DID GOD CREATE
Millions joke about the devil. Famous comedian Flip Wilson's "The devil made me do it" made his audiences laugh. We have "devil's food cake"; "The devil's Punch Bowl," a geological phenomenon; "The Red devils," a college sports team, and a common expression, "Up jumped the devil." All of this pre-supposes the existence of a devil. But is there a devil? If so, where did he come from? Did God create a devil to tempt us?
Here is the truth about Satan; his origin, his present evil work, and his ultimate fate.
by Garner Ted Armstrong [printer-friendly] [pdf format]
"I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven," said Jesus Christ (Luke 10:18). Did He really? Was there a time when Satan was in heaven, but "fell" from his position of power? Was Jesus Christ there to see it?
He said so. Either He was there when Satan was cast down from heaven, or you cannot believe Christ, or your Bible! Like so many other enigmatic scriptures, this statement of Jesus Christ stands or falls depending on the veracity of the Bible itself. Since the Bible IS the divinely-inspired word of God, and since Christ Himself is called the "Word" of God, or the "Spokesman" who did the creating (John 1:1-14), this means that the One of the Divine Family called Elohim who became Jesus Christ was THERE, in person, at the moment when Satan was hurled down to this earth from heaven! Not only does this prove the pre-human existence of Jesus Christ, but it also proves there is a devil, called "Satan," which means "adversary" alive on this earth!
People revel in all things devilish! Hallowe'en, with its demons, witches, goblins, jack-o'-lanterns, black cats, skeletons, and themes of demon possession and death are a yearly reminder of how millions of otherwise nominal "Christians" love to pretend that things connected to the devil are "cute," or "funny," or "scary, but fun!"
Hundreds of television shows and motion pictures glorify evil. Films like "The Exorcist" and many more of the same kind are huge box office successes. Let Hollywood produce films showing chain saw murders or blood-dripping vampires, and the millions flock to pay their money. But movies about solid family values, or about conversion and baptism? Such are not only virtually non-existent, but would be a horrible flop financially.
Everyone knows there is a devil. Always the great masquerader; the great pretender, Satan has managed to deceive people into believing he is merely a capricious imp dressed in a red body stocking, with a barbed tail, little horns and a trident — not, instead, an evil spirit who seeks the death and destruction of the human race and the overthrow of God Himself!
Repeatedly, your Bible warns about Satan the devil. Peter wrote, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
"Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" (1 Peter 5:8, 9). God's people are not to joke, party, cavort, and pretend that the devil is merely "fun." If you were in the deepest part of the Serengeti wilderness in Africa, alone at night, and heard a stalking, hungry lion roaring nearby, you would hardly think it funny!
So thorough are Satan's deceits he has hoodwinked millions of those who THINK they are Christians, but who are, instead, very much a part of this present world. Paul wrote, "...if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Corinthians 4:4). How shocking! Your Bible says the GOD OF THIS WORLD is NOT the true God, but a false god who is Satan the devil!
It would be astonishing to hundreds of millions of believers in hundreds of different religions to discover they were not worshiping the true God at all, but a counterfeit religion, inspired by Satan! The most astonished among them all would be millions of professing Christians who THINK they believe what is written in the Bible, but who have been deceived into believing, in many cases, the exact opposite of what the Bible actually says.
Not only did Paul call the devil "the god of this world," he also said he is "...the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren"; the deceiver of all nations; the tempter; and is characterized by a serpent, a dragon, and the very embodiment of all evil.
But if God is LOVE, and if God wants all men to be saved, then WHY does God allow the devil to deceive the world? WHY does God allow the devil to tempt mankind? Did God place the devil here on earth?
The Perfect Original Creation
In order to understand where the devil came from, when he had originally been a brilliant, beautiful archangel, you must understand what your Bible says about the time long before Adam; the time which the Bible calls "the beginning." Most believe the place to read about the "beginning" is found in Genesis, which means "beginning." Open your Bible to its first page.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light" (Genesis 1:1-3).
Remember, the Bible was not written in English. All the modern languages of Europe; including French, German, Italian, Spanish, and the languages of Scandinavia and of the United States and Britain gradually developed over many centuries, long after the time of Christ.
The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew. The original Hebrew word for "God" is Elohim. Elohim is a PLURAL word, meaning more than one. It is like the words "family," "group," or "assembly." Notice the proof in Genesis: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:26, 27).
Notice that when Elohim came down to view the earth, they saw that it was "without form, and void," or, "vain, waste, chaotic." The Hebrew words are tohu va bohu, which mean vain, empty, and in confusion. The word "was" in the original Hebrew should read became.
The same word is used in Genesis 2:7; 4:3; 9:15, and in Exodus 32:1. It is rendered became or "has become." The expression "And the earth was without form, and void," should read "And the earth BECAME without form, and void." Notice the proof in your own Bible: "For thus saith the LORD [JHVH, "The Eternal" in covenant relationship with Israel] that created the heavens; God [Elohim, meaning more than one] himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [Hebrew: tohu], he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:18). Since He created it NOT tohu and yet the creation account says it was tohu when God looked down upon it, that means it BECAME tohu or empty, chaotic and waste prior to the time of the recreation of the surface of the earth, and the creation of life, revealed in Genesis 1.
There was a much earlier, PERFECT creation! When you and I are ushered upon the scene by the book of Genesis, we see a planet totally covered with water; stygian blackness hid heaving seas. There were no continents visible; no living creatures whatsoever. How did the earth come to be in such confusion? Why was it empty of life, chaotic, covered with thick clouds, with no light penetrating to the surface? The Bible itself proves that God, called Elohim, began the REcreation of the earth; commanding that the clouds be parted so that sunlight could penetrate; commanding the continental land masses to rise above the seas; the tectonic plates heaving and groaning, mammoth forces gouging out great river gorges, creating bays and estuaries, forming huge rivers, and creating thousands of islands. Some have assumed that the earth is only about 6,000 years old. Ignorant men, many hundreds of years ago, even assumed God had "tricked" geologists by "planting" fake "evidence" of fossil life in the rocks. Not knowing the truth revealed in the Bible about a much earlier perfect creation, and ignorant of how the devil came to be, they falsely assumed the earth to be much younger than it really is.
One religious denomination accepted this folly, alleging that the fossils (there are billions of them, of thousands of species) were "created" AS FOSSILS, and did not truly represent an earlier creation. This has been rendered foolish by modern geology, and by radio carbon dating. This earth could easily be four or five billion years old, or even older.
The account in Genesis of the creation of the great whales, all green trees and herbs, and man himself, is an account of the reforming of the earth after a much earlier perfect creation, and a subsequent massive destruction! It is very possible that the age of the dinosaurs actually predated mankind by millions or even billions of years! Contrary to some opinions, the earth as we know it, with its vast coal beds and oil deposits; its continents and oceans, was not created by divine fiat only a mere six thousand years ago, but was created many billions of years earlier.
Now, notice an even earlier account of creation than Genesis, which can be found in your Bible: "In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning "Spokesman"], and the Word was with God [Greek: Theos a plural word, synonymous with Elohim in the Hebrew], and the Word was God [the Logos was Theos].
"The same was in the beginning with God.
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
"He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
"He came unto his own [the Jewish race], and his own received him not.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:1-12).
This obvious reference to Jesus Christ of Nazareth proves that the One who became Christ was the CREATOR of all that is. Not that He was SOLE creator, but He was the Divine SPOKESMAN who said, "Let there be light — let the dry land appear — let US make man in OUR image!" Notice further proof: "God [Theos, meaning more than one], who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:1-3). The creating AGENT was the Logos of Theos who became Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary!
If the churches of this world of nominal Christianity would admit just this one wonderful truth, they would have to abandon many of their most cherished doctrines! For an example, since Jesus Christ is the Logos who WROTE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, and since He says "I change not," and since the Bible says, "Jesus Christ the SAME yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8), then obviously Christ did not come to do away with His laws!
As you read in Isaiah 45:18, the original creation was NOT tohu and bohu, or empty, chaotic, and vain! Instead, it was created to be inhabited! And it WAS inhabited! But by WHOM?
Lucifer's Beautiful Kingdom
There are only three archangels named in the Bible; Lucifer, Michael, and Gabriel.
Each one was given authority over one third of all the countless millions of angels which have been created by God.
When the earth was first created, perhaps five billion years ago, the archangel Lucifer was given sole government over the earth. His name meant "light bringer," or "shining star of the dawn." The meaning of the name carries no connotation of evil, or of fire. Yet, in the American frontier, matches were commonly called "Lucifers," because the name of Lucifer was connected to the fanciful (and pagan) doctrine of an "ever-burning hell fire."
Notice the description of Lucifer's kingdom: "...Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
"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.
"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.
"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [sin! lawlessness!] was found in thee.
"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness..." (Ezekiel 28:12-17). Here, the King of Tyre is a type of Satan the devil. The expression "by the multitude of thy merchandise" means "by the abundance of your merchandising, or trafficking," or going about as a "salesman," with a spiel of sedition and rebellion. In the beginning, Lucifer was perfect in beauty; brilliant of mind, a bright, shining, powerful archangel, with access to the very throne of God.
When the mercy seat of the ancient Ark of the Covenant was built, it was to be overshadowed by two cherubim; powerful angelic creatures who stand by the throne of God. Lucifer was called one of the "covering cherubs" in Ezekiel's account.
Over perhaps millions of years, Lucifer went about as a "salesman," trafficking in his arguments against God. As he wallowed in narcissistic self-pity, lusting for all power; lusting after God's own throne, and dissatisfied with his lesser, yet great role as world ruler, Lucifer convinced all the millions of angels under his charge to follow him in rebellion against God!
In this passage is contained the KEY to understanding where the devil came from! Obviously, God created this great archangel with FREE MORAL AGENCY! He was not an "automaton," going about zombie-like in mindless obedience to God. Instead, he was able to think, reason, and plan. He had the power of volution; of conscience. He could make daily choices, just as we can.
Notice Isaiah's account of Lucifer's rebellion: "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!
"For thou hast said in thine heart [his innermost being -- his private thoughts], I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars [other angels] of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:12-15). Here, the thoughts of Lucifer's mind are revealed. He had a secret agenda! He coveted God's throne! He became bitter, angry, jealous; he desired it all! He began resenting God's position! He told himself he was more beautiful, more gifted, more talented, more deserving than God! Who knows how many thousands, or even millions of years passed as Lucifer wheedled, whined, argued, reasoned, talked, and sought to influence the minds of all the angels under him?
This whole world was like a beautiful Garden of Eden! Most likely, it was populated with billions of creatures — a pre-Adamic world of original beauty, but one which became wholly corrupted!
Geologists know there were mammoth catastrophes in the past; gargantuan upheavals of the rocks, huge floods, glaciers, earthquakes, volcanic explosions, and even meteors, impacting the earth. A current theory for the sudden disappearance of the dinosaurs is that a huge meteor smashed into the earth, so enshrouding it with dust and debris that the sun was blotted out, and all life died suddenly.
For centuries, geologists have puzzled over the "sudden die out" of the dinosaurs and other creatures who walked this earth perhaps billions of years ago. Our coal and oil deposits are "fossil fuel," proof of a lush, verdant, richly-inhabited world of long ago which was BURIED by sudden catastrophes of unimaginable proportion!
Since Lucifer was corrupting his angelic companions, did he also corrupt the animals of the earth? Could he have caused the earth to become overrun with huge carnivores, who were preying on other species? Why, since Lucifer is pictured as a "serpent," and a "dragon" in the Bible, were so many of the dinosaurs possessed of serpentine heads, and dragon-like bodies?
Did God endow Lucifer with limited creative powers? Probably not, but yet, IF Lucifer's angels possessed animals, and if such possession caused not only "selective breeding" among the dinosaurs, but the increasing tendency for death and destruction (i.e., becoming flesh eaters rather than herbivores), such a scenario would perhaps answer a few questions.
Probably, the answers to these and other like questions will not be given until the Kingdom of God is established on this earth, and God reveals to human minds the mysteries of the billions of years prior to Adam's creation. However, certain clues give indications. For one thing, God IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION (1 Corinthians 14:33). Yet, the world was in total confusion; the continents sunken beneath raging seas; thick, impenetrable clouds blotting out the sun, when the creation week, which was the REforming, the REcreation of the earth, took place.
It is futile to attempt to know the unknowable, so exactly how the dinosaurs died, and, more importantly, WHY, may remain a mystery. One thing is sure, that pre-Adamic creation, which may have existed on earth for billions of years, was destroyed; BURIED, in some cases suddenly, and forms the huge reservoirs of crude oil, and the vast coal deposits which lie beneath the rocks today. For centuries, mankind has utilized these fossil fuels for his machines.
The Original "STAR WARS"
Finally, after a vast period of time, Lucifer was ready. Having now completely convinced his angels that they should follow him in his war against God, he attempted to mount up a huge angelic army, and overthrow God!
Probably, he convinced himself that Michael and Gabriel would also follow him. He was doomed to bitter disappointment.
Notice, "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
"And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
"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" (Revelation 12:7-9). Actually, this prophecy concerns a yet FUTURE attempt by Satan and his demons to conquer God! The time setting is after the birth of Christ (Revelation 12:4), and at the time of the "Great Tribulation" to come upon God's people, the House of Israel and the House of Judah.
Remember, Jesus Christ said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven!" (Luke 10:18). Christ was THERE, in His pre-human state, even as He said to the Pharisees, "Before Abraham was, I AM." Remember what you read in Isaiah 14:13, Satan's innermost plan was, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars [angels] of God."
In an earlier "star wars," Lucifer attempted just that!
What IS a "war in heaven"? Merely an exchanging of words? A clash of wills? Look at the EVIDENCE in our universe, and in our own galaxy and solar system. What do you see?
Look at the lifeless, pockmarked, airless, waterless face of our moon. Even a 10 power pair of binoculars shows many of the huge meteor craters, some of them over one hundred miles across! Look at the poisonous atmosphere of Jupiter, or the thick clouds obscuring Venus, or the rings around Saturn. Look at the lifeless, rocky, empty face of Mars.
Then, consider the billions of pieces of space junk and debris. Every day, thousands of these pieces come hurtling into the earth's atmosphere, the vast majority of them burning up and turning to dust as friction destroys them, others landing on earth as meteorites.
Consider the many comets, including several which have been discovered in fairly recent times, which are in a vast orbit around our small dwarf star we call the sun.
Except for our beautiful blue-green planet, the solar neighborhood testifies to gigantic explosions, hurtling meteors, misshapen moons (as are many of the moons around other planets), and shattered shards of metallic remnants, sometimes blazing in light as they perish in the thick mantle of air protecting our earth. We see wreckage — debris — the evidence of titanic explosions and collisions in space!
Our earth presents proof of such massive, destructive forces acting upon it in the past.
The Bible itself begins with the earth completely covered by a global flood! One must not assume tidal action was suspended all during the indeterminate period when all the continents were covered with water. Geologic evidence of island and mountain building, both from coral polyps and from volcanic action, tend to indicate that there may have been any number of emergences and submergences of the tectonic plates over a vast period of time.
Consider the Alps, the Rocky Mountains, the towering Andes — all contain fossil shells which prove such lofty heights were once shallow sea beds.
Once God had recreated the surface of the planet, and created Adam and Eve, what happened next? Where was Lucifer during all the interminable years following his rebellion, and his abortive attempt to overthrow God? He was here on this earth, together with his fallen angels (demons), seeing not a single mountain top nor a single continent. When Jesus cast out a demon, he warned that if the person thus relieved of possession did not become converted, and become filled with God's Holy Spirit, the demon, who would wander in "dry places, seeking rest," would take seven more evil than himself, and, finding the original person's mind "cleaned and swept," enter in to him again, so that the man's last state would be worse then his first.
During the period from the destruction of the solar system, and the destruction of all pre-Adamic life on earth by the flood which is revealed in Genesis 1, Satan and his demons could see a harbinger of their ultimate fate. Peter's second letter explains this, as we shall see later.
Satan, The "Whispering Enchanter"
From the beginning of the Bible, God's word tells us of a devil who was here on this earth; an "adversary" who attempted to destroy mankind, and cause his death.
Here is the biblical account: "Now the serpent [Hebrew: Nachash]was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
"And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
"But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
"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.
"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
"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.
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
"And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
"And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
"And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
"And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
"And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent [Nachash] beguiled me, and I did eat.
"And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:1-15).
The Hebrew word nachash does not connote a snake. Translators assumed, since God said that the nashash was cursed to go upon his belly from that day forth, that it was a snake which appeared to Eve. Traditional pictures and myths show a serpent entwined around a tree with the two progenitors of mankind standing there with an apple.
But the larynx of a man's throat is not really his "Adam's apple;" there is no proof the forbidden fruit was an apple or any known fruit today, and the "beast of the field" the nachash which appeared to Eve was not a snake.
Remember, Satan is called a "cherub"; a fallen archangel, who was right next to God's throne! What is a cherub? How do they appear?
Traditional church art displays little naked babies with tiny wings, like the mythological "Cupid," as cherubic. A baby is said to have "cherubic" cheeks and visage. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Read the entire first and tenth chapters of Ezekiel for a complete description of cherubim. Here are the essential verses: "Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
"And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
"And their feet were straight feet [as hoofs]; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
"And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
"Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
"As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle" (Ezekiel 1:5-10).
Eve was not startled or terrified when a creature looking like this — standing upright, with four faces and four wings — spoke to her. She had no previous frame of reference.
When God drove Adam and Eve from the garden, He placed cherubim with flaming swords to "keep the way to the tree of life." In the ensuing years prior to the flood, there were no doubt any number of human encounters with these creatures, who were tasked with frightening away any who would assay to enter into the Garden of Eden. The Bible says, "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24).
One-sixth of all human history passed prior to the flood of Noah's time; one thousand years. Ancient civilizations are replete with various monuments, sculptures and icons which represent the ancient's knowledge of the different aspects of cherubim. The famous Sphinx of Egypt, guarding the pyramids, features the head of a man and the body of a lion. The "winged bulls of Bashan" as well as the huge man-headed, winged oxen of Babylon's gates attest to the fact that ancient man worshiped "the host of heaven."
A "winged flying serpent" was universally worshiped, and was the principal "god" of the Aztecs, who called him Quetzalcoatl, Quetzal meaning bird, and coatl meaning serpent. The serpent head festoons dozens of the major monuments of the Aztecs in Mexico and central America.
It was a large, awesome creature which approached Eve, not a little serpent entwined around a tree. Nachash does not connote aspect, but character. True to his "trafficking" in self-pity, jealousy and resentment toward God, the "whispering enchanter" who was more "subtle" than the other creatures, told Eve the first great lie, which he has perpetuated ever since.
He told her she would NOT "surely die," implying that she would live forever! The doctrine of the "immortality of the soul" finds its roots in this first big lie.
Prior to Satan's lies, Adam and Eve were perfectly innocent. They were unaware of any evil; anything "dirty" or "nasty" about the human procreative organs, or nakedness. But since Satan enticed them to know "good and evil" they now felt guilty and ashamed! Suddenly, that which had been accepted as natural, normal, and good, carried "evil" connotations!
They covered themselves, and, ashamed, guilty and afraid, hid themselves from God!
For centuries, man has wondered why God "hides Himself;" why God is invisible; why we cannot see Him! But when Moses went up into the mount to receive the law, the people said, "Let not God speak to us," and fled far away! It is man who hides from God, just as did Adam and Eve, not the other way around. Isaiah says, "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1, 2).
Human nature is described as automatically rebellious against God's law. Paul wrote, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). Sin is the "transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). Adam and Eve broke FOUR of the Ten Commandments when they sinned. James, Christ's brother, said if we break one point, we have broken them all! (James 2:10). Adam and Eve lusted after the forbidden fruit, which is coveting, thus they broke the tenth Commandment. They dishonored their only Parent, who was God. They stole that which was not theirs! Your Bible says "covetousness is idolatry," so they broke the second Commandment, as well!
Adam and Eve had the power of decision-making. They could choose either to obey God, or to disobey. They had volition; free moral agency!
So did Lucifer! As we read, Lucifer was perfect in his ways until INIQUITY (lawlessness; rebellion against God) was "found in him." We are not told how long it took for Lucifer to become embittered, and to "traffic" among his cohorts; the angels under his care, in order to corrupt them.
But eventually he did so, and attempted to mount up and displace God! But Lucifer and his angels were cast back down to this earth in the midst of a mind-boggling, gargantuan "war in space" which resulted in the wreckage we see in the heavens, and the destruction of this earth described in Genesis 1.
How Christ Witnessed To The Fallen Angels
Believe it or not, there are any number of the nominal Christian churches which believe Jesus Christ was not really dead during His three days and three nights in the tomb. They believe He was ALIVE, but in "HELL" witnessing to; taunting, "departed souls!"
Their terrible error is based upon Peter's statement: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
"By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
"Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
"Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him" (1 Peter 3:18-23). Who were these "spirits in prison"?
Where were they? WHEN did Christ witness to them, and about what?
Read the passage carefully. Christ, "by the Spirit" preached, witnessed, testified to SPIRITS, who were fallen angels, kept "in prison" on this earth.
WHEN did Christ do this? "WHEN once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing!"
As we have read, Satan and his demons were hurled down to this earth — their "place found no more in heaven." There is a Greek word, Tartarus, used only once in the Bible, found in 2 Peter 2:4, which means "prison, or place of restraint." It is used in the same context. Notice,
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned [Lucifer's angels, who followed him in his rebellion], but cast them down to hell [Greek: Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
"And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
"(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2 Peter 2:4-9).
Peter was saying to the church that they should take heart, and have faith that every misdeed would be repaid. He said "IF God spared not even sinning angels, then surely, since he delivered Lot, He is able to deliver the godly out of temptations!"
The word "hell" in the New Testament is nearly always from the Greek word hades, which means, simply, "the grave." Hades connotes no infernal regions; carried no remote connotation of fire, or eternity, but means a grave, or a hole in the ground! The second most common word translated "hell" comes from "Gehenna," which derives from "Hinnom," the name of a family who owned a parcel of land in a deep valley adjacent to Jerusalem. In ancient times, a perpetual fire burned there, like the unsanitary garbage dumps of many smaller cities, into which refuse, and even the bodies of criminals or animals were thrown.
Because of this practice, the valley of Hinnom, or Geena, called Gehenna came to be used metaphorically for a BURNING "hell fire" which would DESTROY the bodies of the wicked who were thrown into it. Your Bible says, "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
"And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts" (Malachi 4:1-3). Of course! When bodies were thrown into Gehenna, they were burnt up; they were reduced to ashes, just as in a crematorium! Your Bible does not reveal an ever-burning "hell fire" into which living "souls" are cast, and which burns, and burns, and burns forever! Instead, Christ said the wicked are to be DESTROYED in Gehenna fire — burnt up — reduced to ashes!
As you have read, the primordial battle between Lucifer and his angels resulted in them being hurled back down to this earth! From that time on, they have been forced, by the power of God, to remain in this earth's atmosphere; in a condition of restraint! The Greek word Tartarus indicates this restraining, and is rendered "spirits in prison."
But a judgement day is coming, even for Satan and his angels!
As Paul wrote, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:3).
Now, think over what you have read. Since Christ witnessed to Satan and his demons DURING THE TIME OF THE FLOOD, He must have chosen to do so for a very important reason! That reason is revealed by Peter! Notice, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
"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 [they argue that things continue in "cycles," without God's intervention],
"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:
"Whereby the world that then was [populated by perhaps billions of human beings and animals], being overflowed with water, perished [the Noachian deluge destroyed the entire earth and all life upon it with water]:
"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.
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved [by GEHENNA FIRE!], what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:3-12).
The flood of Noah's time was a TYPE of the coming destruction of earth by fire! Then, the tectonic plates of the earth were compressed just enough to permit the waters of the oceans and subterranean rocks (the "fountains of the deep") to overflow the continents, drowning all of mankind save eight people, safe in the ark.
But in the coming destruction by fire, God will not only utilize heavenly fire, just as He did in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but will very likely cause vast magmatic extrusions to overflow the continents — the molten, super-hot layer of melted rock beneath the continents and oceans — thus completely destroying the seas, and all land masses!
Even as Lucifer and his angels were there when God brought the flood upon a sinning, beastly, predatory, evil world, and even as Christ Himself witnessed to them about an impending future destruction by fire, so will Satan and his demons be present here on this earth to see all they have labored, planned and fought for burnt to ashes!
Now, notice the truth about Satan's ultimate fate:
When Jesus Christ comes back to this earth, the fires of Gehenna will be reignited! They will begin to burn then, and will continue to burn throughout the millennium! Notice the proof: "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:19-20).
What HAPPENS to them when they are cast alive into a lake of fire? They are BURNT UP! So says your Bible, and so says science, common sense, and logic.
In the types and antitypes of Satan found in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, further light is shed on the fate of the modern "King of Babylon," who is the BEAST, in collusion with the great False Prophet, who attempt to fight Christ (Revelation 17:12-14), and are cast into Gehenna fire. Notice, "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [Hebrew: Sheol the grave], to the sides of the pit.
"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;
"That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
"All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
"But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
"Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned" (Isaiah 14:15-20).
Remember what happened to the strutting, proud, arrogant dictator of Italy, Mussolini?
When partisans shot him, his body was hung from the parapet of a gas station in public, where thousands of his former worshipers spat on it, stoned it, pummeled it until hardly a bone in the body remained intact!
In like fashion, the prophecies indicate that, like the bodies of criminals in the past, the bodies of the Beast and the False Prophet may repose for a time in the "sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:15), breeding maggots, before being finally consumed by the flames. Now, look at Ezekiel 28 once more: "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: [here the type of the Prince of Tyre reverts from Satan to the human prince which is a type of the Beast] I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
"Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
"All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more" (Ezekiel 28:16-19).
WHEN are the Beast and the false prophet thrown into Gehenna; the valley next to Jerusalem, which will be ignited? By Christ Himself, at His second coming!
As we read: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20).
Now, notice what happens to Satan and his demons during the one thousand year reign of Christ on earth: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
"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" (Revelation 20:1-3).
Now, notice what occurs when the devil is loosed following the thousand years: "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
"And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are [this word is not in the original. The italicized word is added, and should read "were cast"], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:8-10).
"Gog and Magog" can read "Jaj and Majaj," and, while some scholars believe Gog to be Russia, and Magog to be Mongolia and China, it is more likely the names are used to describe the incorrigibly wicked; human beings all over the earth, who, even after one thousand years of Christ's rule, will follow Satan's deceptions, and attempt once more to overthrow God.
Now, remember WHEN the Beast and false prophet were cast into Gehenna fire! They are to be cast in at the time of the second coming of Christ (Revelation 19:11-21). And what HAPPENS to human beings who are cast into a pit filled with fire? They are burned UP (Malachi 4:1-3). They are reduced to ashes!
Now, remember what you have learned about the ultimate fate of this planet! "...the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
Following his final abortive attempt to conquer God, Satan and his demons are to be cast into a lake of fire — the same Gehenna fire where the Beast and the false prophet WERE CAST, one thousand years earlier! But this time, following the Great White Throne Judgement day, the earth itself will be consumed! "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books [Greek: Biblos, meaning the books of the Bible], according to their works.
"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [Hades, the grave] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
"And death and hell [hades, the grave] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:12-15). Read the entire twentieth chapter of Revelation, and continue on through the final two chapters of the Bible. This destruction of the earth by fire occurs AFTER the millennial reign of Christ; AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement day, which ensues for an additional one hundred years (Isaiah 65:20, 21).
Following the very melting of the "elements with fervent heat"; the probable extrusion of the molten layer of magma beneath the mantle of the earth, God says, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (Revelation 21:1). Our oceans are vitally important for the existence of human and animal life on earth. Without them, no fleshly life; no fishes, no insects, no air-breathing, food-eating, water-drinking creatures can live.
The NEW earth will now become the headquarters of Christ AND God the Father! Notice, "And 1 John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new" (Revelation 21:2-5).
Thus will conclude the FIRST GREAT PHASE of God's plan, announced by the Logos who became Christ, at the creation of Adam! They said, "Let US make MAN IN OUR IMAGE!"
But creation was not completed in the Garden of Eden — it was only begun!
First, God made man in God's physical image. God is revealed as having the form and shape of human kind! Moses was allowed to see His hind parts (Exodus 33:18-23). Christ said "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." God is described as having eyes, arms and legs. Christ is described in Revelation 1:12-16 from head to foot.
Next, through His wondrous plan of salvation, God planned to REDEEM man from sin; save him from the clutches of Satan and his powerful temptations, and through the process of spiritual growth and overcoming, create in God's own image, SPIRITUALLY!
Man was but a human, physical prototype. The "new Creature in Christ" is to become a NEW SPIRIT BEING (1 Corinthians 15:35-52).
The god of this present God-rejecting, commandment-breaking evil world is Satan the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is called the "Prince of the power of the air" who works in rebellious, disobedient people (Ephesians 2:2). When Christ was fasting for 40 days and nights, Satan continually tempted him, trying to cause Christ to fail in His mission. But finally, Christ gave a command, "GET THEE HENCE, SATAN!" and the devil had to obey!
Satan is pictured as the "Lord of the Dead," in Hallowe'en mythology; Samhain, or the "Shaman" of the Druids and many other religious cults. As the first great sinner; the first great liar (John 8:44), Satan was the first cause of DEATH on this earth.
Christ came for many reasons, among them to conquer the present evil world ruler, thus conquering DEATH as well as conquering SIN! Christ "condemned sin in the flesh" by proving that a human being, with God's Holy Spirit, can OVERCOME SIN!
Presently, Satan has been DISQUALIFIED, but not yet removed!
As Paul wrote, "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
"For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).
This is why "death and the grave" are pictured as being "cast into the lake of fire," metaphorically abolishing death and the grave forever!
Since Christ conquered Satan, He commands His people to "RESIST the devil, and he will flee from you!" (James 4:7). John wrote, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you [Christ!], than he that is in the world [Satan].
What, then, is Satan's ultimate fate? First, Satan will see Christ's prophecies delivered during the flood — that the flood was a type of a yet future destruction of the world by fire — come true! Following his final futile attempt to conquer God, the great Gehenna fire of the last day will envelope the whole world!
The "world and the works therein" shall be BURNT UP!
But Satan is impervious to fire. He and his demons are spirit beings; a fallen archangel and fallen angels under his sway, who will see everything they have worked for; every evil, twisted, perverted, plan utterly destroyed!
Now, notice carefully the wording of God's statement concerning Satan's final fate: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [were cast].., and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).
This verse is describing TWO THINGS happening. One: the devil is cast into the same Gehenna fire where the Beast and the False Prophet were cast over one thousand years earlier:
Two: Satan will be "tormented day and night for ever and ever!"
Obviously he is not tormented IN THE FIRE for ever, for the fire finally ceases to burn when the surface of the earth has been changed; when there "is no more sea," and when the "new heavens and new earth" are created!
A powerful clue to Satan's ultimate fate is contained in Jude's short letter, as he describes the demon-influenced men who deliberately infiltrate God's church; evil men of no conscience, who have the very nature of Satan. Here is much of that short book, with commentary: "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
"For there are certain men crept in unawares [they do so deliberately!], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness ["license," permissiveness], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation [the demons who followed Satan in his rebellion], he hath reserved in everlasting chains [Tartaroo, or "the place of restraint"] under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire [fire from God: however, the fires are not still burning. When Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed, the fires having consumed all combustible materials, they died out, as all fires do].
"Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
"But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
"These are spots in your feasts of charity ["love feasts," usually for the poor, but including God's Feasts] , when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
"Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever" (Jude 3-13).
Satan has deceived the Christian-professing world into believing mankind possesses an "immortal soul" which can never die, but which must go either to heaven or an ever burning hell fire upon death! Yet, Satan himself is an immortal spirit, who TRIED and will yet try, to get to heaven, and who will, instead, be consigned to ETERNAL PUNISHING!
The Bible frequently uses stars as symbols for angels (Revelation 1:20). "Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever," without doubt refers to Satan and his demons, whose false doctrines will come to pass upon themselves!
Satan is keenly, brilliantly intelligent! Yet, his intelligence is perverted by rebellion against God! He has a keen MEMORY!
Satan and his evil demons are to be cast far, far away into the universe — perhaps in a "black hole" somewhere, without the possibility of seeing even the tiniest pinprick of light — the light given off by a distant star! There, they will "wander in the blackness of darkness forever," bitterly accusing one another, arguing, blaming, hating!
The HORROR of such unrelenting mental torment is Satan's ultimate fate!
God Did Not Create A Devil
God did not create a devil. Instead, He created a beautiful, powerful archangel, Lucifer, and placed him upon this earth. Lucifer was WORLD RULER long, long prior to the destruction of this earth before Adam's time.
But he became corrupted with a sense of personal beauty (narcissism) and power, and began to envy God! He attempted to overthrow God, and was himself overthrown, hurled back down to this earth!
He destroyed the earth, and the solar neighborhood, if not more of the universe, in the original "star wars," the evidence of which is there to see today.
He was THERE in the Garden of Eden to cause the first sin. He tried to overthrow righteous Job, murdering his family and his servants. He was there at the birth of Christ, causing Herod to murder thousands of babies up to two years of age. He was there to try to overthrow Christ in the temptation on the mount. He entered personally into Judas, causing Christ to be killed. He has persecuted God's church, and is called "the accuser of the brethren" who "accuses them day and night" before God!
He will personally enter into the great false prophet, who will murder tens of thousands of God's people in the tribulation.
Like you and I, Lucifer was created with FREE MORAL AGENCY! He was able to CHOOSE which way he would go. He BECAME a devil; an adversary; an opponent who is "ANTI-Christ" by continually making wrong choices!
The devil is self-made! He created himself!
By CHOOSING to rebel against God and His government, Lucifer became, instead of the beautiful "cherub that covereth," a hideous "dragon," as a perpetual adversary against God!
All who CHOOSE to follow Satan and his ways — the ways of this evil world — will be burnt up in Gehenna fire, as the devil himself and his demons watch! Even as Satan left Judas once he had used him for his evil purposes, and Judas, overcome with fear and self revulsion committed suicide, so will all those who allow Satan to use them find themselves betrayed by their evil mentor, and left to suffer their own terrible fate!
Your only protection from the present evil world ruler is by the power and Spirit of God! Jesus cries out today, as He did when He first came to our earth, "REPENT ye, and believe the good news." If you have not yet read it, please write or call immediately for my free booklet, "The GOSPEL, A Message For The Next Millennium!" q
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