JOHN 8 – CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL

37 “I know that you (unbelieving Jews) are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” (Jn8:37-47NKJV)

I indicated in the previous post that there are not two but three soteriological categories resulting in three post-mortem destinies. But there are two primary or archetypal categories of people, both of which are referred to in the above passage. But they are not (in New Testament terms) Christian and non-Christian, but those who are derived from God and those derived from Satan [Greek: ek tou theou (verse 47 above) and  ek tou diabolou (1Jn3:10 cf. Gen3:15). It is also to be noted that whilst the New King James version I have quoted distinguishes between Christ as “proceeding forth” from God (v42) and other people being “of God” (v47), Jesus’ words (translated into Greek by John) make no such distinction: both are ek tou theou meaning derived from (literally “out of”) God – check for yourself on the Biblehub HERE)

Ultimately of course there is one Source for everything and everyone – the Creator God from whom all (even the devil) originated.  Satan is not a rival deity but a corrupted creature, but one who has been temporarily granted extraordinary powers (cf. Lk4:6; Mt13:25,38) including the ownership and control of certain individuals. His adopted children (or seed) are variously described in Scripture as:

i) Twice dead, plucked up by the roots (Jude12)

ii) Having their names removed from the Book of Life (e.g. Rev20:15)

iii) Devoured by Satan (1Pet5:8, cf. Gen4:7)

iv) Those who have forfeited their soul (Mat16:26)

v) Having gone in the way of Cain (Jude11) (cf. 1Jn3:12) or departed from the path of righteousness (OT Wisdom literature)

vi) “Goats” – humans devoid of compassion (Mt25)

vii) Not having retained God’s seed or image (1Jn3:9)

viii) Those who destroy the Earth – the ones to be destroyed at final judgement (Rev11:18)

ix) Those who cause or encourage others to sin: the ensnarers (Mt18:6NKJV)

x) Having had their conscience seared (i.e. it no longer functions) (1Tim4:2)

xi) Devoid of truth (cf. Jn8:44)

xii) Belonging to Satan (Jn8:44)

xiii) Planted by Satan (Mt13:39; 15:13)

xiv) Messengers or agents (not “angels”) of Satan (Mt25:41)

xv) The desolate ones (Dan9:27)

xvi) The servants of Satan (2Cor11:15)

xvii) Vessels fitted for destruction (Rom9)

The point I have been making is that there are billions of non-Christians in the world who are none of the above. Children of the devil on the other hand are defined by all of the above in spite of being far from amorphous from a human perspective. Some like Jesus’ opponents in the above passage appear highly respectable , even devoutly religious (albeit they had murderous intentions v40) whilst others may be more obviously amoral, in particular psychopathic like their archetype Cain. All such will be wholly indifferent to truth; all will be wholly devoid of genuine compassion or empathy regardless of whether they appear to act charitably which will only be for show, never from the heart. In a very real sense these people are no longer human for they no longer reflect any thing of God’s moral character but, as Jesus pointed out, that of their father the devil. These are the people who are to be ignominiously removed from the Earth on the Day “when our Lord Jesus Christ shall return to Earth with all His saints” (1Thes3:13), the latter referring to His faithful disciples living at the time and those resurrected having “died in Christ” (1Thes4:16-18)

So when Jesus says “He who is of God hears God’s words”, He is referring to those who were “of God” from birth having been planted by the Father (Mt15:13).  It is not referring to the “saving grace” that some of God’s seed go on to receive in their lifetime through a personal association with Christ. This is indicated in the parable of the wheat and tares, the key verse being Mt13:38 – the field in which the seed is planted represents the world not the Church as so many commentators try to make out. None of the tares “get saved” and become wheat – they were tares from their seeding and remain so because they are not “of God” but planted by the enemy. (All this will make little sense to “traducianists” considered in an earlier post who do not regard the human spirit/soul  as planted by God into every new human life but (effectively) a spiritual entity contained in human sperm, i.e. transmitted from their parents). “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted” (Mt15:13) – this is referring to the tares Jesus had spoken of in His parable recorded by Matthew two chapters earlier. What they will be uprooted from is clearly the Earth where they have resided as indicated above. Such is the immediate fate of those Jesus, Paul and John refer to in general terms as “children of the devil”. They may not always be distinguishable to us, but acknowledging their existence is essential if one is to grasp the length, breadth and height of God’s loving providence, especially as I explain in my book that even these “vessels fitted for destruction” serve an essential part in God’s amazing plan for humanity.

The fact that a category of people are to be removed from the Earth at the Lord’s coming features in the opening verse of the ex-canonical Book of Enoch, written for the benefit of “the elect and righteous who will be living in the time of tribulation when all the wicked and godless are to be removed” (Enoch1 ch1 v1). This is literature that was regarded as inspired and a genuine work of the Patriarch by early Church Fathers such as Clement, Irenaeus, Origen, Augustine and Tertullian, which is hardly surprising since it is directly quoted in the New Testament (Jude14,15). I am clear that it was rightly excluded from the biblical canon, for it was not intended for the churches during their earthly pilgrimage but as stated in its introduction for “the elect and righteous who will be living in the time of tribulation when all the wicked and godless are to be removed”. Enoch and its various prophecies are discussed in more detail in my book, a free PDF of which is available HERE.