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VerticalReality
Nov 22nd 2009, 04:26 AM
What made the father believe it was a demon?

Moxie
Nov 22nd 2009, 04:27 AM
What scripture are you referring? :)

VerticalReality
Nov 22nd 2009, 04:28 AM
What scripture are you referring? :)

The accounts are found in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9.

Sirus
Nov 22nd 2009, 04:44 AM
the convulsions, sudden cries, rolling around on the ground, foaming at the mouth, casting into fire and water?

no man ever hated his flesh but....

I'm guessing I don't understand the question? :D

VerticalReality
Nov 22nd 2009, 04:55 AM
the convulsions, sudden cries, rolling around on the ground, foaming at the mouth, casting into fire and water?

Why would seeing things such as these make someone believe another person had a demon?

Bladers
Nov 22nd 2009, 05:04 AM
What made the father believe it was a demon?

Its arguable that all Epilepsy and Seizures, even in this modern age is the result of DEVILS!

Mark 9:17-19 ESV
And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.

Matthew 17:14-16 ESV
And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.

(I remember 2-3 years ago, a girl in the back of the bus. Next to where i was sitting. She had a epileptic seizure and it was just as the bible described.)


About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, with almost 90% of these people being in developing countries.
Epilepsy is more likely to occur in young children, or people over the age of 65 years, however it can occur at any time.

THESE ARE COUNTRIES WHERE DEMONS DWELL IN THE MASS!

Moxie
Nov 22nd 2009, 05:05 AM
From their standpoint in that time period, why wouldn't they...they often did not have other medical information as we do today. Another consideration is they were much more in tune with the spiritual rhelm than we are today.

Sirus
Nov 22nd 2009, 05:27 AM
Why would seeing things such as these make someone believe another person had a demon?I can understand what you mean for convulsions, and probably foaming at the mouth, but.....

sudden cries? If it is a sane or normal individual....after the cry....this is where it hurts and why etc....

rolling around on the ground (unless that is the same as convulsions)? Again, a sane or normal individual could maybe explain it away once, right?.....after that?

casting into fire and water? The demon did that. Maybe the boy cried out for help? Nothing is said about his mouth or speech.....or did I miss it?
It says it tare him. Maybe they could physically see that a human could not throw themselves around like that? I've heard of this sort of thing, but have not seen it with my own eyes.

arcadia
Nov 22nd 2009, 05:33 AM
Its arguable that all Epilepsy and Seizures, even in this modern age is the result of DEVILS!

Mark 9:17-19 ESV
And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.

Matthew 17:14-16 ESV
And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.

(I remember 2-3 years ago, a girl in the back of the bus. Next to where i was sitting. She had a epileptic seizure and it was just as the bible described.)


About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, with almost 90% of these people being in developing countries.
Epilepsy is more likely to occur in young children, or people over the age of 65 years, however it can occur at any time.

THESE ARE COUNTRIES WHERE DEMONS DWELL IN THE MASS!

Have you ever seen a demon cast out? I have in China and in Vietnam and in Kamloops. Not a pretty sight. Very ugly. Salvation and freedom in the end is beautiful. There are more demons in the old world then in the new IMHO. Or, perhaps in our country they are more hidden. We as Christ's followers should strive to keep our eyes on Our Saviour as much as possible. God bless all of you. You are all blessed and highly favored. I believe that epilepsy is probably demonic in nature. The person suffering is not to be judged but healed and set free.

VerticalReality
Nov 22nd 2009, 06:06 AM
From their standpoint in that time period, why wouldn't they...they often did not have other medical information as we do today. Another consideration is they were much more in tune with the spiritual rhelm than we are today.

What medical information did the father need?

Steven3
Nov 22nd 2009, 06:30 AM
I should declare an interest in that I've known a Christian die of epilepsy, for lack of medication, and I know she wasn't demon-posessed.

About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, with almost 90% of these people being in developing countries. Epilepsy is more likely to occur in young children, or people over the age of 65 years, however it can occur at any time.THESE ARE COUNTRIES WHERE DEMONS DWELL IN THE MASS!These are also countries without money to buy treatment. But, if that's true, then everyone on this thread who believes it should donate to one of the charities fighting epilepsy in the developing world, in doing so they will be binding demons.

some facts
http://www.epilepsyontario.org/client/EO/EOWeb.nsf/web/Epilepsy+in+Third+World+Countries

http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/

A specific project in Ethiopia needing support:
http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/promising-strategy/epilepsy-support-association-of-ethiopia

Steven3
Nov 22nd 2009, 06:35 AM
Hi Vertical Reality
What made the father believe it was a demon?Would have been difficult for him to get such an idea from the OT Ex.4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? etc. So probably the finger points at the Scribes and Pharisees, since texts like Tobit and Testament of Solomon show that this was common rabbinical teaching in the Second Temple period. Of course one could argue that Jesus by healing the boy without saying anything was confirming the teaching in Tobit and Testament of Solomon etc, but it's still difficult to make compatible with what God said to Moses. At least I don't know a way to make it fit.
God bless
S.

VerticalReality
Nov 22nd 2009, 06:45 AM
Hi Vertical RealityWould have been difficult for him to get such an idea from the OT Ex.4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? etc. So probably the finger points at the Scribes and Pharisees, since texts like Tobit and Testament of Solomon show that this was common rabbinical teaching in the Second Temple period. Of course one could argue that Jesus by healing the boy without saying anything was confirming the teaching in Tobit and Testament of Solomon etc, but it's still difficult to make compatible with what God said to Moses. At least I don't know a way to make it fit.
God bless
S.

Hi Steven . . .

I'm not really following you. What do you mean Jesus healed the boy without saying anything? You mean about the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees?

Regardless, the father was right . . . it was an unclean spirit. I'm just curious why that was the father's thoughts on the matter.

Steven3
Nov 22nd 2009, 07:34 AM
Hi Vertical Reality :)
Hi Steven . . .

I'm not really following you. What do you mean Jesus healed the boy without saying anything? You mean about the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees? Well I mean Jesus could have sat the father of the boy down and done a class comparing Ex.4:11 to Tobit, on why God causes illness in the OT. Although admittedly the OT doesn't specifically list epilepsy as one of God's illnesses. But as it was, Jesus just healed the boy.


Regardless, the father was right . . . it was an unclean spirit. I'm just curious why that was the father's thoughts on the matter.Well as I said, as a first Century Jew the man presumably got his ideas from 1stC Jewish teaching, e.g. like this: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/testamen.htm

4. But the child said to the king: "I pray thee, O king. Listen to what has befallen all that thy child hath. After we are all released from our work on the Temple of God, after sunset, when I lie down to rest, one of the evil demons comes and takes away from me one half of my pay and one half of my food. Then he also takes hold of my right hand and sucks my thumb. And lo, my soul is oppressed, and so my body waxes thinner every day."

etc.

chad
Nov 22nd 2009, 08:40 AM
Wikipedia defines Epilepsy as ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy

Epilepsy (from the Ancient Greek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek) ἐπιληψία epilēpsía) is a common chronic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_%28medicine%29) neurological disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurological_disorder) characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seizure).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-PMID8330566-0)[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-PMID11580774-1)

These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-Fisher2005-2) About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, with almost 90% of these people being in developing countries.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-World_Health_Organization-3)

Epilepsy is more likely to occur in young children, or people over the age of 65 years, however it can occur at any time.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-4) Epilepsy is usually controlled, but not cured, with medication, although surgery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgery) may be considered in difficult cases.

However, over 30% of people with epilepsy do not have seizure control even with the best available medications.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-Cascino_GD_1994_1199.E2.80.931211-5)[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy#cite_note-Engel_J_Jr_1996_647.E2.80.93652-6) Not all epilepsy syndromes are lifelong – some forms are confined to particular stages of childhood.

Epilepsy should not be understood as a single disorder, but rather as syndromic with vastly divergent symptoms but all involving episodic abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

I'm not actually sure myself if Epilepsy is caused by Demons or if it is a mediacal condition resulting from excessive activity in the brain.

VerticalReality
Nov 22nd 2009, 01:59 PM
Hi Vertical Reality :)Well I mean Jesus could have sat the father of the boy down and done a class comparing Ex.4:11 to Tobit, on why God causes illness in the OT. Although admittedly the OT doesn't specifically list epilepsy as one of God's illnesses. But as it was, Jesus just healed the boy.

Well as I said, as a first Century Jew the man presumably got his ideas from 1stC Jewish teaching, e.g. like this: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/testamen.htm

4. But the child said to the king: "I pray thee, O king. Listen to what has befallen all that thy child hath. After we are all released from our work on the Temple of God, after sunset, when I lie down to rest, one of the evil demons comes and takes away from me one half of my pay and one half of my food. Then he also takes hold of my right hand and sucks my thumb. And lo, my soul is oppressed, and so my body waxes thinner every day."

etc.

What do you think about these teachings you think the father may have been basing his judgment on?

Steven3
Nov 22nd 2009, 02:44 PM
Hi VR
What do you think about these teachings you think the father may have been basing his judgment on?I think they contradict what God says to Moses about he, God being in charge of illness and disability. I also think they fall into Paul's category of "Jewish fables" to be avoided. But, they were the norm in the 1stC, so it's reasonable to assume that's the answer to your question. The boy's father certainly didn't get the idea from the OT did he? Where in the OT did a demon ever cause an illness? An evil spirit from God yes (Saul), a demon, no. Sorry I don't have a nice tidy answer, I didn't claim to have :)

Houston Heather
Nov 22nd 2009, 03:17 PM
I will re-state what has been said - DON'T ever go off your medication if you have a condition like this.

Since I have mental illness, and a pretty severe variant - I have had highly uninformed people telling me to go off my medication, fast, and pray. My husband almost had a heart attack. That is absolutely the worst thing I could do - and it would kill me. Probably my husband too - I get pretty scary.

I figure, God put Lithium on the periodic table for a REASON. The fact that my lithium carbonate is NATURALLY occuring, says quite a bit. The fact that my antipsychotic (I'm not kidding - full blown hallucinations and all off the pills) is so affordable is a gift from God.

It is very, very hurtful when uninformed people tell me I am "addicted" to my mood stabilizers (Yes, I enjoy the nausea), I am "In bondage to demons", and "A poor Christian" stating that "A real believer would go off her medication and trust in God to restore her mind".

Absolutely CRIMINAL advice. Very hurtful and downright dangerous.

Sorry to threadjack, but I wanted to bring up that issue.

Bladers
Nov 22nd 2009, 03:48 PM
I'm not actually sure myself if Epilepsy is caused by Demons or if it is a mediacal condition resulting from excessive activity in the brain.

Do you think that Demons can control the brain?
Atleast thats what i get from the biblical account!

BroRog
Nov 22nd 2009, 06:33 PM
I believe those living at the time could tell the difference between a medical problem and demon possession. I don't think anyone had to guess. I'm fairly certain that the Apostles and especially Jesus knew the difference between demon possession and epilepsy, for instance.

I think demon possession was on the decline due to the efforts of Jesus and his Apostles; and I think we have difficulty knowing the difference between demon possession and mental illness because until recently, demon possession was very rare.

Athanasius
Nov 22nd 2009, 06:37 PM
I'm not actually sure myself if Epilepsy is caused by Demons or if it is a mediacal condition resulting from excessive activity in the brain.

Why can't it be both? Or at least in the demonic instance, symptoms similar to cases of epilepsy.

chad
Nov 22nd 2009, 07:50 PM
Yes, it is possible.


Do you think that Demons can control the brain?
Atleast thats what i get from the biblical account!

Desperaux
Nov 22nd 2009, 08:43 PM
Have you ever seen a demon cast out? I have in China and in Vietnam and in Kamloops. Not a pretty sight. Very ugly. Salvation and freedom in the end is beautiful. There are more demons in the old world then in the new IMHO. Or, perhaps in our country they are more hidden. We as Christ's followers should strive to keep our eyes on Our Saviour as much as possible. God bless all of you. You are all blessed and highly favored. I believe that epilepsy is probably demonic in nature. The person suffering is not to be judged but healed and set free.

Let me say this: There are a finite number of demons dispersed throughout the entire world. There are no more here than anywhere. The difference is that the demons in this hemisphere disguise themselves in modern sophistication.

Desperaux
Nov 22nd 2009, 08:48 PM
What made the father believe it was a demon?

Matthew 17:14-18
14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” 17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.


Where does it say that the father identified the boy as demonic? According to the account, he merely brought his son to Jesus for healing.

The other two references to the same story does include in the interaction with Jesus the understanding that there is a demonic presence. I have always thought that the father had no understanding of the demonic presence until the idea was introduced during his interaction with the disciples before Jesus came on the scene.

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 01:18 AM
Hi VRI think they contradict what God says to Moses about he, God being in charge of illness and disability. I also think they fall into Paul's category of "Jewish fables" to be avoided. But, they were the norm in the 1stC, so it's reasonable to assume that's the answer to your question. The boy's father certainly didn't get the idea from the OT did he? Where in the OT did a demon ever cause an illness? An evil spirit from God yes (Saul), a demon, no. Sorry I don't have a nice tidy answer, I didn't claim to have :)

I may just not be understanding you. What's the difference between an evil spirit and a demon? Doesn't the scriptures say that the father's judgment was correct?

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 01:20 AM
I will re-state what has been said - DON'T ever go off your medication if you have a condition like this.

Since I have mental illness, and a pretty severe variant - I have had highly uninformed people telling me to go off my medication, fast, and pray. My husband almost had a heart attack. That is absolutely the worst thing I could do - and it would kill me. Probably my husband too - I get pretty scary.

I figure, God put Lithium on the periodic table for a REASON. The fact that my lithium carbonate is NATURALLY occuring, says quite a bit. The fact that my antipsychotic (I'm not kidding - full blown hallucinations and all off the pills) is so affordable is a gift from God.

It is very, very hurtful when uninformed people tell me I am "addicted" to my mood stabilizers (Yes, I enjoy the nausea), I am "In bondage to demons", and "A poor Christian" stating that "A real believer would go off her medication and trust in God to restore her mind".

Absolutely CRIMINAL advice. Very hurtful and downright dangerous.

Sorry to threadjack, but I wanted to bring up that issue.

I'm sorry for your situation. However, how would you say it relates to why the father of the boy thought there was a demon in his boy?

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 01:23 AM
I believe those living at the time could tell the difference between a medical problem and demon possession. I don't think anyone had to guess. I'm fairly certain that the Apostles and especially Jesus knew the difference between demon possession and epilepsy, for instance.

But the scriptures call the boy epileptic and the unclean spirit being the cause of it. I'm not understanding where you're coming from here.


I think demon possession was on the decline due to the efforts of Jesus and his Apostles; and I think we have difficulty knowing the difference between demon possession and mental illness because until recently, demon possession was very rare.

What makes you believe it was on the decline?

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 01:29 AM
Matthew 17:14-18
14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” 17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.


Where does it say that the father identified the boy as demonic? According to the account, he merely brought his son to Jesus for healing.

The other two references to the same story does include in the interaction with Jesus the understanding that there is a demonic presence. I have always thought that the father had no understanding of the demonic presence until the idea was introduced during his interaction with the disciples before Jesus came on the scene.

Mark 9:17-27
Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

Also . . .

Luke 9:38-42
Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

The Matthew account does not state anything about a spirit from the father. However, in both Mark 9 and Luke 9 the father does understand that it is a spirit that is causing this in his son. You could be right that the disciples informed the man of this, but I'm not sure this wouldn't just be assumption. What I mean is, these people had a knowledge of demonic activity. They didn't need the disciples or even Jesus to educate them on this fact. However, what they didn't understand was authority or how to walk in it.

Steven3
Nov 23rd 2009, 02:58 AM
Hi VR
I may just not be understanding you. What's the difference between an evil spirit and a demon? In the NT nothing. In the OT all mentions of "evil spirit" come from God, but "demons" (in KJV below "devils") are idols (which don't have spirit in them according to Jeremiah 10 etc):

All OT "evil spirit" refs:


Jdg 9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
1Sa 16:16 Let our lord now command thy servants, [which are] before thee, to seek out a man, [who is] a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
1Sa 19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with [his] hand.

All OT "demons" refs. (KJV after LXX)


Lev 17:7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.
Deu 32:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new [gods that] came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
2Ch 11:15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
Psa 106:37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,

All "spirit" (ruakh) + "idol" refs:


Jer 10:14 Every man is brutish in [his] knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image falsehood, and [there is] no breath (spirit, ruakh) in them.
Jer 51:17 Every man is brutish by [his] knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath (spirit, ruakh) in them.
Hab 2:19 Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is [I]no breath (spirit) at all inside it


Doesn't the scriptures say that the father's judgment was correct?Well Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, as he rebuked Peter's mother-in-law's fever. But I don't know that he said "come out" to the fever. Does the scripture say that this boy's father's judgment was correct? There is 1 NT reference, just 1 I think, where Luke records Christ saying "demon" when it hadn't been said by the father/centurion etc. But does the NT ever contradict Ex.4:11 which says God makes men mute, etc.? Not as far as I'm aware.

Ultimately what are we talking about here? I have Christian friends with epilepsy; should I say that the cause is God (as Ex.4:11) or nothing to do with God (as the father of the boy seems to think)?

Should they take medicine or seek an exorcist? The fact is of course exorcism doesn't work. I've seen travelling Christian-charlatan roadshows rip off poor people in India exorcising epilepsy (and asthma, and TB, and you name it). They'd be far better off doing what James said and the church praying over the sick person then anointing with oil (or in modern context the church buying anti-epilepsy drugs for the member or their child).
S


PS - the father also said his son was "moonstruck" (selēniazomai) Matt17:5.... does anyone here belive this is true?

Desperaux
Nov 23rd 2009, 05:36 AM
There is no difference between a demon and an evil spirit. A demon is an evil spirit.

Desperaux
Nov 23rd 2009, 05:39 AM
PS - the father also said his son was "moonstruck" (selēniazomai) Matt17:5.... does anyone here belive this is true?
Matthew 17:15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17:15&version=AMP#en-AMP-23716) Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon: "Epilepsy is supposed to return and increase with the increase of the moon."


It is folklore.

Steven3
Nov 23rd 2009, 06:50 AM
D
Matthew 17:15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17:15&version=AMP#en-AMP-23716) Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon: "Epilepsy is supposed to return and increase with the increase of the moon." It is folklore.Thanks. Yes.
There is no difference between a demon and an evil spirit. A demon is an evil spirit.In NT yes. But if that's true in the OT too, then why in the OT are evil spirits sent by God all three times?
S

Desperaux
Nov 23rd 2009, 08:32 AM
DThanks. In NT yes. But if that's true in the OT too, then why in the OT are evil spirits sent by God all three times?
S

They are subject to God.

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 01:19 PM
DThanks. Yes.In NT yes. But if that's true in the OT too, then why in the OT are evil spirits sent by God all three times?
S

How do you think the following plays into the situation?

Matthew 18:32-34
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

Now, obviously in context here the master is delivering the servant over to the torturers because the servant refused to forgive, but couldn't this also apply in other areas as well? So, technically you could argue that the torturers are "from the master" . . . yet, at the same time they are present because of the servant's disobedience. In other words, what I'm saying is maybe we open ourselves up to this sort of oppression because we are not abiding where the Lord would like us to. What do you think?

BroRog
Nov 23rd 2009, 03:32 PM
But the scriptures call the boy epileptic and the unclean spirit being the cause of it. I'm not understanding where you're coming from here.

Where does it refer to the boy as an epileptic?


What makes you believe it was on the decline?

Did Jesus bind the strong man?

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 03:41 PM
Where does it refer to the boy as an epileptic?

Matthew 17:15

I do understand that the father wouldn't have known much of anything about epilepsy. However, the physical symptoms were described as well.


Did Jesus bind the strong man?

Would you mind expounding on why you believe the scriptures that reference binding the strong man refer to demonic activity being on the decline?

Desperaux
Nov 23rd 2009, 03:41 PM
Where does it refer to the boy as an epileptic?

In the NKJV it says:

“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water."

The ESV, CEV, New Century Version, and american Standard all use the word epilepsy or epileptic. It isn't wrong, but we must take the body of interpretations into account.

BroRog
Nov 23rd 2009, 07:26 PM
Matthew 17:15

I do understand that the father wouldn't have known much of anything about epilepsy. However, the physical symptoms were described as well.

We must be careful to make a distinction between a medical diagnosis given by a doctor, and a parent's diagnosis based on apparent symptoms.



Would you mind expounding on why you believe the scriptures that reference binding the strong man refer to demonic activity being on the decline?

I believe demonic activity decreases in a population when the Gospel is preached and believed in that population, because the message of the Gospel dispels the dark thoughts, foolishness, and superstition, which is where demons thrive. Jesus came as the light of the world, and where ever Jesus is preached and believed, the light dispels the darkness and frees the minds of the people from ignorance, superstition, and error. The more the gospel spread throughout the world, the less opportunity for demons to oppress the people.

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 08:02 PM
We must be careful to make a distinction between a medical diagnosis given by a doctor, and a parent's diagnosis based on apparent symptoms.

How do you believe a doctor today would diagnose the boy in Matthew 17 with symptoms consisting of seizures, foaming at the mouth, becoming rigid, being tossed to the ground, etc.?


I believe demonic activity decreases in a population when the Gospel is preached and believed in that population, because the message of the Gospel dispels the dark thoughts, foolishness, and superstition, which is where demons thrive. Jesus came as the light of the world, and where ever Jesus is preached and believed, the light dispels the darkness and frees the minds of the people from ignorance, superstition, and error. The more the gospel spread throughout the world, the less opportunity for demons to oppress the people.

The message of the gospel dispels dark thoughts? What about those who are offended by the gospel? What about those who don't believe?

Houston Heather
Nov 23rd 2009, 10:52 PM
VR - I wanted to address the "And God let me go off all my medication" issue.

For some, we are treated as unfaithful to God, because we continue to take our medication. I have had people screaming at me I am unfaithful to Him.

Also, as you yourself brought up, the Punishment from God, ala Job. I disagree, at least in the case of myself and my husband. He MAY use affliction to get our attention, but that doesn't mean that everyone who's afflicted is unfaithful or disobedient.

Sometimes, God needs a tool to be formed a certain way. He cannot use it unless it is formed THUS.

My go-to being 2 Corinthians 12:9&10: ""My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, rather, I will GLORY in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest more fully on me."

That's all. I feel it is very important to clarify, because there's so much stigma involved in having a cognitive/neurological/psychiatric disability. In my case, all of the above. :rofl: More, so, with some Christians, when one takes medication. If I listened to them and went off medication, I would die. That is not God's will.

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 11:21 PM
VR - I wanted to address the "And God let me go off all my medication" issue.

For some, we are treated as unfaithful to God, because we continue to take our medication. I have had people screaming at me I am unfaithful to Him.

Yeah, making people feel bad for taking medicine is not the purpose of this thread.


Also, as you yourself brought up, the Punishment from God, ala Job.

What came against Job wasn't punishment.


I disagree, at least in the case of myself and my husband. He MAY use affliction to get our attention, but that doesn't mean that everyone who's afflicted is unfaithful or disobedient.

In the context of Matthew 18 that I referenced earlier it is disobedience that is the cause. I was just using that for an example to reference Steven's comparison of God in the OT allowing evil spirits versus the NT.


Sometimes, God needs a tool to be formed a certain way. He cannot use it unless it is formed THUS.

I'm sorry, but I'm not really sure what you're referring to here. Could you clarify?


My go-to being 2 Corinthians 12:9&10: ""My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, rather, I will GLORY in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest more fully on me."

Contextually speaking, I believe the situation with the boy in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9 is a completely separate issue than Paul's infirmities spoken of in the latter portion of 2 Corinthians 11 and the beginning of 2 Corinthians 12.


That's all. I feel it is very important to clarify, because there's so much stigma involved in having a cognitive/neurological/psychiatric disability. In my case, all of the above. :rofl: More, so, with some Christians, when one takes medication. If I listened to them and went off medication, I would die. That is not God's will.

I'm certainly not suggesting that someone who is dependent upon medication just give it up. Now, if they believe that God has given them the grace to do so that is a different issue.

BroRog
Nov 23rd 2009, 11:31 PM
How do you believe a doctor today would diagnose the boy in Matthew 17 with symptoms consisting of seizures, foaming at the mouth, becoming rigid, being tossed to the ground, etc.?

I believe a doctor would diagnose as mental illness of some kind. But again, demon possession isn't within the realm of possibility for modern doctors. It's so rare, they wouldn't know the difference.

I know that there are those who suggest that what Jesus and the Apostles classified as demon possession was actually schizophrenia. But I think Jesus and the Apostles knew the difference between schizophrenia and demon possession.


The message of the gospel dispels dark thoughts? What about those who are offended by the gospel? What about those who don't believe?

Those who don't believe will not benefit much from the Gospel. But they will benefit some as those who do believe come to accept things as they really are, will change the society and the culture from within.

I predict that the incidents of demon possession will begin to increase over time since it appears that the world no longer loves the truth.

VerticalReality
Nov 23rd 2009, 11:39 PM
I believe a doctor would diagnose as mental illness of some kind.

So why wouldn't it be a possibility that those who doctors today diagnose with mental illness in reality have something much more spiritual going on that causes the physical symptoms?


But again, demon possession isn't within the realm of possibility for modern doctors. It's so rare, they wouldn't know the difference.

Why are you convinced that it is rare? Who do you think would recognize if it was an unclean spirit?


I know that there are those who suggest that what Jesus and the Apostles classified as demon possession was actually schizophrenia. But I think Jesus and the Apostles knew the difference between schizophrenia and demon possession.

I'm not convinced that Jesus or the apostles would even consider the concept of schizophrenia.


Those who don't believe will not benefit much from the Gospel. But they will benefit some as those who do believe come to accept things as they really are, will change the society and the culture from within.

But as we can gather from scripture, those who do believe are few . . .


I predict that the incidents of demon possession will begin to increase over time since it appears that the world no longer loves the truth.

Do you have any idea of when this increase will happen in your view?

BroRog
Nov 24th 2009, 12:21 AM
So why wouldn't it be a possibility that those who doctors today diagnose with mental illness in reality have something much more spiritual going on that causes the physical symptoms?

I'm sure it happens. I agree with you. It's possible that certain rare cases of demon possession are misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.


Why are you convinced that it is rare? Who do you think would recognize if it was an unclean spirit?
I think it's rare because it doesn't happen that often. I personally have never seen anyone who was demon possessed.

I think there are a few people in the world who can actually spot the difference because they make it their job to find the demon possessed and attempt to free them.



I'm not convinced that Jesus or the apostles would even consider the concept of schizophrenia. Why not?


But as we can gather from scripture, those who do believe are few . . .
Yes, but when Jesus came on the world and spread his message, the world experienced a marked change for the better, which was a direct result of his message being spread worldwide. The world made improvements in the treatment of women and children, social and political mores, legislation to reward the good and punish the evil, etc. all based on the ethics of Jesus Christ. Remember, a man doesn't need to except the gospel in its entirety to benefit from the ethical teachings of Jesus.



Do you have any idea of when this increase will happen in your view?It may have already started. I don't know. For the first time in history, I think, we have a situation in which philosophers do not feel the need to find ultimate truth. It's only a matter of time that this perspective will find it's way into the mainstream. See, for example, Xel'naga's thread on Biblical Christianity.

VerticalReality
Nov 24th 2009, 02:45 AM
I'm sure it happens. I agree with you. It's possible that certain rare cases of demon possession are misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.

Again, though . . .

What makes you believe they are rare cases?


I think it's rare because it doesn't happen that often. I personally have never seen anyone who was demon possessed.

How do you know for sure?


I think there are a few people in the world who can actually spot the difference because they make it their job to find the demon possessed and attempt to free them.

What are they doing to "spot" these demon-possessed people? What key symptoms do we need to look for to notice these people?


Why not?

Well, first of all because the phrase was unheard of until 1908. Second of all, I don't think they would have thought of someone with these sort of physical manifestations as only having physical problems. I believe they would have viewed it as spiritual.


Yes, but when Jesus came on the world and spread his message, the world experienced a marked change for the better, which was a direct result of his message being spread worldwide. The world made improvements in the treatment of women and children, social and political mores, legislation to reward the good and punish the evil, etc. all based on the ethics of Jesus Christ. Remember, a man doesn't need to except the gospel in its entirety to benefit from the ethical teachings of Jesus.

Today in America we have a society that by and large treats women very well along with other things that you mention. However, America is also one of the most depraved cultures in the entire world. Ungodliness is truly rampant in this country.

BroRog
Nov 24th 2009, 04:41 PM
Again, though . . .

What makes you believe they are rare cases?
How do you know for sure?

Might there be demon possessed walking around among us, who have not fallen down in the fire, or live in a cave cutting themselves? Maybe. I don't know. When I say that demon possession is rare, I mean it is rare as compared to the frequency we find in the NT, which presents the casting out of demons to be a fairly common occurrence.


What are they doing to "spot" these demon-possessed people? What key symptoms do we need to look for to notice these people?


I don't know. That's a good point. One might ask how I know it's rare if I can't identify them in the first place. I might have hundreds of demon possessed people in my neighborhood and not know it.

My opinion is based on the testimony of other Christians who say that they have seen demons being cast out. I personally wouldn't know how to spot a demon possessed person.

But that speaks to my earlier point. I believe demon possession was common in the days of Jesus such that the average person like me would know the difference between a medical condition and demon possession. I don't think, based on the NT that demon possession is asymptomatic. In other words, I think that if every other neighbor in my neighborhood was demon possessed, I would know that something was wrong, even if I didn't know the cause.


Well, first of all because the phrase was unheard of until 1908. Second of all, I don't think they would have thought of someone with these sort of physical manifestations as only having physical problems. I believe they would have viewed it as spiritual.

You raise a good point, which brings up the issue of whether the cause of mental illness is physical, or whether the physical symptoms found in the brain are the result of mental illness. In the case of depression, for instance, some would argue that chemical imbalance is the cause of depression and those doctors prescribe chemicals for the cure. In fact, there might be more than one cause or contributing factor to any number of mental maledictions.


Today in America we have a society that by and large treats women very well along with other things that you mention. However, America is also one of the most depraved cultures in the entire world. Ungodliness is truly rampant in this country.

I know, we've come a long way since the founding fathers. I don't think human beings are totally evil. I think the founding fathers took the good from the Greek and Roman cultures, and mixed it with their Puritan ideals and came up with a pretty good government. Not only this, but the men and women of that day thought to teach their children the liberal arts, which included the practice and ideals of how to live as a free people in pursuit of the good life. And I believe the founders got their fundamental ideas from the teachings of Jesus and Paul, among them the idea that all men are created equal.

In my opinion, the rise of America can be traced directly to the fundamental teachings of Jesus and the Apostles and her downward turn can be traced to her abandonment of those ideas.

VerticalReality
Nov 24th 2009, 08:00 PM
Might there be demon possessed walking around among us, who have not fallen down in the fire, or live in a cave cutting themselves? Maybe. I don't know. When I say that demon possession is rare, I mean it is rare as compared to the frequency we find in the NT, which presents the casting out of demons to be a fairly common occurrence.

You know, I actually believe the accounts of the boy in Mark 9 and "Legion" are the more extreme accounts. There are also scriptures stating someone who was mute or blind had a demon causing this problem. Jesus encounters a woman who has had back issues for 18 years, and He declares this physical problem is the result of a spirit of infirmity. So, I take from these accounts that there are MANY various physical effects that demons can have on people.


I don't know. That's a good point. One might ask how I know it's rare if I can't identify them in the first place. I might have hundreds of demon possessed people in my neighborhood and not know it.

You just might . . . :o


My opinion is based on the testimony of other Christians who say that they have seen demons being cast out. I personally wouldn't know how to spot a demon possessed person.

What about those with a testimony declaring an abundance of spiritual oppression during their ministry?


But that speaks to my earlier point. I believe demon possession was common in the days of Jesus such that the average person like me would know the difference between a medical condition and demon possession.

Do you believe the scriptures are giving an accurate description of some of these people oppressed by spirits when it describes their physical state as mute, blind, doubled over with back issues, seizures, etc.? Do you believe maybe the descriptions have been simplified a little or maybe just not completely thorough?


I don't think, based on the NT that demon possession is asymptomatic. In other words, I think that if every other neighbor in my neighborhood was demon possessed, I would know that something was wrong, even if I didn't know the cause.

Question for you . . .

If sin is rampant around you, is that evidence of these people obeying another spirit that is not God?


You raise a good point, which brings up the issue of whether the cause of mental illness is physical, or whether the physical symptoms found in the brain are the result of mental illness. In the case of depression, for instance, some would argue that chemical imbalance is the cause of depression and those doctors prescribe chemicals for the cure. In fact, there might be more than one cause or contributing factor to any number of mental maledictions.

Another question . . .

If the word declares that unclean spirits can cause physical circumstances like seizures, back trouble, blindness, deafness, and so forth . . . wouldn't you agree that chemicals in the brain could be subject to the same alteration?


I know, we've come a long way since the founding fathers. I don't think human beings are totally evil. I think the founding fathers took the good from the Greek and Roman cultures, and mixed it with their Puritan ideals and came up with a pretty good government. Not only this, but the men and women of that day thought to teach their children the liberal arts, which included the practice and ideals of how to live as a free people in pursuit of the good life. And I believe the founders got their fundamental ideas from the teachings of Jesus and Paul, among them the idea that all men are created equal.

In my opinion, the rise of America can be traced directly to the fundamental teachings of Jesus and the Apostles and her downward turn can be traced to her abandonment of those ideas.

We have definitely fallen pretty far . . . you are right.

Steven3
Nov 25th 2009, 07:38 AM
Hi VR
How do you think the following plays into the situation?

Matthew 18:32-34
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

Now, obviously in context here the master is delivering the servant over to the torturers because the servant refused to forgive, but couldn't this also apply in other areas as well? So, technically you could argue that the torturers are "from the master" . . . yet, at the same time they are present because of the servant's disobedience. In other words, what I'm saying is maybe we open ourselves up to this sort of oppression because we are not abiding where the Lord would like us to. What do you think?Well I suppose it's applicable to the 3 OT refs to "evil spirits" when the OT ascribes them to God. God sends them on Saul and calls them back.

But in the NT, it's clear that demons are under Satan. If Satan is an allegory (as he is in Zech3 for example) then it's no problem to have "demons" (any illness they couldn't explain) allegorized into demons (and still consistent with Ex4:11), however most Christians believe that Satan is a real historical being (even in Zech3), and a real historical being given command of "evil spirits" (at some point after Saul, or before Saul?) is incompatible to say that the demons are from God.
S

PS Has anyone donated to that epilepsy charity yet? :hmm:

VerticalReality
Nov 25th 2009, 02:47 PM
Hi VRWell I suppose it's applicable to the 3 OT refs to "evil spirits" when the OT ascribes them to God. God sends them on Saul and calls them back.

But in the NT, it's clear that demons are under Satan. If Satan is an allegory (as he is in Zech3 for example) then it's no problem to have "demons" (any illness they couldn't explain) allegorized into demons (and still consistent with Ex4:11), however most Christians believe that Satan is a real historical being (even in Zech3), and a real historical being given command of "evil spirits" (at some point after Saul, or before Saul?) is incompatible to say that the demons are from God.


So, to understand your view, you believe that Satan is not a real historical being but an allegory? Furthermore, you believe that demons are not evil spirits, but this terminology is used in the New Testament to provide explanation for illnesses not yet medically defined?

VerticalReality
Nov 25th 2009, 08:11 PM
Also, Steven . . .

Wouldn't someone who becomes mute by an unclean spirit at a later point in life who was not created that way from birth still be in harmony with Exodus 4:11.

Steven3
Nov 26th 2009, 11:25 AM
Hi VR :)
So, to understand your view, you believe that Satan is not a real historical being but an allegory?99% of the time, yes. This is largely a result of seeing more poetic and figurative language in the Bible. For example there is hardly a single word of Revelation or Zechariah that I would take literally.

But it depends on the passage - in Zechariah 3 I think everyone must recognise it is an allegory, and that the vision Zechariah saw was not real. The soul of Eliashib grandfather was not really being torn between Satan and Michael, what was happening on the ground was that Eliashib had engaged his grandson to Sanballat's daughter in exchange for a cut of the temple grain taxes. But when Jesus says Judas is a devil, or the OT calls Hadad a satan then those are historical. You'd agree on those two passages I guess? So it's largely a scale - though it's conditioned by our different readings of Heb.1:14 Is.45:7 and other general verses on the subjects of angels and good/evil. Application to NT demons, like this boy's epilepsy, is an outworking of how we view Heb.1:14 Is.45:7 etc. as much as anything.


Furthermore, you believe that demons are not evil spirits, but this terminology is used in the New Testament to provide explanation for illnesses not yet medically defined?Basically yes. At least that is the benchmark in Jewish texts of this period. The Jewish doctors, exorcists and magicians (and there's not much dividing line!) explained illness with evident physical causes, like leprosy, with physical reasons, and those they couldn't understand, like epilepsy, as demons. Yet theologically it clearly is nonsense to separate God and demons on the basis of what medical science can see - since human science is just scratching the surface of God's power anyway.


Also, Steven . . .

Wouldn't someone who becomes mute by an unclean spirit at a later point in life who was not created that way from birth still be in harmony with Exodus 4:11. God doesn't tell Moses he's only responsible for muteness or blindness from birth. Neither does the NT ascribe muteness or blindness contracted as an adult to demons. So unfortunately that isn't a way of reconciling the contradiction between OT and NT concerning who/what causes epilepsy, etc.

Plus - coming back to real life: We now know epilepsy has chemical causes and treatments, not demonic.
God bless
S.

VerticalReality
Nov 26th 2009, 03:49 PM
Hi VR :)99% of the time, yes. This is largely a result of seeing more poetic and figurative language in the Bible. For example there is hardly a single word of Revelation or Zechariah that I would take literally.

But it depends on the passage - in Zechariah 3 I think everyone must recognise it is an allegory, and that the vision Zechariah saw was not real. The soul of Eliashib grandfather was not really being torn between Satan and Michael, what was happening on the ground was that Eliashib had engaged his grandson to Sanballat's daughter in exchange for a cut of the temple grain taxes. But when Jesus says Judas is a devil, or the OT calls Hadad a satan then those are historical. You'd agree on those two passages I guess? So it's largely a scale - though it's conditioned by our different readings of Heb.1:14 Is.45:7 and other general verses on the subjects of angels and good/evil. Application to NT demons, like this boy's epilepsy, is an outworking of how we view Heb.1:14 Is.45:7 etc. as much as anything.

In your view, who was Jesus tempted by - part of the 99% or the 1%? Do you think that 1 Peter 5:8 is talking about a literal being or allegorical?


Basically yes. At least that is the benchmark in Jewish texts of this period. The Jewish doctors, exorcists and magicians (and there's not much dividing line!) explained illness with evident physical causes, like leprosy, with physical reasons, and those they couldn't understand, like epilepsy, as demons. Yet theologically it clearly is nonsense to separate God and demons on the basis of what medical science can see - since human science is just scratching the surface of God's power anyway.

So, to continue further . . . you believe that Jesus' addressing of the spirit and casting it out was really just a miraculous healing where Jesus brought the boys neurochemicals into alignment?


God doesn't tell Moses he's only responsible for muteness or blindness from birth.

It appears to me that the context of Exodus 4:11 is talking about creation . . .

Exodus 4:11
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Obviously, God does not make man's mouth later in life. This is made at the initial creation of man. Therefore, in context I believe this passage of scripture is talking about forming man in the womb. As we can see in the New Testament as well, some folks had issues from the womb that the word doesn't say were caused by a demonic spirit. The blind man in John 9, for example. Jesus just healed that man . . . He didn't cast out any spirit.


Neither does the NT ascribe muteness or blindness contracted as an adult to demons.

Actually, I think the NT separates the two quite a bit when it makes statements about some being that way since their mother's womb versus the oppression of a spirit. The NT gives examples of both, and the NT appears to make clear and draw distinction between the two when the accounts are given. On some occasions scripture seems to state that Jesus just heals someone of affliction, whereas on some occasions scripture makes it clear that Jesus is taking authority over a spirit.


Plus - coming back to real life: We now know epilepsy has chemical causes and treatments, not demonic.
God bless
S.

As I pointed out earlier, if a demon, as the New Testament defines it, could bring about certain physical issues why could they not do the same with chemicals in the brain?

arcadia
Nov 27th 2009, 02:28 AM
The bible clearly states that the boy had a demon. The bible is right. He had a demon and the demon was cast out and the boy was set free and healed. Period. Fact. Fast forward 2000 years. We see a boy with a demon. We label it epilepsy. Drugs such as tegratol suppress the symptoms. Could the person be set free with prayer? Possibly, but there better be a whole lot of faith. Remember that even the disciples could not do it.

Steven3
Nov 27th 2009, 06:47 AM
Hi VR
In your view, who was Jesus tempted by - part of the 99% or the 1%? Well Jesus physically being in the wilderness for 40 days clearly isn't allegorical. So I suppose your question is whether he physically went to the temple and mountain or just "in the mind's eye". There's no question that the temptations were real - the fact that the same three temptations come out of the mouths of the Jews in the fourth gospel shows they were real, whether a supernatural being rehearsed them in the wilderness or not.

This is where we'll differ because of different approaches to what the NT is. As with the epileptic boy it would depend on whether the account is to be read as an eyewitness journalistic account or whether it's an allegorical account by Matthew that he wanted readers to fix into the OT framework. I am sure that the immediate response of the vast majority of readers will be that it's a literal eyewitness account and in support of that Luke 1:2 can be marshalled to show that Luke's gospel is eyewitnesses whom he interviewed.

That raises the question how Luke had access to any eyewitness when Mark 1:7 says Jesus was alone, so my reading of this leans more towards Luke's eyewitness being a disciple who heard this account direct from Jesus. This does solve one minor problem: If it's simply Luke recording that the disciples heard Jesus say that "the devil" came to him during (Luke 4:2 version) or at the end (Matt 4:2 version) and tempted him bread-temple-mountain (Matt order) or bread-mountain-temple (Luke order) then I'd read it was like the sermon on the Mt and Sermon on the Plain, Jesus gave slightly different versions of the temptation to Matthew and Luke's interviewee. If both are journalistic accounts then the differences are a problem. But I recognise that Matt Mark Luke make it look like a journalistic account - it isn't like Zech3 where the vision is clearly a vision.



Do you think that 1 Peter 5:8 is talking about a literal being or allegorical?This is easier, certainly allegorical "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Under no circumstances can a fallen angel eat people. So everyone has to apply some allegory to the statement.



So, to continue further . . . you believe that Jesus' addressing of the spirit and casting it out was really just a miraculous healing where Jesus brought the boys neurochemicals into alignment?Yes. But that's still miraculous. Neurochemicals are just as supernatural to 1stC Jews as demons - or indeed in Africa, epilepsy medicine is still witchcraft to some villagers.


It appears to me that the context of Exodus 4:11 is talking about creation . . .

Exodus 4:11
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Obviously, God does not make man's mouth later in life. Yes. But I'm not sure the conclusion that God only affects birth defects is the case. Doesn't the OT contain plentiful examples of God causing dumbness/blindness or the reverse in adults?


This is made at the initial creation of man. Therefore, in context I believe this passage of scripture is talking about forming man in the womb. As we can see in the New Testament as well, some folks had issues from the womb that the word doesn't say were caused by a demonic spirit. The blind man in John 9, for example. Jesus just healed that man . . . He didn't cast out any spirit.That's one possible reason why John doesn't mention a demon - because it was from birth, but alternatively it may just be since John never mentions demons. And again God mute Zecharias and blinded Paul.




Actually, I think the NT separates the two quite a bit when it makes statements about some being that way since their mother's womb versus the oppression of a spirit. The NT gives examples of both, and the NT appears to make clear and draw distinction between the two when the accounts are given. On some occasions scripture seems to state that Jesus just heals someone of affliction, whereas on some occasions scripture makes it clear that Jesus is taking authority over a spirit.
But Acts 3:2 and 14:8 are about lameness. There is no such thing as a spirit of lameness is there?


As I pointed out earlier, if a demon, as the New Testament defines it, could bring about certain physical issues why could they not do the same with chemicals in the brain?Well God can bring about chemical issues in the brain too. Though yes I see your point, I have no complaint with the idea that if demons can influence physical matter (eyes, tongues) then they could influence chemical imbalance too. It's simply that I am suspicious that the line of demon influence in Jewish text just happens to match exactly the line of medical ignorance at that time. Now that circle for demons to operate in has grown smaller.

Except... if people really believe that demons cause epilepsy then why don't Christians fund free epilepsy medicine for Africa?
S.

VerticalReality
Nov 27th 2009, 05:51 PM
Hi VRWell Jesus physically being in the wilderness for 40 days clearly isn't allegorical. So I suppose your question is whether he physically went to the temple and mountain or just "in the mind's eye". There's no question that the temptations were real - the fact that the same three temptations come out of the mouths of the Jews in the fourth gospel shows they were real, whether a supernatural being rehearsed them in the wilderness or not.

My question is not so much whether the location of the temptations was real or allegorical, but rather whether the entity doing the tempting was a real or allegorical being in your view.


That raises the question how Luke had access to any eyewitness when Mark 1:7 says Jesus was alone, so my reading of this leans more towards Luke's eyewitness being a disciple who heard this account direct from Jesus. This does solve one minor problem: If it's simply Luke recording that the disciples heard Jesus say that "the devil" came to him during (Luke 4:2 version) or at the end (Matt 4:2 version) and tempted him bread-temple-mountain (Matt order) or bread-mountain-temple (Luke order) then I'd read it was like the sermon on the Mt and Sermon on the Plain, Jesus gave slightly different versions of the temptation to Matthew and Luke's interviewee. If both are journalistic accounts then the differences are a problem. But I recognise that Matt Mark Luke make it look like a journalistic account - it isn't like Zech3 where the vision is clearly a vision.

I guess another question would result of your reference to Zech 3. Can God show us things in a vision that have both a literal and allegorical meaning? Do you believe God can apply both?


This is easier, certainly allegorical "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Under no circumstances can a fallen angel eat people. So everyone has to apply some allegory to the statement.

Certainly the descriptive language used depicting the devil as a roaring lion that desires to devour us is definitely allegorical. However, what about just the devil in this passage? Do you believe the devil in this passage is a real being or an allegorical being?


Yes. But that's still miraculous. Neurochemicals are just as supernatural to 1stC Jews as demons - or indeed in Africa, epilepsy medicine is still witchcraft to some villagers.

Sure, I would agree that such an account would be miraculous.


Yes. But I'm not sure the conclusion that God only affects birth defects is the case. Doesn't the OT contain plentiful examples of God causing dumbness/blindness or the reverse in adults?

That's one possible reason why John doesn't mention a demon - because it was from birth, but alternatively it may just be since John never mentions demons. And again God mute Zecharias and blinded Paul.

Do you think the ability to bring about dumbness or blindness is exclusive only to God? I mean obviously God can do anything that does not compromise who He is. However, I wouldn't think that God is stating in Exodus 4:11 that every single case of a person being mute or blind is caused by Him.

I agree with you that God brought the blindness upon Saul. However, does that now mean ALL blindness comes from God?


But Acts 3:2 and 14:8 are about lameness. There is no such thing as a spirit of lameness is there?

Yes, those two passages are the healing of paralytics. Also, the passage in John 9 was a man born blind that Jesus healed. The point I was making is that the scriptures are always clear whenever it is a just a healing versus a spirit being cast out to free someone of bondage.


Well God can bring about chemical issues in the brain too. Though yes I see your point, I have no complaint with the idea that if demons can influence physical matter (eyes, tongues) then they could influence chemical imbalance too. It's simply that I am suspicious that the line of demon influence in Jewish text just happens to match exactly the line of medical ignorance at that time. Now that circle for demons to operate in has grown smaller.

Conversely, do you think it might be possible that the line today could resemble that of spiritual ignorance?


Except... if people really believe that demons cause epilepsy then why don't Christians fund free epilepsy medicine for Africa?
S.

Fund free epilepsy medicine in Africa? I'm not following you. Could you elaborate?

arcadia
Nov 27th 2009, 05:51 PM
Question for Steven3: Where did the demons go? Did they just cease to exist?

VerticalReality
Nov 27th 2009, 06:09 PM
Question for Steven3: Where did the demons go? Did they just cease to exist?

I think what Steven is proposing is that demons never did exist. He is stating that the New Testament just uses the term "demon" to describe medical issues that were not yet defined by the medical community during that early time period.

arcadia
Nov 27th 2009, 06:30 PM
I think what Steven is proposing is that demons never did exist. He is stating that the New Testament just uses the term "demon" to describe medical issues that were not yet defined by the medical community during that early time period.

So then there never was an angel called Lucifer? 1/3 of the angels did not fall? No war in heaven? No spiritual warfare? Maybe the next thing is that God is an allegory? No heaven? No Hell? Wow? I am amazed!

I have skimmed through the posts but will have to reread the tread.

God Bless. My God lives!

arcadia
Nov 27th 2009, 06:33 PM
I should declare an interest in that I've known a Christian die of epilepsy, for lack of medication, and I know she wasn't demon-posessed.These are also countries without money to buy treatment. But, if that's true, then everyone on this thread who believes it should donate to one of the charities fighting epilepsy in the developing world, in doing so they will be binding demons.

some facts
http://www.epilepsyontario.org/client/EO/EOWeb.nsf/web/Epilepsy+in+Third+World+Countries

http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/

A specific project in Ethiopia needing support:
http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/promising-strategy/epilepsy-support-association-of-ethiopia

how do YOU know that she wasn't demon possessed?

arcadia
Nov 27th 2009, 07:10 PM
[QUOTE=BroRog;2279545]I'm sure it happens. I agree with you. It's possible that certain rare cases of demon possession are misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.

I think it's rare because it doesn't happen that often. I personally have never seen anyone who was demon possessed.

I think there are a few people in the world who can actually spot the difference because they make it their job to find the demon possessed and attempt to free them.

Perhaps most or all schizophrenia is demonic possession? I met two teenagers in 2004 that went to an old TB sanatorium outside our town. This place also housed many schizophrenics. So all the crazies from all over the place lived and died there for many years. It is considered haunted and used in occult practices. These guys went there one night and played with the occult. Both of them returned from the area possessed. They saw things (demons) that they did not want to see. They came to a church down the street and got saved. They continued to be tormented and came to the Christian outreach center where I was a volunteer/leader and begged me to cast out the demons and free them. We were unable to. One of the guys disappeared (we don't know where he went). The other guy would come back again and again. He would often quietly look into a corner of the room and ask me "do you see that." I would say "what"? He would say never mind. I would then ask him if he was still seeing things and he would say yes. Finally he went to the doctor and got on some heavy medication and with the help of the meds he does not see those thing anymore. Was it schizophrenia or demonic possession? I believe that it was demonic. What do you say?

arcadia
Nov 27th 2009, 07:25 PM
Plus - coming back to real life: We now know epilepsy has chemical causes and treatments, not demonic.
God bless
S.

Chemical treatments, yes. Chemical imbalances sometimes. The root cause is unknown by medical science. How did his brain get out of balance? Cures? Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the child. That is the only time I know of a cure.