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The Cosmic Crash; The Eternal Burn - Isaiah 14:12-17

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One of the starkest truths we find in the Bible is its brutal honesty—it never flatters its heroes, and it never glosses over its villains. It presents the flaws, foibles, and failures of people in every generation. Just as Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Fame, showing the people of faith from the Old Testament, this series will look more at the Hall of Shame of those in the same time period. Why? So we can learn from their failures and not repeat them. In this new series, Crash & Burn, we will learn how to fly by looking at those who fell. But the first "fall" was the worst, making way for every fall thereafter. Today we consider how Lucifer became Satan.

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The Cosmic Crash; The Eternal Burn
Isaiah 14:12-17
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
One of the starkest truths we find in the Bible is its brutal honesty—it never flatters its heroes, and it never glosses over its villains. It presents the flaws, foibles, and failures of people in every generation. Just as Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Fame, showing the people of faith from the Old Testament, this series will look more at the Hall of Shame of those in the same time period. Why? So we can learn from their failures and not repeat them. In this new series, Crash & Burn, we will learn how to fly by looking at those who fell. But the first "fall" was the worst, making way for every fall thereafter. Today we consider how Lucifer became Satan.
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Crash & Burn

Crash & Burn

We've all had to learn a few lessons the hard way, but it's far better to learn from someone else's mistakes. The Bible is full of stories we can glean from--positive and negative--about what to do and what not to do. Satan was filled with pride. Lot became complacent. And Achan let greed steal his blessing. Join us for Crash & Burn as we learn to fly by looking at the lives of those who fell.



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Outline

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  1. His Dwelling Was in Heaven (v. 12)

  2. His Domain Is on Earth (v. 12b)

  3. His Destiny Will Be Hell (v. 15)

  4. His Downfall Was His Pride (vv. 13-14)

Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: October 2, 2016
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: ""The Cosmic Crash; The Eternal Burn""
Text: Isaiah 14:12-17

Path

One of the starkest truths we find in the Bible is its brutal honesty---it never flatters its heroes, and it never glosses over its villains. Just as Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Fame, showing the people of faith from the Old Testament, this new teaching series will look at the Hall of Shame. Why? So we can learn from their failures and not repeat them. In this new series, Crash & Burn, we will learn how to fly by looking at those who fell. The first "fall" was the worst, making way for every fall thereafter. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considers how Lucifer became Satan. His path through the text is as follows:
  1. His Dwelling Was in Heaven (v. 12)
  2. His Domain Is on Earth (v. 12b)
  3. His Destiny Will Be Hell (v. 15)
  4. His Downfall Was His Pride (vv. 13-14)
Points

His Dwelling Was in Heaven
  • Isaiah 14:12-17 refers to a past and future instance. First, it addresses the earthly ruler of Babylon. Second, it addresses someone who will die and go to hell: Lucifer.
  • Lucifer means light-bearer or shining one. It's similar to the word for serpent (nachash), also meaning shining one.
  • The word for hell is sheol, which is equivalent to the Greek word hades("abode of the dead").
  • There are two errors people make when dealing with the Devil:
    • Denial: they deny that this powerful Enemy exists.
    • Overreaction: they develop an obsession, an unhealthy fascination, with the Devil.
His Domain Is on Earth
  • Concerning Lucifer's fall, Jesus said, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18).
  • Where did Lucifer fall to? The earth.
  • Lucifer fell from heaven, and his domain is the earth, but he still has access to heaven (see Job 1).
  • Only three angels in the Bible have known names: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer. Lucifer may have been the chief angel over all the other angels.
  • After his fall, Lucifer took control over the world's systems.
  • No matter how close you are to God, it's no guarantee you won't make bad choices.
  • Lucifer has four principle targets: Jesus, the angels, the nation of Israel, and Christians.
His Destiny Will Be Hell
  • Satan is not currently in hell; he's been cast out of heaven and his domain is on earth (see Ephesians 6:11-18).
  • One day, however, Satan will go to hell. In hell, his position will not be chief victimizer, but chief victim. He won't be the chief tormenter, but the chief target.
  • When God's people see Satan, we'll be amazed at how beautiful and limited he is.
  • Ezekiel 28 tells us that Lucifer is "perfect in beauty" (v. 12). Many people have a misconception that Satan is ugly. Beauty makes more sense, because sin is pleasurable and appears beautiful for a moment.

His Downfall Was His Pride

  • What made Lucifer become Satan? Where did his sin begin? In his heart; it began by a creature setting itself against its Creator.
  • Pride was the root of Lucifer's sin. It caused him to go from the shining one to the Prince of Darkness. Pride is the oldest sin in the universe and shows no signs of growing weaker with age.
  • Lucifer is Jesus' counterfeit. Satan exalted himself; Jesus lowered Himself.
  • The way to deal with sin is humility. The way down is up; the way up is down.
  • How do we cultivate humility?
    • Prayer: it shows our dependence on God.
    • Worship:we proclaim God's exalted nature.
    • Encouragement: we focus on others.
    • Service: when we are others-centered, our attention is off ourselves.
  • D.L. Moody put it this way: "Be humble, or you'll stumble."
Practice

Connect Up: Compare and contrast God's characteristics---sovereignty, love, omnipotence (all powerful), omnipresence (everywhere present), etc.---to Satan's limitations. Take a moment to worship the Lord for His power over Satan and sin.

Connect In: Discuss the importance of the four ways we can cultivate humility (prayer, worship, encouragement, and service). How should we practice these things individually and as a church?

Connect Out: The Bible paints a realistic portrait of Satan---one out to kill and destroy. How does this reality help or hurt us in our outreach and evangelism? What are some of Satan's devices that Christians should be mindful of when we serve on behalf of Christ? How can we overcome the wiles of the Devil (see Ephesians 6:11-18)?

Transcript

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Hello, and welcome to this message from Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. Our prayer is that God uses these messages to impact others for His glory, and we're excited to hear how lives are being changed by His perfect love. If this message encourages you, we would love to hear about it. E-mail us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And if you would like to support this ministry financially, you can give so online securely at calvaryabq.org/give.

The Bible is brutally honest. It doesn't flatter its heroes or gloss over its villains. As we begin our new series, Crash and Burn, we will learn how to fly by looking at the lives of those who fell. The first fall was the worst, making way for every fall thereafter. Now let's turn in our Bibles to Isaiah, Chapter 14, as Pastor Skip begins the message, The Cosmic Crash, the Eternal Burn.

Let's turn in our Bibles to the book of Isaiah. Easy to find that book. Just open your Bible right in the middle, and a big piece of real estate is there, the book of Isaiah. 66 chapters are in it. Turn to Isaiah, Chapter 14, Isaiah, Chapter 14, and follow along as we read some of the verses in Isaiah.

Then, if you're really ambitious and you know your Bibles pretty well, go a couple of books over to Ezekiel, Chapter 28, because I'm going to have you look at another passage. If you don't want to turn there, or you can't find it, I'll be making reference to Ezekiel 28. But Isaiah, Chapter 14, is where we want to begin.

So there was a worker who was laying carpet in a house, and he finished earlier than he projected. And he felt really good about that, and he thought he did a great job. But he looked over and surveyed his work where the carpet had been laid in the corner. And he noticed a lump in the carpet and goes, huh, I don't know what that is. He didn't want to rip it all out and start again.

And he also noticed that he was missing his pack of cigarettes. So he thought, OK, I'm not going to rip it up. I'm just going to fix it. So he goes over to the lump with a hammer and hammers it down nice and flat, right, does fix it, and then I'll walk away from it.

So he goes out to his truck, and two things happen. Number one, he finds his cigarettes on the dashboard of the truck. Number two, the lady of the house shouts out to the worker and says, have you seen my parakeet?

[LAUGHTER]

Now, I can't tell you if that was a second pack of cigarettes or that was a parakeet underneath the carpet. All I know is that I would rather read about that mistake than make that mistake. And that is what this series is going to be all about, Crash and Burn. We're going to read about mistakes that have been made in Biblical history, people in the Bible who made wrong choices. And we're going to learn, hopefully, not by making them, but by reading about it and learning from it.

This past week, I was reading an article about a young businessman who makes a habit of studying successful entrepreneurs. And he said this. "What I search for are the mistakes which set them back in years, so that I can identify if I have begun down a similar path and make adjustments to avoid a similar fate." so what we want to do is look out people in the Bible who have made choices and see the end road and the mistake that they made, so that we don't make it.

Everywhere around us, people are making choices. It happens every day. Some people make great choices, and we want to emulate them. But other people, frankly, make a mess out of their lives by the choices that they make. But even those people provide for us opportunities to see what is the end result of the choices that they have made.

And by the way, Paul the Apostle said that we ought to do that with Biblical characters. In 1 Corinthians 10, he talks about the failure of the children of Israel in the wilderness. And he says, "All of these things happen to them as examples and were written for our admonition." So if you are tempted to have sex out of marriage, you may want to read about David in the Bible or Samson in the Bible and what happened to them. If you're inclined to just party your life away and make it all about gaining material wealth, it would be good for you to study Solomon's own journal in the book of Ecclesiastes to get wisdom.

If you struggle with jealousy and envy, you might want to check out Genesis, Chapter 4, and what happened to Cain in the Bible. Or if you struggle with greed, go to the book of Joshua and look at what happened to Achan. All of these are examples. It's wise to learn good lessons from bad examples.

By the way, you know when you read the Bible, one of the most striking features is how honest it is about the heroes that are written about? It tells you all about their failures as well as their good points, all about how they fall and make mistakes. Even the heroes have flaws. And by the way, not everybody written in the Bible is a hero.

Years ago, when we used to have our annual Fall Fest right around this time, around Halloween, we'd provide an alternative for kids and make a big party out of it, But we'd always tell kids, dress up like a Biblical character. And it always gave me pause of what they're going to end up dressing like, because after all, Satan is a biblical character. It really wouldn't bode well to have a bunch of kids running around church with demon costumes on. But that is a Biblical character.

And that's the character we want to look at today in the book of Isaiah, is Satan and his crash and burn. Because what happened to him provides the basis for all of the other subsequent people who have crashed and burned throughout history. By the way, when Satan fell, Jesus was there to witness it. He said that. In Luke, Chapter 10, he said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

So in Isaiah 14, we want to trace the biography, a biographical sketch, of where Satan was, what happened to him, what his end is going to be, and what caused it. So we want to begin in Isaiah 14. And I'm going to draw your attention to verse 12, where we find out that Satan's dwelling was in heaven.

Verse 12-- "How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning. How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations. For you have 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. Yet, you shall be brought down to hell, or Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying, is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?"

I do need to give you a little bit of the back story of this chapter without reading it all, because of time. The chapter opens up with Isaiah addressing the ruler, the earthly ruler, of the kingdom of Babylon, who would be judged. What's interesting about that is that, when he wrote this to the king of Babylon, Babylon wasn't even on the radar screen historically. It wouldn't even rise as a nation of any substance for some time.

But Isaiah anticipates that one day, it would rise. It would be a world-governing power. The ruler would be cast out and would be judged. But then we get to verse 12. And verse 12, there is a shift, there is a change. It clearly changes in scope, and it becomes conspicuous, even to the most casual reader. As you read, you go, huh, something has changed here.

So in verse 12, "how are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer," now Isaiah's gaze goes beyond a king who ruled on earth, to some being who fell from heaven. And notice, he is called Lucifer. The word Lucifer means light bearer, or shining one.

And if you're a Bible student, that immediately causes you to think of a passage in Genesis, Chapter 3, where the Genesis passage opens up and says, now the serpent was more cunning than any of the beasts of the field which the Lord God had made. And that word serpent is an unfortunate translation of the Hebrew word "nahash," which literally means shining one. "Now, the shining one," translated serpent, "was more cunning than all the other beasts of the field which the Lord God had made."

I am bringing this to your attention so that you know that, before Satan became the prince of darkness, he was the angel of light. He was the light bearer. He was son of the morning, some terrific angelic being dwelling in heaven.

I've discovered, over the years, that people make many mistakes, but two significant, equal but opposite mistakes regarding Satan. Mistake number one is that he doesn't exist at all. Mistake number two is they become obsessed with him. Now, those are at opposite end of the mistake spectrum, but I've discovered a lot of people make those.

First of all, there is denial. Most people don't even believe there is a devil. Most people around us in the world would just scoff at the idea, saying he's a mythological character. It's ridiculous to think that one actually exists. But you can't have a more powerful enemy than one you don't even know is there. That's part of his strategy.

Satan would love for you to see Genesis 3 as pure myth. He would love you to think of him as purely mythological rather than being a sophisticated, knowledgeable, resourceful being, with the huge organization aimed at your destruction. That's what the Bible describes him as. But that sounds so medieval, so antiquated.

I began reading a book this week by George Barna. It's his newest book, called America At the Crossroads. He looks at the belief system of Americans. And he said, and I quote, "Barely one quarter of Americans believe Satan is a living entity. A similar proportion believes that Satan is merely the symbol of evil. The other half of the public are not sure what to make of the idea of the devil. Overall, Satan is not a being or a spiritual concept that most Americans take seriously," close quote.

However, did you know Jesus took Satan very seriously? Very seriously. And when the Bible speaks of the devil or Satan, it always calls him a he, a him, never an it. It always describes personality to this being. So that's mistake number one, denial of his actual existence.

Mistake number two is to overreact, to be obsessed with him, an unhealthy fascination with the devil, and even to think of Satan as the opposite of God, which is ludicrous. That's what he would love you to think as well. He is not the opposite of God. God created him, and God is going to undo him in the end.

But some become so obsessed, that they even fancy themselves getting together and taking authority over the powers and principalities. They are fond of having meetings, seminars-- I call them Satan fests-- where they get together, and they identify and take power over the prince of this city and the power of that country. And they even talk directly to the devil in these meetings.

And I've never thought it's good policy to pray to the devil. I'd rather talk to God about the devil than to talk to the devil about God. But they love to do this. I think it's important that you simply understand, in this series, Crash and Burn, that he fell from the height of heaven itself.

And why is that important? Because no matter how close you are to God, that's never a guarantee that you won't make bad choices. No matter how close you walk with the Lord, you are still capable of making a poor or a series of poor choices. So his dwelling was in heaven.

Then let's follow his biography, what happened to him. His dwelling was in heaven, but his domain is on the earth. Verse 12, "How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning." Notice what it says after that. "How you are cut down to the ground." See the word ground? It's the Hebrew word "eretz," which literally means the earth. That is why modern translations will say, "You are cut down to the earth."

I already mentioned that Jesus said, in Luke, Chapter 10, "I saw Satan fall like lightning." Just instantaneous, he was kicked out. "I saw him fall like lightning from heaven." The question is, where did he fall from heaven to? The answer is earth. He fell from heaven to the domain of the earth. He is called the god of this world.

So the rebellion that began in heaven moved to the theater of the earth. And you and I happen to be in the crosshairs of that invisible war. That war, by the way, is described in Revelation 12 briefly. It's described by saying, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

In fact, it says one third of all of the end angelic hosts of heaven went with Satan in that great rebellion, and they become known, in the Bible, as demons. And this bothers some people. This bothers Christians, who think, oh, I've got a lot of demons against me. A whole third of all the angels are now demons. Man, I've got so many enemies.

What you fail to realize is the meaning of that passage. 1/3 felt, 2/3 are left. They're outnumbered 2 to 1. They're outnumbered 2 to 1. You've got God the Holy Spirit living in you, and you have at your disposal, dispatched for your protection and God's purposes and will, 2/3 of the holy angels guarding his people. And the Bible says you are guarded by them. So Satan has fallen from heaven. His domain is the Earth.

But interestingly, he still seems to have some sort of access to heaven, even to this day. In Job, Chapter 1, we are told that there came a day when the sons of God-- that's an Old Testament rendering for angels, the sons of God-- came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan was among them. And God said to Satan, from where do you come? And he said, from going to and fro on the earth. So his domain is the air. He's kicked out of heaven. But he has some sort of access to heaven, as there is this accountability of being presented before the Lord.

So what does he do on the earth? What does he do? He runs it. He's called the god of this age, or the god of this world. And when I say he runs the world, I don't mean that he runs the world in the sense that God runs the world. Of course, He is sovereign. God is sovereign over all, and the earth is the Lord's.

However, he runs the world system. The Bible talks about the "world," and I'm putting quotes around it, meaning the evil system that includes all the unregenerate people. He works through them to enact his will on the earth. He has, in effect, the entire world in his lap. Did you know that?

I John, Chapter 5, it says, "We are of God, little children, and the whole world lies under the sway"-- or in the lap-- "of the wicked one." What does he do exactly? Well, he has four principal targets, and I'm only going to mention them, because of time. He has four principal targets, and you're not number one or two. Don't flatter yourself.

His principal target has always been and still is the Lord Jesus Christ. Number two, holy angels. There's always the battle in the heavenly realms. We get insights into it in books like Daniel, et cetera, and Zechariah, the holy angels that do war-- Revelation, Chapter 12-- against Satan and his minions; so Jesus Christ, holy angels. Number three, the nation of Israel, God's covenant land, that He will enact His plan throughout history, and number four, believers-- you and I-- are a part of that realm.

And what does he do to us? Well, we could do several studies on that, couldn't we? But one of the things he does, besides tempt you, besides use the world and your flesh, is he accuses you before God. He's called the accuser of the brethren-- Revelation, Chapter 12-- who accuses them before God day and night.

You're saying, Satan accuses me before God? What does he tell him? Just the truth. He's got the dirt on you. He knows what you think, what you do. He knows you. He studied you. And the thing is, all the accusations he brings, I think, are accurate.

What he fails to understand, however, is the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses a man or a woman from all sin. So all those accusations may be right, but he fails to see the judicial sentence that has been passed in your behalf. But he accuses you before God day and night.

And I dare say, you've heard some of those accusations in your own little head-- You call yourself a Christian. You shouldn't be at church. What are you doing here? Answer-- I'm here with all the other sinners. We all need God.

But he tries to accuse you and make you feel so bad and so guilty and so unworthy. And of course, the answer is, I am guilty. I am unworthy. Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ. Next. Move on.

[APPLAUSE]

So his dwelling is in heaven. His domain is the earth. Now, I did mention this, and I'm going to have you turn, if you're daring enough, to Ezekiel, Chapter 28. Because the corollary to what we just read in Isaiah 14 is in Ezekiel 28.

And as you're turning there, let me say to you that Ezekiel does exactly the same thing Isaiah does. Ezekiel begins with an earthly ruler of his day, in this case, the prince of Tyre. Tyre is on the seacoast of Lebanon, ancient Phoenicia of that time. And he addresses this earthly ruler, and it's a straightforward polemic, a verbal attack against the prince of Tyre. And we know who that was. It was a guy named Ithobaal II, who was puffed up with pride, and judgment is pronounced against him.

But then, again, there is a shift in the text. And in Ezekiel, Chapter 28, verse 11, it says, "Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre,"-- now I want to talk about somebody even more powerful than the earthly ruler of the Phoenician empire, the king of Tyre-- "and say to him, thus says the Lord God, you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty."

Now who is he addressing? Well, it doesn't sound like it's the prince of Tyre. It doesn't sound like it's Ithobaal II, with this language. Look at the next verse. "You were in Eden, the garden of God." OK. So who is he talking to? Who was in Eden? I mean, the population was pretty limited, right? It was Adam and Eve and a shining one, the serpent, Lucifer, Satan. So there was only three.

"You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald, with gold''-- the ancient way of describing color. "The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes"-- those are musical instruments-- "was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub." That's an angelic being, a cherubim, a cherub who covers.

"I established you. You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways, from the day you were created, until iniquity was found in you."

He's speaking to an angelic being, a cherub. You were the anointed cherub who covers. He was covering or standing guard, presumably, on God's throne. But then something happened, verse 15, until iniquity was found in you. Iniquity was found. That's the fall.

The very next verse, verse 16, says, "And you sinned." And then verse 17 tells us how. "Your heart was lifted up." Instead of covering the throne of God, now he's coveting the throne of God. This being was numero uno, minus the uno. And It was that minus the uno that bothered him greatly, enough to think he could actually stage a coup against God, as we saw in Isaiah. I will be like the Most High.

Here's something interesting. Did you know, in the Bible, there are only three angels given names? Only three-- Gabriel, he's associated with the nation of Israel and messianic prophecy, shows up in the New and Old Testament. Michael, he's a warrior angel. And Lucifer. Those are the only three given names.

But the one in charge of them all was this one, the anointed cherub, who covers, perfect in beauty. You're at the peak. You're at the very top. So his dwelling was in heaven. His domain is on the earth.

Now let's follow his biography into the future, where he's going to end up. Back to Isaiah 14, in verse 15, it says, "Yet, you shall be brought down to-- it says what? Sheol. That's a Hebrew word, translated in the New Testament Hades, or hell. It's the abode of the dead. It's the grave, often translated hell. You'll be brought down to hell.

Here's a shocker. This shocks most people. Did you know that Satan is not in hell? Well, wait a minute. All those cartoons said he is. All those stories people told me said he is. He's not in hell. Second shocker-- he has never been in hell. That shocks most people.

Now, that's not to say he won't be, because he will be in hell. That's his destiny. That's his destination. He will be in hell. And when he gets there, he's not going to be like all the cartoons and all the stories portray him as the chief tormentor of hell. No, no, he's the chief target in hell. He's the chief victim, not the victimizer. He's the chief victim.

Jesus said that hell was made for the devil and his angels. So what's going to happen to him? Revelation, Chapter 20, I'll read it to you, not the whole chapter, a couple verses. "Then I saw an angel coming down"-- don't know which angel, but what a great job-- "I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him." That's when Satan is bound.

It goes on to say, "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

[APPLAUSE]

Yeah. Amen to that hand clap. I'm looking forward to the day. I mean, he's bound. He's incarcerated. He's there forever and ever, tormented day and night forever and ever.

My mind goes to that great theological work, The Wizard of Oz, and the line which says, ding, dong, the witch is dead. Right? It was a happy day when that happened. We don't know which angel this was, maybe Michael that warrior angel. But what a great job to be the dude to handcuff the devil and incarcerate him. Love it.

Now, back to our passage in Isaiah 14, did you notice the 16th verse? It says, "Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying is this the one"-- translated here the man-- "who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of the prisoners?" The reader here gets the impression that there will be a day when we are allowed to have some kind of viewing of the devil, some access to Satan. And when we do, we'll be amazed at how limited he really is, even how beautiful he really is.

Remember what it said in Ezekiel 28, "You are perfect in beauty." We have a misconception that, because Satan is evil, he must therefore be ugly. But if that were true, we wouldn't be tempted. If evil were ugly, we would never be tempted. We are tempted because evil looks so alluring and so beautiful. That's the draw, man, right?

We're going to look, and we'll go, that's the dude? That's the guy who caused all of the heartache, him? I mentioned The Wizard of Oz. You remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy and Toto and the gang show up at the palace of the great Oz, and that big moving head on the wall speaks, I am the great Oz. And a big fireball comes out, and they cower back.

And just then, Toto, the dog, goes over and pulls back the curtain. And there's this little old man hunched back with a microphone. And he notices them and says, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. See, what we discover is the great and powerful Oz is just a dude from Omaha.

[LAUGHTER]

I think it's going to be like that, if indeed there is a viewing, and we see this Lucifer, this Satan, this god of this world, as he is called, is just a fallen angel who has been very, very powerful in his work. His dwelling was in heaven. His domain is on the earth. His destiny will be in hell.

Now let's consider, as we close, why. What was the problem? What was the essence? Since this is a Crash and Burn series, and we don't want to repeat anybody's mistakes if they're the wrong choices, let's look at why.

Verse 13-- "For"-- or because-- "how are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer. You've been cast down to the earth for"-- or because-- "you have said in your heart." Now we're hearing the innermost thoughts of Lucifer. this is what made him Satan.

"You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will 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. Yet, you will be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit."

This brings up a question. Where did sin begin? If you say, well, it began in Genesis, Chapter 3, I would say, that's a wrong answer. That's the fall of man. That's where Adam's sin began. Those are the repercussions we all feel. But that's not where sin began.

Sin began in the heart of Lucifer. It began in his thought processes. When he said these-- I was going to say famous-- but infamous I wills-- I will, I will, my will, my will, my will-- above God's will. Sin began when a creature set itself against the Creator. And the essence of that sin, the root of it all, is pride, pride.

No wonder the Bible says, God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Pride is the oldest sin in the universe, and it shows no signs of weakening with age. It's still a problem.

Like that cowboy from Texas, who was visiting Niagara Falls. And his host, his buddy, in New York knew that everything's bigger and better in Texas, but they don't have anything like this. So he said, hey, cowboy, do you have a faucet that big in Texas? The cowboy said, no, but we got plumbers who can fix it.

[LAUGHTER]

Yeah, whatever. Pride has always been a problem. And because of the pride of Lucifer, he goes from the shining one, the angel of light, to the prince of darkness, because of pride. His desire was to be on the throne. His destiny is to be in the pit. His ambition is to go up to the heights. His destination will be in the depths.

Now, what a difference, what a contrast, this is to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, I'm going to go down. I'm going to humble myself. Philippians says, who being in the same likeness, the form, of God, being God himself, he emptied himself. He poured himself out. He took upon himself the form of a servant and came like a man. And then it says, "Wherefore, God has highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus Christ, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess." You see the difference?

Satan says, I'm going up. God says, no, you're going down. Jesus said, Father, I will go down. And the Father said, therefore, I will exalt you. So the way down is up. The way up is down. Get down. Lower yourself. Humble yourself, the Bible says, underneath the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time. Go low.

Don't do this, do you know who I am? Ppffff. Go low. Listen, if God hates pride, and if pride is a barrier to God's blessing, then what's the antidote? Be humble. Be humble. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.

I want to close by giving you four exercises you can do every day, if you wish, that will cultivate humility in you and be the antidote to pride we all face. We all face it. So are there things I can do that will help cultivate humility? Let me suggest four. Number one, prayer. Prayer. When you pray, you're depending on God. You're voicing your dependence on God.

You know why people don't pray? Because they don't think they need to. I got this, God. I don't need to pray about this. This is so small. This is so insig-- I can handle this. And why is it that we have the attitude that says, there's nothing left to do except pray. Why didn't you start the day with that? Pray about everything. People don't pray, because they're proud. Prayer voices your dependence on God.

A second exercise, praise, worship. When we worship, our focus is not on us. It's on God. It's a self-less exercise. Even when you sing a song, you shouldn't be thinking, I don't like this song, or this song's too loud. It's not about you. You're using the song to talk to Him. You're giving Him your praise. You're focusing on Him; prayer, praise, or worship.

Here's a third exercise. It will work-- encouragement. Find somebody and encourage them. Give someone else words of encouragement and lift them up and push them along. Again, the focus now is not on you, but it's on others. So prayer, worship, encouragement.

And a fourth are acts of service, acts of service. Perform a task that is not assigned to you. Well, it's not my job. It's not in my job description, and it's below my pay grade. Well, do it anyway, and watch what happens. As you not focus on you, but you focus on serving somebody else, watch what that does to you and does for you, as well as for others. Prayer, worship, encouragement, acts of service.

D.L. Moody, I think, summed it up quite nicely. Be humble or you'll stumble. Doesn't that wrap it all up beautifully? It sort of ties a bow on the whole thing. It just takes this whole message and boils it down to one sentence. You say, Skip, you could have just began and ended with that. Be humble or you'll stumble.

Let's pray. Father, thank you for the humility as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us. And for some of us who are here, who have never even admitted that we have a need for a God, we have never said, Lord Jesus, save me. Forgive me. Write my name in your book of life. I need you. We've never made that personal admission and confession of our sin and reception of the Savior.

And some of us have thought we don't need to do it, because we're good already, or we're religious enough already. We're spiritually inclined already. But there are too many of us that feel at the end of our own rope, and we feel that the religion or the sincerity is not sufficient. We still feel empty inside, and we want to be forgiven. Help us, Lord, to make the right choice, the right choice that will lead us down the right road.

As our heads are bowed, and you're thinking about your life, I wonder if the first prayer you need to make is just the prayer of receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord. It's a simple admission. I need God. I need His forgiveness. I need His love. I need to experience it, and I'm willing to turn from my sin and turn to Jesus as my Savior.

If you're willing to do that this morning, if you have never done that personally, as a personal act, personal choice, or you made some decision in the past, but you've wandered away from God, and you need to come back home, whatever category you're in, I want to pray for you. I need to know who I'm praying for. If you are ready and willing to receive Jesus as your Savior, would you raise your hand? Just raise it up for moment and keep it up, just so I can acknowledge you.

God bless you, right in the front and you, sir, on my left; right over here to my left, on the side. Anyone else? Raise it. Right there in the middle, a few rows back, in the center aisle, and on my right, and on my right again, a couple of you. Anyone else? In the back, thank you. Thanks for waiving your hand.

Father, for people all around this campus, all these hands that are raised, they are individuals. You love them. You have a plan for them. Help them find peace and forgiveness in you. And give them a joy, Lord, that passes, and a peace that passes all understanding. In Jesus' name, amen.

Would you stand, please, to your feet. I'm going to ask you to do one final thing. We're about to dismiss. But you know, Jesus often called people publicly. And we don't do this to embarrass anyone. We do it to help you, because we feel something happens inside of you when you make a break and you make a public I'm in for Jesus declaration.

So as we sing this final song, if you raised your hand, I'm going to simply ask you to leave from where you're standing and find the nearest aisle. Stand right up here in the front. I'm going to lead you in a prayer in a moment to receive Jesus as your Savior. I'm going to lead you in that prayer. So you come. As we sing this last song, come, and you'll find a lot of applause and cheering for you. Just come stand right up here.

[MUSIC PLAYING AND APPLAUSE]

(SINGING) i come just as I, I am.

Yeah, if you're in the back, balcony, family room, we'll wait for you. Come and join us.

(SINGING) anymore. There's no need to hide anymore.

Anyone else? Come quickly. Come now. Come and stand here. Make a stand for Jesus. Awesome. This is so good. You that have come forward, I'm going to lead you now in that word of prayer I told you about. I'm going to pray out loud, and I'm going to ask you to say these words out loud after me. Say them from your heart. Say them to the Lord.

Let's pray. Say Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. I ask you to forgive me. I believe in Jesus, that he came from heaven to earth, that he died on a cross for my sin, and that he rose from the dead. I turn from my past. I repent of my sin. I turn to Jesus as my Savior. Help me to follow him as my Lord. It's in his name I ask. Amen. Amen.

[APPLAUSE AND CHEERING]

Congratulations.

Satan's pride was his downfall. We must constantly examine our hearts and make sure our lives exalt God alone. How will you use the truths you learned in this message to reach others for Christ? We want to know.

E-mail mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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10/9/2016
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Falling Hard; Recovering Strong
Genesis 3
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
After Satan’s own crash and burn, he took his evil scheme from heaven to the earth to which he fell and began to ensnare the first people God made (misery loves company). From this familiar story that most of us know so well comes five lessons that are eminently practical as we deal with life in a fallen world. In this series, we want to learn to fly by looking at those who fell. Adam and Eve went from flying to falling. What does that mean for us?
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10/16/2016
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A Murder after Church
Genesis 4:1-16
Skip Heitzig
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If you think that just attending a worship service is enough to make you a good person, then consider this: the first crime was committed by a mad farmer right after church! The story of Cain killing his brother Abel highlights how dysfunctional the first family was and how sin immediately affected humanity—and still does. Today, we look at the biography of a murderer who went from adoring God to assassinating his brother.
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10/23/2016
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Lot's Lingering Legacy
Genesis 11-19
Skip Heitzig
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Some names summon noble thoughts. Other names evoke cautionary feelings. Lot is in the second category. Though he had everything he needed for spiritual success, his priorities were clearly fixed in the temporary pleasures of this life. Though the New Testament calls him righteous (see 2 Peter 2:7) because of his simple faith, his life could have been so much more. As it stands, Lot’s best years were squandered and fruitless.
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10/30/2016
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Here Comes Trouble
Joshua 7
Skip Heitzig
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Meet a guy whose name actually means trouble. Achan was an Israeli soldier whose personal action brought a national reaction. When he crashed and burned, he took others down with him—his fellow soldiers, his family, and his country. How can one person do so much damage? And what should be done when we find ourselves in the fallout of failure (our own or others’)? Moreover, can there ever be a bright future for those experiencing such dim circumstances?
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11/6/2016
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A Superhero Loses His Cape
Judges 14
Skip Heitzig
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Some people make us scratch our head in wonder and wipe our eyes in sorrow. Samson was such a man. He had everything he needed to be outstanding, yet he ended his life as a blinded slave in the enemy’s camp. Most everyone knows of his exploits as the superhero of the Old Testament. And even though God used him, Samson could have been so much more. Let’s trace some of the downhill steps Samson took to lose his superhero cape.
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11/13/2016
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Playing the Fool
1 Samuel 26:21
Skip Heitzig
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It’s dangerous business to call the ruler of a country a fool. It would cost one’s life in ancient times. But here’s a case where the king himself admits his own folly. In a single autobiographical statement, King Saul admits his error. Yes, even leaders can crash and burn. Let’s look more closely at the career of a king who ended very differently than he began and see what went wrong. Moreover, let’s try to discover what things he could’ve done differently.
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12/4/2016
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The Four Seasons of Failure
2 Samuel 11
Skip Heitzig
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Our year comes to us in seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—as the earth makes its journey around the sun. Our spiritual life can sometimes be the same, especially when we allow sin to intrude. The warm, alluring breezes of temptation can sneak up suddenly and, if acted upon, can bring the cool chill of broken fellowship with God. None of us are immune from enticement but all of us should be informed. Today we see King David’s crash and burn in his battle with lust.
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12/11/2016
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Taking Down a Nation
1 Kings 12:25-33
Skip Heitzig
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It’s bad enough when one person has their own crash and burn. It’s infinitely worse when one person takes everyone down with them. Jeroboam was a spiritual suicide bomber—plunging the nation of Israel into division, idolatry, and eventual judgment. Today we follow the steps he took and the reasons that led to his destructive path in hopes of strengthening our own resolve.
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There are 8 additional messages in this series.