Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:18)
Here we are given more important insight into Satans sin that took place in the eternal past when he fell. The passages that deal with these events are Isaiah 14:1ff and Ezekiel 28:1ff. If you can always remember Isaiah 14 just double the 14 to get 28 for Ezekiel as an easy way to remember both.
Isaiah 14:1ff is addressed to the king of Babylon and here in Ezekiel 28:1ff the king of Tyre. You will recall in Matthew 16:23 that our Lord looked at Peter and spoke directly to Satan. The passages in Isaiah 14:1ff and Ezekiel 28:1ff are Old Testament prophecies that have essentially the same thing happening. These kings were yielding to Satan and doing his bidding; so God speaks to the root of their actions and that root stems back into eternity past- to events linked directly with Lucifer or Satan.
Thou Hast Defiled
Once Satan desired to set his heart as the heart of God- iniquity was found in him. He became a corrupt Cherub, whose destiny from that point forward was Hell itself (Isaiah 14:15). Yet he was not content to be defiled himself, he became a defiler. He was not content to be separated from the goodness of God all alone he wanted others to share his defilement. He is the forerunner of those who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:32)
We are told in Ezekiel 28:18 that he defiled his sanctuaries. This is the place where he once worshipped God along with the other Cherubim. Once a sanctuary is defiled it must be purged before Gods unique presence can return to that place. This is a great mystery, and we only have flashes of revelation from the scriptures explaining this truth. The Old Testament is replete with revelation into the necessity of ceremonial cleanness, in the light of God's holiness, etc.; but the workings of this is still a mystery.
The revelation in Ezekiel 28:18 is essential because we need to know that this is a primary objective of Satan: to defile sanctuaries that God has set up in order to dwell in fellowship with His creatures. Think of his track record of defilement; from heaven, to the Garden, to the hearts of men. He seeks to defile the 'sanctuary' so He can divide all creatures from their God.
Satan Cast Out
Satan was cast out of this sanctuary in Heaven that he defiled. There are varying theories on how this played out, but we know for sure that Satan lost his position in Heaven as the anointed Cherub that covers. It only makes sense that after Christ has entered heaven to cleanse the heavenly Temple, Satan would not be allowed to defile this area again. We read in Hebrews 9:23 that It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
The wilderness tabernacle and later the temple in Jerusalem were purified with the blood of bulls and goats, but evidently the purification of the True Temple in Heaven needed to be purified by the blood of the Lamb of God. In this we learn that Jesus dying on the cross has far reaching implications that reached Heaven itself.
On earth, the blood of Jesus Christ will purge the defiled temples of men that God desires to dwell in. God cleanses the temple before the Holy Spirit comes. This defilement was the working of Satan as he seeks to destroy every being's relationship with their creator by the defilement of sin. This is Satans primary objective; to do to man what he had done to his own sanctuary and in turn the third of the angels were defiled with him.
In the Garden
In Ezekiel 28:13 we read, Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God. The Garden of Eden was a special place on earth that God had planted as a sanctuary for Him and Adam to fellowship in. This is important. It was Adams responsibility to keep the Garden, which is a Hebrew word that means to hedge about or to guard. He was guarding the sanctuary that facilitated his relationship with God. The Serpent came in to that sanctuary and through the trafficking or selling of sin (as it were) he defiled that sanctuary as well. Worst of all sin defiled Adam's temple (his body) and all of his offspring from that time forward. Sin defiles the heart and conscience. If we are going to be living temples of God He will have to cleanse us; but if we are to maintain that relationship we have to 'keep' the garden or in a figure the sanctuary of our heart.
In the Land of Uz
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (Job 1:7)
This is an important picture of how Satan works. He does up and down in the earth looking for someone that is walking upright before God and enjoying some level of fellowship. Understand that Job only knew of God by the hearing of the ear (Job 42:5) and yet Satan wanted to stamp out even that mans limited relationship with God. Job had no Bible. He was moving in the oral knowledge of God and the light of conscience.
Satan would not quit. This helps us understand one of the reasons why the earth was filled with violence in Genesis 6:11. Satan is relentless. Once Adam opened the door to Sin, Satan has come in and has been taking advantage of every opportunity to defile every sanctuary of God that God seeks to establish on this earth. Christ said He will build His 'ekklesia' (Church), a sanctuary of living stones as a habitation of God through the Spirit. Satan immediately challenged. No thing has changed.
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. (Job 1:9, 10)
As Job lived in the light of the truth that He knew, God honored him by keeping Satan out. This was a synergism between God and Job that resulted in a hedge being built around him. Job was diligent to do everything he believed was Gods will and God honored it. It was a 'hedged in' sanctuary. But, as always, Satan is the defiler of sanctuaries. He didn't stop because it was Job the man of great faith. God lifted the hedge and Satan took his shot at defiling that sanctuary Job enjoyed (as it were). He wanted Job to curse God and defile things in the process. As if that were not enough, he sought a second time to take Job's health until he was the picture of misery and suffering.
Satan failed again at destroying Job's life walking with God. We learn many lessons from Job, but the primary fact is that Satan failed to defile that sanctuary and God gave Job a greater revelation of Himself. Job later remarked, I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5, 6)
Job did all he could to please God and to keep Satan out of his life (though he may not have known of Satan). The relentless accuser sought to defile with a reckless abandonment. Understand that Satan wants to defile our sanctuary, the inner parts of man where God wants to dwell. We must know this. He wants God to leave off as with the Garden of Eden. He wants our minds and conscience defiled with sin and idols the same as he used on Israel. We read about this in Ezekiel 8:6ff. As those that are in Christ, the Last Adam, we must keep the Garden of our sanctuary; but if we sin we must let the blood of Christ cleanse it again- that our communion with God is not broken.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon