PART 1 THE INVISIBLE FORCES OF EVIL
What inspired me to write on this topic was a message by one of my fellow believers entitled “The Devil Is After You”. I wondered how many of the listeners truly believed that there is a devil. And are they really aware of his schemes?
When I was growing up, I was an avid comic book collector. At about the age of eight, I was initially introduced by my mother to the hobby of stamp collecting. This lead to collecting baseball cards, to collecting old newspapers, and to collecting comic books. Once every couple of weeks, my mother would take me to a popular store that carried newspapers, magazines, and comic books. Every time I went in she would allow me to select four or five comic books. Usually, I would only buy the #1 editions of Superman, Batman, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Spiderman. I loved these comic books. I got to know the personalities of the main characters pretty well in regards to their fight against evil. Superman’s archenemy during this time was named Bizarro. Batman had quite a few enemies, some of whose names were Catwoman, the Riddler, the Joker, and the Penguin. the X-Men’s main enemy was Magneto. The Fantastic Four fought against Dr. Doom and the Sub-Mariner. Last but not least, Spiderman had encounters with Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, and the Green Goblin. Even though the good super heroes weren’t real, I wished that I could be like them.
As far as I know, there were never any comic books issued that were about the devil in the sense that he was regarded as a super villain. He is, however, the epitome of evil, yet how many of us really know anything about him? If you were to ask most people about him they would probably say that he isn’t real.
This series will help you get a clearer picture of: Who is the devil? What was his divine purpose? What are his plans for mankind? How can we recognize him when he attempts to make an impact in our life? How can we resist him?
Who Is the Devil?
Before we become aware of his deceptive qualities of character we should be aware of who was he created to be.
Let’s take a look at the book of Ezekiel.
The pride of the prince of Tyrus corresponds to the pride of the king of Tyrus:
Following the reign of King Solomon in 931 BC, who was the last king of the nation of the twelve tribes of Israel, the territory of which was divided up forming the Northern Kingdom of Israel comprised of ten tribes and the Southern Kingdom of Judah comprised of two tribes. The capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judah was the city of Jerusalem, where the temple of God was located.
Ezekiel, a prophet of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, was given a prophetic word from the Lord concerning the prince of Tyrus (Tyre), whose name many believe was Ithobaal. Tyrus was an island off the coast of what is now known as Lebanon. It was noted for its many ships whose trade brought the city much wealth.
Apparently, this ruler was delighted when the city of Jerusalem and its temple was destroyed in 607 BC by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. His animosity toward the Jews seemed to have stemmed from an incident that had occurred about thirty years earlier during the reign of King Joash of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Apparently, Joash had insulted their gods of worship. So, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed this was a sign to the prince of Tyrus of his gods having provided divine retribution.
A description of this ruler in regards to his estimation of himself as being a God is set in contrast to the king of Tyrus, who like him aspired to be like God.
Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty… (Ezekiel 28:2, 12, 17a)
Who is the king of Tyrus?
Most commentators believe that this is a reference to Satan, a heavenly creature, whose description as to his heavenly position, his creation, his fall etc. are clearly delineated in the verses that will be presented in the chapters which follow. Although the name of Satan or the Devil is not mentioned in these verses, an inference can be made by comparing scripture with scripture that this is whom the King of Tyrus is actually being referred to. What is the heavenly designation about his being that is ascribed to him?
Thou art the anointed cherub… (Ezekiel 28:14)
It doesn’t call him an angel, but an “anointed cherub”. As far as I know, there are no scriptures that actually state that the devil is an angel. Some believe that he is an archangel, the leader of the evil angels. Whether he is an archangel remains to be seen. However, we do know that he is a cherub. So, what is a cherub?
What Is a Cherub?
One of the meanings of the word “cherub” is that of being a guardian or protector. The signification would be keeper, or guard, of the Deity against all profane approach1.In the initial verses that we are going to look at, the word “cherub” is not used. However, we should be able to deduce as we look at the information provided, which describes for us a picture of this creature’s physical features and heavenly responsibilities, that this is indeed referring to such a creature by looking at similar information provided from different verses that do provide this particular name.
Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. (Ezekiel 1:5, 10)
A cherub is referred to as having the likeness of “four living creatures”, because they had four faces.
And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. (Ezekiel 1:6-8)
They also had four wings, feet that were like the soles of a calves’ foot, and the hands of a man under each wing.
Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. (Ezekiel 1:9)
It is believed that the four faces allowed them to look four ways at once; and the four wings allowed them to move rapidly in every direction without turning.
And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. (1 Kings 6:23-24, 27)
As far as their height goes, this is not clearly stated in scripture. There is a reference to two cherubim, each of which were made out of wood and placed in the sanctuary (Holy of Holies) in the temple under its construction during the reign of Israel’s third king, named Solomon. If each of these objects were built in stature (height) as an exact full size model of a cherub, then a cherub would be 10 cubits or about 18 feet tall.
It is true that these cherubim were depicted as only having two wings each. The emphases in these passages seemed to be twofold. First the length of half of one wing of each cherub was facing away from each other and touching two walls that were opposite each other. The other length of each half of one wing were opened toward each other, so as to allow for the extension of the wings along the full length of the Most Holy Place. Secondly, the Ark of the Covenant was placed between the two cherubim under the halves of the two wings that were facing each other expressing the idea of the cherubim being guardians or protectors of the holy place.
This is quite a different picture of the physical features of the devil as I would expect. Are you surprised by this?
In Ezekiel 1,the four living creatures that were mentioned are cherubim even though this name didn’t appear anywhere in these verses. In order to substantiate that they are cherubim, the next story will verify this.
Ezekiel’s vision of cherubim inflicting punishment on the idolatrous inhabitants of Jerusalem:
Ezekiel Chapters 8-10
Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. (Ezekiel 10:1)
This story depicts the prophet Ezekiel being given a glimpse of the punishment inflicted upon the idolatrous inhabitants of Jerusalem by cherubim in a vision. The name of these heavenly creatures as being cherubim is clearly stated.
And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel. Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. (Ezekiel 10:10, 21)
Furthermore, their physical characteristics are also mentioned, those being that they have: the form of a man’s hand under each wing; one likeness of four creatures; four wings; four faces, one being of a cherub, one of a man, one of a lion, and one of an eagle. There was one face description which differed here in regards to the description provided in Ezekiel 1:10. The face of a cherub in this description is referred to as being the face of an ox.
I think that it is pretty obvious that the physical descriptions of the heavenly creatures in Ezekiel 1 are those of a cherub. We can conclude that a cherub is a heavenly creature that has the likeness of “four living creatures”, whose responsibility was that of being a guardian or protector.
Now that we know that the devil is known as the anointed cherub, what was his divine purpose?
What Was the Devil’s Divine Purpose?
When we think of the devil in the Garden of Eden, we think of him deceiving Eve into eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which he did do.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. (Ezekiel 28:13)
However, it appears that he was in the Garden of Eden at this particular time in his life not having fallen (committed sin) as of yet. While he was present in the Garden, he was clothed in a manner such that nine jewels would be evidenced. Why was he in the Garden of Eden? In order to answer this, we can take a look at where else he could also be found.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
He was also found to be in a place known as the holy mountain of God. He was the anointed cherub “that covereth”. The word “covereth” indicates he was a protector or guardian of sacred places. He had access to the mountain of God, which was otherwise known as heaven, being permitted inside of the area of the stones of fire (God’s fiery wall of protection). So, it appears that he was allowed access into the inner courts of heaven itself apparently to guard God’s throne room, where He resided.
What we can conclude is that the Devil’s position was that of being a protector, a guardian of God’s sacred places, and of God himself. This begs the question, why did he fall? Everyone knows that it was because of pride. But was there something else that he attempted to do that pride was the catalyst of? What was it?
1McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 01 March 2015˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
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