. To Introduction
Religious Events of the Future - Volume Seven
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God;
we have waited for Him, and He will save us:
this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice
in His salvation."
a series entitled
"Religious Events of the Future"
This volume is based on:-
1 Corinthians 15:1-58; Revelation 21:1-27; 22:1-21.
It is recommended that you read these before you
read the book.
The language of the Scripture quotes has been
modernised for easier understanding.
An Old Testament Cry
A story that was ancient even when written down by Moses
[Job said] "Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were engraved with an iron pen and [filled with] lead, in the rock, for ever!"
"For I know that my Redeemer lives [right now], and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after [the] worms destroy my skin [and] this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me [how my heart yearns for that day!]."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Believe you this?"
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth. They that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29.
The dead hear His voice
That voice which penetrates the ear of the wicked dead, they know. How often have its plaintive, tender tones called them to repentance. How often has it been heard in the touching entreaties of a friend, a brother, a Redeemer.
To the rejecters of His grace no other could be so full of condemnation, so burdened with denunciation, as that voice which has so long pleaded: "Turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die?" Ezekiel 33:11.
Oh, that it were to them the voice of a stranger!
Says Jesus: "I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but you have set at nought all My counsel, and would [have] none of My reproof." Proverbs 1:24, 25. That voice awakens memories which they would like to blot out - warnings despised, invitations refused, privileges slighted.
Despite this, some of the most wicked of the rejecters come out of their graves in answer to His call. Daniel 12:2.
His opposers see Him
There are those who mocked Christ in His humiliation. With thrilling power come to their minds the Sufferer's words, when, adjured by the high priest, He solemnly declared: "Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64. Now they behold Him in His glory, and they are yet to see Him sitting on the right hand of power.
Those who derided His claim to be the Son of God are speechless now. There is the haughty Herod who jeered at His royal title and bade the mocking soldiers crown Him king. There are the very men who with impious hands placed upon His form the purple robe, upon His sacred brow the thorny crown, and in His unresisting hand the mimic sceptre, and bowed before Him in blasphemous mockery. See Revelation 1:7.
The men who smote and spat upon the Prince of life now turn from His piercing gaze and seek to flee from the overpowering glory of His presence. Those who drove the nails through His hands and feet, the soldier who pierced His side, behold these marks with terror and remorse.
With awful distinctness do priests and rulers recall the events of Calvary. With shuddering horror they remember how, wagging their heads in satanic exultation, they exclaimed: "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him." Matthew 27:42, 43.
They had condemned themselves
Vividly they recall the Saviour's parable of the husbandmen who refused to render to their lord the fruit of the vineyard, who abused his servants and slew his son. They remember, too, the sentence which they themselves pronounced: The lord of the vineyard "will miserably destroy those wicked men." Matthew 21:41.
In the sin and punishment of those unfaithful men the priests and elders see their own course and their own just doom.
And now there rises a cry of mortal agony. Louder than the shout, "Crucify Him, crucify Him," which rang through the streets of Jerusalem, swells the awful, despairing wail, "He is the Son of God! He is the true Messiah!"
They seek to flee from the presence of the King of kings. In the deep caverns of the earth, torn apart by the warring of the elements, they vainly attempt to hide. But they cannot hide from Him just yet.
A foretaste now
In the lives of all who reject truth there are moments when conscience awakens, when memory presents the torturing recollection of a life of hypocrisy and the soul is harassed with vain regrets. But what are these compared with the remorse of that day when "fear comes as desolation," when "destruction comes as a whirlwind"! Proverbs 1:27.
Those who would have destroyed Christ and His faithful people now witness the glory which rests upon them. In the midst of their terror they hear the voices of the saints in joyful strains exclaiming: "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us." Isaiah 25:9.
The resurrection of all the righteous
Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the remainder of the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: "Awake, awake, awake, you that sleep in the dust, and arise!" See Isaiah 26:19-21.
Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the righteous dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live. John 5:28-29. And the whole earth shall ring with the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory, crying: "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55. And then the living righteous and the resurrected saints unite their voices in a long, glad shout of victory.
Their new bodies
All come forth from their graves the same in height as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who stands among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in stature but little below the Son of God. He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race.
But all arise with the freshness and vigour of eternal youth.
In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ came to restore that which had been lost.
He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like to His glorious body.
The mortal, corruptible form, without any beauty, formerly polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will "grow up" (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its original glory.
The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will then be removed, and Christ's faithful ones will appear in "the beauty of the Lord our God," in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord.
Oh, wonderful redemption! Long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood.
The ascent to heaven
The living righteous are also changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Angels "gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers' arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.
On each side of the cloudy angel chariot (Jesus throne), are wings, and beneath it are living wheels; and as the chariot rolls upward, the wheels cry, "Holy," and the wings, as they move, cry, "Holy," and the retinue of angels cry, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." And the redeemed shout, "Alleluia!" as the chariot moves onward toward the New Jerusalem. See Ezekiel 1:1-28 for more on the "chariot".
Before entering the City of God, the Saviour bestows upon His followers the emblems of victory and invests them with the insignia of their royal state. The glittering ranks are drawn up in the form of a hollow square about their King, whose form rises in majesty high above saint and angel, whose countenance beams upon them full of benignant love.
Throughout the unnumbered host of the redeemed every glance is fixed upon Him, every eye beholds His glory whose "visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men." Isaiah 52:14.
Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own "new name" (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." See Exodus 28:36-38.
In every hand are placed the victor's palm and the shining harp. Then, as the commanding angels strike the note, every hand sweeps the harp strings with skilful touch, awaking sweet music in rich, melodious strains. Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in grateful praise:
"To Him that loved us,
and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us
kings and priests to God and His Father;
to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever." Revelation 1:5-6.
The New Jerusalem
Before the ransomed throng is the Holy City. Jesus opens wide the pearly gates, and the people that have kept the truth enter in. There they behold the Paradise of God, the Garden of Eden, the home of Adam in his innocency. Then that voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard, saying: "Your conflict is ended." "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25:34.
Now is fulfilled the Saviour's prayer for His disciples: "I will that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am." John 17:24.
"Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24), Christ presents to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: "Here am I, and the children whom You have given Me." "Those that You gave Me I have kept." John 17:12.
Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! the rapture of that hour when the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image, sin's discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in harmony with the divine!
Meeting with converts
With unutterable love, Jesus welcomes His faithful ones to the joy of their Lord. The Saviour's joy is in seeing, in the kingdom of glory, the souls that have been saved by His agony and humiliation. And the redeemed will be sharers in His joy, as they behold, among the blessed, those who have been won to Christ through their prayers, their labours, and their loving sacrifice.
As they gather about the great white throne, gladness unspeakable will fill their hearts, when they behold those whom they have won for Christ, and see that one has gained others, and these still others, all brought into the haven of rest, there to lay their crowns at Jesus' feet and praise Him through the endless cycles of eternity.
Adam to Adam
As the ransomed ones are welcomed to the City of God, there rings out upon the air an exultant cry of adoration. The two Adams are about to meet. The Son of God is standing with outstretched arms to receive the father of our race - the being whom He created, who sinned against his Maker, and for whose sin the marks of the crucifixion are borne upon the Saviour's form. John 20:24-27.
As Adam discerns the prints of the cruel nails, he does not fall upon the bosom of his Lord, but in humiliation casts himself at His feet, crying: "Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!" Tenderly the Saviour lifts him up and bids him look once more upon the Eden home from which he has so long been exiled.
After his expulsion from Eden, Adam's life on earth was filled with sorrow. Every dying leaf, every victim of sacrifice, every blight upon the fair face of nature, every stain upon man's purity, was a fresh reminder of his sin. Terrible was the agony of remorse as he beheld iniquity abounding, and, in answer to his warnings, met the reproaches cast upon himself as the cause of sin. With patient humility he bore, for nearly a thousand years, the penalty of transgression. Faithfully did he repent of his sin and trust in the merits of the promised Saviour, and he died in the hope of a resurrection.
The Son of God redeemed man's failure and fall; and now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in his first dominion. See Micah 4:4-8.
The garden of Eden
Transported with joy, he beholds the trees that were once his delight - the very trees whose fruit he himself had gathered in the days of his innocence and joy. He sees the vines that his own hands have trained, the very flowers that he once loved to care for. His mind grasps the reality of the scene; he comprehends that this is indeed Eden restored, more lovely now than when he was banished from it.
The Saviour leads him to the tree of life and plucks the glorious fruit and bids him eat.
He looks about him and beholds a multitude of his family redeemed, standing in the Paradise of God. Then he casts his glittering crown at the feet of Jesus and, falling upon His breast, embraces the Redeemer. He touches the golden harp, and the vaults of heaven echo the triumphant song: "Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again!"
The family of Adam take up the chorus and cast their crowns at the Saviour's feet as they bow before Him in adoration.
This reunion is witnessed by the angels who wept at the fall of Adam and rejoiced when Jesus, after His resurrection, ascended to heaven, having opened the grave for all who should believe on His name.
Now they behold the work of redemption accomplished, and they unite their voices in the song of praise. Revelation 5:11-14.
An earthly chorus
Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire, - so resplendent is it with the glory of God, - are gathered the company that have "gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." Revelation 15:2. With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, "having the harps of God," they stand, the hundred and forty-four thousand that were redeemed from among men, not from the grave; and there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, "the voice of harpers harping with their harps."
And they sing "a new song" before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty-four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb - a song of deliverance.
None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience - an experience such as no other company have ever had. "These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes."
These, having been translated from the earth, from among the last generation of sinners, are counted as "the first fruits to God and to the Lamb." Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1-4.
"These are they which came out of great tribulation." They have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 7:14-15.
"In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault" before God. Revelation 14:5.
"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them." Revelation 7:15.
They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst. But "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7:16-17.
The result of His leading
In all ages the Saviour's chosen
have been educated and disciplined in the school of trial. They
walked in narrow paths on earth;
they were purified in the furnace of affliction. Malachi 3:2-3. For Jesus' sake they endured opposition, hatred, criticism. They followed Him through conflicts sore; they endured self-denial and experienced bitter disappointments. By their own painful experience they learned the evil of sin, its power, its guilt, its woe; and they look upon it with abhorrence.
A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure humbles them in their own sight and fills their hearts with gratitude and praise which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate. They love much because they have been forgiven much. Having been partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are fitted to be partakers with Him of His glory.
The heirs of God have come from attics, from hovels, from dungeons, from scaffolds, from mountains, from deserts, from the caves of the earth, from the caverns of the sea. On earth they were "destitute, afflicted, tormented." Hebrews 11:37.
Millions went down to the grave loaded with infamy because they steadfastly refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By human tribunals they were adjudged the vilest of criminals. But now "God is judge Himself." Psalm 50:6. Now the decisions of earth are reversed. "The rebuke of His people shall He take away." Isaiah 25:8.
"They shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord." Isaiah 62:12.
He has appointed "to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." Isaiah 61:3.
The joy of the redeemed
They are no longer feeble, afflicted, scattered, and oppressed. Henceforth they are to be ever with the Lord.
They stand before the throne clad in richer robes than the most honoured of the earth have ever worn. Isaiah 61:10.
They are crowned with diadems more glorious than were ever placed upon the brow of earthly monarchs.
The days of pain and weeping are forever ended.
The King of glory has wiped the tears from all faces; every cause of grief has been removed. Amid the waving of palm branches they pour forth a song of praise, clear, sweet, and harmonious; every voice takes up the strain, until the anthem swells through the vaults of heaven: "Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb."
And all the inhabitants of heaven respond in the ascription: "Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be to our God for ever and ever." Revelation 7:10, 12.
In a glass darkly
In this life we can only begin to understand the wonderful theme of redemption.
With our earthly comprehension we may consider most earnestly the shame and the glory, the life and the death, the justice and the mercy, that meet in the cross; yet with the utmost stretch of our mental powers we must fail to grasp its full significance. The length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of redeeming love are but dimly comprehended.
Understanding the plan
The plan of redemption will not be fully understood, even when the ransomed see as they are seen and know as they are known; but through the eternal ages new truth will continually unfold to the wondering and delighted mind.
Though the griefs and pains and temptations of earth are ended and the cause removed, the people of God will ever have a distinct, intelligent knowledge of what their salvation has cost.
The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity as they study "agape" love.
In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted to adore - humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father's face, till the woes of a lost world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary's cross.
That the Maker of all worlds, the Arbiter of all destinies, should lay aside His glory and humiliate Himself from love to man will ever excite the wonder and adoration of the universe. As the nations of the saved look upon their Redeemer and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in His countenance; as they behold His throne, which is from everlasting to everlasting, and know that His kingdom is to have no end, they break forth in rapturous song: "Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood!"
Seen through the cross
The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that streams from Calvary the attributes of God which had filled us with fear and awe now appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. While we behold the majesty of His throne, high and lifted up, we see His character in its gracious manifestations, and comprehend, as never before, the significance of that endearing title, "Our Father."
It will be seen that He who is infinite in wisdom could devise no plan for our salvation except the sacrifice of His Son. The compensation for this sacrifice is the joy of peopling the earth with ransomed beings, holy, happy, and immortal. Isaiah 53:11.
The result of the Saviour's conflict with the powers of darkness is joy to the redeemed, redounding to the glory of God throughout eternity.
And such is the value of the soul that the Father is satisfied with the price paid; and Christ Himself, beholding the fruits of His great sacrifice, is satisfied.
On to Volume Eight - Desolation!
For a Bible explanation of these events to come, read:-
Daniel and The Revelation made easy to understand.
(A printed copy A4 size, 175 pages, is available free from us.)
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