When you picture Satan, what type of images come into your mind? How do you perceive his character? How does something so evil come to you as an Angel of Light? Yes, the devil can be confusing. Does he wear a bright red suit and have horns growing out of his head? How much power does he have? How much power do you give him?
The image that many have instilled in their minds of Satan is one that is devilish, no pun intended. He is usually handsome, and charming, with an edge of something slithery, just waiting to deceive you with a wink and a wicked grin. He has been depicted in movies as a man in his forties. He usually dons a goatee or beard, a cane, and is found dressed in expensive tailored suits. Once you add a pitchfork, a tail, and horns, you have Satan.
But many in the Christian church perceive him as an evil being that attacks them and thwarts their paths and stops their blessings. They seem to see him as a great enemy of our heavenly Father. But is that entirely true? This representation comes from the Greek god Pan. Ironically, in Greek mythology, Pan was the god of shepherds and flocks. He also was gifted with reed pipes and had a goatee. From the waist down, he had a goat’s body and also the sexual habits of a goat. This is where we have adopted our image of Satan today.
Are you aware that Satan and Adonai converse together? “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Father, and Satan came also among them” (Job 1:6, ESV).
The Jewish people do not believe in Satan as an enemy of our Father but as a servant. This is due to the many errors in scriptural teachings in the Protestant and Catholic religions. Let’s examine a scriptural example: (I Chronicles 21:1, NASB) “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” Now read the next verse about this same story carefully. (II Samuel 24:1, NASB) “Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” So which one was it? Was it Satan or was it the Father Adonai? The confusion starts with misunderstandings of words and also yes, don’t become too angry with me, King James didn’t translate the text precisely right. There are a number of errors in his translation. You will see this clearly from many of the verses that we will study.
Yes, we humans are capable of making mistakes. The word “Satan” is a word used to refer to an adversary. Let me explain. The original Hebrew text quoted scriptures such as, “The Philistines were distrustful of David, fearing that he would be a Satan…” (I Samuel 29:4). Again, Satan is translated as, “an adversary or one who opposes.” In the verses below, the original translation of the 1611 King James Version is as follows:
And Balaam arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the rulers of Moab. And God’s anger burned because he went, and the Angel of Jehovah stationed Himself in the way as Satan against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants with him. And the donkey saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. […] Then Jehovah opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed down and prostrated himself on his face. And the Angel of Jehovah said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as Satan against you, because your way is perverse before Me.
–Numbers 22:21-32, KJV (1611)
Did you catch that? An angel of Adonai came out as Satan against Balaam.
This happens over and over again in scripture. If you research the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) or Older Testament, there are only about three places that make reference to Satan in a personal way. The book of Job would be one reference. The Newer Testament is a third the size of the Older Testament, and yet it has over one hundred references to Satan or the devil, due to mistranslations. Let’s look at this in more depth. The Psalmist said this:
And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
—Psalms 109:5-6, KJV
Again, this is an adversary.
In the 1769 version of the King James Bible, the Older Testament only uses the word ‘Devil’ four times, Leviticus 17:7, Deuteronomy 32:17, II Chronicles 11:15 and Psalms 106:37. This translation is in place of (goat-like idols) and idols they had taken on that were pagan. It did not stand for an entity or evil being called “Satan.” Please understand, this is not just an issue with the word Satan, but also with the word “hell.” In addition to what I’ve shown you, also note that I am not saying there isn’t a Satan. I am just trying to show you sound doctrine biblically.
Who created the Devil?
For by him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by him all things consist.
–Colossians 1:16-17, ESV
According to the way many of us have been taught since childhood, the devil is bad, and Adonai is good. But if Adonai and His Son Yeshua created everything, how did evil get here? (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) “I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things!”
(Lamentations 3:37-38, KJV) “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good?” Jeremiah goes on to say, “Why does a man complain when he is punished for his sins?” Jeremiah insists that there is a price for sin. Even the Bible says, “…the Father disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son”(Hebrews 12:6, KJV). Instead of us recognizing that we need to repent or become aware that we are being punished for sin, we tend to blame it on Satan. What a tragedy!
Yes, many of us love to shout at Satan and blame everything on him instead of our flesh. So let’s go back to Job:
And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the FATHER, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing?
–Job 1:6-7, KJV
Notice how Adonai is having a chat with Satan about His servant? He isn’t yelling at him or telling him to bow. He and Satan are looking at a man who Adonai says is perfect, and they are discussing whether he would continue to be pleasing if he lost all his wealth, children, and even his health:
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Father.
–Job 1:11-12, KJV
As you see, everything is under Adonai’s jurisdiction. Satan is not a rival of Adonai but more like a go-between, sent to do what the Father would will. We see an example of this in the story of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and sold him into Egypt. They had no intention of serving Adonai, but Adonai used them to achieve the plans He already had. Joseph tells them:
So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh–the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
–Genesis 45:8, NLT
Satan always serves the purpose of God. “Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be “taught” not to blaspheme” (I Timothy 1:20, NIV). Now I must stop you here and ask you a question: “Is it good to not blaspheme?” Was Satan used for good? Of course! Remember, Adonai sent a lying spirit, an evil spirit, and a messenger of Satan to put a thorn in Paul’s flesh. Now let’s read the last part of Job to see if Satan brought the evil on this righteous man or if the Father did?
And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. “Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over ALL THE EVIL that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and everyone an earring of gold,
–Job 42:10, KJV
Are you shocked? Do you read like the Bereans to show yourself approved? Do you study Abba’s Word, or do you just take what the man tells you on Sunday or Shabbat morning as the truth? We are living in a time where we need to know for ourselves. We have doctrines of demons being passed down and growing in number each day:
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
–Revelation 20:1-3, ESV.
One angel came down and took out Satan. Next time you get mad at the devil, rethink Job’s wise words to his wife:
You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?
–Job 2:10, ESV