Lucifer’s Fall-His Envy Towards the Son of God

Updated Sept 21, 2020

Compiled from the writings of Ellen White (emphasis in caps added throughout)

Following is a compilation of Ellen White’s Testimonies on Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven. As we examine the statements, we begin to see some interesting patterns emerge and discover how certain false ideas have taken hold much of christendom, namely the denial of the literal, pre-incarnate begotten Sonship of Christ. The intent of this compilation is to examine how sin or the controversy arose in heaven which resulted in open rebellion by Lucifer and his evil angels and that it is really the ontological Sonship of Christ that gives the most logical reasons as to why God the Father distinguished His relationship with His Son and how the envy and jealousy over this relationship by Lucifer prompted the rebellion. I would encourage any reader to examine the evidence and to do so with a clear and open mind.

“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15) Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16) By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17) Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18) Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.” — Ezekiel 28:14-18 (KJV)

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” — Isaiah 14:12-14 (KJV)

“anointed cherub that covereth”

The Bible tells us that heaven was a place of perfect harmony until one of the highest and most beautiful angels rebelled. The prophet Ezekiel describes this angel, Lucifer, as an “anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14). He was perfect, or blameless, in his ways when he was created (Ezekiel 28:15) and yet something happened in his heart which lead to his fall.

First, in order to understand what a “anointed cherub that covereth” is, we must also have an understanding of the sanctuary/tabernacle which God had instructed Moses to build (Hebrews 8:5). This structure served as a shadow, or an earthly model of the heavenly “sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:2).

Inside this tabernacle was a golden furnishing called the mercy seat (Exodus 25:17). It was a symbol of God’s throne in heaven. The apostle Paul referred to this seat when he wrote that, by faith, believers can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16). Beneath this seat was a golden box called the ark of the covenant, inside of which Moses was to place the “Testimony” (Ten Commandments) that God would give him (Exodus 25:21).

Moses was commanded to make two inanimate cherubs, or angels, one for each side of the mercy seat, which covered the ark (Exodus 25:19). These two angels, facing each other were depicted as “covering the mercy seat with their wings” (Exodus 25:20). From this we know that a covering cherub is an angel who stands closest to the throne of God. They were the guardians of the law of God. This was Lucifer’s exalted position.

Glory of Lucifer

Ellen White makes these statements below about how close in likeness Lucifer was made to God. Yet not the Express image:

“Among the inhabitants of heaven, SATAN, NEXT TO CHRIST, WAS AT ONE TIME MOST HONORED OF GOD, AND HIGHEST IN POWER AND GLORY.” —ST July 23, 1902. {TA 28.2}

“Had not the Lord made the covering cherub so beautiful, SO CLOSELY RESEMBLING HIS OWN IMAGE; had not God awarded him special honor; had anything been left undone in the gifts of beauty and power and honor, then Satan might have had some excuse…” {GCDB, March 2, 1897 par. 33}

“Evil originated with Lucifer, who rebelled against the government of God. Before his fall he was a covering cherub, distinguished by his excellence. GOD MADE HIM good and beautiful, AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE LIKE HIMSELF….{RH September 24, 1901}

“Lucifer had been the covering cherub. He had stood in the light of God’s presence. He had been THE HIGHEST OF ALL CREATED BEINGS, and HAD BEEN FOREMOST IN REVEALING GOD’S PURPOSES TO THE UNIVERSE. { DA 758.4}

“The LORD HIMSELF GAVE TO SATAN HIS GLORY AND WISDOM, AND MADE HIM THE COVERING CHERUB, GOOD, NOBLE, AND EXCEEDING LOVELY.” —ST Sept. 18, 1893.

“Lucifer was the covering cherub, THE MOST EXALTED OF THE HEAVENLY CREATED BEINGS; HE STOOD NEAREST THE THRONE OF GOD, AND WAS MOST CLOSELY CONNECTED AND IDENTIFIED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF GOD’S GOVERNMENT, MOST RICHLY ENDOWED WITH THE GLORY OF HIS MAJESTY AND POWER.” — ST April 28, 1890.

Lucifer, the “son of the morning,” IN GLORY SURPASSING ALL THE ANGELS THAT SURROUND THE THRONE, . . . [WAS] UNITED IN CLOSEST TIES TO THE SON OF GOD.—DA 435. {TA 28.3}

Lucifer, “son of the morning,” WAS FIRST OF THE COVERING CHERUBS, HOLY AND UNDEFILED. HE STOOD IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GREAT CREATOR, AND THE CEASELESS BEAMS OF GLORY ENSHROUDING THE ETERNAL GOD RESTED UPON HIM.—{PP 35}

All who are determined to hold fast to every feature of our faith should stand against the wiles of the devil. We are all to understand that there is a fallen angel who was once next to Christ in honor among the heavenly host. His work of deception was done in so great secrecy that THE ANGELS IN LESS-EXALTED POSITIONS SUPPOSED THAT HE WAS THE RULER OF HEAVEN. SATAN MADE THE REPRESENTATION THAT ALL WRONG INSINUATIONS EXISTING IN HEAVEN ORIGINATED AMONG THE ANGELS, WHILE HE HIMSELF HAD MADE SUGGESTIONS WHICH WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ENTERTAINED BY THE ANGELS, HAD HE NOT CREATED THEM. He artfully presented these things to God, as having come from the angels, while they all originated with the evil Satan himself. {Lt292-1906.1}

Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Christ. HIS COUNTENANCE, LIKE THOSE OF THE OTHER ANGELS, WAS MILD AND EXPRESSIVE OF HAPPINESS. HIS FOREHEAD WAS HIGH AND BROAD, SHOWING GREAT INTELLIGENCE. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. But when God said to His Son, “Let us make man in our image,” Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven next to God. {EW 145.1}

Note: Lucifer was a glorious angel who “had been the foremost in revealing God’s purposes to the universe” and was second only to the Son of God in his power, glory and majesty. He was created as near as possible to the image of God. How near is “as near as possible” in terms of God’s ability? I would say it is very close, only to be out done by the Son of God. Thus, we may even conclude that if we were able to observe the pre-incarnate Son of God and Lucifer side by side, before the fall, we might actually be tempted to think they were brothers bearing a close resemblance! Inspiration does tell us that Christ was taller though: “Before Christ left heaven and came into the world to die, HE WAS TALLER THAN ANY OF THE ANGELS. He was majestic and lovely.” {2SP 39.2} However, even though Lucifer resembled God “as near as possible,” Lucifer did not bear the “express image” of God because Lucifer was a created being. Lucifer was created as close a being to God as a created being could be but Christ was higher in heaven for He was begotten (brought forth) from the very substance (nature) of God. This is the “express image” scripture refers to (Hebrews 1:3). Pre-incarnate Christ therefore was God or divine in nature.

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:” — Hebrews 1:3 (KJV)

Note: Christ is the Express image – a perfect reproduction of the Father. There is no closer likeness. But also what is interesting is that Christ was the “brightness of His [God’s] glory.” This plays a big role in the attitude of Lucifer going forward.

Lucifer’s position

“SATAN, THE CHIEF OF THE FALLEN ANGELS, once had an exalted position in Heaven. HE WAS NEXT IN HONOR TO CHRIST.” (Ellen White, Review & Herald, Feb. 24, 1874)

They looked with amazement upon the devices of Satan against the divine Son of God. They saw that he who had only been SECOND TO JESUS IN POWER AND GLORY had fallen so low that he could influence men to hunt the steps of Christ from city to city.” {ST November 25, 1889, par. 1}

“Was not Satan the light-bearer, the sharer of God’s glory in heaven, and NEXT TO JESUS IN POWER AND MAJESTY?” {RH November 17, 1891, par. 3}

“Satan had been Lucifer, the light-bearer, the sharer of God’s glory in heaven, and SECOND TO JESUS AND MAJESTY.” {BEcho November 1, 1892, par. 3}

“The fallen angel whom God had made covering cherub, was ruined by his selfish, independent will. GOD HAD MADE HIM NOBLE, HAD GIVEN HIM RICH ENDOWMENTS. HE GAVE HIM A HIGH, RESPONSIBLE POSITION. He asked of him nothing that was unreasonable. He was to administer the trust given him of God in a spirit of meekness and devotion, seeking to promote the glory of God, who had given him glory and beauty and loveliness. But Lucifer abode not in the truth. He fell from his integrity. Let everyone learn the lesson which he should learn from this wonderful history.” {SSW, March 1, 1893 par. 2}

“SPEAKING OF SATAN, our Lord says that ‘he abode not in the truth.’ He was once the covering cherub, glorious in beauty and holiness. HE WAS NEXT TO CHRIST IN EXALTATION AND CHARACTER. It was with Satan that self-exaltation had its origin. He became jealous of Christ, and falsely accused him, and then laid blame upon the Father. HE WAS ENVIOUS OF THE POSITION THAT WAS HELD BY CHRIST AND THE FATHER, and he turned from his allegiance to the Commander of heaven and lost his high and holy estate.” (Ellen White, Review & Herald, Oct. 22, 1895)

“But there was one that chose to pervert this freedom. Sin originated with him [SATAN] who, NEXT TO CHRIST, HAD BEEN MOST HONORED OF GOD and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven.” {E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 1911 ed., p. 493} (bracket supplied)

Lucifer in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, NEXT IN HONOR TO GOD’S DEAR SON. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A SPECIAL LIGHT BEAMED IN HIS COUNTENANCE AND SHONE AROUND HIM BRIGHTER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN AROUND THE OTHER ANGELS; YET CHRIST, GOD’S DEAR SON, HAD THE PRE-EMINENCE OVER ALL THE ANGELIC HOST. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Lucifer was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone. {SR 13.1}

“Satan in Heaven, BEFORE HIS REBELLION, WAS A HIGH AND EXALTED ANGEL, NEXT IN HONOR TO GOD’S DEAR SON. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels; YET JESUS, GOD’S DEAR SON, HAD THE PRE-EMINENCE OVER ALL THE ANGELIC HOST. HE WAS ONE WITH THE FATHER BEFORE THE ANGELS WERE CREATED. SATAN WAS ENVIOUS OF CHRIST, AND GRADUALLY ASSUMED COMMAND WHICH DEVOLVED ON CHRIST ALONE. {1SP 17.1}

How Lucifer was “next” to Christ compared with how Christ was “next” to God

THE SON OF GOD WAS NEXT IN AUTHORITY TO THE GREAT LAWGIVER. He knew that His life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man.” (Ellen White, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, p. 9; Also in Lift Him Up, p. 24)

Note: The “great lawgiver” here refers to God the Father.

“Such strange things have been repeating the works of Satan. He commenced war in heaven for the preeminence, worked with the angels until they were deceived, and concluded they would war against God. But the [loyal angels] would not yield the point THAT CHRIST SHOULD HAVE THE PREEMINENCE NEXT TO GOD. And there was war in heaven.” {Ms90-1910.1}

“Well, Lucifer, he was striving; he had glory in the heavenly courts, BUT HE WAS STRIVING FOR CHRIST’S PLACE NEXT TO GOD. NEXT HE WANTED TO BE GOD, but he could not obtain that.” {Ms86-1910.29}

Note: Please note that Lucifer’s position in heaven had been “next” in authority to the Son of God. Lucifer being “next to” the Son of God most certainly means that he was the next in line in the hierarchy and the chain of command. He was under Christ. This is a statement that most certainly places the Son above Him. Consequently, Christ being “next to” to God (Father) then certainly places the Son below the Father. 1st = Father, 2nd = Christ, 3rd = Lucifer (Satan)

The Battle in Lucifer’s Heart

“The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ and poured out their love and adoration. Lucifer bowed with them; BUT IN HIS HEART THERE WAS A STRANGE, FIERCE CONFLICT. TRUTH AND LOYALTY WERE STRUGGLING AGAINST ENVY AND JEALOUSY. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out in harmony with the sinless worshipers in love to the Father and the Son. But again his desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer called forth no gratitude to his Creator. He gloried in his brightness and aspired to be equal with God. Angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was exalted above him. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christ have the supremacy?”” {PP 36.3}{EP 11.1}

“The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ, and PROSTRATING THEMSELVES BEFORE HIM, poured out their love and adoration. LUCIFER BOWED WITH THEM, BUT IN HIS HEART THERE WAS A STRANGE, FIERCE CONFLICT. Truth, justice, and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony WITH THE SINLESS WORSHIPERS, IN LOVE TO THE FATHER AND THE SON. {PP 36.3}

“God bore long with Lucifer. The spirit of discontent was a new element, strange, unaccountable. LUCIFER HIMSELF DID NOT SEE WHITHER HE WAS DRIFTING. But such efforts as infinite love and wisdom only could devise were made to convince him of his error. He was made to see what would be the result of persisting in revolt.” {EP 12.3}

“PRIDE IN HIS OWN GLORY NOURISHED THE DESIRE FOR SUPREMACY. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host. Angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was the acknowledged Sovereign of heaven, one in power and authority with the Father. IN ALL THE COUNCILS OF GOD, CHRIST WAS A PARTICIPANT, WHILE LUCIFER WAS NOT PERMITTED THUS TO ENTER INTO THE DIVINE PURPOSES. “WHY,” QUESTIONED THIS MIGHTY ANGEL, “SHOULD CHRIST HAVE THE SUPREMACY? WHY IS HE THUS HONORED ABOVE LUCIFER?” { GC 495.1}

“Before the fall of Satan, the Father consulted his Son in regard to the formation of man. They purposed to make this world, and create beasts and living things upon it, and to make man in the image of God, to reign as a ruling monarch over every living thing which God should create. When Satan learned the purpose of God, HE WAS ENVIOUS AT CHRIST, AND JEALOUS BECAUSE THE FATHER HAD NOT CONSULTED HIM IN REGARD TO THE CREATION OF MAN.” {3SG 36.1}

CHRIST IS THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS FATHER’S PERSON, AND THE ANGELS COULD SEE IN THE SON A PERFECT REPRESENTATION OF GOD. LUCIFER COVETED THE HONOR AND GLORY GIVEN TO CHRIST. He became so self-exalted that he supposed that he could do anything he desired to do because of his high position as covering cherub, and HE TRIED TO OBTAIN FOR HIMSELF THE POSITION GIVEN TO CHRIST. But Lucifer fell. He was cast out of heaven; and now he works on human minds, tempting them to follow in his footsteps. He strives to fill minds with feelings of self-exaltation and to lead them to dishonor God by turning from their allegiance to the truth and inventing many things not after God’s order.” (18LtMs, Lt 55, 1903, par. 15)

Note: the position which Christ held as the only begotten Son was “given” to him.

“Lucifer was convinced that he was in the wrong. He saw that ‘the Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works’ (Psalm 145:17), that the divine statutes are just and that he ought to acknowledge them as such before all heaven. HAD HE DONE THIS, HE MIGHT HAVE SAVED HIMSELF AND MANY ANGELS. IF HE HAD BEEN WILLING TO RETURN TO GOD, satisfied to fill the place appointed him in God’s great plan, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REINSTATED IN HIS OFFICE. The time had come for a final decision; he must yield to the divine sovereignty or place himself in open rebellion. He nearly reached the decision to return, BUT PRIDE FORBADE HIM. It was too great a sacrifice for one who had been so highly honored to confess that he had been in error!” {EP 12.4}

“Lucifer pointed to the LONG-SUFFERING OF GOD AS AN EVIDENCE of his own superiority, an indication that the King of the universe would yet accede to his terms. If the angels would stand firmly with him, he declared, they could yet gain all that they desired. He fully committed himself to the great controversy against his Maker. THUS IT WAS THAT LUCIFER, THE LIGHT BEARER,” BECAME SATAN, “the adversary” of God and holy beings.” {EP 13.1}

“….The influence of the holy angels seemed FOR A TIME CARRY HIM WITH THEM. As songs of praise ascended, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; UNUTTERABLE LOVE THRILLED HIS ENTIRE BEING; his soul went out in harmony with the sinless worshipers in love to the Father and the Son. But AGAIN HIS DESIRE FOR SUPREMACY RETURNED, and envy of Christ was once more indulged….” {PP 36.3}

Contention over Christ’s position as the Son of God

“There was CONTENTION AMONG THE ANGELS. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to REFORM THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. THEY were discontented and unhappy because they could not look into his unsearchable wisdom and ascertain his purposes in exalting his Son Jesus, and endowing him with such unlimited power and command. THEY rebelled against the authority of the Son.” {1SP 18.2}

“At length all the angels are summoned to appear before the Father, to have each case decided. Satan unblushingly makes known to all the heavenly family his discontent, that Christ should be preferred before him, to be in such close conference with God, and he be uninformed as to the result of their frequent consultations. God informs Satan that this he can never know. THAT TO HIS SON WILL HE REVEAL HIS SECRET PURPOSES, and that all the family of Heaven, Satan not excepted, were required to yield implicit obedience. Satan boldly speaks out his rebellion, and points to a large company who think God is unjust in not exalting him to be equal with God, and in not giving him command above Christ. HE [SATAN] DECLARES HE CANNOT SUBMIT TO BE UNDER CHRIST’S COMMAND, THAT GOD’S COMMANDS ALONE WILL HE OBEY. Good angels weep to hear the words of Satan, and to see how he despises to follow the direction of Christ, their exalted and loving commander.” (E.G. White, Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 37)

“All the angels were astir. Satan was warring against the government of God, because [he was] ambitious to exalt himself and UNWILLING TO SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S SON, Heaven’s great commander.” (E.G. White, Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 37.1)

“Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, NEXT TO CHRIST. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing great intelligence. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. BUT WHEN GOD SAID TO HIS SON, ‘LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE,’ SATAN WAS JEALOUS OF JESUS. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred. HE DESIRED TO RECEIVE THE HIGHEST HONOR IN HEAVEN NEXT TO GOD.” {EW 145.1}

“Satan, who was once a beautiful angel in the heavenly courts, became a fallen angel because HE DID NOT WANT TO OCCUPY A SECONDARY PLACE, BUT TO BE NEXT TO GOD. HE WOULD HAVE THE LORD JESUS BECOME SECOND TO HIM, for his own glory was very precious in his own sight. He was jealous of Christ, the Saviour. Study the Word of God, and see what this jealousy led to in the end. There is nothing to be gained by jealousies. Although in the beginning Satan was an exalted angel of great glory in the heavenly courts, that glory became extinguished THROUGH HIS CRAVING TO BE THE HIGHEST ONE NEXT TO GOD.” {Ms74-1910.6}

“Rejecting with disdain the entreaties of the loyal angels, he denounced them as deluded slaves. HE WOULD NEVER AGAIN ACKNOWLEDGE THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST. He had determined to claim the honor which should have been given him. And he promised those who would enter his ranks a new and better government under which all would enjoy freedom. Great numbers of the angels signified their purpose to accept him as their leader. He hoped to win all the angels to his side, TO BECOME EQUAL WITH GOD HIMSELF, and to be obeyed by the entire host of heaven.” {EP 13.2}

“Well, Lucifer, he was striving; he had glory in the heavenly courts, BUT HE WAS STRIVING FOR CHRIST’S PLACE NEXT TO GOD. NEXT HE WANTED TO BE GOD, but he could not obtain that.” {Ms86-1910.29}

“War came and the result was that Lucifer, with his party, was thrown out of heaven; and thus there has been in our world a rebellious party ever since. Let no man suppose that these angels became saints. Through satanic agencies, the great exaltation of certain ones became united TO HAVE A CHANGE IN THE DIVINE ORDER. The efforts made to correct the evil matter were not a success. There was war in heaven and the rebellion was overcome. Heaven was closed against them.” {Ms90-1910.5}

WHEN GOD WOULD NOT CONCEDE TO SATAN’S CLAIM TO A PLACE ABOVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, SATAN REBELLED. There was war in heaven, and he was cast out. He pressed his claim to be placed above Christ, but the warfare resulted in his losing his position in the heavenly courts.” (E.G. White, Letter 132-1910.

Note: What is interesting to note here is that this covering cherub didn’t necessarily want to occupy the Father’s position (at least not initially) but “desired to receive the highest honor in heaven “NEXT TO GOD” which would make his position ABOVE Christ but not necessarily above God. But in the end, Lucifer, not having fulfilled his initial efforts to take the place of the Son of God, he goes after the position of the Father. Efforts were made to change the “divine order”.

“By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up BECAUSE OF THY BEAUTY, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” — Ezekiel 28:16-17 (KJV)

Lucifer was jealous because his wisdom had been corrupted. What wisdom? The wisdom which came from God. But he began to think that the wisdom was inherent in himself:

”There was a time when Satan was in harmony with God, and it was his joy to execute the divine commands. His heart was filled with love and joy in serving his Creator, UNTIL HE BEGAN TO THINK THAT HIS WISDOM WAS NOT DERIVED FROM GOD, BUT WAS INHERENT IN HIMSELF, and that he was as worthy as was God to receive honor and power.—ST Sept. 18, 1893. {TA 31.3}

He believed that he was as bright and as beautiful as was his creator. He wanted to share in the worship given to the Father and Son. The issue is about worship. He (Lucifer) wanted a three being government in heaven where he would receive worship just as does the Father and Son.

What was the reason for the fall of Lucifer? What was the reason for his dissatisfaction?  Lucifer was envious of Christ’s position as the Son of God; namely, Christ had been in “all” the councils of God, while Lucifer was not permitted to enter into these divine purposes. Lucifer did however was the most prominent in rank (next to Christ) in carrying out God’s purposes and was privy to know most purposes of God (except for the ones that he wasn’t permitted to know).

“The creation of our world was brought into the councils of heaven. THERE THE COVERING CHERUB PREPARED HIS REQUEST THAT HE SHOULD BE MADE PRINCE TO GOVERN THE WORLD THEN IN PROSPECT. THIS WAS NOT ACCORDED HIM. Jesus Christ was to rule the earthly kingdom; under God He engaged to take the world with all its probabilities. The law of heaven should be the standard law for this new world, for human intelligences. Lucifer was jealous of Christ and THIS JEALOUSY WORKED INTO REBELLION and he carried with him a large number of the holy angels. Jesus, the Son of God, was not deceived by Lucifer’s sophistry. He stood true to principle and resisted every line of reasoning of Lucifer and all the angels who had taken sides with him, thus evidencing that as He stood, every angel might have stood.” (7LtMs, Ms 43b, 1891, par. 3)

Note: Impetus for Lucifer’s envy was Christ’s authority over the earthly kingdom.

That Christ should regard him [Lucifer] as needing to be corrected, AND SHOULD PRESUME TO TAKE THE POSITION OF A SUPERIOR, aroused in him a spirit of resistance, and he charged the Son of God with a design to humble him before the angels. By misrepresentation of the words of Christ, by prevarication and direct falsehood, Satan secured the sympathy of the angels under his control, and they united with him in revolt against Heaven’s authority. {4SP 318.1}

Notice how Lucifer thought that Christ was “presuming” to take a superior position to him. This of course wasn’t true; It was a fact that Christ was infinitely superior to Lucifer for Christ was the Father’s ontologically equal Son and by extension, He functioned as one who was next in authority to God. Lucifer actually knew this all along (“Christ had the first place next to God” , but in his delusions of grandeur, Lucifer actually begin to believe his own lie that Christ’s position was rightfully his.

“This work of opposition to the law of God had its beginning in the courts of heaven, with Lucifer, the covering cherub. Satan determined to be first in the councils of heaven, and equal with God. He began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command, seeking to diffuse among them the spirit of discontent. And he worked in so deceptive a way that many of the angels were won to his allegiance before his purposes were fully known. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character, nor see to what his work was leading. When Satan had succeeded in winning many angels to his side, he took his cause to God, REPRESENTING THAT IT WAS THE DESIRE OF THE ANGELS THAT HE OCCUPY THE POSITION THAT CHRIST HELD.” {Review & Herald January 28, 1909, par. 5}

“Two great powers are now on the field of battle. Satan, who at one time stood next to Christ in the courts of heaven, has become the adversary of man. Before the fall of Lucifer, HE ASPIRED FOR THE SUPREMACY THAT HAD BEEN GIVEN TO CHRIST, who was one with the Father in the government of heaven. There was war in heaven, and Satan and all the rebellious angels he had deceived were overcome. Those who had opposed the will of God in appointing Christ as the chief ruler were cast out of the heavenly courts, and since that time they have been warring against the Most High.” {Lt24-1910.4}

Note: It was always the Son’s authority which Satan questioned, not so much the Father’s.

“While some of the angels joined Satan in his rebellion, others reasoned with him to dissuade him from his purposes, CONTENDING FOR THE HONOR AND WISDOM OF GOD IN GIVING AUTHORITY TO HIS SON. SATAN URGED, FOR WHAT REASON WAS CHRIST ENDOWED WITH UNLIMITED POWER AND SUCH HIGH COMMAND ABOVE HIMSELF! He stood up proudly, and urged that he should be equal with God. He makes his boasts to his sympathizers that he will not submit to the authority of Christ.” (E.G. White, Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 37.2)

“Some of the angels sympathized with Satan in his rebellion, and others STRONGLY CONTENTED FOR THE HONOR AND WISDOM OF GOD IN GIVING AUTHORITY TO HIS SON. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They wished to look into His unsearchable wisdom, and ascertain His purpose in exalting Jesus and ENDOWING Him with such unlimited power and command. THEY REBELLED AGAINST THE AUTHORITY OF THE SON.” (Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 145, ‘Spiritual gifts’ 1882)

“Lucifer was the most beautiful angel in the heavenly courts next to Jesus Christ, but Christ was one with God, assimilated to the image of God to do the will of God. SATAN, KNOWING THAT CHRIST HAD THE FIRST PLACE NEXT TO GOD, BEGAN TO INSINUATE TO THE ANGELS THAT HE SHOULD BE NEXT TO GOD. His great beauty and exalted position made him feel that he was not receiving due honor in being second to Christ. Therefore he would suggest this to the angels, and this suggestion [began] to be communicated to the heavenly angels, and finally [it was] brought before God that Lucifer was the one who should be next to God. THUS THE SEED WAS SOWN AND THE RESULT WAS THAT ANGELS SYMPATHIZED WITH LUCIFER; next, there was war in heaven. Lucifer’s beautiful appearance was constantly exalted and the Lord God of heaven [saw] that LUCIFER AND HIS PARTY WERE VERY STRONG AGAINST CHRIST.” (E.G. White, Manuscript 90-1910.4)

Note: Christ was endowed with “unlimited power and command”. To be “endowed” means, it was furnished or supplied by the someone else. The source of Christ’s endowment of unlimited power and command was the Father.

“Two great powers are now on the field of battle. Satan, WHO AT ONE TIME STOOD NEXT TO CHRIST in the courts of heaven, has become the adversary of man. Before the fall of Lucifer, he aspired for the supremacy that had been given to Christ, who was one with the Father in the government of heaven. There was war in heaven, and Satan and all the rebellious angels he had deceived were overcome. Those who had opposed the will of God in appointing Christ as the chief ruler were cast out of the heavenly courts, and since that time they have been warring against the Most High.” (E.G. White, Letter 24-1910.4)

Accusations and Deceptions

“To carry out his purpose, he concealed his true designs from the angels, and worked deceptively to secure their allegiance and honor to himself. BY SLY INSINUATIONS, BY WHICH HE MADE IT APPEAR THAT CHRIST HAD ASSUME THE PLACE THAT BELONGED TO HIM, Lucifer sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of many of the angels; and when he had won their support, he carried the matter to God, declaring that it was the sentiment of many of the heavenly beings that he should have the preference to Christ.” {RH February 4, 1909, par. 1}{Educational Messenger, Sept. 11, 1908.}

“Lucifer CAREFULLY CONCEALED from the angels his real sentiments and purposes; and when he had succeeded in turning them from their loyalty, and the terrible results of his work were manifest, HE TRIED TO MAKE IT APPEAR THAT HE HAD NOT BEEN THE ORIGINATOR OF THE EVIL. He led the ones he had deceived to engage in warfare against Christ and the loyal angels, urging them on with the hope that they could overcome Christ and dethrone God. With Lucifer on the throne, as ruler in heaven, he told them that a better order of things would be brought in.” {Lt356-1907.12}

“Satan wished TO CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD, to fix his own seal to the rules of God’s kingdom. Christ would not be brought into this desire, and here the warfare against Christ commenced and waxed strong. WORKING IN SECRECY BUT KNOWN TO GOD, Lucifer became a DECEIVING CHARACTER. He told falsehood for truth. {Ms57-1890.2}

“His work of DECEPTION WAS DONE IN SO GREAT SECRECY that the ANGELS IN LESS-EXALTED POSITIONS SUPPOSED THE HE WAS THE RULER OF HEAVEN. Satan made the representation that all wrong insinuations existing in heaven originated among the angels, while he himself had made suggestions which would never have been entertained by the angels, had he not created them. He artfully presented these things to God, AS HAVING COME FROM THE ANGELS, while they all originated with the evil Satan himself.” {Lt 292, 1906, par. 1}

“…It was his policy to perplex with subtle arguments concerning the purposes of God. Everything that was simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast doubt upon the plainest statements of Jehovah. And HIS HIGH POSITION, SO CLOSELY CONNECTED WTH THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT, GAVE GREATER FORCE to his representations. {PP 41.3}

“Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. For a time he concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He insinuated doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that angels needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. All their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer. If this prince of angels could but attain to his true, exalted position, great good would accrue to the entire host of heaven, for it was his object to secure freedom for all. SUBTLE DECEPTIONS THROUGH THE WILE OF LUCIFER WERE FAST OBTAINING IN THE HEAVENLY COURTS.” {EP 11.2}

“The spirit of dissatisfaction thus kindled was doing its baleful work. While there was no open outbreak, DIVISION OF FEELING IMPERCEPTIBLY GREW UP AMONG THE ANGELS. There were some who looked with favor upon Lucifer’s insinuations against the government of God. Although they had heretofore been in perfect harmony with the order which God had established, they were now discontented and unhappy because they could not penetrate His unsearchable counsels; they were dissatisfied with HIS PURPOSE IN EXALTING CHRIST. These stood ready to second Lucifer’s demand for equal authority with the Son of God. But angels who were loyal and true maintained the wisdom and justice of the divine decree and endeavored to reconcile this disaffected being to the will of God. CHRIST WAS THE SON OF GOD; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence. He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father; His supremacy, so full of blessing to all who came under its benignant control, had not heretofore been questioned. The harmony of heaven had never been interrupted; wherefore should there now be discord? The loyal angels could see only terrible consequences from this dissension, and with earnest entreaty they counseled the disaffected ones to renounce their purpose and prove themselves loyal to God by fidelity to His government.” {PP 38.3}

“Still the LOYAL ANGELS URGED HIM and his sympathizers to submit to God; they set before them the inevitable result should they refuse. They warned all to close their ears against LUCIFER’S DECEPTIVE REASONING and urged him and his followers to seek the presence of God without delay and confess the error of questioning His wisdom and authority.” {EP 13.3}

MANY WERE DISPOSED TO REPENT of their disaffection and seek to be again received into favor with the Father and His Son. BUT LUCIFER NOW DECLARED THAT THE ANGELS WHO HAD UNITED WITH HIM HAD GONE TOO FAR TO RETURN; GOD WOULD NOT FORGIVE. For himself, he was determined never again to acknowledge the authority of Christ. The only course remaining was to assert their liberty and gain by force the rights which had not been accorded them.” {EP 13.4}

True position of Christ-Christ acknowledged as Father’s equal

“The TRUE POSITION OF THE SON OF GOD had been the SAME FROM THE BEGINNING. Many of the angels were, however, BLINDED BY LUCIFER’S DECEPTIONS. HE SO ARTFULLY INSTILLED INTO THEIR MINDS HIS OWN DISTRUST AND DISCONTENT THAT HIS AGENCY WAS NOT DISCERNED. Lucifer had presented the purposes of God in a false light to excite dissent and dissatisfaction. While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes were necessary for the stability of the divine government. While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty, and to preserve harmony and peace.” {EP 12.1}

“The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence HE MIGHT SET FORTH THE TRUE POSITION OF HIS SON and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. {PP 36.2}”

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of all the angels CONFER SPECIAL HONOR UPON HIS SON. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that IT WAS ORDAINED BY HIMSELF THAT CHRIST, HIS SON, SHOULD BE EQUAL WITH HIMSELF; SO THAT WHEREVER WAS THE PRESENCE OF HIS SON, IT WAS AS HIS OWN PRESENCE. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was His Son to work in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out His will and His purposes but would do nothing of Himself alone. THE FATHER’S WILL WOULD BE FULFILLED IN HIM.” (Ellen G. White, Lift Him Up, p. 18 )

Note: Now as to whether or not Lucifer understood, at the start, the equality of Christ with God is not clear. I do not think he actually did but I am certain he eventually came to grasp this too. Thus his plans matured or developed, if you will, and in order to obtain highest standing he had to work against the Two of Them.

“Our great Exemplar was EXALTED TO BE EQUALwith God. “—Testimonies to the Church, vol. 2, p. 426

“The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted] God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been GIVEN AN EXALTED POSITION. HE HAS BEEN MADE EQUAL WITH THE FATHER. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” —Testimonies to the Church, vol. 8, p. 268, 1904

“Two great powers are now on the field of battle. Satan, who at one time stood next to Christ in the courts of heaven, has become the adversary of man. Before the fall of Lucifer, he aspired for the SUPREMACY THAT HAD BEEN GIVEN TO CHRIST, who was one with the Father in the government of heaven. There was war in heaven, and Satan and all the rebellious angels he had deceived were overcome. Those who had opposed the will of God in appointing Christ as the chief ruler were cast out of the heavenly courts, and since that time they have been warring against the Most High.” {Lt24-1910.4}

Note: Christ has been MADE equal with the Father; the supremacy was GIVEN to Christ. The reality here is that the ontological equality of the Son of God was not fully perceived by the angels. This was perhaps because He ruled “under God” {Ms43b-1891 par. 3} and functioned “next in authority” to the great Lawgiver {2SP 9.1} and even Lucifer knew that “Christ had the first place next to God” {Ms90-1910.4}. Thus when Lucifer saw the Son going into all of the counsels but he himself was not permitted he began to question things.

“There had been NO CHANGE in the position or authority of Christ. Lucifer’s envy and misrepresentation and HIS CLAIMS TO EQUALITY WITH CHRIST HAD MADE NECESSARY a statement of the TRUE POSITION OF THE SON OF GOD; but THIS HAD BEEN THE SAME FROM THE BEGINNING. MANY OF THE ANGELS WERE, HOWEVER, BLINDED BY LUCIFER’S DECEPTIONS.” (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36, ‘Why was sin permitted?’)

Note: Again, Christ’s position “had been the same from the beginning”, meaning, Christ inherited His exalted position from the very “beginning” as the only begotten Son and have assumed a position that was equal to the Father but this reality had been questioned by Lucifer for he also wanted to claim equality with Christ and consequently, it made it necessary that God had to clarify and make sure the angels understood Christ’s true position as the Son, as well as Lucifer who was a mere creation.

***If Christ had always assumed the equal authority in the absolute sense no different than the Father, how is it that Lucifer was even able to deceive the angels? For it would have been clearly evident! Why didn’t the angels know? Why was it necessary that at some point in time the Father had to reveal this fact to the rest of the heavenly host? And if Christ was absolutely equal with the Father, why is it that Christ was ORDAINED by the Father to be equal in such a manner before the heavenly host? Why did it take the Father to set the record straight? For Christ’s own words would have been sufficient.

Furthermore, it is evident that while Christ was made equal, Christ is still subject to the Father in that He “WOULD CARRY OUT HIS [Father’s] WILL AND HIS PURPOSES BUT WOULD DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF ALONE. THE FATHER’S WILL WOULD BE FULFILLED IN HIM.

Christ, the Begotten Son — The Heart of the Great Controversy!

The following statements reveal how Satan’s envy and jealousy toward Christ’s position as the Son of God led him to rebel. Statements below shows how Jesus was the Son of God before the incarnation (virgin birth) and that Satan got up a warfare over the matter:

“When the rebellion took place in heaven, it was led by the angel that was next to Christ BECAUSE HE COULD NOT HAVE THE POSITION OF CHRIST. He desired to be first, and therefore there was created a rebellion by that beautiful angel that had everything, apparently, that could be desired. There was a desire in him to be first, and he therefore APPLIED HIMSELF TO THIS ANGEL AND THAT ANGEL AND THE OTHER ANGEL TO GET THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT THAT FIRST POSITION WAS HIS, THAT HE SHOULD BE WHERE CHRIST WAS; AND THIS WORK WHICH HE BEGAN WENT ON AND ON, WHILE ANGELS THAT WERE LOYAL TRIED TO QUELL IT, but it seemed like an impossibility; AND IT EXTENDED MORE AND MORE, AND THE ENEMY GAINED MORE AND MORE VICTORIES until the battle came. He would not yield, and those that were with him would not yield, and therefore there was war in heaven. You will read of how that angel thought he ought to have the first place, and other angels told him he should have it, just as though the Lord did not know what should be. And a good many of us think that we know better than the Lord does.” {Ms80-1910.8}

CHRIST WAS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, AND LUCIFER, THAT GLORIOUS ANGEL, GOT UP A WARFARE OVER THE MATTER, until he had to be thrust down to the earth. {Ms86-1910 (August 21, 1910) par. 30}

“it was in SEEKING TO EXALT HIMSELF ABOVE THE SON OF GOD THAT SATAN HAD SINNED in heaven.” {Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p.129}

“Lucifer was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge His supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, he bowed with them; BUT HIS HEART WAS FILLED WITH ENVY AND HATRED. Christ had been taken into the SPECIAL COUNSEL OF GOD IN REGARD TO HIS PLANS, WHILE LUCIFER WAS UNACQUAINTED WITH THEM. HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND, NEITHER WAS HE PERMITTED TO KNOW, THE PURPOSES OF GOD. But Christ was acknowledged sovereign of heaven, His power and authority to be the same as that of God Himself. Lucifer 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. He 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?” { SR 14.1}

“Satan, who was once a beautiful angel in the heavenly courts, became a fallen angel because HE DID NOT WANT TO OCCUPY A SECONDARY PLACE, BUT TO BE NEXT TO GOD. HE WOULD HAVE THE LORD JESUS BECOME SECOND TO HIM, for his own glory was very precious in his own sight. He was jealous of Christ, the Saviour. Study the Word of God, and see what this jealousy led to in the end. There is nothing to be gained by jealousies. Although in the beginning Satan was an exalted angel of great glory in the heavenly courts, THAT GLORY BECAME EXTINGUISHED THROUGH HIS CRAVING TO BE THE HIGHEST ONE NEXT TO GOD.” (E.G. White, Manuscript 74, Mar. 20, 1910)

“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.” — Ellen White, This Day With God, 128.2 (bracket appears in the published article)

“I am instructed to say to you, All this holding to sentiments of infallibility is a specious device of the angel that was so exalted in the heavenly court. His[Lucifer] beauty was so highly exalted that he[Lucifer] thought he should be as God, and Christ must be second to him; BUT THE LORD INFORMED SATAN THIS COULD NOT BE POSSIBLE. CHRIST WAS HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.”{E.G. White, Lt157-1910}

Notes: What is most significant here in these statements is that the core issue surrounding Lucifer’s rebellion was the “REALITY” that Christ was the Son of God and that THIS FACT THE [FALLEN] ANGELS WOULD OBSCURE. Furthermore, it was this very thing that Lucifer took issues with in that he “GOT UP A WARFARE OVER THE MATTER.” Lucifer coveted Christ’s position as the only begotten Son of God.in SEEKING TO EXALT HIMSELF ABOVE THE SON OF GOD THAT SATAN HAD SINNED in heaven.” This was the heart of the great controversy. Christ’s pre-existent Sonship which allowed Christ to be ‘one with the Father,’ is something that Satan hated. If Christ’s preincarnate Sonship was merely a metaphor or a salvific title only in a proleptic sense, pointing to a future event (ie incarnate birth or resurrection), how could Satan be jealous of and hated something that did not really exist?

Loyal Angels clearly set forth that Christ was the Son of God

“Angels that were loyal and true sought to reconcile this mighty, rebellious angel to the will of his Creator. They justified the act of God in conferring honor upon Christ, and with forcible reasoning sought to convince Lucifer that no less honor was his now than before the Father had proclaimed the honor which He had conferred upon His Son. THEY CLEARLY SET FORTH THAT CHRIST WAS THE SON OF GOD, EXISTING WITH HIM BEFORE THE ANGELS WERE CREATED; and that He had ever stood at the right hand of God, and His mild, loving authority had not heretofore been questioned; and that He had given no commands but what it was joy for the heavenly host to execute. They urged that Christ’s receiving special honor from the Father, in the presence of the angels, did not detract from the honor that Lucifer had heretofore received. The angels wept. They anxiously sought to move him to renounce his wicked design and yield submission to their Creator; for all had heretofore been peace and harmony, and what could occasion this dissenting, rebellious voice? LUCIFER REFUSED TO LISTEN. (Ellen White, Story of Redemption p. 15 par 2, 3)

SATAN REFUSED TO LISTEN. And then he turned from the loyal and true angels, denouncing them as slaves. These angels, true to God, stood in amazement as they saw that Satan was successful in his effort to excite rebellion. He promised them a new and better government than they then had, in which all would be freedom. Great numbers signified their purpose to accept Satan as their leader and chief commander. As he saw his advances were met with success, he flattered himself that he should yet have all the angels on his side, and that he would be equal with God himself, and his voice of authority would be heard in commanding the entire host of Heaven. Again the loyal angels warned Satan, and assured him what must be the consequence if he persisted; that He who could create the angels, could by his power overturn all their authority, and in some signal manner punish their audacity and terrible rebellion. To think that an angel should resist the law of God which was as sacred as himself! They warned the rebellious to close their ears to Satan’s deceptive reasonings, and advised Satan, and all who had been affected by him, to go to God and confess their wrong for even admitting a thought of questioning his authority. {1SP 20.1}

I Will Be Like the Most High

“I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; … I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. Though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. This prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.”

Note: The “most high” refers to the Father and His position which He also granted to the Son to share; only the Son of God was given that privilege (prerogative) which Lucifer envied. Apparently a factor that motivated Lucifer’s satanic aspiration was his observation that the Son was always at every counsel of God including ones that he was excluded from. (see 1SP 22.2; 3SG 37.3) Besides this satan also seems to have been aware that the Son ruled “under God.”(see Ms43b-1891.3). There is a dichotomy that exists with the Son but that’s another topic. Thus it looks like satan was aiming for total supremacy! He wanted to be like God the Father in every single way including having the Son of God underneath himself.

Rejecting with disdain the arguments and entreaties of the loyal angels, he denounced them as deluded slaves. The preference shown to Christ he declared an ACT OF INJUSTICE both to himself and to all the heavenly host, and announced that he would NO LONGER SUBMIT to this invasion of his rights and theirs. He would NEVER AGAIN ACKNOWLEDGE THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST. He had determined to claim the honor which should have been given him, and take command of all who would become his followers; and he promised those who would enter his ranks a new and better government, under which all would enjoy freedom. Great numbers of the angels signified their purpose to accept him as their leader. Flattered by the favor with which his advances were received, he hoped to win all the angels to his side, to become equal with God Himself, and to be obeyed by the entire host of heaven. {PP 40.1}

“We had for years to meet this and were always carried back to the experience of the first departure from truth in the history of the fall of Lucifer from heaven. He occupied a special, exalted position in the heavenly courts. He must have no one higher than himself. He must be next to God in efficiency. But Christ was above him, and he claimed HE MUST BE ABOVE CHRIST. Christ was the only begotten Son of God, united with God. {Lt157-1910.1}

“When God would not concede to Satan’s claim TO A PLACE ABOVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, Satan rebelled. There was war in heaven, and he was cast out. He pressed his claim TO BE PLACED ABOVE CHRIST, but the warfare resulted in his losing his position in the heavenly courts. {Lt132-1910.4}

“It was Satan’s desire for the supremacy that caused discord among the angels. The mighty Lucifer, “son of the morning,” claimed the right to honor and authority ABOVE THE SON OF GOD; and this not being accorded him, he determined to rebel against the government of Heaven. He therefore appealed to the angelic host, complaining of God’s injustice, and declaring himself deeply wronged. His false representations won to his side one-third of all the heavenly angels; and so strong was their delusion that they would not be corrected; they clung to Lucifer, and were expelled from Heaven with him. {ST October 25, 1883, par. 25}

“Lucifer was cast out of heaven because he was fully determined to have A POSITION ABOVE THAT OF CHRIST. He could not obtain what he coveted, and there was war in heaven, and he was cast out.” {Lt74-1910.3}

“Remember that the training you are giving your children is making them either Christlike in word and deed, or like the fallen angel Lucifer, who, because he was determined to have his own way and BE ABOVE CHRIST, was cast out of heaven.” {RH December 22, 1910, par. 9}

There is only one Being that is above the only begotten Son of God and that is God the Father!

Usurping the Son and the Father

“I assure [you] that it will be one of our perplexities to distinguish the genuine from the spurious. Deception steals in unawares, just as it stole into the heavenly courts. Satan sought to undermine the confidence of the angels in God’s government. HE DESIRED THE PLACE  OCCUPIED BY CHRIST, HAVING IT IN HIS MIND, IF HE GAINED THIS POSITION, TO MAKE AN EFFORT TO TAKE THE PLACE OF GOD. Adroitly he presented his suggestions to the angels, and many of them received these suggestions. He left his insinuations in their minds to develop. They, not as cautious as their leader, began to communicate their new theories. Satan was the originator of the doubts that they expressed, but he presented them as the opinions of a large number of the angels, and as such, something that should be considered.”

“He led the ones he had deceived to engage in warfare against Christ and the loyal angels, urging them on with the hope that they could OVERCOME CHRIST, AND DETHRONE GOD. With Lucifer on the throne, as ruler in heaven, he told them that a better order of things would be brought in.”

“Satan worked in every possible way to come out victorious in standing in the highest place in the heavenly courts. How artful were his contrivances to win the game! He employed every artful intrigue and device to carry his science AGAINST GOD AND HIS SON Jesus Christ.

“Why is it that the world has gone astray? Because Lucifer, the son of the morning, one next to Jesus Christ, one that was highly exalted, committed the first sin. Jealousy, envy, evil surmising, all were brought in, and were hidden in that brain, that he was allowed to develop what was in him. Of course, God knew there would have to be a division. And here he worked underhanded in every way possible, to supersede God and Christ and to take THEIR POSITION. There was war in heaven at last. His underhanded work must come to the surface.

“At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless, and in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to DETHRONE GOD, and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown. {DA 57.2}

Note: It appears that Lucifer had a two step plan in mind in seeking power and authority.  Lucifer desired first to seek a place above the Son of God. This would be Him like God (equal to the Father), which would then open the way for Him to dethrone God (the Father). The ultimate goal, which he kept hidden, at least at the start, was actually to dethrone God.

Plan Revealed

After the fall of the angels and the fall of man, Jesus told the loyal angels about His earthly mission and that He would assume Himself as a man when in “reality” He was God’s Son.

“The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. GOD HAD PROMISED TO GIVE THE FIRSTBORN OF HEAVEN to save the sinner.” — Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 51

“Christ is the star that should arise out of Jacob, and the one in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed, AS THE FIRST BORN OF HEAVEN, AND THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, filled with all the treasures of eternity. He assumed humanity, and impressed upon it the glorious image of the everlasting God.” — Ellen G. White, Lt101, February 17, 1896

“When Christ first announced to the heavenly host His mission and work in the world, He declared that He was to leave His position of dignity and disguise His holy mission by assuming the likeness of a man, WHEN IN REALITY HE WAS THE SON OF THE INFINITE GOD…

“Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in heaven AS THE SON OF GOD, beloved of the Father. AND THAT HE SHOULD LEAVE HEAVEN AND COME TO THIS WORLD AS A MAN FILLED HIM WITH APPREHENSION FOR HIS OWN SAFETY.” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Mar. 3, 1874)

“SATAN WELL KNEW THE POSITION THAT CHRIST HAD HELD IN HEAVEN AS THE BELOVED OF THE FATHER. THAT THE SON OF GOD SHOULD COME TO THIS EARTH AS A MAN FILLED HIM WITH AMAZEMENT AND WITH APPREHENSION. HE COULD NOT FATHOM THE MYSTERY OF THIS GREAT SACRIFICE. His selfish soul could not understand such love for the deceived race.” (Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p.115)

Satan Cast Out of Heaven

LUCIFER WAS CONVINCED THAT HE WAS IN THE WRONG. He saw that “the Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works” (Psalm 145:17), that the divine statutes are just and that he ought to acknowledge them as such before all heaven. Had he done this, he might have saved himself and many angels. If he had been willing to return to God, satisfied to fill the place appointed him in God’s great plan, he would have been reinstated in his office. The time had come for a final decision; he must yield to the divine sovereignty or place himself in open rebellion. He nearly reached the decision to return, but pride forbade him. It was too great a sacrifice for one who had been so highly honored to confess that he had been in error! {EP 12.4}

“God permitted Satan to carry forward his work UNTIL THE SPIRIT OF DISAFFECTION RIPENED INTO ACTIVE REVOLT. It was NECESSARY FOR HIS PLANS TO FULLY DEVELOPED, THAT THEIR TRUE NATURE MIGHT BE SEEN by all. God’s government included not only the inhabitants of heaven, but all the world that He had created; and Lucifer concluded that if he could carry the angels with him in rebellion, he could carry the worlds also. All his acts were so clothed with mystery that it was difficult to disclose the true nature of his work. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character or see to what his work was leading. Everything simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast doubt upon the plainest statements of God. And his high position gave greater force to his representations. {EP 14.1}

“It means that when the ANGELS came to claim the highest place in heaven, ABOVE the only begotten Son of God, it was not give THEM. And BECAUSE THEY DID NOT RECEIVE IT, THERE WAS WAR IN HEAVEN, and THOSE that wanted a higher place, TO CROWD OUT CHRIST JESUS, WERE CAST OUT because they WOULD NOT REPENT and accept the rule of God; and they may be listening to me today.” {Ms84-1910.36}

Note: Satan fell from his once exalted position but he was not yet banished from Heaven, for in the days
of Job he presented himself before God along with the sons of God. Job 1:6.

So the time of his casting out (Rev 12:9) would have to have been after the Cross in 31 AD. For we read, “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” (Revelation 12:13) This refers to the 1260 period as evidenced by the following verse “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (Revelation 12:14)

Interesting to think then, that about the time of his banishment from heaven was the time when he setup his throne on Earth via the papacy.

“By shedding the blood of the Son of God, HE HAD UPROOTED HIMSELF FROM THE SYMPATHIES OF THE HEAVENLY BEINGS. HENCEFORTH HIS WORK WAS RESTRICTED. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken. {DA 761.2}

The above statement indicates that God did not banish satan from Heaven until “the last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken!” Wow! That is an amazing demonstration of God’s mercy and love and justice! In the same manner, not one sinner will die the second death until ALL the saints have examined the books and the records and unitedly pronounce the judgment.

Why God Did Not Destroy Satan

“God could employ only such means as were consistent with truth and righteousness. Satan could use what God could not—flattery and deceit. It was therefore necessary to demonstrate before the inhabitants of heaven and all the world that God’s government is just, His law perfect. Satan had made it appear that he himself was seeking to promote the good of the universe. The true character of the usurper must be understood by all. He must have time to manifest himself by his wicked works.” {EP 14.2}

“All evil he declared to be the result of the divine administration. It was his own object to improve upon the statutes of God. Therefore God permitted him to demonstrate the nature of his claims, to show the working out of his proposed changes in the divine law. His own work must condemn him. The whole universe must see the deceiver unmasked.” {EP 14.3}

“Even when Satan was cast out of heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy him. The allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of the world could not then have seen the justice of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted out of existence, some would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages he must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light and that the justice of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond question.” {EP 15.1}

Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages—a perpetual testimony to the nature of sin and its terrible results. Thus the history of this experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy beings to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression. {EP 15.2}

“His work is perfect; for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4. {EP 15.3}

Christ’s Temptation in the Wilderness-Controversy Continued

Lucifer who is now known as Satan has come to this earth and has created a deception so great, intended for him to receive worship. Let’s remember that even the angels who were ultimately deceived didn’t realize his ways until his purposes were revealed. Satan refers back to the original issue of the controversy – Christ’s position as the Son of God – when tempting Jesus here on earth:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19

Ellen White comments on James 2:19,

“The statement is made that the devil believed and trembled. “WHILE HE WAS IN HEAVEN, HE BELIEVED THAT CHRIST WAS THE SON OF GOD”, and when upon this earth he was in conflict with Him here on the field of battle.” {CTr 220.3}

“When Satan and THE SON OF GOD first met in conflict, Christ was the commander of the heavenly hosts; and Satan, the leader of revolt in heaven, was cast out. Now their condition is apparently reversed, and Satan makes the most of his supposed advantage. ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL OF THE ANGELS, HE SAYS, HAS BEEN BANISHED FROM HEAVEN. THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS INDICATES THAT HE IS THAT FALLEN ANGEL, forsaken by God, and deserted by man. A DIVINE BEING WOULD BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN HIS CLAIM BY WORKING A MIRACLE; “IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD, command this stone that it be made bread.” SUCH AN ACT OF CREATIVE POWER, URGES THE TEMPTER, WOULD BE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF DIVINITY. IT WOULD BRING THE CONTROVERSY TO AN END.{DA 119.2}

“Christ recognized Satan from the beginning, and it required strong self-control to listen to the propositions of this insulting deceiver, and not rebuke his bold assumption. But the Saviour of the world was neither provoked to give him evidence of his divine power, nor to enter into controversy with one who had been expelled from Heaven for leading a rebellion against the supreme Ruler of the universe, and WHOSE VERY CRIME HAD BEEN A REFUSAL TO RECOGNIZE THE DIGNITY OF THE SON OF GOD. Armed with faith in his Heavenly Father, bearing in his mind the precious memory of the words spoken from Heaven at his baptism, Jesus stood unmoved in the lonely wilderness, before the mighty enemy of souls.” {2SP 93.1}

“In taking the nature of man, Christ was not equal in appearance with the angels of Heaven, but this was one of the necessary humiliations that he willingly accepted when he became man’s Redeemer. SATAN URGED THAT IF HE WAS INDEED THE SON OF GOD he should give him some evidence of his exalted character. He suggested that God would not leave his Son in so deplorable a condition. HE DECLARED THAT ONE OF THE HEAVENLY ANGELS HAD BEEN EXILED TO EARTH, AND HIS APPEARANCE INDICATED THAT INSTEAD OF BEING THE KING OF HEAVEN, HE WAS THAT FALLEN ANGEL. He called attention to his own beautiful appearance, clothed with light and strength, and insultingly contrasted the wretchedness of Christ with his own glory. {2SP 91.1}

Note: What an incredible irony for Satan, a fallen angel himself, to insinuate that Christ might be that fallen “ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL OF THE ANGELS”, had been “BANISHED FROM HEAVEN” and “EXILED TO EARTH”.

“He claimed direct authority from Heaven to demand proof of Christ that he was the Son of God. He taunted him with being a poor representative of the angels, much less their high Commander, the acknowledged King in the royal courts; and insinuated that his present appearance indicated that he was forsaken of God and man. HE DECLARED THAT IF HE WERE THE SON OF GOD HE WAS EQUAL WITH GOD AND SHOULD EVIDENCE THIS by working a miracle to relieve his hunger. He then urged him to change the stone at his feet to bread, and AGREED THAT IF THIS WERE DONE HE WOULD AT ONCE YIELD HIS CLAIMS TO SUPERIORITY, AND THE CONTEST BETWEEN THE TWO SHOULD BE FOREVER ENDED.{2SP 91.2}

Note: Regarding Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness we read “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” — Matt 4:3-4

What most failed to grasp is the context in which Jesus made the point that He would live by the Word of God. What Jesus was saying is that He believed that He is the Son of God, because that is what proceeded “out of the mouth of God” just prior to Him being led into the wilderness, “lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt 3:17

The below statement ties into this:

“Satan flattered himself that he could lead Christ to doubt the words spoken from heaven at His baptism. IF HE COULD TEMPT HIM TO QUESTION HIS SONSHIP, and doubt the truth of the word spoken by His Father, he would gain a great victory.” – {Con 40.2} {1SM 275.1}

So it was in answer to this temptation that Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” which means, Jesus’ purpose in speaking those words was to say that He believed God’s own words that were just spoken declaring Him to be His “beloved Son.”

So often we read “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” and just understand it in a generic context and nothing more — completely missing the fact that those words were spoken to show Jesus’ faith in His Father’s Words declaring Him to be His Son!

So when those come to us in a garb of light professing to be Christ’s followers and try to get us to “question His Sonship” we too might rightly reply “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4)

“Lucifer, who was determined to have Christ’s place in the heavenly courts, lost his glorious position and was exiled to this world. In contrast to this, Christ laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown and came to this world to stand at the head of humanity as man’s Saviour. HE TRANSFERRED HIS HOME TO THE WORLD OCCUPIED BY FALLEN HUMAN BEINGS, BUT HIS CHARACTER AND HIS RELATIONSHIP TO GOD WERE UNCHANGED…”

Note: These inspired quotes help us to understand a core component of the great controversy. Lucifer tried to make the Son of God out to be a son of God like the angels were (sons by creation) instead of a Divine Son (a Son begotten). Please think about it. Did Jesus look anything like an angel here? Of course not! He looked like an emaciated human. So then why did satan say he looked like a fallen angel? It should be apparent that the enemy was going back to the original issue of the controversy! In the quotes above he tried to goad the Son of God into using His Divine power and breaking the plan of salvation by falsely claiming that if He did so then it would end the contest between them.

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9 Responses

  1. This also makes sense why all other false religions either deny Jesus completely or makee him just a man or prophet or make him a brother of Satan or have other idols steal his deity or identity
    His controversy was with the son always and to this day he deceives other beliefs systems to deny his true identity in however way possible

  2. The only disagreement I have with this is about the part about Satan cast out later and setting up his kingdom with the papacy. In Job satan says what his new home kingdom is by “walking to and fro on the earth” meaning that is his new domain. We know that cus after Adam and Eve sinned, their lordship over the earth was stripped away and given to Satan. EGW says this. That means all the false religions created there after were inspired by Satan and the pagan kingdom were ruled by Satan. And even in one part when Israel was fighting enemy nations, one part reveals that they were Fighting Satan. Babylon was the serpent or Satan kingdom so it’s not that it only became his kingdom with the papacy because we know Babylon originated with Satan and is his kingdom where they claimed to be worshiping their true God. Remember prior to the Christian church, the woman prior symbolizes the remnant of Israel in Old Testament like Zion. So Satan was always after the church or woman which was the remnant since the Old Testament days and he had success with the majority of apostate Israel but he could not completely steal them from God cus he always had a remnant so Satan was always after the Remnant of Israel from the beginning who also kept the commandments and had the faith or testimony of Jesus which in the Old covenant would’ve been in the sanctuary types that pointed to Jesus the messiah.

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