Is THERE a devil? Many people talk about the devil and Satan. Others scoff and say it's just superstition and imagination.
But is there a devil? According to most Christians the Bible is supposed to teach that the devil is the god of this world. Indeed it does teach that!
The Bible pictures the whole world under the sway of an invisible devil. Where did he come from? Did God create a devil to tempt us and to try to lead us astray? And then to punish us if we follow the devil?
So, let's look back to the very beginning. Open your Bible to Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God." God was before all. The next word is "created." "God created." He created the heaven and the earth.
But the very next verse says this: "The earth was without form and void." The Hebrew words for "without form and void" are tohu and bohu. Translated into English they mean chaotic, in confusion, waste, and empty.
When God created the heaven and the earth, did He create this earth originally in a state of confusion? Did He create it all topsy-turvy and chaotic?
We read in I Corinthians 14:33 that God is NOT the author of confusion. God is the author of peace. God is the author of order and of law.
Notice Job 38:4-9. God says there that the angels shouted for joy when He created the earth. It must then have been a perfect creation, not a creation that was in chaos and confusion!
Why would He create it in disorder and then have to straighten it out? That doesn't make sense! Dr. Bullinger, the Hebrew authority, says that the Hebrew word for "created," used in Genesis 1:1, " implies that the creation was a perfect work." That very word "created" implies a perfect and a beautiful order and system, not chaos or confusion!
Then how did it become chaotic?
In Genesis 19:26, the same Hebrew word is used which is translated "was" in Gen. 1:2. And there it is translated into the English word "became." In the first three chapters of the Bible, and many other places where you find the word "was," in almost every case it is denoting a condition that was different from a former condition. In other words, it "BECAME" or "was made" that way. It had not always been that way.
Plainly the word "was" has the meaning of "became." The Rotherham translation of Gen. 1:2, out of the original Hebrew language, is this: "Now the earth HAD BECOME waste and empty." It hadn't always been that way.
In Jeremiah 4:23, in Isaiah 24:10, in Isaiah 34:11, and in other places in the Bible, you find the same words, toha and boha, meaning chaotic and in confusion. In every case that condition is a result of sin.
Notice Isaiah 45:18. "Thus saith the Eternal that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it, He hath established it, He created it not in vain." "In vain" is an incorrect translation. In your Bible, if you have the marginal references, you will find in the margin the proper translation "waste."
The original Hebrew word there is TOHU. This Hebrew word is the identical word used in Gen. 1:2, meaning confusion, or emptiness. or waste - a result of disorder, a result of violation of law. In Isaiah 45:18 we have the plain statement that God created the earth not "toho," that is, not in confusion, not in disorder. But in Genesis 1:2, the earth was, or the earth BECAME - as it ought to he translated - chaotic and in confusion!
Then it became that way after it was created. Now, what could have caused that confusion? - that disorder? What sin could have wrecked the earth and brought it into the condition in which it was found in Gen. 1:2?
Now, what was the sin then that caused this physical destruction to the earth? It was not a sin caused by humanity, because there had been no man on the earth until the sixth day of that re-creation or that re-making. So it was not a sin of man. Adam was the first man. We find over in I Corinthians 15:45 that Adam is called the first man on this earth. In Genesis Eve is called the mother of all living human beings. There was no other race prior to Adam and Eve.
So the sin which brought chaos was not caused by man. And yet life must have populated the earth because a sin had occurred on the earth that brought it into a condition of chaos and confusion by breaking the laws of God.
What kind of life could it have been? It wasn't human life. What was it that populated this earth prior to the second verse of Genesis, the first chapter?
In Genesis 1:28, speaking to the man whom He had created, God said this: ''Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." What does that word replenish mean? To plenish is to populate. To replenish means to repopulate - to populate all over again. Those very words imply that the earth had been populated before!
Immediately after the flood in Genesis 9:1, God spoke to Noah. He blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them: "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." Identically the same words that He spoke to Adam!
In Noah's case we know He meant repopulate the earth. Then didn't He mean the same thing when He used the identical words to Adam: "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth?" Certainly here is indication that the earth had been populated, and that it was to be populated once again. Then what kind of life had populated the earth prior to Adam, prior to the week called "creation week"?
Next, let's turn to II Peter 2:4: ''For if God spared not the angels that sinned.'' Here is the sin of angels mentioned.
Now read the next verse, "And spared not the old world," between Adam and Noah, ''but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." There it mentions the sins from Adam to Noah, and it mentions the physical destruction to the earth as a result of the flood, a chaotic, physical condition brought about on the earth by the sins of those men.
Was there a chaotic condition brought about on the earth as a result of the sins of angles? The sin of the angels is mentioned first, and it occurred first! There was a devil already there in existence by the time Adam was created. So the sin of the angels happened before the creation of man.
Now read II Peter 2:6. ''Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, [God] condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example to those that afterward should live ungodly."
Universal sin was in those two Canaanite cities. Physical destruction came to the entire part of the surface of the earth which those people occupied as a result of that sin. Then didn't such a destruction come to the earth as a result of the sins of the angels which occurred before Adam?
Now quickly turn over to Jude. In the sixth verse, you read this: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation [they had a place where they lived, a habitation, an estate, and they left it], God hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Notice! It is the sinning angels who are reserved in those chains under darkness, restrained from light, restrained from truth until the judgment of the great day.
How plain! They had an estate which they didn't keep. In Hebrews 2:5 we read this: ''For unto the angels hath God not put in subjection the world to come of which we speak." In other words, The World Tomorrow, the Kingdom of God, will not be under subjection to angels. The present one is under subjection of fallen angels. The demons, and the devil who is their head, rule this present earth and sway its inhabitants. The Bible everywhere indicates and affirms that very fact.
How did they obtain their dominion? How did they acquire their power? How did they maintain their control? Where did the devil get the power to control and to lead and to rule this world?
The devil is the leader of fallen angels, as you will find in a number of places ( John 12:31, John 14:30, John 16:11). In II Cor. 4:4 the devil is called the god of this world. He is the king or the prince of the evil world that we live in today. Let's see something about the origin of the devil.
Turn to Isaiah 14, beginning with verse 4, "'Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, 'How hath the oppressor ceased the golden city ceased!'"
Here is a king of Babylon.
This account continues to tell how he had disrupted the earth. He was an invader, a conqueror. He was a war monger, trying to take away from others and trying to acquire all he could. He had just the opposite philosophy from that of God. In other words, he had the philosophy of the devil. He represented. the devil. The king of Babylon was the devil's instrument and tool.
Now we find in verse 12 that this lesser human type lifts to the great anti-type - the devil - whom he represented and whose tool and instrument he was.
Things are said about the great former cherub, the devil, that could not be said about a human being. God says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer." Lucifer means shining one, or shining star of the dawn. God names things or people, or beings what they are. Lucifer was originally a shining "star." Stars represent angels (Rev. 1:20). He was a great cherub whose duties were represented by the bright morning star. He was a light bringer. In other words, one who had great knowledge and truth and light, and who was to give it to those who were placed under him. He was placed in a certain rule and authority over angels.
Continuing in Isaiah 14: "How art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, 'I will ascend into heaven.'" Then he must have been BELOW heaven. He must have been ON THE EARTH.
He said, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (that is, the angels] of God." I want you to notice he had a throne, but he wasn't willing to be content with his jurisdiction. He was out to rule the universe.
Now notice what else Lucifer said: "I will ascend above the heights of the CLOUDS. I will be like the most High." "I'm going to be god myself," he said.
So Lucifer became the devil. God changed his name when his character changed. He tried to make himself God. But we find HE WAS CAST DOWN TO THIS EARTH.
Now, quickly turn over to Ezekiel 28, verse 1. "Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus. . ." The prince of Tyre, or Tyrus, was a very evil man. He was an aggressor, an invader, a conqueror. He was a tool of the devil. Now, as we come to the twelfth verse, just as in Isaiah 14, the lesser type lifts up to the great anti-type. We find the devil himself pictured! Now we find one that is not human at all. For a few verses, it is talking about the devil himself, and not about a human being.
Beginning at verse 12: ''Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus." Here is the REAL king that ruled in and through the prince of Tyrus. "And say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God. Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty." Here was one who sealed up the sum total of perfection, of wisdom, and beauty.
Could that be said about a man? Does God speak like that of any mortal man? Never! He is speaking of some being far greater than man. Notice, "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God." On the earth! Then he said, "The workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast CREATED." This was not a human being, who was born.
The prophet continues to say, "Thou art the anointed CHERUB that covereth." If you will refer to Exodus 25, verses 16-22, you will find the type of the throne of God described. Included in the earthly type - the tabernacle in the days of Moses - was the mercy seat which was a picture of the very throne of God. On it two cherubim were placed. They were made of metals, of course, but their wings stretched out and covered the very throne of God. They symbolized the two great cherubs whose wings cover the very throne of God.
Through Ezekiel, God says: "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth." In other words, one of the two great cherubs ruling over millions of other angels! He was a created being. He sealed up the sum total of perfection, of wisdom, and of beauty. Then in verse 14, we read this: "I have set thee so," God said. God had set him in office. "Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God,'' - Palestine or Eden! "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day thou wast created. Here was a being that was created perfect UNTIL INIQUITY WAS FOUND IN HIM.
That iniquity was described in Isaiah 14. He said, "I'm not satisfied with what I have. I'm going to become an invader. I'm going to take God's place and be the God of the universe." That was the devil's sin - INSUBORDINATION.
A third of the angels united with Satan in the rebellion. That is what caused the chaos of this earth. The sin of angels reached into the heavens and brought chaos on earth. What the geologists and astronomers see is not an evolving universe, but the wreckage of a titanic battle waged by spirits throughout space - a battle fought before man's creation.
The earth was created perfect and complete. Then it BECAME chaotic as a result of rebellion. And in six days, God re-made the earth, re-shaped, re-fashioned it, and created human beings upon it.
He gave Adam a chance to take the place of Satan the devil. Remember, Lucifer had been placed in rulership. God placed the great cherub, Lucifer, to carry out His government on the earth; but Lucifer refused to carry out God's will, God's commands, God's government. He wanted to substitute his own - So he disqualified himself.
Adam had the chance to supplant him. In the contest to see if Adam would conquer, if he would obey God, he failed. He obeyed the devil instead, and man became the property of the devil, and the whole human race was sold down the river to the devil ever since.
Jesus Christ came 4000 years later and He entered the great contest - the contest of the temptation on the Mount. He REFUSED to obey the devil. He quoted scripture correctly. He obeyed God. Finally, He turned to the devil, and He gave Satan a command. He said, "Get away from me," and the devil obeyed!
From that time on, the successor of Satan has been qualified to take over the rule of the earth. But Jesus went to heaven for 1900 years. He is soon coming again, and when He does, the devil will be DISPLACED. Christ will rule the earth; God's laws will be restored. Order and peace will come at last!
So God did NOT create a devil. He created a cherub, Lucifer - perfect in his ways, but with the power of free choice - and Lucifer transformed himself into a devil by rebellion against the government of God!
Today, you face the question: Will You obey the ways of Satan, or the LAWS of GOD?