So… Satan. Where should we start with the infamous adversary of God and all mankind? How about today we focus on undoing some very, very bad traditional thought concerning this created being? We’re going to use our reasoning, intuition and logic to discern the simplicities of scripture. While much of God’s work is a mystery, His Word - delivered to us - was never meant to be complex.
The angelic-ness of all things
One concern that is ever so simple - but has been made complex - is the nature and design of the supernatural beings created by God. This has led to one idea that has persisted within the Church for ages; the idea that Satan is somehow a fallen angel. However, scripture never affirms this. In fact, scripture affirms that he never was an angel to begin with.
Now, I'm aware of the commentaries, books and articles written that state Satan is a fallen angel. But truth isn’t constituted by way of repetition or mass agreement. Truth is made known by uncovering the facts on a subject and this can only happen by way of coherent thought. Simply repeating information we’ve heard doesn’t make something true. It just makes it popular.
In order for us to uncover the nature of Satan we will need to analyze three supernatural beings God created. I’m going to keep this very brief. I’ll be making a YouTube video on this topic on my channel to explain a bit more in detail. But when we’re done here you should have enough information to go on so you can further your own study on the topic.
If you remember the dual prophecy in the book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 28) you’ll be familiar with the passage that states Satan was a guardian cherub. This is one reason why people believe Satan is an angel. It’s assumed cherubs are angels. However, scripture never states cherubs are angels. Remember, your task as the reader of God’s Word is to ask questions. Lot’s of them. Starting with, what is a cherub? Unfortunately, most Believers never actually ask this question because they’ve heard cherubs are angels. And since this is a popular saying, no further inquiry is ever made. Let’s answer this question shall we?
Cherubs can be described as winged, living creatures who are associated with God’s presence via His throne, His chariot, and the Ark of the Covenant. Cherubs according to scripture, are supernatural guardians. I want to also note, the glory or spirit of God rests upon them.
See the following verses: Genesis 3:24, Ezekiel 28:14, Exodus 25:19, Ezekiel 9:3, Psalm 18:10, Psalm 99:1.
Something else to take note is their design; living creatures with spirits (see Ezekiels vision of the whirling wheel) and have up to four faces and wings.
See the following verses: Ezekiel 10:14, Ezekiel 10:21, Ezekiel 10:15.
Now let’s quickly look at the Seraphim.
Seraphs are also called living creatures. They have six wings, many eyes and constantly give glory to God. They may also appear above God’s throne, unlike the cherubs who appear beneath.
See the following verses: Isaiah 6:2, Revelation 4:6–8.
You may have noticed something interesting within Revelation 4:6. The seraphim appear to be the living creatures reflected by the faces of the cherubim. I honestly find this pretty fascinating. They appear to be linked somehow.
Now, let’s look at the angels. Oh, you thought we were talking about angels this whole time? Nope.
Angels are ministers of God sent out for the sake of those who will inherit salvation. They have a completely different function and design than cherubim or seraphim. Angels are also called Watchers.
See the following verses: Hebrews 1:13–14, Genesis 16:9, Genesis 19:13, Jude 6, Daniel 4:13.
The design of angels is unique and a bit mysterious as they can and often do appear as men. This makes sense as their role for existing concerns the purposes of salvation for humanity, unlike the cherubim and seraphim. Angels need this ability in order to interact with humanity. This is why the famous verse concerning Satan appearing as an angel of light is so striking. It speaks to his ability to appear in a way that enables him to interact with humans who’d assume he was another human. It also speaks to his ability to deceive other angels.
See the following verses: Genesis 19:5, 2 Corinthians 11:14.
What we know
Scripture clearly affirms that God created supernatural creatures, different in design and function. We also know - as living examples - God made natural creatures, also different in design and function. Yet, on earth we don’t call every natural creature God made a human. But for some reason, God’s supernatural work has been minimized to all things classified as holy angels. But the text doesn't give us this liberty.
However, what scripture shows us is that God created different types of supernatural beings, with one type being angels. This is no different than on earth, with one type of creation being classified as humans. In order for us to draw the conclusion that Satan is an angel - despite his classification of a cherub - scripture must affirm cherubs are angels. We see they clearly aren’t in design or function. In fact, never is the word cherub even associated with the word angel anywhere in scripture.
I believe this association has been improperly drawn due to man’s idolization of things in Heaven. Something ancient Israel was told not to do in Exodus 20:4. The moment we do that we open ourselves up to becoming deceived by supernatural beings. This can lead us to worshipping these creatures as we operate under the false pretense they must be holy and of God simply because they’re of a supernatural nature.
This may seem like a minor issue, but getting this wrong can have cataclysmic effects. Need I remind you of Joseph Smith and Muhammad, the founders of Mormonism and Islam? Two people who sparked major religions because they believed they were contacted by angels?
Supernatural does not mean holy, nor does it mean angel. Satan is a cherub, not an angel. And cherubs are not angels.