Satan And Sexual Sin

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It is written:

Luke 8:27-And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

Throughout many ancient extra-biblical documents that are often referred to in the Bible, there are connections made between Satan (and his host) and sexual sin.

One example comes from the ancient book, The Testament Of Reuben, which tells the sad story of the sexual sin that he committed with Bilhah.

“For if I had not seen Bilhah bathing in a private place, I would not have committed this great sin. I could not stop seeing her nakedness in my mind. I couldn’t sleep. I just had to have her. So, when Jacob and Isaac went away, and we were at Gader, near Bethlehem Ephratha, Bilhah was drunk, and asleep naked in her tent. I went in to her tent and saw her lying naked, I committed the sin, then left her lying there asleep. An angel of God revealed my sin to my father, Jacob, and he came and mourned over me, and touched her no more…. Until my father’s death I was never bold enough to look him in the eye, or stand up to my brothers, because of my reproach. Even now my conscience bothers me because of my sin. My father forgave me; he prayed for my forgiveness and healing. From that point on, I was protected, and I never committed that sin again. Therefore, my children, observe all my commands, and you will not fall into sin. Fornication destroys the soul, separates you from God, and entices you into idolatry, because it deceives your mind and understanding and will lead you to Hell before your time. Belial has destroyed many through fornication; even noble elderly men have ruined their lives because of it. Joseph kept himself from every woman, and purged his thoughts from all fornication. He found favor before the Lord and men. For the Egyptian woman did many things unto him, and called for magicians, and offered him love potions, but he purposed in his soul not to allow the evil desire. Therefore, God kept him from death. If fornication does not overcome your mind, neither will Belial overcome you.” (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Testaments Of The Patriarchs: Autobiographies From The Dead Sea Scrolls, 651-662 (Kindle Edition))

Clinton Arnold has well pointed out:

“According to the Testaments, every individual must personally struggle against evil spirits of deceit, who are ruled by the devil, or Behar. They exploit human drives and frailties to promote their evil ends. Sexual promiscuity, in particular, is pinpointed as one of the areas of sinful activity instigated by evil spirits. In the Testament of Reuben, sexual sin is called “the plague of Beliar” and is inspired by a “spirit of promiscuity (porneia) that resides in the nature and the senses” (Testament of Reuben 6:3; 3:3). The Testament does not give the devil and his powers full responsibility for human lapses into sexual trysts; the involvement of the human mind and senses is given an equal role. In reflecting on Reuben’s incestuous sin with his father’s mistress, Bilhah (cf. Gen 35:22), the Testament places more emphasis on Reuben’s own lust and mental titillation… Nevertheless, in continuing to reflect on what he had learned from the event, he points to the devil’s involvement: “For promiscuity has destroyed many. Whether a man is old, well born, rich, or poor, he brings on himself disgrace among mankind and provides Behar with an opportunity to cause him to stumble” (4:7).” (Clinton Arnold, Powers Of Darkness: Principalities & Powers In Paul’s Letters, 68-69 (Kindle Edition); Downers Grove, Illinois; InterVarsity Press)

Another example of this is found in the book known as the Testament Of Solomon. Both Jesus (Matthew 12:24-37) and Paul (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:15-16) show familiarity with this work. In it, King Solomon captures several demons who tell him about their different ranks and plots and attacks upon men.

“26. And I summoned again to stand before me Beelzeboul, the prince of demons, and I sat him down on a raised seat of honor, and said to him: “Why are you alone, prince of the demons?” And he said to me: “Because I alone am left of the angels of heaven that fell. For I was first angel in the first heaven being entitled Beelzeboul. And now I control all those who are bound in Tartarus. But I too have a child, and he haunts the Red Sea. And on any suitable occasion he comes up to me again, being subject to me; and reveals to me what he has done, and when he is ready, he will come in triumph. 27. I, Solomon, said to him: “Beelzeboul, what is your employment?” And he answered me: “I bring destruction by means of tyrants. I ally myself with foreign tyrants. And my own demons I set on to men to be worshipped, in order that the latter may believe in them and be lost. And the chosen servants of God, priests and faithful men, I excite to desires for wicked sins, and evil heresies, and lawless deeds; and they obey me, and I bear them on to destruction. And I inspire men with envy, and [desire for] murder, and for wars and sodomy, and other evil things. And I will destroy the world.” 28.” (Translated by F. C. Conybeare-Revised English and partial translation by Jeremy Kapp, The Testament Of Solomon, 94-98 (Kindle Edition))

The extra-biblical literature on this topi is fascinating. Yet we have to ask the question: does the Bible itself make any connections between Satan (and his host) and sexual sin?

The answer is YES.

Let’s notice a few examples.

Genesis 6:1-4-Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2  that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 3  And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4  There were giants 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.

The Word of God here reveals to us a time when some of the angels rebelled against Heaven by producing offspring with humans. That the “sons of God” are angels is clear from the fact that every other time the phrase here so translated is used in the time of Moses, it has reference to angels (Job 1:6; 2:1-2; 38:4-7). Furthermore, that these were fallen angels is made clear by both Peter (2 Peter 2:4), Jude (Jude 6-7), and the most ancient Jewish commentaries and studies on this passage.

“This strange passage describes the bizarre circumstances that led to the cataclysmic disaster of the famous Flood of Noah. The Hebrew term translated “sons of God” is , B’nai HaElohim, a term consistently used in the Old Testament for angels.224 When the Hebrew Torah, which of course includes the book of Genesis, was translated into Greek in the third century before Christ (giving us what is known as the Septuagint translation), this expression was translated angels.225 With the benefit of the best experts at that time behind it, this translation carries great weight and it was the one most widely quoted by the writers of the New Testament. The Book of Enoch also clearly treats these strange events as involving angels.226 Although this book was not considered a part of the “inspired” canon, the Book of Enoch was venerated by both rabbinical and early Christian authorities from about 200 B.C. through about A.D. 200 and is useful to authenticate the lexicological usage and confirm the accepted beliefs of the period. The Biblical passage refers to supernatural beings intruding upon the planet Earth….The “angel” view of this classic Genesis text is well documented in both ancient Jewish rabbinical literature and Early Church writings. In addition to the Septuagint translation, the venerated (although non-canonical) Book of Enoch, the Syriac Version of the Old Testament, as well as the Testimony of the 12 Patriarchs234 and the Little Genesis,235 confirm the lexicological usage and the extant beliefs of ancient Jewish scholars. Clearly the learned Philo Judaeus understood the passage as relating to angels.236 Josephus Flavius also represents this view: “They made God their enemy; for many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength, for the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.”237 In accordance with the ancient interpretation, the Early Church fathers understood the expression “sons of God” as designating angels. These included Justin Martyr,238 Irenaeus,239 Athenagoras,240 Pseudo-Clementine,241 Clement of Alexandria,242 Tertullian,243 Commodianus,244 and Lactantius,245 to list a few. This interpretation was also espoused by Luther and many more modern exegetes including Koppen, Twesten, Dreschler, Hofmann, Baumgarten, Delitzsch, W Kelly, A. C. Gaebelein, and others.” (Chuck Missler & Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters: The Secret Behind The UFO Phenomenon, 205-208 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House)

The offspring of the fallen angels and the humans were known as the nephilim (giants). According to the ancient book of First Enoch, these giants were killed in the Flood and their spirits were left in the world.

1 Enoch 15:8-12-My judgment for the giants is that since they are born from flesh they will be called evil spirits and will remain on the earth. 9 Because they were created from above, from the holy Watchers, at death their spirits will come forth from their bodies and dwell on the earth. They will be called evil spirits. 10 The heavenly spirits will dwell in heaven, but the terrestrial spirits who were born on earth will dwell on earth. 11The evil spirits of the giants will be like clouds. They will afflict, corrupt, tempt, battle, work destruction on the earth, and do evil ; they will not eat nor drink, but be invisible. 12 They will rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.

It is with this knowledge in mind that we find another fascinating passage in the Old Testament that describes the connections between these beings and sexual sin.

Proverbs 9:13-18-A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing. 14  For she sits at the door of her house, On a seat by the highest places of the city, 15  To call to those who pass by, Who go straight on their way: 16  “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 17  “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18  But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.

Here, Solomon is warning his sons about the dangers of sexual sin. Notice how he describes the home of the immoral woman: “the dead are there.” The “dead” in this passage are the Rephaim:

Proverbs 9;18 (YLT)-And he hath not known that Rephaim are there, In deep places of Sheol her invited ones!

The text refers to “the dead” here as the Rephaim. These are mentioned throughout the Old Testament and were understood to be a referenced to the nephilim.

“The English Standard Version renders rĕpāʾîm as “giants,” “shades” (meaning “spirits of the dead”), or “the dead,” depending on context (see, e.g., 1 Chr 20: 4; Isa 26: 14; and Job 26: 5, respectively)….The English translation of rĕpāʾîm as “shades” captures the “otherworldly, shadowy nature of the living-dead residents of the underworld.” 17 For the purposes of the present study, the point to be made is that the biblical Rephaim are supernatural residents of the underworld, a place in the spiritual plane of reality dissociated with the presence of God. 18 To remain in that place was to be separated from life with God. That idea is evident in passages like Proverbs 21: 16: “One who wanders from the way of good sense [i.e., one who is a fool, defined in Scripture as a wicked person or unbeliever] will rest in the assembly of the dead [rĕpāʾîm].” The fool misled by the wicked woman Folly into keeping company with her in her home “does not know that the dead [rĕpāʾîm] are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol” (Prov 9: 18). It is noteworthy that, unlike the material from Ugarit, the Old Testament at times uses the term rĕpāʾîm for the giant clans of the days of Moses and Joshua. Og, king of Bashan, was said to be the last vestige of the Rephaim (Deut 3: 11, 13; Josh 12: 4; 13: 12). The Rephaim are linked to the Anakim in Deuteronomy 2: 10–11: “The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim. Like the Anakim, they are also counted as Rephaim.” According to Numbers 13: 33, the Anakim were “from the Nephilim.” As we will see in chapters 5 and 6, biblical writers saw the origin of the Nephilim as extending from the rebellion of divine “sons of God” (Gen 6: 1–4) before the flood. This became the basis for the Jewish theology of the origin of demons in the Second Temple era. 19 Consequently there is a dark, sinister element to the Israelite conception of the Rephaim as inhabitants of the underworld.” (Michael S. Heiser, Demons: What the Bible Really Says About the Powers of Darkness, 10-12 (Kindle Edition); Bellingham, WA; Lexham Press)

Gilbert discusses how this connection is also shown through the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint.

“We’ve already showed the connection between the Titans and the Watchers, the sons of God of Genesis 6, the angels who sinned mentioned by Peter and Jude. The references in the Septuagint, however, are more obvious. And the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over Israel; and all the Philistines went up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the strong hold. And the Philistines came, and assembled in the valley of the giants (Titânes)… And the Philistines came up yet again, and assembled in the valley of Giants (Titânes), (2 Samuel 5: 17–18, 22; Septuagint translation by Lancelot C. L. Brenton, 1851; emphasis added) References to the Valley of Rephaim/ Titans also occur in 2 Samuel 23: 13 and 1 Chronicles 11: 15. Another mention of the Titans occurs in the apocryphal book (for Protestants) of Judith: The Assyrian came down from the mountains of the north; he came with myriads of his warriors; their numbers blocked up the wadis, and their cavalry covered the hills. He boasted that he would burn up my territory, and kill my young men with the sword, and dash my infants to the ground, and seize my children as booty, and take my virgins as spoil. But the Lord Almighty has foiled them by the hand of a woman. For their mighty one did not fall by the hands of the young men, nor did the sons of the Titans strike him down, nor did tall giants set upon him; but Judith daughter of Merari with the beauty of her countenance undid him. (Judith 16: 3–6, NRSV; emphasis added) Since the oldest text of Judith available to us today is from the Septuagint, we don’t really know the book’s original language.[ 205] It may have been composed in Greek, since the earliest Hebrew copy is from the Middle Ages. The point: By the time the Greeks controlled the lands of the Bible, after the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C., the religious scholars and scribes of the Jews had no problem directly linking the Titans to the Rephaim, and identifying them specifically as giants. In the religion of the Greeks, Jewish scholars recognized their own stories of the Watchers, the Nephilim, and the rebel gods who’d rejected the authority of the Creator, Yahweh.” (Derek P. Gilbert, Last Clash of the Titans: The Second Coming of Hercules, Leviathan, and the Prophesied War Between Jesus Christ and the Gods of Antiquity, 92-93 (Kindle Edition); Crane, MO: Defender Publishing)

Clearly, Solomon makes a connection between sexual sin and the powers of darkness.

Finally, we are reminded about the statement in the Gospel of Luke regarding the Gadarene who was demon-possessed:

Luke 8:27, 35-And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs…Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

Notice the contrast that Luke provides for us in this account. When the man is first identified as being demon-possessed, we are told that he “wore no clothes.” After the demons have been exorcised from him, he is then described as “clothed and in his right mind.” The implication is that the demonic influence interfered with his rationality and with his being properly clothed.

The Jewish readers of this passage of Scripture would have quickly noticed the fact that the demon-possessed man wore no clothes. The idea of “nakedness” throughout the Bible often has reference to sexual activity.

Genesis 2:22-25-Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23  And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The phrase “uncovering nakedness” was used throughout the Old Testament as a euphemism for sex (cf. Leviticus 18:6-19; 20:11-21; 1 Samuel 20:30; Ezekiel 16:36-37; 22:10; 23:18).

In the Gadarene, we see another example of the connections in the Bible between demons and sexual sin.

Satan always takes what is beautiful and attempts to corrupt it. He is an expert at this! Yet God is able to bring salvation and forgiveness to whoever will come to Him through Jesus (Acts 2:37-47).

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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