SOME SCRIPTURES WRESTED TO
(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 expand 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 "destroyed" - THIS IS CURRENTLY FULLY EFFECTIVE ONLY FOR CHRIST. This does not happen for the faithful until the change of nature at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
But Paul explains that after believing 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. A parallel verse to Hebrews 2v14 is Hebrews 9v26 - "he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" ... and thus "God...condemned sin in the flesh" - Romans 8v3.
Matthew 4v1-11, Luke 4v2-7 - "Then was Jesus...tempted of the devil...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 ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season". We have already seen that "the devil" is a personification of sin. This personification 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 SEASON". 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 Corinthians 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) generation 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 convinceth 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.
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 tendencies. The background of Paul's remarks above is the foolish sin of Miriam and Aaron, which is 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 here.
Jude 9 - "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses..". EXPLANATION. "The devil" (=false accuser) here was the Samaritans, who made false accusations 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 Moses" 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, cp Zechariah 3v1, Ezra 3v2, Haggai 1v1. He helped to implement this reform, Ezra 5v2, against "the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin", Ezra 4v1. "The devil" is also termed "satan" in Zechariah 3v1,2. This word simply means "adversary", and is dealt with extensively elsewhere link to 'satan'. 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". Zechariah 3v1,2 cp Jude 9, Ezra 5, 2nd Chronicles 16v9.
Cp also the following paragraph.
1st Peter 5v8,9 - "Be sober, be vigilant ; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour".
EXPLANATION. Following on from the previous passage, we see a similarity of events. The difference here is that this form of "the devil" had the power to "devour" - i.e. this referred at the time to the pagan authorities. They had the power to "cast..into prison" - Revelation 2v10. Yet such persecution is attributed to "the devil". It is evident that they were "false accusers" of the believers, even as the Samaritans (above) had been - but with the power to carry out persecution, as prophesied.
Finally, see the same terminology used in Isaiah 5v26-30, where the "roaring" of "a lion" is associated with the persecution of pagan rulers. Paul was "delivered out of the mouth of the lion"-2nd Timothy 4v16,17.