The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 1: Why was Sin Permitted?
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"God is love." 1 John 4:16. His nature, His law, is love. It
ever has been; it ever will be. "The high and lofty One that
inhabiteth eternity," whose "ways are everlasting," changeth not.
With Him "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Isaiah
57:15; Habakkuk 3:6; James 1:17.
Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of
infinite love. The sovereignty of God involves fullness of blessing
to all created beings. The psalmist says:
"Strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.|
Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne:
Mercy and truth go before Thy face.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound:
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.
In Thy name do they rejoice all the day:
And in Thy righteousness are they exalted.
For Thou art the glory of their strength: . . .
For our shield belongeth unto Jehovah,
And our king to the Holy One."
|Psalm 89:13-18, R.V.*
The history of the great conflict between good and evil, from
the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion
and the total eradication of sin, is also a demonstration of God's
unchanging love. [p. 34]
* In this text and in some other Bible quotations used in this
book the word "Jehovah" is employed instead of "Lord," as rendered
in the American Supplement to the Revised Version.
The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of
beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate
His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to
created beings. "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." John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten
of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in
character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all
the counsels and purposes of God. "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. And the Son of God
declares concerning Himself: "The Lord possessed Me in the
beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from
everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the
earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I
was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." Proverbs
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: all things were
created by Him, and for Him." Colossians 1:16. Angels are
God's ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His
presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But
the Son, the anointed of God, 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. Hebrews 1:3.
"A glorious high throne from the beginning," was the place of
His sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); "a scepter of righteousness," the
scepter of His kingdom. Hebrews 1:8. "Honor and majesty are
before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary." Psalm
96:6. Mercy and truth go before His face. Psalm 89:14.
The law of love being the foundation of the government of
God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their
perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. 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. [p. 35]
So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of
love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God.
It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their
Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth
His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one
another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord
to mar the celestial harmonies. 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 in
power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, "son
of the morning," was first of the covering cherubs, holy and
undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the
ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon
him. "Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of
wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the
garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. . . . 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." Ezekiel 28:12-15.
Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for
self-exaltation. The Scripture says, "Thine heart was lifted up because
of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy
brightness." Ezekiel 28:17. "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 all his glory was from
God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to
himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the
heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator.
Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections
and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure
their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with
which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of
angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.
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