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Volume 31 - Page 180 of 181 Index | Zoom | |
combined with the ferocity of a roaring lion, and the deceptive semblance of an angel of
light, go to make up his fell equipment for the dreadful strife.
Satan is represented as a great dignitary, so much so that even Michael durst not bring
against him "a railing accusation" (Jude 9). He is called "The prince of this world",
"the prince of the power of the air", and "The god of this age". Beneath his control are
his "angels" (Rev. 12: 7), and he is represented as having fallen from heaven, dragging
with him "a third part of the stars" (Rev. 12: 4), which in the book of the Revelation,
represent "angels" (Rev. 1: 20).
At the time of our Lord's advent, the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them
were under the sway of Satan (Luke 4: 6, 7); and the offer to transfer this sovereignty to
the Saviour for one act of "worship" reveals the heart of the dread antagonism which runs
throughout the scriptural record. Together with other "sons of God", Satan had access to
the throne of God and exercised a terrible and extensive power over man and his affairs,
as the record of Job reveals.
As it is unthinkable that God, Who cannot look upon iniquity, and Whose very
essence is holiness, could have created the murderer and liar that we know Satan had
become "from the beginning", some explanation must be sought of the existence and
presence of such a being acting as the tempter in the garden of Eden. The naming of that
garden places in our hands the key, for the prophet Ezekiel reveals a being who was
"perfect" from the day in which he was created, yet in whom, at length, "iniquity" had
been found. This being is described as having been "full of wisdom and perfect in
beauty", and, what is to the point for our present quest, he had "been in Eden the garden
of God" (Ezek. 28: 11-15). No other created being beside Adam and Eve and the
serpent is recorded as having "been in Eden, the garden of God". This "servant", or
nachash, as the Hebrew word is, means "The shining one", and the description of
Ezek. 28: 13 fully bears this out. Moreover, in structural correspondence and directly
related to the work of the serpent in Gen. 3:, are placed the "Cherubim", and a glance at
Ezek. 28: 16 will show that this title once belonged to Satan, for in Ezek. 28: 16
he is addressed as the "covering cherub".
In II Pet. 3: 5 and 6 it is intimated that before the present Adamic world, which was
"created and made" in six days, with special reference to mankind, there had been
another "world", which had passed away. This is indicated in Gen. 1: 2 where we meet
with chaos and darkness over the earth. To this period the Apostle refers in Eph. 1: 4,
when he speaks of "the foundation" of the world, and the world katabole and its
cognates, mean an "overthrow".
Man therefore has never known what it is to live in a world really at peace. A state of
war already existed, before Adam was created, and this head of a new race was
immediately the subject of attack, temptation and deceit, and overthrown. When we look
at a little child, born in a world already at war, we are but looking at a faint picture of all
mankind. War goes on around him, intrudes into his home, his heart and his whole being.
Sin and death already were holding sway over the earth, before he commenced his brief