That he was something like a priest and mediator of the angelic host. And that Satan was originally subject to God. So that until iniquity was found in Satan there was just one will in the universe. What is its character? Now this is a passage we studied last term in the fall in our series of studies in Isaiah. But we come again to it because it is the great chapter on the nature of sin in Satan. So turn to Isaiah chapter 14 and let me read the first seventeen verses of the chapter.
The golden city ceased or the place of torture that has been rendered rather, than the golden city. The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked and the scepter of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he who ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and nonhindereth. The whole earth is at rest and is quiet they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou are laid down, no huer is come up against us.
Sheol from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become as weak as we?
Art thou become like unto us? Thy, pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the noise of thy lutes: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shall be brought down to Sheol, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, is this man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Now again as I said last week — but we were studying Ezekiel chapter 28 in which we have the first reference to the sin of Satan.
What we say about Isaiah 14 will not really affect our theology very much if for example it could be proved that Isaiah 14, verses 12 through 15 has no reference to Satan at all but is simply a poetical way of referring to the kingdom of Babylon. Our doctrine of Satan would not be much affected by it.
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On the other hand if this is a reference to Satan and God intends that we understand it that way then we have a great deal more information about the nature of the sin of Satan than we would have otherwise. We would know the character of his sin and we would know most of the details of it from other scattered references in the word of God. But if this is a reference to Satan then we have a great deal of information that is of tremendous value to us.
But does the passage refer to Satan?
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I think it does and for these reasons. Now just as in Isaiah chapter 28, the language of the verses in this section — even if they are poetical — can hardly be confined to a man upon the earth. How art thou cast down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Thou hast said in thy heart I will ascend into heaven I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. Well, now a man who is — as I said last time — not playing with a full deck would never say anything like this.
This is just utterly stupid if we refer this just to a man. It seems to me that while I grant this is poetical language, it goes far beyond a local earthly King of Babylon and consequently it seems to me that we must move to the spirit who animates that king. And that spirit of course is Satan. And then another thing, this literary method of beginning with a historic person and then going beyond the historic person who is in the foreground to another distant person who is in the background, the antitype is characteristic of holy Scripture and it is particularly characteristic of the Old Testament.
Now very frequently in the Old Testament the author whether prophet or whether psalmist as David or even as Moses may speak of a local incident, but against the background of that local incident he uses terms that cannot completely apply to us. Guided by the spirit of God his words are such that they ultimately find their fulfillment in someone who is to come. Now I gave you several illustrations last time. Because in the fortieth chapter of Isaiah we have reference to John the Baptist in the opening verses and yet they are written against the background of a local historical situation and the striking thing about these verses is that they not only refer to the situation in the immediate future and then to John the Baptist, but we shall see in that context that they ultimately look on far beyond John the Baptist to the time of the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
So it is not uncommon in the Bible for it to speak of a local situation but for the language to be such that it goes beyond that local situation.
That is a well-known and well-recognized literary method and we have it in Scripture and it seems to me that this is just the thing that we have here. For we have the historic King of Babylon in the foreground but in the background we go far beyond that historic King of Babylon to the ultimate King of Babylon who shall rule over the earth as the king, the antichrist and then we move back behind him to the spirit that dominates the antichrist and that is of course, according to the book of Revelation, the dragon or Satan. Furthermore, as I said last time, the Bible frequently addresses Satan through someone who is possessed by him.
Now we see this in Genesis chapter 3 in which Satan is addressed through the serpent. And if you have any doubts about that in Revelation chapter 12, verse 9 that old serpent is called Satan. And then remember the illustration I gave you of Peter being called Satan by our Lord. Now of course our Lord knew that Peter was not Satan but he was addressing him in the light of the fact that by that remark that he made suggesting that Jesus not go to the cross.
He was playing the heart of Satan and he was possessed by him in that statement. He was under his influence. Now I do not believe that a believer can be possessed by a demon but I think they can be influenced by them. So I think then Isaiah chapter 14 does have to do with Satan. It is a typical picture and against the background of the King of Babylon the Prophet Isaiah goes to the beginning of the sin that originated in Satan and describes what went on in his heart. I listened to a tape by Bob Theme on Isaiah chapter 14 and chapter 13 sometime ago and you remember when I taught it in the fall I remarked that he said when he came to this chapter that this chapter is loaded.
In other words the prophet is taken by ecstatic, prophetic language and he has carried on into the distant future. In fact if I may just put it on the board this way — if this is the cross, and this is the church age, and this is the advent of our Lord after the seventieth week or the tribulation period it is at the second advent of the Lord Jesus that Satan remember, is bound.
Revelation chapter And I saw the beast, now the beast is the King of Babylon. I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.
These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Now this is right at the time of the Second Advent. And the remnant was slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse.
- Isaiah 14, Satan saying I will be like the most High.
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That is our Lord, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
So now Isaiah is by prophetic vision carried on into the future to the time of the Second Advent when Satan is bound and he now comes into the underworld as a defeated character.
And out of that background and from that vantage point this prophecy is given. So the prophet then is carried forward in the future to that time and this chapter is written from this vantage point.
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This word Lucifer is the translation of a Hebrew word heylel. Now Lucifer in Latin, remember comes from the word lux, which means light and thero, which means what? Thero, theri, tuli, lux — one of those irregular verbs in Latin remember? Two people in the audience remember.
Now you can see from this that the dignity of Satan is set forth in the word.
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Almost as if it were to say that he is the great beautiful angelic being who stands right at the top of the angelic hierarchy, Lucifer, son of the morning. There is some evidence in Babylonian worship that the morning star under the name of Ishtar was worshipped. Now by this time, by the time of the Second Advent, Satan will have had at least three falls. First of all he would have fallen from the third heaven to the second heaven.
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