by Matt Ward
In a recent previous article titled, “In the Wings…” I discussed the soon emergence of the biblical man of sin, the Antichrist. I argued that the current vacuum in international leadership is actively preparing the world for the eventual emergence of this super leader. I discussed how he will be a man without comparison, except for the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Today, I will look at the real power behind his throne, and it is substantial.
The Bible, from beginning to the very end, is specific about who our real adversary is. In Ezekiel, God gives us a short but highly significant insight into these truths in his lament to the King of Tyre. On the surface, this lament is addressed to a man, the King of Tyre, but in reality it is directed at the real power behind the throne, Satan himself.
“The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’” (Ezekiel 28: 11-19)
This is all about Satan. When Satan entered the Garden of Eden to destroy mankind through Adam, Satan was already a fallen being. At some point prior to the fall of Man, Satan himself had fallen. This Lament to the King of Tyre tells us how and why this once majestic being became the enemy of all mankind.
It is important we understand this because an innumerable multitude have died through history because of this event, and the battle that was waged in the Garden of Eden is the same battle waged in this world today.
“‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” A truth many Christians fail to understand is that Lucifer, before he fell, was the “seal” of perfection.
God tells us here not that Lucifer thought he was full of wisdom and perfect in his beauty but that he actually was perfect in beauty and full of wisdom.
“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.”
Lucifer was the very pinnacle of God’s creation. He was with God from the very beginning. He had a privileged position with God in Eden, Gods own garden where the Creator Himself dwelt. He once enjoyed an intimate and perfect fellowship with his Creator.
So perfect was he that “every precious stone adorned you…”
In listing all the precious stones known to the ancient world the likelihood is that these stones are symbolic of light, “carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.” Impressive, attractive multi-colored beautiful light clothed him. He was clearly resplendent in obvious glory.
These stones together also represent completeness and perfection. Before his fall, Lucifer (Satan) was completely perfect. Incidentally, exactly the same descriptions of multi-colored, precious stones are used to represent the radiant glory and indescribable beauty of the new heavenly Jerusalem,
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband…The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst” (Revelation 21:2 ; 19-20).
This gives us some small indication of how obviously impressive this being was before he fell.
“You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.”
Lucifer was of a specific class of angel placed in charge of all of God’s creation. He was not just a part of this royal angelic class, he was “anointed” even from within that special group. God ordained him this way, ordained him perfect, appointed him first amongst all angels and ordained his position of vast leadership over His creation.
This is also probably why God placed another cherub to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden after Man fell:
“After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:23).
This cherub was to keep Lucifer out. God sent a powerful cherub to keep out another powerful cherub, not a normal angel.
“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.”
Lucifer was created perfect, until wickedness, in the form of pride, was found in him. Pride in his position, pride in his power, pride in his resplendence and glory, pride in his wisdom and beauty; pride in himself.
“Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.”
At this point Lucifer (Satan) became totally and completely corrupt and he sinned. It was because of the wide variety of power, gifts and blessings bestowed upon him that he became corrupt. He looked upon himself and wondered why he should not become as God is.
How revealing when we compare Lucifer’s attitude to that of God’s own Son, Jesus: “…who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.…” (Philippians 2:7-8).
That he (Lucifer) was “…filled with violence…” indicates his objective, then and now is to destroy Gods creation. Satan looked upon this man, Adam, and saw a new creation, a new son of God and Satan recognized a threat to himself and his own throne and position. He sought to destroy this man’s new relationship with the Creator God. It is this relationship that Jesus, God’s own Son, came to restore through his own death.
“So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” Ultimately this rebellion failed and Satan lost his privileged position, but that does not mean his influence or the danger he poses is passed.
Satan’s aim is to prove God to be a liar. This accounts for his insatiable hatred for Israel and the Jews. In the Old Testament God made a solemn promise to Abraham that he would deliver his seed and because there was nothing that existed holier than Himself, God swore on his own name that he would deliver a remnant of Israel.
If Satan can thwart that by destroying the Jews then he can prove God to be a liar. This means that because God swore to Abraham on the holiest thing there is, on His own Holy name, then God would be obliged to destroy his own seat of power.
This is the battle which we find ourselves in the middle of today. It is a real battle with eternal consequences for all involved. This is one of the reasons why our world is increasingly becoming characterized by horrors, and the reason why accelerated persecution is surely coming. As the end approaches the intensity of this battle is increasing and if the Lord tarries much longer all we followers in Jesus will be touched by it.
This is our situation and there is only one recourse that is open to us and it is found in Jesus Christ alone. He is the Lord of lords and the Kings of kings, above all powers, including this evil angelic one. Through His sacrifice He has provided a way for our relationship with Almighty God to be restored.
All we need do is believe:
“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18)
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
The world today for Christians is full of difficulties and sometimes, “…we are hard pressed on every side” (2 Corinthians 4:8).I suspect that in a short time, before the revealing of the man of sin, persecution will touch each member of the true church of Jesus Christ.
We must always remember that our true battle, “… is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
God Himself has promised us that “…never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And Jesus has promised us, “…I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Persecution is not a path we will ever walk alone:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians10:4).
God is saying to us today what he said to Joshua when he was taking the Promised Land, “…be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9).
“Be strong and courageous,” for mighty is the Lord who will rescue us!