Originally Posted by Spitfire
I wonder if it is in part the lasting imprint of Manicheanism when Christians erroneously understand God and Satan to be equally powerful cosmic forces locked in an eternal battle for supremacy.
I agree it is an error to see it this way...
Satan was defeated and fell like lightning on HIS way to the lower parts of sheol. He is allowed to do his thing because of the needs of the sinful elect, the good seed of Matt 13:27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest.
The judgment was postponed, NOT because satan was so powerful but because the sin of the elect on earth made them susceptible to damnation until the harvest.
The harvest does not denote a 'time' per se but rather it denotes the maturity of the wheat, and the only maturity that can save a sinner from damnation is maturity into holiness, the perfect outcome of redemption, repentance and sanctification.
The devil and his seed cannot be pulled up - judged
- because the good seed are susceptible to being destroyed in that same judgment. Their sin is the cause of the postponement, not his power.
There is no eternal gnostic struggle between light and dark; Christ's work on the cross ended that...
What we have on earth is sheep gone astray into the flesh pots of the goats, the seed of the evil one sown into the world by the devil as per Matt 13:37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
, to keep the sheep in their sins to keep the postponement ongoing. But it will end when the last sheep is returned to his/her master.