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Mike’s Blog: Final Hand-offs in Heaven

 “I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.’” (Rev. 5:1-8)

“Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”  (1 Cor. 15:24-26)

I do not claim to fully understand the essence of the Holy Trinity, and call any man a liar who says he does. My belief is that it was the only way for God to try to explain the infinite concept of who He is to His people of finite mind. What I do understand is He is both “Us” (Gen. 1:26) and “One” (John 10:30), and “They” each have different and distinct functions the “Others” do not impede upon. The balance of this work is about one such case of clear and separate powers and functions.

In Revelation 5 we find a scene where the Father is holding on to a book that is to set in motion the entire end times scenario. This book is sealed up with seven seals apparently “no one in heaven or on the earth, or under the earth, is able to open.” Taking a review of who is present in heaven, we find the Father, the creatures constantly gathered around the throne worshipping God, any number of angels, and I would not be surprised if Satan were there. The verse identifies one from “under the earth,” and we know Satan has access to heaven (Job 1:6-7, Rev. 12:10). Imagine his horror knowing the time of the end of his rule has come, his ability to deceive even himself no longer exists, and he too will soon be dispatched to the pit of eternal suffering he drug so many in to. One can only imagine him praying fervently that, indeed, no one is found to open the book.

Ah, but then we are told the Lion of Judah is there “as a Lamb standing, as if slain,” leaving no doubt the One of whom the angel is speaking is Jesus. The Father, creator of all things, and the One who commanded and then sustained the Son on His journey to earth and the cross, is not worthy to break the seals! Why not? This was not His domain in the Trinitarian equation. The judgment of all mankind, along with all that is demonic, is about to occur. There is only One worthy of making such judgments, because only One experienced the deceptions and the afflictions of evil first-hand. That One was Jesus. You cannot properly judge that which you do not fully understand, and only Jesus, among all those gathered in this heavenly scene, has done that. This is why they sang of Him, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals. For You were slain.”

And so the first of the two final hand-offs had been made: the Father who created all things, to the Son who was about to judge all things. John forewarned us of why we should diligently maintain a proper reverence and perspective of our loving Savior, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:22-23). This transfer from Savior to Judge is about to occur, and because of it many who have been sold on the costless grace of the myopic grace giver modern Christendom calls Jesus will faint and fall away. He will be a Jesus who will demand the testimony of the fruit of our lives, and to their horror many who will not be able to produce any will find there are indeed things grace does not cover. Those who did not fear their Judge as much as they loved their Savior will find the two cannot be segregated, and judgment will come upon anyone who is deceived into thinking they can be.

The rest of the Revelations make clear Jesus will indeed go on to judge the world, along with everyone who has ever lived. He will judge the dead, and come to earth to judge it and the living. He will even judge heaven, for we are told, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). But then, after all judgment has taken place and the “new heaven and the new earth” of Revelation 21 is created, He will turn and the second and last of the final hand-offs will take place. When all enemies, along with their rule, authority, and power they enjoyed have been “abolished” by the Judge, Jesus will return a new kingdom of peace, love, and righteousness to the Father, never to be stained by the arrogance of angels or the sin of man again.

At that time, according to Paul, “When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28). This is a verse that leads me to believe, as I stated before, the idea of the Trinity may be God’s attempt to explain Himself to us. It seems here, when all is judged and those who are destined to live with Him through eternity “no longer see as if in a mirror dimly, but face to face” (2 Cor. 3:18), and all is understood, the “Us” become “One” once again. The concept of Jesus the Savior appears to blend back in to God, for there is no longer a need for a Savior. We could also surmise there is no longer a need for a Holy Spirit, inasmuch as the communication then will be “face to face…and we will know fully as we have been fully known.”

I believe, as this final hand-off is taking place, Jesus may have a few final words to His Father—words He spoke in agony and imperfection the first time, but now in perfection and glory, “It is accomplished!” I believe the Father may just have a few words of His own to repeat as well, spoken with great pride as before, “Behold My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!” Then the Father, the Son, and the Spirit may become again, simply, the “I AM who I AM.”

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