PART 1 THE INVISIBLE FORCES
PART 1 THE INVISIBLE FORCES - Recognizing the different weapons of our enemy
What inspired me to write on this topic was a message that was presented 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 led to collecting baseball cards, to collecting old newspapers, and to collecting comic books. Once every couple of weeks, she 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 regard 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 superheroes weren’t real, I wished that I could be like them.
As far as I know, there were never any comic books advertised for sale that was about the Devil in the sense of him being regarded as a supervillain. He is, however, the epitome of evil, yet how many of us really know anything about him? If you were to ask most people what they think about him, they would probably say that he doesn’t exist; he isn’t real.
This series will help you get a clearer picture of Who is the Devil? When he was originally created, 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?
1 WHO IS THE DEVIL?
Before we become aware of his deceptive qualities of character, we should be aware of who he was initially created to be.
Let’s take a look at the book of Ezekiel.
Suggested Reading: Ezekiel 28:1-17
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 actual 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 were 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 the gods that they worshipped. So, when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed, this was a sign to the prince of Tyrus of his gods, having provided divine retribution.
A description of this ruler regarding his estimation of himself as being like a God is set in contrast to the king of Tyrus, who, like him, aspired to be like God.
Ezekiel 28:2, 12, 17a 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…
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 Satan or 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 analogous to. With these thoughts in mind, let’s attempt to answer the following question.
What is the heavenly designation about his being that is ascribed to him?
Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub…
This verse doesn’t describe him as an angel but as an anointed cherub. Is a cherub an angel? Some believe that he is also known as an archangel i.e., 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? We’ll find out in the next chapter.
2 WHAT IS A CHERUB?
Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed 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 approach.1 The word anointed means to be consecrated by the anointing of oil. We can deduce that the anointed cherub was anointed with oil signifying the appointment to being God’s defender. This is like saying that this creature was God’s, right-hand man. What else can we learn about a cherub?
Ezekiel 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
A cherub is referred to as having the likeness of four living creatures because they had four faces. One face was of a cherub; another of a man; then, of a lion, and finally of an eagle. Although in verse 10, instead of using the word cherub as one of the faces, it uses the word ox.
Ezekiel 1:6-8 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.
They also had four wings; feet that were like the soles of a calves’ foot, and the hands of a man under each wing.
Ezekiel 1:9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
Another incredible aspect of these physical features is that the four faces allowed them to look four ways at once. And the four wings enabled them to move rapidly in every direction without turning. Wow!
1 Kings 6:23-24, 27 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.
As far as their height goes, this is not clearly stated in Scripture. However, there is a reference to two cherubim, each of which were made out of wood and placed in the sanctuary (the 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 (in height) as an exact full-size model of a cherub, then a cherub would be 10 cubits or about 18 feet tall.
It’s true that these cherubims were depicted as only having two wings each and not four as previously described. I think that the reason for this is 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 was 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 anointed cherub, as I would expect. Are you surprised by this? We can not only confirm the physical features of cherubs from some of the later chapters of the book of Ezekiel, but we are given a glimpse as to what one of their roles could be concerning the affairs of mankind.
Suggested Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 8-10
Ezekiel 8:1, 3, 6
1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me.
3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
Ezekiel 9:2-4 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
This story depicts the prophet Ezekiel being given a glimpse of the punishment inflicted upon the idolatrous inhabitants of Jerusalem by six men in the accompaniment of someone who goes through the city and places a mark from an inkhorn on the foreheads of each person that detests the abominations that were taking place there.
Ezekiel 10:10, 21 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.
Included in this story is a reconfirmation of the physical features of cherubim who appear to be stationed around the temple of Jerusalem. Their physical characteristics are that they have one likeness of four creatures; four faces; four wings, and the form of a man’s hand under each wing.
We have not only learned about the unique physical features of a cherub but also their distinct abilities and immense stature. We were also given a glimpse as to one of their roles as being a protector of the temple at Jerusalem. What we also became aware of was one of the responsibilities of the anointed cherub which was to be God’s bodyguard.
In the next, chapter we will learn more about this creature’s divine purpose. Are you ready to find out more about this creature’s responsibilities?
3 WHAT WAS THE ANOINTED CHERUB’S DIVINE PURPOSE?
When we think of the serpent (the Devil) in the Garden of Eden, we think of him deceiving Eve into eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which he did do.
Ezekiel 28:13 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.
However, it appears that he, as the anointed cherub, was in the Garden of Eden at a particular time, not having fallen (committed sin) as of yet. While present in the Garden, this creature was clothed in a manner such that nine jewels would form the ornaments of the attire like robes covered with precious stones. Why was this heavenly creature in the Garden of Eden? In order to answer this, we can take a look at where else this creature 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.
This creature was also found to be in a place known as the holy mountain of God. This supernatural being was described as the anointed cherub that covereth. The word covereth means to be a protector or guardian of sacred places. Access was granted to the mountain of God, which was otherwise known as heaven, being permitted inside of an area described as the stones of fire (God’s fiery wall of protection; to be inside God’s outer defences). So, it appears that the anointed cherub was allowed access into the inner courts of heaven itself, apparently to guard God’s throne room, the very place where He resided. Amazing.
What an appointment. What responsibility. This creature held a position of prominence. Then, a decision was made that changed everything. What happened? Let’s find out in the next chapter.
1McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 01 March 2015 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
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