February 15, 2010

How Much Power Does the Devil Have?

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25 Comments
  1. I didn’t hear the audio, but I will take a shot at the answer….

    The devil’s main power is to lie. And it’s we humans that give the devil power by believing those lies.

    These lies are usually not easy to spot, like ‘the earth is flat’. He is the premier spin-meister. He tried to lie to the Messiah, mixing in scriptures to try and add validity.

    The devil said in Genesis: “has God said you shall SURELY die ?”

    He also says things like: “couldn’t the Hebrew word for one (echad), mean more than one….like when a man and his wife are one ?” (see Feb 8 comments)

    The devil says things like “God will forgive you, this one night of adultery, I mean ‘romantic affair’, will be the best time of your life”

    He speaks through people like Calvin, “you were predestined by God to go to heaven when you die and there is nothing you can do to change it”

    The power the devil has are the consequences that believing the lies brings.

  2. waitting for the program to be posted, but I’ll take a shot at it.
    The Devil has limited power, God has absolute power.

  3. Ben KC,

    This forum is called “The Line of Fire”. I think that means we can take some shots but also be willing to take some hits ourselves. If I had only mentioned Calvinism I would agree with you more.
    Praise God that you are not a Calvinist!

  4. Empirically I make decisions. I make them. no one else. Not God, not Satan, no one but me. That’s the way I was created. I am not a robot, programmed to make certain decisions outside my control. I am a unique robot in that I make all the choices separately from the way I am programmed – in effect what I am saying is that my make up in no way takes away the choices that I make, although, to a human understanding it may affect them.

    Now having said that, God might intervene through various ways. Having said that, Satan might get a grip in various ways.

    Speculation as to whether a particular event was from God or from Satan, or from us due to our free will (which I say that we have) depends on the circumstances.

  5. Dr. Brown,

    Thanks for the clarification.
    I think you would agree that if a ‘brother or sister’ had a position saying homosexuality is now acceptable from the N.T., surely we can tactfully call the position for what it is… satanic. I understand ‘satanic’ is an inflammatory word and wouldn’t be used commonly. With a forum called ‘line of fire’, you have to let people’s passion about something flare up once in a while… ‘civilly’ of course 🙂

    Ben,

    I think we all have to pray for discernment to see whether a circumstance is from God or the enemy, or a natural consequence of our decisions. Do you think people tend to blame the devil too often when something happens due to their own bad decisions ?

  6. Rich L.,

    Oh yes, I’m all for civil passion. 🙂 I just wasn’t keen on someone saying that Satan spoke through John Calvin to inspire Calvinism, hence my comment. I fully agree with what you wrote and the example you used.

  7. Has Molonisim been brought up yet ?

    it seems to me there is a great deal of people who struggle to reconcile free will and God’s sovereignty and middle knowledge does this very well. I recommend William Lane Criags website for more on this.

    Not only does God foreknow the future God also has intrinsic knowledge of what COULD happen (hypothetical knowledge)

    an example of this is 1 Samuel 23:1-14

    I think this doctrine is coming more into the light and it’s a good thing as far as i can see.

  8. Jay,

    This came up on other threads, and Dr. White and I have discussed this to some extent privately. I have Craig’s book on this, and White strongly rejects it. Thanks for the further thoughts!

  9. Hi Dr Brown

    I Think the main objection by objectors is that they think proponents of middle knowledge have God looking into the future to see who will accept the Gospel…. but this is not the case, i for one have no problem with predestination of believers but that does not impinge on the freedom we have.

    I wasn’t sure about this also in the beginning, but after a great deal of study i think it has the most to offer, as a former catholic i was a bit skeptical of using a doctrine made famous by a catholic theologian and maybe that is why some people of the reformed persuasion are weary ?

    It would be good to hear your thoughts on line i wish i could phone in but i’m in Scotland, i too am of reformed thinking but hold to this doctrine as the best reconciler of free will and God’s sovereignty

  10. Dr. Brown, just to pick up on another point you made during the show, you mentioned that God doesn’t make men evil. What do you make of Exodus 9:12 (“But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.”)? I have often wondered about the Lord raising up men and women to do evil and believe that ultimately no matter what Satan does he is fulfilling the will of the Lord. In fact, this is one of those topics that causes a brain explosion for me, so I’ll just leave that one in your capable hands! Great topic for discussion!

    – Dylan T.

  11. I believe Dr. Brown used this illustration, the same fire that melts hearts is the same fire that harden’s hearts. Overall, Pharaoh was responsible for his condition.

  12. I had a few minutes so I thought I would take a gander through the blogs to see if anything peeked my interest, and the first thing I read concerning the question, “how much power does the Devil have” is:

    “As much power as God gives him”

    … and immediately my poor brain cramps … all I can think of is …

    wwwwhhhhhhaaaaaatttttttttt!!!!!???????? Is Yahweh in the business of empowering evil?

    I guess I’ll have to wait for my brain to uncramp so I can listen to the audio. Then I’ll read the rest of the comments. Right now I think I’ll go wash dishes and do some laundry.

  13. OK, I have listened to the audio, twice; and now have a better understanding of this subject. You have presented many good concepts to think about and your questions help me to solidify what I believe and where my beliefs come from. Thank you for quoting the entire scripture, “Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and the devil will flee from you”. Many people leave out the most important part, which is to submit. This one thing I do know, that God does not work through me according to my ability to accomplish anything, God works through me according to my obedience to him. I can look back on my life from when I came of age and see that everything bad that happened was because I was in disobedience. The bad things were not because it was his will for me, especially when I know that his will for me is good. Through disobedience I removed myself from his protection.

    I like what you said, “God is good. God is our Father. God is all powerful”.

    I look forward to more on the subject of our authority in Yeshua.

  14. Luke 4 (NKJ)
    5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
    6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

    How did satan get power? Possibly, when God gave Adam and Eve dominion over everything on the Earth and once Adam sinned – he gave that power or dominion over to satan?

    Also, why does satan have so much power?

  15. It seems you cite Luke 4:5 as if satan were telling the truth when in fact we know him to be a liar. If it were true that “all power” was given to satan, then how is it that Yeshua gave his own disciples power and authority “over all devils”. I’d say “all devils” includes satan.

    Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

    Why does satan have so much power? His power was gained and is still maintained through deceit, theft and our ignorance.

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