From Eternity Past


Chapter 1—Why Was Sin Permitted?

“God is love.” His nature, His law, is love. It ever has been; it ever will be. Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love. The history of the great conflict between good and evil from the time it first began in heaven is also a demonstration of God's unchanging love. EP 9.1

The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate who could appreciate His purpose and share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. See John 1:1, 2. EP 9.2

Christ the Word was one with the eternal Father, one in nature, in character, in purpose. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. EP 9.3

The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” Colossians 1:16. Angels are God's ministers speeding to execute His will. But the Son, the “express image of His person,” “the brightness of His glory,” “upholding all things by the word of His power,” holds supremacy over them all. See Hebrews 1:3, 8. EP 9.4

God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service. EP 9.5

So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies. EP 10.1

But a change came over this happy state. There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him, who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, “son of the morning,” (Isaiah 14:12) was holy and undefiled. “Thus saith the Lord God: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty... . Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so. Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” EP 10.2

Little by little, Lucifer indulged the desire for self-exaltation. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” Ezekiel 28:12-15, 17. “Thou hast said in thine heart, ... I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; ... I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. Though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. This prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone. EP 10.3

Now the perfect harmony of heaven was broken. In heavenly council the angels pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the goodness and justice of the Creator and the unchanging nature of His law. In departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning given in infinite love and mercy only aroused resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined. EP 10.4

The king of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” Revelation 5:11. Before the inhabitants of heaven, the King declared that none but Christ could fully enter into His purposes and execute the mighty counsels of His will. Christ was still to exercise divine power in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. EP 10.5