The Fall of Satan

A Desire to Take God’s Place

One of the most commonly asked questions about Satan is how did he become who he is? The answer is simple, his desire to take God’s place. The bible spells out his plan.

Ascend Into Heaven

The ultimate desire of Satan was to take God’s place. Lucifer’s first attempt involved his ascent into the abode of God. The Bible identifies three heavens. The first heaven is the sky surrounding our planet, the atmosphere. The second heaven is the stellar heaven which is apparently the abode of angels. The third heaven is the dwelling place of God. When Lucifer determined to ascend into heaven, he sought to move into the third heaven, the dwelling place of God. Satan wanted to ascend above the position and place where he was created and assume the place of his Creator.

Exalt ‘His Throne’

Satan sought authority over the other angels. Satan wanted to be exalted above the stars. The term “star” is often used in the Bible to identify angels (Rev. 1:20; 12:4). Some commentators believe Satan ruled the angels as an archangel along with Michael and Gabriel. If this were the case, Satan then sought to expand his sphere of authority over Michael and Gabriel and those angels they ruled. This would make Satan the ultimate authority in heaven, perhaps taking the place of God over the angels. If this trinity of archangels exited before the Fall, it may explain why a third of the angels fell with Satan (Rev. 12:4).

Govern Heaven

Satan desired to “sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Isa. 14:13). The phrase “mount of the congregation” is an expression relating to ruling in the kingdom of God (Isa. 2:1-4). Lucifer seemed to be saying, “I want a share in the kingdom.” The problem was he wanted God’s share. The “north side” is a term relating to God’s presence in Scripture (Ps. 75:6, 7). During the millennial reign of Christ, Christ will rule this earth from the north (Ps. 48:2).

Ascend Above the Heights

There can be no question that Satan was prepared to attempt a coup in heaven. His desire was not simply to get closer to God but to surpass God. “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds” (Isa. 14:14). Clouds are often used to refer to the glory of God. In fact, 100 of the 150 uses of the word “cloud” in the King James Version have to do with divine glory. Satan sought glory for himself that surpassed the glory of God. Paul revealed the ultimate desire of Satan when he wrote, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4).

Be Like the Most High

When Abraham paid his tithes to Melchizedek, this priest “blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen. 14:19). “The Most High” (El Elyom) means the possessor of heaven and earth, exercising divine authority in both spheres. When Jesus appeared to his disciples in Galilee after his death, he said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). Satan sought the authority of God for himself. By becoming the most high, Satan would be the possessor of heaven and earth. By ascending into heaven, he would rule angels and ultimately enjoy a messianic rule.

This attempt to be like God is similar to Satan’s strategy today. All of Satan’s plans in the universe are counterfeit to God’s plans. One of the chief works of Satan today is imitating Christianity. He attempts to counterfeit all that God performs. The Christian needs to be certain he is not tricked into accepting a satanic counterfeit of God’s best for his life.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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