Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Theology of Satan: Part 2



THE THEOLOGY OF SATAN: PART 2

THE FALL OF SATAN
How did Satan fall, or did he actually fall?  The conservative view is that Satan desired to be above God; amassed a cohort of rebel like-minded angels; led some type of offensive active; and he and his rebel angels were tossed out of the heavenly realm. The scriptures alluding to this conclusion will be addressed in following sections.  There are also a few exegetes who have come to the conclusion that Satan, as an accuser and a deceiver, was created by God for that specific purpose.  I’m certain that readers will have various opinions and side notes and, hopefully, these options and variables will be covered.

The Long Held Accepted Doctrine
The 12th chapter of Revelation is the primary source concerning the fall of Satan theology.  Commentators begin with the 1st phrase of verse four, usually ignoring the remainder.  Here is pictured the dragon (or Satan) in heaven and he sweeps (draws) a third of the angels and casts them out of heaven onto the earth.  These stars would be the rebel angels or fallen angels that are in league with the dragon or Satan (according to the long held doctrine of conservative commentators).

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.  (Revelation 12:4 KJV)

Then, there is a skip to verses 7 and 8 where a war in heaven is portrayed between the dragon and his accomplices verses Michael and the good angels.  The dragon brigade does not prevail (they lose) and are no longer allowed residence in heaven.  When does this event happen – before creation of the heaven and earth of course?

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  (Revelation 12:7-8 KJV)

Both of the words “drew” and “cast” appear to connote violence or the notion of intense action.  It doesn’t appear that this particular group of angels were willing participants but were forced out of heaven and thrown down to earth.  There is an interesting, similar statement in Daniel that that speaks of the little horn (antichrist) casting down angels.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.  And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.  (Dan 8:9-10

It is an accepted fact among these conservative exegetes that Satan and his angelic team fell prior to the creation of the earth.  Therefore, it is only logical that Revelation chapter 12 must be referring to these pre-creation events.

A slight twist on the pre-creation fall is the “Gap Theory”.  According to this theory:  God created the world in Genesis 1:1; Satan and his fallen angel group assumed dominion and corrupted the original creation; God destroyed the Satanic corrupted creation world; millions or billions of years passed; God recreated the world in Genesis 1:2 and we then continue with the remainder of Genesis.  I totally disagree with the Gap Theory and the idea that Revelation 12 is speaking of the fall of Satan and his minions in the far past.  There is no logical reason Revelation 12 would reveal events of the distant past right in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel or the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.

My Accepted Doctrine
This dragon is a composite beast, which is later identified as a Satan-type entity.  It is representative of the empire instigated by Satan throughout the history of the Hebrew-Israelite people.  The purpose of this historical empire has been to prevent the birth of the woman’s Son who will bruise the head of the serpent or Satan as prophesied in Genesis.  This prophetic composite beast also appears in Daniel 7 and in its final form in Revelation 13.  For a more complete exposition of the composite beast go to:  The Composite Beast at http://freedomfromdelusion.blogspot.com.

It is doubtful that Satan and one third of the angels fell from heaven and the throne of God prior to creation.  Job states that angels shouted for joy at creation. 

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you possess understanding! Who set its measurements -- if you know -- or who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its bases set, or who laid its cornerstone --when the morning stars sang in chorus, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?   (Job 38:4-7 NET)

Genesis 3 indicates that a nachash (shining one) possibly with serpentine characteristics deceived Eve and then Adam to disobey the commands of God.  If this entity was Satan then he most likely became a fallen angel at that point.  For more information go to:  Angels & the Divine Council: Part 2 . 

The only Biblical evidence that angels fell from heaven is found in Genesis 6.  These “sons of God” or angels departed heaven (left their own habitation) and mated with human women.  They are currently in chains inside the abyss.

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  (Jude 1:6 KJV)

In Deuteronomy Moses gave a semi-historical account of events occurring after the flood.  He commented that after the language alterations associated with the tower of Babel that God divided the bounds of the people and set a “son of God” as their overseer.  The wording of the phrase “angels of God” has been changed in the Masoretic text to read, “Sons of Israel”, however, there were no sons of Israel at that time of the tower of Babel.

When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.  (Deuteronomy 32:8 Brenton LXX)

These “sons” or angels may be the current group of supposed fallen angels.  They may not be fallen as the angels of Genesis 6 or they would be imprisoned in Tartarus by God (see 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6).

Satan in Isaiah Chapter 14

Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  (13)  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  (14)  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

The verses supposedly dealing with the origin of Satan in Isaiah chapter 14, according to the long-held view by conservative expositors, is generally found in verses 12 through 14.  The first 4 verses of this chapter describe the millennial reign of Christ (the Kingdom of God) where Jacob, Israel, and strangers (Gentiles) will possess the “land of the Lord”.  Verse four states these eternal Sabbath rest individuals are to “take up a proverb” against the king of Babylon.  Some expositors, such as Peter Goodgame, consider the king of Babylon as the end-times beast or antichrist.  The beast is the king of the world, particularly Israel, which is mystery, Babylon, therefore the antichrist would be the king of the mystery Babylon system.  Satan is undoubtedly fully sponsoring this endeavor but few if any consider him as the beast:  perhaps possessing the beast but not the actual beast.

Dr. Michael Heiser claims this chapter is about an evil tyrant king, whose pride is described in terms of an ancient story about a divine being who fell from paradise due to rebellion against God.  The Hebrew word translated as Lucifer in the KJV is “Helel ben Shachar” which literally means “shining one, son of the dawn.”  The word “Lucifer” was taken from the Latin vulgate translation of “Helel” and transliterated to English. 

Many conservative exegetes view this passage as part of the history of Satan with the name of Lucifer. 

.  The Hebrew word translated as Lucifer in the KJV is “Helel ben Shachar” which literally means “shining one, son of the dawn.”  The word “Lucifer” was taken from the Latin vulgate translation of “Helel” and transliterated to English.  Heiser views the Hebrew as referring to a Nachash or shining one, which would be an angelic entity such as Satan.  However, Peter Goodgame sees a Nephilim type entity which he believes is Nimrod, the original King of Babylon and as the antichrist will be the king of mystery, Babylon during the 70th week of Daniel.

A possible view of Satan can be ascertained in verse 13.  This entity desired to ascend higher in heavenly authority; he desired to have authority over the stars of God (angels); and he wanted to be in charge of the divine council.  For more information on the Divine Council go to:  Angels and the Divine Council: Part 1 ; Angels and the Divine Council: Part 2 ; Angels and the Divine Council: Part 3

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  (Isaiah 14:13 KJV)

Satan in Isaiah Ezekiel 28

The 28th chapter of Ezekiel is another go-to scripture reference concerning the history of Satan for conservative theologians.  The chapter contains two different but related comments concerning the king of Tyrus.  The first part, Verses 1 through 11, is a statement to the king and the second part, verses 12 through 19 is a lamentation or dirge about the king.

A Statement to the King of Tyrus
The king has said (in his heart) “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God.”  The Lord replies that he is merely a man but says in his heart that he is a God.  He is wiser than Daniel;  no secret can be kept from him; and he is extremely wealthy.  Because he considers himself a God (or higher than God), the Lord will send armed nations against him.  He will be slain and descend to the pit (Hebrew word: shachath) which actually means a pit as a large hole in the ground or possibly a grave.

Wilt thou yet say before him that slays thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slays thee.  (Ezekiel 28:9 KJV)

A Lament to the King of Tyrus
If this section concerns Satan or another high ranking angelic being, then the lament or dirge due to his death will not be completed until the lake of fire.  This entity is said to have been in Eden, the garden of God; his covering was of precious stones; and the KJV claims he had tabrets and pipes (other versions say settings and mounts).

Verse 14 KJV states he was the anointed cherub, but the NET says, “I placed you there with an anointed cherub.”  It is difficult to determine the authenticity of the king as a possible cherub with the various translations of the Hebrew.  If the entity is a cherub or with a cherub then he may actually be Satan although no mention is made of Satan in the Ezekiel text.

According to verse 16 the king was filled with violence due to the quantity of his merchandise or trade (goods perhaps?).  The king sinned, was defiled by God, and banished from the mountain of God (Eden).  Scripture appears to indicate that God will destroy him with fire (maybe the lake of. fire)

The final part of Ezekiel 28 appears to be a prophecy concerning the wrath of God culminating the 70th week of Daniel and the appearance of the Millennium.  This third section could place an interesting perspective on the preceding parts of the chapter.  Perhaps it is referring to the beast (antichrist) who will be destroyed at the end of the age.  Perhaps the king of Tyrus is the beast as a Nephilim as some suspect; the king may be Satan; he could be another angelic entity not even associated with Satan.

SUMMARY

It is considered a fact that all Hebrew names have a meaning or definition.  Is the word “Satan” a name or a definition?  The Hebrew word sawtawn in Job is translated as Satan in the majority of versions, with a few reading “adversary”.  However, there is a transliterate connection between the Hebrew sawtawn and the English word Satan, which may represent a play-on-words.  It is still uncertain if Satan is a proper name or an English transliteration of sawtawn. 

It is certain an angelic creation was the protagonist in the Garden of Eden.  Doctor Heiser has verified (to my satisfaction) the being was a nachash or shining one with certain reptilian features and therefore a heavenly being.  The seraph figure in Isaiah 14 could be the same entity as the Genesis 3 entity but it never uses the word sawtawn as an identifier.  The word Lucifer is actually Helel ben Shachar.  Lucifer is a transliteration of the Greek word for shining or Venus.  Does this mean that Satan’s actual name is Helel?  It is uncertain is Helel is a name but Lucifer is probably not.

The supposed Ezekiel 28 history of Satan is another uncertain exposition.  Language scholars are in disagreement whether the entity called the king of Tyrus is a cherubim or if the questionable entity was placed in the company of a cherubim.  Again, the use of a Hebrew or Ugaritic word implying Satan is not there.

The New Testament occasionally uses the Greek word satanas of which Satan is a transliteration.  It is my opinion that the Greek satanas is merely another transliteration of the Hebrew sawtawn.  This would mean that both the Old Testament “Satan” and the New Testament “Satan” are both transliterates of the common sound of the words in question.  Periodically the Greek word diablos is used to denote Satan as the devil, but the majority of instances the word diablos is used to identify a demon.

The events of Revelation chapter 12 only deal with the 70th week of Daniel and has nothing to do with the history of Satan or fallen angels.


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