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Morning Star: Who Are The Sons Of Glory, And What This Means For Believers Today

One of the most fascinating themes we witness through reading the Bible is the unfolding of specific patterns.

Patterns that show up many times throughout the story of the Israelites, eventually to become the foundation needed to fulfill God’s plan for the future. This foundation, which would form through his spoken Word (that is, prophecy), remains true from beginning to end, and would undergo a number of “upgrades” over time, depending on the season in humanity’s growth. This process not only shaped the course of human interaction for the world in times of old, but fully connects all of God’s plans, which are designed to fulfill the promises made for his people during the End Times and beyond.

However, in order to fulfill the promises God made to Abraham to make him a holy nation and a kingdom of priests, a number of events needed to occur (and still do). The first was the fulfillment of sin within the nations that occupied Canaan at the time (Genesis 15:16), which continued as a pattern for many nations after them. The second was the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt, followed by the process of their sanctification in the wilderness, beginning with stepping into a new life through the action of baptism in the sea, and their refining through the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), all serving as examples for us to follow today. The third, which would come much later, was the establishment of a new covenant through the blood of God’s only son, that extends the promises given to Abraham to not only the Israelites, but now to Gentiles as well (Hebrews 8:6-13).

What this means is, events similar to the ones mention must happen first, in order to move to the next. And as these events occur, the process not only becomes refined, but so are the people who the Lord calls out.

Like a fractal that unfolds in patterns similar to a rose, God’s plan is not only growing, but continues to expand and get better and better. But what does all of this mean for us today?

As believers awaiting for the return of Christ (Acts 1:11), what should we be doing right now?

Who are the Sons of Glory?

If Christ is called the Morning Star (Revelation 22:16), then why do people call Satan the Morning Star as well?

By asking the right questions, we can get a better idea of where to start through our studies, and what to look for.

But in order to understand the answers to these questions, we'll first need to break down what some of these key phrases mean, and then see what the Bible specifically says about them in the context of prophecy. The first area of focus will be with understanding the actual meaning behind the name Morning Star, and what Satan's actual purposes is (and perhaps his original role before having been cursed in the book of Genesis).

Lucifer/Morning Star Connection to Satan

The first thing to note is that Satan is never actually referred to in the Bible as being a Morning Star/Son of the Morning. The passage that’s well-known for this established idea is found in the book of Isaiah 14:12:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” - King James Version

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!” - English Standard Version

Let’s first observe the name Lucifer, Day Star, and Morning Star.

The original Hebrew translation for these words is hêlēl הֵילֵל, which translates as “light bearer”, “morning star”, and “shining one”. In Greek this name is seperated into two separate words: prōinos πρωϊνός  and astēr ἀστὴρ, which translates as “pertaining to the morning” and “star”.

The original name for Satan is written as śāṭān שָׂטָן which translates to “adversary”, “accuser” and “one who withstands”. In Greek, the name is satanas Σατανᾶς which translates as “adversary” and “the inveterate adversary of God and Christ”.

Now let’s ask ourselves the first question. Based on this information, is there any similarities (whether in Hebrew or Greek) here that demonstrates a connection between the names Morning Star and Satan?

Next, let’s read the full prophecy in Isaiah 14, in the context that it relates to verse 12:

(words in bold will indicate a good place to begin asking questions)

3"When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

“How the oppressor has ceased,

    the insolent fury[b] ceased!

5 The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,

    the scepter of rulers,

6 that struck the peoples in wrath

    with unceasing blows,

that ruled the nations in anger

    with unrelenting persecution.

7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet;

    they break forth into singing.

8 The cypresses rejoice at you,

    the cedars of Lebanon, saying,

‘Since you were laid low

no woodcutter comes up against us.’

9 Sheol beneath is stirred up

    to meet you when you come;

it rouses the shades to greet you,

    all who were leaders of the earth;

it raises from their thrones

    all who were kings of the nations.

10 All of them will answer

    and say to you:

‘You too have become as weak as we!

    You have become like us!’

11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,

    the sound of your harps;

maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,

12“How you are fallen from heaven,

    O Day Star, son of Dawn!

How you are cut down to the ground,

    you who laid the nations low!

13 You said in your heart,

    ‘I will ascend to heaven;

above the stars of God

    I will set my throne on high;

I will sit on the mount of assembly

    in the far reaches of the north;[c]

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

    I will make myself like the Most High.’

15 But you are brought down to Sheol,

    to the far reaches of the pit.

16 Those who see you will stare at you

    and ponder over you:

‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,

    who shook kingdoms,

17 who made the world like a desert

    and overthrew its cities,

    who did not let his prisoners go home?’

18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,

    each in his own tomb;[d]

19 but you are cast out, away from your grave,

    like a loathed branch,

clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,

    who go down to the stones of the pit,

    like a dead body trampled underfoot.

20 You will not be joined with them in burial,

    because you have destroyed your land,

    you have slain your people.

May the offspring of evildoers

    nevermore be named!

21 Prepare slaughter for his sons

    because of the guilt of their fathers,

lest they rise and possess the earth,

    and fill the face of the world with cities.”

The king of Babylon was a man named Nebuchadnezzar. In a fashion similar to what Pharaoh demonstrated during the time of Moses, this king would also treat his people and captives poorly due to the increased growth of arrogance in his heart. Satan is not a man, nor do he have ownership of any specific land, and he isn’t associated with any type of people in the same manner that a human king of an earthly kingdom is. Lastly, the only human verified in the Bible to have had Satan enter them was Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3, John 13:27).

Furthermore, Satan is described as the ruler (archōn ἄρχων, meaning a ruler, commander, chief, leader, or prince) of this world, not a king of any specific nation. Only people born in the image of God (humans) are given the authority to be kings. There is no reference in the Bible describing spiritual beings are being kings (with the exceptions of God being the King of All Creation and Abaddon/Apollyon being the king of the locust army in the book of Revelation), but instead are referred to as “princes” or “chief princes".

ruled the nations in anger

    with unrelenting persecution

These traits are well demonstrated through the actions taken by Nebuchadnezzar, with some being shown in the book of Daniel. Satan on the other hand doesn't persecute nations, but rather focuses on accusing one nation in particular: Israel (beginning with each individual of this nation who displays righteousness such as Job). Just as it's described in Revelation, Satan’s role was and continues to be his accusations against God’s chosen people:

“10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers[b] has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” - Revelation 12:10-12

(Notice that this passage explains how Satan and his angels will lose the war to Michael, which results in them no longer having a place in heaven in Revelation 12:8. This implies that Satan currently is still in heaven.)

Now that we have a clearer understanding of Isaiah 14, along with both the Hebrew and Greek words for Satan and Morning Star, we can now see that this prophecy refers not to Satan or any spirit being, but to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

So if Nebuchadnezzar's the Morning Star and not Satan, what does the name mean?

Morning Star: Who The Lord Reveals His Glory Through

"For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,

that bitter and hasty nation,

who march through the breadth of the earth"

Habakkuk 1:6

Time and time again, the Lord reveals his plans to his servants the prophets long before the world at large bears witness to the outcome. Regardless of whether the world views his works as cruel or just, God will intentionally utilize whatever part of creation he so chooses in order to ensure that his Word will be made manifest (1 Kings 22:19-23).

And those who faithfully follow his Word are those who He reveals his glory through.

We see this pattern first unfold in the book of Joshua, as God gives the Israelites the specific task of conquering the land of Canaan, the very land that was promised to Abraham.

Similar to what was described at the beginning of this study, God planned out a number of important events to lead up to this point. The first was for Abraham to bear witness to the very land he would inherit (one of the major reasons behind his sojourning through the land of Canaan). Next, he would inform Abraham about what was to come for his descendants, including the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt and the sins that had to be complete by nations such as the Amorites in order for his people to enter the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:13-16). This is important to note because it further highlights the fact that it was always God's intention to have his people dwell in this specific part of the world.

In order for His plans (prophecy) to be fulfilled on earth, the main instrument required was (and still is) human beings. In the case of judgment of the nations, the first example demonstrated is through the Israelites, who were given the instructions of eliminating seven specific nations within the land of Canaan. They were to do so without sparing anyone, and to also destroy all traces of idol worship. Although the people of these nations were known to be mighty, and some were even referred to as Giants, victory would be granted to the Lord's people through their faith and execution of his will (Deuteronomy 7:1-6).

This pattern continues to repeat, as demonstrated in the books of Habakkuk and Ezekiel, where God reveals his plans to these prophets of how has was building up Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire, in order to fulfill the prophecies of destroying the divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (Habakkuk 1:5-11), along with other nations within the region including Egypt, Tyre, Ammon, and Edom. Much in the same way as the Israelites were to utterly destroy the nations within Canaan, so too would the armies that would come to usher in destruction to the Israelites (Jeremiah 21:1-10), with the exception of God sparing a remnant. Nebuchadnezzar fulfilled these prophecies, thus, granting him the “title” of Morning Star.

As listed above, the Morning Star of this time was Nebuchadnezzar, as his empire completely changed the landscape of power within the region during the time of the Exile. Now with the End Times at hand, the Book of Revelation too highlights the repeating of the Morning Star prophecy.

Only this time, the one to rise will be Jesus Christ himself.

The True Morning Star

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” - Revelation 22:16

As a result of revealing himself not only as the bright morning star, but as the root of David, highlights two very important details.

The first is the pattern of the bright morning star. As mentioned previously, Nebuchadnezzar was described as the morning star, due to his obedience to God by judging the nations in the fashion the Lord spoke of through his prophets. However, he fell short later in his life due to his growing arrogance and belief that he acquired his position through his own merit. Babylon would also fall due to their increased practices of cruelty against God's people, and thus experience a destruction similar to the judgement that Babylon once executed on Israel and other nations (Jeremiah 50). King David on the other hand, demonstrated the action of a morning star in its true fashion: one who carries out the will of God not for the sake of self-proclaimed glory, but through godly righteousness. The book of Psalms, along with the many feats of David recorded in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel, is a fine demonstration of one who seeks and gives glory to the Lord in all that they receive, all the while establishing the proper pattern for how Christ too will reign (Psalm 110:1-3).

Which therefore, establishes the significance of Christ in the second detail: Jesus was manifest long before David lived. As the word of God who holds authority over the Book of Life (Revelation 21:27), and as the root of David, Christ was and is the beginning of the Davidic line not through blood, but through the workings of the Spirit (1 Timothy 3:16 & Isaiah 11:2).

Now, the Lord seeks not just his Son, but for many other Sons to also share in this same glory (Hebrews 9:15) (Revelation 20:4). As prophesied long ago, Christ will return to properly judge the people who live in the world (Jude 1:14-15), and will establish a thousand year long reign along with the newly recognized Sons Of Glory (Revelation 20:6), to establish a world where true righteousness will dwell on earth (Isaiah 32:1-8).

So, what does this all mean for us today?

Closing Thoughts

“And we have the prophetic word more fully informed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” - 2 Peter 1:19

As the passage above states, believers will one day soon experience a change within that begins from the heart.

The Lord is calling many out from the world (Isaiah 43:1-13), having chosen them long before their physical birth (Isaiah 48 & 1 Peter: 17-21), in order for others to share in the inheritance promised to both Adam and Abraham long ago (Revelation 17:14). As believers who qualify to run the race for this opportunity, each of us have promises that are waiting to be granted to us. But simply believing isn’t enough, nor is living as most people (and even everyday Christians) currently do.

Through learning the stories of the Bible, we’re able to see how many people long before Christ's birth also demonstrated a life governed by the Spirit. Examples are all presented in the Old Testament, as demonstrated through the lives of Othniel (Judges 3:10), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Jephthah (Judges 11:29), Samson (Judges 13:25), and King David (1 Samuel 16:13), and through many others.

The foundation (as mentioned at the beginning of this article), is in fact, Jesus Christ himself. He is the true, recognized son of God, and serves as the perfect living blueprint that will form within those who faithfully follow him.

We are called to follow in Christ’s example, as he demonstrates true spiritual application through the parables in the Gospels, through the actions he took after receiving the Holy Spirit, and through the growth of our Spirit through maturing in Christ (that is, the Word Of God). We are required to seek wisdom, train our senses to distinguish between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), display courage and the moments where fear becomes the dominant force, show compassion when our hearts seek to condemn others, and most importantly, live in good faith, knowing and seeking Christ in the areas of our lives. And as a result of all these things, demonstrate in our immediate lives the way we respond to the personal hardships and challenges that secretly encourage our growth in the instructions of the Holy Spirit.

The training of the Holy Spirit will challenge us to our core as individuals, and sometimes it’s terrifying to know how our future will look by living a life that runs opposite of the world. But as many lives have changed in wondrous ways through following the Lord, as presented by the many stories in the Bible, each of us have much to look forward to.

And with the Lord by our side, the journey will definitely be worth it.

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