As powerful and evil as Satan and his angels and demons are, the Heavenly Host are more powerful and holy. These are the angels who did not rebel with Satan, but stood firm for God. Rev. 12:7-9 is a strong reminder of the power of the Heavenly Host.
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Michael is God’s “archangel,” the only one called that by name in the Bible. The word “archangel” comes from the Greek word archaggelos. It is a combination of the words for “chief messenger.” All of God’s angels are “messengers” (the meaning of the word aggelos), but chief among them is Michael. Michael is also God’s chief warrior in the spirit world. Michael disputed with Satan about the body of Moses (Jude 9). He is the prince and protector of Israel (Daniel 10:21; 12:1). He will announce the return of Christ for His saints (1 Thess 4:16). During the last days, Michael hurls Satan from heaven to earth (Rev. 12:7-9).
Michael is called “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13. The Hebrew word for “chief prince” is ri’son sar. It means “first commander, top leader, high ruler.” As we see in Jude, Michael is also called an “archangel.” That may mean that there are other “archangels” since Michael is one of the chief princes. Another “chief prince” is Gabriel (Daniel 8:16ff; 9:21ff). Gabriel interpreted some of Daniel’s visions about Israel. He also brought a quick answer to Daniel’s prayers about Israel’s salvation.We find Gabriel again hundreds of years later when he prophesied the birth of Christ to the virgin Mary (Luke 1:19, 26). He also announced the birth of John the Baptist. Gabriel may have been the angel who told Joseph about the birth of Christ (Matt. 1:20-25). Gabriel has a prominent role in bringing messages from God to the people of God.
Some of the most prominent members of the spirit world are the cherubim. The Hebrew word is k’rubl. The Greek is cheroubim. The words cherub and cherubim are mentioned more than 70 times in the Bible. All but one reference (Hebrews 9:5) are found in the Old Testament. Cherubim have a very special place in God’s administration of the spirit world. God placed two cherubim at the the east of the Garden of Eden so the human race could no longer have access to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:24). The likeness of two cherubim were made from gold and placed at each end of the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place. Each of the cherubim had wings and were made to face each other and stretch out their wings to cover the mercy seat. The mercy seat was placed on top of the Ark of the Covenant. God met with the chief priest of Israel once a year from above the mercy seat and the wings of the cherubim. “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 25:22) It was often written that God dwelled “between the two cherubim.” (i.e. 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15) The cherubim had the high honor of standing on either side of God on His Throne in Heaven as well. The tabernacle had ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread — “with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them.” (Exodus 26:1) The people of Israel were also commanded to carve cherubim on the doors of the temple (1 Kings 6:32-35).
God created the cherubim as a special class of the heavenly host. One of the more interesting duties they have is found in 2 Samuel 22. David wrote a song of praise about God’s delivering him from his enemies.
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.When the waves of death surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. He rode upon a cherub, and flew; And He was seen upon the wings of the wind.”
2 Samuel 22:2-11
Amazing! God rode upon a cherub and flew. Cherubim are certainly beautiful and powerful. God made them that way. They are guardians of the throne of God and His chief ambassadors and are concerned with justice. They are referred to as “covering” angels. Interestingly enough, Satan was once at the highest position of this special class of heavenly host.
“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.”
Here we have Satan, the “anointed cherub who covers,” who walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones on God’s holy mountain. Satan was “perfect” in his ways from the day God created him until sin was in him. He had been in Eden, the garden of God. Lucifer wore every precious stone imaginable as a beautiful adornment. God prepared the stones and the gold mountings and settings for the stones on the day God created the magnificent Lucifer. What I see here is the Great God of Heaven creating the most beautiful of all His creatures and adorning him with the most beautiful precious stones He had made. Lucifer was a creation of God’s great love. The Lord “anointed” and “established” Lucifer and gave him the highest position of covering the throne of God with his wings and pronouncing the glory and holiness of God. Two other cherubim were on either side of God’s Throne. The golden images of the two cherubim on either side of the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place, the cherubim woven into the ten curtains of the tabernacle and the cherubim carved into the Temple doors would have been a continual reminder to all the heavenly host of what Satan had lost in his rebellion. God may have also held them up as clear evidence that two of His most beautiful and powerful angels had not followed after Satan in his rebellion, but had remained loyal to their Creator
How did Lucifer repay God for this great gift? “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned.” The idea of an abundance of trading is the results of what Lucifer did in his official position as the highest covering cherubim. His trade (KJV – commerce) was to cover the throne and walk back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones on God’s holy mountain proclaiming the greatness and beauty of the Lord. Notice what filled the heart and mind of Lucifer – iniquity and violence. This is where the evil empire had its birth. The Hebrew word for iniquity is awlah and means “evil, wicked, wickedness.” Lucifer was “perfect” (blameless) from his creation until evil was found in him. Where did that come from? He became proud of his position, beauty and power. All of those were God’s gifts to Lucifer, but Lucifer was filled with violence within and sinned. The Hebrew word for “violence” is hamas. The word carries the idea of destruction, terror, oppression and plunder.
Another insight to what caused Lucifer to change from a perfect creation of God to one filled with iniquity and violence is found in Ezekiel 28:17 and Isaiah 14:12-14.
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor … How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'”
Lucifer was jealous of God! Lucifer saw how much God was loved and adored and praised and worshiped and he wanted the same thing. The evil and violence started with jealousy. Lucifer covered the throne of God with his giant wings, but what he wanted was his own throne. Lucifer wanted to “exalt” his throne above the stars (angels) of God. He wanted to sit on the mount of the congregation of heavenly host who worshiped God. Lucifer wanted to “be like the Most High.” His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, a beauty God gave him. Lucifer’s wisdom was corrupted for the sake of his personal splendor. Jealousy and pride led to Lucifer’s evil thoughts and violent plans. Lucifer thought so highly of himself that he planned a rebellion against God! His plan included destruction, terror, oppression and plunder in Heaven.
It’s hard for us to imagine any created being as having the nerve to rebel against their creator, but that’s exactly what Lucifer did. He was able to convince a large number of angels to join him in his rebellion against God. Lucifer may have used the same lie with the angels that he used with Eve when he deceived her (“and you will be like God”). However, Lucifer and his rebelling angels were not successful in their attempt to overthrow God. Ezekiel presented the initial and final results of Lucifer’s great sin:
“Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. ‘Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.”
Tomorrow, three more classes of angels, what they’ve done for God’s people and what they do for you.