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Thread: The Devil - Internal or External?

  1. #1

    The Devil - Internal or External?

    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?

  2. #2

    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe View Post
    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.

  3. #3
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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    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

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiravon View Post
    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.
    he's definitely NOT some evil within God... but an outside agitator & manipulator... the enemy of God & adversary of God's children

    Quote Originally Posted by kiravon View Post
    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

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe View Post

    ... 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

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proverbs 3:5-7 View Post
    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.

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiravon View Post
    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.

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe View Post
    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.

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by LandShark View Post
    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%.

  10. #10

    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe View Post
    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.

  11. #11

    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by Culsey View Post
    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 --------

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
    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.

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    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.

  14. #14

    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    Quote Originally Posted by LastSeven View Post
    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

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    Re: The Devil - Internal or External?

    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.

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