The Bible tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, and that in the beginning, He made everything “very good”. We’re told that His throne is “for ever and ever”; “Righteousness and judgment” are the place of His Throne. “The LORD has prepared His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.” (Ps. 103:19) “The LORD reigns…He is set between the cherubim.” (Ps. 99:1) The Most Holy throne in heaven is the place where He reigns, and administers in the judgment of His laws, and it was “from everlasting” (Ps. 93:2).
Among the most exalted of his creatures were those who were set on the nethermost region of His throne, veiling their faces, and especially regarding His law. The word cherub means “mighty” and “brought near”; these mighty angels were brought especially near to the throne of the Holiest, and they were to serve as strong guardians of the way of the kingdom of God. When Moses was instructed to make a representation of the Throne of God, two cherubim were to be placed on the edge of His throne, beholding the foundation of His throne, the law contained in Ten Commandments. This was to signify that their duty was especially to regard His law, and to uphold the righteousness of it before the universe because those who both do and teach this law are called mighty in heaven (See Matt. 5:19). There is no safety so great as when looking steadfastly to God and His law, and making His way the law of life for the soul. In this sense, the cherubim were as angelic commanders over the host of heaven.
But the perfect celestial harmonies found a discordant note among them. Not by any fault of God or His Son, by whom He made the worlds (See John 1, Heb. 1, Col. 1), but by an exalted cherub who cherished pride in his heart and the desire for self-exaltation caused him to make war against the law of God’s throne. “You were a sealing of the pattern, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God…Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou were upon the holy mountain of God;…Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee…Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.” (Ezekiel 28:14-17)
THE QUESTION OF WORSHIP
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art 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.” (Isaiah 14:12-14) .
It was from the exalted sphere of the anointed cherub that began to cause great convulsions in heaven. He aspired for himself to go higher than the high place appointed for him, and to be equal with God. It was his desire to be above angels and to receive worship. Yet the honor and right to homage and worship belongs in the Scriptures to God and not to creatures, even exalted angels were not given this right. .
We are told in the first chapter of Hebrews that there is one equal with God, and that is His Son. In this chapter, he is compared side-by-side with angels, that it might be known that His Son is higher than the angelic host.
We’re told that He is “made so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Heb. 1:4) What name did the Son receive more than the angels? The only-begotten Son of God (See verse 5). This birthright was divinely bestowed upon Christ, so that the Father gives His own title of God to His Son, who possesses by inheritance the same nature as the Most High God; “to the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (v.8) For this cause “when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” (v.6)
THE EQUALITY FACTOR
So intimate is the relation sustained between the Son of God to God the Father, that we are told “that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.” True worship of God the Father finds expression in worshipping the Son of God. When Lucifer sought to exalt his creature to the place of equality with God, he was seeking to introduce a new kind of government where the creature is as the Creator is, and the Creator is as the creature. It was a system of equality that undermined the worship of the Son with the Father.
God the Father and Christ the Son rejected this created addition which which alter the government of heaven; which would of a necessity change the Authority of the Great Lawgiver.
“Add not thou unto His word, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Prov. 30:6) We’re told that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be added to it, nor any thing taken from it” (Ecc. 3:14) By this, Lucifer began to go to the angels under his command, where he was to guard and uphold the law, and led many to revolt against the government of heaven. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon…And his tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them into the earth.” His tail signifies that he was teaching lies (See Isaiah 9:15), and the stars cast down were chiefly represented by angels (See Rev. 1:20) who believed his lies. “And there was war in heaven…”
THE WAR OF THE KINGDOMS
One of the most startling realities was that war began in heaven, and is now continuing on earth. But the spirit of the warfare is seldom recognized by those who are not deeply acquianted with Christ, in contrast with the character of Satan. The war in heaven was in this manner:
“Michael [which being interpretted means “He is like God”] and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9) The angels fought on the side of the dragon, who is called Satan and the devil. Both Michael and Satan hold meanings to their names. Michael is the name for Christ, for He is like God. And Satan means adversary, another name characterizing the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven, who aspired to be like God in authority.
THE WAR ON EARTH
Satan is also called “that old serpent”. Previous to he and his angels being cast out of heaven, Satan had enlisted for his cause the earth, with Adam and Eve falling under his subject. His lie to Eve brought forth the his cherished idea of government: where all are equally gods and therefore, there is no law by which transgression is to be measured out. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made, and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
God’s government is based on “the obedience of faith”. If Eve had faith, she would have expressed that faith through obedience. But Satan suggested that she might attain to equality with God, that she might enter into a higher sphere than was appointed her by God, and she sinned. Satan suggested that all trees were equally good for food, much as he suggests that every day alike may be a holy Sabbath, despite not a single text of Scripture to authorize such a claim.
It is faith in God’s word, and obedience by faith that Satan is attacking. Satan would make the claims of the creature as high as the claims of the Creator. And cast down the claims of the Creator by establishing the claims of the creature above Him. Such is the inevitable result of the government of equality Satan was suggesting, against the government of faith. One government is centered upon self while claiming the highest good of others; while the other is centered upon the Creator and affirms His way is the highest good of all; one is selfish ambitious love, and the other is love for God (See John 14:15) .
Satan was cast out into the earth that he led into rebellion after he had led man to crucify Christ. Yet Christ, desiring to reconcile those ignorant of the devil’s devices, revealed the true mind of God, the character which filled all of heaven, and the principles laid out in the Kingdom of God. He demonstrated that even One who is like God in the sense of equality did not count it a matter to be held onto(See Phil. 2:6), “but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) .
It was this character of lowliness that reconciled even those in heaven who were unsettled by the claims of Satan of equality. When they saw the true self-exalted nature of the claims of his government, and that it was willing to put down the life of the Prince of heaven, his own Creator, to exalt self, it’s reconciling influence in heaven was felt. “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Col. 1:20) .
It was at this time that the song of triumph was heard in heaven: “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” .
(Revelation 12:10) .
But this warfare has been continued successfully on earth, and is soon to reach a great prophetic climax. The minds of men are continually at war with the divine government. They seek to make for themselves a name upon the earth. To set their nest up high for peace and safety at the expense of others. Destroying the divinely-ordained pattern of the family. .
The opinions and traditions of men, the exaltation of the common in the place of the holy, the blatant disregard of God’s word; all of these are manifestations of Satan’s suggested experiment of equality: “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Indeed, what an evil has been learned and carried out by humanity from this form of government! What evil has prevailed in every nation of the earth since the fall of Adam and Eve! And what evils have been witnessed in the church by love of position, authority, and this world’s goods. But in our next issue, we will examine how this warfare is prophetically being brought to it’s logical and startling conclusion upon the earth, and how prophecy foretells it will come to pass.