Devil Controls Death|
Is it True?
Q. In one of your articles you mention Hebrews 2:14 where it says the devil holds the power of death. Do you believe in a real devil? How does he hold the power or key to death?
Unseen Realities&Parallel Worlds
I love science fiction and physics because they often serve as a metaphor and/or explanation of unseen worlds or parallel realities in our universe.
But, surprisingly, the Bible also gives us hints and outright declarations about this unseen reality. We are told,
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12, NLT).
This passage does not offer us an "optional" viewpoint. It is a declaration that our earthly battles only seem - only "appear" - to be caused by human agents. But, our "real" war is against invisible beings.
Stargate's Out-of-Phase Beings
In the science fiction series Stargate, physicist Captain Carter explains that there are invisible beings around them who exist "out-of-phase" with our current physical reality in a quantum universe. So these beings operate as invisible to us.
(Who said T.V. is completely worthless)?
The Battle is the Lord's
The biblical story in 2 Kings 6:16 describes something similar. The Prophet Elisha's servant is terrified because they have been surrounded by a formidable human enemy. There are only two of them while they are surrounded by numerous hostile, human enemies. But, Elisha states,
"Don't be afraid!" Elisha told him. "For there are more on our side than on theirs!" Then Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!" The LORD opened the young man's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire" (2 Kings 6:16, NLT).
In other words, they were not alone (and neither are we). Even though it looks to us as if we are alone, God shares these truths with us to remind us of spiritual forces and beings called "angels" who surround us whenever needed or as hostile agents.
In 1 Kings 22:19 and Job 1:6 we are given a glimpse into a Divine Council of beings who are assigned or permitted to carry out various tasks on earth. Some of the descriptions of their tasks among human beings are truly odd.
For example, the prophet Micaiah says,
"Listen to what the LORD says! I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. And the LORD said, 'Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?'"
But, just "how" this is done is a truly strange explanation:
"There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the LORD and said, 'I can do it!'
"'How will you do this?' the LORD asked.
"And the spirit replied, 'I will go out and inspire all of Ahab's prophets to speak lies.'" (1 Kings 22:16-22, NLT).
In other words, invisible beings have the ability to "inspire" or influence our thought processes! They are able to engage in literal, physical mind-control!
Controlling Forces of Nature
In another meeting of the Divine Council, Satan himself is given permission to cause poor Job terrible grief. Here is a brief reading:
"One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 'Where have you come from?' the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, 'I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on.'" (Job 1:6-7).
Satan goes on to complain that Job is protected from harm so that he is wealthy and in good health. Satan points out that this is the only reason why Job worships the LORD. So the Lord gives Satan permission to ruin everything he has and to negatively affect his health - to see if Job will still worship God. So Job's family is killed by whirlwinds, fires, thieves, and other cruel acts of Satan.
How does Satan control whirlwinds, fires, thieves, and events such as these? We are not given the details. We are just told the devil is responsible. There is nothing in this account to suggest mythical deeds performed by a mythical being. A real being called "Satan" is in control of these earthly events.
2nd. Law of Thermodynamics
In the same way, Hebrews 2:14 tells us that the devil holds the power of death. How does he do that? We aren't given any details. But, since the Second Law of Thermodynamics affects the decaying, death processes of all things in our universe, I would imagine that Satan somehow causes decay, disorder and chaos to enter and affect our universe.
Who knows? What do you think? Maybe Satan may have tinkered with our original DNA in primitive mankind - causing us to begin dying from the day we are born. It is literally written into our DNA code.
The One who Overcomes Decay&Death
But, our hope comes from the actual, real, physical resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He overcame this "disease" or "curse" of decay and death. Through Him we will be made alive again even after we die.
Some, like physicist Frank Tipler, believe the resurrection was a "nuclear-type event." Its power was unimaginable to us and may have caused the radiation "browning" of the Shroud of Turin. Who knows?
Science Fiction to the Rescue Again
Once more science fiction story comes to our rescue. We are clearly told that there will be a day when our Lord will return to earth and "beam up" his entire Christian church family - dead or still alive - from the earth into the clouds to escape the disasters that will then come upon the planet.
Here is what Scripture tells us about this event:
"We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout…First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, NLT).
At this point we will be instantly changed into beings no longer subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics or the decay and death processes. The Apostle Paul explains it this way:
…"let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye…For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die" (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
So, yes we believe in a real devil who controls the power of death. How he exactly controls these processes we are not told. We can only make conjectures. But, we are presented with the cure for this primary curse upon our world and its inhabitants. It is through faith in the lordship and redemptive work of Jesus Christ that we are ultimately saved from death and sin.
Related Articles&Suggested Reading:
Barnhouse, Donald Grey. 1965. The invisible war. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
V&K Emilio. Satan - real or a force. Articles: Heaven&Hell. Available from: RemnantReport.com.
—- Is Satan real? Articles: Heaven&Hell. Available from: RemnantReport.com.
Author Valorie Emilio received her MA in history from UCLA and a Certificate in Persecuted Church Ministries from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.