Satan Is Real, Ezekiel 28 - Lesson 1

 

One of the primary rules of warfare is to know all there is to know about oneís enemy.

Countless hours and countless treasure is spent by warring factions to the intent of knowing each other.

It is not the knowing of each other so that peace may come but it is the knowing each other in order for victory to come.

Knowledge of your enemy is necessary in order for your enemy to be defeated.

Paul, the apostle, tells us in Eph. 6:11-12, that we are engaged in warfare and that warfare is not the warfare against flesh and blood but it is warfare that is against that which we are not privy to see.

It is warfare:  against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

It is a warfare that is known only by those with eyes opened to those heavenly places through the eyes of faith.

It is warfare whose declaration of war is revealed to us in the very first chapters of the book of Genesis and is carried though to the very last chapters in the book of the Revelation.

It is warfare that is directed by a being who was created by God for the purpose of serving, but that purpose of serving was rejected in order to be a being who was to be instead himself served.

That being we know of as Satan, a being that is truly revealed to us only in the pages of Godís word but as Godís word is increasingly rejected knowledge of this being is also rejected.

But this is simply one of Satanís ploys for one of the enemyís main tactics is to deny his own existence.

Multitudes in the world refuse to believe that Satan exists.

Many in the world picture Satan as a medieval and mythical two-horned, fork-tailed creature, dressed in red, feeding coal to the fires of hell.

I remember the famous line of comedian Flip Wilson which even appeared on tee shirts declaring that "the devil made me do it."

Iím sure that was pleasing to Satan for it put himself into the minds of people as an imaginary cartoon character and fostered his propaganda that he does not exist.

Liberal theologians have long tossed out any recognition of Satan as a real being.

A false preacher named Reinhold Niebuhr once wrote: "It is unwise for Christians to claim any knowledge of either the furniture of heaven or the temperature of hell."

The late Bishop Pike said that as a young seminary student he had totally rejected an angelic sky-high heaven, or a devilish red-hot hell.

In the fifties a national secular magazine took a poll of some 5000 American clergymen and discovered that a full 73 percent ridiculed the concept of a personal devil of any sort.

In a recent survey regarding this subject 60% of American adults said that Satan is only a symbol of evil and only 35% said Satan is a real living being.

But these people who deny the existence of Satan are denying the plain facts of the Bible for his existence is declared by Godís word in clear precise language.

The devil is mentioned in seven Old Testament books: Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Job (twelve times), Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.

He is to be found in nineteen New Testament books, and is referred to by every New Testament writer.

Matthew 4:1, refers to him.  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil

Mark. 5:15,  refers to him.  And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid

Luke 22:3, refers to him.  Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve

1 John 3:8, refers to him.   He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil

Paul refers to him in Romans 16:20,  "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen"

1 Peter 5:8, refers to him,   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

James 4:7, refers to him,   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

Jude 9, refers to him.  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

He is mentioned by the Lord Jesus Christ some fifteen times.

One of these is in Mark 4:10,   Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve

And in Matthew 16:23,   But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men

Matthew 25:41,  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"

And in Luke 10:18, and John 8:44,   And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it

John. 6:70,   Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Luke 22:31,  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat

Unbelieving preachers pronounce that Satan is no more than a myth, dreamed up by superstitious, uneducated people.

People who believe in a literal Satan are given labels like religious fanatic and are grouped into the lunatic fringe element.

But people who believe in a literal Satan can only believe that, by believing in the literal word of God for Godís word is replete with knowledge of the enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Satan may wish to deny his own existence but God reveals him clearly in His word and any denial of him is to deny the word of Jesus Christ, his Prophets and His Apostles.

Excerpt from the Preface of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

The commonest question is whether I really "believe in the Devil" Now, if by "the Devil" you mean a power opposite

to God and, like God, se1f-existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No. There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. No being could attain a "perfect badness" opposite to the perfect goodness of God; for when you have taken away every kind of good thing (intelligence, will, memory,

energy, and existence itself) there would be none of him left.

The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God and, as a corollary, to us. These we may call devils. They do not differ in nature from good angels, but their nature is depraved.

Devil is the opposite of angel only as Bad Man is the opposite of Good Man. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.

So Satan is the real living enemy of God, the one who opposes everything that God proposes.

And as Godís enemy Satan is also the enemy of all those who have pledged their allegiance to God though his son the Lord Jesus Christ.

So if we are in the battle, we are to know our enemy, thus we are to study what the Bible has to say about this Satan, this arch enemy of Christ for he too is our enemy and wishes our defeat and our demise.

In our recent study of the book of Daniel we were privy to much concerning the activities of beings who hindered the work of God.

Daniel prayed, but the being who came to his aid, was hindered from coming for 21 days while he was in battle with the prince of the kingdom of Persia.

Only when assisted by Michael, one of the chief princes was Godís angelic messenger free to come to Danielís aid.

This was clearly a battle between angels, those angels loyal to God and those angels opposed to God.

The heavens were opened to Daniel to those heavenly places where the battle is being conducted.

We are to note the title given to the opposing angels for they are called princes.

Now where there are princes there must be as king.

I believe this king is revealed to us in the book of Ezekiel for the king that we are introduced to is obviously not a human king for he had attributes and privileges that humans do not have.

Ezekiel 28:11-13a, 14-15,  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12Son of man, take up a lamentation 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. 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy coveringÖÖÖÖÖ 14Thou 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. 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

So we learn in this passage that this king is a heavenly being, he is the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, he is an anointed cherub who covers, he was with God on the holy mountain and was perfect in his ways from the day he was created.

This is not the picture of a sinner who is born in sin but the picture of an angelic being perfect in all his ways from the day he was created.

But iniquity was found in him and at that point he became an enemy of God.

Ezekiel tells us of this fall, 28:16

16By 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. 17Thine 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.

I believe that Jesus in Luke 10:18 is referring to this event as he said:  I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

So I think we can conclude that the king of Tyrus is Satan, and that he is the king of the princes referred to in the book of Daniel.

The Hebrew word Satan means opponent or enemy.

As such he is Godís premier enemy, he is a rebel against all that God stands for.

But unlike God, he is a created being.

But as Ezekiel 28:15 clearly states Satan was not created evil.

Rather, when God created Satan, God gave him the ability to make moral choices.

It was Satan's own choice to rebel against God.

Scripture teaches that Satan was created before the earth or humans existed.

We learn from the book of Job that angelic beings are called the sons of God for Job 1:6 describes a scene where the sons of God and Satan presented themselves before the Lord in heaven.

And then later in Job we learn that these sons of God shouted for joy at the wonder of Godís creative act of creating the earth.

Job 38:4 and 38:7,  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Therefore, angelic persons, including Satan, were created by God before He created the earth and before He created man.

We know that Satan is the highest of these forms called angels for Satan was created to fill up the sum of beauty and intelligence among all God's creatures.

God said in Ezek 28:12,  Son of man, take up a lamentation 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 sealest up the sum"

When God created intelligent life forms, He evidently had in mind an upper limit as to how much wisdom and beauty He would bestow on any particular one of his creatures.

In Ezekiel 28:12 this limit is referred to as "the sum."

Each creature that was made by God has a percentage of that upper limit of that wisdom and beauty.

We always categorize Godís creatures and in our mind assign a percentage.

We think of the beauty of a horse more highly than we do a pig.

We rate Godís creatures according to their beauty and intelligence.

As humans we may think that we are Godís upper limit as to wisdom and beauty but our verse in Ezekiel tells us that God bestowed upon Satan the full limit, the sum, the consummation of wisdom and beauty.

Thou sealest (which means close) up the sum (measurement), full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

In other words, Satan is the most intelligent and most beautiful creature that God chose to make!

According to Ezekiel 28:13,  God chose to cloth Satan in the most precious stones, stones full of glitter and glory, sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold.

Of course, we are talking about EXTERNAL beauty here but external beauty could not keep him from his choice of rebellion against his creator.

Satan was created to serve as an anointed guardian of God.

Ezekiel 28:14 says this:  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so:

That word covereth means to cover over or to guard.

Guardianship is the main job of cherubim, as is seen in Genesis 3:24,  So He (God) drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Again this is shown in Exodus 26:18 and 25:22a.

(God said:) 18And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. ... 22And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony

So Satan is the cherub who was anointed by God to the incredibly high honor of serving as a personal guardian of God's presence and Godís holiness.

Now God needs no guards, nor does God need you or me but he has chosen to administer his creation in and through His creatures, angelic and human, and so he created Satan for this most high duty.

This duty seems to have been carried out in a place called Eden, the garden of God.

This is written of Ezekiel 28:13,  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.

This Eden, referred to as the garden of God does not seem to be that which God made on the Earth for Adam to keep but it is connected with this most beautiful of Godís creations, this guardian of Godís presence and Godís holiness.

Beautiful minerals are mentioned along with this garden and this being is there in his state of perfection before iniquity was found in him.

Ezekiel 28:15,  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.