Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Who or What Was the Devil and Should I Care?

I'm not very active on this site or any others for that matter due to significant time constraints with my family, farm, and business. But over the course of my slower season this winter I wrote 6 articles on my private Facebook page concerning this topic. My audience was mostly friends from church or school over the years who for the most part have typical evangelical and/or futurist leanings. This is not a scholarly work (though I tried to write it with a quasi-scholarly bent), nor is it deep meat for well-learned preterists. This is written in an easy-to-read format meant to get conversations started. I've been studying this subject intensely for a couple years now and this is the result of my work. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point if the evidence takes me there, and I have no axe to grind or position to promote in sharing this. I will try to reply to comments as time permits, it may be slow at times but I will do my best.

Blessings,

Jerel

Who%20or%20What%20is%20the%20Devil.pdf

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Comment by Brother Les on April 6, 2015 at 10:09pm

I think that John Anderson wrote a book that stated that Adam was Satan.

Comment by Internet_Troll on April 16, 2015 at 12:24pm

Very interesting indeed and lots of stuff to think about it. Very good study, thumbs up.

But could it be that the Bible is simply a collection of man's thoughts and subject to various ideologies over the passage of time and that trying to make a coherent case is just a waste of time? Seems to me that answer would settle the issue.

Just saying.

One thought though, since the Bible seems preoccupied with Israel and her related activities, how can we say anything about nations that were not in the then known world? What if there were other gods/angels over these nations which are still acting as satan?

Comment by Andrew Reish on May 8, 2015 at 3:34pm

Jerel,

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Satan / the Devil.  I just came across a sermon by David Curtis on the Watchers, the Divine Council, and the Nephilim that is also very interesting.  He repeatedly quotes Michael Heiser (co-author with Brian Godawa) in his sermon.  I understand that Pastor Curtis is not on board with Covenant Creation and a local flood, but I think this sermon is certainly worth watching.

http://bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/genesis/gen-06_01-04_spiri...

Comment by Euripides on May 10, 2015 at 3:00pm

Andrew

This sermon is full of errors. I read the transcript

Comment by jjkratt on May 11, 2015 at 6:51pm

Andrew I haven't checked out David Curtis' material on this but I was told sometime in the middle of my individual article postings that he was going down the same road.  We're going to differ with each other on CC issues and the flood, and also on reformed soteriology and some aspects to resurrection, but I will certainly check it out.

Comment by jjkratt on May 11, 2015 at 6:59pm

Thanks J-I-R for the kind comments. I do believe the bible is meant to be coherent and isn't just meanderings over time, so we would probably disagree regarding the purpose of such a study.

Comment by Internet_Troll on May 12, 2015 at 1:38pm

I do believe the bible is meant to be coherent and isn't just meanderings over time

I believe so too Jerel, was just playing.

But do you see the devil changing his role between the OT and the new? What do you attribute as the cause for the change from the more neutral OT to the more diabolic NT devil or do you see this as essentially the same.

You also mention "fallen sons of God"

Where does this idea of the sons of God falling come from, and at what point in history?

Whats your take on the geographic limitation of the Bible story and what that implies for nations outside the Biblical narrative, including the role of satan.

Comment by jjkratt on May 13, 2015 at 11:18am

J-I-R,

I'm not sure I see the satan's role changing as far as leaving one role and taking another, but changing as far as intensity and involvement, ramping up as the day of the Messiah draws near.

The idea the fallen watchers or "sons of God" (elohim) comes from the psuedepigrapha, particularly 1 Enoch. There's also several brief allusions to them in the OT which were mentioned in my paper.

There definitely is a "geographic limitation" going on but it isn't part of the story; that's something we glean afterwards with our modern global knowledge. As far as the ancients were concerned, this was "the world." But I don't think the story has anything to do with geography; I think it's more about covenant worlds. What this implies for the nations outside the biblical narrative is something I'm constantly thinking about. Where I'm at with it today is that the purpose of the covenant people of God was to be a witness to the nations around them, for the ultimate purpose of bringing about a new covenant people which would be witnesses to the entire world in the distant future. I don't think the biblical story is an end only unto itself, but was meant to picture what life meant for those after the story. One way of putting it is this: imagine you're on the Titanic and it's about to sink. So the captain pulls a group of people out from all the passengers and uses them as a demonstration of how to get into and use the life boats. Those pulled out were Israel (or, the entire covenant people of God from Adam). The rest of the passengers are those in the biblical world around them. Once the boat sinks, the survivors arrive on land and go and tell their story to people everywhere. (This may not be the best example because it really doesn't put any emphasis on benefits for people after the sinking, but I think it makes my basic point).

Comment by Doug on May 13, 2015 at 5:30pm

Jerel,

I like your illustration. I will put that one in my bag of thoughts for future use. Thanks.

Comment by Internet_Troll on May 14, 2015 at 3:16am

Pertaining the role of the devil, I seem to find (from your paper) as if the satan moves from a subject of God who simply questions God’s system to someone who is trying to confound the purposes of God.

While I can see how satan being an accuser could thus have been called a “murderer from the beginning” it seems to me that Jesus’ comment has a very negative tone, unlike the one we see in the old testament (at least according to my understanding of your paper). Do you agree?

This also ties in with my question of “fallen sons of God”. By them being termed fallen, does that not imply they left their first abode and role?

 

Could you also explain how you understand satan in the new testament and how you relate that to the OT. You said that in the OT there are satans (plural) sometimes human otherr times celestial, however it seems when you came to the NT you lumped up all satans into one seemly celestial being. If I understood you correctly, how did you move from the many, to the single and how do you know they are the same being?

 

I am not too convinced by your use of Ps 82 and Jesus’ statement. If anything, I think it proves the reverse. I do not have a problem with “gods” meaning divine beings or there being a divine council (I trust your research). However, if the word of God came to celestial beings calling them gods, that would disqualify Jesus appealing to that statement for He was only a man (i.e. son of God) not a celestial being and the charge by the Jews would remain. Is it not possible that even as Pharaohs and Caesars could be deified and become gods, humans in positions of authority could equally be called “gods” (by Hebrews and the Scriptures) with a divine/celestial meaning?

 

Pertaining the covenant worlds, this (to me) does in no way remove geographic limitations, for the covenants were to and with a people in a limited geographic area. So the result is the same. While I see how you want to apply what was limited to certain covenants to all man, such a move is outside the realms of the Scriptures (at least as far as I understand full preterism and its implications).

When we discussed resurrection, you appealed to science (which was probably beyond the knowledge of the writers of Scripture) to say physical death was not brought by Adam’s sin and from this empirical evidence (if it be) understood the Scriptures. Now, here in Africa, we have empirical evidence of demon possession and in as much as (you probably say that) YEC must accept scientific evidence, must you also accept empirical evidence and let it teach you about God’s dealings with man? Remember the scriptures are oblivious to life deep in Africa and other regions, hence I do not see it possible to legitimately use activities about Israel’s covenant to people outside those discussions. However, can we not from the empirical evidence of demon possession realise that there are still satans in these regions which were beyond the Bible story?

 

Isnt the devil was bound and cast out by Jesus and the gospel message, is it not better to learn from the “captain’s drama” in Israel that satans are cast out by preaching the gospel, hence unless the gospel has been preached these satans remain? Now that the gospel is being preached “in all the world” is it not then that satans can be cast out of all the world and a final coming?

Im not sure if there is any other way to cast out satan besides the gospel and coming of Christ.

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