Satan is the archetype of the self-exalted being, beginning with his attempt to usurp God's throne. Nebuchadnezzar follows his example by his self-praise: "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:28-37). The man of sin, the Antichrist, will be the most self-exalted human being on earth, and this same spirit of pride will drive him (II Thessalonians 2:3-4).
Martin G. Collins
Overcoming (Part 9): Self-Exaltation
Probably all of us have thought that we know better than those in charge. Watch out! Thinking like this is not wrong in itself, but it is something that lodged itself in the mind of Helel (the name of the "covering cherub" before he became Satan): "I know better than the one in charge," and in this case, it was God.
We can begin to see how his pride was beginning to exalt itself against God. It was moving to break the relationship between them. It was coming between Helel and God so that their relationship could not continue. Helel could not continue to serve God.
Most have felt that we have been overlooked, neglected, or abused. Most of us have felt rejected a time or two. Of and by themselves, these feelings are not wrong. But, again, we must beware, because these feelings can begin to generate pride. Such a thing fed Helel's feelings about himself. They simmered in him and made him angry, and he desired to assert his will to control the governance of all that was happening. "I will ascend to heaven," he said, and he tried to. We see the pattern here; we can see the process involved from beginning to end.
It ends in warfare against God, which is why a person of pride cannot have a good relationship with Him. A proud person cannot have faith in God, at least not very much. A small amount of faith can be there, but pride will definitely be a hindrance. This is why the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican in Luke 18:9-14 follows immediately after of the Parable of the Importunate Widow (Luke 18:1-8), which Jesus ends with, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on earth?"—because humility is essential to faith.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 6)
It becomes clear, once we fit this together with II Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:3-4,9; and Ezekiel 28:12-14, that God assigned the angels to the earth under their commander, Lucifer (Helel in Hebrew), who was the sum total of all that God could create by fiat in a created being, perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. We see a picture of a being of awesome beauty and power, of tremendous intelligence, and like us, a creature of free moral agency.
Something happened to that great being, and he began a campaign of deceit. He began to separate from God a number of the angels, undoubtedly using the reasoning that they should have more, that God should treat them better, that God was being unfair, that they did not have the liberty or the power that was due them. At some point he began to express, "I will be like the Most High."
Some commentators say that the Hebrew says in reality, "I will be God," not just like God. We can see what he wanted: complete power, authority, and control. He did not want to be under another; he did not want to be submissive. He did not want another being pulling his strings or controlling him.
He wanted to sit, as it says, on the mount of the congregation. So he decided, "I will make war. I will ascend into heaven." So the demons left their first estate, the realm of their authority, and they mounted up in war and attacked God. They were soundly defeated and cast down. Their first domain became a place of restraint, literally "a silo," a pit, where they were chained. This suggests that, as a result of their rebellion, they no longer have the liberty that they once had, but are now held in restraint. A great deal of their free moral agency was taken from them.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 1)
Ezekiel calls Helel/Satan "the anointed cherub who covers," which means he was one of the chief angels whose wings covered God's throne in heaven. He is specifically shown to be a created being, possibly the most beautiful, wise, and perfect of God's creations.
But this mighty angel grew proud and vain in his beauty. He began to become envious of God's authority over the universe, and over maybe millions of years, he schemed to induce other angels to support him in an attempt to overthrow God. When he finally led one third of the angels (Revelation 12:4) to war against God in heaven, God cast him and his angelic troops back to the earth (Luke 10:18).
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Basic Doctrines: Satan's Origin and Destiny
Isaiah 14:12-15 illustrates the process of Satan's thinking that led to his fall. Evidently, God had at some point also given him the earth to govern, as this passage shows him ascending to heaven, implying that he must have come from the earth. Isaiah also writes that he had a throne that he desired to exalt over all the “stars”—angels—of God. Revelation 12:4 reveals that a third of the angels were thrown to the earth with him, probably those whom God had earlier given him to assist him with his job on the earth, but Isaiah 14:13 reports that he wanted to rule all the angels, not just a mere third of them.
As God gave him more, Helel's greed grew until he began to conceive thoughts of taking everything for himself, not just the angels, but God's very throne. As several modern translations read, “I will make myself like the Most High.” In essence, he wanted to be God. He deceived himself into thinking he was smart and powerful enough to boot the “Old Man” out and take over ruling all things!
So we see the sins that most describe Satan: vanity, greed, selfishness, self-exaltation, and pride, of course. Who knows how long these sins festered in him before they broke out into action? However long the time, these sins embittered him until he began to plan a coup against the very throne of heaven and to recruit other angels to his cause.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Binding of Satan
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Isaiah 14:12:
1 Samuel 15:23
1 Corinthians 6:2
1 Peter 5:8