6C Who is this Satan according to Michael Heiser?
In Ezekiel he is described as one who sealed up the sum, meaning “he filled up a blueprint.” When God created the various creatures, angels, they each filled up a certain amount, and when man was created he filled up more of this pattern. When God created this particular creature, he sealed up the sum; (Ezekiel -seal of perfection)
This specifically is found in two areas, wisdom and beauty. This means that of all the created beings, Satan (who was once Day Star) is by far the wisest and the most beautiful of any creature God ever made. Only He filled the complete pattern God had for wisdom and beauty in a creature. He is by far the greatest creature God made in creation.
He first served as the one who led heavens worship of God. Satan is pictured as being a priest in Heaven situated above the throne of God. Satan, at one time, was the covering cherub over the throne. He served as the canopy over the throne of God leading the angelic creatures in worship.
He was perfect at the time of his creation Ezek. 28:15 “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you” (having no flaws or imperfections). I John 3:8, John states that the devil sinned “from the beginning” meaning he became the first sinner when this iniquity was produced. Then he is called Satan Ezek.28:16. How did he sin? In two main ways, looking at his beauty and his wisdom, it caused pride which led to corrupting his nature. Pride came and he was no longer in humble submission to the God. He spoke of himself as usurping God, ‘I will.’ Unsatisfied with the position God gave him as the custodian over his throne and angels, He wanted a greater position – to have God's throne, that which is reserved for his only son, Jesus the Messiah (Eph. 1:20--21).
V.16 “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God . “The mountain is in heaven where he sinned, not on earth in Eden where Heiser claims, for he came to Eve in his fallen nature.
His second I will – “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” This is not about the stars in heaven that were created later on the 4th day. These were not in existence yet. The word star when used symbolically, is always a symbol of angels, (both fallen or unfallen Job 38:7; Jude 13; Rev. 1:20; 9:1; 12:4) and is used of Satan in verse 12.
Heiser’s view of Satan
Heiser interprets personal names in Hebrew do not include a definite article ha (“the”). Thus, in Job, ‘ha satan’ he claims cannot be a name, but must be a title. Let’s assume this is correct, it would still means he is ‘The’ Adversary of the brethren in heaven. His argument soon falls flat as we look further into this creatures activities, what he does, especially to Job.
This is one of the ways how Heiser arrives at his wrong conclusion, by other academics.
The saṭan הַשָטן, hassatan) in Job 1–2 is not a proper name—it lacks the Hebrew definite article prefixed to the noun (Peggy Day, An Adversary in Heaven). This “Adversary” (the meaning of the Hebrew term) is therefore not the Devil, as known in the New Testament. Lowell Handy points out that the Adversary’s behavior in Job 1–2 is consistent with that of various deities in council scenes in Ugaritic material , where a lesser deity reports to a higher deity.” (Handy, “Authorization”). (BTW it’s not hassatan, but written ha satan)
Satan means adversary (correct) but according to Heiser he nullifies its significance by expanding to other definitions and then attaches this being to a council of gods (he can’t say anything without it). He chooses to only use those who take this unbiblical position so that he has some scholarly credibility behind his changing words and their meanings.
In ‘The Unseen Realm’ book, Heiser affirms “I use the phrase “the satan” deliberately. The Hebrew (satan) means something like “adversary,” “prosecutor,” or “challenger.” It speaks of an official legal function within a ruling body—in this case, Yahweh’s council. When Yahweh asks the satan where he has been, we learn that his job involves investigating what is happening on earth (Job 1:7). He is, so to speak, Yahweh’s eyes and ears on the ground, reporting what he has seen and heard.”
הַשָּׂטָן ha satan in Hebrew actually means ‘THE Adversary’, in the same way הָאֱלֹהִים ha Elohim means “the God” (YHWH). הַמֶּלֶךְ ‘the melech’, the king (1Kings 3:23; 8:14 ) does not mean any king but the king at that time. 2 Sam. 7:1-2 “ that the king said to Nathan the prophet” translated to be הַמֶּלֶך the melech-the king, הַנָּבִיאhanabee, the prophet (which happens to be Nathan) expressing a specific king and specific prophet in the interchange. Shamayim שָּׁמַיִם is Heavens (plural) in Hebrew, when ha is put before it, הַשָּׁמַיִם it is THE heavens.
"ha" means "the" in Hebrew. So ‘the Satan’ means a certain Adversary, not a generic term as Heiser claims because of ha (the) attached?
Let me give an illustration in Zech.3:1, 8; 6:11 הַגָּדֹול ‘the great’ ha gadul (translated high) ‘הַכֹּהֵן’ The priest ‘ha cohan’ in Hebrew. Can this be a generic term, are there other ‘high priests?’ No there is only one high priest. But it would have to be, if one is consistent with the terminology, and what of elsewhere as in Haggai? Same term. Or in Gen.46:3 הָאֵל the el, ‘the God’, means not just a god but ‘the God,’ The Elohim of your father, as written in Scripture.
Heiser claims that the character designated as ha satan (הַשָּׂטָן) in the book of Job is not the same being we identify as Satan or the devil in the New Testament. This is patently absurd when one looks at his characteristics and interaction.
Heiser claims that the title “ speaks of an official legal function within a ruling body—in this case, Yahweh’s council. ” He adds about ha satan, “ He is, so to speak, Yahweh’s eyes and ears on the ground, reporting what he has seen and heard .” Heiser claims that ha satan is “ not a villain. He’s doing the job assigned to him by God.” In other words, ha satan is a member in good standing among God’s sons of God, heavens creatures, he functions in a role like a prosecuting attorney (pp. 56-58). This is only partly true and mostly false. Why? Because Satan lies, destroys and kills. And that is what we see him do in the book of Job (with Gods permissible will).
As far as the book of Job not connecting ha satan to the serpent of Genesis 3. This is a non sequitur argument and falls flat on its face in value. In the New Testament Satan is called the Devil by Jesus. He is viewed as THE fallen evil angel opposing the work of God who heads up the other angels who rebelled with him in the ancient past.
“The function of the office of the satan is why later Jewish writings began to adopt it as a proper name for the serpent figure from Genesis 3 who brought ruin to Eden.” (Unseen realm)
This idea that Satan becomes the Devil by ‘later Jewish writings’ goes against the revelation of God. It is Our Scripture that tells us he has always been the Devil. Satan is the only one Jesus saw fall from heaven. It is ‘Satan’ who is mentioned all throughout the Scripture as the head of the rebellion who is trying to destroy the works of God and the believers who follow him.
“The satan described in these passages is not the devil. Rather, he’s an anonymous prosecutor, as it were, fulfilling a role in Yahweh’s council—bringing an accusatory report.” (Unseen realm)
Here is the focus of the unbiblical teachings of Michael Heiser that you will learn about concerning Satan.
In the Bible, the parallel verse to Revelation 12:9, is Revelation 20:2. While Heiser argues about the name, John identifies him as all of these. John writes, " He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil, (Satan), and bound him for a thousand years ." These two passages both refer to Satan, (The Devil).
We should not expect the book of Job to connect ha satan to the serpent of Genesis 3 for it is a heavenly scene, and it is not necessary to do this each time Satan is mentioned, but this is how Heiser argues to prove his false points. (Study to show yourself approved by God)
1 John 3:8-9 “ He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil .”
This brings us to Genesis when Eve was tempted and sinned. How can Heiser miss these connections, it can only be on purpose, or he does not know the Scripture though he boasts being an academic. The Son’ was manifested to take away sin, that which was introduced by the devil to Eve and to Adam by disobedience to God. It is the serpent who deceived Eve. Jesus’ contention is with Satan who is also called the devil all throughout the New Testament
In Heb. 2:14 “He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” How did death come? By sin, and sin was instigated by the Serpent deceiving Eve. So we see the Devil is the Serpent, who is Satan just as the apostle John explains in the last book of the Bible.
And how did he deceive Eve, by a lie. According to Jesus in John 8:44, Satan is the father of lies, in that he was the first one to ever tell a lie. Therefore, he is originator of lies and he is identified as a liar himself.
A more careful look at Job
“In Job 1 the satan and God converse about Job. The satan gets a bit uppity, challenging God about Job’s integrity. We know the rest of the story—God gives the satan enough latitude to prove himself wrong, albeit at Job’s expense.” (The Unseen Realm Recovering the supernatural worldview of the Bible by Michael S. Heiser)
“The story opens with a divine council scene—the sons of God appear before Yahweh (Job 1:6). During the council meeting the satan shows up. His rank is not clear. The language is ambiguous with respect to whether he is of the same level as the sons of God or is on the scene as a servant official to the council. The lower status is more likely, given what we learn about his job.” (ibid.)
This is not a divine council meeting like Heiser forces upon the text. In descriptions of God’s heavenly courtroom or hosts being gathered, we read only of angels (plus four cherubim and 24 elders, Rev. 4).
Job 1:6 “ a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.”
The fact that he appears along with the sons of Gods (angels) does indicate that he too is an angel, (a good one as Heiser claims? Hardly.) For He was once the Head Cherub of the sons of god, Gods angels in heaven, that is why he is there.
He is described as an individual being, not one who is a son of God in the plural. The whole conversation is between God and Satan. This so called council has nothing to say or do. Knowing all too well what Satan is trying to do, God issues a challenge with his most righteous servant he has on earth.
Satan complains “Have You not made a hedge around him” (Job 1:10) . In other words you are protecting him.V.12 So the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”
What he immediately does next is destroy Jobs family and his belongings (he is known as destroyer, a murderer), that is the example of being in his power.
Job 1:13-19; v.15 “ when the Sabeans raided them -killed the servants with the edge of the sword except one " v.16, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; except one.”
v.17 " The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; except one!"
v.18 " Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"
Does this sound like a godly being doing what God wants!
Next meeting Satan says to God, “ Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" (Job 2:4-5) V.6 the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life."
He wants more of Job, Satan immediately goes out and “ struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7) He is causing pain and suffering on a righteous servant, though he’d rather kill him, he is prevented by gods authority. In Heiser’s view, God is made complicit in the evil done against someone who “blameless” and “upright” as he is doing Gods will (Job 1:8; 2:3), as he afflicted Jobs possessions and family (Job 1:13-19) and then Job physically (Job 2:7-8).
Heiser uses this to convolute ones view even further into deception “Scholars have long recognized that the satan is performing a well-defined role for council activity at Ugarit that was carried over into the Hebrew Bible. Quoting Handy once again: The Satan works for God, not against him . . . [his] duty is to patrol the universe for those who break the rules of the cosmic authority of Yahweh. (Divine council)
What a conglomeration of untruth, falsehood and deceptive twisting of the Scriptures account. Heiser further writes, “ The satan in Job 1–2 is not a villain. …, ha satan is a member in good standing among God’s various heavenly attendants, and functions in a role that is something like a prosecuting attorney.” (pp. 56-58 Unseen Realm)
Satan is not at all what Heiser describes here. He was accusing both Job and God, so he cannot be on Gods side – he is directly challenging him with Job as the prize. In fact, God had to keep Satan from killing him in the test of Jobs faithfulness. Satan wanted to end Job, but that’s whom Heiser says a good standing heavenly attendant!
What Heiser is doing is twisting the Word, intending for him not to be understood as the serpent, the creature from the garden. Heiser’s view is not how the story is depicted in Scripture. These are matters that have been settled, not ones that are open for new opinions, especially from those influenced by pagan resources. His the whole focus of conversation with God in heaven is about harming Job, how can anyone miss this?
The word for Devil in the Greek word is diabolos, is used thirty-five times in the Greek New Testament (Rev. 12:9), it means “accuser,” “slanderer” to malign. This name pictures Satan as one who defames both God and the believer. Just as we see him doing in Job the accuser of our brethren (Rev. 12:10). This name emphasizes Satan as the leader of those who are against the Kingdom of God.
Again Heiser’s duplicity is on full display. He uses the Septuagint often enough to prove his points but in this matter he stays away from it. Why? It is evident,it counters his doctrine.
Septuagint Job.1 “And it came to pass on a day, that behold, the angels of God came to stand before the Lord, and the devil came with them. “And the Lord said to the devil; same is said in the next chapter showing Satan is the Devil of whom Heiser claims he is not. 14 times in the book of Job in the Masoretic text he is Satan and 13 times in the Septuagint he is called the devil in Job. A big oops.
If the Jews translated the Septuagint 250 years before Christ and Satan is changed to the Devil in the book of Job does this not confirm to us they held this view all along? That this is not just an adversary as Heiser claims but THE Adversary. Or are we to entertain they changed Gods Word incorrectly.
Furthermore, the Septuagint calls the sons of God, angels (demons are fallen angelic creatures) who joined Satan when he rebelled, they had fallen prior to the events in Genesis 3. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 also mention Satan's fall as a past event. But for the future “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41)
Again, there is no particular reason why the author of Job would need to make this connection to Gn.3 while they are gathered together in heaven. However, John later does in Revelation. He makes it clear the accuser in Job is the same in Rv. 12:9-10 “That Serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him . Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, … for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night , has been cast down.”
On this one scripture it refutes everything Heiser is proposing. That he is connected to Gn.3. If you don’t believe John, cross it out of your Bible. Make it the book of Heiser.
What makes this more insidious is that Heiser teaches, "Satan is no longer the accuser of the brethren since he is now expelled from heaven (p. 281). Revelation 12, has this during the Tribulation and shortly before the return of Christ.
So this being who acts just like the devil is not him. Satan challenges God directly in Job 1:9-11 and 2:4-5. No being under Gods authority would have the audacity to ever speak to God in such an accusing manner.
“It is clear that Satan is leader of at least some of the powers of darkness. As the original rebel, he likely ranked first (or worst) in terms of example in the minds of ancient readers. The fact that he is the one who confronted Jesus in the desert, an account we considered earlier, and offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world suggests as much .” (faith life-Logos Satan in the Bible: 14 Sobering Facts about the Devil). Seems Heiser is somewhat involved in influencing their opinion but they can’t let go of the actual Biblical position fully.
Some of them? Or is he the leader? Matt 25:41 “ you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” There are no other spirit beings heading the rebellion. Matt 12:26-27 “ If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Scripture explains it is Satan who is the head of the kingdom that is against God, not another. Unless you want to believe the Devil is in competition with Satan and both have kingdoms.
Again Jesus explains the Devil is Satan, Satan is the Devil, they are one and the same. Hesier is wrong.
Mark 4:15 “ And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
Luke 8:12 “ Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts.” If you believe Heiser than you do not believe Gods Word.
It is Satan who steals the word; Satan who bounds; the devil who oppresses. Acts 10:38, Satan who wants to ruin Peter Lk.22:31; Lk.13:16; Satan who possessed Judas Lk.22:3.
Acts 26:18 Paul speaks of the gospel that turns them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. 2 Tim 2:26 the truth has one escape the snare of the devil – who is satan.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary (the word Satan) the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (Just like we see him do in Job.)
Everything said of Satan is said of the Devil. There should be no question on who this creature is (No, he is not a divine creature as Heiser claims)
The problem is that there is no other mentioned except Satan (the devil) throughout the Scripture who does this evil and opposes God and then is punished by God.