Jesus the True Super-Hero

Chapter 17 of Corrupting the Image vol 2: Jesus the True Super-Hero [Part-2]

In the last and hardest test “the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Matt 4:8–9). 

The highest mountain within the boundaries of the United Kingdom of Israel, and even as far as Sidon, the northern most point of Jesus’ ministry, is Mount Hermon. There is no other mountain in the region that is higher; it is visible from nearly everywhere in Northern Israel and even to the southernmost part of the Sea of Galilee. It is the highest point in Israel, standing over 9,200 ft (2,800 m) above sea level, often with snow on its highest peaks.  

Of course, we remember that it was on this mountain that the angels came down and took an oath to corrupt the seed of man and beget the Nephilim. On that high mountain, Satan used his power to show Jesus “in a moment of time” (Luke 4:5), all the kingdoms of the world that he possessed. They all belonged to Satan. In Luke, Satan said “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish” (Luke 4:6). Jesus did not argue with Satan because it was true. The harsh reality that Satan is the supreme-ruler of this world is evidenced throughout the pages of Scripture:  

  • the ruler of this world [cosmos κόσμος] (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). 
  •  “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev 11:15). (Meaning they were not before that moment).  

We need to understand “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein (Ps 24:1, See also Ps 89:11). Everything belongs to God; It is all His creation. However, in the beginning God made man and said:  

“Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1:26).  

The same motif is clearly stated in Psalm 8:  

What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field (Ps 8:4–7).  

Think of it this way: God created the world, and then leased it out to Adam. It is all God’s, but He gave full authority to Adam. The dominion was Adam’s, though it technically belonged to God. Satan hoodwinked them in the Garden and gained the dominion for himself. This is why he said to Jesus, “All this authority … for this has been delivered [παραδεδοται] to me” (Luke 4:6). The word paradedotai [παραδεδοται], according to BDAG, means: “to convey something in which one has a relatively strong personal interest, hand over, give (over), deliver, entrust,” and also “to entrust for care or preservation, give over, commend, commit.” 

In other words, the kingdoms of this world have been given over, entrusted, committed to Satan—we might say he swindled Adam and Eve fair and square. Satan found a legal concept by which he could come in and take control of the planet and the world system, called adverse possession. According to Cornell Law School: 

Adverse possession is a doctrine under which a person in possession of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain common law requirements are met, and the adverse possessor is in possession for a sufficient period of time, as defined by a statute of limitations.clxxxvii 

Neither Adam and Eve, nor God had any legal recourse; Satan legally scammed them. Satan played the trump card! To be sure, God was more powerful and had more angels in His army. But the contest was not about strength; it was about authority, and Satan had the authority. He knew for certain God could not just overpower him and take it back because “righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Ps 97:2). If God should overpower Satan, which he could, then God would no longer be righteous and just. If God tried to forcefully take back dominion of Earth, Satan could exclaim: 

“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25). 

Because of this ace up his sleeve, Satan did not fear that Jesus could take back the planet. He reasoned that the most He would do is comfort mankind for some time; but in the end, because of the bondage of corruption which led to death, and because he held the power of death (Keys of Death and Hades) (Heb 2:14–15), Satan would remain master over the world indefinitely.  

We saw Satan’s hubris played out in the Akitu festival where the “good news” was brought to Enlil of the killing of (An) the Creator and where the “anutu” (Anu-ship) was delivered to Enlil. Enlil then in turn, gave the Enlil-ship to whoever he wished because it was his to give out. That authority was known as the Tablet of Destinies in the ancient world, and he was the owner. Amar Annus reminds us “In Enuma eliš, the Tablet of Destinies is associated with the powers of Anu”clxxxviii (Anu being the creator).  

THE SCROLL AND THE TABLET OF DESTINIES 

The Tablet of Destinies that Enlil possessed appears to be the same as the scroll in God’s right hand in Revelation.  

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it (Rev 5:1–4).  

In the Book of Daniel 7, we see a similar picture of millions upon millions of mighty beings surrounding God’s fiery throne! 

The Ancient of Days was seated … His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire (Dan 7:9). … A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him (Dan 7:10).  

John says a challenge went out to the 100+ million angels in God’s retinue: “A strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” (Rev 5:2). He was asking who was authorized to open this scroll, and worthy to loose it seals. The reality was “no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.” 

Nobody on the Earth, no one in heaven or in the Earth or under the Earth, or in the abode of the dead. Nobody of the 100+ million beings, at least, standing before the King of Kings! Consequently, John says: “So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it” (Rev 5:3). 

He is weeping because of the significance of the scroll. The destinies of humankind are linked to the scroll, which Satan called the Tablet of Destinies. We learn as we continue to read Revelation that judgments come when the seals are broken. The judgments eventually lead to “loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Rev 11:15). In other words, once the scroll is opened, Satan’s kingdom is over.  

The scroll is the dominion God gave to Adam which he forfeited in the Garden. Scrolls had not yet been invented in the Sumerian civilization. All contracts were recorded on clay tablets. We recall how “Ninurta, as the seal-bearer of Enlil in Nippur, was probably authorized to act with Enlil’s authority. … Ninurta … is often invoked as the “Bearer of the Tablet of Destinies of the Gods.”clxxxix Hence, the Tablet of Destinies was the equivalent of the scroll. Whoever held the document, controlled Earth and the destinies of mankind.  

John wept beforehand because it was sealed, and nobody could open it; somehow the right to open the scroll had been forfeited. If the scroll could not be opened, it meant that Satan’s kingdom and authority would go on forever. 

SATAN OFFERS JESUS HIS AUTHORITY 

Satan indeed had authority over the world, a fact that Jesus did not contest: “The devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish’” (Luke 4:6). Satan offered to give Jesus the Tablet of Destinies if he would just bow down and worship Satan. He had given the Tablet to Nimrod millennia earlier, just as he would give it to Jesus if He complied.  

We could frame Satan’s offer like this:  

Oh, you want the planet? You want to save mankind? No problem, I can give it to whoever I want. The Father sent you on this mission to get all the kingdoms of the world and to show humanity how to live and to bring all into a meaningful relationship with God. I will make you a good deal. I will just give it all to you. You want it and this is what you came for. Take it. But just one little thing … no big deal, really. Bow down to me and worship me like others have in the past, and the world is yours.  

Had Jesus taken the offer, Satan probably would have kept his end of the bargain and the world would look quite different. Yet death would remain; death and the fear of death would have still permeated the planet. In Hebrews, the message is clear that Satan had authority over men, because we are told Jesus freed us:  

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb 2:14–15). 

Satan ruled mankind, and by his authority as Holder of the Keys of Death and Hell, he sealed the destiny of mankind. Consequently, humans could never go back to be with God because death is inside them: the animals, plants and also the planet itself. Remember earlier, nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Gentry told us that even granite is in the process of decay which can be measured by a Geiger counter as radiation. God Himself, in all of His beauty and glory cannot come back to this corrupted planet without melting it. His face is like the sun; He cannot come back unveiled. When He does come, He has to shroud himself in thick darkness. Even with the protective shroud, when He came down to Mt. Sinai, the mountain was enveloped in smoke and it was on fire because the glory of the Lord.  

Satan was ingenious; He elaborated on how he could give Jesus exactly what he came for, but understated that little clause “just bow down”. But thankfully, Jesus was way ahead of Satan.  

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matt 4:10–11).