Adversaries, Enemies

  An adversary is one who takes up a position of antagonism, or acts in a hostile manner, an opponent, antagonist, an enemy, foe, opposed, antagonistic, hostile, inimical.Oxford English Dictionary Additionally, an adversary is an enemy or foe; one who has enmity at heart. In scripture, Satan is called THE adversary by way of eminence: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. –1 Peter 5:8.–Webster’s American Dictionary An adversary may not appear to be an outright enemy.
  An enemy is an unfriendly or hostile person, one that cherishes hatred, that wishes or seeks to do ill to another, also an adversary, antagonist, opponent, one who hates or opposes a cause, custom, state of things, something that operates prejudicially upon, counteracts the action of.Oxford English Dictionary. Synonyms for enemy include adversary antagonist, foe, opponent, nemesis, ill-wisher.—Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Agree with thine adversary quickly,
whiles thou art in the way with him.”–Matthew 5:25.

  Among professionals and in the business and social spheres, adversarial opposition comes from competitors or those who are jealous of your success, your talents, and your gifts. The idea that an adversary has enmity at heart is true, and you can detect this hidden enmity when in their presence, for they will likely make you feel quite uncomfortable. Adversaries provide you with endless initiations for as long as you view them in personal terms as being yours, or take their speech and actions personally. You can pass every initiation when you realize that they oppose God or a principle you are expressing.
  Enemies provide you with endless initiation opportunities. You can never be successful in dealing with enemies if you view them in personal terms, or take their speech and actions personally. You can pass every initiation when you realize that the enemy opposes God or some principle of law that you are expressing.
  Ruth Johnson often quoted advice that Edna Lister had given her: “Never try to love what people do. Love people for what they are, the children of God. Love them impersonally, ‘out there,’ not up close.”

Edna Lister on Enemies and Adversaries

Your closest personal adversary is your own subconscious mind of impulsive appetitive soul, the seat of emotions.–Edna Lister, The Sermon on the Mount, January 31, 1933

Pay no attention to seeming enemies.–Edna Lister, September 14, 1938

Contact God’s high Light as Power until even your enemies bow before the grace that emanates from the Light within you.–Edna Lister, September 22, 1939

Watch at all hours for enemies of self.–Edna Lister, November 24, 1939

Greater love has no man than this: That he lay down his life for his enemies. In this all law shall be fulfilled. If a man lay down his life for a friend, it is well, for so shall it be expected of him, and it has been said of old that he shall so do. This shall be the fullness of all sacrifice to be given, none shall be greater in law: First shall come the giving of your life for one you love. Second shall be that giving which gives to your enemy. To give your life for an enemy is the greater, for in this you shall convert all enemies to be friends of God, which is the end of life, to be a friend to your Father, even as He is a friend to you, from the beginning of all law.
  Love your enemies.–Matthew 5:44 is sweet incense unto God. Let it burn night and day.–Edna Lister, November 30, 1939

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.–Matthew 5:25. This verse covers all problems with the self. The impulsive appetitive soul of the self is the adversary, Oversoul is the judge, and the rational soul is the officer. Self casts you into prison. Soul lifts you into Light.–Edna Lister, Vows, January 7, 1940

You can change and be so filled with love that love changes all that touches you and adds it to your power. That is what Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool means.—Edna Lister, February 2, 1940

You may entertain no enemies anytime. You have not one enemy in your life. Not one enemy may enter your life. Always accept, believe and stand, lest you be in danger of the judgment.–Edna Lister, February 26, 1940

The Light you send to those who feel they must be your enemies, past, present or future, will uncover their taints of darkness.–Edna Lister, February 10, 1942

When you assume the role of judge, jury and executioner, you think in terms of enemies, and those so declared surely become adversaries who then judge you.–Edna Lister, Five Keys to the Kingdom, 1945.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him.–Matthew 5:25. Work at agreeing with the so-called adversary until you have no enemy to agree with, no wrong to forgive, no harm or hurt ever aimed at or spoken to you. When you accept all that the balance of law gives you as yours, and value it as precious jewels, you will be free of the small self. Then and only then do you truly accept all that comes to you as your own to give to God.–Edna Lister, March 12, 1945

An open mind always stands ready to receive a gift from every adversary.–Edna Lister, Six Creative Laws: The Keys of the Kingdom, September 1, 1945

You create most enemies by making the other fellow look stupid or as knowing less than you.–Edna Lister, June 27, 1947

When you love the enemy with the love of God for God, he eventually becomes your footstool.–Edna Lister, June 3, 1948

You have no enemies says the law. You are your own worst enemy, unless you are all-gracious, all-seeing, all-justice tempered with mercy and compassion.–Edna Lister, April 15, 1950

You have five seconds in which to declare the would-be adversary good where he is.–Edna Lister, I Remember, October 8, 1950

Thousands of men and women in the business world have quit at the brink of success because some detractor spoke a harsh word that demoralized them. You cannot kid yourself by being humble on the outside and hurt or angry inside. Humbleness is not humility, which is the essence of God’s Love in action. Bite your tongue under trying circumstances. Look upon the adversary with true, deep compassion and lift!—Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, October 28, 1951

No one gets anywhere until he has fifty active, powerful, dynamic adversaries. Lift your head above the crowd, for you can never achieve until you rise above the enemy idea.–Edna Lister, Ye Are Gods, November 30, 1952

People who say, I cannot agree, still believe in enemies and so create an adversary, a dark cloud of force, an entity that clings to them. If you hold a single subconscious enemy-thought, you will create an adversary.–Edna Lister, I Accept, June 27, 1954

You subject yourself to the idea of outer enemies but you, yourself, are your greatest opposition. You create the adversary who rides you with a whip and spurs. Each soul must conquer the enemy idea, for the only enemy is self. No power on earth can make you have an enemy if you refuse to accept the enemy idea or give it form and substance. No one on the outside can ever create your adversary, yet they may suggest them to you with a look, a word, or an action that tempts you to mistrust and to subject yourself to the enemy idea, but you create it.–Edna Lister, Living Waters, September 4, 1955

Your enemies advertise you.–Edna Lister, December 17, 1956

No enemy can stand against you when you learn to lift them into Light. Light will bury them in the compassionate love you bear them and that way you cover their transgressions.–Edna Lister, November 3, 1957

You are your own enemy with idle words, sorry thinking and negative expressions.–Edna Lister, February 5, 1958

Your real enemies are fear, hate and resentment.–Edna Lister, March 13, 1958

You find that you have no enemies when you ascend.–Edna Lister, As God Sees Me, June 8, 1958

When you truly hunger and thirst to be one with God, you forget every enemy and adversary.–Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958

You must admit that you are your own worst enemy.–Edna Lister, September 1, 1958

When God sees that you need to return to Him, He lets your persecutors concentrate on you. If you act as loving as God, His Light will heal them all.–Edna Lister, October 9, 1958

Be diligent because your adversary the devil walks about, seeking whom he may devour.—1 Peter 5:8. Your little self is the most common devil that waits to tempt, drag you down and devour your joy.–Edna Lister, Imagination Is Your Crown, June 21, 1959

You will have adversaries until you follow the law of What is that to thee? Follow thou me.—John 21:22. You need not love what people do, but lift and declare that the result of their action is Light; step aside and let the Power do the work.–Edna Lister, God Is Safe and Dependable, June 5, 1960

This is the secret of making enemies your friends, just say, You are so wonderful, no matter what they’ve done, even if they spit on you. The day comes when they dry up, spit no more and return as friends.–Edna Lister, March 25, 1963

Stand in the Light, grin at your enemies, and they can do nothing about it. I can last one day longer than this test. This, too, shall pass away under the power of love.—Edna Lister, April 11, 1963

Your enemies are your footstools. The more they express their hatred, the greater God can invoke the laws of protection for you.–Edna Lister, December 13, 1965

When an adversary approaches, you must instantly ascend in consciousness to know what is right or wrong for you, then stand silently and hold fast to your own right way.–Edna Lister, Five Important Steps in Ascension, 1968

Stand, gird your loins, take a deep breath and say, You are good, to leave your enemy speechless.–Edna Lister, October 28, 1969.

The adversary is the pesky little self that you have injected into everything. There is no difference between a country and a man; you invest soul substance when you criticize them, and give them a chunk of your soul to live on.–Edna Lister, From Surrender of Self to Soul Ascension, May 16, 1971

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Treatments for Perceived Adversaries

To agree with an adversary means to love God more than self, reach up to the heart of God and love Him. Then agree with your adversary by saying, How wonderful you are. No matter where you are, you can mentally shout it.–Edna Lister, I Accept, June 27, 1954

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.—Psalm 23. Change this to in the presence of mine loved ones as a prayer treatment for those burdened with enemies. Use it every morning.–Edna Lister, New Thought: The New World, June 29, 1958.

Put the soul who makes himself an adversary in a sphere of Light.–Edna Lister, Before the Beginning, I Am, November 3, 1963

Give no thought to the adversary except, This is good. You are good. Let there be Light. I love you with the love of God.—Edna Lister, Am I Strong to Endure, December 18, 1966

To say, How wonderful you are, to any would-be adversary lifts you from slavery to the world into your own sun center of Light, where nothing can touch you. To use praise for an adversary frustrates him until he forgets his original intention and departs.–Edna Lister, Five Important Steps in Ascension, 1968

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New Testament on Adversaries

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.–Matthew 5:25

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.–Matthew 10:34-36

Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom [consciousness] divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.–Matthew 12:25

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.–Matthew 22:44

Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.–Luke 6:35

Behold, I [Christ] give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.–Luke 10:19

When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.–Luke 12:58‑59

David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.–Luke 20:41‑43

I [Christ] will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.–Luke 21:15

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.–Luke 23:33-34

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.—1 Peter 5:8

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The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.—Psalms 110:1

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Enemies in Other Sacred Writings

Separate yourself from your enemies, and take heed of your friends.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 6:13

A friend cannot be known in prosperity: and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 12:8

Never trust an enemy: for as iron rusts, so is his wickedness. Though he humble himself, yet take good heed and beware of him, and you shall be to him as if you had wiped a looking glass, and you shall know that his rust has not been altogether wiped away.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 12:10-11

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of adversary: Latin adversarius, "enemy," from adversus, "against."

Adversaries provide initiations.


Man’s wisdom is his best friend; folly his worst enemy.—William Temple


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2024

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed Oxford University Press, 1971.

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Temple, William. The Works of Sir William Temple. London: J. Brotherton, 1814, p. 531.

Related Topics

Agreeing and Adjusting