SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Sunday August 18, 1996

The Dragon Opposes the Ten Commandments

(Revelation 12:17)

Why does the dragon make war on those who "keep the commandments of God" (Rev. 12:17)? Isa. 14:12-20; Ezek. 28:11-17.

Isaiah 14 identifies the king of Babylon with his master, Lucifer, or Satan, who was cast out of heaven because he coveted the authority and power of God. Ezekiel 28 identifies the king of Tyre with the same master, Satan, who was a perfect and blameless angel until iniquity was found in him (verse 15). By cherishing pride of position, pride of beauty, and covetousness of God's power, this prince of demons forfeited his role in heaven. His desire to be "like the most High" (Isa. 14:14) resulted in tragedy for himself and for one-third of heaven's angels.

Satan tries to usurp God's authority by destroying the very basis of His government--the divine law of love. Hence his bitter antipathy to those who love God, cherish His law, and depend upon Christ to reflect His character.

What did Jesus teach regarding the Ten Commandments? Matt. 5:17-19. What did Paul teach? Rom. 3:31; Rom. 7:7,12,14; Rom. 8:3, 4. What did John teach? 1 John 2:4; 1 John 5:2-5.

Those who tell you that any one of the Ten Commandments need not be kept have identified themselves with the dragon. Anyone who asserts that it is not possible, by God's grace, to obey the Ten Commandments is proclaiming the message of the dragon. The Bible presents Christ's true servants as "having been set free from sin" and as "slaves of righteousness" (Rom. 6:18, RSV). Such spiritual victory is consistent only with obedience to God's commandments.

"Jesus, looking down to the last generation, saw the world involved in a deception similar to that which caused the destruction of Jerusalem. The great sin of the Jews was their rejection of Christ; the great sin of the Christian world would be their rejection of the law of God, the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. The precepts of Jehovah would be despised and set at nought. Millions in bondage to sin, slaves of Satan, doomed to suffer the second death, would refuse to listen to the words of truth in their day of visitation. Terrible blindness! strange infatuation!"--The Great Controversy, pp. 22, 23.

"As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become wellnigh universal."--The Great Controversy, p. 587.