H O M E
B A C K
DECONSTRUCTING THE MTHOLOGY OF THE OLD WORLD
THE DEVIL IN THE DETAIL
PART 1. SATAN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

 

 

Introduction

“For all men have need of the gods...” (Homer)

Any notable Christian scholar will tell you that Christendom is well acquainted with its mythological past. The biblical texts are full of allusions to well known mythologies, familiar to the eclectic traditions of the ancient world, the names of pagan deities as well as their associated religious practices, are present in both the Old and New Testament texts. How unfortunate it is that we (for lack of general knowledge) continue to perpetuate myth over sound biblical teaching.

The fact is, the Biblical truth regarding evil and its purpose in the world we live in, has long since been forgotten by the church. Such deceptions are so commonplace; you will rarely come across a minister with even a sniff of truth to their teachings. Who is “Satan,” “Lucifer,” that “Old Serpent,” the “Murderer” and “Father of lies,” this “rebellious Archangel,” “Accuser,” “Adversary” and the “god of this world” that the church teaches with unparalleled confidence and assurance?

What about the ranks of demons and angels that pervade the unseen spiritual plains of this world we live in? Why on earth are we called to “wrestle” with these elusive powers and principalities? Why do malevolent spirits seek to inhabit the physical, fleshy minds of mortal men? For what purpose? How do we even deal with a phenomenon for which the Biblical texts provide such little instruction? It’s a huge subject, it’s daunting to say the least, but if we can wrap our heads around this most misunderstood subject, we shall be set free from the many fears and speculations of a deceived and deluded church age.

 

 

The Gods of the Old World!

The actual words “Satan,” “Devil,” “demon,” “Lucifer,” “fallen angel” etc, simply don't occur in the whole of the book of Genesis – one might say in the beginning. Throughout the Old Testament, the one and ONLY God of the Hebrews is presented as all powerful, without equal and in no competition with any other cosmic force. In fact, the Old Testament makes it clear that any “adversary” to God's people was ultimately under the control of God Himself.

In the Old Testament, ALL Angels are spoken of as being righteous and the servants of God, even “angels of evil / disaster,” who may bring destruction upon sinners, are still God's angels carrying out His will and judgments! God's people Israel initially held this view; but as has so often happened in the history of God's people, they mixed true belief with those of the world around them. Early Judaism spoke of the human tendency to evil [yetser ha-ra] and the tendency to good [yetser ha-tob]. This tendency to evil they understood as being at times personified or symbolized by what we now today commonly refer to as “the devil”: “Satan” and the “yetser ha-ra” are one”

Indeed, earlier Judaism rejected the concept that angels had rebelled, and they specifically rejected the idea that the serpent in Genesis was a personal deity named “Satan.” At that time, the Jewish devil was little more than an allegory of the evil inclination among humans.

It is noted by the editor of Dent's edition of the Talmud that neither the Talmud nor the Midrash (the Jewish interpretations of the Law of Moses) even mention “Satan” as being a fallen angel. Even in the Zohar- a second century AD Jewish book that became the basis of the Kabbalah- the sitra ahra, the “dark side” is presented interestingly as an aspect of God, not independent of Him, which operates on earth as a result of human sin. The Zohar actually uses the ideas of the Shekhinta b'galuta [God's glory in exile] and sitra ahra in order to speak of God's struggle with evil and to explain its very existence. The Zohar doesn't teach dualism, (a universe split between God and Satan,) but rather teaches that the struggle between good and evil occurs within God's own self. This is a curious revelation indeed.

 

SURROUNDING CANAANITE MYTHS

It seems unfathomable to the modern Christian mind, that the modern horned figure “Satan” is absent in the Hebrew Bible. Again, the earliest stages of Israelite religion knows no “Satan.” If a power attacks a man and threatens him, it is proper to recognize God in it or behind it. The Old Testament scriptures teach that God is all powerful, with no equal and that sin comes from within the human mind. Never is there any indication of a battle between Angels, and Angels falling from Heaven to earth. Indeed, the Biblical record at times makes allusions to the surrounding myths about a personal Satan [or his equivalent] and deconstructs them. But why? Well, the ancient near East was full of stories of cosmic combat! There are many examples of this – all of which are lost on modern Christians, in turn leading to much unwarranted speculation and supposition. There are even Christians who look at these bazaar portions of text in reference to catalogue some kind of pseudo demonology or insight to the spiritual world. However as we shall see, the Biblical texts do quite the opposite - they in fact deconstruct the laughable gods of the ancient world for what they are – silly myths!

If anything, the Old Testament stands out from other local religions by not teaching such ideas. And further, there are a number of Biblical passages which allude to these myths and show them to be untrue. Notable Scholars highlight these observations.

 “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind” (Psa 104:1-3)

Take Psalm 104, full of allusions to the Ninurta myth” of Babylonian thought. The inspired writer stresses that it is God and NOT Ninurta who rides a chariot “on the wings of the wind:” Ninurta supposedly struggles with the Satan figure who is in the “waters,” but here it is shown that God does with the oceans or tehom (cognate with the Akkadian Satan figure Tiamat) just what He wishes - He's in no struggle at all!

“..He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath pierced the crooked serpent...”(Job 26:5-14 KJV)

Here in this portion of scripture in Job, we see a whole string of allusions to popular Canaanite myths of cosmic combat; and the point of the passage is that God is so far greater than them that effectively they don't exist. Thus “The Shades writhe beneath Him [a reference to Mot, writhing as a serpent]... he strips naked Abaddon... stretches Zaphon... by his power he stilled the Sea [a reference to the god Yamm]. By his cunning he smote Rahab. By his wind the heavens are cleared [a reference to the Labbu myth, in which the dragon is cleared out of Heaven], his hand pierced the twisting serpent”

Compared to God, those gods have no power at all and they have been effectively “cleared out of heaven” by His power! - they simply don't exist out there in the cosmos! The truth that we must contend with when reading many such tracts of scripture, is that Israel situated as it was at the crossroads of so many cultures, inevitably was a state open to influence by the surrounding nations and their beliefs.

Despite so many prophetic calls to keep their faith pure, they were influenced by the beliefs of those around them, especially with regard to other gods and the common idea of a god of evil. These influences cannot be underestimated. Let’s list just a few of these supposed supernatural beings;

Humbaba – Mesopotamian (Gilgamesh) mythology: A Giant monster appointed by Enlil to guard Cedar Forest.

“Mot” Canaanite demon: Son of El – monster of the underworld

Habayu Canaanite underworld deity

“Set” Egyptian: Son of goddess Nut and god Re - Head of black jackal-like animal; forked tongue, tail.

Ahriman Persian demon of the underworld

“Hades” Greek Son of Zeus – god of the underworld.

It should be no surprise, that many of these “gods of evil” in many of these ancient cultures - had horns, not unlike the idea of a horned Devil figure of medieval Christendom. Nowhere in the Hebrew Bible is the Devil spoken of as having horns- clearly enough, it was an import from surrounding paganism.

 

 

A SEA of Evil

It is interesting to note, that the ancient Near East was full of beliefs that the “sea” was somehow where EVIL lived. In fact the sea was nearly always identified with a personal god of evil. The ancient Canaanite myths saw the sea as being in revolt against the Creator. The Ugaritic (Semitic) texts feature Baal in battle against the Prince of the Sea and the Judge of the River. Indeed, even the New Testament text of Revelation continues in this known tradition:

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a [wild] BEAST rise up OUT OF THE SEA  [the vast sea of humanity]” (Rev. 13:1).

The Old Testament has a huge number of references to God’s control over the sea - it begins with Him gathering the waters together in obedience to His word. “He placed a bound for the sea which it cannot pass”; and there are a very wide range of terms used to describe the seas / waters under His sovereign control: “the deep”, “the ocean-deep”, “the depth,” “the mighty waters”, “the majestic waters”, “the many waters” etc. All these are portrayed as under His control and total manipulation at His whim - seeing He is their creator!

The Egyptians perhaps more than any, believed in the waters, especially of the Nile, as the source of good and evil. God powerfully deconstructed this by enabling Moses to turn those waters into blood- i.e. to effectively slay whatever deity was supposed to live in the Nile, and then to revert the water to how it had been (Ex. 4:9). This was surely to demonstrate that whatever deities were associated with “the waters,” Yahweh was greater, and could slay and revive them at perfect ease. The record of the Red Sea destruction is instructive in this regard.

Later Scripture identified the Egyptians and not the sea itself as Rahab... the dragon” (Is. 51:9; Ps. 89:9.10), whereas the common view was that the sea itself was a “Satan figure.” Moses' stress was that the real adversaries/satans to Israel were people, NOT some mythical dragon figure. The conflict was between Israel and Egypt, God and Pharaoh - not God and some dragon in the Sea.

 Habbakuk, perhaps writing in a context of Israel being influenced by pagan ideas about the Sea god, stressed that at the Red Sea, God thrashed and “trampled Sea with your horses” (Hab. 3:8,12,15) - as Marduk supposedly trampled the storm god, so Israel are being told that in fact Yahweh is the one who trampled the “Sea god.”Other Scriptures confirm this:

Yahweh “Trod on the back of Sea”, i.e. the supposed Satan figure called “Sea” (Job 9:8; Dt. 33:29; Amos 4:13; Mic. 1:3; Is. 63:3

“You split Sea... cut Rahab in pieces... didst pierce the dragon” (Ps. 78:13; Neh. 9:11;Is. 51:9-11). Thus the splitting of the Red Sea was understood as not just the defeat of the great “adversary” – EGYPT, but splitting of the Satan figure or god known as “Sea” itself! Several scholars concur in the need to read the references to “Sea” in this way.

All this was what Moses had in mind when he sought to explain to his people what had happened at the Red Sea. The real “Satan” was Egypt, real men on a real earth who posed real danger to Israel. Thus the best known of all ancient Near Eastern myths, the myth of the chaos-dragon, is no longer understood as the primeval conflict between the deified forces of nature, but as Yahweh's victory over Egypt in his delivering his people from slavery. In a radical sense, myth is transformed in the Old Testament.

God wages war against all the forces which seek to assert their independence over or against him, whether they be the evil propensities of the heart of man, or the nations' claim to sovereignty, or the pride and power of the earthly kings. The fantastical world of demons is relegated to a position of only minor importance, and in contrast to other Near Eastern religions, man is delivered from the fear and dread of its destructive power. Importantly for us, this was and is what is so unique about the one true faith, from Genesis to Revelation. The world of demons and supernatural satans becomes irrelevant, effectively non-existent, because of God’s amazingly powerful involvement with His people. This should stand as a great encouragement to us as believers. Indeed  ...for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)

It is no coincidence that the Bible begins early on with the comment that “God created the great sea monsters” (Gen. 1:21) regarding perceived chaos and evil. Right at the outset of Biblical history, the point is being clarified that whatever monsters are in the sea, God created them and is in control and they are fulfilling His will.

“Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,  lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding”(Psalm 148:7-8)

This clearly makes the point that the sea monsters in the very deepest parts of the sea actually praise God. The Hebrew Bible is as it were going out of the way to emphasize that any such sea monsters were not part of any cosmic conflict against God; created by Him, they praise Him and are as it were on His side and not against Him.

The intentions of Moses in the Pentateuch was without a doubt,  the deconstruction of the Egyptian and Canaanite myths about evil. The more we study the Old Testament, the more apparent it becomes that this is in fact a major theme. Contemporary ideas about Satan, demons etc, are alluded to and Israel are given the true understanding.

The Catholic theologian Edmund Hill puts it very clearly:

“The story of creation is really one of the earliest essays in demythologization... it is a counterblast to the Babylonian creation myth Enuma-elish which glorifies the gods of Babylon, above all Marduk the sun god, for emerging victorious from the great cosmogonic conflict with the monster of chaos Tiamat and then creating men to be the slaves of the gods from the blood of her assistant demon Kingu. ‘This is all hogwash’, says [the author of Genesis]

 In effect... the worldview it represented was false, a view of a world emerging from the clash of cosmic forces, and of man as the fairly helpless plaything of these forces... ‘No’, [the author of Genesis] says, ‘The world was created by God, the God of Israel, our God, the one true God. It was done in much the same way as the Babylonians construct one of their temples for their non-gods’.

And so, just as the Babylonians finish this construction by putting an idol of the non-god in the sanctuary of the temple, God finishes off the work of creating His temple, the world, by putting His idol, man, in it as its crowning achievement or masterpiece. For the word translated ‘image’ here is in fact the Hebrew word for ‘idol.’” What is significant here is that God’s corrected view of creation purposefully had no equivalent for the monster and demon figures, and no equivalent of the supposed cosmic conflict. These things had no equivalent- because they had no real existence.

 

 

Canaanite Dualism

Anyone familiar with Israel’s Old Testament exploits knows of the neighbouring Canaanites. Exploring further, we discover that the gods of Canaan were in two broad groups- good and evil. You see, the Canaanites were dualists; they believed in Mot as the god of the underworld, called “the angel of death” in the Ras Shamra tablets, with various supporting monsters; over against all of which was Baal as the god of the heavens. “The angel of death” is an idea picked up by Moses in his account of the Passover deliverance, to show God’s sovereignty. The Angel of death is not in fact Mot but an Angel of Yahweh appointed, completely under His control!

For it was none less than God who slew the firstborn of Egypt (Ex. 12:11,12). Likewise it was Yahweh's Angel who played the role of the “Angel of death” in smiting the Assyrian army dead (Is. 37:36).

Mot was thought to have helpers, dragons such as Leviathan who lived in the sea and rivers. Ps. 74:12-15 majestically disposes of this idea, proclaiming Yahweh to be the God who has divided the sea, broken the heads of the dragons in the waters, crushed the heads of Leviathan [he was thought to be a many headed monster]. "The beasts that dwell among the reeds" of the rivers are likewise “rebuked” by God's almighty strength (Ps. 68:30).

Yes, the Old Testament texts are full of such “one-up-man-ship” regarding Canaanite beliefs!

It describes Yahweh, the one true God in His rightful place - as riding through the heavens on chariots to the help of His people Israel (Dt. 33:26; 2 Sam. 22:11; Ps. 18:10; 104:3; Is. 19:1; Hab. 3:8).  Baal was known as the rkb 'rpt, the one who rides upon the clouds  - clearly the language of Baal is being appropriated to Yahweh!

There's another example in Ps. 102:9: “Behold your enemies, O Lord, behold your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered.” This is almost verbatim the same as a line on the Ras Shamra tablets about Baal: “Behold your enemies, O Baal, behold your enemies you destroy, you annihilate your foes.”

Likewise the references to Yahweh giving His voice from Heaven and His enemies fleeing before Him (Ps. 18:13,14; 68:32,33) are references to Baal supposedly being able to do the same, according to the Ras Shamra texts. The Canaanites believed that thunder was Baal's voice as he struggled; but it is Yahweh's voice which the Bible presents as thunders. Jer. 23:27 laments that Israel forgot God's Name for that of Baal- hence His appeal for them to realize that what they claimed for Baal they actually ought to claim for Yahweh. This explains why the Old Testament so frequently contains allusions to the Baal cult, deconstructing them and reapplying the language of Baal to God.

This appropriation of pagan language and re-application to the one true God is very common. Notice how Abraham did this; Melchizedek spoke of his deity as “God most high” and “maker of heaven and earth,” and Abraham immediately picks these terms up and applies them to his God, Yahweh (Gen. 14:19-22). Abraham sought to relate to Melchizedek as far as he could in the terms and language which Melchizedek understood. And this is what God does all through; the pagan language used to describe both the good gods and the evil gods is picked up and applied to Yahweh- in order to demonstrate that He was and is the one and only true God, that He is responsible for all those things which the pagans thought the other gods were responsible for!  And this includes God as source of both good and evil, blessing and disaster.

It must be stressed, that Dualism (Good vs Evil) was NOT to be Israel's religion; their one God, Yahweh, was responsible for all! But pagan ideas were attractive; and thus all through the Old Testament, the reminders are given. Alluding in this way to contemporary writings or ideas of the day in order to deconstruct them, was often done in Bible times; and it was done without as it were referencing the material being alluded to. This is what makes all such literature, the Bible included, so hard to interpret when we read it many centuries later without full access to nor appreciation of the material being alluded to.

 

 

God in Control of GOOD and EVIL

We have to comprehend, that the text of the Hebrew Bible was initially given by God for the guidance of His people Israel, a largely illiterate group of people bombarded on every side by the myths and legends of the societies around them. And God through His word was speaking to those issues they faced, teaching them the true position, and revealing those false ideas for what they really were. And so it has been observed that no-one familiar with the mythologies of the primitive, ancient, and Oriental worlds can turn to the Bible without recognizing counterparts on every page, transformed, however, to render an argument contrary to the older faiths.

Without a doubt, the New Testament texts also contend with all too familiar pagan notions and external influences from a world full of ever increasing mythologies. As with most Christian theology, there is great diversity in the church’s teachings on the devil, both past and present. Most Christians assume that the qualities commonly attributed to Satan are derived from clear and straightforward readings of the Bible alone, but the truth is very different.

 

In fact discovering a Christian denomination’s official theological positions regarding the SATAN of the scriptures can be quite difficult. Most church websites prefer to focus on devotional content and social outreaches, burying doctrinal statements or omitting them altogether. Is today’s church embarrassed about doctrine, or just indifferent? As we investigate the rise of the Devil in scripture and tradition, it would help to remember the main attributes generally associated with him today, whether correct or not. This will be our scorecard as we retrace his story:

 

He is the enemy of God.

He is a fallen angel.

He is the ruler of all the demons.

He is the ultimate source of all sin and evil on earth.

He is the ruler of Hell.

 

In the Ancient Near East cultures originally had no real concept of a supreme evil being or a good-versus-evil duality. Their worldview encompassed numerous gods,

spirits, and mythological creatures, but these were all part of a systematic hierarchy.

 

Even the word and concept “demon” underwent fundamental change in antiquity caused by the rise of dualism in the essentially monistic cultures of the Near East. These monistic cultures viewed the universe as a unified system in which each member, divine and human, had its proper domain and function above, upon, or below the earth. There was (as yet) no arch-enemy Devil, nor a rival camp of Satanic demons tempting and deceiving humans into sin and blasphemy, eventually to be cast into eternal hell at the final end of the present age.

 

Humans also had their function in this diverse but unified system: to serve the gods and obey their dictates, their Law, for which they received their rewards while alive. After death all humans descended into the underworld from which there was no return; there was no Last Judgment, and no hope of resurrection

 

To the ancients, there were spirits of good fortune and ill fortune, but they all performed the will of the greater gods. In the Hebrew context, Yahweh was Lord of all things good and evil where Israel was concerned; evil spirits were understood as fulfilling Yahweh’s commands. Do the scriptures agree? Indeed they do:

 

Like the evil spirit sent by God to torment Saul in 1 Samuel 16:14

 

“Now the spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.” (1 Samuel 16:14–15)

 

The lying spirit sent to Ahab in 1 Kings 22.

 

“I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. And Yahweh said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’

 

Then one said one thing, and another said another, until a spirit came forward and stood before Yahweh, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ ‘How?’ Yahweh asked him. He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then [Yahweh] said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.’” (1 Kings 22:19b–22)

 

Do evil spirits operate autonomously today without God’s consent? Not if you believe the scriptures! “Satan” is not the author of his own destiny. Yes, God and God alone is truly in control of everything and He is without equal! God does as he sees fit and the scriptures prove that he wields evil (albeit at arm’s length) to fulfil His purposes.

 

“Did not your fathers thus, and did not OUR GOD bring all this EVIL upon us, and upon this CITY?” (Nehemiah 13:18)

 

“Shall there be EVIL in a CITY, and THE LORD hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6)

 

 “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a FLOOD OF WATERS upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” (Genesis 6:7)

Furthermore, Names of specific deities are occasionally invoked by God in curses in the Old Testament. These curses we even personified by attributes common to the functions of mythological deities of the day!

 

Deut. 32:24, for example, declares that Jacob will be beset upon by Mawat (Mot), Resheph, and Qeteb - usually translated as “hunger”, “pestilence”, and “destruction.” (See N. Wyatt, DDD, p. 673.)

 

And yet again, there is no Satan in sight here, only God and the lesser messengers who serve him.

 

 

 

 

The Old Testament SATAN: THE ADVERSARY

 

So what can we learn about the biblical texts regarding SATAN? Well, the word “SATAN” occurs 27 times in the Old Testament.

 

H7854

שָׂטָן śâṭân saw-tawn' From H7853; an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch enemy of good: - adversary, Satan, withstand.

 

It’s important to note that Job (the oldest book of the Bible) is one of the five classic “wisdom/poetic” books of the Old Testament. Although English Bibles continue the practice of capitalizing the word satan in passages like Job 1 and 2, those passage DO NOT have a specific individual in mind  -  that is, satan in these passages should NOT be understood as a proper personal name.

 

The reason for this is straightforward. In biblical Hebrew, the definite article (the word “the”) is a single letter (heh).

 

Hebrew prefixes (attaches) the definite article to a noun (or participle to make it a substantive) so that, like all languages that have definite articles, the noun is made specific – like; THE chair, THE television, THE pastor etc etc.

 

Biblical Hebrew does not, however, put the definite article (the word “the”) on proper personal nouns (personal names). In this respect, Hebrew is like English.

 

No-one calls themselves The Frank or The Mary - No one (except maybe Donald Trump) puts the word “the” in front of their first name – Well, him and The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Hebrew simply does not do this at all. As the well known biblical Hebrew reference grammar by Jouon-Muraoka notes:

 

“No proper noun of person takes the article, not even when it has the form of an adjective or a participle.”1

 

Without exception, the word satan in Job occurs with the article. This indicates quite clearly that satan is NOT a personal name. It is generic, and means “the adversary”.

 

The word can be used of human beings (1 Sam 29:4; 2 Sam 19:23; 1 Kings 5:18; 1 Kings 11:14). All of these examples have satan without the article, but the referent is a human being, not a divine being, so we don’t have “Satan” here either. Wow. What a revelation!

 

In terms of statistics, of the 27 uses of the noun satan in the Hebrew Bible, ten times it is used WITHOUT the article. Let’s look at them and let’s be on the lookout for the Horned, pointy tailed villain we’re all familiar with.

 

 

 

From the book of Numbers: 2 Verses

 

And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.” (Num 22:22)

 

No arch enemy/super-natural being here...

 

“And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:” (Num 22:32) 

 

Here we have an Angel of the Lord – clearly not a malevolent servant of wickedness...

 

 

 

From the book of 1 Samuel: 1 Verse

 

“And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?” (Sa 29:4)  

 

Clearly no arch enemy/super-natural being here involved in this human exchange...

 

 

 

From the book of 2 Samuel: 1 Verse

 

“And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death

this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?” (2Sa 19:22) 

 

Yes the sons of Zeruiah were SATANS to David, provoking him to kill a man they didn’t like. No Devil here...

 

 

 

From the book of 1 Kings: 4 Verses

 

“But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.” (1Ki 5:4) 

 

“And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.” (1Ki 11:14) 

 

“And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:” (1Ki 11:23) 

 

“And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.” (1Ki 11:25) 

 

Any sign of “Old Nick” here? Nope just a bunch of human SATANS obstructing or blocking the plans of Gods elect...yes God is behind it all!

 

 

 

 

From the book of 1 Chronicles: 1 Verse

 

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” (1Ch 21:1) 

 

Ah. Surely it was undeniably the devil himself provoking David to sin – it says it right here – right? Nope! The books of Samuel and Chronicles are parallel accounts of the same incidents, as the four gospels are usually records of the same events but using different language. 2 Samuel 24:1 records:

 

“The Lord...moved David against Israel” in order to make him take a census of Israel.

 

The parallel account in 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that “Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David” to take the census.

 

Due to this parallel, and due to the fact that satan here has no article, this is viewed by some as the single instance of an evil, cosmic figure called satan in the OT. It actually isn’t though. The “satan” figure here is none other than the Angel of God - and so this instance without the article is akin to the two instances in the book of Numbers where “satan” was used of the Angel. This relieves the “is Yahweh Satan?” question and any notion of contradiction - since it would mean BOTH passages have God provoking David - one appears to be the invisible Yahweh; the other is the visible Yahweh

 

In fact it is in THIS passage that, after verse 1 mentions the satan provoking David, we read the Angel is there “with a sword drawn in his hand”. The Hebrew phrasing behind this occurs only three other times: Joshua 5:13 in the fall of Jericho

 

13 “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

 

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[a] have for his servant?”

 

and Numbers 22:23, 31 which we have already discussed

 

“Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.”

 

ALL of these references are the Angel of Yahweh - and in one of them (Num. 22) he is in fact THE SATAN!

 

So – back to David and the census. In one passage God moved David, in the other Satan moves him. The answer is simple. The only conclusion is that it was none other than GOLD HIMSELF who acted as a 'satan' or adversary to David, when He permitted David to number the people!

 

Wow! God being a SATAN? Yip - let that sink in! The word “SATAN” is a designation, a characteristic – NOT simply a character!  He did the same to Job by bringing trials into his life, so that Job said about God: “With thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me” (Job 30:21); 'You are acting as a satan against me', was what Job was basically saying to God. Are we getting this?

 

 

 

From the book of Psalms: 1 Verse

 

“Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.” (Psa 109:6

 

Surely this is the “SATAN” of the scriptures....right?? Nope – this is simply David once again lamenting the fact that God is seemingly slow to react to his human predicaments – the trials of a King surrounded by his enemies. Even standard translations get this right. The King James Bible confounds things by its use of SATAN here;

 

“Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.”

 

Most translations translate this verse with ease. In this verse we see the term ACCUSER used – a fitting representation considering David’s demand for justice.

 

New International Version

“Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand.”

 

New Living Translation

They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him. Send an accuser to bring him to trial.”

 

English Standard Version

Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.

 

New American Standard Bible

Appoint a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand.

 

No supernatural Devil needed here!

 

 

 

 

The Old Testament SATAN: THE ACCUSER

 

And so fittingly this leads us to the last portions of Old Testament scripture that allude to the SATAN of popular thought. This one off - occasion event mentions SATAN 11 times and is without a doubt the most memorable depiction of satan in all of scripture. The depiction comes from the first two chapters of the book of Job. It is here that adversity (satan) is finally given personality!

 

From the book of Job: 11 Verses

 

Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”

 

Vs7  “And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

 

Vs8  “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”

 

Vs9  “Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?” 

 

Vs12  “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” 

 

Job 2:1 “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.” 

 

Vs2  “And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

 

Vs3  “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”

 

Vs4  “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” 

 

Vs6  “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” 

 

Vs7  “So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.”

 

Now herein lies one of the grandest truths of all the scriptures. The book of Job is a part of a genre of Jewish wisdom tradition that developed alongside prophetic tradition. Jewish wisdom literature is vast and includes Old Testament books such as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job - Job itself dealing with the age old problem of suffering. It also highlights the fact that any SATAN mentioned in the Bible is none other than a tool of God’s administration. Here in the beginning of Job we have one of God’s messengers – YES SATAN - is depicted here as one of the angelic host presenting himself before the Lord to do his (i.e GOD’S) bidding.

 

God’s machinations to provoke or test mankind is here given personality. This angel – SATAN has the administrative duty of “going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” That’s it! He wasn’t even doing anything “evil!” Why was this angel of God being SATAN to all who lives in the world? That’s his job!

 

Basically, “the satan in Job is an officer of the divine council (sort of like a prosecutor). His job is to “run to and fro throughout the earth” to see who is and who is not obeying God. When he finds someone who isn’t and is therefore under God’s wrath, he “accuses” that person. This prosecutor appears in the first two chapters to help set up the story and then totally disappears. One can understand the story either as the experience of an historic individual or as a representation of common human experience, but in neither case the story is about the problem of evil; but God is at issue – “Satan” the accuser merely moves the plot along, serving as a literary device in preparing the reader for Job’s suffering. In fact, this “courtroom” setting is common in ancient and indeed Greco/Roman literature - the god’s were always pondering the fates of mortal man.

 

And let’s be serious here. If this passage is meant to be historical account, how on earth did the writer came into possession of the detailed dialogue between God and Satan? Was he there in the throne room of God? SATAN here is a literary device.

 

But the point here is that this satan is not evil; he’s doing his job. Over time (specifically the idea of “being an adversary in the heavenly council” was applied intellectually to the enemy of God - the nachash (typically rendered “serpent”) in Eden, the one who asserted his own will against God’s designs. That entity eventually becomes labelled “Satan” and so the adversarial role gets personified and stuck to God’s great enemy (also called the Devil). This is a good example of how an idea in Israelite religion plays out and is applied in different ways during the progress of revelation.

 

Yet - the most important thing to realize about this character is that he is NOT portrayed as an opponent of God in these passages. Just whose idea was it to test Job’s character and integrity? Not SATANS that’s for sure!

 

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job...”

 

Yes it was none other than God himself put Job’s character to the test – SATAN was the tool, the messenger (angels by their definition are messengers.) And how does that old saying go when some-one comes baring bad news? Don’t shoot....yes it applies here too!

 

Just as biblical imagery of God, his throne room, and his council of advisors is derived from analogy with earthly kings, the office of the accuser (a sort of spymaster and public prosecutor) was found in the administrations of Babylon and Persian empires. In Job, the Accuser (the word has a definite article and is a title, not a name) appears as a member of God’s divine council and exercises only the authority given him by God!

 

Job, a righteous man, lost the things which he had in this life. The book teaches that the experience of 'evil' in someone's life is not directly proportional to their obedience or disobedience to God. Job correctly recognized that “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away” (Job 1:21). He does not say; “The Lord gave and Satan took away.”

 

He commented to his wife: “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not (also) receive evil?” (Job 2:10).

 

Job said to his friends, “...the hand of God hath touched me” (Job 19:21).

 

At the end of the book, Job's friends comforted him over “all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). Thus God is the source of “evil” in the sense of being the ultimate perimeter of the problems that we have in our lives. Let’s put this to rest. Who did Job blame for all this tragedy? GOD! Perhaps Christian teachers should simply take Job’s word for it?

 

 

 

 

 

SATAN IN ZECHARIAH

 

Finally, Zechariah is one of the last books in the Old Testament written when, after a long captivity, the Jews began to return to their old lands. Zechariah has a vision regarding the restoration of Israel, and chapter 3 contains a passing reference in which the adversary is raised to a name - Satan.

 

 

From the book of Zechariah: 2 Verses

 

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” (Zec 3:1)

 

“And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?”Zec 3:2) 

 

This is an interesting development. During captivity, the Jews were cured of the thing that repeatedly got them into trouble - idolatry. After the captivity, idolatry was never a collective problem among the Jews. However, the exiled Jews were exposed to new religious ideas; the religion of Persia, in particular, seemed to influence their thinking.

 

Persian beliefs about God were more palatable to the Jews than were the idolatrous beliefs of the Canaanites. The Persians believed in a single, powerful God; and working with him were countless good spirits - angels. They also believed in a single, powerful anti-god and countless evil spirits - demons.

 

The two great powers were closely matched, although the Persians believed the god (Ahura Mazda) ultimately would defeat the evil power (Ahriman). The Jews would not accept an evil power equal to God, but the idea of a force of evil demons led by an evil leader worked within their belief system without destroying monotheism. Interest in demons and angels grew, and literature about them proliferated, as we have already seen in the Book of Enoch.

 

But let’s get to the heart of the matter. This passage is talking about a VISION. VISIONS like dreams require interpretation. God was simply stating that no SATAN (obstacle/road block/accusation) would get in the way of Zechariah fulfilling his Godly duty to restore his people. Joshua was indeed – God’s “anointed” and so too was Zechariah.

 

 

 

 

God the Divine Author’s PURPOSE for Evil

 

Here is the truth regarding the Old Testament usage of SATAN as a king and champion of hell and evil. This “Satan” of the Hebrew Scriptures does not reside or rule from a fiery subterranean underworld where minion demons do his bidding in the torture chambers of hell. No – A SATAN is a “messenger/administer” -  a tool of God’s own hand. There is NO-ONE who shares power with almighty God. It is GOD not a SATAN who is in charge of both good and evil – he created them after all.

 

“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me...I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isaiah 45:5-7,22)

 

“The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4)

 

“Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6)

 

Who can deny this profound biblical truth? We read the following;

for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see -such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.” (Col 1:16)

 

Yes God creates and controls EVERYTHING! Yes EVERY THING including EVIL!

 

Just how many times does a SATAN appear in the Old Testament as God’s arch enemy? ZERO.

 

Just how many times does a SATAN go against God’s will to thwart his plans? ZERO.

 

On how many occasions is a SATAN himself said to bring calamity to anyone? ZERO.

 

How many times does the Old Testament talk about a SATAN being the ruler of hell? ZERO

 

What can we conclude then? There are ZERO verses in the Old Testament that speak or even warn of a personal evil entity satan.”

 

Learned Jewish teachers today are baffled by Christendom’s distain for God’s Word for these very reasons. The Old Testament Scriptures clearly teaches that God is all-powerful. The concept that God allows rebellious satanic forces into his presence is an absurd concept considering that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Hab.1:13).

 

In similar vein, Ps.5:4,5 explains: “Neither shall evil dwell with Thee. The foolish shall not stand” in God's Heavenly dwelling place. The idea of there being rebellion against God in Heaven by sinful Angels quite simply contradicts the impression given by these passages.

 

This is not a new idea - the dualism of good verses evil; it is not even an idea only limited to carnal Christianity. The Babylonians, for example, believed there were two gods, a god of good and light, and a god of evil and darkness, and that those two were locked in mortal combat. Cyrus, the great King of Persia, believed just this.

Therefore (and let’s read it again) God told him, “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me...I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isaiah 45:5-7,22).

 

Let us not forget it. God creates peace and He creates evil, or disaster, as is shown throughout scripture.

 

 

 

SATAN, THE AGENCY OF OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

 

So why does God use the agency of evil in his divine plans for the world? Why this great accuser, this adversary? Is it because God enjoys suffering? Is that why he created evil in the world – to watch us squirm?

 

We have already proved that God causes all and it is God alone that dictates the very circumstances of trial and suffering in our lives to bring about change in our character, to display the virtues and fruit of the spirit that only exist through endurance.

 

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth...If ye endure chastening...afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb 12:6-11)

 

This shows that the trials which God gives us lead eventually to our spiritual growth. It is setting the word of God against itself to say that the devil is a being which forces us to sin and be unrighteous, whilst at the same time he supposedly brings problems into our lives which lead to our developing “the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”

 

Our exposure to false spiritual concepts is hugely detrimental to our understanding of biblical spiritual truth. Maybe that’s why we find some scriptures so difficult to reconcile with what we have “learnt” or consider to be truth? Consider these troublesome verses regarding our adversary.

 

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5)

 

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7,10)

 

“Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:20)

 

If Satan is really a being bent on causing men to sin and having a negative spiritual effect upon people, why do these passages speak of “Satan” in a positive light? The answer lies in the fact that an adversary, a “Satan” or difficulty in life, results in positive spiritual effects in a believer's life. This is profound. It should profoundly affect the way we pray regarding our transient time on earth. If we accept that evil comes from God, then we can pray accordingly, knowing all the while that our circumstances are for our spiritual good.

 

No longer do we have to fear evil, its spiritual administers or the agency of calamity in our lives. God knows us inside and out. Disability, illness, sudden death or calamity isn’t  just “bad luck.” We can find immense comfort in knowing that under God's control, “all things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28). There is therefore no such thing as 'luck' in the life of a believer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babylon’s Bosom

 

So how on earth do the teachings of the Old Testament scriptures (almost silent on matters of the supernatural plain that envelopes this world) develop into the complex worldview of demons and angels of the New Testament - Especially in the light of the fact that pertinent Old Testament passages allude only to God’s sovereign use of evil - for his purposes? Another example?

 

“Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him.” (1 Sam 16:14)

 

Why of why a tormenting spirit? Enter – David....that’s why. God brings his chosen and anointed into the picture. God ALWAYS uses evil for a grand PURPOSE! It is a most important revelation to receive as God’s elect. How many churches today rebuke the outworking of God’s plans because they do not understand that it is THROUGH the overcoming of SATAN that we produce the fruit of the Spirit that we might be counted worthy to rule and reign!

 

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Rev 3:21)

 

Christians today cannot quantify the significance of these kinds of scriptures. So long have we been taught that Satan is behind everything wrong and evil in this world that we dishonour God by denying his sovereignty. We belittle his purposes for this world and the glories to come. The scaffolding of evil will reveal the most excellent and awe inspiring work of his architecture when all is revealed in the age to come.

 

 

 

 

THE INFLUENCE OF ZOROASTRIANISM

 

But we are not the first to forget these spiritual truths. The Jews (surrounded by pagan philosophies at every turn) too forgot the sovereignty of almighty God. Of especially significant influence upon Judaism were the Persian views of Zoroastrianism. This was a philosophy which began in Persia about 600 B.C., and was growing in popularity when Judah went to Babylon / Persia in captivity

 

This philosophy posited that there was a good god of light (Mazda) and an evil god of darkness (Ahriman). The well known passage in Is. 45:5-7 is a clear warning to the Jews in captivity not to buy into this -  Israel's God alone made the light and the darkness, the good and the “evi.”

 

“....I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace [good], and create evil: I the Lord do all these things...”

 

 

He alone had the power to give “the treasures of darkness” to a man (Is. 45:3), even though such “treasures” were thought to be under the control of the supposed “Lord of darkness.”

 

 But Isaiah is in fact full of other allusions to Zoroastrian ideas, seeking to teach Judah the true position on these things. Thus it was taught that “Saviours will come from the seed of Zoroaster, and in the end, the great Saviour,” who would be born of a virgin, resurrect the dead and give immortality .

 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is 9:6)

 

These ideas are picked up in Is. 9:6 and applied prophetically to the ultimate Saviour, Jesus - as if to warn the Jews not to accept the prevalent Persian ideas in this area. Indeed, it appears that [under Divine inspiration] much of the Hebrew Bible was rewritten in Babylon, in order to deconstruct the ideas which Israel were meeting in Babylon Hence we find Persian-era phrases in books like Job, which on one level were clearly very old Hebrew writings, and yet have been edited under a Persian-era hand. Bible scholars maintain that the Old Testament underwent re-editing several times before it became what we now know as the Old Testament cannon.

 

The Jews were also influenced by the Zoroastrian idea that somehow God Himself would never cause evil in our lives - and therefore, God is to be seen as somehow distanced from all good or evil actions, as these are under the control of the good and evil gods.

 

Zeph. 1:12 warns against this Persian view: “ I will search Jerusalem with lamps; and I will punish the men that are settled on their lees, that say in their heart, Jehovah will not do good, neither will he do evil.”

 

The fact is, God personally is passionately involved with this world and with our  lives; and so it is He who brings about the dark and the light, good and evil.

 

 

 

A LORD OF DARKNESS?

 

Now it gets really interesting. Think about mainstream Christian teachings regarding Satan in the light of what we are about to read. Ahriman, the Lord of Darkness, is portrayed in Persian bas reliefs as having wings - and hence Satan came to be depicted as having wings, even though the Bible is utterly silent about this! Is this merely coincidence? According to Zoroastrianism, Ahriman envied Jupiter / Ohrmazd, and tried to storm Heaven!

 

This mythology was eagerly adapted by the Jews to their myth of some rebellion in Heaven, and was later picked up by writers such as Milton and made standard Christian doctrine - even though the Hebrew Bible is utterly silent about it. It has been commented by a careful, lifelong student of the history of the Devil idea: “In pre-exilic Hebrew religion, Yahweh made all that was in heaven and earth, both of good and of evil. The Devil did not exist”.

 

Especially during their captivity in Babylon, the Jews shifted towards understanding that there was actually a separate entity responsible for disaster.

 

 Much of Judaism adopted a dualistic worldview, which led it to see human problems as the result of machinations by superhuman powers opposed to the divine will. This view infiltrated Jewish thinking during the time of the exile of Israel in Babylon

 

The idea that self determined demons were responsible for all moral and physical evil penetrated deeply into Jewish religious thought in the period following the Babylonian exile, no doubt as a result of the Iranian influence on Judaism - Hence Isaiah 45:5-8 warns them not to adopt the views of Babylon in this area, but to remain firm in their faith that God, their God, the God of Israel, the one and only Yahweh, was the ultimate source of all things, both positive and negative, having no equal or competitor in Heaven.

 

This becomes a frequent theme of second Isaiah and other prophets who wrote in the context of Israel in captivity. But whilst Judah were in captivity, the Jews began to speculate upon the origins of the Angels who brought calamity, and under Persian influence the idea developed that such Angels were independent of God. The Jews went further and concluded that the destructive aspect of God's personality broke away from the good and is known as the Devil, going on to develop the Jewish legends of a personal Satan [or Sammael] with 12 wings, appearing like a goat, and responsible for all disease and death.

 

The Jews of course were monotheists, and these ideas were developed in order to allow them to believe in both one God, and yet also the dualistic, god of evil / god of good idea of the Persians. It was in this period that the Jews fell in love with the idea of sinful Angels, even though once again - yes again - the Old Testament knows nothing of them! They didn't want to compromise their monotheism by saying there was more than one God; and so they set up the 'evil god' as in fact a very powerful, sinful Angel. And this wrong notion was picked up by early Christians equally eager to accommodate the surrounding pagan ideas about evil. The answer is simple. The Old Testament, along with the New Testament for that matter, personifies evil and sin.

 

The Biblical scholar Alfred Edersheim outlines reasons for believing that as Rabbinic Judaism developed during the exile in Babylon, this personification of evil became extended in the Jewish writings to such a point that sin and evil began to be spoken of as independent beings. And of course, we can understand why this happened - in order to narrow the gap between Judaism and the surrounding Babylonian belief in such beings. Edersheim shows how the Biblical understanding of the yetzer ha 'ra, the sinful inclination within humanity, became understood as an evil personal being called “the tempter.”

 

And of course the Persians weren't the first to adopt a dualistic view of the cosmos- i.e. that there is a good God and who gives blessing and positive things, and an evil god who brings disaster. The Egyptians had Osiris as the good god, and Typhon as the evil god. Native Indians in Peru have Carnac as the good god, and Cupai as the evil god; the early Scandinavian peoples had Locke as the evil god and Thor as the good one; the Eskimos had Ukouna the good and Ouikan the evil. The Sumerian Gilgamesh epic had the same idea- Gilgamesh and Huwawa stood in opposition to each other.

 

This thinking is totally carnal as it is human- it rests upon the assumption that our view of good and evil is ultimately true. The Biblical position that humanity is usually wrong in their judgments of moral matters, and that God's thoughts are far above ours (Isaiah 55) needs to be given its full weight. For frequently we end up realizing that what we perceived as “evil” actually resulted in our greater good - Joseph could comment to his brothers: “You thought evil against me [and they did evil against him!], but God meant it unto good... to save much people alive” (Gen. 50:20).

 

Are we getting this yet? Are your eyes being opened to the way the scriptures REALLY speak about evil?

 

 

 

 

Re-focusing on the Truth!

 

So let’s look at where we have got to in understanding the Christian worldview that God has an evil enemy call the Devil or Satan. And by the way, does anyone really think that Almighty God has an opposing god that he has to be wary of? That God is always looking over his shoulder because of the rebellion of some notorious arc-angel? Of course not! God could snap his fingers and evil could be dispensed from this world in an instant! Poof! Devil gone. God is all powerful! God HAS NO ENEMIES! He ALONE is in control!

 

In a nutshell, dualism in the form which influenced Judaism and later apostate Christianity (which is alive and well today) is really proposing two gods. There’s no denying it. When you boil it down, that is what the church teaches. Yet the Bible is emphatic from cover to cover that there is only one God, the Father, the God revealed in the Bible. This leaves no space for a second god or a bad god. Here we come right up hard against why this matter is important to any Bible-believing person.

 

 

 

 

PROPHETS AND MONSTERS

 

As we touched on earlier, time and again the Old Testament prophets refer to the chaos monster myths - and apply them to Egypt or other earthly enemies of God's people. The destruction of the Egyptian army at the Red Sea is described in terms of Rahab the dragon being cut in pieces and pierced, his heads broken in the waters, and the heads of Leviathan likewise crushed (Ps. 74:13,14 NRSV- other references in Ez. 29:3-5; 32:2-8; Ps. 87:4; Is. 30:7; Jer. 46:7,8). This is quite some emphasis is it not? - The point of it is that the real enemy of God's people is not the chaos monster, but rather human, earthly people and systems and the carnality of these systems! And anyway, there ought to be great joy in the fact that God overcomes them time and again – just as he will in the Kingdom age to come when Christ exerts his authority on a world so desperate for his cleansing fire.

 

Egypt (our obstacles in life) is still all around us. Egypt symbolizes evil in the form of humiliating oppression, ungodly exploitation, and crushing domination. These earthly realities are the real 'satan' / adversary with which we daily engage, rather than with a cosmic monster. And the whole glorious history of God's dealing with 'Egypt' is our inspiration and encouragement. In fact the popular contemporary idea of a cosmic dragon being trodden underfoot and thrown into the sea is picked up in Mic. 7:19 and reapplied to sin: “He will tread our iniquities under foot and cast all their sins into the depths of the sea”

 

Again- the prophet is refocusing our attention away from myths of cosmic dragons, and onto our sins and carnality as the real Satan / adversary.

 

This re-focusing of cosmic conflict legends onto real, concrete human beings and empires upon earth is to be found throughout the Old Testament. The pagan legends are alluded to only in order to deconstruct them and re-focus Israel's attention upon the essential conflicts - against our own human sin, and against the spiritual opposition of the unbelieving world around us.

 

Hab. 3:8 asks: “Was Your wrath against the rivers, O Lord, was Your anger against the rivers, or Your indignation against the sea?”

 

Remember that sea and rivers were seen as the abode of various gods, and were even at times identified directly with them. Hab. 3:12 goes on to answer the question - that no, Yahweh's anger wasn't against those sea / river gods, but “You did bestride / judge the earth in fury; You trampled the nations in anger.” The real conflict of Yahweh was with the enemies of Israel, not with the pagan gods. After all, He was the one and only God.

 

Many ancient texts like the Mesopotamian records for example, also feature chronological accounts just as Genesis does. But they claim that any leaders on earth came down from Heaven, and the kings were effectively divine beings.

 

Contrastingly, Genesis is silent about this; there's a clear boundary between Heaven and earth, and people don't come down from Heaven to become kings on earth. The Genesis 11 genealogies are very clear that the chronologies are of ordinary, mortal men. Yet both the Genesis record and the Mesopotamian traditions tend to use the numbers six and seven, or multiples of them, in stating how many years men lived, or in the numbers of people recorded in genealogies. Moses did this in order to show that he was consciously alluding to those surrounding traditions- and yet re-focusing the understanding of Israel upon the literal, human, earthly realities to the exclusion of myth and legend.

 

 

 

CORRECTION IN CAPTIVITY

 

Of all the major editions to the Old Testament scriptures, the most significant changes happened in captivity. Bible scholars agree that there's significant evidence that (under inspiration,) the book of Deuteronomy and some of the historical books were edited by Jewish scribes in Babylon into their current form. This so-called Deuteronomic history sought to speak specifically to the needs and weaknesses of Judah in Babylonian captivity.

 

Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known” (Deu 13:13) 

 

In our present context it's interesting to note the occurrences of the term “son / children of Belial” to describe evil people or idolaters. Other Jewish writings speak of a figure called Beliar, a kind of personal Satan figure. However, the Hebrew Bible's use of the term Belial - note the slight difference - is significant. For according to Strong's Hebrew lexicon, "Belial" essentially means "nothing" or "failure".

 

Wicked people were therefore sons of nothing, empty, vapid... connecting with Paul's New Testament insistence that idols / demons are in fact nothing, they are no-gods.

 

According to the Jewish Apocryphal writings, Beliar is active in leading Israel away from obedience to the Torah. But the Hebrew Bible says nothing of this - rather does is stress that Israel are themselves guilty for their disobedience and must bear full and total responsibility for this. Many of the Qumran writings mention how Belial can influence the moral center of a human being, so that they plan evil. Yet this is totally the opposite of what the Hebrew Bible (as well as the New Testament) emphasize- that the human heart itself is the source of temptations, and therefore human beings are totally responsible for their own sins.

 

But again, we must emphasise Isaiah. Isaiah's statement that God creates both good and evil / disaster, light and darkness, is not only aimed at criticizing the Babylonian dualistic view of the cosmos. It also has relevance to the false ideas which were developing amongst the Jews in Babylon, which would later come to term in the false view of Satan which most of Christendom later adopted.

 

 It goes without saying that all false Christian ideas today have their origins in texts outside of the Bible cannon. According to the Jewish Apocryphal writing “The Visions of Amram,” for example, human beings choose to live under the control of one of two angels. Amram has a vision of the two opposing angels who had been given control over humanity (4Q544 frg. 1, col. 2.10–14 [Visions of Amram-b] = 4Q547 frgs. 1–2, col. 3.9–13).

 

The good angel supposedly has power “over all the light”, whereas the evil angel has authority “over all the darkness.” Sound familiar?Thus the idea of dualism - which is so attractive to all people - was alive and well amongst the Jews; and thus Is. 45:5-7 was also aimed at this developing Jewish belief in Babylon in a dualistic cosmos!

 

 

 

 

The Long Shadow of ENOCH

 

Myths are hard to shake. People love stories – the more fantastical the better – and Christians it seems, are not exempt from the pull of the entertainment factor of yesteryear. So then. Just where do Christians today get their theology from regarding Satan the Devil and all things evil in the world? Most say “the Bible of course!” Further on in this study we shall deconstruct the portions of scripture used to prove these “biblical” claims, but for now let’s go to the true source – the ancient Book of Enoch!

 

The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, ascribed of course (by tradition) to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, although modern scholars estimate the older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) to date from about 300 BC, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably to the first century BC. These texts were circulated widely in Jewish and Christian circles for several centuries. Yep the doctrines of the origins of fallen angels and rebellion espoused so easily today were only formulated 300 years before Christ until even the time of Christ himself – long after the Old Testament was written! Furthermore, it is not part of the biblical canon.

 

Most Christian denominations and traditions accept the Books of Enoch as having some historical or theological interest, but regard the Books of Enoch as non-canonical or non-inspired. That hasn’t stopped “anointed” evangelists today parroting its themes of course! So much for the respect of learned theologians and scholars who (for good reason) excluded it from the Bible cannon as we know it. Also, it is wholly extant only in the Ge'ez (Ethiopian – ancient Semitic) language, with Aramaic fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and a few Greek and Latin fragments. No Hebrew version is known to have survived, though it is asserted in the book itself, that its author was Enoch, before the Biblical Flood.

 

 

 

THE INFLUENCE OF THE BOOK OF ENOCH

 

So what’s it all about?The book of Enoch consists of five quite distinct major sections - The first part describes the fall of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim (yes there’s thousands of hours of useless content on Youtube about the Nephilim!) and the remainder of the book describes Enoch's visits to heaven in the form of travels, visions and dreams, and his revelations. Let’s break it down:

 

The Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1–36)

 

The Book of Parables of Enoch (1 Enoch 37–71) (also called the Similitudes of Enoch)

 

The Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72–82) (also called the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries or Book of Luminaries)

 

The Book of Dream Visions (1 Enoch 83–90) (also called the Book of Dreams)

 

The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91–108)

 

In fact most scholars believe that these five sections were originally independent works (with different dates of composition), themselves a product of much editorial arrangement, and were only later redacted into what we now call 1 Enoch. By the 4th century, the Book of Enoch was mostly excluded from Christian canons.

 

Naturally, some of the authors of the New Testament were familiar with the content of the story. A short section of 1 Enoch (1:9) is cited in the New Testament, Epistle of Jude,

 

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints” (Jud 1:14) 

 

... and is attributed there to “Enoch the Seventh from Adam” (1 En 60:8)

 

The original inspiration was not Enoch itself, but simply Deuteronomy;

 

“And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” (Deu 33:2)

 

Most scholars leave it open as to whether Jude viewed 1 Enoch as authoritative  or otherwise, yet as we shall see further is this series, even the apostles referenced material outside the Old Testament scriptures to make certain points.

 

So what’s all the fuss about these texts? Well, almost all the mythology of Christendom’s “Satan” and his “fall” with his demon hoards are alluded to. Enoch purportedly written by the antediluvian (before the flood) patriarch Enoch, provides an alternate version of the events leading up to Noah’s flood, along with various other cosmological and eschatological teachings. The first portion of 1 Enoch, the Book of Watchers, tells how certain angels called “watchers” came to earth, engaged in depraved sexual acts with human women, and introduced sin into the world - teaching men the art of war and women the use of cosmetics, for example. Their liaisons with human women beget Giants - an evil race with physical bodies and immortal souls. God sends a great flood to kill them all, but their souls survive and haunt the earth as evil spirits. The Watchers themselves are imprisoned under the earth to await judgment. God had these angels chained in a subterranean prison and used Enoch as a go-between for communicating with them.

 

The Hellenistic period (full of myths and monster stories) saw a burgeoning interest in this kind of writing especially apocalyptic literature particularly within Judaism, but also in the Greek and Persian religions as well. And lo and behold, one of the earliest and most influential Jewish apocalypses was 1 Enoch! This genre has been loosely defined by John J. Collins, a leading scholar in the subject, as:

 

“a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial insofar as it involves another, supernatural world.” (Collins 1979, p. 9)

 

It is important to realize that apocalyptic stories were not just fantastic tales. Like we learnt in our Lake Of Fire studies, They were symbolic interpretations of current political situations and theological conflicts in the authors’ own day, and were written in particular by marginalized groups. Just as the visions of Daniel relate to the oppression of Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Book of Watchers also addresses real-life struggles in the 2nd century BCE - probably the intra-Jewish conflicts that arose after the Maccabean Revolt. The writers of the Book of Watchers saw many of their fellow Jews as apostates who had betrayed their positions of power - hence their characterization as fallen angels who had forsaken God and corrupted Israel!

 

To tell its story, Book of Watchers adapts not only Genesis 6, but without a shadow of a doubt, elements from Greek titanomachy (the war between the Olympian gods and the titans) which confined the titans to the subterranean prison of Tartaros and also gigantomachy - a Greek political myth that pitted the civilized Greeks against the Giants (barbarians). See where we get all these “Christian” myths from?

 

 

 

 

Asael/Azazel, Mastema and Belial

 

Here in these troubled social times, we see the development of the dualistic notion of Evil and sin being entrenched into the religious worldview – despite the scriptures warnings that God alone is responsible. One particular figure that undoubtedly embodies all the attributes of our Christian concept of a “fallen Lucifer” type figure, is a leader of the Watchers named Asael who ends up being bound up until judgement with the other watchers. At one point, he is the one blamed for introducing sin into the world:

 

“You see what Asael has done, who has taught all iniquity on the earth, and has revealed the eternal mysteries that are in heaven…” (1 Enoch 9:6)

 

Interestingly, several scholars have previously discerned that some details of Azazel's punishment are reminiscent of the scapegoat rite found in the book of Leviticus 16 where two male goats were to be sacrificed to God and one of the two was selected by lot, for God is seen as speaking through the lots. The next words are לַעֲזָאזֵל, “for Azazel.” This goat was then cast out in the desert as part of Yom Kippur.

 

“Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering,  but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.” (Leviticus 16:6-10)

 

The scholar Lester Grabbe points to a number of parallels between the Azazel narrative in Enoch and the wording of Leviticus 16, including “the similarity of the names Asael and Azazel; the punishment in the desert; the placing of sin on Asael/Azazel; the resultant healing of the land.”

 

In older English versions, such as the King James Version, the word azazel is translated simply as “a scapegoat”, however, in most modern English Bible translations, it is represented as a name in the text: Later rabbis, interpreting la-azazel as azaz (rugged) and el (of God), take it as referring to the rugged and rough mountain cliff from which the goat was cast down. This ravine had its own mythology as the place where death and evil spirits lurked. It’s all a little hazy – but traditions morphed from myth to reality and back again – such is the way with the ancient religions of old.

 

And speaking of steep ravines and inhospitable wastelands - according to the Book of Enoch, Azazel, at God's command, was bound hand and foot by the archangel Raphael and chained to the rough and jagged rocks of [Ha] Dudael (= Beth Ḥadudo), where he is to abide in utter darkness until the great Day of Judgment, when he will be cast into the fire to be consumed forever.

 

Scholar Daniel Stökl also observes that “the punishment of the demon resembles the treatment of the goat in aspects of geography, action, time and purpose. Thus, the place of Asael’s punishment designated in Enoch as Dudael is reminiscent of the rabbinic terminology used for the designation of the ravine of the scapegoat in later rabbinic interpretations of the Yom Kippur ritual. Stökl remarks that "the name of place of judgment (Dudael) is conspicuously

similar in both traditions and can likely be traced to a common origin.”

 

Azazel's fate is foretold near the end of Enoch 2:8, where God says, “On the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. […] The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.”

 

And most tellingly - by the fifth century, Enochian traditions taught that , Azazel was one of the three angels (Azza [Shemhazai] and Uzza [Ouza] are the other two) who opposed Enoch's high rank when he became the angel Metatron. Whilst they were fallen at this time they were still in Heaven, but Metatron held a dislike for them, and had them cast out. They were thenceforth known as the “three who got the most blame” for their involvement in the fall of the angels marrying women. It should be remembered that Azazel and Shemhazai were said to be the leaders of the 200 fallen, and Uzza and Shemhazai were tutelary guardian angels of Egypt with both Shemhazai and Azazel and were responsible for teaching the secrets of heaven as well. The other angels dispersed to “every corner of the Earth.” All this sounds more like today’s Christian theology  than anything the Bible has to say regarding evil - that’s for sure!

 

Yet another rewrite of the Enoch story known as Jubilees (c. 100 BCE) gave another alternate version of these events, painting the watchers in a better light but introducing a new devil-like figure: Mastema, the leader of the evil spirits this time - after the Flood. Here, at Noah’s request, God cleanses earth of most of the spirits plaguing it after the flood, but Mastema persuades him to leave ten percent under his authority in order to tempt humankind. At one point, Jubilees appears to equate Mastema with Satan.

 

“And the chief of the spirits, Mastêmâ, came and said: 'Lord, Creator, let some of them remain before me, and let them harken to my voice, and do all that I shall say unto them; for if some of them are not left to me, I shall not be able to execute the power of my will on the sons of men; for these are for corruption and leading astray before my judgment, for great is the wickedness of the sons of men.' And He said: Let the tenth part of them remain before him, and let nine parts descend into the place of condemnation....” (Jub 10:8-11)

 

The Jewish sect associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls took the idea of an opponent to God much further, putting at the very centre of their theology a cosmic war between the forces of God and his enemies. The highly dualist nature of writings like the Community Rule show a high degree of affinity with the doctrines of a Zoroastrian sect called the Zurvanites who (and here it is) speaks of a Prince of Light who leads the Sons of Light, and an Angel of Darkness who leads the wicked.

 

The famous War Scroll, which lays out in great detail the final apocalyptic battle between the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness, names Michael and Belial as the respective leaders of light and darkness! It is heavily dependent on Persian ideas, as pointed out by Collins (Collins 1998, pp. 169–170):

 

“The course of the war is now measured out in seven phases, with the forces of light and darkness dominating in turn, until God intervenes decisively in the final period. This balanced division, the imagery of light and darkness, and the opposing roles of Michael and Belial as well-matched adversaries under God all suggest that the Qumran War Rule has been influenced by Persian dualism…the division of history into periods and the dualism of light and darkness are well attested in Persian tradition.”

 

Most significant for our purpose is the motif of a balanced conflict between light and darkness, which - we stress again - has no part in traditional Israelite religion. Similar themes are taken up in the sect’s Thanksgiving Hymn, and Belial appears frequently throughout the Dead Sea Scrolls as the leader of the forces of darkness.“Satan” occurs in a few scrolls as a synonym for Belial, but is much less common.

 

It is important to note, however, that the Angel of Darkness (Belial) is explicitly described in the Community Rule as an intentional creation of God. At least they remembered that much of the reality of evil’s origin  - for in this strand of Judaism, evil remained part of the cosmic dualism instituted by God with a valid role to play, despite its apparent opposition to God and righteous Jews. Belial plays the role he was created for.

 

So, Beliar (another variant of Belial) appears as the tempter of humankind in a collection of Jewish apocryphal scriptures. The Testaments describe two paths people can follow - that of truth, and that of error - with God’s angels on one side and Beliar’s spirits on the other. Much of the time, the spirits of Beliar seem to be metaphors for weaknesses of human character. The spirits of Beliar are somewhat limited in power and have no hold over the pious. Beliar is, however, occasionally associated with Diabolos (the Devil) and Satan.

 

So it’s easy to follow historically how Judaism of the first and second centuries was influenced by several of the theological currents discussed so far, including the Book of Watchers’ story about fallen angels and the Qumran sect’s emphasis on a cosmic dualism between light (Michael) and darkness (Belial). “Belial” is almost completely absent from the New Testament texts, with Diabolos(Greek for “accuser”) and “Satan” becoming the preferred names for the tempter. The New Testament reflects a variety of traditions about Satan but does not describe any systematic demonology – which is strange considering that the church over the centuries have produced tomb after tomb of demonological works and their detailed views of the spirit world and how it operates. We shall look at those later on in this series also.

 

 

 

 

Lucifer, the Fallen One of Heaven

ONE OF THE BIGGEST LIES IN ALL CHRISTENDOM

(“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer”)

Of course, all the dualistic teachings in existence during the intertestamental period would eventually materialize into Christendom’s last great version of the independent SATAN figure. Christianity today outright teaches that Satan is an unnecessary part of God’s purpose, a rather harmful fly in the ointment. Furthermore, it is taught that God never created Satan in the first place! That’s right, Satan supposedly created himself, or at least became Satan by himself. Wasn’t Satan once a bright and shining star, a light-bringer, the “anointed cherub that covers?” And the proof of all this? It’s right there in the Old Testament texts Christian teachers the world over cry!

Theologians have been teaching for centuries now that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 give us a perfect explanation of how a perfect extremely powerful angel called Lucifer changed himself into Lucifer the Devil through his pride and rebellion in heaven. But it’s not just Christians that have fallen for this great deception. Western civilization has been shaped by men intent of building their utopias in the form of Masonic dogma based on luciferian beliefs. The great Masonic writer Albert Pike (in his work “Morals and Dogma” hardly disguises his satanic overtones when he writes:

“Lucifer, the Light-bearer!  Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness!  Lucifer, the Son of the Morning!  Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable, blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish souls?  Doubt it not!”

It is without question, that Freemasonry is luciferian to the core and that Lucifer is their god that brings forth “the light” of illumination and hidden esoteric knowledge! Kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) knowledge and the obsession with Solomon’s temple are the cornerstones of freemasonry. One just has to google “masonry and Washington D.C” to see how far the hidden hand has stretched forth in the development of western government. Today, Masonic/luciferian symbolism is everywhere! So where do enlightened Christian teachers and illuminated Masonic minds formulate their idea of “the light bearer?” From corrupted doctrine and the following Old Testament texts.

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! For you have said in your 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.” (Isa 14:12-14).

And...

“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God; Thou seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your 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 your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you”

“By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, and they may behold you” (Ezek 28:12-17).

This, we are told, is the perfect scriptural authority of how the perfect archangel Lucifer (some say in charge of worship and music - tabrets and of your pipes” being musical instruments) a shining light bringing archangel/cherub, became Satan the Devil. Is there any truth to this theory? We will see.

This theory suits Christendom just fine of course. With this theory (or more correctly ‘hypothesis’), Christendom has the perfect solution to how they can justifiably consign billions of humans to an eternal lake of fire. With their “free will” firmly established in their deceived minds, Christendom can now teach the world that Satan CHOSE to do evil and has not repented, and most of mankind has also CHOSEN to do evil and not repent, therefore they are all thrown into an eternal lake burning with fire, and God is not the least bit responsible. Where was God when this rebellion took place? Getting a cup of tea apparently – he just didn’t see it coming!

The Church believes it has accomplished a most marvellous thing: they have gotten God off the hook of responsibility for all of the sickness, disease, pain, suffering, sin, evil, terrorism, and death in the world. You see, without free will, God could never know who is for Him and who is against Him - it’s the only way, the only “fair” way, and God is fair and God is good. Doesn’t this make good carnal sense, and everyone is happy? It is rank heresy at the highest level; that is what it is!

Prepare yourself for a revelation: Satan was never perfect and then decided by his phantom free will to become a devil, neither has a single human started out perfect and then decided by his free will to become a sinner! The Scriptural truth of these matters will set us free from centuries of unscriptural traditions. The problem with this “Lucifer fell” theory is twofold: poor translation and poor interpretation. That’s all this boils down to. Let’s go through it.

First Isaiah 14. To whom is God addressing Himself in these verses we quoted above?

“That you shall take up this proverb against the KING OF BABYLON...” (Ver. 4)

God is speaking of and to and about, “the King of Babylon,” not Lucifer, not Satan, not a cherub. And God tells us the end of this man’s reign:

“Your pomp is brought down to the grave [Satan never died or was put in a grave], and the noise of your viols [harps or lutes]: the worm [or maggots] is spread under you [can maggots eat a spirit body], and the worms cover you” (Ver. 11).

But is not this “Lucifer” of verse 14 Satan the Devil?

 

 

Who or What is LUCIFER?

This next verse is where theologians believe God stops speaking of the King of Babylon and begins speaking of the origin of Satan. What pray tell, does the end of the King of Babylon have to do with the beginning of Satan? Really nothing, but let’s check out their hypothesis anyway, as it is believed by the Church worldwide.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! (Ver. 12).

Notice that back in verse 4 God says to take up this proverb against the “king of Babylon.” Next let’s pick up this proverb in verse 10 after all the “trees” (different people which feared the king), are at rest because of the king’s demise, and see if this “Lucifer theory” fits into these verses without doing irreparable damage to the kings English:

“All they shall speak and say unto thee [king of Babylon], Art thou [king of Babylon] also become weak as we? Art thou[king of Babylon] become like unto us [mere mortals and not gods from heaven]. Thy [king of Babylon] pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy [king of Babylon] viols: the worm is spread under thee [king of Babylon], and the worms cover thee [king of Babylon]. How art thou [king of Babylon] fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…”?!?

What is this? How can, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon (made reference to eight time in two sentences), suddenly turn into “Lucifer” in the middle of a sentence? And where are we ever told that “Lucifer” is a proper name for Satan?

So just where did this proper name, “Lucifer” suddenly appear from in the middle of this sentence? Is “Lucifer” even a proper name? Is it even a noun? Is “Lucifer” another name for the king of Babylon? Is “Lucifer” an English word? Is there a Hebrew word that can be translated “Lucifer?”

Let’s shine some LIGHT on this “O Lucifer, son of the morning star” business, and we can all watch Lucifer disappear in the dawn’s early light! It is but another heresy from the Dark Ages that crept into the hallowed halls of the Church. This is a little lengthy, but it is also one of the most intriguing bits of deception you will ever see exposed. Let’s look at the word itself.

From the American Heritage College Dictionary, Lucifer n. 1. The archangel cast from heaven for leading the revolt of the angels; Satan. < OE, morning star, Lucifer < Latin Lucifer < lucifer, light-bringer: lux, luc-, light" (page 821).

The very next word under “Lucifer” is, luciferase n. An enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin. Hmmmmm. What have we here? “Lucifer + in.”

And the word that follows “luciferase” in this same dictionary is: luciferin n. A chemical substance present in the cells of bioluminescent organisms, such as fireflies that produce a bluish-green light when oxidized. [Latin Lucifer, light-bringing; see LUCIFER + -IN.]" (page. 821).

There it is! Lucifer is the “chemical bioluminescence” in the cells of FIREFLIES! What the heck? And so what do fireflies have to do with the King of Babylon or Satan the devil? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Was Satan once a “light-bringing firefly?” No, no he wasn’t. Yes, we’re being a bit silly. But how in the world did we get this Latin word “Lucifer” as part of Isa. 14:12, in so many English Bibles?

First, just who was it that fell from heaven, and does the phrase “fallen from heaven” prove that this person had to have been in God’s throne room, or at least in interstellar space in order for him to “fall from heaven” therefore proving that this must be a spirit being only? No, of course not. It is a figure of speech. Here is proof from none other than Jesus:

“And you, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down [from heaven] to hell [Gk: hades] (Luke 10:15).

So here we have a whole city being thrown down from heaven to hades (hell), their grave. And so it is with the King of Babylon whose “pomp is brought down to the grave” (Isa. 14:11). These two Scriptures are exact parallel thoughts.

Now then, back to lucifer and the crux of the matter. Just what is the Hebrew word found in the manuscripts that the translators turned into the Latin word Lucifer? It is very interesting. Take a Strong’s Concordance, look up this word Lucifer. Right after the word Lucifer we are given a definition before we ever go to the Dictionary to find the meaning. Here is what you will find:

 Lucifer (lu’sif-ur) {1} Title applied to king of Babylon.

Clearly the editor of Strong’s Concordance realized that this word (whatever it means) is to be applied to the “king of Babylon,” and NOT TO SATAN THE DEVIL!

We are told that the word in question is Strong’s #1966 which is “heylel,” from 1984 [halal] (in the sense of brightness); the morning-star: - Lucifer.

Yet what a web of deceit is woven in this “light-bringing-brightness-morning-star-Lucifer” theory. For this is the thing. This word “Lucifer” appears NO OTHER PLACE IN SCRIPTURE! Was Satan ever spoken of as a “light-bringing perfect archangel” ANYWHERE?

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is TRANSFORMED into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14).

Ah! Is this the proof of SATAN being the “light bringer?” Satan of course is NOT an angel of light, neither has he ever been! It is the “false apostles, DECEITFUL workers” Ver 13, that DECEIVE people into believing lies. Such deception/Satan appears as an angel of light to the world; insomuch that he is transformed into an angel of light, but it is an illusion, NOT A REALITY - it is simply not true, THAT’S WHAT DECEPTION IS! In fact Paul expels explicitly any such theory that Satan knows anything about “light” at all:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the RULERS OF THE DARKNESS of this world” (Eph. 6:12).

Rev. 16:10 is but the continuation of the same Babylonian beast that we read about in Isa. 14:

and the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast [Babylon] and his kingdom was FULL OF DARKNESS…” Nope – no light here either!

And yet, Lucifer has now become in popular thought a personal name that, according to dictionaries of the English language, refers to the Devil or to the planet Venus when appearing as the morning star. But how? Interestingly, in the Greco-Roman civilization the morning star was also personified and considered a pagan god yet at that time the distinction between capitalized and lower-case letters had not yet been invented.

 

Even in ancient Canaanite mythology, the morning star is pictured as a god, Attar, who attempted to occupy the throne of Ba'al and, finding he was unable to do so, descended and ruled the underworld. The original myth may have been about a lesser god Helel trying to dethrone the Canaanite high god El who lived on a mountain to the north. Rebellion in heaven anyone?

 

The German Old Testament scholar Hermann Gunkel's reconstruction of the myth told of a mighty warrior called Hêlal, whose ambition was to ascend higher than all the other stellar divinities, but who had to descend to the depths; it thus portrayed as a battle the process by which the bright morning star fails to reach the highest point in the sky before being faded out by the rising sun.

 

Similarities have been noted with the East Semitic story of Ishtar's or Inanna's descent into the underworld, Ishtar and Inanna being associated with the planet Venus. A connection has been seen also with the Babylonian myth of Etana. The Jewish Encyclopedia comments:

 

“The brilliancy of the morning star, which eclipses all other stars, but is not seen during the night, may easily have given rise to a myth such as was told of Ethana and Zu: he was led by his pride to strive for the highest seat among the star-gods on the northern mountain of the gods ... but was hurled down by the supreme ruler of the Babylonian Olympus.”

 

The Greek myth of Phaethon, whose name means “Shining One", has also been seen as similar. Yes, there are plenty of ancient myths that refer to a rebellion in heaven against the gods.

 

There is even a 2nd-century Roman sculpture of the Moon-goddess Selene or Luna accompanied by the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), or Phosphoros (the Morning Star) and Hesperos (the Evening Star), in Latin called Lucifer and Vesper.

 

In classical mythology, Lucifer ("light-bringer" in Latin), Phosphorus (same meaning in Greek), Eosphoros ("dawn-bringer" in Greek) was a personification of the morning star as a male figure bearing a torch, “the fabled son of Aurora and Cephalus, and father of Ceyx.”

 

But there is one more telling reference to this rebellion myth in 2 Enoch, also known as Slavonic Enoch. Here we have a portion of text stating that Satanail was hurled from the height together with his angels 2 Enoch 29:3-4

 

“And one from out the order of angels, having turned away with the order that was under him, conceived an impossible thought, to place his throne higher than the clouds above the earth, that he might become equal in rank to my power. And I threw him out from the height with his angels, and he was flying

in the air continuously above the bottomless.”

 

 

 

LUCIFER – A TEXTUAL PROBLEM

In the Vulgate (a 4th century Latin translation of the Bible) Isaiah 14:12 is not the only place where the word Lucifer (used only once in the KJV) is used. It uses the same word four more times, in contexts where it clearly has NO REFERENCE to a fallen angel:

 

2 Peter 1:19 (meaning “morning star”),

 

Job 11:17 ("the light of the morning"),

 

Job 38:32 ("the signs of the zodiac")

 

Psalms 110:3 ("the dawn").

 

Furthermore, “Lucifer” is not the only expression that the Vulgate uses to speak of “the morning star:” three times it uses stella matutina: Sirach 50:6 (referring to the actual morning star), and Revelation 2:28 (of uncertain reference) and 22:16 (referring to none other than Jesus himself!). Seriously – on one hand are we calling the despicable and evil Satan “the bright shining morning star” then the next time we use the phrase we are referring to Christ? That’s like saying that the words black and white are interchangeable! Anyone who suggests that Satan/Lucifer as the brightest and glorious heavenly body - should be revered as such in the Bible, is down right blasphemous!

So what is this heylel/halal of Isa. 14:12? Here is the problem - too many translations of previous translations without checking the Hebrew manuscripts first! Yip, herein lies the problem.

“Lucifer” is the Latin Vulgate translation of the word xosphoruos in the Septuagint, (which is a Greek version of the Hebrew) of Isaiah 14:12, which the King James translators then translated over into the English as “Lucifer.”

The Latin and the Greek, as well as a supposed form of a “Hebrew” word in verse 12 mean “bright shiner” or “shining one.” The problem is, however, that Isa.14:12 was NOT written in Latin or Greek, but Hebrew.  “Lucifer” is not a Hebrew word, nor is it an English translation of a Hebrew word! Lucifer is Latin, and is related to a group of Latin derived English words including lucid, luciferin and luciferose, as we saw defined above, all of which suggest brightness or shining. Likewise xosphoros in the Greek derived English words such as, fluorescence and phosphorescence.

But there is no Hebrew or Aramaic text in which there is a word in this verse to correspond. What we find in all such texts is the word hehlehl,” eill, which is a form of the Hebrew stem “yah-lahl,” ill. And what is the meaning of “ill?” Are you ready? It means HOWL. That’s right, “Lucifer” turns out to be nothing more than a misinterpreted substitute for the word “howl” What? Let’s explain.

 

 

What it means to HOWL

It has been suggested that the translators of the Septuagint (Hebrew into Greek) could have overlooked the smallest of the Hebrew letters or been using a copy in which it had been inadvertently omitted. Thus if the form of the world eill, as it occurs in this particular text, were shortened to ell its meaning would be derived from a different root, in fact would be itself a different root, and the sense given in the Septuagint and the Vulgate would be at least understandable, with one giant exception. There is still absolutely no reason or rule of grammar for turning this word into a personal name! It could possibly mean “a shining one,” but NOT a personal name such as “Lucifer.” Doubtless the translators followed the Vulgate as they did in most of their translating.

Even such an eminent translator as Rotherham seemed to follow the Septuagint in this verse, however, from his comments within parenthesis, it is clear that he was fully aware of the fact that whatever this word meant, it was referring to none other than the context of these verses which is Babylon and not Satan:

“How has thou (Babylon—see context) fallen from heaven, O Shining One (O howl)—Son of the Dawn! (Babylon conspicuous as Venus). Hewn down to the earth, O crusher of nations.”

Clearly the reference is to Babylon and none other. It was Babylon which was exalted to heaven (as conspicuous as Venus, the brightest star of the morning) in her wealth, power, and glory. Yet just as Capernaum, God says she is brought down to the earth, the one who was a “crusher of nations.”

Let’s list the King James renderings of the word that is found in the “Hebrew” texts and transliterations of its various forms in every occurrence in the entire KJV Bible. Now you can be the judge. In all Hebrew or Aramaic texts of Isa. 14:12, the only word found is heh-lehl,”eill, which is a form of the Hebrew stem “yah-lahl,” ill, meaning howl. Here is Kittel’s Hebrew Text for the Hebrew Stem ill—"yah-lahl"—HOWL: By the way, we won’t quote every verse in full, but here’s the first one for example.

“Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” (Isa 13:6) 

Isa. 13:6

eiliu

Howl ye

Isa. 14:31

eili

Howl

Isa. 15:2

iilil

shall howl

Isa. 15:3

iilil

shall howl

Isa. 16:7

iilil

Howl

Isa. 16:7

iilil

shall howl

Isa. 23:1

eililu

Howl ye

Isa. 23:6

eililu

Howl ye

Isa. 23:14

eililu

Howl ye

Isa. 52:5

eililu

make to howl

Isa. 65:14

eililu

shall howl

Jer. 4:8

ueililu

Howl

Jer. 25:34

eililu

Howl

Jer. 47:2

ueill

and shall howl

Jer. 48:20

eilili

Howl

Jer. 48:31

ailil

will I howl

Jer. 48:39

eililu

They shall howl (Howl ye)

Jer. 49:3

eilili

Howl (Howl ye)

Jer. 51:8

eililu

howl

Ezek.30:2

eililu

Howl ye

Hos. 7:14

iililu

They howled

Joel 1:5

ueililu

And howl

Joel 1:11

eililu

howl

Joel 1:13

eililu

And shall be howlings

Amos 8:1

ueililu

and howl

Micah 1:8

uailile

howl ye

Zeph. 1:11

aililu

Howl

Zech.11:2

eill

howl

Zech.11:2

eililu

howl

Isa. 14:12

eill

Lucifer (??)

You don’t have to be a Hebrew scholar to see at a glance that this strange word “Lucifer” is totally out of place in this list. The meaning of this word is clear; eill is a verb that means HOWL,” and not a noun than can be twisted into a personal name such as lucifer!”

And notice carefully that the Hebrew verb eill in Isa. 14:12 is the identical form of the first verb eill in Zech. 11:2. And here’s why this “Lucifer” mistake is proven to be the monumental mistake that it is. Try substituting the personal noun “Lucifer” in place of the verb “howl” in the two places it occurs in Zech. 11:2. Here as in many Scriptures, the trees are likened to people who are crying out because of the death and destruction:

Lucifer, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: Lucifer, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the ventage is come down.”

Such a translation would be nonsense. Or let’s try it back in Isa. 14 where we find the word Lucifer in verse 12, but notice how this word is translated in verse 31: Instead of Howl, O gate; cry, O city…” We would have, Lucifer, O gate; cry, O city…” Again, such a translation would be nonsense, as it is also nonsense in Isa. 14:12.

Kittel in a footnote informs us that it is only the Septuagint (which, remember, is the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) that we find this word ell instead of eill. This word was translated into eospearos, which Jerome translated into Lucifer with a capital "L," which the King James translators carried over into English without checking the HEBREW manuscripts, which would have solved this dilemma. All Hebrew manuscripts have eill in Isaiah 14:12, and remember that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, NOT Greek or Latin!

Well, there you have it. There ain’t no Lucifer who was supposedly perfect before he supposedly turned into Satan. Lucifer is a Christian hoax! What a difference a Hebrew "yode" (‘i’—iota) makes. We dare not LEAVE OUT THE IOTAS.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in NO WISE PASS from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat. 5:18).

A “jot” is a Greek “iota” and in Hebrew a “tittle” is a “yod,” which is the very smallest stroke in a Hebrew letter. And just how important are those little iotas? The difference between the absence of “i”, or the presence of “i”, is the reason why, we have the Lucifer LIE!

Now back to Isa. 14. With “Lucifer” out of the way, let’s read a couple versions other than the KJV and see how they dealt with this strange word ell which comes to us by way of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate:

"How you are fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!" You are hacked down to the earth, destroyer of nations" (New International Version)

"How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! (New Revised Standard Version)

There is absolutely no reason to capitalize “day,” “star,” or “dawn” in this last version.

Here is how the Concordant Literal Old Testament translates this verse by following the Hebrew Manuscripts rather than the Catholic Latin Bible and yes finally – this is how this verse SHOULD read!

“How you have fallen from the heavens! Howl, son of the dawn! You are hacked down to the earth, defeater of all nations.”

It is the king of Babylon who elevated himself to high heaven in the heavens of his own mind, and it is the same king of Babylon who has “fallen from the heavens,” and it is the same king of Babylon who is “hacked down to the earth,” and it is the same king of Babylon who was the “Defeater of all nations,” and not a “perfect Satan!”

 

GOD GIVES US THE REASONS WHY PEOPLE ARE TOLD TO “HOWL”

We will now see what every single verse of Scripture that uses the word “howl” has in common with Isa. 14:12: “Howl, son of the dawn.” There is a reason why God tells the people in thirty some verses, “To HOWL…” And it is the very same reason that the “…son of the dawn” is to “Howl” rather than to “Lucifer” or light up like a firefly or some other silly unscriptural nonsense! Let’s look at just a few:

Howl ye [why?]; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty [that’s why]!” (Isa. 13:6)

Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle" [why?] "…the Lord has given a commandment against the merchant city, to DESTROY THE STRONG HOLDS THEREOF” (Ver. 11). (Isa 33:6)

Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is LAID WASTE.” (Isa. 23:14) 

Babylon is suddenly FALLEN and DESTROYED: howl for her… for her JUDGMENT REACHES UNTO HEAVEN…” (Jer. 51:8-9) 

And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, says the Lord God; there shall be MANY DEAD BODIES IN EVERY PLACE…” (Amos 8:3)

If you wish, you may check every single Scripture that contains the word “howl,” and you will find the same declarations of death and destruction.

 

 

“The Burden of Babylon”

Now then, is there anything in Isaiah 14 that is similar to what we have found in these 30-plus Scriptures that use the word "howl"? In other words, is it not obvious that the word “howl” fits perfectly in verse 14, whereas lucifer/firefly does not make the least sense? Yes, Isa. 12:4, is 100% the subject of “the king of Babylon,” and not Satan or some Lucifer of man’s imagination.

No, Babylon, the greatest kingdom of nations in the history of the world is COMING DOWN TO THE GRAVE! Just like Capernaum, Babylon was EXALTED TO HEAVEN, but is being brought down to HELL (the grave of death and destruction). And theologians and translators would try to deceive us into believing that all this is a statement about “How art thou fallen from heaven, O lucifer [firefly].” Does everything spoken of in these two chapters sound like it refers to some chubby cherub (named firefly) who lost his chubby wings when he got kicked out of heaven?

What is actually spoken of in these two chapters of Isaiah 13 & 14 is the history of world religion and government from the creation of man, through the destruction of man, and the realization of God’s spiritual Mt. Zion filling the universe. All the religions and governments of the world in the history of the world are personified in these two chapters. Isa. 13:1 begins with, “The burden of Babylon…” (organized religion and government against God), and ends with Isa. 14;32b, “That the Lord has founded Zion…” (The spiritual capital of the Universe governing all mankind). It’s all right here for those who have “ears to hear and eyes to see.”

Such scriptures about the rise and fall of empires and kings are not just for the historical records however. You see, all such stories are parabolic – they carry spiritual insights to the nature of man and how God deals with his prized creation.

God perfectly planned and recorded His creation of the heavens, angels, the earth, and carnal humanity, who sinned wickedly and were all drowned (save a few); who then reached for their own heaven at the tower of Babel in rebellion to the God Who then scattered them (save a few); who later built Babylon into a great pagan empire which God destroyed (save a few); who have since built many wicked and fornicating Babylons collectively called, Mystery Babylon The Great, whom God warns before utterly destroying again (save a few); and of ‘the Few’ God is creating a New Spiritual Humanity of Son-and-Daughter Saviours like unto Jesus, in New Jerusalem on spiritual Mt. Zion, were ALL will be redeemed (NOT just a few); that God may be “ALL in All!” There – done. You see the master plan?

 

 

The Prince of Tyrus

MAYBE THE PRINCE OF TYRUS IS SATAN

The other leading scriptural authority used as evidence to support the Christian hoax of Lucifer being SATAN/THE DEVIL is of course found in the book of Ezekiel.

EZE 28:13 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

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. 

Eze 28:14  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and 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. 

Eze 28:15  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 

Eze 28:16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 

Eze 28:17  Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 

Eze 28:18  Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 

Eze 28:19  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. 

And again, carnal theologians tell us that Ezekiel 28 too records the fall of Satan from a perfect cherub, even though AGAIN it is the king of Tyrus and NOT Satan who is being addressed in this lamentation. The fact that he was called full of wisdom and perfect in beauty by no means suggests that this is speaking of Satan. Perfect is used in a relative sense when not speaking of deity. God is merely shoving this in the kings face, as it was Tyrus who earlier attributed to itself this claim of perfect beauty, not God!

“Now, you son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus; And say unto Tyrus, O you that art situate at the entry of the sea, which are a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus says the Lord God; O Tyrus, YOU HAVE SAID I am o fperfect beauty (Ezek. 27:2-3).

This is exactly the same situation as our Lord dealt with in the city of Capernaum. In fact He says it will be more tolerable for boastful Tyre in the dayof judgment than for Capernaum:

“But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum which are exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell [hades/grave] (Luke 10:14-15).

Notice in both cases it is not God who believes Capernaum or Tyrus is perfect and heavenly, but the carnal-minded people of these two city states. The word “perfect” is used many times in Scripture to mean that there is no outward imperfections (as in a perfect animal for sacrifice, without any outward blemishes). Inside, however, the one who may appear perfect outwardly, can be totally corrupt. It certainly does not mean “sinless.” Here is Scriptural proof:

The Scriptures say that Noah was perfect” in his generation, (but need we be reminded of a slight imperfect problem he had with the grape juice after the flood?) And God said that Job was perfect” in Job 1:8 (which makes us wonder why Job had to abhor himself and “repent in dust and ashes.” And David said of himself that he was perfect” in Psalm 18:32, (perfect maybe if we forget about his numbering of Israel in rebellion to God, and perfect if we forget that little incidence with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah).

Continuing with verse 13:

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God… in the day that you were created.”

Here we are told is even more proof that this is speaking of Satan. After all, wasn’t Satan in the garden of "Eden" and wasn’t Satan a “created” being?

The word translated “Eden” in this verse is the same word or root translated Eden 20 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Sometimes it has reference to the “garden” that God planted in the area of the country called Eden. Sometimes it has reference to other lands near the area of Eden, and not the garden of Eden. Sometimes it refers to the “children of Eden” as in II Kings 19:12. And most are aware of the fact that adam and Eve had NO CHILDREN in the “garden of Eden.” Amos 1:5 speaks of the “house of Eden” - very same Hebrew word translated “Eden” in every occurrence of this word in the Hebrew Manuscripts. And Eden is also the name of several persons in Scripture.

Now back to verse 13 and Eden the garden of God.” And so, we see that “Eden” can mean various things, even though Eden is always translated from the same Hebrew word:

Strong’s #5731, Eden, ay’-den; the same as #5730, eden, ay’den; from #5727, pleasure. #5727, adan, aw-dan’; to be soft or pleasant… to live voluptuously.

And so we find that this is a word that has a meaning, and that this word does not need to be capitalized. Neither is it capitalized OR translated “eden” in other Scriptures:

  “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure [Hebrew translated ‘pleasure’ here is eden, ay-den’] my lord being old also?” (Gen. 18:12).

“They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; and you shalt make them drink of the river of your pleasures [Hebrew translated ‘pleasures’ here is eden, ay-den’!] (Psalm 36:8).

So why should it be capitalized in Ezek. 28:13? It shouldn’t. Here are a couple of translations that don’t (1) Capitalize it, or (2) Translate it “eden.”

“Thou wast in the pleasures [Heb. eden, ay-den’] of the paradise [or garden] of God” (Ezek. 28:13, The Holy Bible, Douay Confraternity)

“In the luxury [Heb. eden, ay-den’] of the garden of Alueim [God] you come to be” (Ezek. 28:13, The Concordant Literal Old Testament).

Although the KJV often italicizes words in a verse that were not in the original manuscript, but that are often needed to make the English read better, they do not always do so. Here are the actual translated words for which there is a Hebrew equivalent in verse 13 of Ezek. 28:

“In luxury of garden of God you come be.”

“In the luxury of the garden of God you come to be.”

Now if we retain that word “of” and insert it into the KJV, we would have this:

“Thou hast been in Eden of the garden of God.”

If, as the KJV translation suggests, eden IS the “garden of God,” then it cannot ALSO BE “Of” that same garden!

Furthermore “has been” is not necessarily correct either (suggesting that this is speaking of an event long ancient to the lamentation being presently given to Ezekiel), seeing that the Hebrew language, strictly speaking, has no verb forms which express either past or future.

But isn’t this verse speaking of a “created” being, and therefore couldn’t it mean Satan, as opposed to the King of Tyrus who was “born” rather than “created” as was Adam and Satan? Not at all!

Whether one is born of a woman or created directly out of the dust of the ground as was Adam, they are both “creations of God.” Here is Scriptural proof that created” can be applied to those born of a woman:

“But now thus says the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed you, O Israel…” (Isa. 43:1).

“…bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him; yea, I have made him” (Isa. 43:6-7).

“Have we not all one father? Has not one God created US [ALL mankind] (Mal. 2:10).

So much for that part of the theory. Verse 14:

 

 

The Fall of Great Empires

“…your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”

Cherubs or cherubims are angelic spirit creatures of great power with wings. God placed cherubims at the garden of Eden to guard the way of the tree of life. Cherubim were also of course carved and made of gold, then placed on the cover of the ark of the covenant. Their wings were to be outstretched over the ark casting a shadow over it. Their wings were to touch signifying that the divided messengers of God will ultimately be united into one. Also they were to face each other with their eyes looking down at the shadow-cast ark, signifying that they desire to look into these deep spiritual things, but can as yet not comprehend any more than the shadow.

“And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be” (Ex. 25:20).

Cherubim are associated with the mercy seat, the decorations of the tabernacle and later the temple, and are associated with the Throne of God in Ezekiel. They indicate the highest office so to speak – certainly the term “cherubim” in relation the King of Tyrus would fit into this category.

Next we read a remarkable thing in the KJV in the last part of verse 16 of Ezek. 28:

“By the multitude of thy [king of Tyrus] merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O COVERING CHERUB], from the midst of the stones of fire.”

Now we have to understand why God raised up prophets from certain areas at certain times. Ezekiel, like Isaiah, wrote prophecies against various countries, and yes we are stating the obvious here, but this particular diatribe is against the king of Tyre. Tyre was the most prominent of several cities of Phoenicia; today we call the area Lebanon.

The Phoenicians were known for two things. First, they were a sea-faring people who travelled extraordinary distances from Palestine and created colonies all over the Mediterranean. They had important settlements along the coast of North Africa and down the western coast, in Spain, and on many islands that would become part of Italy.

Their most famous colony was Carthage, which became the ruling power of the Mediterranean. In fact, it was the Punic (Phoenician) wars between Rome and Carthage that made Rome into a world power. You may remember Hannibal, who led his army (with elephants) over the Alps to fight the Romans. Throughout more than fifteen years of war, Hannibal won every battle until the battle of the fall of Carthage.

Secondly, the Phoenicians were known as great traders who controlled the Mediterranean trade routes for hundreds of years. Both David and Solomon were buddies with Tyre’s King Hiram, and when Solomon built ships to sail the Gulf of Aqaba Hiram sent experienced sailors to help him in this new venture.

 

THE PHOENICIAN KING OF TYRE

Now - Ezekiel explicitly tells the king of Tyre where he has gone wrong.

In the pride of your heart you say, ‘I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.’ But you are a mere mortal and not a god…By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud.

Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of all nations…and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. Will you then say, ‘I am a god,’ in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god.

Ezekiel continues continues by pointing out the king’s advantage:

Your were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl…You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.

Before now, the passage clearly described a man; and a man remains in view. The passage DOES NOT suddenly and mysteriously begin to address the fallen Satan instead of the king of Tyre; it addresses the king of Tyre throughout.

The reference to Eden is a metaphor that simply underscores the king’s advantage. His kingdom was like a perfect garden - like Eden. Ezekiel refers to the King of Tyre metaphorically as a guardian cherub, which is another allusion to Genesis. Yet Satan is no Guardian Cherub!

Those who think this passage refers to Satan in Eden encounter a difficulty in identifying Satan as a “guardian cherub.” The cherub of Genesis was not Satan, but another angelic being posted to guard against trespassers.

So why is this a perfect analogy? The king of Tyre should have been a guardian of his privileged empire, but he was not. Ezekiel describes the king’s misuse of his advantaged position:

You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries…I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you.

Just what on earth does widespread sea faring trade and violent, ruthless oppression have to do with the fall of Satan? NOTHING! This chapter has nothing to do with an angelic rebellion and its leader. Rather, it describes wickedness related to violence, dishonest trade, and unnamed sins. The king had all the advantages, but his very success led to the haughtiness to say in his heart, ‘I am a god.’ This is the story of a king living in history, not of an angel acting in prehistory.

Why are the passages from Isaiah and Ezekiel so similar if they refer to different people? The tendency toward pride and self-exaltation is a common failing of kings. Neither Isaiah nor Ezekiel has anything to say about the fall of Satan!

Well, there you have it. Satan was ALWAYS Satan. He was never an archangel/cherub/light-bringing/Lucifer/firefly. Here is what the Scriptures teach:

So was Satan the devil really “perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him?” NO:

“He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins FROM THE BEGINNING…” (I John 3:8).

Yes, Christendom  teaches us that there was a time when Satan the devil was righteous and would have never thought to murder anyone. So didn’t Satan the devil change into a murderer at some later date? NO:

“You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer FROM THE BEGINNING…(John 8:44).

Maybe it’s time we give this all up. There is no “Lucifer,” and there never was a “Lucifer.” There is no righteous light-bringing Satan, and there never was a righteous light-bringing Satan. Lucifer the light-bringing sinless Satan is a Christian Hoax!

 

 

Conclusion

SATAN ALWAYS SHOWS UP WHERE HE IS NEEDED

“Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.” (Isa 54:16) 

And so it is that all that we have commonly been taught about the idea of a personal Satan on a personal quest to fulfil his personal desires is shattered by the Old Testament scriptures – despite what Christian theologians would have us believe. Yes, the Hebrew God in his wisdom has birthed evil into this world but not for nothing – rather a grand purpose. He alone “creates evil” and he created a great adversary (a waster!) to destroy. To destroy what though? Well, we will find out in the next study.

And anyway, haven’t we missed something? What about the Garden of Eden? Satan that OLD SERPENT, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) was the cause of our fall was he not?

Remember one of the grandest truths of the Scriptures. When Satan entered Eden as “that Old Serpent and deceived Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Satan didn’t sneak into the garden against God’s will. He performed a needful task with our first spiritual parents. God caused what Satan was going to do to Adam and Eve. God did not try to prevent it. It is all part of God’s master plan.

Just as God has provided food for mankind, He has also provided food for our (not Gods’) adversary/Satan.  And just what kind of “food” does Satan dine on?  Satan dines on mankind!

“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and DUST SHALL YOU EAT all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:14).

This is, of course a powerful parable. Man is the “dust of the earth” upon which Satan dines: “The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy [dust]…” (I Cor. 15:47). Man IS “dust.”

“…for DUST you are, and unto DUST shall you return” (Gen. 3:19).

In this great allegory of the scriptures, when God told the serpent devil Satan that he would eat DUST, He was telling him that he would eat MAN (adam). And this is exactly what Peter tells us in his epistle:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour[Gk: swallow down/eat] (I Pet. 5:8).

Satan dines and thrives on the meat of the “carnal [Greek: sarx; flesh] mind [which] is enmity [hostility/hatred] against God: for it is not subject to the [spiritual] law of God, neither indeed can be(Rom. 8:7).

Satan does not seek to devour everyone for food; only those who are carnally (fleshly) minded represent a great steak dinner to him. Yes remember, that SATAN/ADVERSARY is portrayed by the Old Testament scriptures as the accuser. His role is to accuse mankind on behalf of God. It is his solemn duty.

Always remember, Satan never operates beyond his God-given parameters as we will see in the case of Job. It was GOD’S idea to severely try Job, not Satan’s. Satan took strict orders from God as to just how he could try Job. Satan was permitted by God at each and every step of this severe trying of Job. Do we think God does it differently today? Do we think Satan now has “free reign”- “free will?” Do we think that God “changes?” Nonsense: “For I am the LORD, I change not…” (Mal. 3:6).

Yes the Old Testament Fathers knew these forgotten truths. Even David prayed for God to use Satan in judging his enemies:

“Set you a wicked man over him: and let SATAN(an adversary) stand at his right hand” (Psalm 109:6).

Are not these activities of Satan necessary? Does God use Satan for no good purpose? Then why can’t men see that God also CREATED Satan for these very purposes?

Satan is constantly finding fault with God’s Chosen ones. Remember:

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and SATAN standing at his right hand to resist [accuse] him” (Zech. 3:1).

Read these scriptures with new understanding! Remember, Satan can do NOTHING without God’s approval. Most baffling to modern theologians today is the fact that when God (the placer) completed His creating, He said

“And God saw EVERY THING that He had made [including Satan, the Adversary], and, behold, it was VERY GOOD…” (Gen. 1:31).

Satan was not only necessary, but he was, in fact, PERFECT for the job that God created him to fulfil. We will expand on this theme in the next study where the New Testament scriptures further open the door to our understanding of the Adversarial role of SATAN, in regards to the development of spiritual man. It was not possible for Adam and Eve NOT TO SIN -- they were created for the express purpose of being moulded into the “image of God.” They HAD TO EAT of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would have NEVER reached this first spiritual step in becoming LIKE GOD (in His IMAGE!)

“And the LORD God said, Behold [consider, to perceive, to know, to understand], the man is BECOME AS ONE OF US, TO KNOW GOOD AND EVIL...” (Gen. 3:22).

Knowing “good and evil” is one of the most essential requisites in being formed in the image of God. To truly “know” both good and evil they spiritually HAD to partake of its source, which was the “TREE of the knowledge of good and evil,” God’s divine purpose DEMANDED that they SIN in order to obtain this “knowledge.” God set forth an instrument of his hand to do so – SATAN. The spiritual progression in which the spirit filled believer (Christ’s called and chosen) is called to follow, is a perilous one, but ultimately glorious one. In fact, it is all out WAR!

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels” (Rev. 12:7).

Yes, the spiritual war for the hearts and minds of men continues...

 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Rev. 12:10).

In the glorious age to come, Christ shall put all his enemies under his feet, our great accuser shall be cast down, our carnality put to the sword. The adversaries’ job shall be completed – and God’s glorious plans shall be revealed to and in ALL!

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

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