My pastor referenced John 8:44 in his sermon yesterday and it got the wheels turning later when I got home. I got to thinking that here is yet another text disproving full-preterism, which denies that physical death is a result of sin.

John 8: Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father. Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.”

Follow the train of thought: These Jews wanted to end Jesus’ life. And the reason they desired murder was because they were of their father the devil, who is a murderer from the beginning.

The “murder” in view here is PHYSICAL DEATH.

Yet, where do we read in the beginning of Genesis that the devil was walking around bashing people over the head with rocks or stabbing them? We don’t. Instead, we read that God gave man a law and threatened “death” upon violating that law. So what does the devil do? He encourages rebellion and lies (no truth in him) to Eve, telling her “surely you will NOT die.”

The devil is actively seeking the “death” of man! And to argue that this “death” in Genesis is merely “spiritual” destroys the parallel Jesus makes in John 8. He didn’t say that these Jews desire something similar or akin to what the devil has done from the beginning. Rather, He traces their wicked desire of wanting to “kill” Him back to their father the devil who has had the same desires “you want to do,” from the beginning.

This connection seems plain to me, on the face of it. So then i thought, “let’s see what some commentators say.”

Some commentators speak of the devil as being a “murderer of souls” as well. That I don’t deny. The sin of “murder” runs deeper than just wanting to unjustly take someone’s physical life. Jesus speaks of unjust anger in the heart as “murder” (Matthew 5). However, His teaching there does not exclude the external. He is pointing to the reality that the external act of “murder” stems from internal lust. BOTH are a problem!

Some of these same men that would call the devil a “murderer of souls” or speak of “heart murder” do NOT exclude the external, as the hyper-preterists erroneously do:

Matthew Henry writes, “He was man’s tempter to that sin which brought death into the world, and so he was effectually the murderer of all mankind, which in Adam had but one neck.”

John Gill writes, “he was not only spoken of from the beginning, as he that should bruise the Messiah’s heel, or should compass his death, but he was actually a murderer of Adam and Eve, and of all their posterity, by tempting them to sin, which brought death and ruin upon them”

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown write, “He was a murderer from the beginning–The reference is not to Cain (as LOCKE, DE WETTE, ALFORD, &c.), but to Adam [GROTIUS, CALVIN, MEYER, LUTHARDT, &c.]. The death of the human race, in its widest sense, is ascribed to the murderous seducer of our race.”

Thomas Watson writes, “Murder is a diabolical sin. It makes a man the devil’s first born, for he was a murderer from the beginning. John 8:44. By saying to our first parents, ‘Ye shall not die,’ he brought death into the world.”

We see this “train of thought” confirmed. These Jews were children of the devil. Why? For in desiring the physical death of Jesus, they shared in the devil’s desire to see Adam and Eve physically die.


  1. Who is the devil is the questions that must be asked.

    There were only two living people at the time in the Garden, Adam and Eve, and the one responsible for the fall was Adam.
    The author, God used, for Genesis was Moses and Moses was raised and influenced by the Egyptians. Acts 7:22 “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.”

    Egypt had a lot of mythology and false gods which Yahweh proved to be false by the plagues He brought upon them. [WIKI – The plagues served to contrast the power of the God of Israel with the Egyptian gods]

    “The serpent represented both good and bad: life energy, resurrection, wisdom, power, cunning, death, darkness, evil, and corruption.” Wadjet was the cobra goddess Moses used, as a metaphor, when being the mouthpiece of Yahweh towards speaking to His people. Since they have been captive in Egypt for many years, Moses sought fit that they would understand what he was stating when the story of the fall of humanity was shared.

    Even in Genesis 49:17 Dan was represented as a snake: “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.”

    It is my understanding that the serpent could have been Adam since Adam was the one responsible for the fall of humanity as was Yeshua, in Romans 5, was the second Adam who brought life. S0, if Adam brought death by eating of the forbidden fruit, and we are said to die physically because of it, then why are not the people having that reversed after Yeshua became the second Adam on the day He died and rose again….the simple reason could be it was spiritual which represented our fellowship with Yahweh.

    Adam and Eve being removed from the Garden might of brought into practice physical death but it was not the death because of the forbideen fruit. If physical death was the outcome than why was it that Yeashu lived and aged like the rest of us and even had the capability of dying? Yeshua was sinless was He not and He also had deity which He did not stop from being but did not use those abilities while going about the Father’s purpose.

    The serpent in the garden served only the purpose as a metaphor to bring forth a point.

    Plagues of Egypt –

    List of Egyptian deities –

    Wadjet – A cobra goddess, the tutelary deity of Lower Egypt


  2. John,

    Regardless of who or what the serpent is, nothing you said deals with what I have written concerning John 8.44. For sake of argument, let’s suppose that the “serpent” is a metaphor for Adam (which I deny because it doesn’t make sense within the narrative). If so, that still does not address the issue that sin brought about physical death and physical death, all throughout Scripture, is clearly seen as a consequence of breaking God’s Law.

    God killed people. He killed those in Sodom. He killed all but 8 in the flood. You bring up Jesus; well, Jesus was “made sin” on behalf of the elect and God KILLED Him because of it. He physically died on the cross, John. He didn’t “spiritually die” there.

    It is painfully obvious that throughout Scripture, physical death is a ‘wage of sin’ and unnatural to the original created order of things. The only reason you can’t accept that is because it would immediately refute your full preterism.

    Furthermore, your conclusion that Moses was using the “serpent” as a metaphor because he was raised in Egypt and Egyptians used ‘serpent’ imagery, does not necessarily follow. Just because the ‘serpent’ is used metaphorically, doesn’t mean that it is used that way all the time. Even in American culture, we use the term ‘snake’ for reasons other than to refer to the actual animal. But just because we do that doesn’t mean that every single use of the term is metaphorical. No language or culture is that simplistic.

    Lastly, you argue that physical death cannot be the result of sin because we still die, even after “Yeshua became the second Adam.” Your argument ignores the very fact that the Bible teaches that it will be reversed! Just because it is not reversed now does not mean that it will never be reversed. Full preterists fail to understand this because they have a false, short-sighted understanding of salvation. Our salvation involves numerous things: election, regeneration, effectual calling, adoption, sanctification, glorification, and so on. Our salvation, in this comprehensive sense, is NOT applied to us all at once. But again, just because it is not applied at once, does not infer that it will never be applied.

    The Westminster Divines addressed this in the Larger Catechism Q. 85:

    Q. 85. Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?

    A. The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it; so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love, to free them perfectly from sin and misery, and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon. 1 Cor. 15:26,55–57; Heb. 2:15; Isa. 57:1–2; 2 Kings 22:20; Rev. 14:13; Eph. 5:27; Luke 23:43; Phil. 1:23.

    Notice, it doesn’t say that since we are not delivered from death now that we will never be. Rather, it says that we will be “at the last day.” Therefore, for you to argue that physical death is never reversed is absurd. It will be reversed; just not on your timing. And for you to deny that is simply a lack of faith on your part.


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