1. WHO IS JESUS, REALLY?
a. What must we realize about the role of Jesus Christ in the creation of the universe and its inhabitants? John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1, 2.
“The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.
b. What contrast exists between all creatures and Christ who was, by decree, to become our Saviour? Hebrews 1:6–8, 13, 14; Luke 1:30–35.
“From Jesus is our life derived. In Him is life that is original—unborrowed, underived life. In Him is the fountain of life.”—The Review and Herald, August 6, 1914.
“In speaking of His preexistence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.”—The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900.
2. THE HEAVENLY GOVERNMENT
a. What are some attributes of the government with which the Creator has always ruled the universe? Psalm 89:14; Romans 7:12.
“The law of God existed before man was created. It was adapted to the condition of holy beings; even angels were governed by it.”—The Signs of the Times, April 15, 1886.
“The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.
“So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 34, 35.
b. What has always been the attitude of the unfallen, holy angels with regard to Christ? Revelation 5:11, 12. What did the Father, as King of the Universe, also declare concerning Christ? Hebrews 1:3–6.
“The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. . . . Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.”—Ibid., p.36.
3. THE ANOINTED CHERUB’S CHOICE
a. Under the figure of the king of Tyrus, what can we learn about Lucifer, the anointed cherub, who later became Satan, the adversary? Ezekiel 28:11–15.
“Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ. His countenance was mild, expressive of happiness like the other angels. His forehead was high and broad, and showed great intelligence. His form was perfect. He had a noble, majestic bearing.”—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 17.
“Satan had led the heavenly choir. He had raised the first note; then all the angelic host united with him, and glorious strains of music had resounded through heaven in honor of God and His dear Son.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 28.
b. What led to the fall of Lucifer? Ezekiel 28:17 (first part).
“Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. . . . Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 35.
c. How uncontrollable is the spirit of envy and jealousy? Proverbs 27:4; 6:34. What happened when the Father, the Son, and the angels tried to reason with Lucifer?
“Lucifer’s disposition to serve himself instead of his Creator aroused a feeling of apprehension when observed by those who considered that the glory of God should be supreme. . . . But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined.”—Ibid., pp.35, 36.
4. SUBTLE DECEPTION
a. What was Isaiah shown about the attitude that Lucifer strangely adopted? Isaiah 14:12–14.
“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 high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as God’s special gift, and therefore called forth no gratitude to his Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 36, 37.
b. How did Lucifer’s attitude disrupt heaven? James 3:16.
“The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor. 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. But now even the liberty which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end; for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them, and to His authority all must pay homage. Such were the subtle deceptions that through the wiles of Lucifer were fast obtaining in the heavenly courts.
“There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ. . . . Many of the angels were, however, blinded by Lucifer’s deceptions.
“Taking advantage of the loving, loyal trust reposed in him by the holy beings under his command, he had 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—misconstruing and distorting them to excite dissent and dissatisfaction. He cunningly drew his hearers on to give utterance to their feelings; then these expressions were repeated by him when it would serve his purpose, as evidence that the angels were not in full harmony with the government of God. . . . While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he with consummate craft caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty and to preserve harmony and peace.
“The spirit of dissatisfaction [was] thus kindled.”—Ibid., pp.37, 38.
5. THE OUTCOME OF THE REBELLION
a. When the archdeceiver finally instigated open rebellion in heaven, what was the outcome? Revelation 12:7–9. What will be his final end? Isaiah 14:15–17.
b. What was the real object at stake in the war in heaven? Psalm 119:126.
“[Lucifer insinuated] doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 37.
c. What reveals God’s perfect wisdom in handling this crisis? Jude 6; 1 Corinthians 6:3 (first part); Philippians 2:10, 11.
“Had [Satan] 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 by all created beings, and that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond all question.”—Ibid., p.42.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How can we answer some common misconceptions about who Christ is?
2. Why can we say that God’s government is balanced and just?
3. What was the root of Lucifer’s problem?
4. Trace the steps that he took that spoiled the sweet harmony of heaven.
5. Why didn’t God simply blot Satan out of existence immediately?