But Who is Responsible for Evil?
The word “Satan” is Hebrew for “Adversary” or “slanderer.” It is not a name, but when it is used as a title in reference to this being called the devil, we capitalize it. When someone calls another “Satan” as the Lord called Peter once, he means “adversary,” not the actual being given the title, Satan. The word “Adversary” best describes what this creature was made to be: adversarial.
The Adversary’s actual name is never given in Scripture. Many descriptive titles are given to him so we can perceive what he is all about. He is the dragon, the serpent, the god of this eon, and the prince of the aerial jurisdiction (the prince of the power of the air in KJV) to list a few. He seems to be the principle power of the resistance and opposition against God and God’s people.
One name that was not given to him is the name “Lucifer.” This was added by man when the Latin Vulgate was translated. We will look closer at this a little later. The Adversary never was “an angel of light” though he transforms himself as one now in false imitation.
The Adversary, that old serpent, the “Diabolos (devil),” was expressly created by God to oppose Him and His purposes. God did this to provide a dark backdrop on which His unconditional love and light could gloriously shine forth.
Let’s first establish the fact that God made the serpent. We already saw this in Genesis.
- Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
Here’s another reference.
- Job 26:13 – By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. [Inaccurate]
- Job 26:13 – By his Spirit the heavens were made seemly, his hand travailed with the fugitive serpent. [Accurate]
Most translations incorrectly translate this verse. I have supplied the accurate translation. This verse is speaking about the constellations God drew in the heavens where we can find a representation of the serpent in Serpens. But that starry symbolism is a mere visual representation of reality. God indeed made the Adversary.
While God created the heavens by His spirit, intimating intimacy, His hand “travailed” in creating the fugitive serpent, intimating distance and using skill and power but not a longing loving desire. This terminology is to let us know that creating the devil wasn’t something God enjoyed doing. He did it away from Himself with his “hand.” It grieved Him that He had to do it. But it was necessary to accomplish His purpose.
Isaiah also refers to the Adversary using the same descriptive phrase.
- Isaiah 27:1 – In that day, Yahweh shall visit with His sword. Hard great and steadfast, upon the dragon, the fugitive serpent. Even upon the dragon, the tortuous serpent…
Here is one more verse that states God created the Adversary.
- Isaiah 54:16 – Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
This entity is the personification of evil itself. Jesus said that Satan was a murderer and a liar from his beginning. This tells us the devil was not made “perfect.”
- John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from
the[his] beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
In the phrase, “from the beginning,” the article “the” is not in the Greek text. When the article is omitted, the word “a” or a pronoun such as “his” must be supplied instead of the word “the.” In this case, the pronoun “his” should be supplied since it is referring to a living entity that is presented as masculine in God’s Word. From “his beginning” he was both a liar and a murderer and had no truth in him. According to Jesus, there was no time when Satan was perfect and sinless.
According to Jesus, there was no time when Satan was perfect and sinless.
This means God made the Adversary to be the creature he is for a specific reason, which is to oppose Him and all He does. He didn’t create a perfect being that later defected.
God made the Adversary for a specific purpose: To oppose Him and all He does.
Why would God do such a thing?
Knowing that man, given the choice and the proper circumstances would go against His Sovereignty, God uses evil as a background to reveal His goodness to man. Just as He needed a Pharaoh to oppose Him so that He could show all Egypt that He was God over all, God needed a strong enough being who would oppose His will so He can demonstrate His great love to all creation. To oppose Him, He made this creature with opposite attributes as His. He made him to be evil but severely limited his power. To us he is powerful but to God he is not. It takes only one angel to put him in chains at the return of Jesus Christ.
It takes only one angel to put the Adversary
in chains at the return of Jesus Christ.
These things are not easy to understand and believe without considerable contemplation of the Word of God in its wider scope. Understanding God’s purpose in creation, and why He uses evil, sin, suffering and death, leading to judgment and salvation to accomplish His purpose explains the “why” and the “how.” But it is simple to understand once you realize that man learns by contrast and comparison. Not knowing good, Adam could not love God as He will, once He does know it. To learn what good is and to fully appreciate it, we must experience evil to contrast it.
God provided the only means by which man could learn and experience His goodness by creating an Adversary to oppose Him and all His dealings with mankind.
Evil is not confined to the punishment of sinners. God uses evil and judgment to reveal His grace to His creatures, and in doing so, produces multiplied blessings as demonstrated in the book of Job.
The Scriptures inform us that “the serpent” who tempted Eve was in fact the devil and Satan.
- Revelation 12:7-9 – And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels [messengers] were cast out with him.
The word “old” in the phrase, “old serpent,” is from the Greek word “archaios” which means “original” or “primeval.” “Primeval” means “from the first age or ages:” primitive. “Archaios” is from the Greek word “arche” which means “commencement” or “beginning.” Furthermore, “arche” is an abstraction of the Greek word “archomai” which means “to commence in order of time.” Satan is that “old” serpent, that “ancient” serpent, that “original” serpent, that “primeval” serpent, the serpent of “the first age,” from his “beginning,” existed as a serpent right from his point of creation which was sometime during the first eon, not at the original creation which was entirely perfect, but later before the disruption of the first earth, which the Adversary most likely provoked. That eon produced the scene for the second with everything in place to accomplish its objectives, including the serpent to tempt Eve. God always uses what His creatures do to advance His purpose. Judas is a clear example. Expand that to every created being throughout all time and you’ll begin to see how God orchestrates His entire plan. Nothing is by accident.
The war in heaven described in these verses is still future. The devil, that “old serpent” still has access to heaven as we see in several Scriptures, including the book of Job. He has not yet been cast out, but is doing what God intends him to do. Absolutely nothing is outside of God’s control. God “works all things after the counsel of His own will.” This shows that the widespread theological position that the devil was thrown out of heaven with a third of the angels before God even made man is inaccurate and has been proven false.
Christendom at large teaches that the devil was an angel of light that sinned. He wanted to take God’s place and drew a third of the angels with him. God is at war with him, and although He will win the battle, the devil is wreaking havoc on his own in the meantime. This is a totally felonious teaching.
The truth is that God works all things – without exception – after the counsel of His own will. The book of Hebrews teaches us that God’s council is immutable meaning it cannot be altered or disannulled. That means that everything that has happened and will happen is in His direct control. Disguise it as they will, man cannot deny that God is the source of all things therefore He alone is responsible for their existence. Evil is one of those things.
- Ephesians 1:11 – In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated by him who works all things after the counsel of his own will
The devil was not a mistake; his creation was deliberate and his mission pre-determined. Nothing that has happened or will happen is by chance. God knows exactly what He is doing. When evil has run its course and it has achieved its God-given purpose, evil itself will be done away with entirely. It will not mar the beauty and glory of God’s creation any longer, let alone “forever.”
The most dangerous spiritual threat to the early church was Gnosticism. Gnosticism was an elaborate false system of belief that tried to relieve God of responsibility for the evil in the His creation. God is pure. He created a caste of spiritual beings who were less pure than himself. They spawned the next caste of spiritual beings who were more impure than they were. Additional castes were generated, each more evil than the previous caste, until the most evil caste finally created the earth.
The Gnostics thought this absolved God of the responsibility of the existence of evil in His creation. They blamed it on the creature instead of the Creator. But it ignores the obvious fact that in their own words, they say God made the first caste who were less pure than Himself. Nothing impure can generate something pure, so each succeeding caste is less pure. However, God made the first caste which created the others so there is no escaping ultimate responsibility for the lot. The entire system is a lie.
If you ask a dozen Christians who is responsible for sin and evil in the world, some of them would answer, “Adam and Eve” and others “the devil.” Adam blamed Eve for his bad decision while Eve blamed the devil for hers. We blame our first human parents and the devil. But there is one glaring oversight in this analysis. Who made the devil?
The teaching that the devil is responsible for the evil in the world is just a simplified form of Gnosticism. It tries to remove responsibility from God and shift it to those He created, namely the devil and his cohorts, but it fails to consider the fact that all is out of God.
I’ll give an example that demonstrates responsibility. If people are killed in a boat that had a faulty engine that exploded, who is responsible? Not the people. Not the boat. Not the boat engine – it didn’t make itself. The manufacturer of the boat engine, of course, is responsible.
How is it any different with God?
All things without exception or “from” or “out of” God.
- Romans 11:36 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for
ever[Greek: “aiōnas,” “(the) eons”]. Amen.
- I Corinthians 8:6 – yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
If all comes out from of God, then God made the creature He calls the Adversary. If God made him with an internal fault that caused him to sin, then God is responsible for the fault. If He made the devil faultless, then God is still responsible because He made a being that was subject to fail. There is no getting around the fact that God made the Adversary. He alone is responsible for His creation.
This means that whether the devil was made the evil being he now is, or whether he became that way on his own accord, God is still responsible for him. We are not responsible for our own lives either; we found ourselves here not of our own doing but His. But though we are not responsible for anything, we are accountable for what we do with the life He’s given us.
The Word of God never talks about responsibility. God does not hold any of His creatures responsible for anything; He accepts the responsibility of everything Himself for all came out of Him. He does, however, hold His creatures accountable for what they themselves do. This is because He gave all His creatures the standard of right and wrong in the nature He gives to them.
This truth is contrary to theology which claims a perfect archangel name “Lucifer” conspired with a third of the angels to overthrow God and were cast to the earth. We have just read the verse they use to “prove” this but a careful study of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ shows this event is still future! The devil is the god of this current evil eon. He is still the chief of the aerial jurisdiction. He has not yet been cast out of heaven – but that time is coming.
Taking verses like this out of context is the only way anyone can “prove” the devil was perfect and later decided to sin. Theology falls apart in the truth of God’s Word. Let me explain how this falsehood developed.
Verses Used to Teach the Adversary was Perfect and Later “Fell”
The phrase, “the fall of the devil” cannot be found in the Scriptures. Neither can “the fall of man” be found. God doesn’t use those terms for good reason. Man uses them of a perfect, sinless being who is influenced from the outside and sins. Adam was influenced from the outside, but the Word of God does not say the Adversary was. The Adversary sins because of what he is; because of how he was made to be.
But man was not “perfect” before he disobeyed the express command of God. He was “innocent” but not “perfect.” Yet his nature was godly, not evil. He had no sin in himself and he did not sin until an outside influence interfered. Believing and standing on God’s revealed Word, the simple command not to eat from the three of the knowledge of good and evil, would have protected Adam, but he discounted it and went against it instead. Man didn’t “fall:” he “sinned,” “transgressed” and “offended” God.
There are two sections of Scripture used to teach the Adversary was created perfect and then “fell.” Let’s take a brief look at each of these. The first is in Ezekiel. God uses exquisite figurative speech to describe this King, who thought he was a god but was of course only a man. The Adversary is not a man, so this section of Scripture has nothing to do with the Adversary personally.
- Ezekiel 28:1-10 – The word of the Lord came again to me, saying,
Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre (“Tyrus” in KJV), Thus said the Lord God; Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the middle of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God:
Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you (figure of speech: Irony; the King was not wiser than Daniel by any stretch of the imagination):
With your wisdom and with your understanding you have gotten you riches, and have gotten gold and silver into your treasures:
By your great wisdom and by your traffic have you increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches:
Therefore thus said the Lord God; Because you have set your heart as the heart of God;
Behold, therefore I will bring strangers on you, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness. [The Chaldeans would be used by God to conquer this prince and his people.]
They shall bring you down to the pit, and you shall die the deaths of them that are slain in the middle of the seas (referring to Noah’s deluge, still future).
Will you yet say before him that slays you, I am God? but you shall be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slays you.
You shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, said the Lord God.
God clearly says several times this King of Tyre is a man,” you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God.” Ancient civilizations like Tyre often worshipped their King as god because the King asserted that he was a god to the people. “the seat of God” refers to the throne given to him by God. It’s the King’s throne.
According to the ancient Phoenician annals, his name was Ithobalus II.
Tyre was an island-city surrounded by water. This made the King of Tyre feel safe from attack, which bolstered his arrogance. This King’s heart was lifted up because of pride and he forgot his dependence upon God Almighty, nor did he recognize God as Sovereign: “Though thou hast set thy heart as the heart of God.” God uses the figure of speech irony to say this man was not as wise as Daniel. The Tyrians were a colony of the Phoenicians. They thought very highly of themselves for their wisdom and ingenuity, having been the inventors of navigation, letters, and sciences. The King had become very wealthy through commerce. His budding, flourishing kingdom was to become a ruin: “thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.”
The title “prince” and “king” are used interchangeably in this account. Sometimes, the word “prince” is used of the spiritual principalities and powers over nations. Daniel was told by Gabriel, speaking about these spiritual entities, that the prince of Persia withstood him and that the prince of Greece was coming. But here the word “king” is interchangeable with the word “prince”. In verse 1 we read, “the prince of Tyre;” in verse 12, talking about the same person, we have, “the king of Tyre.” Interestingly the word “king” is used in the second section of this passage, shown below, that has been misconstrued to refer to a spiritual being, rather than in the first section where “prince” is used where nothing spiritual about him can be discerned other than his claim that he was a god.
Furthermore, when the Adversary tempted Jesus, he offered him all the kingdoms of the world – not just one, “for that is delivered unto me” through Adam’s disobedience. It’s highly unlikely the Adversary was a spiritual principality over Tyre, for he is the major principality and power over all the nations. He would have delegated that work to a lesser rank.
The text continues. The following section is used to teach that the King of Tyre is in fact the Adversary, but let’s look a little closer.
- Ezekiel 28:11-19 – Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Thou 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.
You are the anointed cherub that covers; 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.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
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 I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine 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 will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Because of wrong teaching, it’s easy to read this and fall into the same trap. Let’s go through this section in more detail.
Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty – This is in the King’s own opinion; it is not God’s view of him. But the allusion is to Adam in the garden of Eden, the paradise of God. The Septuagint renders this, ”Συ αποσφραγισμα ομοιωσεως, και στεφανος καλλους,” Thou art the seal of likeness, and crown of beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God – An allusion to Adam. God is comparing this King to Adam before he disobeyed God. Adam was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. One of his accomplishments was the naming of all the animals. God is comparing Tyre, a beautiful paradise-like land, with Eden. The glory of Tyre and it’s beautiful gardens are talked about to this day.
Benson’s Commentary has this to say about this section of Scripture.
“In thine own opinion thou art the perfect pattern of wisdom and all other excellences; thou possessest them in full measure, they are thine by an unalienable tenure, sealed up safely among thy treasures. The LXX [Septuagint] render this, Συ αποσφραγισμα ομοιωσεως, και στεφανος καλλους, Thou art the seal of likeness, and crown of beauty. To the same purpose the Vulgate, Tu signaculum similitudinis, plenus sapientia, perfectus decore: that is, says Lowth, “Thou art the image of God, an exact impression taken from that great copy. For the following verse shows that the expression alludes to Adam, when he was first created, and came pure out of the hands of his Maker; full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Thou hast been in Eden — “As thy situation was pleasant, so wast thou plentifully supplied with every thing which could contribute to make thy life pleasant and happy. The state of paradise, in common speech, denotes a condition every way complete and happy. See Isaiah 51:3. The expression, as well as the whole context, alludes to the complete happiness which Adam enjoyed in paradise, before his apostasy and fall.”
Every precious stone was thy covering – the King’s crown was adorned with the finest jewels, and he was arrayed with royal robes, enriched with gold and precious stones of all kinds. There is probably an allusion here to the precious stones which were placed in the high-priest’s breast-plate, as the next verse alludes to the cherubim over the mercy-seat.
The workmanship of thy tabrets – was prepared in thee [or for thee] in the day thou wast created –
When a child was born, a celebration ensued with joyous song and festivities.
From the Cambridge Bible: “thy tabrets and of thy pipes” – It is obvious that tumbrels and pipes are out of place here. It is also probable that the preceding words and gold should be disjoined from the list of precious stones. Render: and of gold was the workmanship of thy sockets and grooves. Reference is unmistakably to the setting of precious stones, and while possibly a person might be supposed to be covered or clothed with the jewels mentioned, the phrase “thy sockets” seems to recall the figure of the ring. The phrase “was prepared” is wanting in the Septuagint, and the last words “in the day that thou wast created” should probably go to the next verse.
Thou* art the
anointed extended cherub that covereth – This is an allusion to the cherubim whose wings spread over the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. The King of Tyre himself was not a cherub, and neither was the Adversary. This King thought he was a god so God is using divine comparisons to show him what he, the King, thinks of himself. But his assessment of himself is just an illusion. He is just a man. God set him up to rule as King, but the King had forsaken his subjection to the one true God.
* The word “thou” is pointed here anomalously as it is in Numbers 11:15; Deuteronomy 5:24. It may more naturally be read ”with” or “beside.”
The word “anointed” is actually the word “extended.” The extended cherub that covereth: that is, whose wings are stretched out to cover, &c., reading ממשׁן, extended, instead of ממשׁח, anointed. “And I have set thee so…” shows any man of power is appointed by God, not men. God is in total control though we think we choose our own heads of state.
The text, however, permits the reading with or beside the cherub (v, 14, so LXX.).
From the Cambridge Bible: “the fall of the cherub is not hinted at anywhere in the Old Test.; on the contrary the cherubs are represented as watchers and protectors of the garden of God against men (Genesis 3:24). There are references in the Old Testament to the sin of higher beings (e.g. Genesis 6:1; Isaiah 24:21), but the prophet’s allusions to the cherubs in other places make it very improbable that he should think of them as sinning. 3. It is probable, therefore, that it is the history of the first man that floats before his mind.
Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God – Mountains are symbolic of governmental power in the Word of God. This entire section in Ezekiel 28 is speaking of God appointing someone to be a King, setting him up over the people to rule in righteous judgment, but this King became filled with pride and thought himself to be a god.
…stones of fire – [Benson] Thou hast, as it were, been placed among the twelve precious stones on the breast-plate of the high-priest that sparkled in the light. Or this obscure sentence may signify that this prince’s palace and his attendants were very richly adorned with precious stones, which shone with a burning brightness, like fire.
Cambridge Bible: “…hast walked up and down] didst walk in the midst of (the) stones of fire. The “stones of fire” might be flashing precious stones (Assyr. aban ishâti, precious stone, Frd. Del., Par. p. 118); more probably there is some reference to the phenomena attending the divine presence and manifestation, ch. Ezekiel 1:13, Ezekiel 10:6, cf. Isaiah 6:6; Psalm 18:14.”
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee – The King of Tyre wasn’t a perfect, flawless being. It is his “ways” that were “perfect” until iniquity was found “in” him. This shows his sin came from within, not from without. This is no perfect human being and this certainly does not allude to the Adversary once being perfect. If it were referring to the Adversary, then the Adversary had a built-in flaw. That is God’s responsibility as well.
Cambridge Bible: “The sin and fall of the prince. The terms “the day when thou vast created” are very unsuitable if applied to the cherub. The sons of God existed before creation, Job 38:7.”
An alternative reading follows: “14 In the day that thou wast created I set thee with the [outspread, the covering] cherub, thou wast in the holy mountain of God, in the midst of the stones of fire [thou didst walk]. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 In the multitude of thy traffic thy midst was filled with wrong [LXX. thou didst fill], and thou didst sin: therefore I have profaned thee (and cast thee) from the mountain of God; and the [covering] cherub hath destroyed thee (driving thee) from the midst of the stones of fire.”
This beautiful symbolism tells us that God appointed this person as King of Tyre (mountain representing kingship and kingdom; fiery stones representing the glittering jewels of his crown and signet ring. He was a good King, “perfect in thy ways” until iniquity was found in him. The latent tendency to sin is in every human since Adam. It was his “traffic” in commerce that made him wealthy and his position of power made him drunk. He decided he must be a god! But God set him as an example to those who would follow. He removed him from his “mountain,” that is his headship of state and destroyed him, removing his crown and signet ring from him.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities – [Benson] Thy throne, palace, judgment-seats. The word מקדשׁ, generally rendered sanctuary, sometimes signifies a palace, in which sense it probably ought to be taken Amos 7:13, where our translation renders it the king’s chapel. Thus Bishop Patrick understands it, Exodus 25:8, where our version reads, Let them make me a sanctuary; God commanding that he should be served and attended upon in the tabernacle, as a king in his court or palace. The cherubim were his throne, the ark his footstool, the altar his table, (and therefore called by that name, Ezekiel 41:22; Malachi 1:7), the priests his attendants, and the show-bread and sacrifices his provisions. The king of Tyre had filled his palace and courts of judicature, and the Tyrians their stately buildings, with iniquity and injustice, and therefore God was determined utterly to destroy them by the Chaldeans.
I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee… All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee – The King of Tyre was well known; this cannot be speaking of a spirit being such as the Adversary who is not a personal acquaintance of men. They were astonished that such a “god” as this King of Tyre would be brought low to death.
This cannot be speaking of the Adversary for he is never “brought to ashes before” those that personally know him. He is tied up for 1,000 years in chains during Christ’s Millennial Kingdom; then he is released for a short time to stir up the nations, then he is thrown in the lake of fire to be tormented for the eon of the new heaven and earth. But at the Consummation, he will be purged of evil and will glorify God the Father by confessing Jesus is Lord. He too will become one with all of God’s creatures when God becomes All in all.
Summary of Ezekiel 28:1-19
God establishes kings and removes kings (Daniel 2:21). God set up this King of Tyre over an island-city protected from its neighbors. He gave them great wisdom and they used that wisdom to become wealthy. But the king’s wisdom and beauty, and his resulting riches, corrupted him. He used extortion and violence to procure even more. God compares him to the first man, Adam, before Adam disobeyed. Adam was in the paradise of Eden. This king was in the paradise of Tyre. Likewise did the King of Tyre disobey. God cast him out of the mountain of God – out of the kingship he gave him – thus removing him from power. He died because of his arrogance. He was brought down to teach him humility – that God is Sovereign and man is not a god. He will learn this at the resurrection of the unjust.
Are we to take a passage such as this and “allude” that it refers to the Adversary? We can build no doctrine such as has been built upon an allusion. God has not spoken about “the fall of Satan” anywhere in His Word. Let’s not “allude” to it.
The second section of Scripture that is used to teach that Satan “fell” is in Isaiah. First let’s set the context to see who this section is talking about.
- Isaiah 13:1 – The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
This entire section is a vision of the judgment of Babylon which is still future. Instantly we see it’s not talking about the past, but the future. Let’s read the record.
- Isaiah 14:12-20 – How are you fallen from heaven, O
Lucifer[Hebrew: “hê·lêl,” “howl”], son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet you shall be brought down to hell [Greek: “sheol,” “the unseen” or “the grave”], to the sides of the pit.
They that see you shall narrowly look on you, and consider you, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet.
You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
The name “Lucifer” is nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures. It was supplied when the ancient Greek texts were translated into the Latin Vulgate. The Hebrew word is actually “hê·lêl,” which should be translated “howl,” as it is in over a dozen occurrences. Only here is it [wrongly] translated “Lucifer.” Here are two examples.
- Zechariah 11:2 – Howl [Hebrew “hê·lêl,” “howl”], fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O you oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.
- Isaiah 14:31 – Howl [Hebrew “hê·lêl,” “howl”], O gate; cry, O city; you, whole Palestina, are dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.
The text should read, “Howl son of the morning…” The phrase “son of the morning” is not “the morning star” which Jesus Christ is. The Adversary loves it when he is called by the same title as our Lord Jesus Christ but it is not his title. His is “Satan,” “Adversary” or “slanderer.” There is quite a difference between the titles our Lord is given and those the Adversary is given!
In verse 15, this King of Babylon who will conquer other kings when he comes is called a “man.” When he meets his end, he will not be buried but will figuratively be “cast out” of his grave. This means he will not be buried. People who know him will look upon him in wonder that the man who conquered so many and set himself up as god died such an ignoble death.
Summary of Isaiah 14:12-20
The coming man of sin is this “King of Babylon.” Babylon has never seen its final destruction, but will in the Day of the Lord during the wrath of God. This passage in Isaiah is talking about him, not the Adversary. That coming King will declare five prideful “I wills” yet will be brought low to “hades, which is the state of death or, “the unseen.” This is talking about the coming Beast that will subjugate the entire world for a short time.
The Adversary, the Satan, was created by God so God could display His love and redemption to man. By experiencing evil, we learn what good is and we appreciate it. By experiencing hate and indifference we learn what love is and we desire to dwell in it. God did not sin in introducing evil into His creation. He did it for a purpose and uses it in righteousness. He is just.
Consider the facts. God says He made “the fugitive serpent.”
Jesus said Satan was a liar from his beginning.
He was there in the garden to tempt Adam, just as God wanted.
God gave Job into his hands with the exception of his very life for the purpose of displaying His sovereignty and His deliverance.
Esau forfeited his birthright to Jacob through succumbing to simple hunger – because it was God’s will for Jacob to get the inheritance, and that was because God’s will to birth the nation of Israel would be through him – and that because the Christ would be born from that line – and that because… etc… and that because God’s will is to become All in all.
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery – because it was God’s will that Joseph rise to the right hand of the Pharaoh by which He made His name known to all Egypt and saved Israel, Egypt and other nations from the 7-year famine. God did that deliberately to raise up a type of the Christ to come. Joseph was that type.
We already discussed how God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh in Egypt – so He could make His name known to all Egypt.
We see God asking for a volunteer spirit to lie to a king during Samuel’s lifetime.
We see the man who was born blind healed by our Lord Jesus Christ. When his disciples asked if he or his parents sinned so that he was born like that, Jesus replied that it was for God’s glory, not for his or his parents’ sins. God set him up to show a sign to the world.
It should be plainly apparent that what Satan does is steered by God when we read in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ that a single lone angel constrains Satan in chains; he is held for 1,000 years after which time he is loosed, probably by the same angel, to deceive the nations. God’s purpose in releasing him is to dispose of those who are still irreverent who want to rid the earth of Christ. So we see plainly that God uses the devil to accomplish those things that facilitate His ultimate purpose.
Throughout God’s Word we are shown that God is the potter and we are the clay. He does whatever He has deemed necessary to reveal man to himself and in response to reveal Himself to man through judgment and salvation.
God molds us as He will – some for destruction and some for glory. But even those who He destroys, He will remold into His own image. The very things man does he does of his own volition; God need only set up the motivating circumstances.
There are many more examples. We need to understand that God does whatever He deems necessary to accomplish His purpose. We find it hard to believe these things, but that is because we don’t yet know God and His limitless love. What appears to us as a god who manipulates His creation any way He wants, killing people in the process, is in reality the loving God and Father of Creation who is working all things out for a specific purpose.
Although we can’t understand every aspect of why certain events happen now, we can rest assured that all of it is for the greater good. All God does helps to fulfill His purpose in creation: to become All in all.
I will leave you with hope from the book of Romans that states this much better than I can.
- Romans 8:18-20 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
And why stop here. Open up your Bible and read the rest of Romans 8 for extreme spiritual encouragement and consolation.
You need not fear the Adversary if you are God’s property.
- I John 3:8 – He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from his beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus’ sacrifice has facilitated this. When he returns, he will claim his rightful possession of the kingdoms of this earth. The Adversary can only do what God wants him to do, so rest in your Father’s arms. Learn His Word and put on all the armor of God.
- Ephesians 6:10-17 – Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Pray for me that I might open my mouth to boldly speak the secret of Christ also – for God has conciliated Himself to man through the blood of Christ’s cross. Be conciliated to God! Let God be your All—for one day He will be All in you, and He will be your all!