In the room of the exiled poet
fear and the Muse stand duty in turn
and the night is endless
and knows no dawn
That’s a stanza of poetry by Anna Akhmatova, one of the illustrious Russian poets during the brutal reign of Joseph Stalin. She wrote that verse about another poet whom she visited toward the end of his life while he was in exile.
Gerald Flurry comments on this stanza in his book The Former Prophets: “How sad! That has been the reality for 6,000 years of human history—an endless night that knows no dawn. But God promises that this 6,000-year night is about to end!”
What’s one thing we all know about day and night? We know one always follows the other. Every day, we experience a sunrise and a sunset. This is actually a testament to God’s faithfulness!
In Job 38:12, God asks: “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring [sunrise] to know his place.”
In Jeremiah 33:20-21, God says “my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night” is unbreakable. In this passage, God uses that covenant to anchor our faith in promises surrounding the throne of David.
God established all this at the re-creation of the Earth, as recorded in Genesis 1 and 2. In fact, the first thing the Bible quotes God as saying is: “Let there be light”! When God ordained those bodies to dominate day or night, Jeremiah says it was like He was making a promise—a promise He’s been keeping every single day.
This concept, and the future hope that it pictures, is highlighted in the inspirational song toward the end of our Celtic Throne production. The opening verse of “Tomorrow’s Light” is informed by this concept in Jeremiah 33:
Night seems unending,
Dark with delay;
Wait for the promise,
That is proven every day.
Sure as the sunrise,
Sure as the morn,
All hopes are stirring,
When all light will be reborn.
Watch That Horizon
Mr. Flurry contrasted the dark poetry of Akhmatova with that of David, who wrote much of his inspiring poetry while experiencing sore trials.
One psalm teaches us that there is, in fact, no such thing as “endless night” in God’s plan: “My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:6). The author, likely David, is using guards or watchmen waiting for the dawn—when they would be released from their night shift—as a metaphor. Back in those days, they didn’t have some electronic countdown or alert to know when sunrise was; they watched for the morning. Still, they never doubted it would come! To whatever degree people knew God—or that this was a divine covenant—they knew that morning was coming!
The second verse of “Tomorrow’s Light” was informed by this psalm:
Watch that horizon,
Watch for the dawn;
Wait for that morning,
When all night is truly gone.
This is all a type of God’s future rule on Earth, which we celebrate and discuss thoroughly in the fall holy day season. We have to long for God’s rule more than those ancient guards longed for the dawn.
We live in a world of darkness—6,000 years of “night” in one sense. Paul used this analogy in Romans 13, saying that those with God’s truth need to awake out of sleep because: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (verse 12).
If you have this truth, you are a light in a dark world. That light is akin to armor—there’s something protective about it.
In addition to light representing God’s people, the Bible also uses the metaphor of dawn, morning light and sunrise to depict utopia coming on this world—and the light coming on God’s people who will be ruling at this time!
The Apostle Paul also uses the analogies of night and sunrise in 1 Thessalonians 5:4-10 to discuss our world versus the one coming. He instructs us to watch (which, in this passage, is the opposite of sleeping, which is easy to do at night), as though we are like those watchers in Psalm 130. The sunrise didn’t take them by surprise, since they were looking and longing for it. Likewise, he says, we must be awake, vigilant, praying—knowing that light is about to dawn.
A new day is on the horizon—a dawning light, a morning star. To flip Akhmatova’s poetry, what’s coming is a day that is endless and knows no dusk—therefore, no sunset.
Herbert W. Armstrong described this time as the World Tomorrow. That “Tomorrow” is about to dawn. The opening paragraph of Mr. Armstrong’s booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, reads: “It is sure—the world’s only sure hope. This advance good news of tomorrow is as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun.”
The Star Arising
The source of this coming light is God the Father, “the Father of lights”—in whom, James 1:17 says, is no “shadow of turning.” When it comes to God’s light, it’s not like a planet that rotates with half of it always turned away from the light source—God is the source, and in His presence is no shadow or night.
When His Son Jesus Christ came to Earth the first time, several verses described that coming as a light shining in darkness (John 1:5; Luke 2:32; Isaiah 9:2). This is a figurative light. But we know the apostles Peter, James and John saw a vision of the glorified Christ in this coming world—and that “his face did shine as the sun” (Matthew 17:2; see also Revelation 1:16).
Sometime after Christ’s earthly ministry had ended and He had ascended back to heaven, the Apostle Paul—recalling being struck down on the road to Damascus—describes the light of the glorified Christ as a light brighter than the noon-day sun (Acts 26:13).
Paul later wrote that this light from Christ can shine in our own hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6). He dwells more on this idea in Ephesians 5—reinforcing a point Christ made to His disciples about them being the light of the world. He calls us the “children of light” who should “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (verses 8, 11). The next verses show how light reveals things. “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (verse 14).
Our calling is likened to a sunrise, and so is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—a spiritual sunrise coming to this planet. Christ actually refers to Himself as the “morning star” (Revelation 22:16). Malachi 4:2 calls Him the “Sun of righteousness,” arising with healing in His wings. As our free booklet Our Awesome Universe Potential states: “When Jesus Christ returns, that will be the most glorious ‘sunrise’ ever! Everyone will be touched by His presence, just as they are by the light of the physical sun today.” Isaiah 24:23 says that, at this time, the sun in all its brightness will be ashamed compared to the luminosity of Christ!
A passage in 2 Peter 1 relates all this to a coming sunrise—something for which we watch and long. Verse 19 commands us to “… take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” Our booklet The Epistles of Peter—A Living Hope explains how this is referring to the “sunrise of the wonderful World Tomorrow!” But that’s not the end of it: “Then comes something even more spectacular: ‘and the day star arise in your hearts.’” As it explains (which you can read more about yourself), this is referring to the moment when we are changed into luminous, spirit-born sons of God!
This passage informed the lyrics in the refrain of “Tomorrow’s Light”:
Look for tomorrow’s light!
Believe in what is sure!
Look for the star arising
In hearts where faith is pure!
A great dawn and sunrise is about to happen within each of us. We walk around with this hope: Each one of us can be a sunrise waiting to happen!
How We Light the Sky
Peter wasn’t the only one to write about our light in the coming world.
Isaiah 60:1 similarly tells us to “Arise, shine; for thy light is come ….” This light will overtake great darkness (verse 2). “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (verse 3).
Zechariah likened God’s people to jewels in a crown—reflecting God’s light and shining over the land (Zechariah 9:16-17).
Isaiah also writes that our light shall “break forth as the morning” (Isaiah 58:8). The prophetess Deborah sang, “[M]ay those who love you [God] shine like the rising sun at its brightest!” (Judges 5:31; New English Translation).Christ said the righteous will shine as the sun (Matthew 13:43).
The Apostle Paul goes into some detail about this in 1 Corinthians 15. God inspired him to write about the varying levels of brightness in the Family of God—just as stars have different levels of brightness, called luminosity. “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead ….” (verses 41-42).
Mr. Flurry expounds on this in John’s Gospel—The Love of God: “Some stars are greater and more luminous than others. God really wants us to have a lot of glory! He wants you to have the most ‘star glory’ possible when you are born into the God Family. But even today, we should shine with a certain glory. Our faces should shine with happiness! … I believe that, in a general way, we may be able to determine how much star quality and brightness we will have in the future by how much our face shines today in happiness and joy.”
This passage in 1 Corinthians 15, plus the quote above, informed these lyrics in “Tomorrow’s Light”:
Every future glow
Our heart embraces;
Every hope we know
Glory’s vast supply
Shines from our faces;
How we light the sky
The Epistles of Peter booklet explains some of the varying levels of glory and brightness within the Family of God, based on how and when we qualify as part of God’s plan. A lot of this has to do with the kind of light we are to the world today and the brilliance with which we support this great Work—a message of light emanating from God’s Church. Daniel 12:3 says that, if our lives help turn people to righteousness, we will “shine … as the stars for ever and ever.” As rulers and teachers in the World Tomorrow, Scripture shows that we will use our light to turn many to God’s beautiful way of life.
The World Tomorrow is a type of sunrise because of the rule of Jesus Christ (the Morning Star, the Day Star, the Sun of righteousness). We too will shine as brilliant spirit beings with that Day Star arising in our hearts and use that light to bring people into God’s Family. But other aspects of light in the World Tomorrow will be quite literal.
Zechariah 14:6-7 prophesy: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”
The light emanating from the temple in Jerusalem (a construction described in Ezekiel 40-48) will be overwhelming. This will be a “campus” of luminous spirit beings who never need to sleep. (A detailed description of this temple complex can be found in our pcg.church article, “The Coming Castle.”)
At this time, Earth will still be spinning on its axis and revolving around the sun. Zechariah 14:8 shows the seasons are still happening. Isaiah 60:11 shows that there is still day and night at this time. But “night” as a spiritual analogy for evil and ignorance is gone: “Thy sun shall no more go down … for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended” (verse 20).
Take some time to meditate on what dawn will be like in Tomorrow’s Jerusalem. Once the sun rises, it will hit the eastern gate, near the living waters that flow out and hit the east-facing facade of the sanctuary’s portico of approximately 24 stories. What a glittering sight that will be!
After 1,000 years of Christ’s rule (Revelation 20:2-7) and 100 years of judgment in another phase of God’s plan (see verses 20:11-13 and Isaiah 65:20), the Earth as we know it will cease to exist. The Apostle John wrote of “a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away …” (Revelation 21:1). This, he said, was “the holy city, new Jerusalem” (verse 2). Night is literally abolished for this locale: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there” (verses 23-25). John reinforces this in Revelation 22:5: “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
From universe headquarters, God will bring unparalleled light to the entire cosmos!
Night Is Truly Gone
Consider all this in contrast to Anna Akhmatova’s expression “the night is endless.”
To highlight this contrast, The Former Prophets book pointed to the last words of King David: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain” (2 Samuel 23:3-4).
Mr. Flurry comments: “That is powerful poetry—perhaps some of the most powerful you’ll ever read. What a contrast to ‘the night is endless and knows no dawn’!”
King David equated our future not just with the sun’s light, but its first light on cloudless skies after a rainy night—and how that morning dawn glistens on the tender grass!
Just as you know tomorrow is coming, so is this “Tomorrow.” Watch for it! Be the greatest light you can be today, and you will be a sunrise ready to happen. Let this light shine from your eyes, reflect from your face, and emanate through your example. How infinitely bright your future can be!