The Invisible War – Who Led the Revolt?
In last week’s post I provided an outline of when the angelic rebellion occurred (see The Gap Theory Once Again). This week I am going to begin to provide information about who led that rebellion. Of course it should come as no surprise that the creature who led the rebellion is Satan. I wrote “should” because, from what I have read on the internet, there are a lot of Christians who would dispute that it is Satan who I will be writing about. Of course Christians will fight amongst themselves over just about anything so this should not come as shock to any of my readers.
This is a large subject and I cannot pack all of the information that I have into one post. So, I am going to try and split this topic up into several posts and hope that they hang together in a way that makes sense.
I will be using two sources of information for the posts on Satan. Of course I will be using the Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse and some material I have found at Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s Ariel Ministries web site. I would like to put in a plug for the materials that Arnold Fruchtenbaum has made available. If you go to his site and click on the Discipleship heading (link here) you will find both written and recorded material on a variety of subjects. The document that I am going to quote from is his booklet on Satanology (link here).
One of the major passages about Satan and his fall is Ezekiel 28. Ezekiel 28:11-14 tell us about Satan before his fall. I am going to quote from the King James version here since Pastor Barnhouse prefers that translation (Arnold Fruchtenbaum prefers the American Standard Version).
11Moreover 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 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.
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.
Here is Pastor Barnhouse’ introduction to this passage:
In the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel, there is a revelation of truth which can, and indeed must, be fitted into the great interval between the opening verses of Genesis. The first part of the chapter is a lamentation against one who is called the prince of Tyre. We have no reason for doubting that this portion of the chapter is addressed by the Holy Spirit to the reigning prince of Tyre, a contemporary of the prophet. He is one of many men throughout ancient and modern history who have been lifted up with such pride that they imagined themselves to partake of deity.
In the eleventh verse, however, there is a transition of thought. We read: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrue . . .” So far as we know from secular history there was no king of Tyre, only the prince spoken of in the first part of the chapter. Who is this king of Tyre? Everything that is spoken to the prince could be said without difficulty of an earthly ruler. But in the judgment that is addressed to the one who is styled king of Tyre, it is immediately apparent that a being above and beyond the sphere of human life is in view. Nor should this astonish us. The Lord, on several occasions, addressed Satan indirectly, and we hope to establish that the power behind the earthly ruler of Tyre is Lucifer who became Satan.
The Invisible War
I agree with Pastor Barnhouse that beginning in verse 11 Ezekiel is speaking of Satan. I have read a lot of people on the worldwide web that dispute this claim. The one argument that this passage is not speaking of Satan that has really stuck with me is that Ezekiel wouldn’t speak of Satan as if he were a human king. I disagree with that because in the Book of Daniel there are angels spoken of as kings:
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thy heart to understand, and to humble thyself before thy God, thy words were heard: and I am come for thy words’ sake.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days:
Daniel 10:12-24 (ASV)
Unless human kings can physically take on angels and archangels (Michael is an archangel) then this passage is speaking of fallen angels trying to stop this angelic messenger sent to the prophet Daniel.
There is a statement that Pastor Barnhouse makes regarding Satan that I think is particularly worth noting:
The first statement in this judgment is a recognition of the high position which Satan had occupied in the government of God before his fall. “Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty . . .” (Ezekiel 28:12). There is evidence to the effect that God created the beings of the spirit world in ranks and orders. Like an army which has privates, non-commissioned officers, field officers, staff officers and a commander-in-chief, the spirit beings seem to be in similar ranks; the angels, the archangels, principalities, powers, the seraphs, the cherubs. Of all these orders of creation, Lucifer was the climax in gifts, power and beauty. So great was his rank and power that even after his fall, Michael, the archangel, one of God’s greatest messengers, “dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 9). Let this teach us, in passing, that the common attitude of the worldling, speaking about the devil as “his satanic majesty,” or “old Nick,” certainly has no foundation in Scripture. We should have toward him that healthy respect which realizes that we are safest when we entrust our keeping to the power of our Redeemer, the Saviour Christ, and recognize the truth of that line from the hymn:
The arm of flesh will fail you,
Ye dare not trust your own.
The Invisible War
We are never told to fight Satan, that responsibility is the Lord’s. Most believers are cavalier when it comes to Satan. They seem to think that we weak human beings have the power to bind him or to cast him out of places. The truth is that we don’t.
I want to be careful and not copy to much of either author’s work but I want to finish this post with Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s summary of the origin of Satan which references the same Ezekiel passage that Pastor Barnhouse is discussing:
Summary: What Ezekiel teaches about the origin of Satan can be summarized in five points. First of all, Satan is a created being; therefore, he did not exist eternally. Secondly, he was created perfect, without a single flaw. Thirdly, he was created a cherub, the highest order of celestial beings. Fourthly, by sealing up the sum in wisdom and beauty, he was the wisest and most beautiful of all created beings. And, fifth, being the anointed cherub meant that he was the highest in power and authority of all created beings.
In my next post I plan on continuing with the topic of Satan’s fall. Ezekiel 28:15-19 gives us some details about the fall of this incredible angelic creature.