Before the fall of man, there was the fall of angels. Before Hell existed for those fallen angels, Heaven was the only option. Even in Heaven, the only perfect environment that has ever existed, it was possible to sin. Free will had room to choose.
In 34 days, on Sunday, April 12, Christians will celebrate a holiday known as “Easter” (celebrated on April 19 by Orthodox believers). This is a celebration of the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, who was slain for the sins of humanity and then raised from the dead.
Before we can talk about Easter and the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, we need to go back and revisit the basic tenets of the Christian faith leading up to Easter. What does it mean “to sin,” and why do we need a Savior? This is what we will be discussing in the following weeks.
What is sin? Simply put, it is choosing anything other than God’s perfect will and desired outcome in a given situation; to sin is to fall short of God’s glorious standards (Romans 3:23).
What was the original sin? Let’s read Isaiah 14:12-17 in the New King James Version and find out.
“How you are fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 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.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. “Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
Lucifer was a cherub in Heaven who was impressed with his beauty, whose heart was full of pride, and whose heart became perverted from perfection, which ultimately led to his demise.
Ezekiel 28:12-19 describes him this way: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 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. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’”
One-third of the angels sinned along with Lucifer and will spend eternity in punishment (Revelation 12:4 and 2 Peter 2:4).
After his fall, he came to be known by other titles: The first use of the name Satan is found in 1 Chronicles 21:1; chronologically, Job, which was written much earlier, surpasses this. Satan is found throughout Job 1 and 2. Satan literally means “adversary” in Hebrew. Even though Satan is first mentioned by name in Job, previous historical accounts record his actions (see Genesis 3, when Satan influenced the serpent, and Genesis 4 where Cain belonged to him [1 John3:12]). In the New Testament, other names reveal more about Satan’s current nature. Devil (diabolos) means “false accuser, Satan, slanderer” in Greek and is the word from which the English word diabolical is formed. Satan is called a dragon in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2, as well as the “evil one” in several places. Revelation 12:9 calls him “that ancient serpent” or “serpent of old,” and Matthew 4:3 calls him the “tempter.” Other names for Satan include Abaddon(destruction), Apollyon (destroyer, Revelation 9:11), Beelzebub or Beelzebul (Matthew 12:27) and Belial (2 Corinthians6:15). Satan is also referred to as the God of this world/age (2 Corinthians 4:4), prince of this world (John 12:31), and father of lies (John 8:44).