Lesson Number Two
Origin of Evil
Sin is an unpredictable characteristic of mankind. Why is there such untold suffering, pain, and terrible calamities in this world? What is evil? How and when did it originate? The sickening records of crime and violence confront our senses. Yet answers to social science seem to evade the great minds.
There is a solution to this age-old problem, and we need to investigate from the pure source of all science, the Bible, God’s Word, to find it.
Did Evil Always Exist?
God is perfect and everything He made was perfect. In the Bible we read of a time when evil did not exist. The Almighty God was the sole object of worship and respect of all intelligent beings. Perfect peace and harmony reigned and happiness pervaded the universe, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:7.
Of all created creatures, the angels were the most intelligent, and possessed great beauty and strength.
“Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Psalm 103:20. They were the servants of God, ready to carry out His commands at all times.
One angel excelled all others in wisdom and beauty. Under the symbolic name of “King of Tyrus,” Ezekiel wrote of him: “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:12-15.
Lucifer cultivated a proud and false spirit which perverted and changed his nature to one of sin and deception. His evil rule is recognized under his other titles of Devil and Satan.
He, the most beautiful and wisest of all created beings once bore the name Lucifer, son of the morning, which means “day star” (Isaiah 14:12). Notice his office: “the anointed cherub that covereth.” He stood in the presence of the Great Creator, and the beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God, rested upon him.
Where Did Evil Originate?
Next to Christ, Lucifer had been the most honored of God. As has been seen so many times repeated in human history, it was pride in his great beauty and power which caused his downfall: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou has sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Ezekiel 28:15-17.
Sin was first cherished by the highest angel in heaven. Because of his beauty, Lucifer was filled with pride and he aspired to be equal with God.
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14.
Though all his glory was from God, Lucifer came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not satisfied with his present position, he ventured to covet the homage due to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections of all created beings, he endeavored to secure their service and loyalty to himself, thus inducing them to rebel against God and His law. Lucifer’s pride was the origin of all evil. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. “. . . lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:6.
“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.
Can Sin Exist in Heaven?
This angel’s rebellion was both; deceptive and contrary to the natural laws of heaven. Lucifer, or Satan, was successful in deceiving one third of the angels who then decided to follow him.
“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, . . . ” Revelation 12:4.
Two opposing principles, righteousness and iniquity cannot exist together, and thus the rebellion of Satan culminated in a spiritual war in heaven. Angels entered the battle. Michael, the Archangel, who was Christ, commanded the loyal angels and was victorious over Satan and his host:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” Isaiah 14:12.
Christ, while on earth, testified of Satan’s fall: “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18.
The Evil Work Continued on Earth
After Satan and a third of the angels were expelled from heaven, he came to tempt the first man and woman who ruled the sinless world.
“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12.
Although the Bible only provides brief details, it is logical to understand that Satan used the serpent as a medium to deceive the woman. She in turn, was used as the medium to deceive the man.
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” Genesis 3:1-4.
Eve made her first mistake when she wandered away from her husband, and listened to the tempter. She then became the agent of Satan by offering Adam the fruit that she herself had eaten. Fallen in sin they were powerless to withstand the wiles of the devil. Through their disobedience to God’s command evil had entered the world. Humanity was now subject to the ruler they had chosen! Satan and his fallen angels continue to tempt humanity and oppose God’s work. We can see the terrible results all around us.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:11, 12.
Although people may be ignorant of Satan’s plans, this powerful enemy is continually upon their track. He is intruding into every family, into every part of our cities, into our churches, into the halls of government, into the courts of justice, deceiving, corrupting, everywhere ruining souls and bodies of adults and children, breaking up families, sowing hatred, envy and murder. And Christians seem to regard these things as though they had been appointed by God and must exist.
Why Was Sin Permitted?
Satan charged upon the government of God the discord his own course has caused in heaven. He declared all evil to be the result of the divine administration. He claimed that it was his object to improve upon the law of God. Therefore God permitted him to demonstrate the nature of his claims, to show the consequences of his proposed changes in the divine law. His own work was permitted to condemn him. Because Satan claimed from the first that he was not in rebellion, the whole universe must see the deceiver unmasked.
Even when Satan was cast out from heaven, God, in His infinite wisdom, did not destroy him. The inhabitants of the universe, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or the consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately extinguished, some would have served God from fear rather than love. For the good of the whole universe throughout eternity, he must fully develop his principles, that his charges against the government of God might be seen in their true light by all created beings. The justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law must be forever placed beyond all question.
“. . . Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15:3, 4.
The End of Evil
The end of sin and all evil is at hand. It will be destroyed in the most effective way and will never more raise its ugly head. Satan the root of sin, and his followers the branches, will be eternally destroyed.
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angel.” Matthew 25:41.
Sin will never occur again, and neither will death which is the result of sin.
“What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9.
The earth will be restored to its original splendor, where sin and death cannot enter. There the nations of the saved find their eternal home.
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:4, 5.
The glory of that promised land will far exceed the most wonderful scene our imagination can picture.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
God’s Word is always true. His promises never fail.
Dear friend, will you live in the new earth?
Quiz for Lesson Number Two
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