Looking Unto Jesus



BUT this has a broader bearing still. Christ’s life was a demonstration, not to this world only, but to all worlds, that the ways of God are just and true. The root of the controversy is found in the rebellion of Satan against the son of God. This father of lies charged upon the government of God, that it was based in selfishness and oppression; that God and Christ acted only for their own exaltation and aggrandizement, at the expense of the liberty and happiness of their creatures; and that injustice and partiality, instead of righteousness and truth, were the habitation of their throne. LUJ 31.1

All this is revealed in the temptation by which our first parents were seduced into sin. Most adroitly Satan insinuated this idea into the mind of Eve, when he said: “Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4, 5. The argument he thus virtually submitted to Eve was this: “God and Christ are withholding from you the good you ought to have. They are keeping you from a position you ought to gain. They fear others will become equal with themselves, and they are determined to prevent it. They are selfish, unjust, and partial. Here is a tree, the fruit of which will lift you out of this degraded and slavish condition. They say, therefore, that if you eat of it, you shall die. But in this they lie; for ye shall not surely die.” LUJ 31.2

This was the same principle that Satan had before this cherished in his own behalf to his own ruin. He conceived the strange idea that he was kept in an inferior position to that which he was adapted to fill. And fostering this conceit, he gave way to the pride from which it sprung, and aspired to sit with the Most High upon his throne. Speaking of Satan, the prophet testifies: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven [or, I will be exalted in heaven], I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. That this heaven-daring aspiration was the channel through which evil came into the universe, and caused Satan to fall, Paul, in 1 Timothy 3:6, affirms where he calls pride the “condemnation” of the Devil. LUJ 32.1

Thus before all the universe did Satan prefer the charge against God and Christ, that they ruled for themselves alone; that they cared nothing for their creatures, and would never do aught for their good; that they would keep in subjection all other orders of beings, that they might profit by their degradation; that they were partial, giving better conditions to some than to others. Harboring such feelings as these, Satan could have had no conception of the divine love which dwelt in the bosom of the Father and of the Son. It was there all the while only waiting the occasion which should call it forth. It appeared in all its boundless intensity when the plan of salvation for fallen man was devised. But enough surely was always apparent to show to any unperverted heart the divine nature. LUJ 32.2

The way man’s rebellion was met must therefore have been to the arch deceiver a complete surprise. That Heaven should pour out its best and greatest gift - should, in the forcible language of another, “bankrupt its treasury” to provide a ransom for man; that God should give up his only and well-beloved Son; that the Son should consent to such a sacrifice, and that not slowly and reluctantly, with protest and ill-will, but with a resistless and burning impetuosity of love, and desire to rescue the perishing, was something of which he never could have dreamed. With what amazement must he then have seen this effort to ruin the world, and which at first must have seemed to him so completely successful, suddenly baffled in this unexpected way - baffled by this revelation of the character of God’s dear Son, whom he had so grievously misrepresented and maligned! Now every unfallen world, every loyal intelligence in all the universe, knew what the government of Heaven was; knew what was in the hearts of the holy beings from whom are all things; knew what spirit inspired Lucifer in his warfare against them. LUJ 33.1

The course of Christ from the time he consented to step out from his position of equality with God, his life on earth of sorrow and suffering, and his vicarious death, blasted and shattered all the misrepresentations and false charges Satan had uttered against the government of God, to the everlasting discomfiture of the rebel leader and all his hosts. Here was a display of love and mercy, pity and compassion, sacrifice and sorrow, long-suffering and forgiveness, which had in it no element of selfishness. It was not for the self-exaltation and self-aggrandizement of God and Christ that this was done. The main factor in this wonderful work was the rescue of man from ruin, and his everlasting exaltation in glory. The lie of Satan is thus made to recoil upon his own head with most ruinous results. The salvation of men cannot but issue, of course, in the greater honor and glory of those who could devise and carry out so stupendous a display of infinite love; for the throne of God must shine through all his realms with new luster, when spanned by the rainbow of redeeming grace. But chiefly is its object seen in the lifting of man from the gates of death to honor, glory, and everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven. LUJ 33.2

In the light of these facts, an expression used by Paul in Colossians 1:20, becomes beautifully clear: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” What can be meant by the words “to reconcile things in heaven”? Are there things there which need to be reconciled? The reconciling of things in the earth can be easily understood; for here rebellion is going on from the ranks of which men are to be reclaimed and reconciled to him by the grace of God. No such state of things exists in heaven, or, what is doubtless referred to, the heavenly worlds; and yet there may be a reconciliation to be effected there. LUJ 34.1

Throughout the heavenly dominions, the rebellion of Satan is, of course, known, and his complaints and charges well understood. He had influence enough to draw a multitude of the heavenly host with him in his disaffection. How far his influence may have extended to other beings in other worlds, - not to create rebellion, but to excite some query, or generate in some minds a feeling of uncertainty, - we may now know. But something of this kind might not be outside the range of possibilities. But the work of Christ, as the Redeemer of men, sweeps away all doubts, dispels all uncertainties, and LUJ 34.2

PICTURE AND TEXT establishes all in unswerving fidelity to God, as they see a display of love which everlastingly brands Satan as the false accuser that he is. The reconciliation effected by Christ, thus not only takes man out of his actual rebellion, but sweeps through the universe to settle and ground all worlds against any possible disharmony with God, in reference to this great controversy, in all the ages to come. Accordingly, we find the redeemed praising God that he created all things, and that for his pleasure they are and were created. And this outburst of praise finally settles upon the redeeming work of Christ, as the pivot upon which it revolves, showing that the highest good of his creatures as manifested in the redemption of man, is the “pleasure” of the Creator, not the repressing and curtailing of their rights and privileges, as Satan so persistently affirms. Revelation 4:11; 5:9, 12, 13. LUJ 35.1

But however much may or may not be meant by the reconciling of things in heaven, no man on earth can escape the responsibility in which he is involved with reference to the reconciling of things in the earth. In this controversy every member of the human family is concerned; and all must take their position on one side or the other. By every deceitful, blinding, benumbing, bewildering, intoxicating influence; by every well-planned artifice and snare; by every worldly attraction to his side; by every perversion of fact, and distortion of fancy; by inflaming the worst and basest passions of the human heart, the Devil seeks to win men over to the support of his contention, that the government of God and Christ is partial and unjust, tyrannical in laying upon men laws which they cannot keep, and unmerciful in executing them. On the other hand, Christ, by a display of love and mercy unsounded in its depth, unmeasured in its height, unspanned in its length and breadth; by a scheme to rescue the perishing, before which the heavenly hosts bow in admiration;; by a condescension to meet man’s low estate, at sight of which the hearts of angels thrill with wonder; by the manifestation of feelings of unutterable pity for the woes into which the Devil has plunged mankind; by the provisions he makes for their necessities in their helplessness, - sight for their blindness, strength for their weakness, righteousness for their sinfulness, life for their death, - by all these things which show that the compassion of Heaven is infinite, Christ holds up before the world a picture of the divine heart, before which Satan’s most artful devices of deception fall into irremediable collapse, and the utter falsity of all his charges against God stands glaringly revealed, - and by all these he seeks to win men to the side of truth and God; and every man, by his actions, must show which side he takes. Let each reader ask himself, Where stand I in this great controversy? On which side do I cast my influence? Am I saying by my course of action that Satan is right and Christ is wrong? for let all know that so long as one is not openly, boldly, steadfastly for Christ, he is against him; he says to a witnessing universe, Satan is right and Christ is wrong; for whosoever “believeth not God,” says the apostle, “hath made him a liar.” 1 John 5:10. LUJ 36.1

In addition to all this, God pleads with all men to be reconciled to him. The word of reconciliation he has committed to those who are willing to go forth and preach his word. And in every appeal men make in accordance with God’s will, in every opportunity we have to learn his truth, we are to hear the voice of Christ himself, beseeching us to be reconciled to God. How pathetic is the apostle’s appeal: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:20, 21. And why should we not be reconciled to God? Whoever refuses should be able to give some reason. What, then, is there about God, in his nature, his word, his dealings with men, and what he purposes for them in the future, with which we should not be reconciled? Is the reader living without God in the world? Then please plead your cause. Let the world hear your reasons why you will not be reconciled to God. LUJ 37.1