Category: Satan (page 1 of 1)

The devil’s lure


8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 3:8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

It is the devil’s scheme to elevate some people; then, as soon as they believe, they will be lured away from the faith and will seize upon matters not recorded in God’s Word. They will take issue with God and brood over the question why God does not bring the entire world to faith and salvation. They will speculate on the wondrous works of God, on His government of the world and on His judgments. But here is where we should be smart enough to rebuff the devil and say: “I will be content with the wind spoken of here, that is, with faith. If I am content with the sound of this wind, I shall fare well. Then I am safe, and I stand on solid ground. But I do not want to know what God has not revealed in His Word; that I will leave to the angels.”

Some things, on the other hand—for example, God’s way of judging and ruling the world—have not been revealed to me. Earthly knowledge is too little for me, and heavenly knowledge is too much. Nicodemus is concerned about worldly affairs, about this life, and about other things that are directly contrary to the Ten Commandments; Annas and Caiaphas were preoccupied with similar shams. Others want to be too smart and try to know too much. But we must walk straight ahead, swerving neither to the right nor to the left. We must remain on the royal way, following the sound of the Word and without prying into the wisdom of the angels. If I cling to what has been revealed to me by the sound of the wind—for I am not to discard everything on the left side—I cannot stray. As for the rest, whatever I am not intended to know I leave to God.

Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 22: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 22, pp. 306–307). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

Luther highlights St. Bernard imaginings of Lucifer’s fall

Editor’s note: Fascinating…Luther discusses the thoughts of St. Benard here on Christ taking on flesh (he uses the term “bag of worms”). While we cannot say this is more than a vivid imagining inspired by this amazing happening, it is cool to ponder (and helps put perspective to the amazing event of incarnation of our Lord). NOTE: It’s a little long, but worth the read.

St Bernard on Lucifer’s fall

This fact elicited the awe of St. Bernard and gave rise to many fine thoughts, found especially in his devotions. He gave it as his opinion that this had caused the archfiend Lucifer’s fall and eviction from heaven. Perhaps Lucifer, so St. Bernard supposed, had fore-knowledge of God’s eternal resolution to become a man in time, and not an angel. This provoked his insolence against God. He was aware, of course, that he was a creature more beautiful and excellent in appearance than man. This also aroused his envy of mankind; he begrudged man the high honor of God’s assumption of human nature. This vexed him and his companions. They became envious when they learned that God would despise them and assume human nature. Therefore Lucifer and his hosts fell and were driven out of heaven.

For if an emperor were to place a beggar at the head of his table and were to assign the seats at the lower end to great and mighty lords, kings, princes, to learned scholars and wise counselors, they would certainly be amazed and humiliated by this act. We human beings on earth cannot do better than the elder son, of whom we read in Luke 15:25–30. His brother, the prodigal son, the reveler and rake, was now reduced to begging and had returned. In welcome his father had butchered a fatted calf for this spoiled son, who had devoured his living with harlots and knaves, whereas the father had never given even a kid to him who always obeyed his commands. When the elder brother heard all this, he became angry and jealous.

St. Bernard thought that Lucifer and his company were similarly affected when they learned that God was to become a man and not an angel. And if we really ponder the matter, we cannot but conclude that it would have been far more reasonable and honorable for God to adopt the nature of His noblest creatures, the angels, than that of sinful human nature, which had imbibed the poison of the old serpent, the devil, in Paradise. God’s assumption of human nature and the union of God and man in the person of Christ is comparable to placing a filthy sow at table and chasing away holy and pious people.

Furthermore, St. Bernard said that the good angels rejoiced at the time and said: “If this arrangement is pleasing to God, our Lord and Creator, then it is also pleasing to us.” And they remained in heaven and recognized Christ as their Lord and God. This is verified in Matt. 28:6, where the angel says to Mary Magdalene and to other women: “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Although these ideas expressed by St. Bernard do not constitute an article of faith, they do sound plausible.

The dear fathers, I say, were amazed that the divine majesty assumed every aspect of this bag of worms, our human nature, except sin and guiltiness of death. He ate, drank, slept, waked, etc.; but He was not born in sin as we were. To be sure, this is so indescribable and inexplicable that anyone who really believes it must needs wonder. Yes, heaven, earth, and every creature must be awe-stricken at the thought that God should regard man dearer and nobler than an angel, although man is really a wretched creature by comparison. God’s preference for the human nature over the angelic might well arouse envy. But all this should make us meditate on the great glory that is ours. For the angels in heaven rejoice over the incarnation. This is why they constantly surround the Lord and serve Him. This is why they were about His grave when He arose from the dead.

Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 22: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 22, pp. 104–105). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.