In my love for studying the Dead Sea Scrolls I have come across a very interesting ancient manuscript from Cave 4 of the Qumran caves which reveals a unique view into the character of God versus the character of the Fallen Angels…
The Testament of Amram
Dead Sea Scroll (4Q535, Manuscript B) is written from Amram’s point of view, and hence has been dubbed the Testament of Amram. The document is dated to the 2nd century BC and, in the form of a vision, briefly discusses dualism and the Watchers:
I saw Watchers in my vision, the dream-vision. Two men were fighting over me…holding a great contest over me. I asked them, ‘Who are you, that you are thus empowered over me?’ They answered, ‘We have been empowered and rule over all mankind.’ They said to me, ‘Which of us do you choose to rule you?’ I raised my eyes and looked. One of them was terrifying in his appearance, like a serpent, his cloak, many-colored yet very dark….And I looked again, and in his appearance, his visage like a viper….I replied to him, ‘This Watcher, who is he?’ He answered, ‘This Watcher…his three names are Belial and Prince of Darkness and King of Evil.’ I said (to the other Watcher), ‘My lord, what dominion (have you?)’ He answered, ‘You saw (the viper), and he is empowered over all Darkness, while I am empowered over all Light…My three names are Michael, Prince of Light and King of Righteousness. (4Q535)
In many of my teachings I have shared how powerful names are, and how they are always indicative of character! In Hebrew, “Michael” pronounced mî·ḵā·’êl means “He who is like God”. We see in the above Dead Sea Scroll manuscript an obvious contrast between the spiritual angelic forces of God reflecting his character of Selfless Love which emanates out from Him (and all who have his character) as Light and is always Life-giving and the very essence of Life itself… versus the forces of Darkness reflecting HaSatan’s character of deception and darkness leading to death.
It reminds me of what Paul said in Ephesians 6:12
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
One should never confuse the adversary’s character with God’s character. All too often instead of us understanding the source of life and allowing ourselves to be transformed back into His true image we malign God and his character by attributing to him characteristics of a fallen nature… and then wonder why so many atrocities are done in the name of God!
The prophet Isaiah says,
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isa. 5:20)
Thus we should clearly know and discern how to separate what is of God versus what is of the enemy… and this can only be done by understanding God’s character as only a life-giver… as unconditionally loving… and as a Heavenly Father of light in whom there is no darkness nor even a shifting shadow…
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, in whom is no variation or even a shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
It is so important for us to make sure we understand… God does not create evil. Evil and sin has its root in rebellion to God and is allowed for a time due to God allowing the freedom of choice… but as sin and rebellion severs one from the source of life, in the end it is inherently self-destructive. The Prophet Isaiah said “thy sins have made a separation between thee and thy God” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God. – Albert Einstein
Why then do we see the Bible attribute good and evil, light and darkness to God? It is because many did not know of or understand HaSatan and his agenda against God. In the book of Job we see Job’s servant run to him saying, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” (Job 1:16-19) We know from “the rest of the story” that it was not God doing these things but Satan, the Adversary and accuser of the brethren, but the ancient world did not realize this, and Job’s servant erroneously believed that they were all “acts of God”. This story reveals another important fact about the forces of Darkness… that HaSatan has the knowledge and power to manipulate nature and the armies of man in his focus to destroy people when they have removed themselves from the protective covering of God through their lawlessness!
For the first 3000 years from creation we see no mention of Satan by the Bible writers and everything gets attributed to God, both good and evil, and we only see the mention of Satan in four books of the Tanach (Old Testament) all of which are after 1000BC. The oldest is written by David in Psalms 109:6. David also clarifies the Passover story and that it was a band of evil angels that killed the firstborn in Egypt in Ps. 78:49. The second book is Chronicles when Ezra rewrites accounts that the Prophet Samuel had written about David being incited to number the people of Israel without the knowledge that it was Satan who incited him and not God as Samuel had previously written (Compare 2 Samuel 24:1 with 1 Chronicles 21:1). The third is the story from the Book of Job, which although Job lived around the time of Jacob and Esau, Ezra is the one to write the story years later from information he gleaned from the libraries of Nehemiah. The fourth is in the Prophet Zechariah, when God is showing Zechariah a vision of the High Priest Yahoshua being accused by HaSatan (Zechariah 3:1-2).
It is interesting to note that most of the scrolls that have been suppressed or destroyed through the ages have been the books that reveal the truth about the fallen angels in rebellion called “Watchers”. I wonder why? This includes the book of Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher, Ecclesiasticus and the now I add the Testament of Amram to that list! God through the prophet Hosea says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge…” How can we hope to properly fight a spiritual battle in spiritual warfare without a knowledge of the enemy and how he works? Now you know why this knowledge has been suppressed!
Below I have made a litte clarification between the character of God and the character of HaSatan for your meditation. Study and focus on the pure and true original as we are called to do in Philippians 4:8 for truly “by beholding we will become changed into that same likeness” (2 Corinthians 3:18)! It is so important we understand who we were created in the likeness and image of originally because this will dictate how we think and speak and act. “For as a man thinketh so is he!” (Prov. 23:7)
The Two Camps
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
King of Righteousness
Deception & Error
Anxiety and Fear
Apathy or Unkindness
Rough speech or action
Excessiveness, Out of control
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please… Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Yeshua the Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-26)
I hope this study has blessed you with understanding into the beautiful character of God in contrast to the character of the Enemy. May we keep our eyes on our Father of lights in whom there is no Darkness at all!
Study by Rabbi Isaac. © 2018 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Website: CalledOutBelievers.org. Use by Permission