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

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

Compiled from the writings of Ellen White by Paul Chung (emphasis in caps added throughout the quoted statements)

Following is a compilation of writings of Ellen White on Lucifer's attempt to usurp Christ's position in heaven. As we study the scripture and the statements from Ellen White, we begin to see some interesting patterns take form and how certain false ideas have taken hold much of christendom. I charge each of you, who takes the time read and study, to do so with a clear and open mind.

Contention over Christ's position as the Son of God

Isaiah 14:12-14(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."

Note: What is interesting to note here is that this covering cherub didn't want to be the one true God necessarily, but wanted to be LIKE the most High. Who in heaven was already LIKE the most High? Christ!

Ezekiel 28:16-17 (KJV) "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."

Lucifer was jealous because his wisdom had been corrupted. What wisdom? That it was from Christ that he received his brightness and beauty. He believed he was as bright and as beautiful. 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 as does the Father and Son. This is very important because it doesn't matter how he gets worship. Satan wants to be worshipped.

What was the reason for the fall of Lucifer? What was the reason for his dissatisfaction?  We are told by the Spirit of Prophecy that Lucifer was envious of Christ; 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).

"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}

Glory of Lucifer

EGW makes this comment at how close in likeness Lucifer was made to God. Yet not the Express image:

“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}

Note: How near is "as near as possible" in terms of God's ability? I would say it is very close wouldn't you? Does this suggest that Lucifer was the "express image" of God? No 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). That is why Christ is God by nature. 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! 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}

Hebrews 1:3 (KJV) "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:"

Note: Christ is the Express image of the Father. There's is no closer likeness. But also what is interesting is that He ( Christ ) was the brightness of His glory. This plays a big role in the attitude of Lucifer going forward.

"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." {Lt55-1903.15}

“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}.

"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}

“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)

“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)

“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}

Christ acknowledged as the sovereign of heaven

“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 )

"Our great Exemplar was EXALTED TO BE EQUAL with 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

Note: There was not a time when the presence of the Son was not as the presence of the Father for the Son was made equal with the Father by the virtue of His begetting. However, the reality here is that the ontological equality of the Son of God was not fully perceived by the angels. This is 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 "beginning" as the only begotten Son and assumed a position that was equal to the Father but this reality had been questioned by Lucifer and God had to clarify and make sure the angels understood Christ's true position. Despite His Son’s wonderfully humble persona and while He “imparted to the angelic family the high commands of His Father”, {3SG 36.1} Christ was actually the Father's equal. 

WHO WAS THE 1ST, 2ND, AND 3RD HIGHEST BEINGS IN HEAVEN BEFORE THE FALL?

“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: Although Christ “has been made equal with the Father," the Father’s position precedes that of Christ. Christ WAS NEXT IN AUTHORITY TO THE GREAT LAWGIVER [Father].

“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)

Note: 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. Therefore Christ being “next to” to God (Father) 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?”" {EP 11.1}

"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}

"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}

"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}

Lucifer's Envy and Jealousy- The Core Motive

The following statements reveal how Satan’s envy and jealousy toward Christ's position as the Son led him to rebel. Statements below also show how Jesus was the Son of God before the incarnation (virgin birth):

"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)

“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. Satan was of the highest order of angels; but Christ was above all. He was the Commander of all Heaven. HE IMPARTED TO THE ANGELIC FAMILY THE HIGH COMMANDS OF HIS FATHER.” (Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 36, ‘The Temptation and Fall’, 1864)

Note: The “high commands” spoken of here came from the Father. Christ was executing His Father’s will. The pre-eminence of the Father is indicated here before the incarnation of Christ.

“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}

Note: Christ’s pre-existent Sonship with the Father is something that Satan hated. He was jealous and envious of this relationship. How could he be jealous of and hate something that did not really exist? “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's] 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, Letter 157-1910)

“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)

“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.” (Ellen G. White, Manuscript 86, Aug. 21, 1910)

“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)

Note: It was always the Son’s authority which Satan questioned, not 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 contended 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)

Note: Christ was “endowed with unlimited power and command,” meaning it was furnished or supplied by the Father. Christ did not inherently possess unlimited power and command independent of the Father.

“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)

“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 132-1910.4)

“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.” (E.G. White, This Day With God, 128.2)

Note: Here then was the problem. Lucifer (Satan) would not submit to the authority of the Son. He wanted to be the executor of God’s commands. Satan’s envy and jealousy made him obscure the fact “THAT CHRIST WAS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF 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)

“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)

"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}

“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 SYMPATHISED 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)

“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.” (E.G. White, Manuscript 90-1910.5)

Note: Now as to whether or not he 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. 

Accusations and Deceptions

"...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 with 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 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}

"While there was no open outbreak, DIVISION OF FEELING IMPERCEPTIBLY GREW UP AMONG THE ANGELS. Some looked with favor upon Lucifer’s insinuations. They were discontented and unhappy, dissatisfied with God’s purpose in exalting Christ. But angels who were loyal maintained the wisdom and justice of the divine decree. Christ was the Son of God, one with Him before the angels were called into existence. He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father. Wherefore should there now be discord?" {EP 12.2}

"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}

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. 

"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. {Ms27-1910.18}

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." {Ms37-1903.8}

"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 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. {Lt311-1905.33}

“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. {Ms142-1906.2}

“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. 

Satan Cast Out of Heaven

God permitted Satan to carry forward his work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. It was necessary for his plans to be 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}

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

ChristInTheWilderness_1.jpg

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. 

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." 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}

“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}

“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: 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.