Unchained Vision, Part 5

Let’s take a moment to throw out some junk doctrine. Let’s go back and search for truth among the eternal perspectives of the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) peoples, of whom Israel was one nation. That was the setting God built to reveal Himself.

Satan is rather like Potiphar in Pharaoh’s realm. He began as Lucifer, God’s covering cherub. He was caught in corruption and arrogance, and so was demoted. His job was to become God’s jailer and lictor — to serve as God’s wrath personified. His nastiness is less a matter of his nature and more his assigned role. You should not imagine he enjoys this job, but does enjoy the prestige. As the jailer, he gets to profit from all the blessings from everyone who serves as a slave in his prison.

Satan is a faithful servant of God, and he is one of three archangels with a similar rank. We know that Michael is another, and we believe the third is named Gabriel, but that’s not too clear (no others are named in the Bible text). Satan’s underlings in the angelic service are demons, and the other two archangels each have a similar force of angels serving under them. That makes it two-to-one in our favor. But the difference between a demon and an angel is not in their nature, but their feudal duties — it’s just a job.

Satan is also God’s cattle driver. We who are not cattle, but the sheep of His pasture, are called to wander along with the cattle herds because we hope to help find some lost sheep. Satan is constrained in his work by Biblical Law, in the sense that such a Law is written on hearts. Hearts that are faithful to God are immune to most of the Devil’s depredations. We harvest our blessings from God’s promises, whereas the cattle have theirs siphoned off by Satan for his own consumption and profit. Meanwhile, Jesus as the Living Law of God’s heart rules over Satan, placing restrictions on the temptations can offer us, and the trials he can put on us.

In Hebrew, there are two words translated “temptation” in English. One is the root word nasa, meaning a simple test or assay. The other is massa, which is closer to a hard trial and difficulty. There is a similar pair or terms in Greek for the New Testament. As you might expect, the difference is contextual, because our lot in life as fallen creatures is to see plenty of both. However, the covenant promises indicate that we see less of the latter if we properly respond to the former. Still, the ANE image is that because has a cattle driver named Satan, and it’s our duty to infiltrate the herds and shine the light of truth, we will see a certain amount of suffering common to all humanity. This is part of Satan’s profit from his faithful service.

There can be no genuine faith in Satan. Even those who believe they serve him knowingly don’t really understand. Their religion calls on them to be self-serving. But most of those who could be called members of The Cult (a figure of speech) also have no consistent motives other than serving themselves. They are ordinary fallen humans, having surrendered to the temptations of Satan. The greater their power over other humans, the more personally immoral they are.

Nutty Netanyahu is not the soul of Israel nor of Zionism; he is a corrupt and willful figurehead in it for himself. Israel as a project of Zionism isn’t really the point; it’s a tool for leverage to control global human behavior and enslave the human race. The globalists are one part of the Zionist club; the imperialists are another faction. Virtually every official in the US government is some kind of Zionist, conscious or otherwise. Precious few of them are true believers; most are in it as the one best path to power and profit. True believers aren’t willing to do what it takes to get their hands on such power.

Thus, we will not see an individual Antichrist. That requires a level of commitment and selfless drive that would keep such a person from rising in power. Satan is not permitted to incarnate himself the way Christ did; Christ is his master. While the Devil can use people to do some pretty creepy things, it is woven into reality that people who surrender totally to human depravity must suffer and their lives come apart in measure roughly equal to their depravity. In the same sense, folks who profess Christ, but who manage to embrace a lot of Western pagan cultic nonsense about what the Bible says, have opened themselves up to some damnation while they live.

By the same token, they surrender a portion of their divine moral inheritance. They lose blessings promised under Biblical Law. The thing you need to understand is that Jesus was that Living Biblical Law of God; the desire to serve Him is the foundation of lawful living. Lawful living constrains the hands of Satan and demonic influences in your life.

Addenda: See the comments below to bring out a fuller image of things.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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4 Responses to Unchained Vision, Part 5

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    Yes, those modern depictions of Satan fighting God STILL annoy me. πŸ™‚

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  2. Mr. T. says:

    “But the difference between a demon and an angel is not in their nature, but their feudal duties β€” it’s just a job.”

    Personally I’ve gotten the impression that (nowadays?) the relations between the spiritual factions aren’t that orderly, and peaceful. Though who knows exactly, it’s quite mysterious.

    For example:

    Revelation 20:10: “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

    1 John 3:8: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

    It seems that the Old and New Testaments differ quite a lot in their views.

    I found this useful in understanding the differences: “SATAN: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel?” by Richard Murray, http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2013/11/satan-old-testament-servant-angel-or-new-testament-cosmic-rebel-by-richard-murray.html

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  3. Mr. T. says:

    One more Bible quote: Matthew 8:29: “”What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?””

    SATAN: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel?: “What is going on here? Not one Old Testament verse warns us of Satan’s evil influence in our hearts or minds, much less his rebellious rule over the entire fallen world. Not one demon is cast out in the Old Testament. Legions of devils are cast out in the New Testament. Evil spirits are sent FROM the Lord in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16:14), but are sent FROM Satan as Beezlebub, the ruler of demons, in the New Testament (Matthew 12:24-29).”

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  4. Ed Hurst says:

    Well, my chatter about it here is parabolic and contextual. I am convinced that it is impossible to be descriptive since the whole thing is far outside our human grasp. So you shouldn’t make a parable walk on all fours, as the say goes. We Westerners suffer greatly from the mental reflex to make too much of precise detail when something is intended to be mystical.

    I believe that the Old Covenant restricted Satan, as indicated in my posts. At some point Israel had so completely deserted the Covenant that it no longer protected them, so Jesus comes on the scene with an awful lot of demonized victims. Jesus healed and delivered by restoring what the Covenant should have done for them in the first place, but was hindered by national leadership. In other words, the apparent demonic activity within Israel during His ministry was a contextual problem. When Jesus did these miracles, they were attached to preaching and teaching the Covenant as it should have been understood. Thus, deliverance was based on revelation, not simply raw power. Jesus operated under the Covenant because He was the fulfillment of it in human form. He was the living moral character of God in flesh, and thus the final element in a long history of revelation that progressed in fullness.

    Thus, you would expect a different tone about Satan, such as with the prologue and epilogue of Job, the vignette Genesis, etc., versus the somewhat different cultural context of the New Testament. The influence of Hellenism changed a whole range of common mental imagery. Sometimes Jesus sought to pull His audience back into the ancient mindset, and sometimes He simply ran with what was available. I can’t recall where I read the study, but someone wrote up a good analysis of that. An underlying thesis of that study was that Jesus seemed to accept the culture shift in itself, but not the abandonment of ancient doctrine. Thus, it’s the same Devil throughout the Scripture, but if you miss that huge cultural shift during the Period of Silence, you’ll read too much into the apparent differences without understanding the context of why it’s different and how it is different.

    Satan’s eventual doom was forecast back in the Garden, and again in the Prophets (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). But he has a job to do which is the initial punishment; it’s not a fun job to be God’s Whip. It’s a defiling job and eventually means a greater doom, and it applies to his subordinates as well. So the demons whined about being tormented before their time, as you quote in Matthew 8 (paralleled in Luke 8 and Mark 5). Now, in the context of that narrative, we can reasonably assume these two men in the tombs were Gentiles; they aren’t under Moses, but Noah. We happen to know that this area — Decapolis — was highly Hellenized so it’s no surprise demons were running rampant. All the more so would it be typical this close to a failed covenant nation.

    Keep in mind that when Israel was faithful, neighboring allies were also somewhat protected. The absence of that faithfulness called for a particularly nasty level of demonic activity. It would have been roughly equivalent to the most degrading immorality in other Gentile nations, such as with the Canaanites or Corinthians. Thus, the Apostles encounter a lot demonized Gentiles around the Mediterranean Basin because Satan is always busiest where Israel had failed to raise up Jehovah’s fame. In other words, the standard was much higher in places that should have received the witness of a faithful Israel, and Satan’s activity was meant to push them back into faithfulness.

    Richard Murray is reading too much into a difference that is merely apparent, because he is missing the fuller context.

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