O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
I have stated in my bible study groups that satan is given too much credit and he isn't ruling in this world because he was defeated by Christ who is ruling and reigning now. I was universally rebuked for saying so.
They do NOT want to hear that Satan isn't reigning. To their Pre-mil, pre-trib worldview, Christ has NOT defeated Satan. "Just look around you", "Would there be so much evil if Christ were ruling now?".
I don't know how they can see Satan (or his demons) all around them but can't see Christ in this world at all.
Does anyone have some really good answers for these poor people? I feel sorry for them. My pastor says he gets up every morning having to wrestle with Satan.
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There are no such beings as "satan" or demons. The translators have been influenced by all the pagan beliefs which the Institutional churches have inherited from the the Israelites in Judea (Jews) and the Greco-Roman empires. The word satan has not been properly translated but is a transliteration of the original Hebrew word which - properly translated - means accuser or adversary.
The accuser or adversary is part of our own God given human nature, which, when we give ourselves over totally in submission to God, is counteracted by Him who dwells in us through His spirit. It was the Messiahs victory which enabled us to receive His spirit - thus the adversary of God which is part of us is overcome by His indwelling spirit. In the New Testament however, the chief adversary was the law keeping Jews who constantly persecuted the church, followed by the Roman empire.
Demons are of course the imaginary evil spirits which pagans believed in. It was also believed that unexplained behaviour which we would now recognise as mental illness was caused by these self same evil spirits. It was not part of Yeshua's ministry to dispel these beliefs but to demonstrate that God was infinitely more powerful than imaginary pagan deities.
After reading this I have discovered something.That is, my old belief that satan is some individual
entity has kept me from understanding satan's defeat.Satan's defeat is a referance to a particular adversary
not any and every adversary.
The heart of man is continuely evil, who can know it? God knows it.
Your dispensational friends for some reason still believes that they are living in the old creation.
The Cross, to them, did not take away the sins of the world. The Cross, to them, did not remove the power of TheDeath, which is old covenant. Their understanding is that the new covenant will not come into it's fullness until the (so called)jews except Jesus Christ at His (second?third?) 'Coming', seven years after the 'rapture' of the church...... dughhhhh? To dispensationalists 'the churh' is only a parenthsis, interm period and will go away when 'the jews' 'really (sic) believe in Christ...... Do you see the problem? You and the dipsies are in different paradigms and the two paradigms make very little sence to each other. They deny the Power and Fullfilling promises of Christ and the Prophets.
They NEED Satan For their jewish timeline and paradigm.
Proverbs 16:4 states, “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil”
Isaiah 45:7, “The one forming light and creating darkness, causing well being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.”
13 No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil,q and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. 14 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires.
Scripture tells us clearly that we don't need satan in order to sin.Every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his OWN lust. When lust has conceived, it brings forth death.
Sin is in everyone, by nature.
What our brothers and sisters are describing is their own fallenness, thrown off on the shoulders of another being. That makes it easier to bear, rather than the truth, which says that there is none righteous, no not one. We all like to fantasize that we have a kernel of goodness within us, by nature. When the "badness" comes out, we like to say the devil made us do it.
So, its going to be a fruitless task if you try to convince others there is no devil. I've tried also, so when its talked about, I just ignore it.
How much differance does it make if the belief is some "fallen angel" is the reason we are tempted?
We certainly have a evil inclination.So how much damage is done? I can say it has helped me knowing
that the problem is ME, not some boogyman.I can focus better that way.Either way it was done by God.
You will soon find its easier to take away someones rapture than their devil.LOL
This is just a general statement, agree with me or disagree doesn't matter...
But just think for a moment about the implications of depersonalizing satan...
It's OK if you want to do that for your own vision of your personal "tempter", whatever that might be.
But scripture tells us that Jesus was taken up by the devil to be tempted. If you believe that the devil is NOT a personage, then who or what tempted Christ? I cannot bring myself to consider that there was some sinful "self" hidden within Christ's persona that led Him into the wilderness to be tempted. Such a thing tramples on the divinity of Jesus.
Though He was tempted in all ways as we are, it could not have been an internal tempter. It had to be something or someone external to Him. To think that God the Father caused the temptation would be at odds with the scriptures that maintain the holiness of God. He cannot tempt His own Son - that would be against His holiness.
So I have to conclude that satan is/was indeed a personal being, as are/were the demons. The devils that were cast out of the man that went into the swine were not multiple personalities (schizophrenia), that somehow got healed. Demoniacs at the time of Jesus were just what they appeared to be. The woman who was used by the sorcerers to make a living who had the demons call out and identify Paul did so under supernatural powers. That could not have been a mentally ill person who had such perceptive powers.
All that said, I DO believe that the demons and satan are gone, as in gone into the bottomless pit, never to return. He has been conquered, and all his powers are gone also. That is why stupid shows that chase ghosts never find any evidence - because there is none. The only thing they find are the results of their fertile imaginations. Honest researchers (such as the late Houdini) never did find evidence of a supernatural world of spirits.
Of course, had he been looking in the right place (to heaven) he surely would have found the evidence he was seeking. ;)
What does person mean to you?Can a person be everywhere tempting everyone at once?
I think the word wilderness isn't meant to be seen in it's literal sense.Its more along the lines
of the usage of fruit,thorns, thistles,garden ect.Wilderness could be speaking of the state of God people.Do you think John the baptist was preaching in an actual wilderness? Who was Jesus always tempted by?That generation of vipers,who were of their father the devil.The swine now I still don't quite understand that one.I don't believe the swine in
Matt 7:6 are actually pigs and the two may be related.I think the woman your talking about is in Acts,but haven't found it yet.
So if Satan/demons are gone now,what is it they use to do?
I have been battling the "hyper-metaphorical" crowd for a while now. There is a real danger in thinking that everything in the bible is a metaphor and/or based upon myths.
The reality of biblical events, as they really happened, should not be explained away as though the ancients were struggling for symbolic ways to explain supernatural things.
It is my contention that the bible is full of duality. That is, there were physical events, things, people, places, etc., that really happened. However, those physical events, things, people, places, etc., had dual meanings. There was the physical meaning, and then there was the spiritual/heavenly meaning.
The book of Hebrews speaks of this extensively. An example that comes to mind is Heb. 12:18-29. The "mountain of mt Sinai did literally exist, and the events when Moses went up on it really did happen. But was that the main message God wanted to give to His people? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that what happened physically there was appropriate to the people who were there. They did not know that what was REALLY in God's mind was to use the events that day to teach US about how we have approached the true Mt. Zion.
But without the lesson from Sinai, we wouldn't be able to comprehend much more important lessons about the heavenly Jerusalem, the church of the firstborn, the blood of Abel, etc.!
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[c] 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d]
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e] 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
I could go on and on giving examples like this, but you get my drift, right?
Now, as to your contention about what I think a "person" is, the word comes from Latin, persona. It means "mask" or "character" Now, I, as a "person", actually do wear a mask. To some people (like my wife), I am a different character than to my workmates. They see a different "person", even though intrinsically I am the same person. But what THEY perceive is entirely different from what others closer to me perceive. So I, and everyone else, becomes a different person depending on the circumstances.
So does this mean that the "devil" is not really a "person" at all? No, it doesn't mean that. It simply means that the devil, or satan, plays the role for the moment. Just as he did in the garden of Eden, where he was a snake, and just as he did when he appears as a shining angel, or as he appeared at the foot of the cross as "gaping dogs", like Psalm 51 describes him and the demons. He changes his "persona" to suit the occasion.
Those who see such "personas" would describe him in the literature according to the way he appears to them at the moment. In Genesis he was a snake. In Is 14 and Ez 28 he was a king. In Daniel he was a king who opposed Gabriel for 21 days. In the gospels he was various things, whether demons or he himself, he fit the occasion. He is also described as a roaring lion and a conqueror on a white horse with a bow in Revelation.
But does all this mean that there is no REAL satan? That the person BEHIND all those "personas" is not a real being? Going down that metaphorical path is loaded with scriptural landmines. It means that ultimately Jesus didn't die on a real cross, or even that He didn't die a real, physical death. Hence, there could be no real, physical atonement for OUR real deaths.
Your final question, about the demons and satan being gone is that they are cast into a bottomless pit. My dad thought about this question, and he surmised that a "bottomless" pit could be a metaphor for a circular orbit around some black hole somewhere. I think that's far fetched, but his main point was that the devil can be locked up in supernatural ways we can't possibly understand in our physical mindset. I don't let that question bother me.
What did they "use to do"? Caused havoc, as much as they could, of course! They, in a sense, ruled this world's systems. But Jesus overthrew them and conquered them.
Preterism maintains that God's kingdom HAS COME. The rulers of this world are cast out.
Thanks for the reply Doug,
What did they "use to do"? Caused havoc, as much as they could, of course!
I asked the question cause I wanna know who's causing the havoc now if they are locked up
The rulers of that old covenant age were cast down,they lost their position.
Matt 21:43 Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
Heb 2:5 For He did not subject to angels the world(age) to come, concerning which we are speaking.
The angels it speaks of here would be God's messengers (old covenant Jews)
Jesus Christ is now the High Preist Forever.
2 Cor 1: 14 15
no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
This again is Old covenant Jews I'd say its in regards to the High preist himself.
Matt 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
I hope Peter wasn't satan (the traditional satan that is),cause Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom a few verses earlier.Sorry couldnt resist.Did the devil make me do it?
I am reminded of James 1:14. Each person sins from HIS OWN evil desires. Its a myth to think that evil can only come from the devil. People are plenty evil on their own. They don't need a "devil" to inflame their own carnal passions. That comes naturally, born from just being human. We also learn evil from our culture, and being the imitators we are, we follow evil ways because it is the path of least resistance, and, it "feels good" to the flesh. We aren't capable of being "good" on our own. To do that, we need intrinsic righteousness, a.k.a the holy spirit.
To me the Devil (as traditionally understood)is the Myth.Our natural inclination to do evil is as intended IMO and no theres no need for a devil.You say we don't need a devil to do evil.so my next question would be :
Why blame the devil for havoc at one period of time and not another?
You have already come to the conclusion we don't need a devil.