Fall of Lucifer Gleanings


koot van wyk (DLitt et Phil; ThD)

Visiting Professor

Kyungpook National University

Department of Liberal Education

Sangju Campus

South Korea

Conjoint lecturer of Avondale College


7 October 2012



           The *able author of the Sabbath School Lesson series of September 29 /2012 explained that the great controversy motif is the overarching concept that gives cohesion to Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs (Kwabena Donkor, an associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland). *Whether the ability is that of himself or polished by a team, as I learned from another friend of ours, Dr. John Paulien to have been the case with his series, is not certain. But, the words are well-chosen and is like music to the ears.

           I used in the past the word “Motif” but that is not a correct word to use. It places the historical event outside the domain of reality and more in the domain of imagination. These days, I wish to talk about the Rebellion in Heaven Event. The event is described in bits and pieces throughout the Protestant Canonical Scriptures at the following listing: Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:1-17; Isaiah 14:4-21; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 1:20-28; John 16:2 and from my own experience, I may add Daniel 8:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 9.

           The Rebellion in Heaven event was probably explained very early to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but we have no record of such an explanation to them. We just know, that since the snake was the instrument that Lucifer chose to appeal to Eve and then to Adam, that the whole disaster would not have left them without a proper perspective. They may have known more than what we do today. Bits and pieces Moses, Jesus, John, Paul and others chose to hint or refer to this tragic event in heaven. Contrary to the Old Testament Theologian Walther Eichrodt, this researcher thinks that the reason so little is said about it, is not because they knew little (as Eichrodt claims) but the opposite, they knew too much, thus, ‘a quick understanding only needs half a word’.

           The Rebellion in Heaven event is the cause of sin on earth and the cause of all human tragedy. All bad effects can be traced back to this single point of departure, the Fall of Lucifer in Heaven. The event as a literal and real event, was widespread from the earliest writing after the Flood of Noah (2523 BCE). Samuel Kramer published Sumerian texts that talks about problems with the snake and in the article online “Rebellion in Heaven Motif: Historical Survey” these texts are mentioned. (See also below in the discussion of Lucifer’s fall).

Also when Israel was at Niniveh since 723 BCE, can one find in the library of Ashurbanipal ca. 650 the text called the tablet of the seven evil gods or spirits in six columns. It is inscribed on both sides of a large clay tablet. Only the first three columns refer to the legend, but the other columns deal with a similar topic.


Text of the Seven Evil gods or spirits


1. In the first days the evil gods

2. the angels who were in rebellion, who in the lower part of heaven

3. had been created,

4. they caused their evil work

5. devising with wicked heads . . .

6. ruling to the river . ...

7. There were seven of them. The first was ...

8. the second was a great animal ....

9. which anyone ....

(see George Smith, Assyrian Discoveries: An Account of Explorations and Discoveries on the site of Niniveh during 1873 and 1874 [New York: Scribner, Armstrong & CO, 1875],  400-402).

           Another text is the 650 BCE text of the Legend of the Worm. The Worm has similar desires as Satan in Isaiah 14:12-14 and can also be seen as Israelite fusion midrash during their exile. It was also discussed and placed online.

           First of all, the Israelites were there and it is evidence of their widespread influence on Assyrian traditions. The Mosaic concepts of Genesis 3:15 and what was known to Isaiah in Isaiah 14:12-14 seems to have been fused with heathen traditions. It is an aspect that Hugo Radau in his work on Genesis around 1900 did not take into consideration.

           This researcher has paid attention to this event in a number of online articles at http://www.egw.org  at VAN WYK NOTE

New Series

390 The Rebellion in Heaven Motif: Historical Survey  kootvanwyk 2011-01-10 


Old Series

3 Israelite Midrash at Niniveh cuneiform tablets citing and reworking from Isaiah 김숙영 42 2007/05/19

5 Snake Motif in Mesopotamia and the Bible MissionFirst 48 2007/05/20

7 Israelite midrash at Niniveh and the Rebellion in Heaven Motif Koot van Wyk 32 2007/05/22

341 Psalm 24 (1080 CE) compared to the Gilgamesh Epic (650 CE) Koot van Wyk 6 2007/07/16

376 Gilgamesh epic did not have a long tradition (a critical view) Koot van Wyk 17 2007/07/17

584 Sabbath in cuneiform texts from the time of Cyrus (Israelite influence?) Koot van Wyk 2008/01/22

700 Revelation 12 and the Dragon with seven heads by Joachim de Fiore (1186) Koot van Wyk 2008/05/24

517 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (Akkadian transliterated text) (4) Koot van Wyk  2007/11/11

516 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (Akkadian transliterated text) (3) Koot van Wyk 82007/11/11

515 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (Akkadian transliterated text) (2) Koot van Wyk  2007/11/11

514 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (Akkadian transliterated text) (1) Koot van Wyk  2007/11/11

513 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (a Chiastic structure) (3) Koot van Wyk  2007/11/11

512 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (a Chiastic structure) (2) Koot van Wyk  2007/11/11

511 Akkadian notes: Legend of the Worm (a Chiastic structure) (1) Koot van Wyk  2007/11/11


           The Rebellion in Heaven Motif can be seen in cuneiform texts which are a twisted version with fusion of Noah’s account of the Heavenly event after the Flood in 2523 BCE and with the Book of Adam (Genesis 5:1) probably as source for this. Moses excerpted Genesis 1-5 from this Book which he probably got from his mother the night he ran out of Egypt to Midian in 1490 BCE.

           The following are the notes of a great scholar for God and Christ who taught at Helderberg College for years. A man of tremendous talents, insight, perspective, human understanding and a good sense of humor. Seriousness and humor made him one of my best teachers I had. These notes were his classnotes during September and October of 1976. Johan Japp taught this class to us Theological first years enrolled for the Bth that year. I never heard anyone penetrating the issue of the Fall of Lucifer this deep.



Japp started the class indicating that the fall of Lucifer was a process. It was a chain of actions and events that grew. It was a growing process. "Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation" (PP 35).



To understand the fall, one has to define sin properly.

Sin is:

1. Lack of trust = unbelief

2. result of selfishness and selfexaltation



Japp indicated that Hebrews 1:5 may hold a key to why Satan became jealous of Christ. "I will be to him a father and he will be to me unto a son...". Japp (1976) indicated that it has the idea of subordination. Christ was in function(?) subordinate to the Father [yet as part of the Divine Trinity, equal with the father since He is also God]. This was misunderstood by Satan who saw in Christ his equal.



According to Japp (1976) there are three major steps in this growing process of falling away from God:

1. disbelief

2. selfishness

3. selfexaltation


[[van wyk notes:

a. The process is described very well in Ezechiel 28.

b. Many scholars think that the context is speaking of Tyre.

c. The frame of the prophecy names historically Tyre.

d. The analysis of the problems of Tyre is explained with a well known concept among the Hebrews that existed probably orally but also in written form like poems or epics.

e. The Fall of Lucifer historical epic was probably canonized among Hebrews since Adam related the descriptions since earliest times. Adam knew the father of Noah and Noah knew Abraham.

f. The correlation between Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezechiel 28 as well as Daniel 8:11[only this verse] is very striking.

g. Although he looked at Tyre, the sins of Tyre reminded Ezechiel of the epic of the Fall of Lucifer and the stages in his sins. The same shoe fits Tyre and he thus cite from this poem without cross references, which was common in writing styles of those days.

h. The descriptions of the nature of Lucifer/Satan is also linked to 2 Thessalonians 2:4a-b, 8 by Hans K. La Rondelle in "Paul,s Prophetic Outline in 2 Thessalonians 2" AUSS 21/1 [1983]: 61-69. Ezechiel 28:2 is linked with Daniel 11:36 and Daniel 7:8-12 and Isaiah 11:4 and Isaiah 14.

i. Arthur Ferch in "The Son of Man in Daniel Seven" AUSDDS 6 (1983): 92 indicated that there may be on the surface seeming links between Ezechiel and Daniel but deeper investigation may reveal the opposite. There may be proposed associations of terms and ideas between the books but Ferch felt that they must be tested case by case.]]

j. Although true Fall of Lucifer Epics did not survive in literary written form for the Hebrews since Adam, perversions or derivations from that true story survived in Sumerian literature after the Flood in 2523 BCE.

k. They also exist in bits and pieces here and there in later Akkadian literature and in Neo-Assyrian literature of the days of Ashurbanipal, after the Fall of Samaria when Israelite scribes were taken to Niniveh to do service as copy scribes for these very Akkadian texts. 

l. Babylon for Isaiah 14 and Tyre for Ezechiel 28 was a common genre in the Ancient Near Eastern literature. That means, it was common for them to describe the fall of an empire or strong nations' capital city with a song dedicated to its Fall. The Fall of Ur of the Ur III dynasty or empire in 2004 BCE, a song composed afterwards, is well known and Samuel Kramer commented on fragments of it (Sumerian Literary Texts in the Ashmolean Museum [Oxford 1976]). It also analyse its sins and why the gods became angry with it. The Ur hymn is also in ANET.

m. In the case of Isaiah 14 and Ezechiel 28 the composition was not written after the fall but before the fall since they were prophecies.

n. Babylon in Isaiah needs a comment: Many scholars think that because Isaiah who lived around 745 BCE, could not have talked about Babylon of Belshazzar which fell in 539 BCE. Therefore they allocate this part to be written by a second author who was in the Babylonian empire in exile in Babylon.

m. We now have firm evidence from a scholar Stephanie Dalley that there are lexical texts indicating that the name "Babylon" was attached to other cities than only Babylon of the neo-Babylonian Empire (see RAI 51). In fact, she has found that it was the name for Niniveh during the 8-7th century BCE as well.

n. The critical slicing of Isaiah into three due to the occurrence of "Babylon" in the chapters or units of Isaiah, by S. R. Driver in his Isaiah His Life and Times, stands under serious need of revision here.

o. Compare all the Babylons of world history: Revelation 18, Amos 5, 1 Peter 5:13, Acts 5:27, Revelation 14:8, Revelation 12. One can fill in the gaps with the others since the Flood but not enough data is available to do this completely]]



Japp (1976) indicated that Desire of Ages relates that Jesus spoke to Lucifer and explained God to him.

In the heavenly assembly God the Father explained Christ to the angels.

Satan praised God and Christ together with all the angels but with:

1. Pride

2. Desire for power

3. Jealous on Christ

The result of this was that he interpreted his own glory wrongly.

All angels bowed before Christ. Lucifer had a conflict in his heart. Truth he replaced with jealousy. Righteousness and loyalty he replaced with hatred.


[[van wyk notes: He probably thought that God must be thankful to have such a beautiful angel as he]] (Compare the prayer of the Pharisee in the story of Jesus).



For a fleeting moment, says Japp (1976) Lucifer in this bowing event before Christ lost his spirit of anger and love filled his whole being and his soul was also in harmony with all.


anger returned because:

1. he thought of his own beauty

2. he desire supreme power

3. he hated Christ



The result of Lucifer moving away from his nearness to God was:

1. he sowed a spirit of doubt among the angels

2. he worked secretly

3. he pretended to be loyal superficially


The result is that he achieved his goal:

1. doubt in the law of God

2. that they should trust in themselves and that they are not sinful

3. that they should doubt God

4. that they should consider a take over


Japp (1976) indicated that the freedom of the fallen angels ended:

1. they have now an absolute ruler

2. there was a imbalance of respect and authority


The position and authority of Christ is unchangeable. Lucifer with his veneer of respect and loyalty misguided the angels.

1. he made a misrepresentation of the purpose of God

2. he insisted that they should give expression of their feelings

3. he suggested a change in order

4. he aimed at rebellion but ascertain them of loyalty


Result: Angels were divided into two camps:

1. Those dissatisfied and appreciative of Lucifer.

2. Those who were loyal to God and appreciative of Him. The Loyal angels could see the terrible results of this disunity.



Japp pointed to six different aspects about the method of Lucifer in heaven:

a. he operated with a skin deep veneer (pretense) of respect for God

b. that an angel can live without sin

c. that he will be a liberation fighter for the angels and that he will fight for their rights

d. doubt

e. disunity was blamed on God

f. blamed the loyal angels of recklessness



1. Doubt and dissatisfaction and disunity.

2. Heavenly joy was broken.

3. Angels desired also the place of Christ.



Loyal angels talked to Lucifer and tried to show him that his dissatisfaction is without ground.

Lucifer knew he was wrong.



Pride prevented Lucifer to return and change.

He interpreted the longsuffering of God wrongly.

During the decision time there are two poles, on one side loyalty and on the other rebellion. Pride prevent him from turning back.

The Trinity pleaded but Lucifer interpreted it wrongly and became Satan.



The loyal angels spoke to those who are listening to Lucifer and indicated that Lucifer is already lost. The sinful angels claimed that God cannot be righteous and forgive and that they will resort to violence.

Loyalist tried to convert the rebels.

They pointed out that God is merciful with Lucifer, loving, just, and these two aspects can convince Lucifer of his sins.

Lucifer called the Loyalist or Loyal Angels "slaves".



Japp (1976) indicated that Lucifer declared in public and openly:

1. that he will not acknowledge Christ

2. that he has a claim to be respected

3. that he wants to create a council for his followers

4. that he promises a better and improved situation of rights.



Loyalists pleaded and explained what the end is without conversion.

Some Rebel angels desired to be loyal.

Lucifer declared that the rebels are now to far from God.

In this phase, Satan was lost but the Rebels still had some change, according to Japp (1976).  




Japp (1976) indicated that there are four reasons why God did not eradicate sin immediately:

1. Love of the Father for Lucifer.

2. Freedom of worship. The high premium of a free will.

3. Unmasking of Lucifer through time and deeds in history.

4. Proof of the righteousness of God.

5. Lucifer was an influential cherub and the Loyal Angels did not know this leads to rebellion.



1. He indicated that they are indifferent to the real problem.

2. He used sneaky arguments.

3. He worked secretly.

4. He had artistic diplomacy and brinkmanship.

5. Used his high position to obtain more power.



Japp (1976) indicated that Satan had an advantage above God since he can use propaganda but God only uses truth.

1. God only uses truth and justice.

2. Satan praise and deceived.

3. God demonstrate the justice of the Law of God.

4. God loves the Loyal Angels and felt deeply touched by Satan and the others.

5. God does not want worship out of fear.

6. God worked with Foreknowledge, Election, Predestination and Rescue plans.



EGW Patriarch and Prophets.

EGW Desire of Ages

Bible on Ezechiel 28, Isaiah 14 and related passages.