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Satan’s Death Throes

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St Michael and his Angels Fight the Dragon Fight, Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) Source: Albrecht Durer the Complete Works

Introduction

It is an undeniable fact that throughout the New Testament there is a consistent sense of anticipation concerning Christ’s impending return.

There are scholars today who claim Jesus and the Apostles got it wrong. Those who do so undermine the inspiration of the Scriptures.

Equally, the 1st century church eagerly awaited the imminent demise of Satan.

I will attempt to explain how and when Satan met his end, which is an aspect rarely addressed today. I will produce scriptural evidence to prove that not only did Jesus return as promised, He also defeated all His enemies, including Satan!

Reluctance to Proclaim Outright Victory

Other than a fleeting comment that Satan is a defeated foe, many sermons about him quickly revert to how he is causing havoc in the world today. Consequently, a typical theme is the ‘wiles of the devil’; exhorting believers to guard against the pitfalls Satan has set for the unsuspecting believer.

Many scholars are willing to defend the view that Christ defeated Satan, yet reluctant to affirm His outright victory! Why should this be? In my opinion, empirical evidence has replaced the inspired Word of God.

Due to the evil prevalent in the world today, the perception is that Satan is alive, well, and more active than ever. Perhaps if Christians accepted what the Scriptures actually teach regarding the defeat of Satan, their outlook would dramatically change for the better.

If Jesus said it, then I believe it! Regardless of how things may appear, believers must put their trust in the Word of God, and not allow every sensational headline or crisis to strike fear in their hearts.

Infatuation with the Origin and Character of Satan

It is not difficult these days to find highly imaginative scenarios as to the character of Satan. There is a profusion of websites, religious and secular books, and fantastic works of art on the subject. All of which nourish an unhealthy fascination with Satan and the occult. Other dubious sources include extra-biblical writing, mythology, and the vain imagination of ‘man’.

Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28

Dramatic sermons often describe the origin and character of Satan, deduced from reading between the lines of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Correct me if I am wrong, but neither the Lord Jesus Christ nor any of the New Testament writers ever quoted from or alluded to these two chapters. Considering the magnitude of this doctrine and its influence on the Church today, surely it is reasonable to expect some references, since these have formed the foundation of the doctrine.

My articles ‘Who Is the Bright and Morning Star? Jesus or Lucifer’ and ‘There Never Was a Pre-Adamic Race?’ may help to explain my viewpoint on this particular aspect of the doctrine of Satan.

Satan’s Purpose

The Hebrew word ‘ha-satan’ means ‘the adversary’, ‘the obstacle’, and ‘the accuser’.

It is interesting to note that Robert Young in his highly acclaimed literal translation of the Bible, took the time to translate ‘ha-satan’ as ‘The Adversary’ on every occasion. Many translators retained the Hebrew ‘satan’ and personalised it by adding a capital ‘S’, thereby raising his status.

God is Sovereign

God in His infinite wisdom chose to use ‘The Adversary’ in His great plan of redemption. Satan, irrespective of his origin and character, had exceptional powers, although he was restricted in his opposition. Only God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, Satan was a created being and never possessed any of these divine attributes.

I will leave it to the speculators whether Satan was an angel who had fallen from favour or otherwise. It is of far greater importance that believers are aware of Satan’s end rather than his beginning!

Satan in the Old Testament

Relatively speaking, the references to Satan in the Old Testament are few by comparison to the New Testament.

Satan’s Adversarial Actions

The beguiling of Eve… Genesis 3:4; 2 Corinthians 11:3

The testing of Job… Job 1:12

The provocation of David… 2 Samuel 24:1; 1 Chronicles 21:11

The adversary of Joshua the high priest… Zechariah 3:1

Satan in the New Testament

Satan dramatically exploded onto the scene at the advent of Christ in a vain attempt to thwart every move to establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men.

Satan’s Adversarial Actions

The temptation of Christ… Matthew 4:1

The sifting of Peter… Luke 22:31

The buffeting of Paul… 2 Corinthians 12:7

Satan’s Titles:

The prince of this world… John 14:30

The god of this world (age)… 2 Corinthians 4:4

The prince of the power of air… Ephesians 2:2

The power of darkness… Colossians 1:13

The great dragon, the serpent, the devil, Satan… Revelation 12:9

‘Deliverance to the captives’

Luk 4:18-21 KJV The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’

‘deliverance to the captives’ This quote from Isaiah 61 alluded to Satan’s overthrow. Jesus added ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’

The Binding of Satan

Mar 3:27 KJV No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

The miracles that accompanied Jesus’ ministry were evidence of Satan’s binding.

The binding of Satan occurred during the first advent of Christ, and his ‘loosing’ was for a short time prior to Christ’s return on the great and terrible day of the Lord in AD 70.

The Return of the Seventy

Luk 10:17-18 KJV And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

‘even the devils are subject unto us through thy name’ It was when the seventy returned with joy, having exercised the power of God in the casting out of devils through His name, Jesus declared ‘I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.’

Luke 10:18 ‘I beheld Satan – That is, when ye went forth, I saw the kingdom of Satan, which was highly exalted, swiftly and suddenly cast down.’ — John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

The Casting Out of Satan

John 12:31 KJV Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

‘now shall the prince of this world be cast out’ Why do scholars insist Satan is as active as ever? Surely ‘now’ means ‘the present time or moment’, his casting out is history.

A Quote from John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible

John 12:31 ‘Now – This moment. And from this moment Christ thirsted more than ever, till his baptism was accomplished. Is the judgment of this world – That is, now is the judgment given concerning it, whose it shall be. Now shall the prince of this world – Satan, who had gained possession of it by sin and death, be cast out – That is, judged, condemned, cast out of his possession, and out of the bounds of Christ’s kingdom.’

Dispensationalism’s Dilemma

According to Dispensationalism, Satan’s demise is at the end of the 1000 years reign of Christ on earth. However, Paul wrote to the Romans to reassure them the ‘crushing’ of Satan was about to happen within their lifetime. Did he give them false hope? Of course, he didn’t.

Romans 16:20

The Crushing of Satan under the Feet of the Saints

Rom 16:20 (King James Version) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Rom 16:20 (Young’s Literal Translation) and the God of the peace shall bruise the Adversary under your feet quickly; the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen!

Rom 16:20 (Bible in Basic English) And the God of peace will be crushing Satan under your feet before long. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

‘the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly/quickly/before long’ According to Dispensationalism, the Lake of Fire awaits Satan at the end of the 1000 years reign of Christ on earth, irrespective of Paul’s assurance to the Romans of the impending ‘crushing’ of Satan. This is a typical example of a clear and simple statement of imminence being misconstrued, with its meaning thrust into the far and distant future to support an ill-founded doctrine.

Bruise

‘Bruise συντρίβω suntribō G4937 soon-tree’-bo From G4862 and the base of G5147; to crush completely, that is, to shatter (literally or figuratively): – break (in pieces), broken to shivers (+ -hearted), bruise’  – Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

According to Strong’s dictionary, this ‘bruise’ was not just a slap on the wrist!

Did Paul get it wrong? Of course he didn’t. Not only would doubt be cast over the Epistles of Paul, the inspiration of the Word of God would be undermined.

The Destruction of Satan

Heb 2:14 KJV Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he 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;

A Quote from Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Hebrews 2:14 ‘He might destroy – That he might “subdue,” or that he might overcome him, and “destroy” his dominion. The word “destroy” here is not used in the sense of “closing life,” or of “killing,” but in the sense of bringing into subjection, or crushing his power. This is the work which the Lord Jesus came to perform – to destroy the kingdom of Satan in the world, and to set up another kingdom in its place. This was understood by Satan to be his object: see the Mat 8:29 note; Mar 1:24 note…’

The Timeline of Satan’s Demise

Jesus Had the Keys

Rev 1:18 ISV the living one. I was dead, but look-I am alive forever and ever! I have the keys of Death and Hades.

At the time John received the Revelation, Jesus said ‘I have the keys of death and Hades’. He thereby announced He had complete control over Satan. The Revelation was for the encouragement of believers in John’s day, and unveiled the impending sequence of events leading to the final destruction of all Christ enemies.

Rev 20:2-3 KJV And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

According to Dispensationalism the binding of Satan begins at the future 1000 years reign of Christ, then loosed for a short season at the end. This view contradicts the foregoing Scriptures that clearly describe impending judgement.

The Thousand Years and Chilias or Chilioi

In my opinion, the millennium was not a literal 1000 years. The timeline began with the binding of Satan during Christ’s ministry… Matthew 12:21 and continued until set loose for a short time leading to the Roman/Jewish war, AD 66 to AD 70.

John did not write the Greek numerical ‘thousand’ (chilias) years’, six times he wrote the Greek ‘thousand’ (chilioi) years’. So what is the difference?

A Quote from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary

‘G5505 ÷éëéÜò chilias khil-ee-as’ From G5507; one thousand (“chiliad”): – thousand.’

‘G5507 ÷ßëéïé chilioi khil’-ee-oy Plural of uncertain affinity; a thousand: – thousand.’

In Revelation 20, ‘thousand’ was not ‘chilias’ the numerical 1000, but always ‘chilioi’, it was suitable for figurative speech.

Rev 20:7 KJV And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

With Satan released from the abyss, the end of ‘1000 years period’ drew near. The Dragon enlisted the beast to make war with the saints… Revelation 13:7 Many suffered martyrdom for the testimony of Jesus… Revelation 20:4

At that time the Old Covenant was still in effect but was ready to pass away; it ended with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70.

Rev 20:10 KJV And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

God has accomplished His great plan of redemption; therefore, there is no longer satanic deception of the nations.

Why is There Still Evil in the World Today?

Jas 1:14-15 KJV But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

According to the Scriptures, this world’s problem is no longer Satan but mankind’s sinful nature.

Joh 8:44 KJV Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Col 2:18 KJV Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Sin has been the major contributing factor in this grief stricken world.

Jer 17:9 KJV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

1Jn 2:16 KJV For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

‘Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity’

Hos 4:1-2 KJV Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

Hos 8:7 KJV For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

Hosea prophesied God’s judgement upon the Kingdom of Israel because of their idolatry and wickedness. The idols they had created and worshipped would prove incapable of rescuing them.

‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind’ God revealed to Hosea the reason why and its consequences. In other words, it was inevitable their sins would catch up with them.

The Assyrian Empire swept down and laid the Northern Kingdom to waste, enslaving its inhabitants.

Hos 10:13 KJV Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.

Personally, I believe this tragedy is a reflection of the sinful condition of mankind. Throughout the annals of history to the present time we constantly read of such events.

Gal 6:7-8 KJV Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

It is impossible to reap anything other than sown. Notwithstanding, ‘man’ never takes the blame or responsibility for his sinful actions, instead he claims ‘the Devil made me do it’.

The modern idiom comes to mind, ‘What goes around comes around’.

Conclusion

I have presented Scriptures that describe Satan’s demise during the lifetime of Christ’s generation. These Scriptures contain words such as bind, fall, cast out, judge, bruise, crush, and destroy. All of which vividly portray the ‘death throes’ of Satan.

At Christ’s parousia, the final blow was struck during the great and terrible day of the Lord in AD 70. God’s great plan of redemption was accomplished, bought and paid for by the blood of the New Covenant.

Unfortunately, many New Covenant believers are encouraged to continue a war that has already been won, instead of rejoicing in Christ’s victory.

Where is Satan today? Satan was completely ‘whipped’ and ‘stripped’ of his kingdom and cast into the Lake of Fire.

1Jn 3:8 KJV He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

A Quote from Vincent’s Word Studies

1 John 3:8 ‘The Devil See on 1Jn 2:13. Compare Joh 8:44. “The devil made no one, he begot no one, he created no one; but whosoever imitates the devil, is, as it were, a child of the devil, through imitating, not through being born of him” (Augustine).’

Satan’s only legacy today is found in his imitators who prefer darkness to the light of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures proclaimed Jesus would return quickly to complete His victory. I believe He did exactly that.

Was Christ a failure in His mission to defeat the Devil? Of course He wasn’t.

What do you think?

 

 

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

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The Story of Lazarus and Dives, Meister des Codex Aureus Epternacensis, (c1035-1040), National Museum, Nuremburg Source: Wikimedia Commons

Introduction

In my opinion, many scholars misconstrue the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in an attempt to validate their doctrine of Eternal Torment in Hell. Thereby, ambiguity has eclipsed the simplicity of the narrative. Most Christians believe its purpose was to illustrate the final state of believers and unbelievers after physical death, but was that really Jesus’ intention?

Audience Relevance

If we establish exactly to whom Jesus was speaking, we will obtain a clear understanding of the parable.

Luk 16:14-15 KJV And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Jesus recounted this story in response to the contempt and greed exhibited by the Pharisees. He exposed the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders of His generation and warned them of impending judgement. If the parable pertained to the modern day concept of ‘Heaven and Hell’, how do we account for the following?

The Rich Man

Luk 16:19 KJV There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Why would a rich man be chosen to represent the unbeliever bound for Hell? It is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not the possession of wealth… 1 Timothy 6:10
Surely, Joseph of Arimathaea would rest on Abraham’s bosom even although he was wealthy, the difference being, he managed his wealth honourably.

This parable described the self-indulgent lifestyle of the Pharisees; Jesus warned them that by their mistreatment of the poor in body and spirit they would soon reap what they had sown.

Lazarus

Luk 16:20-21 KJV And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table’ Why would a beggar be chosen to represent the heaven bound believer?

Psa 37:25 KJV I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Why would a child of God desire the crumbs from the rich man’s table rather than look to God and His people to meet his need? Obviously, the parable was specifically directed at the Pharisees and not Heaven and Hell.

Abraham

Luk 16:22 KJV And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

A Quote from Vincent’s Word Studies

Luke 16:22 ‘Abraham’s bosom – A Rabbinical phrase, equivalent to being with Abraham in Paradise. To the Israelite Abraham seems the personal centre and meeting-point of Paradise (Goebel).’

Jewish tradition taught the righteous dead went to Abraham’s bosom in Sheol. Josephus mentioned this in his writings.

A Quote from Josephus

’For there is one descent into this region, at whose gate we believe there stands an archangel with an host; which gate when those pass through that are conducted down by the angels appointed over souls, they do not go the same way; but the just are guided to the right hand, and are led with hymns sung by the angels appointed over that place, unto a region of light, in which the just have dwelt from the beginning of the world; not constrained by necessity, but ever enjoying the prospect of the good things they see, and rejoice in the expectation of those new enjoyments which will be peculiar to every one of them, and esteeming those things beyond what we have here; with whom there is no place of toil, no burning heat, no piercing cold, nor are any briers there; but the countenance of the fathers and of the just, which they see, always smiles upon them, while they wait for that rest and eternal new life in heaven, which is to succeed this region. This place we call The Bosom of Abraham.’ An Extract from Josephus’s Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades

Luk 16:23-24 KJV And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Babylonian and Greek mythology influenced Jewish tradition. Jesus did not teach or correct the Pharisees’ understanding of the doctrine of ‘Hell’, many were rebellious and beyond instruction. Instead, He used Jewish tradition popular at the time, to accentuate the moral of His parable.

A Quote from Andrew MacLaren

Luke 16:19-31 ‘II. In the second part of the narrative, our Lord follows the two, who had been so near each other and yet so separated, into the land beyond the grave. It is to be especially noticed that, in doing so, He adopts the familiar Rabbinical teaching as to Hades. He does not thereby stamp these conceptions of the state of the dead with His assent; for the purpose of the narrative is not to reveal the secrets of that land, but to impress the truth of retribution for the sin in question. It would not be to a group of Pharisaic listeners that He would have unveiled that world. He takes their own notions of it-angel bearers, Abraham’s bosom, the two divisions in Hades, the separation, and yet communication, between them. These are Rabbis’ fancies, not Christ’s revelations. The truths which He wished to force home lie in the highly imaginative conversation between the rich man and Abraham, which also has its likeness in many a Rabbinical legend.’

The rich man saw Lazarus and Abraham in bliss and they could see him in torment. Do you think Abraham and Lazarus could watch a man in eternal torment and be at peace and happy?

Why did Abraham say to the rich man ‘Son’? The Jews proudly boasted that Abraham was their father. Again, audience relevance is important; Jesus was speaking to Jews in a narrative they could understand… Matthew 3:8-9

Luk 16:28-31 KJV For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them‘ If this parable was about eternal torment in Hell, why did Abraham tell the rich man his five brethern had Moses and the prophets? Moses taught blessings and curses in this life, he never mentioned eternal torment in Hell. Old Covenant Israel was a privileged nation. If the Pharisees had obeyed and taught the Torah instead of the traditions of men, the imminent judgement would have been averted in AD 70.

Conclusion

This parable does not describe the outcome of mankind. The moral of the story is simply this:

The hypocritical Jewish leaders had led astray the nation of Israel. Without conviction of their evil ways along with sincere repentance, judgement was about to come upon them, and it ultimately did in AD 70.

What do you think?

 

 

Jesus Never Mentioned Eternal Torment in Hell

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The Valley of Hinnom, Public Domain Source: Wikipedia

Introduction

In my opinion, Jesus did not teach the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell.

With roots in post Babylonian Jewish thought and Greek mythology, these influences resulted in the development of a doctrine without scriptural support. Astonishingly, woven into the tapestry of Christianity over the centuries, it became a means of control and extortion.

Writers, for example, Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) the author of Inferno, and the English poet John Milton (1608-1674) the author of Paradise Lost, were also contributing factors. Artists including Michelangelo and Hieronymus Bosch provided dramatic approbation and credibility.

I will attempt to explain why I reject this doctrine.

Lost in Translation

Mat 23:33 KJV Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mat 23:33 YLT ‘Serpents! brood of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the gehenna?

Jesus preached the ‘judgement of gehenna’ and the ‘fire of gehenna’ to Old Covenant Israel as a warning of imminent national judgement. The fulfilment of His prophecy was ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’ in AD 70.

The Greek ‘gehenna’ referred to the valley of the son of Hinnom. This vicinity was used by Old Covenant Israel during times of idolatry, which included the sacrificial burning of children. It later became Jerusalem’s garbage dump. Perpetual fire burned to consume rubbish and the dead bodies of criminals.

When Jesus warned His generation of impending judgement, He used ‘gehenna’ to drive home the severity of the punishment that awaited those who were unwilling to repent.

The translation of the Scriptures from Greek into English added to the misconception when ‘gehenna’ was translated ‘hell’, with its pagan connotations.

A Quote from Thayer’s Greek Definitions

‘G1067 γέεννα geenna 1) Hell is the place of the future punishment called “Gehenna” or “Gehenna of fire”. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.’

gehenna’ appears 12 times in the New Testament. The KJV translated ‘gehenna’ as ‘hell’ on every occasion. However, Robert Young never used ‘hell’ in his highly acclaimed literal translation.

Surprisingly, ‘gehenna’ appears 11 times in the Gospels, but only once in the remainder of the New Testament.

Peter, John, and Paul never mentioned ‘gehenna’ in their writings!

The Fire of Gehenna

The Jews were familiar with the significance of ‘gehenna’ in Christ’s preaching, due to its association with horror and suffering.

It was with good reason the valley of the son of Hinnom became known as ‘the valley of slaughter’, having been filled with the blood of innocents.

King Ahaz and the Fire of Gehenna

2Ch 28:3 KJV Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.

King Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king of Judah, and reigned for 16 years (744-728 BC). He was an evil king who led his people into pagan worship. Idolatrous Ahaz ‘burnt his children in the fire’, as did King Manasseh and King Amon… 2 Chronicles 33:6; 2 Chronicles 33:22

King Josiah and the Fire of Gehenna

2Ki 23:10 KJV And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

Josiah (648-609 BC) the son of Amon became king of Judah when he was eight years old and reigned for 31 years. He was a good king and introduced many reforms, including the renovation of the Temple. Josiah removed the worship of Molech in Topheth during his purification of the land.

A Quote from Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

2 Kings 23:10 ‘Topheth so called from Toph – a ‘drum.’ It is the prevailing opinion among Jewish writers that the cries of the terrified children made to pass through the fire in that place of idolatrous horror were drowned by the sound of that instrument.’

Jeremiah and the Fire of Gehenna

Jer 19:2-6 KJV And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, 3 And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle. 4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; 5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: 6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

Jeremiah called to the office of prophet c 626 BC; lived during the reign of Josiah. The Lord told him to go to the valley of the son of Hinnom and prophesy judgement on Israel.

The Jews came to know Hinnom as a place of punishment and burning.

When Jesus preached the ‘fire of gehenna’, He warned of impending judgement at the end of the Old Covenant Age, not the end of time or the end of the world.

The Unquenchable Fire

‘Unquenchable fire’ was uncontrollable fire that caused utter destruction not everlasting fire. There are examples in the Scriptures of fire that ‘shall not be quenched’, but ceased when God’s purpose was fulfilled.

Isaiah and the Unquenchable Fire

Isa 34:9-10 KJV And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

Isaiah used figurative, prophetic language when he prophesied God’s judgement with fire and brimstone on Edom. Although Isaiah said it shall ‘not be quenched’ it is not still burning today, it finally quenched when God’s purpose was accomplished.

Ezekiel and Unquenchable Fire

Ezekiel used prophetic language when he prophesied national judgement on Judah. The Babylonians fulfilled his prophecy by the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC; Jerusalem has not been burning since 586 BC!

From their prior knowledge of the Scriptures, something we are inclined to underestimate, Jesus’ audience would have understood that He referred to national judgement. The concept of eternal torment in Hell would not have entered their minds.

John the Baptist issued warnings of impending destruction, and used the same prophetic figurative speech as the other Old Testament prophets… Matthew 3:12 The fulfilment of John’s prophecy was in AD 70, the ‘unquenchable fire’ is not still burning today.

The Worm Dieth Not

Isa 66:22-24 KJV For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Isaiah prophesied the establishment of the ‘the new heavens and the new earth’, the New Covenant Age. The fulfilment of this prophecy took place when the Old Covenant Age passed away in AD 70.

Mar 9:44 KJV Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

When Jesus spoke of the undying worm and unquenchable fire, He quoted from Isaiah. The worm would thrive and hasten the corruption of the dead, the phrase metaphorically emphasised the shame and disgrace of the deceased.

The ‘worm dieth not’ should not be taken literally.

The first mention of ‘gehenna’ was during the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus came to the Jew first and preached the Kingdom of God was at hand. He graphically described the ‘gehenna of fire’; His audience would have recalled the horrific stories recorded in the Old Testament.

Only through repentance could they avoid the fiery national judgement at the hands of the Romans.

The Gehenna Timeline

Mat 23:36 KJV Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Jesus actually stated the time of ‘the judgement of the gehenna’.

Mat 24:34 YLT Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

It is not difficult to understand when taking into account audience relevance that Jesus was admonishing His generation. His warning is inconsequential to a generation 2000 years in the future.

Old Covenant Israel finally ended in AD 70, God’s remnant escaped to Pella and lived to enter into the New Covenant Age; the spiritual Kingdom of God… Matthew 24:16

Josephus recorded that a multitude of dead bodies filled the valley of Hinnom  following the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.

‘Now the seditious at first gave orders that the dead should be buried out of the public treasury, as not enduring the stench of their dead bodies. But afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the walls into the valleys beneath.’ — Josephus

Conclusion

Consider the following:

If Hell is a place of eternal torment and the final destiny of those who remain ‘in Adam’ rather than ‘in Christ’, why did God not make it clear to Adam from the beginning?
God told Adam the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was that he would die… Genesis 2:17 At what time did He add eternal torment in Hell?

If Paul declared all the counsel of God… Acts 20:27 How could he make such a claim since he never mentioned Gehenna or eternal torment in Hell?

So what will become of the lost and unrepentant? In my opinion, the Scriptures are silent. However, I do know it is far better to be ‘in Christ’ with the assurance of everlasting life, and to enjoy the blessings of fellowship with our Heavenly Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, than to dwell in darkness and carry the burden of accountability with fear and uncertainty.

I endeavour to speak only when the Scriptures speak, and remain silent when the Scriptures remain silent. In my opinion, the Scriptures do not fully reveal the fate of the lost.

‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’… Genesis 18:25

What do you think?

 

Who is the Bright and Morning Star? Jesus or Lucifer

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The Light of the World, James Holman Hunt (1827-1910)
Source: Artists for Christ

Introduction

The titles ‘Bright and Morning Star’, ‘Day Star’, and ‘Light Bearer’, belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I fail to grasp why many believers attribute this title to Satan. Most likely, the basis of their assumption is the tenuous interpretation of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Not only does it demean this appellation of Christ, it exalts the Satan to a level far above his station.

It is remarkable that the majority of Christians, based solely on private interpretation, has embraced this doctrine concerning the origin and character of Satan. For example:

A Quote from Got Questions

‘There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Lucifer is Satan,” but an examination of several passages reveals that Lucifer can be none other than Satan. The fall of Lucifer described in Isaiah 14:12 is likely the same that Jesus referred to in Luke 10:18: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” A similar fall is depicted in Ezekiel 28.’

There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Lucifer is Satan,”’ Alarm bells should be ringing after reading this opening sentence.

The fall of Lucifer described in Isaiah 14:12 is likely the same…’ Is likely the same? Should a doctrine be based on ‘likely’.

Jesus and the New Testament writers often quoted and alluded to the Old Testament to endorse the authenticity of their statements. Yet they never referenced Isaiah 14 or Ezekiel 28. Surely, it is reasonable to expect at least one quote, considering the magnitude of this doctrine’s influence on the Church today.

I will seek to explain from the Scriptures why I am convinced these chapters do not describe the character of Satan.

Isaiah 14

When taken out of context, Isaiah 14 gives license to the most imaginative and ludicrous descriptions of Satan; elevating him to a position that is totally inappropriate and unscriptural.

Isaiah prophesied the deliverance of Israel and the fall of the Babylonian Empire.

Summary of Isaiah 14

Deliverance of Israel from captivity, which shall follow the downfall of the great empire, Isa 14:1, Isa 14:2. Triumphant ode or song of the children of Jacob, for the signal manifestation of Divine vengeance against their oppressors, vv. 3-23. Prophecy against the Assyrians, Isa 14:24, Isa 14:25. Certainty of the prophecy, and immutability of the Divine counsels, Isa 14:26, Isa 14:27. Palestine severely threatened, Isa 14:28-31. God shall establish Zion… Isa 14:32.’ – Adam Clarke

Isaiah 14 the Proverb

Isa 14:4 KJV That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

Isaiah 14 was actually a proverb or poem, which mocked the rise and fall of the Babylonian dynasty, from powerful Nebuchadnezzar to partying Belshazzar.

The Lord can exalt rulers and the Lord can cast them down, Babylon was not an exception, ‘he removeth kings, and setteth up kings’… Daniel 2:21; Daniel 4:32

Lost in Translation

Isa 14:12 KJV How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, (heylel) son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Heylel

The meaning of the Hebrew word ‘heylel’ is ‘morning star’. In my opinion, it was used to illustrate the magnitude of Nebuchadnezzar’s rise to power; the ‘morning star’ was one of his honorific titles.

Phosphorus

‘Heylel’ was translated ‘phosphoros’ in the Greek Septuagint, subsequently; when Jerome translated his 4th Century Latin Vulgate Bible he used ‘lucifer’.

‘Phosphorus’ appears only once in the New Testament when Peter described Jesus as ‘the morning star’… 2 Peter 1:19 Surely, he would not have done so if the title belonged to Satan!

Lucifer

It is unfortunate that the translators of the King James Version not only retained the Latin ‘lucifer’, but also personified it by adding a capital ‘L’.

In the KJV, ‘Lucifer’ appears once. It is folly to build a doctrine on one verse of Scripture.

Isa 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.

Striking Facts or Striking Fiction

A Quote from the Summarized Bible

Striking Facts: Isa_14:12-14. ‘This is a reference to Satan, the real, though unseen ruler of successive world powers. This tells the story of the beginning of sin in the universe. The universal catastrophe here predicted has never occurred and has to do with the close of the times of the Gentiles and the setting up of Christ’s Kingdom.’

This quote from the Summarized Bible is a typical example of reading between the lines and reaching a conclusion that is bereft of scriptural support. I wonder if the Summarised Bible would have made this presumption had the King James Version properly translated the Hebrew ‘heylel’ into English (morning star) instead of Latin (Lucifer).

A Quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 14:12 ‘Isaiah 14:12’O Lucifer, son of the morning – The Versions in general agree in this translation, and render היללheilel as signifying Lucifer, Φωσφωρος, the morning star, whether Jupiter or Venus; as these are both bringers of the morning light, or morning stars, annually in their turn. And although the context speaks explicitly concerning Nebuchadnezzar, yet this has been, I know not why, applied to the chief of the fallen angels, who is most incongruously denominated Lucifer, (the bringer of light!) an epithet as common to him as those of Satan and Devil. That the Holy Spirit by his prophets should call this arch-enemy of God and man the light-bringer, would be strange indeed. But the truth is, the text speaks nothing at all concerning Satan nor his fall, nor the occasion of that fall, which many divines have with great confidence deduced from this text. O how necessary it is to understand the literal meaning of Scripture, that preposterous comments may be prevented! Besides, I doubt much whether our translation be correct. הילל heilel, which we translate Lucifer, comes from ילל yalal, yell, howl, or shriek, and should be translated, “Howl, son of the morning;” and so the Syriac has understood it; and for this meaning Michaelis contends: see his reasons in Parkhurst, under הלל halal.’

The well-respected commentator Adam Clarke felt it necessary to set the record straight. He was convinced ‘the context speaks explicitly concerning Nebuchadnezzar’.

A Quote from the Amplified Bible

Isaiah 14:12 ‘Some students feel that the application of the name Lucifer to Satan is erroneous, even though it is commonly taught to that effect. Lucifer, THE LIGHT BRINGER, is the Latin equivalent of the Greek word phosphoros, which is used as a title of Christ in 2 Peter 1:19 (…until the DAY STAR arise in your hearts.) and corresponds to the name `BRIGHT MORNING STAR’ in Revelation 22:16, which Jesus called Himself. The application of the name Lucifer has only existed since the third century A.D., and is based on the supposition that Luke 10:18 (I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven) is an explanation of Isaiah 14:12, which authorities feel is not true.’

Isa 14:16 KJV They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

In this chapter, the ‘morning star’ was an epithet of Nebuchadnezzar the man, not a spirit being.

Isa 14:22 KJV For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.

There is no evidence in the Scriptures to purport that ‘morning star’ was a description of Satan, or that Isaiah 14 explained his origin and character.

A Quote from Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Isaiah 14:22 ‘For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts – That is, against the family of, the king of Babylon. And cut off from Babylon the name – That is, all the “males” of the royal family, so that the name of the monarch shall become extinct (compare Rth_4:5; Isa_56:5)…….’

On the contrary, Isaiah clearly prophesied God’s judgement on the Babylonian dynasty.

Isaiah 14:12

‘The exposition of this passage, which some have given, as if it referred to Satan, has arisen from ignorance; for the context plainly shows that these statements must be understood in reference to the king of the Babylonians. But when passages of Scripture are taken up at random, and no attention is paid to the context, we need not wonder that mistakes of this kind frequently arise.’ – John Calvin

Ezekiel 28

There has been far more ‘Striking Fiction’ than ‘Striking Facts’ written about Satan, to grant him the title of ‘morning star’ is completely untenable.

Let us eliminate the myths surrounding this character and attempt to uphold what the Scriptures actually teach.

Summary of Ezekiel 28

‘Against the Prince of Tyre – Ezekiel 28:1-19 As the city of Tyre was first of all threatened with destruction (Ezekiel 26), and then her fall was confirmed by a lamentation (Ezekiel 27), so here the prince of Tyre is first of all forewarned of his approaching death (Eze 28:1-10), and then a lamentation is composed thereon (Eze 28:11-19).’ – Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament

The accolade ‘morning star’, the titles anointed cherub and archangel, are included in Lucifer’s curriculum vitae. There is no evidence in the Scriptures to prove that Satan was either an archangel or a cherub.

Eze 28:2 KJV Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

‘yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God’. The fact of the matter is that Ezekiel prophesied the downfall of the King of Tyre.

A Quote from Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Ezekiel 28:1-10 ‘The pride of the prince of Tyre is described in Eze_28:2 as consisting in the fact that he regarded himself as a God, and his seat in the island of Tyre as a God’s seat…’ ‘…The Tyrian state was the production and seat of its gods. He, the prince of Tyre, presided over this divine creation and divine seat; therefore he, the prince, was himself a god, a manifestation of the deity, having its work and home in the state of Tyre…’

Was Lucifer the Anointed Cherub?

Eze 28:14 KJV Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

The purpose of the cherubim is to guard the things of God, while angels are messengers sent from God. According to Christian tradition Satan was both!

Was Lucifer Really One of Three Archangels?

Although Christian tradition has adopted the idea that Satan was one of three archangels, this misconception is from extra-Biblical sources; there is no mention of three in the Scriptures. Michael is the only archangel named… Jude 1:9

Eze 28:17 KJV Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

‘because of thy beauty’ Many scholars contend Satan was the most beautiful of all the angels. However, Ezekiel 28 described the king of Tyre, not a spirit being.

Did Lucifer Enjoy the Delights of the Garden?

Ezekiel’s 28:13 KJV Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Scholars also claim Lucifer fell from his elevated position in the angelic host prior to the creation of Adam and the Garden Eden, if so, how could he have been the person described in Ezekiel 28:13?

Jesus Is the True Morning Star

Isaiah prophesied ‘ people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined’… Isaiah 9:2 This and similar prophecies pointed to the coming of the Messiah… Isaiah 60 1-2

Joh 1:5 KJV And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

2Pe 1:19 KJV We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

John described Jesus as ‘the light shineth in darkness’. Peter also used a similar phrase ‘a light that shineth in a dark place’ when he described Jesus as ‘the day star’. The fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecies was the advent of Christ.

Conclusion

Satan may have been a predominant fallen angel who possessed great powers, but why glamourise him by the misappropriation of Scripture.

I find it incomprehensible that Christian tradition has given Satan the grand title of ‘light-bringer’!

The Final Word

Rev 2:28 KJV And I will give him the morning star.

The reward of the overcomer is ‘the morning star’; thankfully in the final chapter of the Revelation, Jesus settled the identity of ‘the bright and morning star’.

Rev 22:16 KJV I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

If Jesus said it, then I believe it!

What do you think?

Footnote

Recommended Reading:

I discovered this fascinating article on the city of Tyre while ‘searchin’ for information on Ezekiel 28: Tyre in Prophecy

 

 

The Denigration of Adam: Does it Really Matter?

 

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Adam and Eve in Paradise, Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815) Source: Wikimedia

Introduction

A clear perspective on the life and ‘deaths’ of Adam is pivotal to Christianity.

In my opinion, there are those with a hidden agenda behind the denigration of Adam. By diminishing the creation and fall of Adam, not only does it impugn the Scriptures, sin and the fallen nature of man are reduced to irrelevant issues.

Sadly, it is not only unbelievers who are dismissive of Adam, some Bible scholars also teach he never existed and the creation account in Genesis is simply an allegory. Others that a Pre-Adamic race existed prior to the creation of Adam, thereby, undermining God’s great plan of redemption.

I will attempt to explain why I believe the Genesis account of Adam and Eve. I don’t expect to change the minds of ‘all’ sceptics, but I do hope to inform and encourage fellow believers confronted by intransigent critics.

So how should Bible believing Christians respond? Our ensample is the Lord Jesus Christ, who constantly responded to His critics with the Word of God.

The Inspiration of the Scriptures

2Ti 3:16 KJV All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

If believers accept without question that Adam and Eve never existed, the implications have far reaching repercussions, in particular, the defamation of the Word of God.

Reputations are at risk, Job, Luke, Paul, James, Jude, and the Lord Jesus Christ, all affirmed the existence of Adam and Eve. If we undermine their testimony how can we rely on anything else they said or wrote.

Job’s Reference to Adam

Job 31:33 KJV If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:

Job referred directly to Adam’s transgression and his vain attempt to hide from God.

A Quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Job 31:33 ‘If I covered my transgressions as Adam – Here is a most evident allusion to the fall. Adam transgressed the commandment of his Maker, and he endeavored to conceal it; first, by hiding himself among the trees of the garden: “I heard thy voice, and went and Hid myself;” secondly, by laying the blame on his wife: “The woman gave me, and I did eat;” and thirdly, by charging the whole directly on God himself: “The woman which Thou Gavest Me to be with me, She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” And it is very likely that Job refers immediately to the Mosaic account in the Book of Genesis. The spirit of this saying is this: When I have departed at any time from the path of rectitude, I have been ready to acknowledge my error, and have not sought excuses or palliatives for my sin.’

Ezekiel’s Reference to Job

Eze 14:14 K JV Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.

Some scholars also claim Job was a fictitious character, while Ezekiel revealed Job had a soul.

The Scriptures confirm Job’s existence. On two occasions, Ezekiel included Job with Noah and Daniel, when he described them as three righteous men… Ezekiel 14:20

James’ Reference to Job

Jas 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Not only did James describe Job as a man of patience, he included him with other great men of God, ‘the prophets’.

Luke’s Reference to Adam

Luk 3:38 KJV Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Luke traced the genealogy of Christ back to Adam. How did he do that if Adam never existed?

If we reject Luke’s research, we are obliged to accept that Christ is also a fictional character! How could Jesus descend from someone who never was?

Paul’s Reference to Adam

1Ti 2:13-14 KJV For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

It is interesting to note that none of the inspired writers suggested or alluded to an allegorical Adam.

Paul not only affirmed the existence of Adam, he revealed Adam was not deceived.

Adam knew exactly what he was doing when he ate the fruit, and was fully aware of the consequences.

According to some scholars, the serpent deceived Adam into believing he would be like God, which contradicts Paul’s account. The serpent beguiled Eve; she partook of the fruit and persuaded Adam to do the same.

Gen 2:24   KJV Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Adam loved Eve and joined in her disobedience that she might not be alone in the death she had brought upon herself. They were one flesh.

A Quote from John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

1Timothy 2:14 ‘The apostle’s positive assertion is to be taken without any such limitations or qualifications; Adam never was deceived at all; neither by the serpent, with whom he never conversed; nor by his wife, he knew what he did, when he took the fruit of her, and ate; he ate it not under any deception, or vain imagination, that they should not die, but should be as gods, knowing good and evil. He took and ate out of love to his wife, from a fond affection to her, to bear her company, and that she might not die alone; he knew what he did, and he knew what would be the consequence of it, the death of them both; and inasmuch as he sinned wilfully, and against light and knowledge, without any deception, his sin was the greater: and hereby death came in, and passed on all men, who sinned in him:’

The repercussions of Adam’s sin were far reaching in that his posterity would also experience the same spiritual death.

Jude’s Reference to Adam

Jud 1:14 KJV   And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Jude wrote that Enoch was the seventh patriarch from Adam. Enoch may even have met Adam, since they were alive at the same time.

The Lord Jesus Christ Alluded to Adam and Eve

Mat 19:3-4 KJV The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Mar 10:6 KJV But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

The Pharisees tested Jesus by asking Him to explain His view on divorce. Jesus began His discourse by asserting that in the beginning of creation God made male and female, thereby, He alluded to Adam and Eve. Since Jesus attested to the existence of Adam and Eve, who are we to judge otherwise.

If we trust the Word of God, and are satisfied that Adam and Eve really existed, we can confidently find more answers.

Adam Chose Eve Rather Than the Lord

Adam forfeited all the blessings of the Garden of Eden through his disobedience. Why did he do that?

Jud 1:6 KJV   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.

God imputed Adam with certain attributes, but immutability was not one of them, he was subject to change. Nevertheless, he did have freewill similar to the angels who had the ability to choose between loyalty and rebellion.

Personally, I do not believe mankind has freewill to the same degree as Adam prior to his fall. The only exception being freewill in secular matters, allthough marginalised and impaired by outside influence.

The capacity to assimilate the options available is essential to freewill. On understanding the alternatives, desire increases, only then choice becomes attainable.

1Co 2:13-14 KJV Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Regarding spiritual matters ‘man’ does not have freewill, because ‘man’s’ natural mind cannot grasp spiritual concepts. Natural ‘man’ is dead in trespasses and sin and consequently unable to discern spiritual matters, therefore desire and choice remain quiescent.

Adam could comprehend from experience a spiritual relationship with God his creator, and a loving relationship with his wife. His desire was realised when he rejected the Lord and chose Eve.

The Deaths of Adam

Adam lived, died, continued to live, and died at 930 years of age, how could that be? God said if he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die that day.

Gen 2:17 KJV   But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Some scholars claim that although Adam did not die physically that day, by applying the often misquoted ‘one day is with the Lord as a thousand years’… 2 Peter 3:8 they deduce he began to die.

Adam was told categorically he would die that day. Who are we to challenge such a clear statement?

Gen 3:4-5 KJV   And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5   For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Satan told Eve she would not die. God said they would die. I believe God!

Gen 3:6 KJV And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

The day Adam ate the fruit he immediately received the knowledge of good and evil, it is therefore reasonable to conclude he also died that day.

Gen 3:17   KJV And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life’ It is obvious biological death was not the result of disobedience. God said Adam would die the day he ate, yet God told him his punishment for sin was the life of an outcast..

Adam and Eve died spiritually that day in accordance with God’s Word. Jesus came to redeem man from spiritual death; physical death was never the issue.

Eph 2:5-6 KJV Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

It is important to understand that Adam’s spirit did not die, spiritual death meant alienation from God. Adam was cast out through disobedience. Christ’s death and resurrection was the way ‘man’ was restored to his creator. By being born again ‘man’ is resurrected to life with God.

The Result of Adam’s Fall

During the Old Covenant Age, if someone was cast out from the Children of Israel that person was out of covenant and therefore considered dead.

Luk 15:24 KJV For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The parable of the prodigal son is an illustration of a loving father and a disobedient son. While the son was in a far away country, he was dead to his father. When the son returned with humility and repentance his father forgave him and restored his privileged position; he had been ‘resurrected’ from the dead. The New Covenant introduced by the Lord Jesus Christ is also one of forgiveness, resurrection, reconciliation, and restoration.

For as in Adam all die’

Rom 5:12 KJV Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Paul alluded to Adam when he taught the sin of Adam had brought death upon mankind.

1Co 15:22 KJV For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Again, Paul affirmed the existence of Adam when he compared the consequences of Adam’s sin to the redemptive work of Christ. All descendants ‘in Adam’ suffer spiritual death; all who are ‘in Christ’ enjoy spiritual resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:22 ‘in Adam all — in union of nature with Adam, as representative head of mankind in their fall. 

in Christ … all — in union of nature with Christ, the representative head of mankind in their recovery. The life brought in by Christ is co-extensive with the death brought in by Adam.’ — Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Some scholars teach that God never intended Adam to eat of the tree. Of course He did! By what other means would man know ‘good’ without knowing the difference between good and evil?

God created Adam with the ability to exercise freewill. Adam would not have learned the difference between good and evil without the opportunity to choose an alternative path, God used His adversary Satan to accomplish His great plan of redemption.

Unfortunately, Adam acquired knowledge in depth and was cast out of the Garden of Eden, he exchanged the blessings of the Kingdom of God for the evil taskmaster and the kingdom of darkness.

1Pe 1:19-20 KJV But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

God had no need of a ‘plan B’, He was not surprised by Adam’s disobedience. The Lord being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, knew the end from the beginning. He knew ‘man’ would fail the test; nevertheless, God had already prepared His great plan of Redemption before the foundation of the world.

A Quote from Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

1 Peter 1:20 ‘It follows from what is said in this verse:

(1) That the atonement was not an afterthought on the part of God. It entered into his plan when he made the world, and was revolved in his purposes from eternity.

(2) It was not a device to supply a defect in the system; that is, it was not adopted because the system did not work well, or because God had been disappointed. It was arranged before man was created, and when none but God could know whether he would stand or fall.

(3) The creation of the earth must have had some reference to this plan of redemption, and that plan must have been regarded as in itself so glorious, and so desirable, that it was deemed best to bring the world into existence that the plan might be developed, though it would involve the certainty that the race would fall, and that many would perish. It was, on the whole, more wise and benevolent that the race should be created with a certainty that they would apostatize, than it would be that the race should not he created, and the plan of salvation be unknown to distant worlds. See the notes at 1Pe 1:12.’

God’s Great Plan of Redemption

Joh 11:25-26 KJV Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Physical death is not a prerequisite for resurrection. Believers, who were once spiritually dead, experience resurrection by grace through faith in Christ.

Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Should physical death hold fear over those in Covenant with God? Biological death does not separate the believer from God. Physical death is the way into the greater plan of God for those who have put their trust in Him.

Conclusion

Jesus is the antitype of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden.

I believe from a Christian perspective, the Scriptures provide the answers to the questions that plague the conscience of ‘man’. Unfortunately, the natural mind cannot contemplate the spiritual things of God, and thereby reacts disparagingly to anything Christianity proffers. Only the Holy Spirit can enlighten the heart of ‘man’.

If you are not born again, and this article has stirred interest in your heart, call on the Lord, and ask Him to reveal His plan of salvation, He will answer.

What do you think?

There Never was a Pre-Adamic Race

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St. Michael and Satan, Raphael (1483-1520) Source: Olga’s Gallery

Introduction

There are numerous conflicting views on Creation within Christianity today.

Personally, I was influenced by the ‘Gap Theory’, which is another dubious teaching popularised within Dispensationalism.

During the 19th century in particular, some scholars attempted to harmonise the Scriptures with science. This was a vain, yet genuine attempt to defend the Word of God from the onslaught of emerging scientific ‘discoveries’. As if such a course of action was necessary!

The Gap Theory not only attempts to explain Creation, it incorporates the doctrine of the Rise and Fall of Satan.

The problem is, the Scriptures do not support this view.

The Domino Effect of the Gap Theory

According to Dispensationalism, a Pre-Adamic race existed between Genesis 1:1-2 with Lucifer its ruler. Ultimately, he rebelled and sinned against God. The result was his fall and the destruction of the Pre-Adamic world. Notwithstanding, after a considerable ‘gap’ in time, God recreated the heaven and the earth from the formless void that remained, with Adam the pinnacle of His new creation. However, fallen Lucifer caused Adam to disobey God when he tempted Eve in the garden and the rest is history.

Those who promulgate the ‘Gap Theory’ are immediately confronted by an insurmountable difficulty; the ‘domino effect’ on their ‘Origin of Satan’ theory. If Lucifer fell during a Pre-Adamic world, how could he possibly fit the description of the person described in Isaiah and Ezekiel?

Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 being the premise to support Satan’s origin and fall.

Topple one domino and others fall, the same apparently applies to false teachings.

Eze 28:13-15 KJV Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Pastor Bill Britton clearly explains the dilemma:

A Quote from Pastor Bill Britton lighthouselibrary.com

Ezekiel 28:13 ‘As for Satan being ‘Lucifer’ (King James Version only) of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, consider this… this being who fell was described as holy and beautiful and wise before he fell, and was described as being in the Garden of God, walking among the stones of fire, etc. Read Genesis account of creation, and find that the Garden was prepared for ADAM, not Satan, and that according to the ‘gap theory’ (a foundation for the Holy Angel Lucifer theory), the Garden was not even created until after ‘Lucifer’ was supposed to have fallen and become Satan. So Satan could not have walked in the Garden of God in a holy state, as per Ezekiel. Read the footnote on Isaiah 14:12 in the Amplified Bible, as to why ‘Lucifer’ is only in King James.’

Disseminators of the Gap Theory

C Larkin, F J Dake, J N Darby, C I Scofield, T Chalmers, Chuck Missler, and Jimmy Swaggart (to name a few) helped promote this doctrine, now considered by many to be the orthodox view.

‘The manner of the “creation” of the Pre-Adamite Earth is not revealed in the Scriptures. They simply declare that-“In the BEGINNING GOD CREATED the heaven and the earth.” We have to fall back then upon Science.’ — Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth

We have to fall back then upon science’! In that case rule me out.

Let us stand by the adage ‘let us speak when the Scriptures speak and be silent when the Scriptures are silent’. The Scriptures are silent about a Pre-Adamic race having ever existed.

‘Satan before his fall was the “Anointed Cherub that Covereth”. That is, he was the Guardian of the “Throne of God”. The probability is that the original Earth was placed under his “Governorship”, and was the scene of the first rebellion against the “Kingdom of God”, for which Satan was responsible…’ — Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth

Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 and a Pre-Adamic Race

Even although Charles Larkin used the word ‘probability’ in his statement, many believe his theory is ‘factuality’! In my opinion, without scriptural support, he should have remained silent instead of allowing his imagination to run wild.

The Scriptures cited to support the Gap Theory are taken out of context, and thereby fail to add any credibility to the view.

Let’s examine the Scriptures that reputedly prop up this doctrine.

Genesis 1:2 and a Pre-Adamic Race

Gen 1:2-3 GW The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light!” So there was light.

formless and empty’ The phrase simply means the earth was still unformed; it was not the finished work of creation. This Scripture does not support the assumption that a Pre-Adamic rebellion by Satan caused the Earth to be ‘formless and empty’.

‘Genesis 1 is not a history of the original creation, but of a reconstruction following a cataclysmic judgment which had befallen the original creation. Gen_1:1 Original creation. Gen_1:2 its destruction. Gen_1:3 and on, Reconstruction.’  — The Summarised Bible Commentary

The Summarized Bible Commentary not only endorsed the theory of a cataclysmic judgement between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:3; it surrendered to science in the process.

The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning over the Destruction of Jerusalem

Jeremiah 4:24 and a Pre-Adamic Race

Jer 4:23-26 KJV I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

‘the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void’  This phrase may allude to Genesis 1:2 but it does not automatically endorse the Gap Theory. Jeremiah described the utter devastation that had overwhelmed the Kingdom of Judah.

A Quote from Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Jeremiah 4:23-26 ‘In four verses each beginning with “I beheld,” the prophet sees in vision the desolate condition of Judaea during the Babylonian captivity.’

Jeremiah used poetic prophetic language to describe the result of God’s judgement.

Luke 10:18: and a Pre-Adamic Race

Luk 10:17-18 KJV And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luke 10:18: ‘This refers to the casting out of Satan when he invaded heaven from the earth long before Adam.’ — F  Dake, Annotated Reference Bible

Many scholars misquote Luke 10:18 to support the casting out of Satan and his angels from Heaven during a Pre-Adamic rebellion. By doing so, the verse is taken out of context and misinterpreted.

How could Dake postulate such a theory? Luke 10:18 has nothing to do with a Pre-Adamic race. The seventy, filled with joy, reported to Jesus they had fulfilled His commission to preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. Jesus responded by saying, ‘I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven’.

A Quote from Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

Luke 10:18 ‘…that is, “I followed you on your mission, and watched its triumphs; while you were wondering at the subjection to you of devils in My name, a grander spectacle was opening to My view; sudden as the darting of lightning from heaven to earth, lo! Satan was beheld falling from heaven!…’

Jesus taught more on His response to the seventy in the following chapter.

Luk 11:21-22 KJV When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

As the seventy preached the Kingdom of God and witnessed the manifestation of its power, Jesus saw the ‘beginning of the end’ of Satan’s power and control. Matthew described it as the binding of the strong man… Matthew 12:29 Only through the binding of Satan could the seventy spoil his goods.

A Quote from the Wycliffe Bible Commentary

Luke 10:18 ‘Jesus implied that the power was broken, and that the success of these disciples was an evidence of the victory.’

Luke 10:18 ‘I beheld Satan – That is, when ye went forth, I saw the kingdom of Satan, which was highly exalted, swiftly and suddenly cast down.’ — John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

2 Peter 3:4-7 and a Pre-Adamic Race

The context of this portion of Scripture appertains to Noah and the flood, not to a Pre-Adamic flood known as the Luciferian flood.

2Pe 3:4-7 KJV And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

the earth standing out of the water and in the water’ The earth after the third day of creation… Genesis 1:9-10

‘the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished’ This was the antediluvian world prior to Noah’s flood… Genesis 6:17

Scoffers alleged God was negligent concerning His promises by contending all things continued as before, they wilfully misconstrued the Scriptures. Peter reminded them of God’s promise to destroy the earth by flood during the days of Noah. He then proceeded to warn them that judgement awaited them for their complacency. Judgement came to Peter’s generation on ‘the great and terrible day of the Lord’, the second coming of Christ in AD 70.

2Pe 3:2 KJV That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Peter said his authority was the words spoken by the prophets and the precepts of Christ, why would he extrapolate on a Pre-Adamic world bereft of scriptural support.

Peter did not allude to a Pre-Adamic race; he spoke of the fathers who had lived and died since Adam.

Revelation 12:9 and a Pre-Adamic Kingdom

Rev 12:9 KJV And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Some scholars use Revelation 12:9 to validate the fall of Satan during a Pre-Adamic civilisation. However, the Revelation was a vision of an imminent event that involved the fulfilment of God’s promises to Old Covenant Israel. The physical evidence was the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews in AD 70.

The war between Michael and the dragon took place during the ‘great tribulation’ when Satan was ‘loosed’ on earth for the last time.

Rev 12:4 KJV 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.

If the phrase ‘the third part of the stars of heaven’ was a reference to the rebellious angels being cast out with Satan, it does not give license to apply it to an angelic host being cast out during a Pre-Adamic race.

Conclusion

Consign dominoes to the purpose originally intended, likewise the Scriptures.

The aggrandised theories of Satan’s origin and a Pre-Adamic race can only be supported by the vain imagination of ‘man’ in conjunction with mythology, extra-biblical writings, and the misappropriation of Scripture; confusion being the end result.

In my opinion, the Scriptures are silent concerning the casting out of Satan during a Pre-Adamic race.

Let’s leave fiction to Hollywood.

What do you think?