What Happened in Eternity Past?

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.

Read: John 1:1; Psalm 90; Genesis 1:1-2; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:13-18; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Isaiah 45:18, Genesis 2:4

The Chronological Bible begins with a selection of scriptures under the heading “Eternity Past.” A portion from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 address the rebellion of a Cherub named Lucifer that happened before God said, “Let there be light.” They place an alternate location for these scriptures after God created Adam and Eve.

There are valid arguments for both placements of Lucifer’s rebellion. But it’s not my purpose to debate matters that have no bearing on salvation. I believe the initial chapters of Genesis records the restoration of planet earth which suffered a catastrophe after Lucifer and his angels rebelled. I also believe one purpose for man’s creation is to solve the problem these angels created. For the curious, I state the reason for my beliefs at the end of this article. [1]

In Ezekiel 28 God told his prophet to mourn the demise of the human king of Tyre, but the lamentation addresses a being that had access to the Garden of Eden and the “holy mount of God.” The king of Tyre lived centuries after humanity lost access to the Garden of Eden. This being is identified as a cherub, a winged angel similar to those who covered the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant.

God anointed this cherub, called Lucifer by Isaiah, and ordained him to be a guardian. Lucifer had everything most of humanity desires: wealth, beauty and wisdom. His greatest assets led to his downfall. Lucifer’s beauty made him proud. His pride corrupted his wisdom and his wealth made him violent.

According to Isaiah Lucifer’s problem resided in his heart. Lucifer said in his heart, “I’ll go up to heaven and set up my throne above God’s stars. I’ll sit on the mountain far away in the north where the gods assemble. I’ll go above the top of the clouds. I’ll be like the Most High.” [2]  Lucifer’s thoughts became actions that led to his fall from grace.  [3]

Lucifer already had access to the heavens and still has access to Heaven. The reason he went to Heaven created his problem. He wanted to set his throne over the “stars of God” and be like God. He never said he would set his throne above God’s throne. The angels who rebelled, which we call devil’s differentiating between the angels who sinned and those who remained faithful, are afraid of God and I doubt Lucifer would have been that ambitious. [4]

Lucifer wanted what most of humanity desires–to be more important than others.  He considered himself wiser than others and entitled to better things. He wanted the position Jesus would later teach is obtained through humility, obedience and sacrifice. God gives grace to the humble and resist the proud. [5] God resisted Lucifer with this judgment:

“… I threw you down from God’s mountain in disgrace. The guardian angel forced you out from the fiery stones. You became too proud because of your beauty. You wasted your wisdom because of your greatness. So I threw you to the ground and left you in front of the kings so that they could see you. You dishonored your own holy places because of your many sins and dishonest trade. So I set fire to you to burn you up. I turned you into ashes on the ground in the presence of all who saw you. All the nations who knew you are horrified because of you. You have come to a terrible end, and you will never exist again.” [6]

God declared he would remove Lucifer from his place among the fiery stones and promised to bring him to a terrible end. This judgment reads as though it already happened, but God is not limited by time. He calls things that are not as though there were. [7] Lucifer’s ultimate end is an eternity in the lake of fire. [8] An end he has not yet tasted.

Our first image of God in eternity past is a judge. His first judgment is against those who have more than enough but are not satisfied with the place he gave them, and rebel against God’s divine order by seeking to exalt themselves above others.

I believe God had more in mind than crushing a rebellion and destroying Lucifer when he said, “you will never exist again.” In those five words I see the beginning of a costly plan to teach us the meaning of love. If Lucifer had loved God he would have been content with the things God gave him. I also perceive a purpose to eradicate an evil attitude which creates misery and a plan to create within us a pure heart. For God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to the knowledge of the truth. [9]

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[1] My belief that the angels sinned first comes from the events in the Garden of Eden. The serpent tempted Adam and Eve to believe God is a liar which is evidence sin existed before Adam and Eve sinned. The following scriptures undergird this thought. According to Jude 1:6, there are angels who abandoned the place God gave them that are held in chains until the time comes for them to be judged.  A reason God created humanity is seen in Ephesians 3:10 that says God is using the church to make his wisdom known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. 1 Corinthians 6:3 says humanity will judge angels. Hebrews 2:5-8 reveals humanity will rule the “world to come” not the angels. Revelation 12 describes a war in heaven that removes the devil and his angels from their place in heaven. One day God will cast them down to earth where they will suffer his wrath with rebellious humanity. If God created humanity to replace the rebellious angels, it explains why they hate us.

[2] Isaiah 14:13

[3] Psalm 24:4; Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 1:22;

Philippians 4:8

[4] Isaiah 14:13-14, God’s Word

[5] James 2:19

[6] Ezekiel 28:16-19, God’s Word

[7] Romans 4:17

[8] Revelation 20:10

[9] 1 Timothy 2:4

 

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