Bible Answers 01-21-11

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“The Bible speaks of the devil and accords him some power. But, does he know what I am thinking?" — Dana

We get a sense of the devil’s nature by perusing some of the names used of him in Scripture: Tempter (Mt. 4:1ff), Adversary (I Pet. 5:8), Destroyer (Rev. 9:11), Accuser (Rev. 12:10), Murderer (Jn. 8:44), Prince of This World (Jn. 14:30) and Ruler of Darkness (Eph. 6:12).
The devil is allowed to roam the earth and given some latitude to tempt and confuse (I Pet. 5:8). In his rebellion against God, Satan took with him a great multitude of lesser spiritual creatures (Rev. 12:4). Some of these fallen demons roam the heavenlies with their leader (Mt. 12:24). The demons are so numerous as to make his power seem to be everywhere. Humans who follow him are wide open to being both the object and subject of evil (II Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:13).  
Here is the important point: He is a created being, limited in power and presence. He is neither omnipresent, omniscient nor omnipotent. He is not an equal and opposing force against God. He is subservient to and ultimately under the authority of God. Even though he can still tempt and accuse humans (II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:11-12; Rev. 12:10), he has been judged (Jn. 12:31-33; Col. 2:15) and has ultimately lost (Mt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
There is no indication in scripture that he reads your thoughts. He knows your weaknesses, which you share with all humanity — this is where he attacks (Eph. 6:11).  You can, for example, give him a foothold in your life with unresolved anger (Eph. 4:26-27). He is able to influence you only to the extent that you allow him. Do not fear him —keep your focus on the one who has defeated him.


To send questions or to communicate with Pastor McCullough,
write to wrbc-pastor@earthlink.net.