Originally published on Signs of the Times – April 18, 1900, pg. 3
“The reason for Lucifer’s discontent will further appear as we study the plan of God for’ the preservation of His universe. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He bath appointed 4″Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power.” Heb. 1:1-3.
“In Col. 1:15-19 we read concerning Christ: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature; for by Him were aII all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [R. V., margin, “hold together”]. And He is the Head of the body, the church; …that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.”
[The author then shares Eph. 1:7-10, 2:7, 3:10-11 and continues]
“‘.. That is, it was God’s eternal purpose to (1) create all things through Jesus Christ; (2) in case sin should enter—and we have seen from the nature of the case that it was a possibility that it should sometime enter—to make Christ the Head of His redeemed church; (3) to make the church, redeemed from a fallen race of rebels, a trophy of His grace and a triumph of love, ‘and love alone, over all other forces; (4) thus to prove to all His creatures. That He is what He claims to be,—a God whose name and every attribute is love; (5) in these ways to sum up all things in Christ, to make Him rightful Heir of all things, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.
“When Lucifer saw that Christ, who is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24), was from eternity appointed Chief (Prov. 8:23, Jewish translation), the Master Workman enjoying an intimacy with the Most High that was allowed to no other, his heart was fired with jealousy, which he soon fanned into open rebellion against the government of heaven. ” Why,” questioned Lucifer, “should Christ in all things have the pre-eminence? Why should He be preferred before me? He is Morning Star; so am I. Why should God choose to `sum up all things’ in Christ when He Himself has declared that I ‘seal up the sum’? Eze. 28:12. Why should Christ alone be the wisdom of God; when God Himself has pronounced me ‘full of wisdom’? “With what justice, reasoned Lucifer, could God appoint Christ “Heir of all things,” even tho He was the “brightness of His glory,” and the “image of Himself” (Heb. 1:3, Syriac version), and slight him, when he was Lucifer, the “light bringer,” declared by his Creator to be ” perfect ” in his ways, “complete in outline” (Jewish translation), and “perfect in beauty”. Was not he covering cherub, anointed to cover God’s throne? Why should not God say of him rather than of Christ, “Let all the angels of God worship Him”? Heb. 1:6. Why should it not be said to him, “Thy throne, 0 God, is forever and ever? Heb. 1:8.
“These honors conferred upon Christ and denied to himself, Lucifer regarded as an injustice and an arbitrary slight of his dignity and an invasion of his rights. Thus was his heart “lifted up” because of his brightness, and he corrupted his wisdom by reason of his elegance. He regarded God’s dealings with himself as unfair and unjust, and the exaltation of Christ as altogether arbitrary and partial.
“It may be permitted us to stop briefly to inquire WHY LUCIFER WAS DENIED the honors conferred upon Christ, and which he so much coveted. THE TASK IS NOT DIFFICULT. The difference between Christ and Lucifer WAS AN ESSENTIAL ONE OF CHARACTER AND OF NATURE, and not of mere outward environment. CHRIST WAS GOD, THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, full of grace and truth. He was the creative Word. John 1:1-3. He only was the effulgence of the Father’s glory and the very image of His substance (Heb. 1:3), Creator and Upholder of all things (Col. 1:16). LUCIFER, altho a being of brightness, WAS ONLY AN ANGEL, the rightful minister of his Creator. Tho “anointed,” he was still a cherub. Tho “morning star,” HE WAS CREATED by Christ, and should have been content to render Him grateful homage, rather than to covet His superior glory.
“We see, therefore, that God’s dealing with Lucifer, as with all His creatures, was not arbitrary, but that “true and righteous” are all His ways. This appears still more emphatic from the following. Of Christ it is declared, “Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Heb. 1:4. With God, name is a true index of character. Christ, the Word, was God. John I: 3; Heb. 1:8. Christ was the Word of God (Rev. 19:13), and was therefore incorruptible (1 Peter 1:23). Lucifer, as the event proved, was not incorruptible, for God declared of him, “Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom.” Eze. 28:17. Therefore none but Christ could be safely trusted with the sacred responsibilities resting upon God’s own Son. To do it would be to jeopardize the whole universe, and render insecure the whole government of God.
“To show again that God’s dealing with Lucifer in this matter was according to character, and not in an arbitrary manner, let the following scripture be noted. Of Christ it is said, “Who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but …humbled Himself.” Phil. 2:6, R.V. For what?—Not to add to His personal glory, but to save the lost.
“Contrast with this the course of Lucifer. He was not in the form of God at all, yet he counted it a prize to be thought equal with God. He therefore endeavored to exalt himself, even at the expense of casting down to everlasting destruction those who were eternally secure in the glory of heaven.” [end quote]