Satan’s biggest problem and God’s biggest solution

Articles Studies Research

By Edwin M. Cotto

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Suggested audience: Adventists, Former Adventists, Evangelicals, Catholics, Pentecostals


Satan’s Biggest Problem

I write this paper prayerfully, hoping that through this article many will come to understand the truth in regards to todays fight against the Law of God. This battle has always existed. From the very beginning the government of God has been both questioned and attacked. In turn, Jesus was attacked, and God’s name was blasphemed. Those to whom this paper is aimed towards, specifically those who claim that God’s law had been abolished, might find this work to be offensive. Although it might indeed offend, no offense is intended. Rather my intent is to warn, in love and truth, and help in the dismantling of the error now prevailing Christendom which is that God’s law is no longer in effect. For this reason, the paper you are now reading will endeavor to discover the very reason for this present claim, and try to find the solution for dealing with this problem as found in the word of God.

We will begin in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 28:

Ezekiel 28:11-12
(11) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
(12) Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

Our Former Adventist friends are familiar with this verse. Since these would now reject our understanding of these texts, we will first make an effort to prove who these verses are really speaking about before proceeding. The next verse reads:

Ezekiel 28:13
(13) Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy 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 thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Already we can see that the person being spoken to here is not really the King of Tyrus. Although the message is given to him, God is really concerned with the spirit behind this individual, a spirit who perhaps tried to manifest his evil intents through this individual named Tyrus. We read of a similar case in the gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 16:21-23
(21) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
(22) Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
(23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Just a few minutes before Jesus complemented Peter for allowing God the Father to reveal to him who Jesus really was (see verses 15-17). But when Jesus rebukes Peter, he specifically names the individual he was really rebuking. It was Satan.

We have a similar case in Ezekiel 28. This man is described as one who “hast been in Eden the Garden of God.” Of course, the literal King of Tyrus was not really in Eden. Only Adam, Eve and God were there present. The he is described as made with precious stones and “tabrets and pipes” made within him. Adam and Eve were not made this way. The text tells us that this individual was “created.” God was never created. Who else is this man, therefore, but Satan himself? He was the serpent who entered the Garden and beguiled Eve. He was the Cherub which fell from heaven because of his disobedience. It is he to whom these texts are referring to. Notice these next verses:

Ezekiel 28:14
(14) Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

We get a picture of who Satan was in heaven. There he was the “cherub that covereth.” In allowing the bible to explain itself, we find that Satan was one of the angels that covered the glory of God upon the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly Sanctuary:

Exodus 25:18-20
(18) And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
(19) And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
(20) And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.

Ezekiel 28:14 says that God “set” him into this position. This word, set, holds the meaning of giving as in to appoint. In other words, he was appointed this position. His duty was to cover the mercy seat, upon which sat the almighty, and to look towards him who sat right over the law of God.

At this points our critics would contend with the idea of there ever being a mercy seat, ten commandments, or even a sanctuary in heaven. It should be noted that the Sanctuary was to teach the children of Israel the plan of God. At the beginning of the sanctuary the lamb was slain, showing the beginning of the Christian walk, believing in the lamb which “was slain from the foundation of the world” –Revelation 13:8. This text tells us this plan was developed from the very beginning.

For further study into the Heavenly Sanctuary, see our study No Heavenly Sanctuary?. For now, let’s return to Ezekiel 28. Verse 16 reads:

Ezekiel 28:16
(16) By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

The word translated “merchandise” literally means “to trade” This trading takes place before being cast out of heaven, according to verse 16. First his trading fills him with violence, then as a result the Lord says he will be cast out “of the mountain of God.” What was he trading in heaven that caused him to sin within himself? This is the question we will come to answer by the end of this paper. This is the question we want our readers, especially our critics, to contemplate upon. For the answer this question will reveal to you a most startling fact. He was not trading goods like we would do here on earth in order to gain some profit like money, etc. It was something else. Something series enough to get him evicted from the presence of the almighty and removed from his position.

We are told in verses 17 and 18:

Ezekiel 28:17-18
(17) Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
(18) Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

The problem begin from within. He saw his beauty, his wisdom, and lifted himself. But was it this that he was trading with others in heaven? They already know of his beauty and wisdom for they were his companions. There was something else that he was trafficking in heaven, and since these texts do not provide the answer to this question, we will precede to another chapter in the word of God which also speaks about Satan and who he was before he was kicked out of heaven.

Isaiah 14:12
(12) 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!

Immediately we find a connection between this verse in the texts in Ezekiel 28. The name Lucifer literally means, according to Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Definitions, light-bearer. This is fitting of a cherub that covereth, who covered the light of the almighty who sat upon the mercy seat.

Now notice this next verse:

Isaiah 14:13
(13) 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:

Let’s break down this text carefully to get a bigger picture of what Lucifer’s intent really was. First he says “I will ascend into heaven.” Now there are numerous places where we read of ascensions to heaven, but in this context ascending to heaven is not a good thing. First of all he was already in heaven. This must therefore have some type of special meaning.

In continuing to allow the bible to explain itself, we find the following text:

Romans 10:6
(6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

As in Isaiah 14:13, these words “ascending into heaven” are not being spoken of in a positive light. Paul seems to be aware of the text in Isaiah and warns his readers not to think the same way. God’s righteousness is his law (Psalm 119:172), and according to Paul, God’s righteousness will never speak these words in our hearts. But why? The answer to this question will become clear in a bit. For now, we note what this phrase literally means. Says Paul… “that is, to bring Christ down from above.” In other words, when Satan spoke these words he was actually hurling his assaults towards Jesus Christ himself. He tried to bring him “down from above.” Let’s return to Isaiah 14:13. In the next part of this verse Lucifer said…

“… I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…”

In the bible, stars can represent God’s messengers, like humans (preachers, etc) or angels. Revelation 1:20 reads:

Revelation 1:20
(20) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Satan not only attacked Jesus, but endeavored to elevate himself above the angels of heaven. Notice the next section of Satan’s words in Isaiah 14:13:

“…I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation…”

The word “congregation” is the Hebrew word “mo’ed” which literally means “appointment.” The definition continues to tell us that this word holds the meaning of an “appointed sign or signal.” What in the bible do we find has to do with both an appointment and a sign? You guessed it, the Sabbath:

Exodus 31:13
(13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

Now what does the Sabbath signify? According to the commandment itself, the Sabbath is commemorates creation. It points to God as the true creator. When Satan said he would sit upon the mount of the appointment/sign, it’s as if he was trying to set himself up as the creator. This makes sense compared to the next verse, where Satan says “I will be like the most high.” Satan wanted to be worshiped as the creator. Now who is the creator? Paul tells us:

Colossians 1:16
(16) For by him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

In other words, when Satan tried to dethrone Christ when he said “I will ascend up to heaven,” he then planned to set himself up in the place of Christ as the creator of all things. What blasphemy! But how was he going to do this? How was he going to succeed in replacing Christ’s throne with his own? The answer is found in the next part of Isaiah 14:13:

“…in the sides of the north.”

Christ’s throne, upon which he ruled as creator is located in the “sides of the north.” This phrase also has a special meaning. Compare is with the following verse:

Psalms 48:2
(2) Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Now we have more information about the sides of the north. At this location is found mount Zion which is the city of the great king. Now a king rules in a city upon a throne, or course. Therefore, there must also be a throne at the sides of the north. Notice this next verse:

Psalms 97:2
(2) Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

The word “habitation” means a fixed place and holds the meaning of “foundation.” In other words, righteousness and judgment are the foundation of God’s throne which is located at the “sides of the north.” When Satan attacked the sides of the north, he was attacking the very foundation of God’s throne, his righteousness. Now according to the bible, what did we learn is God’s righteousness?

Psalms 119:172
(172) My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

God’s commandments are his righteousness. Therefore, Satan attacked God’s commandments!

It is of little wonder why he would attack God’s commandments, for as we saw, Satan said he wanted to be “like the most high.” However, God’s law, specifically the first commandment, got in his way. In order for him to set himself as God, he has to somehow claim that God’s law is abolished. He had to convince the angels of heaven that God’s law was voided out. That it was not in effect. That it was abolished. Only thus can he succeed in making himself the creator. The law said Jesus is the creator. It said that only he was deserving of worship. It said that his name is to be respected as God. It said that worship is to be directed directly towards him. This infuriated Satan. As long as God’s righteousness, God’s commandments stood, he could not receive the worship he wanted. Therefore, he must tell the others of heaven, the angels, that God’s law is void. This, friends, is the trading Satan was doing in heaven. He traded these thoughts within himself and with others. He looked at his beauty and wisdom, and felt he deserved the worship that was being directed towards Jesus. From the very beginning… Satan has claimed that God’s law is abolished. And with God’s law, his righteousness removed, Satan must claim to have his own righteousness, his own law, which would bring the glory to himself.

We can more clearly see the seriousness in claiming that God’s law has been abolished. For in making such a claim, preachers are echoing the very words of the devil himself. And those words, which caused him to be removed from the presence of God, will likewise cause these preachers to be removed forever from off the face of the earth. As is prophesied that Satan will be brought to ashes (Ezekiel 28:18), so it is prophesied that the wicked, who make the same claims as their fathers, will also become…

“…ashes under the soles of your feet, in the days that I shall do this, saith the Lord.” -Malachi 4:3.

When we return to Paul in Romans 10, we have a clearer picture as to what he was speaking about. The righteousness which is of faith never says in our hearts “who shall ascend up to heaven” which means, to bring Christ down from above, for such a claim was connected to the supposed abolishing of the law of God. The Jews, like Satan, tried to establish their own righteousness (verse 3). Claiming perfection, they directed much glory and praise towards themselves; much like Satan endeavored to do in heaven. Jesus himself tells them that they, like Satan, made God’s law of none effect through their traditions, which was to them their own righteousness:

Mark 7:13
(13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (See also Matthew 15:6)

True righteousness, therefore, is one that does not attack the law of God as Satan did. For the only way to bring Christ down from above as creator was to claim that his law is destroyed.

Satan’s biggest problem is, and has always been, God’s holy law. He could easily claim he is God if only the law had not identified who the true creator was. But take away God’s law, and through deception he can receive the worship he has always wanted.

How will God deal with this problem? It has been claimed that his law can not be kept. It’s been said that his law has been abolished. What will the Lord do? How will he address these accusations? What will be God’s Biggest Solution?

Find out, by clicking on Part Two (part two will be up soon)


For further study, see:

Online debate with a Former Adventist
The Achillies Heel of he Eternal Torment Doctrine
Ezekiel 28: The king of Tyrus? Or Satan?
80 Questions about the Law and the Sabbath ANSWERED!


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About The Author

Edwin Cotto

With over 13 years of experience in apologetics, evangelism and youth directing, Edwin has worked with various ministries both in English and Spanish. Having had the opportunity to travel to various states in the USA, and also to Venezuela and Mexico, he has enjoyed the privilege of conducting evangelistic meetings and apologetics seminars. His education includes training in the Medical Field, Adult Education at Valencia College, Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, and Evangelism with Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He is furthering his academic studies in theology while also working as a bible worker for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Ordained as an elder, Edwin's passion for ministry begins first at home with his wife and kids.

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