This is a very important question: how come iniquity was found in Lucifer? He was created good. All the virtues of godliness were found in him. He was perfect in his ways, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. How come iniquity was found in him?
The point here is that Lucifer did not just become defiled by iniquity without a cause. There was a cause that triggered the process of iniquity in him. Before we unfold the mystery behind what triggered iniquity in Lucifer it is important to point out here that the garden of Eden was God’s garden. Ezekiel 28:13;
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God…”
The phrase “Eden the garden of God” clearly presents us with the fact that the garden of Eden is God’s garden and not the “garden of man”. It exclusively belongs to God. However, because of God’s goodness, He placed the man He had created into the garden as part of His divine plan. Adam’s family was expected to grow large and spread out the garden of Eden thereby making the whole face of the earth an extension of God’s garden. God planted the garden and placed the man He had formed in it. Genesis 2:8;
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
Angels including Lucifer are not expected to visit this garden, except by instruction from the Most High. It should be noted that cherubs are like official announcers of the presence of the Most High. This then implies that Lucifer being a cherub goes with the Most High whenever He visits the garden. Consequently, by this means Lucifer had access into the garden of Eden. Ezekiel 28:13;
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone wasthy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”
Interestingly, it is revealing and shocking to know that on one of Lucifer’s visits to the garden of Eden he ate out of the forbidden fruit. This he did out of his free will and had his wisdom corrupted with the knowledge of evil. So he became defiled and iniquity was found in him. Ezekiel 28:15;
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
We have to appreciate the fact that there is a limit to the knowledge of God’s creatures. Lucifer was in the garden of Eden and he ate out of the forbidden tree, disregarding the instruction of restriction that has been placed on the tree. Notice that the beginning remarks of Ezekiel 28:13 was a proclamation rather than an exclamation since God is omniscience. What God meant was “Hey Lucifer I know you have been to my garden and have eaten out of the fruit of the forbidden tree”. We also need to appreciate the fact that the execution of “freewill” is not a sin but the result obtained from its process is what matters. It should be noted that, no creature of God can deal with the knowledge obtained from this tree in righteousness, discerning what is good from what is evil by cleaving unto the good without errors. Additionally, anyone whether man or angel that eats out of it has set his heart to become a judge like God to know what is good and what is evil.
After Lucifer had eaten out of the forbidden fruit, something stirred up in him. He became knowledgeable in evil. His heart and thought became changed. It was after eating this fruit that he knew he was fair and beautiful and thought he deserved a better status. Ezekiel 28:17;
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”
Lucifer became very proud and even thought within Himself to be like the Most High. Prophet Isaiah puts it succinctly in Isaiah 14:13-14;
“13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
The resultant effect of eating out of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that it makes the heart believes that it can be like the Most High. The statement from the foregoing can be buttressed with what the Lord said about man after eating out of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Genesis 3:22;
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”
This effect was what generated the evil desire of rebellion, jealousy and prideful competition in Lucifer. It made him think he could be like the Most High. This was why Lucifer said, “I will be like the most High”.
It is apparent from the foregoing that Lucifer had an experiential knowledge of the destructive nature of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was this same knowledge he applied in tempting the Eve. So this was why he (Lucifer) asked Eve the following question as found in Genesis 3:1;
“…hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Eve responded to Lucifer’s question with the following words (Genesis 3:2-3);
“2 …We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
Because Lucifer ate out of the tree firstly, he knew the effect of this tree. He knew that anyone who eats out of the tree will not die a physical death but will definitely die spiritually, he also knew for a fact that it’s a tree that makes one become as “gods” knowing good and evil. So his words to the woman were (Genesis 3:4-5);
“4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Are Lucifer’s words true? Of course they are because he has an experiential knowledge of the destructibility of the tree. As a matter of fact, his words were confirmed by the most high as seen in Genesis 3:22;
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…”
Apparently, iniquity was found in Lucifer because he was the first to eat out of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Consequently, the evil desire of prideful competition stirred up in him. The gravity of this offense is beyond what words can describe and it was what led to the banishment of Lucifer away from the presence of the most High.