15 August, 2019

37. The Fall of Lucifer, part 3

37. The Fall of Lucifer, part 3

"...the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Matthew 25:41b

Just what happened at the Fall of Lucifer, beyond his being cast out of heaven?

Likely, Gehenna (aka the eternal fire / lake of fire) was created. You won't see this word in English Bibles as it is always translated "hell."

Get this:

Sheol (Hebrew) / Hades (Greek) / Hell (Anglo-Saxon) = the land of the dead. They are the same place in different languages.

Gehenna = Lake of Fire

Gehenna / Lake of Fire does NOT = Sheol/Hades/Hell.

Death and the Hades/Hell are thrown into Gehenna/Lake of Fire and destroyed.

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:14
Hell (the Land of the Dead) is a temporary place where humans go when they die. Jesus even went there when he died (Luke 23:43). There is a chasm that separates the righteous from the unrighteous, and the pleasant side is sometimes called Paradise or Abraham's Bosom (Luke 16:19–31). Some scholars speculate that mortals are in a soul sleep, others belief they are fully conscious. Either way, Hell/Sheol/Hades is merely a temporary abode where dead mortals await the resurrection of the judgement (Daniel 12:2).

Swordcraft Tip: Follow this link, then find those verses in your Bible. Circle or highlight the word "hell," and in the margin, write "Gehenna" or "Lake of Fire."

What do you think of Gehenna being created for Satan and his army of demons?
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Photo Credit: Gehenna Adobe Stock

08 August, 2019

36. The Fall of Lucifer, part 2

36. The Fall of Lucifer, part 2

You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.
—Ezekiel 28:14-15

In the phrase, "guardian cherub" (or "cherub that covers" depending on the translation), the Hebrew word translated "guardian" or "covers" means "to block" and "stop the approach." In Nahum 2:5, the same words is translated "defense" while describing the city's walls. So if this is a description of Lucifer, it means his job was to defend God's throne.

Scholars differ on whether Ezekiel 28 (which starts out as a prophecy against the king of Tyre) shifts to a condemnation of Lucifer during his revolt. The use of words like "cherub" and one who walked in "Eden" and on the "mount of God" lend great credence to this view.

While some have speculated that Lucifer rebelled out of jealousy over humans having souls, or the promotion of other angels while he remained heaven's song leader, the Jews of the 2nd Temple period believed his motivation was a bit more grandiose.
He [the serpent] began speaking slander of his Creator, saying, 'Of this tree did He eat and then create the world....
Genesis Rabbah 19:4
If Satan believed his own lie, then he had convinced himself that the power to create resided in the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In other words, he either knows God's power is inherent to God and thus unattainable, or he believes God's power is outside of God and is thus something he too can attain.

Let's assume for a moment that the Genesis Rabbah reflects an accurate view, which do you think is more likely: Satan deliberately invented a lie or Satan genuinely believes his own self-deception?
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01 August, 2019

35. The Fall of Lucifer, part 1

35. The Fall of Lucifer, part 1

For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.
Isaiah 14:13-14

In our last post, The Fall of Lucifer, part 1, we mentioned a possible parallel with the prophesied downfall of the Babylonian king and the fall of Lucifer. Just where did this idea come from?

The Jewish Encyclopedia sums up the Babylonian myth of Etana:
The brilliancy of the morning star, which eclipses all other stars, but is not seen during the night, may easily have given rise to a myth such as was told of Ethana and Zu: he was led by his pride to strive for the highest seat among the star-gods on the northern mountain of the gods ... but was hurled down by the supreme ruler of the Babylonian Olympus.
The oldest version of this myth dates to over 1000 years before the prophet Isaiah penned this passage, and the newest versions were found in the library of King Ashurbanipal, a contemporary of Isaiah.

So either:
  1. Isaiah is using the Babylonian myth to parallel the fall of the Babylonian king. And Christians later came to believe that the myth described the events of Satan's fall.
  2. The Babylonian myth is describing events known to Noah and his family that had not been written down (or had been written and are now lost), and which then influenced the myths of the cultures that arose post-flood. 
As weak as the second point seems, other connections between Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian cultures that we'll explore in future posts may actually make it plausible.  And while I am not dogmatic about it either way, I did draw from the Isaiah passage when writing the revolt scene in Primordium.

So what about motive? Just why would the highest ranking officer, second only to God himself, seek to usurp the throne?

We'll cover that in The Fall of Lucifer, part 2.

Had you heard of the Myth of Etana? Which explanation (1 or 2) above seems more plausible to you? Share your thoughts on the
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Photo Credit: Public Domain