What do you think about all this Satan stuff?

It’s a fact of earthly life that when God opens the windows of heaven to bless us, the devil opens the doors of hell to blast us. When God begins moving, the devil fires up all his artillery. — Adrian Rogers

According to a number of Bible scholars, Isaiah 14:12-15 tells the story of Lucifer, an archangel, who fell from God’s grace and became the devil.  Lucifer conspired to make his throne higher than the clouds (he contrived to dethrone God) at which time he was booted out of heaven.

Lucifer is Latin for “morning star” or “light-bearer.” (In 2 Peter 1:19 the “morning star rising in your hearts” is not a reference to Satan.) The way Isaiah describes him is a far cry from the way in which he’s viewed by our culture:

satan

How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.

Many people have heard the story of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman God created.  All humanity is related to this pair.  Adam and Eve came into the world without a sin nature.  Moreover, they were created with a free will.  We learn from the book of Genesis that they made their home in the Garden of Eden. It was into that garden that Satan, often referred to as the wily serpent, came with evil intent.  He found Eve alone and by using lies and deceit convinced her to disregard God’s command to Adam “…you must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) The serpent told Eve that God had withheld knowledge that would give humans hidden wisdom….and make them like God. So Eve threw caution to the wind, disregarded God’s warning, and took a bite out of the fruit.

The serpent was right that God withheld knowledge from them.  The moment she ate of the fruit her eyes were opened…and sin came into the world.  Wanting Adam along for the ride, Eve then offered the fruit to her husband and, without thinking twice, he took her suggestion and ate it.  Instantly, Adam and Eve went from being God-centered to being self-centered.

When God confronted them with what they had done, what did Adam do?  He laid the blame on his wife! “It’s her fault, not mine!” So, by Adam choosing to ignore God’s specific warning, he precipitated what we know of as the “Fall of Man.”

The couple soon learned the consequence of sin — death.  Until sin there was no death.  (2 Cor. 11:3) As a result of the Fall, all human beings are in bondage to sin….and the kingdom of Satan.

Giving Satan’s Whereabouts Some Serious Thought

Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.

One said to the other, ‘What do you think about all this Satan stuff?’ 

The other boy replied, ‘Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It’s probably just your Dad.’

What do you think about all the Satan stuff?  Do you believe Satan exists?  If you do, where do you think he hangs out? He must be a regular globe trotter.  Every minute of the day, in every part of the world, exorcisms are being performed on people who are supposedly possessed by the devil.  If these exorcisms are indeed legitimate, the implication is that Satan can be in a million places at once.

According to Scripture, Satan is a personal being. Note that Jesus used the personal pronoun when referring to him:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

Logically, Satan can only be in one place at a time.  So I’ve been giving his whereabouts some serious thought.  To me it makes sense that he would be headquartered on Capitol Hill.  I could be mistaken, though.  Perhaps he’s in the Middle East or even Hollywood.  Regardless of where the “liar” resides, you’ve got to admit that some pretty powerful demonic forces are working their wiles on a number of our elected officials.  I mean, think about it; the Left’s diabolical agenda is most certainly influenced by lying spirits.  Who knows?  Perhaps Satan himself influences decisions made by people who run our government, the media…business…education…entertainment and so on.

But I digress.

The Bible contains many references to angels and demons.  To Bible believing Christians like myself, the spirits are very real — a clear and present danger.

Long after I came to faith in Christ, I remained skeptical of Satan and his legions.  After reading the Bible, I came to believe that there are indeed “spiritual forces of evil.” As I pointed out in my introduction, we first meet Satan (the serpent) in Gen. 3:1. He showed up in the Garden of Eden with the intent of tricking Eve into disobeying God. The instant Jesus uttered “It is finished” while hanging from the cross, Satan was defeated. (John 12:31, Rom. 16:20, Col. 1:13-14Col. 2:15, 1 John 3:8Heb. 2:14-15)  The Revelation of Jesus Christ reminds us that he will get his comeuppance. (Rev. 20:1-3) Without going into the gory details, let’s just say Satan and his demons will be sent spiraling into the abyss where they will cool (or warm) their heals for all eternity.  God’s judgment is final, by the way.  No spirit or human being sentenced to eternal damnation (Mat. 25:46) in the lake of burning sulfur (Rev. 20:10) will be let out on good behavior — or for any reason!

But before Satan takes up permanent residence in the place prepared for him and his angels, he’ll remain the “god of this world.” (Cor. 4:4)  Answers.com explains Satan’s influence:

Satan is the major influence on the mind-set expressed by the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His areas of influence also encompass the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions.

Angels were created with a free will.  A number of them exercised their free will when they chose to rebel against God, at which time they were cast out of heaven to Earth.  For thousands of years God has allowed the rebellious spirits to wreak havoc on this planet and they’ve been doing a pretty thorough job of it.

In Eph. 6:12 Paul “outs” mankind’s true enemy:

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.

The Bible defines the struggle as “spiritual warfare.”  Spiritual warfare has been ongoing since the Fall of Man. Satan may have won a multitude of battles but in the end he will be the Big Loser.

oprah-and-obamaA word of warning before I move on.  Evil spirits have supernatural powers that humans do not possess, never will possess, and should not endeavor to possess.  Deceptive spirits have tricked certain people into thinking that they’re endowed with supernatural powers, that they’re the “enlightened ones” (EO).  Allegedly EO’s are a spiritually advanced order of philosophers and peacemakers.  (Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey are said to be EO’s.)  They believe they’re here to help usher in a new way of being on the planet.  In other words, they’re here to help humans evolve to a higher plane of existence.  EO’s think they possesses superior intellect and have been given extraordinary insights…some are even magically empowered.  Many EO’s seek guidance from spirits through practicing meditation and yoga.

In Scripture God makes it clear that spirits, including angels, are not to be evoked, called on, invited in, or channeled.  We should never try to connect with spirits and we certainly shouldn’t try to glean information from them.  In fact, Jesus often told the demons to keep quiet!

Christians who are in contact with so-called angels will read this article and get a little testy with me because they see nothing wrong with contacting angels — and they don’t want anyone raining on their parade!  But here’s the thing.  Getting a little wet beats getting struck by a lightning bolt from Above.

God makes it clear that He forbids contacting spirits or consulting mediums for any reason.  In other words, taking part in occult activities is taboo.  (Deut. 18: 10-12) You ask, “Why does God care?”  As I pointed out, the spirits are malevolent.  Likewise, they’re counterfeit…phony…fakes!

One final point.  Many Christians have a misconception of “spiritual warfare.”  Nowhere in Scripture are believers told to go into enemy territory and “cast out” demons.  What should God’s people do to those bad boys?  Paul tells us to be “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”  Peter admonishes us to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour…”

Be strong in the Lord!  Resist the devil!  Put on the full armor of God!  When God’s people stand firm in their faith the tempters make tracks.  (To help give Christians an inside look at angels and demons fighting for control of the mind of a back-slidden Christian, read the allegory I wrote on the armor of God here.)

spiritual-warfare-2An All Out Spiritual Battle

Thanks largely to the secularization of America, the culture is becoming darker, more corrupt and perverse every day.  Almost everyone I know has gone through, or is currently going through a trial, including myself. I would go so far as to say that there’s an all out spiritual battle going on for the hearts and minds of men! What’s behind this?  To use Paul’s terminology in Eph. 6:12: rulers, authorities, cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. In other words, Satan and his minions.

Some who are reading this may think I’ve gone round the bend.  But consider this.  A large number of rational people who resist the idea that Satan exists do believe in angels. Others believe in ghosts and that the ghost is often someone they know such as a deceased loved one.  Moreover, a growing segment of our society believes that extraterrestrials visit this planet.  I could go on, but there’s not enough space to cover all the things people believe.  What’s important to understand is that the infallible, inerrant, God-breathed Word of God says there are forces of good (angels) and evil (demons) that occupy the “heavenly realms” – and even the minds of the unregenerate.

The names alone should be enough to convince us not to mess with the spirits.  The Bible calls the chief of fallen angels Satan, Beelzebub and Belial.  He’s also called the old serpent, our adversary, god of this world, prince of darkness, father of lies, great dragon…enemy…deceiver… murderer…I’ll leave it at that.  Fallen angels are liars (1 Kings 22:22,  23;  2 Chron. 18: 21, 22).  So what’s the point of addressing them?

Demons have nothing but contempt for humans.  And they’re hellbent on destroying God’s entire creation.

Before I close, I should point out that some professing Christians reject the notion of Satan.  And as I said, many people who deny his existence believe there are benevolent angels!  Likewise, they believe in ghosts, fairies, and extraterrestrials!

satan-halloween-costume

Some skeptics think the devil’s a mythological character.  Others say he’s a merely a symbol of evil, still others think of the devil as a sort of caricature.  (Parents who view him that way often dress their children in devil costumes on Halloween.  Most of the costumes are a combination of red and black, with bat-like ears, a long tail with a spear on the end of it and a three-pronged pitchfork.  Some women’s devil costumes are sexy.)

Christians who read and study Scripture are well aware that Satan relishes being thought of as a silly, or sexy, caricature.  Who would fear someone who goes around in red tights sporting a cape and carrying a phony pitchfork. No one takes these sorts of devils seriously.  I mean, why would anyone fear such a goofy-looking creature?

But what we must remember about Satan is that he’s very real and he doesn’t wear a goofy costume.  He comes as one of us.  He “disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (2 Cor 11:14-15) 

Recommended:

Are all angels safe? By Marsha West

Angels, Demons & Spiritual Warfare—Berean Research’s White Paper

Adapted from “American’s All Out Spiritual Battle, Part 1,” 2010 by Marsha West (Part 2Part 3)

Copyright 2016 by Marsha West.

 

, , , ,

46 Responses to What do you think about all this Satan stuff?

  1. Tim Headley September 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m a little uncomfortable with your saying “And they’re hell bent on destroying God’s entire creation”, because I think that “Hell” is real, it exists. I think that using the name of an actual place as an adjective diminishes the reality of such place…

    • Marsha West September 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

      Tim,

      Hellbent is an expression, meaning that the person is recklessly determined. It’s actually one word. Oops! Need to correct that.

      Blessings,
      Marsha

  2. Manny1962 September 19, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

    Oprah, yes I can see her thinking she’s enlightened, Obama, nah, I don’t think he even cares about or believes in anything remotely called “religious.” He’s a pragmatic person that won the lotto, he got “his.”

    The biggest trick the devil has pulled is convincing people he’s not real, specially many “Christians” who think he is a movement (communism), a philosophy (new age) or a fable (Halloween), what they don’t realize is that he is the enemy of our souls, he is real, he hates us, he will do anything to stop the coming judgement, he will try his best to corrupt and drag as many down as he can. It dismays me when hear of “pastors” binding him or shooing him away with some phony incantation, they do not know who they’re dealing with, at their peril. The antidote against this being is scripture reading and prayer, God is our shield, no one can harm you unless for a divine reason God allows such a test. But, God will not test you beyond what you can bear. I know this to be true, from personal experience, our God will NOT test you more than you can bear, and He knows you better than you yourself! Blessed is our Heavenly Father! God bless your people! And protect us all from the enemy of our souls, amen!

    • Marsha West September 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

      Manny,

      Yes, Obama is a pragmatist, but that doesn’t stop people from thinking that he’s one of the “enlightened ones.” People really think that about him. Remember, he was called the One. His supporters thought he was the Messiah.

      I agree with all that you said about Satan. I wanted people to know what the Bible teaches about him, which is why I started my piece with who he is and the ability he has to deceive humans. Plus I included Paul’s teaching on the Armor of God from Eph. 6 so that believers will have a clear understanding on how to protect themselves from the spiritual forces of evil. Many in the Christian community are confused about how to deal with the devil. As you know, NAR loons (oops!) leaders are largely responsible for teaching people to do “spiritual warfare” against Satan and his minions.

      Appreciate your comments.
      Marsha

  3. Manny1962 September 20, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    Good afternoon Marsha,

    You are so right, so much confusion over the personage of the devil. There are many who do not believe he is real, to their peril or worse their demise, same goes for Adam and Eve, many Christians try to turn Genesis into an allegory. My questions is……well when do you start believing scripture? At Exodus? No that has problems too, let’s see……..which book is easy on the imagination?,,,,,Hmmmmmm, well certainly we can’t even discuss Revelation! Christians have a hard time understanding and believing what a mighty and wonderful God we have, He spoke an entire universe into being, what’s so hard about creating two humans from dust? Or an angel who let his own pride destroy himself? I always tell everyone, the devil can’t do anything to you as long as GOD does not allow it, he is an agent of destruction, used as judgement, he is defeated but still around, he cannot do more than allowed, he is created, wicked, hateful of God and His creation, he is to be respected and avoided, he prowls about as a lion, scripture and prayer will keep him away. Stay away from the occult, unbiblical practices, pray fervently, read your bibles and most of all TRUST in JESUS and GOD to be our protectors!

  4. Edwitness September 20, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    Marsha,
    Good job defining the existence and battle Satan wages against mankind. And how to defend against it. But, there are a couple of things that, while they may be popular doctrines, are nevertheless unbiblical.
    1. Adam did not blame Eve. He told God exactly what happened. He told the truth. And neither did Eve blame the serpent. She told God exactly what happened. She told the truth. To prescribe selfish motives to this is to read them into it. Unless you think it would have been better for them to lie?
    2. And while Satan is real, there is no biblical evidence that I have been able to find that says Satan’s name was lucifer before the rebellion. In fact, the only time more than one name is given at once that belong to Satan we find no mention of the name lucifer. The name Lucifer is only used once in the entire Bible in Isaiah14.
    If you have some evidence for the fact that they are the same person I would love to read
    it.
    And I agree with your assertion of Eph.6 for spiritual warfare. Also James gives us this in chapter 4 verse 7;
    “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

    Blessings:-}

    • Manny1962 September 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Ed,

      What’s your opinion on this, it’s from got questions.org

      “Question: “Is Lucifer Satan? Does the fall of Lucifer describe Satan?”

      Answer: There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Lucifer is Satan,” but an examination of several passages reveals that Lucifer can be none other than Satan. The fall of Lucifer described in Isaiah 14:12 is likely the same that Jesus referred to in Luke 10:18: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” A similar fall is depicted in Ezekiel 28.

      Isaiah 14:12–18 describes the fall from heaven of one called “Lucifer,” a name that means “morning star,” “son of the dawn,” “Day Star,” or “shining star.” The description of the one referred to shows us it can be none other than Satan. We know from Jesus’ own words in Luke 10 that Satan fell from heaven. So, when Isaiah refers to Lucifer (In Hebrew, helel) being cast down to earth (Isaiah 14:12), it can be none other than Satan. The reason for his fall is found in verses 13 and 14: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” This has always been Satan’s desire—to be God—and it is the very temptation he used in the garden of Eden to get Eve to disobey God: “You shall be as God” (Genesis 3:5).

      Ezekiel 28 is another passage thought to refer to Lucifer/Satan. Although it begins with Ezekiel being commanded by God to “take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre” (v. 12), an evil idolatrous king, it soon becomes clear that the passage is referring as well to the power behind that king—Satan. Verse 13 says he was “in Eden, the garden of God.” Clearly, the king of Tyre was never in Eden. Verse 14 says, “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.” Apparently, Lucifer/Satan had a position of guardian angel in heaven “among the fiery stones,” thought to be the shining precious jewels that are seen in other descriptions of heaven (Exodus 24:10; Revelation 21:18–21). Since the king of Tyre was never in heaven, either, this can only be describing Lucifer. The rest of the passage describes the reason he was cast out of heaven. Because of his beauty, his heart became proud and his wisdom was corrupted (Ezekiel 28:17). Pride in his perfection, wisdom, and beauty (v. 12) became the source of his downfall, and God threw him to the earth (v. 17). This was witnessed by the Lord Jesus in heaven before His incarnation (Luke 10:18).

      To summarize, Lucifer was cast out of heaven for his sin of pride and his desire to be God. Jesus referred to seeing Satan being cast out of heaven. Therefore, we can conclude that Lucifer and Satan are one and the same.”

      • Edwitness September 23, 2016 at 12:00 am #

        Thank you Manny1962,
        I have read that very post at Got Questions. And the passages in both Isaiah and Ezekiel. However, the problem remains that a doctrine has been produced out of assumptions. I’m not saying that it’s impossible that they are the same person. I’m saying that the Bible does not teach that they are. We have to assume it so.

        The real problem manifests itself when we read the scripture that gives his several names. In it there is no mention of him being lucifer.
        Rev.12:9-
        “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.” Who was cast out into the earth? Great dragon, old serpent, devil, Satan. Hmm? Something is missing here.

        When Isaiah names the person he describes being cast out he called him Lucifer. John says when he was cast out his name was great dragon, serpent, devil, Satan. The missing name is ……lucifer.

        And the part of the puzzle that is to me glaringly missing is that there is no scripture that says his name was ever changed from lucifer to Satan. That is the biggest assumption of all regarding the teaching that says they are the same person.

        I guess what I am concerned about is that we would accept as true a teaching that is not based in scripture. But, instead is based on assumptions when there is seemingly contradictory evidence that refutes it.

        It is not a doctrine that disqualifies from salvation. But, it is a very popular and widely taught doctrine that to me does not have a firm foundation in the scriptures.

        Thank you again Manny1962
        Blessings:-}

        • Manny1962 September 23, 2016 at 7:40 am #

          Hello Ed,

          Ah, I see your point, I guess since Sunday school we are taught as it being one person, I was taught it’s the same person who’s name was changed after the fall, and the other names given to him describe his nature. As we are given a new name by Christ when we go be with him, it is a possibility when the fall happened he was rechristened. Again, this is an assumption.

          God bless

        • berlorac September 23, 2016 at 10:39 am #

          Ed, there are various names of Satan, just as there are various names of God. All names in the Bible are descriptive. Satan is the collective name for the devil. He is also known as Beelzebub (Luke 11:18) and Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15).

          Just because John doesn’t repeat Lucifer as a name of Satan in Revelation 12:9 doesn’t mean they aren’t one and the same. By your logic, John was wrong when he named Satan Abaddon/Apollyon in Revelation 9:11 but failed to repeat those names in Revelation 12:9. By your logic, neither Abaddon, nor Beelzebub, nor Belial could possibly be Satan because John didn’t include them in his list in Revelation 12:9.

          Yes, we often have to “read between the lines” when studying the Scriptures, but we don’t have to do so without cause. Let Scripture interpret Scripture. Lucifer (morning star) is Satan. Beelzebub (lord of the dwelling, the prince of the power of the air) is Satan. Belial (the worthless and lawless one, as used by Paul) is Satan. Abaddon (angel of the bottomless pit) / Apollyon (destroyer) is Satan.

          • Manny1962 September 23, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

            Thanks B……… Very succinct.

          • Edwitness September 23, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

            Manny1962,
            He makes more Assumptions and you define them as “succinct”? Here is an example of what I mean.

            Right off the bat berlorac says; “Satan is the collective name for the devil.” Where does the Bible teach that? Nowhere. It is simply another assumption. Satan is one of the names given in scripture and it means accuser. We know it is one of his names because the Bible explicitly says so in Rev.12:9.

            As I said before, most are so inclined to understanding the scriptures that way that they can’t even tell the difference between rightly dividing and assumptive dividing.
            I appreciate you and berlorac as brothers in Christ. And I believe you strive to know the truth found in the scriptures.
            I also believe you have the Spirit of God in you. So if you will allow Him to, He will lead you to the truth and away from assumptive dividing.

            This passage concerning lucifer is a great object lesson for how much the church has acquired a taste for assuming instead of believing what is explicitly stated. Traditions and doctrines of men play a large part in these misunderstandings as well.

            Blessings:-}

          • Edwitness September 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

            Berlorac,
            In the instances that I gave both are speaking specifically to the “fall” or being “cast” from heaven of both lucifer and great dragon, old serpent, devil, Satan. The ones you cite are not. Context.

            And when you say “read between the lines” you are confirming my main point. That is, that you MUST assume it so to believe that lucifer and Satan are the same person.

            I make this point because I find that Christians, and the church in general, do this on a much too regular basis.

            Again, I am not saying the two names absolutely do not describe the same being. I am saying the scripture does not teach that they are. We MUST assume it to make it so. I leave things that must be assumed to be true out of doctrine.

            Like the teaching that man has a sin nature. It’s loaded with assumptions that are easily proven false.

            Blessings:-}

            Blessings:-}

          • Edwitness September 23, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

            Berlorac,
            I leave assumption out of doctrine as every Berean should.
            Blessings:-}

    • berlorac September 23, 2016 at 11:14 am #

      Ed, as to your point #1, notice that God commanded Adam, not Eve, to not eat of the tree (Genesis 2:17). At this point, Eve had not yet been made. It was Adam’s responsibility to tend to, and have dominion over, everything in the Garden, including (to a certain extent) his wife. So, when God asks him about eating of the tree and he says, “The woman…gave me of the tree,” while true, it is, nonetheless, blame-shifting. He doesn’t lie, but he shifts some of the responsibility to Eve. If he had said simply, “Yes, I ate of the tree,” then we could at least say that Adam took full responsibility. Instead, what we see is a tendency in man to blame someone else, at least in part.

      The whole rest of the Bible is a testimony, however, to man’s responsibility for his sin. It will do no good to say to God at the judgment that “the devil made me do it,” or “some woman made me do it.” While that may be true, it is not a valid excuse. And why do people want to shift the blame and not take responsibility? Because we are selfish, we want to preserve self. This is the testimony of Scripture.

      • Edwitness September 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

        Berlorac,
        No matter how you spin it they told the complete, unadulterated truth. I would think that is what every Christian would strive for. But, it seems you believe Adam, and then Eve, should have said “Lord, I’m not a tattle-tale so I can’t say”. Or “Lord, I’m not trying to shift blame but….” Ridiculous! They told the truth. It’s as simple as that.
        To believe anything else is to read it into the passage. Because the passage does not say anything about their so-called ‘fallen nature’ causing them to “blame-shift”.

        And if man’s selfishness is “the testimony of scripture” as you say, then how could Paul say that Gentiles kept the things the law speaks of NATURALLY without even knowing what the law says? Rom.2:14- “For when the Gentiles, which **have not the law**, DO BY NATURE the things contained in the law, these, **having not the law**, are a law unto themselves:” If what you believe is true they could not. Though there are many others, this passage alone destroys the sin nature doctrine.

        Self preservation is a natural response. There is nothing necassarily sinful about it. But, what Adam and Eve did when they spoke the truth to God is not an example of self preservation. It actually expresses a refreshing example of candidness. I commend them for telling the truth. And most importantly you should notice that God NEVER anywhere in the whole of scripture says they were blame-shifting.

        Blessings:-}

        • berlorac September 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

          Ed, do you applaud your son when he blames his sister for making him disobey you? Doesn’t anything in your heart give you pause when your son’s first response is to put the focus on his sister instead of himself? Wouldn’t a better response be to take full responsibility? Doesn’t a man step up and admit that he made the decision to sin? Period?

          Romans 2:14 does not say that all the Gentiles, by nature, kept the Law. What it does say is that when certain Gentiles did, without the Law, do the things prescribed by the Law, it showed that they were closer to God’s standard than were the Jews to whom the Law was given. That’s Paul’s point here. And this doesn’t mean that all Gentiles were in right relationship with God or that, as a whole, they were without sin. Romans 3 makes it clear that not one is righteous; thus, all are unrighteous.

          Yes, I agree with you that self-preservation is a natural response, but you say that it isn’t a sin? Really? Yeshua said that he who seeks to save his life will lose it. We are called to die to self. Paul describes self-love as sinful.

          Thanks for the discussion, brother.

          • Edwitness September 24, 2016 at 10:48 am #

            Berlorac,
            I know it’s hard for you to see the bias you inject into your statements. But, your pre-conceived idea that man is sinful by nature affects how you interpret everything you believe and read about God and our relationship with Him.
            You said this statement because you really believe this is what is going on in the account of Adam and Eve;

            “Ed, do you applaud your son when he blames his sister for making him disobey you? Doesn’t anything in your heart give you pause when your son’s first response is to put the focus on his sister instead of himself? Wouldn’t a better response be to take full responsibility? Doesn’t a man step up and admit that he made the decision to sin? Period?”

            This statement expresses the affects of your acceptance of a doctrine that is not found in scripture. And it taints everything you believe about God. There is nothing in the verse itself that says what you just said it did. You put it there. Let me prove it.

            Here is Gen.3:6- “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, **and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat**.”
            Without injecting any of our own ideas into the verse we can say that the woman God placed with Adam gave the fruit to her husband and he ate, right? That’s all it says.

            Now look at Gen.3:12- “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, **she gave me of the tree, and I did eat**.” Without injecting our own ideas into the verse we can see that Adam said exactly what we read in verse 6.
            Where do you see a difference between what actually happened and what Adam told God happened? There is none. To say there is, one would have to inject their own “sense” of what was going on into it. Don’t you see that? I hope you can.

            Your opening sentence also betrays your bias that you read INTO the verse.
            “Ed, do you applaud your son when he blames his sister for making him disobey you?”
            But, when we allow the scripture to simply say what it actually says, we will not inject into it this kind of obvious bias.
            Adam did not say she “made him disobey.” Do you see the inflammatory nature in the way you said it? He said she gave him the fruit and he ate it. Which is exactly what happened. He took responsibility when he said “and I did eat”. Only your biases about what you believe the “whole of scripture” teaches you about man’s so-called nature would keep you from understanding this. Can you see how dangerous that is? And why it is therefore so very important that we don’t do that?

            Then, again you express this bias where you said “Romans 2:14 does not say that all the Gentiles, by nature, kept the Law.” Notice how you added the word “all” as if that is what I said? I neither said it nor was that my intent. I only quoted the verse.
            And I noticed that in your rendering of Rom.2:14 you did not quote it. Hmm. But, you could not get around the fact that it says that at least some kept the law. And it absolutely does say they kept it by nature. Here is the verse again;
            “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, **DO BY NATURE the things contained in the law**, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:” There is no getting around the fact that the verse says they do it by nature.
            And the fact that they could do it by nature begs the question, How could someone with a sin nature keep the law BY their nature?

            You then said;
            “And this doesn’t mean that all (there is that word “all” again) Gentiles were in right relationship with God or that, as a whole, they were without sin. Romans 3 makes it clear that not one is righteous; thus, all are unrighteous.”
            I will simply reply to this by saying that once again your bias forces you to interpret Rom.3 the way you do. Rom.3 does not teach that man is basically evil or bad. It’s teaching refers to relationship, not nature.

            Then there is this;
            “Yes, I agree with you that self-preservation is a natural response, but you say that it isn’t a sin? Really? Yeshua said that he who seeks to save his life will lose it. We are called to die to self. Paul describes self-love as sinful.”
            Because of the fact that you enter into reading the scripture with the understanding that man is basically evil, you proceed to read that belief INTO everything. When the verses you refer to say nothing about man’s nature or him being basically evil.
            When Jesus says “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it”, He is simply stating a fact. If we choose physical life over spiritual eternal life we die separated from God. That’s all. We lose both our physical life and eternal life.
            And when Paul says “I die daily”, he is not speaking figuratively. He is speaking literally. He was saying he literally faces physical death every day.
            Here is the passage to which you refer.
            1Cor.15:30-32;
            “And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
            I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, **I die daily**.
            If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.”
            This passage is not telling us to die to self. It is Paul’s description of his life of persecution by those who hated the message he was teaching.
            And it is true that Paul’s statement that “lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God” (2Tim.3:2) is sinful. But, this speaks to loving ourselves MORE than we love God. Not that we are not to love ourselves at all because that is somehow sinful. This is why he says “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but **nourisheth and cherisheth it**, even as the Lord the church:” Eph.5:29. Here Paul makes it clear that to love yourself is not sinful. He even compares it to the way Christ loves the church without making it a bad thing. It’s only when we love ourselves above our love for others and especially God that it is sinful.

            My advice to you and those who believe as you do is to make every attempt to read the scriptures without injecting any biases into it. I have given you several examples of doing that here in this discussion. The way to do that is to let it say precisely what it says and believe it. Period. Just as any truly Berean researcher would, right?
            Then we will truly be able to rightly divide the word of God the way Paul and the other writers did.
            Although I am willing to continue this discussion I will also say thank you for the discussion brother berlorac,
            Blessings:-}

  5. Manny1962 September 20, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    Yes I see your point with Obama, he had that famous magazine cover with the halo. But I think that halo went away rather fast as the “miracles” failed to materialize! Oprah on the other hand, is very dangerous with her leavening. And interestingly enough, every year she sits on a particular meeting with the wealthiest citizens in the US, a meeting spearheaded by none other than Mr. Bill Gates, one of the “enlightened” ones, who is ravaging Africa with Mosanto and whose father sat on the board of Planned Parenthood, the meeting is secret and rumor has it that the intent is not kosher. Living in the last days!

  6. Manny1962 September 22, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    This is how demonic television programming has become:

    “Lucifer is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series developed by Tom Kapinos that premiered on Fox on January 25, 2016.[1][2] It features a character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic book series The Sandman, who later became the protagonist of the spin-off comic book series Lucifer written by Mike Carey, both published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. In April 2016, Fox renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on September 19, 2016”

    “The series focuses on Lucifer Morningstar, “who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell and resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the beauty of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals”.[4] Lucifer runs a piano bar in Los Angeles called “Lux”, with the assistance of his demonic ally Mazikeen or “Maze”. After a minor celebrity whom Lucifer once helped achieve fame is murdered outside his club, Lucifer becomes involved with the LAPD when he takes it upon himself to assist Detective Chloe Decker in finding the one responsible so that he can “punish them”.

    You take the subject spin it the other way, it gets into the collective mind of the culture and now you have the father of lies and murder and turn him into a chic L.A. Socialite and crime fighter. This is how group think is affected. It made enough money, it’s been picked up for another season.

  7. Paul, The Marketplace Minister September 22, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks Martha, this article I needed to read. I’ve been walking with the Lord since 1994, as the LORD of my life, and we all know how easy it is to (1) ascribe power to non-believers and begin to build up resentment to them, rather than their unwitting (or purposeful attraction to) the devil and his characteristics, as well as (2) being prey to demonic forces to think that trouble is caused by God. My family and I are being attacked, while we remain faithful to the Lord. What I recall is the chief aim of the believer is to bring glory to God, and as you pointed out, that is the direct opposite of what the devil wants to do. Jesus calls us to pray for those who persecute us, for those who despitefully use us, not to seek revenge, but to return evil with good. Now THAT’S what I call spiritual battle! Here is the thing, you can only do that when you submit to the Lord. That doesn’t mean life will be comfy, but I like what the African church is reported to pray, (Charles Stanley preached once) “Lord, make me faithful in the fire.” What victory we have as we remain faithful, while the devil drives harder at us. What redemption we can carry to the sin-sick hateful person in our path! The Lord is praised above all, and during our trials!

  8. Edwitness September 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    And blessings:-} to you as well my brother.

  9. berlorac September 23, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    [Right off the bat berlorac says; “Satan is the collective name for the devil.” Where does the Bible teach that? Nowhere. It is simply another assumption.]

    Ed, I was hoping you understood that we use the word “God” most often, but could, in specific instances, use Elohim or Adonai, or El Shaddai, or Yahweh, or… We use “Jesus” when we should be using Yeshua, but we could also use Emmanuel. Sometimes, we do, when in the right context. The point is, “God” is collective. In the same way, “Satan” is collective. We could use Beelzebub all the time, but we almost always use Satan.

    If we don’t “connect the dots,” then what use is it to study the Scriptures? If God doesn’t expect us to compare Scripture with Scripture, then why tell us to study? And why give us so much information spread out over 66 books? We have the Holy Spirit to give us understanding.

    I can firmly say that I believe in a pre-trib rapture and a premillennial coming of Christ. You may ask me to give you a Scripture that point blank says as much, but I would, instead, have to give you many Scriptures that would then have to be put together to form the answers. You would have to connect the dots. You may be unwilling to do so and that’s your prerogative. Or, you may do so and, if you have, then you have to admit that you’ve made assumptions (based on Scripture alone, of course) and come to a conclusion.

  10. Manny1962 September 23, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    Ed and Berlorac, I thank God for men such as you…….. These are the discussions that teach many, including myself. I know my life is marked by a desire to know God beyond all things, God puts those with more knowledge in the path of those searching for righteous knowledge, at the end of the day, we are all a little wiser for having our iron sharpened by a brother wiser than ourselves! God bless you both and may He be a lamp unto our feet, specially in these dark days! We must be ever vigilant and we must be ever learning!

    • Edwitness September 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      Thank you Manny,
      It is such a blessing to have brothers and sisters who are truly interested in knowing Jesus in a greater and greater way. From faith to faith and glory to glory. here a little there a little line upon line.
      God richly bless you and yours brother:-)

    • berlorac September 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

      Hey Manny, let us pursue truth together until that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the Lord Yeshua! Stand firm in the faith, brother. Thanks for the kind words!

  11. berlorac September 24, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Ed, you look for a phrase within the Scriptures that says, “Man has a sin nature,” and do not find it; therefore, you say, that it is a false doctrine. I say, show me where the Bible says, “God is a trinity, three persons in one, co-existent and co-equal,” but there isn’t one. Do you deny the Trinitarian nature of God? We have to connect the dots of Scripture of form this thesis. That’s what the earliest believers did for a couple hundred years before they knocked out the Sabellian argument and firmly declared a Trinitarian God. We have to take the whole of Scripture and rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us these glorious truths; not everything is spelled out so clearly as you would like.

    When I said we are called to die to self, I was not referring to 1 Cor. 15. I had in mind, instead, the Lord Yeshua’s words, “Take up your cross,” as well as many other verses that speak of our dying, spiritually. I’m not sure where you were going with Ephesians 5, but when Paul says that man loves himself, he does not say that this is an attitude to be pursued (which would tend to pride and self-righteousness); he merely points out the fact that a man seeks his own. It is man’s nature to love himself. Now, if he can do this, then he ought to love his wife as much. The man who loves his wife can get a glimpse of Christ’s love for the Church. This does not teach self-love as something to be fostered, as you seem to want to think.

    Ed, in your several replies, you have made it clear that you are what men through the centuries would term as Pelagian or semi-Pelagian. You believe that man is not inherently evil or sinful, as you stated above. Therefore, because there is such a great divide between us regarding this most basic and foundational truth of inherent sinfulness, there isn’t much point in continuing to discuss those issues that proceed from it. Unless we can agree on man’s sinful standing and state, we have virtually nothing on which to agree.

    • Edwitness September 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

      Berlorac,
      You quoted me saying; “You believe that man is not inherently evil or sinful, as you stated above.” Then you proceeded in trying to label my biblical beliefs. I can’t really fault you for that because we all like to know who we are dealing with. But the reason you said “semi-Pelagian” is that the biblical truth I espouse does not really fit there.

      I do not believe that man is basically good or basically bad, nor do I believe that man can do good works to aid in achieving heaven. I also do not believe that Adam’s sin had no consequence for the rest of mankind. To the contrary, it most certainly did. See, not a Pelagian or even a semi.

      It is not me that says that man is not “inherently” sinful. It is the Bible. I just happen to believe what it says. As should you apart from your assumptions.

      I am a believer in the biblical doctrine of salvation. Maybe I have not been clear enough about that for you. So I will break down a passage for you that refutes completely the sin nature doctrine concerning both imputed and inherent sin. One that sin nature adherents actually think proves it’s existence.

      Rom,5:12-14 tells us- “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
      (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
      Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
      Here is a progression of the meaning of this passage consecutively.

      1st With Adam it was sin first then death. Then death passed upon all men which causes them to sin. The opposite of how it happened with Adam.

      2nd Paul proves this to be true by saying that sin was in the world from Adam to Moses, but it is not counted against men(imputed) because there was no law. This means their sin did not cause them to die. The fact that death passed to them from Adam did. This debunks the sin nature doctrine’s teaching of imputed sin.

      3rd Even when sin did not count, men still died from Adam to Moses because of death reigning in them. It even reigned in those who did not commit the sin Adam did. And since they did not commit the same sin Adam did there is no inherent sin from Adam.

      Here is why;
      4th The sin nature doctrine as taught in bible colleges and by most pastors states that sin was inherited from Adam because the human race was in his loins sinning with him. But, as Paul says here there were those who did not sin as Adam did. Thus, Paul here refutes the sin nature doctrine’s assertion that all men sinned in Adam. This debunks the notion of inherent sin.

      Question: Did Adam have a sin nature that made him sin? No. So why are we taught that we must have a sin nature that is the reason we sin? Clearly, if Adam did not need a sin nature to sin then we don’t need one either.
      Question: Do men sin? Yes. Does this sin send men to hell today? No. Why doesn’t it? Because since Jesus came and abolished the law, sin is not imputed as Paul taught here. Now the only reason we would go to hell is rejecting Him. Not knowing Him. This is why Paul says salvation is not by works.

      What I have just shown you here debunks the teaching of inherent sin and imputed sin and therefore the sin nature doctrine must be rejected.
      That is, unless you have made one up of your own? Naw.
      Blessings my brother:-}

      • berlorac September 26, 2016 at 10:52 am #

        Ed, you correctly state only one point concerning our standing before God. Yes, we were declared sinners because we were in Adam. But, if we are believers, we are no longer in Adam. Agreed.

        But in Romans 1-3, Paul also presents the other point that you refuse to see. We are sinners by nature and this is borne out by our works. Paul indicts the world in those chapters, both Jew and Gentile. All are sinners as evidenced by our works. And the Jews are in worse shape because they had the oracles and promises and Law of God, yet still were in unbelief, which manifested in their sins. The lack of faith among the Jews who were closest to God is an indictment on all mankind. God proved that the man who had received a privileged relationship to God was still a sinner by nature. Only those who threw themselves on the mercy of God by faith would by saved. And if this was true of the Jews, it is most certainly true of the whole human race. That is the point of Romans 1-3 that you refuse to see. Those chapters speak of man’s standing before God, a standing which is evidenced by his works.

        Salvation is only by faith and not by works. Agreed. And because of faith in the death (FOR SINS), burial, and resurrection of Christ, we are born again and are made new creations in Christ. He died for sins (sinful works) as well as sin itself.

        Ed, God will further prove man’s inherent sinfulness during the Millennial Kingdom when Satan will have been thrown in the bottomless pit for the duration. There will still be those who sin during that period of time, even without Satan’s influence, and even though Christ will be ruling and reigning (Isaiah 65:20, Zechariah 14:16-19).

        • Edwitness September 26, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

          berlorac,
          To say all are sinners is not the same as saying all have a sin nature. As I said before. Adam did not need a sin nature to sin. So to say we do is manifestly wrong.
          Adam did not pass to us genetically the conditions we find ourselves in. We find ourselves under deaths’s rule because of conditions Adam precipitated by his act. The condition of being separated from God temporally and dying physically. And if we remain separated from God until physical death we will be separated from God eternally.
          This condition is illustrated perfectly by the event found in Gen.3:22,23.
          “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, AND LIVE FOREVER:
          Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
          Did you see that? God just said Adam would have lived forever in the condition he was in after eating the fruit, if he could have eaten from the tree of life. This then is proof that Adam died because he could not eat from the tree of life.
          Sin did not kill him because it can not. It only served to open his eyes to the fact that he was naked.
          Now then, starting with Adam, man no longer having access to the tree of life, he dies. This is the kingdom man has found himself in since Adam’s sin. That is why we are told in Col.1:13- “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness(death’s kingdom), and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” life’s kingdom (parenthesis mine)

          This condition can also be compared to a slave born into slavery, as Paul describes in his letters. Not because of a nature he inherited. But because of the fact that the world (kingdom) his parents found themselves in was that of slavery.
          The reason for death reigning over mankind is not genetic, it’s the kingdom we find ourselves born into from Adam’s choice to submit to that king. And sin acts as a slavemaster in death’s kingdom.

          But, even though the Bible teaches no such thing as a sin nature, it seems many would rather believe it anyway and allow it to infect everything else they believe, because it gives them a scapegoat for the sin they commit. (“It’s not my fault. It’s that old sin nature I inherited from Adam. It made me do it.”) Than to hold to the truth that there is no such thing as inherent or imputed sin from Adam. Just because it is what they were told from the start of their Christian experience. And it helps take the responsibility off of them.

          If we sin(break the moral or mosaic law) we do so because we want to. Not because we can’t help it(sin nature). There is no such thing as a sin of omission. This is why Paul could say concerning the Gentiles keeping the law by nature, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, DO BY NATURE (free will) the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:” (parenthesis mine)Rom.2:14

          Blessings:-} brother

          PS Do you see the word nature here used by Paul in Rom.2:14? When used in the biblical context in reference to mankind it always refers to free will and dominion. Gen.1:28 & 2:16,17 proves this because without free will Adam would never have been able to CHOOSE to sin, right? And neither could we.

          • berlorac September 27, 2016 at 11:32 am #

            Ed, two things: You said, [God just said Adam would have lived forever in the condition he was in after eating the fruit, if he could have eaten from the tree of life.]

            Very well. So, why didn’t God let Adam and Eve stay in the Garden and eat of the tree of life so they could live forever? Because they were now in sin. God, instead, made a way for them, and us, to live forever cleansed of sin.

            Then, you said, [This then is proof that Adam died because he could not eat from the tree of life.]

            Ed, they died because God followed through on His conditions for them. They ate of the wrong tree and would die, just as God said. If they then had access to the tree of life, they could have lived forever, but God can no longer allow that. Why? Because they are now sinners. God, in His grace and mercy, removes them from the Garden so that they cannot live forever as sinners. Your reference to this event doesn’t prove your contention that they were not now sinners by nature.

            You then said, [“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, DO BY NATURE (free will) the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:” (parenthesis mine)]

            Ed, there are people who do things morally who are not doing so because they recognize some law but because they just believe it’s the right thing to do. This doesn’t mean they aren’t sinners by nature. But to get to the heart of Paul’s teaching here, he is saying that those Gentiles who were in right relationship with God were so even though they were not under the Law. And how is it that they could be in right relationship? You say “free will,” but I say “by faith.” And where does faith come from? It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

            You believe that man is not a sinner by nature and you believe that man has free will. And you seem to believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that man only sins when he is tempted by Satan. Yet, we know that man has three problems: the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are miles apart, Ed.

          • Edwitness September 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

            Berlorac,
            Can you show me a single scripture that says that “sin passed upon all men”? Not that they became sinners. Or that they sinned because of Adam. But, that it was sin that passed to all men from Adam?
            Everyone knows that men sin.They just don’t know why. Because they refuse to take the scripture for what it says.

            Here is an example of you doing just that.
            You said “…he is saying that those Gentiles were in right relationship with God…”
            Paul never said these Gentiles were in right relationship with God. Another assumption on your part.

            The sin nature doctrine is dangerous because it is not Biblical and therefore leads to all sorts of wrong theology when we read the rest of scripture.The nature of Adam before the cross is the same after. And so is ours. Only now we are in death’s kingdom. Under death’s rule. Rom.5:14. Free will chooses to sin or not.
            There is nothing in your nature that makes you sin if you do not want to. Your nature, free will and dominion, allows you to sin. In this God showed us His love for us because He could have made us robots with no choice.

            Then you finished by saying “You believe that man is not a sinner by nature and you believe that man has free will.” CORRECT.
            “And you seem to believe (correct me if I’m wrong) [OK] that man only sins when he is tempted by Satan”. WRONG.
            “Yet, we know that man has three problems: the world, the flesh, and the devil”. CORRECT.
            “We are miles apart, Ed.” Yes we are. Because you have chosen to believe in the traditions of men for your truth instead of the Bible.

            Blessings:-}

          • berlorac September 27, 2016 at 11:49 am #

            Ed, you said, [If we sin(break the moral or mosaic law) we do so because we want to. Not because we can’t help it(sin nature).]

            Why do we want to? Because we are sinners by nature. When we get to the eternal glory, we will no longer want to because we will no longer have this sin nature. This is why we are waiting for that redemption of the body (Romans 8:23).

            Then, you said, [There is no such thing as a sin of omission.] How about Romans 7:19, or James 4:17?

          • Edwitness September 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

            Berlorac,
            The Bible says Adam chose to sin as well. But, you don’t think he had a sin nature, do you? When he chose to sin it’s free will. When we choose to sin it’s the sin nature. Why don’t you believe he had a sin nature too since you believe it takes a sin nature to cause people to want to sin? Just connecting the dots.
            But, Adam did not have a sin nature any more than we do. That dot method doesn’t seem to be working out so well.

            Blessings:-} brother

  12. berlorac September 24, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    Manny, just to pick up where we left off on the discussion regarding Lucifer, and the absence of the mention of Lucifer in Revelation 12:9, we have to understand that the Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 references to the fall of Lucifer (witnessed by Christ, Luke 10:18) is not the same fall as that described by John in Revelation.

    The first fall (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28) was from Lucifer’s high estate in the mountain of God. He fell from that, but he is still the prince of the power of the air. He is referred to now as Satan, the dragon, the serpent, and the devil in Revelation 12:9, but no longer as Lucifer because he had previously fallen from that title/name prior to the Garden. At mid-Trib, Satan will fall from even that position (the prince of the power of the air). He will be cast down to the earth for the following 3 1/2 years.

    • Manny1962 September 24, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

      I understand, that’s when he’s cast down and the world will tremble because he knows that he has but a short time (3-1/2 years) and he will be pouring out his fury on the believers left in the world.

  13. Manny1962 September 24, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

    I am studying right along with both of you…….

  14. Manny1962 September 24, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    Ed and B,

    Doesn’t the fact we all die, support the idea that man is inherently cursed? That this effect is from the cause of disobedience? That we do posses a sinful nature? Man was not created evil, but he had the capacity to rebel (sin) and he did, same as the devil? There by passing along the curse to future generations?

    Ed, do you believe in Pelagianism?

  15. Edwitness September 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    Manny1962,
    Your question is a good one. However, the answer is in what the question you ask infers. Where does the Bible teach that Adam’s death is a curse? Read the Genesis account again and see if you can find it.

    And you are correct. Man was not created evil. But, the Bible does not teach that man has an evil “nature”. Otherwise how could the Gentiles Paul refers to in Rom.2:14 keep the law by nature? Because man can do evil does not mean his nature is evil.

    The “capacity to rebel(sin)” that you speak of, and refer to also as man’s nature, is called in the Bible free will. And the fact that it is free will that allows us to sin is what is “passed along” to future generations. Not a curse. It is the way God made Adam to begin with. And it is that part of the image of God in Adam that is inherited by his descendants.

    And no Manny1962, I do not and have never believed in pelagianism. As my comments have clearly shown, among other issues, I do believe that Adam’s sin has had extremely dire consequences for the rest of mankind. A Pelagian would not believe this.

    Blessings:-} brother

    • berlorac September 27, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      Well, Ed, my mind is not so nimble any more, so I’m sure others saw your game before I did. You win because you make the rules and then refuse to abide by them.

      You stated throughout this conversation that “sin nature” is nowhere found in the Bible. I said that we have to take the totality of Scripture and connect the dots, sometimes make assumptions (based on the Scriptures alone, of course). We put all the pieces together from the evidence God has given us concerning the nature of man and we find (I find) that man, indeed, has a sinful nature. You disagree because you refuse to connect the dots, looking instead for a definitive verse that says, “Man has a sin nature.”

      But then you change the rules when you declare that man has “free will.” Ed, please show me the verse that says, “Man has free will.” No, you can’t. Oh, I agree with you that Adam and Eve were given “free will,” but that all ended when they sinned. You have to make assumptions to come up with the idea that all men are now born with “free will.” I’m not allowed to make assumptions, but you can. Have it your way, Ed. Maybe we can play again if you agree to abide by an honest game.

      • Edwitness September 27, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

        Berlorac,
        You rightly divide the word and come up with the sin nature doctrine even though it is clear that Adam did not need one to sin? Really? You call that rightly dividing?

        Somehow I think you are not defining it the way Paul meant for us to. When we give something a label like trinity for instance. We don’t find the passage that uses the word Trinity in the Bible. But, when we rightly divide we find throughout the scripture that God is three in one. Hence the word Trinity. It actually defines the teaching that is there.

        Sin nature however is not only not found in scripture as Trinity is not. Unlike the trinity doctrine the teaching called sin nature isn’t there. Nowhere do we find the nature of man defined in any other way than God tells us in Genesis 1& 2. God made man with free will and dominion. This is the nature of man. And the only thing that has changed since God made Adam is that Adam’s choice put all mankind in another kingdom. One ruled by Satan who holds the power of death which uses sin as it’s stinger. 1Cor.15:56.

        But, because Jesus came that we “might have life and that more abundantly”, we can by faith choose to be delivered from “the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son”.

        That is what is called rightly dividing the word of truth.

        Blessings:-} brother

    • berlorac September 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

      Ed, you stated that “Lucifer is Satan” is nowhere found in the Bible. I said that we have to take the totality of Scripture and connect the dots, sometimes make assumptions (based on the Scriptures alone, of course). We put all the pieces together from the evidence God has given us concerning the fact that Lucifer is Satan and we find (I find) that fall of Lucifer described in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 refers to Satan . You disagree because you refuse to connect the dots, looking instead for a definitive verse that says, “Lucifer is Satan.” You say you won’t make assumptions.

      But then you change the rules when you declare that man has “free will.” Ed, please show me the verse that says, “Man has free will.” No, you can’t. You have to make assumptions to come up with the idea that all men are now born with “free will.” So much for not making assumptions, Ed.

      • Edwitness September 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

        You can have your assumptions berlorac. That is what keeps you believing the sin nature doctrine even tough it is nowhere taught literally in the Bible. That’s not much of a Berean. They searched the scriptures to see if what they were taught was true. You take other people’s word for it. And then read what you have already decided to believe into it.

        The fact that Adam sinned without having a sin nature is proof that man does not need to have a sin nature to sin. What’s the difference between what caused Adam to sin and what causes people to sin since Adam? NOTHING.

        Blessings:-}

        • berlorac September 27, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

          Ed, Romans 5:12 tells us that sin entered the world through Adam and then death came because of sin. Futher, death passed to all people because all have sinned. Sin causes death.

          You said, [With Adam it was sin first then death.] Yes. But then you say, [Then death passed upon all men which causes them to sin. The opposite of how it happened with Adam.] That’s not at all what the verse says, Ed. I’m not sure how much clearer Paul could have been, but somehow you’ve switched it around. You want so bad to make death, rather than a sinful nature, the cause of sin. Yes, death reigns as king, but it does so in two ways: physical death and spiritual death.

          This two-pronged death reigns because of sin; physical death doesn’t cause sin, it is the result of sin. Further, man is spiritually dead because he is born with a sinful nature, the one that entered the world through Adam, and he will remain spiritually dead unless, and until, God causes him to be born again, with a new nature, a new creation. So, yes, spiritual death results in sinful acts, but it is because of sin (a sinful nature) that man is spiritually dead, both because he is “in Adam” (as you have rightly pointed out) and because he is a sinner by nature (as evidenced by his works).

          The two-pronged death is why we have two spheres of redemption. The believer is spiritually made alive, but the body still suffers physical death. Once we receive our glorified bodies, we will no longer suffer physical death. Now, we have spiritual life; then, we will have both spiritual and physical life. We await the redemption of our bodies. The body that is fit for heaven does not suffer either spiritual corruption (as we have now in our flesh), nor does it suffer physical corruption (1 Corinthians 15:50-54, 2 Corinthians 5:1-5).

          Romans 8:3 tells us that the Law could not make anyone righteous; the Law could not give anyone the power to keep it, it was weak through the flesh. The flesh is corrupt, Ed. This is why the Law could not help Israel. Rather, the Law was proof to them, and to us, that the flesh is unable to please God. In fact, the one who is still in his flesh is unable to understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Yet, you say that the natuarl man has free will to make a choice for God and that the natural man is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. Ed, you’re contradicting Scripture. If a man is “neutral,” and has “free will,” then — according to your theology — he could understand the things of God (if he willed himself to do so) and even be pleasing to God (by making some right choices). But the Scripture tells us that in our flesh dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18).

          Yes, Adam and Eve sinned without having a sin nature. Their downfall came because of Satan’s temptation of them. They didn’t have to contend with the world or the flesh, but only the devil. You and I have to contend with the world and the flesh, as well as the devil. The flesh, Ed. We have to contend with the flesh because it is corrupt; it’s not neutral.

          • Edwitness September 28, 2016 at 2:18 am #

            Berlorac,
            In Rom.5:12 “for that” refers to death causing sin. Not the other way round. “For that” is masculine. Sin is a feminine noun. “For that” being masculine must refer to a masculine noun. Guess what gender death is? You got it. Masculine.
            So, to help you understand it you should read the verse to say “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that (because of that, death) all have sinned:”

            You are correct that the law could not make anyone righteous. But, you are wrong when you say it is because the flesh is corrupt. Paul deals with this very issue when describing his pedigree in Phil.3. He speaks of what makes him more righteous under the law than others.

            4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; TOUCHING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS IN THE LAW, BLAMELESS 7  BUT WHAT THINGS WERE GAIN TO ME, THOSE I COUNTED LOSS FOR CHRIST 8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
            9  And be found in him, NOT HAVING MINE OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH IS OF THE LAW, BUT THAT WHICH IS THROUGH THE FAITH OF CHRIST, THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS OF GOD BY FAITH:

            Paul has said here that he kept the law blameless. Then he speaks of two kinds of righteousness. One that Israel received by keeping the law. This is a good kind of righteousness that God said Job and Zachariah and Elisabeth also had. But, it could not give life because it is not the righteousness of faith the new covenant requires. It’s not bad. It just can’t give life. It was never intended to.
            The law was never supposed to save anyone. It was given to keep Israel from destroying themselves until faith came. Gal.3:23 “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.”

            You said “Yet, you say that the natuarl man has free will to make a choice for God…” I did not say that. I said that all men have a free will to choose good. Big difference. You said the Gentiles in Rom.2:14 were in “right relationship with God”, not me. I would not “assume” that. The gift of faith that saves us joins WITH our free will to save. Not free will alone. Adam had God to talk to in a garden that also had Satan in it to tempt him. We have God to talk to now and Satan tempts us here as well. No difference except that Adam’s world did not have death. Ours does. And sin was present to tempt man in the garden just as it is since then. So when you read that “as by one man sin came into the world” it is referring to mankind.

            You then said “…according to your theology — he could understand the things of God (if he willed himself to do so) and even be pleasing to God (by making some right choices). Again, you are assuming things again. You need to read just what is written and stop assuming.

            You added “Yes, Adam and Eve sinned without having a sin nature. Their downfall came because of Satan’s temptation of them. They didn’t have to contend with the world or the flesh, but only the devil. You and I have to contend with the world and the flesh, as well as the devil. The flesh, Ed. We have to contend with the flesh because it is corrupt; it’s not neutral.”

            “But only the devil”?! When is the last time you had the devil right in front of you tempting you to directly disobey something God had told you? Never! According to the Genesis account the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, right? That right there makes it clear they were up against it in a way that only they and Jesus have ever had to deal with.
            When the scripture says the flesh is corrupt it means death reigns over it and It’s dying. Not that it is intrinsically evil. The flesh has natural desires, not evil ones. When we over eat it becomes gluttony. But, eating just enough is good though. The same with the natural desire for sex. As long as it is kept in it’s proper context it is good. Gen.1:31. Only when it is an over desire (lust) does it become sin.
            Remember how James said it? “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
            You said Adam was tempted, right? “Their downfall came because of Satan’s temptation of them.” Then by your own words you must agree that this would apply to him as well.
            And the last sentence here is saying that if sin is not dealt with through faith in Jesus, that gives life,(John 5:24-“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”) we die eternally.
            We remain forever separated from God because the sting that death wields is sin. 1Cor.15:56 “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” The second half of that verse is a whole nother issue.

            Blessings:-} brother

  16. Manny1962 September 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks Ed, for explaining. Blessings to you and yours.

Leave a Reply