- His BEGINNING
- i. His Person
- ii. His Privileges
- His DOWNFALL
- i. Its Cause
- ii. Its Consequences
- His PRESENT ACTIVITY
- i. Geographically
- ii. Practically
- His FINAL DESTINY
- i. In the Saviour's Victory
- ii. In the Scripture's Prophecy
Ezekiel chapter 28. Now, we're not going back in time - we studied last week chapters 25 through to 32. We took quite a large chunk and we looked at God's judgement of the Gentile nations, specifically the nations that were surrounding His own land, Israel. We saw how apt that was, and contemporary, in our particular situation - it wasn't specifically prophetic, or as a prophecy, but we can see the parallels that there are today, and indeed the parallels there are in prophecy - particularly in Zechariah chapter 14 where, in a day yet to come, all the nations of this world will gather round Israel, and we can see the stage beginning to be set even this very evening as we speak.
We're going back a little to chapter 28. You remember that chapter 28 was a prophecy against the Prince of Tyre. Tyre was the major city in the Mediterranean world, the major city of trade, and God pronounced judgement upon it because it laughed at Israel and Jerusalem at the fall of the temple and the siege of the Babylonians. We're going back on our ground that we've already covered, simply because there's a greater significance in chapter 28 of the book of Ezekiel. We see that within this chapter there's not only judgement upon the Prince of Tyre, but God speaks by His Holy Spirit concerning Lucifer, and that's why we have the title tonight: 'Lucifer's Life Story'.
Let's read chapter 28 together: "The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel". Just pause for a moment - it's very interesting that Daniel, who was a contemporary of Ezekiel in this particular time, had a reputation already with Ezekiel and with the people that were in captivity. What is even more significant is, when we see the spiritual significance of this chapter, we see that Daniel is known by the forces and principalities of evil, he is known in hell. What a man of God Daniel was!
Verse 3: "Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? But thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD".
Now these are the verses that we're particularly concentrating on tonight: "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying", you see the distinction, it's another word from the Lord - there's something different here. "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus", verses 1 to 10 was the Prince of Tyrus, now it's the King of Tyrus, "and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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 and of thy pipes was prepared in 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 thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy 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 fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy 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 thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I 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 them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more".
I don't need to tell you that Lucifer is alive and well in our 21st century world. I think that is self-evident by the fruit of his spirit that we see round about day by day. The world, indeed, as the scripture teaches, lieth in the lap of the wicked one. In our particular generation today we can look around and we perceive, rightly, that there is a revival in evil. We see Satan worship at an all-time high - I'm told that it's the fastest growing religion in the United States, and I suspect it's the same here in the United Kingdom. We see Spiritism, never off our televisions, clairvoyants, horoscopes, fortunetellers - it's in our magazines, our periodicals and our newspapers. Witchcraft - recently, when I was in America, I went to one of the biggest bookshops there were, and I went to the religious section looking for Christian books - hoping, in so-called Christian American, that I would find some - and most of the books that were there were on Spiritism. Witchcraft, astrology - you name it, there is a revival in the arts, the black arts of darkness.
It's ironic - I think it's more than ironic, I think it's providential - that we're looking at this subject tonight, in the light of the fact that the film 'Harry Potter' was released on Friday evening past. You may wonder why I'm referring to Harry Potter - surely it's an innocent story, it's an innocent novel for children? Well, if you even look at Harry Potter and look at the hype that is around about it at the moment, I think even that would put a question mark on it. The fact of the matter is, in our society today, whether it's through Harry Potter, or through horoscopes, or through Satanism, or Paganism revived: the Devil wants everything in society to be under his control, and he will stop at absolutely nothing. He is ingenious in his methods and in his organisational skills.
I want to say tonight, publicly, that Harry Potter is an evil book. Be under no illusion about it. You don't have to go into it too much - and we'll not have time this evening to go into it - save to say that the author herself, J. K. Rowling, researched into occult, into paganism, into spiritualism, in order to be as authentic as she possibly could in the book. She incorporated these things into this book, so that they could be believed. If you looked at this woman's life history, J. K. Rowling, you find out that as a student she studied Mythology at Exeter University in England. The philosophies that she found in paganism, neo-paganism, and Satanism of the past centuries, she has incorporated into the story of Harry Potter. Now, the reason I'm telling you this is to warn you about this book, and to warn your children about it - but more than that: I want you to see the ingenuity of the devil, the cleverness of how he brings a society round under his control and under his influence.
Do you know that the publicity of this particular book has brought together three of the biggest companies in the world? Maybe you don't know that Coca-Cola are sponsoring this book. Mattel that makes most of the toys that you see advertised on the television screen with regards to films, that relate to films, they are also a co-advertiser of Harry Potter. Then you have WB - Warner Brothers - they're looking after the film side of it. So this is not just a Christmas fad and faze that we are going through, it's not like the Teletubbies, that after a few months or a year this will be off our screens. Three of the largest companies in the world have committed themselves to continue to bombard us with Harry Potter memorabilia and advertising. One hundred million of these books have been sold already - in 200 countries and over 40 languages. You've seen it on the news, that children all over our world are devouring these books - some of them are 700 pages long! Now in the computer age that we are living in, that is nothing short of supernatural - in my opinion - how you can get children today, who wouldn't read a comic, to read a 700 page long book! It's nothing short of magic.
This book has now been recommended to schools in the United States, and they have recommended that it be read by the teacher audibly. The reason why it can be recommended in schools in America is because Scholastic, the organisation that publishes this book in America, is the biggest seller of educational books to all schools in the United States, and has been for over 80 years. It is using its influence to get this book into the schools. It's ironic, isn't it, that you aren't allowed to pray in a school in America? You aren't allowed a Bible-based message in any shape or form, or lesson, in a school in the United States - but children are allowed to be taught witchcraft through this book.
I was horrified recently to find out that from the Harry Potter website, you can be linked to other websites that teach you occultic practices, spells, divination, and all manner of evil. I was further horrified to find out that the Pagan Federation of America has now appointed a youth officer - why? They claim it themselves: 'Because of the flood of enquiries since Harry Potter was published'. Children, boys and girls, contacting the Pagan Federation, being led to it from this book. 'Oh, but it's innocent. It's just fantasy'. 'Lucifer' means 'Light Bearer', 'The Brilliant One', 'The Shining One', and he still today has the capacity of charming people as an angel of light. The point why I am raising this tonight is that Satan has a plan for the ages, just as God has a plan for the ages, Satan has a plan - and I believe in our society, at this moment, Satan more than ever is concentrating on our children! I believe that he is pushing, in our generation more than ever, again for an explosion of godlessness onto the stage of history that this world has never witnessed, or never will witness again.
The problem is: people, and sadly God's people too, are ignorant of his devices. As Hosea the prophet said hundreds of years ago: 'My people are destroyed through lack of knowledge'. Satan is numbing the church to his devices around, so much so that professing Christians have now written books recommending Harry Potter to young Christian boys and girls! We are numb to his activities in the church, we have been numb to his activities in our home life, in education, in social pleasure, and more than ever my friends it is necessary for the church of Jesus Christ to get back to basics. The philosophical question that is bandied about the halls of universities through every age are these three: 'Where we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?'. I want us to ask those three questions of Lucifer tonight, and the answers I believe are found in Ezekiel 28.
The purpose of this study this evening is that we would know our enemy. We need to know him if we're going to fight him, we need to know him. To do that we need to trace his origins, and not only go to his beginning, we need to follow his life story right to his end. Satan is described in the Scriptures as a thief, a murderer, a liar - in fact our Lord described him as the Father of lies. Can I say this this evening: he doesn't like his cover being blown! He likes to appear as a little childish story. I can testify to that personally. When I was in Portadown Baptist one Sunday evening I had planned, I believe being led by God, to preach on Genesis chapter 3 on the Serpent*, and how the Serpent controls people's lives. No-one knew I was preaching on the subject, it hadn't been advertised in the paper or even in the church. I came down to the church early that evening for the prayer meeting before the Gospel meeting, only to find that right across the car park satanic symbols had been graffitied right across the ground. There was a large board left in the middle of the car park with Satanic hexes and blasphemous statements and cartoons of Satan that would have sent a shiver up your spine. No-one knew - but he knew!
*This message is available on our Gospel Sermons page.
Satan has a plan for the ages, but what he doesn't want us to know is that he is hastening to a judgement and a doom. He is going to get his just desserts. Scholars, some of them, say - and some Christians say: 'Surely Ezekiel 28 is simply about the King of Tyre, are you not reading into it a little bit?'. First of all, some of those liberal scholars don't even believe in a personal Devil - you have to understand that, and be careful of the books that you are reading. They don't believe in a person called the Devil - it's an evil influence in society, it's immorality, but it's not a person. Yes, verses 1 through to 6 speak of the Prince of Tyre. It speaks of his pride, it speaks of his wisdom and his wealth, and God says to him: 'Though you think you're a god, you're only a man'. So He's definitely talking about a man when He speaks of the Prince of Tyre. Then in verses 7 to 10 He speaks of the judgement and destruction of the Babylonians, and indeed the Prince of Tyre. So what we see in verses 1 to 10 definitely is King Ithobaal II of Tyre - there's no doubt about that.
But I hope you have seen that there is a transition in this text, you cannot ignore it, and you see from verses 11 on to verse 19 that the author, the prophet, moves now beyond an earthly scene and he talks not now about the Prince of Tyre, but about the King of Tyre. It seems, you will see it clearer as we go through this study, that the King of Tyre is the spirit influence that animates the Prince of Tyre. Indeed, the fearful thing about this text is that it is Satan himself - the real force of wickedness behind the Prince of Tyre. If you think this is far-fetched I would draw your attention right back to the Garden of Eden in chapter 3 of Genesis verses 14 and 15, where it was the first occasion that God addressed the Devil through another person, the Serpent. God spoke to the Devil through the Serpent. I take you to the New Testament, and go to Matthew's gospel chapter 16 verse 23 and you see there that Peter, who had just confessed that Christ would be the Rock, and the statement that he had made that He was the Son of God would be the Rock on which the church was built, and in the next breath the Lord is turning around cursing Peter - not cursing Peter, but the spirit behind Peter, because the spirit behind Peter was trying to dissuade Him from going to the cross. The Lord addressed Satan through Peter: 'Thou savourest the things that are of man, and not of God, Get thee behind me, Satan'.
So, it is not unusual for God to address Satan through another person, He has done it already in the Scriptures and we see that He is doing it here again. Let us look at this passage tonight and judge whether this appears to be a description of a mere human prince or a spirit operating behind him. I believe, if you look carefully, you will see first of all - as it says on your study sheet - his beginning. It speaks of this person of this spiritual being in verse 12, God says: 'Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty'. Now, let's look for a moment at this person. God says that he is full of wisdom, he is perfect in beauty. In verse 15, if you look at it, it says: 'Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created'. So he is all-wise, he is perfect in beauty, and he is absolutely morally blameless. You're not going to try and tell me that this is the Prince of Tyre that is full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty, and morally perfect, and God's going to judge him in the next few verses? No man has ever been described like this, at least no man born in sin and shapen in iniquity - for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This cannot be a mere Prince or King!
If you look at verse 13, God says: 'Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God'. Some people have said: 'Ah, that's Adam them! Adam was in Eden, the garden of God'. If you read on in this verse it says: '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 and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created'. Was Adam arrayed in jewels from the tip of his head to the tip of his toe? Of course he wasn't! This isn't speaking of Adam, this is speaking of something greater. This spirit being is described as being bejewelled with every stone fitted in beautiful settings of finest gold, and the only time you find these jewels mentioned again in scripture is in the book of Revelation, where the saints of God who stand in the glories of God and worship God are covered in these same jewels! This great angelic leader, this spirit being, is covered in the same - a mass of brilliant colour. I was trying to imagine this today in the study - from the tip of his toe, jewels and diamonds sparkling; and you look at him, a technicolour of absolute brilliance!
One thing that we know about gems and diamonds and precious stones is that they have no light of their own. If you take a diamond into a dark room you will see nothing. But they reflect another's light, and this is speaking spiritually of this creature - he is one who reflects another light. His beginning was, and I say it to you tonight, to reflect the very Light of the universe - the Light of God. It may have been that in the beginning, before his fall, he was given charge over creation - I don't know, the word of God doesn't tell us. One thing is for sure: when was the Prince of Tyre in Eden? He was never in Eden!
Verse 13 says 'the workmanship of his tabrets and his pipes' - and that's musical language, that's a musical instrument. Musical instruments were originally created, I hope you know, to be a means of praising and worshipping God. But what God is saying here is that Lucifer had no need of musical instruments, for - if you like - he had a built in organ to praise God, he had his own pipes and his tabrets. The prophet is saying that Lucifer, because of this beauty, he was a musical instrument. He himself was an instrument of praise and glory to God. He didn't look for someone to play the organ, he was not just singing a doxology, he was a doxology to God! That would lead us to believe that this Lucifer was in charge of praise in heaven. You can see the picture beginning to be painted of his person.
Then we see further, in verse 14, his privileges. He is described: 'Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth...thou wast upon God's holy mountain'. Now let me say this: in the Old Testament Scriptures there were only three types of people who were anointed. There was the prophet, the priest, and the King. Certainly God would never have referred to the King of Tyre as being anointed, there was nothing holy about that man! But this spirit being is described as being the guardian cherub, the anointed cherub. Now a cherub, and we've learnt this in our studies, is an awesome angelic being whose purpose is to protect God's holiness. You remember when there was the fall in the Garden of Eden, and man sinned, there was a cherubim stood before the gate of the Garden with a fiery sword to make sure that they didn't get in and eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in their sin. He was guarding the glory and indeed the holiness of God, they vindicate God's righteousness, they protect and defend God's mercy - and indeed they execute God's government within the word of God.
I'd like to cast your mind back to the book of Exodus, where the children of Israel were told to build an Ark - not Noah's Ark, but the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was to sit in the Holy of Holies, and Moses was told by God in Exodus 25 and verse 20 that God's glory, the Shekinah that we've already looked at in this book, it would dwell and His presence would hover between the cherubim on the top of the Ark. I hope you're seeing the picture. In Exodus 25 the presence of God hovers above the cherubim, and here we have this vision of this cherub who is called 'The Cherub That Covereth', 'The Cherub That Guardeth'. This is a fearful thing, a fearful being that's symbolic of the holy presence of God, of God's inapproachability. It's amazing! Do you know what this means? I believe this means that in eternity past, before earth existed when there was the angelic creation, this individual spirit being - Lucifer - had the responsibility to hover over and guard the very throne and presence of Almighty God. He covered God's presence!
If you look at verse 15 that would prove that to us I think: 'Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise' - and at the end of verse 16 - 'O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire' - Hebrews says our God is a consuming fire. It means that Lucifer was in the very presence of God walking over the fiery coals of God's presence, hovering over, protecting the presence and holiness and righteousness of God. He was anointed in this place of great authority, and the amazing thing to me is this: he probably had unrestricted access to the glorious presence of God.
If you look back at Ezekiel chapter 1, it will remind you of the awesome character of these cherubim. We saw a graphic picture of them in verse 10 of this chapter, where it says: 'The likeness of their faces', they had four faces, 'the face of a man, the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle'. They bore the likeness of a lion, a calf, an eagle, and a man - and you remember looking at how those four faces reflected the absolute completeness of the nature of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, prophetically how Matthew in his gospel presents our Lord Jesus as a King like a lion, the King of the jungle. Mark's gospel presents Him as the Servant King, the calf like the ox, the serving animal of the field. Luke's gospel presents Christ as the perfect man in His humanity and in His humility, and that's the face of the man again in the cherubim. Then the face of an eagle, that speaks of the skies, speaking of His divinity.
Please see the significance of this: apparently Lucifer was created, among other purposes, but one purpose was to demonstrate the earthly work of Christ as pictured in the four Gospels - the glory of Christ's humanity, deity, servitude and kingship! Imagine that. I think you would agree with me that all of this taken together is just a little bit too impressive for the Prince of Tyre - do you not think? That is his beginning, his person, his privileges, and then we look at his downfall where it all went wrong, and its cause. The cause of his downfall is found in verse 17, where God says: 'Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty'. This is the first sin, and the self-creation of the first sinner in all of the universe. The people say: 'Why did God create the Devil?', God didn't create the Devil, God created a perfect, moral, spiritual, glorious being! The Devil created the Devil when he sinned, and when his heart was inflated with pride.
We can see this in a parallel passage, if you turn to Isaiah chapter 14 which is the other Old Testament passage of Scripture that gives us a look into the life story of Lucifer. Isaiah 14 and verse 12, God says again: 'How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north' - look how many 'I wills' there are in verse 13 and now in 14 - 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit'. In 1 Timothy 3 and verse 6 Paul the apostle was instructing the church that when they appointing elders they were to beware of not appointing a novice, that's one who is perhaps newly saved or immature in their faith, or perhaps a young man that has not matured yet. When he was instructing the church he plucks an example out of the history in the beginning of Lucifer's life story, and he says it's not to be a novice: 'lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil'. He's citing the sin of the Devil: he was lifted up with pride, he fell into condemnation.
Pride is a deadly enough sin to destroy the most powerful, wise, holy and awesome being that has ever been created - how much more do we need to make sure that we are not walking independently of the Lord in self-righteousness, self-sufficiency and pride? We must make sure, as God's people, that we are dependent upon God, that everything is handed into the hands of God. What we need to face is the question: are we living in Satan's sin of self-dependence, or are we puffed up with self-importance? We need to remember that we are only sinners saved by grace, and whatsoever we have received we have received from the hand of God and there is nothing in ourselves!
Its cause was pride, then its consequences - it's alluded to in Ezekiel, and in the final verses 16 to 19, how God would put fire into his bosom and make a fire come out of him. The Lord Jesus himself, proving His pre-incarnate state, as the Word of God, the Son of God in eternity past, said: 'I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven'. The consequences of Satan's pride was that he was cast out of heaven, and the further consequences where that he went into the Garden in the person of the Serpent and he tempted Eve and tempted Adam, and then - by their sin - sin came upon all men, and death came by sin. We are in the mess tonight that we are, because of Lucifer, and because of our forefather's sin. What consequences!
That is his downfall, and then we come thirdly to his present activity. What is he doing now? That's his past, his beginning, his downfall. Well, I've split it into two: his present activity geographically and practically. Geographically simply means his realm, the realm in which he moves. Geographically he moves in the realm of the earth, and especially in the realm of the air - that is the scene of his tireless activity. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 and 2: 'Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience'. He's described as the 'Prince of the power of the air'. After creation, as we've looked, he entered into the serpent - beautiful creature that it was - he beguiled Eve in the Garden by his subtlety, and he secured the downfall of Adam and indeed the downfall of the whole human race through Adam. Adam was made the manager of God's creation on earth, but Adam through his sin handed over the management and the jurisdiction to the Devil. Because of that this world system is the Devil's realm, this present world that we live in is organised upon Satan's principles, it is the bride that he tried to present to Christ in Matthew 4 in his temptation - a horrible bride, an adulterous generation of a bride, but it was all he had to offer!
He is the prince of this system, he's described in 2 Corinthians as the god of this world, and as the prince of the power of the air he is the head over all principalities and powers, all of the demonic kingdom and realm - he is the chief captain! Do I need to say to you tonight, as God's people, that just because of this we need to be separate from the world? Is that not plain enough? If this is the Devil's realm and the Devil's system? Is that not why James said to that church: 'Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God'. Are we flirting, are we courting with the world? We cannot, as God's people!
That's his activity geographically, his realm. Then there is his activity practically, and I call this his remit - what he does in this world. I've narrowed it down to two things, apart from all that we have already mentioned. There is execution and there is accusation. Execution, because to him - under God now, God permitted this - was committed the powers upon earth of death. Satan was given by God, or allowed to have I should say, by God the powers of death - and you can see that, if you don't believe me, from Hebrews 2:14. When Christ died and rose again he took away from Satan the power of death that he had. Execution, and then there is accusation, because although Satan was cast out of heaven, Satan still has access to heaven. Satan still has access into the presence of God, you can see that from Job chapter 1 - but he is called, in Revelation, the accuser of the brethren. He is the one who comes before God and sees your sins and accuses you of your sins in the presence of God. He has been permitted by God, for a short season, a power allowing him to sift or to test believers to make them stronger.
That is, practically, his remit. I want us in the closing moments of our meeting to look at the end of Lucifer's life story. We look at first of all, his final destiny in the Saviour's victory. We've gone very quickly over Lucifer's life story and his history from the beginning, to what he is doing now, and you could categorise it all and put the title over it all: 'Satan against the saints'. He is warring against God, and warring against God's people right throughout time. But my friends, I want you to see that there is another agenda in history, there is another plan and that is God's plan - and that is the plan that will prevail! In Genesis chapter 3 we see that plan being given birth, in verse 15 God said: 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel'. God promised, right in the beginning, a Saviour. That Saviour came, praise His name, and in Matthew's gospel we see His temptation, and He was the first man ever - now you listen to this carefully - who had nothing in Him to be attracted to the temptation of the Devil. Don't you think He could have fallen! There was nothing of the prince of darkness in Him! He defeated him, then He died, and in dying death He slew. Then He rose, and in rising He brought captivity captive and gave gifts to men. Before He rose He gave a glimpse of His present ministry when He told Peter: 'Peter, Satan hath desired to sift thee like wheat, but be of good cheer: I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not'.
Oh, praise God tonight, we have an Advocate - if any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous! 'He that commiteth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning; but for this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil'. We overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the power of our testimony. Oh, isn't it wonderful that in the Saviour's victory the Devil's destiny is sealed!
Finally, his destiny is also sealed in scripture's prophecy. I believe at this moment in time, as Satan has done in the past, he is trying to finally defeat the forces of God in the universe. He is trying to wreck the kingdom of God. All through time he has tried to do this through men, right back to Adam in the very beginning in the Garden, through to Cain who slew Abel, through to Nimrod who was a mighty hunter in the sight of God and an abomination to God, through the Pharaohs of Egypt, through the Herods - one in particular who tried to wipe out the line of Messiah. It was Satan's plan to get rid of God's seed! All those attempts failed, he has tried it through present day kings and leaders, and also in the past - to take the field, to conquer good and bring godlessness to reign on the earth. Down through time that's what he's been trying to do, to set the stage for a showdown between God and the forces of evil - and one day, and I believe very, very soon, God will allow him to take the stage. The church and the Holy Spirit's influence in the church will depart through the rapture, and the Devil and the Devil's man will take the stage. God will allow it! Do you know why God will allow it? So that there is a showdown, so that there is a grand finale, and so that He can finally put to an end the kingdom of Satan and set up the kingdom of God on the earth.
You don't need to look far tonight to see that the spirit of antichrist is already working as we speak. Very soon Satan will personify that spirit of antichrist in his man of sin. It's amazing, the parallels, isn't it? Just look at the King of Tyrus, a ruler controlled by the Devil, and there is a ruler coming to this world who too opposeth, exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Sure, we today can look ourselves at leaders and kings in our world, and we can even now perceive the promptings of Satan in their actions and in their politics. We despair at times, don't we? We ask the question: 'Why is there such unrighteousness in society? Why is there such injustice in the legal system, and corruption in the government?'. I'll tell you why: because the men that rule this world are only puppets in the hand of principalities, and powers, and minions of Satan.
If you looked at Daniel 10, we don't have time, but you see the man of God, Daniel, upon his knees in prayer for three full weeks - and then Gabriel, the angel of God, comes to him and brings the answer. But Gabriel tells him: 'You know, your prayer was answered the first day you were on your knees, but the Prince of Persia, the Kingdom of Persia, withstood the angel of the Lord'. Later on Daniel had to wrestle again with the Prince of Grecia - is there a better commentary to what we studied in the book of Ephesians not so long ago, chapter 6: 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places' - that's why we're to put on the whole armour of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil, those who work through wicked spirits in the heavenlies, the world rulers of this darkness - and it's already working!
One day soon Satan's anointed will come forth! Hallelujah, we'll not be here. The sad thing about it all is that some of our loved ones will. After seven years of tribulation where antichrist will be manifested, and the great tribulation of God's wrath will pour upon this earth in all of its ferocity, there will be the battle of Armageddon - and that battle of Armageddon will be the battle between the seed of the Serpent, antichrist, and the seed of the woman, Jesus Christ! Hallelujah, then the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, that antichrist!
I've got to do it, we can't go home without looking at Revelation 19. If you want to go home you can - Revelation 19 verse 17, and let this rejoice your heart my friend, this is his destiny: 'I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army', that's the Lord Jesus, 'And the beast', the antichrist, 'was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone' - hallelujah!
Verse 1 of chapter 20 says again: 'I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season'. Listen: at that moment, then shall the end be of this world system - finished! There will usher in a thousand year reign of Christ on the earth, and at the end of those thousand years there will be a final ditch effort of the Devil to overthrow God. And when the thousand years were passed, verse 10 of chapter 20: 'The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever'.
Do you want to hear something? 'Then they shall know that I am the Lord'. Do you remember the two demons in the two possessed people of the Gadarenes, where the Lord spoke to them, do you remember what they said? They cried out saying: 'What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?'. Satan, your time is almost up! Glory to God! His doom is sealed, his last chapter is written, and the word of God has blown his cover! My friends, forsake the world tonight for it's for the fire, and turn to the cause of Christ and the cross!
Lord Jesus, we worship Thee as the King of kings and Lord of lords - the Victor, the Captain of our salvation, but the soon coming Deliverer of Israel and of this world. We bless Thee that Thou wilt reign, Satan will be bound - and, Lord, sin will no longer reign in mortal bodies, in our mortal bodies at least. There is a day coming when a new heaven and a new earth will be ushered in, and we will be with Christ. We can say, down here, that will be far better. Amen.
Preach The Word
This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the eighteenth tape in his Ezekiel series, titled "Lucifer's Life Story" - Transcribed by Preach The Word.
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