Lucifer: The Angel of Light

Confession time: I am the most absent-minded (abstract-minded?) blogger on the face of the planet.

Today I set out to write about the sufficiency of Scripture, and got to thinking about how Satan likes to play chameleon under the cover of religion, and how well "Christ-less Christianity" lends itself to his disguise... Well, that one verse in Isaiah came to mind, where Satan talks about his plan to "ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (Is 14.14)

Truthfully, doesn't he succeed at just that when we reject the sufficiency of Scripture? When we turn to other worldly disciplines to supplement Scripture, we are turning to Satan, no? (Jn 14.17) But, for fear of using Isaiah 14.14 out of context, I did a little research. A little research turned into a full blown study on the identity of Satan in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.

*Everyone who knows me nods and says, "Of course it did."*

So here's what I learned instead of looking at Sola Scriptura. Maybe one day you'll find some use for this information. (Let me know if you do, so I can feel better about spending an entire afternoon studying Satan of all things...)

First off, why do we call Satan Lucifer? Well, it comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of Isaiah 14.12, which the KJV translates:
"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!"
However, the name "Lucifer" isn't in the Hebrew text. The word that gets translated as Lucifer is הילל, (heylel) which simply means "shining one." And get this: the Latin actually uses the same word in Job 11.17: "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning," as well as in 2 Peter 1.19: "...Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." It even refers to Christ in Rev 22.16! "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

So unless we wanna use the term "lucifer" to describe Christ (which we don't), we should probably quit using it to describe Satan. Right? Actually, the ESV renders the Isaiah passage more correctly when it uses "Day Star," to translate heylel.

My next question is, "What makes us think that Isaiah's song about the King of Babylon suddenly switches gears to talking about Satan for four verses (Is 14.12-15) and then goes back to talking about the King of Babylon? Am I the only one who finds that strange? To make matters worse, we actually see the same exact thing in Ezekiel 28. One minute our boy Zeke is talking about the Prince of Tyre; the next moment (Eze 28.13-18) he's describing Satan. But before you write both of these instances off as grossly misinterpreted, consider that Paul called Satan an "Angel of light" in 2 Cor 11.14.

So whatever was going on in the minds of Isaiah and Ezekiel (double-prophecy maybe?), Paul is definitely picking up what they're putting down! So while Satan's name is not actually "Lucifer," Scripture does teach that he is an angel of light.

So be on your guard!

Now, as I go back to studying the sufficiency of Scripture, and you go back to your social network of choice, let's be keen to recognize the enemy masquerading as an angel of light in our world views, our relationships, our politics, our workplaces, and even our churches.

Sola Deo Gloria.

8 comments:

  1. Based off the content of your blog , it sounds like you should add our bible to that list as well.

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  2. Warrior:

    If I said something that even remotely suggested that Satan had any hand in authoring Scripture, I misspoke. I absolutely affirm the inerrancy, authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

    Actually, the other blog I'm working on (the one not written yet) is on this exact topic. Not only must we accept that the Bible is inerrant, we must also claim it as the ultimate authority in our lives and the life of the Church.

    Christ's words in John 8:31-32 demand such a position 1) Inerrancy: God's Word is 100 percent true without any error ("my word...the truth"); 2) Sufficiency: All truth is in God's Word ("you will know the truth," not part of the truth); and 3) Authority: Knowing the truth is contingent upon obedience to the authority of God's Word ("if you continue in my word"—obviously not just reading or memorizing but obeying).

    These attributes of Scripture (inerrancy, sufficiency and authority) are crucial to our understanding of who God is. Remove Sola Scriptura, and Christianity cannot stand.


    Would you e willing to expand on "Based on the content of your blog...?"

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  3. Just noting that Satan, at whatever point, took a name for Christ and has had it applied to him in the bible. Thus, Satan has made his way into there as well.

    I'll wait to discuss the scripture stuff in nassive depth until your next blog. But did want to point out the logic fallacy on falling back on the argument that the original documents are without error. The fact is that we just don't have those documents. We like to also fall back on the meticulous copying of scripture. But as we are all to familiar, human error can fall upon even the most inspired.

    Also, applying John 8:31-32 as you are doesn't make much sense. In context, it looks like he's talking about his own words, not all of scripture. that passage just doesn't make that jump.

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    1. I believe in the inerrancy of scripture by faith, simple as that. Not blind faith but Christ's faith. I need no "proof" to back it up. Faith is (=) knowledge, the highest form of knowledge attainable in this world "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God...." Does Stephen Hawking know this. No, he does not and should he live a 1,000 years he'll be no closer to the truth by application of the scientific method than he is today. A single saint with the mind of Christ outshines him. Faith makes rocket science look like tinker toys. NASA shoots stuff into the heavens, we know Him who is higher than the heavens.

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  4. I have to go through something like this every time I hear someone label Satan, "Lucifer," because, really, we don't actually know his name and find it peculiar to call him Lucifer.

    Hands down agree on that angel of light thing, the global acceptance of associating 'ugly' with 'evil' is disgustingly wrong. Joseph Smith was fooled by an 'angel of light,' and then went on to fool millions of others to go with him.

    Lastly, I don't know if Satan can take credit for all of our rejections of scripture. If a man simply turns to himself, is that Satan's doing?

    Double-lastly, I don't believe making people wander off and away from God is what Satan meant when he decided to be, "like the most High." I think he's actually more concerned with attaining Godhood. I also don't believe there are any means to do so; however, he is an angel and we might find it interesting to know the things Satan knows about how things work outside our measly little dimension here.

    Definitely-lastly, is Satan certifiably insane? I think he must be in order for him to do what he does.

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  5. As you suggested, I believe the passage in Isaiah seems extremely far-reaching to use it as a basis for the doctrine of Satan that we have for so long presumed to come from this passage.

    Re: sola scriptura, I would love to hear you address these issues in your blog, if I can be so bold as to request you to do so... :)
    1) What do we believe is inerrant? If only the original manuscripts, do we allow there to be errors in the copies we hold? Shouldn't hermeneutics be an integral component of inerrancy? If so, how can we know that the hermeneutic we accept of any given Scripture is the inerrant interpretation?
    2) How and why do we trust the canon of 66 books?
    3) Would we have our doctrine of sola scriptura if not for Catholicism and the Reformation? If no, how did Christianity "stand" for 1500 years until the doctrine was developed?

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  6. Oh boy. I have my work cut out for me.

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  7. Hi there, i would like to share a perspective with you. Satan is a specie known as the Jinn. They are created from Infra Red Light. when the bible refers to him as the son of the dawn, from a scientific point of view this is the time infra red in our atmosphere is most. Thus his natural and most favourable environment.

    His name is Iblis and he is a Shaitan. He is the six King (According to the book of Enoch)Allah had blessed him with the most knowledge in the universe and this made him filled with pride. in Isa: 14:14 it is pertinent to note that the key word is "like". Allah here is telling Isaiah to sing this song to humilate satan when they won the battle against Babylon, as it was Satan who seduced them into evil ways of their desires. Isa: 14:14 describes events that took place when satan declared that he will be "LIKE" the Most High by creating a being that would serve him and worship Allah. The Popol Vuuh (Mayan Bible) describes the event and scientifically this would be the three stage of the cavemen. This is the reason why there is a missing link as Allah came and interupted his actions by saying verily I will create man in my own Image. Image here means design. As satan could not come up with a design and thus could not be a true creator.

    Lastly i realize this may be way off from you minds but do a bit of research and connect the dots.

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