Is there a DEVIL? Many people talk about the devil and Satan. Others scoff and say that’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. He is represented symbolically as a serpent. What is the truth, is there really a devil?
We find that at the creation of man, recorded in the third chapter of the book of Genesis, a serpent tempted our first parents into taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a mixture of good and evil, and that is what this world has had ever since.
The Bible pictures the whole world under the sway of an individual devil. (Rev. 12:9). What about it? Where did he come from? Did God create a devil to tempt us and to try to lead us astray and then turn around and punish us if we did follow the devil? Let’s return to the account of creation. I want to show you something that perhaps you never knew about creation, about the very creation of this earth, how man came to be upon this earth, and whether there is a devil, and where he got his power.
So, let’s look back to the very beginning. Open your Bible to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God.” It shows that God was before all.
The Bible begins in the beginning. That is a proper place to begin. The next word is “created.” God created. In other words, God acted. God is active. He did something. He created. God, then, is the Creator. He created the heaven and the earth. But the very next verse says this: “The earth was without form and void.” Now the Hebrew words there are tohu and bohu.
Translated into English they mean chaotic, in confusion, waste, and empty. And in some of the translations, you can find those definitions given rather than the definition “without form and void.” In other words, without form and without order, without the form of order, and void in the sense that it was in confusion.
So then the earth was in chaos and in confusion “and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of the God moved upon the face of the waters.” Then we find what God did in a period of seven days. Yes, we find what He did, not just in six, but in seven days, because He created something that seventh day! He created the Sabbath, not by work, but by rest. All that He created by His work was done in the first six days. And then he rested on the seventh day.
Notice again this first chapter of Genesis, verse two. Where does it fit? 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?
If you will stop to see, confusion is merely the result of sin. You couldn’t have confusion, you couldn’t have disorder, you couldn’t have such a condition except as a result of the violation of law because God has set laws in motion that are perfect. They are inexorable. The laws of God are to create peace and to create order. The law is order. Law and order are two words that we associate together. When you have the opposite of law and order, you have the transgression of law, disorder and confusion.
Now, did God create the earth in a state of confusion? - In a state of chaos? We read over in I Corinthians 13:14 that God is not the author of confusion. God is the author of peace. God is the author of order and of law. Of course today, people don’t want law. And so you even find it preached in the churches that the law of God is bad and that it is abolished, which of course, is not true.
Now did God create the earth originally in a state of confusion? If you will notice Job 38: 4-9, where God is talking to Job, He is explaining the original creation. He says there that the angels shouted for joy when God created the earth. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” The angels shouted for joy. 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! Now again, Dr. Bullinger, the Hebrew scholar, 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? Now 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, whatever it was, it became that way. It had not always been that way.
Plainly the word “was” has the meaning of “became.” It is a synonym for the word “became.” The earth, then, “became chaotic and in confusion.” It was not originally created that way because God is the author of peace and of order, not of confusion.
In Jeremiah 4:23, Isaiah 24:10, Isaiah 34:11, and in other places in the Bible, you find the same words, tohu and bohu, meaning chaotic and in confusion. In every case that condition is a result of sin. It is something that has happened by violation of God’s order, or God’s law, because God’s law is the way of order.
Confusion can come only by its violation. In all of the passages, the Hebrew words tohu and bohu show a disorder and a confusion as a result of sin. Now I want you to notice Isaiah 45:18. “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens.” Now here is the Creator that created the heavens, saying, something important. He says, “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 Genesis 1:2, meaning confusion, or emptiness, or waste, a result of disorder, a result of violation of law. He created it not “tohu.” Now in Isaiah 45:18 we have the plain statement that God created the earth not “tohu,” that is, not in confusion, not in disorder. But in Gen. 1:2, the earth was, or the earth became, as it ought to be translated, chaotic and in confusion! Then it became that way after it was created. Now, what could have caused that confusion? - That disorder? What could have wrecked the earth and brought it into the condition in which it was found in verse 2?
What we find then, beginning with verse 2, is a straightening out of an earth that was already created perfect and had been wrecked long ago. Something had happened to bring about disorder and to cause confusion and destruction to the physical earth as a result of the violation of the laws that God had set in motion. What could have happened? Who was the author of this sin that brought this physical disaster to the earth?
In the six days all God did was to straighten it out. In other words, the six days of Genesis 1 are not actually creation at all, but a straightening out of what had already been created. You will find the word “made” is used throughout the chapter except in the creation of animals and of man.
Now in verse 21, you will find God created great whales, and in a little further down God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Then, it says in verse 27 that God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female. But you will find that God made these other things that are mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis.
The Hebrew word translated “made” implies exactly what we mean by that word, a putting together in a different manner, or form, or shape, things that already existed. But the meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated “create” or “created” is to bring into existence something entirely new. The only things that God created in that week were the animal life and the human life. He created human beings during that week. But He formed or made man out of the already existing dust.
Now, what was the sin then that caused this physical destruction to the earth? It was not a sin caused by human beings, because there had been no man on the earth until the 6th 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 Corth. 15 that Adam is called the first man on this earth, and you find in Genesis that Eve is called the mother of all living human beings. There was no other race prior to Adam and Eve.
Some people talk about a pre-Adamic race. That is nonsense. It is not backed up by the Bible in any manner whatsoever. Adam was the first man. Eve was the first woman. And all humanity has been begotten and born from them. They were the human parents of the whole race. They were original creations.
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 of 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?
I want you to notice one other thing now. 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. And those very words imply that the earth had been populated before!
Now we turn over just a little further, and immediately after the flood in Genesis the 9th chapter, the 1st verse, God spoke to Noah. The earth had been populated by millions of people prior to the flood. But because of the sins of the people on the earth, God brought about a physical destruction to the earth by a flood. The entire earth was covered with water. It was a result of the sins of that antediluvian world between the time of Adam and Noah. Only Noah and his three sons and the four wives of these men, only eight persons were left alive on earth. But the earth had been populated. Now God 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”? What had happened?
Next let’s turn on over to II Peter, the 2nd chapter. You will begin to see something revealed that begins to throw light on it. In II Peter 2:4, we read this: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned.” There is the sin, of angels mentioned. When did they sin? It isn’t said here. “But cast them down to hell.” That is a mistranslation. Tartus is the Greek word used for hell, and it is the only place where that word is used in the Bible. It is a place or a condition of restraint, in which the fallen angels, called demons are held until the judgment as a result of their sin. They were delivered into chains of darkness. Darkness represents error, and error will enchain anyone and enslave anyone from the truth. They are enchained by that darkness, that error, angels who once had knowledge, angels who once had great understanding and wisdom. Now all of their knowledge and their ways are perverted. Now notice God spared not the angels that sinned. Not all the angels sinned, but a third of the angels, in the 12th chapter of Revelation did.
A 3rd of the angels sinned, and God did not spare them. Now notice 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 angels? 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 Adam.
The sins of men between Adam and Noah brought about a physical destruction, a chaotic condition to the physical face, the geographical surface of the earth. Read the next verse in II Peter 2. “Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample to those that afterward should live ungodly.”
There were two cities. Universal sin was in those two cities, and the cities were destroyed as a result. Physical destruction came to the entire part of the surface of the earth which those people occupied as a result of sin. Then didn’t such destruction come to the earth as a result of the sins of the angels which occurred before Adam? We find in the Bible the statement that there is to come destruction by fire to the earth as a result of the sins going on now all over this round earth.
In other words, then, sin brings physical destruction to the earth. There was physical destruction to the earth before man was created. There were angels that sinned before Adam was created. Therefore, it begins to look like the angels populated this earth, and they caused that sin before the week that we call creation week. Yes, their sin was before that antediluvian world.
In Jude, the 6th verse you read this: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation (then 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.” There again, it’s the sinning angels 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, the 2nd chapter, the 5th verse, 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 New World to come, the Kingdom of God, will not be under subjection to angels. This present one is under subjection to fallen angels. These demons, and the devil, who is their head, rule this present earth and sways its inhabitants. The Bible everywhere indicates and affirms that very fact. The present world is subject to demons and the devil.
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; 14:30; 16:11.
In II Corth. 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 go back and see something about the origin of the devil.
Turn now 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 warmonger, 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. He ruled the earth. He was a type of the devil, the tool of the devil. Now we find in (v. 12) that this lesser human type lifts to the greater anti-type, the devil, whom he represented and whose tool and instrument he was. Things are said about the great former archangel, the devil, that could not be said about a human being. God says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer.” Lucifer is a Hebrew word, and it 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 archangel 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 others. As an archangel, he was over angels.
Continuing in Isaiah 14: “How are 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 angels) of God.” I want you to notice be had a throne, but he wasn’t willing to be content with his jurisdiction. He became an invader, a conqueror. He formed armies to invade. He was going to invade God’s high heaven. He was going clear up to the sides of the north; they very throne of God in the heavens. He was out to rule the universe.
Lucifer wasn’t satisfied with being under the heaven. He was under the heaven, for he said, “I will ascend into heaven.”
He had a throne; his throne was under the heaven. Therefore it was on this earth. Now I want you to 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. I’m not going to be content with ruling just this earth where God has placed me over angels. I want to ascend up there and rule over everything over the entire universe, over all of the other stars and planets. I’m going to be god.
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.
In Ezekiel 28, beginning with the first verse, is something very similar. “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus.” Now the prince of Tyre, or Tyrus, was a very evil man. He too was an instrument of the devil. The devil was in him, and the devil used him. But he was a ruler over a city. “And, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus saith the Eternal God, because thine heart was lifted up, and thou sayest I am a God, and I sit in the seat of God and in the midst of the seas, yet thou art a man.” He was only a human being.
“Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel. There is no secret they can hide from thee. But with thy wisdom, and with thine understanding, thou hast gotten thee riches, thou hast gotten gold.” When he acquired those things, it lifted up his heart. He became an aggressor, an invader, a conqueror.
He was a tool of the Satan the devil. Now, as we come to the 12th verse, just as in Isaiah 14, the lesser type lifts up to the great antitype. 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 is not speaking of a human being who was born. This was not Adam. Adam was the only man created. Yet here is also one that was a created being.
The prophet continues to say, “Thou art the anointed Cherub that covereth.” If you will refer to Exodus 25: 16-22, you will find the type of the throne of God described. Included in this 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 metal, of course, but their wings stretched out and covered the very throne of God. They symbolized the two great archangels or cherubs whose wings stretch out and 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 archangels ruling over millions of other angels! Lucifer was a created being. He sealed up the sum total of perfection, of wisdom, and of beauty. Then in (v. 14), we read this: “I have set thee so,” God said. God had set him as an archangel, as one who was perfect. Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God,” Palestine or Eden! “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day thou was created.” No human being was ever perfect. But 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, a conqueror; I’m going to invade God’s throne; I’m going to do away with God; I’m going to take his place and be the God of the universe.” That was his sin, insubordination.
He was given a place of rule over this earth. A third of the angels united with him in this rebellion. That is what caused the chaos of this earth. The sin of angels wrecked much of the heavens and brought chaos on earth. What the astronomers see is not an evolving universe, but the fragments of a titanic battle scattered throughout space, a battle fought before man’s creation. The distorted strata of this earth’s surface are also a mute witness to a once wrecked earth. The earth did not evolve. It was created perfect and complete. Then it became chaotic as a result of rebellion. And in six days, God remade the earth, reshaped, refashioned it, and created human beings upon it.
God gave Adam a chance to take the place of Satan the Devil. Remember Lucifer had been placed in rulership. The whole plan is a matter of government. God Almighty, by virtue of being Creator, is the Ruler of all. He is the Creator. He is the Sustainer of the universe and of the laws that He set in motion. And so, God has a system of government. He placed the great arch-angel, Lucifer, to carry out His government on the earth; but Lucifer refused to carry out God’s will, God’s commands, God’s government. Lucifer wanted to substitute his own.
God’s way is the way of love, and of giving. That is the substance of all of God’s commands. Satan the Devil chose the way of lust and of greed and of vanity to make himself God, to acquire, to take, to invade, to be a conqueror. So he disqualified himself.
Adam had the chance to supplant Satan. 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 Satan 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 a great battle, a battle of the temptation on the Mount. He refused to obey Satan. He quoted verses from the Old Testament 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 Christ went to heaven for almost 2,000 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 an archangel, Lucifer a perfect being, 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?