Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Question about Judas

I have been following some discussion about Judas on two blogs that are both in my sidebar, From the Head of the Moor and Free Grace Theology. I was talking to my husband, John about this today. Was Judas ever a true believer? I do not think he ever believed in Christ for anything personal. I think he was looking for something other than a Savior.

That aside, we started talking about how Judas had remorse after he betrayed Jesus. That got me to thinking:

What was the motivation of Judas in betraying Jesus?

I know the Scripture says that Satan entered into him, but still, we know that when a free moral agent, a human being, turns to do something, there is a motivation within their own person. In other words, God may give someone over to commit an act, but it is not without that person's own sinful personal motivation. We are not puppets.

SO - What do you think was the motivation for Judas? I have always thought it was simply greed, but John threw out some other ideas. Do you have any ideas or Scripture references that would shed any light on that? It is just something I have not thought about a lot and I am thinking that maybe some of you have.

I am by no means finished with the series on parables, but I am a little sidetracked at the moment - a bit busy. Soon I will do the next post.

45 Comments:

  • I see no reason to doubt it was greed.

    The desire to give Judas a sympathetic hearing arises from a tendency to be suspicous of the 'official story' and a tendency to sympathize with the underdog.

    "The love of money is the root of all evil."

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/12/2006 12:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose.

    DF said, The desire to give Judas a sympathetic hearing arises from a tendency to be [suspicious] of the 'official story' and a tendency to sympathize with the underdog.

    DF everyone knows that it is because of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar!

    BTW the ideas we were discussing this morning were thoughts from a Roman Catholic friend of mine.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 7/12/2006 2:41 PM  

  • I am afraid I have never seen that musical. It does sound pretty awful, however.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/12/2006 2:53 PM  

  • Hi Matthew,
    I don't know if "sympathetic hearing" is necessarily what I had in mind. I was just thinking that it is sort of unspecified what his reason was. Does it say he hated Jesus? Did he think that Jesus was not the real Messiah and he wanted to stop him? etc. etc.

    John,
    Ha ha! You would bring up JCS. :~) Thanks for unplugging the gutter? :~) nag nag nag

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/12/2006 2:54 PM  

  • Well, we are not told any of those things, but we are told that he stole money. I think there is a pattern there.

    Likewise, Balaam loved the wages of righteousness. And Gehazi like his earthly rewards too.

    Even Satan loved his heavenly wealth:

    Ezekiel 28
    13 "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

    14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

    15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

    16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

    17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee"

    "The love of money is the root of all evil."

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/12/2006 3:06 PM  

  • I think it was self-promotion, status, greed, motivated by "love of self" (sin) ;~).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 7/12/2006 4:24 PM  

  • It may be self-promotion, status, greed, motivated by "love of self" (sin) ;~) or even self-preservation. Here is the idea Rose and I discussed:

    PERHAPS Judas wanted to force the hand of God and His Christ (Jesus) to begin the "kingdom" for the reasons Bobby articulated that is a possible motive for going to the authorities in the first place.

    His logic may have gone something like this; Take the authorities to the Christ and Christ will win the day. When Jesus didn't put up a fight, Judas was caught as a deer in the headlights! Startled and shocked he was overcome with remorse, because he now realized what he had done was wrong.

    Yet instead of repenting (turning to) Christ, he went to the religious leaders and tried to undo the wrong he now realized he did, trying to force God's hand.

    Unable to gain satisfaction in his false (works oriented) religion, he went to his own place, again, instead of turning to Christ (repenting).

    We were not talking about poor old Judas, so long Judas; we are all going to miss our good friend Judas who really did mean well!

    DF, JCS was a popular 1970’s Rock Opera and it did seem to sympathize with Judas.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 7/12/2006 5:01 PM  

  • I think there have been some good and valid points mentioned here.

    I can see where Judas would receive the underdog status.

    However, we are told explicity in scripture that Judas was marked out for this purpose. So his motivations to me seem to be of second importance.

    Were it not for God's mercy, we could surely say; "There go I but for the grace of God".

    By Blogger Jim, at 7/12/2006 5:40 PM  

  • I also thought of the mention the Bible makes of Judas stealing money that was meant for the poor, so I am in agreement with Matthew. I do think greed was the motivation.

    My question is why did he feel remorse? Did he feel remorse because his greed led him to betray the Messiah or was it because his greed led him to betray his innocent friend?

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at 7/12/2006 5:48 PM  

  • Or was it because he was a genuine believer, as most of us (myself included) would rebuff?

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 7/12/2006 6:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think it’s obvious that greed motivated Judas, and that it showed itself in especially ‘opportune’ moments, which displays another element of weakness within his character. But you asked for some Scriptural references, so here are some insights from the Messianic prophecy – through Jesus’ own eyes – to help round out the Judas profile:

    12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him.
    13 But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance.
    14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.
    15 Let death seize them; let them go down alive into hell, for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them . . . .
    20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has broken his covenant.
    21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords . . . .
    23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You.
    (Ps 55:12-23)

    6 Set a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand .
    7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer become sin.
    8 Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
    9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. . . .
    11 Let the creditor seize all that he has, and let strangers plunder his labor . . . .
    16 Because he did not remember to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
    17 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; as he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.
    18 As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, so let it enter his body like water, and like oil into his bones.
    19 Let it be to him like the garment which covers him, and for a belt with which he girds himself continually.
    20 Let this be the LORD'S reward to my accusers, and to those who speak evil against my person . . . .
    (Ps 109:6-11-20)

    Taking all of this together, we see a man who was very unstable in his character, capable of warming up to Jesus at times, being worthy of His trust, and even being called ‘his own familiar friend’ (Ps 41:9). But something else in his character was weak and despicable in times of temptation, and turned to a completely selfish focus. This would also be a very short-sighted, even cruel focus. I would venture to say he was motivated by emotions far more extensively than he was by logic which, in the Scriptures, is the trademark of a foolish person (Prov 28:26-27). I think we've all met one or two 'Christians' who were very similar to this.

    Judas appears again in the Old Testament prophecy during the anointing at Bethany (Psalm 23:5), and at the last supper in which, yes, he even partook of the Lord’s supper before betraying Him moments later (Ps 41:9). This is not to say that he was saved, but he did partake of the elements of the covenant and was later rejected, in a manner similar to Esau:

    “For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
    (Heb 12:17)

    Hope this has provided some food for thought.

    Loren

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 7/13/2006 2:08 AM  

  • Cleopas, not everyone agrees that he shared in the Lord's Supper. It is a point of contention among commentators.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/13/2006 4:11 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger loren, at 7/13/2006 9:02 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    Yes, I know it's been contentious. But the I think the facts of the gospel point to it's being so, and in fact the Old Testament foretold that it would happen (Ps 41:9).

    Not many people are familiar with that prophecy and its application(though Jesus quoted it in that context -- John 13:18). And by the way, this timing would also mean that Jesus washed Judas' feet at the last supper: another shocker for many, I'm sure.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 7/13/2006 9:04 AM  

  • Hi Rose


    Ezekiel 28 is clearly talking about Satan. So if we look at Judas we find the same pattern. He know that he is doing wrong and he will not repent. I'm sure that Judas was told by Jesus in his studys what was right and wrong


    2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

    3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:

    4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:

    5 By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

    Thanks You
    Doug

    By Blogger forgiven, at 7/13/2006 1:49 PM  

  • Matthew,
    Thanks for that contribution.

    Bobby,
    Ah, yes, sin, love of self.

    J. Wendell,
    It is fun discussing things with you. Thanks for participating on my blog!

    Hi Jim,
    I can't get my mind around "marked out for this purpose." I guess that is because I am temporal and He is eternal. I do know that if Judas is punished for what he did, then Judas is responsible for doing it ... for whatever reason he chose to. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/13/2006 2:05 PM  

  • Hello Angie,
    That is kind of what made John and I start talking about it. Why was he remorseful? Was it for one of the reasons that you mentioned ... or because he was possessed by the devil and then, when the devil left him, he realized what he had done was so wrong? If it was purely greed, why didn't he just take the money and run? I don't really get Judas.

    Cleopas,
    I saw that appearnace "Loren" made and was so dissapointed that he was deleted.
    As usual, you have provided food for thought. I think you are right - he had an overall unstable character ... a foolish man. Thank you for the passages. I do think it was greed, but I think there was more to it. I am not sure we can absolutely understand this man.

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for coming by! That is also a good Scripture about selfish greed. Bless you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/13/2006 2:18 PM  

  • That Judas gave into his own avarice is a matter of scripture and not debate - he stole from the money purse.

    We aren't therefore speculating on the man's character when we say he was greedy, we are noting that he was already greedy, and speculating on whether this same greed, already present in Judas was the motivation for his actions.

    I don't think any scenario that bypasses the greed of Judas would fly with me; and yet I don't think it was solely his greed at work here. We do read that Satan entered into him - and that was certainly a factor. Not that Satan made him greedy - but that Satan exploited Judas' greed.

    I think (as John mentioned) that Judas was quite surprized at the turn of events. Clearly, he wasn't expecting the Christ to go meekly like a lamb to the slaugther. I think Judas felt Christ would slip through their hands as he had every other time before - and Judas, would have been a few silvers richer for it.

    That is, I believe that Judas believed that Jesus was the Christ, the son of God - I believe he was counting on it.

    But I don't think Judas was saved.

    I do believe the eleven were saved already though (Christ called them "clean"). I believe that salvation didn't begin at the cross - that is, that people were saved in the OT - they just weren't born again.

    Anyway - Greed for sure, and remorse because it all blew up in his face, the moment his "cash cow" decided to lay down his life for mankind, not only that - I think when he understood what he had really done - he understood that it was very, very, bad - and John's description of him trying to make it right is just perfect.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/13/2006 3:38 PM  

  • John - I was going to lace my post with "what's the buzz" and "I only want to say" - and perhaps just one reference to Christ as an "innocent 'pup..pet'" etc. to make it more fun, but I thought the audience-in-the-know would be pretty limited. ;-)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/13/2006 3:42 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/13/2006 3:43 PM  

  • Rose~, I do not agree with your view that Satan posessed Judas.

    Satan is an angel. Angels have bodies and therefore cannot posees people. The Bible never speaks of anyone being posessed by an angel.

    Satan's entering Judas was in the same manner of what we read of Ananias:

    "Why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie against the Holy Ghost."

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/13/2006 3:44 PM  

  • NO! WAIT! We need a more per-men-nent soo-lution to our prob-lem!

    Daniel, you said, "I do believe the eleven were saved already though (Christ called them "clean"). I believe that salvation didn't begin at the cross - that is, that people were saved in the OT - they just weren't born again."

    This is sound reasoning, I am encouraged. Thank you so much for that!

    It's also funny that music comes right back.

    BTW Hi Rose. Now I gotta go!

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 7/13/2006 4:09 PM  

  • Judas could not see the Son of God at the cross. Everyone taunted Jesus with...If you are the son of God, come down from there. The cross is the fulcrum. They could not see the Son of God at the cross. So they could not see their need. Judas could not see his need of the cross. In confusion He said, "I have betrayed innocent blood", not the "Son of the living God." Anyone that cannot see the cross cannot see their own need. Judas went to his own place, if he had looked to the cross as the serpent lifted up in the wilderness, then he too would have been healed. "The cross...the cross....the cross. If a man not look to the cross, it would be better if he had never been born." I remember Spurgeon saying something like that once.

    Don't look to your emotions...don't look to your own feelings of repentance or remorse. Do not try to measure yourself by the standard of Judas or Judas you will be. There is Judas in all of us...he was a human being full of sin with a greedy adulterous heart, but he did not look to the Cross! Look to the cross. Look to the cross! Look to the cross! Look to the cross! Look to the cross! In faith look to the cross and there you will behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world and there it is you will rest and repentance will break forth in baby steps. IT IS FINISHED! Look to the cross.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 7/13/2006 8:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    Interesting post.

    I agree with many points. [It is interesting that Bobby would bring his "love of self" into the discussion with a ;) ]

    I think disappointment would have been a factor for Judas as well. His expectations for following Jesus were not being realized; this was his way of getting back at Jesus, I suppose, in a sense, for not fulfilling his hopes in Him. This was the time of his definitive departure, on to different pastures.

    It is also intersting that Daniel would say this, which is a jab considering the discussions going around lately.

    Daniel says:
    ----------
    That is, I believe that Judas believed that Jesus was the Christ, the son of God - I believe he was counting on it.

    But I don't think Judas was saved.
    ----------

    Well, then Daniel, you call the Apostle John a liar:

    John 20:31
    31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
    NKJV

    1 John 5:1
    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God
    NKJV

    This is just one of the many paradoxes of Traditionalism -- Judas: the unbelieving believer.

    It just goes to show you the craftiness of Traditionalism -- faith is most definitely NOT enough. As per Daniel's interpretation of the parable of the sower, FRUIT is necessary, or hell is certain.

    This bear fruit or burn theology is the pied piper lulling unsuspecting souls back to Rome.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 7/13/2006 11:25 PM  

  • There are some excellent comments here. I think the answers are well said and reasonable.

    Rose, perhaps I did overlook the prime motivation too much. My point being that each one of us is capable of the same devious actions were it not for the grace of God in our lives.

    I don't think the other 11 had any reason to boast in their righteousness or lack of sin.

    So Judas got what he deserved and we didn't. Praise God for His mercy.

    By Blogger Jim, at 7/14/2006 12:04 AM  

  • i never really thought about this but i guess it could have been greed, maybe jealousy... i've always thought it was just weakness.

    By Blogger Nunzia, at 7/14/2006 10:45 AM  

  • Antonio,

    There have to be different depths of belief though don't there?

    After all I once believed Jesus was the Son of God at the same time I believed I could have my sins cleansed from confessing them to a priest.

    You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 1:19

    My mind is clearer now...at last all to well I can see where we all soon will be.........

    By Anonymous Still Just a Bill, at 7/14/2006 12:26 PM  

  • Still just a bill,

    I would say that there are different things people believe in.

    The gospel promise of Jesus says:

    "Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life" (John 6:47). Jesus here guarantees eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

    If one takes Jesus at His word according to this promise, he has exercised saving faith.

    Many people believe many different things about Jesus that are not salvific.

    Roman Catholics have some solid Christology. But there is but one issue before man with regards to his eternal destiny:

    Do they believe the promise of Jesus where He guarantees eternal life to the believer?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 7/14/2006 7:11 PM  

  • Good point Jim.

    One could say that all of us are behaving like Judas in trying to control the Son of God so that we can prove our pet theology and vindicate ourselves.

    Still the command of John the Baptist rings true:

    Behold!

    Behold!

    Behold!

    The lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. he is free to all who are willing to receive him....At the cross. You can receive him nowhere else except at the cross. This is where your need is met and the lamb of God becomes your sin bearer. Everyone needs to be healed here.

    "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuels vein. And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains"

    Brother Harold Sightlers favorite hymn.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 7/14/2006 7:31 PM  

  • By the way...Behold means to have your undivided attention. It is the word used when Jesus beheld the rich young ruler and loved him.

    Jesus listened to him in loved.

    John cries out for us to Behold the Lamb of God as our only hope.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 7/14/2006 7:36 PM  

  • I think it was greed.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 7/14/2006 11:38 PM  

  • Hi Daniel,
    I like a lot of what you have to say here. I never thought about the possibility that Judas was counting on Christ to "slip through their fingers" again, but that really makes sense. Thanks! I am not so sure he really had been convinced about Jesus being the personal Messiah of individuals, like himself. That is where perhaps you and I would disagree.

    Matthew,
    I am a little confused. Aren't demons fallen angels? People can be possessed by demons, right?
    You are probably right about the meaning of "Satan entered into him" though - I was probably too hasty in saying that he was possessed by Satan, but I do think it is a possibilty ... "Satan entered into him..."

    Bhedr,
    Thanks for your thoughts on the cross.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/15/2006 10:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    Thanks for your visit. I do think there is a difference in believing that Jesus is the conquering Messiah - come to free your people from the chains of occupying oppression - and belieeivng that He is your own personal Savour, which is the difference, I believe, between Judas' "faith" and saving faith.

    I laughed out loud when I read this:

    This is just one of the many paradoxes of Traditionalism -- Judas: the unbelieving believer.

    I think I remember that being said of FG theology!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/15/2006 10:05 AM  

  • Rose~, where does the Bible say that unclean spirits are fallen angels?

    Read some of the Bible's descriptions of angels and then read the stories in the Gospels about devils. See any similarity?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/15/2006 10:38 AM  

  • Hi Nunzia,
    Thanks for your visit!

    Bill,
    an interesting comment from you....
    I think what Antonio said is good, people believe many things. I, like you was RC. They believe manyu things about Jesus (although I personally disavowed all of it) but they don't believe that Jesus has completed the work of salvation. They believe they must add to Jesus work, and repeat it over and over, in order to be saved. I think that is the main difference between the fundamental truth of the gospel and mere religion.

    Hi Shawn,
    Certainly greed was the main sin that was exploited and made manifest in his actions. Good to see you!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/15/2006 10:57 AM  

  • Thanks, DF, I will do that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/15/2006 10:58 AM  

  • I think Shawn that it is also a lesson that shows us how far greed can drive us if we do not see it and turn looking to the cross.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 7/15/2006 11:23 AM  

  • Hi Rose and thanks...

    You said>I am not so sure he really had been convinced about Jesus being the personal Messiah of individuals, like himself. That is where perhaps you and I would disagree<

    and that is where you and I would agree.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 7/15/2006 11:25 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Just wanted to butt in with a little about angels and demons. Demons are fallen angels, which may be seen in Revelation 12:3-4 (Compare to Rev 1:20 for the interpretation), and which Jesus made clear reference to in Matthew 25:41.

    Thus angels are spirits (Hebrews 1:7) and so are demons, which are alternately referred to as ‘unclean spirits’ in at least 20 passages. It is overly simplistic to conclude that spirits, because they are spirits, can have no bodily form. For example, the Holy Spirit appeared in the bodily form of a dove (Luke 3:22); and in a broader sense it is evident that angels, which are spirits, have a bodily form of their own.

    Therefore unclean spirits can enter an unsaved person, despite having a bodily form, since the substance of their form is spirit. It is plainly stated that Satan entered Judas Iscariot, for example (Luke 22:3; John 13:27).

    Nowadays, an entire ‘mythology’ has emerged in the church (especially in Charismatic circles), about demons and spiritual warfare. It really worries me because so many Christians will affirm these ‘urban legends’ when they are actually in some pretty serious error. In addressing this situation, I once did a series that might be helpful, which you can find by clicking here.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 7/15/2006 5:32 PM  

  • Cleopas, the Bible nowhere states that unclean spirits are fallen angels.

    There are fallen angles, but these dwell in heaven, not on earth.

    It seems highly doubtful that a being with a body of its own would have the driven need displayed by demons to posess another's body.

    The early Church Fathers taught that devils were the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim. There are hints in the Bible that support this, though it is not certain.

    This seems the most credible explanation for the origin of devils.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/16/2006 9:26 AM  

  • I agree with Matthew.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 7/16/2006 10:21 AM  

  • Acts 2:23 "This man was handed over to you by God's predetermined plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross."

    Acts 4:27-28 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."

    God's predetermined plan also had in mind Judas' betrayal with his greed. I brought that up as I wanted to state one reason we need to not spend alot of time reconciling it. God is completely sovereign yet Judas in his free will choose the greed. We are not completely free in the sense that we have an autonomous will though I don't believe as the influences of the heart of stone and satan are seen throughout Judas' life.

    I think we will get confused unless we believe both of these. That's why I didn't write much in the first article.

    I bring both of them up to show my views of God's sovereignty and will being seen in why I think is biblical compatibilism

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 7/16/2006 8:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    A response to Matthew and Antonio, if you don't mind.

    In the explanation I gave, I've referred to 27 Scriptures. But you've not quoted even one. And if you've rejected such plain quotations from the Scriptures, why would you believe that the early church 'fathers' had it right instead? Because they came up with something completely different and you've said that you find their case more 'credible'.

    For example, where does the Bible even mentioned the 'Nephilim'? You've said there were 'uncertain hints' to this effect, but you've also called it the 'Most credible' belief. I can only scratch my head at this conclusion and the contrast it forms.

    So let's talk about the church fathers a moment. In the first century church, especially among the Gentiles (Colossae, for example), there was a terrible problem with esoteric, gnostic teachings like the ones you've mentioned. Those early Christians were constantly "intruding into those things which they had not seen, vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, and not holding fast to Christ." (Col 2:18-19).

    Their esoteric knowledge of the spirit realm lead them to many serious errors. For example they had used it to mis-define the Trinity, the role of angels, and the role of demons, in a way that reflected the caste system of their former Greek mythology (Paul responds: Col 2:9, 2:18; 1:13 respectively).

    If your demonology is derived from their traditions, the observations of later generations, or even your own experience, rather than the Bible, you've intruded into the spirit realm in the very manner that Paul described. And when you're doing this to learn more about demons -- you're really asking for it. You'll probably walk away with whatever they intended for you to believe.

    For example, why do you reach the conclusion that demons are 'driven' to inhabit people? Is it based on your presumption that they 'need' a physical body for some reason? Sure, they don't have one, but is there a reason they 'need' one?

    Furthermore you've stated that angels already have a body, so demons cannot be fallen angels because they are still driven by the need for a body. But this, too, rests on a presumption. Where does the Bible say that angels have a physical body?

    "He makes His angels spirits; His ministers a flame of fire."
    (Ps 104:4).

    Your whole case rests on a contrast between angels and demons which simply cannot be sustained. While it is true that angels display a discernable form, this form remains spiritual in substance, and not physical. I've already shown how spirit can exist in a bodily form (as in Luke 3:22).

    Neither angels nor demons have mortal bodies, just spiritual ones, for they are spirit beings. In this sense even angels are contrasted with men who have both natural and spiritual bodies (Job 4:18-19; 1 Cor 15:44).

    You've also said that fallen angels dwell in heaven, not on the earth. Actually they dwell in both places (Job 1:6,7; Rev 12:4,9).

    Here's something for you to think about. Humans can do one thing that angles and demons cannot. Based on the mortality of our physical bodies, we can die. This is an advantage because it allows us to die to what we were held by; to die to our sin that we may live through Christ, which is something that fallen angels wish for but can never do (1 Peter 1:12; Heb 2:16).

    I hope this has been helpful.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 7/16/2006 9:23 PM  

  • Nephilim are mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33. The ESV, NASB and NIV use the Hebrew term instead of translating it "giants" as some of the other translations do.

    I think one could consider the demons in Matthew 8 as having a drive to inhabit a physical body, human or otherwise:
    28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
    29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
    30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
    31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
    32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

    That's my two cents' worth on this. I really have no set view on angels and demons.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at 7/16/2006 10:11 PM  

  • Antonio, it is great to see you commenting on a subject other than Free Grace, important as that is.

    Cleopas,

    The reason I did not refer to the Scriptures you cited is that none of them actually states that demons are fallen angels. You did not give me any argument to refute.

    With regard to possible Scriptural reference to demons as disembodied Nephilim, we have Job 26:

    5 "Dead things are formed from under the waters,
    and the inhabitants thereof."

    Possibly, this refers to the flood and the destruction of th Nephilim there. In which case, the dead things would be demons. I agree this is not conclusive.

    Another possible hint is Isaiah 26:13-14:

    13 O LORD our God,
    other lords besides thee have had dominion over us;
    but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.


    14 "They are dead, they shall not live;
    they are deceased, they shall not rise:
    therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them,
    and made all their memory to perish."

    The dead things here seem to be the false gods themselves, which are devils according to 1 Cor 10:20 are devils.

    We also have some peculiar references to the dead in connection with places of immorality in Proverbs 9:18 and 2:18. The word for dead here is 'Rephaim', which is the name of the giants of Canaan who are probably also the same kind of mostrous being as the Nephilim of Genesis.

    I agree with J.N. Darby that the Early Church Fathers were a 'bin of trash.'

    However, I think their view of devils and angels makes more sense than conventional views.

    Do angels have bodies? Yes.

    1 Cor 15
    39 "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

    40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another."

    Jesus likewise says that we shall be like the angels in the resurrection (Matthew 22:30).

    Angels look like people or animals, they eat and drink and they can have sex. I think they have bodies.

    That they are called spirits is of little significance. People are sometimes referres to in Scripture as souls. Does that mean we have no bodies?

    The Bible is very flexible in the way it uses the word 'spirit.'

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 7/17/2006 3:55 AM  

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