For the sake of discussion, I am going to step into the Christian Narrativetm
. The following should not be taken as an indication that I agree that the entities, places, etc. therein are actually real.
Let us try to imagine Lucifer, at the instant of his very first inklings of rebellion against Almighty Yahweh . Lucifer is not, at this point, a hideous and loathsome Devil with bat wings, goat's legs, and fangs dripping with blood. No, in this moment, he is a holy "Covering Cherub," who, until this very moment has led the Angelic choirs in worship and praise of Almighty Yahweh. In this moment, his relationship with his Creator is completely unhindered. Heaven and Earth are as yet unmarred by "Sin." No such thing exists, nor has it entered into anyone's mind. Yahweh's Kingdom is at its best, holiest, and most perfect. The Heaven you, dear Christian, hope to enter is broken by comparison. It is part of a spiritual cosmos forever besmirched by Sin, shared with an everlasting Hell ringing with the tortured cries of the damned. Yahweh himself is eternally wounded; seething with a wrath that cannot, ever
be fully avenged or sated. There will not ever be a point at which he can quench Hell's flames and forgive or snuff out the wretched souls of its inmates, and say "It is finished! Never again shall there be suffering! Let Sin and all its works now be forgotten, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!" He. Can. Never. Have. Peace.
But in the Heaven Lucifer knew, there was nothing but the most sublime perfection Yahweh could create. Yahweh's rule was at its height, utterly unchallenged; the very idea
of opposition having yet to be invented. Now, it is generally assumed that Lucifer was a high and lofty being indeed, the most gloriously intelligent and perceptive of all Yahweh's creations. Blessed with pure, direct, unlimited experience of Yahweh himself. Lucifer at this point was much smarter and more perceptive than you, living in the presence of Yahweh in a way that you cannot imagine. Where you see through a glass darkly, he saw face to face. You know Yahweh through reading a book about him, and perhaps through fleeting "feeling of his presence in your heart." Lucifer knew him personally, walking with him, talking with him in an intimate, direct relationship. It is the difference between reading a history book about George Washington, and being Martha Washington.
Lucifer must have known
what kind of person Yahweh was. He must have known
that Yahweh would brook no opposition or dissent, that the punishment for rebellion would be as horrible as Yahweh's limitless power could make it. And yet... And yet...
There came a moment when Lucifer looked around at Yahweh's heavenly kingdom and thought to himself, "I would rather face the certainty of Yahweh's everlasting wrath, than one more moment of this." How is this possible? How could he ever want
any alternative to Yahweh's rule, if it is as perfect and wonderful as you hope it will be?
And this is not all, for Lucifer did not rebel alone. The Book of Revelation tells us that he "drew a third of the stars of heaven" (metaphorically, Angels) down with him. Remember, these were not foul and malevolent Demons when this happened, but pure, holy, and flawlessly righteous Angels! Until the moment Lucifer persuaded them to join him. Lucifer, peeking out from behind a crystal pillar: "Psst. Azazel...come here...I need to talk to you..." What could Lucifer have said, to persuade so many of Yahweh's holy Angels to join him in what they must have known
would be a futile rebellion leading to infinitely terrifying punishment for them, and the loss of their place in Heaven?
There can be only three possibilities:
1) The Kingdom of Heaven is, in the eyes of beings who lived there
, such a nightmarish realm that even Hell is preferable.
2) Lucifer's rebellion is not as futile as Yahweh's earthly propagandists would have you believe. Lucifer and his followers, with their vastly superior knowledge and experience of Yahweh and his regime, are convinced they can win
3) Lucifer's rebellion is actually a sham. He and his "Demons" are running a sting operation as Yahweh's secret police, using entrapment techniques to test human loyalty. This last is supported by every mention of "Satan" in the Hebrew Scriptures (go ahead: get a concordance, look it up and read the passages), where he is portrayed as an officer of Yahweh's court, permitted to enter said court and accuse humans before Yahweh--not as a mortal enemy of the Heavenly Kingdom. Even in the New Testament we see many instances of a strangely cooperative Devil and his Demonic hosts. The Demons Jesus exorcises make it a point to loudly proclaim his Christhood, doing much more to spread his fame and his message than his own disciples. Satan shows up to put Jesus through a loyalty test in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, then leaves on Jesus' orders. In John's Gospel, he possesses Judas, on Jesus' orders, and makes him carry out the betrayal that leads to Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross.
He requests permission to "sift" Peter, and his request is granted.
The Apostle Paul invokes him to punish a man, "so that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
So: Which is it? Can you provide a plausible fourth alternative? To save your time and mine, remember, "Satan was just evil" cannot work as an explanation. At the tipping point where he first began to rebel, he wasn't
, not yet, no matter what he might have become in the millennia afterward.