1. Aeriion
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    Aeriion Member

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    God and Lucifer - The Dynamics

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Aeriion, Aug 13, 2016.

    So, I am currently working on a novel which these two parties engage one another in an epic meet your maker story where our past is redefined and religion fully explained. That said, I am still trying to stay true to original concepts out of the religious texts that reference One God and One Nemesis. What dynamic interaction do these two have? What are some things they vie for? Some specific references or solid speculation on their relationship would also be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks
    ~ Aeriion
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Maybe you should read, for example, the Bible, Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost? If you're interested in retelling the story, familiarizing yourself with the source materials firsthand is a good idea.
     
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  3. Sal Boxford
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    Sal Boxford Active Member

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    Not sure about other religious texts, but the Bible says very little about Lucifer - nothing you could call a story. Someone has collated all the relevant Bible verses here: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Lucifer/

    It's not strictly a religious text, but you'll probably want to read Paradise Lost as a starting point. That sets out a narrative for their relationship.
     
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  4. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    Tip: Read the bible. It might help. Oh, I was too slow writing @izzybot has now said this.

    In my opinion I view their relationship like this-
    God loves all his angels and trusts them all but Lucifer is one of the higher angels and so God respects him more.
    Lucifier abuses this trust. It can be boring being an angel and doing what God says all day!
    With much heartache, God banishes Lucifer. He can't really trust him anymore and needs to be a strong and respected god and keeping someoone like Lucifer around can threaten this image. (as well as all the other angels who betrayed God)
    Hell ain't a nice place so Lucifer is obviously not happy.
     
  5. Aeriion
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    Aeriion Member

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    Perhaps I worded that wrong. xD Its less a retelling and more a spin off. A meet your maker story in the 21st Century.
    And Ive already glanced at a good portion of the bible but I have had trouble finding the section (if there are any) that speak on the relationship between the two. I already know God cast Lucifer and his followers down from heaven for disobeying him in attempt to harm humanity, but other than that I don't know much.
     
  6. Aeriion
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    Aeriion Member

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    Are there specific parts of the bible I should focus on?
     
  7. Sal Boxford
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    Sal Boxford Active Member

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    I think, with all the 'non serviam' stuff, that Lucifer sees God as a bit of a despot. In Paradise Lost he casts himself as (as him name implies) the bringer of light, come to open mankind's eyes to the way God has tried to keep them under. You could cast Lucifer in a misguided freedom fighter/terrorist role. So I guess his relationship with God would be all righteous indignation and bitterness on Lucifer's part and a mixture of fury and love/willingness to forgive on God's side.

    I'm not sure the Bible's the most useful reference. Any God/Lucifer stuff is more folklore than scripture.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You could look at how Lucifer is treated in Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell. Interesting take.
     
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  9. Aeriion
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    Aeriion Member

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    These works are duly noted :) Thank you.
     
  10. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Well, if God and Satan are engaging each other as equals in your story then you're already spitting on the Christian tradition, so I'm not sure how much sense it makes to try to adhere to the rest. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with that, either, because if you stick to the Christian tradition then you may not have much of a story. I say that because the Christian view is that Satan, despite his once lofty standing, is still completely and utterly inferior to and subordinate to God in every way. He only has the power that he does, which is limited in the first place, because God allows him to exercise it. It's not a "war" or a "battle" between the two sides so much as it is a case of Satan taking his ball and going home because he doesn't like the game... except God kept the ball so everyone else could still play and made Satan leave anyway.

    I'll try to be brief in describing the relationship between God and Satan as held by the Roman Catholic Church. My source is ~25 years spent in the Catholic church and a fair amount of theological study/reading about this topic. Scripture is the basis, but Catholic Tradition also recognizes a fair amount of divine revelation. Anyway, here we go...

    God created the angels, Satan among them, before he created Earth and man. In the Bible, the highest-ranking angels had six wings each. Satan has twelve, if that gives you any indication where he stood among the rest. Think of him as the right hand of God, at least while he remained obedient. He was given authority over the Earth and over earthly creation, including some authority over man. (This is why we are subject to temptation and other demonic influence.)

    However, Satan and many of the other angels did not understand earthly creation. Their sin is one of pride and arrogance. I once read a Catholic priest describe Satan as "blasphemy." He thought he was better than God the Almighty and Powerful. Again, the "war" between the angels and demons was not a fight either side could have won. It was one side breaking from the other. Christian Tradition holds that the split was perfect and irreversible. Satan is essentially the rejection of God. Hell was not some place that God had already prepared for them but rather the new state of their separation from God. The idea of God damning this creature and that creature, this guy and that girl, is not accurate. Damnation is a choice to be separate from God. Hence Hell.

    So, if God is totally powerful then why does Satan still have any power at all? This is a complicated theological question, but the gist of it is that Satan was given authority over the Earth, and regardless of how he chooses to wield that authority he still retains it, just as us humans can use our free will for good or evil. The New Testament says a lot about the final judgment, which is when Satan's authority is taken away forever and man is freed from the wiles of the devil.

    As for what they vie for, Satan's goal is to drag as many souls down with him as he can. According to the Bible he managed to convince 1/3 of all the angels to follow him, which was a number large enough to blot out the sun. He's the great deceiver. The prince of this world. He can give supernatural gifts to his followers that mimic those God gives to His faithful. But the bottom line is that there is not a single branch or denomination of Christianity that believes Satan stands on the same pedestal as God. He is inferior and weaker in every way.

    You don't see much about the specific interaction between God and Satan in the Bible outside of a few specific stories. There's Jesus' temptation in the desert, and then there's an interesting section at the beginning of Job where Satan is called to testify about his activities before God. The Jewish tradition holds that Satan is actually still in the service of God--he's been instructed to test us humans so that we might better prove who's worthy and who's not, or something to that effect. I'm not as good with Judaism.:oops:

    This is probably more information than you're looking for, so if that's the case then I apologize. But hopefully it helps.
     
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  11. Aeriion
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    Aeriion Member

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    Thank you Dr. Mambo. That was lots of information and by no means too much. Im hoping to recreate the interaction as best as possible with a spin on it where i can. A sort of, we all had a bit right, situation. But we were also all wrong in certain regards. Its to be a historical and theological scifi.
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You might like to consider the parallels between Lucifer rebelling against God, his heavenly father/creator and Cronus rebelling against his father Uranus, only to be deposed in turn by his son Zeus?
     
  13. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett collaborated to write Good Omens. It's very funny, as you'd expect from them, but they did come up with some good insights into the relationship between God and the Devil.

    I doubt you'll gain the sort of insight you're looking for in the Bible, the Q'ran or the Talmud. I believe you will need to talk to men of the cloth, e.g. Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and see what theological works they recommend.

    God help you :twisted:
     
  14. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Its been a long while since C of E school (and i discovered fast cars, girls, and rock music in between) but wasn't it the arch angel Michael who cast Lucifer down from heaven ?
     
  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Michael lead the battle on the side of the angels that were opposed to Lucifer. Not sure if he's identified as the one who specifically throws Lucifer out.
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You might also want to check out Taylor Caldwell's Dialogues With the Devil, which opens with a letter from Satan to God. God doesn't answer, Michael does, commencing an epistolary debate between the two. I had thought it was long out of print, but it's available on Amazon.

    Caldwell hinted that the book might have been divinely inspired.
     
  17. Malisky
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    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    The revolt of the angels - Anatole France
    Memnoch the devil - Anne Rice

    My all time favorites. One is comedic and kind of dramatic (in a more social manner) while the other is one of Anne Rices Vampire Chronicles (but I think that it stands alone well) and it's more dramatic and spiritual. Both are philosophical and have very nice quotes. The first of the two is my favorite.
     
  18. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    First off, you'll want to check out the book of Job. While that book is probably more allegorical than it is actually is fact, but it has probably the most comprehensive dialogue of Lucifer and God.

    Being a Mormon, I can give you our beliefs on the matter of Lucifer and God. It's a little out there from traditional Christian beliefs, but it's an interesting story none the less. I just ask that you use it as part of your research and not mock it.

    So Mormons don't believe God created the earth and then created people after. Mormons believe that every person on earth now has always existed. Before the earth we lived with God. And one day, God decided to create the earth so we could be tested and see if we can really live up to our full potential. The test was pretty simple: can you find your way back to God, even having no memory of him? This test would naturally require that we all have agency; the ability to choose right from wrong. But there was a huge problem. Without memories, we're naturally going to fail and you can't exactly go back to God if you're less than perfect. (Yeah, just so you know, every single one of us blew the chance of going back on our own merit a long time ago.) So he devised a plan to where one would live a perfect life and then sacrifice that life to atone and make everything right again when we screw up. Aka Jesus Christ. Yeah, you know him. You love him. Great guy.

    Lucifer didn't like that idea. Because if you're going to accept that you have choice, you also have to accept that some aren't going to make all the way back. That's the nature of choice. You always risk that some people are just not going to choose. Particularly when you have that additional challenge of no memory. It didn't matter to him that the way the plan was set up is that you literally had to be really choosing not to go back in order not to go back. In Mormon belief there's redemption even after death for those who hadn't a chance in this life.

    So Lucifer comes up with the first all for nothing plan. Everyone is redeemed. Period. We all go back regardless of what we did and regardless of whether we really want to. This was never going to work. he either had to take away agency, and not let us choose at all, or he had to take away consequences and not let us learn at all. Because you can't have one without the other. If there's no consequence, there's no law, if there's no law there's no choice. Without choice, there's no consequence and without consequence there's no result.

    This started a huge rebellion with one third of the "hosts of heaven" (us) taking Lucifer's side and the rest either staying neutral or actively fighting against him. Lucifer was eventually cast out with his 1/3. From then on, Lucifer became better known as Satan and his followers, whether they followed him then or started following him after they came to earth were known as the Sons of Perdition. Probably the most famous example being Cain.

    By the way, don't think that you were one who followed Lucifer, thinking you're cool or something. If you were born on earth, you didn't follow him in the premortal life. You can follow him later if you want to be an idiot.
     
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  19. Aeriion
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    Hmmmmmm. Interesting story Kallisto. This new viewpoint might give some inspiration.
     
  20. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Yep, I was gonna write this out too, but Kallisto beat me to it. The other thing that we Mormons believe is that everyone of us is a literal offspring of God, including Jesus and Lucifer. They are both sons of God, and therefore, brothers. (One brother essentially said, "Me! Pick me! I'll do it, except your way sucks, Dad, we're gonna do it my way." And the other brother said, "I'll do it, and I'll do it the way you want me to." A crude over-simplification, honestly.) Believing this to be true, and being a parent myself, I can't even imagine the pain God must have felt casting His son, and all His other children who followed that son, away forever. But as Kallisto said, Lucifer's plan was to enslave and force, which would now allow any of us - the offspring of God - to learn anything by our experience on Earth. We had to be able to choose what we wanted, not be forced into submission.

    Lucifer being now called Satan, is full of rage and hate and still wants to enslave the rest of us, but not to force us back to God, but to draw us away from Him. The more of us he can lure away, the more pain he causes His father (and brother.) He is miserable and wants the rest of us to be miserable with him.

    We ("Mormons") believe in the Bible, as well as a couple other additional texts, such as a record left by the ancient peoples of the Americas, and translated texts left out of the Bible like the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham. Moses gave much more detail about the creation story in his book than what is written in Genesis. You may find them to your interest. You could ask your nearest Mormon to share a copy this with you, or you can go to this link and read it all online. You may find it useful in your research.
     
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  21. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    Yo, fist bump Sis!
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan.

    This is a sculpture of Satan defeated by Saint Michael, outside St. Michael's cathedral, Coventry.

    [​IMG]
     

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