撒但能知道我们在想什么吗?(Can Satan and Demons Read Our Minds?)

By Randy Alcorn January 15, 2019

一个读者的问题:

拜读过很多你的著作,从中获益良多。但我对当中涉及的一个概念,感到有点困惑,因为我无法以圣经验证它。那就是撒但无法看透我们的心思和意念,但神却可以。此外,撒但可以听到我们口所发出的祈求,但不能听到我们在灵里的默祷……

我在圣经中找不到任何有关这方面的证据,并且对这个问题,有以下的想法:

1.由于神拥有无限的权力,权柄和能力,祂可以创造撒但,米迦勒,基路伯和其他属天的活物,让他们拥有任何 祂想要他们拥有的能力。然而,我们没被告知太多这方面的信息。这样看来,神本可以随己意,让撒但拥有能阅读我们思想和心灵的能力。 

2.由于能防止撒但看透思想的能力,基督徒在战略上占有优势,这一点看上去应向我们特别指明出来,这事情保管能被晋升作为“上帝军装”,或是耶稣亲自的教导。   

3.为了操纵我们,撒但似乎需要对我们的思想进行“内部侦测” (即阅读我们的思想),以便知道如何诱惑我们,明白我们的弱点等等。

蓝迪·艾库恩的回答:

以下是我关于魔鬼读心问题的看法。首先,我们知道魔鬼不是无所不知的,因为牠们只是天使,被创造的有限生命,并且天使不能知道所有事情,包括基督再来的时间(马可福音13:32)。我们被告知只有上帝才能知道未来(以赛亚书46:9-10)。魔鬼是个独立存在的个体,在空间和时间上都受到限制,不是无所不在的,因此据推测,他应该无法随意进出人类身体。另一方面,哥林多后书2章10节,还有其他经文,却示意魔鬼能影响我们的思想。但他们能看透我们的思想吗?我们知道耶稣知道人们所思(太9:4; 12:25; 马可福音2:8; 路加福音6:8; 11:17)。上帝知道人们所想(例如创世记6:5,诗篇139)。然而,没有经文告诉我们,撒但或魔鬼也能做到。

这只能说是一个推论,一个因沉默而得出的理据。除了在但以理书2:27-28节中,但以理对尼布甲尼撒说,没有人能解释——包括那些能运用魔鬼能力的术士,巫师和占星师——唯独上帝可以告知国王梦里的事情。显然地,魔鬼也无法借着读出国王的思想来确定他的梦境,更遑论要解释他梦里的事情。所以,这可能就是和以上问题直接相关的主要经文。

当然,魔鬼占了极佳位置,可以从外面观察我们,推断出我们的想法。牠们知道我们正在阅读些什么书,看什么样的电视节目,偶然听到我们的对话,看到我们的身体反应,甚至听到我们的私语,并且毫无疑问地,擅长阅读我们的表情。只要愿意,牠们能在别人看不到我们的任何时候看到我们。接着,就是放入一些念头在我们脑海里或者行使说服力——我不知道那是如何运作的,也许是一种心灵感应,牠们在没有准确地读出我们的想法时,发出信息,植入想法。我同意魔鬼经常干扰我们的祈祷,分散我们的注意力,但我认为牠们不必经由阅读我们的思想来达成此事。如果我们与配偶发生争执,如果我们的孩子生病了,如果我们累了并且要追赶截止日期,魔鬼可以观察到这一切,并以某种方式向我们低语,让我们分心(除了魔鬼,世界和肉体也会让人分心,而且肉体肯定知道我们的想法)。借着倾听我们及观察我们放进脑海的事物,魔鬼了解什么事情最能诱惑我们。对我们以及我们的孩子来说,这是一个重要的提醒,我们阅读、观看、聆听的内容,能为圣灵和天使或是魔鬼提供弹药,在我们思想里发动战争。如果我遇到敌人攻击,却把上满弹药的长枪交给他,这种做法显然是毫不合理的。   

我确实认为,我们思考的内容,只有无所不知的神知道。祂创造了我们,为我们死,并且住在我们里面。祂是审判官,是唯一了解和看到所有的,我为此感到安慰。知道敌人无法无限制地进出我的脑海,让我松了一口气。牠可以大力敲门,在窗外大声吼叫,高声指控,但牠却不能入侵我关连大脑的思想领域——因那是属于神的殿,有圣灵居住其中。当然,我们必须保持警惕备战,随时摧毁撒但的论点,我们决不能不知道牠的策略。我们不想高估魔鬼对我们生活的影响,但我们也不能低估牠的能力。

这个概念,也可应用在当我们觉得正在遭受魔鬼攻击的时候,正如我最近所遭遇的。当一种无望的恐惧和不祥的预感落在我身上时,我呼求基督的宝血遮盖并保护我。我以往习惯只是无声的祷告,但现在我却会开口祷告。任何一种方式,神都能听到我祈求,但我却想让魔鬼和天使也能听到。在被诱惑时,耶稣开口回应撒但。祂开口引用圣经,因此魔鬼能听得到,或许这也是为了造就众天使。当我们抵挡魔鬼时,或许由于环境的限制( 例如在餐馆,教堂或工作中),开口祷告(或是大声地呼求)未必总是合宜,但我觉得这样做总是值得的。通过言辞表达,我们让属灵争战的武器有形有体。陶恕将他的一篇评论命题为“胜过撒但”。这题目也成为他日后其中一本着作的书名。

 

翻译:Casper良月

校译:Michael Cai


Can Satan and Demons Read Our Minds?

Question from a reader:

I have read many of your books and they have truly blessed me. One concept I have read has bothered me as I have been unable to validate it in Scripture. That is the concept that Satan cannot know our thoughts and heart in contrast to God who knows all. Further that Satan can hear our spoken prayers but not our silent prayers...

I cannot find anything like this in Scripture and had some thoughts on the subject, namely:

1. Since God has infinite power, authority and capability, he could have created Satan, Michael, cherubs and other heavenly hosts to have any abilities he wanted them to have. It doesn’t seem we are told much about this. Seems like he could have created Satan to have the ability to read our minds and hearts if he had so desired.

2. Since the ability to prevent Satan from knowing our thoughts is such a strategic advantage for a Christian, seems like it would have been specifically identified for us, it would rank way up there in the “armor of God” or would have been taught by Jesus.

3. Seems like in order to manipulate us the way he does, Satan would have to have an “inside track” on our thinking, (i.e. read our minds) to know what tricks to throw at us, to know our weaknesses, etc.

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

On the demon mind-reading issue, here’s my opinion. First, we know demons aren’t omniscient, since they’re just angels, created finite beings, and angels don’t know a lot of things, including the time of Christ’s return (Mark 13:32). We’re told that God alone can know the future (Is. 46:9-10). Demons are personal beings who are self-contained and are limited in space and time, not omnipresent and therefore presumably not able to drift in and out of people at will. On the other hand 2 Cor. 10 and other passages suggest demons can influence our thinking. But can they read our thoughts? Well, we know Jesus knew people’s thoughts (Mt. 9:4; 12:25; Mark 2:8; Luke 6:8; 11:17). God knows people’s thoughts (Gen. 6:5, Ps. 139, etc.). But nowhere are we told Satan or demons know people’s thoughts.

That would just be a deduction, an argument from silence, except that in Daniel 2:27-28 Daniel says to Nebuchadnnezzar that no one speaking by any power but God could tell the king what he dreamed—that included “enchanters, magicians and astrologers” who could appeal to demonic sources. But apparently these demons could not read the king’s mind even to ascertain what he had dreamed, much less interpret it. So this is probably the primary Scripture that has direct bearing on the issue.

Of course, demons are in an excellent position to deduce what’s on our minds since they can see us from the outside. They know exactly what we’re reading, watching on TV, they overhear our conversations, see our physical responses, hear even our “private” words, and are no doubt skilled at reading our expressions. They see us when other people can’t, any time they wish. Now as far as putting thoughts in our mind or exercising powers of persuasion, I don’t know how that works—perhaps there is a form of telepathy whereby they send a message, plant an idea, without being able to read exactly what we’re thinking. I agree there’s demonic activity involved in distracting us during prayer, but I think they don’t have to be able to read our minds to do this. If we’ve had an argument with our spouse, if our child is sick, if we’re tired and under deadline, he can observe all that and somehow whisper his distractions. (The world and the flesh also provide their own distractions, even apart from the devil—and the flesh definitely does know what we’re thinking.) By hearing us and seeing what we’re taking into our minds, demons have a good idea the best things to pick up on in tempting us. That’s a critical reminder for us and our children that what we read and watch and look at and listen to provides either the Holy Spirit and righteous angels, on the one hand, or demons on the other hand, ammo in their efforts to wage war in our minds. If I have an enemy attacking me, it doesn’t make much sense to hand him a loaded shotgun.

I do think a clear understanding of exactly what we’re thinking is limited to the omniscient God who created us, died for us and indwells us. He is the Judge, the only one who knows all, sees all. I find that comforting. It also let’s me breathe a bit of a sigh of relief to know that the enemy of my soul doesn’t have unlimited access to my mind. He can bang on the door and yell in the window and shout his accusations, but he can’t invade the premises of my mind (which is connected with my brain, part of my body that’s God’s temple) because the Holy Spirit is in residence. But of course, we must be on the alert to wage war that demolishes Satan’s arguments, and we must not be unaware of his strategies. We don’t want to overestimate the power of demons in our lives, but neither do we want to underestimate it.

One other application of this notion is when we feel we’re under demonic attack, as I did recently. When a hopeless sense of dread and foreboding fell on me I called upon the blood of Christ to cover and protect me. I used to do this silently, but now I speak aloud. God hears me either way, but I want the demons to hear too, and the righteous warriors. Jesus responded aloud to Satan during the temptation. He quoted Scripture so the devil could hear it, perhaps also for the benefit of the holy angels. When we resist the devil, it may not always be appropriate to speak aloud (or to speak loudly anyway, e.g. at a restaurant or in church or at work), but as a rule I think it has merit. By verbalizing we give shape and expression to the weapons of spiritual warfare. A. W. Tozer entitled one of his editorials (and it became the title of one of his books), “I talk back to the devil.”

Photo by Kristen Sturdivant on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries