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Framing Mischief by the Law

Posted Mar 10, 2018 by Adrian Ebens in Character of God
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Presentation Notes

Psa 94:20  Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?


The condemning power of Satan would lead him to institute a theory of justice inconsistent with mercy. He claims to be officiating as the voice and power of God, claims that his decisions are justice, are pure and without fault. Thus he takes his position on the judgment seat and declares that his counsels are infallible. Here his merciless justice comes in, a counterfeit of justice, abhorrent to God. {CTr 11.4}

In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. DA 761.4

The warfare against God's law commenced in heaven. Satan was determined to bring God to his ideas, his way, to force Him to change the law of His government. This was the cause of the war in heaven. Satan worked upon the sympathies of the angelic host by his deceptive attitude, but he was expelled from heaven, and now he is determined to carry out on this earth the plans [he] instituted in heaven. If he can persuade man to be disloyal to the law of God, he will feel that he is revenged upon God. He strives to instill into the minds of men his masterly deceptions, thus perverting judgment and justice, trampling down the law of God. This work--the conflict between truth and error--lies at the foundation of the trials and tribulations that the children of God will experience. This is the "trial of their faith."  {12MR 37.1}       By pressing upon the soul the idea that God is displeased with us, Satan tries to torture us into unbelief. But we are to "rejoice in the Lord alway" [1 Peter 1:6-9 quoted]. The Lord Jesus is our only hope. He is your hope, and I am commissioned in His name to ask you to put your entire trust in Him [Isaiah 57:15, quoted.]  {12MR 37.2}

False Justice on the Throne

Justice and Mercy stood apart, in opposition to each other, separated by a wide gulf. The Lord our Redeemer clothed His divinity with humanity, and wrought out in behalf of man a character that was without spot or blemish. He planted His cross midway between heaven and earth, and made it the object of attraction which reached both ways, drawing both Justice and Mercy across the gulf. Justice moved from its exalted throne, [See CTr 11] and with all the armies of heaven approached the cross. There it saw One equal with God bearing the penalty for all injustice and sin. With perfect satisfaction Justice bowed in reverence at the cross, saying, It is enough.--General Conference Bulletin, Fourth Quarter, 1899, vol. 3, p. 102.

Angels and Unfallen Worlds Thought Justice required Forceful Destruction

Before Christ’s first advent, the world seemed indeed to have become the grave for all piety. It was Satan’s seat; man was in the power of the great apostate, helplessly receiving his lies in regard to God and to Christ, as truth. The heavenly angels looked upon the world polluted by sin under the inhabitants thereof, and thought how much easier it would be to exterminate it than to reform it. But the Son of God Himself came to work a reformation. BEcho March 8, 1897,

"Before Christ’s first advent, the sin of refusing to conform to God’s law had become widespread. Apparently Satan’s power was growing; his warfare against heaven was becoming more and more determined. A crisis had been reached. With an intense interest God’s movements were watched by the heavenly angels. Would He come forth from His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity? Would He send fire or flood to destroy them? All heaven waited the bidding of their Commander to pour out the vials of wrath upon a rebellious world. One word from Him, one sign, and the world would have been destroyed. The worlds unfallen would have said, “Amen. Thou art righteous, O God, because Thou hast exterminated rebellion.” But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God might have sent His Son to condemn, but He sent Him to save. Christ came as a Redeemer. NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE THE EFFECT OF THIS MOVEMENT ON THE HEAVENLY ANGELS: With wonder and admiration they could only exclaim, “Herein is love!” {RC 58.4,5}

Men Deceived

Men think they are representing the justice of God, and they do not represent His tenderness and the great love wherewith He has loved us. Their human inventions, originating with the specious devices of Satan, appear fair enough to the blinded eyes of men, because it is inherent in their nature. A lie, believed, practiced, becomes as truth to them. Thus the purpose of the satanic agencies is accomplished, that men should reach these conclusions through the working of their own inventive minds. But how do men fall into such error? By starting with false premises, and then bringing everything to bear to make the error true. In some cases the first principles have a measure of truth interwoven with the error, but it does not lead to any just action, and this is why men are misled. In order to reign and become a power, they employ Satan’s methods to justify their own principles. They exalt themselves as men of superior judgment, and they have stood as representatives of God. These are false gods.—Letter 55, 1895.

Satan has cast his shadow athwart the pathway of every human being, in order that he may misrepresent God to the world. He has clothed the character of God with attributes that are satanic, and wholly at variance with the truth. He has pictured him as a being full of revenge, as a lawgiver whose law is beyond the power of man to keep, and he has implanted enmity in the heart of the sinner, so that man unregenerated is in rebellion against God. {RH February 10, 1891, par. 1}

God permits His Son to be delivered up for our offenses. He Himself assumes toward the Sin Bearer the character of a judge, divesting Himself of the endearing qualities of a father. {TM 245.2} – Granville Sep 13, 1895.

How Could Satan Create this Counterfeit – this Mischief?

There must be a penalty for sin.

Were there no justice, no penalty, there would be no stability to the government of God. It is the mingling of judgment and mercy that makes salvation complete. It is the blending of the two that leads us, as we view the world’s Redeemer, and the law of Jehovah, to exclaim, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”… Were justice extinct, and were it possible for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race, irrespective of character, there would be a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony of heaven would be broken. {RH December 13, 1892, par. 7}

Sin Brings its own punishment

Psa 9:16  The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 

Our first parents by their disobedience opened the floodgates of woe to the race, and notwithstanding we have before us their sad experience in transgression, and the terrible result, we do not cease to sin; but while we deplore the sin of Adam, which was attended with such fearful consequences, we follow in the same course and realize the penalty of our own sins; for which suffering we alone are accountable. The providence of God is not responsible for the woes of man; his own course of action brings the sure result.  {Forest Park Reporter, March 30, 1879 par. 5} 

Satan steps into the loop hole

In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. DA 761.4

Satan Introduces Independence of Created Beings Through Doctrine of Immortality Thus Shifting Penalty to Force rather than natural consequence.

He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. PP 37

God could employ only such means as were consistent with truth and righteousness. Satan could use what God could not--flattery and deceit. He had sought to falsify the word of God and had misrepresented His plan of government, claiming that God was not just in imposing laws upon the angels; that in requiring submission and obedience from His creatures, He was seeking merely the exaltation of Himself. PP 42

Lucifer took the position that as a result of the law of God, wrong existed in heaven and on this earth. This brought against God’s government the charge of being arbitrary. But this is a falsehood, framed by the author of all falsehoods. God’s government is a government of free-will, and there is no act of rebellion or obedience which is not an act of free-will. {ST June 5, 1901, par. 4}

The discord which his own course had caused in heaven, Satan charged upon the law and government of God. All evil he declared to be the result of the divine administration. He claimed that it was his own object to improve upon the statutes of Jehovah. GC 498

When it was announced that with all his sympathizers he must be expelled from the abodes of bliss, then the rebel leader boldly avowed his contempt for the Creator's law. He reiterated his claim that angels needed no control, but should be left to follow their own will, which would ever guide them right. He denounced the divine statutes as a restriction of their liberty and declared that it was his purpose to secure the abolition of law; that, freed from this restraint, the hosts of heaven might enter upon a more exalted, more glorious state of existence.  {GC 499.2} 

The lie of self-originated life and power

Satan thought that he was himself a favorite in Heaven among the angels. He had been highly exalted; but this did not call forth from him gratitude and praise to his Creator. He aspired to the height of God himself. He gloried in his loftiness. He knew that he was honored by the angels. He had a special mission to execute. He had been near the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glorious light enshrouding the eternal God, had shone especially upon him. Satan thought how angels had obeyed his command with pleasurable alacrity. Were not his garments light and beautiful? Why should Christ thus be honored before himself? 1SP 18

But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as God's special gift, and therefore, called forth no gratitude to his Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God. PP 37

The Effect of Satan’s principles on the angels.

Angels were expelled from heaven because they would not work in harmony with God. They fell from their high estate because they wanted to be exalted. They had come to exalt themselves, and they forgot that their beauty of person and of character came from the Lord Jesus. This fact the [fallen] angels would obscure, that Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and they came to consider that they were not to consult Christ. { TDG 128.2}

The loss of gratitude caused them to exalt themselves and not consult Christ.

Satan planted same principle in Nimrod the founder of Babylon

Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it [Strength] to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power..."  Josephus. Antiquities Book 1 Chapter 4 Para. 2

Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: "Ye shall not surely die." "In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. GC 561

The Principles of Life Matters are vital here. Chp 2 shows the control element. Chp 14 shows the  Law is Spiritual and natural. The Law defines our Identity and God’s identity and therefore our complete dependence on God.

The Principle of our own will to guide us right and needing no law combined with the doctrine of life in yourself as told to Eve created mischief to the law of God and automatically meant that the penalty of sin must be forced on God’s subjects.

  1. God’s gifts not recognised or appreciated. Gratitude lost
  2. Shift in power source creates power comparison in Lucifer and sparks Jealousy
  3. Satan moves against the Law of God fuelled by his Jealousy of Christ.
  4. By forgetting that all that he has was given to him, he changes his perception of justice according to law and pits mercy against justice.

The Elements of the Mischief

  1. Angels (and men) need no control of law but can guide themselves. This principle manifested in rejection of the leadership of Christ.
  2. You shall not surely die. Angels and men have inherent life thus making the law automatically imposed law rather than natural law.
  3. As Sin must be punished for justice to prevail, Satan presents a convincing argument that every sin must be punished for justice to remain intact. This is presented on the surface to honour the law but the underlying aim is to destroy it.

Thus the doctrine of inherent life combined with free will made the penalty of the law arbitrary rather than natural and consequential of the persons choice.

The Son Reveals True Justice

Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshiping the true God as He is revealed in His Word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His place? God is a God of truth. Justice and mercy are the attributes of His throne. He is a God of love, of pity and tender compassion. Thus He is represented in His Son, our Saviour. He is a God of patience and long-suffering. If such is the being whom we adore and to whose character we are seeking to assimilate, we are worshiping the true God. FLB 59

Jesus was a fountain of healing mercy for the saving of the world; for by precept and example he represented the justice and love of God to men. When the nature of man is renewed by grace, he will be full of tenderness, sympathy, and love. Thus the character of God will be unfolded to the world as it is, and Satan will not be able to fasten the minds of all humanity in his snare, charging God with his own attributes, and misrepresenting his character. {ST November 28, 1892, par. 6}

Stories of Daniel in Lions Den show this false justice and explains the Origins of the Great Controversy.



Son of God

Special Honour

Dan 6:3  Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. 

The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son. 1SP 17

Jealousy excited by other leaders

Dan 6:4  Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault;


The honors bestowed upon Daniel excited the jealousy of the leading men of the kingdom, and they sought for occasion of complaint against him. PK 539

Matt 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 

Satan was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. 1 SP 18

Found line of attack through the law of God

Dan 6:5  Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. 


Thereupon the presidents and princes, counseling together, devised a scheme whereby they hoped to accomplish the prophet's destruction. They determined to ask the king to sign a decree which they should prepare, forbidding any person in the realm to ask anything of God or man, except of Darius the king, for the space of thirty days. A violation of this decree should be punished by casting the offender into a den of lions.  {PK 540.1}


Satan wanted to bypass Christ and have direct communication with God with no other in between.

Psa 94:20  Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?



To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ's, was first among the hosts of God. PP 36


It was Jealousy of Christ that caused Satan to find fault in the Law of God.


Propose a death decree to prevent access through any other Deity save the King.


Decree drives mercy and justice apart, invalidates the intercessor. Caused by lie of inherent life. You don’t need intercessor if you have your own life.


Dan 6:7,8  All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 


Appealing to his vanity, they persuaded him that the carrying out of this edict would add greatly to his honor and authority. PP 540


The Princes wish to kill Daniel using a law that is intended to honour the king.


The decree has no mercy in it. It has punishment for the transgressor.


In the conspiracy thus formed, Satan had played an important part. PP 540


The recommended additions to the law for the honour of the king and the stability of the government.

John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 


In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. DA 761.4


While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes in the order and laws of heaven were necessary for the stability of the divine government. PP 38


Was Lucifer aware of the covenant of peace? Did He know that Christ would be surety for those who might sin?

The King Signs the Decree.

Dan 6:9  Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 


The Decree does not come from the King. The Decree is signed by the King. It is signed because the counterfeit justice makes sense to the universe.  

Satan has charged God with satanic attributes and has claimed the attributes of God as his own. . . . Through his serpentine sharpness, through his crooked practices, he has drawn to himself the homage that human beings should have given to God, and has planted his satanic throne between the human worshiper and the divine Father.—Manuscript 39, 1894 (Review and Herald, Apr. 14, 1896). {CTr 10.4}


God permits His Son to be delivered up for our offenses. He Himself assumes toward the Sin Bearer the character of a judge, divesting Himself of the endearing qualities of a father. {TM 245.2} – Granville Sep 13, 1895.


God bowed His head satisfied. Now justice and mercy could blend. Now He could be just, and yet the Justifier of all who should believe on Christ. Youth's Instructor, June 21, 1900.  {7ABC 470.4}



Using the Law to cut off position of Intercessor/

Separates mercy from justice by cutting of intercessor.

Dan 6:10-12  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.  (12)  Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

Daniel is acting as an intercessor for His people.


For an entire day the princes watched Daniel. Three times they saw him go to his chamber, and three times they heard his voice lifted in earnest intercession to God. PK 542


Daniel was a noble statesman; but his best service to Babylon was his unswerving integrity in the worship of God. In spite of the king's decree, he prayed three times a day with his window open towards Jerusalem, [Sanctuary] and made no compromise with an idolatrous nation.  {BEcho, August 5, 1895 par. 2}

The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father we could see His person. EW 126


The work of Intercession is to ask for mercy. Christ pleads for mercy for those who transgress the law. Satan teaches that mercy is inconsistent with justice. His merciless justice makes the position of intercessor redundant.


Psa 57:3-6  He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.  (4)  My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.  (5)  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.  (6)  They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.


In the Presence of lions – The experience of the Cross

Dan 6:17  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 


Dan 6:20  And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 

Mar 15:46  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre


Psa 35:11  False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 

Psa 35:12  They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.

Psa 35:13  But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. 

Psa 35:15  But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: 

Psa 35:16  With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. 

Psa 35:17  Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.  

The idea of justice established by the murderous princes comes back on them

Dan 6:24  And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. 

Satan will be judged by his own idea of justice. It was his plea that every sin should meet its punishment. If God remitted the punishment, he said, He was not a God of truth or justice. Satan will meet the judgment which he said God should exercise.  {12MR 413.1} 



  1. Lucifer chose to ignore that all he possessed was given him. He attributed it to himself
  2. This created the effect of making the law arbitrary and made God appear arbitrary
  3. Lack of gratitude and belief in inherent life caused him to remove need for intercessor for purposes of grace and intercession.
  4. The arbitrary perception of law caused Satan to separate mercy and justice. If you have inherent life you don’t need intercession. Thus Satan framed a concept of justice to destroy the need for the law and then give angels free reign.