Angelology 006 (Satanology 02)

Dr. Andy Woods | Aug 4, 2019 | Ezekiel 28:12-17 | Angelology

Dr. Andy Woods

Angelology Part 6 (Satanology Part 2)

Ezekiel 28:12-17        8-4-2019

Father, we’re grateful for this morning and grateful for another opportunity given us to gather as people and worship You, practice the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper that You’ve given us to do, have a time of fellowship after the service to receive truth from Your Word.  I do ask, Father, that You would be with us this morning as we do these things. And we just pause just for a moment to privately confess any sins we as Christians may have committed against You, and exercise 1 John 1:9 so we can receive freely this morning, unhindered from You.

Father, we’re grateful for 1 John 1:9 and that You promised to forgive us of all transgressions.  We know that we are positionally secure in You but we can do things that alienate fellowship from You and so we thank You that You’ve given us 1 John 1:9 to remedy that problem.  We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said…. Amen!

If we could take our Bibles and open them to the Book of 1 John, chapter 5 and verse 19.  And I want to thank Brother Jim for filling in last Sunday morning while I was in Australia, the land down under where everything is the opposite of what it is in the United States.  I mean, they drive on the opposite side of the road.  Did you all know that?  That’s a good thing to figure out before you get there.  Here it’s hot, over there it’s cold.  And even their politics are different; what they call conservative we call liberal and what we call liberal they call conservative.  I mean, the same beliefs but it’s the exact opposite labels.  So if you don’t get there confused you’re really confused.  But in spite of all that we had a really profitable time of ministry there.

But anyway, back to more pressing subjects, the doctrine of Satan. And I told you guys, didn’t I, to pray for us because we might have some problems when we start studying the doctrine of Satan.  You notice we don’t have any carpet anymore [laughter].  That’s actually a good thing because we’re getting better carpet… amen!  And you can keep Dan Denim in your prayers, he had a bicycling accident, it wasn’t fatal or anything but he’s in a lot of pain and so he can’t work the AV, so my dear sweet wife is up there getting the job done, what a multitasker!

So the doctrine of Satan, Satanology, this is part of our study of the angels, the Doctrine of the Angels.  We’ve covered the good angels and now we’re moving into the second major section of our study, the doctrine of Satan.  And we cover Satan under angelology because Satan at one time was a high-ranking angel who is now a fallen angel.  So, here’s our outline for Satanology.  We’ve looked at the existence of Satan.  Do you guys believe in the existence of Satan.  The Old and New Testament clearly affirms his existence.  And if you don’t believe in his existence try to do something for God and you’ll figure out he exists really quick because there’s always some kind of spiritual force at work thwarting the work of God’s people.

And from there we moved into the personhood of Satan, trying to communicate the point that Satan is not just the dark side, an impersonal negative source of energy but he’s actually a person that’s described with personal pronouns, who is morally accountable, that has all of the elements of person­hood.   And from there we moved into names and titles of Satan.  And the reason we started talking about that is because the Bible spends a lot of time giving us his names and titles and we talked about the fact that you can learn a lot about someone’s character and destiny in the Bible just by studying their name, like the name Petros, Peter.  So, if I remember correctly we started to look at the names and titles of Satan and I think we made it through the first six, if memory serves.

And this takes us to number seven in a list of about 18, really 20 because two of them in the next slide I kind of doubled up on.

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NAMES AND TITLES

  1. Lucifer (2 Corinthians 11:14)                        Prince of this world  (John 12:31)
  2. Satan (Zechariah 3:1)                                     Prince and power of the air  (Ephesians 2:2)
  3. Devil (Matthew 4:11)                                      God of this world  92 Corinthians 4:4)
  4. Serpent of old (Revelation 12:9)                   Prince and power of the air (Ephesians 2:2
  5. Destroyer (Revelation 9:11)                           God of this world  (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  6. Dragon (Revelation 12:9)                               Beelzebub (Luke 11:15)
  7. Evil one (1 John 5:19)                                      Tempter Matthew 4:3  
  8. Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)                             Accuser of the Brethren (Revelation 12:10)
  9. Anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14, 16)            Enemy (Matthew 13:39)

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But one of the names of Satan is the Evil one, and you’ll see that right there in 1 John 5:19.  It says, “ We know that we are of God, and that the whole world” look at that, “lies in the power of the evil one.”  I think it was Lewis Sperry Chafer that described that verse as sort of like a mother rocking her newborn to sleep.  And that’s the imagery that you get from that verse, “the whole world lies in the lap” or “the power of the wicked one.”  He’s just sort of rocking the world, he has authority over the world, and sort of lowering the entire world to sleep.

You’ll also see Satan described as the evil one over in Matthew 13:19, you can just jot that one down.  [Matthew 19:13, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.”]  So that reveals an awful lot about Satan, first of all he’s a person, it doesn’t say source of evil, it says “the evil one.”  And then of course it reveals his character; his character is 100% evil or diabolical.

If you go over to 2 Corinthians 6:15 you come to number 8 where Satan is actually called “Belial.”   2 Corinthians 6:15, and notice what it says there: “Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”  And most people believe Belial there is a reference to Satan or at least a high-ranking demon.  And what does Belial mean?  It means worthless one, something without value, something without redemptive quality.  So, you’ll notice that in all of these ages of time Satan’s character is never rehabilitated.  He is, from the standpoint of God, a 100% lost cause and the only reason God keeps him around is because God actually uses Satan to fulfill God’s will in certain areas, which is something only God can do.  Only God can use the actions of His archenemy to accomplish His ultimate will.

But he’s called Belial, and then if you go down to number 9, we don’t have to turn there because we’re going to be spending a lot of time in that chapter, maybe we’ll get to it today, he’s also called, Ezekiel 28:14 and verse 16 “an anointed cherub.  [Ezekiel 28:14, “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there….”  [16] “By the abundance of your trade, you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; Therefore, I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.”]  We’re going to talk about how a cherub, or we have talked about how a cherub guards God’s holiness.  There are certain angels that guard God’s holiness and Satan was originally one of those.

And you’ll notice he’s called the “anointed cherub” and also the covering cherub, meaning he’s not just a cherub but he actually is what we would call a high-ranking cherub or high ranking angel.  A lot more on that a little bit later.  And that, by the way, is one of the reasons Michael, an archangel, doesn’t want to dispute with Satan concerning the body of Moses, Jude 9.  [Jude 9, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!”’]

It probably has something to do with the fact that Satan was not just an angel prior to his fall but he was the covering cherub or an anointed cherub.  And you’ll see that Ezekiel 28:14, 16.  A lot more on that later. [Ezekiel 28:14, “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.   You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.”  [16] By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned.  Therefore, I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”]

And then we come to number 10, his tenth title and go over to John 12:31; it’s interesting, Jesus calls him “the prince of this world.”  In fact, about three times with the span of about four chapters Jesus calls Satan “the prince of this world.  Once in John 12:31. Once in John 14:30.  [“I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.’”]   And a third time in John 16:11. [John 16:11, “and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”]

So Jesus, when He was on the earth knew exactly who was running the world system.  John 12:31 says, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world” some say “the prince of this world, is about to “be cast out.”’  “Cast out” is just one phase of Satan’s defeat.  And when we get to the eschatology of Satan I’ll show you that he’s not defeated in one fast swoop; I think there’s about six or seven stages in his defeat and Jesus is just explaining another phase of his defeat that’s coming with the cross.  But in the meantime, he is very clearly called “the prince of this world.”  That’s why these insurance companies always sort of bother me because they call catastrophic acts, acts of what?  “Acts of God,” and I’m thinking why do we have to blame everything on God?  I mean, can’t we give the devil a little bit of credit?  So if you start an insurance company you might consider calling them acts of Satan; I don’t know if you’re going to get too many people to sign up for your policy .

If you go over to Ephesians chapter 2, verse 2, he’s also called “the prince and power of the air,” which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s on the radio or on television.  But Ephesians 2:2 says, “in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”  “Prince and power of the air” most people believe is a reference to the prince and power of the atmosphere.  It’s not talking about oxygen and things like that, carbon dioxide, it’s talking about the philosophies of the age.

So there are certain philosophies in the world, most of them anti-God.  And who orchestrates those philosophies that captivate the hearts and minds of men and women.  It’s Satan, and consequently he’s called “the prince and power of the air.”

If you go over to 2 Corinthians 4:4 the twelfth title he has is the god of this age or the god of this world.  Paul the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “in whose case the god of this world” now the word for “world” there is cosmos, where we get the word cosmopolitan, worldly.  There’s even a magazine called Cosmopolitan.  Now don’t tell me you’re a reader of that or we’ll be able to point out all the worldly Christians in here.  But it says, “in whose case the god of this world,” look at what it says here, “has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”   So Satan, as the god of this age or this world, is busy blinding spiritual eyes so people can’t see through.  That’s why what they desperately need is the Holy Spirit inside of them through regeneration which opens the eyes.

You will also notice over in Luke 11:15, the thirteenth name He has is He is called Beelzebub, or Beelzebul, which basically means prince of demons; it’s actually believed by some to be lord of the flies.  [Luke 11:15, “But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”]  And it’s actually a pagan name derived from the Philistine religion.  So that’s sort of interesting, it tells you who was behind Philistine false religion.  It was Satan!  Satan is actually behind every false religion the world has ever seen.  Paul, the apostle, talks about how in the last days people are going to be following doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1.  [1 Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,”]

1 Corinthians 10:21 says, “21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”  And he’s talking there about pagan temples in Corinth.  And essentially what he’s dealing with here is how demons, working under Satan, are the source of those false religions, so he’s given this name Beelzebub.

A fourteenth name that he is given is the tempter.  Look at Matthew 4:3 for a minute.  The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 4 and verse 3 and I think he’s called this at least twice.  This is referring to the temptation Satan gave to Jesus in the Judean wilderness. It says in Matthew 4:3, “And the tempter came and said to Him,” so it’s a real person that’s speaking, it’s described with the pronoun “Him,” at least that’s used of Jesus but other times that pronoun is used of Satan, “And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  So, he’s clearly called “the tempter.”

And if you go over to 1 Thessalonians 3:5 you’ll see Paul using that same designation related to Satan.  “For this reason, when I could endure it no longer I also sent to find out about your faith for fear that the” what? “the tempter might have tempted you and our labor would be in vain.”  Paul’s worried about the Thessalonians, that they may have fallen into the influence of the tempter.  So that would raise an interesting question, what is the temptation exactly?  Well, a temptation can be defined simply as this: a solicitation to sin, an invitation to sin.  Now one of the things that’s very important to understand in the Christian life is being under temptation, being tempted to do something wrong in and of itself is not a sin.

Why do I say that?  Because Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was “tempted in all ways, yet without sin.”  [Hebrews 4:15, “ For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”]  So just because you’re being tempted to do something that God would not have you to do or to not do something God wants you to do, how the way the temptation comes to you simply being under the temptation itself is not a sin or else Christ was the biggest sinner that ever lived.  He was tempted in all ways yet the Book of Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 15 says, yet He was “without sin.”   [Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”]

I think where it becomes a sin is when you start to mull over it in the arena of  your mind and then it becomes a fantasy about doing it.  That’s where you get those statements in the Sermon on the Mount about if you’re angry with your brother you’re a murderer; if you’re in lust then you’re an adulterer.  Matthew 5, you’ll see all that in there.   [Matthew 5:21, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ [22] “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. [23] “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, [24] leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”  … [27] You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; [28] but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”]

But being under the initial temptation itself is not a sin; giving in to it in the arena of the mind, then it becomes a sin.  I had a seminary professor that put it this way once, he said it’s not the first, for example, looking lustfully at somebody, it’s not the first look that’s the problem, it’s the second look and it’s the third look, etc.  And I like this saying here, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”  Right!  So, the temptation itself is really not the problem; the problem is when it becomes an act of vanity in the arena of the mind.

And so Satan doesn’t cause us to sin or force us to sin but he puts the environment into place where your sin nature has an opportunity to express itself.  And who created that opportunity?  Well, his designation “the tempter” tells us it was Satan that created that.  So a temptation is designed to entice us in a way that we would be destroyed.  Temptation is something that Satan does.  Temptation is not something God does to us.!  We know that from the Book of James.  The Book of James says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. [14] But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his” what? “his own lust.”   [James 1:13-14]

Now this interesting, this doesn’t even mention Satan.  My own lust of my sin nature can give me temptation.  But Satan can be active in the process of putting me in the right environment where the invitation is right there.

Let’s say I’m struggling with feeling things, or whatever, suddenly I find myself in the office  at night without the cameras on, and I have access to the cash box, who created that environment?  Not necessarily God but Satan did and he’s not forcing you to put your hand in the cash box but he’s certainly soliciting you to do that.  God is not going to do that to you.  God does not set  us up for moral failure; what God does with us is He tests  us and that’s earlier in the Book of James, James 1:2-4.  [James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, [3] knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. [4] And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”]

And the trials and tests that God sends us into are not designed to make us bitter but to make us better.  So everything that happens in your life as it comes through the sovereign hands of God into your life is designed to conform you into the image of Jesus Christ in your daily life.  Romans 8:28-30, because Paul says “For we know that all things work together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose” What’s His purpose?  His purpose is that my practice would catch up with my position.  [Romans 8:29, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; [30] and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”’  I’m already Christ-like in my position but God wants my practice in daily life to start to reflect that more and more.  It’s not that I become sinless but I sin less.  And so everything that comes into your life is designed by God to accomplish that purpose

So you’ll notice that the passage doesn’t say all things are good.  I hear this misquoted all the time.  A tragedy happens in someone’s life, cancer, car accident and someone says well, all things are good.  That is NOT what the Bible says; the Bible never says all things are good!  What it says is God uses them for good. See that!  To conform us into the image of His Son.  [Romans 8:29, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”]

So God actually takes negative things that can happen to us in a fallen world and can reorient them for the higher purpose of conforming us into the likeness of Jesus Christ so that what’s happening to me is that my daily life is catching up gradually with my position that’s already been declared about me. That’s how God works with us but that’s not how Satan works with us.  Satan sets you up to fail.  He sets you up for moral failure and he puts you in an environment where all of a sudden you have an invitation for the sin nature to express itself.  And that’s why it’s very appropriate that he’s called here the “tempter.”

And what else do we learn of Satan?  This takes us to number 15, notice Revelation 12:10.   You guys are experts in the Book of Revelation now, aren’t you?    I mean, you probably know more about the Book of Revelation than what you ever signed up for.  And I’m in that same boat, I did my dissertation on a subject of the Book of Revelation.  I know so much about the Book of Revelation that a lot of it is just worthless knowledge, I’ll never use it anywhere so I decided to pastor a church where I get a captive audience, where somebody had to listen to me.  But you’ll notice Revelation 1210… actually before that I became a professor so you guys can just leave; when you’re a professor, you know, you have a little bit more control of things.  Anyway, there’s my sin nature manifesting itself.

Revelation 12:10 says, “…for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.”’   [Revelation 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’”]  Wow!

Zechariah 3:1 says Satan stood up to accuse the high priest, Joshua, in that post exilic community.  [Zechariah 3:1, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.”]

And Jesus said this to Peter in Luke 22:31.  “Simon, Simon,” now why would he call him Simon, his Hebrew name when his name had already been changed to Peter?  Because Peter was acting like his old self so Jesus calls him by his old name.  See that?  Isn’t that interesting how names are such a big deal in the Bible.  “Simon, Simon,” this is just before… you know, as Peter was falling asleep when he should have been praying, this is just prior to or right around the time period of his three denials of Christ.  Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has requested permission to sift you like wheat;  [32] but I have prayed for you.”

How would you like the Lord to tell you that one day.  By the way…, Ron’s here in the front, I’ll pick on Ron… by the way, Ron, there’s been some conversations going on back and forth between myself and Satan about you, and Satan just asked permission to sift you like wheat.  I mean, wouldn’t that be an eerie thing to be told that by the Son of God.  I would just as soon the Lord not tell me that even if it were true. But that goes to his nature, he’s the accuser of the brethren.  And what Satan does is he accuses man before God constantly.

What’s the classic book on that?  The oldest book of the Bible, the Book of Job.  Over in the Book of Job, chapter 1 and verse 9 it’s sort of interesting, there’s a whole conversation that takes place between God and Satan that Job didn’t know anything about nor did his three, and later four counselors know anything about and it reveals so much about Satanology.  It’s interesting that this is revealed right at the beginning of God’s recording of the Scripture for us.  Job 1:9, “Then Satan answered the LORD, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? ‘  [10] Have you not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?  You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  [11] But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”

So what is Satan doing there?  He’s accusing Job’s character in the presence of God; of course Job serves you, (Satan says to God) look at all the money you give Him and the beautiful family and the beautiful house he lives in, and look at the resources in his bank account, look at the car he drives, look at his salary, look at his retirement account, but You take some of that away and he’ll curse You right to your face.  So that’s a bold and bald accusation of a prosecuting attorney in the presence of God accursing Job.  And Revelation 12:10, at the end of the Bible, says Satan does this how frequently?  “Day and night,” in other words it’s nonstop.  [Revelation 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’”]

Now if that’s true I sure am glad I have the positional righteousness of Jesus Christ because I don’t think my life could stand up under that type of accusation and criticism and scrutiny.  And then when you go over to Job 2:4, the second round, it happens again, Satan answered the Lord and said skin for skin.  [Job 2:4, “Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.’”]  Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.  [5] However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.”’  Now you’ve got to not just take away his wealth, you’ve got to take away his physical health and if you take away wealth and health he’ll curse You.  That’s why there’s so many statements in the Book of Job, chapter 19, he says, “in My flesh I will see God,” because Satan had attacked His flesh and Job is affirming the belief in a future resurrection body..   [Job 19:26, “”Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;”]

But this is basically how Satan operates; he constantly accuses man before God; he is “the accuser   of the brethren.”  And not only does he accuse man before God but the opposite is true; he accuses God before man.  He always wants to create an image of God in your mind that’s distorted, that’s not fully accurate.  You see this going on very early in the Book of Genesis, the dawn of human history.   What were Adam and Eve allowed to do,  Genesis 2:16-17?  Anything except they couldn’t eat from the tree which is in the garden.

And if you go to Genesis 3:1 it says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.”  So Satan is at work here through the serpent.   And if you go over to verse 4, Genesis 3:4 it says, “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” God said the day you eat from the forbidden tree is the day you’ll die. Right!  What does Satan say?  You will not die, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it is the day your eyes will be opened … knowing good and evil. “

So it’s interesting when you study the original command that God gave them, what did God say?  Genesis 2:16-17, “ “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;” that doesn’t sound very restrictive to me, and when you look at how Satan paraphrased what God said in Genesis verse 1 it says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden ‘?”  Is that what God said?  Did God ever say they couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?  He never says that at all.  He says you can eat freely from any tree you want except one.

So what has just happened here? Satan has created an image of God in the minds of our forbearers making it look like God is a big Meany, God is a big Ogre.  This is actually the beginning of legalism, adding things to the commandments of God that are not there.  God is not fair, God does not care about you, God is not looking out for your best interests.  So what do you call this?  I would call it an accusation of God before man.  See that?  And you think how affective this lie is, there are many, many people that won’t come to Christ because they think Jesus is going to wreck their lives.

In fact, I know of a particular person, he was given a wrong presentation of the gospel; the person that gave him the gospel said something about dancing, you can’t dance anymore.  Well, we can get into a debate about dancing if you want but I don’t see that in any presentation of the gospel in the Bible.  Do you?  Do you see that in John 3:16 or any such thing.  So you can’t go out dancing.  And so this person just stayed away from Christ because he liked to go out and go dancing.  So what happened is because of a bad presentation of the gospel Satan distorted God in this person’s mind, he accused God before man and the person, as far as I know, is away from Christ because of that lie.  So this is how Satan works.  He is the accuser of the brethren, he accuses man before God and God before man.

What else?  Look at number 16 here, and let’s go to John 8:44, and here we’re cramming two titles into one verse.  John 8:44, this is a tremendous verse on the doctrine of Satan.  Jesus here is speaking to the Pharisees, and he says, “You are of your father the devil,” wow, no wonder they wanted Jesus dead, he just took on the whole religious establishment of Israel, the people that were considered to be the most righteous in the whole nation and he just openly and boldly said “You are of your father the devil.”  Wow, how would you like to be in on that conversation?  Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall to hear this exchange and see the reaction of them.  And then in the process he starts to describe what Satan is like who was empowering or motivating these religious leaders.  “You are of your father the devil and you want to do the desires of your father.”  Well what are those?  “He was a” what?  “…a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

So, who is Satan?  He is, number one, “the father of lies.”  You see the definite article in front of “father”?  He’s not just a liar, he’s the ultimate liar; he’s the architect of lying.  In fact, when he lies he’s speaking his own native tongue because that’s what he normally does.  It’s like… you know, the joke about lawyers (and I can make a few of those because I have a law degree, licensed to practice in the state of California) the joke is how do you know a lawyer is lying?  Well, his lips are moving.  How do you know a politician is lying?  His lips are moving.  How do you know Satan is lying?  His lips are moving because that’s his nature.  A dog with the nature of a dog acts like a dog.  A cat with the nature of a cat acts like a cat.  Satan has inherently corrupted nature and he is a classic liar.  In fact, he’s so good at lies he’ll even mix truth with lies because if you mix a little truth with a lie it’s harder to recognize.  Right?

But if I want to poison somebody with this bottle of water how much of the water bottle do I have to corrupt?  Just a drop or two, I don’t have to corrupt the whole thing.  Just a little drop or two and I can poison somebody.  That’s how Satan works.  Truth, truth, truth, truth, little lie, truth, truth, truth, truth and he wins.  See that?  So, he is the father of lies, THE father of lies, when he lies he speaks his native language.  And then Jesus says he’s a murderer.  Well, who did he murder exactly?  Well number one, he murdered himself because he, by rebelling against God consigned his destiny to an eternal hell.  He murdered himself.  Number two, he murdered a third of the angels, we know that from Revelation 12, it talks about how when he fell a third fell with him.  I’m assuming they had to be deceived into it or talked into it and so how many angels are there?  Ten thousand times ten thousand; a third of them are on their way to hell with no opportunity for redemption because of a stunt that Satan no doubt had influence over in the Luciferian rebellion.

Number three, he murdered the human race.  The whole human race is dying because of what Satan did in Eden.  God said in Genesis 2:16-17 the day you eat from the tree thereof is the day you shall surely die.  [Genesis 2:16-17, “he LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; [17] but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”]  Satan comes along in Genesis 3:3 and says to Eve, “You will not die!”  Oh, wait a minute, God said they would die, now Satan comes along and says they wouldn’t die.  What do you call that?  You call it a lie!  And because of that lie the whole human race is subject to death.  Romans 5:12 says death has come into the world and it overtakes every human being in Adam’s lineage because of the lie of Satan.  [Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— “]

And you know, what is it, yesterday, two major shootings in the United States, Dayton, Ohio and here in Texas, El Paso.  I mean, who do you blame for that?  Well, I would blame the sin natures of the people that pulled the trigger, but I would also put a lot of the blame on Satan who obviously created the right scenario to put these people under pressure or put the right garbage into their minds, whatever it is, to cause them to do this heinous act.   This is who Satan is, his nature!  I mean, he’s just a rampant murderer.  And that’s what Jesus calls him out on here in John 8:44, and then says to the Pharisees, you guys are just like him; you’re just like your father.  The religious establishment that everybody looked up to is the most holy people in the country.  That’s what Jesus just said.

So there’s a lot of Satanology right there in John 8:44. By the way, did you notice the masculine pronoun “he” there in John 8:44, describing Satan.  He’s not an it, he’s not a that, he’s not an impersonal energy or force, he’s an actual being with an actual personage and personality.  And one of the tragic things is watching evangelicalism start to deny the existence of Satan.  In fact, I was in, I think it’s Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island, and I got to go to the church, the First Baptist church in Rhode Island.  The whole state was named after him, he’s a famous preacher, Roger Williams, one of the first churches built in the United States, a huge church, beautiful church.  And today it’s basically a place where you can go and do a tour because nobody goes there.  They do have church services there but there’s a very small number of people.

And one of the interesting things is to go around and talk to the elderly people or people that have worked there for a long time and get the story on how that church went liberal.  And I got into a conversation with a guy and he said at one point in this church what happened is they started to deny the existence of Satan, they sort of said things like there’s not a real Satan, and so they kind of re-categorized evil as something else and once that lie takes over then liberalism quickly follows.  Satan is an actual person, an actual being, an actual angel, an actual real entity, the evil one, and his nature, now that he’s fallen is a liar and a murderer.

And then we come to number seventeen here, 1 Peter 5:8, where two more names are used to describe Satan.  1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your” what? “adversary, the devil, prowls around like” so it’s a simile, “like a” what? “roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  So, there are two more names for Satan right there, (A) adversary, which means opponent, or enemy, and number two, he’s like a “roaring lion seeking someone to” cuddle up with… it doesn’t say that!  Have a glass of iced tea with… it doesn’t say that!  “to devour.”  So once an animal gets its teeth into something there is no mercy.  And animal doesn’t have any conscience; the concept of mercy is gone from an animal, and that’s how Satan is, he’s animalistic in that sense.

And I think this is probably more literal than most people take it as because this was written during the days of Nero and what did Nero do with Christians?  He put them into the lion’s den, didn’t he?  And I think it’s a statement by Peter that you know who’s behind this lion’s den where the masses would come and cheer as the animals devoured the Christians, how they were killed in the first century, martyrdom under Nero.  I think Peter is actually making… and some of his audiences was most likely going to be thrown into this environment, to suffer a martyr’s death.  And so when Peter says your enemy, “your adversary the devil roams about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” it’s a simile of imagery of an animal without conscience that just wants to destroy.  But it might also be the source of empowerment behind the coliseum that Nero was orchestrating for the Christians.

And then one more, let’s go to Matthew 13:39.  He’s called a roaring lion, he’s called an adversary, and one more title is used of Him, Matthew 13:39, and that’s the title of “the enemy.”  Matthew 13:39 of Satan and his activity in the interadvent age, it says “and the enemy who sowed them is the devil,” this is talking about the tares amongst the wheat, “the enemy who sowed them is the devil and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.”  So you’ll notice the word “devil” there and you notice he’s called “the enemy,” or the opponent.

So, I’m kind of the type of personality where I want everybody to like me. I wish that were true, but the reality is the moment you trusted in Christ as your Savior and then went further in your walk with God and began to submit to the walk of discipleship as Jesus is now not just your Savior but He’s your Lord, you automatically inherited an enemy.  There’s no wiggle room out of this; you’ve got an enemy whether you like it or not.  It’s like stepping out on the basketball court: the moment you step out on the basketball court, they’re trying to beat you; they’re trying to defeat you.  Now you may have had supper with the opposing team last night, those may be your best friends out there, but the fact of the matter is because you’ve got one color jersey and they have a different color jersey, there’s an automatic conflict where they’re out trying to defeat you.  So, it’s kill or be killed, speaking, of course, hyperbolically.  So, either you suit up for war or you’re just going to be demolished, because, whether you like it or not, the enemy is yours the moment you submit to the walk of discipleship.

And cheer up, it gets worse.  You don’t even just have one enemy, you have three.  I call it three-dimensional warfare—the flesh, the world and the devil!  The flesh is the sin nature that I had at the point of conception that even though I’m born again I’m still going to have that sin nature until my dying day or until the rapture comes first I still have a nature that’s at war with God.  But I have a new nature inside of me and so I have to learn to live according to the desires of the new nature and to do what Romans 6 says, reckon dead the yearnings of the old nature.  And you have to do that moment by moment and understand the resources God has given you to do that or you can’t make any progress in the middle tense of your salvation.

Beyond that you’ve got the world system that’s at war with your mind.  That’s why we’re told over and over again, Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be renewed through your mind, [so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”]” through an intake of truth, because the world system is constantly exerting pressure on the mind to influence the way you think, to get you to think wrongly about God and truth in His Word.

So, I’m contending with the flesh.  I’m contending with the world.  And if that weren’t bad enough I’m contending with Satan as my third enemy and it’s not just Satan, it’s Satan and a third of the angels that fell with him, that we call demons.  And that’s why I’ve got to “put on the full armor of God,” Ephesians 6.  I mean, why is it that so many Christians remain in infancy throughout their whole Christian life and they never really grow up?  Because they don’t know who their enemies are and if you don’t know who your enemies are how can you win any battle.  I mean, the first thing you do at war or a battle is you define the enemy, and then you have to know what your formula for victory is because when you get into the Bible you’re going to discover that God has a pattern for victory over all three.  There are ways to overcome the flesh; there are ways to overcome Satan.  There are ways to overcome the world, not through our own human grit but through the resources that God has given us.

And if no one has talked to you about this or told you about it you just remain a victim your whole Christian life.  And you stand before the Lord at the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ, you have no reward, no crown given, although you’re in heaven, although you can still smell the smoke on your garment because we’re not talking about three-dimensional warfare in the church today.

Pastors are too busy trying to get their churches to be bigger and get everybody in the door.  Well, gosh, if I’m going to do that I can’t talk about three-dimensional warfare, unchurched Mary and Harry don’t want to hear that!  So, the body of Christ remains unequipped, unequipped for battle because they’ve never really been taught the principles of warfare, spiritual warfare.  Israel fought physical enemies; we don’t do that as a church, we fight spiritual enemies, and you’ve got three.  So you notice here Satan is called the enemy.  So isn’t it amazing how much information we can get into just by looking at the names and the titles of Satan.

All right, let’s move into part four of this study and let’s talk about the original state and first sin of Satan. I don’t know how deep we can get into this today but how did Satan become Satan exactly?  And you only have two Old Testament passages that give you any information on this.  The first one is Ezekiel 28:12-17 and the second one is Isaiah 14:12-15.

[Ezekiel 28:12-17, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.   [13] “You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you.  On the day that you were created they were prepared.   [14] “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.  You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  [15] “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.  [16] “By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore, I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  [17] Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”

Isaiah 14:12-17, “ “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!  You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!  [13] But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.  [14] ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’   [15] Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.  [16] “Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, [17] Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities; who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’”]

It’s interesting that Paul, the apostle, when he’s talking about the selection of elders and deacons in the church says this in 1 Timothy 3:6 concerning an elder, “and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by” who?  “the devil.”  So first comes pride, then comes the fall and who’s the ultimate example of that?  Satan!  So, Paul must be referring to something in prior revelation that reveals this.  I mean, when did Satan exactly become lifted up with pride and subsequently fall?  It had to have happened somewhere in the Bible or else why would Paul reference this.  Paul is assuming something that’s already happened.  So, when did it happen? Why did it happen?  Where did it happen?  Those kinds of questions you only have two chapters of the Bible that help you, Ezekiel 28:12-17 and Isaiah 14:12-15.  So, let’s briefly just introduce the Ezekiel passage.

Notice, if you will, Ezekiel 28:12-17. I use this one first because I think of the two it’s clearer that it’s referring to Satan.   Notice what it says, [12] “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him that thus says the Lord GOD: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. [13] You were in Eden, the garden of God; every kind of precious stone was your covering, the ruby, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  [14] You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  [15] “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created but unrighteousness was found in you.   [16] By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned.  Therefore, I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  [17] Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;” here’s the sin, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.  I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”

Now I know what you’re asking; you’re saying well wait a minute here, you say this is about Satan?  If you look at verse 12 it says “take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre,” which is north of Israel, it’s basically modern-day Lebanon.  You say well how can you see Satan in here when Ezekiel clearly tells us it’s a lamentation against a literal king in Ezekiel’s day?  Well, here’s what I would call this; I would call this a Matthew 16:23 moment.  [Matthew 16:23, “But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”]  You remember when Jesus made a statement that He had to go to the cross and die?  You remember what Peter said?  This will not happen to You!  Remember what Jesus said in response?  “Get behind Me, Satan.”  Wait a minute, I thought Peter made the statement.  He did!  But Jesus wasn’t addressing Peter, He was addressing the spiritual force that motivated Peter’s statement.  See that?

That’s what’s happening here with the King of Tyre, a wicked king.  But as you look at this very carefully the language goes beyond the King of Tyre and it gets into the force that’s motivating the King of Tyre because verse 13 says “You were in Eden….”   [Ezekiel 28:13] Was the King of Tyre in Eden?  Not that I know of.  Verse 15 says “You were blameless in your ways.”  [Ezekiel 28:15, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.”  Is a human being ever blameless?  I thought all human beings under Adam’s lineage inherited a sin nature.  Psalm 51:5. [Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”]   He also calls the King of Tyre perfect, verse 12.  I mean, are human beings ever perfect in their fallen state?  [Ezekiel 28:12, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”]

And then the dead giveaway is verse 14, “You were the anointed cherub,” see, he’s addressing an angel.  And then if you look at verse 16, towards the very end of that verse it says, “… and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub.”  [Ezekiel 28:14, “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.”  Ezekiel 28:16, “By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And You sinned; Therefore, I have cast You as profane from the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed You, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”]

So, he’s addressing the angelic force motivating the King of Tyre and in the process of this prophecy the Holy Spirit reveals to Ezekiel a tremendous picture of Satan’s original state and first sin.  In other words, how did Lucifer become Satan?  How did an angel become the devil?  And you’ll get a description of it and we’ll also be learning all kinds of attributes about Satan simply by studying this passage.

So, I promised my wife that because she’s running the camera today we would stop at 10:40 and I hope, sweetheart, you can look at the clock, it’s exactly 10:40 [laughter] because a happy wife is a happy life, amen!  [laughter] So we’ll shut the camera off, we’ll pick it up next time.