The Five “I Wills” of Satan

This week I am going to continue my look at Satan’s fall but rather than quoting from Pastor Barnhouse’s book “The Invisible War” I am going to provide a quote from Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s work on Satanology. Certainly all Christians have heard of Satan (whether they believe that he is real is another question all together) but from what I can tell every culture in the world has their version of Satan. He goes by many names and it seems to me as if everyone in the world who is over the age of five has heard of Satan.

If this powerful creature is real, and he is, then what do we know about him? I cannot speak about what non-Christians believe regarding their version of Satan but I can write with confidence that most Christians know little of what the Bible says about Satan. Most Christians know that Satan is our adversary but they probably cannot say much else beyond that which I think is too bad. It is important to know God (of course) but it is also important to know what has been revealed about Satan. Know your friends and your enemies!

At any rate I want to provide a short quote from Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s on Satan’s five “I will” statements because they provide so much insight into what motivates Satan (I encourage you to follow the link I provided above and read it all). Satan really isn’t interested in us, capturing our souls, or causing us to sin. We really don’t amount to a hill of beans in his sight but he is willing to use us if it suits his purposes.

The five “I Wills” are found in the Book of Isaiah:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!
13 And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

Isaiah 14:12-14

Here is what Dr. Fruchtenbaum has to say about this passage:

First: I will ascend into heaven. Satan was not satisfied with the high position God had already given him as the guardian of God’s throne, with authority over who had access to God’s presence, and his position as the possessor of the earth in its original creation. He wanted a higher position than he already had, and the only higher position was God’s throne, a right that belongs only to the Messiah (Eph. 1:20–21). With the first I will, he desired to usurp God’s throne and sit on it himself in place of the Messiah.

Secondly: I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. Whenever the word star is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of angels, whether fallen or unfallen (Job 38:7; Jude 13; Rev. 1:20; 9:1; 12:4). It was used of Satan in verse 12. With this I will, he expressed his desire to become the sole authority over each individual angel. This meant that he wished to depose Michael from his position of archangel to become the archangel himself.

Thirdly: I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north. These terms are used elsewhere to describe the Millennial Kingdom (Ps. 48:2; Is. 2:2; 4:5-6). He knew that God’s program was for the Son of God to rule as the Messiah over Israel. With this I will, Satan expressed his desire to become the messianic ruler over Israel himself.

Fourthly: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. Whenever the word cloud is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of the Shechinah Glory (Ex. 16:10; 40:34-38; I Kg. 8:10-11; Mat. 26:64). This unique glory, a glory that belongs only to God, is something Satan desired for himself.

Fifth: I will make myself like the Most High. Whenever God is referred to as the Most High, it emphasizes God as the possessor of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 14:18-19). With this I will, Satan expressed his desire to become the sole possessor of everything that God created in Genesis 1:1, he wished to be like God in authority, and power, and control.

With these five I wills, he led a revolt in Heaven, brought violence to Heaven, and was judged and cast down.

Satanology: The Doctrine of Satan
pp 10-11

There is only one thing that I have a question about and if I ever meet Dr. Fruchtenbaum I am going to try and remember to ask him about his explanation of the third “I will.” While the exact timing of Satan’s fall can be debated it is certain that he had fallen by the time he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Since Israel didn’t even exist yet how could Satan want to be the millennial ruler of Israel? How could he want to rule something that didn’t exist? Dr. Fruchtenbaum believes that Satan knew many details about God’s program for history (which is probably correct) but I don’t know how he can be sure.

None the less this is fascinating stuff!

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9 Comments on “The Five “I Wills” of Satan”

  1. heavenbound Says:

    Glenn: As far as bible interpretation is concerned, is it any wonder how church dogma, doctrine, traditions of how we grew up affects our outlook on what we read. If there was one difinitive approach to understanding the bible, there never would have been a split from the Catholic church. We would accept hook line and sinker everything that the church presented. This was the case for 1300 years. Until the KJV written in 1611. The Catholics controlled everything. Thanks to men like Luther who stood up against this Popery.
    This whole idea of Satan and his minions defy sound logic. I for one do not think that Satan has any control over me and what I do or say or what others do or say. It is a reason held by the church to point to demonstration of depravity in man and say “Ahh it was Satan’s influence. Bah, humbug….We are not perfect nor have we ever been. Think about it this way, people have enslaved, slaughtered, sacrificed and eaten each other since the dawn of time. No need to blame any created spiritual being here. Who is in my opinion NOT omnipotent. Man does it to himself without any help.
    As far as the 5, I wills. Any sense of trying to connect the dots here is pretty futile. As a point for free will and volition, maybe. I for one think that the bible writers were pointing to the culmination of what the earthly ministry of Christ called the Kingdom of heaven being at hand.
    Revelation speaks to the urgency of being ready, of earthly conflict. You may be skeptical with this statement but I believe the bible was written in its entirety including Revelation before the destruction of the temple, the sacking of Jeruselem and the scattering of the Nation Israel. 285 references in Revelation refer to the Old testament, prophets and the nation Israel……….
    In my study of Acts and the letters of Paul I find no documentation presented by the bible that any of the assemblies mentioned in Revelation had any contact with Paul. Its my opinion that the 7 churches are miss interpreted(assemblies)
    and should actually read synagogues. E.W. Bullinger offers this in his writings and I tend to agree. He is not a Preterist but the more I read about the time surrounding the destruction of the temple it sure does raise some interesting points that the church doesn’t want to consider much less debate. It is interesting to note that the Catholic church does not recognize a catching up
    as part of their doctrine.

    • Glenn Says:

      Heavenbound,

      I am a bit busy tonight so I don’t have a lot of time to respond right now. However I do want to make a few points.

      First, I never said that Satan controls what you do or say. He is the ruler of this world and has a tremendous amount of influence and power which is different. If Satan doesn’t have authority over nations then what was his temptation of Christ in the desert about?

      8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
      9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

      Matthew 4:8-9

      5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
      6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.

      Luke 4:5-6

      If Satan is not ruler of the nations of the earth then this was a pretty lame temptation.

      I also find it very interesting that when you read Christ’s offer of the Kingdom of Heaven that you don’t believe that it means a literal 1,000 year kingdom ruled by Christ. Pretty much every theologian agrees that if you interpret the Bible in a literal way that you will believe in a literal Millennial reign of Christ. I have heard some theologians accuse dispensationalists of interpreting the Bible with a “wooden literalness” because of this. Of course I believe that a literal interpretation is taking God at His word. Your choice.

      You have chided me a couple of times that your interpretation of scripture is more literal than mine and now you say you don’t believe that Christ will rule here on earth for a thousand years. You can’t have it both ways Heavenbound.

      Glenn

  2. vos Says:

    I can say with conviction that Satan is very real and that this is his world and he has been gathering and has gathered the kings of the earth throughout history and today via the ancient mystery schools
    the great deception that has evolved through the ages is reaching its climax it has been so subtle so complex that if it were not for God stepping in even the elect would be deceived I have received visions from God the lie is mixed with truth so well it is incomprehensible to most without help from God if you want answers go to the source God himself

  3. PKL Says:

    VOS, I agree with you, I solely believe that Satan knows all the Glory and power of GOD that drive him to the point “he wants to be GOD”, and not “be like GOD”. “be like GOD” is When you want to be like someone, a role model, you respect the person and rule by his side, so you choose to be kind and loving, and not the powerful part of GOD. But when you “want to be GOD” it means you want to replace GOD, kick HIM out and be the Most High and rule. Since satan cannot be GOD in GOD’s realm, I believe that his ambitious heart will give him a warmup as god if this earth, yet he is still trying very hard to be god of heaven too, in short “be god”. Surely in all ways, including the words that GOD spoken, Satan will makeup his own version. JESUS was crucified and died and He rose and is alive, so will Satan attempt to shows the world that his head is bruised but he is not destroyed, trying to imitate the power of JESUS. Chuck Missler has more to say about this.

  4. Shellie Canfield Says:

    Thank you – The explanation of the ultimate plan behind the 5 I wills cleared up some questions I had. Very interesting.

  5. Colleen Says:

    Take heart ….I have overcome the world!

  6. joe Says:

    Since Jesus is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the Earth, we see that there is a timelessness in God. Jesus Is Israel. The firstborn among many brethren. This explains point #3. All 5 points are essentially the same: Satan wants to be God, and God encompasses all. This isn’t rocket science.

  7. Ran Robertson Says:

    I cannot believe Christian “theologians” still teach this as being connected to Lucifer(never a real beings name) . It is a prophecy against a Babylonian king. Please get it right before you mislead people.

    • Glenn Says:

      Hello Ran,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. My goal is never to deceive anyone and I wouldn’t have posted what I did if I didn’t believe it to be true.

      You mentioned Lucifer which I never did in my post. If you look back at Isaiah 14:12 quoted above you will notice that it uses the phrase “day-star” not Lucifer (which is used by the King James Version). Of course Lucifer is a name that came to us via Latin (click on this link for the etymology of Lucifer) but that is neither here nor there to me. How our English word Lucifer came about may be interesting but it has no bearing on whether Satan is a real creature.

      It is obvious that we interpret scripture using a different hermeneutic. If you really are interested in interpreting scripture you probably use a lot more allegory than I do. That is your decision but we will have to agree to disagree.

      You said nothing to convince me I “didn’t get it right.”

      Glenn


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