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  #21  
Old 03-11-2019, 01:42 PM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

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There are only two references to demons in the OT, both containing the word shedim (plural of shed), and they are Deuteronomy 32:17 and Psalm 106:37, which are pretty close parallels of each other.

The greater context of these two verses shows the following:

- The children of Israel intermingled with heathen nations
- The children of Israel learned about and began to submit themselves to the idols of these heathen nations
- These idols of the heathen nations were the gods of these peoples
- This idolatry to the gods of the heathen nations involved sacrifice, particularly human child sacrifice

The word shed and its plural shedim do not appear to be of Hebrew origin, but seem to either come from Akkadian shedu, referring to a guardian spirit, or from the Assyrian sedim, which typically appeared as bull colossi, or bulls with human heads and large wings:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shedim

https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7700.htm

See below:



For more, read: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/rdas/hd_rdas.htm

When the OT was translated into Greek, the two uses of shedim were both translated as daimonion:

https://biblehub.com/sepd/psalms/106.htm



https://biblehub.com/sepd/deuteronomy/32.htm



This is of course where we get the Latin word daemon, hence "demon" in English.

See:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/demon
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/daemon

The Septuagint translation is interesting because when it was created a couple of centuries prior to the New Testament when the Greek word daimonia did not always refer to some form of sentient, external spirit or god-like being, but sometimes to a force like fate, or even to a completely human, internal ideological possession. A good example of this would be Socrates, as found in Plato's Apology. See here:

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html

Centuries later, Marcus Aurelius frequently used the same word in his Meditations in the same way:

https://modernmythology.net/socrates...s-c5c080641ae5

There, Aurelius claims that every human has a daimonia, all of which come from Zeus.

This is interesting because only a few decades before Aurelius wrote, Jesus spoke to John about Pergamon and the throne of Satan (Revelation 2:13).

This is a reference to a massive altar to Zeus, which is currently on display in the Berlin Museum:



It may be, therefore, that demons such as we've thought of them are not roaming spirits of unknown origin, but rather, of terrible states of mind that people can enter into under the duress of Satan or the Dragon of Revelation, through the spirit of antichrist.

What then manifests isn't a separate, external entity that has infected or invested a person, but rather, a part of that person's human spirit that has become completely possessed by corruption and wicked, like invisible cancer, ostensibly brought about by idolatry and some form of literal or even figurative human sacrifice, the two most common religious experiences of people coming from heathen nations. It is this then, that is cast out or exorcized, just as a tumor is removed from the body.

The reason it seems like a completely separate entity is because the person experiencing the issue has been spiritually split in two (a pretty good way of understanding what the trauma of sin does to someone). James called this di'psuchos, translated as "double-minded". It literally means "two-souled" (James 1:8).

See: https://biblehub.com/greek/1374.htm

This compound phrase can also mean being of "two-selves". One "self" is the one revealed to the world, that passes for normal so as to function in human society, the other "self" is the secret self, possessed of chaos and disorder, carnality, and corruption.

This second "self" manifests under certain circumstances, particularly in the presence of God and His people, and seems like a foreign entity that has invaded the person, when in reality it is merely the second "self" in all of its horrific woe and iniquity coming to the front.

If this is so, when Jesus then exorcizes someone, He casts out of them the pervasive evil present in the second "self" rends that person from the enthralling power of the Dragon by severing the connection to the spirit of antichrist, and then unifies the person's soul, bringing healing, putting that person into a right state of mind.
Very interesting findings. How would you explain: Luke 11:24-26 and Mt. 12.43-45?
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:29 PM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

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Very interesting findings. How would you explain: Luke 11:24-26 and Mt. 12.43-45?
Let me point towards three things off the bat:

1.) Jesus is using the description of the unclean spirit going out then coming back to make a point about the wicked generation He is condemning. Therefore, the message about the unclean spirit is ancillary to the main topic.

2.) Notice that when the unclean spirit comes back with seven spirits worse them himself, he and they just enter right in and make themselves at home, and the last state of the man is worse than the first.

3.) In Hebrew, seven is not just a number but is also the root word for covenant. To covenant oneself was to "seven" oneself.

Just prior to these comments, He said Nineveh and the Queen of the South would rise up in judgment against that generation and condemn it, because, in the first, Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, and at the second, the Queen of the South traveled all the way from Ethiopia to hear Solomon.

And in both cases, someone greater than both Jonah and Solomon was present, and that generation wasn't receiving Him or heeding His words.

Therefore, the last state of that generation was going to end up worse than the first state of that generation, that is when Jesus first confronted it. And of course, the last state of that generation was the Roman sacking of Judah and Jerusalem in 70AD.

The pertinent issue there being that Judah and Jerusalem were supposing themselves to be in covenant with God, but in fact, were not. Rather, Judah and Jerusalem were in league with Rome. Therefore, the seven worse spirits suggest that the covenant made with Rome was going to come back to haunt and finally destroy Judah and Jerusalem. As it did.

Regarding the unclean spirit: Jesus was purging Judah and Jerusalem of its uncleanness before God through His teaching and works. He was "casting out" the devil, so to speak, from the collective conscious of His people at that place and in that era.

And so, for a time afterward, Judah and Jerusalem remained purged, that is, for the next 40 years or so. The Christ-led revival was overpowering the unclean "spirit" that had been in control of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. But eventually, just as Jesus said, eventually that spirit would return, find the land and the generation cleansed, and decide it was time to come back and lay it waste. And so it did.

In a more practical view, have you ever seen someone backslide? The tendency is not just to revert back to a pre-redeemed, but an otherwise equivalent state of sin, but in fact, to go seven times worse into carnal dissolution and debauchery.

Now, if you have someone who was ideologically possessed, but then was delivered by the power of God in Christ, but then falls away and returns to their vomit, the levels of insanity they then descend into far outpace whatever amount of insanity they experienced prior to their deliverance.
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Last edited by votivesoul; 03-12-2019 at 07:32 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-12-2019, 07:39 PM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

In John 8:44, Jesus said those with whom He was speaking were "of their father the devil" (singular, definite article).

This shows that they all had only one sire: the Dragon, Satan.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:17 AM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

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Originally Posted by votivesoul View Post
Let me point towards three things off the bat:

1.) Jesus is using the description of the unclean spirit going out then coming back to make a point about the wicked generation He is condemning. Therefore, the message about the unclean spirit is ancillary to the main topic.

2.) Notice that when the unclean spirit comes back with seven spirits worse them himself, he and they just enter right in and make themselves at home, and the last state of the man is worse than the first.

3.) In Hebrew, seven is not just a number but is also the root word for covenant. To covenant oneself was to "seven" oneself.

Just prior to these comments, He said Nineveh and the Queen of the South would rise up in judgment against that generation and condemn it, because, in the first, Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, and at the second, the Queen of the South traveled all the way from Ethiopia to hear Solomon.

And in both cases, someone greater than both Jonah and Solomon was present, and that generation wasn't receiving Him or heeding His words.

Therefore, the last state of that generation was going to end up worse than the first state of that generation, that is when Jesus first confronted it. And of course, the last state of that generation was the Roman sacking of Judah and Jerusalem in 70AD.

The pertinent issue there being that Judah and Jerusalem were supposing themselves to be in covenant with God, but in fact, were not. Rather, Judah and Jerusalem were in league with Rome. Therefore, the seven worse spirits suggest that the covenant made with Rome was going to come back to haunt and finally destroy Judah and Jerusalem. As it did.

Regarding the unclean spirit: Jesus was purging Judah and Jerusalem of its uncleanness before God through His teaching and works. He was "casting out" the devil, so to speak, from the collective conscious of His people at that place and in that era.

And so, for a time afterward, Judah and Jerusalem remained purged, that is, for the next 40 years or so. The Christ-led revival was overpowering the unclean "spirit" that had been in control of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. But eventually, just as Jesus said, eventually that spirit would return, find the land and the generation cleansed, and decide it was time to come back and lay it waste. And so it did.

In a more practical view, have you ever seen someone backslide? The tendency is not just to revert back to a pre-redeemed, but an otherwise equivalent state of sin, but in fact, to go seven times worse into carnal dissolution and debauchery.

Now, if you have someone who was ideologically possessed, but then was delivered by the power of God in Christ, but then falls away and returns to their vomit, the levels of insanity they then descend into far outpace whatever amount of insanity they experienced prior to their deliverance.
Brother I have learned interesting things in your posts about history. However, I think some of the reasoning you use to connect things are based on pretty weak arguments to establish a new understanding of what demon posses is.

1. That's true in Matthew, but in Luke the context is about demons:
[Luk 11:14 NASB] 14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed.

3. Good point, but I can also say that it is just used to make the point of "one vs many" in the rhetoric, as in here: "[Mat 18:22 NASB] 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." and here: "[Luk 17:4 NASB] 4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

Two instances come to mind of demon posses people that the bible suggests that they had non human powers to perform what they did:

"[Act 19:15-16 NASB] 15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."

"[Act 16:18 NASB, see the whole story] 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment." Regarding this, I definitely don't believe that spirits can control the future unless God allows them, but I can see those evil spirits impressing the people that came to that girl by telling them what they did in secret or they only know. That's how that divination stuff works.

And also, how this second self knew who Jesus was? Jesus casting out the second self that knew who he was?
[Mar 1:23-25 NASB] 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!" 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"

Also here? you see that those second selves seemed to knew something by saying "torment us before time". And they also went to a herd of swine. How can a second self move from the person to a herd of swine? The bible doesn't give a different explanation to this event:
[Mat 8:29-31 NASB] 29 And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" 30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons [began] to entreat Him, saying, "If You [are going to] cast us out, send us into the herd of swine."

Don't you think the Bible here is indicating that those spirits are external entities to the victim, not the victims themselves with a second self?

Regarding James 1:8, the context is lack of faith making you easy movable in one direction or the other in life: [Jas 1:6-8 NASB] 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 [being] a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

You said here: "It may be, therefore, that demons such as we've thought of them are not roaming spirits of unknown origin, but rather, of terrible states of mind that people can enter into under the duress of Satan or the Dragon of Revelation" Doesn't the Bible have already a name for this?
"[Eph 4:18 NASB] 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;" "[Rom 1:28 NASB] 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,"
I think that's the worst state a person can get already by themselves with no help because I can't find in the bible anything worst than that regarding state of mind directly linked to person's own conscious decisions. They start with hardness of heart, and they end with a depraved mind. But I don't see any link in those scriptures between being demon posses and the acts of a depraved mind; or people in that condition always described as demon posses.


Brother, the topic is interesting. I didn't have time to judge every proposition you use in your reasoning, but I hope I brought enough for you to think about.

Last edited by coksiw; 03-13-2019 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:03 PM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

coksiw,

My thoughts shared so far are a work in progress, hence why, as you quoted, I wrote at the conclusion "It may be, therefore..."

Right now, the ideas I've expressed are only "maybe". I am still working through the data. Thanks for bringing up the many examples above. It gives me more to work on.

Peace and God bless,

Aaron
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:20 PM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

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coksiw,

My thoughts shared so far are a work in progress, hence why, as you quoted, I wrote at the conclusion "It may be, therefore..."

Right now, the ideas I've expressed are only "maybe". I am still working through the data. Thanks for bringing up the many examples above. It gives me more to work on.

Peace and God bless,

Aaron
That being said, an initial thought that covers much of your inquiry relates back to what I wrote about the Dragon being the spiritual sire or father of people opposed to Christ.

In Ephesians 2:2, Paul called "the spirit" (singular, definite article) that works in the children of disobedience is the "prince of the power of the air", which is an alias for the Dragon. Just as the Father's Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, the Father of Lies Unholy Spirit is the Spirit of Antichrist.

Therefore, just as we become children of God the Father through the Spirit of Christ, the children of the Devil (that is, the children of disobedience) become his children through the Spirit of Antichrist.

In this way, then, if a secondary, external entity exists within people who are possessed, the "spirit", as it were, being cast out of people by the finger of God, is the Spirit of Antichrist, something I wrote above:

Quote:
...when Jesus then exorcizes someone, He casts out of them the pervasive evil present in the second "self" rends that person from the enthralling power of the Dragon by severing the connection to the spirit of antichrist...
This bears out, I think, with what Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 regarding those who perform lying signs and wonders. The only source of power given to these people is from the Dragon, Satan (again, singular, definite article [in Greek, that is] See: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/2_t...onians/2-9.htm and https://biblehub.com/greek/3588.htm).

This would indicate that the world isn't plagued by hundreds of the thousands of fallen angels/demons running amok all over the place, but rather, simply one pervasive spirit, belonging to the Dragon, with which a person can run afoul, whenever they find themselves opposed to Christ.
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Last edited by votivesoul; 03-16-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:21 PM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

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This would indicate that the world isn't plagued by hundreds of the thousands of fallen angels/demons running amok all over the place, but rather, simply one pervasive spirit, belonging to the Dragon, with which a person can run afoul, whenever they find themselves opposed to Christ.
There are other spirits operating with Satan as described here:

[Eph 6:12 NASB] 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.]

(notice that Paul contrasts of flesh and blood to spiritual forces clarifies that he is referring to spirits and not human governments)


[Rev 12:7, 9 NASB] 7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, ... 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.


I did notice that in many other scriptures you see that the work of the darkness is attributed to one singular spirit, indicating Satan, as you mention. But then I see these other verses indicating that there are many of them, and the stories of devils (and even legion of them) being cast out in the Gospels and so on. The only way I can reconcile all those scriptures is by interpreting the single spirit attribution to just a way of speech pointing the head and mastermind of the darkness. Like when some people when speaking thanks the price of the gas going down to the President and its actions over the economy. But we all know it is not the President alone the one doing it.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:11 AM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

Currently studying the religious history of Galatia and Colossae, as it relates to the first century. We often assume that Paul's polemics repeatedly involve Jewish opponents, whether Pharisees, Hellenists, Gnostics, or (as I indicated in several other threads) Enochite-Essene Jewish cults. One thing I've noticed is a general lack of attention to the wider philosophical milieu of the world in which Paul evangelised and ministered.

My studies are now exploring that angle more specifically. I believe it will shed some light on some issues that have been a bit contentious around here lately.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:24 AM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

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There are other spirits operating with Satan as described here:

[Eph 6:12 NASB] 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.]

(notice that Paul contrasts of flesh and blood to spiritual forces clarifies that he is referring to spirits and not human governments)
Earlier in Ephesians (2:6) Paul wrote that believers sit with Christ in heavenly places (same Greek term as 6:12, i.e. ἐπουρανίοις). Sitting with Christ in these heavenly realms is a symbol of the Lord's authority; in fact, it is a reference to the Psalm 110:1-2 prophecy.

As believers, we are given full authority, the same as Christ's, over Satan. In Colossians 2:15, Paul wrote that Jesus triumphed over the very things listed in Ephesians 6:12. Since and because we sit with Christ on His Father' throne, to say that the listed items in Ephesians 6:12 are devils of a purely spiritual nature is to say that these evil spirits are all amassed in the very place (the heavenly realms) that we as believers sit with Christ, the very place where Jesus went to after He disarmed and overthrew them.

This seems like a very inconsistent Christology. Either He defeated all these things (if they are devils) and so, in Him, have we, or they are still a force to be reckoned with and we as believers have to continually wrestle against them, even though we are also told they were thoroughly thrashed by the Savior.

So, which is it (if these things are devils)?

Quote:
[Rev 12:7, 9 NASB] 7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, ... 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
The angels here referenced are just as likely to be human messengers who have ever attempted to expand the kingdom of the Dragon, that is, Babylon, throughout the earth. See, for example, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

Quote:
I did notice that in many other scriptures you see that the work of the darkness is attributed to one singular spirit, indicating Satan, as you mention. But then I see these other verses indicating that there are many of them, and the stories of devils (and even legion of them) being cast out in the Gospels and so on. The only way I can reconcile all those scriptures is by interpreting the single spirit attribution to just a way of speech pointing the head and mastermind of the darkness. Like when some people when speaking thanks the price of the gas going down to the President and its actions over the economy. But we all know it is not the President alone the one doing it.
I think the problem here is not realizing that heaven and earth are not located in two different locations, as if geographical in nature. When the reality is, heaven is a realm and reality that, albeit invisible in nature, nonetheless, overlays and exists upon, and yet also transcends, the earth.

This is shown by Eden, by the Tabernacle, the Temple, and finally the Church. All are the habitation of God here on earth. After all, you sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus even as you sit on your couch.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:39 PM
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Re: 1st century Jewish sects and Christianity

Brother the word "heaven" is use abstractly in greek to mean anything above the earth, as “cielo” in Spanish.

It can refer to the place where God is as in several verses you described, but also, the place were the stars are as in:
"[1Co 15:40 NASB] 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the [glory] of the earthly is another."
Eph 6:12 is referring to the place where the clouds are (the atmosphere), as we know in what level the devil moves: “in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
EPHESIANS‬ 2:2‬ NASB‬‬

This can be described as the three heavens as suggested in "[2Co 12:2 NASB] 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven." If the third is the one where God is, then the first is where the clouds are (or atmosphere) and the second where the heavenly bodies are (stars, sun, moon).

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