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Old 09-26-2001, 07:57 AM   #1
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Question For Nomad: Please explain 'Satan' in Job

Nomad, I haven't seen you responding to my post in this thread, asking about Satan in the book of Job.

Job 1:6-7: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it."

OK, there's Satan right there 'before the Lord', talking to him. How does this jive with the Christian doctrine that runs something like "God cannot tolerate sin in his presence"?

For example, This page about Presbyterian doctrine has a section on the atonement of Christ, that has that very phrase, "God cannot tolerate sin in his presence" with a bunch of bible verses as supporting reference (Hab. 1:13, Ex 20:5, 23:7, Ps 5:5,6, Nahum 1:2, and Rom. 1:18,32).

Care to reconcile these two items? Thanks.

-Kelly
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Old 09-26-2001, 03:50 PM   #2
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And when you answer that, explain why god can tolerate himself being in his presence. I mean, besides destroying Job and his livehood, he destroyed a perfect man's wife, servants, 10 kids, and cattle (income). Following that, he struck him with some really bad diseases. And all this "without cause":


Quote:
<STRONG>"And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." (Job 2:3)

</STRONG>
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Old 09-26-2001, 08:47 PM   #3
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Question

Quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:


Job 1:6-7: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it."

OK, there's Satan right there 'before the Lord', talking to him. How does this jive with the Christian doctrine that runs something like "God cannot tolerate sin in his presence"?
Hello Kelly

I am unsure what your question here happens to be. God can, and does talk with sinful people (meaning everyone), and with Satan as well. This doesn't mean that they are with him in Heaven, it only means that they are talking with Him.

God will not cut off Satan, nor anyone else until after the final judgement. So what is the problem exactly?

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Old 09-27-2001, 08:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>

&lt;snip&gt;God can, and does talk with sinful people (meaning everyone), and with Satan as well. This doesn't mean that they are with him in Heaven, it only means that they are talking with Him.
Nomad</STRONG>
Um, Nomad, you really don't see the problem? The Job quote specifically says that the 'sons of God' are presenting themselves 'before the Lord'. Is this NOT in heaven? If so, where is it? And if Satan is part of that assemblage, there in heaven, right before the Lord, then how is it possible that "God cannot tolerate sin in his presence"?

Or do you not think that the latter doctrine is true? Do you think that God CAN tolerate sin in his presence?

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. I've heard for years, and read the same thing, that the atonement of Jesus is necessary because God cannot tolerate sinners in his presence. Do you agree with that bit of Christian doctrine or not?

And if you DO agree with it, then why is Satan allowed 'before the Lord', as described in Job?

-Kelly
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Old 09-27-2001, 09:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Touchstone:

Um, Nomad, you really don't see the problem?
No I don't and that is why I am asking what you are concerned about here Kelly.

Quote:
The Job quote specifically says that the 'sons of God' are presenting themselves 'before the Lord'. Is this NOT in heaven? If so, where is it?
I honestly do not know. I don't see where it mentions heaven in the passage, and since God can be anywhere He wishes (He is omnipresent), then why must this necessarily be taking place in Heaven?

Quote:
And if Satan is part of that assemblage,
Of course, Satan is not part of the "sons of God", that is why he is said to have also presented himself. In other words, he is separate from the assembly.

Quote:
there in heaven, right before the Lord, then how is it possible that "God cannot tolerate sin in his presence"?
I'm still not sure where you are getting this "in heaven" bit. I do not see it in the passage.

God talks with people throughout the Bible, and in all kinds of places. So why not talk with Satan?

Quote:
Or do you not think that the latter doctrine is true? Do you think that God CAN tolerate sin in his presence?
You are still not making any sense Kelly. God is talking to Satan. God is free to talk with anyone He wishes. That does not mean He has to let them into Heaven to do this.

Quote:
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. I've heard for years, and read the same thing, that the atonement of Jesus is necessary because God cannot tolerate sinners in his presence. Do you agree with that bit of Christian doctrine or not?
Of course this is true, and I agree with it. But I do not see where you are going with this, as you appear to have mistakenly come to the belief that the only place Satan could talk to (or be in the presense of) God is in Heaven. Based on this passage we have no idea where God and Satan are talking, but we have no reason to think that it is in the actual presense of God in Heaven.

Quote:
And if you DO agree with it, then why is Satan allowed 'before the Lord', as described in Job?
Why wouldn't he be allowed before God? All of us are allowed to present ourselves before God. We will not be able to live with Him in heaven unless we are as pure and holy as He is, but that is a separate matter all together.

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Old 09-27-2001, 10:37 PM   #6
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Nomad:
Here is the entire passage, with interesting parts emphasized.

Job 1-2, NIV translation, plus notes:
Quote:
Job 1
1
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.
2
He had seven sons and three daughters,
3
and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
4
His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
5
When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
6
One day the angels[Hebrew - "the sons of God"] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan[Hebrew - "accuser"] also came with them.
7
The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
8
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9
"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied.
10
"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
11
But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12
The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
13
One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
14
a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,
15
and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
16
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
17
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
18
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
19
when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
20
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
21
and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.[Or will return there] The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
22
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Job 2
1
On another day the angels[Hebrew - "the sons of God"] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
2
And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
3
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
4
"Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life.
5
But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."
6
The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
7
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.
8
Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9
His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
10
He replied, "You are talking like a foolish[denotes moral deficiency] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
11
When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
12
When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.
13
Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
It says the angels, and Satan. Does this mean that many Christians are wrong and Satan isn't actually an angel?
And it says the angels and Satan came into God's presence and later Satan left. If God is omnipresent then "in his presence" means that he is more present. i.e. it is a holy place. So there was a holy place where God was present more than usual and the angels came there, then so did Satan, then he left the holy place.
There doesn't seem to be anything in Job which says that Satan is evil. He is making Job suffer but Satan isn't judged as a bad person by God. And God explicitly gave approval for Satan's plans.

Also, could you explain why God causes demon possessions in these passages, while in the New Testament demon possession is blamed on Satan and Jesus exorcises the demons?
What the Bible says about demons
Quote:
Evil spirits which cause mental disturbances are mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures. But they were not dispatched or controlled by Satan; they were sent by God to torment people:
Judges 9:23: "Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem..."
1 Kings 22:23: "...behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets..."
1 Samuel 16:14: "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." (KJV)
1 Sam 18:10: "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul..."
1 Sam 19:9: "And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul..."
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Old 09-28-2001, 12:47 AM   #7
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Unhappy

Somebody ignored my post, I wonder who it was...
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Old 09-28-2001, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnClay:

It says the angels, and Satan. Does this mean that many Christians are wrong and Satan isn't actually an angel?
Of course Satan is an angel. Which Christians say that he is not? He is seen as a fallen angel, just as are his demons.

Quote:
And it says the angels and Satan came into God's presence and later Satan left. If God is omnipresent then "in his presence" means that he is more present. i.e. it is a holy place.
No, it means that God and Satan were talking to one another. There is nothing at all in the passage about Satan meeting God in an especially holy place (as Moses does, for example in Exodus).

Quote:
There doesn't seem to be anything in Job which says that Satan is evil. He is making Job suffer but Satan isn't judged as a bad person by God. And God explicitly gave approval for Satan's plans.
Agreed. Although Satan does appear to be seriously mistaken about the source of Job's faith in God. After all, he does lose the bet.

Quote:
Also, could you explain why God causes demon possessions in these passages,
What demon possession? Do not read into the passages please. Read the chapter again, and you will see that there is no demon possession.

If you will stop trying to read into the passages I think you will have an easier time understanding what they say John. At that point, if you have further questions, I will be happy to try my best in answering them.

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Old 09-29-2001, 12:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>Of course Satan is an angel.</STRONG>
Well "angel" in that passage is an alternative way of saying "sons of God" but you said earlier-
Quote:
Of course, Satan is not part of the "sons of God", that is why he is said to have also presented himself. In other words, he is separate from the assembly.
So maybe he was a son of God then?

Quote:
<STRONG>Which Christians say that he is not?</STRONG>
Christians who believe that Satan is a metaphor, not a literally existing being, wouldn't believe that he is an angel.

Quote:
<STRONG>He is seen as a fallen angel, just as are his demons.</STRONG>
Yes, that is typical church doctrine, but where is the Biblical support?

Note Some Biblical passages associated with Satan:
Quote:
the angel of the abyss, named Abaddon in Hebrew, Apollyon in Greek (Revelations 9:11)

[This says that the angel of the abyss, named Destroyer became king over the earth. It doesn't say that this character is Satan or that this angel used to be a Heavenly angel.]

....
In addition, there are three passages that are considered by some Christians as descriptions of Satan. They are often quoted in isolation as references to the devil:
...
- Isaiah 14:12-24 is interpreted by some as referring to Satan by the name "helel" in Hebrew. This is often translated as "Lucifer" or "Morning Star." The passage describes how he had fallen from heaven, was thrown to earth, expressed a desire to sit "on the mountains where the Gods assemble", wished to be like God, and had attacked many cities, leaving them in ruins. At first glance, this looks like a description of some of the activities of Satan. However, verse 4 clearly states that the passage refers to the King of Babylon, not to Satan. Isaiah was simply showing "sarcastic contempt for the mighty Babylonian monarch that had recently fallen, vanished as does [the morning star] Venus from the daytime sky."
- Ezekiel 28:13-17 is similar. It describes an individual as full of wisdom and flawless in beauty, dwelling in an Eden. But "iniquity came to light" in him, and "lawlessness filled his heart." God flung him to the ground. Again, this sounds a bit like Satan. But verse 11 links the passage to the King of Tyre. Note that verse 19 describes how God killed the king and reduced him to ashes so that he "will be no more." Satan is recording in subsequent passages of the Bible as being very much alive and kicking.
Well I also found this: What the Bible says about demons:
Quote:
...
1 Peter 2:4: "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
Jude 1:6: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
...
Well I guess there is quite a lot of Biblical support after all that says that Satan is a fallen angel...

Quote:
<STRONG>No, it means that God and Satan were talking to one another. There is nothing at all in the passage about Satan meeting God in an especially holy place (as Moses does, for example in Exodus).</STRONG>
But God is the one who initiates and ends the conservations, in both chapters. Yet it says that Satan (and the angels) are the ones who present themselves before God and then leave his presence. What does that mean? That Satan meditated to seek out the voice of God, then after the conversation Satan ended his meditation? I thought usually God makes his presence known - he doesn't just talk back whenever you want him to.

Quote:
<STRONG>What demon possession? Do not read into the passages please. Read the chapter again, and you will see that there is no demon possession.

If you will stop trying to read into the passages I think you will have an easier time understanding what they say John. At that point, if you have further questions, I will be happy to try my best in answering them.</STRONG>
Well I'm assuming that demons are the same thing as evil spirits.

Quote:
Judges 9:23: "Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem..."
1 Kings 22:23: "...behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets..."
1 Samuel 16:14: "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." (KJV)
1 Sam 18:10: "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul..."
1 Sam 19:9: "And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul..."
Maybe these demons aren't possessing those people, but it seems that they are at least tormenting the people, perhaps from outside of their body. I looked at the rest of the passage for some of the passages and those quotes seem to be accurate.
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Old 09-29-2001, 07:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnClay:

Nomad: Of course Satan is an angel.

John: Well "angel" in that passage is an alternative way of saying "sons of God" but you said earlier-

Nomad: Of course, Satan is not part of the "sons of God", that is why he is said to have also presented himself. In other words, he is separate from the assembly.

John: So maybe he was a son of God then?
No. Look at the passage again please.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

I can say:

"My sons came to see me, and their friend was also with them."

In no way would we construe from this sentence that my sons' friend was also my son. The same is true with Satan and the "sons of God". BTW, you could translate the "sons of God" as "angels". The NIV does that.

Quote:
Christians who believe that Satan is a metaphor, not a literally existing being, wouldn't believe that he is an angel.
Alright. But again, I am talking about orthodox Christian teachings, and as you have seen, the Bible supports the view that Satan is both real, and one of the angels (albeit a fallen one).

Quote:
Nomad: No, it means that God and Satan were talking to one another. There is nothing at all in the passage about Satan meeting God in an especially holy place (as Moses does, for example in Exodus).

John: But God is the one who initiates and ends the conservations, in both chapters. Yet it says that Satan (and the angels) are the ones who present themselves before God and then leave his presence. What does that mean? That Satan meditated to seek out the voice of God, then after the conversation Satan ended his meditation? I thought usually God makes his presence known - he doesn't just talk back whenever you want him to.
The confusion here appears to be your belief that the angels and Satan would have to be in heaven to present themselves before God. This is simply not the case, and from the passages in question the author of Job is not making it clear where they are. If you would like to see clear references to when and how men appear before God IN Heaven, I would recommend Isaiah 6:1-7, Ezekiel 1, and Revelation as good examples, although it is doubtful that any of these men were writing about something that literally happened, and that they were speaking of visions.

The examples of God's appearance to Moses in Exodus 3 and 34, and of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 show that God has appeared to men, and done so here on earth. Once again we can see that God need not be in heaven to speak with His creatures, and when He does so, it is entirely at His initiative. Personally, I find it interesting to contrast the humility and fear of the men in these passages with how Satan responds in the presense of God. Satan certainly appears to be far less humble, and not at all afraid of God. There are other examples of God appearing to a man or men (see Abram in Genesis 17). As a rule these appearances never take place in Heaven, but here on earth.

Quote:
John: Well I'm assuming that demons are the same thing as evil spirits.

Judges 9:23
1 Kings 22:23
1 Samuel 16:14
1 Sam 19:9
1 Sam 18:10

Maybe these demons aren't possessing those people, but it seems that they are at least tormenting the people, perhaps from outside of their body. I looked at the rest of the passage for some of the passages and those quotes seem to be accurate.
First, I thought we were talking about Job, and in this case, we do not have any examples of demon possession of any kind. In these other passages you find the authors showing that in their view, God is in control of all things, including what evil spirits are, and are not allowed to do. Job tells us the same thing, as God places specific limits on what Satan can and cannot do to Job and his family. Finally, Jesus does exactly the same thing in the New Testament, commanding demons to exit those whom they have possessed. In all of these examples we see God in full control, including placing limits on how much evil any of His creatures can perform.

As a final point, I do not see actual demon possession taking place in the passages you have sited. This is why I cautioned you about reading too much into the passages. I also did not know you were asking a more general question, and no longer confining yourself to questions about the book of Job.

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