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Here is a dialog brother Blakely had on  the subject, Is Satan a myth?

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--Satan is part of the mythological framework of the NT time period. There is no basis for the existence of an arch rival to God. That is a form of dualism which is contrary to the principle of monotheism. There is one God. There is no other. Satan in the NT is a rival power to God. There is no rival power to God in the OT. God is one. There is no Satan anywhere. If there are negative aspects to your psyche, that's you, it isn't Satan. There is no Satan. 

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--If there is no other God, how is it that you speak with omniscience. Does it not require an all knowing person to affirm something in direct contradiction of Scripture? Was Jesus tempted by a myth (Matt 4:1-11)? Was the thorn Paul received a messenger of a myth (2 Cor 12:7)? Are we admonished to beware of a myth (1 Pet 5:8)? Is the prince of the power of the air that works in children of disobedience a myth (Eph 2:1-3)? Are the impenitent who do not believe the truth taken captive by a myth (2 Tim 2:26)? Is the one destroyed by Jesus, who had the power of death, a myth (Heb 2:14)?

"The devil" is mentioned 46 times in Scripture, and "Satan" 55 times. Fundamental teaching of the Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles, postulates the existence and danger of "the prince of the power of the air," "the tempter," the "wicked ONE," and "the god of this world". Jesus called him "the father of lies," and "a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). Paul taught we should exercise ourselves to be aware of the devil's presence, lest he get the advantage of us through his devices (2 Cor 2:11). We are admonished to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to "stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph 6:11). When Jesus walked among men, He "healed all who were oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38). Elymas the sorcerer was called a "child of the devil" (Acts 13:10), and Cain was said to be "of the wicked one" (1 John 3:12). 

In fact, those who triumph in Christ Jesus are said to have "overcome the wicked one" (1 John 2:13-14).

Where in all of the annals of writing has there ever been such an extensive and divers range of teaching concerning a myth? And. what has constrained you to speak in such flagrant contradiction of the Scriptures, which are consistently and without exception venerated and extolled by men who were moved by God?

You have said:
1. Satan is part of the mythological framework of the NT time period.
2. There is no basis for the existence of an arch rival to God.
3. There is no basis for the existence of an arch rival to God.
4. There is no rival power to God in the OT.
5. There is no Satan anywhere. 
6. There is no Satan.

None of those statements are suggestions. There is not a hint that they are mere opinions, but they are affirmations with tone of authority. But I do not believe you, Joyce. I do not believe your mind is superior to the Scriptures, or that your statements successfully void Scripture. 

I am calling upon you to prove what you have said, and to support it with strong reasons and evidences that are superior to the Scriptures, and have stood longer and yielded greater benefits than them.

Whether you concur with it or not, there is a day coming when every person will stand before the living God, to give an account of themselves. David will acknowledge he was moved by Satan to number Israel (1 Chron 21:1). Job will acknowledge Satan obliterated his possessions in a single day, and struck him with boils (Job 1-2). Judas will admit Satan entered into him (John 13:27). Paul will acknowledge his thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan, and that Satan hindered him at times (2 Cor 12:7; 1 Thess 2:18). For that matter, the devil himself and his angels will then be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10). There will not be a solitary person who will then embrace the lie that Satan is a myth. It is on the part of wisdom to abandon the notion here, and I admonish you to do so.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--Satan is not real. The occult is not real. It's all baloney. 

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Are you beyond the possibility of being deceived? Is there any possibility that you are wrong? Upon the basis of your statement, are we at liberty to cut out the portions of Scripture that conflict with your view, as Jehudi did (Jer 36:21-23)?
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--It's not blasphemy (denying Satan's existence). It's OT theology.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Precisely what is "Old Testament theology?" Please refrain from spouting these humanistic platitudes. Speak as the oracles of God, as you are admonished to do in Scripture (1 Pet 4:11), and with words that the Holy spirit teaches, as you are admonished (1 Cor 2:13). You have not been freed from those obligations.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--The temptation is a story about Jesus in a narrative designed to teach the meaning of Jesus as understood by the religious community of the early church. It's like a painting that uses symbolism which should be understood symbolically and not literally. Moses did not have Satan or the devil to contend with. He never warned the people of Israel to beware of the devil. He did not try to protect the people from Satan. He did not warn the people that they would go to hell or anything like that. People had some kind of shadowy existence under the ground without either hell or Satan or devils. Evil certainly existed before there was any Satan. Evil is a consistent factor. Satan isn't. God is a consistent presence in the bible. Satan isn't.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--I assign "folklore" to your affirmations. God will overcome in all of His sayings (Rom 3:4), showing all conflicting speakers to be liars. I asked you to prove your sayings, not simply give more vent to your unbelief. Your words conflict with the Scriptures. Either the Scriptures are true or you are true--both cannot be true. Say which one it is. Do not keep telling us what Scripture has said about the devil is not true. 

The very first promise in the Bible related to a coming Savior who would bruise the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15). Jesus is expressly said to be that Seed (Gal 4:4), and is said to have dealt with the devil as promised (Heb 2;14; 1 John 1 John 3:8). Salvation is depicted as the overthrow of Satan (Rev 12:9-15; Lk 10:18). The first murder is attributed to a child of Satan (1 John 3:12). Those who sin are said to be under the power of the devil 1 John 3:8).

You have assigned the preeminence to the understanding of the religious community, affirming that is what dictated the expressions of Scripture. The Lord, on the other hand, has said "All Scripture" was given by Divine inspiration, and that "holy men" wrote as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21). Your words conflict with those of Scripture. They emphatically do not explain them.

You have offended some of us (I have no idea how many) who are living by faith. We have not simply accepted the postulates of men or women, but have embraced the Word of the Lord, and found it to be true. We have, as the Scripture confirms, "the witness in ourselves" (1 John 5:10). That witness repudiates your witness. Are you prepared to say we have no witness at all? If so, say it. Say we are all deceived. Tell us our hope is vain, and that there is no need to be vigilant, or to resist the devil. Say these are all imaginations. Affirm that Jesus did NOT destroy the devil or his works--that He did not deliver those who were oppressed of the devil. Tell us these are all false, of simply "stories." You will be held accountable by God for your words. By them, you will be condemned or justified (Matt 12:37). I desire the latter for you.

I am weary of forbearing your denials of Scripture. I am offended that anyone who is seeking the Lord should be exposed to such statements as you have made through a Christian media. I am ashamed that anyone who has fled to Christ for refuge should be confronted with such lifeless academia. It is not right, and God will not excuse it. Some of us rake great delight in having been delivered from the very nonsense you are promoting.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--I have never seen anything remotely resembling occult phenomena or any kind of spooky stuff of any kind. >>

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Then you have lived a very restricted life. Besides that, your experience is not the test of reality. Have you seen an atom? God? Jesus? Heaven? Any Bible writer? have you measured the waters of the earth or weighed the mountains of the earth in a scale (Isa 40:12). The very attitude you are embracing is said to be the result of Satan's influence (2 Tim 2:24-26).

Are you prepared to say the Gadarene demonic was not really possessed (Mark 5:1-17), or that Jesus did not cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9), or that the man Jesus met at the foot of the mount of transfiguration did not have a son that was possessed of a demon that often threw him in the water and the fire (Matt 17:15-18). Is the account of Jesus healing a woman that was bound by Satan for eighteen years a fable also (Lk 13:16). Is there no such thing as "doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4:1), or Satan blinding men's eyes so they cannot believe (2 Cor 4:4). Is there no "prince of the power of the air" that works in the children of disobedience (Eph 2:1-3). Do believers not wrestle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12). Does Satan have no throne in areas of this world, as Jesus Himself told those in Pergamum (Rev 2:13)?

Are all of these reflections of the traditions of the times? Tell us.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--There are a vast number of books on OT Theology. There are 
dictionaries of OT Theology. It's the ideas in the OT about God.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--And does God approve of these books? Or is God a myth also? Or does it make any difference what God thinks? And how is it that you have chosen to believe this "vast number of books," but reject the Bible as precisely true?
Given O., Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--I suppose God does approve of OT theology.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--In our relationship with the Lord, something more than mere supposition is required.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--I visited two cemeteries today. Saw no spirits. Had a good time although it was hot. 

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--And how will your final visit to the cemetery be? I trust you are not suggesting there are no spirits, whether justified or otherwise. I find your glib talk about critical issues to be most offensive.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--The martyrs are in heaven. That's about all I remember at present.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--And how can you possibly know this, Joyce. The only information is found in the same book that tells us of Satan. How is it that you have been able to distinguish between the myth of Satan and the truth of the martyrs?
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--Lighten up fellows, our battle is not against the flesh and blood Joyce but against powers and principalities.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--And what would lead you to believe that vigorously opposing a denial of the existence of the devil is not, in fact, fighting against principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world? Is such a postulate as there being no devil, honoring to Jesus who came to destroy the devil and his works? Does it help those who are admonished to resist the devil and stand against his schemes? 

Your words are out of order. If  has been said is true, there is no point to the good fight of faith, the atoning death of Christ, or the vigilance of the believer. If there is no devil, God has misrepresented Himself, His Son, mankind, and our real need. There is no need to be concerned "lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor 11:3). Then we really do not have an adversary who is walking throughout the earth, "seeking who he may devour" (1 Pet 5:7-8). The warning issued from heaven is therefore pointless, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time" (Rev 12:12). Then the wonderful promise of Romans 16:20 is diffused, having no power or comfort for those who refuse to "lighten up": "And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. "Then there is no need for a novice to be concerned about being lifted up with pride and falling into the "condemnation of the devil" (1 Tim 3:6). 

If what has been said is true, efforts to recover the fallen from the snare of the devil are pointless (2 Tim, 2:24-26). Then the devil will not flee from us if we resist him, for he does not exist. In fact, there is really nothing to resist (James 4:7). There is no possibility, then, of Satan's children being made known, for he has none (1 John 3:10). Michael really did not dispute with the devil at all, if what Joyce says is true (Jude 9). 

It is not time to lighten up, but to get serious. Satan is serious. God is serious. Jesus is serious. The Spirit is serious. The angels are serious. The suggestion that we lighten up and treat as inconsequential statements that sharply conflict with both the affirmations and doctrines of Holy Scripture, does not come from God--to be sure.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--The Disciples of Christ don't have much in the way of official doctrines. If you look through the Doc web site you will find Satan conspicuous by his absence. 

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Precisely how, then, do your statements fit in with the avowed purpose of the RM list? I am not being contentious--I want to know. Further, what has led you to your conclusions. It obviously is not the Scriptures. Now, it appears it is not any official statement or position taken by the Disciples of Christ organization.

You have made certain statements that have left no room for any other view, or any suggestion they may be false. Here are some of your affirmations.

"Moses did not have Satan or the devil to contend with."
"Evil certainly existed before there was any Satan"
"Satan is not real. The occult is not real. It's all baloney."
"Satan is part of the mythological framework of the NT time period. "
"There is no basis for the existence of an arch rival to God."

By your own admission, they are not the official position of the group to which you belong. They certainly are not entertained by other segments of the Restoration Movement. Precisely what is their place on RM? And precisely why have you stated them? Anyone who speaks with such a tone of authority and confidence certainly owes is an explanation.

Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--As far as Satan being real or not, I agree that it is largely irrelevant to how we live our lives.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Nothing could be further from the truth! We are to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the devil's schemes (Eph 6:13). We are to be sober and vigilant because our adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8). We are not to give the devil an opportunity (Eph 4:27). We are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices, lest he gain an advantage over us (2 Cor 2:11). We are to resist the devil (James 4:7). Does this have nothing to do with how we live our lives? 
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--However, why is a belief in the literal nature of a person who is the very embodiment of evil on a par with belief in a person who is the very embodiment of Holiness. 

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--It is not on par with believing that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek him. It is, however, essential to fighting the good fight of faith and successfully resisting Satan's advances. If Jesus died to destroy the devil, and deliver those who were oppressed by Him, what possible justification can be adduced for affirming there is no devil? If God has provided armor to stand against his schemes, how must the Lord view those who deny his existence? If God is going to bruise Satan under our feet, what purpose is served by denying his existence? Is God going to be justified in "ALL" of His sayings or not (Rom 3:4). If He is (and He surely will be) how will it fare for those who contradicted what He said about the devil? This is not a subject to philosophize about. God has spoken concerning the devil. He has gone into detail about his nature and work, and armed us to stand against him. He has warned us of his activities, and provided for men to be rescued from his snares. In view of this, it is the height of absurdity to say, or even suggest, that Satan is not real.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--They are not official positions but they might be considered 
representative of a liberal segment of the Disciples of Christ. The Disciples of Christ emphasize ideas which are in the Bible but they don't read all the Bible with the same weight. There are certain ideas that are essential and others less so. You don't hear much about eschatology or the afterlife or what is in the book of Revelation.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Who is it that determines the "weight" of the words of Scripture? And who decides which ideas "are essential, and others less so?" Are you not at liberty to question their judgments? Since you have chosen to question the statements of Scripture, have you considered the option of questioning and rejecting the analyses of those who impose their values upon it? And how is it that you have spoken with such finality? What has constrained you to speak in such a manner? You have acknowledged it is not the official position of the Disciples of Christ? Why have you chosen what you term the "liberal" view? And, precisely how does your articulation of these positions fit in with the purpose of RM?
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--Given, my brother, you don't even know what I believe nor how I regard the "affirmations and doctrines of Holy Scripture." And yet, as you present yourself in writing, you imply that I have to agree with your reading of the text or your response to Joyce; otherwise what I say "does not come from God." God is serious but God is much more than just serious as the text says in numerous places I know you can cite. By the way, you chose not to
respond to my remarks about Jesus in the rest of the post. So I'll post them again: "Let's not forget that many condemned Jesus as an agent of the devil and were willing to kill him because he talked and behaved contrary to what they believed to be the clear teaching of the Bible."

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--Please do not ascribe to my post more than I said. I responded to your remark, "Lighten up fellows, our battle is not against the flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities." I did not sit in judgment on your personal persuasions, and gave no hint that this was my purpose. Your persuasions are between you and the Lord, and I joyfully consent to that arrangement. I inferred that seriously addressing the rejection of express statements of Jesus is, in fact, wrestling against principalities and powers. Based on the statements of Scripture concerning Satan, his person, his purpose, and his overthrow, I can only adduce that any question about his reality is nothing more than an imagination to be cast down with spiritual weaponry (2 Cor 10:5-6).

As to me implying you must agree with me, I said no such thing. I am saying you are not at liberty to treat any statement of Scripture as though it had no relevance.

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--Let's not forget that many condemned Jesus as an agent of
the devil and were willing to kill him because he talked and behaved
contrary to what they believed to be the clear teaching of the Bible.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--As to the above remark, I thought it unworthy of comment. However, since you have pressed me on the matter, I will answer it. Those who opposed our Lord were not simply possessors of some conflicting views or opinions. Jesus said the devil was their father (John 8:44). They did not know the Scriptures nor the power of God (Matt 22:29). He said they were "blind guides" (Matt 23:16). Their opposition of Jesus was not simply a matter of Biblical interpretation. They had another spirit--a conflicting and inimical one.

To liken those who crucified Jesus to people who object to a denial of statements (not interpretations) of God's word is a gross misrepresentation of the case. I have not objected to interpretations, but to statements. I will again post the statements.

"Moses did not have Satan or the devil to contend with."
"Evil certainly existed before there was any Satan"
"Satan is not real. The occult is not real. It's all baloney."
"Satan is part of the mythological framework of the NT time period. "
"There is no basis for the existence of an arch rival to God."

These are not interpretations, or mere views, and are not so stated. They are affirmations without any hint of possibility they are wrong. If you are saying they do not conflict with what God has said about Satan, then I disagree with you also. I have not, and will not, judge you. That is not my prerogative. Nor, indeed, have I condemned either you or Joyce. I have, however, disagreed with you, and will continue to do so.
Given O. Blakely

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED-- The reader determines the weight of the words. Reading is a 
subjective activity.

How decisions are made in a group depends on the group structure. The Disciples of Christ is a denomination but the individual churches are quite different, at least that's what I've read. They elect elders from among the congregation, have open meetings and an open door. Probably what you object to is characteristic of the mainstream churches in general rather than the Disciples of Christ.

I don't know what you mean about finality. Satan is not part of my belief system. You make a great many statements yourself about what you believe. I didn't consciously choose to reject Satan. Satan is 
not taught in the church. I never learned to accept Satan. I don't believe there is any Satan or devil or occult phenomena.

The RM churches have common practices -baptism by immersion, communion every Sunday, strong emphasis on unity and the biblical passages about unity in the body of Christ. They don't have man-made creeds but follow the bible and try to imitate the early Christians. The Disciples of Christ are not restorationists like the Church of Christ. The founders of the restoration movement (Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone, Walter Scott) are the founding fathers of the Disciples of Christ. They are highly revered like saints. The Disciples of Christ considers that whatever is done has to conform to the golden rule of treating other people as you would like to be treated rather than some stricture about women or slaves in a letter written in particular historical circumstances in a culture in another time and place. That is the guiding principle, not restoring the early church or using examples from the bible to determine exactly what should or shouldn't be done in every instance.

STATEMENT TO BE ANSWERED--The Disciples of Christ is liberal in that they have women elders and ordained 
ministers and participate in many ecumenical activities. They don't 
have tests for fellowship.

BROTHER BLAKELY'S ANSWER--By "finality" I meant you made statements as though they were the end of the matter. My objection was that the assertions differed from affirmations of Scripture. Now you have said these are your beliefs, and have traced your persuasions to "the church." I am satisfied with that explanation. There is no need to carry the matter further, as I do not seek to be contentious. I only suggest to you that you can "learn Christ" as well as teachings from men and women (Ephesians 4:20). There is a body of reality that reflects the mind of the Lord, and prepares people to stand before Him. It is articulated in Scripture, and is accessible to all who will believe.

I am very familiar with the Restoration Movement, having been an active member, preacher, and writer within it for nearly fifty years. I also have more than passing familiarity with all three major divisions of it, and have preached in congregations from them all. Only three weeks ago I spoke in the First Christian Church of Sioux Falls, SD -- a Disciples church. I spoke on the power of His resurrection, and was cordially received. I also have written a quarterly that has been circulated throughout the Restoration Movement for forty years. I share these things with you so you will know I am familiar with what you have said. Nothing I have said was intended to be personal, and you have been gracious in all of our responses. I commend you for that.

I would be remiss if I did not plead with you to seek a loftier view of the Word of God--one that is not so closely tied with human interpretations. While this may appear to be impossible from a philosophical point of view, it is not. The living God is the Author of Scripture, and an understanding of it may be sought from Him. Five times David said to God, "Give me understanding" (Psa 119:34,73,125,144,169). Paul expressed his desire for the Lord to give Timothy "understanding in all things" (2 Tim 2:7). He prayed that churches would be given understanding (Eph 1:17-20; Col 1:9-11). That is my desire for you. If you pray effectively, I would be honored for you to pray that for me also. In the meantime, it is good to express ourselves in the words of Scripture rather than that of philosophy. It cuts down on a lot of contention.
Given O. Blakely



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