Satan, Lucifer, and the Anti-Christ
(This article last revised on 3.11.2014)
Those three names should be explained in a more reasonable and realistic way than they’ve been depicted in the past, but first let us examine what the canonized Christian Bible actually says about the biggest boogeyman, Satan.
Satan As Depicted In the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh, or Old Testament)
Satan is not mentioned in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, which are attributed to Moses. The name Satan does not appear until 1 Chronicles 21:1, which states that “Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” But it doesn’t explain who or what “Satan” is.
Job 1:6-12 states that Satan came along with “the sons of God” to present themselves before the Lord, whereupon the Lord asked Satan, “Where did you come from?” Satan answered that he came from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. The Lord then asked Satan if he had considered the Lord’s servant Job, a perfect and upright man who feared God and forsook evil. But Satan just asked the Lord if Job might fear God needlessly.
That established the idea that Satan was a man. And according to that passage in the book of Job, Satan even accused the Lord of repressing and restraining Job, and bribing him by blessing him and increasing his wealth and property. And Satan said that if the Lord touched all that all that Job had, Job would curse the Lord. So the Lord retorted and said to Satan that all Job had in his possession was in Satan’s power, not God’s, and that Satan should leave Job alone. So Satan left the presence of the Lord.
However, Later in Job 2:1-7 the author repeats much the same thing, except it adds the idea that the Lord said Satan had "moved the Lord against Job to destroy him without cause." Satan answered the Lord and said that all that a man has will he give for his life. And this time Satan said that if the Lord touched Job he would curse the Lord. But the Lord told Satan that Job’s life was in Satan’s hand, and he should save Job’s life. So Satan, driven by a spiteful spirit, instead smote Job with sore boils all over his body.
That is really all we know literally about Satan from the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament), except for brief mention in Psalm 109 and Zechariah 3, which don’t say much about Satan but only mention the name. But, from what is written about “him” in the Hebrew Tanakh came the idea that Satan is an entity and even a man who had more power over the earth and humanity than the Lord God.
In the Jewish tradition as it grew, however, Satan is not considered a person. In fact, in Judaism "Satan" is not a sentient being but a metaphor for the evil inclination – the Yetzer Hara, which exists in every person and tempts us to do wrong. The Hebrew word for Satan literally means "adversary" with evil inclination. But it is not a force or a being. It refers to the human capacity for doing evil in the world.
Satan As Depicted In the Christian New Testament
In the Pauline Christian canon that Christians know as The Holy Bible, some of the authors reverted to the idea that Satan was the person referred to in the book of Job, as well as a force that could “enter” you and rule you.
For example, in 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul wrote that Satan can get an advantage over us, but “we are not ignorant of his devices.”
In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 Paul wrote: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”
There Paul introduced an idea of Satan that was completely new, that Satan could “transform himself.” But Paul was quite right about one thing there, that there are false shepherds and workers of deceit who masquerade as apostles or disciples or servants of God. Even Jesus said as much, criticizing hypocrites. For there were many in the first century just as there a many today.
By the way, it should also be noted that 2 Corinthians was one of the first seven Christian texts produced in 50 AD (CE), all of which were written by Paul (see A Chronological Order of the New Testament by Marcus Borg, one of the most respected progressive Christian scholars among mainstream academic theologians).
Next a story was told in the book of Matthew that Satan promised Jesus the world if he would worship Satan, but Jesus refused and reminded Satan that it is written that we should worship only the Lord Our God in heaven. And that’s not bad since "Satan" is a metaphor for the ego of Jesus, which tempted him to seek and seize the throne of the world, but remembering that only the Lord Our God reigns Supreme. (And Jesus later reminded his disciples that "God is greater than I.")
Luke 22:3-4, however, was influenced by Paul's epistles, and Luke claims that Satan “entered Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles,” and drove him to betray Jesus to the chief priests of the temple.
Revelation 2:9-10 then rebukes and condemns those who betrayed Jesus, and it states that the ghost of Jesus said: “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”
That was true then as it is today, and now there are not only false Jews who are of the "synagogue of Satan." There are also false Christians who are the "church of Satan," and false Muslims who are of the "mosque of Satan" (metaphorically speaking) --- even while there are a greater number of good Jews, Christians and Muslims who are humble, gentle, kind, generous, loving, caring, peaceful and meek, as we are all supposed to be.
John’s Revelation 20:1-10 then says that an angel comes down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit. And he takes hold of "the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan," and bounds him a thousand years, casts him into the bottomless pit, and shuts him up so he can’t deceive the nations any more, until a thousand years pass.
John then states that good people will live and reign with God and “His” Christ a thousand years.
And when the thousand years pass, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison and shall deceive the nations of the earth and cause battles and wars. But God shall put a stop to it, and the devil Satan that deceived them will be cast into hell where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall stay there for ever and ever.
By the way, John's book of Revelation is the most misunderstood book in the Christian Bible, but basically the prophecies in it depict what John thought was about to happen at that time, but would not happen until the end of the age that Jesus ushered in -- the age which is now coming to an end.
Now, the books of Luke and Acts also mention Satan as one who possesses human beings, but it mentions Satan just in passing. And it wasn’t until the end of the first century that 2 Thessalonians was written to follow up on John’s book of Revelation. (And, while 2 Thessalonians is often attributed to Paul because the author says he is Paul, according to the majority of modern academic scholars it was written by someone writing in Paul’s name at the end of the first century, because Paul was killed in about 65 CE.)
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 is actually a prophecy, and it was written not only to prophesy but to address the reality that existed at the end of the first century. By that time Pauline Christians had become a powerful lot, especially since the Jewish priestly establishment had been conquered by the Romans who had practically destroyed Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple in 70 CE.
However, the Pauline Christians were still in conflict with other Christians (such as the followers of James, the Jewish Essene Christian sects, and the Gnostic Christians), and all of the different factions of Christians were in jeopardy and under threat due to Roman persecution.
Nevertheless, the writings of the Pauline Christians had by then become more influential and more accepted by more Christian communities because their main focus was building the organized religion and the church. And they were being told that the “second coming” of Jesus was imminent, and that Satan and his anti-Christ Roman Emperor would be destroyed.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 says that “the Wicked one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming – even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceitfulness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
There is much more to it, of course, and that subject is also discussed in the article on The Fall of Babylon. But the above essentially covers what the Hebrew Bible and the official Christian Church canon or Bible says about Satan.
However, there is much that needs to be said about what Satan, Lucifer, the Anti-Christ, the Beast, the Dragon, etc. really means.
More On Satan, and On Lucifer and the Anti-Christ
All three of those terms symbolize different characteristics, and all three terms are misunderstood by most Christians. They are especially misunderstood by theocratic false prophets and false shepherds who masquerade as Christians, who fight to rule in the name of religion and claim that anyone who criticizes or opposes them is "ungodly" and serves "the spirit of the anti-christ" (which they claim is a specific individual who will come to rule).
That's very convenient, of course, because it enables them to feel "holier than thou" and simply dismiss any criticism whatsoever. However, that's why the beliefs they hold were created, and why they have been perpetuated by "fire and brimstone" preachers who gain power by instilling fear, after which they foster a superiority complex in their blind flocks.
Such hypocritical false shepherds and false prophets even go so far as to claim that unless you believe and profess that "Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior," you are condemned and damned to hell for eternity --- which perpetuates the doctrines that Paul established in his writings in 50 AD, which influenced some of the later Christian writers.
However, it is erroneous doctrine and dogma that the modern son of man calls "The Dark Side of Christianity." It's based on the man-made patriarchal doctrine of preeminence and superiority, which is based on several myths, one of which is that Jesus of Nazareth was "God Himself," the Lord God and Savior.
That has persisted despite the fact that Moses wrote "God is not a man, nor a son of man," and that Isaiah wrote that "no man can be compared to God," the Mashiach (Messiah) is a "servant of God," and "besides God there is no Savior." Morever, Jesus himself said: "God is greater than I," and "You have not heard God's voice or seen God's shape at any time."
But, that's another story told in the article About Christianity, and this article is about the myth and claim that an actual "Anti-Christ" or "Satan himself" will become the ruler of the world to establish a "new world order" by deceiving people and claiming divinity for himself.
The false shepherds, false prophets and right-wing hypocrites feel comfortable making those claims and using that strategy because they believe it is based on what they call "The Word of God" (not understanding what the true "Word" is). But, it is false doctrine, based on one of thousands of false interpretations of Christian scriptures, because among other things misguided Christians do not understand what the terms "Mashiach" (Messiah), “beast” or “anti-christ” or "satan" or “dragon” or “Lucifer” mean.
Moreover, they are so quick to judge, accuse, denigrate and even condemn their critics, opponents and enemies because they want to rule, and they want to rule because they simply do not know how prophecy is being and will be fulfilled.
Right now they have a deep fear, even though most of them still put up a brave front and some of them even still thump their bible self-righteously, still thinking and insisting they know its meaning. And they don’t admit even to themselves that they are afraid. But they are afraid -- very afraid -- which is why they fight so very hard to impose their brand of religion on everyone else.
They are afraid because as the end of the age has drawn nearer, a mounting body of evidence has grown, exposing the weakness, vulnerability and flaws in their misguided doctrine of superiority and preeminence, and in their misguided theology as was initiated by Paul and was summed up in the Nicene Creed. And more and more archaeologists and religious scholars are adding to the great mountain of evidence proving that claims made in that creed are not true.
That mountain of evidence shows that Jesus of Nazareth was a divinely inspired, enlightened, spiritually anointed mashiach, or messiah (generically speaking in the Judaic sense), because as Jesus said he was a son of man in the Judaic tradition.
But Jesus broke tradition in that he was a pacifist martyr and sacrificial "lamb" of God, and Avatar for the passing age that he ushered in. And he was a Lord because as an Avatar he realized his oneness with God (as we all can).
However, Jesus was not LORD of Lords, nor was he God The Savior. For as the prophets like Isaiah clearly said, only the Lord God is the Holy One and Savior. And as Jesus said, "God is greater than I," and "a servant of God is not greater than the One who sent him," and made that very clear by telling his followers that "You have not heard God's voice or seen God's shape at any time."
Furthermore, that mountain of evidence grows just like the mountain that grows from the “stone” mentioned in the book of Daniel, which "shatters the image of the King of Babylon" — for the stone is the esoteric symbol for divine truth, the same “stone” which is the “cornerstone of the sure foundation of Zion” mentioned in the book of Isaiah.
But, hypocritical, theocratic right-wing Christians are not aware of that, and that is why they have been so busy trying to defend themselves with the age-old theology of Christian Apologetics, still claiming they are "doing many wonderful works in the name of the Lord."
However, the modern son of man exposes and rebukes them, because he bears the testimony of the Christ, which is the Spirit of prophecy, and of Jesus of Nazareth, who said that the hypocrites and "goats" would be exposed and rebuked at the end of the age.
But the modern son of man, like Jesus, does not seek a worldly throne. In fact, he rejects it and shows you the way to share it as equal joint heirs to the "kingdom to come" --- the realm in which all sovereign nations acknowledge the true God in heaven and establish governments that are actually of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The modern son of man serves the Spirit of truth that Jesus said would come, and the son of man not only issues judgment as promised. He also refutes the false doctrines and myths, and he explains what Satan, Lucifer and the Anti-Christ really are.
Terminology and Methodology
The terms "Antichrist" and "Satan" are also discussed in the article on The Fall of Babylon, but here the term "Lucifer" is discussed as well, because many Christians misunderstand what Lucifer is.
Many Christians believe Lucifer is an archangel who fell from grace and was thrown out of heaven because of his sinful pride in regarding himself as equal to God. They believe that fallen angel is either similar to or the same as Satan or the Devil, and that "he" can tempt us to do evil. They even believe "Lucifer" is an actual entity that tempts us to think that we are God, which is why they are so vehemently against all those who tell us we all can realize we are all one with God.
Ironically, some Christians forget or ignore that the Christ Jesus realized he was one with God, and said we could be too, as so many other enlightened ones have said (see the article on the Highest State of Consciousness).
True enlightenment and spiritual rebirth comes with the divine revelation that we are one with God, one with the Ancient One who is in heaven with God, one with the Universe, one with all humanity, and one in the Spirit of truth and love.
You see, some Christians either misunderstand or forget or ignore that Jesus said: "When the Spirit of truth comes to you, you shall know that I am in God, and you in me, and I in you." And "The Spirit of truth lives with you and is in you." (John 14:16-20)
In other words, when you receive the gift of revelation and true self-realization and spiritual rebirth, you will realize that we are all One in the Spirit and One with God, because the eternal, primordial "Word" of God is made flesh in all of us.
Now, to get back to "Lucifer," the term is not the same as the term "Satan." The word Lucifer is found in only one place in the King James version of the Christian Bible, in Isaiah 14:12. However, the original book of Isaiah in Hebrew does not use the word Lucifer. It says: "morning star, son of the dawn, how far you have fallen."
The name Lucifer comes from the Latin word for "light bringer," but it derives from the Roman Latin translation of the Hebrew word for bright or brilliant one, and that is another one of the reasons many Christians regard "Lucifer" as the bright one or light bearer that somehow also came to be regarded as Satan. But it is not.
In Isaiah 14 the "son of the dawn" rebuked by the prophet happens to be the "King of Babylon," not an archangel or angel or any other supernatural being. And as is discussed in the article on The Fall of Babylon, the "king" is any head of state who abuses his power and rules a "Babylon," which is any city in which the wealthiest few live in extravagant luxury while the poor and the disadvantaged live in poverty.
In spite of that, traditional Christian interpretation is that Isaiah 14:12 is connected with Luke 10:18, which states: "[Jesus] said to them, I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning." And, it is also associated with Paul’s mention of "Satan" masquerading as an "angel of light." But that is misunderstood and needs to be addressed.
First, Jesus did not say Satan was a being of light. He merely said he saw "Satan" come quickly, because the Tempter, Deceiver and Accuser appeals to and can enter the mind quickly, but it does not mean that there is an actual entity or being that can or will exist materially in the world. While any man can represent Satan (even Peter, according to Jesus), there is actually no person that is Satan, or the Devil.
Secondly, if we examine the context in which Paul wrote the phrase about Satan, we can see that it is not about some entity called "Satan" becoming a being or an entity of light.
To put it in context, Paul was talking about deceitful hypocrites: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
That which is "Satan" cannot and does not appear as an "angel of light." That is one of many instances where Paul's choice of words was misguided and unfortunate. However, Paul was right about many things, and he was right in that deceitful hypocrites who serve Mammon do claim to serve the Lord, and they do masquerade as righteous servants of God, even though they are false apostles, false prophets, false shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing, and as such they are an "abomination," which is what Jesus actually said.
Satan is merely a symbol for the Tempter, Deceiver and Accuser who exalts himself as judge and authority, and he can be a heartless dictator even though he may pretend to be good and wear "sheep's clothing." "He," whether you call it Satan or the Anti-Christ, or whether you call it "the spirit of the Anti-Christ," does not worship God, but plays god.
Now, Christians also assume that Daniel 8:23-25 is a prophecy about the “Anti-Christ” to come, because it states: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have completed their transgression, there shall stand up a king of fierce countenance, and understanding stratagems. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and do; and he shall destroy them that are mighty and the people of the saints. And through his cunning he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in time of security shall he destroy many; he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
However, if one understands the context and reads what immediately precedes that, one can see that Daniel’s vision was about the kings of Media and Persia and the king of Greece. For Daniel 8:20-21 states: “The ram which you saw having the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Greece .."
In other words, while in chapter two Daniel does speak of the fall of "Babylon" and the "stone" that will in modern times shatter the image of its king(s), in chapter eight he was talking about the fall of the Medes and Persian Empire, as well as the fall of the Greek Empire (which would eventually lead to the rise of the Roman Empire).
Right-wing Christian fundamentalists may claim that they know better, and they may cling to the idea of a “coming Anti-Christ.” But the fact is that the state of the world is so bad because of the rich modern-day “anti-Christs” (some of whom masquerade as Christians) who rule and live luxuriously while the rest of us suffer.
By contrast, the one who is the true servant of God, the current one anointed and chosen by God to deliver judgment, is a "man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief," as Isaiah put it. But his work eventually liberates the people from the rule of the rich, and empowers the people.
A spiritually anointed servant of God says: "Of myself I do nothing, but the will of the One who sent me." In other words, the truly enlightened human being is selfless, ego-less, and aware that there is a higher power, a Supreme Consciousness and Great Spirit-Parent above him --- which is why Jesus said "God is greater than I."
He who represents "Satan" or the "spirit of the Anti-Christ" is in it for himself and those support him and do his bidding -- he who sits on the worldly throne and abuses his power. The term represents any human being whose ego is deluded, who thinks they are superior and entitled to rule. He is likened to the "beguiling serpent" in the book of Genesis, which is merely a metaphor and symbol for the separate-self ego, which tempts us with the "forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" which can cause us to play god.
The forbidden "fruit" of the ego is the idea that one is superior, that one is a wise judge of good and evil and right and wrong, that we can judge, rise above and be better than others, and be "righteous."
True Wisdom from God, however, brings Temperance to the ego.
According to the Book of Wisdom: "Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. She renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, She produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war."
The wise Solomon also wrote: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God, and God shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. ... My son, do not despise chastening of the Lord, nor be weary of being corrected. For whoever the Lord loves are corrected; even as a parent corrects the child in whom he delights. Happy is the man that finds Wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. ... For She is more precious than rubies: and all the things you can desire are not to be compared unto Her. Length of days is in Her right hand; and in Her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her: and happy is every one that retains Her. The Lord God by Wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding has God established the heavens." (Proverbs 3:5-19)
Jesus of Nazareth was knowledgeable of the Hebrew scriptures, and he knew what the "forbidden fruit" is. That is why Jesus said: "Judge not, lest you be judged," and "when your eye is single you shall be filled with Light, and you will see the kingdom of heaven is within, and at hand."
That is why misguided Christians have been and still are wrong to believe that the Light, or the morning star, day star, or Venus, is connected with the Devil. It is not.
Even 2 Peter 1:19 states: "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, 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."
Revelation 22:16 states: "It is I, Jesus, who 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."
Furthermore, misguided Christians ignore the fact that it is written throughout the Bible, that "God lives in light," that "God is Light," and that those who have really witnessed God are "children of light." (Exodus 24:10, Psalm 104:2, I Timothy 6:16, Isaiah 2:5, Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 60:19, I John 1:5, etc.)
The Bible is full of references to God being the Divine Light. It is even written that a genuine servant of God is "sent to bear witness of that Light ... the true Light which lights every man [and woman] that comes into the world." (John 1:8-9) And again, that is how we are "made in God’s image," because "God is Light" and we are "children of light," just as the Bible says.
Therefore, considering all that, it is clear that Lucifer and Satan are not exactly synonymous terms, and it is clear that Satan is not a being or entity, but the personality or mentality of a human being who has been tempted with the forbidden "fruit" of the mind and is unwittingly infected with the egocentric delusion of superiority.
Lucifer does not represent an angel or archangel, but a person of power who simply does not realize how far he has fallen, or from whence he has fallen, due to his egotism and corruption.
Again, Satan does not represent an angel or archangel or entity either. Satan represents the corrupted human ego which is deluded with arrogant pride, self-importance, self-righteousness, and greed. In one of its most harmful manifestations it is in the leader who is judgmentally self-serving, who lusts for personal worldly power, wealth and domain for their self (and whoever supports, obeys or follows them), and uses his or her power to benefit their self and those who are loyal to them, to the detriment of many who are subject to their power, especially the working poor, the poor, and the least of our brethren.
That becomes more clear if you know that one of the traditional meanings of Satan in the Old Testament Judaic scriptures is merely as the "accuser" or the "opponent," which fits the above description, since people with inflated egos are the opponents of good, conscientious, fair people. (Just look how many misleading, deceptive, accusing demagogues are opponents of Barack Obama.)
The word "accuser" appears in 1 Chronicles, Job, Psalms, and in Zechariah. In Psalms "Satan" is used both in the plural and singular sense, as accusers and an accuser. In Chronicles and Zechariah its usage is vague, but in Job "Satan" is the Accuser.
That makes sense, considering that many arrogantly proud, self-importance, self-righteousness and greedy people falsely accuse "bleeding-heart liberals" of all manner of evil, disloyalty, treason, etc., as George W. Bush and all his neo-conservative cohorts did while they were in power, and as they are doing now accusing Barack Obama.
Not that they are "evil," of course, even though some are in that they are disonest, hateful and malicious. But most are simply misguided, and they unwittingly serve the spirit of the Antichrist and Satan. Furthermore, they serve Mammon, not God.
Finally, further proof that "Satan" is not a real person or even an actual entity, but merely a symbol of the spirit or mentality of materialistic Man. For example, when Jesus "rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind me, Satan," he was merely admonishing Peter for focusing on "the things that be of men" rather than on "the things that be of God." (Mark 8:33 and Matthew 16:23)
Considering that, it would seem ironic that Peter became "the rock" upon which the Christian church was built, and the original Pope of the fourth century Roman Catholic Church was supposed to serve in the line of Peter. But, it’s not ironic. It’s about the passing age of conflict, division, corruption, egotism and ethnocentrism, prior to this judgment and the fulfillment of prophecies.
(Read the article on The Fall of Babylon for an explanation of the book of Revelation regarding the "rule" of "Satan," the "beast," and the "anti-christ.")