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The Beginning of Evil

Lucifer convinced himself that he was not receiving the honor he deserved.
Lucifer convinced himself that he was not
receiving the honor he deserved.

Illustration © Review and Herald Publ. Assoc.

There was a time when peace and harmony pervaded the entire universe in a manner that is beyond our imagination. That harmony depended upon all intelligent beings living in harmony with God’s principles of love:

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, p. 34-35

How wonderful it must have been! Unfortunately, the paragraph doesn’t end there.

. . . But a change came over this happy state. There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. 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. “Thus says the Lord God: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering. . . . You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.’ ” Ezekiel 28:12-15.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 35

Clearly, as the passage quoted from Ezekiel 28 bears out, God created Lucifer a perfect being. However, this highly exalted angel dwelt upon the talents of position and ability that God had given him until he convinced himself that he was not receiving the honor he deserved:

Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.” Ezekiel 28:17. “You have said in your heart: . . . I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. 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. . . .

Now the perfect harmony of heaven was broken. 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. In heavenly council the angels pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. 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.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 35-36

Employing deception and insinuation, Lucifer planted doubts about God’s character:

Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate 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. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; 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, 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.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36-37

What happened when Lucifer persisted in open rebellion?

All Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version, including those originally quoted by Ellen White from the King James Version.—Editors

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