Study Guide November 4, 2018
Pastor Clay Olsen
Have you ever noticed how that sometimes things that are almost right can really go wrong? It’s like some of these well meaning church bulletin announcements that were almost right…but not really. Like this one: “The outreach committee has enlisted 25 people to make calls on those who are not ‘afflicted’ with any church.” Now it’s possible that some people who are affiliated with a church are still afflicted by it…but that’s another subject. Then here’s one that said: “Potluck Supper: Prayer and Medication to follow.” I don’t think that one was very well attended…not sure why…This one said: “Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help.” Maybe that could go on our sign next week…maybe not…It’s also amazing how just one little word can make the difference, like: “Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.”
It’s like the insightful statement about discernment: “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It’s knowing the difference between right and almost right.” Very insightful, right? Discernment is also knowing the difference between who said that, as I assumed it was C.S. Lewis, but it’s attributed to C.H. Spurgeon. I was almost right, but almost right is still wrong.
We bring this up because last week we started examining the Fall of the Anointed Cherub. And in doing so we saw that in order to better understand what’s going on in our world it’s important to better understand the one that the Apostle Paul referred to as: ‘The god of this world’…little ‘g’ here, meaning…Lucifer, Satan, or another key title; The Counterfeiter. That title goes along with ‘The Deceiver’, but it’s this ‘counterfeiting’ aspect of Lucifer that explains an enormous amount of the problems that are going on in the world. People are falling for his counterfeits in religious beliefs to cultural philosophies. So here we go.
First of all, remember the fact that Satan is, at this time, already a defeated foe. And that is important to know. That’s something that Jesus assured His disciples about when He said: Luke 10:18- “And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” NASU Of course, Jesus was reinforcing in the minds of His disciples that His sovereign power was defeating and breaking the power of Satan over and over. And how ironic that, as we saw in our earlier study, Satan’s boastful declarations in Isaiah 14 were all about how lifted up he was going to be. Remember: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds”. But then Jesus said, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightening”. And that is what Satan has been doing ever since His rebellion against God. He has been in a downward spiral fall ever since.
In fact, it is very assuring for all of us to know about these ‘Falling and Casting out judgments’ by God upon Satan. Remember, as soon as Satan rebelled against his Creator the judgments began falling upon him: Ezek 28:18- “Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub…” NASU Satan’s initial judgment was that God cast him down from his privileged position of God’s anointed cherub before His throne. God expelled him from the mount of God. He was cast out of heaven! But he was still allowed access to God. Remember the scene in Job? Job 1:6-8- “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”” NASU Satan was roaming around the Earth with the attitude of the ultimate ‘trouble-maker’. Satan is the epitome of the Proverbs – Prov 4:16-17- “The wicked cannot sleep until they have done something evil. They will not rest until they bring someone down. Evil and violence are their food and drink.” ERV
How strange, but how important to know, that the reason wicked, evil, and mean spirited people do what they do is because they can’t rest unless they have done something wicked that day. They have become so vile and hard-hearted that the only time they are content is when they have caused problems. Their minds and hearts are troubled until they have made trouble for someone else. The trouble is, we now have a world full of trouble-makers, who are defined by Proverbs 4:16 and 17. And, of course, Satan is the leader in trouble-making.
But, again, it’s important that we know this is what Satan is doing day in and day out world-wide, along with his demonic forces that are at his disposal. And we wonder why the world is in such a mess. Why, the book of Daniel even informs us that for every nation and government in the world there are corresponding demonic entities that have been assigned to influence and incite these governments and their people to do evil, to choose evil, to practice evil. That’s why the Apostle Paul gave us the insight about what’s really going on in this world by telling us: Eph 6:12- “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” NASU
Now, the fighting and conflicts certainly spill over into the physical ‘flesh and blood’ realm. But what Paul is informing us about is to realize that the reason that the problems of this world are so constant and are ever worsening is because these demonic spirits, under the evil leadership of Lucifer, will never cease from stirring up trouble on Earth and making trouble for as many tribes, tongues, people and nations as they can. But, God is also never ceasing to redeem and build a family and a new Kingdom out of as many tribes, tongues, people and nations as whosoever will surrender to the King of kings and Lord of lords – Jesus Christ!
But even though Satan knows these things, he knows the Scriptures, he still rebels, because that is one of the most insidious things about the destructive power of sin. And that is, one of the worst components of sin is that sin is so addictive that even though Satan knows the Scriptures and that his time is short, he still chooses his sin and chooses to have his own way, rather than to bow before God, even though it will end with eternal judgment. In fact, the Scriptures reveal that Satan’s next judgment, or next casting out, will be in the Tribulation period when he is cast out of having access to Heaven and is restricted to Earth. Rev 12:7-9- “Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” NLT
And then, following that restriction, he will then be imprisoned in the bottomless pit. Rev 20:1-3- “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.” NASU
And then after his short release, where he forms one final rebellion against King Jesus before the Millennium concludes, God casts him into his eternal imprisonment in Gehenna Hell. That is also something very important to understand, that Hell is a place that was intended for Satan and his demonic hosts. Matt 25:41- “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” NASU Hell was not prepared nor intended for humans. No, the New Earth and the New Heavens are intended for humans, but again, that destination is a choice humans make.
When thinking of the coming judgment you sometimes hear people ask: “Why does God send anyone to Hell?” The answer is, “He doesn’t”. God doesn’t ‘send’ people to Hell. Yes, He ‘sentences’ people to Hell, but that’s because they have chosen their sin over the only Savior. They would not repent and believe Christ’s Gospel. They rejected or neglected the Savior, thus, essentially choosing to remain separated from God. And separated they shall remain, forever. It was their choice. That’s why Paul said to all he could: 2 Cor 6:2- “For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” NLT
Today is all we have. We trust that you have assurance of your own salvation today. Don’t put a decision like that off till tomorrow, because you don’t even know if you will have tomorrow. All you ever have is ‘today’. Make sure you have chosen to receive Jesus into your life as your own Lord and Savior. Then you can face tomorrow with certainty that your next home is Heaven, to live eternally with your Creator and your Savior.
Now then, do you remember that Satan is called the ‘god’, little ‘g’ of this world? (2 Cor.4:4) Remember that he said his desire was to ‘be like God’? Remember what he wants most is to be worshiped? Remember that the Apostle Paul said this about Satan: 2 Cor 11:14-15- “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” NASU The point is; ever since Lucifer was first cast down from the mount of God in Heaven this has been his all consuming desire – to be worshiped. Which brings us to the answer to the question of how did all these world religions get started anyway, which deny that Jesus is the only God and Savior, and they promote a different so-called god or gods? Realize this: Behind every false religion on Earth is this ‘angel of light’, this Counterfeiter, Satan himself, whose original desire to be worshiped like God has given unrepentant people something and someone to worship. Worship is either going to Christ or to the Counterfeiter.
Ever since Satan’s question to our first Parents in Eden of: “Oh, has God said?”, Satan has been planting doubts, deceiving minds, and offering counterfeit religions to mankind, with the major purpose being; his all consuming desire to be like God; to be worshiped. Oh sure, we so often link a major world religion with some human founder. But we are to understand that this human founder is himself ‘a link’ as well. This human founder is linked to the spiritual deceiver, the spiritual counterfeiter, the little ‘g’ god of this world – Satan.
Be very clear about that: There is only one God in existence: Our Creator and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is also only one entity entitled ‘the god of this world’. And that is Satan. So if false worship has not been going to the One true God, where has it been going? Right, to the Counterfeiter. Plus, we should know that the time is coming, when the Counterfeiter of religion will take his ‘counterfeiting’ schemes to the next level. No longer content with deceiving the peoples and nations of the world by offering counterfeit religions, and knowing his time is short, Satan is finally going to just move from being this ‘World Counterfeiter’ of religion and worship into being the ‘World Controller’ of religion and worship. And now Satan goes even so as far to counterfeiting the very Incarnation of Jesus Christ, by taking possession of a man that we know as, ‘The Anti-Christ’. Note:
2 Thess 2:4- “He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.” NLT Satan will one day grow tired of his religious charades of counterfeit religions and will just outright claim to the world that he is god. And all these false religions, whatever names they have gone by, or whatever beliefs they have taught, will be forced to worship Satan, now embodied in the Anti-Christ, or die.
But that’s when the King returns and the One true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, puts Satan into the abyss and begins the long awaited reign of Jesus as the sole Creator and King of the Heavens and the Earth.
Pray for the eyes of those who are being deceived by The Counterfeiter so that they might come to a knowledge of the truth, and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their own Savior. And then, study the Word of God yourself, so that you come to know it so well that you will be able to identify counterfeit teachings, counterfeit religions, counterfeit ideas, counterfeit philosophies, and so on, as well as to then protect your family and friends from such things, and to better share with them the Words of Life; the Scriptures and Gospel of the One true God; Jesus Christ.