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God using Satan and/or demons


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#1 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:40 PM

There are several times in Scripture that God uses Satan or the demons to carry out His purposes. For example, God sends Satan to Job in order to test and purify Job, and there are these:


1kings 22:21-23 "Finally, a spirit came foreward, stood before the Lord and said, "I will entice him.'
"By what means?", the Lord asked.
"'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets," he said.
"You will succeed in enticing him", said the Lord. "Go and do it"
"So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you."

Judges 9:23 - "God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech."

1Samuel 16:14 -" Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him".

also, there is the story of King David being punished for taking a census of Israel - in one telling it is Satan who convinces him to take a census, and in another telling it is God.


just wondering if anyone knew of anymore? and is the angel of death in the Passover account an angel or a demon?

Thanks.

In Christ,

Jesse

#2 Anna Stickles

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:18 PM

Hi Jesse,

There are the angels in Revelation that are carrying out God's punishments, but these are angels not demons.

Bl. Augustine in the City of God has a great deal to say about the influence of the demons in the pagan religion, govt and culture. Elder Thaddeus of Serbia has a great deal to say about the influence of demons in his book "Our Thoughts Determine our Lives". I think to some extent the influence of demons is pretty universal, but in all of these the understanding of this influence is within the context that God can use this too for His own purposes.

The general understanding is that Satan has as much power over man as man gives him, but that even his designs for evil can be turned to good. St Paul tells the Corinthians to turn the disobedient brother over to Satan for his correction so that he will not die.

#3 Alice

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:01 AM

This thread is really confusing me. I thought that God 'allows' the evil one to do harm, tempt, cause trial and/or suffering, etc., but does not 'use' him to do these things. That would imply that God wants to do us harm!!

#4 Kosta

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:03 AM

The best examples of this are cases of seeing demons upon ones deathbed. Unfortunately many mistake this as evidence of toll-houses. St Gregory in his dialogues explains that God sends these demons to scare and bring to remembrance ones sins as a final chance for repentance. The terrified man also influences those gathered at his deathbed especially if the living suffer from the same sins.

#5 IoanC

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:20 AM

Some thoughts. Most often God allows evil spirits to tempt man in order to purify and strengthen him/her. This means that the good Angels lead sort of a strategic battle against demons by allowing them to do certain things to the human soul, for the sole purpose that God may bring good out of it.

Rarely, God does use Angels in order to "punish" (meaning 'destroy', not 'teach') enemies of His or people who are beyond Salvation; but this should be seen as an act of defense from God, having the purpose of stopping evil from proliferation and/or defending His people.

Another way good Angels can punish (as in destroy) a human is by withdrawing their protection from them in such a way that the human still performs evil under the influence of evil spirits, but the way God wants (crafts) it; in this sense, you can say that even evil humans and spirits "do God's will".

#6 Anna Stickles

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:44 AM

This thread is really confusing me. I thought that God 'allows' the evil one to do harm, tempt, cause trial and/or suffering, etc., but does not 'use' him to do these things. That would imply that God wants to do us harm!!


Alice,

As Ioan has noted, when God allows the evil one to tempt someone or harm them, this is not for the purpose of harming them in an eternal sense. Rather God allows temporal pain or suffering or trials in order to bring about the eternal salvation of humanity.

Notice how all of the cases above have to deal with kings or leaders who were proud and self-confident in their own power.

Not that all of them used the humiliation and suffering wisely. David repented, and one can sympathize with Saul's struggles and see that they may have been doing some good, but it seems there was little effect on Ahab or Abimilech, although we do not know how those around them might have been brought to some kind of repentance through this, or really what effect these prophesies might have had on them as they reflected on it on their deathbed. The stories in the Bible leave a lot left unsaid. We can only trust that God knows what he is doing.

At the very least we know that these events have brought about good in as much as later generations have read the story and learned the lesson of how God humiliates the proud.

Edited by Anna Stickles, 24 October 2011 - 12:00 PM.


#7 Forrest Slice

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:14 AM

Well, this is pretty confusing for me as well, but if it takes this to get the job done or get the message across, then we might as well oblige.

I mean, even though God uses some form of evil to test one's character, I still firmly believe that he would not sway it away and make something bad to happen. I mean, it must be well within limits of what God has to offer.




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