- Christogenea Saturdays
Addressing Charles Weisman’s What About the Seedline Doctrine? Part 6, Demons, Devils and Satyrs
Once again we had many extemporaneous comments and explanations, and not all of them made it into our notes.
In our last presentation we came to the end of chapter 2 of Weisman’s book, and saw in one of his arguments towards the end of his section subtitled “The Enmity” that Weisman agreed with us when he tried to explain it. He admitted that the serpent was an intelligent individual, a person, who had its own order in the world which was contrary to the order of God. Of course, this could not be true of a simple snake created on the 5th day of Genesis chapter 1. So Weisman admitted that the basis for our so-called Two-Seedline belief is true, while at the same time he continued to deny Two-Seedline.
Now we begin to shall address chapter 3 of Charles Weisman’s book, which is simply titled “The Serpent”. Here he offers a lot of conjecture and what we may consider to be straw man arguments, however some Two-Seedline teachers or pastors of the past did indeed hold at least some of the more absurd concepts which Weisman argues against. Once again, I believe we shall see that Weisman’s arguments have no merit once we explain the basis for what we believe. Because this is probably the most important chapter in his book, we may present and address every single paragraph, so that none of our detractors can claim we purposely missed anything which they may then imagine that we cannot answer.
Page 18, beginning the chapter “Identifying the Serpent”
Weisman opens by stating that:
The identity and nature of the serpent of Genesis 3 is undoubtedly a central issue in determining the validity of the Satanic Seedline doctrine. If we knew for sure who or what this serpent was, many of the questions and arguments surrounding this topic might be resolved.
We have seen that the serpent of Genesis 3 represents several things: (1) sin, (2) death, (3) deception, (4) flesh nature, (5) opposition to God, (6) political power, (7) evil, (8) a satanic kingdom, and (9) temptation. We have also seen how these things were overcome by Christ, or destroyed by His death and resurrection. But what, exactly, was the serpent?
Now, as we have explained laboriously, Weisman has claimed that all the power of Satan, and Satan himself, was eliminated at the crucifixion of Christ, and here, in part, he bases his first argument on that claim. But we have shown that claim to be wrong. Men still sin, men still die, men are still deceived, men still have fleshly nature, men still very often oppose God, etc. We have also shown that the Revelation and the letters of the apostles also explained that long after the crucifixion of Christ, evil powers would still be in the world, and that Satan would continue to persecute the children of God.
But just because the serpent can be said to represent “fleshly nature” does not mean that fleshly nature belongs exclusively to the serpent, so Weisman adds another layer of deception to his argument, and the significance of this particular false premise will become evident later in his book. Neither is opposition to God exclusive to the serpent, as even many well-meaning men have sinned without its help. The fact is that Yahweh God himself created the flesh, and He called it good. So all of Weisman’s arguments in this chapter are founded on these and other false premises.
Continuing with Weisman, he mixes the absurd with the hypothetical:
There is no agreement by Bible authorities as to the actual identity of the serpent. Some say it was a literal snake. Some say the term is symbolic of some evil agency or power; others say the term is used figuratively to describe the character of some person. Some have said it is the devil or a demon within an ordinary snake, or that the snake is being used as the tool or instrument of Satan. Some say the serpent of the garden is man’s sense [of] consciousness, and may be called desire, sensation and temptation. It thus was the carnal nature of Eve speaking to her or leading her to sin. Proponents of the Satanic Seedline doctrine claim it is Satan incarnate, or a supernatural spirit being appearing in a visible form. Most authorities seem to think it was a literal serpent with some other element involved.
Here Weisman did not even mention what we believe the serpent to have been, although we shall explain ourselves later. However we certainly cannot expect the Bible to give us a name, address, pedigree, maybe even a photo ID card for the serpent. In the end, we do know what the serpent is, and the information we have is sufficient. But Weisman continues to contend with the issue:
The serpent of Eden is sometimes called “the Tempter,” an upright creature that became a writhing snake only after God cursed it. History reveals that this serpent has been a subject of stories, conjecture, and legends for millennia, due to its ancient origin in Scripture.
Now Weisman did not include this in his introductory paragraph repeating what “some say”. Rather, it is a statement he himself makes in response to his exclamation of what “some say”. Simply because the Bible identifies an entity in allegory does not mean that the description is physically literal, and we do not accept the notion that any “upright creature” was magically turned into a snake. But we will continue with the paragraph:
The word “serpent” in the Bible is derived from the Hebrew word nachash (#5175) and means “to make a hissing sound.” The term carries the connotation of enchantment or magic.
Here Weisman cites the Wycliffe Bible Commentary, with which we do not necessarily agree. Once we remove the vowel points of the Masoretic rabbis, we see that there are a handful of meanings to the word נחש, or nachash. Originally these were all one word, but the rabbis added vowel points to distinguish different meanings or parts of grammar, where in ancient times such distinctions did not exist. The vowel points represent the opinions of the rabbis, and not necessarily the original Hebrew. Of the various meanings of nachash, one is to make a hissing sound, but another is to shine, another is enchantment, to practice enchantment or to use augury, to forebode or divine, and then an omen or augury, another is serpent, and yet another is copper or brass. A derivative of this word was used to describe the brass serpent which Moses made in the desert in Numbers 21:9, which was also called a seraph in Hebrew in Numbers 21:8. All of these definitions are found in Strong’s #’s 5172 through 5180, but here I have taken Gesenius’ definitions. In any event, there is an apparent connection in ancient Hebrew language between the concept of a serpent, enchantments, things which shine and things made of brass.
Paul seems to have made a play on these diverse meanings of the word where he said that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light”, in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. As we have already seen, the word nachash may also mean to shine. Continuing with Weisman, he cites verse 3 of that chapter, but he conveniently omits any mention of verse 14:
That the serpent was “more subtle than any beast of the field" may indicate a type of craftiness and cunning that can influence and deceive, something a mere animal would not possess. Serpents are also used proverbially for wisdom (Matt. 10:16). Paul’s reference to the serpent (2 Cor. 11:3) gives no insight to its identity, only its ability to deceive.
Weisman has already admitted that the serpent was no mere animal, and we certainly agree. But here again, serpent is only an allegory, meaning that this serpent was wiser than all of the beings which Yahweh had created. But that does not mean that the serpent was only one of the snakes that Yahweh had created. Neither is the ability to deceive unique to the serpent, however the serpent is certainly imbued with a deceptive character, which is also evident in some of the Hebrew definitions of the term.
However Paul, by mentioning Satan “transformed into an angel of light” just after he used the seduction of Eve as an allegory for the loss of virginity, identified the serpent for us, but Weisman ignored his identification. And if that Satan which seduced Eve was an angel who appeared to her as an angel of light, it must have been a fallen angel, as we read in the epistles of the other apostles and in the Revelation. So Weisman knows the story, but he is refusing to put it together, preferring to deny it instead. Doing that, he must have had an agenda.
It is not likely we can, for certain, ever deduce what this serpent was, or from where it came. But we should not think of this as a barrier in determining the validity of the Satanic Seedline doctrine, anymore than our inability to fully understand the nature of God keeps us from understanding doctrines which involve the Deity. There are many things in Scripture we may not fully understand but we can determine if they are being properly used or applied. Thus the serpent’s true identity would be helpful, but it is not essential for determining if the doctrines in which it is involved are scripturally sound.
But we do know where the serpent came from, because the apostles and the Revelation tell us where the serpent came from. We are also told explicitly by Christ that these things were not revealed in Moses, so that they may be revealed in Him. The Christian who believes Christ accepts the evidence that Christ presents. Later, Weisman uses sophistic arguments to dismiss that evidence or pervert the intentions of the New Testament writers.
But here we would agree in part with Weisman’s conclusion, that the Bible identifies the serpent sufficiently, and that there are other things in Scripture which we can not fully understand, but which we can accept from what little understanding we do have. However the examples Weisman makes from it go off in the wrong direction, and that is probably also purposeful.
Page 19: Continuing with Weisman, under the subtitle “The Serpent, Devil, and Satan”:
The serpent is often identified with the terms “Satan” or “the Devil.” This has caused much confusion about the true nature and identity of the serpent. This is especially so since the terms “devil” and “satan” are used in Scripture several different ways, and are ascribed to many different things or persons. The terms are not used exclusively in reference to the serpent. In Scripture the terms “devil” and “satan” are used as follows:
In the Old Testament the word for satan (#7854) means opponent, adversary, accuser, to attack.
The Angel of God was an “adversary” (satan, 7854) to Balaam (Num. 22:22,32).
David was referred to as a satan (adversary) to the Philistines (1 Sam. 29:4).
The LORD caused Hadad the Edomite to be an adversary (satan) unto Solomon (1 Kings 11:14); and He also made Reson the son of Eliadah a satan (adversary) to Israel (1 Kings 11:23-25).
God is referred to as “Satan,” who stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel (1 Chr. 21:1; 2 Sam. 24:1).
To interrupt Weisman’s list, We agree with this, but not all opponents, adversaries, accuser or attackers are also serpents or Satan. It is also not certain that God Himself was the Satan who provoked David to number Israel. While the condensed account in 2 Chronicles says “Satan stood up against Israel” to provoke David to have a census, it would be better to read “An adversary stood up against Israel”. The text of the opening verse of 2 Samuel chapter 24, an account which is out of the chronology and is therefore a later addition, says “1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.” But we are not told how Yahweh moved David to do this, and an adversary may have been used as the vehicle by which Yahweh had this done. But we cannot imagine that God is Satan.
The difference between Satan, with a capital ‘s’, denoting a particular Satan for which reason we prefer to translate it as Satan in that manner, and an adversary who may be just about anyone, is in what is called a Substantive. In Hebrew or Greek Substantives are quite common. For instance, in Genesis chapter 1 where the Hebrew reads adam it is usually translated as man. But where it says eth-ha-adam it is properly the name of a particular man, which is Adam with a capital ‘a’. The phrase eth-ha-adam is a Substantive, a group of words of which none may even be nouns by themselves, but which are used as a noun, and often, as in the case of eth-ha-adam, a proper noun.
By itself, the Hebrew word satan is only a common noun, which means adversary, but where it’s Greek equivalent is used with the definite article it is a Substantive, referring to a particular adversary, and for that reason it is often translated as Satan. This is also the case where we see the word Satan appear in the King James Version in Job chapters 1 and 2, and in Zechariah chapter 3. But that does not mean that the particular Satan referenced by each writer is a supernatural or spiritual entity.
Weisman continues his list with another word, but returns to Satan later:
The Greek word for “devil” is diabolos (#1228). People who are “slanderers” are called a diabolos (1 Tim. 3:11).
People are called diabolos (devil) who are “false accusers” (Titus 2:3; 2 Tim. 3:3).
And these statements are true. The Greek adjective διάβολος describes an accuser, but was used when the accusations were understood to be false, so it implies a false accuser, and for that reason it is translated in that manner in the Christogenea New Testament. There is another noun which also means accuser, which is κατήγορος, which also appears in reference to Satan in Revelation chapter 12. But in that same chapter of the Revelation, we see that διάβολος and κατήγορος are each accompanied with definite articles, so they function as Substantives describing a particular accuser, or false accuser. There they are also equated with other nouns which are also written as Substantives.
Throughout the Greek of the New Testament, we see another title, lord, which is usually translated from the word κύριος, which is also an adjective that describes someone or something that has power or authority. But when it is used with a definite article, it becomes a noun, referring to a particular lord, and in most contexts it is Lord in reference to God or Christ, where we usually write it with a capital letter or letters. Weisman is not explaining the distinction of the Substantive when it accompanies these words, and therefore he is only telling half of the story.
He continues with his examples for διάβολος:
Diabolos (devil) is used for evil spirits (Acts 10:38).
Now this is true, that in Acts 10:38 it certainly is referring to what must be an evil spirit, a demon, as a devil. There it says: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” One 6th century Uncial manuscript, the Codex Laudianus, actually wrote the word for Satan instead, but I would not encourage the change even though it is accurate. More importantly, once again Weisman misses the fact that in Acts 10:38 the reference is a Substantive, and refers to a particular devil.
However as I have already said, usually the Greek word for demon is employed in such contexts, so evidently Luke sought to associate them in his writing this passage. Usually, however, the King James Version translated both διάβολος and δαίμων or its diminutive form, δαιμόνιον, as devil, which is a cause for confusion even if demons are devils, and sometimes devils are demons. Comparing the Greek, embodied devils are almost always false accusers, the word being διάβολος, and disembodied devils are demons, the word being δαίμων or δαιμόνιον. Acts 10:38 is one exception.
Continuing with the last of Weisman’s examples for διάβολος:
Christ called Judas a devil (John 6:70,71).
But where Christ called Judas a devil, in John chapter 6, there is no definite article. So Christ was not calling Judas The Devil. Rather, he was only calling him a devil, and while it is significant, it does not eliminate the possibility that The Devil is a particular entity. In fact, it helps to prove it once the reasons for Christ having called Judas that are made evident. Up to this point, Judas had made no accusations, and no sin was imputed to him, so Christ, not being a false accuser, must have had some other, tangible reason for calling Him that, as He said it openly before all of His disciples.
Here TruthVids had asked a question which beckoned an extemperaneous discussion about the Hebrew words which are translated as devil in the Old Testament. There are two, shed (Strong’s # 7700), which is a n evil spirit, a demon, and satyr (Strong’s # 8163), which was also the word for goat. So in Greek mythology the Satyr was a half-man, half-goat creature which constantly engaged in revelry and had an insatiable sexual appetite. The conversation inspired the revised subtitle for today’s presentation.
Now Weisman continues his list by returning to examples for Satan:
Christ called Peter Satan (Matt. 16:23).
This is also true, but again, in Greek, there is no definite article, so Peter is not The Satan, or a particular Satan. Rather, Peter was expressing a will contrary to what Christ had already told him was the Will of God, so Christ referred to Peter as satan, or adversary, in an exclamation for that reason, because Peter was acting as an adversary to God by denouncing the Will of God in preference to his own will.
Also notice that here in his book, Weisman used “Satan” with a capital ‘s’ to describe what Yahshua had called Peter.
Continuing with Weisman’s list:
A person who is an enemy in war is a satan or adversary (1 Kings 5:4).
An accuser before the judgment-seat is called satan (Psa. 109:6; Zech. 3:1).
A person that is an opponent or enemy is called satan (2 Sa. 19:22); or devil (Matt. 13:39; 1 Pet. 5:8).
All of this is fine, and mostly true. Weisman’s failure to consider the Substantive is leading him to the point of deceit. In his examples from Zechariah, Matthew and 1 Peter the word for devil is part of a Substantive which makes it a noun that refers to a particular adversary, Satan, and not just any earthly opponent.
But now notice that here in his book, in these examples Weisman used “satan” with a small ‘s’, where when he used it of Peter he used a capital ‘s’. But where Christ called Peter “satan”, there is no definite article in Greek, so He used the term as a common noun and not as a proper noun. Yet in these other examples which Weisman cites, there often is a definite article, and Weisman is purposely obfuscating the difference so that he can continue to prevent men from finding the truth.
Now coming to the last two examples in Weisman’s list, he returns again to διάβολος, or devil:
Man’s carnal nature is the devil (James 4:7; Eph. 4:27).
Here, just like a serpent, Charles Weisman very subtly introduces an idea that is not represented in the texts of the passages which he cites. Weisman says “man’s carnal nature is the devil”, but that is not what James or Paul are saying. Just as he attributed fleshly nature to the devil earlier in the chapter, as if man does not have his own independent fleshly nature, Weisman is adding his own concepts into Scripture as a trap so that he can deceive his reader as his argument progresses. He is seducing the mind so that later, he can spring the hoax that the flesh is the devil upon his readers.
In James chapter 4, after warning about those who pray to satisfy their own lusts, we read: “4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
There is nowhere that James says the devil is one’s “fleshly nature”. Rather, the devil could certainly be an entity in the world which seduces men to lust. That could describe any panderer. In fact, that describes the world today as we see it on the Internet, in the media, in the arts and advertisements and sports and entertainments, where pornography is rampant, youth is worshiped, and idolatry is everywhere. As Paul explains in Romans chapters 6 and 7, following the desires of the flesh lead one to sin, but that does not make the flesh itself the devil. It makes no sense for James to have meant “Resist the flesh, and the flesh will flee from you”, but that is certainly what Weisman implied.
Likewise, in Ephesians chapter 4, after Paul discussed the sinful Israelites of old and how they were alienated from God and took to all sorts of pagan perversions, we read “20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.”
As it was in James, the word διάβολος is accompanied by a definite article, referring to a particular Accuser. But if we are all in the flesh, and we are all tried by the flesh as Paul also explained in Hebrews and in Romans and elsewhere, how do we not “give place to the flesh”? Yet a little further on, in chapter 5, Paul spoke of “6… the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” Paul went on not to speak of converting them, but of reproving them, and said “12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” As we have said, it is the gospel of Christ which is meant to separate the Wheat from the Tares, and tares do not become wheat by hearing the Gospel.
Here there was another extemporaneous conversation. We see in Romans chapter 1, in the words of Paul at the end of that chapter, a list of sins which corrupt men and women become engaged in, and Paul explains that not only those committing them, but those who are approving of those sins are equally as guilty. The historical pattern of the Jew, or of all enemies of God, is to coax men into sin, or to get them to approve of sin, and once they are guilty of the sin through either commission or acceptance of it, they cast false accusations upon those who resist the sin. Hence the word diabolos, or false accuser, is an accurate label for them.
So why did Paul write later in that same epistle to the Ephesians, in chapter 6, “11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The enemy is fleshly, but the enemy is not merely the flesh. Otherwise, did Paul mean that we put on the whole armor of God “… to stand against the wiles of the flesh. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood”? That too is ridiculous. Paul was not referring to mere flesh where he said “Neither give place to the devil.” Rather, he was referring to those same earthly entities whom we should wrestle against, “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Now Weisman has one more item in his list:
Oppressive governmental authorities are the devil (Eph. 6:11,12; Rev. 2:10).
And this too is a lie, because it is an oversimplification. In fact, in Romans chapter 13 Paul described how governments also serve the will of God as He uses them to punish disobedient men.
But we shall continue with this thought in the next portion of our series addressing Weisman’s book.