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Satan's Fall from Grace

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Question #1:   

You wrote: And without question the devil did all that he possibly could to prevent Jesus from reaching the cross, for that was where the victory in the unseen conflict raging around us was finally and definitively won with eternal results.

What did Satan do to prevent our Lord from reaching the cross? I cannot understand this point as it was because of Judas, as an advocate of Satan, that our Lord was crucified?

Response #1: 

Just to take two examples, scripture records: a) the devil's temptations of our Lord which, if successful, would have obviated the whole point of the cross, b) the various attempts to murder our Lord before He reached the cross (e.g., Lk.4:29ff.). Since in Luke 4:13 it says that Satan left Him "for a time", we may be sure that trying to block the central focus of the Plan of God from ever occurring was something the devil repeatedly worked at. After all, in his attempts to destroy Israel and the line of faith from the garden onward, we see this as part of Satan's strategy all along. Now that the cross is accomplished, the devil is venting his spleen on us, the Bride of Christ.

Question #2:  

Hello Bob,

Me again. Dog with a bone! Were angels created in the image and likeness of God? If so, then does Satan also bear this image and likeness? Angels are created beings who possess more attributes than we do and nowhere does it mention the image and likeness idea or not, so I can't decide. Your thoughts when you have a moment please.

Kind regards,

Response #2: 

While scripture never puts it that way, in terms of the moral essentials, we are the same. As you rightly note, however, there are significant differences in attributes. As I have often posited, angels, no doubt since they have near total knowledge of God (in effect), no physical limitations (in the manner of human beings), and unlimited time, seem to have made their essential decision to stay loyal to God or rebel "once and for all". Human beings, given what we are (relatively ignorant and highly emotional creatures, subject to all manner of material pressures), tend to procrastinate, vacillate and reevaluate. Nevertheless, God leaves us here long enough to make a fair and genuine decision (and He knows the details on that even if we don't). So there may be good reasons why scripture leaves this description out. Of course, even though we have a lot of material in the Bible on angels (cf. my BB 2A: "Angelology"), for the most part it has to be gleaned indirectly. That is as far as I would wish to go with this question. It seems to me, from the way they are described, that "image and likeness" are indeed appropriate to angels as well, but since the Bible doesn't actually put it that way, I would want to place a bit of a caveat on any such statement.

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:   

FROM your website:

"From the nature of his rebellion, we can surmise that part of the devil's appeal to his potential followers rested on his assurance that God would be unable to effect any such reconciliation between Himself and His rebellious creatures. Satan reasoned that God's righteousness would stand in the way of His mercy {and grace?} and thus make forgiveness impossible."

God can effect reconciliation with His created man but not with his created angels? Scripture suggests He can: Genesis 18:14, Number 11:23, Isaiah 50:2

Response #3: 

Angels are different. They do not die. Their knowledge is, just because of their nature and circumstances, exponentially greater than that of human beings. What we do share in common is free will. But unlike human beings, who have a limited time to make the decision of decisions, angels apparently had a vast amount of time. This long time period coupled with their near complete knowledge of heavenly things (compared to ours at least) and their particular nature apparently results in the fact that once they have decided for or against God, they do not, as human beings often do, change their minds. And because of the fall and mankind's collective alienation from God at birth, our change of mind involves returning to God while their choice involved deciding either to stay loyal or to rebel. Could God have brought about reconciliation? God can do anything. The one thing He never does do, however, is violate the free will of the creatures to whom He has given His image. Human history is a drop in the bucket in terms of time when compared to prior angelic time, so no need to worry about God being "unfair". Every moral creature has every chance to be saved. All who are lost are so of their own free will. But beyond dispute, this time, aka "human history" is all about human beings, angels having already made their choice and having been confirmed in their choice before we were created – and that is why Jesus became not an angel but a human being:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.
Hebrews 2:14-16 NIV

I think if you persevere in the Satanic Rebellion series seriatim from part 1 to the end you will have all these questions answered. Here some other links that may also prove helpful:

The Nature of Angels

Basics 2A: Angelology: the biblical study of angels

Yours in Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #4:   

Why don't we have other angels sinning after Lucifer and his minions as though they were the only ones having a sin possibility?

Response #4: 

As I explain in a variety of places, notably BB 2A Angelology (see the link), there is a rather large difference in the decision making process of creatures who are not mortal, who have no physical bodies, and who thus have (relative to us) unlimited time, unlimited knowledge, and no material pressures or constraints. We human beings are always receiving new information and dealing with new circumstances so that we may vacillate; nevertheless, the short time we have on earth is more than sufficient to prove our faith (or lack thereof). By the time that the fallen angels decided to follow the devil, they had ample time (eons?) to observe the Lord and His character. That they would follow Satan so as to rebel is amazing to me, but it without question represented a considered decision which would never be revoked – and likewise with the elect angels. They are not pressured like we are, and they have had their decisions confirmed over many millennia both before and after the Genesis gap.

Question #5:  

You wrote: "The answer to the oft posed question "why this delay in judgment?" is intimately bound up with God's gracious creation of another species* of morally responsible creatures, namely, mankind. Man is meant in no small part as a response to the devil and his rebellion. In our responsiveness to God, we constitute a living refutation of all the devil's slanderous lies** which have been leveled against the character of God in the course of Satan's revolt. By creating (and saving) mankind**, God is both demonstrating to all angelic kind His ability to reconcile His wayward creatures* to Himself (though the devil claimed He could not or would not {Scripture reference?}), and is actually replacing all that was lost through the devil's defection (by ushering {some **} willing human beings into the family of God in place of rebellious angels {Scripture reference? And you'll have to be specific in language here})."

*Why wouldn't God's gracious response to Satan's rebellion be to provide reconciliation and salvation to a repentant "a third of the stars" (-)? Why follow one partial failure, angels, with another partial failure, man? He could certainly still retain hell for Satan and the 200+ who corrupted the first earth and for any of the 1/3 who still rejected Him out right or by continued ignorance and subversion of their leader(s)?

** And some refutation: the greater number of mankind will reside in hell in 3034; maybe even more than the "one third of the stars"!

Response #5: 

In addition to the scriptures and theological arguments throughout the study quoted (the Satanic Rebellion at the link), the most comprehensive passages are: Isaiah 14:3-27 and Ezekiel 28:12-19. I think the best thing on these other questions would be to have at look at two links in particular: 1) Angelic Issues IV: Satan's Revolt in the Plan of God; and 2) God's Plan to Save You (in BB 4B – for the background on the issues of mankind's creation from the point of view of free will and the plan of God). God's plan for this creation is perfect – and that is evidenced by the fact that this is the creation He created according to His plan (not some other theoretical creation a person may imagine). The apparent (and only apparent) disparity between the perfection of the plan of God and the condemnation of some angels and most human beings has nothing to do with God and everything to do with free will. In order to actually create this creation, God had to create the entire, perfect thing, and that entailed creating the unwilling to be saved with the willing to be saved – as is obvious from the fact that this is what happened (so please do tread lightly here as this is clearly what God has done, whether in our initial impression of such things we are inclined to "agree" with how and why He has done what He has done or not; e.g., Job 39:1 - 41:34). I liken the creation of the entire complement of men and angels, believers and unbelievers both, to the spectrum of light: we cannot have only part of the spectrum to have light, even though we may only "like" one very small part of the spectrum (infra-red, say, just for example).

Question #6: 

Good day sir,

I was reading the Tribulation series 4 and you wrote that 'Prior to the commencement of the seven punitive 'bowl judgment', God in His great mercy will give the unbelieving world one final chance to turn from its evil', by the way of salvation proclaimed.

Now that the unbelieving world had decisively chosen to worship the beast and has taken the mark which results in eternal condemnation, so I will surmise that even if God offers the last olive branch there would be no one to accept because God had made the decree against anyone who worship or take the mark of the beast. Am I right?

You opinion will be highly appreciated.

Response #6: 

Good to hear from you, my friend. Yes, I think that is correct. Of course we are dealing with majorities here. There is no way for us to tell what will be going on in individual hearts; there may be a very small number who will respond (that is often the case, after all), but "the world" in general will continue to reject God and follow the devil . . . as it has been doing ever since the beginning.

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord for whose salvation we breathlessly wait,

Bob L.

Question #7:  

Good afternoon Robert.

I pray you and your family are doing well. So far continue to read SR series. I am on the genesis gap and have two questions:

1. Due to Satan's rebellion, was sending Christ God's only play? Meaning there were no other way to handle his rebellion apart from total annihilation. I know part of his reasoning for sending Christ and to create mankind was to show his mercy and grace but I keep wondering was it God's only move?

2. Dinosaurs were actually creatures created by God. Does the Leviathan and Behemoth mentioned in Job dinosaurs? If so, how can we reconcile that with your statement that dinosaurs were genetically manipulated by Satan and during the genesis gap they were eliminated? I heard a commentator I listen to David Hocking from Hope for Today on his Job series mentioned the Leviathan and Behemoth were dinosaurs and Job was familiar with them, otherwise why would God mention it during his speech in Job.

Thanks like always and may God bless you richly with heavenly rewards in Christ our Lord.

Response #7: 

Very good to hear from you as always.

As to your first question, I would not want ever to say that "God could only do X". The devil is no doubt the most intelligent creature the Lord ever created, and it is very clear that he did not see the creation of mankind nor the incarnation of Christ coming before God revealed these things. About the only thing we can say is that what God did do was the perfect "move", as you put it, because this is what actually happened. After all, God only produced this one creation; Jesus Christ, God the Son, has only become incarnate once; this life, this world, this playing out of events in history, is the one and only Plan of God, and we know it is the absolutely perfect one because it is the one which the Trinity actually did initiate and actually is carrying through. That is to say, every single detail beyond our present comprehension has been taken into consideration by the perfect all-encompassing Plan of God, divinely decreed in complete detail before the world was created by Jesus Christ. And since it is all founded upon the suffering of the Son, His death for every sin every human being has or ever will commit, we can be absolutely certain that this Plan, this reality with which we are confronted, this actually playing out of everything prophesied, recorded and revealed in the Word of God, is the one perfect way in which all things could happen without compromising the justice of God but with allowing every creature the full and just chance to determine his/her own destiny (eternity with our without God). So I suppose I would say that rather than seeing the events of spiritual history as being "moves", I see them as the playing out of the perfect "script" in the perfect way; and that rather than seeing God as "constrained" or "limited", I see Him as having orchestrated everything perfectly in the perfect way ordained in every regard since before He ever initiated creation – with the cross being the bedrock upon which everything depends (there is much more on all this in BB 4B; see the link).

As to Leviathan and Behemoth, I don't see these as "dinosaurs" anywhere in scripture. In Job, the former is the crocodile, and the latter is the hippopotamus – impressive creatures actually visible to Job which demonstrate the creative power of God and give some small indication of the depth of His wisdom even in the smallest aspects of creation (they are not prehistoric). After all, the Lord calls Job's attention (and our attention) to both of these creatures so that we may admire His work and wisdom, so they must have be (and still be) around to view – but Job had never seen a dinosaur (and neither have we – merely representations of them). Since the Lord is referencing creatures Job (and we) do know about, they can't be things that existed before we even came to be.

Best wishes for you and your family in Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

Thanks for the quick response Dr. I don't want you to misunderstanding me. I unequivocally believe Satan is no match for God and I apologize if it sounded that way.

As far as the Leviathan and Behemoth issue, I will provide more insight on why he felt that is the case.

Thank you and talk to you soon. God bless

Response #8: 

No worries on this end, my friend. I know your heart and where you stand. Being a teacher, I always tend to pedagogical "over-kill".

On the other issue, the person you mention is probably not thinking of Job but other places where Leviathan and Rahab are mentioned in scripture (these are covered at the link: in SR 2: "Symbolic Monsters").

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:  

Greetings brother Bob – I finally finished the fifth part of the Satanic Rebellion. I am anxious to start a re-read and study of all the parts I have highlighted and underlined. Can you direct me to a link that would amplify the concept of "Believers replacing Fallen Angels"?

A Google search does not show any other experts picking up on that theme. It makes perfect sense to me, and I notice you re-insert it throughout the discourse. I deeply appreciated your associating the folks that partook in the Sodom & Gomorrah lifestyle, with the Genesis 6 crowd that precipitated the Flood! How the current Homosexual crowd can still claim "Christianity" is beyond my comprehension!,

Thanks again,

Response #9: 

Good to hear from you – you are most welcome.

I'm not surprised that this teaching is not easily found elsewhere. I think you will discover that the same is true of a good deal of the material at Ichthys. As I say in the introduction to Ichthys, "the Bible studies at Ichthys are intended to speak for themselves" . . . and if the Spirit confirms them in comparison with the scriptures upon which they are based, that is good enough for me (regardless of acceptance, rejection or disinterest of any and all "experts").

For an individual believer such as yourself, this always presents a challenge to faith. But if faith is put in the right things, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, the voice of the Spirit, and a confidence to trust in a good source, once it has been solidly confirmed as such, then I have no worries but that all who are called to benefit from this ministry may do so without being scandalized by a lack of external support. When I set myself to do this ministry many years ago, I realized then that proper qualifications were necessary both from the standpoint of being adequately prepared but also understanding that believers have a right as well as a duty to evaluate the source of the biblical truth they are taking in. What it is beyond my power to achieve, however, is bringing the rest of the church-visible along. That is a "choice" issue; and that is the issue every believer faces sooner or later.

As to the specific question, this principle is extrapolated from scripture generally, from observations about the plan of God and the interrelationships between mankind and the angels as far as scripture provides insights into these matters. The replacement of fallen angels by believers is, therefore, largely a deduction (but cf. Job 4:18; 15:15; 25:5; 34:24), though one in which I firmly believe since I see it confirmed in virtually every aspect of the plan of God. In addition to the SR series (see especially footnote #78 in CT 6 for the key reference at the link), where, as you note, the theme of Judgment, Restoration and Replacement runs throughout (and is treated throughout; but see the discussion regarding the Jewish Calendar in particular on this point at the link), you may also want to consult the following links:

God's Replacement for Satan (in BB 2A)

The Purpose of Man (in BB 3A)

The Participation of the Resurrected Church in Removing Satan's Forces (in CT 6)

The Millennial Rule of Jesus Christ (in CT 6)

The New Jerusalem (see under "Lodgings")

Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim, and the Devil's Methodology (see Q/A #5).

In BB 4B: God's Plan to Save You

In my view, Judgment, Restoration and Replacement stand together: the fact that the first two are true also argues for the last to be true. Satan set out to replace God, banking on the notion that he and his rebels were irreplaceable. Then mankind is created, and Jesus takes on true humanity when Satan's attempts to thwart God's plan to provide a new species with free will content to serve Him by orchestrating the fall. Satan rules the world; Jesus is about to replace him as the Ruler of the world, a human being (as well as God) in company with His Church, resurrected human beings, in place of Satan's demonic organization which now wreaks havoc with the nations of the world. One could go on at length with the parallels (as I do in the links above, and especially in the SR series), so I suppose the astounding thing to me, at any rate, is that so few have picked up on this patently obvious grand theme of scripture. It is, after all, the background for the entire plan of God. I think perhaps it has something to do with approaching things the correct way as opposed to the traditional way or ways that serve personal advantage. But that is for you to judge.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:  

Many thanks again brother Bob. I knew I could count on you to THOROUGHLY address my concerns. I can’t wait to get into all nine of the sources you offer (You must have a computerized File System that is what poor misguided Obama thought he had when he reeled out his disastrous website!) . I am left with a question before I plunge into the above: Is it conceivable that God all along has let this play out for 6000 + years for the edification of others on un-fallen planets? That we have all been "actors" on the stage for the universe to read & heed?

Response #10: 

You're most welcome. Finding things at Ichthys can be a challenge, it's true. The Google search box is set to search only my website, and I also try to keep up with the subjects page for major topics (see the links). Also, there is a sub-page for each series (e.g., Coming Tribulation), and the "previously posted" of (generally) theme-based email responses is also a good place to look (see links). Finally, once a person does do some digging, finding one likely posting/section will often lead to others as link leads to link.

As to you first question, we are the only game in town, so to speak: this is the only universe and we, human beings, are the only morally responsible creatures with the image of God – apart from the angels. As it says of our Lord:

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Romans 6:10 NKJV

He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Hebrews 7:27 NKJV

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Hebrews 9:12 NKJV

But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 9:26b NKJV

So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
Hebrews 9:28a NKJV

Our Lord became a human being only once – and now is human forever (in addition to being divine). God has cast His lot with us and us alone in this ineffably wonderful way, and unchangeablely so – a clear indication of the depths of His love for those for whom He sent His one and only Son.

There is only one cross.

Yours in Jesus Christ who became a human being to die for our sins,

Bob L.

Question #11:   

Hi Bob,

Consider these scriptures et al.:

'You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.' (John 8:44)

'They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.' (John 16:2)

'In the course of time Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.' (Genesis 4:3-5)

'We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.' (I John 3:12)

'For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.' (Pliny to Trajan)

I was thinking about Satan and why he rebelled against God, in addition to why God allows him in His presence, and I started to think that Satan does not hate God. Instead, he was trying to help God and do a service for him, thinking that perhaps God could use his assistance in some matter (perhaps something to do with the original creation?) This, after all, was the motivation behind Cain's offering. By the simple virtue of the fact that Cain bothered to give an offering at all, it is clear that Cain was eager to do something good for God and therefore had a strong affection for God. But unlike Abel, he decided that God's own saving work was insufficient, and that it needed some of his help on the side. However, Cain's decision to actively help God was ultimately a decision that he should be regarded as greater than God, and it is for this reason that his sacrifice was an abomination.

Now as for Adam and Eve, it is clear that Satan may have been motivated to murder the first parents for the same reason the followers of Antichrist are motivated to murder believers. He thought that God had made some kind of grievous error, and that therefore it was up to him to correct God's alleged mistake by the simple means of removing it. Similarly, his followers model their behavior after Satan, and decide to 'help' god by eliminating his pesky believers. After all, Trajan and the Roman followers of the Synagogue of Satan clearly believed in the goodness of virtue, the value of religion, and the importance of lawfulness, so by forcing true believers to sacrifice to him, they were simply trying to 'fix' a mistake that they felt that God had made. For what we know, Satan may have a very strong love for God, recognizing that God created him with such beauty and blessings, but also have a love for himself which is greater than his love for God. It was his love for himself which made him think that he could do a favor for God.

Sincerely,

Response #11: 

As I often try to remind people, "God doesn't need us; we need God" (see the link: "Satanic Lies").

While it is true that the evil one calls what is evil "good" and calls what is good "evil" (cf. Is.5:20), he has never had it mind to benefit anyone except himself. Evil has the potential of warping the thinking to such a degree that the most despicable acts can be considered "good". No doubt the Nazis felt that exterminating the Jewish race was "good" (they certainly made that claim), and as one of the verses you quote tells us:

"Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service."
John. 16:2 NKJV

Killing believers because they are serving Christ, however, is not "good", nor is it "helping God". So this sort of thing is all satanic propaganda, possibly believed by lesser lights, but that does not absolve them: it is not a reasonable defense for murder, e.g., that "I believe I did a good thing". That is because good and evil are objectively incompatible, rightly discerned – and God is certainly capable of discerning as are all those who look deeply into His Word of truth.

You said in your heart, "I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
Isaiah 14:3 NIV

Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.
Ezekiel 28:17 NIV

Not much about "helping God" here – Satan's motive have always been arrogant and completely selfish (willing to take a third of angels into the lake of fire with him to benefit his cause; willing to destroy the entire human race, if allowed to do so). But, as you also quote from our Lord, the devil was "a liar from the beginning" and "the father of it" (Jn.8:44). He also makes a point of "masquerading as an angel of light" (2Cor.11:14), so it is no wonder that he consistently puts "sweet for bitter and bitter for sweet" (Is.5:20).

Speaking of Nazis, Hitler was a proponent of the "big lie" theory, namely, that if a person is bald-faced and outrageous enough in his claims, he will be more likely to be believed simply because most people will be unwilling to accept that anyone would say something so unbelievable without it being true. In our day and age, the lies have gone beyond "big" to even "bigger" as spirituality and public integrity diminish day by day – but for the devil, who wants to replace God, to claim to be helping Him (as he and his often do) is about the biggest lie I can imagine.

Yours in the One who is the very truth itself, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Hi Bob,

I am just trying to 'wrap my head' about this concept. The War in heaven, was the heaven of the universe (2nd Heaven) and not the 3rd heaven where God dwells or abodes. Is this right? If this is correct, why do Christian churches lead people to believe The War in Heaven with the Dragon/Satan was in the 3rd heaven where God abides? When the dragon and his angels were cast down to the our planet, earth, it was from the physical universe or cosmos or 2nd Heaven and not the 3rd Heaven where God dwells, right?

Response #12: 

The "casting down" of Satan takes place in the middle of the Tribulation. It has not yet happened. Satan and his minions still assemble before the Lord from time to time (Job 1:1ff.), and the devil is still constantly accusing us before the Lord (e.g., Rev.12:10).

So, yes, the "war" takes place in "heaven", which in Hebrew is "heavens" (a dual form), and this means "the universe" in our terms (and that does exclude the fact that the devil is ejected also from God's presence).

I'm not aware of other groups having this basic principle mixed up to the degree you state (but it would not surprise me).

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:   

Hey Bob,

Per your response here: The "casting down" of Satan takes place in the middle of the Tribulation. It has not yet happened. Satan and his minions still assemble before the Lord from time to time (Job 1:1ff.), and the devil is still constantly accusing us before the Lord (e.g., Rev.12:10).

1) Is this referring to Luke 10:18 when Jesus said to the disciples/the other 70 sent out, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven"?

2) Is Jesus referring to the (dual heaven)?

3) And is this event, the fall from heaven, during the middle of the Tribulation?

4) Things coming on the earth, as a future prophecy?

Also, per your response: 'So there is not even any realistic possibility of "other worlds" now, since all life in the universe – wherever it may have existed before the great judgment that divides the first two verses of the Bible – was snuffed out in an absolute way.'

5) If this world & our earth will experience "UFO's" deception or Satan giving his power to the Antichrist, will Satan or Antichrist fall as lighting from heaven, as a 'form' or deception, possibly counterfeiting the coming of Christ, first to blind the minds of men, further? Thus 'the mark of the beast' is ushered in? See: Revelation 13:1-18

I am just trying to unravel years of my understanding of events, past, present & future. I have never been a believer in the 'rapture' but, I don't discount it or the scenarios on how it may come, I just want to be ready, at anytime even unto death. Help me get a clearer understanding of the 'truth'.

From the link: https://www.raptureready.com/abc/666.html:

The False Prophet, the other beast, or the second beast, will be the one to lead the world to serve and worship Antichrist. The False Prophet will be instrumental in arranging for people to take the mark of the beast.

This unholy trinity is that of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet. In the scriptures, God reveals Antichrist as the Beast, who derives his power from Satan, the Dragon. Together, they will use the False Prophet, the Second Beast, to help them accomplish their evil works on planet earth. The Bible also tells us that in the end of days, the Antichrist will rule over the entire human race with an ecumenical and apostate global religion, in addition to ruling the planet through a global government, and economy. No person living at that time, will be able to escape his evil rule. Revelation 13:1-18.

Who will take the mark?

We must understand the circumstances during which the Mark of the Beast program will be implemented during this horrific time in history, in order to understand why anyone would voluntarily accept it. Prior to its implementation, first will come the imminent event known as the rapture. This is when Jesus will come in the air, call for His followers to meet Him there, and then take them to Heaven in a twinkling of an eye. When more than two billion people from this planet simply disappear, one can only imagine the global chaos that will result.

Sometime following the rapture, those left behind will enter into Daniel's seventieth week, known as the Tribulation. Imagine the state of things after the rapture, followed by the first few years of the Tribulation, when cataclysmic events have occurred. The earth and its inhabitants will be in a state of complete confusion, devastation, and famine. If one is left behind in the rapture, and happens to survive into the Tribulation period, he most likely will find himself starving and homeless. Those people will be desperate for a strong leader, someone to restore peace and order. They will be eager to receive the false savior-Antichrist.

Response #13: 

As to question #1, yes, that's correct: Luke 10:18 and the 72 sent out are a deliberate foreshadowing of the 144,000 (who will operate in 72,000 pairs). "Heaven" here means the twin/dual heavens of sky and universe (n.b., John usually uses ouranos in the singular, even when he means shamayim; this is the only place in Revelation where John uses the plural, ouranoi; I have said before that I think this is to emphasize the devil's expulsion from all of heaven, including God's abode; it may also be that, because Satan is now also shut out of the third heaven, he is no longer being able to accuse the Church. So "heaven(s) here refers to Satan's ejection by Michael and his angels and his restriction to earth for the second half of the Tribulation (the "Great Tribulation"), and this does take place at the Tribulation's mid-point. This statement by our Lord is a prophecy, occasioned by the deliberate parallel, and our Lord's anticipation of that future event also parallels our anticipation at that future time of the binding of the devil and all of his forces (which will take place at the second advent), foreshadowed by the success of these "sent out ones" in dealing with the cases of demon possession they encountered..

On the next question, while our Lord "saw" this happen, this does not mean that we will see it, and I don't know of any biblical reason to assume that we will. We know it from scripture, but that does not mean it will be visible to us at the time (unless we are in heaven at that point). For example:

"Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
Revelation 12:12 NKJV

If we alive on earth at that time all saw this event, it probably would not have to be proclaimed to us as it will be here. In any case, while the demons have many powers and are allowed to do many things, appearing to the world does not seem to be one of them (at least I can't think of a single biblical instance of this).

I have opined in the past that we can't rule out antichrist putting out that he is "not of this world"; as the devil's seed, that is in one sense true. And he will claim to be Christ. Whether or not there will be a propaganda spin that connects this with "other worlds" remains to be seen. The point is that we believers will not be deceived about his origin, his nature, or his intentions.

Finally, I don't feel the need to take issue with much in the next bit you've pasted in (there is much more depth and detail on all this in the Coming Tribulation series, however) – except for 1) the "[pre-Trib] rapture" supposition: There is only one resurrection of the Church, and it will take place at Christ's return. Rather than repeating all the arguments and evidence here, please take a look at the following links, and write me back with your questions:

When is the Rapture?

The Origin and Danger of the Pre-Trib "Rapture" Theory

No Rapture

The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride (in CT 5)

Tribulational Security (i.e., why belief in a pre-trib rapture gives a false sense of security; in Peter #27)

The Resurrection (explains the timing of all of the echelons of the resurrection; in Peter #20)

Pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation rapture?

Faith and the Pre-Tribulational "Rapture"

Pre- or Post-Tribulation "rapture"?

What is your view of the rapture?

More on the Rapture

What is the evidence for the "rapture"?

Partial rapture theory

'Genesis rapture'

In the Name of the true Christ, our dear Lord Jesus, for whose return we breathlessly wait,

Bob L.

Question #14:   

Thank you, Bob.

You are such a help in a time of need. How do you get 72 in Luke 10:17, when the verse says 70?

Response #14: 

The Greek manuscripts of Luke 10:1 and 10:17 disagree on this point, being about equally split in terms of numbers and quality of witnesses to the text. However, on the one hand some of the earliest evidence is for the seventy plus the number "two" being part of the original text (e.g., Bodmer papyrus p75 – 2/3 cent.), and on the other hand it is easy to see from a text-critical point how the "two" might have fallen out: first, the word order is kai dyo kai (inviting haplography); secondly, dyo occurs again a few words later (inviting correction of the text on the grounds that the first dyo might have been a case of dittography).

The fact that this whole event is a deliberate parallel of the ministry of the 144,000 (so that the number ought to bear some relation), is for me decisive in tipping the balance. Also, there are "theological" reasons why some might have preferred 70 (so as to assume "72" was a mistake): 1) as a multiple of seven, 70 "seems" more likely as a spiritually significant number; 2) there are, traditionally, 70 nations of the world (in biblical terms), so that 70 witnesses would seem the right number from that point of view as well (although this rationale ignores the fact that both these witnesses and the 144K are sent to "the lost sheep of Israel", not to the gentile nations).

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:  

Hey Bob,

Thank you for the indulgence. I just have questions and some of them will appear to be going 'nowhere' & 'repetitious', but they have a destination! My hypothesis - 'Eternity is as far above heaven as heaven is above the earth and just as close, in every way'. Also - The imagination of man cannot exceed the knowledge of the atom, without some additional insight. Ephesians 3:18-21 (throughout all ages, world without end).

By this, I mean to propose - Satan is a super powerful intelligence, so anything I think, he can think better and more acutely. Satan did not launch his 'utterances' without contemplating the repercussions. If I could in hindsight consider these things, I have to consider or allow, he did also, in foresight. For the life me, I can't shake the idea that Lucifer become Satan had to be so close to God that he thought he knew God that well, if not he was a fool. What could make Satan think there was 'something - anything' unknown to the Father?

Response #15: 

No worries. This particular question is one I get from time to time. Namely, if the devil is as smart as he should be, if in fact he is not "crazy", then he ought to have known that he could not defeat God. However, this life is all about free will. If unbelievers realized the horrors that awaited them, and did so viscerally and completely, if they saw God face to face in all of His terrible and wonderful glory, then their will would cave in. They would obey God – but not from their heart and not from a genuine choice for Him, rather they would do so only out of compulsion (force majeure, so to speak). Just as God has given mankind "plausible deniability" when it comes to all things divine – that is to say, we all "know" deep in our hearts from the world as He has constructed it that there is a just God of absolute power before whom we will have to give an account – so it was with the angels. Satan was so smart that he believed he had found a chink in the way that God had constructed the universe, one which he could exploit to take over: namely, God's mercy. And God is merciful, but He had a way to replace Satan contrary to the devil's expectations, and to be merciful and just at the same time – by sacrificing His own dear Son unto death for mankind created to replace Satan and those who followed him. Naturally, a humble heart would fear God and would recognize that no creature could ever "figure it all out"; but arrogance is the great blinder and hardener of hearts. That is how human beings are able to put aside the questions of death, sinfulness and judgment; that is how the devil was able to convince himself – and many others – that God's hands would be tied in the event of a rebellion. The result is, it is true, the damnation of those who reject God. But the result is also the allowing of all moral creatures to choose the eternity they really want from their heart of hearts, one with or without God. Here are a few links which deal with this issue:

Satan's Revolutionary Platform

Is the devil "mad" to oppose God?

Didn't the devil know he couldn't defeat God?

The Cross, Sin, and the Devil in God's Plan

Free-Will Faith and the Will of God

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16: 

Hi Bob,

God is not only omniscient with actual events, but also potential events. Suppose that the Jews unanimously shared the sentiment of Nathaniel and accepted Jesus as their king and Messiah. The Gospel of John strongly implies that this was God's original will ("He came to His own but His own rejected Him"), but then how would have salvation been achieved in God's original, best will for them?

Sincerely,

Response #16: 

Consider:

How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11:33b

God has it all figured out; but remember that this is the perfect universe / the perfect history / the perfect and only iteration of the Plan of God, taking into account everything all moral agents actually intended and did. It is all of a piece, so deconstructing it to examine one small part is only going to confuse the whole: nothing can change in the entire decree of history.

I suppose in eternity there will be time for plenty of "if/thens", but I'm guessing we will have our plates full with the glory of God and be little interested in hypotheticals (especially considering that changing just one thing changes everything). Hypotheticals can be dangerous too. The devil could not conceive of how God might possibly restore the universe once he rebelled and managed to convince himself and his followers that they were safe because of God's "conundrum"; when that turned out to be a mistake, surely, the corruption of mankind would derail the Plan of God . . . and on and on and on with mistake after mistake, the substance of the false reasoning always being the underestimating of God.

Happily, we are safe in the mind and plan and love of God; our job is merely to exploit that wonderful grace to His and our Savior's glory day by day (and help others do the same).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:  

Hi Bob

I have been reading and re-reading your answers and some of you content (SR series and other) and also other writers. I still have the feeling that there is more to my question so allow me to rephrase and elaborate. Lucifer’s aspirations to become like God as well as his very convincing presentation of his case was clearly well made since 1/3 of the angelic host were convinced of its success. I believe also that Gods righteous judgement on them is delayed as God allows the human race to, in a special sense, demonstrate His utter fairness and certain righteous judgement of the fallen angelic host. We may well play a role in that process of Judgement of these angelic host. I, however, suspect that Satan’s current powerful and deliberately cruel earthly rule (under Gods permit) is still strategically organised to ‘force’ Gods hand in ‘giving in’ to this original Satanic plan. Perhaps Satan hopes that the degree of suffering or cost in terms of lost humanity will have as its result a sort of stalemate after which Satan will be ‘let off the hook’ and be allowed free reign in a fallen universe of his own choosing. Satan is no doubt amongst the best and most dangerous strategists in creation and he has everything to lose. Does he not hope that the price of so many lost precious humans, even given the cost of our redemption, will get God to throw in the towel at some point. After all he already convince a huge proportion of creation before humans appeared? This, or at least a similar argument, is proposed by some of the more obscure Luciferian teachers. It seems to explain the underlying horrific nature of Satan’s organisational rule as it systematically undermines everything that is directed to Godliness . They teach that humans should be siding with the evil one since success is still possible. It seems likely to me that Satan as a powerful and brilliant leader would not simply be acting out of spite, hatred or anger but still has personal hope for success despite the clear prophetic statements suggesting otherwise. He is not mad just very determined.

In your opinion is this a likely scenario? If so, what would you think are Satan’s key strategies – cause massive suffering, cause total loss of faith in God to redeem fallen beings, causes so few ‘takers’ of Gods offer of salvation that God abandons the attempt, something else entirely. Ideas?

Yours in the Lord

Response #17: 

The most clever strategy in the world is flawed if it fails to take in some critical detail. Satan did not factor in that God is God – which demonstrates the blinding nature of arrogance which is capable of blotting out the most essential and fundamental truths. Satan has been trying to surprise God and overturn what God has done and continues to do from the very beginning of human history; the devil thinks himself very clever (and in creature terms he certainly is), but every "victory" has always contained the seeds of defeat – as in the temptation of our first parents whose fall has brought the perfect plan of human history into play.

I think part of what is at the heart of much of what the devil is doing is not trying to pressure God (which obviously cannot work) but to cleverly defeat some aspect of the strategic plan. After all, if God could be made to change one thing in the plan, it would all fall apart; if one thing God has promised failed to come to pass, then Satan would "win". This to me explains his constant attempts to destroy believers and also the Jewish people. Should he ever be successful at this, then there could be no prophetic fulfillment possible (in Satan's warped logic). That explains the nephilim, the tower of Babel, anti-Semitism, and, very much apropos of our situation, the forthcoming attempt during the Tribulation to annihilate all faith from the earth – which apparently would have worked apart from special divine intervention (Matt.24:22).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – in whom we have the victory.

Bob L.

Question #18: 

Thank you for keeping the intent of your original group going by posting these helpful articles and making them freely available to the world. I also note your continuing study, hard word work and educational achievements. Congratulations! Much has been written about the Hosts of Heaven and especially of Satan (aka: that old serpent, the devil). These are the names the word of God uses to describe Satan, see Rev 12:9 and 20:2. Looking at your article http://ichthys.com/SR1copy.htm Satan's Rebellion and Fall from Grace, The word of God warns you and I of what would occur in these last days: Turning away from the Word towards doctrines of men:

(Mat 15:9) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

(Col 2:22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

(1Ti 4:1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Satan never fell from Grace as asserted for the word of God plainly states:

1. All things (including Satan) were created by Christ Col 1:16 which you repeat elsewhere in your writing.

2. Scripture plainly states Satan was never in a "state of grace"! I would definitely appreciate scripture support from you for this statement.

Here are plain scriptures from the word of God:

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, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

1John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

In light of plain word of scripture, I would ask you to reconsider what you wrote.

Yahweh Doesn't Call the Qualified, He Qualifies the Called

Response #18: 

Dear Friend,

Thanks for your good words.

As to your observation, first, let me say that I mean "grace" in the biblical sense (of enjoying God's favor), not in any special theological sense (and many groups have invested the word with a "magical" significance which varies from group to group so that one never really knows what is meant without some conversation on that point – even though biblical "grace" is clear enough).

As to "from the beginning" in the verses provided, these are referring to the beginning of the human race and Satan's temptation of Adam and Eve in Eden "at the beginning" (meaning our beginning). After all, the devil was not around "from the beginning" of creation so as to precede it, but was created as part of creation. The point is, we have to specify "the beginning of what?".

What God creates, He creates perfect (e.g., Is.45:18; 1Jn.1:5). He did not create the devil as a liar; the devil chose to become a liar. He did not create the devil as a rebel; the devil chose to rebel. Everything in this life is about choice: free-will faith. Consider this verse:

"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!"
Isaiah 14:2a NKJV

Lucifer means "light-bearer" and is not a negative but a very positive title (indicating that the devil was originally endowed with great honor by God). Also, one does not "fall from heaven" unless one was previously there; the verse clearly indicates a change of status for the worse, a literal "fall" out of God's presence (and thus out of His favor or [biblical] "grace"). Finally, these verses makes the case abundantly clear:

"Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you."
Ezekiel 28:13-15 NKJV

Clearly enough in these verses, Satan was the premier creature of all creation, serving in the prime spot before the Lord – before he corrupted himself out of pride (v.17), sinned, rebelled against the Lord, and was cast out of heaven, fallen from grace (i.e., from the favor of God).

Yours in the dear Lord Jesus who took on true humanity and paid the price for all our sins that we might return to grace, the favor of God, through accepting Him as our Substitute.

Bob Luginbill

Question #19:  

Thanks for your prompt reply. I am in the process of responding to your reply. I do need from you, the scriptures which say "Lucifer" is Satan. Thanks

Response #19: 

There were sufficient references in the previous response, but here are the pertinent sections from the Satanic Rebellion series along with citations:

From SR 1:

a) Morning Star (Is.14:12): This title speaks of Satan's role in reflecting the glory of God (cf. Job 38:7, where all the elect angels are described as "stars of the morning"). The Hebrew heleyl (הילל literally, "shining one"), was translated in the Greek Old Testament as "light bearer" and by the Latin Vulgate as "Lucifer". "Morning star" (or "day star") is an apt rendering of this title, for it betokens a heavenly body so brilliant that it can be seen even in daylight. As the prime creature of the primordial Eden, a place without darkness (for darkness did not exist before Satan's fall), Satan was the foremost representative of God's splendor, mirroring, for all angelic kind to behold, the brilliant glory of their Creator. It is a tragic irony that through his own choice he has now become the ruler of the domain of darkness (Eph.6:12; Col.1:13). Far from reflecting God's glory, he now opposes it in every way, but his ultimate destiny is to have his own light extinguished forever (Jude 6, 13). In contrast to Satan, our Lord Jesus Christ, the new Morning Star (2Pet.1:19; Rev.2:28; 22:16; cf. Num.24:17; Is.9:1-2; 42:6; 49:6; Matt.2:2; 2:9; 4:16; Lk.2:30-32; Jn.1:4-5; 8:12; 9:5), is the perfect reflection of the Father's glory (Heb.1:3).

and from SR 4:

a. Lucifer: This Latin name meaning "light-bearer" is a common translation for the Hebrew heylel (הילל) at Isaiah 14:12, and refers to the Morning Star. This is the only title for the devil which is not derogatory, stemming from his pre-rebellion status as the representative of God to the angels. As the One who brings God's light to the world (Jn.1:4-10), Jesus Christ has won the name "Morning Star" (2Pet.1:19; Rev.2:28; 22:16).(70) For the original "bringer of light" has become the "prince of darkness" (cf. Acts 26:18; Eph.6:12; Col.1:13).

Question #20:  

My Friend thanks for your reply to my request. However, you provided no Word of God verses that say Lucifer=Satan=Devil or Old Serpent. You "beg the question" by listing SR1 and SR4. I asked for scripture from the word of God and you give me the word of Man. The word of God shows in Rev 12:9 and 20:2 the different names for Satan. No where does it say Lucifer=Satan or Dragon or Devil or Serpent. Doctrines of Man are not proof that Lucifer = Satan and the fact you can produce "no scripture" should say something to YOU - WHY isn't there such a scripture if what you and many like you believe, Lucifer is Satan. I do appreciate your taking the time to discuss this with me and I do admire your holding on to what you were taught. As you see there are no scriptures to satisfy your claim, only the doctrines of man. thank you again for your time and I will continue to use your web site as it has many other interesting topics such as the "tribulation" and "charts"

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

This applies to Isa 14. I would like to share with you how this adjective ended up in many Protestant Bibles. As a scholar, you may be aware of the background of the Latin Vulgate Bible.

Vulgate St Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) versio vulgata, that is, the "commonly used translation", and ultimately it became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Holy Bible in the Catholic Church.

Source: http://vulgate.org/

If, you go to this site: http://www.drbo.org/lvb/ and enter the word "Lucifer" in the search box, you will get 3 results:

Job 11:17
Et quasi meridianus fulgor consurget tibi ad vesperam; et cum te consumptum putaveris, orieris ut lucifer.

Isaias (Isaiah) 14:12
Quomodo cecidisti de caelo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris? corruisti in terram, qui vulnerabas gentes?

2 Peter 1:19
Et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem: cui benefacitis attendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso donec dies elucescat, et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris:

I saw you had responded to my last email and I was in the process of sending you this note regarding the word "Lucifer"

This is where the adjective Lucifer came from and, please notice 2Peter 1:19 refers to Christ!!!

Response #20: 

Dear Friend,

Do you accept that Isaiah 14:12ff. is speaking about the devil? If so, then I don't see a problem. The Hebrew word heleyl in Isaiah 14:12 means "shining one". Translators could have transliterated the word and we would then have heleyl (instead of Lucifer) as a title for the devil. However, since this is obscure and obscures the meaning of the Hebrew word, the LXX produced a calque, heosphoros, which means "dawn-bearer". When this passage was translated into Latin, the Vulgate rendered it as "Lucifer", which means "light-bearer" in Latin. So the Greek and Latin translations do a very good job in creating titles that represent the essence of what the Hebrew word means. In English, however, we have merely lifted the Latin rendering without explanation (and I doubt that most English speakers know what "Lucifer" means). I follow my standard procedure of using standard renderings and terminology for the sake of continuity and then explaining the meaning where that is not obvious (as in the two pieces shared in the last email).

The fact that the Latin Vulgate uses the word "Lucifer" elsewhere for other things does not mean that the word does not apply to Satan in context at Isaiah 14:12 – any more than the fact that the word "son" may refer to anyone's son would mean that it cannot for that reason refer to the Son of God in places where He is meant by that word (e.g.).

As it happens (again, please see the two pieces previously sent), Satan's original role was to be the light-bearer representing, reflecting God – but he rejected that role and rebelled to become, instead of the preeminent creature of light, the prince of darkness instead. Satan and his present rule are in the process of being replaced by the coming Kingdom of the Son of God who is the "bright morning star" and the Light of the world – so that the coincidence of titles is certainly not accidental. "Lucifer" thus is a prior title for Satan which he forfeited.

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.

Bob L.

Question #21:   

I do not see Isa 14 in any way applying to Satan as the context is about the king of Babylon, who did become puffed up and was brought low as Daniel describes, made to eat grass like an animal and then after a passage of time, repented and was restored to his throne. Also verse 16 speaks of and refers to a man, not a spirit. Let me share with you examples of scripture regarding God and His Son do not Lie, we serve a God of Truth. I use the KJV please look at Deu 32:4, Psa 31:5, Isa 65:16, Titus 1:2. Your scriptures saying Lucifer=Satan, must have the words lucifer and satan in the same verse.

Thanks Robert for your time and patience and I will be visiting your site again.

Response #21: 

Dear Friend,

That explains a lot. Isaiah chapter 14 verse 2 most definitely does apply to Satan. Isaiah is a largely prophetic book, and it is a well-known characteristic of Hebrew prophecy that it moves from contemporary events to eschatological ones (or as in this case pre-edenic ones) with ease (for an explanation of how prophecy "works", please see the link: "Hermeneutic Issues"). It is quite common therefore for prophecy to have more than one application, a type and an antitype. As a result, nearly all evangelical exegetes of whom I am personally aware draw the same conclusion I do, that is, that these verses are in fact speaking about the devil's early career (using the king of Babylon merely as a departure point of comparison; a "type" for the devil's "antitype"; please see the link: "Typology"). There are plenty of other indications that what we have here is meant to be understood to apply to Satan. For example, the grandiose title "Lucifer" / "light-bearer" clearly means nothing applied to a human king, but it is quite apropos of Satan's pre-fall status (cf. the devil's adornment with brilliant stones of fire in Ezek.28:13-14); nor could this human being "fall from heaven", but Satan could and did – and our Lord's remark in Luke 10:18 is clearly referencing this passage; and also the five famous "I wills" of verses 13-14 are very revealing of the devil's motives, but they could hardly mean anything at all if they only referred to a historical and merely human "king of Babylon" who had no hopes of "ascending to heaven" e.g. (see the link).

So our verse is in fact speaking about the evil one. As to the name "Lucifer", as I tried to explain earlier, it is not a biblical word (i.e., it is Latin, not Hebrew or Greek, and only a loose translation of different words in either Testament). I am very happy for you or anyone else not to use the word at all. However, the Hebrew word heleyl at Isaiah 14:2 has to be translated in some fashion. "Shining one" would be fine; I use "Lucifer" because 1) it is traditional; 2) it is an acceptable rendering (albeit in Latin); 3) the name is used in contemporary English to refer to the devil already anyway; and 4) confusion is thus avoided in this way whereas introducing another unknown phrase or calque would introduce confusion. So I add explanations wherever this comes up (as in the pieces shared with you). Even if a person were to translate the word here as "shining one", this chapter would no doubt still be interpreted as referring to the devil (by those conversant with prophecy and comparing the NT parallels and thus drawing the conclusions shared above) so that in this sense the title (or better put the translation of the title) makes no difference at all.

Finally, just to emphasize for clarity, the word "Lucifer" does not occur in the Bible anywhere (that is, in the original Greek and Hebrew). It is not a biblical word (not being Greek or Hebrew or even Aramaic) but a Latin word which was employed to translate several different words and phrases in the Vulgate. I make no representations that this word is by its nature applicable to the devil – or to anyone or anything. But it is used in common English usage as a title for Satan, and the fair question is whether or not that is valid (rather than bowing to odd cult usage which wants to distinguish between a Satan and a Lucifer!). To answer that question, based upon the Vulgate's translation of Isaiah 14:2 and the traditional English versions' taking up of that rendering, it seems plain to me that such usage is valid, since Isaiah 14:2 is in fact speaking about the devil – although, as mentioned earlier, it does have to be observed that most people are unaware of the meaning of the title or its origin (again, something that can be corrected by proper teaching and explanation).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #22:  

My Dear Friend

I truly do admire your conviction. I also note your passion and persistence. Thank you for taking the time to share more of your thoughts. Regardless, of how you and I may want to view Isaiah 14 and, other Bible verses, we must and, we are required to take the scripture exactly as stated and not, not to insert our own beliefs and traditions over the word of God. Your reference to " please see the link: "Hermeneutic Issues") is also clear as to reaching a correct understanding of scriptures for the rules state: UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT, LET SCRIPTURE INTERPRET SCRIPTURE, READ FROM THE TEXT, NOT INTO IT and TRUST THE CLARITY OF SCRIPTURE. note: read from the text not into it which is exactly what you and others have been doing!!

It is a plain fact, nowhere in Isa 14 is the word Satan but yet you read Satan into it. I continued to ask for you to show me any scripture that says Lucifer is Satan. You have yet to do so. What you have done is produce volumes of words around the subject and yet not a single bible verse is given to support your assertion namely Lucifer = Satan. Why can't you find a Bible verse to support your assertion? If, what you say is true, why haven't you found by this time such verses.

Saying so, does not make it so and yet you so firmly believe because others are in agreement that makes it true. For me, unless the word of God says so I am unable to be on your side of the argument whether it is regarding Isaiah 14 or Ezekiel 28. I shared with you the origin and carry over into the bible versions which sprang forth after the Reformation, using the Latin Vulgate as the primary source even though other sources did exist. Perhaps there will be common ground and agreement on other articles and writings you have offered on your web site.

By the way, I believe you have heard of the DSS (dead sea scrolls) the copies of the OT pre-date the Vulgate and one of the researchers has been kind enough to translate the ancient Hebrew. Look at Isa 14:12 http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah?id=17:11 - 14:12, and in case you have difficulty, I am attaching a snap-shot of the page (Isa 14:12) The Word of God is Truth! Avoid the doctrines of Man.

Response #22: 

Dear Friend,

I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree. Scripture means what it means. Any interpretation that foists an incorrect sense on scripture is wrong-headed; however, any interpretation which fails to bring out all the meaning with which the verse/passage has in fact been imbued by the Lord is just as bad. When you say, "UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT, LET SCRIPTURE INTERPRET SCRIPTURE, READ FROM THE TEXT, NOT INTO IT and TRUST THE CLARITY OF SCRIPTURE", I have to reply that this is exactly what I have been doing in respect of this passage. There is undeniable evidence here that the passage must be talking about the devil:

1) The king of Babylon did not fall from heaven, but Satan did (Lk.10:18).

2) The king of Babylon did not weaken the nations, all of them, to anything like the same degree that Satan has (e.g., Lk.4:6), and antichrist will – and this is true to the point that the verse cannot really be applied to the king of Babylon.

3) The five "I wills" are a perfect reflection of the devil's thinking, his aspirations, and his program – but they make no sense whatsoever placed in the mouth of the literal king of Babylon who could not "ascend to heaven", or "exalt [his] throne above the stars of God" or "sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north" or "ascend above the heights of the clouds" or, perhaps most clearly, aspire to "be like the Most High" – these things do not even make a modicum of sense for a human being; but they are precisely what Satan aspires to.

4) "the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities": these things are true of antichrist, but not of any king of Babylon; they are also true of the devil, antichrist's father.

5) The unique lack of burial: as we know from Revelation 19:20 and 20:10, only antichrist, his prophet and the devil suffer this unique fate of being cast into the lake of fire with no further due process (no burial; no last judgment).

6) The similarities between this passage (Isaiah 14:4-20) and its parallel in Ezekiel (Ezek.28:12-19) also present evidence difficult to refute; the two passages really do rise and fall together as being prophetically applied to the devil or not (and the latter, ostensibly addressed to "the king of Tyre", is even more clearly meant to have its antitypical application to Satan) – I hope you are not telling me that you don't believe that this passage in Ezekiel should be applied to the devil either?

Finally, I have to say that you are the only evangelical I have ever bumped into, in print or in person, who has ever denied the very clear sense of this passage that it describes more than just the contemporary king of Babylon and is in its deeper meaning referencing the career of the evil one (and, as may be seen from my comments above, even more closely, I would argue, in the case of his son, antichrist; see the link). Clearly, this is not the only place in scripture where this sort of thing happens. Consider:

"And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
Genesis 3:15 NKJV

You are not going to tell me, are you, that the literal reptile here is the true recipient of these prophecies instead of Satan (and his antichrist)? I know that there are people who want to remove the devil from the Bible; unfortunately, he is there just as he is in the world, and believers ignore the small but important amount of information scripture does supply about him and his operations at their peril.

As to Lucifer, we seem to have a very great misunderstanding here which I will try once more to clear up:

1) I am not defending the Latin translation of the Bible, that is, the Vulgate (?!);

2) Lucifer is a Latin word used to translate the word in Isaiah which is, in the original Hebrew text, heleyl;

3) As to the use of the translation/title "Lucifer", as I mentioned, if you want to translate it otherwise (e.g., "day star" as in your example) or just transliterate and say "heleyl", that is fine with me (however, in the latter case almost no one will know what you are talking about);

4) However, "Lucifer" does mean "light-bearer" and that is an acceptable translation of heleyl (and superior to a transliteration no one understands);

5) The Dead Sea scrolls are neither here nor there on this question inasmuch as the Hebrew word in 1QIsa is exactly the same as what we find in the Masoretic Text – no textual issue here at all. The translator at your site renders heleyl as "day star" which is certainly fine. The question is, to whom does this title appertain?

6) The bottom line is that the Hebrew word in Isaiah 14:12 is . . .

a) a title for the devil before his fall;

b) calls attention to Satan's original, marvelous beauty (the very beauty he allowed to corrupt his heart; cf. Ezek.28:12-17).

I hope that clears my position up for you – even if you choose not to accept it.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #23:   

My Friend:

Your position was clear when I first visited your site and our exchanges certainly left no doubt as to where you stand on certain doctrines. Even, your closing "a title for the devil before his fall" (where in the bible does it say that?) continues. Unproven assertions. The title "light bearer" which also was applied to Christ, yet you fail to say that Christ is Lucifer only Satan is – why not?

However, why I thought it best to discontinue this specific discussion and, I am happy you are in agreement was when you rejected the word of God as not meaning exactly what it said.

Seeing and yet not seeing what Christ the creator of "all things" whether in heaven or earth said of Satan, there was "no truth in him" and yet you say No, No Lord, Satan was created perfect, good -- and use to be honest and truthful. Christ says not so Robert and you disagree with Christ. Even the word beginning (arche) does not mean beginning for you! Thayer's bible dictionary says: arche

Thayer Definition:

1) beginning, origin

2) the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader

3) that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause

Well good-night my friend and thanks for your comments and point of view also a BIG Thanks for your friendly and civil responses.

Response #23: 

Dear Friend,

We do seem to be talking past one another. Let me give this one more try:

1) The Bible only has to say something once for it to be true.

2) Isaiah 14:12 is referring to the devil (the reasons set out in the previous email give some of the justification for that conclusion; e.g., if it were not then neither would Ezekiel chapter twenty-eight be referring to Satan and in that case we would know virtually nothing of substance about the circumstances of his rebellion, excepting both of these critical passages).

3) Therefore the title heleyl is a title for Satan.

4) The word occurs only there in all of scripture.

5) For that reason the Vulgates rendering of both this passage and other NT passages with the word "Lucifer" is confusing and potentially very misleading.

6) Nevertheless, it is best to translate rather than to merely transliterate heleyl at Isaiah 14:12 to bring out the root meaning of "shining one".

7) "Lucifer" is not a bad translation and has the benefit of being a title for the devil in common English parlance; but it does suffer from being a bit inexact and also from the fact that most people do not understand that the word means "light bearer".

8) Your observation to the effect that the Vulgate uses the word elsewhere where "morning star" refers to Christ and is therefore potentially confusing is a good one; without explaining Satan's original status as the "covering cherub" and the "shining one" who is replaced in the creation by the Son of God who takes on true humanity to become "the First Born of all Creation" and "the Bright Morning Star" even more confusion may result. Indeed, one really has to understand the angelic conflict in some depth to appreciate all this (to which end the five part Satanic Rebellion series was written; see the link).

9) Regarding Thayer, lexicons are not dispositive; lexicons reflect scholarly appreciation of language usage and are not meant to be prescriptive or proscriptive except in very general terms; word meanings are always determined by actual usage. When our Lord says "from the beginning", you are assuming He means "from the moment of his original creation" – but He does not say that (nor does Thayer link this word necessarily to the ex nihilo creation of the universe). In fact, we know from Ezekiel chapter twenty-eight that pride corrupted Satan's heart. And if he allowed pride to corrupt his heart, then his heart was, at least at first, not corrupted. And, indeed, how can it be otherwise since the Lord does not create moral agents "evil"; that is a choice which by definition we all make, choosing for or against the Lord. Satan was not created a liar; Satan became a liar out his own choice; that is the earliest "beginning" to which our Lord's words may refer (although as suggested I think it better to take this "the beginning of his interaction with mankind where he lied to Eve", that is, his first lie to the human race).

10) The Word of God says exactly what it says and it means exactly what it means. I hope you can appreciate the fact that it is not an uncommon occurrence for two godly people to look at the same passage and come up with different interpretations. There are correct interpretations and there are incorrect one. How one decides between alternatives is a matter of hermeneutics. My method and approach – both in general and specifically – is no secret but has been spelled out in great detail both in these emails and in the links provided. The fact that someone may not agree with my interpretation does not mean that 1) it is wrong, or that 2) the other person is "merely reading the Bible" – the Bible does not exist in English (only translations do) and whenever one restates the words to explain something (as we have both been doing), that is an interpretation.

11) Therefore, what we have here is a difference of opinion over interpretation. The fact that I have not been able to convince you does not make you right and me wrong any more than the fact that you have not changed my opinion makes me right and you wrong. There is a correct interpretation of this issue but we disagree about what that is (that is the gist of it). I am firmly convinced that the passage in Isaiah is speaking about Satan's early career (and so the title heleyl refers to the devil), whereas you doubt this (despite my best efforts to explain my position). You have not been convinced by my proof and I do not find the verse you supply as applicable for the reasons supplied above. So we can leave it here. I do have to add in closing, however, that while the Bible gives us much less information about the devil, his motives, and his operations than we would like to have, removing these two key passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel from the mix would make it virtually impossible to get a clear view of the conflict now raging between the Lord and the evil one, the reasons for it, its particular course, and the key role played by mankind in resolving it. I for one am grateful to accept these passages for what they are, in my firm opinion and belief, namely, antitypical descriptions of Satan (according to long recognized practices of Hebrew prophecy).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #24:   

I have sometimes heard Lucifer to be royalty. And that when he is referred to as a "prince," it means he above and separate from those angels beneath him. Is this a bible-fact or is it bible-fiction? And where can I research this?

Response #24: 

Good to make your acquaintance. The devil was the original "cherub", the highest ranking of the angels. He betrayed the trust bestowed upon him and lost that position, seeking to take on for himself the rulership of the world. For that reason, scripture calls him the "god of this age" (2Cor.4:4); the "ruler of this world" (Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11); and the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph.2:2) – on this title see also "king" in Is.14:4 and Ezek.28:12. This position of partial world rulership, snatched from Adam through the temptation in Eden, is of course only temporary. All of these maters (and many related ones) are covered in the "Satanic Rebellion series" (see the link), with Satan's original status being discussed in part 1: "Satan's Rebellion and Fall from Grace".

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill


 

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