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Doug Batchelor - The Prince of Pride - Part 1


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    Doug Batchelor - The Prince of Pride - Part 1
TOPICS: Bible Prophecy, Devil, Pride, Rebellion

Many legends and stories from around the world talk about flying dragons, and some may even contain a kernel of truth. Paleontologists have discovered the fossilized bones of giant flying reptiles called pterosaurs or winged lizards. They've got long, thin beaks, bony crests on their head. The largest pterosaurs weighed over 500 pounds and had a wingspan of nearly 40 feet. It's like a small Cessna airplane. Pterosaurs had necks that were up to 10 feet long and the legs up to 7 feet long. To someone watching from the ground, the legs trailing behind the flying pterosaur might have looked like a flying dragon with a pointed tail. Some pterosaurs may have even survived the flood. In the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote about winged serpents in Arabia.

Friends, we know of at least one dragon that exists today. The dragon is also known as the devil. While some people think he's just a religious legend, scripture insists that he is very real and determined to deceive as many as possible. So, join me today as we take a closer look at this enemy, the one the Bible reveals to be the notorious dragon of Revelation.


Now, as we always do, we use Bible stories to understand these theological teachings of the Gospel, and tonight is no exception. We're going to look at a story that you find in the book of second Samuel chapter 14 dealing with Absalom. Absalom, his name, it means peace of the father. We've learned shalom means peace, Abba means father or papa, and so he was one of the favorite sons of King David. And Bible tells us that he was handsome, he goes to great lengths to say that from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him, and it talks about how he had this long, luxuriant hair that would grow so much every year that he would even, they'd weigh it. He had, like, five pounds of hair a year, you can imagine that. Obviously, I didn't get his genes.

I found that, theologically, hair gets men into trouble in the Bible. Look what happened to Samson. Anyway, there's a scripture that says, "Go up thou bald head." That offers me hope. That's true. Anyway, so he had this long hair and he wanted to be king, he's very, David didn't give him, maybe, enough discipline, and he was a little pampered prince in the palace of King David during the glory days, got everything he wanted, everyone kind of adored him, and he became very self consumed and very proud.

Now, he had an older brother named Amnon that was really next in line to be king. When Amnon mistreated Absalom's sister, Absalom had his brother killed, and then he fled the kingdom for a little while. Eventually, he wormed his way back into the favor of his father, back into the kingdom, and then after that point, Absalom would go and he began to exalt himself in the kingdom. It actually says he got 50 men and horses to ride before him and say, "Here comes Prince Absalom," and everybody everywhere he went, it was like a parade. He was a superstar in the kingdom. He was in all the tabloids, I suppose, because of his good looks, and then when people came to King David and they needed to have some judgment issue resolved, Absalom would meet them at the gate before they got to the king and say, "What's your problem? Oh, yeah that makes good sense. I'm with you. If I was king, I would judge in your favor."

And he started to do what some of the politicians do where he blew sunshine at everybody and tried to make everyone feel they were so wonderful. And he would embrace those that came to the king for judgment, and the Bible tells us, you can read in 2 Samuel 15, he did this probably for a couple of years, "he stole the hearts of the men of Israel." Now, you steal something that doesn't belong to you. He took the allegiance of the people that they should have had for the king from David, who was a good king, and they took it, and he stole it for himself.

Finally, when he realized that he had more support than David, it broke into an open rebellion. Absalom got some of the leaders and the generals and the people to support him. They blew the trumpet, said, "Absalom is king in Hebron," and then as he was making his way to Jerusalem, a messenger told David, "Absalom is trying to steal the kingdom." David said, "Look, he's going to destroy the city," and David took some of his soldiers and his family, they fled Jerusalem. Bible says David went up the Mount of Olives weeping. Do you know Jesus went up the Mount of Olives weeping also? Wept over Jerusalem.

Finally, they engaged in battle, and, you know, like Alexander the Great, you read in the Bible David never lost a battle. The Bible talks about David fighting with the Philistines like Goliath, Ammonites, Edomites, Moabites, Syrians, Egyptians, he never ever lost a battle. So, it's not smart to go to battle against David. And David's smaller group of soldiers, they routed Israel and those who followed Absalom, and as they were retreating, the Bible tells us that Absalom on his mule, he was riding through the woods, and he looked back to see if he was being gained upon, and his head got stuck in a low branch, in the fork of a branch of an oak tree, calls it a terebinth tree, and the mule went out from under him, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth.

You can read this here in 2 Samuel 18. "The mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth tree, and his head caught in the terebinth," probably his hair got wrapped up, all that beautiful hair. See, I told you, it gets you in trouble. So, he was left hanging between heaven and earth. Now, before I go any farther, here you've got a picture of a son of David hanging from a tree between heaven and earth. Do you find that picture in the New Testament?

And then when Joab the general saw him there, and the general Joab fought with David, and he thought "This young spoiled brat has caused all this death in the kingdom." Even though David wanted everyone to show Absalom mercy, Joab said, "He's just going to cause more problems," and he took three darts and pierced his heart, and like the nails in the hands and feet of Jesus. See, Jesus became sin for you and me. Jesus took the evil for you and me. But the rebellion of Absalom is an allegory for something that happened in heaven.

Our study tonight is on the Prince of Pride, and let's look at the story from the questions we're going to see in our lesson today, and I think we're going to learn a lot from that. First question, what was the name of the rebellious Prince in Heaven, and why did he rebel? You can read here in Isaiah Chapter 14, verse 12, "How you are fallen from heaven, O," what's that name, "Lucifer, son of the morning!" Nothing wrong with that name, that was the first name. Lucifer means light bearer, and he may have lived millions or billions of years before he finally rebelled, we don't know, but he was the highest of God's angels. What caused his problems? It says, "You have said in your heart, I will be like the most high."

So now, if you have your Bible and you turn to the book of Isaiah chapter 14, start with verse, oh, 12, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you said in your heart," he didn't betray it openly first, "'I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.'" Stars are often used to describe angels, and the Bible tells us that in Revelation. "I will also sit," meaning enthroned, "on the mount of the congregation." They'll all worship me. "'On the farthest sides of the north,'" that means the highest place, "'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High.' Yet you will be brought down to Sheol. To the lowest depths of the Pit."

So, here you've got this very powerful, not just very powerful, the most powerful angel of God, and he begins to think, "God is getting all the worship, Jesus has the power to create, why don't I have the power to create?" And even though the other angels adored Lucifer, and he probably led the Heavenly choir, Bible alludes to his musical ability, he began to resent that he didn't have ultimate power. It says, "Your heart," this is now Ezekiel 28, the prophet there tells us, "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor."

You know, sometimes if a person is very intelligent and they're good looking, then they can get a lot of praise from people, and with praise, you get pride. Pride, you start wanting more and more attention and more and more power, and that's what happened to Lucifer, began to resent that he was not God. He wanted the top job, and he started resenting that, and he thought, if I can get all the angels to join me, my power and all the power of the angels, we could overthrow God, and I could be God.

Well, to you and me right now that sounds like a ridiculous idea, that the creation could somehow overthrow the Creator. Now, when He, when God knew that Lucifer was first beginning to become preoccupied with His power and His wisdom and His beauty and think that I could be God, God could've said, "Look, he's going to be a troublemaker, I'm going to snap My fingers. I'm going to blink, and he is going to just disappear." God could do that. God is all powerful. One of the definitions of God is He's omnipotent, He's all powerful, but what would the other angels think if God had said, "Lucifer, you shouldn't be questioning Me. Poof, there you go. Anyone else got questions?" The other angels would go, "Oh, maybe Lucifer is right, but we better not say anything." They would have doubted the goodness of God if God had just snuffed him out when he started his rebellion.

And it says, "Because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor." He had this this glory, this beauty, like Absalom, went to his head. And I heard a pastor say one time there's four kinds of people. You got people who are beautiful on the inside, but they might be average, most of us are pretty average on the outside. And even though they might just be, you know, normal on the outside, because they're beautiful on the inside, they've got a winning disposition and a quick smile, and people want to be with them, and they're good listeners. Everybody wants somebody like that, and people love those people, they're beautiful people, but they might be homely on the outside. Then you've got people who are beautiful on the outside, but they're proud on the inside.

I knew this one girl, and she spent all of her spare time reading Glamour magazine, and she was a very attractive young lady, but she knew it, and she was always looking at herself, always pulling out a mirror. She could not walk by a glass window without checking herself out, and her friends used to tease her, because she was obviously pretty preoccupied with her appearance, and guys wanted to date her, but they didn't want to marry her. It's kind of like those two guys who were sitting in church one day and in walks this man with a very beautiful wife. And they kind of all turned around and looked, and he elbowed his friend, and he said, "That guy's wife always looks like a million dollars." He said, "Yeah, it's costing him a million dollars a month to keep her looking that way too."

So then you got the people who are, you know, they're beautiful on the outside, but they're kind of selfish on the inside. Then you got a very rare individual that is beautiful on the outside and they're beautiful on the inside. The Bible says a beautiful woman without discretion is like a jewel of gold in a pig's nose. Did you know that? That's what Solomon said. So, if you've got a person who is beautiful on the outside, but they don't have the beauty on the inside, it's kind of wasted. But what you really want is that woman you find in Proverbs chapter 31, she's a beautiful woman and she's a beautiful wife, the beautiful woman, person, and same thing with men, of course.

And then the fourth category we don't want to talk about, that would be the ugly-ugly, inside and out. But Lucifer started out beautiful-beautiful. God made him beautiful, but he made himself ugly, and that's what people need to understand. Question number two, one of the biggest questions of the night, did God make a devil or a defective angel when He created Lucifer? Well, what does the Bible say? "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created." It tells us he wasn't born, he's created. You were perfect, "Until iniquity was found in you," and some of you might be arguing, no, no, Doug, you can't have it both ways. God cannot be all knowing and all powerful and not know that there was something defective about Lucifer. I mean, didn't God know that he would ultimately go bad? Yes, He did. Then why did He make him? Cause us all these problems? God needed to demonstrate what was the truth all along, that He makes His intelligent creatures perfectly free, because you cannot love unless you're truly free.

Now, a way that I'd like to illustrate this is I'm working on an app. You didn't know that I do my own programming. And how many of you want love? Show of hands? C'mon, some of you say... Of course you want love. I like to be liked, don't you? I mean, compared with the other option. I mean, who wants to be hated? I'd rather be liked than hated, so. And we all like affirmation and appreciation and love and affection, I as much as others. And so, I've developed this new app to help improve our self-esteem.

Smartphone: Good evening, Doug.

Doug: Good evening, smartphone.

Smartphone: I want to tell you something, Doug.

Doug: We're all listening.

Smartphone: I want to tell you how much I love you. It's because you're just, well, you're so lovable. Everything about you is adorable, and you're just so intelligent. You're brilliant and you're smart and you're so good looking. It's just absolutely stunning. You have the strength of Samson, you have the wisdom of Solomon, and the courage of Elijah all wrapped up in one of the most absolutely remarkable, that's why I love you, Doug. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. Roses are red, violets are blue, and I love you. I love you, Doug.


Oh, I feel so much better already. Don't you think this'll sell? I've got love now. Do you think it really makes me feel better? Why? I program it to say all those things. Even though they're true, I'm the one who made it say all that stuff, so it doesn't really love me. Smartphone doesn't love me, it's a piece of electronics.

Does God want robots? No. If God had made us robots that say, "I love you, God. I love you, God. I love you. I praise you, Lord, I praise..." If you're not really choosing to do it, it's not love. Forced love is not love. Forced love is sometimes called rape. It's got to be freely given, and so if God had made only creatures that would love Him, it stops being real love.

God made creatures free with the ability to make independent choices, and Lucifer said, "I think I love myself more." And that's when everything went bad. See, God originally designed us where our greatest fulfillment comes from expressing love away from ourselves. Something was going wrong inside Lucifer because he just began to think about himself more than God, resent that God was getting more power and had more power and was receiving more adoration than him, and the compass needle flipped around, and it started pointing inward, and that's when you begin to self destruct. That's what happened to the human race, selfishness. It's what happened to Lucifer.

What finally happened? Well, Lucifer began to circulate among the angels, and when he realized he could not be God, he thought, well, I'll get the other angels to support me. Don't underestimate his power, how clever he is, and how persuasive he is, because the Bible says he was able to persuade a third of the angels to believe him and to follow him in his rebellion. "And a war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon," who's the dragon represent? He represents Satan. "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon: and the dragon and his angels fought."

You read about this in Revelation, I told you this is a prophecy seminar, and all this is going to play into prophesy. The devil is mentioned quite a bit in the book of Revelation. What powerful beings work under the devil's command? Well, we sort of just alluded to that. You can read here in Revelation 12, verse 4, "His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth." Who are these stars that were following Lucifer? They're angels also. You can look at Revelation chapter 12, verse 9, "He was cast to the Earth, and his angels were cast with him."

So, most of the time when we say, "Well, the devil tempted me or the devil made me do this," of course, the devil doesn't make you do anything unless you're demon possessed. I think it was Flip Wilson used to always say, "The devil made me do it." You can't always blame the devil, and, first of all, the devil is not omnipotent. He doesn't know everything, he can't read minds and hearts, but the devil has fallen angels, his minions, probably millions of them. One third of the angels in heaven, and if God has guardian angels for every person and there are billions of people in the world today, do you know the Bible actually gives us the highest number that is found in Greek, it applies to the angels of God, 10,000 times 10,000 and thousands of thousands. Tries to describe this innumerable company of angels, they're described as coming in a cloud when Jesus returns.

So, God's got a lot of angels, but one third of them followed Lucifer in his rebellion. He kept saying, you know, "God's not fair. We should have more freedom. We don't need God's laws to govern us. We should make our own. We should have the power of God to create, have our own worlds," and as he began to plant those desires in his heart and the hearts of the other angels...by the way, what did he tell Adam and Eve? If you eat this fruit, you'll be like God. That's what he wanted.

He began to plant his desires in the hearts of the other angels, and they followed him in his rebellion. Ultimately, they were cast to the earth because there was only on earth that Satan found another race of creatures made in God's image that followed him instead of God. God said, "Do not eat of the tree." The Word of God said, "Do not eat of the tree." Lucifer said, "Go ahead, eat of the tree. You'll be like God." Adam and Eve had to make a decision, who do we obey? When they chose to obey Lucifer instead of God, Paul says in Romans chapter 6, "Whoever you obey, that's whose servant you are."

The dominion of the world that Adam had received was handed over to the devil, and even Jesus calls the devil the prince of this world. So, the prince of this world comes and he has nothing in me. That's why the devil said to Jesus, if you fall down and worship me, you don't need to die for this world. I'll give it to you. He claims the dominion of this world. When the devil meets God in some heavenly meeting and God says, "Where did you come from?" God knew, but He's asking for the sake of others, said, "I came from the earth, from walking up and down and to and fro in it. It's my territory."

So, people say why is there all this evil in the world? It's because our first parents made a decision not to follow God, and God, He allows things to play out. You know, we live in a country where we get to elect our leaders. And what we elect, we experience for the next four years. Good or bad, does...I'm not advocating any party, just you're going to live with the consequences of your choices, and that's what's happening in the world right now is we are living out the consequences of the choices that were made by our first parents. But it's going to come to an end soon.

God just wanted the whole world to see what is the result of following the devil's government. The devil said, if I was in charge, we'd be happier in the universe. God said, all right, you found a world that's listening to you, let's see how that goes. And if Jesus had not come to our world to intervene, that's why we pray. See, if we don't pray, the devil's really in control of things. It's just the mercy of God that intervenes to protect. Otherwise, he'd exterminate the whole planet.

You know, I like science, and black holes are kind of fascinating. It's a collapsed star, and they've pretty much proven the existence of these black holes, and the density of matter in a black hole is so incredibly powerful that, you know, matter creates gravitational pull, the gravitational pull of a black hole is so incredible that light, which travels 186,000 miles per second, cannot even escape. It just sucks in, and the devil is like a black hole. Everything is about me, me, me, and people who follow the devil in the world, they've got the same attitude. All of their thoughts are, how will this affect me? What's in it for me?

Jesus, on the other hand, everything Jesus did was love. What's the great command? Love the Lord, love your neighbor as yourself. See, with the devil, it's you first; everything else is secondary. With God, it's God first, it's others first, and then it's you. The devil is the polar opposite of God when it comes to values.

The plan of salvation, you're born again, and instead of being controlled by selfishness, you're now controlled by love. It changes your life. The polarities reverse, so now you think about others, you love because Jesus loves others.

Now, before I go any farther, when David finally learned that Absalom had died hanging in a tree, pierced, you know, when Absalom was running, you remember he was caught by the hair and he was hanging in the tree, and Joab and his soldiers executed him, and that hearkens to another son of David that died hanging into a tree, in a tree between heaven and earth that was pierced. And it says, "When David heard this, he was deeply moved."

And, years ago, Karen and I got word that while we were overseas, one of our children died in a construction accident. And I can't tell you, I would not wish that grief on any human to know that suddenly, unexpectedly, a beautiful son has died and you didn't get to say goodbye. Just heartbreaking. And David had such high hopes for Absalom. Says, he went and he said, oh, he was much moved, and he went over the gate, and he wept, and everybody could hear him weeping, and he said, "O, my son, Absalom, my son, my son. If only I had died in your place. O Absalom, my son, my son!"

And where else do you find that phrase? God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus, who is a son of David, died for you and me that we might be saved from sin and from the Devil. The Bible says, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down having great wrath because he knows his time is short."

Question is, friends, do you know the time is short? We're living in right near the end of time and soon everybody's going to have to make a decision one way or the other. Don't wait. 1 John 4:4, "You are of God, little children, and you've overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." Don't say how it's going to be hard to follow the Lord. Life's hard. It's a lot easier following Jesus than following the devil. It's easier being on your way to the promised land than being a slave back in Egypt, can you say amen? So, will you make that decision to turn your eyes towards Jesus?
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