Now in this lesson let’s come back to Genesis chapter 1, and we might as well begin with verse 1.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
We’ve been talking about that for the last three programs, and now as we move into verse 2, years ago this verse shook me up, and of course I didn’t have an answer for it.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Now from my understanding of the word “created” which is “Barah” in the Hebrew, and I’ve even read some Hebrew commentary on it not too long ago, that the word meant“perfect creation.” In other words God did not create the mess as I call verse 2, because when you look at that verse the earth is under flood water, it’s void, or of no use, and yet that which evidently God had created perfectly in verse 1 must have been without a flood, and yet here in verse 2 it is void, and under water.
Now I’ve learned over the years to call verse 2 “The First Flood,” and Noah’s was the second. Well what happened here in verse 2? Why did God destroy that original beautiful earth that He had created by the word of His mouth? Well naturally something cataclysmic had to have happened, and I think the best way we can find the answer for that is go to the Scripture itself. I know some theologians will disagree with me, but just as many will agree, but this is the way I feel the most comfortable with this whole idea that between verse 1 and verse 2 something terrible happened, so that God had to destroy the earth with a flood. So now let’s turn to Ezekiel chapter 28, and we’ll begin with verse 13.
Now I don’t take this approach just simply to pacify the evolutionist concepts of the billions of billions of years of time. No way at all. I don’t do this to just simply insert the geological ages of time, which I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with the evolutionist approach whatsoever. I’m a creationist, and believe that in the beginning God spoke the Word, and everything was created as He wanted to create it. But I do have to feel that after a certain period of time, and I don’t know how long that was, it might have been 5 years, or 500 years, or even 5 billion, I don’t know, and again my answer is, “So what!” But I do feel that there was an interruption because of something that drastically took place, and I think we can begin to find that answer in Ezekiel chapter 28. Here God is speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, and he writes to this personality:
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tablets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created.”
You know what’s so interesting? So many things we’re introduced to won’t be heard of again until we get to the Book of Revelation and here is one of them in all these beautiful gemstones. They will be repeated again when we have the description of the Holy City coming down out of heaven. The Tree of Life is another one where we see it in the Garden of Eden, but not another reference to the Tree of Life until the Book of Revelation and eternity. So the Book of beginnings ties in so beautifully with the Book of endings. So here in Ezekiel chapter 28 this personality we find has been created, and has been in Eden. All of these beautiful gemstones were a part of his make up and I think, of even his outward appearance. Now verse 14.
“Thou art the anointed cherub…” (angelic beings)
So we have an angelic being that God is talking to, and he was anointed. In other words he had a place of special responsibility among the angelic host. Now reading on:
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth,…”
Now if I understand the Hebrew translation of that, the word covereth really meant “ruler” In that case it would be, “Thou art the anointed angel that rules.” When you speak of rule, you speak of a kingdom, so this angelic being evidently ruled over a kingdom of angelic beings. Not mankind. Let’s get this straight. We’re not talking about humanity, but rather, an angelic kingdom. Now reading on:
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth (rules)and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God:…”
Now here’s another place that I usually have to stop. In the Old Testament use of symbolically a mountain in Scripture is a kingdom. We find that over and over the wordmountain is used in place of a kingdom or symbolically as a kingdom. So this individual to whom God is speaking has been placed in a place of authority over a kingdom and now reading on in verse 14.
“…thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones (these gemstones)of fire.”
In other words these gemstones were brilliant. All these stones that are listed up here in verse 13 were just fiery in their brilliance. Now I’m not much of an authority on gemstones, but I have heard people talk about the fire of a diamond. Well what are they talking about? It’s brilliance as it responds to light, has fire. Now you have the same thing here. This angelic being lived and moved in the midst of such fiery gemstones. Now verse 15. God goes on to say:
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, (se we have here a created, angelic being whom God had put over a kingdom) till iniquity was found in thee.”
In other words, this angelic being by virtue of his own free will rebelled against God. Now let’s come back to Isaiah chapter 14, and get the rest of the story. Here in this chapter we have the answer to what took place that was the iniquity which was found in this angelic being, and we also have him named, at least still in the King James version. I know most of the new translations have taken his name out along with a lot of other Scriptures, but the King James still has the name of this angel very much intact.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (he was an angel, the cherub that covereth)how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!(now here we have already the hint that he has fallen from his place of rule) 13. For thou hast said in thine heart, (here becomes the evidence of what this angelic being did) I will (do you see that exercise of will) ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: (now symbolically stars in Scriptures are angels. So he is going to exalt his position above the angelic host) I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:”
Do you see all of his “I will’s? Lucifer is in total rebellion against his Creator? Now verse 14.
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (and he’s not going to stop there) I will be like the most High.”
And in the Scriptures who is the Most High? Again, the God of creation. This angel that God had given dominion over an angelic kingdom that I think was on that earth in verse 1. It was a beautiful earth, filled with all the glitter of the gemstones, but also an earth beautiful with all the things of God’s creation, such as the trees, and flowers, and grass, and you name it. It was all there, it was beautiful beyond description, and it was an angelic host that populated it. Not mankind, but angels. And this Lucifer was ruling over the earth. But Lucifer, or Satan as we now know him, was never satisfied, and he still isn’t even tonight. So in his heart, he lusted to take the place of God Himself, and he honestly thought he could pull it off.
Now let’s go back to Revelation chapter 12 to continue this study on Satan, and we can pick up a little information here concerning this rebellion. And a rebellion was what it was. This Lucifer who was not content with the role that God had given him, now wanted to usurp the throne of God, but he was going to entice the angelic subjects that were under him to go with him in his rebellion. And we find here in this passage just how many of them went with him. Now this again is a whole chapter of symbolisms, and of course the whole Book of Revelation is symbolism, but it comes back to a literal truth remember. So here again we look at the symbolism, but we’re going to dig out the literal truth.
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.”
Now we know that those are descriptions of Satan. Now verse 4.
“And his tail (this is symbolic of a dragon) drew the third part of the stars (or angels)of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:…”
So his enticing language depicted here, a tail, literally drew the third part this angelic host, and did cast them to the earth. Now continuing on with verse 4.
“…and the dragon (Satan) stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”
And that of course jumps all the way to Bethlehem when Herod ordered all the baby boys two years and younger to be put to death. But going back up into verse 4, how many of the angels followed him in his rebellion? One third of them. Now since you’re in Revelation just back up a few pages to the little Book of Jude, and we find these rebellious angels again. And let’s just drop in at verse 6, and also remember Jude is referring to people who as false teachers and various other ways of rebelling against God’s Sovereignty that we are to be aware of these people. Jude is warning us about them, so that’s the whole idea of this little Book of Jude. And one of them Jude uses as an example is the rebellious angels.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, (what does that mean? They didn’t stay in that kingdom that Lucifer was ruling back there in verse 1 of Genesis 1) but left their own habitation, (in other words they followed Satan in his rebellion) he (God) hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
Now I always have to stop from time to time and comment. When Scripture uses a word that seemingly doesn’t make sense, then just be logical. Here we’re dealing with spirit beings when we deal with angels. You and I know that you can’t confine an angel with an iron chain, because he’s a spirit being. But let God be God. Does God have a material that confines a spirit? Yes! So whatever material God uses to make this particular chain, that’s what He used. So the angels tonight are encompassed something that God can call a chain. Now looking at the last part of that verse again.
“…he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
Now when is that going to be? Well, at the Great White Throne when men and angels will be judged as unbelievers, or as rebels. So these angels are locked upped, and I make a point of that because the angels that fell at Satan’s rebellion are not the demons that Jesus dealt with, and Andre deals with and so forth. As far as Scripture is concerned the origin of the present day demons I do not feel are revealed. They are not the angels that fell when Satan rebelled, but rather they are under chains of darkness.
Now come back with me all the way to the Book of Matthew just to show you. Satan, even though he was cast out of his place of authority over that beautiful kingdom in Genesis chapter 1 verse 2, yet he has never changed. Satan has not given up his whole role, and his whole reason for existing is to constantly thwart the plan of the Sovereign God. In other words, coming back to my timeline, just as soon as God put that perfect pair in the Garden of Eden, who came in to throw a monkey wrench into the whole caboodle? Well Satan did, and he caused those human parents to sin.
Now then as soon as God brings Adam and Even out of the Garden, and promises that out of the seed of the woman would come the Redeemer of the human race, Satan immediately puts in gear everything at his disposal to stop the coming of a Redeemer. He does it by first bringing to death with the murder of Abel who was in the line of the coming of the Just One. Then when Abraham comes on the scene, and God makes that covenant with Abraham, Satan turns on that little nation that’s going to come out of that covenant agreement like no other group of people on earth. And if you ever look at what has happened to the Jew down through their history, never forget that’s it’s been the attacks of this same Lucifer, this same Satan who is trying to thwart the very plan of God.
You see, since God placed everything concerning prophecy on this little nation, everything concerning Christ’s first coming rested on the little nation of Israel. So if Satan could destroy Israel, he could destroy God’s plan of bringing a Redeemer. I think that when Christ was on the cross, Satan must have almost jumped with glee, thinking that he had finally succeeded. But resurrection morning he found out differently, he was defeated, but he still hasn’t quit.
Now here in Matthew chapter 4 as Christ begins His earthly ministry, and He’s been 40 days and 40 nights out there in the desert, and the first thing Satan comes up with is the temptation to satisfy His hungry. But forsake of our speaking of Satan’s ruling and reigning I want to begin with verse 8.
“Again, the devil taketh him (Jesus)up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them:”
Now you want to remember Satan is a spiritual being, and Christ was Spiritual even though Christ was in the flesh. So from that high preeminent area, not only could they look physically in all four directions, but spirit beings that they were, they could look all the way back to the Garden of Eden, and up to the end of time. They could look at all the empires and kingdoms that had come on the scene, and look what old Satan has the audacity to offer Christ. Now verse 9.
“And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
Now just let that sink in for a moment. Satan is offering all these empires of the world, past, present, and future to the Lord Jesus if He will just fall down and worship him. If the Lord had done that then Satan could have honestly said, that he had ascended above the Almighty. So you see old Satan never gives up. Now I usually ask my classes when I’m teaching this, “Were these kingdoms his to give?” Yes! Scripture tells us that Satan is the god of this world. Satan has been the head of the nations ever since Adam left the Garden of Eden. Satan is ruling and reigning the nations of the world today as well as anytime before. In fact a verse just comes to mind over in II Corinthians chapter 4:3-4, and this says it better than I can.
This Satan, this Lucifer who rebelled and wanted to usurp the very throne room of God, and was cast down, and his beautiful kingdom was destroyed with water. And even though the fallen angels were locked upped, God in Omniscience again, and in His Sovereignty permitted Satan to roam free, and permitted Satan to become the god of this world, as we will see here.
II Corinthians 4:3a
“But if our gospel be hid,…”
When Paul speaks of our Gospel, he’s talking about I Corinthians 15:1-4. How that Christ died for our sins, and He was buried, and He rose again the third day, and that’s what Paul refers here then as our Gospel. It was the Gospel of salvation that was revealed only to this apostle from the ascended Lord in heaven he tells us in several places in his epistles.
II Corinthians 4:3
“But if our gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost:”
It’s not lost if you’re a believer tonight, because you know it all to well, and have believed it with all your heart.
II Corinthians 4:4
“In whom (the lost of this world) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Now do you see how plainly that puts it? Who is the god of this world even tonight. Satan is. He is in charge of the kingdoms of this world, and he’ll promote good as well as evil, until the day he is finally removed as the god of this world.
by Thomas Bass