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 Sermon on

If God is Almighty, why did He Permit Sin?

By Brian Pepper

Today we are going to take a look at the "Villain" of the Book of Revelation. Most folk are very much aware of the fact that a terrifying and deadly conflict is taking place on this earth. St Paul warned Christians that we need to be on our guard and aware of the forces of evil that are bringing ruin to our world.

Notice what Paul says in Ephesians 6:10,11, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

Christians need to be strong in the LORD to make sure that there are no chinks in their spiritual armour.
 

Invisible Enemies

Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." The margin says "wicked spirits in heavenly places."

St Paul says that we are battling against "wicked spirits in high places." If you are fighting against an enemy that you can see that is bad enough, but when the enemy can make himself invisible, can crop up anywhere, anytime, and you cannot even see him, the odds are certainly against you.

So the Apostle Paul says, "We have a hard battle to fight" and the battle with Satan is not going to get any easier as time goes on.

The Apostle Peter puts it this way in 1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."


A Fierce Battle

Because he realises that his time is very short, Satan is waging his fiercest fight in these very last hours of time.

I would like you to notice the warning that is given in Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

This takes us right down to the grand finale of this earth's history, the last great controversy between good and evil. Satan is going to wage his fiercest attack on God's people in the very last hours of time. Prophecy indicates that things are going to get worse and worse as we approach the end.


What kind of Being is Satan?

Anyway what kind of being is Satan? Some people have pictured him as being a hideous creature with horns and cloven hoofs, spiked tail, and flames of fire coming out of his mouth. But the Bible does not picture him that way at all. The Apostle Paul tells us that Satan appears as an angel of light.

1 Corinthians 11:14 says, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." If you were to meet Satan tonight as he actually is, you would see a glorious being, dazzling and bright - an angel of Glory. That is what he appears like even now.

You see, during the Dark Ages some of those artists pictured Satan as a most hideous creature trying to frighten people into subservience to the apostate church. And thinking people have turned away in disgust realizing that there is no such being.

The Bible tells us exactly where Satan came from. One time Jesus stopped short in His sermon and said in Luke 10:18, "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."

That is where he came from. It says that he fell from heaven. That suggests that he was thrown out. Now how did that come about? We are told more about Satan in John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
 

Being in the Truth

Some people refer to their church as holding to the Truth, or in the Truth. Or so and so has accepted the Truth. That is what Jesus uses as His expression as well.
 

Satan gave up the Truth

Satan was once in the Truth but he "abode not in the truth." He gave up the Truth and they had to remove his name from the Church books in heaven. If you turn to Revelation chapter 12 it is made a little clearer. It takes us back into the days of eternity. Just how far back we do not know, for the time of Satan's  downfall is not given. But the Bible tells us in Revelation 12:7-9 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, call the Devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

That takes us back into the past, prior to the beginning of the history of this world of ours. Just think of it! There was war in heaven: Christ on one side and Satan on the other, and their angels lined up on either side. There was war in heaven and it says that Satan "prevailed not". He was cast out, and eventually made this world his headquarters.


Side of Truth wins out

I like that assurance, "Satan prevailed not". I am thankful that when we stand on the side of Jesus Christ we stand on the side of right or Truth. We have the assurance that we will come out triumphant.

There are individuals who seem to feel if they take their stand for Jesus, they are not sure whether they will win out in the long run. I assure you that anybody who will take his stand on the side of Jesus Christ, remaining on the side of Truth, is bound to come out triumphant.

In Psalms 103:20 it says, "Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of this word."

It is certainly wonderful to know that angels that excel in strength come to the rescue of God's children. It is sad that one third of the angels joined Satan's cause, but I am thankful that for every evil angel there are two good angels.
 

Satan is a Real Being

I assure you that Satan is a very real being and that the warfare which he first waged in heaven he continued in the Garden of Eden.

Again when Jesus was here upon this earth He had to combat Satan. Jesus says in Matthew 25:41, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

The Devil is a very real being and one day he is to be destroyed in the fire of God's Judgment. Some people have pictured Satan as being the essence of evil thought, but that is not so in the Bible. In Matthew 4:1 it says, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."

In the 5th, 8th and 11th verses he is called "the devil" and in the 10th verse he is called Satan. After Jesus' baptism and at the time of trial in the wilderness, Satan came tempting Him. He showed Him this part of the world and that part of the world, even ascending to the pinnacle of the temple. I tell you he is no vague shadowy spirit. He is just as real as you and I.


Fall of Satan

Isaiah the prophet gives us further information. Isaiah 14:12 says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

That was his name originally in heaven, Lucifer or Day Star. Isaiah 14:13,14 says, "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high."

Lucifer in his pride wanted to be the ruler of all the universe. Satan has never repented from the time of his original rebellion in heaven. And more and more he has come out in open rebellion in heaven against every plan of right and good.

In Ezekiel 28:12 (under the figure) of the king of the wicked city of Tyre we read, "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."

Ezekiel 28:13 says, "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created."

It says that he had been in Eden. He was decked with jewels, with precious stones, pearls and diamonds. Then God speaks of this voice "thy tabrets", "thy pipes". This suggests that he had musical ability. Some have suggested that he was the leader of the heavenly choir.

Ezekiel 28:14 says, "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire."
 

The Anointed Cherub

At one time he was one of the covering cherubs that stood right by the throne of God. To understand just what that meant you have to go back to Old Testament times. God commanded Moses to make a special building. It was called the Sanctuary. There were two rooms in it. One was called the Holy Place, the other the Most Holy Place. Inside there was the Art of God or Art of the Testament. The Ark was a wooden chest lined with gold. Inside the chest was the 10 Commandments on tables of stone written by the finger of God. Then there was the Mercy Seat above the tables. Above the chest were two angels, guardian angels, with their faces facing inwards above the Mercy Seat and between the angels was the Shekinah glory, like a globe of fire, and it was a symbol of the Glory of God and of the throne of God.

Satan as Lucifer once held that exalted position. Verse 14 says, "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth." Yes, he held that high and lofty position in heaven, right by the throne of God, and yet, he gave up his hold upon Truth. He abode not in the Truth. He apostatised; he gave it all up.
 

Warning to Us

I think we should pause right her - this is a solemn warning for our hearts. If Lucifer, standing in the very presence of God, one of the guardian angels occupying one of the very highest positions, if he standing in the presence of God could lose his way and give up the Truth, I believe that every one of us should keep our hold ever steadfast on Jesus.

We can never come to the place where we dare say:

"I am satisfied"

"I have attained"

"I am a Christian: I have nothing to worry about."

"I am saved."

There was Lucifer. He was saved. The Bible tells us that he was Perfect, that he was sinless, he was spotless, and yet he let go his hold upon God and lost everything. And one day he is to be destroyed in the fires of hell.

We must guard our hold upon Christ and be sure that our contact with heaven is bright and firm. That is why St Peter warns in 1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
 

Did God create a Devil?

Now I want to consider this question, did God create a devil? No! God created Lucifer. He was sinless, he was pure, a beautiful being, but he made a devil out of himself.

"Thou wast perfect" but he toyed with sin until at last he chose the way of rebellion.

Some have asked, why did God allow Satan to live after his rebellion? Why didn't He just blot him out of existence when He saw what the rebellion had done?

God still loved Lucifer. In deep grief and love He lingered long with Lucifer. He gave him every opportunity to turn, but he refused to repent, he continued in his perverse ways. He used lying propaganda and undermined faith in the constitution of heaven (God).

The world has staggered through several thousand years of sin and degradation. The lesson is do not let pride or self seeking come into your life. But keep your eyes on Jesus and He will see us through to the kingdom.

Extra thoughts. Even in the church there are those who have the desire to climb to power. They trample over others.

 

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  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.

 

 
  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.

 

 
  SDA Prophecy Chart
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.

 

 
 
  Testimonials
Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert @yeshuaskingdom.org (USA) ... more testimonials.

 

 
 

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