The Divine Council: The Anointed Cherub
Angelic Rebellion Lesson #10
December 13, 2020
“Father, we’re so grateful for Your Word. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It illuminates our thinking. Your light pierces into the darkest recesses of our soul. We need to focus upon You because as Your Word exposes all of the nooks and crannies, we recognize that we are sinners and we need forgiveness, and that comes at the Cross through faith in Him.
“We know too that as we study Your Word, that we’re part of an even greater conflict than what we could ever imagine—a rebellion, a cosmic rebellion that impacts us in ways we can barely understand. It impacts our culture, it impacts our politics, it impacts all the elements of our culture. It impacts the relationships we have with people, the way business is done, the organizations for whom we labor make their decisions. And yet Father, we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our mind.
“So Father, as part of that we need to come to understand the reality of evil and the nature of this warfare that we are a part of, for we cannot escape it. The issue is not, are we going to engage in the warfare? The issue is, are we going to engage as victorious soldiers in the body of Christ or are we going to try to do it our own way, and thus become casualties” That’s the issue.
We need to understand what is really going on. That is why we are studying this topic right now. So Father, we pray that You would illuminate our thinking to the realities of evil in the universe and the evil around us. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”
One of the major issues in our culture is that we don’t believe in evil or sin anymore. We don’t believe there are absolutes anymore. If you look around the culture, what we’re really seeing is the absolute breakdown of a culture because once you reject absolutes, once you say there’s no absolute right or wrong, you can have your set of rules, I can have my set of rules, somebody else can have their set of rules, and everybody’s right.
There’s a time in the Bible when this took place. That was during the time of the judges. We will begin a study of that on soon.
Twice the Bible tells us that that Jewish culture had degenerated from their victorious obedience to God during the time of Joshua to a time when there was no king in the land. In other words, there is no ultimate authority, and everyone was doing what’s right in their own eyes.
What we see in a culture that has given itself over to moral relativism is that moral relativism becomes a wicked tyrant. That’s what we’re seeing right now is the tyranny of relativism.
For example, politically, we see places and states where they have issued certain mandates to limit church attendance, to limit how the church is to meet, where they can meet, all these other circumstances. In some places saying that they can’t meet all. There have been two court decisions. These are decisions that are based on the absolute law of the land, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights.
There was a federal court decision that went to the Supreme Court that came out of New York which told the governor of New York and the state legislature that they can’t determine when churches meet or how they meet or the conditions under which they meet.
Now that’s the Supreme Court, but in California the governor doesn’t think he has to abide by that, and so he’s instituted certain laws restricting the meeting of churches, and the Ninth Circuit Court, which has traditionally been liberal, but because conservative judges who are constitutionalists have been put on that court, they have recognized that the governor of California and the state of California can’t make those restrictions. There are churches in California that have been fined in excess of $200,000, and it’s still going on because when it gets down to some of the cities and the counties, they are a law unto themselves.
See it’s antinomianism. You know, “the Supreme Court has their rules and Ninth Circuit Court has their rules, but we have our rules. We don’t have to listen to them.” This is what happens. It is tyranny because all they are after is power, not freedom. They don’t believe in liberty anymore, and they just want to exercise their authority over people and restrict them from doing things the way they think they ought to be done. So moral relativism creates a more burdensome tyranny than anything else.
If we take Nazi Germany for an example, I don’t know enough about what it was like before the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia to say that it was the same thing, but I’ve studied a lot about Germany in the 1920s—it had become an immoral antinomian culture. But when many of those people that were antinomian, when they suddenly woke up one day and discovered the Nazi party was in charge, they were the ones who were going to the concentration camp because they didn’t fit with the new power scheme and the new authority and their new norms and standards.
This is the problem with evil. Evil operates on arrogance and sets up its own standards, its own operation, and that’s what we see going on with the person that we have been studying who goes (because of the bad translation in English centuries ago) by Lucifer, which translates the Hebrew term for Helel ben Shahar, referring to the highest of the angels that God created. His creation by God is described in the passage we’re going to look at this morning in Ezekiel 28:11–19, so you might want to turn in your Bibles there, and we’re going to look at what we learn about this anointed cherub in Ezekiel 28:11–19.
Now as I have said in the last several lessons, just to remind you again and again, we live in a world where as evangelicals who have been taught the Word, mostly for many of you from the time you were young, we have been taught that Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 are two passages that describe the original fall into sin by this highest of all of the angels. But if you pick up just about any study Bible today, you will find comments made in the study notes at the bottom that will question that and in some cases totally ignore that, and they will offer an alternate interpretation. We studied the issues on that last Sunday morning, and we studied it again Thursday night, and it’s true for this passage as well.
As I outlined previously, there are three basic views for both of these passages.
The first is that they address the person we call Satan. They address Satan, the prince and the power of the air, and they are directly addressing him. There is a similar view. It’s a little bit different, I think they have missed a couple of points, and they see it as something that is representative of a human leader, but they do recognize that the one that is behind the human leader is Satan.
Then there’s the view that it’s historical only. It refers to a king in the ancient world. It refers probably to Nebuchadnezzar—or maybe it refers to one of the earlier Assyrian kings, Tiglath-Pileser, or maybe it refers to Ashurbanipal—one of those, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with Satan or the entry of sin and evil into the universe.
Then there’s the third view that is called the mythological view, where the people who hold this view don’t believe in inerrancy or infallibility of Scripture, and they say these writers were just borrowing from other pagan religions in the nations surrounding them and putting together their own new mythology.
The problem with the second and the third views is that if you take either one of those views, then you don’t have an answer to the question of the existence of evil. But we ask this question, is there such a thing as real evil?
When President George W. Bush started referring to the Islamic terrorists who committed the acts of murder and terrorism on 9/11 as evildoers, he immediately caused the heads of most people on the left to explode, because he’s calling them evil as if it’s a real absolute thing, and they were mired in postmodern antinomianism and relativism, and they just reacted harshly to that. I think that’s part of when the culture war in our civilization really ratcheted it up a bunch, and again this last year was even more so.
Also, we ask the question, is there such a thing as objective, absolute evil that is destructive and corrupting? And if we answer yes to that, then the next question is, how did it come about? Where did it come from?
If we buy into the idea that everything is the product of time plus chance plus just natural forces, that somehow all things came into existence randomly through time, then how can you distinguish between good and bad? How can you distinguish between evil and righteousness? If the basic mechanism of evolution is survival of the fittest, then the struggle between the species or between people is just the outworking of the antagonism and the struggle for existence that leads to the survival of the fittest. So how can it be wrong if that’s the mechanism of advancement? That is a moral conundrum that they’re not able to answer.
So how did it began? What was its origin? If you start with evolution, you cannot have moral absolutes. It’s impossible. It’s inconsistent. You have no basis for it whatsoever. But then if you just disagreed with that statement and you said I’m wrong, then you can’t say that either because there’s no right or wrong. If everything is right and everything is wrong, then nothing is right and nothing is wrong.
What the Bible teaches is that there was a time in eternity past when everything was perfect, absolute perfection. There was no sin, there was no evil. Every creature, everything, was perfect as God created it, and then sin came into the universe with its corrupting and destructive effects.
If we take Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 out of the Bible, then we don’t know anything about it. I think it is a tragedy that these academics reject finding Satan in these chapters. I went through several commentaries over the last few days looking at this, and I was surprised how many evangelical scholars reject Satan in both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.
The irony of this is that these evangelical scholars, who are rejecting this, are actually looking to the devil’s world for approval and recognition. Conservative Biblicists have never had their scholarship recognized by the world that doesn’t believe the Bible is God’s Word. It never has and it never will until every knee bows before the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet this is what has happened time and time again. It’s a cycle. It happened at the end of the 19th century; it’s happening again now where you have these academics who go off to a school that has academic excellence in the eyes of the world, and they come back and they no longer believe key elements of the Scripture. They have succumbed to Satan’s original sin, which is arrogance. They have succumbed to academic arrogance, and they aren’t like the Jews in the Old Testament who wanted a king like everybody else, but they wanted recognition like everybody else. And so that is why the life of the orthodox biblically based seminary is usually no longer than about 75 years, because it takes about a generation and a half for that to collapse and fall apart.
But Satan’s sin is exactly that. It is arrogance. It is looking at oneself as being more important than we actually all are. It is being self-absorbed, where we think it’s all about me.
Now if you sit here and you don’t recognize that what I just said is talking about every single one of us. It’s talking about me; it’s talking about you. Every one of us are more self-absorbed than we are willing to admit. We can’t look in the mirror and really see that, but for every one of us it’s all about us. And when other people are engaged in other things, we say, “Well, what about me? What about what I want to do? What about what’s going to make my life more comfortable and more significant and more meaningful?”
That’s just self-absorption. We’re not thinking of others as being more important than ourselves, and that really is the opposite of arrogance. We see this typified in both the Isaiah 14 passage and in the Ezekiel 28 passage.
The Ezekiel 28 passage begins with the statement in Ezekiel 28:1, “The word of the Lord came to me—‘Lord’ should be capitalized. It’s talking about Yahweh, the Covenant God of Israel—The word of the Lord came to me—that is, Ezekiel—again …”
The reason he says “again” is because throughout this particular section of Ezekiel, he is giving a number of judgments against various nations, and starting in Ezekiel 26, he begins to focus upon this kingdom of Tyre.
So now he says in Ezekiel 28:2, “Son of man—which is a way God referred to Ezekiel many times in this book—Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says Yahweh Adonai:
“Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,’ Yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god.” ’ ”
That’s the essence of self-absorption. We want to be our own little god.
Now one of the things we need to notice at the beginning here is that this is addressed to the prince of Tyre.
Just look down the page to Ezekiel 28:12. This verse introduces another oracle, and it begins the same way Ezekiel 28:2 begins:
“Son of man—and here it says—take up a lamentation—the word there is a funeral dirge—take up a lamentation—against who? Notice there’s a difference—against the king of Tyre.”
Now a lot of these commentaries will tell you this is just stylistic variance. King, prince, it doesn’t really make a difference. But that’s not true because the ruler of Tyre was thought of as the king of Tyre, but God is minimizing his significance by calling him a prince in Ezekiel 28:2, because he wants to emphasize that the real power behind the throne is someone that’s not visible, and that’s the king of Tyre, who is the same figure that we’ve seen in Isaiah 14:12–15. This is the human ruler in the first 10 verses.
So he says, “‘ Thus says the Lord God.’ ”
We have been studying the significance of God and the word ’Elohim. Often, we have been under the impression that ’Elohim has as its primary meaning the concept of deity or divinity, but it doesn’t, because it’s used at times to refer to demons, it’s used at times to refer to, for example, Samuel when his immaterial soul came out of the grave for the witch of Endor. She screams out, “I see an ’elohim,” and later on in Psalms we’re told that God created us a little lower than the ’elohim. Some translations translated it “a little lower than God,” but the Septuagint understood what it meant and translated it “a little lower than the angels,” and God the Holy Spirit adopted that translation as it’s quoted in Hebrews 2:7.
The word ’elohim describes those who are the inhabitants of the unseen realm, whether it is Yahweh God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; or whether it is an angel, a holy angel, an elect angel, a fallen angel; or whether it might be the soul of someone who has already died physically.
So here we have God’s name Yahweh. That’s His personal name. Other words, like Adonai, which simply means Lord, or in this case it would be translated as God (lowercase g-o-d).
Then what the prince of Tyre is indicted for is that he has arrogant thoughts—“… your heart is lifted up, and you say, ‘I am a god—an ’el. Wants to make himself on the same level as God—I sit in the seat of gods—that refers to the council, the assembly of God—I sit in the seat of gods—’elohim plural, which would refer to the angels—in the midst of seas,’ Yet—God says—you are a man, and not a god—you’re not ’el —though you set your heart as the heart of an ’elohim.”
So the problem with the human leader of Tyre is he is a little tyrant. He is like a lot of politicians. He wants to be God and dictate everything to those under his authority. The problem is arrogance.
Now this comes across in the word that is translated “lifted up.” It means to elevate, to raise something up, to lift something up, to be exalted, but it comes primarily to mean someone who is proud, someone who is arrogant, someone who is haughty, and we see a parallel to this.
Now remember what I’m saying. Ezekiel 28:2–10 is talking about a human king that is a picture, in what he is doing with his arrogance, of the ultimate invisible ruler behind the scene, Satan, who is the originator of arrogance in the universe.
So he is accused of having his heart lifted up. When we get to Ezekiel 28:11–18, what we see is that they’re parallel, but different.
The anointed cherub in the second half of the chapter is indicted in Ezekiel 28:17, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.”
This is the same word in the Hebrew.
So human arrogance is related to the arrogance of the anointed cherub and of his disobedience to God.
It all starts in the mind. We focus so much on overt sins, sins of the tongue, sins of action, rather than thought sins.
I’m always amazed at churches that will get rid of a pastor because he commits some sin. Maybe sometimes they should, but they never do anything about any of the leaders in the church who are as arrogant and power-hungry as they can possibly be, and that’s much more destructive than having a pastor who on occasion forgets about his sin nature and yields to it.
I’m not justifying any moral failures. I’m just saying these invisible moral failures of arrogance are much more destructive than what we see on the outside.
It starts with self-absorption. It’s all about me. Then we began to indulge ourselves, and we think more about ourselves. This started when you were a little kid, before you’re really conscious of what’s going on. But as soon as you begin to think, you thought more about you than you thought about anybody else, and that dominated things until your parents hopefully began to train you a little bit, so it wouldn’t be quite as obvious.
Self-indulgence leads to self-justification. We justify our actions. We make excuses for our actions, and this leads to greater deception into thinking that what we’re doing is right. We call that which is evil good and that which is good evil.
We’re into self-deception, and when we start making our own codes of standards, then we make ourselves out to be God, and that leads to self-deification. This is just a cycle that every one of us goes through. Every single one of us. We need to stop and take a little time to think about how that impacts those around us.
This is what happened in the ancient world. What we see here is that this is directed towards the prince of Tyre, then later to the king of Tyre. We need to understand a little bit about Tyre. We need to understand the context of Tyre.
Beginning in Ezekiel 25–32, we have all of these different judgments on different Gentile powers. In these three chapters, Ezekiel 26–28, the focus is on the city of Tyre.
This is a modern map of the Middle East. You see Israel down here below, and Israel extends all the way up to this upper shaded [red] area. You have over here on the east the Sea of Galilee. This lake no longer exists [points to lake north of Sea of Galilee].
As we get up into this area [reddish area], this is the northern border with Lebanon, and there’s a little sliver of Lebanese territory that comes down along the coast, and that is where the city of Tyre is located.
It is part of Lebanon today, and in the ancient world it was part of Syria. It is about 23 miles north of a town right about here [points to north of Nahariya], Acre, which is a very famous historic town in Israel, and it is about 20 miles south of Sidon up here in the north.
Herodotus talked about Tyre, and said it was founded in approximately 2700 BC. It is one of the oldest cities, and it was founded not long after Noah and his sons got off of the ark on to dry ground. It’s mentioned in Scripture as early as Joshua 19:29, where it is described as the fortress of Tyre.
It is significant because it was a tremendous harbor and port in the Eastern Mediterranean. Because of that, it gave the Phoenicians, who originally settled it—it gave them tremendous power over the economy of the Mediterranean because they built a fleet of ships. They were the traders that went all along the coast, all the way over to Spain and North Africa. They sent out colonists. They settled in places like Carthage, and other places along North Africa, and they ruled the seas.
As you go through biblical history, they are significant during the time of David. David had some good relations with Hiram, who was the king of Tyre, and he made agreements with him so that he could purchase lumber and other things from Hiram to build the temple after he died. So, when Solomon was building the temple, they had a very close relationship.
As the Solomonic kingdom expanded, the land routes, the caravan routes were all controlled by Israel because Israel sits right on the hub of all the east-west routes and north-south routes that would have to come around the eastern end of the Mediterranean.
All the sea routes were controlled by the people from Tyre, by the Syria Phoenicians, as they’re called. So they had a tremendous amount of power and a tremendous amount of wealth, and they controlled all of the trade by sea.
That’s important because this is what causes the prince of Tyre to become so proud and arrogant and to set himself up.
So as you read through Ezekiel 28:1–10, he’s indicted in Ezekiel 28:4, “With your wisdom and your understanding, you’ve gained riches for yourself, and gathered gold and silver into your treasuries.”
Ezekiel 28:5, “By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches”—your heart is arrogant. Same word again.
What’s interesting about that is if you look further down into our section, where we’re dealing with the fall of the anointed cherub, it begins in Ezekiel 28:17, “Your heart was lifted up—there’s the parallel—because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”
Then you go down to Ezekiel 28:18, “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore, I brought fire from your midst. It devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth.”
See this parallel? They’re both involved in trading.
So the prince of Tyre is trading what? He is trading on all of the different goods that people desire from one part of the world that come from another part of the world, and he’s putting a tax or levy on all this trade. So he’s just getting wealthy off all of this trade.
That’s the parallelism with what happens with the anointed cherub. He is accused of having an iniquitous trading. What was he trading? From the indications, he’s trading in some sense, the worship of the angels to God.
I’m just putting that there now because that’s the foundation. It’s not clearly understood by a lot of people who study this passage. They don’t look at these two sections as being dependent upon one another.
This is the harbor. Today, it hasn’t changed much from the ancient world. It’s surrounded by boats that come in, and it still enjoys a significant trade in that area. It hasn’t been as good because of Hezbollah.
It fits within the overall map here of the Middle East.
Here’s Tyre right on the coast, and here’s Jerusalem, and due east is Babylon.
In the ancient world, you had the Assyrian Empire first, and then the Neo-Babylonian Empire, and so Tyre and Israel were both in a position of vulnerability towards these enormous empires that came up to their east. That eventually would lead to the destruction of both.
This gives you a little larger picture of the whole Middle East area with modern Turkey up to the north. So, these areas here are significant.
Today, the only deep-water port on the east end of the Mediterranean is at Haifa. It’s the only port that the American Navy can go into, and it is significant because it is located right in here [points to a bit south of Tyre].
See where the coastline does this strong curve right here? That’s where Haifa is located. If you look at topographical map, there is a valley that goes from the northwest to the southeast. That’s the Valley of Armageddon. So it is suggested by many students of prophecy that this deep-water port at Haifa is going to be the place where they will offload all of the men and munitions that will prepare for the end times campaign of Armageddon.
The topography is perfect. Haifa is the only deep-water port on the eastern end of the Mediterranean.
So we see that this prince of Tyre is mirroring the same sins that are listed …
… in Isaiah 14:12–14, where the fallen kings have a dirge, they have a lament, and they are ridiculing the one who fell from Heaven, who is Helel ben Shahar, and say, “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”
So we see there that this isn’t a human king. This is what we’ve studied. He fell from Heaven. That was where he originated. Then at the end of that section, at the end of the taunt, we come down [on the slide] and the creature is judged and is cast to the lowest depths of the pit.
Now when we look at the structure of Sheol, on the left, according to Luke 16:19–25, you have the place where the Old Testament believers went. That was called Paradise in the Old Testament, before the Cross. It was part of Sheol.
Then on the right you have where disobedient creatures go. You have the area of Torments, which is where any unbelieving humans go when they die; underneath that you have Tartarus, which is where the angels, who were disobedient at the time of Noah, are in chains of darkness; and then at the bottom you have the Abyss, which is the place where Satan will be consigned at the end of the Tribulation period. In Isaiah 12:15, he is cast down to the lowest part of the pit.
That’s one reason you know it’s talking about Satan and it’s not talking about a human leader at that particular point.
Let’s go through this as a review quickly.
What did he say in his heart? Isaiah 14:13, “I will ascend into heaven.”
Heaven is the abode of the throne of God. There are three heavens mentioned in the Scripture. The Earth’s atmosphere is the first heaven, the universe is the second heaven, and then the throne room of God is the third heaven.
So his desire to ascend into Heaven, is a statement where he wants to take God’s throne. It is an act of rebellion.
Then he wants to “exalt his throne over the stars of God.”
We’ve seen that that term refers to angels.
He says he wants to “sit on the mount of the congregation of the farthest sides of the north.”
This is just a geographically based idiom in that area, and it refers to the place of authority over all of the angels.
He then says, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.”
The clouds are often associated with the glory of God. We’ve talked about the pillar of fire and the cloud that led the Israelites through the wilderness. The same word for cloud is associated with the presence of God.
Then he concludes with the fifth “I will,” “I will be like—he is not going to replace, but he will be like the Most High”—He can’t be better than the Most High.
Now what we see in Ezekiel 28 is a description of the anointed cherub from the time of his creation. That’s in Ezekiel 28:12–15a.
The second part gives us the cause of his sin in Ezekiel 28:17–18, and the third part is the punishment for this cherub’s sin.
In the first part, we just have this description of the anointed cherub from his creation. He is said to have the seal of perfection, and what that meant was that he’s the standard of perfection.
In the United States we have a code of weights and standards that everybody measures their measurements by, whether it’s weight, or whether it’s length, or something of that nature.
This creature is that standard. He is the ultimate in perfection. God created other creatures, but none as perfect as this creature. That perfection is defined then in the rest of that verse, that he was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. That means that there was no creature that was more beautiful, no creature that was more intelligent than Satan. We can’t fool Satan. We can’t trip him up. He is not omniscient, but he’s not a fool.
What’s interesting is in the Middle Ages, and you see these depictions of Satan, and they came up with the idea that he’s got a red skin, and he’s got a point on the end of his tail, and all of these different things.
So today a lot of moderns come along and say, “Well, they just really didn’t understand.” But they did understand. They saw Satan as a fool for having disobeyed God and rebelled against Him. They’re making fun of him for his foolishness. That’s where those images originated. It isn’t that they believed that’s what he looked like. They are making a statement about the foolishness of someone to rebel against God with all that God had given him.
So he’s perfect. That’s not said about anybody else. It’s not said about Adam, it’s not said about anybody in the Old Testament, it’s not said about any ruler. This can’t apply to a human being.
He is the seal of perfection, the absolute perfection of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
Second, he’s located in Eden, the garden of God.
I don’t think that this is the Eden of Genesis 2. I think it was on this planet. My belief is that God originally created this planet. It was the abode of many angels, and it was probably the command post of a Helel ben Shahar before he sinned. But when he sinned, God judged him here.
That’s what is depicted by the phrases in Genesis 1:2 that there was darkness. Darkness is often associated with sin, “… on the face of the deep.”
Another word that is related to the chaos of the oceans is that everything was tohu wa bohu (without form and void).
There’s a lot of debate over this, and unfortunately, there were many Christians in the 19th century who said, “If God creates everything in Genesis 1:1, and then everything’s in a state of judgment or collapse in Genesis 1:2, then we can cram millions or billions of years in there.” No, you can’t! There is no justification for that. But this idea that there’s a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 goes back to at least the second century A.D.
It was in John Milton’s poem “Paradise Lost.” It’s in John Bunyan’s writings on “The Holy War” and “Pilgrim’s Progress.” It is held by many throughout the intervening period through the Middle Ages.
Not everybody agreed to that. It wasn’t the orthodox position, but it wasn’t invented in the early 1800s as a way of compromising with evolution. What happened is the Christians at that time saw this view and said, “Oh! We can take that, and we can ram, cram, and jam billions of years in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, and we can have our evolution.” But that’s not what I’m saying, and that’s not what a lot of conservatives are saying. We have justification for putting Satan’s fall there.
I’ve heard this from good friends of mine. I argued with them about this, as usual, at the Pre-Trib Conference this last week, I raised the question, “On what basis do you say Satan or the angels were created in Genesis 1?”
“Well, He creates the stars on the fourth day.”
“If those aren’t the physical stars, where did they come from? He created the sun, which was physical; the moon, which is physical; and the stars also. That’s got to be physical stars. There is no mention of angels.”
“Well, it says that everything was very good at the end of the sixth day.”
“Oh, so you want the word “good,” the Hebrew tob, to have a moral sense. You want it to mean that everything was righteous, no unrighteousness in the universe, and so Satan had not fallen yet. So you’re really committed to the fact that “good” means something that is absolute moral perfection. Is that right?”
“Well, on the sixth day, which was before he said it was very good, He created man and said it was good, but when he created Adam, he said it’s not good for man to be alone. He used the word tob, so if it’s not good for man to be alone, that would mean it’s immoral for man to be single. Now you’ve got a problem!” You’ve inserted a secondary idea in the word tob (good) for a primary idea.”
All words have primary semantic meanings, and then they have secondary, tertiary meanings. I’ve talked to Steve Austin about this. I’ve talked to Charlie Clough about this. I’ve talked to I don’t know how many people and nobody can answer it. You don’t have a lexical basis for saying that tob in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 has the idea of righteousness or morality. It just means God did what He intended to do, and it was exactly according to His plan. He built the planet as the environment for man.
They’re not heretics. We just see it different. But we’ve got to deal with what explains things best.
So there’s a judgment that occurs in this garden of God.
Now I’m not sure of Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s view. Arnold thinks that that original creation is all minerals because of what we read here in the verses that talk about all these different precious stones. I’m not sure I see that. I’m not saying that he is wrong, but I don’t see that that’s necessarily what this is saying.
So he’s located in Eden, the garden of God, but I’ll tell you something, that’s not a human being that was located in Eden, the garden of God. He is adorned with jewels that are similar to a high priest. Nine of these jewels are part of the 12 that are on the Jewish high priest.
If you’re Jewish and you read this, that’s what you’re thinking about, is this is like the high priest. In the Jewish Septuagint, they put all 12 into it, which is a textual variant. So, if you’re an Old Testament believer and you are reading the Septuagint, which was the Bible of the disciples and apostles, then it’s got 12 there, which would really make you think it has to do with the high priest.
There’s another thing that happens down in Ezekiel 28:18. It says you defiled your sanctuaries. Sanctuaries! That sounds like this is a priestly function, and that’s what I believe was going on, is that Satan is the high priest of all the angels. He is identified as the anointed cherub who covers. He is the covering canopy over the throne of God.
If you read through Ezekiel 1 and those really strange descriptions of the throne of God, God’s throne is resting and carried by the cherubs. But this cherub covers the throne of God. He’s got the most exalted position, so he seems to be very involved with the worship.
In fact, he is described as having “the workmanship of your timbrels and pipes,” Ezekiel 28:13. Those are musical instruments. So, he is a master musician. As the anointed cherub, he was responsible for the music as the angels sang praise to God. I’ve heard it attributed to different people, but as either Lewis Sperry Chafer or J. Vernon McGee said, “When Satan fell, he fell into the choir loft,” recognizing that a lot more heresies come out of music than not, so we have to be very careful in that area.
So he’s the anointed cherub who covers. That’s really clear. There are men who think that Satan is not in Isaiah 14, but they will say this one phrase means he is here, and I think that, of course, it’s in both.
Twice it is said he’s created by God. The verb for “create” here is bara. Bara means only God creates. “Only God” is the subject of the action of the verb bara as creating. So at the end of Ezekiel 28:13 it says, “… on the day you were created.”
Then when you look down a little later on, you find that there is another statement, the beginning of Ezekiel 28:15, “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created.”
Now the prince of Tyre was not created. He was born just like every other human being. This shows a direct act of God in creating this creature. So that confirms that this is talking about an angel.
The cause of his sin is the abundance of trade. What’s he trading? It would have to be the worship, the adoration of the other angels to God, if he is functioning as a high priest.
Then he yields to arrogance in Ezekiel 28:16–17. He says in Ezekiel 28:16, “By the abundance of your trading, you became filled with violence within.” These are mental attitudes sins of violence and hatred and anger.
Ezekiel 28:17 describes his arrogance, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.” You gave up and you’ve sacrificed the application of truth to enhance your own beauty and your own position.
Then we get the punishment in Ezekiel 28:18–19. Also at the end of Ezekiel 28:17, “… I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.”
Ezekiel 28:18, “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading. Therefore I brought fire from your midst. It devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you.”
This picture is a judgment of God on this anointed cherub that you can’t quite fit into Genesis 2 before the serpent tempts Eve. I suggest I have a better answer for that. I don’t think I have all perfect answers, but I do think that the view that I take has less problems than other views. But every view has problems.
This is what happens with Satan. He’s fallen, and then we know from Revelation that he is going to eventually take a third of the angels with him. So what happens to his career after this? That’s what we’re going to come back to study come Tuesday night, and then Thursday night we’re going to get into what’s going on in the Church Age with believers. We will probably get to that some on Tuesday night, and then we’ll see how far we get this week, and then will go from there.
“Father, we’re thankful for all that You’ve provided for us. We’re thankful that You’ve given us this information, so that we know that there is a beginning to evil and we know there will be an end to evil. That the Bible teaches that there is a future judgment of evil, and that it will then be sent to the Lake of Fire where it will be cordoned off and isolated from all of creation.
“Father, we pray that if there’s anyone listening who’s never trusted in Christ or has been confused about these issues, that You will use this to open their eyes to be aware of the fact that we are all sinners, that sin had a origin in a rebellion against God. We’re all born spiritually dead, alienated from Your life, and we are in rebellion from the moment we take our first breath against Your authority.
“Yet You sent Your Son to die for our sins, every one of them. There is no sin left unpaid for, there is no sin You forgot about, there’s no sin that is too great for Your grace, and that Christ paid the penalty for all.
“For that we rejoice because we know that we can have our sins forgiven, we can be cleansed, we can be restored, we can recover from the damaging effects of our sinful decisions as we grow and mature in Christ. For He promised us not just eternal life, but abundant life.
“So Father, we pray anyone listening today would recognize this good news and trust in Christ as Savior. That’s all that’s needed. In your mind, if you say, “I believe that; that’s true,” God knows what you’re believing and what you’re trusting. At that instant you’re saved and you have eternal life.
“Father, we pray that You would open the eyes of the unbelievers to the truth that they may respond in faith and trust in Christ, and we pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”