Was Lucifer or Satan a fallen angel? If he was a fallen angel, what was the cause of his fall?
Who is Lucifer?
Most of the best manuscripts and various translations that I have checked do not contain Lucifer’s name. The King James Version plus a few others say in Isaiah 14:12″How did you fall from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cast down, you who weakened the nationsThe Hebrew word used by Isaiah is “heylel” and means “light-bearer, shining” or “morning star” so even though most translations do not use Lucifer, the meaning behind this name is often given as ” O Day Star” or “Morning Star” and it is generally understood to be Lucifer and the fact that it is capitalized means that it is a proper name which gives an indication that it is someone’s name and in this case, and most Bible scholars agree, it is talking about Lucifer, Satan, or the Devil.
Satan in the Old Testament
In 1 Chronicles 21:1 it says “Then Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to number Israeland the Hebrew word for Satan is exactly the same and means “adversary, one who resists.” This is exactly the role that Lucifer or Satan plays today as he did then. He is the adversary of God, even if he is not on par with God, and he is also our adversary as he was by enticing David to sin by numbering the troops of Israel. He also “resists” God and has been since his fall. He also resists God through willful and malicious disobedience. He is also behind the rulers of the world (Eph 2:2) as he weakens the nations (Isaiah 14:12b) and continues to do so to this day.
Satan’s attack on Job
Job also dealt with Satan, even though he had no idea, but it was a one-on-one confrontation where “the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them(Job 1:6). There is good reason to believe that Satan is much like a roaring lion prowling around, seeking whom he might devour as Peter wrote (1 Peter 5:8). satan”Where are you from ? Satan answered the Lord and said, “To come and go on the earth, and to walk up and down(Job 1:7) indicating that Lucifer or Satan has free reign on earth, but that does not mean that he is in full control or can do whatever he wants. Martin Luther once said that even the “devil is God’s devil” and we see it when God allowed Satan to afflict Job but gave him limits: “And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all he has is in your hands. Only against him don’t stretch out your hand (kill him)” (Job 1:12).
How and why did Lucifer fall?
Isaiah seems to describe the why and how of Lucifer’s fall in Isaiah chapter fourteen and in verse twelve it says, “How fell thou from heaven, O Daystar, son of the Dawn. How you were cut down, you who cut down the nations!“Why did Lucifer fall? Isaiah 14:13 said “You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will place my throne on high.” Lucifer wanted to go up”above the stars of God“or the angels of God and said to himself”I will place my throne on highor really, he wanted to be the highest and sit in the place of God. He still has this passionate desire to be adored. It’s clear when he said “I will sit on the mountain of congregation at the northern reaches(Isaiah 14:13b). The assembly is the assembly of worshiping angels and to sit on the mountain of “the far reaches of the northis the desire to sit on the very throne of God.
Lucifer’s desire to be God
Lucifer or Satan not only wanted to rise above the angels of God but He wanted to be God as Isaiah writes”I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High(Isaiah 14:14). You might read this as “I will be the Most Highand since the words “Most High” are capitalized, it speaks of God Himself. Instead of being exalted, God said he would be “ground cut(Isaiah 14:12). The Hebrew word for “cut” is “gada” and means “to cut down, to cut” or “to shave” so instead of going up”above the heights of the clouds” he will be “chopped” or really, cut down. So this clearly shows that Satan or Lucifer fell as Isaiah 14:12a says”What! you fell from the sky” or cast from heaven; heaven where the throne of God resides. By the way, the “cloud heights” that Lucifer wanted to climb are clearly the Shekinah clouds of God’s glory.
God resists the proud (Prov 3:34; 1st Peter 5:5; James 4:6) and that is why Lucifer or Satan fell. He was an angel of God, perhaps at one time worshiping God himself, but he became full of himself and overestimated himself because of his own beauty and glory (Ezk 28) and reasoned in itself, I want to be God. The result was that Lucifer fell and so he became a fallen angel and he is our enemy but Jesus triumphed over him on the cross. There are still spiritual wars and skirmishes, but victory is assured for all who have repented and trusted in Christ.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the senior editor of What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.