Introduction: If righteousness is like a robe, what does evil wear?
This week we examine what the Bible has to say about the origin of
Satan and of evil. Our study is complicated by the fact that some of
the writing seems to be symbolic. What is real and what is symbolic?
How do we get to the bottom of the facts? Let’s plunge into this
adventure in our study of the Bible!
- The Tempter
- Read Genesis 3:1-4. We have a remarkable thing: an animal
who not only speaks, it contradicts God! Is this a
symbol, an animal or something else?
- Read Revelation 12:7-9. What do we learn about a serpent
who “leads the whole world astray?” (The serpent is
Satan, the Devil. He is apparently able to take the form
of a snake or dragon! He had been in heaven and he fought
against God and lost. He was hurled down to earth where
he has since then been engaged in his work of deceiving
- Is Satan alone? (No. He has angels who fought
(unsuccessfully) for him. They were also cast down
to earth with him.)
- Tempter’s Garment
- We still have many unanswered questions about Satan.
Let’s read Ezekiel 28:11-13. Who is being described here?
(The King of Tyre.)
- Which fact does not fit the king of a country? (It
says that he was in the Garden of Eden.)
- Let’s recount in our mind the cast of
characters in the Garden of Eden. Any kings
(other than God)? (No.)
- If the snake of Eden was not really a snake,
can the King of Tyre be something other than a
human king? (No commentary I have seen agrees
with me, but if the facts we have seen(and will
see) are all taken as true, then the snake of
Eden and the King of Tyre have a common
characteristic – they were both in Eden. The
logical deduction is that Satan took the form
of a snake and a king. Satan possessed the
snake and the king, or somehow assumed their
identities. Perhaps these are the earliest
examples of identity theft!)
- Read Ezekiel 28:14. Could this be the King of Tyre? (We
now have a third location, “the holy mount of God” and a
third description “cherub” that cannot possibly describe
an earthly king. However, they are completely consistent
with what we have learned about Satan so far. The
evidence is overwhelming that Satan is being described
here, and not a mere human.)
- Now that we know Ezekiel is describing Satan, let’s go
back and re-read Ezekiel 28:13. What is Satan wearing? (A
gold and jewel covered robe. Many of these same stones
were in the breast-plate of the high priest( Exodus 28:15-21)and many are in the foundations of the New Jerusalem
( Revelation 21:19-20).)
- What does this robe suggest about Satan when he was
in heaven? (That he was an exalted figure.)
- How did Satan come into existence? (He was a created
person – like humans and angels.)
- We started out asking “if righteousness is like a
robe, what does evil wear?” Is the answer “gold and
- If that is true, how do we explain the breast-plate of the high priest and stones in the New
Jerusalem? (We need a better answer.)
- Look again at Ezekiel 28:14. What was Satan’s job in
heaven? (He was an ordained and anointed by God Himself
as a “guardian cherub” on the holy mount of God.)
- Read Ezekiel 28:15. How did sin enter heaven? (This text
says Satan was created blameless. Ezekiel 28:12 says he
was “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect
in beauty.” One day “wickedness was found” in Satan.)
- Is this a satisfactory answer?
- Read Ezekiel 28:16-17. This gives us a fuller explanation
about how sin arose in heaven. What problems in Satan’s
life plunged heaven and earth into the current battle
against sin? (Pride is the first problem. The second
seems to be unjust business practices or arrogance
arising from great possessions.)
- Think of the things that your local church views as
sufficient to throw you out of membership. Is pride
on that list?
- How about unjust business practices or
arrogance based on success in life?
- Or, are these qualities more likely to get you
elected to church leadership?
- What got Satan tossed out of heaven? (Pride.)
- So, what does evil wear? (Notice that Ezekiel
28:17 links Satan’s pride to his beauty. This
suggests that Satan’s robe of gold and jewels
was part of his pride problem. Our answer
should be, “evil wears pride.”)
- Let’s look at another phrase in Ezekiel 28:17: “you
corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” We
normally think of beauty and wisdom as great
blessings. Are we wrong?
- Who made Satan beautiful? (God! Beauty and
wisdom are a blessing. But, they can easily be
corrupted. They both breed pride. Pride is the
corruption against which we need God’s power.)
- Avoiding the Tempter’s Garment
- Read Deuteronomy 8:2-5. What is God’s goal for us?
- I realize that evil wears pride, but I hate to be
humiliated. Is that what God has in mind for us?
- If not, what is God suggesting that He wants to
do for us on the “humble” front?
- I’m currently reading a book entitled Spark: The
Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,
by Eric Hagerman. This book finds a common element
between exercise and mental health. Very simply put,
exercise stresses the body which helps the mind to
handle stress. Is this the principle that we find in
Deuteronomy 8? (Yes. The desert was a stressful
place to live. When the people were hungry, they
were stressed. But, God saved them from their
stress. This helped them to grow in faith by showing
them that the way out of stress was to trust God.)
- How are these verses in Deuteronomy 8 the opposite
of wearing the robe of pride? (Pride causes you to
think you can do it yourself. You are superior.
Trusting God and seeing Him work out those things
that stress you increases your trust in Him.)
- How important is God’s discipline in your life? (If you
want to grow (muscles, emotional health, faith, etc.) you
need to be stressed. You know this is true with exercise.
If we viewed discipline like exercise, we would
appreciate it all the more.)
- How is stressing our faith different, if at all?
(The stress of faith (as we studied last week) shows
that we cannot do it. However, the growth of faith
comes in knowing that God can. He gives us the manna
and the clothes that do not wear out. This makes our
robe of righteousness grow and our robe of pride
- The Tempter’s Target
- Read Revelation 12:17. What is Satan’s attitude towards
us? (He is angry. He is waging war against us.)
- What weapon would Satan use against us? (Pride!)
- What defense does verse 17 suggest? (Last week we
learned that the law testifies to righteousness by
faith. Not only is obedience to the law a shield
against evil, but the law reminds us of our
sinfulness and punctures our pride. The testimony of
Jesus is that He lived and died for our sins.
Holding tightly onto our faith in Jesus is our best
defense against the aggression of the angry and
- Friend, how seriously do you take the pride problem in
your life? Will you determine today to remove your robe
of pride and replace it with God’s robe of righteousness?
If it takes a little discipline to help you see the
difference, then praise God!
- Next week: A Garment of Innocence.