Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 87, 1903

The Hour of Satan’s Triumph


August 11, 1903 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

The author of sin was once a being possessing wonderful power and glory. The highest of all created beings, he stood next to Christ in the courts of heaven. But he did not recognize the fact that his glorious attributes were a gift from God, and that He who had given him these endowments could also remove them. He aspired to be like the Most High. Not content with being the light-bearer, he desired to be the ruler of the universe. He set himself up against God, and he was cast out of heaven, and with him a host of angels who sympathized with him and supported him in his ambitious designs. Many of these angels had occupied high positions in the government of God. All were enriched with the talent of intellect and were girded with strength and glory. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 1

Those who had risen in revolt against the government of God were apparently conquered, but the rebellion spread still further. Cast out of heaven, Satan and his angels came to this earth, and here they used every means in their power to draw into revolt the human family, that the warfare against God might be carried on upon this earth. Satan led Adam and Eve to transgress the laws of God, and thus sin was introduced into our world. The image of God in man was defaced. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 2

God’s chosen people, the nation whom He redeemed from Egyptian bondage and to whom He committed His oracles, left their allegiance and joined the forces of Satan. “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son to redeem them that were under the law.” [Galatians 4:4, 5.] 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 3

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14.] But those whom Christ came to save would have none of Him. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” [Verse 11.] Yielding themselves to Satan’s control, they rejected the Messiah and sought opportunity to put Him to death. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 4

Satan and his angels determined to make Christ’s death as humiliating as possible. They filled the hearts of the Jewish leaders with feelings of bitter hatred against the Saviour. Controlled by the enemy, priests and rulers stirred the multitude to take part against the Son of God. Had their eyes been opened, they would have seen that Satan and his angels, some in the form of men, were in the crowd, swelling the blasphemy that rose unrebuked to the heavens. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 5

In the hour of the humiliation of the Son of God no one was found who would vindicate His character. A few days before, thousands of voices had shouted His praise; now when He stood in need of recognition and help, He received it not. What a severe test of His love! Aside from Pilate’s declaration of His innocence, no one spoke a word in His favor. And even Pilate, knowing His innocence, gave Him over to the abuse of men under the control of Satan. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 6

Similar events will take place in the near future. Men will exalt and rigidly enforce laws that are in direct opposition to the law of God. Though zealous in enforcing their own commandments, they will turn away from a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Exalting a spurious rest day, they will seek to force men to dishonor the law of Jehovah, the transcript of His character. Though innocent of wrongdoing, the servants of God will be given over to suffer humiliation and abuse at the hands of those, who, inspired by Satan, are filled with envy and religious bigotry. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 7

As Christ hung upon the cross, He was made the object of scorn and derision. “They that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests, mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him; for He said, I am the Son of God.” [Matthew 27:39-43.] “And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering Him vinegar, and saying, If Thou be the King of the Jews, save Thyself.” “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If Thou be the Christ, save Thyself and us.” [Luke 23:36, 37, 39.] 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 8

Christ felt the anguish which the impenitent sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. He could not see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be understood by man. In His agony He cried, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” [Matthew 27:46.] 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 9

But though apparently forsaken by God, never was He more beloved of His Father, and in those dreadful hours Christ relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father. He understood His justice, His mercy, His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith Christ was victor. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 10

In the death of Christ propitiation was made for every son and daughter of Adam. He died “that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] But many, who might lay their sins upon the Sin-bearer, choose to retain them. Of them Christ says, “Ye would not come unto Me, that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] For them Christ has died in vain, and the hour will come when they will realize that they are forsaken by God. The human friends in whom they have trusted cannot pay the ransom for their souls. They will be lost, eternally lost. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 11

When Christ suffered for the human race, He felt neither remorse, despair, or hatred. Far different will be the feelings of the sinner who has not availed himself of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Too late, he will realize what he has lost by refusing to accept the salvation of God. His heart will then be filled with an agony of remorse and despair, even though still fired by satanic hatred against God. 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 12

“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 18LtMs, Ms 87, 1903, par. 13