Who in the Name of Heaven was Lucifer?

“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.”

Any Christian worth his weight in salt knows that Lucifer and Satan are synonymous. Yet, did you know the NIV Bible never mentions the word, “Lucifer”? In fact, the King James Version Bible only refers directly to Satan as Lucifer at Isaiah 14:12.

Who was Lucifer and why do we know him as Satan? The answers to these questions not only helped me to understand how the forces of darkness are at work among us, but they also brought light to what Paul meant when he said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. (Ephesians 6:12)

Satan was known as Lucifer before he sinned. “He was”, according to Billy Graham in his book, Angels, “the most brilliant and most beautiful of all created beings in heaven. He was probably the ruling prince of the universe under God, against whom he rebelled. The result was insurrection and war in heaven! He began a war that has been raging in heaven from the moment he sinned and was brought to earth shortly after the dawn of human history.”

Although Lucifer teemed with pride, it was his arrogance that caught up with him and his friends, too. Angels were created for the purpose of glorifying God. But instead of serving God and praising Him forever, Lucifer wanted to take God’s place. That’s why he said in Isaiah 14, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Sin is contagious even among angels. As a matter of fact, Revelation 12:9 tells us, “The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

I never realized the size of Satan’s army. But Revelation 12:4, which refers to angels as stars, points out that “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” In other words, one third of all the angels that God created are right here among us, helping Satan to spin trouble for all of us!

The Bible doesn’t tell us how many angels God created, but the Prophet Daniel does say that their number is great, “thousands upon thousands”. (Daniel 7:10) Also, they are powerful and uniquely gifted for the mission for which they were created. That’s why we are told that they are stronger than we are, smarter than we are, and nobler than we ever hope to be. (2 Peter 2:11, 2 Samuel 14:20, and Daniel 10:10-14). No wonder the world seems so evil and helpless!

Isaiah 13:12-14 clearly points out Satan’s objectives: he works to bring about the downfall of nations, to corrupt moral standards, and to waste human resources. He is, as Paul described, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”. (Ephesians 2:2)

There is a devil even though he hasn’t been known as Lucifer since he was thrown out of heaven. Jesus once told us how he knew him: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

His name is Satan!

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