Who were the three highest beings in heaven before and after sin. (Study II.)

This is a continuation of our study about the plan of salvation Part II.

In this study we will briefly examine  the hierarchical order in the government of Heaven before the entrance of sin by Satan and after his fall.

1. God the Father

“But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things…… ” ( 1 Cor 8:6)

“One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all. ” (Eph 4:6)

God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Volume 12, p. 208} 1876

“The Ancient of days is God the Father. … It is he, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the Judgment.” {E. G. White, The (1888) Great Controversy, p. 479} 1888

God is the Father of Christ:”  {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 268} 1904

2. Christ the Son of God

“….and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.” ( 1 Cor 8:6)

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.”  {E. G. White, Testimonies Volume 8, p. 268} 1904

Christ the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,–one in nature, in character, and in purpose,–the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” {The (1888) Great Controversy, p. 493} 1888

” 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. He was of as much more value than man as his noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host, were above the work of man. He was in the express image of his Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character.”  {RH, December 17, 1872 par. 1}

“Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the beloved of the Father.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, March 3, 1874 par. 21}

The Bible describes what kind of being Lucifer was before he became Satan the devil.

“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Eze 28:12-15)

“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.”  (Isaiah 14:12-14)

3. Lucifer (Before Sin)

“Lucifer 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 Christ, God’s dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created.” MR 13. {TA 27.2}

“Lucifer was the covering cherub, the most exalted of the heavenly created beings; he stood nearest the
throne of God, and was most closely connected and identified with the administration of God’s government, most richly endowed with the glory of His majesty and power.” ST April 28, 1890. {TA 27.3}

“The Lord Himself gave to Satan his glory and wisdom, and made him the covering cherub, good, noble, and exceeding lovely.” ST Sept. 18, 1893. {TA 28.1}

Lucifer, the “son of the morning,” in glory surpassing all the angels that surround the throne, . . . [was] united in closest ties to the Son of God. DA 435. {TA 28.3}

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. PP 35. {TA 28.4}

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. . . . {CTr 9.2}

“To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ’s was first among the hosts of God. But He who would have the will of all His creatures free left none unguarded to the bewildering sophistry by which rebellion would seek to justify itself. Before the great contest should open, all were to have a clear presentation of His will, whose wisdom and goodness were the spring of all their joy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 35-37.

“Satan determined to defeat God’s plan. We need not try to understand the motives that prompted the being next to Christ in the heavenly courts to bring envy and jealousy into the ranks of the angels. To many he communicated his disaffection, and there was war in heaven, which ended in the expulsion of Satan and his sympathizers. We need not puzzle our minds for a reason that Satan acted as he did. Could a reason be found, there would be excuse for sin. But there is no excuse. There is no reason human beings should travel over the same ground that Satan traveled. . . . {CTr 19.4}

“Before his fall Satan was next to Christ, the highest angel in heaven.  {CTr 197.2}

“Among the inhabitants of heaven, Satan, next to Christ, was at one time most honored of God, and highest in power and glory.” ST July 23, 1902. {TA 28.2}

“He [Lucifer] had been the highest of all created beings, and had been foremost in revealing God’s purposes to the universe.” DA 758.
” Though God had created Lucifer noble and beautiful, and had exalted him to high honor among the angelic host, yet He had not placed him beyond the possibility of evil. It was in Satan’s power, did he choose to do so, to pervert these gifts. He might have remained in favor with God, beloved and honored by all the angelic throng, presiding in his exalted position with generous, unselfish care, exercising his noble powers to bless others and to glorify his Maker. But, little by little, he began to seek his own honor, and to employ his powers to attract attention and win praise to himself. He also gradually led the angels over whom he ruled to do him service, instead of devoting all their powers to the service of their Creator.” SP 317.  {TA 31.4}

” Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Christ. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing great intelligence. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. But when God said to His Son, “Let us make man in our image,” Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven next to God.  {EW 145.1}

” Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Before his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. {GC 493.3}

“God desired that a change take place, and that the work of Satan be brought out in its genuine aspect. But the exalted angel standing next to Christ was opposed to the Son of God. The underworking was so subtle that it could not be made to appear before the heavenly host as the thing that it really was; and so there was war in heaven, and Satan was expelled with all who would not stand on the side of loyalty to God’s government. The Lord God stood forth as Supreme Ruler.”  {4BC 1143.2}

“In the controversy between Christ and Satan, the character of God was now fully vindicated in his act of banishing from Heaven the fallen angel, who had once been exalted next to Christ.” {3SP 184.1}

“Satan, the archdeceiver, possesses wonderful talents. He was once an exalted angel, next to Christ. He fell through self-exaltation, and created a rebellion in heaven, and caused many to fall with him.
Then his talents and skill were employed against the government of God, to cause all whom he could control to despise the authority of heaven. Those who are charmed with his Satanic majesty may choose to imitate this fallen general and share with him his fate at last.  {1T 440.3}

“We are all to understand that there is a fallen angel who was once next to Christ in honor among the heavenly host. His work of deception was done in so great secrecy that the angels in less exalted positions supposed that he was the Ruler of heaven. Satan made the representation that all wrong insinuations existing in heaven originated among the angels, while he himself had made suggestions which would never have been entertained by the angels, had he not created them. He artfully presented these things to God, as having come from the angels, while they all originated with Satan himself. . . .  {TDG 256.2}

“Before his fall he was a glorious being, occupying a position next to Christ, but he sought to be equal with God, and brought upon himself irretrievable ruin.  {TDG 287.4}

“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.” {RH, October 22, 1895 par. 1}

” God requires obedience to his law. But Satan, ever since his fall, has been working against this law. He created disaffection in heaven by his ambition to be higher than Christ, the Commander of the heavenly host; and then he attacked the law of Jehovah. He held a position next to Christ, and in his rebellion he carried the angels with him.”  {RH, May 3, 1898 par. 2}

“Satan is the leader of every species of rebellion today, as he was the originator of rebellion in the courts of heaven. Standing next to Christ in power and glory, yet he coveted the honor that belonged to the Son. He desired to be equal with God. To carry out his purpose, he concealed his true designs from the angels, and worked deceptively to secure their allegiance and honor to himself. By sly insinuations, by which he made it appear that Christ had assumed the place that belonged to him, Lucifer sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of many of the angels; and when he had won their support, he carried the matter to God, declaring that it was the sentiment of many of the heavenly beings that he should have the preference to Christ.”  {RH, February 4, 1909 par. 1}

“Lucifer, the covering cherub. Before his fall he was a glorious being, occupying a position next to Christ in the heavenly courts. But in seeking to be equal with God he brought upon himself irretrievable ruin.”  {ST, July 10, 1901 par. 6}

“Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, once had an exalted position in heaven. He was next in honor to Christ. The knowledge which he, as well as the angels who fell with him, had of the character of God, of His goodness, His mercy, wisdom, and excellent glory, made their guilt unpardonable.” {Con 21.1}

“This is the position that Lucifer took. He was next to Christ in the heavenly courts, but decided that he was entitled to a higher position. Read and understand Ezekiel 28:11-18. This matter has been opened to me. When the Lord sought to correct him, he would not be corrected; and when any man in all our ranks shall not be willing to yield up his own way, but will persistently choose to follow his own judgment, carrying the idea that his judgment is unchangeable, he claims infallibility. The Lord has no more any use for him unless he changes his ideas.”  {20MR 226.3}

 

Before Lucifer’s fall we can clearly see that he was next to Christ in position, honor, exaltation and glory, yet he coveted Christ’s position and sought to be next to God.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev 12:7-9)

So now the question is: Who has taken the position that Lucifer once held before his fall?

The answer is:

3. Gabriel (After Sin)

“The words of the angel, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God,” show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts. When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, “There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael [Christ] your Prince.” Daniel 10:21. Of Gabriel the Saviour speaks in the Revelation, saying that “He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Revelation 1:1. And to John the angel declared, “I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets.” Revelation 22:9, R. V. Wonderful thought–that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men.”  {DA 99.1}
“It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein.”  Revelation 1:3.  {DA 234.2}

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