He’s not a horned guy in a red suit with a pitch fork and tail. He’s much more sinister.
Let’s pause in our series on Children’s Stories to get a better look at the great adversary who stands behind every effort to thwart God’s will in these events. Since he is a created being (Eze. 28:13) whose creation is not mentioned in the Genesis account we’ll assume that it took place, along with the other angelic beings, in the gap between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2 (see ). All we know by way of introduction is that he turns up in the Garden in the form of a “serpent” (Hebrew enchanter) to beguile our first parents (see ). But from Isaiah 14:12-20 and Ezekiel 28:11-19 we can piece together a profile of this great adversary, his origin, fall and destiny.
How You Have Fallen From Heaven, O Lucifer
His name comes from Isaiah 14:12 (KJV). It’s actually the Latin translation of a Hebrew phrase that means to shine in the sense of making a show or celebration or (foolish) boast and recalls the title “shining one.” Ezekiel 28:12-14 indicates he was created as “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and beauty” and anointed as the guardian cherub on the holy mount of God. In the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew scriptures all the stones contained on the breast plate of Israel’s High Priest are listed in Eze 28:13 perhaps hinting at his responsibilities. Combining the Ezekiel and Isaiah passages we can infer that he was head of the congregation of Angelic beings, charged with leading them in the worship of the Almighty and guardian of His Throne.
The “foolish boast” part of his name came to bear when wickedness was found in him (Eze 28:15). Excessively proud of his beauty and wisdom, he rebelled against God and uttered his infamous “five I wills” culminating in a declaration that he would make himself “like The Most High” (Isa 14:13-14). This was the first of countless repetitions wherein the sin nature of man prompts him to emulate Lucifer, exalting, glorifying and even deifying himself. The next time it happened was in the Garden when Adam & Eve were deceived into thinking they could “become like God” (Gen. 3:5), and the name by which we know our adversary was born. The Hebrew word for deceiver is satan.
Satan’s rebellion led to a judgment upon him and the seat of his throne, Planet Earth, leaving Earth an uninhabitable ruin for who knows how long. As I’ve said, many believe this all took place in the apparent gap between the first 2 verses of Genesis. If so it helps reconcile the conflict between a geologically proven old earth (10 billion years) and the Biblically described young civilization (6000 years). I should also note that recent measurements of the speed of light indicate that it may have been gradually slowing down over time. If that’s proven true then all our speculation about the age of Earth’s ancient past goes out the window. But that’s another story.
Satan Is Alive And Well On Planet Earth
Hal Lindsey, is his book so titled speculates that at his judgment Satan hurled 2 accusations at God: “You’re not just and You have no love.” In response to these accusations God did the following.
1. He created man, a being vastly inferior to the angels but sharing with them the properties of intellect, agency (power of choice) and eternal life, and gave him dominion over Planet Earth.
2. He gave man a set of rules to live by, and ordained that obedience to them was a requirement for life. Any violations (sins), even those committed only in the mind, would be punishable by death. There were no loop holes, and no one would escape judgment. Perfect justice.
3. He sent His Son to live a life in total compliance to these rules, the only man ever to do so, granting Him the right to govern the universe and receive all its worth as His inheritance.
4. He gave His Son’s life to purchase a pardon for all whose sins would require judgment, decreeing that by accepting His death as payment for their sins they would also receive eternal life and share in this inheritance as His adopted children. Perfect Love.
What Do You Say To That?
Satan’s response was to immediately steal control of Planet Earth and contaminate the human gene pool with a sin nature making it impossible for man to obey God’s rules, condemning us all to death. And then he used all his powers of deception to try and prevent us from ever learning about the pardon God had purchased for us. Or failing in that, to trick us into thinking we don’t qualify by infiltrating the church (2 Cor. 11:13-15) to promote his false doctrine (Gal 1:8, Col. 2:8, 1 Tim 4:1). In that way he thinks he can cause so many to be condemned that God out of His love for us will have to bend His rules and overlook our sins. If He bends for man, He’ll have to bend for Satan.
Satan is the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4), and the prince of this world (John 121:31, 14:30, 16:11), having the whole world under his control (1 John 5:19). But the deceiver has deceived himself. Too proud to apologize to God, he thinks to defeat Him (foolish boast), even though his own defeat was determined at the cross. While the church currently restrains his authority over earth (2 Thes, 2:5), during the Great Tribulation he’ll be free to do his worst. But it won’t be enough and having been expelled from Heaven (Rev 12:7), he’ll be bound in the Abyss for 1000 years (Rev 20:1-3) and finally cast into the eternal fire (Rev 20:10).
And now you know the adult version.