What Can the Devil Steal? Part 1

The actual question is “what can the devil steal from a child of God”? Or can he steal anything at all? If you believe the devil has stolen anything from you, I ask, why would you want it back? Songs, religious teachers and ministers are telling the children of God, that they should take back what the devil stole…

This concept comes primarily from incorrect use and interpretation of John 10:10, incidentally, this is the only scripture where the words “steal, kill and destroy” are used in the same passage or verse. So for those who think that the devil is the topic of this portion of the discourse, let’s review;

John 10:10 (KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Who is “the thief” that Jesus is referencing here?

image of a thief

Devil or false teachers

To obtain the answer let’s go to the beginning (of this portion of the discourse) John 10:1 and since they did not understand the parable we also need to look at John 10:8. [I encourage you to read John 9:1-10:21].

John 10:1 (RKJNT) Truly, truly, I say to you, He who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs in by some other way, he is a thief and a robber.

John 10:8 (KJV) All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

Who is Jesus referring to when He states “All that ever came before me”?

Cross referencing:

  • “the watchmen” [Isaiah 56:10] and “shepherds” [Isaiah 56:11; read 56:9-12]
  • “Isreal’s prophets (scribes), priests and princes” [Ezekiel 22:23-31]
  • “shepherds” [Ezekiel 34:1-10]
  • “princes, judges, prophets and priests” [Zephaniah 3:3-5]
  • “shepherds” [Zechariah 11:4-17]
  • “scribes” (teachers/experts of the Law) [Mark 12:38-40]
  • Theudas and Judas of Galilee [both men are only mentioned once in scripture Acts 5:33-42]

NOTE: It was common for Jesus to speak to His audience in parables to actually tell them about themselves, a good example is found in Matthew 21:23- {focus Matt 21:45 (KJV) “And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them”.}

So, we also must consider the audience, the Pharisees [John 9:40], what does the word say about them? A few examples (I may cover this in more detail in another post if there is sufficient interest):

  • John called them “vipers” (“snakes” in many translations; figuratively “treacherous person”) [Matthew 3:1-12]
  • Jesus made an interesting statement regarding them “unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 5:20; read 5:17-20]
  • blind leaders” [Matthew 15:14; read 15:1-20]
  • hypocrites” [Matthew 16:3; read 16:1-4 and Matthew 22:18; read 22:15-22]
  • leaven” (yeast, ferment, doctrine, {wrong} teaching) [Matthew 16:6; read 16:5-12]; “…he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” [Luke 12:1 and Matthew 16:11; read Luke 12:1-12] {a good article and another}
  • The strictest observers of the Mosaic ritual  [Acts 26:5]
  • Outwardly moral  [Luke 18:11; Phil 3:5; Phil 3:6]
  • Active in proselytising [Matt 23:15]
  • Self-righteous [Luke 16:15; Luke 18:9]
  • Fond of distinguished titles  [Matt 23:7-10]

Who were the “Pharicess” (a separatist, i.e. exclusively religious)? Articles to consider: Jewish Virtual Library, Who Were the Pharisees, Encyclopaedia Britannica,

The Bible does say that the Devil:

Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes, and takes the word from their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” [Luke 8:12 RKJNT; read]

This can only happen to those who are NOT born again believers.

Man says…

NOTE: Basically teaching people to get REVENGE or to retaliate (get even, get your own back or to strike back)

“I am taking it back”
“Take back your house, your family, your job, the years he stole…”
“Take back your joy”

God says…

NOTE: Basically teaches His children to FORGIVE
Give to every man who asks of you; and from him who takes away what is yours, do not ask for it back.” RKJNT Luke 6:30

[please read Luke 6:27-36]

So you have sorrow now: but I will see you again, and your hearts will be glad, and no one will take away your joy.” BBE John 16:22

[please read John 16:1-22; Note: older translations replace “no one” with “no man”; joy here is the same as the fruit of the Spirit joy, see Galatians 5:22-24; both are G5479 χαρά chara]

Dearly beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place for the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord. RKJNT Romans 12:19

please read Romans 12:15-19

image of false teaching

Beware of false teachings:

Partial truth (we do have three enemies) but satan is not the thief – http://www.richardajordan.com/Sermons/020421.htm

The Devil stealing from us is not really something we should be concerned with, a few are in agreement!

http://www.hbcharlesjr.com/2012/08/01/im-taking-back-everything-the-devil-stole-from-me/“Of course, the devil does come to steal, to kill, and to destroy” the quote in this article that is not based on truth – http://www.craigkeener.com/the-thief-who-comes-to-steal-and-destroy-%E2%80%94-john-1010/
Highly recommended – http://textbooktous.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/the-thief-who-comes-to-steal-kill-and-destroy-examining-john-1010/

Stay tuned for part 2, we will get into and use more scripture for further edification {learning, teaching, understanding…}. Please do not hesitate to provide your comments, I am sure this may conflict with what you believe or what you have been taught. Have I at least caused you to think about this topic? If you are a father that loves his children and you had more power than any other being in existence. Would you allow an inferior being to steal from your children? Isn’t God a better father than any human father could ever be? Talk to me, what are your thoughts?