What if Lucifer had not fomented a revolution in heaven? Well, he wouldn’t then have been cast out and one can thus easily leap to the presumption Eve would not have been tempted; and all the troubles in the world would not have been. But we seem to be jumping ahead of ourselves, let’s back up a little.
The arrow of knowledge points in three directions in Christianity – the future, the past and the present. When the arrow of knowledge points to the future it is called “prophecy.” When the arrow of knowledge points to the past it is called “word of knowledge.” And when the arrow of knowledge points to extant circumstances it’s called “wisdom.” In the Bible the arrow of knowledge concerning Satan points in all three directions. Satan simply means “enemy” or “adversary.” The term is sometimes used situationally in the Bible but it became a noun for the Devil because he is the personification of enmity. When Prophet Balaam was recruited as a war consultant to King Balaak against Israel, the Bible says “God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him.” The word used for opposition is “satan”, meaning “to be an adversary, to oppose”. (Numbers 22:22) The term “satan” simply stands for adversarial opposition. The Devil personifies that.
The strange thing about Bible narratives is that sometimes, the arrow of knowledge points in two directions at once, sometimes even three. In such instances we see a real life situation or personality on earth being referenced analogically with an event or personality in heaven. There’s a collide of two time frames. Such is the situation in Isaiah 14 which talks about Satan but in a creative manner. The narrative in Isaiah 14 is a satire. God had instructed Israel to take up the satire against their brutal oppressor, the king of Babylon who would be conquered. Now, that satire has a chronicle – it contains the words of certain pagan kings. They were taunting the king of Babylon. Think of it as a play. Because the words are spoken by these pagan kings the satire makes references to Canaanite mythology. And so the text talks about “Helel son of Shachar”: “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning [light-bringer], son of the dawn [Helel ben-Shakhar]! You have been cut down to the ground, you who have weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12 AMP)
The phrase “star of the morning [light-bringer]” is probably a name for Venus. Why is Venus called “morning star”? The orbit of Venus is inside the orbit of the earth. Venus is thus always relatively close to the Sun than the outer planets. When Venus is on the other side of the Sun, it leads the Sun as it travels across the sky. Venus will thus rise in the morning a few hours before the Sun. Then as the Sun rises, the sky brightens and Venus “fades away” in the daytime sky. It’s why it’s called morning star. The satire also contains other Canaanite mythological motifs – the stars of El, the mountain of assembly, the recesses of Zaphon. In Canaanite mythology, Helel son of Shachar was a minor god who tried to take over Zaphon, the mountain of the gods. His attempted coup failed and he was hurled down to the underworld. In the satirical narrative of Isaiah, the king of Babylon is taunted for having similar delusions of grandeur. He was thus the analogy for Satan’s ambition: “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning [light-bringer], son of the dawn (Helel ben-Shakhar or Helel son of Shachar)! You have been cut down to the ground, you who have weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12 AMP) And that was how the word “Lucifer” came to be used for Satan. The Vulgate Bible Latin translation for “Helel” (light-bringer or bringer of dawn) was “Lucifer.” The word “luciferous” came from this. It means something that brings light and it was first used in 1648. The Greek translation of “lucifer” is “phosphorus.” We got the name for that element that glows in the dark and burns when it is touched by air from this Greek translation. “Phosphorus” is thus the Greek word for Venus the morning star, “Lucifer” is the Latin word.
So you can understand why 2 Peter 1:19 refers to Jesus as morning star: “You must pay close attention to what they (the prophets) wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place — until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19 NLT) Thus in Isaiah 14, “morning star” is a mythological reference to Venus, whereas in 2 Peter 1:19 it is a reference to illumination of the heart. Christ is our Illuminator. It must be noted that only the Vulgate and King James editions of the Bible translated “morning star” in Isaiah 14 as “Lucifer”. Modern translations simply say “morning star”, “daystar”, “shining one” or “shining star”. “Lucifer” as a name for Satan is an analogical derivative; it’s not his real name. Revelation 12:9 calls him “the Devil” and “Satan”: “So that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him.” (Revelation 12:9 NET) The word “Devil” is from the Greek word, “diabolos”. It means slanderer. But in Leviticus 17:7, the word “devil” is the translation of the Hebrew word, “sair”, meaning a “goat”. And now you understand why the goat is used as a symbol for Satan. That’s where the idea of Baphomet came from.
Now, since the story of the king of Babylon is rendered as analogy of Satan’s history, we glean incredible insight about Satan from Isaiah 14. What emerges is a portrait of a crudely ambitious and deluded individual who over-reached: “You said to yourself, “I will climb up to the sky. Above the stars of El I will set up my throne. I will rule on the mountain of assembly on the remote slopes of Zaphon. I will climb up to the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High!” (Isaiah 14:13-14 NET) Because of this insane ambition Satan organised insurrection in Heaven: “War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon — ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray —thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth.” (Revelation 12:7-9 MSG)
Satan wasn’t always demagogic. Something went wrong along the way. That information came from Prophet Ezekiel. Like Isaiah, Ezekiel spoke analogously about Satan using the Prince of Tyre – a rather vainglorious and proud individual. He saw himself as divine, godlike. And that was because he was smart and enormously wealthy. God pronounced judgment on him – that he would die violently on the sea by the hands of foreigners. And so God ordered a lament for him in advance. And it was from that lament we learnt about the perfectness of Satan before the revolutionary impetus: “Son of man, take up a dirge (funeral poem to be sung) for the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God’, “You had the full measure of perfection and the finishing touch [of completeness], full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”” (Ezekiel 28:12 AMP) Thus we know Satan couldn’t handle elevation, stardom and prosperity: “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness and evil were found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:15) What was the problem? Well, Ezekiel tells us: “Through the abundance of your commerce you were internally filled with lawlessness and violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you out as a profane and unholy thing from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud and arrogant because of your beauty; you destroyed your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I lay you before kings that they might look at you.” (Ezekiel 28:15-17 AMP) Vanity was Satan’s undoing.
But what if Lucifer had not fomented a revolution in Heaven? There would have been no temptation for Eve and therefore no fall of man. Though it’s alarming Adam wasn’t even deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14) He ate willfully.
If Satan didn’t plan that revolution in heaven there would be no radicalized angel selling rebellion to humanity. And there would be no accuser of the believer: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night.”” (Revelation 12:10 AMP) In which case Romans 8:33 would have been superfluous: “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one — for God himself has given us right standing with himself.” (Romans 8:33 NLT)
If you’ll like to give your life to Jesus, please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me and that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me Father. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.
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