(Extracted from Scripture Truth Vol. 26, 1934, page 88.)
It is a conception worthy of the blessed God that He will one day have the whole universe filled with love and light and glory in and through the MAN of His right hand. Even now it captivates the hearts of all who have drank from the river of His grace. It is fitting that the humbled Christ, should be glorified, and that the creation which beheld His sorrow, shame and woe should witness His glory and join in the Hallelujahs that will fill the vast creation of God.
This blessed theme covers a large part of Scripture and is fruitful of anticipatory praises. "For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. Because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the Glorious liberty of the children of God." But there is another side to the glory which is yet deeper, fuller and richer and which connects more vitally with the counsels of eternity as well as with the very heart of God. There is an inside to this vast scene of promised glory, where the sons of the Father's richest and eternal thoughts shall rest in the joy of that love which purposed them for that place long ere time began.
Within the depths of the glory, in that home of love, the family of many sons will dwell, and in their praises the Father shall live for evermore. For He has chosen them that they should be before Himself in love for ever. (Eph. 1:3-4.)
In that eternal life which ever was with the Father, every movement is in perfect concert with the Father's will and yet governed by the perfect law of liberty; divine life cannot be fettered. The life of hopes, fears and desires that belong to this world will have gone for ever, and His redeemed sons will be at home in the love of the Father who is at once the origin, source and governing power of all that heavenly bliss.
There the Father's well beloved Son will find His deepest delight. He, the eternal Object of the Father's delight, came forth to declare all that was in the Father's heart, and this could not be done apart from the Cross with all its depth of woe. But having died and risen again He has many brethren, the sons of the Father's choice, who had been given Him by the Father. Conformed to His own image in nature, relationship and affection they will enter as holy brethren with Him into all that He has won. Not only subjects of sovereign grace, wondrous as that is, but with the Son before the Father in the life, love and joy proper to the relationship into which He has brought them, and loved with the love wherewith the Father loves the Son.
This inner glory is the source from which all the publicly displayed glory in the millennial kingdom will flow; all the splendour of the celestial and terrestrial glory must take character from this. The long continued chaos of sin, sorrow, tears and woe will be turned into an ordered system of divine delight, and all filled and upheld from that inner home of paternal and filial delight.
The inconceivable wealth of love and glory native to the Holy Trinity and reciprocated within the Godhead no creature can tell, but we know that the Lord spoke of both the love and the glory in John 17. It is beyond our comprehension, but we can rejoice in the thought of it, and see how wonderful a character it gives to the Father's love-gift to the Son. The sons of eternal choice were that gift, but whatever wealth of blessing that choice means for them, they were first of all a gift from the Father to the Son. These glorious communings and operations within the Godhead before time began, speak to us of the holy nature and character of God in love's divinest ways. Instead of an inert and dim and distant God who could only be known in relations taken in time, when, one of the Divine Persons came to bring Him within our range, we are led to contemplate Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the activities of eternity choosing sons, promising eternal life and ordaining wisdom for myriads not yet in being. (Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:2; 1 Cor. 2:7).
In the way taken to fulfil the eternal purpose of God is seen the supreme exhibition of unfathomable wisdom. The Cross is its centre (Acts 2:23). It is the grand unifying power of the universe of bliss. By becoming Man the Son brought an eternal relationship into Manhood, for He did not cease to be the Son when He became man. But the heirs who were predestinated to Sonship were then in a condition far beneath their original created state, they lay under the power of death. For these in that state the Son went into death. The Son in nature and relationship eternal became a Man to die, that the claims of Divine holiness might be met. The Son of the Father's bosom came forth from that eternal splendour, the sent one of the Father. As dwelling in that bosom, He knew by nature and essential being all that was there. He has died, and as risen from the dead He is declared Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead; and now being glorified on high He is the Firstborn of many brethren, the many sons that God is leading home to glory.
Were it conceivable that God could have had a family of sons in glory that had never fallen He could not have been known in the deeper depth of His being as He is now known in redemption. A heaven filled with men in the state Adam was previous to the fall could not have given intelligent response in adoring worship to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The enemy could have said, You have fenced them in, let them be tried. This is exactly what has been done and after trial, sin and death, all heaven's resources have been displayed in the redemption and recovery of men.
By his fall man gained an immense range of knowledge, a knowledge which but for the intervention of God must have condemned him to everlasting misery. That intervention was the full revelation of God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — in the counsels of eternity. And the issue of those counsels is, that those whom the Father gave to the Son, fitted and formed by the Holy Spirit, as sons in company with the eternal Son, and in the full blessing of knowing the Father shall raise suited praises which shall delight that Father for evermore. The full revelation shall secure a full response.
In the glories of the millennial kingdom we reach the consummation of the ways of God in time. The purposes of eternity meet and combine there to make known in the creation God's appreciation of His Son. We are now in the Spirit's day and eternity to come is called the day of God, but between these comes the day of Christ. In that day the Church, the bride of the Lamb, is seen as the holy city in which both the counsels of eternity and the resources of God in His time-ways are set forth in display. All that which in principle Abel, Enoch, Noah, and all the others stood for is found there, while at the same time in her own peculiar heavenly calling and constitution she abides the witness to the eternal purpose of God.
This is God's glorious answer to all the sin and sorrow of the ages, yea it explains as nothing could the wondrous riddle of Calvary. But yet it is not the end. The Millennium with all its extent of glory, and when a delivered creation will shout its hallelujahs and pour all its treasures around that glorious MAN whom men despised and slew, is but a means to an end, but what an end? Every question solved, the eternal supremacy of God established and put upon an unalterable and unchallengable basis in a scene where breakdown can never come. There the Father, Son, and sons in full Holy Spirit power will abide in the incorruptible blessedness of the glory which is proper to the paternal and filial relationships which existed before the world was made.
The glorious blaze of Christ's day in which He was seen as the centre of the throng of worlds will have passed away, but this deeper, calmer, fuller and everlasting joy and glory will continue. This must, as standing in the Father's love, abide for ever for the Father's eternal delight, it is the fruit of the Father's counsel which alone is the true manifestation of the Father's heart.