Series 2 - Lesson 5 - Annotation 12
What is "the devil"?
12. The lesson material has brought out that "the devil" is a state of consciousness built by man when he has no explanation for the negative experiences in his life, and when he feels that there must be something outside of himself that caused them. In such a state of consciousness we are apt to view "the world" and "the flesh" as part of the outside forces that are causing us unhappiness.
"The devil" in our life is the will faculty being used in the wrong direction, resulting in adverse states of consciousness that in turn produce inharmonies in our manifest life. Jesus' command was to "resist not evil" (Matt. 5:39 A.V.), but we also read in James 4:7, "resist the devil, and he will flee from you." If we attempt to fight conditions that are not good, we only succeed in binding them closer to us. On the other hand, if we do not do positive mental work to handle the adverse states of consciousness ("the devil") we will find ourself letting them rule our life. The "resistance" referred to in the quotation from James is the firm stand that we take in refusing to allow wrong beliefs to become our master. Through denial of them we prepare the way for the Truth in the same way that Jesus said, "Get thee hence, Satan [our adverse thought] ... Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matt. 4:10). Overcoming "the devil" is only possible through understanding that the only presence and power in our life is God. "To this end was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). Only as we show forth (manifest) our Son-of-God self, the Christ, are we able to remove the error conditions that have been set up by our own adverse states of consciousness ("the devil").
Preceding Entry: What is "the flesh"?
Following Entry: What is the basis of universal unity and cooperation?