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Was the Devil Ever in Heaven? | Ostis B. Wilson, Jr.

Ezekiel 28:13-18

“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. 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. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 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. 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. 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.”* (Ezekiel 28:13-18)

This Scripture speaks of the “anointed cherub” that had been in the “Eden the garden of God,” and was “perfect in thy ways” from the time he was created until “iniquity was found in thee.” The proponents of the doctrine that the devil was one time a bright angel in heaven apply this to the devil himself. But a little closer look at these verses will prove clearly that such could not be a proper interpretation.

The subject under discussion in these verses is introduced in verse 12: “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus.”* (Ezekiel 28:12) The king of Tyrus was without question a man, and not a spirit such as the devil is. He was a very considerable and accomplished man above other men or kings. The courts of Tyre, with its kings, had for a long time been famous. There is nothing here to even indicate this might or even could mean Satan.

It is said in verse 13, “Thou hast been in the Eden the garden of God.” Eden stands as a symbol of the paradise of God, where man had everything that was good and was master of it all and had dominion over all. But that position was given to man by God. So was the position, good situation, and dominion of the king of Tyrus given him by God because God’s Word says that He gives the kingdoms of men to whomsoever He will (Daniel 4:17).

Verse 14 says, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth.” After God had deposed man from his dominion in the garden of Eden, He placed a cherubim at the gate to guard it lest man should return and eat of the tree of life and live forever (Genesis 3:22-24). This cherub stands as a symbol of guardianship or protector of sacred and precious things. God put him there for that purpose. This should be the real duty of anointed kings, and when they observe this rule strictly God blesses and owns them. The advancement and position of kings and rulers is from God. He said, “I have set thee so.”

Verse 15 says, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” The day of his creation would be the day he was created or made or set up or anointed as king and ascended the throne. Note it is not just the man as such but the man as “king of Tyrus” that is under consideration here. Hence, his creation as referred to would not be when he was created as a man, but when he was created or anointed or set up as “king of Tyrus.”

At the time God set him over this kingdom he prospered in all his ways and all went well with him until iniquity was found in him. That is, he became lifted up in his heart with pride, and this sin that was the downfall of our foreparents in Eden proved to be his overthrow as well.

This is made plain in verse 17 which says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” His heart was lifted up against God because of pride on account of his very great position, so God decreed his overthrow just as He did in the case of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and others. His wisdom was corrupted by reason of his brightness. That is, he was such a bright luminary among men and in the political or governmental world that he became really a fool in glorying, and thus his wisdom that brought him to this position was corrupted.

As for the devil or Satan having ever been a good or upright person, I say he surely was not. The apostle John declares without reservation that “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.”* (1 John 3:8) Jesus said to the Jews, “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.”* (John 8:44)

Both of these Scriptures refer to what the devil was in the beginning. One said he sinned from the beginning and the other said he was a murderer from the beginning. If one wants to go on back of the beginning where the sacred record begins and speculate on what might have been there before the beginning, I do not consider it safe nor profitable to do so.

The divinely inspired sacred record, going all the way back to the beginning, says he was a sinner and a murderer then, and abode not in the truth. Some may object at this point that he was in the truth at one time but did not abide in the truth. But the other statements of this verse in connection with this statement rather carries out the thought that he never did abide in the truth—was never in the truth at all.