Yes Virginia, there is a Satan

 

This is the thread to discuss the Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, the Evil One, Leviathan, The Accuser, Devil, Beelzebub, the Horned One, the God of this Age, the Dragon or Serpent, Kim Kardashian, The guy down below, the Deceiver, the Angel of Light


427 thoughts on “Yes Virginia, there is a Satan

  1. Reverend Lovejoy: Friday you will have the chance to party down in the church basement to the decent rock stylings of Testament.
    Bart: Phpt! All the best bands are affiliated with Satan.

  2. There is no satan. There is no deceiver other than our own minds. There is evil…but it does not reside or proceed from a post angelic being; evil proceeds from our own selfish desires.

  3. kind of a dumb comment – but those louvin brothers are great.
    Reminds me of the kind of music my dad would drink to.

    Trouble is watching that clip, i kept waiting for the punchline thinking it was satire.

    Maybe it was…? better listen again.

  4. @Greg

    “There is no satan. ” and “evil proceeds from our own selfish desires”

    Proof please. From scripture. With reputable scholarly back up, not a youtube video or a copy/paste from an extremist/anti-God website.

    Thanks.

    Meanwhile, if you’d like, when I have some time I can point to several scriptures that prove beyond any doubt that he exists and is as wicked as scripture (and Jesus) he is.

  5. Man, I love it when out of nowhere you see something that expands your musical knowledge…

    The Louvin Brothers…

  6. Yes they are pretty good, and quite well-respected as artists.

    I saw this album in the local Borders. I dont know if it still sells because of the music, or if the hipsters want it for a curiosity.

    Q, I’d also recommend Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for a similar (but more bluegrass) style.

  7. When did the word ‘satan’ move from being a Hebrew word for adversary to meaning the name of a specific and personal cosmic evil entity?

    And yes I can provide the articles if you want.

    Now we have whole books on demonology and satan and the real litmus test of a true believer to most Born Again types is whether or not you believe in a personal devil. (Very similar to Hell).

    If you watch all 10 videos on Does Satan Exist?, one of the audience members asks Deepak Chopra because he doesn’t believe in Satan

    “Why are you attacking Jesus?”

    His response “I have written two books on Jesus.”

    It appears very similar to me to have followed the doctrine of Hell (Gehenna becomes Hell wtf). A mishmash of medieval tradition and Greek and Zoroastrian influences constantly repeated and reinforced by those in the Church.

    And it has a purpose like Hell.

    To scare people into the kingdom of God.

    And also to not take responsibility for our own behaviour, individually and collectively, and blame it on a cosmic boogey man.

    Do you need a satan?

    I don’t.

  8. Resist The Devil But Know What You’re Resisting?

    Do we believe the truth or do we believe our emotions? Do our emotions always lead us to truth? Is it possible when we are being told something different than what we have always believed that we have an emotional response before we can assess the logic of what’s being said? When it comes to reading about Satan and the devil in the New Testament it is hard for most of us to not make decisions based on our emotions. Especially if we have been trained by a church or religious system to believe Satan is actually a real being who wants to get you into his Kingdom. Emotional interpretations of biblical writings will almost always cause a mental blockage. Reacting to information from our emotions invariably short circuits our ability to hear reason and logic. Believe it or not, many of us have an emotional connection to any of the words associated with Satan. It is because of our emotional connection to terms such as devil, demon, satan, and unclean spirit, most religious folk have serious difficulty seeing the words for what the writer intended them to be. Perhaps the people in our lives with the mental blockage might benefit from exploring the first century Hebraic thinking of the speakers in the New Testament. I assure you; a first century understanding of Satan, devil, and demons is monumentally less ominous and mystical than the supernatural application that has been applied to the terms by Christianity today.

    What about the claim that the “devil” will flee from us if we resist him and submit to God. Well, according to what is seen in Christian practice this verse must be a lie. How many folks resist the devil continually yet the devil is always after them? Consider the many spiritual types who renounce or do spiritual warfare against the satanic enemy daily. There is no fleeing going on. Why would James lie about getting the devil to flee? James said resist him and he will flee. Was James deluded to think we could simply resist this Satan and look to God in order to be insulated against the onslaught of the enemy of our soul? And if James was trying to impart this gem of an instruction then where is the formula to put this spiritual axiom into motion? Is there a formulaic process or prayer, perhaps a holy water dousing that holds the mystical power of forcing this devil to flee? Maybe there is but it just isn’t available to most of the world who would love the troubles in their life they believe are caused by the devil to vanish into the ionosphere. Or maybe, James meant what he said but the problem is we don’t really understand the word diabolos. I guarantee we will understand what we are resisting when we better understand the word diabolos as it was intended by the writer instead of holding onto our emotional understanding of the English word “devil”.

    IF THE DEVIL WILL FLEE THEN MAYBE WE SHOULD FIGURE OUT WHAT THE ‘DEVIL’ IS

    Contemporary dictionaries claim correctly that diabolos means traducer but many of these bible dictionaries add to that definition and claim it means Satan. Why the Satan tag was added to the meaning of diabolos is debateable but the most logical reason for this executive decision is because the lexicographers (the guys who write dictionaries) thought satan was real. By starting from the place where they believed Satan was real they forced their belief about the supernatural onto the Greek word diabolos. Historically this word never meant a Satan character.
    Diabolos means traducer and a traducer is one who maligns or slanders another, one who attacks the reputation of another by slander or libel. In some uses of the word diabolos, our own character is our traducer.

    DO YOU LIKE TO BE QUOTED OUT OF CONTEXT?

    How important is it that we hear the words of any ancient document in the literary context they were written and spoken in? Without question every religious scholar or teacher will say that context is the most important aspect in the hierarchy of bible study skills. Knowing this, that is knowing we have to read everything in context including uses if the word diabolos and satan, and knowing diabolos is a traducer, it is easy to see James was talking about the desires and inherent lusts of humans when we read his words carefully. What must be resisted according to James? It is the lusts and desires that often possess us that must be resisted. Our own desires steer us in an unhealthy spiritual direction …kinda like resisting that piece of chocolate cake on the counter because I am trying to slim down a bit. My desire to eat the cake needs to be resisted then the desire will “flee” from me, if only until tomorrow. Look at the context of James words quoted below but remember, this passage must be understood by keeping in mind where James says sin and death comes from. It is from our own lusts…evil comes from within from the heart according to Christ. And this is how James puts it;

    Jas 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

    We can begin to see where sin comes from in the words of James. And we also know the wages of sin is death, therefore both sin and death come from a place inside of us not from a force to be running from or waging battle against in the spirit. (If you say this to some folks they often bring up the Ephesians 6 passage about spiritual warfare. That passage is easy to understand in context as well; and it is not about battling unseen supernatural beings (such as a fallen angel called Satan). What we do find when James chapter 4 is intelligently examined in context is that Satan is not battling God for our souls and we are not battling Satan for our souls; we are battling ourselves for our souls.

    So as it goes we see James clearly identifies sin and death as coming from the desires that are within each of us. Paul says “sin is in my members,” which is to say; sin is an inherent problem that begins in man and does not come from outside of man. Man will always struggle against the “wrong” desires that each us of have daily.
    That said we should look at the context of James’ “fleeing devil” statement. We will see the “devil” in James’ statement below is several things; but in no way does James claim the traducer is a supernatural Satan. The devil we are to resist is shown by this bible passage to be a few things. The diobolos is;
     our lusts that are warring in our members
     the spirit that dwells within us that sullies our reputation (diabolos)
     it is our pride
     and it is our hearts
    Read it right here;
    Jas 4:1 Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don’t they come from your lusts that war in your members?
    Jas 4:2 You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not.
    Jas 4:3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.
    Jas 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
    Jas 4:5 Do you think that the scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy?
    Jas 4:6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.
    Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.

    If only teachers and students of the bible and could read these things in context then the biblical understanding of the diabolos would fit the writer’s intent. James only speaks of men and characteristics of man that are the devil. I might add as an aside, Paul’s teaching on the devil and Satan are virtually non-existent but Paul sure tells us to get our flesh to line up. Remember it was Paul who taught that sin is in his members and encouraged his audience to bring the flesh into agreement with righteous choices. So if one is inclined to use Paul’s teaching as a source to affirm the devil belief then perhaps a closer look at Paul’s work should be undertaken.

    When looking at one or two verses such as the verse where James tells us to “resist the devil,” it would be a great benefit to poke our nose around a little. By doing so we will be able to see if the context of the passage is about a supernatural devil or if the writer was dealing with the issues of humanity that are so often the unseen devil in the life and lives of those trying to do right by their God. Even the individual passages about Satan or the devil in the New Testament are often connected to the passages that lead up to and around the passage in question. Looking at these without clinging to an entrenched emotional connection to the word Satan or devil will free us to hear the passage correctly. I hope to assist folks in making connections that are often missed because of attachment to wrong meanings of ancient terms and words like devil and satanas.

    So let’s try to ask ourselves an important question when we are challenged to rethink a belief we have had about Satan or anything our whole life…Am I going to believe my emotions or am I willing to believe the truth?

    http://www.jimbrayshaw.com/

  9. @Bones

    “When did the word ‘satan’ move from being a Hebrew word for adversary to meaning the name of a specific and personal cosmic evil entity?”

    Because satan is “the adversary”. Duh! (1 Peter 5:8)

    I would ask the same of you as I asked of Greg, but your modus operandi is to do exactly what you have done – youtube videos from crackpots and articles from God-haters. There’s no point even watching and reading your stuff. It’s all the same bull dust anyway.

    Unfortunately you and Greg are so desperate to turn scripture into your own personal self-help guide that you cannot see the forest for the trees! It’s quite sad really.

  10. There’s A Mountain Of Evidence Against Satan? (The Bible says so)

    Who’s Up To The Challenge Of Proof?

    When one takes on the challenge to honestly search for answers to the questions that have plagued man for centuries, he or she will discover great things. Several years ago, I took up this challenge. I too had questions that remained unanswered by the religion I was raised in. I asked the very same questions that are asked by children everywhere; why doesn’t God just destroy Satan? Why did God create Satan if He knows everything? Why does God let Satan bring harm to humans if God is a God of love? To my delight though, I realized I do not need to accept the religious answers that were really no answers at all. Answers that I was given as a child. Answers that became part of every little boy and girl’s knowledge base about Satan, evil, and Hell. No, the status quo has faded from its place as glossy platitude that placates the masses. I am an adult now and now, I can ask these questions and fearlessly go find answers…answers that make sense and that don’t sound like fairy tales. Answers that find their base in history and contextual examinations of the Bible. Answers that reconcile the apparent contradictions in the Bible instead of glossing over some of the more simple statements we find there. For example, if the God of the Bible says He is the only God and there is none like Him then why is Satan so much like God in so many ways? Why is Satan displayed as a God by religion if God says there are no other Gods? And why does one passage in 1st John say Satan is a liar and a murderer from the beginning yet Christian doctrine about Satan claims he was perfect in the beginning according to Ezekiel 28? There are hundreds and hundreds of these contradictions and now, because of the freedom I have to ask questions about them and find answers, I have been able to search out answers to every one of the questions I have ever had about who and what Satan is. In these volumes, you will find all of the questions and answers that many brave explorers and I have dealt with. Questions such as why Isaiah’s Lucifer is spoken of as a man and King in Isaiah 14 but Christendom makes him out to be a supernatural entity. Why the Satan in Job is said to be a group of wicked men by Job himself but religion places the adversary of Job as a cosmic player? Why does the noun sawtawn get translated as a name by scholars when translating out of the Hebrew? Why are we told sin brings death and man brought sin into the world yet religion blames Satan for both sin and death? Why is it that God claims He makes peace and creates evil yet believers in Satan state Satan is the creator of evil?

    These questions can go on and on, and that is why this book series is four volumes long. Good news though, you don’t have to start at volume one nor do you have to read all four of these fantastically detailed works to begin getting answers. Pick up any one of these books and you will find yourself able to comprehend how the Satan idea became such a deeply embedded cultural consciousness. Moreover, you will gain many of the tools you need to understand what is meant, apart from reading my view on the matter, when the words Satan, devil, demons and the like are used. The quest for me has been life changing. As it has for untold thousands. And I guarantee it will be for you. Life will get better without Satan.

    But what brings us to this point in our literary journey? Why is it, in this fourth volume, we are dealing with all the Apostolic writings beginning with Acts and plodding our way right on through to The Revelation? Well, allow me a moment to address that question.

    Years ago, it was discovered that Satan is not real. The layers of that traditional doctrine were peeled back one by one and each new layer revealed yet another flaw in the common doctrine of Satan. The most thorough way to do such an exploratory process on such an age-old traditional doctrine was to examine it from its beginnings. Not only did we examine the idea of a second lesser God entering thought and migrating into Judaism and Christianity, but also we began mining for Satan in the very first book of the Bible. And that began in Volume 1 – Satan Christianity’s Other God – Legend, Myth, Lore, Or Lie

    In that inaugural volume, we discovered so much about the doctrine of satan, its origins, and just what was being said about the satan by many of the most well known authors of Biblical books. In Genesis, we learned man was responsible for evil and the iconic characters of that storybook never pointed to a cosmic evil entity as the purveyor of evil. There is no Satan here; we simply find man was created with the potential to choose good or to choose evil. The latter of those is the “evil inclination.” That my friends, is all some need to learn to find that man is His own satan and is an adversary. And “adversary” is the meaning of the Hebrew word sawtawn. If we consider that the Bible is a Hebrew document in many ways, we learn that man is a satan to God, to himself, and to other men at times. As we made our way along the journey, we found repeatedly the Scriptures taught that God is the creator of all things good and all things evil. We heard the word Satan is really just a transliterated Hebrew word that means adversary. It was never meant to be the name of a fabricated evil being and it only references men or God when used in the Scriptures.

    In the book of Numbers, we found that an angel is a man in almost all cases when the word angel is used in the Bible. Within that discovery, we learned that an angel of God was actually the Satan to the prophet Balaam. In one simple story, we learned again that God or His messenger is Satan and not a cosmic evil entity.

    Can You Stomach Such A Monstrous Claim?

    A monstrous claim was made as our thinking began to be reshaped on who and what Satan is. That monstrosity was one clarion charge that said, if Satan is real then God is a liar. I touched on it above but this claim is of such monstrous proportions that I will mention it again. It is no secret that God claims to be the only God and that there are no other Gods like Him in heaven or on Earth. Yet the things that are ascribed to Satan, the attributes and acts which Satan can supposedly perform, are God abilities … this then says there is one like God. With that in mind, many readers began to understand that if they believe Satan to be real then they are not monotheistic. Believing in Satan means they do not believe in just one God, they in fact believe in two Gods. The charge of being dualistic was the hardest pill to swallow for those making their way down the road to a Satan-free world.

    It was also shown that the Old Scratch does not send evil and lying spirits to mess with man. Scripture was abundantly clear on the fact that both evil and lying spirits come from God. In cases such as the evil spirit from the Lord that was sent on Saul and Abimilech, we learned there is no Satan to accuse in the area of evil and lying spirits. God again shoulders the burden of blame for evil and lying spirits; the Scriptures clearly say so.

    We spared no expense in coming to a sound conclusion on who gave us the doctrine of Satan. This stage of the de-satanizing process pointed directly at the Persians. Many have taught that Persian dualism, a view of two Gods in the cosmos battling for supremacy, was carried out of Persia with the repatriated Hebrew people in the 6th Century BC. A Greek takeover filled the Persian idea of a lesser evil God with all the myth and lore of the Greek pantheon. Greek theology brought us to the Satan we have in our minds today.

    Of all the points made against the existence of a literal Satan in the previous volumes, few are returned to as frequently as these next major discoveries are. It was unearthed by examining the Scriptures, that the Lucifer of Isaiah 14 was just a human king who fell from a lofty place in world rule. St. Jerome had used a Latin word, lucifer, to interpret the Hebrew term that told of the bright status of a once great King. We came to conclude then that the very foundational doctrine Christendom uses to build its satanology, is indeed not about a cosmic being at all. The text speaks of this bright morning star as a man. That man was thought to be God by those who were contemporary with Isaiah. And the planet Venus was believed to be represented by this God-King. We soon found no reason to agree Lucifer is a cosmic entity because the planet Venus was a bright morning star and a King who fell became the fallen star in the poetic words of an ancient prophet.

    In like manner, the anointed cherub of Ezekiel 28 was handily removed from its place as a cosmic evil entity who was once a perfect angelic creature. Again the text betrays Christian doctrine by making several mentions that this ruler who was appointed to cover a nation with equity and protection, is also just a man. He ruled powerfully, traded richly, and was to die physically…just like all men do.

    What a relief it was to learn of Job’s Satan. Poor old Job. This wonderful man was not given over to a supernatural beast to be all but destroyed. The language itself testifies to a human adversary as Job’s satan. And Job himself boldly points his finger at two sources for his tribulations. It is not an evil Satan who harmed Job. It is Job’s God at whose hands evil came upon Job and it is at the hands of wicked men that Job was set to suffering. We cemented these facts by finding that to “come before the Lord” as is said of Job’s adversaries, simply referred to an appearance at a temple environment here on earth. This pivotal insight lent great cause to understanding Job’s satans were truly human adversaries. Adversaries who possessed insane jealousy towards old Job. Taking into consideration that the tale of Job was set in a style of writing known as Aggadah, or Wisdom Literature, it became clear this form of literary communication was not intended to be taken literally. Particularly in the area of a literal Satan hammering Job while God sat back and watched him suffer.

    As for the Satan in Zechariah’s vision. Well, once again, the story played out to reveal the Satan standing at the right hand to accuse Joshua, the newly appointed High Priest, was only a group of anti-Joshua men. Satans who felt their leadership of the repatriated community ought to be given greater value than Joshua’s leadership. As accusers of Joshua who pointed at his unworthiness for the High Priest job, they were the only satan here. This satan was the group of men who were adverse to God’s plan for the young Joshua as he was installed as High Priest of Israel.

    To have come all this way without examining the Serpent in the Garden would be a grave error. And in the final chapters of Volume 1, the conclusion was displayed as to just exactly what the serpent was. Proofs were given, cross-references were cited and when all the pieces were examined, it was detailed how not only do they not fit together, but that there are extraordinary deficiencies in the teaching that the Serpent is Satan or was inhabited by Satan. Our famed serpent, as vilified as it is for the place Moses’ allegory puts it in, is only a metaphor. A metaphor for man’s stealthy and cunning ability to justify disobedience. And if that was not an adequate explanation for who or what the serpent is, we hear another possibility. There is a great probability that Adam was the serpent. Adam was the man who was “with her” when Eve ate of the tree. He did nothing to protect or defend the woman from the serpent’s beguiling. Adam may well be the serpent who subtly coerced the woman into making a bad choice. A choice that he himself wanted to make but when tendencies to justify a wrong choice develop, it may be Adam wanted to have someone else to blame the disobedient action on. An action that was always a possibility for a man created with the ability to choose good or to choose evil.

    Finding Satan Is Harder If Death Is Silent

    The plight to find Satan to be a non-entity, bounded across another historical barrier with the introduction of Volume 2 – Imagine There’s No Satan- How Satan Got Into the New Testament.

    And What About The Place Of The Dead?

    When dealing with the Satan of Christian lore, one can hardly get around the question of the dead. If there is no Satan and Hell, then where do the dead go? Finding scads of biblical proofs for the state of the dead seemed to be the only possible resolution to the problematic question. And in dealing with this query, V2 found us examining the Witch of Endor story. In a story that has been heralded as an amazing testimony to the psychic world and the ability of certain spiritists to contact the dead, we put this tale to serious scrutinizing. Of the many findings that surfaced on the exploration, one of the more potent discoveries was that there is no spirit world to contact. Dead means dead we learned. The dead stay dead unless a future resurrection is brought into the picture, as Scripture suggests. This second volume established that psychics are very clever and intuitive practitioners of little more than adept guessing. As in the Witch of Endor’s case, a well-versed psychic receives no information from beyond the grave. He or she simply utilizes adept communication and listening skills as the information is mined out of a sitter. The “sitter” is a subject who unwittingly delivers everything the psychic needs to design statements that become true to the sitter. An amazing dismantling of psychic abilities brought us to the place that showed how Satan inspires nothing in the psychic realm.

    Speaking of mining… a bright light was cast on the dark understanding of Satan’s pre-Jesus existence. Confirmation after confirmation was given to show how Jesus never knew about the Satan of Christianity. When you are a first century Hebrew messianic candidate, you don’t adopt Greek thinking about a second lesser deity. You embrace the Hebraic understanding that man is the satan as is found in the Old Testament. After all, the Old Testament informs the New Testament writing and not the other way around.

    All the satanological doctrine building has come from somewhere. Although the major sentiment on the New Testament is that Christendom today has a feeble understanding of it, an iron-clad argument that neither Christ nor the Apostles used the New Testament to build doctrine is made in Volume 2. In fact, there is no evidence in the New Testament or the Old that the Apostolic Writings were thought of or used as Scripture by the believers in the first and early second centuries. How can one concoct a doctrine of Satan from letters that are not even Scripture? Compelling answers to the dilemma of New Testament authority are given to help the explorer see the senselessness of using the New Testament to establish a belief in Satan…even if the message is distorted by misapplying the millennia old words and stories.

    What Did The Persians, Greeks, And Pharisees Bring Us?

    It is indeed a challenge to trace the origins of an idea. But be thankful, what would a journey to a Satan-free life be like without knowing the path this life-sucking doctrine of the world’s most powerful religion took? Our examinations of the Pharisees brought us just the info we were looking for. These most derisional religious icons had a leading role in the saga of Christianity’s Satan. A look back at their journey and connections with Persia showed how the Pharisees were raised up by Persian Magi from Farsi. As spiritual children of Persian magicians, the power hungry Pharisees glommed onto the idea of an evil lesser God and forced it into the psyche of the Jerusalemites under their care. As the group most responsible for guiding religious thought in the centuries after leaving Persia, the Pharisees were able to instruct the masses in the ways of Satan. The sequel to their epic move was even more subtle. The Hellenization of a people allowed Greek ideas to fill the holes in an oddly unbiblical doctrine of Satan. Voila, Satan was then given to the Christians and we now have the Greeks to thank for that.

    Because I am dealing with Satan in Revelation in this present volume, I found the need in volume 2, only to address how the Revelation is seen and used by Christian scholars of our era. Through a series of rudimentary investigations, it was shown that the Satan of Christianity cannot be found in the book 0f Revelation.

    There was no cosmic Satan in the minds of John or of any of the biblical writers. You and I have been handed an ancient myth that was constructed by man. When we stumble on the English words in this ancient Greek document that was written by Hebrew thinkers, we should be careful to honor the intent of the author. The authorial intent is known to be a whole lot different and a whole lot less mystical than the intent of those in Christianity who have taken it on themselves to interpret these ancient writers. They have mistakenly interpreted writers like John through their own Greco-Roman, 21st century, pre-determined perspective that Satan is real. John had visions that displayed non-literal elements and Christian theologians applied their thinking that these elements were intended to be literal. A survey of John’s highly graphic visions reveals literalness is an impossibility and there is no Satan to be found in Revelation.

    How Do We Scrub A Brainwashed Mind?

    As we hurdled towards the release of this volume, diligence was required in making our way through the Gospels. The important next step in the revolutionary process of dismantling Satan, was to deal with every passage about Satan, the devil, and demons that are found in the Gospels. And along came Who’s The Devil Jesus Knew- Explaining Satan In The Gospels, the third volume is the most thorough discussion on who and what Satan is in the Gospels that you will find.

    Did you know that a lie told long enough becomes the truth? That is the case for this idea that Satan is real. And when an idea is proliferated in so many sectors and segments of society, the recipients of that lie become brainwashed into a state of unquestioned acceptance of the lie. Satan has been taught as being real in homes, churches, schools, radios, televisions, movie theaters, books, and video games for dozens of centuries. How can we expect one to push back against such an entrenched belief? To answer that question there are two ways to go about this. The only way to fight a lie for some is with another lie, while for others, as daunting, and insurmountable as the mountainous lie might be, the only way to combat a lie is to tell the truth. Before we got Volume 4 off the shelf, we needed to hear the truth about all the satan talk in the Gospels. Satan this and Satan that, casting out devils, and battling demon possessed; disturbing confrontations with a guttural devil in a man and on and on and on. But what are all those encounters if not evidences of literal Satanic activity?

    The long and short of it is that the word satanas found in the Greek comes from the Hebrew word for adversary, sawtawn. Any unbiased scholar will tell us then, that the Greek word must represent and be defined by the Hebrew meaning of the word. Therefore, the Satan in the New Testament is informed by the sawtawn of the Old Testament. That leaves us with some pretty clear conclusions on what a satan and a demon are. Conclusive findings showed that satan, demons, devils, and unclean spirits are several things. And one of those things is not the supernatural entities Christendom has suggested they are. We find the satan of the Bible to be; an adverse person, an adverse situation, a physical illness, a mental infirmity, a false teacher of false doctrine, an erroneous belief or false doctrine, a person who is a deceiver, a person who opposes God’s plan or another person, and yes, even God Himself is at times the Satan.

    http://www.jimbrayshaw.com/

  11. @wazza. More than well respected – though I must admit I didn’t know them. But their close harmony grabbed me. Looking further it seems they were probably the pair who popularized two men singing like that – and then they led to the Everly Brothers – who of course influenced the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Beach Boys etc etc. So anytime you hear male harmony in pop music, it’s somehow traceable to those guys.

    (It’s my fav type of music in case you couldn’t tell)

    So, thanks to Greg for filling in my musical knowledge and leading to an hour of listening to classic songs on youtube. Way of topic, but it’s amazing the way these old acts just keep going and how good they still sound.

    Okay back to topic. Here’s something interesting about these two.

    “Their songs were heavily influenced by their Baptist faith and warned against sin.[citation needed] Ira Louvin was notorious for his drinking, womanizing, and short temper.[2] He was married four times; his third wife Faye shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly beat her.[3] Although seriously injured, he survived. When performing and drinking, Ira would sometimes become angry enough on stage to smash his mandolin;”

    So I suppose if they were around today, there’d be an article on them on groupsects about how they were hypocrites….well one of them.

    Lots of sad souls in the music industry. Even or esp the ones with faith.

    Last piece of music trivia – Elvis opened for them way back….

    (now don’t anyone go bashing Elvis! Criticising him is blasphemy to me! )

  12. Unfortunately you and Greg are so desperate to turn scripture into your own personal self-help guide that you cannot see the forest for the trees! It’s quite sad really.

    Get behind me, satan!

  13. So it’s kind of ironic, Ira singing about Satan is real..
    A Baptist married four times back in those days was pretty amazing.

  14. @bones. I’ll try to wade through all that, but just as an initial comment.

    “In fact, there is no evidence in the New Testament or the Old that the Apostolic Writings were thought of or used as Scripture by the believers in the first and early second centuries. How can one concoct a doctrine of Satan from letters that are not even Scripture?”

    Might have to clarify that. If apostolic writings include the epistles and gospels of the NT, and the argument is that these can not be treated as “scripture” and thus can’t be used to build a case for the existence of the devil … most of Christendom will reject that argument.

  15. @iBOnes, It’s probably a big ask, but I often which you’d give a summary of all this stuff you copy and paste – and the videos.

  16. OK In summary:

    There is no Satan – (ie cosmic, evil entity, Lucifer, Devil, fallen angel….)

    The only satan is us!

  17. “In fact, there is no evidence in the New Testament or the Old that the Apostolic Writings were thought of or used as Scripture by the believers in the first and early second centuries. How can one concoct a doctrine of Satan from letters that are not even Scripture?”

    Well they certainly weren’t viewed the same as we view them now or how the early Christians viewed the Old Testament. When Paul wrote Romans was that automatically thought of as Scripture. What of the Apocryphal Gospels written around the same time. John’s Revelation certainly wasn’t thought of as scripture by some, nor Hebrews. Yet the Didache was.

    Plus how accessible were they to every Christian and there is doubt on the authorship and dating of most of the New Testament documents (from late 1st century to mid 2nd)..

    This probably deserves its own thread.

  18. @Bones

    “In the book of Numbers, we found that an angel is a man in almost all cases when the word angel is used in the Bible.”

    Wrong. Dead wrong. For this author to say that the term “Angel of the Lord” is referring to a man is simply laughable. This dude is so stretching all the bounds of credibility by trying to twist and mould his prejudice into what the scripture is saying that he makes himself to look like a complete fool. And anyone who swallows his dribble shows themselves to be likewise. There is nothing in the passage that even remotely indicates a mortal being, and certainly not one that is capable of supernatural acts that this being practices. The term for “angel” throughout the OT is malak, meaning “messenger”. Whilst there are some instances in the OT where the word malak is used to describe a person, it is mostly used to describe heavenly beings.

    “the attributes and acts which Satan can supposedly perform, are God abilities”

    Rubbish.

    Satan has some power, as do all heavenly beings, but his abilities are nowhere near matching God’s abilities. Is satan omnipotent? Is he omnipresent? Can he create life? Nope. Ergo, this statement is preposterous.

    “the Lucifer of Isaiah 14 was just a human king who fell from a lofty place in world rule.”

    Rubbish.

    Isaiah 14 begins by referring to the king of Babylon, but midway through his prophesy begins referring to Lucifer. Lucifer means “lightbearer” or “day star”, which Paul confirms in 2 Corinthians 11. This passage, as well as Ezekiel 28, are held up by bible-despisers as the so-called “smoking guns” that supposedly prove that satan in the Old Testament is a made up being. However, by viewing these passages in the context of other passages in the Old Testament, as well as the more enlightened New Testament, we see that it is more than clear who these passages are referring to – satan.

    This dude is a nut case Bones. I can see why you chose to copy and paste his dribbling.

    Shall I go on?

  19. @Bones

    “The only satan is us!”

    Garbage! Prove it. With scripture. And cross references. And with scholarly back up. No youtube videos or wacky conspiracy theory websites.

    Come on, prove it. I dare you.

  20. Let’s look at your 3 points.

    1. Angels appear in the Old Testament as men. Do you imagine them with wings and halos and a harp? What do you think angels should look like? And no they weren’t spirits either. (Can you try to anally rape a spirit like in Sodom?)

    2. Fact is Christians do give Satan more power than God even. The power to kill, to heal (even Satan heals apparently), he rules this world.

    Is Jesus Lord or not?

    3. As with the Old Testament, the problem with understanding Satan’s appearances in the New Testament is that we have to spend a great deal of time untangling later reinterpretations of Satan. The perfect example of this is the popular contemporary pseudonym of Satan – “Lucifer.”

    First, a passage such as 2 Corinthians 11:14 describes Satan as an angel of light. Second, Luke 10:18-19 says Satan fell from the sky like lightning. Isaiah 14:12-17 recounts a being who is cast out of the heavens because of pride. Contextually, this being is the ruling power of the day: Babylon. Since Isaiah speaks of light, 2 Corinthians speaks of light, and Luke speaks of lightning, it appears to have been concluded that the verses in Isaiah must be related to Satan.

    The original Hebrew word (helel), the first element in the name of the being in Isaiah 14, is believed to mean “to shine brightly.” This reference has always been associated with the bright planet Venus. You should note that some modern translations use “Day Star” (NSRV), another name for Venus. The word “lucifer” finds its origin from a Latin word (lucem ferre) for Venus. It wound up being used in the King James version of the Bible instead of translated to a more accurate word. How we get from Venus to Satan is a wonderful example of conflation of passages from unrelated texts.

  21. @Bones

    “What do you think angels should look like?”

    The bible is very clear on this. Some angels do in fact have wings. Most of the angels that appear to people manifest as men. Some angels are described as strange creatures, and some as shining and radiant.

    “Fact is Christians do give Satan more power than God even. The power to kill, to heal (even Satan heals apparently), he rules this world.”

    Christians haven’t made these attributes up. Jesus tells us (John 10:10), and other scriptures also describe Satan’s attributes.

    “How we get from Venus to Satan is a wonderful example of conflation of passages from unrelated texts.”

    A giant leap in logic here. “Venus and Satan share the same linguistic origin in their names, therefore the entire bible is actually talking about Venus when it refers to Satan”. Dumb.

    No proof of your erroneous theories Bones. Just more copying and pasting. Keep trying. But this time, use scripture to prove your point.

  22. NT Wright on the Temptations of Jesus and Abraham. Midrash is a Jewish form of writing in which a historical truth is enshrined in a story.

    NT Wright points out that the temptations of Jesus were a form of Midrash. They weren’t literal stories. The point was that Jesus was totally dedicated to God and was not going to be tempted even by his disciples who thought that money and power was of the kingdom of God.

    THE TEMPTATION STORY: A MIDRASH USED BY MATTHEW AND LUKE
    The temptations of Jesus rank among the most puzzling and inspiring stories of the Gospels. What do they mean? Did the devil literally appear to Jesus and talk to him? Did he physically lift Jesus up onto the outside wall of the Temple and transport him later to the top of a high mountain?

    To understand the story, we have to know that it is a “narrative reflection” -a form of instruction the Jews called midrash. A midrash is constructed by weaving a story around a historical fact. It is such an unusual form of teaching that we had better stick to its Jewish name, in spite of it sounding so foreign.

    THE TEMPTATIONS OF ABRAHAM
    One famous midrash used by Jewish teachers described the three temptations of Abraham. You will remember how God had commanded Abraham to offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. It is true that when Abraham lifted his knife to kill Isaac, God stopped him just in the nick of time. But Abraham did not know this in advance. He had travelled for three days to Mount Moriah believing that God expected him to sacrifice his son (read Genesis 22; 1-19).

    The Jewish rabbis reflected on this. They asked themselves, “What went through Abraham’s mind during those three long terrible days while he was escorting his beloved son Isaac to the mountain of sacrifice?”

    Would Abraham not be tempted to rebel against God’s command with thoughts such as, “Did not God himself forbid us to kill? How can he now expect me to kill my son? Did not God promise that I would have innumerable offspring through Isaac?” and so on.

    To make the temptations even more dramatic, the story was turned into a midrash. That is: it was re-told as a threefold encounter between Abraham and Satan. “Satan” actually means “tempter” and each time Satan or Abraham spoke, their words were phrased as quotations from Scripture.

    The midrash of Abraham’s temptations ran something like this:

    While Abraham was on his way, Satan met him and said: “You’ve always been so faithful to God. Why has this unfair burden been laid upon you?” (Job 4:2-5).
    Abraham answered, “I will walk in my integrity” (Psalm 26:11).

    The second day Satan appeared again and said, “God told you, You shall not kill (Exodus 20:13). Tomorrow he will blame you for having shed Isaac’s blood.” Abraham replied, “All the same I have to obey” (Samuel 13:13).

    On the third day Satan said, “Did not God promise ‘In Isaac shall your offspring be called’?” (Genesis 17:19). Abraham simply said, “I am like a dumb man who opens not his mouth” (Psalm 38:13).

    Now no Jew who heard this story would ever think that Satan had actually appeared to Abraham and made those remarks. They knew that the meaning of the midrash lay in bringing out Abraham’s unwavering commitment to God, in spite of the natural turmoil he must have felt in his mind and heart.

    The midrash of Abraham’s temptations became so well known and had so many forms that soon similar temptation stories arose about other saints and heroes of the past – the three temptations of Moses, David, Samson and others. The midrash always reflected on people who achieved great things despite natural objections.

    THE MIDRASH OF JESUS’ TEMPTATIONS
    The story of Jesus’ temptations has the same origin. The temptation story had Jesus relive the experience of Moses and the Hebrew people in the wilderness. Before Moses received the law, he fasted forty days and forty nights (Ex 34:28). So Jesus, before delivering the new law (on the Mount), underwent a similar fast. The story line follows the adventures of Moses in the wilderness. The manna story (Ex 16) found expression in the temptation to turn stones into bread. The story of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness at Massah/Meribah (Ex 17) was told as an act in which Moses put God to the test. (You can hear the echoes in Jesus’ response: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God”). The story of the Israelites building and worshiping the golden calf (Ex 32) in the desert is echoed in Jesus’ words “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

    In all three episodes, Jesus is portrayed as quoting Deuteronomy (8:3, 5:16, 6:13), and each quotation reflected the Exodus desert experience of Israel. The midrashic ability of the scribe who authored the Gospel of Matthew is clearly revealed in this episode.

    It is also quite possible that the earliest version of the story was an instruction Jesus gave to his disciples. Jesus was going to bring salvation through laying down his life. This was a decision he had taken during his retreat in the desert when he had started his mission. But the disciples would have preferred Jesus to further his cause by using human tools – money, influence and power.

    Jesus conceivably took his disciples aside and told them a midrash of three temptations he experienced:

    “When I was preparing myself for my mission,” he may have said, “I was wondering how I could save the world. And the Tempter came and advised me to accumulate material goods (“turn stones into bread”), to grab publicity through miracles (“throw yourself down from the Temple”) and to acquire political power (“See these many nations? I will give you all this power”). But I decided against it”, Jesus said.

    By narrating the midrash story about himself, Jesus may well have told his disciples,

    “I have a very difficult task! Do not put obstacles to the purity of my mission by trying to make me use worldly means, such as money, publicity and political power. Like Abraham I received a difficult mission from my Father and like Abraham I must be faithful to it.”

    The disciples would have understood the meaning of the midrash. They did not take the Tempter’s words or deeds literally. They knew the story brought out Jesus’ reliance on his Father’s word and Jesus’ total commitment to the Father’s work (me: isn’t this really the point?). It is only later when the story was translated into Greek for the Greek speaking readers of the Gospels that it began to be misunderstood. For the Greeks, like ourselves, had never heard of a midrash.

    sources: Handbook to the Gospels: A Guide to the Gospel Writings and the Life and Times of Jesus; Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes
    —-

  23. @Bones

    Here’s a simple exercise to show you how stupid your last “argument” is.

    My name is Raymond. The first part of my name, “Ray” means “each of the lines in which light (and heat) may seem to stream from the sun or any luminous body, or pass through a small opening”. Usually when the word “ray” is used it is used in this context. Therefore, based upon the “logic” of the writer whose musings you copied and pasted, I am therefore a line of light that passes through a small opening, so whenever people see my name, they don’t imagine a 37 year old man, but a beam of light.
    Get it?

  24. Shall I go on?

    No. Not really.

    If Satan makes you happy then have him.

    I’m not playing your games.

    You aren’t one to be trusted.

  25. Of course, Jim Brayshaw takes a sadly selfish position on this because he has probably never come face to face with a demonised person (supposing he doesn’t see one in the mirror), and wouldn’t have clue what to d if he did, because it would blow his warped theology out the window, so he assumes that, because he can lock into a self-serving, seemingly reasonable argument devoid of spiritual fact, there must, therefore, be no actual devil and, subsequently, no demons which possess, oppress or torment people.

    That would make Jesus’ ministry rather strange, and his empowering of his disciples somewhat pointless, seeing as they thought that they had power even over the demons! Which, according to Jim turns out to be merely their naughtiness!

    What he, and others, actually describe fits the flesh more than anything to do with principalities, powers and rulers of this present age. No, they’re flesh and blood! Bt, wait a minute! I thought they weren’t flesh and blood we were wrestling!

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph.6.12

    I’ve seen what demons do to people, and I’ve witnessed them cast out of people. No doubt about it!

    The most Jim’s probably seen is someone lose their temper at his wife or kids! Yep! That’s the flesh!

    Now, demons coming out of a person – that’s different altogether.

  26. @Bones

    “Shall I go on?

    No. Not really.”

    Is that because your argument is invalid and unscriptural? Are you not able to offer any biblical proof, so you’d rather abuse than answer? Come on, prove to me that the devil doesn’t exist. Using scripture.

  27. Just thought I’d add here that there are indeed conservative scholars who think like Bones that the story of Job and the account of the Satan and Jesus were not literal stories.

    ie You can be a conservative and still think that Job wasn’t literal.

    As for deliverance from demons, I think anyone whose been around charismatic churches for any length of time would have to admit that there were people who had demons supposedly cast out of them many times, who probably just needed to get real and take responsibility for their actions and attitudes.

    (sorry to the people I offend with that – but I’m not on any team here)

  28. @Q

    It is indeed possible that the account of the conversation between God and Satan is allegorical or not literal. The fact that Jesus verifies the entire book by talking about it and quoting from it also means that it is entirely possible that it really happened. Either way, the book itself is considered canonical, and it’s inclusion in the Jewish Tanahk means that they also believe it to be valid. None of this however takes away from the fact that Satan is real.

    Oh, and I have seen firsthand the effects of demonisation upon a person. I saw a young man throw himself into a campfire once. It took seven people to hold him down to stop him from doing it again. The freakiest part however was when a second voice started speaking from him, guttural and downright scary. His own timid voice was being drowned out by the other voice. Several of the people holding him down were Christians (mainstream, by the way, with no experience or understanding of the demonic), and when one of them began to pray the person pointed at her and the guttural voice said “when I come out I’m coming into you”. Needless to say, she was freaked out, I was freaked out, and everyone else there was freaked out!

    So, Bones, deny all you want. Deny the truth in the bible. Make up your own beliefs so that you don’t have to accept the reality of the bible being the truth. It’s really no skin off my nose. Just don’t p***s on my face and tell me it’s raining.

  29. I’ve been involved in deliverence ministries. Cast out demons, broken curses in Jesus name. As a young Christian I was convinced I had a demon because of my battles with sex and being single. It wasn’t a demon.

  30. @Bones

    “It wasn’t a demon.”

    Of course it wasn’t. A born again believer cannot be possessed by a demon (assuming of course you are a born again believer – the evidence proves otherwise, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt). So, is this the reason why you choose to deny the existence of Satan? Because of your personal experience?

  31. And clearly the pharisees and pagans could drive out demons. Witch doctors could use potions to bring a dis-eased person to sanity.

  32. @Bones

    “And clearly the pharisees and pagans could drive out demons. Witch doctors could use potions to bring a dis-eased person to sanity.”

    Evidence please.

  33. @Bones

    Didn’t Jesus also say that Satan cannot cast out Satan, and that a house divided against itself cannot stand? So either Jesus is schitzophrenic, or the Pharisees and pagans weren’t driving out demons at all. Its all a trick. Satan is a deceiver and a counterfeiter after all

  34. Raymond, so you don’t think Christians can have demon problems?

    Here’s the problem. You have an experience which you gave as a kind of proof in the existence of demons. Your proof is that a person tried to harm himself, it took more than one person to control them, they spoke as if they were another person, and because they spoke in a different tone of voice -ie deep and gutteral..

    There are ministries that are involved in casting demons out of born again Christians and they have all those phenomena.

    Btw, do you think that the voice the boy spoke in could not have been produced by him even if he tried?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love pentecostals and charismatics. Just that a lot of their stories don’t really hold up under close scrutiny. In fact most people don’t like being questioned too much.

    For the record, I don’t believe every experience that LOOKS supernatural IS supernatural. If I did, I’d have to believe that every person who is slain in the spirit after being laid hands on by anyone is a supernatural experience, and I’d have to believe that people of all kinds of religious and other persuasions are casting demons out all the time.

    There are conservative bible scholars who believe Job is canonical without it being a true story. Whether something is canonical or not is a different issue I think. I have no trouble believing that Job actually lived and the story happened as told, but I’m open to being taught lessons from it by someone who sees it as a story.
    It’s actually one of the most difficult books to really understand, though I think if you can understand it and teach it, you probably know God and life in a very deep way. Can’t remember off hand Jesus talking about Job that much though.

    There’s a lot in the stuff Bones pasted (as usual, too much)

    But why not take one verse at a time. Bones and the writer are suggesting the “resist the Devil and he will flee from you” is NOT referring to Satan.

    For those who think it obvious is … do you believe that Satan himself actually comes to each of us? How often? And do you honestly think that Satan (not a demon, and no temptation), but the actual head honcho of evil has come to your town – your children recently and then fled away after encountering resistance?
    We say that only God is omni-present. I’d say Satan would be racking up a lot of mileage if he’s actually coming around to everyone.

    iow, I don’t agree with all that Bones posts, but it’s worth looking at scriptures afresh.

    And remember that as he said, he isn’t someone who hasn’t been involved in Charismatic churches.

    His story about sex is interesting. The irony is that there were probably thousands of single pentecostal kids thinking they were demonized because they couldn’t help wanting to look at a Playboy or think about sex, and kept praying for the day when some really powerful preacher like Frank Houston would come to town so they could get prayed for.

  35. @Q

    Lots of questions. I’ll try to answer some!

    “There are ministries that are involved in casting demons out of born again Christians and they have all those phenomena.”

    Without trying to sound dismissive, those ministries are wrong. It is impossible for a born again believer to be possessed by a demon. Every born again believer has the Holy Spirit in them. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. 1Cor. 3:16 says “do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you.” There’s no room for any demons! Having said that, Christians can be oppressed by the demonic. I have also seen some people have hands laid on them and they do the whole coughing and vomiting thing. But, you know what? It’s simply their understanding of what should supposedly happen to them when they are “possessed”. One time I was praying for someone, and they started to do all that stuff. I told them to stop, that it wasn’t necessary, that they weren’t actually possessed. And they stopped! Some of the feelings they may have afterwards, such as lightness and refreshing are as a result of the oppression lifting off, not of having a demon expelled.

    “do you think that the voice the boy spoke in could not have been produced by him even if he tried?”

    Nope. It’s one of those you-should-have-been-there situations that cannot be described adequately on the page, but there were two distinct voices, sometimes speaking at the same time.

    “It’s (the book of Job) actually one of the most difficult books to really understand, though I think if you can understand it and teach it, you probably know God and life in a very deep way.”

    It is actually a very simple book to understand if you know how to rightly divide the word of truth. Did God and Satan have a conversation? Perhaps. Perhaps it’s allegorical. Did Satan ask permission to oppress Job? No. He didn’t have to. He already had power over Job, because Satan is the god of this world. The language of the encounter between God and Satan actually shows that when God says “Behold, everything he has is in your power”, God is stating a fact, rather than granting permission.

    The rest of the book is a recounting of Jobs and his friends trying to figure out why Job was in this predicament, and none of their answers are correct. Subsequently, we should not take any scriptures from these 37 verses and build doctrines on them. Then from chapter 38 on God is telling Job how wrong he and his friends were, and then proceeds to tell Job what He is really like. Simple. Not hard to understand at all.

    “Bones and the writer are suggesting the “resist the Devil and he will flee from you” is NOT referring to Satan…..do you believe that Satan himself actually comes to each of us? How often? And do you honestly think that Satan (not a demon, and no temptation), but the actual head honcho of evil has come to your town – your children recently and then fled away after encountering resistance?”

    Bones and the writer are wrong. It is referring to Satan. But you are right when you say that Satan wouldn’t attack little old you and I. He is not omnipresent, he can only be in one place at the one time. Why would he hassle you and I? Wouldn’t it make more sense that he spend his time attacking Joel Osteen and the other big movers and shakers in Christendom? So why is the verse saying resist the devil? It’s important that we understand figures of speech used in the bible. An idiom is being used here (I can’t remember which one – I’m not near any of my books), whereby an agent (in this case Satan) is ascribed as doing something even though his agents (demons etc) are actually doing it. Look at the current situation regarding the Catholic Church. Even though it is individual priests abusing children, everyone seems to be blaming the church. It’s the same kind of thing.

    “The irony is that there were probably thousands of single pentecostal kids thinking they were demonized because they couldn’t help wanting to look at a Playboy or think about sex, and kept praying for the day when some really powerful preacher like Frank Houston would come to town so they could get prayed for.”

    That’s because of wrong teaching. When I struggled with those things as a teenager I thankfully recognised that it was my sinful nature wanting to do those things and not the demonic.

  36. Great response Raymond, but I often get wary when I hear someone say something like.
    “It is actually a very simple book to understand if you know how to rightly divide the word of truth”.
    Thousands of people say the same thing about Revelations and all have different interpretations.

    re oppression vs possession. That sounds like Derek Prince thinking.
    Do you agree with his ministry? If not, were the manifestations due to the lightening of oppression, or was it suggestion.

    Anyway, I salute you and Bones. You are way ahead of me.
    My struggles with that haven’t stopped and I’m not exactly a teenager. lol

  37. Didn’t Jesus also say that Satan cannot cast out Satan, and that a house divided against itself cannot stand? So either Jesus is schitzophrenic, or the Pharisees and pagans weren’t driving out demons at all. Its all a trick. Satan is a deceiver and a counterfeiter after all

    So then the argument Jesus used against the Pharisees, they can argue against you.

    The usual way for a Pharisee to cast out a demon was to speak to the demon, and obtain his name. Then the demon would be commanded by name to leave his host. If however, the person could not speak, the demon could not be cast out. Only Messiah, it was taught, could cast out a “dumb demon”.

    More on Jewish Exorcisms

    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Issues/Magic_and_the_Supernatural/Practices_and_Beliefs/Supernatural_Beings/Exorcism.shtml

  38. @Q

    “I often get wary when I hear someone say something like.
    “It is actually a very simple book to understand…. ”

    Fair enough. The thing is, though, most of the bible IS easy to understand IF you know how to read it.

    “That sounds like Derek Prince thinking. Do you agree with his ministry?”

    I don’t know much about him and his ministry. He comes on occasionally on my local radio station, but I usually change stations at that point. His voice is soooo boring!

  39. @Bones

    Probably counterfeits.

    Still no evidence from you about your claim that Satan doesn’t exist, by the way. Is that because you have none?

  40. @Bones

    “Like Christian deliverance ministries. I get your drift.”

    Exactly. We’re on the same page. Although I’d say that the deliverance ministries are based upon wrong teaching and understanding, rather than intention to deceive.

  41. Let’s start with the Old Testament especially Job.

    6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and [b]Satan also came among them. 7 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.” 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you [c]considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, [d]fearing God and turning away from evil.” 9 Then Satan answered the [e]Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your [f]power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.

    Let’s look at that [b] in the footnotes. What does it say? Hmmmm I.e. the adversary, and so throughout chs 1 and 2 ie the satan.

    It was not a name or a title. It is not a demonic being as that was not a Jewish belief. Jewish scholars still don’t believe in a Satan like Christians do. sawtawn is just another Hebraic word. Job had an accuser. It wasn’t Satan the Prince of Darkness. That’s a Christian interpretation and the idea that God makes deals with an evil demonic being and lets Satan unleash his power on the righteous is frankly stupid.

  42. @Bones

    “the idea that God makes deals with an evil demonic being and lets Satan unleash his power on the righteous is frankly stupid.”

    I agree. However, He didn’t make a deal.

  43. So theologians, what’s this gathering of the sons of God all about, and does Satan turn up there often?

    Sounds like an idea for a movie.

  44. Wow you don’t get it.

    The accuser could have been anyone.. A human, an angelic being.

    Why do the Christian translators the same word in these contexts as an adversary but not Satan.

    1 Samuel 29:4

    4 But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary (a satan) to us. For with what could this man make himself acceptable to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of [a]these men?

    Satan is a man

    1 Kings 11:14

    14 Then the Lord raised up an adversary (a satan) to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the [a]royal line in Edom.

    Satan is a man.

    1 Kings 11:23-25

    23 God also raised up another adversary (satan) to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 He gathered men to himself and became leader of a marauding band, after David slew them of Zobah; and they went to Damascus and stayed [k]there, and reigned in Damascus. 25 So he was an adversary (satan) to Israel all the days of Solomon, along with the evil that Hadad did; and he abhorred Israel and reigned over Aram.

    Satan is a man

    Numbers 22:22-23

    22 But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary (a satan) against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way.

    Satan is an angel of the Lord

    Numbers 22:31-32

    31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed [h]all the way to the ground. 32 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary (a satan), because your way was [i]contrary to me.

    Satan is the angel of the Lord

    Psalm 109:6

    Appoint a wicked man over him,
    And let an [d]accuser (a satan) stand at his right hand.

    Satan is a man.

    That only leaves us with

    1 Chron 21:1

    Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.”

    What’s satan here then. Must be the demonic father of lies right?

    Well 2 Sam 24:1-25 says it’s Yahweh who moved David. It’s none other than that angel of the Lord again doing the bidding of the Lord.

    This would mean there are ZERO verses in the OT that have a personal name “satan”, and ZERO references to Satan as a cosmic evil entity as in the NT.

  45. @Bones

    Actually, you don’t get it. The translators of both the Old AND New Testaments (not just Christians) attribute all of those situations to one being. You just can’t (or won’t, to be more precise) accept it because it doesn’t fit in with your “every-believer-is-wrong-and-I-am-right” make believe world

  46. By the way, you still haven’t PROVEN that Satan isn’t real using scripture. You’ve presented some OT scriptures that you have decided don’t say what they are actually saying. Now try and disprove the existence of Satan using NT scriptures

  47. Still in denial. Can’t accept what the Scriptures say against what you’ve been ‘taught’ to believe.

    I’ll come to the New Testament in my own time. Let’s look at Isaiah 14

    12 “How you have fallen from heaven,
    O [g]star of the morning, son of the dawn!
    You have been cut down to the earth,
    You who have weakened the nations!
    13 “But you said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
    I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
    And I will sit on the mount of assembly
    In the recesses of the north.
    14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’
    15 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
    To the recesses of the pit.
    16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
    They will [h]ponder over you, saying,
    ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
    Who shook kingdoms,
    17 Who made the world like a wilderness
    And overthrew its cities,
    Who did not [i]allow his prisoners to go home?’
    18 “All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    Each in his own [j]tomb.
    19 “But you have been cast out of your tomb
    Like [k]a rejected branch,
    [l]Clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword,
    Who go down to the stones of the pit
    Like a trampled corpse.
    20 “You will not be united with them in burial,
    Because you have ruined your country,
    You have slain your people.
    May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.
    21 “Prepare for his sons a place of slaughter
    Because of the iniquity of their fathers.
    They must not arise and take possession of the earth
    And fill the face of the world with cities.”
    22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and survivors, offspring and posterity,” declares the Lord.

    What’s that footnote [g] say Heb Helel; i.e. shining one

    So how did this get associated with Satan.. Well the source of this is the dreaded Early Church Fathers who mistranslated star of the morning with Lucifer. Especially Origen and Jerome in the Latin Vulgate. It’s a tradition. There’s nothing in this whole chapter which can be attributed to Satan without doing serious damage to the text and reading everything out of context.

    This is about the man, the King of Tyre and Babylon, Israel’s oppressors.

    These verses did not have that meaning to the Jews or early Christians.

    There is no Lucifer. It has nothing to do with Satan.

    I’m amazed Protestants still accept it.

  48. @Bones

    We’ve been through this already. But, because it seems you have comprehension issues, I’ll enlighten you one more time. Isaiah begins prophesying to the king of Babylon (not the king of Tyre – that was Ezekiel 28), then mid way through he begins to speak of the power behind the king of Babylon, Lucifer.

    “There’s nothing in this whole chapter which can be attributed to Satan without doing serious damage to the text and reading everything out of context.”

    Really? Explain how this is so. Because to the rest of Christendom it is a very simple thing to understand. But for some reason, Mr Bones here has decided that it is extremely complex and it isn’t really saying what it is obviously saying.

  49. And we have Ezekiel 28:11-19, from which whole doctrines of Satan have been preached.

    11 Again the word of the Lord came to me saying, 12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God,

    “You [d]had the seal of perfection,
    Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
    13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
    Every precious stone was your covering:
    The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
    The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
    The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
    And the gold, the workmanship of your [e]settings and [f]sockets,
    Was in you.
    On the day that you were created
    They were prepared.
    14 “You were the anointed cherub who [g]covers,
    And I placed you there.
    You were on the holy mountain of God;
    You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
    15 “You were blameless in your ways
    From the day you were created
    Until unrighteousness was found in you.
    16 “By the abundance of your trade
    [h]You were internally filled with violence,
    And you sinned;
    Therefore I have cast you as profane
    From the mountain of God.
    And I have destroyed you, O [i]covering cherub,
    From the midst of the stones of fire.
    17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
    You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.
    I cast you to the ground;
    I put you before kings,
    That they may see you.
    18 “By the multitude of your iniquities,
    In the unrighteousness of your trade
    You profaned your sanctuaries.
    Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you;
    It has consumed you,
    And I have turned you to ashes on the earth
    In the eyes of all who see you.
    19 “All who know you among the peoples
    Are appalled at you;
    You have become [j]terrified
    And you will cease to be forever.”’”

    OK same as above. This addressed to the King of Tyre BUT it must be about Satan because only Satan was in Eden like in verse 13 right?

    No not really.

    Eden for Ezekiel is a type of the wealthy city of Tyre; a virtual “paradise” for its residents and for the king of Tyre especially. There is no need to seek a “certain person” who actually was in Eden.

    Some facts about the King of Tyre.

    Ezekiel refers to an arrogant human ruler. The ruler in this passage exalts himself in pride and is cast down; the casting down is more explicit in the oracle earlier in the chapter (28:2-10). He claimed to be a god, enthroned in the heart of the seas (28:2; Tyre was off the seacoast of Phoenicia). God has Ezekiel mock this ruler: You think that you are as wise as a god (28:6), but God would bring judgment on this ruler by other nations (28:7); then would he still pretend to be a god in front of those who would kill him (28:9)? He was a “man,” not a god, and he would die a horrible and violent death (28:8-10). This is hardly a description of the devil, an immortal spirit; this is an earthly ruler who claimed to be a god, who would learn his mortality at the time of God’s judgment on Tyre.

    Yet even if these two passages referred to the devil as well as to earthly rulers—though in context they do not—why do defenders of this view often apply these passages to the devil yet never apply them also to earthly rulers judged by God for their arrogance? Wouldn’t examples of human arrogance make even more useful passages for preaching or teaching matters relevant to our hearers? I suspect that many believers simply assume these passages refer to the devil because that is the way we have always heard them interpreted, but many of us never closely examined them in context. Whatever their views, I do not believe any reader can miss our point: this passage has a broad context in the surrounding chapters, and our short-cuts to learning the Bible have failed to study the books of the Bible the way God inspired them to be written.

    The word for reading your own meaning into the text of course is eisegesis which is what this plainly is.

  50. Show me where Lucifer is in the Bible?

    You prove that it refers to Satan because that is not what the text says.

  51. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that a demonic entity called Satan exists in the New Testament.

    What you have are teachings based on eisegesis and tradition which when held up to scrutiny and biblical scholarship simply don’t pass.

  52. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that a demonic entity called Satan exists in the New Testament.

    Make that Old.

  53. You can fight amongst yourselves over the reality of demons. It’s a mute argument as far as I’m concerned.

    I’ll just go with Jesus on it, as usual, and see the same results, in His name. Demons are real. They hurt people, and need to be cast out of them.

    I don’t go looking for them, nor do I consider myself a ‘deliverance ministry’, which is a misnomer. All believers are called to cast out demons. I g by the leading o the Spirit, and, from time to time, they show themselves, so they have to go. It’s a simple no-brainer.

    Analysing the gospel ministry is pointless if you’re going to raise doubts about the existence of the enemy of Christ, the very Tempter himself.

    What you’re actually saying is Christ tempted himself in his own mind after he’d been led into the wilderness, having been declared by God as His Son, and filled with the Spirit to begin His ministry!

    No! He was tempted of the devil, a real spirit being who is head of the demonic hosts.

    People are not literally tempted by THE devil, who is finite, but by principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness o this orld, in other words, the hosts of darkness, which are well documented in scripture.

    Of course, people like Brayshaw and Bones think the Lake of Fire s some kind allegory, so it’s actually a place where naughty thoughts will be stored forever, and not where the devil and his demons will be cast!

    Ignorance, such as Jim Brayshaw’s denial of the reality of Satan, I’ll accept, to a degree, as part of the human dilemma of being unable to see into the spirit world from a Greek perspective.

    But when it’s dressed up in a thin veneer of self-appointed expertise based on some self-opinionated eisegesis, I draw the line. Because it doesn’t line up with reality.

    Some of you need to get out more often. Maybe preach the gospel to the lost. They’re everywhere. They need Jesus. All of them need deliverance. Some from demon possession.

    Lord, open their eyes!

  54. So there is no Satan in the Old Testament nor demons yet they suddenly appear in the New Testament.

    What happened?

    Was Satan unloosed between Testaments?

    Did Satan rebel in the Intertestament period?

    Hardly.

    What happened was there was a tremendous influence of Persian and Greek beliefs. The Persians gave us the Satan figure, the Greeks gave us demons and between the both of them we get Hell.

    The Pharisees crop up as a sect that started only about three or four hundred years earlier than the time of Christ. It is not common knowledge that many of the doctrines of the Pharisees had developed from a group called the Parsees or Parsis (pronounced par-sees). A “Parsi” was a Persian Magi and professed all of the Persian ideology as it pertained to the cosmic dualistic system of a good God and an evil God both existing.

    After Alexander conquered Jerusalem in 332 B.C. the direct Persian influence ended. From this time to 73 A.D. the Jews were given freedom of religion except for a brief Hellenizing period from 198 B.C. to 165 B.C. A council of Jews, called the Sanhedrin, was established to resolve religious issues. It was constituted of the two major parties, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Down to the time of Jesus, the Sadducees, who called themselves “purists,” believed in “no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit” – Acts 23:8. They believed exclusively in the original law of Moses and rejected the laws of the Pharisees: see Josephus in Book XIII Chapter XI. Their god was a national god. The Sadducees were the vast majority of Jews. The politically connected Pharisees were the Persian faction. The word “Pharisee”; as well as “Parsee,” Persians in India; and “Farsi” (Pharsee), the modern Iranian language, are all derived from the name of the Persian town or region of Fars. The connotation given Pharisee was separated from the people of the land, the am ha-aretz.

    “Now it was from this very creed (of Zoroaster) that the Jews derived all the angelology of their religion…the belief in a future state; of rewards and punishments, the latter carried on in a fiery lake;…the soul’s immortality, and the Last Judgment-all of them essential parts of the Zoroastrian scheme, and recognized by Josephus as the fundamental doctrines of the Judaism of his own times.”

    Only Pharisaism survived the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 A.D. “Present-day Judaism is Pharisaic Judaism.” It was able to survive because of its Zoroastrian pacifism.[49]

    Mark Willey in an internet article on The Secrets of Zoroastrianism

  55. ‘self-opinionated eisegesis’

    You got it. That’s exactly what I pointed out. Don’t read the scriptures in context. Read it how you’re told.

    You can believe in a Satan if you want Steve.

    Just because it’s not scriptural doesn’t mean you can’t believe he’s out to get you and your family.

    And some people need a Satan. I get it.

    Some of us though have thought like a child, reasoned like a child but since becoming men have put childish things away from us.

  56. Bones, for some reason,
    There is not a shred of evidence anywhere that a demonic entity called Satan exists in the New Testament.

    Revelation 12
    7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
    8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
    9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    So it follows that any reference to the devil in the New Testament also references Satan, and includes the serpent of old.

    I suppose you’ll also declare tat angels, including Michael don’t exist either.

    What do you call them? Our nice thoughts? Versus our naughty thoughts!

    Lord help us!

  57. Bones,
    You can believe in a Satan if you want Steve.

    Can you see the nasty edge in that comment? As if believers are also having faith in a devil.

    It’s not a matter of ‘believing’ in a satan, but acknowledging the existence of demonic beings who torment the minds of people who succumb to them.

    Once this is understood a believer is able to deal with the issue and move on. Set the person free in the name of Jesus and help them receive Jesus as Lord.

    No more, no less. It’s a simple matter of knowing what you’re dealing with when it arrises.

    So don’t come all the garbage about ‘believing’ in demons, Bones.

    You can believe they didn’t exist all you want. It makes no difference to the great scheme of things. If they show themselves around the people I par with they’re on the way out.

    And it’s not a matter of frightening people into the kingdom, as you claim, but dealing with people so that they are freed from the oppressor and can get on with their lives.

    I’m not talking about some petty charismatic ministry of putting some poor lonely new Christian into a chair in the middle of the room and manipulating them into some manifestation, and drawing them into a foetal position. That’s witchcraft, playing around with demons, devil worship, and I want nothing to do with it.

    I’m talking about the real deal when the gospel is preached where the Holy Ghost starts moving and people start getting free in Jesus’ name.

    The good news with accompanying signs! Not the fear news. The gospel – good news of glad tidings. It’s amazing.

    You should try it sometime.

  58. Hey, it was a typo.

    Don’t worry. I’ll get to the New Testament in time.

    And there are positives in deliverance ministries. Sometimes it’s the actual ritual process which gives peace. People have been casting out demons in other religions and cultures predating Christianity for centuries.

    It’s amusing that one’s faith in Christ is dependent upon whether or not one believes in demons or Satan.

  59. Bones,
    Just because it’s not scriptural doesn’t mean you can’t believe he’s out to get you and your family.
    And some people need a Satan. I get it.
    Some of us though have thought like a child, reasoned like a child but since becoming men have put childish things away from us.

    I just realised the arrogance of those comments. Astonishing!

    You think, because I go out and minister the gospel, that I fear satan, or demons? Are you for real? It’s not a matter of fear of devils, but of faith in Christ, and obedience to leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Or that I’ve spread fear to my family? There’s a difference between fear and ignorance. My family fear God, not men, nor angels, nor demons. I show them the power of the gospel, the name of Jesus and the Word of faith. They do not fear demons. Nor are they ignorant of the wiles of the devil.

    Or that I need Satan to deal with Satan – a kingdom divided against itself? I do not need anyone but Christ. But in Christ I do the works he did and we are able to remove demonic influence form the lives of people who are oppressed of the devil. That requires faith not fear.

    You’re a piece of work, Bones, I’ll say that for you!

    You’re actually so full of yourself you think you’ve outgrown the need to walk in faith and pray for and with people who are tormented.

    After all, it’s only their naughty thoughts, not a real spiritual enemy.

  60. Bones, do you admit that the New Testament writers and the gospel writers believed that Jesus cast out demons? Jesus is recorded as casting out demons, he is recorded as talking about demons and how he cast them out.

    So, did Jesus cast out demons, and say that he did, or do you argue that Jesus never talked about demons?

    And if you don’t believe that Jesus’s words about demons were made, what makes you think anything he said (as recorded in the gospels) was actually said by him?

    Luke also states that the apostles cast out demons.
    Did they just THINK they were casting out demons or did they not do anything of the sort, but the writer just made it up.

  61. I’m not interested in what Muslims do, or shamans, or any other religious counterfeits. Not interested. Some of them cause more problems than they could possibly solve because they do so in he name of their false gods and not in the name of Jesus. Not interested.

    I’m only interested in what gets people free.

    You, on the other hand, are only interested in obfuscating the truth because of your own doubts about the reality of the spirit world.

    As I say, if you were preaching the gospel in the name of Jesus by the leading of the Spirit you would have no such doubts.

  62. After all, it’s only their naughty thoughts, not a real spiritual enemy.

    Now you’re talking. You’re starting to get it. We don’t need a Satan. Our battle is within, hey Paul.

    Steve, do you think Satan literally took Jesus up to mountain so he could see all the kingdoms of the Earth? Do you know where that mountain is by any chance?

    Do you think you could see the Mayan kingdom from a mountain in the Mediterranean?

  63. btw, I’ll put my cards on the table. I think the Toronto blessing stuff is crazy. That video was playing, and my kids wondered what it was. I didn’t show it to them.

    Sorry to those who love that stuff. I think it’s just people being silly.

    Until, I’m proven otherwise. (Not saying it’s demonic either). Just people wanting to experience things.

  64. As I say, if you were preaching the gospel in the name of Jesus by the leading of the Spirit you would have no such doubts.

    Ok so in other words if I was a true believer, I’d believe in Satan.

    Gotya chief!

  65. Bones, do you admit that the New Testament writers and the gospel writers believed that Jesus cast out demons?

    That’s a good question.

    I’ll get to it on the weekend.

  66. Q,
    Bones, following Brayshaw, doesn’t have a clue about the difference between demon possession and the works of the flesh.

    Like Brayshaw, he attributes the flesh and the need of the Spirit in a person’s life to counter it, to being what is taught about demonisation by those who cast them out.

    But he’s wrong, so very wrong.

    Works of the flesh vs fruit of the Spirit…

    Galatians 5
    16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
    17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
    18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
    19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
    20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
    21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
    24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
    25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    Being tormented by demons is a completely different issue, and is well covered in the New Testament.

  67. Bones, the way you argue, as in your last comment to me, it’s not worth my time to continue with you on this.

    You need help, mate. Really.

    You are working against the truth. That’s all I see here.

  68. You need help, mate. Really.

    Hey tell me something i don’t know.

    Watch out that you don’t question belief in Satan.

    You’ll be told you’re working against the truth.

    I mean he’s more important than Jesus.

  69. Oh, so now you’re a martyr to your cause of denial, Bones?

    I don’t understand how you consider yourself to be a Spirit-led Christian and yet speak to people the way you do.

    It’s one thing to deny the existence of demons, but quite another to resist walking in the fruit of the Spirit.

    If you say that I claim satan is more important than Jesus after what I’ve written then you’re either very stupid, a liar or being wickedly provocative.

    But, what’s new?

  70. It’s the logic of it though isn’t it.

    Wanna upset Christians, start denying Satan.

    Quite funny really.

  71. Bones,
    Wanna upset Christians, start denying Satan.

    That’s a joke of a statement.

    I think you’re having an argument with our own mind, Bones.

    You alway want to play the devil’s advocate, and then you deny he exists!

    The irony is immense!

  72. btw even if we took Genesis 3 literally. Which is impossible. Satan is not the serpent.

    Thought I’d throw that in for free.

    What do you call a snake with legs?

    A lizard.

  73. Bones “There is no evidence of the presence of satan in he texts’.

    John, in Revelation, ‘The great dragon is also known as the devil, satan or the serpent of old’.

    Jesus, ‘who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil’.

    Apostles, ‘who were amazed because they even had authority to cast out demons’.

    Writer of Hebrews, who wrote about Jesus – ‘Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’.

    So Jesus overpowers the devil, who apparently doesn’t exist, except in the minds of sinners, and destroys the devil’s works, and sets the oppressed of the devil free!

    Yeah, right! There is no devil.

    It’s all in the mind!

  74. Steve, why do you think the Hebrew word satan in Job is translated without the article? It should be ‘the satan’ or shock horror to be consistent, ‘the adversary’ like it is everywhere else in the Old Testament.

    Apart from 1 Chron 21, which I’ve covered.

  75. James 2:14-26 (Amplified Bible)

    19 You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as [a]make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]!

  76. Bones, never mind Job, which we’ve discussed before, what do you think John means here…

    1 John
    7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
    8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
    9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
    10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
    11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
    12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

    How did the devil sin from the beginning if he doesn’t exist? Why did Jesus have to destroy the works of the devil who doesn’t exist? Who are the children of the devil if he doesn’t exist?

    Why reference a devil at all if it is simply the flesh and sin?

  77. You know, Bones, when I’m confronted with a person who’s manifesting a demon because the Holy Spirit has got hold of them in a meeting, and is screaming, or writhing, or doing something which indicates the presence of another person in their being, I am not about to say, ‘this ain’t happening because there is no article in the translation of Job on whether it is ‘the’ satan or plainly ‘satan’, so therefore, let them writhe and scream fall to the ground in convulsions and carry on. Let’s go home, it’s all in the mind. get over it!’

    Who cares a fig whether there’s an article or not. The adversary is the adversary. God cast him out of his presence. He was cast to the earth with a third of the angels. Woe to the earth!

    Thank God He gave us power over demons!

    Stuff the article!

  78. so therefore, let them writhe and scream fall to the ground in convulsions and carry on.

    Yeah I know. Like this.

  79. EYES,
    You are all quick,give you that………..

    Not really. This is discussion for grown ups, not c3churchwatch baby talk and infantile hostility towards godly ministers or the controlled input for self-serving manipulative protagonists you play around with over there.

    We are actually allowed to have contrary opinions here and express them.

  80. Yeah, yeah, Bones.

    Now I know you’ve run out of ways to say there is no devil when John makes it so clear, along with Jesus, Paul and the rest, that there is.

    That’s twice you’ve tried the Toronto thing. Not into it. Not interested. Not biting.

    Now to 1 John 3:7-12, you were saying…

  81. OK, you have nothing to say on 1 John 3, but, you know, the legalists of Jesus’ time in Israel had a similar problem believing in demons. They argued with Him too…

    John 8
    31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
    32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
    33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?”
    34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
    35 “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
    36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
    37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
    38 “I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
    39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.
    40 “But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
    41 “You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father–God.”
    42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
    43 “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
    44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
    45 “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
    46 “Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
    47 “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
    48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
    49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.
    50 “And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.
    51 “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
    52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’
    53 “Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?”
    54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.
    55 “Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.
    56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
    57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
    58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before
    Abraham was, I AM.”
    59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

  82. In all seriousness, Bones, putting up the Toronto thing is such a diversion, because it is a tool you use to confuse the importance of something which is real.

    Those charismatic excesses and religious events you present do not detract from the reality of demonised souls who need to be set free, neither do they illustrate anything I am talking about.

    Jesus, as I have shown, clearly taught about the existence of the devil as the father of lies, murder and theft. That he didn’t qualify it as merely naughtiness or sin destroys your argument.

    He cast devils out with His Word.

    Why would I not agree with Him?

  83. Steve, I will get to the New Testament. Be patient and show some fruit.

    It should be fun.

    I do find you amusing.

    Don’t Christians get upset when u tell them theres no devil.

  84. @Bones

    “Don’t Christians get upset when u tell them theres no devil.”

    No, it’s simply sheer disbelief that someone like you could be so dumb as to believe Satan doesn’t exist, despite all the biblical evidence to the contrary.

    You haven’t provided one credible piece of scriptural evidence to prove your position, and you won’t, because there isn’t any. Instead you follow your standard diversionary tactics of posting irrelevant youtube videos and spending hours concentrating on a minute yet irrelevant details such as the meaning of a name, whilst the rest of us laugh at your stupidity. Give up Bones. In this you are dead wrong.

  85. So to summarise so far.

    We’ve concluded that in the Old Testament the word satan is a word meaning adversary or accuser and can be a man or an angel of the Lord doing the Lord’s bidding. None (ie zero, nil) of the uses of the Hebraic word refers to an evil demonic entity.

    We looked at how the satan in Job is an adversary which could be human or celestial; definitely not the evil force Christians believe. Also the translators put their own slant on by leaving out the article.

    But that’s if you believe Job is a true story when it is clearly a fable.

    We looked at how the Early Church Fathers mistranslated Lucifer and how verses attributed to Babylon and the King of Tyre were misrepresented to refer to Satan.

    A clear case of eisegesis.

    Note: These same Church Fathers did the same with Mary and some on here wanted to rip them a new one.

    Go figure.

    In the video, the History of the Devil, we see how the doctrine of the Devil developed over time, and, sinisterly, how labelling others satanic or working for Satan gives one permission to treat them how you want or as violently as you want. They are after all working for evil.

    We looked at how demons have been cast out by other religions but of course these were construed as fabrications for a demon can only be cast out by Jesus despite Jesus’s reference to the Pharisees casting out demons in Matthew 12:27.

    Note: Anyone other than a Christian casting out a demon is a fraud and a liar. (Rolling of eyes)

    The counter to all this so far is based on other’s experiences, not scripture itself.

    Undoubtedly the Muslims delivering the girl in the video I posted could refer to their experiences as well. As well as various shaman and pagans throughout history.

    People have shown strange behaviour in churches eg the Toronto Blessing, Benny Hinn, universal laughter. These aren’t satanic or demonic but do show how Christians minds can be influenced to behave in ways that they normally wouldn’t. Definitely a psychological phenomena.

    We looked at the effects of Zorastrianism and Greek Mythology in the intertestamental period giving us a Satanic being, Hell, even the Pharisees and Sanhedrin.

    So let’s look at Satan in the New Testament.

    What or who is Jesus or the Gospel writers referring to?

    What about Paul and the apostolic writings?

    What about Satan in the Revelation of John?

    And lastly why do we need Satan anyway?

  86. btw Does anyone seriously believe that Leviathan or the Behemoth is Satan?

    I always believed them to refer to sea monsters as the Jews do.

    I didn’t tackle that one.

    But I’d be happy to.

  87. @Bones

    “We’ve concluded that in the Old Testament the word satan is a word meaning adversary or accuser and can be a man or an angel of the Lord doing the Lord’s bidding.”

    Ummm, no, YOU have DECIDED that the word Satan can be anyone or anything. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the people who actually KNOW their bibles understand the truth. But, good luck with your denial. Hope it goes well for you.

    “Does anyone seriously believe that Leviathan or the Behemoth is Satan?”

    Never heard that before. The common belief is that they are a crocodile and a hippopotamus, however I lean towards the dinosaur theory myself

  88. Matthew 4:4-11

    4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He [a]then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

    5 Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,

    ‘He will command His angels concerning You’;
    and

    ‘On their hands they will bear You up,
    So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
    7 Jesus said to him, “[b]On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

    8 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and [c]worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and [d]serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

    Well for starters these events didn’t literally happen in the way that the writer has presented them. Even a primary school student could tell you that it is impossible to see all the kingdoms of the Earth, much less Rome and Egypt, from a single mountain. The only way you could see the Mayans and Incas for example is if the Earth was flat, Maybe it was in Jesus’s mind.

    As NT Wright says these stories are a form of midrash. They contain a truth that Jesus, or more importantly Matthew in this case, wanted to put across to the disciples and Christians in his community. The stories echo those of Moses and that Jesus is in effect even greater than Moses. And Matthew desribes the nature of Jesus’s mission. It was not about material things, publicity nor political power.

    Matthew isn’t making a case for the existence of Satan here at all but for the total commitment of Jesus to do His Father’s work.

    He is the New Moses and even greater, the New Israel.

  89. @Bones

    “Well for starters these events didn’t literally happen in the way that the writer has presented them. Even a primary school student could tell you that it is impossible to see all the kingdoms of the Earth, much less Rome and Egypt, from a single mountain. ”

    Are you joking, or are you serious? I hope you are joking, because if you are not, well…..

  90. The following is from WHAT JEWS BELIEVE

    Please note that the biblical text itself states that this is all about the King of Babylon, who had raised himself up to be like Gd — another example of the pagan confusion between Gd and man. The text also compares the King of Babylon to Lucifer, who fell from the sky. ‘Lucifer’ is Latin for ‘light-bearer,’ and is the name given to Venus, the Morning Star. This term, ‘light-bearer,’ is used exactly in this way in 2 Peter 1:19, without any association of it to the devil. The biblical text above from Isaiah is saying that the King of Babylon had achieved greatness as a ruler, but just like a falling star, he was brought low by Gd for his arrogance.

    Now, of course, the Hebrew Scriptures tell of a character called The Satan. Every time the term is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, it reads, HaSaTaN, which means THE Satan. When the definite article, ‘the,’ is in front of a word it indicates a title, like ‘the rabbi,’ or ‘the reverend.’ So, in the Bible, the term ‘HaSatan,’ which means, ‘The Satan,’ is a title. The one with that title has a specific job, the same way it is used in speaking of ‘the rabbi,’ or of ‘the reverend.’

    The concept of The Satan, or the job description, is radically different from that of the devil. For Christians, who erroneously use the two terms as if they are synonymous, the devil has power and authority in and of himself. However, in the Bible, The Satan only has power granted by Gd, and has no authority in and of himself. For the devil to have power and authority is to have more than one Gd, as we saw above concerning the Greeks and the Romans.

    The Satan is described in only a few places in the Hebrew Scriptures. In every instance, he is an angel who works FOR Gd, not against Gd, and must get permission from Gd for everything that he does. Chronicles, Job, Psalms, and Zechariah are the only places where The Satan is mentioned. In each instance, the job description of The Satan is to act like what we now call a Prosecuting Attorney, or District Attorney, and accuse and show evidence against the defendant. Furthermore, like a D.A., The Satan must obtain permission from Gd, the Judge, to begin a sting operation.

  91. Raymond, it’s like the genesis myth, it’s a theological story to make a point, in this case that Jesus was tempted but did not give in to his own desires…it is not possible for it to have literally happened as written…nor is it necessary.

    I know that will be difficult for those that require all in the bible to be literally true; but it just ain’t that way dude!

    Steve, the irony of how you write to bones about the way you perceive the way he writes to you obviously escapes you, but it is extremely funny.

  92. You haven’t provided one credible piece of scriptural evidence to prove your position, and you won’t, because there isn’t any

    That you will accept in any case.

  93. @Greg

    I am aware of what the Jews believe about Satan. Which is why we need to read the NT to understand who he is. Jesus in fact told us who the accuser is in John 10:10. The writers of the OT had no idea. As you state, they thought he was doing God’s bidding, much like a mafia hit man doing the executions for the Don. Except we know through the NT that that’s a load of baloney. Read the New Testament dude. It’s all there in black and white.

    Still, it appears that you two have decided that everyone in the last two millennia are wrong, and you two are right. Well, more power to you. Make the bible say whatever you want. Really, it’s no skin off my nose. Your refusal to rightly divide the bible is your prerogative. Good luck with the consequences is all I can say.

  94. Funny. I just read this at the same time as you posted it, Greg.

    Must be coincidence.

    The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary 1987 page 267 (heading Daystar, no listing of Lucifer)

    “Another name for the morning star (cf. 2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 2:28) or the planet Venus, which appears in the sky before the sun. At Isa. 14:12 the babylonian ruler is compared to a “Day star” (NIV “morning star”), which has fallen from heaven and has been felled like a stately tree. Though the Church Fathers associated this verse with the fall of Satan from heaven (cf. KJV “Lucifer”), it actually speaks of the end of tyranny rather than a prelude to it, as with Satan who after the fall still retained much power. Some commentators link this idea with an ancient myth about the banishment of a divine person from heaven.

    The New Testament, which contains Jesus’ remark about the fall of Satan (Luke 10:18), does not identify Lucifer with Satan. Instead, the author of 2 Peter suggest that the morning star” (Gk. Phosphoros “light bearer”) refers to Christ’s second coming, while the aged John possibly alludes to Christ, who will support the church at Thyatira (Rev. 2:28, Gk. Aster proinos; cf 22:16).”

  95. But according to the NIV Lucifer is Jesus:

    Compare:

    KJV: Isaiah 14:12
    How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    NIV: Isaiah 14:12
    How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! NIV

    NIV: Revelation 22:16,
    “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you [1] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

    NIV: 2 Peter 1:19,
    And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

    NIV: Revelation 2:28–
    I will also give him the morning star.

    That’s pretty funny actually.

    Hahahahahaha

  96. “Well for starters these events didn’t literally happen in the way that the writer has presented them. Even a primary school student could tell you that it is impossible to see all the kingdoms of the Earth, much less Rome and Egypt, from a single mountain. ”

    Are you joking, or are you serious? I hope you are joking, because if you are not, well…..

    Which mountain do you think Satan took Him too?

    Bahaha

  97. @Bones

    “Which mountain do you think Satan took Him too?”

    So, you are serious then? Wow…..just…..wow……

  98. “Does anyone seriously believe that Leviathan or the Behemoth is Satan?”

    Never heard that before. The common belief is that they are a crocodile and a hippopotamus, however I lean towards the dinosaur theory myself

  99. @Bones

    “I take it you don’t take Matthew 5:22 literally.”

    Actually, I don’t, because, unlike you, I know how to rightly divide the word of truth. For a start, this was pre-cross, so no one at that time was born again, so this statement doesn’t apply to post-cross believers, and secondly, Jesus was showing them that the law is unable to save them – even if they were to even be angry with someone, then according to the law it is the same as murdering them. Either way, under the law, they are condemned. But, as post-cross believers, we are no longer subject to the law.

    See what I did there? I rightly divided the word of truth. You should try it some time Bones. That way you won’t make yourself seem so ignorant.

  100. That’s an interesting way of ignoring Jesus’s words. I take it then you have no problems with married gay Christians who are living in the post-cross state of grace.

    Can you tell me what other words Jesus spoke I should ignore? That way I can cross them out.

    Maybe the sermon on the Mount?

    The Lord’s Prayer?

    The ones about Satan perhaps?

    Btw post-cross believers wrote the Gospels. Wonder why they bothered including accounts that were irrelevant.

    Unless they weren’t.

  101. @Bones

    “Can you tell me what other words Jesus spoke I should ignore?”

    Anytime Jesus talks about sin or the God’s kingdom to come, then we know that He is talking pre-cross. This is where knowing how to rightly divide the word comes in handy. Otherwise you end up creating doctrines that place people under law.

    It seems you are a complete novice when it comes to the bible. You’ve got absolutely no idea how to divide what you are reading, and it comes through in everything you post here.

    “Wonder why they bothered including accounts that were irrelevant.”

    Dunno. Ask them IF you get to heaven.

  102. @Greg

    “did the devil take Jesus to a mountain and show him all the kingdoms of the earth?”

    Why are you two so hung up on this? Don’t you understand that maybe, just maybe, the devil has, I don’t know, some supernatural ability to show Jesus all of the kingdoms of the earth at the one time? How about the Son of God, Yahweh in the flesh? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, He has the ability to see all the kingdoms of the earth, because, you know, He has some power also?

    My God, you’re like children!

  103. Of course, Greg, with circumspection and respect, because we have to be careful how we relate to you on here, there are some issues you are unable to argue with in regard to the satan or the devil.

    Jesus Himself, in His Revelation to John, tells us that the devil is none other than the Satan, the serpent and the Great Dragon.

    Whether he is the Satan, or simply Satan is of no consequence, really, since, either way, he is the adversary, the opposer, and, as the devil, the accuser.

    The evidence of the work of the devil is present in the earth in people who are led by, controlled by, manipulated by or possessed by his hosts, which are well documented in scripture.

    Bones attempts to split the discussion into two issues, that of the Old and New Testaments, yet, the latter is the continuation o the former, and there are issues covered in the former which inform us on the latter, and vice versa, so to attempt to distinguish between the two is another diversionary tactic, by which Bones means to argue that, because he has, in his own mind, dismissed the former, then the latter is a mere formality.

    But rightly dividing he word is more than this. It is dependent on the whole canon, not a few verses here and there.

    Your claim that Genesis is totally allegorical completely removes you from the discussion for misrepresenting scripture in the most preposterous way. know Bones agrees wit you on this, and therefore misses the point of scriptural analysis on this alone.

    The fact is that a huge slice of the Old Testament was prophecy which has yet to be lived out, including prophecy which relates to the end of days, and is referenced in the Revelation as well as other New Testament gospels and epistles.

    Some of these passages contain references to the nature and existence of the adversary, called a allen angel, the guardian angel of the Garden of Eden, and which give is a continuous link to the origin of sin and the conclusion of its judgment, including God’s means of rescuing mankind from the eternal result of sin, temptation and judgement.

    Most of the methodology used by Bones to demonstrate that there is no devil or Satan is so far removed from evidential fact that it beggars belief. Your complicity in this folly (and I use this to describe the case you present, not your persons) is expected, but I thought Bones was more orthodox.

  104. So Raymond, Jesus’s teaching on the Sheep and the Goats is pre-cross and inapplicable to believers as is loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, the Lord’s Prayer,

    That explains some of your behaviour I suppose.

    Ask them IF you get to heaven.

    I bet my dicks bigger than yours.

  105. @Bones

    “Jesus’s teaching on the Sheep and the Goats is pre-cross and inapplicable to believers as is loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, the Lord’s Prayer,”

    No, no, no and partly.

    Next.

  106. Steve, your last post shows that you a complete twat.

    Not that I didn’t know that.

    Your posts have always been smothered in arrogance and pride and the need to be right and have the last say.

    And we’re seeig more and more belittling of others on here like EYES, mentioning Greg’s behaviour (Yeah good to know you know how to forgive – NOT) You can join Raymond’s how to ignore Jesus’s club.

    You think your interpretation of scripture is the same as God’s.

    I bet you haven’t read a Biblical commentary or scholarly book written in the last 20 or 30 years. If ever.

  107. It is true that many in Jesus’s day had adopted the theory there were spirit beings that might inhabit a person but the idea was not typical of the Aramaic/Hebraic people in general. For a person of that ancient culture and mindset to “have a demon” meant the person had some mental problems or anger problems which manifested in some type of manic behavior. This behavior had no origin in Satanic evil; rather it had its origin in the human mind. The general view of the period was in agreement with Scripture and suggested that a man’s lunacy was not from some external force entering into the human spirit. To “have a demon” was understood as a metaphor for describing the unwanted manifestations of a condition or of a choice to act or behave in an unusual or irrational manner.

    When the leaders of the day said Jesus had a demon, they were stating He was not practicing correct thinking about the theology that was being taught. They were not referring to Jesus as being possessed by a satanic minion. The reference to Jesus having a demon was a statement showing they thought Jesus was himself believing and teaching a false doctrine. In the course of Jesus’s ministry, He taught an awful lot of theology opposing that of the first century Judaism. A person steeped in performing, adhering to, and teaching all of the tenets of the man-made religion of Judaism, was convinced that they were completely in the truth; therefore, when Jesus taught differently and people began to follow Jesus’s teaching because He taught with authority, the leaders of Judaism believed Him to be teaching heresy and false doctrine. The manner in which they labeled this behavior was by saying He had a demon.

    A “demon” then can also be the reference to a wrong teaching. Although a “demon” was referring to something that was disagreeable in a person’s mind or body, some mystically minded believed it to be a spiritual being. It was thought by some that the spirit demon would then move a person to behave in ways that seemed contrary to godly, healthful, peaceable ways. As the term “to have a demon” was seen by some as referring to the supernatural inhabitation of a person by a satanic ghost, so too was the term to “have an unclean spirit” seen. Both terms were thought to refer to the actual presence of a spirit entity and inhabitation of a person by an underworld minion. Just because there were certain Pharisaic sects, apocalyptic thinkers, and mystically minded groups in the first century who thought that demons exist, does not alter the teachings found in the Hebrew Scriptures that give no credence to such an idea.

    Jesus walked in a culture with these contrasting beliefs. As you see, some understood an “unclean spirit” meant a person had an illness or a disease of the mind or body; while others chose to believe that “demons” or “unclean spirits” were from “satan.” While in truth, the terms were idiomatic and were meant to describe the mental or physical condition of a person. The difference was found in whether a person had adopted a Greek worldview or a Hebraic worldview. The latter was the worldview that was modeled by those in Jesus’s camp.

  108. Matthew 16:21-23

    21 From that time [r]Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “[s]God forbid it, Lord! This shall never [t]happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on [u]God’s interests, but man’s.”

    So who is Satan here?

    Is Jesus referring to Satan himself? Has Satan entered Peter?

    To have Jesus referring to Satan, the cosmic evil entity makes no sense at all. It makes no sense in the context of the dialogue between Jesus and Peter.

    No. Jesus is referring to Peter. Peter is the satan. He is acting as the adversary working against God’s plan by denying Jesus’s mission.

  109. @Bones. That was interesting stuff about the Pharisees. And I concur, that it’s an interesting question about the “sudden” biblical mention of demons etc in the gospels.

    I look forward to what you’ll say about demons, the Devil in the NT.

    My thinking is that while the zoroastrian influence is interesting (in regards hell as well), we still have to admit that Jesus talked about casting out demons, the Devil etc, and the gospel writers give accounts of casting out of demons.

    As for Jesus being taken up to a high mountain – I think it’s understandable that their are different interpretations of just what that experience was.

    Getting back to OT accounts. There are probably many prophecies concerning Jesus that if you examined in the same way, you might say had nothing to do with Jesus – certainly the Jews of Jesus time, and until this day have a completely different idea of who the suffering servant etc etc refer to.

    ie Look up all the “so that it might be fulfilled” scriptures.
    Intellectually, you might think it’s a stretch that those scriptures could have had anything to do with Jesus.

    But – I found a lot of the stuff you wrote worth reading.

    I still think that most people reading the Bible in different languages, and people without the benefit of knowing the intricasies of hebrew and knowledge of history etc….would still come away thinking that the Bible teaches the existence of angels, demons, and a leader of the demons whether you call that entity Satan, Lucifer, THE Devil, the Accuser or whatever.

    No wonder lots of people just think the Bible is too confusing.

  110. btw Bones. Do you believe in angels. That there is a “spirit”, which is different to the “soul”. Do you believe in a spirit that is immortal.

    And in your line of thinking perhaps the argument can be made that angels aren’t real either. Same with a literal heaven.

    What was the ascension all about? Did Jesus really go up? If so where? You could probably argue about NT era worldview and scientific knowledge and say that a literal ascension is nonsense too.

    And then get on to miracles etc.

    (When you get finished with your posts on NT maybe you can get around to these questions).

  111. Q,
    No wonder lots of people just think the Bible is too confusing.

    No, Q, what confuses people is ridiculous attempts at demolishing the meaning of the gospel by unbelievers, of which Bones is proving to be the main honcho.

    Perhaps ‘unbeliever’ is a tad strong. Doubters, then. Refuters of truth, perhaps.

    Maybe, if he’s ever confronted with a demonised person, someone who is not actually suffering from a personal, mind-induced naughtiness, or medically acquired mental issue, or dementia brought on by accident or illness, but by internal or external influences unknown to medical or psychological science, Bones will turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him what it is he needs to do to relieve the person of the influence.

    Of course, if he persists in denying the existence of demons as entities, it is unlikely he’ll actually know what to do, or that he’ll see what is happening in time to do anything anyway, despite his claim to have been involved in some kind of deliverance ministry in the past.

    But that is Bones’ problem. My main concern is those who are led away from the truth by the kinds of persuasion he elicits.

    Bones,
    something about last words, arrogant, pride, blah, blah, insult!

    Anyone who dismisses Genesis in the way you and Greg do is worthy of a few last words on how to correctly divide the Word of God, and not dismiss entire Books as a means of leaving out key elements of Bible discernment. Your dismissal of Genesis is the height of arrogance, and so ignorant of the truths contained within it.

    You’re consequently disqualified from any kind of reasonable credibility.

    Oh, and you could also be a Confuser, I suppose. Yes that fits. For Q at least.

  112. Because, you see, Bones, if any of us argue from scripture, say, from Genesis or Revelation, which, you and Greg, both, say, are allegory only, and therefore subject to poetic interpretation, not any literal understanding, then you easily dismiss any reference to be had from them, along with any number or other portions of scripture, which, you, and he, utilise as non-literal and therefore not admissible evidence of anything concrete.

  113. @Steve. I’m just trying to understand his position.

    As I’ve said before, I’m no stranger to different approaches to the Bible.

    I’m wondering how Bones thinking is different to Gregs.

    And of course, I’m trying to mellow out! 🙂

  114. No, Q, what confuses people is ridiculous attempts at demolishing the meaning of the gospel by unbelievers balh, blah, blah, blah, blah

    I can play your game too, Steve. I’ll just dismiss your argument as one who is ignorant and wrapped up in his own pride.

  115. At that time, when Jesus came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood. And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. (Matthew 8:28-9:1; cf Mark 5:1-20, and Luke 8:26-38)

    A totally modern commentary on the exorcism of the legion of demons says:

    “Jesus asked the man his name, and he replied, ‘Legion,’ the same word for a division of Roman soldiers. Scholars note that a legion consisted of around two thousand troops, and there would have been several legions around the Decapolis. It’s interesting that in the story, the demons beg to stay in the area. Nearby was a ‘band’ of pigs, band being the same word used for a group of military cadets (and no, we aren’t suggesting it’s okay to call police officers ‘pigs’). The demons asked to be sent among the pigs, another symbol of uncleanliness. (Jews did not touch pigs.) Jesus invited the Legion to enter the pigs. And the pigs, specifically numbered at two thousand, ‘charged’ into the sea to their deaths. And none of the listeners could have missed the subversive poetry, remembering the legion of Pharaoh’s army that charged into the sea, where they were swallowed up and drowned (Exodus 14).

    Footnote: The pig was also the mascot of Rome’s Tenth Fretensis Legion stationed in Antioch (Carter, Matthew and Empire, 71) It’s interesting to note the places where Jesus drove demons out of people: often in the temple and in the militarized zones. The words ‘come out’ that usually accompany an exorcism are the same words with which Jesus exorcized the temple, calling the money changers to ‘come out’ because they had made a market of God’s temple and marginalized visiting Gentiles.” (Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, Jesus for President, pg.115)

  116. Bones,
    I’ll just dismiss your argument as one who is ignorant and wrapped up in his own pride.

    Then you’d be wrong, plain and simple, because I am speaking as one who has dealt with demonised people, in Jesus’ name, and seen the change when they have been delivered and received Christ.

    That is why I am so fiercely opposed to the arrogance or ignorance you are displaying here in abjectly denying the existence of such onerous forces of evil, which damage, hurt, destroy and control people and communities.

    It’s not an issue of pride at all, but a defence of the gospel and a contention for the faith handed down by Jesus.

  117. So what you’re saying, Bones, is that Jesus’ reference to demons coming out was a poetic activists’ reference to the Roman occupation!

    Is it?

  118. but a defence of the gospel and a contention for the faith handed down by Jesus.

    And you’re wrong, plain as simple…

    The gospel or Jesus isn’t under attack….but your understanding and interpretation of doctrines and scripture may well be.

    You’re defending yourself.

    Jesus doesn’t need you to defend Him.

  119. Bones,
    Jesus doesn’t need you to defend Him.

    True, but those who are seeking truth need the Church to defend the gospel from refuters of truth, liars, and those who set out to deceive, whether knowingly or by ignorance, through a defence of truth, which is what Paul did in the epistles, and Jude admonished the Church to do with the faith.

    Your doctrine is error. All believers are admonished to review error and point it out.

    You are not rightly dividing the Word of truth. It is incumbent upon all believers to point this out where it is made plain.

  120. Wrong again.

    You obviously live a sheltered existence.

    When anything challenges your preconceived interpretation, that challenging it must be wrong.

    Sadly you don’t define what’s Orthodox or heretical, anymore than Zorro or Greg does.

  121. Experientia Volume 1

    “My Name is Legion”: Spirit Possession and Exorcism in Roman Palestine pp55-57

    Richard A. Horsley is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of The Message and the Kingdom (2002 with Neil Asher Siberman), Jesus and the Spiral of Violence (1992), and Jesus and the Empire (2002).

    Not your usual Pentecostal smulch there.

    Horsley writes when the demoniac replies “My name is Legion”, the ancient hearers of the Gospel, painfully aware of how they had been subjected by Roman military forces, would have recognised the identity of the demon immediately as “Roman Legion” ie a “battalion” of Roman troops who were known to have wrought extreme violence against subjected peoples such as themselves. Other language in the episode confirms that the identity of the demon is Roman troops: the company ‘charges’ down the slope into the Sea (ie Mediterranean). In that charge “Legion” self destructs in the Sea from whence it came. The Roman army implodes as in the Egyptian army in the Red Sea.

    Jesus confronted the demonic, the force that was bringing violence against people. The demon was identified as “Legion” – Roman military forces.

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=E_496dN53MIC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=gadarene+demoniac+roman+legion&source=bl&ots=5aj23y3hAO&sig=e3QX02O-WLHCwia28f8qb0E2GbM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6UPDUJaHKvGSiQfJ2YDABQ&ved=0CGEQ6AEwCDgU#v=onepage&q=gadarene%20demoniac%20roman%20legion&f=false

  122. Who Were Those Demon-Filled Swine, Anyway?

    The first aspect of the story that is untypical of Jesus, but widespread in stories of exorcism, is that, even after making an effort to order the unclean spirit out of the man (Mk 5.8), Jesus has to ask it its name (Mk 5.9). This is narratively convenient so that the storyteller can tell us its name is ‘Legion, for we are many’, the first indication that the storyteller was disenchanted with Roman legions.

    The second feature untypical of Jesus, but widespread in stories of exorcism, is that Jesus sends the demons out in such a way that they visibly enter something else, so they can be seen to have gone out. What they are sent into is a ‘large herd of pigs’; indeed somewhat belatedly the storyteller entertains us with the information that there were about 2,000 of them! (Mk 5.11-13). Pigs were notoriously unclean animals, because Gentiles kept them and ate pork, as Jews did not. From a Jewish perspective, therefore, pigs were especially suitable animals for unclean spirits to be sent into. The existence of a herd of 2,000 pigs, though not strictly miraculous, is not something that would ever happen in real life; it is part of a story told to entertain people, and enable them to marvel at Jesus’ ability to defeat the powers of evil with the power of God.

    At this point, we can be more precise about the ‘Legion’. The author had in mind the tenth legion, Legio Decem Fretensis, which had a boar as one of its symbols. It was stationed in the province of Syria, firstly at Cyrrhus, so it was the northernmost of the Syrian legions, and then from 18 CE onwards in the client kingdom of Commagene, which was annexed to Syria. The otherwise powerless storyteller has made great fun of a legion. The effect of Jesus sending the demons into 2,000 pigs is equally entertaining: ‘the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea . . . and drowned in the sea’ (Mk 5.13). This effectively gets the demons back into the underworld where they belong, for the story assumes they go down to the Abyss. It also dumps a legion where many Jews would have loved to see the Roman legions go.

    But the storyteller, a Jewish Christian entertaining Christians miles away, where he knew about Decem Fretensis, was regrettably unconcerned about the geography of the Decapolis. Whether this took place in the country of the Gerasenes (the original text of Mark) or the Gadarenes (some manuscripts which were influenced by Matthew) is the difference between whether the pigs had to run 33 miles, or just 6 miles, to get to the lake of Galilee! The storyteller was not concerned either to think about pigs which can swim.

    Fun, huh. Nothing quite like the Romans being made fun of and oppressed persons wishing them driven into the sea where they belong.

  123. Wow, Bones, if you believe that you’ll believe anything!

    Oh, wait a minute, no you won’t of course. For instance, you can’t believe that Jesus actually was confronted by a man or men who were demonised and had many demons to deal with, and that those demons were actually disembodied spirits who were subsequently cast out of the man or men into a literal herd of swine, as the narrator reveals.

    No, it has to be a liberal, revolutionary interpretation by which Jesus demonstrates the activist in himself by saying he was opposed to the Roman occupation and that they should be cast out!

    Which goes completely against the meaning and work of the cross and the middle partition of separation between Jew and Gentile, of course, and the fact that Jesus was sent for the salvation of the whole world and not just for the literal, physical liberation of Israel.

    In fact, the Romans, 70 years after Christ, completely sacked Jerusalem and the Temple was pulled down stone by stone, as Jesus predicted.

    The Roman Empire then expanded further and the persecution of Israel and then Christians continued until Constantine, who was, it is claimed, converted, not overthrown or cast out.

    Bones,
    You obviously live a sheltered existence.

    That’s hilarious!

  124. Have you yet considered, Bones, that these are interpretations of the accounts given by abject unbelievers who know nothing whatsoever about the moving of the Holy Spirit, or the power of God, or the authority of Jesus in the natural and spiritual realms?

    Why do you even read this liberally illiterate garbage?

    What is it about the supernatural which has you so fearful of actually believing that Jesus meant what He said about so many things that you are set on denying, even boasting that you have a list of items to debunk with your doubt and unbelief?

    You claim I live a sheltered existence, yet it is precisely because I don’t live a sheltered life that I am opposing your false premises that the devil and demons do not exist except in our minds, or as cultural interpretations of naturally explained phenomena, because I go to places in His name and do see them, and do deal with them, and do know what is actually happening.

    I’m not making out I have any expert handle on this, I don’t. I just follow the instructions of Christ the best I can and see the same results, in different people, that I see in the gospels. That is the evidence that what Jesus told us is true to this age as it was to His time on earth.

    There are people crying out from the nations who need the gospel as it is presented by Christ, and it is time for us to hear their call, because the same places are open to you, Bones, and, indeed, the people there are crying out for people who actually believe in Jesus, and believe the gospels, believe the Holy Spirit moves in power, and believe what Jesus has said to go and preach and minister in the name of Jesus.

    The thing is that, most of these places are not particularly pretty, or glamorous, or tourist inspired, or comfortable, and the environments where demons operate are not the kinds of places most middle class Australian suburban dwellers would like to spend their spare time, especially when they could be curled up with a good theoretical liberal theology book, or tap away at a computer in air-conditioned comfort, safely tucked away in utopia.

    I don’t suppose you see many demonised people down your street, Bones. They are probably so full of reason and logic that the spirits don’t get a look in unless they’re contained in a bottle of Johnny Walker. But they’re out there nevertheless. The same spirits that operated in Jesus’ day are here with us today, and will be until they’re locked up in the Lake of Fire at the Judgment.

    Open your eyes, Bones. What you’re doing is wrong. What you could be doing far outweighs anything you are trying to do with this folly. Disproving Christ is a futile operation. It is antichristian. Especially when the need is so great in many places, some not so far from you, where demons are worshiped in the guise of false gods, and young children are still offered up as trophies for false deities, demonised and set apart for idol worship.

    Open your eyes.

  125. @Bones

    Wow, I thought I had seen it all in my 22 years of being a Christian, but what you have just posted takes the cake! You’ll believe anything, as long as it’s not the truth! I have copied your last two posts to show all my friends. I’m sure they’ll get as big a laugh out of it that I did!

  126. That’s good Raymond. Help spread the seeds of doubt of your traditional interpretation.

    That’s how it started with me too.

    I can see clearly now the rain is gone…

  127. Disproving Christ is a futile operation.

    Poor Steve has had his world rattled by someone’s interpretation that doesn’t fit his limited Pentecostal worldview.

    Your right by the way I don’t see many demon possessed people.

    My wife’s epileptic so in the past she’d have been told she was possessed by a demon. I know schizos, those suffering with bipolar, depression and Alzheimers. In the past they would be seen as demon possessed. I have a good friend who thinks all mental illness is demonic.

    You might see demons and Satan everywhere but I haven’t thought about them for years till this thread came up.

    They’re completely irrelevant.

  128. I should say they do make for good horror films. That seems to be where most Christians get their information about demons and Satan from.

  129. Bones,
    Poor Steve has had his world rattled by someone’s interpretation that doesn’t fit his limited Pentecostal worldview.

    You wish! What a high opinion you have of your illiterate interpretation of truth. Saying Jesus was referring to Roman troop occupation as demons is so perverted and ridiculous it is beyond contempt.

    I think it’s plain from what I have said that, far from rattled, I am deeply appalled at the illogical, unscriptural rhetoric and twaddle you are peddling.

    I’m sorry your wife has, according to your story, been badly treated, but this doesn’t detract from the truth of there being people who have been demonised.

    Neither have I, at any time, said there are ‘demons and Satan everywhere’. That, once again, is typical of the way you exaggerate the thoughts of those you oppose with your utter bunkum, simply because they call you out and stand against your particular issue of doubt.

    In fact, I have said there are times during preaching that the Holy Ghost moves as He wills and there are occasionally demonstrations of His power in the form of people showing signs of being delivered in meetings. Generally this is in the form of people initially showing distress, which in fact, is a the sign of expulsion of demonic influence from them under the power of the Holy Ghost.

    Clearly God the Holy Ghost doesn’t agree with your theories.

    I do not see people walking down the street demonstrating the presence of demonic activity in their lives any more than you do. It is by the preaching of the gospel that signs follow. Again, I have already pointed this out. Perhaps you should be more alert to truth and you wouldn’t be caught out spewing garbage so often.

  130. I mean, I can’t actually believe you think these dopey theories about the Gadarene demoniac being Jesus code for Roman troops are true.

    I did test the waters with you first before you actually confirmed that you believe this rot. When you actually read through the passages you see that what the liberal theorists claim couldn’t possibly be true or match up with scripture.

    This is what it actually says, in case anyone is following:

    Mark 5
    1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.
    2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
    3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,
    4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.
    5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
    6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.
    7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
    8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
    9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”
    10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.
    11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains.
    12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.”
    13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
    14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened.
    15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.
    16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine.
    17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.
    18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him.
    19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”
    20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marvelled.

    So the passage clearly reveals that the man had an unclean spirit, and that he was demon-possessed. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Roman occupation troops.

    The demon itself actually speaks, and a says, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” Unclean spirits often implored him to leave them alone until the time of their judgment:

    Mark 3
    10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.
    11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.”
    12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

    And again:

    Luke 4
    33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,
    34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”
    35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.
    36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
    37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

    This is not the man himself speaking, but the demons which possessed him and tormented him. He did not recognise Jesus. They knew Him because they recognised Him as the Son of God.

  131. Of course there was no treatment for mental illnesses in the ancient world. Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, more specifically, believed that all diseases, including mental ones, were the result of demonic influences on the soul.

    Later, Greeks and Romans tried to create a rational approach to mental disorders by labeling them mental illnesses and writing texts examining their many manifestations. Nevertheless, most Greeks and Romans also believed that mental problems were caused by evil spirits, or the wrath of the Furies, the Greek goddesses of vengeance. There is plenty of very ancient evidence of holes bored into skulls by which the ancients hoped to release the evil spirits inside.

    It is really only the Hebrews who didn’t see mental illness as an evil spirit.

    Passages of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament have been interpreted as describing mood disorders in figures such as Job, King Saul and in the psalms of David. Nebuchadnezzar is described as temporarily losing his sanity. Mental disorder was not a problem like any other, caused by one of the gods or evil spirits, but rather caused by problems in the relationship between the individual and God.

    That was until some of the Hebrews were influenced by Hellenistic demonology.

  132. The Gerasene Demoniac & Self Harm

    There are not many accounts in the Bible of people self-harming and this story, in Mark 5:1-20 of a possessed man living in the tombs, whose encounter with Christ led to a complete change in his life, has always caught my attention. I would like to tackle this a couple of ways. Firstly I would like to talk more generally about the passage, including an interestingly political reading of it, and then I would like to talk from a more personal point of view as someone who has self-harmed and as someone with a mental illness.

    Part One

    The first thing we note about this passage is that we are no longer on familiar ground. Gerasa (sometimes given as Gadara and other place-names) is in gentile territory, outside the Jewish areas of Palestine. Other clues to the gentile nature of this story are that the man is living among tombs (v3) which are places of uncleanliness (Num 19:11) and we are told that there are pigs nearby (v11). An interesting passage to look at is Isaiah 65:2-5, especially verse 4:
    [a people] who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;

    Here Isaiah characterises the rebels against God as living in tombs and eating pigs, so it is interesting to wonder whether Mark wants us to remember this verse, and draw conclusions as to what sort of person the demoniac is.
    Another thing to note about the gentile background of the region is that the demons, when speaking to Jesus, use the term “Son of the Most High God” (v7) a term which is used of Yahweh by gentiles elsewhere (Gen 14:18-20; Num 24:16; 1 Sam 14:4; Dan 3:26, 4:2 and also in Luke 1:32, 6:35)
    Myers (1) suggests a reading of Mark 5 as a return to a figurative Egypt. He suggests that crossing the ‘sea’ (sometimes ‘lake’) in v1 may signify going back to Egypt/gentiles to make them part of God’s Kingdom, and then leaving them in the world to continue the work. He also suggests that the drowning of the “legion” of demons is a reference to the drowning of the soldiers of Egypt in Exodus 15:4.
    Here lies an interesting interpretation. Myers suggests that this story – along with the rest of Mark – is a response to the occupation of Israel by the Romans. He suggests that we should take note of the demons being called “legion” (a legion being a Roman term for 6,000 soldiers) and their defeat by Jesus. It is worth noting that the term used for “herd” (v11) is an unusual one. Firstly, pigs do not travel in herds, but also the term agele was used to refer to a band of military recruits and that when Jesus dismissed them (“gave them permission” v13) the term epetrepseri is a military command, which is then followed by the pigs charging into the sea, as though they were troops rushing into battle. (1) Another thing I found interesting was this:
    “Since the fall of the city a few months earlier [in 70CE], Jerusalem had been occupied by the Roman Tenth Legion, whose emblem was a pig.” (3)

    This, of course, is interesting if you date Mark to around that time period. I would also like to point out that “it is possible that originally this story was meant to be humorous – unclean spirits destroy unclean animals!” (4)
    To me this is a story of extremes. The One who stilled the waves (Mark 4:39) meets a man who is the very opposite of stillness, a man who “night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” (5:5) Just as he calmed the storm, so he calms the demon-possessed man, by letting his demons go into the pigs, and then drown. The man goes from unclean to clean by Jesus’ actions – which is a subversive act as purification was the domain of the religious authorities, the priests, and not “ordinary” people like Jesus. Was the story intended as an allegory on the Roman occupation? I am not sure, having read cases both for and against. While Myers argues that for Jesus to free the man who had a Legion of demons in him was a statement against the Romans who had legions in they occupied lands, and also that the man may have become the focus of his community’s fear and hatred of the Romans, a “scapegoat” who acted out in his screams and violence the subconscious or repressed desires of the local people, other scholars disagree. I find the idea interesting, however. This is just a very short introduction, I would like to study more but unfortunately only have access to a few bits of material.

    Part Two

    The Gerasene demoniac is, leaving aside the priests of Baal, probably the only “self injurer” in the Bible. As such his story has been used by and to mentally ill people in general and self injurers in particular. I think a lot of people find the story troubling, a study of mentally ill people found that they reacted badly to the idea that self harm, mental illness and the like in this story was evidence of demon possession. (5)
    We can, however, see a lot of mental illness in this man. For a start there is the vulnerability of this man socially, personally and financially. He is personally vulnerable due to his dependence on others, his loss of control over thoughts and circumstances, socially due to stigma. His plight, like ours may be regarded as “signs of sin, malingering, weakness, lack of character or willpower, or poor upbringing” (6) He may be financially vulnerable due to his lack of education/employment, lack of healthcare and similar.
    The Gerasene is identified by his illness/demon first before identification as a person. This is an issue for many people who are mentally or physically disabled. His attitude toward Jesus, thinking that here came another torturer, was described by one commentator as being similar to the treatment some receive in mental healthcare, an expectation of degradation and forced treatment being confounded by the lack of condemnation in Jesus’ treatment. He can also be seen as someone who acts out what we all repress, screaming in pain and revolt.
    It is difficult for me, as with others, to see my illness (or to be frank, anyone’s illness) as demon-derived. It is also difficult for me to see the immediate release and cure of the man with the demon, as that is certainly not the experience of most Christians who suffer mental ill-health. I think sometimes this leads to unrealistic expectations from Christians, who think that if we pray, take charge of “demons” etc then the person will immediately become cured, in sound mind and sitting with Jesus. The trouble being that we are not Jesus, and cures and miracles in the gospels are for specific reasons, not always being just for the purpose of freeing the person. Miracles in the gospel are “signs”, as John’s Gospel puts it, “signs that you may believe” rather than simply being for our comfort. While Jesus healed many he did not heal all, and we do of course know that there were people with physical illnesses and deficiencies who did not get healed and yet were Christians. I don’t have an answer to the “is it demons” thing, as I don’t know what to make of it. I do hate the way that some Christians say that we are demonised because we have mental health problems but do not say that about physical illnesses, even though Jesus cured a woman of a bad back that was given her by a demon.
    To finish off, I think the main thing I get from this tale is that, first, Jesus did not condemn the man’s self harm although he did change his behaviour. Second, Jesus was not afraid to approach the man, even though others were. He did not cast him out or chain him up but restored the man to community, firstly with Jesus himself and later with those who had been scared of him. There is also an interesting connection between self harm and the pigs in that self harm is a visible sign that we are hurting and Jesus gave a physical sign (the pigs drowning) of being healed.
    This is a problematic passage, but there are good things to be gained from reading it. Jesus’ compassion on the unclean outcast who everyone else was afraid of and wanted to lock up reassures me that even if I am unwell, Jesus still comes to my place of the tombs and heals me, even if it is not as instantaneous as the Gerasene disciple’s healing.

    References

    Myers, Chad, “Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus” (NY: Orbis Books 1988, 2008 2nd printing)
    Derrett, J Duncan M, “Contributions to the Study of the Gerasene Demoniac” JSNT, 3, p5
    Harwood, William, “Mythology’s Lost Gods” quoted in http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/mark.html
    Witherington III, Ben, “The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary” (Grand Rapids, Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2001) p182
    Guth, Christine J, “An Insider’s Look at the Gerasene Disciple (Mark 5:1-20): Biblical Interpretation from the Social Location of Mental Illness” (Journal of Religion, Disability and Health, vol 11(4) 2007)
    ibid.

    (Author: Emma Mavin)

    http://www.mindandsoul.info/mobile/default.aspx?group_id=108642&article_id=318359

  133. The Gerasene Demoniac & Self Harm

    There are not many accounts in the Bible of people self-harming and this story, in Mark 5:1-20 of a possessed man living in the tombs, whose encounter with Christ led to a complete change in his life, has always caught my attention. I would like to tackle this a couple of ways. Firstly I would like to talk more generally about the passage, including an interestingly political reading of it, and then I would like to talk from a more personal point of view as someone who has self-harmed and as someone with a mental illness.

    Part One

    The first thing we note about this passage is that we are no longer on familiar ground. Gerasa (sometimes given as Gadara and other place-names) is in gentile territory, outside the Jewish areas of Palestine. Other clues to the gentile nature of this story are that the man is living among tombs (v3) which are places of uncleanliness (Num 19:11) and we are told that there are pigs nearby (v11). An interesting passage to look at is Isaiah 65:2-5, especially verse 4:
    [a people] who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;

    Here Isaiah characterises the rebels against God as living in tombs and eating pigs, so it is interesting to wonder whether Mark wants us to remember this verse, and draw conclusions as to what sort of person the demoniac is.
    Another thing to note about the gentile background of the region is that the demons, when speaking to Jesus, use the term “Son of the Most High God” (v7) a term which is used of Yahweh by gentiles elsewhere (Gen 14:18-20; Num 24:16; 1 Sam 14:4; Dan 3:26, 4:2 and also in Luke 1:32, 6:35)
    Myers (1) suggests a reading of Mark 5 as a return to a figurative Egypt. He suggests that crossing the ‘sea’ (sometimes ‘lake’) in v1 may signify going back to Egypt/gentiles to make them part of God’s Kingdom, and then leaving them in the world to continue the work. He also suggests that the drowning of the “legion” of demons is a reference to the drowning of the soldiers of Egypt in Exodus 15:4.
    Here lies an interesting interpretation. Myers suggests that this story – along with the rest of Mark – is a response to the occupation of Israel by the Romans. He suggests that we should take note of the demons being called “legion” (a legion being a Roman term for 6,000 soldiers) and their defeat by Jesus. It is worth noting that the term used for “herd” (v11) is an unusual one. Firstly, pigs do not travel in herds, but also the term agele was used to refer to a band of military recruits and that when Jesus dismissed them (“gave them permission” v13) the term epetrepseri is a military command, which is then followed by the pigs charging into the sea, as though they were troops rushing into battle. (1) Another thing I found interesting was this:
    “Since the fall of the city a few months earlier [in 70CE], Jerusalem had been occupied by the Roman Tenth Legion, whose emblem was a pig.” (3)

    This, of course, is interesting if you date Mark to around that time period. I would also like to point out that “it is possible that originally this story was meant to be humorous – unclean spirits destroy unclean animals!” (4)
    To me this is a story of extremes. The One who stilled the waves (Mark 4:39) meets a man who is the very opposite of stillness, a man who “night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” (5:5) Just as he calmed the storm, so he calms the demon-possessed man, by letting his demons go into the pigs, and then drown. The man goes from unclean to clean by Jesus’ actions – which is a subversive act as purification was the domain of the religious authorities, the priests, and not “ordinary” people like Jesus. Was the story intended as an allegory on the Roman occupation? I am not sure, having read cases both for and against. While Myers argues that for Jesus to free the man who had a Legion of demons in him was a statement against the Romans who had legions in they occupied lands, and also that the man may have become the focus of his community’s fear and hatred of the Romans, a “scapegoat” who acted out in his screams and violence the subconscious or repressed desires of the local people, other scholars disagree. I find the idea interesting, however. This is just a very short introduction, I would like to study more but unfortunately only have access to a few bits of material.

    Part Two

    The Gerasene demoniac is, leaving aside the priests of Baal, probably the only “self injurer” in the Bible. As such his story has been used by and to mentally ill people in general and self injurers in particular. I think a lot of people find the story troubling, a study of mentally ill people found that they reacted badly to the idea that self harm, mental illness and the like in this story was evidence of demon possession. (5)
    We can, however, see a lot of mental illness in this man. For a start there is the vulnerability of this man socially, personally and financially. He is personally vulnerable due to his dependence on others, his loss of control over thoughts and circumstances, socially due to stigma. His plight, like ours may be regarded as “signs of sin, malingering, weakness, lack of character or willpower, or poor upbringing” (6) He may be financially vulnerable due to his lack of education/employment, lack of healthcare and similar.
    The Gerasene is identified by his illness/demon first before identification as a person. This is an issue for many people who are mentally or physically disabled. His attitude toward Jesus, thinking that here came another torturer, was described by one commentator as being similar to the treatment some receive in mental healthcare, an expectation of degradation and forced treatment being confounded by the lack of condemnation in Jesus’ treatment. He can also be seen as someone who acts out what we all repress, screaming in pain and revolt.
    It is difficult for me, as with others, to see my illness (or to be frank, anyone’s illness) as demon-derived. It is also difficult for me to see the immediate release and cure of the man with the demon, as that is certainly not the experience of most Christians who suffer mental ill-health. I think sometimes this leads to unrealistic expectations from Christians, who think that if we pray, take charge of “demons” etc then the person will immediately become cured, in sound mind and sitting with Jesus. The trouble being that we are not Jesus, and cures and miracles in the gospels are for specific reasons, not always being just for the purpose of freeing the person. Miracles in the gospel are “signs”, as John’s Gospel puts it, “signs that you may believe” rather than simply being for our comfort. While Jesus healed many he did not heal all, and we do of course know that there were people with physical illnesses and deficiencies who did not get healed and yet were Christians. I don’t have an answer to the “is it demons” thing, as I don’t know what to make of it. I do hate the way that some Christians say that we are demonised because we have mental health problems but do not say that about physical illnesses, even though Jesus cured a woman of a bad back that was given her by a demon.
    To finish off, I think the main thing I get from this tale is that, first, Jesus did not condemn the man’s self harm although he did change his behaviour. Second, Jesus was not afraid to approach the man, even though others were. He did not cast him out or chain him up but restored the man to community, firstly with Jesus himself and later with those who had been scared of him. There is also an interesting connection between self harm and the pigs in that self harm is a visible sign that we are hurting and Jesus gave a physical sign (the pigs drowning) of being healed.
    This is a problematic passage, but there are good things to be gained from reading it. Jesus’ compassion on the unclean outcast who everyone else was afraid of and wanted to lock up reassures me that even if I am unwell, Jesus still comes to my place of the tombs and heals me, even if it is not as instantaneous as the Gerasene disciple’s healing.

    References

    Myers, Chad, “Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus” (NY: Orbis Books 1988, 2008 2nd printing)
    Derrett, J Duncan M, “Contributions to the Study of the Gerasene Demoniac” JSNT, 3, p5
    Harwood, William, “Mythology’s Lost Gods” quoted in http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/mark.html
    Witherington III, Ben, “The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary” (Grand Rapids, Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2001) p182
    Guth, Christine J, “An Insider’s Look at the Gerasene Disciple (Mark 5:1-20): Biblical Interpretation from the Social Location of Mental Illness” (Journal of Religion, Disability and Health, vol 11(4) 2007)
    ibid.

    (Author: Emma Mavin)

  134. I see Steve that you’re back to the old “if they don’t hold to my understanding of the bible they aren’t doing it right” call. It might surprise you to know, but I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp on “rightly dividing” (anyone notice only people who don’t seem comfortable with others differences of opinion seem to use that pseudo religious terminology?) the bible…which you will most definitely be surprised to find, is not what you consider it to be. Are you a Christian or a biblearian?

  135. @Greg

    “I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp on “rightly dividing”

    I disagree. If by “rightly dividing” you mean ignoring and twisting scripture to suit your own worldly views and to match and explain your own personal experiences, then you are the master of “rightly dividing”. However, if you mean “rightly dividing” according to what Paul said to Timothy, you’re way, way off. Your doctrines are some of the most strange and way off doctrines I have ever read. Apart from Bones, whose sanity I regularly question, I have never seen such a hodge-podge of humanism/atheism/religion as I have seen in your doctrines.

    “that pseudo religious terminology”

    So 2 Timothy 2:15 is “pseudo religious terminology”? Wow. You really despise the bible, don’t you?

  136. @Greg…you are the master of “rightly dividing”.

    So, we are agreed then!

    I had a dream with you in it last night Raymond. I kid you not. We met at bondi beach and we both agreed that we would never agree but that we were both pretty good people.

    It’s pseudo-religious terminology because people use it to make themselves sound more spiritual and learned than they really are. Why not just say you don’t know how to explain the bibles meaning correctly?

    I do not despise the bible…are we headed down this road again?

  137. @Greg

    “I do not despise the bible…are we headed down this road again?”

    Nah!

    I’m sure that if we were to meet in real life we’d be mates by the way. Bones too, I’m sure.

  138. I’m sorry your wife has, according to your story, been badly treated, but this doesn’t detract from the truth of there being people who have been demonised.

    I never said that my wife was badly treated. She was healed by Jesus btw.

    I said that in the past ie Jesus’s day she’d have been thought to be under the power of the demonic when she was having an epileptic episode. Same goes with anyone who had a mental condition.

  139. Horsley”s interpretation is just fanciful in my opinion.
    Read the different translations, including those in languages other than English if you know any. Nobody would come up with that interpretation.

  140. Greg,
    I see Steve that you’re back to the old “if they don’t hold to my understanding of the bible they aren’t doing it right” call.

    That’s rubbish, Greg. I’m arguing for a position which is far closer to the texts than either you or Bones. In fact, you are denying the literal meaning of the texts on the devil or demons altogether. I am not.

    Therefore I am agreeing with the literal reporting of actual facts by the witnesses, whereas you are applying supposition and allegory.

    So it is not about ‘my’ understanding of the Bible, but the application of the truths revealed within, especially when dealing with those affected by demonic activity, which is where my main concern remains, not in whether there is some hypothetical alternative meaning so far removed from reality that it is, when you consider the needs of some people, almost laughable.

    As I have said, in applying the principles I see Jesus apply, I have seen people relieved of demonic responses to the preaching of the gospel and moving of the Holy Ghost in meetings. This would, it seems to me, be the most positive evidence that these things are real and not to be interpreted as allegory.

    So mine is not an ‘understanding’ or interpretation so much as an imitation of Christ, which is what we are all called to do.

    The claims about Jesus being a political activist pointing out his anti-roman sympathies through coded messages about pigs and legions is pathetic and unwarranted, merely the words of people who have never been confronted by demonised people, who need our help not our theories.

    The Gaderene demoniac was, according to the texts, indeed demonised and Jesus relieved him of a number of invasive spirits.

    As for Bones’ attempt to compare demonised people to those who are mentally ill or suffering from dementia, there is no actual comparison. I do acknowledge that some ministries have ignorantly or mistakenly considered mental illness to be demonisation, but I do not, for a number of reasons.

    I do actually have some official experience with working with dementia patients, who suffer mental illness and require care because they are largely unable to fend for themselves in some way or other, and I can tell you there is a vast difference between mental illness and demon possession.

    Again, these things are determined by the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is not right or ethical to call someone demonised without the express leading of the Spirit, and especially considering someone to have a demon simply because their behaviour might be erratic, unusual or indicate some form of illness, accident or ageing process which leads to deteriorating health.

    Nevertheless, there are people in this world who have either allowed themselves or been subjected to being controlled, manipulated, vexed or possessed by demons, and it is these people to whom I refer, where the texts also clearly indicate, as needing to be set free through the power of the Spirit.

  141. Weird behaviour at church meetings isnt evidence of demons. Ive been in meetings where people barked and acted like dogs, were screaming and shrieking, in trances and general chaos.

    That was called manifestations of the Holy Ghost.

    Its more to do with group psychology and the power of suggestion.

  142. The claims about Jesus being a political activist pointing out his anti-roman sympathies through coded messages about pigs and legions is pathetic…~/blockquote>

    There is where you show you can’t understand what you read when it is only 2 days old…let alone something that is 2000yrs old! No one is saying that Jesus was encoding an anti roman sentiment in a porcine narrative!! It was the author who put the story together Steve and placed Jesus as the central character, according to the theological theorist.

    You are defending your understanding of the txt all the time Steve…just as bones and I argue for our understanding…it’s simply that you feel your understanding is more closely aligned with God’s…I’m prepared to accept I could be wrong…but I’m certain that there are more important things to Gods mind than theological accuracy in all matters.

  143. @Greg

    “I’m certain that there are more important things to Gods mind than theological accuracy in all matters.”

    I think you are wrong there. I believe that God is most concerned as to whether people understand His word correctly. A misunderstanding or misinterpretation leads many people away from Jesus. Sure, the small things, such as Sabbaths and head coverings don’t affect people’s salvation, but other doctrines and theologies can draw people away from Jesus, so God would most definitely be concerned with theological accuracy in all matters.

  144. Okay, here’s an interesting question for all of you then.

    Can a person not believe in the Devil and demons, and still live a “successful” Christian life?

    Bones said that he hasn’t thought about demons for years.
    There are probably been those who loved God, prayed, lived according to the principles of God’s word and die get to heaven, and then…well then, it probably won’t matter.

    I’ll probably find out that my mother-in-law was really a demon after all.

  145. Here’s my theory about why there are so many radical theories about Jesus.

    Academics especially in departments of religion in secular universities are in environments where everyone has s worldview that angels, demons don’t exist and miracles don’t happen.

    When they teach and publish papers what do you expect them to write about and teach? 3 Great Ways to cast out demons?

    So people quote people like Horsley as if his credentials add weight to his theories. But to me, it’t the opposite. It’s a forgone conclusion that academics in that environment will spend their careers trying to paint Jesus as some kind of political/social revolutionary or something other than the Son of God who performed miracles and died for our sins.

    You’ll probably find that Horsely will have different ideas about the resurrection too.

    Still, to say he knows a lot more than I do about 1st century Palestine is a massive understatement.

    The one thing I like about his line of reasoning is the idea of trying to find out what the text meant to the people of the time. That’s incredibly important for me. So there’s value in learning about the beliefs and situation at the time.

    btw can someone clear up whether legion is 2000 or 6000?

  146. Just read your link Greg. And the moral of the story?
    Next time I cast out demons, I’ll send them into a herd of liberal theologians….
    Seriously, there are probably millions of kids who felt sorry for the poor piggies. I know I did.

    So the conclusion is, Bones and Greg don’t think that was a literal story?
    And for those who do think it actually happened, the question is, could Jesus have sent the demons somewhere else instead of the pigs?

    weird story, but everything about faith has questions.

    If I were God, I’d write “I love you. Repent” in the sky for all to see.
    But I’m not God.

  147. So demons can be transferred into animals and people. Sounds like the stuff of horror movies. So jesus cast the demons into a herd of 2000 pigs, one for each demon, then they charge into the sea as demons do. Then the pigs die.

    What happened to the demons then?

    Did they die? But it was before the time.

    Did they enter some marine creatures?

    Jesus also broke the law of the torah by destroying someone elses property. I hope recompensed the owner of the pigs!

  148. @Q

    “Can a person not believe in the Devil and demons, and still live a “successful” Christian life?”

    What do you mean by “successful”?

    My view is this : the way we live our Christian lives is a reflection of what we believe about God. If, as the Calvinists believe, we think He’s liable to take us out at any moment on a whim, then we live our lives in fear and in trying to appease Him. If we have a law-focused view of God, then we try our hardest not to do the wrong things and try to do everything we can in our own strength to do what the bible tells us to do. If we have a revelation of Grace, then we understand that it’s never about what we do or do not do, but about God’s unmerited favour. None of these, in and of themselves, really affects our eternal salvation. If we are born again, then we will live with Jesus in eternity, regardless of whether we think God is a mean old bastard or not. If we don’t believe in a literal Satan and demons, however, it is only a small step to disbelieve other things about God, and about His word. Sadly, Bones and Greg have thrown out such huge portions of the bible that it’s not such a big step for them to throw out the rest. If they can easily throw out those scriptures that offend them, or don’t line up with their own views of what God and Christianity should be like, then it will be far easier for them in the future to throw out the rest of scripture. Not that I am saying that they will do this, but I have had friends who have begun to question these kinds of things, and they are no longer followers of Christ. It’s a very slippery slope they tread, and I would not be at all surprised if we see them no longer walking with Jesus in the future.

  149. @Bones

    “What happened to the demons then?”

    My assumption is that they went to the abyss, the place that they begged Jesus not to send them to.

  150. “My assumption is that they went to the abyss”

    Which is where exactly? To the centre of the Earth?

    You people talk like these places physically exist.

  151. If I were God, I’d make the rules for getting into My club a whole lot clearer.

    Such as your salvation is dependent upon having the right thinking.

    But I’m not God.

    I have a feeling He’s not all that fussed by the many interpretations that abound.

  152. Sadly, Bones and Greg have thrown out such huge portions of the bible that it’s not such a big step for them to throw out the rest

    And yet here I am, still a Christian…hard to believe isn’t it?

  153. “Sadly, Bones and Greg have thrown out such huge portions of the bible …”

    No, we have ‘rightly divided the Word’.

  154. @Bones

    “No, we have ‘rightly divided the Word’.”

    That’s right. You’ve divided it into two portions – the portion you have discarded, and the portion you have twisted and manipulated to suit your own worldly beliefs.

    @Greg

    “And yet here I am, still a Christian”

    Still a Christian…..so far! Once you have discarded the rest of the bible, you will have nothing left to stand on.

  155. “I have a feeling He’s not all that fussed by the many interpretations that abound.”

    I’ve pretty well come to that conclusion too Bones.

  156. ” steve says:
    December 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm
    EYES,
    You are all quick,give you that………..

    Not really. This is discussion for grown ups, not c3churchwatch baby talk and infantile hostility towards godly ministers or the controlled input for self-serving manipulative protagonists you play around with over there.

    We are actually allowed to have contrary opinions here and express them. ”

    Notice how Steve gives permission for controversy on his own terms and with his own self-righteous judgement.As though other peoples controversy is not allowed.Only his is and with whom he chooses?
    Sounds very pompous to say, “We are actually allowed to have contrary opinions here and express them.”
    I vote ‘Steve’ , to replace JUDGE JUDY.
    All in favor say……………………….

  157. Greg,
    You are defending your understanding of the txt all the time Steve…just as bones and I argue for our understanding…it’s simply that you feel your understanding is more closely aligned with God’s…I’m prepared to accept I could be wrong…but I’m certain that there are more important things to Gods mind than theological accuracy in all matters.

    In fact, you raise the issue of interpretation as if it were acceptable to have more than one, or that it is valid to dismiss the literal conclusion by introducing a liberal interpretation based on the inability to believe in the supernatural.

    As I said, I have applied the literal application and it works. Demons are expelled when the name of Jesus is used under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

    The scripture is not up for some kind of unfaith interpretation.

    So it is not ‘my’ understanding, but God’s revelation. Some things I do not understand, but that is the point. God’s ways are higher and his thoughts greater. I comply with His understanding, not mine.

    If I do not understand some issues it is no matter because when I apply them they confirm what Jesus and the Apostles say.

    That is where the rubber hits the road.

    That is what you struggle with.

    EYES,
    c3churchwatch ban dissent because they are only interested in their own worldview. That was my point. So if you’re accepted there it’s probably because they think you either agree with their flawed logic, or never quibble with it.

  158. Greg,
    I’m certain that there are more important things to Gods mind than theological accuracy in all matters.

    Surely it depends on the issue.

    If you and Bones are denying the reality of satan or the devil, I would have thought that it was a crucial matter to the Church, which defines the way we operate.

    If there is no devil then we need to severely review a number of doctrines.

    If there are no demons, then some of the ministry we have been engaged in is in need of a serious explanation which can only mean the researching of scripture to discover how and why people respond to the name of Jesus after we have commanded the seeming demon to be expelled from them.

    From your perspective, it is only a matter of syntax, interpretation of fables, stories or mythological events, but from mine it is life and death, the difference between a person remaining under the control of demonic forces or being free.

    From my perspective the only sound explanation is that given by scripture as it stands, without manipulation, a higher critical explanation or a liberal interpretation of natural, Biblical events.

  159. Most Christians of course have no need for a Satan. They might believe in its existence but that’s about it. That of course doesn’t mean that evil doesn’t exist.

    Events like the Holocaust and Rwanda show we do enough evil on our own thank you very much.

    Some see Satan as just the symbol of that evil. Not unlike the author of Revelation equating Nero as the AntiChrist.

    Peter’s warning to

    8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

    was a warning of the persecution by the Roman magistracy under Nero and Diocletian, which ‘devoured’ Peter, Paul and many of the apostles.

    Peter’s first epistle expresses concern for the steadfastness of the ecclesia because of the imminent period of suffering that the ecclesia was about to enter. He exhorted: “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world”; “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” (1 Peter 5:9 R.S.V.; 4:12). See also 4:16-19.

    Paul had a similar encounter with a roaring lion (2 Timothy 4:17), but this lion was not a fallen angel, but Caesar’s tribunal, (vs. 16, 17) from which Paul was delivered at the first trial. Paul was also delivered, not from a rebel angel, but from persecutions and afflictions at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra of which he wrote: “. . . but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution . . . But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:11-13).

  160. Of course, the following verse, in context, 1 Peter 5:9 completely refutes your interpretation because it talks of the people ‘of the world’ suffering the same temptations as believers.

    The difference is they are unable to resist since they do not have Christ.

    I was going to say, ‘nice try, Bones’, but, on the face of it, it’s a pretty poor effort at exegesis.

  161. “8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) was a warning of the persecution by the Roman magistracy under Nero and Diocletian, which ‘devoured’ Peter, Paul and many of the apostles.””

    Bones, can you tell me what you think so, and why you are so confident?

    Never heard that before.

  162. Read the whole chapter. It’s clearly about the suffering which Christians have to endure through persecution. If you don’t redist the devil then he will devour you. That doesn’t make sense unless it’s a human devil.

    I love metaphors. So did the Bible writers.

  163. Why do I think so? Because of the suffering and persecution being unleashed by the Roman devil which did devour many Christians, including Peter and Paul.

  164. 1 Peter 5:9 has ‘ your bethren who are in the world’ . Peter says other Christians in the Empire are being persecuted too. Thats according to the Nasb.

  165. And…..

    How can you say it has no application outside of that era. It witnesses to Christians who have endured persecution through all eras wheter the devil was Hitler, Stalin or the Catholic Church.

  166. Yes, they were being persecuted, but it is a big stretch to make Rome the devil.

    The devil is diabolos, always the accuser in scripture, leader of principalities, powers and rulers of darkness, not flesh and blood, as Paul points out in Ephesians 6:12.

  167. These same principalities and powers Jesus spoiled, and made an open show of according to Colossians 2:15.

    So not flesh and blood, and a defeated enemy.

    Surely Rome was yet to reach its zenith, so not Rome.

    Not people. Fallen angels – a third of the heavens cast down with satan, the devil and dragon – not flesh and blood.

  168. When did Jesus spoil Rome? Or parade Rome in triumphant procession?

    Never!

    We wrestle not against flesh and blood!

  169. And, as James tells us, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you!”

    Do you imagine Rome would flee from them?

    Not for a second!

    Not flesh and blood!

  170. Yes we’ve tended to overspiritualise what the writers were saying at times because we arent in physical danger like they were.

    Their danger was very real and not spiritual. 1 Peter 5 is not talking about spiritual persecution.

  171. And you confuse the issue by quoting different writers to what Peter is saying. Peter’s writing in jis own time andcontext about a totally different issue.

    That is warning the faithful against the persecution coming.

  172. I think you’re the one jumping around. I’m being consistent to the overall context of scripture.

    You seem to make it up as you go along depending on the passage.

    Very convenient.

    The JWs are known for the same methods.

    The fact is that we have a spiritual enemy whom we deal with through spiritual means, hence the full armour of God, which is completely spiritual.

    God is a Spirit, Bones. He oversees the spirit-realm, of which the devil is the adversary and opposer of Christ and all those who accept Christ.

    Scripture is rightly divided contextually. It is understood by the whole not by small portions of text.

    That is why your theory is so weak. It doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. More holes than a colander.

  173. I actually feel sorry I’ve been so rough with you at times, Bones. I clearly overestimated your grasp of scriptural understanding.

  174. Bones,
    Peter’s writing in jis own time andcontext about a totally different issue.

    So there’s Peter’s devil, and there’s James’ devil, and I suppose, Paul’s devil, John’s devil, and even Jesus has one he references, and they are all talking about a different devil!

    Peter’s devil turns out to be Rome. James must be talking about…what?

    Context, Bones, context!

  175. Yep different diabolas, different writers, different contexts. Diabolas is a Greek word that has a meaning far beyond de vil.

    We’ve already seen that the Old Testament satan could be a man or an angel of the Lord.

  176. Bones, I’m sure that the readers of 1 Peter 5 were suffering persecution. And I’m sure the Devil is involved with persecution.

    You said that James is talking about a different thing than Peter, but they still talk about the Devil. As Steve said the Devil is referred to by different writers, and in different ways. I don’t see that you’ve proven that there is no devil at all.

    Most Christians have no problem at all understanding that sometimes he attacks as a devouring lion and other times as a seducing angel of light.

    In order to make your case you’re going to have to go through every mention and try hard to explain that in each case, each writer doesn’t mean what they say. That’s a hard job.

    And given that Paul many times tries to explain things “I would no have you ignorant brethren”, why didn’t he just tell the Christians that there were no demons or Devil. (You’ve said that the 1st century people had been influenced by the zoroastrians into believing in demons etc).

    So, did Paul believe in demons and the Devil or not?
    Did Jesus believe in demons and the Devil or not?

    If so ….. were they both just victims of their times?

    If not, why didn’t they just say so instead of playing along with all the zoroastrian nonsense. After all, both Jesus and Paul seemed to have an affection for truth.

  177. Yeah, let’s cut to the chase. Are you saying that neither Jesus nor Paul believed in the existence of demons and the Devil.

  178. No. There are not separate entities referred to as the devil.

    I agree satan can be merely a term for an adversary, but it is also clear that there is an opposer who is alluded to as a fallen angel and who challenges the authority and leadership of God.

    Again, to separate he texts by appealing to either New or Old Testament writings takes away from he continuation of a concept, which may have been differently expressed or understood by various writers, but was certainly based on a consistent understanding of there being a spiritual enemy of God who sought to dominate the minds of people.

    Here paul gives a description of his calling by Jesus to Agrippa.

    Acts 26
    15 “So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
    16 ‘But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.
    17 ‘I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
    18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

    Here Paul attributes to Jesus an understanding that Satan was a personality who overpowered both Jew and Gentile, capturing their minds and souls, and that he, Paul, had been separated to take them out of the power of Satan and convert them to faith in God.

    Strongs tells us that the word, Satana, is of Aramaic origin and corresponds to the Hebrew, Satan, meaning ‘adversary’, and applied to ‘one who opposes another in purposes or acts’, but also to ‘the prince of evil spirits, the inveterate adversary of God and Christ’.

    Jesus himself, when tempted of the devil, identifies him as Satan, confirming they are both one and the same and a spiritual personality.

    Matthew 4
    10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
    11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

    Again, in Matthew 12, Jesus identifies Satan as the prince of the demons and Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies.

    Matthew 12
    22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
    23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
    24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
    25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
    26 “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
    27 “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
    28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
    29 “Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
    30 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

    The demon-possessed person was healed. It was identified by others that the demon left the person.

    They claimed that Jesus cast out the demon by Satan, or Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. Jesu did not rebuke them for claiming a person with ordinary mental issues was demonised. he confirmed that the demon was expelled, but, he pointed out, it was by the Spirit of God.

    Here we have clear evidence in scripture of Jesus, again, using the name of Satan to describe a spiritual entity which dominated the minds and will of individuals.

    These things cannot be explained away as separate issues requiring different interpretations, but as one and the same Satan, who oversees a demonic host which affects the minds and will of certain people, and which can only be removed by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus.

  179. @Bones

    “Some see Satan as just the symbol of that evil. Not unlike the author of Revelation equating Nero as the AntiChrist.”

    I don’t believe in Nero. I don’t believe he actually existed. I think he’s just a construct from 1st Century idealists looking for a scapegoat to blame for the evil that what happening at that time. Nero is a Latin word meaning powerful, so in reality whenever the history books refer to Nero, they are actually talking about every Emperor and powerful leader of that period. I mean, how could one man do all that the history books say he did. It doesn’t make sense. So I believe he is simply a symbol that some people made up. I guess the next question is, of course, did Rome really exist? Rome, of course, was named after Romulus, which means crossroads. So I believe that Rome was invented to best explain seeking which direction we must follow. When we reach a “crossroads”, or a “Rome”, we must decide whether we will follow the righteous road, or the evil road. So Rome was created by ancient writers to explain that there are several paths that we can take.

  180. “You said that James is talking about a different thing than Peter, but they still talk about the Devil.”

    James sure is. He’s talking about temptations and our own desires and human nature.

    4 [a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “[e]He [f]jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

    11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

    13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 [g]Yet you do not know [h]what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 [i]Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your [j]arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the [k]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

    The source of lust, murder, quarrels and conflict is not Satan but our pride.

    As evidenced by much that is posted on here.

    “Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

    You know I’ve actually heard the opposite of that a lot from Spirit-filled Churches.

    When people draw near to God and the Spirit moves, be prepared to be attacked by Satan.

    It’s the opposite of what James says.

    The devil of course is in the detail.

  181. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

    Btw for a first century Christian to resist Satan (the Prince of Darkness if you will) usually meant a grissly death.

    I don’t see much fleeing from Satan, but a lot of Christians being devoured by the Roman devil.

    So either James is wrong….

    Or it’s a different devil.

  182. “In order to make your case you’re going to have to go through every mention and try hard to explain that in each case, each writer doesn’t mean what they say. That’s a hard job.”

    By golly, I’ll give it a good shake.

    I like a challenge.

    “each writer doesn’t mean what they say…”

    Or more accurately we don’t understand what the writers have written or we have developed pre-conceived ideas.

    Like the Lucifer myth.

  183. Steve – if I might endeavor to expand your understanding of Ephesians 6 and 2 Cor 10:4. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but they are mighty through God – so therefore, we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with the Powers and the Principalities of heaven. Paul spent 5 chapters telling us about how Jesus is the Head of ALL Principality and ALL Power and that He has invested this authority in His Body (that Body not made with hands, forever in the heavens) the congregation of the saints in light. So why would he glorify the devil?

    12. Because you wrestle not WITH flesh and blood, except WITH THE THRONES AND POWERS, and the SUBJUGATION of this world of darkness, and with evil spirits under the sky.

    In other words, the weapons of your warfare are not carnal, not of the flesh – we wrestle not with flesh and blood – get it? It’s like one of those 3D pictures, you kind of have to squint real funny to see it at first…LOL.

    The evil spirits are UNDER THE SKY – they are under the authority of JESUS! This world of darkness is in subjugation to the world of Light. Jesus won, remember? Now He is waiting until his enemies be consecrated as the rug under His feet.

    Now this is a bit hard to follow, but try to. Jesus overcame all to make One Foundation for all – he laid down His Life in death and then was resurrected and raised to Newness of Life so that he may fill all things with Himself – from the lowest low to the highest high. Now He rests, waiting until His enemies, the enemies of the cross, be consecrated as the rug under His feet. Those who have laid down their lives unto Him have already ceased from their labors and found their sure foundation and are as living stones in His Temple, being built up in Him who is also the Chief Cornerstone. His last enemy is death. Death is the fruit of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is where death comes from. Its quite simple really – a child could get it – it takes an adult to complicate it. As each person gets a revelation of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and ceases from judgment and receives the New Life of the Spirit they lay down their lives – and so He rests until His enemies be consecrated as the rug under His feet – we join Him in His death and are raised up in His resurrection. He has ceased from His labors, but he never ceases to make intercession for us…

    Now get this, there is an anti-kingdom, which is the seat or see of antichrist. It is called the Crown. It has four principle centers, Washington DC, The City of London, The Vatican and Jerusalem.

    It is the kingdom of antichrist. One of the biggest shocks you will ever get is when you awake to the realization that you are not the good guys and the US Calvary (sic) is not going to save you.

    The Crown is Babylon, and Babylon is going to fall. Man will not do this, only God.

  184. So basically what you are saying is that there is no literal Devil, so each time the word devil is used, we have to look at context to see what the devil is referring to.

    But, can you get to my question. Do you think Paul and Jesus believe in demons/ the Devil or not?

    @Raymond. That was quite an good piece of rhetoric back there.

  185. Ephesians 6

    Is about spiritual warfare right?

    Think again. (Clue: It’s those Romans again)

    When Paul lists the armour of God in Ephesians 6 we should ask ourselves – what is the purpose of putting on the armour? For what reason should we “wear” it?

    The answer is really quite obvious since Paul tells us in 6:10-13:

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

    So the purpose of the armour is allow us to stand firm in our struggle (“wrestle”) with the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers and the spiritual forces of evil. This is a wide ranging group of opponents, but what is crucial to note is that they are not flesh and blood enemies.

    That we do not struggle against flesh and blood is an important point, and it would appear that the Ephesians thought that their struggle was against flesh and blood – if it were obvious that is was not Paul would not need to say anything about it.

    I would suggest that the powers that Paul is talking about are not human (flesh and blood), though they express themselves through humans and human systems and so they seem to be human, hence the confusion. This makes sense when you consider that the letter to the Ephesians deals with problems that the recipients face in the day-to-day struggles of life in their society and culture; it would not make sense for Paul to suddenly shift to talk about spiritual warfare that has nothing to do with these problems.

    In short, Paul is talking about forces that look human but are in fact more than that. The “spiritual forces of evil” are not disembodied spirits going around haunting or possessing people, they are forces of evil that embody themselves in human activities.

    For every human system there is a spirituality at its core that we cannot separate from it. Paul is saying that we cannot change these human systems – social, cultural, political, economic, personal – without dealing with such hidden spirituality. This spirituality, this inner spirit, is the real opponent, not the humans involved.What Paul then does is genius – he subverts the very symbols of human violence. He describes armour and a sword as used by Roman soldiers. These are the regular tools used to deal with enemies in the Roman world, and still today. Paul uses these as illustrations for a completely subversive way of dealing with enemies – rather than putting on armour and using violence we are to embody the virtues of faith in Christ.

    Indeed the only “armour” we should wear are truth, righteousness, peace, faith(fulness), salvation and the word of God*!

    In the struggle against oppressive human systems that have at their core spiritual evil, Paul calls Christians not to use violence but instead to embody the way of Christ. This is the only thing that will bring genuine transformation to such systems and the people within them.

    Indeed, the only “weapon” that Paul lists is a sword. For the Christian the use of the sword is to be rejected in favour of wielding the word of God. That is to say the way of transforming corrupt systems is to speak truth that unmasks the powers, identifies their evil, demythologises their credibility and offers a liberating alternative for both victim and perpetrator.

    This continues to be the call for us today as we seek to follow Paul’s teaching. We must embody a subversive love that has the ability to transform all evil powers. This is always a risk – putting on defensive armour and taking up a sword does not guarantee that one will survive the battle, why should it be any different when we walk in the nonviolent way of Christ.

    http://liferemixed.net/2012/05/17/qr-the-armour-of-god/

  186. 2 Cor 10:4

    By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

    Nothing necessarily there about spiritual warfare.

    Are you at war with Satan and demons?

    Martin Luther King is one who did not wage war as the world does. And the weapons he fought with were not the weapons of the world but of God. And yes, he demolished strongholds of prejudice and injustice.

    Ironically many of the white Southern Baptists would much rather concentrate on the spiritual battles between demons and angels cause that was their war. Which was a Phoney War. They were in a war but on the wrong side.

  187. Bones,
    I don’t see much fleeing from Satan, but a lot of Christians being devoured by the Roman devil.

    So either James is wrong….

    Or it’s a different devil.

    Or, of course, your theory is completely up the creek!

  188. Bones, you base that last assertion completely on your own error that the devil is Rome.

    That’s exactly why you have difficulty reconciling it with other parts of scripture, or any kind of Biblical context, which was my point in the first place.

    It doesn’t add up. It is a colander of holes.

    So now you will squirm out a host of other ridiculous theories to support your first mistake and create a monument to error pierced with avenues of holes.

  189. Of course we wrestle against oppressive systems. That is a known and not disputed. But behind it is a malevolent spirit named Biblically as Satan, or the devil, who has a host working behind the scenes.

  190. “But behind it is a malevolent spirit named Biblically as Satan, or the devil, who has a host working behind the scenes.”

    Nonsense. James makes it clear who we battle with. Ourselves. Apartheid wasn’t demonic. It was based on pride and fear and ignorance which Christians bought into.

    And as I said the devil wasn’t doing much fleeing in the 1st century.

    He was having a feast.

  191. You fail to understand the difference between the flesh and the spirit. I pointed this out a long time ago on the thread. It is your major error.

  192. What are the wiles of the devil Paul refers to, Bones? What is spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies, the rulers of the darkness of this present age?

  193. So the devil fleeing results in you being tortured and executed for your faith.

    Just as well he didn’t hang around then.

    Something bad might have happened.

  194. Who was Michael wrestling with that required the assistance of Gabriel?

    Why did Jesus refer to Satan as a personality, not a condition of mind?

    James is actually very clear about resisting the devil. It was in terms of temptation to the sin of pride, not the Roman empirical forces.

  195. “James is actually very clear about resisting the devil. It was in terms of temptation to the sin of pride,”

    I’ve already said that.

    So we can confirm James 4 does not refer to a supernatural being who will flee from you when you draw near to God.

  196. You say what you do because you are so blindly convinced the devil is Rome. You can’t shake that imagery off and it obscures your vision.

    Rome was an antichrist system. Of course they persecuted Christians. All who live godly will be persecuted. But flesh and blood is not our great enemy.

    Sin is.

    Sin is a spiritual condition which works against righteousness.

    We all die. When is irrelevant. How is irrelevant.

    But our spiritual condition is totally relevant.

    The devil is the tempter. He wants to entrap and ensnare us spiritually. Even Jesus was subject to temptation, yet without yielding unto sin.

    The flesh we control. Temptation we overcome with faith and the Word.

    Faith 101.

  197. Bones,
    So we can confirm James 4 does not refer to a supernatural being who will flee from you when you draw near to God.

    You wish, then you could lie to some more people with your false doctrine. No. We cannot confirm your error.

    It is the devil who tempts. He will flee and desist from tempting for a while when we resist the temptation.

    He tempted Jesus the same way, and, after Jesus resisted him through the Word and Spirit, he left for a season.

    Read the Word. It’s all there.

  198. 1 Peter 5
    8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
    9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

    The true meaning refers to resisting the opposer and adversary who tempts and discourages, hinders and oppresses people.

    It has nothing directly to do with Rome. They may have been a tool he used, but the adversary is the devil, the accuser of the brethren.

    That is what you are resisting and what you find so hard to cope with, so you look for emotional and psychological alternatives and spread a false doctrine.

  199. James isn’t referring to Jesus. He’s writing to Christians as to what they have to do.

    If they resist the devil and draw near to God, he will flee.

    History states that is not how the 1st nor any other century played out – even for James who himself was martyred.

  200. Jesus faced the same temptation and dealt with it the same way we have to.

    You really do not know how to work with scripture, do you?

    It has nothing to do with your 1st century theory. As I said, you are so locked into that error that you can’t see what is being said to you today.

  201. “It has nothing directly to do with Rome.”

    I suppose Hitler had nothing to do with the holocaust either. It wasn’t the Nazis. It was Satan..

    How you wish to spiritualise everything. You can do that sitting behind a computer in a liberal western society.

  202. You think resisting the devil is about whether we live or die, or are persecuted or not, or thrown in prison for our faith or not.

    That is nonsense. It is about whether we sin or not. It’s internal, not external. It’s spiritual, not of the body, or mind.

    It is about temptation to sin or how to resist sin. The devil is the tempter. He tempted Jesus, he will tempt all Christians. Jesus showed us how to resist through the Word and Spirit. That is how we resist.

    It’s not about your body, or mind, but your spirit.

    That is classic theology. Yours is whacky nonsense looking in the wrong places.

  203. You can’t even explain James 4 can you?

    I’ll accept ‘I don’t know as an answer’.

    I mean you don’t want to lose your belief in the ying of your yang. It wouldn’t be complete without a devil.

  204. I’ll take it from that remark that you are content that I know what I’m talking about and you don’t so you’ve run out of options.

    The whole issue of our soul is spiritual, buddy! Faith, hope and love are all spiritual, eternal, heavenly qualities. Without them there is no salvation, and they only come from God.

    “God is a Spirit, and those who come to Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.”

    That was a statement made by Jesus!

    Maybe you can reconcile yourself to attempting to understand what he means by it!

  205. In fact, James says that the way we resist the devil is to submit to God. He is talking about resisting pride through humility.

    Of course the devil will flee from us when we are submitted to God. It is not a metaphor.

    The devil represents everything that is malevolent and antichrist. He is the instigator of resistance to God through pride. He tempted Adam to pride, and to ignore God’s instruction in the garden.

    Pride was found in the devil from the beginning and he fell from the Presence of God. Pride is the devil’s nature and he seeks to add it to ours, thus causing us to resist God.

    So we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and in so doing resist the temptation to sin.

    This plainly what James is discussing. War and envy comes from pride.

    Rome has nothing to do with it except that it has yielded to the devil’s pride and resists God along with the rest of the world.

    But of we draw near to God he will draw near to us and we resist the temptation to sin.

  206. Except of course James lines up with what Jesus said where evil comes from.

    From the hearts of men.

    Not your boogeyman.

    Keep defending Satan though.

  207. I’m lost.

    Bones, what in your opinion is going to flee?
    Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.
    What is going to flee then in your interpretation?

  208. Bones,
    Keep defending Satan though.

    What? I thought you were defending the devil by recommending he remain so covert he doesn’t exist in the minds of men.

    There’s a vast difference between standing for accurate scripture and defending evil.

    You really do need help, Bones!

  209. James is talking to Christians, Bones.

    That means they have received a new heart and a new spirit. They are a new creature in Christ, and have received the mind of Christ and been spiritually regenerated.

    Therefore their heart is renewed, and could not be the devil.

    Again you confuse the flesh with the spirit, and miss entirely what James is saying. And what Peter is saying, and Paul , and John, and Jesus.

    It is the will of man which is tempted by the devil. He is known as the tempter. He tempts people to sin. Christians are admonished to resist sin. In so doing they resist temptation, and, therefore, the tempter.

    He is also the accuser, because once a man has sinned after yielding to temptation, the devil accuses them of breaking the law. It is a double-whammy.

    He is both the tempter and the accuser. This makes him our adversary.

    Nothing very hard about that.

  210. Q,
    you make a good point. What is going to flee if not the devil?

    And since James mentions three persons in the passage, God, the believer and the devil, which of these is a person and which is us?

    If we are to humble ourselves under God and resist the devil, is God also not a real entity, or just the devil?

    Are we humbling ourselves to God to resist ourselves? Do we then flee from ourselves?

    How do we flee from ourselves?

  211. I was interested in Bone’s remark that I spiritualise everything.

    It is rather telling.

    Of course, I do not spiritualise everything, but he has an aversion to the spiritual aspect of scripture which perfectly explains his appeal to the natural and psychological features and neglects the facts that present themselves as spiritual.

    Because of this he misses the truths which present themselves from a spiritual perspective and vehemently fights against them when they are presented as at least as valid as any natural or psychological point of view.

    So when he introduces the kinds of vain philosophies outlined in his arguments on this thread, and they are readily dismissed and refuted through a very plain articulation of scripture, of course, he rebels and goes deeper into a philosophical form of theology which completely negates the spiritual side of what the Bible declares.

    So angels, demons, heaven and hell, justice and judgment, sin and righteousness take a distant back seat, and, in some cases, are completely eliminated from his Christian world view.

    Thus evil is represented by a physical, political and psychological entity and there is no spiritual connection whatsoever to the way in which evil is organised systematically.

    And his evil is constrained by time and incident, and not an outflow of malevolence originating from a spiritual uprising against God, but as the result of an evolutionary process undefined.

    So he, in fact, despiritualises everything, and brings it into the dimension of the seen, the known and experienced by the senses and physical.

    It is scientifically discerned and not spiritually understood.

  212. So in Bone’s world, there is no deceiver, no tempter, no adversary, no accuser, it is all in our minds, sin evolved with the natural development of man over millions of years, Adam never existed, Genesis is an allegory, God did not create the heavens and the earth, it evolved over billions of years, there is no recompense for sin, sinners are either universally accepted regardless of their sin, or dissolved painlessly and without payment, there is no judgment, no Lake of Fire for the devil and his hosts, and no last days coming again of Christ for the Church.

    I dunno. That’s starting to look like another gospel to me.

  213. Here’s an interesting article I read this morning that addresses many of the things we have discussed here. It is very long, but well worth the read.

    WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE BOOK OF JOB? BEWARE THE “JOB-EFFECT!”
    by Richard Murray

    The STROBE-EFFECT describes the disorienting effect from “snapshot” vision through the use of flickering lights or vibrating shutters. We have all experienced the choppy and confusing effects of moving through strobe-lighted areas, whether it be at a fair, dance, party, concert or class demonstration. Basically, we stop seeing reality in a smooth and continuous flow. Instead, we see reality solely in snapshots through alternating flashes of light and dark. We see briefly, then are blinded briefly —- light, dark, light, dark, light, dark.

    We are left unbalanced, unsure and confused. We see some things briefly, but we lose the visual feelings of momentum, flow and movement. These isolated “snippets of seeing” leave us with sensations of disconnectedness. Isolation breeds isolation. Isolated perception results in isolated thinking, isolated feelings and isolated being.

    In the Spirit realm, there is a similar dynamic that confuses believers into low levels of faith, hope and confidence toward God. They become tentative in their spiritual walk because for every INSIGHT OF LIGHT they receive toward God, it is quickly blotted over by an INSIGHT OF DARKNESS. They are left isolated and shrugging their shoulders about God’s nature because they simply don’t see God in a continuous stream of light and love. Their image of God changes every other thought. God brings good, God brings evil. God heals me, God afflicts me. God is love, God is wrath. God protects me, God attacks me. The end result is a double-minded man who, as James 1:8 says, can receive nothing from God.

    This poor man becomes a spiritual petal-plucker who wastes his time alternatively lamenting and wondering about God, “He loves me, He loves me not.” This can be easily seen in the Psalms, where the frustrated David says in one verse that God has abandoned him, but then in the next verse that God’s love is steadfast and never ending. Many of the Psalms read this way, not to mention many other Old Testament passages which quickly alternate God’s infinite love with God’s infinite wrath.

    But instead of calling the spiritual version of this dynamic the STROBE-EFFECT, I want to call it the JOB-EFFECT. This is because this way of double-minded thinking derives largely from the Book of Job WHENEVER it is read without Holy Ghost illumination. Job is a wonderful book when it is read in a wonderful way. But when read with natural thinking, wrathful intent and little faith, the book of Job MUTATES into a monstrous book which greatly deforms the image of God. I want to share some interpretive keys to Job which will remove all “strobing” from our understanding of God’s goodness.

    KEY NUMBER ONE: JOB WAS CLUELESS ABOUT GOD’S TRUE NATURE The Book of Job at its root is not about what we know about God’s nature. Rather, it exposes what we DON’T know about God. Job is often cited as a righteous man whose conduct and attitude toward God we are to imitate. Many say, “Look how noble Job bears up under the hard hand of God.” Others say, “Job loved God so much, even though God slew his sons, robbed his riches, afflicted his health and crushed his happiness. If only we could approach suffering the way Job did then we would be righteous too.”

    WRONG!!! If I presented you a 42 chapter book explaining my life, and filled with my thoughts and opinions of God, and THEN in the last chapter admitted that in the previous 41 chapters I really knew nothing about God and was almost entirely mistaken, you would be furious with me. You sure wouldn’t take anything I said in those first 41 chapters seriously.

    Well, this is EXACTLY what Job did. In the first 40 chapters, Job and his friends made some 74 false accusations about the nature of God which ALL essentially blamed God as the wrathful source of all of Job’s afflictions. But, Job himself admitted at the very end of the Book that for the previous FORTY CHAPTERS, he essentially knew NOTHING about God’s nature. “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once I have spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further…. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered THAT I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” Job 40:3-5; 42:3.

    Job THOUGHT he knew God well DURING all the dialogues through the first forty chapters. But at the end of the matter, he repented for what he and his friends had previously thought and said about God in chapters 1-40. First, he admitted his own previous opinions about God were wrong, as quoted above. He recognized that God was “too wonderful” for his previous theology to rightly understand. Then, he summarized his sin as follows: “I have heard of You by the HEARING of the ear, but NOW my eyes SEE you. Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6. He THEN prayed for his three friends who did not speak of the Lord that “what is right” during the previous 40 chapters. Job 42:7-10. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job….”

    Beloved, do you see? To take the first 40 chapters of Job as reliable theology on the nature of God and the problem of evil on any level is absurd. The point of Job is that men in their natural thinking have NO IDEA of the dynamics of God, Satan, good and evil. The message of Job is NOT to follow in Job’s footsteps, at least until chapter 40. Job did have a righteous appreciation and reverence of God throughout the whole book (Job 1:1, 8, 22; 2:3). BUT he was woefully ignorant of the Lord’s flawless character AND Satan’s role as the destroyer. He had righteously believed God based on what he had heard, or been taught in other words, BUT only at the end of the Book did he actually see, perceive and EXPERIENCE the true essence of the Lord.

    What was the newfound essence of God revealed at the end of Job? What is it that Job perceived which drove him to repent over his previously poor theology about the nature of God and the problem of evil? What drove him to his repentant knees? Simple. He EXPERIENCED the presence of God, perhaps for the first time in his life. He had heard “about” God from others, had righteously “believed” what he heard, and had even dutifully sacrificed “toward” and prayed “to” God. But Job had never been “WITH” God in His immediate and intimate presence.

    Through the final scene of the Book, Job richly EXPERIENCED the presence and love of God as a hero, his hero who did not bring Job his captivity, but instead turned Job’s captivity into blessing. Job saw God as the lover and deliverer of his soul. James 5:11 instructs us to focus on Job’s end, not his beginning. Job’s end saw him repentant and richly restored twofold in all he had previously lost. If we focus on Job’s beginning, which describes his suffering and his “noble statements” of “bearing up” under God’s “firm hand,” we will make the mother of all mistakes. We will glorify men and not God. God never gets the glory for sending disasters, death and destructions upon men as the beginning of Job describes. Men, not God, are the only ones glorified when such statements are made as Job makes in the following passages:

    “And Job said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21.

    “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil.” Job 2:10.

    “Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet Thou dost destroy me.” Job 10:8.

    “For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again Thou sheweth Thyself marvelous upon me.” Job 10:16.

    “Are not my days few? Cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little.” Job 10:20.

    “Thou art become cruel to me: with Thy strong hand thou opposest Thyself against me” Job 31:21.

    “For destruction from God is a terror to me” Job 31:23.

    “But now He hath made me weary: Thou hast made desolate all my company. And Thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face. He teareth me in His wrath, who hateth me: He gnasheth upon me with His teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth His eyes upon me.” Job 16:7-9.

    “He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.” Job 30:19.

    I could go on and on with Job’s wrong statements about God, not to mention those also made by his misguided friends, but I think the above quotes offer a good sampling. The error is the same —- God is the bringer of affliction, the bringer of evil, the bringer of disasters. This is totally contradicted by New Testament theology, specifically James 1:13-18, which says God doesn’t use “evil” to “tempt” men and to “let no man say” He does. The Greek word in this passage for “tempt” is “periazo” and means “to test, entice, discipline, prove, tempt or try.”(Strong’s #3985).

    Thus, God doesn’t test man with evil, entice man with evil, discipline man with evil, prove man with evil, tempt man with evil, or try man with evil. And let no man say God DOES do these things, not EVEN Job or the author of the Book named after him. This James passage renders Job’s “literal” reading IMPOSSIBLE to the extent that it “appears” to claim God DOES use EVIL by “testing” and “trying” Job’s faith in some sort of arbitrary and perverted cosmic bet made with Satan in which God supposedly admits to Satan, “thou MOVED me against him (Job), to destroy him WITHOUT CAUSE.” Job 2:3. Satan MOVES God to destroy men WITHOUT CAUSE? No way! Never! That is blasphemous. Whatever Job means, it can’t mean that. Job can’t violate the James 1:13-18 passage. It can’t violate Jesus. Jesus always trumps Job. New Covenant inspiration COMPELS us to reread Job and renovate its primitive and literal meaning WHENEVER it fails to conform to the nature and character of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

    I even grant you that these Job passages quoted above were heartfelt sentiments that both Job and his friends were sincerely feeling, BUT they were sincerely wrong. Let me give a modern day parallel. There is a well known Christian author who was paralyzed in a diving accident as a teenager. She never tires of attributing the accident as coming from the hand of God in order to keep her from leading a sexually promiscuous lifestyle.

    WHAT? God crippled her as a teen in order to keep her from sinning sexually? That is outrageous! Did Jesus ever bless or protect any body by first crippling them or afflicting them with leprosy? NO! Aren’t there some other ways God works chastity other than breaking teenage spines? How does this paint the goodness of God? She looks like a victim saint, while God looks like a unknowable monster. She even asks people not to pray for her healing, but instead to pray that she know God better. Sounds noble, and I am sure she is heartfelt in her beliefs, just as Job was, BUT again, who gets the glory here?

    I hear so many Calvinists paint this woman as a modern day Job who is a champion of faith and theology. God is left holding the bag of cruelty and evil. This is why atheism flourishes. Who can love a crippler of children? My heart aches for her and for those who follow her. As well intentioned as they may all be, they are the blind leading the blind into a faithless ditch. Time and time again this misguided woman preaches from the Book of Job, over and over and over. Audiences weep and weep and weep. And faith is weakened and weakened and weakened.

    Trace the pastors and teachers who glorify this woman’s theology and you will know who to avoid if you are seeking the “captivity-turning” power of God. Bless them, but reject their teachings. They need to have an EXPERIENCE of God’s presence, power and goodness, just like Job, which will lead them to repent. Then they need to put their hands over their mouth and stop talking nonsense. Then, God will turn THEIR captivity and all will be well.

    KEY NUMBER TWO: JOB WAS CLUELESS ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF SATAN Job the man never mentioned Satan. He was completely unaware of Satan’s role in the murder of his children, the murder of his servants, the killing of his flocks, the destruction of his wealth, and the affliction of his health. Job directly attributed all these acts of violence and oppression solely to the hand of the Lord. Job NEVER uttered the word Satan or Devil in the entire Book of Job.

    We now know the reason. Old Testament saints had a dim and distorted view of Satan. This is discussed at length in the chapter entitled THE FORGOTTEN KEY TO THE OLD TESTAMENT, which includes numerous reference citations. The Old Testament saints, that is the ones who even knew Satan existed, believed that the Devil was a servant angel of God performing an unpleasant but necessary job for the Lord. This job was essentially to test, tempt, judge, punish and eventually kill all men.

    Satan was NOT seen by Old Testament believers as an ENEMY of God, or a REBEL leader OPPOSED to the Kingdom of Heaven on EVERY level. Rather, he was perceived as an enforcing angel fulfilling his role in the Lord’s courts. He was known by the Jews in various Old Testament passages as the Death Angel, the Destroyer, the Tempter and even on occasion the Angel of the Lord, BUT he was always acting at the express command of God.

    In short, Old Testament theology did not see Satan as EVIL. Jesus’ response to this notion? NO! WRONG! UNTRUE! MISGUIDED! SATAN IS PURE EVIL —- THE FATHER OF LIES, A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN, THE GREAT DRAGON, THE SERPENT, THE GOD OF THIS WORLD, YOUR ADVERSARY, A ROARING LION SEEKING TO DEVOUR YOU, THE EVIL ONE, THE THIEF, THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR. Jesus came to reveal both His Father’s Kingdom of Light AND Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness. In fact, Jesus came to DESTROY the works of the devil, NOT to approve them. 1 John 3:8. Jesus and the New Testament reveal that there is a cosmic rebellion and that the earth is a battlefield in which we are soldiers in constant need of spiritual armor and weapons of righteousness in our right hand and in our left.

    So, where did this leave Job? Well, it left him clueless that the enemy of his soul was Satan. It left him uninformed, unprepared and unarmed. Job never once resisted Satan, never once rebuked Satan and never once put on “the full armor of God” THAT he would be “able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13. Job was completely clueless as to the need for spiritual warfare. He didn’t even know he had an enemy. He thought it all came directly from God, BOTH good and evil. In this ignorance, Job was even unaware that God had surrounded him with a protective “hedge” that Satan could not penetrate. Job 1:10. Once that hedge was lowered, Job was truly helpless and hopeless because his hidden enemy was assailing him from every angle, an enemy of which he was ENTIRELY ignorant.

    I am sure we would all agree that the New Testament WAY is NOT to sit passively by while obvious Satanic attacks are destroying our children, friends, finances and health. The New Testament way is to STAND and CONTEND against Satan, whom we are commanded to “resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). BUT, how could Job “resist” and “rebuke” Satan, as Jesus did in Matthew 17:18, if he wasn’t even aware that he existed as an enemy of God? And more importantly, why oh why would we ever paint Job as a Scriptural model to follow when it comes to rightly responding to personal disasters? Jesus is our model for combat, not Job. Jesus IS the “whole armor of God” —- living armor always ready to “quench ALL the fiery darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16.

    So, what does the Book of Job ACCURATELY tell us about the nature of Satan? First, it confirms Satan’s sphere of influence is HERE as he travels “to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Job 1:7; 2:2. The New Testament confirms this when it calls Satan “the God of this world…. and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19 (NASB).

    Second, the Book of Job confirms that Satan operates destructions in the earth by using three deadly weapons —- MEN (1:13-15, 17), NATURE (1:16, 18-19), and SICKNESS (2:7). Satan first inspired violent men, the Sabeans and Chaldeans, to murder Job’s servants and flocks by the sword. Satan then manipulated nature, “great wind” and “fire from heaven” (lightning), to kill Job’s children as well as the remaining servants and sheep. Satan then finally infected Job with “boils” from head to toe. The New Testament confirms that Satan is able as “the Prince of the power of the air” to influence nature to try to kill (Ephesians 2:2; Matthew 8:26). Satan also entered into Judas, Pharisees and mobs of stoners seeking to provoke them to kill Jesus at various times. Finally, Jesus cast out thousands of demonic spirits of infirmity during His earthly ministry.

    Third, the Book of Job rightly describes that Satan operates all his DESTRUCTIONS only “OUTSIDE” of the PRESENCE OF GOD. Job 1:12; 2:6-7. Please review the chapter entitled TRACING THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD for a more in-depth discussion of this dynamic. Where the Lord is MANIFESTLY present, Satan cannot destroy or even penetrate the “hedge” of Holy Ghost protection surrounding the righteous. Obviously, the Lord is OMNIPRESENT, which means He is invisibly present everywhere at the same time. But, God is ONLY MANIFESTLY PRESENT where faith is operating to convert and catalyze God’s available omnipresence UNTO OPEN MANIFESTATION.

    In Mark 6, Jesus went back to Nazareth ready to do all the mighty works of God. BUT their unbelief “quenched” Jesus’ power to OPENLY APPEAR and MANIFEST, “And He could there do no mighty works.” God was fully present there in the person of Jesus, but that presence was not openly manifesting the power of God for all to see and encounter. And Jesus “marveled at their unbelief.”

    The point here is that Satan only steals, kills or destroys where Jesus’ MANIFEST PRESENCE has been rejected, neglected, or unselected. “Quenched away,” in other words. Here, the Lord’s remaining OMNIPRESENCE will marvel, just as Jesus did, at the unbelief which keeps the Kingdom of Heaven from fully manifesting NOW into the current situation for all to see. All across the world right now, the Holy Spirit is marveling at the collective unbelief which hinders Him from fully demonstrating His loving power and presence to mankind. When Peter says we can “hasten the day of the Lord,” he is acknowledging that our faith can enable the will of God to manifest more quickly upon the earth as it is already manifest in Heaven.

    Fourth, the Book of Job is correct in that Satan does accuse us in the Heavenly courts. Job 1:10-11; 2:4-5. The New Testament confirms this in Revelation 12:10, where Satan is described as the “accuser of our brethren,” who is to be “cast DOWN, which accused them before our God day and night.” There is some sort of courtroom imagery going on here, but Job omits one very important participant —- Jesus. “And if any man sin, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,”(1 John 2:1) which is to say we all have a DEFENDER, a champion, a hero who offers us protection in the Heavenly courts. Jesus demonstrated this to Peter when He told Him, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not…” (Luke 22:31-32). Do you see? Jesus “lives to intercede” and protect us, that our faith will fail not. If we pay diligent heed to our “so great a salvation,” we will receive the divine strengthening of Jesus. But, “if we neglect our so great a salvation, how shall we escape” the attacks of Satan. Hebrews 2:3. Pretty clear isn’t it?

    So what was the Book of Job missing in its description of the Heavenly courtroom scenes in the first two chapters? Most importantly, it was missing the protective presence of Jesus which has always been at the right hand of the Father, always seeking to “hedge” us with His divine presence. Job had the “hedge” but did not recognize that it was the “living hedge” of Jesus seeking to protect and surround him with divine favor. Satan our accuser versus Jesus our advocate. The Book of Job does not properly convey this dynamic.

    Moreover, the Book of Job when “literally” read has the wrong tone of the interactions between God and Satan. This is because ALL Old Testament authors, including the Book of Job’s, did not see Satan as an enemy devil
    but rather as a servant angel. Does anybody really believe that God arbitrarily chose to lower Job’s hedge so that He could win some friendly wager with Satan?

    Does anybody really believe that the dead “letter” of Job 2:3 is accurate when it says that Satan “moved God” against Job, “to destroy him WITHOUT cause…”? Likewise, is it conceivable that God would ever say to Satan, “All that Job hath is in thy power,” as stated in Job 1:12 or that, “Behold, Job is in thy hand,” as stated in Job 2:6? Certainly not. The first two chapters of Job give the appearance of WAY too much accommodation and cooperation between God and Satan. The New Testament does not give Satan the place or power to EVER “move” God to “destroy” men’s lives “without cause.” Jesus knows better than that and so do we.

    Deep breath. Honestly, can your heart imagine such arbitrary abandonment on the part of Jesus? Jesus would never turn us over to Satan to win some kind of perverted cosmic bet. NEVER! Is that New Testament love as described in 1 Corinthians 13? We certainly might turn OURSELVES over to Satan’s power through our neglect or disbelief, which would then partially “quench away” Jesus’ protective hedge. Then Satan would attempt to fill the vacuum with his destructions. But the moment we start repenting and believing again, the hedge returns to repair, renew, and restore.

    And what are the benefits of that hedge? Let’s hear what Satan says to God about the “hedge,” because this may be the only absolutely true thing Satan ever said in the Scriptures: “Hast Thou not made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Job 1:10. Again, that hedge is Jesus. So the question is this —- what action on the part of Job caused Satan to be able to penetrate that hedge? That is our next key.

    KEY NUMBER THREE: JOB WAS CLUELESS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF HIS OWN FEAR

    The author of Job did not have a New Testament understanding to perceive the real reason Job’s protective “hedge” came down. So, instead, he just attributed it to the mysterious will of God as it was “moved” by Satan to “destroy” Job “without cause.” There was a cause which gave Satan access, but it wasn’t God. It was the same cause that has always empowered Satan to wreak his destructions in this fallen world. That cause is the mother of all Satanic power. What is it? FEAR!

    There is a reason Jesus said “fear not, only believe” to Jairus in Luke 8:50. Fear gives Satan access to steal, kill and destroy. Hebrews 2:14-15 suggests that Satan keeps mankind “all their lifetimes subject to bondage” through “FEAR of death.” William James famously said, “Fear of death is the worm at the center of the core of every fear.” “God has not given us the spirit of FEAR; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. Isaiah tells us “thou shall be FAR from oppression; for thou shalt NOT fear” (54:14). Paul tells us we have “received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father,” and thereby have “NOT received the spirit of bondage AGAIN to FEAR.” Romans 8:14-15. Jesus came to deliver us FROM fear TO faith.

    The presence of “fear” in the human heart invites and incubates Satanic attacks. The New Testament is clear that WE are the ones who give access to Satan. Ephesians 4:27; John 14:30; 1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:16. FEAR is the primary access. This works both on individual and corporate levels. Sometimes our fear gives Satan access to afflict us individually. Other times our fear gives Satan access to afflict others nearby. Just like firsthand smoke can kill the one smoking, secondhand smoke can kill those nearby who inadvertently inhale. So too with fear. It not only corrupts us, but those around us.

    So, how do we know Job had deep fear issues? Two major reasons. First, he admitted he did. “For what I fear has come upon me. And what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, and I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.” Job 3:25-26(NASB). This is perhaps the most accurate description of general anxiety ever given. No rest. No safety. Pure turmoil. Obsessive worrying. Voicing fears of worse case scenarios. And what happened? WHAT he feared came upon him in full force.

    The second evidence that Job had major fear issues concerned his anxiety over his children. Job 1:4-5 paints a disturbing picture. Job was so insecure regarding his children’s relationship with God that he actually FEARED the following: “It MAY be that my sons have sinned, and CURSED God in their hearts. Thus Job did CONTINUALLY.” What a horrible thought to CONTINUALLY struggle with. Job was obsessed with the fear that his children were secretly cursing God. No wonder Job had no rest, no inner peace, no security. Job offered continual daily sacrifices for his adult children because of his fear, NOT because of his faith toward God. And what happened? What Job most feared eventually came upon him —- his children were killed, as well as his servants and flocks. His finances were plundered and his health broken. Fear draws oppression like honey draws flies.

    The above passages show that Job’s fear opened the door for all the Satanic attacks. Fear diminished the “Jesus Hedge.” Satan attacked. Satan destroyed. Job initially got bad counsel. Job later got good counsel from Elihu. Job then experienced the presence of God. Job quickly repented, prayed for his errant friends, after which he was fully restored. Doubly restored in fact.

    At the beginning of the Book, Job had no clue that Satan was an enemy of God OR that Satan feeds on the fear of men OR that he himself had profound “fear strongholds” which empowered Satan. No wonder Job was essentially helpless and hopeless during the first 40 chapters of the Book. The New Testament gives much instruction on fear, faith, and resisting evil by rebuking Satan. Sadly, Job knew none of this New Covenant wisdom. And it cost him, but praise God, only for a season. The Book of Job explains why we needed Jesus to show us a better way of overcoming evil powers. “There is no fear in love; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18. Jesus was made perfect in love because he had no fear. In contrast, Job was in torment, especially concerning his children, because he had not allowed perfect love to cast out HIS fear. Jesus trumps Job.

    KEY NUMBER FOUR: JOB’S FRIENDS’ OPINIONS WERE ALL CLUELESS EXCEPT ELIHU Amazingly, only ONE person in the whole Book of Job came away unscathed as a true prophet of God’s nature. It’s not Job, who wrongly said “Behold, GOD will slay me; I have no hope: Nevertheless I will maintain my ways before Him.” Job 13:15(ASV). It’s not Job’s wife, who cruelly said to her husband, “Curse God and die.” Job 2:9. It’s not Job’s three friends, who “did NOT speak the thing that is right” about the Lord. Job 42:7-9.

    No, the only person who actually spoke righteously in the first 40 chapters was Elihu. He was the youngest of all who spoke. He was the last to speak. He was the only speaker God never rebuked as wrong. In fact, his great speech in Chapters 32-37 prophetically ushered in the presence of the Lord in Chapter 38. This is what a prophetic utterance should do —- connect the audience with the manifest presence of God.

    Before we look at the heart of what Elihu said, let’s quickly summarize the erroneous “bottom lines” of both Job and his three friends —- Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. It’s very simple really. Job’s three friends all believed Job DESERVED the afflictions God sent BECAUSE of various theological reasons. God, so they said, was right to oppress Job, either because of Job’s open or hidden sins. God, they believed, would not have sent wrath unless it was deserved on some level. The fact that God sent it meant that Job deserved it, regardless of how righteous Job’s life appeared to be on the surface.

    In contrast, Job’s main argument was that he didn’t deserve the destructions that came. He believed himself to be righteous and undeserving of the afflictions he suffered during this period. Most scholars believe that the whole book of Job took place over a nine month period of time.

    So, the bottom line of Job’s three friends was that Job deserved his suffering. The bottom line of Job was that he didn’t deserve his sufferings. But, the bottom line of Elihu was this —- “Touching the Almighty… He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: HE DOES NOT AFFLICT.” Job 37:23. Do you see? Job and his three friends focused on whether or not man deserved the suffering that comes in life. Elihu, however, focused solely on the GOODNESS of God. Not every thing Elihu said is perfect New Testament theology, but he largely focused on the key point —- God is good, God is powerful, God is merciful and God is fair. Elihu tenderly noted, “But none sayeth, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night?” His point was that everybody was so busy either complaining or explaining Job’s life away, that nobody was actually seeking the Lord’s good presence to set all things right. His theology was simply that GOD DOES NOT AFFLICT!

    This same dynamic occurred in John chapter 9 concerning the man born blind. The crowd was all about assigning blame for the poor man’s suffering. They wanted Jesus to enter their discussion by getting Him to assign blame for the man’s blindness to EITHER the man’s own sin or that of his parents. Jesus refused. Instead, He deflected the issue to God. His response was basically, “Neither is responsible for this, nonetheless let the glory of God be revealed!” Elihu did the exact same thing. How different our lives would be if we did the same thing.

    When we start ascribing strength to God, He appears and delivers us from all evil. But, when we ascribe strength to evil sufferings, or to the afflictions of the world, or to what we do or don’t deserve, we become Job-like instead of Jesus-like. Don’t get me wrong, Job was righteous, far more at the end of the Book than the beginning, but even at the start he had some admirable qualities. Job was a righteous man who was sincere in his beliefs, but sincerely wrong. Nonetheless, James 5:11 does commend Job’s “endurance,” so that begs the question, in light of Job’s 40 chapters of “bad theology,” what did Job “do right” for those 40 chapters to earn a commendation for his “endurance?”

    To his great credit, Job did not “sin with his lips,” or “attribute folly to God” by cursing God as evil, even though his wife wanted him to do just that. Job 1:22; 2:9-10. Had Job said “God is evil” or “I curse God for His foolishness” or “God is a fool,” then Job would have sinned with his lips. Job remained faithful to this concept: God knows best. Job did “endure” great sufferings without caving in to cursing God. This at least allowed him to remain open to repentance and restoration when it presented itself. Had he cursed or rejected God, then Satan might have been able to totally destroy his life and faith. Job did hang in there until God could rescue and bless him.

    However, Job lacked knowledge about Satan and the problem of evil. This gave him a huge blind spot which Satan exploited. And exploited. And exploited. Job had no answers for his pain, other than that God sent it. This caused Job to then self-justify rather than God-magnify. Job 32:1-3; 40:1-2, 6-8. It sent him deeper and deeper into his great sadness. But, when Elihu suggested that GOD DOES NOT AFFLICT, the dawn of a new spiritual day came to Job’s heart. In came the presence of a good God, and out went the destructions of an evil angel.

    CONCLUSION: GOD DOES NOT AFFLICT
    The JOB-EFFECT is over. Our eyes have now been opened to the always abiding light, movement and momentum of God’s goodness. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17. No more shuddering or flickering understanding of His goodness. No more shoulder shrugging. No more fear. No more helplessness. No more BLAMING God for evil, suffering or disasters. Satan is ALWAYS the killer and accuser, not Jesus. We can trust Jesus —- never to harm us, always to arm us —- with weapons of righteousness in our left hand and in our right. 2 Corinthians 6:7. Be of good cheer! Jesus has OVERCOME the world, not Job! OUR faith in THAT fact is what allows US to overcome our world. Jesus trumps Job! Job is not the last word on the problem of suffering. Jesus is! The last word and the first, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end! He is our HERO. Take heart! Just like He did for Peter, though Satan desires to sift us, Jesus has prayed for us that our faith won’t fail. And it won’t!

  214. So if there was no Satan there would be no persecution, no holocaust?

    Rubbish.

    I’m at work now.

    I shall continue exorcising Satan the demonic entity from the Bible tonite.

  215. Whilst Bones is getting ready for his great exposé, here’s some satire on satan worship as an interlude from lunacy!

  216. Interesting read on Job. I think Job’s a fascinating book, because how people interpret it shows their whole understanding of God – and maybe life, the universe and everything as they say.

    Bones, I look forward to your next installments.

    But don’t keep me in too much suspense re the question of whether Jesus and Paul believed in demons and Satan.

    My own observation of all this is that ever since theologians have been telling people that you can replace demons/devil with evil or bad stuff or negative thinking, miracles stories are all to make a point – and then the natural progression – that God and heaven refers to good and happiness, that those churches began to empty.

    Because in the end, why would the average Joe struggle to understand the Bible with all the effort involved with linguistics, history etc when they are told it’s just a story.

    No wonder people opt for Star Wars and Harry Potter.

    Esp when you can get the same good/evil love themes but don’t have to worry so much about sexual morality issues.

    Liberal theologians have produced liberal churches, which are slowly dying. Just go to Europe where it all started. Nice old churches with no active members.

    But, I’ll still read your stuff Bones.

  217. “Admit it Steve, youre fascinated. And your learning new things about the scriptures.”

    Now you sound like a seducer.

    Isn’t there something about seducing spirits …..

  218. Conservatives should use more satire. The dark side uses it all the time, but it means that impressionable young minds in the UUS just get brainwashed. Esp around election time. As Klavan shows, the dark side is actually much easier to lampoon because – they’re crazy!

  219. Here is the one reason there can be no devil with power to command minions who rules over this world. If there was, then God would not be God – God would not be sovereign ruler over the whole universe and outside it.

    I’m not particularly interested in whether Paul or Jesus believed in the Devil or not…I don’t base my beliefs upon what the ancients believed…and yes, I know, I’m going to get howled down…Jesus was God, if he believed in a devil and demons so should I…sorry, Jesus also believed the world was flat – but I’m not going to (“[T]he devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them” (Matthew 6:13)…this is only possible from a flat world point of view.

    “This is he, with horns and hoof,
    The parsons call the devil;
    They tell us he lives in a sultry place
    Where ghosts and imps all revel.
    They say that he wears a great long tail,
    And carries a three-pronged fork,
    That he sometimes leaves his sultry home,
    And through the earth doth walk.
    They say he can assume with ease
    The garb of an angel bright,
    And then, for a change, he takes the form
    Of a roaring lion at night:
    That he’s power to act and do as he likes,
    Be in fifty places at once;
    And that to fulfil his evil designs,
    Can be as wise as a sage, or a dunce.”

    What does the Bible say is the great enemy of God? Is it some fallen angel? Is it some mysterious spirit being trying to undo God’s work in the earth? No. The Bible describes only one stubborn enemy of the purpose of God-the human heart and mind, the will of men and women everywhere to satisfy their own lusts, and selfish desires.

    In Jesus rebuke to Peter: “Get thee behind me, Satan, for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23, R.V.). Jesus called Peter a Satan – there is no way Jesus would have called him that given what we tend to understand of the word these days. OF course not, Jesus was referring to Peter’s human nature.

    He had said much the same to the Jews who were rejecting him:

    “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts (or desires) of your father you will do” (John 8:44, A.V.).
    We have only to ask: What are “lusts” associated with throughout the Bible? The answer is clear: it is always with human nature.

    The devil is, as always, in the detail boys…there is no being named Satan, there are no minions running around possessing people and requiring exorcism, and any experiences that seem to indicate that there are indeed these demons are entirely explicable from a psychological point of view…same thing that gets people to fall over at pente churches gets them to act possessed…ever wonder why its mostly pente or charismatic churches that ‘host’ possessed people?
    Recently I watched a TV show by a guy called Derren Brown who totally convinced a group of university students that they had made contact with a dead girl, ‘Jane’, who had suicided and Derren in fact got one of the students to ‘channel’ ‘Jane’ and she even sounded different and talked about different things that only Jane should have known about.
    Only thing was…complete hoax…but during the whole thing the students were convinced that it was all real – you could not avhe convinced any of them that the Ouija board or séance had not been real, nor could you have convinced any of them that the student was not channeling ‘Jane’

  220. @Greg

    So basically you are saying that you know more than Jesus. Hmmm. Interesting. And, by the way, Jesus didn’t think the earth was “float”, or flat for that matter. Neither did the other authors of the bible. Still, those of you who are desperate to prove your own intellectual superiority to others don’t seem to be concerned with details such as facts and truth.

  221. @Q

    “@Raymond. That was quite an good piece of rhetoric back there.”

    Thanks for that! Notice that Bones has completely ignored it? He does that. Anything that destroys his arguments gets ignored while he fixates and obsesses over minute details that are completely irrelevant to the actual debate. Speaks volumes about him doesn’t it?

  222. @Greg and Bones

    Why do you two bother continuing with the whole Christianity thing? It is obvious that you have liberalised the whole bible and it’s core doctrine so much that you’re basically left with nothing. Why bother? If you don’t believe in Satan and Hell, what’s the point of being saved? It does nothing for you. Your lives are both messes, your fruit stinks, why not just admit you’re not born again and save yourselves all the bother of trying to justify your unbelief?

  223. Raymond, are you married?

    If so are you married because you do;nt want to be single or are you married becuase you love your wife?

    I’m a Christian because I love God and I experience my relatoinship with GOd through the life death and resurection of Jesus…not becuase I’m scared of the boogie man

  224. Your lives are both messes, your fruit stinks

    Explain yourself? How on earth do you claim to know anything of my life or the fruit of my faith? You’re treading on dangerous ground there Raymond

  225. I’ve never told you or anyone else here that my life is a mess and that my fruit stinks.

    Point it out for me Raymond. What is it I’ve said that makes you feel this is something you can say of me

  226. @Greg

    I am on my iPad at work, so I can’t find every instance off hand, and I don’t want to go into specifics because it wouldn’t be right, but you have told us several times of your struggles with your physical and mental health, and with things happening within your family.

    . As far as the fruit is concerned, you’re angry, abusive, prone to outbursts of swearing at those who disagree with you, and you have based your opinions of the bible upon worldly philosophies and ideas rather than upon spiritual truths and upon faith that the entire bible is God-breathed and is the truth. Not to mention that you have more faith in science than the word of God, and I think I have pretty much covered it.

  227. So, becuase I suffer from depression at times, and my sister suicided that means my life is a mess?

    This is how you argue and debate – by attacking me?

    Seems OI win the arguemnet!

  228. Essentailly all you are saying as far as fruit is concerned is that my faith is based upon reason and intelligence as opposed to yours which is based upon blindly accepting all you are force fed from te pulpit adn by your spiritual leaders – whcih is fine if that’s the way you like it. I just don;t like it like that adn won;t lead a life of faith based upon somthing I can’t intillectually accept.

  229. AND, mopst importantly you refer to my depressed state pre ‘melt down’ as being fruit of my character. I think you’ll find that since September not an insult nor a character assasinatoin has left my fingers to live in cyberland…nor has it in this case – where in the past you would have revcieved a mouthfull, at this point all I can do is feel sorry for you

  230. My LIfe a mess?

    highly paid job working 4 days per week
    family that loves me
    worship leader at church
    member of synod for our parish
    president of P&C
    studying life coaching and will be starting my own business next year
    called upon to act in leadership positions in church and community
    wider familyt look to me for guidance (yes I know..sad for them)

    yes, I see what you mean

  231. What an arrogant thing to say. I know plenty of satan believing christians who are in a far bigger mess than me. not that you know a skerrick about me or the work i have done for the lord over the years. its comments like that that make you seem like a tosser

  232. actually come to thinka about it most of my fundamentalist friends live screwed up lives. Not that that their fault. or satan’s.

  233. To be quite honest with you and Steve, I find the idea of believing in the devil and his minions to be a very kindergarten type of engagement with the spiritual.

    Rudolf Bultmann wrote, in his essay in Kerugma and Myth (p. 5): “It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of daemons and spirits”.

    That is basically where I stand, I don’t want to dissuade you from your acceptance of such things, but I certainly can’t accept them, and they play no important part in my faith.

    That seems to be the problem for the likes of Steve and Ray…because they seem to have a faith that requires the demonic to be a reality; they can’t comprehend a solid faith where the existence of such is of as much importance as the existence of the three bears and goldilocks.

    If you accept the literal existence of ‘the devil’ then you are at pains to be able to determine in what manner it can be true to say that God can’t abide evil in his presence, since it is seemingly apparent form the story of Job that ‘the devil’ has free access to the presence of God. IF God can abide evil in his presence then by what means can it be said that Christ needed to die for our sins to pay the penalty because God can’t abide sin in his presence?

    You see the quandary? Probably not. But there you have it in any case.

  234. @Greg

    “So, becuase I suffer from depression at times, and my sister suicided that means my life is a mess?”

    I forgot about your sister, and she certainly wasn’t figuring in my assessment of your life, but, in short, yes, because you suffer depression at times, not to mention other things you have mentioned, these are an indication to me that you are living a life far short of what you should be living, and I believe this is because of your low view of the bible, and of who Jesus is. I have many friends and family who are living free from severe depression because they understand who God is, they hear His voice, and they know Him to be their healer. One friend was living in a mental ward, yet now is a missionary changing the lives of thousands overseas, because she took God at His word.

    “you are saying as far as fruit is concerned is that my faith is based upon reason and intelligence as opposed to yours which is based upon blindly accepting all you are force fed from te pulpit adn by your spiritual leaders –”

    This statement is incredibly arrogant and insulting. You are saying that everyone who does not have a worldly, flesh-based “faith” is a stupid sheep who cannot think for themselves and has to rely upon someone else to know and understand what the bible is saying. Your pride is elevating yourself above those who actually believe what the bible says is true. Contrary to what your supposed superior intellect would have you believe, it actually takes reason and logic to understand that the bible is true. Take a look at Bones’ feeble attempt to explain away what is actually very clear in the text. His “explanation” is too stupid for words, yet you and he crow about how smart you two are, and how dumb everyone else is. And then you have the stinking hide to say that Jesus was too dumb to understand that the earth is actually round!! Dill!!

    “I just don;t like it like that adn won;t lead a life of faith based upon somthing I can’t intillectually accept.”

    And there is your problem right there! Your intellect is being elevated above God and His truth. The bible calls this foolishness. In short, you are worshiping your own knowledge. Does the word Gnosticism ring a bell? Of course, because you know far more than the bible, I know that you’ll ignore this statement, just like you do every other statement and scripture that offends your “intellect”. That’s what fools do. They think they are better than everyone else.

    “you refer to my depressed state pre ‘melt down’ as being fruit of my character. ”

    You haven’t changed very much. Your anger is simmering just below the surface. Take a look at your response to my statement above, and other posts from Steve and myself. Your fruit still stinks I’m afraid.

    “worship leader at church
    member of synod for our parish”

    Obviously not a very discerning church to have someone such as yourself as part of the leadership. Still, with the proliferation of un-Godly liberal churches sprouting up everywhere I guess you’re just another person elevated far above their actual spiritual knowledge and abilities. I just feel for those who have placed themselves under your leadership. I pray that they have a revelation of the truth and find a church that actually teaches the bible, and not worldly philosophies dressed in a quasi-Christian cloak.

  235. @Greg

    “I find the idea of believing in the devil and his minions to be a very kindergarten type of engagement with the spiritual.”

    Pride and arrogance.

  236. Posted this comment in the wrong thread before.

    Raymond. Thank you for tour kind words and support. If you could please direct me to a single angry word I’ve posted since September I will repent of it.

    I don’t see that I am elevating my self above God’s word because I do not accept, as you do, that the bible is God’s direct word to us.

    I don’t believe I have talked about anything other than my sisters death and my own depression on this blog, and can’t think of anything I might have even alluded to that would put my life I the category of being a mess.

    When you have a cold is your life a mess? If someone had chronic back pain is there life a mess? No. They live with it, and that is that is what I do with my depression. You may continue to believe in your fairy tales, your comments are hurtful and arrogant and yet you call me prideful and arrogant…good grief man.

  237. @Raymond, I think if you think things over, you could have said all that a little better.

    “I think you’ll find that since September not an insult nor a character assasinatoin has left my fingers to live in cyberland…”

    I think Greg’s attitude on here has been examplary. To go from where things were back then to now is amazing. I know pentecostal ministers who haven’t spoken in years after a falling out. For Greg to relate to people the way he does here after the serious words that were spoken back then shows plenty of “fruit” to me.

    I personally don’t think pentecostals can use the ‘fruit” argument much these days. Just spend some time googling the famous pastors and ministers.

    Greg quoted Bultman who to me is the guy who started all the liberal theology nonsense 🙂 …and I have problems with a view of scripture that says that Jesus thought the world was flat
    – but, those of us who are conservatives should be able to refute arguments better than with personal attacks.

    Bones and Greg both claim to be Christians but don’t believe in demons or a personal Satan. That’s fair enough. They honestly don’t believe there’s evidence. Todd Bentley, Frank Houston, Jimmy Swaggart, Tedd Haggard all believed in demons. For some reason it didn’t help them overcome very basic temptations. There’s no denying that. So it’s hard to argue that it’s absolutely necessary to believe in demons. My lovely old grandmother probably believed in demons/Devils in theory but probably never once cast out a demon, or rebuked one, never claimed to have seen Satan but still lived an examplary Christian life till the day she died.

    When Bones and Greg bring up Toronto blessing videos and examples from Derren Brown, they are simply countering the “experience” argument. i.e Saying that demons are real because you’ve cast them out, doesn’t convince some people who have heard people claim all kinds of things – as pentecostals do.

    And no, I haven’t switched teams…lol

  238. @Q

    “you could have said all that a little better.”

    I could have, but I chose not to. You see, I am just fed up with Bones and Gregs arrogance in calling everyone who actually believes that the bible is the inspired word of God as unintelligent and illogical. 2000 years worth of fervent, earnest and scholarly study by the worlds greatest theologians and scholars is summarily dismissed by a few deniers who have elevated their own made-up philosophies and intelligence above the inspired word of God. The garbage that Bones has been spewing here, and Greg’s recent effort, have I guess tipped me over the edge.

  239. “actually come to thinka about it most of my fundamentalist friends live screwed up lives. Not that that their fault. or satan’s.”

    And maybe you should expand on that one day. Maybe some people live screwed up lives BECAUSE they believe in too much supernatural stuff.

    i.e – Giving up on things because obstacles are indicative of something not being God’s will.
    – not just persisting or being in control but being susceptible to thinking their problem is demonic and so can’t be overcome through will power.

    To me that’s one of the biggest problems. This idea that a person is “made” to do things against their wills, and just can’t stop bad behavior or do necessary things because the problem is spiritual in nature.

    I haven’t ruled out demons or the Devil yet – but here’s one thing that separates me from my pentecostal friends. I don’t believe there’s a person on earth who can say that a demon made them do anything against their will.

    If I’m wrong, than in courts of law, we need to add a “the devil made me do it” defense.

  240. Raymond, you obviously haven’t spent much time with liberal theologians I take it.

    I would say most of the ministers who went through higher education training in the mainline denominations were taught the way they were.

    So it’s not that radical. There was a time when in some places ministers of different denominations did undergraduate training in the religion departments of state universities. So go through there as a pentecostal and YOU will be the radical with the minority view.

    Incidentally, I like the article on Job. You gave the example of the famous Christian in a wheelchair who tells people not to pray for her. She is just trying to make sense of what happened to her.

    A person like me sees no sense in it. I don’t see that it was planned by God. In some practical ways of looking at life, I’m almost an atheist.

    But here is the question I have for people like her and those who believe the same way. You say it was somehow God’s will, and that you don’t want prayer to be healed. But, I’ll bet anything that if tomorrow some atheist who thought he could win a nobel prize and get rich so he could lead a hedonistic lifestyle developed a revolutionary new spinal surgery that make you walk again….would you refuse? Of course not.

    So, I’m with you. Sickness, poverty, hunger, earthquakes, tsunamis, accidents – to me they are all bad. We should use science, engineering, caution and everything we can to avoid pain and suffering. And basically, as much as we think sickness and accidents are somehow in the purposes of God, we have reduced all those things over centuries through sanitation, engineering, medical andvancement.

    I don’t think it’s true at all that it was God’s will for more children and mothers to die in childbirth 200 years ago.

    Stuff happens. But much of the stuff that happens could be avoided.

  241. And I’m interested in hearing Bones interpretation of other NT scriptures. It seems to me that Greg and Bones have different approaches. Greg (I think….) has the approach that the NT writers believed in and wrote about demons, but he is willing to just say they were factually wrong because of his approach to scripture.
    Bones on the other hand is arguing that our interpretation of what the NT writers believed is wrong. Hence his explanations of the various “devil” passages.

    I tend to think that Bones has a harder job ahead of him – but he’s going for it.

    I liked your Rome passage. It was so well done, that late at night when I was tired and first read it I thought you were serious for a while in not believing in Nero. lol

    Guess that shows how many weird and wonderful sermons and theories I’ve heard in my time!

    I personally know people who don’t believe in the Holocaust, the moon landings, the Nanking massacre etc.

    btw did you guys hear that recently some american magazine did a spoof voting in Kim from North Korea as sexiest man of the year – and the Chinese translated it thinking it was real.

    I don’t know about Greg, but when it comes to Bones, he’s probably similar in some ways to me. It’s easy to doubt a lot and search for alternative interpretations, if you’ve spend years in pentecostal churches hearing lots of stuff that was said dogmatically and unquestioned but turned out to be just outer bunk.

    Here’s one for the oldies. I remember being in a Youth Alive meeting when a visiting speaker told the crowd about the latest news about the Russians finding hell – they had a mic on the end of a drill and you could even hear the screams. He was convinced that soon it would be all over the mainstream media.

    At the time I can remember saying it couldn’t be true, only to be hounded as an nasty cynic who was wrong for suggesting that the minister would convey something without checking it out. Unfortunately, this was pre-internet, so it was pretty hard to check up on.

    And I could go on… but I won’t. When you argue with someone like Bones, you have to remember that he’s not a cynic from outside, but someone who has been on the inside, and now concludes that what he saw wasn’t what everyone said it was.

    The truth is out there somewhere …..

  242. The title of the post is “Yes Virginia, there is a Satan” – its obviously a reference to the famous editorial “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”

    In this piece the editor emphatically declares to a young child that Santa Claus is real.

    Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    Now, I dont want to disillusion anyone here on the blog, but Santa Clause (as an independent person) dosent exist. Why then did the editor declare in no uncertain terms that he does exist?

    Why has this editorial become so beloved by generations, when by a literal reading it is a plain lie?

  243. Bones,
    “Admit it Steve, youre fascinated. And your learning new things about the scriptures.”

    Mmmm, no! I’m learning that liberal theologians will go to any length to avoid the reality of spiritual things they can’t explain either logically or through science.

    So an actual spirit world is so far removed from their level of scriptural understanding that it has to be replaced by make-believe explanations which can never quite tally with what Christ or His apostles say.

    Greg has just said he would rather take the words of a hypnotist magician over those of Jesus.

    I find that extraordinary.

    His dismissal of the testimony of Jesus absolutely eliminates him from any part in a discussion about anything Biblical. End of story!

    Now Greg might be a great bloke, a really nice person, hard working, honest in his way, and excellent at reasoning some elements of theological determination, but his liberality tends towards another gospel and is not related in any way, shape or form to anything Jesus or the Apostles revealed to us in scripture.

    I’m certain he is a good bloke, but I would not take his word for anything to do with ministry.

    Bones has obfuscated his way around anything Jesus or Paul or John, or James, or Peter has said or written by claiming that there is no link in what they say to the same entity when they discuss the devil or Satan, which is quite a preposterous argument, but you can see why he has to qualify his assertions with this notion.

    If we actually appeal to the entire canon on any subject, including that of the existence of the devil or Satan, his theological theory takes a fatal blow every time.

    So the only way these guys can actually argue their point is by bending the theological rules to suit their claims.

    So, no, I am not seduced by their means or methodology.

    Apart from this, I have seen too much of how the gospel actually works in the real setting of ministry to the lost in various places to deny the existence of malevolent antichrist forces which oppress certain people and require expulsion and replacement with Christ… in fact, as it is written in the New Testament scriptures about Christ and His ministry, so it is today, because Jesus is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever, praise to His name!

  244. In fact, Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, as he was, was a real person around whom a popular event was established because he was known for his generosity to poor people. If he is really a saint, that is, a person who believed in Christ, then he still exists, since, as Jesus said, God is the God of the living, and saints live on in Christ.

    Now the fat chap in a red suit is merely an interpretation and imitation of the real person who lived long ago, and the lists children write go no where, but the story has an element of truth to it, and is a rather pleasant giving exercise which does no harm.

    Satan, however, is an enemy of Christ who seeks the destruction of souls. Whether you believe he exists or not is irrelevant since his malevolence is evident everywhere in the children of disobedience, of whom he remains the god.

    Ephesians 2
    2:1 ¶ And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

    4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
    9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    It seems we were saved from the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world and of the children of disobedience, and he is a real entity, at work today in the earth.

  245. 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

    And once again Steve misses the bleeding obvious!

  246. Greg, you have just eliminated the previous verse which tells who the influencer of this problem is, revealing a spiritual opposer, and declared your point proved.

    Classic JW tactic.

    None so blind as the blind!

  247. So Greg who is the spirit at work in the sons of disobedience? Who is the prince of the power of the air?

    I can’t believe what you just did to the scripture. And before witnesses!

    You actually ignored an entire passage to get to one that more closely resembled your error!

  248. Here’s some food for thought.
    I do not believe in ghosts. Not at all. If you were to do a survey probably half of the people in Australia do, and in some countries most do. Of those there are many who are convinced that they’ve seen, felt or heard a ghost. I think every account can be explained.

    Strangely enough, when Jesus walked on waters the Bible says that the disciples were afraid and thought it was a ghost. So, these tough guy fishermen believed in ghosts?

    When Peter got out of prison nobody believe he was at the door. Then they thought it was his angel. (guardian angel?)

    I don’t know, but if i (living in the 21st century as I do) saw someone walking near my boat, I wouldn’t assume it was a ghost. And lots of others wouldn’t either. And if I thought my pastor was in jail I wouldn’t think his angel was at the front door.

    So obviously the disciples had different ideas and beliefs than I do.

    So here’s some facts. Bones and Greg don’t believe there is such a thing as demons. But probably most people in the world do.
    In the same way lots of people believe in UFOs I suppose. But many people may not believe in demons but believe in ghosts.

    I don’t. I have not had one experience where I could swear in a court of law that what I saw or heard was definitely a demon and could not possibly be explained any other way. Never seen a ghost either. And when I tell people I’d have no problem sleeping in a cemetery it freaks them out.

    So, were the disciples strange to think there was a ghost on the water? Did the early church Christians think it plausible that someone’s guardian angel was ringing the doorbell?

    For that matter the gospel writer and obviously the readers had no problem thinking that an angel stirred up water and if you could get to it you’d be healed. Anyone wonder what ever happened to that pool of water. And if such a pool of water with the angel existed in the 1st century. would it be strange to believe that there’s one now?
    Like in Lourdes?

  249. Greg, you stole my surprise. Of c(urse we dont believe everything the ancient writers believed, like hell being underground for one
    [thats if you accept they believe in a hell)

  250. Good stuff,q. The Derren Brown episode on seances showed that it was all self fulfilling and a remarkable wish to believe and be influenced in what was a great con.

    There are no demons beyond seances or ghosts.

  251. What does it matter what you call them, Q?

    The Bible, Jesus, calls them demons. He calls the adversary the devil. Why would anyone have a problem with that? They are just names, descriptors of entities named by Jesus in the Bible.

    From an orthodox perspective one would, therefore, need to investigate what he means by this and how it is applied to the ministry he gives us.

    If there is no application there is no necessity to do anything. If there is an application we need to enter into his instruction.

    That is all I do. I do not seek to prove whether or not demons, as Jesus described, exist or not. My understanding is that they possess or vex certain people. If the Holy Spirit, who is my leader in ministry, directs me to expel a demon from a person then I will do so.

    I do not go looking for paranormal experiences, nor am I, as you imply, a superstitious person. I am not one to fear the paranormal, either, because I am sure of my position in Christ, and of his leading through the Spirit, so I do what I am led to do.

    This has meant, from time to time, that I have been confronted with people who are exhibiting the signs of being either vexed or possessed by demons, as I understand them from scripture, and in the ministry of Jesus. Thus they are expelled.

    The fruit of this is the liberty of the person concerned and the subsequent acceptance of Christ as their Lord.

    As far as I am concerned there is no argument to this. It is as plain as air. And the beauty of it, for me, is that it is utterly confirmed in and by scripture.

    Anyone who uses Darren Brown as a guide over Jesus is being naive. He is not our Source, nor our Leader. He is an unbeliever who defies God through hypnosis and manipulation. I have seen what he does and it is as fake and contrived, when compared to the true ministry of the Spirit, as any other magic act.

    Magicians are good at what they do, but you know there is always an explanation for what they present. It is sleight of hand. I’m amazed by the guys who do the card tricks, too. Incredible skills, but they are not real. And the spoon-benders. They are clever tricks by con-men.

    Whereas the moving of the Spirit is very real and very powerful.

    Whether you or Greg or Bones or wazza believe there is a spirit realm which interacts with the natural is neither here nor there. It’s of no consequence to the reality of what the Bible reveals in scripture.

    The mere fact that you are prepared to deny what Jesus himself said as the words of a man who was subject to the thinking of another age tells me you are unable to discern the spiritual realm and therefore likely to miss what is there anyway.

  252. Greg,
    To be quite honest with you and Steve, I find the idea of believing in the devil and his minions to be a very kindergarten type of engagement with the spiritual.

    Rudolf Bultmann wrote, in his essay in Kerugma and Myth (p. 5): “It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of daemons and spirits”.

    That is basically where I stand, I don’t want to dissuade you from your acceptance of such things, but I certainly can’t accept them, and they play no important part in my faith.

    That seems to be the problem for the likes of Steve and Ray…because they seem to have a faith that requires the demonic to be a reality; they can’t comprehend a solid faith where the existence of such is of as much importance as the existence of the three bears and goldilocks.

    If you accept the literal existence of ‘the devil’ then you are at pains to be able to determine in what manner it can be true to say that God can’t abide evil in his presence, since it is seemingly apparent form the story of Job that ‘the devil’ has free access to the presence of God. IF God can abide evil in his presence then by what means can it be said that Christ needed to die for our sins to pay the penalty because God can’t abide sin in his presence?

    You see the quandary? Probably not. But there you have it in any case.

    Except that, according to jesus in Revelation, Satan was cast out of the presence of God. Woe to the earth. There you have one part of your error explained. There is no quandary.

    And evil is before the presence of God every day, on earth, precisely because evil is in the earth. This you cannot deny. God is omnipresent.

    You insult me by saying my faith is in goldilocks and the bears, because I believe Jesus and what he says, and yet you dismiss the ministry of Jesus because he lived 2,000 years ago on earth and you can’t allow for his understanding of the spiritual dimension because you think that you have a better handle on science in the 21st century than Jesus did then!

    That is the most arrogant and naive of notions I have seen from you, frankly.

    You concur with Bultmann and deny Christ! What does that make you?

    You believe in the invisible power of electricity and deny the invisible power of the Spirit! Why would this be? Because electricity drives your world.

    So the Spirit of God is ignored in your world, which is based on the natural physics of electricity and not on the heavenly, eternal quality of the Spirit. You see God in nature, but miss him in super nature, because you refuse to see it.

    you know that electricity has more than one dimension to it, that which empowers us and that which endangers us, yet you fail to see the parallels with the spirit.

    Yet you are touched by love, experience faith, and crave hope, the three eternal qualities of the realm of the Spirit.

    Still you deny the presence of the power of God, because where there are these positive, eternal qualities there will be the antithesis – hate, doubt and void – in the hearts and lives of these who are perishing, the vast empty vacuum which entraps men and women who have either denied Christ or never heard of Christ, who have never been touched by the realm of heaven.

    And the world of the spirit is said, by Christ, no less, to have an antichrist spirit which oversees it, usurping he minds and hearts of men.

    Like Bultmann you see energy in electricity and miss the power of the Spirit.

    Yet God is called the Holy Spirit, Invisible, revealed only through Christ to our finite ability to perceive truth.

    And Paul’s revelation that only the spirit of a man can know the things of the Spirit. And the spirit of man must be regenerated through the Spirit of God by faith in Christ. But, according to the Word, the natural man can’t understand a thing, because they are spiritually discerned.

    There, in a nutshell is your folly and problem.

  253. reg,
    That seems to be the problem for the likes of Steve and Ray…because they seem to have a faith that requires the demonic to be a reality; they can’t comprehend a solid faith where the existence of such is of as much importance as the existence of the three bears and goldilocks.

    No! Not at all. I do not have a faith that requires the demonic to be a reality. That is what Bones also asserts, naively.

    In fact, faith is a product of our relationship with Jesus Christ, which requires only that we believe Him, not man, nor external forces.

    So if Christ informs us of anything relevant to our call and ministry, of course we sit up and take note. Did He discuss demons? Yes. Did He say He would destroy their works? Yes. Did he mention that we would have any part in their removal from people? Yes He did.

    Therefore, my faith in Christ directs me to my ministry in Christ.

    You speak of a ‘solid faith’, then say it is must be devoid of information about the demonic, comparing it to knowledge of fairy tales, which is an arrogant position to take, in view of the fact that Jesus was clear about the way in which demons were to be dealt with by His disciples.

    If a person is demonised, they need to be relieved through the power of the Spirit, as has been demonstrated by Christ Himself, so it follows that it is incumbent upon His followers to cast them out of people and to assist Him in loosing the works of the devil from peoples lives, beit through healing or deliverance.

    So determining if the demonic is a reality is not a matter of belief in demons for demon’s sake, but a belief in the ministry of Jesus to be followed on by His Church as faithful adherents of His call.

    It is denial of the existence of demons which is an affront to the King, who clearly identified much that is evil with the pressure people experience from demonic oppression.

    When you say these things about the ministry I am engaged in in Christ you are not so much insulting me but attacking Christ, which, as He said, is to be expected when we step out in faith in Him.

  254. So, on the one hand you say that demons are merely another term for the works of the flesh, which goes against scripture, because the works of the flesh are to be dealt with through the renewing of the mind, yet demons, we are told, need to be cast out of people.

    So what is it to be, Greg?

    Are you now commanded to cast the works of the flesh out of people you meet, or out o yourself?

    Or are you to put off the old man and put on the new, and have your mind renewed by the Spirit and Word to prove what is the good, and acceptable and perfect will of God?

    And how do you cast that flesh out of yourself, Greg?

  255. Evil comes from the hearts of men. Not a demonic being. Thats consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments.

    Pretty sad that u have to blame a fictional character.

  256. So you agree with Calvinists that God created men with evil hearts?

    They were made to sin? By God?

    Who, then, is the tempter?

  257. Bones,
    Pretty sad that u have to blame a fictional character.

    Well I don’t blame a fictional character.

    Sin came from Adam. Do you believe this? It is scriptural to accept this as truth.

    However, scripture also tells us that temptation came from the serpent, which, as we have already shown, is another identity of the devil or Satan.

    You can’t accept this because you can’t agree with scripture that there was a tempter of men. Yet God cursed the serpent, the woman and the man.

    You, of course, do not believe any of this, because it is in Genesis, which you consign to myth, even though it is the essence of faith to understand the fall.

    So you all fictional what Christ Himself calls fact.

    Matthew 3
    1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
    2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
    3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
    4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
    5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
    6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
    7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”
    8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
    9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
    10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
    11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

  258. @Steve

    ” Yet God cursed the serpent, the woman and the man.”

    Actually God didn’t curse Adam and Eve. He cursed the ground that man would toil, but not Adam and Eve. Just thought I needed to clear this up for you.

  259. Steve, I don’t think you are superstitious at all.
    And I believe in demons and the Devil.

    I don’t believe in ghosts.

    I do believe that much of what happens in Pentecostal churches and ministries that is said to be supernatural can be explained in natural terms. But I believe the same about seances, palm-reading, fortune telling, aikido, and Obama’s election.

    I believe that Jesus cast out demons. I don’t believe that Todd Bentley talked with angels.

    And I’m open to rereading of scriptures to ensure my understanding is correct.

    The best way to describe me is a very, very cynical bible-believing Christian who loves the Pentecostal church (who also happened to study liberal theology), who reads and thinks a lot.

    Which makes me a very lonely almost schizophrenic old man. lol

    well, not so old – but old enough to remember when Jimmy Swaggart was the top evangelist, Brian Houston was in his Dad’s church, Tony Venn Brown was The Man, Clark Taylor was starting his first TV show and with his first wife who he has eventually come back to after another two., and This is the Day was top of the charismatic pops. Along with “soon and very soon” and “He’s coming quickly”

    But soon and quickly turned out to be a little different than what everyone said.

  260. I guarantee that after reading that last post on genesis you will be placed in a position of denying scripture and finding a way to get around what it actually says.

    You cannot accept Genesis, or Adam, or the curse placed on the tempter, this I know form you previous testimony.

    If you cannot accept scripture you have no argument.

    Greg has already admitted he doesn’t need scripture any more. He has, in his own mind, a ‘higher’ level of belief which excludes any and all reference to scripture involving the enemy of Christ.

    I believe that is also your position. It has to be, and so you deny Christ on one f the fundamental understandings of scripture.

    On this alone your gospel is false.

  261. @Steve

    It appears that Bones and Gregs main problem with accepting the devil’s existence stems from this particular account in Matthew 3. It seems that they cannot comprehend that Jesus could possibly be shown ALL the kingdoms of the earth from the top of the mountain. It’s a complete logic fail on their part, however, because they fail to take into account the fact that both Satan and Jesus, as spiritual beings (albeit Jesus was living flesh at that time) would no doubt have the ability to see and do things that mortal man cannot. The other scenario of course is that these things were shown to Jesus in a vision. Either way, Bones and Greg’s complete inability to think beyond the natural realm causes them to be blind to the supernatural. It’s funny how they crow about their superior intellect and knowledge, yet are actually intellectual midgets in reality.

  262. Raymond, the woman was told she would have her sorrow in conception and childbirth greatly multiplied, and her desire would be for her husband, who would rule over her. The earth was cursed for the man’s sake, and they were ejected from the Garden of Eden.

    Regardless, Bones and Greg do not believe this, along with the many other aspects of the Bible they reject.

  263. @Q

    “I do believe that much of what happens in Pentecostal churches and ministries that is said to be supernatural can be explained in natural terms.”

    It is obvious to me that you haven’t spent much time in Pentecostal churches, and that you have never experienced those manifestations that occur to people within those churches. If you were to experience those things yourself you would realise how foolish you are in calling many of those things “natural”. In my 25 years in the pentecostal movement I can count on one hand seeing people’s “fleshly” responses or manifestations, whereas I have seen and experienced myself countless real manifestations.

    I understand that you are a “seeker”, but you are beginning to walk a dangerous ground by entertaining any thought in accepting what Greg and Bones espouse. Don’t let their Gnostic beliefs sway you. Once you begin to entertain any notion that there is any truth in the garbage they spout, then you will find yourself compromising, and next thing you know, you have become like them and walked away from Jesus.

  264. @Steve

    “Raymond, the woman was told she would have her sorrow in conception and childbirth greatly multiplied, and her desire would be for her husband, who would rule over her. The earth was cursed for the man’s sake, and they were ejected from the Garden of Eden”

    This is a common misunderstanding of this passage. Read it carefully. Did God pronounce a curse? No. The language instead is stating a fact. As a result of their sin, the consequences are that she would experience sorrow in childbirth, and that the earth would be hard to toil. There was no curse spoken over them. God was simply telling them that there were serious consequences to their actions.

  265. @Raymond. I have been involved with Pentecostal/Charismatic churches for over 30 years. I’ve been in Benny Hinn, Derek Prince, Kenneth Copeland, Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, Frank Houston, Charles and Francis Hunter, John Wimber meetings.

    All my friends are charismatics. I’m an insider.
    When I say that my friends are mostly charismatics, I should probably say that most of my friends are in ministry.

    I know all about what ministers say when healing ministries go through. I know the people who are still sick in churches after the big ministry has gone through. And I know the ministers who preach tithing but are often stuck for money.
    And who have long standing illnesses and physical conditions that never changed.
    And I know the inside talk.

    I love Pentecostals. If I went to a new town tomorrow, I’d go to Pentecostal church.

    But I also know churches who went with Toronto blessing and fell apart. I know men who cast demons out of their people only, to stop later and teach discipline. I know the people who always fall over and who don’t and I know the inside talk about how “that minister” really pushes – or starts rocking etc etc.

    I may be wrong in what I say – but I’m no stranger to Pentecostal churches and ministries.

    We should never be scared of objective truth.

    And I have never said here once that your experience is wrong.

    Anyway, this conversation is useless in a way, because there are things you won’t say in the audience of Bones and Greg.

    I’m not on a team, and I’m not here to defend Pentecostalism against liberal Christianity.

    Neither am I against Pentecostalism in any way.

    But if even 10% of the healings pentecostals claimed could be verified Harvard University and CNN would be camped outside our churches. Not to catch the latest scandal but to see the latest healing.

    And if the prophecies that even our biggest names gave were even lightly accurate and specific, we’d have people paying them money.

    Think about it. Hillsong is huge – not because of undisputable miracles, healings and deliverances.

    Okay, I’ll stop before you think I’m negative and on Bones and Greg’s team.

    I’m not.

    If you are honestly saying that in 25 years you have hardly seen any manifestations that can’t be explained by people’s thinking …. then you are either in the best church on the planet, or you aren’t thinking or observing with objectivity.

    And I wonder if you’d say that privately with a few of your charismatic ministry mates.

    Let me put it this way. Ask all the charismatic ministers you know if they think the things claimed in Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Toronto Blessing etc meetings are genuine works of the Holy Spirit and you will get a very wide variety of responses.

    Why is that?

    But try it. Ask Brian Houston privately or Phil Pringle privately what they think of this or that ministry. You might be surprised at what they say.

    I mean you no harm. And I agree with a lot of what you say.

    But – I’m not the novice/seeker/outsider that you assumed.

  266. @Q

    I can’t explain in the natural the paraplegic now walking after having hands laid on them. In fact I personally know two people who were paralysed. One is totally healed and walking around, the other was a quadriplegic and, while still in a wheel chair, can now use his arms freely and has some feeling in his feet. I have several friends who were given days or weeks to live. Years later they are still alive with no sign of the cancers. I have another friend who had an impacted wisdom tooth disappear completely. One X-ray shows it plain as day, the other shows nothing. I personally have had a broken bone miraculously healed over night. I cannot explain any of these in the natural. But I can explain each one in the spiritual. It is through the power of God. So, would CNN show these stories on TV? Of course they wouldnt. Why would Satan want to publicise the fact that God is real and our healer? If your source for verification is the media you will never see any miracles. If, however, your source is the church, then you will see these kinds of manifestations all the time. Of course, if you go into churches trying to explain these things through the natural, or looking for frauds, you will see things that appear to “fleshly”. That’s because you are not seeing them through spiritual eyes.

    All of those ministers you mentioned have had many, many verified miracles occurring under their ministry. The fact that some don’t appear to be healed is not because the minister is a fraud, but because the person being prayed for doesn’t know how to accept Gods healing, and in some case, the person being prayed for is in the line simply to try and prove that the minister is a fraud. Some people over think things, some people are healed but then freak out when symptoms come back and assume they were never healed. But for every one person that doesn’t appear to be healed, 50 people are healed.

    As I said Q, you would be better served by seeking God than seeking natural explanations for things.

  267. People don’t first lose their healing from god, they first lose their faith, then they lose their healing.And the final condition of the man turns out worst then the first.

  268. @Q

    “Raymond, you obviously haven’t spent much time with liberal theologians I take it.”

    Sorry, missed this comment earlier. It’s true, I have not spent any time with liberal theologians. I have spent time with liberal Christians, however, and let me tell you, their lives and theology are a mess! An angrier and depressed lot I have never met! Which is why I said those things to Greg and Bones earlier. The fruit in those people’s lives is non-existent, and I see the same traits in Greg and Bones. Still, if they WANT to be angry, depressed, bitter and directionless, by all means try and explain away by natural means the spiritual truths in the bible. All it will get them is more angry, more sick, more depressed, and more directionless. The next logical step is to walk away from Jesus, and I have at least one friend who did exactly that after beginning to question the bible. If Bones and Greg are still professing believers in a few years time, I will be very surprised.

  269. I go to a pentecostal church yet choose to use my brain. I’ve seen the nonsense of the Toronto blessing. Even went to Rodney howard brown. The behaviour i saw there made me question what people call spiritual. And I have Christian friends who are liberal, catholic, evangelical.

    I’ve cast demons out of people and I’d do it again if that’s what someone wanted and i thought it would help them.

  270. If youre basing your knowledge of us from a blog then let me tell you you havent made pentecostal christianity very attractive at all. Mostly you behave like a prick. Its funny that you think you know everything about us from what we write about theology.

    and i know a lot of pentecostals whose theology is screwed and they make money out of it.

  271. @Bones

    “Mostly you behave like a prick. ”

    A well known phrase involving coloured kitchen appliances applies here

  272. @Bones

    “If youre basing your knowledge of us from a blog then let me tell you you havent made pentecostal christianity very attractive at all.”

    Matthew 7:16. Your fruit is rotten. It comes through in every word you write. Simple.

  273. @Bones

    “I have Christian friends who are liberal, catholic, evangelical.”

    So do I. The liberals are all depressed, sick and directionless, the Catholics are racked with guilt, and the evangelicals are so focussed on not slipping up and are trying to do every command in the bible in case God gets angry with them and doesn’t let them into heaven. Give me Pentecostalism any day

  274. and i know some of the tricks of the trade when it comes to pentecostal churches. Ive preached in them, led pentecostal services and led worship.

    Not all of it is spiritual.

  275. @Bones

    “i know some of the tricks of the trade when it comes to pentecostal churches. Ive preached in them, led pentecostal services and led worship.”

    Just because you’re a conman doesn’t mean that all Pentecostal ministers are as well.

  276. and of course i’m not scared by those who think differently to me. I’ve read Bevere and my wife likes joyce meyer. I also have catholic books and commentaries as well as calvinist. I’m quite interested in getting ched myers binding the strongman from where we get the new interpretation on mark.

  277. Been a believer a lot longer than you have and i’ve put up with a whole lot worse than a simpleton jacking himself off behind a computer.

  278. @Bones

    “i’ve put up with a whole lot worse than a simpleton jacking himself off behind a computer.”

    And you prove my point so eloquently! Your fruit stinks. Your mind is foul.

  279. I couldn’t give a skerrick of interest on what you think about me or anything. We’ve seen your twisted behaviour Roundhouse. You arent someone to be trusted at all. You are a deceiver.

    Your opinion about anything is disqualified. Including who you think is a Christian.

    You are and will always be Roundhouse.

  280. @EYES

    “Thanks Bones n Ray, all of a sudden some of my comments don’t look so bad after all!”

    None of your comments have been anywhere near as off as Bones. In fact the worst that could be said for your comments EYES is that some of them simply don’t make sense!

  281. @Bones

    “Your opinion about anything is disqualified”

    And why, pray tell, do you believe this is the case? Is it because I have been able to destroy so many of your “arguments”? I notice you only ever reply to my comments to denigrate, degrade and belittle me, and never address the actual point of the comment. That speaks volumes.

  282. The only argument youve won is in your mind where your satan resides. I dont take much notice of your posts cause they resemble year 3 Sunday School. Plus it might be all a game.

  283. and stop hijacking the thread. Its obvious your deviousness and hatred of other christians comes from your heart not satan.

    Make your own thread. Call it why I hate other Christians. You’ll have a field day.

  284. @Bones

    “stop hijacking the thread”

    How have I hijacked this thread? Every one of my posts has been on topic. The same cannot be said for you!

  285. @Bones

    “your deviousness and hatred”

    The only deviousness and hatred is coming from you, my friend. Ask any of the other posters here, and they will attest to having been at the receiving end of your abuse and hatred.

  286. Your behaviour is ironic considering this thread is about satan. I have posted different interpretations of various scriptures for which you and steve have howled and raged against liberals or anyone who has a different interpretation.

    Your comments about liberals just show that youre a complete and utter dick.

  287. @Bones

    “Some Christians will attack anyone to defend satan.”

    And some will deny Satan while operating in his “fruits”

  288. Good idea Raymond.

    @Bones. Interesting that your wife like Joyce Meyers. She mostly talks about everyday life stuff from a woman’s perspective. Says a lot of good practical stuff. And her teaching would be perfect for a woman married to a devil like you! 🙂

  289. I did a post in reply Raymond but it got lost somehow.

    I think you’ve misread my posts.
    I don’t think the ministries I mentioned are frauds.
    I don’t doubt that miracles happened in the Bible, and I don’t doubt that they happen now.

    I disagree with you about CNN. If someone who was blind or deaf was suddenly healed at a Benny Hinn meeting and was verified, I’d say it would make the news.

    If the woman in the wheelchair you mentioned started walking or Stevie Wonder suddenly saw after being prayed for CNN would be all over it.

  290. @Q

    “I disagree with you about CNN. If someone who was blind or deaf was suddenly healed at a Benny Hinn meeting and was verified, I’d say it would make the news. If the woman in the wheelchair you mentioned started walking or Stevie Wonder suddenly saw after being prayed for CNN would be all over it.”

    Sadly, this is not the case. I personally have seen several incredible miracles, such as a person deaf from the age of five suddenly hearing, the quadriplegic and paraplegic I mentioned, and the tooth disappearing. In each case the medical professionals came up with some feeble excuses to explain the inexplicable, such as original misdiagnosis or faulty equipment. Try telling that to the people who received the miracles! Anyway, people such as Bones and Greg would bend over backwards, just like the doctors and the media, to explain away these types of things using some kind of natural reason. Heaven forbid that God’s miracle working power be admitted to! It offends human intellect! That’s why Bones and Greg are so militantly attempting to denigrate God’s power. It offends their “intellect”.

  291. So you see how the flesh rises up against the Spirit in Bones’ & Ray’s conversation. No need for casting out the devil from either. It was totally their will yielding to the flesh.

    So the antidote is repentance and forgiveness, not deliverance.

    Now, if they were persistently unable to deal with it through godly sorrow or repentance, and it was clearly driven from another internal or external source, then we might have to cast the demon out of them.

    Otherwise it was a classic example of the flesh rising up.

  292. So Jesus where does evil come from? The Devil?

    21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, [a]fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, [b]envy, slander, [c]pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23)

    Thanks for clearing that up, my Lord.

    Jeremiah, what’s the most deceitful thing in the Universe? Lucifer isn’t it? He is the Deceiver?

    “The heart is more deceitful than all else
    And is desperately sick;
    Who can understand it?
    (Jeremiah 17:9)

    Thanks for that.

  293. @Raymond

    If you know a person who has been totally deaf since the age of five
    who suddenly started hearing after years I think there would be hundreds of people who would be totally amazed and it would be the talk of the town.

    I don’t think a doctor could explain that away.

  294. “So you see how the flesh rises up against the Spirit in Bones’ & Ray’s conversation. No need for casting out the devil from either. It was totally their will yielding to the flesh.”

    Really?

  295. @Q

    “If you know a person who has been totally deaf since the age of five who suddenly started hearing after years I think there would be hundreds of people who would be totally amazed and it would be the talk of the town.”

    You’d think that wouldn’t you? The sad reality is however that apart from the girl herself, her family, and those of us there that night no one else seemed to be overly interested.

  296. “Bones, if you accept that saying of Jesus, what do you think about the times he cast out demons.”

    Mark 9

    14 When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him. 16 And He asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” 17 And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; 18 and [k]whenever it seizes him, it [l]slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and [m]stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.” 19 And He *answered them and *said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” 20 They brought [n]the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21 And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was [o]rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I [p]command you, come out of him and do not enter him [q]again.” 26 After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. 28 When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”

    This seems very much like epilepsy which my wife had, her sister has and her father has. All of whom are Christians btw.

    If you saw someone having an epileptic fit would you be inclined to cast out a demon out of them like Jesus does?

    Once again an illness which is fairly common and understood and treatable today is given a spiritual meaning simply because the ancients didn’t understand mental disorders.

    Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

    This demon may be considered as an emblem of deeply rooted vices, and inveterate habits, over which the conquest is not generally obtained, but through extraordinary humiliations.

  297. This is my last comment on this thread – its been done now and as always none of us is anywhere near seeing things the way the others see them.

    Steve…I do not reject the bible..I have said this time and time again and I’m actually quite sick of repeating myself. I love the bible, it is the way I understand it that differs from you…I do not reject the bible..I reject your interpretation of it…but you equate that with rejecting it and rejecting Jesus.

    I too have spent years around Pentecostal churches ad ministries…and as with Bones, the whole Rodney Howard Brown thing did me in – that sane people could be conned by that charlatan told me that the whole pentecostal world was bogus. You do;nt see con men operating in mainstream churches (which are pretty much accepting of what I’m talking about) to the extent you do in pente and charo churches…there’s your fruit Raymond.

    Give me my bible, Jesus, reason, and the intelligence God gave me and I’m happy – believing in fairy stories does nothing for me…but then Atheists wold say that what I believe is still close enough to being a fairy story that they wold se nothing different between any of us here!

    I’ll be posting a Christmas post next week…and ooooh, won’t that upset a few of you…at least I hope it will.

    Bones..you da man!

    Q…you da man

    Steve and Ray…you da men too

  298. Parents sentenced for exorcism gone wrong

    London — Walter Zepeda was possessed by the devil.

    His parents, devoutly religious members of a Pentecostal church that believes in such manifestations, knew that much to be true.

    They had seen their shy 19-year-old son engage in behaviours that could only signal the presence of Satan.

    So Diego Zepeda-Cordera called his friend Alex Osegueda, a fellow member of the Missionary Church of Christ and a man of equal devotion, to help him rid his son of the evil. They had no idea the seven days of forced confinement it took to drive away the devil would also, literally, drain the life out of Walter.

    He lost nine litres of fluid as he lay strapped with men’s ties to metal chairs in the basement apartment he shared with his family in this western Ontario city. Ultimately he died of dehydration.

    Yesterday, the squarely cut shoulders of Mr. Zepeda-Cordero heaved silently as a judge sentenced him and Mr. Osegueda to four years in penitentiary for the ritual that caused the death of the teen.

    They had pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week, ending a preliminary hearing that heard from 24 witnesses, among them some who had prayed over Walter as he lay bound in his bedroom.

    The young man’s mother, Ana Mejia-Lopez, sobbed into a handkerchief as she was given a single day for failing to provide the necessaries of life to her son. She was freed yesterday afternoon – the 500th day the trio had spent in incarceration.

    Ontario Court Judge Deborah Livingstone said she had been struck through the long hours of the preliminary hearing by their emotion, obvious distress, and significant remorse.

    “The court cannot but have compassion for the loss of a son, the loss of a friend, which all three will have to live with for the rest of their lives.”

    But in passing the sentence, a compromise between the three years requested by defence lawyers and the five suggested by the Crown, Judge Livingstone said the sanctity of life must be upheld.

    “A young man is gone,” she said gravely.

    Both Mr. Zepeda-Cordero and Mr. Osegueda have agreed in the months since Walter died that they were performing an exorcism. But it was not a botched exorcism, they said.

    Mr. Zepeda-Cordero’s lawyer, Andy Rady, told the court his client takes some solace in his belief that, in the hours before Walter’s life ebbed away, the devil also left his body.

    “When Walter died, he [Mr. Zepeda-Cordero] believed that he returned to Jesus,” Mr. Rady said. “Although he still believes in the rightness of the ends he was trying to achieve, he understands the wrongness of the way he went about it.”

    Mr. Zepeda-Cordero, his wife and Mr. Osegueda were all born in El Salvador and came to Canada in the 1980s when their country was a dangerous and desperate place. They moved first to Montreal, where Mr. Zepeda-Cordero found God, then on to London.

    Carol Lee, who cut hair with Mr. Zepeda-Cordero at Emmerich’s barber shop, said he was the kind of man “who would give you the shirt off his back” but was preoccupied by his devotion.

    When someone sat in his chair for a haircut, they could expect a sermon. “If they’d go for it, he’d talk about it,” she said. “But sometimes customers got peeved off.”

    Walter, who would often have his dad cut his hair, had finished school and worked part-time as a dishwasher in a seafood restaurant. He was quiet and posed no trouble for his parents, unlike his siblings.

    His sister, Karen, who was 17 when Walter died, has significant mental-health problems, Crown attorney David Arntfield said yesterday.

    Walter’s brother, Diego, was charged with drug trafficking after an early-morning police raid on the family apartment that began with a frightening crash through the front door. That deeply affected Walter, his father has said, and his strange behaviour began a short time later in the fall of 2001.

    Some of it was normal kid stuff. Walter went to discos and smoked cigarettes and refused to help with housework. He liked rap music and a magazine describing satanic activities was found under his bed.

    But there was a bizarre incident when the normally quiet teen went to the front of a religious meeting in Toronto and took the microphone to profess his devotion to Christ – then spoke gibberish.

    His father, Mr. Osegueda and others then drove with him to Montreal and he threatened to jump out of the car. Once in Montreal, he tried to escape by running away in the snow barefoot.

    For Mr. Zepeda-Cordero and Mr. Osegueda, the incidents added up to demonic possession and “they both agreed that Walter had to be prayed for,” Mr. Arntfield said. That meant strapping him down.

    The two men wrestled him into submission on Jan. 2, 2002, and tied him to the chairs in the apartment. His mother, who didn’t originally agree with the action, acquiesced because she too believed Satan had control of her son.

    Walter struggled against his restraints to the point that his wrists and ankles were a mass of bruises, but that was interpreted “as an example of the devil or the demon doing what he would with Walter,” Mr. Arntfield said.

    The morning after he was tied up, Rev. Guillermo Fabian, the pastor of the church, was summoned to the home. As Walter swore and squirmed, Mr. Fabian prayed with the family to help exorcise the demon. He came back the next day and Walter was lying in his own urine – a problem solved by dressing him in adult diapers.

    Over the weekend, at least 10 other members of the church visited the home and joined in the prayer sessions.

    Diane Millar, who lives next door, heard the chanting, even at 2 a.m. “It just didn’t sound right, but with them being non-English, you couldn’t understand what they were saying,” she said. It could have been a party – so she didn’t lodge a complaint, she said.

    All this time, Walter’s parents say they were offering him liquid, even his favourite Chinese soup, but he refused it all. When he screamed too loud, his mouth was duct-taped. And by Sunday, those who saw him were worried about his health. One said he “looked sick and dying.”

    On Monday, Mr. Fabian urged Mr. Zepeda-Cordero to let his son go. That night, Walter was calm and his father came to the conclusion the devil had finally left the boy’s body.

    “Walter’s last words were ‘forgive me,’ then he fell asleep,” Mr. Arntfield said.

    The straps were removed and he was placed on a bed, but by then it was too late. A few hours later he stopped breathing. First his father called Mr. Fabian. Then, at the pastor’s urging, he called the police.

    The three accused and Mr. Fabian originally tried to deceive police into believing Walter had been restrained for only three days but the lie was eventually revealed.

    Despite the deception, it is obvious the trio “genuinely believed that Walter was possessed,” Judge Livingstone said. “They only wanted to help him, wanted to save his soul, but the facts of the matter show that despite their prayer and the zealousness of their religious convictions, what they did – and what they did not do – caused Walter’s death.”

    http://www.rickross.com/reference/exorcism/exorcism8.html

  299. @Bones I don’t think you answered adequately.

    You’ve taken one example and claimed that the person had epilepsy. But Jesus still dealt with the situation by casting out a spirit.
    Was Jesus also just an ancient who didn’t know that epilepsy was not demonic? If so, He healed the epilepsy by casting a demon out anyway. How did that work?

    If he did know, why didn’t he just explain. Jesus spent lots of time telling people where their understanding was wrong.

  300. @Greg

    “…but then Atheists wold say that what I believe is still close enough to being a fairy story that they wold se nothing different between any of us here!”

    Isn’t that the irony.

  301. “You’d think that wouldn’t you? The sad reality is however that apart from the girl herself, her family, and those of us there that night no one else seemed to be overly interested.”

    Okay Raymond, sorry but I’ll go out on a limb here. I don’t know this girl, her history or the town she lived in.

    But all I can say is that knowing everywhere I have lived, if a person had REALLY been deaf or blind for any number of years, and that was widely known, and verified etc, and then in response to prayer they suddenly heard – that would cause incredible talk among friends, family, neighbors, the school, and the medical community.

    If I were you, I’d write up her story on the internet. Name, town, medical history.
    On the other hand, I know pentecostal churches that have a section for the deaf with someone doing sign language. If any of them were healed, it would have made the news.

  302. There are instances of people convulsing and being thrown about which have nothing to do with epilepsy. That is just an inadequate, non-medical assertion made to distract us from the incident’s actual lesson – that Jesus cast the demon out of the person by command.

    The concept Bones is attempting to spread is that Jesus didn’t know anything about medical conditions and used the prevailing understanding of how to deal with people.

    Yet it was declared with astonishment by contemporaries that Jesus brought a revolutionary treatment to toe h=who were demonised because he took authority over the demons and expelled them with a command.

    The demons also responded to Jesus presence and articulated who he was and reminded him that it was not yet their time, hinting that the time for demon’s judgment was yet to come, which is further information for the true Bible student.

    That is why Bones has to systematically individualise each event, in an attempt to produce some unconnected excuse for each to avert our attention from the fact that demons were real and that Jesus had authority over them, which is surely one of the main aspects of the ministry he demonstrated when he walked the earth.

    Greg,
    You called Genesis a myth.

    If that is not denying the Bible, right at the beginnings and origins, then I don’t know what is.

    You also implied that Jesus didn’t know what he was talking about and not worth listening to when he walked the earth, in regard to what he considered to be demon-posession and how to deal with it, which you also dismissed as ancient myth.

    Leave the discussion if you must, but don’t go with a backhander which implies that my understanding of what happens to people who are demonised is a mere belief in a fairy story. I can’t have ay respect for that banal suggestion at all.

  303. “If that is not denying the Bible, right at the beginnings and origins, then I don’t know what is.”

    Well that’s a matter of conjecture. Seems you can believe some elements are mythical or metaphorical. Just not in your world.

    The general presbytery of the Assemblies of God (AG) denomination, in session August 9–11, 2010, adopted a revised statement on “The Doctrine of Creation.” Here is an excerpt from the official AG position paper, that opens the door to evolution and millions of years, and the various compromise positions on Genesis held by some in the church (such as gap theory, day age, progressive creation, theistic evolution, etc):

    The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. Nor do these accounts provide us with complete chronologies that enable us to date with precision the time of the various stages of creation. Similarly, the findings of science are constantly expanding; the accepted theories of one generation are often revised in the next.

    As a result, equally devout Christian believers have formed very different opinions about the age of the earth, the age of humankind, and the ways in which God went about the creative processes. Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.

    Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God. Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation. (“The Doctrine of Creation,” 2010, http://ag.org/top/beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Doctrine_of_Creation.p

  304. Yet it was declared with astonishment by contemporaries that Jesus brought a revolutionary treatment…

    That’s right. There was no cure for epilepsy or any other medical illness.

    So you would cast a demon out of someone having an epileptic seizure?

  305. Regarding Ezekiel’s prophecy, it is clear that the King of Tyre is not the same as the Prince of Tyre, and is not a man, according to the way the prophecy, or lamentation, is presented.

    Ezekiel 28
    11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
    12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
    13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
    14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
    15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

    16 “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
    17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.
    18 “You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.
    19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.”’”

    Clearly not a man, since he is called the anointed cherub who covers, and as having been in Eden, which was sealed off after the man Adam was cast out of the Garden, long before the Prince of Tyre was born or lived.

    The anointed cherub is here indicated as the fallen angel, also called Lucifer, of the Garden of Eden, called the covering angel.

    The Old Testament prophets understood the realms of Kings to be overseen by spiritual realms controlled by angelic beings. Certainly Daniel describes this, and indicates a struggle between God’s Angel Michael and the Princes of Persia and Media, which are principalities of the heavenlies.

    This angle ‘walked back and forth from the midst of the fiery stones’, which is before the presence of God, and was cast out from this position before God.

    No man has ever seen God. This is talking about the fallen angel, created perfect, but in whom was found pride, in that he was lifted up because of his beauty.

    His make-up, the beauty of his appearance is said to have been how he was hen he was created, so not gained as a conquering man-king, but gifted by God as the covering angel.

  306. …unconnected excuse…

    Actually both demoniacs were suffering from differing forms of mental or metacognitive illness. They’re not unconnected.

  307. Bones, the AOG have not called Genesis a myth, but revised their understanding of it. That is not the same as calling it an outright myth as Greg has done on this thread.

    There is far more to Genesis than the creation account, however, and it established many of the doctrinal origins which are so essential for our grasp of scripture.

    By dismissing it as totally allegory and, worse, as a myth, you and Greg eliminate from the discussion some of the key elements of the Christian faith.

    Which makes it almost impossible to discuss anything Biblical with you, since a large portion of the Bible is removed from your understanding of what it reveals.

    The clear revelation on the work of demons and their judgment and expulsion is alone small example of this.

  308. Bones,
    So you would cast a demon out of someone having an epileptic seizure?

    No. Why would I?

    Do you know the difference between an epileptic seizure and a demonised person convulsing?

  309. Bones, you have in no way dealt with the question of whether Jesus cast out demons or not. The gospel accounts clearly say that he did.

  310. re Ezekiel 28

    From the start, a telling sign against an identification with Satan is that the equation here was made in the 3rd and 4th century AD, by church writers — not by Jews of the OT or NT era. This does not mean it is wrong, but it does place a greater burden of proof on claimants.

    As it happens, it is the passage in Ezekiel that is considered more detailed, and is used to support the Isaiah passage’s interpretation, so dealing with Ezekiel will address the matter sufficiently. Our primary sources are the commentaries by Cooper (Ezekiel, 266ff) and by Allen (Ezekiel 20-48), which provided the most thorough explanations available to us. Cooper stands for a mild endorsement of the equation with Satan, while Allen dismisses it.

    Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

    This portion by itself is not determiniative. Ancient kings were regarded as the repositories of wisdom; the point of “beauty” may be vanity (cf. Prov. 31:30) which would fit as well with the king of Tyre’s honor status as leader of a wealtrhy nation. There is nothing particular here to point us towards Satan, or away from Satan.

    Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

    Eden for Ezekiel is a type of the wealthy city of Tyre; a virtual “paradise” for its residents and for the king of Tyre especially. There is no need to seek a “certain person” who actually was in Eden.

    Also Ezekiel 31 is a fable that speaks about the Egyptian king, king pharaoh. In that fable the king is called by his name, but he is also called the biggest and largest tree in the garden of God in Eden.
    From this prophecy, we can learn about the destiny of king pharaoh that will be driven out from the garden, because he was too arrogant. This could be an explanation for his downfall in the battle with the Babylonian empire.

    Ezekiel writes of Pharaoh 31:8-9

    ‘The cedars in God’s garden [g]could not match it;
    The [h]cypresses [i]could not compare with its boughs,
    And the plane trees [j]could not match its branches.
    No tree in God’s garden [k]could compare with it in its beauty.
    9 ‘I made it beautiful with the multitude of its branches,
    And all the trees of Eden, which were in the garden of God, were jealous of it.

    So is Pharaoh Satan then?

    Was Pharaoh in the garden?

    Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

    It is perhaps this passage that makes the strongest case for an equation with Satan. But the reference to the ruler as a “cherub” no more means an actual cherub is in view than it means a dragon or a giant tree is actually in view in the next chapters about Pharaoh — and this point is made even stronger by the fact that cherubs were a key symbol of Phoenician and Tyrian iconography.

    The references to a holy mountain and stones of fire are peculiar in any setting. Those who suggest Satan in view here are compelled to suggest a vivid anthropomorphism, for obviously a spirit being is not walking on an actual mountain or among actual stones. Thus indeed Cooper’s claim that this must be more than a “strictly human creature” fails, for the metaphor requires an interpretative massage regardless of who we think this is.

    Allen points out that the language suggests accounts of mountains as abodes of gods, and also points to a very late use of the phrase “in all my holy mountain” in a description of the return to Paradise. The fiery stones may relate to a picture in the Gilgamesh epic of a garden in which fruit and leaves took the form of jewels, which would be an appropriate image of Eden to use when addressing a pagan king.

    The context may elude us because of lack of informing material, but given the creative use of imagery, there is no automatic ground here to identity Satan as the party of intent.

    Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

    This repeats images from above and thus suggests nothing new. However, it raises a point to note the “multitude of thy merchandise,” which fits the trading nature of Tyre (a significant city-state for that practice) but doesn’t meld well with Satan, who is no salesman.

    As a consequence of this and further portions of the passage, exegetes like Cooper are compelled to suggest “a shift of focus back and forth” between the king of Tyre and Satan, and to claim that with this reference, the allusions to Satan are “temporarily abandoned.” We would suggest rather that this is an explanation that begs the question.

    Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

    There is again little new here; it may be noted that there is little channce that a spirit being will be brought to literal ashes, or will be seen by people. A king of course won’t likely be made literally ashes either; this is normal “trash talk” of the ANE variety.

    In summation, Cooper lists numerous traits of the personality in Ez. 28 and Is. 14. With the exception of language associated with Eden and the mount of God, none of this would not fit a human king; and once we recognize the creative use of imagery and their contexts, these portions fall behind an identification of a human leader of Tyre as well.

    Finding Satan here is an excellent exercise in midrashic typology — but in terms of actual justification from the intent of the text, there is little that can be found.

    http://www.tektonics.org/gk/heylucy.html

  311. “Bones, the AOG have not called Genesis a myth, but revised their understanding of it.”

    There is some intelligence happening in the Pentecostals then.

    Of course now it’s ok to believe theistic evolution it won’t be long till they see the light too.

  312. Exorcism Gone Bad #2 (of many)

    Mother gets 62 years in boy’s exorcism death

    Following an emotional hearing late Friday morning, Latisha Lawson received a 62-year prison sentence for her conviction on multiple charges in connection to the November 2009 death of her 2-year-old son.

    In May, an Allen Superior Court jury did not buy Lawson’s defense that she was insane when she forced her toddler, Jezaih King, to drink a concoction of “blessed” olive oil and vinegar, something she believed would drive a demon named “Marzon” from his body.

    Lawson, 31, and her roommate, Natasha Hawkins, also 31, believed all the children in the home were possessed and forced them all to drink the mixture

    But the “exorcism” led to Jezaih’s death by asphyxia due to neck compression and suffocation.

    Lawson told the jury the “process” of the exorcism and giving Jezaih the three doses of the mixture took a few days, and that the child did not pass away immediately.

    “It was awhile,” she said. “We just held his body and were praying … and he was passing away.”

    After he died, Lawson sought no help and ordered the children not to tell anyone. Instead she and Hawkins put the body on Hawkins’ bed, praying over it, sleeping with it and believing God would bring Jezaih back.

    “I went in and just asked God to bring him back,” she said, sobbing. “He did it in the Bible. He did it with Lazarus. He did it with a child in the Bible.”

    So great was Lawson’s belief in her son’s soon resurrection, she and Hawkins bought him a small blue hat and a pair of “house shoes” a few months after his death.

    Eventually, while Hawkins was staying with her boyfriend, Lawson put Jezaih’s body in the closet, then transferred him to the plastic tote, which she kept with her when she moved from the Hobson Road apartment sometime before Thanksgiving in 2010.

    Lawson was convicted of murder, aggravated battery causing death, neglect of a dependant causing death, neglect of a dependant causing injury, neglect of a dependant and battery causing injury to a child under 14, according to court documents.

    Because three of the charges – murder, aggravated battery causing death and neglect of a dependant causing death – all stem from Jezaih’s death, Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced Lawson only on the murder and vacated the convictions in the other two charges.

    She sentenced Lawson to 55 years on the murder, four years on the neglect of a dependant causing injury, 1 1/2 years on neglect of a dependant and 1 1/2 years on the battery charge.

    Gull ordered all the sentences to be served one after another for a total of 62 years.

    “Our children look to us to protect them,” Gull said. “Our children look to us to keep them safe. You did neither.”

    Hawkins is scheduled to stand trial later this year on charges of aiding in battery causing death, neglect of a dependent causing death and assisting a criminal, and four counts of battery related to her alleged treatment of her own children.

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110624/LOCAL03/110629696

  313. Exorcist ‘pastor’ convicted of manslaughter

    Self-styled pastor Luke Lee was today found guilty of the manslaughter of one his most ardent followers Joanna Lee during an exorcism that went horribly wrong.

    After the jury returned its guilty verdict at the end of an eight-day trial, Justice Barry Paterson told them: “You may have formed the view that Mr Lee may have obsessive and fanatical religious beliefs, but that doesn’t mean of course that he can infringe the laws of the land.”

    The judge added that he believed the verdict was appropriate.

    He remanded 38-year-old Lee, the founder of Lord of Alls church in Mt Roskill, for sentencing on December 20.

    The Crown, represented by Aaron Perkins and Simon Mount, maintained that Lee strangled 37-year-old Ms Lee during a particularly aggressive exorcism ritual in which he also sat and bounced on her stomach and chest to expel demons.

    Lee claimed it was the devil who killed Ms Lee, but he assured the court that she would return to life before next Monday, December 10.

    In his summing up, Justice Paterson told the jury they had heard a lot about resurrection but it was irrelevant to what happened the night Ms Lee died on December 9 last year.

    The jury heard that Ms Lee’s body turned black and decomposed over six days as Lee and his followers prayed and chanted incantations to bring her back to life.

    One woman was even persuaded by Lee to lie on top of the rotting corpse and blow into the mouth in an effort to revive it.

    On account of the distressing evidence during the eight-day trial, Justice Paterson excused jurors from further jury service for three years.

  314. Bones, quoting tektonics,
    Eden for Ezekiel is a type of the wealthy city of Tyre

    No, that is an unverified assumption made to detract from the truth that the covering cherub was indeed in Eden, which gives us a vital clue to the subject.

    Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth;

    This you dramatically fail to answer, only sidestepping with nonsense. You have no explanation, and offer none.

    In short you have no argument with the identification of the passage with the anointed cherub who covers being in the Eden of God and therefore most likely a senior angel with access to the throne of God.

    I did not mention Satan. I do suggest, however, that the angel, most likely, is connected with the adversary, and that he was cast from the presence of God, which is prophetically revealed as being in the midst of the fiery stones.

  315. Oh gosh, Bones!

    Do we have to go through case after case where people have done the wrong thing with exorcism? What does it prove? That there is no evil, or that it exists in many forms, including the misapplication of Biblical truths.

    I was going to commend you for having not stooped to Godwin’s law yet, but this is just as bad.

    Should we wade through the myriad of cases where medicine has failed, or given wrong diagnosis, or poor operations in theatres, or the thousands of patients who needlessly die in hospitals every year?

    Spare us!

  316. Of course, you missed out the seven sons of Sciva. They stuffed up too!

    And what did the demon do to them, Bones?

  317. Should we wade through the myriad of cases where medicine has failed, or given wrong diagnosis, or poor operations in theatres, or the thousands of patients who needlessly die in hospitals every year?

    I meant to ask, does this negate the need for medicine?

  318. Trial begins for preacher accused in exorcism death of boy

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/July 5, 2004

    Milwaukee — On a warm Friday night in August, an autistic 8-year-old went with his mother to a strip-mall church where a school janitor moonlighting as a preacher said he could cast out the demons twisting the boy’s development.

    After an intense two-hour prayer session that brought the preacher chest-to-chest with little Terrance Cottrell Jr. while others held the boy’s limbs, the preacher’s shirt was soaked with sweat and the boy had, at some point, stopped moving.

    Nobody noticed when Terrance died, according to what those present told police.

    This morning, the preacher, Ray A. Hemphill, will go on trial for what happened that night in his Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith. He faces a charge of felony child abuse, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and five more on extended supervision, because Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann said he didn’t think a homicide charge would stick.

    In a written report last year, the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide by suffocation “due to external chest compression.”

    McCann said last year that he could not prove Hemphill knew that what he was doing was likely to kill the boy. He declined to comment further on the charge.

    “I’m just uncomfortable right before the trial commenting on the evidence,” McCann said.

    The case has drawn a level of national attention not seen in a Wisconsin courtroom since former Green Bay Packer Mark Chmura’s 2001 sexual assault trial. Court TV plans to broadcast the trial live.

    Within that spotlight, a jury will be asked to decide whether Hemphill should be punished for what happened during what prosecutors call an “exorcism” but his attorney calls a “prayer service.”

    “This was at least the ninth or 10th prayer service,” said Thomas Harris, Hemphill’s attorney. “Nothing went wrong the first eight times.”

    Harris would not say whether Hemphill will take the stand in his own defense or why his client hasn’t made a plea agreement in the case. He did say he’ll base Hemphill’s defense around the findings of a toxicologist, John P. Bederka Jr., who wrote in a letter to the court that the medical examiner’s autopsy found “toxic blood levels of at least two drugs” – the antihistamine brompheneramine and the anti-psychotic ziprasidone – in the boy’s system.

    “That’s what I’m saying. I’m saying it’s the drugs,” Harris said.

    Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams would not elaborate on his plans to prosecute or whether the other people present during the exorcism – Cottrell’s mother and two other women – will face prosecution for their roles.

    Court filings in the case indicate Williams is waiting until after Hemphill’s trial to make the final decision on criminal charges for the women so their testimony against Hemphill won’t be restrained by their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

    The forensic pathologist who autopsied an 8-year-old autistic child hours after he was killed during an exorcism told jurors Wednesday the boy died from asphyxiation due to intense pressure on his chest – not from medication he was taking.

    Minister Ray Hemphill, 47, who prayed and sang over Terrance Cottrell’s chest as parishioners held him down Aug. 22, 2003, stands trial for felony physical child abuse. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

    His defense attorney contends that prescription medication, not Hemphill, ultimately killed the boy.

    According to medical records, Terrance, who stood 4-foot-9 and weighed 130 pounds, was diagnosed with autism at age 2.

    In the seven months before his death, he had been prescribed the antipsychotic drug ziprasidone, also known as Geodon, initially at a dosage of 20 milligrams a day, which was gradually increased to 200 milligrams.

    Toxicology reports showed elevated levels of the drug in his system, along with the presence of two over-the-counter cough suppressant medications.

    Although Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, conceded that Terrance’s Geodon prescription was in the “upper limit” of what’s normally recommended, he asserted that it was not a toxic level.

    “The drugs he was taking did not contribute to his death,” Jentzen testified.

    Jentzen told jurors that, when Terrance’s body was autopsied in the early morning hours after his death, the child was wearing shorts and a sweat-soaked T-shirt.

    Jentzen also found severe hemorrhaging at the back of the boy’s neck, which he attributed to either “a blow with a blunt object” or “sustained pressure.”

    Both descriptions are consistent with witness testimony that the boy thrashed about as Hemphill held his head against the floor and that his head may have struck an elevated step near the pulpit.

    Terrance, like most autistic children, hated to be touched and had few words to express his needs, according to previous testimony. His mother and two female parishioners helped restrain him as he lay on his back on the floor of the strip-mall based Faith Temple of the Apostolic Faith Church, where Hemphill administered the boy’s 12th such “prayer service,” as the defense calls it.

    Hemphill told investigators he had no formal theological training and had received his calling from God. He also said that his brother, the reverend of the independent church, had ordained him.

    http://www.rickross.com/reference/exorcism/exorcism12.html

  319. Unthinkable errors by doctors and surgeons —

    — such as amputating the wrong leg or removing organs from the wrong patient — occur more frequently than previously believed, a new study suggests.

    Over a period of 6.5 years, doctors in Colorado alone operated on the wrong patient at least 25 times and on the wrong part of the body in another 107 patients, according to the study, which appears in the Archives of Surgery.

    So-called wrong-patient and wrong-site procedures accounted for about 0.5 percent of all medical mistakes analyzed in the study. Although these serious errors are rare overall, the numbers seen in the study are “considerably higher” than previous estimates, researchers say.

    Health.com: Medical mistakes are more common than you think
    In fact, the surgical blunders reported in the study are probably “the tip of the iceberg,” says the lead researcher, Dr. Philip Stahel, M.D., a surgeon at Denver Health Medical Center. The actual number of patient and site mix-ups is likely much higher, says Stahel, describing those mistakes as “a catastrophe.”

    Catastrophic surgical errors are “a lot more common than the public thinks,” says Dr. Martin Makary, M.D., a professor of surgery and public health at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.
    “Each hospital, whether they publicly admit it or not, and whether or not it’s discoverable in a lawsuit, has an episode of wrong-site or wrong-patient surgery either every year or once every few years,” says Makary, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. “Almost every surgeon has seen one.”

    Stahel and his colleagues analyzed 27,370 records from a database of medical errors maintained by a company that provides malpractice insurance to about 6,000 physicians in Colorado. (The physicians themselves reported the incidents.)

    The errors in the database — some of which originated with other doctors or support staff, rather than surgeons — were caused by a range of slipups, including mixing up patient medical records, X-rays, and biopsy samples. All of the mistakes could be traced back to some form of miscommunication.

    In one wrong-patient procedure, hospital staff confused two patients with the same first and last name who were in a doctor’s office at the same time; in another, staff members brought the wrong child into the operating room. Examples of wrong-site errors included removing the wrong ovary or irradiating the wrong organ.

    “One of the worst cases I saw in this study was two patients who had had prostate biopsies,” Stahel says. “One had cancer and one did not. Clinicians mixed up the samples and the patient without cancer had a radical prostatectomy — which is a huge surgery, removal of an organ for nothing — while the patient with cancer [was] still walking out in the community, not knowing his true diagnosis.”

    Overall, one-third of the mistakes led to long-term negative consequences for the patient. One patient even died of lung complications after an internist inserted a chest tube in the wrong side of his body.

    Only about 22 percent of the mistakes led to malpractice claims or lawsuits. The database is unusual in that it contains information on all incidents (not just those that resulted in a claim), and for that reason the rate of surgical mix-ups reported in the study is likely more accurate than those in previous studies, Stahel says.

    http://www.cnn.co.uk/2010/HEALTH/10/18/health.surgery.mixups.common/index.html

  320. Doctors removed 40 body parts wrongly say official figures
    by BETH HALE

    Horrifying medical blunders in which patients have had the wrong body part removed have soared in just two years, according to new figures.

    Incredibly the number of patients who have woken from surgery to find themselves victims of terrible blunders almost doubled last year.

    Meanwhile compensation payouts to victim have risen by more than 100 per cent to just over £1 million in the year 2005 to 2006 alone.

    The soaring tally of errors is revealed in figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Among the clinical mishaps last year were eight incidents of the wrong disc being removed, five cases of the wrong leg being amputated and four cases of the wrong hip being taken.

    It follows revelations of doctors removing the wrong testicle and a woman given a hysterectomy in error after a records mix up.

    Other mistakes include the wrong set of lungs being transplanted into a patient and a child who was mistakenly circumcised after doctors visited the wrong home.

    Called wrong site surgery, there were 27 claims in 2003-2004, rising to 35 claims the following financial year and 40 claims last year.

    It means that dozens of people are waking up from surgery every year to find that surgeons have carried out an operation on them – but on the wrong body part.

    A legal wrangle ensues when the patient then sues the NHS for compensation and trauma associated with the blunder. Last year one patient received the biggest ever payout of £327,076 for an operating error.

    The payouts have been made by the National Health Service Litigation Authority, which is the central body responsible for dealing with all legal claims against the NHS in England.

    Last year it paid out a total of £560 million in damages and costs for medical negligence claims. Claim costs for wrong site surgery were £447,000 three years ago and by the end of the last financial year had soared to more than £1 million.

    It means its cost the NHS an average of £27,000 for every wrong site surgery last year compared to just £16,500 three years ago.
    Extraction of teeth was the most common blunder. A separate study of Strategic Health Authorities earlier this year revealed dozens of errors, some of which patients may not yet have been compensated for.

    North-West London SHA revealed lungs from a donor with a different blood group were transplanted into a patient in 2003 and in another area holes were drilled into the wrong side of the head of a neurosurgery patient.

    Earlier this year the Mail told how a cancer sufferer was facing a lifetime of dialysis treatment after doctors removed his healthy kidney by mistake.

    John Heron, 64, had surgery in March to cut out his diseased kidney after it was diagnosed with a cancerous growth.

    But he came round from the operation to discover the blunder. The grandfather was left facing further surgery and painful dialysis.
    In a separate case a 57-year-old nurse went to the General Medical Council after a French vascular surgeon took her transplanted kidney instead of her diseased kidney.

    The woman, who was not named and had endured years of pain from polycystic kidney disease, had to go back on the transplant list.

    A Patients Association spokesman said: “I really am surprised and shocked by this figure because you don’t expect doctors of all people to make these serious errors.”

    He said doctors were under pressure coping with the demands of an aging population.

    But he added: “At the end of the day they have to make sure they are reading the patient’s notes before an operation is started.”
    “They have to see their patient’s history and take extra care to make sure they don’t make mistakes that cause undue grief to them.”

    “These mistakes ruin people’s lives and cost the NHS millions of pounds a year in compensation and legal fees.”
    A Taxpayers Alliance spokesman said the rise pointed to major problems with hospital administrative systems.

    “The number of hospital bureaucrats has increased massively and top managers are being paid City wages, so it’s intolerable that patients are being let down so badly,” he said.

    “The whole system needs to be shaken up, so that patients can really benefit from the massive increase in NHS spending in recent years.”

    Last year a report estimated that up to 34,000 patients die every year as a result of a medical blunder.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-408163/Doctors-removed-40-body-parts-wrongly-say-official-figures.html#ixzz2ExVVb5xL

  321. How about a competition to find out who can Google the worse case scenario on any Biblical subject!

    I know you mob who hang out over at Lance’s or Jake’s will have an advantage because they are the past masters at searching for the most evil, vile stories about anything to do with Pastors, Pentecostals, the Church, or Christians in general, but, never mind, let’s help Bones out with his quest for the best of the worse!

  322. Saw this great tweet today. Kind of sums up what Bones and Greg are doing:

    “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself!”

  323. “How about a competition to find out who can Google the worse case scenario on any Biblical subject!”

    Or any subject for that matter. Imagine a website arguing that schools are terrible. Probably just the few of us here could come up with great anecdotes.

  324. How Public Schools Destroy Your Children’s Lives and Careers: What Really Happens Behind the Closed Doors of the Public Schools

    Educating your children in the public schools does not take one minute or perhaps one day. Education is a life-long process and whether we like it or not, the fact is, it never stops. Your children will spend the most important part of their lives at the public schools and whatever they learn at those schools will impact their lives as long as they live.What really happens to your children at public schools each day? Do you think that your children are learning useful information in today’s schools? If you think that your children will leave today’s public schools properly prepared for real life, the answer is no, you are WRONG!Public schools have failed. Many teachers are not properly educated with the appropriate teaching certification. School administrators constantly sell lies about the “success” of their students, when in reality they are failing miserably today. Courses and exams are designed to be very simple so that they no longer test the knowledge of our children properly. The greatest portion of school budgets is spent on the salary of local school administrators. Almost everything your children learn in today’s public schools is useless. Teaching positions are no longer designed for the smartest and most qualified teachers; they have become political positions that anyone can hold as long as they get approved by the school board.It’s not too late to do something to turn this around! How Public Schools Destroy Your Children’s Lives and Careers offers thoughts and solutions on this hot-button topic.

  325. ” I know you mob who hang out over at Lance’s or Jake’s will have an advantage because they are the past masters at searching for the most evil, vile stories about anything to do with Pastors, Pentecostals, the Church, or Christians in general, but, never mind, let’s help Bones out with his quest for the best of the worse! ”

    You missed a few words here and there STEVE, and you left a few out. So i will fix it up for you.

    ” I love you mob who hang out over at Lance’s or Jake’s, you have an advantage because you are the masters at searching for the truth to do with False Pastors, False Pentecostals, the False Church, or False Christians in general, so then, clever minds!, let’s help Bones with his quest to be blessed with the earth.

  326. Dear Steve,
    Sorry that i have entered the adults only Blog of Signposts 02(as you somewhat described it).
    I forgot to make an account and leave a proof of age.OOPS!.
    Hope that i don’t get busted, though i have not yet encountered any hard-core porn here.

  327. Thank you so much, EYES, for demonstrating my point so succinctly, by editing my comments to suit your own perspective rather than adding your own comment which either agreed with or refuted mine.

    This juvenile means of censure is typical of Lance’s and Jake’s methodology. In fact, after being warned for dissent in the form of an alternative view on their respective blogs, I have been banned by both from commenting.

    This demonstrates that they do not have either the wit, the guile or the inclination to engage in conversations with people who challenge their views or present an alternative perspective, even to the point of refuting their claims.

    When I charge that this is more grown up forum, it is because there are many views expressed here, censorship, under the current oversight, is discouraged and the site manages to self-regulate without the need of sanction, which means there are a variety of views expressed.

  328. I look forward to the defence of Kong Hee, ‘miracle’ offerings and Bill johnson’s comments at Presence 2011: Positioning For Power that Jesus performed miracles as a mere man not God.

    Could you imagine the outcry if Greg or I said that?

    Hypocrites!

  329. No, the only hypocrisy is censorship of dissent.

    We’re all right or wrong about something. Even you!

    Claiming a exclusive handle on truth at the expense of an alternative view is far worse than being wrong. It excludes all opportunity for change or repentance.

  330. Hence your liberal views are encouraged here by evangelicals, but challenged as out of sync with the Word of God.

    We disagree but do so in an open manner.

    We do not hide behind censorship.

  331. I was just wondering today. Greg made the comment that nobody changes their positions here, and it led me to think about how people do change their minds.

    What think you people? Seems to be that like the old education theory goes that you can’t teach someone something, people have to learn or discover things for themselves.

    There aren’t many times when someone changes another’s mind that easily. Unless they have lots of time and the environment to do it. The prodigal son at one point “came to his senses”, but it took a lot for him to get there.

    And it often takes an experience or a series of experiences to change a position. Often bad experiences.

    Most people I know joined a particular church not through examining all the different religions and then denominations and then knocking on the church door of the place that they found had the same truth. (Know anyone like that?).

    And I’ve found that people often leave a church and then slowly start building a doctrinal/philosophical case against it after negative experiences too.

    Which is why people who leave a group are often completely overboard in their criticisms. Like someone who divorces who can’t see anything good at all in the person they once loved.

    Here’s a question. Do you think you can CHOOSE to believe something. Or decide to believe something, or take a point of view.

    Anyone know how Wazza and Margot are these days. And I know that he caused a lot of trouble, but I hope that 5p guy is doing okay.

    I think I’ll go back to my mr nice guy churchman days. 🙂

  332. Maybe this is too hard

    2 Timothy 2:23-25

    But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce [h]quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive [i]by him to do his will.

    Or maybe this

  333. I don’t know if you’re juvenile or not, EYES. I just said that censorship by critics is juvenile, since it demands to be heard but not challenged.

    You I do not know. Your words are my only reference.

    Bones,
    I agree entirely with what you put up in regard to 2 Timothy 2.23-25.

    I do try to put up a firm but fair assessment of what I see as truth vs error, which sometimes necessitates being as basic and clear as possible, which can appear to be confrontational, but this isn’t always intentional. Being quarrelsome takes more than one party, I agree.

    I don’t think I’ve been particularly unkind to anyone, in terms of calling them ‘nutbags’, ‘dickheads’, or anything like that. I try to keep my language reasonably civil, even if I am strong in my views.

    I do see a case for presenting truth when error is published, though, don’t you?

    What are you doing about it?

  334. By the way, it was known that Kenneth E Hagin never, in all his ministry life, responded to his critics, preferring to pray for them and walk in love towards them.

    He has always been soundly criticised for this as well, as people claim he refuses to answer his critics.

    Phil Pringle is mostly the same, preferring to get on with the job and rarely commenting about opposition to his ministry, and certainly not by naming anyone.

    he is roundly criticised for this.

    As is Brian Houston.

    It is a no win station, really, isn’t it.

    But the scripture you produce, is, nevertheless, the guide for their patience with critics.

  335. So I’ll take your comments as pseudo Christians believing in a false gospel then as being kind or not being quarrelsome. Which is what Zorro has said about you. As well as your comments about Greg’s supposed meltdown.

    I mean we can all justify our own behaviour but God sees it for what it is and he’s not too impressed by it.

    You can’t argue people into heaven.

    They have to ‘come to their senses’.

  336. Bones, I looked at that video. I would say that these days the people attacking Christians are on the whole much angrier and confrontational. Yeah, I know you could probably put up some very extreme video. But in general, it’s not the Christians who are angry.

    Even the infamous Westboro people – (and I’m totally against them), if you see them on a talk show, they are the ones that just get shouted down.

    It’s ironic.

    But yeah, I’ll accept it. The only people these days not allowed to get angry are Christians. Fine.

    Watch this space.

  337. Of course Steve that goes for all ministers doing the work of the Lord.

    You don’t see the Pope going around insulting believers who attack him. Or Dr Rowan Williams.

    They’re probably praying for them as well.

  338. Not sure if your comment was for me or for Steve. But, I think you can say that something is a false gospel without anger.

    You can also say something is sin without being full of hate and anger.

    I don’t mind a Roman Catholic saying that i”m a heretic and not in the true church. They believe that. All depends in how you say things.

    I’ll try to get better at saying things better.

  339. Well, if Benedict were the Pope 1000 years ago he may not have been so polite. Probably would have killed his critics. 🙂

    Those were the days….

  340. Q, it’s interesting that you justify Christian’s behaviour by comparing them to the world. Like but the non-Christians are just as bad.

    And if you go around telling people God hates them with a big smile on your face be prepared to cop some flak.

    Do you think if your wife lovingly told you she hated you would make much difference.

    I thought Christians had a different standard.

    James 3:6

    And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.

  341. 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our [c]life, and is set on fire by [d]hell.

  342. And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). (AMP)

  343. Bones, I don’t tell people that God hates them. I really don’t know many Christians who do. Maybe the Westboro Baptists?
    But I’ve never heard Pringle, or Houston, or Steve or actually anyone I know say that God hates them.

    If my wife told me lovingly that I was really wrong, and if I keep going I”ll drive over a cliff, or that if I don’t lose weight I will be dead in 6 months according to the doctor, I wouldn’t call her judgemental or hateful or evil.

    And I wasn’t justifying Christian’s behavior. I think we are all humans, and Christians have the same democratic right to an opinion as atheists. I’m saying that I don’t see Christians these days as being hateful.

    But in the end, I agreed that Christians are called to a completely other-worldly standard that nobody else expects anyone to adhere to.

    So I said that I would try better. Not sure what you’re on about now.

    🙂 Peace.

  344. Oh I see ,i said that you can tell someone that something is sin without being hateful. Sure I believe that.

    I tell my kids that some things are wrong. Should I stop?

  345. Dear Q,
    The devil is not going to tell you that he hates you.
    The deceiver will not know that he is deceiv
    ed.
    He comes as an angel of light.
    5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. <>

  346. Well, thank you for pointing out my faults, Bones. I’ll take that on board. I don’t think I’ve said anything to Greg or Zorro they don’t already know, or haven’t already shared with us.

    I’m not aware of saying anything to or about them which in any way matches their own comments on anything I have said or believe, in particular, with Zorro, the church I attend, or views I have.

    Why would it be bad or wrong to point out to someone their doctrine is error when balanced against what the Word of God says? Surely that is the right thing to do.

    I actually think your liberal perspective perverts the truth. That is not direct criticism of you as a person, just a point of view based on what you expound compared to the gospel.

    I’m fairly careful about how I say things and to whom.

    i always assess that if a person such as yourself, or Zorro, or the former Greg is prepared to call people offensive names or judge them harshly in a personal way, they must be ready and prepared to be judged accordingly.

    These things are quite relative at times. I assume that is how you speak to people normally and would expect to be addressed.

    And you?

    Will we be seeing a more circumspect Bones?

  347. James 4:13-16
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 [a]Yet you do not know [b]what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 [c]Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your [d]arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

  348. So I see your standard is set on how others behave.

    No matter.

    I know plenty of websites where Christians of different persuasions can communicate with condemning others. This one seems to have a real antagonistic thing about it.

    Maybe its demonic.

    I’d call it pride.

    eg

    Why would it be bad or wrong to point out to someone their doctrine is error when balanced against what I think the Word of God says?

    Will we be seeing a more circumspect Bones?

    Won’t be seeing much of me for a while.

    I’m taking the family on holidays.

    Btw I’d rather be called a dickhead than a heretic.

    But that’s relative.

  349. @Q

    As much as Bones and Greg would argue to the contrary, I am always willing to have my mind changed if my previous thinking is found to be wrong. I was an extremely staunch believer in tithing once. My mind was closed to any other thinking, but then through a series of events that God led me through, I came to the realisation that tithing isn’t a requirement for New Testament believers. I gained a real revelation of Grace giving, and my life hasn’t been the same since. I also used to subscribe to the Calvinist view of God, but now realise that a lot of the Calvinist doctrine is evil and unscriptural. A friend introduced me to two resources that blew my mind and revolutionised my view of God – “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible” by E.W. Bullinger, and the now out of print Young’s Analytical Concordance with the “Hints to Bible Interpretation” introduction. I am now in a position where I know who God really is, and how to rightly divide His word, and so unless something I believe is proved to be incorrect by revelation of the Holy Spirit in His word, I am pretty set in my beliefs. Having said that, I still am learning every day. However, the Gnostic “gospel” that Greg and Bones have sold their souls to has no appeal to me – in fact it is shown to be completely anti-Christ once you know how to understand what you are reading when you open the pages of the bible. But I have a feeling they already know that.

  350. @Raymond. Thanks for that reply. Fascinating stuff.

    I’m amazed at how many young people are getting into Calvinism. It’s almost trendy.

  351. Justification and Righteousness by Faith
    God called Abraham out of Mesopotamia and promised to give his descendants the land of Canaan. After Abraham was in the land of Canaan,

    The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?… You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

    Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them…. So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:1-5)

    This was a phenomenal promise. But, even more remarkable is what we read in verse 6: “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” This is a landmark statement of justification by faith. Abraham was counted righteous on the basis of faith. The apostle Paul develops that thought further in Romans 4 and Galatians 3.

    Christians inherit the promises of Abraham on the basis of faith—and laws that were given to Moses simply cannot take away those promises. This principle is taught in Galatians 3:17. This is an especially important passage.

  352. @everyone – I don’t see why anyone needs to refer to a former Greg or a “supposed” meltdown.

    Greg has recently by far been the most reasonable, conciliatory person here. Maybe we can do have a clean slate in 2013, and not bring up past things?

  353. a lot of the Calvinist doctrine is evil and unscriptural.

    It’s not for me. And I would argue against it and disagree with it.

    But it’s not evil.

    Margot is not evil.

  354. Steve,
    Why would it be bad or wrong to point out to someone their doctrine is error when balanced against what the Word of God says?

    Bones,
    Why would it be bad or wrong to point out to someone their doctrine is error when balanced against what I think the Word of God says?

    Spot the difference!

    Is it significant? You bet! Because it is easier to match what a person says against the Word, which is established, than against my opinion or interpretation of what the Word says.

    Most of Bones’ and Greg’s references are extra-biblical appeals to someone’s opinion of what the writers of the Bible actually meant under inspiration o God, whereas I tend to use the actual texts, for which Bones calls me super spiritual.

    That is because he doesn’t actually believe large passages of the text. he has to find someone or something =to back up his theories that, for instance, Genesis is an allegory in its entirety, or as Greg would have us believe, is a myth.

    Allegory or myth. Tese are the views of the liberals.

    Granted, some the text may involve allegory, but to negate all to allegory is error, since much of genesis is historical, some is anecdotal, a large portion is a record of what God said, and, indeed God’s dealings with man, and is referenced by a great number of the other writers of both Books and Epistles, and included in the gospel record, making Genesis an important reference for all believers.

    But Greg and Bones show themselves not to be believers in this book.

    That is one example.

    So, when I measure what Bones, or Greg say against the texts, often, they do not add up, they do not tally with what the Old or New Testament writers tell us.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with what I think, because i am merely an onlooker comparing what they say in their quoted theological philosophies of doubters with what the writers of the texts tell us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    Thus, once again, Bones is found out warping what i actually said into what he would like me to say so that he has an actual case.

    That is both fraud and hypocrisy.

    Should i say these as a loving Christian? Yes, in the hope that he will see what he has done and make a correction in his approach. Otherwise his words are worth nothing, because we cannot believe what he repeats of what another person actually says.

  355. Get over your self righteousness.

    Why do you think I bolded it?

    And yes it is about what YOU THINK the scriptures say.

    Which is your opinion.

  356. That’s where you fail to correctly discern scripture, Bones, because what I think is irrelevant to the texts. So is what You think.

    It’s what you do with what the texts tell us that counts.

    If I read the texts and they say something which I did not know or did not previously follow then the onus on me is to change what i think into what God’s will for my life is.

    That is the basis of discipleship.

    Romans 12
    1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
    2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    So how do I prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God if I do not know what the will of God is?

    It is not about my will. It never was. My will has to be surrendered to His. I am bought with a price. I am not here to follow my own desires or pursue my own dreams, but to know what it is that God wants me to do with my life.

    Therefore, if i read from you that there is no need to understand Genesis because it is a myth or allegory, I have a choice. I can believe what you say, or read what it says. i can prefer your will or God’s will.

    I can measure what you say about any given subject you write about and compare it to what God says.

    This has nothing to do with my will. And it is not of any private interpretation, s you claim.

    2 Peter 1
    15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
    16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
    17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
    18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
    19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
    20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
    21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

  357. So are you saying, Bones, that what you write is only opinion, and has no substance in scripture.

    Or doesn’t it matter if it does have any substance in scripture to you?

    I’ll tell what I think, but I could be wrong, because when I go into discussing what i think, I believe my thoughts could be subject to error, since I am a mere human thinking at a moderate intellectual level, but, here goes, I’ll tell you what I think.

    I think you think that all scripture is subject to interpretation and that a serious student has to carve out all the various nuances of the text to come to a conclusion about what the writer was saying, whether it was relevant to a certain time and all those other things that higher criticism has decided we need to pursue, including the Greek and the Hebrew and the syntax and the history.

    These things are fine, and some of them have their place, but sometimes we come up against a passage which frankly lambasts our logic into either rebellion or submission.

    For instance, miracles, healing, walking on water, being raised from the dead, angels, speaking in tongues, prophecy, deliverance, demons, heaven, Hades, creation, the new birth, and a host of issues which simply can’t be reasoned out amongst ourselves, and have only two outcomes – either we believe them, and act them out in faith, or we dismiss them as myth, mystery or magic.

    So I think that it is far better for me to knuckle down and decide that, since I have sold out completely to Jesus, and dedicated my life, on numerous occasions, to following Him and doing whatever he asks or commands me to do faithfully, and have given everything to being available for any mission or ministry or act of service for God, then i may as well take His Word at face value and make that the bottom line for my life and anything I undertake as a disciple of the Lord jesus Christ.

    Since my wife is in exactly the same boat, we have a fairly exciting life in Christ, and we both agree that this is the way to be.

    So we do what the Word says, basically, even when we don’t fully grasp it, understand it, or know what to expect when we do it.

    Jesus said it’s the doers of the Word not the hearers only that build their house, or life, on the Rock.

    So, forgive or at least excuse me if I seem self-righteous when I say some things I read or see don’t measure up to the Word of God. That is the standard we have set for our lives.

    You have to set whatever standard you think fit, but that is my gauge – not my will, nor my thoughts.

    It is not always easy. There sometimes immense issues to deal with, even in our own Church circles and amongst people we know, and we have so many faults ourselves and issues to deal with, especially whenever we come across scripture which points out our own error.

    Anyway, I’ll take it that since putting up that verse from Timothy you have had a profound change in your life in regard to how to discuss issues with people and you are merely passing the same repentant attitude possibility to the rest of us.

    Thank you very much!

    I’ll think on it!

  358. By the way, wazza didn’t, by his own admission, put this post up so that we could all say, yes, wonderful, there is no devil, there is no Satan. No, his declaration is that Satan is as Santa, and doesn’t and never did exist.

    He was being provocative. That’s fine. It happens all the time here.

    But as the thread developed there were clear statements made which denied the existence of the adversary, which claimed it was, basically, all in our minds, and that the only devil or demon was the naughtiness of the flesh.

    I did not join in until someway into the thread, after you’ve produced philosophical ideology which denied the existence of a malevolent enemy of God, and actually declared proven that there was no evil being recorded in the Old Testament.

    Scripture itself expressly refutes this. You cannot deny this. It most definitely does.

    The only way you can demonstrate your point of view is to dilute the meaning of scripture, which is what you have done. Greg took it a step further and actually denied the relevance of certain passages of scripture and the testimony of Jesus.

    But the scripture itself refutes everything you have said on this thread in regard to the non-existance of the devil.

    That has always been my weapon of choice in discussing the issue with you on here.

    That and the accompanying testimony of having seen the works of Jesus carried on in the field by applying the same ministry he applied to the expulsion of demons.

    If it were down to what I think, I would say that demons inhabiting and leaving people is pretty weird. But, having applied exactly the Word to certain situations, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, my testimony is that it is confirmed in reality and by scripture.

  359. Anyway, have a great holiday, if I don’t argue, er speak, with you before you go, and be sure to employ the very good Timothy passage you added as a comment as you go!

  360. ” Jesus said it’s the doers of the Word not the hearers only that build their house, or life, on the Rock.”

    Jesus said it’s the doers of the Word not the hearers only that build their house, or life, on the Rock.

    James 1:22

    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
    Romans 2:13 Helpful? Yes No

    For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
    John 13:17 Helpful? Yes No

    If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
    Luke 6:46-48 Helpful? Yes No

    “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
    Matthew 12:50 Helpful? Yes No

    For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
    James 1:26 Helpful? Yes No

    If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
    Colossians 3:17 Helpful? Yes No

    And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
    Galatians 6:7 Helpful? Yes No

    Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
    1 Corinthians 6:9 Helpful? Yes No

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
    Luke 12:47-48 Helpful? Yes No

    And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
    Luke 11:28 Helpful? Yes No

    But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
    Matthew 7:21-27 Helpful? Yes No

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
    Revelation 22:7 Helpful? Yes No

    “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
    3 John 1:11 Helpful? Yes No

    Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
    1 John 3:7 Helpful? Yes No

    Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
    1 John 2:3 Helpful? Yes No

    And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
    James 4:17 Helpful? Yes No

    So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
    James 2:14-20 Helpful? Yes No

    What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
    Matthew 28:20 Helpful? Yes No

    teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
    Revelation 12:9 Helpful? Yes No

    And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
    2 Peter 2:13 Helpful? Yes No

    suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you.
    Titus 3:3 Helpful? Yes No

    For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
    Philippians 4:8 Helpful? Yes No

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    Galatians 6:3 Helpful? Yes No

    For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
    1 Corinthians 15:33 Helpful? Yes No

    Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
    1 John 1:8 Helpful? Yes No

    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    1 Corinthians 3:18 Helpful? Yes No

    Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
    Obadiah 1:3 Helpful? Yes No

    The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
    Isaiah 44:20 Helpful? Yes No

    He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
    2 Timothy 3:13 Helpful? Yes No

    while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
    Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, E

  361. OOPS, forgot the last bit,

    All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, E BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED.

  362. By the way, wazza didn’t, by his own admission, put this post up so that we could all say, yes, wonderful, there is no devil, there is no Satan. No, his declaration is that Satan is as Santa, and doesn’t and never did exist.

    Q and I asked someone to put it up as it would make a good discussion.

    Most of us don’t have editorial rights.

  363. @Bones

    “Q and I asked someone to put it up as it would make a good discussion.”

    It’s been a great discussion. Heard points of view I’ve never heard before. They’re wrong, of course, but interesting nonetheless!

Comments are closed.