Have you ever been told that satan is the "god" of the underworld? Sort of like Rhome's pagan deity of the underworld, Pluto, and that like Pluto he reigns in She'owl, Hades, Hell, or whatever other name you desire to call the abode of the dead? Those that were told this and believe it probably also think he wears a red suit, has a tail and horns, and carries a pitchfork. Every time he comes around they expect to smell sulphur and they are very sure they would know who he was if they happened to run across him.
These people learned something like this at a very early age and have believed it ever since, and they have believed a lie. The reason they believe it is because they have never had a reason or desire to find out if it is true. In these times of the end we all now have good reason to doubt what we have been taught and discover the truth for ourselves instead of believing a man. It behooves every person to study scripture and find out exactly what to expect and who to look for. Satan has many guises and none of them are the ones reported by denominational preachers. Scripture teaches us that he appears as a "messenger of light" and people are going to think he is our Savior. Look around and see if anyone you know about exhibits those characteristics today. You may be surprised at what you discover.
The truth is that satan is the mighty one of this age, meaning he controls the world and the entire extant society (2 Korinthios [Corinthians] 4:1-4, Loukas [Luke] 4:6). He is referred to as the prince of the powers of the air (Ephesios [Ephesians] 2:2), as a roaring lion walking about seeking whom he may devour (1 Keph [Peter] 5:8), etc. He does NOT live in Hell (she'owl or hades), as that is the place of the dead, and he is definitely alive and well on this earth, and there is much scripture that shows that to be a fact.
Satan has been confined to the earth since he was kicked out of the celestial kingdom after the blood of our Savior was shed (Revelation 12). Until that time, he had full access to the throne of splendor and used that access to accuse the brothers of anything he thought he could make stick and a lot he knew he couldn't. After the high deputy Miyka'el (Michael) defeated him in battle, he lost that access, was confined to the earth, and his next stop is the abyss (Revelation 20), where he will be confined for a thousand years. After that, he will be released to work his evil again for a short while, only to be defeated again and that defeat will be forever, and he will be rewarded for his nefarious efforts in the lake of fire and brimstone with all of his cohorts, followers, and the disobedient for eternity.
Satan was created (as all other entities were) by the only true and living Mighty One of the universe, whose name is Yahuwah (yah-hoo-wah'). He was created as a beautiful keruwb (Yechezqe'l [Ezekiel] 28:1-19) with all kinds of abilities and powers. But he was disobedient to the will of Yahuwah. Because he did not give the splendor to Yahuwah, but tried to exalt himself, he lost all that was given to him. Now he is he leader of all others who would do the same thing and tries mightily and with much success to add to that number daily. Those who follow him, even unintentionally, will be with him in the lake of fire and brimstone. He will not be lonely.
Look around you at the state of this world. How can we tell that satan is in charge? The proof is all of the terrorism, war, crime, greed, and corruption that we see, you say? Not so!
Terrorism, war, crime, greed, and corruption are all definitely parts of the nature of those who are centered on themselves and following satan instead of being centered on the kingdom of Yahuwah, but that is not the primary indicator or proof of the control that satan has over the people of this world.
Satan, as stated above, was the first entity to be identified in scripture as being disobedient and in his visit to the garden he convinced Chawwah (Eve) to be disobedient also. What was her disobedience? She "ate of the tree" that Yahuwah had expressly declared to be off limits. Adam of course was in the sin also because he listened to his wife instead of Yahuwah. So they were both guilty of the sin of disobedience.
As you read through the scripture and consider the "sins" that the people committed, do you know exactly what it was that they were doing that was sinful? When you think about it, it should become obvious. It is the ONLY thing that is sin! No, it's not murder, idolatry, covetousness, etc., it is DISOBEDIENCE to the will of Yahuwah. Every sin of which you can possibly think, including those just mentioned above, comes under the heading of disobedience. Obedience to His will is what Yahuwah has stated as His requirement for fellowship with Him and that obedience has to be on His terms. We can do all kinds of things that WE think are right, but if He didn't set it out as part of His will, we are in disobedience.
There are sins of omission and there are sins of commission.
If He has told us to do something and we DON'T do it, that is the sin of omission. If He told us not to do something and we do it anyway, that is a sin of commission. These should be pretty obvious, and scripture is rife with examples. He has made it pretty plain what He does and doesn't want us doing in His name.
If He hasn't told us to do something and we take it upon ourselves to do it anyway, it is another sin of commission. While this one may not be as obvious, and some people will say that if He didn't specifically exclude something then it's okay, the evidence is that we must do things His way if they are to be accepted. An example is Mosheh (Moses) striking the rock to bring forth water. Yahuwah did not tell him to do that and it came under the heading of disobedience. For this sin Mosheh was not allowed entry into the Promised Land. (Bemidbar [Numbers] 20:7-12)
Many of those things that we do today seem to be in worship to Him, as there are elements of prayer, worship, etc., in them, but they are NOT things that He has directed us to do. These things are not to be found in scripture but only in the traditions of man. Also there are pagan deities that have received these same kinds of elements in pagan worship rituals. He has warned us about doing these kinds of heathen things and saying it is for Him, but are we listening? As a matter of fact, no, we are not. Very few people realize the sin of using the names pagan dieties and they do it daily whenever they mention a month of the year or a day of the week (see the articles Pagan Names of the Months and Pagan Names of the Weekdays.) They also fail to think about obeying the laws of man as a requirement of Yahuwah (see the article Man's Law.) Yet these types of disobedience count against them and will lead them to destruction just as will murder, homosexuality, or any other sin.
Additionally, much of what is truth has been counterfeited by satan for the express purpose of fooling those who would worship Yahuwah in spirit and in truth. When they observe these counterfeit things they are worshipping pagan deities and NOT the Eloah and Creator of the universe. He has some words about that too. He says don't do it. He will not forgive it or overlook it as you must know how to discern between what He has commanded and what satan is foisting off on us as His commandments.
Yahushua says very clearly that the doctrines that originate with man are NOT the doctrines or commandments of the Father (MattithYahuw [Matthew] 15:3-9). He quotes YashaYahuw [Isaiah] 29:13-14 in a way that leaves no doubt that Yahuwah is not happy about the turn of events. So if we follow the precepts of man that are not provable in scripture, are we guilty of this sin? Yes! We are then disobedient children and He will cast us behind His back. Our names will not be found in the book of life and we will go with satan to his final place (Revelation 20:15).
If we are doing something in His name that is not to be found in scripture, from where did the authority for that action come from? Not from Yahuwah, but from the counterfeits that satan has put out for us to trip over. Everything that we do and believe must be in accordance with the word of Yahuwah, or we will be found disobedient to the will of Yahuwah. If we are disobedient to the will of Yahuwah, we are being obedient to the will of satan, and are therefore his servants (Rhomaios [Romans] 6:16).
How does satan exert control over his world? He does NOT do it in a fashion that will let you see it for what it is. He will try to make you think that what you are looking at is right and good. In this way, good becomes bad, bad becomes good, right becomes wrong, and wrong becomes right. If you don't feel good about it, or it isn't something you like, are you likely to do it? Would you be his slave if you were aware that was what you were doing?
Looking around you at this world, can you see where the inversion of good and bad has taken place? Homosexuality was once considered by good and decent people to be the deviant behavior from the normal that it really is. Modern man now accepts it as an "alternate lifestyle" and television and other media are taking this message to the youth of this world. They will grow up thinking it's okay. There is much evidence that adherents to islam consider it to be a normal practice in their mosques even though their own book of satan is said to frown on it. Yahuwah still says it is an abomination to Him and those who practice it will NOT enter His kingdom.
Did you know that this pagan holiday is a variant of the name of the pagan female deity of Spring, Astarte? More variations of that name are Ashtaroth and Ashteroth. All of these names are the same pagan female deity and in scripture she is called "the queen of heaven." (See YirmeYahuw [Jeremiah] 7:18, 44:17-25) and that same title has been applied to the day on which many believe Yahushua rose and is also a title for the Mary of Roman Catholicism. Is this man's tradition? You bet it is! Does Yahuwah look with favor on those who follow these beliefs? No way! These people are not worshipping Him in spirit and in truth and will go into the lake with their master, satan. Yahushua tells us in scripture to remember His death until He comes, but gives us no command to annually celebrate His resurrection. There are those pagan deities who are counterfeits of Him whose "resurrections" are to be remembered in the fashion that Easter is celebrated today. One of these is Mithras. More on him later. Satan has very successfully used this pagan rite to divert people's attention from Passover and its meaning. The Roman Catholic Church even changed the method of the calendar calculation of the day of observance to get it away from, in their words, the "hateful Jewish festival" of Passover.
How did a bunny rabbit that distributes colored eggs get to be a part of a celebration of the resurrection of our Savior? Pagan beliefs and celebrations of the renewal of the year as Spring comes because they are symbols of fertility and rebirth.
Who can become a "saint?" Did you realize that anyone who is set apart, or sanctified, is a saint? That means that ALL those who obey the word of Yahuwah are set apart from this world and are saints in the kingdom. The Roman Catholic Church uses a whole different criterion for designating saints and it is not according to scripture. More traditions of man? Yes! Instituted by satan? Yes!
All Hallows Eve. The day before All Saints Day. The Roman Catholic Church has many feast days on its calendar for the plethora of saints she has designated. Unhappily she has more saints than there are days in the year. This day, All Saints Day, is to make sure that every saint has a feast day, even if it isn't named especially for him/her. On this day, according to the pagan belief, all of the evil spirits are locked up for another year. This was a good reason for the Catholic Church to pick this particular day for this feast. It is another festival that they could use to lure more pagans into their church. It worked, and when those pagans came in, they brought all of their pagan beliefs with them. According to them, all spirits, good and bad, were released to do whatever they wanted to the night before, thus Halloween. Should a Christian be observing this day? No! It comes under the heading of "doing as the heathen do." (2 Kings 17:15, YirmeYahuw 10:1-5) Note that what the heathen were doing was being disobedient to the words and will of Yahuwah. In this they were following their master, satan, and if we do what they do he will be our master too.
When was Yahushua born? What does scripture say? Does it identify the day or time of year? If the day of His birth had been important, don't you think scripture would have been clear as to what day it was? I am sure of it!
Even though scripture does not tell the day or season, there are some clues that are readable. The statement about the "shepherds in the fields at night" is one of the best clues. It is well known in Yisra'el that the sheep were brought indoors (into a stable, usually a grotto) at night during the cold months of the year. The shepherds did not stay outdoors with them because it gets pretty cold there in the winter. Snow, ice, and all of the other cold things that are normally associated with winter. Yet there were those shepherds camping out in the fields with their sheep (Loukas 2:8). This is pretty strong evidence that December 25th is NOT the birthday of Yahushua. Not only were the shepherds in the fields with the flocks, the stable where He was born was empty and so provided the room for His birth. Besides that, where in scripture are we told to celebrate His birthday? There is no excuse for this either! There was someone whose birthday was stated to be December 25th. That person was Mithras, the pagan "god" who was murdered in a bloody fashion and then was resurrected as the savior of "his" people. Another counterfeit!
The many elements of this modern pagan celebration come from a variety of pagan religions. The Yule log, Christmas tree, hanging sharp-leafed wreaths in windows, lighting candles, gift giving, etc., are a compendium of several different pagan religions and celebrations. The point is that they are ALL pagan rituals and practices. (Satan stays busy!) But isn't all that stuff fun? Of course it is. That should be a clue that something may be wrong here. Not everything that is fun is of satan of course, but everything that purports to be of Yahuwah without Yahuwah saying it is from Him and is fun most likely is of satan. Teach the children the truth while they are children and don't let them get this pagan tradition instilled in them as being about our Savior. It is not.
What day did Yahuwah hallow and sanctify? (B'ereshiyth [Genesis] 2:2-3) For what reason did He hallow and sanctify it? (Shemot [Exodus] 31:13) What did He later say to the children of Yisra'el about the day? (Shemot 20:8-11) For how long did He intend for this covenant of the day that He hallowed and sanctified to last? (Shemot 31:16) That day is NOT the venerable day of the sun, or Sunday, as so many people believe and practice today. Whether or not someone keeps His day is one sure way to recognize those who are in obedience to Yahuwah or if they are in obedience to satan.
So the major evidence that satan is the "god" of this world and is in control is not the terrorism, war, crime, greed, and corruption that we see all around us, but is the disobedience to Yahuwah of the practicing of heathen rites and rituals that are being called Christian. Satan has put everything he can in front of us to see what we would take and what we would reject. Those things we kept he has reinforced and made more pleasurable so that we would not see that they are in fact flagrant disobedience to the will and word of Yahuwah.
Satan has used his most effective tool, the whore of Babel (Babylon), better known as the Roman Catholic Church, to place his doctrines in front of mankind. In many cases the choice had to be made whether to submit to that organization or die. Those who truly loved the truth died. They are called martyrs and are currently under the altar waiting for the day of Yahushua to arrive (Revelation 6:9) and that day is rapidly approaching.
When that day arrives, will you be found doing those things Yahuwah has directed? Or will you be obeying satan?
The choice is yours.