By now we ought to realize that the devil is no imaginary image conjured up and used to frightening people or children into not doing something. The devil is not some little green creature with squint eyes, a long nose, pointy ears, long chin, wielding a three pronged green fork. The devil is a real being, a spirit being. He was created by God as a special class of angel, yet being part of a prominent legion of God’s angelic army was not sufficient for him. He wanted to be like God. His rebellion drew a substantial amount of other angels to him and together they were cast out of heaven. God is the only Supreme Being. He is from eternity to eternity. No one and nothing is able to stand against Him, usurp his God-ness, glory and power.
1) God is serious about His unique Majesty and Glory.
2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment
Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
If this happened in the spirit world and if God did not tolerate any rebellion there, just imagine how much more likely God is not to tolerate the reckless disobedience of man on earth!
2) Recognition of the demonic forces.
Mt 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
What is interesting here is that Jesus’ earthly opponents, the Pharisees, not only acknowledged the devil calling him Beelzebub, they saw him as the chief enemy leading demons (see the plural). The fallen angels are demons serving their “prince” the devil. James, the half-brother of Jesus says:
Ja 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
There are so many references in the Bible to demons and evil spirits to prove their existence.
3) Jesus saw the devil as a controlling force.
Jn 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(1) He is existent from the beginning. That is, the beginning of creation. He fell from glory before creation.
(2) His linguistic bent is lies. Jesus says he is the father of lies and accuses the Jewish spiritual leaders of being the sons of the devil … You belong to your father, the devil.
(3) He is a murderer. His activities started in the Garden of Eden.
(i) He lied to Eve:
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
My intent is not to get into this text just yet. Rather, read it and see how the devil lied to Eve.
(ii) He murdered Adam and Eve. God promised they would live forever should the Probationary Command be kept. Through him seducing the woman with lies leading to her leading her man into breaking the Command, in place of living in the Garden forever, they died, at least a twofold death.
(a) They died spiritually immediately.
(b) They died physically in time.
As we unpack Genesis 3 soon we shall see just how sinister and wicked the devil is in general and specifically as he seeks to ruin God’s beautiful creation that God sees as “very good.”
4) The devil targeted the most vulnerable point … woman! Why do I say this? Because God did not give her the Probationary Command. She did not exist when God gave this Command to Adam! Now look at how the devil took advantage of her:
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.
The devil was crafty. Using Scripture to help understand and interpret Scripture we find Paul writing under inspiration:
2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Remembering Moses used the word “crafty” … now add … “deceived” and “cunning”. Like with Eve, Paul says the devil targets the mind. He is a master in manipulating truth, distorting it into a lie, yet getting people to believe it to be truth. Is this not our biggest problem … the mind? Evil makes things sound so right, so plausible, so understandable! It’s no wonder godless politicians are so good at targeting the mind of the masses … of the unthinking, unsuspecting masses? I hope by now you grasp how wicked and sinister the enemy is. He could not gain victory over God so He targets God’s prized possession … man!
5) Why did Jesus come? Like with many other topics raised, when we return to Genesis chapter three we shall point out why Jesus came in detail and when Jesus was promised, but for now …
(i) Yes, Jesus came to rescue the elect of God. God chose a people before the creation of the world from every tribe, language, people and nation. Nothing would stop Him from having them with Him eternally. That is why He send His Son Jesus … to save the elect of God!
(ii) But how would He save the elect?
1 Jn 3:8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
Jesus came to destroy the devils work. How would He do this? Because man could not save himself, God came as God incarnate, born of the virgin Mary, without the help of a human father so that the baby would be born sinless. He grew up living a righteous, sinless life. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God was at hand, proving through His teaching and miracles that He was the Anointed One. Although He was rejected by His own people, the Jews, many Jews believed in Him. The religious leaders, with the help of Pontius Pilate executed Him at Calvary, without realizing it, and although responsible for Jesus’ death, this was God’s rescue plan … Jesus’ blood sacrifice and Jesus’ bodily resurrection was substitutionary … it was to save the elect of God.
6) However dismal life might be as the devil works against Christianity … his days are limited.
Ro 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
We do not know when the “soon” shall be, for we know in God’s timing:
2Pe 3:8 With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
Yet as we trust God to help us through all temptations and trials, the time shall pass quickly.
Father, protect Your people from this wicked enemy. As Your Word encourages us to be self-controlled and alert because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour … help us to resist him, standing firm in the faith, as we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.