The Controversy Ended
At the close of the thousand years, Christ again
returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and
attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He
bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a
mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to
those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were
clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of
disease and death.
Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold
the glory of the Son of God. With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim:
"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" It is not
love to Jesus that inspires this utterance. The force of truth urges the
words from unwilling lips. As the wicked went into their graves, so they
come forth with the same enmity to Christ and the same spirit of
rebellion. They are to have no new probation in which to remedy the
defects of their past lives. Nothing would be gained by this. A lifetime
of transgression has not softened their hearts. A second probation, were
it given them, would be occupied as was the first in evading the
requirements of God and exciting rebellion against Him.
Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence,
after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the
promise of His return. Says the prophet: "The Lord my God
shall come, and all the saints with Thee."
"And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives,
which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall
cleave in the midst thereof, . . . and there shall be a very great
valley." "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in
that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one." Zechariah
14:5, 4, 9. As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down
out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to
receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy
Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the
supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of
deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the
wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side,
his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy.
He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through
them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan's captives. In
rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They
are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to
his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He
claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose
inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him. He represents himself
to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has
brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them
from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed,
Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and
inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them
against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of
God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who
have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is
well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.
In that vast throng are multitudes of the long-lived
race that existed before the Flood; men of lofty stature and giant
intellect, who, yielding to the control of fallen angels, devoted all
their skill and knowledge to the exaltation of themselves; men whose
wonderful works of art led the world to idolize their genius, but whose
cruelty and evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image
of God, caused Him to blot them from the face of His creation. There are
kings and generals who conquered nations, valiant men who never lost a
battle, proud, ambitious warriors whose approach made kingdoms tremble.
In death these experienced no change. As they come up from the grave,
they resume the current of their thoughts just where it ceased. They are
actuated by the same desire to conquer that ruled them when they fell.
Satan consults with his angels, and then with these
kings and conquerors and mighty men. They look upon the strength and
numbers on their side, and declare that the army within the city is
small in comparison with theirs, and that it can be overcome. They lay
their plans to take possession of the riches and glory of the New
Jerusalem. All immediately begin to prepare for battle. Skillful
artisans construct implements of war. Military leaders, famed for their
success, marshal the throngs of warlike men into companies and
At last the order to advance is given, and the
countless host moves on--an army such as was never summoned by earthly
conquerors, such as the combined forces of all ages since war began on
earth could never equal. Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the
van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle. Kings
and warriors are in his train, and the multitudes follow in vast
companies, each under its appointed leader. With military precision the
serried ranks advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface to the
City of God. By command of Jesus, the gates of the New Jerusalem are
closed, and the armies of Satan surround the city and make ready for the
Now 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. The power and majesty of Christ no
language can describe, no pen portray. The glory of the Eternal Father
is enshrouding His Son. The brightness of His presence fills the City of
God, and flows out beyond the gates, flooding the whole earth with its
Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in
the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have
followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who
perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity,
those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it
void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith.
And beyond is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of
all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the
throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in
their hands." Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory
won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in
their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of
the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs.
The redeemed raise a song of praise that echoes and
re-echoes through the vaults of heaven: "Salvation to our God which
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Verse
10. And angel and seraph unite their voices in
adoration. As the redeemed have beheld the power and malignity of Satan,
they have seen, as never before, that no power but that of Christ could
have made them conquerors. In all that shining throng there are none to
ascribe salvation to themselves, as if they had prevailed by their own
power and goodness. Nothing is said of what they have done or suffered;
but the burden of every song, the keynote of every anthem, is: Salvation
to our God and unto the Lamb.
In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth
and heaven the final coronation of the Son of God takes place. And now,
invested with supreme majesty and power, the King of kings pronounces
sentence upon the rebels against His government and executes justice
upon those who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people. Says
the prophet of God: "I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat
on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was
found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand
before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened,
which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things
which were written in the books, according to their works."
Revelation 20:11, 12.
As soon as the books of record are opened, and the
eye of Jesus looks upon the wicked, they are conscious of every sin
which they have ever committed. They see just where their feet diverged
from the path of purity and holiness, just how far pride and rebellion
have carried them in the violation of the law of God. The seductive
temptations which they encouraged by indulgence in sin, the blessings
perverted, the messengers of God despised, the warnings rejected, the
waves of mercy beaten back by the stubborn, unrepentant heart--all
appear as if written in letters of fire.
Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a
panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam's temptation and fall, and the
successive steps in the great plan of redemption. The Saviour's lowly
birth; His early life of simplicity and obedience; His baptism in
Jordan; the fast and temptation in the wilderness; His public ministry,
unfolding to men heaven's most precious blessings; the days crowded with
deeds of love and mercy, the nights of prayer and watching in the
solitude of the mountains; the plottings of envy, hate, and malice which
repaid His benefits; the awful, mysterious agony in Gethsemane beneath
the crushing weight of the sins of the whole world; His betrayal into
the hands of the murderous
mob; the fearful events of that night of horror--the
unresisting prisoner, forsaken by His best-loved disciples, rudely
hurried through the streets of Jerusalem; the Son of God exultingly
displayed before Annas, arraigned in the high priest's palace, in the
judgment hall of Pilate, before the cowardly and cruel Herod, mocked,
insulted, tortured, and condemned to die--all are vividly portrayed.
And now before the swaying multitude are revealed the
final scenes--the patient Sufferer treading the path to Calvary; the
Prince of heaven hanging upon the cross; the haughty priests and the
jeering rabble deriding His expiring agony; the supernatural darkness;
the heaving earth, the rent rocks, the open graves, marking the moment
when the world's Redeemer yielded up His life.
The awful spectacle appears just as it was. Satan,
his angels, and his subjects have no power to turn from the picture of
their own work. Each actor recalls the part which he performed. Herod,
who slew the innocent children of Bethlehem that he might destroy the
King of Israel; the base Herodias, upon whose guilty soul rests the
blood of John the Baptist; the weak, timeserving Pilate; the mocking
soldiers; the priests and rulers and the maddened throng who cried,
"His blood be on us, and on our children!"--all behold the
enormity of their guilt. They vainly seek to hide from the divine
majesty of His countenance, outshining the glory of the sun, while the
redeemed cast their crowns at the Saviour's feet, exclaiming: "He
died for me!"
Amid the ransomed throng are the apostles of Christ,
the heroic Paul, the ardent Peter, the loved and loving John, and their
truehearted brethren, and with them the vast host of martyrs; while
outside the walls, with every vile and abominable thing, are those by
whom they were persecuted, imprisoned, and slain. There is Nero, that
monster of cruelty and vice, beholding the joy and exaltation of those
whom he once tortured, and in whose extremest anguish he found satanic
delight. His mother is there to witness the result of
her own work; to see how the evil stamp of character
transmitted to her son, the passions encouraged and developed by her
influence and example, have borne fruit in crimes that caused the world
There are papist priests and prelates, who claimed to
be Christ's ambassadors, yet employed the rack, the dungeon, and the
stake to control the consciences of His people. There are the proud
pontiffs who exalted themselves above God and presumed to change the law
of the Most High. Those pretended fathers of the church have an account
to render to God from which they would fain be excused. Too late they
are made to see that the Omniscient One is jealous of His law and that
He will in no wise clear the guilty. They learn now that Christ
identifies His interest with that of His suffering people; and they feel
the force of His own words: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of
God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They
have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the
sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them.
It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not
noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The
wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered
them; but how desirable it now appears. "All this," cries the
lost soul, "I might have had; but I chose to put these things far
from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and
honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair." All see that their
exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared:
"We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us."
As if entranced, the wicked have looked upon the
coronation of the Son of God. They see in His hands the tables of the
divine law, the statutes which they have despised and
transgressed. They witness the outburst of wonder,
rapture, and adoration from the saved; and as the wave of melody sweeps
over the multitudes without the city, all with one voice exclaim,
"Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and
true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints" (Revelation 15:3); and,
falling prostrate, they worship the Prince of life.
Satan seems paralyzed as he beholds the glory and
majesty of Christ. He who was once a covering cherub remembers whence he
has fallen. A shining seraph, "son of the morning;" how
changed, how degraded! From the council where once he was honored, he is
forever excluded. He sees another now standing near to the Father,
veiling His glory. He has seen 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 might have been his.
Memory recalls the home of his innocence and purity,
the peace and content that were his until he indulged in murmuring
against God, and envy of Christ. His accusations, his rebellion, his
deceptions to gain the sympathy and support of the angels, his stubborn
persistence in making no effort for self-recovery when God would have
granted him forgiveness --all come vividly before him. He reviews his
work among men and its results--the enmity of man toward his fellow man,
the terrible destruction of life, the rise and fall of kingdoms, the
overturning of thrones, the long succession of tumults, conflicts, and
revolutions. He recalls his constant efforts to oppose the work of
Christ and to sink man lower and lower. He sees that his hellish plots
have been powerless to destroy those who have put their trust in Jesus.
As Satan looks upon his kingdom, the fruit of his toil, he sees only
failure and ruin. He has led the multitudes to believe that the City of
God would be an easy prey; but he knows that this is false. Again and
again, in the progress of the great controversy, he has been defeated
and compelled to yield. He knows too well the power and majesty of the
The aim of the great rebel has ever been to justify
himself and to prove the divine government responsible for the
rebellion. To this end he has bent all the power of his giant intellect.
He has worked deliberately and systematically, and with marvelous
success, leading vast multitudes to accept his version of the great
controversy which has been so long in progress. For thousands of years
this chief of conspiracy has palmed off falsehood for truth. But the
time has now come when the rebellion is to be finally defeated and the
history and character of Satan disclosed. In his last great effort to
dethrone Christ, destroy His people, and take possession of the City of
God, the archdeceiver has been fully unmasked. Those who have united
with him see the total failure of his cause. Christ's followers and the
loyal angels behold the full extent of his machinations against the
government of God. He is the object of universal abhorrence.
Satan sees that his voluntary rebellion has unfitted
him for heaven. He has trained his powers to war against God; the
purity, peace, and harmony of heaven would be to him supreme torture.
His accusations against the mercy and justice of God are now silenced.
The reproach which he has endeavored to cast upon Jehovah rests wholly
upon himself. And now Satan bows down and confesses the justice of his
"Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify
Thy name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship
before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest." Verse 4. Every
question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy has now
been made plain. The results of rebellion, the fruits of setting aside
the divine statutes, have been laid open to the view of all created
intelligences. The working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the
government of God has been presented to the whole universe. Satan's own
works have condemned him. God's wisdom, His justice, and His goodness
stand fully vindicated. It is seen that all His dealings in the great
controversy have been conducted
with respect to the eternal good of His people and
the good of all the worlds that He has created. "All Thy works
shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee." Psalm
145:10. The history of sin will stand to all eternity as a witness that
with the existence of God's law is bound up the happiness of all the
beings He has created. 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."
Before the universe has been clearly presented the
great sacrifice made by the Father and the Son in man's behalf. The hour
has come when Christ occupies His rightful position and is glorified
above principalities and powers and every name that is named. It was for
the joy that was set before Him--that He might bring many sons unto
glory--that He endured the cross and despised the shame. And
inconceivably great as was the sorrow and the shame, yet greater is the
joy and the glory. He looks upon the redeemed, renewed in His own image,
every heart bearing the perfect impress of the divine, every face
reflecting the likeness of their King. He beholds in them the result of
the travail of His soul, and He is satisfied. Then, in a voice that
reaches the assembled multitudes of the righteous and the wicked, He
declares: "Behold the purchase of My blood! For these I suffered,
for these I died, that they might dwell in My presence throughout
eternal ages." And the song of praise ascends from the white-robed
ones about the throne: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to
receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and
glory, and blessing." Revelation 5:12.
Notwithstanding that Satan has been constrained to
acknowledge God's justice and to bow to the supremacy of Christ, his
character remains unchanged. The spirit of rebellion, like a mighty
torrent, again bursts forth. Filled with frenzy, he determines not to
yield the great controversy. The time has come for a last desperate
struggle against the King
of heaven. He rushes into the midst of his subjects
and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to
instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has allured
into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy. His
power is at an end. The wicked are filled with the same hatred of God
that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is hopeless, that they
cannot prevail against Jehovah. Their rage is kindled against Satan and
those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons
they turn upon them.
Saith the Lord: "Because thou hast set thine
heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers 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.
They shall bring thee down to the pit." "I will destroy thee,
O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. . . . I will
cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may
behold thee. . . . I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the
sight of all them that behold thee. . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and
never shalt thou be any more." Ezekiel 28:6-8, 16-19.
"Every battle of the warrior is with confused
noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and
fuel of fire." "The indignation of the Lord is upon all
nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed
them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter." "Upon the
wicked He shall rain quick burning coals, fire and brimstone and an
horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Isaiah
9:5; 34:2; Psalm 11:6, margin. Fire comes down from God out of heaven.
The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn
forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks
are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements
melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein
are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10. The earth's surface seems one
molten mass--a vast, seething
lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and
perdition of ungodly men--"the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the
year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." Isaiah 34:8.
The wicked receive their recompense in the earth.
Proverbs 11:31. They "shall be stubble: and the day that cometh
shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts." Malachi 4:1. Some are
destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are
punished "according to their deeds." The sins of the righteous
having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his
own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God's people to
commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he
has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is
still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at
last destroyed, root and branch--Satan the root, his followers the
branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of
justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the
righteousness of Jehovah.
Satan's work of ruin is forever ended. For six
thousand years he has wrought his will, filling the earth with woe and
causing grief throughout the universe. The whole creation has groaned
and travailed together in pain. Now God's creatures are forever
delivered from his presence and temptations. "The whole earth is at
rest, and is quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing."
Isaiah 14:7. And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole
loyal universe. "The voice of a great multitude," "as the
voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings," is
heard, saying: "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."
While the earth was wrapped in the fire of
destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. Upon those
that had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power.
While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a
sun and a shield. Revelation 20:6; Psalm 84:11.
"I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the
first heaven and the first earth were passed away." Revelation
21:1. The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace
of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep before
the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin.
One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever
bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side,
His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has
wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: "He had
bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His
power." Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the
crimson stream that reconciled man to God--there is the Saviour's glory,
there "the hiding of His power." "Mighty to save,"
through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute
justice upon them that despised God's mercy. And the tokens of His
humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds
of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.
"O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the
daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first
dominion." Micah 4:8. The time has come to which holy men have
looked with longing since the flaming sword barred the first pair from
Eden, the time for "the redemption of the purchased
possession." Ephesians 1:14. The earth originally given to man as
his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held
by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of
redemption. All that was lost by sin has been restored. "Thus saith
the Lord . . . that formed the earth and made it; He hath established
it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited."
Isaiah 45:18. God's original purpose in the creation of the earth is
fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. "The
righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever." Psalm
A fear of making the future inheritance seem too
has led many to spiritualize away the very truths
which lead us to look upon it as our home. Christ assured His disciples
that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father's house. Those
who accept the teachings of God's word will not be wholly ignorant
concerning the heavenly abode. And yet, "eye hath not seen, nor ear
heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God
hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human
language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will
be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the
glory of the Paradise of God.
In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called
"a country." Hebrews 11:14-16. There the heavenly Shepherd
leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields
its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of
the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and
beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for
the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into
hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On
those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God's people, so
long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.
"My people shall dwell in a peaceable
habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."
"Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor
destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation,
and thy gates Praise." "They shall build houses, and inhabit
them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They
shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another
eat: . . . Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands."
Isaiah 32:18; 60:18; 65:21, 22.
There, "the wilderness and the solitary place
shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the
rose." "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree." "The wolf
also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall
lie down with the kid; . . . and a little child shall
lead them." "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy
mountain," saith the Lord. Isaiah 35:1; 55:13; 11:6, 9.
Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There
will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning.
"There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying: . . .
for the former things are passed away." "The inhabitant shall
not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven
their iniquity." Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24.
There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the
glorified new earth, "a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and
a royal diadem in the hand of thy God." "Her light was like
unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as
crystal." "The nations of them which are saved shall walk in
the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and
honor into it." Saith the Lord: "I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and joy in My people." "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." Isaiah 62:3; Revelation
21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3.
In the City of God "there shall be no
night." None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness
in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever
feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close.
"And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord
God giveth them light." Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will
be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which
immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God
and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk
in the sunless glory of perpetual day.
"I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God
Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." Revelation 21:22. The
people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and
the Son. "Now we see through a glass, darkly." .PG 677
1 Corinthians 13:12. We behold the image of God
reflected, as in a mirror, in the works of nature and in His dealings
with men; but then we shall see Him face to face, without a dimming veil
between. We shall stand in His presence and behold the glory of His
There the redeemed shall know, even as also they are
known. The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the
soul shall there find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion
with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and
with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together
"the whole family in heaven and earth" (Ephesians 3:15)--these
help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed.
There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing
delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love.
There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God.
Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The
acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the
energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the
loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still
there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new
truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and
soul and body.
All the treasures of the universe will be open to the
study of God's redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their
tireless flight to worlds afar--worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the
spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of
a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter
into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings. They share the treasures
of knowledge and understanding gained through ages upon ages in
contemplation of God's handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon
the glory of creation--suns and stars and systems, all in their
appointed order circling the throne
of Deity. Upon all things, from the least to the
greatest, the Creator's name is written, and in all are the riches of
His power displayed.
And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring
richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As
knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness
increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their
admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of
redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with
Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and
with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand
times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell
the mighty chorus of praise.
"And every creature which is in heaven, and on
the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that
are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power,
be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and
ever." Revelation 5:13.
The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are
no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness
beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and
light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the
minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate,
in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.