It happened quite early in the morning, some years ago.
Without turning on the lamp I pulled up the blinds and sat down at the desk. Outside it was misty twilight. Actually, I was not thinking of anything. I was just listening to the gentle voice from my inner being.
Then it happened. All of a sudden my mind’s eye saw a road, not a drive nor a path. It was perhaps something like a walk-way some meters in width. No, there was not a vision by the Spirit. I was not in a trance or rapture, but wide-awake. And yet I saw the road so clearly that whenever I want, I can see the whole picture in front of me. I see it right now.
I saw that the road begin at a narrow gate and knew that it ended in glorious world. But of that goal, I saw nothing. I just saw the gate and beginning of the road. And along the road centre was a beam of light that seemed to come from an endless source, of a type I never seen. On both sides of the road, it was pitch darkness.
The road had no ditches and no fences. But there was a line of the shapeless area, which was where the light and the darkness met. The boundary was blurred. I saw people walking on the road, both men and women, young and old. They did not go in groups.
They did not even go in pairs abreast, but each one by one. And it was then that the Lord, who had called them into the road, said: “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him and dine with him, and he with Me”. (Rev 3:20 …)
Anyone! “I with him and he with Me”. That means that within Christ’s true followers innermost is a room, reserved only for Him, where no one else can enter. Those people were dressed in white robes, dazzling white robes, which time after time got their purity renewed. This was not because they asked for and hungered for purity in a worldly way and for good feelings, but because they wandered in the middle of the road.
Straight under the beam of the supernatural light, the purification in the blood of Jesus was an ongoing process. And I saw their faces. It was shining light on them, too, though many of them were marked by age, sorrow and disease. And the glow was a reflection of both the inner light and a radiance of the light they carried within them. Gladly, I had wanted to follow with my eyes these people, walking all the way home. But I did not. I had to turn my attention to the road’s beginning and the narrow gate. And there I saw that a large number of them had stopped.
They had stopped before they passed through the gate and entered the road. And the strange thing was that many of them seemed to be happy. They were happy because they thought they were on the road.
However, they had never gone through the narrow gate of true repentance. And perhaps the worst part was that in the midst of them were moving figures in cassocks and Pastoral costume and evangelist garments. No, the worst part was that I saw the shadow of my own image in that cluster. For we have been cheated, we who are called to be living organs for Life from God. We have become religious talkers instead of being functioning organs for Life.
We have guaranteed people their salvation because they were once baptized into Christ. We have ensured the seeking souls that they are born of the Spirit, though they only become born of human activity. We have said that they are children of God just because they’re “nice” and do “good”. We have become religious quacks, who prematurely speak of guaranteed spiritual maturity and that they are born of God though they only are awakened.
And sometimes, we have through just that severed the spiritual birth process. The result is that today there are lots of people who believe themselves to be on the road to Heaven, even though they are not. But Jesus told us it would come to be so in this epoch of evening of the last days:
The kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish; they took no oil with them.
No oil! No Spirit! And no one is working the Life of the Spirit, just the shapes and appearances, the name and creed. And they thought this was enough.
But I saw more. I saw people who have passed through the gate, experienced the new birth during and entered the road, but who then made way for something other than what it was meant to be.
They stopped and made their way to a rest area in instead of in the correct direction. They had stopped, not in terms of age and time. But they had stopped when it comes to spiritual development and growth. They had stopped, and started living on memories. And some people had simply stopped and fallen asleep.
But all they had forgotten the words of Paul: (Php 3:16) Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. But I saw more. I saw the people who pulled out of the supernatural light that lay across the lane. They had pulled into the grey areas that were on the road both sides.
In the twilight zone, where the view of both sin and salvation was shrouded in mystery, everything was foggy and grey and unreal. And the grey unreality made things that were totaled impossible to think and to do in the road’s centre toys for both mind and speech and actions.
And strange as it sounds, there were the things that were in the dark on the side of the road, which becomes the subject of their interest. Like God’s ancient Israel in the wilderness, the lust for fleshpots of Egypt, that they once had left. Their lust became not only an interest. The lust grew to become their desires, a hunger that captured their thoughts and feelings, confiscated their dreams and fantasies. In reality were on the side of the road, despite believing that they remaining on it.
Then it happened, creepily. Slowly, the shadows drifted away from the road, which lacked both fences and ditches. Away from the road they once searched through tears and prayers, away from the living hope and in despair. There was a hopelessness that they themselves were not aware of, for they were dead.
They had lost the ability to recognize a spiritual crisis. After seeing all this, I sank slowly down on my knees and burst into tears. I wished I were at least half a century younger than I am, and had the opportunity to find a better way than that which I’ve done. I should have done my utmost to ensure that God’s Holy Spirit would be given the freedom to use me better.
/ / Frank Mangs