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JohnDoe
Jul 12th 2013, 07:23 AM
Hi

I define myself as a Christian, but I am have still a lot to learn about the Christian scriptures.

I have always believed the Devil to be an external being, a fallen angel.

However; I have also read a Bible Study where the author strongly argues that the Devil is not an external being, but instead an integrated part of ones own being. The author states that the view of a Devil as an external being, is not correct.

What is the general opinion on this issue?

kiravon
Jul 23rd 2014, 08:59 AM
Hi

I define myself as a Christian, but I am have still a lot to learn about the Christian scriptures.

I have always believed the Devil to be an external being, a fallen angel.

However; I have also read a Bible Study where the author strongly argues that the Devil is not an external being, but instead an integrated part of ones own being. The author states that the view of a Devil as an external being, is not correct.

What is the general opinion on this issue?


Its a great question

Jesus Christ was the perfect son of God, he was completely without sin
yet he was approached by Satan who sought to tempt him to break
his integrity to God so clearly Satan was not some evil within Jesus. Matthew 4: 1 - 11

Also Job 2:1 we see Satan take his position before God and later challenging God
as to whether righteous Job would keep his integrity under test

Clearly the Devil is not some evil within God but a real external person.

we get a true picture of the extent of Satan's activities by looking at
the Revelation ch 12

v9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent,
the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited
earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled
down with him.

We note there that Satan is misleading mankind, he is also referred to as the
'original serpent - 'obviously he is not a literal snake but he was the one behind
that serpent who sought to entice the original couple into disobedience against God

Of course Satan was not created evil, he was a perfect spirit son of God, but he
allowed pride to develop and abused his free will and thus became the Devil.

Proverbs 3:5-7
Jul 24th 2014, 02:47 AM
demonic possession would be an internal affliction... there are Biblical accounts of it & them being cast out (even by Christ Himself)...

but (in general) I think the devil exists on the parameter of human life... kind of like an outside agitator; trying to exert influence or manipulate circumstances...

but (thank God) His Power is always greater than the enemy's

Proverbs 3:5-7
Jul 24th 2014, 03:05 AM
Its a great question

Jesus Christ was the perfect son of God, he was completely without sin
yet he was approached by Satan who sought to tempt him to break
his integrity to God so clearly Satan was not some evil within Jesus. Matthew 4: 1 - 11

Also Job 2:1 we see Satan take his position before God and later challenging God
as to whether righteous Job would keep his integrity under test
Clearly the Devil is not some evil within God but a real external person.


:agree: he's definitely NOT some evil within God... but an outside agitator & manipulator... the enemy of God & adversary of God's children



we get a true picture of the extent of Satan's activities by looking at
the Revelation ch 12

v9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent,
the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited
earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled
down with him.

We note there that Satan is misleading mankind, he is also referred to as the
'original serpent - 'obviously he is not a literal snake but he was the one behind
that serpent who sought to entice the original couple into disobedience against God

Of course Satan was not created evil, he was a perfect spirit son of God, but he
allowed pride to develop and abused his free will and thus became the Devil.


sadly; he does try to influence humans to rebel & disobey God (just as he did)... & carnal pride is the avenue he utilizes the most

Proverbs 3:5-7
Jul 24th 2014, 03:29 AM
... I have also read a Bible Study where the author strongly argues that the Devil is not an external being, but instead an integrated part of ones own being.



although he does try to influence minds or manipulate thoughts (internal); I still consider it to be an outside influence (external), because he can be resisted & rebuked (& backs off)... so I do NOT consider him to be an integral part of one's own being

& even if one IS possessed of demons (internal); God has the Power to cast them out (external)... the person survives it & is much better off without it... thus further accentuating how the devil is NOT an integral part of one's own being

Culsey
Jul 24th 2014, 06:22 PM
:agree: he's definitely NOT some evil within God... but an outside agitator & manipulator... the enemy of God & adversary of God's children



sadly; he does try to influence humans to rebel & disobey God (just as he did)... & carnal pride is the avenue he utilizes the most

That is because it has worked at least once on every human being who ever existed with the lone exception of Christ.

Culsey
Jul 24th 2014, 06:25 PM
Its a great question

Jesus Christ was the perfect son of God, he was completely without sin
yet he was approached by Satan who sought to tempt him to break
his integrity to God so clearly Satan was not some evil within Jesus. Matthew 4: 1 - 11

Also Job 2:1 we see Satan take his position before God and later challenging God
as to whether righteous Job would keep his integrity under test

Clearly the Devil is not some evil within God but a real external person.

we get a true picture of the extent of Satan's activities by looking at
the Revelation ch 12

v9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent,
the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited
earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled
down with him.

We note there that Satan is misleading mankind, he is also referred to as the
'original serpent - 'obviously he is not a literal snake but he was the one behind
that serpent who sought to entice the original couple into disobedience against God

Of course Satan was not created evil, he was a perfect spirit son of God, but he
allowed pride to develop and abused his free will and thus became the Devil.

I once had some men ask me where the devil dwells and what he spends his time doing. I answered them with Satan's appearances in the book of Job. I believe the devil still does this same thing every day, especially with Christians.

The devil is definitely external. However, as noted above, he and his minions can indwell human beings and have been since the beginning. He can plant thoughts in our minds based on our own sinful desires. Satan is a very powerful being but he can only do what God will allow him to do. We have the assurance that whatever the temptation God will provide a way for us to escape it.

LandShark
Jul 24th 2014, 06:52 PM
Hi

I define myself as a Christian, but I am have still a lot to learn about the Christian scriptures.

I have always believed the Devil to be an external being, a fallen angel.

However; I have also read a Bible Study where the author strongly argues that the Devil is not an external being, but instead an integrated part of ones own being. The author states that the view of a Devil as an external being, is not correct.

What is the general opinion on this issue?

Greetings. "The Devil" is one being, a fallen angel and not omnipotent nor omnipresent. He can't "make me do it" here in KENtucky, and make "you do it" wherever you are, at the same time. He is not God's evil alter-ego. There are demons who do his bidding, and one can, I assume, become possessed by a demon, or many of them. But that is still an external entity that has, for whatever reason, taken up residence inside a person... much like a parasite.

Culsey
Jul 25th 2014, 06:48 PM
Greetings. "The Devil" is one being, a fallen angel and not omnipotent nor omnipresent. He can't "make me do it" here in KENtucky, and make "you do it" wherever you are, at the same time. He is not God's evil alter-ego. There are demons who do his bidding, and one can, I assume, become possessed by a demon, or many of them. But that is still an external entity that has, for whatever reason, taken up residence inside a person... much like a parasite.

Good explanation. I agree 100%.

Bob Carabbio
Jun 4th 2015, 05:59 AM
I have also read a Bible Study where the author strongly argues that the Devil is not an external being, but instead an integrated part of ones own being.

I suggest you BURN that "Bible study" as soon as possible. Anybody that writes foolishness like that will undoubtedly lie to you about other stuff also.

The BIBLE presents satan as a genuine external spiritual entity.

But you need to take the "Mechanism of temptation" into consideration - James 1:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust(our contribution to temptation, and where it begins), and enticed. (Satan's contribution to temptation).
15 Then when lust hath conceived (You've allowed YOURSELF to become "Pregnant" with your lust), it bringeth forth sin (a pregnancy results in a Birth): and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Note the language here is sexual in nature, BUT "Lust" isn't necessarily sexual at all it could be an automobile, a "Position of authority", Money, whatever you ALLOW to "Drive" you.

"the Author" is confusing "the Devil", with your own sinful nature.

azlightsout
May 10th 2016, 03:14 AM
I once had some men ask me where the devil dwells and what he spends his time doing. I answered them with Satan's appearances in the book of Job. I believe the devil still does this same thing every day, especially with Christians.

The devil is definitely external. However, as noted above, he and his minions can indwell human beings and have been since the beginning. He can plant thoughts in our minds based on our own sinful desires. Satan is a very powerful being but he can only do what God will allow him to do. We have the assurance that whatever the temptation God will provide a way for us to escape it.

Yes - the devil can only do what u allow him to DO --------

LastSeven
Jun 18th 2017, 01:09 AM
I suggest you BURN that "Bible study" as soon as possible. Anybody that writes foolishness like that will undoubtedly lie to you about other stuff also.
I'm not sure I agree with that advice. Whether that Bible study is correct or not, it still serves the reader to study the matter further and come to a greater understanding, and that's not bad. We should never shut our ears to other people's notions or ideas. We should only test them against the scriptures, and every time we do that we get closer to the truth. You never know. One of these days you'll come across something that sounds completely absurd at first glance, but then come to realize that it actually makes a lot of sense, if you bother to put some thought into it.

LastSeven
Jun 18th 2017, 01:23 AM
Here's my take on the matter.

Satan was cast out of heaven in Revelation 12, and Jesus was a witness to it in Luke 10:18. So we already know that he no longer accuses us before the throne as he did in the days of Job. However, because we know he used to, we also know he's an external entity.

A devil however is literally one who seeks to destroy with lies. Satan falls into that category, and presumably also the angels who joined him in his rebellion (I believe these are the "demons" and "evil spirits" we read about in scripture), but people can also be devils.

functionjunction
Jan 29th 2018, 10:56 PM
Here's my take on the matter.

Satan was cast out of heaven in Revelation 12, and Jesus was a witness to it in Luke 10:18. So we already know that he no longer accuses us before the throne as he did in the days of Job. However, because we know he used to, we also know he's an external entity.

A devil however is literally one who seeks to destroy with lies. Satan falls into that category, and presumably also the angels who joined him in his rebellion (I believe these are the "demons" and "evil spirits" we read about in scripture), but people can also be devils.

as a child of god i believe even with out the bible you can find god as the potential of mankinds ultimate good and the devil as man kinds ultimate potential for evil and the holy ghost as the present:bible:

LastSeven
Jan 30th 2018, 01:25 AM
After more thought on this matter, I do think it's possible that the devil is not an entity but rather a spirit. And when I say "spirit" I don't mean a spiritual entity. I mean "attitude, principle, disposition or character". Kind of like "the Christmas spirit" or "the spirit of giving", or perhaps a more appropriate example would "the spirit of anti-Christ".

In this way, "the devil" can inhabit any one of us, though it wouldn't be like we see in the movies of popular culture where a spiritual being possesses a person and takes over control of their body. Rather a person takes on an attitude, principle, disposition or character of deception or any other sort of evil. I believe this is how Jesus was able to say to Peter "get behind me Satan" in Matthew 16:23 even though we all know full well that Peter is not a fallen angel.

Aijalon
Jan 30th 2018, 01:37 AM
I think the question is whether Satan is a "person" as with the Trinitarian doctrine of God in three persons. If the depiction of Satan entering God's court is to be taken literally, Satan is a person, just as God, or an angel is a person. If the story of Satan in God's court or the case of Judas are to be taken as allegorical or symbolic, we cannot use those passages to prove Satan is a person.

One thing seems to be clear, demons are entities/beings that can inhabit people... however, some passages concerning the devil might be closer to what is inherently a human separated from God, than some external thing.

bluesky22
Jan 30th 2018, 02:38 AM
Great thread. Great insights and thoughts gentlemen.

I think he’s a real thing, that exists in a spirit form ( in relation to us ) so that way he can “inhabit” people sort of like God can.

We were made in Gods image right? Perhaps He Created Satan is his image as well, actually even closer than us ( not physical ). Satan can clearly inhabits(ed) Gods dimension. So Satan can almost do as much as God but clearly not all ( hence is seemingly great powers and ability to be everywhere ):hmm:

bluesky22
Jan 30th 2018, 02:45 AM
as a child of god i believe even with out the bible you can find god as the potential of mankinds ultimate good and the devil as man kinds ultimate potential for evil and the holy ghost as the present:bible:

I concur brother. Romans would agree with you.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified

functionjunction
Jan 31st 2018, 02:43 AM
After more thought on this matter, I do think it's possible that the devil is not an entity but rather a spirit. And when I say "spirit" I don't mean a spiritual entity. I mean "attitude, principle, disposition or character". Kind of like "the Christmas spirit" or "the spirit of giving", or perhaps a more appropriate example would "the spirit of anti-Christ".

In this way, "the devil" can inhabit any one of us, though it wouldn't be like we see in the movies of popular culture where a spiritual being possesses a person and takes over control of their body. Rather a person takes on an attitude, principle, disposition or character of deception or any other sort of evil. I believe this is how Jesus was able to say to Peter "get behind me Satan" in Matthew 16:23 even though we all know full well that Peter is not a fallen angel.
if i look at my life i can see the grace of god, and how the world be no fun or mundane without the devil, and in this enormous difference of potential we exist ..... the father(god),the son(asked why), and the holy ghost (the present which is above center on cross) just my thoughts

LastSeven
Jan 31st 2018, 03:30 PM
if i look at my life i can see the grace of god, and how the world be no fun or mundane without the devil, and in this enormous difference of potential we exist ..... the father(god),the son(asked why), and the holy ghost (the present which is above center on cross) just my thoughts

I literally don't understand your thoughts.

functionjunction
Feb 1st 2018, 01:53 AM
I literally don't understand your thoughts.
top of the cross heaven (head), bottom of the cross hell(crotch) and the line going through them is holy ghost or guiding force of life (heart)

DavePeace
Nov 2nd 2018, 06:59 PM
Hi

I define myself as a Christian, but I am have still a lot to learn about the Christian scriptures.

I have always believed the Devil to be an external being, a fallen angel.

However; I have also read a Bible Study where the author strongly argues that the Devil is not an external being, but instead an integrated part of ones own being. The author states that the view of a Devil as an external being, is not correct.

What is the general opinion on this issue?


God's written Word emphatically defines the devil as an external being, a covering cherub (Ezekiel 28). The ark of the covenant design has two winged cherbim stretched out over the top of the ark, and that is a pattern of God's Throne in Heaven. Satan was once one of those before he rebelled. Satan is also called an angel because he also has the image of man which all angels have, which is from God's Own Image likeness, the same likeness Adam was created with per Gen.1. So the devil does not have horns and goatee, nor does he wield a pitchfork, nor wear red flannel underwear. He has the image of man, and in Ezek.28 God showed that He made Satan the "full pattern", which is pointing to the full pattern of beauty.

In Ezekiel 28, God is describing Satan metaphorically as the king of Tyrus. The king of Tyrus was actually a pagan flesh king back in history, but in that description it speaks of him once having been in Eden, the garden of God. We know the flesh king of Tyrus was not in God's Garden of Eden back in Genesis 2-3, but 'that old serpent' (the devil) was, as the tempter. Nor was the flesh king of Tyrus ever "an anointed cherub that covereth", meaning covering the Mercy Seat of God's Throne. God is simply using the role of the flesh king of Tyrus to describe what Satan did of old when he rebelled against God in coveting God's Throne.

Are there some who think the devil is just some evil force? Yes, and a lot of those beliefs are from old pagan belief systems, like Zoroastrianism, which has a good entity battling against an evil entity, both being equal forces going against each other. The Chinese Ying/Yang belief system is similar, but without entities, just forces. God's Word is not like any of those pagan systems of belief, and the main reason is because God controls what the devil can do. They are not equal in power, God is Supreme. He is simply using the devil as a punishing rod upon the wicked. If we follow what God told us to do through His Son and His Apostles and prophets, and seek Him and not gods of wood, metal, stone, etc., which are not gods, then He protects us from the devil. If bad things still happen in the Christian's life (which it can at times), it's not always from the devil, it's just part of the ways of this present world time, which in time will be corrected when Jesus returns, and God promised He would always leave a way out of the problem or danger (1 Corinthians 10:13).

DavePeace
Nov 2nd 2018, 07:31 PM
Here's my take on the matter.

Satan was cast out of heaven in Revelation 12, and Jesus was a witness to it in Luke 10:18. So we already know that he no longer accuses us before the throne as he did in the days of Job. However, because we know he used to, we also know he's an external entity.

A devil however is literally one who seeks to destroy with lies. Satan falls into that category, and presumably also the angels who joined him in his rebellion (I believe these are the "demons" and "evil spirits" we read about in scripture), but people can also be devils.

That's another Bible teaching by many that requires testing by God's written Word.

The Rev.12:7-17 Scripture has not happened yet. That is not about Satan's first rebellion when God cast him down to earth. I know that's how that is popularly taught, but a careful study of those Scripture events there reveals what I'm saying:


Rev 12:7-17
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Easy to miss, but that casting out is Satan and his angels being cast out of the Heavenly dimension, down to this earth in plain sight, meaning in our... dimension. There are only 2 different dimensions of existence written of in God's Word, this earthly one we live in, and the heavenly one where God and the angels dwell, including where Satan's realm of hell is, across the great gulf fixed border in Paradise. As of right now, like someone here said, Satan is still able to move between the heavenly and the earth, walking to and fro seeking whom he may devour, and able to appear before God's Throne in Heaven to accuse us.

When this particular casting out happens, Satan will no longer be allowed to appear in Heaven before God's Throne to accuse us.


9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."

That is showing in Heaven, when Satan is cast down to the earth, right then the full peace and Salvation in Heaven by the power of Christ will manifest in Heaven. And note that is through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, which means of course this event has to be post-crucifixion/resurrection of our Lord Jesus. By that we know this specific casting out was not the time of old when Satan first rebelled against God. This casting out event is for the future tribulation timing, which the next verses will reveal.


11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Those who overcame him by the Blood of The Lamb (Jesus) is yet another pointer to the time of this casting down. These that loved not their lives unto death are the saints like those on the 5th Seal, which is a sign Jesus gave for the very end of this world. The "short time" we are warned about with Satan coming down to the earth with great wrath against us, is about the time of "great tribulation" for the end. Jesus shortened that time for the sake of His elect, per Matthew 24.


13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

The symbolic 'woman' in the first part of the chapter was Israel. Still is here, except the last verse shows it's Christ's Church mainly, because the persecution will involve those who have the Testimony of Jesus Christ, and we know that is Christ's Church. This "time, and times, and half a time" is the time of "great tribulation" when Satan will come to play God in Jerusalem.


15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
KJV

The symbolic flood out of the serpent's mouth represents lies that cause deception. It is symbolically compared to the flood of Noah's day. And his attack will specifically be upon Christ's Church on earth, as that last verse reveals.

Jude
Nov 9th 2018, 05:40 PM
Satan's one desire is to be like the most high to dwell where God dwells..

God dwells between the Cherubims..

Isaiah 37: 16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

Heaven didn't pan out it seems this is the best he could do..

http://christianitybeliefs.org/end-times-deceptions/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/francis-thone-cherub.jpg



Jude

TMarcum
Nov 9th 2018, 06:19 PM
That's another Bible teaching by many that requires testing by God's written Word.

The Rev.12:7-17 Scripture has not happened yet. That is not about Satan's first rebellion when God cast him down to earth. I know that's how that is popularly taught, but a careful study of those Scripture events there reveals what I'm saying:


Rev 12:7-17
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.


[I]11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.


Depending on how you interpret Revelations Chapter 12, many believe the timing of this actually occurred at the very instance Christ was crucified. And that Christ won victory over Satan by the shedding of his blood on the cross.

Many understand Michael and his angels to be a type and figure, giving reference to Christ and the apostles. The woman as reference or figure to Zion or Jerusalem. The sun, moon, and 12 stars as reference to the (sun) covenant of Abraham, (moon) Sarah and the (12 stars) as the 12 tribes of Israel. The child that is to rule the world with a rod of iron as Christ. And the woman at the point of giving birth was the end of the old testament covenant and the birth of the new testament. The time referenced as a thousand two hundred and threescore days 3-1/2 years from the time Jesus was baptized until his Crucifixion. Many believe that this was when Satan was bound.

I also hold to this belief, as well as a Amillennial view of eschatology. I don't expect many to agree with this interpretation, but do want to present another view point regarding the chapter.

Thorny Rose
Jan 25th 2019, 11:04 PM
I have read, studied, and meditated on God's Word for years and I have never ran across any Scriptures that claim that Satan "is not an external being". That Bible study author, unfortunately and sadly truly does not know what the Bible says about Satan the Devil being an invisible, powerful, wicked spirit creature who wields great, though limited power and influence over unsuspecting mankind.

The Scriptures confirm that Satan is a real enemy against Jehovah God and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Devil is an enemy of true christians, and he is quite happy that unsuspecting humans believe that he is non-existent.

Notice what Jesus Christ said concerning Satan the Devil:

John 12:31 - "Now there is a judging of this world, now THE RULER OF THIS WORLD will be CAST out." This verse certainly cannot be referring to God Almighty, because nothing and no one can "CAST God OUT" :)

John 14:30 - "I will not speak with you much more, for THE RULER OF THE WORLD is coming, and he (Satan), has no HOLD on me." Truly this cannot be talking about the Creator of the universe and of all things, because God has a HOLD and control over everything and all things, including Jesus Christ. Jesus even said of himself that he could not do a single thing without his heavenly Father's permission (John 5:19, John 5:30, John 12:49).

John 16:11 - "...then concerning judgment, because THE RULER OF THIS WORLD has been JUDGED. Again, this certainly cannot be talking about God because no one can judge the "Eternal One". Who can judge the ultimate judge? No one :)

The Bible also validates and confirms that Satan the Devil is real and that he is "misleading the entire inhabited earth". (Revelation 12:9).

Servant1981
Apr 12th 2019, 04:30 PM
The adversary is not a spirit like spirit of Christmas. The Bible makes it absolutely clear that he was an angel. When Christ rebuked Peter, He was not rebuking an indwelt creature, spiritual or otherwise; He was rebuking the attitude that Peter was showing. That attitude was one of self over God's will.

Angels clearly can influence us, make suggestions to us, but they can never make us do anything at all! Angels clearly do not have to come to us in the physical because they are spiritual beings.

We need to remember that there is one and only one Satan. There is very, very little likelihood that Satan has ever had anything to do with you or I; he has much bigger fish to fry. Other fallen angels, sure. We must remember, however, that in the VAST majority of cases, no demon nor evil influence led us to sin, but rather, our own selfish desires and pride. In short, I have met the enemy and he is me.

We as the body of Christ contend against the forces of spiritual evil all the time, but individually, not nearly as much.

We are led away by our own desires.