By Oscar M. Baker
As already mentioned, ANTHROPOKTONOS, is a word used o f Satan. And it means manslayer. Let us look at a passage where this is a definition of this term. Once again it is John who supplies this information, for in writing to some of his converts, he proceeds, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer (Anthropoktonos); and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15).
With these words before us we are greatly assisted in understanding what the Scriptures mean to convey by the term murderer or manslayer. It is one who hates his brother! One who by his words or actions seeks to hurt another who bears some relationship to himself. The word for hatred (miseo) clearly indicates active ill will, and 3 times over we find this term used by the Lord to denounce the attitude of those to whom He came. To His disciples, He says, "The word...hated Me before it hated you" (John 15:18). "They have both seen and hated both Me and My Father" (v. 24). And finally, "They hated Me without a cause" (v. 25). How true was this testimony! In Him there was no cause whatever for this terrible emotion to be directed against Him. Yet so strong was this hatred that nothing less that the death of God's Son could satisfy it. Its terrible thirst was not quenched until the precious blood of Christ had been poured out and His death accomplished.
If these words reveal the spirit that was manifested in the Jews of His day, may we not suggest that a similar yet stronger spirit was manifested at a much earlier period? when Satan himself hated Christ without a cause, and in so doing displayed that guiltiness for which he is called a murderer from the beginning? When we first referred to this verse (John 8:44), we noted that the phrase connected itself with the fact that Satan abode (lit. stood) not in the truth, and that he was the father of THE LIE. What was this LIE, and in becoming its father how did Satan stand not in the truth?
Even a cursory reading of the words found in Eze. 28:12-19 should leave us with the impression that here is no ordinary being, "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets an of thy pipes was prepared of thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in they ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted they wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thy traffick; therefore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all of them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shall thou be any more."
Indeed, not only was he a remarkable creature, but it is possible that he was the leader of all worship in the world that then was. Not only so, but he possessed an outward appearance of great beauty, brilliant in the extreme. For: every precious stone was thy covering. So wonderful was his position that pride puffed him up - his wisdom was corrupted. We are told elsewhere that THE FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of wisdom and this one not only rebelled against the Most High but was finally cast forth as PROFANE. In other word, though a creature, he aspired to be AS GOD; to occupy the place that belonged to Christ, the Firstborn. In Isaiah 14, the proverb spoken against the King of Babylon again seems to re-echo the desire of Satan to be like the Most High; to exalt his throne above the stars; to be even as God.
Truly this suggests to us how he abode not in the truth - by introducing into that early scene the sin that has always called forth God's righteous judgment; viz. the desire on the part of the CREATURE to be even as the CREATOR! In seeking this, Satan manifest a terrible hatred and covetousness towards the Anointed of God - Christ, the Firstborn. (See Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:6; John 1:3-18). Because of this sin DEATH resulted.
John, in his first epistle, says, "He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer (anthropoktonos)". It is apparent that the word brother may not describe the relationship that existed between the Lord and Satan in that early creation, before sin entered. Bit it is also clear that SOME relationship existed.
Christ THE ANOINTED may have been represented by the anointed cherub. Christ the MORNING STAR (see Rev. 22:16) may have been worshipped by all the morning stars, headed by Satan the Star or Son of the morning. Finally, we may infer from the following pages that Satan occupied the position of "King-Priest".
But this will be taken up next time. The reader is urged to consider these things.
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 33, No. 2)