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The Lesson from Lucifer's Fall

  • Sara Gibson Author of After the Cross
  • 2001 27 Aug
The Lesson from Lucifer's Fall
Ezekiel recorded the origin of Satan (formerly Lucifer), and among the many important things the prophet tells us about the enemy before his fall are these: he was “full of wisdom,” and he was “perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). If Satan was “full of wisdom,” as a created being, that wisdom had to be from God, but something happened to that wisdom, and it became corrupted. The passage goes on to show us the lavishness God had invested in Lucifer:

Lucifer began as a lavish, glorious creation. Precious jewels had covered him, and he was designed with musical instruments as part of his being (see Ezekiel 28:13). Lucifer was honored in Heaven as “the anointed cherub that covereth” and much more:

“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:14-15

This is the point in the narrative when things began to go wrong. Until this point, Lucifer had been “perfect.” He was the leader of Heaven’s choirs, and God had given him a very high place in the scheme of things. Now, however, “iniquity was found in [Lucifer],” and in the very next verse, we see God casting him out of His holy mountain. What was this “iniquity” that caused Lucifer’s fall?
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom ..." Ezekiel 28:17

Lucifer’s heart was “lifted up,” meaning that he became proud, and this pride resulted in the corruption of his wisdom. Pride is nothing more than corrupted wisdom, and corrupted wisdom is nothing more than pride.

It is very clear that Lucifer fell from his exalted place and became Satan because of pride. Pride led him to think that he could rise higher than God Himself. This mistaken notion brought him “down to Hell” (Isaiah 14:12-15). He was created to give praise to God, but he decided that he wanted to exalt himself instead.

Pride is anything that tries to exalt itself against God. It is anything that tries to replace God’s throne with Satan’s. And many of the other enemies we struggle with on a daily basis are related to pride.

For instance, what is fear? When we are afraid of something, it means that we are exalting Satan’s lies above God’s truth. Fear is actually another form of pride. If we know God’s greatness, how can we be afraid?

What is worry? It is a low-grade fear, and if you continually yield to it, it will develop into full-blown fear in your life. It is nothing more than pride. When you succumb to worry, you are exalting Satan’s lies above God’s truth.

What about murmuring? It can also be placed under the category of pride. Murmuring is the result of exalting Satan’s throne above God.

We’re not just talking about sinners now. Many people who love God unknowingly exalt Satan above Him. They have their focus on how strong the devil is. To talk to them, you would think that the devil is the strongest, most powerful being in existence. Without even realizing it, they are giving him glory, and they are exalting him above God. This, of course, is getting into pride. It’s dangerous, and nothing good can come of it.

Lucifer was the first transgressor, not Adam. He wanted to be like God. He wanted to exalt his throne “above the stars of God.” Pride caused his downfall. The name Lucifer means “the bright and shining one,” and he was indeed a rising star in God’s presence. After his fall, however, he became Satan, which means “adversary.” By trying to rise higher than God, Lucifer (now Satan) became the enemy of God and the enemy of God’s people.

When he came to Eve in Eden, he decided to play upon the same weakness that caused his own downfall. The first temptation he used was a call to her pride.

Next, Satan cast doubt on the Word of God and contradicted what God had said. He told Eve that if she would do what he was suggesting, rather than what God had said, she would become like God. This was the same twisted wisdom that had brought him down, and he now hoped to drag mankind down with him.

When Eve looked at the tree and saw that it looked harmless, and when she heard that eating the fruit of it would make her wise, she was hooked. Satan had thus become a gifted deceiver and a polished liar and he has been honing those skills ever since. He is great at offering what he cannot deliver and proposing what he cannot fulfill.

Satan’s judgment was immediate. He was cast out from the presence of the Lord. He was judged and cursed in the Garden of Eden. He was further judged on the cross. In Christ’s death and resurrection, He defeated Satan and took his authority away from him. The King James Bible says that Jesus “destroy[ed] him that had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). Many modern Bible versions translate this word “destroy” as “render powerless.” Satan has become nothing more than “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NAS).

So, “the god of this world” is nothing more than a lying, thieving, bumbling failure who delights in seeing others fail as he has. He has no real power, so the only way he can achieve this is by deceiving men into thinking that they are gods themselves. He was already cursed when he approached Eve in the garden, but he continues to draw prideful men and women to his side, fallen creature that he is.

Even though Satan is disarmed, he still exists, and he is still a danger to every believer. Far too many believers fear Satan, and he is not to be feared. He is already defeated, and we must rejoice in that defeat. Other believers ignore Satan entirely — as if he didn’t exist at all. If we ignore Satan, he will eat (“devour”) us. Both of these extremes are in error. What we must do is develop a shield against him.

Copyright 2001 Sara Gibson -- All Rights Reserved.

This article is a condensed excerpt from Chapter 19 of After the Cross: Knowing Jesus in the Power of His Resurrection. Be sure to read the second part of this excerpt, A Devil's Shield.