Now that we have a good base of what to expect, let's start to dissect the verses that outline the chronology. Again, if we were to competently answer "If Satan was defeated at the cross, why does he continue today?", then shouldn't we understand it fully?
So what of this "Lucifer"? The Bible does not say when Lucifer was created. However, it does say that he was created. We can infer from the text that he was created with, and when everything else that was created was created; in the beginning. For a role as large as he plays in the text, it is assumed he would have had a more definitive beginning on record if otherwise than the assumed here.
In Ezekiel, we see one of the two main outlines of Lucifer’s career. We will be breaking down quite a few words from their original language of Hebrew. Why? Because we lose so much in translation. While we get a great view of what we are looking for in English, it becomes even more intriguing, as well as becoming clearer in its original context. As we pull scripture verses, changing the definition of what has always been is not the goal. The goal is to find things that will give us a direct indication of who he originally was, his job as given by God, and so forth. If we can do this, we will start to get an understanding of something that has rarely been addressed from the pulpit; if Jesus defeated Satan at the cross, why is he not defeated? In other words, why does he continue as if he is not defeated?
Ezekiel 28:14 ”Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire".
In Ezekiel, we see that God set Lucifer as the “anointed cherub that covereth”. When you read that in English, you tend to keep going. However, when dissecting this verse, we gain serious insight into what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us about him. The word for anointed in Hebrew is mimshach. This word is only used once in the entirety of the Old Testament and has reference to expansion or outspread wings. That reference would not make much sense unless we continued with the next word, cherub. A cherub is a powerful angel. Any reference to outspread wings refers to protecting. This is the case here when putting it into context with the next word in our breakdown of the text. The last word of our three that would give us our first insight into Lucifer’s career is “covereth”. The word for covereth in Hebrew is cakak. The word means to fence in, cover over, protect. The real challenge is to remember that if this was taking place in heaven, God’s home, what or who would need to be fenced in or protected?
When I first began my study of this some 37 years ago, I asked the man who was my pastor at the time why Lucifer was set to cover and protect, and what was he protecting? Believe it or not, he said “Jesus”. Really? Even if that were true, what would the creator of the universe need protection from? Jesus does not need protecting nor would this be an issue in the realm of eternal heaven. When Jesus became a man, He was at His most vulnerable state. Even then, He had control over everything. There was something deeper going on here. In Psalm 91, we see a picture of God’s protection by covering us with His wings. We also see His protection in like manner in Psalm 17:8, Psalm 36:7, Psalm 57:1, Psalm 61:4, and Ruth 2:12.
Lucifer was the covering cherub that covereth, or Lucifer was the high-powered angel with outspread wings that fences in or protects. God set Lucifer to watch over something, but what? We will come back to that. We know from this text that he was given specific responsibilities. All angels, and all beings for that matter, are given tasks and responsibilities. The angel depiction of little fat babies with wings floating on clouds is as far from the truth as one can imagine. According to 2 Kings 19:35, one angel killed 185,000 Syrians one night after dinner. We cannot possibly know the depth of their capabilities. One thing is certain; God set Lucifer in this very specific position. Whatever this position was, and over whom it was, is only possible because God set him so.
Isaiah 14:13-14 "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High".
Within this text are multiple clues as to what he was to “cover”. The first clue is Lucifer said within his heart that he would “ascend" into heaven. To ascend, you must be on a lower level than that which you plan to ascend to. This is not the key in this statement; where he wants to ascend to is the key. The word for heaven here in the Hebrew language is the same word used for heaven in Genesis 1:1. While in and of itself this is not a big deal; it helps us understand where he was when he made this statement. If God created the “heaven and the earth”, then this is the focus of the message. While He created everything in the universe, He chose to mention His home and our home first. If Lucifer was not in Heaven, or shamayim in Hebrew, where was he? In just three short chapters at the beginning of Genesis, he appears in a fallen state. The evidence will point to him being here on earth. The real question is if he was here, when and how did he get here?
A major key in this verse is his “throne”. Who has a throne? Those in charge have thrones or seats, biblically speaking. The word for throne in Hebrew is kicce. While this word in its original language can be used for a seat, in this context it is used for a throne, or place one sits in and of power.
If Lucifer is the “anointed cherub that covereth” and we are trying to figure out what he is “covering" or protecting, we get a real insight into it by these few words. To go up, one must be lower than the intended destination. We know now through science and its many wonders that the universe is so vast it is impossible to know its depths. With this knowledge, combined with the knowledge that God is even bigger, why would God simply focus on heaven and earth? Because the Holy Spirit outlines for us the "heaven and the earth” in His opening statement in the Bible, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Lucifer was set on the earth to watch over or protect something. If so, was it this responsibility that gave him the desire to ascend to the "heaven” or where God is; to be like God? Was this what was being presented to Eve? Us?
For those with the opinion Lucifer is simply wanting to elevate himself, the next verse makes it clear his aspirations are more than that. In 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul is sharing his experience of being taken up to the third heaven. It is commonly understood that the three heavens are as follows: our immediate atmosphere, outer space, and the home of God. If this is true, the third heaven is God’s home or what a layperson would call heaven.
The clouds would be considered our atmosphere. Lucifer had the desire to elevate his throne at least into the cosmos, which is beyond our atmosphere, or “clouds”. In all of scripture, I cannot find anything even alluding to there being clouds in heaven.
The real desire that locks this in is he wants to be "like the Most High”. This is an interesting choice of words or thoughts. While God is referred to by many names, why did the Holy Spirit use this one here? In Isaiah 14:14, “I will be like the Most High”, is translated into English from only two Hebrew words; “damah” and “elyown”. While “damah” is simply “to compare or resemble”, “elyown” is more complex. The definition is “an elevation, ie. lofty; as title, the Supreme”. This clearly shows God's position as God, but it is also used as a physical place. Interestingly, Isaiah reveals God as "the high and lofty One”.
Now to this point of the article, this can be somewhat of a circumstantial evidence review. However, when put into context with the next few scriptures, it will become clear that things may have been a little different than is normally taught. When we first encounter Lucifer, or Satan in scripture, he is a fallen creation in Genesis chapter 3. At what point did he fall? What was the cause of his fall? While pride is cited most often, something must create that pride within someone. If he was here on the earth and wanted to exalt himself up to where God was, what made him think that he could? It is clear from other scriptures in the Bible that there was something here before Adam. If that was truly the case, it would explain everything.
Ezekiel 28:16-18 "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. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee".
There is a lot here to unpack. However, we will only be looking at a few of the words to give an idea of where Lucifer was coming from and what his mindset was. It will help us when we tie this together at the end. To fully understand Lucifer’s position in the pre-Adamite world, the Holy Spirit gave us a couple of clues. The first is the very first sentence of Ezekiel 28:16. In English, it says, “multitude of thy merchandise have filled the midst of thee with violence”. Most skip over this, but when you study the words, they mean something very revealing. The word for merchandise in Hebrew is rekullah. It is translated to mean trade, as peddled. This gives the impression of buying and selling. This process of whatever he was doing led to his being “filled thee with violence”. The word for violence in Hebrew is chamac. It is translated as cruel, wrong, unjust gain, violent dealing. If the words are truly to mean something, it is clear that the Holy Spirit wants us to know that the pre-Adamite world, the one that Lucifer was to “cover” or protect, had an economy. While he was supposed to be overseeing it and protecting those under his watch, he took advantage of them.
The very next verse helps us see that not only was he beautiful, but he was “wise”. The word for wisdom in Hebrew is chokmah and means wisdom or skillful. The verse says that he corrupted or ruined his skillfulness because of his brightness. The word for brightness in Hebrew is yiphah and means splendor, beauty. Making sense of the passage would allow the splendor vs. the beauty translation here since the Holy Spirit began the verse with a different word for beauty. Lucifer was so good at business and was so skillful, he led those he either taught or did business with, how to deceive or cheat. A simple definition of splendor is magnificent and splendid appearance or magnificent features or qualities. This seems to make sense that his heart was puffed up at the responses he may have received for his savvy. No matter how you try and parse these verses, it only makes sense that there was some sort of activity going on.
The next verse is probably the most eye-opening of all of Lucifer's career. There are two parts we must look at to make sense of his position, or perceived position. The first is "Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities”. The word for defiled in Hebrew is chalal. While it is a long definition, it is by implication to wound or to profane a person, place, or thing. The word for sanctuaries in Hebrew is miqdash. It means a consecrated thing or place. In the pre-Adamite world, there was worship. Given Lucifer's record so far, this is pointing toward him hijacking the worship of God and makes it clear of why he thought he could be "like the Most High”. The word for iniquities in Hebrew is avon. It means pervisity, moral evil. What the Holy Spirit is communicating to us is the reason Lucifer defiled the sanctuaries. It was his moral evils which seemed to include profaning a person, place, or thing. One would suspect that the person being defiled was indeed, God. If there were sanctuaries that were consecrated, and there was evil done, it only makes sense the evil was done toward God. This is the same process that has always been in effect since the fall of Adam and you can see it clearly in many churches today. Any sin is against God. Why? He made the rules. Even David when lamenting about the sin he committed in fornication with a married woman and having her husband killed stated the following in Psalm 51. “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned…
By tying in the last part of our passage in Ezekiel, it will make complete sense as to the twisted mindset of Lucifer before his thoughts of becoming "like the Most High". The word for iniquity in Hebrew is evel. It means moral evil, perverseness. It is very similar to avon. However, instead of using avon again, the Holy Spirit wants us to see the connection with the word “traffick”. This is the same word we saw for merchandise or trade, earlier in our passages. Because it is tied to the sanctuaries, it can be correctly assumed that Lucifer has not changed his tactics. He did business in the church in the pre-Adamite world, and he continued the same practice when we see Jesus casting the money changers out of the synagogue for poor business practices. Perhaps those that worship God are more trusting?
The Holy Spirit is the writer of all scripture. He used men and their personalities. However, He gave us tremendous insight into everything. The understanding of what led Lucifer to his downfall will also give us insight into why he continues today and does the same things he has always done.