HAS THE DEVIL BEEN DESTROYED?
The word evidence speaks of an outward sign or manifestation of proof that can easily be seen. Hebrews 11:1 speaks of another type of evidence which is faith, and this is the evidence of things not seen. This Greek word for evidence (elegchos) is more accurately translated conviction (or audit in modern Greek), rather than it being something tangible to the casual observer. However, what we want to notice is the material evidence of things.
It may be assumed that there is no evidence of spiritual things, that everything from that unseen world has to be accepted in blind faith. However, this assumption is not always true, for when spiritual realities are to be revealed to the lower realm there has to be something physically visible to disclose these invisible things. For example: the shimmering (physically visible) leaves of the golden aspen in October is the tangible evidence that a cool, autumn breeze is blowing. In like manner, we as the leaves of the tree of life move when the wind of the Spirit blows through us to let the world know God is alive and very active.
With this premise, that there is the physical, positive evidence that God lives, then likewise, there is the physical, negative evidence that there is a devil of some sort. He may indeed be dead to some, and if this has become a reality, it is good and we have no argument; but to most he is still alive, and this is the issue we want to approach for now.
The evidence of God’s existence, as testified in the beginning of this writing, is LIFE. On the other side is the EVIDENCE OF THE COUNTER PART — THE DEVIL — which is DEATH! Some might say, “The word indicates that ‘be CARNALLY MIND is death.'” (Rom 8:6). That is exactly it, but you can’t have the carnal mind without the serpent being present, for God had decreed it so in Gen. 3:14. If there was no serpent in the field of the mind, there would be nothing to expose it for what it is. Therefore, as the mind of Christ (Eden, the Garden of God) and the Holy Spirit (the dove) are inseparable and go hand in hand to propagate life and peace, so are the carnal mind (the field) and the spirit of the devil (the serpent) interlocked as one to produce and manifest the evidence of dissimulation, sin and death. (Stop and think about this for awhile — perhaps for a week or two for starters.)
Along with the evidence of death, we might notice the core of the many facets of death, and it is clearly stated that they are not of God; which are, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. (I Jn 2:16). On one hand, when we see the evidence of the super natural power of holy life in people, the verdict is — GOD LIVES. On the other hand, when we see the evidence of the power of death in humanity, we must then conclude — there is a devil. We can also note a couple of scriptures which relate to this: Hebrews 2:14 informs us that he has the power of death, and let us remember, Jesus said the devil was a murderer from his beginning (Jn 8:44).
Some still may say, “But the devil is only as real as you believe him to be.” I say that he is very real and exists in everyone’s mind until he is destroyed by the very presence and power of Christ. Consider it, whether we believe God exists or He doesn’t, it makes no difference at all to the reality of His being, and it is no different with the devil. We can’t just believe there is no such thing and have him vanish. The devil cannot be gotten rid of that way no more than one can get rid of God by thinking it done. Brethren, I can truthfully say, I would really prefer him being nothing more than an imagination in the mind of man, for then he would have no power whatsoever of death; however, the written word and evidence unquestionably speak otherwise.
Not only does EVIDENCE dictate the fact, but GOD CREATED THE DEVIL FOR A PURPOSE. He created Him as the most subtle, enticing, influencing beastly thing in the field of man’s carnal mind. This crafty creature was made to take mankind to the ultimate limit of temptations and testings. The serpent, the devil, satan, the adversary was not created by the mind of man but by God. The serpent might have grown into a flying dragon in the minds of men as a result of their imaginations, but his origin was not the result of the will of man but the will and purpose of God. He may have gotten his subtle nature from man when God brought every beast of the field unto (into, Heb.) him to see what he would call them. It was then that Adam named (nature, Heb.) them. In other words, he natured them, but it was God who formed the serpent. (Gen 2:19). The field He formed him from might have very well been the field of man’s mind and from whence his nature came, but it was still the creative hand of God who formed him. The things that God forms is not a figment of man’s imagination, they are real whether on the positive or negative side of the spectrum.
The serpent that God formed from the ground in the field of man’s mind (I believe we can justifiably spiritualize this) can certainly be instrumental in producing vast imaginations within. When this beast crawls under a pile of stubble, it can make its host believe almost anything, even that it does not exist at all. It can make him think that every theological thought he conceives has come from the Holy Spirit and mind of God; when in reality, with the majority of the cases, they have come from the same wily TRADUCER that beguiled Eve.
Just as a reminder, and for those who might not have read our previous publication, we will briefly mention again something about THE TRADUCER. This is the word the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance gives for the meaning of the Greek word, DIABOLLOS, which the English word DEVIL is translated from. Diabollos is the product of two words “dia” and “bollo.” DIA (1228) is “A CHANNEL OF AN ACT” (Strong’s) and BOLLOS means “TO THROW either with force, or without force yet with a purpose, or even carelessly.” (Thayer). Hence, THE DEVIL IS A CHANNEL THROUGH WHICH INFORMATION PASSES before it reaches carnal minds, and as it passes through the tunnel it picks up the character of that tunnel.
The English word TO TRADUCE means, “TO TRANSFER FROM ONE ORDER OF REASONING TO ANOTHER ORDER OF REASONING, as to translate from one language to another language.” Hence, the traducer, the devil, who is setting as the prince of the power of the air (of men’s natural minds) is TRANSFERRING DATA; and of course, in the transfer, it is always twisted or bent enough to cause a missing of the true mark of Christ’s reality. Remember? Jesus said, “…There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Jn 8:44). And he is that CROOKED serpent. (Is 27:1).
When we hear religious teachings and acquire knowledge, if the thoughts are not coming from the Spirit of Christ (the anointing), they can very likely be passing through this channel before reaching our minds. It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? — The average person knows that the metaphysical “channelers” have no truths to set people free, but they fail to realize there is the CHIEF CHANNELER setting in their own carnal minds, and they are putting their lives in his hands of illogical reasoning. What we hear from this translator might be enticing, but only to the carnal mind; and Brethren, it will bring death. Therefore, let us take heed of WHAT we are hearing as well as HOW we are hearing,as Jesus cautioned in Mark 4:24 & Luke 8:18.
Regardless of how pleasing and understandable this traducer brings God’s word, even appearing to be a message of light in great revelation, this shadowy translator couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. We can then conclude, everything that he touches is transformed into a concealed lie, and those who entertain such things are soon beguiled. Most people don’t want to think they can be beguiled by this crafty killer; but remember, this serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field. His twisted accomplishments have given him the credits of being the deceiver of the WHOLE world (Gen 3:1 & Rev 12:9). This leaves none out. Sometime or another we all have either been deceived or are presently in that state of deception. For the majority, it appears to be the latter.
Evidence has been mounting up over the ages as the lying murderer feeds upon the dust of humanity. It is even mounting up against those who strongly believe there is no devil, for we can see the stroke of sin and death is prevalent, and they are still laying down into graves DEAD. The reality of we being born into the kingdom of God was not a result of merely believing in our minds that God is alive, but as a result of the incorruptible word we were conceived. Our birth was the result of reality. And, likewise, death is not merely because of a belief in the mind that satan exists, it is the product of the reality of his literal presence that brings the sting of sin and death.
It is not uncommon to run across people who simply do not believe there is such a thing as the two horned, cloven-hoofed, pitchfork totin’ devil. And this is understandable, FOR THERE HAS NEVER BEEN SUCH A MONSTROSITY. Such fabrications are mere illusions of men’s imaginative minds. However, there is the belief that the devil has never existed in any form at all. Some believe he once existed but is now dead, and there is a scripture in the book of Hebrews which seems to support this concept:
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy [might render idle or powerless, Grk] him that had [having, Grk] the power, of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb 2:14). The idea has basically been that Jesus destroyed the devil on the cross, and the only thing remaining of him is an imagination, a fantasy, in the minds of the people who believe he exists. If this is true, that he has really been destroyed, the Greek grammar in this verse would be in the indicative, perfect, tense or mode, which simply indicates that something happened in the past and it has been totally or perfectlycompleted; and although I like that thought, let us see what is being said here.
MIGHT DESTROY comes from one Greek word KATARGESE, and it is not in the indicative, perfect mode but is in the SUBJUNCTIVE, AORIST, ACTIVE mode:
The SUBJUNCTIVE mode is a mode of HESITATING AFFIRMATION. It speaks of something that is NOT YET COMPLETE, that its completion is CONTINGENT on something taking place. The subjunctive is usually found in TWO TENSES, the PRESENT and the AORIST (…action in the simplest form and undefined; it does not distinguish between complete or incomplete action). (Beginner’s Grammar of the Greek N.T. — Davis; HARPER & ROW).
Therefore, in contrast to the assumption of the completed, indicative perfect, the subjunctive aorist in this verse simply states that the death of Jesus on the cross is making idle/powerless the one who still has the power of death — the devil.
I can certainly see that the devil was rendered perfectly idle and completely powerless in Jesus Himself, for the record states that the liar came to Him and could find nothing. To Jesus he was emphatically destroyed, and His resurrection was a declaration of that fact, but what about you and me? Is it the indicative perfect, where it is a completed fact, or is it still the subjunctive aorist where the battle is still yet to be won in its totality? To some he may have very well been rendered perfectly helpless, which we rejoice and believe is possible. I cannot say this is a complete and emphatic past for us personally, but his existence, for the most part, is no longer a hindering factor in our lives.
If there is anything in our lives concerning the adversary, we understand he is a tool in God’s hand and is used for our necessary exercising and growth; otherwise, we can truthfully say, he is not a factor to us. However, regardless of what he is or is not to some, from the bulk of evidence seen in the world and the church, he is still very active in the majority:
You were once dead because of your failures and sins. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else (Ephesians 2:1-3 God’s Word Translation).