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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:4-5).
God is up to something new! It is natural for people to want to restore things or have them restored. That is why people are interested in refurbishing old homes, shrines, automobiles, antiques — they enjoy restoration. Such people are going to have the thrill of their lives in the days just ahead, when they witness the greatest restoration of all time spoken of by virtually every Bible writer, and promised specifically by the apostle Peter in the book of Acts as follows: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution (restoration) OF ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).
In order to understand somewhat the significance of this wonderful declaration and the necessity of it, let us remind ourselves of the tremendous import of the words, “Behold, I make all things new.” God shall make all things in the heavens and on the earth new. They shall be new not merely in the sense that we can speak of something being brand new, that is, unused. But they shall be new in character, entirely different from the old things. There shall be a different earth and different heavens. There shall be different creatures and different men and different activities and different relationships and different purposes and goals than there were in the old heavens and earth. The life of God’s people and all mankind in the new heavens and the new earth shall be altogether different and in that sense new. So different and unspeakably glorious shall all things be that we cannot even conceive of them now in this world of sin, strife, evil, sickness, sorrow, pain, and death. There are no adequate human terms to describe the glorious future God has planned for this world of mankind! There is no proper earthly language which can depict the real character, the unspeakable beauty, glory, and majesty of that world to come!
implies first or all a change in man’s state
of being. Most Christians have the
idea that “salvation” is about escaping hell and going to heaven when we
die. Oh, no! That’s not it at all. God is not concerned about having a people He
can take some place — to some
far-off heaven somewhere. He is concerned
with making something out of us! That is what redemption and restoration
are all about! It’s not a question of
where we are going, it is a matter of what
we are becoming. Two men may go to
It should be clear to every enlightened mind that God is in the process of making an entirely new creation, or making all things new — not this time a mere natural creation, nor yet a purely spiritual one, but a spiritual-physical one. The present natural creation is really only a first step in the divine process of making the creation God had in mind from the beginning. The time has certainly come for some true revelation and spiritual understanding concerning God’s creative program. God’s creation is still a work in progress! Beyond any shadow of doubt that is the truth revealed in the words of the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders when in their joyful praises to God they proclaim, “…for Thou has created all things, and for Thy pleasure they ARE and WERE created” (Rev. 4:11). “First that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual,” is the divinely revealed order. Does that mean the natural is completely done away with, supplanted by the spiritual? Not at all! It means that the natural is swallowed up by the spiritual. The natural is a necessary step in the process of making the kind of creation God purposed from the beginning. If the first or old creation would have been what God was after He would not be making a more glorious new creation. Jesus Christ is the proto-type of that new creation — the PHYSICAL SPIRITUALIZED, RAISED UP INTO THE DIVINE AND HEAVENLY! The physical body of Jesus was raised from the dead, brought out of the tomb, spiritualized, and made a spiritual body — not a spirit, mind you, but a spiritual body. Jesus is still referred to as a man all through the New Testament, both before and after His ascension into the heavens. Even now “…there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Yet, how different and more glorious He is from His days in the flesh!
The firstborn of this new creation order is a GOD-MAN upon the throne of universal power! Think of it! When you see Jesus as a divine-human, a God-man, one of the natural creation metamorphosed, spiritualized, raised up into the celestial and incorruptible, then you see exactly what God is after in every man and the whole creation. “This mortal must put on immortality.” Oh, the wonder of it! We see the natural creation all around us, but this natural creation is not the finished product any more than the ore dug out of the earth is the fine piece of jewelry the artisan has in mind when he begins his work. The whole creation is still in the process of being made into the kind of creation God started out to make. God is still Creator! “Behold, I make all things new!”
the truth contained in this profound statement of our Lord to His footstep
followers as He sojourned in the borders of
one of the most magnificent passages of all scripture, which contains one of
the most meaningful promises in all the Word of God, the apostle
Odd it is that we limit God’s transformation, His new genesis, to planet earth, when the ultimate objective of God, as portrayed in the Bible, heralded by prophets, taught by mighty men of old, and championed by the apostles of our Lord, is the complete redemption and recreation of the entire creation encompassed by the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The purpose of God reaches out to infinitude and to eternity. The formation and glorification of the body of Christ is but the first step on the way to “heading up all things in Christ,” the ultimate raising up of the entire universe into its union with God in the Spirit where God becomes all and in all. Grace has ordained that twice-born men should be the first to experience the powers of the age and the ages to come, but how much more there is beyond that for the glory of God and the admiration of His people!
new I am making all things.” This newness of life is of ever increasing
importance and should be cherished now above all else. Only God can make new! People may vainly imagine that by means of
better education, a better environment, better legislation, and more equitable
distribution of wealth they are going to usher in a new era, a golden age, a
Utopia of man’s
Neither economic nor disarmament conferences, neither better schools, more moral legislation, nor share-the-wealth programs are going to bring about a really golden age, a new heaven and a new earth, a new order, all things new. The simple fact is that the gigantic problems facing our nation and the whole world today are UNSOLVABLE! Personal experience has taught us the incontrovertible truth that it is ever God who through His Spirit makes all things new! In my lifetime I have personally witnessed criminals, drug addicts, sexual deviants, thieves, prostitutes, alcoholics, murderers, mentally ill, and many other such individuals saved, delivered, changed, regenerated, and gloriously transformed by the power of Christ! Oh, yes! God alone can restore and renew man and the universe. He does it now, though in a very restricted sense. He is going to do it on a massive scale at the manifestation of the sons of God! We can hardly imagine that the effects of sin and the curse can ever be removed. Yet they are going to be taken away so that all things shall actually be made “new.” And to strengthen us in our faith that He who promised us will really do it, we read, “Behold!” The voice tells John that he must take it to heart. He must be sure to write it down for the understanding and comfort of others, for “these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:5). So certain is the fulfillment of this promise that the voice speaks as if the promise were already fulfilled: “…it is done, it has happened!” Only a “new genesis” can turn things around and redeem the world!
simply cannot imagine a world without crime, drugs, poverty, hunger, pain,
wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, drought, political
upheavals, rebellions, coups, strife, hatred, bigotry, deceit, immorality,
murders, sorrow and death. Can you
imagine a world where nations live at peace?
Where not one dollar is budgeted for defense? Where no family has to worry about sons and
daughters being sacrificed on a battlefield?
Where words like tank, battleship,
bomb, grenade, warhead, and holocaust
are only in the vocabulary of historians?
a glorious and beautiful picture the prophets have painted of this great day of
the release of creation from the nature of the curse and the bondage of
corruption! No genius or artist, or
Spirit of the Lord will draw all mankind to Himself, giving them eyes to see
and ears to hear. The stranger you meet
in the city will be no stranger, for all men will know one another by the
spirit and all will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. Waters shall
whole of created life, according to the passage we quoted earlier from Romans
8:19-21, will be
world today needs the new men that Christ makes! New men are the key to everything else that
must be renewed. Therefore the making of
new men is the first priority of the
every point we are driven to the need for new men — a NEW CREATION. Through two world wars the “elite” of the
world dreamed and talked of the coming of a better world when the nations would
lay down their arms and begin to build that better world. Seventy-six years have gone by since the last
For years an old quarry lay scarred, forlorn, and
forgotten. It was nothing but an old
hole in the ground. No one could see any
use for it until one day a gardener came and looked it over. However he didn’t notice the gashed walls and
deep pits of that quarry. Instead he
envisioned a beautiful garden and went to work to bring about a
transformation. Now ivy drapes the walls
of the quarry. Neatly trimmed pathways
lead through smooth lawns and sculptured flower beds. Splashing waterfalls add sound and ponds
mirror the brilliant colors of flowers.
Everywhere there is a restful and
is coming a time of unspeakable glory, plainly revealed in holy scripture, as
the time when the Lord God shall MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. The proof of His ability to accomplish this
is His present work of making new men and a new creation of His called and
chosen elect. I tell you, my friend, if
God can subdue and eradicate the old Adamic nature and life in me, He can do it in anybody! This renewal of all things is as certain as
the rising of the sun and the going down thereof. There is coming a blessed day when the
NO MORE SORROW, TEARS, OR CRYING
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
history’s final page written in large letters, spelling doom and death and
darkness and torment accompanied by mourning and crying and pain for the vast
majority of humanity? The churches tell
us that is the case. Surely in the
The sea (of restless, turbulent, sinning humanity) was no more…
All tears will be wiped away out of men’s eyes…
Death shall be no more…
Nor pain anymore…
Ah, how many-splendored and all-inclusive are these things! Throughout His vast creation God will eliminate all sorrow and wipe all tears from off all faces. For the Lord’s people it means no more travailing and weeping for more of God, for they shall now at last be satisfied! They no longer have any inner turmoil, for all the tears are gone. As Ricky Evans has pointed out in one of his excellent writings, “The word ‘tear’ comes from dakru which means ‘an inward cry that cannot be heard audibly, inner turmoil.’ It speaks of those dissatisfactions, those longings, that warfare which goes on within us, while we keep a smile on our face and don’t let anyone know our deep dark secrets. God’s life, His presence, the reality of His person, wipes away those cries, removes the inner turmoil.”
The following words by Ray Prinzing are pertinent here. “Yes, there have been tears covering the altar with our offerings, pious forms of religion without any personal commitment behind them, such God has rejected. And there have been tears over our presumptuous acts, when we went out and were failures in our self-willed programs, and we cried to God to ‘help us save face, and salvage our efforts.’ But again He let it all be washed away with our flood of tears. And there have been tears for all the realms we birthed and lost — all the blessings that came and went. There have been copious tears to water the seed (and we almost drowned in some of them!), while we waited for God to give the increase. There were tears shed for our own cleansing and mellowing that we might yield the more readily to His will and purpose. And there are tears that are shed simply as we with compassion ‘weep with those that weep,’ as God deals with them, and they are prepared and processed unto salvation. But there shall come a time when, having entered into the fullness of HIS KINGDOM, He shall wipe away tears from off all faces.
“Wiping away tears is a ministry of love and forgiveness. As long as there is one particle of carnality in us which causes us to want to see them cry a little longer, to make sure they are really repentant, it is obvious that we are not qualified for this ministry of wiping away tears. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, ABSOLUTE MERCY, TOTAL FORGIVENESS, DIVINE COMPASSION is necessary for this ministry in Christ. ‘Not imputing their trespasses unto them…’ (II Cor. 5:19).
weeping is to be done in the valley, for there shall be no weeping in
As real and wonderful as all that is, it is only the tip of the iceberg! Among all the things that are taken away in our text, the very first one is tears, followed by sorrow and crying. And these are taken away from the “all things” that are made new. Tears, sorrow, and crying are to be banished as far as “all things” reaches, even though the church systems would have us believe that there will be a great deal of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth going on throughout the ages to come, or as the churches describe it, throughout all eternity. I have often pondered why it is that the churches and their people have such a hard-nosed desire and demand for those things to continue somewhere in God’s great universe, in a place called hell, when God’s wonderful Word declares that they will be no more!
Psalmist tells us that weeping may endure for a season, or for a night, but
that joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5).
Oh, yes, there has been a long night of weeping in this world, while
darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness the people. But the prophet Isaiah tells us that the
glory of the Lord shall arise upon His people in such a display of
illumination, grace, and power that the nations shall come to our light and
kings to the brightness of our rising.
He then goes on to say that
is another wonderful promise of God penned by the prophet Isaiah, and I quote
from the New English Bible. “On this
mountain the Lord of hosts will prepare a banquet of rich fare for
the preparation of this feast, this mountain, or this power and
Instead of preparing a terrifying hell to bring to a close this age of grace as we have been told by the churches, we find that God is preparing a wonderful feast for the whole world for the opening of the coming age. But the carnal mind, even the carnal religious mind, always looks upon the negative side of things and actually forgets there is a positive side. From their view the devil wins in the end, carrying the vast majority of souls with him into eternal doom, and God has to shut everything down to keep His losses from being even greater. But instead of preparing for destruction, God is preparing His bright morning upon the mountains, the opening of that new age of His dealing in which there will be no more tears, weeping, or crying — anywhere! Isn’t it wonderful!
In this passage in Isaiah we also read that the reproach of His people will be removed from off all the earth. The Lord will swallow up death in victory. And please notice that the Lord will do the swallowing up of death. We all know that when we eat certain foods or substances our body has the power to change and convert them into something altogether different. For instance, our body will convert the carbohydrates in potatoes into sugar and then proceed to convert the sugar into fat! In like manner, spiritually, God will swallow up death and convert it into victory! Oh, the mystery of it! Death will be taken into the Lord and even death itself will turn to life in God. How wonderful to know that God makes these things to be absolutely true, leaving no possible chance of failure in any place. He is working by precise spiritual laws and nothing is left for anyone else of inferior knowledge as God is doing all these things Himself!
Following this the Lord will wipe away the tears FROM OFF ALL FACES. This wiping away of all tears isn’t something that is done as an after thought. It involves the complete wiping out of the memory of man everything that ever caused those tears. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isa. 65:17). Every thought of them will be forever gone from the mind of man. It signifies that the Lord will take away from them all grief of mind, fear of damnation, consciousness of evils, and of temptations from them. The word “wipe” means to stroke or rub and to sooth as with oil. This is very significant of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit! It reminds us of the words of Joel when he said that the time would come when God would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh. All this is about as conclusive and inclusive as anything possibly can be. Nothing or no one is left out, but all enjoy the goodness of the Lord! And the Lord seals this promise and this work by telling us that He is the one that has spoken it and therefore it must come to pass. What a promise this is when we connect with it all that would in any way produce tears or either sorrow or pain or crying. For there will be absolutely nothing in all of God’s creation that could possibly cause pain or weeping or gnashing of teeth! The need for tears will have been taken completely away and there will be room for nothing but feasting and joy!
we are constantly being told by the preachers that there will always be a hell,
eternal hell, they call it, and that
in that hell there will always be weeping.
But let us know that the tears are being shed in this life, in this
present world, for it is this life and this age only that has any knowledge of
weeping and all that causes it. When
this cycle is completed and we enter into the glorious ages to come there will
be no cause for weeping. “There is a
time,” said the
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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