We all know who he is. Lucifer, Satan, the Devil. But the Devil was not always a “devil.” He was an amazing, majestic, brilliant and beautiful creature—“full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” according to Ezekiel 28:12. His intellect was beyond compare. He was also a consummate musician.

Since his fall, Lucifer’s demonic career has been recorded in human history through legend and myth. He is Mercurius, the alchemical spirit of the occultists. He is Hermes of the hermetic “wisdom,” after whom such words and terms as “hermeneutics” and “hermetically sealed” (sealed as in the sense of secrecy—the secrecy of secret cults) were coined.

The Roman historian Plutarch asserts that the gods were grand demons; the Bible also makes the same claim. Thus, through a concept of their own creation—the “gods”—Satan and his fallen angels have attempted to lead the human race into their own ways of thinking. The Devil is Thoth, Seth, Isis and Osiris and Maat of the ancient Egyptians. He is Zeus, Diana, Apollo and Artemis of the Greeks; Jupiter, Minerva and Venus of the Romans, to name just a few. Every culture and age has its gods, but they are all one and the same: the embodiment of the principles of the mighty fallen angel Lucifer.

These gods teach the wisdom of the gods, and the people who worship them learn their wisdom. But the gods were really demons posing as God; even the ancient philosophers and historians knew this. Thus it is that the gods, through their “wisdom,” pervert the true knowledge of God.

In our modern culture the Devil has gone undercover. He has convinced many, especially those in the so-called civilized world and in particular Christians, that he doesn’t really exist. To some, the very words “Satan” and “Devil” are taboo; they are passé. To the secular world he is simply a fictional cartoon figure. The mystics and New Agers believe that evil is simply a dark energy, an abstract concept unrelated to a specific supernatural being, a dark energy that is an inevitable element of cosmic reality. 

So… do the Devil and his angels really exist? History says they do. Ancient philosophers and poets say they do. And the Bible says they do.

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil
and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth,
and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:9).

To say he doesn’t exist is to negate the authority of the Bible as an accurate written record of the great controversy—a record inspired by God. To deny his existence is to miss out on the greatest theme of the Bible—that of the war between him and God. And ultimately, to deny his existence is to deny Jesus Christ, who said He saw him “fall from heaven like lightning” (Luke
10:18), and who often talked about him and personally conversed
with him—in the wilderness, for instance, during the temptations. His existence is “fully established by both the Old and the New Testament:”

The existence of Satan and the agency of evil spirits are facts fully established by both the Old and the New Testament. From the days of Adam to Moses, and through all the succeeding ages to John, the latest gospel writer, Satan is recognized as an active, personal agent, the originator of evil, the enemy of God and man. It is true that imagination and superstition have given their own colouring to these facts, and have linked them with legends and traditions of heathen, Jewish, and even Christian nations; but as revealed in the word of God they are of the utmost solemnity and importance. The connection of the visible with the invisible world, the ministration of angels of God, and the agency of evil angels, are inseparably interwoven with human history. We are told of the fall of the angels from their purity, of Lucifer their leader, the instigator of rebellion, of their confederacy and government, of their various orders, of their great intelligence and subtlety, and of their malicious designs against the innocence and happiness of men. We are told of One mightier than the fallen foe, — One by whose    authority Satan’s power is limited and controlled; and we are told, also, of the punishment prepared for the originator of iniquity {4SP 331.1, emphasis added}.

The Bible recognizes Satan as “an active, personal agent, the originator of evil, the enemy of God and man.”

The prophet Ezekiel concurs that he was the “originator of iniquity”—

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!

For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

iniquity was started in him according to Ezekiel 28. This word “iniquity” doesn’t mean much to most of us. It vaguely conveys some form of evil; perhaps an outdated way of addressing it, but its actual meaning is a blur. And yet this is a most significant word, especially if Lucifer was its “originator.” We will explore this word in the following chapters, and its study will expose the hidden mystery of Lucifer’s power. We will confirm that “iniquity” is indeed the initial evil he originated, and will follow its
trail down to the Garden of Eden. But what role did Lucifer play in God’s kingdom of love prior to sinning? What did his name, Lucifer, mean?

Strong’s Concordance defines “Lucifer” as “the morning star.” In Latin, Lucifer means “light bearer.” The Bible also calls him “the son of the morning” (Isaiah 14:12). Before his own fall he was a being filled with light, a powerful biblical metaphor for truth and life. Thus, he was a “light bearer” of truth and life: truth about God, light about the God of
life. He was a bearer of light who communicated knowledge about God.

A few passages in the Bible describe him, his beginnings and his demise. They summarize his whole history in a nutshell. Here are just a few verses from these passages, but we encourage the reader to examine them in their entirety. Isaiah chapter fourteen addresses him as the king of Babylon but also identifies him as Lucifer: Ezekiel 28 calls him the king of Tyre but connects him to Eden, the Garden of God, before Tyre ever existed:

“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:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.”

“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.”

“By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones” (Ezekiel 28:12-16).

Through symbols, the Book of Revelation fills in more details of his history:

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood
before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:3-9).

There is a wealth of information here, material for many books. When we mine the significance of these words, symbols, and metaphors, we begin to really understand the what, how, when, and why Lucifer turned against God.

One point we must settle from the very beginning: Lucifer’s attack on God centered on God Himself. It was directed at God’s very essence—at His character of agape love. Since God’s essence and His law are one and the same, the attack on God’s law was directed at God Himself.

Before Lucifer was banished from heaven, he sought to abolish the law of God. He claimed that the unfallen intelligencies of holy heaven had no need of law, but were capable of governing themselves and of preserving unspotted integrity. 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, par. 1, emphasis added}.

Lucifer “sought to abolish the law of God.” His reason? “He claimed that the unfallen intelligencies of holy heaven had no need of law, but were capable of governing themselves and of preserving unspotted integrity.”

We must keep in mind that this is what Lucifer claimed. But what really was his agenda behind this claim? Could he really have deceived a third of the angels with such a claim? How did he expect them to preserve “unspotted integrity” without a moral law? Or did he have another moral law, another principle (one which was antagonistic to God’s law) hiding, lurking behind these claims?

Lucifer knew that God’s government was empowered by His moral law of agape love and he knew that every intelligent being has to have a moral code of ethics by which to order their behaviour—all must have some moral law, any moral law. He knew very well that law was a necessity, an integral part of God’s universe. Knowing this, he would not have simply attempted to get rid of law altogether—that would have been an impossibility. Rather, he devised an alternative to God’s moral law, a replacement; and we shall provide evidence to that effect.

God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power {DA 759.1, emphasis added}.

God might have created man without the power to transgress His law; He might have withheld the hand of Adam from touching the forbidden fruit; but in that case man would have been, not a free moral agent, but a mere automaton {PP 49.1}.

All intelligent beings are “free moral agents.” Freedom implies choice. Our choices are simple: we can choose either God’s moral law or Satan’s moral law—there is no other. “The law of the Spirit of life” or “the law of sin and death.” The path of life or the path of curses. Light or darkness. Life or death.

Lucifer “stood nearest to the throne of God, and was most closely connected and identified with the administration of God’s government”—he knew God’s law intimately. With this in mind, his assault on God’s law is surprising, to say the least. How could rebellion have arisen in his mind, a being who lived in a perfect and flawless universe and who “stood nearest to the throne of God,” promoting His law? Look again carefully at this passage from Ezekiel quoted above: “How have you fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”

Lucifer fell—he fell from a condition that was far superior to the one in which he finds himself now. He fell from heaven, that place of pure joy and perfect harmony where God’s will of agape love prevails. If heaven is the highest experience one could ever attain, how could he go against it, given he was so brilliant, God’s supreme creation? Notice the “reason” for his uprising:

What was it that caused Satan to rebel? Was there any just reason that could be assigned for his sin? The place where sin originated has been pointed out, but the reason for sin cannot be found; for there is no reason for its existence {ST September 18, 1893, par. 2, emphasis added}.

The entrance of sin into heaven cannot be explained. If it were explainable, it would show that there was some reason for sin. But as there was not the least excuse for it, its origin will ever remain shrouded in
mystery {RH March 9, 1886, par. 2, emphasis added}.

There was no “reason,” no need, no excuse for Satan to rise up against God and His law. Why? Everything was in perfect order in God’s government. God’s law was the path of life where there was joy, pleasures and life forever more. The universe was in perfect harmony and there was no such thing as death. If there had been any reason for Lucifer to rebel, then there would have
been good cause to overthrow God and His law. But there was none. God’s government was perfect and all intelligent beings thrived under His love.

Lucifer chose to rise up against God for reasons that we cannot fathom—but that he saw a flaw in God’s moral law is obvious. He saw it, even though it wasn’t there; he saw it and he believed he could fix it. But in trying to fix it he only managed to bring death and destruction into being because he created a moral system that separated us from the Creator, who is the source of life. Isaiah says that as he fell, he dragged us along with him, weakening us, the nations of the earth. To “weaken” in Hebrew means to “prostrate; by implication, to overthrow, decay:—discomfit, waste away, weaken,” (Strong’s Concordance). This process of weakening has been slow but sure. Adam and his contemporaries lived nearly a thousand years, according to the Bible. And they were giants in his day compared to us. The human race has increasingly regressed and not progressed, as is commonly thought. We have gone downwards in every sense of the word—physically, intellectually and morally.

How did Lucifer bring us to this state? How did he bring decay and death into being? How did he “prostrate” us? By simply trying to abolish the law of God? Yes, he did that, but he did more than that—he introduced a new law. And if we follow the “death” trail, we end up at the Garden of Eden, at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God had said of this Tree to Adam: “The day you eat of it you shall surely die,” Genesis 2:17. The law represented by this Tree is the source of death.

He who “weakened the nations” brought into being a new path: the path of curses and death. This path is the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now, there are two paths for us to choose—two moral laws.

In the Garden we can see two principles “contending for supremacy” for our hearts and minds: the Tree of Life, God’s moral law of love, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Satan’s moral law. And the consequences of these paths are quite serious. We are dealing with life and death here because God said that if we “eat” of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil we will die; but if we eat of the Tree of Life we can have eternal life.

We have a choice to make. Life and death affect each one of us intimately—no one is exempt from this. Isn’t it crucial then, that we know what our choices are? Should we not study this subject? We will find more answers as we discover more about Lucifer, about what iniquity is, and what he has done to us through it.