Suppose Satan is Real
What Difference Does It Make?

Sermon Notes of Pastor Mark Downey

What seems to be important to us isn't necessarily on the front burner for other people in our Movement. So we need to examine priorities and find the unity that will motivate us to reprioritize a singleness of purpose and overcome the stumbling blocks that splinter us historically and spiritually. There is no clear theme in the opening statement. It doest tell us anything about what we are going to learn. Are we discussing priorities or unity? What stumbling blocks? We are left with guessing what this document is about. (As a rule of thumb, you should start off by telling your audience what you’re going to tell them, then tell them what you want to tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them.)  You may recognize this title from the often repeated 'Suppose We are Israel - What Difference Does It Make?'. It's a good question, especially if some people put forth a proposition that is paramount to their ideology. We are directed to the title but immediately referred to the title of another document. If you are not familiar with this other document you are SOL. When discussing 'satan', (we finally get to the subject) we are not dealing with something as tangible as a race of people claiming to be the Israel of scriptures. In essence, the nuclear message of Christian Identity has always been predicated on the reality of people fulfilling a certain role. What role is that? The thing that is frustrating our Movement, more than anything right now, is the identification of jews in a proper biblical perspective. Does MD mean as Idumeans, Canaanites, Kenites or Khazars? Some go so far as to say that you can't understand the Word of God or what's going on in the world unless you accept the satanic seedline of jews. MD assumes everyone knows what this is. I guess we are discussing Jews now.

Very elaborate extrapolations expound at great lengths to convince people of this pressing priority. The seedline or identification priority? What's interesting about this premise is the very nature of satan, according to their definitions, and its reality. What premise? I thought we had switched to discussing Jews but I guess we are back to discussing Satan. It does make a very big difference as to how we define this word. Which word? Satan, nature or reality? In fact, it makes a difference as to whether or not the Hebrew word 'satan' is transliterated or translated, the former of which it was not. Had it been translated properly as 'adversary', we wouldn't have the problem of a fanatical interpretation and an entire theological doctrine dominating a religious movement. Now we’re getting somewhere but we are still not there. We think MD is saying that the definition of ‘satan’ is incorrect without giving us what the incorrect definition is. He simply says what the word should be translated as.

Indeed, the personified Satan preoccupies judeo-Christianity as well, although with far fewer critics as to its supposed reality. Now we are talking about a personified Satan. The attribute of Satan as a pronoun promotes the concept of a supernatural being. I think MD means a noun as opposed to a pronoun , which are things like he, she, it, and Satan is usually referred to by proper name or titles, i.e. a noun.  What difference does this make? Well, if it doesn't harmonize with the rest of Scripture, the obvious discrepancy becomes the reality. The opposite could apply as well. If a non personified Satan doesn’t harmonize… but I would not say the discrepancy becomes a reality. A reality is something that is true. A discrepancy implies a falsehood. What do these proponents of a supernatural satan mean by real? We've heard everything from satan being an ugly hook nosed, pointy eared, lizard tailed, horned monster to the most beautiful of the heavenly angels who fell from grace. Maybe he's a changling or shape shifter! You can take your pick from this selection of different realities, but it might get a little confusing if you don't totally accept it. Perhaps it would help to show how the word describes him rather than the world that doesn’t relate to CI.

By the way, just to make it perfectly clear, those of us who don't buy into the satanic seedline theory, do believe that there are satans in the world, but they are merely human adversaries. Now we have MD’s view of what satans are, i.e. human adversaries so if you or I oppose his view, we are satans!

The antichrist jew is a very real adversary without the supernatural trappings. Hypothetically then, let's suppose that the Satan of the Seedliners is a discernable reality to our five senses within the three dimensions of known science. Otherwise, the reality would be speculative rather than real, would it not? Duhh, is any spirit discernable? If satan is real, then what characteristics of Christianity distiguishes (sic) itself from other religions? New subject? (Possibly Argument #1 against a literal Satan)  Actually, the contrast may not be that great in light of comparative religion courses taught in universities and colleges. Many religions per se of the world, both ancient and contemporary, civilized and uncivilized, hold to the belief in two supreme principles, one good and the other evil.

When asserting opposite terms as dualistic (another new subject?), the intent is not to just acknowledge their dissimiliarity, but primarily to insist that it is impossible to reduce their differences any further. And this is important why? If Christianity is dependent upon a real satan, then the dualism is an absolute. How does dualism become an absolute (perfect in quality or nature, complete not mixed pure) by Christianity depending on a real Satan? God's Word is absolute, but is Christianity dualism in the sense of two supernatural beings? Christianity has more than 2 supernatural being: God, angels, Zoon, and devils. Ironically, the ancient Persian religion of Zoroaster proclaimed an irreducible opposition between Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord and Angra Mainyu, the Evil Spirit. The first incarnates truth, righteousness and order, while the latter represents the lie, unrighteousness and disorder. Dualism is generally the view that reality consists of 2 disparate parts, i.e. black and white, hot or cold, etc. In theology, dualism CAN refer to ditheism, the belief that there are 2 rival great Gods that work in polar opposition to each other. I would not say Christianity is ditheistic since it does not equate Satan with God. Satan tries to make himself ditheistic and those that worship him are ditheistic but Christians don’t.

Historically, Christian dogma has denounced dualism as a heresy and condemned it repeatedly, not from the simple fact that there is a radical difference between good and evil or the sacred and the profane. This is MD’s argument #2 against the existence of a literal satan. The early Church clearly believed in a literal Satan as reflected in the writings of Paul, to wit:  2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 1 Cor 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. No, the rejection is directed against the metaphysical or supernatural manifestation of some personage spoiling God's creation. This is the stuff of mythologies and superstitions, whereby the priestcraft inculcates a supernatural destroyer and tempter of man. If this Satan is the personification of cosmic evil and not the adversarial agency of man alone, then how can Christianity maintain a monotheistic position? Simple.  Christians do not look at Satan as a ‘God’ but as an archangel who fell. Big difference.

The first commandment must have meant that "other gods", specifically the supernatural satan types, were real. That would make a difference as to what type of religion Christianity is. Examples? If we believe Satan is a real spiritual being, existing outside our normal senses, and God permits this satanic power to coexist in His creation, being able to influence and entice man to sin, not directly, but through our carnal desires, then what difference does that make to our faith and our belief in God? MD raised the question about ‘spoiling creation’ but didn’t elaborate on how the creation was spoiled. Did he mean by acquiring a mixed seed or by being influenced to do evil such as stealing murdering etc. Of if there is a real Satan that contaminated the seedline, that would make a difference since God’s word is to warn us of the evil and how we can protect ourselves, i.e. girt our loins with the truth. The difference would be who or what is responsible for acting contrary to God. This touches on #3 argument MD raises to persuade the reader that there is no literal Satan and therefore that it shouldn’t make a difference to our faith. With a vicarious cause for transgression, we can be persuaded to think that something outside of ourselves prompted the sin. We, therefore, can substitute our guilt to a scapegoat that is quite real in our minds. Add the Holy Spirit of God to our every day life, a mentality from God to remove ourselves from evil This is not necessarily the CI understanding of the Holy Spirit, and we become the rope in a tug of war between God and Satan. The entire issue is reduced to the mental assent of perceived biblical realities Which ones? to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction. Is MD saying that a strong belief in spiritual entities is necessary to have religious conviction?

This concept of being fully persuaded about the reality of the truth or the truth of a reality is self explanatory in the New Testament as a matter of trust and obeying the simplicity that is in Christ, with the understanding that His Word is the value in which we honor Him. I’m lost. What does ‘being fully persuaded about the reality of the truth’ have to do with the trust and obeying the simplicity that is in Christ’?  If we don't give God all the, glory and honor, Praise – approval admiration; Glory – great honor; Honor – high respect which simply means all the attention, credit (this is not one of the meanings behind these words; we don’t praise honor and glorify Satan just because we believe he literally exists.  If that were the case I would be praising, honoring and glorifying MD just because I believe he exists.)  towards His reputation and recognition of His exclusive power, then someone or something else is receiving attention, credit and recognition that belongs to God alone. The word tells us that Satan has power but not ALL power; only God has ALL power. Compare the power of a king with that of a bishop or knight. A king has all power but the bishop limited power.

Argument #4: If Satan is real, we have to share our beliefs with two supernatural beings, God and Satan. What about angels? Are they not supernatural? We don’t think of them as equals to God.  It's the difference between dualism and monotheism. We cannot believe both of these concepts for that would be double minded. I don’t see how believing in a supreme being along with a lesser being who tries to exalt himself is being double minded. Is believing a filet minion is better than a hamburger being double minded? There's an axiom that pertains to this hypothesis that we've been exploring and it is this: When men give anything the power to do great things, that is equal to worshipping that thing. By giving the President of the United States great power, are we worshipping him? God forbid.  Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in m e. Looks to me like Satan has some power, not that God doesn’t have superior power.

It is possible that the 'synogogue of satan' referred to in Rev. 2:9 was a form of dualism which applied to some early sects of first century Christianity. Are we just supposed to take your word for this without any further explanation as to why you believe this? The identification of the serpent with the devil lead some of these groups to his worship, to a belief in a real Satan.  Does the fact that Rev. 12:9 & 20:2 says that the serpent and the devil and Satan are the same entity cause Christians to worship him? Aren’t we talking about Christianity in this paper? Oh, maybe not! The Ophites were a branch of the Gnostics during the second century AD, and they attached special importance to Satan as the tempter in view of their great respect for gnosis, the knowledge of good and evil which the Serpent had enabled man to obtain. They said God withheld this knowledge from Adam and that the Serpent was the real liberator of mankind since he taught men to rebel against God (as if man needs any help!). These believers in a real Satan venerated the rebellion of Cain, Esau and Sodomites as heros. They worshipped Korah (one of Esau's sons), and especially Judas Iscariot from freeing mankind from Jesus. This does not explain how belief in the devil leads to his worship but only that these pagans worshipped him because obviously they hear the voice of their father.

Babylonian dualism was brought into contact with Christian thought through the cult of Manichaeism, circa third and fourth century AD, which reintroduced or reinvented the fantastic fables of ancient mythology. Mythology is not part of Christianity.  Where do we find Zeus, Venus, Aphrodite, Neptune, Pan and others in the word?  And yet St. Augustine, who converted to Christianity from Manichaeism, passionately denounced this type of dualism in his writings that influenced Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox theologies.  It (Christianity? Dualism? Ancient mythology?) borrowed from various religions to form an elastic and a convenient eclectic solution to the problem of good and evil. Was this part of the rewriting of the ancient manuscripts by Rabbis? The forbidden fruit of Genesis, which the Gnostics exalted, became the theological source of the dualist doctrine of two coexisting realities, whereby Satan made an incursion into God's Kingdom and penetrated the earthly dominion of Adam-man. Kabalistic much? A literal Satan is found in the Septuagint, which dates back 300 BC (600 years before Manicheaism). See Job 1; Zac. 3:1 sqq.

In all the dualist sects, there is a glorification, not praise, but an officially established dogma put on a pedestal of a real supernatural devil, because the essence of dualism is dependent upon placing the devil highly up in status as God's rival, eternal and independent of Him. Just because Christianity is somewhat dualist in recognizing the differences in good from evil, the holy from the profane, the clean frm the unclean, the sheep from the goats, etc., doesn’t mean it glorifies Satan. To a Christian, Satan is the malignant enemy of God and Messiah. Although Satan is deemed supernatural, Christians do not view him at the same level as God. Other sects might exalt Satan, but not Christians, and to compare the two is to make a dualistic comparison, specifically night and day!  When their dogmatic perspective of the universe resurfaced in the 10th century, under the guise of the Bogomils and Cathari, their heretical reputation was contained secretly in groups known as Luciferians, who worshipped the devil under the name of Satanael, or of Sammael. This cult is mentioned by the 11th century Byzantine writer Euthymius Zigabenus as prevalent among the Bulgarian Bogomils, who held the notion that Satanael seduced Eve and that he, not Adam, was Cain's begetter.

They  (Whoever they are.  Bogomils? Cathari? Luciferians? All of the above?) also put forth the idea that dualism means the belief that goodness exists only in the spiritual world of the good god; (To the contrary, Christians believe the devil is spiritual and not good so again this is a rather meaningless comparison.) while the material world is evil and was created by an evil god or spirit called Satan and therefore Good and Evil have two separate realities. I think MD means two separate dimensions, i.e. spiritual and material. These doctrines of creation led them to rewrite the biblical story (which one?  The one about creation?) and, like all dualists, they established an elaborate mythology to replace it, and in so doing, reject the canon of scripture as holy and sacred. Do we expect pagans to accept scripture? Of course not. In contrast, Christians don’t reject scripture so why is this point being raised? The dualist's interpretation of history is this constant temptation from Satan and his demonic agents to bind men to evil by means of materialism, carnality, error and false religion. The visible world, as they understand it, is in the realm of the evil one and all contact with matter and flesh, which are the devil's best instruments for gaining mastery over men's souls, should be avoided and denounced. The problem with this drastic theology is a denial of the physical messianic incarnation of Jesus Christ and the Christian concept of material matter as a vehicle of grace. What is the point of this when we are supposed to be discussing Christian doctrine? Conversely, dualism advocates that good spirits, or agents of God, can save man, only by imparting to them the true gnosis concerning the forces of nature. And MD said all this to say what? So far we have only discussed the occult dualist beliefs in Satan as a God to be worshipped, which is completely contrary to what Christians believe.

If all of this sounds vaguely familiar, it indeed corresponds to a religious undercurrent in Christian Identity called the Two Seedline theory. What? And would you mind informing us of why you think this. I really have to wonder what MD is smoking in his pipe for I cannot imagine how there is any comparison of the two.  The two seedline doctrine distinguishes the physical seedline of Israelites (the children of God) who are descendants of Seth with the physical seedline of Jews (the children of Satan) who are descendants of Cain. This is based on scripture, not pagan dualism or mythology. Identity Christians don’t advocate denouncing all contact with matter and flesh; don’t believe good spirits can save man by gnosis; don’t believe in constant temptations from Satan and his agents. Judeo-Christians on the other hand… The satanic seedliners do not suppose or hypothesize. They, in fact, believe that a supernatural being named Satan is real. Is this argument #5 that if you believe in a real Satan you must be a satanic seedliner? That might be the only argument so far that makes any sense!  So far we have not been given any solid arguments that Satan is not real much less what difference it would make. They may object to the analogy of dualism or even the troublesome question as to what difference does it make. It would be interesting to see some arguments on what difference it makes. So far we haven’t seen any.  I think it makes a difference to God as to how we read and believe His Word. That's got to be an important priority, because if we start out on a false premise, our understanding of divine intent will fail us and we will not help towards the advancement of Christianity. Is this the whole point that MD has been aiming at? How important it is not to start out on a false premise? I assume MD is referring to the premise of whether Satan is real or not.

As we study comparative religions that have come and gone, we can identify what was right and wrong. The inspired teachings and principles of scripture compared to the heresies and traditions of man basically remain the same. There is nothing new under the sun; just the magician's illusions in presentation. That would be an excellent description of this paper except no where close have we seen rabbits come out of a hat. Thus far, I have not offered any scriptures refuting this inane presumption about satan, because I wanted you to imagine the mindset that it takes to accept it as a reality; to put yourself in the shoes of a dual seedliner. What about the mindset that reads the word where it says the devil Satan is a real, walkin’ talkin’ being who seduced Eve in the garden, stripped Job of everything except his life, tempted Christ in the wilderness, etc?  So let us now rephrase the theme by asking: What if Satan is not real? Can Christianity Survive? What saith the Word of the Lord God of Israel?

MD does not make any conclusive arguments but merely spouts off a lot of disconnected and discombobulated statements throughout the article that don’t relate to the subject at hand. The article never addresses the question of ‘what if Satan is real and what difference does it make? If anything, he makes several weak arguments as to why he may not be real. I have painstakingly narrowed these arguments down into 4 arguments:


MD’s first argument is that Christianity cannot distinguish itself from other religions if it holds that Satan is real.  He never explains why he believes this is true and I can think of many reasons why it isn’t true. Just because a religion has something similar or in common with another religion doesn’t mean it is the same as that other religion. For example, other religions believe in a supreme God, such as Allah, Budda, the Great Spirit, etc. but Christianity is clearly distinguished from these religions. Many Christian denominations are similar in that they believe in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but they can be easily distinguished from each other in other areas, such at the difference between the Judeo-Christianity view that the Jews are the chosen ones and Identity Christianity view that Israelites are the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Germanic and kindred people.


The second argument he makes is that historical Christian dogma rejects a supernatural being that spoiled God’s creation.  This argument falls short because the scripture that ‘historical Christian dogma’ relied upon states that Christ had a conversation with the devil Satan in the wilderness; the devil entered into Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper; John talks about Satan being the Devil, the Serpent and the dragon who was kicked out of heaven in the book of Revelation; Peter writes about the devil walking around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, etc. etc.  To say that the early church did not believe Satan was a real entity is hogwash.


The third argument is that personifying Satan is for the sole purpose of having a scapegoat on which to blame our sins. MD says, “If we believe Satan is a real spiritual being… then what difference does that make to our faith and our belief in God?” He answers by saying, “The difference would be who or what is responsible for acting contrary to God.” Why would this make a difference if we are not the ones acting contrary to God? Does he mean it might make a difference to those who want to escape liability for their sins by blaming some other entity for causing us to sin? This approach relies on the Flip Wilson mentality of ‘the devil made me do it’. This argument also fails since Identity Christians don’t blame the devil for their sins (see Heb. 10:26, 1 John 3:5-9) inasmuch as they are generally more knowledgeable of scripture than your average Judeo-Christian. Judeo-Christians might, such as Flip Wilson, but that is all together another subject.


The fourth argument MD makes against a literal Satan is that one cannot maintain a monotheistic position if one accepts the notion of a literal Satan. This argument falls short because a belief in Satan as a fallen angel does not equate him with God.



Finally, MD fails to address many Christian Identity principles such as, only Israelites have the Holy Spirit, that Jesus came only for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, that God is the God of Israel and none else, and he approaches the subject of whether there is a literal Satan from a heathen and/or Judeo-Christian perspective rather than an Identity one.


Overall, the work is obtuse. MD asks but doesn’t clearly answer the question of “what difference does it makeif there is a literal Satan except to say that if [Satan as a pronoun (sic)] doesn't harmonize with the rest of Scripture, the obvious discrepancy becomes the reality and we are left with trying to figure out what harmonizing with scripture has to do with the reality of a discrepancy, since a discrepancy suggests that something isn’t real or true but is a contradiction. Moreover, we are not even proffered examples of scriptures that don’t harmonize as the result of believing in a literal Satan. Therefore, I will have to draw my own conclusion by asking, does it really make a difference whether there is a literal Satan or not? Does it make a difference if we understand how or why the world became corrupt and why Israelites were sent to restore it? Does it make a difference whether we believe God’s creation became corrupt due to the disobedience of one that fell or should we just think that God failed in making his creation? Does it make a difference whether the word is false or whether we can believe the word when it tells us that there was a walking talking being that defected from God and led God’s creation astray? Does it make a difference whether we believe Satan is a loser who is bound for a 1000 years during the millennial kingdom or whether he is cast into the lake of fire, turned to ash, blotted out and destroyed so that there will be no more pain, corruption and death?  Does it make a difference if the devil is real and deceives us into believing that he is not thereby causing us to be naïve to his ways? Does it make a difference whether we believe we are all potentially Satans or whether we believe we are the children of the Most High God? I suppose if you don’t believe the word or just don’t care, then it really doesn’t matter.


Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.