Monday: The Accusations
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After his fall from heaven, Satan attempted to distort and slander God’s character. He did this in Eden (Gen. 3:1–5), in the midst of the first “sanctuary” on earth. Satan brought his rebellion, which originated in the heavenly sanctuary, down to the earthly sanctuary of Eden. After initiating contact with Eve through the medium of the serpent, he openly planted the idea in her mind that God was depriving them of something that would be good for them, that He was holding something back that they should have. In this way, however subtly, he was misrepresenting God’s character.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

The fall of Adam and Eve set Satan temporarily on the throne of this world. Several texts suggest that Satan had gained access to the heavenly court again, but now as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31, NKJV), as one who possesses the earth but does not own it, much like a thief.

Read Job 1:6–12 and Zechariah 3:1–5. How is The Great Controversy revealed in these texts?

These texts give us a glimpse of the heavenly side of The Great Controversy. Satan presents Job’s righteousness as simply self-serving: if I am good, God will bless me. The implication is that Job doesn’t serve God because God is worthy, but because it’s in Job’s best interests; once it becomes clear that serving God won’t bring blessing, Job will abandon his faith.

In the case of the high priest Joshua (a sanctuary motif) and of other believers (see Rev. 12:10), Ellen G. White says that Satan “is accusing the children of God, and making their case appear as desperate as possible. He presents before the Lord their evil doings and their defects.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 167.

In both cases, though, the real issue is the justice of God. The question behind all accusations is whether or not God is fair and just in His dealings. God’s character is on trial. Is it fair when God saves sinners? Is God just when He declares the unrighteous to be righteous? If He is just, He must punish the unrighteous; if He is gracious, He must forgive them. How can God be both?

If God were only a God of justice, what would be your fate, and why would you deserve it?

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Monday: The Accusations — 23 Comments

  1. Judgment follows after mercy gate is closed, for six thousand years mercy has been pleading ,and we are now in the day of reckoning (Judgment) and. every man will bear his own sins. remember too that Judas walked with Christ for three and a half years and never changed.justice demand's death to the offender
    if a righteous man turn from his righteousness, he will die in his sins

    Like(4)
    • Lennox,
      I am confused. Where in the Bible does it say that justice demands death to the offender? Doesn't sin cause death? Like cancer?
      Larry

      Like(3)
      • Larry,
        The Bible says justice demands death in various texts and various ways, including in the God given death penalty laws of ancient Israel. However the best example is probably the death of Christ, who knew no sin to cause any 'natural' death. The key here is substitution.

        For what it is worth spirit of prophecy strongly supports this Biblical concept.

        Hopefully this helps.

        Like(1)
        • Hugh,
          I'm still confused. Is God's law the law of love like the law of thermo dynamics, law of gravity, law of respiration, or is God's law imposed like the tax laws or speed limit laws? Is God trying to save us from sin and it's consequences or will he kill because of an arbitrary law? When we say God is loving but he is also just isn't that like saying he is the creator but he made everything. I thought justice means "to do the right thing" or "to line up the margins, to make things right". Doesn't love always do the right thing and make things right? The lesson this week says that God declares unrighteous people to be righteous. Huh? Sound to me like mental gymnastics. I don't get it. Please explain.

          Like(1)
        • Larry,
          See if this helps with the confusion. If you do not agree with the statement from The Great Controversy p. 540, below, which amounts to the formal position of the SDA church, then indicate the compelling reason Jesus had to die.

          "God has given in his Word decisive evidence that he will punish the transgressors of his law. Those who flatter themselves that he is too merciful to execute justice upon the sinner, have only to look to the cross of Calvary. The death of the spotless Son of God testifies that “the wages of sin is death,” that every violation of God’s law must receive its just retribution. Christ the sinless became sin for man. He bore the guilt of transgression, and the hiding of his Father’s face, until his heart was broken and his life crushed out. All this sacrifice was made that sinners might be redeemed. In no other way could man be freed from the penalty of sin. And every soul that refuses to become a partaker of the atonement provided at such a cost, must bear, in his own person, the guilt and punishment of transgression."

          Like(1)
        • Larry, I agree that "God's law the law of love like the law of thermo dynamics, law of gravity, law of respiration." I agree that "God trying to save us from sin and it's consequences." I agree that "justice means 'to do the right thing.'"

          That said, I don't believe it is always an either/or situation, as you imply. While sin has the natural consequence of death, God does keep sinners alive by His continually sustaining power. When He stops sustaining the life of sinner, we cannot attribute this act of God to Satan. It is still an act of God. And we cannot attribute the means of death to Satan, when the Bible clearly says that God did it and will do it. (I am at the same time aware of OT passages which attribute to God the acts of others, but that is another, though related subject.)

          Two examples of active judgments of God (setting things right) are the destruction of the wicked in the Flood (Matt 24:37-39, 2 Pe 2:5 )and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Pe 2:6). Both were necessary to ensure the safety of God's people. And note that both Christ Himself and Peter draw parallels between the Flood and the final destruction of the wicked.

          While death is the natural consequence of declaring independence from the Life Giver and Life Sustainer, He does determine the time and manner of the death of sinners. God is not only loving and just. He also tells the truth. And when He says He will do something, He is telling the truth, as is His nature.

          Like(0)
      • It seems to me that Romans 6:23 is pretty clear. If the "wages of sin is death," does that not imply that justice demands the death of the sinner?

        Does not justice demand that wages be paid?

        Or how do you read this passage, Larry?

        Like(0)
        • It seems to me that when you step outside of the design template of love you will die. This has nothing to do with a courtroom scene. This has to do with a natural law.

          Like(0)
        • Hi Larry,

          You asked, "Where in the Bible does it say that justice demands death to the offender?" I offered Romans 6:23.

          If you disagree, please explain where/how I err.

          Like(0)
        • Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23 NKJV). There is a contrast here between the “wages of sin” verses “the gift of God,” one leads to life the other death – one is works the other a gift. That is the context of the point Paul is making. It does not say that justice demands death it says that what we earn by sinning is death just like choosing to live a rotten lifestyle will eventually get to us and take us down.

          I think what you are thinking about is something another author said, rather than the Bible.

          Like(1)
  2. "If I am good, God will bless me." I think this statement is a truth. It only becomes evil when we make it our motivation in worshiping God.

    Like(0)
    • Yes, Merwin, the Bible does teach the general principle that obedience is accompanied by blessings. But it isn't always so, as the story of Job illustrates. What is evil is judging people who do not appear to have material blessings and concluding that they are not faithful to God.

      Sometimes God allows His people to experience some terrible hardships. In this, they are following in the foot steps of Jesus Himself. It was so for John the Baptist. He was beheaded, even while Christ was on this earth. At the same time Christ said that there was none greater (in the Kingdom) than John the Baptist.

      Like(4)
      • Inge,
        Your general point is well taken. Maybe Merwin is not limiting the blessing to material stock, in which case it would seem to be true. Whenever we obey (presumably this is what is meant by being good) there is a blessing, at a minimum a spiritual blessing, and sometimes more.

        Like(1)
  3. i love it..it's very true tha whenever the bible talks about blessings, we should never at all think of material things.. God's view is more on spiritual things than material things..christians should simply seek the hand of God rater than seek a helping hand of God

    Like(1)
  4. you people you are doing a great job in ministering the work of God . it is my first time to see yo site today and am very happy . my question is , are there other world God has created apart from Earth ? I ask this because of the asnswer the Satan / Lusifer gave when he was asked wher he was when other beings where presenting themselves to God according to the book of jod 1 : 1 to 6,

    Like(0)
    • Our earth is only an additional creation to the already existing universe. In Job 38 it was mentioned that there were celestial beings praising and rejoicing when God was creating the world.

      Out of "100 sheep" our world represents the one that was lost.

      Like(0)
  5. Hugh,
    D.A.761.

    In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. EVERY SIN MUST MEET IT'S PUNISHMENT URGED SATAN; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice."

    Is Satan telling the truth, or is he lying?

    Like(1)
    • As is his usual practice, Satan mixed truth with error in His accusation.

      It is not true that God's law cannot be obeyed. Christ demonstrated that Satan was a liar in This accusation. By the power of the Holy Spirit living within, it is both possible and a delight to live by the principles of God's law. (1Jhn 2:1, Psalm 40:8))

      While it is true that justice demands the death of the sinner (Romans 6:23), Satan did not foresee that God Himself would bear the penalty of man 's sin. (Heb 9:28, 1 Peter 3:18) Oh incomprehensible love and mystery that the Lawgiver and Creator Himself should choose to die for man's sin, thus satisfying both the claims of justice and of mercy! (Psalm 89:14)

      The sinner could be pardoned because God gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life! (John 3:16) Again, the incarnation proved Satan's claim wrong.

      Note that there are conditions to the remission of sin: The sinner must believe in Christ and accept the death of Christ in his stead. Those who refuse Christ's gracious offer must bear their own sins and experience the consequences.

      Like(0)
  6. Hugh,
    Jesus had to die because the best of the Sabbath keeping, tithe paying, Godly Adventists, and best law keepers that the world has ever seen demanded His death.

    They wanted him dead because they didn't like His picture of God. They picutured God as someone who is harsh, unforgiving, and severe. Why didn't He want Mary stoned? Why not just go ahead and kill her? Wouldn't that be meeting the demands of the law?

    Like(1)
    • Brother Larry,
      Keeping you busy, but there is value in sharing. How would you correct Jesus' use of punishment in the statement of Matthew 25:46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal?"

      Also what is the point of the second resurrection (that of the wicked)? Why will they be brought back after they were/are "let go?"

      Like(0)
  7. thanx 4 reply . in rev 12 , the bible says dat the devil and his were cast out of heaven ' now when was he casted out and does the devil accuse us daily and night ? does he stil av acces to heaven ?

    Like(1)

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