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:
1 But the Spirit says clearly that in later times some will be turned away from the faith, giving their minds to spirits of deceit, and the teachings of daimonion demons,
Luke 13:10-17; Acts 10:34-38 (6/19/13)
2-3 Through the false ways of men whose words are untrue, whose hearts are burned as with a heated iron; Who keep men from being married and from taking food which God made to be taken with praise by those who have faith and true knowledge.
4-5 Because everything which God has made is good, and nothing is evil, if it is taken with praise: For it is made holy by the word of God and by prayer.
6 If you keep these things before the minds of the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, trained in the words of the faith and of the right teaching which has been your guide:
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:
Luke 13:10-11 And he was teaching in one of the Synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a disease for eighteen years; she was bent, and was not able to make herself straight.
Acts 17:16-21; 1 Corinthians 10:18-21 (6/20/13)
12-13 And when Jesus saw her, he said to her, Woman, you are made free from your disease. And he put his hands on her, and she was made straight, and gave praise to God.
14 And the ruler of the Synagogue was angry because Jesus had made her well on the Sabbath, and he said to the people, There are six days in which men may do work: so come on those days to be made well, and not on the Sabbath.
15-16 But the Lord gave him an answer and said, O you false men! do you not, every one of you, on the Sabbath, let loose his ox and his ass and take it to the water? And is it not right for this daughter of Abraham, who has been in the power of satanas Satan for eighteen years, to be made free on the Sabbath?
17 And when he said these things, those who were against him were shamed, and all the people were full of joy because of the great things which were done by him.
Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter said, Truly, I see clearly that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation, the man who has fear of him and does righteousness is pleasing to him.
36-38 The word which he sent to the children of Israel, giving the good news of peace through Jesus Christ who is Lord of all—That word you yourselves have knowledge of, which was made public through all Judaea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism of which John was the preacher, About Jesus of Nazareth, how God gave the Holy Spirit to him, with power: and how he went about doing good and making well all who were troubled by the diabolos devil, for God was with him.
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
. 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:
Acts 17:16-17 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was troubled, for he saw all the town full of images of the gods. So he had discussions in the Synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, and every day in the market-place with those who were there.
More of The Big Lie
18 And some of those who were supporters of the theories of the Epicureans and the Stoics, had a meeting with him. And some said, What is this talker of foolish words saying? And others, He seems to be a preacher of strange daimonion gods: because he was preaching of Jesus and his coming back from the dead.
19-21 And they took him to Mars' Hill, saying, Will you make clear to us what is this new teaching of yours? For you seem to us to say strange things, and we have a desire to get the sense of them. Now all the Athenians and the men from other lands who come there were giving all their time to talking or hearing of anything new.
1 Corinthians 10:18-19 See Israel after the flesh: do not those who take as food the offerings of the altar take a part in the altar? Do I say, then, that what is offered to images is anything, or that the image is anything?
20-21 What I say is that the things offered by the Gentiles are offered to daimonion demons and not to God; and it is not my desire for you to have any part with daimonion demons. It is not possible for you, at the same time, to take the cup of the Lord and the cup of daimonion demons; you may not take part in the table of the Lord and the table of daimonion demons.
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!
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