The Villain of Revelation, Pt. 1

Scripture: Revelation 12:9, Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:12-19
Date: 02/19/2017 
If God's in charge – if God is all-powerful – why did God make an angel that even could become a devil? Part 1 of 2

Did God Create the Devil? - Paperback or Digital (PDF)

Did God Create the Devil? - Paperback or Digital (PDF)
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Many legends and stories from around the world talk about flying dragons, and some may even contain a kernel of truth. Paleontologists have discovered the fossilized bones of giant flying reptiles called pterosaurs, or winged lizards. They've got long, thin beaks, boney crests on their head - the largest pterosaurs weighed over 500 pounds and had a wing span of nearly 40 feet. That's like a small Cessna airplane. Pterosaurs had necks that were up to ten feet long and their legs up to seven feet long. To someone watching from the ground, the legs trailing behind a flying pterosaur might have looked like a flying dragon with a pointed tail. Some pterosaurs may have even survived the flood. In the fifth century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote about winged serpents in Arabia.

Friends, we know of at least one dragon that exists today, the dragon is also known as the devil. While some people think he's just a religious legend, scripture insists that he is very real and determined to deceive as many as possible. So join me, today, as we take a closer look at this enemy, the one the Bible reveals to be the notorious dragon of Revelation.

I don't know if you remember this notorious character from Medellin, Colombia. I did a series of meetings in Colombia, and he was something of a hero there-- Pablo Escobar. He was the largest drug dealer in history. And, at one time - matter of fact, I've got a few amazing facts here - I don't want to forget them, so I’m going to read some of these things to you. At one time he was believed to be the richest man in the world. He had, back then, 30 billion dollars. By today's standards it would have been over 50 billion dollars. In the 80s, the demand was so high that, at one point, Pablo Escobar and his Medellin cartel, selling mostly cocaine, was delivering 15 tons of cocaine to the U.S. each day. That's the equivalent of two African elephants - of cocaine. During this zenith of the drug trade, he was making 60 million dollars a day in cocaine --selling cocaine.

In fact, I was reading that he had so much cash - he spent over two thousand dollars a month on rubber bands to bundle the cash. He had so much cash hoarded away in tropical barns that he figured he lost 2 million dollars a year to rats that nibbled away - and mold - molding money. He owned 5,000 acres of land near a small Colombian town where he built a little utopia - 20-room mansion - where he'd invite - he'd just pay and he'd have great musicians and people from around the world coming. He had his own bullring - his own zoo with hippos, giraffes, and elephants. In all, it's said that he's responsible for approximately 4,000 deaths, including judges and a Colombian presidential candidate.

But he was never satisfied with all that money and that power. He wanted to be loved by the people. He wanted to be president of the country, if you can imagine that. And he started giving money to all these poor villages and for schools and public works. He couldn't spend his money fast enough. And they all loved him. They thought he was a hero - not all - many people loved him. He ran for congress and got elected, but he wasn't satisfied. He wanted more power and he wanted more and he wanted more and when some of the other people in politics started to investigate him more carefully, he had them killed. And he had a saying, 'Money - silver - or do you want bullets - lead?' and he gave everybody the choice. He says, 'I'll either pay you and you can cooperate and go along with me, or you're dead.' and when judges began to investigate him or people were going to testify against him, suddenly they ended up dying. When someone else was running against him, they were assassinated. And - 4,000 murders - wasn't happy - more, more, more.

Well, you know, it reminds us of the character that probably inspired people like Escobar - some of these individuals like Hitler and Stalin that just are - have an insatiable desire to be the greatest, to have more power, to have more money. And it reminds us about the origin of that arch fiend that we read about in the Bible. Dealing with the villain of Revelation - in fact, he's the villain of the whole Bible - better known as the devil.

First question we're going to ask tonight is, 'With whom did sin originate? You know, Jesus came to save us from our sins. Why is there sin in the world? If God made everything good, why do we sin? Where did sin come from? People sometimes say, 'Who had the first cold?' 'Who had the first case of aids?' Where do these things come from? It's like a mystery. Well, the Bible gives us these answers. You can read in Revelation 12, verse 9 - it refers to him as "That old serpent, called the devil and Satan." and so, here he is called 'the serpent', he's called 'the devil,' he called 'Satan,' and he's also called 'the dragon.' and so, Satan originated, believe it or not, not here on Eiarth, but up in heaven.

The Bible says 'the devil sinneth from the beginning.' sin originated with Satan. Satan is that arch fiend. He is very real. I believe that not only does God send good angels to our meetings, I believe the devil tries to send representatives to distract and keep people from hearing the word. There are battles that are raging. Paul talks about us not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. There is a God. There are good angels. And there is a devil - there is an evil power in the world. I think, as you look at what's happened in history, you'd have to say that there is evil. You look at what some terrorists do or they put a person in a cage and douse them with gasoline and videotape as they set them on fire - that is just incarnate evil.

One of the reasons that people turn to God is, they say, 'You know, I wasn't so sure about God, but when I became convinced that there was absolute evil, then I thought, 'There must be good. There must be God.'


>>And we can certainly see the evidence for evil in the world. So what was Satan's name before he sinned? And where was he living at that time? Two of the principle passages in the Old Testament that tell us about the devil - you can find a little bit about him, of course, in Genesis, but he's not called by name. You go to Isaiah 14 and Isaiah begins with a prophecy about the king of Babylon and then he transitions into the power behind that wicked king. "How you are fallen from Heaven, o Lucifer, son of the morning!" - the word 'Lucifer' - it means 'light bearer' - it's really a Latin word. In Hebrew it's more like 'heliel' - it means 'the morning star' - "How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you said in your heart, 'I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high.' you can tell that he had 'I' problems. (laughter)

I,I, I - you know, I've heard that people in mental institutions use the words 'I,' 'me,' 'my,' 'mine,' and 'myself' five times more than people that are regarded as sane. Selfishness will make you crazy. And the very idea that the creature could rebel against the Creator, to you and I it sounds insane but, somehow, he thought he could have enough power to overthrow God. And, don't forget, Lucifer was very powerful - "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper," - he was beautifully adorned - the highest of God's angels - "the sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes" - those are beautiful instruments - he had a beautiful voice - incredible musical talent. And the devil does use music - "was prepared for you on the day you were created" - not born. People are born. Adam was created. Angels are created, they're not born.

So it's talking about a created being that was in the garden of God - "You are the anointed cherub" - now, is there any doubt who he's talking about? He was a cherub. He was a special, chosen cherub - "The one above all others, an angel who covers; I established you so. You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created till iniquity was found in you." So, did God make a devil? Every good and perfect gift is from God. Did God make a devil?


>>Or did God make a beautiful angel who decided to be a devil?


>>How many of you have known families - wonderful family - good mother, good father - have several children and one of them just turns into a wild child and can be evil? And you think - same family - good brothers and sisters, but this one made choices. And God is a good father.


>>And you're probably thinking, 'Well, maybe the Lord made a mistake, huh?' Number 3, what was the origin of Lucifer and what was his position? We're going to elaborate a little more on what I touched on. It says "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." The angels are the highest order of God. They are the ministering spirits of God. The Bible even says, 'Man is made lower than the angels.' Lucifer was the highest of the angels and, if these are the ministering spirits of God, that means Lucifer may have been one of the earliest creations of God - the leader of the angels - incredibly beautiful - big, powerful. Don't underestimate the power of the devil. At one point, God released His protection from Job and He told the devil, 'Alright, I’m going to let you afflict him.' The Bible says the devil brought fire down from Heaven. The devil sent a hurr - sent a tornado to kill his children when a house collapsed. All these calamities came. Satan had incredible power over these forces. I don't want to glorify the power of the devil, but you need to also understand your enemy, and so just to be aware of these things. “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created until iniquity was found in you. You were the anointed cherub who covers" - the covering cherub - "I established you." Some of you remember the story about the ark of the covenant, and the ark of the covenant is a symbol for the throne of God. And, there on the ark, there were two creatures. What were they?


>>Angels - cherubs - well, two of them. There were called covering cherubs. If you read in Isaiah chapter 6, it talks about the throne of God and, by the throne of God, are these two seraphim - these two angels - and they cry 'Holy, holy, holy' and they've got six wings and with two wings they cover their face and two they cover their feet, and two they - they fly and they're the right and left-hand position of God almighty - the most highly regarded position are these two angels. I don't know if you've ever noticed, when the pope sits on his throne - he has a throne there in St. Peter's and, every now and then, he'll sit on his throne - that there are two angels on the right and the left. Have any of you ever seen that before? That harkens from that chapter there in the Bible where it talks about Isaiah. Lucifer had the highest position right at the right hand of God and he fell.

>>Doug: Don't go anywhere, friends. We're coming back in just a moment to complete today's presentation. Have you ever wondered before if God is loving, if God is good, why would He make a devil? Well, we have a special study guide we'd like to send you for free by the same title, "Did God Create a Devil?" In this beautifully illustrated and scripture-filled resource, we'll address the very important questions regarding the origin of evil. Where did the devil come from? Why did Lucifer rebel? How did he turn into Satan and the devil? And more importantly, how can you have victory over his temptations? To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen and ask for offer number 107 or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Well, let's get back now to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the Word of God.

>>Now we don't know how long he was a good and a cooperative and a loving angel. And, if you would have known him back then, you would have loved him because everything God makes is good. The Bible says 'Every good gift' - if you want to know what God's intentions are, look in the Garden of Eden. When God made this world - every day, when He creates something, what does He declare?

>>It's good.

>>It's always good. It was good. It was good. It was good, good, very good. It was a paradise. And, do you think he had less going on in Heaven? Everything God made was good. There was perfect harmony. How long did that last? I don't know. Lucifer might have been on the right track for millions of years - no way of knowing right now. But something happened. He became dissatisfied. He began to be jealous of the honor and the worship and adoration that Jesus received from the other creatures - Christ, before His incarnation - and he wanted that position. And he began to resent that God was worshiped. He started to resent that God had rules and laws. He started thinking, 'We shouldn't - we're intelligent angels, we don't need God telling us what to do. I should be able to have that kind of power. Why can't I have the power to create?' He may have resented when God was making the world because, you know, humans can procreate in their own image. We're made in the image of God. God creates in His own image; we create, through an act of love, in our own image. Angels can't do that. You know, Jesus said angels don't marry and they can't procreate.

And so, he began to resent that he didn't have all the power of God. And he started to want the position of Christ. And he began to start a campaign to take that. Now, while - I want you to do something for me. Just for a moment I want you to close your eyes and just picture - what would the devil look like? Now, don't think too long about that. (laughter) what did you see? How many of you saw a character with a goatee? Any of you picture a character that had red? Red leotards? Anyone, when - how many of you have seen images of the devil? Horns? Pitchfork? Bat wings? He's not batman but he's got bat wings. Do these images come from the Bible? Now the devil's happy - you know, you buy a can of red devil paint or you get devil's food cake and it's always got the typical, traditional cartoon character of what the devil looks like, but Satan isn't a joke, he's very real. He's delighted to have people think that he looks like this mythical, comical character. In reality, does Satan look like that? Or does the Bible say Satan, himself, can be transformed from an angel of light? He's beautiful.


>>Yeah, into an angel of light - that's 2 Corinthians chapter 11. We'll talk more about that. So what led him to sin? You read, again, in Ezekiel 28:17, "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. For you have said in your heart, 'I will ascend into heaven...I will be like the most high.'" his power - you ever hear the expression 'power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely'? And not only does power corrupt, but sometimes people, if they're blessed with money, they can be corrupted by it. Some people are blessed with popularity. Some people are blessed with handsome or beautiful appearance and they can become preoccupied. The devil, because he received so much praise and so much adoration from the other angels, he began to want it all. He started to resent that Jesus was above him.

You know, it's interesting. A kid will be happy if you take them to Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors and you get them a double scoop of ice cream. They're happy until you give their brother or sister a triple scoop. (laughter) Isn't that right? What's wrong with us? There's something - this jealousy - this resentment - and he began to covet the position of God. "For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven...I will be like the most high.'" - 'I want to be God.' and so, he began a campaign. He realized he had to work subtly and he began to circulate among the other unfallen angels in Heaven. Well, none of them were fallen at that point. And he began to create innuendo and doubts about God. And, you know, 'We don't need God telling us. We should all be our own gods. And He should give us the ability to create. And we're right next to God, why doesn't He give us more glory? And why don't we get worshipped by the other unfallen worlds?'

And Lucifer began to just sow seeds of questions and doubt. And he is the master at it. He was brilliant. He had supernatural intelligence that you and I cannot even comprehend and he began to bend all of his energies to see if he could - he thought, 'If I could get all of the power of these billions of angels on my side, we could even overthrow God.' I know, it sounds crazy to us, but that's what he did. He began a rebellion in Heaven and one-third of the angels started listening to him. You know, you can read there in Proverbs chapter 6, verses 16 through 19, it says, "These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him; a proud look," - first - "a lying tongue,' - the devil started with pride - "a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." Notice the part that he mentions with - the seventh - 'one who sows discord among brethren.' What did Lucifer do? He started with pride and ended up sowing discord in Heaven. It finally turned into an open rebellion and they were finally cast out.

Now, before I get to that part, some of you might be wondering, 'Pastor Doug,' - alright, let's ask the most important question: 'If God's in charge - if God is all-powerful, why would He put up with that? If something - if Lucifer started to misbehave like that then, obviously, God did something wrong in the programming - there was a software problem. God got the wiring wrong. There was a defect somewhere in Lucifer. If there was no defect he never would have done that. Why would God make an angel that even could become a devil? Why didn't He just take a different pattern off the wall and say, 'I’m going to make one that will never become a devil' - and you and I wouldn't have all the problems that we have in the world today or in our lives. Lord, why did You do that?' Did God make a mistake?


>>Could God have made Lucifer where he never rebelled? Yes. Why didn't He? Because God gives all of His creatures freedom. The greatest proof that God is a God of love is the fact that some of the creatures chose not to love Him. How many of you are parents? Did you know that before you had children there was a risk that your children might not always listen to you?


>>And you still had them, right? Let me see if - how many of you want to be loved? Did any of you have children because you wanted love? You got a surprise, didn't you? Some of you had children because you wanted to love. You know, I just - I always laugh when I see these young couples and the girl gets that look in her eyes and she says, 'I want a baby.' (laughter) it just totally is like - they don't realize they don't stay that way, you know? It remind me of when my kids say, 'I want a puppy.' It'll be a puppy for about a month and then they get to a big dog. But we have our families, we get our pets, we do this because we want love. We want to be loved. But there's a risk when you want love. Now, I want love, just like you. I will admit I like to be liked more than I like to be disliked. And I figured out a way where I can get more love. It came with my smart phone.

>>(Pastor Doug's recorded voice) 'Good evening, Pastor Doug.

>>Good evening, smart phone.

>>'How are you doing this fine evening?'

>>I’m doing fine, how are you?

>>'Well, my batteries are almost fully charged, so I guess you could say I’m fine.'

>>We're glad to hear that.

>>'Pastor Doug, I want to tell you something.'

>>Yes, smart phone?

>>'I just haven't told you lately how wonderful you truly are. (laughter) Wow, you even border on magnificent. Matter of fact, you're beautiful, you're handsome, you're tall, you're smart. I love you, Doug. I just have to tell you, I really love you. I love you so much. I love you, love you, love you. I just adore you. You are so cute. I love you, Doug. I love you, Doug.' (laughter)

>>I should be able to patent that and make a lot of money, right? (laughter) it's just everyone wants love, there you've got it. I've got a smart phone that says it loves me. Why won't this work? Is that love?


>>Because I made it say it loves me. It doesn't love me. So, could God pre-program Lucifer to say, 'I love you, God. I love you, God. I love you God.'? Sure. Would it have been love?


>>The fact that He had to make His creatures free illustrates that there's a choice that some might choose not to love Him. And He didn't completely obliterate Lucifer as soon as he rebelled because then the other creatures in the universe would have listened to God out of fear instead of out of love. God wants us to obey him because we love Him, amen?


>>So what happened as a consequence of Lucifer's rebellion in Heaven? Finally it broke out into a war. And the words 'war in Heaven,' they're a paradox, but that's what it says in Revelation chapter 12, verse 7, "And war broke out in Heaven: Michael and His angels fought with the dragon:" - a dragon's a symbolic name for who? The devil - "and the dragon...fought," - against Michael - and it says, "but they did not prevail." They were, ultimately, cast out. But where did they go from there? Where is Satan's present headquarters as he continues his rebellion against God? Where did the devil go as his beachhead? And you know –


>>Yeah, he came down here. I just probably ought to pause here and ask what was used in that battle? What do angels use? Do they use guns? I mean, we tried to illustrate this in a Final Events DVD - or Cosmic Conflict DVD - any of you ever see that?


>>And we didn't know what to do and so the producer got some light sabers. We didn't know - what do you angels use? (laughter) There was, actually, a verse in the Bible where it talks about an angel over Jerusalem with a sword and so we said the only weapons we ever see these angels with are swords. So we didn't know what to do. But I doubt they used weapons like we do here, because they're spiritual creatures. But there was some tremendous conflict. And, finally, they were evicted - expelled - from Heaven. So, where did he go? He went all through the universe, probably, trying to find others he could recruit to join him, until he came to this world and he finally found someone. And you can read in Revelation 12:4, "His tail drew a third of the stars" - who do those stars represent?


>>The angels that joined him in his rebellion. Out of all the angels, what percent joined Lucifer?


>>One-third. That's a lot. If God's got good angels that guard us. The devil probably has demons that tempt us. Some of you maybe read C.S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters where he talks about the way that the devil is always trying to work and connive to bring about people's downfall and how God intervenes to save. He cast them to the Earth. So he came down here. And, again, you can read in Revelation 12, verse 9, "So that great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world." Satan claims this world is his. "He was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him." There's no question - Satan - and he's not down under the earth somewhere.

Remember, when the devil came before this heavenly assembly, in the book of Job, God says to Satan, 'Where did you come from?' - God knew, but He's asking for the benefit of the other attendees at this convention. And he says, 'I've come from the earth, from walking up and down and back and forth in the earth. It's my domain.' He's saying, 'I survey it.' So Satan has set up his headquarters here. Christ refers to him as the prince of this world. Even the - Jesus - and Satan once claimed he could offer the world to Jesus because he claims it as his. He deceives the whole world. Most of the world doesn't accept Christ. Broad is the way that leads to destruction. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life - few find it. The devil has deceived most of the people and it's very sad.

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