This demonstration has been permitted to continue until now. And what a demonstration it has been! From the time Cain killed Abel there have been hatred, bloodshed, cruelty, and oppression in the earth. Virtue, goodness, and justice have suffered; vice, vileness, and corruption have triumphed. The just man has been made a prey; Godís messengers have been tortured and killed; Godís law has been trampled in the dust. When God sent His Son, instead of honoring Him, evil men, under the instigation of Satan, hanged Him on a tree.
Even then God did not destroy Satan. The demonstration must be completed. Only when the last events are taking place, and men are on the point of exterminating one another, will God interfere to save His own. There will then remain no doubt in the mind of anyone that, had he the power, Satan would destroy every vestige of goodness, hurl God from the throne, murder the Son of God, and establish a kingdom of violence founded in self-seeking and cruel ambition.
What Satan has been demonstrating is really his character and the lengths to which selfish ambition will lead. In the beginning he wanted to be like God. He was dissatisfied with his position as the highest of created beings. He wanted to be God. And the demonstration has shown that when he set his mind upon this goal he would stop short of nothing to attain it. Whoever stands in the way must be put out of the way. If it be God Himself, He must be removed.
The demonstration shows that high position is not satisfactory to the ambitious individual. He must, have the highest, and even then he is not satisfied. Often a person in a lowly position is tempted to believe that he would be satisfied if his position were improved. He is at least sure that he would be satisfied if he had the highest position possible. But would he? Lucifer was not. He had the highest position possible. But he was not satisfied. He wanted one still higher. He wanted to be God Himself.
In this respect the contrast between Christ and Satan is pronounced. Satan wanted to be God. He wanted it so much that he was willing to do anything to attain his goal. Christ, on the other hand, did not consider it a thing to be grasped to be like God. He voluntarily humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He was God, and He became man. And that this was not a temporary arrangement only for the purpose of showing His willingness, is evidenced by the fact that He will ever remain man. Satan exalted himself; Christ humbled Himself. Satan wanted to become God; Christ became man. Satan wanted to sit as God on a throne; Christ, as a servant, knelt to wash the disciplesí feet. The contrast is complete.
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