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Satan: Vindictive Accuser
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     Today, there are different beliefs about Satan the devil. For example, some say Satan is not real, but rather allegorical or vision oriented only, based upon symbolic Semitic language. Alternatively, some believe Satan is a female spirit. Some even say demons are not real but come from Babylonian concepts. Are any of these teachings correct?
     What does the Bible say? Can we find an evil spirit being in Scripture? What is this spirit up to and what is his history? Maybe more importantly, what is he doing now and what will be his future?
The Scripture Speaks
     We believe that the Bible clearly teaches Satan is a real spirit entity which turned against Yahweh.
     Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our Elohim and the authority of His Messiah have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our Elohim day and night,” Revelation 12:10 (NASB used throughout).
     It may be for some of us that it often slips our mind that Satan is actually going before Yahweh, accusing us, not just once in a while, but day and night. The Strong’s Concordance says the word “accuses” means “to condemn or accuse mainly in a legal sense.”
     It’s the same word that’s used for the Pharisees trying to accuse Yahshua of breaking their laws. Not the laws of Yahweh, mind you, but their added oral laws, as if they were the Law Giver.
     There are a lot of attributes that we can see in them which are directly related to Satan. Is it any wonder that Yahshua said their father was the devil?
     You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies, John 8:44.
     This, in itself, proves Satan isn't a female. The word “father” is the translation of the Greek “pater,” Strong’s number 3962, meaning “a father.”
     As mentioned, there are some people who think Satan doesn’t even exist, let alone standing as an adversary and accuser of the brethren.
     Someone recently was questioning this, and wondered if allusions to Satan couldn’t be speaking of something else figuratively, and not an actual devil.
     Keep in mind, one of Satan’s attributes is that he is a deceiver.
The Serpent Deceiver
     Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which Yahweh Elohim had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has Elohim said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’” Genesis 3:1.
     Notice that the serpent is using a tried and true way of deception - to cause doubt about the truth or about someone’s character, for the purpose of turning someone away.
     Some of us have personally witnessed men who come up with false doctrines and then started presenting questions about the ones they knew were against their so-called new truth. It wasn’t new at all, but their tactic in trying to draw others to them (and their teaching) was to accuse and to openly question the intent of others. Satan can move among people and cause trouble for the work of Yahweh.
     It should be noted that when we put ourselves in a position of accusing others of ill will or intent before everyone, especially to try to gain advantage over others, we are putting ourselves in Satan’s shoes, figuratively speaking. And speaking in a figurative language, is Satan really a serpent?
     While Satan can even appear as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), this shape shifter, no doubt, can appear as a slithering serpent. We can confirm in the New Testament that this is indeed who is being spoken of here in the Garden of Eden, the one who deceived Eve.
An Angel of Light
     In 2 Corinthians 11:3–4, Paul writes,
     But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Messiah. For if one comes and preaches another Yahshua whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different evangel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
     While this acknowledges that the Apostle Paul knew of the serpent in Scripture, we have to go down to verse 14 to see Satan in context, which says, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
The Apostle John gets a vision from heaven in which he sees, and it is clarified, that Satan is "the serpent of old."
     Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, Revelation 20:1–2.
     The serpent, also referred to as a dragon, is identified as Satan (adversary) the devil (false accuser). When looking at other areas of the Old Testament, we see that there are times in which it appears Satan is working behind the scenes.
Satan Volunteers to Deceive
     Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of Yahweh. I saw Yahweh sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. Yahweh said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and stood before Yahweh and said, ‘I will entice him.’ Yahweh said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so,’" 1 Kings 22:19–22.
     This spirit being, possibly the adversary (Hebrew: hashatan), volunteers to entice and deceive.
Satan Plays on David’s Weakness
     While this area of Scripture might be questionable, as to if it was actually Satan, the following is not:
     Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” Joab said, “May Yahweh add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, my Master the king, are they not all my Master’s servants? Why does my Master seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” (1 Chronicles 21:1–3).
     Satan moved David to count Israel. Did Satan do this without permission? If we consider the communication we see between Yahweh and Satan about Job, which we'll look at shortly, we can surmise that Satan has to have permission to do anything he does.
     In this situation, Satan must have observed that one of David’s weaknesses was “pride.” Yes, David was known to have been mostly humble and even a man after Yahweh's own heart. But, a common problem among those who gain great authority is that they can grow prideful.
     It was something that Satan evidently could work on and influence to even a greater extent in David. Maybe he made David think about the great armies of Israel and how they were a number to be reckoned with. But, to clarify that number, he would have to have them counted.
     Joab must have seen how pride was shown in David’s countenance or in the way he asked, because Joab knew what he was up to and tried to stop him. Yet, David was bullheaded in this moment of weakness and went forward with the count. He was punished severely for it.
So, why would Yahweh allow such things? Why is Satan allowed to roam the earth and cause the problems he’s causing? Yahweh is allowing us to be tested and tried to see how we will react; it is done to prepare people to understand their own weaknesses and to see the strength and perfection in Yahweh’s ways.
     Ultimately, Yahweh is a merciful El and will not allow things to continue, but will restore this world and the universe and all of creation back to perfection as a renewed heaven and a renewed earth.
     Even in our troubles, He restores us and helps us to prevail. But there is no question we are going to have fiery trials at times. And in many of the situations, Satan is most likely accusing us before Yahweh in how we deal with them or how he thinks we’ll deal with them. Whether truthfully or falsely, we must realize that this spirit being is real and we are in a fight for our lives spiritually.
Don't Be Unaware!
     We are at risk of such things as inflated pride in our own personal lives. We must stand firm in the truth of Yahweh and in His Spirit to overcome. We also have other examples we can learn from.
     Now there was a day when the sons of Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came among them. Yahweh said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered Yahweh and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing Elohim and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered Yahweh, “Does Job fear Elohim for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Then Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of Yahweh, Job 1:6–12.
     Here we see a false accusation, one that Job proves wrong. He didn’t curse Yahweh, even though he lost just about everything, including family and wealth in animals and possessions.
     I personally know of one couple who went through something similar. With the exception of their family not being harmed, they lost job, cars, and house, in one quick strike. It was immediately after they were immersed into Yahshua’s Name. Their situation was also a little different than Job’s in that they did curse Yahweh. They basically said, "We are NOT going to serve Yahweh Who allowed such trouble to come upon us." Satan is described, and rightfully so, as a lion on the prowl, desiring to devour those whom he can. And new believers are in his sights. Make no mistake about it.
     The couple could have overcome; they were not given more than they could handle. That is Yahweh's promise. They still had family to fall back on; there was a reason Yahweh allowed them to be attacked as they were. It was to test them. I’m pretty sure it was to see if they loved Yahweh and Yahshua more than their physical wealth, but there may have been something else. All we really know is that Satan can ask permission to go after us at times.
     We have to accept Yahweh’s will no matter what our situation is. We can’t just give up. Oh, we can, but we are throwing eternal life away ifwedo.Wearetostandfirmin Messiah Yahshua, and be obedient, even unto death, as He was. We also see that Job, being just a man with his will to do what was right in Yahweh’s sight, overcame Satan’s attacks and vindictive accusations. Satan hates those that love Yahweh, so don’t be surprised if it feels like you’re being attacked at times. The reality is that it could very well be the case. Our defense is to rely on Yahweh and resist Satan (James 4:7) as he tries to influence or attack us.
Rely on a Higher Power
     In all of it, we will learn a lesson of who we are and build character and strength of integrity, if we allow Yahweh’s Spirit to rule in our lives, doing His will and obeying His Word.
     Satan answered Yahweh and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” So Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” Then Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head, Job 2:4–7.
     Through the book of Job, we see Satan getting permission to attack him. In the end we see Job had everything restored to him, double. He grew as an individual and realized that he did have some self righteousness about himself.
     When prompted to curse Yahweh, he didn’t do it. He didn’t willfully rebel or sin against Yahweh. Like Job, we’re not perfect, but we can overcome and do what is right even if Satan accuses us, saying, "They won’t do what is right; they will give up and curse You!"
     Satan’s ways of trying to get more to fall will no doubt work, as testing will be allowed at times, and at times failure will result. However, we are to resist Satan and not rely on ourselves, but on Yahweh through His Son. Everything else is futility and a following in Satan's footsteps.
Satan's Fall
     Here we see an allusion and description of Satan and his own history through the King of Babylon and his history. Isaiah 14:12 gives us insight into what has happened:
     How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!
     Originally, named in Hebrew “Helel,” meaning, “son of dawn” or “bringer of light” (in Latin: Lucifer), this winged cherub was quite the created spirit being. Evidently, he was a delight to look at.
In the following we get an allusion of Satan and his glory (described through the king of Tyre) before his fall.
     Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, "Thus says Yahweh Elohim, You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of Elohim; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of Elohim; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you,” Ezekiel 28:12–15.
     What happened to Satan? What went wrong? We’re told that he became proud, arrogant, resentful, and covetous, desiring and trying to take over the position of Yahweh as the Almighty.
     But you said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of Elohim, and I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High," Isaiah 14:13–14.
     Satan wanted Yahweh’s throne. It's been suggested that he knew what Yahweh was planning with mankind, that men and women would eventually become able to sit on a throne and rule in Yahweh’s kingdom. We don’t know for sure, it's just speculation, but if that is the case, he most likely could have used it to convince a third of the angels that they were getting a raw deal and to follow him.
     There is another Old Testament area in which we find Satan the devil mentioned. He’s standing to accuse Joshua, the high priest. It appears that Yahshua (now, our Heavenly High Priest) is in His pre-existent state and rebukes the devil.
     Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, Yahweh Who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the Angel, Zechariah 3:1–3.
     It’s interesting that it says Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, Satan.” In other words, if we're reading this correctly, the Angel of Yahweh was named Yahweh, which gets back to the preexistence of Yahshua the Messiah.
     While we understand there is a spirit being who is referred to as an adversary and accuser, we know the history, as presented, that this spirit being, once a high ranking cherub, convinced a third of the angelic realm to follow him in defiance of Yahweh.
Different Positions and Strengths
     These angels are not all the same in scope and power as some are very strong and are given reign over territories.
     Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your Elohim, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:12–13.
     Michael is clearly identified as an archangel in the book of Jude. This is a powerful Spirit being who even fought with Satan himself, which is revealed to us in the book of Revelation.
     As we have seen Satan de-scribed as the king of Tyre or king of Babylon, we find that even the other fallen angelic beings are sometimes referred with such a description as a prince. The prince of Persia resisted and battled an angelic being for 21 days. The prince of Greece is another fallen angel which is found in the same chapter, Daniel chapter 10.
     Even Satan is referred to as "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), transmitting his evil influence around the world. Satan is also referred to as a king over the fallen angels.
     They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon, Revelation 9:11.
     Described in character as a destroyer now, but originally a bringer of light, called and named, Helel or even Shakar in the Hebrew. It’s appropriate to call him Satan and also the devil.
     Are any of these proper nouns? Does it even matter? Does evil need a name? While the lack of a proper noun does not negate an individual’s existence, sinning against Yahweh certainly can.
Fate of Defiant Sinners
     So what happens when one is in the Light, but then turns on Yahweh and His ways?
     The end result for all who do so is death, irreversible and eternal. Any name or attribute given will be forgotten, as the existence of the being will cease to exist.
     Satan the vindictive accuser tells lies, like "you won’t surely die,” Gen. 3:4; John 8:44. Yahshua knows the devil’s fate. We are confident that He is telling the truth.
     Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels,” Matthew 25:41. (See our mini-study Helfire: Destiny of the Unsaved?)
     There are eternal consequences for our actions. What we do with what we know does matter. Time is short; let’s be about our Father’s business, and also let’s not be unaware of the Devil who is out to destroy whom he can.
     Don’t give Satan a foothold or allow him to vindictively accuse you of being negligent with Yahweh’s Word and His Spirit in your own life.
     One last thought, we should consider, which may help us when going through difficulties. Going back to the book of Job, considered by most scholars to be the oldest written book of Scripture and certainly before the prophets of Yahweh, we have an interesting comment from Job:
     Can mankind be just before Eloah? Can a man be pure before his Maker? He puts no trust even in His servants; and against His angels He charges error, Job 4:17–18.
     Is Job describing humans in verse 17 and then angelic beings in verse 18? Did Job have any idea that he may have been under attack by Satan or fallen angels? It could be. Nevertheless, we have a better understanding today of what is happening, and why the world is suffering as it is. We can bear up under pressure and stress, knowing these things.
     Knowledge, in this case, is power. But the greatest Power we need to tap into for help and comfort in overcoming the world and the evil in it, is Yahweh’s Spirit dwelling within us. It’s there to help us. In Messiah, we have victory, if we stay faithful and not lose heart.
     Finally, be strong in the Master and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of Elohim, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of Elohim, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE EVANGEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the Word of Yahweh. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, Ephesians 6:10–18.
-Elder David Brett

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