That the teachers of olden times knew of these things is shown by the record: "And there was a day when the Sons of God came to present themselves before the Most Highs, and Satan came also and presented himself among them." And this is a statement of fact regardless of the connection in which it chances to appear.
Since the triumph of Christ, all Norlatiadek is being cleansed of sin and rebels. Sometime before Michael's death in the flesh the fallen Lucifer's associate, Satan, sought to attend such an Edentia conclave, but the solidification of sentiment against the archrebels had reached the point where the doors of sympathy were so well-nigh universally closed that there could be found no standing ground for the Satania adversaries. When there exists no open door for the reception of evil, there exists no opportunity for the entertainment of sin. The doors of the hearts of all Edentia closed against Satan; he was unanimously rejected by the assembled System Sovereigns, and it was at this time that the Son of Man "beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven."
Very little was heard of Lucifer on Urantia owing to the fact that he assigned his first lieutenant, Satan, to advocate his cause on your planet. Satan was a member of the same primary group of Lanonandeks but had never functioned as a System Sovereign; he entered fully into the Lucifer insurrection. The "devil" is none other than Caligastia, the deposed Planetary Prince of Urantia and a Son of the secondary order of Lanonandeks. At the time Michael was on Urantia in the flesh, Lucifer, Satan, and Caligastia were leagued together to effect the miscarriage of his bestowal mission. But they signally failed.
2. THE CAUSES OF REBELLION
Lucifer and his first assistant, Satan, had reigned on Jerusem for more than five hundred thousand years when in their hearts they began to array themselves against the Universal Father and his then vicegerent Son, Michael.
There were no peculiar or special conditions in the system of Satania which suggested or favored rebellion. It is our belief that the idea took origin and form in Lucifer's mind, and that he might have instigated such a rebellion no matter where he might have been stationed. Lucifer first announced his plans to Satan, but it required several months to corrupt the mind of his able and brilliant associate. However, when once converted to the rebel theories, he became a bold and earnest advocate of "self-assertion and liberty."
3. THE LUCIFER MANIFESTO
Whatever the early origins of trouble in the hearts of Lucifer and Satan, the final outbreak took form as the Lucifer Declaration of Liberty. The cause of the rebels was stated under three heads:
1. The reality of the Universal Father. Lucifer charged that the Universal Father did not really exist, that physical gravity and space-energy were inherent in the universe, and that the Father was a myth invented by the Paradise Sons to enable them to maintain the rule of the universes in the Father's name. He denied that personality was a gift of the Universal Father. He even intimated that the finaliters were in collusion with the Paradise Sons to foist fraud upon all creation since they never brought back a very clear-cut idea of the Father's actual personality as it is discernible on Paradise. He traded on reverence as ignorance. The charge was sweeping, terrible, and blasphemous. It was this veiled attack upon the finaliters that no doubt influenced the ascendant citizens then on Jerusem to stand firm and remain steadfast in resistance to all the rebel's proposals.
4. OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION
The Lucifer manifesto was issued at the annual conclave of Satania on the sea of glass, in the presence of the assembled hosts of Jerusem, on the last day of the year, about two hundred thousand years ago, Urantia time. Satan proclaimed that worship could be accorded the universal forces--physical, intellectual, and spiritual--but that allegiance could be acknowledged only to the actual and present ruler, Lucifer, the "friend of men and angels" and the "God of liberty."
Self-assertion was the battle cry of the Lucifer rebellion. One of his chief arguments was that, if self-government was good and right for the Melchizedeks and other groups, it was equally good for all orders of intelligence. He was bold and persistent in the advocacy of the "equality of mind" and "the brotherhood of intelligence." He maintained that all government should be limited to the local planets and their voluntary confederation into the local systems. All other supervision he disallowed. He promised the Planetary Princes that they should rule the worlds as supreme executives. He denounced the location of legislative activities on the constellation headquarters and the conduct of judicial affairs on the universe capital. He contended that all these functions of government should be concentrated on the system capitals and proceeded to set up his own legislative assembly and organized his own tribunals under the jurisdiction of Satan. And he directed that the princes on the apostate worlds do the same.
The entire administrative cabinet of Lucifer went over in a body and were sworn in publicly as the officers of the administration of the new head of "the liberated worlds and systems."
Since Michael elected to remain aloof from the actual warfare of the Lucifer rebellion, Gabriel called his personal staff together on Edentia and, in counsel with the Most Highs, elected to assume command of the loyal hosts of Satania. Michael remained on Salvington while Gabriel proceeded to Jerusem, and establishing himself on the sphere dedicated to the Father--the same Universal Father whose personality Lucifer and Satan had questioned--in the presence of the forgathered hosts of loyal personalities, he displayed the banner of Michael, the material emblem of the Trinity government of all creation, the three azure blue concentric circles on a white background.
"There was war in heaven; Michael's commander and his angels fought against the dragon (Lucifer, Satan, and the apostate princes); and the dragon and his rebellious angels fought but prevailed not." This "war in heaven" was not a physical battle as such a conflict might be conceived on Urantia. In the early days of the struggle Lucifer held forth continuously in the planetary amphitheater. Gabriel conducted an unceasing exposure of the rebel sophistries from his headquarters taken up near at hand. The various personalities present on the sphere who were in doubt as to their attitude would journey back and forth between these discussions until they arrived at a final decision.
In many respects this rebellion was the most widespread and disastrous of all such occurrences in Nebadon. More personalities were involved in this insurrection than in both of the others. And it is to their everlasting dishonor that the emissaries of Lucifer and Satan spared not the infant-training schools on the finaliter cultural planet but rather sought to corrupt these developing minds in mercy salvaged from the evolutionary worlds.
While Lucifer was deprived of all administrative authority in Satania, there then existed no local universe power nor tribunal which could detain or destroy this wicked rebel; at that time Michael was not a sovereign ruler. The Ancients of Days sustained the Constellation Fathers in their seizure of the system government, but they have never handed down any subsequent decisions in the many appeals still pending with regard to the present status and future disposition of Lucifer, Satan, and their associates.
8. THE SON OF MAN ON URANTIA
Lucifer and Satan freely roamed the Satania system until the completion of the bestowal mission of Michael on Urantia. They were last on your world together during the time of their combined assault upon the Son of Man.
Formerly, when the Planetary Princes, the "Sons of God," were periodically assembled, "Satan came also," claiming that he represented all of the isolated worlds of the fallen Planetary Princes. But he has not been accorded such liberty on Jerusem since Michael's terminal bestowal. Subsequent to their effort to corrupt Michael when in the bestowal flesh, all sympathy for Lucifer and Satan has perished throughout all Satania, that is, outside the isolated worlds of sin.
The bestowal of Michael terminated the Lucifer rebellion in all Satania aside from the planets of the apostate Planetary Princes. And this was the significance of Jesus' personal experience, just before his death in the flesh, when he one day exclaimed to his disciples, "And I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven." He had come with Lucifer to Urantia for the last crucial struggle.
The Son of Man was confident of success, and he knew that his triumph on your world would forever settle the status of his agelong enemies, not only in Satania but also in the other two systems where sin had entered. There was survival for mortals and security for angels when your Master, in reply to the Lucifer proposals, calmly and with divine assurance replied, "Get you behind me, Satan." That was, in principle, the real end of the Lucifer rebellion. True, the Uversa tribunals have not yet rendered the executive decision regarding the appeal of Gabriel praying for the destruction of the rebels, but such a decree will, no doubt, be forthcoming in the fullness of time since the first step in the hearing of this case has already been taken.
But even so, no fallen spirit ever did have the power to invade the minds or to harass the souls of the children of God. Neither Satan nor Caligastia could ever touch or approach the faith sons of God; faith is an effective armor against sin and iniquity. It is true: "He who is born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one touches him not."
Michael, upon assuming the supreme sovereignty of Nebadon, petitioned the Ancients of Days for authority to intern all personalities concerned in the Lucifer rebellion pending the rulings of the superuniverse tribunals in the case of Gabriel vs. Lucifer, placed on the records of the Uversa supreme court almost two hundred thousand years ago, as you reckon time. Concerning the system capital group, the Ancients of Days granted the Michael petition with but a single exception: Satan was allowed to make periodic visits to the apostate princes on the fallen worlds until another Son of God should be accepted by such apostate worlds, or until such time as the courts of Uversa should begin the adjudication of the case of Gabriel vs. Lucifer.
Satan could come to Urantia because you had no Son of standing in residence--neither Planetary Prince nor Material Son. Machiventa Melchizedek has since been proclaimed vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia, and the opening of the case of Gabriel vs. Lucifer has signalized the inauguration of temporary planetary regimes on all the isolated worlds. It is true that Satan did periodically visit Caligastia and others of the fallen princes right up to the time of the presentation of these revelations, when there occurred the first hearing of Gabriel's plea for the annihilation of the archrebels. Satan is now unqualifiedly detained on the Jerusem prison worlds.
4. THE MERCY TIME LAG
Another problem somewhat difficult of explanation in the constellation of Norlatiadek pertains to the reasons for permitting Lucifer, Satan, and the fallen princes to work mischief so long before being apprehended, interned, and adjudicated.
But these mercy delays are not interminable. Notwithstanding the long delay (as time is reckoned on Urantia) in adjudicating the Lucifer rebellion, we may record that, during the time of effecting this revelation, the first hearing in the pending case of Gabriel vs. Lucifer was held on Uversa, and soon thereafter there issued the mandate of the Ancients of Days directing that Satan be henceforth confined to the prison world with Lucifer. This ends the ability of Satan to pay further visits to any of the fallen worlds of Satania. Justice in a mercy-dominated universe may be slow, but it is certain.
As you ascend in the survival experience, you will broaden your universe concepts and extend your horizon of meanings and values; and thus will you be able the better to understand why such beings as Lucifer and Satan are permitted to continue in rebellion. You will also better comprehend how ultimate (if not immediate) good can be derived from time-limited evil. After you attain Paradise, you will really be enlightened and comforted when you listen to the superaphic philosophers discuss and explain these profound problems of universe adjustment. But even then, I doubt that you will be fully satisfied in your own minds. At least I was not even when I had thus attained the acme of universe philosophy. I did not achieve a full comprehension of these complexities until after I had been assigned to administrative duties in the superuniverse, where by actual experience I have acquired conceptual capacity adequate for the comprehension of such many-sided problems in cosmic equity and spiritual philosophy. As you ascend Paradiseward, you will increasingly learn that many problematic features of universe administration can only be comprehended subsequent to the acquirement of increased experiential capacity and to the achievement of enhanced spiritual insight. Cosmic wisdom is essential to the understanding of cosmic situations.
1. THE CALIGASTIA BETRAYAL
For three hundred thousand years Caligastia had been in charge of Urantia when Satan, Lucifer's assistant, made one of his periodic inspection calls. And when Satan arrived on the planet, his appearance in no way resembled your caricatures of his nefarious majesty. He was, and still is, a Lanonandek Son of great brilliance. "And no marvel, for Satan himself is a brilliant creature of light."
In the course of this inspection Satan informed Caligastia of Lucifer's then proposed "Declaration of Liberty," and as we now know, the Prince agreed to betray the planet upon the announcement of the rebellion. The loyal universe personalities look with peculiar disdain upon Prince Caligastia because of this premeditated betrayal of trust. The Creator Son voiced this contempt when he said: "You are like your leader, Lucifer, and you have sinfully perpetuated his iniquity. He was a falsifier from the beginning of his self-exaltation because he abode not in the truth."
Near the end of the mountain sojourn Jesus asked his Father if he might be permitted to hold conference with his Satania enemies as the Son of Man, as Joshua ben Joseph. This request was granted. During the last week on Mount Hermon the great temptation, the universe trial, occurred. Satan (representing Lucifer) and the rebellious Planetary Prince, Caligastia, were present with Jesus and were made fully visible to him. And this "temptation," this final trial of human loyalty in the face of the misrepresentations of rebel personalities, had not to do with food, temple pinnacles, or presumptuous acts. It had not to do with the kingdoms of this world but with the sovereignty of a mighty and glorious universe. The symbolism of your records was intended for the backward ages of the world's childlike thought. And subsequent generations should understand what a great struggle the Son of Man passed through that eventful day on Mount Hermon.
Never before had the apostles been so shocked as they were upon hearing this recounting of the growth of the concept of God in the Jewish minds of previous generations; they were too bewildered to ask questions. As they sat before Jesus in silence, the Master continued: "And you would have known these truths had you read the Scriptures. Have you not read in Samuel where it says: `And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so much so that he moved David against them, saying, go number Israel and Judah'? And this was not strange because in the days of Samuel the children of Abraham really believed that Yahweh created both good and evil. But when a later writer narrated these events, subsequent to the enlargement of the Jewish concept of the nature of God, he did not dare attribute evil to Yahweh; therefore he said: `And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.' Cannot you discern that such records in the Scriptures clearly show how the concept of the nature of God continued to grow from one generation to another?
"Although transgression of divine law is sooner or later followed by the harvest of punishment, while men certainly eventually do reap what they sow, still you should know that human suffering is not always a punishment for antecedent sin. Both Job and his friends failed to find the true answer for their perplexities. And with the light you now enjoy you would hardly assign to either Satan or God the parts they play in this unique parable. While Job did not, through suffering, find the resolution of his intellectual troubles or the solution of his philosophical difficulties, he did achieve great victories; even in the very face of the breakdown of his theological defenses he ascended to those spiritual heights where he could sincerely say, `I abhor myself'; then was there granted him the salvation of a vision of God. So even through misunderstood suffering, Job ascended to the superhuman plane of moral understanding and spiritual insight. When the suffering servant obtains a vision of God, there follows a soul peace which passes all human understanding.
After a moment of silence, Peter said: "Master, we have talked much concerning the parable, and this is the interpretation I have decided upon: The sower is the gospel preacher; the seed is the word of God. The seed which fell by the wayside represents those who do not understand the gospel teaching. The birds which snatched away the seed that fell upon the hardened ground represent Satan, or the evil one, who steals away that which has been sown in the hearts of these ignorant ones. The seed which fell upon the rocky places, and which sprang up so suddenly, represents those superficial and unthinking persons who, when they hear the glad tidings, receive the message with joy; but because the truth has no real root in their deeper understanding, their devotion is short-lived in the face of tribulation and persecution. When trouble comes, these believers stumble; they fall away when tempted. The seed which fell among thorns represents those who hear the word willingly, but who allow the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches to choke the word of truth so that it becomes unfruitful. Now the seed which fell on good ground and sprang up to bear, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundredfold, represents those who, when they have heard the truth, receive it with varying degrees of appreciation--owing to their differing intellectual endowments--and hence manifest these varying degrees of religious experience."
When the people marveled, one of the Pharisees stood up and charged that Jesus could do these things because he was in league with devils; that he admitted in the language which he employed in casting out this devil that they were known to each other; and he went on to state that the religious teachers and leaders at Jerusalem had decided that Jesus did all his so-called miracles by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Said the Pharisee: "Have nothing to do with this man; he is in partnership with Satan."
Then said Jesus: "How can Satan cast out Satan? A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand; if a house be divided against itself, it is soon brought to desolation. Can a city withstand a siege if it is not united? If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? But you should know that no one can enter into the house of a strong man and despoil his goods except he first overpower and bind that strong man. And so, if I by the power of Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I, by the spirit of God, cast out devils, then has the kingdom of God truly come upon you. If you were not blinded by prejudice and misled by fear and pride, you would easily perceive that one who is greater than devils stands in your midst. You compel me to declare that he who is not with me is against me, while he who gathers not with me scatters abroad. Let me utter a solemn warning to you who would presume, with your eyes open and with premeditated malice, knowingly to ascribe the works of God to the doings of devils! Verily, verily, I say to you, all your sins shall be forgiven, even all of your blasphemies, but whosoever shall blaspheme against God with deliberation and wicked intention shall never obtain forgiveness. Since such persistent workers of iniquity will never seek nor receive forgiveness, they are guilty of the sin of eternally rejecting divine forgiveness.
When the seventy related how "even the devils were subject" to them, they referred to the wonderful cures they had wrought in the cases of victims of nervous disorders. Nevertheless, there had been a few cases of real spirit possession relieved by these ministers, and referring to these, Jesus said: "It is not strange that these disobedient minor spirits should be subject to you, seeing that I beheld Satan falling as lightning from heaven. But rejoice not so much over this, for I declare to you that, as soon as I return to my Father, we will send forth our spirits into the very minds of men so that no more can these few lost spirits enter the minds of unfortunate mortals. I rejoice with you that you have power with men, but be not lifted up because of this experience but the rather rejoice that your names are written on the rolls of heaven, and that you are thus to go forward in an endless career of spiritual conquest."
Jesus began thus to talk to his apostles because he knew that his hour had come. He understood that the time had come when he was to return to the Father, and that his work on earth was almost finished. The Master knew he had revealed the Father's love on earth and had shown forth his mercy to mankind, and that he had completed that for which he came into the world, even to the receiving of all power and authority in heaven and on earth. Likewise, he knew Judas Iscariot had fully made up his mind to deliver him that night into the hands of his enemies. He fully realized that this traitorous betrayal was the work of Judas, but that it also pleased Lucifer, Satan, and Caligastia the prince of darkness. But he feared none of those who sought his spiritual overthrow any more than he feared those who sought to accomplish his physical death. The Master had but one anxiety, and that was for the safety and salvation of his chosen followers. And so, with the full knowledge that the Father had put all things under his authority, the Master now prepared to enact the parable of brotherly love.
Though Jesus knew that the plan for his death had its origin in the councils of the rulers of the Jews, he was also aware that all such nefarious schemes had the full approval of Lucifer, Satan, and Caligastia. And he well knew that these rebels of the realms would also be pleased to see all of the apostles destroyed with him.
Jesus sat down, alone, on the olive press, where he awaited the coming of the betrayer, and he was seen at this time only by John Mark and an innumerable host of celestial observers.