This one of the best examples of where denominations cannot objectively look at this answer because the doctrine of the church is such that it cannot make adjustments to scripture. There are others, but this is a good one to dive into.
When testing a child as to whether they have been prepared to the parents wishes, a situation may be established. The directive is, “don’t talk to strangers” or “don’t get into a van with a stranger wanting you to help him find his dog” or something similar. How can a parent be sure that the training or directive is adhered to. The parent ask a friend whom they know, but the child does not know and the scene is set. The child is at the park or on their way home from school and a stranger(the friend of the Parent) pulls up in a van and entices the child with cookies and or puppies and kittens. The Parent gave the Friend/Stranger permission to tempt the child.
From the Childs’ perspective the stranger was evil. From the parents perspective the stranger did what he was asked to do, but would not have otherwise done the deed with out permission or being allowed to do the mission.
Genesis 3. Adam and Eve are given the directive, you can eat from any tree in the garden except one. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Notice the differentiation of the phrase. Good versus evil and Good and Evil. If the question was is there Good and Evil, of course. It is all about perspective. But what about Good Versus Evil.
Does G-d have an equal in Satan? Are they enemies?
Lets look objectively. Once the directive was given to Adam and Eve, the tempter was sent to see if the directive would be followed. “you won’t Surely die”, Satan says to Eve. Because of this occurrence, Genesis 3:15, the Proto Evangelican enters. Because the directive was not followed, the rest of the Bible story was necessary.
Job chapter 1 and Job chapter 2 explain more to the point in detail. Job was a righteous and upstanding man holding fast to his integrity. Satan is at the assembly in Heaven when G-d ask Satan, “what are you doing?” then “Have you considered my servant Job?” Satan answers and says “if you will remove your hedge around him he will curse you to your face.” Then G-d tells Satan, “all that he has is yours, only don’t harm him.”
Does this sound like Satan had full autonomy to go after Job’s animals and children or was he given permission by G-d? Then the next chapter makes something even more clear. It is difficult to comprehend because of conditioning of who Satan is, but lets look objectively.
Again Satan is at the assembly and G-d ask Satan, “what are you doing?” and this is the most important part of the book of Job, This next sentence. Then G-d says to Satan, “have you considered my servant Job, he is a righteous man holding fast to his integrity even though You(Satan) have incited me(G-d) to ruin him without cause.” This sentence is a sledge hammer of information. Then Satan asks G-d to remove his protection. The G-d tells Satan, he is at your discretion, only don’t kill him. Surely if you had seen this before, the questions would be plentiful.
However, when we look at Job 1 and 2 along with Genesis 3, it makes sense.
Lets look at a few more. Exodus 9:12, 10:27. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart. And before that Exodus 7:3. But I(G-d) will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. And Exodus 10:1. Then the Lord said to Moses, Go to Pharaoh, for I(G-d) have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of mine among them. Others are Exodus 4:1, 21, 7:13, 22, 8:15, 19, 9:7,35, 10:20, 11:10, 14:4, 8, 17. This many times saying the same thing, Moses is making a point for sure. Looking at these versus in light of Job and Genesis, things start to make sense. From the perspective of the Israelites was it evil that Pharaoh would not let them go?
How about this one. Luke 22:31. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” What does this mean? Can not Satan do as he wishes? He needs permission? Interesting. There are many versus where Satan is said to tempt different individuals. Now we have an idea that he must have permission.
With what we know now, look at these versus. Luke 22:3 And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot. Now this is interesting. So up until this time Satan was not in him. And with our other foundation of knowledge Satan needed permission to enter anyone. John 13:27. and after the morsel, Satan then entered him. Lets back up just a bit. John 6:70, Jesus answered them, “did i myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil.” At this time of the comment, Satan had not entered Judas.
These last few versus will sum it up. Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now the Salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our G-d and the authority of His Christ have come, for the ACCUSER of our BRETHREN has been thrown down, he who ACCUSES them before our G-d Day and Night.
This sentence in Revelation along with the other comments and versus go to the Judgment. G-d is the Judge, Jesus is the defense attorney. Satan is the prosecuting attorney. The directive from G-d, Don’t break my commandments. Satan comes before G-d to say, “he broke that one, he broke this one.” G-d says to Jesus, “these are important charges against your client, How do you respond?” This is when Jesus says for those that have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior, “I died for this one, so that his sins are forgiven and let my punishments stand for him.”
To which G-d replies with Well done my good and faithful servant. “Next!”
More to come!