The Apostle Peter warned, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, " 1 Per 5:8. To be sober means to be discreet, while to be vigilant means to keep awake and watch. Are you employing these tactics in your life or have you gone to sleep and has Satan gotten the advantage over you? This treatise is prepared for you to examine yourself to see whether you have fallen victim to Satan or not.
An interesting statement is made in Rev. 12.9, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Isn't it amazing that the very first book of the Bible (Genesis) begins with the deception of the woman in the Garden of Eden, and when we get to the very last book of the Bible, (Revelation) deception is still going on? Shouldn't this tell us something about the serpent, Satan? Shouldn't this warn us that something is extremely wrong and that we should take another look at things? Is it always the other religions, the other faiths that are in error while your own faith is the one true faith?
I was a member of a church some years ago, comprised of people who believed they made up the one true church that alone had the truth, the inside track to salvation and to the Kingdom. Why does anyone choose to be a member of a certain church or faith? Isn't it usually because they believe that they have the keys to salvation and the Kingdom? Surely no one attends a church believing that they are deceived and do not have salvation in that way of life and faith which they embrace in that congregation or group of congregations. Surely they believe that their church or study group has an inside track on salvation, or they wouldn't be attending there.
One man used to quote, "A deceived person doesn't know that he is deceived." Isn't that true? A deceived person may eventually find out that he has been deceived, but during the time that he is deceived, he doesn't know that he is. The Apostle Paul encouraged, "Put on the whole armour of Yahweh, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil," Eph. 6.11 Paul also wrote, "To whom you forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of the Messiah, lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices," 2 Cor. 2 10-11
THE MEANINGS OF WORDS AND NAMES
Words and names have meanings that we sometimes overlook or have a tendency to misunderstand in their overall scope and concept. This is especially true concerning the Scriptures. It would be very instructive to take the descriptive words concerning Satan the devil and look at them under a magnifying glass, which would certainly increase our scope of understanding.
The word "wiles" in Eph 6:11 has been translated from the Greek word "methodia." It is #3180 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (Greek Dictionary). Its meaning is given as: traveling over, i.e. travesty (trickery). It is also translated as "lie in wait." "Travesty" means: 1. a grotesque or farcical imitation for purposes of ridicule, burlesque, and 2. a crude, distorted, or ridiculous representation (of something), (Webster's New World Dictionary). Notice also that the word "wiles" has to do with "trickery." Webster's New World Dictionary defines "wiles" as: 1. a sly trick; deceitful artifice; stratagem, 2. a beguiling or coquettish trick, and 3. craftiness, guile. Do you see what we can already learn about Satan just by researching one word "wiles" and its various meanings? His character misrepresents that which is good and pure with ridicule, burlesque, a crude, distorted or ridiculous representation. How does he do it? He does it through sly tricks, deceitful artifices and stratagems, beguiling or coquettish tricks, craftiness and guile.
What does "coquettish" mean? Coquet, 1. to behave as a coquet, flirt 2. to trifle or daily....Coquette, a girl or woman who merely from vanity tries to get men's attention and admiration; flirt. (Webster's New Word Dictionary) A harlot is a coquette, isn't she? Doesn't Scripture reveal that there is a great harlot who sits on many waters? (Rev. 17:1) This great whore has caused the whole world to wonder at the beast (v. 8). Scripture says that she has committed fornication with the kings of the earth and has made the inhabiters of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication (v. 2). Here is a spiritual application of the word "coquette."
Let's look at one more word associated with "coquette" which is the word "trifle." Trifle's etymology is given thusly, n. [ME. < OFr. trufle, mockery, dim. of truffe, deception] 1. something of little value or importance, trivial thing, idea, etc., paltry matter. (ibid) Now how would "trifle" apply spiritually? Could it be that Satan causes us to focus on trifling things and make them into the "more important things" in our mind? While, on the other hand, the important things are made to appear as "trifling" to us?
Now let's focus on the word "devices" found in 2 Cor. 2:11. "Devices" comes from the Greek word noema, which means a perception, i.e. purpose, or (by impl.) the intellect, disposition, etc. It is #3540 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. It is also translated into our English as mind or thought. It comes from #3539 "noieo" which means, to exercise the mind (observe), i.e. (fig.) to comprehend and heed. "Noieo" is variously translated as consider, perceive, think, and understand.
THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Now let's apply this to the scenario presented to us in the Scriptures concerning the incident in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were "naked" and not ashamed (Gen 2:25). But when they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked (Gen. 3:6-7). What was wrong with them being naked? They were the only two humans around. When Yahweh made them, He made them naked and allowed them to continue in their nakedness Scripture says, after the whole creation was completed, it was very good (2:31), so there, was nothing wrong with that nakedness Yet, when they took of the fruit, they knew (perceived) their nakedness and made aprons of fig leaves in order to cover themselves (3:7).
However, when Yahweh came walking in the garden in the cool of the day, they ran and hid. Why? Adam said, "I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself," Gen. 3:11. How is it that he still considered himself naked? Didn't he cover himself with fig leaves? His physical nakedness was covered, but his statement revealed that his nakedness now went further than skin deep. His nakedness now was a concept developed in the mind, the intellect, the perception (noema/noieo).
What had the serpent done? Hadn't he used trickery, a stratagem, a coquettish trick to deceive the woman into taking the forbidden fruit? There were two trees in the midst of the garden--the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (which represented corruption, sin, death, vanity). Which is better to choose, life or death? Life should be full of movement, awareness, stability, strength, production, enjoyment, even pleasure. But death is full of darkness, chaos, confusion, failure of strength, failure of freedom of movement, cessation of life, etc. Life is the choice of reality. Life is the choice of wisdom and understanding. Death is a trifle compared to life. Death is empty, vain, uselessness, nothingness.
The serpent employed a coquettish, trifling trick to beguile the woman into taking the fruit of emptiness, vanity, grief, suffering and death. Yes, the serpent utilized a coquettish trick to parade the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before the woman. He made vanity (a trifling thing) to appear as if it were wonderful and the thing to be desired to make one wise. We shall find out just how he did it.
THE SUBTLE SERPENT
Scripture says, "Now the serpent was more SUBTLE than any beast of the field which Yahweh Elohim had made," Gen. 3:1. The word "subtle" is #6175 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Its definition is given as, ‛aruwm, pass. part of 6191; cunning (usually in a bad sense):-crafty, prudent, subtle. #6191 = ‛aram, a prim. root, prop. to be (or make) bare; but used only in the der. sense (through the idea perh. of smoothness) to be cunning (usually in a bad sense):- x very, beware, take crafty [counsel], be prudent, deal subtly.
One of the interesting things about this is that when Scriptures say of Adam and Eve, "And they were both NAKED, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed," (Gen. 2:25), the word "naked" comes from the same root word #6191 ‛aram. The word to describe Adam and Eve's nakedness is #6174 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance which is defined as, ‛arowm; from 6191 (in its orig. sense), nude, either partially or totally:-naked.
E. W. Bullinger comments about this: "They were both naked (`arum), the man and his wife, and [knowing only good, 2.17] were not ashamed [before G-d]. But the Nachash was more wise (`arum) than any living being of the field which J-hovah Elohim had made, and [knowing evil, and not ashamed (2.25) to question the truth of G-d's word] he said unto the woman..." Adam and Eve, in their original nakedness, were good; and knowing no evil, they were not ashamed of their nakedness. The serpent was more naked, in a spiritual sense, because he knew evil and was not ashamed of it, but rather relished it. He wasn't even afraid of or ashamed of contradicting Yahweh's word. This explains how Adam and Eve could have had their nakedness covered with fig leaves, yet still considered themselves naked before Yahweh. That nakedness became a spiritual condition of the mind rather than the outer physical nakedness of the body.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines "subtil or subtle" as, 1. thin; rare; tenuous; not dense or heavy [a subtle gas] 2. a) capable of making or noticing fine distinctions in meaning, etc. [a subtle thinker] b) marked by or requiring mental keenness [subtle reasoning] 3. delicately skillful or clever, deft or ingenious [a subtle filigree] 4. not open or direct, crafty; sly 5. delicately suggestive, not grossly obvious [a subtle hint] 6. working insidiously, not easily detected /a subtle poison].
Satan the serpent is insidious. He is very skillful, deft, clever and sly. He is a subtle thinker who is able to make or notice fine distinctions in meaning. Let's take, for example, what he said to the woman, "Yea, hath Elohim said, `You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' And the woman said unto the serpent, `We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the gar-den: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim hath said, 'Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' And the serpent said to the woman, `You shall not surely die: for Elohim does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil."' Gen. 3:1-5.
Notice the tactic, the device of the serpent, which was employed here. First, he begins with a question, and then contradicts or denies the very words of Yahweh, the Creator. Jude warns, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints," v. 3. Jude is writing to the New Testament assembly. He is warning them (us) that we need to earnestly contend for the ORIGINAL FAITH. What was wrong? What had happened?
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, impious men, turning (can also be translated as "perverting") the grace of our Elohim into lasciviousness, and denying (can also be translated as "contradicting") the only Sovereign Yahweh, and our Sovereign Yahshua the Messiah," v. 4. These are the tactics of the serpent, Satan, "to pervert, corrupt, twist, deny and contradict." He did that to deceive the first woman, Eve, and he has done that to also deceive the bride of the Messiah.
The Apostle Paul warns, "Would to Elohim you could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with pious jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to the Messiah. 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 THE MESSIAH," 2 Cor. 11:1-3.
The Apostle Peter also warned, "But there were false prophets also among the People, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying (contradicting) the Sovereign That bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (blasphemed). And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not... Yahweh knows how to deliver the pious out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.
Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of (blaspheme) dignities (the glorious ones). Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before Yahweh. But these, as natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of (blaspheme) the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguil-ing unstable souls; a heart they have exercised with covetous practices, cursed children; which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
These are wells without wa-ter, clouds that are carried with a tempest, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Sovereign and Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened to them according to the true proverb, `The dog is turned to his own vomit again' and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire," 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 9-22.
As the Apostle Paul writes, the New Testament Assembly is to be the bride of Yahshua, but warnings throughout the Scriptures reveal Yahweh's people are deceived time and time again to turn to corruption, emptiness and vanity. Yahshua, Jude, Peter, Paul and others warned the New Testament Assembly that deception and corruption would come to many, even among themselves. The subtle serpent would send his own emissaries to utilize subtle, coquettish tricks to lure the believers away from the truth, from eternal life to a life of vain pursuits and death. Believers today may think themselves covered, but when Yahshua returns, they will realize their error, as Adam and Eve did, and they will run and hide because of their nakedness.
THE NAME SATAN
At this point, we need to look into the meaning of the name of the perpetrator of deception and evil--Satan. Satan is a Hebrew word. Its meaning is described in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #7854 of the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary: from 7853; an opponent; espec. (with the art. pref) Satan, the arch-enemy of good. It is also variously translated as adversary and withstand. #7853 is defined as: an, a prim. root, to attack, (fig.) accuse. It is variously translated as, (be an) adversary, resist. The meanings of this name reveal the very nature of Satan the Devil. He is the arch-enemy of everything that is good. He withstands and resists that which is good. He utilizes the tactics of accusations and attacks (whether true or false) to accomplish his means. He stands as an opponent and adversary against the Creator and His chosen people.
The first part of the name or word Satan also comes from another Hebrew word "set" (sayte). "Sat/set" [sayte] is #7846 in Strong's. It is defined as: from #7750; a departure from right, i.e. sin and is variously translated as revolter, that turns aside. Satan is the king of those who depart from that which is right, those who turn aside to sin. He is the great revolter or rebel. He is sin (the transgression of the law [1 Jn. 3:4]) personified.
"Sat/set" comes from #7750 which is the Hebrew word (soot), and is defined as: a primitive root; to detrude, i.e. (intrans. and fig.) become derelict (wrongly practice; namely, idolatry) and is usually translated as turn aside to (emphasis mine).
Satan is also called a serpent. One of the Hebrew words for serpent is "tan". "Tan" is #8565 in Strong's and is defined as: an unused root prob. mean. to elongate; a monster (as preternaturally formed), i.e. a sea-serpent (or other huge marine animal); also a jackal (or other hideous land animal) also being variously translated as dragon, or whale.
One of the first things that comes to mind concerning the definition as a "sea-serpent" is the "leviathan." Yahweh prophesies, "In that day, Yahweh with His sore and great and strong sword, shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea," Isa. 27:1. "Leviathan" is #3882 in Strong's. It is defined as: from 3867; a wreathed animal, i.e. a serpent (espec. the crocodile or some other large sea-monster); fig. the constellation of the dragon; also as a symbol of Bab. It is also translated as "mourning." #3867 is the Hebrew word "lavah"; a prim. root; prop. to twine, i.e. (by impl.) to unite, to remain, also to borrow ( as a form of obligation) or (caus.) to lend. It is variously translated as: abide with, borrow (-er), cleave, join (self), lend (-er). This accounts for the first part of the word "leviathan" which is "levia", but it leaves the last part ("than") unmentioned. It is made up of the same Hebrew characters as "tan", namely,
(nt). It is important to keep this in mind as we continue on with the descriptions of Satan. The word "leviathan" would carry the important meaning of the sea-serpent (tan/than) that joins or unites (lavah/levia) with something. Satan is the leviathan. He is the serpent that unites one with the wrong practices of idolatry. This produces a nakedness that is beyond the natural physical nakedness in which Adam and Eve were created. It is a spiritual nakedness introduced by the serpent Satan to cause one to wrongly practice, namely IDOLATRY.
THE GOLDEN CALF
Upon Israel's deliverance out of Egypt, they were brought to the foot of Mt. Sinai where Yahweh proposed to make a covenant with the people if they would promise to obey Him (Ex. 19:1-8). After personally delivering His commandments, statutes and ordinances (Ex. 20-23), the people promised that they would obey all the words that Yahweh had spoken (Ex. 24:3-8). Moses was called up into the mount in the midst of the cloud where Yahweh further instructed him concerning the building of a tabernacle, the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood and certain rituals that were to be performed (Ex. 24:18, and chapters 25-31). While Moses was in the mount, the people began to lose faith, questioning where Moses was and expressing doubt as to whether Moses would even come back (Ex. 32:1). They besought Aaron to make them mighty ones (elohim) to go before them. Aaron had them break off the golden earrings, etc., fashioning a golden calf from the jewelry. He built an altar for it, proclaimed a feast, offered offerings to it and the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play (Ex. 32:1-6).
Israel had just been delivered out of Egypt where the Pharaoh had been worshiped as the incarnate son of g-d. He was represented by the apis calf or bull. All of the pagan idolatrous nations represented their g-ds or elohim as a form of a calf or bull. Israel had quickly turned to idolatry. When Moses came down to the camp, he and Joshua (Yahshua), the son of Nun, heard the noise of the partying and saw the idolatrous abomination to which Israel had turned (Ex. 32:15-19). Moses angrily cast the tablets of stone, wherein Yahweh had written His commandments, breaking them to pieces. He took the golden calf, burned it with fire, ground it to powder and cast it into Israel's water mak-ing them drink thereof (Ex. 32:19-20).
Ex 32:25 says, "And when Moses saw that the People were NAKED; (for Aaron had made them NAKED unto shame among their enemies:)..." The people had quickly "turned aside," "turned out of the way," "become derelict in their duty," "wrongly practiced, namely idolatry" becoming NAKED, not only physically, but in a spiritual manner. This is after the manner of Satan. Satan causes a deep, intense NAKEDNESS that goes further than skin deep. It is a SUBTLE NAKEDNESS that is of the spirit. One can be physically clothed as Adam and Eve had clothed themselves with the fig leaves. As long as it remains physical to the eyes of man, it appears as if the nakedness is covered. But there is a subtle nakedness that is associated with the mind that does not become apparent until Yahweh discloses Himself. Then the nakedness appears because it is spiritual in nature.
THE SPIRITUAL NAKEDNESS
E. W. Bullinger makes a comment concerning Ex. 32:1 which says, "And when the People saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the People gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, `Up, make us elohim (g-ds), which shall go before us, for as for this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." Bullinger comments:
"...make us g-ds. The great sin of today (1 Cor. 10.7, 11), made now not of materials, but made by imagination, and worshiped by the senses." (The Companion Bible, p. 34). Bullinger is referring to the writings of Paul who warned, "Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, `The People sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play'... Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come," 1 Cor. 10:7, 11. Bullinger had tremendous insight when he stated that the great sin of today was that the idols were not now necessarily made of materials, but MADE BY IMAGINATION. How could Satan deceive the New Testament assembly so easily that it could not be detected? He could do it through his subtlety, intellect and through the use of skillful mental keenness which notices fine distinctions in meaning (see the definition for the word "subtle" again). Paul also warned, "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted" (1 Cor. 10:6). What happened to Israel was a warning to us. It was a situation of examples or ensamples (Gk.=tupos=types) for those of us upon whom the end of the age has come.
THE DEVICES OF SATAN - Part 2 tomorrow.