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THE DEVIL AND SATAN
Scriptural view of what constitutes "the Devil and Satan”- — The Devil as a God — As “Prince of this world”. Cast out by Christ The Devil as a father — Adam's nature before and after fall — Things charged up against the Devil — Are diseases called devils? The man that had devils and abode in the tombs — Parable of the unclean spirit — Temptation of Christ - Temptation of Job — Transformation of Satan
Satan - Angels of light Knowledge of good and evil — Concerning "the angels that sinned”- Contention between Michael the archangel and the Devil, about the body of Moses.
Before speaking of the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the obedience of faith, we will consider the teachings of the Scriptures concerning the Devil and Satan, under the heading,
THE SCRIPTURE VIEW OF THE DEVIL AND SATAN We have said before that those who look at things of a scriptural character through immortal soul spectacles, see a spurious God, a spurious Christ, a spurious man, and a spurious Devil. In none of those things is the darkness of the religious world more apparent and conspicuous than in their erroneous views of what constitutes the Devil and Satan as he is brought to view in the Holy Scriptures. It is commonly held and taught by religious teachers that the Devil is an individual person of extraordinary power, that he was once an angel of light in heaven, but that he and his associates rebelled and were cast out of heaven, and that now he goes about as a roaring lion in the earth seeking whom he may devour. But we will now endeavor to show a scriptural, consistent, and correct view of this important question as brought to view in the Holy Scriptures. To understand this doctrine aright in all the various forms in which it is presented in the Scriptures requires that we begin at the root of the matter.
The Apostle James writes, “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, but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (Jas. 1:13-15). This is an inspired authority and is a graphic statement of the origin of evil, and the course and end of sin. According to this authority, it originates not with God, nor does it arise from the incitations of a person outside of the human family called the Devil, but it has its origin solely in the carnal hearts of the children of men; and therefore the Lord says by the hand of Jeremiah the prophet, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart.” Now he who searches the heart informs us that it is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and he makes no exceptions, so that if it is to be admitted that there is a personal Devil, this shows that he is not equal to the hearts of men for deceit and wickedness, and therefore of what need, or of what use could he be?
Every human being, therefore, has a devil in his own heart, and in the aggregate it is a power of sufficient malignity to account for all the evil work that has ever been, or ever will be done in the earth. This principle of evil exists in our mortal Aesh: it may be controlled and kept under by means of the guidance and teachings of the word of God, but it cannot be extinguished while we live on the earth. On the part of the righteous, when this mortal shall put on immortality, the principle of sin and death in the body will be destroyed, insomuch that the desires of the immortal body will be in harmony with the spirit of God. Paul speaks wisely, specifically, and instructively on this subject; this principle of evil which exists in all men, he calls, “ The law of sin in our members.” And no man can do better than to study carefully his excellent treatise on this subject (Rom. 7: 5-25). He says, “I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Lust in the flesh is sin in the flesh because lust is forbidden by the law which says, “ Thou shalt not covet.” Thus the law of God strikes at the very root of sin and forbids the operations of the desires of the flesh and of the mind. The lust of the Aesh of itself is blind and regards no law, but says continually, "Give, Give." The Apostle saith in another place (Gal. 5:17), “The Alesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Lust is like water, which when set free always descends, so lust blindly pushes on for the gratification of its own desires; therefore Paul says, “I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection, lest while I preach to others, I myself become a castaway." Nevertheless, referring to the operations of the natural law of sin, or lust in our members, he says (Rom. 7:14), “ For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin, for that which I do. I allow not, for what I would, that do I not, but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law, that it is good. Now it is no more I that do it, but sin or lust that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not, but the evil that I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Then Paul exclaims, “ O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” And adds, “So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the Aesh the law of sin."
Some persons, not understanding the law of sin in the flesh, have erroneously supposed that Paul was here describing his condition before he was converted.
That is a great mistake, for he says, “I keep my body under ... lest while I preach to others, I myself become a castaway.” Neither Paul nor any one else will ever be delivered from this body of sin and death until Christ changes this vile body and fashions it like unto his glorious body; then the law of sin and death will be extinguished, for the bodies of the saints made perfect are forever free from the operations of that law.
But Paul continues (in chapter 8), “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death, For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Now in this statement Paul informs us why God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, or in other words, why he was made partaker of flesh and blood like his brethren; namely, that by a sacrifice for sin, he might condemn sin in the flesh. Now how could Jesus by his death condemn sin in the flesh, if there were no sin in his own flesh to condemn? It would be impossible.
Now the manner in which Christ by his death condemned sin in the flesh is as follows: he obeyed his Father's commands and resisted sin even unto blood. His own flesh recoiled from the ignominious death upon the cross, but he endured the cross, and despised the shame. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so was the Son of man lifted up. The serpent is the symbol of sin in the flesh, therefore when Christ died upon the cross in obedience to his Father's commands, then the law of sin which was in his flesh, was destroyed; for when he was raised from the dead, sin was dead and buried and left behind. He overcame, and was raised immortal, free from the law of sin and death. “Death hath no more dominion over him”; and as sin was condemned and destroyed in his own body, so will he condemn and destroy sin in the bodies of all his brethren when he raises them from the dead to die no more.
Now Paul has used two parallel expressions, which, when properly put together and understood,- show clearly that what he calls, “sin in the flesh” in one place, in another place he calls, "the Devil," as follows: first (Rom. 8:3), “God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and by a sacrifice for sin condemned sin in the flesh ” (that is, destroyed sin in the flesh); second (Heb. 2: 14), "For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil."
In these two parallel passages, Paul tells us that Christ took upon himself our nature; first, that by death, he might condemn sin in the flesh; and second, that through death he might destroy the Devil. Now as Christ did not come to die for two different purposes, therefore it follows that sin in the flesh, and the Devil, are one and the same thing.
Now this demonstrates a very important fact for the benefit of the Scripture student who desires to inform himself correctly on this important Scripture question, for here the truth is established, that the principle of sin or lust in the flesh, called also the “law of sin in our members," is personified by the inspired writers, and called in plain language, “ The Devil.” The Apostle also speaks of him in his letter to the Ephesians; referring to their past condition before they knew and had obeyed the truth, he says to them (Eph. 2: 1-3), “In times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air"; and adds in explanation, “The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience"; and he carries the interpretation still further, and says, “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” These words of Paul are very plain and conclusive on this matter. Moreover, what he here calls,
Moreover, what he here calls, “a prince," he elsewhere (in his second letter to the Corinthians, 4:4) calls a god, saying, “ If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
THE DEVIL AS A GOD
The Devil Paul defines as the god of this world, who blinds the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Therefore they who do not believe the true gospel, no matter how devout they may be, in their ignorance are nevertheless the Devil's children and worshippers. Again, “I had not known sin, but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said thou shalt not covet.” A covetous man, therefore, is one who bow's down before lust and worships the Devil as his God; for whatever occupies the chief place in a man's heart, is his object of worship; and the Devil is the spirit which now worketh in the children of disobedience, who walk after the lusts of the flesh.
THE DEVIL AS A PRINCE
Sin is spoken of as a reigning prince in Paul's letter to the Romans, where he says to them, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (6:12); and again (verse 14), “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace." These people had been under the power of the god of this world, but when they did, as Paul says, obey from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto them, they were made free from sin, and became the servants of righteousness, and had their fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life; for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eternal life is not innate in man, but is the gift of God to them only who believe and obey him. Again, when Jesus had about finished his work, and the time drew nigh when he must die in obedience to his Father's command, he said to his disciples (John 14: 30), “ Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."
Now sin and lust as manifested in the covetous and hypocritical scribes, Pharisees, and chief priests, and rulers of Israel, who knew Christ not, nor
yet the voices of the prophets, and moved by envy, and the spirit of evil, were about to arrest and put Christ to death, and in view of this, Jesus said, "The prince of this world cometh, but,” says Jesus, "he hath nothing in me.” Jesus had committed no breach of the law; he had defrauded no man; he had done violence to nonę, and as Paul testified in the synagogue at Antioch (Acts 13:28), “And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate, that he should be slain "'; for after Pilate had examined him, he said to his accusers, “I find no fault in him at all.” the prince of this world, as manifested in the children of wickedness, could find no cause of death in him.
Again Jesus said touching the things which should be accomplished by his death (John 12:31-32), “Now is the judgment of this world, Now shall the prince of this world be cast out, and I, if I be lifted up, shall draw all men unto me." This is a very deep and important statement.
How was the judgment of this world to concentre in Christ's being lifted up from the earth? And how was the prince of this world to be cast out by that act? In this way: Christ took our nature upon himself, and therefore had within himself the same spirit of evil to restrain, and keep under, that we have, and he had, moreover, to encounter and resist the spirit of evil as it was manifested in his enemies, who were seeking his life. And on the other hand, he had his Father's command to obey, to lay down his life, by the hand of the enemy, and the avenger, for the sins of the world.
His flesh recoiled at the trial. He saw before him his murderers, that he was to be robed in robes of mock royalty, to be crowned with thorns, to be spit upon, to be taken to the place of execution, to be stripped of his garments, and nailed to the cross, and hanged up by his lacerated flesh, with malefactors, a spectacle to angels and men, and to die upon his wounds. And with this terrible ordeal to pass through, Matthew tells us that, coming to Gethsemane with his disciples he said to them, “Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.” And taking with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he went again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, If this cup may not pass from me except I drink it, Thy will be done.” Luke the beloved physician adds, “And there appeared an angel unto him strengthening him, and being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
The first Adam yielded to temptation and failed to obey the express command of God, and so brought sin into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men; for in Adam all sinned. And now came the trial of the second Adam, for he had just as specific a command to obey as did the first. Jesus was commanded to lay down his life under these terrible conditions, to redeem the called by his blood, and every step he had to take was marked out by his Father long before he appeared upon the scene of action. And now, what was the result of all this? He died and was buried, but he did not corrupt, for it was written of him, “ Thou wilt not