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Thread: Resist the Devil and He Will Flee

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    Resist the Devil and He Will Flee

    James 4:7
    Therefore submit to God.Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    Scripture speaks of "the devil" or "the wicked one" as if we battle him and his temptations on a regular basis. However, you always hear Christians say things like, "The devil is not omnipresent" or ,"The devil can't be in more than one place at a time."

    My question is where do folks get this belief? I can understand why many would assume this because nobody wants to attribute a quality to the devil that is similar to attributes that God possesses, but I don't know of any specific scriptures that state the devil cannot be in more than one place at a time.

    I wouldn't think the scriptures are exaggerating the devil's influence in our daily lives, so I have to wonder if his presence is a little more widespread than many Christians give him credit for. The scriptures make it clear that temptations are given by the wicked one. The scriptures make clear that we need to put on the whole armor of God that we may stand against the wiles of the devil.

    So, how is he doing this if he cannot be in more places than one? I know many will say that he also has demons and so forth that can do this for him, but I don't know of any scriptures that declare demons acting on behalf of the devil to tempt others, and all the scriptures that I know of refer to the devil himself as the tempter that we must resist.

    Thoughts?
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    James 4:7
    Therefore submit to God.Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    Scripture speaks of "the devil" or "the wicked one" as if we battle him and his temptations on a regular basis. However, you always hear Christians say things like, "The devil is not omnipresent" or ,"The devil can't be in more than one place at a time."

    My question is where do folks get this belief? I can understand why many would assume this because nobody wants to attribute a quality to the devil that is similar to attributes that God possesses, but I don't know of any specific scriptures that state the devil cannot be in more than one place at a time.

    I wouldn't think the scriptures are exaggerating the devil's influence in our daily lives, so I have to wonder if his presence is a little more widespread than many Christians give him credit for. The scriptures make it clear that temptations are given by the wicked one. The scriptures make clear that we need to put on the whole armor of God that we may stand against the wiles of the devil.

    So, how is he doing this if he cannot be in more places than one? I know many will say that he also has demons and so forth that can do this for him, but I don't know of any scriptures that declare demons acting on behalf of the devil to tempt others, and all the scriptures that I know of refer to the devil himself as the tempter that we must resist.

    Thoughts?
    VR... all the demons that are cast out of people throughout the Bible and continues today... how can you say that demons are not acting on behalf of satan?

    satan wasn't cast out of any of those many examples... only the demons oppressing them. satans direct hand of influence is mentioned a couple times that I can recall... Judas and Ananias are the only ones I can recall. All others are his demons.

    Even the Great Commission tells us that an element of this command is to cast out demons... it's the attitude that demons aren't doing what satan tells them to do to cause 'whatever" upon people that has so many people out there and call themselves Christians, they are POWERLESS against satan.
    Slug1--out

    ~Does Predestination mean: Once of the devil, Always of the devil?~

    ~Limitations in a Christianís life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

    ~Three minutes is a lifetime, if you only have two, too live~


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    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    James 4:7
    Therefore submit to God.Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    Scripture speaks of "the devil" or "the wicked one" as if we battle him and his temptations on a regular basis. However, you always hear Christians say things like, "The devil is not omnipresent" or ,"The devil can't be in more than one place at a time."

    My question is where do folks get this belief? I can understand why many would assume this because nobody wants to attribute a quality to the devil that is similar to attributes that God possesses, but I don't know of any specific scriptures that state the devil cannot be in more than one place at a time.

    I wouldn't think the scriptures are exaggerating the devil's influence in our daily lives, so I have to wonder if his presence is a little more widespread than many Christians give him credit for. The scriptures make it clear that temptations are given by the wicked one. The scriptures make clear that we need to put on the whole armor of God that we may stand against the wiles of the devil.

    So, how is he doing this if he cannot be in more places than one? I know many will say that he also has demons and so forth that can do this for him, but I don't know of any scriptures that declare demons acting on behalf of the devil to tempt others, and all the scriptures that I know of refer to the devil himself as the tempter that we must resist.

    Thoughts?
    According tothe following the influence of Satan covers the whole earth, so no matter where we are Satan is there.

    Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

    Firstfruits

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    VR... all the demons that are cast out of people throughout the Bible and continues today... how can you say that demons are not acting on behalf of satan?
    I'm not saying that demons don't do anything on behalf of Satan. They are obviously active and working to cause harm to us. However, the point being made here is that the scriptures never tell us to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of demons. The scriptures do not say to resist demons and they will flee.

    The scriptures make it a point to say that we need to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil. The scriptures make it a point to say we need to resist the devil and he will flee. The scriptures make it a point to refer to the devil as the tempter. The scriptures speak of us overcoming the wicked one (not wicked many . . . as in many demons). Now, either the devil is extremely fast that he can get to all these people who are being tempted or he is in more places than one. Then you have all those who are being tempted simultaneously. How does this happen, and why do the scriptures never speak of demons doing this rather than the devil, the tempter, the wicked one, etc.?
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    I'm not saying that demons don't do anything on behalf of Satan. They are obviously active and working to cause harm to us. However, the point being made here is that the scriptures never tell us to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of demons. The scriptures do not say to resist demons and they will flee.

    The scriptures make it a point to say that we need to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil. The scriptures make it a point to say we need to resist the devil and he will flee. The scriptures make it a point to refer to the devil as the tempter. The scriptures speak of us overcoming the wicked one (not wicked many . . . as in many demons). Now, either the devil is extremely fast that he can get to all these people who are being tempted or he is in more places than one. Then you have all those who are being tempted simultaneously. How does this happen, and why do the scriptures never speak of demons doing this rather than the devil, the tempter, the wicked one, etc.?
    Demons are mearly one of satan's "devices" that he uses. he don't need to be present, only gain authority over a person due to their sin and assign a demon to maintain the oppression. Thus the whole reason for delieverence or casting out of that demon.

    The Armor of God is to protect us from satan gaining that authority as a defense measure. The Sword of the Spirit is for offensive measures.

    I figure that a demon is posted to tempt any of us and if we are weak and it breaches the Armor and we fail to use the Sword of the Spirit... then satan does move in and gets in the heart, like he did with Judas and Ananias. If the case gets bad enough, then the demon assigned is placed in the flesh and we have Christians who cannot stop, are addicted, etc... thus the need for delieverence in the form of casting the demon out.

    Surrender to God will remove the influence as well but many Christians fail in self-deliverence.
    Slug1--out

    ~Does Predestination mean: Once of the devil, Always of the devil?~

    ~Limitations in a Christianís life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

    ~Three minutes is a lifetime, if you only have two, too live~


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    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    Demons are mearly one of satan's "devices" that he uses. he don't need to be present,
    But scripture makes it clear he is present. Whether he needs to be is not really the point. Scripture makes clear that he is.

    The question is how is this possible if he can't be in more than one place? The second question is why do people insist that he can't be in more than one place? I mean people fight that idea like it's heresy or something, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. The scriptures never say that the devil can't be in more places than one. The scriptures never say that such a concept is impossible. In fact, a good case can be made that the devil does have a more broad presence than people give him credit for.
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post


    I don't know of any specific scriptures that state the devil cannot be in more than one place at a time.
    There are none.

    The devil can NEVER be in more than 1 place at a time, and where ever he is he is BOUND!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WELL View Post
    Oh yes, you are right, the devil can NEVER be in more than 1 place at a time, and where ever he is he is BOUND!
    If this is true in any tiny way... why are we then warned to resist what you say is bound?

    The Bible is very clear that the devil walks about for those he'll devour... your attitude makes it easy for satan when people think he's not prowling.

    1 Peter 7:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

    Your comment renders warnings in the Bible like this null and void. Since God is telling us to be vigilent and WHY to be vigilent... it's clear that satan is not bound presently.

    //walks about like a lion//... this sounds like he's bound to you?
    Slug1--out

    ~Does Predestination mean: Once of the devil, Always of the devil?~

    ~Limitations in a Christianís life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

    ~Three minutes is a lifetime, if you only have two, too live~


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    Satan was an angel. An archangel to be exact. Angels are not omnipresent. Only God is omnipresent.

    I found the following quote from a Christianity Today article which is helpful since there actually aren't any scriptures that tell us how Satan functions:

    Satan tempts many people simultaneously—does that mean he is omnipresent? No. Omnipresence, as we saw, is unique to the Creator. Satan comes and goes (Matthew 4:3, 11; Job 1:7–12). So how does he manage these multiple temptations? Scripture does not say, but two theories are common.

    Theory one, recognizing that all angels have powers beyond ours to move around and see into people, posits that Satan has the power of "multipresence"—not "omnipresence," but not as spacially limited as humans.

    Theory two, surely the more natural, is that the New Testament writers do what we do when speaking of wars—that is, ascribe all the hostile action to the opposing leader. "Hitler (or Napoleon or Saddam) attacked," we say, when in fact subordinates acted at their leader's command. Most Christians, like C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, hold some form of this view, and have always done so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frecs View Post
    Satan was an angel. An archangel to be exact. Angels are not omnipresent. Only God is omnipresent.

    I found the following quote from a Christianity Today article which is helpful since there actually aren't any scriptures that tell us how Satan functions:

    Satan tempts many people simultaneously—does that mean he is omnipresent? No. Omnipresence, as we saw, is unique to the Creator. Satan comes and goes (Matthew 4:3, 11; Job 1:7–12). So how does he manage these multiple temptations? Scripture does not say, but two theories are common.

    Theory one, recognizing that all angels have powers beyond ours to move around and see into people, posits that Satan has the power of "multipresence"—not "omnipresence," but not as spacially limited as humans.

    Theory two, surely the more natural, is that the New Testament writers do what we do when speaking of wars—that is, ascribe all the hostile action to the opposing leader. "Hitler (or Napoleon or Saddam) attacked," we say, when in fact subordinates acted at their leader's command. Most Christians, like C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, hold some form of this view, and have always done so.
    This is a good point. Like saying President Obama is attacking terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan. Or saying that Bin Laden attacked the US in both NYC and Washington, DC... ummm, How?

    Through the "devices" they have available to them.

    Now with satan, add a supernatural/spiritual element to all this as well.
    Slug1--out

    ~Does Predestination mean: Once of the devil, Always of the devil?~

    ~Limitations in a Christianís life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

    ~Three minutes is a lifetime, if you only have two, too live~


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    Quote Originally Posted by Frecs View Post
    Satan was an angel. An archangel to be exact.
    That's actually a highly debated issue and isn't nearly as "exact" as many insist. The scriptures aren't really clear on it to be totally honest.

    I also understand that there are many assumptions or theories about who Satan is and what sort of ability he possesses. However, that's kind of the point being made. Most of it is just assumption or theory. Scripture really doesn't go into great detail about Satan or the ability he possesses.
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    James 4:7
    Therefore submit to God.Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    Scripture speaks of "the devil" or "the wicked one" as if we battle him and his temptations on a regular basis. However, you always hear Christians say things like, "The devil is not omnipresent" or ,"The devil can't be in more than one place at a time."

    My question is where do folks get this belief? I can understand why many would assume this because nobody wants to attribute a quality to the devil that is similar to attributes that God possesses, but I don't know of any specific scriptures that state the devil cannot be in more than one place at a time.

    I wouldn't think the scriptures are exaggerating the devil's influence in our daily lives, so I have to wonder if his presence is a little more widespread than many Christians give him credit for. The scriptures make it clear that temptations are given by the wicked one. The scriptures make clear that we need to put on the whole armor of God that we may stand against the wiles of the devil.

    So, how is he doing this if he cannot be in more places than one? I know many will say that he also has demons and so forth that can do this for him, but I don't know of any scriptures that declare demons acting on behalf of the devil to tempt others, and all the scriptures that I know of refer to the devil himself as the tempter that we must resist.

    Thoughts?
    In this context, I don't believe James is talking about the actual devil. If we follow his train of thought from (3:13), the issue seems to be a continuation of the discussion centered on how our inner wisdom, thinking, perspective, etc. works its way out in our behavior. As he says, "Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." In that context he compares "worldly" wisdom, which is earthly, natural, demonic, with the wisdom from above which is pure, peaceable, gentile, reasonable etc. By the time we get to (4:7) James has trained his readers to expect that resisting the devil is to put asside worldly thinking; and to draw near to God is to adopt the wisdom from above, which among other things will approach God with all humility.

    Whether the actual devil is present or not, we resist the devil when we listen to God, agree with him, submit to his wisdom, purify our hearts, mourn and weep etc. It might be that we will need to resist the actual devil as Jesus did, but the process and the battle is just the same. It's all about who I will ignore and who I will hear. I will ignore the devil and his "wisdom" and I will pay attention to God and learn his wisdom. When Jesus did battle with the devil, the battlefield was the arena of ideas, faught with scripture. Would Jesus pay attention to the devil or would he pay attention to God? What is really true and where are my loyalties? These are the same issues we face everyday, whether we are facing a devil or our own double minded motivations.

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