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THE ORIGIN OF EVIL

The Beginning of the Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan

THE great controversy between good and evil, that has been waged on earth ever since man's fall, had its origin in heaven. Certain angels rebelled against God and His government.

"There was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Rev. 12: 7-9.

Thus came the forces of evil into this world, which have been working through all the ages to draw men from allegiance to God, and to infuse into human hearts the same spirit of disobedience which wrought the ruin of Satan and his angels.

The Cause of the Downfall

Christ stated the principle: "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matt. 6:23. The principle finds its utmost application in the great reversal, by which Lucifer, the light bearer in heaven, became Satan, the adversary, the prince of darkness.

In the pride and self-exaltation of Tyre, of old, the Lord saw manifested the spirit of the god of this world; so, in de

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claring His message of rebuke to the prince of Tyre, the Lord describes the cause and history of Satan's fall:

"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God. . . . 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. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Eze. 28: 13-17.

Likewise, in the swelling pride of Babylon the Lord recognized the spirit of the leader of the rebellious angels. In one of the messages to Babylon is this reference to the vaulting ambition of Lucifer in heaven:

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"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer ["day-star," margin], son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." Isa. 14: 12-14.

Lucifer, his powers now perverted to evil, deceived many of the angels, persuading them to join him in rebellion against the government of God; with the result that Satan and all his host were cast out. Christ said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Luke 10: 18.

"Him the Almighty Power

Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky."

The Earth as the Battle Ground

Then the great controversy which began in heaven was transferred to this earth, and now centers around man. For "that old serpent," the leader of the fallen angels, deceived man, and persuaded him to distrust God and to choose his own way in preference to God's way. Thus came sin and death into the world. And Satan, who had overcome man at the forbidden tree, became by his own usurpation and by man's perfidy, "the prince of this world."

But Christ gave himself to save man, to deliver him from the bondage of sin, and to restore him to the glorious liberty of the sons of God. The same mighty power that overcame Satan and his angels in heaven is able to overcome his power

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THE REDEMPTION PRICE

"That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Heb. 2:14.

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