Let us take the subject of “The Final Battle” one stage further, and investigate what the Bible has to say about the Vail of Darkness. Isaiah’s prophecy is clear, and it also contains a glorious promise. (25:7)“He will swallow up in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vailthat is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.”
Before getting too excited about this, we must stop and ask ourselves what this “vail” represents. Isaiah, in chapter 60, speaks again about it in the following terms, “Behold darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you, and the nations shall come to your light, and the brightness of your rising.” The earlier prophecy spoke about this event from the viewpoint of God’s sovereign act, but now we are being told that He fulfils His word via enlightened humanity. Light and Darkness. These are the two operative words, but as yet we haven’t cracked the code of this figure, what it represents.
Matthew quoted Isaiah 9:2 when referring to the coming of Jesus. (4:14-16) “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shone.” John referred to Jesus as “the true light that enlightens every man coming into the world.” (John 1:9) Jesus spoke of Himself in this manner, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness , but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
These texts provide us with a Standard, by which all other thoughts may be tested. Our Lord is the True Light. A further indicator has also been provided. If a man follows Him, he emerges from darkness into His light. That is a thought worth pondering. Now we must look at something else John said. “Light is come into the world, but men love darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil. Everyone who practises evil hates the light, and shrinks from the light lest his deeds should be exposed to view.” (John 3:19-20) Gradually we are obtaining a clearer understanding of the “vail.” Thevail shrouds the world from God’s light, centred in Jesus Christ. The shroud is maintained by the preponderance of “evil deeds” of mankind. The few who follow Jesus become little lights shining in the surrounding darkness, and their light derives from the Son of God Himself. We are getting nearer to the truth.
Let us take this one step further. John, in his first letter, speaks as follows, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we are lying and not practising the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 Jn. 1:5-7) The operative word here is truth. Darkness is equated with lying; light is equated with truth. This is a most important discovery. John then explains that it all hinges on cleansing from sin, and the possibility of true fellowship.
The Vail is therefore a canopy of lies, and Satan has been a liar from the beginning, from the very time he strove with our first parents to turn them away from true fellowship with God. Now he has created avail round the earth to prevent the light of God’s Salvation from reaching humankind. When the word “Vail” is used, one gets a mental picture of a flimsy gossamer-like garment such as might be used by a bride at the time of her wedding. But the same word is used of the curtain that divided the Holy Placefrom the Holy of Holies in the Temple, and from ancient Jewish sources, we are told that the Vail was a handbreadth thick. (Think what a terrifying sight it must have been for the priest serving in the Temple, when he saw this curtain being rent from top to bottom!) We must visualise this Vail surrounding the earth as an impenetrable curtain. But just as the Temple Vail was rent to make a way into the Holiest Place, so God has promised to eradicate the “Vail that is spread over all nations.”
How then will God accomplish this task? What part shall we be asked to take? The true disciple of the Lord will be one who walks in the Truth. By definition, the Truth is not a collection of creedal statements, but none other than the Lord Himself, who declared Himself to be “the Way, the Truth and the Life”.Christian dogma has its place, and one cannot deny the importance of “studying to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dispensing the word of God.” (2 Tim.2:15) But “walking in the light” is a practical exercise, showing forth the character of the Son of God, and being unashamed to do so publicly. It is a matter of testifying before mankind and the powers of darkness the degradation of sin, and the way to Life through Jesus’ shed blood. This was exactly the thrust of the message given to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road, and how he related it to King Agrippa; “I am Jesus, whom you persecute. But rise and stand upon your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose . . . I am sending you to the Gentiles, to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light . . . that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 26:15-18)
I would like to share with you a word I received from the Lord way back on 9th February 1980. It is pertinent to our present enquiry.
Faith is the key to the accomplishment of my purposes, says the Lord.
Where is the faithful man who will hear my word and receive it, who will ponder my word and let it become part of himself, who will eat and digest my word, and then speak it forth as part of himself?
Truly I say to you that my word will transform him into the image of God. For by the confession of the mouth the heart of a man is declared, and a man is known by his heart. And the principalities of darkness tremble at a man’s confession of faith. It is like a sharp knife that rips through their curtains of darkness, rending the vail that is spread across all nations, and allowing the pure light of sin’s forgiveness to reach mankind. For truly I say to you, the Archangel of Darkness daily repairs the rents in his canopy, seeking at all costs to prevent the light of the Holy spirit from penetrating the gloom to cleanse the world.
But when the Spirit of God comes, there is light, and the light brings conviction of sin, revitalising dying consciences, and causing man to respond to the revelation of my presence.
Therefore take the word that I have spoken. Let it become the confession of your mouth, the outpouring of your heart, that this vail may be rent. For I say unto you this day, that if my people were to awaken from their sleepy state and act in this matter, they could cause a great enough gash in his canopy to prevent any further repair from being effective. And the new light would engender more faith, until the darkness would pass away altogether.
This is the day of enlightenment that I seek. These are the latter rains that I long to send, to prepare the world for my coming. These are the seven good years when I shall bare my arm before all mankind, that he who passes through days of famine may have bread to eat.
Pray therefore for the manifestation of the sons of God. Seek my face continually for my Josephs who languish in prison. For I long to bring them out of their dark houses of trial and testing to interpret my dream, to enlighten mankind, to draw forth the latter rains in abundance and cause earth’s desert places to blossom like the rose.
It is not in my heart, says the Lord, to judge man in his present ignorance. It is not my will to starve man of heavenly manna, for I am a God of mercy, righteousness, and great longsuffering.
And I say unto you this day, I forbid the coming of antichrist before the showers of mercy. I hold back the angels of destruction before the outpouring of power from on high. But how much longer shall I wait for my children to respond to my word, that these purposes may be enacted, says your Lord and your God?