Satan, the Super Creature

Idolatry
Evil King
 

Idolatry

Manasseh
Idolatry in Judah Before the Fall
Eating Food Sacrificed to Idols
Idolatry in the Church Age

Manasseh

After Hezekiah recovered from the Sin Leading to Death, he set about destroying the high places of idolatry in the land (2 Ki 18:4).  However, he didn't make a clean sweep. When he died, his son Manasseh became king at age 12 (2 Ki 21:1).  He was naïve and fell in with the degenerate leaders who had almost destroyed his father's reign.  The priests and prophets were drunks, and the government leaders were scorners (Isa 28:7, 14).  Satan was able to influence him to rebuild the high places that his father had destroyed and to introduce new forms of idolatry throughout the Land.
2 Kings 21:3
For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
Manasseh built altars for Baal and Asherah like King Ahab of Israel had done (1 Kings 16:32-33).  In addition to the idolatry of Baal and Asherah, Manasseh introduced a new kind of idolatry from Assyria or Babylon.  This was star worship based on Babylonian Astrology in which Satan named the planets after his gods.  They worshipped "all the host of heaven," meaning the Sun, Moon, and planets in conjunction with the signs of the Zodiac.
2 Kings 21:4-5
4  He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem I will put My name."
5 For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
Manasseh built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the Temple in Jerusalem.  He placed the altars in the Outer Court and the Holy Place.  This was an abomination which defiled the Temple.
2 Kings 21:6
And he made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with necromancers (mediums) and wizards.  He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger.
Manasseh sacrificed his son to Moloch, like King Ahaz had done (2 Kings 16:3).  He practiced all kinds of witchcraft and divination and used advisors who were necromancers (mediums) and wizards.  This involved consulting demons in the occult.  Note, the various words for witchcraft can be translated different ways.  Satan was running the show.  He had secured a seat in the Temple, had the mind of the king, and openly exhibited demonic powers.

Moloch was a Canaanite idol who was one of the forms of Baal.  He was represented with a bull's head, outstretched arms, and a hollow body in the form of a stove for burning children.  Children were slaughtered and then sacrificed by being burned in the fire of Moloch (Ezek. 16:20, 21; 20:31; Jer. 32:35; 2 Kings 23:10; 16:3; 17:17; 21:6, cf. Ps. 106:37, 38).  "Passing through the fire" meant purification by fire.  Generally, the children simply passed through the fire without being burned as a type of fire-baptism in devotion to Moloch.  Although there were times, as in the last days of the Client Nation, when children were actually slaughtered and burned.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 Prohibition Against Demonism
10  There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter in the fire; anyone who practices divination, who practices witchcraft, an augur, or a sorcerer,
11  or one who casts a spell, or one who calls up a familiar spirit (a medium), or a wizard, or one who consults the dead (necromancer).
The idolatry involving burning children in the fire along will all forms of divination and witchcraft through demons was prohibited by the Mosaic Law.  Violation carried the death penalty (Lev. 20:2, 3, 6).

Manasseh put a carved idol of Asherah in the Temple, which was an abomination (2 Ki 21:7).

2 Kings 21:9
But they did not listen (to the Law), and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.
The people would not obey the Mosaic Law in the time of Manasseh, who seduced them to do more evil than the Canaanites who were before them.

Because of the idolatry of Manasseh in the Land, the Lord decreed that He would destroy the Southern Kingdom of Judah (2 Ki 21:10-15).

Idolatry in Judah Before the Fall

After Manasseh the Southern Kingdom of Judah continued in its idolatry and evil practices.  Satan's attack on Judah was intense and the evil in the Land was rampant.  Bible Doctrine taught by Jeremiah was rejected and the ministry of the Temple was full of empty ritual.  The Land suffered under economic depression, and the army was neglected for peace deals.  At the same time idolatry was thriving.  The Lord looked down and saw it in the streets of Jerusalem and said:
Jeremiah 7:17-18
17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather sticks, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven, and they pour out drink-offerings to other gods, to provoke Me to anger.
Idolatry was a family affair.  The fathers, mothers, and children were caught up in it.  They baked cakes for the "Queen of Heaven," who was probably Astarte.  Astarte was the goddess of love who came in from Syria.  She was called Ashtoreth by the Phoenicians and other Canaanites, and she was symbolized by the Morning Star as well as the Moon at times.  Her real name doesn't matter because it was a lie anyway.  "Queen of Heaven" designates her as the demon spirit of the Prostitute of Babylon.  She was no different from the High Priestess of Babylon, who cohabited with demons.

Astarte was worshipped in Jerusalem by the phallic cult, by sacrifices and offerings and pouring out libations (Jer 44:17-19, 25).  The worship ceremony brought the people into contact with the demons of the Prostitute of Babylon.  At a time when the nation was going down in the Cycles of National Punishment, the people were caught up in the demon power of idolatry.

The worship of other gods provoked the Lord to anger (Judg 2:12 1 Ki 14:9, 15; 16:33; 22:54 2 Ki 17:11; 23:19 2 Ch 28:25 Je 7:18, 19; 11:17; 32:29, 32; 44:3 Ezek 8:17; 16:26 Is 65:3 Ho 12:15).  The punishment upon the nation of Judah for idolatry would be severe.  The Chaldeans would be brought in to destroy the nation.

Jeremiah 7:20
Therefore, thus says the Lord God, "Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched."
The Lord's punishment for idolatry will be upon man and animals, trees and crops.  His anger will not be quenched.  It will not stop after intensified discipline but will continue to the destruction of the nation.
The Lord sent prophets to the people from the day they left Egypt, but the people rejected Bible Doctrine (Jer 7:25, 26).  They stiffened their neck, which means they accumulated scar tissue of the soul from rejection of Bible Doctrine.
Jeremiah 7:30
"For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight," declares the LORD, "they have set their abominations in the house (Temple) upon which My name is called, to defile it.
The abominations in the Temple were the Asherah, which Manasseh had set up in the Temple (2 Kings 21:5, 7).
Jeremiah 7:31
They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of Benhinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
"Topheth" is the Hebrew tp#t{ (Topheth), from Hebrew tWt (tuph), to spit out, and meaning a spitting out or the object at which one spits, therefore, an object of deepest abhorrence.  Topheth refers to the high places of Moloch in the valley of Benhinnom where the Jews burned their children in the fire as sacrifices.  The valley of Benhinnom is the valley on the South side of Jerusalem where the garbage pits burned.  When the Hebrew name is transliterated into Greek, it becomes Gehenna, which is translated Hell.

Before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC, the Jews of Jerusalem were sacrificing their children to Baal Moloch in the valley of Benhinnom.  Such evil was unthinkable.  But Satan inspired this to drag the Jews to Hell.  Baal is the enemy of Israel and children.

Jeremiah 7:32
"Therefore, behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of Benhinnom, but the valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no room."
Because of the evil practiced in the valley of Benhinnom, the Lord decreed that it would be called something worse than Topheth (spitting abhorrence).  It would be called the valley of Slaughter because there would no room left to bury the dead elsewhere.  They would be buried in the garbage pits.
Jeremiah 7:33
And the carcasses of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the Earth with no one to frighten them away.
After Jerusalem is conquered by the Chaldeans in 586 BC, the carcasses of the people will be food for the vultures and hyenas.
Jeremiah 7:34
Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of rejoicing and the voice of abundant Happiness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the Land will become a waste.
The Lord will cause to cease in Judah and Jerusalem Happiness and the festivities of weddings.  The Land of Judah will be laid waste by the invading army.
Jeremiah 12:9
Is My inheritance like a vulture-hyena to Me?
Are vultures against her on every side?
Go, gather all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
The Lord will send the vultures and hyenas to devour the carcasses from the Chaldean invasion of Jerusalem.

Eating Food Sacrificed to Idols

At the beginning of the Church Age, idolatry was thoroughly entrenched in Gentile culture.  Both the Romans and Greeks had pantheons.  There were idols for every activity of life.  There were gods of war and goddesses of love.  Trade unions had patron idols, and emperors were worshipped as gods.  Sacrificing to idols was the accepted norm.  Idol temples with their prostitutes, healers, and secret cults were everywhere.

Against this backdrop of idolatry, the Church was called out from among the Gentiles.  The new Christians in Corinth came out of the Gentile culture, which included the practice of idolatry.  The Church Age doctrine regarding idolatry needed to be codified.  The question that arose in the Corinthian Church was about eating meat sacrificed to idols.  The reason was that the meat in the local meat markets was from animals that had been sacrificed to idols.  When animals were sacrificed to idols, part of the meat was burned on the altar, part was eaten as ritual in the temple, and the rest of the meat was sold in the meat market.  The question arose as to whether it was acceptable to eat meat from the meat market if that meat had been part of an animal sacrifice.

1 Corinthians 8:4
Therefore, concerning eating food sacrificed to idols, we know positively that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one.
The answer of whether it was acceptable to eat meat sacrificed to idols has two parts.  First, an idol itself is nothing.  Idols are simply objects of wood, stone, or metal.  They are made by man (Isa 40:1820; 41:67; 44:920).  Idols themselves are nothing, but they are surrounded by Satan and his demons (Isa 44:9-20).  Second, "There is no God but one."  If there is no other God, then idols are not gods.  They are nothing.  Therefore, eating meat sacrificed to them is inconsequential.
1 Corinthians 8:5-6
5  For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on Earth, just as indeed there are many gods and many lords,
6  yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
Paul points out that even assuming there are other gods, they are of no consequence to Christians, who have one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ.  The other gods and lords are still inconsequential.  Thus, a Christian who is knowledgeable of this doctrine should be able to eat meat sacrificed to an idol with a clear conscience.
1 Corinthians 8:7
However, this knowledge is not in all people, but some being accustomed to the idol up to now, eat food as sacrificed to idols, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
However, there was a catch.  Not all Christians understood this doctrine.  Some of them had even been worshipping idols throughout their lives before they became Christians.  Without the doctrine and having their old beliefs about idols, left them with weak consciences.  Therefore, if they ate the meat sacrificed to the idol with their old beliefs, it would be a sin for them.  What is not from faith is sin (Rom 14:23).
1 Corinthians 8:8
But food will not commend us to God.  Neither if we do not eat, do we fall short; nor, if we eat, do we have more (divine approval).
The principle is that food is not the Spiritual life.  God does not think more highly of us if we eat (meat sacrificed to idols) or if we do not eat (meat sacrificed to idols).  There were dietary laws under the Mosaic Law.  Jews were not allowed to eat pork or catfish or shrimp.  But there are no dietary restrictions in the Church Age (Acts 11:6-8, 9; Rom 14:14).
1 Corinthians 8:9
But watch out that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
The believer has freedom in Christ (Rom 8:15; 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 2:4; 5:1,13).  He is free to eat meat, meat sacrificed to idols, or vegetables (Rom 14:2).1  Under the Law of Freedom (Jas 2:12), the believer is free to eat anything he wants.  However, he should not use his freedom in a way that leaves a stumbling block for a weak believer.
1 Corinthians 8:10
For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol temple, will not the conscience of the one who is weak, be encouraged to eat food sacrificed to idols?
Whereas, a mature believer can eat meat sacrificed to idols with a clear conscience, the baby believer cannot.  He will mistake the freedom of the mature believer for joining in the ritual of idolatry.  Thus, the mature believer has an obligation not to mislead the baby believer or demand more of him than he is able, e. g. through legalism.
1 Corinthians 8:11
For by your knowledge the one who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.
The mature believer who is insensitive to the baby believer can ruin his Spiritual life.  That should never happen over food.  The Lord Jesus Christ purchased with His blood the Salvation of the baby believer.  The new life in Christ should not be ruined over food.
1 Corinthians 8:12
So in this way, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
So, a believer who flouts his freedom in Christ before weak believers does not have love for them.  If he is arrogant and self-righteous, he is sinning.  By sinning against other believers, the Christian is also sinning against Christ, who died as a substitute for them.

Idolatry in the Church Age

Idolatry is prohibited in the Church Age just as it was prohibited in the Age of Israel.  Christians should not practice idolatry as Israel did with the Golden Calf (1 Cor 10:7, 14; 1 Jn 5:21).
1 Corinthians 10:19-20 Demons of Idolatry
19 What do I mean then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with demons.
Whereas, the problem with eating meat sacrificed to idols was previously covered, the problem of demons associated with idols will now be discussed.  Even though idols are nothing and the food sacrificed to them is nothing, the sacrifices are to demons.  Demons are waiting around the idols to enter the lives of those in the presence of the idol.  Idolatry is a means of coming under demon influence or demon possession.  In demon influence the person's soul is under demon influence.  In demon possession, the demon takes up residence in the person's body.
1 Corinthians 10:21 Contrast of Lord's Table and Idolatry
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
This verse contrasts the Eucharist with idolatry, which is Satan's counterfeit communion table.  The Christian who drinks the cup in Communion is recalling the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for his sins.  This must be done in the Filling of the Holy Spirit.  In contrast, the person who drinks the cup of demons is honoring Satan and his demons, who sent Jesus Christ to the Cross.  The Christian who eats the bread in Communion is recalling the impeccable humanity of Jesus Christ, who bore the sins of the world in His own body on the Cross.  In contrast, eating the food sacrificed to demons is honoring Satan and his demons, who are the authors of sin.  Eating food sacrificed to idols as a part of the ritual of worshiping Satan and his demons, is a sin (Rev 2:14, 20).

The Lord's Table is fellowship with Christ, and the table of demons is fellowship with Satan and his demons.  The two tables are separate and distinct.  It is impossible to combine them.  Worshiping Christ must remain separate from worshiping demons.  The Christian must make a choice.  He cannot do both.  Therefore, idolatry must be rejected by Christians.

Now, regarding meat sacrificed to idols, it is perfectly acceptable to eat meat sold in the meat market so long as idolatry is not the issue (1 Cor 10:25).  There is nothing wrong with eating such meat.  If an unbeliever invites a Christian to dinner, it is acceptable to eat the meat served, even though the meat likely came from the meat market (1 Cor 10:27).  However, if someone makes an issue of the meat being sacrificed to idols, then the Christian should not eat it (1 Cor 10:28).  The meat should not be eaten for the sake of the person who made the issue out of it (1 Cor 10:29).  He may be seeking occasion to accuse the Christian of being a hypocrite.  He has a problem, and the problem must not be exacerbated by making an issue over food.  His problem is Jesus Christ.  Without Christ, he is going to Hell, and that issue must not be confused because of food.

As long as a person gives thanks to God for the food, eating it should not be a problem in the Church Age (1 Cor 10:30).

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether, therefore, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Eating should glorify God along with everything else the Christian does (Col 3:17; 1 Pet 4:11).
  1. Eating should be in Grace from Logistical Grace provision.
  2. Eating should be Divine Good production.
  3. Eating requires the Filling of the Holy Spirit and separation from the world.
  4. Eating honors the Lord Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life and the cup of Salvation.


The Sins of Idolatry

Idolaters performed all manner of sinful activities in the presence of their idols.  They murdered, blasphemed, lusted, raped, fornicated, and caroused in drunken orgies.  They were full of pride, arrogance, jealousy, self-righteousness, bitterness, and fear.  These sins committed in idolatry may likewise be practiced without the idol.  The result is the same with, or without, the idol, which is nothing anyway.  Satan and his demons are waiting to snatch up people who enter the Cosmic System through such sins with, or without, the idol.  An idol is not required to participate in the sins of idolatry.

Love of Money

The love of money is a sin from the lust pattern of the Old Sin Nature.  Money is the coin of the realm in the devil's world in contrast to Bible Doctrine in the Kingdom of God. "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt 6:24; Luk 16:13).

1 Timothy 6:10 Love of Money
For you see, the root of all sorts of evil is the love of money, which some by striving after have gone astray from doctrine and have pierced themselves with many pangs.
The root refers to the foundation of a bad value of the soul.  Since a value is near to (or deep within) the heart, the personal attraction to money is dear to the heart of the monetary reversionist.  The love of money leads a person astray from Bible Doctrine and takes him into evil. Evil is the policy of Satan in the Cosmic System where he is the false god, or idol.  The result of evil will be misery.  Money doesn't satisfy, and Satan is running the show.  Money will not bring happiness.  It will bring more and more problems, pain, and suffering.  Pursuing the love of money amounts to serving the god of money, mammon.

Ananias was a believer in the early Church who suffered from the love of money.  Satan entered his heart and convinced him to lie to the Holy Spirit to perpetrate a fraud against the Church (Acts 5:3).  Ananias lied about the selling price of a piece of property.  He pretended to donate the full price to the Church, but he held back some of the money for himself (Acts 5:4).  Because of the lie, he died the Sin Leading to Death (Acts 5:5), and his wife, who was also implicated in the scam, followed him to his grave (Acts 5:10).

Perversions of Idolatry

The same kind of sins of idolatry can be committed without the idol.

Colossians 3:5
Therefore, put to death your members which are on the Earth to fornication, impurity, depraved passion, evil desire, and insatiable lust, which category of things amounts to idolatry.
"Members on the Earth" correspond to the physical and soulish in contrast to the Spiritual associated with Heaven.  The members of the body are analogous to members, or parts, of the Old Sin Nature.  The functions of the OSN are the basis for practicing idolatry.  These functions of the OSN must be put to death.  The functions that must be put to death, or rendered inoperative, are fornication, impurity, depraved passion, etc.

"Fornication" is the Greek porneivav (porneia), which means prostitution, fornication, used of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse (often translated immorality) (1 Cor 5:1; 1 Cor 6:13, 18; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; Heb 13:4).  Fornication includes the ritual prostitution practiced in idolatry.  Temple prostitutes like Inanna, the Prostitute of Babylon, cohabited with demons.  Similarly, illicit sex in idolatry connects a person to the demons of the Prostitute of Babylon.

"Impurity" is the Greek ajkaqarsiva (akatharsia), meaning impurity, immorality, abnormal sex (Rom 1:24; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 5:3).  This includes sensuality and abnormal sex, such as homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, pederasty, necrophilia, bestiality, and rape (a crime).

"Depraved passion" is the Greek pavqo" (pathos), meaning passion, especially of a sexual nature (Rom 1:26; 1 Thess 4:5).

"Evil desire" is the Greek  (kakos, evil) + (epithumia, desire), where kakos means evil, pernicious (Rom 7:21; 1 Cor 10:6 (ref. Num 11:4, 34; Ps 106:14)), from (kakia, noun, Rom 1:29, 1 Cor 14:20; 1 Pet 2:16; Jas 1:21).

"Insatiable lust" is the Greek pleonexiva (pleonexia), meaning insatiable lust; jealous desire (Eph. 4:19); greediness, insatiableness, avarice, covetousness (Rom 1:29; Lk 12:15; 1 Thess 2:5; 2 Pet 2:3, 14).

"Which category of things amounts to idolatry" - These are the activities practiced in worshiping idols (1 Cor 6:15; 1 Cor 10:7, 14, 21; 1 Thess 1:9).  Those who practice such sins are, in effect, engaging in idolatry.

Idolatry Involving the Prostitute of Babylon

Temple prostitutes like Inanna, the Prostitute of Babylon, cohabited with demons.  Similarly, illicit sex in idolatry connects a person to the demons of the Prostitute of Babylon (or Jezebel).

1 Corinthians 6:15
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I, therefore, take away the members of Christ? Shall I make them members of a prostitute? May it not be!
The prostitutes of the idol temples in Corinth cohabited with demons like the Prostitute of Babylon.  Therefore, Christians who continued to go to the idol temples as they did before Salvation, would come into contact with these demons.  Christians are members of the Body of Christ (Col 1:18).  Therefore, they should not try to remove themselves from the Body of Christ to join themselves with a prostitute by fornication.  In so doing, the Christian connects to Satan through demons (Eph 2:1-3).  This amounts to idolatry.
1 Corinthians 6:16
Do you not know that he who has sex with a prostitute is one body with her? For He (God) says, "The two shall become one flesh."
This is a quote from Genesis 2:24.  "Has sex" is the Greek kollavw (kollao), which means to copulate; join together intimately.  And "prostitute" is the Greek povrnh (porne), meaning whore or prostitute (Matt 21:31).  Sex with a Prostitute of Babylon not only joins two Old Sin Natures but connects to the demons associated with the prostitute.
1 Corinthians 6:17
But the person who connects himself to the Lord is one Spirit (with Him).
"One spirit" refers to the Filling of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the agent of the Lord (2 Cor 3:17).  The person who is filled with the Holy Spirit is connected to the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:20
For you see, you were purchased for a price:  Now therefore, glorify God in your body.
Christians were purchased (or redeemed) from the slave market of sin by Jesus Christ (1 Chron 21:24; 1 Cor. 7:23; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).

There were Christians in the Church of Pergamum who practiced idolatry with the Prostitute of Babylon.

Revelation 2:14
But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a baited trap before the sons of Israel, to eat meat sacrificed to idols, and to practice prostitution.
Balaam taught Balak to entice the sons of Israel with prostitutes who worshipped Baal-peor.  Those men ate meat sacrificed to idols and engaged in prostitution with the Moabite and Midianite women.  Fornication with temple prostitutes brings a person into fellowship with the demons of the Prostitute of Babylon.  "Practice prostitution" is the Greek porneuvw (porneuo), which means to practice sexual promiscuity or prostitution.

Similarly, there were Christians in the Church at Thyatira who engaged in such practices with Jezebel, the Prostitute of Babylon.

Revelation 2:20
But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they practice prostitution and eat things sacrificed to idols.
"Practice prostitution" is the Greek porneuvw (porneuo), which means to practice sexual promiscuity or prostitution.  It refers to fornicating with Jezebel, the Prostitute of Babylon.
 
 

Evil King

(Matt 2:1; Acts 4:27; 12:21; 24:27; 25:13)

Because God created man with a volition, or free will, he has the right to choose and Satan cannot order him to obey.  In the Appeal Trial man is free to choose for God or Satan.  In order to rule over man, Satan must appeal to man to convince him to obey.  And because of the authority structure of the Laws of Establishment, Satan appeals to human authorities in government to exercise power over the masses.  Satan influences a king to obey his evil policy, and the king imposes that policy upon his subjects.

The king who obeys Satan's evil policy is called an Evil King.  Thus, an Evil King is a human king who is under the influence of Satan and who is empowered to do Satan's bidding.  The Evil King has legitimate authority as king from God, but he uses his volition to obey the evil policy of Satan.  Thus, rather than protecting the freedom of his subjects, the Evil King may be a dictator or tyrant.

The King has a state department and an army.  The state department runs the branches of government, and the army protects the nation from outside aggression.  In the government of Babylon, the Evil King had power over the Military Establishment, and the Prostitute of Babylon had influence over the Civilian Establishment.  The Prostitute of Babylon was the High Priestess in the Temple.  Both the Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon were under Satan's influence, and they ruled with Satan's power.

Although the terms, Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon, refer to humans under demon power, the terms are also used to refer to the demons who empower the humans.  Thus, the terms Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon may refer to Satan's demons as well as to their human counterparts.  For example "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" (Dan 10:13), meaning ruler of the kingdom, or king, refers to a demon Throne Angel.  The Antichrist is the Evil King of the Revived Roman Empire, who is symbolized by a beast (Rev 17:3, 8).  The Prostitute of Babylon who rides the beast, however, is not a human but the symbol of Satan's Cosmic System (Rev 17:4, 5, 18).

Spiritual Warfare

Satan influences the Evil King through his demons, such as Throne Angels and Demon World Rulers (kosmokrators).  Examples include the Prince of Persia and Prince of Greece (Dan 10:13, 20).  Elect Angels and Christians engage in Spiritual Warfare against these demons (Eph 6:12).  Our war is not against the human King, but against the Throne Angels who empower him.  Similarly, the army of the King has Commanders (also known as giants), who are empowered by demons.  Here again, the Spiritual War is not against the human Commanders, but against the demons who empower them.
Cosmic System

Satan's Throne Angels empower the Evil King, and other demons empower the King's heads of state and army.  The hierarchical structure of the demon powers in Satan's Cosmic System are named after the humans they empower and correspond to the animal kingdom.
 
 

    1. Evil King Throne Angels Lion, hawk
    2. Heads of State Demon Powers Bull, goat
    3. Army Commanders Demon Commanders (giants) Bear, elephant
    4. Company Commanders Demon Managers Locust, grasshopper
Spiritual Warfare is analogous to human warfare.  War is not against an army, but a kingdom.  And war is not waged by an army, but a kingdom.  War involves the entire nation.  In human warfare the war is not over until the enemy king is killed (Heb 10:13).  In Spiritual Warfare the war is not over until the Throne Angel who empowers the Evil King is neutralized.  In order to do this each level of the demon hierarchy must be defeated in turn, i. e.:
  1. Rank and File Demons
  2. Managers
  3. Commanders (giants)
  4. Powers
  5. Throne Angel of the Evil King

Evil Kings of History

Nimrod

Nimrod was the first Evil King of history.  He was the son of Cush.

Genesis 10:8
Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first to be a hero on the Earth.
Cush was the son of Ham, Noah's youngest son, who was cursed for committing incest with his father.  Nimrod is the Hebrew dr{m+n! (Nimerod), meaning rebel.  It is from the Hebrew dr^m* (marad), meaning "we will revolt."  Different parsing of the name, Nimrod, yields the Hebrew rm@n* (named, leopard) + Hebrew dr^ (rad, to subdue, rule over) = the subduer of the leopard.  The leopard is a symbol of Nimrod.

Nimrod was the first hero.  He was a hero because he founded the first imperial kingdom, as explained in the next verse.

Genesis 10:9
He was a famous hunter against the Lord; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod, a famous hunter against the Lord."
Nimrod was a famous hunter, which from the following verse, means conqueror - not big-game hunter.  Nimrod was not famous because he hunted game but because he conquered his enemies and formed the first kingdom.  Nimrod was the first Evil King.

Therefore, there became a famous saying, "Like Nimrod, a famous hunter against the Lord."  Here, "against" is literally, "in the face of," which can also mean "against" or "in opposition to."  Nimrod did not walk with the Lord in faith but opposed, or rebelled against, Him.  The famous saying about Nimrod came after others followed in his footsteps and became conquerors.  He became a legend.

Genesis 10:10
Therefore, the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, which was later known as Babylonia.  Shinar is the Hebrew ru*n+v! (Shine`ar), which is the Babylonian Sumer, meaning Land of Semiramis.
Genesis 10:11-12
11  From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city (Nineveh).
Nimrod also built Nineveh, the capital of Assyria on the eastern bank of the Tigris, across the river from Mosul on the western bank.  Nineveh, which is the Assyrian Nina, was called Ninus by the Greeks and Romans.  According to tradition, Nimrod (same as Ninus) married Semiramis.  The phrase, "that is the great city" obviously refers to Nineveh, which was a very large city (Jonah 3:3).

Pharaoh

The Pharaoh's of Egypt were Evil Kings.  The Pharaoh who opposed Moses and the Exodus was an Evil King.  He was under the power of Satan.  The Lord hardened his heart in order to destroy Egypt to deliver Israel from slavery.  The culture of Egypt, which included idolatry, was also evil.

Nebuchadnezzar

Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a great tree on the Earth that reached into the sky and was visible to the end of the Earth (Dan 4:10-12).  Then an angelic watcher, a holy one (Elect Angel), descended from Heaven and gave orders to chop the tree down but to leave the stump (Dan 4:13-15).    The tree symbolized Nebuchadnezzar, who would be sent out to eat grass like a cow for seven years (Dan 4:16) until he understood that the Sovereign God is ruler over mankind and bestows Sovereignty on whomever He wishes (Dan 4:17).

Daniel interpreted the dream for Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4:19-26).  Twelve months later Nebuchadnezzar was walking on the roof of his royal palace and he reflected and said to himself, "Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built?" (Dan 4:30).  Immediately a voice came from Heaven that declared, "Sovereignty has been removed from you" (Dan 4:31), and Nebuchadnezzar was sent out to eat grass like a cow for 7 years (Dan 4:32, 33).  His body was drenched with the dew of heaven; his hair grew like eagles' feathers; and his nails like birds' claws.  At the end of the period, Nebuchadnezzar's sanity returned (Dan 4:34).

Even though Nebuchadnezzar was a believer, he was Judged because he was an Evil King.  Satan put the arrogance in his mind.  However, Nebuchadnezzar's Judgment was executed by Elect Angels.  His condition is called Zoanthropy or  Lycanthropy delusions of being an animal.  The person behaves like the animal, eats like the animal, and makes sounds like the animal.  If he thinks he is a werewolf, he may howl at the Moon.  There is no specific diagnosis of mental or neurological illness associated with this.  It appears to be angelic possession by an Elect Angel, not a demon.

Evil Kings of Canaan

In the conquest of the Promised Land, the Army of Israel defeated 31 Evil Kings (Josh 12:7-24).  Thus, the number, 31, stands for an Evil King.

Agag

Agag was the Evil King of the Amalekites.  After Saul was anointed as the first King of Israel, he was charged by the Lord with destroying the Amalekites.  He was to utterly destroy all of them, including the women, children, and livestock.

So King Saul went out and defeated the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:7).  He killed all the people, but he spared the best of the livestock and King Agag after capturing him (1 Sam 15:8, 9).  The Lord was displeased because Saul had left Agag alive, and He told Samuel (1 Sam 15:10-11).  Samuel was the Judge, or High Priest, of Israel.  So, Samuel went out to meet King Saul (1 Sam 15:12).

When Samuel caught up with Saul, Saul greeted him and said that he had carried out the command of the Lord (1 Sam 15:13), but Samuel asked him what then was the sound of sheep and oxen in his ears (1 Sam 15:14).  Saul lied and said he had brought them to sacrifice to the Lord (1 Sam 15:15).  Then Samuel reminded Saul that the Lord had anointed him to exterminate the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:17-19).  Then Saul contended that he had annihilated the Amalekites, but the soldiers had kept some of the spoil to sacrifice to the Lord, and they had captured Agag, the King of the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:20, 21).

Then Samuel told Saul that because he had rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord had rejected him from being King of Israel (1 Sam 15:23).  At this, Saul admitted his guilt and begged Samuel to pardon him, but Samuel would have none of it (1 Sam 15:24-26).  When Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed his robe, and it tore (1 Sam 15:27).

1 Samuel 15:28
So Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you."
Saul's neighbor was David from the Tribe of Judah who would succeed him (1 Sam 28:17, 18).

When they returned to Gilgal, Samuel requested that King Agag be brought to him, and Agag came cheerfully, thinking the bitterness was past (1 Sam 15:32).

1 Samuel 15:33
But Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD at Gilgal.
Thus, Samuel executed Agag, the Evil King, by hacking him in pieces with the sword.  "Before the Lord" means before the Altar of the Lord.  Death releases the demon in the Evil King.  To leave the king alive is to be stuck with the demon.

Evil Kings of Israel and Judah

Most of the kings of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel became Evil Kings.  The few exceptions were David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Josiah.

Jeroboam

Jeroboam, the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, was an Evil King.  He set up Golden Calves for idolatrous worship and inherited the Curse of Jeroboam, which was passed on to other Evil Kings.  Under the Curse of Jeroboam all of the King's household would be killed.

Ahab

Ahab was the epitome of the Evil King.  He married Jezebel, daughter of the Evil King of Sidon (1 Ki 16:31).  Jezebel, an unbeliever, idolater, and murderess of the prophets of the Lord, was the ultimate example of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Ahab worshipped Baal and built a temple to Baal in Samaria (1 Ki 16:32).

1 Kings 16:33
Ahab also made the Asherah.  Thus, Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
The Asherah were female idols in the temple of Baal which were probably the same as Astarte.
1 Kings 21:25
Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, who was seduced (and led astray) by Jezebel his wife.
Because of his evil, Ahab also received the Curse of Jeroboam, and his entire household was wiped out (1 Ki 21:24).

Manasseh

Manasseh was an Evil King of Judah.  After Hezekiah had cleaned up the idolatry in the Southern Kingdom, Manasseh, his son, became king and quickly fell into idolatry.   He erected altars for Baal and made Asherahs like Ahab, and he worshipped the idols (2 Ki 21:3).  He also introduced Babylonian Astrology to worship the stars of heaven, and set up an idol in the Temple (2 Ki 21:4, 5).  He sacrificed his son to Moloch.  And he practiced all kinds of witchcraft, divination, and consulted demons in the occult (2 Ki 21:6).

Manasseh seduced the people of Israel to do more evil than the Canaanites who were before them (2 Ki 21:9).  Because of this, the Lord decreed that he would destroy the Southern Kingdom of Judah (2 Ki 21:10-15).

Evil Kings in the New Testament

Herod the Great

Herod the Great was named King of Judaea as the loyal friend of Rome.  He was named King of the Jews.  However, the Jews never cared for him in spite of all that he could do because he was an Edomite.  Not even building  the Temple for them secured their good will.  Herod was suspicious by nature and had his own sons and wife executed when he suspected them of trying to unseat him.

Herod was troubled when the Magi came to Jerusalem asking, "Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?" (Matt 2:1-2, 3)  Herod was King of the Jews, and he would not tolerate any rival.  His sensitivity to the issue is the hallmark of crafty politicians who keep their jobs by staying a step ahead of the competition.

So, Herod called in the Chief Priests and Scribes to find out where Messiah was to be born (Matt 2:4-6).  Then he called in the Magi to determine from them when they had seen the star of the new king (Matt 2:7).  Then he sent them to Bethlehem and told them to search diligently for Him and when they had found Him to report it to him so that he could come worship Him also (Matt 2:8).  This, of course, was a lie from Satan, who was influencing Herod to destroy the Christ Child.

The Magi were able to locate Christ in Nazareth (Matt 2:11); however, they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod.  So, they returned another way (Matt 2:12).  When Herod realized he had been tricked by the Magi, he order all male children two years old and younger in Bethlehem and vicinity to be killed (Matt 2:16).  The order to murder the Messiah was from Satan, who was running the life of the Evil King, Herod.  Herod died within months after issuing the order, according to the timeline of the Birth of Jesus Sept. 11, 3 BC and the death of Herod around the Lunar Eclipse of Jan. 10, 1 BC.2

Herod Antipas

King Herod Antipas, called Herod the Tetrarch (Luk 3:19), was the younger son of Herod the Great by Malthace.  He inherited rule of the Galilean and Peraean parts of the Kingdom of Herod the Great.

John the Baptist accused King Herod Antipas of adultery because he had married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (Mk 6:17, 18).  Herod had John arrested and thrown into prison.  Herodias had a grudge against John the Baptist and wanted him executed, but Herod, who believed him to be righteous, kept him safe (Mk 6:19, 20).

After the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod on his birthday, he offered her anything she wanted up to half of his kingdom (Mk 6:21, 22, 23).  She asked her mother what she should ask, and her mother told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist.  So, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter (Mk 6:24, 25).  Herod lacked the moral courage to refuse the request in front of his dinner guests; so, he ordered an executioner to bring back the head of John the Baptist (Mk 6:26, 27).  The executioner brought back the head of John the Baptist on a platter (Mk 6:28).

Satan incited Herodias to ask for the head of John the Baptist, and Satan pressured Herod into ordering the his execution.  Herod was an Evil King.

Herod also sought to kill Jesus Christ (Luk 13:31), and Jesus called him "that fox" (Luk 13:32).

After Jesus was arrested, Pilate sent Him to Herod, who was overjoyed, thinking that Jesus would entertain him with a miracle (Luk 23:8).  Although Herod questioned Jesus at length, Jesus did not answer him (Luk 23:9).  Then Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus and treated Him with contempt (Luk 23:11).  They dressed Jesus in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.

Pilate

The official title of Pontius Pilate was Prefect (Latin praefectus) (Matt 27:2).  He was the fifth Prefect of Judaea.  This is the same title given to his successors, Felix and Festus.  A Prefect was a Roman officer who superintended a particular command or department, such as, the prefect of the aqueducts; the prefect of a camp, a fleet, or the city guard; or the praetorian prefect, who commanded the troops guarding the emperor.6

The Prefect was in charge of the army of occupation stationed at Caesarea and in Jerusalem in the fortress of Antonia.  The Prefect had full powers of life and death, and could reverse capital sentences passed by the Sanhedrin, which had to be approved by him. He appointed the high priests and controlled the Temple and its funds, and the vestments of the high priest, which were released only for festivals.3

Pilate was responsible to the Caesar, Tiberius, who expected him to keep the peace.  However, Pilate hated the Jews, and they hated him.  The problem was both cultural and personal.  If the Jews were offended, they would riot, and Pilate would send in soldiers and kill the rioters.  When the Jews arrested Jesus Christ during the Passover, they sent Him Pilate to be executed.  And if they didn't get their way, they were prepared to start a full scale rebellion.

When Pilate found out Jesus Christ was a Galilean, he sent him to Herod, who was the Jewish King over that region.  Herod had previously been the enemy of Pilate, probably because Pilate killed some of his subjects.  Herod was elated because Jesus was a celebrity and he wanted to meet Him.  Perhaps He would perform a miracle for him.  Herod couldn't find anything wrong with Jesus, but he became Pilate's friend afterward.

Pilate examined Jesus.  He interrogated Him, but he found no fault in Him worthy of death.  Satan whipped up a mob to demand the Jesus be crucified.  Pilate offered to them the alternative of releasing Jesus or Barabbas (Matt 27:15-17) because he knew the Jews were driven by envy (Matt 27:18).  However, the crowd demanded the release of Barabbas, a hardened criminal, and the crucifixion of Jesus (Matt 27:20-23).  Then Pilate washed his hands to symbolize that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus (Matt 27:24).  Then he had Jesus scourged and delivered over to be crucified, and he released Barabbas (Matt 27:26).

Pilate wrote the sign on the cross, "Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews" (Jn 19:19).  However, the Chief Priests and Jews demanded that he change it to, "He said 'I am king of the Jews' " (Jn 19:21).  However, Pilate refused to change it (Jn 19:22).

Pilate succumbed to the pressure of Political Babylon.  He saw Jesus Christ and had the opportunity to believe in him, but he refused.  He agreed to the Jews' demand, not because he was afraid of them, but because he was more afraid of Tiberius.  He needed to keep the peace, and this was the most expedient way to do so.  Thus, Pilate was like a typical middle manager, who has no vested interest in his employees or customers, but only wants to avoid problems with his upper level management.

Seven years later in 37 AD, Pilate slaughtered a large number of Samaritans who led a conspiracy to Mt. Gerizim to find the sacred vessels of the Tabernacle that had supposedly been hidden there.  The Jews complained to Tiberius, who recalled Pilate to Rome to be court-martialed and replaced him.  According to Eusebius, Pilate was forced to commit suicide, which was the Roman system of executing its own leaders.

Peter Testifies Against Pilate

As the early Church began after Pentecost, Peter and John healed a lame man in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 3:1-8).  The people were utterly astonished (Acts 3:11).

Acts 3:12
But after Peter saw this, he replied to the people, "Men of Israel, why are you astonished at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?"
Peter gave them a sermon at the Temple and asked them why they were astonished.
Acts 3:13
"The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, whom you indeed handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when it was that one's verdict to release Him."
Peter reminded the Jews that they had handed over Jesus to Pilate and disowned Him even after Pilate reached the verdict to release Him.
Acts 3:14
"But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and demanded a murderer to be granted to you,"
They disowned Jesus and asked for a murderer to be released instead.
Acts 3:15
"and put to death the Originator of Life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses."
Instead, they put to death Jesus Christ, the Originator of Eternal Life, who was Resurrected.

As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests and Sadducees came up and had them arrested by the Temple Guard. They were thrown in jail until the next day, but many believed.  The early Church grew from 3,000 to 5,000 (Acts 4:1-4).

The next day, the High Priest and the rulers of the Jews called Peter and John, who testified to them of Jesus Christ.  The Jews were in a bind because the people were impressed with the miracle of the lame man walking, so they reprimanded Peter and John and commanded them not to speak any more about Jesus.  However, Peter and John refused, and they released them (Acts 4:14-22).

When they had been released, Peter and John reported to their companions all that the Chief Priests had done.  They praised God and said:

Acts 4:27-28
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the people of Israel,
28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."
Thus, Peter and John set the record straight that Pontius Pilate and Herod and the people of the world conspired to put Jesus to death.  Of course, the people were under the power of Satan.  Yet, it was God's will that Jesus die as a substitute for the sins of the world.

Herod Agrippa I

Herod Agrippa I, who was called Herod the King (Acts 12:1), was the grandson of Herod the Great and brother of Herodias, whom Antipas married.  He grew up in exile in Rome.  He was named King by Caligula over the area northeast of Palestine.  When Antipas was banished in AD 39, he took over Galilee and Peraea.  When Claudius became emperor in AD 41, he took over Judaea and Samaria so that he was ruler over roughly the same area as Herod the Great had ruled.3

Caligula was himself an Evil King, who sought to have a statute of himself place in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem.  This would be an abomination to the Jews even though the Holy of Holies was no longer holy after the Crucifixion.  The crisis was averted when Caligula was drunk at a party and Herod Agrippa I got him to back off the request.  Caligula was soon stabbed to death in AD 41.  Caligula's anti-Semitism and his desire to be a god were evidence of an Evil King.4

As King of the Jews, Herod Agrippa I had to overcome the stigma of being an Edomite.  So, he stressed his Hasmonaean descent through his grandmother Mariamne, and he began to persecute the elders of the Church in Jerusalem to please the Jews.

Satan used Herod Agrippa I to persecute the Apostles (Acts 12:1).  He had James, the son of Zebedee, the brother of John, beheaded with the sword (Acts 12:2; Matt 4:21).  James was the elder brother of John, and his mother Salome was first cousin to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.   Herod's actions pleased the Jews, who opposed the Apostles for associating with the Gentiles (Acts 12:3).    Therefore, he had Peter arrested.  He put him in prison guarded by four squads of four soldiers each (16 soldiers).  Four is the number for weakness.  Peter was arrested during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the week after the Passover.  Herod intended to have Peter executed also after the Feast (Acts 12:4).

While Peter was in prison, the members of the Church were praying fervently for him (Acts 12:5).

Acts 12:6
Now on the very night when Herod was about to bring him out Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison.
While the Church was praying, Peter was sound asleep in prison.  He was chained between two soldiers with soldiers guarding the door of the prison.  Since Jewish time begins at 6 PM, it was the night of the day that Herod was going to bring Peter out.
Acts 12:7
And behold, an angel from the Lord stood by him and light shined in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, "Get up quickly."  And his chains fell off his hands.
An Elect Angel, who was probably Michael, the Angel of Israel, suddenly appeared standing beside Peter.  He woke Peter up, and the chains fell off his hands.
Acts 12:8
And the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and put on your sandals."  And he did so.  And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around yourself and follow me."
The angel told Peter to put on his sandals and outer cloak and follow him.  Peter complied, but he thought he was dreaming (Acts 12:9).
Acts 12:10
When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them automatically; and after going out, they proceeded along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
The angel led Peter past the first and second guard stations, and they did not see them pass.  This shows the power of angels and demons.  This was not a miracle from God.  Angels have the power to open locks and to interrupt people's thoughts or change their minds.  They may have even made Peter invisible at the time.  When they came to the large iron outer gate of the prison, it opened automatically.  No one had to unlatch it and pull it open.  The Elect Angel had the power to do this.

When Peter came to his senses, he realized that an angel had delivered him from Herod and the Jewish people (Acts 12:11).  Then Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where the house Church was praying for him (Acts 12:12).  The Church met in the house of Mary.

Acts 12:13
After he knocked at the door of gate, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer.
The name, Rhoda, means rose.  A rose is a sign of suffering and of a prostitute.
Acts 12:14-15
14  After recognizing Peter's voice, because of her happiness, she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15  They said to her, "You are out of your mind!" But she kept insisting that it was so. And they kept saying, "It is his angel."
Even though they had been praying for Peter's release, they didn't believe the report that he was standing at the gate.  They said the servant girl was out of her mind (crazy).
Acts 12:16
But Peter continued knocking; and after they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.
Peter told them what had happened and then went into hiding (Acts 12:17).

When Herod could not find Peter, he reprimanded the soldiers severely.  He ordered the guards to be interrogated, which probably included scourging, and then to be executed.  Then Herod went away to his palace in Caesarea where he was going to hold a festival in honor of Claudius, the Caesar, according to Josephus (Acts 12:19).

This shows how God protects His servants (Isa 54:17).  The persecution of the Apostles by Herod under the influence of Satan will not be tolerated.  God simply sent an angel down and took Peter out of prison under everyone's nose.  What is impossible with men is possible with God (Matt 19:26; Luk 18:27).  God used Peter to make an ass of Herod (1 Cor 1:27).  And God hears the prayers of his people (Matt 21:22).

Herod's Death

Herod was having problems with the world around him, such as Tyre and Sidon.

Acts 12:20
Now he (Herod) was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the King's chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country received food aid from the King's country.
Herod was angry at the people of Tyre and Sidon.  Their representatives came to him asking for peace because they were receiving food aid from Herod.
Acts 12:21-22
21  On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the tribunal and began delivering an address to them.
22  And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not a man!"
According to Josephus, Herod was wearing a robe made of silver that sparkled in the morning Sun.  The crowd kept calling him a god.
Acts 22:23  Death of Herod Agrippa I
But immediately an angel from the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory; and being eaten with worms, he expired.
When Herod in his vanity did not give God the glory, he was struck with a fatal illness by an angel from the Lord, who was probably Michael, the angel of Israel and the angel of death.  According to Josephus, Herod looked up and saw an owl, which he recognized as an evil omen.  During his imprisonment by Tiberius, the owl had been a sign of his early release with a warning that if he saw the sign again, he would die within five days.

Herod told his friends the one they had called a god was about to die.  His pain became severe and he was carried into the palace.  The people put on sackcloth and prayed for him, but after five days the pain in his belly was severe and being exhausted, he died.5

Herod Agrippa I was an Evil King who died the Sin Leading to Death at age 54 (AD 44).  He left one son, Herod Agrippa II, and two daughters, Bernice (Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30) and Drusilla, who became the third wife of the Governor Felix (Acts 24:24).

Felix

Felix was the Roman Prefect over Judaea at the time Paul was taken into custody in Jerusalem to save his life.  Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was Jewess, were like Ahab and Jezebel as Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon.  Felix was ruthless, unjust, greedy, and catered to his wife.  When Felix heard Paul's case, he put off making a decision with the excuse that he was waiting to hear from Lysias, the tribune who arrested Paul (Acts 24:1-22).

Five days later Felix brought Paul out to speak at the request of his wife Drusilla (according to the Western Text) (Acts 24:24).  Paul gave them the Gospel, which they rejected (Acts 24:25).  Felix kept Paul in custody, although there was no case against him, because Felix wanted a bribe from Paul (Acts 24:26).  This is more evidence of the influence of Satan through the love of money.  After two years elapsed, Felix was replaced by Festus.  Rather than release Paul, Felix left Paul imprisoned to please the Jews (Acts 24:27).  According to the Western Text, it was to please his wife.

Porcius Festus

Porcius Festus succeeded Felix as Prefect of Judaea.  Festus went to Jerusalem three days after arriving in Caesarea, and the chief priests and Jewish elders immediately requested that Paul be handed over to them.  They intended to ambush him and kill him along the way (Acts 25:1-3).  Festus invited them to present their case against Paul in Caesarea (Acts 25:4, 5).

The Jews presented their case against Paul in Caesarea and Paul defended himself (Acts 25:7-8).  At that point, Festus threw justice aside and began to play politics with the Jews.  In order to do them a favor, he asked Paul if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before him on the charges (Acts 25:9).  Paul saw through the ploy and appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:10, 11).

Here again, Festus was an Evil King under the influence of Satan.  It was Satan who aroused the Jews against Paul, and it was Satan who tempted Festus to try to rule by playing favorites with the Jews.

Later, when King Herod Agrippa II and his sister Bernice came to Caesarea, Festus explained to them how he was baffled about the case of the Jews against Paul.  He admitted to them that he found nothing against Paul worthy of the death penalty, which the Jews demanded (Acts 25:25).  So, he asked Agrippa II to hear Paul's case in order that he might have something to write about him for his appeal to Caesar (Acts 25:26-27).

The audience that Festus assembled in the auditorium to hear Paul speak included King Agrippa II, Bernice, five high-ranking officers who commanded cohorts (1,000 men), and the prominent men of the city (Acts 25:23).  When Paul finished, the King and others went aside and admitted that Paul had done nothing worthy of death or imprisonment (Acts 26:31).  King Agrippa II admitted that Paul might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar (Acts 26:32).

Thus, King Agrippa II admitted that Paul was innocent, but yet he rejected the Gospel and refused to stand up for Paul before Festus and demand his release.

Roman Evil Kings

The Roman Emperors were worshipped as gods.  Caesar Augustus built a temple to Julius Caesar so that he could be worshipped as a god after his death. Although Augustus himself did not demand to be hailed as a god, it was customary to deify Roman rulers after death. Some were deified in life. The deified ruler-god was Satan's counterattack of the coming Messiah, who would rule the world as the god-man during the Millennium.

Persecution of Christians

Roman Evil Kings began persecuting Christians with Nero. Up until then, the legalistic Jews had been the chief persecutors.  There were ten major persecutions.

Nero began 64 AD

After Rome was ravaged by the great fire of 64 AD, Nero was blamed, although he most likely had nothing to do with it.  When Nero could not rid himself of the rumor, he blamed the fire on Christians.

Nero, who proceeded to persecute the Christians, devised many unique and cruel ways of putting them to death. Some were sewn in animal skins and killed by dogs; others were burned in his garden at night to illuminate it. The persecution spread through the Roman Empire, but it was not a state policy and it soon ended.

Paul, the leader of the church in Rome, was executed by Nero. Paul was beheaded in the Spring of 68 AD. Then the bottom fell out of Nero's dominion. Facing pressure from all sides, he committed suicide later in 68 AD.

Satan drove Nero to persecute Christians.  Just as Satan tried to kill the first believers, e. g. Cain killing Abel, to kill the Christ child, and to kill the Jews through holocausts, he tried to stop Christianity by killing believers.

Domitian began 81 AD

He commanded that all the line of David be executed. John was boiled in oil, but he survived and was banished to Patmos.  Timothy, the pastor at Ephesus, was clubbed to death by a mob of idolaters.7,8

Trajan  - 108 138 AD

Many thousands were put to death daily. Among those martyred was Ignatius, who was the bishop of Antioch next after Peter. Under Hadrian 10,000 were killed.

Marcus Aurelius  - began 161 AD

The most horrible forms of torture were used. Polycarp, who had been a Christian for 86 years, was martyred by being burned at the stake. Justin, the philosopher, was martyred after he refused to sacrifice to Jupiter. The bodies in the 600 miles of Catacombs of Rome increased during this persecution.

Severus began in 193 AD

Maximus began 235 AD

Christians were slain without trial and buried in heaps of 50 to 60 to a pit.

Decius began 249 AD

There was an attempt to exterminate Christianity, which was thriving. Origen, the famous pastor of Alexandria, at the age of 64, was seized, placed in stocks, and threatened with fire. However, Decius died, and Origin was freed.

Valerian began 257 260 AD

Many martyrs died.

Aurelian Dec. 274 AD 275 AD, 286 AD

The persecution began under Aurelian in 274 AD on December 22nd. The persecution ended the next year when the emperor was murdered.

In 286 AD, the Thesbian Legion contained 6,666 of nothing but Christians. They were sent to Gaul to exterminate Christians. Their commanders ordered a general sacrifice to the gods and demanded that the soldiers take an oath to exterminate the Gaul Christians. The soldiers all refused. The commanders ordered the death of every tenth man, which was carried out, but the other soldiers still refused. This was repeated, and the remaining soldiers still refused. Then, their officers drew up a decree of loyalty to the emperor, which all the remaining soldiers accepted. However, when the emperor heard it, he ordered the entire legion destroyed, which was carried out.

Diocletian 303 313 AD

The persecution began during the Roman Terminalia festival in honor of Terminus, the god of boundaries. The pagans planned to terminate Christians. Diocletian commanded the destruction of all Christian churches and books and soon ordered that Christians of all denominations be rendered outlaws.

All the Christians were imprisoned and many were martyred. Houses were burned and whole Christian families died in the flames. The persecution covered all Roman provinces. Tortures of every imaginable kind were invented. A city of Christians only in Phrygia was burned, and all the inhabitants perished in the flames.

The persecution ended only when Constantine defeated the forces of Maxentius. With the coming of Constantine the Church was not persecuted again by the government for a thousand years.

The Antichrist

The Antichrist, who will arise in the Tribulation, will be the Evil King who most clearly exhibits the power of Satan.  He will not only be a dictator, a conqueror, and a man of lawlessness, but he will exhibit miraculous powers and demand to be worshipped as a god, or idol.  He will be possessed by Satan, who seeks to be worshipped as the Most High, or Sovereign God.  As the Antichrist, he seeks to take the place of Christ.  And he will form a partnership with the False Prophet of Israel in Ecumenical Babylon.

The Beast

The Antichrist will be symbolized by a Beast upon which the Prostitute of Babylon rides (Rev 17:3).  The Beast is the Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire (King of the West). The Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon symbolize Satan's temporal and spiritual power over the world.

Revelation 13:1
And the Dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out from the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
The Dragon symbolizes Satan (Rev 12:9; 20:2).  The ten horns symbolize the confederacy of ten nations ruled by the Beast. The seven heads symbolize the nations ruled by the Beast after he conquers 3 of the nations in the second half of the Tribulation (Dan 7:8, 20).  The Antichrist will conquer other nations (Rev 6:2). The blasphemous names on the heads indicate the Beast's relationship with the Prostitute of Babylon (in Ecumenical Babylon). The Beast will demand that he be worshipped as a god. The civil government and the apostate church will support the Beast. This will be like the Holy Roman Empire with no separation of church and state.
Revelation 13:2
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
The Beast had characteristics like three animals:
  1. Leopard - Cosmic Babylon
  2. Bear feet Political Babylon
  3. Lion's mouth Ecumenical Babylon
The Dragon (Satan) gave the Beast his power. He gave him his throne from which to rule. And he gave him great authority over the world.
Revelation 13:4
They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?
The people of the Earth will worship the Dragon (Satan) because he empowers the Beast. They will also worship the Beast because he is so impressive and has such a powerful army.

Empowered by Satan

Satan's demon army deals directly with the kings of the Earth. The kings, leaders, and heads of state receive their authority from God, but Satan influences them to do his bidding.

Revelation 16:13
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs;
In the Tribulation, the Dragon, Satan, will indwell the Beast (Antichrist), and False Prophet of Israel. In the vision, three unclean spirits (demons) were coming out of the mouth of the Beast and False prophet. The demons were like frogs. Frogs symbolize politicians in Political Babylon. Two world leaders, the Antichrist and False Prophet, will be possessed by demons.
Revelation 16:14
for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great Day of God, the Almighty.
The demons in the Beast and False Prophet will perform signs (miracles) to impress people. These demons will be dispatched to the kings of the whole world to bring them back to Israel to fight the War of Armageddon. The demons will have no problem convincing all the kings of the world to come fight Israel. That is an example of Satan's power to control the Evil Kings of the world through his demon organization.

Man of Lawlessness

The Antichrist as the man of lawlessness will not only be an evil doer and criminal but the dictator of an evil government that requires its subjects to do evil. Because he is possessed by Satan, the man of lawlessness will follow Satan's policy of evil and impose it on his subjects. Laws will require worship of the Antichrist through idolatry (Rev 13:12). Believers in Christ will be executed (Rev 13:15). And no one will be allowed to engage in business without receiving the mark of the beast (Rev 13:17).

2 Thessalonians 2:4 Ecumenical Babylon
who (the man of lawlessness) opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as God.
The man of lawlessness is the Antichrist who wants to be worshipped instead of Christ.  He wants to be exalted above every god or object of worship. Taking his seat in the Temple refers to the Abomination of Desolation, which will occur in the middle of the Tribulation when the Antichrist sets up a statue (idol) of himself in the Temple in Jerusalem (Matt 24:15; Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). Taking his seat in the temple symbolizes being seated at the right hand of the Father (Heb 1:13; 12:2).

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References

1.  Larry Wood.  Doctrinal Definitions, "Eating," June 27, 2011.
2.  Larry Wood.  "The Christmas Story," Dec. 10, 2010.
3.  Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.) (472). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
4.  Larry Wood.  Babylon the Great, "Persecution of the Jerusalem Church," July 10, 2010.
5. Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: Complete and unabridged. Antiquities 19.8.2, Peabody: Hendrickson.
6.  Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913).
7.  John Foxe, William Byron Forbush, ed. Foxe's Book of Martyrs, http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/martyrs/
8.  Larry Wood.  Babylon the Great,  "Roman Persecution," July 10, 2010.
9.  Wikipedia, "Clinical lycanthropy," May 14, 2013.

Author:  Larry Wood,   Released - May 3, 2013 - Revised Oct. 11, 2013

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