Understanding Satan’s Abilities! Can Satan Read Your Mind?
(Ver 1.4) 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 your head. But this is not technically true. While the physical brain has some vital functions within the natural realm, we must ask “what happens to our mind when our body dies?” Does it cease to exist? Absolutely not, the mind is just a part of your internal soul realm. Your soul is comprised of three elements; your intellect, your will and your emotions. Your intellect is comprised of your ability to think and reason along with your ability to recall the memories that you have learned or experienced. Let’s look at a story that Jesus taught us to learn about the mind after death:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Reading the story that Jesus teaches us of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:20-31, we can see the actual account of two men who lived on the earth and then died with their bodies being buried. After they have died physically they are still alive spiritually and are able to speak verbally, think and reason mentally in this story without their bodies. Therefore, 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 5 brothers would not come to this place of torment where he currently was. In this conversation Abraham tells the rich man to use is mind 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 had a father’s house and even five natural brothers. The rich man was further able to mentally reason and come to the conclusion that he did not want his brothers to die and come to this place. This demonstrated a measured capacity for compassion. This is a very powerful real life specific lesson about the afterlife experience of three specific men. It further teaches us that the human spirit and the human mind will be complete together during this afterlife. The rich man’s ability to think, reason, feel 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 think and create many things in our world. How do we do this? We take mental concepts and process them and then make determinations and decisions based upon these ideas or thoughts. It is this advanced reasoning mental ability that humans have that makes us completely different than the animals on our planet.
There are really only three basic states of thought origination, we can make up our own mind thoughts to one point of view, 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 to either way of direction. God is declaring that the choice is clearly a binary one to make. Either choose good or choose evil but do not try to fall back and forth into both. God actually teaches us in the book of 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. 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. Therefore, we see a definite connection from our mind to our spirit and that is very important to understand. We know that when Lazarus and the rich man died their souls which included their minds, memory, reasoning facilities and even emotions did not die with their physical bodies. These were still fully intact with their spirits. Therefore our ability to think is tied directly to our spirit and not our 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 (spirits). 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 thoughts of man’s heart 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 antithesis of these two states would be a man that thinks “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 a good God’s Spirit (Good)
- A Thought can originate from another spiritual being, either a holy angel (Good) or Satan, devil, unholy angel, demon, or unclean spirit (Evil)
A thought represents the potential seed from an unseen realm of influence that can be birthed and expressed in the external actions or words of a human. 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. This is what we just read in Genesis 6 when men only thought evil and acted evil. God’s
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 potential for spiritual influence on humans. It teaches us how a spirit can encourage people to do the right things. To be led is the human action of choice to following a guide who shows us the way to go. However, to be led means we 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 us to do the wrong things in life. This means that all spirits good or bad can give you direction and that each spirit speaking to us know exactly what they said to you. This does not mean they read your mind, it only means they provided the guiding 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 or even one that rebels to do the opposite. 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 and we are called His sheep. He says we will be able to recognize His voice because we belong to Him. We should know that this is a faith proposition being presented to us, but there 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 we 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 “Take Captive” every thought that does not align with the Knowledge of God. These are 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 our mind then he certainly knows what we are thinking at that instance. But, he is waiting to see what we 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 choice or act of our freewill. God never says that He will control our 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 may be called a fool.
This is the nature of the spiritual battle found within our mind. Jesus is teaching us not to take every thought that we have and to speak them verbally, or act on them, or 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 mind seed 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 inform Satan what was written to counter what Satan had just said to Him in his mind. This is what we need to do also. However, this assumes that we have studied and read the Bible in order to know what to say in response. Satan is not going to wait for us to go and get our Bible and look up a scripture. Satan 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 of isolation that we better have something to say from our 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 us. Jesus is giving us some important information to know about the mental and spiritual realm of reality. I hope you can see it.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GIVING US A THOUGHT AND MINDREADING
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 to 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 as the being Lucifer was a created spiritual being who was created to be the high ranking ruler of the angelic order or class of beings. I believe that Lucifer was a being second in rank only to God who was and is still Supreme. God created Lucifer to be the “anointed cherub” and you can read about this in Ezekiel 28. For him to have the title “anointed cherub” implies some supernatural abilities were given to him by God.
For example, in 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 His 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 His anointing and healed people because He possessed this anointing. It further implies that Satan using his anointed power caused all these sick people to be in this condition by his implied anointed power. Therefore, we can logically conclude that God’s anointing to heal in Jesus was and is greater than Satan’s anointing to make ill.
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; according to many Bible verses 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 still did not know who it was that touched Him (Mark 5:30). Get it? Let’s now change our focus on other spiritual beings.
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 being 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 stupid basic question. Do you understand what I just said? It is very obvious to me that evil spirits cannot read the minds of God, men or even other angels if they have to ask them questions to why they are here what they are doing. 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 or mind readers. Jesus was God in the form of a man who walked the face of the planet as any other 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 consistently 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 great 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 (John 3:16). There are many God 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.
Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
There are other instances in the Bible that are related to this topic of Satanic mind reading. For example here in Jude we see Michael another high ranking angelic being having a confrontation with Satan (Lucifer) about the body of Moses. If Satan could read the mind of this angelic being that was sent to him, there would be no need for a fight. The existence of an implied verbal confrontation confirms that there was no mind reading abilities in either created spiritual being either good or bad.
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 and can’t do. We can clearly see that Jesus walked the face of the earth for over 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 believe sincerely that Satan cannot read your mind directly, but in this same lesson I teach 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 into weeds3if you let them. You spirit was created and designed by God to be His 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 behavior 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 us 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. 58 Comments.