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What is the difference between Satan and Lucifer?

Updated on January 9, 2012

Are Lucifer and Satan the same entity?

According to theologists and learned occultists, both modern and ancient, the simple answer is no. Satan was created to test the integrity of man, to allow man to show his strength in the face of adversity and love for God. Lucifer was a Fallen Archangel, His sin, pride.

The confusion comes from a biblical passage that seems to refer to Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12-

"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!"

The reason this caused so much confusion is that Lucifer actually means "brightest star", a reference to his beauty as an archangel. The passage actually means "O brightest star". The passage is said to be speaking of not Lucifer, but one of two other entities. The first is Samael, The former Angel of Purity, a powerful and pure angel who ruled the order of Seraphim. He stepped down from his post to oversee Hell. This passage is then a lament at the loss of this entity in the brightness of Heaven. Such a movement would certainly shake the nations!

The second possibility is that it references a king of Babylon.

Most occultists and theologians believe that it references Samael.

So Who is Lucifer?

To answer this question, one needs to understand the nature of angelic beings. These entities are spirits, disembodied entities with the power to become solid under certain conditions. As spirits, they embody a very narrow set of experiences. An angel is said to have free will, but not freedom of choice. What this means is that an angel's decisions are absolute. An angel cannot change it's mind once it's made a decision. With this in mind, remember that all angels are tremendously intelligent, able to see the results of their actions far into the future. An angel must choose to "Fall", knowing full well it's fate.

This brings us back to Lucifer, The Fallen Angel. Lucifer was a great and powerful angel, so beautiful that he was like a star. At some point, He got the idea that he could be his own "source", that he could become a god. He was so full of pride that he thought he could move God off His throne, His "place". Lucifer actually thought to make a place for himself ABOVE God. Making this choice, Knowing full well how impudent it was, was the sin of Lucifer, The ultimate sin of pride.

His "revolt" was short lived. He and the angels that followed him were cast out of heaven by mere words from God. Lucifer was the first angel to fall from grace.

What about Satan?

Satan is an interesting figure. The biblical equivalent of Prometheus, Satan gave us the "Gift" of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It has been said that Satan wanted us to experience the joy of good, but to do so we needed to know evil as well. Often portrayed as the ultimate evil, Satan was created to tempt mankind. As the tempter of Man, Satan was supposed to provide an opportunity for man to overcome hardships through faith. This would allow us to grow spiritually and emotionally. Two things led Satan to fall from grace.

The first was Jealousy. Satan became jealous of God's love for Adam and Eve, and so set about a deception that would either make us closer to god or take us further from His presence. This was the forbidden fruit. The result of course was the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

The second, which is tied to the first, is that Satan's methods were closely monitored by God. Satan was only allowed to use methods that God approved of. He was only allowed to go so far and use certain tools. Satan thought that God was too easy on us, that if we were tempted sorely, we would fail and god would turn away from us. Part of his decision to fall was knowledge that god would always be watching him, and without god's tempering hand his methods could be as varied as he pleased. He figured that every time he tempted or corrupted a human, with god watching, his existence would be re-affirmed. He's still doing what he was meant to do, but his leash is off.

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      cr00059n 5 years ago

      I've tried to learn about these two figures by watching NatGeo and the Discovery Channel. But, after the high decibel freakish and haunted noises played for a while, everyone in my house would get scared and I would have to turn the TV off. They I wanted to earn a PhD in Lucifer and Ghost studies. OgreKing, you've labeled out the key differences betweek Lucifer and Satan. Thanks for shining the light about this subject. Your article is a pleasure to read as well. Thanks. Cool.

    • OgreKing profile image
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      OgreKing 5 years ago from Kingston, PA

      Thanks for the comments!

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      Amos Gurung 4 years ago

      Sir, Thank you for answering such critical question but I do not agree concerning Satan. I do not know whether Satan and the Lucifer are the same or different being, but you have answered Lucifer probably in right way with biblical reference. Yes, Satan is also a created being but you said, he is placed on earth just to give a "gift", Knowledge of good and evil. Of course, he tempted Adam and Eve but you have not given biblical proof as he is different being from Lucifer!

    • OgreKing profile image
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      OgreKing 4 years ago from Kingston, PA

      Amos-

      Apocrypha, that is extra-biblical scripture, says that the entity called by us in this instance Lucifer, Was cast out on the sixth day, before God created man. He is also called Samjael, Iblis or Azazel. (Not Samael).

      "Satan" is used in many instances to refer to entities that were still in heaven for a long time after that. The entire book of Job describes a contest between A satan and god.

      The term is a title, and apparently, a position in some scripture. But the certain part of this is that although Lucifer was cast from heaven on the sixth day, Satan, or the satans, were not.

      Apocryphic scripture uses "satans", as In plural. The new testament talks about "A satan" or "The Satan"(called Ha-Satan). It appears that "The" satan appears in scripture, shortly following Job, as an individual.If earlier scripture uses "satan" as a title or position, then the name of this individual satanic entity is unknown, and we call it by it's title.

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      dakis 4 years ago from Athens

      Dear Ogreking,

      To find who Lucifer is you need to look into greek and jewish language. the word that we are looking for is "helel" and Isaiah clearly uses that word to moke the king of babylon who was risen like a rising star and he fell at the end. helel means bright or shining star. The misunderstanding starts when Torah is translated for the first time in

      Greek. Greek translators used the word eosforos for helel. Eosforos (Εωσφόρος=the bearer of dawn) was a Greek god who preceeded God Sun when the latter was beginning to shine. And in time, eosforos took the meaning of satan or lucifer. And here is the good part: This binding doesn t show anywhere in the bible! So it is a matter that must give a thought to.

    • OgreKing profile image
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      OgreKing 4 years ago from Kingston, PA

      The name "morning star", eosforos also references Venus, the planet. Venus appears in the evening, then dips below the horizon, and rises again at dawn. This led to a mistaken belief that they were different stars. (because of the brightness of Venus.)

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      Penodius 4 years ago

      the encanta el pito giiiiiil

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      LamiaZlogonje 4 years ago

      You mentioned in the comments that Lucifer was cast out on the sixth day. And is also known as Samjael, Iblis or Azazel. Does that mean there's some confusion in who the grigori/watchers were? Its said that Azazel was one of the grigori alongside Semyaza and other watchers who made the Nephilim. They were bound and dumped in certain locations. But how can that be if Lucifer and Azazel are one of the same and has already been expelled from heaven.

      I also have another question, you seem very knowledgeable on this sort of thing. And I've been very curious about it for some time. This forbidden fruit, was it not the first orgy in subtle text?

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      Curaga 4 years ago

      I think it should also be noted that there's a difference between satan and ha-(the)-Satan. By definition satan means adversary or apposer (or any number of synonyms), it is a titled which could conceivably be given to any other worldly or worldly being who apposes god. In this article I think you're refering to the Satan who is closer in concept to the Muslim Iblis or Jewish Mastema.

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      shannon 4 years ago

      So wrong, Lucifer as you know is known as the morning star and light bringer who also happens to be a small kind god to start off with, the church decided to make him out to be evil when he was just a simple god. All because he was known to consort with Diana the moon goddes. they had to make him evil to stop the dancing, so get your facts straight.

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      hardlife nduma 3 years ago

      What I see is satan or lucifer is just the same thing but it only have lot of names according to different types of languages in the wolrd .

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      Daniel Hmar 3 years ago

      I find this one very useful . Up to the height of my knowledge i affirmed The difference between Lucifer and Satan is right . And i will also like to conclude that the difference between Lucifer and satan are not two person but one bearing different title in different stage - Lucifer is Lucifer (also name as samael) during his time in Heaven but for his pride to rank himself above GOD and his Jeously of the Love that GOD approve to humanity led him (lucifer) to fall and he and his followers were thrown out of heaven (GOD's dwelling place ) and so lucifer is name as the fallen angel . And yes they were thrown out but , where ? straight to the garden of eden so that Humans will see the result of pride and jeously (evil) and be afraid and stay away from the very work of lucifer . But than again Lucifer wouldn't admit his defeat and would tempt eve . Lucifer did not tempt adam because adam was created to be submissive to GOD alone (his Creator) .In the other hand Eve was created to be submissive to adam therefore Lucifer tempt eve with his evil fruit that GOD forbid. The fruit of good and evil is none but lucifer himself and because eve was created to be submissive to the creation and not the Creator led eve to fall into the sin (Lucifer sin ) .

      GOD did not and will not deny adam in any cause for GOD framed adam in HIS own likeness so also in that very same process Adam did not deny eve for eve was created to be submissive and therefore taste the Lucifer fruit .- This led Lucifer to be named as satan .

      Lucifer (for his pride) -fallen angel ( for his unlawful temptation ) -satan ..

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      David Valdes 3 years ago

      U guys are missing the way the Bible describes things in their 'State of Being'...so to speak...Lucifer was the name of Satan BEFORE his fall from grace... in comparison, Jesus Christ in New Testament is the 'Spirit of the Lord' in the Old... Same beings, just different names because of their current natural state at the time ...Lucifer doesn't exist anymore ... because his angelic sinless state doesn't exist anymore... theres ONLY SATAN !! God / Jesus NEVER refers to Lucifer in ANY of the passages.. ONLY SATAN ....

      Thank you :)

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      OgreKing 3 years ago

      Well, for what it's worth, the rabbinic magi of old said that Lucifer (And in fact all of The Fallen) is still doing his many jobs. As an angel, His tasks define his existence, the edict of God. To stop doing the tasks he was created to do would mean suicide. Although he opposes god, it's an empty proposition. God is as far above Lucifer as Lucifer is above an inanimate speck of dust.

      Some scripture refer to the Satans as plural. This is an order of angels that are supposed to provide mortals with temptation. The one in Job is actually called The Satan, in a manner similar to what we would say the soldier , or the fireman. It was given no certain name. There is little certainty concerning which reference is being made after the old testament because of the language differences between Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. However, we look too other sources for clarification on these matters, and we can only have faith that the confusion this caused, and the sometimes heated discussions, are all part of God's ultimate will. Whatever happens, is supposed to happen, otherwise it wouldn't. Right?

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      LogueRadio 2 years ago

      I came across this thing. What are your views? Could this be some words from Lucifer? It is intriguing. This is about 1/3 of the complete "time tablet" I cannot paste the rest until you ok it :)

      Please read

      THE TIME TABLET"

      Narrator: This is the time tablet, that was stolen from hell;Deciphered and now revealed to all, by Mr. Walker.

      This tablet was written by the Prime minister of Hell( Lucifuge Rofocale).It reveals the shocking claim about what's about to come, and it reads:

      1. The Legendary Owl makes it to Hell( spotted as the great bird, in the mist of all sorrows.)

      2.Luciferians is to side with those of Good natures, and that the good will welcome the company of such a nature; for the good of the people, and living conditions, of them all.

      That the Godly , and those of good natures, will not be able to recognize them as of being Luciferians, because of world change, for the better.

      This Law will be called "The Daphuvian Law".

      * This is when all walks of life, come together, making one big agreement, with "Humanity". That the world was given to to the humans for rulership "By GOD Almighty", and that there's another way for all to come together, in genuine aspect of love, communication and respect for all righteous acts, of any human, in general.

      For Righteous Acts, upon One's neighbors, will enhance the popularity of Good Natures, that surrounds the individual; ( Gaining fans, instead of enemies, is the Greatest way to rule any of any kind.)

      For positive inputs, and outputs of the self( even amongst another, or all others) gives off the ultimate power. That it will be seen, acknowledged, respected, and planted, within all observers, that look upon such a human being.

      ( FOR THIS IS THE INFLUENCE)

      Death of the Zekeenthra Law- Religions are separated by ways of life( which is the tradition of One's difference, that sides, and vibes with their own likings, of belief, and people); Which means that everyday people are separated a like

      .

      (EVOLUTION)

      * Death of all Religions, but greater growth in relationship, towards such a nature, from within One's self.

      * People taking their own blessings, and curses, that is due to them, within their own hands; ( For the choices made by them, is to be their own fate.)

      * Humans will learn the proper balance of Nature, and how to apply themselves for the better, of the self; ( Knowing what's right, knowing what's wrong, as well as knowing exactly what to do.)

      * All will come together, for reasons that will lead back to reasons why each & every individual will choose to aim high,(from within themselves 1st.)that those whom put forth effort, will become the greatest of themselves, in do time.

      * Christians and all others will take what God had given them,( which is him, without those names given by them), and go forward,( by becoming the ultimate tool, of righteousness towards those that are being placed around such an individual; "For Future Reference",- as a New Age development of being, and becoming that of Good Natures .

      Luciferians is to be all about taking away all divisions of man, that man shouldn't be separated by anything, other than different lives, (as an individual powerful enough to wave blessings, as well as Curses amongst themselves, and others.)

      That the magic wand is every day choices, that are being made, by the individual, which will bring about either blessings, or for one to become cursed, by his/or hers very own negativity.

      * God had given man Nature to learn the ways of it all, which will help protect themselves,and protect the Earth, in rulership.

      "FOR THIS IS THE WAY TO THE LIGHT"...

      "The Light"- Spoken by Lucifer

      * All Humans meeting up, from all walks of life, putting in on the world becoming a better place, despite all differences, for all to have room, by making room for themselves, to live freely, and rule.

      * Nature is attached to actions, and also the emotional, and spiritual connections of One's self. "Based on the mental level of such a human being".

      * Luciferians is to do deeds for the good. That they give back for a past of triumph, and deceiving attributes. For they are to be of Good Natures, that their actions will indeed release me (LUCIFER), from my prison, do to all positive acts, that will come to past, within their own name.

      And as for guarantee,- Peace, Love, and Happiness, is to be all over the world; That my kind is to greet all humans, greater than their own.

      * ZOA is the Great Architect, made by GOD, "For God is the Greatest Architect of all, even if I have to say so my self." That ZOA was made for the future of Human kind, and all walks of life, there of.

      * ZOA understands Nature, "quite clearly, and complete."

      * ZOA had came from a Christian background, as Leroy Walker, but had broken away from religions, for his own personal relationship, with GOD, that had set birth to a New Understanding about everything." For he was Birthed to be."

      That he bring back, to the lands of the World, all that is needed, along the way.

      ( Pay close attention to ZOA, and it is then that you will see for yourself.)

      * ZOA is one of God's Elite, that if my kind was ever to be accepted by him, and do right by him, that this would release me, on time, with guarantee.

      I've placed many up against him, and they all have failed me.

      I've even placed my self, up against him, now look where it has gotten me!!!

      * ZOA suggestions is to be highly valued, by all Luciferians.

      (For he is The Holy Grail)

      * Now continue to rule the Earth, but make mention that ZOA is to rise on his own, if not by any help; And that my kind is to aid his every need. For what ever is of great value to GOD Almighty, is to be of an even greater value unto me,(Lucifer).

      And that all of this is to be on my side for me to be released, on time.

      "Remember Rulers of The Earth"

      1. Stay out of his way, but help him as much as possible.( Join him if you can!);

      But you is to never leave me, nor my name.

      2. Allow the Good to come out of you all, from heart, and if not have from heart, then make do. That if any of you fail me, I will see to your eternal soul, at personal greet.

      P.S.: "Now Get Me The F*ck Out of Here!!" # Lucifer Wallace

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       2 years ago

      Well if you believe in this non sense no there different (beings) Lucifer is in the sin of pride and Satan is in the sin of wrath so it couldn't be the same person stuck in 2 different levels of hell but honestly everything is all riddles and misinterpreted I just look at it as you can't be one person stuck in 2 prisons but I guess it's really for you to decide what you believe.

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      Iredc 23 months ago

      The name Lucifer never appears in apocrypha or pseudoepigrapha, neither had Lucifer ever a separate story or character. The rebellion and fall of Satan, on the other hand, is described in many apocryphal works like 2 Enoch or Vita Adae et Evae. So when the Bible was translated into Latin, the Church Fathers interpreted the word "lucifer" in Isaiah as referring not only to the king of Babylon, but also to Satan (whose story of the fall was already in existence). The Latin word Lucifer turned into another name for Satan or the Devil; they're one and the same and have always been so in Christian tradition and literature, from the Summa Theologica to Paradise Lost.

      It's true that some demonologists and grimoires have presented Lucifer and Satan as separate beings afterwards. But this comes usually from much later sources, like the Grand Grimoire of the 18th century, and is likely the result of a misunderstanding of Christian tradition on the part of occultists, or a desire to expand the number of individual demons for the purpose of making ranks and hierarchies.

      I don't know either from where comes your claim that Lucifer was an archangel and the same as Samael. Samael appears above all in Talmudic and rabbinical writings, and they don't use Latin names like Lucifer.

    • OgreKing profile image
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      OgreKing 23 months ago from Kingston, PA

      Moving outside of Rabbinic/Christian tradition, we find another possibility in the Gnostic scriptures. I invite my readers to look into the Nag Hammadi, and also into the Pistis Sophia.

      These are not just apocrypha, but an opposing view of god's kingdom and the real reason for Christ's coming. If you interpret the scripture the way I have, The realization is stunning- Christ broke from the traditional, Sumerian sourced version of the Genesis, and literally spoke about the coming of the demi-urge and the source of the "big bang". He also spoke of the levels of heaven and existence in a way that modern science is beginning to understand, quantum frequencies.

      In this version, Lucifer is the demiurge, the deceiver, and the entity who claims to be god in the old testament. If it's the real truth, The lie was literally epic in proportion, and a spectacular piece of workmanship. The lie was so thorough that there is a difficulty in procuring the truth.

      Who was Satan? Who was Lucifer? Who was the Demiurge? Are they actually Avatars of the same entity, masterfully obfuscating the truth?

      One thing is certain, Though. The reality is that this is not just an earthly war, It's galactic, No, cosmic in scope. And the godlike beings involved are superior in every way to us. I say, Read the Pistis Sophia, and take a second look at the power of the entities involved.

      I would like to make a single note her, though.

      I believe that the entity called "self-willed" by Christ is in fact Lucifer.

      Read up, and tell me what you think.

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      Iredc 23 months ago

      Interesting that you mention the Nag Hammadi library, since quite by chance I read recently some of their manuscripts. I haven't read Pistis Sophia though; I'd need first to find a printed version because the text is quite long.

      Now if you meant the demiurge Jaldabaot when speaking of Lucifer, then yes, he and Satan are different. But I don't think that "Lucifer" is an appropiate name for Jaldabaot. As far as I know, that name was only used by the Christian Church, which was the one that wrote and read in Latin, and they used it for Satan/the Devil, since the demiurge wasn't part of Christian dogma.

      Weren't the Gnostic texts written in semitic or Greek languages instead? I'm not expert in Gnosticism so I may be wrong, but I have never found the name Lucifer among Gnostics.

      A better equivalent for the demiurge, in my opinion, would be Yahve, the god of the Old Testament, that the Gnostics saw as an evil and jealous god (Christ being, on the other hand, the true and loving God). I find that interpretation quite thougt-provoking; it would explain why the god of the Old Testament seems so different to that of the New.

      You are right, though, that Samael was a name applied to Jaldabaot. The Christian/Jewish Samael, though, is quite different: the angel of death, patron of Rome and husband of Lilith.

      As for the fall of the angels (and speaking strictly from the Christian point of view) there are two different traditions, not necessarily contradictory. The older one: that of the Watchers with Semyaza and Azazel as leaders, whose sin was lust for mortal women rather than pride or rebellion against God. Their fall was similar to that of Prometheus; they came with good intentions but revealed too much to humans.

      Then there's the better known story of the fall of Satan because of his pride. For example in Vita Adae et Evae:

      "The devil replied, ’Adam, what dost thou tell me? It is for thy sake that I have been hurled from that place. When thou wast formed. I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels. When God blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake: Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness.’

      And Michael went out and called all the angels saying:

      ’Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.’

      And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: ’Worship the image of God the Lord.’ And I answered, ’I have no (need) to worship Adam.’ And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I said to him, ’Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the Creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his dut It is his duty

      to worship me.’

      When the angels, who were under me, heard this, they refused to worship him. And Michael saith, ’Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God will be wrath with thee.’ And I said, ’If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven and will be like the Highest.’

      And God the Lord was wrath with me and banished me and my angels from our glory."

      Notice that the line about the stars of heaven and being like the Highest is very similar to the passage in Isaiah, so it was just natural that "Lucifer" became another name for Satan. I agree with previous posters that say that "Lucifer" is used more for the prideful and rebellious Satan, while "Satan" is used more for his role of tempter and accuser.

      By the way, I'm intrigued about your comment that the New Testament introduced quantum physics notions. Any passage in particular?

    • OgreKing profile image
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      OgreKing 23 months ago from Kingston, PA

      Yes, I agree on most of your points here.

      From the viewpoint of the gnostics, all of the creatures involved in that "lower heaven" thing were following the machinations of the demiurge. I have seen the demiurge called many things, Jaldabaot and Jahve/YHVH among them.

      The point I was making about Lucifer/Satan/Demiurge's lies is that all of those traditions that tell the same story with different names may well be the work of the demiurge, one extremely powerful entity, posing as those entities, placing smoke and mirrors to hide the truth. A masterful job indeed.

      The mention of quantum physics is made toward Jesus's explanation of creation in the gnostic scripture.

      And I have read more than one version of those scriptures, as well. Although they seem to tell the same story, some of the names and details change. I think I'd like to write a new hub about that. At least, the way I understand it. I've taken a very "Ancient Aliens" attitude toward those writings and indeed it has changed the way I look at existence.

    • OgreKing profile image
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      OgreKing 23 months ago from Kingston, PA

      I don't really think I made any clarity on your points in that last post, sorry.

      As to Samael, Lucifer, Jaldabaot and the satans being the same or different, I believe that they are different in the narrative. In spite of the notion that they may well be independent entities, I still somehow think that they are all, in fact, emanations of the demiurge.

      From the point of view of the Gnostics, all of the lower heavens were populated with the "emanations" of the demiurge.

      The exceedingly complex story that resulted was meant to cause confusion, and sow discord, even amongst those seeking the truth.

      In christian scripture the duality of Christ and Michael are alluded to.

      Yet, Christ says in Gnostic scripture that He is Logos, and that Michael is an emanation of himself. He says that Michael was created to defend us from the demiurge and his creations. In most ways, the image of Michael as the defender of humanity has remained, and the character is free of most of the doubts that even the god of the old testament has fallen prey to.

      As I sit and ponder our conversation, I am beginning to rethink the relationship between "Self-willed" and Lucifer.

      Going by the benchmarks that the gnostics put in place, Lucifer would have been a gnat compared to "Self-Willed", one of the direct emanations of the One True God, The source.

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