Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis 1-31-2014

I talked to Clyde Friday night about the many astonishingly demonic stories appearing in the news lately.

Armageddon OT Background to the Battle for the Cosmic Mountain 5

By Cris D. Putnam


The Antichrist figure finds his counterpart in the Hebrew Bible as Gog in Ezekiel 38-39. To demonstrate this point, a brief examination of the name גּוֹג Gog is required. In Ezekiel, Gog is clearly the enemy of Israel from the land of Magog or possibly “from the land of Gog.” In scripture, the proper names Agag and Gog were rendered somewhat interchangeably from the Hebrew.  For instance, Agag appears in 1 Samuel: “And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword”(1 Sa 15:8). He was the King of the Amalekites, a nephilim tribe, who was defeated and spared by Saul, but later killed by Samuel. It is interesting that the Septuagint translators rendered the name “Gog.” Yet, modern translations render it Agag. For instance, Numbers 24:7 which is a poetic oracle by Balaam concerning Israel and how they have God’s favor.

Remember, Balaam was a sorcerer hired to curse Israel but his diabolical efforts were frustrated by God. Thus, in the traditional rendering, the context is appropriate that Israel’s king will be superior to Gog. For instance,the ESV renders it,“Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag (Gog), and his kingdom shall be exalted”(Nu 24:7). Well enough, this traditional rendering of the prophecy is assuredly concerning Saul’s defeat of Gog, nephilim king of Amalekites. Yet strangely the LXX translation by Brenton reflects a different manuscript which makes it seem as if Gog is from Jacob’s seed:

And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and sees Israel encamped by their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable and said, Balaam son of Beor says, the man who sees truly says, he says who hears the oracle of the Mighty One, who saw a vision of God in sleep; his eyes were opened: How goodly are thy habitations, Jacob, and thy tents, Israel! as shady groves, and as gardens by a river, and as tents which God pitched, and as cedars by the waters. There shall come a man out of his seed, and he shall rule over many nations; and the kingdom of Gog shall be exalted, and his kingdom shall be increased. ( Num 24:5-7 LXX Benton 1851 )[1] (emphasis added)

The kingdom of Gog will be exalted? This is astonishing! Is this just a bad translation or could this reading infer the sorcerer Balaam was predicting the kingdom of Antichrist? Many have speculated he must be Semitic for the Jews to accept him as Messiah. Balaam is an odd character for a pagan sorcerer as he also predicted Christ and the star of Bethlehem in his final oracle (Num 24:17). The prophetic literature gets even stranger.

Missler makes reference to the name Gog being used in the Septuagint while drawing a parallel to its use Ezekiel and Revelation. The LXX Translation by Brenton 1851 renders, “Thus has the Lord God shewed me; and, behold, a swarm of locusts coming from the east; and, behold, one caterpillar, king Gog” (Am 7:1). The original context of this passage is that judgment is coming to the Northern kingdom, Israel. It is a vision given to Amos of a locust army invasion similar to that in Joel. Yet, Amos begs the Lord to repent of it and the Lord does not carry it through (cf. Am 7:3). The thing that makes this use of Gog distinct is that it is not a variant translation from the Masoretic text because the Masoretic uses no name at all. See a comparison here.  Missler draws significance from juxtaposing “locusts have no king” (Pr 30:27) against the “locusts” in Amos and Revelation who do have a king, arguing that it implies Amos and John must not be talking about insects:

The locusts in Revelation 9 have a king, Apollyon or Abaddon, but Proverbs 30:27 says that locusts have no king. So these locusts are not natural locusts; they are demon locusts. If that’s the case, then Gog, who is the king of the locusts, is a demon king.[2]

While the purpose of proverbs was not entomology, this reasoning seems quite reasonable. The terms grasshopper and locust are interchangeable as their is no taxonomic difference between locust and grasshopper species. In English the term “locust” is used for grasshopper species that change morphologically and behaviorally to form swarms. Research at Oxford University has identified that swarming behaviour is a response to overcrowding. Clearly the prophet is using locusts and caterpillar symbolically for invading hoards. The ancient Israelites had an agrarian economy. Invading armies are destructive to cities as insects are to crops. It implies annihilation. In the case of Amos’s original context, it would be the Assyrians who did in fact completely destroy the Northern kingdom. But the future context of Revelation speaks of a devastation by demonic entities.

Yet the only use of the proper name Gog in the NT appears in the book of Revelation and applies to a war after the millennium when Satan is released after being bound for 1,000 years. The locust imagery also recalls imagery from the book of Revelation 9 and the locust army of Joel:

In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces,(Re 9:7)

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run. As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle.(Joe 2:4–5)

The two passage must refer to the same event because their really can be only one ultimate Day of the Lord. The locusts/war horses here are thought to represent the demon hoards who attack during the tribulation. The descriptions harken chimeric monstrosities. Tom Horn explores possible biotech avenues for making these monsters a reality in his books Apollyon Rising and Forbidden Gates. In the former he ponders Joel’s insectoid horde:

When the numerous ancient texts from inerrant Scriptures to extra-biblical sources are added up, there is persuasive evidence that Joel’s army could indeed be more than simple grasshoppers, and that this massive Gibborim army that runs upon the wall from which nobody can escape could be the result of man’s willingness to play “god” in reviving forbidden science and opening “gates” to what lurks beyond.[2a]

Others see what is widely believed to be “aliens” also taking part in this scenario. There does seem to be cultural trend toward belief in extraterrestrial life. It seems a likely cover story for demonic entities. In fact, the entities that gather the worlds armies for the battle of Armageddon bear an uncanny resemblance to what are commonly believed to be aliens.

“And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.(Re 16:13–14)

Many believe this is the strong delusion mentioned by Paul (2 Thes 2:11). Dr. David Allen Lewis and Robert Shreckhise postulate that these demonic spirits that look like frogs are indeed what the popular media deems “greys.” [2b]  Paradox Brown carries this line of thought a little further offering:

But note that John doesn’t say the three evil spirits “ARE three frogs”. He says they “looked like frogs”… Let’s say that John was shown in his Revelation vision an image of something he had never seen before… It makes sense that if John didn’t know what this creature was, and had never seen anything like it, that he would describe it as “looking like” something he was familiar with. [2c]

Thus, it appears we have a menagerie of insectoid and reptilian transgenic entities involved in the Armageddon scenario. The secular world will likely assume they are from outer space as they have been heavily propagandized in that direction. We can infer that since Gog is the “caterpillar king” of this army, he is likely one and the same as Apollyon or Abaddon (cf. Am 7:1 LXX ; Rev 9:11). It seems likely that Gog in Ezekiel 38 & 39 is the Satanically empowered general in the end time war, the Beast.

Much has been written associating the Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 with the battle of Armageddon. There are demonstrable parallels yet seemingly the book of Revelation explicitly places it one thousand years after Armageddon (cf. Rev 19:19; Rev. 20:8 ). Amillennialists (those who deny the 1000 year kingdom) like Kline attempt to conflate the battles described in Revelation 19 and 20.[3] Yet this lacks coherence as Heiser points out several insurmountable difficulties to this view. [4] Still, both Kline and Heiser agree that Gog can be associated with the Antichrist. This finds support in the Qumran War Scroll (1QM), which reveals it is Satan and his powers that are behind the usurpers:

For this shall be a time of distress for Israel, [and of the summons] to war against all the nations. There shall be eternal deliverance for the company of God, but destruction for all the nations of wickedness. All those [who are ready] for battle shall march out and shall pitch their camp before the king of the Kittim and before all the host of Satan gathered about him for the Day [of Revenge] by the Sword of God.[5]

The Qumran War Scroll reflects the same end time war as the Ezekiel text and accredits it to Satan. However, in Revelation 20 the Antichrist has been defeated and what is described is the release of Satan. Heiser convincingly solves this by viewing Gog as both. He writes, “I have argued that Ezekiel 38-39 will be fulfilled in two events: (1) Armageddon, which also is the fulfillment of Daniel 11:40-45; and (2) The subsequent, separate battle of Rev. 20:7-9.”[6]

“He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites.(Da 11:41)

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.(Re 20:7–8)

Thus the Satanically possessed Beast of Revelation is Gog in the battle of Armageddon and Satan himself is Gog in the post-millennium war. While Heiser argues that the Magog war is fulfilled in two stages of the “already but not yet” fulfillment scenario, this present treatment suggests a similar but novel solution.

One of the better arguments against placing the Magog war prior to the tribulation as many traditional dispensationalists do as well as against the recapitulation view of Amillennialists is that Ezekiel 38 describes Israel as already completely regathered in the land (Eze 38:8, 12) and dwelling securely without defenses (Eze 38:11).[7]  This certainly does not apply to Israel’s current situation or to the preconditions for the battle of Armageddon. Today Israel is under constant threat and has very real barrier walls. It is also inconsistent with Armageddon because it is in the latter part of the great tribulation. Surely after enduring the trumpet and bowl judgments they will not be together in a secure peaceful state. Furthermore, the dry bones prophecy of Ezekiel 37 describes Israel’s rebirth contingent with the Messiah (Eze 37:15-28). Interestingly, Ezekiel 39:28 is a world wide call to Jews to return from the diaspora. Accordingly, it seems that chapter the 39 war precedes what is described in 38. Only after Ezekiel 39:28 will the diaspora be completely undone and the nation at peace. While others have postulated an earlier Psalm 83 war, The Ezekiel 38 war makes more sense in light of it being post millennium exactly as it says in Revelation 20. The biblical text solves the problem without an extra war. Thus, I completely agree with Heiser that Ezekiel 38 is the satanic showdown after the millennium. However, from this point forward an alternative interpretation is offered.

It is the proposal here that Ezekiel 39 describes the battle of Armageddon which temporally precedes the Magog war of chapter 38.  The prophetic books are in a state that makes it extremely challenging to determine where one oracle ends and another begins. The modern chapter divisions are arbitrary and were imposed during the thirteenth century AD. While, the traditional view is that chapter 39 is restatement of 38, this is a tacit acknowledgement that chapter 38 resolves satisfactorily.[8] In other words, because they are both complete units and not dependent upon each other, they can arguably represent distinct battles. In Ezekiel 38, some of the Nations question and do not battle (Eze 38:13) but at the battle of Armageddon (Zec 14: 12) it seems all the nations of the world will be gathered against Jerusalem. The Ezekiel 39 battle is addressed to all the nations (Eze 39:7). Furthermore, chapter 39 is inaugurated with a new “Thus says the Lord God.” This interpretation suggests that chapters 38-39 are two distinct wars for the following seven reasons: One, Gog and his armies are described as brought out to battle at the beginning of each chapter in unique circumstances (38:4-9; cf. 39:2). Two, chapter 38 clearly states that the land was restored from war (Ez 38:8). It is suggested that this refers to the Ezekiel 39/Armageddon war. Three, the chapter 38 war ties together with the post millennium release of Satan (Rev.20:7-10; cf. Eze 38:16, 22) and the white throne judgment (Rev.20:11-15) with “I will enter into judgment with him” (Eze 38:22). Four, the nations will know that their defeat was by the Lord and that Israel will know the Lord from that day forward (Eze 39:21-22). This arguably convenes the inauguration of the millennium. Five, the nations will understand why Israel was exiled and abandoned by God (Eze 39:23). This explains the tribulation. Six, the Lord will restore and gather Israel (Eze 39:25-27). This seems to be concurrent with the return of Christ in Ezekiel 37:15-28 and is a precursor to the chapter 38 war. Seven, Israel knows their God from that day forward and God never hides his face from them again (Eze 39:28-29). Consequently, the prerequisite regathered and secure status of Ezekiel 38 (Rev. 20) is arguably the result of the previous Ezekiel 39 (Rev. 19) war. All that is required for one to accept is that these are two oracles in a non-chronological order, a contention which is hardly unprecedented.

It is also compelling that in the Ezekiel 39 war, Gog is described as coming “from the uppermost parts of the North” and “against the mountains of Israel” (v.2). This language strongly concurs with the “mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north” interpretation of Armageddon. Brevard Childs’ scholarship on the enemy from the north and the chaos tradition suggests a possible connection:

Isa 14:12 ff. is a taunt against the king of Babylon and not directly related to the enemy tradition. Nevertheless, it is quite remarkable that the king who dared to “sit on the mount of assembly in the far north is described as the one “who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms.”[9]

It may be helpful to view this as cosmic north referring generally to the supernatural realm. In the aftermath, Gog falls on the mountains of Israel. In light of the case for supernatural warriors, it is interesting to note the distinction made between his hordes and people (Eze 39:4). In other words, his hordes are not necessarily human. There is a massive feast of carrion for the birds (39:4; cf. 17-20) which is correlated directly with Revelation 19:17-19. This also finds a parallel in Isaiah 18 and oracle addressing the inhabitants of the world (Is 18:3) and which culminates with the inauguration of Gods’ millennial kingdom (Is 18: 7ff).

Isaiah 18 Ezekiel 39 Revelation 19
 “They shall all of them be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.”(Is 18:6) “You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.(Eze 39:4)“As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood.” (Eze 39:17) “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.(Re 19:17–19)

There is only one time on the prophetic timeline in which one could say that God will reveal himself to all the nations and no longer tolerate his name being profaned (Eze.39:7; cf. Rev. 19:15). There is really only one day that he will regather all of Israel to their land while pouring out his spirit (Eze.39: 29;  cf. Joel 2:28).  Because these things are established “from that day forward”(Eze 39:22), this war will necessarily conclude just prior to the Millennium (Rev 20:4). That necessitates that this war happens on the narrow sense Day of the Lord, Armageddon or the battle of Har Mô∙ʿēḏ – the Cosmic Mountain of God.

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming;

it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!

Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people;

their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns.

The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness,

and nothing escapes them.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run.

As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains,

like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble,

like a powerful army drawn up for battle.

Joel 2:1-5

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[1] Septuagint Online, (accessed 9/03/2011).

[2] Chuck Missler, “Hosea and Amos: Prophets to the Northern Kingdom,” (accessed 9/02/2011).

[2a] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009), 221.

[2b] David Allen Lewis and Robert Shreckhise, UFO: End-Time Delusion (Green Forest, Ark.: New Leaf Press (AR), 1991), 46.

[2c] Paradox Brown, A Modern Guide To Demons And Fallen Angels (Roswell NM: Seekye1 Publishing, 2008), 255.

[3] Kline, “Har Magedon,” 219.

[4] Heiser, Islam, 98-101.

[5]Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 141. [1 QM 15.2-3]

[6] Heiser, Islam, 102.

[7] Heiser, Islam, 100.

[8] Ralph H. Alexander, “Ezekiel” In , in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 6: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 934.

[9] Brevard S. Childs “The Enemy From the North and the Chaos Tradition.” (Journal of Biblical Literature, 1959), 196

Armageddon OT Background to the Battle for the Cosmic Mountain 4

Apollyon by Gbrush


There is an interesting parallel involved with the term Armageddon in that the phrase “in Hebrew” only appears in one other instance within the book of Revelation. According to Alan Johnson, “it is better to understand the term [Armageddon] symbolically in the same manner as ‘in Hebrew’ in Rev 9:11 alerts us to the symbolic significance of the name of the angel of the Abyss”[1]  This is the angel of the bottomless pit namely Abbadon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek. Thomas Horn reveals:

Abaddon is another name for Apollo (Rev. 9:11), identified historically as the king of demonic “locusts” (Revelation 9:1-11). This means among other things that Apollo is the end-times angel or “King of the Abyss” that opens the bottomless pit, out of which an army of transgenic locusts erupts upon earth. [1a]

According to Kline, the technique of juxtaposing a Greek and Hebrew term is called Hebraisti and was favored by John. It is also used four times in his Gospel, three of which are also place names (Jn. 5:2; 19:13, 17). Because the book of Revelation is full of symbols, word plays, juxtapositions and parallels, it is not too fanciful to postulate that the Holy Spirit was making a prophetic statement between these two Hebraisti.

The “Antipodal to the Abyss” argument offered by Kline further supports the “mount of Assembly” hypothesis.[2] This line of reasoning derives from the fact that both accounts juxtapose polar opposites in the cosmic scheme of things: the Mountain of God on one end and the pit of hell on the other. For example the Isaiah passage contrasts the ambition “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God…” (v.13) against “But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit” (v.15). Similarly, we find in the book of Revelation’s two Hebraisti: the divine mountain and the bottomless pit. This is a compelling correlation between the two accounts. Kline argues,

In short, then, we find that in Isaiah 14 and the book of Revelation there are matching antonymic pairings of har môcëd and har magedön with the pit of Hades. Within the framework of this parallelism the har môcëd of Isa 14:13 is the equivalent of the har magedön of Rev 16:16 and as such is to be understood as its proper derivation and explanation. Accordingly, har magedön signifies “Mount of Assembly/Gathering” and is a designation for the supernal realm. (Kline, 1996, 208)

The evidence is compelling that the term Armageddon speaks well past the gathering of earthly armies for war and to a deeper supernatural battle for the cosmic mountain of God.

The context of the assembling the armies by demonic spirits (Rev. 16:14) is practically a word play to the “mount of assembly.” Furthermore, the allusion to the taunt song in Isaiah 14:12- 15 creates astonishing parallels. The Hebrew phrase “הילל בן־שׁחר” (Helel Ben-Shachar) in verse 12, meaning “morning star, son of dawn” has been interpreted to be varying entities. Many scholars agree that this is related to Ugaritic mythology concerning Baal and Athtar.[3] While Isaiah could be simply borrowing from local mythology for an illustration, it seems as if the prophet sees through the King of Babylon to the wicked spiritual power behind him. The book of Daniel suggests that earthly kingdoms have cosmic overlords (Dan. 10:13; 20). A paradigm which fits nicely with the Beast of Revelation who is similarly empowered by the great red dragon identified as Satan (Rev. 12:9; 13:2).

In Ugaritic lore this usurper is argued to be Athtar, who was referred to as Venus (morning star), who seeks to displace Ba’al.[4] The ancient Near Eastern context strongly favors this as the original source material. Other scholars relate this passage to an ancient Babylonian or Hebrew star-myth similar to the Greek legend of Phaethon.[5]  Even so, one can imagine that in a cosmic sense all of these myths stem from a common event. There was an angelic rebellion. The New Testament is clear that Angels rebelled (Matt. 25:41; Rev 12:9) and the earth is currently under the power of a usurper (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Jn 5:19). While the King of Babylon could hardly hope to “ascend to heaven above the stars of God” it certainly speaks to his extreme hubris. C.S. Lewis famously said, “it was through pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”[6] Helel Ben-Shachar’s frustrated divine ambition harkens the account of a war in heaven in Revelation 12:7-17 where Satan is thrown to earth suggesting “the man who made the earth tremble…” (Isa. 14:16).

In fact, this taunt song is where the popular name for the devil, Lucifer, is derived from “morning star” as it is rendered in the Latin Vulgate.[7] During the intertestamental period, this account of the angels fall was associated with the morning star was subsequently associated explicitly with the name Satan, as seen the Second Book of Enoch (29:4; 31:4). The Qumran War Scroll describes this activity of Satan and his powers:

But Satan, the Angel of Malevolence, Thou hast created for the Pit; his [rule] is in Darkness and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and iniquity. All the spirits of his company, the Angels of Destruction, walk according to the precepts of Darkness; towards them is their [inclination].[8]

The association of Lucifer to Satan continued with the church fathers because he is represented as being “cast down from heaven” (Rev. 12:7–10; cf. Lk. 10:18).[9] This event likely took place at the cross when Jesus disarmed the powers (Col 2:15). Because Peter ascribes “morning star” to Christ (2 Pet 1:19) and the fact that it is also a title John uses for Jesus (Rev. 22:16), it has been suggested that this, “Lucifer,” could be pointing to the Antichrist’s parody of Jesus.[10] Accordingly, the prefix “Anti” means “instead of” as well as “against.”[11] Paul expounds on this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 writing he is the, “man of lawlessness, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” Of course, that would likely be on Mount Zion, the cosmic mount of assembly, as well.

This is where my research paper for Dr Heiser left it but interestingly, just last week, my friend Peter Goodgame posted a commentary on Isaiah 9-14 where he came to a similar conclusion. Goodgame argues:

The name “Morning Star, Son of the Dawn” is Helel ben Shakar in Hebrew, or “Lucifer, Son of the Morning” in the KJV. If we view this person as the end-times Antichrist rather than Satan then it makes perfect sense. He is taunted by Israel after his final attempt to rule over the nations comes to an end.[12]

Recalling Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue, the King of Babylon is a well-known prophetic type of the Antichrist. Considering that the Isaiah taunt song was originally directed at the King of Babylon, a man, this seems likely. Please follow the footnote to read Peter’s thoughts. Even more, I also have been corresponding with Tom Horn, who wrote me just  week or so ago about the spirit who rises from the Abyss. In his book Apollyon Rising, Horn points out that the Antichrist as a man is indwelt by the spirit Apollyon which rises from the abyss (Rev 9:11). This brings a remarkable conjunction in world mythologies:

In view of these texts, we recall how Zeus—the Greek identity for the father of Apollo—was acknowledged as ‘Satan’ in Rev. 2:12-13. The fallen angel ‘Apollo’ who unlocks the bottomless pit and unleashes the thunderous hoards of Great Tribulation locusts is therefore none other than the son of Satan and the spirit that will inhabit Antichrist.[13]

Indeed, there is a convergence of mythologies and prophecies pointing to the same event. It seems that the Isaiah taunt song is speaking on multiple levels. First, Isaiah directed it overtly to the King of Babylon, on another level it was a polemic against the neighboring Ugaritic pantheon which was also hinting at the primordial fall of the biblical Satan, and even more intriguing it is a prophecy of a demonically possessed man, who as a “morning star” will come in battle against Israel in the last days and then claim to be God on the divine mountain.  That battle is Harmageddon.

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed,

saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,

“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

(Ps 2:1–6)

….to be continued with part 5: The Battle

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[1] Johnson, “Revelation”, 551.

[1a] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009), 140.

[2] Kline, “Har Magedon,” 208.

[3] Michael S. Heiser, “The Mythological Provenance of Is. XVIV 12-15: A Reconsideration of the Ugaritic Material.” Vestus Testamentum LI,3,( 2001): 356-357.

[4] Heiser, “The Mythological,” 356-357.

[5] Kaufmann Kohler, “Lucifer,” (accessed March 5 20011).

[6] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (NY: Harper Collins. 2001), 122.

[7]G. J. Riley. “Devil.” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. 2nd extensively rev. ed. K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter Willem van der Horst (Leiden; Boston; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 246.

[8] Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Revised and extended 4th ed. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 139.

[9] Tertullian, Contra Marcionem,  11, 17.

[10]M. Eugene Boring, Revelation, Interpretation, a Bible commentary for teaching and preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1989), 177.

[11] L. J. Lietaert Peerbolte, “Antichrist” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible , 62.

[12] Peter Goodgame, The Giza Discovery: Pete’s Commentary on Isaiah 9-14, (accessed 08/31/2011).

[13] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009), 142.

Book Review: The Adversary the Christian Verses Demon Activity

This presentation will first give a broad overview and summary of The Adversary by Mark I. Bubeck and then it will offer several critical points of analysis. The first point of analysis will be that although the book is over thirty years old it is still relevant today and perhaps its topic is more exigent.  Next, a discussion on the topic of sorcery will be offered, focusing on the wide cultural acceptance of pharmacological solutions to spiritual problems. Criticism is offered in that his exegesis of Job 1and Revelation 12 does not reflect a sound hermeneutic in light of John 12 and Luke 10. Furthermore, the idea of ancestral demonization has little biblical support. Still yet, it will be argued that many of Bubeck’s critics misrepresent his teaching. Overall, the book is biblically sound and has a great deal to offer the reader in search of strategies to battle Satan and demons.

Brief Summary

The book begins by establishing the biblical basis for the topic of spiritual warfare. Accordingly, Ephesians 6:12 is presented as foundational by indicating that the battle is primarily against the spiritual forces of darkness rather than flesh and blood. Bubeck writes that the battle is on three fronts: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Accordingly, the book is organized as such and chapter two addresses the flesh. While Paul uses the term in different ways, it often refers to man’s fallen sinful nature. Romans 7:23 speaks of the raging carnality which plagues man until he is born again (Jn 3:6-7). Bubeck lists the most common offenses and exposits their primary biblical texts: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, jealousy, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, and reveling. Giving way to any of these is an invitation to demonic attention. Bubeck proposes three steps toward overcoming the flesh: 1) a commitment to honesty; 2) dying to self; 3) walking in the Spirit. He includes an appropriate prayer one can employ to this end.

Chapter two is concerned with the world, as rendered from the Greek word kosmos. It describes the dominant order or spiritual system of things that is opposed to God and the Lord Jesus Christ.[1] He discusses the relevant passages and establishes that this is indeed the case (Jn 12:31; 1 Jn 2:16; 5:19).  The fact that Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world is particularly convincing as it would have not been a temptation had they not been Satan’s to give. Bubeck teaches that, “The world system exalts its own intellectual system and rejects God’s truth as foolishness (1 Cor 1:18–31).”[2] This truth is easily seen in worldly skepticism and parody of Christians. Furthermore, the world system tempts believers to conform to its ungodly worldview. Believers are exhorted to resist and conquer the world and its lies by belief and regeneration (1 Jn 5:4–5). Jesus has overcome the world on our behalf and we overcome by the renewal of our minds through God’s word (Rom 12:2).

Chapter four is a thorough examination of the pertinent texts which form a composite picture of Satan and his kingdom. He outlines Satan’s original position as guardian cherub in the garden of God (Eze 28:12–17) followed by his rebellion and fall due to his excessive pride (Is 14:12–15). He lists the many titles a descriptive names: adversary, accuser, Lucifer (light bearer), dragon, devil (slanderer), murderer, liar, deceiver, “prince of the power of the air”, destroyer (Abaddon, Apollyon), tempter, “evil one” and “god of this age.” He is powerful and has a kingdom (Mt 12:26). His sphere of activity is the earth (Job 1:7; 1 Pe 5:8). He entices man to sin by planting false ideas, causes sickness and suffering, holds the power of death (Heb 2:14) and specializes in accusing (Rev 12:10). He is ultimately destined for utter defeat (Is 14:15; Rev 20:10). He is a defeated foe and the Christian can resist him through employing his spiritual armor (Eph 6:10–18).

Chapter five examines our spiritual armor as described by Paul in Ephesians 6. It is especially noteworthy that we do not find special rituals or prayers for casting out demons; rather we see the helmet of salvation which a believer always has on, the sword of the Spirit which is God’s word available for us to study and the belt of truth which represents accurate knowledge through study. There are two extremes which must be avoided. One the one hand, many do not take the subject seriously and on the other some become overly interested and enticed by occultism. There are multiple layers of personal spiritual beings in which a believer does battle. Chapter six exhorts the reader to claim his authority and not be paralyzed by fear. The authority of Christ enables believers to overcome. Satan deceives and lies and tempts one to pride. There are degrees of conflict which characterize the enemy’s activity. It is often very subtle.

Chapter six is an important one as it is where he explains his views on the various levels of demonization believers and unbelievers experience. In order of intensity, the levels are oppression, obsession and possession. The first, oppression, is experienced by all believers and it is an outward attack. The second, obsession is a twofold term in that it can refer to a believer with an obsession to study the occult or the obsession of a demon with a particular believer. Of the latter category Bubeck argues that “Paul’s thorn in the flesh a messenger of Satan” is an example (2 Cor 12:7-10). The third level is possession and Bubeck argues that the biblical materials are somewhat vague here. He states, “The way the Greek language handles this problem is to call such people demoniacs or that they ‘had a demon.’”[3] Unbelievers are possessed either by invitation or folly. He argues that Mark 9:21 supports the idea that children can be possessed by ancestral wickedness. Although he argues Christians can be severely afflicted and challenged, he clarifies that he does not think born again believers can be possessed in the same sense that an unbeliever can.

He then transitions to the importance of sound doctrine and the practice of doctrinal praying. Jesus’ use of Deuteronomy during his desert trial is a model of using doctrinal truth in spiritual warfare (Mt 4:1–11). Doctrinal praying is the practice of praying the objective, absolute truths of the Bible to address specific needs. Chapter eight offers further exhortation to pray aggressively for intercession. He provides example prayers and anecdotal accounts of encounters. He teaches that one needs to be specific and forceful standing firm in warfare prayer. This prayer discussion reaches an apex with chapter nine concerning bold confrontation.

In the ninth chapter he relates a chilling story about his own daughter’s demonic oppression. He argues that all believers have the authority that Jesus invoked in confronting demons. He laments that many believers live in denial that their loved ones might be demonically oppressed. His daughter’s story seems genuine and honest as it is not particularly flattering for a pastor to confess. He confronts the spirits commands them to desists and binds them in the name of Jesus. He warns the reader not to make too many assumptions as these situations are unpredictable. He then lists a series of practical dos and don’ts which seem prudent if not essential. The focus expands to the issue of church wide deliverance.

Bubeck’s discussion of revival and his reservations concerning the charismatic movement will be discussed below in the critical interaction section. Chapter 11 turns to practical application in discussing the tools of our warfare. Accordingly, he uses Dr. Victor Matthews’ “The Daily Affirmation of Faith.”[4] This affirmation is commended to be read aloud on a daily basis by those engaged in intense warfare. He then offers a warfare prayer also by Matthews. He also provides a list of symptoms which are indicative of demonic affliction. Furthermore, he includes some statements of renunciation and affirmation for those with potential ancestral demonization. The last chapter discusses the need for Christian unity. He points out those passages on spiritual warfare like Ephesians 6 are addressed to churches not individuals.  He appeals to the imminence of the Lord’s return and encourages unity for the purpose of battle. In the end, we stand together in victory against the devil and his designs.

Critical interaction

Although written in 1975, Bubeck’s book still seems current. If anything, the cultural trends discussed have only been exacerbated by an increasing skepticism on one hand and naïve openness on the other. Increasing skepticism is seen in that many theologians, especially in the mainline liberal denominations, have written Satan and demons off to superstition. Naïve openness manifests in an open embrace of demonic spirits by New Agers and even worse by undiscerning charismatic Christians. Amongst the emergent church movement, there is a growing yet troublesome emphasis on experience which could lead many otherwise doctrinally sound evangelicals astray. Bubeck writes, “Today man’s debate centers upon whether you are a ‘biblical supernaturalist,’ or an ‘investigating supernaturalist’ who wants to experiment with occult phenomena or dabble in the various branches of sorcery and witchcraft.”[5] Apart from the small naturalist segment of the population, this has held true. While there has been a revival of naturalism in the new atheist movement it is relatively fringe as most people find it a woefully inadequate worldview. Gary Habermas’ research indicates that there is a paradigm shift occurring in which the paranormal is becoming normal.[6] In fact as the evidence mounts, naturalism is becoming increasingly marginalized. The cultural embrace of the occult is ubiquitous.

The use of psychoactive drugs in the occult world is self-evident and undisputed. Thus, it seems prudent to look at less obvious manifestations. Secular society has effectively denied the very existence of the spiritual life. The forced secular indoctrination of school children and wide spread acceptance of Darwinism has alienated a vast segment of society from peace and soundness of mind. Instead of turning to God who loves them and wants to give their lives the significance and joy that they rightly perceive as missing, the vast majority are turning to sorceries. Bubeck writes:

It is interesting that the Greek word translated witchcraft or sorcery in our English texts is the word pharmakia, from which we get our English word pharmacy, referring to drugs. The use of drugs for sensational, mind-expanding experience is a form of sorcery. Drug experimentation is a fleshly sin which leads on into deeper bondage with Satan’s kingdom.[7]


While recreational drug use is a huge problem, it seems that the charge of sorcery applies to the perfectly legal and government sponsored variety as well as the illicit. In a 2004 Washington post article I read that “One in 10 American women takes an antidepressant drug such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft, and the use of such drugs by all adults has nearly tripled in the last decade, according to the latest figures on American health released yesterday by the federal government.”[8] Of course there are beneficial healing uses of psychiatric drugs but in the days gone by someone with an emotional pain or need might seek the counsel of her pastor or petition God in prayer as the first course of action.  Today it is the action of last resort if it is even considered. Christians should be following the teaching of our Lord Jesus who taught, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Mt 6:34). Most drugs are not really solutions; they merely offer temporary relief while the root problem worsens. It seems correct to extend the charge of sorcery to some forms of psychiatry. While the majority of Bubeck’s exegesis is sound, exception is taken with a few of his conclusions.

Bubeck believes that Satan still has access to heaven based on the divine council scene in the first chapter of Job and that he will not be cast out until the tribulation.[9] First, “Satan” in the divine council scene of Job 1 is not a proper name but a title “the Satan.” It means “the accuser” and Hebrew Bible scholars are divided on whether this is one in the same as the devil in the New Testament. Still yet, I tend to agree that “the Satan” is the same entity due to Revelation 12:10 which identifies the devil as the “accuser of our brothers.” But the vision in Revelation 12 is clearly a flashback which includes the birth of Jesus and Satan’s expulsion from heaven is also presented in the past tense. John chapter 12 is decidedly conclusive to this matter:

“This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die (Jn 12:30-33).


Referring to his impending passion, Jesus said very clearly that now the ruler of this world is cast out. Not in the distant future end times. Jesus said it was “now”, way back then. Luke 10:18 also seems to hint at Satan’s expulsion in response to the proclamation of the Gospel. Satan and his minions only have the power that we give them by sin and fear. This is why Paul describes them as “weak and worthless” (Gal  4:9). Satan’s days in the divine council are over; he is no longer in God’s immediate presence accusing. Still yet, many have criticized Bubeck of giving too much power to the enemy but often they misrepresent him.

Bubeck has been widely criticized for overemphasizing demonic influence. In reading some of the criticisms on the internet, the majority seem unfair. For instance, Miles J. Stanford seems to charge Bubeck with saying believers can be possessed. He argues, “These demon deliverance leaders formulate imaginary demons in Christians, names and all; and then imagine victory over them. This seems to be a case of straw man burning because Bubeck explicitly writes:

It is my conviction that no believer can be possessed by an evil spirit in the same sense that an unbeliever can. In fact, I reject this term altogether when talking about a believer’s problem with the powers of darkness. A believer may be afflicted or even controlled in certain areas of his being, but he can never be owned or totally controlled as an unbeliever can.[10]


His critics, while often well intended, seem to be mischaracterizing his work. One wonders if the critics simply ignore his admonitions to doctrinal prayer. There is a difference between demon oppression and possession that is overlooked. However, the idea of ancestral demonization is promoted in the book. Most dubious is that his evidence for it comes from the demons, “One wicked spirit claimed to have been working in the ancestral line for over five hundred years.” [11] He argues that they attach to families and ancestral blood lines and that children and grandchildren are under the curse of their distant relative’s actions.[12] There does not seem to be much biblical basis for it.

In trying to examine Bubeck’s claim of ancestral demonization, the biblical evidence is scant. One can establish that children can be demonized by the incident in Mark 9:21 but this says nothing about why. While the Old Testament infers generational curses (Ex. 34:7ff), Ezekiel 18 seems to mitigate this as an ongoing phenomenon, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Eze 18:20). In light of this passage, I am skeptical of ancestral demonization but open to explore the evidence. Still yet, if Christ’s salvific work in a believer’s life does not break ancestral curses, then, Christ’s work on the cross in one’s life is incomplete. However, we know that Christ’s redemptive work is complete (Heb. 9:11-12; 25-28). While he may have experiential and anecdotal support, it does not seem prudent to accept the word of demons at face value.

Bubeck laments that revival had not come to our nation. That was in the 1970s and it seems that the situation has only worsened since then. He seems especially concerned with the charismatic movement and rightfully so. He mentions, “…its emphasis upon experience and its lack of stand on objective, doctrinal truth.”[13] This situation has also escalated since his writing. The modern antics of Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley and the new apostolic reformation are promoting a dangerous heretical mysticism.[14]  Any time that experience is elevated above revealed truth, Satan is given an opportunity to deceive. Theological liberals and charismatics share an inappropriate emphasis on God’s immanence and on human experience. The counterfeit replaces esteem for Christ with self-esteem and sound doctrine for esoteric speculations. Both seem to have lost their way and run off the road into a ditch. Perhaps “pit” is a better choice of words.



            This paper offered a summary and analysis of The Adversary: The Christian Versus Demon Activity. After offering a brief summary, the paper sought to illustrate the value of the book by establishing its relevance. Critical analysis was offered concerning the idea that Satan still has access to God’s throne room and the idea of ancestral demonization. It was argued that many of Bubeck’s critics misrepresent him and that the book is largely sound. It has excellent examples of warfare prayers and prudent advice. The relationship between these points was shown. This book has great relevance to my personal testimony. In the end, it seems that this is a book I will keep on my shelf for further reference.


[1]Mark I. Bubeck, The Adversary: The Christian Versus Demon Activity (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1975), 46.

[2]Ibid, 50.

[3]Ibid, 85.

[4]Ibid, 136.

[5]Ibid 15.

[6] Gary Habermas, “Paradigm Shift: a Challenge to Naturalism,” Bibliotheca Sacra (146:584 Oct-Dec 1989), 437.

[7]Bubeck, The Adversary, 30.

[8] Shankar Vedantam, “Antidepressant Use By U.S. Adults Soars,” Washington Post, (accessed 7/29/2011).

[9] Bubeck, The Adversary, 61.

[10]Bubeck, The Adversary, 87.

[11]Ibid, 147.

[12]Ibid, 87.

[13]Ibid, 130.

[14]Chrystal Whitt, “Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, and the New Apostolic Reformation,” Apprising Ministries, (accessed 7/28/2011).



Why Patrick Heron is Wrong About Satan

Patrick Heron is a brother in Christ and nice enough fellow from what I can tell. However, he has been writing lately that Satan is still in heaven as the accuser at Rapture Ready here and has posted it on his blog here. I believe he is sadly mistaken for many reasons. This essay will show that it is bad exegesis because it does not handle the grammar and context of the biblical material accurately and that it is bad theology because it diminishes the victory of the cross and the power of the Gospel.

First, Satan in the divine council scene of Job 1:6ff is not a proper name but a title “the Satan.” It means “the accuser” and Hebrew Bible scholars are divided on whether this is one in the same as the devil in the New Testament. Still yet, I tend to agree that “the Satan” is the same entity due to Revelation 12:10 which identifies the devil as the “accuser of our brothers.” But the vision in Revelation 12 is clearly a flashback which includes the birth of Jesus and Satan’s expulsion from heaven is also presented in the past tense. Satan’s days in the divine council are over, he is no longer in God’s presence. Please read the passage and see for yourself:

“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. ” (Re 12:9–11)

When was Satan thrown down?  The text says when the salvation, power, kingdom and the authority of Christ have come. When did that occur? Satan was conquered by the blood of the lamb when Christ was crucified, resurrected and then ascended to the right hand of the Father. Thus, Satan is already defeated and cast down.

Second, Heron builds his entire case by comparing “that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,” (Eph 1:20) with Ephesians 6:12 which says “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” But this sort of proof texting is hardly sufficient to prove that Satan and his demons are in the throne room of heaven with God. First of all, Christ has been exalted to the “Father’s right hand in the heavenly places” which is obviously more exalted than the mere “heavenly places.” Furthermore, the Greek rendered as “heavenly places” is a broad term which also includes the plain old sky above your head. In fact, its first order definition is “in the sky” and it secondary meaning is heaven proper:

ἐπουράνιος (epouranios), ον (on): adj.; ≡ Str 2032; TDNT 5.538—1. LN 1.8 in the sky, related to or located in the sky, celestial (1Co 15:40); 2. LN 1.1 2. heavenly, related to the location of heaven (Heb 12:22); 3. LN 12.17 from God, heavenly calling = a calling from God (Heb 3:1);  [i]

Hence, it makes sense that after the cross, Satan is described by Paul as the “prince of the power of the air.” (Eph 2:2). Satan is cast down to this world and its heavens — the sky. In contrast, Jesus is at the right hand of God as the Father makes his enemies his footstool (Ps 110:1). Paul speaks of this in Romans 8 and asks rhetorically, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” inferring that no one can (Rom 8:33).  It seems that Paul taught that Satan was defeated and cast out by the power of the Gospel.

Third, in Luke 10:18 Jesus is responding to the return of the 72 who just proclaimed the Gospel:

“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. ” (Lk 10:17–18)

The context of this passage is very clear that Satan fell as a consequence of the successful mission of the 72. The Greek rendered “Fall” is an aorist participle, it’s past tense. Heron is wrong. It is not a prophecy. The Gospel triumphed over Satan then and it still does today.

Fourth, John chapter 12 is decidedly conclusive to this matter. I think the context is essential, so please read carefully. Jesus says,

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” (Jn 12:27–29)

Here Jesus speaks of his imminent passion and says that his purpose is to glorify the Father’s name. The narrative continues and this passage settles the debate. Jesus answered,

“This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.(Jn 12:30-33)

As one can see, referring to his passion, Jesus said very clearly that now the ruler of this world is cast out. Not in the distant future end times… he said it was now, way back then.  It’s plain enough, Satan and his minions only have the power that you give them by sin and fear. This is why Paul describes then as “weak and worthless” (Gal  4:9).

Additionally, I must acknowledge this is not in any way an original interpretation. I first learned from Dr Michael Heiser’s scholarly eschatological treatise Islam and Armageddon. Other commentators are in wide agreement. Speaking of the Revelation 12 passage Craig Keener offers, “Here, however, his accusations against the saints have been silenced, for Christ’s victory is sufficient to silence all objections of the once-heavenly prosecutor.”[ii] Finally, when you consider that Jesus is now in heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father, do you really think that after the defeat of the cross, Satan is there with him? Of course not! Satan only has the power that you grant him through sin and guilt. But God has nailed that to the cross.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Col 2:13–15)

[i] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

[ii]Craig S. Keener, The NIV Application Commentary: Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 321.