The Adversary Part 2.
How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer son of the dawn. You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations. You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven. I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the uttermost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the mountains. I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).
What’s Going On Here?
Was the one we call Satan trying to replace God or become a god himself? The key lies in the term “Most High.” It’s used for the first time in Genesis 14:18-19, where God is described as the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth (KJV). Some of the modern translations substitute creator or maker for possessor, but the Hebrew favors the KJV. Normally bara, which means “to create” is used in referring to the Creator but in Genesis 14:19 it’s qanah. Qanah appears 82 times in Scripture and although it can mean create, it’s not translated that way anywhere else in Scripture. It literally means to get or acquire and implies ownership.
Everything in the Universe belonged to the One who had created it and some speculate that He had permitted Satan to place his throne here on Earth. After all, Satan was an important dignitary among the principalities and powers in the heavenly realms (Eze 28:14 and Jude 8-10). But although he wasn’t the creator of heaven and earth he didn’t want to be a mere tenant. He wanted to own the place outright and become a parallel focus of worship (becoming “like the Most High”) so he rebelled against God causing the judgment we discussed last time.
Possessor Of Heaven And Earth?
This view makes the subsequent actions by both God and Satan more easily understood. Ever wonder why in all the 6 days of creation the only work God did not pronounce as good was on the second day, the creation of the heavens (Gen 1:6-7)? Remember there are 3 locations in the Bible called “heaven”: the Earth’s atmosphere, the vast reaches of space beyond, and the throne of God. The Hebrew word used in Gen.1:1 and 6-7. is unusual in that it’s a dual form, like our word both. It can only include 2 of whatever is being referenced, in this case “heavens”. So it describes our atmosphere and space beyond, omitting God’s Throne.
That same Hebrew word for heaven is used in Genesis 14:19. And in Ephesians 2:2 Paul refers to Satan as the “ruler of the kingdom of the air.” The Greek word there means atmosphere. Could it be that upon their creation Satan and his fellow rebels immediately invaded the “heavens” preventing God from taking pleasure in that which He had just made? If so, Satan became the possessor of “heaven” at that time (squatter’s rights?). This also explains why when Paul refers to being “caught up to paradise” (2 Cor. 12:2-4) he takes pains to call it the 3rd heaven, God’s Throne.
Then, when God created Adam and gave him dominion over the earth, Satan’s response was to steal it from him, since he had failed to get it from God, and become the possessor of Earth (1 John 5:19). In the wilderness temptation one of the things Satan offered our Lord was the authority and splendor of all the kingdoms of earth (Matt 4:8-9). You can’t give what you don’t own, but the Lord did not dispute Satan’s claim of ownership, however flawed.
Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It…
The Lord’s mission to earth was clearly foretold in the Old Testament. Satan realized that regaining the ownership of planet earth was a primary objective. That’s why he was willing to negotiate it away in the wilderness temptation. After all he would still have the heavens and could still be worshipped, even by the Son of God. But then at the cross something happened that he hadn’t foreseen (Col. 2:13-15). All Adam’s children could now become God’s, the sin problem overcome, and those who refused would do so by choice relieving God of any responsibility for them.
The Secret Rapture
And check this out. Very soon, at a date and hour still undisclosed, those who have chosen to become God’s children will meet the Lord in the air (1st heaven) (1 Thes 4:16-17). Does the Lord intend the Rapture of the Church as a sneak attack to begin repossessing the heavens? Then at the beginning of the Great Tribulation Satan will be expelled from the 2nd heaven (Rev 12:12). And finally at the 2nd coming the Lord will set up his kingdom here having defeated Satan’s armies. Now who’s possessor of heaven and earth?
Surely this is why our Creator, the master of strategy, kept the rapture of the church secret until after the cross, completing the conversion of what Satan fore saw as a huge victory into his utter defeat. It’s also why Paul was able to declare that none of the “rulers of this age” understood this for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). Jesus spoke not a word of the Rapture to his disciples, but had Paul introduce it after it was too late for the enemy to react. It was a secret component of the Lord’s strategy to totally defeat Satan’s bid to become possessor of heaven and earth.
And now you know the adult version.