Satan and the Bible Part 3
His Origin and Sin
When dealing with Satan, we cannot forget that he was a created being. Despite what you see in popular culture, there are no great equal and opposite forces of good and evil battling it out for supremacy over the universe. God is, and always will be, the master of the universe. The Bible states plainly that all things were created by God through Christ, and that there was nothing that was not created by Him (John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16-17).
The time of Satan's creation is not specified in Scripture. However, if it is the case, as many scholars believe, that Ezekiel 28:13 is referring to Satan, and to the Garden of Eden, his creation had to have been before God planted this garden (Genesis 2:8).
I. Satan's Original Characteristics
Looking at Ezekiel 28 further, we can glean what Satan was like before his fall. From verse 12 we see that he had unparalleled wisdom and beauty. He seems to have been at the zenith of God's creatures. Further, verse 13 tells us that he had an unparalleled habitation. Some say this verse refers to the earthly Eden and others to a heavenly Eden. But the point is, the place was a wonderful dwelling, before sin entered the picture. Verse 13 also indicates that he had a magnificent covering. We see a dazzling description of his robes. This indicates that God had bestowed great glory upon him.
As we continue in this passage we see in verse 14 that Satan had an unparalleled function. He belonged to the order of angels known as the cherubim. These creatures are associated with guarding the very holiness of God (Genesis 3:24). We see in Ezekiel 1:5 that they are closely associated with the throne of God. Satan had direct access to the God of the universe and seems to have been the chief guardian of His holiness and majesty.
Finally, we see in Ezekiel 28:15 that Satan had unparalleled perfection. This is in the sense that he was completely sound, with total moral integrity, when created. He was, in every way, the epitome of God's creation. So what happened?
II. Satan's Sin
The only verse that states the origin of his sin is Ezekiel 28:15. Isaiah 14 gives more details, but the origin is only expressed here. It simply states that sin was found in him. Satan, like all of God's sentient creatures was given a free will. The Lord, not wanting robots to serve Him, allows them to have a free will to choose to either obey, or disobey Him. Unfortunately, Satan, having so much power and authority, decided it wasn't enough. Only at God's throne did he see more than he possessed, and in pride, wanted that too.
In Isaiah 14:13-14 we see the five "I wills" of Satan:
1. "I will ascend to heaven." Satan already had access to heaven, but wanted to occupy and settle it as an equal with God.
2. "I will raise my throne above the stars of God." Stars here could either mean the angels, who are often referred to in this manner, or it could simply refer to the heavenly bodies, in which case it meant he wished to rule the heavens. Either way, he wanted to usurp the place that rightfully belonged to God alone.
3. "I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the recesses of the north." This refers to Satan's ambition to govern the universe, like the assembly of the Babylonian gods supposedly did.
4. "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds." Since clouds are often associated with the presence of God, Satan wanted the glory that belonged to Him alone.
5. "I will make myself like the Most High." Satan wanted to counterfeit God in every way. He wanted to exercise power and authority in this universe that belongs to its creator. In his pride, he directly challenged the power and authority of God.
Satan's fall is extremely heinous because he had all of that intelligence, power and authority. When he fell, because of his great influence, he caused great damage. Many angels followed him (Revelation 12:7). Ephesians 2:2 says that it affects all people. And now he is positioned as the god of this world (John 16:11). Because of this it affects all nations as well, as he works to deceive them (Revelation 20:3).
As I stated earlier, Satan is an extremely powerful and menacing foe. But he is no match for the living God. In the next installment, we will see Satan's activities today, and his ultimate punishment. We need to know what he's doing in order to combat him. And we need to know that we can withstand his attacks through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank God who gives us the victory!