The Sin and Fall of Satan.

THE SIN AND FALL OF SATAN.

Bible Study Guide/ The Doctrine of Angels: Satan/ 76-013 (Isaiah 14:13–15)/ Key Text: “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest 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 Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” (Isaiah 14:13–15, NKJV)

Objectives: In this Lesson we are reviewing the original position of Lucifer, and investigating the sin and moral fall of Lucifer. In the upcoming lessons, by God’s grace, we will look at the personality, activities, and the greater cosmic battle between Christ and Satan: The Great Controversy.

Lesson Segments:

  1. Foundational Questions.
  2. The Sin of Satan: Pride.
  3. The Sin of Satan: Selfishness.
  4. The Sin of Satan: Iniquity.
  5. The Results of Satan’s Fall.
  6. The Defeat of Satan.
  7. Devotional Implication (A Time to Choose)

Opening Remarks: “The picture in Isaiah 14:1–23 is that of a mighty monarch whose pride brought him to destruction. This is what happened to Belshazzar when Darius the Mede captured Babylon in 539 B.C. (Dan. 5). Isaiah described the king’s arrival in sheol, the world of the dead, where the king’s wealth, glory, and power vanished. The dead kings already in sheol stood in tribute to him (Isa. 14:9), but it was all a mockery. Death is the great leveler; there are no kings in the world of the dead. “Lucifer” (v. 12) is Latin for “morning star” and suggests that this king’s glory did not last very long.”

“The prophet saw in this event something far deeper than the defeat of an empire. In the fall of the king of Babylon, he saw the defeat of Satan, the “prince of this world,” who seeks to energize and motivate the leaders of nations (John 12:31; Eph. 2:1–3). Daniel 10:20 indicates that Satan has assigned “princes” (fallen angels) to the various nations so that he can influence leaders to act contrary to the will of God.”

“This highest of God’s angels tried to usurp the throne of God and capture for himself the worship that belongs only to God (Matt. 4:8–10).” [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Comforted, “Be” Commentary Series, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 45–46].

Biblical Overview of the Great Controversy (Part 1).

REVIEW/ FOUNDATIONAL QUESTIONS.

[1] How does Christ speak about Satan in the beginning? (John 8:44).

  1. He was a murderer from the beginning.
  2. He had no truth in him.
  3. Satan’s native language is lying.
  4. Satan is the father of lies.

[2] How does Isaiah speak about Satan in the beginning? (Isa. 14:12–15).

  1. Satan has had a throne in the beginning.
  2. Satan desired to be enthroned on God’s throne.
  3. Satan desired to be God: “I will be like the Most High.”
  4. The Results: Satan fell from heaven
  5. He was cut down to the ground.
  6. He weakened the nations!
  7. He shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.

[3] How does Ezekiel speak about Satan in the beginning? (Ezek. 28:12–19).

  1. He was once a model/ the seal of perfection.
  2. He was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty
  3. He was in Eden, the garden of God.
  4. He was covered with “every precious stone.”
  5. He was the anointed cherub who covers.
  6. He was on the holy mountain of God.
  7. He walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones
  8. He worked at God’s throne (the Sanctuary)
  9. As a guardian cherub, He was in charge of the Law of God.
  10. He became proud because of his beauty.
  11. He became wicked and spread gossip (evidently about God).
  12. He was expelled from his position as guardian cherub at God’s throne.
  13. He entered the Garden of Eden on the earth.

[4] How does John speak about Satan in the beginning? (Rev. 12:1–17).

  1. He won many angels to his side (Rev. 12:4–10).
  2. Satan and his angels fought against Christ (Michael) and His angels in heaven.
  3. Satan and his angels lost their place in heaven (cf. Jude 6, 9)
  4. Satan has been sinning from the beginning, (1 John 3:8).

[5] How does Moses speak about Satan after his departure from heaven? (Gen. 3:1–6).

  1. Satan tempted Eve, and he is spoken of as a crafty serpent.
  2. This is corroborated by the phrase “ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan,” Rev. 12:9).
  3. Eve was deceived, not Adam (1 Tim. 2:14).
  4. Satan caused doubt in God’s Word, which led to the fall of humans.

THE SIN OF SATAN: PRIDE.

[1] What was the cause of Lucifer’s pride? His beauty and his wisdom.

Lucifer was the most beautiful of all the angels but he misused his beauty. His beauty was purposely given him to fit his position as being the “cherub that covers” (Ezek. 28:14). Lesson: When God endows us with special beauty, personalities, talents, attributes, etc., we need to find out why and then use these attributes to honor God.

Lucifer’s beauty and his wisdom caused him to be proud — he ceased to delight in the perfections of God and began to delight in his own perfections, given to him by God. Jesus did not do this, “He set the Lord always before Him,” (Psa. 16:8).

Beloved, God condemns proud people (1 Tim. 3:6). He “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). He hates the proud person, because pride detract from God’s glory, and bring destruction upon oneself — “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, NKJV).

Beloved, we ought to cast down “arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NKJV)

Listen to the Amplified Bible: “(Inasmuch as we) refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)” (2 Corinthians 10:5, AMP). Clearly Lucifer didn’t not do this. But we can do better!!

THE SIN OF SATAN: SELFISHNESS.

[2] What was the results of his pride? Selfish Ambition.

In Isa. 14:12–14, Satan speaks five “I wills” which reveal his selfish ambitions: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened 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 also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:12–14, NKJV)

  1. I will ascend to heaven. As guardian cherub who covers, Satan had access to heaven. We saw that he worked in the most holy place (where the cherubs were). “Ascending to heaven” expresses his desire to occupy and settle in heaven on an equality with God.
  • I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. This could mean two things – (a) “Stars” refer to angels (Job 38:7; Jude 13; Rev. 12:3–4; (b) “Stars” refer to the luminous heavenly bodies. In either approach/ interpretation of the word “star,” it is obvious that Satan desired to rule over all creation of God. He purposed to ascend higher, defeat God, and establish his throne!
  • I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north. This indicates Satan’s ambition to govern the universe as the assembly of Babylonian gods supposedly did. He purposed to sit upon the mountain of authority over the universe.
  • I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. He wanted the glory that belonged to God (clouds are often associated with God’s presence, (see Exod. 16:10; Isa. 19:1).
  • I will make myself like the Most High. Here Satan’s counterfeit is crystal clear. There is a remarkable resemblance between this language and that used in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, with regard to antichrist: “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4, NKJV) That’s why the battle between Christ and Satan is personal—because the creature (Satan) wants to usurp His Creator’s (Christ’s) authority and rob Him the glory, the honor, and the worship that is rightly His. “Being like the Most High,” is desiring to be – not like God—but to be God! This is how foolish Lucifer was.

THE SIN OF SATAN: INIQUITY.

[3] What happened as He contemplated all this? Iniquity was found in him.

  • You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:15–16, NKJV)

“In heaven the covering cherub at God’s throne was created and remained perfect until wickedness was found in him, and he began to slander God. He was expelled from God’s throne mount because of pride (rebellion, Isa. 14:15–17). His pride is revealed in Isaiah 14:13–14… This rebel cherubim in heaven wanted to become like God in order to take God’s place.” [Norman R. Gulley, Systematic Theology: God as Trinity, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2011), 497].

[4] What is iniquity? Before I answer this question, let’s consider the following Heart Questions: Are there degrees of Sin? Does God see all sins as the same? In other words, one sin isn’t worse than another, is it?

  • Level #1 (SIN): Sin means “to miss the mark” and is a general term for falling short of God’s standard. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Sins can be intentional or unintentional (Numbers 15:27). Sin is not just doing something wrong but also failing to do what is right (James 4:17).
  • Level #2 (TRANSGRESSION): Transgression means to intentionally disobey or to willfully trespass a command. David was referring to this kind of sin when he wrote, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1). Transgression is connected to a trespass, which is a willful violation of the law. The Law was given to show us how we transgress (Galatians 3:19).
  • Level #3 (INIQUITY):  Iniquity is a perversion of the truth and a twisted attitude that premeditates and makes plans to commit sin. Iniquities are second nature tendencies that drive us to repeatedly commit sin and defile our character. These perverse attitudes apparently can be passed down from one generation to another.
  • Micah 2:1 says, “Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds.” Gossip, slander, cursing, and criticism are iniquities. James 3:6 says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.” Many words that we speak can cause roots of iniquity to flourish.

[5] What does iniquity leads to? Iniquity leads to rebellion, no fear of God, unnatural affections, and a depraved mind (Romans 1:28-32). “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:23, AMP)

THE REBELLION OF SATAN.

Here is a short summary of what we have learned thus far:

  1. Satan wanted to be like God.
  2. He wanted to be as powerful as God.
  3. He wanted to usurp God’s authority and kingdom.
  4. He wanted to be worshipped, something that rightfully belongs only to God.
  5. He wanted to exercise the authority and control of the universe.
  6. His sin was a direct challenge to the power and authority of God.
  7. He aspired to be like God in position, power, and glory, but not in character.
  8. He desired for himself the homage the angelic host gave to God.
  9. Only a created being, he sought honor due alone to the Creator.
  10. He purposed in his heart to “be like the Most High” (the creator, the possessor and ruler of heaven and earth, (Gen. 14:19; Psa. 83:18).
  11. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections of the angelic host, he sought for himself first place in those affections. (SDA BC 4:171).

In short, Lucifer purposed to dethrone the Most High God and to replace Him with himself. In other words, a creature is planning, premeditating, and attempting to overthrow the Creator. This is unheard of!!!

Lucifer’s Rebellion:

  1. He rebelled against the authority of God.
  2. He attempted to overthrow the kingdom of God.
  3. He tried very hard, but his rebellion was not successful.
  4. This rebellion, as we have seen above, was labeled “iniquity” (lawlessness), Ezek. 28:15, and “sin” (transgression of God’s law), Ezek. 28:16.

NOTE: In this rebellion, Satan inaugurated a kingdom to rival the kingdom of God.

THE RESULTS OF SATAN’S REBELLION.

[1] He was no longer “Lucifer” (day star) but “Satan” (the adversary)—He was no longer a reflector of God’s glory but the chief opponent of God’s kingdom, purposes, will and His people.

[2] Satan was left with wisdom (Ezek. 28:17), however, it was a corrupt wisdom. His wisdom was now used to promote evil and not good.

[3] Satan became the first sinner—He was the first of God’s creatures to challenge the authority of God. He, being the first sinner, became the “father” of sinners, (John 8:44). “(But) he who commits sin (who practices evildoing) is of the devil (takes his character from the evil one), for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil (has done).” (1 John 3:8, AMP)

[4] He defiled God’s sanctuary by the multitude of his iniquities (Ezek. 28:18)

[5] Through his evil bad example and evil influence, Satan occasioned the fall of one third of the angels. — “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;” (2 Peter 2:4) “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. (Rev. 12:4)

[6] Satan was cast out as “a profane thing” out of the mountain of God (Ezek. 28:16)—He was evicted from his office/ position. Instead, he was permitted to retain his governmental authority over the fallen angels (Matt. 12:24).

Of Lucifer’s fall, Christ says: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)

[7] Satan was condemned and sentenced to be destroyed—Sin brings guilt, condemnation, and punishment.

When Satan sinned, three things happened: He was declared to be guilty, (Ezek. 28:16); He was condemned, (1 Tim. 3:6), and He was sentenced to be destroyed: “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.” (Ezek. 28:18)

  • The final and lasting destruction of the fallen cherub is predicted in the Hebrew “prophetic perfect”—the past tense used to depict a future event as already having happened because it is so certain to come to pass.” [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 1078].

The book of Revelation says: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10, NKJV)

NOTE: This sentence upon Satan will be executed immediately after the Millennial reign of Christ.

THE DEFEAT OF SATAN.

Listen beloved, the defeat of Satan was celebrated in Heaven after (not before), but after the cross event. When Michael (Jesus Christ) died on the cross, and utter the words “IT IS FINISHED,” it was really finished for the Devil. The battled had been won Big Time! That’s why the heavenly choir was heard singing victoriously: “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (Revelation 12:10, NKJV)

However, the kingdom Satan still exists for a short while. When Michal comes, a second time, He will send the angel who will cast Satan “into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished”(Revelation 20:3, NKJV)

When Michael comes, a third time, at the end of 1000 years, Satan’s existence (as we know it) will have come to an end. “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10, NKJV)

Here is the good news: Soon and very soon, Jesus Christ will put all of God’s enemies under His feet and then present the subdued creation to the Father, who will from henceforth rule over it in uncontested supremacy. “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24–6, NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: Why God could do no more? Why didn’t Christ give him (Lucifer) more time to repent? — “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. “By the abundance of your trading, you became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.” (Ezekiel 28:15–16, NKJV)

“There was no possible hope for the redemption of those who had witnessed and enjoyed the inexpressible glory of heaven, and had seen the terrible majesty of God, and, in presence of all this glory, had rebelled against Him. There were no new and wonderful exhibitions of God’s exalted power that could impress them so deeply as those they had already experienced. If they could rebel in the very presence of glory inexpressible, they could not be placed in a more favorable condition to be proved. There was no reserve force of power, nor were there any greater heights and depths of infinite glory to overpower their jealous doubts and rebellious murmuring.” (SDA BC 4:1163)

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: Beloved, God will not tolerate sin forever. He did not allow chaos, evil, and sin in heaven. When the probationary time for Lucifer expired, He was expelled (evicted) from the courts of heaven. Likewise, God will not tolerate sin indefinitely for this end time generation. We must repent now and obey. The Spirit is pleading with each one of us saying: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).

The door of mercy is still open, and Jesus Christ is still up there — (in the Heavenly Sanctuary) — praying and interceding for each one of us, to wake up from our slumber, from our evils ways, to repent and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour.

This probationary period (just like the days of Noah, Luke 17: 28-32) will soon come to an end, for when Christ leaves the Sanctuary there will be no Mediator, or an Intercessor. When He utters these words “It is done!” (Rev 16:17), it will be really done! It will be over! It will be too late!

Soon the whole world shall hear these words: “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Revelation 22:11, NKJV). We will hear the Trump of the Archangel; the King Jesus shall appear on the sky to take His elect home; but the wicked shall perish with the Devil. And then —- “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Lk 13:28).

Beloved, the time is now! Listen to the words of Christ as we close: “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15, NKJV)

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do? A time for choosing. The war between Christ and Satan is real. Beloved, I think this is the most consequential Bible Study in your life. There is a real spiritual war for each one of us, every minute, every single day. There are two sides! There are two leaders! There are only two paths to take! The good news is this: We know that those who are in Christ Jesus will ultimately win the battle and live forever with Him in heaven. Those who are not will die (perish) with Satan and his evil Angels.

Since, we are on the subject of choosing, I want to close with a Tale of the Two Prodigals in the phrase: “For you have said in your heart”

[1] The first example is Lucifer (Isa 14:12) His heart was filled with pride and arrogance. Thus he “purposed in his heart” to be like God. The Results: He fell and lost his position/ elevated status in heaven.

[2] The second example is the repentant, returning prodigal son, whose heart was filled with humility, after he contemplated his rebellion. Listen to what he said: “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18–19, NKJV) And we recall the rest of the story: He was welcomed back to the family of God, forgiven, embraced! This is exactly what God requires in each one of us.

Will you be humble and be forgiven, or will you be proud (like Lucifer) and perish? Which group do you want to be in today? It is your choice! My God help us to choose wisely before it is too late! Amen.

Have a Blessed Day: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15, NKJV)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Doctrine of Angels: Satan/ Lesson # 13.