Given for the Saints at Medicalodge, Neosho, MO, on 2/20/05
Dedicated to Alberto Calero and Linda Brown, his mother.
"I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness" (John 12:46).
Today's title comes from the powerful Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 60:1-2: "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you." This was a word picture of the Christ's ministry, spoken seven centuries before His birth. In his walking meditations, Lenny has been conversing with God about what he calls "the trinity," by which he means "love, light, and life." These three are one, even as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. The spiritual significance transcends words, but they represent the essence of our lives in Him. Not long after he shared this with me, I was praying for Alberto, the young man who is in a tremendous struggle with leukemia and the various infections and malfunctions which threaten his life. Many of you have prayed for him as well.
I had been extremely uneasy about whether God was going to heal him, or take him home for what Lenny calls "the ultimate healing," so on Friday, 2-11-05, I went for a walk to talk to the Lord about it, saying, "Father, please tell me what you are going to do with him because I can no longer make positive affirmations about that which I don't know for sure." He instantly replied, "He will live." I rejoiced in that for a few minutes and then added, :"I want him to be healed completely so he will be completely normal and can do everything other young men his age can do: go to college or hold a job. He's living now, technically speaking, but I don't call this living." The Lord replied, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light and those dwelling in the shadow of the grave have come into LIFE." As I was listening to His words, the Spirit flowed all over my body like an electric current, which is how He manifests in me physically. I praise God for His good work and for His precious promises that take us from despair to rejoicing. Amen and amen.
Early the next morning, Saturday, I was awakened suddenly by a tremendous explosion of light. The brilliance startled me, yet in that moment of mystical awareness, I understood. By the Spirit, the mystery of Light was revealed. For the first time, I was without words to explain it, but I'm going to attempt to put words around the experience because it is tremendously important for me to do so. I "saw" and "felt" the "light of the world" enter Alberto's ICU cubicle (Room 2 in the City of Hope). The anointing was on me then, and even now as I write this. I felt the Light cause all the darkness of sickness and disease to flee from Alberto's body. Cancer is the perfect metaphor for darkness. It lurks hidden in our bodies, often for months or years, and we don't know where it came from or what it will take to rid us of it. It brings with it fear and dread of suffering, pain and death, destroying hope and faith in the process. In the midst of this horrible darkness, the Light which is Christ, filled Alberto's cubicle and it was at that moment that the gift of faith came, enabling me to believe what Abba had said the day before: "Alberto will live."
Because I couldn't go back to sleep, I joined Lenny at the table, where with the Bible, we commenced an exciting journey through scripture on "Light." We first read Genesis 1:1-4, and then reread it in The exeGeses Bible (a literal translation from Hebrew): "In the beginning Elohim creates the heavens and the earth, the earth being waste and void with darkness upon the face of the abyss: and the Spirit of Elohim broods on the face of the waters. And Elohim says, 'Light, be!' and light becomes. And Elohim sees the light is good: and Elohim separates between the light and between the darkness." This is the first place where light and darkness are mentioned, and even here we see that darkness contained within it "waste and void." It still does, especially in a cancer ward.
From there, we went to Isaiah 9:2: "The people, walking in darkness, see a great light: settlers in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light illuminates." This is very close to what I heard when I prayed for Alberto, and I began to think about those who live in the shadow of the grave. That included all of us until Christ came to affect the death of death for human kind. Those who live in religion's powerful embrace are still dwelling in fear of death and hell. I realized that when I received a frantic e-mail from Alberto's mother, promising God she would quit sinning when He heals her son. That wrung my heart and caused me to groan, because no one can quit sinning on his own. If he could, Jesus would not have had to die! I wrote her back and told her that God's gift of healing did not depend on her actions or mine or Alberto's, but upon His own will. It wasn't until this exchange that I saw there were two parts of the prophecy I received while walking with God. The first was for Alberto: he will live. The second is for his precious mother, who has taken up residence in my heart. She will see the great light and will come out of the shadow of the grave into the land of the living. Hallelujah!
In Lenny's meditation about God's trinity: Light, Love, and Life, he "saw" that they are one, even as God is one. You cannot separate the action of Light, Love and Life in the regeneration process. The New Birth springs from the incorruptible seed. Peter says, "In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:3). In Verse 23, he adds, "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." Christ IS the Word made flesh, the very seed of God. John said of him, "The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world" (John 1:9). Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12; 9:5). We all know these scriptures, having read them since childhood, but I confess until I actually experienced the LIGHT personally, I had missed the visceral power and awesome majesty of it.
Lenny and I raced through the gospels, looking at the evidence of how the Light affected people who encountered Jesus. For instance, when Jesus began calling His disciples, He was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, where He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, fishermen who were casting a net into the lake: "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him" (Matt. 4:18-20). The Light which was spoken into being in the beginning compelled them to follow Him, immediately. He was an irresistible force whom they could not help but follow. He still is in His purity and brightness. When the dark glasses of religion's doctrines and threats are removed, we see Him as He is; the glory of God shines from His lovely face and we cannot resist Him either. When He appears, all darkness must flee! When He calls, we must answer!
After this, Matthew recounts that He went "throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them" (Matt. 4:23-24). Until my experience Saturday morning, I never understood the significance of LIGHT in healing. When we first got television (Yes, I'm old enough to remember when there was only radio), there was a TV show featuring Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The slogan of The Christophers whom he represented was, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." I forgot about that until Lenny and I were considering the power and authority of light. Darkness cannot stand in the presence of light. Light does not DO anything. It just IS!
Remember when Jesus got the call that Lazarus was ill, He said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it" (John 11:4). Then He delayed going until His friend was dead and buried. How often it seems to the flesh that God is too slow to answer our cries for help and mercy, and sure enough, when Jesus and the disciples arrived in Bethany, Mary and Martha both attempted to lay guilt on Him for not being there sooner. In the middle of their sorrow and loss, in the face of death, Jesus spoke the words of life, which Christians cling to like a drowning man clings to a plank in a heaving sea: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (Vs. 25-26). In this case, they didn't have to wait long to have their faith in Him vindicated.
Standing at the entrance of the cave which was Lazarus' tomb, Jesus spoke to His Abba: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me" (Vs. 41-42). In other words, Jesus did not have to pray and He certainly did not have to beg God. He only had to be there for the Light to shine into the darkness of death and decay and drive it away. This is how He healed. Miracles happened not because of anything He did, but because of who He was: Light and Life and Love, and He still is!
Alberto's mother called Tuesday night and we had a time of fellowship together. She told me how overwhelmed and frightened she is, and how she does not dare even say the word "die," but it was obvious that the fear of death had her in its icy grip. I shared with her again that when I asked Him what His plans were for Alberto, God had said, "He will live." I also explained that I now see that the rest of the prophecy is for her. God's light will rise upon her and she will come out of the shadow of the grave and into life. She is gradually beginning to see the difference between religion and Life. She commented that those who told her God was punishing her were "evil." When I told her about experiencing the Light, she was amazed and whispered, "That is wonderful." I asked her to do a favor for me and she replied, "I will do anything for you." I asked her to go into Alberto's room in the ICU, lay hands on him, and speak healing into every cell of his body, which is what I would do if I were there. She said she would do it.
Her desire is to share the glory of God with all who need Him, especially, she said, mothers in similar situations as hers. I see both Linda and Alberto ministering Life and Hope, beginning at the City of Hope. Hallelujah! This is also part of Isaiah's prophecy about the light coming upon us. When the glory of the Lord has risen upon us, he foretold: "And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isa. 60:3). The people walking in darkness need the Light and the Light has come!
And the best news? The "good news of the kingdom" that Jesus preached everywhere is still the only good news to be found anywhere. But how can we preach as effectively as He did? He said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:14-16). The church has spent a zillion dollars over the centuries trying to convert the heathen, and has done remarkably well, thanks to God's grace, but imagine the impact which will be felt when God's sons begin manifesting Light, Love, and Life, all over the globe. The Tsunami in southeast Asia was a perfect, though very negative picture of the force and might of an unstoppable force: water in this case.
Imagine what impact a Tsunami of God's unconditional Love, Light, and Life will have as it sweeps across the planet! Truly, "nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." We really cannot imagine such glory for we have never seen it. Remember the hoopla about the Super Bowl? Lenny and I have pictured a similar enthusiastic crowd of cheering, chanting people celebrating God the Father, rather than a football team. The Light of the world is irresistible! He always was and He always will be throughout the creation and the cosmos. Millions of words have been written about helping people help themselves, teaching them right from wrong, honing their consciences to perfection, and to date, there are not too many positive results to show for all the desire,determination, and elbow grease expended. That's because men have orchestrated and performed the effort. For Jesus, all the manifestations that we long to see: healing, casting out demons, raising the dead, calling the lost, and spreading the good news abroad were effortless. He only had to appear and it was done! The day will come, Isaiah prophesied, when the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and ALL FLESH will see it together (Isa. 40:5).
This is not going to be a pie in the sky bye and bye kind of day, but a day right here on earth when all flesh will see it together. No one knows the time or season, but whenever it happens will be perfect because all will unfold according to God's perfect will for His creation, written before the foundation of the world.
Shine, Father, shine, through us to the waiting creation. Use our voices to speak peace to the heathen, salvation to the lost, and the good news of the kingdom to all men everywhere. Your glory shall be revealed from everlasting to everlasting. All praise and honor to You! Amen. Jan Antonsson
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
The Glory Road
We always enjoy hearing from you!
This page was uploaded to the web on 2/17/05
by Jan Antonsson, Webmeister,
and last edited on 10/12/08.