The Counsel of Peace
Before the foundation of the world was laid, God planned to save us through His Son Jesus Christ
'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.'
"Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race." (The Desire of Ages, p. 834)
In Zechariah 6, the Bible calls this plan: 'the counsel of peace.' There are only two divine beings who made this plan: the Father and the Son. For it is written that the counsel of peace was between them both.
'And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.'
"The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. And Christ, our Substitute and Surety, did not stand alone in the wondrous undertaking of the ransom of man. In the plan to save a lost world, the counsel was between them both; the covenant of peace was between the Father and the Son."
(The Signs of the Times, December 23, 1897, par. 2)
See for yourself how the Word of God clearly reveals that, every step of the counsel of peace is carried out by only two divine beings: the Father and the Son:
(1) Salvation - God saved the world through His Son:
'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.' John 3:16-17
"God and Christ alone know what the souls of men have cost. For our sakes the Son of God became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich with eternal riches."
(The Signs of the Times, January 13, 1909, par. 8)
(2) Reconciliation - God reconciled us to Himself by His Son:
'And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.'
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
"Ever since Adam's sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (Romans 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ." (The Desire of Ages, p. 116)
(3) The Holy Spirit - God shed forth the Holy Spirit through His Son:
'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.... This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.' (Acts 2:1-4, 32-33)
"The outpouring of the Spirit in apostolic days was the 'former rain,' and glorious was the result. But the 'latter rain' will be more abundant. Joel 2:23. All who consecrate soul, body, and spirit to God will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical and mental power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the breath of His own spirit, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind. The grace of God enlarges and multiplies their faculties, and every perfection of the divine nature comes to their assistance in the work of saving souls.
Through co-operation with Christ they are complete in Him, and in their human weakness they are enabled to do the deeds of Omnipotence. The Saviour longs to manifest His grace and stamp His character on the whole world. It is His purchased possession, and He desires to make men free, and pure, and holy. Though Satan works to hinder this purpose, yet through the blood shed for the world there are triumphs to be achieved that will bring glory to God and the Lamb." (The Desire of Ages, p. 827)
(4) Sanctification - God sanctifies us through His Son:
'But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:' 1 Corinthians 1:30
"Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.' Revelation 3:20. He will come,not for one day merely; for He says, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them; ... and they shall be My people.' 'He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.' 2 Corinthians 6:16; Micah 7:19. His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord, and 'an habitation of God through the Spirit.' Ephesians 2:21, 22." (The Desire of Ages, p. 161)
(5) Resurrection - God will raise the dead by His Son:
'For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.' (John 5:20-21)
"Christ was invested with the right to give immortality. The life which he had laid down in humanity, he again took up and gave to humanity. 'I am come,' he says, 'that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.' 'Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (The Youth's Instructor, August 4, 1898, par. 5)
(6) Judgment - God will judge the world by His Son :
'For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son .'
"Christ can and will judge every case; for all judgment has been committed to him by the Father."
(The Review and Herald, July 31, 1900, par. 14)
(7) Eternal life - God will give eternal life to His people through His Son. :
'These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:1-3)
"Let the brightest example the world has yet seen be your example, rather than the greatest and most learned men of the age, who know not God, nor Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted." (The Youth's Instructor, July 7, 1898, par. 2)