Here we present an essay we found that does well looking closely at what the Scriptures actually say — and do not say — about “the devil” and “satan” — and why it is important for Christians to understand this crucial subject.
You can find the original essay archived here.
How we, as Christians, understand these terms can have a profound effect on our relationship with Christ and our own salvation. After all, if we conceive of — and believe in — “the devil” and “satan” in such a way that we find ourselves blaming them for our sin and wrongdoings, then we are far less likely to take personal responsibility for falling short of the glory of God.
When “the devil made me do it” or “Satan tempted me into sin” — we are less likely to feel we have to repent of an act for which we can hold “the devil” or “satan” responsible.
A grave error that many Christian scholars have fallen into when tackling this subject is not recognizing metaphorical or symbolic language as such — and instead taking it literally. When Christians take metaphorical language literally, they often do so to satisfy an agenda they wish to promote — and sometimes it’s an agenda they aren’t even consciously aware of.
This essay points out just a few of the many figures of speech used in the Old Testament, gospels and epistles that all too often Christians unwittingly take literally — and can even make up false doctrine based on taking a figure of speech literally. They ignore that Christ, like many great teachers, spoke overwhelmingly with figurative and metaphorical language — stories, fables, and visions as a way of making his disciples think.
Unfortunately, there are those that believe if Christ said something, we should “take Him at His word” — that is, literally.
We all know that there are many Christian circles whose entire existence is based on taking different words literally — especially “satan” and “the devil” — and not just literally as real entities — but often as one and the same “entity.” For those Christians, this essay will, no doubt, upset their apple carts — and they will not accept its conclusions — not because the writer here hasn’t proven his case, but rather because certain Christians don’t want to give up their cherished pet doctrines based upon this literal-mindedness.
That said, we present this essay as a means to illicit an intelligent dialogue on this subject — we certainly do not claim that this is the last and final word — nor do we necessary agree with every point, but it’s overall approach is certainly worth considering.
Note: we have made minor editorial changes to the original essay that appear in [brackets] for clarification and ease of reading — we endeavored not to have changed the substance of the author’s words and intentions:
The Devil And Satan Defined
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
(I John 3:8)
The above quotation from the Bible stresses the importance of a sound understanding of what constitutes the Devil and Satan. As Christ was manifested to destroy the work of such, it is obvious that we will not understand God’s plan of salvation unless we have a clear and proper comprehension of what is meant by these terms.
Unfortunately, current ideas upon the subject are astray from the Bible.
It is taught that the devil is a superhuman monster — a fallen angel — who dominates the minds of humanity, inducing mankind to sin. The teaching induces fear of the devil — [rather than of the Lord, Ed.] and also provides an excuse for sin by blaming it on him [the devil].
The doctrine is not only unscriptural, but is also a reflection upon God’s love and omnipotence. Would a God of love allow weak, mortal man to be dominated by a powerful, depraved fallen angel if He has the strength to destroy him? And as God is omnipotent, why does He not rid Himself of the devil, if he [were] a fallen angel in heaven?
Thus, logic would set aside the normal teaching of the devil as unsound and unscientific.
And the teaching of the Bible is in conformity with this statement.
It reveals that the devil is a more familiar figure than is normally recognized — not a fallen angel but [rather] a synonym for human nature in its various forms. It teaches that we are responsible for the sins we commit; but proclaims the means whereby sin can be forgiven — and human nature controlled. This is essential for the salvation of each one [of us].
Obviously, therefore, it is necessary for us to know what constitutes the devil — if we are to successfully resist its power.
How the Bible Defines the Devil
The mission of Christ is expressed as follows:
“Forasmuch then as the children (i.e. those Christ came to save) are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Jesus Christ) also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
This important declaration of Scripture teaches that:
- Christ came to destroy the devil.
- The devil is that which had the power of death.
- Christ partook of human nature and died in order to destroy the devil.
- In doing so, he delivered others from the power of the devil and of death.
If we can scripturally define that which Christ came to destroy — and that which has the power of death — [then] we shall know what constitutes “the devil.”
As far as the Bible is concerned, these two lines of investigation lead to one answer: SIN!
Consider the evidence:
(a) CHRIST CAME TO DESTROY SIN:
- “He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26)
- “Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3)
- “His own self bare our sins in his body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24)
- “He was manifested to take away our sins” (I John 3:5)
(b) SIN WAS THE ORIGINAL CAUSE OF DEATH:
- “The wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23).
- “By one man (not a supernatural devil) sin entered the world and death by sin” (Romans 5:12)
- “The sting of death is sin” (I Corinthians 15:56).
From this evidence it is obvious that Christ came to destroy sin — and also that the power of death is in sin. It logically follows, therefore, that the devil is a synonym for sin.
The fallacy of the idea that the devil is a [literal] fallen angel is clearly illustrated by the definition of the [devil in Hebrews 2:14 above — that he had the “power of death.”] How could the death of Jesus encompass [not only the destruction of death itself, but also] the destruction of a powerful, superhuman fallen angel?
[Such a scenario] would leave [the devil] more powerful than ever!
But once it is recognized that the devil relates to sin — and that sin comes from within — it will be acknowledged that the atoning blood of Jesus is a powerful weapon to defeat and destroy it! [His blood] defeats the power of sin by providing the means of forgiveness — it conquers death through the promise of a resurrection to life eternal (I Corinthians 15:20-26).
What Is Sin?
Primarily, sin is disobedience (I John 3:4). The first sin was punished by man becoming related to death (Genesis 3:19), so that mortality became incidental to human nature.
But sin is also used in the Bible with a secondary meaning. Men are said to have been “made sinners” (Romans 5:19) — Jesus is described as being “made sin for us” (II Corinthians 5:21), as having “died unto sin” (Romans 6:10) — and as about to return “without sin” (Hebrews 9:28).
This secondary use of the word “sin” implies the state of physical imperfection that resulted because of actual transgression in the first instance (Romans 5:12). Men are not “made” transgressors of the law — [rather] they become so by actual wrong-doing. Jesus did no sin though he was born into a state of mortality with fleshly desires that could have led to sin if He had permitted them to gain [ascendancy over Him].
Though this state of physical imperfection has been inherited by all (Romans 5:17), men are not held responsible for it. It is not their fault that they possess weak, sinful natures. This is an inheritance from Adam. Men are held accountable only if they recognize what [sin] is but reject the help of God in controlling and conquering it.
It is weak human nature to which [Paul] refers when he declares, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) — and when he wrote that the devil is “that which has the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). Thus human nature is styled “sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), for servitude to it leads to sin.
It is because human nature is the cause of sin that Jesus “took part of the same,” as taught by Paul, that “through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
He did this by rendering perfect obedience even unto death — and his spotless righteousness ensured his resurrection unto eternal life (Philippians 2:8-9; Acts 2:24). Thus both in life and in death He conquered the devil (weak, human nature), and opened the way for a similar conquest (through forgiveness of sins) on the part of those who come unto God through him.
Sin In Relation To Human Nature
That sin and human nature are closely related is clearly shown in Romans 7 where Paul discusses these matters at length. There is not the slightest hint to the existence of a supernatural devil tempting mankind. Instead, he writes of:
- “Sin which dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:17)
- “The law of sin which is in my members” (Romans 7:23)
- “I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; I can will what is right, but how to perform it I find not” (Romans 7:18) R.V.
Paul found himself constantly exposed to a mental conflict. He desired to perform the will of God, but this brought him into conflict with his own desires — and so strong were the latter that he found himself sometimes succumbing to them. He wrote:
“The good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Romans 7:19).
He blamed his failings on the weakness of human nature: “O wretched man that I am!” he exclaimed, “who shall deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) RSV.
The Gospel supplies the answer. He thanked God that victory was assured through Jesus Christ. Through Him he could receive forgiveness of sins — the strength to overcome the flesh (Philippians 4:13) — and an assurance of a resurrection to eternal life at his coming (I Corinthians 15:22-23, 53-54).
No longer did he live in bondage to sin and death — the spirit of Christ in him (II Corinthians 13:5) triumphed over the devil in him (the “law of sin in his members” (Romans 7:23) — and faith replaced fear. That can be our experience also.
How Sin Originated
At the epoch of Creation, God looked upon all that He had made — “and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Even the serpent was “good” after its kind for — at that stage — it had not [yet] tempted Eve to sin.
But if the description of “very good” applied to all that God had made, where was the devil?
It was non-existent!
Even human nature was then different [from] what it afterward became.
There is no mention of the devil in the early chapters of Genesis which record how sin entered the world. They do reveal, however, that man did not remain in his original “very good” state — but developed “evil” inclinations (Genesis 6:21).
What caused the change? The answer is Sin.
The simple story of Genesis tells how God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, taught them the principles of righteousness, placed them under a law, and set before them the hope of life eternal as the reward of obedience to Him.
But Eve — drawn away by the seductive reasoning of the serpent — broke the Divine law and sinned (Genesis 3:1-7) — and afterwards [she] induced her husband to do likewise. Was this caused by a supernatural devil? On the contrary.
When all parties were arraigned before the angel of God to answer for their crime, each blamed the other. Adam blamed his wife — Eve blamed the serpent — but the serpent had nobody to blame (Genesis 3:12-14).
It was held solely responsible for the introduction of sin!
If otherwise, why did it not say so? It had a tongue; it possessed outstanding reasoning powers!
It could have blamed the devil!
But it had no one to blame.
Some who recognize the difficulty that this presents to their theory of a supernatural devil, claim that he was there in the form of the serpent. [However], the fallacy of such a statement is illustrated by the punishment meted out to the serpent, which proves beyond all doubt that it was [merely an animal — not a supernatural being]:
“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed ABOVE ALL CATTLE, and above EVERY BEAST of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Genesis 3:14).
By no stretch of imagination could such language apply to a fallen angel.
Through hearkening to the voice of the serpent, the propensities were inflamed in Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:6) — and have actively worked in the flesh of man ever since, leading him to sin. Because this was caused through the teaching of the serpent, it became the symbol of sinful flesh (Matthew 23:33) — and the atoning death of Jesus (through which the devil can be destroyed – Hebrews 2:14) proclaimed that flesh must be controlled.
It is significant that the Lord’s crucifixion was symbolized by a serpent lifted on a pole (Numbers 21:9; John 3:14) — for it prominently displayed what is figuratively required of his followers; obedience to God’s law, resulting in crucifixion of the affections and lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:24).
Christ showed the way. His sinless life was a victory over sin’s flesh (John 6:62), and His death upon the cross silenced its impulses as far as He was concerned (Romans 8:3).
In that way He put to death the devil.
Sin Arises From Within
Though originally sin was induced by temptation from without, since then its strongest impulses have been stimulated from within.
The natural thoughts and inclinations of the flesh must be disciplined if we would please God. They form what Paul describes as “the law of sin in our members” (Romans 7:23). In another place, he explains it thus:
“Christ died….that they which live SHOULD NOT HENCEFORTH LIVE UNTO THEMSELVES, but unto him which died for them and rose again” (II Corinthians 5:15)
To ‘live unto ourselves’ is to live in sin — to be under the power of the devil! Christ taught:
“Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing come from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him … that which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things COME FROM WITHIN and defile the man” (Mark 7:18-23).
If all these failings come from within, it leaves precious little for any external devil to do! Notice, also, that Christ taught that mankind [is] defiled by internal thoughts — not by external influences. Obviously He did not believe in a superhuman devil, but warned His hearers against the evil propensities within. Paul likewise taught,
“The works of the flesh are hatred, variance, wrath, strife, seditions, envying, murders, drunkenness, and such like” (Galatians 5:17-21).
This being the state of man, why blame sin on the temptations of a supernatural devil? And that this is the state of man each one [of us] can test for himself by a little sober heart-searching. Why do we sin? To gratify self! That is the cause of the world’s ills today. Men do evil things because they want to do them — not because of the influence of a superhuman monster [pulling their strings].
On the other hand, the truth in Christ is designed to transform believers mentally and morally in preparation for the physical change that will take place at Christ’s return, and which will perpetuate those characters in a nature of imperishable glory (Philippians 3:21).
“If ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye, through the spirit (the truth – I John 5:7) do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live” (Romans 8:13).
What the Words “Devil” and “Satan” Signify
The word “devil” has been used as a translation for two entirely different Greek words — diabolos and diamonion.
[You will find] the first word — diabolos — in those verses [which people often use when trying] to prove the existence of a superhuman devil. As a word, diabolos signifies “adversary” — or “traducer” — or “false accuser” — and “slanderer.” Though diabolos has been generally translated “devil” [in English], it has also been rendered “slanderers” (I Timothy 3:11), and “false accusers” (II Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3).
In no instance does it relate to a “fallen angel” — [figurative or otherwise] — as a careful consideration of the evidence will show.
The second Greek word — diamonion — is likewise translated “devil” but signifies “demon.” It is an entirely different word from diabolos — and is used to describe a person possessed with a disease, as we shall show.
On the other hand, satan is a Hebrew word transliterated into the English language, and [simply means] “adversary.” The word is often properly translated in that way in certain Bible passages — while belief in a supernatural devil [has] caused many biased translators to render it as Satan in other parts of the Bible.
An example of this bias is found in Psalm 109:6 which reads: “Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.” This bias even extended to turning Satan into a proper noun with a capital initial. Yet the same Hebrew word is rendered “adversaries” in vv. 4,20,29 of the same chapter! (Psalm 109:4,6,20,29)
It should be so rendered in verse 6. In fact, in the Revised Standard Version the verse [correctly] reads, “Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser bring him to trial.”
In the RSV, “Satan” becomes “accuser” — a word that conforms to the English meaning of the Hebrew expression.
Bible usage of the word “satan” shows that it is used of both good and evil adversaries, though the translators have rendered it as “Satan” only where the adversary is obviously a wicked one.
For example, the word appears in Numbers 22 in relation to the angel sent to rebuke the wicked prophet Balaam, but there it is rendered “adversary” and “withstand” (Numbers 22:22,32). In I Samuel 29 and II Samuel 19 it is translated adversaries (I Samuel 29:4; II Samuel 19). In I Kings 5, it occurs in the statement, “There is neither adversary (Hebrew satan) nor evil occurrent” (I Kings 5:4).
The Hebrew word satan should be rendered consistently as adversary wherever it occurs; in no instance does it relate to a fallen angel.
When God Was “Satan”
In one event, even God appeared in the role of satan — or adversary — recorded in two places: (II Samuel 24:1; I Chronicles 21:1). The former place states:
“The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’” (II Samuel 24:1)
However, the parallel account in the latter place records,
“Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” (I Chronicles 21:1)
In the first [example], the action is attributed to God — [while] in the second to satan!
What is correct?
Those who teach that the word satan signifies a [literal] fallen angel tempting mankind to sin are faced with a contradiction — or the expediency of [claiming] that God works through His arch-enemy!
Both explanations are quite unsatisfactory — and also quite unnecessary.
Let it be understood that the word “satan” means “adversary” — and [if we acknowledge] that God was adverse to Israel at that time, this difficulty is removed.
As an adversary to Israel, God overruled events to bring about circumstances that made David fear opposition against his regime. This caused him to set about numbering his fighting men, which resulted in him placing confidence in them rather than in God. So he fell into sin.
As this incident shows, the word “satan” means “adversary” and the context of each reference determines whether the adversary in question was good or bad — or whether the term relates to a person, a government, the lust of the flesh, or an adverse experience. All are represented in the Bible as Satan, but in no instance does it teach that the term defines a superhuman monster tempting men to sin.
The difference between “devil” and “satan” can be summed up by recognizing that whereas the former relates invariably to an evil adversary, the latter signifies merely an adversary — with the context determining whether it is good or bad.
Manifestations of the Devil and Satan
Though the devil basically relates to human nature — or the lusts of the flesh — it is manifested in various forms. For instance, a government can become a political manifestation of the flesh if it stands in opposition to the ways of God. Thus Peter wrote:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8)
In this verse, “devil” is [rendered from] diabolos in the Greek and signifies “false accuser” — whereas the word “adversary” is [rendered from the Greek] antidikos, meaning “an opponent at law.” The “opponent at law” — a “false accuser” of the Christians — was not a supernatural devil, but rather the persecuting civil authorities of the day — [likened to] “a roaring lion” because of their rapacious fierceness.
For a similar reason, Paul wrote that he was “delivered out of the mouth of the lion” in 2 Timothy 4:17. In other words, he escaped the imprisonment that was threatened against him.
Christ also referred to civil authorities as “the devil” — [when] He told his followers,
“The devil shall cast some of you into prison; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10)
Certainly the “devil” here was not a fallen angel, but was rather those civil authorities who opposed the spread of Christianity.
Concerning the same false-accusing opponents, Paul wrote:
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (or governments), and against powers (or authorities), against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Greek ages), against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12)
This statement is frequently used to prove the existence of the devil as a fallen angel, but the greatest adversary and false accusers of the Christians in those days were the Jewish and Pagan authorities. They bitterly persecuted believers, leading Paul to warn them to be on their guard against the “wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) or false accusers.
[Paul] had in mind the unscrupulous stratagems of men in authority who were prepared to use any means to obtain a conviction against them: “We are not ignorant of his devices,” he declared (II Corinthians 2:11). He could well write thus, for he, himself, once held such a position, falsely accusing followers of the Lord, “entering into every house, and hailing men and women committing them to prison” (Acts 8:3). However, his conversion to Christ changed all that.
The pagan world often slandered or falsely accused the followers of Christ — and therefore is identified in Scripture as the devil. The unscrupulous opposition [which Christian] believers received from their pagan neighbors could easily have incited them to actions that would not have reflected credit on the Lord whom they attempted to follow.
The Apostles recognized the danger — and exhorted them not to succumb to the hostile environment in which they lived. They urged them to talk circumspectly toward those that “are without” — and to use discretion even in the appointment of officials in their [own] congregations.
[For example], they drew attention to the dangers of setting up a novice in a position of importance in the community:
“…lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Timothy 3:6-7)
Would the [literal] devil of theology “condemn” one [who has been] lifted up with pride? By no means. Such a monster would rather induce him to “stand on his dignity” — and would seek to increase his pride.
On the other hand, would not “outsiders” be disposed to condemn followers of the Lord for acts of inconsistency? Of course they would and do. They slander and calumniate those who attempt to maintain a right course of action, and yet momentarily fall. And because this gives occasion “to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” (II Samuel 12:14), Paul warned believers to be on their guard.
The “devil” against which he warned them constituted the social and political pagan worlds ruled by the flesh.
The term “devil” has also been applied to [specific] individuals. Christ called Judas Iscariot a devil in John 6:70 — and described Peter as “satan” because “he savoured not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33). [Accordingly], to “savour the things of men” (the flesh) is equivalent to being a “satan.”
When the flesh dominates [us] to the exclusion of the things of God, [we] will show opposition to all that Christ stands for. [We] will be like Judas — a “devil” — a bitter opponent to ways of righteousness and truth. [We] would justly be termed a “child of the devil” — a product of the flesh (Acts 13:10).
The [Pharisee] leaders in the days of the Lord provided an example of this [when] claimed to be the sons of faithful Abraham and to worship God in truth, but Christ [rebuked them], “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye do” (John 8:44).
They were men of the flesh — dominated by its lusts — and therefore the progeny of the devil.
John [taught this same truth] when he wrote,
“He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning” (I John 3:8)
It has been the lusts of the flesh that have driven men to sin from the beginning — [and] Christ came to “destroy [these] works of the devil.” He came to destroy sin [by] opening a way for forgiveness and salvation. John’s comment should be aligned with the teaching of the Lord Jesus, “From within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts…” The sacrifice of Christ is designed to reveal that the flesh must be figuratively crucified if mankind [desired to] serve God acceptably. Thus Paul taught:
“They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”Galatians 5:24
Such deny themselves that they might serve Christ. In so doing, the devil is defeated, for “the devil” constitutes the unlawful lusts of the flesh which war against the requirements of God (Romans 8:7-8; I John 2:15-16).
[Paul identifies] the world without as Satan [when he writes of] two heretics,
“I have delivered them unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme…”I Timothy 1:20
Would the literal “devil” or “Satan” of popular [lore] teach someone not to blaspheme? Would Paul deliver anybody to such? By no means — rather the contrary. Paul was referring to the discipline of excommunication that he hoped might teach them a lesson so that they would learn “not to blaspheme.”
Paul’s objective in excommunication [is] to correct and restore the erring parties, as well as to protect others from their false teaching. He hoped that his action would cause them to review and revise their theories, so that embracing Truth [anew] in its fullness, they might be restored to the congregation (I Corinthians 5:1-5,13; II Corinthians 5:5-7; 7:8-12).
Again, to believers in Pergamos, Asia, Christ declared:
“I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is….where Satan dwelleth.”Revelation 2:13
Satan’s seat! Satan’s dwelling place! In Pergamos? So Christ taught! How was that possible? Read the context. Notice how strong the forces of [sin were] in that city (Revelation 2:14-16) — which contained the headquarters of those who were adverse to the Truth through their errors — their sins.
Another city — Smyrna — was noted for their “synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9) — a religious community adverse to the truth. But if [we were to teach] that Satan is a superhuman monster, such expressions would mean that “Satan” literally lived in Pergamos (Revelation 2:13) — and conducted a religious meeting in Smyrna — and also had charge of the prison (Revelation 2:8-13).
“Surely the Satan of the book of Job was a superhuman being!” we are often told. He is represented as “going up and down in the earth,” — of [actually] presenting himself before the Lord — and being in company [of] other “sons of God.”
[It is even sometimes asked], “How could “satan” present himself before the Lord if he were not in heaven [where God dwells]?” — or, “Does not the term ‘sons of God’ relate to immortal angels?”
In reply, we stress that the Book of Job clearly shows that Satan had no power to afflict Job [whose] sufferings were inflicted by God, [who] declared, “Thou movest Me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3). Job himself recognized that “the hand of God had touched him” (Job 19:21). The record clearly states that “the Lord brought his evil upon him” (Job 42:11).
In fact, there is nothing superhuman associated with the Satan described in the Book of Job — which is reinforced, when [we] recognize that the term “sons of God” does not relate to angels but clearly [refers to] mortal believers:
“As many as received him (Christ), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God … Now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2).
Further, a person is described as presenting himself before God when he engages in worship — [such as] in Deuteronomy 19 where such is said to “stand before the Lord” when he came before the appointed priests and judges set up in Israel (Deuteronomy 19:17).
Now when these facts are combined together and considered in the light of the term Satan as meaning “adversary” — the first chapter of Job presents a different picture — of an unnamed adversary of Job, joining with others in worship before God, and accusing Job of hypocrisy. He appears to have been a much traveled man (Job 1:7) with an inferiority complex — a small-minded, jealous associate of the righteous Job, maliciously slandering his name.
The drama of Job has been frequently enacted since then. [For example] even among the company of the Lord’s apostles — called “the sons of God” (I John 3:2) — there was found Satan in the person of Judas Iscariot [whom] the Lord described as “a devil” (John 6:71) because of his impending betrayal of the Lord.
We have carefully examined personally every argument advanced from the Bible to prove the existence of a superhuman devil, and have found none of them conclusive. Such passages as Ezekiel 28:13-15, Isaiah 14:12-15, and Revelation 12:7-9 are constantly advanced to prove this theory, but fail when all the facts are considered. Ezekiel 28 is “a lamentation upon the king of Tyre” (Ezekiel 28:13-15); Isaiah 14 is a “proverb against the king of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:4,12-15); and Revelation 12 is a prophecy against Rome (Revelation 12).
It is true that Revelation 12 describes a “war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7), but the same chapter also speaks of a birth of a man-child “in heaven” (Revelation 12:1-2), so that the language is obviously symbolic. The devil (false accuser) and satan (adversary) is described as “a dragon” (v.9) “having seven heads and ten horns” (v.3) whose tail drew the third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth!
That this is highly symbolic language relating to the political order of Rome is proven beyond all doubt by the explanation given in Revelation 17, which identifies the system with “that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:9-10;18). The city that ruled the world in the days when the Revelation was recorded was the city of Rome.
Obviously, the devil and satan of Revelation 12 relate to the politico-religious system of Rome.
What About the Demons?
We pointed out previously that there are two Greek words translated “devil” — the second of which is the word diamonion. Parkhurst, in his Greek Lexicon, states that this word signifies,
“A lesser god, the spirit of departed human beings who had power to possess a person and so afflict him.”
The word was born of superstition — a superstition still current among many people. Some backward people still believe that certain kinds of illnesses are due to the malignant influence of the spirit of a departed human being taking possession of the afflicted person.
In some eastern countries, the same idea persists — and doctors find that their use of modern scientific methods is often useless unless the hypothetical “devil” — the creation of imagination and superstition — is first “destroyed” or “cast out.” It is not unusual for modern medical men in the East to thus speak, in all seriousness, of “casting out a devil” when referring to the healing of such an afflicted person. They accommodate their description to an expression which conveys something to the mind of natives such the Burmese, as noted in Norman Lewis’ book, Golden Earth.
Hippocrates — the physician of ancient Greece — wrote an essay on epilepsy which the Greeks called the “sacred disease” because many people believed the priests’ teaching that epileptics were possessed — and because priests, magicians, and imposters derived considerable revenue from attempting to cure the disease by expiations and charms. Hippocrates wrote this essay to expose this delusion — seeking to prove epilepsy was neither more divine nor sacred than any other.
Therefore, the Bible — in often using such terms as “casting out devils” merely accommodated its expressions to the then current vernacular. To “cast out a devil” [meant] to cure an illness. We see this figurative language again when “Jesus rebuked the devil….and the child was cured” (Matthew 17:18).
Usually, the term to be “possessed of a devil” has relation to mental diseases. For example, when Jesus asked the Jews, “Why go ye about to kill me?” — they replied, “You have a devil (diamonion) who goes about to kill you!?” (John 7:19-20). The statement, “You have a devil,” is equivalent to [our] modern English expression, “You are mad!”
And [just because] the disciples would often use the term diamonion does not mean they endorsed the pagan idea that the spirits of departed men inhabited those on earth — any more than we endorse the literal meanings of words that have a colloquial significance. For example, the word “lunatic” literally signifies “affected by the moon,” but when we use it, we do not have that meaning in mind. Or when we speak of “pandemonium” reigning when any disorder takes place, we do not endorse the literal meaning of “pandemonium” which signifies that the disorder is due to the malignant influence of demons. And we will talk of somebody being “bewitched” without believing in witches — and we make reference to “St. Vitus’ Dance” without heeding the actual meaning of the term.
So with the use of the word diamonion in the Bible. It is used colloquially by the [Judeans] to describe one “possessed” by a disease.
Christ used the language of his day [for practical reasons] without necessarily accepting any of the underlying superstitions perhaps involved. For example, He make reference to Beelzebub — the god of the flies worshiped by the Philistines of Ekron — as though this god had a living personality (Matthew 12:27), merely so He could turn a point of discussion back upon His opponents. He certainly was not endorsing the belief in this god as a living being.
How To Conquer the Devil
We have shown that the devil relates to the sinful tendencies of the flesh which are active only in a living body, so that when Christ died on the cross, this died also. When He rose to life eternal, sin in the flesh had no place in the incorruptible nature to which He was changed (Romans 6:4-7; I Corinthians 15:54).
His sacrifice illustrates the way in which we can conquer “the devil” — we sin and are in need of forgiveness obtainable only in Christ Jesus. Thus Peter exhorted when preaching the Gospel,
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins”Acts 2:38
By making contact with the Lord Jesus through belief and baptism, we take the first steps in defeating “the devil” — for in Christ only can we receive forgiveness of sins. John wrote,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our us sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”I John 1:9
The forgiveness of sins establishes the basis whereby we can build a life modeled upon that of the Lord Jesus. Through the strength derived from him, we can — in measure — conquer the flesh (Philippians 4:13). Paul taught,
“Christ died for all, that they which live (i.e. in newness of life through baptism – Romans 6:5) should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (II Corinthians 5:15).
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”Galatians 2:20
By following the example set by Christ we are led to a higher way of life — one that is dominated by divine principles — and not the desires of the flesh. In that way, we build into our lives divine characteristics such as were manifested by the Lord Jesus — and are enabled to live in hope that, at his coming, we will be granted the divine nature that he now possess (II Peter 1:4).
“We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (from heaven); who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body”Philippians 3:20
Immortal life in the Kingdom of God to be set up on earth (Daniel 2:44) is the hope set before us. To attain unto it we must conquer “the devil” — or sin in the flesh. The first step to that end is an understanding of the purpose of God in Christ — including His conquest of the devil. Let us clearly identify the devil — and we will be better able to grapple with the problem of sin that faces us. Let us recognize our own weakness — and learn that we can conquer the flesh to the glory of God — and by so doing lay the foundation for eternal life at the coming of the Lord.
THE WORDS “DEVIL” AND “SATAN” ANALYZED
Devil is used as the translation for two different words: Diabolos and Diamonion.
DIABOLOS signifies “false accuser”, “calumniator”, “slanderer”, etc.
It has been rendered “slanderers” in I Timothy, and “false accusers” in II Timothy and Titus (I Timothy 3:11; II Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3).
In no place is it used of a superhuman being tempting mankind to sin.
It is translated “devil” in the following passages: Matthew 4:1,5,8,11; 11:39; 25:41; Luke 4:2,3,5,6,13; 8:12; John 6:70; 8:44; 13:2; Acts 10:38; 13:10; Ephesians 4:27; 6:11; I Timothy 3:6,7; II Timothy 2:26; Hebrews 2:14; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8; I John 3:8,10; Jude 9; Revelation 2:10; 12:9,12; 20:2,10).
In all other places where the words “devil” or “devils” appear, the word in the original is diamonion.
DIABOLOS is thus used to describe a person (John 6:70); slanderous women (I Timothy 3:11); false accusers (II Timothy 3:3); sin (Hebrews 2:14); the flesh (Acts 13:10); the antagonistic world (Ephesians 4:27); persecuting civil authorities (Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 2:10;13).
DIAMONION was the word used to describe a certain disease — but it was so used because of the ancient superstition that diseases were attributed to the malignant influence of so-called spirits of dead heroes taking possession of a person. The Bible accommodates itself to the language of the times without endorsing this false pagan teaching. “Casting out devils” merely signifies curing a disease.
SATAN is a Hebrew word signifying “to oppose” or “to be an adversary.” The word is translated “adversary”, “resist”, “withstand”, and is also transliterated as “satan”.
It is translated “adversary” in the following places: (Numbers 22:22; I Samuel 29:4; II Samuel 19:22; I Kings 5:4; 11:14,23,25; Psalm 38:20; 71:13; 109:4,20,29).
It is translated “withstand” in Numbers 22:32.
It is translated “resist” in Zechariah 3:1.
It is translated “satan” in I Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6-9,12; 2:1-4,6,7; Psalm 109:6; Zechariah 3:1,2; Matthew 4:10; 12:26; 16:23; Mark 1:13; 3:23,26; 4:15; 8:33; Luke 4:8; 10:18; 11:18; 13:16; 22:3,31; John 13:27; Acts 5:3; 26:18; Romans 16:20; I Corinthians 5:5; 7:5; II Corinthians 2:11; 11:14; 12:7; I Thessalonians 2:18; II Thessalonians 2:9; I Timothy 1:20; 5:15; Revelation 2:9,13,24; 3:9; 12:9; 20:2,7.
From the above, we even find that the term satan has been used to describe God when revealed as an opponent to Israel (I Chronicles 21:1), an “angel of the Lord” (Numbers 22:22,32), good and evil men (I Samuel 29:4; II Samuel 19:22; Psalm 38:20), an Apostle (Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33), adversarial religious communities (Revelation 2:9), sickness (Luke 13:16), evil thoughts (Luke 22:3; John 13:27; Acts 5:3), the flesh (Acts 26:18), the world as adverse to God’s ways (I Corinthians 5:5; I Timothy 1:20), governments (Revelation 12:9; Luke 10:18).
“Satan” while a masculine noun in Hebrew, according to Strong’s, it is best understood as a collective noun, like the word “team”, while it’s technically singular, there are a number of entities that comprise a team, such as a team of horses or athletes. The “lamb-beast” of Revelation 13 is such a collective entity rather than a single being.
So in the Bible, “Satan” is a collective “team” of anti-God, anti-Christ people who work together to oppose those who work for God and Christ, and as such their actions take on a seemly supernatural dimension. “Satan” is not simply one single supernatural being, as so many passages in the Bible make clear.
When Christ calls Peter “Satan”, he’s not saying that Peter is literally the supernatural being we often call “the Devil”. He calls him “Satan” because Peter is one of many who oppose Him and deny Him.
And that’s why calling the Jews, who oppose Christ “satanic” is a little redundant because Jews by definition oppose Christ; that’s what makes them at least ideological “Jews”, aside from them being non-Judahites.
Paul Michael O'Donohoe
if the devil exists or not or is it some created character that people use as an excuse to justify their sins but whatever your opinion is i do think there are entities or some kind of beings that exist like i have mentioned in a comment in this article , when you have such an experience seeing a dark mist entity not just once but many times both day and night its hard to dismiss like the amount of items that have vanished from my house some never to be seen again , by my experience i have seen these dark mist entities take many forms like i said in my comment imitate voices of living relatives they projected a false image in my mind they invaded into my dreams and took form of a false image of a monster like a devil type entity but it was a facade , anyone that encounters these entities in the past would think them as being the devil , your article gives some insight into it too anyway here is something you may find interesting this is a strange but true story , in uk there is a stretch of road that is perilous ,included is links of scanned pages of that story how on that land where the road goes along is a supernatural force that takes control of vehicles and run them off the road resulting in some cases death those that have survived the highway report seeing mysterious hands on the wheel of car or steering of say a motorbike , this supernatural activity goes back to when there was just horse drawn carriage , so what kind of force is there was it sacred land that was violated who knows page 1 https://flic.kr/p/2nB5Lfz , page 2 https://flic.kr/p/2nB5KSR . i thought i would give my take on this too , reading this essay brings up some interesting points the devil could be a term to describe the dark side of a person someone , someone who has a psycopathic nature lets their desires control them , blame something else for their actions , those that sin continue to do so corrupting their mind but their sinful activities affect others , if you feel like you are going down a dark path talk to someone go to church , admit to yourself you have a problem you have a choice to go further into darkness or to reflect upon yourself and take a hard look at yourself , if certain desire hold no interest to you no more then you are on right path , no one is perfect
Paul Michael O'Donohoe
moses was mentioned here
What laws did Alfred the Great make?
Image result for alfred the great used constitutional law to prevent the crown being subverted by a foreign power
Alfred codified three prior Saxon codes – those of Æthelberht of Kent ( c. 602 AD), Ine of Wessex ( c. 694 AD) and Offa of Mercia ( c. 786 AD) – to which he prefixed the Ten Commandments of Moses and incorporated rules of life from the Mosaic Code and the Christian code of ethics.
something i came across
If there is no Devil or Satan, then where does man get the knowledge to sin. If the Bible is true, how and why did Cain , learn and know how to kill Able?
I can see in my own life making decisions I knew I would regret and something compelled me to do it anyway and I regretted it and could not cheange it. ISome teach Lucifer is the real god of man who gave man free will and knowledge to get him out of the submissive life I.n Eden we’re taught we were put there for . If the Devil is a not. a real personality , who, how where and why does man get the knowledge to sin? Then it has to come to us from God. . Either that or the world and it’s events and end are already planned out in advance , Everyday, more and more evil is exposed of just ordinary people.
So when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, (Matthew 4, Luke 4), you’re saying that wasn’t a real Satan/Lucifer who had real earthly power? That Jesus really didn’t wrestle with temptation for all the kingdoms of the earth? It was just Jesus dealing with his own lusts for power etc? No, that doesn’t jibe with me. Jesus said He paid a ransom for us. Who did He pay it to? (Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19) A ransom is paid to kidnappers. Jesus said, “All that came before Him were thieves and robbers”. When did God divorce Israel? There was a decision made. When? Acts 7. From that point forward, the sheep had no shepherd.
I am thirsty but this place is like drinking from a firehose [ with a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon ] and you can’t see if the hose is hooked to a truck or a hydrant. Either way it ain’t like opening your mouth while its raining.
Y = life
H = giver (feminine)
W = law
H = giver (masculine)
Beware of Judas Preist
Moses and his devil horns.
“And when Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord. And Aaron and the children of Israel seeing the face of Moses horned, were afraid to come near.” (Exodus 34:29–30, D-R)
Most of you are probably more familiar with the Radiant face of Moses version. “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.” This version is garbage–a lie, a fraud. You should question the motives of your denomination.
In medieval art, Moses is always depicted with horns. Even Jewish art depicts Moses with horns.
It should be no wonder why the Old Testament and Moses are at such odds with the New Testament and Jesus. The Devil had set Moses and the Jews on the path of Evil. Only a Jew would find the words and teachings of Jesus so offensive that he would crucify him.
There is no civilization that can peacefully coexist with the Jews. Like demons, they will plot your people’s destruction.
No, those aren’t “devil” horns on Moses in the Old Testament, nor in Medieval Art. There was not Hebrew word for “ray of light”, so they used “horned” instead. And there most certainly were no depictions of “the devil” in the Old Testament because the Hebrews did not believe in such a thing.
When Jerome translated the OT into Latin, for some unknown reason he didn’t consult the Septuagint for this verse describing Moses, which had correctly translated the Hebrew “horned” into “ray of light”, but instead directly translated “horned” into Latin literally. That is why Moses has “horns”. Nothing about Jews being horned devils.
Beware of Judas Priests
If rays of light actually projected from the head of Moses, the Hebrews, Romans or Greeks would have surely invented a new term for that phenomena.
The idea that Hebrew, Latin, or Greek are such primitive languages that it couldn’t express what actually happened is beyond ridiculous.
Early Israelites had no concept or preconceived notion of the devil and had no reason to lie about the image of Moses.
It wasn’t until the 15th or 16th century that the popular image of the devil came into conflict with the accepted image of Moses. To deny that devil has horns is akin to saying that Santa Claus doesn’t wear a red suit. Christian leaders found it easier to mistranslate the Bible than to fight the commercialized and popularized image of the devil.
You are aware that Hebrew had no vowels, and that the lack of vowels did indeed limit what could be expressed by the language? And yes, compared to English or French, ancient Hebrew was a very primitive written language. And please show us, chapter and verse, in the Bible where it says that “the devil” has “horns”.
Jesus “slightly” rebuked Moses.
We should think that if Moses was a devil — Jesus or His Apostles would have told us so.
It is very difficult to have fruitful conversations about Scripture with people who cannot discern between literal and metaphorical language, and poetic license. When it suits them, poetic language becomes literal, and vice verse. There’s nowhere to go here….
Paul Michael O'Donohoe
does satan the devil exist has anyone seen this satan , before anyone criticises my knowledge on entities i base tat on personal experiences i cant say all of them just ones that stand out many happened in my home i have seen dark mist that seemed to have a life of it own seen this dark mist form into a shadow person it would moan groan make the most awful sounds i could feel it when it entered the room , other experiences include phantom smells smouldering , for a while someone would knock on the door at certain times i answer no one was there i dash out to see if anyone playing pranks none were so one day i was sitting down with line of sight i could see the path then i could see dark mist appear it formed into a shadow person it made its way up the path as it entered the porch it knocked on the door i answered no one was there but i knew who was doing it i said stop i will not tolerate it no more and it stopped ,
one of the more creepy experiences was when i heard my dad call me into the lounge no one there y mum one day came to lounge because i called her there no one was there i heard my brother call me but he lives miles away from me so this thing whatever it is was imitating voices of living relatives , phantom smells i mentioned smelt lke foul stench like rotting flesh no issue with pipes we had them checked, other strange things that have happened include vanishing objects that are just gone and in most cases never come back
i was chatting to my nephew and his friend they like scifi i said i still had my han solo blaster i said want to have a go it makes blaster sounds as they were going out i said i will put some new batteries in i saw them leave i put the blaster on the table as i remembered where i kept the batteries i put the battery cover in my pocket afte getting the battries i noticed the blaster ha gone there was no one else in the house at the time so where did it go , another thing that vanished was a vcr remote i eventually found it over a year later in a box of old stuff i had not looked in for years , my mum dropped a potato peeler it vanished as it hit the floor it reappeared months later in a tin of seeds no one person put it there at first my mum would not believe me when i said things have vanished from the house until one day my mum put a umbrella cover on the arm rest of the sofa i watched in amazement as it was starting to fade i got my mums attention and she saw it vanish into nothing its never been seen again now my mum understood what i was telling her for years .
a strange experience happened not far from my house i was collecting sponsors for charity event the man of a house let me in he was the husband of my sisters friend he went for some money i noticed a pair of hiking boots on a chair start to move thy leapt off the chair and floated down the corridor landing gently on the floor i and the man was shocked . in my house i decided to see if i can capture anything on my camcorder when reviewing footage after 40 mins i noticed side to side movement like someone was manipulating the camera then power drain the battery i suppose to last for 5 hours , i would feel sometimes violated in my dream state seeing that shadowy figure , i came downstairs during the night for glass of water as i entered the lounge i noticed a speck of blue energy appear getting larger to the size of a golf ball some strange distortion emanated from it i tell it like it is as i saw it , its not the first time saw a glowing object
way back in the 1990s i with my mum dad nephew were camped at the newforest camp site south of england as it was getting dark i made my way back to the tent something caught my eye i looked up and could see a large lowing sphere appear it was like a mini sun but white it remained there high in the sky i said to passer by can you see that they saw nothing i thought how come i can see it did it just let me see it as i wanted to capture it on have a photographic record i increased my pace to the ten as the camera was there as i got closer to the tent the glowing sphere was starting to fade to this day i have no clear explanation what i saw again i ell it like it is how i experienced these things .
i think i have said enough but what i have said is truthful oh to all at christians united for truth you heard of common purpose its a corrupt ngo under the guise of education charity but its a front for infiltration they run leadership courses using nlp neuro linguistic programming training graduates to act beyond authority to undermine say the police , the church, health service in uk the nhs whic is now infiltrated by mossad agent nicole junckerman wth her asset matt hancock so patient data in the hands of mossad , common purpose is a branch of tavistock institute cp founded in 1987 its ceo is julia middleton who was editor of communist newspaper , tony blair is cp agent cp is in many countries like pakistan they probably had a hand in ousting imran khan , thats enough
CHRIST IS KING
Thanks for shareing your experiences. My mates dad sees ghosts all the time and has done for years. He just tells them to go away, and they do. I find the subject very interesting.
Disembodied spirits seem like completely different entities from a supposed literal Satan or a literal Devil.
I like this site (usually) but this whole article is heretic confusion. Lucifer is referred to as “he” in the Bible, plain and simple. I don’t need to go through the rest. And of course we should all be responsible for our own sin! But this “devil doesn’t exist at all” stuff is from the devil himself. I am strong in my faith.
For such a supposedly important figure, I’ve always found it strange that Lucifer is mentioned only once in the entire Bible, in Isaiah 14:12. But Lucifer is not synonymous with “satan”. The Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 specifically refers to the King of Babylon:
Christians made the mistake of equating Lucifer with satan:
Here is how Lucifer entered the English language:
“Belief that it was the proper name of Satan began with its use in Bible to translate Greek Phosphoros, which translates Hebrew Helel ben Shahar in Isaiah xiv.12 — “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” [KJV] Because of the mention of a fall from Heaven, the verse was interpreted spiritually by Christians as a reference to Satan, even though it is literally a reference to the King of Babylon (see Isaiah xiv.4).
After he expressed his dissatisfaction with the Church, Irish writer James Joyce was asked by friends why he didn’t become a protestant. Joyce answered, “I said I’ve lost my Faith, not my mind.”
I’ve never understood the pride that Irish take in James Joyce. He hated Ireland enough to leave it permanently, mostly because of the influence of the Catholic Church. He became a rootless cosmopolitan in Europe, then settling in Paris, befriending many Jewish friends, notably Italo Svevo.
His most famous novel “Ulysses” is a about a Jew Leopold Bloom and his perverted Jewish-Irish life. Deemed a “work of perversion” for its gratuitous sexual obscenity, “Ulysses” was banned.
Most Irish people have never read “Ulysses” and those that have lie and claim they understood it and enjoyed it. Same with “Finnegans Wake”, another big middle finger to Joyce’s readers.
Joyce is probably the most “Jewish” of all 20th century “gentile” writers, and the Jews have all but claimed him as their own — for his Jewish sensibility.
Countless articles and books have been written on Joyce and the Jews, so much so that it’s become a cottage industry in its own right.
And the Irish are so “proud” of their native son simply because he’s celebrated outside of Ireland, but they don’t care that it’s Jews mostly doing the praising in academia and beyond.
Fellow Irish writer Frank O’Connor once described Joyce as “”the greatest Jew of all”.
“I said I’ve lost my Faith, not my mind.”
Same thing my friend, its the same thing.
Is this posted as a test to see how readers refute it?
This essay may have been written by a most sincerely devout brother, I don’t personally know, but it sure reads like the philosophy that I have heard from “intellectual atheists” over the years.
Any path that takes even a scintilla of a step towards “the devil doesn’t exist, it’s just man’s nature personified” runs the risk of slipping over the precipice and falling to “God doesn’t exist, it’s just man’s nature personified.”
I am still mulling this essay over, but I tell you I doubt my sure-footedness for following any path more perilous than the straight and narrow.
Jews of Hollywood are the greatest promoters of Satan and demons, that’s hard to deny. Why would that be?
The Jews must benefit from Christians believing in the devil, no? Some Christians have become so superstitious that they think refuting the devil is worse than denying God. Makes you wonder how deeply entrenched these beliefs are.
Remember, the ancient Israelites did not believe in the devil — were they denying God by denying the devil?
Another thing to consider is that the Cyrus Scofield’s edition of the Bible heavily promoted the devil and demonology in the marginalia along with Zionism. And we all know who funded that Bible, the Jew Samuel Untermeyer.
Wow, I didn’t know that about Cyrus Scofield so I looked it up for myself. And what a coincidence I found! Wikipedia just so happened to choose for an example of Scofield’s numerous margin notes and end notes and page on Demons! How about that! Scofield writes,
“To the reality and personality of demons the NT Scriptures bear abundant testimony. As to their origin, nothing is clearly revealed, but they are not to be confounded with the angels….”
RB, the group responsible for originally putting out this essay is the Christadelphians, a long established Christian denomination who can trace their foundations back to the 19th century Restoration movement in America. They claim that their beliefs are based solely on Scripture, nothing else, which is why we chose to post this essay — because it shows their discipline in sticking to what the Scripture actually says on this controversial subject.
And as you’ve probably noticed, not very many commenters here have been able to refute the scriptural evidence, so they bring in “extra material” from outside the Bible to prove their case, just as the two seedliners do.
Free mr. Bond
Jude 9 King James Version
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
The English rendering of Jude 1:9 translates from the Greek “diablos” into “the devil” in English, but that word does not refer to a literal devil but rather “false accuser”, “calumniator”, “slanderer”.
What’s strange about this verse is that it alludes to an event not mentioned in the Old Testament, i.e., the dispute over the disposition of the body of Moses after his death. Many scholars believe this argument is from folklore, not scripture and may have its origins in the babylonian captivity.
This verse also brings up a second example from Jude that is non-biblical, the first being his reference to the book of Enoch. A number of early church writers were skeptical of the book of Enoch and Jude’s allusions to it. The controversy is worth reading about:
Thanks CFT for the background.
On its scripture, I was confused by the essay as it does state that it relies upon reinterpreting what Christ said, as Christ couched his language to remain within the understanding of 1st century folk.
I understand that this to an extent, for example Luke 22:36 would apply to modern firearms, and Christ limited its scope “sword” because the disciples had no concept of, say, an AR-15.
However, this essay’s degree of reinterpretation seems broader than that. With that door now opened, I now find myself wandering back to the Edomite Question. Fellow commenters on here have refuted it by pointing out that Christ seems to have called the Pharisees et al Israelites.
That seems a strong rebuttal, but if I follow the example of this essay, I could spin it and say “Christ called them Israelites, even though they were Edomites, as he didn’t want to shock Judea by pointing out it was ruled by its ancient enemies.”
That seems like it would be playing with fire.
Satan, the devil, demons….all scapegoats for sin.
Just another get out of lake of fire free card.
The devil made me do it.
The Jew made me do it.
I dinnit do nuffin.
What I don’t understand is….
If the ancient Israelites did not believe in “the devil” or “satan” as a distinct being (they did not), then why would the Israelites at the time of Christ suddenly believe in “the devil”?
Same people, same beliefs, same God.
When and why did the Israelites decide they believed in “the devil”?
The only place I can guess would be Babylon, or Greece.
And the babylonian occult and Greek pagan religions were in complete opposition to the faith of the ancient Israelites.
CHRIST IS KING
Yes, I agree. Paul and the bit about the statue of the unknown god springs to mind. If you have a culture of many, many, gods, for all sorts of nonsense, I would say that weening new converts off of that would be rather challenging. The idea of ONE true God who does good and bad, as we can see around us, is still to this day rather hard for people to cope with. Questions like “why does God do bad things to good people” crop up all the time. The devil is a good way to shift the blame, so to speak.
Free mr. Bond
In the book of enoch it says that the children of the fallen angels would be on the earth after they died and be called unclean spirits.
“8 And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon 9 the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy ”
And yes, we can blame them for tempting us.
“And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless 12 hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.”
Another thing; if our flesh is the devil, who are the angels that is ours that are condemned into everlasting fire?
Matthew 25:41 King James Version
“41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
Last I checked the book of Enoch is not in the Bible, and for good reason.
As far as Matthew 25:41 is concerned, “the devil” is translated from Strong’s 1228, or diablos, which doesn’t mean the literal devil but rather “the adversary” or “false accuser”, that is, anyone who opposes God and Christ fall under that category of Strong’s 1228.
Free mr. Bond
But in Matthew 25:41 Jesus says the devil and his angels.
Who are those angels? Are they ours?
This is an excellent write-up CFT. I pulled allot from it.
I think the understanding of the ADVERSARY (flesh) to the Spirit (Jesus) led life is not just true but easier to move forward in. Removing the false duality imposed by anti-Christ freemasons, Talmudic Jews, and Babylonian Catholics who are powerless to the the King of Kings Jesus.
Ive done allot work on the Millennial Kingdom (Byzantium – before Pope Schism 1054) too, and seeing that Satan was bound for 1000yrs as Christian’s sold out to the mission of Christ and conquering their flesh (1 will chase a 1000), as apposed to a looming powerful entity – makes more sense.
Gog and Magog, a true ADVERSARIAL and ANTI-CHRIST force, as being identified with International Banking/London/Usury and the Synagog of the ‘Adversary (Anti-Christ)’ —gather them (proxies), makes it easier to even talk about in the main stream Church — which we need to discuss badly.
One last thought. The Lord’s prayer. I could be wrong, but after looking through the Strongs, the “lead me not into temptation >>>strongs 235:alla<<< deliver me from evil" I believe that word makes more sense translated as THEREFORE. As in if we choose not to make a covenant/decision to sin, God is faithful to deliver us.
Blessings in King Jesus,
So, God is the devil? Pretty warped. Even by protestant standards.
Exactly the level of understanding I’ve come to expect from Catholics who have to resort to intentional misunderstanding and sarcasm because he cannot refute it….he cannot refute it because his soft-handed priests discourage any deviation from church dogma…which would be required for anyone who wants to think for himself….but when dogma trumps scripture, no thinking is necessary, just blind obedience….and when no thinking is necessary, gasp, I think he’s saying God is the devil, and we all know that Mother Mary is God and part of the sacred trinity…..
The Catholic Church figured out really early on in its history that promoting demonology and evil spirits was a big moneymaker, and the Church was more than happy to take people’s money who believed they were “possessed”, and that only priests had the supernatural ability to drive out this embodied demons. Cui bono? The Church and its minions.
OK champs, so what was ‘IT’ in the rabid man challenged by jesus that called itself ‘Legion’ and begged not to cast back into some Dark ‘Abyss’ but rather into nearby swine, so that the ‘Pigs Could Fly’ off into the Sea (‘C’=Light)….A Multiple-Personality disorder?
What exactly is it that absolutely abhors anything Natural in the creation ie: everything that is sacred work of the supreme being, and seeks to distort & corrupt such every which way possible but Particularly through Abomination via Hybridization recorded historically WorldWide as various Half Animal-Human incarnates ( ref: ‘Jinn’) , straight down to today’s lower-profile & PC ‘TRANSgenders’ which is simply Man-Woman Hybridization and just the latest incarnation of same ole abomination?
Is that supposed to be just fancifull imagination or some kinda nature-hating aliens?
Questions questions, but seriously CFT is beginning to sound more n more like con-opp these days.
GlencoeKidd, you obviously don’t like any of your biases challenged, because that would mean you’d have some work to do instead of just making defamatory remarks. Please explain to us all how challenging this paradigm, held near and dear to the mainstream Catholic and Protestant churches, makes us “controlled opposition”? Opposition to what?
We take 1 Thessalonians 5:21 very seriously. Perhaps you should too:
“Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
You have failed that test — or have no interest in taking it.
Yeah well CFT you’re the guys who ran the risk of collecting some buff whilst running the likkle contradiction Test so ah ain’t liable. Nothing personal. If my desire to Understand rather than ‘believe’ is to taken as failure then…Bless!
Those who believe in real demons always bring up the “mad man of Gadera” in Mark 5, Matthew 8 and Luke 8.
The problem with that reading is that it ignores all the figures of speech, idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms and other literary devices.
For those who are interested in a Bible study that goes into great depth about this language in Mark 5 and Luke 8 — and shows with a lot of evidence that the story of the “madman of Gedara” and the swines has a context that modern readers would not readily understand — because of the social, cultural, and historical background needed to understand what it actually happening, I would suggest Pastor Mark Downey’s essay on the subject.
As Downey points out, “I don’t know why this subject is such an emotional powderkeg for some demon believers who would go so far as to say that if you don’t believe evil spirits are under the influence of “Satan”, you don’t believe in God.”
I thought the idea here was that there were no “evil spirits” whatsoever?
The US Constitution demonstrates how, in the past ~230 years, American English has been perverted by Jews so that Americans believe the Constitution conveys the opposite of what it did when it was penned.
However, it’s a yuuuge stretch to me to contend that massive swaths of the New Testament have been similarly obscured by Jewish subversion of our language. Granted, the Jews have had ~10x the time to pervert the Bible, but at the same time we also know that the Jews want to excise the “problematic” writings of John and Paul from the Bible, so call me a cynic but my suspicion is raised when the case is made that demons/disease/etc in the Bible are just metaphors lost to time. The same sort of suspicion that welled up when The Donald did a 180 and claimed that the wall was just a metaphor.
I admit I could be wrong. To that end, If the swine were just a metaphor then why were the gentiles irked that their pigs had just offed themselves?
““We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (from heaven); who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body””
That verse here basically proves the gnostic viewpoint as correct if you assume that verse is correct.
Then you would run afoul with the verse that deals with “natural affection” UNLESS your spirit’s true affection is the spiritual realm/and or perfect realm and not the physical realm
It basically says “nature” including the current “cosmos” is vile. For if you say the human form is vile then you are condemning the whole entire universe to being vile.
The bible has neutralized the vast majority majority of “christians” from acting against the jews and instead has pitted brother against brother and cousin versus cousin. Family member against family member.
Folks if people were not “chosen” then all would be gone.
Stop believing the “chosenite” deception?
Also what does islam,judaism and the “cross” have in common? They all use a cube in their symbolism do they not? as a “cross” can be folded into a cube, jews put a cube on their forheads, and islam makes “pilgrimage” to a cube in the desert
Either the Supreme God is the one who ordained nature or not. All “abrahamic” “religions” seem to be “un-natural”
More than likely humans by birth are a product of at least two realities. Again further strengthening the gnostic view of the human form being made as a trap for a spirit. – says in book of hebrews “the spirits of just men made perfect” does it say soul? body?.
Where in the Bible does this quote appear? I can’t find it.
“We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (from heaven); who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body”
It’s probably a fabrication to convince gullible and lazy people of something….
CHRIST IS KING
A Latin cross can fold to a cube, yes, but not other crosses.
I don’t understand though what the point is that you’re trying to make about a cube. Is a cube bad?
A very interesting perspective, and one that I’ve recently been considering myself.
Would this mean potentially that we were the ones ‘cast out of heaven’, when we were expelled from Eden…?
“If I were the devil, the first thing I would do is try to convince you I didnt exist…”
“Mans nature” was not thrown from heaven, did not tempt Jesus, did not go off to make war with the Saints, was/is not ‘chained’, does not ‘contend’ with God over Job, does not ‘walk about like a roaring lion’ etc etc etc.
Really surprised to find this here. 🙁
Yes, the devil/satan/lucifer is indeed the embodiment of sin and following his ways will lead to eternal damnation. Yes, only Jesus can save us from sin. But ‘the adversary’ – who stands and accuses Christians with regularity according to Scripture and mans nature cant really do that – is obviously a real entity. Does this creature ‘make’ us sin? No – we have free will. But he and his minions sure make it easier….
Luke2236, I personally don’t feel strongly about the subject, but I would like to address a couple things you said, and get your response, if you have time….
“Satan” in scripture is anyone who is an adversary, and in the Bible that adversary is often of God or Christ, or even a collective of individuals. For example, Jews are called “satanic” or even the embodiment of satan because they oppose Chirst and His people.
But to your point, the Jew has tried to convince the world, just like the devil has, that he doesn’t exist. Jews cry out if you say they have any distinctive features that set them apart. There is no “Jew gene”. So what is a Jew? Jews would prefer that the world not believe they exist at all so they can go about their business and destroy and subvert.
Of course, one not need be a Jew to be part of the great Adversary….many whites, even self-described Christians, are part of that Adversary, that satan who opposes God.
But Luke 10:18 when taken at face value seems to confirm that Satan fell from heaven and Christ saw it happen. Yet Christ is relating this vision to His disciples after they tell him “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Christ’s response to them, about seeing Satan (the adversary) fall from heaven, appears to be a reference to Isaiah 14:12: “How you have fallen from heaven, O day star, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, O destroyer of nations.”
It’s my understanding that the ancient Hebrews did not have a dualistic understanding of God, that is, they didn’t believe in both God and His opposite force, the “devil” or “satan”. They understood earthy entities who opposed God, and called them collectively “satan”, but where is a specific example of the Hebrews believing in a real entity known as Satan who can be differentiated from the common satan, the collective forces who oppose God? That’s where I get stopped.
How is there no “Jew gene”? They all have degrees of that “rat-faced & beady-eyed” look, a general dysgenic appearance that instinctively sets men on edge.
On the Satan issue, going by this essay, when Christ lambasted his adversaries in John 8 as being liars and thus the sons of their father, the devil, does that mean that, in effect, he was telling them that they were slaves to their own desires?
If so, what does that mean regarding when Satan entered Judas?
The Hebrew grammar (“ha’satan) in the Book of Job proves conclusively that “satan” is NOT a proper name but rather refers to the generic adversary. This seems to be the consensus among Hebrew OT scholars:
As the CFT article points out, the only possible outlier in the OT that seems to use “satan” specifically is 1 Chronicles 21:1, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” Christians take this to prove that Satan made David “do it”, to take the census.
However in 2 Samuel 24:1-25, it is Yahweh who provokes David to take the census, “1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.”
If there it were important that people believed there was a real entity known as “Satan” in the OT, there would be more conclusive verses to emphasize it, one would think?
And then you have to ask yourself, if the Hebrews of the Old Testament didn’t believe in a real Satan, then why would they all of a sudden change their tradition in the New Testament? The Israelites of the New Testament seem to use “satan” more, and “the devil” more, but why would they do that if they are the same people? The only answer can be that it’s a cultural reference that a Hellenized audience could relate to.
yah is a canaanite god historically, whose wife was asherah not israel. With even a superficial investigation one would find this name to be god of judaism, kabbalism, new age, revealed name of god in 30-33 deg masonry (jahbulon) and black and white hebrews. One must consider how this could be so..
Jesus Christ said to pray, our Father. No freaky names expressed nor implied. He also said, I AM the door to the Father (spirit) no man comes to Him except through me. Any claiming another way or name are liars. A servant cannot serve two masters. There is one name by which men will be saved.
This name was introduced by masoretes copying the greek OT to create their hebrew OT nearly 1000 yrs after Christ. It is never mentioned in the greek septuagint of 285 bc. Further, when it does appear in the dead sea scrolls, which are mostly in greek, it appears in the herodian script developed the century prior to Christ. The so called hebrew language used is a mix of phoenecian and aramaic, the language of their captors during the assyrian captivity. He has no other gods to be distinguished from, He is all in all, beginning and the last, for an everlasting remembrance I AM God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Father of Jesus Christ. Not one of one hundred other kabbalist names of their pantheon of gods.
He who has the Son has the Father. The Father they claim is unknowable is knowable through His word made flesh.
So you used this essay as an excuse to spout off your esoteric theories about the Bible — theories that have no connection whatsoever to the essay itself. No sources at all for your assertions, as if their truth is self-evident for all to see. This is textbook gnosticism with a thin veneer of “christianity” thrown in to make it palatable to the uninitiated.
My fickle friend, the source is scripture and investigation. Can you tell us which points are esoteric in nature? Also, which points are not scriptural? It is quite telling that at the time of this message, you have not been able to naysay a single iota of the missive. Simply, hurling insults and accusations as if it made you appear equipped to defend your points. Which, is obviously not the case.
I posted to this new essay, to help spread the truth and freedom of Jesus Christ. So that people may understand and question. Not to attack the original article as you seem to have hoped for. Perhaps you are straining at the gnat. Can you tell us the difference between black and white hebrew doctrine beside the obvious? Can you tell us how it is Jesus clearly says to pray our Father, yet you call Him by name, the same name the canaanites used and pharisees of today? It is for this purpose that i post.
All the best.
FishStick, since you are the one making all the wild assertions and theories, you have the burden of proof. You are the one obligated to prove what you are claiming. I am not obligated to disprove anything you said, because I didn’t say it. I can’t prove a negative.
For example, you claimed “yah is a canaanite god historically” but cited no source in the Bible or otherwise. You say it like it’s self-evident and doesn’t need proof. Are you claiming that “Yahweh” (Strong’s 6218) is a canaanite god, or are you claiming that just “yah” is canaanite?
Are you claiming that Christians are being “tricked” into worshiping “Yahweh”, the so-called pagan god of the canaanites? Are you claiming that today’s Jews are “canaanites” who have tricked us into worshiping their pagan god “yah”?
I wouldn’t be asking any of these questions if you comments were clear and self-evident.