The Origin of the Presence of Satan

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The Origin of the Presence of Satan The United Press International stated that on October 11, 1978, a father "kept his daughter, Tina Ann, 10, imprisoned in a 3 foot by 4 foot closet in [his small, white frame house] while he slowly beat her to death. He buried her under a dilapidated shed at the rear of the house and the family left town several months later." In another horrid scenario, the UPI reported that on January 1, 1980, "Thai pirates held 121 Vietnamese women and children captive on a deserted jungle island for seven days, raping them and hunting them down like animals . . . One eight-year- old little girl was raped by 100 different men . . . The pirates took as much pleasure in the hunt as in the capture (Russell, Tradition 15-16)." Acts of pure evil exist and cannot be explained except to say that an unearthly presence tempts and consumes the lives of people to encourage them to perform such wickedness. Satan's presence has been known about since the beginning of mankind and lures one away from God. First, a few assumptions must be clarified. One must assume that God is omnipotent, all- knowing, and all-good. God allows evil to occur in the world because suffering tests the soul and instructs one in time of hardship; this allows one to mature. Sin is punishable by suffering and evil is the direct result of sin; sin occurs because of the Lord's gift of free will (Russell, Tradition 17). Evil is produced because humans turn away from everlasting good in favor of temporary and "passing pleasures" of the flesh (Russell, Tradition 206). This imperfection is vigorously tested by Satan. Job 2:1-3 says, "One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered the Lord, 'From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it (Metzger 627).'" This establishes Satan's entrapment and banishment to the earth as commanded by God (Russell, Prince 37). The Devil is created by God and is without question inferior to him (Russell, Tradition 67). Revelation 12:7-9 says, "And a war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world - he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him (Metzger 376)." Satan was the highest of all the angels, but he was cast down because he envied the Lord. The Devil was "the first cause of evil, . . . the cause of every individual sin as well, encouraging individuals to despair and nations to warfare." Satan, in turn, exacted revenged upon Adam and Eve by causing them to sin. Satan was given power over the earthly world by God; this allows for such occurrences such as natural disasters and mental depression. The Devil exists and thrives on those who sin because they become servants of Satan (Russell, World 40). However, even though "The Devil's power remains 'as big as the world, as wide as the world, and he extends from heaven down to hell,'" his power cannot ascend any further than the Lord allows. An old hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," establishes this idea: "A mighty fortress is our God, A good weapon and defense; He helps us in every need That befalls us. The old, evil enemy Is determined to get us; He makes his cruel plans With great might and cruel cunning; Nothing on earth is like him. . . . But if the wild world were full of devils Eager to swallow us, We would not fear. For we should still be saved. The prince of this world, No matter how fierce he claims to be, Can do us no harm; His power is under judgment One little word can fell him (Russell, World 43)." Matthew 16: 23 says, ". . . Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things (Metzger 25)." One's timeless defense against Satan is the power of Jesus Christ. Another revival of the presence of Satan came during the "witch craze" of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Protestant Reformation produced a knowledge and fear of the Devil. Ideas of magic and science were on the rise while many Christian morals were put on the back burner (Russell, World 30). This is because many people were looking so hard for the presence of evil that they were soon consumed by the same evil they were trying to decimate. Due to times such as these, Satan became ever-present, and his opportunities to possess lives increased dramatically. Satan's power and knowledge are given by God and also limited by him. The theory of evil is personified through the Devil. He is a conglomeration of evil, not just an inferior demon. He is the manipulator of evil itself (Russell, Tradition 23). The Devil introduces himself personally: as there is a "God experience" there is also a "Devil experience (Russell, Tradition 24)." In the Christian religion, the Devil plays the counterpart of Jesus Christ. "The prince of evil tries to lure us out of the army of light into that of darkness and so lose us to the kingdom of God (Russell, Tradition 39)." He has incredible power, but this power is always regulated by the Lord (Russell, Tradition 32). ". . . The Devil, or Satan, is an 'obstructor' of the will of the good Lord." Satan's primary function is to produce the feeling of "My will, not yours, be done (Russell, Tradition 25)." Satan's most powerful weapon is temptation, as first documented by the Bible. He will continually agitate people to try to get them to sin. Luke 8:12 says, "The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved (Metzger 92)." 1 Corinthians 7:5 states, "Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (Metzger 235)." Satan went so far as to tempt his prime adversary, Jesus Christ (Russell, Tradition 27). Luke 4:2 says, " . . . for forty days he [Jesus] was tempted by the Devil (Metzger 83)." Although Satan was unsuccessful in his attempt of tempting Jesus Christ, this shows the Devil's extreme reliance and confidence in the power of temptation. Through the choice of free will, sin and evil occurs. Satan is ever-present to exploit the imperfect human. As long as sin exists, then Satan exists. To eliminate sin is to eliminate the Devil. Let it be known: "The devil is not a principle; the Devil does not limit God's power; the Devil is a creature; the Devil is permitted by God to function; the Devil has some purpose in the cosmos that we cannot grasp; the Devil is God's enemy and our enemy and must be resisted with all our strength (Russell, Tradition 230)." Criticism on the authors and books Professor Elaine

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