The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
January 30, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Four.
                       The Plan of Salvation.
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                           By Mrs. E. G. White.
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     Sorrow filled , as it was realized that man was lost, and the world which had was to be filled with doomed to misery, , and , and there was no way of escape for the offender; the whole family of must . The heart of the was touched with pity for the . Upon his lovely countenance rested an expression of and . Soon he approached the exceeding bright which enshrouded , and he seemed to engage in close converse with him. The anxiety of the was intense while thus communed with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the cloud of ; the third time he came forth his countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the that a way of escape had been made for . He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon; that through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, man could again have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.

At first the angels could not rejoice, for their Commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. He told them that he would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man, that he would bear iniquity and scorn, and but few would receive him as the Son of God He would leave all his glory in Heaven, appear upon earth as a man, become acquainted by his own experience with the various temptations with which man would be beset; and, finally, after his mission as a teacher should be accomplished, he would be delivered into the hands of men, and after enduring almost every cruelty and suffering, that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict, he would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner. And not merely would he suffer bodily pain, but mental agony. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be upon him. He told them also that after his death he would rise again the third day, and ascend to his Father to intercede for wayward, guilty man.

The angels prostrated themselves before their beloved Commander, and offered to give their lives. Jesus told them the transgression was so great that the life of an angel could not pay the debt; his life alone could be accepted by his Father as a ransom for man. But the work of the angels was assigned them, to descend with strengthening balm from glory to soothe the Son of God in his sufferings, and to minister unto him. Also, their work would be to guard the subjects of grace from the evil angels, and the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.

With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels, and informed them that hereafter those whom he should redeem would be with him, and ever dwell with him; and that by his death he should ransom many, and finally destroy him who had the power of death. And his Father would give him the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and he should possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners should be destroyed, never more to disturb Heaven, or those who should inherit the new earth. Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that his Father had accepted, and rejoice that fallen man could be exalted again, through his death, to obtain favor with God and enjoy Heaven.

Then joy inexpressible filled Heaven, and the heavenly host sung a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sung a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to redeem the fallen race. 

The Father did not yield up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle, whether to let guilty man perish or to give his Son to die for the lost race. It was impossible for God to change his law, or give up the smallest part of its claims, in order to save man; therefore he suffered his Son to die for man’s transgression.

When the plan of salvation was revealed, Satan rejoiced with his angels that he could, by causing man’s fall, pull down the Son of God from his exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen man’s nature, he could overpower him, and hinder the accomplishment of the plan.

In humility and inexpressible sadness, Adam and Eve left the lovely garden wherein they had been so happy until they disobeyed the command of God. The atmosphere was changed. It was no longer unvarying as before the transgression. God clothed them with coats of skins to protect them from the sense of chilliness and then of heat to which they were exposed.

Angels of God were commissioned to visit the fallen pair and inform them that, although they could no longer retain possession of their holy estate, their Eden home, because of their transgression of the law of God, their case was not altogether hopeless. The Son of God had been moved with pity as he viewed their hopeless condition, and had volunteered to take upon himself the punishment due to them, and die for them that they might yet live, through faith in the atonement which Christ proposed to make. A door of hope was opened, that man, notwithstanding his great sin, might not be under the absolute control of Satan. Probation would be granted him in which, through a life of repentance, and faith in the atonement of the Son of God, he might be redeemed from his transgression of the Father’s law, and thus be elevated to a position where his efforts to keep that law could be accepted.

The angels related to them the grief that was felt in Heaven, as it was announced that they had transgressed the law of God, which had made it expedient for Christ to make the great sacrifice of his own precious life.

When Adam and Eve realized how exalted and sacred was the law of God, the transgression of which made so costly a sacrifice necessary to save them from utter ruin, they pleaded that they and their posterity might endure the penalty of their transgression, rather than that the beloved Son of God should make this great sacrifice. The anguish of Adam was increased. He saw that his sins were of so great magnitude as to involve fearful consequences. And must it be that Heaven’s honored Commander, who had walked with him and talked with him while in his holy innocence, whom angels worshiped, must be brought down from his exalted position to die because of man’s transgression.

Adam was informed that an angel’s life could not pay the debt. The law of Jehovah, the foundation of his government in Heaven and upon earth, was as sacred as its divine Author; and for this reason the life of an angel could not be accepted of God as a sacrifice for its transgression. His law was of more importance in his sight than the holy angels around his throne. The Father could not change nor abolish one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition. But the Son of God, who had in unison with the Father created man, could make an atonement for man acceptable to God, by giving his life a sacrifice, and bearing the wrath of his Father. As Adam’s transgression had brought death and wretchedness upon the race, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice of such infinite value as to make a man who should avail himself of it more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

To Adam were revealed future, important events, from his expulsion from Eden, to the flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ upon the earth. His love for Adam and his posterity would lead the Son of God to condescend to take human nature, and thus elevate, through his own humiliation, all who would believe on him. Such a sacrifice was of sufficient value to save the whole world; but only a few would avail themselves of the salvation thus brought to them. 

The many would not comply with the conditions. They would prefer sin, transgression of the law of God, rather than repentance and obedience, relying by faith upon the merit of the sacrifice offered.

Adam was carried down through successive generations, and shown the increase of crime, of guilt and defilement, because man would yield to his naturally strong inclinations to transgress the holy law of God. He saw the curse of God resting more and more heavily upon the human race, upon the cattle, and upon the earth, because of man’s continued transgression. He saw that iniquity and violence would steadily increase; yet amid all the tide of human misery and woe, there would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God, and would remain unsullied amid the prevailing moral degeneracy. Adam was made to comprehend what sin is–the transgression of the law. He was shown that moral, mental, and physical degeneracy would result to the race, from transgression, until the world would be filled with human misery of every type.

The days of man have been shortened by his own course of sin in transgressing the righteous law of God. The race has so greatly depreciated as to become almost worthless. Because of the indulgence of the carnal mind, they are generally incapable of appreciating the mystery of Calvary, the grand and elevated facts of the atonement and the plan of salvation. Yet, notwithstanding the weakness, and enfeebled mental, moral, and physical powers to the human race, Christ, true to the purpose for which he left Heaven, continues his interest in the feeble, depreciated, degenerate specimens of humanity, and invites them to hide their weakness and great deficiencies in him. If they will come unto him, he will supply all their needs.

When Adam, according to God’s special directions, made as offering for sin, it was to him a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which God alone could give. It was the first time he had witnessed death. As he looked upon the bleeding victim, writhing in the agonies of death, he was to look forward by faith to the Son of God, whom the victim prefigured, who was to die man’s sacrifice.

This ceremonial offering, ordained of God, was to be to Adam a perpetual reminder of his guilt, and also a penitential acknowledgment of his sin. This act of taking life gave him a deeper and more perfect sense of his transgression, which nothing less than the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. Adam marveled at the infinite goodness and matchless love which would give such a ransom to save the guilty. As he was slaying the innocent victim, it seemed to him that he was shedding the blood of the Son of God by his own hand. He knew that if he had remained steadfast to God, and true to his holy law, there would have been no death of beast nor of man. Yet in the sacrificial offerings, pointing to the great and perfect offering of God’s dear Son, there appeared a star of hope to illuminate the dark and terrible future, and relieve it of its utter hopelessness and ruin.

In the beginning, the head of each family was considered ruler and priest of his own household. Afterward, as the race multiplied upon the earth, men of divine appointment performed this solemn worship of sacrifice for the people. The blood of beasts was to be associated in the minds of sinners with the blood of the Son of God. The death of the victim was to evidence to all that the penalty of sin was death. By the act of sacrifice, the sinner acknowledged his guilt, and manifested his faith, looking forward to the great and perfect sacrifice of the Son of God, which the offering of beasts prefigured. Without the atonement of the Son of God there could have been no communication of blessing or salvation from God to man. God was jealous for the honor of his law. The transgression of that law had caused a fearful separation between God and man. To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels.

Jenny @ 8:51 am