Chapter 52 - Does Satan Transform Into Light?
Who Is The Angel Of Light?
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
In this passage, Paul uses the Greek word satanas. He does not use it as a name for a cosmic entity. Satanas corresponds to the Hebrew word for adversary. The reference is to Jewish adversaries who are men and this is made clear by noting the statement in verse 13 that boldly accuses certain men of being false and deceitful. These adversaries make themselves out to be messengers of truth by making people think they are serving Messiah and teaching His truth. It is likely here that Paul would be referring to a specific adversarial individual. Remember, satanas simply speaks of an adversarial person most times. And an angel is simply a human messenger in many cases. Perhaps that person is a Chief Priest. Many of the religious leaders were called angels. This angel/messenger would be seen as being the head of others who follow his line of doctrine. His line of doctrine opposed the truth the Apostles were disseminating therefore that messenger/angel was a satan. The “satan” has “ministers” who are men that also come off as if they are apostles of Messiah. Paul is speaking about false apostles who deceive and then, if we are honest with the context and the cultural understanding the audience would have had, Paul said, “for no wonder there are deceiving false apostles, because even the religious adversary gives off the appearance of teaching truth and so do the followers of that false teacher.”
According to a further statement by Paul, he did not think these “ministers” were a cosmic archenemy, rather he knew they were manipulative, deceptive men. Notice below in the sentences following the statement about a messenger of light, Paul tells the Corinthians the messenger who is a deceitful worker is a man.
For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 2Corinthians 11:20
Paul calls the people who transform themselves into ministers of righteousness frauds. This type of “satan” and “minister of righteousness” is seen far-and-wide today. How many charlatan evangelists have come and gone? The ministers of light that fill the airwaves today are false apostles and satans. They pretend to be pure and righteous, preaching parts of the true message of the Scripture but really just building a following because of their lust for power and need to be “someone.” According to Paul, these men are either “satan” or the deceptive ministers of lies who have made themselves out to be the servants of the Most High. Paul had no small understanding of these men because he knew that if anyone taught something that was man-made doctrine and opposed the truth of Scripture, there was no light in them.
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Those who are transformed into messengers of light and ministers of righteousness are the deceptive men who teach the unsuspecting laity their version of the truth … ignoring God’s version of the truth.
One final point on this foolishness that suggest there is a Satan who can turn himself into an angel of light needs to be made here. If this Satan is able to transform himself into another form, then Satan is able to do a supernatural act like God. God said there is none like Him, yet if Satan can do the things that God can do, then there is one like God. That then means believers in a literal Satan are really believers in two Gods. We are up against the hard facts that then reveal there are two Gods and the God of the Scriptures is a liar or we have built a mythical Satan into a real being in our belief system. I suggest the latter on this one. It seems many of have unwittingly found themselves believing in a second lesser god. If the Satan and the ministers of righteousness in this statement of Paul’s are only men who are deceptive and false apostles, then we find Paul not to be a believer in two Gods. And you and I can eliminate a two God belief, as was the intent of the Scriptures in the first place.
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