Operation BlueprintVolume 26 No.6
An ancient map reveals the way back to our lost dominion
By Ivor Myers
Imagine that we could press the “rewind” button back to a place in time when there was no death, suffering, or war—when the universe was filled with happy subjects of God’s government.
But as we watch, the peace and happiness disappear as an angel named Lucifer mounts a campaign against God and turns heaven into a war zone. The Bible explains:
“You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the middle of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:14, 15, AKJV.
A “cherub” is an angel, but Lucifer was no ordinary angel. He was a “covering” cherub. What specifically was he covering?
In order to understand the role of a covering cherub, we need some knowledge of a special building that God used to represent His throne. It was known as the Hebrew Sanctuary, or Tabernacle.
A BLUEPRINT OF GOD’S THRONE
Inside the courtyard of the Sanctuary was a building or tent with two rooms—the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Within the Most Holy Place was the Ark of the Covenant, a large gold-plated box covered with a lid known as the Mercy Seat. Here, God’s Shekinah glory dwelt. The Ark of the Covenant was a representation of God’s throne.
Two “covering cherubs” carved in gold guarded the Ark of the Covenant, representing the two angels who stood closest to the presence of God in heaven. Notice how the Bible describes them:
“And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.” Exodus 25:18–21.*
The Ark of the Covenant contained God’s Ten Commandment law written with His own finger—the foundation of His throne and government. Those angels in gold symbolized the covering cherubs who were guardians of God’s law in the throne room of heaven. Hence Lucifer, the covering cherub, was once a guardian of the law of God.
But when iniquity (sin) was found in Lucifer, it corrupted heaven’s peace and led to rebellion. Ezekiel 28:15. Notice how the Bible defines sin: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 2:4.
Lucifer, once a guardian of the law of God, turned against the very law he was ordained to protect. As a result of his lawlessness, Lucifer started a war in heaven for which he was ultimately cast out to the earth. Revelation 12:7–9.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the last chapter of Revelation records, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. Lucifer was cast out of that city for warring against the law, but those who keep God’s law will find access into that city.
Lucifer did not rebel alone; he convinced thousands of angels to join him. The argument he used, and still uses, was highly deceptive, not only to the angels, but also to himself:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” Isaiah 14:12–14.
Lucifer’s argument didn’t directly encourage evil acts; rather it claimed that goodness was possible without obedience to God. He claimed that he was only trying to reform God’s government so as to improve the lives of angels; that the government of God was too intrusive; and that angels should be allowed to live out their own dreams according to self-rule. His self-delusion convinced a third of the heavenly angels. Revelation 12:4.
Many people have unwittingly followed this same argument. Atheists claim, for instance, that they do not need a god to be good. And even many professed Christians assert that it is not necessary to keep the law in order to be holy. This was the very argument that led to war in heaven, which eventually led to a rebellion on earth.
Why didn’t God immediately judge and destroy Satan and his angels?
We find the answer in a principle laid out in the book of Deuteronomy:
“If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, then both men in the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges.… And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.” Deuteronomy 19:16–19.
FINDING A JURY
This principle is one of common sense. If a controversy arose between two people, a third party would be the deciding factor. Neither the accused nor the accuser could fairly serve as a judge in the case. Applying this principle to our scene in heaven, Lucifer and his angels brought an accusation against God. Therefore, God could not be the judge without Lucifer and his angels claiming that He was being dictatorial. So what could God do?
As the Lord cast Lucifer out of heaven, He made a statement that must have puzzled the once covering cherub:
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of they brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Ezekiel 28:17, emphasis mine.
What third party would judge Lucifer and his angels? If you guessed humanity, you’re right. The apostle Paul writes, “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3, emphasis mine. God’s saints are the “kings” whom God will use to judge fallen angels.
“Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father.” Revelation 1:5, 6, emphasis mine.
God created Adam and Eve and their offspring to rule as “kings” over this world. Genesis 1:26, 28. As long as they were submitted to His government, they could also be jurors, as seen from the following facts. First, jurors should have little firsthand knowledge of the crime. Adam and Eve had not yet been created when the rebellion occurred in heaven. Second, a juror must be a law-abiding citizen. When the first human pair was created, the law of God’s government was written upon their hearts. Third, a juror must know the difference between good and evil. Adam and Eve both knew that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was wrong. God made this clear to them.
BRIBING THE JURY
After Lucifer was cast to the earth, he watched this new creation with terror. Were these the “kings” who were to judge him and seal his fate? Would God allow him access to humanity? He would take his chances and attempt to bribe the jury. Lucifer—now called Satan, meaning “deceiver”—approached Eve as a serpent. He did not ask her to join his rebellion. Instead, he simply repeated the deception he had pulled off in heaven. In essence, he said, “Eve, you can be like God without obeying God.” Notice what the Bible says:
“And [the serpent] said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’” Genesis 3:1–5.
Why did God allow Adam and Eve to be tested by Satan? In part, because jurors must be tested for fitness to serve. Some are eliminated; others are kept. It was no different for Adam and Eve. They must have the freedom to choose—to reject God or to accept His law—just as the angels in heaven were given a choice. Adam and Eve failed the test. You can almost hear Satan laughing: “Are these the ‘kings’ you were going to use to judge me?”
FINDING OUR LOST ESTATE
Just as Satan was removed from heaven for breaking God’s law, so now Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden. Yet God did not leave them to despair. While Satan and his angels had rejected a full revelation of God’s grace, the newly created pair still had much to learn about God; therefore, the plan of salvation was extended to them. This plan—outlined in the Sanctuary—was devised to restore mankind so that they would again become law-abiding citizens of the kingdom of heaven. It would ultimately bring humanity back into harmony with God.
Satan was dismayed as he watched God’s throne room being duplicated in miniature on the earth, and throughout history has sought to do all he can to sabotage God’s blueprint showing us our way back to our rightful position as His loyal subjects.
The plan of redemption was illustrated to Adam and Eve through the sacrificial service, and revealed more fully in the Hebrew Sanctuary.
As people began to multiply on the earth, some sided with God and obeyed His commandments; others joined Satan’s rebellion against Him. The Lord would allow the principles of Satan, so subtly hidden at first, time to completely manifest themselves. The devil has been given ample opportunity on earth to show how he would run a kingdom if he were “God.”
Someday, God’s loyal subjects will review God’s actions in the great controversy between Christ and Satan. They will participate in sentencing unrepentant angels and humans. 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Revelation 20:4–6. And at the end they will say, “God has been fair. He has given multiple chances for repentance and for a change of heart.” Revelation 15:3, 4. By studying the Sanctuary blueprint, we can find our own way back to loyalty to God and play a vital part in bringing an end to the great battle between good and evil.
*All Scripture references are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Adapted from Operation Blueprint: Earth’s Final Movie, The Ultimate Search and Rescue Mission, by Ivor Myers, Amazing Facts, Inc., 2013. Used with permission. Ivor Myers left the hip hop recording industry to follow truth and now directs Power of the Lamb Ministries. He also co-hosts the 3ABN series Battles of Faith. Ivor lives in Paso Robles, California, with his wife Atonte and four children.
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