Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

August 14, 2006

Volume 5 Number 16

The Beautiful Cherub

Before his fall, Satan served Yahweh in heaven as an important angel, known as the "anointed cherub:"

14 You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

16 By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. -Ezekiel 28

Satan was created by Yahweh with near perfection. Walking in the midst of the "stones of fire," he walked in the very presence of Yahweh upon His holy mountain. Unfortunately, Satanís beauty and brightness was too great for him to bear. As he lifted himself up in pride, his wisdom became corrupted, leading to his own destruction. Yahweh said:

17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. -Ezekiel 28

There was no place in heaven for the prideful cherub. Yahweh would accept no competition from another one who wanted to occupy the very seat of God. Following a great heavenly battle with Michael and his angels, Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven and into the earth. Now on the earth, Satan is working toward his goal, which is to deceive the whole world:

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. -Revelation 12

In his beauty and wisdom, Satan is going to convince almost everyone in the world that he really is God! Contrary to popular belief, Satan is too wise to appear as himself. Instead, he takes on other forms, such as that of those with apparent power, righteousness, and beauty.

For example, Satan is personified upon the earth as both the king of Tyre (prince of Tyrus) and as the king of Babylon, proclaiming himself to be God. As the prince of Tyre, he claims to sit in the very seat of God:

2 Son of man, say to the prince of Tyrus, Thus says the Lord Yahweh; Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God: -Ezekiel 28

A king of Tyre even helped Solomon build the house of Yahweh, which was the temple in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 5).

Appearing as the king of Babylon, Satan lifts himself up, claiming to be "like the most High:"

12 How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!

13 For you have said in your 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:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. -Isaiah 14

How can the fallen angel, Satan, accomplish his global deception? He mingles with the children of God, looking for someone to accuse and someone to deceive:

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan came also among them.

7 And Yahweh said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. -Job 1

As the master of deception, Satan even appears as an angel of light and his ministers show themselves to us as ministers of righteousness. He uses many who claim to be apostles as his own deceitful workers:

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of the Messiah.

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -2 Corinthians 11

Satan appeared in the Garden of Eden as one covered in beauty with precious stones and with musical instruments for making beautiful music:

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say to him, Thus says the Lord Yahweh; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your 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 your tambourines and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. -Ezekiel 28

When Satan appeared in the Garden of Eden, he was called a "serpent." While many of us think of a "serpent" as a "snake," the Hebrew word that is translated as "serpent" is vxn (nachash). The same word also means "enchantment." Therefore, Satan appeared with the subtle enchanting beauty of a serpent to the woman in the Garden of Eden to challenge the very Word of God:

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? -Genesis 3

If she would only believe him, he told her, she could have that which Satan also wants. She could be as gods:

4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die:

5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. -Genesis 3

Satan succeeded. He convinced the woman and her husband to eat of that which Yahweh had forbidden:

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat. -Genesis 3

As the master of deception, Satan can appear to be whatever we want him to be. He can appear as a beautiful enchanting being with wonderful musical talent, as he did in the Garden of Eden. He can also transform himself into an angel of light and his angels into ministers of righteousness. He can even transform himself into beautiful images to which we can bow down, thereby deceiving us into worshipping him instead of Yahweh.

Yahweh explains that sacrifices offered to anything other than to Him are sacrifices to devils:

16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

17 They sacrificed to devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. -Deuteronomy 32

As the Corinthians were sacrificing to idols at the same time they were claiming to worship Yahweh, Paul explains that they were really offering sacrifices to devils:

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. -1 Corinthians 10

While Satan is referred to in masculine terms, he has the ability to transform himself into whatever our heart desires. Solomon, for example, was deceived into worshipping him as Ashtoreth, which was the goddess known as the "Queen of Heaven:"

5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. -1 Kings 11

The desire to worship the "Queen of Heaven," which is known by many different names, is so strong that the people of Judah even ignored the tragic destruction that was brought upon them because they had worshipper her. They insisted:

17 But we will certainly do whatever thing goes forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. -Jeremiah 44

The beautiful cherub will transform himself into whatever we desire, as long as he can divert our worship from Yahweh.

 

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