Posts Tagged ‘Lucifer’

The Three Falls of Satan: A Look at Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28

September 29, 2010 Comments off

Isaiah 14 (see these message from S. Lewis Johnson, Isaiah 14 and Systematic Theology) is one of the key passages that gives us information regarding Satan. Ezekiel 28:12-16 tells us the origin of sin in the fall of Satan, and Isaiah 14 tells us of the nature of that fall, in his five “I wills.”

Some Bible teachers believe that Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 are actually talking about the human characters — the king of Tyre and the king of Babylon. However, it is important to note that often in the Bible God addresses Satan “through” another person. Obvious examples include Genesis 3, in which God addressed Satan through the serpent, and the case of Jesus’ rebuke of Peter with the words “Get thee behind me, Satan.” As Believer’s Chapel teacher Dan Duncan also noted in reference to Ezekiel 28, the first part of that chapter is directed towards “the prince of Tyre” (the human ruler) whereas the next section is spoken to “the king of Tyre.” As I previously noted in my readings through Ezekiel, the word prince is used many times there to denote human leaders — as also in 2 Samuel David is called “the prince.”

S. Lewis Johnson states that Satan’s fall occurred before Genesis 3, pointing to what Paul says (Romans 5:12), that “sin entered the world” — it already existed with Satan, and “entered” our creation. Scripture doesn’t give us the details concerning the time interval between Satan’s fall and man’s fall, and so SLJ does not comment any further. The Ezekiel text says that Satan was in the garden of Eden when he fell, but it does appear to be a different act of rebellion that came before man’s sin in Genesis 3.

Scripture tells us of three falls of Satan, one past and two yet future:

  • From the third heaven (God’s throne) to the second heaven (our atmosphere), while still retaining access to the third heaven as mentioned in Job
  • From the Second Heaven to the Earth (Revelation 12)
  • and finally, from Earth into the abyss and then to the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20)

Isaiah 14 looks specifically at the future event of Satan’s third fall. Isaiah so often travels into the future and describes events in the far-future, as though they have already occurred — what a mighty and awesome God we serve, a God we can trust because He not only knows the future but has planned it according to His purposes. Like Martin Luther, we can confidently assert the final victory over Satan — “for lo, his doom is sure.”

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