The Review and Herald

1118/1902

April 16, 1901

The Warfare Between Good and Evil

EGW

Satan is the originator of sin. In heaven he resolved to live to himself. He resolved to be leader. He determined to make himself a center of influence. If he could not be the highest authority in heaven, he would be the highest authority in rebellion against the government of heaven. Head he would be, to control, not to be controlled. RH April 16, 1901, par. 1

When Satan made this choice, when he ceased to co-operate with God in His plans for the universal good, he became by his own choice the leader in rebellion, and his influence was exerted solely to injure God. When Satan refused to exert his influence on the side of truth, heaven must no longer be his home. He gathered with him in rebellion an army of angels who had swerved from their allegiance. With these sympathizers he was cast out of heaven. RH April 16, 1901, par. 2

Satan was dependent on God for his life. He resolved to ignore this dependence, but he could not destroy the fact. He could cease to be loyal and true, cease to be the means of communicating hallowed influences, but he could never be that which he told his companions he would be,—the center of influence. RH April 16, 1901, par. 3

Satan separated himself from God, and selfishness became the law of those who placed themselves under his leadership. He came to this earth, and entered upon the work of conforming all things to himself. He sought in every way to deface the divine image in man, and to place his principles where the principles of heaven should be. RH April 16, 1901, par. 4

To a large degree Satan has succeeded in the execution of his plans. Through the medium of influence, taking advantage of the action of mind on mind, he prevailed on Adam to sin. Thus at its very source human nature was corrupted. And ever since then sin has continued its hateful work, reaching from mind to mind. Every sin committed awakens the echoes of the original sin. RH April 16, 1901, par. 5

Mutual dependence is a wonderful thing. Reciprocal influence should be carefully studied. We should find out without doubt on what side we are exerting our influence. When placed on the side of right, influence is a power for God; when placed on the side of evil, it is a power for Satan. One human being under Satan's control becomes a means of temptation to another human being. Thus evil grows into immense proportions. RH April 16, 1901, par. 6

Satan gathered the fallen angels together to devise some way of doing the most possible evil to the human family. One proposition after another was made, till finally Satan himself thought of a plan. He would take the fruit of the vine, also wheat, and other things given by God as food, and would convert them into poisons, which would ruin man's physical, mental, and moral powers, and so overcome the senses that Satan should have full control. Under the influence of liquor, men would be led to commit crimes of all kinds. Through perverted appetite the world would be made corrupt. By leading men to drink alcohol, Satan would cause them to descend lower and lower in the scale. RH April 16, 1901, par. 7

Satan has succeeded in turning the world from God. The blessings provided in God's love and mercy he has turned into a deadly curse. He has filled men with a craving for liquor and tobacco. This appetite, which has no foundation in nature, has destroyed its millions, yet it is indulged by high and low, rich and poor. Too often those appointed to guard the interests of the people are under the power of this appetite. RH April 16, 1901, par. 8

Not only is the evil of intemperance allowed and sanctioned in Christian lands; the curse is carried to heathen nations. Poor, unenlightened savages, ignorant of God, are taught to ask for liquor. So hardened have professed Christians become that they care not that the liquor curse is introduced into the dark regions of idolatry. RH April 16, 1901, par. 9

Satan wages an untiring warfare against the law of God. And so completely has he deceived men that his insinuations against this law are repeated from professedly Christian pulpits. Men, women, and children have been taught to believe them, and as a result—look at the world today. Satan is its god. Nations have become workers of iniquity. Evil has lifted up itself against good. Men say, It does not matter what God's law says; the laws of the nations must be obeyed. Despotic power shows itself strong. Man-made laws are climbing higher and still higher, to displace and make void the law of God, to take the consciences of men under their control, and defy God to His face. Satan is gathering the powers of evil, to give them back to a lawless world under the solemn names of law and religion. RH April 16, 1901, par. 10

The world is nearing the time of its destruction. Every generation takes up some phase of evil in advance of the one which preceded it, moving onward in the march of impenitence and rebellion. God is looking on, measuring the temple and the worshipers therein. Professed Christians are joining hands with the man of sin, to make void the law of God. RH April 16, 1901, par. 11

Soon the world is to be called to appear at the bar of God. John writes, “I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” RH April 16, 1901, par. 12

The arm of Omnipotence alone can cleanse the earth from the evil which Satan has brought into it. This He will do by destroying the world by fire, even as He destroyed the old world by a flood. RH April 16, 1901, par. 13

No man liveth to himself. Consciously or unconsciously he is influencing others, either for good or evil. If for evil, his influence accumulates evil; if for good, it strengthens good. Not only do those human beings who give themselves up to work evil breathe the deadly infection of the time preceding their time; they add to the deadly influence their own disease, to the injury of those who come after them. But when men are guided and controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit, there goes out from them an influence that is a savor of life unto life. RH April 16, 1901, par. 14

The world has broken away from its true center. The churches of today have allowed Satan to enter in among them. Under his influence they have made void the law of God. The truths of the Bible are interpreted by religious teachers to mean something entirely different from what they do mean. Is there no remedy for this? Is the chain of dependence which unites the human family henceforth to be used to advance universal disorganization and hostility to God? Is the law of God always to be disobeyed? Is the law of influence to be used by Satan to drag mankind lower and lower? Is it not time that a people stood forth in moral independence, cherishing at the same time a sense of their dependence on God, and realizing that upon them rests the responsibility of declaring that the law of God is not changed and never will be changed? Let those who see the binding claims of the law arise and shine, because the glory of the Lord is risen upon them. RH April 16, 1901, par. 15

The Lord has sent to our world a message of warning, even the Third Angel's Message. All heaven is waiting to hear us vindicate God's law, declaring it to be holy, just, and good. Where are those who will do this work? God calls upon His people to gain a deeper insight into His plans and His law. His law is the transcript of His character. It is unchangeable; for God will not alter the thing that has gone out of His lips. Christ has declared that the law is perfect; and with David we may say, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” RH April 16, 1901, par. 16

Jesus Christ is to be the center of influence. The Holy Spirit is to be the efficiency of every one who is trying to do right. With all their energies human beings are to co-operate with the great Center of infinite love and infinite power. There are those in our world who are longing for a deeper religious experience, who are bemoaning the dearth of the Holy Spirit's power in the lives of the professed followers of Christ. When men return to their loyalty to God, they will cease to trample underfoot His plain commands. They will exalt God. His word will be to them a light shining amid the moral darkness. They will obey the words, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” RH April 16, 1901, par. 17

In Christ we have an example of patient endurance and unselfish love. The Commander of heaven made His way to our earth through all the ranks of hell, and in the midst of the world erected His cross. He descended from the heights of glory to the depths of humiliation and suffering. We can not fathom the love of the Son of God. To a world that refused to live unto God He presented an amazing sacrifice, turning His whole being into an atoning offering, with which no other sacrifice can be compared. “For your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” RH April 16, 1901, par. 18

We see Him in the wilderness, enduring a fast of forty days. We see Him humiliated, despised, rejected, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. We see Him tempted in all points like as we are. But though the enemy bruised and wounded the Saviour's body, he could not touch His mind. The Son of God remained true to His Father, firm and steadfast in His allegiance and loyalty. RH April 16, 1901, par. 19

Look upon Christ hanging on the cross of Calvary, sacrificed for us. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” RH April 16, 1901, par. 20

As the sinner looks upon the uplifted Saviour, conviction comes to him. He repents of his sin. Under the transforming influence of the Spirit, he is ready to sacrifice himself in the service of the Saviour. He does not live for himself; for from the cross has gone forth the proclamation that no one who lives for self can be benefited by the death of Christ. He who desires to live for himself is not a Christian. He who is truly repentant is created anew in Christ Jesus, and is no longer content to live for selfish enjoyment. His greatest desire is to do something for the Master, to be a faithful servant for his Lord. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.” A ransom has been paid, even the precious blood of Christ. “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” Every part of the Christian's being, his time, his service, his property, his strength, have been paid for. His all is the Lord's. At the moment he gave himself to Christ, he was recorded as the Redeemer's willing agent, just as if the price of salvation had been paid for him alone. Upon him is laid the duty of revealing Christ in all he does. The life he lives is Christ's; for over the rent sepulcher of Joseph the Saviour proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He is to use his every power in Christ's service. His talents of reason, of influence, of speech, of means, all are the Lord's. They always were the Lord's, but before his conversion, he did not acknowledge this. He has now become one with Christ. With Paul he may say, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” His life is bound up with the life of Christ in the great plan of redemption. His character is to be a reproduction of the character of Christ. Christlike self-denial and self-sacrifice, Christlike patience and gentleness, are to be manifested by him. RH April 16, 1901, par. 21

Christ has put it out of our power to give Him anything that God has not first given us. All belongs to God; therefore every one is bound by the ransom which has been paid to return to God His own. Those who have witnessed a good confession should now draw together in the bonds of Christian fellowship, consecrating themselves wholly to God. Union is strength. Then let God's people draw in even cords, exerting the influence which Christ by His death has made it possible for them to exert. RH April 16, 1901, par. 22