Definition: Bad pictures can be defined as thoughts involving oneself and/or others, accompanied by mental pictures having negative, violent, destructive, or perverted themes. The Bible often refers to this as evil imagination.
1. At some time or another we are tempted with bad mental pictures.
Genesis 8:21a [Evil thoughts or pictures can be a product of our sinful nature] And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. [See also 6:5; Mark 7:21-23]
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Romans 8:7 [Bad thoughts or pictures can come from our sinful carnal minds] Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
2. It is not necessarily a sin when bad thoughts or pictures enter our minds, only if we yield to or entertain them.
Job 15:12,13 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? And what do thy eyes wink at, 13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth? [See also Proverbs 4:23]
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
James 1:13-15 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
3. Evil pictures and imaginations are often be inspired by the Enemy.
Genesis 3:1-6 [The Devil put thoughts in Eve’s mind, subtly convincing her to disobey] Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Luke 22:31,32a And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32a But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.
John 8:44b [The Devil is the “father of lies.”] He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
1 Timothy 4:1 [Demonic influences are stronger in the Latter Days, especially to those who listen to them!] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the Latter Times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
1 Peter 5:8,9a Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 9a Whom resist stedfast in the faith.
4. Here are some attitudes which are fertile ground for evil thoughts and imaginings:
1 Samuel 18:7-9 [Envy or jealousy can motivate the heart to imagine evil against others without valid reason:] And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. [Later he even tried to kill David several times] [See also Acts 13:45; Proverbs 27:4]
Jeremiah 7:24 [Backsliding:] But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. [See also Deuteronomy 29:18,19]
Zechariah 7:10b [Rebelliousness is an inroad for evil:] And let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. [See also 8:17; Jeremiah 18:11,12]
Acts 8:22,23 [Bitterness usually gives rise to evil imaginings] Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. [See also Job 7:11; Hebrews 12:15]
Psalm 36:4 [When we don’t hate evil, we’re open to thinking the Enemy’s thoughts] He [the wicked] deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
Luke 1:51b [Pride and self-righteousness:] He [God] hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
2 Thessalonians 2:10,11 [Lack of receptivity to the truth:] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
5. Sometimes the Enemy gives us bad pictures and imaginings to try and weaken us through fear.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings [or pictures]: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.
Proverbs 3:25a,26 Be not afraid of sudden fear. … 26 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
2 Kings 6:17 [Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your spirit to the realities of His good Spirit World which is fighting with you and for you] And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
6. We must learn to recognize the Devil’s broadcasts and “change channels” immediately!
1 John 4:1a Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
1 Peter 1:13a Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.
7. Avoid being exposed to the Devil’s propaganda and dirty work through polluting videos, TV shows or reading material.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Psalm 119:37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way.
Proverbs 4:25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Isaiah 33:15,16 He that … shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; 16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
Romans 12:9b Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
8. Meditating on Jesus and His Word leaves no room for evil pictures.
Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words [Moses’ exhortation to obey the Lord] in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 104:34 My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.
1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
9. Once we determine in our hearts to resist the Enemy’s evil pictures, the Lord promises us absolute, total victory over the powers of darkness.
Isaiah 59:19b When the Enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
Matthew 10:1a And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out.
Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.
Luke 11:34-36 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
2 Peter 2:9a The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.
1 John 2:14b [Power to overcome the Devil comes from the Word:] I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the Wicked One.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.