Symbols - What does heaven look like

Right hand, the

JESUS AND THE SATAN: The Polarization of Satan, YHWH, and the Right Hand of God’s Roles – Christopher Hansen

It is an often used image in literature throughout the Western world, the idea of the man who is placed at the right hand of God. In Christian works, this is generally thought of as Jesus Christ, the son of God who is his right hand, and for good reason, as it is attested throughout the imagery in the New Testament. [Numerous examples are: Acts 2:33, 7:55-56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:3, 8:1,10:12, 12:2, 1 Peter 3:22, Revelation 3:22, and Matthew 22:44]

 This idea is continued in various other works throughout history, and it became a central point of discussion in St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica,” in regards to the anthropomorphic implications. However, there is a stark contrast to this in the Old Testament, being that it is neither the Holy Spirit nor Jesus who sits at God’s right hand in the ancient Hebrew text. Instead, this role belongs to  Ha-Satan, the Satan. By the time that the New Testament was developed, however, the Satan had lost this position.

Right hand, left brain

The symbolism of the Right hand and the Left hand can partly be linked to the figurative split of the mind [or brain] into the left intellectual side and the right intuitive, creative and emotional side.  The left intellectual side is connected to the right hand.  The right creative artistic, musical and emotional side to the left hand.

The intellect, of course, is not inherently ‘Satanic’, but the combination of memory and reasoning power along with strong desires and ego, can make it so.

“Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And each will wrestle for the mastery there.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

Thus the intellect, with its cunning and scheming aspect is  ‘Satanic’.  Goethe’s Faust with the Devil’s help became not just an intellectual, but an intellectual with the ability to make money and perpetrate some terrible deeds against his fellow man in the name of ‘progress’. 

“Poor souls! their miseries seem so much to please 'em,
I scarce can find it in my heart to tease 'em.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust; a Tragedy

Faust extensively uses the symbolism of Light and Darkness to convey this idea:

“The best part of such noble liquor,
No less than gold and jewellery,
By preference dwells in Night and Gloom.
The wise man searches tirelessly;
To see by Daylight, that’s child’s play,
But where it’s Dark, there mysteries have their home.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

Faust thus became a Son of Darkness.  And the ultimate Son of Darkness figuratively sat on the ‘right hand’ of God.  In this sense the Right hand of God represents Destruction [as in the Trimurti] and Satan simply heads its actions. [Note that it thus follows that the Left Hand represents Creativity and is led by the Sons of Light]

Satan’s roles

Testing

JESUS AND THE SATAN: The Polarization of Satan, YHWH, and the Right Hand of God’s Roles – Christopher Hansen

In Job 1-2, Satan acts more in an auxiliary capacity to YHWH himself. As N. H. Tur-Sinai noted, the Satan acts as the eyes and ears of God on Earth, “It is his duty to draw attention to each and every subject of the king who might conceivably harbour seditious thoughts. It is his duty to warn the king of all his subjects, including those who may appear to be utterly loyal.” [Tur-Sinai, N. H. (H. Torczyner), "The Book of Job: A New Commentary", Revised Edition 1967, (Jerusalem,Israel: Kiryath Sepher, 1957), p. 42. ]

 Satan is, thus, not the arch enemy of God ..... but instead he is a servant of God, acting as his eyes on the Earth and testing the loyalty of professed believers and followers, under the instruction of God.

Within the Book of Job, the evidence of this is most clearly seen in Job 1:6-12,wherein Satan appears to YHWH, who then asks him from whence he came. Satan’s reply is, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” (Job 1:7).

God then asks Satan whether he had taken interest in his servant Job, obviously curious as to Job’s loyalties and where they lie. God then tasks Satan with testing Job, to see if he truly is loyal

If we look at the spiritual path [see diagram above] , we can see that one major stage on the path is testing.  Satan is thus the tester

Judgement, the Divine Council and the Accuser

The Old Testament frequently makes reference to a ‘Divine Council’.  This Council is the one responsible for Judgement and by extension will be there on Judgement Day.

JESUS AND THE SATAN: The Polarization of Satan, YHWH, and the Right Hand of God’s Roles – Christopher Hansen

A clear representation of this council is in Genesis 3:22:
“And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.  He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’”
These Divine Council portrayals are used at various times elsewhere in the Bible, for example
Psalm 82 - A Psalm of Asaph.
1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty;  he judgeth among the gods.
The idea of a council ruled by a head God, and comprised primarily of the children of said deity is also a consistent notion in Ancient Near Eastern literature.

Zechariah 3:1-7 describes a vision the prophet has, wherein YHWH stands as the judge of a trial over Joshua, and at the right-hand stands Satan, whose role is the accuser, there prosecuting Joshua (who represents Israel) for his sins and disloyalty to God.

JESUS AND THE SATAN: The Polarization of Satan, YHWH, and the Right Hand of God’s Roles – Christopher Hansen

This is where the idea of the role of the right hand of God is greatly established in Biblical literature, especially as a role being occupied by the Satan in particular. So here the right hand of God’s role is clearly defined as that of a divine prosecutor, which coincides with the portrayal of Satan in Job, who is searching the Earth in an attempt to find disloyal subjects of God, and bring them to the Lord’s attention, i.e. his role is to accuse them of unfaithfulness, sin, and the likes, as he does with Job —claiming Job’s faith is only due to his wealth and possessions (Job 1:9-11)— and in Zechariah, as he is about to accuse Joshua/Israel. The notion of an accuser/satan standing at the right hand of a divine presence, whose role it is to help bring judgement and a verdict of guilt in regards to divine crime, is further elaborated on in Psalm 109:6-7.“Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand.  When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him.”
The motif of the Satan standing at the right hand of some divine entity —manifest as God, the angel of God (Zechariah), or now this evil sent by God, however always at the right hand of something from YHWH or YHWH himself— seems to be a well permeated notion in the ancient Hebrew theology. Satan is, unlike the other  beings, a special servant of God.

So Satan tests, accuses, tempts, is the council for the prosecution in all judgment and testing and sits at the right hand of God, and in all iconography, the hand used by the person is a somewhat key indicator [if they are spiritually minded] of whether they are Sons of Darkness or of Light.  Note that Christian iconography, as explained above, will be entirely the opposite of Old Testament and other cultural iconography.

John 16:7-8.

“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and  judgment [...]”

Drawing by Blithe Spirit - The battle for my soul, the Sons of Darkness and Light [1972]

 

 

 

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