Internal or external devil

On our ecclesial contact form Anthony Buzzard wrote:

Can you please explain how the Devil can be internal when in Matthew 4 he is said to approach Jesus from the outside? How can the tempter there mean a temptation from within when he is expressly said to come from the outside? Thanks for your answer.

It seems this questioning person has, like several others, a misunderstanding of our understanding or sight on satan, devil, seduction or temptation.

The Satan is according to us and the Bible not a figure from a place underneath the earth where people are terrorised or tortured for ever (in hell).

Jesus called at a certain point the apostle Peter \”Satan\”. Peter is a living being and as such the other satans are also real existing beings. Any adversary, but in particular the adversary of God is called a Satan.

When we are confronted with a satan we are confronted by a figure outside us. For us Christadelphians, it is not like for Catholics and Muslims that a good angel would be seating at our right shoulder and a bad angel on our left shoulder. The temptations come from outside, brought to us by circumstances outside us and by people outside us. But how we react to the temptation is something that comes from inside us. It is our own will which shall either go in or go against the temptation which comes over us. It is our own decision that shall allow the evil to go deeper into us or to weapon us against the surrounding evil.

The Satan can be any adversary of God, being a woman or a man. But we, too, can be a satan or adversary of God. That is stated by our attitude against God. The stipulation of our attitude to God is determinating if we can be a lover and follower of God, but at the same time it also can determine that we are going against God\’s Laws. When we allow our thoughts to go astray and away from God it is possible that temptation can come from within when we follow our wrong thoughts. That is what is meant by \”coming from within\”.

Do you not think that we ourselves can have different thoughts and have to choose from those thoughts which ones to follow? The right half of the brain, which designates our emotions, whilst left activates the action we undertake, and it is the relation or the strength of the bridge between those two. When you want to come closer to someone, it is the right half of the brain which can put on the brakes. Emotion and behaviour have to be balanced. The behaviour is greatly designated by the function of our brain and as such is it something from within us. When the Bible speaks about demons in people it is the disease or the impossibility of the human being to control oneself. In ancient times, it was a way to describe ill or mentally sick people.

Those demons and devils naturally can be people around us, and as such are being outside us and have nothing to do with something inside us, except that we shall have to react to them when we are meeting them. That interaction shall demand reactions from us, and those reactions shall be triggered by the brain function in us; It shall be us ourselves who shall have to make decisions and choices how to react.


There was a lovely harmony in the Garden of Eden. Man was free to walk around and live nicely. He also was free to think and to make choices. There it went wrong. The woman let her mind wander and got tempted by her thoughts, willing to know more.
We have seen that the yielding to the tempter or man’s mind doubting God‘s honesty is treated allegorically in the Edenic covenant as the serpent in the flesh. First man was full of life but now death had come to him. Temptation had taken over and evil had entered his mind. This evil is the “devil” or diabolos of the New Testament, which term is defined as “that which has the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14), elsewhere described as “the law of sin and death”, “sin that dwelleth in me”, “sin in the flesh” (Romans 7:20; Romans 8:2-3).



Please find also to read:

  1. A Book to trust #27 Also words from ordinary and foolish men
  2. The figure of Adam
  3. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  4. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  5. The figure of Eve
  6. The Existence of Evil
  7. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 1
  8. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 2
  9. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  10. First mention of a solution against death 1 To divine, serpent, opposition, satan and adversary
  11. First mention of a solution against death 2 Harm or no harm and naked truth
  12. First mention of a solution against death 3 Tempter Satan and man’s problems
  13. First mention of a solution against death 5 Evil its law of death
  14.  A solution for a damaged relationship 2 Sinful nature
  15.  Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  16.  Messianic prophesies 2 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  17.  Has the devil got you?
  18.  Fallen Angels
  19. Satan or the Devil  
  20. Devil, Satan, Demons, Evil Spirits and Hell 
  21. Hell – Sheol or the Grave
  22. Hell fire
  23. Human Nature, Sin, and Responsibility to Judgment
  24.  Messenger of Satan
  25. New publications: Resisting the Devil
  26. Lord in place of the divine name
  27. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  28. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  29. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  30. Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh
  31. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  32. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  33. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  34. Joseph Priestley To the Point
  35. Those willing to tarnish
  36. Literalist and non-literalist views
  37. 1st thought for today “The world may be wicked” (January 16)
  38. Christians at War? Christians using violence?
  39. To will being present in us but to do it not always evident
  40. Words Have Meaning: Devil, Diábolos, Slanderers, and False Accusers
  41. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  42. Reactions against those of the other sex
  43. The false prophets in the present world
  44. A New Year and a New Person
  45. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ


Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

One thought on “Internal or external devil

  1. Also Dawn So came up with a similar question. He wrote:wrote: \”Since God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired men to personify the devil, who are we to de-personify? We are told in the NT that our fight is NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and \”spiritual hosts of wickedness\” (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are told to put on DEFENSIVE armour to sheild us from external attack! The \”firey darts\” are being aimed at us! The only offensive weapon we have, is the the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God. We are told, \”put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemings of the devil\” v 11. If \”the devil\” is simply the sin within us, as CD's teach, then putting on armour to protect from an external enemy is useless!! It's like building a city wall, when the enemy is already inside! Jesus was \”tempted in all points like as we are\”! He was tempted by an external enemy, who, after attempting to distract him from his ministry, temporarily \”left him until an opportune time\”! Yes, we have a sinful nature! But those who do not know that there is also an external enemy, are in grave danger! Selah!\”We reply to this with the above article and noting:When we put on the armour of God we are able to tackle the seduction of the devil or satan, or anything what wants to bring us away from God. We sent him a letter inviting him to come to visit this article, telling him that he is not the only one who has questions about our view of evil. Therefore, we try to give an answer in my article above and do hope this may give some clarification and when not may trigger some additional questions and remarks, we hopefully can find underneath.


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