Meanwhile, the earth, rolling in space, evolved from its chaotic state, and in time became a fit abode for the higher creations of God.
Then the crisis came. The edict went forth that for many of the sons and daughters of God the first estate was about to end, and that the second would be ushered in. Lucifer had now won over many of the hosts of heaven. These had failed to keep their first estate. Now there would be a separation.
A council was convened, and the leading spirits were summoned. All waited for the outcome in silent awe.
Then came the decision, spoken with heavenly authority:
“Ye valiant and loyal sons and daughters of God, blessed are ye for your righteousness and your faithfulness to God and His cause. Your reward is that ye shall be permitted to dwell on the new earth, and in tabernacles of flesh continue in the eternal course of progress, as has been marked out and explained to you.”
Then, to the still defiant forms of Lucifer and his adherents this was said:
“Lucifer, son of the morning, thou hast withdrawn from the Father many of the children of heaven. They have their agency, and have chosen to believe thy lies. They have fallen with thee from before the face of God. Thus hast thou used the power given thee. Thou hast said in thy heart, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will be like the Most High! Thou hast sought to usurp power, to take a kingdom that does not belong to thee. God holds you all as in the hollow of His hand; yet He has not restrained thine agency. He has been patient and longsuffering with you. Rebellious children of heaven, the Father’s bosom heaves with sorrow for you; but justice claims its own—your punishment is that you be cast out of heaven. Bodies of flesh and bones ye shall not have; but ye shall wander without tabernacles over the face of the earth. Ye shall be ’reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.’”
Thus went forth the decree of the Almighty, and with it the force of His power. Lucifer and many of the hosts of heaven were cast down. The whole realm was thrilled with the power of God. The celestial elements were stirred to their depths. Heaven wept over the fallen spirits, and the cry went out, “Lo, lo, he is fallen, even the Son of the Morning.”
“For thou lovedst me before the
foundation of the world.”—John
There was a calm in heaven like unto that of a summer morning after a night of storm.
Throughout the whole strife, the dark clouds of evil had been gathering. In the fierce struggle, the spirits of heaven had been storm-tossed as on two contending waves; but when Lucifer and his forces were cast out, the atmosphere became purged of its uncleanness, and a sweet peace brooded over all. Save for sorrow for the lost ones, nothing marred the perfect joy of heaven. All now looked forward to the consummation of that plan whereby they would become inhabitants of another world, fitted for their school of experience in the flesh. All prepared themselves with this end in view.