In this section, we’ll look at the “who” behind the “void” era. However, as obvious as his identity has probably been up to this point, the ultimate conclusion I’ve drawn about the fall of Lucifer is not one that’s received much coverage in the scholarly world. That said, though the “who” is likely obvious to many, the answers to the “when,” “how,” and “what” questions are those that make this series differ from all others that I know of. Readers should not assume they know where all this is going just because the culprit behind much of this is being postured as Lucifer.
As in all my works, however, I never want to assume all readers know how I arrive at any conclusion, even if it’s one Bible-reading folks often already know, like the “who” behind the “void.” For this reason, I’ll briefly explain how scholars conclude that Lucifer was the guilty party and Earth was his kingdom before I move on to look at the prophets’ words about this being and details surrounding his fall. (I’m only partly covering Lucifer here as he relates to what the prophets saw. Later, in chapter 8, I’ll return to the subject of the perpetrator and take it a bit deeper.)
Scripture makes it very clear that the central enemy of God is the “ruler of this world,” as well as “the god of this age” (John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the “prince of the power of the air,” still “work[ing] in the sons of disobedience,” who become “children of [God’s] wrath” (Ephesians 2:2–3). In the account of Christ’s temptation, we read that Lucifer (Satan) had authority over all the kingdoms upon Earth (Luke 4:5–6). This makes Earth Lucifer’s past and current kingdom (at least from his fall forward; as we arrive at Ezekiel’s words in the next few pages, you will see why I conclude that Earth was Lucifer’s kingdom from the moment of his creation). He began as an “anointed cherub” who was “perfect in beauty”; covered in precious gemstones; residing “upon the mountain of God”; and “perfect in [his] ways from the day that [he] was created,” until “iniquity was found” within him (Ezekiel 28:12–15). Then, he attempted to “exalt [his] throne above…God” (Isaiah 14:13), fell “like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18) taking a third of the heavenly angels with him (Revelation 12:3–4) whose “first estate” wasn’t good enough for them and whose ultimate fate is thus “everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). (The words “first estate,” if it is a location, could mean either Heaven or Earth. Much of this depends on the interpreter’s insistence that Earth had already been Lucifer’s assigned domain from the beginning. If this planet was, in fact, his, then he and the angels left Earth to storm Heaven; if their first estate was Heaven, then their revolt against God was the event that led them to leaving their home to be bound upon Earth. However, there is yet a third possibility: “First estate” has been translated to suggest their “first position” or “first principality,” as in not a location at all, but possibly a prestigious rank or status they held in the beginning. According to this interpretation, the angels’ arrogance, following Lucifer’s example, led to their goal of being promoted to a higher level of authority—a goal that they obviously did not achieve. The fact that the next words in Jude 6 regards them leaving their “own habitation” suggests that it is a location that Jude had in mind. Some help for this again comes from 2 Peter 2:4: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” The Greek word for “hell” here is tartaroo, which refers to the Greeks’ infernal underworld, which was, in fact, a part of Earth in their mythology.)
In Isaiah 14:12, what we read in English about Lucifer being “cut down to the ground” (KJV) is too generic a reference to help us comprehend the full picture. However, “ground” is the Hebrew eres, meaning “earth,” and, in joint context with other Scriptures (those just mentioned) identifying planet Earth as his domain, we can definitely know that Earth is Lucifer’s “kingdom.” (No scholars I know of have ever reached a conclusion other than that Earth is Lucifer’s territory.)
Let’s look at Lucifer through the eyes of the prophets.
Isaiah Knew Who the Culprit Was
First consider the context of the book of Isaiah. Judah, also referred to as the Southern Kingdom of Israel (within which was the great city of Jerusalem), had fallen into the hands of Babylon as a result of the Jewish-Babylonian War. King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah and exiled the Jews to Babylon, far away from their beloved, sacred home, and, as Bible-readers are aware, the Jews spent a long time dreaming about returning. Isaiah was a prophet alive at that time who saw the former abominable, meaningless sacrifices of the Jews in Jerusalem, as well as their deplorable pagan behavior against God, as the cause for being taken away from their home.
What does that have to do with the era of Earth between “void” and “good”?
If you immediately thought to ask this question, you may be missing a key link. The simple math Isaiah’s words rest on is rendered thus: going against God + ignoring His laws and warnings = judgment upon the homeland and its occupants. As we’ve been talking about the “void” Earth being “under judgment,” this prophetic word from Isaiah is relevant…especially when he turns his focus to a mysterious character whose role in the earliest ages of Earth led to massive, global destruction.
In Isaiah chapter 14, we run across a collection of verses that, at first (and in English), appear to be unrelated to the exile (or generally anything else in the surrounding text). In the KJV, Isaiah 14:12–15 reads:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Scholars are quick to point out that this passage is Isaiah’s way of speaking to the Jews in exile about the spirit behind Nebuchadnezzar—the “bad guy” in this section of the Word—and the sentence he will eventually face for his arrogant stance against God’s people (if he does not come to God and repent, obviously, which is a matter of debate because of his praise to God in Daniel 2 and 3 and the contrast of his words in 4:8: “Belteshazzar…my god”). As true as that is, however, that spirit behind Nebuchadnezzar did not originate with him or any other human king, but with a far more ancient enemy of God (Lucifer) who was alive and well at the time Earth was initially formed. By using the fall of Lucifer to describe the essence behind the Babylonian nature, Isaiah is talking about Nebuchadnezzar, but he is also talking about Lucifer, whose “spirit” or “self-idolizing power” has been active on Earth in the past and present, and will continue to be so into future end times. This is called a “dual prophecy,” and it occurs often in the words of the prophets. The JFB commentary, in reference to this character portrayal in Isaiah 14, states:
The fall of Babylon as a self-idolizing power, the type of mystical Babylon in the Apocalypse (Rev. 17:4, 5), before the providence of God, is described in language drawn from the fall of Satan [Lucifer] himself, the spirit that [first] energized the heathen world-power, and now energizes the apostate Church, and shall hereafter energize the last secular Antichrist.[i]
This Luciferian spirit may have led to an imitational fall of Judah to Babylon, but Isaiah is here clearly recalling the original fall of the entity known as Lucifer. Since a) Lucifer fell well before humans were created, b) his influence on the Earth continued through humanity (as seen in the narrative involving the serpent of Eden), and c) this was the true origin of all earthly sin from Adam forward: Lucifer’s fall could very well be the catalyst for Earth becoming a tohu/bohu wasteland of chaos. The timing fits; the interpretation is admissible per both Genesis’ and Isaiah’s related passages.
But Isaiah wasn’t the only one who knew who caused Earth’s “void” era.
Ezekiel Knew Who the Culprit Was
In the same way Isaiah was recognizing Lucifer as the spirit behind Nebuchadnezzar, Ezekiel detects a Luciferian spirit behind the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28:12–19. Ezekiel, like Isaiah, was speaking to Israel during the Babylonian exile. Tyre was a territory known for its greedy trades and never-ending line of exploitative merchants. Let’s read those verses in their entirety before we pick them apart:
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, “Thus saith the Lord God; ‘Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 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. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.’”
The historical king of Tyre was a real human being; however, things are spoken of in this passage that cannot apply to this ruler, proving once again that he is being compared to (some would say “possessed by”) the spirit of Lucifer in Ezekiel’s dual prophecy. For instance, we know the historical king of Tyre was never in the Garden of Eden; he wasn’t “perfect” at any point in his life; he never resided on the holy mountain of God; and he is most certainly not “the anointed cherub that covereth.” These attributes are well known references to Lucifer.
Cherubs—cherubim in Hebrew—are important to God and Israel’s history. Thanks to the art of the Renaissance Period and stretching back to the days of the Byzantine Iconoclasm (an era when all religious artwork was destroyed and, when it became legalized again, depictions of Trinity Persons, saints, and angels became merged with Greco-Roman pantheonic imagery), the word “cherub” brings to mind a cute baby angel. But this could not be farther from the truth. Cherubim were fierce. Recall that, whenever an angel appears to a human throughout the narrative of Scripture, they most often look like grown men and are so frightening in appearance that they have to comfort the person they’re appearing to with the words, “Fear not.” From this, we gain a picture of a highly authoritative and powerful presence, one so intimidating that we must be told there is no reason to be afraid. Yet cherubim outranked angels, so we can only imagine that seeing one of those magnificent beings in person would probably inspire intense and reverent awe and fear surpassing that sparked by the appearance of any angel. The Old Testament shows that: Cherubim guarded the Garden of Eden after the Fall (Genesis 3:24); their images were embroidered into the veil of the Holy of Holies (Ezekiel 26:1, 31); their likenesses were crafted in gold atop the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant where God’s presence came to speak to His people (Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89); they are the entities whom God, Himself, “dwells between” as He sits upon His throne (Isaiah 37:16; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 99:1; and others); and, thus, they are the top-ranking of all celestial beings God made.
Lucifer was the “anointed cherub that covereth,” giving him the highest rank of all God’s created beings. If “anointed” is to be taken literally (as most scholars suggest), then Lucifer had, at or near the time of his creation, ceremoniously received the anointing oil over the head that consecrates one to follow the Lord and lead others to do so, just as the kings of the Old Testament were anointed.[ii] As a head cherub and all that implies, we can view Lucifer as the one most closely associated to the presence of God. He was the Lord’s “right-hand king-servant,” so to speak, and “kings” have “subjects” they rule over.
Lucifer was a king? Are you sure you’re not taking this too far, Donna?
Not even a little bit. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I want to stay focused on the vision of the prophets for now. Lucifer as king of a race of some form of pre-Adamic beings—and how that fits theologically, etymologically, and symbolically—will be addressed in the next two chapters.
As many scholars interpret from “tabret” (a tambourine or drum player) and “pipes” (a reference to the holes in flutes) in Ezekiel 28:13, Lucifer was made specifically to be a worship leader. (Recall that “Doorway of the Serpent”—aka Puerta de Hayu Marca—that “opens” to spiritual pilgrims in Peru? It is through humming or singing certain notes in a specific order that the entities behind the wall respond. It’s not a leap to imagine that, when Lucifer fell, he perverted music as well. Might this also be at least a partial explanation for why so much of what the music industry is offering today—especially what’s marketed to teens—is so blatantly wicked? Many scholars have argued in favor of that conclusion.) Before his fall, he was adorned in the precious gemstones reserved only for the breastplates of the high priests of the Temple (Exodus 28:17–20; Ezekiel 28:13). He was “perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12), meaning his appearance was aesthetically stunning; perhaps he was even the handsomest and most beautiful entity God ever made. This being was very close to God in the beginning, extremely influential, and everything we know of him (and of cherubim) positions him as a big man on the heavenly campus…
…until iniquity was found within him, and he was cast to the “ground” (eres; Earth; Ezekiel 28:17).
Yet, being cast to the ground does not mean Lucifer had never inhabited this planet before, as Ezekiel 28:13 states he “hast been” (past tense) in the Garden of Eden. More accurately, he was cast out of Heaven.
Lucifer’s First Location and Final Destination
At this point, the object of our focus is on this fact: Because Isaiah 14:12–15 recounts the moment this very first sin occurred through Lucifer, we can dive into his words and get a unique view not only of the circumstances of Lucifer’s wickedness, but the physical state of his own kingdom, Earth, when it became “without form, and void.” Note the locational references in the following verses:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (Isaiah 14:12)
We’ve covered the fact that “ground” means Earth. This is further supported by Job 1:7: “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘Whence comest thou?’ Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, ‘From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’” Here, in Isaiah’s account of Lucifer’s fall, we see the mighty cherub descending “from heaven,” which is a downward motion—from God’s presence amidst the other angels and celestial entities to a planet as his prison. However, in Ezekiel 28, we read that Lucifer was present in Eden even before his fall, suggesting that he was already on Earth at some point and, as countless scholars believe, Earth was supposed to have been his special dwelling place from the very beginning. Therefore, we cannot assume Lucifer’s fall from heaven was his first visit to our planet. Likewise, after his pride led him to turn his back on God, he is still seen in cameo appearances in the heavenlies as an accuser of human men (Job 1:6–12; Zechariah 3:1–2). Therefore, we likewise cannot assume that his fall locked him out of Heaven permanently (although will be his ultimate fate as we read in the book of Revelation). What we can make of this is that Earth may have been given to Lucifer as a kingdom before his fall, but his wickedness limited his occupancy in Heaven to a prosecutor-visitor only, in the Court of God. He was no longer welcome in the heavenlies to accompany fellow worshipers of God and participate in the joys of God’s presence and love. Earth—despite the occasional return to Heaven to point an accusatory finger at humans—became his territory, and the result of that was a weakening of the nations of Earth.
This also opens up the possibility that there were nations on the Earth before Lucifer’s fall…if there is more to this reference than Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, etc. Could this be an allusion to the idea that there was some pre-Adamic race inhabiting our planet before Adam was created? If not, what “nations” were weakened on the surface of our planet at that time?
For thou [Lucifer] hast said in thine heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” (Isaiah 14:13)
At the time of Lucifer’s fall, he fantasized about an ascension (upward motion) back into heaven, where he will take over God’s rule and establish his throne higher than that of God. Again, locationally, this is most logically Earth. (Scholars don’t all agree about what is meant by the “mount of the congregation.” Because Isaiah 14:12–15 is a dual passage, covering both Lucifer’s fall and the kingdom of Babylon, interpretations range anywhere from it being a reference to Zion [literally or figuratively], to Mt. Hermon [the landing mountain for the fallen angels, according to Enoch], to the meeting place of God and His angels [supported by a deep interpretational dig into 2 Corinthians 2:12 and Nehemiah 9:6 that some scholars show to mean various “layers” of Heaven—Lucifer hoped to take over the highest layer], and beyond. A “meeting place” where God would conduct business with His angels or cherubim makes the most sense in light of our lead cherub, Lucifer.)
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:14)
Again, this verse shows that Lucifer, after his fall, was fantasizing about ascending to someplace above clouds; i.e., a planet-like Earth with clouds in its atmosphere. It also notes the reason for his descent in the first place: because he aspired to be like (or more than) God. This is a well-known characterization of Lucifer, but it is also crucially important in the “void” era, as it transparently shows Lucifer’s grandest dream and goal of being powerful enough to carry out the same acts as God: If Lucifer could truly be like the Most High, then he would be able to create species of life on Earth, right? Yet, without the real power of God, those creations would be abominations. We see this kind of perverted creative power in Genesis 6:4.
At the time of Adam, Lucifer the cherub had long since fallen already, though he kept Earth as his kingdom. When the Earth was “without form, and void,” Lucifer was still bound to the limitations of this planet, and we see the serpent (Hebrew nachash, which doesn’t mean “snake,” as we will tackle in the following pages) in Eden, alive and well, after the formation of Adam from dust. Ezekiel specifically says he was “in Eden, the garden of God” (28:13). He is still present on this planet, working in the “sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2–3). Evidently, he has always been here, and this place has always been his home—before, during, and after the chaos state of Earth’s earliest ages. Nobody knows how long that state endured, but there is no doubt in my mind that it could be the millions or billions of years science decrees, while “nations” were being “weakened” through Lucifer’s reign until the day God re-created it all…approximately six thousand years ago, just like Young Earthers’ evidence has shown.
UP NEXT: The State of the “Void”
[i] Brown, David, A. R. Fausset, and Robert Jamieson, A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Job–Isaiah: Volume 3 (London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited, n.d.), 610.
[ii] Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible: Volume 1, 602.