Is Satan the One Called “Lucifer”?

Then I saw an angel com­ing down from heav­en, hold­ing in his hand the key to the bot­tom­less pit and a great chain. 2And he seized the drag­on, that ancient ser­pent, who is the dev­il and Satan, and bound him for a thou­sand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thou­sand years were end­ed. After that he must be released for a lit­tle while. The Rev­e­la­tion of Jesus Christ 20:1–3

Some of Satan’s most impres­sive lies are lies about his own nature. I’ve heard this attrib­uted to var­i­ous peo­ple, that the great­est trick or lie of Satan is that he has con­vinced the world that he does not exist.

Hon­est­ly, I think that if you dis­be­lieve in Satan, you have far worse things to wor­ry about than that, par­tic­u­lar­ly your trust of God’s Word.

Far worse, I think, is believ­ing that Satan exists but gross­ly mis­un­der­stand­ing his nature. For instance, there is the lie that Satan was once a mag­nif­i­cent angel named Lucifer who led a great revolt in Heav­en, caus­ing a great many angels to fall from glo­ry with him. I call that a lie know­ing full well it is the major­i­ty view among Chris­tians, although minor details may very from church to church and indi­vid­ual to individual.

When you start with a lie, though, it’s very dif­fi­cult to ever built to a point where truth is able to be seen, appre­ci­at­ed, and even loved. The base lies cor­rupt every­thing which depends upon them.

Find it no sur­prise, then, that the Son of the Most High Yah­weh has said, “God is spir­it, and those who wor­ship him must wor­ship in spir­it and truth.” ((John 4:24, empha­sis mine.))

Lies cor­rupt every­thing they come in touch with, even some­thing as holy as wor­ship­ing Yah­weh. Con­se­quent­ly, we must seek to expunge untruths, false­hoods, super­sti­tions, and folk­lore from our doc­trine and prac­tice. Mis­con­cep­tions regard­ing Satan are no excep­tion, though he rev­els in our mis­un­der­stand­ing him, “for he is a liar and the father of lies.” ((John 8:44.))

I want to help clear the air of some of the mythos sur­round­ing Satan so that truth may pre­vail in our hearts and minds. The first issue I want to look at is whether Satan was the one called “Lucifer.”

Is Satan the one called “Lucifer”?

Accord­ing to MarkBeast.com, “Lucifer was cre­at­ed by God as a per­fect angel. He was called Lucifer while he lived in heav­en. After he sinned and per­sis­tent­ly refused to repent he was thrown out of heav­en. When Lucifer was cast out of heav­en he lost his name Lucifer and he became known as Satan.” ((http://www.markbeast.com/satan/lucifer-satan-devil.htm)) This view seems fair­ly com­mon among Chris­tians, but is it valid?

The name Lucifer can be found in cer­tain trans­la­tions of the Bible, such as the King James Ver­sion, in Isa­iah 14:12. In more reli­able ver­sions, such as the Eng­lish Stan­dard Ver­sion, instead of “Lucifer,” we are giv­en the epi­thet “Day Star” instead.

“How you are fall­en from heav­en, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heav­en; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assem­bly in the far reach­es of the north; 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15But you are brought down to She­ol, to the far reach­es of the pit. 16Those who see you will stare at you and pon­der over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth trem­ble, who shook king­doms, 17who made the world like a desert and over­threw its cities, who did not let his pris­on­ers go home?’ The Book of Isa­iah 14:12–17

Where does that pas­sage men­tion Satan? Actu­al­ly, that pas­sage picks up in the mid­dle of a larg­er pas­sage, a pas­sage which ear­li­er makes it clear just who is being spo­ken of: “…you will take up this taunt against the king of Baby­lon.” ((Isa­iah 14:4, empha­sis mine.))

A lit­tle over half of Isa­iah 14 is this taunt against Baby­lon’s king, with no indi­ca­tion that the tar­get of the taunt ever changes.

So where do well-mean­ing Chris­tians get the idea that at verse 12, the sub­ject of the taunt switch­es from the king of Baby­lon to Satan?

Quite hon­est­ly, I don’t know for sure. I can only assume ((And yes, I know what assum­ing gets me…)) that the idea comes from two pos­si­ble sources, assum­ing a bib­li­cal source for the notion:

The sev­en­ty-two returned with joy, say­ing, “Lord, even the demons are sub­ject to us in your name!” 18And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like light­ning from heav­en. The Gospel Accord­ing to Luke 10:17–18

The log­ic must be that because Christ said He saw Satan fall from Heav­en, then if a fall from Heav­en is men­tioned with­in the Scrip­tures, it must refer to Satan’s fall. And so, such a fall is wedged into Isa­iah 14, forc­ing a break in the rant con­cern­ing the king of Babylon.

How­ev­er, if that is the case, and Isa­iah 14 describes Satan’s fall, then we have a very inter­est­ing situation.

Now the ser­pent was more crafty than any oth­er beast of the field that the Lord God had made. ((Gen­e­sis 3:1.))

From Gen­e­sis, we know that Satan was wicked; we know that he was present in the Gar­den with our first par­ents, tempt­ing them to dis­obey Yah­weh. ((“Wait a minute,” you may say, “where does Gen­e­sis 3 refer to Satan?” Fair ques­tion. The open­ing of Rev­e­la­tion 20, quot­ed above, estab­lish­es Satan as “that ancient ser­pent,” which is a fit­ting descrip­tion if he were tru­ly in the Gar­den of Eden some six to ten thou­sand years ago.))

The prob­lem with those who would believe the pas­sage in Isa­iah refers to Satan is this: How many humans were alive at the time Satan tempt­ed Adam & Eve in the garden?

I’ll give you a hint: more than one, but less than three.

How many peo­ple had even exist­ed up until that point? You guessed it: three.

But what does the pas­sage in Isa­iah say? Who­ev­er the Day Star was, he “laid the nations low”, ((Isa­iah 14:12.)) “made the earth to trem­ble”, ((Isa­iah 14:16.)) and “shook king­doms.” ((Ibid.)) He “over­threw [the world’s] cities, [and] did not let his pris­on­ers go home.” ((Isa­iah 14:17.)) All of this the Day Star did in pride­ful antag­o­nism to Yah­weh, as Isa­iah 14:13–14 states, and for it he was cut down, cast into destruction.

If the Day Star was Satan, then when did he fall? It could­n’t have been any time pri­or to the events in the Gar­den of Eden, for there were no cities, king­doms, or peo­ple from which to take prisoners.

I sup­pose at this point, some peo­ple ((Yes, I’ve seen it hap­pen.)) will attempt to rec­on­cile the facts by claim­ing that a pre-adam­ic ((“Before Adam.”)) race of humans once exist­ed which Satan Lucifer was grant­ed to rule over, but he grew in pride until he rebelled against Yah­weh, some­how caus­ing the destruc­tion of those most ancient of peoples.

There­fore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. ((Romans 5:12.))

Romans 5 should serve as the death knell for such an idea, that there were a race of humans before Adam which Lucifer ruled over. The fact of the mat­ter is that there was no death pri­or to Adam and that Adam’s respon­si­bil­i­ty — not the respon­si­bil­i­ty of name­less pre-adam­ic men — in bring­ing death into the world is tied insep­a­ra­bly to Jesus’ bring­ing redemption.

The Day Star could not have been Satan.

So because Satan was already wicked pri­or to there being king­doms and nations of men, the Day Star (read: Lucifer) could not have been Satan.

Sec­ond­ly, I think peo­ple get the idea that the Day Star was Satan’s orig­i­nal name or descrip­tion from a pas­sage in Revelation:

Now war arose in heav­en, Michael and his angels fight­ing against the drag­on. And the drag­on and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeat­ed and there was no longer any place for them in heav­en. 9And the great drag­on was thrown down, that ancient ser­pent, who is called the dev­il and Satan, the deceiv­er of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. The Rev­e­la­tion of Jesus Christ 12:7–9

As above, the same sort of con­nec­tion is made: Here is a descrip­tion of Satan being cast down from Heav­en, and so a link to Isa­iah 14 is made to sup­port the pre­sump­tion that the Day Star, or Lucifer, was Satan.

A more care­ful exam­i­na­tion of this Rev­e­la­tion pas­sage, though, reveals that Satan was cast out of Heav­en after the “male child” ((Rev­e­la­tion 12:5.)) was born. This was the birth of Jesus, the “one who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, but was caught up to God and to his throne.” ((Ibid.))

There­fore, because Rev­e­la­tion describes Satan’s fall from Heav­en at the hands of Michael & his angels as occur­ring after Jesus’ birth, it makes no sense for it to have been described as a past event in Isa­iah 14.

Actu­al­ly, what Rev­e­la­tion 12 describes is Satan’s final fall from Heav­en, when he will no longer be per­mit­ted to accuse the brethren, just as he did Job thou­sands of years ago.

I dis­be­lieve that Satan was Isa­iah’s “Day Star,” but I don’t find it hard to accept at all that Isa­iah was describ­ing the actu­al king of Baby­lon. How often do human rulers fall into the pride­ful sin described by Isa­iah? They lift up their eyes to the heav­ens and believe they can achieve any­thing, with­out God, bet­ter than God.

Human­i­ty is amaz­ing­ly con­sis­tent: We see this behav­ior mak­ing its first huge step onto the scene at Shi­nar, when mankind got togeth­er and sought to build a tow­er to the heav­ens. ((Gen­e­sis 11:4.)) Because of the judg­ment of God upon the men of Shi­nar, the place became known as Babel, the begin­nings of Baby­lon. ((Gen­e­sis 11:9.))

And we see this behav­ior come to its cul­mi­na­tion in Rev­e­la­tion, where we learn that in the unspec­i­fied future, “Baby­lon the great, moth­er of pros­ti­tutes and of earth­’s abom­i­na­tions” ((Rev­e­la­tion 17:5.)) meets its ulti­mate judg­ment: “Rejoice over her, O heav­en, and you saints and apos­tles and prophets, for God has giv­en judg­ment for you against her!” ((Rev­e­la­tion 18:20.))

§

I hope you’ll join me in refus­ing to call Satan “Lucifer,” and I hope you’ll be will­ing to cor­rect those who do so by point­ing out that “Lucifer” (or bet­ter, the “Day Star”) in Isa­iah’s con­text refers not to Satan but to the king of Baby­lon in a taunt­ing, mock­ing manner.

There are a great deal of oth­er ques­tions I’d like to take a look at regard­ing Satan. Was Satan ever an “anoint­ed cherub”? What is Satan’s ori­gin? What is the leviathan? And more, I’m sure. If you want to be noti­fied when these are writ­ten, be sure to sub­scribe to my syn­di­ca­tion feed!

10 thoughts on “Is Satan the One Called “Lucifer”?”

  1. Since the tra­di­tion­al view is incor­rect, please explain some­thing of the ori­gin and nature of Satan.

  2. michael: I plan to in future posts, as I get the time. Stay tuned.

    (Although I’m pret­ty sure the “tra­di­tion­al view” regard­ing Lucifer is only a few hun­dred ears old. I can’t say that for cer­tain, but I thought I heard some­where that pri­or to the 1500s or some­time, nobody ever equat­ed the Day Star (Lucifer) with Satan.)

  3. This is a won­der­ful and infor­ma­tive piece that you have writ­ten. The truth is grow­ing at a rapid pace- as church­es, books, blogs, and web­sites are telling the truth about the TRUE ORIGIN of Satan. God’s will is being done and as the truth grows we will no longer be a slave to such a bla­tant lie that has manip­u­lat­ed mil­lions of peo­ple. We should be BOLD and not be afraid to tell oth­ers, because GOD is with us. There is a great book out there enti­tled, “God Reveals a Mys­tery!” (avail­able world-wide, includ­ing Barnes and Noble and Ama­zon) that uncov­ers even more infor­ma­tion to give us a bet­ter under­stand­ing about the ser­pent, drag­on, Satan, or the dev­il. Thank you!

  4. Inter­est­ing piece, your read­ing of this pas­sage is very much bet­ter than the tra­di­tion­al alter­na­tive. Thank you very much for this infor­ma­tion, it is very valu­able, I hope you did write those oth­er pieces, I will look them up when I have some more time.

  5. There you go, point­ing out unfin­ished series… I’m prob­a­bly the most incon­sis­tent blog­ger in the his­to­ry of the uni­verse. Hon­est­ly, I don’t remem­ber if I ever wrote any­more on the sub­ject re: the ques­tions at the end of the above post, but if I haven’t, I need to!

    Looks like I did write about Leviathan: What Does the Book of Job Say? and What Does Leviathan Mean?

    Looks like there’s a char­ac­ter encod­ing issue with the lat­ter link, so the Hebrew words don’t show up cor­rect­ly. There may be oth­er issues as well — some of the old­er con­tent has been imported/exported from sev­er­al Word­Press instal­la­tions — but over­all, the con­tent should still be decipherable.

  6. This is true Lucifer was a man. Not Satan. Peo­ple think that there has been a name change. Satan has always been called Satan as in the book of Job. In Hebrew his name is a title “the accuser or adver­sary” of men. Which means he is doing what he was designed to do. Because God had giv­en him this title.
    Jesus calls him the old ser­pent. ha-nachash in Hebrew “The Shin­ing One” trans­la­tion =Ser­pent not a snake, or any­thing hideous .

  7. Lucifer & satan &devil & Prometheus.All these names refer to a sin­gle person,fallen Angel that for teach­ing for­bid­den sci­ences to human was pun­ished And soon will rise and And take revenge from god

  8. That is all well and good, but a Ha-Satan actu­al­ly refers to an angel sent to earth to test man’s faith in him. So the snake of course was a form of Satan, whom has many forms. God could have cast­ed Lucifer, or “Day Star” down after his unwill­ing­ness to repent.. Caus­ing him to become the “Satan” we all know. I would love to hear a counter argue­ment.. The thing is that even if Lucifer isn’t the “Satan” he like­ly has become a Ha-Satan, so regard­less he like­ly is some form of Satan.

  9. This is fact and quite inter­est­ing, I won­der why peo­ple till this age have not come to under­stand­ing, these things.
    Where in the Bible was it writ­ten that Satan was an Angel of God’s praise team?
    Thanks for this arti­cle, I wish most of the so called high men of God will read and accept this truth.

  10. Why do you call God Yah­weh. There is no evi­dence that Yah­weh is the prop­er pro­nun­ci­a­tion of his name. YHWH this is all we know.

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Rick Beckman