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Old 02-24-2001, 06:53 PM   #11
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firebreather:
"The devil is the enemy of God. He rules over hell. If God/Jesus decides who goes to heaven or hell, what incentive does Satan have to punish those who are damned. It seems silly to me that this Lucifer, who's crime was to rebel against God (or at least that's what I remember) is now in a sense working for God. I see how it can be reconciled that he hopes to spread evil on earth, but I can't see why he would want to punish those sent to hell."

Has anyone come up with evidence that a "devil" exists in the first place?

 
Old 02-24-2001, 08:22 PM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Most Christians' demonology and satanology comes from the Pseudopigrapha whether they know it or not. In it is the traditions about Satan as the musician who fell from heaven because of pride, wanting to take God's place. </font>
This is quite true. And despite what was said on this thread by someone else, the serpent in the Garden of Eden is not identified by the Bible as Satan until the Book of Revelation.

But in the Jewish pseudopigrapha I have seen, the evil angel is known as Beliar. I wonder what caused the change.
 
Old 02-25-2001, 04:08 PM   #13
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Hey Kate Long,
I always thought that verse was funny....What mountain is high enough to show both Europe, China, Africa, and Americas all at once? It is impossibe....if you believe in a round world.
 
Old 02-26-2001, 02:13 PM   #14
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The Satan we now know did not exist as such in the Hebrew Bible, as a few people here have pointed out. The concept of an evil spirit as the enemy of a good hero-god began c. 8th century BCE from the Zoroastrianism of the Persians. Concerns about the duality of good and evil, using metaphors of light/dark originated with this Mesopotamian religion. Our current obsession with sin may also be traced to the same time/place. In Zoroastrianism, doing good will earn you a happy afterlife, while evil deeds will earn you an afterlife of suffering with Angra Mainyu. The idea of Hell is not present in the Hebrew Bible (Sheol not being equivalent to the contemporary "Hell"), and is believed to have entered Christianity c. 4th cent CE with the Greeks.
 
Old 02-27-2001, 05:14 PM   #15
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
Satan is NEVER a proper name in the Hebrew Bible. He is ha'satan which just means "the adversary," and in the Hebrew Bible, he actually works for Yahweh. He is Yahweh's prosecuting attorney and accuses Israel in the heavenly court. Israel's defense attorney is "the angel of Yahweh" (Gabriel).
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How does Satan work for Yahweh in the OT- as a different factor than in the new? Satan gains permission to sieve Peter like wheat in the NT, and to tempt Jesus of course. Satan is still portrayed as the "accuser of the breathren." Satan is credited with turning David against God to do a census that was against the Mosaic Law in Chronicles. Satan's role as tempter and accuser were in the OT and remain in the NT. The Psalmist even credits the "gods of the nations" as actually being demons- and Daniel reveals some spiritual warfare as the angel Gabriel is held back for numerous days by another angel(demon) called the "prince of Persia."

The struggle against Satan and the demons is more prominent in the NT, granted. Still I find the Satan of the Old Testament quite cohesive with the Satan of the New, and would ask for more evidence on the claim that they are very different entities. The Angel of the Lord rebukes Satan in Zecheriah 3:2: "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan: even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?"

How could Satan be "working for the Lord" If the LORD rebukes! Satan?

Boss: "Hey Jerry, be sure to mop that floor after lunch."
Boss comes by after lunch and find Jerry mopping the floor.
Boss: "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING JERRY! QUIT MOPPING THAT FLOOR, NOW!"

Does "Satan" help to accomplish God's ultimate plans and purposes? Yes. Does Satan need God's permission to tempt saints, like Peter, David, etc.? Yes. Does that mean that Satan is an honest servant of the Lord? No.
 
Old 02-27-2001, 06:38 PM   #16
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But "the adversary" in Zechariah 3:1-2 is clearly serving in the heavenly court with Yahweh and the angel of Yahweh (the right hand was the position of the prosecutor in court). And the passage suggests that in this instance Yahweh is rebuking the adversary:

"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?'"

Yahweh is telling the adversary not to accuse Joshua because he is a "brand plucked from the fire." A prosecuting attorney can be reprimanded by the state because of a certain case, even though he works for the state.

And yes, certain (exilic period!) books do talk about cosmic battles between demons and angels, but with the passages you've selected, the adversary doesn't seem to be connected to them.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited February 27, 2001).]
 
Old 03-06-2001, 01:47 PM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by firebreather:
...The devil is the enemy of God. He rules over hell. </font>
Although the church tends to look right over this, the Bible clearly states who the enemy is:

Ro 8:7 - Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

The death that is swallowed up in victory is identified here:

Ro 8:6 - For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Carnally minded is being mindful of earthly things...the choice is God (spirit) or mammon (things of this world).

Hell is separation from God....being part of the creation rather than part of the Creator.

Death (carnal mindedness) and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire because they resisted being baptised with fire and voluntarily walking into the lake voluntarily line upon line. The eternal lake of fire is the eternal God who identifies Himself as a consuming fire.

 
 

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