No! A good God did not make a bad devil any more than General Motors makes wrecked automobiles. The Trinity, existing from eternity, consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—one in nature, in character, and in purpose. They created the universe and everything in it. Therefore they rightfully ruled all and accepted the worship of all their creatures. The angels, subjects of God’s kingdom, dwelt in heaven and continually glorified God. “The number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11), or an “innumerable company” (Hebrews 12:22). Among them were special attendants: two-winged cherubim, six-winged seraphim, and VIPs such as Gabriel and Lucifer. These subjects were all governed by the great law of love.
Michael, or Christ, was one with God the Father— the Supreme Commander. Lucifer was next in command of the angelic hosts—the choir leader. God’s description of Lucifer is minute in its details: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou bast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created.” Ezekiel 28:13-15.
Lucifer was holy, ordained by the Holy Trinity to perform holy duties. A holy atmosphere saturated his habitat. His wardrobe consisted of the finest display the universe could afford. God prepared his vocal cords to do an excellent job in directing the choirs of heaven. He was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. (Verse 15.)
The seed of sin found fertile ground in Lucifer! God created a perfect being, but Lucifer turned himself into a devil. A double crosser. A slanderer. Isaiah gives this description of his apostasy: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15.
The devil is a beast of prey walking about the earth “seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8.) His devastating influence has been seen in war. He is responsible for gang mania, drug abuse, murder, theft, rape—all branded with the devil’s signature. He has descended upon the world with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short. (Revelation 12:12.) Yet he will soon “be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15.)
We are no match for the devil! He has had more than six thousand years of experience. Paul says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.
Our only salvation is in Christ and His whole armor.
It is not our purpose to exalt the power of Satan, but rather to promote the power of Christ. Christ’s power is stronger than the devil’s power. The devil can do no more than what Christ allows him to do. Christ’s power is what is needed today to combat the evil that is rampant in the world. Blessed is the person who uses the Bible to detect the workings of the devil! Paul pinpoints the prevailing conditions of the times in which we live: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Lucifer developed an unholy ambition which led him to neglect his assigned duty. Among his fellow angels, he sowed seeds of discord, envy, jealousy, and hatred. He used the tools of falsehood, deceit, flattery, fraud, and sophistry to accomplish his hellish purpose. He argued that angels needed no law to govern them. Christ and God’s law of love were the focus of his satanic attacks. Angelic response to this anarchy was diversified. Some would have nothing to do with Lucifer’s folly. To them, Jesus Christ was the “All in all.” Others questioned whether Lucifer was right or wrong. A third group was gullible, and swallowed Satan’s propaganda, hook, bait, and sinker.
This situation worsened until Satan had deceived one third of the angelic host. Things degenerated until finally war broke out in heaven. “There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9.
Why didn’t God kill him? Lucifer’s plans must be fully developed that their true nature and tendencies might be seen by all. God permitted Lucifer to live on and demonstrate before all creation that God’s government is just—that the law of love is perfect.
When I was a patient in a Philadelphia hospital, a roommate-patient asked me if there really was a devil? I pointed to the scriptures referring to the subject, and he was convinced. We sing, “Yes, God Is Real for I Can Feel Him in My Soul.” It is just as true that the devil is real, for we can feel the impulse of evil in the world and in our very souls.
All this evil of our times is “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.)
The great apostle said to the Romans, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” Romans 16:20. Jude reminds us, “The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Verse 6.
All who think God is dead, or asleep, or that He is gone off on a journey, will be terribly surprised when God arises to shake terribly the earth. God is now making “bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10.)
The end of the devil is near. John says, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10. This will be the end of the bad devil who originated evil in himself. This will be the end of all who dare to ally themselves with him!
But there is hope for the sincere person who wishes to be saved from Satan while in this world, and from the second death at last. Listen to what God says through Isaiah: “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:24, 25. Here is hope for us and for our children who are victims of the devil. -Originally published in Message Magazine in the November/December 1972 Edition