In my last post I wrote about the subject of Evil. In the following series of posts I will write about the originator or instigator of evil – the devil.
“Speak of the devil” is the short form of the figurative expression “Speak of the devil and he doth appear”.
The expression comes from the Middle Ages and was a superstitious warning against speaking directly about the Devil who might appear and cause trouble. Since that time, there remains a hesitancy on the part of some Christians to even talk about the subject of the devil. In fact, some even suggest that there is no such entity even though Jesus acknowledged that there was a devil!
Mat 4:1 At that time Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the Desert in order to be tempted by the Devil.
We are in a battle for our very lives, both present and eternal, and we can not adequately fight a battle if we don’t know that we have an enemy or if we don’t understand the characteristics and tactics of the enemy.
“So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. Sun Tzu, The Art of War”
The devil’s story begins in Heaven.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In Genesis 1:1 we are told that in the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth and everything in them. The “everything” in the heavens must also have included angels, of which the devil was one. In fact, he is described as being “a shining star” and “son of the morning”. Unfortunately for us, pride and selfish desire got the better of him and he sought to elevate himself, a created being, above God, the Creator.
Isa 14:12 How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
Isa 14:13 For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.
Isa 14:14 I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
Eze 28:14,15 You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy height of God where you were; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.
Eze 28:17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have spoiled your wisdom because of your brightness. I will cast you to the ground; I will put you before kings, that they may behold you.
(The above two sets of scriptures were written about the King of Babylon and the King of Tyre, respectively, but they are an allegorical description of the power behind them, the devil.)
The devil was not content with his own rebellion, he strove to influence and encourage other angels, a third of the heavenly host, to rebel against God. The devil started the first “holy war”.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going out to the fight with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels made war,
Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth.
The devil and his angels lost the battle in Heaven and God threw them out of the Kingdom of Heaven so they went down to the earth.
Rev 12:8 And they were overcome, and there was no more place for them in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was forced down, the old snake, who is named the Evil One and Satan, by whom all the earth is turned from the right way; he was forced down to the earth, and his angels were forced down with him. (BBE)
To summarize, the devil was originally created by God as an angel of light. As that angel, the devil became filled with pride and selfish desire. He wanted to be as exalted as God. To that end, he rebelled against God and led other angels into joining that rebellion. It is obvious from what happened that angels were created with free will. The devil and his fallen angels lost the heavenly battle that had ensued and God cast them out of Heaven.
Having lost the battle in Heaven, the devil turned his attentions to trying to corrupt and destroy God’s creation on earth, chiefly – Mankind.
That is the topic of my next post.
1Pe 5:8 Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;