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The Bible Story – A “Reader’s Digest” Version
This Hub is intended to provide a “brief” summary of the Bible story, without going into the details of the life of Jesus or His apostles. It is my hope that this Hub will give us a general overview of the “big picture” which would enhance our understanding of some of the deeper questions about life.
Although some of the information provided here will not be “directly” referenced from the Bible, it is my belief that the details which are given in the Bible allude to this summary. Perhaps future Hubs will clarify some of the details of this essay as well, but until then please forgive any apparent extra-biblical activity ;)
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….. [cue Star Wars soundtrack]. (j/k! )
As the Bible story goes, God has always existed, which kind of goes without saying, by definition. I am not going to get into the details of the Trinity at this point (perhaps in another Hub). For this discussion, we only have to understand that God has always existed in the form of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, united under one common… mindset, so-to-speak. That is, one of infinite love.
At some point which we are not told, God created a massive family of angels to bestow His love upon, and who would choose to love, worship and obey Him. Again, we do not know how many angels were created but the Bible makes it clear that it is a finite number beyond our count (Cf. Colossians 1:16; Luke 2:13) which makes sense due to the vastness of God’s love. And still, all of them were created by and are subject to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:22). It is important to note here, that God did not create a legion of robot-like beings to mechanically ‘do’ as they were ‘programmed.’ They were all given the remarkable gift of ‘free-will’, just as we have been given.
As the story continues, we see an honoured angel named Lucifer, whom God has exalted to a position next to His dear Son, Jesus. Now this particular angel was special. He was privileged with instructions and information directly from God, to take to the other angels and beings on other worlds. Although his countenance was mild and expressive of happiness like the other angels, his forehead was high and broad and showed great intelligence. His form was perfect and he had a noble and majestic bearing. Some will even tell you that this angel was probably the closest to God’s image before man was created… and this angel knew it.
Although the Bible is not perfectly clear about how and why sin originated, and actually refers to it as the “mystery of iniquity,” I believe that this is where it started. Lucifer was envious of Jesus. With all of his beauty and splendour, such that a special light beamed in his countenance and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels, Lucifer felt that he should be exalted above Jesus. Yet it was Christ who had pre-eminence over the entire angelic host.
The great Creator had called the angels to order so that He might, in their presence, bestow special honour upon His Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father and all the angels of heaven were gathered around them. At that time, the Father made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ, His son, should be equal with Himself so that wherever the Son went, it was as the presence of the Father. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as if coming from the lips of the Father. His Son was invested with the authority to command the angels of heaven. Most important of all, His son was to work together with Himself in the creation of the earth and every living thing in it. 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.
Well that was the last straw for Lucifer. With his exalted glory and intelligence, he felt that he should be the one upon whom was bestowed such authority. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of the world, and man. He wished to be the highest in heaven, next to God, and receive the highest honours. From this, it appears as though Lucifer didn’t quite understand the idea of the Trinity either.
When all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge His supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, Lucifer bowed with them, but his heart was filled with envy and hatred. Christ had been privy to the special counsel of God in regard to His plans, while Lucifer was not. Lucifer did not understand, nor was he permitted to know the purposes of God. He had thought that he was the favourite in heaven amongst the angels and even though he had been highly exalted, he was not thankful for this adoration. He aspired to the height of God Himself and gloried in his loftiness. Up until this time angels readily obeyed his command with eagerness and enthusiasm and therefore he questioned why Christ should be honoured before himself.
Lucifer had considered himself the commander of the angels, and when God had given this preference to Jesus, Lucifer immediately put into action his plan for taking what he felt was rightfully his own. He called a meeting of the angels and related how God had neglected him in preference of Jesus. With great cunning, he told them that from now on their liberty was at an end because of this new ruler appointed over them. He stated that he would no longer submit to this invasion of his rights, and theirs; that he would never bow down to Jesus again; that he would take the honour upon himself which should have been awarded to him and he would be the commander of all who would submit to follow him and obey his voice.
Lucifer was making suggestions against the government of God, ambitious to exalt himself and unwilling to submit to Jesus. Some of the angels sympathised with him, while others strongly maintained and strove for the respect, admiration and wisdom of God in giving authority to His Son. With forcible reasoning they tried to reconcile Lucifer to the will of his Creator by trying to convince him that the honour he had now was no less than before the Father had bestowed the authority on His son. But it was to no avail. Lucifer had persuaded the angels who sympathised with him to be discontented and unhappy because they were not able to peer into God’s unsearchable wisdom and discern His reasoning for exalting Jesus and endowing Him with unlimited power and command.
Lucifer had succeeded in stirring up a rebellion. He had promised his sympathisers a new and better government than they had and as he saw the numbers growing, he flattered himself that he would yet have all the angels on his side and that he would be equal with God Himself, and he would once again command the entire host of heaven.
By this time God, in His foreknowledge, was already in conference with Jesus. The purpose was to determine the method by which to deal with the rebellion, with an emphasis on the influence it would have on the loyal angels. God could have immediately destroyed Lucifer and his followers, but this was not His intent. Lucifer had already caused doubt in his followers in regards to God’s love, justice and mercy and his own destruction would have strengthened his claims. If God would have destroyed Lucifer right then and there, then the remaining angels would have worshipped and obeyed God out of fear of being destroyed, rather than having the freedom of choice to serve Him out of love. God did not create robots to serve Him with a “Yes sir, no sir, three bags full” attitude. He created intelligent beings to rationalize and recognize justice and love and to respond accordingly.
Lucifer had made strong accusations against God’s government and claimed that God was unjust and that he could do it better than God. He had exalted himself above God, so God did the only thing He could do, in regards to justice – He said, “Show us.” He would give the rebellious an equal chance to prove to the watching universe whether or not they were right. So God created the earth and placed it, though not entirely, into the hands of Satan.
The Father had consulted His son in regard to immediately carrying out their intentions to create man to inhabit the earth. He would place man on probation to test his loyalty before he could be considered “safe” to receive eternal life, keeping in mind that sin could not be allowed to perpetuate.
This life, then, is a test. It is a test to see if we are worthy of life eternal. It is a time of cleansing. Sin originated in heaven and God cannot take the chance of sin ever rising again. Therefore God will not allow even the slightest taint of sin to enter into the kingdom, and rightfully so when we acknowledge the results of sin. All the suffering in the world today, the injustice, and prevalent selfishness, the starving, the poor and the hurting are all proof-positive that Satan was wrong in his accusations and claims against the great God and Creator of all things.
So I ask myself, is it safe to let me into heaven yet? Is my heart cleansed from impure and unholy thoughts? Am I ready to go home? More importantly, does God think I am ready? Sometimes I think that even ‘I’ wouldn’t let me into heaven right now. My prayer is that Jesus prepares us all, such that we are fitted for eternal life, rather than just this temporary existence that is but a vapour. Selah.
This Hub is brought to you today by the letters N.O.T.W (Cf. 1 Jn. 2:15; Jn. 18:36; Jn. 17:16) and by the word “theodicy.”
Thank-you for reading.