Author Topic: Death, swart devils, and hell  (Read 772 times)

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Offline David Young

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Death, swart devils, and hell
« on: November 10, 2018, 04:56:22 AM »
I wonder if any of you can enlighten me about the origin of a widespread belief. Ælfric (monk, abbot and priest who wrote before the filioque), taught emphatically - indeed rather luridly - that black devils come at the death of the impenitent and carry them off to hell, where the devils torment them. Now being a Baptist who naturally tries to derive his religion from the Scriptures, I cannot see such an idea anywhere in Scripture, but rather that hell was created as a place of torment for the Devil and his angels (i.e. where they themselves will suffer eternal torment), and that men who die impenitent and unbelieving were added after the Fall, and that it is God (not devils) who inflicts punishment, exclusion and destruction upon them (e.g. 2 Thessalonians 1). So my question: where did the belief originate that devils carry men off to hell and then torment them there? (I should add that Ælfric is nonetheless one of my heroes of the faith, and I would love to be animated by the same Spirit as energised him.)
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 05:13:00 AM »
What is wrong with your question ? it assumes sola scriptura, which is a false doctrine.

Nevertheless, there is scriptural basis for this


« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 05:13:27 AM by Vanhyo »

Offline WPM

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 10:33:02 AM »
If you read the Scriptures and go by the Bible it is not automatically sola scriptura.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 11:11:35 AM »
My guess is that Ælfric derived this ultimately from Egyptian Christian writings.
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Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 03:11:22 PM »
Nevertheless, there is scriptural basis for this

Thank you. This is informative, both about the early West and about the early East. However, if I may press further:

1. it tells me that these men believed the same as Ælfric (in my original question), some 500 years or more before him; but
2. it doesn't tell me where they derived this belief from (other than from visions);
3. it makes no reference to such promises as "The blood of jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin", or sins like scarlet or crimson becoming white as snow, or God  removing our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (and many other such OT and NT promises); and finally
4. it would tend to make me try to keep pure, not out of love and gratitude to God, but out of fear of death, Satan, and hell.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 03:12:11 PM »
My guess is that Ælfric derived this ultimately from Egyptian Christian writings.

Can you say more?
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 03:23:34 PM »
there is scriptural basis for this

Vanhjo,

Your link refers only to Jude 9 as scrioptural support for the matter we are discussing. However, the dispute between Michael and the Devil in that verse was only about the BODY of Moses; there is no reference to his soul and its safety. If I may say so with due respect both to you and to our Lord, your emblem tells me that Jesus Christ conquered; this doctrine seems to weaken that claim, and to cast a pall over it.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline WPM

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 03:36:10 PM »
LOL he looks and sounds like a fool.
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 03:59:31 PM »
there is scriptural basis for this

Vanhjo,

Your link refers only to Jude 9 as scrioptural support for the matter we are discussing. However, the dispute between Michael and the Devil in that verse was only about the BODY of Moses; there is no reference to his soul and its safety.
Did you watch all ?

Quote
If I may say so with due respect both to you and to our Lord, your emblem tells me that Jesus Christ conquered; this doctrine seems to weaken that claim, and to cast a pall over it.
I do not think you understand what this means.

By uniting himself with a Body He united himself with all of humanity and by His dead and resurrection, death is defeated because everyone will rise up to be judged. If death was permanent then doing good or evil, carrying your cross or abusing others to gain an advantage, being of God or of the devil makes no difference at all because all die anyway. Hence the Apostle writes: death, where is your sting ? This is how all the martyrs were able to deny the world and its glories, get murdered in the most inhumane way and yet be victorious with Christ.

So yes, Christ conquered death, think about the day He rises you up and ask you why did you pretend to be his minister, misleading the people who wanted to know about God.


Quote
3. it makes no reference to such promises as "The blood of jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin", or sins like scarlet or crimson becoming white as snow, or God  removing our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (and many other such OT and NT promises); and finally
4. it would tend to make me try to keep pure, not out of love and gratitude to God, but out of fear of death, Satan, and hell.
The Church teaches that those who pray, go to confession and take Holy Communion regularly pass through the tolls unhindered.

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 05:09:41 PM »

Quote
Did you watch all ?

Yes. Both the eastern and the western You Tube presentations.

Quote
By uniting himself with a Body He united himself with all of humanity and by His dead and resurrection, death is defeated because everyone will rise up to be judged.

You seem to be suggesting that Christ conquered death, but not sin - that he achieved the resurrection both of the just and of the unjust, but that he did not accomplish the complete, irreversible and final forgiveness of the believer's sins. Am I understanding you?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 05:09:55 PM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Briven

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2018, 05:23:35 PM »

Quote
Did you watch all ?

Yes. Both the eastern and the western You Tube presentations.

Quote
By uniting himself with a Body He united himself with all of humanity and by His dead and resurrection, death is defeated because everyone will rise up to be judged.

You seem to be suggesting that Christ conquered death, but not sin - that he achieved the resurrection both of the just and of the unjust, but that he did not accomplish the complete, irreversible and final forgiveness of the believer's sins. Am I understanding you?

He conquered sin and death but apparently not the ability of heretics to misconstrue the opinions of the Church
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2018, 05:24:17 PM »
It's not possible to conquer death and not sin.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2018, 05:27:00 PM »

Quote
Did you watch all ?

Yes. Both the eastern and the western You Tube presentations.

Quote
By uniting himself with a Body He united himself with all of humanity and by His dead and resurrection, death is defeated because everyone will rise up to be judged.

You seem to be suggesting that Christ conquered death, but not sin - that he achieved the resurrection both of the just and of the unjust, but that he did not accomplish the complete, irreversible and final forgiveness of the believer's sins. Am I understanding you?

He conquered sin and death but apparently not the ability of heretics to misconstrue the opinions of the Church
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2018, 05:36:37 PM »
So yes, Christ conquered death, think about the day He rises you up and ask you why did you pretend to be his minister, misleading the people who wanted to know about God.

Vanyho, this is beyond light polemics, which is all this particular section will allow.  Further infractions will earn you points.  --Ainnir
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2018, 06:47:01 AM »
Quote
You seem to be suggesting that Christ conquered death, but not sin - that he achieved the resurrection both of the just and of the unjust, but that he did not accomplish the complete, irreversible and final forgiveness of the believer's sins. Am I understanding you?
Salvation is not irreversible, but if a person is active member of the Church and Christ is at the top of his/hers heart, i wouldn't be worried  about such.

Also we have a different idea of what a believer is. Do you know mohamed was also a protestant ? Was he a believer ? So were the gnostics, and the legion of self-authorized rockstar-like leaders of sects, who dazzle the multitudes in the spirit of the antichrist and of anti-authority. Who do you think Matthew 7:15-29 is referring to ?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 07:00:22 AM by Vanhyo »

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2018, 09:43:44 AM »
Who do you think Matthew 7:15-29 is referring to ?

False prophets, some with their words backed up by miracles not of God's working.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 09:44:31 AM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2018, 09:51:02 AM »

Salvation is not irreversible, but if a person is active member of the Church and Christ is at the top of his/hers heart, i wouldn't be worried  about such.

The question of whether or not salvation can be lost is a different debate. I did write that the believer's forgiveness is not reversible, and we were discussing the believer's experience at death. If a true believer falls into apostasy and, later in life, denies the faith, dies having repudiated Christ and thereby has forfeited the salvation he once had - that is not what we were discussing. Some say that cannot happen; some say it can - but I have not expressed an opinion on it on this forum, as far as I am aware.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2018, 11:19:38 AM »

Salvation is not irreversible, but if a person is active member of the Church and Christ is at the top of his/hers heart, i wouldn't be worried  about such.

The question of whether or not salvation can be lost is a different debate. I did write that the believer's forgiveness is not reversible, and we were discussing the believer's experience at death. If a true believer falls into apostasy and, later in life, denies the faith, dies having repudiated Christ and thereby has forfeited the salvation he once had - that is not what we were discussing. Some say that cannot happen; some say it can - but I have not expressed an opinion on it on this forum, as far as I am aware.

What about lukewarm believer ?


Offline Alpha60

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2018, 11:58:41 AM »
My guess is that Ælfric derived this ultimately from Egyptian Christian writings.

Can you say more?

Well, if you take a look at the Life of St. Anthony, and the Egyptian monastic corpus commonly referred to as the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, you will come across reports of the early monastics and hermits experiencing temptations and on occasion, Wagnerian attacks, from devils.  And indeed the contemporary monastic experience in Egypt still attests to this.  Fr. Lazarus el Antony, sometimes called “the Last Anchorite” although really he isn’t, there have always been a few hermits and when he reposes I expect another monk will take over his cave and his ministry in the Cave of St. Anthony, was once attacked by the devil in the form of a demonic bear; he routinely encounters the devil in variojs forms, trying to frighten him into loosing his footing and falling on the rocky desert mountain; the sign of the cross and arrow prayers to Jesus through the intercession of the Theotokos will make them go away.  On one occasion he forgot to pray, took a horrible fall, and broke several bones; he was found the next morning and had to be evacuated by air ambulance to a hospital in Cairo for treatment.

Other ancient monks and hermits were less likely.  Some lept off cliffs to their death, believing devils who came to them in the form of angels promising them they could fly.

If you haven’t read the The Life of St. Anthony or the Sayings of the Desert Fathers I strongly reccommend it.  It deals with areas not commonly encountered in the realm of Reformed Baptist theology, since your church generally hasn’t done much with monasticism, although the Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists  have, and the founder of Taize was Reformed.  In the case of The Life of St. Anthony, I would argue it is worthy of your trust, since it was written by St. Athanasius, who also wrote the 39th Paschal Encyclical, which contained the “final cut” of canonical vs. apocryphal books in the New Testament, so assuming you agree with the 27 books in the NT and their exclusive status as sacred New Testament scripture, rejecting other works like 1 Barnabas or the Gospel of Thomas or what have you, St. Athanasius should be regarded as a highly trustworthy figure, since he was the man who persuaded the early church to accept Revelations, Jude and some other more controversial books, while restricting the use of books like the Shepherd of Hermas from being read in the Church, and banning most of the apocrypha altogether.
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Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2018, 04:24:57 PM »

What about lukewarm believer ?

The NT teaches that some Christians' works will be found to be no more than wood, hay and stubble, and their works will be burnt up, but they themselves will be saved; even the man who committed incest with his mother.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2018, 04:30:25 PM »
My guess is that Ælfric derived this ultimately from Egyptian Christian writings.

Can you say more?

Well, if you take a look at the Life of St. Anthony,... St. Athanasius should be regarded as a highly trustworthy figure,

Thank you. I do sometimes see the desert fathers' writings or sayings on sale here in Britain, and I myself, in concert with others, arranged for Athanasius' "On the Incarnation of the Word" to be translated into Albanian and published in Albania, and for copies to be donated to the Orthodox seminary there (which they accepted). I shall look out for these writings.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2018, 04:41:04 PM »
Quote
The NT teaches that some Christians' works will be found to be no more than wood, hay and stubble, and their works will be burnt up, but they themselves will be saved; even the man who committed incest with his mother.

I don't think you understand what you are saying

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2018, 05:36:43 PM »
My guess is that Ælfric derived this ultimately from Egyptian Christian writings.

Can you say more?

Well, if you take a look at the Life of St. Anthony,... St. Athanasius should be regarded as a highly trustworthy figure,

Thank you. I do sometimes see the desert fathers' writings or sayings on sale here in Britain, and I myself, in concert with others, arranged for Athanasius' "On the Incarnation of the Word" to be translated into Albanian and published in Albania, and for copies to be donated to the Orthodox seminary there (which they accepted). I shall look out for these writings.

That was awesome what you did for the Albanians; De Incarnatione is one of the most important works of Christian theology, and by making it available in the Albanian language, you endowed the Albanian church with a powerful tool for catechesis.  I really sincerely admire what you did there; we may not agree on everything theologically, but in my opinion, you are a very holy pastor who deserves the greatest respect possible, an English Billy Graham. 

Billy Graham as you may know received a blessing from the Moscow Patriarch to preach in the USSR, and did a vital service for the Russian Orthodox Church by teaching the essentials of the Christian faith during a time when the ability of priests of the Orthodox Church in Russia to engage in homiletics and catechesis was severely restricted by the Soviet tyranny.  For this reason Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev visited him at his bedside on the occasion of his birthday.  Billy Graham was not Orthodox, but he voluntarily helped us, and you have done the same thing.  I think every Orthodox Christian owes you and the others who you worked with to publish De Incarnatione in Albania, in the Albanian language, for use in the seminary and elsewhere, a huge debt of gratitude.  God bless you, Reverend!

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You can find the Sayings of the Desert Fathers available for free on the Internet, and the same is true of the Life of St. Anthony.  I can provide you with links if that would help.  I strongly prefer reading books on my iPad to reading physical books.
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Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2018, 09:45:04 AM »
I believe one of the torments is ourselves constantly reproaching ourselves that we belong with the devil and knowing the devil won over us and deceived us that he is not a threat

I seen this video also by the same YouTube user on confession

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suTH_XT9jhI

I believe without confessing to people you hurt even priests you can not be saved as Jesus said if you come to communion and remember one has something against you leave your gift to the altar and reconcile and that without pursuing peace with all you can not see the Lord

But it seems harsh that until you truly fully make it up to the priest you can not be saved. But some monks as in the video did eventually make it up

And the priest is not just to love you only if you are good too doesn’t he have sins too ?

Just as that person had a vision he should see a priest I think God should do so to us too

I do not necessarily agree that we need to please the priest if we are truly sorry even though we have not impressed them for change but as Jesus said if we forgive others God will forgive us. We ourselves have to be forgiving and we should say to others we forgive them but if they do not accept it is not our fault

I am worried that the priest replaces God. You can do all things as long as you submit to the priest he will forgive you. I know the priest won’t do that if he knows what you did is sin. But the priest may forgive sin because he is just as ignorant or because he does not know how to guide in the matter and he may just want you to feel loved and all the church are sinners but we accept one another

This video seems to teach public confession something we got rid of

Anyway I do not necessarily believe you must gain acceptance of the priest as the monk did who was excluded from entering as long as you are sorry and say you are sorry
It makes you think of God as not really forgiving and all the love you believed in is false.
All the actions of God’s love to you like his tender expressions in pictures is false
I don’t necesarily believe confession to priest is necessary unless you sinned against him but it is up to others to decide. People can’t blame me for their choice but they should seek the truth themselves

« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 09:49:51 AM by mikeforjesus »

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2018, 01:33:48 PM »
You can find the Sayings of the Desert Fathers available for free on the Internet, and the same is true of the Life of St. Anthony.  I can provide you with links if that would help.  I strongly prefer reading books on my iPad to reading physical books.

Thank you for your kind words.

Yes, please, I'd like those links. I prefer reading books made of paper, but the computer screen would be a good place to start. I look forward to them.

As you may have gathered, I read widely in a range of Christian writings, from the Patristic period, mediæval writers, more recent writers of east and west - 'more recent' being mainly the two Wesley brothers, but a range of others, including the Moravians, Philip Yancey, CS Lewis &c.. As a Pentecostal once said to me, "You draw water from many wells." I do not believe we have to read only those with whom we wholly agree, for our souls can be nourished by what there is of Christ himself in many writings from various periods and streams of his Church.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2018, 02:29:59 PM »
@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 02:31:00 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline David Young

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2018, 06:17:24 PM »
@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?

Well, if I answered that, it wouldn't be private, would it?
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Briven

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2018, 06:33:59 PM »
@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?

Well, if I answered that, it wouldn't be private, would it?

That's not what that means....

It means personal.

“God,”
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“There is much suffering,
But the church is alive. "

 “How long, Archpriest, are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Until our very death, Markovna!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us plod on.” - Life of Avvakum by Himself

Nastasya, Nastasya, be
patient and do not cry:
Not every happiness
Comes in the clothing of fortune.

St. Avvakum, pray for us!

St. Ambrose, pray for us!

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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2018, 07:18:15 PM »
Same difference.  I'm not sure why he needs to know that.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2018, 07:24:46 PM »
Same difference.  I'm not sure why he needs to know that.

He needs to know because he fancies himself a sanctified elder capable of guiding men to salvation.
I think you can say ~ In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and post with charitable and prayerful intentions.

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2018, 07:48:07 PM »
I wonder if any of you can enlighten me about the origin of a widespread belief. Ælfric (monk, abbot and priest who wrote before the filioque), taught emphatically - indeed rather luridly - that black devils come at the death of the impenitent and carry them off to hell, where the devils torment them. Now being a Baptist who naturally tries to derive his religion from the Scriptures, I cannot see such an idea anywhere in Scripture, but rather that hell was created as a place of torment for the Devil and his angels (i.e. where they themselves will suffer eternal torment), and that men who die impenitent and unbelieving were added after the Fall, and that it is God (not devils) who inflicts punishment, exclusion and destruction upon them (e.g. 2 Thessalonians 1). So my question: where did the belief originate that devils carry men off to hell and then torment them there? (I should add that Ælfric is nonetheless one of my heroes of the faith, and I would love to be animated by the same Spirit as energised him.)
see: The Assumption of Moses

(I think it is out of print, but you can see a little of it in the epistle of Jude, imho.)

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2018, 11:06:24 PM »
@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?

Well, if I answered that, it wouldn't be private, would it?

This is a good answer, and also an amusing one at that.  :)
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2018, 03:00:00 AM »
Same difference.  I'm not sure why he needs to know that.

He needs to know because he fancies himself a sanctified elder capable of guiding men to salvation.

Its orthodox christian forum, we share thoughts and discuss. if anything, writting about orthodoxy to the non orthodox can be a good thing.

@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?

Well, if I answered that, it wouldn't be private, would it?

I ask you because, you said you read much, as if you are trying to reach God through reading.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 03:01:38 AM by Vanhyo »

Offline Agabus

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2018, 10:17:48 AM »
@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?

This is quite far off topic. Feel free to discuss David's original question or something that flows logically from it, but this has nothing to do with nothing in the thread.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline sestir

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2018, 06:31:04 PM »
It may be worth looking at 2 Peter 2:17 too:

Οὑτοι εισιν πηγαι ανυδροι
These are fountains without water

και ὁμιχλαι ὑπο λαιλαπος ελαυνομεναι,
and clouds by whirlwind radicalised,

οἱς ὁ ζοφος του σκοτους εις αιωνα τετηρηται.
for whom blackness/hell of darkness in generation has guarded.

Zofos meaning 'blackness', 'gloom' and/or refers directly to 'the nether world'.

Offline WPM

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2018, 06:33:36 PM »
@David Young, this is bit off topic, but can i ask you what is your privet prayer rule ?

I use the beaded chotki to say the Jesus Prayer.
For questions about the history of the Lutheran faith see the Book of Concord available from Pastor's office.

Formula of Concord 1577

A restatement of some teachings in the Augsburg Confession over which Lutherans had become divided. The Solid Declaration is the unabridged version. The Epitome is an abridged version intended for congregations to study. Over 8,100 pastors and theologians signed it, as well as over 50 government leaders.



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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Death, swart devils, and hell
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2018, 02:59:31 PM »
I wonder if any of you can enlighten me about the origin of a widespread belief. Ælfric (monk, abbot and priest who wrote before the filioque), taught emphatically - indeed rather luridly - that black devils come at the death of the impenitent and carry them off to hell, where the devils torment them. Now being a Baptist who naturally tries to derive his religion from the Scriptures, I cannot see such an idea anywhere in Scripture, but rather that hell was created as a place of torment for the Devil and his angels (i.e. where they themselves will suffer eternal torment), and that men who die impenitent and unbelieving were added after the Fall, and that it is God (not devils) who inflicts punishment, exclusion and destruction upon them (e.g. 2 Thessalonians 1). So my question: where did the belief originate that devils carry men off to hell and then torment them there? (I should add that Ælfric is nonetheless one of my heroes of the faith, and I would love to be animated by the same Spirit as energised him.)

By the way I have seen several Orthodox scholars of theology argue that Hell is being in the presence of God while being in opposition to Him; God is a consuming fire, and this fire is blissful and radiant for those who align themselves with the Divine Energies of God, but extreme torture for those who set themselves against God.  Aside from references to the Pit and the Lake of Fire, which seem to be eschatological destinations for the devil, I see nothing in Scripture which supports Dante’s conception of Hell or Milton’s idea of Hell as a domain ruled by the devil.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.