Question: Does Satan tempt us with evil thoughts? |

TBC Staff

Question: I have a question please: Does Satan tempt us with evil thoughts?

Response: The pattern of temptation and sin, according to James:1:13-15 is as follows: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

Nevertheless, it is certainly true that during the temptation the adversary does influence our thoughts, as scripture testifies. For example, when King Ahab was planning to go to battle at Ramothgilead, where the Lord had determined he would be killed (1 Kings:22:20-23), we are given a glimpse behind the scenes at how the adversary and his demons influence man: “And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”

Satan is an adversary to God and to humanity, and, as a consequence, will do anything he can to tempt individuals and turn them away from the Lord. We can see, therefore, that at times Satan may give individuals evil thoughts. We are also given examples in the Bible of people, such as Judas, who betrayed Jesus to His enemies. At that time, the Bible tells us, “Satan entered Judas” (Luke:22:3). Was Judas thus not responsible for what he did next? There is no room for quoting the old comedy line, “The devil made me do it.” In his own greed, Judas willingly accepted the money he was offered to reveal where Jesus could be found, thus betraying the Lord. And in fact, John:12:6 tells us that Judas was (already) a thief. Yes, Satan influenced his sinful desires, but Judas proceeded with that which was already in his heart.

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