From Eternity Past


Chapter 29—Satan's Hatred of God's Law

The first effort of Satan to overthrow God's law—undertaken among the sinless inhabitants of heaven—seemed for a time to be crowned with success. A vast number of the angels were seduced. But Satan's apparent triumph resulted in defeat and loss, separation from God, and banishment from heaven. EP 231.1

When the conflict was renewed on earth, Satan again won a seeming advantage. By transgression, man became his captive. Now the way seemed open for Satan to establish an independent kingdom and to defy the authority of God and His Son. But the plan of salvation made it possible for man again to be brought into harmony with God. EP 231.2

Again Satan was defeated, and again he resorted to deception in the hope of converting defeat into victory. He now represented God as unjust in having permitted man to transgress His law. “Why,” said the tempter, “when God knew what would be the result, did He permit man to be placed on trial and bring in misery and death?” The children of Adam gave ear to the tempter and murmured against the only Being who could save them from the destructive power of Satan. EP 231.3

Thousands today are echoing the same rebellious complaint against God. They do not see that to deprive man of freedom of choice would make him a mere automaton. Like the inhabitants of all other worlds, he must be subject to the test of obedience; but he is never brought into such a position that yielding to evil becomes a matter of necessity. No temptation or trial is permitted which he is unable to resist. EP 231.4

As men increased, almost the whole world joined the ranks of rebellion. Once more Satan seemed to have gained the victory, but the earth was cleansed by the Flood from its moral pollution. EP 232.1