STATEMENT OF BELIEF – ADDENDUM C
Addendum C - satan, devils, and demons
Many modern traditions and Christianity places its belief on the good vs. evil so-called battle of God (YHWH) with one of His created beings called the devil, satan, a demon. This is rubbish but makes a good story and keeps people scared to death, but it also prevents them from searching out for truth. Many people live in constant fear of the devil or satan or of demons. They consider them to be invisible, wicked “spirit” (non-physical) beings. They are held to be responsible for doing untold harm to people and nations. Wars, civil unrest and the progress of evil political ideologies are all considered to be the result of demon or devil activity. They are held to be capable of entering the body or mind of a person, where they can destroy faith, induce bodily sickness or make the person mad. Some believe that demons attach themselves to objects such as books, furniture or jewelry, or live in houses and when misfortune strikes they will dispose hastily of the object suspected of harboring them.
A deliberate and analytical study of the Hebrew Bible’s teaching about demons (or devils) will show that there are no such true entities, or a persona called or named satan. These terms and figurative beings have been developed mostly from the New Testament (NT) Greek Bible writings through man-made “traditions” and the residue of primitive pagan cultures. We should not be involved with such beliefs or to fear them, since they do not exist as a real entity.
From Hebrew, into Aramaic, into English the word “satan” means: an adversary or an opponent; the word can refer to angels (messengers) human or celestial, to men in powerful positions, and yes, even to YHWH (Yahweh the Almighty Sovereign Creator Being). The word satan is not a personal name of anyone, but simply a position one takes, or is placed into by an action.
Demons, Demonic, from the Greek “Diamon” the word means “to demonstrate” in English (to know or to distribute knowledge). Notice the close spelling of the word to English. In the Greek NT writings the word is used mostly for “a bad” spirit or for those distributing “bad” or erroneous knowledge or influence (but not the super natural non-body entity type beings) but factions that come from the mouths (breath, spirit) of ordinary men having mental problems….!
Devil, devilish, from the Greek word “diabolos” it literally comes from two Greek words, dia “through” + bolos “to throw.” This is where we get our English words “dia-meter” and the word “ball” from. In English “diabolos” would literally mean a “through-thrower.” A “through-thrower” is someone like a slanderer, an accuser, or an individual that has the intent to malign someone else. Many times in the NT, the words devil and demon are used indiscriminately by translators, but a “diamon” is not a “diabolos.” These terms are most often references to physical attributes of “bad” or maligned behavior by individuals, and to some that may have physical or mental problems.
In the Old Testament, devils are only mentioned on a few occasions. In every reference there is a connection with a false belief. For example, concerning the unfaithful nation of Israel we read: "They sacrificed to devils not to Aloah (Mighty One), to Alueim (mighty ones) whom they knew not." (Deut. 32:17). Of Israel it was commanded: "They shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils." (Lev. 17:7). Speaking of the unfaithfulness of one of Israel’s kings we read: "He ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made." (2 Chron. 11:15).
According to the Hebrew Bible, pagan gods have no real existence. So the Mighty One of the Bible, Yahweh
-- "the only true Mighty One" – declares "There is no Alueim (Mighty One) else beside Me; a just Power
and a Savior; there is none beside Me. Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am the Mighty One and there is none else." (Isa. 45:21, 22).
Since devils and demons are pagan gods, and have no real existence beyond the craft of man, it follows that they have no existence beyond a physical carved or formed object of worship either! But does not the Bible speak of people being possessed by demons?—Yes it does, but only in a very restricted way:
- Demon possession is not mentioned in the whole of the Hebrew Bible.
- Demon possession is not mentioned in most of the Greek Testament.
- Demon possession occurs only in the Gospels and occasionally in the book of Acts.
A careful examination shows that demon possession in the Gospels and Acts, was a way of speaking about certain types of illness — most often epilepsy (e.g. Matt. 17:15) also for a psychiatric illness (e.g. Mark 5:1– 15) note especially the words “in his right mind" in verse 15. The fact that Yahshua cured people with so called ‘demon possession’ does not mean that he believed that demons had a real existence. Today, we do not believe that people are really affected by the moon when we refer to them (perhaps unkindly), as LUNAtics, neither do we commit ourselves to believing in demons when we refer to a state of confusion as panDEMONium.
There was a reason why demon possession, as an explanation of certain diseases, was so popular in the time of Yahshua. There was a very good reason why Yahshua went along with the idea of demon possession. For those who will take the trouble to find out the facts, there are interesting and exciting discoveries to be made—discoveries which may affect your salvation!
First, and most important is the fact, that the book of Job is a prose narrative, an ancient folk-tale, a novel; it is an ancient Israelite ”Once-upon-a-time Story.” Nothing in the book is an actual fact, it is pure conjecture by the author but a story with a point. The point the story attempts to make is - that even in adversity the faithful man will eventually be rewarded and blessed. The adversary “satan” described in the Hebrew story called Job is a celestial messenger, a created being, an angel (one of many) who only works for Yahweh but never against Him. Chronicles, Job, Psalms, and Zechariah are the only places where such an adversary is mentioned. In each instance, the job description of the adversary is to act as a Prosecutor, or like a District Attorney to accuse in the attempt to show evidence against the defendant. The celestial messenger that has been given the task of being an adversary (a satan) must always obtain permission from Yahweh his Sovereign, the Judge, the Almighty Supreme Power of Creation, in order for him to begin any action or sting operation. It should be understood, that the story of Job is a prose narrative of the ancient wisdom movement in the History of ancient Biblical Israel. To repeat, the book of Job is an ancient Hebrew story, but a story with a point. The story has a message, the message is: “being steadfast will lead one to overcome, and overcoming will in the end bring boundless rewards and blessings even after the face of adversity.” Not everyone however may agree with the message of Job in our present age and in our culture. Who would ever believe that losing your original family can actually be replaced by another? I would not, no matter how much wealth would be added in return. However, in the ancient culture of Israel the point was well made; to be steadfast before Yahweh even when being confronted with adversity !
In the following quotation from the Book of Job please take note of who is doing the talking, as the adversary “satan” asks his Sovereign for permission to conduct a sting operation against Job:
“And Yahweh said unto the adversary (satan), hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth his Sovereign, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause. And the adversary answered Yahweh, and said, skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And Yahweh said unto the adversary, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. (Job 2:3).”
In the above story, the adversary must first get permission from his Sovereign to perform a "sting operation" on Job. The adversary has no power or authority of his own; like a District Attorney who must obtain permission from the Judge for anything he does. Furthermore, the Scriptural text paints this same picture of the adversary when it uses the character of the adversary in what appears to be the end of a court scene. In the following two quotations, the adversary is standing near the accused like the D.A. stands at the end of a court drama on television. “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the messenger (angel) of Yahweh, and the adversary standing at his right hand to accuse him. And Yahweh (the messenger of Yahweh) said unto the adversary," Yahweh rebuke thee, O adversary; even Yahweh that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" (Zechariah 3:1-2).
“Set thou a wicked man over him, and let the adversary stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned, and let his prayer become sin.” (Psalm 109:6-7).
In the Scriptures there are also verses that prove that it is Yahweh, the Almighty Sovereign Creator Power and Ruler of the whole universe, who is responsible for both the good and the bad, and not a devil or some almighty created spirit god of the underworld. In some places, the Adversary as a representative of Yahweh uses Yahweh’s name as his given authority.
“I am Yahweh, and there is none else, there is no Mighty-One beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am Yahweh, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create destruction: I Yahweh do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:5-7).
To believe in a created entity that competes with his own Almighty Sovereign Creator Power Life-Force Essence, and is able to challenge his own Creator, or even develop the power of his own to oppose his own Creator, would be violating everything taught in the Hebrew Bible. There is only one true Almighty Sovereign Creator Power Life-Force Essence in the entire created Universe: Yahweh!
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