The Review and Herald

93/1902

March 3, 1874

Redemption—No. 2

EGW

Fallen man, because of his guilt, could no longer come directly before God with his supplications, for his transgression of the divine law had placed an impassable barrier between the holy God and the transgressor. But a plan was devised that the sentence of death should rest upon a substitute of superior value to the law of God. In the plan of redemption there must be the shedding of blood, for death must come in consequence of man's sin. The beasts for sacrificial offerings were to prefigure Christ. In the slain victim, man was to see the fulfillment for the time being of God's word, “Ye shall surely die.” And the flowing of the blood from the victim would also signify an atonement. There was no virtue in the blood of animals; but the shedding of the blood of beasts was to point forward to a Redeemer who would one day come to the world and die for the sins of men. And thus Christ would fully vindicate his Father's law. RH March 3, 1874, par. 1

Satan with intense interest watched every event in regard to the sacrificial offerings. The devotion and solemnity connected with the shedding of the blood of the victim caused him great uneasiness. This ceremony to him was clothed with mystery; but he was not a dull scholar, and he soon learned that the sacrificial offerings typified some future atonement for man. He saw that these offerings signified repentance for sin. This did not agree with his purposes, and he at once commenced to work upon the heart of Cain to lead him to rebellion against the sacrificial offering which prefigured a Redeemer to come. RH March 3, 1874, par. 2

Adam's repentance, evidenced in his sorrow for his transgression, and his hope of salvation through Christ shown by his works in the sacrifices offered, was a disappointment to Satan. He hoped forever to gain Adam to unite with him in murmuring against God, and in rebelling against his authority. Here were the representatives of the two great classes. Abel as priest offered in solemn faith his sacrifice. Cain was willing to offer the fruit of his ground, but refused to connect with his offering the blood of beasts. His heart refused to show his repentance for sin and his faith in a Saviour by offering the blood of beasts. He refused to acknowledge his need of a Redeemer. This to his proud heart was dependence and humiliation. RH March 3, 1874, par. 3

But Abel by faith in a future Redeemer offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. His offering the blood of beasts signified that he was a sinner and had sins to wash away, and that he was penitent and believed in the efficacy of the blood of the future great offering. Satan is the parent of unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion. He filled Cain with doubt and with madness against his innocent brother and against God, because his sacrifice was refused and Abel's accepted. And he slew his brother in his insane madness. RH March 3, 1874, par. 4

The sacrificial offerings were instituted to be a standing pledge to man of God's pardon through the great offering to be made, typified by the blood of beasts. Through this ceremony man signified repentance, obedience, and faith in a Redeemer to come. That which made Cain's offering offensive to God was his lack of submission and obedience to the ordinance of his appointment. He thought his own plans in offering to God merely the fruit of the ground was nobler, and not as humiliating as the offering of the blood of beasts which showed a dependence upon another, thus expressing his own weakness and sinfulness. Cain slighted the blood of the atonement. RH March 3, 1874, par. 5

Adam in transgressing the law of Jehovah had opened the door for Satan, and he had planted his banner in the midst of his own family. He was made to feel indeed that the wages of sin is death. Satan designed to gain Eden by deceiving our first parents; but in this he was disappointed. Instead of securing to himself Eden, he now feared that he would lose all he had claimed out of Eden. His sagacity could trace the signification of these offerings, that they pointed man forward to a Redeemer, and were a typical atonement for the time being for the sin of fallen man, opening a door of hope to the race. RH March 3, 1874, par. 6

The rebellion of Satan against God was most determined. He worked to war against the kingdom of God with perseverance and fortitude worthy of a better cause. RH March 3, 1874, par. 7

The world had become so corrupt through indulgence of appetite and debased passions in the days of Noah that God was provoked to destroy its inhabitants by the waters of the flood. As men again multiplied upon the earth, the indulgence of wine to intoxication perverted the senses, and prepared the way for excessive meat-eating and the strengthening of the animal passions. Men lifted themselves up against the God of Heaven. And their faculties and opportunities were devoted to glorifying themselves rather than honoring their Creator. Satan found easy access to the hearts of men. He is a diligent student of the Bible, and is much better acquainted with the prophecies than many religious teachers. He knows that it is for his interest to keep well informed in the revealed purposes of God, that he may defeat the plans of the Infinite. So infidels study the Scriptures frequently more diligently than some who profess to be guided by them. Some of the ungodly search the Scriptures that they may become familiar with Bible truth, and furnish themselves with arguments to make it appear that the Bible contradicts itself. And many professed Christians are so ignorant of the word of God, through neglect of its study, that they are blinded by the deceptive reasoning of those who pervert sacred truth, that they may turn souls away from the counsel of God in his word. RH March 3, 1874, par. 8

Satan saw in the typical offerings an expected Redeemer who was to ransom man from his control. He laid his plans deep to rule the hearts of men from generation to generation, and to blind their understanding of the prophecies, that when Jesus should come, the people would refuse to accept him as their Saviour. RH March 3, 1874, par. 9

God appointed Moses to lead out his people from their bondage in the land of Egypt, that they might consecrate themselves to serve him with perfect hearts, and be to him a peculiar treasure. Moses was their visible leader, while Christ stood at the head of the armies of Israel, their invisible leader. If they could have always realized this, they would not have rebelled and provoked God in the wilderness by their unreasonable murmurings. God said to Moses, “Behold I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him.” RH March 3, 1874, par. 10

When Christ as the guiding, guarding angel condescended to lead the armies of Israel through the wilderness to Canaan, Satan was provoked, for he felt that his power could not so well control them. But as he saw that the armies of Israel were easily influenced and incited to rebellion by his suggestions, he hoped to lead them to murmuring and sin which would bring upon them the wrath of God. And as he saw that his power was submitted to by men, he became bold in his temptations, inciting to crime and violence. Through Satan's devices, each generation was becoming more feeble in physical, mental, and moral power. This gave him courage to think that he might succeed in his warfare against Christ in person when he should be manifested. He has the dominion of death. RH March 3, 1874, par. 11

Some few in every generation from Adam resisted his every artifice and stood forth as noble representatives of what it was in the power of man to do and to be—Christ working with human efforts, helping man in overcoming the power of Satan. Enoch and Elijah are the correct representatives of what the race might be through faith in Jesus Christ if they chose to be. Satan was greatly disturbed because these noble, holy men stood untainted amid the moral pollution surrounding them, perfected righteous characters, and were accounted worthy for translation to Heaven. As they had stood forth in moral power in noble uprightness, overcoming Satan's temptations, he could not bring them under the dominion of death. He triumphed that he had power to overcome Moses with his temptations, and that he could mar his illustrious character and lead him to the sin of taking glory to himself before the people which belonged to God. RH March 3, 1874, par. 12

Christ resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. This enraged Satan, and he accused the Son of God of invading his dominion by robbing the grave of his lawful prey. Jude says of the resurrection of Moses, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” RH March 3, 1874, par. 13

When Satan succeeds in tempting men, whom God has especially honored, to commit grievous sins, he triumphs; for he has gained to himself a great victory and done harm to the kingdom of Christ. RH March 3, 1874, par. 14

At the birth of Christ, Satan saw the plains of Bethlehem illuminated with the brilliant glory of a multitude of heavenly angels. He heard their song, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.” The prince of darkness saw the amazed shepherds filled with fear as they beheld the illuminated plains. They trembled before the exhibitions of bewildering glory which seemed to entrance their senses. The rebel chief himself trembled at the proclamation of the angel to the shepherds, “Fear not; for, behold, I bring to you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” He had met with so good success in devising a plan to ruin men that he had become bold and powerful. He had controlled the minds and bodies of men from Adam down to the first appearing of Christ. But now Satan was troubled and alarmed for his kingdom and his life. RH March 3, 1874, par. 15

The song of the heavenly messengers proclaiming the advent of the Saviour to a fallen world, and the joy expressed at this great event Satan knew boded no good to himself. Dark forebodings were awakened in his mind as to the influence this advent to the world would have upon his kingdom. He queried if this was not the coming One who would contest his power and overthrow his kingdom. He looked upon Christ from his birth as his rival. He stirred the envy and jealousy of Herod to destroy Christ by insinuating to him that his power and his kingdom were to be given to this new king. Satan imbued Herod with the very feelings and fears that disturbed his own mind. He inspired the corrupt mind of Herod to invent a plan which he thought would succeed in ridding the earth of the infant king, by slaying all the children from two years old and under in Bethlehem. RH March 3, 1874, par. 16

But against his plans, Satan sees a higher power at work. Angels of God protected the life of the infant Redeemer. Joseph was warned in a dream to flee into Egypt, that in a heathen land he may find an asylum for the world's Redeemer. Satan followed him from infancy to childhood and from childhood to manhood, inventing means and ways to allure him from his allegiance to God, and overcome him with his subtle temptations. The unsullied purity of the childhood, youth, and manhood, of Christ which Satan could not taint annoyed him exceedingly. All his darts and arrows of temptation fell harmless before the Son of God. And when he found that all his temptations prevailed nothing in moving Christ from his steadfast integrity, or in marring the spotless purity of the youthful Galilean, he was perplexed and enraged. He looked upon this youth as an enemy that he must dread and fear. RH March 3, 1874, par. 17

That there should be one who walked the earth with moral power to withstand all his temptations, who resisted all his attractive bribes to allure him to sin, and over whom he could obtain no advantage to separate from God, chafed and enraged his Satanic majesty. RH March 3, 1874, par. 18

The childhood, youth, and manhood, of John, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah to do a special work in preparing the way for the world's Redeemer, was marked with firmness and moral power. Satan could not move him from his integrity. When the voice of this prophet was heard in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Satan was afraid for his kingdom. He felt that the voice sounding forth in trumpet tones in the wilderness caused sinners under his control to tremble. He saw that his power over many was broken. The sinfulness of sin was revealed in such a manner that men became alarmed, and some, by repentance of their sins, found the favor of God and gained moral power to resist his temptations. RH March 3, 1874, par. 19

He was on the ground at the time when Christ presented himself to John for baptism. He heard the majestic voice resounding through heaven and echoing through the earth like peals of thunder. He saw the lightnings flash from the cloudless heavens, and heard the fearful words from Jehovah, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” He saw the brightness of the Father's glory overshadowing the form of Jesus, thus, with unmistakable assurance, pointing out the One in that crowd whom he acknowledged as his Son. The circumstances connected with this baptismal scene had aroused the most intense hatred in the breast of Satan. He knew then for a certainty that, unless he could overcome Christ, from henceforth there would be a limitation of his power. He understood that the communication from the throne of God signified that Heaven was more directly accessible to man. RH March 3, 1874, par. 20

As Satan had led man to sin, he had hoped that God's abhorrence of sin would forever separate him from man, and break the connecting link between Heaven and earth. But the opening heavens in connection with the voice of God addressing his Son was like a death-knell to Satan. He feared that God was now to unite man more fully to himself, and give him power to overcome his devices. And for this purpose, Christ had come from the royal courts to the earth. Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the beloved of the Father. And that he should leave Heaven and come to this world as a man filled him with apprehension for his own safety. He could not comprehend the mystery of this great sacrifice for the benefit of fallen man. He knew well the value of Heaven far exceeded the anticipation and appreciation of fallen man. The most costly treasures of the world he knew would not compare with its worth. As he had lost through his rebellion all the riches and pure glories of Heaven, he was determined to be revenged by causing as many he could to undervalue Heaven and to place their affections upon earthly treasures. RH March 3, 1874, par. 21

It was incomprehensible to the selfish soul of Satan that there could exist benevolence and love for the deceived race so great as to induce the Prince of Heaven to leave his home and come to a world marred with sin and seared with the curse. He had knowledge of the inestimable value of eternal riches that man had not. He had experienced the pure contentment, the peace and exalted holiness of unalloyed joys of the heavenly abode. He had realized before his rebellion the satisfaction of the full approval of God. He had once a full appreciation of the glory that enshrouded the Father, and knew that there was no limit to his power. RH March 3, 1874, par. 22

Satan knew what he had lost. He now feared that his empire over the world was to be contested, his right disputed, and his power broken. He knew through prophecy, that a Savior was predicted and that his kingdom would not be established in earthly triumph and with worldly honor and display. He knew that ancient prophecies foretold a kingdom to be established by the Prince of Heaven upon the earth, which he claimed as his dominion. His kingdom would embrace all the kingdoms of the world, and then his power and his glory would cease and he receive his retribution for the sins he had introduced into the world and for the misery he had brought upon man. He knew that everything which concerned his prosperity was pending upon his success or failure in overcoming Christ with his temptations in the wilderness. He brought to bear upon Christ every artifice and force of his powerful temptations to allure him from his allegiance. RH March 3, 1874, par. 23