Fallen – His Fall #5

Devils and Demons | Flawless to Lawless
John Carter | Director of Finance & HR

The concept of the fall is real as the title expresses, going from a flawless state to lawlessness.   In Genesis 1 we see that God created all things and God saw that it was very good. We were made flawless, but guess who else was made and created a flawless being, the devil. Yeah, shocking to consider that Satan, the devil, Lucifer, was once a perfect creature made by God. So the question is, “What went wrong?”

Ezekiel 28: 12-15 gives a description of the King of Tyre that spiritually represents a description of the devil.  One of the key clues to this is provided with the description in verses 13-14.

“Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.”

These are obviously not descriptions fitting to any earthly human king.  The subject of who the King of Tyre is involved a much deeper study than available in this context. Some believe he was possessed by the devil; others say he is the devil. I want to focus on fundamental concepts that describe what happened with the devil. Let’s focus on what went wrong with the devil.

Verse 15 of Ezekiel states “you were blameless (or flawless) from the day you were created, till unrighteousness (or sin) was found in you.”  As you continue in the Scripture to verse 17, you can see why sin was found in him.

“Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.”

“Your heart was proud because of your beauty.”  The devil’s first mistake was the sin of pride. God’s response to sin can be seen as a depiction of the fall when He says, “I cast you to the ground.” We see here that pride was a big issue involved in the devil’s fall. You might be thinking that this is an interesting topic, but how does this relate to me? You might say things like, “I am not the devil.  I know he is the “bad guy.”  What does this event have anything to do with me?”

As I was studying this topic, I felt like I was being led to 1 John 3. Verse 4 says, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness.  Sin is lawlessness.” When we sin, we are lawless. The passage continues in verses 7-10, we are given a warning not to be deceived. 

“Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”

The story of the devil is not that different than the fall of the human race, as recorded in Genesis 3.  We were made flawless, lived in a flawless environment, but our pride made us think we knew better than God.  In fact, we thought we could be God, the same as the devil thought.

So to the question, why does understanding the fall matter?  Well, the fall matters because it helps us to understand the history of how we went wrong.  If we cannot identify the problem, then we cannot see an effective solution to the problem. 

As we saw at the end of verse 8, the reason Jesus Christ came was to destroy the works of the devil.  This means that we have hope!  Yes, we gave up flawlessness for lawlessness.  How dumb are we?  So let us learn from it and not let our pride keep us from recognizing who Jesus Christ is and that He came to give us a flawless solution. What will you choose? A Flawless Jesus Christ or your lawless pride?

The very first verse of 1 John Chapter 3 says this, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”  This is the hope part of the Gospel, the part that helps us understand the flawless gift the Father sent in his Son. It seems crazy when we look back at the fall that someone would give up perfection to live out their lawless prideful living. Why on earth did Adam and Eve trade out paradise for disobedience? Seems totally crazy right? The fact is God has given us another Perfect, Flawless solution to our first mistake. His name is Jesus Christ, yet there are some who instead of humbling themselves and recognizing who Christ is, they would choose to live in lawlessness.  The fall is important because it is a history lesson, and as the saying of Edmund Burke goes, “Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.”

Fallen – His Fall #4

Devils and Demons | Pride Bad; Humility Good
Wes McCullough | Worship Leader

No one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Therefore, every person is at risk of becoming prideful. You should be proud of yourself, giving thanks to God in the process, but be careful, the Bible has some strong words about pride.

We have all heard the familiar phrase, “Pride comes before the fall.” Not surprisingly, these wise words come from Proverbs. No one in history experienced this principle so literally and more severely than Satan. He was once on the holy mountain of God and was described as the Day Star, perfect in beauty and blameless, but he became filled with pride and desired to overthrow God, so God cast him out of Heaven. 

Let us look at the ancient Israelites and learn from their repeated failure at humility. For forty years they wandered in the desert while God stripped them of their pride. Only when they embraced humility and a reliance on their Heavenly Provider did they settle into the homeland God had promised. It is too bad they could not remember this lesson. Their struggle with the pride/humility concept continually led to war, exile, and captivity. Like before, it took a long time for them to learn a simple concept; pride bad, humility good.

If pride is on one end of the spectrum humility is on the other end. Satan’s refusal to humble himself cost him everything. The Bible is very clear on how God feels about pride and humility:

“For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.” – Psalm 18:27

“The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.”Psalm 147:6

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10

These few examples give us clear instructions on how we should conduct ourselves if we seek to please God and desire His favor in our lives.

God is the Creator, the Provider, the Sustainer and we have nothing, are nothing without Him.

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

Fallen – His Fall #3

Devils and Demons | Ya’ Missed It
Pastor Ryan Story | Student Pastor

Take some time today to read Luke 10, specifically the sending of the 72 and the return of the 72. This is a great portion of Scripture where Jesus instructs His followers to go into towns and preach the Gospel. It is amazing to read about “ordinary people” who had the faith to follow Jesus and live out what He commands. However, there is a tragedy in these verses. When the 72 returned, they almost seemed to miss something. There is a scary correlation between the disciples and Satan. 

Luke 10:17-20 reads:
“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’ 
And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’”

When the disciples came back to Jesus to report, they were full of joy to tell Jesus what they had just done. Imagine how excited they were to tell Jesus that because of His name they were able to do miraculous deeds! And even Jesus agrees saying He saw Satan fall from the sky like a bolt of lightning. Jesus seeing Satan fall is an attribute that Jesus has, since Jesus is God, the ability to see past, present, and future. For all you deep Bible people, feel free to read about the idea of prophetic perfect. So when Jesus sees Satan fall, He is seeing Himself cast him out of Heaven, his fall because the disciples were beginning to work for the Kingdom of God and Satan’s final fall. Jesus does a good job to affirm the disciples with saying that He is, in fact, their power, but then Jesus drops a truth bomb, “Do not rejoice in this (that they have power over the enemy) that the spirits are subject to you.” Jesus turns around and brings the 72 back to reality in those few words. Jesus then reminds them to make sure they rejoice because their names are written in Heaven.

Many times in our Christian walk we struggle with a thing called pride. Pride can manifest itself in hundreds of ways. Some pride is self-centered while other forms are self-loathing. Pride can look like a person who is always craving to be in control or a person who cannot cease from talking about what they have accomplished. Pride is the scariest sin because it is the exact reason Satan got cast from Heaven. While Jesus most likely was proud of the 72 people He sent out because of their work, they quickly tainted the whole “living for Jesus thing” by showing that they were more proud of the work they did, than the reason why they were working. No Christ follower should be doing ministry so they look good, they should do it because they are motivated by “your name is written in Heaven.”

So where has Jesus sent you? For some of us it is our schools or workplaces. Are you working for Jesus to look good and get recognition from others? Or are you working because He sent you in, to preach the Good News of Christ?   

Fallen – His Fall #2

Devils and Demons | Warning: Falling Objects
Philip Piasecki | Worship Leader

When we think of the devil, we envision a crazy looking monster with horns and a pitchfork. I am sure we have all seen the drawings, he always has a tail, and sometimes is even wearing a cape! However, these pictures we have in our heads are very inaccurate. We see in Scripture that Satan was a beautiful and brilliant angel. He began his existence in Heaven with Christ, only to be cast out due to his pride. We find the following account in Scripture:

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you” (Isaiah 14:12-16).

We see here that Satan desired to make himself like Christ, his ambition was only to make himself greater. This desire leads to him being cast out of Heaven and to be removed from the very presence of God. When I read this account in Scripture, it boggles my mind. Satan was one of God’s angels, living in the perfection of Heaven, in the presence of God! Why would he desire anything else? However, after thinking more about this, I realized that this is something each of us does every single day. All of us behave in ways that say to God “we want to be our own gods.” We all have times in our lives where we are so prideful in who we are, that we lose complete sight of who God is. We are warned against this type of behavior in Proverbs:

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

I believe that the word “fall” was specifically used for a reason in this Proverb. It points us back to the fall of Satan and the fall of Adam and Eve. The fall of Satan can be directly tied to his pride, and pride in our lives can lead to our fall in the same way. We have the daily opportunity to live in awe of the glory of Christ, to truly have His presence felt in our lives, yet so many of us substitute that in place of our glory. Living a life in search of our pride and glory cannot even begin to compare to the alternative. Christ wants us to fellowship with Him daily. We were created to spend our lives dwelling in Christ! We cannot view the fall of Satan as just a historical tale; we must consider it as a warning for our lives. Do not let pride or your glory cause you to miss out on the life God created you to experience.

Fallen – His Fall #1

Devils and Demons – Pride Before the Fall
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader & Young Adults Director

The fall of Satan was because of pride. Satan believed himself to be greater or could be higher than God. His pride caused him to be cast out of heaven. 1 Timothy 3:6 says, “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.”  The devil still uses that same pride to cause believers to fall.

I remember as a teenager being super proud of myself the first time I beat my dad in shooting pool (billiards). He usually would beat me pretty easily. He became superb at pool when he was a kid. His father bought him a pool table, not so he could enjoy it, but so he could teach my dad to get excellent and then hustle people at the bar. So needless to say, my dad became superb at pool and did not lose his skill as he got older. He would try and teach me tools and trick of the game, but I was not an excellent listener and never got very good.  But I did have one motivating factor. I hate to lose. I refused to let my dad beat me over and over again. I would go down in the basement after school or when my dad was not home and practice. My hate of losing drove me to practice more and more. My pool game was slowing getting better. I was also building up the courage to challenge the master (my dad) again.

One night at dinner I felt confident enough to challenge my dad to a game. He agreed, and after we had eaten, we went down to the pool table. I racked the balls because the loser always racks. He broke and began probably the worst game he ever played in his life. I, on the other hand, was on fire (even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile). I made it quick and beat my dad for the first time. I began to gloat and tell my dad his reign of terror was over.  I had become the best pool player in the house. He asked me if I wanted to play again after I had finished my winner’s speech that I may have or not had written on some note cards and had been preparing for a month (I had a lot of free time apparently). So my dad racked the balls (because HE LOST). He then seemed to have a laser-like focus the likes of which I had never seen him play with before. He beat me the next five games easily, and I went back to my old job of racking the balls and learning.

The Bible has a funny way of telling you sometimes exactly what you need to hear.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

I let my pride get the best of me. I won one time and thought I had arrived. Then my pride quickly was smashed and crushed into tiny pieces (and used as pool stick chalk).

I know this is a funny story of pride. But this is us in our lives. I believe the Devil loves to convince us that we do not need God and we can do it on our own. We begin to think of ourselves as self-sufficient and capable of doing it all on our own. We get prideful, and quickly we are knocked off our high horse.  I am not saying being proud of accomplishments are bad. But the key is giving glory to God for that achievement. All good things are from the Lord.

Remember: “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).

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