Who Really is Lucifer - Satan or Adam?
By Jonathan Mitchell
I have come to see the passages in Isaiah 14 (re: "Lucifer") and Ezekiel 28 as figuring someone different than the traditional interpretation. I would like to share some thoughts with you for your consideration.
First of all, in neither passage is there a direct reference to, or mention of, Satan. That application has been assumed. Before considering these passages, let me quote the footnote on Isa. 14:12 from The Amplified Bible:
" 'Light-bringer' or 'Shining one' was originally translated Lucifer, but because of the association of that name with Satan it is not now used. Some students feel that the application of the name Lucifer to Satan, in spite of the long and confident teaching to that effect, is erroneous. Lucifer, the light-bringer, is the Latin equivalent of the Greek word Phosphoros, which is used as a title of Christ in II Pet. 1:19 and corresponds to the name 'bright Morning Star' in Rev. 22:16, which Jesus called Himself. The application of the name has existed since the third century A.D., and is based on the supposition that Luke 10:18 is an explanation of Isa. 14:12, which some authorities feel is not true."
The passage in Isa. is literally prophetic of the fall of Babylon, using the "king of Babylon" (vs. 4) as a figure of this. Similarly, the passage in Ezk. 28 is addressed to "the prince of Tyrus" (vs. 2) and "the king of Tyrus" (vs. 12), as a prophecy of God's judgment of Tyre.
The question is, of what or whom are these passages figurative? Admittedly, Satan can be read into them, but I suggest that so can "Adam." To me this latter makes more sense, and better fits with the rest of the Scriptures.
Where the KJV, following the Latin Vulgate rather than the Hebrew, transliterated Luciferos into Lucifer in Isa. 14:12, what if we transliterated the Hebrew in Ezk. 28:2 & 9? We would have something like, "yet you [are] Adam and not GOD."
Another interesting point is that the Heb. word epher in Ezk. 28:18 can be translated as "dust," as well as "ashes." Thus is could read, "I will bring you to DUST upon the earth, in the sight of all them that behold you." Is Satan someone that we can behold upon the earth? Is it not mankind that is dust,
Now, if we look at these passages from a different paradigm, we may see a different figure emerge. Since we're in Ezk., let's begin here. In vs. 2 we see that pride is the cause of his fall, "because your heart is lifted up." Was not pride the root of the Serpent's temptation of Eve? He told her "ye shall be as gods" ( Gen. 3:5). She saw that it was a tree "to be desired to make one wise." Thus did she (a figure of the soul, the seat of man's desires and lust) "set [her] heart [to be] as the heart of God."
The temptation was pride: to be like God. This was the origin of Phariseeism. "Yet you [are] human, and not El ..." (Concordant Version). In vs. 3-5 we see a description of man: using his wisdom and understanding to gain riches, and his heart being "lifted up because of [his] riches." Now consider vs. 7, "I am going to bring strangers (foreigners) against you, the most ruthless of nations, they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your brightness." What strangers were brought upon Satan? Have these strangers brought their swords upon Satan? Did the "ruthless of the nations" defile his brightness? Are not these things that happen to man? Vs. 8 says that this one shall die like ones "slain in the midst of the seas (a figure of humanity)." In vs. 9 this one finds out that he is human "in the hand of your violators!"
Note that vs. 10 uses the word "uncircumcised" to describe the kind of death this one would experience, "by the hand of strangers." This would seem to indicate a dishonorable kind of death, and one in distinction to the death of the "circumcised." Now we move to the next dirge in vs. 12. The Concordant Vers. says, "You are a seal-imprint of a model, full of wisdom and consummate in loveliness." Rotherham reads, "Thou wast of finished proportions, full of wisdom [Christ??], and perfect in beauty." Sounds to me like the first Adam, of whom God would have said, "It is very good."
Now that this one was in Eden (vs. 13), it could refer to either Adam or Satan. But in the Genesis account it was man that was cast out (as we see here in vs. 16, "So I cast thee as profane [I profaned thee] out of the mountain of God"), not Satan. Thus do we see Satan still reporting in, along with the sons of God, in Job ch. 1 & 2. It is noteworthy that in all of Job's trials, although we are aware of Satan being an intermediate agent from ch. 1 & 2, Job never serpent was then judged, it was man who disobeyed in the Garden. We also see in vs. 13 that this one had a "covering." I suggest that these precious stones correspond to the precious stone in the vestments of the high priest: the breast-plate and on the shoulders. The high priest is a type of Christ (the Last Adam) and was in this sense "covered with precious stones," and gold. We see the same in the figure of His body, New Jerusalem. The last phrase of vs. 13 seems to be a problem for translators. KJV says "the workmanship of they tabrets and of thy pipes;"
The Amplified reads, "your settings and your sockets [and] engravings were wrought in gold;" -- this language echoes of the description of the Tabernacle; the CVOT reads, "And with gold have you filled the shoulders of your pavilion, and your alcoves which are in you;" the Tanakh has, "And gold beautifully wrought for you, mined for you," with a footnote, "Meaning of Heb. uncertain." Vs. 15, "You walked flawless in your ways from the day of your creation, until iniquity was found in you" can well apply to Adam. Vs. 14 & 16 call this one both "an anointed cherub" and a "covering cherub." To an Israelite, to be anointed meant to be established in a specific position, as a ruler, or priest, or prophet. It was a position that carried responsibility and had in it the sense of being an overseer. Who was the one that was to have the anointed position over creation in the beginning?
"And God said, 'Let us make adam in our image, after our likeness [full of wisdom and perfect in beauty?], and let them HAVE DOMINION . . . upon the earth.'" (Gen. 1:26)
According to Young, the Heb. word kerub means "one grasped, held fast." Could this be applied to one such as Paul who was apprehended (grasped) by God? Note the descriptions of the four living ones in Ezk. ch. 1. In ch. 10 these same living ones are called "cherubim." In ch. 1:5, "And this is their appearance: the likeness of a human [Adam] is theirs." In ch. 1:8 it is noted that they have Adamic hands (hands of a human) under their wings. In vs. 10 the first face (= identity) is that of Adam (human). The other three faces are figures of the remaining four aspects of Christ: the lion of the tribe of Judah; the bull of the sacrifice; the eagle, representing His divine nature.
The word for "covering" used in 28;14 & 16 is translated "of the booth" by the CV, and is the same word used of the cherubim "covering the mercy seat with their wings" in Ex. 25:20 & 37:9.
"coals of fire" in the altar of incense within the Tabernacle (booth) which stood before the beautiful veil into which were woven "cherubim." These both the altar, with its stones of fire, and the veil, were A PART OF THE TABERNACLE, which is a type of the body of Christ: the anointed "man." This figure here in Ezk. is a picture of Adam (and later apostate Israel) being cast out of his position of being a priest, offering worship within the Tabernacle.
With reference to the two cherubim on either side of the Mercy Seat, note that they "shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces [shall look] one to another [Heb. ach: "a brother"; also in Ex. 37:9]; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be." (Ex. 25:20) I suggest that God had this design to have "two" cherubim: two being the number of witness. I also think that they represent the first and the last Adam - the heavenly design; the restored first Adam seated (on the Mercy Seat) with the Last Adam and His Father in His throne (the ark being a figure of the throne of God). I see no place for Satan here in this representation of the heavens (the realm of spirit).
We must keep in mind that Israel and the Tabernacle were set apart to be a figure of the plan of the ages, and of heavenly things. I believe that in this passage we can see both the fall of man, and the fall of Israel. We have seen how Babylon and its fall was a figure of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. I suggest that the same applies to these prophesies about Babylon and Tyre in Isa. and Ezk. Read the following in this light:
"Haughty is your heart in your loveliness. You ruin your wisdom on account of your shining. Because of THE MULTITUDE of your sins, ON THE EARTH I fling you. Before kings I set you to make a spectacle of you. Because of your MANY depravities by the iniquity of your trading, you profane your sanctuaries [ bodies? Cp. I Cor 3:17, "If anyone is corrupting the temple of God, God will be corrupting him, for the temple of God is holy, which you are."]. And I will bring forth A FIRE from your midst. It devours you [cleansing, purging His threshing floor]. And I will bring you to ashes [dust] on the earth, before the eyes of all seeing you." (vs. 17-18, CVOT) Turning to Isa. 14, whose fall "made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms" (vs. 16)? Was it not Adam's transgression that brought the curse? Was it not his sin that "weakened the nations" (vs. 12)? The worm spread under him (vs. 11) is a figure of corruption, death. He is to be as those who go down to the stones of the pit (fig. of the grave), As a CARCASS trodden under feet. This is neither the picture of Satan now, nor of his end (which is to be in the lake of fire). Even during the period of Michael reasoning with the devil concerning the body of Moses, Michael showed him respect!
These descriptions do fit man. Adam was the light-bearer. He was anointed to govern creation. The pride in his soul (Eve) in desiring to ascend and raise high his throne (position of authority) and "be like the most High" (vs. 14) was the yielding to the temptation put there by the serpent. Just as this one in Isa. "made the world as a wilderness" (vs. 17), "cursed is the ground for [his] sake . . . thorns and thistles shall it bring forth" (Gen. 3:17,18). Isa. 54:16, "I have created the Waster to destroy," is in relation to satan being as an instrument in the hands of God, for in this same vs., He says, ". . . that [He] bringeth forth an INSTRUMENT for His work." Also consider 1 Cor. 5:5, where Paul makes use of Satan on that individual to the end "that the spirit may be saved." Peter spoke of the devil as being "YOUR opponent (in a legal sense, or otherwise)," not as being God's adversary.
Further is the fact that, having been bound and cast into the Deep, he is once again loosed out of his prison, the purpose being to deceive the nations (Rev.20:2-3,7-8). And, again, "He was a man-killer FROM THE BEGINNING." (John 8:44).
This does not seem to fit with the traditional myth that Satan was once an angel or a cherub. God created him as he is, to do what he is doing. He is a tool, in God's hand, for testing and for judgment. This is hard for most to accept. But then, they will also find Amos 3:6 hard to accept, ". . . shall there be evil in a city, and Yahweh has not done it?" Or, Isa. 45:7, ". . . I am Yahweh Elohim, and there is none else, Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of GOOD and Creator of EVIL, I, Yahweh Elohim made all these things." (CVOT)
When Satan is first seen in Scripture he is a serpent. When he is last seen, in the book of Revelation, he is still "that old (ancient; original) serpent, the one being called Devil and Satan" (Rev. 12:9). The "fall" of Satan in Lu. 10:18 was Jesus' response to what the seventy disciples had just reported to Jesus in vs. 17: "even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name." I think that Jesus was simply telling them that, the heavens being opened to Him, He had seen the demons being cast out by the disciples. The "falling from heaven" was a figure of speech for Satan being displaced from the spirits (heaven) of the men who were being delivered by the disciples. In Rev. 12:9, the casting out of Satan from heaven into the earth is in direct connection with the Woman (true Israel/the true Church) bringing forth the Manchild (Christ).
Some have noted that satan's work and realm of concern are "in the religious realm" and in "the realm of faith." Also how that through his ministers of righteousness he would offer a counterfeit Christ, thus displacing the Christ of God, offer a righteousness without a Redeemer, offer a system of works, dogmas, ordinances, ceremonies, and religion. Yes, satans's emissaries come AS "Angels of Light." Messengers who are supposedly preaching light (truth) yet who produce the counterfeit, which brings bondage and death.
For some final thoughts, I will begin in 1 John 3:8, "He who is continually practicing the sin ["the sin" was partaking from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil - the law (which gave knowledge of good & evil)] exists from out of the Devil, because the Devil is continually sinning (failing; missing the mark) FROM THE BEGINNING. Unto THIS was the Son of God manifested: that He may be destroying (loosing; annulling) the works (acts) of the Devil."
Now in Heb. 2:14 we see that Jesus, ". . . through means of death He might render useless (deactivate) the one having the strength (power, force) of death, that is, the Devil."
So one of the works of the Devil was in regard to the strength, or power, of death. But Paul says, in I Cor. 15:56, "Now the sting of the death [is] the sin, but the power (ability) of the sin [is] the LAW." In Rom. 7:9-10 he says, "Now I was formerly living apart from law, but [with] the commandment coming, the sin lived again (revived), and I died. And the commandment, the one for (into) life, the same was found by me for (into) death." Again, in Rom. 8:2 Paul refers to this commandment as "the law of the sin and of the death." And in 2 Cor. 3:7 he calls it "the DISPENSATION OF DEATH, in letters having been engraved in stone."
So who had the strength (power) of death? The Devil. What did he use as his tool? The Law! And he still works through legalism to this day. He still offers the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, via the works of some system of, "trying to please or be like God," instead of listening to the Word of God, Christ, and partaking of, or remaining joined to, the Tree of Life through His GRACE! But Christians still remain ignorant that Christ has deactivated the Devil.
One wonders if this association of Satan with the works of the Law gives added significance to the bronze serpent on the pole? Israel sinned and was bitten by fiery serpents. It was also the Law that "stung" them. Christ fulfilling the Law, and being Himself hung on the pole, was not only the sacrifice for sin, but also the end to the Law and to the working of Satan through the Law.
In His grace,
Return To Jonathan Mitchell's Page