Response to the Lampstand July 2017 on the Devil

We know a few people were scratching their heads on the final part of the Lampstand’s insert on EC wondering what was up.  The table moved on to discuss the devil.  Honestly the representation of the EC position is so weird it is hardly worth comment.  The other side of the table is not much better – an unbalanced focus on winning an argument against a strawman and this is the result.  Below is the table:

EC Teaching Bible Teaching
The Devil is a state of mind that arises when our natural desires (God created proness to sin) comes into conflict with God’s law.  This conflict produces sin and if unforgiven results in eternal death after the judgement.  Hence sufficient knowledge of God’s laws is first required before the Devil can exist.  Only those responsible to judgement have the Devil.  The Devil has the power over eternal death only.


The Devil is a personification of fallen human nature (moral and sin prone).  It came into existence after Adam and Eve took on board the reasoning of the serpent and sinned (John 8:44, 1 John 3:8) and it became a law in their members (Gen 3:15, Rom 7:23, 25, 8:2).  Since then all are born with the problem of the Devil.  The Devil has the power over all death (mortality = death working in all) and its ungodly desires (prone to sin) often lead to :works of the Devil” or sins.  Jesus was born with the same nature – where death works and sin is produced – in order to destroy the Devil (Heb 2:14-15, Mk 3:27) BASF 3,5,8,9,120,12,26,28,30

Perhaps just to pick up a few points (because the whole line is fractally wrong) to demonstrate how scripture is being misapplied here…

The Devil (or fallen human nature) came “into existence after Adam and Eve took on board the reasoning of the serpent and sinned”.  Proof texts?  John 8:44? It is describing either the serpent’s mistruths which killed or Cain.  1 John 3:8?  We have seen this misused to try and claim the lusts originate from man, but John uses the same language to say we originate from God and sinners from the world – whereas both originate the same way (an argument explored in detail here).  Gen 3:15 is an odd proof text since it clearly shows the enmity is GOD created (not human created).

Ironically the table is trying to score points against EC’s by saying we believe God created the proneness to sin, however it is obvious, as LG Sargent observed, that God created the serpent and therefore “the thinking of the flesh”[1]  This point was also made by John Martin in his book “Saved by His Life” on page 11 (where he also notes this means the carnal mind is described as “very good”.

However consider the logic of the literalist’s position.  Imagine for the discussion that Adam and Eve did rewire their bodies due to Adam sinning and Eve just being deceived.  How would this be an inheritable condition without Divine action?  The literalist imagines that Eve being deceived then reprogrammed her DNA to introduce a new condition to herself and the genetics she passed to her children.  Impossible.  Only God could accomplish such a reprogramming of the human genome.  So the literalist must accept God created the sin prone mind in AT LEAST every subsequent human.  This of course would be a classic case of punishing the children for the sins of the father & mother – something God explicitly condemns Deut 24:16 and Jer 34:29-30 as contrary to His principles of judgement Ezek 18:2.


[1] Sargent “Dr Thomas on Adam’s Temptation” The Christadelphian Volume 106, 1969, page 124


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