Revised Notes of an address by J. S. Bertram.
In days of uncertainty and distress when kingdoms rise and fall in a decade, when men's hearts fail because of "the terror that flieth by night," how comforting it is to have a divine link with the throne established in the heavens, and relationship with its Occupant! In Psalm 11:4, we read of the throne of omnipotence established in the heavens, now that fact could only be communicated by God, for no man has ascended to heaven; man's speculation and research could never have discovered this, it is beyond his reach and his lust for power. Moreover, he is totally incapable of administrative position. We learn the eternal nature of that throne from Psalm 93:2, "the throne is from everlasting," it is not something raised up in an emergency; it is the eternal throne of the Eternal God, as Psalm 47:8 states that "God sitteth on the throne of His holiness," here we have the Occupant of that throne in all His majesty, the sole governor of the universe. He holds the reins of government, and the hearts of all men in His hand. The throne is supreme; he ruleth in the kingdom of men. He raises one and overthrows another. In Ezekiel 21:27, He says, "I will overturn." We seem to be in one of the overturning periods now. But all must be well, for God is on the throne of His holiness! Psalm 89:14, says, "Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne," that tells us its character. Where there is perfect discrimination, and eternal right-acting, the throne is upheld in absolute righteousness (in contrast to man's expediency), else the whole moral and physical creation would fall to pieces.
Whatever happens beyond our powers of comprehension we can confidently say, "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right." Ezekiel got a vision of the throne in its heavenly enduring character as the sapphire stone suggests (Ezek. 1:26), but he also saw the appearance of a man above upon the throne; a wonderful vision, premature in point of time, but there is nothing future with God who inhabits eternity. For the interpretation of the vision we are entirely dependent on N.T. revelation. In Matt. 1., we read of the birth of Jesus Emmanuel (God with us), oh, wonder of wonders, such a mighty stoop was taken by the Great God of eternity from the throne of the heavens to the manger of weakness. God over all, blessed for ever, came into manhood. Great is the mystery of Godliness, God manifest in flesh! In manhood, yet essentially God in all the glory of His being, sea, waves, wind, disease, demons and death were subject to Him. As man He was asleep in the boat, a weary, thirsty stranger. Foxes had their holes, birds their nests, but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head. He came here to meet the claims of the throne in regard to sin. These claims were met at the cross of Calvary, bearing that name Jesus given to Him at His birth. Although we fain would linger we hasten from the cross to the tomb where we see the power of His might, relative to the seal of Rome and the stronghold of death; He who descended is the same also who ascended. He was carried up; He went up in triumph. In Acts 1 the two men in white said, "This same Jesus shall so come in like manner." He has gone to the throne a glorified man. Ezekiel's vision is true to faith in the saints today (Heb. 2:9). We see Jesus crowned with glory and honour, and so get the present benefit to our souls of His place there. There is much in our lives about which we often ask the reason; but everything is in the hand of the One who loves us and He is on the throne. We await the day when we shall be with Him. Everything will be visibly put under Him. All heaven adores Him! Ere long the groaning creation will own her Lord and come under the beneficent administration of the throne of His glory. What refreshment shall flow forth to the redeemed creation from the throne, for the pure river of the water of life proceeds out of the throne (Rev. 22:1). All creation shall take up the note of triumph and everything that hath breath shall praise the Lord; then earth shall be in accord with heaven!