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Frank W. Nelte

July 2011

A Response to the UCG Statement on the Name 'Lucifer'

Someone who has read my articles on the subject of “Lucifer” has just sent me a statement about Lucifer from the UCG website, with a request that I evaluate this statement, since it appeared to this individual that the UCG statement implied that some of the things I have been saying on this subject are correct.

The UCG statement is quite short, about one page in length. I will also keep my response short, since there is no need for me to repeat the information I have already presented in my previous articles on “Lucifer”, all of which are available on my website.

Here is the UCG statement. I have bold-texted certain statements for the purpose of drawing attention to those statements. After the UCG statement I will make some comments.



The Word "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12

The parallels between the astronomical picture and what happened in the spirit realm are striking and reinforce the points Isaiah makes here in describing this tragic angelic rebellion.

In Isaiah:14:12 the powerful being who led a rebellion against God is referred to by a word often translated as "Lucifer." The original Hebrew designation here " used only this one time in the Bible"is Heylel. Its precise meaning is debated. Some think it means "Praise of God," seeing a relation with the Hebrew Halal ("praise"), the el at the end perhaps being a suffix meaning "God" (as in the angelic names Michael and Gabriel).

Others contend that Heylel means "brightness" or "shining one""particularly given its apparent astronomical association. Paired here with the phrase "son of the morning," many believe the reference is to the planet Venus as the bright morning star shining in the east before sunrise. Indeed, this was evidently the understanding of the term shortly before Christ's time. The ancient Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament rendered the word as Eosphoros ("dawn bearer"), the Greek term for Venus as the morning star (also known in Greek as Phosphoros, meaning "light bearer").

This meaning was incorporated into the fifth-century Latin Vulgate translation with the word Lucifer ("light bearer" or "light bringer"), the name Roman astronomers used for the same morning star. Yet we should further consider that the angels of God were referred to figuratively in Scripture as "morning stars" (Job:38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?; see also Revelation:1:20).

A little knowledge of astronomy helps us better understand the picture here. Venus is the brightest object in the sky except for the sun and moon. We now understand it to be a planet. But to the ancients it was classed as a star"simply because their words for star meant a small, shining point of light in the sky. Notice again that the reference in verse 12 is "son of the morning." The planet Venus is still referred to as either the morning star or the evening star"because it is visible only just before sunrise or just after sunset.

Thus the picture presented is of a grand star, likened to Venus, that wants to be grander than the other stars: "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" (verse 13). Before dawn, Venus rises from the eastern horizon. But before it is able to climb into the sky"to rise above the other stars and be the highest"the light of the rising sun causes Venus to disappear in the growing light of day.

The parallels between the astronomical picture and what happened in the spirit realm are striking and reinforce the points Isaiah makes here in describing this tragic angelic rebellion.



The most outstanding attribute of this UCG statement is that it is totally non-committal It offers different possibilities without actually taking a stand. Is UCG saying that the name Lucifer really DID belong to Satan at some point in the past? Or is UCG saying that it did NOT belong to Satan, but is only often erroneously ascribed to Satan?

They just don’t say! And you as the reader can believe whatever you like because UCG pleads ignorance.

This non-committal approach by UCG is further illustrated by a recent UCG decision that has been reported to me. I have been told that in a discussion concerning the name Lucifer UCG decided that in future they would refer to the devil as “the one that CAME TO BE KNOWN AS LUCIFER”, with the intention that people can read their own conclusions into this statement.

That is an absolutely staggering statement by UCG!

Satan is the one who “CAME TO BE KNOWN AS LUCIFER”! Satan wasn’t “known” to Adam and Eve as Lucifer. Satan wasn’t “known” to Noah and to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob as Lucifer. Satan wasn’t “known” to Moses and to Joshua and to all of the Judges and to King David as Lucifer. Satan wasn’t “known” to Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets as Lucifer. The Prophet Isaiah never in his life heard the name Lucifer mentioned, even though this name is supposedly based on his writings. Satan wasn’t “known” to Jesus Christ during His ministry or to any of the apostles as Lucifer; both Peter and Paul died long before Satan ever became “known” as Lucifer.

No, it wasn’t until the 5th century Latin Vulgate, as the UCG statement points out, that ANYBODY “came to know” Satan by the name Lucifer!

The word Lucifer is a Latin word, and absolutely nobody from the time of Adam right up to the close of the New Testament had ever heard the name Lucifer applied to Satan. And for more than 1000 years after Jerome used this name in his Latin Vulgate translation THE ONLY PEOPLE who “came to know” Satan as Lucifer are the people who read (or had read to them) the very flawed Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

So for the first approximately 4,300 years of human existence nobody had ever heard the name Lucifer. Then for the next 1,100 + years the only people who heard the name Lucifer are those who accepted the corrupt Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible.

This means that this recent UCG decision is aimed at endorsing the Latin Vulgate translation, which is for this verse based on the even more corrupt Greek LXX version.

So the bottom line is that UCG accepts that the Catholic Church had the right to give Satan the name Lucifer, even though absolutely nobody in biblical times ever heard, let alone used, this name Lucifer to refer to Satan. The demonstrable facts in this regard are willingly ignored. What was that about some people being “willingly ignorant”?

With this recent decision UCG is hoping to have it both ways. They hope the people who understand that the name Lucifer should never be applied to Satan will be able to agree with this particular wording. And they also hope that the people who strongly believe that Satan used to have the name Lucifer will not see that this is in fact a tacit acknowledgment that the name Lucifer really did NOT belong to Satan, that it was only used for Satan from the time of the Latin Vulgate translation onwards. And of course, most importantly, this statement allows UCG to continue to freely use the name Lucifer in reference to Satan, and it allows its members to also do so without censure.

This published UCG statement and this recent decision are a clear example of UCG’s refusal to take a stand. They are not saying that it is right and they are not saying that it is wrong. They are just not saying.

The next most outstanding attribute of this UCG statement is its incredible shallowness! At no point has the UCG author of that statement made any attempt to actually establish the facts about the name Lucifer There is no real research of any kind and no facts are presented.

UCG says that “heylel” (there is no reason to capitalize this Hebrew word) is “often translated as ‘Lucifer’”. They continue to say that “the precise meaning is debated”, but UCG does not present what they, UCG, believe the word “heylel” actually means. The statement “the precise meaning is debated” identifies the author as an uncommitted sideline spectator, who is not about to get involved in the real issues about the name Lucifer.

The next few statements show that they don’t really understand this issue at all. They say that “SOME think it means ‘Praise of God” (which is an utterly absurd assessment ... that in this context of Isaiah 14 where God is excoriating Satan, God would somehow refer to Satan’s name supposedly having been “Praise of God”), while “OTHERS contend” that the Hebrew word means “brightness or shining one”.

How shallow can you get? UCG has just presented a red herring in order to draw the attention away from the real issues.

The debate is NOT over “praise of God” versus “shining one”! Both of those meanings represent the same perverse deception regarding God’s statement in Isaiah 14:12.


1) The Hebrew word “heylel” could be derived from one of TWO possible source words.

A) It might be derived from the Hebrew word “halal”.

B) It might be derived from the Hebrew word “yalal”.

2) Now IF “heylel” is derived from “halal”“, THEN it is unique in the Hebrew text. And then it could have one of TWO possible meanings:

A) It theoretically COULD mean “shining one”.

B) It could equally well ALSO mean “conceited arrogant BOASTER”. And it is the context of Isaiah 14:12 that makes clear beyond any doubt that this is the intended meaning, IF “heylel” is indeed derived from “halal”.

3) But IF “heylel” is derived from “yalal”, THEN the world “heylel” is not unique at all, because the word “heylel” derived from “yalal” also appears in a number of other passages in the Hebrew text of the OT. In this case the word “heylel” must mean “howler”. And howling is VERY COMMONLY mentioned in the context of God pouring out penalties on rebellious individuals.

So UCG has diverted the attention away from the real issues here by trying to present the uncertainty regarding “heylel” as being about “praise of God” versus “shining one”.

The UCG author clearly does not understand the principle of Ezekiel 3:20 and Ezekiel 33:13, as applied to Satan.

Next, while pointing out that the Latin Vulgate has (incorrectly so) translated “heylel” as “lucifer”, the UCG author glaringly failed to mention that the Apostle Peter very directly and unequivocally called Jesus Christ “PHOSPHOROS” in 2 Peter 1:19, and that this is in the Latin Vulgate CORRECTLY translated as “LUCIFER”. It is irrefutable that the Apostle Peter here called Jesus Christ “Lucifer”, if you happen to be speaking Latin.


The UCG comments that the Greek “phosphoros” and the Latin “lucifer” were both applied to the planet Venus are basically okay, but they are misapplied! The intent for the inclusion of those statements about Venus is to provide some justification for applying the name “lucifer” to Satan, but without saying so directly. It is a matter of trying to justify the name “lucifer” for Satan through the back door!

The facts are:

1) The word “heylel” could have one of 3 possible meanings: shining one, or arrogant boaster, or howler. BOTH NEGATIVE MEANINGS fit perfectly into the context of Isaiah 14:12. And one of those two negative meanings is without question the meaning God intended when GOD used the word “heylel” to refer to Satan.

2) But the word “heylel” absolutely and without any reservations whatsoever has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with “stars” or “light-BRINGING” or with “dawn”! The etymology of this Hebrew word simply excludes those hypothetical possibilities.

3) The context of Isaiah 14:12 is unmistakably one where God scathingly excoriates Satan.

4) When God Himself took away from Satan whatever name Satan may have had before his rebellion, there is absolutely no way that God would ever again use Satan’s earlier name in addressing Satan. That whole idea is preposterous! WHY would God in a scathing rebuke which is filled with scorn and contempt for Satan possibly revert to calling Satan by a name that God Himself had taken from Satan?

Next, the UCG author appears to not understand the phrase “son of the morning”. “Son of the morning” has nothing whatsoever to do with Venus! Such an association is ridiculous!

The Hebrew word for “son” simply means “product of”. This word always points to the one who “PRODUCED” the individual designated by the word “son”.

First of all, there is a qere reading in the Hebrew text which renders this expression as “SON OF HOWLING”, in line with “heylel” very possibly being derived from the Hebrew word “yalal”.

However, IF the expression “son of the morning” is indeed a correct reflection of the intended meaning, THEN the expression “SON of the morning” simply tells us that this “heylel” was PRODUCED or CREATED by another individual who is here referred to as “the Morning”. It is Jesus Christ who is in Revelation 2:28 referred to as “the Morning Star” and in Revelation 22:16 as “the Bright and Morning Star”. So the expression “SON of the Morning” in Isaiah 14::12 simply means that Satan WAS CREATED BY JESUS CHRIST. When God Himself was speaking in Isaiah 14:12, God most assuredly was not thinking of the planet Venus!

Next, the UCG author has attempted to spiritualize away the REAL meaning of the expression “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”. Applying this statement to Venus is absurd! This Statement has just one clear and unambiguous meaning. It means: Satan attempted to exalt himself above all the other angels and even above God Himself by attempting to overthrow God’s rule. This has got nothing at all to do with Venus. It was THE PAGANS who assigned the name “lucifer” to the planet Venus; but when GOD spoke to Isaiah more than 700 years before Christ’s ministry, God was not thinking of Venus.

There is no need for me to comment on the rest of this UCG statement. While that statement stops short of ascribing the name lucifer to Satan, it tries to make a strong case for the reader to reach this conclusion for himself. It does so by employing a very shallow approach to the whole subject, carefully avoiding any commitments along the way. And it very meticulously avoids any facts that would contradict the conclusion towards which they are trying to nudge the reader.

Frank W Nelte