Previously, (February-March 1975 Treasures of Truth) we have considered the vast geophysical changes that shall take place on the earth in conjunction with the great earthquake which shall occur at the conclusion of the tribulation to make way for the glories of the millennial kingdom. We have understood that the great plates upon which the continents and islands ride are moving and have stored up vast energy which shall be released to reshape the earth in the time He has appointed. And the most glorious feature of that blessed time shall be the new Mount Zion which shall not be moved but shall abide for the age. And we read: "Yet he who is taking refuge in Me shall be allotted land, and tenant My holy mountain." And He says, "Heap up! Heap up the highway! Surface the way! Heave the stumbling block from the way of My people!" For thus says the Lord, high and lifted up, Who tabernacles the future, holy is His name; "In the high and holy place am I tabernacling and with the crushed and lowly spirit, to preserve alive the spirit of the lowly, and to preserve alive the heart of the crushed" (Isa. 57:13-16).
But it is not only on the physical surface of the earth that there shall be vast and glorious changes in that day when the "kingdom shall have come on earth as it is in heaven" even as Jesus the Christ and Messiah of Israel taught His disciples to pray. For the brightness and glory shall be in the atmosphere both day and night. Again we read from Isaiah: "And the light of the white moonshine comes to be be the light of the warm sunshine, And the light of the warm sunshine will become sevenfold, as the light of seven days, In the day when the Lord shall bind up the break of His people, And the transfixed of their smiting will He heal" (Isaiah 30:26 CV).
At one time it might have appeared to mankind that some sort of abnormal miracle would be required to increase the brightness of the sun. Now we know that this is a natural phenomena. For us, as will be the case with the coming great earthquake, the glory is in the marvelous timing which the Father, out of Whom all is, has arranged so that all happens at exactly the right moment in His dealings with mankind on earth.
We now know that it is the nature of "main sequence stars" such as our sun to become increasingly luminous and hot. Stars are now known to have a birth to death cycle extending over some millions of years as man considers time but involving only one generation of celestial time. Mature stars, including our sun, get their energy from thermonuclear reaction very much like a giant continuing nuclear power reactor. Under great internal temperatures hydrogen in the sun is being converted into helium. Our sun is at the stage of its life where it will be getting brighter and hotter even as Isaiah foretold.
However, a star such as the sun obtains energy at the expense of its decreasing volume as it burns. When the last bit of hydrogen has reacted, such a star depends upon gravity for its remaining energy. Gravity pulls the atoms together until the star becomes a dwarf and then cooling it ceases to emit light. But before that time the sun eventually will become 100 times more luminous than now and the present flesh life on earth will disappear and the oceans will boil away. We are reminded of Revelation 21:1, "And I perceived a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth pass away, AND THE SEA IS NO MORE." That, of course, is in the final age or eon after the millennium.
Meanwhile, the sun is getting hotter and brighter, and the moon which reflects the sunlight will share and reflect the increased luminosity proportionately as Isaiah foretold. Moreover, it should be anticipated that the atmosphere about the earth will be much clearer as the bright sun absorbs more water vapor. Also, there will be no gross pollution in the atmosphere when mankind lives according to God's law in the millennium instead of fouling the air, the land, and the waters as at present.
Lest there be apprehension as to a possible water shortage in the millennium due to the increased sunshine, the word of God gives us assurance that this will not be a problem during the 1000 years except to nations which fail to worship annually at Jerusalem as will be required. We read His promise:
In addition to this, the River of Life flows from beneath the temple atop Mount Zion to irrigate the land and to purify the seas (Ezekiel 47:1-12). And besides all this, there are enough waters stored in the polar ice caps to raise all of the oceans 300 feet if that ice were melted under present conditions. These waters are out of the direct rays of the sun but have been receding gradually as the sun has increasingly warmed the earth since the last glacial period. Thus shall the deserts be watered and "shall blossom as the rose" (Isaiah 35:1).
But stars such as our sun not only grow gradually brighter and hotter but during their life history may explode in great brightness to many times their previous state. Many such exploding stars have been noted and photographed by astronomers and are commonly termed "nova." If our sun so exploded, the earth itself could be engulfed in the heat and flames. This appears also to be in store for the earth at a future time according to the word of God (II Pet. 3:7). We may later consider the prophecies concerning these greater changes. However, even prior to the millennium there is going to be a great eruption of heat from our sun. This shall occur during the tribulation judgments. Thus we read:
Mankind worries about runaway nuclear reactors in nuclear power plants. Yet virtually all physical (as distinguished from spiritual) energy on earth comes from the sun. Here is a reactor which shall "run away" when "the messenger pours out his bowl of the fury of God into the land" (Revelation 16:1).
The sevenfold increase in light in the millennium is an important part of God's "plan for the eons or ages which He makes in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3: 11). "God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5) and He "dwells in light inaccessible" (I Tim. 6:16). On the Mount of Transfiguration our Lord's garments shone as the light (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:3).
In the holy city which shall come down on the new earth in the glorious age that follows the millennium, "they shall have no need for the sun and the moon, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lambkin" (Revelation 21:23).
Contrariwise, the Adversary, Satan, is the chief of the jurisdiction of the air and of the cosmos-mights of this darkness (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12) and he is "the god of this eon or age" (II Corinthians 4:4). And we know that disobedient spirit beings are chained in the gloom of darkness awaiting judgment (II Peter 2:4-5: Jude 6).
Most students of Scripture have been accustomed to consider the numerous Scriptures contrasting light with darkness as figurative. And so these are insofar as our walk by faith, in expectation, in this present world is concerned because we still inhabit this relatively dark planet in a world-system of darkness. Paul however affirms that the Father "makes you competent for a part of the allotment of the saints in light; and Who rescues us out of the jurisdiction of darkness and transports us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1: 12-13). Jesus Himself had spoken of the "jurisdiction of darkness" (Luke 22.53) when before the chief priests and elders of Israel who condemned Him. Paul further affirms (I Thessalonians 5:4-5) "Now you brethren are not in darkness that the day may be overtaking you as a thief, for you are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness." Peter confirms the same to the "holy nation" (I Peter 2:9): "So that you should be recounting the virtues of Him Who calls you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.
We should understand that the Scriptures concerning light versus darkness are figurative only insofar that our fleshly bodies still dwell on an earth which remains in the jurisdiction of darkness for "this present wicked eon" or age (Galatians 1:4) and that the great Light, which as the path of the righteous shines more and more unto the day of perfection (Proverbs 4:18) is still a part of our glorious expectation through faith in Christ.
The sevenfold brighter light which shall envelope the earth in the millennium is still far from the celestial light and glory which the Outcalled Body of Christ shall enjoy with Him after He changes the body of our humiliation to the likeness of His body glorious (Philippians 3:21). It is in this context that Paul was speaking in I Corinthians 15:40-41: "There are bodies celestial as well as bodies terrestrial. But a different glory indeed is that of the celestial, yet a different that of the terrestrial." Paul was speaking of resurrection bodies, not the present "body of our humiliation." The faithful resurrected in Israel (Hebrews 11:39-40) in the millennium (headed by David as prince, and with the apostles ruling the twelve tribes in accord with Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30) have bodies of terrestrial glory suited for the sevenfold brighter earth during the millennium. While those of the Outcalled who are changed and caught away to be with our Lord (I Thessalonians 4:17) shall have bodies celestial to inhabit "heavenly places" and "thus shall always be with the Lord" Who still will not be directly approachable by persons on earth when He returns to the holy of the holies in the new temple atop Mount Zion in the millennium as Ezekiel describes (43:1-7). The light and glory which the Outcalled Body of Christ shall share with Him after being caught away to be with their Lord is a far greater light and glory and one of being in His presence. It is a glory which the righteous out of Israel and also those who are "rinsing their robes" (Revelation 22:14) shall share in the final age or eon when at last "there shall be one fold and One Shepherd and His name One" (John 10:16).
During the millennium: the light appropriately mentioned first in our text (Isaiah 57:13-16) concerns the vastly increased "light of the white moonshine" for it is still a reflected glory, because the "remnant of mankind" are not yet equipped to experience the direct glorious rays of the Son of Righteousness. There are still testings and things to be corrected on earth as the prophets set forth concerning that age. The earth shall be ruled by Israel who shall have the law written in their hearts, and the word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). But the Outcalled Body of Christ shall be with Him at that time directly beholding His glory and. light, and "His countenance is as the sun appearing in its power" (Revelation 1:16). This is the Light toward which we are called as "children of light and of the day."
W.Y.K. (Treasures of Truth, Instalment Seventeen, May-June 1975)