‘Old Scratch’ meaning.
It’s a folk name for Satan. Likely from the Old Norse word skratte which means wizard.
This - type - sermon - hesitate to preach.
This is the type of sermon that I hesitate to preach on, b/c I think it can weird people out. And so I don’t want to be weird of freaky at all, but I want to say for the record, that I believe that we are all influenced by things that we don’t see. Both good and bad.
And just like I always say I believe God is working even when we don’t see it, I believe that that’s just one side of the coin. That’s there’s also a devil that really hates you, and really hates your family and will stop at nothing to hurt you. - I believe that.
Introductory statement: We are in the middle of a cosmic war.
Born into. You and I were born into a struggle that was going on long before any of us got here. - Between good and evil. That has always been at work, and continues to be at work.
Whether or not we WANT to have anything to do with this war, whether or not we choose a side, we’re involved and it affects us.
Throughout scripture, esp in the New Testament - you’ll see tons of talk about the demonic and the battle that we’re in.
It’s in the words of Jesus, it’s in the writings of Paul, and also in the early church writings.
People are always acknowledging spiritual warfare.
For some - silly. I know there may be some people in here, to hear me talking about the devil and demons, that that all seems a little silly to you. Maybe a bit mid-evil to you.
It’s very easy for those of us who live in West, in the comfort of north america, to not believe in real evil. Most of us are so sheltered into our little live of : Family, Work, Media ; that we rarely if ever have to face really obvious evil.
Are you aware that almost universally outside the US, almost everyone believes in some form of this supernatural struggle.
True in Latin American culture, African culture, Indian culture.
Whether people follow Jesus or not.
They believe there is a life outside of this one.
Almost everybody believes this but us, and I think we’re insulated for this overt evil in a lot of ways.
C.S. Lewis - The Screwtape Letters My opinion - the most profound and clear book explaining how evil works. It’s totally fictional. But there’s more truth in this fictional book than 100 non-fiction books about demons, I think.
Anyone ever read ‘this present darkness’ - Frank Peretti? Weren’t those awesome?! It came out in 1986.
And you were just cruising along, and you didn’t have any enemies. And by the time you were done with those books, I mean, you were casting demons out of your furniture.
Growing up in the church, it always seemed like the church would make weird knock off copies of everything in the world. - And this was certainly true of rap.
So instead of ‘bustin a cap in cops eye, it would be about busting a cap in the devils eye.
So instead of gangster rap, we’d have people like T-Bone.
The Redeemed Hoodlam. / The Lyrical Assassin
Put out like 15 CDs. All about slaying demons. Drive by shootings w/ demons.
Cause Ima straight up psycho sick in the head
Lynchin them demons wit a bat
Cause them Christians understand
I be that straight up psycho
Lynchin them demons wit a bat, rat ta tat tat
Goes my gat, when I be pushin up
on that trigger that be on my steel
And thats for real, I be knockin them demons out like Holyfield
Well buck buck buck, yea them demons be gettin struck
Cause a demon tried to do my wrong
He's lyin to me tryin to tell me
that Jesus didn't love and He wasnt real
So I stole up on his grizill
I got up on my knees and startin
lynchin that demon wit a spiritual prayer
The Exorcist My story about seeing the exorcist late at night and bringing my bible with me to the bathroom. Always exorcism movies coming out.
The Last Exorcism. I respect at least for the fact that it’s trying to ask big questions about real faith vs pretending.
‘The Conjuring?’ Did anyone see ‘The Conjuring?’ By 2 Christian brothers who’s purpose was to get people to consider that there’s more happening in the world than meets the eye, and they wanted to tell a story where evil is strong, but God is stronger.
But I think it’s all around us.
Vatican - announced - training more exorcists. I don’t know if you’ve heard but in the last few years the Vatican has announced that it’s training more exorcists. And I don’t know. On one hand, I totally believe in it, yet somehow my posture is almost always skepticism.
My point: When it comes to the demonic in the media, you have people all along with continuum. Anywhere from ‘Let’s get together and watch all the exorcism movies on Netflix!’ To ‘That’s completely ridiculous and stupid. To ‘Get that crud away from me. I aint watching that devil stuff no matter how much you pay me!’
And I think the same thing happens during a sermon on the devil (like this one), you have people on that same continuum. Some of you are thinking ‘Woohoo! Love me some devil talk!’, and nothing would make you happier than for us to become the ghost busting church. Like we’re just casting down territorial spirits. And coming in here and doing exorcisms. Others ‘That’s completely ridiculous. I thought you were people were sane’ and then there’s others that are just wishing you didn’t come tonight b/c now you’re gonna have nightmares.
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. (C.S. Lewis)
Here’s my goal today, I want to go through some scripture and see what the Bible really says about Satan and just see what we can learn.
I just think that there’s a TON of bad information about the spiritual world, especially in Christianity. And if you don’t start with a basic understanding of what the Bible says about it, you can really get taken advantage of.
So my heart is to introduce you to some of these things without us getting weird and silly.
There will be things we don't know. There's lots of pastors with huge elaborate thought structures about satan and demons, with super specific stuff. And they might be 100% correct. But for this series in particular, anecdote is not enough.
"My aunt Suzy says that there's 5 levels of demons, and each have a specific name from…" Yeah, could be. But for this one, we're treating scripture as the only source of information.
So because of that, there's going to be plenty of stuff we just say "I don't know" to.
But with that said, there is still lots and lots for us to learn.
Both mean "The adversary, accuser, prosecutor."
Other names for Satan - and they all reveal more and more of his character.
There are 2 OT passages that seem to deal with the origin of evil. The beginning of 'Satan'. They're both pretty weird. It's spoken in prophetic language.
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! (Isaiah 14:12)
You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. (Isaiah 14:13)
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14)
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. (Isaiah 14:15)
5 "I wills". Which show us something about satan:
Satan is a free-agent. Spiritual beings are like humans in their ability to choose.
Choice / Free will
Ezekiel 28 is a prophecy against the King of Tyre, who was an Earthly ruler. The prophecy is spoken against him because of his pride. You can see if right in the first verse:
The word of the Lord came to me: (Ezekiel 28:1)
“Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:… (Ezekiel 28:2a)
But then half way through, it makes a strange twist. - It's like the prophet starts again at the beginning, this time from the spiritual perspective.
The word of the Lord came to me: (Ezekiel 28:11)
“Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: (See, this is just like the first verse) ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. (Ezekiel 28:12)
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. (Ezekiel 28:13)
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:14)
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:15)
Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:16)
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. (Ezekiel 28:17)
So this shows us something very important. When God created Lucifer, who was in angel. Lucifer was good. It's just like humanity. When God created humanity, before sin, and decay and all that. He created us good. Good created good.
But he builds into us the ability to choose. He gives us free will. So now we're co-creaters with him to create our shared future.
So humanity, though we were originally made completely good, we have build into us the ability to choose good or choose evil.
The reason he did this is simple: Love. Love implies freedom. We've talked before about the risk of God. That God does something very risky: Creates beings with the ability to choose him or not choose him.
C.S. Lewis talks about how God's greatest miracle was making creatures that could say no to him.
Because that's the only scenario where love is possible. Can a robot love? I don't think so.
When he created Satan, it's the same thing. He creates him GOOD, but with the capacity to choose good, or to choose evil.
Satan has the ability to choose love, but he chooses the opposite, which in this case is the elevation of self, above God. Pride.
There's an interesting passage in the New Testament that in a sense feels like a little sidetone. It's where Paul is telling Timothy about the qualifications for overseers.
(An overseer) must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. (1 Timothy 3:6)
Pride. Pride is especially insidious, because it's by it's very nature, self-deceiving. The more pride you have, the less likely you are to recognize it. I'm sure you've seen this.
(Maybe a funny impersonation)
Lots of other sins are much more obvious. If you struggle with lust for example, it's not that difficult for you to know that about yourself.
You can struggle with gluttony, and every time you squeeze into those jeans, you remember your sin.
But if it's the sin of pride, you probably won't think that you're the problem. You'll probably spend a lot of your day thinking other people are the problem.
You don't want a pastor or a parent or a friend or anyone to else : "Hey you know what? Maybe you're not as perfect as you think you are." - The proud person hates that.
A HUGE theme through the entire bible is humility.
Submitting our will to the will of another.
There are HUNDREDS of books on the book of revelation. Most of them absolutely terrible.
It's very strange book to most of us. I don't have time to get into it, but it's unlike most anything else in modern literature, but in the 1st century, there was lots of what is known as 'Apocalyptic Literature' - wild imagery.
And in Revelation 12, there's a woman giving birth to a son, it's the son who will be the new ruler. And there's a great dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns. The dragon wants to kill the boy.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. (Revelation 12:7)
But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. (Revelation 12:8)
The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:9)
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. (Revelation 12:10)
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (Revelation 12:12)
He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
Satan hates God. He hates that God is greater than he is.
And I think, he's resentful towards humans, because we're made in the image of God. Which is more than can be said of any angel, Satan included.
So he hates God, but he's not strong enough to challenge him directly. So what does he do? He rages against God's image bearers. - Which is you and me.
So he will get back at God, but hurting you.
He hates you.
Satan doesn't need you to become a satanist to make him happy. All you have to do
There are some theologians that interpret the Bible to say that satan and demons are symbolic of the evil that exists within the human heart. But not an actual being (think mother nature).
That's a fine thing if you want to believe that, but you really can't say that that's what the Bible teaches. It doesn't.
In the gospels (Matthew Mark Luke John) Jesus's interaction with the forces of evil is written about in the form of a historical document. So you might go to the book of Job for example and read about the leviathan which may or may not be symbolic, but that's not how first century believers understood satan and demons. They understood them as evil created beings.
In the gospels, if you interpret the forces of evil as symbolic, then what's to stop you from saying Jesus is just symbolic? The answer is nothing at all.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. (Genesis 3:1a)
Satan is not God's opposite yet equal. We do not live in a yin-yang universe where the forces of evil and the forces of darkness, are equal but opposite.
Our salvation doesn't just save us FROM something. FROM hell. FROM darkness. No our salvation also saves us INTO something. Into the kingdom of Light. That's governed by and around Jesus. Where we submit to his will as more important than our own.
We hear the phrase "The Will of God" a lot. All that's really means is "What God wants." And so the will of God is often in contrast to the will of… Not just satan. But any other will. Even your will.
Remember Satan "I will. I will. I will. I will. I will."
Then Jesus comes and says not my will but YOUR will be done.
"YOUR kingdom come, YOUR will be done."
Question: In what way do I need to change my heart from "My will." to "Your will." ??