GODS GLORY is the grand goal of the eons. Every
atom of the universe, every item of creation, every action in history is part of a vast
plan to bring glory to God at the conclusion of the eons, and at the consummation, when
the eons end. Then perfection will prevail, and His purpose will be fully accomplished.
Gleams of this glory have already pierced the gloom in the visions of the prophets and the
appearances of our Lord. But it is not until the end of the evil eons and the commencement
of the good that there is any great public display of divine glory. The return of Christ
is the signal for its manifestation among mankind on the earth. Even before this it will
be revealed to His celestial saints in His presence. The dais will be the beginning, the
prelude, to Gods revelation of His glory to the universe.
as we may deem our own presentation at the dais and our loss or applause, or our rule
among the celestial hosts, or even the exaltation of Christ to the highest place in the
empyrean, all of this is only preliminary to the prime purpose of it all, which is the
display of the Supreme in all of the perfections and excellencies of His wisdom,
power and love. Our highest privilege will be, not the homage of others over whom we rule,
but to bow the knee to Him in deepest adoration, and to be the means of bringing
the heavens back to His feet in humble confession and high acclamation.
earth is the stage on which the tragedy of the eons is enacted, and men are merely players
in the drama of reconciliation. Not all of Gods creatures are called upon to endure
the harsh winds of adversity, the smashing power of evil. We learn this lesson in
ourselves through sad experience, but others are allowed to learn it through us and our
sorrows and afflictions. Yet we are only the supporting cast, whose duty it is to act as
the foil for the great Principal, Whose might and mercy, wisdom and love are the great
theme of creation and revelation. The show is already going on. But the play is
progressive. The first act, now on the stage, is a display of Gods multifarious
wisdom. The audience is composed of the sovereignties and authorities among the
celestials. It would be a great help to us if we realized the part we play and the
characters we portray. Then we also would see the wisdom, and worship the Wise One.
It gives us a tremendous uplift to realize that we are essential to
the display of Gods greatest exhibition of wisdom (Eph.3:10). Blessing for
ourselves, exhilarating as it is, cannot compare with a realization of being a blessing to
the great Blesser. He has put us in a place where we reflect the highest form of wisdom.
God not only knows all, but He knows how to use all, and to transmute temporary evil into
eternal good. Most of us lack wisdom, hence continually fail to accomplish the object we
have in view. God can turn the worst failure into the greatest success. This is what He
has done during the past eons, and in this it is our privilege to have an important part.
past eons seem to be replete with failures on Gods part. Adam sinned and offended,
and brought the whole human race into the service of sin and the doom of death. Could not
God have presented this by prudent provision? Thereupon the race that sprang from him
became so wicked that they had to be almost wiped out by a deluge. Why did not God foresee
this and forefend the evil? Thereafter the nation of Israel was segregated to be a
blessing to the balance. But they became worse than the rest and even crucified Gods
Christ, so seemed to utterly fail to fulfill their function. Failure! Failure! Failure!
All that God did seemed to end in futile failure. Both creation and revelation were full
of evidences of Gods infinite wisdom, yet His dealings with mankind apparently
showed the reverse. He seemed to pyramid one failure upon another.
the human, unanointed eye the present operations of the Deity are the greatest failure of
all. In almost every avenue of life the mortals that He made fall short. They excel
principally in evil and death-dealing devices. But the greatest of all failures is
Christendom, His avowed representative on earth. Notwithstanding its immense privileges,
its tremendous advantages over Israel, it has sunk even lower than the favored nation.
Only the eye of faith on earth can see the multifarious wisdom of God in these apparent
failures, for only those whose hearts have been opened to the secret which He concealed
from the eons hitherto, are able to apprehend the vastness of the wisdom therein
now that the administration of the secret has been revealed, the sovereignties and
authorities among the celestials can see that these failures are evidence of His
super-wisdom, for they form the needed background for His present and future display
of grace and glory, to His earthly as well as His heavenly creatures. I once saw and heard
a similar plan used by a man who was lecturing on public speaking. When he first rose to
talk he was ludicrously awkward and gawky and did not seem to know what to do with his
hands and his feet. He hemmed and hawed and stammered and excused himself. Yet, all at
once he was transformed, and explained that that is how one should not
address an audience. To a limited degree we can see in this case how it is possible for
failure to be justified in the interests of success. His clownish capers at the start
realistically revealed his later accomplishments.
TRANSCENDANT RICHES OF GRACE
Only by faith are we blessed today. We are resting on the
promises of persecution for those wanting to live devoutly in Christ Jesus (2
Tim.3:12). Our blessing is not only among the celestials, but in the on-coming eons. Then
we will no longer be weak and weary mortals, but grand and glorious immortals, the special
objects of Gods kindness, whose former impotence and sinfulness are a perfect foil
for the transcendent riches of Gods grace. And this is not ours because of aught in
us, but because of the glory which it brings to God, in the eyes of the celestial hosts.
we are self-centered. Our hearts are engaged with our rights or our wrongs, our fame or
our shame, our pleasure or our pain, due to our mortal frame. At the dais we will put on
immortality and be rid of our selfishness, for pain will be past, shame will be absent,
and grace will replace right. There will be no need to concern ourselves with ourselves,
so that our hearts may be God-centered, totally absorbed with His grace and glory, and
fully, engaged, not only in worshiping Him, but in His great plan of bringing every knee
to bow in adoration. This will be revealed to the celestial realms not merely by words
which we speak, but by that which we were and what we have become.
Utterly unworthy of our high station in ourselves, we will be the prize exhibition of
Gods grace, the revelation of the power of His love.
will be our felicitous function in the on-coming eons. During the millennium and the new
heavens and the new earth which follow itthe last two eonsGod will display
His transcendent grace through us. This should humble us in the dust, for grace
demands, not our works or our worth, but our utter degradation. If we had any glory of our
own, that would destroy this display. If we think we are at all worthy, that would
only increase the grace, for it would show how ignorant and conceited we are.
is not this grace already on display? By no means! There is very little outwardly visible
of what God has done for us. Inwardly, our spirits may be exulting in the glory of His
grace, but this is not apparent to the celestial hosts. Indeed, it is necessary now
that they become acquainted with our mean estate, that they realize the depth of our
degradation, so that the contrast will be apparent when we are glorified. This is why the
flesh is still in us, why we fail so utterly in our walk, why the saints are often more
unjust and ungracious than sinners. This does not excuse them by any means, but it is a
relief to realize that God will use even this for His own glory in the eons to come.
is much easier to grasp when we see it as an ingredient of Gods glory. In our pride
and self-righteousness we would like to earn the prize, which will be ours in the
future, we would like to pay the price for our portion. This would contribute very
little, if anything, to the display of Gods heart to the celestial hosts. To them
there would be nothing especially attractive in such justice. Their hearts could not be
reached by righteousness, even though this is essential in Gods government. It is
only when God justly dispenses transcendent grace, through Christ, that the heart of these
superior creatures will be stirred, and they will also fall down and bow the knee in
fervent adoration. To be the means of this will be our highest happiness.
my school days it seemed to me very odd that the end of the school course should be
called a commencement. But it now appears to me as a very good designation for
the beginning of our career, after the time of tutelage is past. So it will seem to us in
the coming glory when we look back at the dais. It will no longer appear to us as the end
of our mortal existence merely, but as the commencement of real life, the beginning
of the career for which we were created and called, justified and reconciled, vivified and
glorified. It will encourage our hearts in the midst of our present sufferings and
persecutions to anticipate that future bliss, and compare it with our present state.
us keep Gods grand goal ever in view, not only now, in the midst of our suffering
and humiliation, but in our thoughts of the future. It will transform the dais from a
judgment seat, concerned mostly with the punishment of our
sins, to the grand celestial inaugural of the eons of the eons, in which God
commences to take a public part in the affairs of His creation, through His Christ and His
saints, in transforming the creatures of His hand into the comrades of His heart. The dais
will prepare us to have a part in this the greatest and grandest achievement of the eonian
are assured that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be
revealed for us (Rom.8:18). How this should help us now! In the midst of weakness and
weariness, lack of recognition and much opposition, slander and reviling, not only from
foes, but from false friends, how heartening it is to compare their weight with the
transcendently transcendent eonian burden of glory! When Paul did this, his
severest suffering was transformed into a momentary, light affliction (2 Cor.4:17).
the highest happiness of heaven will not lie in our own blessings, but in that which we
bring to others. Happy is it to give, rather than to get (Acts 20:35). The
unveiling of the sons of God will free the whole creation from the slavery of corruption
to which it has been subjected. Salvation and reconciliation, justification and
vivification will be the portion of all at the consummation, not only the saints. But we
are not only blessed with all this, as well as immortality and eonian glory, long, long
before, but we are the means of blessing the rest, the channel in which all
happiness will flow to the balance of Gods celestial creation.
the imperial palace in one of the European countries was a wonderful white hall, with
magnificent decorations, and a place for the musicians. When visiting it I was struck with
the thought that this was very much like the popular idea of heaven. No doubt many a young
heart who was invited to this most exclusive place, thought it the highest happiness on
earth. But alas, some of those who were there, with whom I am acquainted, found it shallow
and transcendent. There is a surface happiness in getting what we ardently desire, but it
cannot compare with that which is based on giving to others what they greatly need.
contrast with this it has been our privilege to send food and clothing to quite a few of
the famished and exposed refugees of Europe, saving them from disease and death for the
time. The overflowing expressions of thankfulness which reached us continually are the
source of much joy. Not only that, but, for the time, we furnish many, with spiritual food
without money and without price, because they are not allowed to send money
out of the country. There is great and lasting happiness in such an effort, even though it
means much toil and loss for the time being. The only drawback is our lack of means and
strength, which prevents us from doing all we would like to do.
in that glorious day we will not be hampered by our limitations, our lack of means, our
feeble strength. We will be perfectly equipped for every task, amply provided to fill
every need. No doubt but that we will revel in the appreciation and thankfulness of those
to whom we bring blessing and find in this a higher source of happiness than our own
bliss, especially as all will bring praise and glory to the great Blesser of All. Let us,
then, look upon the dais as the day of our deliverance from the infirmities of the flesh,
when we will be empowered to bless others far beyond our present possibilities, and engage
in that greatest of all endeavors, revealing to the celestial realms the glories of our
God, so that every knee, from the north star to the southern cross, will learn of His
grace and glory and bow before Him in ardent adoration.
A. E. Knoch