This teaching includes a free sermon outline to download for personal use, message preparation or Bible study discussion.
We must briefly go over the outline of the first study in order to move into the second study and, as a matter of fact, recapitulation is a good part of teaching. It’s not superfluous.
We’re faced with the fact that life is full of conflict and warfare. The whole universe apparently is involved in conflict and warfare. Certainly the human race is and we find this a very real part of our own lives and furthermore it’s a very important part of our lives as Christians. As Christians we are soldiers called to a warfare. So we asked ourselves this question: What is the background and who are the opposing forces? And I stated I believe the root cause of all conflict and warfare is rebellion against the righteous government of Almighty God. This leads us to the next question: How and when did rebellion begin? And I said that before answering this question in detail, it is necessary to acknowledge two things.
First of all, the Bible deals primarily, mainly with the Adamic race—with Adam and his descendants. Anything else that’s contained in the Bible is in the sense of a frame for the picture. But the picture is God’s dealings with Adam and his descendants. The frame is important but it is only to present the picture.
Secondly, there was an undetermined period in the history of the universe before the creation of Adam. And I decided to call this period the pre-Adamic period. We looked at Genesis 1:1 and we saw this grand opening statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” We notice that the Hebrew word for “God” was plural; the Hebrew word for “heaven” was plural. And already the Bible reveals plurality in the Godhead and the fact that there is more than one heaven. And by cross references to Job and Nehemiah we saw that the Scripture reveals that the heavens and their inhabitants were created complete before God created earth. This was the order.
Then we looked back at Genesis 1:2 and we saw this statement: “the earth was without form and void.” And I stated that it is my definite conviction that the earth was not created in that form but that it came to be in that form as the result of tremendous divine judgment that came upon the earth between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
We saw that the words translated in Genesis 1:2, “without form and void” are two related Hebrew words, tohu and bohu. And we looked at other passages in Scripture where these words occur and we saw that their association, the general meaning that they convey, is always of divine wrath, judgment and abandonment. And so we concluded that there had been something that took place between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 which caused divine wrath, judgment and, in a certain sense, abandonment to come upon the earth. The most clear statement of all is Isaiah 45:18, that the Lord did not create the earth tohu. He didn’t create it in that condition. Therefore, something must have happened to bring it into that condition.
Now we’ll look at the second sheet in our outline and the opening reference there, Proverbs 8. Now the 8th chapter of Proverbs is so fascinating, I have to be a little bit on my guard that I don’t go into it in too much detail. There’s one single theme to the whole of the 8th chapter of Proverbs, and the theme is wisdom. And in this 8th chapter of Proverbs, wisdom is presented to us as a person. There is no question about that. You cannot account for the language in any other way. This is the wisdom of God. And what I believe with complete conviction is that the wisdom of God is none other than Jesus Christ.
Again, we have a revelation of Jesus Christ in His eternal nature—before He became the Son of Mary, born as Jesus of Nazareth. Now if you want to cross reference, let me just give you this as a basis for what I am saying. First Corinthians 23–24. If you are in Proverbs 8, stay there with one finger at least, we’ll be coming back. First Corinthians 1:23–24, Paul says:
“We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them [who] are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (KJV)
Therefore, Christ is the wisdom of God. There are other passages in the New Testament which give the same revelation. So when wisdom is speaking as a person in the 8th chapter of Proverbs, we have the Son, the eternal Lord, the second person of the Godhead, speaking. And the whole setting is before what we would call the creation of the earth and the beginning of the Adamic race.
With this introduction in mind, let’s look at verse 22 of Proverbs chapter 8 and following. And we’ll read through verse 31. There’s a tremendous revelation in these verses. Wisdom is speaking as a person and that person is the divine, eternal Son of God. There are some statements here that are so startling that I don’t dare to go into them this morning. But we’ll just notice them and pass on. Verse 22:
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way...” (KJV)
Now, “in the beginning” nearly always causes our minds to turn back to Genesis 1:1. You see, the same is true of John’s gospel. John 1:1, in the beginning. And that means turn back to Genesis 1:1. In many other passages in Scripture where you read in “the beginning,” it’s a reference to Genesis 1:1. Actually, you know, the Hebrew name for the book of Genesis is ?bereshith?, which is the opening word “in the beginning.” So it really means “turn to Genesis.” That’s the cross reference.
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old [before He ever created anything He possessed me]. I was set up from everlasting.” (KJV)
And I can’t refrain from telling you the Hebrew word means “I was anointed.” I was anointed from eternity. There’s so much in that that we cannot go into it. But Jesus was “the Anointed One” before there was any creation. He became the Messiah, the anointed one, in human history when He came to earth as Jesus of Nazareth.
“I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning [another reference to Genesis], or ever the earth was [before there was ever any earth]. When there were no depths, I was brought forth [He is the only begotten of the Father, that’s the cross reference in the New Testament, the only begotten. I was begotten, I was brought forth]; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens [this is going further back], I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth...” (KJV)
All through the prophecies of creation, from the heavens onward, to the foundation of the earth, first said he, that “I was by him, as one brought up with him.” A delicately nurtured child. You see, this is exactly the picture in John 1—the Son was in the bosom of the Father from eternity. There was this love relationship between Father and Son in eternity before creation ever took place.
“Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him [and now let us go to verse 31]; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” (KJV)
In other words, all creation was moving to one supreme purpose. What was that? The creation of Adam. This is breathtaking to me. I mean, I’m overawed by the thought of the importance that God attaches to my race. And so everything that was done from eternity was done to make the earth a habitable place with the purpose of bringing Adam and his descendants into being.
Now this again is in line with what we have studied. God did not create the earth a desolate waste, void, wilderness. That was absolutely contrary to His original purposes. When the Lord created it, His delight was in the habitable parts of the earth and the sons of men. This is in line with Isaiah 45:18. He did not create it tohu; He didn’t create it a void, waste wilderness. So when it became tohu and bohu, something happened to produce that. There had been a divine intervention in judgment. We can sum this up, and I’ll do so if you want to look near the top of your second outline sheet. The main associations of tohu and bohu are divine displeasure, judgment and abandonment. I think we’ve established that beyond all shadow of doubt. So that the earth in Genesis 1:2 had been the object of divine displeasure, judgment and abandonment. And I believe that for millions of years it was just a void, watery, dark, empty waste. Who knows? Certainly I’m not saying that we must accept that conclusion as about the time element.
Now, having established the fact that there had been a divine judgment on the earth before the Adamic race ever came into being, we ask ourselves naturally: What caused this divine judgment? And my answer is given there. Primarily it was the rebellion of Satan. In other words, it’s rebellion that brings judgment. And rebellion began long before the Adamic race was here. There was a rebellion that took place that went much further back in the history of the universe.
Now let’s turn to Colossians for a moment, the first chapter, which gives us another of these Bible insights into a period before the human race began to occupy the earth. Colossians 1.
Actually, there are verses here in the first chapter of Colossians which are possibly the most complete outline of the person of Jesus Christ from eternity to eternity. We could perhaps look at them for a moment because it’s always good to dwell on the person of Jesus. Colossians 1:13 and reading onwards, pausing to comment every now and then, it says:
“Who [God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness [that’s the power of Satan], and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love. [Literally. Then speaking about this Son, this eternal Son of God, it says:] In whom we have redemption through his blood [we have redemption in the Son through His blood], even the forgiveness of sins: [Now then, we’re given a picture of the son, S–O–N: of course, the Son of God.] who is the image of the invisible God [He is the visible showing forth of the person of the Father. He is called in Hebrews 1 ‘the express image of the Father’s person.’ And you remember even in His earthly life He said, ‘He that has seen me has seen the Father.’ Then it says in the second half of Colossians 1:15:], the firstborn of every creature.” (KJV)
But that is a mistranslation and it obscures the meaning. He is the firstborn before all creation. The contrast is between born and created. Jesus was not created. The Scripture says emphatically He’s begotten, the only begotten of the Father. And He was begotten before creation ever took place. Then all creation took place through Him. John 1: “By Him were all things made, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” But He Himself was not created. He’s divine, He’s eternal, He’s God Himself. Then verse 16, Colossians 1:
“For by him [but the Greek says ‘in him’] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (KJV)
He’s the end purpose of all creation. Going on, and then we’ll come back to the 16th verse:
“And he is before all things.” (KJV)
He eternally exists before all things. It is an eternal presence. You remember what He said to the Jews of His day: “Before Abraham was, I am.” That made them very, very angry because they realized He was claiming divinity. In that statement, He was claiming to be eternal, which is what He is. He is before all things. The second half of Colossians 1:17:
“By him all things consist.” (KJV)
He keeps the whole universe in being. In Hebrews 1 it says “he upholds all things by the word of his power.” And then in verse 18 we come to the new creation.
Now this is not my purpose to go into this in detail just now, but it is so fascinating I cannot stop short of it.
“And he is the head of the body, [what is the body?] the church: [Now when a body rises up, the first thing that comes forth is the head. But it is followed by the body. So He is the head of the body] who is the beginning, [the beginning of what? The new order of creation. Because of what? Because He’s] the firstborn from the dead.” (KJV)
Exactly the same word, the first begotten of the dead. He was eternally the first begotten, the only begotten, before all creation. Then He became human without losing His divinity, let me hasten to add. He became the substitute for the sins of the Adamic race, died our death, was buried, and on the third day the Father raised Him from the dead. He became at that point the first begotten of the dead, the beginning of the new order, the head of the church, the body, which was to follow Him in death, burial and resurrection, to come forth as his body.
“That in all things he might have the preeminence.” (KJV)
That in everything He might be first. First in the initial creation, and first in the new creation which comes out of the tomb.
So this is a picture of Jesus, as I say, from eternity to eternity. And the emphasis is that in every phase He has the preeminence, the first place.
Now, speaking about the first creation, which is the point of our reference at the moment, in verse 16, we are given the picture of the heavenly creation and the heavenly orders before earth came into being.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and are in earth, visible and invisible...” (KJV)
The visible are the things that we see, the invisible are the heavenly things that we cannot see. But they are just as real as the visible. That doesn’t make them unreal in any sense; they’re not visible to our eyes. And the invisible things that were created before the earth are here defined in four successive orders: thrones, dominions, principalities and powers. And I believe we have here an order of the rule of the universe in descending order.
The highest order in the created universe is the throne order. And you remember in Revelations 4 and 5 we’re introduced to the throne realm. When John was caught up into heaven, he said the first thing I saw was the throne. Then he saw the one who sat on the throne, who was God. And then he saw round about the throne four and twenty thrones. The King James calls them seats, but they’re thrones. This is the throne order. It’s the highest order of the created universe.
Then, dominions. The Greek word is lordships.
Then principalities. A more accurate modern English word would be rulerships. And then powers, but the correct word is authority.
Rulerships and the realms of their authority.
So we have this descending order: thrones, lordships, rulerships and under the rulerships, the respected areas of their authority. Every rulership has a certain defined area of authority. It has areas in which it has authority and it has limits set to its authority. This is a principle that goes all through Scripture. I suppose at least half a dozen times in the New Testament you’ll find the phrase “principalities and powers.” This is old Elizabethan English. And I would suggest that you think of it in this way—as rulerships and the realms or areas of their authority. I think you will find it will always make sense. Now we’ll come back to this in greater detail later on.
The fact that Scripture now reveals, which we are now going to deal with, is that when rebellion broke out in the universe, it broke out on the level of principalities. It did not apparently break out on the throne level nor on the level of dominions or lordships, but on the level of principalities. You will find that everywhere the rebellious spiritual forces are spoken of in the Scriptures, they’re always called “principalities and powers.” There has never been rebellion in the throne level nor on the lordship level but there was rebellion long before the human race came into being in the principality level. And the Bible reveals to us certain specific persons who are named as being princes, or having principality. You see, the word “archangel” means a ruling angel. The Greek word for rule is arche. And that’s the word that’s translated “principalities” in every place. It’s rulership. So it’s angels who had rulership. That’s why, as our sister pointed out from her reference in a previous study, this is called the angelic period. It’s the period when angels were ruling, even on earth.
Now the Scripture reveals by name three archangels. Three angel’s princes. Three ruling angels. And they all have an important part to play in the history of the human race. So I want to take a few moments now with you to look at them.
The first one that we look at is the one that was called Lucifer. And he is referred to by name in Isaiah 14:12. Isaiah 14:12. Now we’ll come back to this passage a little later. So we will not dwell on it now.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (KJV)
Now in English the word Lucifer means “the light bringer.” And in Hebrew the word is normally translated “the shining one.” So this is the title of one of these great ruling angels. The shining one. In fact, he was obviously, even by heaven’s standards, a person of absolutely outstanding personal glory and beauty. So much so that his name indicates this. He was the shining one.
Remember, that’s what Lucifer means. Do you ever refer to matches as “lucifers”? At least we did, once upon a time, in the days of Charles Dickens, I suppose, or something like that. Well that’s why, because they’re light bringers. And this was the original title of this particular ruling angel. Now we’re going to study his career in some detail a little further on.
But then we go on to the next one who is Gabriel. Now Gabriel has a meaning too. Gabriel means “God is mighty.” And he is referred to two or three times both in the Old Testament and in the New. I’d like to look with you at these references for a moment. In Daniel, the 8th chapter, and the 16th verse. Daniel is being given a vision which relates to the end times. And he says in the course of this vision:
“And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai [which is a river], which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.” (KJV)
Gabriel was a ruling angel. And then in the 9th chapter of Daniel, the 21st verse, Daniel had a further encounter with Gabriel. He said:
“Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.” (KJV)
Notice the interesting thing—that angels fly. I’ll point out a significant result of that later.
And then Gabriel is mentioned twice by name in the New Testament, each time in the opening chapter of Luke’s gospel. Luke 1:19. Let me just look at these references without pausing over them. Zacharias had gone in to minister as a Levite in the temple and he had a vision of an angel. And he said, “Who are you?”
“And the angel answering said… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.”
It seems that any major intervention of God in human affairs is always associated with Gabriel.
And then in verse 26 he was sent with the message of the Annunciation as it is called, to the Virgin Mary. Luke 1:26:
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth...’” [and so on] (KJV)
The third of the ruling angels who is mentioned is Michael. And the name Michael means “who is like God.” You’ll notice that the ending L–E–L is one of the Hebrew words for God. Every time you see that in Hebrew, it is God. Every Hebrew name that contains L contains a reference to God. And you’ll find hundreds of Hebrew names with that word in it. Michael, “who is like God.” That’s the meaning of Michael.
Now Michael is referred to in Daniel, in Jude, in Revelation. Let’s look quickly at these references.
Daniel 10:13. We’ll go into this incident in detail later, so we’ll not pause there too long. Daniel 10:13:
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me...” (KJV)
He was one of the chief, or prince, or ruling angels. And then in verse 21, the same person is speaking:
“But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” (KJV)
Now remember that Daniel was a Jew and it was as a Jew that this other angel was speaking and he said “Michael your prince.” In other words, the particular angel or archangel charged with dealing with Israel. And this is brought out more clearly in Daniel 12:1. Daniel 12:1:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people [being Israel, the children of Israel] ...” (KJV)
So Michael is the great angel, one of whose important responsibilities is to see to the well being, the protection and God’s provision for Israel. And every time you read about Michael, you can be pretty sure that it has got a close reference to Israel.
Now Michael is referred to twice in the New Testament; it’s interesting to look there. Jude’s epistle, which is the last book before Revelation. The epistle of Jude, the 9th verse. Now we have a rather fascinating little lifting of the curtain on the unseen realm. It’s just lifted for a moment and dropped again, we don’t see as much as maybe we would have liked to. It says:
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” (KJV)
Remember, Moses was buried by the Lord’s special direction in a place which has never been revealed. And it would appear that Michael had something to do with the burial of the body of Moses. And the devil was right on the scene contending the right to the body of Moses. It’s a fascinating scene, I wish I could tell you more about it, but I can’t. But here is Michael. And, of course, Moses, an Israelite, a great commander of God’s people, Israel. There is Michael on the scene watching over God’s purposes for Moses.
Then in Revelation 12:7 we have the final reference to Michael there and we’ll be coming back to this passage at length later on. Revelation 12:7:
“Then there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels [under his command] fought…the dragon [which is one of the titles of the devil].” (KJV)
Notice Michael has angels under him who are called “his angels.”
So we have this established fact that there were at least three special ruling angels called commonly “archangels” or “great princes,”—principalities, you see, it links up with that word. Lucifer, meaning the shining one; Gabriel, meaning God is mighty; and Michael, meaning who is like God.
Now in this connection I want to suggest to you two things which seem to me possible. I am certainly not saying they are established facts, but I am presenting them to you for your consideration. We are going beyond exact specified statement into what I call a possible inference. I would suggest that it is possible that each of these three archangels commanded one-third of the total angels. I will show you why in a moment. And if that is true (and many Bible commentators believe that), then we have the fact that the angels apparently from eternity were divided up into three groups. And I would suggest to you that these may correspond to the three persons of the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Spirit. We do know that there are certain specific angels which Jesus called “my Father’s angels.” And He also speaks in another place about His own angel. So we see there is a relationship in a certain sense between angels and the persons of the Godhead.
So there is a suggestion of a division into three main groups, each with its main leader whose names are apparently given, Lucifer, Gabriel, Michael. And the possibility that each of these three groups is at the disposal of one person of the Godhead.
Now, people ask us, as preachers, and they might ask you as a Christian. This is a very common question in Africa and it was a sincere question. It really troubled the minds of the Africans. Why did God create Satan?
The way to begin to answer that question is like this—not that this is the complete answer—God never created Satan. God created Lucifer, a glorious, shining, beautiful angel. Lucifer became Satan when he rebelled against Almighty God. He is responsible for his being Satan. God made him Lucifer.
Now the word Satan is the standard Hebrew name for this person from his fall onward. And it has an absolutely specific meaning. It means “the resister,” “the opposer,” “the adversary.” And I’ll show you where this is used in one clear passage in the Old Testament in the book of the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah 3:1, without going into the background. It’s a vision of the prophet Zechariah and it says:
“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” (KJV)
Now in Hebrew, the word Satan is sa-tan. The word “to resist” is formed from precisely the same root. You see, in Hebrew every word has basically three consonants at its root. And the same three consonants found in the word “Satan” are found in the verb “to resist.” Because that’s the meaning of Satan. He is the resister. He’s the opposer. It’s very important to understand this. He automatically opposes everything that God does and everything that the people of God seek to do. Now that is where you come into it, because not only is he God’s opposer but if you’re a servant of God he’s your opposer.
And then this high priest was standing before God to be made righteous as you will see. There was Satan right at his hand contesting this transaction. And remember, it may not be accepted in some churches, but when you seek God, you’re liable to have somebody at your right hand accusing you, condemning you, discouraging you, holding you down. And who is it? It’s just the same one that stood at the right hand of Joshua the high priest. It’s Satan the resister. Remember that. It’s a vital fact. Many, many times in our prayer life, in our attempt to serve God, we come up against a strange sense of being opposed. It’s almost like trying to push your way through a heavy wind. And when you can’t see anything remember that it’s Satan, it’s the opposer. It’s the resister. And don’t be discouraged. It’s a compliment when he opposes you because it means you’re getting something done for God. Satan doesn’t bother to oppose the people who are doing nothing for God. It’s the people that are doing something for God that will encounter his opposition. Don’t let it discourage you. Just realize you’re following in the footsteps of the saints of all ages. He’s always been at the job. And he’s done it so long, he’s an expert at it.
Now let us look again to Revelation, the 12th chapter and you will see, I think, this picture of angels that follow Satan. I think the proportion of them is given. Most commentators of Revelation accept this interpretation. It is an interpretation that is a very widely accepted one. Revelation 12:4. We will read verse 3 to get the background. Revelation 12:3–4:
“There appeared another wonder [another tremendous portent] in heaven; and behold a great red dragon [and this is definitely stated to be the devil], having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…” (KJV)
Now this is obviously an allegorical picture. Satan is not a little dragon so we are entitled to interpret the other parts of the picture allegorically. Wherever you can interpret this literally, you never interpret it allegorically. This is a basic principle of interpreting Scripture. Otherwise you can make Revelation mean anything you like. If you interpret everything allegorically it ends up meaningless. But here, the very context of the language demands that you interpret this as an allegory. Therefore we are entitled to interpret the stars allegorically too. And earlier in the first chapter, “stars” have been interpreted by the angel himself as angels. So I think probably ninety percent of commentators agree that this means that Satan dragged behind him like a tail, following him willy-nilly, a third part of the angels of heaven. This is where we get the inference that the angels were divided up into three main groups, each one, each group, probably having its own God-appointed leader. Lucifer was the leader of one group and when he rebelled, he led his angels with him in rebellion against God. He led an organized rebellion against the government of God. There is the origin of rebellion. All rebellion ultimately goes back to this rebellion.
Now, in your outline sheet there I have permitted myself to give a brief outline of the course that events apparently took in this pre-Adamic period, when Lucifer was placed in charge of a certain area of the universe and the result that followed. I’ll read this out because I can’t improve upon it, it’s the best I can do. And then we will study various different passages of Scripture which fit in with this.
Now understand this is a process of inference. You have to read many different books of the Bible, find many different passages, form your impression of the picture that is given, then fit them together. Well, I find the easiest way to present this is to give a brief picture of the total series of events and then go to the very passages of Scripture showing how each one of these passages of Scripture fits in with the picture. So for a moment, go along with me in not necessarily belief, but in acceptance of the outline that I present and then I’ll seek to justify section by section and detail by detail various passages of Scripture till we come to the place where we cannot but conclude this is how it must have been. And this picture alone will give meaning to many other passages of Scripture which otherwise we could not meaningfully interpret.
So I am going to take the liberty to read my outline which is headed there in the second half of your second sheet “Probable Outline of Lucifer’s Rebellion.” And I choose to call him “Lucifer” until he becomes “Satan.” You understand? I deliberately adjust the name to the particular phase of his career.
Let me just mention this, this is a true fact of a missionary friend of ours, Brother Whitman, that was a missionary in Jerusalem. It was when my wife was there. A very fine missionary and there was in the Old City of Jerusalem an Arab who was professed to be a devil worshiper, a servant of the devil. And one day Brother Whitman, who was a very fine student of the Bible, went to see him and the man became a Christian. So somebody said to Brother Whitman, “How did you convince this man to change?” “Well,” he said, “I just gave an outline, the whole story of Satan from the beginning to the end. And he saw he was on the losing side.” He thought if people would just face facts, they’ll do the logical thing. This is then a little outline.
In the pre-Adamic period, heaven and earth alike were perfect from creation onward. No tohu and bohu there at that time. God committed to Lucifer a certain realm of authority, which included the earth. I think this is obvious. Earth was inhabited by a pre-Adamic race or races. And I’ll leave open various possibilities. There was a pre-Adamic Garden of Eden—and remember the word “Eden” means “pleasure”—with a temple and a sacred mountain. Lucifer was guardian of the temple and directed the worship of God. And when I saw that, I saw how Lucifer, having become Satan, has always used religion as his main tool to deceive people. This is a thing that has been clear to me for years. But I saw it was right in his background. He’s a master at religion, at organizing religious services because that’s what he was doing even before he fell.
All right, second paragraph. Lucifer became proud of his own wisdom and beauty and aspired to a position of equality with God. This is vital. Probably this was the position occupied by the Son, the eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This, to me, seems very probable, but I will not assert it. Lucifer systematically promoted rebellion and seduced the angels under his charge from their loyalty to God, and again I put “probably the Son,” and then led them in an assault upon God’s throne. Now, I am going to show you Scriptures that substantiate these statements. For this he and his angels were cast down from the heaven of God’s dwelling. That’s probably the heaven of heavens. They then set up a rival kingdom in opposition to God, situated in “the heavenlies,” that is, between God’s dwelling and the visible heaven. We will see many Scriptures for that in due course.
Third paragraph. At some point Satan and his rebellious angels caused the inhabitants of earth to join them in their rebellion and in every form of wickedness. And I want to suggest that quite likely all this went on for a long time. God is amazingly longsuffering. He did not immediately blot everything out. And I can fully believe that God made offers of mercy and forgiveness to this whole pre-Adamic organized system of rebellion, both to the angels and to the other persons involved. I don’t know, but it’s perfectly consistent that God did. But apparently none was willing to avail himself of God’s mercy if it was offered. Ultimately God brought a tremendous judgment, mainly by water, upon the whole earth and its inhabitants. The result of this judgment is described in Genesis 1:2. The earth became tohu and bohu.
Now I mention certain facts that are just by way of confirmation. Mythology contains many references to a so-called “golden age,” which would be the pre-Adamic age. It’s always pictured in the golden age you didn’t have to work, the earth just brought forth and you just ate and drank and enjoyed yourself. Greek mythology abounds with references to this period; it’s not just one or two, and to a whole continent submerged beneath the Atlantic. This Plato refers to in his writings, and there are many other traces of this possible prehistoric event (prehistoric in the sense of history of the Adamic race).
This may be the origin of “the abyss.” Now in many places where we read the word “pit,” it should be “abyss.” It suggests a tremendous depth of water. And you will find that the demons or the evil spirits, in the ministry of Jesus always pled, “Don’t send us into the abyss. Anywhere else but the abyss. We will go into the swine, we’ll go anywhere but don’t send us into the abyss. It isn’t time.” You know, there’s a time when we have to go, but the time hasn’t come. And Jesus didn’t dispute that, because He knew the Father’s program. But this picture of the abyss to me fits in with the picture of a place of imprisonment, pending judgment for a whole civilization—or more than a civilization if you can use the word—that is somewhere beneath one of the tremendous oceans of the earth. And again, there are many references in Greek mythology that would substantiate this.
Understand that I am not showing mythology as correct but I am saying that almost certainly it contains fragments of the truth. And it is similar. Especially because these same myths are found in the traditions of other races that cannot be traced back, other civilizations that cannot be traced back directly to Greece.
Now we come to another thing which I have come to believe. The disembodied spirits of a pre- Adamic race or races probably constitute the “evil spirits” or demons of the present age. Now I’ll have a little more to say about that later on. Because I have been brought into direct personal conflict with evil spirits in the last seven years in a very frequent way, I have been precipitated into wondering what kind of person I’m dealing with. It became clear to me that they were not angels. They’re not human beings, they’re not Adamic. So this is my opinion. I do not advance this as proved conclusion.
Now probably some of you have heard about the recent revival that took place at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, last year. I was with some of the students that were in that revival and several cases of demon possession came up where they had to cast evil spirits out of people, the spirits named themselves and spoke out of the person and so on. And one of these students said he asked one of these spirits, “Are you from a pre-Adamic, pre-Adamite race?” and the spirit said yes. Now that doesn’t prove it, but it is just an interesting fact which I mention.
Now let’s look at some of the passages in the Scriptures that refer to these events and I would like you to move on to the third page of the outline. Page 3. The only passage I think we’ll have time to deal with in the remainder of this study is the 28th chapter of Ezekiel which is a very, very fascinating passage. Ezekiel 28. This deals primarily with the city of Tyrus, which was one of the great commercial and maritime empire cities of the ancient world. And in this message of God concerning Tyrus we have two completely different personalities presented. We have the prince of Tyrus and we have the king of Tyrus. And I want you to see that they are completely different. They could not possibly be the same.
The prince of Tyrus is a human being, an earthly ruler, and the king of Tyrus is an angelic being in the invisible realm and could not be anybody but Satan.
This brings out the fact (which we’ll see in greater detail later) that behind every Adamic kingdom or empire today there is an unseen satanic spiritual kingdom organized to gain control and manipulate those kingdom empires for the fulfillment of Satan’s purposes. This is one of the great spiritual facts that we as Christians have to take into account.
Now let’s look at the words of Ezekiel 28. We’ll begin with the message to the prince of Tyrus, the human ruler. Ezekiel 28:1:
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD...” (KJV)
Let me pause here a moment and say that the prince of Tyrus was undoubtedly a historical character. But at the same time he’s the clearest preview in all the Old Testament of another person that is yet to emerge on the stage of human history, which is the antichrist. And there are various different features of this prince of Tyrus which are a remarkable preview of the antichrist, because the antichrist too will claim to be God. He will sit in the temple of God, he will demand worship, he will establish a tremendous commercial empire and also a religious empire. All these things are clear. We may have time to look at them later, but as I read these words about the prince of Tyrus, just bear in mind that they are included in Scripture partly as a preview of the antichrist. Now I will read them. Verse 2:
“Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God [and if you want a cross reference, look at 2 Thessalonians 2, we won’t look there now], in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: [In other words, here is a man who thinks of himself as being God. He is lifted up in pride.]
Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: [And this will be true also of the antichrist. He will have tremendous supernatural wisdom given him directly by Satan. Verse 4:] With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: [He’ll have tremendous material wealth.] By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: [Real basic problem is pride.] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD;
Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.” (KJV)
Notice, here’s a man who claims to be God, but when divine judgment comes upon him he will die like a man. That’s very emphatic. Now let’s look at the second picture which is the king of Tyrus, I’ll read the words, and then we’ll go briefly over certain outstanding features. But as I read, you will see immediately that there is only one person that fits this description, it’s Satan. Also bear in mind that in the Hebrew language tenses are not established. Sometimes the future refers to the past and the past refers to the future. And in most cases, the present of the verb “to be”—are, is, and so on—is not there. If you have a version that prints in italics words that are not in the original, you find the verb “to be” is normally printed in italics. In other words, Hebrew is a language designed for prophecy. And many, many times only spiritual discernment will enable you to understand whether you are looking at the past, the present, or the future, which is really why it’s just that way. And I want to suggest to you that most of this is past, but a little of it may be future. I’ll read it and then I’ll comment on it in detail fairly briefly.
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation [a bitter reproach] upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” (KJV)
Now let us look at just a few details verse by verse and you will find the verse numbers given in the margins. Verse 12:
“Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” (KJV)
Here is a picture of Lucifer before he fell, the bright, glorious, beautiful, intelligent cherub. Verse 13:
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God...” (KJV)
Obviously, that was never true of the ruler of Tyrus in Ezekiel’s day. And I believe this refers primarily to the pre-Adamic Eden and then also to the Eden in which Satan entered. But when Satan entered this Eden in which God placed Adam, he was no longer this glorious, shining cherub. Whereas when he was in the original Eden, “every precious stone was thy covering.” He was of dazzling splendor and beauty such as we can hardly picture with our imagination.
Notice also the end of verse 13, “thy tabrets and of thy pipes [were] prepared in thee.” I don’t understand that fully, but I see also that Satan has tremendous musical talent. And I notice again how much he uses music as an instrument to ensnare man today. Music and religion and combine them and you’ve got Satan’s chief instrument to ensnare and deceive the human race.
Verse 14: “Thou [wast] the anointed cherub,” that’s clearly it must be wast, because there’s no verb there in the Hebrew. “Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth” what? The place of worship in the temple that was on earth in those days. Just like the two cherubs covered the mercy seat in the tabernacle of Moses. That was the particular function of the cherubs was to cover the very place where God’s person was manifested.
“I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. [verse 15:] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created [created perfect], till iniquity [and that word is very closely associated with rebellion] was found in thee.” (KJV)
So he was created a perfect cherub, of glorious splendor and beauty and intelligence, but he turned in rebellion against God. And then it says in verse 16, “thou hast sinned.” He sinned.
Now let me show you for a moment this fascinating word. In verse 16 it’s translated “merchandise” and in verse 18 it’s translated “traffic.” But though they’re two different English words, it’s the same Hebrew word and it means “to go up and down as a tale bearer,” as an agitator, with secret underhand agitation. And this is how Satan, or Lucifer, alienated the loyalty of the angels. He went up and down saying, “Look at me. See how beautiful and intelligent I am. Don’t you think that I’d make a better ruler than they, than God up there? And you know, God doesn’t really appreciate you. If you’d join me, I’ll give you a much higher position in my kingdom than you have at the present time.” See?
Let’s look at some of the uses of this word and you’ll see how accurately I’ve been describing it. Leviticus 19:16. Here are the other uses of this word, some of them in the Old Testament. Leviticus 19:16:
“Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” (KJV)
As a slanderer, as a person carrying false insinuations and accusations. You see, he falsely accused God of being a despot, a tyrant. He only cared for his own grandeur and glory and didn’t appreciate these angels who were so faithfully serving him. I mean, I can actually almost hear these words as I stand here and minister to you now, it’s become so vivid to me. In Proverbs 11:13 we have the same word used again. Proverbs 11:13:
“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” (KJV)
Notice the opposite of the talebearer is the man of a faithful spirit. And then in Proverbs 20:19 there is another very vivid instance of the same word. Proverbs 20:19:
“He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” (KJV)
You see, the talebearer and the flatterer are very close to one another. In other words, Satan flattered these angels into believing that he’d give them a much better deal than God was giving them at this present time. It’s become so vivid. And you know why it’s so vivid for me is because I’ve seen it so many times on the human level in churches and other places. And it’s exactly the same person that is behind that activity all through history. It’s his way of doing things. It’s just vivid to me.
Now in Jeremiah 6:28 the word is translated “slander.” Also in 9:4 and in Ezekiel 22:9. You can turn to those, it’s the same Hebrew word. It’s a talebearer, a slanderer, a person who goes up and down sowing disaffection, disloyalty, flattering and misrepresenting authority. This is the total picture. See how vivid it is?
Then let’s turn back to Ezekiel 28 in closing this study just for a moment or two longer. Verse 17:
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty.” (KJV)
He was so beautiful, he became proud. And I think it is good for all of us to bear in mind the first two sins in history were not murder nor adultery, but they were pride and rebellion. Oh, what a revelation that is.
I had a teacher working under me in Africa. He was a very moral man and that was a rare thing in Africa, I have to say that. And he could not be persuaded that he really needed salvation. And I exhausted every argument I had. One day he came to me. God had dealt with him. He said, “Do you know what I’ve seen?” He said, “I’ve seen that the first sin was pride.” And he said, “I’ve never committed adultery like all these other teachers,” but he said, “God showed me how proud I was.” And that was a real revelation.
God dealt with that man, changed his life on the basis of that revelation that the first sin is not immorality, it’s pride. It’s not murder, it’s pride. And pride in God-given beauty and wisdom and talent. That’s a pretty sobering thought, for me at least.
And then I believe in verses 18 and 19 of Ezekiel 28 we have a judgment which maybe is not all fulfilled. Because in prophecy you can pass from the past to the future. Notice one other statement in Ezekiel 28:18:
“Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries...” (KJV)
He was responsible for the sanctuary of God in this pre-Adamic earth. He was in charge of the worship. He was the cherub that covered whatever place it was where God’s presence was manifested. He was responsible for the music. He was an artist. He was a very accomplished person, but he rebelled and fell.