Are Lucifer and Satan the same Person?
Many today are claiming there is no scriptural evidence to link the identities of Satan and Lucifer together. That is simply incorrect. People may remain unpersuaded in their own minds as is their right, but to claim Scripture offers NO connection between the two is simply wrong.
There are two possibilities. The first possibility is that Lucifer and Satan are the exact same entity. The second possibility is that Lucifer is a human ruler who serves as an Old Testament prophetic or predictive “type” which later finds its fulfillment (“anti-type”) in the ACTUAL New Testament figure of Satan.
I tend to favor the first possibility because portions of the description of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:4-17 could only fit a supernatural or cosmological being. But, I have no objection to the second possibility which makes Lucifer an OT biblical type and predictive symbol of a later NT reality.
Let me give you a perfect example which illustrates this exact same dynamic. The vast majority of Biblical scholars agree that the mysterious Old Testament figure, Melchizedek, was EITHER an OT “type” of the New Testament Christ or, alternatively, was the actual pre-incarnate Jesus who was revealing Himself to Abraham. The Lucifer/Satan issue corresponds exactly with the Jesus/Melchizedek distinction.
Melchizedek was EITHER a human priest-king used as a symbolic reference to Jesus’ eternal priesthood and kingship, OR Melchizedek was the ACTUAL pre-incarnate Lord Jesus who now literally fulfills the divine offices of BOTH priest and king. Melchizedek was famously and uniquely described as BOTH King of Salem and a High Priest of God in Genesis 14:18-20. Jesus, at his ascension, SIMULTANEOUSLY reigned as King of kings AND functioned as our heavenly High Priest (cf. Psalm 110:4; Zechariah 6:12, 13; Hebrews 5:5-10; 6:20; 7:1-17).
A supernatural identity seems plausible for Melchizedek based on the following passage. “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is King of peace; without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually.” Hebrews 7:1-3. Sounds like Jesus to me.
Melchizedek and Christ then, under either reading, are to be merged in our understanding. They functionally become one in our comprehension. Similarly, under either reading proposed above, Satan and Lucifer are also to be merged in our understanding. They are one in form and function.
Now, lets examine Scripture to see if the Bible does indeed connect their identities.
1) Are Lucifer and Satan both described as “the ruler of a fallen Babylon?”
In the OT, Lucifer is the called the “FALLEN king of Babylon” in Isaiah 14:4, 12. In the NT, spiritual “Babylon is FALLEN and has become the dwelling place of demons and EVERY foul spirit” (Revelation 18:2). This clearly describes Satan’s earthly fallen empire of evil, along with his army of “fallen” rebellious principalities and angelic powers “against whom” we are called to “wrestle” in Ephesians 6:10-17.
Where does Scripture describe Satan and his army of angels “falling” from heaven? Revelation 12:7-9 describes “a war in heaven: Michael and his angels ‘going forth’ to war with the dragon…and his angels….he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.”
Do you see? Satan’s fallen empire IS fallen earth. The word “fallen” is used to describe both the worldwide Babylonian king in Isaiah and the demon-infested empire of evil described in Revelation.
Remember that Jesus three times called Satan the “archon,” or ruler of this fallen world system (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Paul called Satan “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). John said the whole fallen world lies in Satan’s power (1 John 5:19).
The Passage in Isaiah 14:16-17 similarly describes Lucifer as making “the whole earth tremble, the kingdoms shake,” and that Lucifer had made “the world a wilderness, full of unreleased prisoners.” Sounds like Lucifer and Satan have the exact same modus operandi in BOTH the Isaiah and Revelation passages.
Jesus came to destroy the Satanic/Luciferian kingdom and to set all their oppressed prisoners free and INTO the rest and peace of God (1 John 3:8; Luke 4:18-19).
But, how does Satan/Lucifer rule? Who or what makes up his armies? Does the New Testament further indicate that Satan is the spiritual king of fallen Babylon who rules OVER demons/fallen angels/unclean spirits? Oh yes. Again consider Revelation 12:7-9. It describes “a war in heaven: Michael and his angels ‘going forth’ to war with the dragon…and his angels….he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.”
Get the picture so far? Michael, a REAL angel of high rank, leads REAL angels of light AGAINST a REAL Satan and his REAL dark fallen angels. Satan and his angelic army lose the battle and are cast down to earth. Jesus confirms the accuracy of this term in Matthew 25:41 by referring to “the devil and ‘his’ angels.” Jesus, in Matthew 12:24-28, also calls Satan “Beelzebub,” which means “the lord of the house.” Satan was referenced earlier in this same passage as “the prince of demons.”
Lucifer, in Isaiah 14:15, is said to be “brought down to Hell.” This parallels Matthew 25:41 which says Hell was originally created for “Satan and his angels.” Thus far, the connections between Lucifer, the fallen ruler of Babylon, and Satan, the fallen ruler of spiritual Babylon, are compelling. But the list of compelling connections goes on.
2) Are Lucifer and Satan described similarly in both the Isaiah passage and other Scriptural passages?
Yes. In six crucial ways.
First and foremost, Jesus quotes a portion of the Isaiah 14:12 passage in specific reference to Satan. “And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name. And he said unto them, I BEHELD SATAN FALLEN AS LIGHTNING FROM HEAVEN. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise hurt you.” Most scholars agree this is a clear reference to Isaiah 14:12, which describes Lucifer as “FALLEN FROM HEAVEN.” This is bolstered by the fact that in ALL the Bible, ONLY Lucifer and Satan are described as “having fallen from heaven.” THAT is clear and compelling evidence that Satan and Lucifer are one in the same. Jesus clearly linked the Isaiah passage to Satan.
Second, Isaiah 14:12’s use of “Lucifer,” which simply means “shining one” parallels Paul’s description as Satan as a false “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14. Angels are commonly identified as shining lights, or “stars” (Job 38:7; Luke 2:9). This is good evidence of his light-bearing angelic nature.
Third, Lucifer was “cut down to the ground” in Isaiah 14:12. The New Testament identifies Satan as the original serpent in the garden, who also was “cut down to the ground and made to crawl on his belly.” Revelation 12:9, 15; 20:2; Genesis 3:14.
Fourth, Satan’s original mindset of rebellion was to be “as God,” (Genesis 3:5), which parallels Lucifer’s mindset to be “like the most high” (Isaiah 14:14). Satan wants to be AS God without being WITH or IN God. Jesus, as Emmanuel, was God WITH us and God IN us. The kingdom of God is within us.
Fifth, Lucifer’s game-plan was stated in Isaiah 14:13-14 as follows: “I will ascend into heaven and exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds…I will be like the most high.” How perfectly this tracks Paul’s description of Satan’s game-plan in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, which describes “the coming of the son of perdition,” who “exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he AS God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” whose “coming is after the working of Satan with all powers of signs and lying wonders.” Satan’s sinful heart attitude is exactly the same as Lucifer’s, further evidence that they are one in the same.
Sixth, Isaiah 14:5-7 speaks of the Lord’s breaking of Lucifer’s “staff of wrath” with which he had previously “smote the people with a continual stroke.” How closely this aligns with Revelation 12:12’s confirmation that Satan has “great wrath.”
Satan’s wrath is more fully described in John 10:10 where he is described as the source of all stealing, killing and destroying. This is confirmed by Hebrews 2:14-15, “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” The end result is “rest” for the people who were formerly afflicted (Isaiah 14:7 and Hebrews 4).
Do you see? This Isaiah passage describes Lucifer’s worldwide rule of fallen earth being brought to naught, just as the New Testament describes Satan’s worldwide rule of fallen earth being brought to nought. Jesus broke the staff of Satan’s authority over death. We are saved from all the Satanic wrath which he had previously smote us with a continual stroke.
“And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise hurt you.” Luke 10:17-19.
Viewing the Luke verse above as Jesus’ linkage of Lucifer’s fall to Satan’s fall is both wonderful and obvious. Combined with the many other parallels cited above, the case is compelling that Lucifer is one in the same with Satan. At the very least, Lucifer is a clear Biblical type of Satan. We have far more to learn from making this connection than from dismissing or ignoring it.
We ignore Lucifer at our own peril. We mythologize the devil at our own risk. We fictionalize Satan to our own detriment. He is not some primitive “boogey-man,” some silly superstition we have outgrown. 1 John 5:19 says “the whole world” lies in the devil’s “power.” Jesus called Satan “the prince/ruler of this world” in John 12:31; 14:30 and 16:11. 1 John 3:8 says that “whosoever commiteth sin is OF the devil.” Peter calls him our “adversary” and a “roaring lion” (1Peter 5:8). Paul calls him “the god of this world” and “the prince of the power of the air” and a false “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 11:14). The Gospels call him “a murderer” and “father of lies” and “the prince of demons” and “the lord of the flies” (John 8:44; Matthew 12:24-29).
This dark angel, this Satan/devil/Lucifer/Dragon, by whatever name he is called, does not sound like a mere myth to any who take Scripture seriously. The New Testament warns and exhorts us, again and again, to be vigilant and sober-minded toward Satan. We are commanded not to be ignorant of his snares and schemes. And in our fight “against the wiles of the devil,” we are to put on the “FULL ARMOR OF GOD” so that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11, 13). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).
But, as strong as Satan may be on so many levels, Jesus is the far stronger one who has ALREADY defeated Satan on every one of those levels. So, I am definitely NOT saying to overestimate Satan’s power or influence either. He is a defeated foe, a bound foe, but ONLY as we abide in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit.
In his classic Christian book, Pilgrim’s Progress, the great John Bunyan portrays Satan as two lions chained on both sides of heaven’s highway. As long as we pilgrims stay centered in the Lord’s highway, neither lion can reach us because the chains snap taut. But, if we stray from the center of the road, the lions can maul us. Satan is bound, but still dangerous if we neglect our so great a salvation and stray too near to his clutches.
Here is the bottom line. Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8), not to “mythologize” them. Jesus came to reveal and rebuke Satanic influence, not to fictionalize and trivialize it. The Lucifer passage in Isaiah greatly informs our understanding of Satan, while frivolously ignoring the passage greatly diminishes our understanding of Satan. We need to see the prideful and self-willed Satan/Lucifer the same way as Jesus did in Luke 10:18, a defeated rebel angel cast down from heaven to earth by the power of God. This is no myth! It is a marvelous truth!
One last point regarding “Lucifer.”
I have heard many complain that the King James Version of the Bible fabricated the term Lucifer. That is not accurate. There are several versions that translate the Hebrew word “helel ” as “Lucifer,” not just the King James. The Bible translations known as the Latin Vulgate, the Darby Bible, the Webster’s Bible, and the Bible in Basic English all translate the Hebrew word “helel” as “Lucifer.” Lucifer is simply the Latin word for “bringer of light.” It is not a proper name, but was used here in Isaiah 14 as an appellation (nickname) since it was referring to a particular ruler of Babylon.
The term translated “Lucifer” does NOT, as some claim, mean the “bright and morning star” or “star of the morning” mentioned in Revelation 2:28 and 22:16. The Greek term there being used “lampros orthrinos aster.” These Revelation passages DO refer to Jesus alone. But the “light-bearer” of Isaiah 14 is not “the bright and morning star” of Revelation. That would be two totally different Hebrew and Greek words. The Hebrew word for “Lucifer” means “light-bearer.” In Greek, “light-bearer” is translated “heosphoros,” In Latin, “light-bearer” is translated “Lucifer.” Whether you say “heylel,” “heosphoros” or “Lucifer,” the meaning is the same: “light-bearer.” And this isn’t only in English.
I have several friends, whose intellect I greatly respect, who have a strong overarching belief is that Satan is not Lucifer, and moreover, that Satan is not even an actual, ontological being. But, honestly, that belief ignores a plethora of verses which do treat him a real personage, such as the Isaiah passage, or the hundred or more ontological references to him in the New Testament.
Thus, even granting to each their right of personal opinion, I still steadfastly differ with the statement that there is absolutely NO Scriptural proof that Satan is real, or that there is no Scriptural way that Lucifer refers, directly or prophetically, to Satan in the Isaiah passage discussed above. That emperor has no clothes. There are dozens upon dozens of passages and analysis which indicate otherwise. Some may not be fully persuaded, but at least they should acknowledge that there are Scriptural grounds to disagree.
Some I see who disbelieve in an ontological Satan still, nonetheless, believe in the ontology of angels. Why on earth would we believe in the actuality of angels, their ontology in other words—– that Michael is REAL, Gabriel is REAL, that the angelic hosts that Michael leads is a REAL army, but then claim that Satan and the army of defeated dark angels he leads are ALL…… unreal?
Moreover, just ask the modern Luciferians who Lucifer is. They will tell you “Lucifer” is the light-bringer Satan. Also, ask modern Satanists. They will likewise tell you “Lucifer” is Satan. Their joint identity is such a given in our corporate psyche that the idea of separating them seems needlessly revisionist and arbitrary.