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CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Godís Government on Trial

A serious situation arose in heaven when Satan made his charges against God. The accusations in reality constituted an impeachment. Many of the angels believed the charges. They ranged themselves on the side of the accuser. One third of the angelsóand that must have been millionsófaced God with their leader, the highest among the angels, Lucifer. It was no small crisis. It threatened the very existence of Godís government. How should God deal with it?

The only way the matter could be satisfactorily settled so that no question would ever arise again, was for God to submit His case to the ordinary rules of evidence. Was, or was not, Godís government just? God said it was; Satan said it was not. God could have destroyed Satan. That would not prove His cause just but would, in fact, count against Him. There was no other way than for each side to present its evidence, produce its witnesses, and rest its case on the weight of testimony adduced.

The picture, then, is that of a court scene. Godís government is at stake. Satan is the accuser; God Himself is the accused and is on trial. He has been charged with injustice, with requiring His creatures to do that which they cannot do, and yet punishing them for not doing it. The law is the specific point of attack, but the law being merely a transcript of Godís character, it is God and His character that are the points at issue.

In order for God to sustain His contention, it is necessary for Him to show that He has not been arbitrary, that the law is not harsh and cruel in its requirement, but contrariwise, that it is holy, just, and good, and that men can keep it. It is necessary for God to produce at least one man who has kept the law. In the absence of such a man, God loses and Satan wins. The outcome therefore hinges on the production of one or more who keep the commandments of God. On this God has staked His government.

While it is true that many from time to time have dedicated their lives to God and lived without sin for periods of time, Satan claims that these are special cases, as was Jobís case, and do not come under the ordinary rules. He demands a clear-cut case where there can be no doubt, and where God has not interfered. Can such an instance be produced?

The Last Generation

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