The Lucifer Myth


#1

The Lucifer Myth:

The KJV followed Jerome’s lead from the Vulgate - an early-5th-century translation of the Bible into Latin from Greek (note: NOT from the original Hebrew). In Jerome’s translation - “Lucifer” occurs in Isaiah 14:12-14 as a translation of the Greek word heosphorus (“dawn-bearer”), an epithet of Venus. The actual Hebrew text says הילל בן שחר (heilel ben-schahar), meaning “Helel son of Shahar.”

Helel was a Babylonian / Canaanite god who was the son of another Babylonian / Canaanite god named Shahar.

Helel was the god of the morning star and his father was Shahar, god of the dawn. Some translations of Isaiah 14:12 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning!” American Standard Version translating Hebrew Helel as “day-star” and the Hebrew word Ben as son and the Hebrew word Shahar as “of the morning.”

In Isaiah, this title is specifically used, in a prophetic vision, referring the king of Babylon’s pride and to illustrate his eventual fate by referencing Babylon’s own mythological accounts of the planet Venus’ fall from grace from among the gods.

There is just centuries of Christian tradition (non-biblical) attached to the subject and the obvious meaning has been covered over in favor of things which make great science fiction but (IMO) very poor theology.


#2

Consider what these verses are actually saying:

Ezek 28:2 "Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god.

The problem some people have when it comes verses like these is that they have trouble distinguishing poetic language from literal language. When they see something like:

Ezek 28:14-15 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

They jump from the subject previously defined (that being Tyre) to a literalistic definition of a guardian cherub. They think the answer must be “It’s Satan”. But then the literalistic approach falls apart in the next verse:

Ezek 28:16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

It no longer works to say that Satan was expelled from heaven because of his widespread trade and violence. In context it is impossible to make these verses refer to Satan. There are no Biblical statements which identify Satan as a guardian cherub, that is only a result of the reader inserting their preconceived ideas into the verse.

The chapters around the references used by those who support the Lucifer myth (in both Isaiah and Ezekiel) are prophecies dealing with other nations. Many with the same kind of poetic language. For instance:

Ezek 31:2-9 "Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes: "'Who can be compared with you in majesty? 3 Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage…8 The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor could the pine trees equal its boughs, nor could the plane trees compare with its branches-- no tree in the garden of God could match its beauty. 9 I made it beautiful with abundant branches, the envy of all the trees of Eden in the garden of God. (NIV)

Now maybe one could read these verses and say that again we have a reference to Satan. But that kind of creative exegesis would just lead to other problems - such as who are those which envy the mighty tree in Eden.

Now when the above information is presented someone may say “yes the prophecy is about Babylon or Tyre but it is also about the power which is behind their kingdoms, and that is Satan”. But should we ignore all we know about Biblical interpretation so that we can keep a myth about Lucifer that no one prior to the second century had any idea of? A myth which no New Testament author even vaguely referred too?

Some supporters of the Lucifer myth point these verses in Isaiah 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.” (NIV)

It is suggested that this is referencing Satan since these ambitions clearly exceed the reach of any human ruler. But of course - they exceed the reach of Satan also. Besides, delusions of grandeur are not uncommon among earthly rulers. We must remember that these and other verses are filled with poetic language.


#3

I’m pretty sure that those who are suspecting (let us say) a typological overlap in those descriptions, are not the ones who are ignoring all that we know about Biblical interpretation. (Since typological foreshadowing, backshadowing, thematic linkage, and multiple levels of prophetic fulfillment, through use of poetic language and multiple-meanings, are commonly known and understood to be legitimate elements of Biblical interpretation. The Bible certainly has a lot of authors who use such procedures, for example!)

Anyway, perhaps you could state more clearly what “myth” of Lucifer/Satan you are talking about which “no New Testament author even vaguely referred to”? (Not to say any author prior to the 2nd century? Or Biblical, or related, author, prior to the 1st century, I suppose?)


#4

Did Satan fall from heaven like lightning?


#5

I must confess, firstborn, that the evidence for Lucifer is, in real measure, circumstantial. My own denominational bias has been that Christ AND Lucifer were the covering cherubs (as mirrored on the ark of the covenant) who stood on either side of the Throne of God. To the fellow angels, the two exalted cherubs looked identical; yet one was created, the other was none other than the One we humans call the Christ – the Son of God. (Christ too is called the day star in Is) Thus tension broke out in the mind of Lucifer, the created cherub, as he pondered how and why he was supposed to accept the fact he was created, and his counter part was not. The tension (and jealousy) deepened as the cherub we know as Christ was given the privilege and honor of creating this earth. Hence rebellion. And the story of redemption unfolds.

Is all that explicitly spelled out in the bible though? Hardly. Does that formulation fit the biblical data? Well, to some it does; but allowing, shall we say, creative license. It is hardly written in stone. No “thus saith the Lord” as it were.

While I’ve not read his last book, M Scott Peck is quoted to say there that, should the Devil, (aka Lucifer) decide to take an extended holiday, he would hardly be missed; for we humans are more than capable of carrying on his work of rebellion without him. Thus to my fellow believers who find the idea of Lucifer compelling, and/or necessary, I ask them why this is so. However, to my fellow believers who find the idea of Lucifer a myth and/or unnecessary to the sin saga, I also ask them why and how they think things are different because of Lucifer’s non-existence. Which is to say; why does it matter?

Surely the existence of Lucifer does not imply that humans are, somehow, excused from their fall. If we then (as humans) bear the responsibility and consequences for our own actions (this seems biblical enough) we can hardly turn the “blame” back upon Lucifer. Just as Adam’s plaintive plea that “the woman you gave me… blah blah blah.” No Adam, YOU fell, and now we live with the fallout. (PS – wondering why the original sin as noted in 1 Cor 15:22 as well as Romans 5:18 – ie that sin by which ALL men fall to sin – is laid at the feet of Adam, and not Eve??? eg Just as in EVE all die, so also in Christ ALL will be made alive…)

One wonders then about the dynamics at the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; who was this serpent who speaks seditious ideas to Eve? WAS this a personification of the fallen Lucifer? Could be I suppose; who knows – and why is it important? Did sin originate with Eve (who then the serpent?) or was it imported here via the fallen Lucifer who brings his subversive questions with him?

Does the story differ one way or the other? Sin, if of Lucifer OR of Eve, yet retains its rebellious quality does it not? And thus one needs to be solved just as much as the other would.

This question then, while intriguing, does not interest me nearly so much as the answer – the solution – does; which is the mystery and wonder of God Himself, in the person of Christ, crucified and risen. THAT part seems to be the solution no matter whether we focus on Eve OR on Lucifer.

So firstborn, I’m wondering what you see as the consequent conclusions IF Lucifer is but a myth – which is to say a common telling of the ways and means of the entry of rebellion into the universe.

Further (tell me if you disagree) I’m not sure if the answer to this question HAS any impact on the reality of Universal Reconciliation. Lucifer or not, UR is reality as I see it now…

Interesting subject…

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#6

Sure!

Exactly what that means, may be debatable; obviously the form of delivery is poetic. But why suppose it means only less than what it says?

Jesus was clearly thinking in terms of some kind of supernatural rebellion affecting the humans of earth and being affected in turn, not only by His ministry and actions, but by the ministry of His authoritative representatives.

It might be replied that He was only using language in a way that was accessible to the beliefs of the people of that time–and I have no problem believing that some of that happened. (In principle, His use of parabolic teaching amounts to the same thing, for example. Although, interestingly, it is not in His overtly parabolic teaching that the demonology of the Gospels is usually found; rarely so, rather.)

But, even if this is true, that is a much different kind of claim than to say that the concept of fallen supernatural entites with one or more strong leaders, whose fall is somehow supercessive to our own rebellion as humans, is “not even vaguely referred to in the New Testament”.

This is why I am asking FB to be more clear about what kind of “myth” he is saying does not even appear before the 2nd century, including without even the vaguest reference in the NT texts. I might or might not agree with him–the complex demonologies of Gnostic systems, for example, and some post-Gnostic Christian writings, do have very little parallel in any NT text (although on the other hand they do have some real parallel in post-OT Jewish religious writing and traditions, which is quite fervid, including in pre-Christian material. :wink: ) The same is true about “revelatory” texts (Jewish, Christian and otherwise) describing hell in Dantesque detail; there is no parallel to this in NT texts either.

But I do not consider these to be the basic “myth” (in the sense of a meaningful story, aside from the question of accurate metaphysical truth or history) of rebel supernatural entities under God–a basic myth that I do find well represented in OT and NT texts, if not quite in any obviously systematic fashion. (Which should not be surprising, since systematic theology of any kind is rarely if ever a topic in any of the canonical texts.)

Broadly speaking, this myth found in the scriptures is that all sentient creatures were originally created good, but that just as human souls have rebelled and fallen away from God so have more powerful spirits who were once in authority over the natural system (and who still retain some significant authority and power over the system, even in their rebellion).

After that, details become more spotty, but again broadly speaking the following themes (presented in no particular order) can be adduced:

1.) God punished some of these spirits by incorporating them into physical material of various sorts; and/or by discorporating them into an unseen prison–in either case their ability to interfere with natural history was reduced but not entirely eliminated. (Often the sea is used in reference to one or even both of those concepts: as the actual prison of primordial rebels against God, or as representing the spiritual prison of the unseen gloom. The air itself is also sometimes spoken of as their abode or prison.)

2.) Intelligent mighty reptiles are often thematically connected with the most powerful of these rebel spirits.

3.) God’s loyal angels are still warring, along with God in various ways (directly and indirectly), against these rebel spirits.

4.) The rebel spirits have a special hatred for women and children; seeking the corruption and/or enslavement of the former, and the murder of both. Men are typically induced by the rebels to fulfill these goals. Paradoxically, the corruption of women is often aimed at increasing the rebels’ power over men, precisely for the purpose of accomplishing this special hatred against women and children.

5.) The rebels (with some indication that this is due to an original setup of authority, by God, which they have abused) are busily engaged in overtaking earthly cultures, and have largely succeeded in doing so. (Although those cultures also have guardian angels assigned to them who are warring against the usurpers. And not very successfully, either! But still, things could be, and have been, and will be much worse.)

6.) The mythologies of cultures surrounding Israel, as a result, do in fact contain a lot of religious truth; but in a fashion that has been perverted and distorted by the rebel angels. Consequently, it is not trustworthy and ought to be avoided as a seductive poison. (Except where corrected and incorporated into the Jewish canon, of course. :wink: )

7.) God intends to subdue and repatriate these entities, even the greatest cosmic rebels, leading them back to a loyal covenant with Him. This won’t be finished anytime soon, but God is already going about this process, and has been doing so for a very long time.

8.) Also, there may be “neutrals knocking about” (to put it in Lewis’ terms)–but due to human corruption it is (generally speaking) not safe for us to be dealing with them at this time. Sooner or later they’ll be taking sides, just as all rational creatures are expected to do.

9.) Humans were expected to work with God in governing (and perhaps in recovering an already fallen) Nature, but as a species we have been corrupted into cooperating with the plans of the rebels more often than with God. (In effect, we ourselves may be said to have been one of those “neutrals knocking about” at one time, although not anymore.)

10.) Part of God’s plan seems to be to teach the rebels better by actually letting them have their way (to some far extent), despite the tragedy this results in for the short or medium term. He even allows them occasional freedom from their imprisonment while still being rebels, for this purpose. (Among other purposes, this also ends up showing us lesser beings that teaming up with the demons is a bad idea and only brings tragedy to us from the demons themselves, who only want to use and abuse us for their own selfish gratifications. When we insist on such a team-up anyway, God occasionally grants it. More pity us.)

11.) The self-sacrifice of God through Jesus (somehow, setting aside particular Christological understandings), on the cross, is somehow the single most crucial deed God has ever done or will ever do, toward reconciling Himself with those in the heavens or on the earth or under the earth (rebels being the only creatures who need “reconciliation” with Him, of course). Relatedly, much of Jesus’ earthly ministry was aimed toward undermining, and in some incidental cases even directly challenging, the entrenchment of these rebels among humanity and the natural order.

12.) Some of these entities are very much stronger than the others, and (naturally) seek and achieve power over the others. At any given time we can expect there to be one strongest rebel.

13.) There is some indication that the strongest and most authoritative rebel, over the others, is also the one among them who first and originally fell.

14.) Despite their rebel status, God’s authority over them remains; and without them necessarily realizing how, they still end up serving His purposes as servants.

15.) These rebels seek to become like God (which they’re necessarily going to fail at); and in competition against Him (as well as for their own selfish gratification) they seek to be worshiped and served by lesser creatures (including humans)–which they’ve been very successful at doing.

16.) We can expect this process to continue in recurring waves throughout human history, in different forms and fashions; including “lesser” great tribulations (so to speak), until the final tribulation, which is going to be the worst thing our world has ever gone through. After this final tribulation, though, in the Day of the Lord to come, the rebellion will be finally defanged by the active judgment of God and only reconciliation will remain to be completed.

17.) The leader of the rebels spirits was greatly impressed by the advent of Jesus, in at least some way, and wants to emulate it himself. He will do so before the final tribulation. Until then, there will be (and have been) precursors to this event (just like there were precursory “echos” of the advent of the Son of God), some of which have been described in scripture, where humans in corrupt authority (in conjunction with the rebels, though not necessarily in conscious cooperation with them) have promoted themselves as being “like the Most High”–and proceeded to terribly abuse the ones under their authority.

18.) The fall of the rebel spirits didn’t happen all at once, and is still going on. Some loyalists are on the verge at any given time. (This may also represent the idea of neutrals taking sides throughout history, however.)

Whatever these themes may actually mean, and however they might best be interpreted (theologically, sociologically, anthropologically, psychologically, whatever, or in whatever combination of solution): they are not “not even vaguely” found in the scriptures.


#7

Heaven simply means high place (the root word is ‘mountain’ - ie: Kingdom/authority). The disciples came back reporting their success in tearing down the Kingdom of the adversary and Jesus commented on what He saw in the spiritual realm, ie: Satan falling from his place of authority. I saw this as a one month old baby Christian and to me it shows the desperation in those trying to prove Lucifer theory to try and make this a reference to some prehistoric fall from God’s domain.


#8

I’ve noticed that Satan’s supposed rebellion and fall from being a perfect creature is actually the cornerstone for E.T. doctrine as it shows a necessity to quarantine such wickedness forever and make an example of him and all who follow in his path. Can’t have creatures rebelling against God and causing such havoc and thinking they might get away with it :unamused:

The whole myth actually forms the world view of orthodox Christianity and Islam and (IMO) is one of the things that keeps people in spiritual darkness.


#9

Hi Byron,

I’ve gone over this with you at another place. At this point, I think it’s fair to ask you to explain your view of New Testament demons, please. We don’t have a enough information on your overall picture on this topic.


#10

I suppose you’re referring to this statement:

The main point is a mighty archangel named “Lucifer” is not even vaguely referred to in the N.T. and in fact it seems to say the exact opposite (2 Corinthians 11:14) that he tries to appear as a ‘messenger of enlightenment’ (AISI - per Genesis 'God knows it will make you wise"). So entrenched are many Christians in the Lucifer dogma they will use this verse as backup to Is. and Ezek. when it does just the opposite.

In the N.T. the devil is described as a liar and murderer from the beginning. He also tried to disguise himself as a messenger of light from the beginning AISI.

One verse I’ve seen used as well is “being lifted up with pride they fall into the condemnation of the devil” and I agree that it is a universal principle (pride comes before a fall) so the idea is that pride causes us to be in opposition (satan meaning adversary/opposer) to God’s way (which is meekness and lowliness of heart) and pride really causes us to oppose our own selves.

Also, I want to apologize if it’s seems I’m calling anyone here ignorant or foolish etc. as that would never be my intent. I am a simple man with a very limited education (yous’ins wood be shocked at howz little) but I’m trying to be very objective here which is much easier since leaving the Christian community (as far as working exclusively in that realm) and being more of an outside observer. I do consider myself a fairly deep thinker though and someone anointed with supernatural understanding (in some areas :sunglasses: ) and I am a bit shocked to see some of the major doctrines not having the scriptural support I once thought they did.

If I can be instrumental in helping people question certain concepts and possibly move forward into higher realms (as far as having a truer understanding of existence) then great.


#11

Very fair to ask for that explanation James. My first point would be that whatever ‘they’ are there is no indication given (that I know of) that they were once God’s good guys in ‘heaven’. In fact (AISI) the very words ‘angel’ and ‘heaven’ have so much myth and legend attached it’s hard to even get passed first base. Angel (in the Heb. and Greek) means simply ‘messenger’ and in the strictest sense has nothing to do with ‘creatures’ in ‘heaven’. For example - John the baptist is called “my angel” sent before Messiah’s face. Heaven is similarly misunderstood and generally represents ‘high places’ of authority, not the mythical fairyland which pops into most people’s minds (including mine) when they hear the word.

I know it’s very hard for believers to accept that the biblical author’s themselves were given to unfounded beliefs so I won’t go there for now, and would at least suggest that the current "Satan is a fallen archangel and demons are fallen angels " concept is mostly conjecture and assumptions (ie: “What else could they be?”).

Obviously I don’t have all the answers but I think it is good to re-examine long held beliefs to see if (even from a bible inerrantist’s perspective) they are true or not.


#12

Ooops, sorry Jason - I missed this first response. The myth I am speaking of is the fallen archangel story and the common use of the word ‘satan’ as a proper name. Someone like you (a scholar) could probably do a much better job at researching but my studies indicate that various church fathers began to try and connect some dots during the second century and began to espouse the Is. and Ezek. passages to mean something more than the actual prophecies indicated and were understood to mean.

It seems that prior Judaic thought had the understanding of an ‘opposer’ (someone sent by God to block the way) as contrasted to the rogue being commonly known today as Lucifer, AKA Satan - the Devil.

It would be more than a joy for me to prime the pump for someone more learned (such as yourself) to dig to the bottom of all this. What’s really odd is how I saw some of this as a baby Christian reading the side notes in my bible and thinking “what??? That’s not what that says!” :open_mouth:

I will admit in believing I have received personal inside info from God on the true nature of existence, so when I run across historical documents which confirm some of my theories and suspicions on how the church arrived at certain understandings - it is fascinating. Also, having some involvement B.C. in the occult and then being involved in deliverance ministry A.C. gives me a lot of perspective although (admittedly) a very different one from others I’ve known who have lived on both sides. I have also worked with converted satanists and seen some of the hype used (sometimes innocently, sometimes not) to get a specific response.

I’ve ALWAYS been that guy questioning the status quo and ruffling feathers. Lately it has become very personal as I am dealing with a lot of people with severe emotional problems. This idea that they have displeased God and have opened the door for ‘satan’ to torment them is a common theme in many of the folks I’m dealing with. Then it seems like facts and figures come to my attention which bolster my view that most of these notions are tradition built upon tradition built upon misconception.

I have no personal stake in these matters except to get people to think and to question what they’ve been taught. I’m always shocked at how many will accept what they’ve been told and feel unqualified to question it, not realizing all of us are just regular folks - even bible authors.


#13

Wow, I originally skimmed this post to get the gist but after reading it in detail I must say you are apparently completely engulfed in this cloud ( :question: ) as to what the cause and origin of evil is. That would make sense, and I should have assumed as much because these things seem to be the fuel of every great ethereal fiction story, and since you are an author and all… :blush:

I assume you read Frank P. and Ted Dekker? - people really eat that stuff up!!! I don’t do books but I am close to those who do and have read portions, seen the movies etc. And of course I’ve heard a ton of sermons on this subject :wink:

Bottom line is I studied ‘scripture only’ for 30+ years (and always avoided the commentary) and am always digging into the Hebrew and Greek. To me the commentary sometimes seemed more like progressive degradation than progressive revelation. My only comment here is that (as one who doesn’t give much credence to the creeds and doctrines of the ‘church’) I don’t see the multiple points you made above as the overarching message of scripture, at all. Much less out in the real world (outside the ‘church’). I CAN however see how some arrive where you are at - if you start down that road and then develope the ideas more and more and more (as has been done for the last 1800 years of Christianity).

It IS an amazing concept (especially from a UR view) and very emotional and romantic - especially the thought of God lovingly redeeming His former right hand man who horribly betrayed him. Really, you could write interesting books on this - forever, (that is, in OUR understanding of the term :mrgreen: ). At least it is a big step forward from the concept of God torturing His betrayer forever!

You mention the reptilians? I know folks who believe, deeply believe, in them - but you can protect yourself with these:
orgoneblasters.com/

:mrgreen: And I know you probably don’t think of them as literal aliens in spaceships Jason, but it’s so much fun to speculate on all that stuff. And folks do - everyday, some all day (all day Sunday for example :blush: ) and we end up with this fly away into space, rapture prone, conspiracy theory 666 MOB/miracle working antichrist great “end time” tribulation theories and become completely irrelevant in the real world except when we are called upon to elect a President (!) who in the end doesn’t accomplish any of the goals us constitutional conservatives wanted accomplished in the first place. :confused:

The most telling (and disturbing) of your statements (to me) is this:
**“5.) The rebels (with some indication that this is due to an original setup of authority, by God, which they have abused) are busily engaged in overtaking earthly cultures, and have largely succeeded in doing so. (Although those cultures also have guardian angels assigned to them who are warring against the usurpers. And not very successfully, either! But still, things could be, and have been, and will be much worse.)” **

You believe that God has assigned Good angels to these cultures who are failing at their assigned task to war against the usurpers? And they will fail more and more until it spirals us unto a future ‘end time’ great tribulation or something? The pure FATALISM these concepts cultivate is a disaster in itself.

AISI we have plenty of real challenges in front of us without compounded them with (possibly baseless) myths. Everything Jesus spoke of in the olivet discourse (again, using the SAME type of poetic language Isaiah and Ezekiel used) was to His contemporaries and were fulfilled in their generation as He said. The temple was destroyed, the old world (system of scapegoating and blood sacrifice and exclusivity based on race) was done away with. The Gahenna judgement accomplished. Fini.

Maybe that is part of my mission, to guide people out of this quagmire of false beliefs. We (humans) have been put in charge by God Jason. I do appreciate your recognition that it’s the women and children who bear the brunt of our ignorance. In this I’m sure we share a common goal to free the oppressed and stop abuse. As far as all the rest I can only hope you will consider some of the points I’ve made - I had NO IDEA coming in how deep rooted these things actually could be at a CU site (picture me scratching chin and murmuring “Hmmmm… this is more serious than I thought”). :frowning:

You are a great writer Jason, gifted by God and I have learned a lot from you (even your list above which I objected to as far as attributing it to fallen ‘angels’, it STILL shows some great understanding and insight into the dark part of human nature).

You ALL have a great attitude around here - so I hope my rantings and observations don’t cause any negative (demonic :imp: :question: ) feelings to arise :wink:

To James G - you too bro. have been very gracious since we first locked horns a bit over at the tent and in the end I believe that a gracious spirit is of much more value than what we believe doctrinally. Of course, I believe I am ‘in the light’ about these things (as you do conversely) so that creates a natural friction - but I do hope you would consider some of the points I’ve made. :slight_smile:

Blessings!


#14

Amazing, maybe–but it would explain why Paul told Timothy not to place a new convert in a position of authority over God’s servants “lest he become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” (1 Tim. 3:6.)

I think Our Lord’s words have a double meaning.

Paul was caught up to “the third heaven,” and Satan is called “the prince of the power of the air” (lowest heaven) in the New Testament.

Satan’s also called “the prince of this world” (Greek: Kosmos, which would include the earth and it’s atmosphere), and in the book of Job he seems to spend most of his time walking the earth (even though he has power over the air, and occasional access to God’s throne.)

I believe Satan fell from the third heaven (retaining some of his power and occasional access to God’s throne) in the past, and that he will fall much further and harder in the future–so it isn’t difficult for me to believe that Jesus was looking both forward (to events anticipated in the authority over demons that He delegated to His disciples) and back (to something He witnessed as the pre-incarnate Word of God) when he said “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Why do you suppose animals suffer firstborn?

In “The Problem of Pain,” C.S. Lewis has a whole chapter on this question, and as he pointed out:

The origin of animal suffering could be traced, by earlier generations, to the fall of man–the whole world was infected by the uncreating rebellion of Adam. This is now impossible, for we have good reason to believe that animals existed long before man. Carnivorousness, with all that it entails, is older than humanity. Now it is impossible at this point not to remember a certain sacred story which, though never included in the creeds, has been widely believed in the Church and seems to be implied in certain Dominical, Pauline, and Johannine utterances–I mean the story that man was not the first creature to rebel against the Creator, but that an older and mightier being long since became apostate and is now the emperor of darkness and (significantly) the Lord of this world."

The Problem of Pain, page 137.

I (for one) agree with him when he goes on to say:

It seems to me a reasonable supposition, that some mighty created power had already been at work for ill on the material universe, or the solar system, or, at least, the planet Earth, before ever man came on the scene…If there is such a power, as I myself believe, it may well have corrupted the animal creation before man appeared." (pg. 138.)

George MacDonald would certainly have concurred, and all this “supposition” seems at least implied in the inspired teaching of Saint Paul.

For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but through Him subjecting it , on hope; that also the creation will be freed from the slavery of corruption to the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that all the creation groans together and travails together until now. (Romans 8:21-22.)

BTW: I know that some are inclined to think that animals only appear to suffer, but let’s not forget that God once opened one’s mouth (and it doesn’t say He put the words in it, only that He opened it.)

Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.” (Num. 22-28-33.)


#15

Interesting stuff Michael - thanks for posting. The “some mighty created power had already been at work for ill on the material universe” is very similar in concept to the Gnostic Christian view of a lesser deity creating this (fallen) state of reality. I’m not saying it is the same (as they see the OT genocidal god ‘creator’ as that lesser deity) but the concept that God, (that is - the most high good Father God) is not responsible at all for all this mess is similar.

This could also dove-tale a bit with the ‘myth of redemptive violence’ thread.

As far as the animal suffering issue - I am very aware. In fact I am under a commitment to use no animal products which required the suffering or slaughter of the animal to obtain (this pretty much includes everything as even sheep raised for wool are many times systematically brutalized). We’ll see how committed I really am if I ever need a serious medical treatment which required the severe torment of animals to obtain! Don’t know if I’d cave in there or not.

Again, another topic which probably deserves it’s own thread. Almost all my Christian friends make fun of my vegan lifestyle. I have pretty thick skin but it breaks my heart how people are indifferent to the suffering humans cause to animals. Believe me - history and studies both prove that if we don’t have that right, we don’t have the treatment of fellow humans right either. The two are irrevocably linked.

Wow, what an astute observation Michael. Never thought of that - everyone usually just says God ‘used’ the donkey or caused the donkey to state what was stated. Brilliant.


#16

And if God is wholly responsible for all this mess (having no need to create creatures with any kind of free will, intending it all to be exactly as it is, and perfectly able to create morally perfect beings to begin with) there is no need for any of us to repent of anthing.

Satan (whoever or whatever he is) is functioning exactly as he was intended to, and all of us have done exactly what we were suppose to.

No need for judgment, Calvary, or even learning (as God is instantaneously able to create virtues like knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.)

I’m not sure what that theory could be called, but it’s certainly not biblical, or Christian in any sense of the word.

I haven’t checked out that thread, but I found your comment about “the OT genocidal god” interesting.

Would I be correct in assuming that you see no continuity between the God revealed in the Old Testament, and the God of the New Testament?

(If so you have more in common with the early gnostics than you realize.)

And was that your choice?

Did you make that commitment of your own free will?

Why is it hard for you to believe that choices (made by angels and men before you showed up) helped bring about the “mess” you spoke of???

BTW: That doesn’t mean that God didn’t foresee those choices, or that He doesn’t have a plan to straighten it all out–I believe He will (in His own time, and with any “redemptive violence” we make necessary.)

Why is that hard to believe?

Why (if these people have no freewill, nothing to repent of, nothing to learn, and are doing just what God wants them to do)?

If they do have free wills, and are making bad choices, why would it be impossible for Satan and his angels to have done the same?

I believe that men and animals were herbivorous in Eden

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Gen. 1:29-30.)

And I believe they will be in the New Earth.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the LORD.” (Isa. 65:17, 25.)

But I realize we’re not there yet (Gen. 9:3; Romans 14:2;1 Tim. 4:4.)

And has it occurred to you that if you tried to force some animals to live on a herbivorous diet now, they would die?

Wouldn’t that be cruelty to animals?

Man’s problem has always been in realizing that he isn’t God.

He thinks he can decide what’s best for himself.

He can decide right from wrong, good from evil (and sometimes even deludes himself into believing that he can be more righteous than God–especially that “OT genocidal god”–Himself.)

Why is it difficult to believe that angels had the same problem before man showed up?

It’s perfectly consistent with the Christian Universalism proposed by Gregory of Nyssa, George MacDonald, Tom Talbott, and Gregory MacDonald.

Put simply:

1.) God made creatures who could sin because He didn’t want mindless robots.

2.) He foresaw their sins because He’s omniscient.

3.) He wants them to see their sins for what they are (and repent) because He’s just.

4.) He provided a remedy for sin (on Calvary), and He’ll forgive repentant sinners because He’s merciful.

5.) He can bring all to repentance because He’s all-knowing, all-wise, and has all the time in the world.

(I’ve always failed to see why some modern universalists want to complicate that.)


#17

The point of this thread is an attempt to show how the story of “Lucifer” is simply church tradition and is unscriptural. To me that’s a good start. Also clearly debunked (AISI) is the idea that Jesus’ “fall like lightening” statement was Him having a sudden flashback (out of the blue) to some pre-historic fall from God’s perfect domain. If read without preconceptions and in context - it’s seems clearly to relate to what was happening that same day (The ‘adversary’ losing authority per the apostles actions).

Of course God could instantaneously create virtues like knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, but (AISI) He chose to create a certain quality of those things by use of the crucible of affliction (ie: under the knowledge of good and evil). Interesting that God agreed with what the serpent said “Behold, the man has become as one of us, knowing both good and evil!”.

Does the fact that Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” show that things happened as they were intended? You may just attribute that to foreknowledge - either way, the stage what set by the omnipotent creator for all that happened to happen, NOT by some ‘great’ created power (“there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God”)

In at least one book (Job) there is evidence that the adversary does exactly what he is ‘supposed’ to do. Not to mention 1st Jn’s affirmation that “He was a liar and a murderer from the beginning”.

Okay.

I just got done with a lengthy detailed interview with a practicing Christian Gnostic so I am freshly familiar with at least his version, which seemed to be accurate to the Christian Gnostic view (as I referenced what he told me against CG info online). There are some CRAZY ideas throughout - especially the whole idea that some lesser deity created this physical universe and us. Of course (as a Christian Panentheist) I absolutely reject that entire concept. My question to the CG was “Why would your Father let that happen?” and He went into blaming ‘Sophia’ (the wisdom of God) for committing folly and I asked “How could the wisdom of God possibly commit folly???” and we sort of got stuck there. Honestly - the CG stuff is some of the weirdest stuff I’ve ever heard, though I empathize with their desire to answer the question of suffering and God ‘allowing’ corruption.

I actually see your (apparent) view as much closer to the Gnostics because you (apparently) believe that a powerful created being corrupted all this against God’s will and we are left bearing the brunt of the corruption produced. Of course you see the good but wrathful old testament God as just properly responding to all the evil - so you and Gnostic’s views drastically diverge right there.

Since I am not a bible literalist I am not forced to pit the character the OT God against the character of the NT God revealed in Jesus. Again, that’s a different subject, though related, but what I am addressing here is the scipturalness of a rebellion in God’s literal absolute domain.

Believing just about anything is very very easy for humans. Our penchant for superstition is incredible and shocks me to no end. If it was just my choice I would choose (right now) to recreate myself into someone who never had stupid thoughts. But, of course, I deal with the capacity I have (God given or withheld) and the information I have (God hidden of God revealed) and my ability to understand the information (God has blinded the eyes of those who don’t see). It would be very convenient if a simple ‘free choice’ explanation explained everything. However, there is a cause for each and every choice which is made.

Again - ‘free choice’ is touted by nearly everyone. Look at the Gnostic based Matrix movie trilogy. Then the bulk of Christians (non-Calvinists). Free will is the holy grail of ETers and atheists and many universalists and many eastern religions alike. In a nutshell, it’s very very easy for almost anyone to believe in it.

So, it’s a GREAT question Michael - Why do I NOT believe it??? Must be a cause for that - ya’ think? :mrgreen:

I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m saying it’s unscriptural. The Isiah and Ezekiel passages don’t say anything about ‘Satan’, they are prophecies about earthly kings. That’s why I started this thread. People choose to speculate and believe what they want (and there are reasons AKA causes why they choose), but it simply is not there in substance - so speculate about what is possible or not - that’s fine. My purpose is accomplished in showing those passages do not fit what is taught and commonly accepted about them, that’s all.

BINGO!!! Beautiful Michael! That verse (last one) jumped up and bit me in the butt one day.

I am full of the wrath of God against slaughter and abuse. Screw the system. No one is going to make me contribute to destruction.

Actually Michael, this is the heart of our differences. You can wait if you want, I’m done waiting. The kingdom is here now. All power in heaven and earth is Jesus’ NOW (read it in your bible). You can explain it away with the evidences your five senses give you or your interpretation of scripture or whatever - I’m DONE WITH PURPOSEFUL SLAUGHTER AND DISREGARD FOR THE SUFFERING OF GOD’S LIVING CREATURES, period.

The point is Michael that we are humans, not animals, although I admit it’s VERY hard to tell the difference sometimes.

Man’s problem is that he behaves more like an animal than he acts like God. Another problem is some think God occasionally acts more like an animal than man does. :open_mouth:

I don’t care if it’s easy or difficult. For most it’s easy. I see something else. It’s easy for me to see what I see because I see it. It’s impossible for you to see what I see if you don’t. Try to ‘choose’ to see what I see all you want, you won’t till you can.

You may answer “but I don’t WANT to see what you see”.

Case closed :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Yep.

Hope you are looking forward to a nice long eternity of non robotic (and possibly rebellious) behavior wreaking havoc in God’s perfect domain and causing untold suffering eon after eon after eon and re-redemptions and re-re-redemptions etc etc etc.

Unless you think God will eventually throw His hands up and say “Enough of this nonsense!!! I’m making ONLY robots from now on!” :astonished:

edit when I re-read I realized I said "That verse (last one) jumped up and bit me in the butt one day. " which would mean that even though the verse promotes veganism, it is actually itself a carnivore :confused:


#18

Jesus also said:

Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and saw it (John 8:56.)

Before Abraham was I AM (John 8:58.)

And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:5.)

You can call these “flashbacks” if you like, but He was God incarnate, and He had a very personal knowledge of what you call pre-history.

It would have been natural for Him to see echoes of the past and previews of the future in what was happening that day.

Now I’d like to (again) draw your attention to what may by a New Testament allusion to Satan’s origin.

Paul wrote:

If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer…He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. (verses 1 and 6.)

One could reasonably infer from this that the devil was originally a heavenly “overseer” who became conceited and fell from office.

And if you think you can prove that the passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah refer only to human kings, here’s something from the book of Daniel that you might want to consider first.

I lifted up my eyes and looked: And behold! A certain man was clothed in linen, whose loins were wrapped in fine gold from Uphaz. His body was also like the beryl, and his face looked like lightning. And his eyes were like torches of fire; and his arms and his feet in color like polished bronze; and the sound of his words were as the noise of a multitude…And he said to me, Do not fear, Daniel. For from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. And I have come because of your words. But the king of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days. But, lo, Michael, one of the first rulers, came to help me. And I stayed there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is yet for many days. (Dan. 10:5-6,12-14. Green’s Literal Translation.)

“Michael,” “the first rulers,” and “the king of the kingdom of Persia” are clearly paranormal entities here.

As Persia was a world empire, the prince of this world (Satan in the New Testament) would have been it’s spiritual king at the time (and the same could be said of Babylon in Isaiah’s time.)

Much the same could also be said of Tyre (or any ancient gentile city/state)–especially since 1 Cor. 10:20 says:

…the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

So you haven’t debunked anything.

I see no reason to believe that God could have done that.

As C. S. Lewis said “Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible.” (The Problem of Pain, p. 18.)

“All things” that are possible “are possible with God,” but (as Lewis went on to point out) intrinsic impossibilities aren’t things , they’re nonentities. Nonsense.

It would be nonsense to say that God could create an object too heavy for Him lift, an enemy too smart for Him to defeat, or a puzzle too hard for Him to solve.

By the same token, God either could have gotten to the end He wanted without all this mess (as you put it), or He couldn’t.

(It’s nonsense to try to say that “He could” and “He couldn’t” at the same time.)

If He could have, the “crucible of affliction” you speak of is unnecessary.

So is Calvary.

So was 70 A.D.

And so is all human and animal suffering.

That might be interesting if you believe that God needed “the crucible of affliction” because it was the only way he could teach erring free agents the error of their ways, but I don’t see why it would be particularly interesting to you.

Given your stated beliefs, this whole mess you spoke of is really quite meaningless.

And seems to be judged rather harshly for it in more than one other book.

It doesn’t say “his beginning,” and the Greek word is “man-slayer” (so the context indicates man’s beginning.)

Let’s see how well that interpretation stands up to Scripture.

The devil lied when he said “thou shalt not surely die” (making him a liar in Eden, man’s beginning), and through this deception brought death to the whole race of men (making him a man-slayer from Eden, man’s beginning.) Q.E.D.

That’s the one point you’ve clearly proven.

No, that’s not what I think.

I think God is all-knowing, and all-wise–and I believe He saw a perfect ending (with perfected, non robotic, sinless creatures freely loving Him and each other for all eternity) from the beginning.

I just happen to think that Calvary, human and animal suffering, and “all this mess” (as you call it) are necessary along the way (otherwise they would not exist, because a loving God would not will such things to exist if they weren’t necessary.)

Why Necessary?

Because God didn’t want robots. :wink:


#19

The other statements you quoted sit in a context, they fit with the subjects at hand. So does this:

17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

I don’t see how it could be any more plain that He is stating that he observed the adversary losing his authority and power over men as the apostles were sent out.

I actually brought attention to that verse here:

And acknowledged the principle.

(Dan. 10:5-6,12-14. Green’s Literal Translation.)

“Michael,” “the first rulers,” and “the king of the kingdom of Persia” are clearly paranormal entities here.

There is no reason to try and prove they are not speaking of something which they don’t even mention and which does not fit the statements surrounding them. Daniel speaking of a spiritual battle between the king of Persia and Michael is plain and stated as such.

What do pagans sacrificing to ‘demons’ have to do with a myth about a ‘perfect’ archangel in ‘heaven’ named “Lucifer” who was really stupid?

So all of His creatures were created with no knowledge or wisdom or understanding? I guess that would explain a lot :question: :mrgreen:

That’s why I didn’t say it.

I said it was necessary for a certain “quality” of knowledge and wisdom, and understanding. I have no idea why you would think that God cannot create someone with knowledge and wisdom, and understanding. If Adam and Eve and the Devil had none of the above, how in the world do you think they could be held responsible for bad choices?

“A certain quality”

Actually, I’m a little confused as you don’t want to blame God for “all this mess” and then state that “all this mess” is completely necessary for any creature to be anything other than a mindless robot. You seem to infer God had no choice because he is just (somehow) bound to the reality of existence (ie: He could not create persons with knowledge and wisdom, and understanding) so he HAD to do it this way. If God cannot be blamed for all this mess - who can? Is it the fault of those created with a complete lack of knowledge and wisdom, and understanding?

I think we agree here because I believe everything is going as planned. And that there is a reason for it (to get the quality of wisdom etc. I spoke of).

And what was the alternative in your scenario? Make all the right choices is spite of having no knowledge or wisdom, or understanding. Sorry to keep harping on this but your statement that God cannot create beings with those virtues is just baffling to me. And then to add a belief that they are worthy of great judgement/punishment for not acting virtuously?

If you want to say it was a different beginning, fine - but you have to make it say that, it just says “from THE beginning”.

Your welcome?

I believe he saw a perfect ending too Michael.

Believe it or not we are (in at least one way) saying the same things. I guess the difference is that you are compelled to look at it from the angle of (something like) “The creatures screwed everything up and made all this mess because they had to be created with no virtue or they would be robots”.

It seems like you also agree that the cause of them making all the wrong choices is because they lacked the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to do otherwise (?).

But at the same time you want to make sure the creature gets all the blame for their condition (even though it was impossible for God to make them any other way). :confused: If he wanted non-robots…

And this angle adhered to, why? Is it so God can look squarely at his creatures and say “You’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing!” ? (That was your major objection to my view right? That I inferred that the ‘opposer’ is doing what he is ‘supposed’ to do?

Michael, have you ever considered that there is a need for opposition for growth? Without adversity - no wins? It seems like you TOTALLY get this - but then turn around and imply it’s very odd for me to suggest that an ‘opposer’ exists on purpose (ie: was created to be just that).

Are you not saying that the garden was an intentional set up so we could go through this process? We seem to agree on this, but it’s a little confusing when it seems like the main point is who to blame and why it is right to punish etc etc.

Please help me understand what you are saying and why. :slight_smile:


#20

The “beginning” is always relative and determined by context.

A good example of this is John 15:26-27.

When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

That’s all it says in John 15, but Jesus wasn’t saying that the Apostles had been with Him from the beginning of creation, the beginning of His life on earth, or even the beginning of their lives–He was saying that they had been with Him from the beginning of His public ministry (and could testify to the things they saw and heard.)

Likewise, the passage you quoted (no matter how many times you may have heard others quote it for the same purpose you did) isn’t saying that the devil was a liar and a man-slayer from the beginning of his creation–it’s saying he has been so from the beginning of human history.

Because real “wisdom” and “understanding” involve a perception of the quality and consequences of our actions (and of their effects on others.)

As to “knowledge,” I guess it depends on what you mean by the term.

Humans have been given a great deal of intelligence, and can build things that no animal can, but they have to learn the principles of mathematics and engineering.

Birds build nests, and beavers build damns by instinct (and they’re born with this knowledge, if you want to call it that.)

The knowledge I was speaking of is neither intelligence or instinct.

So they can learn (and I’m not talking about how to build a bridge or a skyscraper here.)

How plain is this?

In that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, 'I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. (Jer. 30:9.)

Is it speaking of David (who was already dead) or David’s greater son?

The meaning of inspired scripture isn’t always “plain and stated as such.”

For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.’ "Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. (Acts 2:25-31.)

…And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Can’dace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: “As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. (Acts 8:27-35.)

This was before the cross, wasn’t it?

Jesus would have seen this as a token of His ultimate victory over Satan, but He knew that Calvary lay yet ahead, the disciples would be scattered, and most of them would give their lives for the faith.

I believe He would have seen the events of that day in the context of all that lay ahead, and all (that He knew, as God incarnate, with a personal knowledge of pre-history) lay behind.

He saw Satan fall (in the past), He saw him falling further that day (present), and He saw him hitting bottom (in the future.)

I don’t believe creatures can be created perfect, remember?

And if the Ezekiel passage has reference to Satan, it doesn’t say he was perfect.

it only says that he was outwardly “perfect in all his ways, until the day iniquity was found in him.”

No more stupid than you, me, Adam, or Judas.

BTW: Do you believe that Judas really existed, or is his betrayal of Christ another myth?

Tyre was a pagan city (like Babylon and Persia) that offered daily sacrifices to spiritual entities Paul identified as demons.

In the New Testament, Satan is called the prince of demons (and I don’t believe you’ve proven that his fall is a myth.)

If a parent tells a child not to pull his sister’s hair, and he does, he’s responsible for the action whether or not he realizes it hurts.

He may have to learn that it hurts.

Also, you’re the only one here who’s looking to blame someone, and you keep choosing to blame God.

Perhaps Satan does the same, and maybe that’s why he’s such a slow learner. :wink:

Scripture does say that he’ll be tormented (tried,tested, harassed, or vexed) to the ages of the ages (Rev. 20:10.) :astonished:

And that would seem a little harsh if he’s just (consciously) doing his job, wouldn’t it???