Time or Eternity? ™

Archive for the ‘Redemption’ Category

Sin and Satan

In Creation, Redemption, Sin and Death on April 21, 2012 at 8:00 am

About the time of the creation of this earth, Lucifer, one of the most powerful and beautiful of all the heavenly host, allowed pride and rebellion to come into his heart. He was not satisfied with the high position which he held, but aspired to a place by the side of Jehovah, upon His throne. He said, “I will be like the Most High.” (Isa. 14: 14)

Because such a demand could not be granted, Lucifer openly rebelled against the government of God, and led millions of heavenly angels into rebellion with him. Then there was war in heaven, as a result of which Lucifer, or Satan, and his rebel host were “cast out into the earth.” (Rev. 12:9)

The wisdom of God in allowing the rebellion of Satan to develop is well set forth in the following quotation:—

“Even when he was cast out of heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since only the service of love can be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of Heaven, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted out of existence, some would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, he must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, and that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond all question.”

“He that ruleth in the heavens is the One who sees the end from the beginning,—the One before whom the mysteries of the past and the future are alike outspread, and who, beyond the woe and darkness and ruin that sin has wrought, beholds the accomplishment of His own purposes of love and blessing. Though ‘clouds and darkness are round about Him, righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne.’ (Ps. 97: 2) R. V. And this the inhabitants of the universe, both loyal and disloyal, will one day understand.”


“Because Satan harbored evil thoughts, was tempted, and fell, it does not follow that God created him with an evil inclination. The Bible contradicts such an idea, for the Lord says of him, ‘Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.’ (Eze. 28: 15)

“All intelligent creatures, capable of reasoning concerning right and wrong, are free moral agents. It is impossible that God should confer a moral character on any of His creatures. He creates them perfect, endows them with full capacities to do His will, to walk in the way of righteousness, but He cannot so compel them to do right as to destroy their power of choice; for to deprive them of choice would be to destroy the moral quality of their actions. Deprived of choice, they would be mere passive machines, and machines cannot develop character. All acknowledge the force of this reasoning as applying to men, but it is equally applicable to angels and all created intelligences.”—Ministration of Angels, pp. 67, 68.

“In the banishment of Satan from heaven, God declared His justice, and maintained the honor of His throne. But when man had sinned through yielding to the deception of this apostate spirit, God gave an evidence of His love by yielding up His only begotten Son to die for the fallen race. In the atonement the character of God is revealed. The mighty argument of the cross demonstrates to the whole universe that the course of sin which Lucifer had chosen was in no wise chargeable upon the government of God.  It was Satan that prompted the world’s rejection of Christ. The prince of evil exerted all his power and cunning to destroy Jesus; for he saw that the Saviour’s mercy and love, His compassion and pitying tenderness, were representing to the world the character of God. Satan contested every claim put forth by the Son of God, and employed men as his agents to fill the Saviour’s life with suffering and sorrow.  God is just.  Satan was altogether wrong in his pride and ambition, and, above all, in instigating the murder of the meek and lowly Son of God”

“The sophistry and falsehood by which he had sought to hinder the work of Jesus, the hatred manifested through the children of disobedience, his cruel accusations against Him whose life was one of unexampled goodness, all sprung from deep-seated revenge. The pent-up fires of envy and malice, hatred and revenge, burst forth on Calvary against the Son of God, while all heaven gazed upon the scene in silent horror.”

“Satan’s lying charges againt the divine character and government appeared in their true light. He had accused God of seeking merely the exaltation of Himself in requiring submission and obedience from His creatures, and had declared that while the Creator exacted self-denial from all others, He Himself practiced no self-denial, and made no sacrifice. Now it was seen that for the salvation of a fallen and sinful race, the Ruler of the universe had made the greatest sacrifice which love could make; for ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.’ It was seen, also, that while Lucifer had opened the door for the entrance of sin, by his desire for honor and supremacy, Christ had, in order to destroy sin, humbled Himself, and become obedient unto death.

In the final outcome “the whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonor to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God, ‘Affliction shall not rise up the second time.’ (Nahum 1:9) The Law of God, which Satan has reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honored as the law of liberty. A tested and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom.”—Great Controversy, pp. 500—304.


The Plan of Redemption

In Redemption on April 16, 2012 at 8:30 am

The angels of heaven were deeply interested in the work of creation as it progressed from day to day. When the first week of earthly time was finished and the completed beauty of the new world was seen, “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” (Job 38 : 7) But all was changed at the fall. Man had broken his allegiance to his Creator. The earth and the human family had fallen into the hands of Satan and the rebel host, which had been so recently driven from heaven. Angel songs of joy were hushed, and sorrow filled heaven. The results of the sin of Adam and Eve could not be mistaken or overlooked. Through the fall, man lost dominion over the earth, which had been given him at creation. This dominion was usurped by Satan, and the earth and its inhabitants were lost to the loyal universe of God. Satan had secured a kingdom for himself, and unless it were redeemed through the infinite mercy of God, and wrested from the usurper, he would retain it forever.

The heart of the Son of God was touched with pity for fallen man. He knew the malignity which had taken possession of Satan and his rebel host. He knew the woe and suffering that would be the lot of the human race. He knew the depths of sorrow and degradation which the power of evil would bring upon the human family.  But by infinite love a plan had been devised by which man should be redeemed and the lost earth returned to its place in the moral universe of God.  Man had broken the command of God, and stood convicted as a sinner. There was but one penalty for sin,—“The wages of sin is death.” There was but One in all the universe who could satisfy the claims of the law, and rescue the race from its impending doom. The Son of God, who was equal with His Father, the Author of law, would take upon Himself the guilt of the world, and pay the penalty of death in man’s behalf.  The immutability of every precept of God’s law is emphasized by this dire necessity of the sacrifice of Christ. Could that law have been changed, the Son of God need not have died, for then man might have been saved without such an infinite sacrifice.  Christ was to be subjected to a life of sorrow, suffering, and humiliation, and to a death of shame, that God’s law might stand vindicated before the entire universe.  In becoming a man, Christ took upon Himself the awful liability of eternal loss as other men must take it. Day by day He was “in all points tempted like as we are.” (Hebrews 4:15) If there was no danger of failure and loss, there could be no temptation, for He would be beyond it. The very temptations He met and so successfully resisted gave Him experience in the life of man,  and prepared Him “to succor them that  are tempted.” (Heb. 2:18) Paul says, ”Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Heb. 5:8) “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.” (John 3 : 16) What wonderful love! Truly, the love of God “passeth understanding.”

Christ did not come to earth in His own divine strength. He left this when He came as a babe in the manger. But, guarded and guided by power from on high, as every human being can be guarded and guided, He lived a life of simple purity such as no other being has lived upon earth, and thus became our perfect example.  God was with His Son in every act of His earthly life, and in His ministry on earth.   Jesus represented the Father to the world. Paul, explaining His mission, says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”( 2 Cor. 5:19) Man had become “alienated from the life of God” through sin, aid the mission of Christ was to bring him back to a reconciliation with his Creator.