It was probably in 1956 that I was asked by Dr. Herman L. Hoeh to pick up a Banker and his wife who were attending a Banker's Convention in Los Angeles and show them the various sites around the area. They were an older couple from Nebraska. Since they did not know anything about the area it was left to my discretion to take them to some of the places of interest where my wife and I had been in the past.
Overall they seemed pleased by what they had seen though the day. To end the day I took them to Forest Lawn Cemetery so they could see a very large life size painting, that was entitled 2 minutes before the crucifixion of Christ. This left them very inspired and fulfilled. It was a painting so large that it was housed in a large building all by itself.
They were made very happy by viewing this painting with its special lighting and left them almost breathless. This was the highlight of the day for them.
A Question for Me
Apparently they took a liking to me and our conversation was very friendly and because of it very probably led to his question.
I believe it was while I was driving them back to their hotel, he asked me a very good question, “What do you hope to achieve in life?” The answer I gave them was in essence that I wanted to be able to serve God’s people. He replied that he thought I would have that desire fulfilled.
And Jesus Christ has indeed blessed my wife and me to be able to serve the people of God in the ministry for 48 full years, June 7, 1958, to this present time. Before that ordination took place, we served more in a physical capacity at Ambassador College beginning in 1953.
My wife and I have been extremely blessed to have had the opportunity altogether for 53 years to serve God’s people in one capacity or another.
What has kept this desire alive within us even at the threat of being fired out of the ministry or retired by both WCG, UCG, and bordering this in the corporate Church of Mr. Hulme?
What was it that led my wife and me to say in our private conversations that if we were fired and cut off from all salary, and the many benefits, that we would still remain faithful to God and His truth even if we had to go out on the street with a cup in our hands begging? We had no savings or social security to support us.
To explain, permit me to use another example to illustrate where I am going with this: I was in a barber shop getting a haircut in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area, one day, and since our wedding anniversary was coming up, I mentioned it to the barber (probably our 40th). He asked in astonishment, “How do you do it? How can you remain married that long?” He was about 35 years of age and had some bad experiences.
Our marriage has remained intact now for almost a full 60 years (June 29, 1946). How has it survived? First of all, I attribute the longevity of it to God in heaven who has blessed us with love for one another and commitment.
This has kept our marriage alive through whatever problems we encountered and always being able to say, and meaning it, “I am sorry.”
The Physical and Spiritual Parallels
This physical example of love and commitment also carries over into our spiritual lives and answers the question in part as to why we continue to have the desire to go the full distance with whatever remaining time we have left before we fall asleep, as have others before us, love and commitment.
At the same time, I hasten to say, that even with our best efforts they were not enough of themselves to keep us within the Church of God!
It is because we have been graced with the awesome and incredible love and mercy of God our Father and the caring pleading of Jesus Christ for us as our High Priest to our Father in keeping us alive spiritually for the full 54 years since being baptized.
I have made a lot of mistakes in marriage and in the Church of God. In view of these mistakes, and with these sometimes reminders in my mind, that with real regret and remorse, I often echo what the apostle Paul said about himself in Romans 7.
Why Am I Writing About Myself?
What prompted me to write all this to you this time? My answer is that while I was praying the other morning, my mind began to focus on Jesus Christ and His soon coming Kingdom and being changed by Him.
I asked myself, what is behind my desire to want to be a part of His new world? Would I be happy – time without end – even in whatever offices Jesus Christ might choose to bless me? Would that be enough to make me always happy?
I answered, “No, it would not be enough.” Then, what would I need to always be supremely happy and full of joy?
The answer is a four-lettered word: LOVE! God has graced me as well as you with His love and I always want to be in a close loving relationship with Him. Yes, it will then be great and wonderful to work with people to help them in every way that Jesus Christ makes possible.
It will also be great beyond the Great White Throne Period of time to go out into space and possibly renew a planet, or whatever, but all of it would become meaningless and boring in time if there was not a continued face to face and a loving embracing relationship with our Savior and Redeemer and our Father.
And this will take place, as Jesus told His sad and depressed disciples who realized Christ would no longer be with them as He had in the past in physical form. To comfort them, Jesus spoke of His love and the LOVE of the Father for each of us:
“If anyone LOVES Me, he will observe My teaching and My Father will LOVE him, and both of Us will come in FACE-TO-FACE fellowship with him; yes, we will make Our special dwelling place with him” (John 14:23, Williams Translation).
Jesus said our Father LOVES us tenderly“... the Father Himself LOVES (Greek: phileo, love tenderly) you, BECAUSE you have LOVED me, ...” (John 16:27).
The Love of God in His new world will be a combination of agape and phileo. These are the Greek words for both an intelligent and affectionate love.
A Family Relationship
The Holy Days are annual reminders of God’s Master Plan. Each one speaks to us of His desire to add to His Family both sons and daughters. Over and over again we see this in Scripture. One such Scripture is as follows:
Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who HEAR the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:19-21).
The apostle Paul wrote about this Family relationship that God is developing from mankind:
“For this reason I bow my knees (in adoration and worship) to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom THE WHOLE FAMILY in heaven and earth is named ...” (Ephesians 3:14-21).
God our Father and Jesus Christ has given us a physical family relationship which is suppose to be like the one He is developing with us. And when the family relationship is what Christ intends it be then there is always the joy of the whole family being able to come together on special occasions.
This will also be true in Tomorrow’s World. We can see this from the Book of Job and know it is in type what we can expect in the new world:
Now there was A DAY when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, ... (Job 1:6). Then there was another Day when, “... the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, ... (Job 2:1). Two separate days on two very special occasions.
As we have seen God the Father and Jesus Christ LOVE their sons and daughters. And Their LOVE is so great for us that They will eagerly look forward to those special occasions when all of us will be able to come into the presence and in Their loving embrace.
Who Designed the Expressions of Love?
Who designed kissing and embracing one another in greeting one another, saying goodbye, and within the family, between husband and wife? Expressions of love that are intended to be done in a godly manner? God did. Why does the Bible speak of embracing and to even greet one another with a holy kiss if it is not to show a close and abiding relationship with one another?
Now lift this up to the highest of levels – within the Family of God in His Spirit world. Love is not love unless it is expressed within the laws of God. And within His Family in the Spirit world LOVE will always be shown in all of its many forms and expressions.
First and foremost our love for the Father and Jesus Christ even in this life is suppose to be for Them with all of our total beings (Matthew 22:37-40). And Jesus said unless we LOVE Him more than anyone else we are NOT worthy of Him (Luke 14:25-35).
Will There Always be Joy and Happiness – Forevermore?
King David must have been doing some inspired thinking along this line of thinking, as all of us do at times, when he wrote about himself being resurrected back to life:
“As for Me, I will SEE Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. You will SHOW me the path of life; in Your PRESENCE is fullness of joys (plural, total satisfaction in all areas); AT YOUR RIGHT HAND ARE PLEASURES FOREVERMORE” (Psalm 17:15; 16:11).
When reading the writings of David in the Psalms we can clearly see he truly loved God, adored and worshiped Him, just as we should.
What the Father and Jesus Christ has in store for us in Their new world will far SURPASS whatever our wildest imaginations could ever dream up.
Remember, God’s very name is LOVE (I John 4: 8, 16). And His world will be filled with His awesome and loving presence. All that He designs and does is done in LOVE.
A Final Example of God’s Love
One last example I will use to give us a taste of the new world is to consider this planet earth He created especially for mankind to fulfill His purpose in us.
Think of the beauty of the heavens, the starry heavens, the moon at night to light up the night with just enough light to see one’s way, the sun bathing the earth with its warmth and light.
Then there are the rivers, lakes, and the seas to provide not only beauty, but fish for man to eat. There are the cattle, goats, and sheep, from which we get our milk and butter as well as their meat and also provide clothing as well. Think of the bees that provide us with the richness of sweetness.
Jesus Christ created all of it not only to serve us, but to enjoy its beauty at the same time. Think of the food supply to be found in the woods, wild fruits, vegetables, deer and other animals for our food supply. The olive trees to provide the oil that is needed for cooking, light, and medicinal purposes as well as the wine that comes form the grape vines. Horses for men to ride and harness to work the fields.
He created it all for the enjoyment of man and also to make possible that one could live off the land where would never be a need, never to have to go hungry.
It would be easy to go on and on about the abundant blessings God has given us here on this planet. But lift this up as much as we can and think of how much greater His Spirit World will be for those counted worthy to be born into it. At the same time I well realize the joys and wonders of this coming world is now beyond us. However we have been given a glimpse and taste of it (Hebrews 6:4).
Writing About Myself
Brethren, I have written largely about myself in this writing. However I would hope you would think of yourself where I have written about me in the positive areas. Think about your hope that God has placed within each of you as He has me of being counted acceptable by Christ to be a part of the awesome, incredible, and wonderful future world. A world that He has in store for us!
Then to be graced and blessed to be of His born again sons and daughters and then to open our eyes to behold His new world along with all the others we do not now know but will come to know over time; and we will love them dearly.
Yes, I dearly love our Father and His beloved Son Jesus Christ, just as do you. Their wonderful LOVE that emanates from Their innermost beings and flows into each of us and back again to Them.
This is what continues to motivate me to continue to be faithful and endure in spite of the many problems and hurdles in life I face, just as that same LOVE also motivates you as well.
Please know, we do not have all that much longer before the end of this age and His new world of LOVE will begin – made possible by the return and ever-living presence of Jesus Christ.
In closing, hopefully all of us will think as did King David having his expressed thoughts in mind about this New World, and his part in it. And to know as did he, we have to be PURPOSED to remain within the warmth and close embrace of God’s love to be faithful whatever time we have left to live in this human life:
“I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices for you will NOT leave my soul in sheol (the grave). ...” (Psalm 16:8-9).