Here's A Thought...

Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!


Monday, October 7, 2013

The Devil is Real

           The world seems to be losing its mind. It doesn’t matter what you believe. It doesn’t matter what your social beliefs, your economic beliefs, your political beliefs or your religious beliefs; we all can agree that there is something going on in the world today and it seems like the world is just going crazy. And honestly, I don’t know if things have really changed that much in the last couple centuries or if it’s just the fact that with the media and the use of social networking that we are so much more aware of what’s going on not just around us, but around the world. One thing for sure is that there is a tension that most would agree they can’t understand…but you couldn’t cut it with a chainsaw.
            If you are reading this, you have probably read some of my material in the past and there isn’t much of a secret about my relationship with my Heavenly Father; that I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ; and how much I rely on His Holy word.  I am also no stranger to writing on topics that have caused many who share my faith to disagree with what I have written. I am sure this will be no different; however if by sharing this I can wake anyone up to the reality of what is going on around us, it will be time well spent.

            I was recently approached by a young lady who had been attending a church organized study of a book written by C.S. Lewis (great author). This group’s intent is to further spiritual growth. The question was raised as to whether the devil can read your mind. I believe the heart of the question is more to the point of does the devil have access to your mind? What brought me to a point of utter disbelief was the answer she was given. She was told no, that the devil (Satan) cannot read your mind. She even told me of another woman who was afraid to pray out loud for fear that the devil would hear what was on her mind.
            As I discussed this question with more and more Christians and also those who are spiritual leaders; I found that most didn’t have an answer to the question and if they did they really didn’t know why they believed what they believed. Most answer’s came from what they had been taught in church or from some other source but not from their own study of the Bible.
            So I have compiled a two page list of verses from the Bible that speak to Satan’s ability to speak, interact, address, possess, oppress, influence or otherwise have impact on us and/or the word around us. I have included this list at the end and would just like to take a few moments to address a few of them.

            “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” –Charles Baudelaire

            We all have heard or maybe even used this quote at some time in our life, but do we really understand the significance of that statement? Do we really understand that there is an almighty and Holy creator of the universe? If we do; do we understand that there is an adversary whose sole function is to take over or destroy all that God created? Do we truly believe in God, do we truly believe in Satan? Do we believe that sin is anything that violates our relationship with our Heavenly Father? Do we truly believe that Satan, and therefore evil, truly exists? Do we believe that there is evil attempting to cause us to sin?
            If you get to the end of this and read through the list of scripture verses that reference Satan and his influence and you still doubt his existence or his influence; I am praying for you.

            The bible list two times that Jesus either taught us about prayer or offered prayer for us. First; he taught us the “Lord’s prayer”. This was a response to the disciples, who had heard him pray, asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. It is at the end of this prayer that he tells them to ask God for protection from evil. If the devil and therefore evil cannot influence them, why would they need protection?
            The second time is in the Gospel of John when Jesus offers a prayer to God for the disciples as the time for his crucifixion approached. It is often referred to as the “High Priestly Prayer”. It is in that prayer that Jesus Christ asked our Heavenly Father to “keep them from the evil one”; again asking for protection for us from Satan. Interesting that Jesus asks God to protect us from Satan or evil.
            In another instance, when Jesus told his disciples of his upcoming death, he was confronted by Peter.
            From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you. But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”(Matthew 16:21-23 ESV)
I don’t think Peter was challenging Christ’s destiny, he was challenging Christ’s divinity. At which point Jesus quickly identified the presence or influence of the source of this challenge and immediately addressed the perpetrator…Satan.

There is no question that everywhere Jesus went while he was on earth that he was casting out demons. It was a testimony not only to who he was, but his authority over Satan and all of his demons. He also gave his followers authority over Satan and his demons as well.
The bible says to resist the devil and he will flee. But how can you resist something that you won’t acknowledge?

            The world is engulfed in fear, anger and sin. We are consumed with guilt, anxiety and depression that we attempt to cover with addictions and rebellion. We spend billions of dollars in America alone on psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors; billions of dollars on medications and treatments to help us to cope with all of these issues and the consequences of these issues…and none of it seems to be helping. We are all wearing and tending to the battle wounds of a war we refuse to admit that we are in. We are stumbling in the midst of an active war zone…refusing to admit there is a war.
            Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus about this battle:
            Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.(Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV)
How strange it is that we are still attempting to fight this battle in the flesh with will power, counselors, medications, groups and so on. If we do not admit the battle we are in, who the players are, and how to fight; we are just spinning our wheels. We have brought the proverbial physical knife to a spiritual gunfight.
            We don’t acknowledge Satan and all of his works. We don’t resist because we don’t acknowledge. And as long as this continues to be our pattern of approach; we will NEVER have victory! The Apostle John wrote to us:
            We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
            And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:18-21 ESV)

I beg you; seek out a relationship with your Heavenly Father. Seek to know His word. For if all you know is of this world; you are “in the power of the evil one”. If you choose to stick your head in the sand, Satan will kick you in the ass! (Please take a minute for that visual image to completely form.)

            From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17 ESV)

The Devil in the Bible

1 Chronicles 21:1 – Satan incited David to conduct census
Job 1:6-12 – Satan approached God and discussed Job
Job 2:1-7 – Satan struck Job with sores
Zechariah 3:1-2 – vision of Joshua before the Lord with Satan at his right side to accuse him
Matthew 4:10 – Jesus tempted in the desert by Satan (also in Luke 4)
Matthew 16:23 – Matthew challenges Jesus divinity and death on cross; “get behind me Satan”
Mark 4:15 – in parable of sower, Satan takes the seed on the path (also in Mat 13, Luke 8 – devil, Matthew 13:19 and 13:38 evil one)
Luke 10:19 – Jesus gave disciples authority of Satan
Luke 13:16 – woman “bound” by Satan for 18 years (healed on the Sabbath)
Luke 22:3 – Satan entered into Judas (also in John 13:27)
Luke 22:31 – Jesus tells Peter of denial; tells Peter “Satan demanded to have you”
Acts 5:3 – Peter to Ananias; “why has Satan filled your heart to lie”
Acts 26:18 – Paul confesses Jesus; “turn from darkness to light, from Satan to God”
Romans 16:20 – The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet
1 Corinthian 5:5 – deliver man to Satan (brother who is sexually involved with fathers wife)
1 Corinthian 7:5 – married; don not deprive one another so Satan may not tempt you
2 Corinthian 2:11 – forgive so not to “be outwitted by Satan”
2 Corinthian 11:4 – Satan disguises himself as light; Satan’s servants disguise as servants of righteousness
2 Corinthian 12:7 – thorn in flesh is messenger of Satan to harass me
1 Thessalonian 2:18 – Paul wanted to come to them “but Satan hindered us”
Revelation 2:9 – those who claim to be Jews, but a synagogue of Satan
Revelation 2:13 – you dwell where Satan’s throne is
Revelation 12:9 – Satan thrown down to Earth (also devil)
Revelation 20:2 – Satan had to be bound for 1 thousand years (also devil)
Revelation 20:7 – Satan released from bondage, thrown into lake of fire (also devil)

John 6:70 – Jesus said; “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”
John 8:39 – Jesus said you are of your father the Devil
John 13:2 – the Devil put into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus
Acts 10:38 - Jesus proclaimed as healing those oppressed by the Devil
Acts 13:10 – Paul confronts Elymas the magician, called him “son of the Devil”
Ephesian 4:27 – Give no opportunity to the Devil
Ephesian 6:11 – Stand against the schemes of the Devil
1 Timothy 3:6-7 – qualifications of overseer can fall into snare of the Devil
2 Timothy 2:26 – worker approved by God to avoid the snare of the Devil
Hebrew 2:14 – Devil has been granted power over death
James 4:7 – Resist the Devil and he will flee (you have to acknowledge him to resist him)
1 Peter 5:8 – Devil prowls like a lion seeking to devour
1 John 3:8 – who makes practice of sinning is of the Devil
1 John 3:10 – evident who is of God and who is of the Devil
Jude 1:9 – Judgment of false teachers, resist as Michael rebuked the Devil over the body of Moses
Revelation 2:10 – Devil will throw you into prison to be tested

Matthew 4:24 – those oppressed by demons brought to Jesus
Matthew 7:22 – did we not cast out demons in your name
Matthew 8:16 – many brought to Jesus oppressed by demons, he cast out spirits
Matthew 8:28 – city of Gadarenes “legion” of demons possessed a man (also Luke 8:26)
Matthew 9:33 – man unable to speak, Jesus cast out demon
Matthew 10 – Jesus sends out disciples with authority to cast out demons (also Mark 6:13)
Matthew 12:22 – Demon oppressed man
Matthew 15:21 – faith of Canaanite woman; daughter oppressed by demon (also Mark 7:26-30)
Matthew 17:18 – boy with demon disciples could not cast out; “only by fasting and prayer” (also Luke 9:42)
Mark 1:32-34 – many oppressed by demons were cast out
Mark 1:39 – Jesus went throughout Galilee casting out demons
Mark 3:15 – Twelve given authority to cast out demons
Mark 16:17 – these signs accompany believers, ability to cast out demons
Luke 4:33-34 – man in synagogue oppressed by demon, cried out to Jesus
Luke 4:41 – demons came out of many crying out “you are the son of God”
Luke 8:2 – Mary Magdalene with 7 demons
Luke 9:1 – Jesus sends out 12 with authority over demons
Luke 10:17 – 72 disciples return; “even demons subject to us in your name”
Luke 11:14 – Jesus cast out a demon that was mute
Luke 13:32 – Jesus; go tell Herod “I cast out demons”
1 Corinthian 10:21 – you cannot partake of the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons
1 Timothy 4:1 – some will depart, devoting to teachings of demons
James 2:19 – even demons believe in God and shudder
James 3:15 – wisdom that is not from above is demonic
Revelation 16:14 – demons will perform signs
Revelation 18:2 – Babylon fallen, dwelling place for demons

Evil one
John 17:15 – Jesus “Priestly Prayer”; protect them from the evil one
Ephesians 6:16 – shield of faith to protect from the flaming darts of the evil one
2 Thessalonian 3:3 – prayer; Lord guard against the evil one
1 John 2:13-14 – you have overcome the evil one
1 John 3:12 – do not be like Cain, of the evil one
1 John 5:18 – we are born of God, protected from the evil one
1 John 5:19 – whole world lies in the power of the evil one

Job 12:16
Revelation 12:19

The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:13 – deliver us from the evil one (KJV)

The Serpent of Genesis 3