The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

What the Torah[1] Says About

In the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible, or so-called “Old” Testament) the word satan (שָׂטָ֖ן (śā·ṭān): adversary, one who withstands; or הַשָּׂטָ֖ן (haś·śā·ṭān) the adversary) is never used as a proper name and only sometimes refers to the prince of evil spirits and the inveterate adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act) of HaShem and HaMashiach and all of mankind. The word may also refer to any other spirit being that is serving in the role of an adversary, or as in Job, as sort of “prosecutor” in the Divine Court.

Due to the restrictions of Greek vocabulary, after the translation of the Tanakh (and a few other books that did not make it into the Protestant canon) into the Greek Septuagint (LXX), the spirit entities were divided into two groups. The “good guys” (the “white hats”) were all classified as ἀγγέλους (angelous), angels, and the “bad guys” (the “black hats”) were classified as δαιμονίοις (daimoniois), demons. Thus, in the version of the Tanakh (the LXX) that was in the possession of the apostolic writers the bnei Elohim who rebelled against God were lumped in with the demons and those bnei Elohim who did not rebel were lumped in with the angels.

When the Apostles began writing their letters to the Messianic communities, they began using “Satan” as a proper noun, or name.

One day the sons of God [benéi Elohim] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [ha-satan (הַשָּׂטָ֖ן, haś·śā·ṭān), the satan] also came with them. (Job 1:6, BSB)
    And the day is, that sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah, and there doth come also the Adversary in their midst. (Job 1:6, YLT)

When referring specifically to the prince of evil, I usually use the form “Satan” (without the definite article the). [07/09/23 I know that may cause some confusion, since in the Hebrew language, as in English, the definite article the is never used with a proper name. As time permits, I will go through the site and correct that.]

  • He incites apostasy from HaShem and to sin.

  • He circumvents men by his wiles.

  • The worshippers of idols are said to be under his control.

  • He was worshipped as deity by many ancient civilizations. 

  • By his demons he is able to take possession of men and inflict them with diseases.

  • By HaShem’s assistance he is overcome.

  • Upon Messiah’s return to earth he will be bound with chains for a thousand years, but when the thousand years are finished he will walk the earth in yet greater power, but shortly after will be given over to eternal punishment.

Video: “the satan” (ha-satan) in the Tanakh

Other Names

Heylel, הֵילֵל (literally, “Shining One,” also as Light Bringer or Light Bearer) is also know as Morning Star and as Lucifer in the Latin Vulgate, KJV, NKJV, Brenton Septuagint Translation, Douay-Rheims, and Webster’s Revision of the KJV.

Beelzebub (בַּעַל זְבוּב, Ba'al (lord) of flies, a Philistine “god” (2Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16), written Ba'al Zəbûb, worshipped as a deity by the Philistines; also the same as the Canaanite god Ba'al

Beelzebul (Βεελζεβούλ) (Lord of the House, seven times in the KJV Apostolic Writings (Matt. 10:25; 12:24; 12:27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15,18-19), but the word is rendered Beelzebub in the KJV.

Satan (שָׂטָ֖ן (śā·ṭān) adversary, one who withstands; or הַשָּׂטָ֖ן (haś·śā·ṭān) the Adversary); Greek Σατανᾶς (Satanas) is a “borrowed” word directly from the Tanakh). The English word appears 47 times in the NASB: e.g., 1Chron 21:1; Job 1:6-9; Zech 3:1-2; Matt 4:10;12:26; Rev 20:2)

Devil (διάβολος, diabolos, slanderer) Matt 4:1; Luke 8:12; Jude 1:7; Heb 2:15, etc. Note that the KJV mistranslates לַשְּׂעִירִ֕ם (laś·śə·‘î·rim, goat-demon) and שֵׁד (shade, demon) as “devil” in Lev 17:7; Deut 32:17; 2Chron 11:15; Ps 106:37.

Serpent (נָחָשׁ, nachash) Gen 3:1-4; (ὄφις, ophis) 2Cor 11:3; Rev 12:9; 14-15; 20:2.

Dragon (δράκων, drakōn) Rev 12:3-4, 7-9, 13-17; 16:13; 20:2.

Adversary (ἀντίδικος, antidikos) 1Pet 5:8.

Accuser (κατήγωρ, katēgōr) Rev 12:10.

Father of Lies (πατὴρ αὐτοῦ, patēr autou, lit. father of it, referring to “lies” earlier in the sentence) John 8:44.

Satan In Scripture

The prophet Yechezk'el (Ezekiel 28:11-19) speaks the word of HaShem to “the king of Tyre” but the context demands that he is speaking not directly to the king, but rather to the power behind the king, either Satan or one of the other benéi Elohim, for when was the king of Tyre ever in Eden, and when was he ever the “anointed cherub who covers … on the holy mountain of God”?

11 The word of ADONAI came to me: 12 “Human being, raise a lament for the king of Tzor, and tell him that Adonai Elohim says: ‘You put the seal on perfection; you were full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; 13 you were in ‘Eden, the garden of God; covered with all kinds of precious stones — carnelians, topaz, diamonds, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphires, green feldspar, emeralds; your pendants and jewels were made of gold, prepared the day you were created. 14 You were a keruv, protecting a large region; I placed you on God’s holy mountain. You walked back and forth among stones of fire. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. 16 When your commerce grew, you became filled with violence; and in this way you sinned. Therefore I have thrown you out, defiled, from the mountain of God; I have destroyed you, protecting keruv, from among the stones of fire. 17 Your heart grew proud because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. But I have thrown you on the ground; before kings I have made you a spectacle. 18 By your many crimes in dishonest trading, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore I brought forth fire from within you, and it has devoured you; I reduced you into ashes on the ground in the sight of all who can see you. 19 All who know you among the peoples will be aghast at you. You are an object of terror, and you will cease to exist.’”

Likewise, the prophet Yesha‘yahu speaks to the king of Babylon, but here also he clearly is addressing the power behind the king, rather than addressing the king directly. (Isaiah 14:12-17)

12 “How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? 13 You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. 14 I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 Instead you are brought down to Sh’ol, to the uttermost depths of the pit. 16 Those who see you will stare at you, reflecting on what has become of you: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth, who made kingdoms tremble, 17 who made the world a desert, who destroyed its cities, who would not set his prisoners free?’”

There are only two other references in the entire Bible to anyone or anything having “fallen from heaven.” Yeshua said, I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning (Luke 10:18); and Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. (Rev. 9:1)

The elohim (gods) and the satan (accuser) discussed in the video
The Divine Council & Unseen World in OT.”

Satan in a Theology Dictionary

Adapted from the article “Satan” by Walter M. Dunnett in
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

The Hebrew word satan (שָׂטָ֖ן) means “an adversary, one who resists.” It is translated as “Satan” eighteen times in the Tanakh, fourteen of those occurrences being in Job 1-2, the others in 1 Chronicles 21:1 and Zechariah 3:1-2. There is some dispute as to whether it should be taken as a proper name or a title, but my position is that his name is Heylel and his title is Satan. In Job and Zechariah the definite article (“the”) precedes the noun (lit., “the satan” or “the accuser”). Thus some argue it should be a title, while in 1 Chronicles (without the article) it should be considered a proper name. The word is used also of various persons in the Tanakh as “adversaries,” including David (1 Sam 29:4), Rezon of Damascus (1 Kings 11:23,25), and the Angel of the Lord (Num 22:22,32).

Baker holds that in Job “the satan” is not directly HaShem’s adversary, but Job’s, and says that he acts as one of HaShem’s subordinates/courtiers to follow His directives. However, a more careful reading of the text would suggest that this adversary is, in fact, working against the purposes of HaShem by bringing accusations against innocent Job. It would appear that this adversary still has direct access to HaShem’s throne room, as God asks what he has been doing and the adversary replies that he has been “roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” If this individual is Satan, it seems as if he may be trying to appeal his conviction for treason by accusing God of being unjust and by bringing accusations against others (“Why are You being unjustly hard on me? Just look at how bad some others are, and you aren’t doing anything to them!”)

The adversary argues that Job is, after all, not being righteous out of love for, and trust in, HaShem, but rather that Job’s righteousness is a reaction only to his prosperity, and is based on self-interest.

Baker (and others) believe that within the Job narrative, this adversary (Satan?) acts at HaShem’s directive. They claim that Job 1:12 and Job 2:6-7 point to Satan’s causal role in Job’s life, but later texts like Job 6:4; Job 7:14; Job 9:17 appear to lay blame on HaShem. Thus, they say, Satan carries out divine directives.

Again, however, a closer reading of the text reveals that HaShem intends to use righteous Job as an example to turn the adversary’s argument back against himself. The tests that HaShem allowed were meant to demonstrate what Job’s true motivation was. He does not direct the adversary to inflict Job, but rather gives him permission to do so, and in Job 6:4; Job 7:14; Job 9:17 Job, not understanding what HaShem is doing, says that even if HaShem is doing these things to him [athough He is not], he still will not curse HaShem, but will continue to trust Him.

“Satan” occurs thirty-six times in the Apostolic Writings, eighteen of that number in the Gospels and Acts. The Greek term satanas, Σατανᾶς, is a “loan word” from the Hebrew Tanakh, and twenty-eight of the total occurrences are accompanied by the definite article. Often in the Gospel accounts Yeshua is in contact with Satan directly or indirectly. He was tempted by Satan (Mark 1:13). In the famous “Beelzebub controversy” Yeshua made clear His intention to drive Satan out of people’s lives and to destroy his sovereignty (Matt 12:26; Mark 3:23, 26; Luke 11:18). He liberated a woman “whom Satan [had] kept bound for eighteen long years” (Luke 13:16). Rav Sha'ul (Paul) spoke of his being sent to turn people “from the power of Satan to HaShem” (Acts 26:18), and that the works of the “lawless one [were] in accordance with the work of Satan,” in doing sham miracles, signs, and wonders (2Thess 2:9). HaMashiach will come, he wrote, to overthrow that agent of Satan.

While the activity of Satan is carried out in “the world” (i.e., among those who do not acknowledge Yeshua as HaShem), he also works against the followers of Yeshua. He influenced Kefa’s (Peter’s) thinking about Yeshua to the extent that Yeshua said to his disciple, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matt 16:23). He asked for all the disciples in order to severely test them (Luke 22:31). He “entered” Y'hudah the Sicarius (Judas Iscariot, Luke 22:3), and “filled the heart” of Ananias (Acts 5:3). Believers can be tempted by Satan due to a lack of self-control in sexual matters (1Cor 7:5), and he can even masquerade as “an angel of light”[2] (Lucifer, his original status) to accomplish his purposes (2Cor 11:14). He tormented Rav Sha'ul by means of “a thorn in [his] flesh” (2Cor 12:7). Some people even turn away from their faith to follow Satan (1Tim 5:15).

Satan opposes the proclamation of the Gospel, snatching away the seed (the word) that was sown in people’s hearts (Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12). He also “stopped” Rav Sha'ul from traveling to Thessalonica (1Thess 2:18).

Satan is regarded (by some) in the Apostolic Writings as the “master of death and destruction,” who carries out HaShem’s wrath against sinners. Twice we read of persons “handed over to Satan” for spiritual discipline by the local Beit Din (1Cor 5:1-5; 1Tim 1:19-20). This appears to suggest that perhaps “excommunication” from synagogue fellowship puts people out into Satan’s realm, a sovereignty from which believers have been rescued (Col 1:13; cf. Heb 2:14-15). In other cases, Satan attacked the disciples of Yeshua by “sifting” them (Luke 22:31), a figure that is enigmatic. It may have meant to test their faith (with Satan’s intent of destroying it, but HaShem’s intent of confirming it), or, it may have meant “to separate off the rubbish” (I. H. Marshall). In any case, Satan was up to no good. He was able to “enter” Y'hudah the Sicarius (Luke 22:3; cf. John 13:27), resulting in that disciple becoming a betrayer of his Master. Kefa’s “sifting” may possibly have brought about his threefold denial of Yeshua.

The Holy Community in Jerusalem felt the brunt of Satan’s attacks. He “filled” Ananias’ heart causing him to lie to Ruach HaKodesh (Acts 5:3), resulting in his sudden demise. The believers in Smyrna felt the sting of persecution (Rev 2:9-10). The nations of earth in Yochanan’s (John’s) vision were deceived by him (Rev 20:7-8).

Yeshua spoke of seeing Satan “fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18), a fall not specifically identified in the Apostolic Writings, but a likely reference to Isaiah 14:12-17, and within the context of demons being cast out — a sign of Satan’s loss of authority. In the Revelation, amid a war in heaven, Satan was “hurled to the earth” along with his angels/demons (Rev 12:9). He, the Accuser, was overcome by one stronger than he. Finally, he is bound, imprisoned in the abyss for one thousand years, then ultimately banished in the fiery lake to suffer eternal torment (Rev 20:1-3, Rev 20:10; cf. Matt 25:41).

The other common appellation for Satan in the Apostolic Writings is “the devil” (diabolos, diavbolo), not found in the Tanakh, but thirty-four times in the Apostolic Writings, meaning one who is traducer, a slanderer. The word often translates satan (Sata'n) in the Septuagint (either as “the satan” or an “adversary”).

In the Apostolic Writings the word appears to be used interchangeably with “Satan,” although in the KJV the word for “demon” is often erroneously translated as “devil.” Mark refers to “Satan” five times, but never uses “devil.” Matthew has three of the former, but six of the latter. The Fourth Gospel has one instance of “Satan” (with none in the Epistles of John), while the “devil” (as Satan) occurs twice in the Gospel and three times in the Epistles.

Yeshua would drive out “the prince of this world” (John 12:31); Satan would have no hold on Mashiach, for He was without sin (John 14:30); and Satan stood condemned at the bar of HaShem’s judgment (John 16:11). While the devil has had a career of sinning “from the beginning,” the Son of God came to destroy his wicked works (1John 3:8). Those unable to hear and receive Yeshua’ words “belong to the devil,” who is their “father” (John 8:44) — they share a family likeness to him.

Believers need to exercise care about anger, so as “not to give the devil a foothold” (Eph 4:26). They are to don God’s full armor so as to stand against the devil’s schemes. With the shield of faith they are to thwart his “flaming arrows” (Eph 6:11,16). Ultimate victory comes by “the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,” as the devil is cast down from heaven to the earth (Rev 12:11).

See also Demon; Evil; Sin

Bibliography. H. Bietenhard, NIDNTT, 3:468-72; O. Bocher, EDNT, 1:297-98; D. J. A. Clines, Job 1-20; W. Foerster, TDNT, 2:1-20; E. Lanyton, Satan, A Portrait; D. W. Pentecost, Your Adversary, The Devil; G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology.


Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness
Jonathan Cahn, The Return of the Gods
A. Wesley Carr, Angels and Principalities (1981)
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol II, Angelology, Anthropology (1947)
C. Fred Dickason, Angels: Elect and Evil
_____, Demon Possession and the Christian
Billy Graham, Angels: God’s Secret Agents (1975)
Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm
John Warwick Montgomery, ed: Demon Possession
Heinrich Schier, Principalities and Powers in the New Testament (1961)
Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology
_____, What Demons Can Do to Saints
Walter Wink, Naming the Powers
_____, Unmasking the Powers
_____, Engaging the Powers

HaSatan in the Gap Theory

Although I subscribe to the “young earth” position — agreeing with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, that creation was accomplished in six literal 24-hour days — I am presenting the “Gap Theory” here simply because it exists and I think that you should be aware of it.

Some proponents of the “Gap Theory” think that between Gen. 1:1 and Gen 1:2 there was an earlier creation, and that Gen 1:2 should be translated “and the earth became formless and empty.” The Hebrew word הָיְתָ֥ה (hā·yə·ṯāh), translated “was” in Gen 1:2, can also be translated as “become,” “come to pass,” ”exist,” “happen,” “fall out,” etc., so such translation is allowed by the text.

In this scenario, God created an Edenic first earth over which he made Heylel (Lucifer) the chief steward. Haylel became so full of himself that he decided he would reign not as a steward, but as god over this creation (2Cor 4:4 in NASB and KJV), and convinced a third of the angelic beings to support him in an insurrection.[3] When the insurrection was defeated by HaShem, Haylel became so irate that he “made the earth tremble, … shook kingdoms, … made the world like a wilderness [formless and void] And overthrew [destroyed] its cities, … and did not allow his prisoners [the fallen angels] to go home?’” (Isa 14:16-17)

This interpretation, they claim, would allow for the “Big Bang” 14 billion years ago and account for 4.5 billion years between the original creation of earch and a six-day re-creation 6,000 years ago, providing an explanation for the age of the dinosaurs and the ruins that archaeologists date as early as 15,000 BCE (some claim ancient civilizations as old as 50,000 years).

Demons - documentary film with Dr. Michael S. Heiser

  1. The word “Torah” is used here in its most inclusive sense to include the entire body of Scripture. [BACK]

 2. Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) claims that he started his church based on instructions he received from a “personage of light.” Mohammad, the founder of Islam, claims that he received his revelation from “Gabriel” in a cave. As any decent Bible student knows, Gabriel is one of only three angels who are named in the Bible along with Michael and Lucifer. Gabriel is the primary messenger of HaShem, Michael is apparently the guardian of Israel, and Lucifer defected and led a rebellion against HaShem and became Satan (the chief adversary). There is no possible way that HaShem’s primary messenger would bring to mankind such an anti-Yehovah message as is contained in the Qur'an. The most logical explanation, therefore, is that the message was given to Muhammad by the chief enemy of HaShem. “Allah” (literally, “the god”) is absolutely, positively not Yehovah, the God of the Bible (in the Qur'an “Allah” specifically distinguishes himself from Yehovah). The Tanakh declares, and the Apostolic Writings agree, that any being who is not Yehovah and perports to be a god is actually a demon. (However, see “Bnei Elohim.”) My considered opinion is that the one who calls himself “Allah” is none other than Satan! [BACK]

 3. While it is commonly believed that one-third of the angels joined Lucifer in his rebellion, and that is what I was taught (and I taught) in my seminary classes on angelology, that idea is taught nowhere in Scripture. The Scriptures do say that “his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev 12:9), but it nowhere says that the number was one-third of the angels. [BACK]

Originally posted on Sunday, 28 November 2021
Page revised on Thursday, 22 June 2023
Page revised on Sunday, 09 July 2023

Page last updated on Friday, 06 October 2023 03:13 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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