In article 5 of this series I made a begin in my representations for my take on the “Christus Victor” and “Ransom” theories. The complexity of this study of Soteriology would require a delving into an immense amount of material that could keep us preoccupied with infinite meta subjects. I aim to maintain focus on outlining my conclusions with minimal explanation to show how I arrived at such conclusions. The reason for that is, these articles are lengthy and packed with substance enough as they are. Secondly, they are meant to trigger the thought process of the reader, where they may be encouraged to investigate the validity of my claims for themselves. If the reader chooses to do so the result and fruit of such research is of much greater benefit and value than any endless theological essay the size and volume of dictionaries. Thirdly, it is not even possible. I am not in a position in life at this stage, where it is even logistically possible to produce such works. Now to get to this most exciting Atonement theory, be ready to have your insight behold a powerful truth that could revolutionize the way you pray, and operate in much more of God’s power and authority than you have up to this point in your life.
Jesus came to end a cosmic war that had been raging for thousands of years
Revelation 12 King James Version (KJV)
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Several views have been offered by Theologians throughout history with regards to, when Lucifer, as he was named before his fall, was cast out of heaven.
There are two important passages in the Word of God concerning the origin and fall of Lucifer. The first passage is found in Ezekiel 28:12-19 where Ezekiel describes the creation and judgment of Lucifer. The second passage relating to his fall is found in Isaiah 14:12-14 where the prophet Isaiah presents the origin and fall of Lucifer. You can read these passages and discover that when Ezekiel names the King of Tyrus he then moved on to the spiritual entity of satan behind the man. In Isaiah 14 we see the similar scenario. This was initially a proverb against the King of Babylon, and Isaiah then moves on to prophesying about the spiritual entity behind the man.
Here goes my hypothesis;
Careful exegesis may conclude that Lucifer did at one time have a place in heaven as one with delegated authority. It appears Lucifer had a place of highest order, within the angelic ranks, allocated to him by God. At some point he is made an authority, the anointed cherub over the earth or that part of the earth, we read about in Genesis known as the garden of Eden. It would suggest that Lucifer was given the charge to minister to Adam and Eve and the generations following from them. Lucifer was not sent by God to tempt man, but to serve man. Somewhere along the line Lucifer grows prideful and jealous assuming that he should have had the total authority over the Earth because of his greatness and beauty. Yet, as he watched God give man dominion over the Earth, Lucifer’s power was now limited (bound and restricted) and he had to share his power with man. Lucifer could not just do anything in the Earth, because he had go through man to give him access. Even Lucifer was a spirit being.
Yes, even to this day there are demons or evil spirits in the earth’s atmosphere. But a spirit can do nothing in this physical world unless a human being with a physical body gives access. How is access given? Through words. Even God had to speak through Prophets for thousands of years and so to ultimately bring the Messiah into the earth. Anything God ever planned to do, He always first reveals it to man, usually a Prophet. The Prophet or anyone would receive God’s promise. They would believe His promise, and then God would begin to bring His promise to pass. This is a spiritual law, which God put in place when He gave man dominion in the earth. Satan may not care about that spiritual law, but he is subject to it, nevertheless. Therefore, he will also first have to reveal his evil schemes to man through the medium of words. (Our modern technology in the use of media, provides an excellent platform for either God’s truth to be communicated or the devils lies) Here is where I think Lucifer conjured up his plan to deceive Eve and Adam, knowing that once they loose the sense of their true identity they would become vulnerable to the manipulations of him who became satan. He devised the lie that man had to do something in order to become like God. Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil would be that something they had to do. He had to convince them that they could become something, which they already were. This is also the foundation of the psychology of our modern-day advertisement world. It aims to convince people that they lack something and that their product will make them whole or complete. First create a sense of lack, causing insecurity, then provide the solution, i.e. an illusion.
Lucifer first begins to plot his rebellion in heaven. In his foolish pride he wanted to take control and proceeded to accuse God alleging that He was unrighteous and that he should have given His rule over the earth to him. He takes it a step further and claims that because of his beauty and splendor he should be honored and worshiped as God by all of creation including the angels.
God could have easily destroyed him there and then. Yet, God’s holy integrity is also challenged here. Imagine the scenario; Lucifer’s attempt to accuse God’s crown of creation saying things like; “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: They are not worthy for such honour. They will ultimately betray you. They are going to mess things up and thereby prove that you God have also failed. When they do, it will be evident that I should have been made the god over the earth. When they do ruin everything they must be destroyed forever. If I’m right, then you should also be destroyed”.
All the Holy Angelic beings in heaven watch with astonishment. What is God going to do? If He just destroys Lucifer it proves the point that God rules by terror and is unjust. By God destroying him in that way satan would become a martyr only giving reason for another uprising. Yet, God does not have to prove anything, but must assure that His creation order is a reflection of His undeniable integrity and righteousness and love. At the amazement of all the Angels in heaven God does not destroy Lucifer although his doom was now sealed. God commands for Lucifer to be cast out of his function to roam the earth.
So the allegation was made that man, God’s crowning creation would betray Him
Adam and Eve’s actions proved the serpent right. The last Adam came and by His death on the cross Jesus was saying, yes, it is true, man betrayed God. We can’t correct his behavior, we can’t do behavior modification, we can’t just teach them positive thinking. The spiritual state of man was so corrupted by Adam’s act of dis-believe, there was only one solution. Man had to die. On the cross Christ absorbs all of humanity in himself and the Old Creation in Adam is put to death and destroyed, and satan can no longer accuse a dead man. As Christ, 100% human, yet the second person of the Godhead hangs on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, He is basically saying, “Yes, it is my fault, I take responsibility!”. He dies. Selah.
Through His death Christ establishes the New Covenant of forgiveness and humanity is raised a new creation born righteous and truly holy in the risen Christ, free from the law of sin and death. Now, when satan tries to bring any accusation against man he is really accusing Jesus because we are all in Him. Wow, so powerful. That is the reason why God had to become 100% man to once and for always knock the bottom out from under satan’s ability to accuse. The New Covenant God made in Christ secures our eternal forgiveness, His resurrection has made us a righteous new creation. This New Covenant is set up with the Father and Christ based on who Christ is, and what He has done, and nothing satan says, and nothing we believe or do can change that fact. We are in Christ and have become untouchable.
Where sin originated
Lucifer was first cast down from his lofty position just before he deceived Eve and Adam. Lucifer had lost his God given position and delegated authority. He is cast down and becomes satan.
There are those who refer to Revelation 12:4 who conclude that when Lucifer instigated this rebellion in heaven against God, he was cast down and took with him a third of the angels. This is disputed by some but there are a few verses, which seem to corroborate at least the idea that there was a rebellion in heaven and some of the angels did choose to follow satan. Obviously, Lucifer’s name changed to satan at his fall. The fact that satan’s rebellion with emphasis on accusations against man first occurred in heaven is also the reason why even the true tabernacle in heaven had to be cleansed with the blood of Jesus.
Hebrews 9 King James Version (KJV)
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Jude King James Version (KJV)
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
2 Peter 2 King James Version (KJV)
4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
From previous articles on the subject Hell, I explained that most modern translations of verse 4 is not accurate. The word “Hell” is not the word “Tartarus” but the Greek word, “Tartaroo” and means “to cast or thrust down”. Therefore, the word hell does not even belong in any translation within that sentence. So yes, from both of the above verses we can see that Angels had left their own estate, or allocated position with delegated authority and they were cast down, and reserved in chains of darkness until a judgment.
Kept in chains of darkness is typical ancient Hebrew symbolism and can refer to being expelled out of a region, or realm, and being cast out from a position of influence or loosing acceptance into a group. It can also refer to being in a state of ignorance of God and His truth and redemptive plan for mankind. The binding or limiting of satan’s powers is what is subject here.
Revelation 20 King James Version (KJV)
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And if we look at the word “prison” in verse 7 above it actually means “a guarding” or “a guard”. Satan was being restricted by means of being restrained by guards. I suspect that this is to do with Holy Angelic forces of heaven assigned to keep satan in a state of being restricted. Holy Heavenly Angelic powers were keeping his movements limited.
This seems to match Revelation 20
Revelation 20 King James Version (KJV)
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
So there is a casting down, a chaining or binding and restricting of satan’s power, kept until a certain time for limited release, and then a final judgment.
In the original sense of the word the bottomless pit from the Greek word Abyss, comes from the Hebrew “tehom”, (תהום) referring to either chaos, or deep and the interior of the earth. It came to be understood as the realm of rebellious spirits.
Matthew 8 King James Version (KJV)
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Luke 8 King James Version (KJV)
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Even those demons knew there was a fixed time when they would be cast into outer darkness or the realm of rebellious spirits. That time would begin at the cross. At the time of this scenario Jesus had not yet gone to the cross. The cross is the beginning of the New Covenant of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness shed upon humanity strips satan of his ground for accusation. For those who know they are truly forgiven and made righteous in Christ, the devil/satan, (same thing) has “0” capacity to accuse them to their conscience.
Revelation 20 King James Version (KJV)
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Now leaving the futurist perspectives on a shelve, I view all of this from a realized eschatology.
I know I am over simplifying complex sets of scripture. But I think that what I am saying provides more of an overarching summary so I can get to the real point I am making as quick as possible (eventually). Leaving the thousands of debates about the lake of fire, I acknowledge the phrase “Lake of Fire” is meant to be understood as a literal as well as a symbolical hyperbole. A reference to the utter destruction of the Temple, the religious Heaven and Earth of the Jews, and its city with the immediate land surrounding it, in a fire that could not be put out even though the Jews and many Roman soldiers tried. The lake of fire is therefore a descriptive of the all consuming judgment of God that culminated in the suicidal death of the crazed emperor Nero, known as the beast, and the Jewish Sanhedrin, now depicted as the false prophet, made up of the High Priest and the pious religious elders with the former High Priest Caiaphas, who forty years earlier conspired against their Christ. This view satisfies my quest for understanding the enigmatic meaning of the Lake of Fire. Yes, I get it. What about the devil burning in those flames? Well, once again, the literary genre provides us with a hermeneutical insight. If you only take this as purely literal, then you have a huge problem understanding most of the book of Revelation.
Satan the Prince of this world was cast out. His loss of influence is an everlasting torment. His judgment and his being cast out had finally come. This jurisdictional decision and sentencing upon satan will never change. It is forever.
John 12 King James Version (KJV)
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Christ’s death on the cross, secured the judgment that was going to come (Now) upon that generation, the Old Sinaitic Covenant and satan with his demons. When I refer to satan, I mean him and all of his demons and evil spirits. The cross sealed satan’s doom. He was disarmed at the cross, at the establishing of the New Covenant. This we have also discussed in the previous article. Colossians 2:14-15.
The time of the cross and resurrection of Christ is the beginning of satan’s being cast out, and his binding for a thousand years, which was a time and period of complete fulfillment, until the time of the gentiles were fulfilled (Luke 21:24), until that generation had depleted every opportunity to repent and turn to Christ. Satan was then released for a fixed period which culminated into the deceiving of the twelve left over tribes who had become unrepentant, and ended up in the total destruction of all the elements of the Old Sinaitic Covenant in the unquenchable flames of fire that engulfed the whole city and its surroundings as though it had become one massive lake of fire. Literary genre for the usage of the wording “Lake of Fire” then is both literal as it is also symbolic hyperbole.
So, Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven caused him to be cast down, thrust down from his original position. Since then he used deception to get man to use their dominion in the physical realm to give him access to this physical world. The construct of the deception was threefold;
1 Create a sense of lack and inferiority
2 This results in fear, insecurity and dependency
3 Provide the solution, in the form of conformity for acceptance and obedience to a rules system with the ultimate purpose of giving him control.
1 The truth is that your identity is fixed in Christ. Identity tells you who you are, not what you do. You were born with the identity of a son/daughter of God, completely independent of your lifestyle and choices in life. All the spiritual benefits you will ever need have already been given you in Christ.
2 Insecurity about who you are and your provision in Christ will have fear as an underlying emotion. Fear makes people desperate and open to try and do anything to make up for that sense of lack.
3 Adherence and conformity to a rule system based of the principles of “right and wrong” with the motivation to earn right standing with God is toxic. It sets people up to judge themselves and others as wrong when they don’t comply. When “right” based on performance, satan can assist that person in becoming prideful and judgmental towards others. When wrong satan can assist them in feeling inferior and judge themselves.
Romans 2 King James Version (KJV)
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;
This brings me to my main point. (Finally) The cross caused satan to be cast out into a realm where he cannot presently bring accusations to induce a guilty conscience.
I have heard so many preachers state that the devil was defeated, and people go “yes, amen, hallelujah!” and not have the slightest clue why and how he was defeated.
Per definition we are a new creation. Our old identity in the Old Man Adam was destroyed at the death of Christ. Spiritually we are partakers of God’s divine nature. This is a reality that is crucial and will be seriously discussed in studies on topics about how to overcome temptation, and the New Birth in other articles soon. So spiritually speaking since the cross and resurrection of Christ, we were delivered from the power of darkness, and have been translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13). That’s the main problem solved. So now we are left with learning how to practically appropriate this reality in our daily life.
How-to walk-in Christ’s victory – phase 1
After having eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, man received what we now know as the conscience. The conscience is that faculty of the human mind by which we each develop our own personal and collective sense of what is right and wrong. The conscience can change over time based on personal experience, conditioning and convictions. When we believe we have done something wrong, we will either do something to make the wrong right or we will reason our way into excusing ourselves. If we believe we did something wrong the conscience will always seek equilibrium because it requires justice i.e. payment. Doing something that we perceive as wrong will produce a sense of guilt, requiring a just payment.
Without this justice the conscience is not satisfied, and the mind will not rest until it has this justice. If it cannot get justice, then there are in fact numerous of psycho-physiological ways the mind seeks to cope with the pain caused by the sense of guilt because of something done wrong. What matters is not whether the wrong was wrong, but what matters is a perceived wrong. There are plenty of examples where certain actions by universal principles are clearly wrong. Murder for example is wrong anywhere anytime. I am not talking about that. I am referring to our personal standards of “right and wrong” by which we determine our standing with God. Yet right and wrong is relative and is usually subject to location, culture, group dynamics and changes over time, but most of all it is personal. Even this does not matter. What matters is that right and wrong perceptions are exactly that. Perceptions based on opinions.
I know of a well-known Preacher who taught that your conscience is the voice of your spirit. This is categorically incorrect. Your conscience, or rather your mental capacity to determine your own right and wrongs, are part of how your mind operates. It is not a spiritual function; it is a psychological function. If you then aim to follow the “right” branch of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (your conscience), and you do it because you assume it will make you seem and feel more righteous in the eyes of God you are going to feel great if you succeed at doing what you believe is right. It will automatically release brain endorphins such as dopamine, and all the other feel good hormones. This is what neuroscience calls the brain’s reward system. Those feel good hormones do not last though, and soon we will need another fix. Those who believe they are following the voice of their spirit, will tend to trick themselves that those good feelings are God’s confirming presence of the Holy Spirit. All they are really practicing is self-righteousness and it is completely carnal. They may be doing all to “good” things, but with the aim to prove their own righteousness. By doing so they are playing right into the devil’s hand. Therefore, I say that satan is very, very religious. He invented it, and taught its doctrine to Adam and Eve and was a main speaker in many congregations over the centuries past.
This mentality of trying to earn acceptance and becoming righteous by performance is the oldest lie in the history of humanity. Adam passed that mentality onto the generations after him and it carried over to the people of Israel who received the Law of Moses. Instead of using the commandments to obtain the blessings they tried to use the law to earn right standing and acceptance with God. However, only the atonement sacrifice could do that. The Old Testament sacrifices were a typology for the sacrifice of Jesus to begin the New Covenant and is the only thing that provided forgiveness and right-standing with God.
The conscience demands justice if a wrong is committed. It demands punishment as payment. This paradigm is what has conditioned man to believe that God demands justice, that He demands payment for sin and the wrong committed. No God does not demand justice or payment. He forgave. His forgiveness in Christ remains forever. It is us who demand payment. Our conscience seeks payment and it will not give up until the debt is paid. So, we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted and wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities to satisfy justice. Our minds and it’s conscience, the ability to judge are so powerful, we have build our whole tower of Babel upon it, our own idolatrous tower of self-righteousness where satan will try to take his throne if people let him have that opportunity. This mental construct is the cause for hatred, racism, greed, conflict and wars in our world.
A Way Out
Thank God Christ has provided a way out. We can use our conscience to our benefit. We may have the liberty to device our own principles of what is right and wrong, good and evil. Yet, I do good not to obtain right standing with God, but because I am in right standing with God. Christ is my righteousness. If I commit a wrong, I know it does not make me less righteous. I will never ever loose my right standing with God because Christ is my righteousness. If my conscience rewards me for doing good, that’s great but Christ is my righteousness. If my conscience accuses me and I feel guilty, I can silence my conscience and not give opportunity to the accuser of the brethren, because I remain forgiven and Christ is still my righteousness. Good or bad, right or wrong, Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever my righteousness. The awareness and living from His righteousness make us live better and more productive life’s. It allows for the expression of the life of Christ through us. It completely incapacitates satan.
The death of Christ was not a ransom or payment to God the Father, neither was it a payment to the devil. It was the most powerful means to redeem us from the slavery to sin and death and silence the conscience freeing us from the obsessive drive to earn our own righteousness.
Colossians 2 King James Version (KJV)
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
In the next article on this topic, I aim to move into the next phases of appropriating Christ’s Victory in our life. I will discuss the principles of binding and loosing, and how these were practiced by the elders and authorities of their respective covenants. In addition I would like to explain how you can effectively pray and deal with demonic influences in different circumstances.