Since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Isaiah 64:4.
Many have longed to penetrate into the glories of the future world and to have the secrets of eternal mysteries disclosed to them, but they knock in vain. That which is revealed is for us and for our children…. The Great Revealer hath opened to our intelligence many things that are essential in order that we may understand the heavenly attractions and have respect to the recompense of the reward….
The unfoldings of Jesus in reference to heavenly things are of a character that only the spiritual mind can appreciate. The imagination may summon its utmost powers in order to picture the glories of heaven, but “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The heavenly intelligences are all around us…. Angels of light create a heavenly atmosphere about the soul, lifting us toward the unseen and eternal. We cannot behold their forms with our natural sight; only by the spiritual vision can we discern heavenly things. Our human powers would be extinguished by the inexpressible glory of the angels of light. The spiritual ear alone can distinguish the harmony of heavenly voices. It is not Christ’s plan to excite the emotions by brilliant descriptions…. He has with sufficient distinctness presented Himself, the way, the truth, and the life, as the only means whereby salvation is to be obtained. No more than this is really required.
He might bring the human soul to the threshold of heaven, and through the open door show us its inner glory flooding the heavenly sanctuary and shining out through its portals; but we must behold it by faith, not with the natural eyes. He does not forget that we are His human agents, to work the works of God in a world all seared and marred with the curse. It is in this world, that is clothed with moral darkness like the pall of death, where darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people, that we are to walk in the light of heaven.
Maranatha p. 332
—–Please pray for Ken who is having some major health issues. Please pray that the doctors will find the cause and that it will not be serious. Ron
My grandfather, Edwin Harmon, was a bookbinder which was very hard work back in the days before automation had taken over that business. Since he never owned a car, my grandfather walked to and from work each day. Often he would work two jobs in order to meet expenses. During those times, he would come home very late at night when most people were sleeping.
One night as he was walking home, he was especially tired and decided to take a shortcut through an alley. As he walked along, he began to wish that he had taken his regular way. He began to feel as if he were in danger. Every nerve and muscle was ready for action. Suddenly he heard a car driving recklessly down the narrow alley which made a sharp turn to the left. Just then, came to where the two alleys met and saw a car speeding straight at him. Closer and closer it came much too quickly for him to get away. He realized that the men inside intended to pin him against the wall. He was not sure what they had planned next—-perhaps robbery, perhaps assault, perhaps worse.
Terror seized him. Adrenaline surged through his body. To the men’s surprise my grandfather, then in his fifties, made a mighty leap up onto the hood of their car and faced them. He made himself look as mean and angry as he could. My grandfather was not a tall man, only 5’9″, but he was stockily built and very muscular because of his years of binding large volumes on a hand press. Also he still had some of the toughness of his earlier years when he lived in the woods and rode the rails. These young men now realized that they had picked on the wrong man.
We, too, have someone who is constantly on our track to do us harm. We, too, have an enemy who is plotting continually to destroy us. We, too, have someone who tries in every way to “pin us to the wall.” Peter warns us against this evil one, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith.” 1 Pet 5:8,9 From the time Lucifer first began to rebel against God until this present time, he and his angelic sympathizers have had one goal in mind: separating us from God. John draws back the curtain on what happened so long ago, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth t! he whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Rev 12:7-9
How vital it is that we resist this enemy just as my grandfather resisted his attackers. The evil one uses any means that he can to cause a separation between us and our Great Creator. He might keep us so focused on our troubles and trials, that we take our eyes off from our Only Saviour. He uses sickness and injury to tempt others to doubt God’s Great Love. Paul gives us encouragement and direction when we are overwhelmed with the cares of this life. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave! them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb 12:5-11 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be ! able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:35-39
For some, the evil one uses pleasures, riches, and fame to get ourselves all wrapped up in ourselves. Jesus spoke of these as the thorny ground hearers, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” Matt 13:22 How surprised His disciples were when He declared, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:25-27 Here is the key. It is not impossible for someone who has great wealth and blessings to be saved as long as they do not make riches and self their god. Abraham is a good example. He was very rich, yet the Bible declar! es of him, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb 11:8-10 James tells us, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” James 2:23 Job, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathaea, the list goes on and on of rich men, who did not count their riches as their goal. Their wealth was not all-important to them. This is why God could give them wealth. They focused not on their possessions but looked to the One Who for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. (2 Cor 8:9)
May we be always upon the alert against the devil’s attacks. May we allow nothing to separate us from our Great Redeemer keeping our eyes focused continually upon Him and His great love for us. May we “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” that we may walk with Him both now and through all eternity. Phil 3:8