Satan, the Enemy of Our Souls

BD17-01

We began this study of basic Bible doctrine many many months ago. If you have been with us from the first, you will remember that the first thing we dealt with was an explanation of the problem that exists between God and man, and how God has removed the wall that separated us from Himself. This wall is made of several different factors. We went on then to show that one of the things we take surprisingly into the Christian life is the old sin nature—the propensity to evil. Everything we were in our unsaved days, the most despicable type of thing we were when we were not Christians, we still are now that we are Christians. We therefore learned what God has provided us for us in order to control this quality of the old sin nature which seeks to dominate our being. We learned how, instead, God the Holy Spirit who indwells us may dominate and control as a result of confession of sin.

We went on to explore how God has made provision for us to be able to grow spiritually—not only to be spiritual, which is to have your sins confessed, but now to mature and develop into spiritual maturity. We saw that God gave us a grace system for perceiving spiritual things, a system that is not dependent upon human IQ, but is entirely dependent upon receiving the Word of God and responding to it with positive volition. We found that God has provided the local church, the completed Bible, and the authority of a pastor-teacher led of the Spirit of God to explain the Word of God, and thereby to feed the flock.

All of this has been provided as a base of doctrine, and on the base of doctrine, we build in our souls a spiritual maturity structure. We do not have this by our new birth. This is something you develop, and something that you work on. I trust that you now have a pretty good idea of what constitutes being a spiritually mature Christian. What we are trying to do is to gather together, from one place or another, terminology that helps to convey spiritual truth to understand and perform. These are not just words that are nice or words that are inspirational, but words that we can now come to grips with and perform in our experience.

So, here’s this structure, and God has given us the means for development. One way of looking at it is a pentagon in our soul because it is a structure for defense, and it is a structure from which we conduct our spiritual combat: grace orientation; a relaxed mental attitude; mastery of the details of life; the capacity to love; and, inner happiness.

Now the reason we said it is important to develop this spiritual maturity structure in your soul is because now that Jesus Christ has gone to heaven, He is no longer the focal point for satanic attack. But you, the individual believer, are now the brunt of all of Satan’s attacks. He is out to do you in. He is out to frustrate your service. He is out to frustrate your living.

So, this morning we move to a new phase of study in basic Bible doctrine. We are going to study this personality, Satan, who opposes our soul. We’re going to study about Satan. We’re going to study about demons. We’re going to study how all of this fits into the age in which we live. This of course is going to be in the nature of an expose. Immediately we can expect quite a few distractions. We can expect quite a few children who decide that this is washroom time. Satan doesn’t want to be exposed. We may have a couple of screens fall off our windows, and any number of other things before the service is over because Satan is not keen on exposes about himself.

The first thing I would like to impose upon you is that Satan is a real being. He is ever-conscious as to what’s going on among believers who are dealing in genuine truth and doctrine. This may come as a shock and a surprise to you as you think about the oppositions to your soul.

The Three Sources of Opposition to God’s Plan

Most of your know that the Bible indicates that we have three sources of opposition to the plan of God within us. The first one is the world. Worldliness is an attitude of mind. It’s a viewpoint of our hearts. It’s not something that we do or don’t do. It’s the viewpoint of our hearts which results in what we do or don’t do. The second one is the flesh, which is the flesh for the old sin nature. And the third is the devil. So, we have the world, the flesh, and the devil.

I’m here to tell you that for most Christians, the devil is the least of their problems. Most people think that when they do something wrong, “the devil made me do it.” The devil didn’t make you do it. The devil couldn’t be less interested with most Christians. The devil doesn’t go around bothering with most Christians because most Christians are so ignorant of divine viewpoint that they’re not a problem to him at all. Why would he waste his time on a church full of dunderheads that are not going to present any problem for him?

Satan is preoccupied with the Christian who has built up his spiritual maturity structure. Now that Christian becomes a problem to him. That’s the Christian that begins to get the brunt of his attention—the priority of his attack. But most Christians aren’t a problem to him at all. The miseries that you have in your life, the troubles, the trials, and the difficulties don’t come from Satan. They come from your worldliness. They come from the world about you and the attitude of your mind toward the world. They come from the old sin nature. These are self-induced miseries—things we have created for ourselves.

But I guarantee you that Satan is too busy to waste his time on most Christians because most Christians are no problem at all. They pose no threat to evangelism. They’re not running around getting the gospel out to people. They pose no threat to informing Christians of God’s ways of doing things and of God’s thinking. They’re not running around cranking out Bible doctrine. Even most preachers, I’m sad to say, are no concern to Satan. Satan’s not preoccupied with most preachers. They’re no problem to him at all. Most of their cute little inspirational talks that they give people aren’t going to bother anybody, so Satan’s not bothered either.

But he’s going to be bothered by what you hear in the next few weeks here. He’s going to be very much bothered by it because you’re going to get some straight biblically-oriented information upon the archenemy of God, the master “opposer” of your soul. He is the one who makes it so necessary for you and me to get with it in this new year for building spiritual maturity in our souls.

Satan

So, we begin by looking at the nature of Satan. Genesis chapter 3 opens the Bible record concerning man, and immediately upon the scene of history we see a personage who is the bitter enemy of God. Now there is no explanation for the presence of such an evil character as we look at the six days of creation. The creation story, as we read of it in the opening chapters of Genesis, does not indicate the creation of any kind of being of the evil dimensions that constitute Satan. As a matter of fact, Genesis 1:31 looks back upon God’s six days of creation, and God says, “… it was very good.” This indicates that Satan was not part of that creation at that point because what God did was very good but Satan is very bad.

Genesis 1:1-2

Consequently, Satan must have been on the scene before these six days of creation. As a matter of fact, this six-day story that you have in the opening chapters of Genesis is a story of re-creation of an original creation that Genesis 1:1 tells us about. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Jeremiah 4:23

In Jeremiah chapter 4, beginning at verse 23, the prophet here is looking back upon the condition of the earth before man was created and before the historical record we have in Genesis 1. He says, “I beheld the earth and behold it was without form and void.” This indicates her that we are back there to the condition as the earth existed before God proceeded with His six days of creative work.

Here’s an earth which is chaos. This sets the time as being Genesis 1:2. Jeremiah 4:23 says, “I beheld the earth and behold it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. The words “without form and void” are the identical words that you have in Genesis 1:2, where we read, “… and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In the Hebrew, this is “tohu wa bohu.” Now these are the identical Hebrew words that you have in Jeremiah, quoting what you have back in Genesis 1:2. The earth was “tohu wa bohu,” without form and void. It was chaotic.

Isaiah 45:18

The prophet sees a vision of the earth in this condition. God didn’t create it this way. You may ask, “How do we know God didn’t create the earth in this condition?” I’m glad you asked that. Isaiah 45 verse 18 gives you the answer. Here again, by revelation, the prophet says, “For thus says the Lord who created the heavens (God who formed the earth and made it), He established it and did not create it a waste place (in vain), but formed it to be inhabited) …” Guess what you have. He created it not “tohu.” He didn’t create it in a chaotic condition. He formed it to be inhabited. “I am the Lord. There is none else.”

So, Isaiah says God did not create the world, originally “tohu wa bohu,” without form and void, in a chaotic condition. He created it, as all that God creates, so that He could look back and say, “It’s very good.” It was a perfect desirable creation when God finished with it. But, here when we start reading about this in Jeremiah 4, we see there’s darkness on the earth. There is no light. “I beheld, and lo it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. This is the very condition that we have at the beginning of Genesis 1:2. The sun is shut off. Something has happened to this beautiful creation, this gem of the universe. It’s covered now with a blanket of darkness. The sun cannot come through. It cannot warm the earth. Now what do you think is going to happen under that kind of condition to an earth that has moisture on it?

Well, the moisture is going to condense. It’s going to pile up. It’s going to build up. Without the warmth of the sun’s rays, what’s going to happen to the temperature? The temperature is going to drop off. The result is that an ice pack is going to develop. The earth in time, geology tells us, was covered by an ice age in which an ice pack covered the earth as a result of this precipitation. The waters froze under this blanket of darkness. All over the face of the earth today geologists find traces of glaciation. They find evidence of ice caps even in equatorial Africa.

Verse 24 of Jeremiah 4 says, “And I beheld the mountains, and lo they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.” This indicates that something was happening to the earth before man came on the scene. There was violence of earthquakes of gigantic proportions. Geologists find evidence of great upheavals all over the earth where you see twisted and contorted strata of rock that are evidence that something great had taken place in the earth in the form of convulsions of the earth’s surface.

Verses 25 and 26 say, “And I beheld and there was no man…” (So, we’re out someplace before man was created when this condition of catastrophe was hitting the earth.) “… and all of the birds of the heaven were fled.” Now you’re notice there is no human life, but there is life. There is animal life—birds specifically mentioned. Apparently, this is where the prehistoric dinosaurs came in. This is where the gigantic life existed, in this pre-Adamic earth, before man came on the scene. But something happened to this life. It was destroyed.

“… I beheld and lo the fruitful place was a wilderness.” There was vegetation, and this was destroyed. “... and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord by His fierce anger.” What made God so angry? He who had spoken this beautiful earth into existence, with all the universe surrounding it—now something had brought forth the wrath of God and the earth was put into a deep freeze, under an ice pack.

Verse 27 says, “… for thus saith the Lord, ‘The whole land shall be desolate, yet I’ll not make a full end.’” In other words, “I have made my earth desolate, but I’m not through with it. I’m not abandoning it.”

Now what do you think happened? Well the Scriptures indicate that only the earth had come under this “without form and void” condition. The earth everywhere bears the marks of physical catastrophe. In Genesis 1:2, the Hebrew scholars tell us, that the translation here “and the earth was without form and void” can be translated equally well, “and the earth became without form and void.” So, it conveys even more specifically that between the first verse of Genesis 1 and the second verse of Genesis 1, something very big took place that changed the face of this earth.

The phrase “tohu wa bohu” is used only in two other places. It’s used in Isaiah 34:11 and it’s used in Jeremiah 4:23. These two places, outside of Genesis, indicate God acting in a divine judgment.

So, what caused the chaos in the original creation? It seems that this is where Satan comes in as the archenemy and adversary of God who’s on the scene prior to the earth’s restoration. Before Satan had sinned and rebelled against God, his position was that of the archangel, and his place was in the very throne room of God. It seems that angels do not have access to the throne room of God. The four living creatures of Revelation are spoken of as having access and being in the presence of God. Satan had access to the throne room and the very presence of God. The other angels seem to be limited to the second heaven, the area of their abode.

In time, Satan rebelled against God, as we shall see. When he rebelled against God, he was removed from his permanent residency in the throne room of God. He now needed a headquarters. Therefore, it seems that this beautiful gem in the universe, the earth, became the scene of his headquarters. He moved in, and we’re told in the book of the Revelation that one-third of the billions of angels that God had created went with Satan and joined him in his rebellion against God.

So, now one-third of the angelic host, along with Satan their leader, moved into this earth. There was no man here, but it was a beautiful creation of God. And they throw one big wild party. And the earth, under their presence and under their activity of sin, goes downhill. It enters the state finally under God’s direction and command of being “tohu wa bohu,” and put in a deep freeze. So everything that Satan touched, right before his very eyes, was going to destruction. This creature who said, “I’ll be like God,” can’t even hold together and maintain what God had already created.

So, we don’t know how long the earth was in this condition, but they finally destroyed what God had created. God hates sin so he judges sin. His judgment against the earth reveals how impotent Satan was and how powerful God was. God simply spoke this original creation into being. Satan moved in to confiscate the earth for himself. Then God spoke again and toppled the world into chaos. Satan was doomed to defeat. He must have been stunned, I would imagine, to see the earth go to wreck and ruin as he took it over. He must have discovered that his wisdom, though very great, was not omniscient; and, that his power was tremendous, but not omnipotent. No matter what he tried to do, he could not prevent what was happening to this earth that had been invaded.

So, he tried to organized things. That’s what he has been doing ever since—trying to organize society without God, and trying to organize the angels with God. Satan with all of his demons ended up being frustrated. Here’s another thing you want to learn about this personality. He is not running around trying to turn all hell loose, and you might as well get over that idea.

There are two things you should have learned this morning among other things. First, he is not preoccupied with getting Christians to do wrong. Most Christians are no problem to him, by and large, because they don’t know doctrine. Those who do become the brunt of his attack. Secondly, Satan is not running around trying to create evil. He’s trying to create a world without wars. He’s trying to get peace. He’s trying to get internationalism. He’s trying to get the United Nations to operate in some peaceful way. He’s trying to get things so that people have all that they need in life. He’s trying to get a lot of material things for people. He’s trying to produce everything that communism promises. But he’s frustrated. He cannot cope with the evil sin nature within man.

Satan wanted to be somebody. You can just imagine seeing him sitting there in the darkness, sitting on a block of ice on the frozen earth, brooding over his hurt pride, and looking over what he had invaded and taken over, and what it had come to under his leadership. Now that’s a terrible blow to anybody’s pride, to begin with something like that. And he ran around raving in this chaotic darkness, trying to command things into existence, and all he got back was the mocking echo of his own voice. Anyone who cuts loose from God, dear friend, and from His doctrine, is doomed to have Satan’s experience. God judges sin. He judged it in Adam. He judged it in the flood. He will judge it in the tribulation period. Ultimately he will judge it in hell in the lake of fire and brimstone. Make no mistake about that.

This leader of evil appeared as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. One day, all of a sudden, Satan was sitting around, and he said, “Did you see what I saw jus then?” Because yonder on the horizon flickers a little flash of light. Then he saw a magnificent expanding daylight scene. Satan said, “Oh-oh, something’s happening down on earth.” He sees the icepack moving back and melting. He sees the waters come to the place where they cover all the earth. Suddenly he sees the earth heaving and moving, and he sees dry land appearing, and he sees the seas receding and taking their places. He sees the sky above break open, and a blue sky appears for the first time, and there’s the sun now, back in right relationship and phased in once more to the earth. The moon phased in at night. The stars were back up there.

Then he begins to notice that the waters begin tom teem with life. The land animals appeared. The vegetation appeared. Finally, of all things, he sees an entirely new being—a human being, with a physical body that flows with blood and breathes breath and that has a mind and is an intelligent creature. Satan recognizes him as like himself, but different. Satan recognizes him as being a little lower than himself. Satan’s body is better. Satan looks at this creature, and immediately he makes his plan. God has re-created the world. He has restored it to its original beauty. The marks of the chaos are still there. But it’s a functioning world, and here’s a man in a beautiful garden with nothing to do except to exercise positive volition, which is what God had asked Satan to do.

So, Satan moves in and says, “Now I’m going to take this over.” He appears in the Garden of Eden as a serpent. He’s identified in Revelation 12:9 and Isaiah 14:12 as the devil, Satan. Satan’s rebellion and spiritual warfare are carried into the garden. You know the story. Man sins and Satan once more takes over the world. God removed him from the control of the earth. He restored it in six days of recreation and restoration, and then he handed it over to man. Now man was number one on the earth. Satan, by leading man into sin, has restored himself to his headquarters position. To this day he runs the world and he runs the nations of the world. He conducts his business among humanity, trying to organize tis world so it will stop fighting, so it will stop being greedy, and so it will stop doing all these evil things, and it will start acting so that he can appear to be like God.

Unless you understand Satan, this personality, you have no perspective or understanding of sin, of illness, the economic and social problems that we faith, of sorrow, and of death. None of these things will have any point to you unless you understand this personality.

Ezekiel 28:11-14

So, here’s the position of Satan, going back to Ezekiel chapter 28 verse 11—this is the position of Satan in this new creation. Man has fallen, and this is the position he holds. But let’s go back—back before there was any problem in the universe—back before there was a single sin, when Satan was a perfect angel tuned in to God. “Moreover the Word of the Lord came unto me…” “The Word of the Lord” indicates here that it is a revelation from God. It is an authoritative statement about the one who has become the leader of evil in the universe.

Verse 12 says, “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the King of Tyre.” This means to take up a sad song concerning the King of Tyre. However, this is not concerning the physical King of Tyre alone, because the prophet, as often happens in prophetic vision, leapfrogs from the immediate issue, the King of Tyre, who is a demon possessed satanically directed man, and goes beyond him to the person who’s running this show. That, as you see the Scriptures here unraveled, the prophet envisions again and leapfrogs beyond the person who is in front of him, and he goes to the person who is behind. He is addressing the King of Tyre, but he’s indirectly speaking to Satan.

When Peter came to the Lord Jesus and recommended a course of action that was contrary to the plan of God, Jesus turned and looked Peter squarely in the face and said, “Get the behind me Satan.” He was talking to Peter, but he was really addressing the person who was moving Peter. That’s what you have here. The King of Tyre is moved by Satan, and this is being addressed to him. He is behind the activities of this man. Satan himself is running this. As we have indicated, we have this indirect address in Genesis 3:14-15 and Matthew 16:23.

Behind every political, therefore today, is Satan who is seeking to glorify himself through the spirit of rebellion. Tyre, the actual city, was the center of idolatry in the ancient world. It was the center of all the demonic cults, the phallic cults. It was a degenerate place, and because it was a place of idolatry, it was naturally the place of demon worship because when you worship idols, you are worshipping demons who are behind those idols. 1 Corinthians 11:19-21 calls this “Satan’s communion table.”

Tonight we’re going to gather at the Lord’s Supper table. We’re going to share our testimonies and praises concerning what God has done. We’re going to gather at the Lord’s communion table. Satan counterfeits everything. This was his communion table, through idols.

Tyre was under divine judgment. Finally, Alexander the Great conquered it. Ezekiel’s description of the King of Tyre then goes beyond the King of Tyre, to Satan who is behind him. This same Satan was once the archangel. This information, we’re told, comes from the Lord God. “Thus says the Lord God.”

Here’s a very important name for God. In English, it’s “Lord God,” with a capital “GOD,” and small letters on “lord.” In the Hebrew, it’s “adonah” which means master, or the one who is responsible for directing service—the one who is in charge. The word for “GOD” is the most sacred name in Scripture for God. It is “jehoah,” or “Jehovah.” This is God as the self-existent one. Actually, this name for God “Jehovah,” was so sacred that the Jews wouldn’t even pronounce it. Every time they came to it, they would call it “Adoniah,” giving it a different pronunciation altogether. They would never pronounce name. It’s called a Tetragrammaton. “Tetra” means these four Hebrew letters which constitute the most sacred name for God. It is simply “the eternal one.”

Actually it’s made up of the Hebrew verb “to be.” It’s the verb to be put together twice, connoting the emphatic existence, the eternal existence, the perfect existence. This word is often used for God the Father; many times of God the Son; and, a few times for God the Holy Spirit. But it is the primary name for God.

So, it is the eternal existent God, who is the master and director of service, who is revealing this information concerning the angel He created, the archangel Satan. This is the creature that we’re dealing with by the sovereign master who made him.

This revelation from the Lord God in Ezekiel 28:12 says then, concerning him, “You sealed up the sum.” This is a Hebrew idiom. It’s just the way of saying a thing. “You sealed up the sum,” referring to Satan means “You are the greatest.” And then it spells out specifically in what respect he is the greatest: full of wisdom. Satan is an angel, in the cherub class of angels, we see in verse 14, which was the highest class of angels. Satan has a body. His body, as all angel bodies, apparently is made up of a light-like substance.

It is interesting that science is still pursuing what light is made of. What is this stuff that comes into a dark room? It is a substance? Does it come as a wave, or does it come as a point action? Scientists aren’t quite sure what makes light—what this substance is that light is. But Satan and the angels, both the elect and the evil angels, have a body, and their bodies are made up of this light-like substance. For this reason, they can travel through space at the speed of light. They’re not visible to human eyes.

We have an indication of what would happen if people could see angels because a few times in the Bible we have the experience of people who suddenly see angels—angels manifest themselves them. What do they do? They start worshipping them. For this reason, if God were to let you see the angels that are in this room right now, almost every one of you would become idol worshippers. And if you could see Satan as he’s walking up and down the aisles with his hands behind his back, you’d become quite a few other things as well.

So, fortunately, usually we can’t see angels, but they do have bodies. They also have a soul. Angels have a soul, and we can deduce this from certain things that we read here. For one thing, we read, “You sealed up the sun full of wisdom.” Let’s look at wisdom a minute. What is wisdom? Wisdom is mentality. This means IQ. Satan is the smartest creature that God ever made. There is only one human person who had a higher IQ. Because He was the Son of God, Jesus Christ, because he was God-man had a higher IQ than Satan. But Satan had the highest in all the angelic realm, and he had the highest IQ among humans, including everybody in this room. His mentality also had self-awareness. He was aware that he was different from all the other angels. When he looked at himself, he not only knew that he held the office of archangel (number one), that he was a cherub—in the highest class of angels, that he with perhaps just a few angels alone could enter the throne room of God, but every place he looked, he saw that every other angel was not as smart as he was, nor were they as good looking. Every place he looked from the moment he came to consciousness, he didn’t know a moment in his existence when he wasn’t number one. From the very moment that God brought life to him and he became conscious of himself, he realized that he was supreme.

Satan was very much aware of himself. He distinguished himself from other angels. He also had a conscience. His conscience at the time had the perfect values and standards of God. He had God’s values. He had God’s viewpoint. He also had a will as we shall see from Isaiah 14 where he said five times, “I will …” We also see that he had emotions, for we read in Revelation 12:12 when he is finally cast out of even reporting into heaven, as he now does, and has access to God’s throne room in heaven to accuse you and me—when he is finally thrown out of that, he has great wrath. He is capable of intense emotions. We have an old sin nature, but he has an evil nature—evil, as a more general broad term. He has a deep-seated evil propensity.

Verse 12 also says he was perfect in beauty. He was the most in outward appearance. He is not a grotesque-looking freak with red skin, cat-like thin eyes, pointed ears, a long nose, and hoofs on his feet. You’re thinking of some of your friends. He is a handsome personality. He was the epitome of beauty in this universe, and he still is.

Verse 13 says, “You have been in Eden, the garden of God.” This is not the Eden on earth. This is the garden of God, the third heaven. He was in there in the way of service in the very presence of God. As a matter of fact, he was the personal angel who was in attendance upon Jesus Christ. The cherubs served the Lord Himself. We have him described as clothed in every precious stones. In verse 13 we have a list of these stones. These apparently were translucent, probably, to transmit light. In any case, they convey the beauty of his appearance.

At the end of verse 13, we read about his “timbrels” (“tabrets)” “and the workmanship of your flutes (‘settings and sockets’) was prepared in you in the day that you were created.” This refers to the voice that Satan had. He had a beautiful mellifluous voice. He has a very attractive voice.

Now you know this is important. I have read about people who were very great movie stars in the days of silent movies. They could express themselves with good facial expressions, and then the motion pictures added sound. So, they put these same stars up, and here was this fellow who was playing a really virile role, a real personality, a real lady-killer, and they would give him his first line. (He would speak in a very high voice that didn’t sound like it was coming from that virile man.) Right away they knew they were in trouble with a voice like that for a guy to play those virile roles. Some people who were great actors in the silent movies just went out because they didn’t have voices that didn’t have voices that could carry that role on the screen.

God made Satan so that he had a magnificent voice. He was number one in the universe and he had a voice to go with it. His “timbrels” means his voice, his larynx, his whole voice mechanism. The “flutes” indicate the pitch and the quality of the voice as he spoke, the melodious quality of his voice.

But you notice that it says in voice 13 that he was created. He is a super creature but he is still a creature. He’s a work of God, but believers have the capacity to put him down. As big as he is, you put him down. How? With your super wonderful spiritual maturity structure, with fulfilling of the Holy Spirit, with doctrine, you can put down this awesome. Doctrine brings out the ugliness of Satan. His appearance and his voice are deceptive, but God says His Word brings out his deceit. Psalm 138:2 tells us that God exalts His Word above all else. Matthew 4:4 says that we shall live by every word that He has spoken.

Verse 14 says, “You are the anointed cherub that covers, and I have set you so.” Anointed means as equal to messiah. “You were the messiah’s cherub.” “The one who covers” means his wings were outstretched—a shielding, as it were, at the throne of Jesus Christ. He is the angel who personally attended the pre-incarnate Christ in heaven.

We are told, “I have set you so.” It is something that God appointed him to by creation. “You were upon the holy mountain of God.” The holy mountain refers to the third heaven. “… and have walked up and down amid the stones of fire.” The “stones of fire” apparently refer to the pavement, so to speak, before the throne of God—that which surrounds the throne.

In Exodus 24:9, we read, “And then went up Moses and Aaron and Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel: And it was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness.” Then verse 17 of Exodus 24 says, “And the site of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.

Here in this vision of God were these stones, glowing—the impression of fire. This apparently refers to the ground, the floor, on which the throne of Christ stood, and upon which was the holy place where Satan moved as the cherub. Verse 15 says, “You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created.” Satan never knew a lesser moment than the one which he came to consciousness in. He was at God’s throne and he saw himself as being more than anything except God himself.

Now this led to some inner thoughts where he decided to oppose God. “You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created until iniquity was found in your heart.” Satan began on positive volition. His will now went negative toward God, so evil originated in the universe. Sin was on the inside. It was “in you.” Now his soul was changed. His mind was now on self-exaltation to be like God. His self-awareness was converted into pride over himself, probably the first mental attitude sin. His conscience was now on false values and standards, which today has been converted into human viewpoint. His will went negative, acting independently of God. He took the role of the rebel. His emotions were now hatred toward God.

What was the result of this? It says, “… by the multitude of your merchandise,” that is the things he has handled, his plans for angels and humanity. “By the multitude of your merchandise, they have filled the midst of you with violence.” Satan, because of his negative volition, became a violent creature. So God in this verse pronounces his eventual doom. “You have sinned. Therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God (out of the third heaven), and I will destroy you, o covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire (I will destroy you from walking in this sacred place in the third heaven.”

This is to be exercised in the middle of the tribulation period. Revelation 12:10 tells you about that. Now he has access to heaven to accuse use. He will be destroyed by casting him into the lake of fire.

Verse 17 days, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty.” The heart is the soul. The beauty of Satan led him to arrogance to oppose God. “You have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.” His breathtaking quality caused him to go negative and to corrupt his mentality. “So, that I will cast you to the ground. I will lay you before kings and they may behold you.” So, God says that Satan is going to be cast to the ground. “You’re going to bite the dust.”

I think it is interesting how in the Garden of Eden God used a serpent to do his work. God placed judgment upon the serpent, who apparently walked upright at that time, that he would forever crawl on his belly and eat the dust of the ground. Every time you see a snake, and you see that thing creeping on the dust of the ground, and you see him covered with dust, and you see that dirt coming into his mouth as he crawls along, remember that it’s a symbol of Satan, about whom God says he is going to bite the dust someday when God is through with him, because of sin. Sin over what? Sin because God made him such a tremendous character to begin with. He gave him such tremendous abilities and such tremendous talent. There was nobody equal to him. He picked up pride, and he has transmitted this to you and me. We face the same problem and the same difficulty.

One thing more before we close: What was his sin, specifically? If you turn back to Isaiah 14:12, we can see exactly what he did. “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning!” The word “Lucifer” means “bright and shining one.” God’s name for him was the bright and shining one. “Son of the morning” means “son of brightness,” referring to his beauty. “… How thou didst weaken the nations?” “Weaken the nations” refers to the fact that he is for internationalism. It is the plan of God for people to be protected by national entities. It is the plan of Satan to bring controls by international one-world controls over all humanity. He is constantly seeking to weaken nations. Verse 13 says, “For thou has set in thine heart (that is, in his soul—expanding now what we read over in Ezekiel), (first) ‘I will ascend into the heavens.” Here is his negative volition. He says, “I’m going to ascend into the heaven.” That is, he’s going to move into where God is, and he’s going to take over.

Secondly, he says, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” “The stars of God” refer to the angels of God (Job 38:7, Revelation 12:3-4). “Stars” refers to the angels. He said, “I’m going to take over the angelic hosts.

Number three, as he sits there mulling this over in his own mind, thinking this over: He said, “I will also sit on the mount of the congregation.” This refers to the earth, as viewed from the north. “The mount of the congregation” is the place where God has placed humanity. He’s going to rule over humanity (in the sites of north). Verse 14 says, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.” “The clouds,” very frequently in Scripture refer to the presence of God. What he is talking about is that he’s going to move, not only above angels and above creatures, but he will be above God Himself.

Finally, the epitome of his goal, “I will be like the most high.” “I will imitate God.” A power madness has now taken over Satan. As we shall see, he knew doctrine and he knew it well. He knows it well now. He knows what’s going on and he knows how to operate against you and me with what we know. Now we’re going to see, in the days which lie before us, how, on the basis of the doctrine that he knows, he has now created techniques—his wiles and his procedures by which he operates, and how he tries to get you and me to operate in order that he can counterfeit God. That’s what he’s trying to do—to be like God. Do you see why I warned you to begin with that you should get over the idea that he’s trying to raise hell? He’s not trying to do that at all. He’s trying to be like God, not to create some kind of a hell-hole situation out of the earth. He’s trying to make everything just great for us. There are millions of people all over the earth who have devoted themselves and given their loyalties to him. He is the archenemy of God, a fascinating personality, and we’ve only scratched the surface in introducing this to you this morning.

John E. Danish, 1971

Back to the Basic Bible Doctrine index

Back to the Bible Questions index