12:3,4 THE DRAGON
“And there appeared another sign in heaven, and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. And his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth”(Revelation 12:3,4). Here we see the adversary of God and the bane of the universe. In verse 9 the dragon is identified as “that ancient serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
One of the most perplexing puzzles is the existence of Satan and evil. Portrayed as he often is as a caricature with horns and a pitchfork, the devil is often considered to be a vestige of the Dark Ages. However, a misunderstanding of Satan and his involvement in the origin and existence of evil has been the source of the most slanderous challenges to God’s character of love. Millions have the attitude that since there is evil, God cannot be both loving and all-powerful. They reason that if He was loving, He would not want evil, and if He was all-powerful He wouldn’t allow it. So either He is not powerful enough to get rid of evil, or He is not really loving and is willing to tolerate evil. A correct understanding of the origin of sin in heaven answers these serious charges.
Under the figures of “the King of Tyre” and “the King of Babylon”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, the history of “Lucifer, son of the morning”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> is traced. Lucifer was an angel, created to be “the anointed cherub who covers,”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> a position which put him closest to the throne of God “on the holy mountain of God” where he “walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> (Ezekiel 28:13,14). He was incredibly intelligent and beautiful, “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” clothed with glory that resembled precious stones, and apparently a skilled musician<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> (vs.12,13). It is a gross misrepresentation to accuse God of “creating the devil” because God Himself said to Lucifer “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (v. 15).
Continue to next section: ORIGIN OF SATAN AND SIN
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> In Ezekiel 28:1-10 the prophet writes about the “prince of Tyre,” the context showing that he is talking about the actual earthly monarch who ruled the Phoenician kingdom of Tyre. However, starting in verse 11 he speaks about the “king of Tyre,” showing that behind the earthly “prince” was the real ruler, Satan. Since the “king of Tyre” was “in Eden, the garden of God” and was “the anointed cherub who covers,” it is obvious that this is not referring to the earthly ruler, but to Satan. In Isaiah 14 the “King of Babylon” is called Lucifer. His ambition to “exalt [his] throne above the stars of God…[to] be like the Most High” shows that this refers to Satan. Actually, Tyre and Babylon are fitting symbols for Satan’s kingdom. Babylon was the source and center of spiritual corruption, and the people of Tyre were the chief traders of the world (Satan was corrupted “by the abundance of [his] trading”), symbolizing the evangelical zeal with which Satan spreads his lies everywhere.
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> Isaiah 14:12
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> In the earthly sanctuary, the ark of the covenant, the throne of God, was a box containing the Ten Commandments with the “mercy seat” above. Two angels (cherubim) “cover the mercy seat with their wings”. “There I will meet with you and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim” Exodus 25:10-22.
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “Walking back and forth” indicates having a rightful position. In heaven, Lucifer, through God’s appointment, had a right to his place “walking back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.” Thus, with his statement in Job 1:7 in the heavenly assembly that he had come “from going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it” (Job 1:7), Satan was asserting his right to ownership of the earth, having stolen it from Adam. His mindset that he is the “ruler of this world” is obvious in his statement to Christ. After showing Him “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” he said “all these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8,9).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> His musical instruments, “timbrels [tambourine] and pipes" [flutes)] were “prepared for [him] on the day [he was] created” (Ezekiel 28:13). This shows that a part of Lucifer’s original purpose was to create music.