Satan and the Near-Death Experience

Timothy La Vey photo.

By Kevin Williams

 

The concept of an evil entity or entities who are trying to cause people to do bad things is a concept that is probably as old as human history. Perhaps it began when someone committed a wrong against someone and needed a scapegoat - someone to blame their sins on. In modern times, the popular phrase used to be, "The Devil made me do it." Some people picture a Devil with horns and a pitchfork. Others describe him as a goat with hooves. Some people describe the Devil as a force, rather than a being, who can be everywhere at the same time to tempt people. The overwhelming consensus in NDE research is that Satan does not exist - at least - not the Satan described literally in the Bible. Nor does evil exist - only mistakes for which we are allowed to make for the purpose of instruction. 

Table of Contents
1. Evil Does Not Exist. It's Only Stupidity
2. Satan Does Not Exist. It's Only Ego.
3. The Sons of Light Versus the Sons of Darkness
4. Buddhism's Lord of Death Leads Souls to Reincarnation
5. Theosophy's Lucifer as God's Tool in Dispensing Divine Justice
6. Satan as the Gnostic God of This World
7. Kabbalah's Teaching of Too Much Receiving and Not Enough Giving Creates a "Satan"
8. Satan as Psychological Guilt and Fear Resulting From Repressed Desires
9. Scriptural References to Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebul and the Devil
 
a. The Biblical Origin of "Lucifer"
b. The Biblical Origin of "Satan"
c. The Biblical Origin of "the Devil"
10. Why the Being of Light in NDEs is Not Satan
11. More Biblical Evidence for Satan as Fallen Human Nature
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1. Evil Does Not Exist. It's Only Stupidity

Multi-colored icon.   "Some beliefs hold to a dualistic system of good versus evil. It is the belief that there is only one force of goodness (God) and only one force of badness (Satan). In between are humans who are little more than pawns on a big chessboard for these two equally opposing forces to battle over. Throughout history, this belief system has been held by millions and millions of people. But NDE testimonies are giving us much better insights into whether such theological and philosophical concepts are actually valid. NDE testimonies offer us a much more realistic and logical solution to the classical paradox concerning "the problem of evil." What the religious traditions of the world perceive to be "sins," NDE testimonies reveal to be "mistakes" which God allows humans to make for the purposes of their higher education and spiritual evolution. What these religious traditions perceive to be "evil," NDE testimonies reveal to be "ignorance." What humans perceive as "the devil made me do it," NDE testimony reveals to be "our own ego and negative thought process." The following NDE insights reveal the true nature of human failings. 

Multi-colored icon.   Howard Storm was given the following insights from beings of light after his life review when he was fearful of returning to Earth life and afraid he would make mistakes again:  "Mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. We are here to make all the mistakes we want because it is through our mistakes that we learn. As long as we try to do what we know to be right, we will be on the right path. If we make a mistake, we should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind us and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important thing is to try our best, keep our standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise them to win people's approval. God loves us just the way we are, mistakes and all. When we make a mistake, we should ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult if we don't accept that we are forgiven. We shouldn't continue going around with a sense of guilt, and we should try not to repeat our mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes. God wants us to do what we want to do. That means making choices - and there isn't necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and we should make the best choice from those possibilities. If we do that, we will receive help from the Other Side." (Rev. Howard Storm)

Multi-colored icon.   "There really is no sin as it is known in the world. The only thing that has any meaning in the spirit world is what we think. The very core of our being is perfect love and light." (Jayne Smith)

Multi-colored icon.   "There is no evil in any human soul. It is the lack of love that distorts people. We are designed by God to self-correct, just like the rest of the universe. No one is lost because everyone is already saved." (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

Multi-colored icon.   "The more we exercise our individual consciousness and free will for self-interest, self-gratification, self-centeredness, and self-consciousness, the more we heightened our sense of self apart from the Whole. This separation of self from the Whole is what people call 'sin.'" (Edgar Cayce)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The greatest enemy we can face is ourselves." (George Anderson)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell refers to levels of negative thought-forms that reside in close proximity to the Earth realm. It is where we go to work out, or remain within, our hang-ups, addictions, fears, guilt, angers, rage, regrets, self-pity, arrogance, or whatever else blocks us from the power of our own light. We stay in hell (and there are many divisions to this vibratory level) for however long best serves our development. There is no condemnation here, only the outworking of our own misjudgments, mistakes, misalignments, and misappropriations - what some people call 'sin/'" (P.M.H. Atwater)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Negative thought vibrations out of ignorance. High vibrations indicate love and spiritual development, while low vibrations indicate debasement and evil." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "I knew that as part of his plan - as part of our growth - God may allow us to go through trials in a sorting-out period, a cleansing, a purification time when we are often forced to make new decisions based upon our current faith and trust in him." (Betty Eadie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "If each of us shares our light, soon all dark corners will be reached, and we will begin the healing of the world by chasing out darkness. We, too, will begin the healing of our own souls." (Betty Eadie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Evil and the devil do not exist. What people consider 'evil' is really ignorance and stupidity. Hitler was not an evil man per se. He was just so incredibly ignorant he was practically retarded at a spiritual level. Such people are to be pitied and our unconditional love should extended even to him. It is difficult to hate such a person who is retarded." (Kevin Williams)

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2. Satan Does Not Exist. It's Only Ego.

Multi-colored icon.   Cecil is an 11 year-old child who asked the Being of Light the following during his NDE:

I asked if there was a Devil or Satan.

He said to me, "Would God allow that?"

He continued, "If I made you God for just a few seconds, what would you do first?"

I knew my first act would be to eliminate any Devil or Satan.

I asked, "How do I know right from wrong?"

He replied, "Right is helping and being kind. Wrong is not only hurting someone but not helping when you can." (Cecil)

Multi-colored icon.   "The sin and Satan we live is that of our own creation." (Sherry Gideon)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Ego is always LOVE'S opposite. Love raises vibration and ego lowers it. Ego is a mental essence that each of us is made to endure for as long as we walk the planet. Ego is that thing that tells us in our mind, "No you can't do that ... because you're not talented, thin, good-looking, wealthy, intelligent, young, strong, interesting or intuitive ENOUGH!" This is the voice of the Liar. The Liar is the voice of ego. Let me put it this way: wherever there is separation, condemnation, self-doubt, lack-mentality, bitterness, hostility or segregation ... you can best be sure ego is not far behind. Ego wants to keep you earthbound and Heavenless for as long as it can. It is an essence that has been sent here to learn just as you have. However, it has a duty to challenge each of us and cause us to learn as it learns for itself. There is nothing to fear about the ego. It is just a fragile, spoiled child that screams and rants until it gets what it wants. And like any child, if you ignore it during its temper flare long enough, sooner or later it will get the message that those kinds of methods are not productive and will not yield positive results. If you understand the ego, you will understand the concept of the devil. Satanic frequency is the LOW-RANGE frequency that surrounds us in our collective thinking. It is the opposite of the HIGH, INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVING frequency of God. Please hear me out on something...be careful of the music you listen to, the movies or TV you watch, the gossip or negative speaking you participate in. All these things LOWER the Soul's vibration. Lower vibration brings depression, disillusionment, disease and despair. The lower our Soul's vibration falls, the more these dark things come upon us. Once you fall into LOWER vibration, immediately seek to amend it with LOVING, HIGHER VIBRATIONAL THOUGHT. It is like anything else, the more you put into something, that is what the end result will be." (Christian Andreason)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "There is no devil. But if there is one, he would have to be an insane angel who was crazy enough to fight with God, which would be as futile as for us to try to stop the sunrise. The devil is a mythological character invented by humans and used for a scapegoat. Grown people with immature minds like to blame the devil for their misdeeds instead of acting like people and taking the blame themselves. However, there may be earthbound spirits of low vibrations, whom we may regard as devils because they annoy us through mental telepathy. These demons tune in on us through our low vibrations of hate, fear and greed. They can be tuned out with unselfish love, or if necessary be chased away by the stronger spirit of Jesus Christ. There's an old saying, Birds of a feather, flock together. The way to be rid of the devil is not to be like him." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The struggle between higher and lower self or what some call God and the Devil causes growth, until finally the negativity or the destructive elements are completely overcome." (Betty Bethards)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Humans are educated at a higher level by spirit beings who bring us into heaven. We grow and increase, and grow and increase, and shed the concerns, desires, and base animal stuff that we have been fighting much of our life. Earthly appetites melt away. It is no longer a struggle to fight them. We become who we truly are, which is part of the divine." (Rev. Howard Storm)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Just knowing the bad mistakes you made through your carelessness or your selfishness is a hell. You don't need a devil prodding you with a fork. Believe me, your own anguished mind is a prod that is more hurtful than any prodding with a devil's fork. I met a man over here who said that he would gladly exchange good old Dante's Inferno for the mental anguish he was experiencing over guilt feelings from wrong actions he had taken on Earth in certain business matters. In Dante's Inferno he would be able to complain that the devil was doing this to him, whereas now he had no devil to complain of because the devil was himself. Whether there is a negative personal being who can be called the devil I cannot say. I have not seen anyone personified as the devil. There certainly is an evil force which builds up from the negative aspects of life and has a tremendous influence. Thought forms which are evil certainly play a part, but I don't think they are the whole answer." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a psychological condition which corresponds to the suffering we experience on Earth when we allow ourselves to be driven by the blind greed of our own egos. There are no "devils" here to inflict punishments, since in the state of hell, each person acts out their own malice by tormenting others." (Emanuel Swedenborg)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Murderers in hell do not see a devil. Full of hatred or vengeance, he expects to find nothing after death, and for a long time that is what he finds - nothing. Then he discovers that the hell he had every reason to expect is indeed awaiting him. It is not goblins and devils that he sees, but visions of his own face distorted by hatred, greed, malice, and other defeating emotions. He cringes from the sight, realizing that he sees himself thus, that he himself was possessed of a devil, and that except for his baser nature he would have been able unaided to cast him forth. He is appalled as he realizes that he wasted a lifetime of opportunity. Not for him is enrollment in the temple of wisdom or the higher school of learning. (Ruth Montgomery)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "I had a descent into what you might call Hell ... I did not see Satan or evil. My descent into Hell was a descent into each person's customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not-knowing. It seemed like a miserable eternity. But each of the millions of souls around me had a little star of light always available. But no one seemed to pay attention to it. They were so consumed with their own grief, trauma and misery." (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

Multi-colored icon.   "Numerous scriptural accounts describe angels who turned against the pure goodness and love of God, and also turn humankind toward evil by malicious intent. The master of such forces is often called Satan or the devil. There is no doubt that evil exists on Earth. Similarly, those who have communication with the spiritual world state that all is not goodness and light there as well. Since we know that we enter the spiritual world at the same level of spiritual development we have gained while on Earth, then it makes sense that those who have had much give and take with selfishness, revenge and maliciousness will continue such acts in the spirit world. There is, therefore, evil and darkness in the spirit world. The darkness may be a result of ignorance and lack of understanding. Spiritual guides will enlighten willing souls and offer growth opportunities to lead the spirit into the light and warmth of higher realms. Some accounts inform us that ignorance of the need to seek growth may keep someone in a state of darkness for a long period of time. Apart from ignorance, there are also dark forces in the spirit world created by those of vengeful and malicious desires. Such are the forces, often called demonic, which influence, obsess or possess people on Earth and which may be instigators of crime and violence, sexual abuse and aberrations, and belief in Satanism. A person of such interests on Earth will inevitably be drawn to similar companionship in the spirit world. The dwelling place of such evil could certainly be called hell. Everyone entering the spiritual world, however, should know that a God of love suffers for those in darkness, ignorance and misery. Based on desire and willingness, the spirit is given opportunity for an upward journey." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "If we are convinced a devil is out there to trick or deceive us, and if we have already pictured in our minds what this devil looks like and what he plans on doing, we should really not be surprised when our worst fears are confirmed. The devils we create become real and solid in the next dimension because we created them." (Jerry Gross)

Multi-colored icon.   "Religion is to each individual, their own personal experience, values, beliefs and what they need to know and find from it. The existence of a heaven or a hell and one's existence therein, in my knowledge, is not based on their belief or faith in a God or a Satan. It is based on their belief of truth, knowledge, faith, love, peace and compassion. Verbally professing to have faith in a God or a Satan or the heaven which Christians profess to exist, will not assure an eternal rest in a heaven with a God or a hell with a Satan. I know this to be my own truth from my own experience. A heavenly existence for any of us will be what we have made of our own individual earthly existences, the truths we have lived and taught and believed in our current lives, and the love, peace and compassion we have known for ourselves and those we have touched. Anything else will be what we make to be our own hellish existence." (Tina)

Multi-colored icon.   Analysis by Kevin Williams:  "I have found practically no NDE testimonies referring to a devil. And none of them describe an encounter with a being identified to be Satan. Even in the hellish NDE reports I have read, none of them describe an encounter with a being whom they identify as Satan. There are encounters with strange Satan-like beings, but none of them were identified as Satan. None of them have the personality traits, the actions, or the words that would indicate they were actually Satan. One would think that if Satan really existed, that if he is the powerful Prince of Darkness, the Dark Lord, the Serpent and Dragon, and the Evil One who is so powerful and fearsome that he led a cosmic rebellion against God and heaven as a literal interpretation of the Bible suggests, then why doesn't he appear in NDE reports? Where is he? Where are all the NDE reports that can tell us? Some people claim the Being of Light to be Satan. But how can a being that emits such an incredible amount of love and light be Satan? Love and light are God. (Kevin Williams)

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3. The Sons of Light Versus the Sons of Darkness

In 1947, on the shores of the Dead Sea, scrolls from a monastic group known as the Essenes, dated to be about two thousand years old were discovered and was labeled the Dead Sea Scrolls. One particular Dead Sea Scroll entitled 11Q13 Melchizedek Text which contains a sermon called The Last Jubilee, refers to the defeat of Satan. This scroll is about the last days during which time it says, a Melchizedek redivivus (reincarnate) will appear and destroy Belial (Satan) and lead the children of God to eternal forgiveness. (The Last Jubilee, Dead Sea Scrolls)

 

In Enochic Judaism, the concept of Satan being an opponent of God and a chief evil figure in among demons, seems to have taken root in Jewish pseudepigrapha during the Second Temple period, particularly in the apocalypses. The Book of Enoch contains references to Satariel, thought also to be Sataniel and Satan'el (etymology dating back to Babylonian origins). The similar spellings mirror that of his angelic brethren Michael, Raphael, Uriel, and Gabriel, previous to the fall from Heaven.

 

The Second Book of Enoch, also called the Slavonic Book of Enoch, contains references to a Watcher (Grigori) called Satanael. It is a pseudepigraphic text of an uncertain date and unknown authorship. The text describes Satanael as being the prince of the Grigori who was cast out of heaven and an evil spirit who knew the difference between what was "righteous" and "sinful". A similar story is found in the book of 1 Enoch; however, in that book, the leader of the Grigori is called Semyaza.

 

In the Book of Wisdom, the devil is represented as the being who brought death into the world.

 

Mastema, in the Book of Jubilees, induces God to test Abraham through the sacrifice of Isaac. He is identical to Satan in both name and nature.

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4. Buddhism's Lord of Death Leads Souls to Reincarnation

Multi-colored icon.   Tibetan Buddhism teaches that, at the very moment of death, there dawns the Clear Light of Ultimate Reality which is the Pure Mind and Light of all the Buddhas (enlightened ones). If the dead recognizes this light to be the projection of their own mind, they are liberated from the cycle of reincarnation and can enter into the light. 

At the same time the Clear Light appears, a dull light leading to hell, called the Secondary Light, draws those who have not recognized the true nature of their mind toward reincarnation. Ultimately, the unliberated are pulled down by the weight of their karma to judgment, during which the Lord of Death (Yamaraja) examines the past actions of the individual with the Mirror of Karma. He then assigns the person according to his or her merits and debits to one of the six realms into which one can be reincarnated. (Tibetan Buddhism)

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5. Theosophy's Lucifer as God's Tool in Dispensing Divine Justice

Multi-colored icon.   Theosophy is a religion that believes Lucifer plays an important role not only in the Earth dimension but also in other dimensions in the afterlife. Lucifer's job, so to speak, is to act as a dispenser of God's justice and to antagonize us during Earth life as our conscience. This suggests that the purpose for all our sufferings and hardships are to lead us to the Christ consciousness (the divine nature in man).

 

When we die, it is our Christ consciousness which leads us to the dimension of light. In the higher dimensions, the true and the false extremes become balanced and we understand their purpose. It is in this dimension that the soul encounters Lucifer as no longer an antagonistic being. Here we choose between the light of heaven and the light of Lucifer. It is Lucifer who leads us back to the Earth dimension, if it is what we choose. Lucifer helps to prepare us for our future incarnations if we remain awake during this journey and don't get snagged in the hell realm. Eventually everyone goes through all the phases of the planetary journey but they don't necessarily do it consciously. (Theosophy)

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6. Satan as the Gnostic God of This World

Multi-colored icon.   The Christian Gnostics believed in a very different version of the origins of humanity and divinity compared to orthodox Christianity and Judaism. They believed the God of the Old Testament, Yahweh, was a Satan-like figure. What follows is the Gnostic view of Satan:

The Gnostics believed it was an evil deity who created the fallen material world - a realm they considered to be one of the lowest heavens in the hierarchy of heavens. For this reason, Gnostics believed the flesh and the material world was evil. They believed this evil deity was the god of this world who ruled and controlled the material universe. The Gnostics believed this god was ignorant of the true God of heaven - the creator of the spirit realms. According to Gnostic theology, the evil creator god was the one who trapped souls into flesh. Adam and Eve were created in a paradise by the evil god so that they can praise and worship this god. When Adam and Eve disobeyed him by becoming knowledgeable of good and evil, this god becomes infuriated and chased the first human couple out of paradise and threatened their descendants.

 

The Gnostics viewed the creator deity as evil because he was bloodthirsty and full of jealousy, wrath and vengeance. The Gnostics rejected this evil deity because this god believed that he alone was deity by declaring, "I am God and there is no other God beside me" and demanded all humanity to worship him. The Gnostics believed it was this tribal deity who demanded Jesus be killed partly because of Jesus' teachings that we are gods. This jealous god eventually regretted creating humanity and in his wrath he drowned the whole world in a flood. Afterward, he became a tribal deity and exercised world rule aimed at enslaving man through laws and animal sacrifices. He declared he would reward those who worship him with material gains. But he demanded that people fear him and when they did not, he destroyed multitudes of people for failure to do so. The Gnostics believed Jesus came to free people from the slavery of the evil law and taught secret doctrines to his disciples on how to escape from the trap of birth and rebirth. (Christian Gnosticism)

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7. Kabbalah's Teaching of Too Much Receiving and Not Enough Giving Creates a "Satan"

Multi-colored icon.   The Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah teaches that God is the Source from whom we all came. God needs nothing, lacks nothing and desires nothing because God has everything and is everything. For this reason, God can only give. Before the fall of souls from God into the flesh, souls needed to discover what it meant to be God-like, that is, what it meant to give. Kabbalah teaches that if a person does nothing but receive, they develop an unnatural Satan condition of selfishness. Kabbalah teaches that this was the reason why souls left their positions with God. It is the plan of God that humans learn how to give and receive. Those humans who mostly receive and not give are susceptible of developing this Satan condition. Those who learn to give selflessly are developing a godly condition. (Kabbalah)

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8. Satan as Psychological Guilt and Fear Resulting From Repressed Desires

Multi-colored icon.   Carl G. Jung, a near-death experiencer and the father of analytical psychology, defined the "devil" to be the dark aspect of human nature which exists solely within a person's mind. Jung called this dark nature the shadow archetype and said it represents the negative ego personality and qualities which are painful and regrettable. When we have dark thoughts or engaged in negative activity, we may experience guilt, fear, and anxiety. Jung believed the shadow archetype is made up of those aspects of our lives which we try to repress. But this repression may sooner or later result in their manifestation. For example, if someone is brought up believing that sex is dirty, they may end up becoming promiscuous because they had repressed this aspect of their nature. What such a person is doing is trying to embrace the darker aspects of their life which is previously forbidden to them. While Christianity believes that evil is in opposition to good, Jung saw evil as that which needs to be recognized and in some ways embraced in order for a person to remain psychologically balanced. (Carl G. Jung)

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9. Scriptural References to Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebul and the Devil

Multi-colored icon.   Mainstream Christians consider Satan (also known as Lucifer, Beelzebul or the Devil) to be an archangel who led a rebellion in heaven and fell from grace because of pride and was therefore cast out of heaven to Earth:

"Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan], and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." (Revelation 12:7-9)

Multi-colored icon.   Satan is then viewed as persecuting Jesus, his mother and all of Jesus' followers who keep his commandments:

"When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman [Mary] who had given birth to the male child [Jesus]. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the Earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring - those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus." (Revelation 12:13-17)

Multi-colored icon.   Traditional Christianity holds that Satan's "sin" was thinking he was equal to God and rebelling against Him. This rebellious angel  is viewed as one who tempts us to do evil. Supposedly, one of the most evil things Satan tempts us to do is to think that we are God. So those who believe in the essential divinity of all life are often accused of committing Satan's sin, and of being under his influence - as Jesus was accused of when he quoted Psalm 82:6 to defend himself as being the "Son of God" by saying "you are gods" (John 10:30-36). 

Multi-colored icon.   Satan is also believed to have spoken through "the serpent" (Genesis 3:1) to seduce Eve into disobeying God's command to not eat of the forbidden fruit. It is thought that Satan's ultimate goal is to lead people away from God in order to claim their souls as his own for damnation in hell. Satan is also thought to be "the adversary" of Job (Job 1:6), the "tempter" of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 4:2-11) and the "secret power of lawlessness" (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Before his rebellion, Satan was viewed to be among the highest of all angels and the "brightest in the sky." It is believed that Satan desires to overthrow God and rule heaven itself. In mainstream Christianity he is also called the "ruler of the demons" (Matthew 12:24), the "ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient" (Ephesians 2:2) and the "god of this age" who "has blinded the minds of unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan's ultimate fate is described in Revelation 20:

"And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time." (Revelation 20:1-3, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   During this thousand year period, Christ will rule the world and the Kingdom of God will be established. Afterwards, Satan and his forces will be allowed to be set free on Earth; but they will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire:

"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog - and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:7-10, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   According to the Christian mystic, Edgar Cayce, "Satan" and the Book of Revelation is the symbolic account of "the fall of all human souls" and their ultimate restoration as permanent citizens of heaven - similar to Jesus' symbolic parable of the Prodigal Son. Cayce revealed through his NDE-like experiences that all human souls were created before the universe began and none have been created since. Some of these human souls left their abode in heaven and some became trapped on Earth in flesh are now finding their way back to God through the cycle of evolution and reincarnation:

"Our minds are led by the spirit we are entertaining, the spirit of God or the spirit of the devil - self. This spiritual force of selfishness is the false god referred to as Satan. It is the collective unconscious rebellion of humanity against God. This collective unconscious rebellion is manifested as self-centeredness, self-gratification, self-seeking, self-righteousness, self-glorification, self-consciousness, self-indulgence, self-deception, self-serving, self-condemnation, self-absorbed, self-importance, selfishness, SELF. It is the force of the unevolved animalistic nature (the "beast") within humans. Satan is the unregenerated lower self that wars against the Higher Self within every human being. Jesus, on the other hand, went to the cross to fulfill his mission of showing humans the way to "crucify" their lower nature. Through a person's Higher Self of unconditional love - the manifestation of God - a person can attain at-one-ment with the divine nature within. This Higher Self is the Spirit of self-sacrifice, self-denial, selflessness, self-effacing, self-discipline, self-control, self-restraint, self-respect - the divine self that is a part of God and which wars against the lower self." (Edgar Cayce)

 

Edgar Cayce revealed that the greatest enemy we will ever have to face is self. This also corresponds with the NDE life review where, after death, we observe all our thoughts and deeds in minute detail. The life review is often mistaken by some NDE experiencers as judgment from God; but, in the final analysis, it is discovered to be a process for our own spiritual growth and education - not damnation. Cayce interpreted the Book of Revelation to be the story of humanity overcoming the enemy within. In Revelation, Babylon is symbolic of our selfish desires that cause us to war against ourselves and others. Armageddon is a battle between the beast nature of our animalistic lower self and the lamb - the divine nature of our Higher Self. Once the lower self is overcome by the higher self, the devil (self-will) is cast into the Abyss (the divine will suppressing the self-will). The result of this is the Kingdom of heaven (the rule of the Holy Spirit within) as it comes to Earth (the human body). Genesis is the story of humanity's fall from heaven. Revelation is the story of humanity being restored to God. It is paradise lost and then paradise found. (Edgar Cayce)

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a. The Biblical Origin of "Lucifer"

Multi-colored icon.   The only reference to "Lucifer" in both the New and Old Testaments is in Isaiah 14 and only in the King James Version:

a.

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15, King James Version)

b.

"How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15, New International Version)

c.

"How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? You thought to yourself, 'I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." Instead you are brought down to Sh’ol, to the uttermost depths of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15, Complete Jewish Bible)

In spite of this King James mistranslation, the proper name "Lucifer" is not found anywhere in the original Hebrew text or even in the translated Messianic Writings. "Lucifer" is a Latin word and the next question becomes: how did this Latin word makes its way into a Hebrew manuscript written centuries before Latin even existed? In Hebrew, the phrase "Lucifer, son of the morning" in Isaiah 14:12 is helel ben shachar and is more accurately translated as "morning star, son of the dawn." So there is no proper name for "Lucifer" mentioned in this Isaiah 14:12 in the original Hebrew. The context of the whole passage of Isaiah 14 is not about a condemnation against a fallen angel, but about a condemnation against the fallen Babylonian king who had persecuted the people of Israel. This verse also contains no mention of Satan either by name or reference.

So why did the translators of the King James Bible use the "Lucifer" for "morning star" in Isaiah 14:12? The translation of the original Hebrew scriptures into Greek was called the Septuagint and its translators chose the Greek word heosphoros for the Hebrew helel ben shachar. Heos means "in or of the morning" and phoros means "that which is borne, or bearing." The Greek language is a very different language than Hebrew and much of the original Hebrew meaning and contexts became lost in the translation. By 325 AD, during the reign of Constantine, the Roman Empire adopted Gentile Christianity as the new state religion. Shortly thereafter, the Latin Church Father Jerome  (347-420 AD) began working on a Latin translation of the Bible. After 20 years of translating the text, in the year 405 AD, the translation now known as the Vulgate was completed. While Jerome used the Greek Septuagint and Hebrew in translating the scriptures to Latin, most biblical scholars agree the Vulgate has many flaws and inaccuracies. The translation of Isaiah 14:12 is a testimony to this fact. Jerome did not translate the Hebrew helel ben shachar precisely nor did he use the Greek heosphoros. Instead, Jerome chose to translate Isaiah 14:12 using the Latin word lukophos which in Jerome's day was an epithet for the Greek gods Apollo and Pan who were both worshipped at first light of the dawn - the "morning star" - the planet Venus. The word "Lucifer" comes from the Latin word lux meaning "light" and ferre meaning "to bear or bring." Thus, Lucifer became "the light bringer" although there is no scriptural basis for such an arbitrary personification of that word. For these reasons, the Bible contains no reference to a being named "Lucifer." Neither Isaiah nor Jesus nor the apostles of Jesus referred to a being named Lucifer. Neither is there is no association between helel ben shachar of Isaiah 14:12 and the entity known as Satan. So according to the proper context of Isaiah 14:12, the prophet Isaiah is taunting a man - the king "star" of Babylon at the time:

"In the poetic and figurative language of the Hebrew ... a star signifies an illustrious king or prince ... The monarch here referred to, having surpassed all other kings in royal splendor, is compared to the harbinger of day, whose brilliancy surpasses that of the surrounding stars" (A Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, John Kitto ed., 3rd ed., J. B. Lippincott and Co, Philadelphia, 1866, 2:857-8).

Multi-colored icon.   The irony of believing that "Lucifer" refers to an evil being named Satan is that the same title - "morning star" - is used to refer to Jesus in 2 Peter 1:19 where the text has exactly the same Greek word heosphoros :

"We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:19, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   In the Vulgate, the word "morning star" in 2 Peter 1:19 is even translated as "Lucifer." "Morning star" is also a term used by Jesus to describe Himself in Revelation 22:16:

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Jesus also promises to give the "morning star" to those who are victorious:

"To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations - that one 'will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery' just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star." (Revelation 2:26-28, NIV)

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b. The Biblical Origin of "Satan"

Multi-colored icon.   The original Hebrew term, "satan," is a noun from a verb meaning primarily to, "obstruct, oppose," as it is found in Numbers 22:22, 1 Samuel 29:4, Psalms 109:6. The Hebrew word "ha-satan" is traditionally translated as "the accuser," or "the adversary." The definite article "ha-" as in "ha-satan" is similar to the English word "the" and is used to show that this is a label associated with a person and not the name of a person. Thus any person opposing another would be referred to as "the satan." "Satan" without the definite article "ha-" is used in 10 instances, of which two are translated "diabolos" in the Septuagint and "Satan" which appears only in the King James Version. Properly translated in the Hebrew Bible, 'satan" and "ha-satan" are never interpreted to be an evil archangel known also as the Devil. For example, "Satan" (the "adversary") incited David to take a census of Israel:

 

Multi-colored icon.   The 1st instance in the Hebrew Bible containing "satan":

"Satan (i.e., "an adversary") rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel." (1 Chronicles 21:1, NIV)

But the Hebrew Bible also mentions that it was God incited David to take a census of Israel:

"Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, 'Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.'" (2 Samuel 24:1, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 2nd instance in the Hebrew Bible containing "satan":

"Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let 'an accuser' (i.e., "satan") stand at his right hand." (Psalm 109:6, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The other 8 instances of "satan" without the definite "ha-" article are traditionally translated (in Greek, Latin and English) as "an adversary" and taken to be applied to humans or the "angel of the Lord."

Multi-colored icon.   The 1st instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in Numbers 22:22:

"But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose (i.e., "satan") him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him." (Numbers 22:22, NIV)

So when the "angel of the Lord" is sent as "satan" (i.e., "an adversary") to oppose the prophet Balaam in Numbers 22:22, it does not mean the Lord takes on the persona of an evil "Satan."

Multi-colored icon.   The 2nd instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in Numbers 22:32:

"The angel of the Lord asked him, 'Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose (i.e., "satan") you because your path is a reckless one before me.'" (Numbers 22:32, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 3rd instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in 1 Samuel 29:4:

"But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, 'Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he [David] will turn against (i.e., "satan", "oppose") us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men?'" (1 Samuel 29:4, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 4th instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in 2 Samuel 19:22:

"David replied, 'What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah [Joab and his brothers]? What right do you have to interfere (i.e., "satans," plural)? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don’t I know that today I am king over Israel?" (2 Samuel 19:22, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 5th instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in 1 Kings 5:4:

"But now the Lord my God has given me [Solomon] rest on every side, and there is no adversary (i.e., "satan") or disaster." (1 Kings 5:4, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 6th instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in 1 Kings 11:14:

"Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary (i.e., "satan"), Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom." (1 Kings 11:14, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 7th instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in 1 Kings 11:23:

"And God raised up against Solomon another adversary (i.e., "satan"), Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah." (1 Kings 11:23, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The 8th instance of "satan" in the Hebrew Bible occurs in 1 Kings 11:25:

"Rezon was Israel’s adversary (i.e., "satan") as long as Solomon lived, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled in Aram and was hostile toward Israel." (1 Kings 11:25, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   The word "ha-satan" with the definite article "ha-" occurs 13 times in two books of the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Job (chapters 1-2), "ha-satan" appears 10 times. In the Book of Zechariah 3:1-2, "ha-satan" appears 3 times. Zechariah 3:1-2 states:

"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan (i.e., "ha-satan", "the accuser") standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan (i.e., "ha-satan", "the accuser"), “The Lord rebuke you, Satan (i.e., "ha-satan", "the accuser")! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?" (Zechariah 3:1-2)

Multi-colored icon.   All other examples in the Book of Job, the word "Satan" should be correctly translated as "an adversary":

"One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (i.e., "an adversary") also came with them." (Job 1:6, NIV)

The Book of Job is a book whose final version is dated after the Babylonian exile of the Jews. It was during the Babylonian exile that the Hebrews came into contact with the Zoroastrian religion (of Magi fame, see Matthew 2:1, NIV). Zoroastrianism is the source of religious concepts found in Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity and Islam concerning beliefs about heaven, a dualistic struggle between co-equal forces of good and the forces of evil followed by a final assault, the final resurrection of the dead, the restoration of the world, an individual judgment and a last judgment, and a hell where souls are purified but do not experience eternal damnation. Zoroastrianism is also the source for the Hebrew and Christian concepts of a messiah. This final savior of the world (known to Zoroastrianism as "Saoshyant") will be born to a virgin and who will raise the dead - including those in both heaven and hell - for final judgment, returning the wicked to hell to be purged of bodily sin. Next, all souls will wade through a purifying river of molten metal in which the righteous will not burn. Heavenly forces ultimately triumph over evil and all men will become immortal.

 

Ahura Mazda (the Wise Lord) is worshipped by Zoroastrians as the good God. Opposed to the Wise Lord is Ahriman (the evil god). The Earth was created by the Wise Lord to be a battlefield in which to fight the evil god. Human beings have free will to choose between the Lord and the evil god. Those who choose the evil god go to hell for a time. Those who choose the Lord will resurrect at the time of the Last Judgment. (Zoroastrianism)

 

Before the Babylonian exile, there is no evidence in Hebrew scriptures of an accuser as a force opposing God. Even after the exile such a concept is still doubtful. The word "Satan" in Job 1:6 was mistakenly translated as a capitalized name suggesting it to be a being; but there are no capitalizations in the Hebrew language. The word "ha-satan" or "the adversary" is never used to represent a being or entity in Hebrew. As was the case with the word "Lucifer," the original Hebrew meaning and context became lost in the translation. In Hebrew, the word "accuser" represents an opposing force with all of the following connotations: accuse, oppose, divide, slander, reject, deceive, be adversarial - but not once in the Hebrew Bible does it represent an actual being.

 

Multi-colored icon.   The Hebrew word "adversary" is more of an opposing attitude or mindset against God representing the opposite of loving others and of putting others before self as in: selfishness, self-centeredness, self-gratification and self-consciousness. The more our sense of self becomes separated from others - the more this mindset becomes an adversary of God. Jesus, for example, came to live and teach the principles of self-denial and self-sacrifice:

"Then he [Jesus] said to them all, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'" (Luke 9:23, NIV)

 

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:1-8, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Wherever there exists the mindset of selfishness, there always exists this "adversary" - the opposing mindset to God:

"Then he [Jesus] said to them all, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'" (Luke 9:23, NIV)

 

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." (James 3:16, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Any force opposing goodness should always be considered to be not of God:

"Jesus replied, 'Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.'" (John 14:23-24, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   There are other Bible verse defining "Satan" as "an opposing force" against God within human beings:

a.

"From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 'Never, Lord!' he said. 'This shall never happen to you!' Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'" (Matthew 16:21-23)

b.

"Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.' Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him." (John 13:26-27)

c.

Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "In the pride of your heart you say, "I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas." But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. ... You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God ... You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you ... You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you ... So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones ... So I threw you to the Earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries." (Ezekiel 28:1-19)

Multi-colored icon.   Christian orthodoxy later changed "ha-Satan" from "an accuser" appointed by God to test men's faith to God's god-like fallen opponent. This traditional view of an evil being who acts as a formidable opponent to God came under attack even by second-century pagans such as Celsus who stated:

"It is blasphemy ... to say that the greatest God ... has an adversary who constrains his capacity to do good." And that Christians "impiously divide the kingdom of God, creating a rebellion in it, as if there were opposing factions within the divine, including one that is hostile to God." (Celsus)

Multi-colored icon.   Liberal Christianity often views the devil metaphorically as do some conservative Christian groups as well including Christadelphians and the Church of the Blessed Hope. Liberal Christians such as the Unitarians and Universalists believe "Satan" in the Bible shouldn't be regarded as a supernatural entity but as a figurative reference to human sin and temptation. Much of the traditional Christian views of Satan is not Biblical; but instead grew from pre-medieval and medieval Christian mythology. The Anabaptists where the first Christian denomination to hold a doctrine that the devil was only a metaphor.

Multi-colored icon.   This same metaphorical view holds true for the "serpent" in Genesis 3 which is incorrectly regarded in Christian theology to be a fallen angel named "Satan" even though the Hebrew word "Satan" does not appear anywhere in the Book of Genesis. The correct interpretation of metaphors, symbolism and allegories can be problematic when it comes to interpreting scripture. In context, the serpent must be understood as just that - a serpent. Not much information is given in the Bible about the serpent; but in Genesis 3:1, scripture clearly states the serpent was one of the most intelligent of all the animals God created:

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1, NIV)

The fact that the serpent was created like the other "wild animals" in Genesis 1:24-25 and "was good" also dispels any notion of the presence of an evil angelic being:

"And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds.' And God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:24-25, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Adversity is an implement used by God to accomplish specific purposes and should never be thought of as "evil" per se. There is much in the Book of Job to support this view. This incorrect translation of the word "adversary" with a being named "Satan" appears only in the first two chapters of Job and then disappears. Some Bible scholars believe the first two chapters of Job were added much later. In the last chapter of Job it states:

"All his [Job's] brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring." (Job 42:11, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   In Isaiah 45:7, God declares his role in allowing adversity to happen:

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things." (Isaiah 45:7, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Throughout the Bible, we learn how God uses adversity to his advantage in bringing about his good purposes. The perfect example is the crucifixion of Jesus:

"In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation [Jesus] perfect through what he suffered." (Hebrews 2:10, NIV)

So we see how even Jesus, as a man, was made perfect through suffering. The Bible is filled with references to how unjust suffering has high spiritual value associated with it. Here are a few examples:

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4, NIV)

 

"Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17, NIV)

 

"For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:5, NIV)

 

"All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering." (2 Thessalonians 1:5, NIV)

 

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." (Acts 5:41, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   So-called "evil" must never be viewed as originating with God:

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)

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c. The Biblical Origin of "the Devil"

Multi-colored icon.   In mainstream Judaism there is no concept of a Devil. The reason this transliterated Hebrew word, ha-satan, which means "the adversary" has become associated with a persona called "Satan" is because this Hebrew word was translated using the Greek word diabolos, which means "devil" translated as "slanderer." But this also was a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "adversary" and was mistakenly suggested it to be a person. According to mainstream Christianity, one of the main roles of the Devil is to tempt people to sin; but this principle assumes the Devil has god-like powers of omnipresence which only God has. Temptation must also never be viewed as originating from God:

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone." (James 1:13, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Now we can properly understand - not only how Jesus was made perfect as a man through suffering - but also how Jesus was made perfect as a man through temptation:

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." (Matthew 4:1, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   With all that has been established thus far, we can know understand how the "adversary" tempting Jesus was his own human nature becoming perfected. Immediately following Matthew 4:1 we read:

"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he [Jesus] was hungry. The tempter [the adversary] came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.' Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' Then the devil [the adversary] took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' Jesus answered him, 'It is also written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' Again, the devil [the adversary] took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me [give in to temptation].' Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan [adversary]! For it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' Then the devil [the adversary] left him, and angels came and attended him." (Matthew 4:2-11, NIV)

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10. Why the Being of Light in NDEs is Not Satan

Multi-colored icon.   Many Christian skeptics argue that NDEs are of the Devil. They accuse the Being of Light to be the Dark Lord and Prince of Darkness himself impersonating an angel of light. They claim that the Being of Light preaches an evil gospel that draws people away from the Bible thereby leading them to hell. They base their misguided belief about the Being of Light on this Bible verse:

"And I [Paul] will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:12-14, NIV)

These skeptics believe the Being of Light to be Satan masquerading as an angel of light. But if these critics really understood what the Bible teaches about the nature of light, they would not be making such ignorant claims. NDEs and the Bible agree God is light (1 John 1:5) and there is no darkness in light, and so there is no darkness in the Being of Light. If we assume an evil archangel named "Satan" actually exists and can masquerade as an angel of light, this does not mean such a being actually IS an angel of light - unless you are willing to believe Satan can manifest God's light. But the Being of Light in NDEs cannot be Satan because the Being of Light passes the test given by Jesus and John. It is the test to determine whether the spirit is of God or not.

a. "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1, NIV)
b. "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (Matthew 12:33-34, NIV)
c. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit." (Matthew 7:18, NIV)
d. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

The gospels describe an event where Jesus actually used this test. In Matthew 12, Jesus was accused by the religious leaders of performing his miracles by the power of Satan. This is the same accusation that many critics bring against the Being of Light in NDEs. These accusations are made despite the fact that Jesus and the Being of Light both bear an incredible amount of love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' response to his accusers was:

"Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, 'Could this be the Son of David?' But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, 'It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.' Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.'" (Matthew 12:22-37, NIV)

Multi-colored icon.   Anyone familiar with NDEs knows the Being of Light gives an astonishing amount of love, holiness, joy, peace - good fruit of the Holy Spirit. And by using the test given by Jesus, we see that the Being of Light is not Satanic and that the test actually confirms the Being of Light to be of God. In my own NDE research, an experience of overwhelming love from the Being of Light is the most common characteristic appearing in the NDEs I researched. And because God is love, the only conclusion can be that the Being of Light is the God of Light and the God of Love.

But it doesn't stop there. After Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for accusing him of performing miracles by the power of Satan, Jesus warned them about the very serious consequences of attributing things of God to Satan:

"And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." (Matthew 12:31-32, NIV)

As it was with the Pharisees, many critics foolishly rush in where angels fear to tread by recklessly declaring what is holy to be evil.

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11. More Biblical Evidence for Satan as Fallen Human Nature
a. "The Doctrine of Satan" - by Greg Rasaka
b. "The Devil - A Biblical Exposition of the Truth Concerning 'That Old Serpent, The Devil and Satan' and a Refutation of the Beliefs Obtaining in the World Regarding Sin and Its Source" PDF ocin by Mr. Epps
c. "The Devil and Satan Defined - Mankind's Greatest Enemy Shown to be Personal Sin not a Supernatural Being" by Matthew D. Smith
d. "Satan, Devil, Demons in the Old Testament" - a Christadelphian article
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"If the Devil really exists, he would have appeared at least once in the thousands of near-death experience reports I have read. I have found none. If we assume the Devil does exist and that he is just hiding, the question we must ask is this: Why is he hiding? He gains no advantage by doing so. We already know from thousands of NDEs that hell exists and that it is more horrible than anyone can imagine - far worse that a devil prodding you with a pitchfork. If we assume the Devil really exists and he is just hiding to trick us into believing that he does not, then what is his motive? His 'secret' concerning the horrible existence of hell is already out. There is no advantage for him to perpetuate a falsity of his non-existence when the full horror of hell has already been revealed by NDEs. Even if we suppose the Devil does exist and suppose that he suddenly starts appearing in multitudes of NDEs, it would not make hell any more horrible than we already know it is. It is hell itself that makes a Devil terrifying. A hell with a Devil in it would not make hell any more terrifying than we already know it to be. So if a Devil does exist, his cover is blown and there is no reason for him to hide." - Kevin Williams

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