The Fall of the Anointed Cherub
Study Guide – October 28, 2018
Pastor Clay Olsen
Before we were attacked by the Philistines, or that’s what the attack of the Hurricane felt like, we were tracking down some answers on practical questions from the most practical segment of our society – Kids. We know that because when it comes to questions about everyday things, kids ask some of the best questions, especially about everyday things about faith and life. And one of the key questions that kids ask about is ‘The Fall of the Anointed Cherub’. Now, they don’t put it in those terms…no, their question about this evil entity is more in terms of: “Who is the devil?”, and “Why did God make the devil?” and “Why is the devil after us?” Again, pretty practical questions, And why it’s important to track down answers to questions like these, and this subject in particular, is because the more you know about your enemy, the better equipped you are to then contend and defend against him. So let’s examine this once anointed cherub, but now a fallen enemy.
Now, we should mention that in the Angelic world there are divisions and ranks among the host of angels that serve God and His purposes. Two of the holy Angels we know by name are Michael, who is called an ‘archangel’, meaning ‘leading angel’, and the other Angel is named Gabriel. We are also told that there were certain orders of angels called ‘Seraphim’ and ‘Cherubim’. The Seraphim were especially noted for what we could basically call ‘worship leading’. We see some brief picture of that in Isaiah’s vision. Can you imagine being in a worship service led by Seraphim Angels? Seraphim also means ‘burning ones’, so they could really lead some ‘fired up’ worship services, right? They also later had the specific tasks of communication between the throne of God and with certain ones on Earth, as we see with Michael and Gabriel.
Then the Cherubim class also had certain roles that included being special attendants or guardians to the throne of God. We see that guardian activity later depicted as Cherubs were the guards in the Garden of Eden, and later on two Cherubs were carved to watch over the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant. Other divisions of the Angels are later referred to as ‘Powers and Dominions and Rulers and Authorities’, which now include both sides of holy angels and unholy angels. But, suffice it to say, when it comes to the world of Angels, we are going to be completely astounded when we one day meet these amazing creations of God and ministers to God’s people. Plus, we each need to thank our own personal Guardian Angels for all the messes they helped us with throughout our lives.
But with that said, it is also astounding to realize that the devil was once known as ‘The Anointed Cherub’. We learn that from Ezek 28:11-17- “Again the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God,“You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.” NASU
What a majestic beginning, but what a shameful ending! This is also an example of what’s referred to in Scripture as ‘the law of double reference’, where the writer uses one person or situation to also describe another. Ezekiel was making these charges against the King of Tyre in a symbolic way, but at the same time he, or really, God was judging Satan with these charges in an specific and factual way.
Just think: Before Lucifer self-destructed into Satan, God had originally given him the highest privilege in Heaven: to serve as the Anointed Cherub, the guardian Angel before the throne of God. And as for those stones; these are the same stones that the High Priest of Israel later wore, in addition to three others. Lucifer was one of the crowning achievements of the angelic realm. But just like with people, God did not create the Angels to be robots, but created them with individual wills. And when you are created with a ‘will’ you then have an ability to choose. And what is the greatest choice there is in life? Did you know that the greatest choice in life is not what you choose to do, but who you choose to love? With every angel God created, as with every person He has created, the greatest thing that God desired was to create Angels and later Humans for the highest purpose of sharing the very essence of God’s being: His Love. And as for Angels choosing to love God in return, the Scriptures indicate that not only with Satan, but the other Angels at some point made their decision, or their choice that forever settled their identity as well. We’re referring to the fact that the Angelic world is now and forever divided between the Holy Angels and the unholy or demonic angels. Again, that division is forever settled.
And as for humans, well, God went not just the extra mile, but the extra infinite length of love that is beyond all measurement…because even after we each sinned against God, which is love of self ahead of love of God, God gave us another chance to choose. God so loved the world that He gave His Son….to give us another chance to choose. And yes, by all means, God is the initiator of our salvation, as we are saved by His grace through our faith, but He still comes to our door and knocks, and waits for us to open the door of our life to Him, because God want’s to be wanted. Imagine, God wants to be wanted; to be chosen; to be loved by us. Amazing grace!
How do we know that? Matt 22:36-38- “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” NKJV Remember, what God commanded first is what He wants most.
But Lucifer replaced the love of God with the love of self. And it destroyed him. Now we know that Isaiah reveals that self-pride poisoned Satan’s mind and heart. We often speak about the sin of ‘self-pride’ as being the deepest root of all sin. But the thing is, this tap-root of self-pride grows out of the soil of self-love. And when we say self-love, we’re not talking about taking care of yourself and feeling good about the gifts and talents and abilities and accomplishments and such that God has given us to enjoy and develop further. We’re not talking about having a healthy self-acceptance and an appreciation of your life and privileges and such. Those are good things, and actually they are the very kind of things that are meant in the second commandment that God gave, remember? Matt 22:39-40- “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” NKJV Jesus is directing us to have the kind of love towards others, the kind of love that cares for and promotes the appreciation and enjoyment of others gifts and talents and accomplishments and such, like would would for ourselves. That’s healthy love, a caring love, a Biblical love; a love that honors God and blesses us all.
We can actually get to the real essence of Biblical love when we learn that true love for God and love of God is when you find that your greatest pleasure is found in pleasing God. How do we know that? Because in a prophecy about the Messiah in Isaiah 11:3, the key quality of Jesus was this very thing about genuine love: His delight was found in pleasing His Heavenly Father, in obeying the Father. That is the key to ‘genuine love’; finding your greatest pleasure in pleasing the one you love. We even see this quality of true love among committed husbands and wives, when each one’s greatest pleasure is found in pleasing the one they love.
So now, back to the issue with Satan. Satan….Lucifer, replaced this love of God with love of self. He replaced his God with his own self. And his greatest pleasure decayed into pleasing himself. That is a corrupted love, a dark love, that only craves more darkness…more decay into self love, self-occupation, self-centeredness. It’s a deformed love of self that shows itself most in displays of self-pride. It’s very interesting that the center letter of ‘SIN’ is ‘I’.
Remember Satan’s declarations in the midst of his Fall? Isa 14:12-15- “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.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” NKJV
Now the name ‘Lucifer’ comes out of the phrase ‘son of the morning’ or ‘star of the morning’, as ‘Lucifer’ is the Latin for ‘morning star’. Does that sound familiar? Who else is given that title? Rev 22:16- “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” NASU
Lucifer even got to carry a name of God’s. Guess what? So do we? Followers of Christ are called ‘Christians’, meaning; those who are ‘In Christ’. You and I are carriers of Christ’s name. That’s a bigger privilege and responsibility that perhaps we have ever thought about, or even imagined. Now, certainly Lucifer wasn’t ‘Thee bright morning star’! That was God Himself. But Lucifer was supposed to be a reflection of ‘Thee bright morning star’. And you are I are also to be a reflection to others of Christ, our ‘Bright Morning Star’. But reflecting God in worship and service of God is a long long way from replacing God in worship and and serving of self. But that is exactly what Lucifer did. He chose himself above his Creator and God. And in his choosing himself over God he chose the corruption of his life that results from it. Choosing self above God always corrupts your life; corrupts your mind and heart and soul.
Take careful note of that. With every choice of self over God comes the accompanying corruption of your very self. Remember, we only have two choices to make in everything in life: we choose the blessing or we choose the curse. Any choice that pits self or anything else above God is always choosing the curse.
We should also point out another caution that we should learn from Lucifer’s example. And that is: Be careful: Your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness. Satan’s great privilege mutated into great pride. Similarly, our strengths, whether they be in our privileges or talents or abilities can become our greatest weaknesses and can corrupt our hearts if we let them mutate into self-pride. One of the greatest ironies of life is that self-exultation always results in self-destruction. Make careful note of Jesus’ warning: Matt 23:12- “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” NLT And again in James we are reminded: “But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 Holman Bible
One thing you do not want going on in your life is to have God resisting you. You do not want to have God opposing you in everything you do because He sees self-pride in you. Again, enjoy the talents and abilities God has endowed you with, along with the accomplishments and achievements that come with them…yes, by all means, enjoy them, but give credit to God, give glory to God for being the very source and reason for all these good things. Remember, apart from Christ, we can do nothing! It’s because of the grace and the gifts of God that we have life and various strengths and abilities and even ‘breath’ itself. So enjoy whatever good things God has given you, but give glory to the Giver of all good things. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Be humble about yourself and be proud about your God. And when God sees you being humble about yourself and proud about your God, He will then exalt you as His child of whom He is proud.
Now, we mentioned that this this examination of Satan was going to take some time. But we do need to close with one of the greatest comfort and confidence building truths there is about what we all can be doing and need to be doing in order to defeat Satan’s schemes against us. For you see, James informed us that God resists the proud. And we know that the originator of the ‘self-pride sin’ was Satan. So we then know that God is fiercely resisting Satan. So James goes right on to instruct us with this: “Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8 Holman Bible
So now is the time to join God in ‘The Resistance’! And when you join God in the resistance against Satan, then Satan has no choice but to flee from you. Amen? And the best way we resist Satan is by submitting to the will of God and drawing nearer and nearer to the heart of God. Just think: Every time you do something to please God, at the same time you push Satan away from you. Actually, God is doing the ‘pushing’, but you get to enjoy the victory! So here’s a little motto to fire up your faith: ‘Every time you please God you push Satan.’ Again, God is doing the pushing, but He’s doing it hand in hand with you. And be sure and tell the Kids that: “When we please God we push Satan away.”