How can Lucifer be next in honor to Christ?

"How can Lucifer be next to Christ, shouldn't it be the Holy Spirit if He is the third highest person in heaven", our opponents challenge and they quote:

“To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels [Lucifer]. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ's, was first among the hosts of God.” PP 36

Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of Heaven. Before his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. {E. G.White, The (188 Great Controversy, p. 493} 1888.

Yes, Ellen White says "next to Christ's, was [Lucifer] first among the hosts of God", but these statements in no way deny the existence of the Holy Spirit as the third distinct person of the Godhead. They simply state that next to Christ, Lucifer was first among the hosts. The key to understanding the above passages is to understand the distinction between the divine and the created. Lucifer is a created angel. Christ is the eternal self existent Son of God. Ellen White and the Bible clearly testifiy to this truth. But there must be a reason why Lucifer was next to Christ....

Before we see how Lucifer was next to Christ, let us reaffirm the existence of the the third divine person of Godhead, the Holy Spirit once again from the SOP:

"[The followers of Christ] are to contend with super-natural forces, but they are assured of supernatural help. All the intelligences of heaven are in this army. And more than angels are in the ranks. The Holy Spirit, the representative of the Captain of the Lord’s host, comes down to direct the battle. Our infirmities may be many, our sins and mistakes grievous; but the grace of God is for all who seek it with contrition. The power of Omnipotence is enlisted in behalf of those who trust in God." DA 352.

According to the above passage, guess who else comes down to direct the battle? He is the Holy Spirit and He is "MORE THAN ANGELS". Additionally, the Holy Spirit is said to be the "representative" of the Captain of the Host (Christ), which tells us that Christ and the Holy Spirit are not one and the same person.

Here is the interesting part in the above passage; the angels in heaven have a rank or a position in the heavenly hosts, of whom Lucifer was the "first among the hosts of God" or "first of the covering cherubs". In other words, he is the highest of the created hosts in heaven.  

Now notice the following statement which states that Christ had an exalted office:

"The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that His life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as His noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host were above the work of man. He was in the express image of His Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character". - Lift Him Up P. 16

We are told that Christ is the "commander" of the hosts. The fact that Christ is called the commander of hosts harmonizes well with Joshua 5:13-15, where we have Christ who appears as the "captain of the host of the LORD" to Joshua. Since Christ is the Captain of the hosts and Lucifers was first in charge among the hosts, it makes sense to see how Lucifer was next to Christ. Aren't those statements simply telling us that Lucifer had a position, and that position was in relation to the hosts of God and next to the "office of" the Captain of the hosts? Hence the mention of Lucifer next to Christ, which certainly is not evidence against the existence of the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, when it says that Lucifer was "next to Christ, had been most honored of God", it also means "honored of God [the Father and the Holy Spirit] since Holy Spirit is identified as part of the Godhead: 

“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else he could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else he could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. . . .” (Evangelism, 617, is indexed as Manuscript 20, February 7, 1906.)

Conclusion: In case you still don't get it, know that the distinction between the Godhead and the created beings of whom Lucifer was the highest - is foundational to the truth on the subject.

See also:

Did Ellen White believe in a Three Person Godhead?

How can the Holy Spirit divest of something he never had?