Satan reasoned his way out of Heaven
Satan is a created being and seeks who he may kill and destroy because his hatred for God is almost without measure.
Satan’s desire to lie, kill and destroy is all consuming — he knows his time is short
And so we look now at our Ancient Foe. First, I think we should see him as the foe of God. In Luke 10, after Jesus sent his disciples on a mission trip, they came back having experienced great success, exhilarated with the various things they had been able to do in their preaching and their healing and their casting out of demons.
They returned rejoicing that even the devils were subject to them. Jesus then said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). I do not think “This is a voice I’ve heard before. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I saw pride come into the highest of all the angels.
I saw pride and resistance come into the one who is the most excellent of all the created beings, and there was a truth that he knew about—a truth that wormed its way into his “eventual desire for intellectual autonomy and caused him to fight against the very will of God.”
Well, what was that truth? Jesus mentions it in verse 20: “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus said they should rejoice in unconditional election—that before the foundation of the world, God had placed his love and his grace and his affection upon them.
In verse 21, Jesus says he is thankful that God has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent—those who see themselves as having worldly wisdom and as being able to organize all the intellectual thoughts of the day.
These are the ones who do not come to a humble understanding and a humble grasp of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ—the substitutionary atonement and the grace of God upon which we are utterly dependent for salvation.
God has not revealed this to the wise and the prudent, but he revealed these things to babes. This is what seemed good in the sight of the Father.
Satan was somehow, it seems, privy to this doctrine of unconditional election. Jesus was peculiarly joyful at the thought of this doctrine, but Satan became peculiarly revolted.
How could this be?
This doctrine involved elevating these new intellectual creatures, who appeared inferior, above Satan. Satan was now going to be a servant. God makes his angels servants of those who are to inherit salvation (see Heb. 1:14).
How can this be?
Before his fall, Satan had no internal antagonism to God. He was good, he was beautiful, he was powerful. But as he reasoned his way through this doctrine, it did not make sense to him.
The doctrine insulted the understanding that he had of his high position and of the order of intelligent beings. Perhaps Satan reasoned, “This is not like something God would do; there is an order of creation that must be followed.
There is an incongruence—a senselessness about making me, an excellent being, and then having these inferior beings above me.” And Satan, perhaps knowing some elements of the redemption covenant, thought, “They will become like the Son of God?
How can that be?
I do not know how this line of thinking led to revolution, but we know that it did lead to revolution and that Satan was cast out of heaven. And in his response to God’s elevation of man over him, which he looked upon as unnatural, irrational, an insult to his exalted position, Satan put his own rationality in place of God’s decree.
It began as a rational reticence, but the “more Satan thought about everything (outside the context of what God actually was saying about it), the more offensive it all became to him.
In this argument, in this rebellion, in this rejection of divine sovereignty (and particularly the divine sovereignty expressed within the covenant of redemption to save human creatures and make them to be like the Son), Satan fell. His intellectual autonomy resulted in a resistance to the will of God, then resulted in a disaffection from the beauty and glory of God.
Satan was cast out—set within a condition of hatred for God, holiness, grace, and goodness. He had come now to steal, to kill, to destroy; he became the wolf that would tear the sheep and everything related to God’s purpose. He would now oppose.
Ironically, Satan’s rebellion against God was instrumental in God’s own decree. The covenant of redemption comes in light of the fall. It comes in light of the necessity of the Son of God’s taking to himself our nature and bearing our sin on his own body on the tree.
It is made necessary by the operation of the Spirit—his operation of changing our hearts and changing our corruption. All those things that are related, the glories of the gospel of redemption, come into play as a result of Satan’s rebellion against God and his purposes.
God wisely used Satan’s leap into intellectual autonomy, which became a disaffection from the purposes of God, to accomplish his eternal purpose of redemption.
When we begin to allow our thinking to lead us away from absolute obedience to the Word of God, we are misusing our reason and misplacing our affections.
There is an eternal logic to the decrees of God, to the revelation of God—one that enables us to connect the dots and make a doctrine out of all these various propositions of Scripture.
We are obligated to do so—but if our connecting of the dots somehow leads us away from the plain word of Scripture and the propositional revelation that God has given us, then we are connecting the dots in the wrong way and are putting ourselves on the edge of disobedience to God and disbelief in his Word.
The more Scriptures we have and can synthesize about a particular doctrine, the more accurate our understanding will be. But if we begin to place things within the doctrine that are contradictory to any of the propositions with which we have to deal, then we are setting ourselves on a road toward denial of the Word of God.
And often this begins with the idea that some of the things that are revealed just do not seem to fit the way we perceive God’s character.
“Surely “God would not do something so immoral as to place the sins of creatures he has made on his beloved Son and make him a propitiation.
What kind of an example is that?
That is a justification of child abuse!”
So our reasoning goes.
We think that we are doing God a favor; we think we are defending the character of God by denying a plain revelation.
When our rationality begins to operate independently of divine revelation, when it opposes the clearly revealed propositions of Scripture, we have fallen into the error of the first opponent of God’s infinite wisdom—Satan.
This is the way Satan operates—the method by which he reasoned himself out of heaven.
This is the method by which he moved away from being one who looked at God, saw his beauty, and loved his beauty—one who was exhilarated at his presence and felt tremendous privilege in his own exulted position.
That is the kind of being that Satan had been, but he fell from that—not originally because of a disaffection toward God but because of a sliver of intellectual autonomy.
He thought, “This really cannot be what God is going to do.