War in Heaven (Who Sinned First?)

Ezekiel 28:1-19

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds an Old Testament passage that details Satan's angelic glory before he fell and became influential against God on earth.

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…With a word of prayer.

[Prayer]Father, we thank Thee for the opportunity which is before us, to study the word. We ask now Thy blessing upon us as we consider the doctrine of Satan in this hour. We commit our forty-five minutes to Thee in Jesus name. Amen.

[Scripture] Will you turn in your Bibles to the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel chapter 28. And will you listen as I read the first nineteen verses of this chapter. Ezekiel chapter 28, verse 1 through 19.

“The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, ‘Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD; Because thy heart is lifted up, And thou said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of god, In the midst of the seas,’ Yet thou ought a man, and not a god, Though thou set thou heart as the heart of a god Behold, thou ought wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that they can hide from thee! With thy wisdom and thy understanding Thou has gotten riche, And hadst gotten gold and silver into thy treasuries; By thy great wisdom and by thy merchandise has thou increased your riches, And thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches,” ‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, thy has set thy heart as the heart of a god, Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers upon thee, The most terrible of the nations; And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, And defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the Pit, And thou shall die the death of the slain In the midst of the seas. “Will thou yet say before him who slays thee, ‘I am a god’? But thou shall be a man, and not a god, In the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised By the hand of foreigners; For I have spoken it,” said the Lord GOD.’” Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, ‘Thus sayeth the Lord GOD: “Thou seathest up the sum, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. Thou has 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 timbrels and thy flutes was prepared in thee on the day you were created. “Thy ought the anointed cherub that coverth; And I set thee so; Thou ought upon the holy mountain of God; Thou ought walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee. “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, And thou has 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. “Thy 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 laid thee before kings, That they may behold thee. “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries By the multitude of thy iniquities, Therefore I will bring forth a fire from your midst of thee; That shall devour thee, And I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who behold thee. All thee that know thee among the people shall be appalled at thee; Thou shall be a terror, And never shall thy be anymore.”

In our last study we considered the subject, the Existence, the Personality and the Nature of Satan. And we concluded first, that Satan exists. And we also said that to deny the existence of Satan is to blasphemy our Lord Jesus Christ. Logically, for there is no question but that Jesus felt that he wrestled with Satan. And if he didn’t wrestle with an objective person, he must have wrestled within himself. And so if there is within himself, the source of temptation, which the Bible speaks of, of coming from Satan, then he is not the sinless Son of God, which other parts of the Scripture set him forth to be. So that Satan exists and to deny it, is logically to blasphemy Jesus Christ.

Then secondly, we concluded that Satan has a personality. He is not just a force, though he is a force, and he is just not an influence, though he is an influence. He is a person and the attributes of a personality belong to him.

Then we concluded thirdly, that Satan is a created being, a spiritual being, a heavenly being and we put it all together and just said he is a created, spiritual and heavenly being.

Now I’m happy to announce that I did not hear anyone say — as you left — one of those things that I suggested you might, like, “Dr. Johnson has popped his cookies and is ready for funny land.” Nor did anyone say that, “Dr. Johnson is no longer playing with a full deck.” But apparently, most of you, at least, were willing to follow along and accept the testimony of the word of God, to that point.

Now today’s study is a study in: “Who Sinned First? or War in Heaven.” And we are concerned, of course, with a theological problem, the problem of the origin of sin. This is a case where philosophy and theology merge in their interests, because this is one the greatest of the philosophical problems.

What is the origin of evil in the earth? How can we explain the things that happen? How is it possible to explain war, for example? How can we explain sickness? How can we explain the plagues that trouble men? How can we explain it, when a little child, very innocent apparently, wanders out of its backyard, wanders down the alley, wanders in through an open door into the backyard of a neighbors house where there is a swimming pool, goes over to it, topples in and drowns. Seventeen months of age, how can you explain it? How can you explain it when some of the great men with some of the greatest talents are lost in accidents or catastrophes? And those, who apparently would not benefit humanity at all, seem to live to a ripe old age. So when we talk about the problem of evil, the problem of sickness, the problem of catastrophe, we are talking about a problem, which has plagued philosophers for ages.

Generally, philosophers have tried to solve the problem of evil in two ways. They say that evil resides in the natural constitution of men and they seek to explain, what apparently some of them, at least have seen in human nature, in human experience, and in human history. It must be a part of life itself because it is so universal. Others have attempted to explain it as the free choice of man. Either in the present or in some previous existence, man sinned. And as a result as his free choice, evil exists.

Now of course the second are much nearer the truth, than those who hold the first view. But we want to look at what the Bible says and I think — if I may be allowed to speak prejudicially — that what the Bible has to say makes a great deal more sense than what the philosophers have said. And in the word of God we at least have an explanation that seems to jive with human experience. And it satisfies those whose hearts are disturbed and who wish to know the true God.

Now in our outline tonight, I want to talk for a few moments, first of all, Roman I, about Ezekiel 28 and the doctrine of Satan. For this chapter that we have just read is one of the great chapters in the doctrine of Satan and Capital A: The various viewpoints.

Now let me say something before we look at Ezekiel 28 in more detail in a few moments. What we discover from Ezekiel 28 will not really affect our doctrine of Satan very much. For example, if I could prove that the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel had no reference whatsoever to Satan, it would not disturb the major outlines of the teaching of the Bible on Satan. We would know, for example, that he was an evil malignant being who was an evil malignant being before the Fall of The Garden of Eden. We would know that from other Scripture. We would know that somehow or other he had fallen because that is revealed in Scripture elsewhere. We would also know that he fell from pride, for there are other Scriptures that touch that point.

So most of the things that we know about Satan would not be disturbed if we could prove that Ezekiel 28 has nothing whatsoever to do with Satan. But if we can demonstrate that it is likely that Ezekiel 28 has something to do with Satan and that at least, typically, presents him as he was and as he became a sinner, a sinful spirit being before God, then a lot of the information that we have about Satan is confirmed and we have some information that we do not find in other places, which is of value to us.

So I want to stress this because I’m going to be the first to acknowledge that it is possible to take a different viewpoint of Ezekiel chapter 28 and still be an evangelical Christian. So what I’m going to say — I want to preface with this by saying that if it does not have anything to do with Satan — The doctrine of Satan is not disturbed very much — but if it does — we have a fullness of information that becomes very helpful to us.

Now lets see, first of all, what most have to say about Ezekiel 28, so the various viewpoints. There are generally speaking two viewpoints.

Number one, some have said that Ezekiel chapter 28 is a poetical description of a historical prince of Tyre and that is all. In other words, the things that we read in this chapter, such as, “Thy sealest up the psalm, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” are not intended to be taken by the author to be taken literally. They are statements that are symbolic in character and designed to set forth poetically, the description of an ancient king of the city of Tyre.

Now mixed in with it — so some scholars say — is a story, which was a Phoenician myth, no doubt, about a primal being that existed in a garden something like The Garden of Eden. And that that myth had been brought into the account by Ezekiel, in order to illustrate, poetically, the tremendous pride and the resultant judgment that God is going to bring upon this prince of the ancient city of Tyre.

Now that is what a great many say. Almost all of our liberal scholars say that about Ezekiel chapter 28 and many of our conservatives do, too. They say this chapter doesn’t really have anything to do with Satan, but it’s merely a poetical description of the history and the fall in prophecy of an ancient king.

Now if it is a reference to an ancient king, that king’s name is Ithobal II, because he was the king of Tyre at the time that Ezekiel wrote. And that is spelled I-T-H-O-B-A-L the Second. That is sometimes spelled other ways, but I’m going to spell it that way for you — Ithobal II. He is the historical king of Tyre or prince of Tyre would be more accurate in Ezekiel’s day.

Now that’s not the only view that men hold of this. Others hold another view and secondly, this is that view. This chapter, by many evangelical scholars, is said to be a typical description of the origin and fall of Satan. [Repeat] A typical description of the origin and fall of Satan. And most of those, who say this, and I say this, will say that the first ten verses do describe the ancient prince of Tyre, but then in the eleventh verse the author goes beyond the ancient prince of Tyre and under the title of King of Tyre — and there is some doubt about the ancient King or Prince of Tyre having the title of King. But — that’s incidental. But at verse 11, we go beyond the story of the ancient prince of Tyre and we look at the spirit being who dominated that ancient prince and that spirit being is Satan. And so that typically we have reference to Satan in verses 11 through 16. Then in verse 17 through 19 the author turns back again to the earthly king. So the first ten verses 1 through 10 is of the historic king. Then verses 11 through 16, the author moves beyond the historic king to the spirit being who animated him; Satan himself. And then in verses 17 through 19 he returns again to the ancient prince of Tyre.

Now I know you might think that this is very strange. But let me say right at the beginning that it is not strange at all for the authors of Scripture to picture an individual and then to, in their description of the prophesies concerning that individual, go far beyond that individual and write of someone who is to come. And I’m referring, of course, partially to the typical prophesies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So let me turn now, to Capital B: The arguments for this typical view; and present some evidence, which I hope will at least persuade you to see the reasonableness of taking these verses in this way.

Now first of all, this literary method of beginning with a historic person and going beyond him to a distant person, who is the ante-type, is common in biblical literature. And I want to ask you, if you will, to turn with me to a couple of places. And now we are going to go back and remind ourselves of some things that we learned a long time ago, over in the schoolhouse. And if I may, I’m going to erase the top part of this. I hope you have it. If you don’t have it, the world won’t come to an end, of course.

But you’ll remember that when we were talking about Messianic prophecy, I suggested to you that there are three types of Messianic prophecies. Number one there is direct Messianic prophecy. Now direct prophecy of the Messiah, is prophecy in the Old Testament, in which the author looks directly to Jesus Christ. He does not look at him against the background of any historical figure in his day, but it is pure prediction. Now Psalm 110, we looked at as an illustration of this, direct Messianic prophecy.

Now there is also indirect Messianic prophecy. Now indirect Messianic prophecy, we could talk about different divisions of it, but generally speaking, indirect Messianic prophecy, is prophecy in which an Old Testament author writes about Jehovah. But in New Testament days, we know that there are three Jehovah’s, Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Spirit. In the Old Testament the revelation of the Trinity is not so plain and not so clear. So when the authors speak of Jehovah, we cannot know which is in view sometimes. But the New Testament may clarify.

For example, if in the Old Testament we read on Jehovah coming to the earth to establish his kingdom, such as in Psalm 102. Now we know that the Father does not come to the earth to establish his kingdom because no man can look upon the Father. We know that it cannot be the Spirit because we cannot see the Spirit. The Spirit does not have a body. Nor does the Father have a body. But Jehovah the son, at a point in time, took to himself a human body and became a man and dwelt among us, Jesus Christ. So the prophecies of the Old Testament that describe Jehovah’s coming to the Earth to establish his kingdom, are taken by the New Testament authors, to refer to Jesus Christ. Now that is indirect Messianic prophecy.

Now the third type of prophecy is typical. Now typical is also indirect but since it is unique, I’m including it in a third category. Strictly speaking, I should logically say, direct and indirect and then have some sub points under that and put typical there. But typical prophecy is prophecy in which the author, having an historical person in his mind, uses language of this historical person that goes far beyond the historical person. Language that is only applicable to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus, or negatively of Judas, if it’s about an opponent of David in the Old Testament.

For example, in the Old Testament we have prophecies that are written, first of all, of David. David may describe his own experiences but he describes of his own experiences, he goes beyond any experience that he had or could have had. So by the Holy Spirit, he is led to prophesy typically of someone that is greater of David, who is to come.

Now turn to the 40th Psalm and I want to show you how this is a New Testament, as well as Old Testament teaching. Now let me say you shall never understand the Bible if you do not understand some of these things. Now you can understand the New Testament but then when you begin to ask, “why, why, why,” you will immediately have difficulty if you do not understand some simple things like this.

Now in the 40th Psalm and in the sixth verse, we read these words — and remember this is a psalm about David. “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; my ears thou hath opened.” Now whose ears do you think that would be? Well you would think it was David’s. “My ears thou hatth opened. Burnt offering and sin offering thou has not required. Then said I,” you would think David, “Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Thy will, O my God, yea thy law is within my heart.” Now you would think that referred to David if you just read the 40th Psalm.

But now if you will turn with me to the tenth chapter of the Epistle the Hebrews, that’s New Testament. Do you know where Hebrews is? If you don’t you can go stand in the corner over there — if you have been listening — on Sunday mornings, at my expeditions. Now the rest of you, you don’t have to know where it is, Hebrews chapter 10.

Now the author of the tenth chapter of Hebrews states, concerning Jesus Christ, verse 5, “Therefore, when He cometh into the world, He sayeth:” He said — Wait, I thought David said that. He says Jesus said that. He sayeth. “Sacrifice and offering thou would not, But a body has thou prepared Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come — In the volume of the book it is written of Me — To do thy will, O God.’” That’s all. So in the New Testament, the statement, which in the Old Testament, was said by David, is now said to be said by Jesus Christ.

Now the reason for this is that David is a type of our Lord Jesus. In his life and in his ministry, he illustrates the one who is to come. David was a king and Jesus Christ is a king. David is a Davidic king and to the Davidic kings have been given promise of kingdom over all the earth. And it is the Davidic king, our Lord Jesus, who is to realize that. And so David, the psalmist in prophetic vision, writes out of his own experience but goes far beyond it to comprehend the one of whom the whole Davidic line was a prophecy.

Now to show you that that is not our Lord in Psalm 40, in the twelfth verse we read of Psalm 40, “For innumerable evils have compassed me about; My iniquities have taken hold upon me,” That can only be of David. So you see, it is possible for the psalmist to write of himself in verse 1 through 5, then in verse 6 through 8 to go far beyond himself to the Lord himself and then verse 9 and following come back to himself to his own experience.

Now the fact that this happens — for the rest of the night until the wee hours of the morning — explain illustration after illustration of this in the Bible. But the fact that this is done shows us how easy it is for Ezekiel to write of the prince of Tyre, to go beyond the prince of Tyre to the evil spirit that animated him, Satan, and then to come back again to the prince of Tyre in the end. So it is not something unusual and of course, the clue to it, the thing that makes it all understandable, is the fact that the philosophy of typology, is the divine control of history. And that is that everything that happens in human history is controlled by God, and so he can bring David on the scene as an illustration of our Lord. He can bring to pass incidents so that they illustrate incidents that are to come. So under girding all of this, is God’s control of human history. That’s why typology has its validity.

Now secondly, another argument, the language of verses 11 through 16 in Ezekiel chapter 28, even if it is poetical, can hardly confined to the king of Tyre. Notice the twelfth verse of Ezekiel chapter 28. “Thus sayeth the Lord God, “Thou sealeth up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” Have you ever seen anyone like that? Clark Gable, that is handsomest. You could not have that said of him. You couldn’t say it of Rock Hudson. You couldn’t say it of anyone. This is language that could not be truly applicable to anyone. Notice in verse 13, “Thou has been in Eden,” now the Prince of Tyre was not in Eden. He was not in the Garden of God. Then will you notice verse 15, “Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created,” now that cannot apply to any human individual.

Thirdly, there is another argument. The king that is referred to, in this passage, displays the marks of a man who is possessed by evil. Listen, let’s just notice the second verse, son of man, say unto to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because thy heart is lifted up, And thou hast said, ‘I am a god.”

Now I want to tell you that when a man says, “I am God,” he is under the influence of the evil spirit. Cassius Clay said he’s the greatest, but he didn’t say he was God. He just said he was the next thing to God, so far as boxing was concerned, and he convinced a lot of fellows along the way too. But when a man says that he is God, you can be sure that he is animated by the spirit of Satan. So he has the marks of a man who is possessed. Notice the third verse, “Behold, thou are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from thee!” And then verses 4 and 5, “With thy wisdom and with thy understanding Thy has gotten riches and has gotten gold and silver into thy treasures; by thy great wisdom and by thy merchandise has thy increased thy riches, And thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches.” Proud, here is a man who thinks he is God, who has the greatest of wisdom and whose heart is lifted up with pride. Now I think that if we acknowledge that this is poetical language, we still would have to say it cannot properly be applied to a man.

And fourthly, have you noticed that the Bible sometimes addresses Satan through a possessed being or through a person? In other words it’s not out of harmony with the teaching of the Bible for God to address Satan through another person or another being. Can you think of any illustration? Well if you open up the Bible and you get as far as the third chapter of the book of Genesis, you’ll read about a serpent and we’re going to talk about him later. The Bible calls him the serpent. The serpent came and said, “Yea, hath God said?” God pronounced a judgment on the serpent.

When we turn over to the twelfth chapter in the ninth verse of the Book of Revelation, we read, “Satan is that old serpent.” In other words, Satan is addressed through a third party, this time a being, a serpent. So it’s not surprising, in the Bible, for him to be addressed through a third party, king of Tyre. Now of course perhaps the greatest illustration of this was the illustration when Peter objected to our Lord saying he was going to the cross and dying. He said, “Ah, that be far from thee Lord,” and so the Lord turned to him and said, “Get thee behind me Satan.” And I think that must have shocked Peter, probably shocked John too, and the rest of them, but he was addressing the spirit that animated Simon Peter.

So it’s not surprising that we should find that Satan is addressed by means of the king of Tyre, who seems to be so possessed by him. So Satan is the real king of Tyre and Ithobal is just his puppet.

When I think of someone that is possessed by Satan, I think of an old story about a [black] man whose name was Sam and he was having a lot of difficulty. He had fallen again and his pastor was upbrading him. He was saying, “How come Sam? Didn’t you say, Get thee behind thee Satan?” Sam said, “I does say that Pastor. I does say them very words. Then Satan he say, ‘Alright Sam. I’ll get behind you. Since we both going the same way, it don’t make no difference who take the lead.’” So it is possible for a man to be possessed by Satan.

Now let me say one other thing about this, Capital C: Further Biblical Support for the Address of Satan by the Term King of Tyre. You’ll notice that the things that we discover in Ezekiel chapter 28 are things that we discover about Satan elsewhere. For example, if this chapter is written of Satan, then Satan is a being who has fallen a long time ago. Now that is what happens when we come to the third chapter of Genesis. The serpent comes to test Adam and Eve but he has long ago fallen. He already is an evil, malignant being. Then another thing, in 1 Timothy chapter 2, verse 6, Satan’s fall is connected with pride. Turn over there of a moment. It’s the New Testament, 1 Timothy chapter 2, verse — I should say chapter 3, in verse 6. 1 Timothy chapter 3, verse 6.

Now this chapter has to do with the qualifications for Elder. It would be nice to talk about those qualifications but this isn’t the time to do it. 1 Timothy chapter 3 says that an Elder should not be a novice. This is something that all of our churches need to read. An elder is not a novice; he’s not a newly planted Christian. “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” In other words, Satan was lifted up with pride. And that’s what we find in Ezekiel chapter 28.

So I think that if we were to eliminate this chapter entirely, most of our doctrine of Satan we would have in other places. And the things that emerge from Ezekiel chapter 28 are the very things that we discover form a comparison of various passages of the word of God. We could go to the temptation account, if we had time, and see how Satan comes to the Lord Jesus, remember, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. Why? Because he was given great authority by God. Then he said, “All of these, will I give thee and the power of them, if you will fall down before me and worship me.” The kingdoms, their power and their glory are possessed by Satan in some way. He’s a man who had tremendous power, granted to him by God. So all of the things would be found in various passages of the word.

Dr. Barnhouse, in his book, The Invisible War, tells the story of a time when one Christmas when his children were real young, they were given a jigsaw puzzle and it was a gigantic jigsaw puzzle with hundreds of pieces. And his boys were older than one of their girls and they took it into one of the rooms and they were working on it. And the little girl was only about three years of age and they let her look among the wooden pieces and pick out those that looked like something that she might know of; a human thing. He said there was one that looked like a violin, and there was another that looked like various instruments or things with which she was familiar as a child. And she had selected ten or fifteen of them out from among the others.

But of course, the boys were not interested in any special pieces; they were interested in the overall picture puzzle. When the time came, of course, they would take those little things that she was getting a great deal of joy over and put them in place so that the whole picture would be complete. Then Dr. Barnhouse said, “You know that’s the way you study the Bible, really. You take truth that is written about certain — about a certain doctrine — no matter where it is and gather it all together and then you put it together and there you have the biblical doctrine.”

Now of course if you just take one text out of the context, of all the Scripture, it’s like that little girl who took the little piece that looked like a violin. She got a great deal of joy out of it but she didn’t know what the whole thing was about, and that’s the way a lot of people are in reading the Bible, by the way. They rush here and there.

They’ll get a little text and they will build a giant doctrine on a little text without putting it into the context of the whole picture of the word of God. And that’s where a lot of our hierarchy arises. That’s why there are people who believe in speaking in tongues today. That’s why there are people who believe in healing today. It isn’t that there is no text that has anything on that topic; there are texts that have something to say on it. But they are taken out of their context, disassociated from the rest of the word of God.

Now if we put together all the pieces of the word of God, as it has to do with Satan, we would discover what we have in Ezekiel 28. But uh, if we could go ahead and acknowledge that this is a typical chapter and it has to do with Satan, I think we have a fullness of information that is helpful.

So let’s move on now. I think this chapter then does have to do with Satan typically. It has the King of Tyre but Ezekiel goes far beyond the historic King of Tyre and speaks of the malignant spirit that has dominated and possessed him. So we are justified in finding some things about Satan, taking some things about Satan, from Ezekiel 28. Roman II: The Creation, Character and Authority of Satan. And first of all, Capital A: The creation, notice verse 13, Ezekiel chapter 28, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was thy covering:”And then near the end, “The workmanship of thy timbrels and of thy flutes was prepared in thee and the day that thou wast created.” Verse 15, “Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thy wast created.” Now remember we said this last time but here we have it stated again, Satan is a created being. He is not an infinite being. He is a finite being. He is a created being, invisible, by finite.

Now that I think should end the argument about the eternal duality of good and evil. Many have held that. Many have felt that this is this duality of God and Satan and it is eternal, there is no resolution of it. That is not true. Satan was created by God and the day will come when he will find his way into the Lake of Fire, according to Scripture. He has his beginning and, of course, while he apparently exists forever in torment. God shall put an end to his activities. So he is a created being. I do not think it is right to say God created the devil. He created Satan. But if you mean, did God create him as he is now, then he did not create the devil. Satan became the devil by reason of his sin.

Capital B: The character of Satan. Notice verse 14, “Thou art the anointed cherub that coverth.” Now what is a cherub? Well a cherub is a spirit being, an angelic being. Notice verse 16, “By 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 will destroy thee, O covering cherub.” Now that means that Satan is an angelic being, a spirit being, a great beauty and great power.

Albrecht Durer in his pictures of Satan, has pictured him with a swanlike face, a bestial body with, of course, the inevitable horns, hoofs, or hooves and tail. Now that is a creation of a humanist. For Albrecht Durer was a humanist painter. It is not the creation of the word of God. Satan was a beauty, a being of great spiritual beauty, as is evident from our passage. The physical beauty — if we may speak of a spirit being in that sense — is described in verse 12, “Thus sayeth ‘the Lord God thy sealth up the sum Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.’” Moral beauty, “Thou has been in Eden, The Garden of God. Every precious stone was thy covering: and spiritual beauty, Thou art the anointed cherub that coverth.” And I think that all of those descriptions, in verse 13, of the stones are probably spiritual too.

Satan awoke in the first moment of his existence, to the magnificence, of a full orbed, moral and spiritual beauty and he possessed it. It was given him by God in his creation. In other words, he never knew a lesser moment. He was form the beginning, this perfect being.

Now I want to stop and comment about these stones in verse 13. There are nine of them listed, I think: the sardius, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, the carbuncle and gold.

Now I didn’t count them, I think there are nine. You remember the breastplate of the High Priest? You remember what he had? How many stones? Not nine; twelve. But you know it’s interesting, the nine that are here are precisely nine of those in the breastplate of a High Priest.

Furthermore, if you opened up the great translation of the Old Testament, made before the time of Christ, what we call the Septuagint; it’s sometimes abbreviated this way because of the seventy who are supposed to have done it. It really wasn’t done by seventy, but that’s a tradition, the Septuagint. You’d discover that at this point in Ezekiel it had the twelve stones.

Now we do not have the original Hebrew text remember, we have the Masoretic text that is very reliable. But it is possible that the Septuagint translated a text that was actually the text that Ezekiel wrote. And it may well be that Ezekiel wrote that the anointed cherub that coverth had the twelve stones, and if so, it would stress the fact that Satan was a priestly being. That is, he is a being, who in a sense regulated the approach to God. He was that high. He was next in line to the Trinity; Father, Son, Spirit, Satan. Father, Son, Spirit, the anointed cherub. And it was through him, that the rest of the angelicals brought their worship to God. And it was through him, that God spoke his word to the angelicals. He was the anointed cherub that protects the throne of God, the priest of God, a being of great spiritual beauty.

Dr. Chafer used to like to say, about that last part of verse 13, “The workmanship of thy timbrels and of thy flutes was prepared in thee and the day that thou wast created.” He used to like to say, “Tabrets and pipes were prepared in him.” He didn’t need an instrument of praise to glorify his creator. He was a diadem of praise himself, it was built in his praise of God. I wish I knew that was what that meant, but anyway, that’s what he said.

Now one last word — because we are going over time — about his authority. You’ll notice verse 14. Verse 14 says, “Thou art the anointed cherub that coverth;
And I have set thee so;” I’m inclined to think that the Hebrew text should be rendered here somewhat differently. The sense is just a little bit different. “Thou art the anointed cherub that coverth; And I set thee so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;” [Repeat] “Thou art the anointed cherub that coverth; And I set thee so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;”

Now the holy mountain of God is the place were God carries out his universal government. That’s his mountain. And Satan was set upon that mountain as the anointed cherub that coverth. That’s why he has power over the kingdoms of this earth. That’s why in the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is stated that Satan had the power of death. That is why, even the Apostle Paul states, that when the saints in Corinth are to be given the discipline, they are to be given over to Satan for the destruction of the body; that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. That is how Satan can come to Jesus and say, “I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world if you’ll bow down and worship me.” He was the anointed cherub that coverth. Great authority, great beauty, moral and spiritual, but the creation of God.

I will have to stop. Next time we’re going to pick it up and we’ll talk about his fall and what brought it about. Let’s close with a word of prayer.

[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of the study of the word. Give us understanding and enable us Oh God to know how great Satan is that we might lean upon him who is greater, Jesus Christ, for his namesake. Amen.

Posted in: Ezekiel, Angelology