You Are of Your Father the Devil

by Mike Ratliff

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8 ESV)

Relativism is the fatal disease of the unregenerate heart. Of course, it is a self-focused relativism. Everyone is unique, of course, but we have this built-in sense of ‘fairness’ that is antithetical to God’s Sovereignty. I have been a “mostly” silent observer in much of the Ergun Caner debacle. I listened to several of Dr. James White’s Radio shows in which he took on callers who wanted to discuss his stance on Dr. Caner’s obvious misrepresenting of himself as a Muslim Jihadist converted to Christianity when, in fact, he was just a normal teenager in Ohio during that time. Some of the callers though just astounded me with their attacks on Dr. White in his stance that Dr. Caner should come clean about all this. It sorta’ reminded me of an article I read several weeks ago attacking my friend Ken Silva. The article was a satirical portrayal of Ken killing a beast on the beach called an EvanJellyFish even though every now and then the beast said something that might be considered edifying. Ah, now we are back in that comfortable realm of relativism. It goes something like this, “Hey man, why are you attacking this brother in Christ? Look, he may practice Yoga and Contemplative Prayer and lead his congregation to pray to Mother God, but hey, look at all the edifying and nice thing he says in this book he just wrote!” That my brothers and sisters in Christ are the words of someone who thinks that the truth is truth because they think it is, but they do not know the words of God, the truth, because they do not hear them (John 8:46). 

Jesus Christ was not politically correct nor was he concerned about not hurting people’s feelings. In John 8:12-59, we have the dialogue between our Lord and those opposed Him that ended in v59 with these people attempting to stone Him. We will concentrate on vv31-47. In vv31-38 our Lord sets up the argument that leads to exposure of his opponents as unbelievers.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:31-38 ESV)

Do you see it my brethren? Those truly in Christ are regenerate and have the Holy Spirit. We have the Mind of Christ. As we mature in Christ and learn to walk the narrow way as living sacrifices we will know the truth deeply and there will be no power or force in the is world that can derail us from following our Lord. These who opposed our Lord just could not see it. Why? They considered their place in God’s Kingdom to be assured because they were Jews who kept the Law of Moses, however imperfectly. Jesus knows all things and so confronts their sin and makes sure that this becomes the issue of separation from God not religion or ancestry. He also tells them that since they do not accept what He has told them that this proves that they are not in God’s family, but that their father is the Devil, whom they follow.

They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:39-47 ESV)

The two verses in bold are v43 and v47. Read the whole passage then we will concentrate on these two verses. Here is v43 in Greek, “διατί τὴν λαλιὰν τὴν ἐμὴν οὐ γινώσκετε; ὅτι οὐ δύνασθε ἀκούειν τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐμόν.” The words we need to concentrate on here, translated in the ESV as “cannot,” are οὐ δύνασθε. This says in Greek, “You are not able.” In other words, the unregenerate do not have the capacity to hear and receive the Words of Christ. In v47 our Lord clarifies this. The unregenerate do not hear the truth in the sense of hearing, believing, and following the truth. To be called “christian” they must have a synthesized version to follow instead. This is why the Purpose Driven version of the Gospel has so many converts. It is not the Gospel, but a synthesized version of it to the point that is no longer the truth. The reason it is not the truth is that is based entirely in pragmatism while the genuine Christian is saved by faith through grace (Ephesians 2:1-10).

The real Gospel is one that can only be heard, believed and followed by those to whom it is given by God. A good example is Lydia in Acts 16:14. God opened here heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. The visible church is full of leaders and followers that preach, teach, and have believed a synthesized version of the gospel. When we give them the real Gospel, we receive antagonism back from them. We are called intolerant. We are ostracized. You get the picture. When we point out that the synthesized version of the gospel is not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called even worse.

We have no idea when our Lord will return, but He said that He would and so we believe Him. We know also that He revealed that before He returns that there will be a “falling away.” Do you suppose that what we are witnessing in the visible church is that or perhaps, the beginnings of it?

Soli Deo Gloria.










15 thoughts on “You Are of Your Father the Devil

  1. Mike,

    We are closer to the Lord’s return than most people want to admit. Keep on preaching brother and I’ll keep listening.

    Rocco T


  2. I believe we are well into the Apostasy, Mike…’s everywhere…How long it lasts is not for us to know, but those who are truly born again and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, cannot help but discern it….


  3. Amen Heather. Have you ever read Psalm 12? This is nothing new… Perhaps the exception being that we have such godly appearing men do such evil things ‘in Jesus name.’


  4. Hi Mike,
    Thank you for this article. I don’t know what we are witnessing in the visible church. It is very confusing to me. I thank you and others for pointing out what is happening so we can then pray, ask for wisdom and discern.
    I do know the Lord instructs us to be aware and be watchful. He warned us. All the more reason to keep our focus on Christ and His cross and hold fast to that…serving Him through obedience to His word and in gratitude for saving us from being one of those who do not know Him. The cross of the Savior is our refuge and protection, our life.
    Praying for strength for you as you continue to minister in the sharing of His truth!


  5. You are welcome Diane. Only God knows what is going to happen and when. You are right. We must simply trust Him, asking for wisdom and discernment. Thanks for your prayers my sister.


  6. Satan is most definatly set up in the ‘worldly churches’. Of corse the people don’t believe this. The Bible says this will happen. Even though people are flocking to these Joel Olsteen and Rick Warren gatherings, it makes it look like there are just tons of ‘saints’ out there. They fall away from the true gospel, the great falling away. The true saints are coming out of the false churches. Rev. 18….come out of her my people lest you partake in her sins. Good post Mike. I am SO ready for Jesus to return!!!


  7. We are absolutely running headlong into the great falling away. Not that true slaves of Christ must fear apostasizing, for the Word knows of no such animal.

    However, there are many false professors, regarded by the world as ‘christians’, merely because they make the claim. Casting themselves as in Christ, they fall away from Him because they never were of Him. Thus, it appears as though ‘christians’ are dwindling away, whether to inane, post-rational atheism/agnosticism or gobble-gook, relativistic mysticism and social ‘change-makers’ (who never actually change anything, btw).

    The very saddest part is these type of folks have convinced themselves that they are in Christ (or at least, should be), by deeds or philosophies not writ in Scripture. Whether these things are born of worldly mysticism, twisitng of Scripture, or any combination thereof, they lack Truth and have no Authority.

    As an aside, one hypocrisy of this age is that those claiming to be skeptical of claims (in any subject matter) make no attempt to apply requirements for evidence evenly. It is done selectively, according to a biased agenda that is always denied but obvious to anyone remotely familiar with classical logic. False professors provide excellent fodder for demonizing true christians by the things they do and say while slapping a ‘christian’ bumper-sticker on them.


  8. Hi dear Brother 😀
    I have enjoyed your last few postings :-D! and add an Amen to what another sister said, “You honour the Lord.”

    It is quite a thing to be able to say to someone in love, “You are a sinner and need Salvation.” Unless they know what they are needing saved from, it is pointless. If you were to ask an average Christian what they were saved from, would they be able to answer?

    We too need to never forget that we are also sinners, but we are now saved by our Lord’s Grace. We need never take the ‘high-road’ with others, as I have shamefully done in the past until the Lord showed me my error, and also never be afraid to ‘tell it like it is’. As Jesus did in your passages above, He told it like it is, whether those He was addressing: liked it or not, agreed with it or not or accepted it or not. He knew from where the power came to convict those He spoke to. We need to know the same. We are to tell the Truth, the Gospel in love, call sin by it’s name and without any form of emotional manipulation and know God will sovereignly see to the rest. No wonder Paul said he did not come with fancy words to draw away the glory onto himself as so many modern day preachers are wont to do –
    1 Corinthians 1:17
    For Christ did not send me to baptise but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    I remember many years ago, I was around 15 or so and my dad was on his knees in our lounge in a very drunken state, with ‘well meaning’ christians trying to get him and forcing him to confess his sin and accept Jesus as Lord, which of course he did. Then they gave him assurance of his ‘salvation’ and left him. He tried in vain to live the life, but because the Truth had not been told him, but a powerless, parallel ‘gospel’, his walk lasted a few weak months then died, which is full explanation of your words from above,
    “Do you see it my brethren? Those truly in Christ are regenerate and have the Holy Spirit. We have the Mind of Christ. As we mature in Christ and learn to walk the narrow way as living sacrifices we will know the truth deeply and there will be no power or force in the is world that can derail us from following our Lord.”

    The saving power of God is only in the Gospel based only on the Atonement and the finished work of Christ on the cross. There never will be an alternative regardless of what all the other ‘gospels’ try to make/manipulate you to believe otherwise. The apostasy we see around us is growing every day. I think it was Paris Reidhead who said in The Revival Hymn when he went to Africa to take the Gospel to the lost, something like he found that, “The people knew about God. T -hey didn’t want God. They were happy in their sin.”

    Nothing has changed. People still don’t want the Gospel, not the one God wants them to have anyway i.e. it costs you your life and for many, the cost is too great so they settle for another ‘gospel’ that is pleasing to the flesh and you can wear it like a badge and seemingly have the ‘best’ of both worlds…

    Praying for you Mike, for you stand strong in His strength!


  9. Pingback: You Are of Your Father the Devil | Slaughter of the Sheep

  10. This brings up a question… I understand that those who continue sinning are of the devil. I have professed Christ, I believe that God is doing a work in me, but there are some sins that keep hanging on to me and I pray and cry and tell God to take them away… I just don’t know what I am doing wrong, if I’m not saved, or what?

    Sad and confused,


  11. Dee, all Christians experience these sins that cling to us like this. We are called to mortify them. We are promised deliverance from them if we will do it God’s way. In any case, follow this link to a post I wrote earlier this year that brings together many other posts I have written on this subject. I pray this helps my sister.


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