Waiting For The Sonrise
The Finishing Work Of God
By Jan Austin Antonsson
The Glory Road, a Kingdom Highway
"My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish His work." (Jn. 4:34, KJ).
Westlake Village, California
Early this morning, Lenny and I looked out at the blanket of fog covering the valleys below our mountain top home. Everything down there was covered with thick white wisps of low hanging clouds, but up here where we live, the sky was blue and clear. We both got the analogy about the same time that when we are standing on the high places of the Spirit, communing with the Father, it is very easy to see kingdom truths clearly. Down in the valleys of our lives, however, it's often difficult to see anything in the gloom. We went to church Sunday, on one of Lenny's nudges from the Spirit, and parts of the service seemed to me like those foggy valleys, or like the cartoon published in the LA Times about people unclear on the concept. One of the songs they sang had words to the effect that - We're ready for the Bridegroom, Father, for the bride has made herself ready. "Oh please," I thought. "If anything about getting ready for the bridegroom depends on us, there will never be a wedding, and that's the truth!" Of course, I realize that this statement comes from the book of Revelation, but it is evident from the context of that verse that this proclamation is made subject to the sovereignty of God: "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns." (Rev. 19:7). Clearly, making us complete and ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb is God's job, from start to finish! Christ is the one who sanctifies and cleanses the church, "that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." (Eph. 5:26-27). He is also the one who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us "faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." (Jude: 24). Yet, based on what is said from the pulpit and in newsletters and publications, it would appear that the organized church has taken upon itself the task of getting us ready to meet the Lord. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be much more holiness or sanctification or real righteousness among church goers than those who stay at home. This brings me to my topic: God's finishing work.
For an entire day recently, I heard, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me." Finally, I looked it up and saw the rest of the verse, "and to finish His work." (Jn. 4:34). As I read that, I remembered that just prior to His ordeal, Jesus had said to the father, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." (John 17:4). And on the cross, the anguished Savior concluded His ministry with the statement, "It is finished." (Jn. 19:30). I have always assumed that this statement meant that He had finished the work of deliverance, of redemption, the work assigned to Him before the foundations of the world. (Rev. 13:8). And yet, in contrast to conventional theology, the Hebrew writer makes a puzzling statement: "Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, 'So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.' And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world." (Heb. 4:3). If the work was finished before the earth was made, then why did Jesus have to die? But more to the topic at hand, if this is true, what is left for us to do? Attend any church in the land, or listen to any TV or Radio evangelist, and you will find a litany of things you have to do to be pleasing to God. These are not bad things, of course, but if God's work has been finished since the creation of the world, what eternal purpose could our work possibly serve, no matter how good it may look or how many people it may help?
Isaiah gives us a picture of the last days, which I surely believe are upon us. He says in that time, "Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. " (Is. 2:3). He goes on to talk about what the Day of the Lord will bring to mankind: "Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. So man will be brought low and mankind humbled &emdash; do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted and they will be humbled." (Is. 2:8-12). It occurs to me that when we bind upon one another "rules and regs" for pleasing God, for obtaining either holiness, salvation, or righteousness, we are bowing down to the work of our own hands, to what our own fingers have made. I recently re-read Stephen's speech to the Jewish council and the high priests before they stoned him. As he was giving the history of the Israelite people, in reciting the episode involving the golden calf, he said, "And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and rejoiced IN THE WORKS OF THEIR HANDS." (Acts. 7:41). Somehow, until that moment, I had not fully understood that man's works, his self efforts, his religious rituals are exactly as repugnant to God now, as making the golden calf was to Him then. God would not tolerate this behavior from the children of Israel, nor will He tolerate it from us, because He wants us to depend on His works alone, not upon our own!
Yet even as I proclaim that God is the one whose works count on earth, I also acknowledge that there is a lot left to be done if you look at only the natural. The evening news is a dismal view of the fleshpots of Egypt and the cesspools and sin and degradation. Who is going to tidy up the mess that disobedience has produced? Sin has wrecked as much havoc on the human spirit as the killer tornado did recently on the helpless little town of Spencer, SD. What once held life and hope and human expectation was flattened to the ground within minutes. Who is in charge of cleaning up the emotional, spiritual and physical detritus on planet Earth? Is there some federal disaster agency that will solve the problems? Is God dismayed by the carnage left in the wake of sin? Is He wringing His hands about the bleak and blackened condition of His handiwork? Do you think that when He surveyed all He had made, and said, "It is very good," (Gen. 1:31), He was clueless as to the future of mankind? Do you think He thought He had done such a good job of telling them not to touch the forbidden fruit that they would obey Him and all would be well? Believe me, if you think that, you've got a more serious problem than trying to work your way to heaven. Your god is too small! You need a God who is omnipotent, who is omniscient, who is omni-present for starters.
No, I don't think God was caught off guard and surprised, and you probably don't either. So what's it all about? Why this mucked up mess called the human condition? How did things get so rotten in the world? that's another journal topic, actually. Suffice it to say that into the gloom of man's dark night, God sent the light. He sent us a Savior, who promised us life, and it more abundantly. (Jn. 10:10). Because of His willingness to enter into this death realm with us, we have forgiveness of sins; (Jn. 3:17) we have eternal life (Jn. 3:16); we have access to the kingdom of God; (Jn. 3:3) we have within us the spring of living water so that we will never thirst; (Jn. 4:13-14; 7:38) and we have the bread of life so that we will never hunger. (Jn. 6:33). Human beings never change, however; we always want to know what we can do for God. When the crowds found Him in Capernaum, they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" He answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent'." (Jn. 6:28-29).
"Ah," you say, "At last, here's something I can do. I can believe." Oh really? Consider what Paul wrote the Ephesian brethren: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is NOT YOUR OWN DOING, it is the gift of God, NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9). For sure, Paul was fully aware that if man could take credit for any good thing, he certainly would. That's been true since Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they chose to take matters into their own hands, with a little help from Satan, they sealed the fate of all the rest of us. (Rom. 5:12,14,17). Clearly, from the beginning, man has wanted to get his grubby paws on the work of God in order to take some of the credit and to share in the glory which belongs to God alone!
The churches tell you what you must do to be saved, and yet on the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit told those hungry listeners that "the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to Him." (Acts. 2:39). This indicates that God has already chosen who answers the invitation hymn, and He is the one who adds those being saved to the church. (Acts. 2:47). This also bears witness to what Jesus said of himself, "No one can come to me UNLESS THE FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM; and I will raise him up at the last day." (Jn. 6:44). Later in that same chapter, Jesus said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless IT IS GRANTED BY THE FATHER." (Jn. 6:65). We see by these scriptures that it is God's job by the power of the life giving Spirit to draw men and women and children to Himself. Of course, we participate in the process by teaching and preaching the risen Christ, for as Paul said, "Every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? AND HOW ARE THEY TO HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER?" (Romans 10:13-14).
It seems obvious that we are to flow in the Spirit and share the word as God calls us to do so, but we are NOT to take responsibility for the consequences; "for God is at work in you, both to will and to work FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE." (Phil. 2:13). It is very tempting though for pastors and preachers across the land to take credit for how many bodies fill the pews, how big the contribution is, how successful the neighborhood outreach, the vacation Bible school, the Sunday school programs and all other works which actually flow from the Spirit. If they don't flow from the Spirit of God, but from the mind of man, they are as "a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal" (I Cor. 13:1) rather than the beautiful orchestra which God directs.
When Jesus said, "It is finished," on the cross, He knew that everything had been accomplished to create "the Way" for the errant sons to return to the Father. In fact, before they were called Christians, the disciples of Christ were called "The Way." (Acts 9:2; 19:23; 24:14; 24:22; 25:3). He said of himself that He is the Way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to Father except through Him. (Jn. 14:6). John the Beloved said of him that He is "the true light that enlightens EVERY MAN." (Jn. 1:9). Of his death, Jesus said, "and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, WILL DRAW ALL MEN TO MYSELF." (Jn. 12:32). Perhaps I'm belaboring a point that everyone knows here, but it is clear from these Scriptures and others that Jesus came to fulfill the purpose of God in restoring mankind to Himself. Some churches lead you to believe that we have to DO SOMETHING to get God to forgive us; to love us; to save us; to be reconciled to us. That's exactly opposite to what the Scriptures declare. God never left us. We left Him, but He "through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us." (II Cor. 5:18-19). With His own blood and His very life, Jesus, the Christ, finished the work which the Hebrew writer says had been completed from the foundation of the world. (Heb. 4:3). The church tells us that we must obey God in order to receive forgiveness of sins, but in fact, it is because we are forgiven and justified by his grace that we have the strength to obey. (Rom. 3:23-24; 5:6). We know that the cross of Christ was always in the heart of the Father, for in Revelation, we read of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8). All along, God knew what would happen to His creation. He knew what it would take to redeem us from the rotten cesspool of sin and shame that we had plunged into. And He willingly gave us what He knew we would need to get out. To add to or subtract from what Christ did is idolatry; it is worshipping the works of our own hands.
Since beginning this journal chapter, Lenny and I have taken a "time-out" from work and are now on the farm in Missouri, which has been in my family for generations. Mother leases out the fields to a neighbor who raises oats and then bales it into hay when the crop is ready for harvest. Seeing the luxurious stand of oats every day makes me think about "The Seed," Christ Jesus, which we all bear within us, and which is waiting for God's harvest. Like the oats, this spiritual seed will bear fruit after its own kind. No amount of lecturing or preaching to the grain growing in the field will have any effect on what it is to be when it sprouts, or how it should act, or what its purpose in life is. The seed falls into the ground and dies, and from it, new life springs forth. (Jn. 12:24). The same is true for us when the seed of Christ, (Gal. 3: 16, 29) planted at the new birth, transforms us into His image and likeness. (Rom. 8:29).
When the seed planted in us is fully ripe we will become that for which the whole creation is groaning. (Rom. 8:22). The seed has lain dormant in the rich soil of the human heart for almost 2000 years, being germinated by the Holy Spirit, who has been nourishing it, watering it, and watching the preordained process unfold. Jesus observed, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." (Mk. 4:26-28). The time He spoke of is upon us. The firstfruits have sprouted and are being offered as a sacrifice unto the Lord even at this hour. (See Lev. 2:14; 23:17; Num. 28:26; Deut. 26:2; Jer. 2:3; Rom. 8:23; 11:16; I Cor. 15:20; James 1:28; Rev. 14:4). The rest of the seed will sprout and bring forth the 100 fold harvest which Jesus promised, each in its own order. (Matt 13:23; I Cor. 15;23). Think about this with me for a moment. Isn't it obvious that the old ways of man's religion do not work? Preaching, lecturing, moralizing and admonishing people just will not produce righteousness, any more than such efforts would alter the oat seed's destiny one whit.
The first Sunday we were here in Neosho, MO., I heard two speakers from two different denominations. The names of these churches make no difference, because they were more alike than they were different. Both speakers, one a man and the other a woman, were expounding at length about how we should behave, how we should act in order to be better Christians, better parents, better citizens. They were explaining to us how to be more productive seeds, if you will.
The woman, speaking to a woman's Sunday school class (not a man in sight, lest she should usurp authority over him, of course) was talking about what kind of women and role models we should be - or at least how we should act. Then, at one point, she drifted off her main topic and said how important it was that we teach our children on which side of the plate to put their forks and knives. I thought, "What planet is this woman from? the world is sick unto death with the wages of sin and choking on its own vomit, and she's worried about what side of the plate the knife goes on? Get real, lady," I wanted to shout, but didn't. That was Sunday school. Then I went to church with Lenny at another denomination and it was the same thing. Except for the sign over the door, you couldn't tell the difference, and that's the truth! At both churches, they were serving up law! Now, if I said this to them, they would protest loudly, "We don't live under law. We live under grace." Well, if they mean they don't offer up animal sacrifices unto the Lord, then I suppose they would be technically correct. But all of them have missed the point that whether they are offering a ram or a goat or a lamb sacrificed for sin (Lev. 9:2; 16:3,5; 19:22; Num. 6:14; Ezek. 43:25) or a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons for a newborn child, (Lk. 2:24); or merely trying to please God, or attain righteousness, or get victory over sin in our lives by attending church, tithing, reading the Bible, preaching, witnessing, taking communion, or any other ritual designed to bring us closer to God and make us holy, then they are still serving under law. Why? Isaiah said it best when he declared, "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." (Isa. 64:6).
It seems so clear that we cannot attain right standing with God by our own efforts, and yet, it appears that preachers across this land have little to offer their parishioners except admonitions to act better, to do the right thing, to read the Bible and follow the rules. I have nothing against reading the Scriptures, and if you could see my favorite Bible, threadbare and tattered, you'd know I speak truth here, but let's get real and tell it like it is. If a man is trapped in the prison of sin or sickness, or soul's despair, do you think he really wants someone to lay a Bible on his chest and say, "Read the word, Brother, and it'll help you." No, I think what he really wants is to meet the living Word of God, (Jn. 1:1; Rev. 19:13) the one who became flesh and dwelt among us. (Jn. 1:14). What this wounded man really wants is to feel the nail pierced hands touch his wounds, his hurt places, and hear the Lord say, "Your sins are forgiven. Take up your bed and walk!" (Matt. 9:5-7; Mk. 2:9-11; Lk. 5:23-25). We don't need more law, friends. We need THE ONE who came to fulfill the law. (Matt. 5:17).
Paul said better than anyone ever has that no matter how much law we know, we can't keep it. We want to do good, but we can't! At the risk of repeating myself, I want to include part of Romans 7 here, for it is the heart of the problem: "For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me." (Rom. 7:15-17). Let me make it very clear that I'm not saying that there is anything intrinsically wrong with any of the activities mentioned in the preceding paragraph. What I am saying is that if we could be good on our own steam, by reading the "rules and regs" set forth in the Bible, and then following them, then we would do it and in the process, create our own tower of Babel to get to heaven, (Gen. 11:4) but we can't succeed. There is no record anywhere in the Bible of any mere human being EVER being able to obey God, and that's why Jesus had to die! As our friend Marvin Cope says, the Bible is really just one story from Genesis to Revelation: it's the return of the prodigal son. According to Paul the only law that can deliver us from ourselves is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" which has set us "free from the law of sin and death!" (Rom. 8:2). In other words, it is sin dwelling in me, which is responsible for my inability to obey God. (Rom. 7:20).
When I was growing up, there was a member of the church who was fighting a losing battle with the bottle. Time after time, he came forward during the invitation hymn to confess his sins, repent of them, and ask for forgiveness. Time after time, he relapsed back into his old habits. Why? Because the sin dwelling in him was stronger than his own will. Knowing what was right did not empower him to do the right thing. This is his legacy and ours from Adam's disobedience. (Rom. 5:12,14). He thought he could beat alcoholism by his own will, but he couldn't! As an aside, this is why AA is so successful. The first step in their 12 step program is to acknowledge that one is powerless to solve the problem himself. Subsequent steps direct the seeker of help to a "higher power," who alone can deal with the disease.
It's too bad that churches haven't patterned their freedom from sin program after the AA model, because only the power of the life giving Spirit, and the life of Christ dwelling within us can free us from our addictions, our depression, our lusts, our envy, our jealousy, our petty hatefulness, our selfishness, our dishonesty, our pride, our fears, our guilts, and our unforgiveness and judgment of others. Nothing but Christ living His life through us can save us from ourselves. Paul explained so eloquently: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20-21). Notice that he is NOT talking about the sweet bye and bye here. We don't have to wait until we arrive on that "beautiful shore," as the old hymn describes it, to overcome sin in our lives. Paul said, "THE LIFE I LIVE IN THE FLESH, I live by faith in the Son of God." The King James translates that last part, "I live by the faith of the Son of God." In my spirit, I resonate to that translation, because it isn't even my faith I have to depend on, but the faith of Christ. That's a good thing, a wonderful truth, because if any part of God's plan depends on my faith and my faithfulness, I'm sure to muck it up somehow. I can't sleep at all well if I think anything about my spiritual life depends on me, but I can fall asleep in the back of the boat while the storm rages and the waves crash against the ship if Christ is the one on whom I have to depend.
I saw again today that the reason the church on Main St. is so pitiful, weak, and ineffective is because the power of God is not there! When we are enslaved in sin, trapped in Romans 7, trying to get into Romans 8, (as everyone is on one occasion or another), we don't need another preacher. We don't need another prophet. We don't even need to read our Bibles more. Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees; "You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me." (Jn. 5:39). What we need is the power of almighty God to lift us up and out of the pit of sin and shame and set our feet on holy ground - God himself! The world, dear ones, is waiting and longing for "the Sonrise." If preaching and moralizing would have done any good, God could have just sent another prophet, another Apostle, another holy man.
With the exception of Jesus, Isaiah was one of the most powerful prophets of God to ever come down the pike. He railed. He thundered. He threatened. He cajoled. He spoke eloquently of the glory of God. He promised redemption for the errant sons of Israel. Did it change their behavior? Did they leave their idols and run to Yahweh? They did not. Likewise, Elijah called fire down from heaven in a great display of God's anger toward the Baal worshipers. (I Kings 18:21-38-39). Did it solve the problem in Israel? No indeed, in fact, shortly after that, Elijah ran away and hid himself in a cave for fear that the wicked Queen Jezebel would slay him. (I Kings 19:2-18). Isaiah and Abel and Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Moses and Rahab and Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtah, David and Samuel and Elijah and Elisha, and everyone who heard God and served Him before us, all went to their graves waiting to see the promises fulfilled. The Hebrew writer says of them, "And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God has foreseen something better for us, that apart form us they should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:39-40). Note that all these folks lived under law, and God has something far better than that for us: GRACE!
So, if going to church and reading the Bible isn't the answer, what is? The answer is The Alpha and the Omega, (Rev. 22:13); the Morning Star (II Pet. 1:19; Rev. 2:18;22:26); the WORD of GOD; (Jn. 1:14; Eph. 6: 17; Heb. 4:12; 6:5; I Jn. 2:14; Rev. 19:13); in other words, God Himself in all His glory! I really struggled with the title for this journal. Neurotic though it is, I need to have a title and a graphic before I start to write. I began with the title, "Finishing The Work Of God." Then, I realized that this sounds like what concerns me so much, i.e., thinking that we can accomplish what only God can do. I changed it to "The Finishing Work of God," because I understand finishing work. The women in my family sew very well, present company excluded. When you make a garment, you measure, cut, fit, and finally stitch it. If it doesn't fit right, you may have to take a tuck here, or make a pleat there, and of course, at the end, you have to sew on buttons and hem the sleeves and the bottom. This is the finishing work, often done by hand. The garment can be made, and tailored to perfection, but if the finishing work is not done, the garment is useless. It cannot be worn. Looking around me, I see a lot of finishing work that God must do before His new creation is ready to go public. God's garment, I believe, is the new creation, dwelling in the kingdom of heaven. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, BEHOLD THE NEW HAS COME." (II. Cor. 5:17). We know that we are the new creation in Christ, but we also know that so far, we have only received the guarantee or the earnest of our inheritance, which is the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 1:14). The down payment is powerful and life changing. Imagine what the entire inheritance will be like if you can. It will blow our socks off when God manifests His sons on that bright kingdom morning.
Until then, we, like the rest of the creation, are longing to be set free from bondage to decay so that we may obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Rom 8:21). When John the Baptist was in prison, he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else'?" At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor." (Luke 7:20-22, NIV). When Jesus introduced the gospel of the kingdom, miracles followed Him everywhere. He promised that those who believe on him would do the works which He did "and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." (Jn. 14:12). In desperate need of these greater works, "The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God." (Romans 8:21). Like a lot of others, I believe that this kingdom day has already dawned. The Sonrise is upon us. The seed, the Word of God, (Lk. 8:11) which has lain dormant in our hearts for so long, is about to burst forth in new life to bear much fruit.
The churches have labored for 2,000 years without much power, and with little success in changing the world or even themselves. The time has come when God will present the perfected bride to the bridegroom. Only He can do it, for she is too full of blemishes and wrinkles for man's hand to correct. Only the Father Himself can present her faultless "before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." (Eph. 5:27; Jude 24). God is coming for His church and for all mankind, that not one shall be lost. (Jn. 3:16-17; I Tim. 4:10; II Peter 3:9). Those dear ones who have so faithfully waited with so little nourishment for all these years are about to be liberated. As the graphic on the title page shows, the tombs which have held the creation in bondage will soon be opened and the living shall come forth. Christ is coming "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed." (II Thes. 1:10). He will return in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, (Matt. 24:30; Rev. 1:7); the Hebrew writer says that the clouds are the witnesses, i.e. those who believe. (Heb. 12:1). These manifested sons of God will be part of the finishing work: we will set the captives free, open wide the prison doors, and let the light of His glorious gospel purge out the dark places of the human heart. Hallelujah! "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up." (II Pet 3:10). Far from seeing this prophecy as a fearful, scary thing, I see it as God's glorious promise to deliver us from the works of our hands. He is going to burn them up, (Mal. 3:3; I Pet. 1:7; Heb. 12:29) but we shall be saved! (I Cor. 3:12-15; Is. 34:4). In that day, we, like Isaiah, will behold the work of God's hand. He will create "new heavens (the spiritual) and a new earth (the new creation); and the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind." (Is. 65:17). We, like John the beloved, will behold the new heaven and the new earth; after the old has passed away, and we shall see that we are "the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
We will thrill to hear the seventh angel sound his proclamation: "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15). When the glorious wedding day of the Lamb dawns, every soul in whom God has ever breathed the breath of life will know and experience the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy: "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Is. 40:4-5). Amen.
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 S. Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
The Glory Road
We would enjoy hearing from you.
Last edited 11/7/08.