I. THE NATURE OF DIVINE JUSTICE
1.Impartiality of divine justice.
“God is righteous; therefore is he just. ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways.’ ‘“I have not done without cause all that I have done,” says the Lord.’ ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ The justice of the Universal Father cannot be influenced by the acts and performances of his creatures, ‘for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no respect of persons, no taking of gifts.’” (36.6) 2:3.1 Ps 145:17; 19:9. 2 Chron 19:7.
2. Justice associated with mercy and wisdom.
“Only the discernment of infinite wisdom enables a righteous God to minister justice and mercy at the same time and in any given universe situation. The heavenly Father is never torn by conflicting attitudes towards his universe children; God is never a victim of attitudinal antagonisms. God’s all-knowingness unfailingly directs his free will in the choosing of that universe conduct which perfectly, simultaneously, and equally satisfies the demands of all his divine attributes and the infinite qualities of his eternal nature.” (38.3) 2:4.3
3. Divine justice is eternally fair.
“‘A part of every father lives in the child. The father enjoys priority and superiority of understanding in all matters connected with the child-parent relationship. The parent is able to view the immaturity of the child in the light of the more advanced parental maturity, the riper experience of the older partner. With the earthly child and the heavenly Father, the divine parent possesses infinity and divinity of sympathy and capacity for loving understanding. Divine forgiveness is inevitable; it is inherent and inalienable in God’s infinite understanding, in his perfect knowledge of all that concerns the mistaken judgment and erroneous choosing of the child. Divine justice is so eternally fair that it unfailingly embodies understanding mercy.’” (1898.3) 174:1.3
II. JUSTICE A TRINITY ATTITUDE
1. Justice is inherent in the Paradise Trinity.
“Justice is inherent in the universal sovereignty of the Paradise Trinity, but goodness, mercy, and truth are the universe ministry of the divine personalities, whose Deity union constitutes the Trinity. Justice is not the attitude of the Father, the Son, or the Spirit. Justice is the Trinity attitude of these personalities of love, mercy, and ministry. No one of the Paradise Deities fosters the administration of justice. Justice is never a personal attitude; it is always a plural function.” (114.3) 10:6.2
2. Ancients of Days administer Trinity justice.
“The Ancients of Days and their Trinity-origin associates mete out the just judgment of supreme fairness to the seven superuniverses. In the central universe such functions exist in theory only; there fairness is self-evident in perfection, and Havona perfection precludes all possibility of disharmony.” (115.1) 10:6.17
3. Justice is always a collective action.
“Justice is the collective thought of righteousness; mercy is its personal expression. Mercy is the attitude of love; precision characterizes the operation of law; divine judgment is the soul of fairness, ever conforming to the justice of the Trinity, ever fulfilling the divine love of God. When fully perceived and completely understood, the righteous justice of the Trinity and the merciful love of the Universal Father are coincident. But man has no such full understanding of divine justice. Thus in the Trinity, as man would view it, the personalities of Father, Son, and Spirit are adjusted to co-ordinate ministry of love and law in the experiential universes of time.” (115.2) 10:6.18
III. THE MERCY INTERVAL OF JUSTICE
1. The justice delay of mercy.
“The very fact that an evil-doing creature can actually choose to do wrong—commit sin—establishes the fact of free-willness and fully justifies any length delay in the execution of justice provided the extended mercy might conduce to repentance and rehabilitation.” (616.2) 54:4.3
2. Mercy extended in the Lucifer rebellion.
“There are many reasons known to us why the Supreme Rulers did not immediately destroy or intern the leaders of the Lucifer rebellion. There are no doubt still other and possibly better reasons unknown to us. The mercy features of this delay in the execution of justice were extended personally by Michael of Nebadon. Except for the affection of this Creator-father for his erring Sons, the supreme justice of the superuniverse would have acted. If such an episode as the Lucifer rebellion had occurred in Nebadon while Michael was incarnated on Urantia, the instigators of such evil might have been instantly and absolutely annihilated.” (616.4) 54:4.5
3. Love always provides the time lag of mercy.
“Supreme justice can act instantly when not restrained by divine mercy. But the ministry of mercy to the children of time and space always provides for this time lag, this saving interval between seedtime and harvest. If the seed sowing is good, this interval provides for the testing and upbuilding of character; if the seed sowing is evil, this merciful delay provides time for repentance and rectification. This time delay in the adjudication and execution of evildoers is inherent in the mercy ministry of the seven superuniverses. This restraint of justice by mercy proves that God is love, and that such a God of love dominates the universes and in mercy controls the fate and judgment of all his creatures.” (616.5) 54:4.6
4. Exhaustion of mercy brings justice action.
“The elevation of a sevenfold bestowal Son to the unquestioned sovereignty of his universe means the beginning of the end of agelong uncertainty and relative confusion. Subsequent to this event, that which cannot be sometime spiritualized will eventually be disorganized; that which cannot be sometime co-ordinated with cosmic reality will eventually be destroyed. When the provisions of endless mercy and nameless patience have been exhausted in an effort to win the loyalty and devotion of the will creatures of the realms, justice and righteousness will prevail. That which mercy cannot rehabilitate justice will eventually annihilate.” (241.1) 21:5.7
5. Justice conditions rejected mercy.
“God is never wrathful, vengeful, or angry. It is true that wisdom does often restrain his love, while justice conditions his rejected mercy. His love of righteousness cannot help being exhibited as equal hatred for sin. The Father is not an inconsistent personality; the divine unity is perfect. In the Paradise Trinity there is absolute unity despite the eternal identities of the co-ordinates of God.” (41.5) 2:6.7
IV. JESUS DISCUSSES JUSTICE
1. Jesus talks with Ganid about mercy and justice.
“‘Ganid, it is true, you do not understand. Mercy ministry is always the work of the individual, but justice punishment is the function of the social, governmental, or universe administrative groups. As an individual I am beholden to show mercy; I must go to the rescue of the assaulted lad, and in all consistency I may employ sufficient force to restrain the aggressor. And that is just what I did. I achieved the deliverance of the assaulted lad; that was the end of mercy ministry. Then I forcibly detained the aggressor a sufficient length of time to enable the weaker party to the dispute to make his escape, after which I withdraw from the affair. I did not proceed to sit in judgment on the aggressor, thus to pass upon his motive—to adjudicate all that entered into his attack upon his fellow—and then undertake to execute the punishment which my mind might dictate as just recompense for his wrongdoing. Ganid, mercy may be lavish, but justice is precise. Cannot you discern that no two persons are likely to agree as to the punishment which would satisfy the demands of justice? One would impose forty lashes, another twenty, while still another would advise solitary confinement as a just punishment. Can you not see that on this world such responsibilities had better rest upon the group or be administered by chosen representatives of the group? In the universe, judgment is vested in those who fully know the antecedents of all wrongdoing as well as its motivation. In civilized society and in an organized universe the administration of justice presupposes the passing of just sentence consequent upon fair judgment, and such prerogatives are vested in the juridical groups of the worlds and in the all-knowing administrators of the higher universes of all creation.’” (1469.1) 133:1.2
2. Angels as related to justice.
“The technique of justice demands that personal or group guardians shall respond to the dispensational roll call in behalf of all nonsurviving personalities. The Adjusters of such nonsurvivors do not return, and when the rolls are called, the seraphim respond, but the Adjusters make no answer. This constitutes the ‘resurrection of the unjust,’ in reality the formal recognition of the cessation of creature existence. This roll call of justice always immediately follows the roll call of mercy, the resurrection of the sleeping survivors. But these are matters which are of concern to none but the supreme and all-knowing Judges of survival values. Such problems of adjudication do not really concern us.” (1247.6) 113:6.8
V. EVOLUTION OF HUMAN JUSTICE
1. There is no justice in nature.
“Natural justice is a man-made theory; it is not a reality. In nature, justice is purely theoretic, wholly a fiction. Nature provides but one kind of justice—inevitable conformity of results to causes.” (794.13) 70:10.1
2. Justice among primitive men.
“Justice, as conceived by man, means getting one’s rights and has, therefore, been a matter of progressive evolution. The concept of justice may well be constitutive in a spirit-endowed mind, but it does not spring fullfledgedly into existence on the worlds of space.
“Primitive man assigned all phenomena to a person. In case of death the savage asked, not what killed him, but who? Accidental murder was not therefore recognized, and in the punishment of crime the motive of the criminal was wholly disregarded; judgment was rendered in accordance with the injury done.” P. (794.14) 70:10.2
3. Vengeance and retaliation in evolving justice.
“Society early adopted the paying-back attitude of retaliation: an eye for an eye, a life for a life. The evolving tribes all recognized this right of blood vengeance. Vengeance became the aim of primitive life, but religion has since greatly modified these early tribal practices. The teachers of revealed religion have always proclaimed.’ “Vengeance is mine, “says the Lord.’ Vengeance killing in early times was not altogether unlike present day murders under the pretense of the unwritten law.” (795.6) 70:10.9 Deut 19:21. Rom 12:19.
4. Evolution of justice administration.
“Justice was thus first meted out by the family, then by the clan, and later on by the tribe. The administration of true justice dates from the taking of revenge from private and kin groups and lodging it in the hands of the social group, the state.” (796.3) 70:10.13
JUSTICE AS PRESENTED IN THE BIBLE
1. Justice the foundation of God’s throne.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne.” Ps 89:14.
2. His judgments are true and just.
“I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right.” Ps 119:75.
3. The judgments of God are righteous.
“The ordinances of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.” Ps 19:9.
4. God’s judgments are universal.
“He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.” 1 Chron 16:14.
5. His judgments are unsearchable.
“How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Rom 11:33.
6. Justice supersedes sacrifice.
- Adam and Eve
- Evil and Sin
- Evolution of the Soul
- God's Eternal Purpose
- Local Universe Creative Spirit
- Local Universe Sons
- Machiventa Melchizedek
- Marriage and the Home
- Mind and Spirit
- Permanent Citizens
- Prayer and Worship
- Religious Experience
- The Corps of the Finality
- The Creator Sons
- The Doctrine of God
- The Holy Spirit
- The Kingdom of Heaven
- The Local Universe
- The Morontia Life
- The Paradise Sons
- The Paradise Trinity
- The Paradise-Havona System
- The Plan of Salvation
- The Plan of Survival
- The Power Directors
- The Spirit of Truth
- The State
- The Supreme Spirit - And Other Personalities
- Thought Adjusters
- Truth, Beauty, and Goodness