The God of the “Prince of Peace” Becomes “All Things to Everyone”
1. In what does Jesus Christ set an example for all other creatures in heaven and on earth?
SHORTLY after his resurrection, the “Prince of Peace” said to one of his disciples: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.” (John 20:17) With those words he acknowledged that his heavenly Father was also his God, the One alone whom he worshiped. In such worship he set an example for all other creatures throughout heaven and earth.
2 What a grand example the “Prince of Peace” will become to all perfected humankind when he loyally submits himself in a special way to the One who is the ideal Sovereign of all the universe! This will be matchlessly revealed at the close of his Thousand Year Reign over mankind, when he will have restored peace, security, and harmony to all the earth. In an unerring prophecy, we are assured of this:
3 “Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26, 28) Or as The Amplified Bible renders the latter part of verse 28: “So that God may be all in all—that is, be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life.”
4. (a) How will earth’s inhabitants respond to the example of their adoptive Father? (b) What new aspect of submission will then exist?
4 When the “Prince of Peace” hands over the Kingdom to his God at the end of the Thousand Year Reign, earth’s inhabitants will be made aware of this act of their adoptive Father. With him as their Royal Example, they will likewise subject themselves in a new aspect to the Most High God. Now for the first time they will render loving submission directly to Jehovah, yes, worship, in all sincerity and truth, no longer requiring the priestly services of Jesus, not even when praying.
5. What will be the attitude of the 144,000 associate kings of Jesus Christ?
5 In this manner the Most High God again becomes King of all the universe with no royal representative for him either in heaven or on earth. It follows that the 144,000 associate kings whom Jesus Christ has redeemed from the earth will also bend the knee before the supreme Royal Ruler and will in this added sense acknowledge him to be the Universal Sovereign.
Final Test Upon All Mankind
6. (a) What will happen to disobedient humans during Jesus’ Millennial Rule? (b) What will be the state of those whom Jesus turns over to his heavenly Father?
6 Recognizing Jehovah as the Supreme Judge, Jesus Christ desires that the all-necessary divine approval be expressed upon the work that Jesus has accomplished during his Millennial Rule. During that rule, those humans who refused to conform to the requirements of righteousness and who showed disobedience to the King will have been destroyed. Thus, those whom Jesus Christ turns over to Jehovah God, the final Judge, will be those obedient ones who have attained to human perfection.
7. (a) What will be put to a searching test after Jesus hands back the Kingdom? (b) How will perfected mankind be put to that test?
7 At that point it is time for the enduring nature of human devotion with regard to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah God, to be put to the test. As in the case of Job, the question is: Do they love and worship God only for all the good things that he has done for them, or do they love him because of what he is in his very own self—the Rightful Sovereign of the universe? (Job 1:8-11) But how will perfected mankind be put to a test of heart allegiance? The Bible answers: Satan the Devil and his demons will be loosed “for a little while” from the abyss in which they have been confined for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:3) By permitting the Devil to put restored mankind to the test, members of perfected mankind can be proved as to their individual integrity to God in a perfect sense.—Compare Job 1:12.
8. (a) Upon being released from the abyss, what will Satan and his demons endeavor to do? (b) Those who allow themselves to be misled by the Devil and his demons will be taking what course of action?
8 Seven thousand years previously, Satan the Devil was able to induce the perfect Adam and Eve to sin by taking a self-seeking course of action. What methods of temptation Jehovah will permit Satan and the demons to employ after their release from the abyss the Scriptures do not say. But no doubt there will be an appeal to selfishness and to a desire for independence from God. Still a rebel himself against Jehovah’s sovereignty, the Devil will be intent on making rebels of mankind too. Exactly to what degree these released demonic forces will be successful is also not stated, but there will be enough human rebels to make an impression as of a large crowd. Sin on the part of any human creature, now perfected, will then be intelligently undertaken and, therefore, be deliberate, willful. It will signify departure from the worship of the only true and living God and a taking of the side of Satan the Devil. (Revelation 20:7, 8) Thus, in the case of these rebellious ones, Jehovah does not become “all things to everyone.”
9. (a) What will happen to those who do not keep integrity to Jehovah God? (b) How will the invisible realm be rid of all rebels? (c) What grand condition will then prevail throughout heaven and earth?
9 The loyal ones, however, refuse to give in to the arguments and pressures of the misled, nationalistic ones. Unhesitatingly, the loyal ones choose to let Jehovah be “all things to everyone” in their own case. For justice itself, Jehovah’s sovereignty must be strictly enforced. Consequently, all the satanically influenced rebels on earth will be wiped out of existence forever. Good riddance to them! The invisible realm of creation must also be rid of all rebels. So, to bring the universal purification to completion, Satan the Devil and all his demon hordes will be annihilated, blotted out of existence. Thus the heavens and the earth will be cleansed of every taint of sin. (Revelation 20:9, 10) Jehovah’s holiness will prevail everywhere. (Compare Zechariah 14:20.) The sacred name of the Most High Deity will be sanctified in heaven and on earth. All who live in heaven and on earth will joyfully do his supreme will.
10. In what ways will the earth for all eternity bear a distinction that no other planet will enjoy?
10 To all eternity our earth will bear a distinction that no other planet throughout endless space will enjoy, though the earth may not be the only planet that will ever be inhabited. Uniquely, it will be where Jehovah has indisputably vindicated his universal sovereignty, establishing an eternal and universal legal precedent. It will be the only planet on which Jehovah of armies will have fought “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” It will be the only planet to which God sent his dearest Son to become a man and die in order to recover the planet’s inhabitants from sin and death. It will be the only planet from which Jehovah will have taken 144,000 of its inhabitants to be “heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ.”—Romans 8:17.
Seraphs, Cherubs, Angels
11, 12. (a) What kind of spirit creatures did Isaiah see in a vision? (b) What interest do these have in us humans?
11 God, the glorious Source of all creation, celestial and terrestrial, will become “all things” not only to the 144,000 heirs with Christ but also to others in the heavenly realm. In chapter 6 of the book of Isaiah, we are given a glimpse into the heavenly courts. There we read: “I, however, got to see Jehovah, sitting on a throne lofty and lifted up, and his skirts were filling the temple. Seraphs were standing above him. Each one had six wings. With two he kept his face covered, and with two he kept his feet covered, and with two he would fly about. And this one called to that one and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The fullness of all the earth is his glory.’”—Isaiah 6:1-3.
12 How highly favored Isaiah was to see the holiest One in all the universe seated upon his celestial throne attended by glorious seraphs! What an awesome vision that was, revealing the highly favored position that those seraphs occupied, for he is the All Holy One whose sacredness they acclaimed as they testified to his holiness by emphasizing it in a threefold way! The seraphs are interested in helping Jehovah’s worshipers to be holy as God is holy.—Isaiah 6:5-7.
13. (a) What other kind of spirit creatures does the Bible reveal to us? (b) How is Jehovah described in relation to them?
13 Just as there is a variety of creature life down here on earth, bespeaking the power of Jehovah God, so there are also creatures of another kind in the spirit realm. The Bible discloses that these are the glorious cherubs, who must be very speedy in flight. (Psalm 18:10; compare Hebrews 9:4, 5.) Genesis 3:24 shows that after Adam and Eve had sinned against the holy God of heaven by partaking of the forbidden fruit, the Creator posted to the east of the way back into the Paradise of pleasure the cherubs along with “the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually.” Jehovah is spoken of as “sitting upon the cherubs.” (Psalm 99:1; Isaiah 37:16) Thus he is shown to throne above the cherubs.
14. (a) What other kind of spirit creatures are not to be overlooked? (b) How numerous are they?
14 Not to be overlooked among the multitude of spirit creatures are the angels. There are many millions of them. (Daniel 7:9, 10) Among them are the angels assigned to minister to Jehovah’s worshipers on earth. Jesus warned that no one should stumble any of Jehovah’s worshipers for the reason that “their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14) At the end of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness and after his victoriously resisting the three crucial temptations presented by the Devil, what a privilege it was for the angels to minister to the physical needs of the lean, hungry Jesus!—Matthew 4:11.
15, 16. (a) Describe the familylike unity that will exist in heaven and on earth. (b) What reward from Jehovah will be given to those perfected humans who pass the test successfully? (c) How will Jehovah look upon the attainment of his original purpose?
15 Up in the heavenly realm, the glorious spirit inhabitants will be brothers to one another, whereas down here on the earth the perfected human family will be made brothers and sisters to one another. They will be in the image and likeness of God to the grand extent that Adam and Eve, fresh from the creative hands of Jehovah God, were in the ‘image and likeness’ of their Creator. (Genesis 1:26, 27) After passing the final test, the perfected humans will be granted the right to live forever and will lovingly be adopted as “the children of God,” rejoicing in glorious freedom, and become part of Jehovah’s united family in heaven and on earth.—Romans 8:21.
16 With what pleasure and exultation of his entire being Jehovah God will look upon the attainment of his original purpose—the matchless feat of having all things according to his primordial determination—all creatures in an unbreakable loving unity with him!
17. In view of all of this, who will be able to refrain from doing what, in harmony with the words of the psalmist?
17 In the light of all of this, who will be able to refrain from blessing this wonderful divine Purposer? Not improperly lifting up his words of address to superhuman creatures, the psalmist says: “Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will.”—Psalm 103:20, 21.
18. How does the psalmist conclude the book of Psalms?
18 The elated, inspired psalmist concludes the book of Psalms with these words of exhortation: “Praise Jah, you people! Praise God in his holy place. Praise him in the expanse of his strength. Praise him for his works of mightiness. Praise him according to the abundance of his greatness. Praise him with the blowing of the horn. Praise him with the stringed instrument and the harp. Praise him with the tambourine and the circle dance. Praise him with strings and the pipe. Praise him with the cymbals of melodious sound. Praise him with the clashing cymbals. Every breathing thing—let it praise Jah. Praise Jah, you people!”—Psalm 150:1-6.
19. (a) In what bond will the universe then be united? (b) What will all intelligent creatures, in effect, say?
19 The entire universe will be united at last in a perfect bond that will hold for eternity, the bond of the one worship of the heavenly Father because his children love and adore him above all. Yes, then it will be that all intelligent creatures will say, in effect, as the seraphs said: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The fullness of all the earth is his glory.” Then, indeed, the God of the “Prince of Peace” will have become “all things to everyone”—forever and ever.
[Pictures on page 188, 189]
The entire universe will be united in peaceful worship of the Universal Sovereign