Restore >> Library >> "This Hope" contents ..
FROM TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH
Throughout the universe of God there was perfect peace and joy. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator's will.
Lucifer, first of the covering cherubs, attendants of God's throne, was holy and undefiled. But not content with his position, he ventured to covet worship due alone to the Creator. Taking advantage of the trust reposed in him by the holy beings under his command, Lucifer artfully instilled into their minds distrust and discontent concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, distorting them to excite dissent and dissatisfaction. Great numbers signified their purpose to accept him as their leader and chief commander.
Such efforts as only infinite love and wisdom could devise were made to draw them back from the abyss of ruin into which they were about to plunge. But the pleadings of divine love and mercy were finally rejected.
"And there was war in heaven: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, and his angels were cast out with him." Rev. 12:7, 9.
God permitted Satan to demonstrate the nature of his claims, to show the working out of his proposed changes in the divine law. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, he was allowed to more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light.
After the earth had been called into existence, man was brought upon the stage of action. "God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." Gen. 1:26. Man was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance glowed with life and joy. He was holy and happy, bearing the image of God and in perfect obedience to His will.
Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. God gave Adam a companion who could be one with him in love and sympathy.
God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. It is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise.
Nothing seemed wanting that could contribute to the happiness of the holy pair; yet the Creator gave them still another token of His love, by preparing a garden especially for their home.
The creation was now complete. In six days the great work of creation had been accomplished. And God "rested on the seventh day," and "blessed and sanctified it." Gen 2:2, 3. God set it apart, as a day of rest for man, that, as he should look upon the heavens and the earth and behold the evidences of God's wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker. Its observance was an act of grateful acknowledgment that God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign.
Our Creator, who understands what is for man's happiness, appointed Adam his work. To the dwellers in Eden was committed the care of the garden. Their occupation was pleasant and invigorating. The holy pair were children under the fatherly care of God, students receiving instruction from the all-wise Creator. They were visited by angels, and were granted communion with their Maker, with no obscuring veil between. The mysteries of the visible universe afforded them an exhaustless source of instruction and delight.
Though created innocent and holy, our first parents were not placed beyond the possibility of wrongdoing. God made them free moral agents with the power of choice-full liberty to yield or to withhold obedience. Adam and Eve were permitted to eat of all the trees in their Eden home, save one. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents.
Adam and Eve had been perfectly happy in obedience to the law of God, and this fact was a constant testimony against the claim which Satan had urged in heaven, that God's law was oppressive and opposed to the good of His creatures. Satan determined to cause their fall, that, having separated them from God and brought them under his own power, he might gain possession of the earth and here establish his kingdom in opposition to the Most High. He commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She put forth her hand, took of the fruit, and ate. Adam, through his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of God, and fell with her.
After their transgression the love and peace which had been theirs was gone, and in its place they felt a sense of sin, a dread of the future. In their innocence and holiness they had joyfully welcomed the approach of their Creator; but now they fled in terror, and sought to hide.
Adam, in his innocence, had enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but sin brought separation between God and man, and the atonement of Christ alone could span the abyss and bridge the gulf which sin had made.
The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon Him.
The cross of Calvary, the act of Christ in dying for the salvation of man not only made heaven accessible to men, but before all the universe it justified God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan. It was seen that for the salvation of a fallen and sinful race, the Ruler of the universe had made the greatest sacrifice which love could make. Satan had revealed his true character as a liar and a murderer. It was seen that the very same spirit with which he had ruled the children of men who were under his power, he would have manifested if permitted to control the intelligences of heaven. All heaven triumphed in the Savior's victory.
Christ arose from the dead victorious and ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples beheld the cloud receive Him. The angels assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended. See Acts 1:9-11.
All heaven was waiting to welcome the Savior to the celestial courts. As He ascended, the heavenly host, with shouts of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous company.
As they draw near to the city of God, the challenge is given by the escorting angels-
"Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates;
Joyfully the waiting sentinels respond-
'Who is this King of glory?"
This they say, not because they know not who He is, but because they would hear the answer of exalted praise-
The Lord strong and mighty,
Again is heard the challenge-
Who is this King of glory?" for the angels never weary of hearing His name exalted. The escorting angels make reply-
The Lord of hosts;
Then the portals of the city of God are opened wide, and the angelic throng sweep through the gates amid a burst of rapturous music.
There is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. All are there to welcome the Redeemer.
Jesus approaches the Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; lifting His hands, bearing the print of nails, He declares: Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will. I have completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied, "I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am." Jn. 17:24.
From that scene of heavenly joy, there comes back to us on earth the echo of Christ's own wonderful words, "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." Jn. 14:3.
Unveils the Future"
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 Family Heritage Books used by permission by Project Restore, Inc. at www.projectrestore.com
Created: 11/12/02 Updated: 05/21/04