The Origin Of Evil

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The Great Controversy - The Problem Of God
Why does evil exist? Why do bad things happen? Who is in charge? How powerful is he? Why doesn't he use his powers to protect the good?

When God created, He made several different kinds of living things. Trees which (as far as we know), do not feel love or communicate emotion. Animals who apparently feel, love and communicate but are not capable of higher reasoning. He created man with all these capabilities plus the reasoning power to rule and expand and grow. These are not programmed responses, but a genuine emotion from within us born by free will and informed choice.

When Satan rebelled and made lying accusations, God had an immediate problem. He was faced with an adversary who played by no decent rules. Lying was just not part of the original universe. Every statement used to be believable because everything was done with love. God's problem was how to stop the rebellion, let the truth be heard and maintain our free will at the same time.
All this would take time, patience and sacrifice. Everyone must be heard - including Satan. Everyone's statement must be evaluated. Everyone's position must be demonstrated to ultimately arrive at truth.

It is a tribute to God that He ran a government that allowed people to feel free to question Him and to evaluate everyone's statements equally. This method of government seems weak and ineffective when you look at what happened when evil attempted to grow under this freedom.
But in His wisdom God knows that freedom is the only way to get genuine love.

Satan is a real person not just a symbolic representation of evil. He was created perfect. He was known as Lucifer, the light bearer. He is an angel (a messenger of God). He was possibly the highest of all angels until his position led him to jealousy and rebellion. Being that close, administratively to God, he eventually sought the power and position and honor of God. Not having the natural capabilities of God, he sought to usurp God's position by mutiny.

He started a flame of discontentment, rebellion and mutiny against God by lying about God. He was able to have this influence because he was so beautiful, gifted and admired. The book of Revelation seems to indicate that by the time a decision was made to finally deal with this crisis, about one third of the angels and one planet or race of beings had joined his side. We do not know what efforts went into leading them back to God, or how long the rebellion had been going on before it contaminated the earth. But seeing how God operates we know that He must have been patient.

God clearly has drawn a distinction between his rebellion and ours. He and his gang are now under irrevocable condemnation of death, probably because they have reached the point of no return. We on the other hand get to make a decision, because frankly we were not there, we did not start the rebellion, we have always been weakened by the curse of sin, and therefore we must be given an opportunity to reestablish our allegiance to God.

Satan hates us because God loves us and apparently has created us for a very covetous role in His society. Even now that we have sinned He is still willing to restore us to that position. Part of his jealously and his specific targeting of this race for rebellion may have been because he wanted to be like God (have His position but not His character), but suddenly we were created to eventually be above his position.
Psalm 8: 5 could be interpreted "He created us lower than the angels for a little {time}" not "He created us a little lower than the angels".

This promise applies to Christ who became lower than the angels for thirty three years. It could also apply to a future plan of God when He makes us kings and priests who will reign with Him.
Satan is the leader of a gang of rebel angels intent on destroying everything and everyone he possibly can because he is jealous of God, Christ and us.

Covering Cherub
Cherub Satan
How the mighty have fallen!
This Was His Life
According to Ezekiel 28: 12 - 19, he had the highest place of honor among created beings. He was one of the two angels who stood by the throne of God and covered Him.

You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering ... on the day you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked in the midst of the stones of fire". (Ezekiel 28: 12-14)

Lucifer was near the throne of God. As the light bearer, he could stand in the intense light of the glory of God as a covering cherub.

This Is His Crime
Pride in his physical appearance and his status was his sin. It led to rebellion, anarchy, mutiny and death.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned. Therefore I have thrown you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering Cherub from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade You profaned your sanctuaries ... (Ezekiel 28: 15-18)

The Millennium
He walks among the corpses of the dead.

It is possible that Michael, the archangel, was the second covering cherub. Michael is Jesus Christ. This means that God is His own covering. He does not need created beings. But the generous nature of God makes Him share as much as He can with His creatures. Perhaps God walked among His angels as He walked among humans.

This superiority of Michael would explain the jealousy of Satan. As the other covering cherub, perhaps he thought that he could also be divine. But divinity cannot be given to a created being. Instead of being happy that he was selected to be the only created being with this honor, he wanted more. He wanted to be like God, just as Michael was God. So he hated Christ and was extremely jealous.

This Will Be His End
CharacteristicLife As A Covering CherubLife In The MillenniumEternity
Covering CherubLight of GodDarknessDeath
Under his feetWalks in the stones of fireCorpses of the deadHe is trampled as dust
InternalBeauty, wisdomTerror, fear, shame Fire, death, ashes
Decoration, wealthPrecious Stones Maggots, worms, broken planetInherits the earth as dust
He will die in fear and humiliation. He can no longer survive in the stones of fire.
... Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you And I have turned you to ashes on the earth, in the eyes of all who see you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have become terrified and you will cease to be forever. (Ezekiel 28: 18-19)

The Two Great Lies That Caused Adam And Eve To Fall
Satan exported his rebellion to earth. Amazingly, the turmoil he caused in heaven was not resolved and he was allowed to corrupt the earth. We see this pattern of two chances given to a rebellious group before their total annihilation. Satan convinced Adam and Eve to join in his rebellion by not believing God. He did it not only by appealing to their sense of curiosity and vanity but by directly contradicting God.

GroupFirst ChanceSecond Chance
SatanRebellion in heavenRebellion on earth
WorldThe FloodThe Second Coming
IsraelBabylonian Captivity in 586 BCRoman destruction in 70 A.D.
ChurchThe first fall of the PapacyThe Second Coming. The fall of Babylon
With each chance there are many cycles of warnings
In Genesis 2: 16-17 God told Adam and Eve that "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die"
In Genesis 3: 4 - 5, Satan told Eve in direct contradiction to the Word of God.
"You shall not surely die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

These lies have echoed down through the ages in many ways.

  1. There is no death. In the New age movement and all the psychic teachings, the belief in innate immortality, and in the doctrine of reincarnation we constantly hear the message in one form or another. Life continues on. Whether in hell or purgatory or an animal or a tree we all come back. Therefore, we can speak to the dead and become possessed by them.
  2. You shall be as God . In the same movements we find that we do not die because we are all Gods or part of the divine. God is not an independent being he is every one of us and in everyone of us.
    The Bible states that "only God has immortality" I Timothy 6: 15-16 and the "wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23. Adam and Eve did die, from that very day their bodies began to run down. Cells started dying and had to be replaced. To God, the ultimate termination of life is as tragic as the first leaf that withered and fell off a tree. From the very moment they sinned, they started the dying process.
    God did not lie.

The Unseen World
The unseen world consists of God and His angels and the Devil and his angels. Each group has a different plan for us. But what motivates Satan?

Demon Possession
Possessed by Death
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6: 12)
This is a phenomenon never seen until the New Testament times and Jesus confirms their activity. Modern exorcists do a disservice to the seriousness of the problem when they scream about demons of cigarette, demons of immorality and other "demons of behavior". They are saying that the "devil made me do it", when in fact these are due to people's lack of self control and desires gone out of control. Of course he helps us by tempting us, but in these situations he is not in our body manipulating us against our will.

True demon possession involves the actual capture of the mind and body by a malevolent spiritual being. In the days of the disciples, the greatest hurdle to the spread of the gospel was the language barrier.
In the last days we will see more demon possessions because of the following trends:

Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.   2 Timothy 2: 15 Time: 30 minutes
Print: 5 pages
Copyright   Updated : August 25, 2004. January 2010
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
All images were created by Laverna Patterson and are the property of teachinghearts.