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Lucifer's Greatest Blunder Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2021 1:00 am

Lucifer's Greatest Blunder Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 30, 2021 1:00 am

Everything that you have, whether it’s your physical appearance or your wealth and ability, is all derived from God’s loving, generous hand. Yet it’s so easy to forget that there’s nothing you have that you have not received. This is the root of pride. The archangel Satan was consumed with such pride as well. Why would God’s number-one angel Lucifer turn traitor, knowing he could never defeat the all-powerful Creator? We’ll begin to look at the five stages in Satan’s dramatic career that help us avoid the pitfalls of pride.  

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Why would God's number one angel turn traitor, knowing he could never defeat the all-powerful Creator? It's a mystery that goes a long way toward explaining all the evil around us.

For a look back, and I mean way back, stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, it would seem Lucifer had a good thing going, being chief of the angels. Why wasn't that enough for him?

Dave, I have to tell you that I have often contemplated the question that you have just asked. The best that I can come up with is this, that Lucifer was not satisfied to give God praise. What he wanted was to be praised. He wants to be worshipped. And of course, he should have known that he could not take on God and win, but he did try. And of course, he experienced the law of unintended consequences.

His doom is absolutely sure. You know, even when we think about Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, we're reminded of how Satan wanted to put Jesus to death when he was a baby. You remember, Satan was going to pull this off through the evil King Herod.

But in the end, God always wins. And as we think about Christmas and during this season, that's of course where our mind goes, we are so deeply grateful for the fact that Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, the Bible says. We have a special gift for you. It's a CD entitled Songs for a Holy Night. Many of you continue to listen to the program Songs in the Night, and you're reminded of the beautiful music of Glenn Jorian and the King's carolers and so forth.

Well, they are singing O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, O Holy Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and other carols. This is the last day that we are making this CD available to you. Take this opportunity for a gift of any amount.

It can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to

That's or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And even as we listen to this message, let us be reminded that Satan took on God and has become the universe's greatest loser. Now my topic today is Lucifer's greatest blunder, and I was in a store yesterday, a clothing store, and a man came to pick up some clothes, and he was asked his name, and he said it is Mr. Lutz, L-U-T-Z.

I pointed out that my name was a little longer than his, but we must be related somewhere along the line, and I simply mention that so that once again you keep Lucifer distinct from Lutzer. In the beginning, in the beginning, as we know, there was God, as we learned last week, and if you did not get last week's message, be sure to get it on tape if you weren't here. And we talked about God being alone and the greatness of God, his immensity, his incredible immensity.

Did you notice the article in the Trib this past week? Astronomers discover the largest galaxy ever. It said that they discovered a galaxy 60 times the size of the Milky Way. It embraces more than a hundred trillion stars. Did you know it's possible to have a star named after you?

I think we could make money that way, just tell people we'll name a star after you, just pay us $100. But notice this, you know that light travels at 186,000 miles a second. In a year, it travels roughly 6 trillion miles. Now think about that, and this galaxy is 6 million light years in diameter. So if you want to find out how far it is in diameter, what you do is you take 6 trillion and you multiply it by 6 million.

I didn't, because I know I probably would make a mistake, and when it comes to arithmetic, I've always said as long as I'm right, 90% of the time, who cares about the other 5%? It's not my great strength. But I want you to notice that the scientists say this is an organized mass of light and energy.

And here's the good news, folks. God is bigger than this galaxy. It is unthinkable that he would create galaxies and universes that are greater than he is. They say that the universe is infinite.

Perhaps that's possible. If the universe is infinite, God is beyond the infinite. You know what I think? I don't think he's worried about the budget deficit in Washington. I really don't think that's any big deal to God. He's not even worried about the budget deficit at Moody Church, you know.

That's no big deal to him either. He's interested in it, but all of these things that concern us are really of no great moment to our almighty sovereign God. And when he decided to create, he already knew that he would be putting into motion a series of events, a series of dominoes that would produce eventually the Holocaust, that would cause child abuse and all of the injustices that plague the world. So what is it that God is up to?

What is he doing that he would think would justify a planet with this incredible amount of hurt throughout all the years of war, misunderstanding, hatred and grief? You know, of course, that God's first agenda was to create spirit beings. We call them angels. They are personal. They are personal because they have intelligence. They have sensibility. They have will.

They could choose against God. They are powerful, able to travel from one end of this planet to another very, very quickly. In fact, that's also true of demons, fallen angels. Did you know that there's a university in Texas where there is a man who concentrates and meditates at a certain time that a guru in India also concentrates and meditates and they send messages back and forth and they think it's the power of the mind? Well, if this is happening, I want you to know that it is not the powerful minds that we have.

It is because there are evil spirits in the world that can travel that quickly from one continent to another and bring messages to people who are into the occult. We find also that when God decided to create angels, they were plentiful. There are millions of them, tens of millions.

Possibly there is one for every one of the stars that we have talked about, the hundreds of trillions of stars. And the greatest of all of these beings that God created evidently was Lucifer. And we'd like to look at his career as it is outlined for us in the 28th chapter of the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel chapter 28, the prophet of the Old Testament, was speaking about the king of Tyre and suddenly he ends up speaking about a spirit being that is awesome and beautiful.

Stage one in his career is his creation. Ezekiel 28, I want you to notice his appearance, first of all, is given. Verse 11, and the word of the Lord came to me saying, son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, thus says the Lord. You say, well, Pastor Lutzer, this is a reference to the king of Tyre, not to Lucifer. But if you read it, you soon find out that there's no way that this can refer simply to a king. Behind you, the king of Tyre, is Satan. And that's why the writer begins to say things that could never possibly be true of any man. And that's why commentators and theologians throughout the centuries have said that this is a reference not to a man, but ultimately to Lucifer. Notice his appearance. You had the seal of perfection, this is the middle of verse 12, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

Think about that. You see, God could never create a being that was as beautiful as God himself is. Any being that he creates has to be a lesser being. But evidently, Lucifer was the best that God could possibly do. Perfect in wisdom and beauty.

What about his location? Verse 13, you were in Eden, not the Garden of Eden with its vegetation, but this is a mineral Eden with all kinds of beautiful stones. Every precious stone was your covering, every ruby, the topaz, the diamond, the burl, the onyx, the jasper. All of these beautiful accompaniments were given to Lucifer. I want you to notice his responsibility in verse 14. You were the anointed cherub who covers.

Some translations say you are the cherub who spreads out his wings. Reminds us of the ark, doesn't it? Do you realize that Lucifer had some very interesting priestly duties?

I happen to think that his assignment was planet earth. I know that Milton has told us that Satan was tossed out of heaven and that's true, but he was tossed out of heaven when he said, I want to be like the most high. I will ascend into heaven. God threw him out. But it may well be that his territory, his sphere of influence was already then planet earth which God was making ready for a tremendous drama in which all kinds of issues were going to be settled and played out. And here he is, he has the responsibility of being a priest. In effect, taking all the worship, all the adoration of the beings, the angelic beings beneath him and making sure that these items of praise and the works that they do go directly to God. He was like a mediator making sure that everything on the planet contributed to the glory of God.

Notice his privileged position. It says you are on the mountain of God. Wherever you have the mountain in the Bible, you always have political influence and he had that. You walked in the midst of the stones of fire, it says in verse 14, implying that he had immediate direct access to God.

What a place of great beauty and privilege. We don't know how long it was that Lucifer continued in this responsibility. Maybe it was for millions of years.

We do not know. But to stop to think of the realization that at that period of time the entire universe was a place of great harmony and unity. Because there was only one will in the universe and that was the will and the purpose of God and all of creation fell in line with God's intention, his glory, and his purpose. Not only was there harmony, but there was also a sense of fulfillment. You see, it's impossible to think that God would create angels without giving them assignments.

They had assignments undoubtedly throughout the whole universe and the entire universe was fulfilled because every individual angel was doing exactly the task that God had outlined. What a sense of beauty and harmony. Well, that's his creation.

Secondly, I want to say a word about his fall. It says in verse 15, you were blameless in all your ways from the day in which you were created. And then follows one of the most puzzling, probing statements in all of the Bible. One that has vexed the minds of theologians throughout the centuries and taxes, our imagination, and our theological acumen.

It says, until unrighteousness was found in you. Why would unrighteousness be found in a perfect being that did not have a sin nature? Here he was created with wisdom and beauty and obedience and obedient nature and then suddenly, and we can't explain it, it is as if it was spontaneous combustion. Suddenly unrighteousness is found in God's perfect creation. We may not understand the whys and the hows, but we do have in the text here an indication as to how this happened.

What was the cause of the unrighteousness? We know it was pride because Paul says in 1 Timothy 3, when you have a new convert in the church, do not elevate him to become an elder because he may be lifted up with pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil. In Isaiah, we have a parallel passage and it says seven times that Lucifer said, I will ascend. I will ascend into heaven. I will be like the most high.

I will, I will, I will. But how did the pride manifest itself? First of all, by theft. He began to steal. I say that because it says in verse 16, by the abundance of your trade, you were internally filled with violence and you sinned. This is the way I read the passage. Here's Lucifer responsible for what is happening on the earth. There is praise being offered up to God. There are works that are being offered up to God. He has the responsibility of making sure that it all gets to God. And the key word there is all. And he begins to allow some of it, figuratively speaking, to stick to his fingers and he says, I want a piece of the action.

That's what happened. Yes, God is deserving of praise, but so am I. So am I. Look at how high I am on the totem pole.

Look at how beautiful I am. And he began to keep some of it. Yes, God is worthy of all of these works, but I also am worthy to be served even as God is being served because of who I am. So he became a thief taking what belonged to God, keeping it for himself. He was filled with vanity. It says in verse 17, your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground.

I put you before kings that they may see you. You were corrupted because of your beauty. You know that those of you who are beautiful in appearance, you have tremendous struggles.

Some of the deepest struggles that you'll ever face is if you're naturally good looking. Why? Because we face, and when I say we, I did not mean to say that I was included in the people that I was just talking about. I was making a sharp distinction here between me and the people on the platform and all of you folks out there. Oh, boy.

Wait till the staff meeting now. My dear friend, we have the same temptations as Lucifer. God gives us the ability to earn money. He gives us gifts. He entrusts us with great responsibility on earth, and we begin to take credit for what God does through us. We begin to say, this is mine, and we say, this is mine, and you're not going to get it, as if to think somehow that all of the gifts that we give have not been given to us by the living God, and that we have absolutely nothing of ourselves. Everything that we have, whether it is our physical appearance, whether it is our wealth and our abilities, all of it is derived from God's loving, generous hand. How dare we say it's mine?

How dare we say it? And we only say it because a drop of his rebellion has fallen on every single human heart, and ever since Lucifer, we all have the same struggles, and that will be expanded upon in next week's message, as we go through this series. Have you ever thought of this? When Lucifer decided to sin, he had no idea as to what the consequences were going to be, because there was no other example of rebellion in the entire universe. He couldn't look back and say, well, now I know that this might happen, because look at what so-and-so did, and look at what happened to him.

No, this was the first being to choose against God. I'll tell you what he didn't know. He did not know the devastation that was going to come to him. He did not know the ultimate, total, incredible humiliation that he is going to have to endure throughout all of eternity. There was no way that he could foresee what was going to happen in his life and in his experience. He should have obeyed God's bare word and believed that God knew better than he as to whether obedience was optional or whether it should be done with love and gratitude.

Could I say parenthetically that you and I don't know that either, do we? We sin and we think we can control the consequences, but I want you to know that God has created a universe in which that is not possible. When you and I deliberately sin, the consequences of necessity are always out of our control and our hands.

Now let's look at the conflict in his career. We've spoken about stage one, which is his creation, stage two, which is his fall, stage three is conflict. Think of God's options. What could God have done now that sin had entered into the universe through Lucifer? Well, God could have said, number one, I'm just going to exterminate you. I'm just going to obliterate you.

I'm just going to vaporize you so that you aren't going to be in existence anymore. I guess that's one thing God could have done. He could have just simply said, Lucifer, I just crush you by raw power.

And he's gone. Or else God could have said, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to confine you to another planet.

I'm going to set the bounds of your limitation. And you're going to be there on that other planet. And you're going to have all of eternity to do nothing but contemplate the utter stupidity and horror of what you've done. That would have been another option. God didn't see it fit to do it that way.

He came up with another plan. He said, Lucifer, and now we can speak of him as Satan. Satan, you can continue to rule planet Earth. I'm not going to take away your power. The same power that you had before you sinned is going to be the same power that you have after you sinned. And I'm going to let you become the ruler of the world. And I want you to try to see, and I'm going to give you lots of time to see it, I'm going to let you try to see whether or not it is even possible for you to bring some kind of order out of the chaos that you have created. I want to give you plenty of time to find out whether or not it is possible for a creature to oppose me and still come out okay on the other end.

And so he was allowed to have awesome power. There's a staggering passage of scripture found in the fourth chapter of Luke. And you may turn to that if you would for a moment because if you don't turn to it, you may not even believe that it is there. Luke chapter 4, Jesus and Satan are having that famous confrontation. And you'll notice the devil is asking Christ to worship him. It's very important for you to realize that the reason is because Satan is just absolutely consumed with pride, just absolutely consumed with pride. He is so full of envy. You know, when he sees us being able to approach God, when he sees people redeemed, he is utterly frustrated and angry. But I'm ahead of myself. That's to come in another sermon somewhere along the line in this series.

Well, my friend, this is Pastor Lutzer. And of course, the reason that we can rejoice in our triumph over Satan is because Jesus was born in Bethlehem. I love the Christmas season.

I love it for many reasons. Perhaps one of the greatest reasons is because of the Christmas carols that we love to sing over and over again. And we've prepared a CD entitled Songs for a Holy Night. It includes carols such as Breath of Heaven, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, one of my favorites and probably your favorite as well, Silent Night, and then Old Little Town of Bethlehem. For a gift of any amount, this CD can be yours. Ask for Songs for a Holy Night.

And here's what you do. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, I need to let you know that today is the last day we are making this available to you. So I'm going to give you that contact information again. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thank you so much in advance for helping us.

Christmas is a time for giving and we deeply appreciate your gifts and your prayers. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Satan's ultimate doom is inevitable. Next time on Running to Win, Erwin Lutzer concludes Lucifer's Greatest Blunder, A Look at a Fallen Angel. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 05:07:45 / 2023-07-16 05:16:15 / 9

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