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Author Topic: Could You Really Make a Deal with the Devil?  (Read 778 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 01, 2013, 10:55:36 PM »

For school I had to read the story about this guy named Johnny Walker or something who sold his soul to the Devil and became a usurer, then got taken to Hell at the end. And it got me curious; is that even possible in real life? Could a person really summon the Devil himself and negotiate a deal? Are there any stories about anything like this happening in the Patristics or Lives of Saints? It seems very unlikely to me; if anyone could negotiate a deal with the Devil, then we'd see people everywhere becoming rich all of a sudden or living to be hundreds of years old.
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 11:00:12 PM »

The Devil tried it with God.

I look at that saying more metaphorically. I'm sure St. Anthony probably encountered that as well. And wasn't it him when one of the demons told him that he could stop praying so fervently or fasting?
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 11:02:40 PM »

One thought comes to mind; how do you even know that the Devil would keep his word or wouldn't try one of his tricks? I imagine he's a shrewder negotiator than even the most experienced used-car salesman. I wonder if you could have your lawyer review the contract before you sign it  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 11:07:42 PM »

The greatest deal the devil has ever sold is the one where he has whispered into the hearts of men that God does not exist and they are free to justify their behavior as they wish.
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 11:28:24 PM »

In a sense you make a deal every time you yield to his will (not that the devil is interested in you in particular, I'm speaking of his generaly evilness). But beyond that, no, I don't think so, outside the twilight zone and cool songs.
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 12:23:58 AM »

In a sense you make a deal every time you yield to his will (not that the devil is interested in you in particular, I'm speaking of his generaly evilness). But beyond that, no, I don't think so, outside the twilight zone and cool songs.

Faust much?

EDIT: I don't mean this literally. Please don't answer.
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2013, 12:25:41 AM »

Fr. Giryus on this forum has said as much when posting about exorcisms and possessions.
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 12:33:25 AM »

Exhibit A:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Johnson
As a blues musician, I became pretty intrigued at the legend.....
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 12:38:02 AM »

There have been enough church desecrations to show us that evil can enter a church and even defile it.  No problem... as God permits it.

God permits evil, just as He permitted satan to enter His presence in the Book of Job.  But, He does hold satan back.

The difference with St. Mary of Egypt is that she was not 'possessed' but acting out of her free-will.  This the fellow who entered the church, he may not have been possessed but rather in 'fellowship' with the demonic.  He may also have been a case of 'perfect possession,' in which case he was in agreement with the possession and therefore an exorcism would not have worked: the spirits had to right to remain within him.

Only in cases where the person does not utterly agree with the demons will an exorcism work.  People who thrash around or feel 'prevented' from entering a church are those in the midst of this struggle and the demons do not want the person near a church and thus receive freedom.  However, those who are 'perfectly possessed' can enter a church and even take communion.  There's no problem for them because there is no fight.  They have agreed to their own damnation.

But, you cannot confuse human evil with demonic evil.  The whole point of St. Mary's life was her triumph over human evil, and that triumph leads to the defeat of demonically-inspired temptation.


I always wonder how "evil" can enter a church.  IIRC, St. Mary of Egypt was "stopped" at the door of a church and could not enter.  This is what made her repent and go in to the desert.  So, how come evil can so freely enter a church?  You would hope folks would be safe inside from all that nastiness.

Fr George, thank you for providing us with the insight into all the exorcism prayers ... I thought we did look at it from an Orthodox point of view? I have heard in our church (and I talked about it earlier) that if we do not regularly partake of confession and Holy Communion then we (Orthodox) leave ourselves open ... I am sorry it sounded like I was talking about Protestants but that statement means anyone and everyone who does not take care of their spiritual life leaves themselves open to possession.

Generally speaking, it is true that partaking of the Sacraments helps prevent demonic oppression, but they must be done with honesty and humility.  I have dealt with a situation where a person was taking Communion, but also involved in pre-marital sex and drugs which led to the oppression.  This provided the entry point.

It is generally understood that 'possession' involves a process over a period of time, depending on the will of the individual.  Obviously, it can go quite rapidly for a voluntary possession (i.e. 'selling your soul to the devil') or slowly in a case of oppression (i.e. spiritual bullying until the victim cries 'uncle!' and the demon takes control).

Voluntary possession cannot be cured, because the possessed wants it that way.  The key to a successful exorcism is the will of the possessed.  Even in the Baptism prayers with an infant, there is a voluntary renunciation (albeit from the Godparents in the case of an infant).  Someone voluntarily possessed can even take Communion and handle Holy things with relative ease.  In the case of demonic occupation of a home, crosses and Bibles often are targets of demonic rage, since they do not bear their true nature unless they are being used by the faithful (i.e. in their hands rather an off in a corner, but the presence of Holy symbols of the faithful certainly makes the demon uncomfortable).

People are generally susceptable to demonic activity when they are:

1. involved in active sin.
2. desire contact with the demonic (this includes witchcraft).
3. use drugs or alcohol to the point of severely-impaired judgement.
4. under profound stress, depression or despair.
5. embarking on an activity that is greatly pleasing to God (this can include leaving any of the above activities).
6. being exposed to people, places or things around which the demonic is active.

The Church acknowledges demonic activity, but we try not to make it a focal point so as not to distract people from the work of repentance.

There are very simple tests to verify demonic activity, but these should only be administered by a priest in obedience to his Bishop.  Obedience is the only real protection against demonic assault: obedience to God, and obedience to the Church and her authorities.


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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 12:42:54 AM »

For school I had to read the story about this guy named Johnny Walker or something who sold his soul to the Devil and became a usurer, then got taken to Hell at the end. And it got me curious; is that even possible in real life? Could a person really summon the Devil himself and negotiate a deal? Are there any stories about anything like this happening in the Patristics or Lives of Saints? It seems very unlikely to me; if anyone could negotiate a deal with the Devil, then we'd see people everywhere becoming rich all of a sudden or living to be hundreds of years old.

Did you ever watch, Oh God, You Devil starring George Burns?
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 12:57:05 AM »

For school I had to read the story about this guy named Johnny Walker or something who sold his soul to the Devil and became a usurer, then got taken to Hell at the end. And it got me curious; is that even possible in real life? Could a person really summon the Devil himself and negotiate a deal? Are there any stories about anything like this happening in the Patristics or Lives of Saints? It seems very unlikely to me; if anyone could negotiate a deal with the Devil, then we'd see people everywhere becoming rich all of a sudden or living to be hundreds of years old.

Did you ever watch, Oh God, You Devil starring George Burns?

No, what's that? I'll search YouTube.
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 01:01:14 AM »

For school I had to read the story about this guy named Johnny Walker or something who sold his soul to the Devil and became a usurer, then got taken to Hell at the end. And it got me curious; is that even possible in real life? Could a person really summon the Devil himself and negotiate a deal? Are there any stories about anything like this happening in the Patristics or Lives of Saints? It seems very unlikely to me; if anyone could negotiate a deal with the Devil, then we'd see people everywhere becoming rich all of a sudden or living to be hundreds of years old.

Did you ever watch, Oh God, You Devil starring George Burns?

No, what's that? I'll search YouTube.

It was a movie, a follow-up to Oh God! also starring George Burns.
The Oh God movie depicted God as an old man (George Burns) with a Jewish sense of humor.

Oh God, You Devil!, stars George Burns but this time he plays Satan. So, of course, there is some confusion. I do not want to spoil the movie, but it does involve making a deal with the devil (George Burns).

You might be able to rent it through a movie rental outlet. If you do, please let me know where you were able to rent it.
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 02:49:43 AM »

In a sense you make a deal every time you yield to his will (not that the devil is interested in you in particular, I'm speaking of his generaly evilness). But beyond that, no, I don't think so, outside the twilight zone and cool songs.
I would say almost the same thing.
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 07:57:53 PM »

For school I had to read the story about this guy named Johnny Walker or something who sold his soul to the Devil and became a usurer, then got taken to Hell at the end. And it got me curious; is that even possible in real life? Could a person really summon the Devil himself and negotiate a deal? Are there any stories about anything like this happening in the Patristics or Lives of Saints? It seems very unlikely to me; if anyone could negotiate a deal with the Devil, then we'd see people everywhere becoming rich all of a sudden or living to be hundreds of years old.

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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 09:30:18 PM »

The devil offered the first deal to Eve, telling her she would gain eternal knowledge. Which could be said was the first deal with the devil, of course it never works out like he wants you to believe is the lesson of that story.
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 10:12:19 PM »


The devil offered the first deal to Eve, telling her she would gain eternal knowledge. Which could be said was the first deal with the devil, of course it never works out like he wants you to believe it will is the lesson of that story.

◄  Genesis 3:1  ►

New International Version (©1984)
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 Corinthians 11:3  ►

New International Version (©1984)
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 10:29:52 PM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 10:56:32 PM »

From FatherGiryus:
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Generally speaking, it is true that partaking of the Sacraments helps prevent demonic oppression, but they must be done with honesty and humility.  I have dealt with a situation where a person was taking Communion, but also involved in pre-marital sex and drugs which led to the oppression.  This provided the entry point.

The first part of FatherG post disturbs me.

Why was the person receiving Communion while partaking in pre-marital sex and drugs? The act of receiving Christ in the Holy Eucharist unworthily while actively involved in serious sin would be a very real entry point for satanic possession or oppression.

I have known of people who were involved in pre-marital sex and/or who pregnant outside of marriage, and they were forbidden to receive Communion. The priests were very firm with these people. The priest would advise them that they should not partake of Holy Communion until they had repented of their sins otherwise it could lead to their damnation or as the priests usually preferred to say, "It would not be unto your salvation for you to receive Holy Communion at this time."


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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 01:05:06 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 01:18:53 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

Keep struggling, James. Know that I am praying for you.

Either we are struggling or we are sinning.
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2013, 01:38:45 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

It is a POWERFUL weapon used by Satan.  Probably the main one.
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2013, 01:41:13 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

It is a POWERFUL weapon used by Satan.  Probably the main one.

I don't want Satan or any of the demons to enter me  Embarrassed My family isn't Orthodox and knows nothing about demons, what if I get possessed and there is no one to help me or take me to Church to be exorcised?
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2013, 01:49:10 AM »

outside the twilight zone
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L1BSnxH4b4#t=0m50s
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2013, 02:21:08 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

It is a POWERFUL weapon used by Satan.  Probably the main one.

I don't want Satan or any of the demons to enter me  Embarrassed My family isn't Orthodox and knows nothing about demons, what if I get possessed and there is no one to help me or take me to Church to be exorcised?

James, if you can win against pornography...brother, this is the one that takes down more people than I have ever seen.  Beat this, with the grace of God, and I think you will be ok.
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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2013, 02:28:40 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

It is a POWERFUL weapon used by Satan.  Probably the main one.

I don't want Satan or any of the demons to enter me  Embarrassed My family isn't Orthodox and knows nothing about demons, what if I get possessed and there is no one to help me or take me to Church to be exorcised?

Please go to your priest for help.

Remember to trust in Christ our God. The demon wants you to lose hope. Never listen to him. Keep praying the Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

Do you have the Paracleisis (Supplication) to the Most Holy Theotokos? If not, you can listen to it online. Youtube has many to choose from.  It is beautiful and very powerful. This service is prayed officially by the Church during the Fast of the Theotokos (August 1 to August 14).

I can post you some links if you do not have any.

Here is one in English.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_6e9T1FpG8&feature=related
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2013, 02:31:53 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

It is a POWERFUL weapon used by Satan.  Probably the main one.

I don't want Satan or any of the demons to enter me  Embarrassed My family isn't Orthodox and knows nothing about demons, what if I get possessed and there is no one to help me or take me to Church to be exorcised?

James, if you can win against pornography...brother, this is the one that takes down more people than I have ever seen.  Beat this, with the grace of God, and I think you will be ok.

I agree. With Christ, you can beat this addiction. And once you beat it, your parents will respect you too.
Parents can sense if you are struggling and failing. If they see that you are succeeding in becoming a good Christian, then they might even want to know how you changed and matured before their very eyes. That may be the opening you need to discuss Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2013, 07:18:54 AM »

There have been enough church desecrations to show us that evil can enter a church and even defile it.  No problem... as God permits it.

God permits evil, just as He permitted satan to enter His presence in the Book of Job.  But, He does hold satan back.

The difference with St. Mary of Egypt is that she was not 'possessed' but acting out of her free-will.  This the fellow who entered the church, he may not have been possessed but rather in 'fellowship' with the demonic.  He may also have been a case of 'perfect possession,' in which case he was in agreement with the possession and therefore an exorcism would not have worked: the spirits had to right to remain within him.

Only in cases where the person does not utterly agree with the demons will an exorcism work.  People who thrash around or feel 'prevented' from entering a church are those in the midst of this struggle and the demons do not want the person near a church and thus receive freedom.  However, those who are 'perfectly possessed' can enter a church and even take communion.  There's no problem for them because there is no fight.  They have agreed to their own damnation.

But, you cannot confuse human evil with demonic evil.  The whole point of St. Mary's life was her triumph over human evil, and that triumph leads to the defeat of demonically-inspired temptation.


I always wonder how "evil" can enter a church.  IIRC, St. Mary of Egypt was "stopped" at the door of a church and could not enter.  This is what made her repent and go in to the desert.  So, how come evil can so freely enter a church?  You would hope folks would be safe inside from all that nastiness.

Fr George, thank you for providing us with the insight into all the exorcism prayers ... I thought we did look at it from an Orthodox point of view? I have heard in our church (and I talked about it earlier) that if we do not regularly partake of confession and Holy Communion then we (Orthodox) leave ourselves open ... I am sorry it sounded like I was talking about Protestants but that statement means anyone and everyone who does not take care of their spiritual life leaves themselves open to possession.

Generally speaking, it is true that partaking of the Sacraments helps prevent demonic oppression, but they must be done with honesty and humility.  I have dealt with a situation where a person was taking Communion, but also involved in pre-marital sex and drugs which led to the oppression.  This provided the entry point.

It is generally understood that 'possession' involves a process over a period of time, depending on the will of the individual.  Obviously, it can go quite rapidly for a voluntary possession (i.e. 'selling your soul to the devil') or slowly in a case of oppression (i.e. spiritual bullying until the victim cries 'uncle!' and the demon takes control).

Voluntary possession cannot be cured, because the possessed wants it that way.  The key to a successful exorcism is the will of the possessed.  Even in the Baptism prayers with an infant, there is a voluntary renunciation (albeit from the Godparents in the case of an infant).  Someone voluntarily possessed can even take Communion and handle Holy things with relative ease.  In the case of demonic occupation of a home, crosses and Bibles often are targets of demonic rage, since they do not bear their true nature unless they are being used by the faithful (i.e. in their hands rather an off in a corner, but the presence of Holy symbols of the faithful certainly makes the demon uncomfortable).

People are generally susceptable to demonic activity when they are:

1. involved in active sin.
2. desire contact with the demonic (this includes witchcraft).
3. use drugs or alcohol to the point of severely-impaired judgement.
4. under profound stress, depression or despair.
5. embarking on an activity that is greatly pleasing to God (this can include leaving any of the above activities).
6. being exposed to people, places or things around which the demonic is active.

The Church acknowledges demonic activity, but we try not to make it a focal point so as not to distract people from the work of repentance.

There are very simple tests to verify demonic activity, but these should only be administered by a priest in obedience to his Bishop.  Obedience is the only real protection against demonic assault: obedience to God, and obedience to the Church and her authorities.




Just a thought that has come to my mind why would a demon reveal its self if it leads others to salvation who do not believe in God?. I do not think a demon will reveal itself in the Western World easily as this will cause the unfaithful people to start considering about God, the individual will start thinking who created these entities and will end up believing in God. I do not think the demons are that dumb to reveal themselves, the western world does not want anything to do with God so the people are doing the devil and the demons job.
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2013, 10:55:21 PM »

Judging from the Gospels alone, I would say everyone has had contact with the evil one.

The only one who could resist him was Jesus, thus he was the only sinless one who ever lived on earth.

Our only chance is to be delivered from evil by the grace of God.
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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2013, 11:13:27 PM »

I don't think that would happen if you aware of the details
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2013, 10:55:07 PM »

Anytime we are tempted to sin we are being contacted by the devil.
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« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2013, 01:15:45 AM »

James--Have you read Williams' post above? If so, what do you think?

Being honest, I think I need to focus harder on abstaining from my vices--especially in regards to pornography. I worry that my struggle against lust could be an "entry point".

It is a POWERFUL weapon used by Satan.  Probably the main one.

I don't want Satan or any of the demons to enter me  Embarrassed My family isn't Orthodox and knows nothing about demons, what if I get possessed and there is no one to help me or take me to Church to be exorcised?


I think that you should simply focus on fighting and struggling against sin. If we do this, then God's mercy and grace will accompany our efforts. Let the focus of your fight against sin be your desire for God rather than your fear of the devil. A little fear is healthy, but when fear becomes our primary focus, then it can be paralyzing. This is another trick of the devil. Fear God, Who is Holy and loving. Focus on God's love and presence, and let that be the impetus of your fight against sin. Don't give the devil more power or authority than he really has. You have been baptized and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Remember this, and know that God is for you not against you. It is good to be convicted and bothered about sin, but don't let your failures lead you to despair of the unfailing mercy of God.

Selam
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 01:16:40 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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