SOME SCRIPTURES WRESTED TO TEACH HERESY
(note that the Scriptures teach "the devil" has, in some
sense, been "destroy(ed)", Hebrews 2v14...how could this
be true of the orthodox "devil"?...see below for comments)
concerning "demons" link to 'spirit' - page 2
Hebrews 2v14 - In addition to previous comments(see p1), we here ex-
pand on this verse. In every case, except one, personal sin has resulted
in death, Romans 5v12, James 1v13-15. Death is the just recompense
for sin, Romans 6v23, but because Jesus Christ "did no sin", & no-one
could accuse Him of sin, 1st Peter 2v21-23, John 8v46, Hebrews 4v15-
God hath raised (him) up, having loosed the pains of death: because it
was not possible that he should be holden of it", Acts 2v24. Therefore,
"the devil" (sinful human nature) has been rendered powerless, or "des-
troy(ed)" - THIS IS CURRENTLY FULLY EFFECTIVE ONLY FOR
CHRIST. This does not happen for the faithful until the change of na-
ture at the Judgment Seat of Christ. But Paul explains that after believ-
ing the Truth, and baptism into Christ, we should be "dead to sin",&
"henceforth we should not serve sin", Romans 6v2,6. If we do this,
"the end (will be) EVERLASTING LIFE", see v22. During this time
of probation, believers can, by the grace of God, reverse the process
of degeneration enacted in Eden. The reversal is exactly opposite, i.e.
a renewal- firstly mental, secondly moral. Then, thirdly, if we pass the
Divine scrutiny at the judgment seat, it will become physical.
Matthew 4v1-11,Luke 4v2-7-"Then was Jesus..tempted of the de-
vil..the tempter came to him...Jesus..was..tempted of the devil".
EXPLANATION. It is evident that the record involves an external
agency.This is underlined in Luke 4v13 - "And when the devil had end-
ed all the temptation, he departed from him for a season". We have al-
ready seen that "the devil" is a personification of sin.This personifica-
tion is applied to the serpent, the flesh, a person,a group of people, a
nation, etc. In this case, the "devil", or false accuser, appears to have
been the Jewish leaders, who had already visited John the Baptist,
and who had been then directed to Jesus, John 1v19-34. Failing in the
wilderness, this composite "devil..DEPARTED from him FOR A SEA-
SON". At the end of Jesus' ministry, they returned, to tempt Him again.
See Matthew 22v15-40. On both occasions three temptations were as
those in the beginning, after the adoption of the serpent-mind. They
are defined as"the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride
of life"- 1st John 2v16. Compare Genesis 3v6- "the tree was good for
food..it was pleasant to the eyes..a tree to be desired to make one wise".
Compare Matthew 4v3 - "command that these stones be made bread"..
v8,9 - "all the kingdoms of the world..All these things I will give thee...
v6 - "cast thyself down..He shall give his angels charge concerning
thee". A consideration of Matthew 22v15-40 will show the similarity
once again to the original and wilderness temptations..This is fitting,
for Jesus was tried as "the last Adam" - 1st Corinth.15v22,45-47. See
Hebrews 4v14,15 - "Jesus..was in all points tempted like as we are,yet
without sin". Jesus identified these evil tempters as "serpents..(a) gen-
eration of vipers", Matthew 23v33*. On both occasions, He answered
them, and put them to silence, with quotations from the word of God-
cp Matthew 4v4,7,10;22v29-32,37-45.
*This is the same terminology used by John the Baptist - Matthew 3v7.
*It is significant that in John 8v43-47 Jesus, when contending with this
class, stated:"ye cannot hear my word..Ye are of your father the devil…
He...abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him..he is a liar...
And because I tell you the truth,ye believe me not.Which of you convin-
ceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
He that is of God heareth God's words:
ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God".
The parallel with the events in the wilderness is obvious. The "devil" or
"tempter" fits this description perfectly. Both the original serpent
and its spiritual "seed"(link to'promises')have twisted the word of God.
Note the Apostle Paul's concern expressed in 2nd Corinthians 11v1-4.
This class continues the practice today! Jesus answered them with
the Truth, which they could not comprehend, being "not of God" but
"of (their) father the devil" as "serpents..(a) generation of vipers".
It is because of this inveterate opposition to the Truth, whilst at the same
time falsely claiming to be stating it, that they also, like the original
serpent, qualify as "the satan"- link to 'satan' for more details.
2nd Timothy 2v26-"And that they may recover themselves out of
the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will".
EXPLANATION. Here "the devil" represents the flesh and its evil ten-
dencies. The background of Paul's remarks above is the foolish sin of
Miriam and Aaron, recorded in Numbers 12. The Revised Version
reads (last part of v26) - "having been taken captive (mg."taken alive")
by the Lord's servant unto the will of God". This was literally true,
Numbers 12v9-15.See a verse by verse exposition of 2nd Timothy 2
v15-26 - link above or go via 'Index'.
Jude 9-"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the de-
vil he disputed about the body of Moses..". EXPLANATION. "The
devil" (false accuser) here was the Samaritans, who made false accusa-
tions against the Jews who returned from Babylon, see Ezra 4. They
"weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in
building", v6, and "went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and
made them to cease by force and power", v23. Thus did "the devil"
"dispute about the body of Moses" with the angel. The "body of Mo-
ses" means the remnant of Israel which returned from Babylon, cp
1st Corinthians 10v1,2. Israel was the "body of Moses" whereas the
believers in Christ are the "body of Christ", 1st Corinthians 12v27.
Jude is referring to Zechariah 3v1,2, and the Samaritans were rebuked
when a second enquiry was sent to the Persian court(Ezra 5), and the
first decision was reversed (Ezra 6). "Joshua" was the "high priest" at
this time, cpZechariah 3v1,Ezra 3v2,Haggai 1v1. He helped to imple-
ment this reform, Ezra 5v2, against "the adversaries of Judah and Ben-
jamin", Ezra 4v1. "The devil" is also termed "satan" in Zechariah 3v
1,2. This word simply means 'adversary', and is dealt with extensively
elsewhere - link to 'satan' or go via 'Index'. The Samaritans, besides
falsely accusing the Jews, opposed them, or were adversaries to them.
God duly "rebuke(d)" this adversary, for "the LORD..hath chosen
Jerusalem", through "the angel of the LORD", shown to be "Michael
the archangel", Zech.3v1,2 cpJude9, Ezra 5v5, 2nd Chronicles16v9.