Evil must have an origin somewhere. If the record in Genesis 3 (of there being a "serpent" representing the devil) is not to be taken literally, then where did evil originate? Were Adam and Eve really smart enough to dream up disobedience on their own? Logic dictates they needed a little help to make the leap from perfect fellowship with God to the horrible state resulting from their transgression of God's commandment.
Christians who refuse to believe in the devil and who reject the notion of their being any spiritual entity who is inherently wicked and "anti-good" are forced into believing that anything bad is the direct result of man's intelligence and doing. In a warped sort of way, this elevates man to a position of being the god of all which is against God. This makes the creation on par with the creator.
Those of us who believe there is a devil, who is the epitome of all which is evil, are scorned and belittled by the vast majority of Christians and all unbelievers. We are accused of using "the devil" as a crutch to explain away things which man should be held accountable for. We are accused of being borderline insane for believing there is another realm (the spiritual) which cannot be seen with physical eyes or touched with physical hands. We are dismissed as Â€ÂœkooksÂ€, weirdoes and psycho cases all because we dare believe there is a spiritual battle taking place.
Out of the thousands of Christians I have met and known in this life, perhaps 25% of them really believed there was anything resembling a devil. Oh yes, many would believe that Â€ÂœevilÂ€ was the devil, but would deny the presence of an actual being of that name. Most Christians simply do not want to believe there is a devil or Satan. Talk of such a being makes them either angry or nervous.
In the backwards way of thinking which defines much of Christianity, that which is symbolic is taken literally and that which is literal is looked upon as symbolic. The vast majority of Christians believe that most of what is in the Bible is not to be taken literally but is only some kind of vast analogy along the lines of Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" or Lewis' "Great Divorce". These are excellent books, but not to be taken literally.
When confronted with a record such as Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness; a Christian must commit himself to either believing there is a devil who physically tempted our Lord or that Jesus was tempted by "evil" which represents the devil. There really are no other options to explain this record.
I fail to see why there is a problem with believing there is a devil. I do acknowledge the problems with the devil being looked upon as an animal in a red suit, a tail, a mustache and a pitchfork. If that is the devil, I guess I could understand why many don't believe in his existence. The picture most have of the devil is perhaps one of his greatest tricks. If he can get people to laugh at him and thus believe he is a harmless cartoon character, stuffed animal or Halloween costume; he has succeeded in assuring himself free access to do as he pleases.
This whole discussion of the reality of the devil or not is only part of a much bigger discussion dealing with the integrity of God's Word. See, the Bible says very clearly there is a devil and that should settle the issue for Christian. But, since many Christians do not believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, believing in the devil is in the same category as believing in Noah's flood or a seven day creation. If the Bible is simply a reference book for developing one's concept of God, good and evil; then of course there will be no belief in things such as an actual devil.
It is truly sad to see what especially the new age movement has done to the ability to take the Word of God literally. The literal interpretation of the Bible has been replaced with a symbolic philosophy of analogies and stories which make everything tangible in the Bible become simply a representation of this or that. By making the Bible a storybook instead of the literal Word of God, the ability and willingness to receive and believe the truth is demolished.
The chasm between fundamentalist and liberal thought is greater than the Grand Canyon. By and large the differences are so great that there is no point in trying to find common ground of beliefs. This, to me, is the greatest of all tragedies for it admits the devil wins even though many don't even believe in him.
But, I do thank God there is a bridge which spans this great chasm. This bridge is Jesus Christ whom all Christians know and worship as Savior and Lord. Jesus is indeed the bridge which allows Christians of all denominations and belief systems to love and respect each other even if the differences in faith and practice are as great as day and night. The devil may succeed in causing the chasm, but he can never destroy the bridge.
The early church started out simple enough, as I read it anyhow, but what a mess it has become. Can't even agree on the very basics. Flesh and evil I believe is behind a lot of that, many don't like the cost on the believers part, but want all the benefits. Yeah, I believe he is real, and going strong. I logged into facebook the other night, as I saw an invitation for friendship. It was a young woman, in a very skimpy outfit, I had never seen and did not know. May have to get away from that site. Just some examples, to agree with your blog, all this evil is not circumstance. God Bless.
You want to come to Ireland, the devil is most definitely alive and well here. Though he does get way too much credit for the evil that we do.
But on a serious note... I didn't know that there were a lot of christians who refuse to believe in Satan as a being. Wow, I find that strange and slightly disturbing, for where does that leave some parts of scripture.
I have learned something new today.
Unfortunately there are millions of Christians who don't even believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. Sometimes it really makes one wonder what people DO believe. If I had a dime for every Christian I have had this discussion regarding the existence of the devil with over the years I would be wealthy. For those who refuse to believe there is a devil (or Satan), the only explanation for all that is bad is to blame it on evil. The question remains; where did evil come from? God?
Thanks and unfortunately many refuse to believe the devil exists. For these people, he has already won.
Yes, he is alive and well. GOD is stronger and we put our trust in Him but... we must never ignore the fact that we are in a battle and we have an enemy seeking whom he may devour. [quote]Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 [/quote]
The Bible teaches that the Devil is real. God said so in His Word throughout the pages of history.
The Devil was an angelic being created by God. Ezekiel said he was an annointed Cherub which is the highest order of Angelic hosts. Cherub, Serephim, Archangel, angels, etc. Ezek 28:14-15...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. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Isaiah the Prophet called him Lucifer...who rebelled against the supreme authority of God the Creator of all things. Isa 14:12-14...O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
In Genesis 3:15 he was called "the serpent" that deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. This is the reason why the curse of the fall has plagued the human family since the "Original Sin". For by the disobedience of one... many were made sinners.
The Bible teaches that the Devil is not omnipresent as many people think...Job 1:7...And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Matthew 4 said Jesus was tempted of the Devil while fasting in the Wilderness.
Jesus spoke of the Devil (when accusing the Pharisees) in John 8:44...Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Jesus stated the Devil was "from the beginning". The Bible does not plainly teach when the beginning was.
According to Peter the Devil is one of our greatest oppositions in life... 1 Peter 5:8...Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
The Devil can be considered the God of this Age or the God of this period of time before Christ Raptures the Church...2 Cor 4:4...In whom the god of this world (Age) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not on the Gospel
The Devil who is also the accuser of the Brethren in the presence of God will be cast out of Heaven during the middle of the seven year Tribulation. This event has not happened yet! Rev 12:9-10...And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
The Apostle John stated that the Devil was a sinner from the beginning. Christ came to "destroy" the works of the Devil. 1 John 3:8...He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
God's Judgement has been placed on the Devil "after the Tribulation". Satan will be bound for 1000 years.Rev 20:1-2...And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
When the 1000 years expire Satan is loosed (for a short time) to decieve many nations...Rev 20:7-8
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Then comes "God's Final Judgement of the Great White Throne" where the wicked dead are ressurected and judged... and the devil is cast into the lake of fire for Eternal Punishment...Rev 20:10...And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire
The question was asked, "Is the Devil real". The answer is Yes! The Bible says so! God said so!
Yes there certainly is the devil and his demons are quite evil. We do indeed need to read the Bible literally and read it in simplicity and humbleness, as a little child. I'd like to share some lyrics from an album I'm recording called "Gift", of a song called "Crushed", which is about His victory over death. Remember tha t Jesus descended and then ascended. Another fact that a lot of Christians don't believe! Heavenly Father, You are the Everlasting God. We pray for serious renewal of Your lost sheep! To weed out the false doctrines that have so polluted humanity. In Your Name I pray! Amen!
Descending into the pools of eternal night
The legions they shuttered at His piercing Light
No score the dark lord has failed once again
To shackle and bind up the One without sin
Reversal- the ascention of eternal Life most high
The Lamb whose pure Word will never never die
"Crushed" copyright 2010 David J Dodge May God bless you mightily B2Y and thanks for sharing of a message of such vitality! Amen! Dave
The existance of the devil or satan is never a doubt in the heart and mind of a Christian. What's troubling is the last paragraph where you proclaim, "Jesus is indeed the bridge which allows Christians of all denominations and belief systems to love and respect each other even if the differences in faith and practice are as great as day and night."
First of all, Paul sarcastically ask the Corinthians who claim to be Christians, "Is Christ divided?" (1 Cor 1:13).
The name Christian comes from Jesus Christ, a follower of Christ, period. So, there is no a such thing as I am a Catholic Christian or an Anglican Christian or Prysbeterian Christian and so on. These are exactly what Paul was rebuking the Corinthians in 1 Cor 1 that there is only one Christ and he who believe in Him is a Christian, period. Denominations in Christianity is unbiblical and dividing Christ! They may claim to preach Christ but I tell you most solemnly, they are not Christians. I leave you with warnings from my Savior and also Paul's to His people,
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24); "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." (2 Cor 11:4); "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." (2 Cor 11:13,14).
So there's such a thing as True Christians and false christians. And guess who is the father of all deceivers? Satan and his devils.
I find the above comment part of why the devil has succeeded in driving Christians apart. For you to claim that I am wrong to state that Jesus Christ is the bridge that unites the hearts of Christians of all different denominations indicates you belong to one who thinks all others are wrong.
Jesus Christ is the only thing that binds those are in fact Christians together. Without Jesus Christ all that remains is lifeless religion whose author is the devil. I refuse to in any shape, form or manner belittle the influence of Jesus Christ and His ability to unite the hearts of His people.