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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Satan has power?
« on: December 29, 2013, 03:49:20 PM »
We know that Satan for a time was the guy who did god"s dirty work. He obtained permission from God,did nasty things for God,but did he really have any power or " magic" at his disposal other than that God granted him?

 Theists can you please explain where Satan,as a fallen angel,separates himself from God but still retains his "supernatural" powers,enough to dispose of God as an influence over peoples of the earth?

 The only way Satan can still have supernatural powers is if God gives it to him as a reward for his service.
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Offline bgb

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 04:01:14 PM »
Another hole in a holey story!  ;D
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 04:05:58 PM »
Maybe on his way down he stole a box of magic power,but then again,God would foresee any possibilities
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 04:35:14 PM »
We know that Satan for a time was the guy who did god"s dirty work. He obtained permission from God,did nasty things for God,but did he really have any power or " magic" at his disposal other than that God granted him?

 Theists can you please explain where Satan,as a fallen angel,separates himself from God but still retains his "supernatural" powers,enough to dispose of God as an influence over peoples of the earth?

 The only way Satan can still have supernatural powers is if God gives it to him as a reward for his service.

To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in the Hebrew Bible (aka the Old Testament) or the New Testament that specifically explains the origins or the fall of the Satan. 

Granted, there is Ezekiel 28:12-18 which allegedly explains the fall of the Satan.  Oddly, when I have asked various literalists about why this particular passage is symbolic but all the other writings before and after it are to be taken literally, I get a quiet "I don't know". 

In the Hebrew Bible the Satan (which translates as "accuser") was essentially a prosecuting attorney, finding wrongdoers in the world and bringing them to God's attention.  The Satan seems to have had a rather large ego as described in the book of Job but that is a speculation on my part.

There is a theory that the Satan morphed from God's D.A. to this source of evil during the Babylonian captivity of the Southern Kingdom.  When the Persians conquered the Babylonians they also brought a belief the world was a battle ground between a force of good and a force of evil.  The Jewish leaders were exposed to this and liked it as it helped explain why they, as God's chosen people, were conquered and transplanted to Babylon. 

Because the Persians were more tolerant of alternate religions (provided they paid their required tribute to Babylon) there was an exodus of sorts of Jewish people back to Israel.  The theory says they brought this understanding of a force of evil in conflict with God with them back to Israel.  There is a 300 year gap between their return and the time of Jesus the Christ. 

There was probably a lot of writing going on but precious little has been found.  But by the time of Jesus the Christ, the image of the Satan as a force of evil appears to be fairly strong and well known as the New Testament writers don't offer anything explaining origins of the Satan or the fall of the Satan.

Most people understand the fall of the Satan from Bunyan's book "Pilgrim's Progress".

Here is some additional information you might find of interest.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan

End of lecture. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy 
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 04:56:15 PM »
As clear and precise as your post is OCG,it is more speculation and opinion than anything else. I am more looking for how he stole or obtained his power over God. Theists clearly think Satan is equally powerful to God in some instances and has taken control and power away from God( for the time being).


 They can't(theists) really point to a place or time when power was taken from God and earth was surrendered to Satan,or where Satan gained any power whatsoever.
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2013, 06:31:50 PM »
As clear and precise as your post is OCG,it is more speculation and opinion than anything else. I am more looking for how he stole or obtained his power over God. Theists clearly think Satan is equally powerful to God in some instances and has taken control and power away from God( for the time being).


 They can't(theists) really point to a place or time when power was taken from God and earth was surrendered to Satan,or where Satan gained any power whatsoever.

12 Monkeys, if you don't object, I would like to give you a little more information regarding the Christian view, which differs from the view that you have portrayed for theists.

The book of Job speaks of the "sons of God," which is another way to speak of angelic beings.  Satan appeared before God with the "sons of God" and that indicates he is an angelic being.  Angelic beings are creations of God, so they are not eternal.  They had a beginning. 

Satan is not omnipotent.  Christians do not believe that Satan is equal in power to God.  The only power that Satan has is what God allows him to have.  The Book of Job shows that Satan could only go as far as God would allow him to go.  Satan even asked for permission to sift the apostle Peter like wheat (whatever that means - but it doesn't sound good).  Jesus told Peter about this.

Satan is not omniscient.  He had Pharaoh order the deaths of the Israelite baby boys because he did not know which child would be the one to lead the Israelites out of slavery to the Egyptians.  He had Herod order the deaths of the baby boys in Bethlehem because he did not know which child was the Messiah that the magi came to see.  He didn't even know how Jesus would react to any of the temptations that he placed before Him.

The Book of Revelation identifies Satan as the Dragon and as the Serpent (as in Garden of Eden).  Satan is limited to only being able to be in one place at one time but he has been around since his creation.

Any time a human encountered an angel (Abraham, Joshua, the Apostle John are good examples) the angel told the human not to worship him, unless it was The Angel of the Lord, which is a theophany, or appearance of God on earth.

Now, with regard to the earth being surrendered to Satan, you are correct.  Adam was God's regent on earth, but when he stood by passively while Satan twisted God's word to Eve and then submitted to eating the fruit, Adam gave up rule over the earth and Satan gained it.  That is one reason he is called "the god of this world" by Paul (2 Corinthians 4:4) and "the ruler of this world" by even Jesus (John 12:31).

The perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of Jesus ended Satan's rule over this planet, but the planet is still under the curse of sin at this time until Jesus' return.

Again, I am only sharing the mainstream Christian view for clarification.

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 08:04:16 PM »
Wow clear and understandable.... But no more than an opinion
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 08:22:12 PM »
Wow clear and understandable.... But no more than an opinion

I don't think you're going to get more than opinion, 12M. But it isn't opinion just plucked out of nowhere either.

Go on up you baldhead.

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 08:30:05 PM »
Wow clear and understandable.... But no more than an opinion

Does not your original premise start out with nothing more than your opinion?  I'm only saying this because "that's your opinion" really doesn't get us far in a meaningful discussion, but you need to apply the same critical analysis to your position that you do to others.  This is not meant to be argumentative in a mean way.

Peace and grace.


Quote
Satan has power?
« on: Today at 02:49:20 PM »
Quote
We know that Satan for a time was the guy who did god"s dirty work. He obtained permission from God,did nasty things for God,but did he really have any power or " magic" at his disposal other than that God granted him?

 Theists can you please explain where Satan,as a fallen angel,separates himself from God but still retains his "supernatural" powers,enough to dispose of God as an influence over peoples of the earth?

 The only way Satan can still have supernatural powers is if God gives it to him as a reward for his service.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 08:47:02 PM »
Gf,mm of course I am asking for opinion,but I would also like to see scripture  or something similar to back that opinion up somehow.  See if it does not state clearly how and why Satan came to be so powerful,it is filled in with SPAG and what each individual theist thinks it is.

 It makes little sense how a fallen angel becomes so Powerful,as  god would relinquish power,when he clearly is not in a position to give up any power. If he can relinquish power so easily is he really a god?
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 08:54:40 PM »
Gf,mm of course I am asking for opinion,but I would also like to see scripture  or something similar to back that opinion up somehow.  See if it does not state clearly how and why Satan came to be so powerful,it is filled in with SPAG and what each individual theist thinks it is.

 It makes little sense how a fallen angel becomes so Powerful,as  god would relinquish power,when he clearly is not in a position to give up any power. If he can relinquish power so easily is he really a god?

Ok, got it.  Some people hate it when Scripture is used but with you I'll try to be diligent to use the verses that Christians support their opinion with. 

I'll go back and add Scriptures.

Can you tell me on what it is that you base your opinion of Satan and the power that he has?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2013, 09:06:24 PM »
Gf,mm of course I am asking for opinion,but I would also like to see scripture  or something similar to back that opinion up somehow.  See if it does not state clearly how and why Satan came to be so powerful,it is filled in with SPAG and what each individual theist thinks it is.

 It makes little sense how a fallen angel becomes so Powerful,as  god would relinquish power,when he clearly is not in a position to give up any power. If he can relinquish power so easily is he really a god?

Ok, got it.  Some people hate it when Scripture is used but with you I'll try to be diligent to use the verses that Christians support their opinion with. 

I'll go back and add Scriptures.

Can you tell me on what it is that you base your opinion of Satan and the power that he has?
reading what theists say about Satan is about the only way I have experience in. It puzzles me to no end how each opinion differs.

 I have never opened a bible (big surprise I am sure) in my life. I am not asking for preaching here,just how theists reach conclusions about Satan. It is basically SPAS and SPAG (satan,god) each believer has his own opinion,that May or may not be based on anything more than SPAS/SPAG
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2013, 09:09:44 PM »
Wow clear and understandable.... But no more than an opinion

I don't think you're going to get more than opinion, 12M. But it isn't opinion just plucked out of nowhere either.
even the Pope can't decide how evil Satan is,and he sure is changing the opinion on how God treats everybody. The more we progress the lighter God seems to be,according to the Pope anyways
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2013, 09:34:51 PM »

The book of Job speaks of the "sons of God," which is another way to speak of angelic beings.

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them." Job 1:6

Satan appeared before God with the "sons of God" and that indicates he is an angelic being. All angels were originally in heaven, but it is believed that when Satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven, he took up to 1/3 of the angels with him.

"The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." Revelation 12:9

Satan can appear as an angel of light, or "good":  "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14

Angelic beings are creations of God, so they are not eternal.  They had a beginning.  They are God's work (creation).

Psalm 103
19The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Satan is not omnipotent.  Christians do not believe that Satan is equal in power to God.  The only power that Satan has is what God allows him to have.  The Book of Job shows that Satan could only go as far as God would allow him to go. 

"And the Lord said to Satan, 'Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.' And the Lord said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.' So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord." Job 1:8-12

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” Job 2:3-6


Satan even asked for permission to sift the apostle Peter like wheat (whatever that means - but it doesn't sound good).  Jesus told Peter about this.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, ESV)

Satan is not omniscient.  He had Pharaoh order the deaths of the Israelite baby boys because he did not know which child would be the one to lead the Israelites out of slavery to the Egyptians.  He had Herod order the deaths of the baby boys in Bethlehem because he did not know which child was the Messiah that the magi came to see. 

While there are not any texts to show you here, it only makes sense when one studies the slaughter of the Israelites in Egypt and then again in Bethlehem that Satan was trying to destroy the Deliverer in each case.  He knew the prophecy told to him by God in Genesis:

The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15, ESV)

He didn't even know how Jesus would react to any of the temptations that he placed before Him.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (Matthew 4:1-11, ESV)

The Book of Revelation identifies Satan as the Dragon and as the Serpent (as in Garden of Eden). 

"The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." Revelation 12:9

Satan is limited to only being able to be in one place at one time but he has been around since his creation.  Satan can't be in God's presence and on the earth at the same time.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” Job 1:6-7

And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Job 1:12


Any time a human encountered an angel (Abraham, Joshua, the Apostle John are good examples) the angel told the human not to worship him, unless it was The Angel of the Lord, which is a theophany, or appearance of God on earth.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:9-10, ESV)

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 22:8-9, ESV)


Now, with regard to the earth being surrendered to Satan, you are correct.  Adam was God's regent on earth, but when he stood by passively while Satan twisted God's word to Eve and then submitted to eating the fruit, Adam gave up rule over the earth and Satan gained it.  That is one reason he is called "the god of this world" by Paul (2 Corinthians 4:4) and "the ruler of this world" by even Jesus (John 12:31).

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, ESV)

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. (John 12:27-31, ESV)

The perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of Jesus ended Satan's rule over this planet, but the planet is still under the curse of sin at this time until Jesus' return.

In order not to be too lengthy, I'll just post a link to Revelation chapter 5 http://www.esvbible.org/Revelation+5/

The scroll that no one is worthy to open except the Lamb is believed to be the Title Deed to the Earth, which Adam gave up when he ate the fruit.  One clue is that since Jesus was the only one worthy to open the scroll, it was a very, very important document. Another clue is that He has already died and was resurrected, so He has already defeated Satan, even if Satan is still allowed to roam for awhile longer.


Again, I am only sharing the mainstream Christian view for clarification.  i hope the addition of the verses and some of the additional comments help you see where Christians form their opinions about Satan.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2013, 09:37:03 PM »
Wow clear and understandable.... But no more than an opinion

I don't think you're going to get more than opinion, 12M. But it isn't opinion just plucked out of nowhere either.
even the Pope can't decide how evil Satan is,and he sure is changing the opinion on how God treats everybody. The more we progress the lighter God seems to be,according to the Pope anyways

Good observation about the Pope 12M.  Please don't base your opinion about what ALL Christians believe based on what the Pope says.  He only speaks for the Catholic Church, and even within it there are a few people who disagree with him.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2013, 09:48:58 PM »
I see where you are at Gf it still fails to explain why any God would allow rebellion and allow the rebel to retain any power whatsoever.

Gf those in power who relinquish any power  can lose all power,God being omnipresent failed or allowed rebellion,with the clear winner of the conflict only having  one result. The crushing of that rebellion is 2000 years in the making,it has yet to happen...... Why?
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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2013, 10:15:31 PM »
I see where you are at Gf it still fails to explain why any God would allow rebellion and allow the rebel to retain any power whatsoever.

Gf those in power who relinquish any power  can lose all power,God being omnipresent failed or allowed rebellion,with the clear winner of the conflict only having  one result. The crushing of that rebellion is 2000 years in the making,it has yet to happen...... Why?

Regarding the why it is yet to happen?

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:8-10, ESV)

God is extending the number of people in His kingdom the longer He waits.

But some Christian scholars would also say that there are additional prophecies that God has made that have not yet come to pass, so He'll crush the rebellion when He has completed all that He said He would do.  He said these things in the Bible.

For whatever reasons, God has made Satan, knowing that Satan would rebel against Him, yet it is evident that Satan can't lift a finger against anyone (Job, Peter, Jesus) unless God allows him to.  Satan does bad things to some people, and sometimes that can work out for good in their lives. Sometimes it ends their life.  But it is all according to God's plan.  He allows Satan to stir up the evil passions that are already within people. 

Here is a poor analogy, but one worth considering.  Leaches suck blood, but even leaches can be used for medicinal purposes in the 21st century.  So can maggots.  It ain't real pretty, but they can be effective in accomplishing much good by doing what we would normally consider to be bad.

Peace and grace.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2013, 10:45:58 PM »
As clear and precise as your post is OCG,it is more speculation and opinion than anything else. I am more looking for how he stole or obtained his power over God. Theists clearly think Satan is equally powerful to God in some instances and has taken control and power away from God( for the time being).


 They can't(theists) really point to a place or time when power was taken from God and earth was surrendered to Satan,or where Satan gained any power whatsoever.

I don't think there is any scripture which can clearly explain or answer your questions.  I thank you for the kind words and regret I have nothing more to offer as it would also be speculation / deduction.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Lectus

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 02:37:44 PM »
That got me thinking:
Is Satan omnipresent?

If Christians claim he's everywhere causing evil he must be able to be at all places at the same time, making him equal with God.
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 04:05:28 PM »
That got me thinking:
Is Satan omnipresent?

If Christians claim he's everywhere causing evil he must be able to be at all places at the same time, making him equal with God.

Another good question.  I don't have the definitive answer but here is my understanding.

In exchanges with theists as well as various articles I have read over the years, the consensus appears to be (for those who accept the existence of the Satan) that the Satan can be everywhere at the same time but with less power than God.  The argument is along the lines that the Satan is not as powerful otherwise the Satan would not need to resort to deception. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 06:00:25 PM »
I don't think there is any scripture which can clearly explain or answer your questions.  I thank you for the kind words and regret I have nothing more to offer as it would also be speculation / deduction.
And this is why you are respected so well, because you're not afraid to admit when your knowledge is lacking and you don't try to pretend that you know anyway.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Satan has power?
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2013, 06:24:17 PM »
I don't think there is any scripture which can clearly explain or answer your questions.  I thank you for the kind words and regret I have nothing more to offer as it would also be speculation / deduction.
And this is why you are respected so well, because you're not afraid to admit when your knowledge is lacking and you don't try to pretend that you know anyway.

Your kind words are deeply appreciated.  Raising two daughters taught my wife and I early on that our knowledge was lacking in many areas so I've had lots of practice.  :)  And I realized early on with this website that bluffing an answer would NEVER work.  Besides, if my faith hinges on having all the answers, then is it faith? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama