By Oscar M. Baker
In the verses just quoted from Titus, there is a statement which deserves and requires careful consideration. It is no meaningless phrase that informs us of the fact that God cannot lie, for it is linked most definitely with the PROMISE OF LIFE. Furthermore, in realizing this, we are compelled to observe an obvious contrast. The God Who cannot lie has promised LIFE, but the one who is the father of the lie has introduced DEATH into the creation of God. To substantiate this suggestion may we consider those passages of Scripture which give us other important details.
The Lord, in one of His encounters with the Jews, says, "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" (John 8:44).
Thus we see that Satan: (a) was a murderer from the beginning; (b) abode not in the truth, and (c) is the father of the lie.
From Heb. 2:14 we learn that this same one, the devil, possessed the power of DEATH.
These 2 references are vital to our understanding of this tremendous subject, and we shall therefore study them more closely.
We are told that Satan was a "murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth." What then does this mean? The word translated murderer is ANTHROPOKTONOS and means literally manslayer. In view of this there are some who have not only deduced that the word connects itself with the fall of Adam, but have also assumed that he was virtually slain by Satan when this penalty of death was passed upon him.
It is true that this characteristic of Satan has been manifested all down the ages by those who have brought forth his works (John 8:41). The Pharaoh of Moses' time was thus prompted to issue the command whereby all Hebrew children were to be slain at birth. Again the wicked queen Athaliah was no doubt incited by The Enemy to destroy the Seed of the Woman Which was to crush his head. When in due time the Seed of the woman was born, another Satanic attempt was made to prevent the fulfilment of God's purpose. In this instance, Herod was the instrument employed by Satan. But all these incidents only serve to confirm the man-slaying character of Satan, instead of explaining how he was a manslayer FROM THE BEGINNING.
The Greek word ANTHROPOKTONOS is rather unique in that it is only used twice in the whole of the New Testament. It would seem rather presumptuous, therefore, to arrive at any conclusion concerning its meaning without considering its other occurrence. Be looking at 1 John 3:15.