DISCLAIMER: Be warned that by reading the following content there will be an increased risk to your spiritual growth. It is also advised that if you continue further exposure to such content you will most likely experience stages of discomfort, followed by unplanned and unpredictable outbursts of joy. These symptoms will inevitably lead to glorifying God and a life lived on-Mission for Jesus Christ. Ultimately resulting in your eternal joy and habitation in the presence of God.
Additional Disclaimer: You will also be most certainly expected to live sacrificially as a image & Cross bearer for the Lords’ namesake.
“And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.”
This past weekend Kay and I watched a new show on FOX broadcasting entitled “Lucifer”. The show is centered on a debonair, charismatic, and sexually virile young man. His name is Lucifer Morningstar. Yes, that’s right, the protagonist in this family oriented detective show is supposed to be the Biblical character Satan, also better known as the Devil, the ancient serpent and/or the dragon. Lucifer works in tandem with a young, pretty, blond detective who has increasing suspicions about his origins, but is so jaded against all things spiritual, she rejects the truth of his identity, even as he speaks very candidly to her about himself. Even to the point of him physically manifesting incredible psychic and physical powers. She slowly becomes dependent upon his mysterious abilities to help solve crimes.
Like everyone else living in Los Angeles, Ca., Lucifer has a therapists. We, the audience, are given insight into the privacy of three of his therapeutic sessions. One of which results in his bedding his therapists. In the last of the two formal sessions we learn a very key strategy of the Devil’s agenda. Lucifer Morningstar is confronted with the possibility that what is at the root of his anxiety is not that he seeks to punish the true wrong doer; as presented in the afterglow of their tryst; but rather his cognitive dissonance lies with his escalating desire to pursue justice and righteousness instead.
For the Biblically astute viewer this is a calculated re-branding of the Biblical version of who Lucifer truly is. For others, who are not as biblically informed, the implications are tragic. A Biblical reading portrays Lucifer as the rebellious archangel who was cast out of Heaven for openly rebelling against the authority of God. Resulting in him and one third of a confederacy of rebellious angels being cast to earth. Where he hates and torments humans as long as he is allowed to do so.
As described in Revelation 12:17 “Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
This harmonizes with the agenda of modern day Satanist. They promote a deceptive representation of who the Devil is. They openly deny and reject him to be real in any sense. They use his name and ancient image to represent their commitment to defy and rebel against any form of [tyrannical] authority. Along with social issues, they also direct their efforts against the Biblical God and His Son, Jesus Christ. They attempt to portray themselves as Humanist who seek higher truth by rejecting any form of supernatural authority. It is a ploy to distract possible converts and maintain allegiance from ardent anarchists.
Lucifer Morningstar is another attempt to misrepresent the Biblical truth of who Satan really is through mainstream media. The danger for the Christian is that as their children and grandchildren grow up as post-moderns in a post-Christendom culture they will have been incorrectly informed as to the Devils origin and agenda. They will have been educated by a source of information that is popular in today’s culture and speaks to their desire to be spiritual but not accountable to the God of Creation. They will not have a Biblical Christocentric worldview.
This is a clear and present danger for their souls. The response of the Church must be assertive and aggressive with denouncing such attempts to miss-educate people in our society of who the Devil is authentically – the very enemy of their souls.
I find what adds to the corruption of Christian education is a neglect to fully engage the Biblical narrative as it is depicted. Many times we focus upon the personal salvific event so much, that we subconsciously relegate the role and impact of the Devil to a mere mythical component of the story, rather than the strategic adversary he truly is. I suggest a more balanced approach wherein by understanding and respecting our enemy better, we will obtain a healthier dependency upon God and His Word to deliver us from the evil that is the Devil.
In fairness though, the discussion about the Devil and his role in the Bible is at times mysterious when you consider the moments where he is depicted as a mythological being. Such as in the Book of Revelation. John, the writer attributed to the book of Revelation describes the Devil as “the great dragon”, who was thrown down, “that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world –.” (Revelations 12:9)
In this narrative the Devil is in open rebellion — in a civil war against God — combatting the archangel Michael, not God directly. This indicates the inequality between the two.
“God far surpasses the dragon and therefore need not engage him directly. God’s subordinates can do the job. And so, in this case, God delegates the task of battling the dragon to the archangel Michael.” Dr. Brian Blount
The battle is initiated in Heaven. It is a place that is indescribable by exact location and proximity. There are no logistical markers for longitude or latitude, or altitude. It is in all intent and purposes a mythological place. It is at this point I’d like to make the assertion that most people when they read “mythological” they hear ‘untrue’, or ‘make-believe’. Even fantasy would be attributed to such a term.
What we fail to consider is that the idea of what is mythical in our minds: which are influenced by the Age of Empiricism and Industrialization as well as the European philosophers Rene Descartes, John Locke or David Hume, is not necessarily untrue in the mind of God – or the writers who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to make such assertions. The means by which one can gain confidence in such places or events is purely through the exercise of faith. A faith which is infused by the creative power and energy of Jesus Christ
It is only with such faith are we able to conceive how a war initiated and waged in Heaven is parallel to the historical events taking place in the dust bowl region of Palestine. One biblical commentator suggests the battle was initiated by the great dragon once Jesus was falsely accused, falsely imprisoned and inhumanely tortured.
In the mythological narrative, the dragon is depicted as standing in front of the birthing mother, waiting to “devour” the child that is to be the Christ. But he is thwarted, and the child is saved. In the historical narrative the puppet king, Herod, is attempting to devour the child who is to be the Messiah, the King of Israel, by sending his soldiers out to murder countless children two years and under. The child, Jesus — is whisked away to Egypt by his family which saves him from certain death.
Thirty-three years later, the defeat of the dragon was achieved simultaneously, at the moment Jesus ascended into heaven. The dragon was cast down as Jesus of Nazareth was snatched into the Throne Room of Heaven where He sits to this day, refuting the accusations of the deceiver of the whole world.
In short, both narratives, mythological and historical are played out in concurrence with one another. The implication for the Christian is significant. Understanding how these scenes intersect is crucial to appreciating their role in the story. For example, Michael is assigned to combat the great dragon in the mythological realm of Heaven, not Jesus. He is assigned to combat the Devil on the Cross.
In His submission to such a cruel and horrible death — in Jesus’ victory over death and the grave, through His resurrection and ascension into the mythical realm of Heaven, the Dragon is immediately cast out of the mythological realm into the historical realm, it is now the Church (man), the Christian, who must engage in warfare with him.
The wonderfully powerful and inspiring truth from this is that now, because of Jesus being historical and mythical, we are equipped to engage the Devil with a sure hope of victory. We are already victorious, because Jesus, our brother, has already defeated and destroyed the greatest tactic the Devil has at his disposal, our fear of death.
“Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by His death. By embracing death, taking it into Himself, He destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15 The Message Translation
My hope is that as we gain knowledge and understanding into what the Bible actually affirms about Jesus and the Devil, our faith and works will increase through our commitment to continue to fight the good fight of faith as good soldiers – onMission with Christ.
We must become nuanced in the schemes of the Devil so that as he seeks to continue destroying our families we may become more effective as forces of righteousness – proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Finally, we must hold fast to Jesus’ exhortation to His disciple Peter in Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
ΑΩ Rev. A. David Griffin, M.Div.