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God made the devil powerless - what is meaning of this phrase ?


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#1 Lakis Papas

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:09 AM

After the second coming of Christ a restoration of human nature will take place, but not a restoration of human will. Everyone would gain immortality, all bodies will be resurrected in new state, but the will of each individual man will be preserved as it was before.


According to Church Fathers, after the future judgement, every evil spirit will become idle. Thus, evil spirits and evil men will be given eternal existence but with no capability to perform any evil.


The priest says during the funeral service: "O God of spirits, and of all flesh, You have trampled death and made the devil powerless, and have given life to Your world". In the original Greek text the phrase "made the devil powerless" is: "τόν δέ διάβολον καταργήσας". The meaning of Greek text is: "you made the devil an idle being".

I have two questions:


1) Is this idleness a natural state? Is this new state of becoming unable to perform evil (this powerless state) an aftereffect of restoration of human nature? Is it caused by the confrontation of evil with God's mighty power? Is this state of idleness something that is only describing operation of being in relation to others?


2) After the future judgement, while being unable to perform any evil, what will evil men and evil spirits do? I understand that, at that time, the angels and men of God will worship God. But at the same time devil spirits and evil men will be incapable to perform according to their wicked will. What else will be left for them to perform while being unable to act according to their yearning?

#2 Ilaria

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

An interesting comment on the Parable of the rich man and Lazarus that I've heard: the rich man changed after death; while he was on earth, he did not notice 'the other', his conscience was altered; now, his conscience is restored (but, unfortunately - too late!) - now he 'sees'; that's why he did not try to justify, or pretend..now, he knows.
Also, the fathers who have had some visions describe those in hell as feeling sorry for what brought them there.
So, at least for the evil men, I think it is not the fact they become idle, but aware.

#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

Mind you, he thinks of himself first and only about his brothers when there was nothing to be done for him. Interesting that the rich man went to hades; of course the parable is a parable, but would he have been freed when hades was despoiled by Christ?

#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:51 PM

Thanks for the answers.

I think that "feeling sorry" in hell is not an action. I think that Church Fathers do not consider feelings as actions.

Being in paradise is a "sabbatical" where human mind and human energies are silenced.

Being in hell is not a "sabbatical". I think it is neither a state of mind.

Edited by Fr Raphael Vereshack, 06 November 2012 - 01:58 PM.
removed formatting tags


#5 Kosta

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:17 AM

Evil is neutralized. In the parable mentioned above the beggar Lazarus is no longer aware of his adversary. Evil becomes inert.




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