God did create the devil, but not as he is today. The Bible, which is the Word of God, so states; and that is sufficient and final. Where is the man or woman into whose mind has not come the question, Why?
According to the Bible, the devil is a being, a person, a spirit. He is not a myth. He is a real individual. There is one and only one devil, though there are many demons. He is spoken of as the Serpent, the Dragon, Beelzebub, and Satan. He cannot be described as an evil influence or force. There is only one Book that contains his true history and that Book is the Bible. The devil of the Bible is a personal devil. He is at the head of all evil forces. For all that is in the world which is not of the Father, Satan is responsible directly or indirectly; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. He is likewise the supreme director of all religious systems condemned by the Bible, and many of these systems he carries on in the name of God and Christ. He is a clever counterfeiter.
The devil is accused of the crime of deceiving the whole world. One who can deceive the whole world must be very wise and cunning, altogether too much for the genius, strength, and wisdom of any mortal. He is declared to be a slanderer, an adversary seeking whom he may devour, a liar, and a murderer from the beginning. Satan beguiled Eve through his subtlety. The Christian is warned and instructed concerning his devices and wiles, and fiery darts. Only those who are in the safe-keeping of the One who conquered Satan in life and death, protected by the spiritual armour which He provides, can stand against the world ruler of darkness in the heavenlies. Only the shield of faith will quench his fiery darts. No offensive weapon will prevail against him except the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; “it is written,” and continual prayer. Thus fortified against this adversary, the Christian is instructed to resist him steadfastly in the faith.
The devil is the god of this age. He is the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. As the god of this age, he blinds the minds of them that believe not, lest the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God should shine unto them. He is the prince of this world, in charge of all of the evil forces, as well as demon spirits. The Man Christ Jesus, by His death, “destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil” (Heb. 2:14). And by His death and resurrection, the Son of God “spoiled principalities and powers, and made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15).
The most insidious assaults made by Satan against God and His righteousness and His Church are accomplished by transforming himself into an angel of light. He holds such complete sway over his deceived religious subjects that he causes them to pose as servants of Christ, as ministers of righteousness, and sends them forth in the name of Christianity to preach another Jesus and another gospel. Such are false apostles and deceitful workers, and those who follow their pernicious ways are many. They operate in so-called Christian pulpits (II Cor. 11:13-15).
The devil is responsible for all the sin, sickness, sorrow, suffering, crime, poverty and death on this earth. Everlasting fire is prepared for the devil and his angels. Unregenerate men do his bidding. He is worshipped by millions. He uses his damnable religious opiates to deceive many in the lost world. He has the upper hand in society, commerce, politics, education, and religion. The daily newspapers of all lands are almost exclusively under his control. His servants in schools, colleges, and seminaries are damning and blighting most of those who are under their instruction. He has brought sects, divisions, enmity, strife, skepticism, unbelief, and worldliness into the Church of Jesus Christ. The terrible darkness, the awful degradation, the unspeakable depravity of the heathen world is the result of his work. Today more than three-fourths of the world’s inhabitants are pagan worshippers, while divorces, violence, lust, covetousness, selfishness, self-righteousness, intellectual and religious pride, suicides, murder, and other crimes characterize the ungodly age, which God designates as this present evil age, even in so-called Christian lands.
Men are truly lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God and evil seducers are waxing worse and worse.
We may summon all the optimism imaginable to make things look bright, but the fact remains that this world is in a sad predicament. The asylums, prisons and hospitals are filled with suffering humanity; to say nothing of the suffering and dying brute creation. God’s Book describes the present order as a groaning creation and plainly states that the whole world lieth in the evil one (Rom. 8:22; I John 5:19). But you say that things have always been this way on this earth. Certainly, only not quite so much of it.
Surely Satan would have everything very much his own way so far as this age is concerned, shall all end today. But the curtain is not going down just yet. This is the day of Satan’s power. This is man’s day. The age is fast heading toward Satan’s man, that lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall consign to the lake of fire when, at His coming, He locks up the devil as His prisoner.
The devil has certainly brought God’s creation to a state of chaos and in some cases he has marred the Creator’s masterpiece, created in His own image, almost beyond recognition. So far as visible results up to the present moment are concerned, the devil has waged a successful warfare against righteousness and truth, although millions of the human race ruined by his pernicious and fiendish work have been redeemed from his power and curse.
Now back to the question. The mystery is, why would God, who could hinder, defeat and destroy this great enemy, permit him to continue in his treacherous and damnable work? We are surrounded by so many mysteries that we cannot refrain from asking this question many times. Why this world? Why man? What is it all about? Why this groaning, suffering world of creatures? Why is there a devil?
Why has God permitted the devil to rebel, slander and oppose Him all these centuries? God has an ultimate purpose. He surely has a purpose now. He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, and though we cannot understand His ways which are past finding out, we know Him well enough to know that it is all for the glory of His Son, by whom and for whom all things were created.
The God of the Bible is omniscient. Therefore, He knew the end from the beginning. He foresaw this present evil age and knew that violence was going to fill the earth and that man deceived by Satan was going to be plunged into great wickedness. He could have destroyed Satan before he played havoc with His handiwork; but it was not His will to do so. We can only submit to the will of the infallible God, and see through a glass darkly for the present.
God created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9). The Word which became flesh created all things; therefore He must have created the Anointed Cherub, and then became flesh for the purpose of destroying this fallen being and his power over humanity. Lucifer fell because of rebellion and transgression. He fell through pride. He fell from heaven (Luke 10:18; Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:14-18). He was corrupted by reason of his wisdom and beauty. He was not satisfied with the highest place God could give a heavenly creature. He wanted the Creator’s place. He was going to be like the Most High God. The Anointed Cherub was perfect in the day that he was created, and therefore was not created as a sinful creature. All sin entered through the “I wills” of this being. Again why? Why did not God create him so he could not sin?
We do not know the full history of this wicked one, but we have the record of his origin, course, and destiny. We know that every experience with fallen man with which he is accredited in the Bible corresponds with his dealings with us today, and only those who heed the warnings and take the precautions set forth in that Book can understand his tricks and overcome his power. He was met and conquered in the wilderness by the Son of God, who is the only hope and strength of any individual in his conflict with this mighty foe.
Because the Anointed Cherub in heaven said to God, “I Will,” the true Anointed, God in human form, drank the cup in the Garden when He said, “Thy will be done,” and finished the work at Calvary. Because Lucifer wanted to be like the Most High God, the Most High God has been made in the likeness of sinful man to defeat the fallen one.
Why did not God make man so strong that he could withstand the temptation of the Serpent? We know that had Eve and Adam used the shield of faith and been obedient to His will, sin would never have entered into the world, by Adam. Must we say that God permitted Adam to sin in order that He might carry out His will? While we know that on the Cross, the Son of God was delivered according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; that He was slain from before the foundation of the world, yet these words are very plain: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man” (James 1:13; Acts 2:23; I Pet. 1:18-20).
To be sure, it is all a mystery; but in the dispensation of the fulness of times God shall “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, in Him” (Eph. 1:10).
Down through the eternal ages God is going to put on exhibition some sinners saved by grace: “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). The Father has ordained that His well-beloved Son, the Son of His love, should in all things have the preeminence. He is before all things and by Him all things consist. He has been appointed heir of all things. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the Cross. He suffered humiliation, rejection, and death to redeem, by God’s infinite grace, a world of sinners in despair and utter ruin. Nothing but the grace of God can redeem a single member of the human race. There is no cure for man’s spiritual disease except the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. No flesh shall ever glory in God’s presence. Saved by grace must be the plea of every one who shall enjoy that inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away.
“They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” That is God’s verdict (Rom. 8:8). Man must be justified without a cause (Rom. 3:24). In the flesh, or in the natural man, there dwelleth no good thing (Rom. 7:18). Man’s natural righteousness is an offense to God. Self-righteousness is sin and must be pardoned by God’s grace before the individual can be acceptable to God. Grace has been described in many terms, but none of them are adequate to express the full meaning and force of the over-abounding grace of the God of all grace. One writer has defined grace as meaning to bestow a valuable gift upon someone who is bankrupt. We often hear the expression: “God helps those who help themselves.” That is not grace. God bestows His divine power upon the impotent and helpless sinner who realizes his own weakness and despair and seeks the mercy, pardon and strength of God. When God, who is rich in mercy for the great love wherewith He loved us, forgives and empowers the undeserving sinner through Jesus Christ, who by the grace of God tasted death for every man, that is grace. Unmerited favor? Yes and more.
Man without a fall, without sin, would not need restoration; therefore, he would not need grace. For His own glory, God permitted the human race to be plunged into spiritual bankruptcy. But His permission relieves neither Satan nor man of responsibility. No sin, no grace. Grace is for sinners. All are sinners; all need grace. No grace, no salvation; only eternal separation from God.
The bankruptcy was brought by Satan. He beguiled Eve through his subtlety. Then Adam sinned, and by one man sin entered into the world, and all have sinned. If Satan had not fallen through sin, man would never have sinned, for he never would have had the suggestion of sin. Man could have remained sinless and righteous, even when tempted by the devil, but he did not. Satan could have remained sinless and obedient, but he did not. God could have created Satan and man so neither could have sinned, but He did not. You may have God’s righteousness as a free gift of His grace and through the Lord Jesus Christ have the divine image restored. Perhaps, you will not? Why not? That’s the question. One answer is, Satan (II Cor. 4:3-4). You will never will to be saved until you have the desire.
If you will fall in with God’s present plan, submit to His will and turn the government of your life over to the Son of God, you will share His glory ages after He has consigned Satan to the lake of fire. Then and only then will He let you into all of the secrets that you need to know, and answer all the whys that He thinks you ought to know.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.