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Satan And Demons


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#141 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:50 AM

It is worth noting that the question as to whether or not the use of phenomenonalistic language in Scripture constitutes 'deceit' was a critical issue in a test case for this issue - the trial of Galileo. It was Galileo's understanding that the geocentric view of the universe was contrary to the facts revealed by physical observation of the planets and the sun.

He argued that the geocentric language of the Bible was intended only to be a phenomenonalistic description, that it was not intended to be understood as communicating astronomical facts regarding the movement of the planets.

Against this, the Catholic Church argued that if such language in Scripture was not taken literally it would be equivalent to saying that Scripture was both defective and deceitful - defective for not communicating astronomical truths, and deceitful for describing things as they appear to be, rather than as they are. Buzzard is invited to comment on whether he agrees with the argument of Galileo, or the argument of the Church.

We will now examine the argument of accommodation. Critical to Buzzard's objection to the argument of accommodation is his question of whether or not Christ is ever recorded as accommodating any other 'superstition' without correcting it:

'The important question is whether there is any other example of Jesus allowing superstition to pass uncorrected.'



#142 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:51 AM

If the answer to this question is 'No', then Buzzard's objection to the argument of accommodation stands. But if the answer is 'Yes', then Buzzard's objection collapses entirely.

In fact, there are two examples which demonstrate that the answer is 'Yes'. But before we turn to them, it is important to identify the fact that Christ was prepared (for certain reasons, and on certain occasions), to leave his audience without an accurate understanding of his own teaching.

Perhaps the most extreme example is the occasion on which Christ was prepared to see his disciples leave him, rather than to enlighten them as to his true meaning:

John 6:
53  So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;
55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “his teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”
66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.



#143 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:52 AM

With this in mind, we turn now to two different superstitions which Christ left entirely uncorrected.

The first is the common superstition regarding the state of the dead, and the reward or punishment of their 'soul' in a place of bliss or torment subsequent to the death of the body.

Christ not only left this superstition uncorrected, he even used it as a device in one of his own parables, despite the fact that it contradicted his own teaching on the state of the dead and the judgment, reward and punishment of the good and evil at his return:

Luke 16:
22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.


Buzzard himself does not believe in the 'immortality of the soul', nor the doctrine that the dead are conscious. Neither does he believe in the reward or punishment of the good and wicked in some kind of 'heaven' and 'hell' prior to the return of Christ. Buzzard would also agree that Christ himself did not believe in either of these doctrines, and that Christ's own teaching on judgment and the state of the dead was entirely opposed to such superstitions.

#144 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:52 AM

It is clear that Christ was accommodating these superstitions at this time in order to teach a more profound lesson. Indeed, careful examination of Christ's parable here reveals that it only agrees superficially with the superstition of the day, and Christ's adaptation of the belief in his parable would have surprised and undoubtedly shocked many of the listeners.

A popular idea of the time was that the rich were wealthy because God was rewarding them for their goodness, and the poor were destitute because of their sins, whereas Christ taught that the rich would hardly enter the Kingdom of God, if at all (Mark 10:23-26 shows Christ’s own disciples struggling with this radical teaching), a teaching which the parable of the rich man and Lazarus declares explicitly. This parable of Christ’s overturned a dominant theology of the day.

Since Buzzard must agree that Christ was in this instance using this superstition as a device for communicating his own teachings without correcting it, he cannot argue that Christ would never accommodate a false belief whilst leaving it without explicit correction.

On another occasion, Christ left uncorrected a superstition expressed by his disciples in private:

Luke 24:
37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”


Note that Christ corrects their mistaken belief that he is a 'spirit', or 'ghost', but does not correct their belief in ghosts, despite the fact that own teaching on the state of the dead was entirely opposed to such superstitions. Clearly Christ considered correcting their unbelief in his resurrection a higher priority than correcting their belief in ghosts.

#145 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:53 AM

From these two examples, it may be seen that Christ did on occasion accommodate the beliefs of those he taught (whether the crowd in public, or his disciples in private), thus 'allowing superstition to pass uncorrected'.

It has already been noted that the Bible uses phenomenonalistic language without the intention to deceive. It has now been demonstrated with two separate examples that Christ also accommodated certain superstitions other than a belief in demons, whilst leaving them uncorrected.

Buzzard is invited to comment on whether or not he believes such accommodation as this can legitimately be described as 'deceit'.

Buzzard quotes the work of Brother Peter Watkins, in an attempt to argue against the argument for accommodation. He claims that Brother Watkins rejected such an argument:

‘The notion that Jesus was accommodating to the ignorance of his times when he spoke of demons was so problematic to the Christadelphian writer Peter Watkins that he wrote:

“Let it be stated categorically that it is not sufficient to say that the New Testament writers were using language that would have reflected current superstitions...It was not the limitations of language that compelled the Gospel writers to make such elaborate use of demon terminology. It was the Spirit of God”

(The Devil, the Great Deceiver, p. 65).
Peter Watkins correctly opposes the arguments which his colleague Christadelphians almost always use to defend their belief in no Satan or demons.’

‘Watkins, however, instead of accepting the New Testament facts, proposes a solution which no one, surely, including other Christadelphians, will take seriously. He says: “The subject of Satan and the demons — or the Devil and his angels — must be thought of as one elaborate New Testament parable” (Ibid. p. 64). What extraordinary lengths Bible students will go to avoid the truth! The idea that the exorcism stories are meant only to be parables is without foundation. We might just as well say that all the healing miracles are parables.’


These quotes from Brother Watkins give the impression that he not only rejected the argument of accommodation, but also suggested that the gospels’ accounts of demon possession were mere parables – that they do not record literal events which actually took place.

#146 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:53 AM

But when we read these statements from Brother Watkins in their extended context (from chapter 10 of his work), we find that Buzzard is not presenting them accurately.

The first introduction of parables in Brother Watkins’ argument is found here (emphasis added):

‘Demons are spoken of as Satan's ministers or angels. Satan has a kingdom, and these unclean spirits are his servants. This seems to point to the conclusion that the whole subject is to be regarded as one recurring New Testament figure. Indeed, in his account of the Beelzebub dispute, Mark tells us that Jesus was speaking in parables:

"And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the demons casteth he out demons. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?" (Mark 3: 22, 23).’


This gives Scriptural foundation to Brother Watkins’ forceful argument that when Christ spoke of satan and demons, he did so in parables – that is, he did so in a manner which sought to teach the truth of these matters in a manner which required others to seek them out, rather than speaking of them plainly.

#147 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:54 AM

It is Buzzard’s contention that Christ would never have spoken in this way, but not only have we seen several instances in which Christ did indeed accommodate false beliefs by failing to correct them (and even making use of them in his own parables – including the parable of the rich man and Lazarus), we also have this clear statement from Mark that an apparently literal comment of Christ’s (‘How can satan cast out satan?’), is in fact a parable, a message with a meaning which must be sought out.

Brother Watkins’ continues to develop his argument in a manner which proves that he does not dismiss the demon incidents of the gospels as non-literal events (as Buzzard has claimed):

A Sustained Parable

By using this word "parable", Mark gives us a vital clue to the understanding of the subject as a whole. The subject of Satan and demons-or the devil and his angels-must be thought of as one elaborate, sustained New Testament parable. For we have been directed by Scripture to think of the "demon" passages as one aspect of the larger theme concerning the devil.’

‘How does this affect the question of the existence of demons? Obviously there is some kind of factual basis for the demon episodes. These accounts may be parts of a sustained parable: but it is acted parable, like the feeding of the five thousand. By using the word "parable", we do not necessarily dispose of the events, though we may be able to view them in a different light.’

‘Some features of the demon stories are clearly literal. The people were real, their suffering was real, and the miracles that the Lord performed to relieve their suffering were also real.’


These statements (with emphasis added), demonstrate that Buzzard’s unqualified claim that Brother Watkins was dismissing these events as non-literal, is inaccurate. The very fact that Brother Watkins describes them as an ‘acted parable’ shows that he is not saying that they did not literally occur.

He is not saying that these events are merely parables told by Christ, or parables told by the gospel writers, which do not in fact speak of literal events. What Brother Watkins is saying is that the manner in which Christ acted in these events, and the manner in which they are described, was chosen by the Spirit in order to communicate important Scriptural truths, just as Christ did with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

#148 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:55 AM

Brother Watkins continues (emphasis added):

‘And so we proceed to the thought that the non-literal element in the narratives is the language used to describe the afflictions, and the methods of cure. Thus men suffering from madness, deafness and dumbness are described as people possessed with demons, and their cures are represen­ted as a casting out of these demons.’


Here he makes it entirely clear that the people who were suffering from madness, deafness, or dumbness are described in the gospels as people possessed with demons, and their cures as a casting out of demons.

But why do this, if demons did not exist? Brother Watkins rejects the idea that the gospel writers could not have chosen language which spoke of these people as simply ill. He also rejects the idea that the gospel writers used the language of demon terminology because they believed in the current superstitions of the day.

#149 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:55 AM

As has already been stated in this work, Brother Watkins rightly says that the New Testament writers chose to use the language of existing demon terminology in order to use the popular belief in demons as a basis for teaching the truth about the origin of evil and the cause of affliction:

‘Let it be stated categorically that it is not sufficient to say that the New Testament writers were using language that would have reflected current superstitions. It is undoubtedly true that the demon superstition had left its mark upon the language of the day, but this is not the only relevant truth. Nor indeed is it the most important truth.

It was not the limitations of language that compelled the Gospel writers to make such elaborate use of demon terminology: it was the Spirit of God.

The pagan superstition concerning an evil overlord and his minions provided an admirable basis for a parable concerning the real enemy.

Instead of denying the existence of an arch-enemy and his demons, the New Testament writers acknowledge their existence, but regard them in an entirely different way. The real arch-enemy lurks within the heart of man himself.’


This last paragraph (with emphasis added), is critical to Brother Watkins’ argument, and is the same statement which has been made in this work. The gospel writers do not deny the existence of these beings, but regard them in a way which is entirely different to that of the superstitions of the day. Whilst accommodating the language and terminology of demon beliefs, they use it to present the truth which is in direct contrast to the superstitions of their contemporaries.

#150 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:56 AM

We have now examined the Scriptural evidence, and seen that there is overwhelming positive evidence for the Christadelphian view of satan and demons, but no positive evidence for Buzzard's view, and formidable negative evidence against it.

We come now to address another issue critical to the Christadelphian case. If the argument from accommodation is correct (that it was a concession to the uninformed and the spiritually immature), then we would expect to see evidence in the New Testament that the issue of demons is treated differently among mature Christians.

We would expect to find:
  • Illnesses and physical afflictions being referred to simply in medical terms (no mention of illness or physical affliction being attributed to demons)

  • Healings being spoken of simply as the restoration of physical function (no mention of any healings requiring demons being 'cast out' of people)

  • A clear identification of demons as the gods of the heathen (no mention of them being 'evil spirits', 'fallen angels', or supernatural evil beings which are not gods)

  • A denial that there exist any gods other than Yahweh
The presence of such references is to be expected in writings addressed to mature Christians, who have no need for accommodation of a weak or undeveloped faith. It would strengthen the argument for accommodation considerably to find such references, since it would provide evidence of a clear distinction of comprehension being made between these two groups when the subject of demons is addressed.

#151 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:58 AM

In which books of the New Testament would we expect to find each form of description? We would expect that the writings directed to established congregations and to individual Christians, are addressing mature Christians who have no need of such accommodation.

On the other hand, we would expect that the writings which are clearly of an evangelical nature (intending to preach the gospel and convert non-Christians), are addressing the uninformed and the spiritually immature, who require accommodation of this nature.

If this is true, then we should expect to find accommodation in:
  • The gospel of Matthew
  • The gospel of Mark
  • The gospel of Luke
  • Acts
All of these books were written with the aim of preaching to non-Christians.

We would not expect to find accommodation in:
  • The gospel of John
  • The letters and epistles of Paul
  • The letters of Peter, James, and John
  • The Revelation of Christ, written through John


#152 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:59 AM

Am examination of the gospels alone proves that accommodation is reserved for the unconverted, the uninformed and the spiritually immature. In three of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), we find frequent references to demonic possession, to exorcism, and to physical afflictions and illnesses being attributed to demons.

John's gospel, however, is radically different. It has long been recognised that John's is a thematic gospel, not one of the synoptics, and that it was written not to unbelievers or even new converts, but to mature Christians with a profound knowledge of the faith. If the Christadelphian case is sound, we should find that John's gospel is entirely free of the accommodation found in the synoptics, that physical afflictions and illnesses are never attributed to demons, and that acts of healing never include any reference to exorcism.

If Buzzard's case is sound, then of all four gospels we should expect John's to be the greatest source of information on satan and demons. John's gospel has a unique focus on the things of the spirit, and it is natural to expect that the arch enemy of man and God, the evil spirit being with untold numbers of demons at his command, should receive a particular mention, and that his activities - together with those of his minions - should be recorded in especial detail.

It is significant therefore that John's gospel contains the very opposite of what we would expect if Buzzard's case was sound.

In John's gospel, there is no mention whatever of:
  • Baalzebub
  • Evil spirits
  • Unclean spirits
Nor is any sickness attributed to satanic or demonic activity. Instead, those who are physically afflicted are described simply as:
  • The blind (John 5:3)
  • The lame (John 5:3)
  • The withered (John 5:3)
  • Sick (John 4:47; 11:1-4, 6)
  • Impotent (John 5:3-4, 7)
  • Suffering from 'infirmity' (John 5:4)
  • Suffering from 'disease' (John 5:4; 6:2)


#153 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 08:00 AM

It is clear that John's gospel refers to an entire range of afflictions and illnesses (including some attributed to demons in the synoptics), but not once does John's gospel identify these afflictions as having been caused by supernatural evil beings.

Likewise, the treatment of these afflictions is always described as the healing of a physical ailment, never a struggle with satan or demons.

Words used to describe treatment are:
  • Made whole (John 5:6, 9, 11, 14-15)
  • Opened the eyes of the blind (John 9:17, 32; 10:2; 11:37
  • Heal (John 4:41; 5:13)
  • Cured (John 5:10)
There is not a single instance in John of:
  • Anyone being possessed by a demon
  • Anyone having a demon cast out of them
  • Any action or speech attributed to a demon
  • Anyone conversing with a demon
Whilst Christ is accused by some of being possessed by a devil (and of being mad as a result), it is recognized by others that his words are not those of one who has a devil, and that a devil cannot heal those who are physically afflicted, as Christ does (John 10:20-21).

Note also that in John's gospel, there is no record of the temptation of Christ - a significant absence in this gospel for mature believers. In fact, references to 'the devil' or 'the satan' are so rare that they are almost non-existent (two references to 'the devil' in John 8:32; 13:2, and one reference to 'the satan' in John 13:27).

#154 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:02 PM

The evidence is overwhelming that John's gospel, written for mature believers, contains none of the accommodations which the synoptics present to their audience. This establishes the Christadelphian case on a sure foundation.

An examination of the other New Testament books previously mentioned will indicate to us whether the treatment of demons in John's gospel is unique, or if it is part of a consistent pattern outside the synoptics and Acts.

In fact, we find the pattern in the rest of the New Testament is indeed identical to that which we find in the gospel of John. Outside the four gospels and Acts, we find only seven references to demons.

Of these references:
  • Three identify demons as false gods, the object of heathen worship (1 Corinthians 10:20-21, Revelation 9:20)

  • A fourth is a warning against false doctrines ('seducing spirits', see 1 John 4:1-3 for another passage in which doctrines are referred to as ‘spirits’), including teachings concerning demons (1 Timothy 4:1), and a fifth speaks of people who are led astray by these teachings (Revelation 16:14)

  • A sixth is an affirmation that there is only one God, and an ironic reference to demons trembling in the same manner as the Old Testament speaks of idols trembling (James 2:19)

  • The seventh is a reference to the desolation of the harlot city ‘Babylon’ in Revelation, characterized as full of false worship (demons and unclean spirits, see a parallel passage in Zechariah 13:2, where an unclean spirit filling the land is a symbol of false worship), and punished because of this by being made waste and devoid of human habitation (Revelation 18:2)
We find therefore that demons are almost completely absent from the rest of the New Testament.

#155 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:02 PM

We also see exactly the kind of references we would expect to see if the Christadelphian case is correct:
  • No one being possessed by a demon
  • No one having a demon cast out of them
  • No action or speech attributed to a demon
  • No one conversing with a demon
  • A clear identification of demons as the gods of the heathen (no mention of them being 'evil spirits', 'fallen angels', or supernatural evil beings which are not gods)
  • A denial that there exist any gods other than Yahweh
Likewise, there are no passages in the New Testament, outside of the synoptics and Acts, which attribute any illness or affliction to demons.

This is a significant absence, given that the letters and epistles speak frequently of the Holy Spirit gifts, and mention healing as one of them, but never exorcism. Indeed, James even describes a protocol for the healing of the sick without the miraculous gift of healing (see James 4:14-15, where it is the prayer of faith[ which heals the sick), but says nothing of a protocol for exorcism. Neither the gift of casting out demons, nor a protocol for exorcism are found anywhere in the letter and epistles.

This absence is made the more apparent by the fact that the exorcism rituals of modern Christians are based largely on the gospel accounts of Christ casting out demons, and on the healing protocol described by James, reinforcing the fact that no exorcism ritual or protocol is found anywhere in the entire New Testament, which has resulted in these Christians inventing their own.

#156 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:02 PM

As in the gospel of John, we find in the letters and epistles:
  • Illnesses and physical afflictions being referred to simply in medical terms (no mention of illness or physical affliction being attributed to demons)

  • Healings being spoken of simply as the restoration of physical function (no mention of any healings requiring demons being 'cast out' of people)
Is it really credible that the letters and epistles would speak only on the healing of physical afflictions and illnesses which are the result of natural causes, and yet remain utterly silent on the subject of those caused by demons, especially if this activity was as common as Buzzard appears to believe, and especially if a correct understanding of demons and their evil work of causing such disorders is as critical as Buzzard believes it to be?

The most significant statements in the letters and epistles concerning demons are those defining them clearly as false gods, the object of heathen worship:

1 Corinthians 10:
19 What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.

Revelation 9:
20 The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk.



#157 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:03 PM

There are no passages in the letters and epistles which describe demons as supernatural evil beings which cause physical afflictions and illnesses. They are defined as the false gods of the heathen, the existence of which New Testament Scripture also denies, insisting that there is only one God:

1 Corinthians 8:
7 Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth— as in fact there are many gods and many lords—
8 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

1 Corinthians 10:
19 What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.

Ephesians 4:
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

1 Timothy 2:
5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,


The evidence in the New Testament is therefore overwhelmingly in favour of the Christadelphian case - that certain beliefs concerning demons were accommodated where they were held by the non-Christians, uninformed and the spiritually immature, but that no accommodation of such beliefs was extended to mature Christians, who were expected to have come to a true understanding of these matters.

#158 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:03 PM

The repeated identification of demons as the false gods of heathen worship, the insistence that there is only one God, the treatment of physical afflictions and illness as purely medical conditions, and the complete absence of any role of exorcist or protocol of exorcism (in contrast to the existence of the role of healer, and a protocol for healing in the absence of the healer), all substantiate the Christadelphian case. This is the complete opposite of what we would find if Buzzard's case was true.

Buzzard writes:

‘Until the important matter of Satan and the demons is properly explained, according to the Scripture, there is little hope of a group being counted worthy of the task of bringing to the world the whole counsel of God. We must beware of putting a barrier between us and others who are unable to see how we can fail to understand a matter as straightforward as the existence of the personal Satan.’


Christadelphians would agree that the correct understanding of satan and demons is an important issue in the understanding of the gospel – a critical issue, in fact, since a belief in demons contradicts the gospel’s message of monotheism, and a belief in satan as a supernatural being of evil (whether ‘fallen’ angel or otherwise), contradicts clear Biblical statements which identify God as the source of all disaster other than that caused by humans, and the human heart as the source of all wickedness and evil.

#159 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:03 PM

Buzzard writes:

‘We would invite from the exponents of "no supernatural evil" an explanation of the ability of the magicians in Egypt to imitate the miracles performed by Moses and Aaron, and also some reasonable account of the Parousia (i.e. spectacular arrival, as used of the Coming of Christ) of the Man of Sin (II Thess. 2:9), who is able to produce every "power, and sign and wonder" through the energy of Satan. The very same words are used constantly in the New Testament of the supernatural feats of Jesus. How can these be produced by human power alone apart from the intervention of an unseen evil agent?‘


The supposed miracles of the Egyptian magicians may be dismissed as the mere sleight of hand and skillful trickery of today's secular 'magicians', who certainly perform wonders even more extraordinary. There is nothing in the Scriptural record to indicate that their feats were the product of genuine supernatural power from any source.

Indeed, the 'miracles' they supposedly performed are highly suggestive of this:
  • They claimed to turn water miraculously into blood, in a nation in which almost all available water had already been turned to blood - surely turning blood into water would have been a far more impressive miracle

  • They claimed to miraculously produce frogs, in a nation which was already filled with frogs to plague proportions of an unprecedented extent - surely actually ridding the Nation of the frogs would have been a far more impressive miracle

  • They failed completely to miraculously produce gnats in a nation which was totally infested with them, and acknowledged that their enchantments were inadequate to the task - a clear indictment of their supposedly supernatural powers


#160 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:03 PM

The supposed transformation of the magicians staves into serpents need only to have been the dexterous illusion well known to have existed among Egyptian practitioners of 'magic'.
The commentary of Jameison, Fausset and Brown observes:

'The magicians of Egypt in modern times have been long celebrated adepts in charming serpents, and particularly by pressing the nape of the neck, they throw them into a kind of catalepsy, which renders them stiff and immovable - thus seeming to change them into a rod.

They conceal the serpent about their persons, and by acts of legerdemain produce it from their dress, stiff and straight as a rod. Just the same trick was played off by their ancient predecessors, the most renowned of whom, Jannes and Jambres (2Ti_3:8), were called in on this occasion. They had time after the summons to make suitable preparations - and so it appears they succeeded by their "enchantments" in practising an illusion on the senses.'






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