The boogieman. Archenemy. He is dressed up in a red suit, has a tail and a pitchfork, and lurks and looks for those whom he can influence and test. He is scoffed at by many; he is mocked, it is denied that he even exists.
“Many think that his name is Lucifer (Hebrew word heylel, which means “to shine”, “brightness,” and the “morning star.”) Is Lucifer the same as Satan? Was Lucifer an archangel? Did he fall from heaven? Did he lead in a rebellion against God and draw one third of the angels with him?
“Many stories have been invented to try to explain his existence. Steve Vice writes that “imaginations have been set on afire. But what do the Scriptures teach about Lucifer?
“Isaiah 14:12 says, ‘How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (Day Star, Son of Dawn ESV), son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations.” This is the only place where “Lucifer” is found; the Hebrew word is found in two other places in verb form (Ezekiel 21:12; Zechariah 11:2) and is translated as “cry,” “wail,” or “howl,” depending on the translation.
“Isaiah 14:12 is talking about the king of Babylon. In verse 4 Isaiah wrote, “that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: ‘How the oppressor has ceased, the golden city ceased.” Isaiah 14 is a prophecy about Israel’s relief from their captivity and slavery. Verses 13-14 explains that the king would be so deluded in his own mind believing that he would be exalted above the true God of heaven. Thus God pronounces his downfall.
“Adam Clarke, in his commentary said, “But the truth is, the text speaks nothing at all concerning Satan nor his fall, nor the occasion of that fall, which many divines have with great confidence deduced from this text.”
“Since Isaiah says, “how you are fallen from heaven . . .” there are many who connect this with Jesus words in Luke 10:18 “and he said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” But this connection is a far stretch because of the specifics in Isaiah 14, Lucifer is called a “man.” (verse 16). In verse 11, his body would be eaten by worms. This could not happen to Satan, who is a spirit.
“Isaiah 34:3-4 describes God’s wrath against the armies of the nations. He describes the effect of God’s wrath as the host of heaven falling. This is not a reference to Satan or his demons. Isaiah 13:10 and Ezekiel 32:7 speak about the host of Heaven not giving their light. This is a reference to God’s wrath upon the evil leaders of the world, not to Satan.
Nowhere in the holy writ is Satan ever called “Lucifer.” In Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 gives a list of names for Satan. He is called the “great dragon,” “that old serpent,” “the Devil,” and “Satan.” He is also called “Abaddon,” “the Prince of the Air,” “the ruler of the darkness of this world,” “tempter,” “wicked one,” “Belial” and “Beelzebub” (Revelation 19:11; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; Matthew 4:3; 13:19; 2 Corinthians 6:15 and Matthew 12:24).
“Satan and his angels were indeed cast down to hell. Peter wrote, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment …” (2 Peter 2:4). Jesus said that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Satan is said to have been a liar, a murderer, and a sinner from the beginning (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8)
While Lucifer is not Satan, do not let your guard down for one moment. Satan, the ruler of this world, is real, and his sole purpose and desire is for your soul to be condemned to an eternity in the lake of fire with him and those wicked angels. Peter says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).
Steve Vice, Forest Park Newsletter, 1 30 2011
IF I WERE THE DEVIL
Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story, 1993 L.A. Time Syndicate
“If I were the devil . . .”
“If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.
“I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree – thee.
“So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first.
“I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered with to Eve, “Do as you please.”
“To the young I would whisper that “the Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that “what’s bad is good and what’s good is “square.” And the old I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father – which art in Washington.”
“Then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
“If I were the devil, I’d soon have families are war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and nations at war with themselves. Until each, in turn, was consumed.” And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
“If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions; just let those run wild until before you knew it you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door. I would also have resource police officers in every school building.
“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse, then from the houses of Congress.
“In his own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.
“If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.
“What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as a way to get rich quick.
“I would caution against extremes in hard work, in patriotism, in moral conduct.
“I’d convince the young that marriage is old fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
“In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.”
HANDLING OFFENSES. (Cecil May Preacher Talk, Summer 2021)
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother (Matthew 18:15). Among professing Christians, that may be the most disobeyed passage in the Bible. The normal reaction to, “if your brother sins against you,” is “Go and tell several people what he/she has done.” Incidentally, if you realize you have offended a brother, Jesus says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Offendee or offender, meet one another on the way to make it right!