The Path to the Throne of God

 

37. THE VERDICT OF JEHOVAH'S JURY


The Descent of the Holy City. At the end of the thousand years when the judgment of the wicked is finished, Christ again returns to this earth to execute His righteous judgment and cleanse the earth from sin. For this He has put on "The garments of vengeance," Isa. 59:17, garments "rolled in blood," Isa. 9:5, "dipped in blood," Rev. 19:13, for this is "the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompence for the controversy of Zion." Isa. 34:8. It is the day when in flaming fire, He will take "vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel," II Thess. 1:8.

"He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed, and attended by a retinue of angels." GC 662. "His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which. . . shall cleave in the midst thereof . . . and there shall be a very great valley." Zech. 14:4,5. As the feet of Christ touch Olivet, the mighty plain thus made is purified and made ready to receive the Holy City, which will come down through the open space in Orion, the gateway between the earth and heaven. Then, looking up, the redeemed see "the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven," See GC 662,663; EW 41, and a great voice out of heaven is heard saying, "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." Rev. 21:2,3. Heaven, God's dwelling place, is transferred to this earth.

When the New Jerusalem reaches this earth, the redeemed enter, and as Satan and the host of the wicked, "the rest of the dead," Rev. 20:5, whom Christ has raised from the grave, surround the City to capture it, "by command of Jesus the gates of the New Jerusalem are closed." GC 664. "Christ again appears to the view of His enemies. Far above the City, upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne high and lifted up. Upon this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom." Here, "in the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and Heaven, the "final" coronation of the Son of God takes place." GC 664,665.


Christ's "Final Coronation," "KING OF ETERNITY." Inspiration recognizes three coronations of Christ during His redemptive work, and it is in connection with His third and "final coronation" that this work culminates. "Satan. . . who was once a covering cherub . . . . sees another standing near to the Father." He sees "the crown placed upon the head of Christ by an angel of lofty stature and majestic presence, and he knows that the exalted position of this angel (Gabriel) might have been his." GC 669. At this coronation, both righteous and wicked are facing eternity. How fitting then that at this time Christ is crowned "THE KING ETERNAL," or "THE KING OF ETERNITY" as Moffatt has it! I Tim. 1:17.


The Eys of the Wicked Opened. As the wicked gaze upon this coronation of Christ, they "see in His hands the tables of the divine law, and the statutes which they have despised and rejected" GC 668. As they come face to face with the fact that "sin is the transgression of the law" and that "the wages of sin is death," as they witness the fruitage of evil on every side, and see the total failure of Satan's cause, "the arch deceiver has been fully unmasked," and God stands justified before them. GC 670. Too late, they see that they have been deceived, and with frenzy they turn upon their arch deceiver. "Of all. . . whom he has allured into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy." GC 672. Then is fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel, "Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will bring. . . upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness . . . Wilt thou yet say, I am Cod?" Eze. 28; 6-10.


Satan's Acknowledgment. When Satan beholds all about him the ruin that his reign has brought upon the world, when he sees that his own followers have turned against him and "narrowly look" upon him with hatred and scorn, Isa. 16:16-18, "his accusations against the mercy and justice

of God are silenced. The reproach which has endeavored to cast upon Jehovah rests wholly upon himself. And now Satan bows down and confesses the justice of his sentence." GC 670. His own works have condemned him, and "in the presence of the witnessing universe," he acknowledges "the justice of God's government and the righteousness of His law." PP 339.

But the same old spirit of hatred and rebellion that he has cherished and cultivated for six thousand years, still rankles in his breast, and to live among the inhabitants of Heaven and exercise a spirit of obedience and loyalty to God and a spirit of love to Christ, the angels, and the redeemed, "would be to him supreme torture." GC 670. To one as proud as Lucifer such humiliation would be anything but joy. To him, eternal destruction will be a welcome release. With this final display of determined rebellion and insubordination by Satan and his host, the evidence of God's righteousness, the love and justice of His law are clearly before the universe.


The Evidence In; The Trial Over. When the angels watched the unjust and cruel trial of Jesus before those who were prompted by Satan; when, in spite of all the insult and abuse and torture to which He was subjected, they saw Him without a protest go as a lamb to the slaughter; and especially, when they listened to the last prayer of their beloved Commander, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do," Luke 23:34, they understood the amazing love and righteousness of God. With them "the last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken." DA 761. The character of Satan was clearly revealed, and God's character and His law of love fully vindicated. Then was fulfilled this scripture: "Forever, 0 Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven." Ps. 119:89.


The Verdict of Unfallen Worlds. As the unfallen worlds followed Satan in the working out of his wicked and deceitful plans, they concluded that he "abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." And finally, when they saw him disgracefully and exultantly put to death the Son of God, they knew that "he was a murderer from the beginning." John 8:44. Their decision for Christ and His government is forever settled.


The Verdict of the Redeemed. The redeemed who have gotten the victory over Satan and all his representatives, behold the justice and mercy of God, and with one voice declare, "Who shall not fear Thee, 0 Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest." Rev. 15:3,4. "Every question of truth and error. . . has been made plain." GC 670. With their own eyes the redeemed have seen the results of rebellion and disappointment; in pain, and sickness, and death; in calamities by land, and sea, and air; in war and blood-shed. They have seen "the working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the government of God," GC 670, a government of love. They have seen God's wisdom, His justice and His supreme goodness, and they are fully convinced. They desire no other Ruler.


The Verdict of the Universe. "In the contest between Christ and Satan, during the Saviour's ministry. . . nothing could so effectually have uprooted Satan from the affections of. . . the whole loyal universe as did his cruel warfare upon the world's Redeemer." GC 501. And when the cry "Crucify Him! crucify Him" came from the lips of those whom he inspired, their decision was forever settled. "With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare, 'Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints'." GC 671. Everyone, "in heaven, on earth, and underneath the earth" "confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:10,11, Moffatt. Before the entire universe, God's wisdom, His justice, His goodness, and the righteous character of His law stand fully vindicated.


The Verdict Completed. At last the trial of Jehovah is over: the verdict of the jury is completed; Jehovah rests in His love. Zeph. 3:17. "In our legal courts, when the attorney has concluded all his arguments for the accused before the law, he announces to the court, 'The defense

rests.' He means that he will stake all the evidence he has produced on the innocence of the accused, and on that basis demand an acquittal. Christ as our great Judge Advocate rests the case against us not on our innocence, but on His love, claiming exemption for us on the basis of our acceptance of Him as our substitute and propitiation for sin. He does bail for us too, until the great assize in Heaven judges us not only free from the condemnation of the law, but worthy of reward in His name," My Lord and p. 325, by H. M. Tippett.

Christ staked His life on the redemption of man. He gave His life, but through that act He lives forevermore. Against the work of Christ, Satan also staked his life. He will lose his life eternally, never again to war against God and His righteous government. "That God. . . renews His intercourse with the fallen race; that Christ could stoop to raise unnumbered multitudes from the abyss of ruin, and clothe them with the spotless garments of His own righteousness, to unite with angels who have never fallen, and dwell forever in the presence of God" - this is "the mystery of godliness." GC 415; 1 Tim. 3:16.


The Result to Man. "To human beings striving for conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay of heaven's treasure, an excellency of power, that will place them higher than even the angels who have never fallen." COL 163. It will "bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ, which is closer than they themselves can know." DA 19, 1898 edition. "By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. . . It is the Son of man who shares the throne of the universe . . . In Christ the family of earth and the family of Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite love." DA 25,26.

"A tested and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom." GC 504.


The Result to This Earth. "The earth itself, the very field that Satan claims as his, is to be not only ransomed but exalted. Our little world, under the curse of sin, the one dark blot in His glorious creation, will be honored above all other worlds in the universe of God. Here, where the Son of God tabernacled in humanity; where the King of glory lived and suffered and died, - here, when He shall make all things new, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and He shall dwell with them. Rev. 21:3; DA 25,26; GC 674-676.

Here on this earth, when the City comes down "from God out of heaven," Rev. 21:2, having the throne of the Eternal, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God, Rev. 2:7, surrounded by the original garden of Eden, here at the very place where Satan caused the fall of our first parents and opened the flood gates of woe upon this world here, on this redeemed planet, will be the throne of God and of the Lamb. The holy city will be the throne room of the universe, the center of God's universal government, the capital of His entire kingdom, around which circle all other worlds. Thus will be fulfilled the saying: "Suns, and stars, and systems, all in their appointed order, circling the throne of Deity." GC 677,678. How greatly honored will be this redeemed planet-more honored than any other spot in the universe - more glorious than if it had never felt the blight of sin!


The Result to Jesus. When. at His ascension, Christ was seated on the throne "At the right hand of God, Heb. 10:12, in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and in the presence of all the angels of heaven and the representatives of unfallen worlds, was declared and crowned the KING OF GLORY, Ps. 24:7-10; Heb. 2:9, by "the Father of Glory," Eph. 1:17,20, He was indeed "exalted." Acts 2:33. This was His first coronation.

At the beginning of the one thousand years, when probation has closed, when the Judgment of the righteous is passed and they have been taken from this earth to Heaven, He again "shares the Father's throne," DA 832, this time in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Here, in the

presence not only of all the angels of Heaven and representatives of unfallen worlds, but also in the pressence of the redeemed, He is crowned KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev. 19:16. At this, His second coronation. He is literally clothed with honor, having His royal insignia written on His vesture and on His thigh. Rev. 19:7,11,13,16. Here again He is indeed exalted.

At the end of the thousand years, when the City comes down from heaven, and Christ is crowned KING OF ETERNITY, He is "highly exalted." Phil. 2:9. Then, "God raised Him high and conferred on Him a name above all names so that before the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and underneath the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:9-11, Moffatt. This scripture meets its complete fulfillment, not at the first or the second coronation of Christ, but at His third and "final" coronation, for on this occasion, not only the angels of Heaven the representatives of the unfallen worlds, and all the redeemed, but also all the wicked as well as Satan himself, - "every tongue" acknowledges His righteous supremacy.

Paul puts it this way: "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels (margin: a little while inferior to the angels) for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." Heb. 2:9. More than this, "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things." Eph. 4:10. As a result of His sacrifice He regains not only the command of the angel host, but as the Captain of our salvation, Heb. 2:10, He now becomes King of earth's redeemed. When His redemptive work is finished, He will occupy a position even greater than before He descended to earth. The Father will put all in subjection under Him. "But when. . . all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And. . . then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him. . . that God (the Father) may be all in all." I Cor. 15:25-28. Christ becomes Ruler, not only of the new earth, but of the entire universe. He will be given the very highest place of glory - higher than the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. All this is wrapped up in the expression: God hath "highly exalted Him." Phil. 2:9. No wonder all Heaven exclaims, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." Rev. 5:12.