For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
The rebellion against God’s law was begun by Satan in heaven. By this rebellion sin was brought into existence.... Satan insisted that God had not dealt with him justly. He criticized God’s plan of government. He declared the divine law to be arbitrary, detrimental to the interests of the heavenly universe, and in need of change.
Vital interests were at stake in the worlds that God had created. Would these supposed defects be made so apparent that the inhabitants of the heavenly universe would be justified in claiming that the law could be improved? Would Satan succeed in undermining their confidence in the law?
God in His wisdom did not use measures of force to suppress Satan’s rebellion. Such measures would have aroused sympathy for Satan, strengthening his rebellion rather than changing his principles. If God had summarily punished him, many would have looked upon him as one who had been dealt with unjustly, and he would have carried a much larger number with him in his apostasy.
It was necessary to give Satan time to develop his principles. He has had every opportunity to present his side of the question. He has been artful. As often as his position has been seen in its true light, he has changed to some other position. By making false charges, and by misstating the purposes and declared will of God, he has secured sympathizers.
Adam and Eve were placed on trial and failed.... Satan deceived Eve, and she disobeyed God. The holy pair, not resisting temptation, were brought under Satan’s jurisdiction. The enemy gained supremacy over the human race, bringing in death, the penalty of disobedience.
Jesus declared that He would bear the penalty for sin and that He would conquer Satan by coming to the world and meeting the foe on his own battlefield.
When Christ entered upon His campaign, Satan met Him and contested every inch of ground, exerting his utmost powers to conquer Him. Much was involved in this controversy.... The questions to be answered were: Is God’s law imperfect, in need of being amended or abrogated? Or is it immutable? Is God’s government stable? Or is it in need of changes? Not only before those living in the city of God, but before the inhabitants of all the heavenly universe, were these questions to be answered.—Manuscript 1, 1902.