A Study of Satan
Part Two -- Satan's Rebellion

Navigation

Home Base

Road Map for Part Two

E-mail W.P.T. Bellgamin

Summary - Satan's Rebellious Methods

Refer back to Part 1 - Study of Satan

In Job's sandals

Three Parts of the Study of Satan

 Go to Study of Satan Part 3

Four parts

Satan's career is long and intricate. Accordingly, this essay is composed of Four Parts...

  • Part One describes Satan's beginnings, BEFORE he rebelled against God.
  • Part Two (on this page) describes Satan's rebellion against God.
  • Part Three covers Satan's on-going efforts to stop Messiah's coming to earth.
  • Part Four describes Satan's present activities and final destiny.

Road Map for Part Two

Shown below is a Road Map of the topics that are covered by Part Two of this study...
D) Recapitulation of Part One
E) Foundational Information - In Isaiah 14.12-14, Lucifer is Satan
F) Satan's rebellion against God

G) Walk a mile in Job's sandals

D) Recapitulation of Part One

Part One of this study gave Bible references and rationale to support the following information...

  • "Sons of God" is another name for angels.
  • The angelic hosts reside in "heavenly places -- the celestial heavens of stars and planets.
  • Satan is the type of angelic person known as a cherub.
  • Satan was created by God as the most intelligent and beautiful of God's creatures.
  • Before Satan rebelled against God, Satan's job was to serve as a covering cherub - a guardian of God -- and his domain was Planet Earth.
E) Foundational Information - In Isaiah 14.12-14, Lucifer is Satan

More about the enemy

In our OPINION "Lucifer" is Satan because:

  • Throughout the Bible, Satan is consistently characterized as God's premier enemy, a rebel against all that God stands for. In fact, the Hebrew word "satan" means "enemy."
  • Like Satan, Lucifer became an enemy of God. ("I will exalt my throne above the stars of God...")
  • Like Satan, Lucifer rebelled against God and sought to take God's place. ("I will be like the Most High...")
  • Like Satan, Lucifer ascended into God's own heaven in order to conduct his rebellion. ("I will ascend into heaven...")
  • In Luke 10.18, Jesus reports that He witnessed Satan "fall like lightning from heaven." Isaiah 14.12 states that, like Satan, Lucifer fell from heaven. ("How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer...")
 

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:

  • "I will ascend into heaven,
  • I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
  • I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
  • I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
  • I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14.12-14)


And He (Jesus) said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Lk 10.18)

F1) The goals of Satan's rebellion

Satan's goals in rebelling against God are clearly defined by the five "I will's" of Isaiah 14.12-14 as shown below...

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14.12-14)
The "clouds" here may be the clouds above Planet Earth, the domain that God assigned to Satan. Satan desired to ascend above those clouds and permanently take over God's own kingdom in heaven.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14.12-14)
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches... (Rev 1.20a)
"Stars" are a symbol of angels, as defined by Revelation 1.20a. Satan wanted to rule over all the angels of God, and no doubt desired their worship as well.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14.12-14)
"Congregation" is the full assembly of the heavenly host. "Mount" is the summit point -- the position of highest authority that is God's rightful place of kingship. Clearly, Satan desired to displace God as ruler of the universe.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14.12-14)
Notice especially the title that Satan uses for God. Satan wanted to be like "the Most High." This title of God (El Elyon in Hebrew) literally means "the strongest of the strong."

Satan could have selected from among many other titles of God. For example, Satan could have used El Shaddai, which means "the breasted one who feeds His children," but he didn't. He might have picked "Yahweh Rohi" which means "the Lord our shepherd," but he didn't.

Satan's goal is obvious.
Satan wants God's POWER and AUTHORITY, but he doesn't want anything to do with God's nurturing and leadership attributes. Satan wants absolute power, but without having responsibility to care for anyone but himself.

Not my will but Thine

Notice the sharp contrast between Satan's "I will's" and the Lord's own attitude in the garden of Gethsemane.

  • Satan's attitude was totally self-centered, prideful, and arrogant.
  • The Lord's attitude, even though He was facing a cruel death on the cross, was that of complete meekness and submission unto God.
  • Three times Jesus prayed to His Father, saying, "NOT as I will, but as You will."

It is equally important to notice what the Lord taught you about YOUR attitude toward God's sovereignty.

  • In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches you to tell your Father in heaven, "THY will be done."
  • If you pray with any other motive than loving trust and submission toward God, you are falling into the condemnation of the devil!
  Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there.'' He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'' (Mt 26.36, 26.39)

(Jesus said:) "
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mt 6.9-10)

not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into
the same condemnation as the devil. (1 Tim 3.6)

F2) The flaw in Satan's character that led him to rebel

Mirror mirror on the wall

Satan is the most beautiful and intelligent of God's creatures.

Marilyn Monroe was beautiful. Judy Garland was both beautiful and talented. Elvis Presley was a strikingly handsome man, gifted with great charisma and showmanship. Yet all three of them self-destructed. Their tragic tales have been repeated by many other "beautiful people" throughout history.

Physical beauty can be a great burden. (This is one particular burden that Bellgamin has not been called upon to bear.)

Ezekiel 28.17 tells us that Satan, in effect, fell in love with himself. He was so enamoured with his own beauty and intelligence that he deluded himself into thinking that he and he alone was worthy of worship and adoration.

1 Timothy 3.6 gives the name to Satan's downfall. That name is PRIDE. The big "I"

  (Spoken to Satan as king of Tyre:) "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor... (Ezek 28.17a)

not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. (1 Tim 3.6)

F3) Parenthetical note: The big "I" versus true glory

Wise, smart, or just plain nuts?

Intelligence is ability to learn. Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you learn.

  • President Clinton is intelligent. Billy Graham is WISE.
  • Satan may be intelligent but, because of his pride, he is no longer wise.

Ezekiel 28.17 tells us that Satan's pride CORRUPTED the very wisdom with which God had blessed him.

In other words, pride causes MENTAL DISORDER! For this reason, pride can and does lead only to despair, self-destruction, or worse.

Pride puffs up your head like a balloon. Eventually... POP goes the balloon!

  (Spoken to Satan as king of Tyre:) "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor... (Ezek 28.17a)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but
fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov 1.7)

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov 16.18)

Glory Glory Halleluyah!
It's Biblically okay to have pride, but not in yourself. Glory, instead, in knowing God! Bellgamin's favorite Bible verse (I cite it in most of my messages) is...

Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but

let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me,

that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,'' says the Lord. (Jer 9.23-24)

F4) What Satan's rebellion in ancient times was NOT

NOT "war in heaven"

Revelation 12.1-9 does NOT describe Satan's original rebellion against God. Instead, Revelation chapter 12 describes events that will take place in the future, as we shall show in a Part 4 of our study of Satan.

  And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan) , and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he (Satan) was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. (Rev 12.7-8)
For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created... and in Him all things hold together. (Col 1.16a, 1.17b)  

NOT a contest of strength

When Satan rebelled he did NOT engage God in hand-to-hand combat.

  • The mere idea of anyone attempting to defeat God by a contest of strength is absurd to the Nth degree.
  • According to Colossians 1.16-17, the universe and all its living creatures exist ONLY because of God's will.
  • Moreover, all the universe is held together by God's will and God's will alone.

In short, all that God would need to do to "fight" Satan would be to simply "forget" that Satan even existed. Satan is quite aware of this fact.

F5) The true nature of Satan's rebellion

"Trading" in rebellion

As is clearly stated in Isaiah 14.13, Satan's original rebellion against God was a "heart battle."

Satan's "trade," as referred to in Ezekiel 28.16-18, may have consisted of inciting God's angels to join his rebellion.

In other words, Satan engaged in a whispering campaign designed to cast doubts on the goodness, justice, and worthiness of God.

Satan's "trading" methods are further described by events that later took place in the Garden of Eden, and in God's own throne room. Read on!

  (Spoken to Satan as Lucifer:) You have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God..." (Isa 14.13a)

(Spoken to Satan as king of Tyre:) Through your
widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned... By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. (Ezek 28.16a, 28.18a)
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world... (Rev 12.9a)

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "
Has God indeed said, `You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?''
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' ''
And the serpent said to the woman, "
You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'' (Gen 3.1-5)
 

Tradesman in the Garden

Revelation 12.9 tells you that "serpent" is a symbol or personification of Satan.
As Satan's tool, the serpent in the Garden of Eden solicited Adam and Eve to join in Satan's rebellion.
Notice Satan's "trading" methods...

  • First he created doubt -- "Has God indeed said...?"
  • Then he accused God of lying -- "You will NOT surely die..."
  • Finally he accused God of withholding good things from His creatures -- "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God..."

Tradesman at the throne of God

Job chapter 1 describes an event that took place in God's own throne room. In the presence of God and the angelic host of heaven, Satan continued his battle for the minds and hearts of God's creatures.

Notice Satan's "trading" method at God's throne, for it is somewhat different here than the methods he used in subverting Adam and Eve.

In this case, Satan is saying (in effect), "The only reason anyone obeys and serves God is because God BRIBES them with wealth and protection."

 

Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them...

So Satan answered the Lord and said,

  • "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?
  • You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
  • But now, stretch out Your hand and touch (take away) all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!'' (Job 1.6, 1.9-11)

Summary - Satan's method of rebellion

Satan's rebellion against God began uncounted eons ago, and continues even today.

  • He rebels by means of trading in deceit and slander, and NOT by a contest of strength.
  • His goal is to subvert the hearts and minds of angelic and human creatures, to turn them against God.
  • Moreso, he seeks to turn angels and humans away from serving God, so that they will instead worship and serve Satan.
  • In applying his strategy, Satan is striking at the only "weakness" of God. Namely, God LOVES. Because of His great love, God will not coerce or force His creatures to love Him in return.

The question yet to be answered is this: will God's love be victorious against Satan's weapons of lies, greed, and lust?

Stay tuned!

G) Walk a mile in Job's sandals

Even today, Satan's rebellion continues unabated. Know this for a certainty -- Satan's methods have not changed.
There is, however, one big difference. Namely,
YOU ARE NOW THE TARGET!

  • As Satan did with Adam and Eve, he now seeks to make YOU doubt God's honesty and goodness.
  • As Satan did with Job, he now seeks to prove that YOU will abandon your love and obedience of God when bad things happen to you or your loved ones.
  • Moreover, whenever suffering afflicts you, Satan seeks to make you doubt whether God cares or even exists.

What is God's answer to Satan's repeated accusations that God is unworthy of love? How does God respond to Satan's charge that people only serve and love God through fear and bribery?

Ephesians 3.10 clearly proclaims that YOU are God's reply to those vicious accusations. You are God's exhibit ONE to Satan and all the angelic hosts of heaven.

  For to you (Christians) it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1.29)

to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church (believers in Jesus) to the principalities and powers (angels) in the heavenly places (Eph 3.10)

Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?'' (Job 1.8)

In Job 1.8 below, fill in the blank with YOUR OWN NAME...

Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant _________________, that there is none like (him/her) on the earth, a blameless and upright (woman/man), one who fears God and shuns evil?''

 Go to Study of Satan Part 3