Long years ago, as a counterblast to the contents of Colossians 1:20, there was gotten out a theory which maintained that all down the age, from the time of Cain, two different "seeds" have been running their course side by side, so that presumably, in our present world of men and women, there are some who are begotten (out) of God, while others are "of that wicked one," like Cain.
For the second, and most numerous group, there would be a judgment leading to their everlasting destruction—utter destruction it was called, even though no Scripture mentions this word utter, or such a fate as final destruction.
Unfortunately, there is one Scripture at least, which makes the position much more gloomy than this. 1. John 3:8 states that "He who is doing sin is (out) of the Devil (or Slanderer)." Romans 5:12 steps in here and tells us that all of mankind sinned. So the assumption must be, that all mankind are "of the Devil." In fact, 2. Cor. 4:4 shews that the god of this age blinds the minds of all unbelievers, at some time or other, so that we commence by being "of the Devil."
This leads us to examine the real meaning of the statement that
something is "out of" something else. The Rev. E. E. Cunnington in his
translation of the New Testament, has a useful Note on John 8:44:
"The phrase, which frequently occurs in S. John, denotes the
First John in fact uses this brief expression at least
twenty-eight times, of which born or begotten "(out) of God" occurs
nine times. Other cases are, out of Him, us, His spirit, the Father,
the world, the truth, the Devil, the wicked one.
power or source on which anyone depends, by which he is
prompted and governed, from which he derives his habits and
likings, his character."
If we confined ourselves to the expression, "born, or begotten, of" someone, we would find that in all the New Testament or the Old Testament there is no mention of anyone being begotten of the Devil. This speaks volumes, and yet the question was asked, "Is the expression 'begotten of the devil' too strong?" Although it was admitted that according to Gen. 4:1 Cain was a true child of Adam and Eve, it was maintained that equal weight must be allowed to 1. John 3:12, "Cain was of that wicked one."
Cain was "(out) of the wicked one" just in the sense that Cunnington gives. Cain must have found it easy to yield to a power that was even more wicked than himself. It was more agreeable to him to depend on an evil power than to depend upon Jehovah God. Just as certain evil powers in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and in Asia find it much more agreeable to shelter under the wings of the Satanic state of Russia. There is not one word to prove that Cain was physically "out of the wicked one." We are not informed in Genesis 4:2 who was the father of Abel. But must we go outside Holy Scripture and assume this means that Abel's father was the Devil? We are distinctly told in verse 25 that the father of Seth was Adam. Why is the father of Abel not named?
John's First Epistle must surely have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of Jewry. He mentions "a last hour" as having arrived, because many antichrists had come to be, "whence we know that it is a last hour" (1. John 2:18). The Lord had foretold the rise of many antichrists. Verse 19 goes on to say, literally, "Out of us they came out, but they were not out of us, for if they were out of us, they would have remained with us." Does not this simply mean that if these antichrists had remained in harmony with the believers they would not have left them? Cain did not remain in harmony with Jehovah, so he went elsewhere, and thus became "of the wicked one."
Paul could call Timothy his child (teknon), spiritually (1. Tim. 1:2; 1:18; 2. Tim. 1:2; 2:1); also Titus (Titus 1:4); and even Onesimus (Phm. 10). These three followed Paul's footsteps and learned from him. In the same way, the children of God are distinguished from the children of the Slanderer: everyone not doing righteousness (and going on doing so) and not loving his brother (and going on doing so), is not "out of God" (1. John 3:10). Again, in Acts 13:10 Elymas is called "son (huios) of a slanderer, enemy of all righteousness" by Saul-Paul.
Is it not all too true that there are many Christian people who fail to go on loving their "brethren" and doing righteousness? Are we to declare, because of this, that they are not "out of God," and therefore are Seed of the Devil?
To prove the absurdity of the teaching that there exist two seeds on earth now, we do not need to go outside of the seventeenth of Acts. (1) Verse 24: Paul announces to the Athenians "The God who makes the world (that is, the world of humanity) and everything in it, He (this One) of heaven and earth existing-all-along Lord. . .." The God who made our human world is He who is deeply interested in it and in every human soul therein, because God so loves the world. (2) Verse 25: God "Himself is giving to all life and breath and every thing." In this respect God treats everyone alike. (3) Verse 26: "Besides, He makes out of one every nation of mankind, to go on dwelling upon the earth's whole surface. . ." "Out of one," Adam, not "out of the Devil." (4) Verse 27: Also, "to be seeking God, if, consequently, indeed, they might grope for Him and find Him, although indeed, not far from each one of us existing-all-along." God wants everybody to be seeking for Him, even all "seed of the Devil," if such there be. Not far has God been existing from any human being all along through the ages. God goes on wishing that all mankind be saved and be coming into a realization of truth (1. Tim. 2: 4). But as all will not be saved in this life, this means that He will save many in after ages.
Thus God is very close to every human being, and if there are among us any who might be "seed of the Devil," God is strangely close to them too. If evangelists and missionaries are to spend time gospelling an evil seed who are to be eternally destroyed without hope, assuredly their time is being wasted altogether. Yet verse 30 makes it incumbent upon preachers to be charging mankind that ALL EVERYWHERE be repenting. (5) Verse 28: "For in (union with) Him are we living and moving and are," some poets throughout Greece having declared, "For OF HIM are we kin also." God surrounds and keeps alive every single human being, because mankind is His Race, His Kin, His closest relatives, and that merely by nature, not spiritually necessarily. Thus, once more, any "Seed of the Devil" on earth is God's Kin, a close relative of God's.
God sent His Son to die for the whole human race, because He was so fond of that race. But the Devil says the Lord only died for a mere fraction of the race. How men and women can thus contradict the Scriptures is extraordinary. This lie is surely some of the seed which the Devil is sowing. I am a strong believer in the argumentum ad hominem. If you observed one whom you loved most deeply in danger of his or her life, would you not make every effort to effect a rescue? God is the Saviour of all humanity, but in a special way of those who are (now) believing. Read the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians and you will get a picture of the Divine Love. God's Love "goes on being patient, goes on being kind" (v. 4), it "is not being incensed, is not taking account of the evil" (v. 5), it "is enduring everything" (v. 7). Then verse 8 says "Love never is lapsing."
One writer, having mentioned the vacation by God's Son of His
mediatorial throne, and the cessation of the smoke which will ascend
for the ages of the ages, finishes up with the following statement:
"Thus ends the awful conflict of the ages. The thought of this
Does 1. Cor. 13 inform us that perfect love must also know
perfect hatred? Paul certainly did not say so. Where Paul said "Jacob I
loved, but Esau I hated" (Romans 9:13, quoting Mal. 1:2-3), the meaning
is that God chose Jacob but rejected Esau, as he is speaking of
election or choice
(v. 11). It would be quite reasonable to paraphrase as "Jacob I loved
more than Esau." Indeed, here the reference is not to the individuals,
but to the peoples, Jacob and Edom. God loves His enemies. He does not hate them, and never shall.
torment and destruction is a terrible one, yet He Who measures
the guilt by the gift of His Son is righteous in His vengeance,
for perfect love must also know perfect hatred, otherwise it
would be for ever one-sided and unreal."
The same writer even went so far as to claim that "Satan himself is to be destroyed," quoting from Heb. 2:14, which, however, although reading "destroy" in the King James version, actually in the Greek means that the Slanderer will be rendered inactive as such, or undone. There is no statement in Holy Writ which states that Satan will die, perish or be destroyed. This fact alone is surely of profound significance.
It was also claimed that certain nations should be reckoned as "peculiarly the Devil's own." But is not "the whole world lying in the wicked one"? The question was also asked, "Do we credit the Lord with the responsibility of the creation of the Rephaim, the Nephilim, the giants and monsters of antiquity?" The Rephaim are not mentioned until Genesis 14, some time after the Flood. The Nephilim were "marvels" or prodigies, persons of distinction, who are nowhere said to be non-human. Although they are first mentioned in Gen. 6:4, the only beings whom God determined to wipe out by the Flood, the only beings named as evil, were the "humanity which I have created" (Gen. 6:5-7). If the Flood destroyed non-human peoples, why are they not mentioned?
The word Rephaim means "healers," what we might call "doctors," though it might also have another meaning. It certainly does not mean "giant," although the Greek version reads gigantes, which does not really mean giants, but only "earth-born" people.
Branches of the Rephaim were the Anakim, the Emim, and the Zuzim (see Deut. 2:10). Num. 13:33 also informs us that there were Nephilim who were sons of Anak. The statement is rather peculiar: "And there we saw the Nephilim, sons of Anak, from the Nephilim." It has been contended that all these peoples, and the Amorites too, were Seed of the Devil, and that, being such, they were "utterly destroyed."
Chapter 11 of Joshua tells of a frightful destruction which included the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites. In verse 14 we are told that "every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them." Rotherham here makes an important improvement; he reads "all the human beings," the term being adam, not aish or enosh. Therefore, the Amorites were as much human beings as we are. In verses 21 and 22 we further learn that Joshua cut off the Anakim from the mountains, and destroyed them utterly with their cities. Nevertheless, though none were left in Israel's Land, some remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. And it looks as though these Anakim were just as much human beings as were the Amorities: ch. 14:15 mentions Hebron, formerly known as the City of Arba (cf. 15:13), a great man among the Anakim. Here again the word for man is adam, meaning, a human being. So perhaps we may be permitted to reckon the Anakim as human beings also.
The strange assumption that all the bitter enemies of Israel must necessarily be Seed of the Devil has been carried to extremes, and ought to be renounced.
I should not care to walk through the streets of my own City of well nigh half a million souls, and think that a very large proportion of the inhabitants and visitors are "Seed of the Devil," for whom the Lord Jesus Christ did not die, and whom we shall nevermore see after this present life. The fact that the Divine Gospel is to be heralded to all human beings, and that God, "in the present state of things, is charging mankind that all everywhere be repenting" (Acts 17:30), is sufficient to prove that this flimsy teaching of "The Two Seeds" is more like an invention of the Devil himself than a truth taught in Holy Writ.
The Rev. C. A. Row, strong supporter of the teaching of 'Conditional Immortality', writes in "Future Retribution" (1887) concerning the terms "children of God" and "children of the devil," that the Apostle John "did not intend to divide mankind into two great divisions which should be exhaustive of the family of man, or to affirm that there was nothing intermediate between these two extremes of character. If this had been his purpose, inasmuch as in his writings sonship to God presupposes a knowledge of, a personal union with, a love to, and an abiding in God and Christ, it would follow that not only the overwhelming majority of the human race who have never heard of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus, but even those who in the darkness of the pagan world have been earnest seekers after truth, must be ranked among the children of the devil. But such an idea is not only dreadful in itself, but it contradicts the Divine attributes of justice, holiness, mercy, and love, the revelation of God made in Jesus Christ, and the express assertions of St. Paul which I have already quoted as to the principles on which God will judge those who have never had the benefit of a divine revelation."
A.T. Last updated 22.1.2006