Why was Satan allowed back into heaven at a certain point?


#1

Now before you get after me about this, I’ve been wondering about Job 1:6

I thought he was kicked out of heaven for good?

*Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. *

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD - Job 2:1

Why would the Lord God allow him back in; to view AND participate in the testing of Job. Of ALL the people on earth at that time in history, why was there to be a ‘supposed’ celestial TEST of the human spirit then? Or ‘bet’ as one would deem it?

This always perplexed me.

‘Who’ was writing down the conversation going on between The Lord, Job, and Satan? Well, more in particulate - between God and Satan.

From my understanding, the ‘war in heaven’, occurred before man had arrived on earth. Some people say that the angels didn’t have free will as with humans, but I tend to disagree. For 1/3 of the angels CHOSE to side with Lucifer - thus ending with their downfall and demise.

I’ve talked with a lot of philosophical groups on the subject, and many of us came to the general consensus that, had God totally destroyed Satan during the war of heaven, He (God) would have been deemed as the ultimate bully of the universe. And what would that action convey to the rest of the angels in His service? Ergo…God let him remain ‘as is’ - as a ‘perpetual reminder (in the state that he was)’ to what ‘not to do’ from that point on.

As the saying goes, “One day with God is but a thousand years in humanity.” “His thoughts are NOT our thoughts.” I tend to believe that; knowing that my own questioning will have very little bearing on what he will do for us - our plan for us.

I love the Lord with all my heart, and yet, I’m curious as to why we pray the Lord’s Prayer. “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

(paraphrasing)

“Look at my servant Job, he follows my words/commandments/etc, there can be no wrong with him.”

Satan interjects in the council of heaven:“Ah…but you have given him everything. What if he was denied this and that, would he still praise you?”

Then God allowed Satan to take certain things away from Job.


#2

The angels did have free will; but, it operates differently than human free will. Due to their nature and their presence before God, they had the opportunity, with free will, to choose for or against God. Having made their choice, their ability to ‘change their mind’ is different than humans’ – they will never have any better opportunity to apprehend God or see things in a more accurate light – and therefore, they will not ever change their mind. Their choice holds for all time.

I’ve talked with a lot of philosophical groups on the subject, and many of us came to the general consensus that, had God totally destroyed Satan during the war of heaven, He (God) would have been deemed as the ultimate bully of the universe.

More to the point, God doesn’t destroy eternal souls that He has created.

Why would the Lord God allow him back in; to view AND participate in the testing of Job.

The author of Job presents the heavenly encounter in the guise of a royal court in the Oriental/Semitic style. In this context, God is the King on His throne, and He is receiving supplicants in audience. Therefore, we don’t see Satan “allowed back into heaven”, per se; we see him speaking to God as a subject to his King.


#3

First of all, Satan is pure spirit. I’m sure, whether he was let back into Heaven or not, God has the ability to talk to Satan if He so chooses. That’s the easy answer.

However, there’s another way to think about this. In its current form, Job seems to be one of the oldest books in the Bible. It certainly takes place around the time of the patriarchs - and the tribe/clan that Job is from is an Edomite tribe/clan. It’s quite well known that the Jewish notions of God and Heaven evolved over time. There are mentions in the Books of Kings of “lying angels” in Heaven, and in the Books of Samuel, God Himself sends an “evil spirit” to torture Saul and God Himself tempts David to call a census (when Chronicles mentions this same census, it was “an evil spirit” tempting David, not God). So, it’s quite possible that the sacred author of the Book of Job saw all angelic spirits, good and evil, as living in Heaven with God.

But really, focusing on the placement of Satan in the Book of Job can distract from the message of Job, namely, that one’s physical suffering is not necessarily due to one’s own sinfulness. We may never know in this life why we suffer, but it is all part of God’s plan. And the NT tells us that we can lift up our own suffering with the suffering of Jesus on the cross, and allow God to use our suffering to make us more holy and bring us to Himself.


#4

Satan is not allowed beyond the reception area in Heaven.:smiley:


#5

#6

I’m not trying to detract on the actual message of Job as to figure out my original statement regarding the title of my post.

If satan was somehow allowed back into heaven to take council with God and the angels, was that a ‘one time thing’ or is he allowed back the occasional time throughout our history? There isn’t speculation in Scripture to prove otherwise.

This is very discerning when you think about it?


#7

God or see things in a more accurate light – and therefore, they will not ever change their mind. Their choice holds for all time.

I’m hoping that you meant ‘Comprehend’?
[/quote]

No; actually, I do mean ‘apprehend’, as in ‘perceive’. :wink:


#8

Even if Heaven in some way has physical dimensions (which it would seem to, given that people with bodies occupy it), still, for an angel, being “in a place” need only mean focusing its mind there. The devil “presenting himself” before God in no way implies the face to face vision of God which only the holy angels and saints in heaven now enjoy, nor does it imply close union or sanctifying grace, which all the angels enjoyed before the fall. It is those things primarily which make Heaven, Heaven.


#9

One legitimate way of looking at this is that this passage does not refer to the devil, the understanding of which may not have been fully developed during the time Job was written. If we understand this passage as referring to “the satan” rather than “Satan”, then we can see the author referring to a spiritual creature at God’s service, a member of the heavenly court whose job is to accuse men before God, much like a heavenly prosecutor.

The association of the term “satan” with the devil came later in Judaism.


#10

Where would the sons of God go to present themselves to the Lord? Where else but at the Temple or a holy place/mountain.


#11

I don’t think satan was actually in Heaven talking to God, I think he spoke with God within his heart like we do here on earth. God is everywhere so there’s no need to go to Heaven to speak with God.

Also I think the book of Job wanted to teach that when you are someone who truly serves God, the devil can only do what God allows and how much God allows, and God may allow some things to test people to make them stronger or for other reasons we can’t understand now. But I think the bottom line is that satan can only do to saints what God allows. But also remember every bad thing doesn’t come from the devil so that doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen to saints. Sometimes things just happen and sometimes things happen because of people’s bad choices etc. but things that happen because of the devil are only things that God allows and the devil has to get permission. That’s what I think Job is trying to teach. So you can’t look at someone that bad things happen to and think they must not be living holy enough etc, sometimes bad things just happen and sometimes bad things may happen to someone living almost perfectly as a test that God allowed to make them stronger or for whatever reason God may have. But there is a purpose that benefits us, it’s not just done for sport or just to see how long it takes someone to snap or like some kind of game. There’s a reason for it. Maybe someone can avoid purgatory and go straight to Heaven because of a Job type situation. :shrug: We don’t know God’s reason.


#12

Oh that’s a good idea, like when someone today says they will play devil’s advocate to discuss a certain point. That’s an interesting idea. :hmmm:


#13

This takes place on earth. Job is one of the oldest stories in the Bible. It references the Sons of God who came to earth to sleep with human women in Genesis 6.

Before Noah God interacted differently with people than today.

Genesis 6:

6 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were [a]beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, [c]because he also is flesh; [d]nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.


#14

At_His_Feet. The verses do not say: “Satan was allowed back into Heaven.”

The verses merely say Satan went before the Lord.

I am not in Heaven right now in the fullest sense but I go before the Lord in prayer every day (as I am sure you do too).

King David went before the Lord even though he wasn’t in Heaven.

1st Chronicles 17:16 (NIV) Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

**
2nd Samuel 6:14-15, 2nd Samuel 7:18 (NIV)** 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. . . . . . Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

Satan went before the Lord in some sense to be sure (the Bible says so). But I would not get caught up on the details of how this occurred in the spiritual realm.

Hope this helps.

God bless.

Cathoholic


#15

I was always under the impression that Job was a fictional book written as an allegorical story. Is it the Church’s teaching that this is a factual book?


#16

As someone else alluded to, the Book of Job is supplemental to the Book of Genesis. It should be read and understood in the context of the Book of Genesis. It is therefor heavy in allegory.

Some here seem to believe that it is a historically accurate record of actual events as they took place. People are free to do that but it completely misses the point of what the book is about. We can go on and on about whether it records actual historical events but that misses the point of what God is trying to tell us so that we might be saved.

That’s the way Christians have read the Bible for 2000 years - by asking themselves, “What does God want me to know through this text?” Only recently have people begun focusing on historical accuracy, as if the Bible were a newspaper story.

-Tim-
-Tim-


#17

Gotcha. Thanks.


#18

I was struggling with this one too, Satan being allowed back into heaven to converse with God. I know in the book of Revelation, there is a verse that says “nothing evil can enter heaven”. So it seemed like a contradiction. Your explanation makes a whole lot of sense. Thank you very much and God bless.


#19

I agree with Cathoholic on this one.

This is part of a post that I made in the Apologetics forum about the same verses in Job being interpreted that Satan was in Heaven: "**Job 1: [6] Now on a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them. [7] And the Lord said to him: Whence comest thou? And he answered and said: I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it. [8] And the Lord said to him: Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a simple and upright man, and fearing God, and avoiding evil? [9] And Satan answering, said: Doth Job fear God in vain? [10] Hast not thou made a fence for him, and his house, and all his substance round about, blessed the works of his hands, and his possession hath increased on the earth?

[11] But stretch forth thy hand a little, and touch all that he hath, and see if he blesseth thee not to thy face. [12] Then the Lord said to Satan: Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand: only put not forth thy hand upon his person. And Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.**"
Does this text say anything about them being in Heaven, at all? No, it doesn’t. When we go into a church to pray and worship God, do we consider ourselves to be ‘standing in front of the Lord’? Yes, we do. That’s what’s being talked about in this passage. The phrase, ‘The sons of God’, usually refers to the angels, or to the holy men of God (the faithful). It’s completely feasible that this was a scene where holy men, including Job, had gathered together (on earth) to worship God, like in a synagogue or maybe someone’s house. It’s not hard to imagine that Satan would also be present, to instigate doubts or other sinful thoughts to enter their minds while they pray. That’s why God asks him where he came from, or why he’s there. Then, he says that he wants permission to test Job’s faith in God, because up to that point he wasn’t allowed to do so; and God says, yes.

This is why interpreting the Bible by ourselves, can be dangerous. It’s too easy for us to misunderstand it’s real meaning, and be completely confused by it."


#20

This is my Theory on the War in heaven and the incarnation.
Angels were God’s first living creations.
They have free will like us but witnessed the creation of universe and have a vast knowledge however can never be equal to that of God

This is my take.
God revealed the incarnation to the Angels and his plan.
The Incarnation was originally God in a vessel probably a glorified Body and his plan was to live amongst Man on earth and to be the Father of Man in Eden.
Satan was disgusted with the notion of God living and looking like and lowering himself down to the level of humans and rebelled because he felt he was better than God.
Hence the War in heaven.

Man was created with free will like the Angels but completely innocent and ignorant of Good and Evil.
Satan was jealous because so long as Man obeyed God he could do no wrong and was perfect in the sight of the lord which to Satan was some sort of abomination or blasphemy.
Hence the Fall of Man.

God still Chose to be incarnate but to humble himself lower than he had originally planned by being birthed like all men are.
Jesus is the human person of God.

Since Satan tempted Adam and Eve in their weak fleshly state he thought he could Tempt Jesus in the dessert and cause God to Sin against himself.

That’s my speculation at least.

You have to remember the Jewish perspective of Satan is that he is God’s Angel that puts those to the test.
That’s Judaism though.

More than likely what others said was correct that Satan spoke to god spiritually and not physically in heaven.


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