Apostle Paul letter to Timothy, his protégé, includes an advice that he should avoid old wives fables and vain arguments. Hence, it is after some careful thoughts that I decided to correct what I term a ‘biblical old wives fable’ that says ‘Lucifer was once God’s choir master in heaven’ before he was sent packing to the earth for, you know what!
The belief that Satan ever ministered to God with music is a dangerously erroneous teaching that leads to some preachers condemning musical instruments in churches and belittling musical talents in people, among other weird teachings.
The bible contains the Word of God. As a true believer, you are duty bound to carefully study the bible and feed on God’s Word therein. Most importantly, when you study and receive the Word of God from the bible, as Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 14, you are no more ‘tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine’.
I have personally heard and read writings by respected ‘Christian Generals’ that Satan was at one time the lead choir master in heaven. And such preachers would quote the later part of Ezekiel 28: 13, as read mainly from the King James Version (KJV). The particular verse reads thus, “The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created”.
The confusing expressions in the quoted KJV are ‘thy tabrets and of thy pipes’. Believers, if you would take time to study this scripture, you will realize that the meanings of the verse were lost to us modern English speakers because of the 17 century English it was written in. It is an isolated translation. You will not find any other scripture in the entire bible that lead to the conclusion that Satan ministered to God in heaven with musical instruments!
So, let us put paid to this isolated translation by examining two lines of thoughts:
1. Scriptural translations of other recognized bible versions
It is written that in the mouth of two or three witnesses a word can be confirmed. Accordingly, we shall look at three scriptures, or four, for clarity.
1.1 And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and your sockets, was in you. They were prepared on the day that you were created”. (Amplified Bible, AMP)
1.2 Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared”. (New International Version, NIV)
1.3 You had ornaments of gold. They were made for you, on the day you were created”.
Most of the bible translations I compared with the authorized King James Version (KJV) came out entirely with a different meaning, both in words and context. The closest translation to King James Version is from its relatives, such as the New King James Version. The NKJV reads thus, “The workmanship of your timrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created”. (New King James Version, NKJV)
The logical conclusion here is to accept that the true meaning of the authorized King James Version was lost with the old English it was written in. The true meaning of that verse is not that Lucifer was created to minister to God with musical instruments. The expressions, ‘tabrets and pipes” were metaphors lost to modern day English speaker.
Nevertheless, I suggest you continue the research and share your findings with readers here. Send your research findings to hello@Kings-Priests.com
2. Lucifer was created an anointed Cherub – a guardian angel.
My next line of thought is to examine the type of angel Lucifer was at creation, in terms of his biblically assigned functions and duties. The scripture in Ezekiel 28:14 reads, “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you" (NIV). And the Amplified Bibles reads as, “you were the anointed cherub who covers and protects, and I placed you there”.
So Lucifer as a type of angel is a cherub, whose primary tasks are to 'guard' and 'protect'. There are many other such cherubic angels mentioned in the bible. The first mention of a cherub was in Genesis 3:24, after Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden. God placed cherubim (plural for cherub) with sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life. The next time, in bible, a cherub was mentioned was in Exodus 25, when God asked Moses to build the tabernacle with figures of cherubim over it.
Interestingly, there are descriptive details of a cherub, in the bible, as seen by Prophet Ezekiel. See Ezekiel 1:4-14 and 10: 1-20. In all these scriptures, the cherubim operated as escorts, guards and pseudo security systems, when they appeared accompanying God as He appeared to prophet Ezekiel in several visions. Their physical form was described by Ezekiel as,
“Everyone has four faces and everyone has four wings. And their feet were straight; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot…And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides…As for the likeness of their faces, ...they had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side; and they had the face of an ox on the left side; and the face of an eagle”.
Essentially, the prophet Ezekiel described the cherub as escorting God, bearing His throne (when he moved) and protecting His Presence which includes the ‘stones of fire’. Recall that earlier in our operative scripture here (Ezekiel 28: 13-19), particularly in verse 14, God mentioned that Lucifer had walked among the ‘stones of fire’. So, it is save to conclude that Lucifer was originally created a cherub type of angel, whose primary function was to escort, protect and guard; something akin to modern day bodyguard. More so, even though the cherubs were in God’s Presence the scripture did not record that they ever ministered either by singing or playing instruments.
Conversely, the Seraph (plural seraphim) another type of angelic being were recorded in scriptures to have ministered in the Presence of God with music of praise and worship. The Prophet Isaiah saw the vision of the Seraphim and it is recorded in Isaiah 6: 2, 3, 6, 7. Reading from the New King James Version, it states
“…I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood Seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke”.
As it is written, God is not the author of confusion, if Lucifer (Satan) was not a seraph how could he have ministered in God’s Presence with songs of praise and worship? Lucifer is a cherub, and he never ministered to God in songs. His job was that of an escort, a guard and protector of God’s Presence, and he was not the only one saddled with that responsibility. This explains why he was also sent out to patrol the earth as revealed in the book of Job 1: 7 and 2:2.
So, notwithstanding the King James Versions translation that used the ‘thy tabrets and of thy pipes’ expression, it is a gross misrepresentation of sound scripture (Ezekiel 28:13) to conclude that Satan was once a choir master of God in heaven. It could lead to other false teachings, frustration of the music ministry in church and wrongful condemnation of believers’ right to appreciate good music.