September 28, 2002 – October 5, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6.
SUGGESTED READING: Patriarchs and Prophets, 33–43; The Story of Redemption, 13–19.
INTRODUCTION: “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.” The Story of Redemption, 13, 14.
“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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.
1 How and by Whom were all things in the universe created? Psalm 33:6, 9; John 1:1–3.
NOTE: “The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. . . .
“The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. [Colossians 1:16 quoted.] Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the ‘express image of His person,’ ‘the brightness of His glory,’ ‘upholding all things by the word of His power,’ holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.
2 In the Bible, what are we told about the throne of God? Jeremiah 17:12.
NOTE: “The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ (Revelation 5:11), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.
3 How enduring is the throne of God? Hebrews 1:8, first part.
NOTE: “If Christ made all things, he existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.
4 What are some characteristics of the government of heaven? 1 John 4:16; Psalm 89:14.
NOTE: “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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.
“God’s love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love.” The Desire of Ages, 762.
5 What is the relationship between the created beings of heaven and their Creator? Psalm 103:20, 21.
NOTE: “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, 35.
6 How was Lucifer, the highest created being, described prior to his fall? Ezekiel 28:14, 15.
NOTE: “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 . . . .” The Story of Redemption, 13.
“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.” The Desire of Ages, 758.
7 What was Lucifer’s secret ambition? Isaiah 14:13, 14.
NOTE: “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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.
“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.” Early Writings, 145.
8 What was the real cause of Lucifer’s dissatisfaction? Proverbs 13:10. Compare Psalm 10:4.
NOTE: “Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he [Lucifer] 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, 35.
9 How was God’s character revealed in His dealings with Lucifer? Isaiah 1:18–20. What was Lucifer’s attitude?
NOTE: “The Son of God presented before him [Lucifer] 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, 36.
10 What techniques did Lucifer use to persuade many angels to join him in his rebellion? Psalm 55:21.
NOTE: “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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 37.
“While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes in the order and laws of heaven were necessary for the stability of the divine government. Thus while working to excite opposition to the law of God and to instill his own discontent into the minds of the angels under him, he was ostensibly seeking to remove dissatisfaction and to reconcile disaffected angels to the order of heaven. 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.” Ibid., 38.
11 Describe the end result of Lucifer’s (Satan’s) rebellion in heaven. Revelation 12:7–9.
NOTE: “He [Satan] 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, that his imaginings were false, and to yield to the authority which he had been working to prove unjust.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 39.
“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. All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It was there determined that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with all the angels who had joined him in the rebellion. Then there was war in heaven. Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to His will. But the good and true angels prevailed, and Satan, with his followers, was driven from heaven.” Early Writings, 145, 146.
12 How is Satan’s fall summarized? Isaiah 14:12–15.
NOTE: “He [Satan] 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.
“The evil continued to work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. Then there was war in heaven, and Satan, with all who sympathized with him, was cast out.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 222.
13 Why did God not immediately destroy Satan? Ezekiel 28:17, 19.
NOTE: “God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan’s government. The Lord’s principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.” The Desire of Ages, 759.