August 4, 2017 Brethren Letter
Tonight, as a prelude to part two of my sermon tomorrow: “Realizing Satan’s Power,” I’m sending some excerpts from Mystery of the Ages written on this same topic. I’ve emphasized some of Mr. Armstrong’s words below with a larger font. Those sentences will relate more closely with my sermon.
Please have a wonderful Sabbath.
Your Brother in Christ,
For almost 6,000 years a civilization has developed, which we call the world. But it has been a world held captive. It has become SATAN S WORLD though millions have been deceived into believing it is God’s world. To this day Satan is still on that throne.
Meanwhile Satan has worked IN all humans. He has injected into the world enormous EVILS.
But how has Satan injected those evils into the minds of all humans, even of the most scholarly and advanced in education, science, government and areas of awesome human accomplishment? Even that question is a mystery understood by almost no one.
Satan — the Master Broadcaster
In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is called the prince of the power of the air, working in — inside the minds of — people. I could never have understood this until: 1) I had understood how radio and television sounds and pictures are transmitted through the air; and 2) I had learned the truth about the human spirit in the human brain. If your radio is set on the proper radio wavelength, or television set is tuned to the proper channel, the broadcaster’s message comes through clearly. Satan as prince of the power of the air broadcasts — not in words, sounds or pictures, but in attitudes, moods, impulses.
For example, we read in Ezra 1:1, when King Cyrus of Persia issued a proclamation to send a colony of Jews back to Jerusalem to build the second Temple, he was moved to do so because God stirred up his human spirit — in other words, put the suggestion and impulse in his mind, and the king acted on it. In the same manner Satan moves on the human spirit within people to move them in attitudes of envy,
jealousy, resentment, impatience, anger, bitterness and strife. People have no realization of the tremendous power of Satan. The human spirit within each human is automatically tuned to Satan’s wavelength. It seems as if Satan has surcharged the air over the entire earth with his attitude of self-centeredness and vanity.
And so a world — a civilization — developed from the original Adam and Eve. When God shut off the tree of life, that act marked the foundation of the world. It was founded on rejection of God, on disobedience to God’s law, which defines God’s way of life.
Lucifer a Created Being
Look now at the other biblical passage describing this supreme angelic creation of God, in Ezekiel 28.
Actually, the entire concept in Ezekiel 26 speaks of the ancient great commercial city of Tyre. It was the commercial metropolis of the ancient world, even as Babylon was the political capital. Tyre was the New York, the London, the Tokyo, or the Paris of the ancient world. The ancient Tyre, port of the world’s shippers and merchants, gloried herself in her beauty, even as Paris in our time.
Chapter 27 carries on with comparisons to passages in the 18th chapter of the book of Revelation referring to a politico-religious leader to come (verses 9-19).
But coming to chapter 28, the theme comes more completely to the time just now ahead of us, the same time depicted in Isaiah 14. Ezekiel 28 speaks of the prince of Tyre, an earthly ruler, of whom the ancient king of Tyre was a type. God says to the prophet Ezekiel: “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus [actually referring to a powerful religious leader to arise SOON, in our time], Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: with thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures [or “treasuries” — RSV] … and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; behold therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations … they shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas” (Ezek. 28:2-8). (Compare with II Thessalonians 2:3-4, speaking of “that man of sin … who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God … so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”)
What a Super Being!
But at this point, as in Isaiah 14, the lesser human anti type lifts to a greater spirit being. Instead of the prince of Tyre — a human man — it now speaks of the KING of Tyre. This is the same Lucifer.
Ezekiel the prophet continues:
“Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 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” (verses 11-12).
Please read that again! God would never say anything like that of a human man. This superb spirit being filled up the sum total of wisdom, perfection and beauty. He was the supreme pinnacle, the masterpiece, of God’s creation, as an individually created being, the greatest one in the almighty power of God to create! The tragic thing is that he rebelled against his Maker!
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God” (verse 13). He had inhabited this earth. His throne was here. “Every precious stone was thy covering … the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created” (verse 13).
He was a created being — not born human. He was a spirit being — not human flesh. Great genius and skill in music was created in him. Now that he has become perverted in all thinking, acting and being, he is the real author of modern perverted music and the modern rock beat — of discordant moans, squawks, shrieks, wails — physically and emotionally excitable beats — unhappy, discouraged moods. Think of all the supreme talent, ability and potential in a being created with such capacities. And all perverted! All gone sour — all dissipated, turned to hatred, destruction, hopelessness!
Yet, take courage. The awesome human potential, if we care enough about it to resist Satan’s wiles and evils and discouragements and to persevere in God’s way, is infinitely superior and higher than Lucifer’s — even as created, before he turned to rebellion and iniquity!
But continuing the particular revelation of this crucially important missing dimension in knowledge: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so,” says God of this Lucifer. This takes us back to the 25th chapter of Exodus, where God gave Moses the pattern for the ark of the covenant. The description begins with verse 10, and verses 18-20 show, in the material pattern, the two cherubs who were stationed at each end of the very throne of God in heaven — the throne of the government of God over the entire universe. The wings of the two cherubs covered the throne of God.
Trained at Universe Headquarters
This Lucifer, then, had been stationed at the very throne of God. He was trained and experienced in the
administration of the government of God. God chose such a being, well-experienced and trained, to be the king ruling the government of God over the angels who inhabited the whole earth.
Continue: “… thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” This is not talking about any human being. But continue: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [lawlessness] was found in thee” (Ezek. 28:15). He had complete knowledge, understanding and wisdom. But he also was given full powers of reasoning, thinking, making decisions, making his choice. And, with all this foreknowledge — even of results and consequences this superb being, the highest that even God could create by fiat, turned to rebellion against his Maker — against the way that produces every good. He turned to lawlessness. He had been trained in the administration of perfect law and order. As long as Lucifer continued in this perfect way, there was happiness and joy unspeakable over the whole earth. There was glorious peace — beautiful harmony, perfect love, cooperation. The government of God produced a wonderfully happy state — as long as Lucifer was loyal in the conduct of God’s government.