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Satan, Lucifer, demons, demon possession, and exorcism.

Who is Satan to you?

Postby Angel » Sun May 20, 2018 7:49 pm

I've been interested in this for a little while. I studied religion and a little bit of Biblical Studies at university, and really started to wonder about Satan's role in Christianity.

To me - when I was Christian - Satan was always the enemy. He was the opposition of God and manifestation of all things evil.

The more I studied and looked into it, the more I saw Satan to be an essential part of God's court. His appearances are always testing piety. He's always 'ha-satan', 'The Accuser'. I learned that he was basically the prosecutor and tested people's faith and dedication to God.

Much later in Christian history, he started to be associated with Lucifer - who I definitely see as a totally distinct figure - and the beast in Revelations. I'm just not certain how he ended up at that point.

Essentially, I can see how he would be an enemy to humans in a way, since he deliberately tempts them into sin, but not to God. He's trying their dedication to Him.

His conflation with these other figures just seems a little baseless to me. I'm interested to see what Christians think of his role in the grand scheme of things, and especially to find some good exegetical readings of his parts in the Bible. Books, podcasts, articles, whatever.

I find it strange seeing all these people who are ostensibly anti-Christian praising - whether real or ironic - someone who is among the most important figures in God's court.

Re: Who is Satan to you?

Postby jimwalton » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:02 pm

Great question. Satan is a spiritual being who is an enemy of God's people. We don't know his origin, neither do we know what kind of spiritual being he is.

The idea of associating him with Lucifer in Isaiah 14 is largely unsupported now, though it was very popular through history. Most biblical scholars believe Isa. 14 to be about the king of Babylon, not Satan. Therefore we don't believe he is a fallen angel because the Bible doesn't say he is. Nor does the Bible ever say he is part of God's court (the heavenly council). God does have a heavenly council, but Satan is not part of it. In the Old Testament there is no appearance of a personal evil spiritual being that we call Satan, but rather, as you said, only "the accuser" who appears in Job as a court prosecutor, not as God's enemy or as "Satan".

I think you're mostly right in seeing him as an enemy to Christians. That's the way the Bible portrays him. He's not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent. He's a powerful spirit being who rules the Earth and opposes the work of God. I agree that his conflation with those other figures is baseless.

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