A Radiant Glory
Oct 24th, 2008
Priscilla van Sutphin
Psalms 34:5 NKJV They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed
Isaiah 60:5 Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. NKJV
Jude 24-25 NKJV Glory to God Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
Revelation 4:9-11 NKJV Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power;For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."
Radiant = 1. Emitting or proceeding as from a center; [U.S.] rays; radiating; radiate.2. Especially, emitting or darting rays of light or heat; issuing in beams or rays; beaming with brightness; emitting a vivid light or splendor; as, the radiant sun. .3. Beaming with vivacity and happiness; as, a radiant face. 4. (Her.) Giving off rays; -- said of a bearing; as, the sun radiant; a crown radiant.
“ I am the Radiant ONE, and when you are filled with Me, you will radiate My glory, and MY love and joy, happiness, peace, and all that is in Me. I am remarkably bright and glorious in My appearance to the sons of men. There is NOTHING that can compare with My glory. I am sufficient in Myself. I have no need for anything, but I desire to have love from those I have created, for I love YOU immensely, and I want us to be ONE. I am the Bridegroom and you are the Bride. You are My beloved and I am yours. That is something that NO ONE can take away. They may take away the things of the world, but they cannot remove My love from your hearts.
Generations hoped for what you are going to experience and see. The heavenly armies are increasing all around those that are My own, and those who are called to be Mine. It’s not like I didn’t know what would happen beloveds. Unlike you, I saw the end from the beginning. Nothing is a surprise to Me. What wicked men plot and try to accomplish is not a surprise to Me. I’ve had a plan all along, and it is woven throughout the pages of the Book. As you explore to see more of all that is coming, I will release My glory that you can see more of My plan.
I keep nothing hidden of what I will do from My true prophets. There are prophets though with many different functions and roles. Not one prophet is the same as Another exactly. I have prophets like Amos who was a farmer before I called him. He knew about farming and growing things. I had prophets who were set apart for ME in many other ways, or in lives of quietness, and reflection. I had prophets that confronted great leaders and men in positions of authority, kings and priests. I had prophets that confronted evil leaders throughout history.
Did not PAUL of Tarsus confront leaders in chains and fetters?
Did not Aurelius confront wickedness ? Did he not put his life on the line for the Kingdom of God ? Throughout church history men and women have nobly stood against the waves of adversity to stand for truth and justice, and have laid their lives down as did My Son.”
[At this point I’m wondering who the heck is Aurelius and found this …
ARGUMENT: Concerning the last judgment, and the declarations regarding it in
the Old and New Testaments
At Bottom is what I found out about his confrontations with evil in his day. Some of this seems strikingly similar to some of the issues we are dealing with.]
Asking the Lord to speak anything else He wanted to say…
“Many people were martyred in the early days of the church and many will be martyred as the church enters it’s final hour. But there will also be great deliverances as you saw with the Apostle John and many others. Some people who are martyred will not feel the pain of their attackers because of My grace and protection. Some will be killed and come back alive to preach the gospel. Some will be translated to other areas of the world to preach without their attackers even being able to catch them.
My church is a living organism. It has many parts, which have many functions. The head cannot say to the heart that “I have no need of you.” The hand cannot say to the mouth, “we don’t need you !” All are necessary, even the weak, remember ? Do not lie nor pretend, for I will shine My light on all that is hidden.
Mark 4:22-25 NKJV For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."
Prepare for battle beloveds but do it MY WAY. Come into MY PRESENCE and imbibe in My glory, and I will make you radiant. I will make you into all I want you to be…all you want to be. Only I can do that. Man cannot impart that to you. Only I can. Seek the anointing that is from ABOVE. Seek MY FACE. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened to you. I am waiting for you. Come into My chambers beloved. For the days will grow heavier, and they will go faster. You need to be prepared with My glory.
Remember always that My love will never be taken from you, no matter how the enemy taunts you. He is trying to get you into unbelief, doubt and skepticism, that he can steal and rob from you. But I AM FAITHFUL. I am the TRUE VINE, and you are My branches. Abide in ME, and I will abide in you. I love you forever and ever. NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING can steal My love for you.”
Some notes on the life of St. Augustine of Hippo – the North African prophet
[ Donatism is the movement Augustine opposed, named after a bishop at Carthage some eighty years before Augustine's time to Hippo.[] In those days the church had just recovered from the last bitter wave of persecution begun in 303 by the emperors Galerius and Diocletian. When fear subsided, Christians could breathe again and indulge in recriminations over the lapses of some of their number in time of trial.
The official position of the church was that those Christians who had compromised their religion in time of persecution could, with due repentance and atonement, be readmitted to full membership in the religious community. But there was a minority faction of enthusiasts who insisted that cooperation with the authorities in time of persecution was tantamount to total apostasy and that if any traitors wanted to reenter the church they had to start all over again, undergoing rebaptism. Evaluation of the credentials of those who sought reentry would be in the hands of those who had not betrayed the church.
The logical result of the Donatist position was to make the church into an outwardly pure and formally righteous body of redeemed souls. The orthodox party resisted this pharisaism, seeing in it a rigorism inimical to the spirit of the gospels. But Africa was known for its religious zealots and the new Donatist movement proved a resilient one. Even after official imperial disapproval had been expressed, the schismatic church continued to grow and prosper. By the time of Augustine's consecration as bishop, in fact, it looked as if the "orthodox" party was on the wane. In Hippo itself the larger church and the more populous congregation belonged to the Donatists in the early 390s. A constant state of half-repressed internecine warfare persisted between the communities. Popular songs and wall posters were pressed into service in the cause of sectarian propaganda. In the countryside, Donatist brigands ambushed orthodox travelers in bloody assaults
Augustine began his anti-Donatist campaign with tact and caution. His first letters to Donatist prelates are courteous and emphasize his faith in their good will. He assumed that reasonable men could settle this controversy peaceably. But Augustine quickly discovered that reason and good manners would get him nowhere. In the late 390s, then, Augustine resigned himself to a course of action others in the church had long been urging: the invocation of government intervention to repress the Donatists. Augustine was dismayed at coercion in matters of religion, but consented to the new policy when he became convinced that the perversity and obtuseness of the Donatists were complete.[] Even charity itself demanded that the Donatists be compelled to enter the true church in the hope that at least some would genuinely benefit from the change. They could not be worse off than they were.
Even when this policy had been settled upon, another decade of instability remained. Finally, in 411, an imperial commissioner conducted a detailed hearing into the facts of the matter, attended by hundreds of bishops from both orthodox and Donatist factions, and decided in favor of the orthodox party. From this time on Donatism was illegal and, though the schismatic community apparently showed some signs of life in remote parts of Africa until the Moslem invasions centuries later, the back of the movement had been broken, and at least the security and position of the orthodox party had been guaranteed.
The principle for which Augustine fought deserves emphasis. Christianity was not, he claimed, something external and visible; it was not to be found in obedience to certain clearly-defined laws.
Christianity was a matter of spirit rather than law, something inside people rather than outside. Most important, the church had room within itself for sinners as well as saints, for the imperfections of those in whom God's grace was still working as well as for the holiness of the blessed. Augustine drew the boundary of the church not between one group of people and another but rather straight through the middle of the hearts of all those who belonged to it. The visible church contained the visible Christians, sins and all; the invisible church, whose true home lay in heaven, held only those who were redeemed. Charity dictated that the visible church be open to all, not lorded over by a few self-appointed paragons choosing to admit only their own kind.
In A.D. 410, the city of Rome, with all its glories, was taken by barbarians under the leadership of the Visigoth Alaric. It is customary to say that shock waves ran throughout the Roman world at this event, but it is more correct to say that shock waves ran through those citizens of the Roman world prosperous enough to care about expensive symbols of Roman grandeur. A fair number of wealthy Romans fled the city to country estates in Campania, in Sicily, and in north Africa. Enough of them showed up in Hippo for Augustine to warn his flock that they should receive the refugees with open arms and charity.
Not long after the refugees settled on their African estates and began to frequent the salons of Carthage, the more intellectual among them began to wonder aloud whether their new religion might not be to blame for the disaster they had suffered. After all, the argument ran, Rome had been immune from capture for fully eight hundred years; but now, just two decades after the formal end of public worship of the pagan gods (commanded by the emperor Theodosius in 391), the city fell to the barbarians. Perhaps it was true what pagans had said, that the new Christian god with ideas about turning the other cheek and holding worldly empires in low esteem was not an efficient guardian of the best interests of the ruling class. Most of the people who indulged in these idle speculations were themselves Christian. The "paganism" of these people was no revival of ancient religion, but only the persistence of the ancient notion of religion as a bargain you struck with the gods in order to preserve your health, wealth, and complacency.
Augustine was invited by a friend, the imperial commissioner Marcellinus, who was in Africa to look into the Donatist quarrel for the emperor, to respond to these charges. He knew that it was more than a question of why Rome fell; here were Christians who still did not know what Christianity was about, how it differed from the Roman religions it had replaced. His response was a masterpiece of Christian apologetics, City of God, whose composition stretched over fifteen years. The first books, consoling those the Visigoths had frightened, were published quickly and seem to have done their job. But the work as a whole continued to come forth in installments, revealing a broad vision of history and Christianity.
Marcellinus, a devout layman, also played a part in the the last great controversy of Augustine's life. One of the refugees from Rome had been an unassuming preacher named Pelagius, who had stirred up a moral rearmament movement at Rome.[] Pelagius seems to have appealed particularly to affluent ladies whom he urged to set an example through works of virtue and ascetic living. He apparently had a considerable effect for the good on the conduct of those with whom he came in contact. But Augustine saw in Pelagius and his followers an extreme position exactly opposite to the one he had just rebuked in the cultured critics of Christianity, but one no less dangerous. Pelagianism, as we shall see in more detail later on, was theologically rather similar to Donatism, in that it assumed that people could, by their own virtue, set themselves apart as the ones on whom God particularly smiled.
Augustine never met Pelagius, though the latter had passed through Hippo in late 410. Instead, he had to deal at all times with the "Pelagians," the most notorious of whom, Caelestius, was apparently a good deal more tactful and restrained than his teacher had been. While Pelagius went off to the Holy Land, where he became an unwilling center of controversy as he visited the sacred sites, Caelestius and others back in Africa waded into the fray with Augustine. Whatever the merits of the case, Augustine's side prevailed in the ensuing controversy. The authority of the papacy was invoked eventually--not without difficulty--and later that of the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431. Pelagius and his disciples were clearly and soundly defeated.
But the controversy did not end with the defeat of Pelagius. Augustine had to face further questions, as the logical consequences of the positions he took against Pelagius were examined by friend and foe alike. Both in Africa and in Gaul, monks and their leaders protested that the Augustinian theology of grace undermined their own ascetic efforts in the cloister. In Italy, the young bishop of Eclanum, Julian, engaged Augustine in a bitter debate that tainted the last decade of the old bishop's life. A deep poignancy marks the old man's dogged defense of himself and his belief against a young, resourceful, and resilient foe.
Old age and pressing concerns at home eventually delivered Augustine from the necessity of answering Julian. By 430, a band of barbarians had found its way even to Africa. The Vandals, who had first come from Germany into Roman Gaul in 406 and later passed through Gaul into Spain, had been invited into Africa by a Roman governor in rebellion against the emperor. The Vandals, like the Saxons later in the same century, proved to be deadly allies. In the summer of 430 they were besieging the city of Hippo as the aged bishop lay dying within. Shortly after his death they captured the city. Not long after, they captured Carthage and established a kingdom that lasted a century. ]