What Can the Devil Steal? The Thief Part 1

Last update: Friday, April 8, 2016

What Can the Devil Steal
The Thief
picture for devil steal

“All who came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.” John 10:8 (RKJNT)

The real question is “what can the devil steal from a child of God”? Or can the devil 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 part of the discourse, let’s review;

John 10:10 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. (KJV)

Who is “the thief” whom Jesus spoke of in John 10:10?

Definition of John 10:10 ‘thief’ (from Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Kleptes”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999.): an embezzler, pilferer the name is transferred to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men, but abuse their confidence for their own gain. Transliterated (to write words or letters in the characters of another alphabet) Word: Kleptes klep’-tace [my note: kleptes is NEVER used in reference to the devil: search for yourself, the Strong’s number is 2812.]

  • Matthew 6:19
  • Matthew 6:20
  • Matthew 24:43
  • Luke 12:33
  • Luke 12:39
  • John 10:1
  • John 10:8
  • John 10:10
  • John 12:6
  • 1 Corinthians 6:10
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:2
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:4
  • 1 Peter 4:15
  • 2 Peter 3:10
  • Revelation 3:3
  • Revelation 16:15

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

image for devil steal
John 10:1-10 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. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his sheep by name, and leads them out. 4 And when he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they do not know the voice of strangers. 6 Jesus spoke this parable to them: but they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then Jesus said to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: if any man enters by me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (RKJNT)

Who is Jesus referring to when He states “All who came before me” in John 10:8?

Cross-referencing:
  • the watchmen” [Isaiah 56:10] and “shepherds” [Isaiah 56:11]
    • Isaiah 56:9-12 All you wild animals in the fields, come and devour, all you wild animals in the forest! 10 All their watchmen are blind, they are unaware. All of them are like mute dogs, unable to bark. They pant, lie down, and love to snooze. 11 The dogs have big appetites; they are never full. They are shepherds who have no understanding; they all go their own way, each one looking for monetary gain. 12 Each one says, ‘Come on, I’ll get some wine! Let’s guzzle some beer! Tomorrow will be just like today! We’ll have everything we want!’ (NET)
  • Israel’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]

The Scribes and Pharisees

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:

  • John called them “vipers” (“snakes” in many translations; figuratively “treacherous person“) [Matthew 3:1-12]
  • Jesus made an interesting statement about 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; Philippians 3:5; Philippians 3:6]
  • Active in proselytising [Matthew 23:15]
  • Self-righteous [Luke 16:15; Luke 18:9]
  • Fond of distinguished titles [Matthew 23:7-10]

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

What Can the Devil Steal
The Word
graphic for false teaching; devil steal

Beware of False Teaching – Acts 20:25-31 ♦ 2 Peter 2:1-3:18 ♦ John 7:16-19 ♦ 1 John 4:1-6 ♦ 2 John 1:7-8 ♦ Mark 6:7-13 ♦ Colossians 2:6-10 ♦ 1 Timothy 6:3-19 – Not all are called and sent by God

What does the devil steal?

Think about this: If a father loves his children and has more power than any other being in existence. Would he allow an inferior being to steal from his children? Isn’t God a better father than any human father could ever be?

God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. from 1 John 4:4 (NCV)

The only thing the devil can steal is the Word of God. Luke 8:12 RKJNT: “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.” This can only happen to those who are NOT born again believers. To understand this better, let’s look at the end of the statement using the NIRV He does it so they won’t believe. Then they can’t be saved“. The devil takes the Word to prevent people from believing the Word; we cannot receive salvation if we do not believe.

Beware of false teachings:

Paul questioned the Roman preachers in Romans 2:21 (RKJNT) “You, therefore, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? you who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?” We turn to Wilmington’s Bible Handbook for more insight of Romans 2:17-29 “The problem? You don’t practice what you preach.” Many Jews boasted of their superior knowledge of God (2:17-20), but such knowledge was useless unless correctly applied (2:21-24). The circumcised Jew who disobeyed the law was worse off than the uncircumcised Gentile who kept it (2:25-27). True membership in God’s family is a matter of heart attitude, not of physical birth or ritual purity (2:28-29; see Deuteronomy 6:1-5; 10:16; 1 Chronicles 28:9-10.) from Wilmington’s Bible Handbook by Harold Wilmington page 667

People say…

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: God teaches His children that He will get revenge for us; if someone takes something from us DO NOT ask for it back. “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]

“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; Deuteronomy 32:34-35]

Examples of false teaching
What Can the Devil Steal
Conclusion

James 4:7-10 So give yourselves completely [submit] to God. Stand against [Resist] the devil [1 Peter 5:9], and the devil will run [flee] from you. 8 Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives [cleanse/purify your hands; a metaphor for cleaning up your behavior]. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time [You double-minded ones], make your thinking pure [purify your hearts; a metaphor for cleaning up your interior life]. 9 Be sad [Lament], cry [mourn], and weep! Change your laughter into crying [mourning] and your joy into sadness [gloom; sorrow]. 10 Humble yourself in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you [exalt you; lift you up; 1 Peter 5:6]. (EXB) [read James 4:1-10]

Again I ask, “what can the devil steal from a child of God?” Hopefully, you correctly answer, “nothing”; the devil cannot steal anything from a child of God. Stop listening to the false messages (sermons, teachings and / or songs), they are not based on biblical truth. If anything the people preaching, teaching and singing messages that claim the devil stole anything are deceiving you; like those whom Jesus spoke of. Remember, the ONLY thing the Bible says the devil can steal (take) is the word of God and that is not from a child of God; it only happens under certain conditions before your Spiritual birth [see Luke 8:12; also Matthew 13:19 KJV says “the wicked one” instead of ‘the devil’ and Mark 4:15 KJV uses the title “Satan”]. Be blessed and reject the false teaching— Tim.

Related articles

The Devil stealing from us is not really something we should be concerned with, a few are in agreement! The following are examples of sound teaching:

See ‘What Can the Devil Steal – the Thief part 2“, we will get into and use more Scripture for further edification {learning, teaching, understanding…}. Please do not hesitate to comment, 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? Talk to me, what are your thoughts, what do you think, “can the devil steal anything from a child of God“?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

If you have questions or care to discuss this, send me a private email message using this form:


Copyright information:
(EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (KJV) King James Version – public domain. || (NCV) Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved. || (RKJNT) Revised King James New Testament – public domain.


Bishop Pettiford

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8 Comments:


  1. I never had it explained to me like that before…Thank you


    • We thank God for you and your support!


  2. Wow, okay I never thought about it like that before. Amen. Thank you for this teaching. Could you teach more about not asking back what others may steal from you according to Luke 6? Could you maybe give examples about how it applies in life?


    • Thank you Katerina for your comment, I appreciate your support and your taking time to visit the site. The best way to understand this is to consider it a form of forgiving others (see Lovingly Forgive Each Other). It applies when either someone steals from you or borrows but does not return what they borrowed.

      I do not like to give an opinion but always try to give Scriptures, however, I have learned to let go of material things knowing that God is the source of all that we have, if someone takes it, God is able to replace it. Consider what happened to Job who lost his material possessions but was blessed with twice as much because he accepted what was done… [read Job 1:1-2:10, 42:9-17]. Please continue to follow us for more in-depth Bible studies–be blessed, Tim!

  3. Pingback: What Can the Devil Steal; the thief part 2? | Sound Truth Ministry

  4. Pingback: What Can the Devil Steal? Part 2 | Sound Truth Ministry


  5. Hi there Pastor Tim, you truly researched this one! I just hope and pray that God’s children get this! Amen


    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and provide a comment.

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