Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Did God Really Ordain Sacrifices to Satan?

Refuting the Blasphemous Lies of A Leading Taqiyyist Pt. 3

Sam Shamoun

We proceed with our rebuttal.

The following author whom the Muslim neophyte also chose to cite quite selectively to prove his case actually ends up proving that as far as the Holy Bible is concerned Azazel cannot be Satan:

4. The latter half to the verse (Jude 1:6) refers to the tradition that these fallen angels were bound in Tartarus for 70 generations, at which time their judgment would occur (also Matt. 8:29). As the Book of Enoch states:

To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last forever, be completed.

-- 1 Enoch 10:15

“Interestingly, the demon Azazel, mentioned in the Book of Enoch as one of the leaders of the angels in the Genesis 6 incident, is also mentioned in Lev. 16 in connection with the Yom Kippur sacrifice. The sins of the people would be conferred upon the goat for Azazel (the Scapegoat), and this goat would be taken into the wilderness a few miles southeast of Jerusalem and cast off the cliff of Haradan into an abyss, at the bottom of which Azazel was believed to be imprisoned. (The Bible does not mention this but this is what the Jews did with the goat.) There is an obvious parallel between the goat's being cast into an abyss, and Azazel and his angels being judged and cast into the depths of Tartarus.

“The Augustinian, of course, must take the view this reference to Azazel is actually a reference to Satan. If so, we have a problem: SATAN AND HIS ANGELS ARE NOT LOCKED UP IN TARTARUS! Satan and his angels were alive and active in the time of Christ, and still are today!* Yet Peter specifically (2 Peter 2:4) states that at least one group of angelic beings have literally been cast to Tartarus and bound in chains until the Last Judgment. So if Satan and his angels are not currently in Tartarus–who is?

“So then-is it impossible that Azazel is somehow another name for Satan? One cannot be dogmatic on it, but as is typical on this issue, Azazel and Satan were not viewed as the same creature before post-apostolic revisionists--after being faced with a problematic verse--concluded that it had to be referring to Satan, because the traditional understanding offended them.

*It should be noted that some theologians hold the view that Satan and his angels are ‘bound’ in the sense that we are (supposedly) living in the Millennial reign of Christ, and Satan and his angels cannot stop the spread of the Gospel. While some fine teachers approach the Scriptures from that sort of perspective, the author is not amongst the camp of those who repeatedly see the Bible as talking in metaphors, and almost never being literal when dealing with the supernatural or end times.” (Vince Garcia, The Resurrection Life Study Bible: A Revolutionary Look at the New Testament [Xulon Press, 5th edition 2011], p. 447; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Here is the context of the verse from Enoch which the author cited:

“Then the Most High, the Great and Holy One spoke, And sent Arsayalalyur to the son of Lamech, Saying, ‘Say to him in my name, Conceal yourself. Then explain to him the consummation which is about to take place; for all the earth shall perish; the waters of a deluge shall come over the whole earth, and all things which are in it shall be destroyed. And now teach him how he may escape, and how his seed may remain in all the earth.’ Again the Lord said to Raphael, ‘Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there. Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness; There shall he remain for ever; cover his face, that he may not see the light. And in the great day of judgment let him be cast into the fire. Restore the earth, which the angels have corrupted; and announce life to it, that I may revive it. All the sons of men shall not perish in consequence of every secret, by which the Watchers have destroyed, and which they have taught, their offspring. All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Azazyel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime.’ To Gabriel also the Lord said, ‘Go to the biters, to the reprobates, to the children of fornication; and destroy the children of fornication, the offspring of the Watchers, from among men; bring them forth, and excite them one against another. Let them perish by mutual slaughter; for length of days shall not be theirs. They shall all entreat you, but their fathers shall not obtain their wishes respecting them; for they shall hope for eternal life, and that they may live, each of them, five hundred years.’ To Michael likewise the Lord said, ‘Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed. Then shall they be taken away into the lowest depths of the fire in torments; and in confinement shall they be shut up for ever. Immediately after this shall he, together with them, burn and perish; they shall be bound until the consummation of many generations.” 1 Enoch 10:1-17

And here is another version:

“Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: 'Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.' And again the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.' And to Gabriel said the Lord: 'Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle: for length of days shall they not have. And no request that they (i.e. their fathers) make of thee shall be granted unto their fathers on their behalf; for they hope to live an eternal life, and that each one of them will live five hundred years.' And the Lord said unto Michael: 'Go, bind Semjaza and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is for ever and ever is consummated. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations.’”

It is quite clear that according to Enoch Azazyel (whom some scholars equate with Azazel) and the other rebellious angels were imprisoned right around the time of the flood, and that they shall remain in that state until the Day of Judgment where they will then be sent to hell.

The neophyte is clearly aware that this is what 1 Enoch says concerning the fate of Azazel since he himself quotes Vince Garcia who explicitly stated this.

With that said, there seems to be a clear allusion to the imprisonment of these fallen angels in Peter’s second epistle:

For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment; and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin, making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority 2 Peter 2:4-10a

This same story is also mentioned in the epistle of Jude:

“Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: Jesus first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling.” Jude 1:5-6

Now in the case of Jude there can be little doubt that he was drawing from the work of Enoch since he even directly quotes from it:

“And Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them: Look! The Lord comes with thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on all and to convict them of all their ungodly acts that they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against Him.” Jude 1:14-15

This is a citation from 1 Enoch 1:9:

And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

In light of the foregoing, the greenhorn now faces a major problem.

According to Peter, Satan is not bound but roaming around freely looking for a prey to devour:

“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

This indicates that Peter could not have believed that the Azazel whom Jewish tradition says has been imprisoned since the time of Noah is none other than Satan himself.

Nor is Peter the only inspired witness who held to the view that Satan is still roaming the earth. We even find this position articulated in the OT writings such as Job:

“One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD asked Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ ‘From roaming through the earth,’ Satan answered Him, ‘and walking around on it.’ Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.’Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Haven’t You placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the LORD told Satan, ‘everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.’ So Satan left the LORD’s presence.” Job 1:6-12 – cf. 2:1-7; 1 Chronicles 21:1; Zechariah 3:1-2

Moreover, in his inspired epistle James, the Lord’s brother and slave (cf. James 1:1; Galatians 1:19), exhorts Christians to resist the devil by submitting to God:

“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!” James 4:7-8

The Lord Jesus himself prayed for his followers to be protected from Satan:

“I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15

A prayer that God answered according to the blessed Apostles John and Paul:

“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the One who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18

“But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

This isn’t the only place where Paul refers to Satan as a threat to believers or warns them to be aware of him or to guard themselves against his tactics:

“If you forgive anyone, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for you in the presence of Christ. I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

“For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband—to present a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ. For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!… For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no great thing if HIS SERVANTS also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15

“Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.” Ephesians 4:26-27

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18

“For this reason, when I could no longer stand it, I also sent him to find out about your faith, fearing that the tempter had tempted you and that our labor might be for nothing.” 1 Thessalonians 3:5

“He [the bishop/elder] must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the Devil. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the Devil’s trap.” 1 Timothy 3:6-7

Paul also speaks of handing professing Christians over to Satan as punishment for their destructive heresies or unrepented sins committed willfully against the risen Lord:

“It is widely reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even tolerated among the Gentiles—a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are inflated with pride, instead of filled with grief so that he who has committed this act might be removed from your congregation. For though I am absent in body but present in spirit, I have already decided about the one who has done this thing as though I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus, turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

“This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander are among them, and I have delivered them to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme." 1 Timothy 1:15-20

This blessed Apostle even talks about the need of God granting repentance to disbelievers in order to escape from the snare of Satan who has enslaved them to do his will:

“The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26

This doesn’t sound like a man who thought that Satan had been bound long before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ entered into the world to become flesh!

In fact, the inspired Scriptures go so far as to assert that Satan is currently ruling this evil, fallen world:

“So he took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The Devil said to Him, ‘I will give You their splendor and all this authority, because it has been given over to me, and I can give it to anyone I want. If You, then, will worship me, all will be Yours.’” Luke 4:5-7

“Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” John 12:31

“I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over Me.” John 14:30

“and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:11

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

These Scriptures even testify that the time will come when Satan will manifest himself through a human ruler whom the Holy Bible calls the man of lawlessness/lawless one and the beast. This ruler will be empowered by Satan to carry out his will and will be destroyed when the Lord Jesus returns to the earth with his heavenly host:

“and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, so that all will be condemned—those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

“And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?’ A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months. He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered… Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived.” Revelation 13:1-8, 11-14

We are told in the preceding chapter that the dragon is none other than Satan:

“Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows he has a short time.” Revelation 12:7-12

Revelation further tells us that it is only at this time–when Christ returns–that Satan will be bound and subsequently sent to hell forever:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Then I saw an angel standing on the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying high overhead, ‘Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.’ Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army. But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed the signs in his presence. He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image with these signs. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11-21

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the 1,000 years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time… When the 1,000 years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10

Jesus himself seems to indicate in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) that Satan will remain unbound till his return at the end of age since this is how he explained the parable:

“Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, ‘Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.’ He replied: ‘The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!’” Matthew 13:36-43

This in itself sufficiently refutes this taqiyyist’s blasphemous attempts of connecting Azazel with Satan in order to deceptively argue that God ordained that sacrifices should be made to the evil one.

After all, if the same sources that the greenhorn appealed to indicate that Azazel has been banished and bound by God then how can he be Satan when the inspired Scriptures testify that the latter will remain unbound until Christ returns to condemn him to hell?

However, we are not done just yet since we still have one more point to make in our fourth and final part.