November 26, 2010

Lucifer: One Evil Jerk; Legion: Many Evil Jerks

Yes, another post on Beelzebub. I realize this jerk is getting too much air time on my blog but I guess it is for a good reason-educating the Body. He is a worthless and slanderous character in the Bible but he is pertinent and does serve one purpose, to serve as a bad example. The Hebrew word for him in the Old Testament meant "adversary". The story of the Garden of Eden does not identify the serpant with Satan but later generations of Jews and Christians have deduced that the serpant was indeed him.

In the time of Jesus people believed that the Devil was the leader of a horde of evil beings, evil spirits, unclean spirits or demons. Not only were they tempters of the church but they also caused physical and mental harm as evident by the stories of demon oppression/possession in the Gospel/Acts. In Christ's ministry, He broke Satan's grip on humanity. God's will for mankind was to be holy, whole and healed. Satan's plan for mankind was evil, affliction and pain. Not only does the scumbag Satan tempt man proper, he even has the audacity to try and tempt the God-man Jesus. He of course was an abject failure on this count. Jesus' resistance to the temptations is a symbolic undoing of mankinds failure in the Garden of Eden because of thir failure to resist and turn to God.

Jesus is not content to just impede Satan's work against Him personally but Jesus also extends power to frustrate Satan to His disciples. The disciples also deliver people from demon oppression and possession. It is in Luke that we hear statements like, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-19

Jesus is sure to temper their enthusiasm with a word of caution at the end. "Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Jesus wanted them to understand that it is this self-glorification and pride that was Satan's downfall and can be ours too if we do not focus our sense of wonder on the One who makes it possible instead of mistakenly focusing it on ourselves.

In Jewish tradition Satan was of Heaven's courts. He thought so highly of himself that he no longer wanted to serve God, he wanted to be God. He and a third of the angels in heaven rebel, and they are exiled from God's presence. What was once beautiful is now hideous, what was once proper is now iniquitous, what was once whole is now defective and damaged. Isaiah 14:12-15 appears to refer to Lucifer's [lightbearer; son of dawn] fall even though it appears to be addressing the King of Babylon.

(12) How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

(13) You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

(14) I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

(15) But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit [Hell].

A passage that condemns self-centeredness and egotism. King of Babylon (Lucifer) or Satan (proud angel). Either way the principle underlying both falls is the same. Pride. The names change but the idea stays the same. In context, Lucifer is clearly the King of Babylon and is probably an inapproriate name for Satan. This is why there is confusion that Lucifer is the name of the original heavenly being that fell becoming Satan. Satan has always been Satan no matter how he trys to confuse people with the label or word-symbol that identifies him.

He is still evil and still a jerk. Perhaps that's what we should call him? Evil Jerk. How do you spell jerk in Greek BTW? πονηρός κόπανος?

Since we are on the topic of The Evil Jerk and demons we should probably clear up the difference between the terms "devil" and "demons" too. I like my readers to go away from these posts better able to discern as a payoff for their efforts. There is only one Devil and it is Satan himself (the evil jerk). The word devil comes from the Greek word diabolos/διάβολος and means slanderer or accuser. The Hebrew word הַשָׂטָן ha-Satan means accuser also. In Matthew 4 Jesus encounters Satan and is tempted by the Devil (himself). There is only one (singular) Devil/Satan. There may be only one Devil-diabolos/διάβολος but there are a multitude of demons-daimon/δαίμων. Two different things and two different words yet in their character very much alike. Evil jerk or jerks; singular or plural...still jerks none the less. The best example of a multitude of demons is Mark 5:9

"Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."


Scottie Joines said...

Beautiful Job Andy! demon is one of my spelling words in my greek class lol! What program do you use to type the greek out in your blog? And where do you find your wonderful pictures? May God continue to bless you and I pray an extra annointing of God's wisdom over you this coming year in Jesus Name!

Andy Pierson said...

Hey Scottie...I usually just use online resources like Heartlight and cut-n-paste I then use my understanding of declension and conjugation in Greek to assure that the correct case ending is on the word (i.e. singular, nomnitive, masculine, etc). Yes, any 1st year Greek student should have Demon and Devil as a vocabulary word on their flashcards as it is so heavily used in the Bible. As for the pics I search the web for images that are public domain, do not have copyrights against them or create my own. blessings


ArtWerx said...

i didn't see this post of yours until after i put up my own one of keith green's "dear john letter to the devil" of our old vinyl favs! i found him performing it live on youtube:

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