When most people think of the word “satan” they will picture an entity of the underworld with a pitch fork or trident waiting for the souls of the dead to come who were evil during their mortal time on Earth. This is actually Egyptian and Greek mythology that was introduced into Christianity partly through the works of Plato. Paul warned of this sort of thing happening in one of his letters to Timothy.
2 Timothy 4:3–4 (LEB)
3 For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate for themselves teachers, because they have an insatiable curiosity, 4 and they will turn away from the hearing of the truth, but will turn to myths.
There are many myths the church embraces that come straight from the mythologies of Osiris, Ashtoreth, Mithra etc.. When one understands this, they are at the beginning of understanding the word “satan”.
“Satan” is a Hebrew word that is defined in the A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language as adversary, accuser, accuse, hate, go about to and fro, and rove with variations of the word meaning diabolic and devilish. We could look at this as being crooked, zig zagging, wandering or deviant. We see the word “satan” in Job.
Job 1:6–7 (LEB)
6 And it happened one day that the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came into their midst. 7 So Yahweh said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered Yahweh and said, “From roaming on the earth and from walking about in it.”
In this translation of the Bible, the Hebrew word is transliterated into English. This means English phonetics are given to Hebrew letters. “Satan” is שטך in Hebrew, but is not really a proper name. It is a word with the definition noted above. The word is used in other places for adversary.
Numbers 22:32 (LEB)
32 The angel of Yahweh said to him, “Why have you struck this donkey three times? Look, I have come out as an adversary [satan] because your conduct is perverse before me.
“Satan” may not really be a proper name for the arch enemy of God. It is more of a description or title. It is an adversary or one who goes to and fro. In the case of Balaam, the angel of the Lord was actually acting as a “satan” to him. Language is an interesting study, and the Bible was not written in English. I remember there was a time when the country of Iran was said to have called the United States “the great satan”, and everyone was looking at it as a religious statement, yet this can be translated simply as “the great adversary”. See how words can be manipulated?
The Creator told Moses to tell the people YHWH (yud, heh, waw, heh) sent him in Exodus chapter three. This is where we get the name Yahweh or Yahuah. There was no mention of His name being Adonai or Lord at this time, yet many people think it is wrong to use the name given to Moses to proclaim to the people. I even heard a Messianic Rabbi mock people that use the name “Yah” for the Creator, when it is clearly used in scripture. This is where we get the transliterated word “Hallelu-yah” for praise the Lord.
Psalm 150:6 (LEB)
6 Every breathing thing, let it praise Yah. Praise Yah.
Both in Judaism and Christianity the practice is to hide and obfuscate the name of the Creator with titles such as Lord, Hashem and Adonai, but then the word “satan” is transliterated to a proper name for someone that is being an adversary.
The word “satan” is clearly used in scripture for something that is adverse or contrary to the Creator, such in the case of Job where an entity roaming the Earth came and accused Job before the Creator and acted as Job’s adversary. A derivative of the word “satan” in English is “satanic”. We limit this word’s meaning greatly when we define “satan” as some entity that is an adversary to God. Even though there clearly is an entity in this role, his proper name is somewhat mysterious, so we give him the title of “the satan” or “Satan” for short. We could say anyone or anything that is in opposition to the Creator’s instructions, character, personality, or ways is actually satanic. After all, what is the goal of the entity given the title of Satan, other than to oppose God and get everyone on Earth deceived into doing the same thing?
Genesis 3:2–6 (LEB)
2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, 3 but from the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, God said, ‘You shall not eat from it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’.” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die. 5 For God knows that on the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. And she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.
The serpent in this case was an adversary to Eve and told her to diverge from what the Creator had specifically commanded concerning the fruit of the tree. This was definitely a satanic act, but was the name of the serpent “Satan”? It is highly unlikely. The title “satan” certainly fits the serpent for deceiving Eve into doing something God said not to do. There have been many people throughout history that have specifically told us to do things contrary to what the Creator God told us by way of His set-apart people Israel. He even tells us He will send people that are “satanic” our way to see if we love Him enough to take the time to learn His ways.
Deuteronomy 13:1–4 (LEB)
“If a prophet stands up in your midst or a dreamer of dreams and he gives to you a sign or wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes about that he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (those whom you have not known), and let us serve them,’ 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer, for Yahweh your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all of your heart and with all of your inner self. 4 You shall go after Yahweh your God, and him you shall revere, and his commandment you shall keep, and to his voice you shall listen, and him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.
Following other gods is most definitely satanic and the one with the title of Satan gets the worship of these other gods. Anytime one worships, pays homage to or utilizes symbols of these other gods, it is being sent directly to demons, devils and “Satan”. They are called “elohim achreem” which simply means other gods.
I. אַחֵר adj. another (prop. one coming behind) Often with the collat. sense of different, as ˊבְּגָדִים א other garments ; with that of strange, alien, as ˊאִישׁ א; esp. in the phrase אֲלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים other gods. Of time, following, next (rare) ˊבַּשָּׁנָה הָא in the next year; דּוֹר ˊא poet. the next generation (in prose = another generation).
Richard Whitaker et al., The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament: From A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs, Based on the Lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius (Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906).
Who is this entity that is a master deceiver, opposes God, given the title of “satan” or adversary and accuser? We can find him every where in the world’s mythology and is represented by various gods. The god Pan may be a good representation of this entity. The following is from Wikipedia with the source text listed as Gods Associated with Male Fertility and Virility.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pan (/pæn/;Ancient Greek: Πάν, romanized: Pán) is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is also recognized as the god of fields, groves, wooded glens and often affiliated with sex; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring.
Pan is connected with the groves, fertility and springtime. These are celebrated at the winter solstice and equinox festivals and have been celebrated this way for thousands of years with fir trees, cones, eggs and rabbits. This is what is so interesting about mythology. No matter what culture or time in history, the gods have similar themes and symbols. This has all been embraced wholeheartedly by Christians everywhere. People have recently renamed where I live Arcadia, where Pan was said to have lived. I haven’t seen Pan around here and hope I never do. Pan is definitely satanic, along with his groves and sex rites. Is he the one everyone calls “Satan”? No, he is a Greek myth. The fact that Pan represents everything the real Creator God, Yah, says not to do is a good indication that the adversary of God is behind Pan. The fact that Christians embrace Pan’s groves and fertility symbols at Christmas and Easter show how deceptive the real “satan” can be.
1 Kings 14:22–24 (LEB)
22 But Judah did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and they annoyed him more than their fathers did with their sins that they had committed. 23 They also built for themselves high places and stone pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 There were also male shrine prostitutes in the land, and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which Yahweh had driven out from before the Israelites.
These verses from First Kings make it sound like Pan would have been right at home in Judah at this time. Stone pillars, sacred trees, sacred poles and temple prostitutes are all satanic because Yah hates them. He told us not to have any part of these things, yet Christmas trees are placed on the alters, or “high” places in churches right now.
Mithra is a Roman God that is closer to the god that Christians serve during their holy days. This is due to the Roman influences. The sun god became the son of God. The following is from imperiumromanum.pl
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the “Birth of the Invincible Sun”) was a celebration dedicated to Mitra, identified with the Roman god Sol, or the Sun. Sol Invictus was an ancient cult, originating in Persia, but revered mainly in Rome, from where it also received its name. The cult was introduced by Emperor Aurelian in 274 CE.
Festive was devoted to Mitra, identified with the Roman god Sol, meaning the Sun. The holiday commemorated his birth in the mountains of Zagros. The Romans on that day gifted each other and made wishes; kissed under the mistletoe.
To replace the pagan festivals, the Christian authorities decided to place Christ’s birth at this date – this is indicated by the commentary on the twelfth-century relationship of Dionysius Bar Salibi, who says that it was custom of the pagans to celebrate this day (December 25) the birth of the Sun. As people were accustomed to celebrating pagan festive, it was decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December. Interestingly, in the litany of the Most Holy Name Jesus (probably founded in the fifteenth century), we find the naming of Jesus “the sun of justice.”
The Creator’s Sabbath, initiated at creation, has been changed to the “venerable day of the sun”, which is also taken from this sun cult. We know of this day as Sunday. If we are to believe Deuteronomy 13 and the example we see with Eve and the serpent, it leads us to the conclusion that changing God’s special day and melding His son Yeshua with the sun god Mithra is going after “other gods” and actually fits the definition of satanic.
Genesis 2:1–3 (LEB)
And heaven and earth and all their array were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and he sanctified it, because on it he rested from all his work of creating that there was to do.
We see the adversary temping the real son of God, Yeshua, recorded in the gospels. This is likely the same entity that challenged the Father concerning Job. Yeshua handled him by quoting the Father’s words to him every time he suggested doing something that was satanic.
Matthew 4:1–11 (LEB)
4 Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, 2 and after he had fasted forty days and forty nights, then he was hungry. 3 And the tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order that these stones become bread.” 4 But he answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man will not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the highest point of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down! For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’and ‘On their hands they will lift you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand it is written, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him, “I will give to you all these things, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan, for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and began ministering to him.
Here the Greek word “Diabolis” has been translated “satan” and we see a comparison to Beezeboul in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology.
διάβολος G1333 (diabolos), adj., slanderous; noun, slanderer, the devil; διαβάλλω (diaballō), accuse, bring charges with hostile intent; Βεεξεβούλ (Beezeboul), Βεελξεβούλ G1015 (Beelzeboul), Βεελξεβούβ (Beelzeboub), Beelzebul, Beelzebub; Βελιάρ G1016 (Beliar), Beliar; Βελιάλ (Belial), Belial; Σατάν G4927 (Σατάν), indeclinable, and Σατανᾶς G4928 (Satanas), the Adversary, Satan.
H. Bietenhard and C. Brown, “Satan, Beelzebul, Devil, Exorcism,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 468.
Beelzebul, sometimes called, lord of the flies, could be the great adversary of God, or just some lower ranked entity. All through the mystery religions, which these myths all have in common, there is one entity that opposes the Creator God. However, in these religions it is the Creator God that is evil and the supposed good god that tries to free humankind from his clutches. They would view the serpent as the good entity and the Creator as evil. Sometimes this entity is called Enlil. There is also the view that the Creator God is both the good and bad god at the same time. This is where we get the dark and light aspect of God or “as above, so below”. However, all of this is satanic because there is no darkness in the real Creator God, Yah.
1 John 1:5–7 (LEB)
5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
We see these false gods everywhere today. When Yeshua was tempted by the adversary, they were both using scripture to make their case. This happens today. The adversary comes as an angel of light. How do you know which scriptures to follow? Yeshua told us.
Mark 12:28–30 (LEB)
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them debating. When he saw that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.’
The adversary or “satan”, whatever his real name may be, has been very successful using religion to deceive people. He has many Christians believing that the instructions of God and His covenant are no longer important, thus creating a false Messiah, and at the same time, he has deceived those in Judaism into denying the real Messiah because they think he is the lawless, torah breaking, Christmas tree Jesus that Christianity presents. It is a win-win situation for this adversary. This is all prophecy because he deceives the whole world.
Revelation 12:7–9 (LEB)
7 And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 And they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Revelation 12:17 (LEB)
17 And the dragon was angry at the woman, and went away to fight against the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus.
In these verses in Revelation. there is the woman, the man child and “those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus“. Satan is angry when people keep the commandments of God and believe Messiah Yeshua. It seems very clear to me.
John 8:42–47 (LEB)
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me, for I have come forth from God and have come. For I have not come from myself, but that one sent me. 43 Why do you not understand my way of speaking? Because you are not able to listen to my message. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father! That one was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand firm in the truth, because truth is not in him. Whenever he speaks the lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I am telling the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Who among you convicts me concerning sin? If I am telling the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 The one who is from God listens to the words of God. Because of this you do not listen—because you are not of God.”
“The one who is from God listens to the words of God”. Anything that deviates from the words the Creator gave us is satanic by definition. It is to and fro, and adverse to God. As Yeshua stated, quoting Deuteronomy chapter 8, “not by bread alone but by all that goes out of the mouth of Yahweh humankind shall live”.
Featured photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash.
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