The first few chapters of Acts reveal just how true that is. There we find the apostles pouring out of the upper room on the day of Pentecost, ablaze with the fire of God and facing folks so hard-hearted that just a few weeks earlier they’d been in favor of crucifying Jesus. Talk about a tough mission field! The devil had been having great success with that bunch. But when the light of God shined on them through that first group of Holy Spirit-baptized believers, things changed. Thousands were born again in a single day. Right in the middle of that spiritual darkness, a fellowship of believers sprang up — believers so in love with one another and so excited about giving they wiped out lack from their midst almost overnight (Acts 4:34). God’s healing power flowed among them at such a flood tide, the citizens of the region dragged sick people out into the streets “and they were healed every one” (Acts 5:16).
Within days, those first apostles turned one of the roughest mission fields in history into a veritable Garden of Eden. They brought THE BLESSING of God to that place in such measure it brought forth a church full of people totally in love with Jesus and one another. A church where there was no strife, no lack and no sickness. “Yeah, but those first apostles had a special calling. They had walked and talked with Jesus.” That’s true. But, according to 2 Peter 1:1, we can walk in the same measure of faith because we got our faith the same place they got theirs. We have “obtained like precious faith” with them through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We can also have the same kind of fellowship with Jesus those first apostles had. The Apostle John — a personal friend and disciple of Jesus — assured us of it. He wrote: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:3-4). I realize it goes crosswise with religious thinking, but in simple terms what John said was this, “If you’ll pay attention to the message I’m about to give you, you can walk in the same place with Jesus that we, as apostles, do. You can live the faith life the same way we live it.” I don’t know about you but that statement puts me on the edge of my seat. What message could possibly propel us into the kind of power and fellowship with Jesus the first apostles enjoyed? The next verse gives us the answer: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (verse 5).
Look again at that last phrase. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. At first glance, you might wonder why John considered that simple statement so vital. What’s so earthshaking about the light of God? Go back to Genesis 1 and you’ll see. There, we find the greatest mass of darkness and confusion ever recorded in Scripture. We read about a time when “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (verse 2). If there had ever been a place too dark and barren for God to bless, this surely would have been it. If God were ever going to throw His hands up and say, “I just can’t change this miserable place,” He would have done it in Genesis. But He didn’t. Instead, He said, “Let there be light: and there was light” (verse 3). Or, as the Hebrew text reads, “God said, Light be! And light was.” People often assume the light referred to in that verse was the sun. But the rest of the chapter reveals God didn’t create the sun until the fourth day. So what kind of light did God speak into existence on the first day?
What kind of light carried the power to transform that dark, formless void? It was the light of God’s glory — the luminous force of His creative power which is the source of all matter. It was the light that comes from God Himself. Until God released that glory light through His Word, it was on the inside of Him. But once He said, “Light be!” it shot forth from Him at a speed of 186,000 miles a second and began to bring into material manifestation the blueprint of the earth God had within Him. Let this truth sink in for a moment: Every aspect of creation, every natural material substance that comprises this universe came from the glory light of God. In recent years, science has caught up with the Bible and declared light energy is the ultimate force and source of all material things. And according to John 1:9, that force is “the true Light, which lighteth every man.” That’s right!
When God said, “Let us make man in our image” and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 1:26, 2:7), He spoke into mankind the same creative, illuminating glory that brought the earth into manifestation. He energized the spirit of man with the glory light that came from within Him. Then He crowned mankind with that same glory (Psalm 8:5) by blessing them and saying to them: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
The Hebrew phrase translated replenish the earth in that verse actually means fill it up. What did God expect mankind to fill the earth with? With God’s glory. With His light. God’s blessing empowered Adam and Eve to take the glory light throughout the whole earth. It equipped them to bring everything on the planet under the influence of God’s glory and turn the whole place into a Garden of Eden. But they never fulfilled that commission. They messed things up and fell into sin. As a result, the earth is still waiting for the manifestation of THE BLESSING. It is still begging to be filled with the glory light that is within and upon the sons and daughters of God. That’s the reason God sends His born-again children — people like you and me — into every dark corner of the world. Not so we can suffer in the darkness for Jesus, but so we can light up the darkness with His glory. He sends us there to bring THE BLESSING and change the most barren places on this planet into little Gardens of Eden. That’s what THE BLESSING does. It releases the glory light of God that exploded within us when we were born again and puts that light to work in our circumstances and surroundings. It changes them from the curse that came on this world through sin, back to the original plan of God. It empowers us to be fruitful, multiply and fill up the earth with divine glory everywhere we go. That was, and always will be, the perfect will of God for His people.
“But what about the Fall of Man?” you might ask. “Didn’t that change things?” It changed mankind but it didn’t change God. He is still “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). In Texas terms that means, He ain’t about to change! He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. What He said first is what He’ll say last. So His blessing is still in effect. Satan tried to steal it in the Garden of Eden, but God kept it in the earth by making covenant with Abraham and his descendants. He said the same thing to them all — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Daniel and the rest. He said, “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).
Eventually, Jesus came and secured THE BLESSING for the rest of us by going to the cross to redeem “us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles (the rest of us) through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14). That’s why Jesus is called “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). He got THE BLESSING back and made it available again to all mankind. He started a whole new race of men and women — born-again believers whose spirits are compacted with enough of the light of God’s creative glory to produce more than any human being could ever need or desire for an eternity. Think about it! Everything that comes from heaven, every earthly substance, is a material manifestation ofthat glory light, and those of us who have made Jesus our Lord are filled with it. We’re born of it. Ephesians 5:8 says it this way: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” First Thessalonians 5:5 also calls us “the children of light.” We haven’t just “seen the light.”
We are light. The light of God’s glory is our spiritual DNA! The first thing the glory light of THE BLESSING does is free us from the bondage of sin. It blasts the sin nature out of our inner man and replaces it with God’s own righteousness. Just as it can be said of God that He is light and in Him is no darkness, it can be said of us that we are light and in us (that is, in our reborn spirit) is no darkness at all. That doesn’t mean we’ll never again commit a sin. Because we aren’t yet walking in the full revelation of who we are in Christ, sometimes we’ll fall prey to it. But 1 John 1:9 assures us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The second thing the glory light of THE BLESSING does is strengthen our bodies. When we release it by faith, it drives sickness out and heals us. There was no sickness in the Garden of Eden so healing is part of THE BLESSING. THE BLESSING will also drive out poverty. It produced silver and gold in the life of Abraham and it will do the same for us. That’s the job of THE BLESSING. “Well, I just don’t see how any gold could come to me.” It’s not your job to see how. It’s your job to believe. It’s your job to walk in love and release the light of God by speaking words of faith just like God did. If you’ll do that, God will get finances to you, and He’ll come by them honestly, so there’s no need for you to worry about how He is going to do it. There was no poverty in the Garden, so prospering in God is part of THE BLESSING.
Of course, if we don’t walk in love, we’ll mess up the whole process. We’ll shut down THE BLESSING and end up stumbling around in darkness because: “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9-11). When we get into strife and bitterness, when we stop acting in love, it’s like we put on a coat of darkness. We’re still light on the inside, but because that light is covered up, we find ourselves in the dark. We don’t belong in the dark! We’re not designed to live there. We are light in the Lord. It’s time we started being aware of that fact and walking “as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). It’s time we “cast off the works of darkness, and…put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12). That’s what our heavenly Father does. Psalm 104:2 says He covers Himself with light as with a garment. He is light inside and out; and He made us to be the same way. He has energized us and made us alive with the light of His creative glory. He has crowned us with that glory by giving us THE BLESSING. He has commissioned us and equipped us to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth with the light force of His glory. What a privilege! What an opportunity! When we grasp the fullness of it, we won’t shrink back in fear when we think about God sending us into some dark, barren place. We’ll volunteer for the assignment. We’ll be eager for the chance to charge into it and set it ablaze with the light of God. We’ll be saying, “Send me there, Lord! I can bring THE BLESSING to that place. I can bring the glory into it. “Here am I. Send me!”
Article by Kenneth Copeland, BVOV Magazine January 2008