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Satan: Just Another Hollywood Horror? Part II
Who is Satan? What does he want?
There is nothing less than an invisible world with a spiritual host of wickedness aligned against us. The head of this otherworldly army is Satan himself. “Psalm 148:2-5 indicates that the angels with all their hosts (armies), along with the sun, moon, stars and all heavenly expanses are God’s creative product. John 1:1-3 teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, created all things…logically this would include angels” (Dickason, 1995). Satan being a fallen angel is a created being. (Ezek 28:12-18) It is commonly believed that when he was cast out of heaven, he took a host of other fallen angels with him (Rev 12:3).
The first time ‘Satan’ is named in scriptures is 1 Chronicles 21:1. Here Satan moved David, in disobedience to God, to number the Israelites. This may have been the first recorded instance of Satan creating chaos, confusion and mayhem among the Israelites, but it is doubtful it’s the actually the first time he did so. Satan’s history goes all the way back to the time before creation, when Satan lived peacefully in heaven with God.
The Bible is full of “types”. These are individuals who represent someone; it is almost always in a prophetic (future) sense; sometimes types are used to give us a glimpse of the history of an individual. We see this case of early scripture about Satan. This is what we are told about Satan in Ezekiel 28:12-19:
‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty 12. 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 13.
“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 14. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in
“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 16.
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you 17.
“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 18. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever 19”.
Looking closely at these verses to glean more insight into Satan’s character, starting with verse twelve, we gather that as an angel, Satan was beautiful, and wise (Ezek 28:12); some say he was the most beautiful angel in heaven (because of his perfection). He held three very important positions: He was a guardian "the anointed cherub who covers" (Ezek 28:14), or according to Strong’s Concordance, one who “protects” (Strong’s, 5526). He was a priest as we learn from (Ezek 28:18), but because he defiled his sanctuaries by stealing the worship that was God’s due, he lost his priesthood, and he was the Music Director of heaven Ezek 28:18.
Can you imagine the beautiful music that must have played in heaven? He was Lucifer, Son of Morning before his fall (Is 14:12). But then Lucifer’s heart was corrupted because of the abundance of his trading; the Hebrew word ‘rekulla’ means “trading of merchandise, traffic” (Strong’s, 7404). It’s useful to understand that ‘merchandise’ “in Ezekiel’s usage means anything that passes through the hands…us[ing] his high position for personal profit;…his merchandise was personality and artistic ability” (Barnhouse, 1965). Lucifer was in trusted positions in God’s upper echelons (God’s holy mountain – [Ezek 28:16]); but it wasn’t enough for him, so he rebelled against God. He was proud and narcissistic; he became jealous and violent. Ezek 28:16 says that it was because of his splendor that Lucifer corrupted his wisdom. He was proud of himself and how beautiful he was. When God could tolerate Satan no longer, He exposed the corruption in his heart, the fire that was within him (Ezek 28:18) and He cast him out of heaven; He did it in front of everyone, in a spectacular way. Satan went down in flames from the heights of heaven (Is 14:12).
Now, Satan is on a vendetta against God; he will never stop until God vanquishes him forever! First because God thoroughly humiliated Satan when He cast him out of heaven – it was quite a spectacle (Ezek 28:18-19); Satan will never forgive or forget this! Second, Satan is in an all-out war with God and His people because he is obsessed with winning; he is so vain and full of himself that he does not possibly think that he can lose.
It was not enough for him to be a covering cherub at God's throne. It was not enough to have the lordship over the earth and one-third of the angels (Revelation 12:4). No, this fallen angel wanted to make himself like God (Isaiah 14:14, 2 Thes 2:4); his pride led him to go to war against God - but it is prophesized that it is a battle that he will lose (Revelation 20:2-3). Because of his pride, Satan is driven to continue battling God and us. Until the day that Christ returns, Satan will also continue to try to overturn what Jesus accomplished on the cross. In Part three, we'll learn more about our arch enemy's strategies to derail, harm and ultimately destroy us.
*excerpt from my upcoming book: Temptation in the Media age: Recognizing and Defeating the Enemy