Everywhere we look, we can see both good and evil. Many cultures have different ways of expressing the origin of the two forces. This lesson will review the origin of evil, the start of the war in heaven, what the war is all about, and why God did not destroy evil when it arose.
Before We Start
“Dear Jesus, as I sit down to study your word, please have the Holy Spirit show me your truths. Teach me your word and show me your will for me. Amen”
God Did Not Create Evil
As you read the first chapter of Genesis, you will note throughout the chapter God finishes each part of creation with the words “it is good”. The last verse in chapter one states ”indeed, it was very good” (NKJV).
Let’s read Ezekiel 28:11-15.
Ezek 28:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 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. 13 Thou hast 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. 14 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 /ire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
This passage talks about an angel who was created perfect. The verses use the term “king of Tyre”, as a description for a particular angel who was created perfect in every way “until sin was found in you”. Isaiah 14:12 refers to this angel as the morning star and the KJV calls him Lucifer. Job 38:7 talks about how the “morning stars sang together”. Rev 9:1 tells of a star, referring to Lucifer, which fell to earth. So we see that the Bible refers to the angels as stars.
We see that God did not create sin. John 8:44 makes it clear that the devil is the father of lies.
Where Did Sin Originate?
Let’s read Ezekiel 28:16-19.
Ezek 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast 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 /ire. 17 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. 18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a /ire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
The angel Lucifer became “filled with violence,” “sinned,” “corrupted," and became a “horror.”(NKJV) Reading Isaiah 14:12-21 gives us a little more background as to what he wanted.
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 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: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? 18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. 20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. 21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
Who Was Lucifer?
Lets read Ezekiel 28:11-15 again. Although Ezekiel 28 seems to be talking about a man, the king of Tyre, notice that verse 14 says that he is a covering cherub or in some translations, a cherub that covers. So we realize that these verses are really talking about an angel not a man.
What is a covering cherub? To get more information on this, we need to go to Exodus 25:10-22. These verses describe the Ark of the Covenant that God told Moses to build and place in the sanctuary. After the ark was built, Moses placed the 10 commandments or the law of God into the ark, On top of the ark was the Mercy Seat or throne where God was to dwell. On both sides of the Mercy Seat was an angel called a covering cherub.
A covering cherub was one of the two angels who were the closest to God and who were to protect the Law of God which was the foundation of His throne and government. He was as close to God as anyone could be without being God. But remember, he was a created being. If we go to Hebrews 8:1-5, we see that the sanctuary that Moses built on earth, was actually patterned after the sanctuary in heaven. Zephaniah 3:4 tells us that pollution of the sanctuary is doing violence to the law.
Now in spite of his being right next to God, Ezekiel 28:15-19 shows that he sinned. This is a warning to us also, that although we may have a close walk with God, we can still fall away and be lost.
What is Sin?
If we read 1 John 3: 4, it says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (KJV) So Lucifer broke the Law of God. This is one of the two issues in the war between God and Satan.
Revelation 20:2 identifies the devil as Satan. Lucifer’s name gets changed to Satan after he sins. This name change is a big issue with God. In Revelation 2:17 and 3:12, God says He will give us a new name when we are saved. So Lucifer, “Shining One” or “Morningstar”, becomes Satan, “Adversary”.
How Did Lucifer Fool So Many Angels?
Revelation 12:7 says that war broke out in heaven and Revelation 12:4 says that the dragon took one third of the stars (or angels) with him. So, how did he fool so many angels? Now we don’t really know but we can make a pretty good guess on this. Let’s face it, the angels are smart. They’re not going to fall for something that doesn’t sound right. This tells us that Lucifer was even smarter than the other angels, so I sure wouldn’t want to get into a discussion with him. I would have NO CHANCE of winning.
Let’s read Isaiah 14:12 -14 again. Verse 14 says that he would be like the Most High (God). What is God like? He is loving, kind, patient, etc. etc. Lucifer was probably saying to the angels, ’We can be like God without following His Law. We can be righteous on our own.’
Even today some people tell us that we don’t need to keep the law to be saved. The law was nailed to the cross. All we need to do is to believe in Jesus and be good. To me, that sounds like the same argument that Lucifer used with his angels. It’s called self-righteousness. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our self-righteousness is as ‘filthy rags’, and Romans 8:33 makes it plain, “... It is God that justifieth”. We have no part whatsoever in our salvation, it is a gift from God and not earned. We will discuss this in detail in a later lesson.
The Issues And The battleground
As we saw a little earlier, one of the issues in the war is the Law of God. Lucifer transgressed the law. In Isaiah 14:13- 14, we see that Lucifer wanted to be high and exalted. He wanted to be worshipped. Even when he tempted Jesus in the desert, he made worship one of the temptations (Matthew 4:8-9). So we see that the war started with a
fight against God’s Law and a desire to be worshipped. As you continue these lessons, we will be concentrating on how Satan fights this battle through the ages, from the beginning to the end. Satan is constantly bombarding us with these two issues and YOU CAN BE SURE that they will be the defining issues in the final battle between Christ and Satan. These are the issues and the battleground is being fought in our hearts and our minds for our loyalty to Christ or to Satan. Remember, we have free choice. SATAN CAN’T FORCE US, AND JESUS WON’T.
Why Didn’t God Destroy Lucifer When He Sinned?
Imagine two angels walking down the street in heaven and one angel remarks, “I haven’t seen Lucifer for a couple ofdays, have you seen him?” The other angel looks around furtively and whispers a reply. “Haven’t you heard? God destroyed him because he was doing something funny.” Can you imagine the fear that would spread throughout heaven?
God’s government is based on love, justice, fairness and mercy. These attributes are who He is. God cannot change. In fighting God’s Law, Satan is challenging the fairness of God and His government. Satan can use any tactic he desires against God but God can only use righteousness. Righteousness requires that Satan’s laws (or lack thereof) be given a chance to prove that they don’t work.
When God gave Moses laws for the Israelites, one of the laws required that a person could not be put to death except by the word of two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). In other words, God requires the word of an independent individual who was not involved in the crime. Since the revolt in heaven affected and involved everyone, where could God get an independent witness?
In The Beginning
With revolt and unrest in heaven over Satan’s accusations, God needed a third party to judge between the two parties, so God created the earth and populated it with Adam and Eve. Genesis 1 records that event and chapters 2 records the creation of man and woman, how He placed them in the Garden of Eden, and how He warned them of Satan.
The Judge and Jury
1 Corinthians 6:3 says, ”Know ye not that we shall judge angels? . . .” One of God’s purposes for our creation was that we would uphold His Law and His government and judge Satan and His angels. The requirements for a jury include:
1. Being a law-abiding citizen of the country
2. Know the law
3. Know right from wrong
4. Not swayed by public opinion or being impartial
As impartial third party judges, we had to be given the choice as to who we would serve. God could not sway our decisions, that is why He made the Tree of Knowledge a test of our loyalty to Him. By not providing the test, God would have rigged the jury and this was impossible for His character.
However, Satan could do as he wanted, so he bribed the jury. Notice in Genesis 3:5, he tells Eve that the fruit of the tree will open her eyes and she will be as the gods, knowing good and evil. The word ‘gods’ comes from the Hebrew word “Elohiym” which also means rulers and judges. And the rest is history. Eve ate and gave to Adam and he ate, and the jury no longer met the conditions required.
The Way to Re-instate the Jury
Now God was faced with decision. Does He start all over again, or work with what He has. If God were to start all over again, Satan’s accusations against God would be that God’s Law was impossible to keep and that he, Satan was right. So God had to work with the weak, fallen flesh of humanity to prove that His law and His government were in fact the only source of righteousness and life, while Satan’s laws and government led to death.
In His eternal wisdom and knowledge, God planned for this contingency by providing a way for fallen man to be redeemed. Revelation 13:8 talks about “the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth.” The plan for man’s redemption was provided at the same time the earth was created. It was not an afterthought. God’s plan is found in Genesis 3: 14-15. It is the promise of a Savior and the destruction of Satan.
Notice that this is the )irst prophecy of the Bible and all the other prophecies in the Bible only provide more detail and build on this prophecy.
The Lie And The Truth
Genesis 3:4 is the first lie that Satan continues to disseminate, “Thou shalt not surely die.” If God had not already provided a plan of salvation, Adam and Eve would have died on the spot and we would not be here. Because God had promised salvation from the foundation of the world, and He doesn’t lie, Adam and Eve continued to live. The death of Jesus reached back all the way to the beginning and all the way to the end of this world.
But Satan continues to push that lie. You see its effects in the teachings of an eternal hell, in the teachings of an immortal soul and in other variations of these themes. In Genesis 3:22-24 God drives Adam and Eve out of the garden before they eat of the tree of life and become immortal. So, contrary to what many people teach, there are no immortal humans or souls and never will be until
the righteous are made immortal at the second coming of Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
Why Did God Create Lucifer If He Knew Lucifer Would Sin?
Imagine yourself as the only person on this earth and all the rest of the inhabitants were robots. Would you be happy? Obviously not. God doesn’t want to live by Himself in a universe of robots. He wants to share His creation with His creatures. In order for His creatures to be something other than robots, they must have the power of choice. Whenever someone has the power of choice, they can choose to accept the circumstances they are in, or they can choose to change those circumstances. Lucifer chose to change his circumstances to the detriment of God’s government and the happiness of the universe.
Sin was unknown to the universe when Lucifer sinned. The Bible talks about the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Even one third of the angels were deceived and the others were not quite sure. In order for all the beings in the universe to fully understand what sin is, God had to allow sin to continue until its effects are known. When sin is finally eradicated from the universe, those beings who remain, will never ever want to see sin again. Their freedom of choice will never include sin again.
Yes, it is painful. But imagine God’s pain also. Sin caused the death of His Son, the loss of one third of His angels, and the immense pain and suffering to His creatures. God never wanted that, but He is wise enough to know when to stop the suffering, and that will be soon.
1. God did not create sin
2. Lucifer was a created being, an angel and a protector of God’s Law
3. God’s government is based on His Law
4. Lucifer sinned. He broke God’s Law and wanted worship for himself
5. Lucifer deceived one third of the angels in heaven
6. There was war in heaven and Lucifer and his angels were thrown out
7. God created this world and populated it with Adam and Eve
8. God gave them free will to choose who to follow
9. Satan deceived Eve and she persuaded Adam to join her in her sin
10. God provided a plan to redeem mankind at the same time the earth was created
11. Because of that plan, we are still alive today
12. The final war will be over the law and worship
How Does This Show God’s Love?
God could have destroyed Satan at the beginning and then Adam and Eve when they sinned. He didn’t because of His character. God does what is right regardless of the consequences. Although we complain of all the pain and suffering we go through, imagine the pain and suffering that God endures. We are His creation. He loves us as His children. Can you imagine the pain and suffering you would feel if your children were being hurt? We only have a few children but God suffers for everyone in this world that is being hurt by sin. When God finally eradicates sin, we will live in a universe of love, peace and happiness.
Sin will never return (Nahum 1:9). But until then, God feels our pain more than we do, and if we are faithful to Him, our reward will be more than enough.