All throughout my life in terms of studying the bible and listening to my pastor preach about Satan’s origin, I became convinced and even taught that Satan was an archangel and was filled with pride and wanted to be like God. Because he was prideful, God kicked Satan and a third of the angels with him down to the earth. When Adam and Eve sinned, Satan became the god of this world and stole this authority from Adam and Eve. It is now Satan that rules this world and no longer man. This is exactly what I was taught. As I grew older and studied God’s Word a little deeper, I began to ask myself questions about what I was taught. On one hand, when looking at the scriptures used to support this teaching, it seems pretty reasonable to accept this theory as acceptable and maybe even a bit convincing. On the other hand, when I re-read these scriptures, I began to see more clearly. Believe me, I am not writing this because I am angry at what my church or pastors taught. I definitely have a difference in opinion than what I used to believe and even teach.
I will attempt to take you through the common passages of scripture that is used to support the idea that Satan was a good angel who fell and became the devil. Before I do this, let me explain what is taught in many churches today on the origin of satan. First, Satan or the devil was one of the archangels. These three archangels were Lucifer, Gabriel, and Michael. It was Lucifer that turned out to be bad.
Lucifer was known to actually be very good before turning bad. He was the wisest, most beautiful creature God created. Lucifer became proud and thought of himself to be as good as God. When Lucifer became filled with pride, he started a revolt and took one third of the angels with him. Thus they were all kicked out of heaven and cast down to the earth and eventually became known as Satan and his angels or demons.
I will take you through the scriptures that are commonly used to support this theory. The first passage is in the book of Isaiah 14.
1. Isaiah 14:12-15
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. (NKJV).
This is one of the passages by which this idea of Satan falling from heaven due to pride comes from. However, there are three things I’d like to point out. First, Satan is never referred to as Lucifer anywhere in the Bible. Second, this passage never says that Lucifer is an angel. Third, there is nowhere else in the Bible where Lucifer is mentioned.
In many other translations of the Bible such as the New Internation Version or the New American Standard, the name “Lucifer” is translated “morning star”. The Hebrew word of Lucifer is “helel”, meaning “the shining one”. In the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is translated “heosphoros”, meaning the “light-bearer”. The first time the name Lucifer appeared in the bible was in the very first latin vulgate translation of the bible around 400 A.D. In Latin, the name Lucifer referred to the planet Venus since it is considered the brightest planet in the sky.
Actually Jesus Christ is referred to as the “morning star” in Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.
Jesus had this title “Morning Star” that refers to his Royalty and glory.
Who is Lucifer then? The answer is in Isaiah 14:4-6 “that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased!The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of the rulers; He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, He who ruled the nations in anger, Is persecuted and no one hinders.
If you look at Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, you will see that there is some information regarding Babylon. God even uses the Medes to go up against the Babylonians in Isaiah 13:17. When you get into chapter 14, it basically continues focusing on Babylon and the king. Chapter 14 call the king of Babylon an oppressor, scepter of the rulers and that he has fallen! You might be thinking “what kind of man would make statements like,”I will ascend into heaven” or “I will be like the Most High”.
In Matthew 11:23, it says “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (NKJV)
Capernaum was a city, not an angel. In Isaiah, Babylon was a city not an angel.
In Obadiah 4 it says “Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down, says the Lord. (NKJV).
Here in Obadiah we have the Edomites who did not have their nest among the stars.
This person in Isaiah is about a man and not an angel. It says in Isaiah 14:16,17 “Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners? (NKJV)
It is clear that this chapter is talking about a man and not an angel. If this was talking about an angel why does it refer to a man?
In Isaiah 14:19 it says “But you are cast out of your grave Like an abominable branch, Like the garment of those who are slain, Thrust through with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit, Like a corpse trodden underfoot.(NKJV)
In chapter 14 and verse 19 it says you are cast out of your grave. Angels do not have graves. Furthermore, in this same verse, Angels do not have swords either.
2. The second passage that is commonly used to support the fall of Satan is in Ezekiel 28. Ezekiel chapters 25 to 32 also contain prophecies against pagan nations. Chapters 26 to 28 are specifically against Tyre, a major city, important port and wealthy commercial centre at that time, under its ruler Ethbaal III (c.590 – c.573). Ezekiel described Tyre’s trading with other nations (27:12-25), and gave dramatic oracles about the ships and sailors of Tarshish wailing over the fall of Tyre (27:25-36). The king of Tyre is described as, “the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (28:12).
You only need to look through the first five verses of Ezekiel 28 to see that this is talking about another man of the city of Tyre. It says in Ezekiel 28:1,2 “The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God: Because your heart is lifted up, And you say, I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas, Yet you are a man, and not a god, Though you set your heart as the heart of a god (NKJV.
Ezekiel 28:14,15 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:14 NKJV.
First of all cherubs are not archangels. You can read Ezekiel’s description of cherubs in chapter 10. Cherubs are referred to angels that guard something such as the Garden of Eden, Tree of Life, and the Mercy Seat. Ezekiel was not talking any different than how we talk in today’s time. How many times do we call people “you are an angel” or you are my angel?
Again, there is not enough proof in Ezekiel 28 to indicate that this is talking about Satan. If Satan had became fallen before Adam sinned, why was Satan still in heaven in the book of Job? How can an angel, perfect in wisdom, be so dumb as to rebel against God? I would not say that he is very wise at all.
3. Luke 10:18 “And He said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. NKJV)
This is yet another common passage that many use to support the fall of Satan. However, if you look at the context, it is clear the disciples and the mission of the seventy had a strong impact on the powers of darkness. In the verse prior (verse 17), the disciples stated “Even the demons are subjected to us in your name”. The effect of the ministry had an enormous impact to the point that it caused the demons to submit to the disciples and the seventy.
4. Revelation 12:7-10 “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.(NKJV)
This is yet another passage commonly used to support the fall of Satan.
In Revelation 12:10, this did not happen at the beginning of time, rather this occurred at the cross where Christ Jesus brought salvation that would destroy the power of the enemy forever and bring up a kingdom (the Church) that would reign with Christ.
In fact, Jesus made similar statements in John 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (NKJV). Both of these passages are dealing with the reality of Satan’s defeat demonstrated by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
The simple answer to the mystery of Satan is unknown. The bible does not really give us this information. What we do know is that Satan exists, and he is a liar, deceiver, and devour as the bible describes.