There was a haughty and proud angel who so exalted himself as to expect to be like the Most High God, the creator of everything, who inhabits the inaccessible light. The prophet Isaiah reveals this angel’s intentions with the following words: “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Is. 14:13,14).
Christian religion in general believes that this presumptuous angel is Satan. This tradition is not convincing, for Satan means adversary, and the God Almighty is in favor of all, as Paul says: “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8:31). God loves sinners: “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
The work of Satan was evil from the start: “the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:8). Now, if the devil has always sinned, he has never done anything similar to what God does. Similar means analogous, resembling, according to, etc. God does not sin, and the devil sins from the beginning; therefore, they are not similar. John gives us another clue: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
This text that Jesus himself spoke enlightens the issue:
- The one who lies becomes a child of the devil, because he makes himself like him. Now, the Father is truth, and the devil is a liar from the beginning; therefore, the devil never intended to be like God the Father.
- The devil has always been a murderer and has never changed; therefore, he did not want to be like God.
- The devil is an accuser and has always deceived (Rev. 12:9). The devil could have the intention, as an adversary, to destroy or triumph over God in order to sit on his throne, but the text in Isaiah is clear: “I WILL MAKE MYSELF LIKE THE MOST HIGH” (Is. 14:14).
Whom did Isaiah speak of in his prophecy? Jesus came to this world to reveal God the Father. “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). “and I have made Thy name known to them” (John 17:26).
The apostle Paul said that, until Jesus and the Church, none of the angels had ever known the manifold wisdom of God. “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:8-10).
Jehovah entrusted to Moses the task of making his name known (Ex. 3:15). As Jesus was the only one to reveal the Father and the Father’s name, Moses was misled. Jesus declared, “no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). The Israelites, though, went to Jehovah through Moses. There are not two ways and two mediators (1 Tim. 2:3-5). When Paul says, “For there on God and one mediator also between God and men”, he is revealing that the God that Moses revealed is not true, for, if Moses revealed one, and sixteen hundred years later Jesus revealed another, showing different works, there would be two gods. Paul, nevertheless, disavows the God of Moses, when he says, “For there on God and one mediator also between God and men” (1 Tim. 2:5).
When Jesus said, “no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son”, he excludes the angels from this knowledge. Jehovah, nevertheless, makes his plans known through Moses. “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel” (Ps. 103:7). Which plan and which ways? The plan of Jehovah was to give the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham forever (Gen. 13:14,15; 17:8). In this project, there would not be an equal inheritance to all. In the project of Jehovah, the foreigners would be servants. “And strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. But you will be called the priests of Jehovah; you will eat the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you will boast” (Is. 61:5,6).
The plan of God the Father of Jesus is another one. The inheritance is not of the earth (John 14:1-4); both Jews and Gentiles are called to the kingdom of God through Jesus. “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one” (Rom. 3:28-30).
In the plan of Jehovah, Canaan was taken by force through war and sword: “There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. For it was of Jehovah to harden their hearts to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as Jehovah had commanded to Moses” (Josh. 11:19-20). In the plan of the Father, Christ united them all in peace, through the cross: “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).
In the plan of Jehovah, those who received the inheritance went later to captivity, under the curse. In the plan of Christ, those who enter do not ever go away, for the gifts of God are irrevocable, not like the gifts of Jehovah (Rom. 11:29). When Israel is restored, the inheritance is hereditary, for death will be present (Ezek. 37:21-25; Joel 3:20; Amos 9:15; Is. 65:7-25). In the kingdom of heaven, the inheritance is eternal, because Christ gives eternal life “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36).
The two plans created for men are so different, that the one of Jehovah cannot be taken as a metaphor of the one of Christ. It seems as if Jehovah ignored Christ’s plan, and developed a project for the earthly realm, a shadow, that is, something without any clear definition, a work with the intent of resembling the work of Christ, but different, for the plan of the Father was hidden as a mystery until the times of Paul (Eph. 3:1-10).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira