Excellent ‘musing’ 🙂
John 8:44: You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies, he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies.
This verse is packed full. We will be little Bible scientists and dissect it, ok? Just like satan, devil does not mean celestial being, it means to lie, slander, be a false witness, or gossip. It is equal to the Hebrew phrase lashon hara, or evil tongue.
Romans 5:12: So then, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, in the same way, death spread to all men because all sinned.
Sin entered the world through man (ADAM) because you can only sin if you transgress God’s instructions (1 Jn 3:4). If you plant seeds of disobedience into others, then I believe the Bible refers to you as a murderer since the wages of sin is death (Rm 6.23). The Greek word in John 8:44 for “he does not stand in the truth” is histemie, which means he did not establish truth, make God’s Word firm, or cause truth to stand. This is similar to aman, the Hebrew word for faith, which means to support, confirm, establish, or be faithful. Abraham established God’s words as true when he trusted and obeyed. God credited it to him as righteousness (Gn 15.6). The next word we need to dissect is liar or pseustes, in Greek, which BLB (Blue Letter Bible) defines as; a liar, one who breaks faith, and a false and faithless MAN. Did you know that God says that He is not a MAN, nor the son of MAN, that He could lie (Nu 23.19)? Humans are the origin of falsehood. God created us to reflect His image, to be vessels of His words, and to plant those words as seeds in the hearts of others, and when we do not, we are faithless or, as the Greek states, liars.
Acts 13:10: And said, “O you, full of all deceit and trickery, son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness—will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?
The above verse is how I would consolidate what the Greek Scriptures call the devil, because the Hebrew Scriptures do not mention the word devil. A human full of deceit and trickery, which means proud thinking, one who is an enemy of right choices. Ephesians 4 talks about not giving place to the devil by speaking the truth, making sure to abide in the truth, and aligning a pure heart with God’s Word. What is truth?
Psalm 119:151: You are near, O Lord and all Your commandments are truth.
Psalm 119:172: My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
I love this commentary by Rabbi Abraham, Ibn Ezra on Sefaria about Psalm 4:4, which Paul quotes in Ephesians 4.
“He who speaks the truth in his heart, the heart plows thoughts of power, and the speech of the heart is the main thing, and the tongue is not. It only mediates between the heart and the listeners.”
Yeshua was manifested as a human to destroy the works of the devil, the one who has power over life and death. The tongue has the power of life and death.
Hebrews 2:14: Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared the same humanity—so that through death He might break the power of the one who had the power of death (that is, the devil).
Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Adam represented Pharaoh, the Great Human House of Disobedience or Sin. He was faithless because he did not establish God’s instructions as truth in obedience. There are two trees mentioned in Galatians that produce seedy fruit. One is a human tree that produces fruits of the flesh, what I call the nefesh or earthy part of humanity. The other tree is the Tree of Life or God’s Kingdom, which produces the fruit of the Spirit, the Divine Breath placed in man initially. This chapter in Galatians speaks of two sets of works: the works of man and the works of the Spirit. There is no set of works describing celestial beings.
Galatians 5:19-24: Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—against such things, there is no law. Now, those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The devil is a consolidation of twisted words spoken by humans with twisted hearts. These people lead others away from faithfulness to God. In Revelation 12 and 20, the devil is the satan because they oppose God’s will to trust and obey. They make up the dragon or Pharaoh’s Human House of Sin and Pride (Ez 29.3 KJV). They are interchangeable culminations of the things that God hates. He hates when humans misuse the power He gave us. Being made in God’s image means we can create entire worlds for anyone who hears our words. We can create worlds of confusion, anger, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Like God, we can also create worlds that bring internal order, heal, repair, bring light out of darkness, make what is broken whole, and give hope. This power is in our tongue. The devil is any human who incorrectly uses the tongue or power of speech. Like all sin, it is an abuse of power.