March 25, 2017

October 23, 2011


What does Satan Actually Do?

the title is really the reverse of what I want to ask. Had a conversation tonight about how the devil tempts us.

Except my thought/question is this - where do the Scriptures ever explicitly state this?

Is it not, rather, the case that,

  1. Our own sinful nature is what is blamed when we are tempted (e.g. James 1)
  2. The devil then accuses us - ie tells us that grace/Jesus is not sufficient
  3. The devil also forments persecution of the believer (1Peter 5, much of Revelation).

Only once is there (it seems to me) a recorded instance of the devil tempting one of us (as opposed to Jesus) - the snake in the garden. Is that the only one? If so then why do we make such a big deal of the devil "tempting us"?

 


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17 comments

1 Cor 7:5

“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Also, if the Grk of Matt 6:13 is “the evil one” rather than simply “evil” then it seems that Satan’s tempting us could be implied in the Lord’s prayer:

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil One.”

[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 10-23-2011 at 06:06 AM · [top]

There it is, thanks Matt. I suspected I was barking up the wrong tree

[2] Posted by David Ould on 10-23-2011 at 06:18 AM · [top]

When I am in a hurry, I find that bible.org has quick and excellent references… like this:
    Satan is seeking to oppose God’s plan by promoting evil in every way possible.
    A. Indirect Activity – He works indirectly through the world (in which he has great freedom and power – John 12:31; 1 John 5:19) and the flesh (Gal.5:19-21). The world, the flesh and the devil are not three separate enemies of the Christian. Rather Satan works through the evil world system (1 John 2:13-15) to exploit the fleshly nature that still wars within us (Rom.7:18; Gal.5:19-21).
    B. Direct Activity – He works directly by deception, temptation, attack and possession.
        1. In Christ’s ministry
            a. He tempted Christ (Matt.4:1-11).
            b. He attempted to thwart Christ’s work (John 8:44; Matt.16:23; Luke 22:31).
            c. He possessed Judas to accomplish the betrayal (John 13:27).
        2. In unbelievers
            a. He blinds their minds to hinder their understanding of the gospel (2 Cor.4:4).
            b. When the gospel is heard or understood, he tries to hinder its effect (Luke 8:12).
            c. He uses persecution (Rev.2:10) and false religions (Rev.2:13) to hinder the effect of the gospel.
        3. In believers
            a. He tempts believers (to pride – 1 Chronicles 21:1-8; to materialism – John 2:15; James 5:1-7; to immorality – 1 Cor.7:5; to lie – Acts 5:3; to discouragement – 1 Pet.5:6-10; to be unforgiving – 2 Cor.2:10,11 etc.).
            b. He hinders the ministries of believers (1 Thessalonians 2:18; Revelation 2:10).
            c. He promotes false teaching among believers (1 John 4:1-4).
            d. He promotes anger, bitterness and division (Ephesians 4:26,27; 2 Cor 2:5-11). Note: See the supplement – “Satanic Activity and Spiritual Warfare” for more information on how Satan and his demons work and how we must respond.

[3] Posted by Festivus on 10-23-2011 at 06:30 AM · [top]

Genesis 3:17-19 (MSG)
He told the Man:
  “Because you listened to your wife
    and ate from the tree
  That I commanded you not to eat from,
    ‘Don’t eat from this tree,’
  The very ground is cursed because of you;
    getting food from the ground
  Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife;
    you’ll be working in pain all your life long.
  The ground will sprout thorns and weeds,
    you’ll get your food the hard way,
  Planting and tilling and harvesting,
    sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk,
  Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried;
    you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.”

Somehow, creation itself was corrupted at the Fall.  I’ve wondered if human, animal, and plant DNA wasn’t also corrupted at the fall.  Whatever happened at the Fall, Satan had a hand in setting that stage.

[4] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 10-23-2011 at 06:54 AM · [top]

I have no verse for this but believe when we have confessed sin and been forgiven, sometimes after that we are somehow reminded of this same sin and feel the pain all over again. Scripture tell us that God not only forgives but forgets our sin. I do not believe it is our conscience. I believe it is Satan.

[5] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-23-2011 at 11:11 AM · [top]

Interesting thought Jill. Perhaps that is when mutation of DNA started ?????

[6] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-23-2011 at 11:35 AM · [top]

Reminded of Job.
Job 1:6-12

6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

  Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

  Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Job’s family, servants, herds, etc., are destroyed.  Only Job and his wife (IMO, his wife is his one flesh and is not harmed).

Satan comes back, unsuccessful, again in Job 2:1-10

1 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

  Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

3 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

6 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

  In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

These scriptures tell me that Satan wants to interfere with God and those who love God.  God knew Job wouldn’t give up which is why He puts Job before Satan as a challenge.  My question has always been:  What or why did God do this with Satan other than using it to show us what is right and that bad things do happen to the righteous (and God turns good out of that evil).

[7] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 10-23-2011 at 02:21 PM · [top]

1 Peter 5:8-9

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

[8] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 10-23-2011 at 02:24 PM · [top]

John 13:2-4:  “And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus…rose from supper…”

John 13:27:  “Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him.  Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’”

Acts 5:3:  “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?’”

[9] Posted by slcath on 10-23-2011 at 02:43 PM · [top]

Lakeland Two, #8 perfect! How appropriate given the current situation.

[10] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-23-2011 at 03:23 PM · [top]

thanks all, I suspected it was only my late-night-Sunday brain acting up.

FWIW, I’m not convinced that the 1Peter5:8-9 reference is about temptation. The context, surely, is the persecution of Christians?

[11] Posted by David Ould on 10-23-2011 at 03:59 PM · [top]

sub

[12] Posted by Bo on 10-24-2011 at 02:19 AM · [top]

#11 - David, I think the context is more than the persecution of Christians.  It is an instruction as to how Christians should behave.  My opinion is that warning that the devil is looking for an in tells us that he’s looking to tempt, to lure.  In Job, Satan tells God,

Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

God doesn’t do the deeds, but removes the protection. Why is protection needed if Satan isn’t out there prowling around, etc.

God gives us outs if we are paying attention; and I find that Satan usually overplays his hand - he just can’t stop himself.

[13] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 10-24-2011 at 02:32 AM · [top]

Satan has power and has demons (1/3 of the angelic host) that do his bidding.  Satan has power, but this power is limited BY GOD.  He IS the temptor, which is why it is so important to watch our thought life and to work in the light.

[14] Posted by B. Hunter on 10-24-2011 at 11:10 AM · [top]

He’s into some church planting and religious property management.  Revelaton 2:9; Revelation 3:9.

[15] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 10-24-2011 at 11:40 AM · [top]

[4] Jill Woodliff,

Genesis 3:17-19 (MSG)
[my emphasis]?

I think I am suffering the symptom of “too many TLAs” syndrome. The only usage of “MSG” of which I am aware is for Monosodium Glutamate, the allergen responsible for some people termed “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.” I haven’t ever seen it before as a reference to a biblical translation.

(And, yes, I recognize that the use of “TLA” is self-referential. It was an intentional irony.)

Can someone edify me on MSG?

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[16] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 10-24-2011 at 02:15 PM · [top]

#16 The Message? Isn’t that a bible translation/paraphrase???  I agree that MSG is often used for Monosodium Glutamate.  That is certainly what I think of when I see “MSG”.

[17] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-24-2011 at 02:27 PM · [top]

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