Angelology 007 (Satanology 03)Ezekiel 28:12-17 • Dr. Andy Woods • August 11, 2019 • Angelology
Ezekiel 28:12-17 8-4-2019
Father, we’re grateful for today and grateful for Your people, grateful for Your church, grateful for Your sacrificial death for us 2,000 years ago and resurrection. And I just pray that the Spirit will be at work this morning illuminating Your truth to Your people and I just ask that we would leave here changed, that You would do something eternal today in our lives, either someone gets saved or someone gets the nourishment that they need or the insight or what have you as the work only Your illuminating spirit can do. So we ask You to do that great work today both in all of our Sunday School’s and in the worship service that follows. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We lift these things up in Jesus’ name and God’s people said…. Amen!
If you can locate in your Bible Ezekiel, chapter 28, verse 12, and as you’re turning there Robby Dean of West Houston Bible Church wanted me to advertise something for them. It has to do with Wesley Hunt who’s apparently running for Congress in District Seven and apparently this guy is pretty good, he’s been interviewed on Fox News and things like that, but he writes: “To better be informed and meet the candidate I invite your men” so I guess this is gender exclusive here as it’s a men’s breakfast, “I invite your men to join us Saturday, August 17, I guess that would be this coming Saturday at West Houston Bible Church, 7:30 a.m. (wow, that’s pretty tough, getting up that early on Saturday) to a men’s breakfast for… apparently you’re going to have a chance to meet this candidate that’s running for office. If you want more on this I’ve got this little advertisement, I’m just going to put it right here on the table, just come up here and pick that up on your way out and you can get the websites and all that stuff. But that’s a men’s breakfast at West Houston Bible Church next Saturday.
So speaking of politicians, we’ve been talking about Satan and let’s open our Bibles to Ezekiel 28:12-17. We’re continuing our study on angelology, the doctrine of the angels. And we’ve looked at the good angels and now we’re moving into Satan, we call it Satanology, a high-ranking angel that fell, that’s why he’s looked at under the subject of angelology. And we’ve seen at least three things about Satan: number 1, he clearly exists. A lot of people don’t believe he exists but he does, Old Testament and New Testament. Number 2, he is not an impersonal energy force but he is an actual personage with a personality. We looked at that and how the elements of personhood apply to Satan. And then the last couple of weeks we’ve gone through his various names and titles, so there’s about somewhere between 18-20 names used in the Bible of Satan and those reveal an awful lot about who he is and his character. So we walked through those.
And now we kind of come to a section of the study where we’re trying to figure out where did Satan come from exactly? What was his original state and his first sin? I mean, how did Satan become Satan? How did he go from being Lucifer, a beautiful angel, to the devil? And how did he become the great adversary of our souls? And when you get into that subject you only have really two areas of the Bible that deal with this; one is Ezekiel 28:12-17, a passage we’re going to look at today. And the second one is Isaiah 14:12-15.
And you have to have somewhere in the Old Testament which talks about Satan’s fall for the simple reason that the Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:6 concerning the selection of elders in a church, He says they should not be a recent convert, elders, “lest they fall into the condemnation of the devil.” [1 Timothy 3:6, “ and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.” So Paul, when he writes that, is obviously referring to something that happened in prior revelation that we should be able to look at and document or else that injunction that he makes doesn’t have any historical sense.
The fall of Satan has to be dealt with somewhere. And so these are your two places in the Bible that give the most light on it. Ezekiel 28, a prophet who wrote during the Babylonian captivity back in the 6th century and then Isaiah the prophet, an earlier prophet, who wrote I think around the 8th century B.C. (roughly). And I’m going to deal with the Ezekiel passage first because I think the Ezekiel passage most people acknowledge is clearer in terms of the fact that it’s talking about Satan.
So let’s take a look here at Ezekiel chapter 28 and notice, if you will, verses 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.  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.  “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.  “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.  “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.  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 a lot of people will look at this and they’ll look at verse 12 which says to Ezekiel, God says to Ezekiel, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the King of Tyre” now Tyre was a king just north of Israel, it’s what today we call modern day Lebanon. And an awful lot of people will look at a verse like that and they’ll say this doesn’t have anything to do with Satan, you’re reading too much into the passage, this is obviously dealing with the King of Tyre. And my response to that is this is what I like to call a Matthew 16:23 moment. Peter, in Matthew 16:23, and the prior verses, made a statement and he told Jesus when He began to announce His death, His coming imminent crucifixion, he told Jesus You’re not going to go to the cross, You’re not going to die, this will never happen to you. In other words, what Jesus was disclosing didn’t fit Peter’s expectation of what a Messiah is supposed to do.
So Peter takes Jesus aside, if you can imagine this, and he begins to rebuke Him. How do you rebuke God? Well, that’s what Peter was doing. And you remember how Jesus responded to that? It says Jesus said to him, “‘Get behind Me,” who? “Satan.’” [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.”] So at that particular point in the conversation, when Jesus makes that statement He was not addressing so much Peter as He was addressing the angelic force behind Peter, motivating Peter’s statement, because it’s always been the agenda of Satan to keep Jesus away from the cross. And so Jesus, sensing that addresses the angelic energy, if you will, behind Peter’s statement.
And this happens quite a lot, when you think about it, in the life of Christ, even in the passage we looked at last week, John 8:44 as Jesus was interacting with the Pharisees. Remember what He said over there in John in John 8:44? He says, “You” speaking to the Pharisees, “are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was 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 Jesus is actually addressing there the satanic inspiration that was motivating the Pharisees.
And since this happens quite a bit in the New Testament I think that’s what’s happening in Ezekiel 28. Yes, Ezekiel is talking about the King of Tyre but at some point under divine inspiration Ezekiel is really no longer talking about an earthly king but he’s talking about the spiritual force behind that earthly king. And this should not be surprising because who was Ezekiel’s contemporary? Anybody know, there in Babylon? Daniel, Daniel and Ezekiel are contemporaries. Babylon is that circle to the east, modern day Iraq; it’s where the nation of Israel was, three hundred and fifty miles away from the homeland, and they were there for seven years.
And if you want to jot down Ezekiel 13:14, and even in our chapter, Ezekiel 28:3 you’ll notice that Ezekiel makes references to Daniel. [Ezekiel 13:14, “So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 28:3, “Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that is a match for you.”] So Ezekiel knew all about Daniel. Did they know each other personally? We’re not sure but clearly Ezekiel had an awareness of Daniel and who he was and his reputation.
And it’s interesting to me that Daniel does the exact same thing in Daniel 10:13 and Daniel 10:20. Daniel addresses or makes us aware of spiritual presences, spiritual forces, fallen angels if you will, behind the kings of Greece and Persia. You’ll see that in Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:20. [Daniel 10:13, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:20, “Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the ]prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about.”]
So it’s not to me that farfetched that Daniel’s contemporary, Ezekiel, would do the exact same thing. Why do I think Ezekiel is addressing Satan here, or what’s motivating the King of Tyre? Well, it says in verse 13 of the kingdom Tyre, “You were in Eden,” not I don’t think the King of Tyre was ever in the Garden of Eden; in fact, the Garden of Eden is closed off, isn’t it, through cherubim’s station there preventing people from reentering. It says there in Ezekiel 28:15 that ““You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created….” Now that can’t fit the King of Tyre because all of us, post Adam’s fall, were born into the world with a sin nature at the point of what? The point of conception. We don’t have to be taught how to sin, it comes naturally to us. Amen!
Psalm 51:5 talks about that sin nature that we inherit at the point of conception, etc. [Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”]
If you look at verse 12 of Ezekiel 28 he says, “You were perfect” and again that can’t be describing a person, a normal king who is tainted by a sin nature. And the dead giveaway really is verse 14 and verse 16 where you’re going to see the word “cherub.” Now we know what a cherub is; a cherub is an angel. The cherubim were stationed, Genesis 3:24 at the entrance of Eden preventing man from entering following the fall. And cherubim, Exodus 25:15-20 are inscribed above the mercy seat according to the building of the tabernacle as Moses followed the instructions of the Lord. So when it says “cherub” there there’s no way it can be talking about a human king.
[Genesis 3:24, “So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Exodus 25:15-20, “The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it.  You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you.  You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide.  You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.  Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends.  The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.”]
He’s obviously addressing the angelic force behind that human king. And so in the process of this address I believe what Ezekiel gives is yes, a lamentation against the King of Tyre but there’s a lot more here than that; it’s sort of what I would call a double reference. It’s a reference to the satanic force behind the king of Tyre and in the process Ezekiel, as he’s writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and receiving this vision he begins to describe exactly how Satan became Satan. How did Satan fall? So this is a key piece of data for us when we’re trying to construct the doctrine of Satan.
Having said that as an introduction what can we… and if you agree with me on this that this is the fall of Satan, what do we learn about Satan just from this paragraph? Let’s look at a few things. Number one, Satan is a created being; that’s very important to understand because it says there, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were” what? “created” Satan is not the creator, Satan is the creation. In fact, it’s interesting to me that in this paragraph the fact that he’s a created being comes out twice. You’ll see it there at the end of verse 13 and you also see it in verse 15 which says, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created…” [Exodus 25:15]
So with that being said a lot of people get their theology from the movie Rocky, and I’ve used this example before. A lot of people believe in what’s called dualism; dualism is the idea that God has a rival in the universe and so that’s how a lot of people look at the context between God and Satan. They look at it as two sort of equally matched fighters. And just like in the movie Rocky, whether it’s Rocky or Apollo, we don’t know who’s going to win exactly, and that’s why we’re always sitting on the edge of our seats till the end of the movie to see who’s going to win. A lot of people look at that with God and Satan… we really don’t know if God’s going to pull this one off when the reality of the situation is this isn’t even a contest. This is NO contest! Why is that? Because it’s obvious from the fact that Satan is a created being and God is the Creator; God obviously is going to win.
So the very first thing to understand about Satan is he’s merely a creature and either we ascribe too little to him or we ascribe too much to him. And in dualism we ascribe way too much to him beyond his bounds. The reality of the situation is the only reason Satan is even around right now and God hasn’t banished him to his eternal hell is God is actually using Satan to fulfill God’s purposes on the earth, which is an astounding thing when you think about it, that God can use the motives and the activities of His arch enemy for some sort of good. And that’s the only reason Satan exists.
For example, Paul struggled with a “thorn in the flesh” that kept him humble. And Paul calls that a thorn in the flesh 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, he calls it a messenger of who? “Satan. So there’s an example where God was actually using Satan to keep Paul humble. [2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me– to keep me from exalting myself!  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”]
And God does this all of the time throughout Biblical history. He does it today to some extent. If it weren’t for that purpose Satan would have been banished a long time ago. So the mere existence of Satan and his presence on the earth, you shouldn’t mistake that as somehow he’s some kind of equal player to God; there’s no equality here whatsoever. Satan does not have the Omnis, the Omnis are attributes that belong only to God. God has to have certain attributes that only belong to Him or He wouldn’t be what? He wouldn’t be God. So what are the “Omnis”? Omniscience, all knowing. Satan is not all knowing. Omnipotence, all powerful. Satan is not omnipotent. He’s also not omnipresent, everywhere at once. Why do we know that? Because of what it says there in verse 15 and verse 13, on the day you were created.
[Ezekiel 18:13, “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. Ezekiel 28:15, “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.”]
This is why a third of the angels that fell with Satan become very important to him in the orchestration of his temporary kingdom on the earth. Because he’s not omnipresent he has to work through ambassadors or fallen angels that we call demons. This is why Paul says he was “buffeted by a messenger of Satan.” [2 Corinthians 12:7, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” KJV]
So you listen to a lot of Christian talk and they say well I got up this morning and it was a real struggle and my car wouldn’t start and I didn’t have enough gas in the tank and my alarm clock didn’t go off and our case the copy machine wasn’t working right, dah dah dah dah dah, and we say man, Satan is really at work in my life. And I’m not trying to lower anybody but it probably wasn’t Satan bothering you; Satan has probably more important things to do than hassle with me. Paul himself was not buffeted directly by Satan but by a messenger of Satan. So Satan has to work through other fallen angels and he has to do that just by virtue of the fact that he’s not omnipresent.
And there’s a lot of talk today about the New World Order, the coming one-world government under the antichrist where people are monitored cradle to grave. You see that in Revelation 13:16-18, Daniel 7:23, and you ask yourself why there such a satanic push today. [Daniel 7:23, “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” Revelation 13:16-18, “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,  and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”]
I mean, why does Satan want this one-world system so badly. Why does he want the infrastructure in place whereby people can be kept track of cradle to grave. And the answer relates to his finiteness; if he was omnipresent he wouldn’t even need such a system but he needs it to monitor humanity the way he wants to monitor humanity. So we talk about control freaks today, I think Satan probably is the ultimate control freak. And because he wants to be like God (we’ll see that in the Isaiah passage) he tries to pretend he’s omnipresent through the New World Order and different things like that but he actually is not omnipresent.
He is also not omniscient and so a question is sometimes raised, can Satan read a person’s mind? I’m sort of the persuasion that Satan cannot read a person’s mind because Satan is not omniscient. The one who reads our minds is God who is omniscient. David says that of God in Psalm 139:4, “Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it.” So before I speak God knows what I’m going to say. Satan, I don’t think is that way. I think he’s got to wait to watch what I’m going to say to know what’s on my mind and I think that just by virtue of the fact that he’s not omniscient. BUT having said that, don’t think that he doesn’t know you very, very well. I mean, he’s had, depending on how old the human race is, biblically I guess it would be about 6,000 years old, something like that, he’s had 6,000 years of preparation. He knows people very well, he knew your ancestors, your parents, your great grandparents, your great, great grandparents. He knows your basic temperament.
And even yourself. How many women would say they knew their husbands… I know you better than you know yourself. I mean, is that true, do women say that about husbands. No one wants to admit it. My wife… where is my wife, is she in here… she says that about me, she says I know what you’re going to do before you do it just because I know you. Now is she omniscient? No, she’s probably close [laughter] but she’s not omniscient. She has no capacity to read my mind but she’s just a student after twenty years of marriage, or behavior, some of it good I think, there’s some good behavior in there, and so she knows basically what I’m going to do before I do it. Well, think of Satan’s ability to do that given his long term track record studying you and studying human history. So just because he’s not omniscient you shouldn’t take that to mean he’s kind of a bubbling idiot, which he is not.
What else can we learn here about Satan? Not only is Satan a creature but he originally was an angel and we’ve already seen verse 14, haven’t we? “You were the anointed cherub,” and then dropping down to verse 16, towards the bottom of the verse, “I have destroyed you, O covering cherub.” As we said before “cherub”… now in Hebrew if we use the plural cherub we would call them what? “Cherubim,” the “im” ending connotes a plurality in Hebrew, just like our “s” at the end of a noun connotes plurality in English. Cherubim, plural, were stationed, Genesis 3:24, outside of Eden with flaming swords preventing them from reentering. [Genesis 3:24, “So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”]
Cherubim, Exodus 25:13-20 are inscribed there above the mercy seat to watch, kind of portraying that the angels are watching what was happening on the day of atonement. [Exodus 25:13-20, “You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.  “You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them.  “The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it.  “You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you.  “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide.  “You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.  “Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends.  “The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.”]
And so who was Satan originally? He was one of those guys; he was one of the cherubim. He was one of those angels that, I think in our study in angelology we defined the cherubim as those angels of a special nature that guard God’s holiness. And that’s who Satan was originally prior to his fall.
Now if you continue with his Ezekiel passage it indicates not only He was an angel… and by the way, let me give you one other verse on Satan being an angel. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says Satan comes as a what of light? An “angel of light.” [2 Corinthians 11:14, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”] So there’s another reference to the fact that he originally was an angel; today we would call him a fallen angel. Not only was he an angel but apparently he was a high ranking variety and you can sort of derive that as you look at verse 14 because it doesn’t just call him a cherub but it calls him an “anointed cherub who covers.”  “You were the anointed cherub who covers….] and as you go down to verse 16 it refers to him as a “covering cherub”.  “…And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”] Now that can communicate a lot of different things. To my mind it communicates that Satan was not just an angel, Satan was not just one of the cherubim but he was originally of the highest order. I sort of get the idea that the angelic system was sort of ranked largely under him; he was like a General, I guess you could say, in the angelic army.
And you have this very odd reference to this in Jude 9 concerning the dispute that Michael… by the way, Michael is no slouch, right? He’s an archangel. Michael and Satan got into an argument, apparently concerning the body of Moses and it says this in 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!”’ So it’s interesting that even Michael really didn’t want to go toe to toe with the devil; he just simply deposited the devil in God’s hands and said “The Lord rebuke you!” So if Michael has that sort of respect for Satan it kind of communicates to me that Satan was probably not just an angel but was of the highest order to even command the respect of Michael, an archangel.
And this is very important because you… particularly if you watch so-called Christian television you see a lot of these preachers screaming at Satan, and I’m going to give you a black eye and run you out of town sort of mindset, and all this stuff. And it’s just a poor angelology because they don’t really understand the doctrine of angels because they’re doing things that not even Michael himself would try to pull off. So Satan, I think, was not an angel but he was a powerful angel.
We also learn that he was not originally sinful; he was created without sin. It says it in verse 15, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created.” So you shouldn’t think that God created Satan as he is; that’s not the case. Just like God didn’t create fallen humanity, He created humanity in their perfection with a choice. That’s sort of the data or information that you get from Satan. By the way, who created the angels? Anybody know? Jesus did!
That’s the whole point of the Book of Colossians because in Colossae there was something called the Colossian heresy which was trying to take Jesus and demote Him to an angel. And they had this, what they called this in the Colossian heresy, the ladder of emanations, and here’s God over here and here’s humanity down here and God created an angel and that angel created another angel and another angel and another angel ad infinitum all the way down the chain and then finally you’ve got this bottom rung angel close to the human race and that angel apparently created the human race. And they thought that way because of what’s called Gnosticism which taught dualism, that the spiritual world is good and the physical world is evil. And if the physical world is evil how could God create the physical world? And it also tampered with one’s Christology because if the physical world is evil how could Jesus come in a body? And that’s why there’s all these statements in 1 John concerning the fact that we know who the antichrist is, 1 John 4:1-3, who deny Jesus’ coming in the flesh or came in the flesh.
But this is all an outwork of Gnostic dualism. And so the whole point of the Book of Colossians is to straighten them out on that and to show them that Jesus is not an angel; in fact, Jesus created the angels themselves. They owe their very existence to the ex nihilo power of Jesus Christ, the second member of the Trinity. So what verses teach this? Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:3, and John 1:3 and because Jesus created Satan we know that Satan did not exist with sin originally.
[Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Hebrews 1:3, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” John 1:3, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”]
What did God say when He created everything in six days? He didn’t just say it was good, Genesis 1:31. He said it was what? “Very good.” [Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good; and there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”] So if Jesus created Satan, Satan originally was created without sin. And how did he become sinful? Verse 17 explains it, which we’ll hopefully get to in a moment.
Something else we learn about Satan from the Ezekiel passage is Satan’s beauty. Notice Ezekiel 18 and notice verses 12-13, all those colors that I had a difficult time pronouncing. Verse 12 says, “… Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” and then it talks about, verse 13, “every precious stone was your covering” and it mentions all of these colors, “ruby, topaz, diamonds, jasper, turquoise, emerald, gold I think it mentions. [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.  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.”]
You get the impression that it was sort of like technicolor, you know, you think of all of the colors of the rainbow being present. And Satan, the way I’m understanding it (I’ll make more reference to this when we get to the Isaiah passage,) but I think he was originally created as what’s called a light bearer. In fact, his name is Lucifer which actually means light bearer. And I think he was sort of held up, because we know God is clothed in unapproachable light, right? Many verses talk about that. “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” [John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”]
It’s almost like Satan was held up to refract that glory through many different colors. So Satan’s purpose made sense as long as he was pursuing his purpose of glorifying God. He refracted the beauty of God, the colors of God and this is why Satan even today is described as something very, very beautiful. I made reference already to 2 Corinthians 11:14, Satan coming “as an angel of light.” But let me just read that passage to you if I could. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, “No wonder, for even the devil disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it’s not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness whose end will be according to their deeds.”
You know, this Halloween that we have and all of these costumes that are made available in October for all these kids, you know you dress up like the devil and you’ve got a pitchfork and you’ve got red horns and you’ve got a red cape and people look at that and they think that’s what the devil looks like. That’s about as farfetched from what the Bible says as you could possibly get. The best I could tell that whole idea of who Satan is comes from the Middle Ages. There’s not a shred of biblical evidence to corroborate it. Satan is beauty, his original purpose was beauty and that’s why it’s so interesting when you read and watch on television about people having out of body experiences.
I think I’ve shared with you before when I was very young we had a lot of books around our house related to out of body experiences and things of that nature and so I got really interested in this as a very young person. I started to read all the different stories that people that got into automobile accidents and the were taken out of their body and there’s an awful lot of people around giving those kind of testimonies.
But what was interesting to me, even at a young age, I wasn’t even a Christian or anything, how the stories had a common theme and the common theme went something like this: they were working on me in the operating room and all of a sudden I was out of my body, I was no longer in pain, and I was looking down at the doctors trying to bring me back to life. And I began to say to myself gosh, I wish they wouldn’t try to bring me back to life because I feel so good now, out of my body. And then I saw this tunnel (have you guys heard this) I saw this tunnel and there was this light at the end of the tunnel and I was so drawn to this light, so I traveled through this tunnel and I heard a voice that said your time is not yet, you’re going to go back into your body but now you have a purpose and your purpose is to preach tolerance and open-mindedness and all religions are right and it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. And so people had this experience and they go back into their body and they come out of their surgery and they really think that they’ve been spoken to by God.
And to be honest with you, if I didn’t have the Bible and I had an experience like that I would probably think the same thing. This is why the Bible is telling us to not go based on experiences; it’s telling us to test the experience, does it conform to Scripture. In this case it doesn’t because if you believe that you’d have to believe God taught a doctrine of salvation totally foreign to what you read in the Bible. And the Bible does not teach everyone is right and wrong and on the same path and we’re all going to get there in our own way. That’s nonsense. If that were true why would Jesus have to die on a cross; there’d be no point.
So if a person thinks they’ve been spoken to by God in reality they’ve been spoken to by an angel of light, either a demon or Satan himself and because we’re so conditioned to look for the pitchfork and the cape, I mean, it has to be evil, it’s got to feel evil. Right? What did Whitney Houston say about this (not that I’m trying to promote that) but there’s a line in one of her songs, “how could it be so wrong if it feels so right.” Now some of you guys need to stop listening to that stuff, and I need to stop listening to that stuff. But that’s how a lot of people are, if it feels right it’s got to be God. And so we don’t really understand angelology, we don’t understand the doctrine of Satan, the beauty of Satan.
And what else can we learn here about Satan? We also learn about his intelligence. If you look at verse 12 it says, “Son of Man, take up a lamentation over the King of Tyre, thus says the Lord God, you have the seal of perfection,” look at what it says here, “full of” what? “wisdom.” Now what is wisdom? Wisdom, in the Greek it’s sophía, is divine knowledge rightly applied to life. That’s wisdom. So if you’re a person that walks in wisdom you take the principles of God’s Word and you apply them consistently to your daily life. That’s wisdom. Satan was doing that but guess what? You can’t be full of wisdom unless you have knowledge to apply to life. Right? So wisdom itself implies knowledge and because Satan didn’t just have wisdom but was full of wisdom he obviously was full of knowledge which clearly communicates a thought process capacity, an intellect or intelligence.
So Satan has all these things going for him, but what in the world happened? Verse 17 is what happened. Look at what it says there in verse 17. It says, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty,” oh-oh, he got the bighead, “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.” [Ezekiel 28:17] Now once you understand then you understand why Paul says do not put a new convert into a position of authority as an elder in the church lest he fall into the condemnation of Satan. [1 Timothy 3:6, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.”]
What condemnation of Satan? The one that’s described right there in verse 17, because if someone is newly saved and Christian media botches this all the time. A prominent basketball player gets saved, a prominent baseball player gets saved, a prominent musician or something like that gets saved and the Christian world is so excited about this that we jam a microphone in their face and we kind of look to them sort of as a guide and we’re violating the basic principles of the Bible that you’re not supposed to do that because that person, although they may be justified before God has had almost no room for character development, and no room for maturity, and no room for growth. And if you put someone like that into a position of authority and by virtue of their position God starts to use them they’re going to think that the reason the blessing has come is not because of God but because of them. And they’re going to be lifted up with pride and first comes pride and then comes what? Then comes a fall.
This is exactly what Paul is talking about and that’s why there’s, as you go through the pastoral letters it says don’t appoint a deacon unless he has first been tested. [1 Timothy 3:10, “These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.”] What does that mean? I think it means until you have time to observe his character. And that’s why in 1 Timothy 5, around verse 22, it talks about not laying hands on people too quickly. [1 Timothy 5:22, “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.?’] And I’ve heard nightmare stories of pastors of churches that are growing too fast; one of them is a friend of mine and the church just imploded primarily because he was laying… and he told me this, he was laying hands on people too fast. I mean, we’re growing, we’ve got this ministry we’ve done, we’ve got a need here, let’s appoint this person and that person when the reality is the person doesn’t even have the character yet to handle the position. They love Jesus and believe in Jesus and are going to heaven but the reality of the situation is there is no shortcut to spiritual growth.
Justification is in an instant; spiritual growth is a process. And how do you determine if you’re growing? I mean, one Christian grows, one Christian doesn’t, why is that? Because the Christian that’s growing is learning the Bible, but that’s not enough… I know a lot of really prideful people that know a lot about the Bible. I went to seminary with some of them and I won’t go into details there. But knowledge of the Bible doesn’t mean you’re spiritually mature; it’s the amount of time you’ve taken what you know and have applied it by obedience. The more hours that are logged where knowledge is being applied to daily life, that’s how you ascertain whether someone is growing. And those are the people, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, that you put into positions of authority in the church. You do not put someone in the position of authority where you have no knowledge of their level of growth. And with the Christian media and Christian celebrities and all of these kinds of things that we have we violate the principles of God and we wonder why all of our leaders fall and get discredited. This is exactly why!
So this is what happened to Satan, I mean he had beauty but pride came into his life because of beauty and he fell. And when Paul says, “lest he fall into the condemnation of the devil,” that’s what he’s referring to. And what a pattern it is to watch people lifted up with pride and then they fall, Satan being the first case that we have in the Bible where this happened, and as you go through the Bible you’ll see this happening over and over again to people. Nebuchadnezzar one day was kind of strolling around Babylon and basically ignoring what Daniel 2 says, that Babylon only existed because God brought it into existence. Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylon and he said is this not the great Babylon that… I think the pronoun “I” is used three times there, “that I myself have created by my own power.” And we know what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, the words were still on his tongue and he became an insane person, an animal for seven years.
Another example of it is Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 16:16, you want to talk about a king that had a good first term? That was Uzziah, I mean, everything was going right until you get to verse 16 and it mentions pride, And he went into the temple and did something that only the priest is supposed to do concerning the incense. In other words, he thought the rules were beneath him; the rules apply to everyone else but not me. Once you start thinking that way, beloved, we find ourselves in a lot of trouble; we’re very close to the condemnation of Satan. And so we know what happened to Uzziah, he was smote with leprosy from head to toe and he spent his whole life living in a house as a leper; the condemnation of Satan.
You go to the New Testament and you have Herod and as he was speaking at Agrippa, the masses were saying “the voice of God, not of man.” I mean, this guy speaks like a god, and of course an angel of the Lord struck him dead and he was eaten with worms. Acts 12:20-23. [Acts 12:20-23, “Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king’s country.  On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them.  The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”  And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.”
And I think that’s a window into Paul’s thorn in the flesh experience because if there was a guy that could ever be lifted up with pride in life as a servant of God I think it would be Paul. I mean, wouldn’t you be a little prideful if you were taken into the third heaven and shown things or you heard things that people aren’t fit to hear? And you understood certain things that no one else understood? I think he struggled with pride and that’s why God simultaneously gave him a thorn in the flesh which kept him weak and humble and dependent. And so that’s a different way of understanding suffering; sometimes suffering is needed to keep us off our high horse so God can keep using us. Amen! Because once you go under the condemnation of the devil it’s just that, the condemnation of the devil. That’s why you have there at the very top of the screen Proverbs 16:18, “First comes a haughty spirit” or “a haughty spirit precedes destruction.” And then 1 Peter 5:5 says “God opposes the proud, “ you mean there’s certain people that God is opposing? Yes. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
So Satan is sort of a prototype of the condemnation of Satan which has plagued many, many people, not just in the Bible but even throughout human history. So this is what happened to Satan; he became the first entry in the hall of the humbled. AND what happened is consequences follow sin like night follows the day. Here’s the deal; you get to pick your sin, I get to pick my sin and so do you. Do you know what you don’t get to pick? You don’t get to pick the consequences. The consequences are determined by forces that are beyond our control. And so Satan, because of this action, this attitude, began to experience certain consequences.
By the way, if you want some verses on consequences following sin, James 1:14-15, how we’re enticed by our lusts sin ultimately leads to death, Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death.”. [James 1:14-15, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”] See, we don’t think about this when we’re sinning, do we? Nobody is thinking about the consequences but biblically consequences follow sin like night follows the day. When David had his affair with Bathsheba I don’t think it was even in his mind of the fact that he’d be deposed, the fact that he would have to lie to cover it up, commit murder to cover it up, he just thought it was a one night stand; he never thought she’d come back and say I’m pregnant and put a whole series of problems into his life. So he picked his sin but he didn’t get to pick the consequences.
Galatians 6:6-9 we reap what we sow, etc. [Galatians 6:6, “The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”]
So Satan, as a free moral agent, began to experience consequences, the most of which I can tell have never been reversed. These are consequences that he’s under perpetually. So what are those? Number 1, he lost his position in heaven and he fell. You see that in verses 16-17. [Ezekiel  “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.  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.”]
Number two, his fall does not mean that he has been permanently banished from heaven. He still retains access to heaven, not to worship and serve as he once did as a high ranking angel but rather to communicate and to accuse. You say well how do we know that? Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Zechariah 3:1, Luke 22:31, Revelation 12:7-10.
[Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
Job 2:1, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.
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.”
Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.”
Revelation 12:7-10, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,  and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying…”]
It’s very clear in the Book of Job Satan has access to heaven. He accused Job, Zechariah 3, he stood up to accuse the high priest Joshua. Jesus said to Peter in Luke 22:31, ““Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” Revelation 12:7-10 calls him the accuser of the brethren.
[Revelation 12:7-10, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,  and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  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.”’]
And that privilege as far as I can tell doesn’t get removed until halfway through the tribulation period. And we’ve seen that in our study of the Book of Revelation, Revelation chapter 12. So he fell, yes, but retained some access to heaven, not to worship and serve as he once did as a cherub but to communicate and to accuse. So it’s another case where God is allowing Satan to exist to accomplish God’s purposes. Apparently God is working through this communication and accusation.
Number three, we know that some of the angels fell with him. Verse 14 calls him an “anointed cherub who covers.” [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.”] Verse 16 calls him a covering cherub.
So if he was not just an angel but a lead angel it would stand to reason that many of the angels under his command or his authority also fell with him. And the rest of the Bible corroborates this because it talks in Revelation 12:4 and verses 7-9 how a third of the stars… the dragon’s tail swept a third of the stars out of heaven. And later on in that chapter, verses 7-9 it talks about Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels. Well who are his angels, Satan’s angels? These are the third that originally fell with him. You say well how do you know it was a third? Revelation 12 says that. Is says the dragon swept a third of the stars out of the sky. Revelation 12:3-4. Revelation 12:7-9 defines those stars as fallen angels.
[Revelation 12:3-4, “Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.  “And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.” Revelation 12:7-9, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,  and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”]
So the way it works is two-thirds of the angels are on our side, one-third are on Satan’s side, an actual numerical division is given there in the Book of Revelation. This is why in Matthew’s gospel it refers frequently to Satan’s angels. Matthew 25:41, hell was created for the devil and his angels. [Matthew 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;”] You’ll see the same thing in Matthew 12:24, Satan and his angels. [Matthew 12:24, “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”]
And I believe that these third of the angels that fell participated in Satan’s initial sin; it’s not as clear as I would like it to be but I get the impression that when he decided to do this, the fact of pride, he talked or deceived a third into following him. These angels participated in Satan’s initial sin since they would not have sinned subsequently, I mean, we can’t have the fall of the third happen subsequently when they saw the consequences. I mean, why would they go redo something that Satan has suffered consequences for. I’m getting the impression that this all happened at the same time. These angels participated in Satan’s initial sin since they would not have sinned subsequently since they saw the consequences of Satan’s rebellion, AND, Satan and his fallen angels are confirmed in wickedness. That’s why he’s called Belial, nothing redemptive in him. Hell was created for the devil and his angels, Matthew 25:41. [Matthew 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;”]
When Jesus was on the earth remember what the demons were saying? “Have you come to torture us, Son of God, before the” what? “appointed time.” [Matthew 8:29] The demons have a pretty good understanding of the things; they have a high view of Christ as the Son of God, they believe in the reality of hell, and they believe they’re going there. It’s just a matter of time.
So be careful about how you use James 2:19. Oh, you guys at Sugar Land Bible Church, you keep saying just believe in Jesus, that’s all you’ve got to do. Well, Satan believes and people will use that to try to attack the gospel of grace. But when you do that you’re mixes apples and oranges. You can’t use that verse for that purpose because the plan of salvation is open to the human race but the plan of salvation is not open to the demons. That’s why they’re trembling.
So this sort of gives us a mindset into the desperation of Satan. If you and your army are going down what do you think you’re going to try to do? I mean, if I were in his position I would try to take as many people with me as I could. So it shows you how desperate he is, it shows you how serious he is, it shows you our warfare is so significant, because we’re dealing with a foe that’s on his way out, with no hope of turning it around for him.
And then one other thing, and we’ll stop with this. This actually is very important. His thought process became darkened. Remember how the paragraph started? “Lucifer, full of wisdom.” Look at how it ends, verse 17, “You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.” In other words, you’re dealing with an entity that’s not thinking correctly, that’s not logical because you get this question a lot from people, they say well, doesn’t Satan know he can’t be God? Well, you’re assuming a lot in that question; you’re assuming that Satan is logical, you’re assuming that he’s rational. Verse 17 is very clear that he’s not rational because his wisdom has been corrupted.
You know, Adolf Hitler, at the end of his diabolical reign, it is a documented historical fact started wars with countries he could never win, and his own generals tried to talk him out of it… he did it anyway! You say well why did he do it, it’s not logical? He wasn’t thinking logically, he was thinking by means of pride. His intellect had been corrupted. I’ve used this statistic before in here, see that line and then all of a sudden it drops; those are the SAT scores in the United States. And that line is 1963. You say well what happened in 1963, radioactive poisoning? Did a meteor hit our country? No, that was the year the Supreme Court threw the Bible out of the schools.
Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” You want to be smart—fear God. You want to be dumb, you want your brain not to work the way it’s supposed to, then reject God. Romans 1:21-22 is very clear that when the human race, and I feel that our country is probably right about there, goes so far that it rejects the obvious, that God exists, and they instead go into all kinds of perversions then God gives them up. It’s sarcasm, God says you gave up on Me, I’m going to give up on you. And He gives them over to what they want to do. Those are some of the most frightening words, really, that I can think of in the whole Bible and I think of the late great United States and all of the total perversion that we are tolerating now, right down to transvestites teaching kids in public school libraries.
And we wonder how did we get to this place? Well, we rejected truth and if you reject truth and you give up on God, God gives you over. And what happens is your thought process, it’s right there in Romans 1:21-22, it becomes darkened. Your mind doesn’t word right. [Romans 1:21-22, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools,  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”] The mind is pouring more money… oh my goodness, I’m really getting on a terror here and I’m two minutes over, pouring more money into the school system isn’t going to fix anything because the school system is anti-God. I don’t care how much money you’re going to shovel in there you’re going to get the same result because we’ve rejected the most basic principle of Scripture, that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”]
So that is what happened with Satan, his intellect became corrupted and the next time we’re together we’ll be looking at the Isaiah 14 passage, so you might want to read that by way of preparation.
Let’s pray. Father, we’re grateful for today, for all the blessings, even this new floor that we’re on. So we praise you for that. And we just pray you’ll be with us in our church service today as we study Your Word. 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! Happy intermission.