What The Bible Suggests About The Types Of Suffering The Devil And Demons Can Cause

Note: The Bible doesn't say that all instances of the suffering mentioned here are caused by the devil.

This page consists mainly of Bible verses. If you'd like to read a short summary of what the Bible says about why the devil exists and what he does instead or beforehand, visit: Why the Bible Says God Created Satan.

Skip to links to articles explaining how things often thought to be demonic/supernatural/psychic can be done by trickery and in other natural ways.

Also, there is a viewpoint on the Bible called preterism, which teaches that much of the Bible prophecy thought by many to be about the future was actually about things that happened in the first century AD, such as the Jewish war with the Romans that led to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. It teaches that that was the end of the age of Old Testament Law, and the beginning of the "age of grace". It teaches that Satan is not currently active, but that since AD 70, we have been living in the time spoken of in Revelation that says he would be bound for a long time so he wouldn't be able to do a thing on the earth during that time. That would mean that whatever instructions and information people were given about Satan in the Bible would only have been meant for the time beforehand and will not apply to us. To read about this view on the devil, see an article called HOW PARTIAL PRETERISM REGARDS SATAN...

In his first letter in the New Testament, the apostle Peter wrote to Christians:

1 Peter chapter 5 (NLT)

8 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. 9 Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power is his forever and ever.

In Matthew's Gospel in the New Testament, the Bible says that Jesus said:

Matthew chapter 13 (TEV)

24 "The Kingdom of heaven is like this...

"A man sowed good seed in his field. 25 One night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the plants grew and the heads of grain began to form, then the weeds showed up. 27 The man's servants came to him and said, "Sir, it was good seed you sowed in your field; where did the weeds come from?' 28 "It was some enemy who did this,' he answered. "Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?' they asked him. 29 "No,' he answered, "because as you gather the weeds you might pull up some of the wheat along with them. 30 Let the wheat and the weeds both grow together until harvest. Then I will tell the harvest workers to pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them, and then to gather in the wheat and put it in my barn.' "

36 When Jesus had left the crowd and gone indoors, his disciples came to him and said, "Tell us what the parable about the weeds in the field means."

37 Jesus answered, "The man who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; the good seed is the people who belong to the Kingdom; the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One; 39 and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvest workers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age: 41 the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things, 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth. 43 Then God's people will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom. Listen, then, if you have ears!"

In the Book of Job in the Old Testament, the Bible says:

Job chapter 1 (TEV)

1 There was a man named Job, living in the land of Uz, who worshiped God and was faithful to him. He was a good man, careful not to do anything evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, one thousand head of cattle, and five hundred donkeys. He also had a large number of servants and was the richest man in the East.

4 Job's sons used to take turns giving a feast, to which all the others would come, and they always invited their three sisters to join them. 5 The morning after each feast, Job would get up early and offer sacrifices for each of his children in order to purify them. He always did this because he thought that one of them might have sinned by insulting God unintentionally.

Much of the rest of this story is quite gruesome and thus may be offensive. An explanation is given at the end of the quotations from it as to how Job's suffering could have led to the greater good because of the inspiration people have gained from it.

6 When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord, Satan was there among them. 7 The Lord asked him, "What have you been doing?"

Satan answered, "I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth." 8 "Did you notice my servant Job?" the Lord asked. "There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil." 9 Satan replied, "Would Job worship you if he got nothing out of it? 10 You have always protected him and his family and everything he owns. You bless everything he does, and you have given him enough cattle to fill the whole country. 11 But now suppose you take away everything he has-he will curse you to your face!" 12 "All right," the Lord said to Satan, "everything he has is in your power, but you must not hurt Job himself." So Satan left.

13 One day when Job's children were having a feast at the home of their oldest brother, 14 a messenger came running to Job. "We were plowing the fields with the oxen," he said, "and the donkeys were in a nearby pasture. 15 Suddenly the Sabeans attacked and stole them all. They killed every one of your servants except me. I am the only one who escaped to tell you." 16 Before he had finished speaking, another servant came and said, "Lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and killed them all. I am the only one who escaped to tell you." 17 Before he had finished speaking, another servant came and said, "Three bands of Chaldean raiders attacked us, took away the camels, and killed all your servants except me. I am the only one who escaped to tell you." 18 Before he had finished speaking, another servant came and said, "Your children were having a feast at the home of your oldest son, 19 when a storm swept in from the desert. It blew the house down and killed them all. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

20 Then Job got up and tore his clothes in grief. He shaved his head and threw himself face downward on the ground. 21 He said, "I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!" 22 In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming God.

Job chapter 2 (GWT)

1 One day when the sons of God came to stand in front of the LORD, Satan the Accuser came along with them. 2 The LORD asked Satan, "Where have you come from?"

Satan answered the LORD, "From wandering all over the earth."

3 The LORD asked Satan, "Have you thought about my servant Job? No one in the world is like him! He is a man of integrity: He is decent, he fears God, and he stays away from evil. And he still holds on to his principles. You're trying to provoke me into ruining him for no reason."

4 Satan answered the LORD, "Skin for skin! Certainly, a man will give everything he has for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand, and strike his flesh and bones. I bet he'll curse you to your face."

6 The LORD told Satan, "He is in your power, but you must spare his life!"

7 Satan left the LORD's presence and struck Job with painful boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself as he sat in the ashes. 9 His wife asked him, "Are you still holding on to your principles? Curse God and die!" 10 He said to her, "You're talking like a godless fool. We accept the good that God gives us. Shouldn't we also accept the bad?" Through all this Job's lips did not utter one sinful word.

11 When Job's three friends heard about all the terrible things that had happened to him, each of them came from his home--Eliphaz of Teman, Bildad of Shuah, Zophar of Naama. They had agreed they would go together to sympathize with Job and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they didn't even recognize him. They cried out loud and wept, and each of them tore his own clothes in grief. They threw dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw that he was in such great pain.

Job chapter 3 (NLT)

1 At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth. 2 He said: 3 "Cursed be the day of my birth, and cursed be the night when I was conceived. 4 Let that day be turned to darkness. 10 Curse it for its failure to shut my mother's womb, for letting me be born to all this trouble."

Job chapter 4 (NLT)

1 Then Eliphaz from Teman replied [to Job],

2 "If someone tries to talk to you, will you become impatient?
But who can keep from talking?
3 Certainly, you have instructed many people: When hands were weak, you made them strong.
4 When someone stumbled, you lifted him up with your words. When knees were weak, you gave them strength.
5 But trouble comes to you, and you're impatient. It touches you, and you panic.
6 Doesn't your fear of God give you confidence and your lifetime of integrity give you hope?

7 "Now think about this: Which innocent person [ever] died [an untimely death]? Find me a decent person who has been destroyed. 8 Whenever I saw those who plowed wickedness and planted misery, they gathered its harvest. 9 God destroys them with his breath and kills them with a blast of his anger.

Job chapter 5 (NLT)

3 From my experience, I know that fools who turn from God may be successful for the moment, but then comes sudden disaster. 4 Their children are abandoned far from help, with no one to defend them. 5 Their harvests are stolen, and their wealth satisfies the thirst of many others, not themselves!
6 But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. 7 People are born for trouble as predictably as sparks fly upward from a fire.

8 "My advice to you is this: Go to God and present your case to him. 9 For he does great works too marvelous to understand. He performs miracles without number.
17 "But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the chastening of the Almighty when you sin. 18 For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal.

Job chapter 23 (NLT)

1 Then Job spoke again: 2 "My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud. 3 If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his throne and talk with him there. 4 I would lay out my case and present my arguments. 5 Then I would listen to his reply and understand what he says to me. 6 Would he merely argue with me in his greatness? No, he would give me a fair hearing. 7 Fair and honest people can reason with him, so I would be acquitted by my Judge.

8 "I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. 9 I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him. 10 But he knows where I am going. And when he has tested me like gold in a fire, he will pronounce me innocent.

11 "For I have stayed in God's paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from his commands but have treasured his word in my heart.

13 Nevertheless, his mind concerning me remains unchanged, and who can turn him from his purposes? Whatever he wants to do, he does. 14 So he will do for me all he has planned. He controls my destiny. 15 No wonder I am so terrified in his presence. When I think of it, terror grips me. 16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. 17 Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere."

Job chapter 42 (TEV)

10 Then, ... the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had had before. 11 All Job's brothers and sisters and former friends came to visit him and feasted with him in his house. They expressed their sympathy and comforted him for all the troubles the Lord had brought on him. Each of them gave him some money and a gold ring. 12 The Lord blessed the last part of Job's life even more than he had blessed the first.

Incidentally, some Bible critics consider the Book of Job to be a depiction of cruel and unreasonable injustice on the part of God. But they fail to see the purpose of the book. It's different from most of the Old Testament, and is an important corrective to faulty assumptions that might be made through reading too much into it, in that most of the Old Testament depicts God's punishment on some societies for sins such as violence and oppression of the poor, and some might think it's saying tragedy is always a punishment for sin, rather than sometimes having nothing to do with it. The Old Testament does not say that every incidence of suffering like that described in the Old Testament is a punishment from God, and it does not address the reasons for the suffering of individuals. However, it may have been easy for some people to assume it meant that when individuals suffered tragedy, they were being punished for something by God, so it was their fault. Thus, we have the disciples of Jesus asking him when they saw a man who'd been blind from birth, "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" The Book of Job is an essential corrective to this mistaken belief, since it's about how suffering can happen to the best of us for no obvious reason.

If it wasn't for the Book of Job, a terrible stigma could have grown up against people who suffered tragedy, because other people might have mistakenly thought the Bible shows that they must be suffering as a result of God's punishment. Thus, the Book of Job could have prevented the torment of many who might otherwise have suffered the effects of judgmentalism by such people on top of the tragedies they were already suffering.

Of course, the prophets who spoke of the impending suffering of societies who didn't repent of their sins could have made a point of admonishing against judging individuals who suffered. But a handful of passages in the midst of so many others could easily be overlooked. It's more difficult to do that with an entire book.

Also, the Book of Job may well have been a solace to thousands going through suffering over the centuries. Job's poignant words can give people the comforting feeling that at least they're not going through their suffering alone. They can soothe them with a sense that feelings they can't articulate or that are bothering them are being expressed, and that it's OK to express such feelings in times of trouble.

The Book of Job might sometimes give people with faith in God fresh optimism that their suffering will end and that their fortunes may be restored, and renew their confidence that God is looking out for them even when it doesn't seem so. It might have been of especial comfort to any Israelites caught up in the aftermath of the Babylonian invasion of Israel and their exile to Babylon, which the Old Testament prophets had said was punishment for the sins of their society, but who hadn't personally committed sins worthy of such a punishment. They may have gained solace from a book about how suffering isn't always a punishment for sin, which would have been comfort in the face of the shame and possible personal accusations people may have made against them because they were part of the incriminated society. And it may have given them hope that God was looking out for them despite the way things appeared, and would hopefully restore their fortunes at some point.

If the Book of Job has been a comfort to thousands over the centuries, and has prevented a cruel stigma growing up against those who suffer tragedy that has come from some people interpreting the Old Testament to mean individuals who suffer must be suffering because of their sins, then Job, if he really existed rather than the story just being a fictional lesson, may well consider that his suffering was worth it, even the loss of his children, especially if he'd see them again in the after-life, which is only a point of speculation, but a possibility.

As with some other things attributed to Satan, it seems that Job's short-term suffering has worked out for ultimate good, in the same way that the selling into slavery in Egypt of Joseph in the Old Testament did. Joseph said to his brothers who sold him, as recorded in the last chapter of Genesis, "You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened."

In The Book of Revelation in the Bible, the author wrote:

Revelation chapter 1 (TEV)

10 On the Lord's day the Spirit took control of me, and I heard a loud voice, that sounded like a trumpet, speaking behind me. 12 I turned around to see who was talking to me, and I saw seven gold lampstands, 13 and among them there was what looked like a human being, wearing a robe that reached to his feet, and a gold band around his chest. 14 His hair was white as wool, or as snow, and his eyes blazed like fire; 15 his feet shone like brass that has been refined and polished, and his voice sounded like a roaring waterfall. 16 ... a sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth. His face was as bright as the midday sun.

17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the first and the last. 18 I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead.

19 "Write, then, the things you see, both the things that are now and the things that will happen afterward.

Revelation chapter 2 (TEV)

8 "To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

"This is the message from the one who is the first and the last, who died and lived again. 9 I know your troubles; I know that you are poor-but really you are rich! I know the evil things said against you by those who claim to be Jews but are not; they are a group that belongs to Satan! 10 Don't be afraid of anything you are about to suffer. Listen! The Devil will put you to the test by having some of you thrown into prison, and your troubles will last ten days. Be faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory.

11 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!

"Those who win the victory will not be hurt by the second death."

Again, this passage seems to indicate that God sanctions cruelty for no good reason. But persecution can sometimes be a means of purifying the Church. In fact, there are a couple of Bible verses that say as much. People who call themselves Christians but aren't really committed to Christ and the Christian lifestyle are likely to stop calling themselves Christians under persecution. So many people who would normally cause Christians to be accused of hypocrisy will no longer do so. Thus, Christianity will be refined and become more attractive. Persecution can also spur people to live purer lives, since those who are committed to God will seek to become closer to him and thus more earnest in their devotion. And if they're going to be persecuted for something, far better to be persecuted for following it properly than to be publicly ridiculed on top of the persecution for not doing so. Interestingly, there are seven letters to churches in Revelation, and most have words of condemnation for areas where the behaviour of the church falls below Christian principles. The two that don't are the only two that are mentioned as being persecuted.

Persecution caused the Church to grow in biblical times, and it has sometimes since also. When people fled the persecution in biblical times, the Bible says they preached Christianity in the places they fled to, so new churches were started.

If these things meant that more people received salvation and turned to lives of greater purity, and thus their behaviour towards others improved, and they also meant that the Church was purified of things that would discredit it that would thus discourage converts, it again means that Satan's influence was turned to ultimate good.

In Luke's Gospel, the Bible says:

Luke chapter 13 (TEV)

10 One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. 11 A woman there had an evil spirit that had kept her sick for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, "Woman, you are free from your sickness!" 13 He placed his hands on her, and at once she straightened herself up and praised God.

14 The official of the synagogue was angry that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, so he spoke up and said to the people, "There are six days in which we should work; so come during those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath!"

15 The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Any one of you would untie your ox or your donkey from the stall and take it out to give it water on the Sabbath. 16 Now here is this descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept in bonds for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?" 17 His answer made his enemies ashamed of themselves, while the people rejoiced over all the wonderful things that he did.

It's interesting that today, such healings might be put down to the placebo effect. In fact, that may have been what was going on some of the time in Jesus' work. There was a short television series investigating alternative medicine. One programme investigated faith healing and spiritual healing, concluding that the healing was caused by the placebo effect, that they said comes into operation when the brain chemistry is changed when dopamine is released, dopamine being the feel-good chemical that's triggered when there's an expectation of something good happening. They were vague about what happens next to trigger the healing process into operation, or what exactly the body's healing process involves. But they felt sure the release of dopamine was involved. They interviewed someone who, if I recall correctly, had done an experiment where some people with Parkinson's disease were given dopamine injections to make up for the deficiency in it that was causing their problems, and others were given dummy injections. It was discovered that the brains of those not given the real dopamine started producing it on their own, some more than the dopamine injections had given the patients given those. That was how they concluded that dopamine was key to the placebo effect.

One of the things featured in the programme was a Benny Hinn healing service, where several people claimed to have been healed, one getting out of a wheelchair. The programme concluded that it was the placebo effect in operation that had healed them, after the expectation of healing had been built up by all the ritual in the service that was mainly to do with creating an atmosphere of expectation. The programme said that ritual of some kind has been found to be an important element in the placebo effect. If the people there really had been healed because of their strong expectation that they could be, it would mean that it was literally their faith in the ability of Jesus to cure them that had led to them getting well. Maybe sometimes, the same thing was in operation when Jesus healed people, since he often did say that it was people's faith that had healed them. Maybe he meant their faith in the cure, and their expectation that Jesus could heal them based on their trust in him and his abilities, since they had a problem that would be alleviated by the placebo effect.

It has been pointed out that the word used for faith in the Bible is more akin to faithfulness than to unquestioning belief, - trust and loyalty based on knowledge of a person's character and abilities.

I read something else about the way the placebo effect is believed to work in a book, that said that since long-term stress damages the functioning of the immune system, the reduction in stress that can happen when people feel sure their needs are at last being taken care of, or when they're being pampered by someone giving them care and attention, can improve the effectiveness of the immune system, and thus some ailments will be dealt with by it better. Also, a reduction in stress will lead to a reduction in tension, and tension can make pain worse, so a reduction in it will often lessen it. Relaxation is often part of effective pain management, since relaxed muscles will hurt less. Also, pain can apparently be worse when the brain chemical serotonin is low, as it is in depressed people. If serotonin rises due to a depressed person being given hope and thus becoming less depressed, then pain can be reduced that way as well.

It's likely that the first and last explanations would have been more relevant to any immediate healings Jesus performed that were caused by the placebo effect, because the release of dopamine and serotonin can happen instantaneously, whereas the immune system will take longer to fight disease. Having said that, it's still a mystery as to what happens after dopamine is released to cause the healing, and how long that's likely to take.

But it's interesting to wonder how many healings done today that are attributed to the placebo effect are actually caused because some malevolent spiritual influence is lifted, perhaps when a person concerned recommits their lives to Jesus and asks to be healed by his power. And it's a separate point of speculation as to how often spiritual forces could be causing problems or making them worse in the first place, perhaps by interacting with psychological and maybe physical defects to exacerbate them. It may sometimes be that when psychological or physical symptoms are alleviated, the spiritual influence will dissipate, because it was reliant on the interaction with the other things for its power. So, for instance, if a tension-related ailment was made worse somehow by spiritual forces, but then the person learned techniques to relax quickly and changed their thinking so they no longer allowed themselves to think so much about the things that had led to them being tense before, then any spiritual force that had exacerbated their tension, perhaps by influencing thought patterns to a certain extent, would lose its power over the person. The Bible indicates that the devil can influence people's thinking, but only as far as they allow him to do so. Thus, psychological means of changing troubling thinking patterns might well be effective in dampening the spiritual influence. Conversely, if the spiritual influence is lifted, it might cure the psychological problem. All this is, of course, mere speculation.

In Mark's Gospel, the Bible says:

Mark chapter 9 (NLT)

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said,

Mark chapter 9 (NRSV)

"Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so."

19 He answered them, "You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me."

20 And they brought the boy to him.

When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us."

23 Jesus said to him, "If you are able!-All things can be done for the one who believes."

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!"

26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand.

28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?"

29 He said to them, "This kind can come out only through prayer."

In Luke's Gospel, the Bible says:

Luke chapter 8 (TEV)

1 Some time later Jesus traveled through towns and villages, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. The twelve disciples went with him, 2 and so did some women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (who was called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had been driven out; 3 Joanna, whose husband Chuza was an officer in Herod's court; and Susanna, and many other women who used their own resources to help Jesus and his disciples.

22 One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they started out. 26 Jesus and his disciples sailed on over to the territory of Gerasa, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a man from the town who had demons in him. For a long time this man had gone without clothes and would not stay at home, but spent his time in the burial caves. 28 When he saw Jesus, he gave a loud cry, threw himself down at his feet, and shouted, "Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? I beg you, don't punish me!" 29 He said this because Jesus had ordered the evil spirit to go out of him. Many times it had seized him, and even though he was kept a prisoner, his hands and feet tied with chains, he would break the chains and be driven by the demon out into the desert.

30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is "Mob,' " he answered-because many demons had gone into him.

31 The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss. 32 There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he let them. 33 They went out of the man and into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned. 34 The men who had been taking care of the pigs saw what happened, so they ran off and spread the news in the town and among the farms.

35 People went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were all afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the man had been cured. 37 Then all the people from that territory asked Jesus to go away, because they were terribly afraid. So Jesus got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged Jesus, "Let me go with you."

But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 "Go back home and tell what God has done for you."

In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, the Bible says that Peter said:

Acts chapter 10 (NLT)

36 "I'm sure you have heard about the Good News for the people of Israel - that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 38 ... God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with him. 39 And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Israel and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by crucifying him, 40 but God raised him to life three days later. Then God allowed him to appear, 41 not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen beforehand to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is ordained of God to be the judge of all - the living and the dead."

In the Letter to the Hebrews, the Bible says:

Hebrews chapter 2 (NLT)

14 Because God's children are human beings - made of flesh and blood - Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

In chapter 6 of her book "Chasing The Dragon", about how many Chinese gangsters were converted to Christianity, Jackie Pullinger, who has been given an MBE for her work with people coming off drugs and people with other problems in Hong Kong, writes about an incident which if true, could be an example of the way the devil operates.

She says:

"Ah Ping was the first gangster from the fully initiated Triads to join the Christians. ... Now his lifestyle changed dramatically. Each night he brought his brothers to the club room and asked me to tell them about Jesus. ...

"Some of my friends in Hong Kong met Ah Ping and invited him to tell his story in church. 'Be careful,' I warned him as we came out of the club room at midnight into the black street. 'Satan doesn't like people talking about Jesus so he will probably have a go at you before Saturday. Go straight home tonight and don't stop along the way.'

"'Allright, allright, Miss Poon,' he said nodding sweetly. As soon as I had gone he exploded. 'Tsch! The Devil. What rubbish! I know these streets like the back of my hand. What, me worry?' And he wandered around instead of going home.

As if from nowhere, seven men jumped out of a black alley and attacked him. They were Chui Chow gangsters, big for Chinese, and wild fighters. There was no reason for their attack, but that did not stop it coming. Later Ah Ping told me, 'As they came at me I had two thoughts. First of all, "Huh, it's all Miss Poon's fault," and then, "You're supposed to pray."' So he prayed as the wooden bats beat him unconscious to the ground.

"'Didn't do you much good praying, did it?' scoffed one of the club members when he heard the story.

"'Yes, it did,' retorted Ah Ping, 'I'll tell you why. As soon as I began to pray, my father came down the street and when the Chui Chows saw him, they ran away. Otherwise, I would have been killed.'

"As it was, he was left on the ground with a gash in his back and a hole in his throat. His father summoned help from his gang brothers from the 14K. They found him and took him to a doctor who gave it as his professional opinion that his injuries were so bad that he would not be able to walk or speak for at least two weeks.

"Ah Ping's brother's determined to seek revenge on his behalf. They held a council in their gang pad and discussed tactics. 'Ok. The Chui Chows made it seven to one. We will take fifty to attack them. That's reasonable.' Then they took long knives and choppers from their secret arms cache and told Ah Ping, 'Look, we know where one of these Chui Chows lives. We are going to take him and his family members out of their house one by one and stab them. Right?'

"Ah Ping indicated, through his injured throat, 'No, I'm a Christian now and I don't want you to fight back.' Then he gathered one or two club members who were believers, found my room and asked them to pray with him.

"All night they prayed for the gang who had attacked him. Ah Ping once told me that Triads were so touchy that they would threaten and even kill over trifles; once he had seen a boy wearing the same shirt as he was so he'd fought him. He had come a long way since those days; as well as praying for his enemies he also asked the other boys to lay their hands on him and pray for healing.

"The next morning he was completely healed, and he could talk clearly. In fact he spoke in church just two days later. He spoke of the change in his heart, how he had given up stealing, and how he had been healed. He also mentioned that he would no longer take the devil lightly. Now he Knew he was around."

Why It's Best Not to Assume the Cause of Something is Spirits or Satan or God, And Some Natural Explanations for Things Some Think Are Caused by Spirits or God

The book "Chasing the Dragon" is by Jackie Pullinger (with Andrew Quicke) and the extract quoted here has been used with the kind permission of the publishers Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. The book was first published in 1980. ISBN 0340257601. Copyright Jackie Pullinger and Andrew Quicke, 1980.

The main Bible pages on this site:

Bible Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories
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There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:

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