A new heart – a new world
The great prophets of old, in the midst of personal affliction and national calamity, were able to employ the eye of the Soul in order to foresee, both for themselves and their people, a new and better day, essentially a new order of things and a time when the people would turn to God with their whole heart, ushering in the dawn of brotherhood and goodwill.
Among those encouraging prophecies, let me quote briefly from Ezekiel and Jeremiah: ''I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances and obey them; and they shall be my people and I will be their God.'' (Ezek. 11:19-20)
Next, note how Jeremiah foresees a transformation from external law to an inner law, written on the heart: ''This is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people, and no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.'' (Jer. 31:33-34)
Now let us look at the oft-quoted pronouncement of Isaiah, which is repeated by other prophets: ''They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.'' (Is. 2:4)
The New Testament too is replete with assurances of a better day, a new world, a new heaven and earth. Let us take a look at a few of the inspiring words from the closing section of the closing book of the Bible: ''Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away... And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, 'Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more...for the former things have passed away.' And he who sat upon the throne said, 'Behold I make all things new.''' (Rev. 21:1-5)
Now since we have waited so many centuries for the fulfillment of these prophecies, and are still waiting, what must we conclude? That all such prophets are idle dreamers, out of touch with hard reality? Or can we see that such great insights are God's dreams, and thus will find fulfillment? How do the biblical pronouncements stack up with what the Christ has been saying to us lately?
Let us take a look at His word in Message No. 25: ''Prepare men for the Day of Declaration... In focused strength We move forward into the future, into the Light of a new day. My Aim is to take you with Me into that clear Light, and to spread before your eyes the wonders of God. Take heart from these words, My friends, and follow Me. Let Me lift you upward into your true stature as Sons of God, as true men, brothers all... Take, then, My hands, My dear ones, and let Me lead.''
Once again, with a message of assurance, He stresses the part we are to play: ''My Task is a simple one: to show you the way. You, My friends, have the difficult task of building a new world, a new country, a new truth; but together we shall triumph... The way to God is the way of Brotherhood, of Justice and Love. There is no other way; all is contained therein. Many will find this path bitter and hard; but many more, by far, will enter this path with joy and gladness at the lightness of their burden, casting away the old, the outworn and useless, the trivia of the past; and entering into shared brotherhood and joyous communion with all that is, that vast and growing company shall inherit their Selfhood.'' (Message No. 15)
So, whether we think in terms of biblical prophecy or in terms of these recent Messages, our part in this new world should be clear. Let us at any cost be numbered among those who enter this path with joy and gladness, casting away the old, the outworn and useless, the trivia of the past. Thus will we enter, as promised, into shared brotherhood and joyous communion with all that is.
This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming. This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation. Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated.
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