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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 12

Section 15

The Devil and Satan



This crocodile, or dragon, is said to be at once ho kaloumenos Diabolos, kai ho Satanas ho planon ten oikoumenen olen; - "surnamed the Diabolos, and the Satan who deceives the whole habitable."

A surname is a name added to the original name. The original name for the embodiment of falsehood, unbelief, and disobedience, was "the Serpent". In all the five Books of Moses we do not once find it styled "the Diabolos," nor "the Satan." This surname was not bestowed upon the Egypto-Romaic Babylonian Dragon until, as the Little Horn of the Macedonian, or Grecian, Goat, it "magnified itself against the Prince of the Host (Christ~' (Dan. 8:11). It did this when it falsely accused and crucified him. I need not repeat here what has been written in the first volume of this work on the Diabolos and Satan. The reader can refer to this on pages 234 and 241, at his leisure. 'Suffice it in this place to say, that the Roman power acquired the surname of the diabolos, because, being falsehood and transgression politically incarnate, it enacted the part of the Old Serpent in tempting the Brethren of Christ to cross the line of their allegiance to him in burning incense to Caesar as,the god of the earth - diabolos, in its etymological import, being that which causes to cross the law-line of Deity.

But, it also acquired the surname of "the Satan." This word sahtahn, signifies an adversary; and without the definite article the, may signify any adversary in general. It is applicable to persons and things of whatever kind they may be. Thus, when the sons of Zeruiah counselled the death of Shimei, David rejected their impolitic advice, and styled them, Satan, (2 Sam. 19:22). So also when Yahweh became adverse to Israel because of transgression, He is styled Satan. This appears from 2 Sam. 24: 1, where it is written, that Yahweh moved David against Israel to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah:" while in 1 Chron. 21: 1, it is writ- ten, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." There is also the case of Job. Job was a man of substance and
power, being "the greatest of all the men of the East". He was one of "the sons of the Deity" belonging to that generation. There was among them also another man of power, an oriental, who was nominally a feeling towards Job. This is not an unusual circumstance, even in societies reputed apostolic. In these, Satans too often abound, and become the adversaries of those they cannot imitate. In Job's day, there were general gatherings of the Men of the East, with the sons of the Deity, at the place where the symbol of Yahweh's presence was established. If I might hazard a conjecture I should say, they assembled at Salem, in the days of the High Priesthood of Melchizedek. Be this, however, as it may, "the sons of the Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh, and the Satan hassahtahn, came also among them." Here were two classes of worshippers, the nominal and the true; the former constituting the Satan; the latter consisting of the Sons of Deity, of whom Job was most eminent and conspicuous. Among his adversaries, one seems to have been more notable than the rest. This was probably the Chief of the Sabeans, a tribe of Arabia Felix, who fell upon Job and did him much mischief. To this man Yahweh said by His priest (for, in Scripture, what is said by his priests and prophets, Yahweh is said to say Himself) "Whence comest thou?" To which he replied as any marauder would, "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. His attention was then directed to Job, whose character was highly eulogized. This developed the latent enmity of the Sheikh, who insinuated that Job's fear of Elohim had been purchased by extraordinary favors; but that, if these were withdrawn, and he were reduced to poverty, he would curse Him to his face. Yahweh, however, knew Job better; nevertheless, He was willing that he should be tested, that his enemies might be confounded; and a triumph of principle in adversity might be exhibited, as an example for the Sons of Deity in all future times. Therefore to Job's adversary He granted permission to do what he pleased against him, short of personal injury. Having obtained this grant, he returned home, and organized his Sabeans and Chaldeans for raids, which, with the fire of heaven, soon stripped Job of all he possessed.

Now, in the first chapter of Job, this is all attributed to Satan, as though, according to popular tradition, it had been done by a Fallen Angel, the world has agreed to call "The Devil." But, in the second chapter, the Eternal Power informs us, that it was He that brought Job to poverty; for addressing his adversary, He says, "thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." All that was done being adverse to Job, it was attributed to his personal enemy, who was the moving cause; though the efficient cause was the power of Deity Himself.

Such was the Satan in Job's case. In the case of Jesus Christ the satanic development assumed a different phase. Jesus was tempted by both the Diabolos and a Satan. These were both concerned in the trial to which he was subjected; and as the one co-operated with the other, they are spoken of as if the same. Jesus was "led up," or "driven," of the Spirit, into the wilderness "to be tempted of the diabolos; " or that which causeth to transgress, and "hath the power of death" - sin's flesh. This was subjected to the long abstinence of forty days, at the end of which he felt a hunger that must have been very keen. We all know what would be the promptings of our flesh in a like it situation. "Hunger," it is said, "will break through stone walls." It is very obstreperous, and will do any thing to satisfy itself. If any one had the power, under the pressure of intense hunger, he would convert stones into bread and eat them. Jesus had that power; and there was one acquainted with the Scripture, introduced himself to his notice at this crisis, and suggested that he should use it. Paul doubtless alludes to this personage in 2 Cor. 11: 14 saying, "the Satan is transformed into an Angel of Light." Such an angel is a messenger enlightened in the word, who handles it in such a way as to test the fidelity of others to it. Such an one becomes a Satan in suggesting a course of action in conformity with the promptings of the flesh. And if Deity became Satan to Israel, and to Job, it is not to be denied that an angel may have assumed the same attitude in the case of Jesus Christ.

Peter, though a good man and devoted friend of his Master, was styled Satan by Jesus. He had told his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and be killed, and be raised on the third day after. But Peter rebuked him, saying, "Be merciful to thyself, Lord; this shall not be unto thee." He could not endure the idea of such a catastrophe. But Jesus said to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offence unto me; for thou savorest not the things that be of the Deity, but those that be of men." Had Jesus been merciful to himself, as Peter advised, he would not have been "obedient unto death;" in the, event of which he would have frustrated the Father's purpose, incurred the fate of the first Adam, and failed in the dedication of the Abrahamic Covenant by which alone man can be saved. Peter's well-meant advice was adverse to the first and last of these things, and therefore as such an adviser, he was for the time a Satan to Jesus.

On another occasion, the Lord said to his disciples, "I beheld the Satan fall out of the heaven like lightning". This was the Satan in heaven contemporary with his sojourn upon earth. He beheld his fall as the prophets beheld things not yet come to pass: for this Satan was still in the heaven after his assumption to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. This is evident from Paul's assurance to the saints in Rome, the Capital of the Satan's empire, that "the Deity of peace should bruise- the Satan under their feet shortly" (Rom. 16:18). When Paul wrote this, the Satan was still in the heaven. It was the same Satan that prevented Paul more than once from visiting the saints in Thessalonica (1 Thess. 2:18). It was their great and potent adversary in the Dragon government, the Pagan Roman Church and State. It was this Great Red Dragonic Diabolos and Satan, that "magnified himself against the Prince of (Israel's) host: and by whom the Daily Sacrifice was taken away, and the place of its sanctuary was cast down" (Dan. 8:9-12). It is symbolized in this place by "a Little Horn, which waxed exceeding great." It was by this Satanic Power, "Messiah the Prince was cut off;" and by which the city and sanctuary were destroyed" (Dan. 9:26). It was the great adversary of Judah, and of the Saints, whom it reckoned also as Jews. When the Lord Jesus saw it in vision fall like lightning from heaven, he saw their adversary expelled from the Roman Heaven, as symbolized in this twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse. Paul said it would be braised "shortly" after he wrote. It was ejected by the lightning of war from the heaven, about 25O years after, when the Michael and his party fought against the Dragon and his angels (ch. 12:7). It fell out of the heaven, as Jesus said; and John records, that "he was cast out into the earth," to the great terror of those among whom he fell (ver. 9,12).

The Dragon-Power of Rome, then, was surnamed THE SATAN, because it was the great and persistent Adversary of Christ, and His Brethren. No one intelligent in the word would confound the Satans related to Israel, Job, Jesus and Peter, and merge them into one and the same Satan, identical with such a Devil, as is pressed into the service of the Clergy, to aid them in scaring sinners into church-membership. The clerical devil and Satan belongs to the mythology of the heathen, and is as unreal as their gods: nevertheless, this mythical phantasm has a real and tenacious hold of their worshippers; who are much more careful to treat him with reverence, than to praise and honor Him by whom they live and have their being.

The apocalyptic or Roman-Satan is the great enemy of Jerusalem, and of all related to her. Zechariah saw it in vision, when he saw the Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua to resist him. In all the times of the Gentiles, during which Jerusalem and the saints are trodden under their feet, the Holy City is subjected to the Satan. When these are fulfilled, then Yahweh who hath chosen Jerusalem, will rebuke the Satan, in "rebuking strong nations afar off," and making them powerless (Mic. 4:3); and "pluck Jerusalem as a brand out of the fire". Her warfare will then be accomplished; and her deliverer will be a wall of fire round about her, and the glory in the midst of her (Zech. 2:5; 3:1,2).

The Satan of Apoc. 12, is characterized as the power "which deceives the whole habitable" - ten oikoumenen olen; not "the whole world," as in the English version, in the sense of all the inhabitants of the globe; but the whole of that portion of it subject to the Dragon-Power of Old Rome. When the apocalypse was communicated to John, the Satan in the heaven was pagan. It deceived the people of the empire by the priests and poets (and the emperor was the High Priest) of the reigning superstition. But while this Satan flourished in the heaven of Italy, there was another Satan in embryo preparing to occupy the same heaven from which the pagan Satan was foredoomed to fall like lightning. This was the Satan enthroned in Pergamos (Apoc. 2:13); where his principal synagogue was situated (ch. 2:9,24; 3:9). This Satan consisted of nominal christians; professors, who claimed to be Jews by adoption through Christ; but not being what they claimed, the Spirit denounced them as liars and blasphemers. They were zealous anti-pagans, as Protestants are, or used to be, zealous anti-papists; but their spiritual condition was that of Saidians and Laodiceans; and fit only to be "spued out of the Spirit's mouth." These pretenders styled themselves "the Church of God;" or "the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church." They contended earnestly against paganism; from which "with all power and lying wonders," styled by Paul "the working of the Satan" they alienated multitudes; but failed to indoctrinate them with "the love of the truth that they might be saved" (2 Thess. 2:9,10). Their Satan was enlarged, and their political influence increased; so that, when the pagan Satan fell from the heaven, the "Holy Catholic" Satan was prepared to-occupy the Bishoprick vacated by his fall. The revolution of the Sixth Seal substituted the one -Satan for the other. The Catholic Satan is still in the heaven; and will remain there, until he is ejected by Christ himself, after the type or pattern, exhibited in this twelfth chapter. This final expulsion of the Satan from the heaven, is represented in Apoc. 20:1-3. In this scene, his head is bruised; and "the Dragon the Old Serpent, which is Diabolos and Satan," is bound in the abyss, and shut up and sealed, so that the nations may be no more deceived for a thousand years.




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