Lucifer's Limitations

By Guy Cramer

Before Satan rebelled he was called Lucifer; see Isaiah 14:12

The information concerning the fall of Lucifer found in the following passages of Ezekiel is profound:

Ezekiel 28:12-16
You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering:...
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.
You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you...
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created.
Till iniquity was found in you.
By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, and you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing...

This tells us a number of attributes that Lucifer had; He was created, which means that he did not exist before God had created him. He did not exist before time as God does. He was a guardian Cherub (one of the highest forms of angels) the Hebrew word for "covers" in the sentence '...cherub who covers' means protection or guard so we can deduce that Lucifer was a Guardian Angel. We also read that before he rebelled he was in the Garden of Eden.

Now the question comes up 'Did Satan fall prior to the Garden of Eden incident with Eve?

In Genesis 1:31 we read: Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

So after God had created Man in Genesis 1:27 we find that everything is good; Satan had not yet rebelled before the creation of Man.

When does Satan rebel?

In Genesis 3 the first passage says:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

Had Satan rebelled before this point?
We know that he had not rebelled prior to Genesis 1:31 so why does God describe him as a serpent? The answer can be found back in Ezekiel 28:16:
...and you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing...

Revelation 12:9...that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;...

We are presented with a picture of a serpent. If Genesis 3 presented him as 'The Angel Lucifer' we might get the wrong idea of what took place. At this point in Genesis a guardian cherub (maybe in the form of a serpent) was purposely deceiving Eve. Satan knew what he was doing and God gives us a clear picture of what Lucifer had become in that moment.
He is presented by God as a profane thing "the serpent".

How was the serpent "more cunning"?

Ezekiel 28:17 corrupted your wisdom...
but prior to this is Ezekiel 28:12 we read that Lucifer was ...Full of wisdom...

How did Satan deceive Eve?

God tells Adam in Genesis 2:16-17
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the Garden you may freely eat;
"but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it you shall surely die."

Then we jump ahead to Genesis 3:1-7 where the serpent is talking to Eve:
... And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said. 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will surely not die.
"For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate...

On that day neither Adam or Eve died, physically, they died spiritually, this was Satan's deception. He used Gods general term of death to his benefit. God did not need to explain differences in the types of death. The rule was clear, God did not lie, he had no reason to explain further because they were not to even touch the tree. However, Satan did lie, he says to Eve "You will surely not die.", but they did, spiritually. This was Satan's sin.

One problem for many people are the following passages:
Romans 5:12 "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."
and further passages in Romans 8:20-22

As I attended a lecture given by Hugh Ross M.Sc., Ph. D., where he would field any question, the one question that kept coming up was the above mentioned Romans passages and how Hugh could reconcile his view on the Long creation (billions of years) vs. short creation (7 days), since these passages in Romans tend to point towards a short creation time where decay, death or pain did not exist before the sin in the garden.
A full paper has been presented on this subject by Dr. Ross see :#X33.

Most people who attended the lecture and others that have read the paper find Dr. Ross views to be satisfactory but not necessarily dogmatic or totally convincing on the issue. One point that we have all overlooked is the fact that God had sent Lucifer to the Garden of Eden, and God had created Lucifer as a powerful guardian angel. So if no decay, pain or death was possible before the fall of Man then what use was a guardian angel in the Garden of Eden?

This is the primer (key) to the puzzle for me. It is true that before Adam and Eve were banned from the garden an eternal existence was possible, but that was only because they had access to the tree of life. It is interesting to note that God again uses cherub to guard in the garden. But this time it is to guard against access to the tree of life, however, he does not only use one cherub, but more than one. The term cherubim (plural) is used here.

Genesis 3:24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

One angel could sin and cause problems but multiple angels all deciding to sin at the same time to allow access? These are the same precautions our governments take with Nuclear weapons. It would take 5 men to decide to launch a missile(s) without permission and the odds of all five men essentially going crazy at one time is statistically safe.

God has given both angels and man the freedom of choice to do what they want and may be the reason for God using more than one angel to protect the tree of life.

My view with all factors taken together on the issue of long creation days vs. short creation days comes down to the fact that Adam and Eve needed a guardian angel in Eden. Death, pain, and decay were possible before the fall.

Different measurements on the age of the Universe all point to billions of years. Hugh Ross points out in his book "Creation and Time" p.101

Measurements of the Age of the Universe
Measuring Method      Age (billions of years)
relaxation times of star clusters      more than 4 billion
erosion on Mercury, Mars, and the moon      more than 4 billion
star stream interactions in the galaxies      more than 8 billion
expansion of the universe      15.5 plus/minus 4.0 billion
color-luminosity fitting      18.0 plus/minus 2.4 billion
nucleochronology      17.0 plus/minus 4.0 billion
deuterium abundance and mass density      19.0 plus/minus 5.0 billion
anthropic principles      17.0 plus/minus 7.0 billion
     mean age = 17 billion years plus/minus 3 billion years.

God does not deceive us and if everything in the universe keeps pointing at the same age then I don't think we have the choice to ignore the data. Many people point out that Genesis uses the 7 days of creation indicating a short creation time scale. A number of papers point out that the original writing in Genesis can be interpreted to mean long creation days, see papers: #X31, #X60, #X37,
Other related papers on that subject: #X38, #X54, #X61, #X62, #X77.

What I find fascinating about the whole issue is the fact that the way in which the creation account was written, allowed people before this century to understand the creation account in a simple way, that would not shatter the preconceived ideas of that time. But now that science is finding that the universe is billions of years old, we also find that the scriptures point in this direction when we look at the Hebrew structure in the creation account and related Hebrew terms found in other passages; see papers:#X31, #X60, #X37. Could you imagine what society would have thought prior to the discoveries of the last century if the Genesis account said "In the first billion years of creation..." This concept would have been way beyond what anyone could accept. The Bible gives a truthful account of the creation events, but in a very simplistic form. As Hugh Ross has stated "If God chose to give us the full creation account, we would be lugging one hundred volumes of the Bible to church every Sunday."

The fact that Genesis was written in a dual purpose understanding for our time and the centuries before ours, testifies to the Creators abilities. God has not deceived us with the creation account. He just didn't give us all the facts on the surface. Just as he did not give all the facts to Adam and Eve, concerning different types of death. Do not let Satan deceive you with the creation account, for when one looks at the big picture, the idea of young earth will not stand up to today's understanding. At least be open to the idea of a long creation. I wonder how many people have turned away from God because they cannot understand the young earth concept, when everything around us points to a "created universe" that is billions of years old.

One question I used to have: Why would Satan choose to fall if he already knew the outcome?
This problem has to do with applying the same attributes of God to Satan. This is a mistake, God and Satan are not equal. It is true that Satan is powerful, but he is not omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (infinite knowledge), and omnipresent (present in all places at the same time). He does not display any of these attributes. He is limited to a time line similar to ours. He cannot jump ahead and see what is to come, so he had no idea what was to come when he chose to sin. Of course God does transcend time and has told the authors of the Bible what would happen to Satan in the end. Satan is now well aware of the outcome because of what God has said to all of us through the Bible, but Satan will choose to fulfill what God has told us will happen in the Bible, hoping somehow that he can prove God wrong .

Satan's temptation of Christ shows that he did not have the ability to see into the future. Jesus himself may have been unable to foresee what was to come so he could as the Messiah be challenged by Satan without knowing the outcome. Of course Jesus was not tempted into Satan's deception.

Modern Day Psychics: How can they foretell the future?:

First one must question the past record of correct predictions. Studies have shown that about 2% of actual predictions from psychics come true. I think a good guess would probably yield the same results, but there are a few cases which seem to defy explanation.

In the Bible Jesus meets a number of Demon possessed people, they recognize Him, but many times they are surprised to see Him.

Matthew 8:28-29
When He had come to the other side to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.
And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"...

The demons that possess these people in the above verse are incapable of knowing what is about to happen. Therefore we should expect very little accuracy when they try to foretell the future.

But in Acts 16:16 we read:
Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination (attempt to foretell the unknown by occult means) met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation."
And she did this for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. "And he came out of her that very hour.
But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas...

Here we see that it was the spirit (demon) that was fortune-telling, not the human who was being inhabited. If a demon does not have the ability to see the future then how can a demon fortune-tell? The angels and demons are not flesh and blood they are not limited to our three dimensional restrictions. A demon could know if someone was pregnant, and what the sex of the fetus was. A demon could know what other people are planning for someone else or even what other people were thinking of that person or others around them. So even without knowing the future, they will know certain things that are happening and about to happen, but only if the people carry through with these thoughts and plans.

The abilities that demons have can seem impossible to us, however, they cannot predict long term events. Remember who you are dealing with when you deal with psychics. Satan's interest is to have you worship him and his power. Failing that he will rather have you talking to a psychic than worship God. But his power is nothing compared to the Creator. We are forbidden to be deceived in this way.

Leviticus 20:6 'And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set my face against that person and cut him off from his people...

Satan has limited power but we should not take him lightly:

2 Corinthians 11:14 ...For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

I think it safe to say that we must be extra cautious with many life after death experiences. How do these people know they are not being deceived by Satan himself? Many people who attest to these experiences tend to embrace the New Age thinking. This is just what Satan wants, anything but Jesus in the picture.

Matthew 24:24 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible even the elect."

In Revelation we read of the second beast
Revelation 13:13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in sight of men.
And he deceives those who dwell on earth by those signs...

The power that Satan and his demons display will be amazing.

Satan's abilities are limited but powerful, he cannot save you, he can't tell you the future accurately, but, he can deceive you.

The real power comes from the one who sacrificed Himself for us. This allowed believers in Him to be holy in the presence of the Lord, so we would not end up in an eternal existence without God.

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