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Isaiah 14:12-14 by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:55 mins 57 secs

The Five "I Wills"; Isaiah 14:12-14

We have looked at Babylon in Bible prophecy. It began in the Old Testament with the tower of Babel which was where the languages were scattered. It was a very important event. Man was given diverse languages in order to separate them into various tribal groups and the purpose was to keep man from uniting against God in rebellion as they did at the tower of Babel in Genesis chapter eleven. There is an attempt, though, to reverse Babylon today which is likely to be simply setting the stage for what will occur in the future Tribulation period; not that this is the fulfilment of that but that this shows the thought patterns, the trends that are going on even now in our time. This doesn't mean that this is the fulfilment, it is just showing that fallen man, pagan man, man in rebellion against God begins to identify current activities and hopes and dreams with the ancient hopes of dreams of ancient Babylon. The stated goal of the European Union is to reunite the nations.

Isaiah chapter 14 is a chapter that has been historical understood in Christianity to refer to the fall of a creature known as Lucifer. The term "Lucifer" really isn't found in the original text. Jerome, translator of the Vulgate who lived in the late fourth century, understood this to refer to the fall of Satan. There is a lot of historical support for understanding that this passage refers to Satan.

Isaiah 14:12 NASB "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!" Then from verse 13 are the five "I wills" of Satan. That took place in eternity past. But the time that they are saying this in their taunt is when he is judged and cast down into Sheol, which is just a general term which incorporates a number of different things, it is just a place where the unsaved dead go at this particular time.

We have been through the first eleven verses if Isaiah 14 and it has been pointed out that as we go through this that this is a time after the return the Jews to the land in peace, verse 1. This is a time when there is unity and world peace. The word for rest is a term that alludes to the Millennial rest, the kingdom rest that Israel will have when they are united and returned to the land. This is why it is so important to stuffy Israel in terms of its history and because of its role in biblical prophecy. Then we have (v. 4), after they have been returned to the kingdom, "that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, 'How the oppressor has ceased, {And how} fury has ceased!'"  This taunt is simply a way of ridiculing the king of Babylon, a term that refers to the final world ruler, the Antichrist. They are talking about how he has been defeated, and that God has defeated him, vv. 5,6, and in v.7 we read that at this particular time when they are taunting him the whole earth is at rest and quiet. "The whole earth is at rest {and} is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy…. v. 9, "Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones," a reference to the fact that all the rulers of the earth are united against God, cf. Psalm 2, were judged and defeated at the Battle of Armageddon and then cast into Sheol. The taunt here is being given by the Jews at rest and they are taunting this enemy that they had. In the midst of the taunt they are going to talk about how when he arrives in Sheol the kings of the nations who are there are going to also ridicule him. [10] "They will all respond and say to you, 'Even you have been made weak as we, You have become like us. [11] Your pomp {and} the music of your harps Have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out {as your bed} beneath you And worms are your covering.'" Then we have the key text that is at issue here. [12] "How you have fallen from the sky, O shining one, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, O conqueror of the nations! [13] You said to yourself, 'I will climb up to the sky above the stars of El; I will set up my throne, I will rule on the mountain of assembly on the recesses of the north. [14] I will climb up to the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' [15] However you were brought down to Sheol, To the remote slopes of the pit."

What is important about this passage is that it tells us of Satan's original sin, of his initial arrogance that the creature thought that he could presume upon the creator and elevate himself over the creation, that the creature could do more than the creator, that the creature could do what the creator could not. This is a complete breakdown of the creature-creator distinction which is embedded within these five "I wills."

Isaiah 14:12 "How you have fallen from the sky, O shining one, son of the dawn!" That was rendered by Jerome in the Vulgate as Lucifer which had to do with light-bearer, from the Latin root related to that. He understood that this should be taken as a noun and that it was a proper name referring to a particular individual creature who we later refer to as Satan. The actual term in the Hebrew means a shining one, son of the dawn. The entire Hebrew phrase is only used one time in the Hebrew Old Testament and it is not found in any other extra-biblical literature. The Hebrew word translated "shining" is found in Job. It is used to refer to the shining of the sun in Job 29:3; 31:26. So the root idea of this noun is shining one. "O shining one, son of the dawn" is an allusion to the fact that this particular one is the highest, the brightest, the most exalted of all of the angels. "You have been cut down to the ground." The Hebrew word means to cut in pieces. It describes the cutting off of a hand, an arm, and sometimes it refers to the complete removal from a source of power. It is used here to describe the removal of this creature from his prior position of authority. He is describes as the one who weakens the nations, and the Hebrew word for "weakens" means that he is the one who brings the nations to defeat. Because of his arrogance he is the one who led his followers to a complete and absolute defeat.

Verse 13 begins the description of the five "I wills" which summarize the arrogant orientation of the creature, Lucifer. "But you said in your heart." This begins in thinking. Sin often begins in our thought, our mental attitude. Arrogance is a sin of mental attitude and is the source of almost all other sins. It is a self-orientation, a self-absorption as opposed to a divine orientation and a God-absorption. "I will ascend to heaven" summarizes his ambition. He aspires to the highest of positions, he wanted to compete with God Himself and thought of as as high and as great as God Himself. He desired to enter into the very command posts of God and to rule the universe and run the universe. "I will raise my throne above the stars of God." Stars of God here may refer to the literal stars of heaven but probably does not. Often the term stars in Scripture is used as a term to designate the angels, e.g. Job 38:7. "And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north." We need to go back to a more accurate translation: "I will rule on the mountain of assembly on the remoteness of zaphon (sp?)." Zaphon is associated with the highest mountain in Syria, the counterpart of the Syrian to Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods for the Greeks. So there are those who think that this is an allusion to the pantheon of the false gods which also represent the demons, and to there is the suggestion that this is borrowed from pagan mythology. "I will rule over all of the gods and goddesses" would be the sense of the saying. The problem with this is that the word zaphon is actually used in the Scripture in a couple of places. It is used as a reference to heaven in Job 26:7. It is used as a term for the remote north in Ezekiel chapter one, which also describes a vision of God. And it is used of Jerusalem and the temple mount in Psalm 48:2. So it is a term that becomes idiomatic for the highest place on earth or even heaven, and in some places that is what it is an allusion to: the dwelling place of God. What it would mean in that particular case is that Lucifer is saying: "I will rule from the highest place there is," i.e. heaven.

Isaiah 14:14 NASB "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds." The term "clouds" often is associated with the presence of God, and often His intervention in events of history. Also God is often pictured as riding on a cloud in Scripture—Psalm 18:11; 68:4; 104:3. So again, he is expressing in this "I will" his desire to rule over the domain of God. This is finally expressed in the last "I will," "I will make myself like the Most High." So there is this jealousy by this creature to have the power, the authority, the rulership, to do what only God can do. He wants to make himself, the creature, to act as the creator. This becomes the defining element in arrogance where man wants to be his own final authority, his own boss. This is what Satan did initially. He set himself up, he wanted to be the ultimate reference point in the universe. This is the battle that takes place throughout human history.

Genesis 3:5 NASB "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The serpent is tempting them with the same basis fault: you want to be God.

Another example is the temptation of Christ by the devil. The temptation was to vindicate Jesus Christ and validate Him as the one who is ready to minister and to serve during His incarnation. So in the second temptation the devil, i.e. the accuser, said to Him:

Luke 4:6 NASB "And the devil said to Him, 'I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. [7] Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours'." He is going back to the same thing: If you will just worship me as God. That is what he wants, he has to be recognized as God. He is still after what he was after in Isaiah 14.

In Philippians 2:5-7 we need to note the mentality that is present in Jesus that is highlighting and emphasizing the contrast to the mentality of Satan. This is one of the things at the core of the angelic conflict: the contrast between the divine virtues and the human arrogance-based character qualities. NASB "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, [6] who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men." The contrast is that Satan is a creature and wants to grab after deity. In contrast, Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and the epitome of humility because even though He is full deity He is willing to limit the use of it to become obedient even to the point of death on the cross in order to provide for our salvation. So the passage contrasts the humility of Jesus Christ with the arrogance of Satan.

The issue is that it is not only a matter of salvation but it is a matter of having the qualities, the characteristics which through the Holy Spirit are developed in our lives so that we reflect this humility. Man doesn't get ahead through arrogance; arrogance is always self-destructive. We get ahead only through humility, recognising who we are as creatures of God and being totally dependent upon God. Humility means being completely oriented to the authority of someone. 

So in Isaiah 14 we see depicted the original sin of Satan. This is when evil enters into the universe.