martes, 23 de abril de 2024   inicia sesión o regístrate
 
Protestante Digital

 
 

When Lucifer became Satan

Why did rebellion take place in heaven? Searching diligently, we can find answers in the Bible.

THEOLOGY AUTOR 218/Jose_Hutter TRADUCTOR Noemí Sánchez Read 13 DE JULIO DE 2020 16:00 h
Monument to the Fallen Angel in Madrid. / Wikipedia, CC 4.0.

What is the origin of evil in the world? How did it all start? Where did that wicked serpent in paradise come from? This is an interesting subject- if God has created everything, has He also created evil?



Those who have investigated this topic have arrived at different, sometimes complex conclusions which do not resolve the matter. However, they all tend to agree that evil is impersonal.



The Bible has a radically different answer: evil has a name; its name is “Satan”.



Although the Bible gives a detailed description of the creation of man, it does not do the same with the creation of angels. How could an angel, created holy, become a devil? Why did this rebellion take place in heaven? We need to search carefully for answers in the Bible.



I believe that two passages from the Old Testament talk about this subject. The first is Ezekiel 28:11-19.



It is highly likely that this passage refers to the fall of Satan and provides some details which are not so explicit in other texts.



However, some scholars think that what we have here is simply the announcement of judgment over Ithobaal III, King of Tyre during Ezekiel’s life.



Ezekiel 26 to 28 goes on to tell of the judgment that was to come over this Phoenician city. It is striking that this passage focuses beyond the fall of this city as we know it.



Everything points to a description of the fall of Satan. This does not mean that the historical references about the King of Tyre are not relevant, because the events that took place at the beginning of time were going to repeat themselves in his life.



A spiritual truth is often illustrated by historical events or people in the Bible. This is called typology. In exegesis this is referred to as “type” and “antitype”.



Therefore, it is not surprising that in Ezekiel 28 we find the same. The background of any typology (1) is God’s control over history and so it fits well within the context.



Furthermore, there are exegetical reasons to understand these verses in a wider sense: Ezekiel 28:11-16 has statements that go beyond the context. Three examples of this are:



Verse 12: “you were the seal of perfection”. I find it impossible to think that this refers to a human being.



Verse 13: “you were in Eden”. The King of Tyre had not been in Eden.



Verse 15: “you were blameless in your ways”. You cannot say this about a human being and even less of a politician! It had been clear from the beginning that Ithobaal III had not been blameless.



The doctrines found in Ezekiel 28, particularly verses 11-19, are consistent with other accounts of the fall of Satan. Here we find it in a more focused way.



For example, Ezekiel 28:17 talks about Satan’s pride as the cause of his fall. In 1 Timothy 3:6, Paul links Satan’s fall with his pride.



Let us now look closely at this unique event of the rebellion in heaven.



The first thing we learn is that Satan is a created being and therefore he is limited (2). This ends the dualist argument. There is no evil force that is on a level par with God. God created Lucifer, not the devil. Lucifer became the devil.



His origin was quite different: Satan was a cherub (28:13 and 16), an exceptionally beautiful and powerful angel. We must not imagine Satan as he is represented in the paintings of Albrecht Durero: an ugly goat with a pig’s or a bull’s head.



Verses 12 and 13 talk about his beautiful appearance. Ten precious stones are part of his robes (3). This reminds us of the ephod of the High Priest.



It is highly likely that Lucifer had priestly duties in the beginning. One might imagine, as I do, that perhaps the rest of the angels worshipped God under his direction.



Because of his rank, he was a guardian cherub (v. 14). He inhabited the “Holy Mount of God”. We are talking about nothing less than “the operational centre” of both the invisible and invisible worlds.



There is another aspect to this verse: it is the only place in the Bible where we find an explanation to the origin of evil.



The text is very precise in its affirmation: God did not create evil. The text simply says: “till wickedness was found in you”. Immediately, Satan is thrown out of God’s presence.



We will see him talking to God on a few occasions (4), but he has lost his previous functions. He has become God’s rival.



What was precisely Satan’s sin? We do not find an answer in Ezekiel 28. However, there is a similar text that sheds some light on this: Isaiah 14:12-15



This is another text which needs to be read typologically. My exposition of Ezekiel 28 also applies to this text. What is taught in this passage is confirmed in other places.



However, these verses provide more detail about the biblical doctrine of Satan: they appear in the middle of a warning of judgment over Babylon and its king (5). The typological principle is the same: the King of Babylon represents the fall of those who boast power and deify themselves.



But not everything can be applied to the King of Babylon. The reasons to consider that this passage relates the fall of Satan are the same that apply to Ithobaal III.



The scene described in Isaiah 14 has its background in the fall of Babylon: the misfortune described has parallels with the origin of Satan’s fall.



We can also explore the meaning of one of Satan’s names. Verse 12 tells us of the fall of “Lucifer”. This name has its origins in the Latin Vulgate, the classic translation of the Bible into Latin (6). The Hebrew text uses the word hêlel, which means “radiance”, “shine”. The King James Version translates it as Lucifer.



This passage points to the reason of Lucifer’s fall: a characteristic of his sin was his pride and his desire to occupy the place that belongs to God alone.



The essence of his sin is the desire to be like God. And this is reflected in his incredulity: Lucifer does not believe in God’s authority. The rest of his sins are a consequence of that incredulity. John defines sin in those terms (7).



To conclude: theologically, Satan’s sin is his incredulity; psychologically, it is his pride and technically, it is his desire to be independent from God.



Men have caused a lot of damage, consciously or unconsciously, by imitating Satan. Christians are not exempt from that either. But rebellion against God is always destined to fail.



And that is why Satan has another, less well known, name: Belial (8). It means useless in Hebrew. But, even if no one is completely useless, they can still be a bad example. We can learn a lot from these fundamental truths that led to the greatest disaster in the history of the universe.



 



Notes



1. It is important not to confuse typology with allegory. Typology is a particularly useful tool in Jewish exegesis and tells us about analogies, whereas allegory is based on an almost gnostic concept and searches for all types of “deeper” truths.



2. Ezequiel 28:13 and 15



3. The LXX version mentions 12 stones in this passage.



4. Job 1



5. The Bible mentions this fall during Daniel’s time in his prophecy, chapter 5.



6. The meaning of Lucifer is “he who carries the light”



7. John 16:9



8. 2 Corinthians 6:15



[donate]


 

 


0
COMENTARIOS

    Si quieres comentar o

 



 
 
ESTAS EN: - - - When Lucifer became Satan
 
 
Síguenos en Ivoox
Síguenos en YouTube y en Vimeo
 
 
RECOMENDACIONES
 
PATROCINADORES
 

 
AEE
PROTESTANTE DIGITAL FORMA PARTE DE LA: Alianza Evangélica Española
MIEMBRO DE: Evangelical European Alliance (EEA) y World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)
 

Las opiniones vertidas por nuestros colaboradores se realizan a nivel personal, pudiendo coincidir o no con la postura de la dirección de Protestante Digital.