File - Prairie Star Ministries

Understanding Satan Notes:
 Old Testament:
Question of Biblical Monotheism: Is God the only god, or is God chief among gods?
 Deuteronomy 32:8-9
 When the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he
fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods; the
LORD's own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share.
 1 Kings 18:27
 At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is
meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is
asleep and must be awakened."
Psalm 82:1
 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds
Psalm 86:8
 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like
Psalm 89:6-7
a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and awesome above all that
are around him? O LORD God of hosts, who is as mighty as you, O LORD? Your
faithfulness surrounds you.
Psalm 96:4
 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all
Psalm 135:5
 For I know that the LORD is great; our Lord is above all gods.
God is not alone in heaven- There is a heavenly council
God reigns supreme over this council.
God often interacts with his creation through the work of his servants.
 Angels- messenger, gofers, lackeys.
 Evil Messengers- Not in the sense of that they are evil, but that they bring a
difficult message.
o Mashit- The Destroyer (The Angel of Death)
 Exodus 12:23- For the LORD will pass through to strike down the
Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two
doorposts, the LORD will pass over that door and will not allow
the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down.
Ezekiel 9:1-11 (Angel of God marking and killing the unrighteous
in Jerusalem)
2 Samuel 24:16-But when the angel stretched out his hand
toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented concerning
the evil, and said to the angel who was bringing destruction
among the people, "It is enough; now stay your hand." The angel
of the LORD was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the
1 Chronicles 21:15- And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to
destroy it; but when he was about to destroy it, the LORD took
note and relented concerning the calamity; he said to the
destroying angel, "Enough! Stay your hand." The angel of the
LORD was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the
1-Understanding Satan
Hassatan- The Adversary (Satan)
 The Census: 2 Samuel 24:1 -vs 1 Chronicles 21:1 (written
centuries later)
o Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel,
and he incited David against them, saying, "Go, count
the people of Israel and Judah." (2Sa 24:1 NRS)
Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count
the people of Israel. (1Ch 21:1 NRS)
“Satan” in Hebrew means Adversary. Modern day understanding may be “prosecutor” or
There are several places in the OT where “Hassatan/Satan” is used to mean an earthly
adversary, or accuser, or troublemaker. But the Divine Satan is mentioned 3 times in the OT.
Only one at length- Job 1.
 Numbers 22:22-35 (Balaam’s Ass and the Angel)
 Job 1 (Heavenly Court, Satan Accusing Job, God grants permission to test him.)
 Zechariah 3:1-7- Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of
the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him…
Satan in the OT is a servant of God, his prosecutor, bringing charges against people and
attempting to prove guilt. He does nothing without the permission of God. See Job 1.
Also linked to the person of Satan (retroactively)
 The Serpent
 The life of Adam and Eve (1st Century retelling)
 Wisdom of Solomon 2:24
o but through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who
belong to his company experience it.
Revelation 12:9
o The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called
the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-- he was thrown
down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Revelation 20:2
o He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan,
and bound him for a thousand years
 Not directly linked in the Bible
 Child Sacrifices
 Linked in the Middle-Ages and in Paradise Lost by Name
 Old Testament Contemporaries:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
 From Mesopotamia (18th Century BC)
 Introduces the idea of a supernatural opponent to the hero
 Humbaba-his roaring is the storm flood, his mouth is fire, his breath is death!
 Permeability of the border between the Terrestrial and Celestial worlds
 Portrayal of a “trickster god- Enki”
 Similarity to Apocalyptic Writings of Daniel, Job and later Revelation
Canaanite Influences
 El’s sons, Baal- God of Fertility, and Mot- God of the underworld
Egyptian Influences
 One true God with many manifestations
2-Understanding Satan
After death, mortals descended to the underworld to be judged by their actions
Isis (often depicted wearing horns) enchantress and protector of the dead. Her husband,
Osiris, is a symbol of resurrection, eternal life, fertility, and prosperity. His brother Set
kills him. Osiris becomes God of the Dead
 Place of the Underworld- Tuat
Persian Influences
 Crucial in the development of the dualistic view of God vs. Satan, Good vs. Evil.
 Ahura Mazda-“Wise Lord” Strict Monotheistic God, but was also head of a heavenly
 His opponent was Ahriman (or Angra Mainya) meaning fiendish or evil spirit.
Greek Influences
 Orphism- Dualism of the Body and Spirit
 Pantheon of Gods, with Zeus being the most-high God, and Hades ruling the
 Intertestamental Period:
As time goes on, there is a slow consolidation of divine powers into true monotheism.
Monotheism seems to prevail around the 6th century BC.
 God alone is Judge, Jury, and Prosecutor & Defense Council. (And sometimes
Executioner) God is Justice. God is the embodiment of both good and evil.
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
 Extraordinary soldier
 Sought to expand the idea of man’s independence and potential, master of his own fate
and destiny. An idea that came from his teacher, Aristotle. (story of the secret of
 When he died, his kingdom was divided into 4, and his generals became kings. One
general/king- Antiochus was seated in modern day Syria, just north of the Holy Land.
Antiochus IV “Epiphanes” (215-164 BC)
 Antiochus’ Great Grandson
 Around 180 BC
 Epiphanes was the name he chose for himself. From Greek words “Epi”- on/upon.
“Phanos” – Torch/Lantern. Basically calling himself “the shining lantern” or “light of the
 Continued to bring forth the idea that man was master of his own fate.
 This idea was harshly rejected by the Jews under his authority. God was in charge, not
 Epiphanes did not like this and unleashed horrid persecution against the Jews.
 Reading the Law of Moses= Death
 Ran pigs into the temple and slaughtered them.
 Circumcision= death for baby, father, and priest. Mother had to wear the baby
around her neck.
 Those who opted into the Greek way of thinking evolved into the Sadducees.
Sadducees- No resurrection of the dead. Man was in 2 parts, body and soul. Soul was
eternal. Body was not. Greek way of thinking.
3-Understanding Satan
Pharisees- Believed in Resurrection of the dead. No division in man. Jewish way of
Essenes- Believed in the immortality of the soul. Those that fled the oppression. This is
who we get the Dead Sea scrolls from. They removed themselves from the world
because they were convinced the world had gone away from God. The world was under
the rule of Satan. But, they were convinced that God would triumph and rule the
cosmos captured by the evil one.
Societal understanding of a merit based relationship with God- Born out of the eye for
an eye principle, which worked both positively and negatively. (Principle of Retribution)
But with the atrocities going on, one could not consciously say that God was fully in
charge when the whole world seemed to be evil.
The only answer was that Satan must have revolted. Heaven was at war.
Apocalyptic Literature spread in Jewish circles.
 The book of Enoch (250 BC-50 AD)- 2 descriptions of the fall of angels
 The book of Jubilees (100s BC) another story of fallen angels.
 “Lucifer”- meaning Day star or light bearer.
o Isaiah 14:12, 15
 How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How
you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit
That idea of heavenly war can be found in Revelation 12.
Satan became the Enemy of God, thrown down to earth.
The rise of Satan theology was born out of a need to explain the atrocities of Epiphanes.
This was not philosophically or systematically thought out. At this point, the Sadducees
gave up on the idea of Satan, because it did not answer all the philosophical questions
(Greek thought process).
 Many questions went unanswered with various schools of thought.
o When did Satan fall?
 180BC or before the creation?
o Why did he fall?
o Why did God create him?
o Why does God let him exist?
The Jewish people did not think these questions were that important, only to proclaim
that Satan, not God was the author of this atrocity.
God is pure and good. There are things in this world that transpire against God.
 New Testament:
o Essene thought is central to that of the New Testament. John the Baptist is probably an Essene.
Clothes, diet, place of baptizing all seem to point to that.
o John’s understanding of Baptism: Heavenly war was inevitable. Man would be caught in the
middle of this battle and needed a mantle of protection from God. This was baptism.
o Essenes were the only ones who practiced baptism. They took Satan most seriously. Sadducees
rejected the thought of spirits and angels, so Satan was not a threat. Pharisees believed in Satan
but were still in the midst of the world, unlike the Essenes. Both only used ritual baths as a way
of showing an internal cleansing.
o John understands Jesus to be the one to shatter Satan’s hold on the world. Jesus therefore goes
to get the full armor of God.
4-Understanding Satan
NT understand Satan as the ruler of the present world:
 1 John 5:19
 We know that we are God's children, and that the whole world lies under the
power of the evil one.
2 Corinthians 4:4
 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to
keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the
image of God.
Galatians 1:4
 who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according
Ephesians 6:11-12
to the will of our God and Father
Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the
wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but
against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this
present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Weapons of Satan: illness, woe, suffering, torment, tragedy, pain, attacks, weapons, hunger,
death all come from Satan.
 Luke 13:16 (Healing a crippled woman)
 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for
eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?"
Romans 8:35
 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or
2 Corinthians 12:7
 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep
persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of
Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.
Death then comes from Satan too. It is the final weapon of Satan which could not be overcome.
We today see death as a release from this world to a communion with the Father, because we
live on this side of Easter. But before Easter, death was viewed as the final victory of Satan.
 Hebrews 2:14
 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared
the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the
power of death, that is, the devil,
 Synoptics: Satan as the Prince of Demons (ruler of those exorcized)
 John: Leader or Giver of anything that opposes Jesus
 Pauline Epistles: Satan as Obstructer, a still active opponent
 Revelation: Titan of all Evil
NT Demonology:
 Satan’s power was greatest at night.
 Evil spirits resided in stagnant water, but not in flowing streams. (This is why John
baptized in a river)
 During the day, certain places were where Demons were active. Anywhere death,
corruption, and decay happened, like cemeteries and tombs.
With this understanding of the world, we can see the need for a “new heaven and a new earth.”
5-Understanding Satan
Jesus’ Early Ministry:
 The Sadducees and Jesus are always adversaries. They are the ones trying to test Jesus.
Because there is no common belief in his purpose, there is no fellowship.
 The Pharisees and Jesus however shared a belief in Satan, and therefore the need for a
savior. There appearances in the NT are always under the guise that they are strayed
brothers and sisters. i.e.: Parables of the lost coin, lost sheep, and prodigal son.
Pharisees didn’t take Satan as seriously as Jesus. Recent events Epiphanes was resisted and the
Maccabean revolt were successful. The evilness of the world wasn’t as in front of them.
To the Pharisees, Satan was real, and lethal, but could be resisted. The law was a weapon to
hold off Satan. Ritual and law were pivotal. That understanding led to the idea that if anyone
fell, it was their own fault.
This low view of Satan causes Jesus and the Pharisees to break their ties with each other.
In dealing with the principle of retribution. If Satan rules this world, success here means one has
identified with Satan. If one identifies with God, then he is not rewarded in this world.
Jesus interaction with Satan:
 Jesus grew in wisdom and stature over his years. (Luke 2:52) That is why he did not
minister during his first 30 years. Upon knowing that he was the central figure in this all,
he goes to be baptized by John, then is tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Jesus
Baptism seems to be the declaration of War.
 The temptation in Matthew 4:1-10
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the
devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The
tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these
stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not
live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Then
the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,
saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear
you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him,
"Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil
took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world
and their splendor; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall
down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" Then the devil left him, and
suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Greek Word Peirazo or Peirasmos can be translated as temptation or
Jesus struggles in Matthew to rectify the knowledge that he was the Son
of God, and what men could observe. He was hungry and had pain. IF he
was the Son of God, according to Satan, this wouldn’t happen.
That struggle lasted until the time at Caesarea Philippi. “Get behind me Satan!”
It is there that Jesus has full comprehension of Satan’s power, and that only he
can dislodge Satan’s hold on the Earth.
o Hebrews 2:14
 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself
likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might
destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26
6-Understanding Satan
Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God
the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every
authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his
enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is
 Jesus finds that Baptism is not enough to ward off Satan’s attack.
The Miracles of Jesus:
 Must be understood within the framework of a battle against Satan
 Most common Miracle in the bible is exorcism
 Exorcisms come out of the same worldview that sickness is caused by Satan. The
demons seem to know exactly who Jesus is.
o Mark 1:24
 and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of
Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are,
the Holy One of God."
Luke 16:8
 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he
had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd
in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.
“Rebuked” really means lashed out.
“Be silent” literally means he throttled, strangled, or choked the demonic force.
o Jesus heals as well as exorcises.
 After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon's house. Now
Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they
asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the
fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve
o Diseases, plagues and evil spirits are all weapons of evil.
 Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues,
and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind.
Miracles of Feeding:
 Hunger is another weapon of the Devil
 The Garden of Eden was a place of abundance, but now there is scarcity.
 Nature Miracles
 Jesus rebukes the storms, which threaten the ability of people to gather food
and threatens their lives.
 Death and Resurrection
 Lazarus is a prime example
 Death again, is a weapon of Satan.
 For God to reign supreme in the battle against Satan, Death must be met and
The Lord’s Prayer:
 “Thy Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.” This is a statement of understanding of
the apocalyptic view of a revolt of Satan.
 Revelation 12- The war over heaven. Satan was thrown down out of heaven to
Earth. Things in Heaven are fine, things on Earth are not.
 “Give us this day our Daily Bread” is a mistranslation. “Give us today our bread for
tomorrow.” Is a more correct translation.
 The demonology of the day is prevalent in this statement. Hunger is a tool of the
devil. Bread for tomorrow is a sign of abundance.
 “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” another poor translation.
 As noted earlier, temptation can also be translated as attack.
7-Understanding Satan
 Also, it is not, “deliver us from evil” but rather from “the evil one.”
 Throughout his life, Jesus is continuing to revise upwardly his view of the power of
 The mission of the disciples is to counteract the weapons that Satan uses.
 Heal, feed, cleanse and cast out, raise the dead.
The Turning Poing: Jesus realizes at Caesarea Philippi that this blow by blow attempt to topple
Satan’s hold will not work.
 Beginning in Matthew 10
 Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over
unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.
Peter, well versed in OT scripture knows God is the source of life. So when he identifies
Jesus as the Son of God, the fact that Jesus has to die does not compute.
The Resurrection of Christ was not the end of the war against Satan. That comes at the
return of Christ. But it is the turning point of the war.
No Hell in the OT
Gehenna (OT place of burning and child sacrifice) and Hades (Greek) in the NT
Parable of Lazarus & the Rich Man (Begins: Luke 16:19)
Matthew’s References
 10:28
o Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear
him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28 NRS)
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate
the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
o You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced
to hell?
o As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where
o Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
 14:9-11
o Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice,
"Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on
their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God's
wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be
tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in
the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up
forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship
the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its
 20:10-15
8-Understanding Satan
And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire
and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be
tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white
throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from
his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead,
great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were
judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea
gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead
that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had
done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is
the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not
found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the
fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in
the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
 Post New Testament Sources
Augustine on Satan: (354-430 AD)
 Referenced Satan by name over 2,300 times.
 “The human race is the Devil’s fruit tree, his own property, from which he may pick his
fruit. It is a plaything of demons.”
Dante’s Inferno: 9 Circles of Hell. (1300’s)
 Purgatory (above Hell)
 Limbo
 Lusters
 Gluttons
 Greed: Misers & Spendthrifts (separates upper hell from lower hell, swamp which is part
of the river Styx)
 Wrath: Fallen Angels
 Heretics (who burn in their graves)
 Violence: Murderers, Thieves, and Blasphemers
 Fraud or Malice
 Treachery: Satan’s Abode- A Frozen Lake. Satan is immobilized at the center, weeping as
he eats people like Judas, Brutus, and Cassius.
Luther on Satan:
 The inkwell/feces incident
 The Bondage of the Will: (1525)
 “Outside of Christ there is nothing but Satan, apart from Grace nothing but
 Clearly then, those who lack the Spirit are in the flesh and subject to Satan.
 Free choice is nothing but a slave of sin, death, and Satan, not doing and not
capable of doing or attempting anything but evil.
 All these and many similar passages proclaim the glories of free choice, that
principle part of the world and that which governs it under the overlordship of
 Conclusion- Similarly, if we believe that Satan is the ruler of this world, who is
forever plotting and fighting against the Kingdom of Christ with all his powers,
and that he will not let men go who are his captives unless he is forced to do so
9-Understanding Satan
by the divine power of the Spirit, then again it is evident that there can be no
such thing as free will.
Milton’s Paradise Lost: (1667)
 Focuses on the fall of Human Kind in the Garden.
 Description of Hell is a place of deep psychological and physical suffering.
 Satan is cast into a fiery lake. But then proceeds to build his on kingdom that extends
into our world.
Satan’s Functions:
 Tempter
 Father of Lies
 Kingpin of the Underground Economy
 Master of Chaos
 Ancient Foe
 The Antichrist
 1 John 2:18-22
o Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming,
so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the
last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if
they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by
going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you
have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I
write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you
know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar
but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist,
the one who denies the Father and the Son.
 1 John 4:3
o and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is
the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and
now it is already in the world.
2 John 1:7
o Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess
that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver
and the antichrist!
10-Understanding Satan