The Father of Lies
In John chapter 8 Jesus has an encounter with some Jews that gives insight into Satan's true character, and directly exposes the relationship of these people to him. I advise reading the entire chapter, but verses 39-44 will be used for this teaching.
Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Joh 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Joh 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Joh 8:42 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.
Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44 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.
This passage of scripture gives a good picture of the works of the devil-and his traits. Today, the Christian encounters people with the same disposition Jesus encountered during His ministry.
The Pharisee's, Sadducee's and lawyers who followed him knew the Law, and watched him like a hawk to catch Him in His words, actions, to twist, accuse, taunt, and slander Him. The goal was to discredit Him, destroy His works, and His life.
Jesus response to them was to tell them to their face what was in their hearts, they wanted to kill him. They did not deny it; but didn't fully come at him at that time to do it; it wasn't time yet. When they denied Jesus confronting them, saying Abraham was their father, Jesus refuted them with skill. If they knew God, and loved Him, they would do the deeds of Abraham-but their deeds reveal that their father was the devil, because their deeds exposed them, and their hearts. He also told them they were liars, and the devil was their father. When he tells a lie, he speaks of his own: because he's a liar, and the father of it. He didn't mince any words. If Jesus was here today-I'd like to be on the sidelines, and watch him talk to some of the same types that are prevalent here now.
You can discern who somebody is living for, and what's in their hearts, just by watching, and listening to them; just as Jesus did. When you've discerned what's in someone's heart, it will tell you whether you are wise to associate with them, or not.
The tactics used are to antagonize, taunt, mock, harass, intimidate, ridicule, belittle, insult you, demean you, and cause as much strife as possible, to get you to react. If you do, out of a moment of weakness, weariness, or frustration; it is used as a weapon against you. They'll twist the truth, and accuse you of doing exactly what they are doing themselves, it's one of the devils most well-used tactics.
When you've picked up that they lie constantly, and use lying as a weapon, they are pathological liars-and to be avoided at all costs. What is a pathological liar- this is the world's definition: A pathological liar is someone who lies compulsively and without any clear benefit. Lying refers to making a false statement to deceive others intentionally, often for some form of personal gain.
The bible's definition:
Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Pro 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
Pro 17:4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
People like this will run in groups because they know there's strength in numbers. They will also do much of their devilish antagonism in the dark, or in such a way that there's nothing you can do about it. They've honed their skills, and run in groups like a pack of wolves. Years ago, I listened to a bible teacher talking on this issue and he made a statement that is very true, he said "You will find, when your watching people and listening to them, you'll pick up on the fact that like spirits attract like spirits-the troublemakers run together, and hang out together, to do as much damage as they can, and ruin you, if they can. And the opposite is also true-God's people will naturally desire to be with those of like mind, seeking and desiring the things of God."
The Jews who followed Jesus were in this category; treacherous, slanderous, and ruthless. They were as vicious, and relentless as a swarm of horseflies on a hot summer day. And, when they are together in a group today; there's no limit to the evil they can scheme, and conjure up. An entire town, and community can be infested with people of this spirit, and cause untold trouble and strife. These types are the "extended family" of the devils offspring.
Traits of the Devil
From B.W. Johnson:
Ye are of your father, the devil. There are two households: that of God, composed of his children; and that of the devil, composed of his children. All who hear the voice of Christ become God's children by adoption (Rom_8:15-17), and all who refuse to hear him, do so because they belong to the devil's household and hear his voice. They "will do the lusts of their father."
He was a murderer from the beginning. He caused the first murder, moves those who do murder, and those who seek to kill Christ are of his spirit.
From Adam Clarke:
Ye are of your father the devil - Ye are the seed of the old serpent. See on Joh_8:37 (note).
The lusts of your father - Like father like son. What Satan desires, ye desire; because ye are filled with his nature. Awful state of unregenerate men! They have the nearest alliance to Satan; they partake of his nature and have in them the same principles and propensities which characterize the very nature and essence of the devil! Reader, canst thou rest in this state? Apply to God, through Christ, that thou mayest be born again.
He was a murderer from the beginning - It was through him that Adam transgressed; in consequence of which death entered into the world, and slew him and all his posterity. This was the sentiment of the Jews themselves. In Sohar Kadash, the wicked are called, “The children of the old serpent, who slew Adam and all his descendants.” See Schoettgen.
Abode not in the truth - He stood not in the truth - was once in a state of glorious felicity, but fell from it; and, being deprived of all good himself, he could not endure that others should enjoy any; therefore by his lies he deceived Eve, and brought her, her husband, and, through them, their posterity, into his own condemnation.
From Albert Barnes:
Ye are of your father the devil - That is, you have the temper, disposition, or spirit of the devil. You are influenced by him, you imitate him, and ought therefore to be called his children. See also 1Jn_3:8-10; Act_13:10; “Thou child of the devil.”
The devil - See the notes at Mat_4:1.
The lusts - The desires or the wishes. You do what pleases him.
Ye will do - The word “will,” here, is not an auxiliary verb. It does not simply express futurity, or that such a thing will take place, but it implies an act of volitions. This you will or choose to do. The same mode of speech occurs in Joh_5:40. In what respects they showed that they were the children of the devil he proceeds to state:
1. In their murderous disposition;
2. In rejecting the truth;
3. In being favorable to falsehood and error.
Abode not in the truth - He departed from the truth, or was false and a liar.
No truth in him - That is, he is a liar. It is his nature and his work to deceive.
He speaketh of his own - The word “own” is in the plural number, and means of the things that are appropriate to him, or that belong to his nature. His speaking falsehood is originated by his own propensities or disposition; he utters the expressions of his genuine character.
He is a liar - As when he deceived Adam, and in his deceiving, as far as possible, the world, and dragging man down to perdition.
The father of it - The father or originator of falsehood. The word “it” refers to lie or falsehood understood. From him falsehood first proceeded, and all liars possess his spirit and are under his influence. As the Jews refused to hear the truth which Jesus spoke, so they showed that they were the children of the father of lies.
I'll leave this discourse by asking the question-who is your father?
The children of God and of Satan
Excerpt from Biblical Illustrator-
THE CHILDREN OF GOD (Joh_8:31-36). What do these verses teach us concerning the children of God? God has His children in this world, and some of their traits are here presented to our notice.
1. They believe in Christ (Joh_8:3). To believe in Christ is more than simply to conclude in a general way that He is worthy of credence. It means belief, confidence, submission, obedience, all in one. This believing is the condition of all blessings under the gospel.
2. They abide in Christ’s word (Joh_8:31). They manifest their faith by their fidelity. There is no “six weeks’ religion” during a warm revival, dropping into coldness and deadness when the meetings cease. It is a continued service proceeding from a constant faith.
3. They know the truth (Joh_8:32). The word in the original for “know” is the verb meaning “to have full knowledge.” He who learns the truth by fellowship with Christ receives it at fountainhead, and understands it thoroughly.
4. They have freedom (Joh_8:32-36). Every sinner is a slave, for a power outside of himself directs his action. The drunkard says, “I can’t help myself; an appetite drives me to drink.” The passionate man says, “I am not my own master when I get angry.” Are they not slaves to a power above their own will? The free man is the disciple of Christ.
THE CHILDREN OF SATAN. Then there is a devil who would make men believe that he is not, and that consequently they need not fear him. The Scriptures are as clear concerning the existence of Satan as they are concerning the existence of God. The traits of Satan’s children, as here set forth, are
1. They are slaves (Joh_8:33-36).
2. They are enemies of Christ (Joh_8:37). These slaves of Satan were ready to kill Christ.
3. They show a likeness to their father (Joh_8:39-44). These Jews claimed to be the children of Abraham. “Not so,” said Jesus. “If you were the children of Abraham, you would be like Abraham. But you show the traits of your true father, the devil.”
4. They have no affinity with God. (Joh_8:45-47). They do not like God’s truth (Joh_8:45); they will not hear God’s words (Joh_8:47). Just as oil and water will not mix, so the children of Satan have an aloofness of nature with respect to God. (J. L. Hurlbut, D. D.)
5. There is not truth in them, when they speak-their words reveal their falsity, and their mouths spew deceit and untruth's-it is a compulsion, they cannot control.