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Does God destroy His enemies?

Query for the Month

of

November 2007

Next up-date: December 1st 2007 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light on the Dark Side of God" and is one of the best on this subject that I have ever read!


Question:

***************(Begin Quote)

Genesis 3:14-15

And the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go [from now on], and dust shall you eat all the days of your life: and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

***************(End Quote)

Does Christ crush the serpent’s head?  Does God kill Satan?

 

Answer:

At first reading it looks as if God is talking to the devil through the serpent (Satan’s agent) and advising him that although he might be able to hinder Christ in His work, he won’t be able to stop Him, and that Christ will then “bruise” his head, which means to kill him. 

But we have found from numerous other sources in the Bible that neither God nor His Son punish, hurt, or destroy anyone, at any time, for any reason.  The most obvious of these sources is the whole life of the Son of man in the New Testament where He healed and blessed multitudes, regardless of their sins or even their gratitude! 

For example:

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Luke 17:

11 And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off [as the law insisted]:

13 and they lifted up their voices, and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”.

14 And when He saw them, He said to them, “Go show yourselves to the priests” [in accordance with the law, Leviticus 14:1-2 and onwards]

And it came to pass, that, as they went [in obedience to His word], they were cleansed [before the priest saw them].

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan [a official non-believer, but a practical believer].

17 And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? [So even the ungrateful were healed!]  But where are the nine?  18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” [a non-Jew].

19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole” [forgiven, not just healed].

***************(End Quote)

 But let’s get back to our text.

What the Son of God actually said to the devil was that He would put something He called “enmity”, between him and the church, and between their followers (their respective “seeds”).  Then He said that “it”, the enmity, would “bruise” his (the devil’s) head.

He was not referring to Himself, but to a principle that would arise between those who followed righteousness and those who followed sin.  God does not arbitrarily “put” it there, for it is the natural antagonism that develops between the two.  But it comes from the sinning ones, for they are the ones who hate the righteous!  Christians love their enemies as Jesus told us.  “You have heard that it has been said, “You shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy”.  But I say to you, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just [the saved, His allies] and on the unjust [the unsaved, His enemies]”.  Matthew 5:43-45.

It was the purity of our Saviour's life that provoked the wrath of Satan.  That life was the Light of the world, and revealed the hidden depravity in the hearts of men. John 1:9.  It is the same with every Christian.  Matthew 5:14.  It was the holiness of Christ that stirred up against Him the fiercest passions of falsehearted professors of godliness.  It is the holiness of His true followers that stirs up the passions of their contemporaries.  Christ came not with the wealth and honours of earth, yet the works which He wrought showed Him to possess power greater than that of any human prince.   So with Christians.  Matthew 5:16. 

The Jews looked for the Messiah to break the oppressor's yoke, yet they cherished the sins that had bound it upon their necks.  Had Christ cloaked their sins and applauded their piety, they would have accepted Him as their king; but they would not bear His fearless rebuke of their vices.  The loveliness of a character in which benevolence, purity, and holiness reigned supreme, which entertained no hatred except for sin, they despised as weak.  Thus it has been in every age of the world.  The light from heaven brings condemnation on all who refuse to walk in it.  When rebuked by the example of those who hate sin, hypocrites will become agents of Satan to harass and persecute the faithful.  “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”.  2 Timothy 3:12.  

Another example:

When king Jehoshaphat of Judah (the loyal tribe) and Ahab king of Israel (the rebels) were conferring about a forthcoming attack on the Syrians, four hundred prophets of the god of force agreed with their plans, but the sole prophet of the LORD was not there.  However, when the partly-loyal Jehoshaphat wanted him to be called to hear his advice, the rebel Ahab was reluctant.

***************(Begin Quote)

1 Kings 22:

6 Then the king of Israel [Ahab] gathered the prophets [the religious leaders of Baal] together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramothgilead [the Syrian city] to battle, or shall I forbear?” And they said, “Go up; for the lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king”. [But their lord was not THE LORD GOD!]

7 And Jehoshaphat [suspecting a difference] said, “Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?”

8 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: BUT I HATE HIM; for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil”. 

And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so”. [“You can’t mean that”, for he was not aware of the depths of Israel’s departure from the LORD.]

9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, “Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah”. [But after hearing his message Ahab put him in prison on a diet of bread and water and torture!  Verse 27.  It’s well worth reading the rest of the story to see how a sinner can react to the truth.]

***************(End Quote)

Ahab had previously responded to Elijah in the same way. “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Are you he that troubles Israel?”  And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father's house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baalim [the gods of force]”.  1 Kings 18:17-18.

It’s this principle of hatred, and the desire to silence the voice of criticism, that inspires sinners such as Ahab to want to crush the “opposition” (as they see it).  If we do this we show on which side we stand, for Christ (and the genuine Christian) has no desire to compel men and women to receive Him. 

From my library:

***************(Begin Quote)

It is Satan, and men [and women] actuated by his spirit, that seek to compel the conscience.  Under a pretense of zeal for righteousness, men who are confederate [united] with evil angels bring suffering upon their fellow men, in order to convert them to their ideas of religion; but Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. 

He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love. 

There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas.

***************(End Quote)

If we can accept that the Ten Commandments are a picture of the Son of God’s character (the good Guy, Luke 18:19), then we should be able to see that it is the same with God the Father, for Jesus said that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father.  

***************(Begin Quote)

John 14:

7 [Jesus said] “If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also: and from henceforth you know Him, and have seen Him”.

8 Philip said to Him, “LORD, show us the Father, and it suffices us”.

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip?  He that has seen Me has seen the Father; and how say you then, ‘Show us the Father?’

10  “Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?  The words that I speak to you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwells in Me [tells Me what to say], He does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake [they are the proof]”.

***************(End Quote)

Nevertheless, many cling to the literal words of the Bible where the Son of God often blames Himself for the attitude of some of His professed followers, and through this think that He is a Baal!  The ordinary Israelite often mistakenly thought that Baal was God (there was some excuse for that sin in their ignorance), but their leaders knew what they were doing. See note 1.

What has all this to do with the serpent?  It is Satan who is the master Baal, and his angels are the Baalim.  It is he who promotes the idea that the Son of God wants to eventually kill him, for this gives him the justification to use force back against Him (or so he thinks and persuades others to believe).  It is he who teaches that God will bear long with sinners, but will eventually punish unrepentant ones in the Lake of Fire.       

However, the Commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill”!  And this applies to God as much as anyone, for the Commandments are a transcript of His character.  To kill anyone against their wish is murder, and even for a just God that is not right.

So how is the serpent’s head to be crushed, or “bruised”? 

As we have seen, the “enmity” is hatred, at present only hatred for anything righteous, but still hatred.  Hatred is not controllable as many sinners have found out, and when the great exposure comes and Satan is discovered for what he is, a liar and a murderer, his followers who have been “fathered” by him, will naturally follow in his footsteps.  Jesus, speaking to some of His opponents, said, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”.  John 8:44.

The inspired description of Satan’s end is as follows:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 20:

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 and shall go out to deceive the [resurrected] nations which are [now] in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog [prince and people, Ezekiel 38], to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city [New Jerusalem]: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

 [A fuller description of the “fire” is given below:]

Zechariah 14:

12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against [new] Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth [just like leprosy, which is a living death].

13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour [in an attempt to kill him].

***************(End Quote)

It is the grace of God that keeps us living until we either wear out, or kill ourselves prematurely by our sinful actions, and it is the same grace that keeps Satan and his angels going.  However, to attack the city of New Jerusalem the rejecters of His grace/life must all encroach into the holy area around it, which is the area of His greatest power.  To move into there without His protection means death (it is when we are dead that we decompose), for the power that saves when under God’s care, also destroys when He is not in control.  (It is like electricity, which can be very useful when in plastic wires, but when the protective covering is broken can cause fire or death.)

Here’s how it works:

***************(Begin Quote)

Leviticus 10:

1 And Nadab and Abihu, [who were priests] the sons of Aaron [the high priest], took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not. [The fire was supposed to come from the altar.  See Numbers 16:46.]

2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD [inside the sanctuary building].

[To go near the LORD without the protection of obedience meant that they were exposed to the result of their sins – so they died.  God did not kill them – they died from their own disobedience.]

3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is it that the LORD spoke, saying, ‘I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me [as their protection], and before all the people I will be glorified’.”  And Aaron held his peace [he didn’t blame God].

4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron [they were Levites but not priests], and said to them, “Come near, carry your brothers [cousins] from before the sanctuary out of the camp”.

5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. [They were not harmed in this action even though they went into in the first apartment, because they were obedient to God’s word.]  

***************(End Quote)

In like manner, when Satan and his followers move into the area close to God, with hatred in their hearts, that hatred will cut them off from His protection completely and His power will then be out of His control, for this is their choice.  The result will be that they will slowly disintegrate (decompose as in leprosy – an unravelling of the DNA chain), in the presence of God and the Lamb.  Revelation 14:10.  As they fall to bits, they will turn on each other in anger, for hatred must have an outlet.  The “Lake of Fire” comes about as a consequence of this, for the earth also is affected by the lack of God’s control, and it will dissolve into an atomic reaction situation, which will be seen as great waves of fire.

That’s how the “serpent” gets his head “bruised”!

Only when the last sinner is completely dissolved will the LORD get His sovereignty back and be able to make the earth new.

Conclusion:

The second death in the Lake of Fire is like leprosy.  It is a decomposing of the body as death takes over in the presence of God and the Lamb, something He cannot, in righteousness, prevent.  This is what the Son of God warned Satan about in the Garden of Eden.

oooOooo

Note 1. 

Here’s a typical example:

***************(Begin Quote)

2 Kings 17:

9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God [they still maintained they were worshipping the true God], and they [the religious leaders] built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 10 And they [the priests] set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

11 and there they burnt incense [made prayers] in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:  12 for they served idols [ideas of their own making], whereof the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing” [all the time claiming that they were still following God] . . .    

16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images [metal statues], even two calves [strong young bulls], and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven [sun and moon etc., on their days, calling them “saints”], and served Baal [the god of force].

17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire [as a test of purity], and used divination and enchantments [rituals of magic], and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD [took the wages of sin, Romans 6:23], to provoke Him to anger [He had to leave them to their choice].   Back

***************(End Quote)

 


 

Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.

 

Next query. To be discussed from December 1st, 2007.

John 20:26-27

And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be to you”.  Then said He to Thomas, “Reach hither your finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing”.

What was that all about?

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