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From Eternity Past

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    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

    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 wiles 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

    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

    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

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