Good day. I was reading in the book of John chapter 8 where Jesus is calling the children of Israel the seed of the devil and that the devil was a murderer from the beginning. I did not read anywhere in the beginning where it said that the devil was a murder, it says that Cain was the murderer. Can you help me to understand what Jesus meant when he said that the devil was a murderer? Thank you very much.
John 8:42-44 says, “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, and abode not in the truth, because 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.”
As the above passage indicates, the devil was a murderer from the beginning because of his lies to Eve. Notice what takes place in Genesis 3:1-7, which records the fall of mankind into sin. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. AND THE SERPENT SAID UNTO THE WOMAN, YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
The devil told Eve that if she ate from the forbidden tree, “YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE.” God had told Adam that he would die if he ate of that tree. Genesis 2:16,17 says, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for IN THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.”
Despite what God had clearly said, the devil lied and told Eve that she would not die if she ate of the tree. Thus, the devil was responsible for the death of all mankind because of his lie.
It is like this, if a child was out in the kitchen, and you said to the child, “Did your parents tell you that you could eat of everything in the kitchen?” And the child responded, “My parents said that I could eat or drink of anything in the kitchen, but to never get into the cupboard below the sink, because there are things down there that would kill me if I ate or drank them.”
Suppose you said to the child, “You will not die if you drink of that drain opener under the sink, or if you eat of that mouse poison under there. Your parents know that if you eat or drink anything from under there, that you will have knowledge like adults do.”
So suppose the child goes ahead and eats some of the poison, and then washes it down with the drain opener — all while you are standing there. The child would die, and if the court could prove that you encouraged the child to eat of the poison and drink of it, the court would undoubtedly accuse you of murdering the child.
Even so it is with the devil. He stood right there telling Eve that she would not die if she ate of the forbidden tree. By his encouraging her to do something which God said would kill mankind, the devil thus became a murderer by his lies.