Satan’s Air Cover 

Chapter 20 of The Corrupting The Image 3 :  Satan’s Air Cover 

Satan’s army of two hundred million chimera-manticores were effective in dealing with people, but they will not stop Jesus. Nevertheless, as his airborne detachment, they will create a front line against Jesus. Recall how we discovered the god of death, Nergal, (yet another syncretism for Satan and or Nimrod) was described perfectly as the creature coming out of the abyss in Revelation 9. Satan very possibly had hoped to release that army on the world at Jesus’ first coming, but he was thwarted by Jesus’ decree: that the gates of Hades would not prevail; and by his actions on top of Hermon, and ultimately by his resurrection. 

Figure 42. 8th century BCE Assyrian Cylinder Seal, Source: Walters Art Museum/Wikimedia Commons. 

Nevertheless, once released, that army will quickly move into action. We know that they will use their serpent-head tails311 to inflict pain on all who do not have the mark of God for five months. However, once that task is complete, we can infer that their job will be to defend Satan’s strategic target of Jerusalem.  

Satan had tried to stand in Jesus’ way when Jesus was on a mission before. When Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee with his disciples, Satan sent a furious storm to try to kill him and his disciples. The disciples panicked and woke their master, who seemed a bit disappointed that they interrupted his restful nap for such a small matter. ‘Oh ye of little faith, why did you disrupt my nap?’ While He was awakening from his sleep, He chastised them for having so little faith. Only after standing up did He rebuke the wind and waves! Satan had tried to put up a barrier to block Jesus from coming into his territory by stirring up the waves into a powerful storm. When they got to land, two demoniacs met them, at least one of whom had a legion of demons inside him, which is 4,000-6,000 demons! That was a whole army of unclean spirits that Satan had sent to prevent Jesus from accessing Bashan, the territory that formerly housed the “remnant of the giants” (Joshua 12:4) and was currently casting a “shadow of death” on the Galilee (Isa 9:2). Satan deployed a storm and legion of demons to shield the land of Bashan—his snake-dragon headquarters. Like Ronald Reagan envisioned his Strategic Defense Initiative, “Star Wars,” Satan went on the defense and in essence, raised the deflector shield. In the end, Satan will again try to stop Jesus by raising a protective dome over the Jerusalemites that He is coming to rescue, the ones who had just said “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai.” Though Satan is on the defense, he may still have one final option. Because God said: “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Zech 12:8), Satan may believe if he can destroy all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, he can prove God a liar and then be able to negotiate a “cease-fire.” Nevertheless, his back is now up against a wall; as this time, God is the one setting the trap. 

Satan knows Jesus is coming in the air to rescue those in Jerusalem; He may send those wall-scaling, hive-minded chimeras to form an interlocking dome over Jerusalem.  

“They look like horses … They scale walls like soldiers. Each one proceeds on his course; they do not alter their path. They do not jostle one another … The earth quakes before them; the sky reverberates. The sun and the moon grow dark” (Joel 2: 4a, 7–8a; 10 NET). 

They will provide air protection while his army of zombies attacks the remnant of Jerusalemites on the ground. We discover this from several passages. First of all, God says: 

“You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes” (Ezek 38:16). 

While we cannot deny that “like a cloud” could be interpreted just to mean something voluminous; alternatively, it may be understood to be a mimic of Jesus’ departure and return on the clouds (Acts 1:9–11). It appears that 200 million, battle-ready, horse-like chimeras will thunder into Jerusalem like bees who swarm but don’t bump into each other, to cover the land in a cloud-ceiling that blocks out the light from the sky. Satan has set his sights on defeating God, claiming Jerusalem (above and below) and sitting on God’s throne. He may deploy his own version of an “iron dome,” but God will fight in both realms. Isaiah tells us how God will fight at the time of the sky rolling up, and his sword will slaughter heavenly powers:  

“For the LORD is angry at all the nations and furious with all their armies. He will annihilate them and slaughter them (Isa 34:2). Their slain will be left unburied, their corpses will stink; the hills will soak up their blood (Isa 34:3). All the stars in the sky will fade away, the sky will roll up like a scroll; all its stars will wither, like a leaf withers and falls from a vine or a fig withers and falls from a tree (Isa 34:4). He says, ‘Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers. Look, it now descends on Edom, on the people I will annihilate in judgment’ (Isa 34:5 NET).” 

Angels are Stars  

There are some important clues in this pericope: “All the stars in the sky will fade away” (“All the host of heaven shall be dissolved” NKJV). This refers to angelic beings, not the incandescent burning bodies that astronomy calls “stars.” If it were talking about astronomical stars, then ALL the stars from Alpha Centari to Beetlejuice to the super giants and our own sun would need to fall to the earth. If that happened there would be no earth, the planet would be done. 

Angels are often referred to as stars, especially in the book of Revelation. In chapter twelve, the “dragon” taking stars with its tail is the same as the dragon and his angels being cast to the earth. 

  • a great, fiery red dragon (Rev 12:3). His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth (Rev 12:4).  
  • the great dragon was cast out … and his angels were cast out with him (Rev 12:9). 
  • The seven stars are the angels [angeloi ἄγγελοι] of the seven churches … (Rev 1:20).  
  • it cast down some of the host [of heaven] and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them (Dan 8:10).  
  • All the host of heaven [fallen angels] shall be dissolved … All their host shall fall down … as fruit falling from a fig tree (Isa 34:4; Rev 6:13).  
  • Then the third angel sounded: and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water (Rev 8:10). 

In prophetic language, stars equal angelic beings.  

“And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit” (Rev 9:1-2). 

That meaning is further underscored in the book of Job where the sons of God are also called stars. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God (benei ha’elohim) shouted for joy? (Job 38:7). Nevertheless, the use of stars in the book of Revelation firmly establishes that “stars” is a reference to angels.312 Thus, without doubt, the picture drawn is that of God doing battle against some of Satan’s angels in the atmosphere, not on the planet’s surface. 

 So, the “host” are bad angels that face judgment on the “day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth” (Isa 24:21). 

The “stars falling to the ground like figs” in Revelation are referred to as the “host of heaven falling” in Isaiah. We see that many other places in Scripture the term tzevah hashamaim is talking about the armies of heaven, which is the literal translation demonstrated in a scene in 1 Kings in which God is surrounded by the host of heaven [הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם צְבָ֣א tzevah hashamaim] (1 Kgs 22:19).  

There are many examples that demonstrate that the phrase is typically referring to angels. In Jeremiah 19, the hosts of heaven are equated with “gods.”  

“Because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven [הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם [צְבָ֣א], and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods” (Jer 19:13 KJV).  

Those “gods,” “host of heaven” or “fallen angels,” are also referred to as the armies of exalted ones in the heavens, in Isaiah 24, which happens at “that time,” which is a reference to the Day of the Lord. 

“And it will come about at that time, the Lord will punish the armies [tzevah צְבָ֥א] of the exalted ones in the heavens, and the rulers of the earth on earth” (Isa 24:21 ISV).  

Paul, writing to the Ephesians, refers to the reality of the adverse cosmic powers (κοσμοκράτοράςας cosmokratoras). Those cosmic powers, which are all around us, are part of the spiritual forces that are in the heavenly realm, which is a reference to angels and not to balls of gas in outer space.  

“For our struggle is not against human opponents, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm” (Eph 6:12 ISV).  

Now we are prepared to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “the powers of heaven will be shaken loose” (Matt 24:29 ISV). He was not referring to the sun, moon, and stars going away. Rather He was referring to the cataclysmic changes occurring among the heavenly powers and Satan’s angelic servants. 

Sword has Slaughtered Heavenly Powers  

We remember that Satan and his angels were cast to the earth. They lost their ability to be on the other side of the veil. In Corrupting the Image 2, we considered how Satan and his angels yearn for a body; this led them to create the Nephilim to serve as bio-suits, but the experiment failed. In the end times, Satan has now fused with the Beast, and his angels have fused with the Manticores, and potentially also humans who have taken the mark.  

Thus, Jesus is going to fight fleshly-spiritual beings; “Their slain will be left unburied, their corpses will stink; the hills will soak up their blood” (Isa 34:3). The location of this battle is clearly in the heavens, given the description, his “sword has slaughtered heavenly powers.”  

The heavenly powers that He slaughters are the lesser gods. God Almighty judges among the gods. The term “gods” does not mean entities that have real power to go against God, but angels, in the sense that He has arranged a hierarchy of positions. Some angels have been faithful; others have been unfaithful. And here He is speaking to the ones that have been unfaithful. This must be the fulfillment found in Psalm 82: 

“I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High’ (Ps 82:6). But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes” (Ps 82:7). 

The fact that they will die like men is noteworthy. In other words, something has happened to them. We catch a glimpse of this in Isaiah 14 where God reveals what will happen to Babylon and the king of Babylon, who is Satan in this case. It says:  

“The LORD’s sword is dripping with blood, it is covered with fat; it drips with the blood of young rams and goats and is covered with the fat of rams’ kidneys. For the LORD is holding a sacrifice in Bozrah, a bloody slaughter in the land of Edom” (Isa 34:6).  

Dr. Bob Utley explains the imagery of the blood of young rams313 and goats: “here Edom (like Moab earlier) is symbolic of all the arrogant nations who rebel against God.” Lange and Schaff explain this section: 

“Isa 34:4 pictures the judgment that shall be executed on the heavens, but here the Prophet combines intention and performance. He contemplates the judgment of God as beginning in heaven, and continued on earth.”314  

Thus, the judgment begins with God’s sword being bloody in the heavens, and then being bloody from activity on the earth.  

“Wild oxen will be slaughtered along with them, as well as strong bulls [אַבִּירִ֑ים]. Their land is drenched with blood, their soil is covered with fat (Isa 34:7). For the LORD has planned a day of revenge, a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion (Isa 34:8 NET).” 

In Corrupting the Image 2, we explored the phrase “bulls of Bashan,” [אַבִּירֵ֖י abirei] which TWOT defines as “mighty,” “strong,” or “brave,” and carries a connotation of a bull-god. TWOT notes “’ābı̂r relates to the Akkadian abāru “be strong.”… it may be an element in a divine name in Ugaritic “the Mighty One of Hadd.” Psalm 78 says, “Men ate angels’ [אַ֭בִּירִים abirim] food … ”(Ps 78:25), and the translators render it as angels, that is, mighty ones, instead of bulls. In other word, these bull are spiritual beings. They were present at the crucifixion, encompassing the crucified Jesus, with their hideous faces in a diabolic jubilation, thinking that Jesus and his work were defeated. They were so preoccupied with jeering and mocking Jesus, they were oblivious to the fact that Jesus was gaining supreme victory over death. Thus, Jesus is fighting angels who were “gods,” but will die as men. In the end times, they will have become corporeal and flesh and will be attempting to stop Jesus from getting to Jerusalem; just as they once tried to stop him from crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus will go toe to toe with the mighty bulls of Bashan—clones of Batios, the great bull-god of Mt. Hermon!  

“Look, it now descends on Edom, on the people I will annihilate in judgment” (Isa 34:5 NET).  

Later the same prophet asks,  

“Who is this who comes from Edom [מֵאֱד֗וֹם me’Edom], with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?– ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save’ (Isa 63:1). Who is this who comes from Edom, Why is Your apparel red [אָדֹ֖ם adom], and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? (Isa 63:2).” 

This of course, is the very same place where God said he would bathe his sword in blood in heaven (and then turn it to the earth). There is a clear word play going on between Edom and red [אָדֹ֖ם adom] (Isa 63:2), which both share the same root [אדם] “’ādōm, ’ādēm. To be red.”315 

Figure 43. Map of Middle East showing Teman. 

Isaiah is seeing that the one glorious in apparel and mighty to save (Yeshua) is coming from the same place where he said he would bathe his sword in blood in the heavens and on the earth. Jesus (Yeshua) answers:  

“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes” (Isa 63:3).  

In other words, the same fury that would show on his face (Ezek 38:19), and the anger and fury toward the nations (Isa 34:2) will be expressed in part by a battle in the atmosphere. The prophet Habakkuk speaks of a battle in the same general area. We already noted from this passage how He will frighten the nations with a mere look (Hab 3:6 NET). The location of that event will be in Teman. 

“God comes from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor has covered the skies, the earth is full of his glory (Hab 3:3). His brightness will be as lightning; a two-pronged lightning bolt flashing from his hand. This is the outward display of his power (Hab 3:4). Plague will go before him; pestilence will march right behind him (Hab 3:5).” 

The prophet notes that God (Jesus) is coming from a southernly direction to Israel. Both Teman and Bozrah are around Edom (modern day Jordan). Isaiah said He was glorious in his apparel, and Habakkuk notes his splendor covered the skies, revealing that Jesus is in the sky. The prophet also reveals his weapon; Jesus has bolts of lightning “flashing from his hand … the outward display of his power.” Clearly, Jesus is coming to do battle in the sky and He will shoot bolts of lightning against His enemies. Isaiah explains the motivation for this mighty warrior:  

“For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come (Isa 63:4). I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me (Isa 63:5).” 

Jesus does not come back and merely snap his fingers to end Satan’s rule. As God, He presumably could do such a thing, but for a good reason He chooses not to. Rather than speculate why He does not, it is better to discuss what He does instead. He comes with lightning bolts in his hand and fights against the two hundred million Manticores that Satan has released from the abyss. Satan had prepared for this day, and like a good general, he brought out his secret weapon to use against his foe at an “above earth” level in the atmosphere. Nevertheless, Jesus will ultimately vanquish them; “Their slain will be left unburied, their corpses will stink; the hills will soak up their blood” (Isa 34:3). Ezekiel notes, concerning Satan’s forces:  

“You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured” (Ezek 39:4). 

Jesus eventually breaks through the manticore dome surrounding Jerusalem, which Satan hoped would stop Jesus from getting through to save His redeemed.  

In Isaiah 63, the prophet asks,  

“Why is Your apparel red … (Isa 63:2) ‘I have trodden the winepress alone [see also Revelation 14, Micah 4:12 and in Joel 3], and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments… (Isa 63:3) For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come (Isa 63:4). For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments… (Isa 63:3) For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come’ (Isa 63:4).” 

Jesus’ Army of Holy Ones  

YHWH (LORD) of hosts is a common epithet of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “Hosts” [צְבָא֜וֹת Tsavoth] means “armies.” God came with his armies, that is, his holy angels when he came down to Sinai in a show of lightning, thunder, fire, and earthquake (Exod 19). 

“The LORD came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints [holy ones]; from His right hand came a fiery law for them” (Deut 33:2). 

King David describes the incredible number of chariots coming with God in the same Psalm where he talked about Bashan (Mt Hermon – the very place where Jesus later took three disciples and transfigured before them); and where the angels had descended in the days of Noah, as we studied in Corrupting the Image 2. “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; the Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place” (Ps 68:17).  

“When Elisha and his servant woke to find themselves surrounded by the army of the Syrians, Elisha asked and “[YHWH] the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kgs 6:17).  

Notice how Isaiah envisions the Lord God when He comes down to judge the world: 

“For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many” (Isa 66:15–16).  

This very description is said of Jesus who will be “revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, (2 Thess 1:7) in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God” (2 Thess 1:8). 

Jesus himself said that he, “the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matt 16:27, see also 25:31). John wrote of this retinue coming with Jesus, as well: “And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses” (Rev 19:14). It is impossible to say this retinue does not include humans. However, the emphasis is clearly on angels, in light of the other passages we have just reviewed; and, in light of Jude, who also states how the “Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints [holy ones], to execute judgment on all” (Jude 1:14–15). Jesus is coming to do battle against the millions in Satan’s freshly created hybrid army.