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I can start with a question.

I know that God is holy and just and can't allow sin in His presence. So why does he allow satan in His presence in the book of Job?

Lynn M

PS: Thanks for starting this section. I am looking forward to learning more.
 

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love2read said:
I can start with a question.

I know that God is holy and just and can't allow sin in His presence. So why does he allow satan in His presence in the book of Job?

Lynn M

PS: Thanks for starting this section. I am looking forward to learning more.
That's a very good question.

I've never actually thought about it before. I am now though. LOL

I think that one difference may be in the nature of being as a difference between Satan and people.

Satan is a spiritual being. As such, it doesn't seem that they are able to die.

This is the main thing that happened to people, however, in the Bible if God's holiness was offended with sin. In the Old Testament, it was imperative that the high priest be purified before entering the holy of holies. There is a tradition that says that a rope with bells was tied around the priest's ankle when he entered, and others waited outside the holy of holies. If they noticed that the bells stopped ringing, it meant that the high priest had died, and they had to use the rope to pull him out. While that is only a tradition, this seems to be based on facts in Scripture. At one point in the Old Testament, someone touched the Ark of the Covenant (which represented God's holiness) and he immediately fell dead.

Satan had already been cast out of Heaven as far as it being his permanent dwelling, I think. Though he could apparently go back, he had already been punished for his sin. So, in a very real way (being cast out of Heaven), the sin of Satan still could not stand in the presence of God.

So, while angels who sinned were cast out, people who sin and met the presence of God died physically. Even then, the immaterial part of man (the soul) does not die, though it can be cast into hell depending on whether that soul had followed Jesus or not.

This is really kind of off the top of my head. Does it make sense?

I'm very interested to hear what others think on this question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some of my thoughts on this are that we are talking about universal sovereignty.  God is the universal sovereign, both in heaven and on earth. We think about what happened in Eden with Adam & Eve. They were put there to populate the earth & tend the earth. God was their ruler. He gave them one command - not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good & bad.

The serpent was involved in all this. We know that Satan was behind the serpent. Why he was down there on earth with Adam & Eve is something I don't know. Maybe it was part of his duties, maybe not. But what he did was he lied about God. And we know that Adam & Eve also sinned as a result of this.

Now, God could have at that very instant zapped them all to death. We know with Adam & Eve He had told them in the day they ate from that fruit they would die. But if he instantly zapped them to death, what would that have proved? Just that he was stronger and you don't mess with Him.

Also, at this time what was going on in heaven? What led to Satan doing this detestable thing? I'm thinking he was jealous of God and wanted God's worship for himself. Mind you, that is my speculation. But I don't think that Satan at that very instant he lied to Adam & Eve had turned evil that moment. Something had led up to it. Maybe his lust for God's worship.

Who knows what was going on in heaven?? Maybe Satan was up there doing the same thing he did down here on earth! Challenging God's sovereignty. Well, if God just zapped all the rebels instantly, it just shows He's a more powerful being. But if he lets them exist for a while, we will eventually see what comes from turning our backs on God's sovereignty, both in heaven & on earth.

So maybe God allowed Satan to be present in heaven for a limited time to try to stir up trouble. We know that he certainly did that when we read the book of Job. Satan's insolence there is simply unbelievable. But what effect did his insolence have on the other angels who were there and heard him throwing those taunts in God's face?

One of the things that I most love about God is he gave us all free will. And the angels have it too. And all of this happening had to be (and probably still is) a challenge for them personally. Who do they want to serve?

We learn in Revelation that eventually Satan does get kicked out of heaven and is restricted to the area of the earth. And eventually he gets his due.

But I think that God is allowing all these issues to be settled once and for all.

Just my two cents worth.  :D
 

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Interesting points, Suzanne. Some of my thoughts are below.

Suzanne said:
The serpent was involved in all this. We know that Satan was behind the serpent. Why he was down there on earth with Adam & Eve is something I don't know. Maybe it was part of his duties, maybe not. But what he did was he lied about God. And we know that Adam & Eve also sinned as a result of this.
I believe that traditional theology says that Satan and 1/3 of the angels had already rebelled at this point. I think they take some verses in Revelation to come to this conclusion (Revelation, while mostly prophecy, is not necessarily all for the future). If this is the case, then Satan had already become evil at this point, and he was already the adversary of God and His creation. Adam and Eve were kind of like God's representatives on earth (they were to rule and take care of God's creation). So, to strike back at God, Satan deceived Adam and Eve.

Now, God could have at that very instant zapped them all to death. We know with Adam & Eve He had told them in the day they ate from that fruit they would die. But if he instantly zapped them to death, what would that have proved? Just that he was stronger and you don't mess with Him.
Very true. Many skeptics argue that the Bible is wrong because God said that Adam and Eve would die if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They didn't die, so God was wrong. The fact is they did die, just not physically. The Bible says we are "dead in our sins" in Ephesians, I think. That spiritual death came the moment Adam and Eve sinned. Physical death did follow later.

It is interesting that God did not immediately strike Adam and Eve physically. We see God do that in other places in Scripture, so the fact that He didn't with them is interesting indeed.

Also, at this time what was going on in heaven? What led to Satan doing this detestable thing? I'm thinking he was jealous of God and wanted God's worship for himself. Mind you, that is my speculation.
Not just speculation. Isaiah 14 mentions the King of Babylon, but many theologians think that there is a stronger, bigger evil behind the king that is also being addressed, namely Satan. If so, then it says that he did envy God and think that he could be like God. This would have happened before the fall in Eden, however, according to traditional theology.

Who knows what was going on in heaven?? Maybe Satan was up there doing the same thing he did down here on earth! Challenging God's sovereignty.
If the above theology is correct, then that is exactly what happened. He challenged God's sovereignty and caused 1/3 of the angels to rebel with him. He truly is the "father of lies" as John says.

Well, if God just zapped all the rebels instantly, it just shows He's a more powerful being. But if he lets them exist for a while, we will eventually see what comes from turning our backs on God's sovereignty, both in heaven & on earth.
Now that is very interesting. I don't know that I had thought of it that way before. I like it.

So maybe God allowed Satan to be present in heaven for a limited time to try to stir up trouble. We know that he certainly did that when we read the book of Job. Satan's insolence there is simply unbelievable. But what effect did his insolence have on the other angels who were there and heard him throwing those taunts in God's face?
If this was after the rebellion in Heaven, which I think it was, then the other angels had already stood firm through the ultimate test.

We do learn something interesting, however, in Job. Satan has to actually get God's permission to actually attack Job. Some have said that God basically keeps Satan on a leash of sorts. I don't know if this is true for everyone as opposed to special for Job for some reason, but it is interesting to think about. God looks after His own, and Satan cannot touch them without God's permission, or so it would seem.

One of the things that I most love about God is he gave us all free will. And the angels have it too. And all of this happening had to be (and probably still is) a challenge for them personally. Who do they want to serve?
I'm not sure it still is a temptation. But it certainly was in the past. Nothing in the Bible seems to imply that angels can still rebel. Anytime it mentions angels who sinned, it seems to be in the past tense, not in any present or future tense. I'm in no way positive on this though.

We learn in Revelation that eventually Satan does get kicked out of heaven and is restricted to the area of the earth. And eventually he gets his due.
Depending on interpretation, the rebellion seems to have taken place in the past. Some, however, believe Satan can still access Heaven (as in Job), but that that access will be cut off in the future. I'm really not sure about this one. I need to study it more. That's why I like discussions like this. It helps me see what areas I need to study further. After all, theology is a very deep subject.

Just my two cents worth. :D
Definitely worth more than two cents. ;D
 

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I remember hearing somewhere that when Satan rebelled, he took 1/3 of the angels with him. I may not be remembering that right though.

I don't think that the angels have free will in the same way we do. I also don't think that Jesus' death on the cross covers the rebellion of the angels, only humans.

I think either the angels stayed in fellowship with God permanently, or not, permanently.

Once that decision was made by either Satan or the angels (however that worked) it can't be forgiven or reversed for angels. There will never be a way of redemption for them.

I also know that humans were created in God's image. I'm not sure about angels and if this has anything to do with Satan still given the right to enter into God's presence until the end of the event in Revelation where he will be permanently bound in hell. So maybe since Satan is not created in God's image like humans, somehow God can allow him access for a while.

????? Just a few of my thoughts.

Lynn M.
 

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I think this site gives a pretty orthodox answer:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-access.html

..."Since God is holy and absolutely without sin (Isaiah 6:3), and since He will not even look on evil (Habakkuk 1:13), how can Satan be in heaven? The answer involves God's sovereign restraint of sin. In Job 1, Satan stood before God to give an account of himself. God initiated the meeting, led the proceedings, and remained in absolute control (verse 7). The result was that Satan's power was limited (verse 12) and God was glorified...."
 

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love2read said:
I remember hearing somewhere that when Satan rebelled, he took 1/3 of the angels with him. I may not be remembering that right though.
I believe this comes from Revelation 12. In verse 4 it says (NIV), "His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky...." The "His" refers to the dragon, who is a symbol for Satan. Some interpret the stars to be angels in a symbolic way. I could be wrong on this.

I don't think that the angels have free will in the same way we do.
The angels must have free will, or there could not have been a rebellion. Only free agents can rebel.

I also don't think that Jesus' death on the cross covers the rebellion of the angels, only humans.

I think either the angels stayed in fellowship with God permanently, or not, permanently.

Once that decision was made by either Satan or the angels (however that worked) it can't be forgiven or reversed for angels. There will never be a way of redemption for them.
This is correct. The Bible never speaks of angels having the ability to repent.

I also know that humans were created in God's image. I'm not sure about angels and if this has anything to do with Satan still given the right to enter into God's presence until the end of the event in Revelation where he will be permanently bound in hell. So maybe since Satan is not created in God's image like humans, somehow God can allow him access for a while.

????? Just a few of my thoughts.

Lynn M.
I think there is a clear correlation between man being created in God's image and angels not being created that way. There is clearly something there, but what, I'm not sure.

In fact, in the future, the Bible says that Christians (humans who have been saved) will judge angels. So there is clearly some higher sense in which humans are created in God's image, but angels aren't.

I don't know if this difference would affect Satan's ability to enter into God's presence or not, but I believe it does have something to do with why humans are redeemable, but angels are not.

Good thoughts!
 

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Chad Winters (#102) said:
I think this site gives a pretty orthodox answer:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-access.html

..."Since God is holy and absolutely without sin (Isaiah 6:3), and since He will not even look on evil (Habakkuk 1:13), how can Satan be in heaven? The answer involves God's sovereign restraint of sin. In Job 1, Satan stood before God to give an account of himself. God initiated the meeting, led the proceedings, and remained in absolute control (verse 7). The result was that Satan's power was limited (verse 12) and God was glorified...."
Sounds good. This is definitely an issue I want to study more now. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
mwvickers said:
In fact, in the future, the Bible says that Christians (humans who have been saved) will judge angels. So there is clearly some higher sense in which humans are created in God's image, but angels aren't.

I don't know if this difference would affect Satan's ability to enter into God's presence or not, but I believe it does have something to do with why humans are redeemable, but angels are not.

Good thoughts!
Some scriptures on this:

Heb. 2:5-8 says,
"5Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6It has been testified somewhere,

"What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
7You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,


8putting everything in subjection under his feet."

And 1 Cor. 6:1-3 says,

1When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

So it appears that while we are in fleshly form we are lower than the angels, but eventually we will be in a position where we will judge them.

I wonder what the angels were thinking when they saw the rebellion in Eden? They must have been aware that man was a "special creation" of sorts. And man is put in the garden and given his instructions, and then he rebels. The angels were looking on. Their eyes must have went big as saucers when this happened! They must have been thinking, 'Uh-oh, what will happen now??'

As I said earlier, God could have zapped man right then & there. But it appears he is allowing the case to be worked out and then a precedent will be set. When Adam & Eve chose to eat of that fruit of the knowledge of good & bad, what that says to me is that they were sorta thumbing their noses at God saying, 'We will decide for ourselves what is good & bad; we don't need your help.' It's not like they didn't have any other food there to eat. So it was clearly a case of rebellion against God being their ruler and telling them what to do.

So it seems to me that God in His wisdom is letting man prove his case. Can he fare better on his own? Or would he do better under God's rule?
 

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Suzanne said:
As I said earlier, God could have zapped man right then & there. But it appears he is allowing the case to be worked out and then a precedent will be set. When Adam & Eve chose to eat of that fruit of the knowledge of good & bad, what that says to me is that they were sorta thumbing their noses at God saying, 'We will decide for ourselves what is good & bad; we don't need your help.' It's not like they didn't have any other food there to eat. So it was clearly a case of rebellion against God being their ruler and telling them what to do.

So it seems to me that God in His wisdom is letting man prove his case. Can he fare better on his own? Or would he do better under God's rule?
Interesting thought.

I like the way C.S. Lewis put it (and this is a rough paraphrase, as I cannot remember exactly what he said or where he said it): "There are only two kinds of people in the end: Those who say to God, 'Your will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'Your will be done.'" When Lewis said this, he argued that the people who will be in Hell, though they will suffer, are there because they willed it; they wouldn't have been happy in God's presence anyway. That is the reference for the part of the quote in which God says to them that their will be done.
 

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myeugene said:
question: where can I find the story of fallen angels or Satan?
I don't think bible has it, or hasn't it?
As with some things in Scripture, there is no one clear passage on the issue. There are multiple verses and passages that, when taken together, seem to form a clearer picture, but nothing like one specific story. I will list some of the verses and passages that are commonly used to form that idea.

Isaiah 14:12-15, which is specifically addressed to the King of Babylon, also seems to be speaking to something even greater, a power behind that evil king, and many believe it is referring to Satan, his pride, and his fall.

Ezekiel 28:11-17. Again, as with the passages in Isaiah, it is addressed to the King of Tyre, but there are aspects that seem to speak to someone else. Again, there is this idea of being created good, but falling to pride.

In Luke 10:18, Jesus says he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

In Revelation 12, there are several things mentioned that people believe to refer to the past. In verse 4, the dragon's (Satan) tail swept a third of the stars out of heaven. I think this is where the idea of 1/3 of the angels falling is from. In verses 7 and 8, the battle in which Satan and his angels are thrown out of heaven is mentioned.

These are some of the passages. I hope it helps.
 

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"As far as your comment on translations, I'm not sure exactly what you are meaning.  Can you explain your question a little better?  I study Bible translation issues, so I may be able to respond if I'm sure of what you are asking. "

MW I moved this over to this thread. 

I have always thought that unless we can find the original papyrus or paper or whatever the NT or OT was written on that everything is infallible.  Also a lot of this is also word of mouth since not many people read in those days.  Translation from the Greek, from the Latin, or whatever language, the words and meanings are not necessarily the same as we tend to interpret in "English".  That is just my humble opinion, really not a question.
 

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Anju No. 469 said:
"As far as your comment on translations, I'm not sure exactly what you are meaning. Can you explain your question a little better? I study Bible translation issues, so I may be able to respond if I'm sure of what you are asking. "

MW I moved this over to this thread.

I have always thought that unless we can find the original papyrus or paper or whatever the NT or OT was written on that everything is infallible.
I see what you are saying, and your view is not uncommon. Perhaps I can give you some things to consider, however.

I want to focus on the New Testament, as I have studied the texts of it a little more.

For historical writings, the way we can be sure of the accuracy is to consider how many copies we have, how they agree or disagree, and how long after the originals the copies we have date to. So, for example, I believe for Caesar's Gallic Wars, we have about 10 copies in existence, the earliest of which dates to about 1,000 years after Caesar originally wrote. Interestingly, no one really questions the accuracy of that writing (I may have the writing and date wrong, but the point remains, and I can try to find the specific examples if necessary). This is actually one of the best-attested historical pieces we have. Actually, we have one better...the New Testament.

The earliest fragment we have of the New Testament (a few verses of John's gospel) dates to about A.D. 120. It was written about A.D. 90. So, that is only a 30 year gap between the original writing and the earliest fragment. The entire NT was written between about A.D. 50 and A.D. 90. The earliest fragment is in A.D. 120, and we have about 20 fragments or so between that time and A.D. 300. Between A.D. 300 and A.D. 350, we find at least two full copies of the NT in Greek, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. In all, we have about 5,000 copies of the NT (in whole or in part) starting in A.D. 120 or so. Again, this is only 30 years after the last writing, and only 90 years after the events that the writings describe. So, for the NT we have a little over 5,000 copies, with only a 30-year gap from the writing to the earliest fragment, and only a 90-year gap from the events to the earliest fragment. Compare that to the 10 copies of Caesar's writings that date at earliest 1,000 years after he wrote them.

In addition to this, we have early copies of the NT in other languages, such as Latin, Syrian, etc. These copies raise the total greatly, though I don't remember how much, so I won't try to guess.

In addition to this, we have the quotes of the earliest church fathers (who started writing in the early second century, the 100s A.D.). It has been estimated that if one only took the quotes of the church fathers, the NT could be accurately constructed to within 95% of what the NT says.

Textual critics have studied the NT, and have compared variants (differences in wording, spelling, verses included/excluded, etc.), and have demonstrated that about 98-99% of the NT can be reconstructed with no questions about what it says. The remaining 1-2% in question doesn't alter a single issue of major doctrine, so it doesn't effect the teaching of the NT at all.

Also a lot of this is also word of mouth since not many people read in those days.
This is heavily debated as to who could and could not read. The Jewish people were "the people of the book" to a degree. Writing (as in the commandments of God) was very important, and many people would have taken turns reading in the synagogue (see Luke 4, I think), so it is possible that more could read than people assume.

Even so, those who couldn't read depended a lot on memory, and studies have shown that their memories were outstanding. Most could listen to something and quote it back with great accuracy (if not nearly perfect).

Not only so, but Jesus taught in ways to make His words easy to memorize. He used metaphors, which stood out, parables, stories, repetition, and other literary styles specifically geared to aid memory. In addition, Jesus had large numbers of people following and listening, and people at that time were very community oriented. So they would have gotten together and discussed, quoted, and corrected what was said with each other, reinforcing the accuracy in their own minds.

That being said, before the gospels were written, the communities would have already been circulating what Jesus said and what occurred with great accuracy, virtually solidifying what was said and keeping it accurate until it was written down.

Add to this that at least one of Jesus' disciples could have written. Matthew was a tax collector, and would have had to be literate and able to read and write. We don't know for sure, but he could have been something of a note-taker for Jesus. Again, this is not certainty, but it is at least possible.

Translation from the Greek, from the Latin, or whatever language, the words and meanings are not necessarily the same as we tend to interpret in "English". That is just my humble opinion, really not a question.
Modern translations today go straight from the Greek (for the NT) and Hebrew and Aramaic (for the OT).

That being said, while it is not perfect, translating from one language to another can render the message exactly as intended, even if the words are not exactly the same.

I am not sure if you speak another language or not. I took Spanish for several years, though sadly I have forgotten most of it. I remember, though, that while translation from one language to another didn't render the exact wording, the translation carried the exact same meaning.

For example, I remember learning "tengo sueno" for "I am tired." I think a very specific translation would be closer to "I have tiredness" or something like that. So, we don't translate it exactly as far as wording is concerned, but the message is exactly the same.

An example from Greek may help too. When it refers to Mary's pregnancy with Jesus, I believe the Greek literally says, "She was having it in the belly." Now, we don't say it that way in English; instead we would say, "She was pregnant" or "She was with child." So the wording may not be identical, but the message is.

In addition to this, we have various types of translations in English. The NASB is very literal (word-for-word), and tries to say exactly what the Greek words say. The NLT (which we are reading) is more dynamic (thought-for-thought), and tries to convey the message, even if paraphrasing is required. In addition, you can find interlinear translations, which render the Greek exactly, including sentence structure (which is odd in English). All of these are helpful, and all serve a different purpose. Taken together, however, we can rest assured that what we read is virtually identical to what is written in the NT and OT in their original languages.

I know you weren't asking for all of this information, but I hope it proves helpful to you and others here.

God bless.
 
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