|Event 2 - World Polarized
"I Will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise
his heel." Genesis 3:15. The divine sentence pronounced against
Satan after the fall of man, was also a prophecy, embracing all the
ages to the close of time, and foreshadowing the great conflict to
engage all the races of men who should live upon the earth.
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15
God declares, "I will put enmity." This enmity is not naturally entertained.
When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony,
and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful
man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate
is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others
to follow his example. For this reason, fallen angels and wicked men unite in
desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would
have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity
against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to
Satan tempted man to sin, as he had caused angels to rebel, that he might thus
secure co-operation in his warfare against Heaven. There was no dissension between
himself and the fallen angels as regards their hatred of Christ; while on all
other points there was discord, they were firmly united in opposing the authority
of the Ruler of the universe. But when Satan heard the declaration that enmity
between himself and the woman, and between his seed and her seed, he knew that
his efforts to deprave human nature would be interrupted; that by some means
man was to be enabled to resist his power.
Satan's enmity against the human race is kindled, because, through Christ, they
are the objects of God's love and mercy. He desires to thwart the divine plan
for man's redemption, to cast dishonor upon God, by defacing and defiling his
handiwork; he would cause grief in Heaven, and fill the earth with woe and desolation.
And he points to all this evil as the result of God's work in creating man.
It is the grace that Christ implants in the soul which creates in man enmity
against Satan. Without this converting grace and renewing power, man would continue
the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his bidding. But the new principle
in the soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace. The power which Christ
imparts, enables man to resist the tyrant and usurper. Whoever is seen to abhor
sin instead of loving it, whoever resists and conquers those passions that have
held sway within, displays the operation of a principle wholly from above.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John
The antagonism that exists between the spirit of Christ and the spirit of Satan
was most strikingly displayed in the world's reception of Jesus. It was not so
much because he appeared without worldly wealth, pomp, or grandeur, that the
Jews were led to reject him. They saw that he possessed power which would more
than compensate for the lack of these outward advantages. But the purity and
holiness of Christ called forth against him the hatred of the ungodly. His life
of self-denial and sinless devotion was a perpetual reproof to a proud, sensual
people. It was this that evoked enmity against the Son of God. Satan and evil
angels joined with evil men. All the energies of apostasy conspired against the
champion of truth.
The same enmity is manifested toward Christ's followers as was manifested toward
their Master. Whoever sees the
repulsive character of sin, and, in strength from above, resists temptation,
will assuredly arouse the wrath of Satan and his subjects. Hatred of the pure
principles of truth, and reproach and persecution of its advocates, will exist
as long as sin and sinners remain. The followers of Christ and the servants of
Satan cannot harmonize. The offense of the cross has not ceased. "All that
will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12.
Satan's agents are constantly working under his direction to establish his authority
and build up his kingdom in opposition to the government of God. To this end
they seek to deceive Christ's followers, and allure them from their allegiance.
Like their leader, they misconstrue and pervert the Scriptures to accomplish
their object. As Satan endeavored to cast reproach upon God, so do his agents
seek to malign God's people. The spirit which put Christ to death moves the wicked
to destroy his followers. All this is foreshadowed in that first prophecy, "I
will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed." And
this will continue to the close of time.
Satan summons all his forces, and throws his whole power into the combat. Why
is it that he meets with no greater resistance? Why are the soldiers of Christ
so sleepy and indifferent?--Because they have so little real connection with
Christ; because they are so destitute of his Spirit. Sin is not to them repulsive
and abhorrent, as it was to their Master. They do not meet it, as did Christ,
with decisive and determined resistance. They do not realize the exceeding evil
and malignity of sin, and they are blinded both to the character and the power
of the prince of darkness. There is little enmity against Satan and his works,
because there is so great ignorance concerning his power and malice, and the
vast extent of his warfare against Christ and his church. Multitudes are deluded
here. They do not know that their enemy is a mighty general, who controls the
minds of evil angels, and that with well-matured plans and
skillful movements he is warring against Christ to prevent the salvation of souls.
Among professed Christians, and even among ministers of the gospel, there is
heard scarcely a reference to Satan, except perhaps an incidental mention in
the pulpit. They overlook the evidences of his continual activity and success;
they neglect the many warnings of his subtlety; they seem to ignore his very
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as
a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1
While men are ignorant of his devices, this vigilant foe is upon their track
every moment. He is intruding his presence in every department of the household,
in every street of our cities, in the churches, in the national councils, in
the courts of justice, perplexing, deceiving, seducing, everywhere ruining the
souls and bodies of men, women, and children, breaking up families, sowing hatred,
emulation, strife, sedition, murder. And the Christian world seem to regard these
things as though God had appointed them, and they must exist.
Satan is continually seeking to overcome the people of God by breaking down the
barriers which separate them from the world. Ancient Israel were enticed into
sin when they ventured into forbidden association with the heathen. In a similar
manner are modern Israel led astray. "The god of this world hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians
4:4. All who are not decided followers of Christ are servants of Satan. In the
unregenerate heart there is love of sin, and a disposition to cherish and excuse
it. In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin, and determined resistance against
it. When Christians choose the society of the ungodly and unbelieving, they expose
themselves to temptation. Satan conceals himself from view, and stealthily draws
his deceptive covering over their eyes. They cannot see that such company is
calculated to do them harm; and while all the time assimilating to the world
in character, words, and actions, they are becoming more and more blinded.
Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts
the world to Christ. Familiarity with sin will inevitably cause it to appear
less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan, will
soon cease to fear their master. When in the way of duty we are brought into
trial, as was Daniel in the king's court, we may be sure that God will protect
us; but if we place ourselves under temptation, we shall fall sooner or later.
The tempter often works most successfully through those who are least suspected
of being under his control. The possessors of talent and education are admired
and honored, as if these qualities could atone for the absence of the fear of
God, or entitle men to his favor. Talent and culture, considered in themselves,
are gifts of God; but when these are made to supply the place of piety, when,
instead of bringing the soul nearer to God, they lead away from him, then they
become a curse and a snare. The opinion prevails with many that all which appears
like courtesy or refinement must, in some sense, pertain to Christ. Never was
there a greater mistake. These qualities should grace the character of every
Christian, for they would exert a powerful influence in favor of true religion;
but they must be consecrated to God, or they also are a power for evil. Many
a man of cultured intellect and pleasant manners who would not stoop to what
is commonly regarded as an immoral act, is but a polished instrument in the hands
of Satan. The insidious, deceptive character of his influence and example renders
him a more dangerous enemy to the cause of Christ than are those who are ignorant
"Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.
Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come
down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but
a short time." Revelation 12:12
By earnest prayer and dependence upon God, Solomon obtained the wisdom which
excited the wonder and admiration of the world. But when he turned from the Source
of his strength, and went forward relying upon himself, he fell a prey to temptation.
Then the marvelous powers bestowed on this wisest of kings, only rendered him
a more effective agent of the adversary of souls.
While Satan is constantly seeking to blind their minds to the fact, let Christians
never forget that they "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against wicked spirits in high places." Ephesians 6:12 (margin). The inspired
warning is sounding down the centuries to our time: "Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom
he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8. "Put on the whole armor of God, that
ye may able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11.
From the days of Adam to our own time, our great enemy has been exercising his
power to oppress and destroy. He is now preparing for his last campaign against
the church. All who seek to follow Jesus will be brought into conflict with this
relentless foe. The more nearly the Christian imitates the divine Pattern, the
more surely will he make himself a mark for the attacks of Satan. All who are
actively engaged in the cause of God, seeking to unveil the deceptions of the
evil one and to present Christ before the people, will be able to join in the
testimony of Paul, in which he speaks of serving the Lord with all humility of
mind, with many tears and temptations.
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew
Satan assailed Christ with his fiercest and most subtle temptations; but he was
repulsed in every conflict. Those battles were fought in our behalf; those victories
make it possible for us to conquer. Christ will give strength to all who seek
it. No man without his own consent can be overcome by Satan. The tempter has
no power to control the will or to force the soul to sin. He may distress, but
he cannot contaminate. He can cause agony, but not defilement. The fact that
Christ has conquered should inspire his followers with courage to fight manfully
the battle against sin and Satan.