Now, I would like to briefly look at Job. I want to
talk about Job and the wilderness temptations, and as I say, the other passages
which Mark commented on are explained in this book. (In Search of Satan). Now,
it seems that what Mark is trying to say, and maybe I'm misunderstanding him,
but what he seems to be saying is that Job had a Satan, and that adversary, that
Satan, was this person called Satan, a supernatural being, and that God brought
these problems into Job's life via this evil sinful being called Satan. Now
again, if that's what we're really asked to believe, then we are saying that
God's has a puppet who is actually sinful and that is just completely contrary
to what the Scripture teaches.
Now if what Mark is really saying is disaster and evil in the sense of calamity like your house falls down or these sort of things, if he is saying that those things come from God through his angels, well, yes, that is exactly what we believe. God uses angels to bring about evil in the sense of disaster. But this debate, I mean really that is a bit of a smokescreen I suggest, that Mark says, sure we believe that the angels and Satan bring about disaster oh yes, we would agree, if you want to call an angel a satan and say the angel brings about disaster in your life, yes, that's quite true. But the point at issue, and this is what the smokescreen rather hides, the point of issue between Christadelphians and the CGAF is 'where sin comes from'. It is no good Mark saying that where it comes from is irrelevant, it' not irrelevant. That's what the whole point of this debate is about.
Now we're told that sin comes from within and it is sin which we do not believe comes from an angel, and it is temptation which does not comes from an angel. Now that is what Mark has said, and then he has changed his tack and said oh well, it is actually disaster that comes from angels and Satan. Well, yes, we agree with that but we don't agree with this thing about sin coming from an angel, because for one thing no proof has been given, we're still waiting for the proof. Secondly, we have given a whole load of evidence which shows that in fact sin comes from inside us.
So then, Job. Well, the assumption was made of course that Job's Satan was an angel. Well, that's an assumption, because that phrase 'sons of God' does not always refer to angels. The sons of God can refer to the true believers. Now if we're saying that Satan is in any way sinful, and we have shown plenty of connections between Satan and sinfulness - if Satan is a sinful person or being, well, he could not have been in the presence of God Himself in heaven, because we are told that " God is of purer eyes than to behold evil" - Habakkuk 1: 13. Psalm 5: 8 (should this be v.5?) - it says that God cannot abide evil in his presence. So we cannot say that Satan is a sinful being up there in heaven. We would suggest that the presence of the Lord though is a phrase more often used about God's presence manifested through the priest, or something like that, and it has been suggested that Satan may have been an actual worshipper, one of the sons of God.
But who Satan was there in that particular text in a sense is irrelevant, because if the Satan was under God's control, well then, therefore, the Satan was not a sinful being. Now Mark said that human adversary can't smite people with illness, well, look at the Acts of the Apostles. What did Peter do to Ananias and Sapphira? He smote them with a crippling illness. Now again, he used the power of God to do that. We cannot say that human adversaries can't smite people with problems. Of course they do.