And so people have regarded the idea of a literal devil as passé, as naive, and rather they would prefer to see the devil as just sort of a general idea of evil in the world.
Listen, one of the first principles in warfare is to know who your enemy is. Most people today don't believe in the devil. To them, he's a symbol or a mythical figure. Today on Connect with Skip Hiting, Skip shares surprising facts you may not know about the Christian's enemy, the devil. But first, did you know that Skip shares important updates and biblical encouragement on social media? Just follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest from him and this ministry.
That's at Skip Hiting at Skip H-E-I-T-Z-I-G. Now, we're in Luke chapter 10 as we dive into today's teaching with Skip Hiting. Today we look at a topic that is probably one of our least favorite things to talk about, and that is the devil. Nobody really likes to talk about the devil. In fact, I have discovered that most people in the world don't believe there is a devil.
That is in a literal sense. Or the devil has just been portrayed as this weird cartoon caricature of a skinny guy in a red satin set of pajamas with a pitchfork and horns, half man, half beast, all of that nonsense. A Gallup poll was done that revealed 89% of Americans say they believe in God, whereas 61% of Americans say they believe in the devil. And what was disturbing about those who said they believed in the devil, half regarded the devil as an actual real person, a literal person, the others not literal. And a bulk of them considered themselves born-again Christians.
So just get that in mind. You've got born-again Christians say, I believe in God, I follow Jesus, but I do not believe there is a devil. Is there a problem with that? Yes, and I'm going to show you why. The devil has been reduced to a fairy tale. One person told me, it's stuff, it's something parents made up to scare their kids into obeying them. There are all sorts of songs that have reduced the devil to just a humorous cultural caricature. So we have songs like the devil and the deep blue sea, or the devil with a red dress on, or the devil went down to Georgia.
Judging from the elections, that actually may be the case. The devil in her heart, run devil run, or it has ended up to be in foods like devil's food cake. Who eats that? They eat it in hell. Devil's food cake.
Or deviled eggs or deviled ham. And so people have regarded the idea of a literal devil as passé, as naive, and rather they would prefer to see the devil as just sort of a general idea of evil in the world. Listen, one of the first principles in warfare is to know who your enemy is. And there is no more powerful an enemy and there is no more powerful an enemy than one who is there, but you don't think is there. If you have an enemy who exists, but you don't believe that enemy exists, and yet he does, he's one. So what I'd like to do today in this study, by the way, the name of the study is Satan, his meaning, minions, and methods is give you some surprising facts about the devil. Essentially, there are three enemies that we face, the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The world is the world's system of ideas and values that disregards God. The flesh is your flesh, your fallen nature. And those two enemies would not have any kind of a powerful foothold without a third enemy, the devil. The devil uses your flesh and uses the world to get at you. And even though the Bible says, according to Paul and his epistle, we are not ignorant of Satan's devices, unfortunately, I've discovered a lot of Christians who actually are ignorant of his devices. So allow me to go through this and give you, starting in our text here in Luke, chapter 10, six surprising facts about the devil. Number one, he is real. I know that doesn't surprise you, but that is a surprise to the average person living today. Satan is real. He's not a Halloween costume.
He's an actual, real, personal being. Now, in Luke, chapter 10, and by the way, you may want to turn in advance to two other passages we're going to look at in a little bit. One is Ezekiel, chapter 28, and the other one is Isaiah, chapter 14.
Luke 10 is where we begin, but then Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out his disciples, not 12 of them, but 70 of them, to the towns and villages around the area on his way to Jerusalem. He sends them out two by two. He wants them to go into the village, speak about the kingdom of God, see who's open, see who is not open, and get them to the village.
See who is not open, and get ready for his coming to those areas later on. So it's sort of like an evangelistic team that is set in advance. So they go. They do what Jesus tells them to do.
They come back, and they are so stoked at what they discovered. Let's pick it up in verse 17 of Luke, 10. So then the 70 returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name. They saw some exercise of spiritual authority as they went. And he said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. It's pretty obvious that those 70 disciples believed in literal demons because they said the demons were subject to us in your name. So they believed. It's also pretty obvious Jesus believed in a literal devil because he named him.
I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. So you got 70 and Jesus believing in a real devil. Now, what evidence do we have that the devil is real, that he is literal? Let me give you three lines of reasoning. Number one, philosophically. Philosophically, by simple reason, there has to be an adversary. I mean, just think it through. There's a God.
He makes a world. And yet the world that he made is not in perfect harmony. It's in disarray. And we wonder, well, why is that the case? If you have an all-powerful good God who can do anything, and he makes his creation, yet his creation seems filled with violence and flaws and problems, you've got this dichotomy. God made it, and yet it's filled with evil. You have a mix of happiness and sorrow, wisdom and stupidity, kindness and cruelty.
How do you account for that? The presence of another being, another powerful being. I mean, you tell somebody about God. God loves you, has a wonderful plan for your life. That person happens to be an unbeliever and shoots back, and he says, what do you mean there's a God who loves me? Why is there so much bad stuff in the world if there's a good God? So just reasoning it through philosophically, it makes sense.
But a stronger line of evidence is biblically we know it to be so. The Bible speaks about Satan 54 different times. It means adversary, an enemy. He is your enemy. Another 35 times the Bible speaks of the devil. And when the Bible speaks of the devil, it doesn't say it.
It uses personal pronouns, he, him, himself. Also, Satan, the devil, is called the evil one, the wicked one. He's given the name Abaddon and Apollyon in the book of Revelation. One is a Hebrew word, one is a Greek word that means destroyer.
Real names, formal names, speak of a real person with personality and power and planning and purpose. And the strongest case for the biblical position is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Like here, he names Satan. I saw Satan fall from heaven.
I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Jesus had conversations with Satan, like when he was being tempted in Matthew chapter 4, and the Lord Jesus rebuked him personally. Or when Jesus spoke of the devil's work against the gospel, he said, the word is sown. That is the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.
The word is sown. As soon as people hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. There again, he is speaking of a literal, real Satan doing a work. Or how about when Jesus told Peter, near to the crucifixion, he said, Peter, or he put it this way, Simon, Simon, Satan has been asking for you. He wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you. Well, if I was Peter, I wouldn't feel too good about that because Jesus just identified an enemy by name who has been asking for my soul.
Now, let's look at verse 18 again a little more carefully. He said to them, he said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. What he means by that is I was there when it happened. When the fall from heaven happened, I saw it. I was there.
I experienced it. In fact, the whole reason Jesus was on the earth was to undo all the bad stuff that happened since he fell from heaven. Listen to what is written in 1 John 3 verse 8. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil. Now, the reason I'm making the deal out of this is that means if you say you believe in Jesus Christ, but you don't believe in the devil, you are making a mockery out of what Jesus said he came to do. If he came to destroy the works of the devil, that's the purpose of the incarnation of him coming. You say, I don't believe in the devil.
Devil doesn't exist. It's just an idea. If Jesus believed in it, the disciples believed in it, James wrote about it, John wrote about it, Paul wrote about it, Peter wrote about it, and you say, yeah, I don't believe it, then you are making a mockery out of the entire New Testament. So we know it philosophically. Moreover, we know it biblically. But third, there's another line of evidence. We know it experientially. I mean, who can live today with all that is going on and deny the existence of the devil?
Anybody that does that is just out of touch. Back in his day, D.L. Moody said, I believe Satan exists for two reasons. First, because the Bible says so. And second, because I've done business with him. And you have as well.
You know by your own experience, yeah, it's real. There was a poem years ago, and one of the stanzas says, the devil is voted not to be. So of course, the devil is gone. But simple folks would like to know who carries his business on.
Somebody's doing it. Somebody is causing all these problems and all this evil. So the devil is real. He's real. In fact, there are some people that are so convinced he is real, they worship him openly.
The church of Satan has been growing in numbers since it was developed in the 1960s in San Francisco by Anton LaVey. Thousands, millions of people worldwide say, not only do I believe there is a devil, I worship him. So that's surprising to a lot of people in the world, but that is the first one, he is real. Second one, the second surprising fact, and this is going to surprise some of you, not only is he real, but he is magnificent. Now, I've gotten some of your attention by saying that because the last thing you expected in coming to a church service to hear an evangelical pastor say the devil is magnificent. But he is. Or in the very least, we have to say he was. He was so magnificent that God describes him as the most glorious creature he had ever made.
In fact, he is so beautiful, there's an indication in the Bible that we're going to have some capacity in the future to see him, and when we do, we're going to be surprised when we look at him, probably because of his beauty and magnificence. Turn with me to the book of Ezekiel. I've had you mark that in advance. Go to the book of Ezekiel, chapter 28.
And we don't have time to go through a lot of it, but let me just kind of cut to the chase. We're going to begin in verse 11, but let me set it out for you. In Ezekiel 28, actually in this section of Ezekiel, the prophet is pronouncing God's judgment upon different nations. And there's one nation in particular in this chapter, the kingdom of Tyre, which was a city-state right up on the upper Mediterranean coast in what is today Lebanon. And at the time, there was a ruler of Tyre called the Prince of Tyre, and that is to whom this section is addressed, a lamentation against the Prince of Tyre. We know him to be a real historical figure.
His name was Icho Ba'al, the second. He was a very ruthless, godless, prideful ruler. In fact, he even claimed that he was God. So judgment is proclaimed against Icho Ba'al, the Prince of Tyre. But then in verse 11, there's a shift that occurs. Then somebody who cannot be identified in the earthly sense is talked about, and that is the king of Tyre.
And from the description that we are about to read, we will understand that the description cannot fit any human being, and you'll see why. Let's begin in chapter 28, verse 11. Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation for 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.
Watch this. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Now, I highly doubt that Icho Ba'al II was in the Garden of Eden.
This does not fit any description of any human ruler. What the prophet is doing is, after addressing the Prince of Tyre, he goes to the very source of evil itself, the king of Tyre, the real power behind the earthly prince. And that shouldn't bother you, because the Bible does that a lot.
It kind of shifts from one reality to another. In fact, Jesus did this. Jesus was talking to Peter when he announced that he was going to Jerusalem, and he would be crucified, and Peter said, Oh, no, we're not going to let that happen to you. And Jesus said to Peter, Get behind me, save me, save me, save me, save me. Satan, Satan, what's he doing? He's addressing the power that gave Peter the thought, we're going to keep you from going to the cross.
Get behind me, Satan. So we see that here, but in a bigger kind of a sense. So he's addressing the king of Tyre.
And look at the description. In verse 12, you were the seal of perfection. In other words, you're the sum of everything I have made. You were the best of the best, the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. What a statement. If you want to know what God thinks is beautiful, you would need to see this angel.
Why is that important? Because when people today think of the devil, they think of him as what? Ugly, right?
Misshapen, a deformed half beast, half man. So you're beautiful, magnificent. In fact, the only angel in scripture, and this does describe an angel because it talks about the cherub.
You'll see that in a minute. The only angel in scripture given this much detail of beauty is not Gabriel, not Michael, but this one. This was the most glorious creature God ever made. So he says, you were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering.
The sardius, topaz, diamond, barrel, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, emerald with gold. I don't quite know what that means, this psychedelic kind of beauty that was displayed. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers. A cherub is an angel.
It's the highest of the ranking of the good angels, the most powerful, surrounding the presence and glory of God. 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. Now, it goes on to say, by the abundance of your trading, you became filled with violence and you sinned. And you sinned. Back in Luke 10, Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. This describes why.
What happened to him? Well, we just read it. You'll notice in verse 15, it says, iniquity was found in you. Verse 16, you sinned. And then verse 17, notice, your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground. I laid you before kings that they might gaze at you. Now, go back to verse 13 for just a moment, because I want you to notice something. What was it that this cherub was doing in heaven?
Two things. Number one, he was a musician. Notice in verse 13, he talks about your timbrels and your pipes. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you.
Timbrels and pipes are musical instruments. Why is that important? It would seem to mean that this cherub, this being in the Garden of Eden who was there, that at one time in heaven, he was the worship leader. He was the worship leader. He was the choir director.
Now, if you're a musician, don't get big-headed about that, because look what happened to this one. But verse 14, you were the anointed cherub that covers, inferring that Satan must have had some position of hovering over the throne of God to protect his holiness and protect his glory. So he is real. He is magnificent.
Third fact, he made the stupidest choice ever. It's mystifying to me still. It's surprising still to me when I think of what happened, because I think, wait a minute, you had like the best gig ever. If you're the anointed cherub who covers, if you're the highest of God's creation, if you're number one, minus one, you got a good gig.
Don't mess that up. But he did. Iniquity was found in him. He sinned.
His heart was puffed up with pride. That's Skip Hyten with a message from the series 2020. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, we want to share about a resource that strengthens your faith with abundant Bible knowledge and helps you draw even closer to the Lord. As we come to the end of the year at Connect with Skip, we have new plans for expansion that we want you to know about. In 2023, we hope to take these through the Bible teachings to more of the large population cities in our country. When God deals with a nation, he often focuses on the cities, and we know our nation needs the word of God.
We'll tell you how you can join this project. But first, this from Skip. I want my legacy to be I made much of Jesus, that Jesus became greater in people's hearts and lives because of my life and ministry, that they walked away understanding the Bible, that what seemed to be complicated was actually very simple, that I helped make it simple for them and understandable. When you help us expand into more metropolitan areas in 2023 with a year-end gift of $1,000 or more, we'll send you the Skip Heitzig Legacy Library so far containing 11 books, 17 booklets, and the Bible from 30,000 feet. Pastor Skip's incomparable teaching series of 64 full messages through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation on a flash drive that also includes learning from the land, Skip's video tour of Israel.
G. Campbell Morgan was called in his biography a man of the word or the man of the word. That's what I want to be, a man of the word. The Skip Heitzig Legacy Library so far is a real treasure, and it's yours when you make a year-end gift of $1,000 or more, and you will be helping us expand the reach of these teachings. Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888.
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Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig explores the moment when Jesus returns for his church, a major event Jesus wants you to be a part of. At the rapture, Jesus comes in the air, and we meet him in the air. We will ever be with him, 1 Thessalonians 4. But at the second coming, Jesus comes from heaven through the air, that is through the atmosphere, all the way to the earth again. At the rapture, he comes to claim his bride. The second coming, he comes with his bride. . Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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