We see in the leaflet no.14 that Satan is an adaptation of the Hebrew word HA-SHATAN. That is, when we read the word Satan in the Bible, Satan is the original word, not translated. When we read ADVERSARY, it is the Hebrew word translated into Portuguese, for HA-SHATAN MEANS ADVERSARY. But we ask: Who is Satan? A spirit? A man with a goat’s head? An angel fallen from heaven? A filthy demon? But…who is Satan? Satan is the personification of evil in all its forms. It is the enemy of all good and truth, and so the word SATAN means adversary. It is the infirmity of the body and of the soul of the living. It is the addiction, drug, alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana. It is the thief of souls. It is the crime, immorality, violence, and rape. It is the author of mental and moral deformities that infect and destroy human society. It is the one who instills venomous poison that destroys businesses, marriages, harmony, peace, and the love between brothers. It is the adversary of honor, dignity, faithfulness, nobleness, good habits, proper speech, filial respect, and of all that is contrary to the gifts of virtue. Satan is a king, the king of the dung heap and garbage, the king of the kingdom of death, as we read in the letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 2:14-15). Satan is the “boss” in hell, and tries to make the life of the Christians into a living hell so that they may turn back from their faith. Jesus declared that Satan is the thief and robber (John 10:10). God the Father is good (Matt. 19:16-17). The Father God is love (1 John 4:7-8), and Satan is the opposite of God. The reader, though, will be thinking: This explanation is not convincing. There might be other mysteries concerning this character. Would Satan be a figment of men’s imagination to justify his malignant works? Would Satan be a weapon of religion to repress the excesses of human cruelty and madness? The Holy Scripture provides us with enlightening details about Satan:
1. 6,000 years ago, this world was already inhabited by billions of people. Science, anthropology, and also archeology prove this. Then Jehovah God planted a private garden, very specially designed, and watered by four rivers. He caused to grow there all kinds of trees that were pleasant to the eyes and good for food. In the center of the garden he planted special trees: the tree of life, and the tree of the science of good and evil. He formed a man from the dust of the earth and placed him in the garden to cultivate it and keep it. Jehovah, in the evenings, walked in this garden. The entrance to this garden was barred to the men who lived outside, for they were primitive people who lived in caverns. But Jehovah placed inside the garden a venomous serpent to destroy man (Gen. 3:1-6). Would the malignant serpent be an instrument of Jehovah placed in the Garden to destroy man? (Rev. 12:9).
2. Will Satan be the driving force of Jehovah to incite the practice of evil? In 2 Sam. 24:1 we read: “Again the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’” We also read in 1 Chr. 21:1: “Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.” Who was against Israel? Jehovah or Satan? The truth is that, when Jehovah is against, Satan is also against, and when Satan is against, Jehovah is against, too. Is it not what is written in the book of Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-7? They are one. The paradox is that the law of Jehovah is against his people (Deut. 31:26). Nehemiah confirms this truth (Neh. 9:34). The Law accuses, and does not defend. As Moses was the mediator between Jehovah and Israel at the time when he pronounced the Law on Sinai, Jesus says that Moses is the accuser, but in reality, the accuser is the author of the Law: Jehovah (Jo. 5:45).
3. Who is Satan? He is the one who sits on the throne of the empire of death, whose author was Jehovah when he gave the Law on Sinai. Paul expresses himself in this manner: “Who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory?” (2 Cor. 3:6-8; Heb. 2:14). This empire of Satan, founded by Jehovah in the Garden of Eden when he said, “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17), this death of Jehovah, passed on as an inheritance to all men (Rom. 5:12). There was either an agreement between Satan and Jehovah to establish this empire, or Jehovah fell into the trap of the devil. It seems improbable, for Jehovah was the one who introduced Satan in the Garden. It was his plan (Gen. 3:1).
4. We insist in the question: Who is Satan, finally? Satan was the one who offered, in an act of temptation, all the kingdoms of this world, and its glory; kingdoms which Jehovah had prophetically offered to the messiah in Ps. 2:7-8. Jehovah prophesied, and Satan fulfilled the prophecy. They are allied.
5. Satan is the devouring lion of those Christians that are not watchful (1 Pet. 5:8). In reality, Satan is only imitating another devouring lion that devoured the entire kingdom of Israel in one attack: “Therefore I am like a lion to them. Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path. I will meet them like a bear that is bereaved of her cubs, and will tear the covering of their heart. There I will devour them like a lioness. The wild animal will tear them” (Hos. 13:7-8). “They will walk after Jehovah, who will roar like a lion” (Hos. 11:10). “The lion has roared. Who will not fear? The Lord Yahweh has spoken. Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8). There are two lions, and two ravenous appetites. Jehovah’s is the strongest: “Jehovah’s sword is filled with blood. It is covered with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for Jehovah has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom” (Is. 34:6).
6. Jehovah and Satan worked in such a united and joint way, that the angel of Jehovah, that should try to save the prophet Balaam from his madness, approached and then Jehovah “was angry because he was going, and the angel of Jehovah took his stand in the way as an adversary” (Num. 22:22). The Hebrew original registers ha-shata, which is Satan. Balaam could not see the angel, or Satan, only the donkey saw him. Further ahead Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam, who saw the angel of Jehovah (Num. 22:31). And the angel said to him: “The angel of Jehovah said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come forth as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me” (Num. 22:32).
In the New Testament the Father God sent his only begotten Son to destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8), to deliver from the devil — or Satan (Acts 26:18), and to strengthen Christians so they can overcome Satan (James 4:7). But Jehovah used the devil to torment his people. In a prophecy against Israel the prophet Amos cried out: “Though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out there; and though they be hidden from my sight in the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them” (Amos 9:3). In the book of Revelations we read that the serpent is Satan (Rev. 12:9). Satan is, therefore, the servant of Jehovah. If Job lived in the days after Christ, he would not have suffered what he did, for it was a matter of calling on the name of Christ and, in a blow, Satan would disappear. Only the smell of brimstone would remain, and that is also present in the destroying fire of Jehovah (Gen. 19:24).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira