The Emperor, the Rebel Prince, and the Loyal Son

 

by David H. Linden, written for Sayako (JD)

 

 


The world and all that is in it was created by a good God. I have called Him the Great Emperor. He is the rightful ruler over all things and all people.[1] He created many living spirits, some of them with very high rank. One of them was a chosen and exalted cherub, created to be a special servant of the Emperor.[2] He was very beautiful and had great influence over many other created spirits. This lofty angel became the Rebel Prince. In his pride the Rebel Prince became interested in himself.[3] He thought He was worthy of the respect given till then only to the Emperor, the Emperorís Eternal Son, and the Great Eternal Spirit Who is their partner.

 

Not all angels followed the Rebel leader, but many did, and the Emperor made clear that they were doomed and would be punished. Right away, some of them were imprisoned and could not escape.[4] The Emperor, the Son and the Spirit Partner were not surprised. They always had in mind to use this rebellion for a surprising and wonderful purpose.[5] Until then no one had ever been forgiven, and of course no one ever deserved forgiveness. All the angels ever saw of God was His justice to obedient and disobedient servants. He blessed the obedient and cursed the rebels. No one ever saw or imagined that the Emperor, Son and Spirit could show kindness to a rebel! That was unthinkable! It had never happened.

 

The Lord God made the heavens and the earth. He created light, the sun, moon and stars. He created the plants and animals and the water we all need. He saw that it was very good. This was a different creation from the angels. They did not need bodies to function.[6] We cannot do anything without using our bodies as a tool. We are the physical creation.

 

The chief jewel of this grand creation was Man, made to be male and female, and to live in a relationship like the equality and roles of the Emperor, the Son, and the Spirit.[7] The plants and animals have no knowledge of God. Man was made to know Him. The Emperor placed him over everything in the world.[8] He even brought animals to the Man so he would assign a name to them.[9] The sun and moon do the will of God without ever deciding to. Man could obey from his heart. He could also choose to disobey. Therefore the Emperor set up a choice for him and the beautiful woman made from him. Man could eat from the tree of life and live, or He could eat of a tree God commanded him to avoid. The order from God was so clear, Man even knew what the penalty would be for disobeying.[10]

 

Along came the Rebel Prince. He was very clever and had great power. The word of the Lord was clear, but the Rebel Prince pictured it as a mean-spirited restriction on Man. He deceived the woman, and Adam her husband just went along with it.[11] Once more someone dared to disobey the Emperor, Who had given the Man life and all his gifts. The angels had no doubt what would happen to the man. He would die and so would his woman. It appeared that the Rebel Prince had succeeded in taking the entire human creation into bondage. Our human parents would be expelled from the beautiful Garden. They were expelled from the presence of God. The truth of God plummeted in human understanding, and ever after man has been vulnerable to the deceit of the Evil Rebel. They died to God and were captive to the Rebel. All mankind would die in body; we were cut off from fellowship with God. Unless some mysterious change happened, none could ever be restored. The situation was very bleak.

 

Before the man and woman were removed from Godís Garden, the Lord showed up to make a great announcement. He looked the devil in the eye and informed him that what he had done would be undone.

 

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."††††††††††††††††††††††††††Genesis 3:15

 

The Evil Rebel had tricked the woman. (Her husband should have intervened and prevented her sin, but he did not.) The Lord told the devil that He too would use the woman to bring about the collapse of his kingdom of evil. Some great Person in the future would be born of a woman, and would crush the head of the Rebel Prince. Through Him the Emperor would make war with the Rebel. This tremendous conflict is a battle that has taken many centuries.

 

God and the devil would fight, but with different armies, different methods and different weapons. God delights to work in ways that are weak but successful and powerful.[12] His Son would come as a baby into the arms of a poor woman.[13] She would hold the Savior of the world.

 

The Wicked Prince loves to work from a position of strength. He intimidates and coerces. He uses deceit as his regular language.[14] He has no mercy and is delighted when he destroys nations and individuals. He invents many gods as replacements of the one true and living God. He wants his captives to live as he does in hatred, murder, deceit, and pride. He pretends that every good gift of God comes from him as a reward for following him. He holds out hope and then squeals with his devilish joy when those who believe him are eternally disappointed.He tempts us to sin and then delights in accusing us of what he prompted us to do. He is the ultimate horror in the universe, but he cannot defeat the Emperor. He still tries to keep every mind from thinking of Him in truth. But in spite of the devilís grip on people, the Emperor had a way to bring Him down.

 

The Bible does not say, but some of us think that what may have triggered the rebellion of the Wayward Prince was learning from the Emperor that He would make Man, that Man would fall into sin, and that God by a mighty intervention would have a redeemed world. Angels would become servants of those who would eventually become the heirs of salvation. That was too much for the pride of such a high angel.[15]

 

Being the Servant of the Lord Who would bring salvation by His self sacrifice was not too much for the obedient Son.[16] One with the rank of the Emperor would become a man, while Satan opted out of any lowly service. He would rather dominate us than serve us. We ought to know who our real friends are! We also ought to know who takes pleasure in our destruction.

 

The Son of God became a man and had the very fitting Name Jesus. It means Savior.[17] Jesus entered into human life and experience, born in the city of King David and living in obscure Galilee. None ofJesusí brothers believed in Him till after the resurrection.[18]The old Tempter, the Rebel Prince met up with Jesus in the wilderness and tried his hardest to get Him to sin.[19] The devil failed. So there has been on this earth one man in all of history who has not sinned, Jesus.

 

To save us the Son must be human[20] and must be proven to be righteous.[21] The four Gospels make it clear that Jesus met those qualifications.

 

That leaves one other horrible necessity. God threatened death if our parents disobeyed in the beautiful Garden of God.To restore us, our sin must be removed from our record. And to satisfy the justice of God, our sin must be punished. The penalty for sin must be exercised on the sinner or his Substitute, provided there is a Substitute who qualifies. That willing Substitute was Jesus the Son of the Great Emperor. The Lord sent Him to represent His people [22] and make a sacrifice for us. [23] Our hope of eternal life rests on Jesusí flesh and blood. [24]The Father of the Son knew what was needed for our restoration and so did the Son.[25] Before the world began, they had agreed to save a people who would be His forever,[26] and forever grateful.Father Adam had let us down; Jesus came to lift us up.[27]

 

So it really happened. Jesus died on the cross for us. In this way He reconciled God to us,[28] turned away His anger,[29] and brought a full release from the penalty of our sin.[30] He now delivers from the sin in us, [31]and has set us free from the devil.[32] On Friday, Jesus took for us what we deserved; He was crucified. On Sunday, the Great Emperor gave Him what He deserved, life from the dead, and soon afterwards His seat at the Fatherís side.

 

God gives forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe in His Son.[33] The powerful Spirit uses the Word of God that we hear and proclaim.[34] By the good news of Christ, the Spirit brings sinners to trust in Jesus Christ. God accepts us as His children,[35] puts His Spirit in us,[36] writes His laws on our hearts,[37] hears our prayers,[38] and keeps us all our days. No one can take us from His hands. [39]

 

The earth is still a mixture of beauty and misery. It has the works of God and the decay introduced by the Rebel Prince. God promised to send Jesus back. He will remove the devil and all evil. He will bring His children into an eternal enjoyment of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Heaven will be filled with the joyful song of redeemed people from every race. Our every thought of God will be both wonder and gratitude. In this life we choose whether we will follow the Rebel Prince into the Lake of Fire or the Loyal Son into eternal life



[1] Psalm 24:1: ďThe earth is the LordísÖĒ

[2] Ezekiel 28:11-19

[3] 1 Timothy 3:6

[4] Jude 1:6

[5] Ephesians 1:11

[6] Hebrews 1:16,14

[7] Genesis 1:27

[8] Psalm 8:3-8

[9] Genesis 2:19

[10] Genesis 2:17

[11] Genesis 3:1-6

[12] 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

[13] 2 Corinthians 8:9

[14] John 8:44

[15]My suggestion here is not original. I heard it first from Dr. John Gerstner. This is speculation and therefore it shown be reviewed with caution. Yet there are reasons to consider it. The Lord has a principle of revealing major things in advance to His own, as in Amos 3:7. Angels were to be servants of those who would later become heirs of salvation, Hebrews 1:14. Hebrews does not say they were to be servants of those who are already heirs of salvation. Something triggered the sin of this person who was once a holy angel. The occasion of his fall is clearly related to his pride. Man is lower than the angels. That Satan would be required to be the servant of such lowly creatures as man, would be offensive to his pride. Dr. Gerstnerís suggestion is worthy of consideration.

[16] Philippians 2:8,9

[17] Matthew 1:21

[18] John 7:5

[19] Matthew 4:1-11

[20] Hebrews 2:14-16

[21] Hebrews 5:8,9

[22] Hebrews 5:1

[23] Hebrews 9:26

[24] John 6:48-58

[25] Isaiah 53:11

[26] John 6:37-40

[27] Romans 5:12-19

[28] 2 Corinthians 5:19

[29] Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2; 4:10

[30] Revelation 1:5

[31] Romans 6:1-14

[32] Hebrews 2:14,15; Colossians 1:13

[33] Ephesians 1:7;John 3;16

[34] 1 Peter 1:23

[35] John 1:12

[36] 1 John 4:13

[37] Jeremiah 31:33

[38] John 14:13,14

[39] John 10:28,29