Story of Hope

The Coronation of Christ

Now Christ again comes into the view of His enemies. Far above the city, on a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne, high and lifted up. On this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom. No language can describe the power and majesty of Christ; no pen can portray it. The glory of the Eternal Father enshrouds His Son. The brightness of His presence fills the city of God and flows out beyond the gates, flooding the whole earth with its radiance. SH 117.2

Nearest the throne are those who once were zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked like brands from the burning, have followed their Savior with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and unbelief, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world said it was void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the “great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches 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, and the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ, which now is theirs. SH 117.3

The redeemed raise a song of praise that echoes and reechoes through the vaults of heaven: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And angels unite their voices in adoration. As the redeemed have witnessed the power and evil intent of Satan, they have seen, as never before, that no power but that of Christ could have made them conquerors. In all that shining company there are none to take the credit for salvation to themselves, as if they had prevailed by their own power and goodness. They have nothing to say about what they have done or suffered, but the burden of every song, the keynote of every anthem, is, “Salvation belongs to our God . . . and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:10. SH 118.1

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 on the rebels against His government and executes justice on those who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people. Says the prophet of God: “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. Ajid I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Revelation 20:11,12. SH 118.2

As soon as the books of record are opened, and the eye of Jesus looks at the wicked, they are conscious of every sin that they have ever committed. They see just where their feet strayed from the path of purity and holiness, just how far pride and rebellion have carried them in violating the law of God. The seductive temptations that they encouraged by indulgence in sin, the blessings they perverted, the waves of mercy beaten back by the stubborn, unrepentant heart—all appear as if written in letters of fire. SH 118.3

Panorama of the Great Conflict—Above the throne they see the cross, and the scenes of Adam’s temptation and fall and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption appear like a panoramic view. The Savior’s lowly birth, His early life of simplicity and obedience, His baptism in the Jordan, the fasting and temptation in the wilderness, His public ministry that offered men and women 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 that 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. SH 119.1

And now before the swaying multitude the final scenes are revealed: the patient Sufferer treading the path to Calvary, the Prince of heaven hanging on the cross, the haughty priests and the jeering rabble deriding His dying agony, the supernatural darkness, the heaving earth, the split rocks, the open graves, marking the moment when the world’s Redeemer yielded up His life. SH 119.2

The awful spectacle appears just as it was. Satan, his angels, and his followers have no power to turn away from the picture of their own work. Each actor recalls the part that he performed. Herod, who killed the innocent children of Bethlehem in an effort to destroy the King of Israel; the evil Herodias, on whose guilty soul rests the blood of John the Baptist; the weak, time-serving Pilate; the mocking soldiers; the priests and rulers and the maddened mob who cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children”—all understand how enormous their guilt is. They try unsuccessfully to hide from the divine majesty of His face, outshining the glory of the sun, while the redeemed put their crowns at the Saviors feet, exclaiming, “He died for me!” SH 119.3

Among the redeemed 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 legion of martyrs, while outside the walls, with every vile and abominable thing, are those who persecuted, imprisoned, and killed them. There is Nero, that monster of cruelty and vice, seeing the joy and honor of those he once tortured, and in whose extreme 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 she transmitted to her son, the passions encouraged and developed by her influence and example, have borne fruit in crimes that caused the world to shudder. SH 120.1

There are priests and prelates who claimed to be Christs 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 gladly be excused. Too late they will see that the Omniscient One is jealous for His law, and that He will not clear the guilty. They learn now that Christ identifies with His suffering people, and they feel the force of His own words, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40. SH 120.2

At the Bar of Judgment—The whole wicked world stands arraigned at the judgment bar of God, on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. The lost have none to plead their case. They are without excuse, and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them. SH 120.3

It is now clear 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 lost by their life of rebellion. They despised the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” when it was 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, shame, and despair” All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. In their lives they declared, We will not have this Jesus to reign over us. SH 120.4

As if entranced, the wicked have gazed at the coronation of the Son of God. They see in His hands the tablets of the divine law, the statutes that they have despised and transgressed. They witness the outburst of wonder, joy, and adoration from the saved, and as the wave of melody sweeps over the ranks outside the city, all with one voice exclaim, “Marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints” (Revelation 15:3), and falling face down, they worship the Prince of life. SH 121.1

The Second Death—Satan seems paralyzed as he sees the glory and majesty of Christ. He who was once a covering cherub remembers from where he has fallen. A shining angel, “son of the morning”—how changed, how degraded! SH 121.2

Satan sees that his voluntary rebellion has made him unfit for heaven. He has trained his powers to war against God, so 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 blame that he has tried to cast on Jehovah rests entirely on himself. And now Satan bows down and confesses the justice of his sentence. SH 121.3

Every question of truth and error in the long controversy is made plain. God’s justice stands fully vindicated. The whole world has seen a clear presentation of the great sacrifice the Father and the Son made in mankind'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. SH 121.4

Even though Satan has been forced to acknowledge God’s justice and to bow to the supremacy of Christ, his character remains unchanged. The spirit of rebellion, like a mighty river, bursts out again. 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 in among his subjects and tries to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has lured 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 win against Jehovah. They become enraged against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception. With the fury of demons they turn upon them, and there follows a scene of universal strife. SH 121.5

Then are fulfilled the words of the prophet: “The indignation of the Lord is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter.” Isaiah 34:2. “Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.” Psalm 11:6. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons of nature concealed in its depths are drawn out. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that will be “burning like an oven.” Malachi 4:1. The elements melt with fervent heat, and both the earth and the works that are in it are burned up. (2 Peter 3:10.) The earths surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and destruction of the ungodly—“the day of the Lord s vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion.” Isaiah 34:8. SH 122.1

The wicked receive their just reward in the earth. They ” ‘will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up/ says 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. Satan is made to suffer, not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins he has caused Gods 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 justice of God is satisfied, and the saints and all the angels say with a loud voice, Amen. SH 122.2

While the earth is wrapped in the fire of Gods vengeance, the righteous are safe in the Holy City. Upon those who had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. (Revelation 20:6.) While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield (Psalm 84:11). SH 123.1