NO Time for the Devil

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Years ago I heard a joke about a seminary student taking a final exam. He was to take a half hour to write on Jesus Christ and a half hour on the Devil. At the end of the hour, the instructor came to pick up the papers, and notice the student had only written on Christ. The student looked up and said I got so involved with Jesus Christ I had no time for the Devil.

    Now in one sense this is good theology, but I was watching David Jeremiah and his sermon today was "Identifying the Enemy" He started out by basically saying that in order to beat your enemy you need to know your enemy.

    So the question is how much time do we give to study on the Devil in proportion to study on Christ?
     
  2. Winman

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    Your post reminds me of a great pastor I had years ago in Florida. He was a wonderful man and very knowledgeable of the scriptures. Every Saturday we would go on visitation, and then it was our weekly habit to stop by a large Christian bookstore.

    He would always go to the section about demonology and Satan. He would pick up various books and read a little. One day I asked him why, and he responded, "You have to know your enemy, but you have to be careful."

    Just the way he said this kind of startled and frightened me. I asked him why you have to be careful. He said the devil likes to work incognito, he always works in the background. If you see a photo of very bad men, he is one in the background that most folks do not pay attention to. He said that if you point out the devil to others, this makes the devil VERY angry and he will come after you.

    Well, I was young at the time, and this really frightened me. I asked him if the devil had ever come after him. He said yes, but he wouldn't tell me exactly how the devil came after him. He said you have to have a lot of faith to study this subject.

    Well, I kind of made up my mind right there to stay away from this subject. I have heard of others who have had great difficulties after studying this subject, one pastor told me of a fellow student when he was in college that made a detailed study of Satan and demons, and this person literally lost their mind and had to be committed to a mental institution.

    My 2 cents.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    If we are reading and studying our Bibles, then were studying everything in its proper proportion.

    I don't think it's a matter of how much you study about what God'sWord says about any topic, but you can definitely go overboard in studying one thing to the exclusion of others.

    That's where we get into trouble.

    I have some acquaintances at the other forum where I am a moderator who see the devil in all things. Well, he may actually be there - but they are only focusing on what they call the demonic forces.

    They frighten themselves into illogical thinking and to a visible lack of trust in God.

    We should never feel like when we are studying passages in the Bible about the devil that we are "taking away" from studying about Christ.

    The two aren't in competition with each other.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    None! I have to agree with the seminary student. We are never told to learn of or about the devil. If we learn all we can about the Lord then that learning will expose the falsehoods of the evil one.
    Mat 11:29
    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    • 2 Corinthians 2:9-11 - I wrote for this purpose: to test your character to see if you are obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for you in the presence of Christ. I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.

    • 2 Corinthians 4:4 - "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
    • 1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be sober, be watchful: your adversary evil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom withstand steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.
    • Matthew 13:36-43 - (words of Jesus) He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear
    • Genesis 3:1 - Gen. 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtil (Strong's 6175 - subtle, shrewd, crafty, sly)than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.
     
  6. Sapper Woody

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    I agree. The Bible clearly states that we are to be innocent of evil things. Knowledge spoils innocence. Like FAL said, if we learn all we can about God, we'll know when something is not of Him. It's much like the FBI and counterfeit bills. They don't train them to spot false money by letting them see false money. They train them to become so intimately familiar with real money that they know instantly when they are holding a counterfeit.

    We are to be aware that evil exists. But we are not to be familiar with it.
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    Sooo.....all the scriptures that I posted above are not to be studied? The pages in the Bible that speak of the devil should not be studied?

    The OP asked how much are we to study of the devil. I say whatever the Bible says about him, we need to know it.

    I think that those of us having this conversation are talking about two different things.
     
  8. Sapper Woody

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    Reading what the Bible has to say, and studying the Devil are two different things, IMO. An example given was studying demonology. There is no reason to study demonology, or witchcraft, or Satanism. Now, OTOH, knowing their methods of attack is different. If you know that Satanists are trying to get into the public schools is a common tactic, then you can guard against it. But to actually study them is too much.
     
  9. Van

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    All scripture is given for instruction, but our study should be proportionate to the text. We have three enemies, the Devil, our corrupt flesh with its lusts and desires, and the world, with its treasures and its corrupt value system, pulling us away from the spiritual treasures of heaven .

    Satan misrepresents the truth.

    Our lusts tempt us toward ungodly behavior.

    The world teaches we have to go along to get along.

    But the Word of God teaches we should strive to become Christ-like forsaking our three enemies.
     
  10. HeirofSalvation

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    I agree with Scarlett and Van: The Scriptures DO teach us some things (even very specific ones) about our "adversary". The guideline Van suggests is the one I would use about ANY and all topics: How much time does the text give to the topic? That is, to me, the best guide there is...spend as much time on the subject as the Scriptures do space...and that seems a reasonable formula. Fortunately, the Bible (wisely) does not spend much time on the subject, thus neither should we. But it does spend some, and it is profitable for "doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness"
     
  11. freeatlast

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    When the OP asked how much are we supposed to study the devil as opposed to studying Jesus and gave a seminary student's test as an example, I took it to mean Biblical knowledge.

    After all, that's the only source of "studying Jesus" that's available - ergo, I took it to mean that the seminary student should graduate knowing everything the Bible has to say about the devil and about Jesus. Why would I want a preacher in my pulpit who knew nothing of the devil?

    The Bible give many warnings about the devil - to individual people and to people at large. Paul says "we know his schemes."

    I took the OP to mean what God says about the devil in the Bible.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    best advice would be to do as the treasury agent do! They study real money to catch the fake!

    same way, learn the scriptures and how to walk in the presense of the Holy Spirit, and you can discern error, as much of what satan does today comes into churches under guise of 'new revelation/postmodern thought/contemprorary theology" etc!
     

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