Understanding Satan’s Abilities! Can Satan Read Your Mind?
(Ver 1.3) This will be an extremely complex Bible study today of a highly spiritual nature about the spiritual abilities of your enemy Satan. We will explore many difficult and different scriptures found in the Bible that help us to see the truth. In studying your enemy you should learn both his strengths and his weaknesses so that you can be better prepared when he comes to tempt, test or attack you. Satan is definitely this enemy that I am talking about if you are a Christian. God tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (people) but the principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world and the spiritual wicked in high places (Eph 6:12). The Bible clearly tells us that we are in a spiritual warfare with a spiritual enemy that we cannot see. Since we do not perceive Satan with our physical senses we must read the Bible and see what God tells us about this unseen spirit and how he operates. Today I am going to focus in on one aspect that many Christians have wondered about. I was asked this question recently by one of my readers so I thought it would be a good topic to share with all of my readers. Here was their question:
Can Satan Read Your Mind?
Let’s start by addressing the question “What is your mind”? Most people associate your mind with your physical brain, an internal organ in the head, but this is not technically true. While the physical brain has some vital functions within the natural realm, what happens to your mind when your body dies? Does it cease to exist? Absolutely not, the mind is just a part of your soul. Your soul is comprised of your intellect, will and emotions. You intellect is comprised of your ability to think and reason along with recall of memories that you have learned or experienced. Reading the story that Jesus teaches us of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:20-31, you can see the actual account of two men who lived on the earth and then died and their bodies are buried. After they have died physically they are still able to speak verbally, think and reason mentally in this story without their bodies, so we know they had conscious awareness and the same mental capabilities that they possessed when they were here on the earth in their bodies. We are told that the rich man was now in hell and he asks Abraham to send someone back to the earth so that his brothers would not come to this place of torment where he was. In this conversation Abraham tells the rich man to “remember”. This clearly tells us that you will take your past memories of this world into the next eternal realm. The rich man was able to recall that he even had natural brothers and he was further able to mentally reason and come to the conclusion that he made a mistake and that he should have done something differently while he was living on the earth. This is a very powerful lesson about the afterlife experience, the human spirit and the human mind. The rich man’s ability to think and remember was not tied to whether or not he had any brain cells. Get it?
The human mind is a very complex and powerful feature of God’s creation. We use it to create many things in our world. How do we do this? We take mental concepts and process them and make determinations and decisions based upon these ideas or thoughts. It is this reasoning ability that we have that makes us completely different than the animals on our planet. There are really only three basic states of thought, we can make up our mind, we can change our mind to the opposite perspective or we can attempt to be double minded and accept both realities simultaneously. Jesus actually warns us about doing this when He said “I would that you were either hot or cold, since you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth (Rev 3:16). God is speaking of a man who is not committed either way. God actually teaches in James that this is called a “double minded” man:
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
God is warning us about being a man who is indecisive, uncommitted, trying to appease everyone and God says this man is unstable in all of his ways. This is what concerns me about our current president in the U.S. His attitude of an all-inclusive behavior as being permissible and normal is very troubling to me. The term translated as “double minded” in James 1:8, is the Greek word that can mean a man who has two spirits controlling him. So we see a definite connection from your mind to your spirit and that is very important to understand. We know that when Lazarus and the rich man died their souls, minds, memory, reasoning facilities and even emotions did not die with them. These were still intact with their spirits. Therefore your ability to think is tied to your spirit and not your body. A thought is a process that occurs and is associated with the human mind, but what is the source of a thought? Where does a thought take place and how does it work?
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Here is the first occurrence of the thought process of man being stated or described in the Bible directly by name. We of course realize that the thought process of Adam and Eve were involved in their decision making back in Genesis 3, but God never mentions it directly. Here in Genesis 6, God looks down on the men on the earth and sees that they only think evil things in their hearts. We can again see the connection of thoughts to the spirit of a man and not his physical brain. So a thought must come to rest in your spirit. I’m not sure if it originates there, but it is definitely connected as a resting place. Here in this verse in Genesis 6, God implies that the hearts of men could be one of three states, good, evil or both as I previously stated. We can understand this based upon the words “only” and “continually” used with evil. The opposite of these two states would be only good and never evil. We could further stipulate someone who is in the middle as being “occasionally evil or intermittently good”. I personally believe based upon this information that there are three sources of thoughts in the human mind and that these are as follows:
- A Thought can originate from a man’s spirit (Self)
- A Thought can originate from God’s Spirit (Good)
- A Thought can originate from another spirit, either angel (good) or demon (Evil)
A thought is the birth of a realm of influence expressed in the external actions of a person. Having an evil thought does not make you an evil man, unless you act upon it and live it out. I believe that a person can be influenced to do good or evil according to what they entertain and allow to remain in their minds. There is a verse of scripture that occurs in the N.T. that says “Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom 8:14). This verse is a scripture that demonstrates the spiritual influence principle of how a spirit can encourage people to do the right things. To be led is the action of a guide who shows you the way to go. However, to be led means you have the opportunity to go the other way and not follow their directions. It further implies that there are other spirits that can also lead you to do the wrong things in life. This means that all spirits good or bad can give you thoughts and that they therefore know what they said to you. This does not mean they read your mind, it only means they provided the thought. They spoke something to your mind and your spirit and what you do with it is totally up to you. You can be led by it or you can be a person who ignores it. It really boils down to your ability to discern the origin of the voice (thought) being spoken internally. The good news is that you can know the difference between God and a demon and this is because God says this to you:
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
We can clearly see Jesus speaking to us, we are called His sheep and He says we will be able to recognize His voice because we belong to Him. We know that this is a faith proposition being presented to us, but it is also an internal spiritual knowing that will be present. It is very difficult to explain this to people, if you have never experienced it. Some have called it an intuition, but you could call it a hunch or awareness or an instinct. You do not know how you know, you just know. This has happened to me repeatedly, I have a thought and just based upon the content of the thought I know it came from God. It is very hard to explain in natural terms because it is a spiritual experience.
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
This is a fairly popular verse of scripture that you should already be aware of. But, since we are speaking about the realm of the mind and the origination of thoughts let’s examine what God is saying. We can see that God is speaking to us to do something. God tells us to “Cast Down” imaginations. Then God says to “Make Captive” every thought. Two aggressive actions that we are required to take based upon what? If you read the context of this verse you can see that God is again describing a spiritual warfare that is taking place. This means you must interpret this verse within the context of spiritual warfare and this is how you fight against your spiritual enemy Satan. Where do these thoughts and imaginations come from that you are to “make captive” and “cast down”? They must come from Satan, otherwise if they were from God we would not need to do anything but follow His leading. We can assume by indirect reference that the source of these things in our mind that are not supposed to be there are from Satan and it is our responsibility to police them out. It is also obvious to me that if Satan puts these thoughts in there then he knows what you are thinking at that instance. But, he is waiting to see what you do with the thought to see if it worked or not.
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Here is a vital spiritual principle to understand. Jesus said that you can take a thought or reject the thought by reverse implied reference. This is also a demonstrated act of your freewill. God never says that He will control your thought in the Bible. A thought is like if someone offered you some money, you could take it or you could walk away from it by your own choice. More than likely you will take it because it is desirable. However, if I handed you a poisonous snake and you took it from me, then you are just stupid. This is the nature of the spiritual battle fourd within your mind. Jesus is teaching us not to take every thought that we have and to speak them, act on them, accept them, etc. To take a thought means you accept it into your heart and then you begin to speak out what you were thinking. This is how Satan knows his trick has succeeded. As soon as you think something that is contrary to the Word of God you should immediately think what does the Bible say about that? When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus would automatically say “It is written” and tell Satan what was written that was wrong with what Satan had just said to Him. This is what you need to do also, however, this assumes that you have studied and read the Bible in order to know what to say in response. Satan is not going to wait for you to get to your Bible and look up a scripture, he is going to find you alone in the wilderness without anyone there to help and then bring thoughts into your mind. It is at these times you better have something to say from your heart. Here in the context of this verse in Matthew 6, Jesus is speaking of how people can let worry consume them into saying and doing things that they should not. Worry is another negative mental process that is thinking on the wrong things and allowing them to control you. Jesus is giving us some important information to know about the mental and spiritual realm of reality. I hope you can see it.
I personally do not believe that Satan can hear your thoughts or read your mind. However, Satan can certainly give you these thoughts as we have seen and try to influence you through your mind. I do not believe that Satan is omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient based upon my study of the Bible. Satan was a created spiritual being who was created to be the supreme ruler of the angelic order or class of beings with him only being second to God. God created Satan to be the “anointed cherub” and you can read about this in Ezekiel 28. To have the title “anointed cherub” implies some supernatural abilities were given to him by God. Acts 10:38 says “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil”. Jesus was also anointed by God according to this verse in Acts and by the title of “Christ” which means “anointed one”. You can clearly see that an anointing represents a supernatural power over the natural. Jesus it says did good with Him anointing and healed people because of He possessed it therefore, we can logically conlcude that God’s anointing also permitted Satan to perform certain miraculous things either good or evil. But, just because Satan has anointing power from God does not give him the ability to read your mind.
So far in my Bible study searches I have not seen any direct verse that says a spirit like Satan can know what you are thinking. However, God is the exception; He does know our thoughts (1 Cor 3:20, Ps 94:11, Ps 139:23). There are many verses that inform us God knows what we are thinking all of the time and that God revealed these to Jesus sometimes when He walked the face of the earth (Mat 9:4, Mat 12:25, Luke 5:22, Luke 6:8, Luke 11:17). I do not believe that Jesus knew everyone’s thoughts all of the time based upon scripture. If you recall the woman with the issue of blood snuck up on Jesus and touched Him and got healed and Jesus knew it happened because He felt power leave Him, but He did not know who it was that touched Him (Mark 5:30). Get it? Let’s look at some examples of Jesus running into people who were possessed by evil spirits and see what these stories say to us. The first one I want to read about is found in Mark the first chapter. Jesus is in the synagogue on the Sabbath teaching when He encounters a man with an unclean spirit who says:
Mar 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
As you can read this unclean spirit recognizes Jesus for who He really was and speaks directly to Him. It is very interesting to me that evil spirits knew who Jesus was, but the natural Jews did not. Did you notice what this spirit asks Jesus? This spirit asks Jesus “Did you come to destroy us”. Any spirit who could read minds would already know this fact and would not have to ask this basic of a question. Do you understand what I just said? It is very obvious to me that evil spirits cannot read the minds of men if they have to ask them questions to why they are here. You can clearly see this example repeated in Luke 4:
Luk 4:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.
What we observe is a second witness to the fact that evil spirits are not all knowing. Jesus was a man who walked the face of the planet as any human man would. God the omnipotent supreme power of the universe lowered Himself and becomes an intimate part of His own creation. Evil Spirits would constantly say we know who you are; you are the Holy One of God. Then they would ask Him are you come to destroy us? They did not know why Jesus had come in the flesh and for what purpose He had manifested as a human being. This act of God obviously took them by surprise and they were afraid and very confused to know what to do with Him.
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Here in 1 Corinthians, God further confirms what I just said. This verse clearly says that if Satan would have known why Jesus was here, he would not have had Him crucified. Satan does not understand acts of love; God who is Love, so loved the World that He gave Himself for us. These are several concepts that Satan does not understand. We know that God’s ways are not our ways according to Isaiah 55:8, but we can also clearly see and understand that God’s ways are not Satan’s ways either or Satan would have understood the plan of God and countered it with more effectiveness.
So while the Bible does not have a direct verse that says Satan cannot read your mind, you have to find out what the Bible does say on the subject and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand what he can do. We can clearly see that Jesus walked the face of the earth for 33 years and that at no time could Satan read His mind and find out why He was here. If you believe that Jesus was a man like yourself, then you have to conclude that Satan cannot read your mind either. So the subject is a very complex one that is probably difficult for many to grasp. I tell you that Satan cannot read your mind directly, but in the same lesson I tell you that he can give you thoughts to think on and that he knows what he said to you. These thoughts are his seeds that can take root in your spirit and grow if you let them. You spirit is desinged to be God’s garden and God has put you in charge of weeding it out by casting down vain imaginations and evil thoughts. These are the ways that Satan can take control of your external life and he does this by planting internal seeds into your spiritual component. If you want to learn about how things work in the spiritual realm this is one of the most important subjects for you to know. It also tells us that Satan can cause people’s minds to be blinded so that we do not hear or accept the truth of God (2 Cor 4:4). The spiritual battle is primarily a war of the thoughts in your mind. Satan wants to control your thoughts and by controlling your thoughts he is able to control your actions through his negative influence. However when we meditate on God’s Word we are able to replace Satan’s thoughts with God’s. I hope that you learned something new today that will help you in your walk with God, until next time may God continue to enlighten the eyes of your spirit that you may know Him.
Posted on January 21, 2011, in Satan and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Genesis, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Satan, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.