Monday, March 16, 2009

Can Satan Hear Our Thoughts?



By John MacArthur


Can Satan hear what we say and know our thoughts? Should we avoid praying out loud because Satan might hear us?


There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that Satan is omniscient. There are no verses that say he knows everything or that he can read our thoughts. But he is very adept at predicting human behavior because he’s seen it operate for so long. He can anticipate what you might do in a given situation without knowing your thoughts because of his knowledge of humankind and because he has a supernatural mind.
But in terms of being omniscient and being able to read your thoughts (as God can), the Bible does not support that idea at all. It never tells us that angels are omniscient. And if a holy angel isn’t omniscient, neither is a fallen one. So, Satan can’t read our thoughts, even if he’s great at predicting human behavior because he’s seen so much of it.
I was speaking at a conference in Iowa about this problem. People were asking questions like “How do you deal with demons?” and “Do we need exorcism to get rid of demons?” Well, there are a lot of people today who say you do. I once read a book about deliverance in which the author described a doctor who was supposedly delivered from the demon of post-nasal drip. And in this approach, whenever you think you have a demon, there’s a certain magical formula you say or you run around or “plead the blood”—whatever that phrase means, since it’s not from the Scripture. The blood has already been pled in your behalf at the time of your salvation and that takes care of it.
There are people who advocate little formulas and séance-type practices with a Christian connotation, claiming that they can cast out demons and so forth. But when you get into the Bible, you find that dealing with the devil is really as simple as going to Ephesians 6 and putting on the armor of God. You see, in Ephesians 6, it says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers,” right? We’re wrestling against demons and against Satan.
But what do we do about it? The best place to find out is to read right in that same chapter, isn’t it? Notice that it does not say, “Go get your demons exorcised with a Christian exorcism.” Nor does it say, “Go get somebody to cast your demon out.” It says, “Put on the whole armor of God,” and what that whole armor really consists of is righteousness. The heart of it is “the breastplate of righteousness.” The key then is to live a righteous, Spirit-filled life and to trust in the sovereign power of God.
So, there is nothing in the Bible that says Satan can read our thoughts. Certainly demons can hear what we say. They can understand what we say. And as I said before, they are very good at predicting the common responses of man because they’ve been at it for such a long time.
But don’t worry about that! A lady once said to me, “We whisper,” because she was afraid of demons hearing her prayers. My response was, “Well, that’s foolish!” You can go boldly before the throne of grace. In the Old Testament, it doesn’t say, “And David whispered to the Lord;” it says, “And David said unto the Lord”—and out it came. You never hear any time in the apostle Paul’s instruction to us about prayer when he says, “Don’t talk out loud.” When he wanted to pray, he just flat out prayed and it didn’t bother him whether Satan heard it because he was living in such a way that Satan couldn’t do anything about it anyway. That’s the issue.




10 comments:

captain howdy said...

You know, it's funny.

150 years of evidence for evolution across a wide range of scientific disciplines and you consider the theory to be a fairy tale. But you have no problem believing in invisible monsters called demons or that the first woman came from a rib.


Just out of curiosity, why do you suppose it is that--with very few exceptions--whenever you hear somebody bashing evolution, you can bet the rent it's some born-again doing the bashing? It just seems strange that if evolution is as flawed as you folks say it is, why is it that only Christians can see the flaws, but the real experts--biologists--can't? Do Christians really think they understand biology better than actual biologists themselves do?

Anonymous said...

ok, on your comment about biologists not being able to see the flaws in evolution:
it has been said by DEVOTED EVOLUTIONARY SCIENTISTS that the evidence for their belief is slim to nonexistent. their main reason for continuing in that belief, and I quote, is, "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable." (Arthur Keith)* in short, they REFUSE to believe in anything but evolution, a THEORY that has been taught as fact in EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL IN THE U.S. if you take a look at the 'evidence' for evolution, such as structural homology, the Cambrian Explosion, the strata layers, and 'similarities' between species, you will find UNDENIABLE flaws. in most of these cases, you must discard 99% of the data and accept 1% as true. is this reasonable science? no, this is the effort of scientists trying to exclude God from his own creation. and on your comment regarding whether Christians understand biology better than biologists, or the 'real experts' as you put it, no, they do not. they simply are uninhibited by atheistic uninformed biases. if you ask any HONEST scientist, you will find that there is more evidence that creation and the Bible are factual than evolution. finally, on your comment regarding invisible demons and Eve coming from Adam's rib, why do you have a problem believing that a loving heavenly father created us when you believe that, by absolute CHANCE, the universe exploded into being from nothingness (an impossibility according to newton and common sense), arranged itself into perfect order, again by CHANCE, and began to form life from the primordial ooze, which eventually evolved from bacteria to sea creatures to land creatures to human beings, all of which happened over millions of years which we CANNOT DOCUMENT. Just to be clear, I am not trying to attack you, I am simply pointing out the flaws in your statement.
-Zoe
*to find this quote use this link: http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/bias.htm

Robert Tewart said...

There are many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age and even some liberal Christian denominations that have no problem with the evolutionary view. Problem is, if we are to read the bible as it is written, Evolution cannot have been part of God's creation. That is why conservative Christians are at front of opposing evolution.

The problem with your argument about the "real experts and biologists" is that your presupposition is that they are unbiased. They cirtainly are biased. They have a great deal of their lives tied up in their weak theories. To consider a god and worse yet the God of the Bible would mean that they would have to give account for their lives and beliefs.

captain howdy said...

Let's test my contentions.

Somebody named Zoe left a comment insisting that evolution is all an evil lie.

I have two questions for you, Zoe:

1. Do you consider yourself a born-again Christian?

2. Are you a biologist?

captain howdy said...

@Robert--

Problem is, if we are to read the bible as it is written, Evolution cannot have been part of God's creation. That is why conservative Christians are at front of opposing evolution.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conservative Christians are not "at the front" of opposing evolution. They make up almost all of the opposition to evolution, just like conservative Christians make up all of the opposition to the scientific view of the age of the earth. Only born-agains insist that the earth is only 6000 years old.

I'd have more respect for evangelicals if they would just be honest about their motives for rejecting evolution. Just admit that the actual evidence for or against evolution has no bearing on your rejection of that theory.

The sole, exclusive reason for your rejection of evolution is because it offends your religious beliefs--period.

I can't count the number of times that some Christian has insisted that there's no evidence for evolution, and when confronted by the very thing he insists doesn't exist--evidence--he just ignored the evidence offered and repeats his insistence that there's no evidence for evolution.

Only evangelical Christians do that, and there's a term for it. It's called evolution denialism, and it's is every bit as intellectually honest as holocaust denialism.


The question arises in a discussion like this: Why is this even pertinent?

It's pertinent because if your religion is this wrong about something that has been verified thousands of times like evolution, then how likely is it that your religion is right about things that can't be verified, like the existence of God or the afterlife?

Anonymous said...

captain howdy,
your questions adressed to me were completely irrelevant to what we were speaking about, but i will tell you that i took no biased angle during our conversation. i simply took my knowledge of evolution and applied what i have been taught in my science textbooks (which discuss evolution from a purely scientific standpoint), and i will say this again: if you ask any HONEST, UNBIASED scientist, he will tell you that there is NO VERIFIED EVIDENCE for evolution. i would like for you to give me one piece of evidence that has been found to be COMPLETELY, UTTERLY, TRUE. finally, take a look at this,
the bible provided many facts about life and science before man EVER accepted it as true, such as:
•Both man and woman possess the seed of life
•There is a place void of stars in the North
•Earth is held in place by invisible forces
•Taxonomic classification of matter
•The Earth is round
•Day and night occur simultaneously on Earth
•Certain animals carry diseases harmful to man
•Early diagnosis of leprosy
•Quarantine for disease control
•Blood of animals carries diseases
•Blood is necessary for life
•Oceans have natural paths in them
•Earth was in nebular form initially
•Most seaworthy ship design ratio is 30:5:3
•Light is a particle and has mass (a photon)
•Radio astronomy (stars give off signals)
•Oceans contain fresh water springs
•Snow has material value
•Infinite number of stars exist
•Dust is important to survival
•Hubert Spencer's scientific principles
•Air has weight
•Light can be split up into component colors
•Matter is made up of invisible particles
•Plants use sunlight to manufacture food
•Arcturus and other stars move through space
•Water cycle
•Life originated in the sea (Sea creatures were the first created beings)
•Lightning and thunder are related
•Man was the last animal created
i am not trying to attack evolutionists or you, i am simply stating my argument.

-Zoe
you can find these facts at this site: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Scientific-Proof-of-Bible.php

captain howdy said...

@Zoe--

"your questions adressed to me were completely irrelevant to what we were speaking about, but i will tell you that i took no biased angle during our conversation."

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah. That's what I thought. Translation: "Why yes, Captain, I AM a born-again Christian and I reject evolution! However did you know that?"





"i simply took my knowledge of evolution and applied what i have been taught in my science textbooks (which discuss evolution from a purely scientific standpoint), and i will say this again: if you ask any HONEST, UNBIASED scientist, he will tell you that there is NO VERIFIED EVIDENCE for evolution."

~~~~~~~~~

You must go to college at Bob Jones University. Look around the website of the National Academy of Sciences for what scientists really say about evolution. Support for the theory is nearly universal among scientists. I could direct you to a long list of professional scientific societies that have issued position statements in full support of evolutionary theory, but would you really check it out? Probably not.



"i would like for you to give me one piece of evidence that has been found to be COMPLETELY, UTTERLY, TRUE."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Sure. Endogenous retroviruses.





"finally, take a look at this,
the bible provided many facts about life and science before man EVER accepted it as true, such as..."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I never realized what a valuable scientific resource the Bible is. Is there anything in there about how we can develop cheap, renewable energy?

Remember, the Bible's the same book that says in Joshua that the sun actually moves across the sky.

Anonymous said...

captain howdy:
first off, why are you making assumptions on whether or not i am a born again christian by the stance i take on evolution? secondly, the theory may be 'nearly universal' among scientists, but remember, so was spontaneous generation and the idea that the universe revolves around us. thirdly, your assertion that i go to a christian university is laughable on many levels, but i won't go into that here. lastly, the bible does not contradict real science, but neither is it a science book. have you ever woken up and thought, 'What a beautiful earth rotation today!'? no, you probably think, 'What a beautiful sunrise!'. the verse in Joshua is no more a scientific statement than yours, even though we know the sun does not 'rise'.

-Zoe

ExPatMatt said...

Captain,

I get the impression that you are wasting your time here.

No offense Zoe, but when someone makes the basic error of not knowing what theory is ("THEORY that has been taught as fact"), it's clear that what follows is not going to be a worthwhile discussion.

Just based on my experience.

Matt

captain howdy said...

@Zoe--

"first off, why are you making assumptions on whether or not i am a born again christian by the stance i take on evolution?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm trying to make a point; namely that whenever I encounter somebody bashing evolution it's invariably a born-again doing the bashing. You're bashing evolution, and when I ask you if you're a Christian or not you become very evasive--for obvious reasons. Which of course just proves my point.



"...secondly, the theory may be 'nearly universal' among scientists, but remember, so was spontaneous generation and the idea that the universe revolves around us."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Which conveniently overlooks the fact that it was a scientist, not a televangelist or preacher, that disproved spontaneous generation.

It always amuses me to hear somebody like you go off on a rant about how stupid scientists are and how they're always changing their minds--on their computer and posting their opinions on the internet for the whole world to see!



"...have you ever woken up and thought, 'What a beautiful earth rotation today!'? no, you probably think, 'What a beautiful sunrise!'. the verse in Joshua is no more a scientific statement than yours, even though we know the sun does not 'rise'."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But Joshua didn't just make an off-hand remark about "sunrise" or "sunset." He commanded the sun to stand still in the sky:

" 12Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed,
until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.



Do you believe the earth going around the sun is just one more thing scientists are wrong about, because they contradict that great science book called the Bible?