Demon – A Memoir
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- Ted Dekker, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Bride Collector
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Recently divorced and mired in a meaningless existence, Clay drifts from his drab apartment to his equally lusterless job as an editor for a small Boston press – until the night Lucian finds him and everything changes with the simple words, “I’m going to tell you my story, and you’re going to write it down and publish it.”
What begins as a mystery soon spirals into chaotic obsession as Clay struggles to piece together Lucian’s dark tale of love, ambition, and grace – only to discover that the demon’s story has become his own. And then only one thing matters, learning how the story ends.
Returning in its third eBook edition from Simon & Schuster February 3, 2015
I have based Lucian's account of pre-fall bliss on a widely but by no means universally held understanding of Ezekiel 28:11-19. Some commentators view this passage as a literal lament or prophecy against the ruler of Tyre, a wealthy Phoenician city in what is now Lebanon. Others believe the prophet addresses the power energizing the throne of Tyre--Lucifer himself. Advocates of this second interpretation site the fact that the king is referred to as having dwelt in Eden, been an anointed Cherub, been created (rather than propagated) and as having been blameless since his creation. This is the interpretation I chose to underpin my fictional imagining of Lucifer's pre-fall existence.
I have supplemented my imagining of Lucifer's fall with a similar interpretation of Isaiah 14:12-14, wherein the "son of the morning" states his intention to ascend to heaven with five famous "I wills." Again, this is a widely but not universally-held understanding of this passage, which on the surface laments the prophetic fall of the pagan king of Babylon, a contemporary of the prophet.
In the ancient Near East, cherubs were depicted as beings with an animal body (usually a lion or bull), wings, and a human head. Large cherub statues often guarded the gates of ancient pagan temples. Biblically speaking, cherubs may be found guarding the gates of Eden (Genesis 3:24) adorning the lid of the ark of the covenant as golden statues (Exodus 25:17-22) and holding up God's throne (Ezekiel 1:4-28; 10:1-22).
I've only referenced cherubim, seraphim and angels (including archangels) in this story, but the Bible notes other significant rankings of spiritual forces: thrones (Colossians 1:16), dominions (Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16), principalities (Ephesians 1:21; 3:16; 6:12; Colosians 1:16) and powers (Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Collosians 1:16). I think it's important to mention that the only authority over the upper (cherubic) rank is that of Elohim; even the well-known archangel Michael must employ God's authority against Lucifer as in Jude 1:9.
I have assumed that the rock garden in Eden of Ezekiel 28:13 where Lucifer resided before his rebellion physically pre-existed the Eden of Genesis and that it was the (unspoiled) earth mentioned in Genesis 1:1. For the sake of story, I've theorized a chaotic ruin of Lucifer's first garden in Eden before the formless and dark Eden of Genesis 1:2.
Ezekiel says the object of his lament dwelled in "the holy mount of God" (Ezek. 28:14, 16). The exact phrase, "the holy mount of God" occurs nowhere else in Scripture though Jerusalem is sometimes called "the holy mount" where God dwells in His temple (Psalm 99:9; Isaiah 56:7). For this telling, I have imagined God's heavenly dwelling as a spectacular spiritual mountain—that is to say, something both and either physical and figurative simply because I cannot think that our concrete world would rely on the same physical laws and logic as one inhabited by spiritual beings in a perfect Eden before even the creation of the sun or moon. Other references to a mountain of God indicating government are: Isaiah. 2:2 and Daniel. 2:34-35, 44-45.
The Bible distinguishes between angels fallen and unfallen/elect (1 Tim. 5:21), and is specific about the judgment and fate of the lost: (2 Peter. 2:4, Jude 6). Therefore, I have based Lucian's odium on the fact that the Bible makes no mention of a messianic provision for fallen angels, no matter how they curiously long to look into the mysteries of salvation (1 Peter 1:12).
Lucifer derives his name from several sources. In Isaiah 14:12 the Hebrew is "helel," meaning "shining" (in the way of celestial bodies)—hence, the interpretation "son of the morning," or "morning star." As the morning star (Venus) is considered the brightest of "stars"—and some hold that God referred to angels in Job 38:7 as "stars"—Lucifer was to have been the brightest of all creation. Throughout the New Testament angels are referred to as shining beings (Matt. 28:2-3; Rev. 10:1) and Lucifer is said to pass himself off as an angel of light. Satan is associated with Lucifer as having fallen like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18, as associated with Ezekiel 28:17), and having fallen because of his pride (1 Timothy 3:6, as associated with Isaiah 14).
The name "Satan," at its most basic, denoted an adversary or enemy of human or spiritual origin. It is in the lives of Job and Joshua that Lucifer embodied the role of antagonistic accuser and adversary of the faithful. Throughout the Bible Satan is given many other names including God of This Age (2 Cor. 4:4), Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph. 2:2), and Prince of This World (Matt. 4:8; Luke 4:5-7; John 14:30).
Lucian's human guises are based on the abundance of angels that appear as humans throughout the Bible. The book of Job indicates that Satan has the power to inflict sickness (Job 2:7), control elements (Job 1:16-19) and inflict discouragement, doubt and disappointment (Job 3:1-10; 7:11; 10:1-18). Job is explicit that Satan has no power to harm those protected by God. Ephesians 6:10-18 indicates that children of God possess the means to withstand Satanic attack.
I need to cite my greatest reliance on H. LaVern Schafer's work, Satan: The Enemy Without (1996, Schafer) in addition to the usual commentaries and indexes, as well as books such as Billy Graham's Angels .
Lastly, I should say that despite my research I have never come to the point that I feel I completely understand the implications of God's relationship with spiritual beings or the nuances of passages like the ones found in Ezekiel and Isaiah. I chose the interpretations I did for the sense they make to me and also for their storytelling merit. I encourage you to pass my views and these notes through the sieve of your own discernment and to use them as a springboard for your own investigation.