What role do spirits play in sin?

Man, Sin, & Salvation
Theophilus
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:36 pm

Hi Rick,

I did listen to most of Steve's series on Spiritual Warfare earlier this year, and I thought the teaching was good. The subject matter is kind of tough to focus on for too long though.

I think we sometimes like to draw boxes and say we're in here and the bad spirits are out there. We're quick to acknowledge the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but not so quick to acknowledge the presence of other influences. For example, was the temptation of Jesus within Jesus' mind or some other external event? And notice this temptation was after his baptism and straight from the devil. I'm not sure how good of an example Jesus is because he doesn't have a sinful nature. Maybe what we would recognize as the sinful nature of man is the amount of control exercised by the spiritual forces of evil on the individual. Not sure.

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Suzana
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Suzana » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:49 am

Theophilus wrote: ...I also wonder if there is an analogy with the Israelites being afraid to enter the Promised Land, and the Church advancing to drive out the principalities and powers of this present age (as the LORD was going ahead of the Israelites so Jesus has already disarmed the principalities (See also David & Goliath)). Because the Israelites would not go initially, they were forced to wander. And then a generation later, they did enter but did not drive out all of the Canaanite peoples (sinful practices, evil forces of this dark world). That eventually became a snare to them and then they were driven into captivity or bondage again. The cycle repeated. (Sorry for repeating what is known).

And it's difficult to know if this is something that happens at the individual level, national level, or both.
RickC wrote:Also, I'd like to see more folks in on our study....
OK then.
I think that there is an analogy here, especially at the individual level. The way I see it, when we become born again we have been purchased, and as individuals belong to God. However, certain areas of our lives may still be occupied by the enemy (as with the Israelites). It’s up to us to clear the land by dispossessing the enemy, and take back territory that really belongs to God. Sort of like there being designated areas of our backyard that still have rocks and piles of rubbish, that we need to get rid of.

We know Jesus was without sin; and at the last Passover supper, He said:
Joh 14:30 I shall no longer speak many things with you, for the ruler of this world comes, and he has nothing in Me.

We however do yield to temptation and sin at various times; perhaps this is allowing the enemy to ‘have something in me’; I don’t see this as demonic possession, but as being influenced by the spirit of this world in some instances or particular areas, instead of living and walking by the Holy Spirit.
But we are expected to mature spiritually and allow the process of sanctification to take place and advance all the time.

There's an interesting verse in Deuteronomy 7:22
And the Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.
It would be interesting to know if there was any analogy here and what possible application there might be to our own spiritual life now.
Just a few thoughts.
Sue.
Suzana
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Theophilus
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:27 pm

Hi Sue,

Thanks for your posting. It's nice to hear what other people think about this subject.

I like your John 14:30 reference, "for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;" as it confirms the devil has no hold or control of Jesus. The words "demon possession" bring up images in the mind like the Man (or Men) of the Tombs. That appears to be an extreme case in the Bible, but maybe a spectrum of control or influence could exist.

Are the men in the following passages demon possessed? Would these men if we could talk to them at the time of these incidents recognize that they were under some form of demonic control?

Acts 5:3 - Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

Luke 22:3 - Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

Matt 16:23 - Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

It's probably the case that these men did not recognize Satan. But Jesus clearly did!

Matt 4:10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

Theophilus
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:53 pm

As Rick mentioned earlier, the DSS are not Scripture, but it does indicate what some people thought at that time (200BC - 70AD).

Scroll: Community Rule

1QS 3:21b - 24b

(21b) The authority of the Angel of Darkness further extends to the corruption (22) of all the righteous. All their sins, iniquities, shameful and rebellious deeds are at his prompting, (23) a situation God in His mysteries allows to continue until His era dawns. Moreover, all the afflictions of the righteous, and every trial in its season, occur because of this Angel's diabolic rule. (24) All the spirits allied with him share but a single resolve: to cause the Sons of Light to stumble.

1QS 4:20b - 22a
{...but at the time appointed for visitation...}
(20b) By His truth God shall then purify all human deeds, and refine some of humanity so as to extinguish every perverse spirit from the inward parts (21) of the flesh, cleansing from every wicked deed by a holy spirit. Like purifying waters, He shall sprinkle each with a spirit of truth, effectual against all the abominations of lying and sullying by an (22) unclean spirit. Thereby He shall give the upright insight into the knowledge of the Most High and the wisdom of the angels, making wise those following the perfect way.

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Suzana
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Suzana » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:26 am

Theophilus wrote: Are the men in the following passages demon possessed? Would these men if we could talk to them at the time of these incidents recognize that they were under some form of demonic control?
It's probably the case that these men did not recognize Satan. But Jesus clearly did!

Matt 4:10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

Luke 22:3 - Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

I would say this is a clear case of possession, because of the specific wording.

Matt 16:23 - Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

I don't think this is demon-possession as such; wouldn't there be a record of Jesus casting Satan out of Peter in that case?
My understanding is that Jesus was emphasising the fact that Peter was allowing his natural, carnal emotions/reasoning to dictate his response to what Jesus said regarding His coming death and resurrection, without taking into consideration the plan and will of God in this situation.
Jesus recognised the spirit behind what Peter said, (perhaps Satan trying to trip Him up by appealing to the emotions, maybe enticing Him to please those close to him instead of doing God's will?).
Saying 'Get behind me Satan' being a way of recognising what's actually happening in the spiritual realm, (and addressing it directly in this case), and refusing to give in to Satan's schemes; the rest of the verse would apply to Peter personally.

Acts 5:3 - Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

Not sure what to think about this one! Were Ananias and Sapphira even saved? Or did they just backslide in a major way?
No wonder that "great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."

I would also tend to think that none of these people recognised Satan or his influence on them.
Suzana
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Theophilus
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:34 pm

All of us are still under some control of Satan (as permitted by God) because until Jesus returns we will all suffer physical death.

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—

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RickC
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by RickC » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:43 am

'Been busy...[still a] good thread!, :), quick post tho....

Theophilus,
Good 1QS quotes! & I'm up to SPI-10 in re-listening to Steve.
Sue wrote:Acts 5:3 - Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

Not sure what to think about this one! Were Ananias and Sapphira even saved? Or did they just backslide in a major way?
No wonder that "great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."

I would also tend to think that none of these people recognised Satan or his influence on them.
Compare & Contrast
Community Rule, Geza Vermes' {"Gay-za Ver-Mesh", he's Jewish} translation {bold, underline, for emphasis}
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/course ... unityRule)

Column I
. . . Book of the Community Rule, that they may seek
2. God with a whole heart and soul. and do good and right before Him as
3. He commanded by the hand of Moses and all His servants the Prophets;
that they may love
4. all that He has chosen and hate all that he has rejected; that they may
abstain from all evil and
5. hold fast to all good; that they may practice truth, righteousness, and
justice
6. upon earth and no longer stubbornly follow a sinful heart and lustful
eyes committing
7. all manner of evil. He shall admit into the Covenant of Grace all those
who have freely devoted themselves to the observance of God's precepts,
8. that they may be joined to the counsel of God and may live perfectly
before Him in accordance with all that
9. has been revealed concerning their appointed times, and that they may
love all the sons of light, each
10. according to his lot in God's design, and hate all the sons of darkness,
each according to his guilt
11. in God's vengeance. All those who freely devote themselves to His
truth shall bring all their knowledge, powers,
12. and possessions into the Community of God, that they may purify their
knowledge in the truth of God's precepts and order their powers according
to His
13. ways of perfection and all their possessions according to His righteous
counsel.

14. from any command of God concerning their times; they shall be neither
early nor late for any of
15. their appointed times, they shall stray neither to the right nor to left of
any of His true precepts.
16. All those who embrace the Community Rule shall enter into the
Covenant before God to obey
17. all His commandments so that they may not abandon Him during
18. the dominion of Satan because of fear or terror or affliction.


Colum VI
24. These are the rules by which they shall judge at a Community
(court of) inquiry according to the cases If one of them has lied
25. deliberately in matters of property
, he shall be excluded from the
pure Meal of the Congregation for one year and shall do penance with
respect to one quarter of his food.


There are many parallels and/or similarities between the early Acts {Jerusalem} Church and The Community {of the Community Rule, the Essenes}. Note how much 'lighter the consequences' of lying about property {possessions} were. Also note how no Council of Elders needed to "try" Ananias & Sapphira in a special court session; the Holy Spirit apparently revealed their lies directly to Peter.

I've always felt that Ananias & Sapphira died from pure fear {cf. Col.I:16-18}.

Unlike the Essenes in The Community; nothing in scripture says that giving possessions into the Jerusalem community {Church} was required of every believer there. It seems to have been a completely voluntary "sharing." At the same time, scripture doesn't show that anyone held anything back, till Ananias & Sapphira:
Acts 4 (NIV)
32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.


The Essenes had a reputation for being the most devout Jews, according to Josephus. The early Christians excelled even them.

Btw, I believe Jesus and the disciples probably encountered Essenes daily and that Essenes were everywhere they went {not all Essenes were celibate or living in communes...but these things are an aside for the thread}.

Gtg for now, be back later "on-topic," thanks, :)

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Paidion
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Paidion » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:17 pm

Matt 16:23 - Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
It is important to realize that the primary meaning of the Greek word σατανος (satanos) is "adversary". ("Satan" is the English transliteration of this Greek word). The devil is the personification of "adversary", but sometimes the word is used simply to indicate anyone who fulfills the role of adversary.

In this case, Peter proved Himself to be an adversary to the intention of Christ to die for the sins of the world by saying, "This will never happen to you!" (being killed and raised up the third day). So Jesus addressed Peter as "Adversary":
"Get behind me, Adversary! You are a stumbling block to me...." As a human being, Jesus wanted to preserve his life, "If it is possible, let this cup pass from me...", but He always did the will of His father. So when Peter prophesied that Jesus wouldn't die, this was a stumbling block, a temptation for Christ to give in to His natural human inclinations instead of carrying out the will of His Father.

Although all other references in the New Testament to σατανος seem to refer to the devil, the word occurs in Sirach 21:17, possibly with reference to an adversary:

When an ungodly man curses his adversary, he curses his own being.
Paidion

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Theophilus
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:53 pm

The word Satan appears 3 times in Matthew, and twice in direct dialogue between Jesus and His adversaries.

Mat 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

Matt 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

In both cases, Jesus was tempted. Once by a spirit and another by a man. I definitely agree that one can view Jesus' comment to Peter as a personification of the devil and not "the" devil. The ending of Matt 16:23, the things of men, also seems to indicate the title of Satan/adversary is directed to Peter alone.

I'm sure that comment had to shock Peter! It shocked me!

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RickC
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by RickC » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:29 am

Here are some texts I felt might be relevant for our discussion {comments to follow below}.

Shepherd of Hermas {2nd century Christian, J.B. Lightfoot translation, bold for emphasis}
http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/hermas.html

Mandate 3
1 Again he saith to me; "Love truth, and let nothing but truth proceed out of thy mouth, that the Spirit which God made to dwell in this flesh, may be found true in the sight of all men; and thus shall the Lord, Who dwelleth in thee, be glorified; for the Lord is true in every word, and with Him there is no falsehood.
2 They therefore that speak lies set the Lord at nought, and become robbers of the Lord, for they do not deliver up to Him the deposit which they received. For they received of Him a spirit free from lies. Thus if they shall return a lying spirit, they have defiled the commandment of the Lord and have become robbers."

Mandate 5
1"Be thou long-suffering and understanding," he saith, "and thou shalt have the mastery over all evil deeds, and shalt work all righteousness.
2 For if thou art long-suffering, the Holy Spirit that abideth in thee shall be pure, not being darkened by another evil spirit, but dwelling in a large room shall rejoice and be glad with the vessel in which he dwelleth, and shall serve God with much cheerfulness, having prosperity in himself.
3 But if any angry temper approach, forthwith the Holy Spirit, being delicate, is straitened, not having [the] place clear, and seeketh to retire from the place; for he is being choked by the evil spirit, and has no room to minister unto the Lord, as he desireth, being polluted by angry temper. For the Lord dwelleth in long-suffering, but the devil in angry temper.
4 Thus that both the spirits then should be dwelling together is inconvenient and evil for that man in whom they dwell.

Mandate 5 {Rev. F. Crombie translation}
1 “Be patient,” said he, “and of good understanding, and you will rule over every wicked work, and you will work all righteousness.
2 For if you be patient, the Holy Spirit that dwells in you will be pure. He will not be darkened by any evil spirit, but, dwelling in a broad region, he will rejoice and be glad; and with the vessel in which he dwells he will serve God in gladness, having great peace within himself. He will serve the Lord in great gladness, having abundance of all things within himself.
3 But if any outburst of anger take place, forthwith the Holy Spirit, who is tender, is straitened, not having a pure place, and He seeks to depart. For he is choked by the vile spirit, and cannot attend on the Lord as he wishes, for anger pollutes him. For the Lord dwells in long-suffering, but the devil in anger.
4 The two spirits, then, when dwelling in the same habitation, are at discord with each other, and are troublesome to that man in whom they dwell.

Mandate 10.2.4-5

{translation by a former JW named "Leolaia"}:
http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/97939 ... hx#1681373
"Both are a cause for grief for the Holy Spirit, double-mindedness (dipsukhia) and an angry temper. Rid yourself, therefore, of grief and do not oppress the Holy Spirit (to pneuma to hagion) that dwells in you (en soi katoikoun)".
__________

{From same page, linked above}
Leolaia wrote, quote:

In Hermas, each negative emotion is a separate "spirit" that takes up residence in a person, crowding out the Holy Spirit: "An angry temper is first of all foolish, fickle, and senseless. Then from foolishness comes bitterness, and from bitterness wrath, and from wrath anger, and from anger vengefulness; then vengefulness, being composed of all these evil elements, becomes a great and incurable sin. For when all these spirits dwell in one vessel, where the Holy Spirit also dwells, the vessel cannot contain them, but overflows. So the sensitive Spirit, which is not used to living with an evil spirit nor with harshness, departs from a person with the evil spirits" (Mandate 5.4-6). This concept may depend on such texts as Numbers 5:12-14, 29-30 (LXX) which refers to a "spirit of jealousy" (pneuma zélóseós), and similar ideas are found in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs:

"You do these as well, my children, and every spirit of Beliar will flee from you ... so long as you have the God of heaven with you and walk with all mankind in purity of heart" (Testament of Issachar 7:7).
"The spirit of jealousy and pretentiousness kept saying to me, 'You too are his son.' And one of the spirits of Beliar was at work within me....Anger is evil, my children, for it becomes the motivating force of the soul itself....When the soul is continually preturbed, the Lord withdraws from it and Beliar rules it. Observe the Lord's commandments, then, my children, and keep his Law. Avoid wrath, and hate lying, in order that the Lord may dwell with you, and Beliar may flee from you...Throughout all your life love the Lord, and one another with a true heart...Draw near to God and to the angel who intercedes for you" (Testament of Dan 1:6-7, 3:1, 4:7-5:1, 3, 6:2).


End quote
__________

Thread Comments

I've read that the Hebrew root from where we get "Satan" is stn, meaning: "to obstruct," "to block one's pathway," "to cause one to stumble [trip or fall]." Thus, we could say a primary goal of the devil is to cause us to "fall short" of the glory of God {cf. Ro 3:23b}.
Theophilus wrote:The word Satan appears 3 times in Matthew, and twice in direct dialogue between Jesus and His adversaries.

Mat 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

Matt 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

In both cases, Jesus was tempted. Once by a spirit and another by a man. I definitely agree that one can view Jesus' comment to Peter as a personification of the devil and not "the" devil. The ending of Matt 16:23, the things of men, also seems to indicate the title of Satan/adversary is directed to Peter alone.
I know what you mean: Peter didn't turn into a spirit being {the devil}. At the same time, I don't think Peter was being a mere "personification" of Satan. It seems to me Peter actually spoke for---or even as---the devil. I fully realize we have a hard time conceiving of such-a-thing {so do I}. But on the other hand, the devil has spoken "through" me when I "oppressed" the Holy Spirit {as with Leolaia's translation}. This has happened since I was a believer also. But praise the Lord...I walk in much more victory in Christ these days! Amen!
Earlier, Theophilus wrote:I think we sometimes like to draw boxes and say we're in here and the bad spirits are out there. We're quick to acknowledge the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but not so quick to acknowledge the presence of other influences.
It took concentrated effort over a few years for me to stop cussing {saying bad words}...and if I'm not watchful...I can let myself still. But thank God, I rarely do any more. I've had some especially "trying times" with {non-Christian} co-workers recently. Not to go into it much but they're pretty rude and cruel, and cuss {at me} a lot....
So I'm learning to be silent and how to pray for people "on the spot."
Last edited by RickC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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