Clyde Cook’s last message was delivered eight days after his death, in a recording made specifically for his memorial service. Here is the full text of his final words:
Dear Anna Belle,
I love you. It has been cold there in my shadow as I have had all the glory and you the strain. But nothing significant would have been accomplished had you not been the wind beneath my wings and I thank God for you.
And to the rest of you:
Hi, and thanks for coming. Death never seems to come at a convenient time, and I am sure mine has inconvenienced you. I remember Jay Kessler saying that one of his goals in life was to have eight friends who would carry his coffin who had not once looked at their watches during the memorial service. That might be a bit much to ask, however, I and the rest of the family appreciate your being here.
You might think it is a bit strange to be listening to me now; but wasn’t it Dwight L. Moody who said, “One day you are going to read that Dwight L. Moody is dead. Don’t believe it.” And he was right. I am more alive now than I have ever been.
It is so wonderful where I am. What’s it like? Well, for starters, I have a marvelous inheritance. Usually the ones left behind get the inheritance, not the one who dies. But I received one, and it was incorruptible and undefiled, and it was reserved for me — had my name right on it.
And where am I staying? Wow! Talk about posh! A mansion constructed by the Lord Himself.
The city is fascinating. It is illuminated by the glory of God. The brilliance of the city is like the most costly gems you have ever seen. Like crystal-clear jasper. Then there is a huge, great wall with 12 gates around it, three on each side; and the wall has 12 foundation stones with the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. The material of the wall is jasper, and the city is made out of such fine gold, it is like clear glass; and the foundation stones are adorned with every precious kind of gem.
And there are no churches or temples, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb are its temple. There is no need for sun or moon, because the glory of the Lord illuminates every single part of the city; and we walk by that glorious light, and it is always day.
Besides not having any night, there is nothing here that is unclean, and no one who practices abomination or lying. And there are no more tears and no more death or mourning and no more crying or pain. But there is a river of the water of life, and the tree of life is here.
Oh, and the music. I thought the Biola Chorale was fantastic, as well as the other musical groups we have, and then there are the various choirs at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton; but, let me tell you, it is unbelievable here. When you hear that voice of the great multitude singing praises to our wonderful Lord and Savior, it is as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder. Can you imagine a huge, roaring cataract where you can actually hear it sound like “Hallelujah, for the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns!”
And the four living creatures and the 24 elders singing, “Worthy art Thou to take the book and to break its seals, for You were slain and did purchase for God with Your blood, men and women from every tribe and tongue and people and nation; and You have made them to be a kingdom of priests to Our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea and all things in them say, “Blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever to the Lamb Who sits on the throne.”
And we worship. We are always worshiping; it is tremendous. It is hard not to, as there are so many reminders of God’s love and our Savior’s sacrifice.
When I am not worshiping, I am asking questions. All those hours as an undergraduate in the Biola residence halls, staying up late to discuss the sovereignty of God and the free will of men and women. The answers are so simple once you get here. Oh, yes, and predestination. Wish you could have seen the twinkle in John Calvin’s eye as we discussed it.
I even was able to get five minutes with Moses. (Well, I really don’t know if it was five minutes, as a day here is as a thousand years — it just seemed like five minutes.) Anyway, I asked him about Genesis 1 and 2. It really happened just as he wrote it.
And I cannot believe I struggled with understanding some of Paul’s concepts while on earth. He explains them so simply here.
Well, I had better sign off. I am sure you would rather hear my good friend Chuck Swindoll (I hope he is there, as I asked him to share with you the reality of heaven and how you could get here). The only exceptions were if this is on a Monday or he was on a cruise or on vacation. If it is not Chuck, I want to thank whoever is doing the service.
Sorrow, but not for me. Grieve for those who have loved me and will miss me. Encourage and strengthen them. Not only now, but also in a month or six months or a year, when the loss is still felt but no one seems to care much anymore. And while you are at it, reach out to others who have been bereaved, even if it was months or years ago. God has a special place in His heart for the widow and the widower, and the fatherless and motherless. He needs you to touch them.
Oh, yes; it has been great seeing Mom and Dad again, and Celene, and R.J. and Ruby and Robert Ray, and Grandma Hoyt, as well as a host of others.
I love you all, and especially my dear wife, Anna Belle; and my darling daughter Laura and her wonderful husband Ken and dear Kevin Joseph and Bryan Kenneth; and my beloved son Craig and his wife Sandra and our other sweet grandchildren, Candace, Cameron and Derek.
I am in no pain, just overwhelming joy, but I realize that some of you are in pain. Remember the words of George Matheson:
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
Believe me, it’s tearless here. And it’s all true, every word in the blessed Book. Trust it and trust our beloved Savior. Don’t be weary in well-doing, as you will reap if you don’t faint.
May He strengthen you in His glorious might, with ample power, to meet whatever comes with fortitude, patience and joy.
I’ll see you at the trumpet blast — and wow, you should see the size of the trumpets they have ready — or if you too should pass through the valley of the shadow of death before He returns, I’ll meet you here.
And if you happen to be listening to this and have never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, oh, I urge you to do so today. What better time to number your days and apply your hearts to the wisdom of the Good News of Jesus Christ that at a service like this. I want to see you again.
I love you. Goodbye for now.