Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 2 February 2013
Page 13

Some Questions Regarding the Devil

Paul Clements

Paul ClementsYou may have heard the expression, “You’ve got to give the Devil his due.” When that is said, it probably means different things to different people. Mark Twain said it meant, “Something can be said for the devil, seeing as how he has managed to influence about 99% of all the people on earth.” Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) was telling us that Satan should be credited for all the evil and sin in this world. There’s no debate there!

There are many questions about the Devil that come up now and then, not the least of which is: Where did he come from? We, of course, have to go to the sacred Scriptures for the answer to that question. We may determine that Satan was a part of creation since God created all things by the Lord Jesus including all the host of heaven (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:15-17). He would be of the order of angelic, spirit beings. There are three kinds of beings: divine beings; angelic, spirit beings; and human beings. Satan is not divine since he is subject to God (Job 1:12). He is not human since he was able to come into the presence of God when the sons of God presented themselves before God. Further evidence that Satan is not human is seen in the fact that he engaged in a slanderous dialogue with God regarding Job (Job 1:6-12). From this we may ascertain that he was of the angelic order of beings.

The Scripture tells us that “…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell…” (2 Peter 2:4). Jesus described hell as “…everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Evidently, Satan was one of those angels who sinned. It has been said by some that Satan, by his own volition due to his pride, chose to rebel against God. He would have been among those who did not keep their own proper domain (did not stay within their own position of authority, ESV) according to the sixth verse of the powerful letter of Jude. This transgression could be viewed as neglect, rebellion or both. Punishment of sin is certain, and the angels who sinned were an example of that certainty.

How is Satan described in God’s Word? This is another good question. He is not the scary-looking character in a red suit with horns and a pitch fork. He is the essence of evil. He is identified as the prince and the god of this world (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4). He is also described as the tempter, the enemy, the evil one, our adversary, the deceiver, the old dragon, a murderer and the father of lies (Matthew 4:5, 13:39, 38; 1 John 5:18-19; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9; 12:3; John 8:44).

How does he work? He deceives, he blinds the minds of men, he lies, he snatches away the Word, he enters the hearts of men, he hinders the faithful in their spiritual work and he even impersonates an angel of light (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; John 8:44; Genesis 3:4; Matthew 13:19; John 13:2; Acts 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 11:14).

How do we deal with Satan? We must resist him (James 4:7). Peter advises, “be sober (of a serious and sound mind; self-controlled), be watchful (wary, vigilant)” (1 Peter 5:8). We must rest assured that we will not be tempted beyond that which we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). We must also put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). This is vital that we may be able to stand against the schemes of Satan, else he might “sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31).

I Said Nothing

Wade L. Webster

Wade L. WebsterRobert Benchley once remarked, “Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.” No matter how great your vocabulary may be, sometimes, the right thing to say is nothing.

First, if you cannot speak with purity, the best thing that you can say, no matter how large your vocabulary may be, is nothing. We read, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

Second, if you cannot speak with sweetness, the best thing that you can say, no matter how rich your vocabulary may be, is nothing. We read, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Third, if you cannot speak with grace, the best thing that you can say, no matter how extensive your vocabulary may be, is nothing. Paul wrote, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).

Fourth, if you cannot speak with self-control, the best thing that you can say, no matter how full your vocabulary may be, is nothing. We read, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

Fifth, if you cannot speak with truthfulness, the best thing that you can say, no matter how huge your vocabulary may be, is nothing. We read, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9).

Sixth, if you cannot speak with love, the best thing to say, no matter how big your vocabulary may be, is nothing. Paul wrote, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

Obviously, I could go on and on. However, I believe that you get my point. Let’s make sure that what we say is what it needs to be said. If doesn’t need to be said, the best thing that we can do is to say nothing.

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