The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 1


V. Lucifer’s Rebellion in Heaven Transferred to Earth


Here let us go back in time. Bible students widely recognize that Isaiah 14:12-18 and Ezekiel 28:12-18 are Inspiration’s portrayals of the origin, nature, and destiny of Satan. 4 These passages tell us how Lucifer, the exalted light bearer, degenerated through sin into one who came to be called the devil (literally, slanderer) and Satan (the adversary). Created to be one of the covering cherubs, the highest and wisest of the angelic beings, Lucifer became “lifted up” because of his beauty and wisdom (Ezekiel 28:17). CFF1 50.1

Jealousy of God gripped his heart, and he determined to exalt his throne above his fellows, and to be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:13, 14). The Bible is explicit in teaching the personality of Satan and his part in effecting the fall of man. He himself is presented as a created being, likewise with power of choice, who took advantage of his liberty in order to bring about evil and to lead others into his own estrangement and rebellion. CFF1 50.2

Moved by jealousy and ambition, Lucifer fomented rebellion in heaven, a third of the angels joining his defection (Revelation 12:4; Jude 6). But he was defeated and cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-10; Luke 10:18), with the “angels that sinned” (2 Peter 2:4), who were cast into “pits of darkness” (A.S.V.). Satan was driven from his “first estate” and made the aerial regions and the earth the scene of his subsequent relentless warfare against God and man (Ephesians 6:11, 12). CFF1 50.3

He became the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and has assumed the princeship or godship of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11), with malign power to tempt mankind. His cohorts embrace the evil “principalities” and “powers” and spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Lies, deception, force, cruelty, disease, suffering, and death are his malign weapons. Here is the factual record in the Apocalypse: CFF1 50.4

“And there was war in heaven: Michael [Christ] and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan]; 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 [fallen] angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). CFF1 51.1

Picture 1: Picture 2: Satan:
War in Heaven: Satan and His Evil Minions Were Cast Out of Heaven, and Thenceforth Concentrated on Bringing Ruin to the Inhabitants of Earth Throughout the Centuries.
Page 51

So in the ultimate the great controversy is between Christ and Satan, and will continue on without respite until Christ gains an eternal, annihilating victory over Satan and his followers. That is the destined outcome. CFF1 51.2


After the creation of man and his placement in Eden, Satan in his epochal temptation of man used a captivating, winged serpent of dazzling beauty, speaking through it to deceive and beguile Eve through the subtlety of his arguments (Genesis 3:1). In this way Satan secured the downfall of Adam, and thus of the race. But the covenant-promise subsequently made to Adam assures the ultimate destruction of Satan through the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). CFF1 51.3

Satan then began his long and relentless warfare against God and man, with resort to every foul means and evil device. Cast out of his first estate, the devil operates as head of a vast host of rebel fallen angels, otherwise called wicked spirits, or demons (Matthew 7:22). This device was later destined to be developed into a master system of deception, to be covered in volume two. But Satan’s power will be broken. That was assured by Christ’s triumphant death on the cross (John 12:31; John 16:11). At our Lord’s second advent Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Revelation 20:3, 7). Then, at their close, the devil will make his supreme and final effort to overthrow the kingdom of God (Revelation 20:7-9). CFF1 52.1

But Satan’s rebellion will end in failure. He will be utterly defeated and destroyed, together with his fallen angels and all the human race who have followed him. They will be cast at last into the “lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:10). (The popular notion, it should be injected, that Satan, with horns and hoofs and pitchfork, now reigns in “hell” is utterly un-Biblical.) Because of the vital bearing of Satan, his evil angels, and his basic deceptions on the fate of man, let us scrutinize the inspired recital still more closely. CFF1 52.2


According to Holy Writ the original fall took place in Heaven (Revelation 12:7-9), whence Lucifer, “son of the morning” or “day star” (Isaiah 14:12, margin), author and instigator of sin, fell from Heaven. The true secret story is revealed by inspiration through the prophet Isaiah, who discloses what Lucifer had said in his “heart”: CFF1 52.3

“I will ascend into heaven [the councils of Heaven], I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [the angels, Job 38:7]: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation ... : I will ascend above the heights ...; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13, 14). CFF1 52.4

He thus aspired to be like God in power and glory, but not in character. And of his malign work after his fall the Inspired Record further states that he is the one who has “made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof,” with his evil machinations. And further, significantly, he “opened not the house of his prisoners [or, “did not let his prisoners loose homewards,” margin]” (Isaiah 14:17), who lie (sleep) in the prison house of death, evidently the grave. CFF1 52.5

Ezekiel states that this fallen celestial being was created (Ezekiel 28:13, 15), and hence was not eternally pre-existent. He had been one of the “anointed,” the glorious covering cherub (Ezekiel 28:16), standing in the very presence of God. Cherubim (mentioned many times as attending the throne of Deity) were assigned to guard the gates of Eden. And cherubim were placed upon the mercy seat of the ark in the symbolic provisions of redemption in Old Testament times. Lucifer was clearly a superterrestrial being, the mightiest of the angels. The portrayal further reveals that before his fall, Lucifer was perfect in all his ways (Ezekiel 28:15), as well as in beauty (Ezekiel 28:12). This, of course, was before “iniquity [“perversity”]” took possession of his heart. 5 CFF1 53.1

Satan became lifted up because of his superlative beauty and wisdom, and the splendor of his brightness (Ezekiel 28:17). In appearance he scintillated like a crown of jewels (Ezekiel 28:13). He was likewise a mighty musician (Ezekiel 28:13). So in these tremendous passages we have the inspired depiction of the author of sin and its beginnings in the universe. Sin actually began when Lucifer said, “I will”—in determining to usurp the place and prerogatives of God, and thus placing his will over against the will and government of God (Isaiah 14:12, 13). Sin was thence later projected into the newly established Edenic circle on earth. CFF1 53.2

Satan’s identity and presence there are attested by Inspiration’s telltale disclosure, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God” (Ezekiel 28:13). There he was disclosed as the same “shining one,” with power to enchant, fascinate, and bewitch. Thus it was actually Satan who, through the medium of the serpent, beguiled Eve and overwhelmed Adam. CFF1 54.1


Satan’s first utterance in Eden, made through the medium of the serpent, was, “Yea, hath God said?” In other words, Can it be that God hath said? It was ostensibly the asking of a question. But it was actually designed to elicit a concurring answer. The tempter was here impugning the veracity of God. He was challenging the divine declaration of the fact of the mortability of man. “YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE” (Genesis 3:4) was Satan’s initial lie to man. And Christ expressly declared that Satan (the “old serpent,” and “devil”) is the “father” of lies—first uttered in Eden. It was an adroit, ingenious approach. Said Jesus, “He [the devil] ... abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). CFF1 54.2

Whatever Satan says in contradiction to God’s word of truth is manifestly a lie. So in Genesis 3:4, when he said to our first parents, “Ye shall not surely die,” the father of lies was manifestly and historically telling his first lie on earth, for God had just said to Adam and Eve, “Thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17)—if you transgress. Satan’s declaration was consequently a direct, bald, unmitigated contradiction. By the insertion of the single negatory word “not” into God’s declaration of truth, Satan perverted an immutable verity into a diabolical falsehood that has reverberated throughout all subsequent time. CFF1 54.3

But that was not all. Satan immediately added a second lie, likewise on the same “immortality” aspect of man’s nature. It was: “Ye shall be as gods [that is, “as God,” ‘Elohim]” (Genesis 3:5). But according to inspiration, absolute and inalienable immortality is characteristic of, and belongs only to, God (1 Timothy 6:16; cf. 1 Timothy 1:17). Man’s immortality can be but relative and conditional, for it will be conferred, acquired, received. CFF1 54.4

In the very logic of the case, Innate Immortality cannot be an inherent quality in any created or derived being. And man, as a creature, is no exception. His life is not innate or inalienable, but only and always acquired. Hence it may be brought to an end. It cannot be overstressed that only God has absolute, primordial, indefeasible immortality. Consequently, any creature’s arrogant claim to equality with God and His exclusive immortality is as groundless as it is presumptuous. CFF1 55.1

There is, of course, something extremely flattering to the pride of man in the idea of possessing a Godlike nature that is absolutely indestructible. But immortality is one of the most “majestic jewels” in the unique and solitary “diadem of Deity,” as it has been impressively phrased. It is exclusively God’s, for God is the “blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). Therefore man’s attempt to place the crown of immortality upon his own head is effrontery, and made only at gravest peril. Satan’s presumption never had greater audacity, nor human gullibility a more tragic example. Indeed, it took the death of the Son of God to demonstrate the heinousness of that original dual lie in Eden. CFF1 55.2