HAS THE DEVIL BEEN DESTROYED?
THE BRAZEN SERPENT
SATAN THE ADVERSARY
HAVE OLD THINGS PASSED AWAY?
THE LAW OF TRANSFORMATION
Something has been going through the network of Christendom for a long time that has caused people to look to images for deliverance rather than to God who can truly save them. One reason for this is found written by Paul to the Corinthians: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor 11:3).
Unknown to most, there is a serpent, the devil, Satan involved that influences the mind of the whole world (Rev 12:9) and produces awesome imaginations and idols that separate them from the reality of knowing God. And it is no wonder, for many people of the world, and a few in the church, don't believe there is such a thing as the devil. Many others do believe he exists, but it is along the lines Christendom has generally taught. Therefore, he sits undisturbed while exercising all the authority that was originally given to him. With such teachings, they believe the devil is "out there somewhere," lurking and slithering around every corner just waiting for people to drop their guard so he can pounce upon them.
For some reason, Christians have become so devil conscious it is staggering. With those outside the ranks of understanding, they talk more about the devil than they do about the one who is supposed to be their Lord. It is all right to wonder about and question this subject, for the adversary is an intricate working part of God's plan and purpose; but to constantly dwell on the imaginary negative, or even the authentic negative, will eventually isolate one from the unity of Christ. It appears more than a few are so intently tuned to and are sniffing out the windy things of Satan that blow in the heavens of the mind there is no room or time for reality.
Let us share an interesting Greek word, DIABOLOS, from which the English word DEVIL is translated. Diabolos is the product of two words dia and bolo. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance defines DIA as "a channel of an act, through" and the prime root BALLO, "TO THROW...." Hence, the devil is a channel of which something thrown through. A good illustration for this is when a vehicle passes through a tunnel in order to reach its destination. When it comes to spiritual truths and the natural mind of man -- the devil is the channel through which the thoughts pass before they reach their destination -- the human reasoning. This explains very well why Dr. Strong translated the compound word, diabolos, as meaning A TRADUCER.
The English word TO TRADUCE means, "TO TRANSFER FROM ONE ORDER OF REASONING TO ANOTHER ORDER OF REASONING, as to translate from one language to another language." Hence, the traducer, the devil, who is setting as the prince of the power of the air (of men's natural minds) has a job to do, and that primary job is to transfer knowledge; and of course, such knowledge always takes on the character of the crooked serpent when it is transferred, which is a lie. Jesus said, "...There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (Jn 8:44). When we hear religious teachings and acquire knowledge, if the thoughts are not coming from the Spirit of Christ (the Anointing), they can very well be passing through this soothsayer before reaching our minds. This is the sayer who is soothing, he is lying, and is calculating. He is the translator for the humanistic, Adamic mind. He started with Eve and he is still at it. The traducer is very accomplished at what he does. Therefore, Christians should become a little more cautious of WHAT they hear and HOW they hear, as Jesus warned in Mark 4:24 & Luke 8:18. To be carnally minded is death, for it has been bitten by the serpents; but now that we have the mind of Christ, we have no need for a translator, and no longer are afflicted with the deadly sting.
Men and women alike have the tendency to try and grasp any and all things with their own minds that have been so logically put together by this vivid traducer, but let us be reminded: The carnal mind cannot receive the things of God, for they are Spiritually discerned, and there is nothing about it which desires the things of God, for that mind is enmity against God. (I Cor 2:14, Rom 8:7). However, as we have already mentioned, the traducer does make the word of God pleasing and understandable to this dusty mind. The problem is, this infamous liar couldn't tell the truth if he wanted to; and furthermore, there is literally nothing in him that would cause him to want to. With this we can surmise, everything that passes through him is a lie, and those who listen to such things are beguiled. Most people don't want to think they can be beguiled by this ancient man slayer, but remember, this serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field. It is the most cunning thing in the midst of man's mind. Due to such craftiness, the devil is the deceiver of the whole world (Gen 3:1 & Rev 12:9). Anyone who is of the world, Christian and non-Christian alike, can and is deceived when it comes to spiritual matters.
Very often, when we read the Bible, the words coming off its pages go through the channel, through the dia, through that thing in the mind called the traducer, the translator. This is what has produced so many fictions, frictions and factions in the church. The traducer has helped to form many thoughts, many ideas, many reasonings, many imaginations, many images, and many idols in religious people's minds. By and large, the true teachers have been removed into a corner and are not seen (Is 30:20), and it is common to see the churches having received a strong delusion that they should believe a lie." (II Thes 2:11).
The deviant translator, this thing whose habitat is in the very center of all carnal minds, has made men think it is out there somewhere rather than where it/he really sits. The written word is one source that reveals the location. Ephesians 2:2 tells us he is "the prince of the power (authority, Grk) of the air."
We will only touch upon a couple of thoughts in reference to the AIR, which we believe speaks clearly of the soul. We can compare the air with the soul in the same way the Holy Place of the tabernacle relates to it. The tabernacle had three realms, and so does man; which are, his spirit, his soul and his body. (Inspiration, Creation, and Manifestation). The spirit is the origin of inspiration, the soul is the place inspiration is created, and the body is that which brings it all into manifestation.
The tabernacle had the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place and the Outer Court, and as with man, the inspiration began in the Holy of Holies by the Spirit of God, its forming took place in the Holy Place, and then there was an outward manifestation of it in the Outer Court as the priests ministered to the people. (For some references concerning these types that point to spiritual realities, note: Heb 8:1-5, 9:8-11, 23-24, 10:1, II Cor 6:16, I Cor 6:15 & 19)
With the natural universe, we also have three realms. There is the infinity of space, the air which makes up our atmosphere, and then the earth. The space houses the Sun (Son) for inspiration, the atmosphere contains the characteristics and resources to work out and minister that life received from the sun, and the earth, of course, is what manifests that life. It first comes from the sun, passes through the air, and the reality of it is finally seen in the earth.
One major problem we have had with Biblical teachings is this. Many things have been taken too literal rather than seeing them in the light of the Spirit. Another contributing factor has been tradition. During the dark-ages people were very fearful, superstitious and believed in all kinds of fables, fairy tales and hobgoblins. One such goblin was the devil of Dante's Inferno (also known as The divine Comedy). He is the one with horns and a long, swishing tail who runs to and fro throughout the earth in his red flannel underwear with that ominous pitchfork in hand. Oh, there is a devil, all right! Jesus and other voices in the Bible make this very clear; however, it is unlikely that no more than one (1) percent of Christendom know what, who, or where he is. This unfortunate shortcoming is not only due, as mentioned above, to concepts carried over from the dark-ages, but as a result of teachers who were ignorant of scriptural matters concerning the church.
We do not know all there is to know about the devil, and we do not lay claim to having the revelation of what all the mysteries are concerning the principalities, the powers, the ruler of the darkness of this world, and the spiritual wickedness in high places; but we do know there are some imaginations that must come down. For instance, the one of the devil as an individual outside somewhere, who has power wherever there is air (for the scripture does say that he is the prince of the power of the air), and his influence being entirely an exterior persuasion in the form of temptations. If this was true, then it would stand to reason we could rid ourselves of temptation and sin if we could just find a place where there was no air. I suppose we could go to the moon and not be bothered with being tempted; for you see, there is no air on the moon. "But," someone might say, "you have to take air with you to the moon in the oxygen tanks, and there is also a quantity of air inside the capsule." We can concede to that thought, so what could we do then, to successfully flee this persistent one? Perhaps we could go down to the lake, expel all the air from our lungs, and jump in. As we sink slowly to the bottom into this airless, watery asylum, let's just try to think an evil thought and see if it is possible. If the supposition stands, not one evil notion, not one mean idea, hateful or vindictive consideration could be imagined; neither could any sorrowful, painful, self-pitying thought cross our minds; and furthermore, we couldn't commit any evil acts whatsoever. But, oh, we know full well, such thoughts and deeds are still possible, even in the absence of air!
Therefore, even if the logical sense was all we had to go on, could we not conclude that this air which the traducer is a prince in is not referring to the natural air of our atmosphere, but speaks clearly of something in the realm of the spirit? Indeed, it does!
We will notice now the thing which is contained in the air that the devil is prince over, namely, THE POWER. You see, he is not the prince of the air itself, as we have mentioned is typical of the soul, but he is the prince of something in the soul which is the power and authority in that particular realm. It is clear that the one primary source of power and authority in anyone's soul is their MIND. The mind is the creating generator (power) and inaugurator (authority) of thoughts and imaginations, good or bad, which in turn motivates the body to carry out what was created in it.
We are aware that God created Adam with authority and creative powers -- the power to create and set up societies and systems, the power to create civilizations, and the power to create governments and all other orders we see today in the world of Adam. However, few realize the serpent has been elected to be the prince over this powerful authority (Gen 3:14 & 19d and Eph 2:2). Since he is the ruler of that authority (the earthy, creative powers of the mind), and he is a traducer, he is busy about his duties of translating things from the high order of reasoning of God to the lower order of reasoning of man.
This translator is also very consistent, for he can only translate one way. He always conveys dusty thoughts and carnal revelations, because this is all that the mind of man can receive. Another reason they are always of the dust, is because the serpent came from the same element that man was formed of. Therefore, he can only draw from what he is. When he speaks, it is a lie, he can't speak a truth, for there is no truth in him to utter. "He speaks of his own," or out of his own realm of existence (Jn 8:44), and since his own realm of being happens to be dust, his origin being the ground, his words and thoughts will always be a product of that substance -- dirt! There is no truth in dirt. All scriptural truth (the reality of God) comes from above, even from Jesus who is the truth, the Lord from heaven. In other words, THE TRADUCER VEILS THE TRUTH, while JESUS IS TRUTH UNVEILED!
HAS THE DEVIL BEEN DESTROYED?
The word evidence speaks of an outward sign or manifestation of proof that can easily be seen. Hebrews 11:1 speaks of another type of evidence which is faith, and this is the evidence of things not seen. This Greek word for evidence (elegchos) is more accurately translated conviction (or audit in modern Greek), rather than it being something tangible to the casual observer. However, what we want to notice is the material evidence of things.
It may be assumed that there is no evidence of spiritual things, that everything from that unseen world has to be accepted in blind faith. However, this assumption is not always true, for when spiritual realities are to be revealed to the lower realm there has to be something physically visible to disclose these invisible things. For example: the shimmering (physically visible) leaves of the golden aspen in October is the tangible evidence that a cool, autumn breeze is blowing. In like manner, we as the leaves of the tree of life move when the wind of the Spirit blows through us to let the world know God is alive and very active.
With this premise, that there is the physical, positive evidence that God lives, then likewise, there is the physical, negative evidence that there is a devil of some sort. He may indeed be dead to some, and if this has become a reality, it is good and we have no argument; but to most he is still alive, and this is the issue we want to approach for now.
The evidence of God's existence, as testified in the beginning of this writing, is LIFE. On the other side is the EVIDENCE OF THE COUNTER PART -- THE DEVIL -- which is DEATH! Some might say, "The word indicates that 'be CARNALLY MIND is death.'" (Rom 8:6). That is exactly it, but you can't have the carnal mind without the serpent being present, for God had decreed it so in Gen. 3:14. If there was no serpent in the field of the mind, there would be nothing to expose it for what it is. Therefore, as the mind of Christ (Eden, the Garden of God) and the Holy Spirit (the dove) are inseparable and go hand in hand to propagate life and peace, so are the carnal mind (the field) and the spirit of the devil (the serpent) interlocked as one to produce and manifest the evidence of dissimulation, sin and death. (Stop and think about this for awhile -- perhaps for a week or two for starters.)
Along with the evidence of death, we might notice the core of the many facets of death, and it is clearly stated that they are not of God; which are, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. (I Jn 2:16). On one hand, when we see the evidence of the super natural power of holy life in people, the verdict is -- GOD LIVES. On the other hand, when we see the evidence of the power of death in humanity, we must then conclude -- there is a devil. We can also note a couple of scriptures which relate to this: Hebrews 2:14 informs us that he has the power of death, and let us remember, Jesus said the devil was a murderer from his beginning (Jn 8:44).
Some still may say, "But the devil is only as real as you believe him to be." I say that he is very real and exists in everyone's mind until he is destroyed by the very presence and power of Christ. Consider it, whether we believe God exists or He doesn't, it makes no difference at all to the reality of His being, and it is no different with the devil. We can't just believe there is no such thing and have him vanish. The devil cannot be gotten rid of that way no more than one can get rid of God by thinking it done. Brethren, I can truthfully say, I would really prefer him being nothing more than an imagination in the mind of man, for then he would have no power whatsoever of death; however, the written word and evidence unquestionably speak otherwise.
Not only does EVIDENCE dictate the fact, but GOD CREATED THE DEVIL FOR A PURPOSE. He created Him as the most subtle, enticing, influencing beastly thing in the field of man's carnal mind. This crafty creature was made to take mankind to the ultimate limit of temptations and testings. The serpent, the devil, satan, the adversary was not created by the mind of man but by God. The serpent might have grown into a flying dragon in the minds of men as a result of their imaginations, but his origin was not the result of the will of man but the will and purpose of God. He may have gotten his subtle nature from man when God brought every beast of the field unto (into, Heb.) him to see what he would call them. It was then that Adam named (nature, Heb.) them. In other words, he natured them, but it was God who formed the serpent. (Gen 2:19). The field He formed him from might have very well been the field of man's mind and from whence his nature came, but it was still the creative hand of God who formed him. The things that God forms is not a figment of man's imagination, they are real whether on the positive or negative side of the spectrum.
The serpent that God formed from the ground in the field of man's mind (I believe we can justifiably spiritualize this) can certainly be instrumental in producing vast imaginations within. When this beast crawls under a pile of stubble, it can make its host believe almost anything, even that it does not exist at all. It can make him think that every theological thought he conceives has come from the Holy Spirit and mind of God; when in reality, with the majority of the cases, they have come from the same wily TRADUCER that beguiled Eve.
Just as a reminder, and for those who might not have read our previous publication, we will briefly mention again something about THE TRADUCER. This is the word the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance gives for the meaning of the Greek word, DIABOLLOS, which the English word DEVIL is translated from. Diabollos is the product of two words "dia" and "bollo." DIA (1228) is "A CHANNEL OF AN ACT" (Strong's) and BOLLOS means "TO THROW either with force, or without force yet with a purpose, or even carelessly." (Thayer). Hence, THE DEVIL IS A CHANNEL THROUGH WHICH INFORMATION PASSES before it reaches carnal minds, and as it passes through the tunnel it picks up the character of that tunnel.
The English word TO TRADUCE means, "TO TRANSFER FROM ONE ORDER OF REASONING TO ANOTHER ORDER OF REASONING, as to translate from one language to another language." Hence, the traducer, the devil, who is setting as the prince of the power of the air (of men's natural minds) is TRANSFERRING DATA; and of course, in the transfer, it is always twisted or bent enough to cause a missing of the true mark of Christ's reality. Remember? Jesus said, "...There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (Jn 8:44). And he is that CROOKED serpent. (Is 27:1).
When we hear religious teachings and acquire knowledge, if the thoughts are not coming from the Spirit of Christ (the anointing), they can very likely be passing through this channel before reaching our minds. It's kind of funny, isn't it? -- The average person knows that the metaphysical "channelers" have no truths to set people free, but they fail to realize there is the CHIEF CHANNELER setting in their own carnal minds, and they are putting their lives in his hands of illogical reasoning. What we hear from this translator might be enticing, but only to the carnal mind; and Brethren, it will bring death. Therefore, let us take heed of WHAT we are hearing as well as HOW we are hearing, as Jesus cautioned in Mark 4:24 & Luke 8:18.
Regardless of how pleasing and understandable this traducer brings God's word, even appearing to be a message of light in great revelation, this shadowy translator couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it. We can then conclude, everything that he touches is transformed into a concealed lie, and those who entertain such things are soon beguiled. Most people don't want to think they can be beguiled by this crafty killer; but remember, this serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field. His twisted accomplishments have given him the credits of being the deceiver of the WHOLE world (Gen 3:1 & Rev 12:9). This leaves none out. Sometime or another we all have either been deceived or are presently in that state of deception. For the majority, it appears to be the latter.
Evidence has been mounting up over the ages as the lying murderer feeds upon the dust of humanity. It is even mounting up against those who strongly believe there is no devil, for we can see the stroke of sin and death is prevalent, and they are still laying down into graves DEAD. The reality of we being born into the kingdom of God was not a result of merely believing in our minds that God is alive, but as a result of the incorruptible word we were conceived. Our birth was the result of reality. And, likewise, death is not merely because of a belief in the mind that satan exists, it is the product of the reality of his literal presence that brings the sting of sin and death.
It is not uncommon to run across people who simply do not believe there is such a thing as the two horned, cloven-hoofed, pitchfork totin' devil. And this is understandable, FOR THERE HAS NEVER BEEN SUCH A MONSTROSITY. Such fabrications are mere illusions of men's imaginative minds. However, there is the belief that the devil has never existed in any form at all. Some believe he once existed but is now dead, and there is a scripture in the book of Hebrews which seems to support this concept:
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy [might render idle or powerless, Grk] him that had [having, Grk] the power, of death, that is, the devil." (Heb 2:14). The idea has basically been that Jesus destroyed the devil on the cross, and the only thing remaining of him is an imagination, a fantasy, in the minds of the people who believe he exists. If this is true, that he has really been destroyed, the Greek grammar in this verse would be in the indicative, perfect, tense or mode, which simply indicates that something happened in the past and it has been totally or perfectly completed; and although I like that thought, let us see what is being said here.
MIGHT DESTROY comes from one Greek word KATARGESE, and it is not in the indicative, perfect mode but is in the SUBJUNCTIVE, AORIST, ACTIVE mode:
The SUBJUNCTIVE mode is a mode of HESITATING AFFIRMATION. It speaks of something that is NOT YET COMPLETE, that its completion is CONTINGENT on something taking place. The subjunctive is usually found in TWO TENSES, the PRESENT and the AORIST (...action in the simplest form and undefined; it does not distinguish between complete or incomplete action). (Beginner's Grammar of the Greek N.T. -- Davis; HARPER & ROW).
Therefore, in contrast to the assumption of the completed, indicative perfect, the subjunctive aorist in this verse simply states that the death of Jesus on the cross is making idle/powerless the one who still has the power of death -- the devil.
I can certainly see that the devil was rendered perfectly idle and completely powerless in Jesus Himself, for the record states that the liar came to Him and could find nothing. To Jesus he was emphatically destroyed, and His resurrection was a declaration of that fact, but what about you and me? Is it the indicative perfect, where it is a completed fact, or is it still the subjunctive aorist where the battle is still yet to be won in its totality? To some he may have very well been rendered perfectly helpless, which we rejoice and belief is possible. I cannot say this is a complete and emphatic past for us personally, but his existence, for the most part, is no longer a hindering factor in our lives. If there is anything in our lives concerning the adversary, we understand he is a tool in God's hand and is used for our necessary exercising and growth; otherwise, we can truthfully say, he is not a factor to us. However, regardless of what he is or is not to some, from the bulk of evidence seen in the world and the church, he is still very active in the majority.
THE BRAZEN SERPENT
However, do not despair if you find yourselves falling short of victory, for the conquest is yours when you see the brass (judged) serpent lifted upon the cross. It is then that his identity is known and judgment will be realized. With understanding and confidence you will know he has no power over you. At that time he shall then be rendered idle, helpless, useless, null and void -- totally canceled out, if you please!
When Israel looked upon the brazen serpent in the wilderness, they did not die from the bites of the plague of serpents -- they lived. They were seeing, and with faith they knew God had judged the deadly vipers and had rendered them totally helpless -- their venom no longer had the power of death. Israel could see that God had taken their adversary through the fire of judgment.
In like manner, with Jesus having been lifted upon the cross, bearing our iniquity and sin (Is 53:6, 12), we can also look and see that the serpent (symbolizing iniquity & sin), who has the power of death, has been judged. When once the vipers in our minds inflicted painful death, they can now be left with no effect, for in judgment upon the cross they are rendered idle. Therefore, let us shake them off and into the fire, even as Paul did when he was shipwrecked on an island.
Death could not keep Jesus, for the traducer could find no foothold in Him at all. He came to Him but could find nothing to feed upon or to lay hold of (Jn 14:30), the carnal mind of temptations was nonexistent. Jesus took with Him the defeated foe and held him high upon the cross for the whole world to see. The cross and resurrection revealed to humanity and all spiritual powers that the end of the days of man and subtle beast had commenced.
The first man, Adam, found his end in Jesus that day, and the serpent whose diet was dust had come to an end in Jesus as well. The devil had been rendered null and void! And when anyone sees by the Spirit of revelation that God has judged that cunning beast, they can then cast him from the heavens of their own minds and live. Brethren, it is possible to live, but let us live because of the reality of life and not be deceived by wishful thinking. Most assuredly, however, until the spiritual eyes of people's understanding are opened, wishful thinking may be all some have to hold to, but it won't produce life. And of course, there will still be others who will be so concerned with the snake bites, they might fail to look up and see what God has done to the viper. They shall then continue on with venom in their veins; or rather, fearful imaginations in their minds.
When people read from the Bible or listen to teachings and preachings, the words can be received in at least three different forms. It can be positive, negative or neutral. When it is neutral, there is no influencing factors at all, and the natural mind understands the word naturally -- it's in the light of the human mind. The positive form is when the word is inspired by the Holy Spirit and we see it in that Light. And with the negative, it is when the word passes through the dark channel of the traducer. I guess this is what gives people "tunnel vision." It is good to have visions, but visions that pass through tunnels are not so good, for they kill.
In closing today, let us very briefly take note of the word SATAN. Satan is a Hebrew word and simply means "an adversary." It is anything that is adverse to ones well being, goal or cause, whether it is good, bad, real or imagined. For instance, the angel of the Lord was an adversary (satan, Heb.) to Balaam when on his way to curse Israel (Num. 22:22). Gesenius' Geb. Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament gives this definition of SATAN: "Adversary, as in war, and enemy, I Sam. 29:4, I Kg. 11:23, 25; in a court of justice, Psa. 109:6; and whoever opposes himself to another, II Sam. 19:23...and with the article it assumes the nature of a proper noun and is Satan, the devil, the evil genius in the later theology of the Jews, who seduces men." (Page, 788).
It should be evident to all, that God created the serpent, and it is a thing to reckon with, which is a type of a negative, spiritual influence upon the carnal mind of man. However, from what history reveals, the devil existing as an entity like a person was a later development of the Jews, as quoted above. A study of the Greek and Hebrew words for "SATAN" (adversary) and "DEVIL" (traducer/translator), i.e. ADVERSE TRANSLATOR, seem to also bear this out.
Within the ranks of Christianity it is assumed by not just a few that the devil, (THE TRADUCER) is as powerful, or is perhaps more powerful than God himself. Very often men have his image on their minds more than they do the their Lord. Some continually worry that he is lurking around every corner, and when they least expect it he is going to hit them from their blind side with everything he has.
I do not want to minimize the atrocious evils of the seducing serpent or sound cynical, but truthfully speaking, do we not see an abundance of imaginations, thoughts and misconceptions throughout the church? We will not go into detail, but it has gotten so bad in some circles that virtually nothing else is heard. The sermons and conversations revolve so much around the war satan is waging against the saints, that it is an absolute wonder when a word comes forth which glorifies our triumphant Lord of glory. The devil is given so much attention that the very presence of God is gone unnoticed more often than not.
Others may not have gone to extremes; however, the vast majority have the devil being so much more victorious than God that it is astounding. They have painted an unbelievable picture of the devil. Not only does a large number feel constantly defeated, but the majority believe the devil will be winning at least 90% of humanity to an everlasting damnation. This calamity, as it has been said, is to take place in a burning pit called hell-fire. From the stories told, we can picture a frustrated God with a bead of sweat on His furrowed brow, anxiously wringing His hands, just trying to figure a way out of this mess before it is eternally too late. At that time it is assumed He will lose His temper, throw up His hands and say, "I've had enough!" When this happens, watch out, for this is when He will supposedly turn everything over to His victor. This will then initiate the great tribulation, as some teachings have it. In reality, an event such as this would be comparable to the president of a country handing his nation over to the enemy as punishment because his general lost the war while he (God), his general (Jesus) and the army (the saints) go scot-free. Everyone becomes a prisoner and burns except the ones who had the responsibility of winning the war.
Absurd imaginations from the traducer, to say the least. With such a mighty devil in their minds and with continual recognition, which in itself is a form of worship, it makes one wonder why they do not dispense with slanderous name calling and just address him as Their Lord Satan Almighty. Sounds blasphemous, doesn't it? and rightly so! For it certainly would be blasphemy to voice such words; but in reality, brethren, these grandiose ideas already testify that they are in a measure worshiping this lowly enemy, and this is no less blasphemous. To make my point of how high some people esteem the devil, let me bring your attention to this. Whenever a person brings to light his true identity, many will get fire-eatin' mad and curse that individual to hell forever. Pardon me for being straight forward, but this is what happens when one of their gods is tampered with. On the other hand, one could say all kinds of slanderous things about the true and living God, and the average comment would merely be, "The poor fool, he'll come to his senses someday."
SATAN THE ADVERSARY
If satan, the devil, is not what he has been thought to be, what then, might he be? Some call him an it, depersonalizing the devil, but Jesus and the writers of the scriptures used pronouns when referring to him; therefore, we conclude that it is a proper usage. Nevertheless, it appears that the word SATAN should not be treated as a proper noun. From our research we find that the Hebrew does not regard the word as one's personal name. Satan is a transliterated Hebrew word, pronounced saw-tawn. (A transliterated word is carried over from one language to another with very little spelling change, if any at all. The letters are given the new language's alphabet, otherwise, it remains basically the same.) History also shows that satan was not always regarded as an individual but became a part of the Jew's religion later on (ref. Pub #38, pg 8).
The Hebrew word satan is used two ways, with the definite article, the satan, and without the article. In more modern times, it has been assumed that the definite article was suggesting a personal name; therefore, it has been commonly rendered that way (Satan). However, to use that premise, it would also be necessary to translate the word devil as a personal name when the definite article is used with it, but this is never done. Devil is always used as a descriptive title, while satan is very often translated as the name for the devil.
The word, Satan, simply means "an adversary." It is anything that is adverse to ones desires, well being, goals or causes, whether they are good, bad, real or imagined. One example of how this word can be used says that the angel of the Lord was a satan. This was the angel who stood in Balaam's way when he was on his way to curse Israel. It relates, "...And the angel of the Lord stood in the way for and ADVERSARY (SATAN, Heb.) against him." (Num. 22:22). Satan is translated properly here and we quote GESENIUS' HEB. CHALDEE LEXICON TO THE OLD TESTAMENT for confirmation: SATAN -- "Adversary, as in war, an enemy, I Sam. 29:4, I Kg. 11:23, 25; in a court of justice, Psa. 109:6; and whoever opposes himself to another, II Sam. 19:23...."
Truthfully speaking, and according to the definition of this word, any saint of God could be called a satan, and it would be a compliment. This, of course, is when they are engaged in battle against their enemy, the devil. They would then be an adversary to the devil. They would be in opposition to their foe. Hence, they would be a SATAN to SATAN. In other words, they would be and adversary to their adversary. They would be opposing their opposition. They would be an enemy to their enemy, etc.
Now don't start spreading rumors that Brother Roach is saying Christians are devils, for this IS NOT what is being said here. (Please read and listen carefully.) You see, the DEVIL is a TRADUCER, a channel of an act, as one language is transferred through a translator into another language. This is the spiritual influence which sets in the carnal minds of all humanity. On the other hand, a SATAN is simply an ADVERSARY, regardless of whether it is on God's side or the enemy's. It can be the devil in the mind, for this indeed is an adversary to us, but it can also be something or someone other than this. It can be one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. It can be a bad spirit that wars against the Holy Spirit, or it can be the other way around. A SATAN IS SIMPLY AN ADVERSE OPPONENT TO SOMEONE OR SOMETHING ELSE.
When the definite article "the" is used with the word satan, this is not stating the devil's name but is saying this adversary is the chief adversary to whomever it is an adversary to. This is no doubt why the government of Iran calls The United States of America "THE GREAT SATAN"; for indeed, we are THE GREATEST ADVERSARY they have. We stand in the way of their desires, their goals and aspirations of tyranny. The United States of America is like the angel of the Lord, with a flaming sword in hand, who is adversely hindering their evil progress. Therefore, they can rightly say we are their great satan, but we are not the satan that is fixed in the average Christian's minds.
I have no idea what Iran's true concept of satan is but would venture to say, they understand the meaning of the word and use it accordingly. With the mind-set our western, civilized nations have, however, I doubt that the word will ever be able to be used properly. Even with a deliberated study, some people will still have a hard time understanding what either the devil or the satan truly is, for tradition and mind-sets are extremely blinding and almost impossible to overcome.
HAVE OLD THINGS PASSED AWAY?
Whatever the traditional mind-sets are with the majority in the church today, we can be assured they have not seen that the devil's chief job is that of a traducer. During the time of his masquerading, he has been seen as everything except for what he is. This has attributed to his great success of inducing a multitude of erroneous theological concepts over the centuries. One such concept is how God's creation will be changed from the image of the adamic man to that of glorified, spiritual sons and daughters of God.
Many feel the change will come at the first resurrection. Some believe they will be instantly changed when the trumpet sounds and then fly away to meet the Lord in the clouds. Others see it differently and express a belief in the manifestation of the sons of God, and all that necessary is to sit tight and wait for it to happen. It seems that a large number are under the assumption that to be in those elite ranks of glory, all they have to do is to merely believe in certain doctrines. This will hopefully qualify them for a place of celestial honor at the Kings right hand. This is primarily the same thought as those who embrace the rapture, the basic difference is -- they don't fly.
However, according to what we read, neither way holds the essence of the matter. Most assuredly, there is a resurrection (Rev 20:6), there is also a catching away (I Thes 4:17), and there will certainly be a manifestation of the sons of God (Rom 8:19); however, much knowledge seems to be lacking in all three of these doctrinal areas, which we will not be covering to any degree, since they are not our subject matter today. We believe the change from an earthy creature to that of the heavens is not quite the same as many of us had presumed it to be. Nevertheless, before we notice what it might be, we will first look into some interesting stepping stones that lead to it.
"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God...." (II Cor 5:17-18) . From the surface this may appear to say, we are new creatures in totality, all things in our old lives have passed away and are no more. It also seems to say that everything has already become new. And furthermore, it looks as if the word does declare, "All things are of God."
We have heard more than a few who had taught it in that manner, and I have not been totally guiltless myself (please forgive me for my shortsightedness). These well meaning brothers and sisters across the land have firmly said, "You are a new creation in Christ! All the old things have completely passed away, all those old things have become entirely new, and there is not one old thing remaining in your lives! If it doesn't look that way, then it's a lying vanity, it's a figment of your imagination. For you see, the word says they have emphatically passed away and have already become new. Just believe what it says!"
I had not personally taught much in those verses, but it is possible for you to have heard me picking up the thought and saying, "All things are of God...now that's an interesting subject." However, I never would elaborate on this "interesting subject." The reason being, if all things are of God, I was not sure how to deal with what "all things are"; such as, murder, rape, incest, child molestation, homosexuality, adultery, devil worship, human sacrifice, greed, hate, lust, envy, strife, and the list goes on. What it would boil down to, if all things are truly of God, every conceivable thought and action that the human mind can come up with would have to be a product of our holy God. That would be true if this is what II Cor. 5:18 truly says. However, there might be something hidden slightly beneath the surface of what we read. Let us, therefore, get our grammatical shovels and see what is there.
It is literally impossible to translate word for word from the Greek to any other language and get the full meaning of the thought. Therefore, since the verb tenses here is in the indicative, aorist, active, we will amplify these verses in order to convey what the ancient Greek is more accurately saying. "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things HAVE passed, ARE passing, and SHALL CONTINUE to pass away; behold all things HAVE become, ARE becoming, and SHALL CONTINUE to become new. And all these NEW THINGS are of God."
Praise God! It is all the new things that are of God! Not the totality of all things which would include every conceivable thing the lust and greed of man's carnal mind might conjure up while under the influence of the traducer! The context declares what things are of God. IT IS THE N-E-W THINGS! Many Greek scholars and most Bible translations also render it as the new things. Only five out of the sixteen various Bible translations I have checked in my own library render it as the KJV has. The others unanimously say it is the NEW THINGS that are of God.
If we have any understanding at all about the power of the old things that were in our former lives, we would quickly know they could never be conquered except by God. This, of course, is a result of the godly, new things dethroning and taking the place of the old. In this same frame of thought, and also noticing the Greek tense (the indicative, present, active), Revelation 21:5 says, "Behold, I have made and I am making all things new." It is a past and present of the old becoming new. Incidentally, aren't we glad He didn't say "I shall make all new things?" For if He was making all new things, He would have to get rid of us and make something new in our place. But praise God, he's making us new! He's making all things new! Let us now look and see how He is making things new.
"Be not conformed to this world, but be ye TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind." (Rom 12:2). The word transformed is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo. It is from this word we get our transliterated, English word metamorphose. Therefore, according to this verse, our change is due to the process of a metamorphose. We might also note: It does not say, "...Be ye transformed by resurrection." It does not say, "...Be transformed by being raptured." It does not say, "be ye transformed by the manifestation of the sons of God." And it does not say that the transformation comes by being faithful and just believing or confessing it. However, it DOES say, "...Be ye transformed BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND." This is the simple principle involved in the transformation.
The imaginations of mankind's mind, as a consequence of the influencing traducer, has tried to get instant glorification. Men have wanted it instantly, like instant cereal, instant pudding, instant everything. This is really an instant world we're living in. We want everything post haste -- right now! Therefore, we design by imagination an instant transformation. However, dear ones, it just doesn't work that way, for as the word and evidence obviously declares, it's by the renewing of the mind.
Someone might ask, "What do we do then? Are we to get books and educate our minds and continuously meditate on what we've learned? Dale Carnegie has a good positive thinking book. Will that help, or should we start reading the bible and get sound, biblical thoughts in our mind?" Well, it's better to have a cleaned up adamic mind than to have a dirty adamic mind; but that still won't do it. Even though one intellectually knows all the mysteries of the Bible and lives accordingly, he is still Adam. A little better than most, perhaps, but it is Adam just the same. This is not what God is looking for. He wants something better. What He wants and will have is a transformed man.
It is an absolute must to receive from a higher realm than what Adam can give in order to have our minds renewed. The change comes from the Lord from heaven, not from the god of this age (the man of earth). You see, the heavenly Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and that faith is finished/manifested through transformation as a result of renewing our minds.
This word, renewing, is adequately rendered in Romans 12:2; however, to be a little more accurate, the word could be translated RENOVATION (Strong's Exh. Conc.). We are then transformed by the renovation of our minds. There is only a slight difference in the two words, but when renovation is used, we get the thought of a complete house clearing, cleaning and then a total refurbishing. Everything old is removed and replaced with all new furnishings. God, however, does something differently in His renovation. He does it just the opposite. He does not clear out the old things and leave our minds a total void and then start filling them with new thoughts. He starts bringing in the new thoughts first, and with this the old passes away and gives place to the new -- and all this is what is of God. Think about it...
THE LAW OF TRANSFORMATION
Romans 12:2 speaks of the principle of renovating the mind that leads to the end product of transformation. We will glance at Romans 8:2 and note the law which institutes that principle. "For THE LAW of THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS hath made me free from THE LAW of SIN AND DEATH." What we have here are two contrasting laws and the new one supersedes and nullifies the old one. The law of Life does away with the law of sin and death. The first law we read about in the Bible is the law of sin and death, "...Thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen 2:17). It is evident the first Adam thoroughly fulfilled the first law -- he and those in him died (the all). The last law established was the law of the Spirit of life, and the last Adam, Jesus Christ, executed and established that law; and He has surely lived, as well as all those in Him -- their federal head.
Laws are always established by higher authorities -- by the federal heads of kingdoms -- and until those heads are removed, or higher powers abolish the laws, they will abide. Laws are exact and always work the same. For example, we can note the physical law of gravity. Objects always fall downward unless there is a greater law that overpowers the first and pushes it upward. However, as long as there is no greater law adversely working against it, that law always manifests the same results.
It is the same with the spiritual laws of God, they produce exact results as they are activated. When one misses the mark of righteousness in Christ Jesus, they have sinned and have enacted the first law, which eventually manifests the fruit of death. It is a simple law that was instituted by God and initiated by Adam. But, praise God, we now see a new law which supersedes and does away with the old law. This law was also instituted by God and initiated by a man, but this man was the last Adam, Jesus. This greater law was the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus!
The law of sin and death, without fail, has always been faithful to its benefactors and produces death when imposed. Likewise then, the greater law of life in Christ Jesus will never fail in what it was designed to do for its benefactors -- TO FREE THEM ALL FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH! This law, however, is not just a hypothetical thing that abides in the past as Romans 8:2 appears to say, i.e. that "The law of life...HAS MADE me free...."
There was a time when I had taught it that way, as something already accomplished. I had tried very earnestly to believe we had been made totally free from the law of sin and death. However, something just didn't seem right. It was evident that we still missed the mark to some degree. We were still dying. We were all continuing to age. And we sometimes still lost our tempers, among other things. Even though we would say these things were "lying vanities," there was a lot of concrete evidence that spoke otherwise. We must have missed something in our analysis of this scripture. Evidence suggested that the old law of sin and death was still in operation. That would mean the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus had not totally finished its course.
The Greek sheds some light here, and it is amplified by translating it according to the proper tense. "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus HATH, IS and SHALL CONTINUE to make me free from the law of sin and death." The words hath made is in the same tense as the verbs we covered earlier in II Cor. 5:17, which is the indicative, aorist, active. Remember? -- This puts the action in the past, present and future. Therefore, this law of life has not yet made most of us completely free from the law of sin and death. However, we can readily declare with all assurance that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free in many areas, it is now making us free in other areas, and it shall continue to make us free from the law of sin and death in yet more areas of our lives. This law will continue until there is no more sin, until there is no more death and until there are no more graves. We will then resound the glorious cry, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" What a tremendous law Transformation is! -- There shall be no more sting of death, and there shall be no more victory of the grave. PRAISE GOD -- NO MORE GRAVES!
Brethren, let us not linger in the imaginative ideas of the traducer and miss the mark of transformation in this age, but let us take things in context and join them to the Spirit of the word. Let us see that it is a process, that there is the great law of Life presently working in us, and that it shall never cease to work until it has finished its infallible course for all. And if we happen to go to the grave, so what? We shouldn't bemoan it, because the law is working in us, and it will continue to work and never stop working until there is no more sin and no more death. Praise God for His laws, especially for His law of transformation -- HIS GREAT LAW OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS!!!
Elwin R. Roach
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