[b-hebrew] Satan

Edward Andrews edandrews at adelphia.net
Wed Sep 6 09:15:18 EDT 2006



To all:

'But if God is love,' you may ask, 'why did he make the Devil?' (1 John 4:8) The fact is, God did not create the Devil. 'Yet if God created everyone,' a person may say, 'he must have created the Devil. Who else could have? Where did the Devil come from?'

The Bible explains that God created many, many spirit persons similar to himself. In the Bible, these spirits are called angels. Also, they are called "sons of God." (Job 38:7; Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 1:7, 13, 14) God created them all perfect. Not one of them was a devil, or a satan. The word "devil" means slanderer and the word "satan" means opposer.

The time came, however, when one of these spirit sons of God made himself the Devil, that is, a hateful liar who speaks bad things about another. He also made himself Satan, that is, an opposer of God. He was not created that way, but later became that kind of person. To illustrate: A thief is not born a thief. He may have come from a good family, having honest parents and law-abiding brothers and sisters. But his own desire for what money can buy is what may have caused him to become a thief. How, then, did one of God's spirit sons make himself Satan the Devil?

The angel that became the Devil was present when God created the earth and later the first human couple, Adam and Eve. (Job 38:4, 7) So he would have heard God tell them to have children. (Genesis 1:27, 28) He knew that after a while the whole earth would be filled with righteous people worshiping God. That was God's purpose. However, this angel thought a great deal of his own beauty and intelligence and wanted to receive for himself the worship that would be given to God. (Ezekiel 28:13-15; Matthew 4:10) Instead of putting this wrong desire out of his mind, he kept thinking about it. This led to his taking action to obtain the honor and importance he desired.-James 1:14, 15.

Edward Andrews



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harold Holmyard" <hholmyard at ont.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Satan


> Dear Yigal,
> 
>>Nowhere in the verses below is a statement that God does not create things 
>>He "hates".
>>
> 
> HH: There is no need to say that. Why should God create something He hates?
> 
>> Are you saying that wicked people, whom God "hates", are not 
>>God's creatures?
>>
> 
> HH: God does not create people as wicked. They are wicked because of 
> choices they make.
> 
> 
>> I would certainly not expect this attitude from a 
>>Christian, but "even" from a Jewish perspective: God created everything and 
>>every one.
>>
> 
> HH: They are not wicked when created.
> 
>> He gave humans free choice between "good", which means obeying 
>>God, and "evil", which means disobeying. This is something that only humans 
>>are capable of. God advises us to chose the former - but if we chose the 
>>latter, we carry the responsibility.
>>  
>>
> 
> HH: Right, so you do understand.
> 
>>"Good" and "evil" are not absolutes. Let's take natural disasters: hundreds 
>>of thousands killed by a tsunami. Was this NOT an act of God?
>>
> 
> HH: We should distinguish between physical and moral evil. The weather 
> patterns produce storms. Even if supernatural forces are behind them, 
> they are still physical phenomena. They are not morally evil in themselves.
> 
>> Or at least, 
>>could God have not chosen to avert it?
>>
> 
> HH: There are complex reasons why storms occur, but it is not God's job 
> to stop storms from occurring. In fact, we understand that many negative 
> elements in life are a consequence of human sin (Genesis 3).
> 
>> From our perspective - a horror, 
>>certainly not "good". From God's perspective - well, we work for Him, he 
>>does not OWE us explanations. But, unless we resort to belief in an 
>>independent Satan, there is no "evil" at work.
>>  
>>
> 
> HH: Job does show that storms may be connected with the work of Satan.
> 
>>So the only true evil is that which is in the human soul. We all have some - 
>>it is our choice do fight it or not. If there is a "satan", then it is a 
>>metaphor for the yetser ha-ra that GOD CREATED in each of us.
>>  
>>
> 
> HH: The Bible reveals that there are also fallen angels, just as human 
> beings are fallen. The New Testament is clear about this. However, it 
> remains true that we do not sin if we refuse to succumb to enticement 
> that Satan may present. Genesis 3 shows that enticement can come from 
> without.  It may be the norm for Judaism to write off the serpent as a 
> projection of an inner evil impulse, but the serpent is clearly outside 
> the human beings, and the New Testament clarifies that it was Satan.
> 
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard
> 
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