Today Derek uses two passages to examine the origin of Satan, or Lucifer, who served God in heaven as an angel, but who became proud and was cast down. Derek gives a description of this created being who wanted to be above God and who then led a rebellion among the angels.
Then it says: “Against the world dominators of this present darkness.” I deliberately chose to use the word “dominate” because it is a satanic word. God never dominates. Where you encounter domination, somewhere behind it is Satan; and Satan’s ambition, desire and strategy is to come to the place where he dominates this entire world. But he will dominate it with a system of darkness. You see, God’s Kingdom is a kingdom of light; Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of darkness. Those who are in God’s Kingdom know Whom they are serving and they see pretty clearly what they are doing. Those who are in Satan’s kingdom, most of them do not even know whom they are serving, nor do they know what they are actually doing.
And then the third phrase is: “Against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies.” Whole armies of wicked, powerful, rebellious spirit-beings in a realm which is called “the heavenlies.” It has been a sort of accepted tradition in the church that Satan is in hell. Most people think that way. My comment on that is: It would be nice if it were true, but it isn’t. And there is no warranty whatever in the Scripture for assuming that.
Now we will come back to that in just a few moments, but let us consider briefly how this satanic kingdom came into being.
I want to turn to Isaiah chapter 14 and read a few verses there. These verses deal with a being called Lucifer. The word Lucifer, which is from a Latin root, means “the one who brings light; a shining being.” The Hebrew word helel aka shachar which is “the morning star.” At any rate, whichever form of name you use, it means a very bright, shining, glorious person. And I believe myself he was what is called an archangel.
Now the word arch, again from a Greek root, means “ruling.” So an archangel is a ruling angel; an angel who rules others. The same word occurs in archbishop. An archbishop is a bishop who rules other bishops. And here we have, I believe, a picture of one of the main archangels in God’s heavenly hosts. His name was Lucifer. He was called that because he was so glorious and so beautiful. But he made a sad error. He turned in rebellion against his Creator and sought to make himself equal with God.
Very interesting, we have a comparison between Lucifer on the one hand and Jesus on the other. Lucifer was a created being, not equal with God. He sought equality with God and fell. Concerning Jesus it says in Philippians, chapter 2:
“He did not think equality with God something to be grasped at.”
He had it by divine right. But He humbled Himself and God exalted Him. Now let’s look at this little picture here, beginning in verse 12.
How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning [morning star]! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
Now we get the motivation of Lucifer’s rebellion. And in the following verses we get the phrase: I WILL, five times. It’s the will of the creature set against the will of God. The key word is rebellion.
“For you have said in your heart. [And remember that God knows what we say in our hearts.] You have said in your heart I will ascend into heaven [I am going up]. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will also sit in the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend [you notice, the whole thing is going up] — I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
The “most High” is Almighty God. And the word means also “I will be equal to God.”
So Satan’s ambition was to elevate himself to a position of equality with God. He was motivated because he was so wise and so beautiful and so glorious that he said to himself: Well, I could be God. My personal opinion, and this is just an opinion, is that he motivated the angels who were under his charge to join him in rebellion. And I just picture this... if you can imagine this kind of thing going on in heaven. It all this started in heaven—believe it or not, but it did. I can imagine him going around to the angels who were under his charge and saying: “Now, you really have talent; you are unusually gifted. God does not really appreciate all that you have. But if I were in charge, you see, I would give you the position that you really deserve.” And apparently... again, this is not necessarily, it is a matter of inference, he undermined the loyalty of one-third of the angels to God. And drew them, with him, in his rebellion and in his fall. And so God says: “‘You shall be cast down to the sides of the pit.’”
Let us look also in Ezekiel chapter 28, where we get another picture of this same remarkable being. Ezekiel chapter 28 has got two sections. Each of them is a lamentation or a pronouncement of woe. The first is on the prince of Tyre. The second is on the king of Tyre. Now if you study the chapter in detail—which we do not have time to do—you’ll find that the prince of Tyre was a human being. It is very clearly stated he was a man, even though he claimed to be god. On the other hand, it is very obvious as we read the description of the king of Tyre that he was no human being. And we have here a little interesting picture of how Satan’s kingdom operates. We have the human ruler, the prince of Tyre, but behind him in the unseen realm we have the satanic ruler, the king of Tyre. And in a sense the human ruler is really not much more than a puppet who moves as the strings from the unseen realm dictate his moves. When you begin to see these truths, history and politics take on a very different meaning. I think many, many of the so-called great men of history were simply satanic puppets who were moved by invisible strings from the kingdom of Satan to do the things they did. Anyhow, let’s look at a little of what the Word of God says to this second being, beginning in Ezekiel 28 verse 12:
“You were 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 sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald, with gold. [A totally glorious, resplendent being.] The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. [Also a master musician.]”
There are quite a lot of Bible teachers who believe that Satan, let’s say Lucifer, he hadn’t yet changed his name then—Lucifer was responsible for orchestrating the worship of heaven. I think it is important to know that Satan, as he is today, knows a lot about music and he uses music as one of his means to captivate people. Going on in verse 14:
“You were the anointed cherub who covers. [Who covers what? The throne of God. See, the Scripture makes it plain that there is a cherub, or there are cherubs, who with their outstretched wings cover the very throne of God. What a position of honor, glory!] You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. [This is no human being. You can see that.] You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created. [God reminds him: you were created. You are not God, you are a created being.] You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created till iniquity was found in you. [I prefer to use the word rebellion. Till you became a rebel. And then we read in verse 16:] By the abundance of your trading.”
Now the same word in the book of Proverbs is used of a tale-bearer. It is used of a trader, because a trader goes to and fro presenting his wares and selling them. But is used of a tale-bearer because a tale-bearer goes to and fro telling tales. Now that’s why my thought is that Satan went around just telling his angels, “Well, look, you see, if I had that position, you would really be appreciated. I would promote you. You would get the authority that you really deserve.” So that’s just my opinion. But let’s say:
“By the abundance of your manipulations, your scheming, your plotting, 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.”
Notice the “therefore.” What does the “therefore” indicate? God’s judgment on rebellion.