1997-10-11 - Satan
The Comprehensive Study Series, Part 12
There is a great evidence of beauty, symmetry, order and design throughout all the realm of nature. At the same time you can also note the disorder, distortion and disarrangement along with the decay and corruption. What a contrast the thinking person would say! It is inconceivable that the Supreme Mind or Intelligence (God) who created the universe -- and Who likewise created angels and arranged a government of symmetry, order and beauty -- would likewise cause all this disorder and corruption to His creation. If God did not produce this disorder then - ummmm who did? Also what is the origin of this evil? I think this is a very important topic and I believe to answer the questions above we must Scripturally understand the origins of Satan - the position, power and sin of this anointed cherub. For the next three or four devotionals, I will share what I know on this arch enemy of both man and God and all that is good. I pray this study enlightens and enriches your walk through God's Word and helps you to be alert to Satan's schemes, and be a conqueror and an overcomer as you abide in Jesus Christ - Amen.
Ezekiel, a contemporary of Jeremiah, prophesied concerning Satan during the time Ezekiel was in Babylonian exile. In Ezekiel chapter 26-28 we find a message directed to the King of Tyre. This prediction is a very important passage and I think that it is important that every Bible student should study it carefully to understand its full importance. For lack of space I will not paste all the verses into this devotional but I will paste the following clips and then explain them as we go along.
Ezekiel 28:1-10 (1901ASV) 1 The word of Jehovah came again unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art man, and not God, though thou didst set thy heart as the heart of God;-- 3 behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that is hidden from thee; 4 by thy wisdom and by thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures; 5 by thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches;-- 6 therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because thou hast set thy heart as the heart of God, 7 therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. 8 They shall bring thee down to the pit; and thou shalt die the death of them that are slain, in the heart of the seas. 9 Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou art man, and not God, in the hand of him that woundeth thee. 10 Thou shalt die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah.
In verse 11 we begin to see the uniqueness of this character. After we read verses 11-19 I will offer explanations, and hopefully tie this all together for you.
Ezekiel 28:11-19 (1901ASV) Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the 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 in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared. 14 Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee. 16 By the abundance of thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I have cast thee to the ground; I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18 By the multitude of thine iniquities, in the unrighteousness of thy traffic, thou hast profaned thy sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of thee; it hath devoured thee, and I have turned thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19 All they that know thee among the peoples shall be astonished at thee: thou art become a terror, and thou shalt nevermore have any being.
In verse 11 the prophet is still addressing the King of Tyre, but many of the experiences and things spoken of go far beyond anything that pertains to a mortal man. This passage speaks of him as being created. We know that all humans aside from Adam and Eve were and are born. This one being spoken of is said to have been in Eden, the garden of God. This may come as a shock to many people I know it did to me as I have researched it again and again through the years but we must not confuse the 1st Eden with the 2nd one that God prepared on earth for Adam and Eve. In this former Eden there was what I would call something like a crystal palace as it was built with every precious stone. This is where this anointed Cherub resided. He was the perfection of beauty and full of wisdom and walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. He was the anointed Cherub that covereth. This language far transcends all human experiences! The facts I have just stated prove that while the prophet addressed the King of Tyre, he was not speaking to a literal king but to a created being who was associated with the Throne of God - Who was perfect at the beginning of his career! The Lord is showing a similarity between the King of Tyre and this anointed cherub so that we can better understand Satan.
In Verse 12 the statement refers to Satan's entire being and appearance. At one time He was perfect in all his ways - No Mistakes - No Misjudgments - No Errors - and at that time No Sin could be found in anything he said or did. He was perfect. In Verse 13 the word covering is rendered in the plural, and means "booths" or "abodes" (living quarters) which were in the heavenly Eden (God's garden for which the earthly Eden was named). His dwelling places or palaces were constructed of every precious stone (nine are mentioned) and gold. "The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee." This statement means that Satan was created with the ability of a master musician, a designer and architect -- and that he built these magnificent palaces. We know that the anointed Cherub was not only in Eden but here on earth during prehistoric times, and also was in the very presence of God. The position entrusted to him by God when he was created, and which he occupied prior to the creation of the universe, was still held by him when the universe was created. After the universe was created, he accepted greater and larger responsibilities and was given lordship over the earth. When he sinned, he lost both of these positions.
THE POSITION AND POWER OF THE ANOINTED CHERUB
In Verse 14 the word "covereth" has a slightly different meaning in the original then it does in verse 13 -- it means to overshadow, to screen or to cover. It is possible that Satan occupied a position with respect to the throne of God that was like that of the cherubim over the mercy seat -- but we can be sure that he held a very very high position with respect to the Throne of God and His government. He could be called a Commander and Chief over a mighty force. This anointed cherub was supreme over all his cherubim, and we have reason to believe over all the hosts of heaven (angels). Being the highest type of creature that could be brought into existence, and given the dominant power and authority under God, he was therefore supreme under God, since there was no creature under God who was his equal. It is easy to understand how the other angelic beings would be placed under his authority and power. But his life was derived from the Lord, and it was in Him that he lived and moved and had his being. Concerning the dignity and power that was originally given to him we see in [Jude 9 (1901 ASV) "But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."] that Michael the archangel and this cherub (the devil) were disputing about Moses and his death. Michael, the highest among the good angels of the present time, would not challenge the authority of Satan -- showing that Satan had even greater power and authority than he did. It was necessary that Michael turn the matter in discussion over to the Lord Jesus, who could deal adequately with him. From the passage in Ezekiel we realize the high position might, and unquestioned power that was granted Satan by God, in order that we might evaluate some of the most fundamental principles of the Word of God. The correct understanding of this teaching paves the way for the proper comprehension for the incarnation -- the death, burial and resurrection which is the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Also I believe that this will throw light on almost every fundamental teaching in the Word of God. We can not have too firmly in mind that Satan was created the most powerful and authoritative being of any of God's creatures.
Next week I will discuss the sin of this anointed cherub. Until then I pray the Lord would help you to behold wondrous things from His Holy Word, and as our Lord instructed us to pray, I pray that you and yours are protected from the evil one - amen.
In His Service,