The devil, satan, and evil

The spirit-being called the "devil" originally was a beautiful, bright and glorious angel. However, he rebelled against God and became an evil spirit-being and he continues to be in total opposition to the only true God and all the things of God.

The devil was the first spirit-being that rebelled against God; he wanted to take God's position (refer to Genesis chapter 3). He is the chief of the devil-spirits, which are the other evil spirits in subordination to him; they fell from the position that God had given to them and they are referred to as devils (devil-spirits, demons, evil spirits, unclean spirits, etc). Genesis chapters 6-10, I Peter 3:19 and 20, and Jude 1:6 and 7 also refer to angels that sinned and they are cast down to prison. These angels left their own habitation in like manner to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The time of their fall took place in the days of Noah. These angels are kept in prison awaiting their final judgment (refer to II Peter 2:4) - they are not in gravedom because they are not dead, nor are they in some place called "hell."

The name "devil" is only one of the many names used in the Bible to describe his characteristics, attributes, qualities, activities, etc. It is the Greek word diabolos which comes from the words: "through" and "throw/cast" – the devil throws (casts) things through people, like stabbing a person from outside through the person and out the other side with an accusation, slander, etc. The devil's intention is to interrupt and then destroy any connection between the only true God and mankind, as stated in John 10:10.

"Satan" is the name that emphasizes the devil's opposing and adversarial attributes. 

The word "evil" is a translation from the Greek word poneros - active malignancy, extreme badness - in other words - "evil" is that-which is in total opposition to the only true God, exercising badness by actively going against and contrary to God and His Word.

The devil and the other angels that follow him are evil because they willingly, actively, and malignantly went against and continue to go against what God says and does. God has judged them, and the complete fulfillment of His judgment will come to pass at a future time.

The originating occurrence of evil was performed by the devil involving idolatry and then mankind performed likewise - as recorded in Genesis chapter 3. At that time the devil, the man (Adam), and the woman were located in the garden of Eden (paradise towards the east).

Genesis 3:1-6: (KJV)
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The word "serpent" is used as a name to describe the snake animal and the devil who controlled it in this situation (refer to Revelation chapters 12 and 20). The serpent (snake, reptile animal) was made on the sixth day along with the man and the animals, etc, which God made on that day; it was thoughtful, sensible, intellectual, and perceptive in its activities.

Verse 1 says that the serpent was more subtle (prudent, wise, crafty) than any beast (living being) of the field, and he approached the woman and began to talk to her. There is no record of the woman being shocked or frightened that he would speak to her and she could understand him. 

The devil spoke a statement questioning what God had commanded Adam in Genesis chapter 2 which was: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." However, the devil's stated outcome of both the man and woman doing what God said not to do, is not the same as God's stated outcome to Adam. God said, "Thou shalt surely die" – but the devil said, "Ye shall not surely die." One is a direct contradiction to the other.

The devil also said (concerning the outcome of doing what God said not to do) that the man's and the woman's eyes would be opened, and they would become as gods, just like he was making himself as a god - rejecting the only true God and making their own judgments, putting themselves in God's place as far as they were concerned - idolatry. 

We should note that the Hebrew for the word "God" and "gods," which the devil used in Genesis 3:1 and 5, is "Elohim" – the word which God used to describe Himself as the Creator in Genesis 1:1.

The devil knew his own evil plan and was offering access to his evil, which was doing the same (performing an action against God) as what he was doing in total opposition to God. The result of what the devil did that day to/for the man, Adam, and the woman was that they also committed the sin of idolatry. 

Continuing in verse 13:

Verses 13-15:
And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou has done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

As soon as the woman told God that it was the serpent/devil who beguiled her, God did not ask him any question – but He spoke to the devil as recorded in verses 14 and 15. All 3 (the devil, the man, and the woman) were still there in the garden of Eden in the presence of God while God was speaking to them.

God pronounced sentence on the serpent and the devil that controlled it: the devil was cursed even more-than all cattle and more-than every living-being of the field - this is in contrast to his description in Genesis 3:1. He would go upon his belly and eat dust all the days of his life; literally the snake as described in verse 14, but figuratively referring to the fact that the devil would be utterly-humiliated and constantly disappointed and experience failure, always reminded of what he did against God and against mankind, and never being able to stand and rise above or away-from it (refer to the figure of speech also in Psalm 44:25 and 72:9).

In Genesis 3:15, while God was still speaking to the devil, God made it known that He (God Himself) will put enmity (opposition, hostility)...

  • between the devil
    • and the woman;
  • and between the devil's seed
    • and the woman's seed;
  • and the seed of the woman (not the woman herself but the seed) will bruise the devil's head (which consequently includes his seed also),
    • and the devil will bruise his heel.

This is the first mention God made of the coming savior (the Christ) - this seed of the woman (Christ, the son of God) would bruise/crush the head of the devil, which figuratively emphasizes that Christ will destroy him permanently, complete destruction. Christ will put an end to the devil’s plans for himself and his purposes of hindering the only true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, God's children, and all the things of God.

God also foretold that the devil would hurt the promised seed, the Christ, and referred to it in the figure of speech as bruising his heel – he would hurt him but not permanently – only temporarily. We know now that the devil had Jesus Christ crucified, but we also know now that God raised him up from the dead giving him his spiritual-body, never to die again. Now the devil is under his feet, and at a future time Christ will bruise the devil’s head, he will destroy him and it will be permanent.

Continuing in verse 19:

Verse 19:
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

God told Adam of the physical death that was going happen to him – he would return to dust (refer to Genesis 2:7; Psalm 103:14; Ecclesiastes 12:7; I Corinthians 15:45-49). This is the first mention of natural death, the death of the man's flesh (soul-life and body). Adam's sin against God allowed the devil to gain the power of death over mankind (refer to I Corinthians 15:50-58; Hebrews 2:14; plus Adam is not listed in Hebrews chapter 11).

The results or consequences of Adam's willful transgression of a direct commandment of God were and are numerous. The greatest consequence was that Adam and Eve died that day - they no longer had the holy spirit-life which God had given them. They no longer had that close spiritual connection and relationship with the only true God. They died in the spirit category (refer to Genesis 3:22-24).

Also, the physical part of man would return to the dust/earth from whence it came, the same dust/earth upon which the devil was cursed to move upon and eat. The earth was cursed, and so all the other living-beings (animals, birds, fish, etc) that live on the earth would have adverse and bad physical consequences. The man would have consequences and the woman would have consequences and the devil would have consequences.

So, we see very clearly that the devil had indeed issued his lie (refer to Romans 1:25; II Thessalonians 2:11). He attempted to put himself as the one to be believed, that he was the one to give them knowledge, wisdom, life, the power not to die, that he would give them the ability to be gods, receiving their direction from him and thereby making himself "the God" in the place of the only true God!

However, God carried-out His words in order to protect mankind and preserve the future availability of the redemption of mankind from the power of the devil/satan back to God. If God did not do what He said He would do upon Adam’s eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then mankind would have lived from that day forward until his death (as stated in Genesis 3:19) never gaining all that God had planned in Christ Jesus regarding mankind (refer to Genesis 3:15), and the devil would have conquered all the purposes of God pertaining to mankind both in the spirit-realm and in the physical-realm.

When God raised Jesus up alive from being dead, He gave the Lord Jesus Christ the position of being at God's right-hand side, the bright and morning star. Relative to the spirit category - his position is above/over all the angels (including authority over the devil and the other angels that follow him). Relative to the realm of mankind - he has redeemed all of what Adam lost, his position of being God's man on earth. Christ is the image of God and in the future he will finalize to completion God's intention regarding all things (refer to I Corinthians 15:20-28 and 45-57; Ephesians 1:19-23; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:15). 

The devil does not want people to know the truth about...

  • God Who is Holy Spirit,
  • His son, the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • His gift of holy spirit which is now available to mankind on a permanent basis as a result of all that the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished,
  • sin and its consequences - spiritual death, physical death,
  • Christ's resurrection and the future resurrections,
  • or all that will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ will come to be present.

The following records describe some of the devil's activities:

Matthew 4:1-4:
4:1Then Jesus was led-up by the spirit into the desert-place to be tempted by the devil .2and having fasted forty days and forty nights afterwards he hungered .3and the (one) tempting having come-towards (him) said to him, "If you are son of God you must say (words) in order that these stones may be caused-to-become breads." .4But the (one) having answered said, "It was written2: 'The man will not live on only bread but on every spoken-matter journeying-out by means of (the) mouth of God'."

At that time the holy spirit that Jesus had just received (recorded in Matthew chapter 3) directed him up from the Jordan valley into the desert (desolate) place to be tempted by the devil.

The verb "to be tempted" means: to be made trial-of or tried in the bad sense of being put to the test with evil and ill-intent being enticed to do wrong, to fall-aside from the truth of God's Word, being enticed to disbelieve what God says during that specific situation. The devil is the one who tempts with/by evil.

After Jesus had been fasting (not eating) for forty days and forty nights (40 x 24-hours) he was hungry. And, the one tempting (again referring to the devil, but with another name that emphasizes the fact that he tempts others), having approached Jesus, said to him: if/since you are God's son you must say definite words for the purpose and result that these stones would become loaves of bread for you to eat so that you will not be hungry and you will live.

From an unaware viewpoint, it could seem that the tempter/devil was offering Jesus help by giving him advice on what to do in order to keep himself alive without having to rely on someone else, or on God, to get what is needed to live. This was similar to what the serpent/devil did to mankind as recorded in Genesis chapter 3.

But Jesus judicially replied to the questioning statement made by the one tempting. He did not respond by saying, "Of course I'm the son of God!" – because this was not in question. Nor did Jesus argue or deliberate on what the one tempting said as to how to use what God had made available to him. But Jesus answered by referring to what was previously written as part of God's Word, which had not changed, in Deuteronomy 8:1-3 that Moses spoke and wrote.

Jesus answered saying: it was written and continues written:

  • 'The man (mankind) will not live (will not have life, will not be alive)
    • resting or based upon only bread (bread alone - this would only allow for him to live physically for a limited period of time),
  • but on the contrary, man will live
    • resting or based upon every spoken-matter journeying-out by means of the mouth of God (this would allow for him to live spiritually as God intends for mankind).'

A "spoken matter" is a portion of the whole of God's Word, each one containing a specific discourse. All/every spoken matter which mankind should obey must originate from God in order for him to live spiritually, which is to have God's holy spirit life.

The devil continued tempting Jesus at that time as recorded in Matthew chapter 4 and you may read those additional details in that study.

In Acts, Peter states the difference of activities and lifestyle between Jesus and the devil:

Acts 10:38:
.38Jesus the (person) from Nazareth, as-that God anointed him with holy spirit and with ability, who went-through working-good and healing all the (people) being oppressed by the devil because God was with him;
  • Jesus -
    • working good (producing effects that were well, bestowing benefit)
    • and healing all the people (causing them to recover from their illness)
    • and God was with him;
  • the devil -
    • oppressing the people (overpowering them by his ability; the devil was/is the one being instrumental in causing his capability to be exercised against people).

The following verses record what Paul said regarding the time of his traveling to Damascus (also refer to Acts chapter 9):

Acts 26:15-18:
.15And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you persecute; .16but you must stand-up and you must stand on your feet for into this I was seen by you to hand-pick you (as) an assistant and a witness both of-which-things you saw and of-which-things I will cause-to-be-seen by you, .17taking you to-myself out-from the people and out-from the Gentiles into whom I apostle you .18to open their eyes: (for them) to turn-back from darkness into light, and the authority of satan on God, (for) them to receive dismissal of sins, and a lot among the (people) having been made-holy2 by belief, the (belief) into me.'

When the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to Saul/Paul, as recorded in verses 17 and 18 he included:

  • "...into whom emphatically I apostle you (I send you forth/away on this specific mission or assignment to the people of Israel and to the Gentiles)
    • to open their eyes (figuratively referring to the eyes of their minds, their understanding opening up to see and know the true and accurate information):
      • for the purpose of them to turn back (on)
        • away from darkness (the absence of light)
        • into (directed to) absolute light,
      • and
        • away from the authoritative power of satan (which is the name emphasizing the devil's opposing and adversarial attributes)
        • onto God (the only true God),
      • for the purpose of them to receive dismissal of sins (discharge, acquittal, remission of debt or punishment owed due to their sins, aberrations from God’s Word, acts of missing the mark of what God says),
      • and to receive a lot (an inheritance, assigned lot)
      • among the people who have already been made-holy (those who have become holy-people, sanctified, set-apart from the state of being common, defiled or unclean against God by coming into the state of corresponding to the essence of God, Who is Holy Spirit)
        • and who remain holy by/with/in belief,
        • emphatically and specifically the belief into me (the faith, that-which is to be trusted, what is to be believed regarding me, Jesus)."

Paul's assignment was very clear.

In Ephesians chapter 6, Paul addresses all holy-people (true Christians having received the gift of holy spirit). He teaches us how to behave relative-to the spirit category - in what manner we ought to live and carry-out all the activities of our everyday life.

Ephesians 6:10-12:
.10From-now-on, you must be enabled in (the) Lord and in the strongness of his strength, .11you must clothe-yourselves-with the full-armor of God towards (the purpose of) you to be able to stand against the methods of the devil, .12because the wrestling is not for you against blood and flesh but against the rulerships, against the authorities, against the world-strong-ones of this darkness, against the spiritual-things of the evilness in the heavenlies;

Verse 11 says that you must clothe yourselves (envelop yourselves) with the full-armor of God - the whole weaponry belonging-to and proceeding-from the only true God, all/every part of it, the complete panoply, the set of tools or implements of war or battle needed for protection, offense and defense, fully armed. Why should you clothe yourselves with the full armor?

  • For the purpose/intent of you to be able (to have the able-power, the ability, capability)
    • to stand (stand firm, as opposed to falling)
      •  against the methods of the devil (the systematic ways or procedures belonging-to and proceeding-from the devil).

Why? Because the wrestling (the swaying or vibrating struggle which you are engaged in, drawing attention to the fact that there are two opposing sides) is not for/with you...

  • against blood and flesh (the 2 parts of fleshy mankind, human-beings) –

...but on the contrary, the wrestling is for/with you...

  • against the rulerships (first-placed, chief or dignified-hierarchical positions which some spirits and people have been given or have taken for themselves),
  • against the authorities (authoritative-powers or permitted-rights – which some spirits and people have been given or have taken for themselves),
  • against the world-strong-ones (those being strong, having strength, exerted-force, being mighty within this present ordered-arrangement – which some spirits and people have been given or have taken for themselves)….

What rulerships, authorities, world-strong-ones are being referred to here in Ephesians chapter 6?

  • of this darkness (the present darkness - referring to the complete absence of the only true God's light; it is the devil's darkness within-which these rulerships and authorities and world-strong-ones operate).

And the fullness of the wresting for you (holy-people) is:  

  • against the spiritual-things (those matters, including the spirit-beings, belonging-to, determined-by, influenced-by and proceeding-from spirit)
  • of the evilness (belonging-to and pertaining-to and consisting-of the active malignancy or exercised badness which issues from the evil-one, the devil/satan)....
Verse 13:
.13because-of-this you must take-up the full-armor of God in order that you may be caused-to-be-able to stand-against in the day, the evil (day), and, having rendered all-things-together to-work, to stand;

The "evil" day refers to this period of time when the devil and his followers are still able to move around the peoples of the earth and actively, adversely, and malignantly affect them if those people allow the spiritual darkness to affect them.

Paul continues by explaining in detail about this full armor of God and how we are to stand during the everyday living of our lives. We are in this spiritual battle, and Paul uses the words describing physical pieces of armor to help us to understand the spiritual full-armor of God that is available for us to utilize.

Verse 16:
.16in all-things having taken-up the shield of the belief in which you will be able to quench all the missiles of the evil-one having been set-on-fire2,

Verse 16 tells us to take up the shield of the belief - in which...

  • you will be able (have the able-power, ability, capability)
    • to quench (extinguish, like putting-out a light or a fire)
      • all the missiles of the evil-one (the thrown-weapons as darts, arrows, javelins, etc, belonging-to and issuing-from the one who is evil, active with malignancy - the evil-one is the devil/satan)
      • which have already been ignited and are still burning (inflamed and glowing with heat as a furnace, fired-up by the evil-one as they approach you in the attempts to penetrate your defenses, to puncture and injure you).

In I Timothy, Paul writes about a holy-person who reaches to attain the position of being an overseer and he lists many points:

I Timothy 3:6 and 7:
.6not newly-planted in order that having been conceited he may not fall-in into judgment of the devil, .7but it is necessary also to have a beautiful witness from the (people) from-outside in order that he may not fall-in into reproach and trap of the devil.

Paul includes:

  • not newly-planted (figuratively referring to someone who has very recently become a holy-person and beginning to learn all that is involved in being a son of God)
    • for the purpose and result that he would not fall down into (resulting-in being in the state of)
      • the judgment of the devil (the pronounced decision, the sentence passed on the devil)
    • – why would that happen? –
    • because the neophyte who would be placed into the position of overseership
      • may become conceited (beclouded, wrapped-up in his own importance, etc, as being engulfed in smoke in his mind and activities refusing to see, etc, what is outside of himself)
        • just as the devil became this way - but God arrived at His decision and pronounced it on the devil,
  • but it is necessary in addition for him to hold a beautiful attestation from those who do not belong to the church of God regarding him
    • for the purpose and result that he would not fall down
      • into the defamation (insult) issuing-from the devil,
      • and the trap (snare, entanglement) set for him by the devil working through those unholy people outside-of the church.

We should understand reading this passage that a holy-person (a Christian, one in whom the spirit of Christ lives, a son of God) cannot lose his holy spirit-life. Therefore if a newly-planted holy-person was given the position of overseership within the church and he would fall down into the judgment and reproach and trap of the devil – it would only be in the behavior and flesh category. This would have no effect on his holy spirit and he would remain a son of God - but he would be behaving badly and receiving the consequences.

Paul also writes about the trap of the devil in II Timothy:

II Timothy 2:25 and 26:
.25in meekness training the (people) being throughly-antithetical lest-perhaps God may give to them repentance into full-knowledge of truth .26and they may sober-up out-from the trap of the devil having been caught-alive2 by him into that-one’s intention.

He teaches Timothy to be meekly training those who thoroughly put (place, set) themselves in positions of being anti/against the truth of God and the things of God...

  • whether it may happen at any time that
  • God would make it available for them to have repentance (a change of mind from bad to good regarding Him - emphasizing their minds’ change after re-thinking the matter when they hear God’s words that you speak to them)
    • with a view to the full, clear and exact personal knowledge of truth,
  • and
  • they would actively sober-up (be in control of their minds and bodies so that they are alert and receptive to what God and/or the Lord Jesus Christ may want to make known to them, and that they are not in a stupor, a daze, lethargic)
    • out from the trap of the devil (from being inside of the snare set for them by the devil)
      • they are in the devil’s trap because they were hunted and caught alive (as catching a living fish or animal but not killing it yet, caught alive by the power of the devil, the efficient and instrumental agent who caught them alive)
      • with a view specifically to his will (that devil’s intention, his active volition and desire).

The devil is the source of all that is against the only true God, no matter who actually carries out the devil’s intention for him. The only reason that the devil would not kill someone under his control in the behavior category is for that person to carry out the devil’s intention/will during his life.

There are many ways that people carry-out the devil's intention - satan's will - for example:

Acts 8:9-11:
.9But some adult-male, Simon by-name, was-beforehand in the city practicing-magic and bewildering the nation of Samaria saying himself to be someone great, .10to whom all-people had-attention, from small until great, saying, "This-person is the ability of God, the (ability) being called great," .11and they had-attention to him because-of the sufficient time (which he had) with the magical-things to have bewildered2 them.

Acts chapter 8 tells us about a certain man named Simon who had been practicing magic (enchantments, using sorcery). As a result he was striking the people of Samaria with awe, totally puzzling their minds, and causing them to be out of their normal senses - plus he was telling them that he himself was some great person.

It was to Simon whom all the people had turned their minds (thoughts, attention) saying that he is the ability of God, emphatically and specifically the ability called "great." They thought that this Simon was sent by the only true God to them as their savior, their deliverer bringing and manifesting God’s able-power among them! Was he? No!

The people had continued to be intent upon him because he had been with them for a sufficient length of time performing his magical tricks (his enchantments and sorceries, his involvement in devil-spirit operations, demons controlling and dominating him).

Verses 12 and 13:
.12But when they believed Philip good-messaging concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both adult-males and women were baptized – .13and Simon himself also believed, and having been baptized he was being strong with Philip, viewing-with-attention both signs and great abilities coming to pass he was bewildered.

However, when these men and women believed (had faith in, trusted) what Philip was evangelizing to them concerning…

  • the kingdom of God (all that is contained within God's sovereignty, His kingly or royal dominion and government and rule and territory and power, etc, which is holy and spiritual because God is Holy Spirit)
  • and the name of Jesus Christ

…they were baptized (immersed, surrounded) into everything that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ includes - all of his power and ability and authority, etc. They became children of the only true God by means of the Lord Jesus Christ by receiving the gift of holy spirit-life within them.

Simon himself, the man who had been practicing magic, also believed what Philip was evangelizing concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ - and therefore he also received the gift of holy spirit.

Simon was viewing with attention (contemplating in his mind) both the signs and great abilities that were happening as Philip ministered among the people - but he was awestruck and totally puzzled in his mind. Simon knew how he had done his devilish magical sorceries in the past - but he did not yet understand how Philip was able to do all he did.

God’s Word calls the abilities (able-powers, capabilities) that Philip was doing “great” – these were done by the power of the only true God.

It is noteworthy that...

  •  even though Simon had believed enough of God's Word which Philip spoke for him to be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus

...Simon's mind did not yet comprehend everything. He didn't know and understand everything regarding God and the Lord Jesus Christ whom Philip had been speaking about! This shows us that the changing of a person's physical mind or thinking-pattern is not automatic, and that God and the Lord Jesus Christ do not force themselves upon anyone in any way.

There is another record in Acts about devilish behavior performed by a man described as a son of the devil:

Acts 13:6 and 7:
.6And having gone-through the whole island continuously-until Paphos, they found an adult-male, some magus, a Judean lying-prophet, Barjesus by-name, .7who was together with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an understanding adult-male, this-person having called Barnabas and Saul towards-himself earnestly-sought-after to hear the word of God.

In Paphos, the main city of Cyprus, there was a magus (singular form of the word “magi”) in that location. Magi were men knowledgeable and wise either in true astronomy or in devilish enchantment from Media, Persia or Babylonia. Here in Acts, this magus was a sorcerer, a magician using enchantment to deceive. He was of Judean descent named Barjesus, a lying prophet who worked with the proconsul. A lying prophet is a false prophet, one who claims to speak God's words being revealed to him concerning the past, present and/or future - but he does not speak the only true God’s words to the people - instead he speaks lies, false statements.

The proconsul named Sergius Paulus was a member of the Roman senatorial governmental rule, like a deputy, the second-in-command to the governor or military commander of that Roman province. This man invited Barnabas and Saul to come to him because he was earnestly searching (intensely looking) to hear the word of God.

Verses 8-12:
.8But 'Elymas' the magus, for thus his name is translated, stood-himself-against them seeking-after to throughly-turn the proconsul away-from the belief. .9But Saul, also (called) Paul, having been filled of holy spirit, having gazed-intently into him, .10said, "Oh full of all deceit and all recklessness, son of (the) devil, enemy of all righteousness, you will not stop throughly-turning the ways of (the) Lord, the straight (ways); .11and now look!, (the) hand of (the) Lord (is) on you and you will be blind not observing the sun continuously-until a time." And with-that a mist and darkness fell on him, and leading-around he sought-after hand-leaders. .12Then the proconsul, having seen the-thing having come-to-pass2, believed being shocked on the teaching of the Lord.

Barjesus, the Judean lying/false prophet who was close to the proconsul, is called in verse 8 by the name that denoted his greatness in operating and being operated by the devil's spirit power:

  • Elymas = the powerfully knowing and wise one.
  • Elymas was wise in the things of the devil, for example: sorcery, astrology which is the counterfeit of astronomy; he used the devil's power to do tricks on people, etc.

This Elymas the magus withstood (resisted) Barnabas and Saul's teaching of God’s Word to Sergius Paulus. He was actively in the process of...

  • throughly turning the proconsul (completely turning him around, twisting him 180 degrees from the truth of God's Word, causing perverseness, distorting, turning him the wrong way)
    • away from the belief (from what God has made known concerning Himself and the Lord Jesus Christ to be believed by people so that people would become God’s sons by receiving the gift of holy spirit).

But when Saul/Paul fixed his eyes intently directed to Elymas, he was filled with enough information about this situation from the holy spirit-life within him. Paul was the one who was taking care of this situation and he now knew exactly what was going on. He said to Elymas that:

    1. he (Elymas) was a person filled with all/every deceit (guile or bait as used to catch people by stratagem, by subterfuge),
    2. and he was filled with all/every recklessness (levity or mischief in doing things in the bad sense of wickedness);
    3. he was a son of the devil (he had willingly chosen the devil as his god in the place of the only true God and thus he had willfully received a devil-spirit, a demon, to permanently reside within his own body so that he could never change from being a son of the devil; he was being controlled by that devil-spirit within him, which took its orders from the devil/satan);
    4. he was an enemy of (one who opposes and exhibits enmity and hostility towards or against)
      • all/every righteousness (justness, justice, being and doing what is just/right);
    5. he was not willing to stop (to make an end, cause himself to cease, quit)
      • from actively turning 180 degrees (from completely twisting, perverting or distorting)
      • the ways of the Lord which are the straight ways (the right-on-course purposes, the Lord's progress, the Lord's manners of actions or methods of proceeding).

Following Paul's detailed description of Elymas, he gave further information to him and others listening regarding what was about to happen (true prophecy):

  • "Now look (behold, see, take notice, pay attention),
  • the hand of the Lord (referring to the Lord's superior power and strength)
    • is down-on you,
  • and you will be blind so that you will not observe (see to the end of mentally contemplating)
    • the sun for a fixed duration of specific time (which the Lord determined and did not make known to Elymas)."

And immediately a mist (which shrouds objects from view) and darkness (the absence of light, no light received by the eye - blindness) fell down on Elymas. And he was going about looking for people to lead him by the hand because he was blind, just as Paul had foretold.

Then the proconsul Sergius Paulus believed when he saw (perceived, knew) what had happened as he watched these events taking place in front of him. He believed (had faith, trusted) what Paul was saying even though he was exceedingly struck in his mind based on the teaching of the Lord (the authoritative instruction, the doctrine, the contents of what is taught issuing-from and regarding the Lord) as spoken and acted-upon by Paul in that circumstance. Sergius Paulus received the gift of holy spirit when he believed regarding the Lord Jesus Christ (refer to Romans 10:8-10).

The devil and his devil-spirits (demons) propound their own teachings opposing the truth of God's Word:

I Timothy 4:1:
4:1But the spirit speaking says that in times afterwards some-people will depart-from the belief having-attention to wandering spirits and teachings of devils,

Paul tells Timothy the information that the holy spirit-life within Paul communicated to him. The spirit says that during periods of limited-time which will come later (after the time of writing this letter)...

  • some holy-people will depart-from the belief (some Christians will cause themselves to stand away from the belief in Christ Jesus)
  • having attention to (holding or turning their minds, thoughts, and attention towards/for the purpose of)
    • wandering spirits (spirits who err, who do not stay in their rightful-place, who mislead, lead astray giving information and evidences causing people to wander away from God’s truth)
    • and teachings of devils (doctrines, instructions issuing-from demons).

The word translated "devils" in verse 1 is the Greek word daimonion, which was used in Greek mythology (falsehoods) to describe supernatural intermediary beings between false-gods and men. In reality, these are the lower-ranking demons, evil spirits like 'privates' which take their direction from the higher-ranking evil spirits (daimon) in the devil's "army" which take their orders and direction from the chief or top-ranking devil-spirit himself who is the devil/satan.

The following verses from Hebrews explains that the devil caused death to/for mankind - but the Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the devil and death:

Hebrews 2:14 and 15:
.14therefore since the young-children shared-in-common2 of blood and flesh, also he being-near-beside shared of the same-things in order that by means of death he may render-ineffective the (one) having the strongness of death, that is the devil, .15and he may remove these-people from (it), as-many-as with fear of death through all of life used-to-be liable of slavery;

Once during a past time, Jesus shared in common (partook) of blood containing soul-life evidenced by breathing, and flesh being the physical body...

  • for the purpose and result that by means of death (through death, Jesus experienced death)
    • he may render ineffective (he would cause to be inactive, inoperative, useless)
      • the one having the strongness of death (the one holding the exerted-force of death, death’s power-in-effect, the exerted-strength which issues from death bringing death to mankind; death is lack of the only true God’s life)
        • – what one had the strongness of death at that time? –
        • that one is the devil,
    • and he may remove these-people from it (Jesus would move these people away from death, he would change or alter one thing for another by taking them away from death and placing them into God’s life instead),
      • specifically as many people as with fear of death through all of life (who had fright, terror, were afraid of death while living their lives)
      • used to be liable of slavery (were continuing during that past time to be held-in or made-subject pertaining to slavery, the consequence of living with fear of death was servitude, slaves in bondage).

The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished his goal when God raised him up alive from being dead. Jesus Christ was dead but now he is alive. The spirit of holiness is the spiritual essence of the resurrected Christ Jesus. He has his spiritual body. God his Father caused him to rise up alive out from the rest of the dead people who remain dead until their resurrection. The risen Christ is still alive.

However, everybody else who dies remains dead until the time of their resurrection. The dead holy-people (Christians) remain dead until the time when the Lord Jesus Christ will gather all holy-people together with him in the air away from the earth. Dead people are dead - they are not floating around somewhere in some spiritual body or on a cloud, nor are they in Paradise (which does not exist at the present time), nor are they in heaven, nor are they in some place called "hell"! References regarding this topic are: Genesis 3:14-19; Job 21:13; Psalm 6:5, 16:10, 49:12-15, 89:48, 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6 and 10; Matthew 12:40; Luke 14:14; John 5:28 and 29, 11:25; Acts 2:30-32; 13:34-36; 24:15, 26:23; Romans 1:3 and 4; I Corinthians chapter 15; Philippians 3:21; Colossians 1:18; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Thessalonians chapter 2; Hebrews 9:27 and 28; Revelation 2:7 and chapters 20-22. 

Paul wrote to the Corinthian holy-people so that they will know and understand the details regarding death, resurrection, life, etc. All holy-people will be permanently removed from death at the time of resurrection:

I Corinthians 15:51-54:
.51Look! I say a mystery to you: we will not all be caused-to-sleep but we will all be changed: .52in an atom, in a sinking of an eye, in the last trumpet, for it will trumpet and the dead-people will be raised-up incorruptible and we will be changed; .53for it is necessary (for) this corruptible-thing to clothe-itself-with incorruption, and this mortal-thing to clothe-itself-with immortality .54but whenever this mortal-thing may clothe-itself-with immortality then the word, the (word) having been written2, will come-to-pass, "Death was swallowed into victory."

In verse 54 Paul writes that at whatever future time, when Christ comes to be present to gather the church of holy-people together with him, this mortal-thing will clothe itself with immortality (changed directly into having our spiritual bodies without first having to die)...

  • then at that specific time the word,
    • which God had previously revealed to mankind and which was written and is still written as part of the old covenant writings,
  • will come to pass (it will come into being, it will happen at that time).

The word is that death was swallowed into or resulting-in victory (death was drunk-down into conquest). God's living holy-people (Christians) will not die at all, but we will be changed directly into having new bodies with its spirit-life. This reference is taken from Isaiah 25:8.

Whenever this mortal-thing may clothe itself with immortality - then the word which is written will come-to-pass, "Death was swallowed into victory." This will happen once for the holy-people who will be alive when Christ comes to gather all holy-people together with him because once it is done – it is done – death was swallowed into victory!

Verses 55 and 56:
.55"Death – where (is) your victory? Death – where (is) your point?" .56But the point of death (is) the sin and the ability of the sin (is) the law.

Paul asks these questions as though he were addressing death itself: death, in what place do you have conquest? Death, in what place do you have a point (a prick, a sting which hurts so as to eventually gain your victory)? This is a reference to what has been written in Hosea 13:14.

He gives the explanation as to how death came to pass in an attempt to gain the victory:

  • death's point (the prick, sting to hurt its victim and open the door for death to enter and gain its victory)
    • is the sin (referring to the initial sin of Adam in not believing what God told him and doing what God told him not to do);
  • and the ability (able-power, capability) of the sin
    • is the law (which is God's law, what God spoke and gave to Adam to believe and obey).

Without God's law there could not be sin against it, and without sin there could not be death as a consequence of sin. Thus the devil (satan, the serpent) used Adam's sin against God to gain access to mankind in order to kill him and thereby attempt to thwart the purposes of the only true God.  

Verses 57 and 58:
.57But thanks to God, the (One) giving to us the victory by means of our Lord Jesus Christ, .58so-that, my loved1 brothers, you must become seated, un-removed, always exceeding in the work of the Lord, having known2 that your labor is not empty in (the) Lord.

Paul gives thanks to God Who is the One giving us holy-people the victory (conquest) by means of (through) our Lord Jesus Christ, the Master of every holy-person.

During the everyday living of our lives as we await the gathering together, James writes that we should stand against the devil:

James 4:7:
.7Therefore you must be subject to God – but you must stand-against the devil and he will cause-himself-to-flee away-from you.

You must be in subjection to God (be submissive to what God says) - but...

  • you must stand against/anti (withstand, resist)
    • the devil
      • and the devil’s response will be that he will cause himself to flee (put himself in flight)
      • away from you.

The devil is an adversary:

I Peter 5:8 and 9:
.8You must be sober; you must wakefully-watch; your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walks seeking-after to swallow, .9whom you must stand-against, solid-people with the belief having known2 the same-things of the sufferings to be fully-completed by your brotherhood in (the) world.

Peter encourages the holy-people:

  • You must be sober (literally this would refer to being free from intoxicants, but it is used figuratively here meaning: be in control of your minds and bodies so that you are alert and receptive to what God and/or the Lord Jesus Christ may want to make known to you, and that you are not in a stupor, a daze, lethargic);
  • you must wakefully-watch (be watchful, keep awake; figuratively meaning: have your eyes open and be spiritually alert);

...why?...

  • your adversary the devil (the devil is the one who is anti/against what is right/just concerning you, he is your opponent as in a lawsuit, the plaintiff against you)
    • in comparison to a roaring (howling) lion
  • moves around in the process of looking for someone
    • for purpose of swallowing (drinking his prey down quickly, overwhelming a person, swallowing as the sea engulfing people causing them to be drowned),
  • whom you must stand against/anti (you must withstand, resist your adversary the devil),
    • solid-people (people who are firm, not moving, stable)
      • with/in/by the belief (the faith, the trust relative to God and the things of God – having the belief is what enables you to be solid people standing against your adversary the devil)
  • having known (perceived) and still knowing that the same-things of the sufferings (the same experiences that affect you)
    • are presently in the process of being fully-completed by your brotherhood in the world (the same sufferings are being brought to their ultimate ending issue by/in the band of brothers of which you are members throughout the world).

Behavior is important to God and His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In the following records we read that people have freedom of will to behave correctly or to behave in a devilish or satanic manner and receive the appropriate consequences:

Matthew 16:21-23:
.21From then Jesus began to point-out to his learning-disciples that it is necessary (for) him to go-away into Jerusalem and to suffer many-things from the elders and chief-priests and scribes and to be killed and to be raised-up the third day. .22And having taken him towards-himself Peter began to censure him saying, “(God is) propitious to you, Lord – this will never be to you!” .23But the (one) having been turned said to Peter, “You must go behind me, satan, you are an offense of me because you do not think the-things of God but the-things of men.” 

Jesus started to indicate to his learning-disciples (students) about many events that would occur to him. However, in verse 22 Peter took Jesus towards himself aside from the others and began to censure him (he started to inflicted penalty or infringement against/on Jesus, he reprimanded him.

But Jesus who had been turned in the direction of Peter said to him...

  • “You must go behind me (you must actively lead yourself under, in the sense of going without any argument, go behind me, backwards, after me),
    • satan (figuratively referring to Peter as satan because in this situation he was being adversarial towards Jesus and in total opposition to the only true God, which is why the devil is called “satan” to describe his attributes and activities in certain situations),
  • you are an offense of me (you are a stumbling, a trap-stick as when bait is fastened to a stick whereby if a person did not take heed to it but struck against it then he would get himself caught in the trap, you are a cause for stumbling relative-to me)
    • because you do not have your mind’s thoughts on the things pertaining-to or proceeding-from God,
    • but on the contrary, you are thinking the-things pertaining-to or proceeding-from men, mankind, man’s physical realm.”

We must notice that Jesus spoke to Peter (not to the devil). Peter was not satan nor did he have satan or any devil-spirit (demon) within his body. Peter was thinking the-things of men, mankind excluding the only true God’s will or words regarding the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus the promised Christ (the Messiah).

Paul teaches Timothy that people can behave in a devilish manner:

II Timothy 3:1-3:
3:1But this you must know: that in (the) last days fierce times will stand-in, .2for men will be lovers-of-self, lovers-of-silver, imposters, arrogant-people, blasphemers, people-un-persuaded by parents, unthankful-people, unholy-people, .3people-without-affection, people-not-entering-into-treaty, devilish-people, incontinent-people, untamed-people, not-lovers-of-good,

Verse 3 includes the word "devilish-people" - people who behave in a manner that is on a par with the devil throwing, casting things through people, like stabbing a person from outside through the person and out the other side with an accusation, slander, etc, endeavoring to break any connection between God and mankind.

In I Timothy, Paul warns about the influence of the devil in his adversarial attribute as satan:

I Timothy 5:14 and 15:
.14Therefore I deliberately-determine younger (widows) to marry, to bear-children, to be house-master, to give not-one starting-point to the (one) adversarying for-the-grace of revilement, .15for already some have been turned-out behind satan.

Paul writes: I deliberately determine (purposefully will) younger widows…

  • to marry (they can get married again),
  • to give birth to children (they can have more children),
  • to be house-master (they can be the sovereign master or lord of those within their own house, the absolute master of the house, the despot, the one who has absolute dominion, supreme authority, and unlimited power within her house),
  • to give not-one starting-point (to present or yield none, not any grounds, no base of operation, not one apparatus for accomplishing an objective)
    • to the one adversarying (to the one who is being adversarial, opposing them, figuratively putting himself in the position of lying/laying against, anti, in opposition to them)
    • – why would the adversary do this? –
      • for-the-grace of revilement (in favor of bestowing verbal abuse having been freely given a starting-point, because of railing or insult, for the reason or sake of speaking abusive language against younger widows and against God thereby affecting all of the church of holy-people),

…for by this time some widows have been turned-out behind satan (they have already been turned from where they should be, they have dislocated themselves backwards after satan, which is the name emphasizing the devil's opposing and adversarial attributes).  

Galatians includes details of works that are against God and His words to/for people:

Galatians 5:19-21:
.19But the works of the flesh are manifest, which-things are: fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, .20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, rages, works-for-ambitious-purposes, dissensions, sects, .21envies, drunkennesses, revelries, and the like-things to these-things which I say-beforehand to you according as I said-beforehand that the (people) practicing the things-of-this-kind will not inherit (the) kingdom of God.

The works (deeds, the effects produced, having acted expending energy) proceeding from the flesh are manifest (evident, brought to light, shown-forth). The flesh's works can be seen and known, and they are:

  • fornication (wrongful sexual activity or relations, pornography; many times used in connection with idolatry),
  • uncleanness (the state of not being free from mixture of that-which is against God, being mixed with something else, having impurity from God's viewpoint mixed with it),
  • licentiousness (the state of being in debauchery),
  • idolatry (practicing rites and rituals of worship and service to so-called 'gods,' instead of only worshipping and serving the one-and-only true God Who is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ),
  • sorcery (the preparation and use of medicines, drugs, potions, poisons, like pharmacy but used in the bad sense of the magical arts of enchantment, incantations, spells, witchcraft, wizardry, etc),
  • enmities (oppositions, hostilities),
  • strife (any form of it, such as rivalry, wrongful-competitiveness, contention or disputing and quarrelling),
  • jealousy (which is zeal in the bad sense, wrongfully boiling with passion against someone or something),
  • rages (intense passions or heated-outbursts from the mind as sudden flames from a burning-fire),
  • works for ambitious purposes (labors being achieved solely from selfish ambition, looking for wages as if purchasing a favor and promotion by canvassing, causing factions),
  • dissensions (discords, causing people or things to stand apart from each-other),
  • sects (heresies, choices, opinions or chosen-ways which are different to the traditional way of thinking, used here in the bad sense of choosing what is against God),
  • envies (being jealous or resentful of another's considered-advantage with the desire to gain the same 'advantage' for oneself),
  • drunkennesses (the results of the excessive drinking of alcohol),
  • revelries (the merrymaking or comedies after feasts dedicated to the devil and his devil-spirits, demons, such as the false-god bacchus).

In I Corinthians, Paul writes of some of the evidences of how he was being treated by those who did not know and/or agree with God's purpose by means of himself and Apollos.

I Corinthians 4:13:
.13being badly-spoken-against we encourage, as refuse of the world we were caused-to-become, scum of all-things, until now.

Paul uses the present tense of these verbs emphasizing that it was still true even while he was writing this letter to the Corinthian church:

  • being badly spoken against (being spoken against so as to injure us with ill-omen or evil-language like voodoo, witchcraft, wizardry, etc)
    • we encourage (we exhort people calling them beside us so as to help them to do what is right in the sight of God);
  • as refuse of the world we were caused to become (as the world's trash, the things which are thrown away in the cleaning of something),
  • scum of all things (the filth or off-scouring which is scraped-off from all areas in every aspect of worldly-living)…

…how long? – until the present time.

Similarly, everyone who is intending to live reverentially in Christ Jesus will be persecuted:

II Timothy 3:12 and 13:
.12But also all-people, the (people) intending to live reverentially in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. .13But evil men and enchanters will advance on the worse (state) wandering and being caused-to-wander.

All who will (with active volition and desire) to live their everyday lives...

  • reverentially (in a manner or mode of good/well service being respectfully reverential of/towards God)
    • within the sphere of action, character and attributes of Christ Jesus,

...will be pursued with hostility as enemies by those who do not intend to live reverentially in Christ Jesus.

But…

  • evil men (those of mankind who behave being active with malignancy, who exercise badness during the everyday living of their lives)
  • and enchanters (those who endeavor to exercise control over other people and things, charmers, people who howl or wail chants of spells, etc, sorcerers, witches, wizards, those who work for the devil and carry out his will)

…will advance on the worse state (they will beat or drive forward cutting down everything out of their way so that nothing can impede their progress, they will advance – where? – downwards in direction and motion to a condition and quality that is more bad than previously attained by them)...

  • wandering (they are erring, not-staying in their rightful place, leading astray from the truth of God's Word)
  • and being caused to wander.

They do it themselves and they allow others to do it to them.

John also wrote about the devil and his activities among mankind:

I John 3:8:
.8The (person) doing the sin is out-from the devil because the devil sins from (the) beginning. Into this the son of God was manifested in order that he may loosen the works of the devil.

The person who is performing the sin…

  • is from the devil (originating and resulting from the devil, also known as the evil-one, refer to I John 2:14, the devil is the source of this person’s actions)
    • because the devil continues committing sin from the beginning (since the start, the commencement, the origin of sin – the devil is the one who originated sin against the only true God).

For this objective…

  • the son of God was manifested (the son is Jesus the Christ - he was caused to be evidenced, brought to light, shown-forth)
    • for the purpose and result that
    • he would loosen (loosen what was bound, unbind, unfasten, untie, in the sense of undoing or dismantling)
      • the works of the devil (the devil’s deeds, the end-products issuing from the devil, the effects produced with/by the devil’s actions expending his energy).

Jesus Christ, the son of God, was manifested in order that he would undo the devil’s works – which includes both the spirit category and the resulting effects of the devil’s works on mankind (the physical, flesh category).

Satan will use situations in the church to cause problems:

II Corinthians 2:10 and 11:
.10but to whom you graciously-forgive something I also, for that-which I also graciously-forgave2, since I graciously-forgave2 something, (it is) because-of you in (the) face of Christ .11in order that we may not be covetously-claimed-as-more by satan, for we do not not-know his mindful-devices.

Paul assures the holy-people (Christians) that...

  • to whom (here referring to that holy-person who had previously committed fornication within the church and who was now sorry for his actions)
    • you graciously forgive (you bestow unmerited favor, you willingly give forgiveness)
      • regarding that situation,
  • so do I graciously forgive him for that thing.

Paul explains that forgiveness is the right or correct thing to do in that situation for the purpose and result that...

  • we would not be covetously claimed as more by satan.

The verb translated “covetously claimed as more” by satan means: caused to be taken advantage of by the active-power of satan, whereby he gets more of something than he is rightfully due in the form of some so-called 'gain' for himself - whereby satan attains his covetousness, his constantly wanting to have more, his greediness, always intentionally grasping and reaching out to get something else. In this context, satan is grasping to take control and make a prey of as many holy-people in the walk/behavior category as he can!

Satan (the name emphasizing the devil's opposing and adversarial attributes) cannot take control of the holy spirit-life within any holy-person. But, if any holy-person allows satan to do what he wants to do (his will), then he can claim that holy-person as more of his covetousness during the everyday of living of that holy-person's physical life in the walk/behavior category.

The devil or any of his devil-spirits (demons) cannot possess, cannot go-inside-of the holy-person’s body because every holy-person is already filled with the spirit of Christ in him/her – but the devil or his devil-spirits can influence us by using various methods – only if we allow them to do so.

Paul continues teaching as to why holy-people ought to graciously forgive others who are genuinely sorry for their misbehavior agreeing that indeed it was wrong:

  • in truth, all of us holy-people do not not-know (notice the double negative which gives great emphasis to what Paul is writing – we are not unknowing, not ignorant, not unaware of)
    • satan's mindful-devices (the contrivances or products of his mind's thinking, the plans issuing from the action of his mind).

Those to whom Paul was writing were not ignorant of satan's stratagem because Paul had told them what they were doing and what they should do instead to get out of their wrong behavior. He taught them God's Word, God's intention, God's will for His children which included how they were to manifest Godly-love towards one-another in that situation.

In II Corinthians, Paul writes that satan can make himself appear as though he were an angel of light.

II Corinthians 11:12-15:
.12But that-which I do also I will do in order that I may cut-off the starting-point of the (people) intending a starting-point in order that in that-which they boast they may be found according as also we (are), .13for the-people-of-this-kind (are) lying-apostles, deceitful workers, changing-their-outward-figure into apostles of Christ – .14and no marvel, for satan himself changes-his-outward-figure into an angel of light, .15therefore (it is) not a great-thing if also his ministers change-their-outward-figure as ministers of righteousness, whose completion will be according to their works.

What I (Paul) am doing at this time...

  • I will also do (perform) in the future
    • for the purpose and result that
    • I would cut-off (cut-out, as by a blow, a striking or beating out from its current position)
      • the starting point (the base of operation or grounds)
      • of the people who are intending (willing with active volition and desire)
        • to have a starting point.

They are intending this starting point for the purpose and result that...

  • in what they boast (speak loudly claiming to be something to others)
  • they would be found by those listening to them
    • to be just as we are (which would be as ministers and/or as apostles of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ)!

However, the truth is that such people are:

  • lying-apostles (false apostles, they have NOT been sent forth/away on a specific mission or assignment by God nor by the Lord Jesus Christ, their whole appearance is a façade, it's a lie),
  • deceitful workers (they expend their energy doing deceitful things, using bait or guile to catch by stratagem or subterfuge, such as misrepresentation of the truth of God's Word to lead people away from it).

These lying-apostles who are also deceitful workers are changing their outward figure into Christ's apostles. They are altering their external figure (schema) including their demeanor, deportment, their expressed personality - into Christ's apostles! Looking at the outside, surface-level, they appear to be apostles of Christ, but the truth is that they most definitely are NOT sent-forth by Christ!

But this is not a marvelous thing - there is no reason to be astonished or look-on this with wonder and amazement. Why not?

  • For satan himself
    • presently changes his outward figure (his external figure, schema, including his demeanor, deportment, his expressed personality)
      • into an angel of light! - into what? - an angel of light (absolute light - which is the opposite of darkness).

The only true God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the originating source of all true light (refer to I John 1:5). But contrary to this - the devil/satan is darkness and he abides in darkness. Part of satan's deception is to change his outward figure to portray that he is an angel consisting of light! The truth is that he is complete darkness.

Verse 15 states that therefore it is not a great-thing (no big deal, nothing large in measure, magnitude or estimation)...

  • if/since also satan's ministers alter their outward-figure
    • as though they are ministers of righteousness (justness, justice, being and doing what is just/right before the only true God)!

Yes, presently there are spirits and people who serve satan in a ministerial capacity. They have been given the duty of service to "benefit" others, the day-by-day ministerial duties, the functions of service - for satan. These ministers take their direction from the devil, so from his point of view it is a benefit/profit for him and for those who belong to him.

However, the completion (the ending-issue, complete-thing, the fulfillment) of satan and all of his ministers will in the future be in accordance with their works which are against the only true God (refer to Revelation 20:7-15).

Satan can send one of his angels to hurt people:

II Corinthians 12:7:
.7And with the super-throw of the revelations, in order that I may not be super-lifted, there was given to me a thorn by flesh: (which is) an angel of satan in order that it may buffet me in order that I may not be super-lifted.

Paul explains that...

  • during the period of time that I was receiving the super-throw of the revelations (the extreme greatness of the revelations regarding the third heaven and the Paradise),
    • there was given to me a thorn by/via my flesh (not a literal thorn from a plant, but something pointed or sharp which causes hurt and pain, like a splinter penetrating the flesh),
      • for the purpose and result that I would not be super-lifted (raised, taken-up and carried above and over everybody else in estimation, either by myself or by others).

Who or what was this "thorn"? It was an angel of satan – one of satan's angels! Satan sent one of his messengers specifically pointed at Paul. Why? Paul explains:

  • for the purpose and result that this devil-spirit would buffet me (strike me as with clenched fists, knock me about and roughly treat me with blows rained on me bruising and hurting me)
    • for the purpose and result that I would not be super-lifted (by anyone or anything).

If satan's angel could discredit Paul in the minds of himself and other people, then what Paul spoke or did would not be believed. Satan continues to try to hinder and put a stop to the purposes, the words, and works of the only true God.

Satan could only hurt Paul in the flesh category, because the holy spirit-life within Paul could not be hurt or damaged in any way by anyone or anything. Satan so hated the way Paul was walking with and for God and the Lord Jesus Christ, that he commissioned one of his angels pointed at Paul to buffet him. However, Paul knew exactly what was going on in the spirit realm, which affected him in the flesh/physical realm.

The visions and revelations referred to in II Corinthians 12:2-4 were for Paul’s knowledge only - satan would not have known what the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Paul when he revealed it to him. Paul continued to receive revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ throughout his lifetime as we know from Luke's Book of Acts and the letters that Paul wrote after that time.

Now we can more-fully understand why so many terrible things used to happen to Paul while he was traveling throughout that area ministering and doing the work which God and the Lord Jesus Christ asked him to do. Satan had sent one of his angels to buffet Paul by/via his flesh in many different ways (by provoking people, or by causing something to happen, weather related disasters, etc), as recorded in II Corinthians chapter 11:

…in labors more-exceedingly, in prisons more-exceedingly, in strikes super-throwingly, in deaths often, .24I received five-times forty aside-from one (lashes) by (the) Judeans, .25three-times I was beaten-with-a-rod, once I was stoned, three-times I shipwrecked, I have done and continue to do a night-and-a-day in the deep, .26journeys-on-the-way often, dangers of rivers, dangers of robbers, dangers from genus, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in a city, dangers in a desert-place, dangers in (the) sea, dangers among lying-brothers, .27labor and travail, in sleeplessnesses often, in famine and thirst, in fastings often, in coldness and nakedness….

However, no matter how much buffeting this angel of satan (devil-spirit, demon) caused Paul by using the environment, the weather, people, animals, etc, which caused hurt and damage to him in the flesh category - Paul still had holy spirit-life within him which could not be hurt or damaged or removed, and by-which he communicated to/with God and the Lord Jesus Christ. No devil-spirit or anything else could put a stop to the holy spirit that Paul had or cause him to lose it!

People accused Jesus of being associated with the devil:

Matthew 12:22-24:
.22Then a blind and dumb (person) was carried-towards him being devilized, and he attended-to him so-as-for the dumb to utter-forth and to observe. .23And all the crowds used-to-be bewildered and used-to say, "This-person is not the son of David, is he?" .24But the Pharisees having heard said, "This-person does not throw-out the devils except in Beelzebul ruler of the devils."

In verse 22, the root of the verb translated "devilized" is the Greek word daimon, which was used in Greek mythology (falsehoods) to describe supernatural intermediary beings between false-gods and men. In reality, these are the high-ranking evil spirits in the devil's "army" because they take their orders and direction from the chief or top-ranking devil-spirit himself who is the devil/satan. These devil-spirits (daimon) can direct the lower-ranking devil-spirits (daimonion).

At that time, when that blind and dumb man who was being devilized (demonized) was carried (brought) to Jesus, Jesus attended to him. Jesus treated him, was therapeutic towards him, took care of him as necessary, which would have included throwing/casting out a devil/devils which were in him controlling him - in this particular case causing him not to be able to see or speak. After Jesus had thrown/cast out the devil(s) from that man's body, the consequence and result for that man was that he spoke and saw.

All the crowds were continuing to be bewildered (the throngs of people were awestruck, standing out of their normal senses caused by this inexplicable occurrence to their mind's thoughts and comprehension) and they kept saying, "This-person is not the son of David, is he?" They asked this question in such a manner that they expected the answer to be "no, he is not the son of David" - even though he did something that they expected their promised Messiah, the heir to the throne of King David, born of the seed of David, to perform in accordance with what was previously prophesied about the promised savior.

But after the Pharisees heard what the crowds were asking, they said, "This-person does not throw/cast out the devils (demons, lower-ranking evil spirits) except in Beelzebul ruler of the devils."

The religious leaders told the people that the only reason that Jesus was casting out devils was in Beelzebul - within his sphere of action, using his power and authority, etc. Beelzebul (sometimes spelled 'Beelzebub' etc) was one of the contemptuous and derogatory names made to refer to the devil/satan or a ruling high-ranking evil spirit under satan's command, a derivation of the false god/idol referred to in II Kings chapter 1. Here in Matthew the Pharisees describe Beelzebul as "ruler of the devils" - chief or first-placed devil over other devils (daimonion).

Verses 25-33:
.25But having known2 their thinkings-within he said to them, "Every kingdom having been distributed against itself is deserted, and every city or house having been distributed against itself will not be caused-to-stand, .26and if satan throws-out satan he was distributed on himself, how therefore will his kingdom be caused-to-stand?
.27And if I in Beelzebul throw-out the devils, in whom do your sons throw-out (devils)? Because-of-this they will be judges of you.
.28But if in spirit of God I throw-out the devils, consequently the kingdom of God went-ahead on you. .29Or, how is someone able to go into the house of the strong-person and to throughly-catch-away his vessels except firstly he may bind the strong-person and then he will throughly-catch-away his house?
.30The (one) not being with me is against me, and the (one) not gathering-together with me scatters. .31Because-of-this I say to you: every sin and blasphemy will be dismissed from men, but the blasphemy of the spirit will not be dismissed; .32and who if-ever may say a word against the son of man it will be dismissed from him, but who ever may say against the Spirit, the Holy (Spirit), it will not be dismissed from him neither in this age nor in the (age) being about to (come).
.33Or, you must make the tree beautiful and the fruit of it beautiful, or you must make the tree rotten and the fruit of it rotten, for out-from the fruit the tree is known.

Jesus was receiving information from God via the holy spirit within him and so he knew what they were thinking (the revolving or fermenting of their thoughts, their minds’ intensely passionate considerations). He said to them:

  • "All/every kingdom having been distributed against itself (that has been caused to be divided into parts, apportioned against itself)
    • is deserted (caused to be desolate, a deserted-place, a wilderness – it would no longer be a kingdom),
  • and all/every city or house having been distributed against itself
    • will not be caused to stand (it would no longer be a city or a house),
  • and if satan throws out satan (casts himself out)
    • he was distributed on himself (he was caused to be divided into parts with downward motion onto himself, one part of him above and the other part of him below separated in two),
  • following-on logically from this how will his kingdom be caused to stand?"

Jesus does not give an answer because it is obvious that satan's kingdom could not stand if that were the case – which it is not!

Satan is very much in control of his spirit kingdom, and even if sometimes different evil spirits may seem to be fighting against each other, they all take their direction ultimately from the devil himself. It is like two 'opposing' athletic teams being owned by the same owner - the game is carried-on as though they were against each other, but in reality the strategy is that in the end the owner comes out the winner!

  • "And if I in Beelzebul (within the sphere of action of his authority and power) cast out the devils/demons (daimonion),
    • in whom (within the sphere of action of whose authority and power) do your sons cast out devils?
    • On account of this they will be your judges (the ones who make the decisions, the presiding judges of you and what you said).
  • But if in spirit of God (within the sphere of action of God's spirit, the spirit from God that He gave to me when I was baptized by John, and therefore within God’s spiritual power)
    • I throw/cast out the devils,
      • consequently the kingdom of God went-ahead on you (God's kingdom has already gone in front of you, the kingdom of God preceded you, has overtaken or come suddenly and surprisingly down-on you sooner than you expected)."

The holy spirit power belonging-to and proceeding-from God’s kingdom had arrived. Jesus had holy spirit from God within him and he was saying and doing things accordingly - and it was plain to see by everyone present, including the devil-spirits.

In verse 30 Jesus continues:

  • “The one who is not being in company and association with me
    • is actively against me,
  • and the one who is not gathering-together (assembling) with me
    • scatters (disperses).
  • On account of this (what I have explained above) I say to you:
  • every sin and blasphemy (all aberration from God's Word, every instance of missing the mark of what God says, and calumniation, evil-speaking, treating with lack of Godly reverential-respect)
    • will be dismissed from men (will be discharged, acquitted, remitted from mankind) –
  • but the blasphemy of the spirit will not be dismissed (the calumniation made pertaining or relative to the spirit will NOT be dismissed).”

They had accused Jesus of having a devil-spirit and exercising the devil’s power and they were teaching this lie to others. But Jesus had received holy spirit from God and he had exercised God’s power via the spirit within him.

  • “And who, if it should ever happen, would say a word (a spoken-account containing individual words constituting what is spoken)
    • against the son of man (Jesus himself)
      • it will be dismissed from him,
  • but who ever may say a word
    • against the Spirit, emphatically I am referring to the Holy Spirit (Who is God),
      • it will NOT be dismissed from him
      • neither in this age nor in the age being about to come (not during this present duration of life, lifetime, nor in the age on the point of coming into existence but has not begun yet).”

Jesus is emphatic about referring to the Holy Spirit, Who is God Himself, but he does not say “God” because he is emphasizing the holy and spirit essence of God.

Both of these sins - blasphemy of the spirit and say a word against the Holy Spirit - will not at any time be dismissed. Any person committing these sins will pay the consequences - they will receive the appropriate punishment.

Jesus continues to explain by using a physical analogy so that people can understand the spiritual truth that he is teaching them:

  • “Or, you must make the tree beautiful
    • and the fruit of it beautiful (a tree that has a manifested decorous, harmonious and acceptable goodness will have produce that is also beautiful),
  • or you must make the tree rotten
    • and the fruit of it rotten (putrid, like a decaying vegetable).
  • In truth, out-from the fruit the tree is known (a tree is known by someone from its produce - as to whether it is beautiful or rotten).”

What the Holy Spirit (God) produces is beautiful, and therefore what Jesus was saying and doing in accordance with the holy spirit which he had received from God was also beautiful. But contrary to that, satan (the devil) is rotten and what he and his devils produce is rotten.

In verses 43-45 Jesus continues to explain about devil-spirits:

Verses 43-45:
.43But when the unclean spirit may go-out away-from the man, it goes through waterless places seeking-after a resting-up and does not find (it). .44Then it says, ‘I will turn-back into my house from-where I came-out.’ And having come it finds (the house) being-convenient, having been swept2 and having been orderly-arranged2. .45Then it journeys and takes-beside with itself seven different spirits more-evil-than itself, and having gone-into (the house) it dwells-down there. And the last-things of that man become worse-than the first-things. Thus also it will be with this generation, the evil (generation).”
  • “When the unclean spirit (a spirit that is not free from mixture of that-which is against God, it is mixed with something else, it has impurity from God's viewpoint mixed with it, referring to a devil-spirit, demon – when the unclean spirit)
    • would at some time voluntarily go-out away-from the man in whom it was dwelling,
    • this unclean spirit goes through waterless places (figuratively referring to places without any spirit)
    • looking for a resting-up (a place to rest that would have what the spirit needs to be effective in its unclean activities, a place to be refreshed, as pausing, temporarily stopping or ceasing from extraneous labor, and so to become rested-up)
      • and does not find such a place.
  • Then the unclean spirit says,
    • ‘I will turn back into my house (referring to the man) from where I came out.’
  • When it comes to the house it finds it being convenient (having free time provided by the cessation of previous activity, being leisurely, unoccupied and not hindered)
    • because the house/man had been swept and is still swept (cleaned with a broom)
    • and had been orderly-arranged and is still orderly-arranged (ornamented, adorned; the root of this verb is the same as “world”).
  • Then the unclean spirit journeys (it passes from outside to inside the man/house)
    • and takes-beside (receives alongside) in company and association with itself - seven different spirits that are comparatively more evil than itself,
    • and after they have all gone into the man/house the unclean spirit permanently dwells there.
  • And the last-things of that man become worse-than the first-things (the latest state, quality of living, condition, situation, etc, pertaining-to that man come to pass to be comparatively more bad, worse, than the man’s former state, his previous quality of living, condition, situation, etc).
  • In this manner also it will be with/for this generation, emphatically the evil (actively malignant) generation.”

Jesus was referring to those who willingly believed and did what satan wanted to be done – which is evil. Jesus was not talking about those who willingly believed and did what the only true God wanted to be done – which is good.

Reading the context of all that Jesus was saying to these particular men who accused Jesus at this time, gives depth to what Jesus told them. Jesus had holy spirit within him, which he had received from God, and that’s how he said and did what he said and did - but these men had unclean devil-spirit(s) inside of them and that’s how they were saying and doing their blasphemies, etc.

In Ephesians chapter 2, Paul calls the devil "the ruler of the authority of the air":

Ephesians 2:2:
.2in which at-some-time you walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit, the (spirit) now in-working in the sons of the un-persuasion,

During a past time, you walked (behaved, conducted your lives) within the sphere of action of sins, which is:

  • in accordance with the age (the duration of life, the lifetime)
    • of this world (the present time of this ordered-arrangement, the second heaven and earth),
  • in accordance with the ruler (the one being chief, the one in the first-placed or dignified hierarchical position in this present arrangement)
    • of the authority of the air (the authoritative power of the air, the gaseous mixture in the expanse between heaven and earth, usually not seen, smelled, tasted, touched, heard, unless it is affecting or is being affected by something else; here referring to the area where the devil and his devil spirits, demons, can roam at the moment),
    • of the spirit which is at the present time in-working (doing work within, producing effects by being in work, actively energizing)
      • within the sons of the un-persuasion (those who lack conviction, who are not convinced of what the only true God says).

The devil/satan is the chief-spirit who refused to be persuaded by what God said, and actively went against Him. The devil currently energizes his evil among his devil-spirits and among those people who are willing to follow his direction instead of following God's direction. These spirits and people are "the sons of the un-persuasion."

In II Corinthians chapter 4, Paul calls the devil "the god of this age":

II Corinthians 4:3 and 4:
.3But if our good-message also is having been covered2 it is having been covered2 among the (people) being destroyed .4among whom the god of this age blinded the mindful-devices of the unbelievers with-a-view-for the lightness of the good-message of the glory of Christ who is (the) image of God not to light (among them),

Paul explains...

  • if/since it happens that our good-message (the gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ which I and those with me preach)
    • was covered and it continues to be covered (with something to conceal what is underneath so that what is underneath does not enter above, nor does what is above enter underneath)
  • – let me point-out to you that the only area where this covering takes place is among
    • the people who are presently being destroyed (being utterly ruined, completely lost away-from the only true God, because they refuse what God says by their own choice, their own freedom of will),
    • and it is among these unbelievers that
      • the god of this age (pertaining and belonging to this age)
      • has blinded (caused lack of sight for/to)
      • their mindful-devices (the contrivances or products of the mind's thinking, the plans issuing from the action of the mind).

Those who willingly refuse to believe what God says allow the god of this age to place a covering as a veil between them and the good-message, and this covering is blinding their mindful-devices.

Satan is called "the god of this age." The word "god" is used of one who has power, executes judgment, and emanates what he is, his power and light – but in this case Paul is referring to satan (the devil) who presently has power during this age while there are still unbelievers in existence. Satan carries out his own decisions and emanates what he is. He causes things to happen under the guise of being "light" but what he makes and sets-up is darkness! He is the “god” relative to the people who are being destroyed, the unbelievers. The period of time of satan is limited; it will come to an end (refer to the Chart).

The lying god of this specific age has actively blinded the mindful-devices of the people who do not believe (who do not have faith-in, do not trust) the good message. What is the devil's motive? He does this for the purpose that…

  • the lightness (the quality and state of being light, light that is required for vision, as the light-receptors in the physical eye must receive light such as daylight in order for a person to see what is outside of the eye around him/her - the illumination)
    • of the good-message (proceeding from the evangel, the gospel)
      • of the glory of Christ (Christ's glory, importance, splendor, renown - the glory belonging-to and proceeding-from Christ, the Anointed-one, the Messiah),
      • who is the image of God (Christ is the icon, resemblance, representation of God),

…does not light among these unbelievers (as not allowing the light of dawn to shine in, within, or among them).

In II Corinthians chapter 6, another name is used to describe the devil:

II Corinthians 6:15:
.15But what agreement (is there) of Christ towards Belial, or what part (is there with) a believer with an unbeliever?

What agreement (concord) is there...

  • of Christ (pertaining-to, belonging-to and proceeding-from the Anointed-one, the Messiah)
  • towards Belial (approaching towards and then moving onwards with Belial)?

Christ is the promised seed of the only true God and since his resurrection he has his spiritual body and gives the gift of holy spirit to all who believe what God says.

The name "Belial" emphasizes the devil/satan's relationship to his seed, who are those people who have believingly accepted that the devil is god and allow him to permanently place one of his devil-spirits (demons) to dwell within their physical body (not a short-term domination). These people then live in worthlessness until they die in destruction.

Or, what part (what divided portion) is there...

  • with a believer (a person who has faith-in, who trusts the words of God)
    • in company and association
  • with an unbeliever (a person who does not believe, does not have faith-in, does not trust God's words)?

The unwritten answer to both of these questions relative-to God's holy and spiritual realm is: none!

Verse 16:
.16But what consent (is there with the) interior-temple of God with idols? For you are (the) interior-temple of (the) living God – according as God said that "I will indwell in them and I will walk-in (them) and I will be their God and they will be My people,"

What consent (what strong assenting in conjunction with one another) is there...

  • with God's interior temple (the innermost part of the temple of God)
  • in company and association with idols?

An idol is an image or anything that a person places ahead of God in his/her mind and therefore he/she worships or serves that thing/idol as "god" instead of worshipping and serving the only true God. An idol may or may-not have form and substance. Examples of idols are: books, the people themselves, famous people, devil-spirits (demons), icons, statues, perhaps some agricultural endeavor, the environment, the sun, moon or stars, the web or some other computer-related program, software or hardware, television, video games, eating some particular food, or whatever a person puts above or estimates to be higher in his/her mind and living than the only true God and what He says and does. Anything or anybody placed in higher esteem in the whole of a person's heart and soul and mind process than God is an idol to/for that person.

What consent is there with the interior-temple of God with idols? None! There is no consent between them because one is the antithesis of the other.

In I Thessalonians, Paul writes about a problem he had with satan: 

I Thessalonians 2:18:
.18for-this-reason-that we intended to go towards you, I indeed Paul both once and twice, and satan obstructed us;

Paul writes that...

  • we intended (myself and those with me previously willed, with active volition and desire) to go towards you –
    • I affirm that I myself intended to go towards you on more than one occasion –
  • and satan actively obstructed us (satan cut-in blocking our way like digging a trench in the way of an enemy to impede us, he thwarted us).

In this situation Paul recognized where the obstruction was coming from - satan. He didn't blame the weather or the people with him or someone else!

The following is a record where Paul deals appropriately with a devil-spirit (demon):

Acts 16:16-18:
.16But it came-to-pass (during) our journeying into the prayer (for) some servant-girl having a spirit of python to meet us, she-who presented much work to her lords (by) soothsaying. .17She, closely-following Paul and us, shouted saying, "These men are slaves of God the Highest, the-people-who message to you a way of salvation"; .18and she did this-thing on many days. But Paul having been throughly-pained and having turned-back to the spirit said, "I charge to you in (the) name of Jesus Christ to go-out away-from her"; and it went-out the same hour.

While Paul and those with him were still in Philippi, it happened one day that as they were going to the place where people gathered to pray, a servant-girl came to meet them. She moved without prior arrangement with them and she did it with the idea of stealth, wanting to be unperceived and without noise or notice as to the real motive behind what she was doing. She did this because she had a python spirit in her. She had a devil-spirit (demon) and was controlled by this devil-spirit, not a physical python snake.

In Greek mythology (falsehoods)/devil-worship, the so-called god Apollo was said to have destroyed the python and therefore Apollo also had the name of Pythius. The priestess at the well-known temple at Delphi was called the Pythoness and it was through this priestess, who was supposedly-speaking on behalf of Apollo, that information was given to the people! Therefore the word "python" became associated with this kind of devil-spirit activity.

This unsaved young female servant had a similar devil-spirit, and thereby she offered her lords (masters, employers) a lot of work (which is the result of action utilizing energy producing effects) - a lot of business by being the ‘medium’ or ‘control.’

She was soothsaying, which is speaking information received from her devil-spirit to people, uttering responses as from an oracle, giving false prophecies, revealing so-called 'hidden' knowledge, predictions, fortune-telling, practicing divination, etc. People in that community would come to her to hear what the 'spirit world' had to say to them! However, the spirit realm she was connected with is the devil's realm of operation, and thus the people received information from the devil's kingdom which is spiritual but it is unholy and unclean and evil - it is NOT the only true God's holy and good and true spiritual kingdom! This is how so many people today also get tricked by the devil and his host of devil-spirits – yes, it is supernatural but its source is the devil, not God Who is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This girl closely or persistently followed Paul and those with him shouting (crying-out, so that everybody could hear what was being shouted), “These men are slaves (men who serve as slaves, bond-servants) of God the Highest (the Most-High God) who bring the message to you regarding a way (road, a method of proceeding and access) pertaining to salvation.”

Did Paul and those with him at this time serve as slaves to the only true God Who is the Highest (Most High) God? Yes, but at that time and place the term "Highest God" or "Most-High God" was sometimes applied to false-gods - this is idolatry - Paul and those with him most certainly were NOT serving a false-god! Were they messaging to the people a way so that they could be saved? Yes, but it is the only way, not one of many ways. So, was the girl shouting correctly? No – what this spirit of python speaking through the servant-girl was saying was a lie sprinkled with facts to make it sound true - and therefore from God's point of view it/she was lying and misleading people to cause them to believe falsely. This is similar to the method used by the devil himself, called the serpent, in Genesis chapter 3 when he spoke to Eve in the garden of Eden.

What awesome camouflage used by this spirit of python forcing the girl to shout these things! And, the girl did this for many days. But this caused Paul to feel much pain (a lot of grief and hard labor, worked-up) as he continued teaching the good-message.

The truth of what was happening could only be known spiritually, because from the natural or 5-senses point of view there was a servant-girl shouting out telling everybody and advertising what Paul and those with him were doing – she was a "good PR person" to have around! However, Paul was not tricked; he knew what was really happening via information which he received from his holy spirit-life. Paul received revelation regarding what was truly going on in the spirit realm by means of the manifestation of his holy spirit-life, in this instance the through-judgments of spirits, discerning that the girl had a devil-spirit. [For more details regarding the manifestation of the gift of holy spirit, you may read chapters 12-14 of my study on I Corinthians.]

Paul turned-back upon the direction of the spirit and said "I charge to you in the name of Jesus Christ to go-out away-from her.” Who was Paul talking to? The devil-spirit (demon) within the girl. He was not speaking to the girl herself which somebody looking on with their physical eyes and ears may have thought. Paul turned and spoke directly to the devil-spirit and said: "I, Paul, charge (give a message) to you, the spirit of python, within all the authority and power of the name of Jesus Christ, to go-out away-from this girl!" Paul was not relying on his own physical strength or the loudness of his voice when he charged the devil-spirit to get out and away from the girl. He told the devil-spirit that what he was speaking was in the name of Jesus Christ. What Paul spoke was with the backing of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We should understand that when reading in God’s Word about something being done "in the name of" something or someone else, it incorporates the fullness of everything involved with the one named. Regarding the name of Jesus Christ, it includes all that the name of "Jesus" and the name of "Christ" represent and stand for. "In the name of Jesus Christ" means: within the sphere of action of all the authoritative-power, ability, workings, etc, that God gave to Jesus when he raised him up out-from the dead-people, and gave him the name that is above every other name, designating the resurrected Jesus being Christ (refer to Matthew 1:21; Acts 2:21 and 38; 3:6 and 16; 4:7-12, and 30; Romans 1:3 and 4; Ephesians 1:19-23; Philippians 2:9-11; II Thessalonians 3:6; Hebrews 1:1-4).

Paul did not have a battle of words with this girl, nor did he spend days trying to rehabilitate her, etc. Paul received revelation and carried out what he was told to say and do by his holy spirit-life. And the spirit of python that had dominated and controlled this girl went out of her immediately, right-then-and-there! The words "the same hour" is an idiom and means immediately, forthwith, directly; it does not mean that it took one hour to come out of her. As soon as Paul spoke by revelation in the name of Jesus Christ to that devil-spirit, that devil-spirit had no choice but to do what Paul told it to do. God's holy spiritual power via the Lord Jesus Christ is greater than the devil's spiritual power.

In the next record we read how others tried to use the name of Jesus - however...

Acts 19:13-16:
.13But some-people also of the going-around Judeans, exorcists, took-on-hand to name the name of the Lord Jesus on the (people) having the spirits, the evil (spirits), saying, "We adjure you (by) the Jesus whom Paul heralds-forth"; .14among whom also (the) sons of Sceva, some Judean chief-priest, intended to do the same-thing having a custom to adjure the things-of-this-kind, and having come towards (a person) being devilized they began to call-upon the name to-themselves saying, "We charge to you in Jesus whom the apostle, Paul, heralds-forth to go-out.”

.15But the spirit, the evil (spirit), having answered said to them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I well-know, but you, who are you?" .16And the man, in whom the spirit, the evil (spirit), was, having leaped on them (because of) having lorded-against them, was strong against them so-that (they) escaped out-from that house naked and having been traumatized2.

Some of the Judeans who were traveling from place to place were exorcists. The word "exorcists" refers here to those unsaved people professing to expel devil-spirits from other people by adjuration, using oaths and swearing on something or someone. The verb translated "adjure" in these verses means: to intensely put someone/something under an oath of extraction, exorcise, cause to be under the obligation of an oath, as forcing the recipient to give-out from him/itself what is spoken.

These exorcists set about to impose-a-name on/over the people who were dominated by evil spirits (devil-spirits, demons), but the name they were using was the name of the Lord Jesus! They were adjuring using the name of the Lord Jesus on unsaved people with evil spirits inside of them. They said to these people: "We adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul heralds-forth (we exorcise you, adjure to expel, by using the power of the Jesus whom Paul proclaims)." They wanted to make sure that the devil-spirit(s) would know, and anyone listening to them, that their oath was done by the same "Jesus" whom Paul heralds-forth, not a different one.

Verses 13 and 14 above are mostly taken from papyrus P.38 because it includes more details than some of the other Greek texts.

Verse 14 continues that among this group of exorcists were sons of Sceva, the Judean chief (high) priest, a member of the local Sanhedrin at Ephesus. These sons intended (willed) to do the same-thing which the other exorcists were doing because that was their custom (a habit of theirs). On a person who was being devilized, the sons of Sceva...

  • started to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus to themselves (to call appealingly, invitingly, attempting to invoke his power and authority at their request over the devil-spirit within that person)
  • saying to the evil spirit, not to the person:
    • "We charge to you in Jesus to go-out (we pass on a message from Jesus to you to come out of this person)
    • – the Jesus whom the apostle, Paul, proclaims."

But the evil spirit replied in response saying…. Who/what replied to the charge posed? The evil spirit – this devil-spirit (demon) spoke by controlling the vocal-chords and tongue and mind of the man it was inside and forced the man to speak! The evil spirit said to the sons of Sceva:

  • "Jesus – I know (I have a truly active and relative knowing, personal knowledge of Jesus),
  • and Paul – I well-know (I am aware of him, I can fix or set my mind on him),
  • but you – who are you (plural pronoun)?"

This evil spirit was not stupid! It knew exactly who Jesus was and in fact the verb it used tells of personal knowledge, not just "I've heard something about him"! Plus, it well-knew Paul and this verb shows that it was aware of Paul's activities and knew what he was doing. This does not mean that this one high-ranking devil-spirit knew everything, but it does show the knowledge that can be known by them and they communicate very well with one-another, from the devil downwards to the lower-ranking devil-spirits.

The evil spirit knew that the sons of Sceva were not connected with the Lord Jesus even though they spoke his name; it knew that there was no power or authority involved in the words that the sons of Sceva spoke to it.

This record teaches us that the sons of Sceva did NOT invoke the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ even though they used his name! The Lord Jesus Christ is not at the beck-and-call of everyone and anyone, and just because we today may hear somebody using the name of Jesus, to somehow bring his power and authority over a certain situation - it does not guarantee that this is happening. These sons of Sceva were not holy-people (they were not Christians) but they still used the name of Jesus in their adjuration.

Then the man, within whom the evil spirit was dwelling, was able to exercise his lordship (mastery) over that situation by the power of that devil-spirit, and he jumped (sprang) on top of the sons of Sceva who did this thing.

This man was strong against them (he prevailed, with the help of the controlling devil-spirit inside of him), so much so that he caused the sons to be naked (without their usual clothing) and traumatized (wounded, hurt, damaged) before they could escape.

This was a case of two sides appearing to be against each other. It is similar to two 'opposing' football teams being owned by the same owner – the game is carried-on as though they were truly against each other, but in reality the strategy is that in the end the owner comes out the winner!

Why would they do this here where Paul was working with/for the only true God, teaching God's Word, healing people, casting out devil-spirits, etc, as described in Acts 16:10-12? The purpose was to discredit the name of the Lord Jesus in the eyes of the people! They wanted the name of the Jesus whom Paul heralds-forth to appear to be at their own beck-and-call via the ‘magical’ powers they wanted to portray that they had, and perhaps that Jesus and Paul had the same powers as they did, as though they were on the same team!

In contrast to the evil spirits being caused to journey-out from devilized people by Paul using the name of the Lord Jesus (refer to Acts 19:12) – the exorcists could not do the same. No person or spirit can use the power of the Lord Jesus without being in agreement with the Lord Jesus.

The devil's plan backfired – the 'owner' (devil) did not come out the winner, as we learn in the following verses:

Verses 17-20:
.17But this became known both to all Judeans and Greeks, the (people) dwelling-down (in) Ephesus, and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was made-great; .18and many of the (people) having believed2 came expressly-agreeing and announcing their practices; .19and sufficient of the (people) having practiced the around-works, having contributed the books, burned-down (those devilish books) before all-people, and they counted-together their prices and they found five ten-thousands of silver. .20Thus the word of the Lord increased and was strong according to strongness.

What happened with the sons of Sceva became known both to all the Judeans (people of the Israeli background) and the Greeks (Hellenists, Greek-speaking people of the Gentile background) who were inhabiting Ephesus…

  • and fear fell on them all (fright embraced all of them, they became afraid at the consequences of their performance of any wrong behavior, and so they manifested the awe and respect that is rightfully due and ought to be shown towards God and the things of God, including the Lord Jesus),
  • and the name of the Lord Jesus was made-great (everything involved in the true meaning and authority and power of the Lord Jesus was enlarged in importance, degree, quality, eminence, magnificence, majesty, it was magnified, its greatness was expressed among the people).

They understood and appreciated the superiority, authoritative power, etc, of the Lord Jesus Christ, in contrast to the devil's various activities. When Paul wrote a letter at a later time to the people being holy and believing in Christ Jesus, which included the Ephesian holy-people, he reminded them regarding the greatness of the power and name of the Lord Jesus Christ (refer to Ephesians 1:19-23).

Many of the people who had believed and still actively believed (who had faith, were trusting) what Paul taught, were coming to the location where Paul was…

  • and they were expressing their full agreement (they were definitely saying the same thing, speaking the same words, speaking agreement with, assenting-to with intensity, from inside to outside, completely agreeing),
  • and announcing (messaging-up, reporting-back to Paul and those with him) regarding their practices (the habitual actions that they had been doing previously).

These people had practiced “around-works” – the works which are above and below on the circumference or periphery of work. In this context these “around-works” included the concealed works which the devil and his devil-spirits promote, such as the occult, ouija-boards, séances, tarot-cards, magic, books giving 'spells' or 'oaths' to invoke spirits, etc. These people had worked – but the energy they had previously expended was against the only true God and the Lord Jesus Christ! But now these people could really understand the difference.

A sufficient amount of people who had practiced the around-works contributed (brought together) the books associated with those practices into one place and burned them in the sight and presence of all the people, and everybody could see what was going on. This they did voluntarily to rid themselves of those devilish books.

Then they counted up what the estimated value of those burnt books would have been, and they found the total amount to be five ten-thousand (50,000) pieces of silver – that's a lot of money’s worth they burned! They had previously invested a very large amount into those practices, but now they understood the devilishness of all of it, and therefore they burned what they could to clean up their homes and surroundings.

It was in this manner that the word of the Lord…

  • increased (it was actively augmenting, growing, expanding
    • - more people were believing it and thus receiving God's gift of holy spirit by means of the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore more of the word of the Lord was being revealed and made known to these holy-people including Paul, via their holy spirit-life),
  • and was strong (it was being strong, having inherent strength
    • - it not only had strength in the spirit realm, but it also had strength in the physical realm)
      • in accordance with strongness (exerted force, power in effect, exerted strength).

Just because someone seems to speak something "spiritual" - this does not mean that it is correct and true - we should always check it against the truth of God and His Word. John wrote:

I John 4:1-6:
4:1Loved-people1, you must not believe every spirit, but you must prove the spirits if they are out-from God because many lying-prophets went-out2 into the world. .2In this you know the spirit of God – every spirit which expresses-agreement (regarding) Jesus Christ having come2 in flesh is out-from God, .3and every spirit which does not express-agreement (regarding) Jesus is not out-from God and this is the (spirit) of antichrist which you heard2 that it comes and now is already in the world.
.4You are out-from God, little-children, and you were-victorious-over2 them because the (one) in you is greater than the (one) in the world. .5They are out-from the world because-of this – they utter-forth out-from the world and the world hears them. .6We are out-from God; the (person) knowing God hears us; he-who does not hear us is not out-from God – out-from this we know the spirit of the truth and the spirit of the wandering.

Loved-people (beloved, truly you are loved by God and by myself with God’s kind of love)…

  • you must not believe every spirit (do not have faith relative to all/every single spirit, you must not trust what every spirit makes known to people by any method),
    • but on the contrary,
  • you must prove the spirits (it is imperative that you put them to the test, prove the spirits by examination or testing to either approve or disapprove; in other words, don’t accept the content of everything that you hear or see as being true from God's viewpoint but prove them)
    • if they are out-from God (if the spirits originate and result from God, if God is the source of the spirits including their actions, what emanates from them, their communications)
  • because many lying-prophets (false prophets, those who claim to speak God's words being revealed to them concerning the past, present and/or future – however, lying prophets do not speak the only true God’s words to the people, instead they speak lies, false statements issuing from spirits that do not originate from God – a lot of lying-prophets)
    • went-out and continue gone-out into the world (entered into the ordered arrangement that God created, and there are lying-prophets still in the world today).

In/by this you know the spirit of God (you have a truly active and relative knowing of the spirit that God gives, you are personally knowledgeable of the spirit from God) –

  • every spirit which expresses agreement (all/every spirit that is saying the same words, speaking agreement with, assenting to the same spoken things)
    • regarding/with Jesus Christ having come and continuing come in flesh (that Jesus, the savior, who is Christ, the one who is anointed, has already come within the sphere of the flesh of mankind, the physical natural body with its soul/breath life, and this truth has not changed - the spirit of the resurrected Christ is within all holy-people; refer to Acts chapter 2 and I John 5:5-12)
      • is out-from God (originates and results from God; God is the source of this spirit’s actions, communications),
  • and every spirit which does not express agreement
    • regarding Jesus (as stated in verse 2 above)
      • does not originate and result from God
      • and this is the spirit of antichrist (anti/against Christ; an opponent opposing the Anointed-one)
      • which you heard and continue to hear that the spirit is in the process of coming and at the present time is already in the world.

Emphatically you are…

  • out-from God (you originate from God),

…little-children (in the figurative usage being a very tender, affectionate term of endearment)...

  • and you were victorious and are still victorious (you have conquered, you have the victory)
    • over the lying prophets (who speak the words they receive from the spirit of antichrist)

…because…

  • the one in you (referring to the spirit from God within you; this spirit is the anointed-thing which is the spirit of Christ, and it teaches you, it communicates the word of God to you; refer to I John 2:20 and 27, 3:9 and 24, 5:5-12)
    • is greater (is comparatively larger in magnitude, rank, importance, depth, etc)
      • than the one in the world (referring to the evil-one, satan/the devil, who has many different names corresponding to the different characteristics, activities, etc, which that particular name describes; refer to I John 2:14 and 16, 3:8 and 12).

Emphatically they are…

  • out-from the world (originate from the world)
    • on account of this –
  • they utter-forth (utter sound, voice, speak words) originating and resulting from the world
    • and the world hears them (those in the world who reject God’s words listen to the lying prophets speaking to them).

Emphatically we are…

  • out-from God (we originate from God Who is our Father in the spirit category; we have holy spirit-life within us and therefore we can utter-forth what our holy spirit communicates to us);
    • the person who is knowing God (who has a truly active and relative knowing of God, who is personally knowledgeable of God)
      • hears us (listens to us speaking to them);
    • he-who does not hear us
      • is not out-from God –

…from this we personally know…

  • the spirit of the truth (the spirit having the quality of truth and emanates God’s essential reality, inherent verity, the state of being true)
    • and we know
  • the spirit of the wandering (the spirit having the quality of error and emanates error, it causes people not to stay in their rightful-place, it misleads, leads astray giving information and evidences causing people to wander away from God’s truth).

In Matthew chapters 13 and 25, Jesus describes some of the devil's activities still occurring today, and what will occur in the future:

Matthew 13:36-43:
.36Then having left the crowds he went into the house. And his learning-disciples came-towards him saying, “You must make-throughly-clear to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” .37And the (one) having answered said, “The (person) sowing the beautiful seed is the son of man, .38and the field is the world, and the beautiful seed these-people are the sons of the kingdom; but the weeds are the sons of the evil-one, .39and the enemy, the (enemy) having sown them, is the devil; but the harvest is (the) completing-together of (the) age, and the harvesters are angels.

.40Therefore wholly-as the weeds are collected and are burned-down with fire, thus it will be in the completing-together of the age: .41the son of man will apostle his angels and they will collect out-from his kingdom all the offenses and the (ones) doing the lawlessness, .42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; the crying and the gnashing of the teeth will be here. .43Then the righteous-people will shine-out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The (person) having ears must hear.
Matthew 25:41-46:
.41Then (the king) will say also to the (people) out-from (his) left-sides, ‘You must journey away-from me (you who are) having been cursed2 into the fire, the agelong (fire), the (fire) having been prepared2 for the devil and his angels; .42for I hungered and you did not give to me to eat, I was thirsty and you did not give me to-drink, .43I used-to-be a stranger and you did not gather me together, naked and you did not clothe me, weak and in prison and you did not look-intensely-on me (to help).’

.44Then also they will answer saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungering or thirsting or a stranger or naked or weak or in prison and we did not minister to you?’ .45Then he will answer them saying, ‘With-certainty I say to you, on as-much-as you did not to one of these least-people neither did you to me.’ .46And these-people will go-away into agelong curtailment – but the righteous-people into eternal life.”

For more details regarding these verses, you may read my study of Matthew.

In II Thessalonians, Paul also teaches about the devil's activities and what will happen at a future time:

II Thessalonians 2:1 and 2:
2:1But we ask you, brothers, on behalf of the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering-together on him, .2for you not to be quickly shaken away-from the mind-set nor to be caused-tumult neither by means of spirit, nor by means of word, nor by means of letter as (if it were) by means of us - as that the day of the Lord stood-in2;

We (myself and those with me) ask you, brothers…

  • in the interests of the coming and being present of our Lord Jesus Christ
    • (the initial-part of the still-future event promised to come to pass by God and the Lord Jesus Christ when he will come to be present in the air);
  • and the corresponding-part of this event when the Lord Jesus Christ will cause all holy-people (Christians) to be gathered-together
    • (to the place where he will be in the air, so that we will be with him; refer also to I Thessalonians 4:13-17),

…for the purpose of you...

  • not to be quickly shaken (not to be speedily or swiftly caused to rock in a waving motion, agitated to move to-and-fro)
    • away-from the mind-set (from the correct thinking and perception in your mind)
  • nor to be caused tumult (disturbed inside and made to be frightened or alarmed causing you to cry aloud in commotion),
  • not even if information comes to you:
    • by means of spirit – through any form of communication which source is spirit
      • (the spirit-source that lies and contradicts the true Word of God, both directly and indirectly, is the devil/satan and his evil and unclean spirits; these spirit communications may be via someone claiming to be a prophet or a psychic - but speaking or evidencing in some form information they are receiving from the devil and his devil-spirits, demons, perhaps using a ouija board or tarot cards, etc);
    • nor by means of word – through any spoken-account, no matter who/what the actual words may come from
      • (perhaps a prominent person in the community or a talk-show host or a religious leader or a fortune-teller, etc);
    • nor by means of a letter as if it were by means of us – through any letter (epistle, sent-document) that you may receive purporting to be from myself and/or those with me;

…as that the day of the Lord has already begun to stand and is presently standing in-effect, in-force!

The coming to be present of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gathering-together of all holy-people unto him in the air is what begins the day of the Lord - which is the time when the Lord Jesus Christ, who is second-in-command to God, will exercise and demonstrate the fullness of his lordship and authority and strength and ability to/before all people and spirits in heaven and earth (excluding God Himself of course).

Verse 3(a):
.3(a) someone must not wholly-deceive you according to not-one manner because (the day of the Lord cannot stand-in) except the departure may come first,

Don't allow anyone to thoroughly beguile (fully delude) you with a false/lying statement, no-matter what mode or direction they seem to be turning. The lying statement being promulgated was that the day of the Lord was already standing-in, that it was now in effect!

But Paul makes it quite clear that the day of the Lord has not already stood-in and cannot stand-in – why not? Because the day of the Lord cannot come and stand in force except/unless the departure would come first. This departure is what will happen FIRST. If the departure has not occurred - then there is no way that the day of the Lord is in effect.

What "departure" is Paul referring to? The Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven and all his holy-people will be caught-away unitedly, and we will all be together with him in the air. It will be after this occurs that the "wrath" begins towards those who reject God and the Lord Jesus Christ. All holy-people (Christians) will be taken away-from the earth to be with the Lord Jesus Christ and thus all of us, including the Lord Jesus Christ, will be standing away from the rest of those left-behind on earth at that specific time.

God's Word continues to foretell more information about what happens after Christ gathers the church away from the earth:

Verses 3(b) and 4:
.3(b) and the man of the lawlessness, the son of the destruction, may be revealed, .4the (one) adversarying and super-lifting-himself on all being said (to be) a god or an object-of-reverence so-as-for him to sit-down into the interior-temple of God pointing himself out that he is God!
  • The man of the lawlessness (who characterizes and emanates the quality of being without the laws of the only true God which are God's words, he is in the state of being lawless, in violation-of, non-observance or transgression of the law of God which is God's Word)
    • who is also
  • the son of the destruction (the one who originated-from and is devoted-to or belongs very emphatically to destruction, loss, perdition, the state of being utterly lost and ruined away-from the only true God)

...will be revealed (caused to be uncovered, as removing a veil and exposing what was previously hidden from view).

This same "man of the lawlessness, the son of the destruction" is also the one who is...

  • being adverse (opposing, in opposition; figuratively putting himself in the position of lying/laying against or being "anti" God and the Lord Jesus Christ and all who are in God's kingdom)
  • and who is super lifting himself (lifting himself over, raising or taking himself up and carrying himself above and over) all/everything
    • whereby he will be actively exerting downward pressure on/upon all/everything being said to be (called or addressed) as god or an object of reverence!

God has very clearly made it known by His revealed Word all throughout the years that He is the only true God and that He is the only One Who is to be reverenced in this manner. However, in the earth today there are many different religions and cults which have devil-spirits and idols and icons and people, etc, which they call their "god" and their "object of reverence" and influencing other people to bow-down and reverence this or that as their god. This "man of the lawlessness, the son of the destruction" will lift himself up, he will exalt himself above all of these "gods" using and exercising the unholy spirit-power of the devil/satan.

The consequence or result of this one adversarying and super lifting himself on all being said to be a god or an object-of-reverence is that he will actively sit-down into the interior-temple of God pointing-out (demonstrating, exhibiting, indicating as pointing-out with the finger away-from some other object towards a particular object – in this case: away-from the only true God towards himself) that he himself is God and therefore he is the one to be reverenced!

This one's objective is to replace God with himself thus attempting to make the devil/satan the supreme spirit! He will go into the inner area in a physical Jerusalem temple in his attempt to usurp God's position by trying to make himself "holy" or "sanctified" through/by the fact of being there in that physical place!

The devil's first recorded attempt to do this took-place during Genesis chapter 3. However, his plan did not succeed as we can read about in the Bible and which we can testify to because the seed of the woman, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, was born and he has accomplished redemption - and the Lord Jesus Christ will in the future accomplish everything that God has foretold! Satan continually attempts to usurp the only true God and the Lord Jesus Christ, but all his attempts have and will be defeated as is also recorded in God's Word.

Verses 5-8(a):
.5You remember that I used-to say these-things to you yet being with you, don't you? - (yes.) .6Also you knew2 now the (thing) holding-down with-a-view-for him to be revealed in the time of himself, .7for the mystery of the lawlessness is already caused-to-in-work only until the (one) now holding-down may become out-from (the) midst .8(a)and then the lawless-one will be revealed –  

Paul continues by asking the Thessalonian holy-people, expecting the affirmative answer of "yes":

  • you remember (bring to your minds, your memory), don't you,
    • that I used-to continually lay these-things before you while I was still physically with you?
  • Also you knew previously and you still know (perceive, see) at the present time what is actively holding-down (having fast or firm in the sense of suppressing down or causing to restrain)
    • for the purpose of "the man of the lawlessness, the son of the destruction" to be revealed (uncovered, exposed)
    • during his own specific time (his limited occasion or season).

Consequently that specific time must be still future – it can't be happening now because we holy-people have not been gathered-together with the Lord Jesus Christ yet!

In truth, the mystery (secret) pertaining-to and consisting-of the state of being without God's law is by this time being made to produce effects by being in work (being energized). This is happening secretly only until the one who is at this moment holding-down will not be on earth anymore and then the lawless-one will be revealed (at that time but not before then). The devil will no longer have to secretly energize his unholy spirit power - but this "freedom" of his will only last for a limited period of time during the wrath!

What is it that is suppressing "the man of the lawlessness, the son of the destruction"?

Answer: The fact that the event referred to as the "departure" in verses 1 and 3 above has not happened yet and thus all holy-people with holy spirit within us are still here on earth (refer to also Paul's first letter in I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Who is the one who is presently exercising his authoritative-power so-that the lawless-one cannot be revealed until he becomes out-from the midst?

Answer: The Lord Jesus Christ.

The truth that holy-people (Christians) were in Paul's time and are still on earth today was and is the reason why the lawless-one was held-down during Paul's time and still today. We holy-people have holy spirit within us; it is the spirit of Christ in us (refer to Colossians 1:27) so that the devil and his host of devil-spirits cannot fully-attempt to take-over the world and those in the world until we are gathered-together with our Lord Jesus Christ.

When Christ will gather the church together with him, he will be taken out of the devil's way here on earth; Christ will remove himself and the church from the scene for a limited period of time.

After the departure has occurred, then the lawless-one will be revealed at his own opportune occasion (specific time). The devil/satan himself knows that he will be able to fully activate his opposition to Christ and God as soon as Christ takes himself and the holy-people out of his way - but the devil does not know when that will happen for he also is waiting. When it will happen, he can uncover the fullness of his evil malignity upon the earth! In the meantime, he is secretly (meaning that he does all he can to disguise himself and his methods) in-working or energizing his lawlessness among those who believe his lies, false statements; he is getting himself and those who follow him organized and ready for the specific time when he can reveal his lawless-one, the one in whom satan will dwell!

After the departure, the devil and his devil-spirits will be free to do as they please on the earth for a certain length of time, and it is during this time that the devil/satan/serpent's seed (as foretold by God in Genesis 3:15 to the serpent/devil in the presence of Adam and Eve) will be revealed and made manifest. But after that period ends, Christ will come with his holy-people and his able angels in flaming fire giving vengeance (refer to II Thessalonians 1:7-10 and the Chart).

Verse 8(b):
.8(b) whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the spirit of his mouth and will render-ineffective with the shining-light of his presence –  
  • The Lord Jesus will consume/eliminate the lawless-one
    • with/by the spirit of his mouth (the spiritual and living words coming or being breathed by him out from his mouth)
  • and he will render the lawless-one ineffective (useless, inactive, inoperative)
    • with/by the shining-light of his presence (the complete light being shone upon all, the illumination caused-by and emanating-from the Lord Jesus coming and then being present at that time).

The ending result of this will be the fulfillment of the bruising of the head of the devil (satan, serpent) as God foretold in Genesis 3:15.

Verses 9-12:
.9whose presence is according to (the) in-working of satan in all ability and signs and wonders of (the) lie .10and in all deceit of unrighteousness to the (people) being destroyed, in-the-place-of which-things they did not accept the love1 of the truth with-a-view-for them to be saved .11and because-of-this God sends to them an in-working of wandering with-a-view-for them to believe the lie .12in order that all-together the (people) not having believed the truth but having considered the unrighteousness good may be judged.

The lawless-one's coming and then being present at that time in the future, after Christ and the church leave the earth, will be in accordance to/with...

  • the in-working of satan (satan's inner-working in action, active energy, his effectual work)
    • within the sphere of action of
      • all/every ability (able-power, capability)
      • and signs (signals or standards of designation and authentication)
      • and wonders (supernatural occurrences)
        • pertaining-to the lie.

What lie? Satan's lie is that he is God, and as such he is the one who gives and maintains life etc to all, and all must reverence, worship and serve him and whom/what he designates! This lie began in Genesis chapter 3, and continues being repeated throughout the centuries by satan and those who decide to follow him as their god in the place of the only true God.

The lawless-one's presence is according to the in-working of satan in all ability and signs and wonders of the lie and...

  • within all deceit of unrighteousness (every delusion, beguilement, especially allurement by false statements, consisting-of unjustness, injustice, wrong, not-right)
    • to those who are being destroyed (being utterly ruined, completely lost away-from the only true God).

Why are these people going to be destroyed during the "wrath" period of time? Because instead of the ability and signs and wonders of the lie - these people willingly did not accept (welcome, take, receive) the love of the truth. The Godly-love of the truth is presented to them with a view for them to be saved. God gives them the opportunity to believe what God says and thus to be saved (made safe to/with/by God). Because of this God sends to them (meaning that He will not stop it because He will not overstep their decision made by the freedom of their will)...

  • an in-working of wandering (energy of the error caused by satan, of not staying in the right place, leading astray in error)
    • with a view for them to believe the lie (to have faith in, trust the devil's lie) -
  • for the purpose and result that all-together (all as one group at the same time)
    • the people who will not have believed the truth,
    • but on the contrary, they will have supposed the unrighteousness to be a good thing,
      • will be judged (God will judge them; He will make His decision of judgment).

What detailed foretelling, all of which lines-up with the information given in Revelation and elsewhere in God's previously-revealed spoken and written Word regarding the future!

In Revelation, the lake of fire refers to the unquenchable fire of God's judgment which will occur in the future. It is the place where fire will bring to pass the ultimate annihilation of the devil and his hosts.

Revelation 20:10, 14 and 15:
.10and the devil, the (one) causing them to-wander, was thrown into the lake of the fire and sulfur, where also the wild-animal and the lying-prophet (were thrown), and they will be tormented day and night into the ages of the ages.
.14and the death and the gravedom were thrown into the lake of the fire; this is the death, the second (death) - the lake of the fire; .15and if someone was not found having been written2 in the book of the life he was thrown into the lake of the fire.
Revelation 21:8:
.8But to the cowardly-people and unbelievers and (people) being-abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the liars (will be given) their part in the lake, the (lake) burning with fire and sulfur, which is the death, the second (death)."

In Revelation 20:14 above, the King James Version translated the Greek word ades or hades (Hebrew word shoel) as "hell" - but a better translation would be the word "gravedom" which is the continuing state of death, of being dead (refer to Acts 2:24-33 and Revelation 1:18).

Also, it is worth noting here that the Greek word gehenna is traditionally translated "hell" which is a word derived from "to hide, conceal, hidden" – however, it actually refers to the valley of Hinnom where people used to burn their fires to devils and false-gods but which King Josiah destroyed and the valley was later used to burn all that was against God (refer to Joshua 15:8; II Kings 23:10; II Chronicles 28:3; Isaiah 30:27-33; Jeremiah 7:31 and 32). During Jesus' time this valley was used to burn Jerusalem's refuse/trash and these fires were continuously burning. Jesus used it symbolically, for example in Matthew 23:15 and 33, to refer to the unquenchable fire of God's judgment, including the lake of fire.

In Revelation 20:10 the phrase "into the ages of the ages" does not mean that what is put into the lake of fire will continue to live (exist) forever without any end - but it means that they will never escape from the lake of fire. The life (existence) of those put into this lake of fire will be limited to the length of time from entry until they will be burned completely, destroyed, exterminated, reduced to ashes. Malachi 4:1 says that the wicked will be burned up and be no more. Ezekiel 28:18 foretold this destruction by fire that would bring satan "to ashes."

References:

  • Genesis chapter 3;
  • Deuteronomy 13:13, 18:9-18;
  • II Kings 17:17;
  • I Chronicles 10:13 and 14;
  • Job 2:7, 26:13, 31:33;
  • Psalm 51:11 and 12;
  • Isaiah 11:1-5, 14:11-15, 27:1, 47:13, 59:16-21;
  • Ezekiel 22:28, 28:2 and 11-19;
  • Matthew 3:16, 4:1-11, 7:15-23, 9:4 and 32-34, 10:25, 12:25-45, 25:41;
  • Mark 3:22-30, 5:7-9, 13:32;
  • Luke 11:14-26, 22:31 and 53;
  • John 8:42-47, 10:10; 13:27;
  • Acts 5:16, 8:9-13, 13:10, 16:16-18, 19:19;
  • Romans 5:12-21, 6:5-10 and 23, 8:3, 13:12, 16:20;
  • I Corinthians 5:3-5, 7:5, chapter 15;
  • II Corinthians 3:14-18, 4:4, 10:3-5, 11:3, 13-15;
  • Galatians 1:4, 3:1-3 and 16;
  • Ephesians 2:2, 4:14, 25-27, 5:16;
  • Philippians 3:17-21, 4:13;
  • Colossians 1:13-15 and 27;
  • I Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-10;
  • II Thessalonians 2:1-12;
  • I Timothy 1:20, 2:12-15, 5:14 and 15;
  • James 2:19, 4:7;
  • I Peter 3:19 and 20, 5:8 and 9;
  • I John 3:8, 5:18-21;
  • Revelation chapters 12 and 19-22.