Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.

16 “By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.

17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour;
I cast you to the ground,
I laid you before kings,
That they might gaze at you.

Ezekiel 28.14-17

If we go back to the Old Testament, we find it tells us something about the origins of Satan, the origins of evil in the world.

Two passages in particular in Isaiah. Chapter 14 speaks about the fall of Lucifer. The word ‘Lucifer’ is actually a Latin word which some used in translating the Hebrew original. The Hebrew says הֵילֵ֣ל [hêlēl] from the root Halal הָלַל [hālal] which means ‘the shining one’. ‘Lucifer’ actually means ‘bearer of light’ or ‘light bearer’. Isaiah’s prophecy says here:

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer הֵילֵ֣ל [hêlēl], son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Isaiah 14.12-15

This prophecy was spoken to the king of Babylon and the idea is that behind the king of Babylon is the power of Satan, that is, the power who is behind the kingdoms of this world.

It tells us something about his origins, how he wanted to ascend above heaven, ascend into heaven, exalt his throne above the throne of God, and be like the Most High, be like God.

That is exactly what he promises to Eve in Genesis:

“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3.4-5

That is part of Satan’s program. He wants to take the place of God, he wants to be the most high God above the stars of Heaven. The stars of heaven speaks of the angels.

And, as Satan is exalts himself, he is thrown down to the lowest place. According to Revelation, he takes one third of the angels with him who become the fallen angels or demons.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12.7-9

What you see behind this is his pride. He wants to be exalted, he wants to be worshiped. Ezekiel 28 tells us something else about the origins of Satan.

Again, this is spoken to the king of Tyre and the idea is that, behind the king of Tyre, is the power of Satan. It says,

“You were 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 sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

Ezekiel 28.12-13

Notice that he is created. That means that he is not equal with God.

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.

16 “By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.

17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour;
I cast you to the ground,
I laid you before kings,
That they might gaze at you.

18 “You defiled your sanctuaries
By the multitude of your iniquities,
By the iniquity of your trading;
Therefore I brought fire from your midst;
It devoured you,
And I turned you to ashes upon the earth
In the sight of all who saw you.
19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you;
You have become a horror,
And shall be no more forever.” ’ ”

Ezekiel 28.14-19

In one sense, this is speaking still to the king of Tyre, but it is also speaking to the power who is behind him, the Devil, described here as the anointed cherub.

This tells us that before the fall, Satan was one of the highly privileged an angelic beings surrounding the Throne of God. Ezekiel tells us about the cherubim who are continually surrounding God’s throne, covering it, and crying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.

Now the cherubim כְּרֻבִ֗ים [kǝrūbîm] were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks.

Ezekiel 10.3-5

Satan was one of those covering the cherubim, perhaps he was even the highest of them and Satan enjoyed this or before he became Satan. He enjoyed this place of great status and honour until something happened,

Till iniquity was found in you.

Ezekiel 28.15

And, because iniquity was found in him, he sinned. He thought to himself, ‘Why should I be praising God? Why don’t they praise me? He wanted the praise and the worship for himself and so he fell and became Satan, the fallen one.

Satan שָׂטָן [śāṭān] means ‘the adversary’ in Hebrew, the adversary of God. Corruption came into him and he fell to the lowest place.

Tony Pearce

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