Lucifer, Satan, the Devil.
The question has often been asked as to whether Satan and Lucifer are both one and the same person? Although there is no actual verse that states Satan to be Lucifer, nor that a third of the angels followed him in his rebellion against God, when reasoning from Scripture it leads us to those conclusions.
According to Hebrew scholars, the precise grammar of Genesis 1:1 describes the original creation as being both absolute and perfect. Biblical perfection requires something to be flawless, or of impeccable quality, and from the time of his creation until he became overtaken by pride and self-love, Lucifer the Anointed Cherub is described as being perfect in his ways.
Ezekiel 28:11-15. Thou [Lucifer] wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
How long he remained in that perfect state is unknown, but it certainly didn’t last, and due to his rebellion against God, he eventually lost his privilege and authority from amongst the stones of fire. Although he was ”destroyed” from that position, the Hebrew word doesn’t mean destroy as to ‘kill,’ but portrays a sense of loss and failure, with no way out.
Ezekiel 28:16. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Apparently he was known by the same name for the entire duration of the previous world, for as Lucifer, he was the one who was charged as being responsible for the old world becoming a wilderness.
From Isaiah 14:12-17. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!….That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof……
The Bible is quite clear that death and decay are the inevitable result of sin and rebellion against a Holy God. Therefore corruption and entropy could not have existed in the beginning, and when the creation was still in the original state of perfection. Whatever may of happened, it’s made clear that the actions of Lucifer were the result of a wilful abuse of the authority which he’d been given. It would seem too, that once that choice had been made, it could never be retracted, and would determine his ultimate destiny, as well as that of the angels who’d chosen to follow him.
The final destruction of Lucifer and his angels, will not come about due to a whimsical or vindictive decision by God, but as a result of his own actions. By an intentional misuse of the gifts he’d originally been given, Lucifer had overturned the order of all life in the Universe, and by so doing had authored his own destiny. An everlasting fire.
How long after the original creation had the angelic rebellion taken place, who can say? But there are numerous indicators which would place the fall of the Anointed Cherub, and the earliest instance of the struggle between life and death, way back in deep-time.
Life has to exist before it can die and leave behind fossilized remains, and according to geologypage.com:
Scientists analysing Australian rocks have discovered traces of bacteria that lived a record-breaking 3.49bn years ago, a mere 1bn years after Earth formed.
Satan is called ‘the prince of this world’ by Christ, (John 12:31)and ‘the god of this world’ by Paul. (2 Corinthians 4:4.)
The Earth is the Lord’s although he gave it unto the children of men, but the world and its kingdoms were once delivered unto Satan.
When seeking to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, Satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world, which he claimed had been delivered unto him. Because Jesus neither challenged nor denied this claim, he effectively allowed the claim to stand.
From Luke 4:5-6. And the devil……..shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world…and… said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
When Jesus said of the devil, that he was a liar and murderer from the beginning, he wasn’t referring to the time of his creation, back in the previous world, for in the beginning he was perfect in his ways, and incapable of lying and murder.
John 8:44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth ……for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Instead, Jesus was referring to the beginning of this present world, for it was Satan’s lie back in the garden of Eden which led to Adam’s disobedience, and which in turn permitted sin and death to enter the age, and to be inherited by all men.
Death had reigned back in the old world, as evidenced by the fossil record,and through Adam’s sin, death would now reign in this world. From that moment Satan held the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and hence he effectively became the murderer of all men.
After he’d sinned, Adam was likened to the dust he’d been formed from, and told that death would reduce him back to the dust. Why? Because he who now held the power of death, was ordained to eat dust all the days of his life.
This is all quite figurative of course, for neither a snake nor the devil literally eat dust. But because the wages of sin is death, and because all men sin, then every man likened to dust, upon his death, has effectively been murdered, or devoured by the devil.
Genesis 2:7. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.
Genesis 3:19. for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Genesis 3:14. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this…..dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
1 Peter 5:8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
The god of this world was defeated by Christ at Calvary, and death, which could not hold onto a sinless man, lost it's grip and was conquered. But neither one nor the other of these two great enemies of man, will be destroyed until after the end of the ages, when the devil, hell, and death will each be cast into everlasting fire.