The Youth’s Instructor


October 11, 1894

Vital Godliness Bruises the Serpent's Head


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not .... That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” YI October 11, 1894, par. 1

It was by seducing the minds of Adam and Eve through the error of the wicked, that Satan led them to transgress the law of God. Through sin, darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people; but God sent truth into our world in untarnished glory, beauty, and perfection, and placed it in contrast with error. Neither men nor devils were able to detect a flaw in the character of Christ; but the revelation of the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, placed darkness in such contrast, that men would not receive the light. The carnal heart is enmity against God, and is not subject to his law, neither indeed can be. Not believing on Christ, the world knew him not. YI October 11, 1894, par. 2

After the transgression of the law of God, our first parents were called into the presence of God. “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden: and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldst not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle.... And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This prophecy refers not only to the enmity between Christ and Satan, but also to the enmity that exists between the world and the followers of the world's Redeemer. Christ was the special One who should bruise the head of the serpent; but the prophecy also includes all those who shall overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. In the words addressed to the serpent is a delineation of the great, unended conflict that has been waging in the world from the beginning of sin. The earth is the battle-field for the conflict, and the result of the conflict, while it brings temporal loss upon the followers of Christ, will bring eternal ruin upon Satan, evil angels, and evil men, who unite with the enemy in the controversy against Christ. YI October 11, 1894, par. 3

The Lord says, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman.” The enmity does not exist as a natural fact. As soon as Adam sinned, he was in harmony with the first great apostate and at war with God; and if God had not interfered in man's behalf, Satan and man would have formed a confederacy against heaven, and would have carried on united opposition against the God of hosts. There is no natural enmity between evil angels and evil men; both are evil through transgression of the law of God, and evil will always league against good. Fallen men and fallen angels enter into a desperate companionship. The prophecy of enmity between the serpent and the seed of the woman, was the first intimation that Satan had that God would provide a way of salvation for the fallen race. Satan had made his calculation that he would induce men to ally themselves with him as he had induced angels; and by this desperate confederacy, he would not hesitate to war against heaven, and seek to dethrone the Lord of hosts. YI October 11, 1894, par. 4

The enmity against Satan never worked with such power as it did in the time of Christ. Never had a son of Adam felt such utter hatred of sin as did the spotless Son of God; and bear in mind that sin is the transgression of the law. The purity and holiness of the character of Christ stirred up the very worst passions of the human heart for his sinless character was in marked contrast to the character of men of a fallen race, who loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. His perfect obedience to the commandments of God was a continual rebuke to a sensual and perverse generation. His spotless character was shedding light into the midst of the moral darkness of the world, and the darkness comprehended it not. YI October 11, 1894, par. 5

The world knows not the followers of Christ. They do not recognize their holy origin, and they will not be in harmony with them any more than they were in harmony with Jesus, their Lord. The righteous zeal manifested by Christ for the honor of God as the supreme Ruler, the unsparing denunciation of sin, the unmasking of the hypocrisy of those who made a pretense to piety, and thus deceived the people, the heavenly loveliness of his own unblemished character, aroused the enmity of the world against him who hated nothing but sin. He warred against lust and hypocrisy, and this stirred up against him the most bitter hostility. The serpent himself came to the assistance of his seed, and evil angels and evil men conspired together in a confederacy of apostasy to destroy the Champion of God, and to make void the law of the Most High. YI October 11, 1894, par. 6

Those who become the sons of God cannot avoid coming into conflict with the hosts of apostasy. “The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” The Redeemer of the world subjected himself to every kind of insult and mockery, and endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. What love, what wondrous love, the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to go through humiliation, suffering, and death to pay the debt of man's sin, and to purchase for the repenting transgressor the righteousness of his spotless life, in order that iniquity might not be perpetuated, but that the transgressor, through the condescension of Christ, might be brought back to allegiance to God. Through the merits of the Redeemer, God accepts the efforts of sinful man in keeping his law, which is holy, just, and good. YI October 11, 1894, par. 7

Those who truly unite with Christ will be found doing the same work that Christ did while on the earth,—they will be found magnifying the law and making it honorable. But those who stand to vindicate the honor of God's law will be objects of Satan's enmity; for he was a despiser of the law from the beginning, and his seed will war against the righteous, and the wicked will endeavor to exterminate the good from the face of the earth. Satan has sown plentifully the seed of dangerous heresies that will produce a harvest of corruption, and will be as tares among the wheat. He is filling the hearts and minds of men with fables, and causing them to turn away their ears from hearing the truth. The advocates of truth are regarded as enemies to Christianity; but although Satan causes the world to regard the follower of Christ as the foe to progress, whenever a soul takes a decided stand for truth, the head of the serpent is bruised by the seed of the woman, and the serpent can bruise but the heel of the seed. When nominal Christianity is pronounced wanting and is found insufficient, and practical godliness is alone declared genuine religion, the enmity of Satan is aroused at once, but his anger is an evidence of his bruising. He is seeking to hold the people in the deception of a form of godliness without its power; to keep them satisfied with a profession of piety, when their hearts are carnal and at enmity with the law of Jehovah. When the advocates of truth reveal the efficiency of truth in their life and character, a blow is struck against the kingdom of Satan. YI October 11, 1894, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White