The Power of God through the Blood of the Cross
In last week's lesson and our discussion time this week, we took a look at the original nature, character and calling of one of God’s creations, Lucifer, who’s name means “Light Bearer.” In Ezekiel 28 we learned that he was, “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” He was created to be the “anointed cherub that covereth.” This was no small calling! As we studied in scripture, cherubim are found in the Most Holy Place and are a covering for the Mercy Seat. God Himself sits enthroned between these cherubim. It’s the place where God and His glory dwell. This means Lucifer was in the very presence of God! With
such wisdom and anointing, what could possibly cause Lucifer to sin against the God that created him? Can you imagine the implications of this angel of light rebelling against the one and only, “I AM THAT I AM”? (Exodus 3:14) Staggering!
I pondered for days God’s holiness, His glory, and Lucifer’s blatant rebellion against Him. When I think of God’s glory, I’m reminded of the public display in heaven of the holiness of the Lord of Hosts, the Lord Almighty. In Isaiah 6:3-4, we find the angels covering their faces and covering their feet as they cried, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.” I can only imagine this scene in my mind! I had to ask myself again, what is His glory really? The answer came to my heart quickly! It’s His holiness! In Psalm 29:2 David says of the Lord, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” I now believe that God's very nature and His glory are the radiance and perfection of His holiness! Can I truly wrap my heart around that as David did? He is infinitely worthy, full of perfection, and HOLY.
In the Old Testament, it was clearly understood that if a man or woman encountered the manifest presence of God (His Holiness) uncovered they would die. (See Ex.19 & Heb.12:14). The priests could not go in to the presence of the Lord unless their sin was temporarily covered by the blood of bulls and rams. (Lev. 16:3-4) Our hearts need to really comprehend this concept. To stand in the presence of the Most Holy God, we must be covered or we will die because His nature is perfect and He is holy. This is a lost concept in our world and churches today. When was the last time you heard a sermon on being covered by the Blood of Jesus or you die because God is holy? I have thought, prayed and studied about being “covered” by the Blood of Jesus for quite some time, and then it hit me! Lucifer was a covering cherub! He knows all too well the importance of being covered before a holy, perfect and righteous God. In addition, he also knows the consequences of being un-covered before a holy, perfect and righteous God.
In this lesson, we are going to take a look at Lucifer’s actual sin and fall. He is known to us after his fall as Satan who’s name
means “Adversary of God." When Lucifer chose to rebel against God, it was the sin of “pride." In essence he was saying, "I am Lucifer, a covering cherub, I can cover myself! I will make myself like the Most High!” Ascribing to oneself divine glory and worship is something that angels and humans are not to seek for themselves, but this is exactly what Lucifer did! He said in his heart, “I will, I will, I will be like God Most High!" He sought glory for and of himself. Imagine this rebellion taking place in the very throne room of God! His pride must have been so great! With that said, the Bible says that iniquity was found in his heart. This is the origin of sin. In Lucifer’s rebellion, not only did he rebel against God’s Glory but against His Perfect Holiness.
The Counterfeit Covering
Pride is the counterfeit covering that Satan continues to offer mankind even to this day. Job explains the heart of pride perfectly in Job 21:14 “Yet they say to God, 'Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? What would we gain by praying to him?' ” (See also Psalm 36:2, Proverbs 14:2) This “heart attitude” is the same rebellion that was found in Satan. God hates all sin, but He especially hates the sin of pride because it robs Him of His glory. Pride is rebellion in that it tries to take God Himself off His throne. The sin of pride is a war that rages in the heart of every man and woman ever born. Where pride in the life of man becomes his god, there is no chance of reconciliation with the one and only true God until the sin of pride is de-throned.
As we will see in the next few weeks, Satan brought sin into the human race in the Garden of Eden where he tempted Eve, she ate and offered the fruit to Adam, he ate. They both freely chose the counterfeit covering that Satan offered them. Satan brought about man’s fall through a means very similar to that which had resulted in his own fall. Satan had sought to be “like the most High,” and he deceived Eve into believing that she could be “as God” through partaking of the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3:5; Isaiah 14:14).
It is heartbreaking to me that Satan continues to tempt mankind to sin in this same way even today. If a person chooses to deny the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, like Satan, their pride is saying, I will and can cover myself! My holiness is good enough! I will be like God Almighty! However, in each instance, rather than individuals becoming like the Most High, “as God,” an un-covered, prideful heart is the result.
Being covered correctly means being covered by the precious Blood of Jesus. This is what enables us to come before a holy God and not die. It gives us the full right to stand boldly before Him without fear of death. (Hebrews 4:16). The reason why pride is so bad, is that it makes us think that we can cover ourselves in our own righteousness. Pride is simply “works in and of ourselves," and it is truly a heart issue. The Bible says that our “righteousness is as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Therefore, we can’t come before God until we are covered correctly by the Blood of Jesus and have a heart that is humble before Him. It is our choice as to what covering of righteousness we will apply to our lives. Our own righteousness, or the righteousness of what was accomplished on the Cross? God wants us reconciled unto himself by the precious Blood of Jesus His Son, but God won’t force us to take His covering. He only offers and asks us to be the ones to put His covering on, in and by faith. Pride’s ultimate penalty is death. I am very thankful that God has made a way for us to be delivered from pride’s penalty. We can freely choose the covering of life, which is the Blood of Jesus. I so desperately want everyone I know and love to choose the covering of life, eternal life, with our Creator and His unfailing love, but it’s our choice alone, no one can make it for us. He will not force our hearts to worship Him!
As believers, pride is not only a continual struggle for us, but it can be the greatest curse in our spiritual lives, especially if we let it sit on the throne of our heart. Pride puts us at enmity with God and it’s something we have to put under the Blood of Jesus every day. If pride is a struggle even for us as believers, how much more do we need to understand that it is pride that keeps men from seeking God at all. If we can truly grasp that sin and pride go hand in hand, then just maybe we can understand a little better the hearts of those who don’t believe. This truth of the lost being deceived and then choosing to put on Satan’s counterfeit covering of pride has motivated my heart to pray earnestly for them and to come against this spirit of pride in their lives. From the beginning it has been a heart issue. But the good news is, God is able to change the hardest of hearts. He is not only able, but willing to take a heart of stone and make it into a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26-27)
Our Journey through
Was Satan free to exercise his own will before God?
Did God create Satan with sin in his heart? Ezekiel 28:15 (See Note #1)
What was it that Satan said in his heart? Isaiah 14:13-14
What was the cause of Satan’s desire to rebel against God? Ezekiel 28:17
What did Satan hope to accomplish in his rebellion against God? Isaiah 14:13-14 (See Note #2)
What happened to Satan in Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:16-17b; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:7-9?
What two sins did Christ say originated in the heart of Satan? John 8:44
What was the result of Satan’s effort to overtake the throne of God by force? Revelation 12:7-9
What does God say about pride in Psalm 5:5 and Proverbs 16:5 ? (KJV “foolish” means “to boast about oneself”)
What does God say about the heart of the prideful? Deuteronomy 8:11-14; Job 21:14; Psalm 10:4; Proverbs 16:5; Daniel 5:20. Can you find other scriptures?
Look up the meaning and definition of “pride” in a dictionary.
HOLINESS Defined (from Bible.org)
The term “holy” is often understood in its contemporary usage rather than its true meaning in the Scriptures. For this reason, our study must begin by reviewing several dimensions of the definition of holiness.
(1) To be holy is to be distinct, separate, in a class by oneself. As R.C. Sproul puts it: The primary meaning of holy is ‘separate.’ It comes from an ancient word that meant, ‘to cut,’ or ‘to separate.’ Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase ‘a cut above something.’ This means that the one who is holy is uniquely holy, with no rivals or competition. “When the Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be ‘other,’ to be different in a special way.
(2) To be holy is to be morally pure. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as simple apartness. Purity is not excluded from the idea of the holy; it is contained within it. But the point we must remember is that the idea of the holy is never exhausted by the idea of purity. It includes purity but is much more than that. It is purity and transcendence. It is a transcendent purity.
(3) For God to be holy is for Him to be holy in relation to every aspect of His nature and character.
When we use the word holy to describe God, we face another problem. We often describe God by compiling a list of qualities or characteristics that we call attributes. We say that God is a spirit, that He knows everything, that He is loving, just, merciful, gracious, and so on. The tendency is to add the idea of the holy to this long list of attributes as one attribute among many. But when the word holy is applied to God, it does not signify one single attribute. On the contrary, God is called holy in a general sense. The word is used as a synonym for his deity. That is, the word holy calls attention to all that God is. It reminds us that His love is holy love, his justice is holy justice, his mercy is holy mercy, his knowledge is holy knowledge, his spirit is holy spirit.
GLORY Defined (from Holman Bible Dictionary)
The weighty importance and majesty which accompany God's presence.
The basic meaning of the Hebrew word kabod is heavy in weight. (Compare 1 Samuel 4:18; Proverbs 27:3.) Thus it can refer to a heavy burden (Exodus 18:18; Psalms 38:4; compare more idiomatic uses in Genesis 12:10; Genesis 47:4; Exodus 4:10; Exodus 7:14). The verb thus often comes to mean, “give weight to, honor” (Exodus 20:12; 1 Samuel 15:30; Psalms 15:4; Proverbs 4:8; Isaiah 3:5).“To give glory” is to praise, to recognize the importance of another. In the Psalms people give such glory to God, that is, they recognize the essential nature of His Godness that gives Him importance and weight in relationship to the human worshiping community. (Compare Psalms 22:23; Psalms 86:12; Isaiah 24:15.) Human praise to God can be false, not truly recognizing His importance (Isaiah 29:13; compare 1 Samuel 2:30). As one confesses guilt he is called upon to recognize the righteousness and justice of God and give Him glory (Joshua 7:19; 1 Samuel 6:5). God reveals His glory in His just dealings with humans. Glory is that side of God which humans recognize and to which humans respond in confession, worship, and praise. (Compare Isaiah 58:8; Isaiah 60:1.) Still, for the Old Testament, the greatest revelation of divine glory came on Sinai (Deuteronomy 5:24). Yet such experiences are awesome and fearful (Deuteronomy 5:25). Such revelation does not, however, reveal all of God, for no person can see the entirety of the divine glory, not even Moses (Exodus 33:17-23).
Note #1. This is a very important question. Sin originated in the heart of Satan, as indicated by this passage. But did God "create sin" because He created Satan? God DID NOT create sin. But He did give His creation the freedom of choice. Free will means the power to choose for or against something. Satan had every opportunity and the choice to remain loyal to God, or to rebel against Him. His rebellion was not the fault of God, but the result of his own free choice.
Note #2. Satan became so infatuated with himself that he forgot that he was dependent on God for his very life. He receives his very breath from the same place we do, GOD. He is also subject to God's judgment just as we are for rebellion against God.
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