The Fall of Lucifer

The Fall of Lucifer

October 16th, 1983 @ 10:50 AM

Luke 10:18

And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
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THE FALL OF LUCIFER

Dr. W.A. Criswell

Luke 10:18

10-16-83     10:50 a.m.

 

And it is no less a joy and a gladness for us to welcome the uncounted multitudes of you who are sharing this hour on radio and on television.  This is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, delivering the second message in the series of seven sermons on angelology, on angels; it is a section in the three year series on “Great doctrines of the Bible.”  And the title of the sermon this morning is The Fall of Lucifer.

I do not know that I ever have announced the outline of a sermon before I delivered it.  I have always looked upon the outline as the bones, the skeleton, and you hide it under the flesh and the sinew and the skin.  It does not appear particularly.  But this morning, in order for us to follow the message meticulously, the outline is this: one, we shall make a summary survey of the life of Satan, Lucifer.  We shall do it first in heaven, second in earth, and third at the consummation of the age.

Then the second part of the sermon; out of a multitudes of things that we could choose in the life of Lucifer, we have the opportunity, I pray, to choose two.  We shall speak of him as an angel of light.  Remember, his ambition stated in the Bible is not to be a fiend.  It is to be like God; brilliant, omnipotent.  First, we shall look upon him as an angel of light.  That’s what Paul calls him in 2 Corinthians 11:14; and then second we shall behold the fury of his fall.  Now as a background text, our Lord said in Luke 10:18, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.  I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”  Now, let’s begin: a survey, a summary survey of the life of Lucifer.

In the beginning of unknown infinitude of time, before time was created, before the world and the universe were created, so far as we know, the first revealed act of God was the creation of the angelic hosts.  When you read in the Bible the phrase, “the Lord of hosts,” it refers to the host of heaven: Lord sabaoth, the “Lord of hosts,” the angelic hosts of heaven.  The first revealed act of God was the creation of the angelic hosts of heaven; they are uncountable, multitudinous, innumerable.  In the Book of the Revelation, the Greek calls them “myriads, upon myriads, upon myriads.”  Ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands [Revelation 5:11], it’s translated in the King James Version, a vast innumerable multitude, the angelic hosts of heaven [Hebrews 12:22].  And they were created before the universe, before matter and time were created. In the thirty-eighth chapter of the Book of Job, we are told that the angelic hosts, the sons of God, the angels of glory looked upon the marvelous creation of our universe with joy, and wonder, and amazement, and gladness [Job 38:7].  They watched God in the creation of the stars, the planets, the universes, the galaxies, and this earth.

Now, in that creation of the angelic hosts of heaven, God also created the most perfect and the most beautiful, the most glorious of all of the angelic creatures that He had created.  God created Lucifer, and He made him the “son of the morning” [Isaiah 14:12].  Lucifer, light bearer, to be the leader of the angels of heaven and the guardian of the throne of God Himself [Ezekiel 28:14].  He made him above all of the other creations in God’s created heaven and earth.  In the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, he is described:

Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty . . . Thou art the anointed—

that’s the Hebrew word for Messiah—

thou art the anointed cherub that covereth, that guards:  I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

[Ezekiel 28:12, 14]

 

He must have been brilliantly, beautifully created.  Diamonds and rubies and emeralds and jewels adorned his very walk.  “Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created” [Ezekiel 28:15].  This Lucifer was so alluring and so beautiful until he was able to take out of the hand of God one-third of all of the multitude of that angelic host [Revelation 12:4].  And we read of his fall in these two places: first, in the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel.

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, until—

and that “until” is the crisis point of God’s whole universe—

until iniquity was found in thee.  Thine heart was lifted up because of thine beauty..

thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.

[Ezekiel 28:15, 17].

And the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Isaiah describes that fall.  Isaiah 14:12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,” his name means light bearer, “son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground!  For thou hast said in thine heart,” and here are five “I wills”:

I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the angels of God:

I will sit upon the mount of the congregation . . .

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will be like the Most High, Almighty God Himself.

[Isaiah 14:13-14] 

 

“Yet thou shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” [Isaiah 14:15].  

The beauty and the glory and the splendor and the brilliance of Lucifer brought pride to his heart, and he envied God Himself.   And I repeat, so alluring and becoming and attractive is this creature, Lucifer, that he was able—according to the twelfth chapter of the Book of the Revelation—to take after him, to pull after him, the file leader of one-third of the angels of glory [Revelation 12:4].

Lucifer and all of the angelic hosts were created as we were; with choice, the ability to choose, to will, to possess volition.  God never created them as robots; He didn’t create us as a robot.  Nor did God create them impersonally.  A mountain cannot talk back to God.  An ocean or a star or a planet cannot think God’s thoughts after Him.  God created the angelic hosts with personality and with choice, and this Lucifer was able to bring out of the reverence and adoration of God one-third of all of the multitudinous angelic hosts.  They followed him; they chose him [Revelation 12:4].  Like Absalom stole the hearts of Israel from David [2 Samuel 15:4-5], Lucifer stole the hearts of one-third of the angelic hosts from God omnipotent.  And he became known to us therein as Satan, the adversary—he became known to us as diabolos, devil, the accuser, the slanderer [Matthew 4:1].  Now in that fall there also came to pass the tragedy, the trauma, that we see in our created universe.

They looked upon the perfect work of God; anything God would do would be without imperfection.  It would be beautiful and perfect, and the angelic hosts looked upon the creation of God, this earth, our system, the whole universe of starry galaxies above and beyond us, the angelic hosts looked upon that creation with marvelous joy and amazement [Job 38:7].  But when Satan fell and brought sin into God’s world, the world also fell.  In the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, God created the heavens and the earth [Genesis 1:1].  They were perfect and beautiful, and the angels looked upon it with joy and amazement [Job 38:7].  The second verse of the first chapter of Genesis, “And the earth and the heavens became void and dark and waste” [Genesis 1:2].  That was the result of the entrance of sin into the universe.  That was the result of the fall of Satan.  And wherever sin enters into any place, anywhere in creation, it brings chaos, and darkness, and void.  So the universe fell in the fall of Satan.

Number two now: a summary of the life of Satan in the world.  When God looked upon His fallen creation—the stars that are burned out, all of the dearth, and death, and blackness, and sterility of the whole creation of God—when the Lord looked upon the waste and the void, He chose one planet called “Earth” to regenerate, to rejuvenate, to remake, to reconstruct.  And God did that in six days; He recreated this fallen earth and He made it beautiful and perfect [Genesis 1:3-31].  And He called it “the garden of Eden.”  And in that garden, He set the man that He created [Genesis 2:8], and finding him living alone, made for him an help meet and brought her to him [Genesis 2:18, 21-22].  And they were given the dominion of the earth [Genesis 1:26-28]; it was his, Adam’s.  And God said to Adam, “Have dominion over it,” and when he brought Eve, He said, “And replenish the earth [Genesis 1:28].  It is yours.  The title deed is in your name.  The earth belongs to you.”

On the outside of the garden of Eden, lies that sinister, evil, subtle, serpent, Satan [Genesis 3:1].  And he sits there, he walks there, he lies there in vindictiveness.  This is his creation; the whole creation has been given into his hands [2 Corinthians 4:4].  And when he hears God say, “This earth is yours, the title deed is yours,” Satan in his bitter and vindictive jealousy, watches, and he sees something—Adam loved Eve.  And Satan says in his heart, “If I can get the woman, I’ll get the man,” which is true everlastingly.  I don’t even try to reach a man if I can’t reach the wife. No need to try.  If you win him, the next morning she has him back again as he was.  “I’ll get the woman,” said Satan, “and when I get her, I’ll get the man.”  The Bible plainly says that Satan deceived Eve [1 Timothy 2:14].  He didn’t deceive Adam.  Adam chose to die with Eve rather than live without her.  “I can get the woman; I’ll get the man,” and he did.

He came before the woman in the incarnation of the most beautiful of all of the animal creation—the serpent that you see is slimy, moves on his belly, he’s cursed—but in the beginning, he was beautiful and subtle and could talk.  And he said to the woman, “Eve, you will be as of God Himself if you will eat of this forbidden tree” [Genesis 3:4-5].  Doesn’t that sound familiar to you?  Isn’t that what Satan had in his own heart?  “I want to be as God” [Isaiah 14:14], and she listened to the siren, subtle voice of the serpent, and she fell and Adam fell [Genesis 3:1-6], and therein the title deed was wrested from the authority and hands of Adam and was seized by Satan himself.  He now has the title deed of this earth; it belongs to him, he took it in the fall and sin and deception of Eve and of Adam.

How do you know all of those things, pastor?  Very simply: in the temptation in the fourth chapter of the Book of Luke, Satan says to the Lord Jesus, “The glories of the kingdoms of the world, I will give it to You if You will fall down and worship me because it has been delivered unto me!  It has been delivered unto me” [Luke 4:5-7].  It was given to Satan; and in John 12 [John 12:31], and in John 14 [John 14:30], and in John 16 [John 16:11]; our Lord says Satan is the ruler of this world.  And in the second Corinthian letter, chapter 4, Paul calls him “the god of this world” [2 Corinthians 4:4].  The title deed of this earth passed from the hand of Adam to Satan when he fell in the garden of Eden [Genesis 3:1-6].

And thereafter, the story of Satan is the story of the Bible.  He listened to God when the Lord said, “The Seed of the woman shall crush his head; the Seed of the woman” [Genesis 3:15].  And all through the millennia since, Satan has been trying to destroy the Seed of the woman.  He did it, he thought triumphantly in Cain, when Cain slew Abel [Genesis 4:8, 7:21-23].  Then he thought he had done it in the antediluvian civilization when the whole world fell into sin and flood, but Noah found grace in God’s sight [Genesis 6:6-8].  And he thought he had done it in the days of idolatry, when the world earth was filled with idolatry, but God spoke to Abraham, “Blessing thee, I will bless the world” [Genesis 12:2-3].  And he thought he had done it in the barrenness of Sarah, but God gave her a child, a son, when she was ninety years of age [Genesis 17:17, 21: 2-12].  And he thought he had done it in the great apostasy, but God called the people back under Elijah [1 Kings 18:18-39].  He thought he had destroyed the Seed of the woman when Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, destroyed all of the seed of David.  But Jehoiada the high priest stole away little Joash, the baby, and kept him in the temple, hidden for seven years [2 Kings 11:1-4].  He thought he had done in the Assyrian captivity [2 Kings 17:6], and the Babylonian captivity [2 Kings 24:14].  He thought he had done it in Bethlehem, when all of the babes were slain [Matthew 2:16], but God preserved the Seed of the woman, and they fled to Egypt [Matthew 2:13-14].  He thought he had done it in the temptation, but the Man of God was able to withstand the inroads and the wooings and the allurements of Satan himself [Matthew 4:1-10; Luke 4:1-13].  And he thought he had done it when the people of Nazareth took Jesus to cast Him headlong down [Luke 4:29].  And he thought he had done it when the Pharisees took up stones to destroy Jesus, stoning Him to death [John 8:59].  And finally, he did it on a place called Calvary [Luke 23:33], they nailed the Seed of the woman to the cross and Satan watched Him die [Matthew 27:32-50].  With what glee and with what indescribable triumph and gladness did Satan exult over the death of the Son of God, “Israel has slain her own Son!” [Acts 3:13-15].

But there was a secret hidden in the heart of the Almighty; out of the death of Christ, His blood and suffering [Matthew 27:32-50], and out of the resurrection of the glorious triumphant Son of Man [Matthew 28:1-7], a secret God had in His mind and purpose and plan, this age of grace [Colossians 1:27].  The prophets never saw it, the Old Testament never wrote of it, Satan never dreamed of it—that out of the blood, and suffering, and cross, and death, and tears, and pathos of our Lord, was to be the gospel of the grace of the Son of God that washes our sins away [Acts 22:16], and makes us members of the redeemed family of the Lord [1 Peter 1:18-19]—this age of grace [Romans 6:14]; and therein and thereafter, the story of his persecution of the people of God.  “And the dragon was wroth and went to make war with her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” [Revelation 12:17], hear it!

Now the third: the end time, the final judgment; in the twelfth chapter of the Revelation: Lucifer is thrown out of heaven and coming down to the earth [Revelation 12:9], the great tribulation, and it ends in the battle of Armageddon [Revelation 16:15].  And at the end of the battle of Armageddon, the great mighty angel comes down and sets a seal upon Satan in the bottomless pit [Revelation 20:1-3].  And after a thousand years, he is loosed for just a season [Revelation 20:7], and then he rises in the final opposition and confrontation to God Almighty, and this time he is cast into the lake of fire forever and ever and ever [Revelation 20:7-10].  Thus, the summary: the survey of the life of Satan.

We now pick out two things about him.  Number one, he is described in 2 Corinthians 11:14 as an “angel of light.”  When God created him, He gave him the name light bearer, the “son of the morning,” Lucifer [Isaiah 14:12].  One of most astonishing of all the developments in Christendom and in human history is this, that he is presented to the world in caricature a foolish, grotesque, ridiculous person; he has horns, he has a forked tail, he has a pitchfork, he has a red suit, and he stokes the coals of and the fires of hell and damnation.  There’s nobody in hell yet!  The first one there is the beast, the second one there is the false prophet [Revelation 19:20], and the third one there is Satan [Revelation 20:10], and the fourth there are those who follow him [Revelation 20:11-15].  To think of Satan as being in hell and stoking the fires of damnation is of all things alien to the revelation of God and the truth of human experience.  In no way is Satan a ridiculous, grotesque figure, he is the brilliant creation of Almighty God.  He is Lucifer, “the son of the morning” [Isaiah 14:12], and Paul describes him, as I say, as “the angel of light” [2 Corinthians 11:14].

Look!  This man, this creation, this Lucifer, in his person and in his presence, dares to defy and to rival the almighty omnipotent God Himself!  And not only that, but his ambition was not to become a fiend, but to become like God [Isaiah 14:14].  He is brilliant.  He shines; he’s an angel of light—you see that in all of the outworking of Satan’s doings, our experience with him in this world—an angel of light.  He is in favor of excellence, and of conquest, and of progress, and of achievement, only leave God out of it!  He is in favor of social amelioration and betterment, good government, only leave God out of it!  And he is the patron of arts, and culture, and literature, and science, and the mass media, only leave God out of it!  He’s an angel of light [2 Corinthians 11:14].  Lucifer, the “son of the morning” [Isaiah 14:12], brilliant.

He presides over the educational systems of the world.  He delights in that learned professor as he lectures on the ableness of man to save himself: self-salvation.  He has the answers to all the problems.  He delights in academic classroom lecturing; only leave God out of it!  You call it “humanism.”  I can just listen to Satan as he stands in the classrooms of the universities of the world and the high schools of the world, and he lectures on evolution.  There is not a hypothesis as preposterous and unthinkable and indefensible in human imagination as evolution; that something came out of nothing!  But, he is the brilliant angel of light, and he can stand in the presence of young men and women and lecture on the most impossible, hypothetical, imagination ever comes to the mind of man and do it excellently, beautifully.

All you’ve got to do—out there on this side, on the eastern side of Australia, is the Great Barrier, a coral reef a thousand miles long; whether they’re right or not, fifty million years to build it.  You can go down there to the bottom of that thing and look at the fossilized little coral animals that built it back there fifty million years ago, and you can come up to the top of the wave, and you can see that same little animal fifty million years later; he’s just the same little coral animal.  When I was over there last summer with Paige Patterson in the Caribbean, in St. Thomas, I heard that they had amber for sale.  So I scurried around and scoured through all of those shops there, looking for amber of a certain kind.  Amber, they say, is the resin—the bleeding, the sap of the tree—and when it’s under certain conditions with heat and pressure, it turns into amber, and as such, the resin would capture little animals.  Well, I had read that, so I wanted to buy a piece of amber.  And I did.  Fifty million years ago, they say, that amber was made, and on the inside of that amber you will see a little mosquito.  I bought one; he’s the same obnoxious creature today as he was fifty million years ago, he hadn’t changed a bit.  And yet Satan will stand in our academic community and he will brilliantly lecture.  He’s the god of this world [2 Corinthians 4:4], he’s brilliant, and he presides over the educational process; just leave God out of it!

And religion?  He loves religion; he’s the most religious of all God’s creation.  He wants to be like God [Isaiah 14:14], and that’s religion.  The whole story of the ancient world is told in terms of the gods of the Babylonians, or the Egyptians, or the Greeks, or the Romans.  There are three hundred thirty-five million separate gods that are worshiped in India today; he likes that.  Just leave the true God out of it.  And he loves the religions of the world.  He loves the millions and the millions and the millions that worship at the shrines of Buddha or of Shinto.  And he loves the gods of the Hindus, and he loves the worship of the Muslims—millions and millions and millions—just so you leave the true God out of it!  And this brilliant Lucifer, the angel of light [2 Corinthians 11:14], he has no ability to create anything.  Therefore, he counterfeits, and he counterfeits the church of the living God and our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul, in the first and second Timothy letters, describes the counterfeit church, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof [2 Timothy 3:5], “with doctrines of devils [1 Timothy 4:1] and with false apostles” [2 Corinthians 11:13].  And in the second chapter of Revelation, “the synagogue of Satan” [Revelation 2:9], knowing the deep things of Satan, rivaling the deep things of God; Satan loves that.  He loves a religion without a redeemer, he loves a litany without life, he loves a homily without the blessed hope, and he loves the preacher without passion for the lost.  “Man, man!  Wasn’t that a great sermon?  Man, man!  Wasn’t that a marvelous message?  Man, man!  Wasn’t that pulpit brilliant today?”  Just so you leave God out of it—don’t make an appeal, don’t seek the lost, don’t try to convert the unsaved—just make it beautiful, liturgic, brilliant, but leave the saving Redeemer out of it!  That’s Satan.

And brilliant as he is, the angel of light that he is, Lucifer that he is, the light bearer that he is, he hides away carefully, everlastingly, he hides away the end results of those that he deceives and dupes.  He says, “Look at this great university, just look at it.  University of Chicago, Brown University, Harvard University, Yale, Princeton, all of them, just look at this great university, look at it.”  But he hides away the fact that the university was built for the conversion of the lost, the training of ministers to preach the gospel of the Son of God.  He hides that away, you’d never know it, you’d never know it. “See this great institution of learning?  That’s mine,” says Satan.  They leave God out of it.

And the achievements of the great social upheavals of the world, Satan is proud of them.  Lenin stands to say, “You have nothing to lose but your chains.”  And Karl Marx, and Leninism, and Stalinism, and all of the dupes of communism work, they say, to elevate the poverty stricken and the downtrodden of the earth—and he’s proud of his achievements.  I listened to Dr. Black; the pastor of the Presbyterian School named Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey.  I was his guest; I listened to him.  He married a Bulgarian, he lived in Bulgaria.  He said, “I can’t describe to you the power of communism, it is the kingdom of darkness—as Christ has the kingdom of light [Colossians 1:12-13]—and it’s presided over by Satan himself.  When children will witness and testify against their own parents, when they know that it leads their fathers and mothers to death and to execution, I can’t describe it.

It’s Satan, but he hides away from you, in all of those dupes who—in Central America, in China, in Africa, in Eastern Europe, and in Russia—all of those dupes who are building up this new social order, he hides away from the eyes of the dupes, the slavery, and the oppression, and the misery, and the loss of freedom and life under the system.  That’s Satan, he’s brilliant.

He’s brilliant in every area of life.  He presents the man of distinction, and you look at him; he’s an able executive, dressed gorgeously, has a high place in the corporation and in society.  This is the man of distinction with a glass in his hand, drinking; but he hides away the gutter and that drunkard in his vomit and in the sorrow of broken homes, broken families, broken lives, orphaned children, he hides it away, he’s brilliant!  And he glorifies the glamour, and the gaiety, and the glory of a Broadway or a Hollywood or a Las Vegas, and all the allurements of what Zig Ziglar described as “pornography.”  But he hides away the syphilis, and the gonorrhea, and the herpes, and the AIDS, and the broken heart, and the tears, and the despair.  He’s brilliant.  He hides it away; that’s Satan, an “angel of the light” [2 Corinthians 11:14].

Bear with me now, just one other as briefly as I can make it: the fury of his fall.  One of the strangest things, one of the most amazing revelations to me in the Bible is this: who is it?  Who is it that introduces the end of the age and the second coming of our Lord?  Who does that?  It is the archangel Michael; Michael, the everlasting eternal enemy of Lucifer!   It is Michael, the archangel [Daniel 12:1].  There is one archangel, one, and his name is Michael, and his name is “Who Is Like God.”  Satan, “I want to be like God” [Isaiah 14:14].  Michael’s name is “Who Is Like God.”  And in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.”  And Michael, the archangel of God, descends with his shout, and with his trumpet, and the dead in Christ are risen, raised first [1 Thessalonians 4:16].  And the saints of God are raptured away, and he announces the coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds and the shekinah glory of the Lord [1 Thessalonians 4:17].  “Behold, He cometh with clouds” [Revelation 1:7].

Like that glorious parable of the ten virgins; “Behold, the bridegroom cometh” [Matthew 25:6], and the Lord descends in the air! [1 Thessalonians 4:16].  And Satan in his fury and in his anger knows no end and no bounds.  He cries to Michael the archangel, “These dead, they are mine.  In corruption, they lie in the earth!  They are mine and you have raised them up to life. And these that you have raptured away, these saints that you have taken away, they are mine to afflict and to destroy with disease, and senility, and age, and death, and the grave.  They’re mine!  And this coming of the Lord in power?  I am the prince of the power of the air [Ephesians 2:2], He is coming down to invade what is mine, what is mine!”  And his fury knows no end.  And that is why it is written in the Book, “And there was war”:

There was war in heaven.

Michael—“who is like God?”—

and his angels fought against him who said, “I will be like God”

And that dragon and his angels fought.  And the great dragon was cast out.

[Revelation 12:7-9]

 

I don’t think there is a couplet in human speech as vivid as this verse from Milton in his Paradise Lost.  “Him the Almighty hurled headlong, flaming from the ethereal sky.”  God cast him out.  Heretofore, he has access to us in earth and the host of heaven.  Job 1, Job 2, he’s there accusing the saints [Job 1:9-11, 2:4-5].  His name means accuser, slanderer, he’s cast out of heaven.  Then, the cry, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth . . . for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time” [Revelation 12:12].  The devil comes down to the earth.  “Lord, Lord, how shall we then be saved?”  The answer is in the Revelation: God seals His own.  In the seventh chapter of the book and the second verse, “God seals His own” [Revelation 7:2-3]  And in the first chapter of the Book of Ephesians, God says that the Holy Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption until the full purchased possession, the soul and the body sealed [Ephesians 1:13-14].  And the devil can’t destroy us, and the devil can’t circumvent us, and the devil can’t overcome us; we belong to God!  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” [Revelation 12:11].

In 1527, the dear close friend of Martin Luther, Leonhard Kaiser was burned at the stake because he refused to recant.  Out of the sorrow and tragedy and trauma of that burning at the stake that martyred him, Martin Luther wrote a hymn: Ein Feste Burg, and when I read it, just to read it in an English translation, it has in it the power and the spirit of the confrontation and the war between God’s people and Lucifer.  This hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God” was made into the Cantata 80 of Johann Sebastian Bach.  Felix Mendelssohn made it the final movement of his fifth symphony, called the Reformation symphony.  And Richard Wagner made it the theme in his “Kaiser March.”  When I read it you’ll sense the victory God has given us against so great an enemy as Lucifer.  Listen to it:

A mighty fortress is our God.

A bulwark never failing.

Our helper He amid the flood

Of mortal ills prevailing.

For still our ancient foe

Doth seek to work us woe.

His craft and power are great

And armed with cruel hate,

On earth He has no equal.

If we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing.

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God’s own choosing

Doth ask who that may be,

Jesus Christ, it is He.

Lord Sabaoth—Lord of the Hosts—His name

From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.

And though this world with devils filled

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear for God hath willed

His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim.

We tremble not for him.

His rage we can endure,

For, lo, his doom is sure.

One little word will fell him.

That word above all earthly powers

No thanks to them abideth.

The Spirit and the gifts are ours

Through Him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go,

This mortal life also.

This body they may kill,

God’s truth abideth still,

His kingdom is forever, forever, forever.

We can’t lose.  Our enemy is brilliant, the angel of light [2 Corinthians 11:14].  But He that is with us is greater than he that is with them [1 John 4:4], and our triumph is certain.  Bless God, praise His wonderful name.

We are going to stand and sing us a hymn, and while we sing the hymn, go ahead and stand, good time to stand.  While we sing the hymn, as God shall put it in your heart to come, welcome.  “Preacher, I am taking Jesus as my Lord, and here I stand.  I am putting my life in the family of this dear church.   I’m coming in answer to the Spirit of God’s appeal in my soul.”  A thousand times welcome, while we sing.