Why caused Lucifer to fall from being over the throne of God to being cast out of heaven?
When God created the angels, long before He created the earth (Job 38:4-7), they were holy and blameless. It was only later that Lucifer rebelled and brought one third of the angels with him in trying to overthrow the throne of God. More than that, he wanted to be worshiped as God is worshiped. He wanted to sit in the place of God. Apparently, Lucifer wasn’t satisfied to dwell near the throne of God. Prior to Lucifer’s fall it says, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you” (Ezk 28:15). In what appears to be a reference to Satan, Isaiah wrote, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low” (14:12), but Isaiah gives the cause of Satan’s fall: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north” (14:13). Satan’s pride had so distorted his created ability that he actually believed, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).
Victim of Pride
Prior to Lucifer’s fall, it says, “You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you” (Ezk 28:14-15). That blamelessness ended when he tried to usurp the throne of God and become as God. He beheld his own glory and became lifted up with pride, and pride is a bad thing for angels and men. Solomon wrote, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18). We know what pride is, but what is “a haughty spirit” that comes before a fall? The word “haughty” means: “to be blatantly and disdainfully proud and having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people.” That’s just what Satan’s attitude was (and is!). He got too full of himself. Isaiah writes, “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Isaiah 28:17a), so pride, even if it’s for real beauty or genuine reasons, can easily corrupt our minds, and affect our wisdom. It’s one thing to be proud of an accomplishment, but it’s another to advertise it on the local TV station, so the problem was, Satan started believing his own stuff, and since his pride corrupted his decision making, he tried to overtake God and His throne, and was cast down to the earth. Isaiah wrote, “I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (Isaiah 28:16b). God seemingly taunts Satan, saying you were lifted up, but in the end, “I cast you to the ground” (Isaiah 28:17b).
No Human King
Some believe that the descriptions given about Lucifer are not about him but about an earthly king, the king of Tyre, but do you remember Satan’s temptation of Christ where Satan wanted Christ to circumnavigate the cross and receive “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,” if only He would bow down to Satan (Matt 4:7-8)? The implication is that Satan had the kingdoms to give over, so even though the King of Tyre was a human, Satan could well have possessed the king. That means the king’s kingdom and all its resources, would have been under Satan’s rule, however, no human besides Christ is blameless (Ezk 28:5), certainly not the human king of Tyre, and no human has ever walked “on the holy mountain of God” (Ezk 28:14b). And, the king of Trye wasn’t old enough to have walked “in Eden, the garden of God” (Ezk 28:13a), so clearly, Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 are not about an earthly king, but about the ruler of the present world who blinds many to the gospel. The first parts of Ezekiel may refer to earthly king of Tyre, but there is no way that what follows is about a human being (Ezk 28:12-16). The Apostle Paul writes, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4), and few things can blind us better than pride.
Being proud of someone for accomplishing something like graduating, having a child, getting married, or getting a new job, is not the pride that is sinful. Of course, even this kind of pride can also get carried away, but pride and a haughty spirit are still causing people to fall. We are all victims of pride at one time or another, so it is true that a haughty spirit comes before the fall, and in fact, pride may even cause a fall. The lesson is, God resists the proud, and will only give His grace to the humble (James 4:6), so what caused Lucifer’s fall (pride), can also be our downfall, although not falling out of the family of God, but falling out of fellowship with the Father. That doesn’t mean falling out of a relationship with God, but our fellowship suffers when we overestimate our self-worth and importance. Eating crow for dinner and having a slice of humble pie for desert will leave a bad taste in your mouth. I know. I have learned, the more someone is lifted up, the harder they fall. Christians should always remember that we are no better than anyone…we are only better off.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.