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 fff57
Joined: 10/29/2006
Msg: 76
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!Page 4 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
One of the great mysteries to me is how God can allow such an evil beast to exist? The answer: We cannot know everything there is to know about the Lord, so this is one thing that we will just have to accept as true. Remember that old story about the potter and the clay? Does the clay ask the potter where he comes from? So what about the Devil? The devil exists, so we have to deal with it. I think it is pretty apparent that there is plenty of evil in the world, and something has to have been the origin of that. As for the existence of God, just observe the incredible order of the universe, and imagine that happening out of pure chance. Study the anatomy of just one living cell. The chances of all the correct elements needed to make the cell work combining out of chance are very slim.
It has been said that the odds are 1 in 1 with as many zeros behind it as would stack up from here to the moon. Even a simple square letter puzzle with 15 arrangeable letters can be arranged in over a over a million ways.
Everything we see in the universe has to have been caused by something else. So what started the whole thing? There has to be one "uncaused" being that exists outside of the universe, because everything in the universe is subject to the changes and forces of the universe. We call the entity that exists outside the limitations of the universe God.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 77
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/29/2007 6:55:30 PM
It is curious to imagine where the Christian view of the Devil came from. I would speculate that it emerges from contacts between the emerging new Christian Church and dualistic faiths from neighbouring nations such as Zoroastrians or Mithraic religion. The concept of a rebellion in heaven and fallen angels, at least in the way modern Christianity depicts it, simply does not and did not exist in Judaism, nor did the view of Satan as chief of the fallen angels.

Satan was rather viewed in Judaism as the servant of God, metaphorically, and more literally as the impulse to not "choose the good" over evil. God in Judaism is viewed as the creator of all things including good and evil and hopes that his creations, namely man, will choose good...but the angels are not shown as having the will do do other than their Master's bidding though they have intellect and personality.

This is very much at odds with the Christian description so one does have to wonder, if it does not exist in the precursor religion, where does it come from - what chicken made this egg?
 NewWayHome
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 78
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/29/2007 8:38:26 PM
Personally, I think the standard Christian dogma regarding Satan is wrong.

I have my own Islamic viewpoints, which hold that Satan and those who rebelled with him were a class of being known as jinn, and that the angels are something else entirely. That's one explanation: jinns have free will, angels don't.

The other viewpoint that I like is the Gnostic tradition that holds that not all angels were created by the same demiurge. One has ascended to the highest level of pure light, so this God's angels can only do good; the other is earthbound, and its angels can do good or evil, since their creator can do good or evil. Hence the second explanation: Satan and the group of angels he's part of are bound by one set of rules, Michael and the group of angels he's part of are bound a second set of rules.

Actually, I don't find those two explanations inconsistent. The only thing I find inconsistent is the typical Christian viewpoint of angels. Get beyond that flawed theology and you can visualize many logical explanations for how Satan could have rebelled or God could have allowed the creation of an imperfect universe.
 SteveHD
Joined: 3/9/2005
Msg: 79
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/30/2007 5:06:19 AM

Lucifer was angry, and started a war in Heaven, because he wanted the glory of salvation to be his.


Where in the Bible is this war mentioned in more detail?
 Big D.78
Joined: 1/24/2007
Msg: 80
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/30/2007 12:32:31 PM
In response to your reading about Jews being polythesists, they're not. A true Jew only believes in one God, which in Hebrew tongue is Elohim. The devil? He was never a God, just an angel. Which means he has no abilities to create or make anything, but he does use illusions and lies to decieve people. If you don't believe that, look at the world and country we live in, and ask yourself how did we ever let things get this far, it's not God fault. He gave us an instruction manual (bible) and we chose to let it collect dust sitting, instead of reading it.
 paulthesane
Joined: 3/14/2004
Msg: 81
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/30/2007 7:14:19 PM
The concept of a Devil evolved out of exposure to the dualism of the zoroastrians. Ask an Orthodox Jew if they believe in the devil. They will tell you no.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 82
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/30/2007 9:09:38 PM
Speaking from the point of view of archaeology, the earliest records we have, even the scriptures themselves seem to indicate an evolution from henotheism to true monotheism. In any case, the people that are recognized today as Jews and the faith that Christians draw upon for their origins was never polytheistic.

Far enough back in the record, one might find that before such a tribe became unified under one god, the Ba-el Yaweh, as henotheists (acknowledging many gods but worshipping and rendering superiority to only one), they may well have been some type of proto-Caananite group of polytheists...but these were not the Jews proper and this is lost in the dim mists of prehistory.

The defining of true Jewish monotheism is something that comes about later in time, perhaps as late as the death of Alexander the Great, the start of the Hellenic Period.

The belief in the Devil, as Christianity describes it, is as paulthesane says, not a feature of any form of Judaism, let alone Orthodox...nor is the Christian version of hell, nor a war in heaven, nor sin and redemption...it's all completely different and antithetical to Judaism.
 ms_fancypants
Joined: 1/12/2007
Msg: 83
view profile
History
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/30/2007 10:46:43 PM

you know what always bugged me....
The idea that the closer you got to God--- the more the Devil would bug you.

The Bible tells us to put on the full armour of God. This is to help us to fend off the firery darts of the enemy. The armour of God only protects the front of us! Alsa ... it is ok because the bible also tells us that the glory of the Lord shall be our rear guard! I love that! He is always making provisions for us!
 gottalight
Joined: 12/15/2005
Msg: 84
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/30/2007 11:22:08 PM

I grew up in a luthern church and i always heard scary tales of THE DEVIL , satan, and his many other vile names. In my later life i began to sort of laugh as i recall the storys about this enity known as THE DEVIL. It is said by christian faith(or is it just chatholics i'm not sure) that The christian god is infoulable. Yet he created an angel that turned on him? doesn't that seem a little odd to you?


With all due respect to the Theological explanations given, and their respective religions and explanations, I look at the whole thing as a metaphorical philosophy discussion.

God was truth, and he didn't create lies until he had created man. Lies are a thing, but should be percieved as a Spirit, and can never exist as an absolute physical and tangible entity. They are things that a human once told, and they become as vaporous as Spirits when put to the fire. Truth can be described as a Spirit, but exists without man. The light of the sun shone on the earth before man existed, and will still shine after we all die. Truth has absolute power over lies when it is revealed and percieved. Satan and the Devil are metaphors for lies and deceptions.

It is hard to find significant literature on the ancient Zoroastrian religion, but my research points to the concept of Ahura-Mazda being "Truth incarnate."

"Also!!;" Sprach Zarathustra
 hifromdonna
Joined: 8/6/2006
Msg: 85
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/31/2007 4:27:52 PM
The NDE (Near Death Experiencer) and Satan

Kevin Williams' research conclusions

The concept of an evil entity or entities who are trying to cause people to do bad things is a concept that is probably as old as human history. Perhaps it began when someone committed a wrong against someone and needed a scapegoat - someone to blame their sins on. In modern times, the popular phrase used to be, "The Devil made me do it." Some people picture a Devil with horns and a pitchfork. Others describe him as a goat with hooves. Some people describe the Devil as a force, rather than a being, who can be everywhere at the same time to tempt people. The overwhelming consensus in NDE research is that Satan does not exist - at least - not the Satan described literally in the Bible. Nor does evil exist - only mistakes for which we are allowed to make for the purpose of instruction.

Evil Does Not Exist - Only Stupidity

Some beliefs hold to a dualistic system of good versus evil. It is the belief that there is only one force of goodness (God) and only one force of badness (Satan). In between are humans who are little more than pawns on a big chessboard for these two equally opposing forces to battle over. Throughout history, this belief system has been held by millions and millions of people. But NDE testimonies are giving us much better insights into whether such theological and philosophical concepts are actually valid. NDE testimonies offer us a much more realistic and logical solution to the classical paradox concerning "the problem of evil." What the religious traditions of the world perceive to be "sins," NDE testimonies reveal to be "mistakes" which God allows humans to make for the purposes of their higher education and spiritual evolution. What these religious traditions perceive to be "evil," NDE testimonies reveal to be "ignorance." What humans perceive as "the devil made me do it," NDE testimony reveals to be "our own ego and negative thought process." The following NDE insights reveal the true nature of human failings.

Howard Storm was given the following insights from beings of light after his life review when he was fearful of returning to earth life and afraid he would make mistakes again: Mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. We are here to make all the mistakes we want because it is through our mistakes that we learn. As long as we try to do what we know to be right, we will be on the right path. If we make a mistake, we should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind us and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important thing is to try our best, keep our standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise them to win people's approval. God loves us just the way we are, mistakes and all. When we make a mistake, we should ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult if we don't accept that we are forgiven. We shouldn't continue going around with a sense of guilt, and we should try not to repeat our mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes. God wants us to do what we want to do. That means making choices - and there isn't necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and we should make the best choice from those possibilities. If we do that, we will receive help from the Other Side. (Rev. Howard Storm)

There really is no sin as it is known in the world. The only thing that has any meaning in the spirit world is what we think. The very core of our being is perfect love and light. (Jayne Smith)

There is no evil in any human soul. It is the lack of love that distorts people. We are designed by God to self-correct, just like the rest of the universe. No one is lost because everyone is already saved. (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

The more we exercise our individual consciousness and free will for self-interest, self-gratification, self-centeredness, and self-consciousness, the more we heightened our sense of self apart from the Whole. This separation of self from the Whole is what people call "sin". (Edgar Cayce)

The greatest enemy we can face is ourselves. (George Anderson)

Hell refers to levels of negative thought-forms that reside in close proximity to the earth realm. It is where we go to work out, or remain within, our hang-ups, addictions, fears, guilt, angers, rage, regrets, self-pity, arrogance, or whatever else blocks us from the power of our own light. We stay in hell (and there are many divisions to this vibratory level) for however long best serves our development. There is no condemnation here, only the outworking of our own misjudgments, mistakes, misalignments, and misappropriations - what some people call "sin". (Dr. PMH Atwater)

Negative thought vibrations out of ignorance. High vibrations indicate love and spiritual development, while low vibrations indicate debasement and evil." (Arthur Yensen)

Evil and the devil do not exist. What people consider evil is really ignorance. Hitler was not an evil man. He was just so incredibly ignorant that he was practically retarded at a spiritual level. Such people are to be pitied and our unconditional love should extended even to him because it is hard to hate a retarded person. (Kevin Williams)

I knew that as part of his plan -- as part of our growth -- God may allow us to go through trials in a sorting-out period, a cleansing, a purification time when we are often forced to make new decisions based upon our current faith and trust in him. (Betty Eadie)

If each of us shares our light, soon all dark corners will be reached, and we will begin the healing of the world by chasing out darkness. We, too, will begin the healing of our own souls. (Betty Eadie)

Satan Does Not Exist - Only Ego

Cecil is an 11 year-old child who asked the Being of Light the following during his NDE:



I asked if there was a Devil or Satan.



He said to me, "Would God allow that?"



He continued, "If I made you God for just a few seconds, what would you do first?"



I knew my first act would be to eliminate any Devil or Satan.



I asked, "How do I know right from wrong?"



He replied, "Right is helping and being kind. Wrong is not only hurting someone but not helping when you can." (Cecil)


The sin and Satan we live is that of our own creation. (Sherry Gideon)

Ego is always LOVE'S opposite. Love raises vibration and ego lowers it. Ego is a mental essence that each of us is made to endure for as long as we walk the planet. Ego is that thing that tells us in our mind, "No you can't do that ... because you're not talented, thin, good-looking, wealthy, intelligent, young, strong, interesting or intuitive ENOUGH!" This is the voice of the Liar. The Liar is the voice of ego. Let me put it this way: wherever there is separation, condemnation, self-doubt, lack-mentality, bitterness, hostility or segregation ... you can best be sure ego is not far behind. Ego wants to keep you earthbound and Heavenless for as long as it can. It is an essence that has been sent here to learn just as you have. However, it has a duty to challenge each of us and cause us to learn as it learns for itself. There is nothing to fear about the ego. It is just a fragile, spoiled child that screams and rants until it gets what it wants. And like any child, if you ignore it during its temper flare long enough, sooner or later it will get the message that those kinds of methods are not productive and will not yield positive results. If you understand the ego, you will understand the concept of the devil. Satanic frequency is the LOW-RANGE frequency that surrounds us in our collective thinking. It is the opposite of the HIGH, INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVING frequency of God. Please hear me out on something...be careful of the music you listen to, the movies or TV you watch, the gossip or negative speaking you participate in. All these things LOWER the Soul's vibration. Lower vibration brings depression, disillusionment, disease and despair. The lower our Soul's vibration falls, the more these dark things come upon us. Once you fall into LOWER vibration, immediately seek to amend it with LOVING, HIGHER VIBRATIONAL THOUGHT. It is like anything else, the more you put into something, that is what the end result will be. (Christian Andreason)

Our minds are led by the spirit we are entertaining, the spirit of God or the spirit of the devil - self. This spiritual force of selfishness is the false god referred to as Satan. It is the collective unconscious rebellion of humanity against God. This collective unconscious rebellion is manifested as self-centeredness, self-gratification, self-seeking, self-righteousness, self-glorification, self-consciousness, self-indulgence, self-deception, self-serving, self-condemnation, self-absorbed, self-importance, selfishness, SELF. It is the force of the unevolved animalistic nature (the "beast") within humans. Satan is the unregenerated lower self that wars against the Higher Self within every human being. Jesus, on the other hand, went to the cross to fulfill his mission of showing humans the way to "crucify" their lower nature. Through a person's Higher Self of unconditional love - the manifestation of God - a person can attain at-one-ment with the divine nature within. This Higher Self is the Spirit of self-sacrifice, self-denial, selflessness, self-effacing, self-discipline, self-control, self-restraint, self-respect - the divine self that is a part of God and which wars against the lower self. (Edgar Cayce)

There is no devil. But if there is one, he would have to be an insane angel who was crazy enough to fight with God, which would be as futile as for us to try to stop the sunrise. The devil is a mythological character invented by humans and used for a scapegoat. Grown people with immature minds like to blame the devil for their misdeeds instead of acting like people and taking the blame themselves. However, there may be earthbound spirits of low vibrations, whom we may regard as devils because they annoy us through mental telepathy. These demons tune in on us through our low vibrations of hate, fear and greed. They can be tuned out with unselfish love, or if necessary be chased away by the stronger spirit of Jesus Christ. There's an old saying, Birds of a feather, flock together. The way to be rid of the devil is not to be like him. (Arthur Yensen)

The struggle between higher and lower self or what some call God and the Devil causes growth, until finally the negativity or the destructive elements are completely overcome. (Betty Bethards)

Humans are educated at a higher level by spirit beings who bring us into heaven. We grow and increase, and grow and increase, and shed the concerns, desires, and base animal stuff that we have been fighting much of our life. Earthly appetites melt away. It is no longer a struggle to fight them. We become who we truly are, which is part of the divine. (Rev. Howard Storm)

Just knowing the bad mistakes you made through your carelessness or your selfishness is a hell. You don't need a devil prodding you with a fork. Believe me, your own anguished mind is a prod that is more hurtful than any prodding with a devil's fork. I met a man over here who said that he would gladly exchange good old Dante's Inferno for the mental anguish he was experiencing over guilt feelings from wrong actions he had taken on Earth in certain business matters. In Dante's Inferno he would be able to complain that the devil was doing this to him, whereas now he had no devil to complain of because the devil was himself. Whether there is a negative personal being who can be called the devil I cannot say. I have not seen anyone personified as the devil. There certainly is an evil force which builds up from the negative aspects of life and has a tremendous influence. Thought forms which are evil certainly play a part, but I don't think they are the whole answer. (Margarett Tweddell)

Hell is a psychological condition which corresponds to the suffering we experience on earth when we allow ourselves to be driven by the blind greed of our own egos. There are no "devils" here to inflict punishments, since in the state of hell, each person acts out their own malice by tormenting others. (Emanuel Swedenborg)

Murderers in hell do not see a devil. Full of hatred or vengeance, he expects to find nothing after death, and for a long time that is what he finds - nothing. Then he discovers that the hell he had every reason to expect is indeed awaiting him. It is not goblins and devils that he sees, but visions of his own face distorted by hatred, greed, malice, and other defeating emotions. He cringes from the sight, realizing that he sees himself thus, that he himself was possessed of a devil, and that except for his baser nature he would have been able unaided to cast him forth. He is appalled as he realizes that he wasted a lifetime of opportunity. Not for him is enrollment in the temple of wisdom or the higher school of learning. (Ruth Montgomery)

I had a descent into what you might call Hell ... I did not see Satan or evil. My descent into Hell was a descent into each person's customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not-knowing. It seemed like a miserable eternity. But each of the millions of souls around me had a little star of light always available. But no one seemed to pay attention to it. They were so consumed with their own grief, trauma and misery. (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

Numerous scriptural accounts describe angels who turned against the pure goodness and love of God, and also turn humankind toward evil by malicious intent. The master of such forces is often called Satan or the devil. There is no doubt that evil exists on earth. Similarly, those who have communication with the spiritual world state that all is not goodness and light there as well. Since we know that we enter the spiritual world at the same level of spiritual development we have gained while on earth, then it makes sense that those who have had much give and take with selfishness, revenge and maliciousness will continue such acts in the spirit world. There is, therefore, evil and darkness in the spirit world. The darkness may be a result of ignorance and lack of understanding. Spiritual guides will enlighten willing souls and offer growth opportunities to lead the spirit into the light and warmth of higher realms. Some accounts inform us that ignorance of the need to seek growth may keep someone in a state of darkness for a long period of time. Apart from ignorance, there are also dark forces in the spirit world created by those of vengeful and malicious desires. Such are the forces, often called demonic, which influence, obsess or possess people on earth and which may be instigators of crime and violence, sexual abuse and aberrations, and belief in Satanism. A person of such interests on earth will inevitably be drawn to similar companionship in the spirit world. The dwelling place of such evil could certainly be called hell. Everyone entering the spiritual world, however, should know that a God of love suffers for those in darkness, ignorance and misery. Based on desire and willingness, the spirit is given opportunity for an upward journey. (Nora Spurgin)

If we are convinced a devil is out there to trick or deceive us, and if we have already pictured in our minds what this devil looks like and what he plans on doing, we should really not be surprised when our worst fears are confirmed. The devils we create become real and solid in the next dimension because we created them. (Jerry Gross)

Edgar Cayce revealed that the greatest enemy we will ever have to face is self. Cayce interpreted the Book of Revelation to be the story of humanity overcoming the enemy within. In Revelation, Babylon is symbolic of our selfish desires that cause us to war against ourselves and others. Armageddon is a battle between the beast nature of our animalistic lower self and the lamb - the divine nature of our Higher Self. Once the lower self is overcome by the higher self, the devil (self-will) is cast into the Abyss (the divine will suppressing the self-will). The result of this is the Kingdom of heaven (the rule of the Holy Spirit within) as it comes to earth (the human body). Genesis is the story of humanity's fall from heaven. Revelation is the story of humanity being restored to God. It is paradise lost and then paradise found. (Edgar Cayce)

Religion is to each individual, their own personal experience, values, beliefs and what they need to know and find from it. The existence of a heaven or a hell and one's existence therein, in my knowledge, is not based on their belief or faith in a God or a Satan. It is based on their belief of truth, knowledge, faith, love, peace and compassion. Verbally professing to have faith in a God or a Satan or the heaven which Christians profess to exist, will not assure an eternal rest in a heaven with a God or a hell with a Satan. I know this to be my own truth from my own experience. A heavenly existence for any of us will be what we have made of our own individual earthly existences, the truths we have lived and taught and believed in our current lives, and the love, peace and compassion we have known for ourselves and those we have touched. Anything else will be what we make to be our own hellish existence. (Tina)

Analysis by Kevin Williams: I have found relatively few NDE reports that make a reference to Satan. And none of them describe an encounter with a being identified to be Satan. Even in the hellish NDE reports I have read, none of them describe an encounter with a being whom they identify as Satan. There are encounters with strange Satan-like beings, but none of them were identified as Satan. None of them have the personality traits, the actions, or the words that would indicate they were actually Satan. One would think that if Satan really existed, that if he is the powerful Prince of Darkness, the Dark Lord, the Serpent and Dragon, and the Evil One who is so powerful and fearsome that he led a cosmic rebellion against God and heaven as a literal interpretation of the Bible suggests, then why doesn't he appear in NDE reports? Where is he? Where are all the NDE reports that can tell us? Some people claim the Being of Light to be Satan. But how can a being that emits such an incredible amount of love and light be Satan? Love and light are God. (Kevin Williams)

The Origin of Satan and the Fallen Angels

The ancient religion of Zoroastrianism is best known for being the origin of doctrines found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as: the good versus evil dualism, the concept of Satan and demons, the resurrection of the dead, a final battle between good and evil, the final judgment of the wicked, and monotheism. During the Babylonian exile, Jews were exposed to these ideas and later incorporated into Judaism. Zoroastrianism is also the origin of the concept of the god of light and his angels being locked in a cosmic struggle with a god of darkness and his demons.

Ahura Mazda (the Wise Lord) is worshipped by Zoroastrians as the good God. Opposed to the Wise Lord is Ahriman (the evil god). The earth was created by the Wise Lord to be a battlefield in which to fight the evil god. Human beings have free will to choose between the Lord and the evil god. Those who choose the evil god go to hell for a time. Those who choose the Lord will resurrect at the time of the Last Judgment. (Zoroastrianism)

The Sons of Light Versus the Sons of Darkness

In 1947, on the shores of the Dead Sea, scrolls from a monastic group known as the Essenes, dated to be about two thousand years old were discovered and was labeled the Dead Sea Scrolls. One particular Dead Sea Scroll entitled I IQ Melchizedek Text which contains a sermon called The Last Jubilee, refers to the defeat of Satan. This scroll is about the last days during which time it says, a Melchizedek redivivus (reincarnate) will appear and destroy Belial (Satan) and lead the children of God to eternal forgiveness. (The Last Jubilee, Dead Sea Scrolls)

The Lord of Death Leads Souls to Reincarnation

Tibetan Buddhism teaches that, at the very moment of death, there dawns the Clear Light of Ultimate Reality which is the Pure Mind and Light of all the Buddhas (enlightened ones). If the dead recognizes this light to be the projection of their own mind, they are liberated from the cycle of reincarnation and can enter into the light.

At the same time the Clear Light appears, a dull light leading to hell, called the Secondary Light, draws those who have not recognized the true nature of their mind toward reincarnation. Ultimately, the unliberated are pulled down by the weight of their karma to judgment, during which the Lord of Death (Yamaraja) examines the past actions of the individual with the Mirror of Karma. He then assigns the person according to his or her merits and debits to one of the six realms into which one can be reincarnated. (Tibetan Buddhism)

Lucifer as God's Tool in Dispensing Divine Justice

Theosophy is a religion that believes Lucifer plays an important role not only in the Earth dimension but also in other dimensions in the afterlife. Lucifer's job, so to speak, is to act as a dispenser of God's justice and to antagonize us during earth life as our conscience. This suggests that the purpose for all our sufferings and hardships are to lead us to the Christ consciousness (the divine nature in man).

After death, it is our Christ consciousness that leads us to the dimension of light. In the higher dimensions, the true and the false extremes become balanced and we understand their purpose. It is in this dimension that the soul encounters Lucifer as no longer an antagonistic being. Here we choose between the light of heaven and the light of Lucifer. It is Lucifer who leads us back to the earth dimension, if it is what we choose. Lucifer helps to prepare us for our future incarnations if we remain awake during this journey and don't get snagged in the hell realm. Eventually everyone goes through all the phases of the planetary journey but they don't necessarily do it consciously. (Theosophy)

Satan as the God of This World

The Christian Gnostics believed in a very different version of the origins of humanity and divinity compared to orthodox Christianity and Judaism. They believed the God of the Old Testament, Yahweh, was a Satan-like figure. What follows is the Gnostic view of Satan:

The Gnostics believed that it was an evil deity who created the fallen material world - a realm they considered to be one of the lowest heavens in the hierarchy of heavens. For this reason, Gnostics believed the flesh and the material world was evil. They believed this evil deity was the god of this world who ruled and controlled the material universe. The Gnostics believed this god was ignorant of the true God of heaven - the creator of the spirit realms. According to Gnostic theology, the evil creator god was the one who trapped souls into flesh. Adam and Eve were created in a paradise by the evil god so that they can praise and worship this god. When Adam and Eve disobeyed him by becoming knowledgeable of good and evil, this god becomes infuriated and chased the first human couple out of paradise and threatened their descendants.

The Gnostics viewed the creator deity as evil because he was bloodthirsty and full of jealousy, wrath and vengeance. The Gnostics rejected this evil deity because this god believed that he alone was deity by declaring, "I am God and there is no other God beside me" and demanded all humanity to worship him. The Gnostics believed that it was this tribal deity who demanded that Jesus be killed partly because of his teachings that we are gods. This jealous god eventually regretted creating humanity and in his wrath he drowned the whole world in a flood. Afterward, he became a tribal deity and exercised world rule aimed at enslaving man through laws and animal sacrifices. He declared he would reward those who worship him with material gains. But he demanded that people fear him and when they did not, he destroyed multitudes of people for failure to do so. They believed that Jesus came to free people from the slavery of the evil law and taught secret doctrines to his disciples on how to escape from the trap of birth and rebirth. (Gnosticism)

Too Much Receiving and Not Enough Giving Creates Satan

The Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah teaches that God is the Source from whom we all came. God needs nothing, lacks nothing and desires nothing because God has everything and is everything. For this reason, God can only give. Before the fall of souls from God into the flesh, souls needed to discover what it meant to be God-like, that is, what it meant to give. Kabbalah teaches that if a person does nothing but receive, they develop an unnatural Satan condition of selfishness. Kabbalah teaches that this was the reason why souls left their positions with God. It is the plan of God that humans learn how to give and receive. Those humans who mostly receive and not give are susceptible of developing this Satan condition. Those who learn to give selflessly are developing a godly condition. (Kabbalah)

Satan as Guilt and Fear Resulting From Repressed Desires

Carl Jung, a near-death experiencer and the father of analytical psychology, defined the devil to be the dark aspect of human nature which exists solely within a person's mind. Jung called this dark nature the shadow archetype and said it represents the negative ego personality and qualities which are painful and regrettable. When we have dark thoughts or engaged in negative activity, we may experience guilt, fear, and anxiety. Jung believed the shadow archetype is made up of those aspects of our lives which we try to repress. But this repression may sooner or later result in their manifestation. For example, if someone is brought up believing that sex is dirty, they may end up becoming promiscuous because they had repressed this aspect of their nature. What such a person is doing is trying to embrace the darker aspects of their life which is previously forbidden to them. While Christianity believes that evil is in opposition to good, Jung saw evil as that which needs to be recognized and in some ways embraced in order for a person to remain psychologically balanced. (Carl Jung)

Scriptural Facts About Satan



Lucifer means light bringer, from the Latin lux (light) and ferre (to bear or bring). The word Lucifer is found in only one place in the Old Testament (Isaiah 14:12-17). Here are the following translations of the reference to Lucifer in this passage.



(1)
O Lucifer, son of the morning! (Isaiah 14:12 NKJV)




(2)
O Day Star, Son of Dawn! (Isaiah 14:12 KJV)




(3)
O shining star of the dawn! (Isaiah 14:12 Moffatt)




(4)
O morning star, son of the dawn! (Isaiah 14:12 Hebrew Bible)




In the New Testament, Jesus is also referred to as "the morning star:"



(1)
I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. (Rev. 22:16 NIV)




(2)
To the one who conquers I will also give the morning star. (Rev. 2:28 NIV)




(3)
You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19 NIV)




In the Vulgate, the word morning star in 2 Peter is even translated as Lucifer. In the other two references it is "stella matutina".



In parts of the Old Testament, Satan in the Hebrew language means "opponent" or "adversary."



In Job, Satan then becomes "the accuser".



Job is a book whose final version is dated after the Babylonian exile. This was a time after the Hebrews came into contact with the dualist Zoroastrian religion with its god of good and its god of evil. Before the exile, there is no evidence in Hebrew scriptures of an accuser as a force that opposes God, and even after the exile it is still doubtful.



Valentine's Jewish Encyclopedia describes the radical difference between Satan in the Old Testament and Satan in the New Testament. It states that there are no references:



"...to rebellious angels in any pre-Christian book ... The figure of Satan in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament respectively emphasizes the difference in conception. There is no development, but basic difference. . . . It is only in Christian literature that the Persian idea of two opposing empires, with Satan as God's enemy, has persisted." (Valentine's Jewish Encyclopedia, A. M. Hyamson & A. M. Silberman eds., Shapiro, Valentine & Co, London, 1938, p. 36).




In the Book of Enoch, the rebellion of the angel Satanail and his being hurled from heaven is described. (2 Enoch, ch. 29, long MSS only).



The Life of Adam and Eve (Vita), a Jewish text that scholars date between 200 BC and 200 AD, relates that Satan tells Adam and Eve that his fall from heaven is the result of his refusal to worship Adam, the image of God. A similar account is also found in the Koran (S 2:34).



The whole story of Lucifer as Satan, the fallen rebellious angel, is based entirely on non-canonical sources: the so-called Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.



There are also many pre-Christian myths and allegories that include stories about Lucifer, which is the Latin name for the Greek Eosphoros. In his Theogony Hesiod speaks of two divine beings, the brothers Eosphoros (the morning star) and Hesperos (the evening star). They are the children of Astraios (the starry heaven) and Eos (the dawn). The morning star, like the Virgin of the Sea, is one of the titles given to Divine Mother goddesses such as the Roman Venus, the Phoenician Astarte, the Jewish Ashtoreth, and the later Christian Holy Virgin. In the oldest Zoroastrian allegories, Mithra is supposed to have conquered the planet Venus. In the Christian tradition, Michael defeats Lucifer.


Satan as a Man

There are passages in the Bible that gives Satan characteristics of a human being. Here are the main passages:




(1)
Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?" (Isaiah 14:12-17)




(2)
Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "In the pride of your heart you say, "I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas." But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. ... You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God ... You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you ... You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you ... So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones ... So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries." (Ezek. 28:1-19)




(3)
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Matt. 16:21-23)




(4)
Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. (John 13:26-27)


Why the Being of Light is Not Satan

Many critics argue that NDEs are of the Devil. They accuse the Being of Light to be the Dark Lord and Prince of Darkness himself impersonating an angel of light. They claim that the Being of Light preaches an evil gospel that draws people away from the Bible thereby leading them to hell. They base their misguided belief about the Being of Light on this Bible verse:



Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14)


These critics believe the Being of Light to be Satan masquerading as an angel of light. But if these critics really understood what the Bible teaches about the nature of light, they would not be making such ignorant claims. NDEs and the Bible agree that God is light (1 John 1:5). There is no darkness in light, so there is no darkness in the Being of Light.

Assuming that Satan exists and that he can masquerade as an angel of light, this does not mean he is an angel of light, unless you are willing to believe that Satan can manifest God's light.

The Being of Light in NDEs cannot be Satan because the Being of Light passes the test given by Jesus and John. It is the test to determine whether the spirit is of God or not.



Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God. (1 John 4:1)



The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace.. (Gal. 5:22)



A tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matt. 12:33-34)



A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (Matt. 7:18)


The gospels describe an event where Jesus actually used this test. In Matthew 12, Jesus was accused by the religious leaders of performing his miracles by the power of Satan. This is the same accusation that many critics bring against the Being of Light in NDEs. These accusations are made despite the fact that Jesus and the Being of Light both bear an incredible amount of love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' response to his accusers was:



Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you ... Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matt. 12:24-37)


Anyone familiar with NDEs knows the Being of Light gives an astonishing amount of love, holiness, joy, peace - good fruit of the Holy Spirit. And by using the test given by Jesus, we see that the Being of Light is not Satanic and that the test actually confirms the Being of Light to be of God. In my own NDE research, an experience of overwhelming love from the Being of Light is the most common characteristic appearing in the NDEs I researched. And because God is love, the only conclusion can be that the Being of Light is the God of Light and the God of Love.

But it doesn't stop there. After Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for accusing him of performing miracles by the power of Satan, Jesus warned them about the very serious consequences of attributing things of God to Satan:



And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matt. 12:31-32)
 NewWayHome
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 86
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 1/31/2007 4:56:41 PM
I'm reminded of a story that I read a long, long time ago.

In the story, Lucifer approaches a man to make a deal, he wants the man to search for and retrieve the Holy Grail for him so that maybe God will talk to him again. He wants to get back into heaven, and he figures if he can make God happy by curing the world's pain. God will let him back into heaven. It's a very sympathetic story, painting Lucifer in the most angelic of terms and describing him as still in the service of God, but not competely sure what his job is supposed to be.

What's funny about the story, is when the main character is approached by Satan, the guy is like, no way, I'm not making a deal with you that sells my soul, I'm not going to work for you no matter what you offer me, I'm not going to do anything at all that you ask me to do.

Here's the catch, Lucifer wasn't going to offer the guy any wealth or power or anything like that.

Lucifer already owned the guy's soul, because of some small, insignificant little minor sin that he'd committed once upon a time.

He was offering to give his soul back to him.

Adds a twist to dealing with the devil, don't you think?
 lady-fair
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 87
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 2/2/2007 8:00:53 AM
I see the makings for a very interesting horror movie in that little story
 ThorintheSkald
Joined: 11/26/2006
Msg: 88
view profile
History
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 2/2/2007 11:31:57 PM
Sounds a bit like the new GHOSTRIDER movie that is coming out soon! Also, anyone else remember the SON OF SATAN comic book from the late 70's/early 80's??
 JMars
Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 89
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 2/3/2007 2:32:16 PM

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, was to convince the world he didn't exist."

-Verbal Kent, "The Usual Suspects"

Good movie, good line


Awesome movie, but I think that the saying predates it. And actually, what would seem more to be the case is that the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was to convince mankind that he was, not only A god, but *the one and only true god* and path to god.

More suffering and atrocity has been and is being perpetrated in the world as a result of that (mis)understanding than anything. And it continues even with the god-element stripped away, ie. our way is the only right way that offers the only hope and goodness for Mankind.

Yes, there is a grand conspiracy the authors of which seek to take over the world and steal/corrupt the souls of our young, but it's not a "Satanic" conspiracy. I'd say look to the accuser and you'll find an unusual suspect. Or should we just call it a repeat offender by this point?
 NewWayHome
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 90
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 3/1/2007 1:26:16 PM
The Devil's self-proclaimed mission, if one is to lend any credence to the scriptural authorities, is to sway man off the path to the one true God. To equate Satan and God simply by virtue of the suffering and atrocity committed at the hands of supposed people of faith would be one of the things Satan would truly appreciate; it makes his mission easier.

I believe in balance to the universe; I think it's a universal truth. For all the evil committed in God's name there has been just as much goodness. God is not responsible for the evil that men commit or there would be no such thing as 'free will'. Free will is critical if one is to have a choice whether or not to follow a path to God.

The simple fact of the matter is that the majority of evil committed in the name of God is not substantiated by any of the so-called books of God. Those who commit such atrocities do so outside of scriptural support and therefore cannot claim God as an authority behind their actions. They do so, and people buy into it, but the reality is that political violence perpetrated as secular violence is still nothing more than political violence. It's a blame game and God is not the one to blame.

If you dismiss out of hand the possibility that there is 'one true God' and embrace some other system of religious philosophy you very well may be condemning yourself to be a pawn of Satan; who can truly say? The dismissal of the possibility is where that knowledge ends, and God knows, Satan loves ignorance.
 DecemberRaine
Joined: 8/22/2006
Msg: 91
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 3/6/2007 9:12:54 PM
This article: http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/pan.htm

while very long does an excellent job in explaining how the growing Christian religion formed the image of the Devil from the old gods (especially Pan).

This site: http://www.unm.edu/~humanism/socvsjes.htm

details a simulated conversation between Jesus and Socrates, in which the character Socrates tries to analyze the Christian religion and its characters, and at one point compares Satan to Prometheus (and somehow manages to make Yahweh out to be quite a sadist).
 DecemberRaine
Joined: 8/22/2006
Msg: 92
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 3/6/2007 9:20:43 PM

In response to your reading about Jews being polythesists, they're not. A true Jew only believes in one God, which in Hebrew tongue is Elohim. The devil? He was never a God, just an angel. Which means he has no abilities to create or make anything, but he does use illusions and lies to decieve people. If you don't believe that, look at the world and country we live in, and ask yourself how did we ever let things get this far, it's not God fault. He gave us an instruction manual (bible) and we chose to let it collect dust sitting, instead of reading it.


Read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hebrew_Goddess
http://www.northernway.org/goddess.html

Or just do a search for "Hebrew Goddes" or "hebrew polytheism".

There is very strong evidence that the ancient Hebrews (and even the early Christians), like just about every religion before them, worshiped a female deity as equal to or part of "God".
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 93
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History
Explain to me Christians, About The Devil!
Posted: 3/6/2007 11:48:35 PM

If the devil was in front of you, what would he be like?

He's probably be a lot like...a mirror.

We make our own demons.
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