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Satan as Barack Obama
By Stephen Kirk
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Stephen Kirk
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDid Jesus name the Anti-Christ?
Who other than Christ deserves better to have an answer to the question of "Who is the Anti-Christ?" or as the Bible specifically calls him the "Man of Lawlessness"?
Many things are included in the Bible as mysteries. However, they are mysteries to be uncovered at the appropriate time and place (e.g., the birth of the Messiah, the rebirth of Israel, the rise & fall of kingdoms). The purpose for mysteries with delayed revelation is after all necessary. If the Bible simply reported that the Anti-Christ will someday live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his name will be Barack Obama, then you can be assured that address and that child's name will never appear in the course of history. But God is staging the play, God is naming the characters, God is sequencing the acts - all for the purposes of our understanding His glory and that we may partake of His heavenly reward of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
In 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 we are told that we can expect two signs of the end times - a) the great apostasy and b) the "Man of Lawlessness" revealed. Therefore, there will come a time when this revelation will occur although it has been hidden in the scriptures for centuries.
With that preface let us now take a look a Luke 10:18.
Examining Luke 10:18
First, Luke 10:18 is quite significant that this unusual statement by Jesus occurs sort of "out of the blue" as if Jesus has been relaxing and praying while his 70 disciples went out in pairs to spread the gospel.
The disciples return overjoyed that the demons are subject to them and share that with Jesus.
Then Jesus shares his revelation that must have occurred that same day, thus He says,
"I beheld Satan as -- Barack Obama -- falling."
Now the sounds "Barack Obama" would mean "lightning and high place" to these Hebrew disciples;
thus it would have meant "I beheld Satan as lightning and high place falling". Barack Obama was not a person to them for he had not yet appeared on the world stage!
NOTE: Bamah is the Hebrew word for the notorious "high places" where idol worship occurred in the Hebrew Old Testament. These "high places" (bamah) are mentioned hundreds of times. In our venacular it would have the dual meaning of saying that "Satan, the lightning (power) of the cultic place is falling".
When the Hebrew scribes put this into Greek they translated it as "I beheld Satan as lightning from heaven falling." I believe that they considered that the Greek word heaven was a suitable translation of the Hebrew "high place" especially since lightning comes from the clouds of heaven not mountains. The Hebrew word for heavens is "shamayim".
Therefore, it would be a typical scribal translation error to smooth out words to improve the logic/grammar/syntax of a Biblical verse as if to improve upon a "supposed" earlier error. Therefore, when there is a difference between Biblical text the "rougher translation" is actually preferred by scholars as being the most likely to be the true original. In essence, a scribe would not change a smooth wording to an unusual wording, since there is no purpose and no supposed improvement accomplished. Of course, a scribe would logically be tempted to change the original "Barack Obama falling" pronunciation, since this does not indicate a person to the scribes. Instead this phrase simply means "lightning and high place falling" thus when the Hebrew is translated into Greek with a scribal smoothing it becomes "lightning from heaven falling".
A typical example of scribal smoothing is Mark 1:2 where two readings are found: (1) "as it is written in Isaiah the prophet" and (2) "as it is written in the prophets". The first reading is more firmly supported by the earlier manuscripts, but we can understand why a scribe would be tempted to change the reading because the text immediately following quotes both Isaiah and Malachi, not just Isaiah only.
Examples of Translation Smoothing
The most direct word for word translation of Luke 10:18 from the Greek to English is as discussed above:
And He answered them, "I beheld Satan as lightning from heaven falling".
If we look at the various translations following we can see how some of the English translators moved the words around or changed word choices for their translation as best they saw fit:
(ASV) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.
(BBE) And he said, I was watching for Satan, falling from heaven like a star.
(CEV) Jesus told them: I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning.
(DRB) And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven.
(ESV) And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
(GNB) Jesus answered them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
(GW) Jesus said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
(ISV) He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
(KJV) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
(LITV) And He said to them, I saw Satan falling out of Heaven as lightning!
(MKJV) And He said to them, I saw Satan fall from Heaven like lightning.
(RV) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.
Now in reviewing the various translations of this single verse they are all true to the "concept" of the Greek words; however, only when we take those same Greek words in their original arrangement and translate them back into the Hebrew that would have been spoken by Jesus directly to His apostles do we get the key sounds of "Satan as Barack Obama". The intent here is to give one a flavor of how the rearrangement of words (which is often necessary in translation) can actually hide secrets that are not revealed until the end times. Such imperfect word-for-word translation rearrangements and scribal smoothing during translation as described above are all typical points of scholarly studies to find the original words of Jesus.
A reasonable question to ask would be, "Is this expression of lightning from heaven a Jewish idiom that has a completely different meaning than its physical description?" There is no reported scripture or other Aramaic/Hebrew idioms where Satan is referred to as lightning or associated with lightning. This of course is excluding the subject Luke 10:18 verse. I refer the reader to "Idioms in the Bible Explained and A Key to The Original Gospels" by George M. Lamsa, a man who grew up in a sheltered Middle East village speaking the same root Aramaic/Hebrew language as Jesus. Lightning from heaven does not have a connotation of satanic evil. In fact, if anything lightning is associated with the power and displeasure of God per typical Western culture. "Lightning and High Place" or the pronunciation "Barack Obama" in Hebrew does not represent some kind of unique Jewish idiom with a special meaning. We certainly have our own idioms such as saying "The man is in a pickle" which of course means "The man is in trouble". We even have descriptions for different types of falls. For example one could say:
a) I saw Satan as a "Ton of bricks" falling
b) I saw Satan as a "Dead duck" falling
c) I saw Satan as a "House of cards" falling
Would Jesus who is saying something very important here create his own idiom using "lightning" in the literal sense; thus leaving things to confusion? I think not!
Would there be significance to the lightning speed of Satan's falling? Satan's falling is a past event as described by Isaiah and Ezekiel below, therefore, I think not! For example below we see how Revelation recaps this event of Satan's fall. In fact, the phrase "from heaven" does not even fit here, since Satan has already been cast out of heaven shortly after the beginning of creation.
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. (Isa 14:12-14 NKJ)
"You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. (Eze 28:14-18 NKJ)
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:7-9 NKJ)
Jesus and all his disciples would have surely known the fact that Satan had already been cast out of heaven at his fall – this is old news!
Therefore, for Luke 10:18 the statement beginning and ending words are not news "I beheld Satan as ________________ from heaven falling". It has the same excitement as someone today in 2011 standing up and saying "I beheld the Saints win the 2010 Super Bowl" to which most of us would reply - "Well, good for you!". This event is past history – anyone can rent the CD!
Now if Jesus was saying that He was there in heaven when Satan was thrown out, then He would essentially be declaring Himself as God in heaven. Some of the Saints fans in the 2010 Super Bowl likely thought they had died and gone to heaven and likewise wanted to brag to everyone that they were there! However, though we know Jesus was in heaven when Satan was thrown out and though we know Jesus is a "saints" fan I just cannot see Him bragging about being there when "war broke out in heaven" (Rev 12:7)!
NOTE: Saints is the translation of "holy ones" – God's people, not necessarily the Black & Gold NFL team!
Prior to Barack Obama
In the past when reading the Luke 10:18 scripture it is certainly acceptable to consider the "lightning from heaven" as a simile for the activities in the spiritual dimension that the disciples accomplished with their recent ministry. Matthew Henry's commentary on Luke 10:18 listed below is certainly a valid example assessment:
He confirmed what they said, as agreeing with his own observation (Luk_10:18): "My heart and eye went along with you; I took notice of the success you had, and I saw Satan fall as lightning from heaven." Note, Satan and his kingdom fell before the preaching of the gospel. "I see how it is," saith Christ, "as you get ground the devil loseth ground." He falls as lightning falls from heaven, so suddenly, so irrecoverably, so visibly, that all may perceive it, and say, "See how Satan's kingdom totters, see how it tumbles." They triumphed in casting devils out of the bodies of people; but Christ sees and rejoices in the fall of the devil from the interest he has in the souls of men, which is called his power in high places, Eph_6:12. He foresees this to be but an earnest of what should now be shortly done and was already begun - the destroying of Satan's kingdom in the world by the extirpating of idolatry and the turning of the nations to the faith of Christ. Satan falls from heaven when he falls from the throne in men's hearts, Act_26:18. And Christ foresaw that the preaching of the gospel, which would fly like lightning through the world, would wherever it went pull down Satan's kingdom. Now is the prince of this world cast out. Some have given another sense of this, as looking back to the fall of the angels, and designed for a caution to these disciples, lest their success should puff them up with pride: "I saw angels turned into devils by pride: that was the sin for which Satan was cast down from heaven, where he had been an angel of light I saw it, and give you an intimation of it lest you, being lifted up with pride should fall into that condemnation of the devil, who fell by pride," 1Ti_3:6.
I therefore consider this Luke 10:18 a verse that is designed by God to for a time conceal the name of Barack Obama in an apparently innocuous comment by Jesus, but then upon his appearance on planet earth as the head of the most powerful nation on earth, to allow for his exposure as the soon to be Anti-Christ.
This is all part of God's plans to reveal His mysteries at the appointed times. Other verses where God has hidden future revelations in scripture are exampled by Isaiah chapter 53 which describes the crucifixion of Christ, yet was unrecognized by the Jewish scholars of His day. Additionally, the final chapters of this very book will describe how Isaiah chapter 18 describes the destruction of the United States of America, yet is also largely unrecognized today. The lesson that we all must learn is that scripture as God's Word, truly contains treasure maps of value beyond measure.
Ehud Barak – Israeli Minister of Defense
There are certainly other Barack/Barak(s) in this world. After all Barak was the name of an Old Testament military hero (Judges chapters 4-5). The current Minister of Defense for Israel and former Prime Minister of Israel is named Ehud Barak. He also is a man of political power with multitudes of nuclear weapons at his disposal. Could this Luke 10:18 verse apply to Ehud Barak? Could Jesus have been saying the following?,
A) "I beheld Satan as (Ehud) Barak from heaven falling"
Or as I have proposed in the original Hebrew phonetics,
b) "I beheld Satan as (Ehud) Barak and high place falling"
In case A this version would not make sense because Ehud Barak has never been in heaven thus he cannot fall from heaven. In case B though physically possible for Ehud and a high place to fall it does not make sense in that Israelites today are not going to the high places to formally worship false gods. Nor for that matter were the Jews of Jesus day going to the high places to worship. The false idol worship was cleared up by God allowing the Babylonian conquest and enslavement of Israel in 597 B.C. Therefore, we can make the following exclusions for the phonetic words following "Barack" in Jesus statement:
1) Heaven is excluded because it is old news as described above
2) High Place is excluded because at the time of Christ the Jewish nation was not fraught with the issues of idol worship at the high places (i.e., bamah) like they did before the Babylonian captivity Thus we are left with the Hebrew statement by Jesus: "I beheld Satan as Barack Obama falling".
In summary, Luke 10:18 without the name Barack Obama in it is a statement that is not worthy of the significant "pause for attention" given it during the great return celebration of the disciples from casting out demons and healing the sick. However, when this blank is filled in with the Hebrew translation for lightning, "Barack", the current day implications call for a deep time of intercession with God. Even God, Himself says to ask Him for wisdom in spiritual matters:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (Jam 1:5 NKJ)
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