The Devil - His Story: Pride and His Fall

The Devil - His Story: Pride and His Fall [TRANSCRIPT]

Genesis 3:1 says,
Now the serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which the LORD God had made.
Ezekiel 28:13 says,
You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.
In Ezekiel 28:14-15 the Bible tells us,
You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.
In Isaiah 14:12-15  we find this,
How you have fallen from heaven, You star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who defeated the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be brought down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.
Revelation 12:9 reveals this concerning the enemy,
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

In a few brief scripture passages, the Bible describes some of the information concerning our enemy and adversary. This character has written himself large into the history of mankind. But more importantly, we need to understand that his self-assessment is larger than the reality of where he has placed himself and all who believe the lying deception that he has hoisted upon creation. Today, I want to begin to look at this malevolent character, understand his end and why it matters.

***

You’ve probably heard this before, but it bears repeating. Someone once said that there are two errors or perspectives that can occur when dealing with the topic of the Devil. The first is to view the Devil as some mythical character dressed in a red suit, horns and a pointy tale. This perspective makes him into a caricature to be wholly disregarded or laughed at. At the other end of the spectrum is to be so engrossed with him and his minions that we see him behind every rock and incident. With this perspective, the dark and the evil world takes up an inordinate place in our time and our thinking.

Let me first state this though, the Devil is real. The Bible does not treat him as a psychological archetype, a myth, or a figment of people’s fears. In this study on Deception I’ve made it clear, he is our enemy. He is a malevolent being that is substantive and is in opposition to God and His people. And if we’re going to understand deception, we first must know what God has revealed of this deceiver.

Now, it’s very interesting when you sort through the information that you can find about the Devil these days. Now, the reason I say this is because you can actually find a lot in the culture and different media, from media forms, from books, movies, testimonials and groups engrossed on this topic. If these are the only sources someone looked at, a person could either end up laughing at the Devil, or an idea of the devil or liking him or terrified by him.

But, what I want us to understand and know is what the Scripture tells us. Compared to a lot of topics, what I’ve discovered is that there is not a systematized dealing with this character. Now, don’t get me wrong. As God’s adversary, he is most certainly at work in the whole story in Scripture from beginning the end. But, there’s really not a lot about his story. And there’s a reason for that. You see, while he is seeking to be the main show of the universe, he’s not. God is the Main Character. Ok?

It's like a movie storyline and it’s about this couple and their life and love and the struggles during World War II. The war and all the characters in war are in the background. They may get mentioned here and there but only as they impact the main story. But the main story centers on these main characters. That’s where the main focus is.

The Main Character of the drama of reality is God. History is His Story. And what we find in His revelation, the Scriptures, is His work, His movement, and His salvation of mankind and creation. The devil plays a part in that story, but he is not the leading character. That’s why you have heard me say that the Devil’s lies and deception are first and foremost against the Main Character, which is God.

So, let’s look at this evil being that we know as the Devil. He is called Satan. The name simply means, Adversary. The word in Hebrew comes from a root that means “to lie in wait.” You remember, cunning? He was intentional. In the New Testament his name Satan, Satanas, again simply points and means adversary. He has made himself the opponent, the challenger of God and all of His work.

He is also known as the Devil, diabolos, in the Greek. That name can be translated again adversary or accuser. This should give you a glimpse of who he is.

Now, besides those two principal names, he is also described in multiple places. Am I’m showing you all the different Scriptures: He’s called
The Tempter (Matt. 4:5; 1 Thess. 3:5);
Beelzebub (Matt. 12:24) which means dung god or lord of the flies
Enemy in (Matt. 13:39);
Evil One in (Matt. 13:19, Matt. 13:38; 1 Jn. 2:13,14; 1 Jn. 3:12; 1 Jn. 5:18);
Belial (2 Cor. 6:15) means worthless one;                        
Adversary in (1 Pet. 5:8);
Deceiver (literally “the one who deceives”) (Rev. 12:9);
Dragon (Great) (Rev 12:3);                                   
Father of Lies (John 8:44);
Murderer (John 8:44);                                                       
Sinner (1 Jn. 3:8)  

Are you getting the picture? It’s not exactly a commendable resume. This is our enemy. This should help you understand what Jesus said in John 8:44.
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

I recall 1 John 1:5 when it says, “This is the message we have heard from Him (God) and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” And what did Jesus say of the Devil? “there is no truth in him.” He is a marketer of lies because he is a liar.

Now, he wasn’t always this way. Ezek. 28:13 describes him.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.

God’s prophet uses the King of Tyre in this passage as a picture of the one who declares god status for himself. But the picture is very clear. It points to the origin of such deception in the One who first claimed this for himself.

He was there in the beginning in the Garden of God clothed in beauty. But like the garden itself, all creation, he himself is a created being. He had a beginning. He is not God.

But what happened? Well, the story continues. In Ezek. 28:14-15 the Bible says,
You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.

He had a position of prominence, “anointed cherub who covers.” Here is a picture of a creature who spreads out a covering in the place of distinction before God. God placed him there in the location that is singular in all existence. And he was “blameless,” as you would expect for anyone who would be in such proximity to Holy God Himself.

And there he was… “until unrighteousness was found in him.” Something went wrong. Something un-right appeared or occurred in him. What was it? Isa. 14:12-14 tells us.
How you have fallen from heaven, you star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who defeated the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

Like before, God’s prophet speaks to a prideful king, this time the one of Babylon, who makes himself like God. And here again is the picture of a fallen one who dared to challenge God for the position that alone possesses. And it belongs to the True and the Living God.

The pride-filled heart of our enemy tempts with the very same enticement that he himself dared to seize. He said, “You said in your heart.” There it is. From within him springs a desire to grasp what belongs to God alone. “I will ascend…I will raise my throne…I will sit…I will make myself like the Most High!”

You can almost hear him shouting it out. I will control my destiny! I will call the shots! No one tells me!

Do you see it? Does it sound familiar?

Here in the presence of the True and Living God he makes such a claim. Control, it’s an illusion. It’s a self-deception. It’s dangerous.

God finished the story of the Devil and all others who walk down a similar path. In verse 15 it says, “Nevertheless you will be brought down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.” It never ends well when someone chooses to walk down the path of pridefully seeking to stand in the place that belongs to God, to claim or seek to possess what is God’s alone has.

Don’t take my word for it. You go to the end of the Book. In Rev. 12:9 it says real clearly.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Then later in the Book in Rev. 20:10.
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Such is the rise and fall of all who perceive themselves as great and godlike before the True and the Living God. The characters may change but the story stays the same. From men to angels, there is only one who reigns, who declares what is truth.

You see, we live in a world that’s under the grips of a wicked and prideful enemy. And he has fallen far from his first estate. We are not told what he did to tempt those angels who like him rebelled from the heights of glory. But you know, there’s no reason to doubt that it’s the very same thing that caused him to fall. It’s what the enemy used in the Garden. It’s what he continues to use as he tempts people today. Understand this, while autonomy is greatly admired and desired here on earth. It is open rebellion in heaven.

I think I’ve mentioned it before. There’s a principle in story that certainly applies here. The principle simply says this, “It is a fatal error to be on the wrong side of the hero at the end of the story.”

God is the Hero of the story. It is His story. And we are told this in James 4:6, “He is opposed to proud, but He gives grace to the humble.

Grace from God is what we need. The writer finishes the thought in verse 10. “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

The Devil deceives with the Lie. God tells us the truth.
Do not be deceived. Choose the path that God provides.
It is important. To do otherwise is dangerous.
This is the truth.
And it’s the Truth that matters.

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