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The Real Devil A Biblical Exploration  


Chapter 5 An Examination Of The Specific Bible Passages Which Mention The Devil And Satan


Preface: Misunderstood Bible Passages

We have explained at length in earlier chapters that 'Satan' and 'Devil' in the Bible are renderings of Hebrew and Greek words which basically mean 'adversary', 'false accuser', 'opponent'. They can refer to persons, good or bad, who play that role. But sometimes in the New Testament, they are used more metaphorically to refer to sin, in various forms, and to systems which oppose the Gospel. Sin must be manifested through something; one cannot have abstract diabolism, it must always be manifested in a person or system of things. It is for this reason that the Devil is personified; because sin (the Devil) cannot exist in the abstract, it can only be found within the human heart and person.

In some passages, notably in Revelation, the Devil refers to sin manifested through a political system, notably that of the Roman empire. In others, there is reference to the Jewish system which was the great 'satan' or adversary to the early church.

Consider the following assignment: ‘Give a brief Biblical history of the Devil, according to your interpretation of Bible passages'. The responses would be highly contradictory. According to ‘orthodox’ reasoning, the answer has to be something like this:
a) The Devil was an angel in heaven who was thrown out into the garden of Eden. He was thrown to earth in Gen. 1.
b) He is supposed to have come to earth and married in Gen 6.
c) At the time of Job he is said to have had access to both heaven and earth.
d) By the time of Is. 14 he is thrown out of heaven onto earth.
e) In Zech. 3 he is in heaven again.
f) He is on earth in Mt. 4.
g) He is “cast out” at the time of Jesus’ death, according to the popular view of “the prince of this world” being “cast out” at that time.
h) There is a prophecy of the Devil being ‘cast out’ in Rev. 12.
i) The Devil is “chained” in Rev. 20, but he and his angels were chained in Genesis, according to the common view of Jude 6. If he was bound with ‘eternal chains’ then, how is he chained up again in Rev. 20?

All this is contradictory- moreover, Heb. 2:14 states that the Lord Jesus "destroyed" the Devil at the time of His death. And if the Devil was cast out of Heaven in Eden, how come he appears to talk with God so freely in Heaven itself afterwards? Quite simply, the orthodox story just doesn't add up. It's literalism's last gasp.

5-2 The Serpent In Eden Genesis 3:4-5

5-3 Sons Of God And Daughters Of Men Genesis 6: 2-4

5-4 Job’s Satan Job 1:6

5-4-1 The Satan In Job: A Fellow Worshipper?

5-4-2 Job's Satan: An Angel-Satan?

5-5 Lucifer King Of Babylon Isaiah 14: 12-14

5-6 The Anointed Cherub Ezekiel 28: 13-15

5-7 Zechariah 3

5-8 The Temptation Of Jesus Matthew 4: 1-11

5-8-1 Jesus In The Wilderness: A Study In The Language And Nature Of Temptation

5-8-2 The Wilderness Temptations: A Window Into The Mind Of Jesus

5-9 Unclean Spirits Matthew 12: 43-45

5-10 The Devil And His Angels Matthew 25:41

5-11 Satan Takes Away The Word Mark 4:15

5-12 Satan As Lightning Luke 10: 18

5-13 Satan Entered Judas Luke 22:3

5-14 Peter And Satan Luke 22:31

5-15 Your Father The Devil John 8:44

5-16 Oppressed Of The Devil Acts 10: 38

5-17 Child Of The Devil Acts 13:10

5-18 The Power Of Satan Acts 26: 18

5-19 Delivering Unto Satan 1 Corinthians 5:5

5-20 The God Of This World 2 Corinthians 4: 4

5-21 An Angel Of Light 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

5-22 The Messenger Of Satan 2 Corinthians 12:7

5-23 The Prince Of The Air Ephesians 2: 1-3

5-24 Giving Place To The Devil Ephesians 4:26-27

5-25 The Wiles Of The Devil Ephesians 6:11-13

5-26 The Snare Of The Devil 1 Timothy 3: 6 -7; 2 Timothy 2:26

5-27 Turned Aside After Satan 1 Timothy 5:14-15

5-28 Resist The Devil James 4: 7; 1 Peter 5:8

5-29 Chains Of Darkness 2 Peter 2: 4; Jude 6

5-30 The Body Of Moses Jude 9

5-31 The Synagogue Of Satan Revelation 2: 9-10, 13 & 24

5-32 Michael And The Great Dragon Revelation 12: 7-9

5-33 The Devil And Satan Bound Revelation 20: 2, 7 & 10

Digression 5: "The man of sin" (2 Thess. 2)