Revealing Satan

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The Fall of “Greatness”

Ezekiel 28

11. The word of the Lord came to me: 12. “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

13. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountingsc were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.

14. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.

15. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

16. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

17. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.

18. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.

19. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’ ”

  • The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. – Psalm 138:8
  • Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries. – Ezekiel 28:17-18
  • Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! – 1 Corinthians 6:9

From the God’s Perfection to Adversary

Today’s reading from Ezekiel 28 focuses on God’s lament through his prophet over the King of Tyre, a real earthly King, but also a symbol for all mankind.

GustaveDoreParadiseLostSatanProfileThe foolish pride of this fallen man, imbued with a perfection of wisdom and beauty, should serve as a warning for all of us. But, sadly, it does not. For many, the meaning, the warning, has been enveloped in a symbol of error.

For this passage is where many believers derive their myth of the personage of Satan. I find the pervasive nature of the symbollic myth of Satan to be heartbreaking because what could have (and should have) served as a bleak and general truth for all mankind about the dangers of pride and hubris, was mutated into a specific tale of the fall of God’s singular adversary, Satan. In this act of personifying the consequence of pride, we remove its pertinence for all of us, and make it all only a cautionary tale about the origins of “The Adversary of God”.

Little do we realize that the greatest trick “Satan” ever pulled was to convince the world he even existed.

Oh, Satan “The Adversary” is real, I assure you, but it is not some fallen angel from Heaven who rules the evil forces of this world with almost God-like power. No, “The Adversary” is real and “The Adversary” does have real power, and  I warn you, he is very close to you… even right now.

Revealing Satan

Do you wish to see The Adversary of God? I can show you him, if you dare

Yes?

All right, I want you to get up and follow my directions exactly:

  • Get up and go to the bathroom mirror.
  • Stare into the mirror, right into you own eyes.
  • Now repeat this incantation three times, “Satan is real, God is real.”
  • Now you will see The Adversary. And you will see God.

Do you see? Do you understand?

The Hands of Evil, the Hands of Good

As I already wrote yesterday in the post , “Wake up, Lord! We are Perishing!“, we are the hands of “The Adversary”, or the hands of God, in this world.

The most dangerous myth the greater Church ever pervaded was the concept that the source of both evil AND good lay outside of us! This allowed us to blame something else for the evil we perpetrated, “But it wasn’t me! It was SATAN!”

Yes, it was “Satan”: the meaning of the Hebrew word “satan (7853)” is “adversary” or “enemy”.

When we become consumed with our own self-interests and our pride eclipses a gratitude for creation and life, we have become the incarnation of The Adversary on Earth. We become God’s enemy.

When we hold gratitude for God’s Grace, and a deep appreciation for God’s creation closest to our hearts, and live self-less lives of compassion, we have become the incarnation of God on Earth. We become God’s beloved children.

We are both possibilities at once, and even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant decisions of our everyday lives can begin to shift us closer to one polar opposite or the other. Every minute of every day is accounted for in the whole of our being: are we working as God or The Adversary in this life and world?

The key to righteous living in the name of God is to be conscious of this tremendous power. We must accept the responsibility that comes with such great power. We must ask ourselves:

  • Will I create or destroy?
  • Will I create love or fear?
  • Will I create justice or injustice?
  • Will I glorify God, or shame God’s creation?

What will I do?

Psalm 138

8. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. LORD, Do not forsake the work of your hands.

We are our own worst enemies. We are God’s worst enemies.

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

Comments

  1. To PraizeHisName –

    To those who do not take the bible literally If the bible is just the result of man, and not divinely inspired…how can you trust it?

    It doesn’t have to be either/or: result of man OR divinely inspired. I do not take the Bible literally but I believe it is 66 books of sacred scripture that detail the history of human beings attempting to learn about God. There is much to be gleaned about where we’ve been and where we can be as God’s children.

    I don’t trust the Bible because it doesn’t need to be trusted. It’s a book. It’s something to be read, thought about, prayed over, meditated on, and discussed with others. It’s a tool to know God more deeply but that doesn’t mean that everything therein must be factually, literally, and historically accurate. What I must trust is that God will use the Bible just like anything else in my life to show me more of God in me and in my life.

    So no, I don’t believe in a literal satan or a literal hell as defined by a large portion of the church today. These beliefs have changed over and over and over again over the centuries anyway. Which century’s doctrine is the correct one? Which interpretation of the Bible should we take as law? To me, these are the wrong questions.

    Peace.

    • Two thumbs up!

      • Thanks, Alicia!

        • You’re Welcome..

        • You’re Welcome..

          So many people act as if they can not live without the Bible. What if we never had a Bible? Would the Holy Spirit be enough? I asked that question on here some time ago and someone said, “No, the Holy Spirit is not enough”.

          I beg to differ.

          I wonder if we would love our fellow man more if we didn’t have a Scripture to point to to try to justify us hating and rejecting them.

          These are things I think about. Yet, I realize why God has given us the Bible. He has given it to us to help us as well as hinder us. Yep, hinder us to a certain extent. How else can he open our eyes unless we first realize we are blind and need to see. The more I live and follow God, the more he blows this pea-sized brain of mine.

          Amazing he is.

          That Bible sure has caused a lot of chaos—I love it, I appreciate it, but I know it is not God. It is just a ‘tool’ as you say and I often say as well–It is just a tool–Unfortunately, that is the part the Religious can’t figure out yet.

          • Well and speaking of divine, relevatory (keeps saying I’m spelling that wrong. Maybe I’m making up a word?) experiences from earlier – I know of a man who had a vision of Yeshua the Christ, had a “come to Jesus” moment, declared himself a Christ follower from that moment on and never picked up the Bible. Furthermore, because of all the infighting that he saw in Christianity prior to his experience, regarding doctrine, church, the Bible, he made it very clear that he had no interest in it.

            It makes me think of Paul – he didn’t have the Bible either, certainly not the book we have today. And any Jewish scriptures he read, we can be guaranteed that Paul read them from a completely different point of view given the time and culture. We Christians (myself included) are horribly uneducated about the Jewish faith and culture and history.

            So yeah, I agree with you – I don’t believe the Bible is necessary to be touched by God and used by God and known by God. And neither is it necessary to know God. Helpful? Sure, maybe. Absolutely necessary? Nah.

            • I totally agree, it is not “Absolutely” necessary at all.

              When you realize that “Love” is the law anyway. There is only but one law and that is too Love–Sure it helpful, has some great points and revelations, but not Absolutely necessary at all.

              Exactly. Paul did not have the Bible, the disciples and none of the early Christians had the Bible. Like you said, I am sure Paul read the Scriptures from a totally different perspective than the religious leaders of his day did ( once he was converted anyway ).

              So, there was the same Scriptures he read before his ‘conversion’ and there he had a totally different interpretation of them after discovering the “Grace” of God alone is what saves us–Paul did not have the patent on God either, he also was looking through that glass darkly that he spoke of–he did not see EVERYTHING clearly either. He saw in part as well, prophesied in part as well, everything he wrote he was writing it about himself and too himself as well.

              Unfortunately, many think Paul had full knowledge and understanding of all things Spiritual or ALL things as it relates to human sexuality, behavior, or nature. The problem is to take it all as if these people had full understanding of all things. With the Holy Spirit though, we can sort it all out as he reveals and shows us.

    • Praisehizname says:

      Tana,

      Let me just qualify my position a little better before I reply. I do not think that it is my burden to read and perfectly understand the bible. I believe in the KISS method (keep it simple stupid). Love God, love my neighbor, repent, and hopefully my faith will bear fruit and salvation will be granted.

      I don’t think in the end God will hold it against me if I were to find out that universalism its the true doctrine, or hold it against a universalist if that doctrine was wrong as long as we follow his commandmets as we have discussed.

      But, how can you not rely on his word…you say you are not sure what century hell was in fashion? How can you find the truth? I trust the bible, not what man’s theories are. There is only one standard which we can test theories against and that is the bible?

      You say Paul had no scripture when Christ was revealed to him?

      Then why did Jesus hold the high priest to such high standrads?

      • I agree that God is not going to hold our doctrines against us. Talk about ultimate grace considering every single doctrine ever created was created by a human being. When we say, “I trust the Bible,” and then we point to doctrine that supposedly has support from the Bible, we’re essentially saying, “I trust Pastor/Priest/Pope/Reverend/Theologian/Scholar’s interpretation of Scripture.” We’re not saying, “I trust the Bible.” We lie to ourselves; I lied to myself for years about that one.

        I didn’t say I don’t rely on his word. Neither did I say that I “am not sure what century hell was in fashion.” I said this:
        So no, I don’t believe in a literal satan or a literal hell as defined by a large portion of the church today. These beliefs have changed over and over and over again over the centuries anyway. Which century’s doctrine is the correct one? Which interpretation of the Bible should we take as law? To me, these are the wrong questions.

        Regarding Paul – no, I didn’t say Paul had no scripture when Christ was revealed to him. What I said was:
        It makes me think of Paul – he didn’t have the Bible either, certainly not the book we have today. And then I went on to mention the Jewish scriptures.

        Could you clarify what you mean by: “Then why did Jesus hold the high priest to such high standards?” Could you flesh that out more and tell me which standards you believe Jesus was holding the priest to? I just want to make sure we’re on the same page and not talking past each other.

        I trust the bible, not what man’s theories are.
        I used to think I could make this same statement. Then I got real honest with myself and realized that actually, all I could possibly admit to trusting were other human being’s theories on what the Bible was saying. I didn’t know Bible history. I didn’t understand Greek and Hebrew. I didn’t understand the culture and societal norms that influenced the writing found within the Bible. Then I started reading scholars’ works about the Bible, people who didn’t have a dog in the power struggle, and wow, what I learned then was a punch in the gut. I was angry for a long time because I uncovered how many lies were told to me throughout the most devout, most faithful period of my life. But I came back from that too.

        In the end I had to admit that I wasn’t trusting God, I was trusting other humans. We think what we believe – all of it – can be backed up “in the Word,” until we start digging and asking questions and getting booted out of faith communities where real questioning is simply not acceptable. Why? Because it reveals where power is being abused.

        • Great Post tana–You’ve said a mouthful, I can’t add a thing to that…Amen..

          • LOL – I tried to edit it and make it more brief. Alas, it seems that I am incapable of brief.

            Thanks, Alicia!

            • You’re Welcome—-

              lol!!

              Hey, Well…Some things are not meant to be brief, and we women are not ‘brief’ much in the talking dept..Ok, that was a bit stereotypical and sexist I admit..( With a hint of truth) LOL!

              Besides, when it comes to these topics, it is best to express much as possible to make the point and get the message out there.

              I really enjoy reading your posts, so keep talking, I’m listening.

        • Praisehizname says:

          tana,

          The point about Paul being he was a man of the church. Yes, he did not have the scripture (I guess you mean the New Testament scriptures) but he was a learned man “of the cloth.” He had the Jewish scriptures…as did the Pharisees…and Jesus gave them a hard time for not knowing what it meant (the law) not just the legalistic application of it.

          In fact Jesus often quoted scripture..aren’t we supposed to to walk as much like him as we can?

          I’ll just say this tana. If I were dropped onto a deserted island right now for the rest of my life…yes, I would still love my God, hopefully serve him faithfully. But to me, the bible is the standard that we aspire to. If you don’t have that to use as a guide, what is your standard? If you do not take it literally, why bother to read it?

          What is the point in reading it? Is it just like me picking a book up by say Rick Warren and then saying..”well, that book is food for thought” or “I don’t agree with what Rick says”

          For example, I am not sure where Trig stands on our discussion, but, I know you seem to like his commentaries. And I justr would like to say I enjoy reading his thoughts…but lLet me ask you though…why should he quote scripture? It seems that you pick and choose what you like from the bible and reject other things.

          I have asked this question and revieved no answer from anyone on this blog: Was Christ actually tempted by Satan as described in Matthew 4 (I believe) or was it just his inner concious tempting him…his inner demons as Trig describes it in this post. Or, is this just a story to not be taken literally?

          In my opinion, for every assertation that Triq (or others) makes of the universalist doctrine…which is often (again in my opinion – sorry Trig!) based on a dubiuos interpretation of scripture, there is 10 incidents of Christ and other prophets clearly stating death for those who reject him..not only death but hell…and of a Satan who physically appeared to Jesus and tempted him and is alive and active ion the world today.

          Is it OK to just pick and choose what we like out of the bible and reject the rest?

          • Prz,

            You are quite free to believe in satan as a literal being outside of yourself, I don’t believe any of us are trying to force anything on you. It really does not matter what we say in the end, you have your own views and you are free to them.

            I don’t think anything said will satisfy your questions really. I say that with as much respect as I can possibly muster up my Sister.

            We answered your question about who satan was–It just did not satisfy you, nothing we say will–At least not much anyway.

            Anyway, I know you were not talking to me so I will let the others answer your question.

          • As Alicia pointed out, you asked a question of those of us who do not read the Bible literally. I answered your question as best as I could. I’m not in this discussion to debate, as in, debate-to-win. I echo Alicia in saying that I’m not here to change your mind or change the way you read and interpret scripture.

            I don’t even think you’re “wrong.” I wouldn’t even think to tell you that the way you commune with God is incorrect. And yet…

            You ask, “What is the point in reading it [if I don't read it your way]?” The point in reading the Bible, for me, is to learn how people, through the ages, have learned about who God is. It is to learn about how God moved through and among people throughout the ages. Another point in reading it? In order to have meaty discussions like these with people so that iron may sharpen iron, if you will. There are many, many points to reading the Bible and none of those points requires a literal reading of it.

            Did you know that throughout history, up to the Age of Enlightenment, very very few people would have ever thought to read the Bible literally? Did you know that it’s really a practice that has taken off only over the last two hundred years? Did you know that the literal interpretations began when the Church freaked out because of things that were coming to light, like the Theory of Gravity and when they found out that the earth was round?

            A literalist interpretation is the direct result of an organization fearful of losing power – power that, let’s face it, Christ didn’t come to institute.

            When you say, ” But to me, the bible is the standard that we aspire to,” what does that mean? How do you aspire to a standard from a collection of 66 books written by numerous authors who are detailing their understanding of God? Which author’s perspective and experience should I set as my standard?

            Why should Trig quote scripture when writing blog posts about scripture and devotion to God? The answer is in the question.

            Regarding your question that has has been left unanswered to your satisfaction: depends on who you ask. Again, because scripture can be interpreted a million different ways, you’re going to get a million different answers. I think Trig lays it out pretty plainly in the post itself of where he’s coming from.

            Now the following, I’m showing that my ire is up:

            I’m weary, BONE-weary, of the accusation from literalists that non-literalists “pick and choose.” It’s a lazy, go-to accusation that has no merit. And considering the fact that the literalists with whom I have conversations like these couldn’t explain how I read and use the Bible no matter how many times I try to explain it, it’s an even more preposterous accusation.

            But if you have proof of someone here doing that, by all means, please expose it. Although all you’d be able to point to is doctrine that some disagree with. And again, it must be said, that just because So-and-so Preacher says Such-and-Such doctrine/statement of belief is supported by Chapter and Verse scripture, doesn’t make it so.

            • Edited: I didn’t mean to say, ” when they found out the earth was round.” I meant to say, “when they found out that the sun is the center of the solar system.”

              My apologies.

          • The standard that I aspire to is Jesus, as He is revealed to me through the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit will reveal Truth to me when I am able to understand it and do something with it. There are many things that are in scripture that I do not understand, that the Holy Spirit has not made clear to me. So be it. I don’t reject these scriptures, I just put them aside for now. I am responsible for the Truth that has been revealed to me. As I grow more in my relationship with God, as I pray and seek Him, more will be revealed to me. This revelation will come through scripture (interpreted for me by the Holy Spirit), the preaching and teaching of others, the presence of others, nature, through all of God’s creation. I continue to “work out my salvation in fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12)
            I too am not in this for a debate, and I am giving PHN the benefit of the doubt that he/she is not in it to debate as well. Having a discussion through the internet robs us of the importance of face to face communication. It is hard to tell honest questions and frustrations from argument. We all need to remember the human being that is typing the words. Those posting in this forum have been wonderfully respectful of others opinions, thoughts and beliefs. I have faith that it will continue to be this way.

            • One of the nice things about Internet discussions (despite the drawbacks) is how easy it is to read a person’s position on a topic because it’s right there, in black and white. Or, in this case, dark grey and white. I give people the benefit of the doubt too, David. And I admit that in conversations like these, I have to start out thinking, “This person is not all the people who have come before him/her with whom I have had troubling, frustrating “discussions.” This person is unique unto him/herself.” I did that here when I first posted a reply to PHN. Hey, it wasn’t that long ago that I could have written, verbatim, PHN’s comments and questions. (This is not to imply that I’ve somehow “grown past” PHN or am somehow more spiritually mature either, just to be perfectly clear. I’m only saying that my path took a different turn because people allowed me to be a part of their discussions, were patient with me, and there was mutual respect throughout the process.)

              But when, in these kinds of discussions, the person with whom I’m trying to discuss puts words in my mouth or starts making unfounded accusations, I most definitely will call that on the carpet and pointedly clarify my position. I do that because, as I’m still trying to give that person the benefit of the doubt, I obviously need to be even more clear than I was before. If that comes across, through the written word, as harsh-sounding or too direct, well, I’ll just say that I don’t know another way to keep these kind of discussions on track.

              And I try to make it clear when I am speaking from a place of frustration, as I did in my post above.

              But if I’m starting to make people uncomfortable with my direct approach, I’ll gladly return to being a reader for a while.

              • Praisehizname says:

                tana,

                I I apologize…I do not desire to raies your “ire!”

                I will try to better explain where I am coming from and then leave it at that or listen to your final reply…I do not desire to “have the last word.” I am not here to win debates. I believe everyone in here has a heart for God and I do not hold my status as somehow higher or closer to God at all…far from it.

                When Trig writes a devotional and explains a universalist intepretation of a scripture…such as the one where Jesus describes “hell fire” and Trig supports the position that that really means a “purifying fire.” Now, I respect Trig’s position…I don’t agree with it…but I don’t dismiss it totally out of hand and I believe it is his heartfelt conviction…and you know what? He may be totally right and I may be wrong. But regardless, many followers here (and I know I am not speaking for everyone) say “Hey Trig, that is a great message,” or even “Look, the bible supports the fact that there is no hell!”

                Then, a couple days later, we are talking about things clearly stated in the bible that do not exist to many commentators here…such as Satan. A being that clearly exists in the bible who had a conversation with Jesus. That is dismissed as don’t take everything literally in the bible.

                So, that is where the picking and choosing charge comes from. Now, I will shut up and move on and try not to raise to much ruckus again.

                I praise God that we are free to have these discussions and I thank you all for your patiance!

                • Believe me, of the two of us, I’m the one who should quietly back away.

                  Sometimes I get hung up on words. I need to accept the fact that what you perceive as “picking and choosing” is what I call “a difference in interpretation.” It’s not that we “Jefferson” the Bible – cut out what we don’t “like;” it’s that we read it differently. It means different things to us, spiritually. But that doesn’t mean that we are throwing anything out.

                  I think I am going to step back for a while. It’s not a pity-party move – I just need to keep myself in check.

                  Peace and all things good.

                  • We enjoy your post tana–I really do. Please keep posting. :) As we grow, our spiritual understanding does as well. How we read the Bible and everything overall changes, this is a good thing–It forces us out of our comfort zones as David says. It is a good thing.

                    I admit, my patience is thin at times. It could be because I have spent the past almost 5 yrs debating at times very heavily the subject of Universalism, etc. I personally am becoming wearing of casting pearls to swine at times.

                    Nothing is wrong with backing up, we all know when we need to. I sure do. I have not mastered the art of patience or even having ‘perfect’ manners.

                  • Praisehizname says:

                    :)

                    Great thoughts…thanks for your input.

              • Well said, tana. We all need to be pushed out of our comfort zone, so please keep posting. Same to you PHN, I am learning so much from these discussions.

            • Me, too.

  2. Brian O'Brit says:

    This is an example of human rationalization. IMO it makes void a huge number of biblical texts showing that the adversary is a real being. Once again Satan has succeeded at making people think he does not exist. The ultimate deception, Only this time he had done it among Christians.

  3. Dan Haley says:

    Trig- I really love this article. I am currently writing a book on this very topic. It is great to hear from others who hold this view. Thank you.

  4. More food for thought….it’s like a feast :-)

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