What The Bible Says About How Sin Was Brought Into The World Through Deception, Its Ultimate Consequences, And How Satan And Spirits Can Cause Ignorance Or Deception About Christianity
Note: The Bible may use the word "demonic" in relation to some religious teaching, but it doesn't Blame all deceptive preaching on 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...
Genesis chapter 1 (CEV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
11 God said, "I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain." And that's what happened. 12 The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good.
24 God said, "I command the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles." And that's what happened. 25 God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good.
26 God said, "Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures."
Genesis chapter 2 (NIV)
7 The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Genesis chapter 3 (NIV)
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." 11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
Romans chapter 5 (NLT)
1 Since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us - they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God - all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. And though there was no law to break, since it had not yet been given, 14 they all died anyway - even though they did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.
What a contrast between Adam and Christ, who was yet to come!
15 And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. 16 And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins.
17 The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, But all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Yes, Adam's one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness makes all people right in God's sight and gives them life. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God's sight.
20 God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful kindness became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Incidentally, some Bible critics think it's terrible that the Bible says that everyone has become sinful because of Adam's sin and so suffering was brought on many people because of it. The article Is Original Sin "Fair"? Why are we punished for Adam's sin? argues that such a position is based on a faulty interpretation of that passage in Romans, and that a much better one is that Adam's sin and its punishment simply set the legal precedent for the punishment of other people's sin, and that people are punished for their own sin, which they freely choose to do, not because they just can't help themselves sinning after what Adam did, or for Adam's sin itself.
Revelation chapter 20 (TEV)
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a heavy chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent-that is, the Devil, or Satan-and chained him up for a thousand years. 3 The angel threw him into the abyss, locked it, and sealed it, so that he could not deceive the nations any more until the thousand years were over. After that he must be set loose for a little while.
4 Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given the power to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been executed because they had proclaimed the truth that Jesus revealed and the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image, nor had they received the mark of the beast on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and ruled as kings with Christ for a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.) This is the first raising of the dead.
6 Happy and greatly blessed are those who are included in this first raising of the dead. The second death has no power over them; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they will rule with him for a thousand years.
7 After the thousand years are over, Satan will be set loose from his prison, 8 and he will go out to deceive the nations scattered over the whole world, that is, Gog and Magog. Satan will bring them all together for battle, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. 9 They spread out over the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people and the city that he loves. But fire came down from heaven and destroyed them.
10 Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
2 Thessalonians chapter 2 (TEV)
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to be with him:
I beg you, my friends, 2 not to be so easily confused in your thinking or upset by the claim that the Day of the Lord has come. Perhaps it is thought that we said this while prophesying or preaching, or that we wrote it in a letter.
3 Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until the final Rebellion takes place and the Wicked One appears, who is destined to hell. 4 He will oppose every so-called god or object of worship and will put himself above them all. He will even go in and sit down in God's Temple and claim to be God. 5 Don't you remember? I told you all this while I was with you. 6 Yet there is something that keeps this from happening now, and you know what it is. At the proper time, then, the Wicked One will appear. 7 The Mysterious Wickedness is already at work, but what is going to happen will not happen until the one who holds it back is taken out of the way. 8 Then the Wicked One will be revealed, but when the Lord Jesus comes, he will kill him with the breath from his mouth and destroy him with his dazzling presence. 9 The Wicked One will come with the power of Satan and perform all kinds of false miracles and wonders, 10 and use every kind of wicked deceit on those who will perish. They will perish because they did not welcome and love the truth so as to be saved. 11 And so God sends the power of error to work in them so that they believe what is false. 12 The result is that all who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in sin, will be condemned.
These Bible passages seem to be about events yet to come. To read an article that argues that much of the prophecy of Revelation applied to events in the first century, visit Dating and Interpreting Revelation.
Matthew chapter 23 (CEV)
1 Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2 The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. 3 So obey everything they teach you, but don't do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.
John chapter 8 (CEV)
12 Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said,
"I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life."
13 The Pharisees objected, "You are the only one speaking for yourself, and what you say isn't true!"
14 Jesus replied: Even if I do speak for myself, what I say is true! I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don't know where I am from or where I am going.
21 Jesus also told them, "I am going away, and you will look for me. But you cannot go where I am going, and you will die with your sins unforgiven."
22 The Jewish leaders asked, "Does he intend to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying we cannot go where he is going?"
23 Jesus answered, "You are from below, but I am from above. You belong to this world, but I don't. 24 That is why I said you will die with your sins unforgiven. If you don't have faith in me for who I am, you will die, and your sins will not be forgiven."
25 "Who are you?" they asked Jesus.
"I am exactly who I told you at the beginning. 26There is a lot more I could say to condemn you. But the one who sent me is truthful, and I tell the people of this world only what I have heard from him."
27No one understood that Jesus was talking to them about the Father.
28Jesus went on to say,
43 "Why can't you understan what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying?
44 "Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer
and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.
45 Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. 46 Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won't you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. 47 Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don't belong to God."
Matthew chapter 13 (NIV)
1 Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. ..."
10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
"though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
"You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.
18 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. ..."
Some Bible critics may complain at the apparent unfairness of the idea that the devil could snatch away God's Word from some people's minds when they don't understand it. They may think of it as discrimination. However, it's really talking about wilful ignorance, a disinclination to understand based on an unwillingness to follow the requirements of the message. On the Tektonics website, it says, regarding the Bible passage where Jesus explains why he speaks in parables:
"It might help to understand a bit about ancient teaching methodologies to know what it is Jesus is saying in Matthew here. It isn't a proclamation of private teaching, but of teaching style. The goal of ancient/Oriental teaching styles (like that of Socrates) is to cause the hearer to think and consider, with the specific design that if they are unwilling to "get the point" they will reject what the teaching implies and go away. But if you want to know more, you ask for an explanation, and a dialogue ensues. ... Our verse ... is in the midst of an explanation by Jesus as to why he teaches in parables -- it is to keep his teachings obscure to outsiders. This was not a practice of Jesus exclusively. Greek teachers like Plato, Pythagoras, and others always provided a "higher level" of teaching for their own students (Keener, Matthew commentary, 378ff). Jewish teachers too referred to the law as a mystery that was obscure to outsiders and to the wicked. Only those who "patiently press into the inner circle" will get the point. Thus the application of our verse: Whoever has understanding, will be given more; whoever does not have understanding, what little he does understand, God will remove from their hearts. [or the devil will).
2 Corinthians chapter 4 (NLT)
3 If the Good News we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing. 4 Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
1 John chapter 4 (TEV)
1 My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere. 2 This is how you will be able to know whether it is God's Spirit: anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came as a human being has the Spirit who comes from God. 3 But anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the Spirit from God. The spirit that he has is from the Enemy of Christ; you heard that it would come, and now it is here in the world already.
1 Timothy chapter 4 (GWT)
1 The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons. 2 These people will speak lies disguised as truth. Their consciences have been scarred as if branded by a red-hot iron. 3 They will try to stop others from getting married and from eating certain foods. God created food to be received with prayers of thanks by those who believe and know the truth. 4 Everything God created is good. Nothing should be rejected if it is received with prayers of thanks.
Romans chapter 16 (CEV)
17 My friends, I beg you to watch out for anyone who causes trouble and divides the church by refusing to do what all of you were taught. Stay away from them! 18 They want to serve themselves and not Christ the Lord. Their flattery and fancy talk fool people who don't know any better. 19 I am glad that everyone knows how well you obey the Lord. But still, I want you to understand what is good and not have anything to do with evil. 20 Then God, who gives peace, will soon crush Satan under your feet.
I pray that our Lord Jesus will be kind to you.
2 Corinthians chapter 11 (NLT)
3 I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. 4 You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach about a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
13 These people are false apostles. They have fooled you by disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder his servants can also do it by pretending to be godly ministers. In the end they will get every bit of punishment their wicked deeds deserve.
Galatians chapter 4 (NLT)
8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 And now that you have found God (or should I say, now that God has found you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual powers of this world? 10 You are trying to find favor with God by what you do or don't do on certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. I am afraid that all my hard work for you was worth nothing.
Colossians chapter 2 (TEV)
8 See to it, then, that no one enslaves you by means of the worthless deceit of human wisdom, which comes from the teachings handed down by human beings and from the ruling spirits of the universe, and not from Christ. 9 For the full content of divine nature lives in Christ, in his humanity, 10 and you have been given full life in union with him.
2 Corinthians chapter 10 (NLT)
3 We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. 4 We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds. 5 With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.
Ephesians chapter 6 (TEV)
10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.
13 So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. 14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16 At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.
18 Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people.
2 Timothy chapter 2 (NLT)
8 Never forget that Jesus Christ was ... raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. 14 Remind everyone of these things, and command them in God's name to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.
15 Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
16 Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness. 17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples of this. 18 They have left the path of truth, preaching the lie that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; and they have undermined the faith of some.
19 But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and "Those who claim they belong to the Lord must turn away from all wickedness."
22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
23 Again I say, don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. 25 They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|Or go directly to the next in the series: What the Bible Says About the Supernatural Influence of God's Holy Spirit and Other Spirits.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:
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:
Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:
If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.
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