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God's Not Mad at You
“What about the devil?”

“What about the devil?”

NOVEMBER 20, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / “What about the devil?”

Steve Brown:
And what about the devil? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. Our host and teacher is Steve Brown. He’s no guru, but he does have honest answers to honest questions about the Bible. God’s grace changes everything, how we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent evangelize, purchase and worship. So here’s Steve and Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with street smart Bible teaching for real life.

Steve Brown:
Hey Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey Steve. How you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing good. I expect you to answer this question that I teased at the beginning of the broadcast. And, I think while you answer it Biblically and theologically and spiritually, I’m going to leave the room. If that’s all right.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh my goodness. Couldn’t have been more focused a question, could it?

Steve Brown:
That’s Pete Alwinson, by the way. If you haven’t read his book, Like Father, Like Son, you ought to get it. Make it a gift to everybody you know, it’ll just make a difference in their lives. Pete, as you know, comes in on Fridays and we’ve been doing this for years, sitting down and answering questions and we both enjoy this time. We don’t speak from Sinai. We have an addendum, a cautionary word. Don’t take what we say from Sinai. Check it out yourself in your Bible, because we’re learning just as you are and we have been wrong. But far less than you are. So do listen to what we say, and we love to get your questions. You can call them 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, and record your question. And sometimes we put that on the air. You can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us to Steve@keylife.org. And those are also places where you could make her contribution to Key Life, financially. And if you really love Jesus, that’s exactly what you do. I’m kidding. I know that some of you can’t and some of you aren’t called to, but if you can help us financially, I promise we’ll be faithful with your gift. And we’ll use it to benefit so many people who really can’t help us financially.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Right.

Steve Brown:
And a lot of people have been faithful, about 10% of the people who are ministered to by Key Life. So if you can be a part of that do, if you can’t, say a prayer for us. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer, and then we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Our great God, we come into your presence right now, just for a minute at the end of the week here. And we, we stop, we worship you, we honor you for being the God who is our creator, the one who is our sustainer, the one who gives so much to us, the one that loves us, the one who is good and kind and merciful, sovereign, but also holy and righteous and just. We thank you that you are at work in our lives and you are at work in our world, even as messed up as our world seems, Lord, we trusted you, we pray Jesus that you would extend and advance your kingdom on earth,as, as it may your will be done here, just like it’s done on earth, but in heaven. But Lord, we pray that your glory would be revealed through our lives. And even through Key Life. And so now we just asked for wisdom as we do Q & A. We pray that you’d give us insight into your word and encourage your people for, we pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
“Can Satan put thoughts into our minds?”

Steve Brown:
Oh, I was expecting a long question.

Pete Alwinson:
I know.

Steve Brown:
Can Satan put thoughts into our minds?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, can he infuse them into our minds? Can he, can he speak, can he speak to us some, in some way? Can he give us impressions that are satanic, I think, I think it’s possible for us to get satanic impressions. But, I think, you know, again, the language around this is, you’ve got to be real careful.

Steve Brown:
You really do, but there’s, the question that’s often asked. Can a Christian be possessed by demons?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And I don’t think so. I, I don’t, I don’t think that rests easy with God’s Spirit.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But that doesn’t mean that a Christian can’t be harassed,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
by Satan and is regularly.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Oppressed, oppressed, demonized in the sense of,

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
influenced.

Steve Brown:
Exactly. I think so. And don’t give Satan more power than he has, you know, we have to remember that we’re not duelists.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
In other words, we don’t believe that there’s this big battle going on between God and the devil and it’s kind of a toss up. There’s no ying yang in Christian theology. God is God, Satan doesn’t do anything without God’s permission. He is a lackey of God and God uses Satan for a lot of reasons. And one of them is our redemption and Satan doesn’t like that. But after saying all of that, do you know that for years I couldn’t use the word Satan in the pulpit?

Pete Alwinson:
Why is that?

Steve Brown:
Well, those were the days when I was just this side of wacko liberal, and I never said Satan. I said, metaphorical personification of evil. And then I met him. And then that changed all of a sudden. We were, we were talking off the air before this broadcast about a friend that we have in common, who ran a conference center. And because it had been involved with a lot of bad stuff before he got there, he spent a day and this is an Anglican brother, spend a day, casting out the demons, walking over the center and all over the place and we laughed about it. And then we stopped laughing and thought, you know, There may be something to that.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And there is.

Pete Alwinson:
There, there is. And, and, and, you know, Martin, Luther’s great hymn in this world with devil filled, you know, we can, we can run the error of overemphasizing Satan or under emphasizing

Steve Brown:
I agree.

Pete Alwinson:
him. And it’s kind of like, if you’re going into enemy territory. And this world is enemy territory. And you, you, you realize that you, you, you forget that you could be ambushed, then you won’t be on the alert. And the New Testament says many times, be on the alert.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
Be aware of what’s going on spiritually around you.

Steve Brown:
Jesus said to Peter, you know, Satan wants you.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
I don’t know why, but he wants me too. But, back to the original question. Yeah. You can be influenced by Satan. That’s why it’s so important that you measure everything by God’s word.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
That you be involved with God’s people. That you know what is truth and what’s lies, because Satan is called among other things in Scripture, the father of lies.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Loves to lie.

Steve Brown:
Oh, he does.

Pete Alwinson:
He has no hesitation of lying.

Steve Brown:
And Jesus said, I’m the truth. So when, whenever truth is spoken, that’s Jesus. Whatever lies are spoken, whatever kind of lies, that’s not him.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right. The world, the flesh and the devil are our enemies.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. This is an email Pete. What does the Bible teach about sanctification? When does it happen in a believers’ life?

Pete Alwinson:
Well it happened in your life, a couple of years ago. Right?

Steve Brown:
That’s right. That’s how I became a spiritual giant.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah, well, and it was all of a sudden.

Steve Brown:
Jesus just took it away because of the pride, in saying so.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Cause you just, well, you know, I love the reality that justification is a point in time, work of the spirit of God in our life. And we become declared, not guilty for our sins through faith in Christ. And then the process of sanctification. Becoming more like Jesus takes place and it’s up and down. And it’s a long life process, using the means of grace, being filled with the spirit, letting the word transform our hearts and minds, being in community, advancing the kingdom, those things. And God matures us in the image of Christ.

Steve Brown:
What about an entire sanctification? A number of people believe that.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. You know, you and I were kidding. Of course you haven’t reached total sanctification, though you’re pretty darn close.

Steve Brown:
Of course.

Pete Alwinson:
We’re better than we used to be.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And I think we can, we don’t say that in pride. We say that in humility because of what Jesus has done to grow us, but I don’t think we reach it until we get home. In fact, I John says,

When we see him, then we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.

Steve Brown:
That’s so true. John Wesley, by the way, asked ordinands, a question that used to irritate me. It still does a little bit, but, and he would be one of the proponents though, he never claimed it for himself of entire sanctification. But one of the questions he’s asked, and this question is still asked of Methodists when they’re being ordained, Methodist pastors. And the question is, are you moving toward perfection? That’s not a bad question.

Pete Alwinson:
No.

Steve Brown:
As long as you emphasize the moving part.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
If you emphasize the destination part, you can move over into some kind of heresy I think.

Pete Alwinson:
You really can. And you could move away from how energizing grace is in the sanctification process versus

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
the law. The law shows us where we fail. The law shows us how we’re not to go, but the law has no energizing power. Grace has the energizing power.

Steve Brown:
You know, that segues into another email question that we got. How does God change us?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s what, what I’ve learned from you and what we’ve developed, and what Key Life is about, is how, if you’re trying to be good, you’re gutting it out, that’s not going to bring maturity in Christ.

Steve Brown:
No, it’s really not. In fact, it’ll do just the opposite. It’s a place of darkness and I’ve been there, you know, you and I both have a, a major desire to please God, we really want to.

Pete Alwinson:
We do.

Steve Brown:
I mean, I want, I, I really do. And you really do too. But the way to that is not emphasizing that, but leaning on Christ and it’s sort of like the dog’s tail, it follows behind, and you don’t even know that it’s there until you look back and say, son of a gun.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
I’m better than I was.

Pete Alwinson:
I know, it really is, as you’ve been teaching it all these years, that as we understand the grace of Christ, it leads us away from self-righteousness to gratitude. And that gratitude just, is a launching pad for humility and the virtues of the spirit to control us.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s really a joy.

Steve Brown:
It really is. And, I’ll tell you something, God does demand holiness.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Or calls us to holiness, but if you try to do it, the wrong way. You’re going to be in trouble all the time. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I have the bloody t-shirt to prove it, but the way I became, as you suggested at the beginning, totally sanctified,

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
was by grace. I can’t believe. We got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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