Isa. 14:12-14 How you have fallen from heaven, O Daystar, son of the dawn! How you have been hewn down to earth….You said in your heart: I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will exalt my throne. And I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost parts of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
Just as the Bible speaks about God and man, it also speaks about Satan. We should not forget that immediately after man was created, God put him in front of two trees: one was the tree of life, and the other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….The tree of life denotes God and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil denotes Satan….The entire Bible is a record of the things concerning these three characters: [God, Satan, and man]. Therefore, in reading the Bible, we should not only know the things concerning God and the things concerning man, we should also know the things concerning Satan. If we have a good grasp concerning these three lines—the line of God, the line of man, and the line of Satan—the Bible will become crystal clear to us. (CWWL, 1959, vol. 3, “Ten Lines in the Bible,” p. 521)
Satan’s origin was wonderful…. He had not only the kingship, but also the priesthood, the very position that we, God’s redeemed people, have forever (Rev. 5:9-10; 20:4-6). But he was deprived of his position and offices when he rebelled against God. Now God has chosen us to be His priests and kings, to take over Satan’s position and offices, to put him to shame, and to glorify God.
Satan rebelled against God because of pride in his heart. Ezekiel 28:17 says that his heart was lifted up because of his beauty, that he corrupted his wisdom by reason of his brightness. He was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty”; he “sealed up perfection” (Ezek. 28:12), meaning that he had the full measure of completeness and was short of nothing. But he gazed on his beauty and was proud. He looked at his brightness and became corrupted. To look at what God has made us and forget God Himself always tempts us to be proud. Pride was the cause of Satan’s rebellion. So, the apostle would never allow “a new convert” to be an elder in the church, “lest being blinded with pride he fall into the judgment suffered by the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6). All the natural virtues and attributes, and all the spiritual gifts can be utilized by the devil to make us proud. Even the apostle Paul could be “exceedingly lifted up” by the “transcendence of the revelations” (2 Cor. 12:7). The proud devil is still prowling about on the earth, seeking the proud ones whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). The only way to “withstand” him is to “humble” ourselves, to gird ourselves with humility because “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:9, 5-6). The Lord Jesus is a good example in this matter. Satan exalted himself, but the Lord Jesus “humbled Himself” (Phil. 2:8). Thus, the Lord overcame Satan, and Satan had nothing in Him (John 14:30).
The purpose of Satan’s rebellion was to exalt himself to be equal with God. In Isaiah 14:13-14 we find that five times Satan said “I will,” at the time of his rebellion…. Satan wanted to be equal with God. That was the purpose of his rebellion against God. Ambition for position was the motivation of every rebellion recorded in the Bible. The rebellion at Babel (Gen. 11:4), the rebellion of Dathan, Abiram, and the two hundred and fifty princes of the Israelites (Num. 16:1-3), and the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:10-12) were all because of the evil ambition for position. But the Lord Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave….Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:7, 9). (Life-study of Genesis, pp. 16-17)
Further Reading: CWWL, 1959, vol. 3, “Ten Lines in the Bible,” ch. 10; CWWL, 1932-1949, vol. 4, “Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Volume 6,” ch. 53