Lucifer and Satan are the same. The problem comes from making the beginning mentioned in John 8:44 the same as the time of the creation of Satan. Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44) and he sinned from the beginning (1John 3:8). However, there is no reason to think that this beginning is identical with his creation. There are numerous beginnings in the Bible. Philippians 4:15 speaks of the "beginning of the gospel." In Acts 11:15, Peter refers to "the beginning." However, from the context it is clear that he is referring to the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
One of the most common beginnings in scripture and probably the one referred to in John 8:44 is the beginning of this present world. That is, it refers to the six-day creation of Genesis, chapter one. However, we have good reason to believe that Satan was created before the beginning of our present world and that he fell into sin before that time. Therefore, the devil was created perfect but fell because of sin and was a liar and a murderer from the beginning of creation as we know it. Yet, he was not a murderer and a liar from the time of his own creation. That would make God the source of iniquity. The absolute holiness of God would not allow this to be the case.
This is one of the main reasons that I believe in a gap of time between the original creation and the six-day creation. It was during this gap that Satan/Lucifer rebelled against God. If there was no original creation and destruction, then the devil could predate man by no more than five days. This means that the following events must have occurred between the first day of the six-day creation and the fall of Adam and Eve:
- Lucifers service to God as the anointed cherub that covereth (Ezekiel 28:11-15).
- The fall of Lucifer because of his pride (Isaiah 14:12-15).
- The fall of the angels who followed Satan (Matthew 25:41).
The preparation of everlasting fire for the devil and his angel (Matthew 25:41). NOTE: This fire must have been prepared after the fall of Satan created the need for it yet before the fall of man condemned him to the same place. Otherwise, it would have been created for Satan, his angels, AND man.
Satan’s Claim on the World
Satan is called “the prince of this world” by Christ (John 12:31) and “the god of this world” by Paul (2Corinthians 4:4). What gives him a claim on this world and when did he get this claim?
In Luke 4:5-6, Satan told Christ that all the kingdoms of the world had been delivered unto him (“for that is delivered unto me”). Christ did not deny his claim but rather answered that only God Himself deserved worship (Luke 4:7-8). The devil’s claim of having the kingdoms of the world delivered unto him is allowed to stand. But when could this have been done? When Satan shows up in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man, he is already the serpent and is in opposition to God. If Satan had some previous rule over the world, when did he practice this rule?
In Isaiah 14:12-15, where Satan’s original rebellion against God is recorded, the devil desired to exalt his throne above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:13). In order to exalt his throne, he had to have a throne. A throne indicates a place of rule and dominion as well as a kingdom to rule over. Yet, this kingdom which was ruled by Satan before the fall was below the stars of God and below the heights of the clouds. What is left? The earth is left. Satan had a throne on the earth before he rebelled against God. This would explain how he got his claim to earth. The earth before Genesis 1:2 was Lucifer’s original domain. It was his original commission from God.
Satan’s Character From the Beginning
The devil was “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44) and he “sinneth from the beginning” (1John 3:8). To what beginning does this refer? It must refer to the beginning of the six-day creation. Nothing else makes sense.
However, if there is no gap and the devil was created on the first day of the six days of creation, he must have been created as a sinner and a murderer—since he was these things from the beginning. But this is impossible for two reasons.
- First, this interpretation would make God the author of sin.
- Second, the Bible clearly states that the devil was perfect from his creation and that iniquity was not found in him until a later date (see Ezekiel 28:15).
He was perfect at the time of his own creation, but was a murderer and sinner at the time of the beginning or creation as we experience it. Therefore, the devil had to fall in sin somewhere between the time of his creation and the beginning of the world as found in the first chapter of Genesis. Only the gap provides a time for this. There is no other option.