Tue. May 11th, 2021

By Edwin Harper

Text: Isaiah 14:12-17 “l will ascend in the heaven and I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will be like the most high!”

1. This is the terrible story of the one called Lucifer. It was his desire to be equal to God or even greater than God.

a. Lucifer was a theologian – he knew God’s words and plans.

b. Being a theologian doesn’t make you spiritual. Knowing about God doesn’t make you Godly. A Bible scholar may smoke, curse,
etc., yet still, go to a pulpit and act like he knows God.

c. The devil is the same. He’s a deceiver. He’s a liar.

d. Many names & titles: serpent, dragon, beelzebub, abddon, Lucifer, devil. But was also the gilded one, fair one, bright one of the morning, starlet of God – but still a scripture quoting devil.

e. He likes to boast, “I’m a roaring lion, walking to & fro, seeking who I may devour.” He will try to remind everyone he is powerful,
second only to God. That he’s the second most powerful force in eternity.

f. Right? WRONG!! He is not! It’s a lie!

g. There’s a singer in the world – Charlie Daniels, who says “ya got to give the devil his dues.” I’II agree – you must admit that his
power is felt throughout the world and that his past was brilliant & great. He is in the world today, and he is approaching his finest hour
– the tribulation age.

h. But we must also state that there is a drastic destruction coming to the devil. He’s coming down, my friend, he’s going to fall!

i. Yes, he is powerful, evil, destructive, etc. – but I am NOT going to say that he is the SECOND MOST POWERFUL FORCE NEXT TO GOD IN ETERNITY. It’s not true!! Who is? I’II tell you who is! There is a body in this world; a living, breathing, vibrant organism that has more power than the devil! It was blood bought, water baptized, and Spirit-filled. My friend, it’s you and I; it’s the CHURCH! Glory!

 

2. The church is second to God in power.

a. Let me tell you a Bible story to illustrate: Around 518 B.C., a king came to the Media-Persian throne named Ahasuerus and the Jews
were captive under him. The king looks through the land & finds a beautiful Jewish girl named Esther and he makes her his queen. The Jews were not long in Ahasuerus’ kingdom when there rises a man named Haman. Haman is one of the chief ministers in the kings court. Haman hates the Jews and he tries to destroy them. The Jews have always lived under the shadow of destruction. Someone is
always trying to destroy them. Then a Jew named Mordecai hears of the plan and he goes to queen Esther. Esther asks the king for a banquet in which she gives the king great honor. When the king asks her what he can do for her in return, she replies “l want to come back tomorrow and give you more honor! Finally, the king again asks her what he can do for her and she reveals the terrible plot of Haman. The king rewards Esther by having Haman hanged.

b. Let me remind you of something. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. The king of all the universe is king Jesus. Glory!

c. There is also a power in this world called the devil. And he thinks he is the most powerful force next to God.

d. But there is also another power in this universe – and it happens to be the good Lord’s bride. The church is His queen! And more
power is given to the queen than is given to a member of the king’s court!

e. The devil might be the prince of this earth. But Jesus is the king of the universe. And standing next to the king is His bride.
That’s us, my friend; that’s the church! Hallelujah!

 

3. Let’s look at it again:

a. Esther came from a people that were a stranger to Ahasuerus, the king and were not of his blood, but a foreigner. Friend, we the
church are a stranger and pilgrim in this land. We were not born of royal blood. We are gentiles, not of the same blood line as Jesus.

b. Esther did not directly approach the king with her problem. She first spent time in fasting and prayer and making herself ready. If the church will approach the King of Kings after first preparing herself with sting and prayer and making herself ready to be
in the presence of royalty, it will find a favorable response from her king.

c. Esther also came BOLDLY into the king’s presence. She didn’t whimper or cry or whine. She came boldly into the king’s presence,
knowing that the king loved her. Hebrews tells us, the church, to come BOLDLY into his presence!

d. When the church comes in, the king will respond. He said, “Esther, your so beautiful.” She had put on attractive clothes, perfume, etc. and in so doing what PLEASED HIM, he responded to her request. Jesus thinks the church is beautiful!

 

4. Every time the church comes together in a celebration of His greatness (remember, this happened in the story – Esther held a banquet feast in the king’s honor), the Lord looks at his beautiful bride and asks “What do you want? I’II give you anything, even to half of my kingdom!”

a. Esther’s reply? So very wise! “l just want to praise you again. Let’s do it again, and again. Let’s declare your greatness and power!

b. Friend, the key to coming to God with your needs is not in begging and pleading. It’s coming to church with one goal in mind – give him worship and honor and praise!! Nothing else.

c. Then he responds with love and affection. He’ll ask “what do you want?” And your response? “l want to praise you some more!”
Three times the king asked her for her request. Friend, don’t get in a hurry. Give him worship!

d. THEN AND ONLY THEN, when the Lord responds, when the Lord shines his favor upon us, when He pours out His approval upon His
people, THEN we can petition Him with our needs.

e. What will be our request? GET THIS DEVIL OFF OUR BACKS! And you know what? The Lord will! He’s doing it now!

 

5. You see, the Lord said, “l am the vine and you are the branches.” That tells me that I’m not just beside Him, or not only in His presence. But rather, I’m attached. Friend, I’m tied in to this thing. l have a direct line that reaches right into the throne room of heaven.

a. That means you can’t tell where the vine ends and the branch begins. We are a part of Him. He is a part of us. We don’t dress like the world, talk like the world, or act like the world. Why? Because we are not attached to the world. We act like Him because we are attached to Him. You can’t tell where His purity ends and ours begins. You can’t tell where His mercy ends and our sanctification begins. We are attached
to Him.

b. There is NO devil that’s standing between you and God. The devil is not some power over you that’s keeping you from serving God.
He’s not a force that keeps God’s light from shining on you. You are a part of the light source. You’re plugged directly in!

c. Nothing can separate you from your God. Not tribulation, not persecution, not trial or distress. Not famine, nakedness, peril, or sword can separate you! You are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who loved us and gave Himself for us. Neither height, nor epth, nor angles, nor principalities, not powers, not things present, not things to come, nor any other creature- THAT INCLUDES THE DEVIL! – can separate US!!! He’s the vine & I’m the branch.

d. The Lord didn’t put us in this world to be defeated or run over. He put us in the world that everything might see the glory of God
living through us.

e. And when it’s all over, it’s going to be the church that’s sitting beside Him at his throne. We’re going to judge angels and devils and nations.

 

6. Jesus gave us the example of how to defeat the devil.

a. Jesus reached into the Word. That’s the example He gave.

b. Friend, there will come a time that the devil will come against you to destroy you and defeat you. Where do you go? Where do you turn? Run to the Book! Go to Hebrews chapter eleven.

c. When the devil says I’m going to drown you – say “But Noah had an ark! Devil says “l have a deception”, reply “Abraham had a romise.”
Devil says “I’II kill you with thirst” reply “Isaac had a well.” Devil tries to give doubt; tell him “Jacob saw a ladder!” When I need a way
out, He can roll the waters back like He did for Moses. When I need a victory, then God can bring the walls of Jericho down and give David a sling to slay a giant.

d. And then I remember that when all these men needed God, and He was there for them, they didn’t even have a Calvary to look to. They didn’t even have a resurrection to remember. They didn’t have a Pentecost. But l do! If they can have victory without it, what can I do with it?!!

 

7. Hebrew 11:40 (read it). Glory! That’s all I need to know! If God did it for them, He’ll do it for me! He’s provided an even BETTER way
for you and me!

a. You see, God designed this church for victory. Just remember, “ALL things work together for good to them that are call for his purpose.”

b. So when things go wrong and the devil starts telling you lies and his demons are cheering, remember the word! The word give us many
examples.

c. I’m sure the devil rejoiced when Thomas doubted the resurrection. I’m sure he rejoiced when Philip left the revival in Samaria, when Stephen was being stoned. when Peter was locked in prison waiting to be beheaded, when Paul was ship wrecked, etc… I’m sure the devil rejoiced. But the devil didn’t see the whole picture! The devil wasn’t counting on the Lord stepping on the stage and saying “Sorry boys, this story is not over yet!” In every case, the devil missed it. He thought he had a victory, but God wasn’t through yet!

d. Let me tell you something, devil! When you think you got everything going your way and your power will prevail, then think again! You’re not first in command around here, and you’re not even second! God’s going to see us through!

 

8. I don’t know what you’re going through. Perhaps you’re in your darkest hour. Perhaps it looks as if the devil has hung a black cloud
over your life. But let me tell you, the devil’s not in control around here. The devil’s not messing with you; he’s messing with an Almighty
God! The devil’s not over you in power, but “greater is He that’s in you . . .”

a. Let me remind you, Jesus said, “If the world hated me, it’s going to hate you. If they called me names, they’ll call you names. If the devil
attacked me, he will attack you. If the devil tempted me, he will tempt you.

b. BUT THE LORD DIDN’T STOP THERE! He went on to say, “But be of good cheer! Children, I have overcome the world, the devil, and
temptation. And greater works then these shall ye do because I go unto my Father.”

c. You are the Lord’s prize possession. Therefore realize, “there is no temptation taken you but that is common to man. But God is
faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able, but with the temptation he will make a way of escape, that ye
will be able to bare it.”

 

9. Conclusion: The last living member of the Lord’s chosen Apostles is now banished to the island of Patmos. It looked as if the devil had
won this final battle. And now John, with no church, no choir, no pulpit, no nothing. Only a lonely island. But you can be sure the devil
was there. “The Lord’s forgotten you, John” he said.

a. But now it’s the Lord’s day. Perhaps John was singing as he awoke that morning, “Mine, Mine, Mine, Jesus is mine . . .” and the
Lord comes into the room! John saw him! John heard him! “l am the first and the last!” And there before his eyes, Jesus began to unfold to him the future.

b. Who’s that? Why, it’s the devil! And he’s bound hand and foot with chains! What’s that angel opening? It’s a pit! A lake of fire! And look where He’s putting that devil! And now, here comes the Lord on a white horse, with ten thousand times ten thousand of His saints. And a new Jerusalem, all ready for the Bride!

c. Devil, your only kidding yourself. You’re not first, you’re not even second or third. You’re going to be last. bound in darkness and torment for an eternity. Devil, you’re a liar! l am the bride, I’m the queen, and Jesus is the King!

(2270 words) Apostolic Information Service takes no responsibility for any part of this message or it’s content. Any error in context,
interpretation, or grammar are not necessarily the fault of the author or of AIS. This message was outlined from a live sermon preached by the author.

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