THE CHILDREN OF GOD vs THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL
By W. G. Guy
1 John 3:10 – In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
This message is directed to the modern day church to show the need for a renewed awakening; actually calling for a revival to prepare Christians for the soon return of Christ and our gathering unto Him.
The letter to the Laodicean Church listed in Revelation 3 is recognized by most Bible scholars as being representative of the typical church in the last days; that being the last of the seven churches written to in the Book of Revelation. This church failed to properly represent Christ due to its selfishness and pride. The Lord said it made Him so repulsed by its appearance and behavior that it made Him want to vomit them out of His mouth. Jesus identified it as being a “lukewarm church”, which meant that it was basically useless for His purpose. Thus He calls for it to REPENT, (to change its ways and appearance). He was left on the outside and was not part of it, nor was He represented by this church.
Revelation 3:16-17 & 19-20 – So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: …. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
As the Laodiceans represent much of Christianity today, it lies in between what God is looking for as His children and what the devil’s children look and act like. Even the ungodly world recognizes the hypocrisy of many of today’s Christians, and constantly mocks them. Notice that Jesus said He will “rebuke and chasten” those he cares about. This means He will invoke corrective punishment; in other words He will cause situations to come upon them that will drive them to their knees; it will be a time of great difficulty that is aimed at turning such Christians to seek God and repent.
1 Peter 4:17 – For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Let us first look at the character and nature of the children of the devil. First of all, as stated in 1 John 3:10 above, they are identified as being UNRIGHTEOUS; they are unrepentant sinners and do not have the God kind of love in them for others. Being the children of the devil means they are the devil’s followers and possess his character and nature. Jesus identified the character and nature of the devil calling him a liar, a murderer, and also as a thief who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy.
John 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.
Therefore the children of the devil are easily identified because they are liars and deceivers. Where do we find liars and deceivers, most specifically in politics. Our governmental leadership is mostly composed of liars, children of the devil. This explains why our nation is going down-hill morally. It also explains why godless laws are being passed. This is because they are actually servants of Satan that do his bidding, weather they realize it or not.
Romans 6:16 – Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
The children of Satan, in addition to being liars, are also thieves and destroyers.
John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
We can plainly see from what Jesus declared in the above verses that those who are not God’s children, through believing in Jesus Christ, are godless sinners who are full of corruption and commit the crimes in this world and oppose all that is of God, which is exactly what the devil does. And like Satan they tend to be selfish, self-centered and prideful.
The children of the devil are also easily identified because they live according to the dictates of the carnal flesh which are described in the Book of Galatians.
Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Clearly these are not the children of God but of the devil, and they will have no place or part in the kingdom of God as stated in the last line of the above verse.
Now let us look at the children of God and consider what they are like, or at least intended to be. They are the ones who properly represent Jesus in this world, as Jesus said, they are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Matthew 5:13-16 – Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Consider that light illuminates or reveals what cannot be seen in darkness. Darkness equates to sin or evil in the Bible. Light represents knowledge; so the knowledge of God, and His Word, and the revelation of Jesus Christ as His saving Son, who delivers Christians out of darkness and helps them to show the way for others.
1 Peter 2:9 – But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Now consider what salt represents: salt is a preservative and prevents corruption and decay from those meats (flesh) that is salted. If salt losses its savor or saltiness it is no longer useful and to be thrown out. Does this analogy fit any Christians or churches you know of – how about the entire modern-day Church of Laodicea?
What is the Lord looking for in His church?
Ephesians 5:25-27 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Please understand that Jesus Christ is coming back for a church that is prepared for Him, to meet Him as He wants it to be, without the spots, wrinkles or blemishes that are currently prevalent. The character of the Laodicean church is not acceptable to Him. He is looking for His own character and nature to be manifesting in the church and in the Christians that He is returning for.
Romans 8:29 – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1 John 3:1-3 – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Notice there is some, maybe even a lot, of purification that is necessary for us to be like Him; and that is the goal and purpose of the God appointed ministers; it is to prepare Christians to be like Him.
Ephesians 4:11-13 – And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Unfortunately the church today does not recognize or acknowledge all five of the ministry gifts, thus Christians are not being built up into the full maturity and stature of Christ. Instead the modern day church has all kinds of exalted positions, false doctrines, and a whole lot of worldliness that fails to produce what God is looking for in His children – the God kind of LOVE and Christ-likeness.
Ephesians 4:14-16 – that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
The character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be seen and evident in every true Christian. The apostle Paul declared this was no longer a mystery:
Colossians 1:25-27 – whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The apostle Paul also gave himself as an example:
Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Paul then admonishes believers to no longer practice and observe the ways of the ungodly who walk in darkness, but to walk in the new light that has been shown to them.
Ephesians 4:17-24 – This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Thus Christians are to be identified as the children of God being totally different from the children of the devil, the children of darkness. That difference is having the character and nature of God fully restored in you; which character and nature is actually the Fruit of the Spirit.
Back in the Garden when mankind submitted to the devil’s lies, trickery and deceit, the character and nature of God that Adam and Eve originally had was lost. They acquired the character and nature of the one that they submitted to – they ended up with the devil’s character and nature which became the sin nature that is passed on down through all their offspring – including you and me. Jesus came to destroy what the devil, the thief, stole from God’s creation – man. Man thus lost the true and perfect image and likeness of God, but Jesus came to bring it back restoring God’s divine character and nature to man through Jesus Christ.
1 John 3:8 – He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Most believers are familiar with the “all have sinned” part of this verse, but few understand what is meant by “come short of the glory of God” part. The word “glory” used here comes from the Greek word doxa, and doxa refers to one’s dignity. Dignity describes a person’s character and nature. Thus not only are all men sinners, but they have also lost the character and nature of God. Jesus came to restore what was lost, that character and nature of God as He gave to the original man. This character and nature of God is called the Fruit of the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
However, this is not being taught in modern day churches. All believers have this character and nature within, if they are truly born-again by the Spirit of Christ, which inhabits those who are His.
Galatians 4:6 – And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Having received the Spirit of Christ, which is being “born of the spirit” does not automatically eliminate our old sinful nature. The problem is that your old nature, called the “old man” or the fleshly carnal nature, still is within every one of us. You continue to live according to the dictates of that old nature if you don’t deliberately put off that old nature because it stands in the way of the new nature showing forth in you.
Our sins have been forgiven but we still carry that old nature unless we consciously and purposefully crucify it and nail it to the cross - daily. This is called repentance! It is our responsibility to put that old nature off; to daily and consistently die to self as Jesus and the apostle Paul spoke about.
Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
The cross being the symbol of death is where we are to die to self, to put off selfishness of the “I will, I want, and I am”.
1 John 2:15-16 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (I will), and the lust of the eyes (I want), and the pride of life (I am), is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Ephesians 4:22- that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.
Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Now let’s take a closer look at the Fruit of the Spirit, which is the character and nature of God, and is what He is looking for in the saints. This same nature was fully revealed in Jesus as he walked the earth. It is clearly noticed in reading the gospels relating to Jesus that He did nothing for Himself; He was selfless. This means that everything He did was done for the benefit of others. Basically Jesus walked in the full love of God the Father. He constantly demonstrated Gods loving care for others. This is what true Godly love does.
Notice that LOVE is the very first Fruit of the Spirit because it is the prime fruit. Remember Jesus’ response to the question, “What is the great commandment”; the clear answer was to love God and love others.
Matthew 22:36-39 – Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
This is the principle difference between the children of God and the children of the devil. The children of the devil do not have the God type of love. Their version of love is erotic and sensual, it is for themselves and the things of this world – it can be called selfishness. Selfishness is the opposite of love because love is giving while selfishness is getting, or taking, and is the root cause of lust which leads to sin.
Look at Jesus’ prayer to the Father that He prayed on behalf of all those who believe on Him and follow Him:
John 17:20-23 – Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
What we see in this passage is that all that God is, is in Jesus; and all that Jesus is, also is in each of us who have His Spirit within us. The glory of God, His dignity, is in Jesus and Jesus gives it to us who believe. Again, that dignity refers to God’s kind of LOVE, the caring and giving kind of Love. This is another feature that makes the children of God different from the children of the devil.
This God kind of love, and each of the other unique Fruits of the Spirit, needs to be fully seen in the saints and in the church as a whole. Then we are prepared for His coming for us.
1 John 3:23-24 – And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit (of Christ) which he hath given us.
1 John 4:7-11 – Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Even all of God’s creation is eagerly waiting for the manifestation, or revealing and making known, of the children of God; this refers to the coming harvest when the fruit is ripe and ready. The evidence of being a child of God is the manifestation of Christ in our lives by His Spirit, thus we will be recognized as Christ’s ones – true Christians and the children of God.
Romans 8:18-19 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
As mentioned previously, the modern day church appears to lie in a compromised position between the true children of God and the children of the devil; thus repentance and revival is seriously needed. Too many who consider themselves to be God’s children are actually looking like, and living like, the devil’s children. This may be the reason why the apostle Paul wrote the following to the church at Rome.
Romans 13:11-14 – And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Whose child do you resemble, God’s child, or the devil’s child?