Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 8

in heaven. He tried to draw heavenly beings away from their Creator and win honor to himself. Putting his own evil characteristics on the Creator, he led angels to doubt the word of God and distrust His goodness. Satan led them to look on Him as severe and unforgiving. In this way, he deceived angels. In the same way, he deceived the human race, and the night of misery settled down on the world.

The earth was dark through misunderstanding of God. To bring the world back to God, Satan’s deceptive power must be broken. God could not do this by force. He wants only the service of love, and love cannot be won by force or authority. Only love awakens love. To know God is to love Him. We must see His character in contrast to Satan’s. Only one Being could do this work. Only He who knew the height and depth of God’s love could make it known.

The plan for our redemption was not formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of “the mystery that was kept secret for long ages.” Romans 16:25, NRSV. It was an unfolding of the principles that have been the foundation of God’s throne from eternity. God foresaw sin’s existence and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. He pledged to give His only-begotten Son, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Lucifer had said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; ... I will be like the Most High.” But Christ, “though he was in the form of God, ... emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.” Isaiah 14:13, 14; Philippians 2:6, 7, NRSV.

A Voluntary Sacrifice

Jesus could have kept the glory of heaven. But He chose to step down from the throne of the universe in order to bring life to the dying.

Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice was heard in heaven,

“A body You have prepared for Me. ...
‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”

Hebrews 10:5-7

Christ was about to visit our world, to become flesh and blood. If He had appeared with the glory that was His before the world was created, we could not have endured the light of His presence. In order that we could behold it and not be destroyed, He shrouded His glory and veiled His divinity with humanity.

Types and symbols had foreshadowed this great purpose. The burning bush, in which Christ appeared to Moses, revealed God. This lowly shrub, that seemed to have no attractions, enshrined the Infinite. God shrouded His glory so that Moses could look on it and live. Similarly, in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God’s glory was veiled so that finite human beings could look at it. So Christ was to come “in the likeness of men.” He was the incarnate God, but His glory was veiled so that He could draw near to sorrowful, tempted men and women.

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