Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 16

The Predicament of Our First Parents

This chapter is based on Genesis 3.

No longer free to stir up rebellion in heaven, Satan found a new field in plotting the ruin of the human race. Moved by envy, he determined to bring upon them the guilt and penalty of sin. He would change their love to distrust and their songs of praise to criticism of their Maker. Thus he would not only plunge these innocent beings into misery but cast dishonor upon God, and cause grief in heaven.

Heavenly messengers opened to our first parents the history of Satan’s fall and his plots for their destruction, unfolding the nature of the divine government that the prince of evil was trying to overthrow.

The law of God is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom. The harmony of creation depends upon perfect conformity to the law of the Creator. Everything is under fixed laws that cannot be disregarded. But human beings alone, of all that inhabits the earth, are responsible to moral law. To them God has given power to understand the justice and goodness of His law, and of them unswerving obedience is required.

Like the angels, the dwellers in Eden had been given time to show what they would do. They could obey and live, or disobey and perish. He who did not spare the angels that sinned could not spare them; transgression would bring upon them misery and ruin.

The angels warned them to be on guard against the schemes of Satan. If they firmly resisted his first subtle enticings, they would be safe. But if they once yielded to temptation, their nature would become so depraved that in themselves they would have no power and no inclination to resist Satan.

The tree of knowledge had been made a test of their obedience and love to God. If they should disregard His will in this particular, they would be guilty. Satan was not to follow them with continual temptations; he could have access to them only at the forbidden tree.

To accomplish his work undetected, Satan put on a disguise. The serpent was one of the wisest and most beautiful creatures. It had dazzling brightness. Resting in the forbidden tree, feasting on the delicious

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