Bible Questions and Answers

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Satan is the transliteration of the Hebrew word which means adversary. In the King James Version, the word is translated ‘Satan’ 19 times, ‘adversary’ 7 times, ‘withstand’ 1 time. The Hebrew ‘satan’ can be an adversary for either good or evil.

Satan in the Old Testament is not the ‘fallen angel’ of Christian mythology. The Satan who appears in Job is an adversary to Job, not to God. He obeys God perfectly. He does not tempt Job to sin. God allows him to bring trials upon Job to test his faith. The purpose is to show clearly that trial doesn’t come upon people in this life as a direct punishment for sin.

In the New Testament ‘satan’ is used as a metaphor for the evil that comes from within man. The evil that men do is not a result of an outside tempter. It is always to do with their inner lusts. Jesus makes this plain:

Mark 7:18  So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19  "because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?" 20  And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21  "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22  "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23  "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

James explains the root of the problem:

James 1:14 everyone is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Therefore God can hold people responsible for the evil that they do.

Angels do not sin, neither do they fall. God’s will is done perfectly in heaven, hence the request in the Lord’s prayer:

Matthew 6:10  Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus was tempted in the same way that we are. Satan in his temptation in the wilderness is the personification of his own desires, which Jesus had to overcome.

We are not deceived by some supernatural entity; we are deceived by our own desires and by other people who fail to understand the word of God.

God caused the scriptures to be written so that we might know what God requires of us. The reward he holds out for obedience is everlasting life. But people usually follow their own desires rather than obey God. The punishment for disobedience to God's law is eternal death.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death....

God provided a redeemer by providing a son, Jesus, through Mary, a descendent of Abraham and David. Jesus was born with our nature but did not sin. He gave his life as a sacrifice to redeem those who will believe and obey the gospel preached by Jesus and his apostles.

Romans 6:23 …the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To be ‘in Christ’ we must do the following:

  1. Understand and believe the Gospel.
  2. Repent of our sinful way of life (change the way we live).
  3. Be baptised into Christ by immersion in water for the remission of past sins.
  4. Live a new life by the commandments of Christ found in the New Testament.

After baptism, we cannot live a sinless life, but providing we are making a determined effort to live by his commandments our sins will be forgiven by confession in prayer.

1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we do this we are promised equality with the angels (who cannot sin) and eternal life in the kingdom of God which will be established forever upon the earth.

Our adversary is not a fallen angel, our adversary is our own lusts and the false doctrines invented by men.

We cannot see God while we are in our mortal body, because that would be fatal to our system. God told Moses:

Exodus 33:20 “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."

Paul writes of God:

1 Timothy 6:16 ...who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

‘Satan’ we see each time we look in a mirror.

May I suggest that you read: 

Do You Believe in a Devil? (please click on the title)

Your Share in God’s Promises (please click on the title)

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,