When did Satan become the “bad guy” of the universe? Listen to this lesson to learn about a time in eternity past when an angel let his arrogance make him rebel against God. See the horrific chain of events that unfolded afterwards, but will be ended by God in the future. Hear about a number of names for Satan and their meanings. Find out Satan’s thinking from his “I will” statements and why respect for authority is an important issue in our own lives.
The book Dr. Dean mentioned tonight is We Will Not be Silenced, by Dr. Erwin Lutzer. If you would like to purchase this book in quantities greater than 10, you can contact Kathy Zemper at the publisher (Harvest House) at 877-307-0667 and purchase the books at 50% off plus free shipping (USA only).
The Divine Council: The Rebellion Begins–Part 2
Isaiah 14:12–14; Ezekiel 28:11–19
Angelic Rebellion Lesson #09
December 10, 2020
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.
“Father, we’re so thankful we have forgiveness of sin because Christ died on the Cross for our sins so that’s really not the issue that disrupts our walk with You. We need to recover simply by confessing. Father, we thank You that it’s all grace and we need not be consumed with guilt or remorse, but that we may count on the fact that Christ died for our sins. We know that when we confess our sins there is instant forgiveness and cleansing and it doesn’t matter how many times we confess the same sin, we’re always freshly forgiven.
“Father, we pray for our nation. We pray for the outcome of these court cases. We pray for clarity on the part of the Supreme Court on the Constitution. Father, we pray there will not be decisions based on anything other than the law without fear or worry of whatever negative consequences may be or reactions might be, but just to look at the law and recognize that the election was totally corrupted and we need to figure out a better solution.
“Father, we pray for us that as we go forward as a congregation, we will keep our focus on our mission in this world, which is to be a witness and a testimony to the angels and to those around us. We know we are to give people the gospel and be open to opportunities to communicate the good news about Jesus Christ. We pray we might also continue to grow and mature in our spiritual life. We pray these things in Christ’s name. Amen.”
We’re going to continue our study on the Divine Council and the Angelic Rebellion. This is lesson #9 and is basically a continuation of where we were Sunday morning. What’s interesting is what intervened between Sunday morning and this morning, because I found out while I was at the Pre-Trib Conference that there was a debate/panel discussion between four of the men.
All of them are friends of mine. All of them I have great respect for in terms of their exegetical ability. There were two teams of two each and they took opposing views on Isaiah 14. We’ll review it and it doesn’t matter who they are, but it was interesting to hear all of their different arguments, about 95% of which I covered on Sunday morning. I didn’t miss anything, but I want to add a couple of things.
Also, yesterday at the last session [at the Pre-Trib Conference] it was on Babylon through the history of the Bible which Andy Woods, President of Chafer Seminary and pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church did a great presentation on that. As I told him today, I’m stealing about four or five of his slides because I didn’t have that in mind, so we’ll add those in.
It’s just historical documentation for the destruction or lack of total destruction of Babylon, so you’ll see those as we go along. You might want to go ahead and open your Bibles to Isaiah 13 and 14 as we look at what’s going on here.
Two things to remember from Scripture as we address this. Number one, we have a passage in Luke 10:18 that plays a role in the historical understanding of the fall of Satan. In the early church you have figures such as Tertullian and Origen who are apparently the first. I don’t think we can really say who was the first. Tertullian was twenty-five years old when Origen was born so that means he’s probably forty-five when Origen got to be twenty, so a lot of people say it was Origen first.
I didn’t really have time to do all the drill down on it but I would think that since Tertullian was twenty-five years ahead of him that he was probably the first one to identify the figure in Isaiah 14:12–14 with Lucifer or Satan.
It’s in Luke 10:18 that Jesus says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” This has nothing to do contextually with Satan’s fall. It has to do with the fact that Satan has suddenly got his attention on what Jesus is doing, so he is leaving Heaven to get right to earth to deal with the situation in relationship with the angelic revolt.
The other passage that’s important is in Matthew 16:23. The context there is that Jesus has stated for probably the second or third time that He’s going to go to Jerusalem. There He was going to be arrested and He was going to be crucified and that He would rise again.
Peter responds by saying that they’re not going to let that happen. So Peter continues to have foot-and-mouth disease. The Lord responds by looking at Peter and saying, “Get behind me, Satan.” That tells us that’s one example of many we can go to in the Scripture when a figure in Scripture will address a human but ultimately they are speaking to the spiritual influence that is behind it.
It’s not a direct statement to Satan. Jesus is directing it through Peter to Satan. That’s an important thing to understand.
I believe that’s what we have in Isaiah 14:12–14. We also have it in Ezekiel 28, which we’ll probably get to Sunday morning. The first ten verses have to do with the Prince of Tyre. There was no historical Prince of Tyre, but he is the highest human authority. In Isaiah 14:11 it shifts and the prophecy is directed to the King of Tyre, who is really Satan.
There’s no debate among these four friends of mine. They all agree that Ezekiel 28 is clearly talking about Satan’s original sin because he’s described as the “anointed cherub who covered”. There are a lot of evangelicals who aren’t that clear. As I pointed out on Sunday, you’ll find there are several who will not apply Isaiah to Satan for other reasons. There are others who don’t apply Ezekiel.
As I pointed out on Sunday morning, if you don’t do that you’re really fundamentally denying it. Let me clarify that. If you don’t think it’s related in some literal sense to an event at the end of the Tribulation … There are some dispensationalists who say it’s just addressed to the human king of Babylon. There are others who say no, it’s addressed through the king of Babylon to Satan. Either of those are positions that are wrestling with taking the text literally and interpreting, but they’re not both right.
I’m going to remind you of what I said on Sunday morning. There are basically three broad views. View #1 is that it’s about Satan, whether it is directly speaking to Satan or whether it is talking in a sense of a future event—we’ll talk about whether it is historical—but here it would be a type of Satan or a type of the Antichrist. Sometimes this is pretty close and as one of my seminary professors used to say, “We’re slicing the baloney kind of thin”.
It’s important. These distinctions are really there. View #2 is the historical view. Those who take the historical only position are those that are saying that Isaiah 13 took place in the ancient world. They say it relates to the fall of Babylon when the Medes and the Persians captured the city in 539–538 BC. As I pointed out on Sunday, that just doesn’t fit the data at all.
Then the third view is the one that is most popular among a lot of liberal scholars today is that it’s borrowed from mythology. Actually, mythology borrows from the truth of Scripture and corrupts it. It doesn’t go the other way.
Everyone knew what happened at the Tower of Babel. Everyone knew what happened before the Flood at some point. Those eight people who got off the Ark all knew there were these Nephilim on the earth prior to the Flood and they were the product of that union or cohabitation between fallen angels and human wives. Everyone knew that.
As the generations went by, they corrupted it and created these stories about multiple gods and how these gods came to the earth and had offspring like Hercules and others. This is how paganism corrupts the truth. The Bible always says what is reality and everyone at one point understood it, but because of sin and rejection of God, it gets corrupted and perverted and degenerates into pantheism and other forms.
These three views are attested very early. In the second century it’s mentioned in the Pseudepigrapha and the Slavonic Enoch. We don’t know exactly or at least I don’t know exactly when in the second century these were written but it’s in the second century.
Tertullian is born in AD 160, so by the late second century he’s taking this view. Now was this a common view that was already present, but we don’t know who stated it first? We don’t know. It was not a Jewish view as far as we know.
Then there’s Origen who was born twenty-five years later in 185 AD and this was clearly his view. Some people will say that was started by Origen but that’s just an ad hominin argument. Origen had some things that were right. He also had a lot of things that were wrong. He introduced us to allegorical interpretations and a lot of other things that were poetical and were dangerous for the Church for many centuries.
So you have Tertullian and Origen as the earliest. Others are Cyprian, Gregory Nazianzen, and others into the third, fourth, and fifth centuries.
You have in the Middle Ages Peter Lombard, who you probably never heard of before, but he wrote a systematic theology that if you went to any of the cathedral schools like Oxford, University of Paris, and others which all started as cathedral schools, and developed into universities, everyone had Lombard. His writings were called The Sentences of Peter Lombard and if you got your doctorate, then you had to write a commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences.
That would be like taking Louis Sperry Chafer’s [Systematic] Theology and having to write a commentary on every section throughout it. They did that on Lombard in those days. They didn’t have television. Most of these men were priests, so they didn’t have wives or children for the most part so they didn’t have any of these time distractions. Some of them were brilliant.
Thomas Aquinas could stand in a room and dictate to four different scribes four different books dealing with four different themes and never lose track of where he was. That’s how brilliant he was. He did not have dementia. These guys were absolutely brilliant. It doesn’t mean they were right, but they were brilliant.
Then you have the Reformation. You have John Milton in Paradise Lost, John Bunyan in Holy War, John Wesley, and others, but not Calvin or Luther. Calvin and Luther rejected the whole idea that this was Satan, but Calvin also rejected the idea that the serpent was Satan despite what Revelation 12 says.
We had a great speaker at the [Pre-Trib Conference] banquet. You’ll hear more about this. I would encourage you to get his recent books. We Will Not Be Silenced by Erwin Lutzer. He’s written probably 20 or 30 books. He was the pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. He was our speaker at the Pre-Trib Conference Monday night. He did an impersonation of Billy Graham that was just spot on. He had the accent down and everything. He was a classmate of Charlie Clough’s back in the middle 60s. Charlie said back then he would entertain them by making up totally fictitious conversations between Donald Gray Barnhouse and Billy Graham. He’s a really gifted artist. I’d read probably seven or eight of his books over the years. He’s very solid and good.
His new book deals with all that’s going on in terms of our culture and what is transforming the culture in terms of these philosophies. One of the things that makes him an interesting guy is that he wrote a book called Hitler’s Cross, which details the rise of the Nazi Party and anti-Semitism and gets into the Holocaust. Then he wrote another book, which I have not read, which is also related to that same theme with how the Nazis took over the complete failure of the evangelical church.
In 1931, before Hitler had power, they had an opportunity to speak up and the evangelical church did not object. His basic warning in the book is we have an opportunity to speak up and raise the alarm now, but we may not have another chance. The foreword to the book is written by David Jeremiah on the radio and television. He said in the foreword that if he could buy a copy and put it into every Christian’s hand in this country, he would do it. I’ve read it and a lot of the guys you know as pastors who come to the Chafer Conference all started reading it and we were talking about how significant what he says in the book is and people need to pay attention.
Anyway, modern people who take this Isaiah 14 as referring to Satan are Chafer, Barnhouse, Gleason Archer, who was at Trinity Divinity School in Chicago, and Charles Feinberg, who was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) in the 40s. Feinberg has one of those remarkable testimonies. He was reared and trained from the time he could speak to be an Orthodox rabbi. That means by the time he Bar Mitzvahed, he had already read the entire Hebrew Bible.
When he was about twenty or twenty-one he discovered Jesus was his Messiah. When he started at DTS he knew more Hebrew than anyone who was teaching Hebrew and had read more of the Hebrew Bible than anyone on the faculty. He’s quite an interesting individual. Then of course you know Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Tommy Ice, Randy Price, myself, Andy Woods, and a number of others who hold to this view.
The historical/typical view also has a heritage that goes back to the late second century or early third century. William Kelly, who was a dispensationalist, was a colleague of John Nelson Darby, saw it as being addressed to the beast of Revelation, who is the Antichrist. We can understand why he would say that.
Franz Delitzsch, who is a co-author with Keil of the famous Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament held the historical view. Delitzsch was a converted Jew and he said that this was the antitype of the devil and a type of the Antichrist. They see the devil involved in it. They just don’t see it as being direct.
That was kind of what the discussion was about on this panel. One side was seeing it as being more direct. The other side was saying it’s more typical rather than direct.
We looked at Isaiah just to get the timeline straight. It’s 740 BC to 681 BC, which is the time of Isaiah’s ministry. The major power broker at this time is not Babylon. The major power broker is the Assyrian Empire. We’re going to come back to this because I think it helps to dissolve some of the confusion in Isaiah 14, which is addressed to the King of Babylon. In the Assyrian Empire, in the rise of Assyria, they conquered Babylon.
This was before Daniel, before any of those things. It was back in the 8th century BC. They conquered Babylon and each of these kings of Assyria went to Babylon to be crowned king of Babylon, as well as king of Assyria. That means they had two titles, not unlike the king of England who is the king of England and the king of Scotland. It’s that kind of thing. I think that’s important to understand what’s going on here.
Here we have another timeline to get the perspective. You have Babylon beginning in the ancient world at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. It is the result of the vision of Nimrod, who is a rebel against God, and it’s the first internationalism. This is the beginning of globalism when everyone is uniting against God. That’s the essence of globalism and internationalism. It is the belief that man on his own without God can solve man’s problems.
I’ve shown you pictures of the UN building. Outside the door emblazoned across the front is the passage from Isaiah 2 that focuses on the Messiah establishing His Kingdom and when He does, our “swords will be beaten into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks. Man will learn war no more.”
That is a messianic description. When the UN has that engraved over their front door, they’re claiming that they will bring in the kingdom of God. They will bring in world peace. This is nothing more than heresy. Underlying everything are theological convictions, whether it’s Marxism, socialism, critical race theory, black lives matter. Every single one of these has a worldview that says something about God.
When you are a believer in God and you are a Theist, a Christian believer, you have a belief in God and the left calls that religion. They refuse to accept the fact that if you say you don’t believe in God, which is just negating the statement that you believe in God, that is equally a religious statement.
Actually, the Supreme Court in a ruling in 1973 stated that secularism or humanism was a religion. They recognized that if Christianity and other forms that have beliefs with differing beliefs in God are religions, then a group that denies the existence is also, by logic, religious.
The Tower of Babel represents the kingdom of man, the rebellion of man, and the belief that man can solve his problems apart from God. It’s interesting that that is the failure of the human race in Genesis 11. We saw that it’s at that time when God assigns demons to various kingdoms. What is the next thing that we know of that God does? He calls out Abram in order to establish a counterculture to all the other nations.
He calls out Abram and He is going to give Abram a new piece of land, a new territory, and the central city is Jerusalem, Salem, the city of God. You have this whole picture in the Bible of the contrast of the war between the City of God and the city of Satan, the city of Babylon.
So, you go through the timeline, the call of Abram out of Babylon. Ur of the Chaldees was just south of Babylon. Then you have the Babylonian Empire. When Israel is disciplined, where does God take them? He takes them to Babylon, which represents the city of the devil, the city of man, and everything that is opposed to God. Then they return in 538 BC, build the Second Temple, and then we have the Church Age ending with the Rapture of the church, and then there is the rebuilding of literal Babylon. It has to be.
You know older dispensationalists believe Babylon was a code word and you’ll still hear some say that it’s a code word for Rome. They say they didn’t really want to talk about Rome because it would be considered rebellious or insurrectionist talk or something of that nature, so they referred to it as Babylon. Rome, however, in the Scripture always means Rome. When Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, it went to Rome. It didn’t go to Babylon. When Peter sends a greeting to someone in Babylon at the end he’s talking about the city of Babylon, which had the largest Jewish population outside of Jerusalem in the ancient world. That’s where Peter went. He didn’t go to Rome in Italy. He went to Babylon, because that’s where the 2nd largest Jewish population was.
They come back from Babylon. We have the Church Age. Then in the Tribulation we have the rebuilding of the kingdom of Babylon, which is part of the Antichrist’s kingdom. I think this is where we see the Antichrist as the head of the Revived Roman Empire. He absorbed these other kingdoms, so he is also the king of Babylon.
When this passage is talking about the King of Babylon, it’s not the king of Babylon or the Antichrist. That’s one view that’s out there. The King of Babylon is the Antichrist.
Then we have the destruction of Babylon just before Christ returns in Revelation 17 and 18. Then we have the establishment of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Christ, in the Millennial Kingdom.
Here’s a map to show you Babylon over on the right. Here is Jerusalem right here. They are almost at the same level. This shows Abram came from Ur of the Chaldees down here to the southeast of Babylon, went north through the area of Mesopotamia to Harran. He stays there for a while and then comes down to the land that God promised him.
I have several pictures of Babylon. I’m not even sure who took them. (Maybe they’ll e-mail me). Some soldier in the second Gulf War went to Babylon and took a whole bunch of pictures and sent them to me. This is the Gates of Ishtar. Saddam Hussein was doing a lot of work to rebuild Babylon so it would be this great center. That got stopped by the first and second Gulf wars, so we’ll see what happens in the future.
We also see in this slide the location of Babylon to the south and Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, to the north. North of Babylon were the Medes. The modern descendants of the Medes are the Kurds, who live in that area. The Kurds hate the Iraqis and would do anything to be able to invade down through there and wipe them out.
What we saw Sunday morning is that God is bringing an army against Babylon, as described in Isaiah 13:2–5 and it comes from all over the earth. I think that it is very possible talking about an angelic army related to this because the language there of “the mighty ones” is language we find in the psalms that refers to an angelic army. This very well could be an angelic army that God uses at the end of the Tribulation to wipe out Babylon.
Then we have the language in Isaiah 13:5–16 where this battle is described as the Day of the Lord. This is that huge campaign related to Armageddon that takes place at the end of the Tribulation period. One of the enemies listed here are the Medes in verse 17, “Behold I will stir up the Medes against them.”
This is what causes a lot of people to say this is an historical event from 539 BC when the Babylonian or the Neo-Babylonian Empire is destroyed by the Medes and the Persians. What’s described here though is not the destruction of Babylon. What is predicted in Isaiah 13 is that the destruction is total. It’s compared to Sodom and Gomorrah. “Nothing will live there again.” That has never happened historically. It says the Arabs will not pitch their tents there.
Here’s a picture of Arabs pitching their tent on Babylon that was taken around the turn of the last century. Isaiah 13:20 says that it will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation nor will the Arab pitch his tent there.
That’s pretty clear that if an Arab is pitching his tent there, then this prophecy has not been fulfilled. Herodotus in his Histories, Volume I, page 191, which was written in 450 BC with 539 BC being less than 100 years prior to that, is describing how Cyrus took the Babylonian Empire and he writes, “He (Cyrus) conducted the river by a channel into the lake.”
What they did was dredge out a channel to divert the water into a lake instead of flowing into the middle of Babylon. “So he made the former course of the river passable by the sinking of the stream.” Then the troops could go in under the wall and take the city without a fight.
When this had been done, the Persians who had been posted for this very purpose, entered by the bed of the River Euphrates into Babylon, the stream having sunk so far it reached about to the middle of a man’s thigh. Those Babylonians in the middle did not know that they had been captured. They were taken completely by surprise. This is reported on the Cyrus Cylinder, which is a very well-known artifact.
James Pritchett, who is the author of a two-volume work, one on Ancient Near-Eastern texts related to the Old Testament and the other of pictures related to the Old Testament. He writes,
“Without any battle … sparing Babylon … any calamity. … I am Cyrus … king of Babylon. … When I entered Babylon … under jubilation and rejoicing … troops walked around Babylon ... in peace.” This was written on the Cyrus Cylinder.
Note there was no battle. No battle whatsoever. They spared Babylon of any calamity. He goes on to say,
“I did not allow anybody to terrorize any place of the [country of Sumer] and Akkad. I strove for peace in Babylon … and in all his (other) sacred cities. … I returned to (these) sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been in ruins for a long time, the images which (used) to live therein and established for them in their permanent sanctuaries.”
“I (also) gathered all their (former) inhabitants and returned (to them) their habitations.” That’s what he eventually did to the Jews. He told them to go back to their historic homeland. “Furthermore, I resettled … unharmed, in their (former) chapels, the places which make them happy. May all the gods whom I have resettled in their sacred cities ask daily Bel and Nebo for a long life for me ... all of them I resettled in a peaceful place … ducks and doves, … I endeavored to fortify/repair their dwelling places …”
It’s very clear that there’s no battle. No one is killed. No one is destroyed. Babylon still continued to function according to historical record as well as the Bible.
Slides 20 and 21
After 539 BC Herodotus described Babylon’s measurements in 450 BC. Then Alexander the Great visited Babylon and died there in 323 BC. Seleucid was one of Alexander the Great’s generals. When Alexander died, his kingdom was divided between four generals. Seleucid took the area of Syria and was constantly fighting with the area between Syria and Egypt. The Ptolemies took Egypt. In between is Israel so you constantly had this fighting going on between those two empires.
Seleucid sees Babylon in 312 BC. Strabo, who was an early geographer, pronounced Babylon’s Hanging Gardens as one of the seven wonders of the world in 25 BC. That means Babylon still wasn’t destroyed by the time of Christ. Babylonians were present on the Day of Pentecost. The Talmud was promulgated and written in Babylonian by the Jewish community there. So, you have the Babylonian Talmud and then you have the Palestinian Talmud that was put together north of Jerusalem. Haukal, another historian, mentioned a Babylonian village in AD 317 and Babylon was known as “Two Mosques” and “Hilah” in AD 1100. This is from a book by Mark Hitchcock and Tommy Ice called The Truth Behind Left Behind.
The real issue here and the first thing that has to be decided is when the event in Isaiah 14:12–14 is taking place. It’s clear that Isaiah 13 tells us that this is an event that will happen in the future. It’s at the end of the Tribulation period, so that it’s related to the return of the Jewish people to the land that God has given them. That is what happens at the end of the Tribulation period. That’s the first two verses in Isaiah 13.
Then we read in Isaiah 14:3, “It has come to pass that in the day the Lord shall give you rest from your sorrow and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve.” That is clearly a statement about the time of the Millennial Kingdom. It is constantly referred to as a time of rest, a time of peace. It’s at that time that you are to take up this taunt, literally. It’s not a proverb. It’s a mashal, which means a taunt against the king of Babylon. So, who is the king of Babylon?
Is the king of Babylon the Antichrist or is he a separate human entity from the King of Babylon or is the King of Babylon comparable to the King of Tyre? We’ll see that when we get to Ezekiel 28:1–10 who the prince of Tyre, the human ruler, is. The power behind the throne and Satan is called the King of Tyre. Here we have the King of Babylon.
I suggest this is the same thing going on here that the King of Babylon at that time is not talking about the human leader at all. It is talking about Satan, who is the power behind the throne. This taunt we have is in Isaiah 14:4–8. “How the oppressor has ceased; the golden city has deceased.” The golden city is Babylon and it’s going to be destroyed. “The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked; the scepter—see, staff and scepter are synonymous parallelism—of the wicked. He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke. He who ruled the nations in anger.” That’s referring to the one who was the power behind the throne.
“He who ruled the nations in anger is persecuted and no one hinders. The whole earth is at rest and in quiet.” That’s talking about judgment that has come to this power behind the throne making the whole earth at rest and quiet. We read in Revelation 20 what happens that brings about peace on the earth. Satan is confined to the Abyss.
The Abyss is a bottomless pit. That’s how it’s translated. That means there’s nothing lower than the Abyss. Hold on to that thought. “The whole earth is at rest and quiet and they are rejoicing.” They are having concerts and festivals all over the earth praising the defeat of this individual. Then we have a picture of the trees rejoicing which is a metonymy for the people who live in the area of the trees.
Lebanon produced cypress trees, so it’s talking about those who lived in Lebanon. “The cypress trees rejoice over you and the cedars of Lebanon saying, ‘Since you have been cast down no woodsmen have come up against us.’ ”
Then we get into Isaiah 14:9, “Hell [Sheol]…” This is what throws some people because they have an inadequate view of Sheol. They just think it’s the place of the dead. I’ve gone through this with you before that Sheol has four different uses. It can refer to the grave. It can refer to death. It can refer to the place where the dead go generally. That’s Sheol. It can refer to the compartment “Torments” in Sheol, which we see from Luke 17.
So hell from beneath is excited about you. “Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you in your coming.” People say this can’t be Satan because he’s sent to the Abyss, but that’s because they don’t consider the fact that the Abyss is part of Sheol. We know there are Torments and Tartarus. We’ll study that in our study of 1 Peter 2:5 that those angels who are sent to hell or prison … it’s not hell or Sheol or Hades … it’s Tartarus. Tartarus is a compartment of Sheol where those angels who disobeyed God in Genesis 6 are imprisoned. We’ll see another compartment there as we go through this passage.
What this verse is talking about is not Sheol itself, it’s the people who are already in Sheol are excited about Satan’s coming. “It stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth …” All these kings and princes and leaders and generals and dictators all follow you and they’re now taunting you. “It has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?’ ”
When is this taking place? This is looking forward to what is said at the end of the Tribulation period. They’re taunting Satan. “They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us? Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments:’ ”
Notice that because when we get to Ezekiel 28, which I think is clearly talking about Satan, it talks about his timbrels and pipes. It relates music and musical instruments to Satan. The same thing happens here. Isaiah 14:11 says, “Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you.” This is just a vivid picture of his death.
Then we have the taunt. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened nations!” Now when are they saying this? They’re saying this at the end of the Tribulation period. Keep that timeframe in mind.
“For you have said in your heart …” What part of speech is “have said”? Remember who is speaking. The kings in the future. They’re speaking to Satan and they’re saying he has said. What part of speech is that? It’s past tense. This is referring to something that had happened in the far distant past.
Now come the five “I wills”. “ ‘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 farther 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.”
We’ve seen when we were in Psalm 30 David says that God rescued him from Sheol, from the Pit. We see that the pit is a synonym for Sheol. This is talking about the lowest depth of Sheol, the Abyss. This is where Satan is cast.
Here is a graphic to try to show the timeline. Here we have the prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament. It says here “What the prophets saw”. It’s looking forward to the future through the destruction of Babylon and Satan being bound and cast into the Bottomless Pit.
At this time in the future, the kings in Sheol will taunt Satan. That’s the black dotted line here. They’re looking back to when Satan originally sinned before human history began. I hope that’s clear. It became clear to me in this discussion that I watched that there was confusion on the side that didn’t get it that there was confusion on the timeline of this. This is confusing. You have to really take some time to look at this. I didn’t see it the first half a dozen times I looked at it. It takes time to put all of this together.
Here’s a slide on Sheol and Hades. Here we have Abraham’s bosom on the left. This is based on Luke 16:19–25. You know the story about the beggar named Lazarus, a homeless guy who is outside the gates of the rich man. He’s always begging and the rich man doesn’t want to give him anything because he’s arrogant and self-absorbed. Then the rich man dies and he goes to Torments over here. Then Lazarus dies and Lazarus goes to Paradise.
In between you see this impassable barrier called the Great Gulf Fixed. Lazarus is over there in Paradise. It’s before the Cross where all Old Testament believers went. He’s over there and he can’t communicate in some way with those who are unbelievers from all dispensations over here in Torments. The rich man says, “It’s so hot. Just dip your finger into the water and put a little on my tongue.”
That’s implies a lot going on. There’s some kind of interim body. This interim body can be thirsty. This interim body can be hot or this interim body can be totally happy and fulfilled, which is what Lazarus is. It tells us a lot here. The rich man is in Torments and it’s hot and it’s a precursor to the Lake of Fire. It’s a holding cell that’s like if you get arrested today, you’re going to be thrown into jail into a holding cell in Harris County. After you go to your trial and you’re convicted of a felony, then you go to one of the prisons in Texas, maybe up in Huntsville.
That’s one compartment of Sheol, called Torments. Then you have from 2 Peter 2:5 Tartarus. This is where the angels who did not keep their first estate, according to Jude, are confined in chains of darkness. They will not be released until it’s time for them to be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Then you have the Abyss. That’s where Satan is cast. What’s interesting is that some of this prophecy is known to the demons. You have this group of demons who have indwelt, taken up residence inside the Gadarene demoniac. You know the story. Jesus goes and taunts them asking what their name is? They replied that they were called Legion because there were so many of them. A legion in the Roman army had about two or three thousand members. That’s the situation. Jesus is going to cast them out and they’re scared to death. What do they say? Remember Jesus has come to offer the Kingdom, so they don’t understand that the Church Age is coming. God hasn’t told anyone yet. They think Jesus is going to establish His Kingdom. What happens right before Jesus establishes His Kingdom?
Jesus speaks to Satan. I think it’s not just Satan, but all of Satan’s angels. They’re all sent to the Abyss. What do the ones in the Gadarene demoniac answer, “Are you going to send us to the Abyss now? Don’t do that.” They’re afraid that this is it.
Instead, Jesus sends them into the pigs and they run off the cliff and become disembodied again. So the Abyss is where Satan is cast at the end of the Tribulation. That’s what we’re talking about here when we get into the end of Isaiah 14:14, “the lowest depths of the Pit”. All of this has something to do with Satan and not with a human king.
Let’s go to Isaiah 14:12. This is the beginning of the taunt and the first part of the five “I wills”. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” The first observation is that Lucifer’s starting point is Heaven.
The word there is shamayim and it’s plural just like “God created the heavens and the earth”. It’s also used as a plural in the New Testament when Paul goes to the third Heaven. This is the Throne Room of God. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer.” It’s a plural, but that doesn’t mean this is talking about the sky or something like that.
It says Lucifer is called the Son of the Morning, which is the title we all grew up with. “How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations.” In this first statement about this creature is that he’s fallen from Heaven. You can’t say that about a human being. How do we know that’s so significant? We’ll see it in just a minute.
The second point is that since this taunt is taken up at the time of this creature being sent to the lowest part of Sheol, the lowest depth of the Pit, it is referring to something that happens much earlier.
Then he’s called Lucifer. Lucifer comes out of the Vulgate. The Vulgate was translated by Jerome, who went to Bethlehem and lived in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Some of you have been there with me. There’s a statue out in the plaza there of Jerome and this is where he translated the Hebrew and the Greek text into Latin. He chose to use the word Lucifer to translate the first phrase. The Hebrew phrase is Heylel, which it turns out, is a term for the morning star, Venus.
I have on this slide that Lucifer is the same as Venus, the morning star. In Lewis and Short’s A Latin Dictionary they say that Lucifer refers to light-bringing and Lucifer refers to the morning star, the planet, Venus.
The last few days as we were in Dallas, Dan Inghram and I have been doing this for a number of years now. We got up about 5:30 AM and we met before 6:00. We went out and we walked about three miles through this neighborhood there. Every year we see the same thing.
It’s the same time of year. As we’re walking and it’s about thirty or forty-five minutes before dawn and it’s dark when we get started and just above the horizon we see a crescent moon and a star. By the time we get all the way back around all we see is just the star. That’s Venus, the morning star which is what’s being talked about here.
The Tanakh, which is the Jewish translation of the Old Testament, TNK for the Torah, the Nev’ivim and the Ketuvim, the Law, the Prophet, and the Writings translates it this way: “How are you fallen from heaven, O Shining one, Son of the Dawn?” That’s a literal translation. On the slide is the one from the 1985 [version], which is a little more modern update of the Tanakh.
JPS, the Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh in 1917 translated it as day-star, son of the Morning. Day-star is another term for Venus.
What we have here is that this is addressed to Helel, ben Shachar and is best translated as “shining one, son of the dawn.” If you were to look and take the time … I’ll read it to you because it’s an important passage. In 2 Corinthians 11 we have a description and a warning about Satan. In that it says in verse 14, “And no wonder, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” Here is this being who is the shining one, son of the dawn. Light is his basic characteristic. So Satan can transform himself into an angel of light. The verse goes on to say, “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers—the other fallen angels—transform themselves into ministers of righteousness whose end will be according to their works.” This is Satan, the great counterfeiter.
The second thing it says here about Satan is “For you have said in your heart—in your thinking—I will ascend into heaven.” We saw a reference to that already when it mentioned that he was fallen from Heaven. Why did he fall from Heaven? Remember, by the time they’re issuing this taunt it’s the end of the Tribulation. What happens in the middle of the Tribulation? Revelation 13 says that Satan, the dragon, the serpent of old, is cast out of Heaven to the earth and his tail drags a third of the stars of Heaven with him. Those are the demons, the fallen angels. They’re still called stars. Stars is a term that relates to angels and not to men. We have Hollywood stars, but they’re certainly not angels.
Satan says he will ascend into Heaven. In Isaiah 66 the Lord says, “Heaven is My throne.” It’s hashamayim. It’s the same form of the word, the plural form of Heaven. It can refer to Heaven singular or Heaven plural. “For you have said in your heart I will ascend into heaven.” What is Heaven? It is God’s throne.
The second thing Lucifer says is “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” When we look at the phrase “the stars of God”, this is talking about the angels. This isn’t just hyperbole. It must be taken literally. He wants to rule over the stars of God, the angels.
The word stars is used a number of different ways. In Genesis 1:16 it’s used to refer to these physical lights that God placed in the heavens. “Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; He made the stars also.”
We only have two words in the Hebrew for this. We look out there and we’re impressed with the whole universe. People think there have to be lights out there and all these other things, but when God reports what He did He has two words. In English it’s five words, He made the stars also. It doesn’t give it a whole lot of play. It’s like it’s an afterthought or a secondary thought. It doesn’t really enter into the plan of God when it says He made the stars also. These are the physical lights in the heaven.
They are used to illustrate certain things or be a symbol or certain things as in Joseph’s dream. He said that the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to him. The eleven stars were his brothers, so this is a reference to Israel. The sun is his father, Jacob. The moon is his mother, Rachel. This is an image that’s picked up in Revelation 13 to refer to Israel.
In Exodus 32:13 it is used as a way of God describing how many descendants there will be for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God says, “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven …” That’s talking about the literal stars.
I had to bring this in because it’s Christmas in three weeks. Numbers 24:17 is the prophecy of Balaam, “I see Him—that is the Messiah—but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A star shall come out of Jacob.” This is talking about the Messiah. We have the star referring to Israel and the Israelites, the stars as Joseph’s eleven brothers, the star coming out of Jacob is talking about the Messiah. “A scepter shall rise out of Israel.” This is talking about a ruling star.
Judges 5:20 is really interesting. This is the song of Deborah after she and Barak have defeated the forces of Sisera, the Canaanites. Remember, they had chariots, so they had a light armored division to bring against them and they’re down in the valley of Armageddon. They defeat Sisera.
Sisera takes off. He’s just exhausted from the battle and he takes refuge in the tent of Jael, the Kenite. As soon as he falls asleep she grabs a tent peg and nails him right through his temple. She just nails him to the ground and kills him. Deborah then writes this hymn of praise thanking God for the victory and she says, “They fought from the heavens, the stars from the forces fought against Sisera.” This is showing that there is an angelic dimension to that physical battle. It’s not the Jews, the Israelites fighting the Canaanites. There is a fight going on in the unseen realm.
Job 38:7 says God laid the foundations of the earth and it was a time, “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” The term morning stars is parallel to the sons of God. That tells us again that stars again refers to angels.
In Daniel 8:10 it’s talking about the rise of the Antichrist. I believe it’s the last great sort of monster, the animal portraying the bestial nature of the kingdoms, “And it grew up to the host of heaven and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.” I think this refers to that mid-Tribulation event when Satan and the fallen angels are kicked out of Heaven.
And, of course, we have the star prophecy when the star appears over Bethlehem and it’s not a star that can be identified. It’s not Venus or Jupiter or Mars coming together in the heaven because there’s no planetary confluence that can point out an individual house on a street in Bethlehem. This star does, so it’s the shekinah glory of God. This is the star that the Magi had been following.
Then in Revelation 1:16 we have Christ who has seven stars in His right hand “and out of His mouth precedes a two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength.” “The mystery of the seven stars which they saw in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks are seven churches.”
A lot of people think this is the pastors of the churches, but it’s not. We did an extensive study on this when I taught Revelation. Pastors are never called angels. Angels are stars. Pastors are never called stars. This is recording angels because they’re going to issue seven report cards that are going to be handed out in Revelation 2 and 3. The recording angel is the angel assigned to each congregation according to how they respond to those reports.
Then Revelation 12:4, which I’ve already talked about, “And his tail draweth the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” That’s the dragon’s tail. He wants to exalt his throne above the throne of God.
Then Satan says, “I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north.” Interestingly, this is in Ezekiel 1:4 when Ezekiel is recording this chariot carrying God coming to him and he says, “Then I looked and behold the whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud of raging fire engulfing itself.”
When you have this statement of it coming from the farthest side of the north, this was kind of an idiom of where God and Heaven were located. The beginning phrase here, “I will sit on the congregation of the mount of the assembly” is the Hebrew word har moed. Har means mountain and moed is the same phrase we saw of the Council of God in Psalm 82:1.
This is an interesting expression. The word that is translated north is tsaphon. In Ugaritic or the Canaanite mythology there was a mountain to the north, which was like Mount Olympus, where all the pantheon lived. Some people have tried to identify this with Mount Cassius in the north in Syria, but it doesn’t have anything to do with this. God is not borrowing from Canaanite mythology. This is just a place that is listed, but it’s clear form the context that it is the opposite of Sheol.
It is picturing a mountain that is opposite from the depths of the Pit. To demonstrate from his highest achievement he falls all the way to the lowest point in Sheol. It’s not referring to Mount Cassius in the north or Mount Zion, but it is imply referring to and expressing how far Satan falls.
In Isaiah 14:14 Satan says, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.” This is a fascinating phrase because clouds are often associated with the presence of God when He appears in the Old Testament. In some passages they refer to angels who are pictured as clouds.
Of course, we know that in the Tabernacle and in the Temple God appeared as a cloud. It relates to His glory, to the indwelling presence of His glory. We call it the shekinah glory. Shekan means the dwelling so it’s the dwelling of God’s presence. It reflects His essence. That’s the idea of glory there.
Satan says he will ascend above the glories of God’s essence and God’s presence. He will replace Him. Notice Satan doesn’t say he will be the Most High. He says he will be like the Most High. His aim is to overthrow God. This is why I’m calling this the Angelic Revolt. It’s a revolt. It’s not a conflict. He wants to overthrow God and rule the angels and rule the earth.
The final phrase, “the Most High”, is illustrative. It’s reflecting Elohim as the highest of these elohim that we studied. These are the spirits, all of the angels, the sons of God, are often called elohim because they all live in that spirit realm, but God is El ’elyon, the High One. He is over all of them.
We see that reference several times in the episode in Genesis 14 where when Abram has defeated the five kings that invaded and they take all these people captive and loot and plunder everything. Then Abraham goes with his private army and defeats them, comes back to Salem, which is a small village before it becomes Jerusalem, and he and Melchizedek sit down and eat and have fellowship. Melchizedek is said to be the priest of the Most High, El ’elyon. That is the High God.
Melchizedek blessed Abraham. This is what distinguishes El ’elyon. He is the Possessor of the heaven and earth, the Creator of heaven and earth. So Abraham blessed God Most High, who delivered his enemies and he gave Melchizedek a tithe.
This money isn’t coming out of Abraham’s pocket despite all the Baptist sermons you’ve heard about giving and tithing. It’s one tenth of the plunder Abram recovered. All of those sermons on giving just lost their main force.
Again, in Genesis 14:22 Abram says, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth.” This takes us through the revolt, the beginning of the revolt. Next week we’ll look at the parallel passage which is Ezekiel 28.
Both of the passages are clearly talking about the fall of the person we call Satan, wrongly identified as Lucifer. He is Helel, ben Shachar, the Shining One, son of the dawn.
“Father, thanks for the opportunity to go through these things and to understand even better how the text makes it very clear who is being spoken of here. This is not about a human type or a human king, but it is talking about the one behind that human king, the real power, which is Satan. It helps us to understand the beginning of evil and why obedience to authority is so important and why it is wrong to be disrespectful of authority or to violate that authority or disobey that authority because this is the root of Satan’s sin.
“Father challenge us with what we are learning. Help us to understand that everything around us is somehow related to this angelic revolt and it really, truly helps us to better interpret the chaos of the world around us. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”