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The

Devil,
Dark Angels,
&
Demons
in the bible
The Devil, Dark Angels, and Demons

The Devil in the Details

The "Fall of Lucifer": The Scriptural Evidence

PAM DEWEY
If you have questions or comments about any of the material in the articles in this
collection of Answers About Angels, you may write to: oasis7@gmail.com

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THE DEVIL,
DARK ANGELS,
& DEMONS

The Book of Mark is believed by many commentators to be the earliest


of the Gospels—accounts of the life of Jesus—in the Bible, written
before 70 AD. Within the very first chapter of Mark we are introduced
to a being called Satan.
Satan

Mark 1:9-12

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was


baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of
the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit
descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:
“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in
the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan.
Satan He was with the
wild animals, and angels attended him.

The reader is given no explanation of just who Satan is, or where he


came from. The author seems to make the assumption that either his
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readers already know these things—or they are not necessary to
understand the significance of the situation described.

So where might readers of the first century have gotten this


understanding? The first clue might be the word itself.

The English word Satan is derived from the Greek term ho satanas,
which means “the adversary.” This may clarify just a bit the role of the
being called Satan in this passage. But it still tells us nothing about his
origins.

Perhaps the parallel passage in the Book of Matthew about the


“temptation” of Christ might shed more light on this. There, the same
story is told, but the being doing the tempting is called “the devil.”

Matthew 4:1-4

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted
by the devil.
devil After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was
hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son
of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread


alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

The Greek term here translated “the devil” is ho diabolos. This term
means “the accuser,” and more specifically “the traducer” or “the
calumniator.” These latter two words refer to a very specific sort of
accuser:

Calumniator:
Calumniator one who utters false charges or
misrepresentations maliciously calculated to damage another's
reputation; a slanderer
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Traducer:
Traducer one who exposes another to shame or blame by
means of falsehood and misrepresentation

This may help us understand more clearly the role of Satan, the Devil.
But again it doesn’t clarify at all where he came from.

So the next logical approach may to be to look into the Old Testament
and see if we can learn about him from there. There is no reference in
the Old Testament to a being called by a Hebrew term directly related
to ho diabolos. But the Greek word translated Satan in the New
Testament is directly related to the Hebrew term ha satan, which is also
translated as Satan in the Old Testament in English Bibles. The term
ha satan means “the adversary.” The Greek term ho satanas and the
Hebrew term ha satan both seem to refer to the sort of person who
brings an accusation—in a legal sense—against someone in a court of
law.

Again, this may tell us a bit about the role of the being, but still reveals
nothing about where he came from. It doesn’t even tell us if the word
Satan was ever intended to specifically imply that it is a “given” name—
like Michael or Samuel—or just a descriptive term for that role. In the
English, Satan (and Devil) have definitely come to be accepted as
“names” for a specific being, the supernatural arch-enemy of God and
believers. But to this day Bible scholars can’t agree on the exact intent
of the Hebrew and Greek usages.

But aside from the issue of whether it is “a name or a role,” what do we


find in the Old Testament regarding the origin of this being if we
search in a concordance for the word Satan? It is found only four places
in the King James Version:

In the first chapter of Job, which many believe to be the oldest book in
the Bible, we see the first mention of Satan:
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Job 1:6

One day the angels [KJV: sons of God] came to present


themselves before the LORD, and Satan [ha satan, the
adversary] also came with them.

He is then mentioned throughout Job 1 and 2 as being allowed by God


to test Job to see if Job will remain faithful to God even in calamity.
Since Satan is presented in these passages as actually appearing before
God Himself in heaven, it is clear that he is not just a human adversary,
but a supernatural being of some sort.

But even in the book of Job, he is introduced into the story with no
fanfare and no explanation of where he came from and why he is an
adversary.

The KJV also uses the name Satan in the following passage from one of
the Psalms of David:

Psalm 109:5-7

They repay me evil for good,


and hatred for my friendship.

Appoint an evil man to oppose him;


let an accuser [KJV: Satan]
Satan stand at his right hand.

When he is tried, let him be found guilty,


and may his prayers condemn him.

But in this passage, it is not even clear if this is meaning a human legal
adversary or “THE adversary” that is a specific supernatural being.
Most modern translations imply that it is a human.

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In 1 Chronicles 21, Satan is said to have “incited David”:

I Chronicles 21:1

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census


of Israel.

But once again, the passage doesn’t give us a clue where this Satan came
from, and why and how he “incited” David. Did he speak to David
directly as he later spoke to Jesus in the desert? Did he appear in
physical form? Did he use supernatural powers to put a thought into
David’s mind? We are given no more information.

And finally, in the book of the prophet Zechariah, Satan appeared in a


vision given to Zechariah about the High Priest Joshua. In this case, the
incident is evidently not intended to be viewed as something that
actually happened in the real world (either physical or supernatural),
but is a metaphor, a symbolic vision that points to a spiritual reality.

Zechariah 3:1-2

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the


angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to
accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke
you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!
Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

For the final time in the Old Testament, Satan is introduced into the
scene with absolutely no explanation.

So we are right back to where we were at the beginning of Mark, with


the reality that the Bible is very vague about this “adversary,” this

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“accuser,” speaking clearly about what he does,
does but not about what he
is and where he came from.

And an examination of all of the instances in the New Testament where


the terms Satan or the Devil are used will yield a similar result. Bible
readers are told many things about the activities of this being, and
Christians are given a number of warnings about harm that he may
bring to them, as well as advice on how to counteract these attacks. (See
the section on the “works and wiles” of the Devil below for an overview
of this information.) But there are only the vaguest of hints about his
actual nature, his “origin,” and his “history.”

This has not, however, prevented religious authors of the past 2000
years and more from speculating in great detail about these things.
Perhaps you have heard that once upon a time Satan’s name was
actually “Lucifer,” that he was the most beautiful archangel of heaven,
even the very favorite of God, given rule over a prehistoric Earth that
was a beautiful paradise, and that before the creation of Adam he led a
rebellion of one third of all the angels in an attempt to “take over” the
throne of God. But these details, as well as many other alternate
scenarios proposed by religious authors, are not clearly spelled out in
the Bible! For an overview of the biblical and extra-biblical basis offered
in support of such speculations, see “Devil in the Details” and "Where
Angels Fear to Tread."

Although it would no doubt be fascinating to know more details about


the Devil, the reality is that the Bible is strangely silent on any clear,
detailed explanation of his origin and his exact nature. Mostly what we
know for certain is that he is a very powerful supernatural being, he is
the enemy of God and true believers, and that Christians need wisdom
and power from God to thwart the efforts of this Adversary and
Accuser. Speculating beyond that doesn’t really assist believers in being
successful in defeating him. And all too often, Christians who immerse
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themselves in studying extra-biblical material that promises to deliver
more details on this admittedly intriguing topic can be found
wandering away from the simplicity of the Gospel and the clear
revelation in the Bible. An appetite for “hidden knowledge” about the
supernatural world can dull the appetite for the kind of basic
understanding of biblical principles that will lead to healthy spiritual
growth and maturity. For instance, such Bible passages as the Sermon
on the Mount and I Corinthians 13, the “Love Chapter” of the Bible,
reveal nothing about the prehistory of the Devil, nor other esoteric
topics. And they are simple enough for the brand-new Bible student to
understand, yet profound enough to give food for thought to the long-
time Christian who will take the time to meditate on the depth of
wisdom in them. And they equip the believer to become continually
more like Christ, and less likely to fall into the snares of the Devil.

What About Demons?

Immediately after the temptation incident that introduces Satan, Mark


describes Jesus choosing the twelve Apostles. And right after that, he
introduces his readers to demons.

Mark 1:32-34

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the
sick and demon-
demon-possessed.
possessed The whole town gathered at the
door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also
drove out many demons,
demons but he would not let the demons
speak because they knew who he was.

As with the introduction of Satan the Devil, there is no clear


explanation of what these demons are. The reader is only left with the
concept of what they can do—they
do can somehow “be inside” people (a
situation called “demon possession”), which means that they are
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obviously supernatural—and they can speak. Mark seems to assume his
readers are already familiar with what demons are. In fact, in the
previous few verses he uses another term that seems to be synonymous
with demon: evil spirit.

Mark 1:21-28

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus


went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were
amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had
authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in
their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out,
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come
to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil
spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a
shriek.

The people were all so amazed that they asked each other,
“What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even
gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” News about him
spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

We are given no information about what this evil spirit was, or where it
came from. Once again, Mark seemed to have made the assumption
that his readers knew all about evil spirits and/or demons.

In the 21st century, large numbers of people assume they know what
these beings are. But did they get their concepts directly from the Bible,
or from the speculations of extra-biblical writings? Just what can we
know about these strange entities if we rely only on the Bible for our
information?
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Once again we can first look at the Greek words that are translated by
the terms “evil spirit” and “demon.”

The English term evil spirit translates the Greek words poneros (evil or
malicious) and pneuma (breath or, by analogy, a supernatural “spirit”
being that has a conscious existence but seems to have no body of its
own).

The English term “demon” comes directly from the Greek word
daimon. Actually, the word demon doesn’t show up at all in the King
James Version of the Bible. For some reason, the KJV translators chose
to use the same term, devil, to translate daimon that they used to
translate ho diabolos, the Devil. In fact, they didn’t even choose to
capitalize the word Devil when it obviously refers to Satan. The word
with a lower case “d” is used for both demons and the Devil himself.
Almost all the newer translations, including the New King James
Version, use the term demon when the Greek has daimon.

In ancient pagan Greek writings, outside the Bible, daimon was a term
used to describe what were believed to be “inferior gods,” whether of a
malicious or of a harmless nature. In context in the New Testament,
the Bible appears to use the word solely to indicate supernatural beings
that caused harm to humans by “possessing” them—invading their
bodies and causing negative symptoms such as those resembling
insanity or some types of illness or infirmity.

While this information reinforces the picture of evil spirits/demons in


the passages in Mark as being harmful disembodied beings, it really tells
us nothing about their origin.

Is there more information on this topic that we can glean from the Old
Testament?

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There is only one scenario in the Old Testament that resembles the
situation of “demon possession” that appears in the New Testament.
After King Saul fails to live up to God’s standards for his leadership, the
prophet Samuel anoints David to be the next king over Israel.

I Samuel 16:14-23

Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an
evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. Saul's attendants
said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone
who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from
God comes upon you, and you will feel better.”

So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well


and bring him to me.”

One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of


Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man
and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And
the LORD is with him.”

Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son
David, who is with the sheep.” So Jesse took a donkey loaded
with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with
his son David to Saul.

David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very
much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul
sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my
service, for I am pleased with him.”

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Whenever the [evil] spirit from God came upon Saul, David
would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul;
he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
him

Notice the one factor that makes this situation so different from the
New Testament examples. This “evil spirit” is mentioned six times in
the book of I Samuel. And each time, it is described as an “evil spirit
from God [Elohim]” or an “evil spirit from the Lord [Yahweh].” Yet
the phrase “evil spirit” is translated from Hebrew words that have the
same implication as the Greek words. Evil is from the Hebrew word
ra-ah, meaning bad or evil, and spirit is from ruach, which, just like
pneuma, means “breath,” or can imply by analogy a disembodied
being.

So we are left with a strange situation. In the Old Testament, God


could evidently send an “evil spirit” to trouble people. Yet in the New
Testament, the evil spirits troubling people seem to be enemies of God,
and subject to being cast out by Jesus and His disciples.

One other kind of “spirit” is mentioned in the Old Testament that


might have a bearing on the identification of demons:

Leviticus 20:27

A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit,


spirit or that is a
wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with
stones: their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)

The NIV makes clear what someone with “a familiar spirit” does:

A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you


must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be
on their own heads. (NIV)
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A “medium” is an English term describing someone who claims to be
speaking on behalf of a disembodied spirit so that it can communicate
to humans. The word sometimes implies a human who transmits
messages that he “perceives” in some way directly from the spirit into
his own mind, and then repeats in his own words. And in other
instances it implies a person who allows his vocal chords to be “taken
over” by this spirit being, which then directly talks to others, perhaps in
a voice totally unlike that of the human “medium.” From other Old
Testament passages, it is clear that people sometimes “consulted” men
or women who had familiar spirit in order to get information—
including predictions about the future. Under the Old Covenant, as
mentioned in Leviticus above, a person who allowed themselves
willingly to be used this way by a “familiar spirit” was to be put to
death.

We meet a similar situation and a similar term in the New Testament


also:

Acts 16:16-18

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met


by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the the
future [KJV: spirit of divination]. She earned a great deal of
money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed
Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the
Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She
kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled
that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of
Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that
moment the spirit left her.

But none of this information, in the Old Testament or New, actually


tells us anything about the origin of these beings, whether called
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demons, or evil spirits, or familiar spirits. Yet, as with the origin of
Satan and the pre-biblical history of his activities, there are numerous
extra-biblical books which claim to fill the reader in on those things
about which the Bible is silent.

One common scenario offered is that demons were once angels of the
Lord who had spiritual bodies, and could manifest themselves to
humans under certain conditions. They participated in a rebellion led
by Satan the Devil, and God then cursed them, transforming each of
them into a type of being with no body of its own, requiring it to
“inhabit” or “possess” humans (or even animals) in order to interact
with the environment around them. Although an interesting
speculation … there is no Bible passage which states that this is where
demons came from.

Another common scenario offered by other sources is that, at a point


prior to the Flood of Noah, certain angels of God went against the
“natural order” of things and came down to earth to have sexual
relations with human women. The offspring of these illicit unions were
giant half-man, half-supernatural beings called Nephilim. When these
Nephilim died in the Flood, their bodies perished, but their “souls” or
“spirits” had no place to go, and were trapped on the Earth for all time,
forced to seek other bodies to possess. (Their “fathers” who were
immortal supernatural beings, were said to have been punished by
being imprisoned in a place called Tarataroo, where they would remain
until a climactic point in the future history of the world.) Again, there
is no Bible passage which states that this is where demons came from.

And a third scenario offered by some is that demons (and those beings
called “evil spirits” and “familiar spirits”) are an entirely different order
of supernatural being from angels, created by God in the same way
horses or whales or humans were created. They have been on Earth
from the beginning of time, and their actions can be benevolent,
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neutral, or evil depending on circumstances. Some even speculate that
they are the source of legendary stories about such beings as
leprechauns, fairies, and trolls.

Should we assume that these accounts are reliable? Since they are about
events that didn’t occur in the “natural world,” and events that
happened before recorded history, the logical conclusion would be that
either God revealed to the authors of such writings the details which
they share—or those details came from their own speculations and/or
imaginations. Those Bible students who wish to derive their belief
about such topics carefully from the canonical books of the Bible would
do well to be cautious about embracing any of the scenarios painted so
vividly in a variety of extra-canonical books. For more details on such
sources (including definitions of the terms canonical and extra-
canonical), see “Where Angels Fear to Tread.”

Dark Angels?

The English word angel comes directly from the New Testament Greek
word aggelos. The term means “messenger.” The comparable word in
the Old Testament Hebrew is malak, a word that also means “someone
dispatched as a deputy or a messenger.” In both Testaments, English
translators use a word similar to messenger when translating either
word if it is obvious within the context that it is referring to a human
being, and the word angel if it is obvious that it is a supernatural being,
(For more details on the biblical definitions of malak and aggelos, see
“Biblical Angelology.”)

It is common to think of angels as righteous servants of God, and as


showing up in person or in vision appearing glowing or dazzling. But in
two places in the New Testament, it is clarified that Satan also has
comparable servants, and they are also given the Greek name aggelos:

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Revelation 12:7-9

And there was war in the heaven: Michael and his angels went
to war with the dragon. And the dragon fought,
foug ht, and his
angels;
angels and he prevailed not, nor was their place found any
more in the heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, the
ancient serpent, he who is called Devil and Satan, he who
deceives the whole habitable world, he was cast out into the
earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
him

This is not a description of an event in the prehistoric past—it is


presented as something John saw in vision in the first century that was a
prophetic glimpse into a future event shortly before the return of
Christ, as can be seen by the continuing context in the chapter:

Revelation 12:10-12

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:


"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom
of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of
our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love
their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But
woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down
to you!
you He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time
is short."
short

So we cannot really use this passage to clarify the “prehistory” of the


Devil or his associates. Was the Devil himself once a righteous
archangel who “fell” from favor with God at some time in the eons
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past—perhaps because he led an earlier rebellion against God? Were
these “angels of the Devil” once righteous angels also who fell from
favor with God at some time in the eons past because they joined the
Devil in such a rebellion? Although this scenario often shows up in
Christian writings, it cannot be clearly established by using only biblical
references.

In any event, there are no New Testament descriptions of any such


“angels of the Devil” appearing to people (in the way that, for instance,
the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and Joseph to deliver to them a
message from God). But if they did, would it be logical to expect that
they would look dark and ugly and frightening? The Apostle Paul
clarifies how Satan appears:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen,


masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan
himself masquerades [KJV: is transformed] as an angel ang el of
light.
light It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as
servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions
deserve.

Does this literally mean that Satan has appeared to people in a bodily
form, looking like a glorious, luminous, dazzling angel of the Lord? Or
does it mean that he can in some way influence people in their minds
in a way that convinces them that they have received a communication
from God through a bonafide angel of God? Paul doesn’t clarify this for
us, either here or elsewhere. But the obvious implication is that there is
no reason to expect that, in whatever way humans can perceive his
actions, the Devil will “look” or “seem” like the evil adversary that he is.

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Religious artists of the past thousand years have often used a “visual
device” of showing “good angels” as being fair-skinned beings, robed in
bright clothing, and having beautiful bird-like, feathery wings. And
they contrast this with the artistic device of having Satan appear as a
dark being with leathery, batlike wings, such as in this typical Orthodox
Church religious icon depicting Michael the Archangel defeating Satan.
There is no description in the Bible that is the basis for this depiction of
Satan.

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Likewise, if “the devil's angels” actually do interact openly with humans
at times by manifesting themselves in some form, there is no reason to
think that they would appear as the sort of dark, grotesque beings
invented by
Medieval artists
for their religious
paintings, such as
in this depiction
of Dante’s version
of hell by
Botticelli from the
1400s.

The passage in 1
Corinthians above
is speaking of
human servants of
Satan (false apostles, deceitful workmen), masquerading—disguising
their true nature—so that they appear benevolent and good. But the
obvious implication is that any supernatural beings in his service would
likewise masquerade—disguise—themselves.

So although the “nature” of any “angels of the Devil” would indeed be


in spiritual darkness, it would be a mistake to assume that any being
that presented himself with a beautiful appearance was an “angel of
light.”

The Works of the Devil—


Devil—The Wiles of the Devil

Ephesians 6:11 (KJV)

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand


against the wiles [NIV: schemes] of the devil.
d evil.
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The Greek word translated here as wiles is methodeia, and carries the
connotation of deceit or trickery.
trickery

Because of the mythology and legends that have built up around the
Devil over the centuries, many people are fearful that some day they
might turn a corner on a dark night and actually meet this supernatural
being called Satan, who would manifest himself into fleshly form,
looking like a monstrous ogre, and threaten to devour them if they did
not pledge to serve him in his evil activities.

But that is not the picture painted by the Bible of this one who is called
the adversary and the accuser. Not only is he an adversary and an
accuser, he also appears in numerous passages in the role of a seducer, a
tempter, and a deceiver. He doesn’t terrify people into serving his
purposes … he most often uses his “wiles” to attempt to deceive,
seduce, or tempt them into doing those things that will further his
plans—doing “his works.” Bible examples of this include the deceptive
temptation offered to Eve in the garden, and the deceptive temptations
he presented to Jesus recorded in Matthew 4.

And at the End of Time he will still be using his powers of deception:

Revelation 20:7-8

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from
his prison and will
will go out to deceive the nations in the four
corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for
battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

At other times, he may do works through his supernatural assistants,


the demons. The Bible doesn’t always make it completely clear on the
exact methods Satan uses in each instance. Does he use subconscious
“power of suggestion,” either personally or through demons, to
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manipulate people to “set up” situations that will further his plans? The
Bible doesn’t state this directly, but it seems to be a reasonable
assumption. Does he use demons to possess people, and then “control”
them to do his works, or even, at times, possess people himself? This
appears to be what happened in the case of Judas betraying Jesus to the
Romans.

Luke 22:3-4

Then Satan entered Judas,


Judas called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the
temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray
Jesus.

Evidently he can also, at times, as in the story of Job, actually affect


physical circumstances such as weather in order to bring calamity on
people—but only if allowed to do so by God.

One of his most effective tactics is to deceive or confuse people about


the truths of the Gospel. For instance, in the parable of the “sower and
the seed,” Jesus said this:

Luke 8:12:5, 11-12

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the


seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds
of the air ate it up. … This is the meaning of the parable: The
seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who
hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from
their hearts,
hearts so that they may not believe and be saved.

Sometimes Satan and his associates can interfere with the activities of
the servants of God.
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2 Corinthians 12

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these


surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my
flesh, a messenger [aggelos] of Satan,
Satan to torment me.

1 Thessalonians 2:18

For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again


and again—but Satan stopped us.
us

He can empower people to do counterfeit miracles.

2 Thessalonians 2:9

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the


work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles,
signs and wonders,

Just as he did regarding Job, he levels accusations against believers to


God, trying to convince Him that they are unworthy.

Zechariah 3:1-2

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the


angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to
accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke
you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!
Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

Revelation 12:10

23
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the
kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
brothers
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.

And at times, he and his supernatural associates can even cause physical
infirmities. (This does not, however, indicate that all sickness, injury,
handicaps, and infirmities are a result of Satan’s actions. The natural
creation, including both animals and humans, is always subject to “time
and chance,” including accidents, germs, congenital defects, and so on.)

Luke 13:10-16

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and


a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for
eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at
all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her,
"Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Then he put his
hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised
God.

Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the


synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work.
So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."

The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you


on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it
out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of
Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long
years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"
24
Warnings against the Wiles

The New Testament contains numerous warnings to the believer that


Satan will attempt to deceive him.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen,


masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan
himself masquerades as an angel
angel of light.
light It is not surprising,
then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Their end will be what their actions deserve.

1 Peter 5:8

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls


around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Ephesians 6:12

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.

2 Thessalonians 2:9

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the


work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles,
signs and wonders …

Defeating the Works and Wiles of the Devil

25
The New Testament also gives a number of very specific suggestions to
the believer on how he can resist and defeat the activities of the Devil.

Ephesians 4:26-27

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while
you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
foothold

Ephesians 6:11

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand
against the devil's schemes.
schemes

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,


devil and he will
flee from you.

1 Peter 5:8

Be self-
self-controlled and alert.
alert Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

I Timothy 3:6-7

He [someone who wishes to be an overseer in the Church] must


not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall
under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a
good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into
disgrace and into the devil's trap.

In Conclusion

26
If we take our example from Christ when He was tempted by the Devil,
who was trying to deceive Him, we will realize that one of the best
defenses we can have against the wiles of the Devil is a deep
understanding, appreciation, and respect for the written Word of God.
Each time Satan tried to tempt Jesus, Jesus’ answer was “it is written…
” If you really know and understand from the Bible the promises of
God, the commandments of God, and the will of God, then the Devil
will be totally ineffective in trying to deceive you.

Matthew 4:3-4

The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God,
tell these stones to become bread."

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread


alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of
God.' "

But how can you “live on every word” if you’ve never even read every
word in the Scriptures? Thus one of your best defenses against the
works and wiles of Satan is to read through the whole Bible to begin
with, and then to continually study it throughout life to gain further
understanding of the things you have read. Of course, this will only be
of value if you truly live by what you have come to understand from
your studies, and yield to Jesus as Lord as He helps you live by God’s
counsel for your whole life and reject the works and wiles of the Devil.
For Jesus came to Earth for that very purpose:

I John 3:7-10

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does
what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does
what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning
27
from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared
was to destroy the devil's work.
work No one who is born of God
will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he
cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is
how we know who the children of God are and who the
children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right
is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his
brother.

28
The Devil in the
Details

It is common for modern religious writers to point out the erroneous


“popular” assumptions that have developed about the nature and
activity of angels. Good people don’t sprout wings and go off to heaven
to get a halo and harp and “become” angels. Nor do messenger angels
in the Bible show up looking like pretty women in billowy dresses with
attractive, feminine
blond hairstyles and
gaudy wings, such as
the beings one sees
portrayed on the tops
of Christmas trees, or
in medieval paintings
of “The
Annunciation.” (For
more details on what
the Bible actually says
about angels, see
“Biblical Angelology.”)

29
Some religious writers also mock, and rightly so, the notion that the
Devil is a red character with a forked tail, a Van Dyke beard, horns, a
trident, and a leering grin (such as seen in the Hallowe’en costume
shown here), and that he gleefully presides over a Hellish playground
where grotesque demons get their jollies tormenting the souls of the
lost.

Unfortunately, however, many of these same writers may have


absorbed, developed, and promoted a few equally erroneous
mythologies related to angels, demons, and the Devil. They do not
seem to understand, in particular, that much of the “back story” of the
Devil that has been promoted in religious circles for centuries is not
based on solid scriptural exegesis, but on what might best be referred to
as a hodgepodge of erroneous and strained interpretations of a handful
of obscure scriptures, mixed with “Jewish fables” of rabbinical writings,
and Christian legends and myths that grew up from medieval times on.

In particular, the details of the scenario regarding the “fall of Lucifer” as


presented in Christian literature over the centuries is not solidly based
on clear statements in the Bible. These details come from
interpretations, by both Catholic and Protestant Bible scholars, of a
handful of vague biblical passages. It is quite likely that some of these
interpretations were brought into evangelical circles in particular
through the bombastic, dogmatic—and very idiosyncratic—writings of
late 19th century Protestant commentator E.W. Bullinger in his
Companion Bible. That volume is a very popular, standard Bible
reference work in many conservative Christian circles. Bullinger, and
many of the other theologians of the past century and more, have
adapted the scenarios in their writings from the kind of Jewish fables
found in the Talmud and ancient pseudepigraphal and apocryphal
literature like the Book of Enoch. They have often liberally mixed in
with this ancient material their own touches of speculation. And they
have frequently added to that recipe the kind of Christian
30
mythology/legends/speculation found in the writings of such classical
authors as Dante and Milton—who themselves owed much to the non-
canonical literature of the centuries shortly before and after the time of
Christ on Earth. For a brief overview of these sources (including
definitions of pseudepigraphal, apocryphal, and non-canonical), see
“Where Angels Fear to Tread.”

The following is a composite scenario that presents a variety of


elements often included in commentary about this “fall of Lucifer.”
Not all authors include all of these details, but most include a
significant proportion of them. (Some of the details included here
would only be promoted by authors who accept the “Gap Theory” of
Genesis. This theory postulates that the actual creation of the Earth,
with all sorts of life forms on it including dinosaurs, occurred perhaps
billions of years ago. A catastrophe occurred which destroyed all of this
“pre-Adamic” life, and left the surface of the Earth completely under
water. Then God stepped in and “re-created” it with new life forms in
six days at the time of the creation of Adam.)

Eons ago God created a beautiful archangel whom He named


“Lucifer,” which means “light bringer.” The name was given to
him because of his shining countenance, and because he was
intended to bring light to the Earth. He was one of only three
such named archangels (Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer), and
held the position of one of the “cherubs” overshadowing the
throne of God in heaven, physically represented by the cherubs
on the Ark of the Covenant in the Israelite Tabernacle and
Temple on the Earth. He had a key part in the government of
God over all creation, and was trained in administration at the
throne of God. After the creation of the Earth, he was given
dominion over it, as leader over countless angels who inhabited
the Earth. He had the position of chief administrator of the

31
whole Earth for perhaps millions of years, and Earth under His
administration was a beautiful paradise.

At some point in time, he decided that he was dissatisfied with


this responsibility, and wanted to be greater than God Himself
in power and authority. Through a long campaign of
disinformation and gossip among the angels, he succeeded in
enlisting one third of them to take part in a rebellion, leaving
Earth and going to heaven in an attempt to overthrow God and
take over his throne. He was defeated by the forces of God,
although the ensuing battle between the good angels and the
bad angels was a titanic physical struggle that encompassed the
whole solar system and perhaps beyond, with angels tossing
asteroids at one another and, for instance, leaving the moon
pockmarked and the Earth in desolation.

Lucifer’s name was then changed to Satan, a name that means


“adversary.” And the rebellious angels who fought with him
were then given the designation “demons.” And he and they
were cast down to the Earth again, and restrained here. He still,
however, had dominion over the Earth, and will until it is taken
from him by Jesus at His return to establish the Millennium.

After Satan was cast out of heaven, God created Adam and Eve
and placed them in the Garden of Eden. Realizing that these
humans were designed to replace him as rulers of the Earth,
Satan entered the Garden and lured them into disobeying God
so that they would be disqualified. From then on, he and his
associate demons have continued throughout all generations to
tempt people to sin. But ultimately, Jesus was destined to
provide redemption to sinful mankind, and they would join
him in rulership over the Millennial Kingdom to come, with

32
Satan bound for a thousand years and unable to influence
mankind.

The primary purpose of this article is to clarify that almost all the
elements in this scenario are not established in the Bible. Some were
initially garbled interpretations of obscure passages, some are outright
error based on faulty exegesis, and others are rank speculation based on
nothing of substance at all. If one is limited to the testimony of
scripture about the history of Satan the Devil, then there are only
four passages that are used by religious authors to deal with the
specifics of that topic in any way. It is around these four passages that
the entire tale is spun, embellished by the contributions of Jewish
fables, Christian legends and myths, and grandiose speculations. This
article examines these four scripture passages, and evaluates what they
contribute toward the scenario described above.

The Bible is clear that there really is a great supernatural being who is
opposed to God. He has functioned throughout history as the
adversary, tempter, tormenter, and accuser of God’s servants. There
really are supernatural beings who are his associates, and who assist him
in his evil works. There really are such supernatural entities as demons
who are under his command.

And he really does have methods and tactics with which he


accomplishes his dirty work—which believers need to be aware of and
resist. But all of this information can be shared in religious literature
without incorporating the apocryphal “history of Lucifer” as described
above.

Isaiah 14: The origin of “Lucifer”

33
The word “Lucifer” is used only once in all of the KJV Bible, in Isaiah
14:12. In verse three of this chapter, the Lord tells of a “taunt” that the
nation of Israel will some day take up “against the king of Babylon”
when his power is destroyed. Most commentators are agreed that the
first eleven verses of the chapter are about that human king. But
beginning in verse 12, some have long speculated that God has here
inspired Isaiah to use the king of Babylon as a metaphor for Satan the
Devil, and to describe a time in pre-history when he was a “good
angel,” named Lucifer, and then “fell” (or was driven from) his position
in heaven and became The Adversary of God and mankind.

Consider the content of Isaiah 14 in context: (Bolding has been added


for emphasis of sections to be commented upon below.)

1 The LORD will have compassion on Jacob;


once again he will choose Israel
and will settle them in their own land.
Aliens will join them
and unite with the house of Jacob.

2 Nations will take them


and bring them to their own place.
And the house of Israel will possess the nations
as menservants and maidservants in the LORD's land.
They will make captives of their captors
and rule over their oppressors.

3 On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and
turmoil and cruel bondage,
4 you will take up this taunt [KJV: “proverb”] against the
king of Babylon:
Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end!
How his fury has ended!
34
5 The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked,
the scepter of the rulers,

6 which in anger struck down peoples


with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
with relentless aggression.

7 All the lands are at rest and at peace;


they break into singing.

8 Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon


exult over you and say,
"Now that you have been laid low,
no woodsman comes to cut us down."

9 The grave below is all astir


to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
you—
all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones
thrones—
all those who were kings over the nations.

10 They will all respond,


they will say to you,
"You also have become weak, as we are;
you have become like us."

11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,


along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
and worms cover you.

35
12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star [KJV: Lucifer], son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!

13 You said in your heart,


"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.

14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;


I will make myself like the Most High."

15 But you are brought down to the grave,


to the depths of the pit.

16 Those who see you stare at you,


they ponder your fate:
"Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,

17 the man who made the world a desert,


who overthrew its cities
and would not let his captives go home?"

18 All the kings of the nations lie in state,


each in his own tomb.

19 But you are cast out of your tomb


like a rejected branch;
you are covered with the slain,
36
with those pierced by the sword,
those who descend to the stones of the pit.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,

20 you will not join them in burial,


for you have destroyed your land
and killed your people.
The offspring of the wicked
will never be mentioned again.

21 Prepare a place to slaughter his sons


for the sins of their forefathers;
they are not to rise to inherit the land
and cover the earth with their cities.

22 "I will rise up against them,"


declares the LORD Almighty.
"I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors,
her offspring and descendants,"
declares the LORD.

23 "I will turn her into a place for owls


and into swampland;
I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,"
declares the LORD Almighty.

The first problem with the speculation regarding Satan connected to


this passage is that of even using the word Lucifer at all. The word
Lucifer is not a translation of the actual Hebrew word, heylel,
underlying it. Lucifer is a Latin word that was used by the translator
Jerome in his Latin Vulgate (a fifth century translation of the Hebrew
Old Testament and Greek New Testament into the common Latin of
the time). The KJV translators, working from the Vulgate as well as
37
documents in the original languages, borrowed the word directly from
Jerome, and obviously assumed that it was a “proper name” of a being
(because the mythology of this had been building for centuries), and
thus made it seem that way in their translation. But almost all modern
translators render the passage similar to the way the NIV does in verse
12 above, using the term “morning star” in place of the KJV’s Lucifer.

The “morning star” referred to here is almost universally accepted as a


reference to the planet Venus. And although there has been a notion for
centuries that this passage is referring to the Devil, many modern
commentators are convinced that this is not a description of the Devil
at all, but intended by Isaiah as “irony” directly aimed at the king of
Babylon. In other words, in verses 13 and 14, the king of Babylon is
portrayed as considering himself like a god, and unconquerable. And
Isaiah is delivering a message from God to the king, mocking him and
saying, in essence, “Oh, yeah … you were really the greatest of the
great, just like the mythical Venus, morning star that shines brightly,
weren’t you? Well, now look at you. You’ve been brought low just like
all the wannabees before you.”

Again, there definitely is an Adversary referred to as Satan and the Devil


in the Bible. But many Bible scholars are convinced, with good reason,
that this passage isn’t about him.

Here is a section of the Wikipedia.com entry on “Lucifer” that clarifies


some of these reasons. This is not in any way an idiosyncratic
interpretation by the author of the entry. The same points are made in
many modern reference works.

In modern and late Medieval Christian thought, Lucifer is a


fallen angel commonly associated with Satan, the embodiment
of evil and enemy of God. Lucifer is generally considered, based
on the influence of Christian literature and legend, to have been
38
a highly regarded angel in heaven, prior to having been
motivated by pride to rebel against God. When the rebellion
failed, Lucifer was cast out of heaven, along with a third of the
heavenly host, and came to reside in the world.

Lucifer was originally a Latin word meaning "light-bearer"


(from lux, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), a Roman
astrological term for the "Morning Star", the planet Venus. The
word Lucifer was the direct translation of the Greek heosphorus
("dawn-bearer"; cf. Greek phosphorus, "light-bearer") used by
Jerome in the Vulgate. In that passage, Isaiah 14:12,, it referred
to one of the popular honorific titles of a Babylonian king;
however, later misinterpretations of the text and the
influence of embellishments in works such Dante's The
such as Dante's
Divine Comedy and Milton'sMilton's Paradise Lost led to the
common idea in Christian mythology
mythology and folklore that
Lucifer was a poetic appellation of Satan

… The original Hebrew text of this verse was ‫רחש ןב לליה‬


(heilel ben-schahar), meaning "Venus, son of the morning" or
"Venus, the brilliant one", a poetic epithet of the king of
Babylon, comparable to many other titles used by kings
throughout history, such as Louis XIV of France being called Le
Roi Soleil ("The Sun King"). In Isaiah, this title is specifically
used, in a prophetic vision, to reference the king of Babylon's
pride and to illustrate his eventual fate by referencing
mythological accounts of the planet Venus.

…The Jewish Encyclopedia reports that "it is obvious that the


prophet in attributing to the Babylonian king boastful pride,
followed by a fall, borrowed the idea from a popular legend
connected with the morning star." However, this metaphorical
"falling from the heavens" was later misinterpreted as a literal
39
fall from heaven when the passage's original meaning was made
opaque by retranslations and eventually forgotten.

Later Jewish tradition, influenced by Babylonian mythology


acquired during the Babylonian captivity, elaborates on the fall
of the angels under the leadership of Samhazai ("the heaven-
seizer") and Azael (Enoch, book vi.6f). Another legend, in the
midrash, represents the repentant Samhazai suspended star-like
between heaven and earth instead of being hurled down to
Sheol.

The Helel-Lucifer (i.e. Venus) myth was later transferred to


Satan, as evidenced by the 1st-century pseudepigraphical text
Vita Adae et Evae (12), where the Adversary gives Adam an
account of his early career, and the Slavonic Book of Enoch
(xxix. 4, xxxi. 4), where Satan-Sataniel (Samael?) is also
described as a former archangel. Because he contrived "to make
his throne higher than the clouds over the earth and resemble
'My power' on high", Satan-Sataniel was hurled down, with his
hosts of angels, to fly in the air continually above the abyss.

One other point about the term Lucifer: It is, as noted above, a specific
reference to the morning star, Venus. But the technical etymology of
the word itself does, indeed, mean “light bringer.” And the Hebrew
term heylel, which Jerome rendered as Lucifer, can be translated
“shining one” (also a reference to the morning star). Thus Bible
speculators who insist that it is actually a reference to Satan often do
some creative tale-spinning and suggest that this must mean that Satan
was originally the one who God intended to bring “light” to the Earth,
or even to mankind. And only when he rebelled was this purpose
thwarted, and he became an angel of darkness. While all of that makes
an elegant mythology, it is not at all present in the Bible. To try to spin
whole back-stories off the “root word” meaning of some Latin term, or
40
a Hebrew word as presented in Strong’s Concordance, is considered
very poor theology by those who believe it best to use exegesis (the
effort to draw out the meaning intended by the author of a Bible
passage) rather than eisegesis (the effort to “read into” a passage a
meaning that one wants or expects to be there).

For many more details on the linguistic issues regarding the word
Lucifer, see:

http://www.kjvonly.org/doug/kutilek_notes_on_lucifer.htm

One writer commented regarding Isaiah 14:

“The context of this passage is a referral to the king of Babylon


as presented in his pride, splendor and fall. However, it is to the
power behind the evil Babylonian king that this is actually
addressed.. No mortal king would claim that his throne was
above that of God or that he was like the Most High. High The
power behind the evil Babylonian king is Lucifer, Son of the
Morning.” http://www.allaboutgod.com/story-of-lucifer.htm

This is nonsense. Ancient rulers promoted themselves in this way all the
time, as recorded in both the Bible and secular history.
Nebuchadnezzar had a statue built to himself and condemned all who
would worship any other god. In Revelation, the false prophet causes all
to worship the Beast, and the Beast sits in the Temple of God
proclaiming himself as God. Emperors, Pharoahs, and all types of rulers
in societies all over the world have allowed themselves to be worshipped
as gods.

The connection between Satan and Isaiah 14 is tenuous at best and is


not necessary to make the point about Satan being the adversary of
God and the Saints. And since the term Lucifer is only present in that
41
one passage, and nowhere else in the Bible, using it is introducing a
mythology into what should be, instead, sound presentations of what
can be known just from the Bible. The Lucifer/Satan mythology makes
for a more exciting story, but in the end it confuses rather than clarifies
what is really important.

Ezekiel 28: The Musical “Anointed Cherub that


Covereth”

The other metaphorical Bible passage which has historically been linked
to the “pre-history” of the Devil is Ezekiel 28:1-14. (Bolding has been
added for emphasis of sections to be commented upon below)

1 The word of the LORD came to me:

2 "Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, 'This is what the


Sovereign LORD says:
" 'In the pride of your heart
you say, "I am a god;
god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas."
But you are a man and not a god,
though you think you are as wise as a god.

3 Are you wiser than Daniel?


Is no secret hidden from you?

4 By your wisdom and understanding


you have gained wealth for yourself
and amassed gold and silver
in your treasuries.
42
5 By your great skill in trading
you have increased your wealth,
and because of your wealth
your heart has grown proud.

6 " 'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says:


" 'Because you think you are wise,
as wise as a god,

7 I am going to bring foreigners against you,


the most ruthless of nations;
they will draw their swords against your beauty and
wisdom
and pierce your shining splendor.

8 They will bring you down to the pit,


and you will die a violent death
in the heart of the seas.

9 Will you then say, "I am a god,"


in the presence of those who kill you?
You will be but a man, not a god,
in the hands of those who slay you.

10 You will die the death of the uncircumcised


at the hands of foreigners.
I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.' "

11 The word of the LORD came to me:

12 "Son
Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of
Tyre and say to him: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD
says:
43
" 'You were the model of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

3 You were in Eden,


the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
you
ruby, topaz and emerald,
chrysolite, onyx and jasper,
sapphire, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings [KJV: tabrets—
tabrets —
tambourines—
tambourines—and pipes] were were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.

14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub [KJV: thou art


the anointed cherub that covereth],
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked
walked among the fiery stones.

15 You were blameless in your ways


from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.

16 Through your widespread trade


you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove
d rove you in disgrace
from the mount of God,
and I expelled you,
O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.

44
Lucifer expelled from Heaven
Illustration by Gustave Dore’ for Milton’s 1665
Paradise Lost (1866 edition)

17 Your heart became proud


on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your
wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you
before kings.

18 By your many sins and dishonest trade


you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.

19 All the nations who knew you


are appalled at you;
you have come to a horrible end
and will be no more.' "

In verse 2, Ezekiel is told to address the “ruler” [KJV: Prince] of Tyre


with a judgment from God. Just as in Isaiah 14, this ruler pridefully
claims to be a god. And God declares that in spite of all of his boasting
and all the wealth he has amassed, he will be put to death and his
kingdom destroyed at the hands of ruthless foreign nations. But in
verse 12, Ezekiel is told to address the “King” of Tyre. It is at this point

45
that many Bible teachers and commentators make the assumption that
a shift has been made, and Ezekiel is actually to address the Devil
himself, using the King of Tyre as a “type” of the ultimate evil Ruler.

A case is made by other commentators that this is really just another


incident of prophetic “hyperbole” and irony—and sarcasm, with God
mocking a human king just as was done in Isaiah 14. After all, in
Ezekiel 26, the city of Tyre itself is spoken of in very flowery,
personified terms not totally unlike what is said in Ezekiel 27 about the
King of Tyre. A sample:

"Son of man, take up a lament concerning Tyre. Say to Tyre,


situated at the gateway to the sea, merchant of peoples on many
coasts, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
" 'You say, O Tyre,
"I am perfect in beauty."

Your domain was on the high seas;


your builders brought your beauty to perfection.
perfection

They made all your timbers of pine trees from Senir ;


they took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you.

Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars;


of cypress wood from the coasts of Cyprus
they made your deck, inlaid with ivory.

Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was your sail and served as
your banner;
your awnings were of blue and purple from the coasts of
Elishah.

(Eze 26:2-7)
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Thus it is certainly not outside the realm of possibility that the Ezekiel
27 passage was intended only as irony and the like. However, it is
understandable why some would still speculate it was intended to be
addressed to the Devil. After all, the references to “Eden” and the
“mount of God,” and to being “blameless in your ways from the day
you were created,” seem to go far beyond just admitting that a nation
or a king was beautiful or powerful or prideful.

And yet … by the end of this very short passage, statements are again
made that seem to have no proper application to the Devil. “So I made
a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you
to ashes on the ground in the sight of all a ll who were watching. All
the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a
horrible end and will be no more.” In fact, even among those who
assume this passage is a veiled reference to the Devil, the speculation is
that there is a subtle shift by the end back to physical references to a
physical king. Many claim that verse 17 is a veiled reference to the “fall”
of Satan, or his “casting out of heaven”:

Your heart became proud


on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
earth
I made a spectacle of you before kings.

And then they assume that suddenly the scene shifts back to the human
king.

If we would agree that verses 1-17 are about Satan, what can we make
of this passage in terms of learning about the pre-history of the Devil—
especially in terms of the elaborate scenario described at the beginning
of this article? There is nothing here about Satan being the ruler of a
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perfect pre-Adamic world. There is nothing here about a rebellion
leading a third of the angels in an attack on heaven. The reference to
“the anointed cherub that covereth” in the KJV doesn’t even really
address the role of this being. The term translated “covereth” is the
Hebrew sakak, which has varied meanings such as fence in, hedge
about, protect. It is said in Genesis 3:24 that God set cherubs at the
entrance of the Garden of Eden for a similar purpose

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the
Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back
and forth to guard [KJV: keep] the way to the tree of life.

The Hebrew word here is shamar—“hedge about” or “guard.” So even


if Satan was a “guardian cherub,” there is nothing in the Ezekiel passage
that insists that he was one of the two beings represented on the Ark of
the Covenant as overshadowing God’s throne. The cherubs at Eden
were “guardians” also.

There is nothing in this passage indicating that Satan was an


“archangel,” either. That term is never applied to him in the Bible. And
even if he was a cherub, the reality is that, from all other evidence in the
Bible, a cherub (Hebrew kerub) is a different sort of being from an
angel (malak). (See “Biblical Angelology” for more details on this
topic.)

If this passage is about Satan, there is minimal information of substance


that we can learn about him from it. He was “blameless in all his ways”
from the day he was created. But what does that really tell us? Did God
create any supernatural beings with a “lawless” nature from the
beginning? He was beautiful and full of wisdom. But did God create
any “ugly” supernatural beings, or foolish ones? Is the emphasis here
that he was the “best God could create,” or is the emphasis what he
became,
became the opposite of beauty and wisdom?
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Then there are the strange references in verse 3 to his being adorned
with jewels at his creation, and having “tambourines and pipes.” Some
have speculated that this actually meant that his body itself was
bejeweled, and that he had “built in” musical instruments in his body
parts. While an interesting visual image for perhaps a science fiction
movie made with special effects, these references are so obscure that
they are not particularly helpful in any theological sense. This hasn’t
kept many authors from spinning speculative scenarios around this one
vague verse. The following is a typical effort of this type. This author, a
prominent leader in the Charismatic “Praise and Worship” movement,
accepts the Isaiah 14 passage as being specifically about Satan as
“Lucifer,” adds it to Ezekiel 28, and builds a whole theory of the
musical role of Satan before his “fall” around these obscure passages!

http://www.destinyimage.com/static/rebirth-of-music-the-
lamar-boschman_0914903802.html

Most theologians believe [this may be an extreme exaggeration]


that lucifer had tambourines and pipes built into his body, and
that he possessed the ability to play these instruments extremely
well. It is very clear that lucifer excelled in music and that it was
an actual part of him.

The Bible refers to 'pipes,' plural, meaning there were more


than one. The notes these pipes made were possibly
harmonious, blending with one another. And since there were
more than one, perhaps three, they could have made a chord.

The tabrets, or tambourines, another part of lucifer's body, gave


him rhythm, a beat for the music that he played. In fact, within
lucifer's makeup represented most categories of musical
instruments that we have today-string, wind, and percussion.
The pipes mentioned in Ezekiel 28:13 were a type of the wind
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instruments; the tambourines represented the percussion
instruments. Lucifer was also able to make music on stringed
instruments, as revealed in Isaiah 14:11-12:

Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your


stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and
worms cover you. How you are fallen from heaven, O lucifer,
son of the morning! (NKJ, emphasis mine)

These stringed musical instruments were 'viols' or a six-stringed


instrument. So the total spectrum of instruments that we play
today, except for electronic instruments, were built into lucifer's
body, and he could play them all.

Not only was lucifer a musician, but he was also the instrument
as well. Lucifer didn't sit down at a piano; he was a piano! And
he didn't carry a guitar around his neck; he was a guitar. Lucifer
possessed this talent and the ability to play instruments,
producing a sound in his service of worship to God.

According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible,


lucifer's name means 'light-bearer,' 'morning star,' or 'day star.'
He is also called by several other names, such as 'Son of the
Morning' and 'the Anointed Cherub.' Lucifer was given a
definite anointing for serving or ministering in music. In
Ezekiel 28:14,16, the Bible says that lucifer dwelt in the
mountain of God (possibly the presence of God) and was the
covering cherub. God had created the angels to worship
Himself, and it was lucifer's responsibility to lead all the angelic
hosts in praise and worship to God the Father. He was
Heaven's choir director, music minister, or worship leader.

All of this from the embellishment of one single, obscure verse!


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And at the other extreme are those religious commentators and teachers
who agree that Satan was created as the ultimate musical being, and
now uses his musical talent to seduce the masses through contemporary
music.

http://www.av1611.org/crock/religious.html

Satan was created a beautiful musical creature: "...every precious


stone was thy covering,...the workmanship of thy tabrets and of
thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
created" (Ezek 28:13). Since music was built into his very
nature are we foolish enough to assume that he will not use it to
deceive and enslave?

While Satan may, indeed, influence musicians to use their gifts for
spiritually unhealthy or evil purposes, there is no reason to assume that
this is because he was the “master musician” speculated above. He can
influence anyone to use any natural gift for the wrong purposes.

Or how about this theory of Satan and music:

http://www.present-truth.org/Bible-Rock.htm

Many people believe that the Bible has nothing to say on the
phenomenon of religious music. That music just wasn't way
back then. But you know we can go back to that time "When
the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God
shouted for joy." Job 38:7. What was that music like, in the
pure atmosphere of heaven. We can go back even further than
that, to the day when the greatest of all the skilled workers in
heaven, the most highly trained was created. We know that
there was one who was perfect, the highest of the created
beings. One in whom "the workmanship of thy tabrets and of
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thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
created." Eze 28:13. One who had such a musical quality in his
voice that he directed the choirs in heaven. It was he who wrote
the songs, he was the most talented. We also know that tabrets
are a percussion instrument and so we know that his voice had a
special rhythmic quality.

We then come down to the time a little later at a different


place, the garden of Eden, and a serpent in a tree. But wait, was
it just a serpent talking? Or was it a certain sound that
captivated a woman as she listened to the first of the great
infamous love ballads sung and directed especially for her. Here
we hear the first alluring, captivating love song, and that
tremendous power was focused on moving the emotions of his
one person audience, and to incite rebellion in that heart. We
are told in 'Story of the Redemption,' [a book by Seventh Day
Adventist “prophetess” Ellen G. White, in which she wrote:
“Satan had led the heavenly choir. He had raised the first note;
then all the angelic host had united with him, and glorious
strains of music had resounded through heaven in honor of
God and His dear Son.] p32 that Satan utilized all of his
musical talent merged with the very words of Jesus to touch and
allure and to captivate the attention. There it is that sin as we
know it began.

Once again, all this elaborate scenario about Satan’s early career is built
upon the skimpiest of biblical evidence.

So what are we to make of the passage in Ezekiel? Perhaps it is possible


that a small section of it is a veiled reference to Satan’s history. But
what of the end of it? We are told that God “reduced to ashes” whoever
is being referred to as the King of Tyre, and that it was to be done “in
the sight of all who were watching. The nations who knew you are
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appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.”
Does this align with other scriptures dealing with the future of Satan?

Luke 10: Satan Falling Like Lightning

Whether or not the passages discussed above in Isaiah and Ezekiel are
actually about Satan’s history, there are two passages which seem to
address his “fall” (or expulsion from heaven) directly. What can we
learn from them? During His earthly ministry, at one point Jesus sent
out pairs of His disciples on an “evangelism tour” to preach and heal.

Luke 10: 17-20

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the
demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "II saw Satan
fall like lightning from heaven.
heaven I have given you authority to
trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power
of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice
that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are
written in heaven."

This single sentence is also spun out into elaborate scenarios. And yet
what information does it specifically provide? Is Jesus talking about an
event in the prehistoric past? We have no clue from the context, no
mention of Satan as originally the choir leader of heaven or one of
cherubs overshadowing the throne of God. There is no mention of a
heavenly rebellion, no mention of a third of the angels following the
lead of Satan. Some commentators even speculate that perhaps this is
just a poetic, metaphorical way that Jesus was responding to the report
of the disciples—their mission was so successful that it was as if Satan’s
efforts were given a huge blow. In the context of the passage, that
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makes as much sense as any other interpretation. If Jesus intended for
His disciples (and Bible readers to this day) to understand a more
complex reason for His comment, He made no effort to elaborate so
that it would be clear.

Revelation 12: The Dragon’s Tail

What then of the “third of the angels joining Satan in a rebellion”


before the creation of Man? What of the alleged cosmic battle that led
to the pockmarks on the moon according to some commentators?
There is no hint of any of that in the three passages covered so far in
this article. And we have only one passage left. So upon this one passage
hinges much of the scenario promoted about the rebellion of Satan.
Here it is:

Revelation 12:1-
12:1-12

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman


clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a
crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried
out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign
appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads
and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a
third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.
The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give
birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was
born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the
nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to
God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a
place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care
of for 1,260 days.
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And there
there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought
against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought
back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their
heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—
place in heaven. down—that
ancient serpent called the devil, or
or Satan, who leads the
whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his
angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:


"Now have come the salvation and the power and the
kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
night,
has been hurled down.
They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."
short."

The “third of the angels” part of the Lucifer Scenario is entirely built
around the one sentence in this passage describing John’s vision of a
“dragon” (identified later in the passage as Satan the Devil) sweeping a
third of the stars from the sky and hurling them to the ground. The
assumption is that, since the term “star” can sometimes signify an
“angel” elsewhere in scripture, this means Satan drew with him a third
55
of the angels. And a verse or two later it is made clear that Satan and
these angels engaged Michael and his angels in a battle and lost, and
they were thus “hurled down” from heaven. But when does this event
occur? The Earth and the sea are said to be in woe as a result of this
event because the devil “is filled with fury because he knows that his
time is short.” In other words … this isn’t some pre-historic event. It is
a future event close to the time of the Return of Christ.

This passage even notes that Satan accuses brethren “before our God
day and night.” This certainly seems to indicate that Satan had access to
heaven right up until this “war” with Michael and the angels. We see
this in the description of Satan appearing before God and accusing Job.
And this passage says that the Devil and his angels had a “place in
heaven” before the battle. Whatever we can ultimately deduce from this
information in Revelation, there is no question that it does not present
a clear description of events in the ancient past.

It is important to realize that this whole passage is neither a historical


nor a prophetic documentary.
documentary It is a highly symbolic vision given to
John. To attempt to take a section of this out of context and “read
into” it a whole back-story of the Devil complete with details is not
careful biblical exegesis. It is pure speculation.

In Conclusion

To take these four passages, and try to mix enough of their separate
details together to construct a history of Satan is not “using scripture to
interpret scripture.” It is using vagueness to clarify vagueness. This also
is not careful biblical exegesis, and should be avoided by those who
wish to base their theological understandings squarely on the Bible
rather than extra-biblical embellishments.
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The "Fall of Lucifer":

The Scriptural Evidence

The following four passages are the only biblical references offered by
writers for all the details ... some of them exceptionally elaborate ... that
they may build into their scenarios about the "fall of Lucifer/Satan."
See "The Devil In the Details" for discussion of the validity of applying
the Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 38 passages to Satan. See the same article for
an exploration of the interpretations commonly offered for the single
sentence, "I saw Satan like lightning fall from heaven" in Luke, and for
the highly metaphorical passage in Revelation 12.

Isaiah 14:1-23

[The portions highlighted with bolding are alleged by some to be


references to Satan.]

LORD will have compassion on Jacob;


once again he will choose Israel
and will settle them in their own land.
Aliens will join them
and unite with the house of Jacob.

Nations will take them


and bring them to their own place.
And the house of Israel will possess the nations
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as menservants and maidservants in the LORD's land.
They will make captives of their captors
and rule over their oppressors.

On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil
and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of
Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end!
How his fury has ended!

The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked,


the scepter of the rulers,

which in anger struck down peoples


with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
with relentless aggression.

All the lands are at rest and at peace;


they break into singing.

Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon


exult over you and say,
"Now that you have been laid low,
no woodsman comes to cut us down."

The grave below is all astir


to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
all those who were kings over the nations.

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They will all respond,
they will say to you,
"You also have become weak, as we are;
you have become like us."

All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,


along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
and worms cover you.

How you have fallen from heaven,


O morning star [KJV: Lucifer) , son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid
laid low the nations!

You said in your heart,


"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
will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."

But you are brought down to the grave,


to the depths of the pit.

Those who see you stare at you,


they ponder your fate:
"Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,

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the man who made the world a desert,
who overthrew its cities
and would not let his captives go home?"

All the kings of the nations lie in state,


each in his own tomb.

But you are cast out of your tomb


like a rejected branch;
you are covered with the slain,
with those pierced by the sword,
those who descend to the stones of the pit.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,

you will not join them in burial,


for you have destroyed your land
and killed your people.
The offspring of the wicked
will never be mentioned again.

Prepare a place to slaughter his sons


for the sins of their forefathers;
they are not to rise to inherit the land
and cover the earth with their cities.

"I will rise up against them,"


declares the LORD Almighty.
"I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors,
her offspring and descendants,"
declares the LORD.

"I will turn her into a place for owls


and into swampland;
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I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,"
declares the LORD Almighty.

Ezekiel 38:11-19

The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, take up a lament
concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: 'This is what the Sovereign
LORD says:
" '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.

Through your widespread trade


you were filled with violence,
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and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.

Your heart became proud


on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings.

By your many sins and dishonest trade


you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.

All the nations who knew you


are appalled at you;
you have come to a horrible end
and will be no more.' "

Luke 10: 17-20

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons
submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning
from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and
scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will
harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but
rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

62
Revelation 12:1-12

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with


the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on
her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to
give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red
dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.
4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the
earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give
birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She
gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an
iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God,
where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the
dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not
strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 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.

1Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:


"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of
our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
63
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."

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