Talk:Satan

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Three inquiries

“Here Paul expressly declares, that by one man, and not by a fallen angel, sin entered the world. (Rom 5:12-14)”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 23
“The Jews assert that there were two secretaries [in the court], the one being seated to the right of the judge, who wrote the sentence of not guilty, the other to the left, who wrote the sentence of condemnation.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 60
“The Mehestani, who were disciples of Zoroaster, believed in the immortality of the soul, in rewards and punishments, after death, and in the resurrection of the body; at the time of which resurrection, all the bad would be purged by fire, and associated with the good.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 74
“According to Jahn's account, Zoroaster disciples did not believe in endless punishment. At "the resurrection, all the bad would be purged by fire, and associated with the good" was their belief, and this accords with the opinions of some Christians in the present day.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 75
“The history of the Christian church shows, that many heathen opinions were incorporated with Christianity, and increased from bad to worse, until what was called Christianity, became worse than heathenism itself. The first converts were Jews, and vast multitudes of converts were also made from among the Gentiles. Such continued to retain many of their former false opinions. When Christianity became the religion of the Roman empire, men, formerly heathen priests and philosophers, became teachers in the Christian church, so that it soon became popular, but greatly corrupted.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 92-93
“The highest church [of the Zoroasterians] above all was the fire temple, where the Archimagus resided, which was had in the same veneration with them as the temple of Mecca among the Mahometans, to which every one of that sect thought themselves obliged to make a pilgrimage once in their lives”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 94
“Many a prayer has been made for the downfall of Mahomet and the destruction of Paganism: but who ever heard a prayer made for the destruction of Magianism or the religion of Zoroaster? But why not? Is it not because the creeds of the different [Christian] sects and that of Zoroaster are very similar? From his Lord God the Pope, down to the lowest dissenter, all firmly hold some articles invented by Zoroaster.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 95-96
“It has been alleged that the New Testament speaks more frequently and explicitly about the devil and satan than the Old. Let us see how this matter stands. The term satan occurs third-four times in the Old Testament, and is fifteen times rendered adversary, or by some similar word. But though it occurs thirty-five times in the New Testament, it is not rendered by any word.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 97
“But it is well known, that the words daimon or daimonion, have no reference to that being Christians called the devil, but to demons or dead men deified”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 97-98
“Dr. Campbell says, Dissert. vi. -- "It is a common idiom among the Jews, to put spirit before any quality ascribed to a person, whether it be good or bad, mental or corporeal. Thus the spirit of fear, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of slumber, the spirit of jealousy, are used to express habitual infirmity, which was certainly true of this woman, for she could in no wise lift up herself "for eighteen years." This complaint medical men have called "the rigidity of the back bone." Notice when our Lord restored her, he does not command satan to leave this woman, nor does he rebuke him, but says -- "woman, thou art loosed." Loosed from satan? No, thou art loosed from thine infirmity”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 102
“Well, what satan entered into Judas? I answer, the spirit of opposition to Jesus, the purpose to betray him.
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 104
“What is a remarkable fact, ... satan is never said to have entered into the Jews. And why not? because they had always been a satan or adversary to our Lord.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 105
“What is meant by satan filling the heart, is explained to mean, Ananias conceiving this thing in his heart.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 106
“Compare Col i. 13, where we read of men turned from "the power of darkness". Accordingly some read the passage before us: "to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, even from the power of satan unto God." The darkness of ignorance, superstition, and wickedness, were the satan from which Paul turned men, and this he did by the light of the glorious gospel of Christ.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three Inquiries p. 108
“The term spirit, is often used in Scripture as equivalent to person, or for the person himself.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 108
“At Corinth, prostitution formed a part of the worship of the gods.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 110
“Rev. ii. 24, "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, (as many as have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of satan, as they speak) I will put upon you none other burden." Here again it is only necessary to translate the word satan adversary, and all the idea of a fallen angel disappears. -- The deep things, or depths of satan, are the depths of the adversary. It is said that the Gnostics called their mysteries the deep things of God and the deep things of Bythus. And Lowman calls it the deep arts of deceit and error.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 114
“Mr. Stuart then tell us that "the son of any thing, according to the oriental idiom, may be either what is closely connected with it, dependent on it, like it, the consequence of it, worthy of it, &c." He adds, "every kind of relation or resemblance, whether real or imaginary, every kind of connexion is characterized by calling it the son of that thing to which it stands thus related, or with which it is connected."”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 125
“The Jews had been "murderous persons" from the beginning of the gospel dispensation. From our Lord's birth to his death they sought to slay him.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 127
“The law is expressly said to have been the accuser of the Jews, John v. 45-47.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 135
“But, are our orthodox brethren aware, that their faith in the devil influencing men to sin, militates against the doctrine of total depravity? What need is there of such a being's assistance? Total depravity is sufficient without him to produce all manner of wickedness. If men would be less wicked, without the devil's influence, they they are not so bad but he can make them worse: and who can tell but they might all be very good if he would only let them alone.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 145
“What is not understood and believed, is little regarded, soon forgotten, and easily parted with; especially if public prejudice be against it.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 157
“"It was the opinion both of the Jews and heathen," says Whitby on this text, "that the air was full of spirits called demons; that from the earth to the firmament all things were full of these companies or rules; and that there was a prince over them who was called the governor of the world, that is, of the darkness of it." This agrees to Zoroaster's angel of darkness, who was considered the author and director of all evil.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 171
“It is a fact, that in every country where the Bible is not known, or not studied where it is known, there superstitious notions have prevailed concerning witches, evil spirits, ghosts, and the devil: and just in proportion as it has been known and studied all such superstitions have gradually been exploded and renounced by the people.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 178
“With most people, reason, common sense, and the Bible, had nothing to do in forming such opinions, but they have been implicitly received by tradition from their fathers. They say they believe in them, but cannot tell why, except that they were so taught, for they have never exercised their reason or studied the Bible to see whether they are true or false. Even when a person determines to examine such opinions, his early prejudices within, and popular opinion without, overawe and deter him from giving free scope to his investigations. We speak here from experience, for these have been powerfully felt in the course of this discussion.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 181
“No scripture writer ever says a word about the devil as the tormentor of any one.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 182
“Error supposes truth, as counterfeit money supposes current, but is it true that every error is a corruption of truth?”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 184
“By such opinions, men's attention has been turned away from the true devil within them, to an invisible, imaginary being, called the devil, without them.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 191
“My object is to examine what is truth, and embrace it whatever it may be, for this only can stand, or be of any real benefit to the human race.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 228
“Christians do not seem to think of any punishment in this life for disobedience to God. No; it is all carried into a future state of existence, and considered to be endless.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 249
“Before the world, signifies before the age, and from the beginning of the world, means from the beginning of the age. If it be asked, what age? The answer is, the age or dispensation of the law of Moses.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 269
“For since Christ sat down on his glorious throne, he has been judging the nations of the world in righteousness, and such of them as would not serve him, he has broken in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 316
“It is concluded by many, that this chapter [Matthew 24,25] contains an account of the end of this world, and the day of judgement. But why is such a conclusion drawn? For certainly, though it speaks of everlasting fire, everlasting punishment, and life eternal, it gives no intimation that these are suffered or enjoyed in another state of existence.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 321
“God must be very merciful to the devil, to excuse him so long a time from eternal misery, yet send all the Sodomites there when he burnt up their city.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 337
“Many people seem to think, that "forever and ever," expresses endless duration, but if duly considered we think it leads to the reverse conclusion, for the very repetition of "forever" implies, that the first forever was of limited duration.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 348-349
“We can sincerely say that we have sought after the truth, and from the love of truth, for this only can stand, when all human devices in religion shall fall. If we have not found the truth, but have embraced error, we hold ourselves in readiness to attend to whatever can be said on the other side. Truth can never suffer by calm, candid discussion, but error shuns the light, deprecates investigation, and is ever ready to cry heresy, and that the church is in danger.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 355
“It is evident, the New Testament writers speak of demons, and of persons being possessed with them, not as a new thing under the sun, but as a popular and common thing, and speak in the common language of the age about them.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 359
“To suppose them real things, evil spirits, is not only contrary to the Scriptures, but admits that they can work something very like miracles, in tormenting mankind.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 362
“The Hebrew word [satyrs] here [Isai. xiii 21] is soir, which some say mean hairy beings [bigfoot].”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 363
“We may also safely conclude, that the Jews before they went to Babylon, had heard of and known something about demons, for they had sacrificed even their sons and daughters to them... But it was not until the Jews had gone to Babylon, that they learned that demons were evil spirits, or regarded them as such.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 364
“The heathen ascribed all good things to their good gods, but evil things to their evil spirits [or gods]. But Job ascribed both to the true God.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 365
“Dr. Campbell observes -- "that it is a common idiom among the Jews to put spirit before any quality ascribed to a person, whether good or bad, mental or corporal thus, the spirit of fear is used to express habitual fear," etc. It is easily perceived from this, that any bad thing might be turned into an evil spirit by connecting the word spirit with it. And this was the ore easily done, if the term spirit was applide to imaginary beings, supposed to do men evil. They were personified, and spoken of as real beings, and were believed by many to have an actual existence, and could do them good or evil.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 366
“It is said by Theophrastus -- "music cures many disorders of the mind and body - such as faintings, fears, and disorders of the mind."”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 367
“Maimonides observes -- "that the Jews call every sort of melancholy an evil spirit: and explains evil spirit by disease,"”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 368
“Not all whom our Lord cured, were said to be possessed with a demon, but only such as were more or less deranged in their minds.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 369
“It is also a fact, which is too much overlooked, that according to the person's degree of insanity, he was supposed to be possessed with the more demons or evil spirits.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 369
“The ancient Jews ascribed to God both the good and the evil things which happened to them... [but] after the Baylonish captivity, the Jews ascribed great and unaccountable evils, such as madness, to the influence of evil spirits [or beings].”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 369
“There is no trace of a belief in the existence of evil spirits even among the Jews, until the Babylonian captivity.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 372
“It is not until the time of the exile, or shortly after it, that we find distinct traces of the doctrine, that there are angles who were once good, but who revolted from God, and are now become wicked themselves, and the authors of the evil in the world.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 372-373
“They led the common people to what was, in effect, a belief in two god - a good and an evil deity; and also to entertain false conceptions of the attributes of the true God”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 373
“They often furnish a real hindrance to moral improvement; for instance; in seeking for the origin of sin in themselves, and endeavoring to stop its sources - instead of becoming acquainted with, and avoiding the external occasions of sin, they laid the whole blame of it upon Satan, and when they had made him guilty, deemed themselves sufficiently justified and exculpated.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 373
“The Jews brought back from their captivity many opinions not found in their sacred books. Their minds were corrupted from their intercourse with the heathen, and when both Jews and heathen were converted to the faith of Christ, many false heathen notions were introduced into the Christian Church, which are not all yet pursed.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 373-374
“Most express are the words of Plato - "every demon is a middle being between God and mortal man"..”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 379
“"God is not approached immediately by man, but all the commerce and intercourse between gods and men, is performed by the mediation of demons."”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 379
“"The region of the air was supposed by the Pythagoreans to be full of spirits, demons, or heroes, who cause sickness or health to man or beast, and communicate at their pleasure, by means of dreams and other instruments of divination, the knowledge of future events."”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 390
“Tertullian - "The subtility and fitness of their [demons] make, enables them to enter into both the body and soul of men."”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 390
“Indeed, all great irregularities in the system of nature, of which raging madness is one, the ancients both heathen and Jews, but especially the latter, were accustomed to attribute to supernatural agency.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 393
“The heathen sent the souls of wicked men to Tartarus after death, and the souls of good men to Elysium... The Jews, and others, sent all good and bad to sheol or hades.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 417
“And pray, what great improvement have modern Christians made on the ancient heathens, for their hell is pretty much the same as theirs.”
—Balfour, Walter, Three inquiries p. 418

Wikipedia

“There are many human conditions thought by many to be demonic possession”
—Wikipedia, Demonic possession

The supposed existence of demons is an important concept in many modern religions and occultist traditions. Demons are still feared as a popular superstition, largely due to their alleged power to possess living creatures.

There are indications that demons in popular Hebrew mythology were believed to come from the nether world. Various diseases and ailments were ascribed to them, particularly those affecting the brain and those of internal nature. Examples include the catalepsy, headache, epilepsy, and nightmares.

Demons supposedly entered the body and caused the disease while overwhelming or "seizing" the victim.

— Wikipedia, Demon

Sir Issac Newton

And there appeared another wonder in heaven, & behold a great red Dragon [the Roman heathen Empire] having seven heads & ten horns & seven crowns upon his heads. This Dragon being the old serpent called the Devil & Satan, is that Devil who hath his seat in Pergamus, that is the Greek empire in the reign of the last horn of Daniel’s He Goat.

The spirits of God of fals Prophets & of Antichrist are [in 1 John 4] plainly taken not for any substantial Spirits but for ye good or evil dispositions & true or fals perswasions of mens minds; & the spirits of all men who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is called in the singular number the spirit of Antichrist, & said to be come into the world as if it were an evil spirit wch was to reign therein & deceive all the followers of Antichrist. And such an evil spirit is the Dragon in the Apocalyps.

By this Devils being cast into the bottomless pit +& shut up, that he should deceive the nations no more for a thousand years you may know that he is the spirit of delusion reigning in the hearts of men & by his being there called the old Serpent you may know that he is that same Serpent wch deceived EFrom this figure of putting serpents for spirits & spirits or Daemons for distempers of ye mind, came ye vulgar opinion of ye Jews & other eastern nations that mad men & lunaticks were possessed with evil spirits or Daemons. Whence Christ seems to have used this language not only as Prophet but also in compliance wth ye Jews way of speaking: so yt when he is said to cast out Devils it cannot be known by this phra those Devils may be nothing but diseases unles it can be proved by the circumstances that they are sp substantial spirits.ve.

If Moses saith: There shall be not be found among you any one that useth divination, or an observer of times, [that is, of days lucky & unlucky,] or an enchanter, or a witch, or a consulter wth familiar spirits, or a wizzard, or a necromancer: for because of these things the Lord thy God doth drive the nations out +from, before thee: ??? +superstitious people, are apt here to understand +by these names, such men & weomen as have a metaphysical power of divining, inchanting, bewitching, conversing with spirits, conjuring, & raising up the souls of the dead: whereas these names are to be understood only in a moral sense for seducers +deceivers,, such as falsly pretend to a power of doing these things and thereby delude the people & seduce them to put their trust in +divinations by, imaginary spirits ghosts & dæmons wch is a superstition tending to idolatry.


Issac Newton and the Devil