SATAN

BY:  CHARLES W. WELLER

WHO THEN IS LUCIFER, IF NOT SATAN?

SO, WHAT ELSE IS SATAN IF HE IS NOT LUCIFER?

CONCLUSION

“In the Hebrew Bible, as in mainstream Judaism to this day, Satan never appears as Western Christendom has come to know him, as the leader of an ‘evil empire,’ an army of hostile spirits who make war on God and humankind alike.” (The Origin of Satan, Pagels, pg. 39) The idea of Satan was one that evolved from the Hebrew into the Christian concept. With an open mind, let us reason together.

We find that the word “Satan” appears first in Numbers 22:22 translated as “adversary,” and in Job the same word is translated Satan. These two locations present Satan as an obedient servant of the Lord, which is contrary to the New Testament position. It appears in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan is an angel, actually, a divine messenger is what it means.

The important thing to note is that Satan never once in the Hebrew Old Testament describes a particular person. The role of Satan is that of an adversary, and as one reads the root of the Hebrew word “stn” one finds it means an adversary. The corresponding Greek word is “diabolos” which means one who throws something across one’s path.

We find in Job 2:1 that God, Satan and bene’ elohim (sons of God) were gathered together. Verse two states that Satan came from roaming over the earth. It is interesting to note that some sources of the Hebrew state that the word “roam” “shut” in the Hebrew implies or suggests that Satan was a roaming type secret police. (Pagels pg.39)

Satan was found on the same classification, position or rank as the sons of God in that he was in the presence of the Lord, but this does not make him equal to God or the sons of God. Yet he was a vessel created by God. Consider these verses: Isaiah 45:7, Ex 4:11, John 1:3, Col.1:16.

There is no disagreement among scholars that Satan means “adversary.” But further study of the Scriptures will reveal that God is even an adversary and the same word is used. See 1 Chronicles 21:1. The usage of adversary in Numbers 22:22 where it first occurs, proposes God as the adversary. Some serious thinking and pondering before God must be done in this area. Such a study as we propose will shake the foundations of religiosity and all that typical religion suggests. But the truth is the truth regardless of false religious doctrine.

John 8:44 quotes Jesus saying in the NAS: You (Pharisees and Scribes see verse 3) are of your father the devil and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature for he is a liar and the father of lies.” It is obvious that Jesus is speaking to a group of people who are not literally fathered by one person but rather spiritually are kin to the devil. Note that Jesus is addressing the issue of moral depravity, the whited sepulchre nature, hypocrisy etc.

We must note that the Greek for devil is “diabolos,” or one who is thrown across your path to test you. This word, devil, is generally used in conjunction with Satan, and is, in fact, considered synonymous. The reason the words are considered interchangeable is based on Revelation 12:9 which reads: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

However, the succinct point is that Jesus states the devil was a murderer from the beginning. This statement alone is contrary to normal traditional Christian teaching. Fact is often different than fantasy. Most of the theologians believe that the devil was good and then fell. Their concept is based upon Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. However, Jesus clearly states that the devil was evil from the beginning. The word “beginning” here means from the original starting point of creation. This point will be discussed further as we proceed with the discussion of cherubim. But suffice it to say that the word “beginning” is in reference to the very beginning, not some starting point that came after the beginning.

Note the word “stand” in John 8:44. The Greek is the imperfect tense and means that the devil “was keeping his standing.” By this it means that the devil was remaining in what he was from his own creation point. He was faithful to his corrupt nature. The implication here is that the devil was evil from the starting point. Since he was “not in truth” he was in deception from the beginning. Yet, even though theologians preach the fantasy of the devil being good and then falling, they have not considered 1 John 3:8 which reads in the NAS: “…for the devil has sinned from the beginning…” This could not be true of any other vessel. Adam was good and then fell. But Satan, the devil, is first found as the serpent in the garden and is evil from his first appearance.

We find Jesus being tempted by the devil in Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus was tempted by Satan but was “led of the Spirit” to be tempted. Here the word devil is used which is the Greek “diabolos” meaning adversary. Have you ever had an adversarial role with your children in order to cause them to think and make the right decision? I believe in the U.S. it is called “playing the devil’s advocate.” So who is the adversary?

It is the same word used by Jesus when he states in John 6:70 that Judas is the devil or the adversary. Yet, Judas was a man who was called for the hour to fulfill the purposes of God (see our message on Enoch, Elijah, Judas). Later we see Satan enter Judas at the Last Supper. The adversarial nature that deceived nature enters Judas (Luke 22:3, Matthew 26:25). It is interesting to note that the word “diabolos” is used with the prince of devils, like in Matthew 4:1, Revelation 12:9 or in general for evil spirits as found in Acts 10:38, Ephesians 4:27, 6:11. Thirty-eight times devil is used in the New Testament and thirty-four times the word Satan is used.

Again, Jesus uses the example of Satan entering a man. Jesus states that Peter is Satan in Matthew 16:23. Peter was a man into whom a thought or spirit came. Again it appears that Satan is not a person. Both Judas and Peter were men into whom came either a thought or a spirit. I might consider a thought more valid because the carnal mind is at enmity with God’s way, and that would be adversarial. (Romans 8:7)

We find 1 Chronicles 21:1 that Satan caused David to number the people which reads like this: “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number the people” but if we read 2 Samuel 24:1 we find the following: “…the LORD burned against Israel and incited David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’” Again, we must reiterate that Satan means an adversary, one who stands in the way. There is no doubt that Satan is a messenger, a divine messenger (an angel) in that he is sent to do God’s bidding. Job clearly shows that Satan is controlled by God. But could God reveal Himself as an adversary? I believe so when He desires someone to take the steps necessary to follow His principles.

We find in Corinthians that Satan masquerades as an angel of light – 2 Corinthians 11:14. We cannot doubt that he appears to be holy and pure but in truth is the exact opposite of truth. However he can be conquered by Christ which shows that he is less than Christ in power, not only because he is a created vessel but because of his position also. We must not forget that through Christ all things have been placed under our feet. We are victorious because the serpent crawls on the earth (old Adamic nature), and we have now been seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

We have already discussed that the devil was created by Christ. (John 1:3) Just because he was cast out of heaven does not mean that he was good before he fell!

Now we find in Revelation 12:9 that John writes: “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth and his angels were thrown down with him.” The word “old” in the Greek is transliterated into English as the word “archaic.” The actual Greek means from the very first starting age. If one were to go to the root word for archaic we would find that it comes from “archomai” which means to commence in order of time. The Amplified Bible reads: “And he gripped and overpowered the dragon, that old serpent of primeval times…” A very close friend, J Preston Eby whose research is seen in this paragraph presents this thought: “Man on the one hand, says a fallen angel, Satan, used the serpent in Eden. God on the other hand, says that the original serpent is the Devil and Satan. So who is correct – theologians or the Scriptures themselves?” J. Preston Eby, The Serpent, Where Did Evil Come From?, El Paso TX 1977

In Revelation 12:9 we see the different names for Satan. Each has its place and is interchangeable with the word Satan, but at the same time each has its special meaning and place of importance. The serpent we remember from the Garden of Eden. It was not a literal snake that talked! One needs to know that the snake was a symbol of the religion of Babylon. The book of Genesis was written many years after creation, some say by Moses. If this were so, then it was written around 1500 BC. The symbolism selected would be current ideas – and Babylon was a great power then and would reemerge as a power centuries later too. The serpent was the symbol of false religion – any religion that places itself above God, which was the sin of Eve (we have a tape on this subject about Eve).

We can note that Satan touches the creation that is of the earth – where he was thrown down to. Adam was made of the earth. Satan works on the flesh. In Matthew 4 we find Jesus tempted in three areas:

 

lust of the flesh (turn stones into bread),

lust of the eyes (seeing kingdoms to rule over)

and the pride of life (worshipping Satan).

These same three temptations are found in Genesis 3:6 that Eve partook of:

tree was good for food

delight to the eyes

desire to be wise

Again we find the same three temptations in Revelation 21:8 which presents three areas of failure:

 

First in importance is idolaters, sorcerers (Greek pharmica – drugs) and liars. This represents spiritual corruption.

Secondly is murders and sexually immoral which represents sins of the flesh.

 

 

 

Thirdly are things related to the carnal mind – unbelief, cowardice.

 

Thus all three areas of corruption are seen – mental, fleshly and spiritual. Every possible realm is tested and the key is to remain in the nature of God and not yield to the flesh, following the pattern of Jesus. Remember when Satan entered Judas he went and conferred with the Pharisees and priests? Satan always deals with false religion, that which is of the Law and not of Grace.

Paul writes: “…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” This statement by Paul is to show that the desires of the flesh – lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life have to be worked out in a person. A person cannot be free, even a Christian, since Paul is writing about a Christian in particular, until the desires are removed. These desires are in the mental arena, the carnal mind that must be destroyed because it is at enmity with God. The fullness of corruption must occur first (James 1:15, Matthew 23:32) before a person seeks deliverance.

Hopefully, we have shown that Satan is a spirit of corruption but not one spirit in particular; that Satan is not a person; that Satan is a created being for a purpose in God’s plan; that Satan did not fall but was evil from the beginning; that Satan works on three different planes; that Satan is an angel, a messenger. But there is more that must be determined concerning Satan and some theological misconceptions that must be removed from the mind of Christians. The concern is that these thoughts are so embedded that it will take centuries! After all, if I say Satan, one automatically thinks of a red devil with a pitchfork!

WHO THEN IS LUCIFER, IF NOT SATAN?

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the Morning!” (KJV)

“What a fall from heaven on high O Shining star of the dawn!” (Moffat)

“How hast thou fallen from heaven, O Shining One, son of the dawn!” (Rotherham)

“How are you fallen from heaven O light-bearer and day star, son of the morning!” (Amplified Bible)

Note how each translation, except for the King James Version, NEVER uses the word “Lucifer” but goes directly to the Hebrew and uses a transliteration of the word Shining star, Shining One, Light-bearer/day star. Each of these translations is far more accurate than the King James in the matter. We also note that these other translations are in UNISON on what the word means!

Peter calls Jesus the daystar in 2 Peter 1:19 and how He is to arise in our hearts. The Strong’s concordance brings out that the Greek word is “phosphoros” and can be translated as light-bearing or morning star. Our English word from the Greek is phosphorus. Phosphorus gives off its own light, hence it is a light-bearer. Now, why would Peter, an inspired writer of the letter, being under the direction of the Holy Spirit, compare Jesus as the day star with Lucifer (as the KJV calls it) if Lucifer is the devil or Satan? There surely is a mistake here if it were so! But Peter does NOT draw that comparison; it is the erroneous translation of the King James that infers such.

Many of you are aware of the theological teaching that Lucifer is Satan. This teaching comes out of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. We shall look at these two areas because it is a subject that deals with “angels.”

First, let me say that the KJV has created a monster doctrine because it translated and thereby fostered a doctrine based on a word that is used only once in the whole Bible. The word “Lucifer” should be translated like any other word rather than being created into a name. The American Standard and newer editions of the Bible translate it correctly – “light-bearer.” The Hebrew “helel” means shining one, brightness, morning star. It is not a person’s name just as Satan is not a person’s name; just as Gabriel is not a person’s name.

For over 200 years the doctrine has been taught in evangelical churches that Lucifer was Satan. Please reread that again. It has only been since the early 1800’s that Satan has been taught as Lucifer. This doctrine has not always been taught. It was not the belief of the early church.

We need to explore certain aspects of the truths about Cherubim (cherub is singular, cherubim is plural, KJV cherubims is erroneous); and we should start with the anointed Cherub found in Ezekiel and Isaiah.

Please read Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:12-16. Now the Essenes, a religious group of Jesus’ time, as well as the first book of Enoch show a fallen angel. But these books are ‘extrabiblical’ and should not be considered as valid in the light of the Scriptures themselves. Now theologians use these two scriptural locations as the foundation for the doctrine of Lucifer as Satan. Therefore it behooves us to reacquaint ourselves with these scriptures.

Ezekiel 28:13 states that this cherub was in Eden, the place of beginning of creation. The word “cherubims” in the KJV is first used and found in Scripture in Genesis 3:24. Remember that Cherubim is plural of cherub. The angels were given as a guardian of the “way.” The flaming sword of the cherubim was to circumcise the flesh of anyone who sought to reenter. They were not to keep anyone out, but to make sure that no one entered with any carnality. But it is assumed that the cherubim were placed there by God after the fall. Many writings indicate that man was an angelic being before the fall. Could Adam have been a cherub?

Now we know that in Eden there were many things but specific to this discussion – Adam, Eve and the serpent. The cherub was perfect until iniquity was found in him (vs.15) Ezekiel states. It cannot refer to the cherubim since that is plural. It is referring to one. Note he was perfect until iniquity was found, but we know Satan was NOT a cherub don’t we? And we know that Satan was NOT good and then fell since Jesus said he was evil from the beginning.

Ezekiel 28:18 states that this ‘Lucifer’ will be brought down to ‘ashes.’ Who do we know that when he dies will return to dust? It is Adam, and all his descendants. This one brought down to ashes is Adam who is returned to dust. A spirit cannot be returned to dust. So if Lucifer were Satan, a spirit, as taught by traditional theology he could not be returned to dust. There is no doubt of course about the natural interpretation of these scriptures referring to a real person, but when theologians place a ‘spiritual’ interpretation they fail to see some of the complications that they have cause. Lucifer is a person, Adam who because of sin returns to ashes, never to be saved nor delivered. For the soul that sins lies (Ezekiel 18:4). Personal salvation creates a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“For the creature was MADE subject to vanity, NOT WILLINGLY, but by reason of Him who subjected the same in hope.” (Romans 8:20)

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, until iniquity was found in thee.” (Ezekiel 28:15)

So then, what of this “iniquity?” Here we see that the vessel was created with a malformity and the purpose was to bring a positive end result. The truth here is that this cherub (vs.14) fell. I have shown how man fell also in Romans 8:20, but we must not forget that Genesis 3 shows the fall of man also.

Adam was in a heavenly realm (Isaiah 14:12) and when sin occurred with Eve (the soul) he like Christ stepped forth and bore her sin. For the iniquity in Adam was Eve, the soul that sins dies (Ezekiel 18:4) the carnal mind must be removed. Eve was saved through childbearing in that Christ Jesus came through her. The iniquity found in Lucifer, the light-bearer was Eve.

What is interesting is that there is no scripture that shows Satan fell because of sin. There is scripture that shows he was cast down from heaven (Revelation 12:9), but that implies God forced him out and not that sin caused him to leave. Even Job shows Satan had the right to be there with the sons of God. The other point to remember is that Satan was “evil from the beginning” (John 8:44) that is, he was evil from his creation and there was nothing good in him. The verse goes on to say that there was no truth in him (Satan), but in contrast, we find that the cherub had good and then iniquity was found in him. Thus the two cannot be the same, can they? Unfortunately most theologians think they are, believing a lie rather than the truth.

Imperfection is ascribed to angels but never to Satan. Consider Job 4:18 in the KJV which states: “Behold he puts no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.” Romans 8:20 states in the KJV: “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope.” Folly and vanity are similar. Verse 19 of Romans says the world looks for the sons of God, and Luke 3:38 states that Adam was a son of God. The similarity here cannot be denied. Adam, an angelic being, who falls from his heavenly estate when he sins fulfills Romans 8:19 and Job 4:18. For the sons of God were with God in the beginning.

Now, as we look at Isaiah 14:16 we find that the light-bearer is a man: “Is this the man…” it states talking literally about the king of Babylon, but spiritually about the man of Babylonish religion which is what Adam followed. Remember that Adam was deceived into worshipping the serpent, that Babylonish religion. All false religious systems are called Babylon in the Bible (Revelation 14:8 17:5). Eve fell for all the desires as we have already indicated which are desires for “self” who is the ultimate god of carnality. Only man sets himself up as God.

Satan cannot be a man, a person, as we have shown. But to emphasize this even more, Ezekiel 28:2 states: “…Yet you are a man not a god…” Another confirmation that this is talking about a man literally – the King of Tyre and spiritually a man also. Besides, a man needs salvation, redemption, and deliverance. As we read further in Isaiah it states that the man will be placed in Sheol which is the Hebrew for grave. Satan, as taught, cannot be placed in a grave, only a man can be.

Saints have been taught by doctrine that Lucifer is Satan. Yet, we can see clearly that Lucifer (actually light-bearer) is a person and not a spirit. Secondly, the name Lucifer meaning light-bearer is contradictory to what Satan is. Satan had NO truth in him at all. He was the father of lies. He is darkness since there is no truth in him at all. The word light-bearer means one that carries the light, or has NO darkness. This is in contrast to Satan and could not be the same as Satan, could it?

In summary, Satan is spirit and not flesh and blood. Lucifer, light-bearer, is a man of flesh and blood. Men can be angels as we shall discuss later on, and men can be cherubim as is noted in Ezekiel and Isaiah where the light-bearer was a cherub (28:14). Lucifer, Adam, had truth in him until iniquity was found, but Satan was evil from the beginning. The differences are too great to assume that these verses are talking about the same thing, don’t you agree?

In 2 Peter 1:19 we read in the NAS: “And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” The Morning Star is Christ Jesus, and Lucifer, the day star, was to be in the image of Him who is the Morning Star. Satan could never be a vessel of light. There was no light in him at all. In Revelation 2:26-28, the overcomer, the one who overcomes his fallen nature, receives the Morning Star which Revelation 22:16 clearly reveals as Jesus Christ. If Lucifer was Satan why would Peter be so excited and encouraged about having Satan arise in our hearts? Foolishness. No, my friends, Satan is not Lucifer.

Lucifer is the Hebrew word equated with the Greek word “phosphoros” which is used as Christ’s title in 2 Peter 1:19. The concept that Lucifer was Satan and fell from heaven is based on Luke 10:18 and Isaiah 14:12. This idea developed in the third century, and some authorities do not believe the correlation is true. This can be found in the footnotes of the Amplified Bible. Phosphorous is a bright, burning, light, one that removes all that is in its way. It can be used for cleansing, although in wars it is used for killing. Yet, with Lucifer, here is one who gives light out of himself, even as phosphorus has the ability to give light out of itself.

“When Jerome made his translation of the Bible from the Latin, termed the Vulgate Version (383 A. D.), instead of simply translating ‘son of the morning,’ ‘day star,’ or ‘morning star’ he inserted the word Lucifer. This was the name by which the ancients knew the morning star and was inserted as a means of clarification.” Foundation for Biblical Research, Lucifer is not Satan, Pasadena, CA, 1979. Adam was made in the image of God but was a failure.

Of course, we cannot leave out of the discussion Revelation 12:4 which states: “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Man is a tripartite being. That is to say man has three parts: spirit, soul and body. The stars of heaven represent mankind who fell. Satan cannot touch the spirit but he can rule the flesh. Desiring the things of the flesh man is ruled by the serpent who crawls over the dust of the earth, the flesh or carnality of man. Thus, one third of himself is ruled by the flesh.

If you study the Isaiah and Ezekiel scriptures you will find that the stones on the breastplate of the lightbearer are closely related to the stones of the priest’s garments. The light-bearer was to be a revelation of Light, even as Jesus was the Light of the world. Even as Jesus was our high priest, so Adam was to be after the order of the Lord, too. Even now we understand that we are a kingdom of priests as John stated in Revelation 1:6.

SO, WHAT ELSE IS SATAN IF HE IS NOT LUCIFER?

First, we must remember certain biblical truths. Satan did not fall. Second Satan was not a fallen angel. Careful study will show you that angels are men or an appearance of God Himself. The concept that Satan was not a man is clearly shown in that he “possessed” Judas and Peter who were men. The question, which we shall not discuss, is the “possession.”

There is no doubt that Satan is called the accuser of the brethren because the scripture states so in Revelation 12:10: or the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” If we spiritually hear what Jesus says in John 5:45 (“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust“), we can see that the accuser of the brethren is not the man Moses but in reality is what Moses represents: the Law. For whenever we are challenged in our minds on something we did, we are immediately condemned by some “source.” When you feel guilty over something, it is condemnation that haunts you. Now, I am not saying that if you did something that is not after the spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, you should not feel condemned. You should! For if you do not walk in Christ you are governed by the Law. But if your life is hid in Christ, you stand free from the accuser who tries to make you feel guilty.

Jesus came and delivered us from the law of the Old Testament. He set us free from the Law of Sin and Death. In fact, He gave us the keys to Death and Hell (Revelation 1:18). Now we live after the Spirit and the Law of Life in the Spirit (Romans 8:2) which brings no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). For we have been crucified with Christ, died with Christ and raised with Christ (Romans 6:6-8). And we sit now in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) having been translated out of the kingdom of darkness (note this kingdom is spiritual) into the kingdom of our dear Lord (note this is spiritual too!) (Colossians 1:13).

Satan is that accuser who has been thrown down, thrown out of our minds, the heavens. For now we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)… let this mind be in you (Philippians 2:5). The Greek for “let” means the following: be of the same, be minded, regard it as, think it so. To remain in the heavenlies with Christ we must not accept the lies of the deceiver! We must believe Christ. For after all, who is Truth?

The word “accuser” in Revelation 12:10 is in an active mood not passive. When you are accused in your mind is it not actively going on within you, bringing railing accusations? 1 Peter 3:9 states: “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” Even the malefactor with Christ on the cross railed against Christ, that is, he spoke blasphemous things and accusations. You remember them (Luke 23:39). He said that if Jesus were God that He should save Himself. The Greek there with usage of “rail” is quite evil in its intent. Accusation is always an action that creates in most people a defensive response. In reality, if we are in Christ, then we can say, even as Jesus states in John 14:30, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” Jesus is proactive, on the offensive. He recognizes that there is nothing in Himself that Satan can take or touch. How would it be if when we are accused we would search ourselves in Christ, for that is where we are! We too could say the same as the Lord! For we are not in the fallen adamic nature. We are in Christ. Let Satan come. Let him accuse. We have proactively looked, even as Jesus did, and found ourselves in Jesus, even as He was in the Father and us in Him (John 14:20).

When the accuser of the brethren came to Christ and tried Him, Jesus remained identified with who He was. Jesus realized that He was the Savior, and Satan could not bring Him down by false interpretations of the Scriptures (Matthew 4). Jesus refused to identify with the natural. He rejected the things Eve accepted in Genesis 3. He realized that He was not governed by any of those three desires. Obadiah 21 states that there will be saviors. Note the plural aspect. People in the image of the Son, the sons of God (Romans 8:19-20). There has always been such a people, a remnant. But true identity with God brings persecution, because if you can identify with Him then others could have also and chose not to. In their choice not to they must accuse you as the Pharisees did Jesus. It is to protect their religious identity that is outward and differs from the true inward identity. Remember the time when Jesus healed the man not on the normal Sabbath but the Feast Sabbath (Matthew 12)? The Pharisees accused Him. It broke their law and their traditions. For the law is spiritual, but they were carnal, sold to a natural interpretation.

Let God be true and every man a liar! Failure to appropriate the nature that you have been given is a deception of the accuser. For the Law says you are not worthy. But Christ made you worthy. The Law says you can never be perfect (KJV Matthew 5:48), but Matthew quotes Jesus as saying you can. The church-system teaching states you can’t be perfect until you get to heaven. But Ephesians 4:11-13 says the leaders of the church, that body of Christ, the believers, are to come to the fullness of the stature of Christ. They are led there by the ministry! Let God be true and every man-made system a liar. You have only this lifetime to do for Christ that which will last.

The accuser of the brethren is the Law. Our adversary is the Law. Jesus fought the Law and won in the wilderness. He fulfilled the Law with his water baptism, doing away with the order of Levi and beginning the order of Melchizedek as He came out of the water. Until that which is first is removed, the second cannot appear (Hebrews 8:7, 10:9). When Jesus came forth out of the river Jordan, which in the Hebrew means flowing down or death, He came forth in the power of resurrection life proclaiming the message of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23) which is the message of grace. The better covenant than that of sacrifices (Levi) is life, freely given, mercifully provided and abounding with grace.

The coming of Jesus was to destroy the works of the devil, as 1 John 3:8 states: “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus, on the cross, destroyed once and for all the works of the devil. The works of the Law, that religious order, are no longer required. The Ten Commandments are not in effect any longer! For a new covenant established by Christ Jesus has presented to us two commandments that can only be fulfilled by living in Christ. Neither you nor I can keep the two – that would be self-effort and from the devil because we would try to do it by making it a law unto ourselves! But by living in Christ, realizing our life is hid in Him and requires no self-effort but just “being” who we are, we can keep His commandments. The works of the devil are destroyed.

Jesus not only destroyed the works of the devil, He removed the accuser of the brethren from us as the accuser stood before the Lord and Jesus (Zechariah 3:1). God rebuked Satan away, for Jesus bore our sins and stood in our place that we might be free of Satan’s accusations. Our fight is with princes and powers of the air in spiritual places. Our battle, our victory is to remain identified with who we are when tested by Satan, even as Jesus battled to remain identified with who He was in the wilderness. The battle is over if we remain in Christ. There is only a battle if we remain carnal and religious.

The Truth of 1 Chronicles 21:1 compared to 2 Samuel 24:1

“Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” Or consider the same this way: “Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel and it incited David against them to say: ’Go, number Israel and Judah.’” Both verses from different books, written by different authors, cover the same situation. It is obvious that the perspective of the authors is involved. We must remember that the cloud that followed the Israelites was light to them and darkness to the Egyptians, and yet it was one in the same. (Exodus 14:20)

Is Satan God? Is God Satan? These are questions that should not even be asked. The Hebrew word here for “Satan” is “adversary.” God is our adversary when we oppose Him. When our fleshly desires get in the way, God raises up a standard that is adversarial to us. The nation of Israel had done things that were not right and needed to be reprimanded, corrected, by a loving Father. So God became adversarial to Israel by causing David to number the people.

As a young man in the Pentecostal move, (I was raised a Presbyterian. Went to a Baptist Prep School. Attended a Lutheran College. Quaker led me to the Lord. Disciple of Christ pastor was used to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Guess I am a Presbybapticosal!), we saw almost everything as the devil coming against us – sickness, job troubles, whatever it might be. Far be it from me to condemn that which has helped bring me this far, but God’s grace let me see that the truth is, He was my adversary in order to bring me along His way. If I could choose one to be my adversary, let it be God! For God is merciful and faithful, and other adversaries I have had are not, albeit used by God to teach me.

Numbers 22:21-32

In 22:12 God tells Balaam not to go curse the people of Israel. In verse 19-20 God tells Balaam to go with conditions. Does God change His mind? Is God immutable and unchangeable? (Is this Balaam’s carnal religious mind playing God and self-justification here for pecuniary reasons?) Verse 22 states: “But God was angry because he was going and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him.” Two things to note: (1) God was angry. How could that be? Did not God tell him to go? (2) The word adversary is Hebrew for “Satan.” Here and understand. Ponder what I write at this time. Balaam’s spiritual man, (actually God within, Luke 17:21) came against him, appeared before Balaam’s outer man (carnal nature), as an adversary because Balaam came against truth to worship his flesh nature (get wealth from prophesying). God is within all mankind. (John 1:9) It was the spiritual man talking to him because the darkness (the flesh nature, the carnal nature, the adamic nature, etc.) cannot comprehend the light. Your Spiritual man within can be your adversary, Satan, if you are not identifying yourself with the purposes of God.

In verse 31 the Lord opens Balaam’s eyes so that Balaam could see the angel of the Lord. I might say here that within this book is further elucidation on the fact that angels are divine messengers and are men. I shall not discuss it here except as it pertains to this situation. Balaam saw himself, his true spiritual man. Have you not even been separated from yourself at times and looked down back at the corpus? Then verse 32 goes on and states “…Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold I have come out as an adversary because your way was contrary to me.” Here we see clearly that this is similar to 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel. God was the adversary because Balaam’s way was not fully God’s way. If you are carnal, the true nature of God within you will appear as your adversary. Oh, did I forget to state that the word adversary used twice in this chapter (verses 22, 32) could be translated “Satan?”

CONCLUSION

A red man with red horns, a long red tail, and a red pitchfork is just not a real picture of the devil, Satan, the serpent, the dragon. This religious picture is bogus. Who is this dragon that seeks to devour us? Psalm 91:13 states: Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” We shall trample the old nature that deceived thing, which raises its head as a god to itself. Adam set himself up as God in the temple of God (see our message on The Temple Revealed). The fallen nature became the man of sin. The mark of the beast is that fallen nature. Everyone is born with it. We don’t have to look for it to come. Man already has it in his head revealed by the way he thinks. Man already has it in his hand revealed by the things he puts his hand to. Then fallen man become religious. He has eaten from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. So for the evil he does, he creates a good religious system of legalism of “do’s and don’ts” to which he adheres through rituals and traditions. He has set himself as God in his own temple (body). He does not want to abdicate. In fact, he will not.

But God is God. None can come to Him unless the Spirit has drawn them. The nature of Christ within us has risen in some and removed the mind that is at enmity with God and has won the battle of Armageddon by placing the mind of Christ on the throne. Now is the time for all creation to go free. Revelation 20:2 states: “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” The 1,000 years is not a literal time but allegorical, symbolical. The Lord’s Day is a thousand years. No man, no adamic fallen creation, has lived a 1,000 years. But the Lord’s Day is the day when a people live in Christ and like Jesus can say that the devil comes and can find nothing in them (John 14:30) for the works of the devil are destroyed. (see our message on the Day of the LORD)

At the end of the 1,000 years, all death (including Satan, dragon, serpent, devil) are cast into the lake of fire (see our message on the Lake of Fire) who is our God. He removes it forever, never to return. All religious laws are done away and only that which is of the tree of life remains, of which Adam never ate and thereby cannot receive eternal life. But every vessel of creation has within it the incorruptible seed of Christ who birthed us all, for we all came from Him. (John 1:1-3) He shall arise with healing in His wings within us, for that is where His kingdom is. He has devoured the devourer. Praise be to the Lord. He has removed the accuser of the brethren, the Law, so that we might walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus through His grace and by His grace, without condemnation of the Law.

A final thought. If you know God like Balaam did, in that you knew His voice and could speak His word, but are carnal because you seek to profit from the word of God, then God will appear to you as an adversary (Satan) as He did with Balaam. If you try to be spiritual and don’t fall for the deception that occurred to Balaam, then carnality presents trials and tribulations to you. Finally, if you are truly spiritual then the LAW tries to accuse you. Just remember that Jesus confronted and was victorious over the devil by remaining in the nature of Who He was and never trying to justify Himself. After all, we are in the nature of God, aren’t we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATAN [Charles W. Weller]          1

 

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