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From Eternity Past

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    The Subtlety of Satan's Appeal

    Satan represented to the holy pair that they would gain by breaking the law of God. Today many talk of the narrowness of those who obey God's commandments, while they claim to enjoy greater liberty. What is this but an echo of the voice from Eden? “In the day ye eat thereof”—transgress the divine requirement—“ye shall be as gods.” Satan did not let it appear that he had become an outcast from heaven. He concealed his own misery in order to draw others into the same position. So now the transgressor disguises his true character; but he is on the side of Satan, trampling upon the law of God and leading others to their eternal ruin.EP 24.3

    Eve disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall. In the judgment, men will not be condemned because they conscientiously believed a lie, but because they did not believe the truth. We must set our hearts to know what is truth. Whatever contradicts God's Word proceeds from Satan.EP 24.4

    The serpent plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree and placed it in the hands of the half-reluctant Eve. Then he reminded her of her own words, that God had forbidden them to touch it lest they die. Perceiving no evil results, Eve grew bolder. When she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.” As she ate, she seemed to imagine herself entering upon a higher state of existence.EP 25.1

    And now, having herself transgressed, she became the agent of Satan in working the ruin of her husband. In a state of strange, unnatural excitement, her hands filled with the forbidden fruit, she sought his presence.EP 25.2

    Adam appeared astonished and alarmed. To the words of Eve he replied, that this must be the foe against whom they had been warned. By the divine sentence she must die. In answer she urged him, “Eat,” repeating the words of the serpent that they should not surely die. She felt no evidence of God's displeasure, but realized a delicious, exhilarating influence, thrilling every faculty with new life.EP 25.3

    Adam understood that his companion had transgressed the command of God. There was a terrible struggle in his mind. He mourned that he had permitted Eve to wander from his side. But now the deed was done; he must be separated from her whose society had been his joy.EP 25.4

    How could he have it thus? Adam had enjoyed the companionship of God and of holy angels. He understood the high destiny opened to the human race should they remain faithful to God. Yet all these blessings were lost sight of in the fear of losing that one gift which in his eyes outvalued every other. Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator—all were overborne by love to Eve. She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation. If she must die, he would die with her. Might not the words of the wise serpent be true? No sign of death appeared in Eve, and he decided to brave the consequences. He seized the fruit and quickly ate.EP 25.5

    After his transgression, Adam at first imagined himself entering upon a higher state of existence. But soon the thought of his sin filled him with terror. The love and peace which had been theirs was gone, and in its place they felt a sense of sin, a dread of the future, a nakedness of soul. The robe of light which had enshrouded them disappeared, and to supply its place they endeavored to fashion for themselves a covering. They could not, while unclothed, meet the eye of God and holy angels.EP 26.1

    They now began to see the true character of sin. Adam reproached his companion for leaving his side and permitting herself to be deceived by the serpent. But they both flattered themselves that He who had given them so many evidences of His love would pardon this one transgression; they would not be subjected to so dire a punishment as they had feared.EP 26.2

    Satan exulted. He had tempted the woman to distrust God's love, to doubt His wisdom, and to transgress His law; and through her he had caused the overthrow of Adam!EP 26.3

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