The Former Things Are Passed Away
January 1, 2014
Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061

The following is excerpted from The Tabernacle, the Priesthood, the Offerings by I.M. (Isaac Massey) Haldeman, 1925. Haldeman [pictured left] was the pastor of First Baptist Church of New York City for nearly 50 years, from 1884-1933. Though Haldeman did not have advanced formal theological training, he made up for this with a high native intellect, excellent gifts, a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for God’s Word, diligent study habits, and a broad appetite for learning under the Headship of Christ. In recognition of this he was awarded an honorary D.D. from William Jewel College in 1909. He was a theological warrior who did not draw back from the public reproof of modernists and other false teachers, speaking against fellow Baptists such as Harry Emerson Fosdick and against Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah Witness cult. He was a crusader against worldliness in the churches. Bible teacher James M. Gray called him “the greatest prophet of the Lord now standing in any pulpit in this country.” Said to be “the most influential preacher of prophetic themes in his generation,” he interpreted Bible prophecy literally and emphasized the imminent return of Christ.

“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” (Revelation 21:4).

Is it possible to imagine such an era on this earth?

A period when a tear will never be seen on a human cheek, when a choking sob will no longer clutch a the throat; when men and women shall no longer stand at the bedside of one they love and watch the ebbing away of life and the coming in of that thing we call the shadow of death; when because of this black sinister thing tragedy waits at that bedside and thrusts its finger into and tears and twists the heart-strings of those who watch the beloved as they go out with the tide.

Can you conceive of that moment when there shall be no more graves, no chiselled bits of stone to tell you that underneath in the dust there lie the fragments of what was once a man of strength, a woman of beauty, a child of promise; that coming hour when the veiled guest who sits uninvited in so many homes today and whose name is--sorrow--shall no longer cross the threshold; when in the night no more shall be heard the mother crying for her son who was, and is not, and the orphans making lamentation because they have been cut loose and sent adrift upon the troubled waters of a fatherless and motherless life; but above all the coming of that hour of hours when the strange, drear word ‘pain,’ that word which includes everything there is of the fires of fever, the octopus tentacles or wolf-like teeth of the cancer, all there is of the surgeon’s knife and the long days of languishing; when that word ‘pain,’ which means, not only agony of body, but deeper agony of the soul shall no longer be written, nor heard, nor remembered; that hour at last when human beings shall walk beneath skies that have no clouds, from whence shall come no more the windy storm and tempest, a word no longer shattered by earthquakes, scorched and melted by red-throated volcanoes, or drowned with tidal waves, a world burning in summer and frozen in winter, but a pleasant land where the flowers fade not and there is no thorn in the rose, a paradise regained where life flows on and on in ever unfolding degree of wonder, in knowledge and power; where peace and unbounded love abide beneath every roof tree; when all restraint of genius in man shall be released from the leash of the curse and rise to the level of Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, a world restored to God minus all that has hurt the vision, the conscience and the heart of God.

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