Visions of Future Glory
darkest days of her long conflict with evil, the church of God has been
given revelations of the eternal purpose of Jehovah. His people have been
permitted to look beyond the trials of the present to the triumphs of the
future, when, the warfare having been accomplished, the redeemed will
enter into possession of the promised land. These visions of future glory,
scenes pictured by the hand of God, should be dear to His church today,
when the controversy of the ages is rapidly closing and the promised
blessings are soon to be realized in all their fullness.
Many were the
messages of comfort given the church by the prophets of old. "Comfort
ye, comfort ye My people" (Isaiah 40:1.), was Isaiah's commission
from God; and with the commission were given wonderful visions that have
been the believers' hope and joy through all the centuries that have
followed. Despised of men, persecuted, forsaken, God's children in every
age have nevertheless
sustained by His sure promises. By faith they have looked forward to the
time when He will fulfill to His church the assurance, "I will make
thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations." Isaiah 60:15.
church militant is called upon to suffer trial and affliction; for not
without severe conflict is the church to triumph. "The bread of
adversity," "the water of affliction" (Isaiah 30:20), these
are the common lot of all; but none who put their trust in the One mighty
to deliver will be utterly overwhelmed. "Thus saith the Lord that
created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I
have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine. When
thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the
rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I
am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for
thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in My
sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I
give men for thee, and people for thy life." Isaiah 43:1-4.
forgiveness with God; there is acceptance full and free through the merits
of Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord. Isaiah heard the Lord declaring to
His chosen ones: "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy
transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put Me
in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be
justified." "Thou shalt know that I the Lord
Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." Verses 25, 26;
rebuke of His people shall He take away," the prophet declared.
"They shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the
Lord." He hath appointed "to give unto them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting
of the Lord, that He might be glorified."
awake; put on thy strength, O Zion;
Put on thy
beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the Holy City:
henceforth there shall no more come unto thee the
and the unclean.
thyself from the dust;
sit down, O Jerusalem:
from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter
afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
will lay thy stones with fair colors,
And lay thy
foundations with sapphires.
will make thy windows of agates.
And thy gates
And all thy
borders of pleasant stones.
thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
shall be the peace of thy children.
righteousness shalt thou be established:
shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear:
terror; for it shall not come near thee.
shall surely gather together, but not by Me:
shall gather together against thee shall fall
for thy sake.
. . .
weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment
This is the
heritage of the servants of the Lord,
righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord."
62:12; 61:3; 52:1, 2; 54:11-17.
Clad in the
armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final
conflict. "Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an
army with banners" (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into
all the world, conquering and to conquer.
hour of the church's struggle with the powers of evil is that which
immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust
in God need fear; for "when the blast of the terrible ones is as a
storm against the wall," God will be to His church "a refuge
from the storm." Isaiah 25:4.
In that day
only the righteous are promised deliverance. "The sinners in Zion are
afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall
dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting
burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that
despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of
bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his
eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall
be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be
sure." Isaiah 33:14-16.
The word of
the Lord to His faithful ones is: "Come, My people, enter thou into
thy chambers, and shut thy
thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation
be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the
inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity." Isaiah 26:20, 21.
In visions of
the great judgment day the inspired messengers of Jehovah were given
glimpses of the consternation of those unprepared to meet their Lord in
the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it
upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof; . . . because
they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the
everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and
they that dwell therein are desolate. . . . The mirth of tabrets ceaseth,
the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth."
for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from
the Almighty shall it come. . . . The seed is rotten under their clods,
the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is
withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed,
because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made
desolate." "The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth;
the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the
trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the
sons of men." Joel 1:15-18, 12.
pained at my very heart," Jeremiah exclaims as he beholds the
desolations wrought during the closing scenes of earth's history. "I
cannot hold my peace, because
heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction
upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled." Jeremiah
loftiness of man shall be bowed down," declares Isaiah of the day of
God's vengeance, "and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and
the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols He shall
utterly abolish. . . . In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver,
and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to
the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into
the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of
His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth." Isaiah
times of transition, when the pride of man shall be laid low, Jeremiah
testifies: "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and
void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and,
lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo,
there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld,
and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof
were broken down." "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is
like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out
of it." Jeremiah 4:23-26; 30:7.
The day of
wrath to the enemies of God is the day of final deliverance to His church.
The prophet declares:
ye the weak hands,
the feeble knees.
Say to them
that are of a fearful heart, Be
God will come with vengeance,
Even God with
He will come
and save you."
swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from
off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off
all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah 35:3, 4; 25:8.
And as the prophet beholds the Lord of glory descending from heaven with
all the holy angels, to gather the remnant church from among the nations
of earth, he hears the waiting ones unite in the exultant cry:
this is our God;
waited for Him,
And He will
This is the
waited for Him,
We will be
glad and rejoice
The voice of
the Son of God is heard calling forth the sleeping saints, and as the
prophet beholds them coming from the prison house of death, he exclaims,
"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they
arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of
herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears
of the deaf shall be unstopped.
the lame man leap as an hart,
tongue of the dumb sing."
visions of the prophet, those who have triumphed over sin and the grave
are now seen happy in the presence of their Maker, talking freely with Him
as man talked with God in the beginning. "Be ye glad," the Lord
bids them, "and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold,
I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice
in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no
more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." "The inhabitant
shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven
wilderness shall waters break out,
in the desert.
parched ground shall become a pool,
thirsty land springs of water."
of the thorn shall come up the fir tree,
of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree."
highway shall be there, and a way,
And it shall
be called The way of holiness;
shall not pass over it;
But it shall
be for those:
men, though fools, shall not err therein."
ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is
accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the
Lord's hand double for all her sins." Isaiah 65:18, 19; 33:24; 35:6,
7; 55:13; 35:8; 40:2.
prophet beholds the redeemed dwelling in the City of God, free from sin
and from all marks of the curse, in rapture he exclaims, "Rejoice ye
with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for
joy with her."
shall no more be heard in thy land,
destruction within thy borders;
shalt call thy walls Salvation,
And thy gates
shall be no more thy light by day;
brightness shall the moon give light unto thee:
But the Lord
shall be unto thee an everlasting light,
And thy God
shall no more go down;
thy moon withdraw itself:
For the Lord
shall be thine everlasting light,
And the days
of thy mourning shall be ended.
people also shall be all righteous:
inherit the land forever,
The branch of
The work of
That I may be
caught the sound of music there, and song, such music and song as, save in
the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind conceived. "The
ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and
everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and
sorrow and sighing shall flee away." "Joy and gladness shall be
found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." "As well
the singers as the players on instruments shall be there." "They
shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the
Lord." Isaiah 35:10; 51:3; Psalm 87:7; Isaiah 24:14.
In the earth
made new, the redeemed will engage in the occupations and pleasures that
brought happiness to Adam and Eve in the beginning. The Eden life will be
life in garden and field. "They shall build houses, and inhabit them;
and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not
build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as
the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long
enjoy the work of their hands." Isaiah 65:21, 22.
power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest
enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be
reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will appear new
heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend,
fresh objects of study to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul.
to whom these great scenes were revealed longed to understand their full
import. They "inquired and searched diligently:. . . searching what,
or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.
. . . Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us
they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you." 1
To us who are
standing on the very verge of their fulfillment, of what deep moment, what
living interest, are these delineations of the things to come--events for
which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God's
children have watched and waited, longed and prayed!
pilgrim, we are still amid the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities;
but soon our Saviour is to appear to bring deliverance and rest. Let us by
faith behold the blessed hereafter as pictured by the hand of God. He who
died for the
sins of the world is opening wide the gates of Paradise to all who believe
on Him. Soon the battle will have been fought, the victory won. Soon we
shall see Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. And in His
presence the trials and sufferings of this life will seem as nothingness.
The former things "shall not be remembered, nor come into mind."
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense
of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will
of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that
shall come will come, and will not tarry." "Israel shall be
saved. . . with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor
confounded world without end." Isaiah 65:17; Hebrews 10:35-37; Isaiah
Look up, look
up, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you
along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city into the
great beyond, the wide, unbounded future of glory that is for the
redeemed. "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the
Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth,
and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord
draweth nigh." James 5:7, 8.
of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a
happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and
thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the
of God will
shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming. "There
shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death."
shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one
Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the
Lord." "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh
shall see it together." "The Lord God will cause righteousness
and praise to spring forth before all the nations." "In that day
shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of
beauty, unto the residue of His people."
Lord shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will
make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the
Lord." "The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the
excellency of Carmel and Sharon." "Thou shalt no more be termed
Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou
shalt be called My Delight, and thy land Beulah. . . . As the bridegroom
rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Isaiah
66:23; 40:5; 61:11; 28:5; 51:3; 35:2; 62:4, 5, margin.