Busting Bible Myths 3 A fallen angel? A horned tempter with a pitchfork?

Busting Bible Myths 3 A fallen angel? A horned tempter with a pitchfork? A powerful, deceitful creature constantly working to undermine God? The source of all evil? It is commonly thought that these are accurate, Biblical descriptions of “Satan” or “the devil”. They are not at all. It is interesting to note that despite all the evil that occurs throughout the story of the Old Testament, the terms “Satan” or “the devil” are barely used. When we do come across them, they mean “adversary” and “false accuser” respectively and are used to refer to either people who oppose God or the man-made idols of the pagan nations around Israel. In the New Testament the terms are used to personify any force that is opposed to God, and again, when we scratch below the surface, we find that those forces are human in origin, not supernatural. God Himself totally excludes the idea of there being a supernatural force in opposition to Him. Bearing in mind that the word “god” simply means “mighty one”, look at these words: “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no god besides Me…” (Isaiah 45 v5, NKJV) The Bible tells us that we humans are the true source of evil in the world. Human nature is a powerful force that is disinclined towards God. Ten minutes observing young children in a nursery will tell you that unless trained otherwise by loving, determined parents and carers, our natural inclinations are selfish. Look at these plain-speaking words from Jeremiah 17 v9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” – or from the Lord Jesus: “…from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within…” (Mark 7 v21-23) Jesus is categoric: the source of these evils is “the heart” – our own nature. “…each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires…” (James 1 v14). The good news is that the Lord Jesus overcame human nature and that by association with him, we too can share in his victory and be one day made like him – free from temptation and failure and empowered to remove all evil from the earth. pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.com

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