EARLY HISTORY, BEFORE HIS FALL
So great is the misunderstanding about Satan’s real person, that this article may come as a surprise to some of our readers. The world, and sadly also the church, has painted a ridiculous figure, sometimes in terms of a snake in an apple tree, and otherwise as half-man, half-goat with horns, to mention just two of the prevailing symbols. In this first of the “Lucifer Papers” we shall try to put the record straight from Scripture about his glorious beginning.
An incident recorded in Jude’s letter refers to a confrontation between Satan and Michael about the body of Moses. We are told that Michael deferred to Satan, and asked the Lord to rebuke him. This being the case, Satan retained after his fall a position of great presence in the heavenly regions, whereby even the Archangel Michael needed to exercise care in his manner of address. What therefore was he like before he was ejected from the Highest Heavens by Divine decree?
Satan has various other titles in the Bible. He is also called the Devil, the Serpent, the Dragon, a Roaring Lion, and Lucifer. Likewise we find him depicted in terms of the King of Babylon (as Lucifer, Isa.14), and the King of Tyre, (Ezek.28.) To begin our search we shall start with the name Lucifer.
LUCIFER. Many Bible Dictionaries define this word as “Morning Star”. But we decline from accepting this because in the Book of Revelation Jesus is referred to as “the Bright and Morning Star.” It is therefore confusing when the name is attached to BOTH. A bit of analysis shows that the Hebrew word is HELEL, from the same root as the word HALELUJAH, meaning “praise the Lord”. HELEL is therefore basically , “Praiser“, or perhaps better, “Praise-Master”. Drums and Viols are mentioned in this connection. Here then is the first piece of valuable information. Satan was originally the “Praise-Master of Heaven.” And that was a very important function.
EARLY DAWN. Then we find added to the word “Lucifer” the expression, “son of the morning.” In the A.V. it is translated thus. But in the Hebrew, HELEL BEN SHACHAR. BEN is the usual word for “Son”, and SHACHAR is that form of darkness that just preceeds dawn. There is just a glimmer of light. Hence, Lucifer was “Son of the first glimpse of light”. When? On the first day of Creation. Hence he is referred to as the first of God’s creative works in the heavens.
A CREATED BEING. We meet the expression “in the day that you were created” in Ezekiel 28. Here is the clear evidence that he was CREATED. It is important to state this. The New Age teachers advertise Satan as an UNcreated being like God, and that DUALISM is a fundamental part of this Universe, expressed in the Chinese “Yin-Yan” symbol. But nothing could be further from the truth. GOD ALONE is uncreated. On which day was he created? It could only have been on Day One, because it was then that God created the “Heavens and the Earth.” And the Lord told Job that “All the sons of God shouted for joy,” on that day. Satan was one of the first of the Heavenly Host to be created on that momentous day.
PERFECTION. “You were perfect in all your ways from the day you were created,” the Lord said to the King of Tyre in Ezekiel 28. It is important to dwell on these revelations, and formulate in our minds exactly what Satan was like in the beginning. It is far too easy to dwell only on the (often erroneous) image we’ve been given for the now-season. He was PERFECT. The word used is that which was employed for Noah, who was “Perfect in his generations” or, among his contemporaries. Even so was Lucifer in his beginnings.
HIS SANCTUARY. Yes, Satan had a Sanctuary in the beginning. It was a heavenly Pavilion. Perhaps it would be better to say that he had “Holy Places”, for that is the Hebrew of Ezek.28:18 and it shows that in the days of his splendour and perfection, the time when he was in charge of the Music of Praise, he held Angelic Services of Praise in his Holy Places, in a similar form to human congregations on earth. This must have been his chief function, because God said “I have set you so.”
HIS THRONE. And in addition to the Priestly function just mentioned, we learn from Isaiah 14 that he had a Throne. In other words he possessed Regal authority. Paul in Colossians speaks about “thrones, and dominions, principalities and powers” in the heavenlies. Outside the Godhead, Satan occupied the chief Throne in the beginning. He was a Priest and a King, and Perfect in all his ways.
HIS HEART. This may come as a shock, but it is nevertheless quite true. Satan has a HEART. We are told so in Ezek.28:17, and Isa.14:13. Just as the Bible tells us again and again that God has a heart, so also are we told that Satan has a heart. And the heart is the seat of the feelings. Even as Scripture tells us about the human heart and its propensities, so also it was with Satan’s heart, and the way in which he thought and felt in the days of his perfection.
IN THE HOLY MOUNTAIN OF GOD. “I have put you in the Holy Mountain of God.” (Ezek.28:14) When God created the Garden of Eden, we are told “and there He put the man whom He had formed.” (Gen.2:8) Satan was put, or established, in the Holy Mount, and Adam was established in the Garden of Eden. God’s Mountain was Holy. God’s Garden was “Edenic“, and word meaning Delightful. What greater bliss could be imagined?
HIS WISDOM. “You were full of wisdom.” Ezek.28:12. How great were the created glories of Lucifer in the beginning. “Full of Wisdom”, rather like Solomon, but on an even higher level, as the heavens are above the earth. Wisdom differs from knowledge, in that it enables one to know HOW TO USE knowledge to the greatest benefit. This heavenly being was not just a Wise Being, but God said that he was FULL of Wisdom, way above earth’s greatest philosophers. We can have little comprehension of how it might have operated. But let us not detract from the written word by lessening the magnitude and impact of Satan’s Wisdom as it used to be.
HIS BEAUTY. “- – and perfect in beauty.” Here again, it is difficult for us to conceive what form of beauty is meant, but God said that it was PERFECT, a superlative expression. The Angels who attended his Praise Services must have gasped at his appearance, and been stunned at the wisdom of his words. Beauty is a quality in great demand on this earth. God has given us all a sense of aesthetic appreciation. How much more must it have been in heaven.
HIS SPLENDOUR. As if Wisdom and Beauty were not enough, God spoke about his “Splendour” (Ezek.28:17). Satan was a Royal Priest, with the high honour of being the Praise Master in Heaven and his Wisdom and Beauty were of the greatest possible dimension. But he was also “splendid” in these qualities. He is said to have been covered in an array of precious stones and gold, and even if these were symbolic, they lose nothing by this use of language. Let us look a little more closely at the subject of these “precious stones”.
HIS BEZELS. “The workmanship of your – – pipes was prepared in the day you were created.” Ezek.28:13. For “pipes” it should read “Bezels”. These are the small sockets in which precious stones are mounted. We are told that Lucifer had these bezels “prepared” in him from his creation. What does this mean? It signifies a condition whereby precious stones are EXPECTED to be mounted. This is figurative language. Precious stones to the Apostle Paul bespoke glories of spiritual character that could be built upon the foundation of our faith, which is Christ Himself. (1 Cor.3) Hence Lucifer was full of POTENTIAL for the growth of graces and spiritual fruits. And during the years before his fall, we are told that he had “every precious stone as his covering.” Once again, let us not in any way detract from the superlative achievements of this heavenly being in his early years.
HIS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. Verse 13 of Ezek.28 tells us that his “Drums were prepared in him from his creation.”What does this mean? The same figure of speech is being employed. We have already said that he was the Praise Master. But he was no automaton. He had free-will the same as us, and was expected to use all his latent abilities to God’s glory. Hence in respect of the Holy Sanctuary, and his congregational meetings, he had the ability to improve on his own function. Music was latent within him. He could be described as a virtuoso, but every musician needs to practice and improve. This is the hidden meaning of these words. In Isa.14 we read about his “Viols”, and it is clear that he was in charge of a whole range of musical instruments.
THE ANOINTED ONE. “You were the anointed Cherub”. Ezek.28:14. It should read, “You were the Anointed One, the Cherub who covers.” The Hebrew word “anointed” has the same letters as the word employed by Daniel for “Messiah the Prince.” This may come as a surprise to some. But although there is only ONE True Messiah, there have been many possessing divine anointing. God tells Ezekiel that Lucifer was anointed into the position he held. No one else had that position. Furthermore, it was the greatest position of privilege outside the Godhead.
THE CHERUB WHO COVERS. “You were the Anointed One, the Cherub who Covers.” Covers what? And which Cherub? These are important questions, and we are now getting to the crux of Lucifer’s original office and standing before God. From an investigation of the rest of Scripture, it becomes clear that he covered God’s glory from the eyes of all other heavenly beings. Just as God dwelt in “the thick darkness” that was in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle, so also He was hidden from all save Lucifer in the heavens. Only the High Priest was allowed entry into the Holy of Holies, and that, once a year. It is instructive to consider that Lucifer the King-Priest, was likewise allowed into the “Throne Room” on certain occasions, and no one else would have had this privilege.
THE SERPENT CHERUB. We have asked the question, which Cherub? Ezekiel saw just FOUR and he named them as Lion, Ox, Man, and Eagle. But Lucifer was also a Cherub, and from Genesis 3, we learn that he was the Serpent Cherub. When he appeared to Eve, it was in the full blaze of his beauty and splendour. He was NOT a snake in the tree, but a magnificent being who stood on his feet as a man, but had wings. Some other ancient sources speak about him as having SIX PAIRS of wings, unlike the four Cherubim we read about, who have THREE PAIRS. Notice that each of the Cherubim is Head over some part of God’s Creation – the Lion over wild beasts, the Ox over domestic (clean) beasts, Man over humanity, and the Eagle over bird-life. So the Serpent Cherub is Head over all the Reptilian Order of beings. All the Dinosaurs belonged to that group.
YOU SEAL UP THE SUM. “You seal up the sum – -” said the Lord about Lucifer. A better translation would be, “You are the Ultimate Blueprint.” This is about the highest privilege that God could bestow on him. A Blueprint is a DESIGN, from which many other things may be made to satisfy the Great Designer. Satan was supposed to be such, and for many years he fulfilled that function admirably. Many years ago we asked the Lord when Adam fell, and He told us, through the prophetic ministry of a young brother in Christ, that it was SEVENTY YEARS after creation. During those 70 years Satan was for the most part fulfilling his role in every way that God intended him to. In addition, he was head over all the Cherubim.
HE WALKED UP AND DOWN. In verse 14 we read that Lucifer walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. In Job we find that Satan was “walking up and down in the earth”. His function was not static within his Holy Places or Sanctuaries. He had other services to perform. And this “walking up and down” was not just in the heavenly realm. It speaks rather of being able to “pass through the heavens to the earth.” In other words, to walk up and down the spiritual dimensions, from the Highest Heaven, which was his home, through the Lower heaven, and even down to Earth, because we are told that he was in “Eden the Garden of God.” And that is clear from Genesis 3 as well. Eve was not surprised at his appearance. He must have stopped by on frequent occasions in connection with the worship of God. And in doing so, Adam and Eve would be transfixed by his character, his wisdom and beauty, and the “stones that flashed with fire”, in other words the graces and spiritual fruits that had grown to be a part of him. Here then is an analysis of what we can learn about Satan in the Royal Priestly Years before he fell, before he was cast out of the Highest Heaven. What a character! No wonder we find Michael the Archangel deferring to him. Jude tells us that there are people who speak ill, unguardedly, about Satan, and he condemns such practices. We must learn, like King David of old, to speak about “the Lord’s anointed” with an appropriate deference. David adopted this attitude towards King Saul, even though God had rejected him. Likewise we should adopt the same approach towards Satan, even though God has ejected him from his former glorious position. To treat Satan with mockery or contempt is to feel the whiplash of the serpent’s tail. To resist him in Jesus’ name is the correct Biblical approach.