Did God flood the Old Testament world, or was it Satan?


If you believe the Old Testament is to be read “by the letter” at all times, and that each Old Testament Scripture carries the exact same weight and depth of understanding as any and all New Testament Scripture, then you are forced to believe the following. Jesus killed a world full of children in the Old Testament. Jesus killed a nation full of Egyptian firstborn infants and children. Jesus killed a huge city full of children of all ages in Sodom and Gomorra, not to mention all the other children killed in the various Biblical bloodbaths, including even Israelite children under God’s killing wrath.

Many would call all these infanticides judgment by a “holy God who cannot allow sin to go unpunished.” But, that image hardly fits in with the Jesus the Holy Ghost now reveals, the same Jesus who loved and protected children so. And, as is commonly said, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Jesus saves children, He doesn’t drown them, burn them, stone them or smash their heads against rocks as described in the Old Testaments. He is the same forever on this point.

Some would claim that the Old Testament passages I am citing are somehow being taken out of context. No they are not. God clearly killed them all, at least if you read it according to “the letter of Scripture.” However, when we read by “the Spirit of Scripture,” as Jesus did, and as Paul did when he allegorized numerous Old Testament passages to mean something other than just what they “literally” said, we see something else altogether.

Jesus came in the New Testament to reveal that Satan was NOT God’s left hand of destructive wrath. Satan was a cosmic rebel who opposed God’s will on every level, and in whose power the whole fallen world lies. 1 John 5:19. Satan was the Old Testament dispenser of death, not God. Hebrews 2:14. Judaism has always considered Satan to be the death angel. Jesus revealed that the destructive works the Old Testament attributed to God were, in reality, the destructions of Satan.

Judaism sees Satan as a friend to God, not an enemy. Do you think Satan was just twiddling his thumbs in the Old Testament while God did all his dirty work? Jesus laid it out for us in no uncertain terms. Stealing, killing and destroying is of the devil, not of God. John 10:10. Satan was the liar and murderer from the beginning, not God. John 8:44. Jesus came to expose Satan’s methods, not adopt them. He came to destroy the works of Satan altogether. 1 John 3:8.

So, did God intentionally drown millions of children, women and men in Noah’s day? No! Not then, not now, not ever. Then why does the Old Testament appear to say that He did?

Simply put, the Old Testament was written from a perspective which saw Satan as an obedient angel of God with a tough job, but who ultimately was just following the Lord’s orders. Jesus, in contrast, revealed in His teachings and tone that Satan was violently OPPOSED to His Father’s will RATHER than humbly submitted to it.

Read most any Jewish religious reference material on Satan, and you will see they believe that Satan was the death angel who smote all the Egyptian firstborn, supposedly at the Lord’s command. And not just the Egyptians. Jews still believe that Satan is the grim reaper who ultimately kills all men at God’s sole command. The book of Job shows Satan kills with sickness (“boils”), with nature (“a great wind”), with other violent men (“Sabeans with swords”), and with supernatural power (“fire from heaven”). Satan is a master assassin who kills a million different ways, but always, the Jews believe, at the express command of God.

As THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JEWISH CONCEPTS by Philip Birnbaum says, “Satan…is…identified with the ANGEL OF DEATH. He leads astray, then he brings accusations against man, whom he slays eventually. His chief functions are those of temptation, accusation and punishment. Under the control of God, he acts solely with the divine permission to carry out his plots.” (Sanhedrin Press, page 594). Rabbi Benjamin Blech similarly writes, “Judaism sees Satan as a servant of God whose function is to set up choices between good and evil so that we can exercise our free will…. [His] apparent harshness is merely camouflage for divine concern and love.” IF GOD IS SO GOOD, WHY IS THE WORLD SO BAD? Simcha Press, pages 7-9.

So, the culprit in the world-wide flood is, according to Jewish thought, Satan. And they are RIGHT about THAT—– Satan’s fingerprints are the ONLY ones found on the Genesis flood. But what the Jews, both ancient and modern, are WRONG about is their belief that Satan is an obedient angel merely doing what God expressly tells him to do.

In the New Testament, we get a significantly different picture. While Hebrews 2:14-15 confirms that Satan, as “the devil,” does indeed have “the power of death,” Jesus’ purpose in bearing the cross was to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Put even more bluntly in this passage, Jesus ascended the cross in order to “destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

Jesus came to destroy the works of the destroyer. 1 John 3:8. But Jesus destroyed them not with His “alleged” counter-wrath, but with His sacrificial love. Jesus came to reveal that all forms of “death” and “violence” were enemies of God and never a part of His divine nature. 1 Corinthians 15:25-28 defines the dynamic of “death” as an “enemy” of God to be “put under His feet” until it’s “destroyed.”

So, if the Old Testament saints were confused and not able to differentiate the purposes of Satan and God, what does this imply about their ability to distinguish between the voices of God and the devil? Well, it allows for the absolute mother of all mistaken identities— confusing the voices of God and Satan— or, just as tragic, mistakenly combining their TWO voices into ONE bipolar voice.

Like a high static radio, which sometimes receives two different signals at once, the Old Testament saints were hearing from both Yahweh and Satan, sometimes alternatively, and sometimes simultaneously. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, they could not distinguish between both voices, again just like a radio receiving two different stations although the dial is only on one setting. The Old Testament saints assumed both voices were from God, that both WERE God.

But, Jesus came to correct all misunderstandings about His Father. We have the anointing BECAUSE of Jesus to go back and properly divide Scripture, just like He did in Matthew 5:38-48. Jesus came to reveal His Father’s light and Satan’s darkness, something the Old Testament saints were clueless about. John 1:18.

So, in regard to the flood, what role did Satan play and what role did God play? Satan did the killing– all of it. Why do we know this? Hebrews 2:14-15 says Satan has “the power of death,” not God. God is not a killer– period. He could not have sent the flood because the New Testament says He does’t kill. But, Satan sure does. And I’m sure we agree that Satan was not off somewhere twiddling his thumbs in the Old Testament while God was wiping out the whole earth’s population save one family. If God is the killer of evil men, who needs Satan? Jesus called Satan the “murderer from the beginning,” not His heavenly Father.

Yet, what exact role did God play in the process?

I believe the event transpired as follows: Men continually sowed wickedness in the earth until their thoughts and imaginations were purely evil (Gen. 6:5). God foreknew their expanding unbelief and that Satan would have greater and greater access to afflict and destroy all evil men in 120 years. This was because they were continually quenching and “pressuring away” the Lord’s protective Spirit by increasingly giving their hearts over to the devil (Gen. 6:3).

God warned His righteous Noah to build a protective Ark for Noah and his family to avoid the Satanic wrath to come. (Gen. 6:8-22). Satan continued to “accuse” God that He should repent of ever making mankind and that they had to be wiped out (Gen. 6:6-7). God responded that His righteous Noah would not fail and that his righteous seed would be preserved (Gen. 6:8). Satan released his killer flood and the wicked perished (Gen. 7:10-24). God’s protective spirit contracted down to the size of Noah’s ark and brought them through the flood and blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen. 9:1).

I freely admit to excavating, renovating and elevating Moses’s version of the flood to comply with the New Testament understanding of God’s role in the world. This is the only reading that keeps God from being clearly guilty of death, disaster and destruction. I don’t believe the New Testament teaches that God directly causes natural disasters. Such events are caused by Satan through access given him by men’s sinful sowing. God’s protective Spirit is eventually quenched away by the unbelief of men. God’s protective hedge constricts and a constricts and constricts until the freewill of the men involved finally gets their way in turning themselves over to Satan’s wrath. Then God is forced to withdraw and Satan is allowed space to execute his wrath through the curses of the law, a wrath which Revelation 12:12 says is “great upon the earth.”

Some may say that 2 Peter 2:4-10 suggests that the New Testament confirms that God brought the flood of Noah on the world of the ungodly. However, in consulting two different interlinear Bibles, one by Paul McReynolds and the other by Jay P. Green, the passage is found to literally say that “the flood the world of irreverent ones having brought on.”

In other words, this passage says that the flood was brought on by the sowing of wicked men. Men continually sowed the sin, thereby progressively quenching away and constricting down God’s protective Spirit over the next one hundred and twenty years. Satan ultimately brought the full harvest of destruction, but God continued to protect righteous Noah.

Whenever the Old Testament literally, “by the dead letter” in other words, contradicts the New Testament image of God revealed by Jesus Christ, we are compelled and authorized to excavate, renovate and elevate its meaning to align with New Covenant truth. Jesus repeatedly did this exact thing, not only in Matthew 5, the sermon on the mount, but also in such passages as Luke 4:18-20, where Jesus edits the phrase “to declare the vengeance of our God” out of the Isaiah 61:1-2 passage He was quoting to declare the purpose of His ministry. He purged the wrath out of the passage in other words.

Our challenge is to stop reading the Bible just by context, and instead, read it by Holy Spirit subtext. I believe 2 Corinthians 3 commissions us to do this very thing.

“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us ABLE MINISTERS of the new covenant, NOT ‘of’ the LETTER but ‘of’ the Spirit; for THE LETTER KILLS, but THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6.

Jesus is not a child-killer!
A child-thriller yes!
A child-healer yes!
But never a child-killer!