The character called "Satan" in the Bible has
changed dramatically over the years.
Satan is first portrayed as one of the many sons of God and is a member of God's court who serves as man's accuser in the Old Testament book of Job.
In the Old Testament, Satan is never defined as a rebel angel or the "Devil".
Satan never appears in Genesis as Christians claim. Not once.
The Christian version of Satan most likely evolved from the Persian concept of dualism, which defined good and evil in terms of a good "God" and his arch enemy the "Devil".
The Old Testament Bible character called "Satan" then became the "Devil" as the New Testament Bible writers adopted the Persian dualism concept into their beliefs.
Christians are constantly harping about Satan and how he is the source of everything evil.
According to Christians, Satan and his minions are everywhere, leading humans into sin and rebellion against God.
Satan is declared to be a fallen, rebellious angel, who took many other angels with him when he rebelled and was banned from God's presence.
However, all of these claims about Satan have NO support in the Old Testament.
The following is an internet exchange with a typical Christian who can't seem to back up his claims.
Regarding the problem of 2 Sam 24:1 and 1 Chron 21:1 showing different protagonists in the incident of the census commanded by David:
A Christian wrote:
2 Samuel 24:1
And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say,
Go, number Israel and Judah.
1 Chronicles 21:1
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
No contradiction if you understand the Bible correctly.
There is no power but God's. The only power that Satan has is what God allows Him to have.
Yes, that's what I've always suspected.
The character called "Satan" is merely one of God's tools which he uses to carry out various functions in his little drama on earth.
Proof Satan is the serpent:
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Provide scriptural support from the Old Testament which confirms this claim that Satan is a dragon, an old serpent, and the Devil.
The Bible clearly shows that God is using Satan to test men to see if they will choose evil or if they will reject evil and serve God.
That makes Satan a tool which God uses for his own purposes and not a rebel angel.
When Jesus comes back Satan will be bound for a thousand years and there will be peace on the Earth at that time.
Jesus was supposed to come back long ago.
And, behold, I(Jesus) come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Jesus was also supposed to have taken care of Satan long ago.
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen
These events didn't happen either quickly or shortly. They have never happened at all.
At the end of that period God will deliberately allow Satan to be loosed on the Earth to deceive any that he can deceive and to test men again to see if they will choose evil or reject evil and serve God in truth.
The scriptures plainly show that God is using Satan to test men to see if they will choose evil or choose good.
This is to determine who goes to hell or who goes to heaven. Job 1:9 to Job 1:12 shows how God used Satan or allowed Satan to test Job.
Only those who are tried, and found faithful and true will be allowed to enter heaven. This will ensure that there will be no more rebellion in heaven; rebellion will never happen again in heaven like what happened with the Devil and his angels.
You're trying to portray Satan as a rebel angel and at the same time claim Satan is used by God to do his will. You want to have Satan play both roles in order to avoid a dilemma which exposes as false the standard Christian teaching that Satan is a "rebel" angel.
You need Satan to be both a rebel and a tool of God at the same time and it doesn't wash.
Provide scriptural evidence from the Old Testament that a character called Satan is a rebellious angel who defies God's authority.
God is using Satan to test men to see if they will choose right or wrong; this will determine if they go to hell or heaven. It was the power of God that allowed or used Satan to provoke David.
In other words, God uses Satan to run his errands and do his work for him.
So much for the standard claim of mainstream Christianity that Satan is a rebellious angel who is God's adversary who tries to undermine God's plans.
Satan is a rebellious angel.
You already claimed Satan was used by God to do God's will.
Rebel angels certainly don't run errands for God, nor do they appear in God's court with God's other faithful sons.
You Christians constantly claim that God is so Holy that he can't stand anything evil, wicked, or rebellious in his domain of heaven yet Satan runs errands for God, makes bets with God, and has conversations with him on his throne and fully in his presence.
You can't have it both ways and retain credibility.
Provide scriptural support from the Old Testament that Satan is a rebellious angel instead of a tool in the court of God.
God wants to know what men are going to rebel with him.
You haven't established that Satan ever rebelled in the first place. Provide scriptural support from the Old Testament that Satan is a rebellious angel instead of a tool in the court of God.
God wants to know who to keep out of heaven and who to throw in hell.
God wants to know? Don't you believe God is omniscient? God is supposed to know all isn't he?
He must allow Satan to test men to see what men should be cast into hell.
You already stated that God USES Satan. God isn't a bystander in these actions.
God instigates them and uses Satan as his servant in doing so.
No. You are wrong in this. Satan is rebellious and disobedient to God and His laws.
Instead of simply making assertions, how about actually backing up this assertion with scripture from the Old Testament which shows where Satan disobeys God.
How many times do I have to make this request?
Satan's rebellion failed in heaven and Satan was cast down to Earth with angels that followed him. Satan is called a liar and murderer from the beginning.
Satan is totally evil, he enjoys evil, it is his nature to do evil, and he wants to take a many humans to hell with him as he can.
How about backing up these assertions with scriptures from the Old Testament which show where Satan is and does all these things. If all your claims about Satan are valid, you should have no problem providing the Old Testament scriptural proof of your claims.
Misery loves company. God is not ordering Satan to do evil. It is Satan's nature to be evil because he is evil.
Back up this assertion with scripture from the Old Testament which show where Satan is declared evil by God. Provide any scripture from the Old Testament which shows Satan disobeying God.
I wish you would stop preaching and provide the scriptural support from the Old Testament to validate all of your assertions.
God is simply allowing Satan to do evil to test men on the Earth to see what they will choose, good or evil. If God allows Satan to have any power at all, Satan will automatically use it to do evil;
You have a short and selective memory don't you?
You already stated that God USES Satan to perform various functions.
2 Sam 24:1
And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
Compelling David to "sin" was God's idea, not Satan's idea. If it was evil then God initiated it, not Satan.
Satan followed God's will and did what God empowered and sent him to do.
this evil is contrary to God's will.
You're slipping headfirst on one of your own banana peels.
God willed that David take a census and used Satan to deliver the divine mandate which caused David to sin. Satan isn't even in the responsibility loop here.
God willed it, Satan delivered it, and David did it.
God willed that an evil act be performed via David.
God would rather that Satan be righteous, but Satan refuses to be righteous of his own freewill.
When Adam and Eve decided to sin and eat that forbidden fruit, it was as if they gave Satan power over them and all generations of men to follow them.
Satan doesn't appear anywhere in the entire book of Genesis.
There isn't one word about Satan.
Adam and Eve encountered a talking serpent which is never identified anywhere in Genesis as Satan.
Provide ANY scripture from the Old Testament which shows Satan disobeying a command from God.
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.
Adam's sin, in the garden of Eden, subjected all of mankind to Satan's power.
Quoting Paul isn't going to help you at all.
Produce the verse or verses in Genesis which identify Satan meeting Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
I'm not interested in your unsupported speculations. I want to see the Old Testament evidence.
Satan and his devils have telepathic contact to the minds of men and they are compelling men to do evil by thoughts that the men hear in their own minds.
Provide any scripture from the Old Testament which shows Satan disobeying an order from God.
Here is the proof:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
Satan doesn't appear in any of this. There isn't one mention of a character called Satan.
As the context shows, the passage is aimed at the king of Babylon and is a taunt to be issued to him.
And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
Satan is no more identified as the morning star or Lucifer in this passage than the talking serpent is identified as Satan in Genesis.
The king of Babylon is never said to be Satan.
The reason Satan is being brought down to hell is because he is wicked and not obedient to God.
Since Satan is never mentioned in the passage, this claim is irrelevant.
He is trying to pretend he is like the most High. This is a form of blasphemy, hardening your heart in pride.
That would fit Jesus better than it would Satan.
Jesus claimed that he would be seated as an equal to God(Matt 26:64).
Jesus claimed that he had ALL authority in heaven and on earth(Matt 28:18).
Jesus declared that nobody could come to God except through him(John 14: 6-7).
There is nothing in the Old Testament that says people must worship or believe in a man or even in a Messiah to have salvation in God's eyes. And there is nothing in the Old Testament which states Satan ever made any claims like these or usurped power for himself.
Since you like to make up whatever doctrine suits your needs, I can play that game too.
The Bible identifies the morning star as a fallen rebel who tried to assume power and authority.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!(also known as the morning star) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Jesus claimed that he was the morning star.
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
That's a prophecy fulfillment I'll wager you don't want to recognize.
And just like the Lucifer/morning star character in Isaiah 14, Jesus was brought down to the pit and his plans to return in power and glory during the lifetimes of his followers(Matt 16:27-28) were never realized.
Speculation works both ways and you're left with no "proof" at all by trying to use Isa 14 to claim Satan is an evil rebel angel.
Lucifer, in Isa. 14:14 is not giving God the glory but is rather trying to exalt himself to be like God.
Lucifer/morning star is not identified as Satan anywhere in the entire book of Isaiah or anywhere in the entire Old Testament. The passage of Isa 14 was a taunt to be issued to the king of Babylon.
Once again, Jesus fits this character described in Isa 14 better than Satan, who you have yet to demonstrate ever disobeyed a command from God or ever "rebelled" against God.
More proof from the Old Testament:
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
The Lord is rebuking Satan because he is acting contrary to God's will in these scriptures; or he is disobeying God.
Satan isn't disobeying any command from God here. Satan is speaking prematurely about the character of Joshua.
God then tells Satan to hold his tongue because Joshua has been granted special exemption from HIS prior sins.
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Joshua was the one who had sinned. Satan serves as man's accuser in God's court.
Satan was performing exactly that function. Satan had no further comment after God instructed him to be silent about Joshua.
Satan accepted God's decision to grant Joshua an exemption from his sins and had nothing further to say.
There is no disobedience by Satan here.
The battle ground for good versus evil is in the mind.
Satan can control unsaved people that are not Christians, like puppets on a string.
Become a real Christian and break free from Satan's deceptive power over you.
There is no such thing as a real Christian.
Throughout this whole exchange you never once cited any evidence that Satan, as defined and identified in the Old Testament, was a serpent, a dragon, the Devil, or an evil rebel angel.
Satan as defined in the Old Testament was one of God's many sons, who served as man's accuser in God's court. All this talk you've produced about Satan is a New Testament concoction and it has no support in the Old Testament.
Satan "evolved" into the Devil over time and the influence of Persian dualism(good and evil agents) probably had a great deal to do with Satan becoming the Devil in the eyes of later Bible writers.
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