Friday, September 26, 2008

Will The Real Satan Please Stand Up?

This is a comment I made on MennoDiscuss about the use of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 being about Satan, or about the Kings of Babylon and Tyre, as stated in the texts.

I believe that the Ezekiel passage and the Isaiah passage do NOT speak about Satan. At most, they speak about two individual spiritual powers behind the thrones of Tyre and Babylon, but not Satan himself. But they might also just be using poetic language for the kings themselves, but I personally think spiritual powers, such as Daniel speaks of when he talks about the Prince of Persia. Each nation has its own power/angel leading it, and God holds them responsible for the actions of their people.

I think that Satan is not spoken of here, not only because there is inadequate evidence, but because in Revelation 12 Satan is spoken of as fallen after the birth of Jesus and in Luke 10 Satan is spoken of as falling at that time (although I think that the "falling" in Luke 10 is speaking of a defeat in battle, while Rev 12 is speaking of a more ultimate defeat after Jesus' death and resurrection).

Another point about Satan that is often not made: "Satan" is not a name, but a title of a position. It means "accuser" and it speaks of one who is a prosecutor in the court of law. This is how it is clearly used in Zechariah 2, but also in Job 1-2. He is also the judge who sends his evil spirits to attack the guilty. All this is done with God's permission. But Satan finally stepped over the line when he attacked and judged Jesus, an innocent man and God's Son. So he was thrown out of heaven, having lost his approval from God.

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