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How Powerful is Satan?

 
 
Reply Sun 1 May, 2005 08:09 pm
I have a question for the Christians out there (or anyone else that believes in a Hell and a Satan).

Why does God let Satan exist?

I mean, why let this thing of Pure Evil have power and dominion over an entire Realm of Hell?

Can God get rid of Satan if he wants to?

Or is it that Satan has so much power, that even if God wanted to, he couldn't get rid of Satan?

But if God is all-powerful, couldn't he get rid of Satan in a snap of the fingers?

Why would a God that cares about us let Satan exist?

Why doesn't God just get rid of Satan? Does God like having Satan around?

And why did god let Satan set up Hell in the first place?

I mean there must have been a moment when God said...."hmmm...what to do with Satan? Okay, we'll give him Hell to Lord over." Did God do that? Why did God do that?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2005 08:27 pm
Here you go, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, is Lucifers version of events:

Innumerable force of Spirits armed,
That durst dislike His reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook His throne.
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extra medium
 
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Reply Sun 1 May, 2005 08:45 pm
Setanta,

That seems to indicate that according to Lucifer, his forces did have a significant impact on heaven?

That is, the forces of heaven do feel a bit of a threat from hell? Heavenly forces can't just wipe out Hell easily?

If you listen to Lucifer's take on it, its like the Cold War or something?

Hmmm....could God just be letting Lucifer think he has some considerable power?

I am truly interested in what believers believe in this area. Is God & heaven all powerful, or is Satan & hell a force to be reckoned with, even in God's eyes?

How could a God, that created everything, not be able to wipe out Satan with a flick of the wrist?
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watchmakers guidedog
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 01:45 am
extra medium wrote:
How could a God, that created everything, not be able to wipe out Satan with a flick of the wrist?


If you look at standard biblical accounts it seems pretty stupid. Questions like that don't have any sensible answers. Which is why over the years when the actual idea of christianity was unquestionable, various people developed complex answers to these questions that formed the basics of christian mysticism.

In christian mysticism (which makes much more sense than the standard version), God did not create everything. God was like the CEO of the angelic horde and the angels did the actual work. Given that God's power comes through the angels, a rebellion by a third or a half or whatever of his angels would be something he could just do away with like a bunch of rebelling humans.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 05:08 am
EM, that is just a passage from a poem by John Milton. It is not something to be taken seriously--nor is the contention that Satan exists.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 05:10 am
IMO, Satan does not exist. Only you can give him power.
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Gelisgesti
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 06:34 am
If there exist a Holy Trinity where Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit .... why would you think Satan not also to be Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
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watchmakers guidedog
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 06:44 am
Rev 22:16 I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.

Yes that's right. The shocking answer to the whole question. Jesus actually is Satan, from the horses mouth on the last page of the bible.

Talk about your twist endings. M Night Shimalyan, you have been outdone.
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au1929
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 06:46 am
Phoenixes response hit the nail on the head. It in all in the mind of people.
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Derevon
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 08:15 am
I don't find it particularly difficult to believe in an evil force like Satan taking into consideration the abhorrent state the world is in today. Of course, God is almighty and Satan couldn't roam the world unless God allowed it, which he currently does for a limited amount of time to test the faithful. Satan knowing that his days are numbered, furiously tries to drag as many souls with him as possible into the abyss. Most people who are not inclined to a religious life will never notice this evil presence, though. The evil forces focus their efforts mainly on people who try to live holily, subjecting them to gruesome temptations and tribulations.

Personally I didn't believe in Satan as an entity until relatively recently. Some experiences that took place while I was asleep, or in some kind of semisleeping state changed all this, though. Once when I laid in bed sleeping, I felt this icy chilling feeling all over myself accompanied by what I can only describe as an evil presence, and at the same time I felt totally powerless. I was still fully aware of myself lying in my bed, but I couldn't move any part of me even as much as a millimetre, no matter how hard I struggled. Nor were my attempts to wake up and get up from bed in any way successful for this same reason. The sensation of being entirely in the power of this evil being, or beings was really horrible, and it felt as if it lasted for several hours. It was as if somebody held my hands and feet 100% stuck, and I could do absolutely nothing. At the same time it felt as if somebody poked my body relatively hard with his fingers on many different places, and I experienced what I perceived as real physical pain. Although the pain itself was bearable, the utter sense of powerlessness was really horrible. Prior to that I had never in my life experienced anything even remotely similar, and it was definitely totally unlike any dream I had ever had.
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watchmakers guidedog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 08:43 am
Derevon wrote:
taking into consideration the abhorrent state the world is in today.


Which aspect of the abhorrent state were you referring to?

The decreases in violent crime.
The low rate of war.
The condemnation of slavery.
The rise of democracy.
The increased life expectancy.
Reduction of racism.
Increased female rights.

You're going to have to be more specific.

Quote:
Once when I laid in bed sleeping, I felt this icy chilling feeling all over myself accompanied by what I can only describe as an evil presence, and at the same time I felt totally powerless. I was still fully aware of myself lying in my bed, but I couldn't move any part of me even as much as a millimetre, no matter how hard I struggled. Nor were my attempts to wake up and get up from bed in any way successful for this same reason. The sensation of being entirely in the power of this evil being, or beings was really horrible, and it felt as if it lasted for several hours. It was as if somebody held my hands and feet 100% stuck, and I could do absolutely nothing. At the same time it felt as if somebody poked my body relatively hard with his fingers on many different places, and I experienced what I perceived as real physical pain. Although the pain itself was bearable, the utter sense of powerlessness was really horrible. Prior to that I had never in my life experienced anything even remotely similar, and it was definitely totally unlike any dream I had ever had.


Had you spoken to a qualified doctor or psychologist about this, you would have been immediately diagnosed with an occurance of Sleep Paralysis. A relatively common event which many people will experience during their lifetime.

Here, learn a bit more about it.

http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P.html

"Our first stop doesn't always have to be world of the weird."
- Cordelia, Angel.
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revel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 08:46 am
I am just guessing from the account of Job I think satan is put on this earth as sort of to test us. When this world is over then satan and all those who fell under him will be destroyed. (rev)

I realize that it not acceptable to those who don't believe, nevertheless I think that is the Biblical answer.
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au1929
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 08:51 am
Derevon
Just a bad dream. We all have them. Who hasn't awoken after a dream and had problems separating the dream from reality.
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watchmakers guidedog
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 08:56 am
au1929 wrote:
Derevon, Just a bad dream.


You are in fact incorrect.

No, it wasn't Satan. Yes it was related to the dreaming process. However it was actually a malfunction of the brain that occurs from time to time. Effectively it's when the brain wakes up but the body is still asleep (very very simplified explanation).

To those familiar with the disorder, Derevon's description was an exact checklist of the symptoms.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 09:14 am
watchmakers
Malfunction of the brain or not. It is part of the dream sequence. I can remember a time when I dreamt I was being strangled and actually being unable to breath. It woke me up choking and what did I find. I was laying face down and my arm was pressed against my throat and indeed I was being strangled, by my own arm.
Dreams are a response to your thought beliefs or some outside stimulus.
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Wolf ODonnell
 
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Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 10:13 am
Apparently, I can't remember where I read this, but there are supposed to be lots of Satans about. Satan means adversary. It's a job title, just like God is a job title, or more specifically, its a name describing what he is.

Apparently, there are even Satans in Heaven, whose job it is to do some prosecuting on behalf of Heaven.

I think this is where the joke, that lawyers are evil, originally came from.
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Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 12:09 pm
watchmakers guidedog wrote:
Derevon wrote:
taking into consideration the abhorrent state the world is in today.


Which aspect of the abhorrent state were you referring to?

The decreases in violent crime.
The low rate of war.
The condemnation of slavery.
The rise of democracy.
The increased life expectancy.
Reduction of racism.
Increased female rights.

You're going to have to be more specific.


Spiritually, the world is currently in a worse state than ever before. More and more people forsake God in favour of various worldly goals and pleasures. Corruption is commonplace; greed and malice reign in the hearts of men. The world is a lot worse off than people tend to realise.

Quote:
Had you spoken to a qualified doctor or psychologist about this, you would have been immediately diagnosed with an occurance of Sleep Paralysis. A relatively common event which many people will experience during their lifetime.


I'm familiar with the phenomenon, and I have no doubt that's the diagnosis a doctor or psychologist would make. It is of course easy to write off the entire experience as "sleep paralysis" and then just leave it at that, but in the end the term "sleep paralysis" is nothing more than a label put on people experiencing certain symptoms. Nothing is really known about the underlying causes. The human mind is still a very little understood area, and nothing is really known about consciousness itself. Even if the paralysis itself would be entirely natural it does not, of course, in any way rule out the possibility that evil beings could take advantage of such a state. People are of course free to believe whatever they want, but personally I believe there was something more to it than a wholly natural experience, as the sensation of evil, the disturbing images that appeared in my mind etc, felt very much more real than normal dream experiences.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 12:38 pm
Yes, sleep paralysis (e.g., the Old Hag,and Black Cat) are common phenomena, apparently more frequent, almost endemically, in some cultures than othes. I've heard that rural New Foundlanders experience it much more than, say, rural Texans.
But it seems to me that The Devil is an expression of our need for a Manachian dualism. Was God not referred to in the Old Testament as the God of good and evil, and now only the God of good? If, and I emphasize "if", we have an inherent need to conceptualize things in terms of their complementary contrasts (a la Levi Strauss), then it would seem that God, as a conceptual entity, requires Satan, just as ying does yang.
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Gelisgesti
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 02:35 pm
Sleep ... those little slices of death.
How measured is the darkness?
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2005 03:01 pm
Thanks for the poe-try, Ge.

Watch/Dog, I have heard and read of sleep paralysis, and you are right in that the mind is awake but the body has not shaken off the rigor that keeps it from acting out physically when dreaming. There is a similar disorder in which the paralytic phenomenon that keeps most people from moving in concert with the drama of their dreams does not fully engage, or temporarily disengages, allowing the dreamer to move and act out his dream.

Men (it is usually men) in this state have slugged their bed partners, kicked out with great force, or even leapt from the bed and then crashed to the floor trying to catch a forward pass that was tossed to them in a dream. I read in one article that there are certain medications that can help men to whom this happens, but usually the only answer is separate beds.

If there is a god of any kind -- personal or an impersonal "music of the spheres" -- then denial of closeness to or communication with that entity might be a form of hell. One could argue that, if one has not sought the Good in this life or at least sought to discover what Good is, then he might be unprepared to "converse" with the supreme force or could not converse on any meaningful level.
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