaiah 60:1-5, Matthew 25:1-13, Zechariah 14:6-21, I Corinthians 13:9-12.

The dust that spiritual Zion needs to shake herself from is a type of that which is earthy or natural. This speaks of the base nature of man that constantly seeks to draw him away from God. From the mention of Egypt in verse four of Isaiah 52, it is also evident that the world system was responsible for the captivity that is pictured here. When man is taken captive by the flesh and the world, he invariably finds a religion that will accommodate his condition. This is the condition of the sleeping Church that must be awakened and prepared for the coming bridegroom.

I believe it is through truth that men are quickened and awakened to spiritual reality. Even as men who are sleeping naturally are awakened by dawn’s light, those spiritually asleep are awakened by divine light. The same God who spoke in the beginning and said, “Let there be light,” is speaking today and saying, “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Church; put on thy beautiful garments, prepare thyself for the evil day of all evil days and get ready for the coming bridegroom.”

DARKNESS

Darkness always precedes and prevails until light comes. Genesis 1:2-3. Were it not for the darkness there would be no need of light. Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness is a state of being. It is the benighted condition of man out of touch and union with him who is “the light of the world.” John 1:4-10, 8:12.

In addition to man’s own nature and the world system being against him in knowing God, he is kept in darkness by many clever inventions of Satan. Perhaps religious tradition is his greatest.

The reason religious tradition is Satan’s greatest invention is because it is so close to truth. We might say it is truth misapplied, truth misunderstood and truth mixed with error. It is also truth devoid of life because it is not relevant to man’s need. Tradition does not always ignore the scriptures but rather uses them the wrong way.

Tradition insists on holding on to the revelation and blessings of yesterday, but it cannot see or receive what God is saying and doing today. Although religious tradition claims great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles and prophets of old, it is unable to recognize those sent of God in its day. John 5:39-46. Matthew 17:12-13.

When man begins to see his own depravity and turns toward God, Satan quickly substitutes religious tradition for light. Upon receiving religious tradition which masquerades as light, the man is in worse condition than in the beginning. Jesus said, “... If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matthew 6:23.

The reason his condition is worse is that he is now filled with a force that deceives him into thinking he has truth. In this condition he becomes anti-truth. Truth that would set him free is made void. Mark 7:13. The darkness that is in him in the form of religious tradition hates “... the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:20.

LIGHT

Light is truth that dispels the darkness and sets men free. It is the living word of God coming forth in knowledge and wisdom. It is the sovereign expression of divine energy through truth. It is spirit and truth imparting life to those who believe. John 6:63. It is God in action by his Holy Spirit.

The light we have had in times past has been mixed with darkness. Zechariah spoke of a day known unto the Lord that would be neither clear nor dark (a mixture). But he said, “... at evening time it shall be light.” Zechariah 14:6-7.

The Apostle Paul said, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13:9-12. This light, in the form of truth and knowledge which enables us to know as we are known, has to come at God’s appointed time. Even God’s people, who are truly born of his Spirit have been in semi-darkness. They have been sleeping right along with the foolish virgins who have no oil. Matthew 25:1-13.

Today, I believe, is the time of the final awakening before the coming bridegroom. The true Zion of God (the Church) must awake and put on its strength first. Isaiah 52:1. We put on our strength as we put on Christ. Romans. 13:14. It is through the restoration of truth that we put on Christ. It is his strength that will enable us to stand against the wiles of the devil. It is, no doubt, because of the loosing of Satan that precedes the coming of the Lord that we must put on our strength.

And though the enemy is coming in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord is raising up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19. The prophecy of Isaiah 60:1-2 is being fulfilled. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

As we put on Christ we also put on the beautiful garments of his likeness. It will take truth to do this, truth we have not had before. It will take truth that disturbs our present way of life that is so enmeshed in the world system. It will take truth that shatters our cherished traditions taught us by the precept of man. Because of this, much that is taught in this volume will seem contrary to what some have come to accept as truth. All I ask the reader is that he prayerfully examine what is taught by the word of God.

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