Let us see everything we see and think now on the basis of our learning through Jesus in A Course in Miracles who is a symbol God's love in the world and in our minds.
He is a symbol because there are in reality no differences among the Sons of God which ultimately join as One Christ. So Jesus is an expression in 'form' of the One Son we all are.
This also means there is no Satan, no individual being called Satan. In the course the Holy Spirit is the spiritual identity of Jesus and every one of us in our right-mind. The ego, Its counterpart, is the spiritual identity of Satan.
There are many fear-ridden prophesies nowadays about the end of the world, many of them even match assumptions with words from the book of Revelation, pointing even at specific churches like the Catholic church and its leaders as signaling the end of the world. This is all focused on the world as the stage of life, of course, and not Heaven as the course explains. The world is a stage for sin, guilt, fear and therefore death, not Life.
The course tells us that “nothing lives outside of Heaven” (T-23.II.19), therefore the life we perceive on this plane is illusory, and in this illusory plane life comes and goes, there is birth and then there is death, and the space in between is filled with fear of what is to come.
So let us look at those prophesies of fear and doom from the perspective of ACIM, but first let us understand the distortions in semantic meaning many of the words used in the Bible have undergone throughout the ages.
The etymological meaning of the word Satan is "the accuser" or "the voice of the accuser" or "an accusing voice"so it is not a person or a being, it is a state of mind as in this verse from Revelation depicting the moment of the end of times (italics are mine):
Revelation 12:10 (New International Version)
10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down."
So, the end of time comes when the accuser (guilt) is undone or cast out (hurled down).
Is this a moment in the future to be feared or one to look forward to and perhaps to hasten to in order to find our freedom?
Furthermore, the etymological meaning of the word 'hell' is 'distance from God' which through hundreds of years of misinterpretation and mistranslation became the description of an awful place to go to after you die. We’re not even going to get into what making a place like that says about a God of Perfect Love, which according to any scripture “casts out fear,” that is for another blog entry.
Ultimately then, he who is always accusing you of having sinned, when you had not, (lest God not be truly God Almighty but a vulnerable and very small demi-god) is the ego, a.k.a. in course's terms guilt for having sinned. This makes Satan = guilt.
The work with this course in miracles is about giving up (undoing) our guilt (Satan). Without guilt (Satan) there can't be a separate identity, a small autonomous self we call 'me' -- a.k.a. 'fallen angel' whom, if you believe the accuser (your guilt), has fallen outside of the grace of God. Why? Because, if you feel guilt, you must have done something! Something unforgivable, which means --in the eyes of the ego-- you have triumphed over God. Hence guilt gives the 'fallen self' the sense of identity it craves by justifying its existence on the basis of guilt=evidence of sin, and evidence of sin = "I" am here, more powerful than God.
That hidden desire to be a separate self, that desire to be me is the cause of the guilt (Satan's reason), while the desire to return to being One, the 'attraction of love for love' (T-12.VIII.7.10) is the cause of your release from guilt (The Voice for Love, Holy Spirit's reason).
The inner battle plays itself out upon the stage of the projected world, and the world is nothing but an outward picture of an inner wish (T-24.VII.8.) and the wish engenders guilt, therefore:
" If you did not feel guilty you could not attack, for condemnation is the root of attack. 2 It is the judgment of one mind by another as unworthy of love and deserving of punishment. 3 But herein lies the split. 4 For the mind that judges perceives itself as separate from the mind being judged, believing that by punishing another, it will escape punishment. 5 All this is but the delusional attempt of the mind to deny itself, and escape the penalty of denial. 6 It is not an attempt to relinquish denial, but to hold on to it. 7 For it is guilt that has obscured the Father to you, and it is guilt that has driven you insane." (T-13.in.1)
Now, believing the thought of having sinned (tiny mad idea in T-27.VIII.6.2) to be real, causes you to feel guilt (you hear the accuser, Satan), which causes you to fear punishment, hence sin, guilt and fear the 'dark companions' the course speaks of (T-11.III.4-5).
Contrast this with the 'mighty companions' the course also speaks off (innocence, peace, love) which keep you company and help you accomplish the undoing of guilt (Satan) once you take the first practical and purposeful steps in this undoing (M-4.I.A.6.11).
Guilt, once there, becomes unbearable--this is all happening at an unconscious level by the way--and so it gets projected onto others, which then are perceived as guilty instead of you.
What we see then in traditional religious myths and these ‘end of times’ prophesies, are expressions in form of this inner battle, representations in form of the sin, guilt, fear trilogy and the battle for their undoing, which in reality takes place in the mind once the process of forgiving this world ensues, or as Jesus is said to have called it, overcoming the world.
This is the battle depicted in Revelation. It is an inner battle.
The whore with scarlet and gemstones--diamonds says the course-- is guilt which causes you to do unspeakable evil to others or see unspeakable evil in others, in an effort to lessen the weight of your own guilt:
"The glitter of blood shines like rubies, and the tears are faceted like diamonds and gleam in the dim light in which the offering is made." (T-17.IV.8. 4)
In the beginning the Christ appears in white robes dipped in blood because He comes into our minds in the midst of our blood thirsty ego, always ready to pounce on its nearest target and where to cast out the guilt, seeing guilt everywhere but within. This image is a symbol of the state of our mind when He first arrives, not that He ever left, but it is us who are beginning to recognize Him, and so at first we cannot distinguish between the Christ in us, and the Satan in us (our guilt), and thus He appears symbolically as draped with a blood stained white robe, His purity stained with the blood of our guilt, which we have been projecting for centuries... there have not only been Papal inquisitions, there have been Pogroms, World Wars (I, II, and now potentially III), Arab-Israeli conflicts, Holocausts, and all matter of persecutions of brother against brother, and if you look further back in History one nation attacks another over and over and over, through generations, in the name of some belief system, an outward picture of an inward condition.
How about Another Way?
This "Revelation" of the end of times is not a one time event, there is no person named Satan and the 'End of Time’ is not to be feared.
The end of time is the time when you approach the sixth stage in the Development of Trust (M-4.I.A.8.), the last stage in your awakening. In the hands of the Holy Spirit, the Answer to the tiny mad idea of sin, our Freedom and our Friend, the memory of God we have taken into the dream of death and desolation, in His hands time is an instrument, a 'learning device to be abolished when it is no longer useful (T-5.VI.12. )', and like all instruments, like all learning devices, like pencils, pens, computers, books, schools, etc. it ceases to be useful once it has served its learning purpose. The goal is to learn to traverse time with Forgiveness, so that your guilt (Satan, the accuser) is undone.
Many fear-mongers would like you to be very afraid of times to come, but we should rejoice, because the times to come will only reflect our own inner state of mind. As we awaken to our true nature, which is Love Itself, the world of sin, guilt and fear that has been projected outwardly disappears.
So, is anyone Satan or a Satan impersonator? Yes, along with all of us, in our wrong-mind. Everyone that walks this world in dreams of sin has a split-mind and in his right-mind is the Christ, awaiting to be recognized. The body is guilt's impersonator. Any body, not just somebody's. The battle is between Christ (our Reality) and Satan (our illusory concept of a sinful guilty small and vulnerable self).
All of these prophesies are talking about a battle that is being fought in the mind of the sleeping Son right now.
Therefore, we need to learn to look at these things as outward pictures, representations, symbolic imagery of what is going on in the mind, for is Jesus the Christ?
"O yes, along with you. 3 His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you. 4 He will remain with you to lead you from the hell you made to God. 5 And when you join your will with his, your sight will be his vision, for the eyes of Christ are shared. 6 Walking with him is just as natural as walking with a brother whom you knew since you were born, for such indeed he is. 7 Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. 8 Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you. 9 For he will set your mind at rest at last and carry it with you unto your God." (C-5.5.)
So let us not fear the end of time, but look forward to the moment when we no longer have need of time, when we have remembered our true Identity in Christ and therefore time is no longer needed to learn what has been learned.
In this course, this fearless path, the end of time is a blessed moment of awakening, the Second Coming of Christ and the remembrance of our true inheritance as God’s Son, who was lost in a dream and now is found, awake to His Reality in Love and as Love, the perfect creation of a truly perfect and ever benevolent Creator, God Almighty.