The Battle Over Authority
It is fascinating to look back over the ages and see the outworking of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. The contest has always focused upon the issue of authority.
The strategy of the evil one has been a two-pronged attack on God's claim to be the Creator. First, by the theory of evolution with its humanistic doctrine of natural selection. Second, by an age-long effort to destroy the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the mark of creative power.
We can only say in passing that each of these hellish attempts to discredit God's authority has produced a bitter success beyond all expectation. Millions have been turned into religious skeptics and agnostics because of Darwin's doctrine of organic evolution. Denying any fall of man that would require a Savior from sin, evolution struck at the plan of redemption as well as the fact of creation.
In a similar vein, Satan's attacks on the Sabbath have led millions to disobey the one commandment in the Decalogue that God had made the specific test of obedience to the entire law
A successful plan to subvert the loyalty of millions who were devoted to the true God required a masterpiece of satanic strategy. It would take time. It would involve centuries of deceptive mind-bending. There would be no dramatic turn from serving God to serving Satan. The secret would be to win obedience through religious subterfuge. Satan understood the principle of Romans 6:16 long before Paul ever penned the words, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?"
Obedience is the highest form of allegiance and worship. If Satan could create an issue that would cause people to disobey God, he had an even chance of winning their obedience to his cause. The decisive contest would take place over the law of God. It constituted the foundation of God's government. How could Satan destroy confidence in the law and make people obey him instead? And which commandment should he attack? Obviously, the one that pointed to God's creative power and His right to rule. As the identifying sign of the true God, the Sabbath has always been an object of satanic hate. God had chosen the Sabbath as a test of loyalty to His law in the Old Testament: "That I may prove them," said the Lord, "whether they will walk in my law, or no" (Exodus 16:4).
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