Get ready to tackle our hottest topic yet: the Devil.

The Big Lie – A Biblical word study on the Devil

Sometimes Satan and demons cooperate with each other.

1 Timothy 4:1-6
Luke 13:10-17; Acts 10:34-38
Acts 17:16-21; 1 Corinthians 10:18-21 and Reader Question

More of The Big Lie

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1 Timothy 4:1-6 (6/18/13)

This is the one time I found demons acting like the Devil – using deceit to lure people into a false and needless asceticism. Notice that first the demons make liars out of one set of people, and then the liars tell the second set of people that they shouldn’t do this or that. As a rule of thumb, I should worry about my own behavior, and let God worry about yours.

From the Bible in Basic English, with a word or two clarified by me:
Luke 13:10-17; Acts 10:34-38 (6/19/13)

Sometimes Satan or the Devil also causes illness. We saw yesterday that on rare occasions, demons can deceive people into sinful – or at least needless and harmful – actions. Today we read the only two cases I found where Satan or the Devil is causing illness. All in all, I think we’ve seen that demons are not devils, and that Satan and demons have a pretty clear division of labor. Satan tempts us to sin, and demons make us ill. Together they are bad for your spiritual, physical, and mental health.

From the Bible in Basic English, with a word or two clarified by me:
Acts 17:16-21; 1 Corinthians 10:18-21 (6/20/13)

Sometimes Gentiles were inclined to worship demons. Or maybe not.

In Acts 17, Paul is visiting Athens and preaching about Jesus. Now, when we read this passage in an English Bible with no footnotes, it’s one of the ones that make us say, “Huh?” The English text usually reads something like, “They said he was preaching about strange gods, because he was talking about Jesus and the resurrection.” Why did they think that the resurrection – an event – might be a god? And why do I think it has anything to do with demons? In Classical Greek, daimon was used to indicate a spirit that could be either good or bad. In Greek, resurrection is anastasia. Apparently the Athenians thought that Jesus and Anastasia were some sort of god and goddess, i.e., daimonion. This is why you will virtually always see daimonion translated as gods here, and not as demons. If you just remember that they thought “Resurrection” was a goddess, you’ll have it clear.

When Paul writes to another Gentile congregation in the Greek city of Corinth, he seems to be using daimonion demon in exactly the same way. First he points out that even though idols are just dead stone, he doesn’t want his converts to have anything to do with any spirits that might be associated with them. Even if you were a new Christian, fresh from idolatry, you wouldn’t sacrifice to evil spirits that make you sick, but you might sacrifice to your old gods. Don’t.

From the Bible in Basic English, with a word or two modified by me:
More of The Big Lie
The Son of God and the Father of Lies
The OT satan is always an adversary, but not always the Devil.
The Hebrew satan is translated various ways.
In the New Testament, both satanas and diabolos normally refer to the Devil.
Sometimes satanas and diabolos are used figuratively to refer to someone acting like the Devil.
Poneros – Evil in the New Testament
Demons cause sickness, not sin.
Sometimes Satan and demons cooperate with each other.
Neither Baalzebub nor Lucifer is a Biblical name for the Devil.
Belial means "worthless," and once it's used as a nickname for the Devil.
Satan's job description: Temptation and Lies
Our job description: Resist him!

Copyright 2013 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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