The Gathering Home of Saints
Part 9 The Breaking of Death’s Powers
In glory there we see the saints at last prepared to share with Jesus in that work so vital to man’s future here on earth “The ministry of glory and the breaking of death’s powers.”
That moment now arrives to testify to God’s redeeming power to all mankind. The ransom long provided now applied for Adam and in him the race, that precious blood of sprinkling yet must touch the lintels of each heart, that from death’s powers each soul may then break free, not merely for one hour but for eternity. No simple task. It is well for us to grasp what God has shown, that process yet involved of loosening sin’s hold from every soul.
Like the Niagara, sin comprehends each missing of the mark, ten million drops each moment of man’s day, a mighty fall indeed. Vast energy is wasted, countless ages lost, the total of innumerable lives away from God, as blinded minds forsake creation’s Source and plunge to that abyss oblivious of all meaning to life’s course, for they deny its Cause. These on their swift descent, without relent, pursue their flight from things above, and yet cannot escape redeeming love.
When we survey the scene, that darkness tries to probe that fills this earth, we fail to sum the tears, assess the weight, the total burden tells of human grief, the legacy of sickness, pain, and loss, but man’s Creator knows, and man’s Redeemer took that load. Can it be turned, this tide? Can earth be cleansed of sin? Can countless myriads like the sand be washed? Can any change of heart thus wrought in man by any scheme, teaching of righteous ways, or course of holiness, the reaching of those deep emotions of man’s heart, can any change of mind be achieved, change also that deceit of heart, that fickleness of loyalty and love, that trend to infidelity so deep ingrained within the human soul? Can this as well be changed?
We see no profit, though a thousand years be spent transforming guilty ways of man to innocence, unless each step along that upward path of holiness be one of permanence. The trend to sin that now controls man’s path, a prison for man’s ways, how humanly impossible to break through cold steel bars, those solid walls. Perhaps at time some soul may glimpse another world beyond it cannot reach, and powerless to attain falls back. As gravity decides the downward pull upon each body, so does sin, and from its hold none can break free.
Yet greater far the heavenly force the sun exerts upon this earth controlling in its course each planet that would wander from its path. Nor does it let go hold, or each would make its headlong plunge through depths of space. Such is the greater power than sin, that from its mighty Source above will grip this earth and draw each heart, each intellect, to influence all thought and overwhelm with love divine. When stars that “turn to righteousness” shall shine, their holy power will mightily combine to beam into this darkness with a grace reflected from the heavenly Father’s face, to captivate and thus forever hold each human mind, and reach the “blind,” the “deaf,” and loosen tongues now tied that cannot tell His praise. Oh may that joy be mine!
The baptism of water of the flood that overwhelmed and cleansed the ancient world in days of Noah was made an awing sign to all mankind, a future baptism to portray not now of water but the fire of that all-searching Spirit of a Holy God. And when the work is done destroying every trace of evil past, the dark refuge of lies will sweep aside, hypocrisy, deceit, and all that’s feigned. Then will His “Peace, be still!” re-echo from each heart of His redeemed, His Spirit, as a dove, go forth, the gospel of His peace to bear to weary souls, the olive branch, the helping hand that will enable sin-lamed feet to stand before the Saviour of the world. And then, shall I beside Him stand, those blessings of His peace to shower upon a weary land? And shall I have a part when grace has well refined my inward being, the last touch of the Potter’s hand, the furnace fire to fit the vessel for the service planned, shall I those deepest needs of man so understand? And will I be equipped to deal with leprosy of soul, each wound of sin to heal, each broken heart console?
How well the Master Craftsman first designs, and then prepares, refines with great precision for each future role the instruments of peace. These are the tools that He will use to shape mankind, to reach the deepest corners of the mind, to peel the scales from eyes now blind to heavenly love. These weapons He will use so wisely to defeat the giants of doubt, and penetrate the darkness and despair that have so long forbidden man’s approach to claim his heritage of promised rest. So long these mighty foes have darkened hope and come between those human longings of the soul for something better than this vanity of existence without God. And man has striven in vain to reach that blissful state of happiness that outlasts that weak momentary pleasure of sin. For in each path a dreaded giant has stood between him and his goal. The fear of death’s long shadow dims the sight of every forward step of man. So has it been since man began. Such giant obstacles impede all progress towards happiness and rest, and yet no giant can withstand one pebble from the brook, that living Word of God, the stream that gladdens Zion today.
Before that conquering power of Truth can be unleashed against the enemies of man’s peace with God, each man must learn again the innocence of childlike trust. It still must be for man a walk of faith while perfection of character the goal not yet achieved, yet then within man’s grasp if with all heart and mind he is absorbed in Truth. The holy image of his God will then shine through, and brighter grow within His new-formed child, and holiness pursued will be attained, truth in the inward parts, the life of Jesus manifested in men who barely knew His Name.
How sweet the cloud of incense that will rise when lips long silent in His praise will yield the precious contents of each heart alive to God. And then that glory lifted from mankind at Adam’s fall will yet again descend His dwelling place in human hearts to fill, and beautify each temple where it rests.
Could we conceive such ministry as this? And we have barely glimpsed the glory of this work that far exceeds all previous glories known, man’s noblest works, and even the glory shown with shaking mount and stirring trumpet sound at Sinai. They all must pale before the sight of countless children of the Light that the call of Spirit and of Bride bring forth, the glory of a perfect earth. The Christ equipped for that great work stands poised. They wait the moment ready for command, the signal that will change the scene from darkness, dying, and despair. “Let there be Light now, everywhere!”
Oh brethren, how we haste the hour! How earnestly we long to lift that veil that hides from countless hearts of men that Light of Life that is the Lord. To watch those eyes then in surprise wide open to the feast prepared of God. Wine of the Spirit, how its warmth in every heart will gladden every scene. The fatness of abundant living satisfies the deep desires and appetites of perfect men who bear the image of their God. Within each heart a holy fire will testify a walk with God and He with them. If this is dear to our poor hearts, what must it mean to Him!