(From: “Visions Beyond the Veil” by H.A. Baker)
Chapter 11 - THE HOMELAND
In view of what we have written, it is clear enough that the Lord has used every means that is necessary to assure us that in the Bible we have “the sure word of prophecy” to which we should take heed.
It has also been made clear enough that the great purpose of that former word of prophecy and the present day visions and prophecy in our midst is that we may know as a certainty that there is a wonderful homeland just beyond the veil. No “stranger”, no “pilgrim” is ever satisfied. The satisfying portion is at the end of the journey.
It may be that as the journey leads over difficult pathways and exhausting mountains the pilgrim becomes so wearied with his heavy burdens that he can scarcely hear the singing of the birds, sense refreshment from the wayside flowers, or find any great happiness in the fellowship of his fellow pilgrims. But it will not be so at the end of the way.
The stooped and wearied bodies of life's pilgrims will be renewed by a bath in the fountain of youth when they reach their home in the homeland. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye we shall be changed.” “This corruptible will put on incorruption.” Old age will vanish. There are no old men in heaven, no faltering steps of the aged. No dimmed sight, no deafened hearing, no crippled body encumbers any of the people in the whole of that bright city.
There is a city that never gets dark, nor does it need the sun by day or the moon by night. Its golden streets require no sweeping. Its jewel-bedecked dwellings need no repair. There is a city that has no doctor signs, no diseased and disabled, no sickness or sorrow; a city with no crepe on its golden doors, no funeral processions on its golden streets; a city where melancholy and all mourning is done away; a city where all death has been swallowed up by life and that more abundantly; a city of pure unbounded joy.
There is a land of unclouded day where storm clouds never rise. In that happy land there is no bread line or struggle for survival. There is no selfish competition. There is no self-seeking to engender unloving suspicion. No one is anxious as to what he shall eat or what he shall wear. The garments of white will never grow threadbare. The trees with the fruits of life will never be barren.
The water of life will never run dry, and whoever will may drink.
All the joy and enthusiasm of the most joyful youth is the inheritance of everybody in heaven. But in our most happy days we are still in a vessel of clay. In our highest moments we sense a still greater joy and happiness almost within the reach of our hands, but ere it can be taken we are dragged away by the weight of the clay.
Children frolic and play. They run, and roll, and they leap for joy. They sing and they shout. At times their joy and happiness seems complete. “Of such is the Kingdom of heaven.” But the highest exuberant joys and the most ecstatic thrills of bliss of the happiest youth on earth are to be superseded by the greater joy that is “unspeakable” when this body of hindering clay has been replaced by the body that is real.
In the New Jerusalem everybody is “in love”. Everybody is in love with everybody else. Being “in love” on earth is as nothing compared with being “in love” in the land of glory. Not a flaw, not an imperfection, not an unlovely trait will detract from being perfectly and altogether “in love” with everybody.
In earth in our encumbrance of this depraved tabernacle there is a song in the soul. In its struggle for expression there are times it seems to break out of its restrain for a second, but as quickly the perfect chord is lost. When God made man He put music in his soul. But the discords of the mud have spoiled the harmony. The lost chord will never be found until it is found in heaven when we are clothed upon with the tabernacle that is from above. The finest, the sweetest, the most perfect music on earth is but a seeking for the lost chords and harmonies the redeemed and the angels sing in heaven. The finest instruments of music that have been made on earth, from the days when the sons of Adam began to “handle the harp and pipe” until the present day, are as mere imitations of the trumpets, the harps, and the instruments upon which “the lost chords” are restored in the golden city and upon which all the music of the liberated soul can find its fullest expression.
Much of the music and the rhythm the Father placed in the souls of His children has since been turned by the devil into evil channels for pleasures of the lusts of the perverted flesh. From the wildest barbarians in the mountain fastness to the pleasure of intoxicated wild men of the fashionable ball, men dance in musical rhythm to find sensual pleasure that is of the lusts of the flesh. In heaven, to the tune of music that is holy and pure, the redeemed and the angels dance in “joy” that is beyond all earthly or natural “pleasure” in the rhythm to which the stars are swinging and singing in their orbits.
There is a park in the city, an Eden “park of pleasure and fruits.” Here, where the unreal has been replaced by the real, in all God's animal and plant creation there is nothing that hurts or destroys in all the holy mount.
On earth we see little - and understand less - of the beauties of God's creation. The dirt and the dust of the earth have clouded the windows of our soul. We scarcely see through the glass even darkly. When God has brushed away the encumbrances and opened the eyes of the soul, for the first time will we really look upon and appreciate the glories of God's wonderful creation. All this will we do in the Eden over there.
There is a park where the birds of all plumes are ever singing; there is a land where every ear will be tuned to hear their soul-stirring anthems; there is a land where flowers of every hue are ever blooming; there is a land where every eye will be opened to see them in their beauty; there is a land where the fragrance of the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley mingle with a thousand perfumes that over our world have never blown.
Sometimes we seem to see the light of the city beyond the sky, but our vision is lost in the blur of imperfect sight. Sometimes we seem to hear the enchanting music of a different sphere, but the strain is lost in the discord of sounds that are nearer. Sometimes we seem to sense an upward pull away from all that is enslaving, but the attraction of earth holds our feet in the stocks in the fetters that are earthly. Sometimes the soul would fly to “the land that is fairer than day,” but it falls back in disappointment because of its broken wings.
He who declares his freedom to walk alone to the city of freedom finds his pathway hopelessly blocked by the things of the world, the flesh, and the devil with no power in himself to overcome.
But there is a way!
NOTE: The nextand lastchapter is entitled “The Way”- and will be a blessing for all who need it.
When I was in my mid-teens, my step-grandfather, George R. Gordon, came to our farm east of Vancouver BC, and left a book for the 4 of us to read - “Intra Muros” - Within the Walls- by Agnes Springer, a lady from the mid-west of the United States. She was on a visit to Canada, and fell seriously ill, with little hope of recovery. She ended up in a coma for 3 weeks. During that last period, it was as if she had died, and gone to heaven, the New Jerusalem and its Paradise for three years. She discovered that our two lives are one! What starts out down here, if we find the way- goes on in the next life in glory beyond imagination. She also discovered we will know one another up there, and the glad reunions will again be beyond belief.
I don't know how many others of our family read this book, but it made a profound impression on me. I determined I would find the God of this heaven, and get to know Him, and make my final destiny to be in His Heavenly Home. He answered the seed of hope planted in my heart, and led me into the Navy during World War II days - and at Passover of 1944, led me to a profound and intimate relationship with Himself. Yet - I am well aware - as wonderful as any experience we might have down here, it is merely a down-payment - “ar-'raBON” - part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest - an earnest or pledge. In the NT it is used only of that which assured by God to believers. it is said of the Holy Spirit as the divine “pledge” of all their future blessedness, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5; and in Ephesians 1:4, particularly of their eternal inheritance. - See Strong's #728.
I had an illustration of this in my teens. A sideshow at an Exhibition - had examples of 3 types of public execution. The two by hanging and beheading I thought were fake - but the electrocution unnerved me. They explained that an initial jolt of electricity is given to knock the person out, and then the full shot is given to finish him off. I took off during the enactment. It was too real.
Later when I became a believer, this illustration returned to me. It was as if God said - “When you receive the Holy Spirit, He is the security or pledge in part for what I will do when I take you home. When I pull the second switch, you will be transformed, and ushered into My Home, to be with Me forever.”
I have had the first knock-out shot, and I like it. I am now awaiting the final lever that catapults me where the promise of the first one has encouraged me to wait and believe for. Will you join me? J.A.W.