HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4
There are four states of human nature.
There is a state of Innocence in Paradise when man was surrounded only by what is pure and sweet, and when man was in absolute sympathy with his magnificent and winsome surroundings. But that golden age lies far behind me in the distant past. I scarcely remember it — I have trudged so many willful and wearisome stages from my first love.
There is a state of Sin and Misery. Today I imagine myself free — but I have bound the irons on my ankles and wrists; I am a slave who should have been a prince. Have I not worshipped the beast and his image? Have I not received his mark on my forehead and my hand?
Yes; but there is a state of Regeneration and Renewal. I am born again by divine majesty and grace. I am lifted out of the old Slough of Despond. One is my Master now, even Christ. And yet my new life is subject meantime too many fluctuations. I am waiting still for some better thing, like the men of the frozen Arctic world who see the light above the horizon, and wait and long for the advent of the summer and the sun.
So, finally, there is the state of Perfection in Heaven. I saw thrones and those who sat upon them. Over these, the second death has no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ. At length, my nature is altogether holy and obedient and consecrated and faithful. At length, I shall exclude evil and shall do holiness and purity alone.
God bring me to the golden age in front, which is still better than the golden age behind!