SEEKING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
FROM THE BIBLE TEACHINGS OF
TED A. ROBERTS
SATAN, THE DEVIL, AND HELL
CHAPTER 1: The Origin of Evil
SATAN, THE DEVIL, AND HELL
CHAPTER 1: The Origin of Evil
I must warn the reader that this present website does not allow certain formats to carry-over from my original Word files. For instance, important italicized words do NOT show in the scriptural quotes below - unless I spend time (that I do not have) manually adding them back in! For certain, in my Paperback books and Ebooks, the formatting is how it should appear. Therefore, you might want to read scripture passages in your own Bible as well as on here to preserve proper italics in said scriptures. However, do not skip my quotes within the scriptures, for (and also of importance) I add my own notes within many of them.
EXPLANATORY NOTES WILL FOLLOW AFTER THE CHAPTER...
The Origin of Evil
“For, were it not good that evil things should also exist, the Omnipotent God would most certainly not allow evil to be, since beyond doubt it is just as easy for Him not to allow what He does not will, as it is for Him to do what He will.”
– St. Augustine; Enchiridion.
Far be it from an intelligent mind to ever think that we cannot find the words satan, devil, or hell written within our English bibles; never can we allude that those English words aren't typed within. The true meanings, however, of both the Greek and Hebrew words (from which our English translators had made use of) may actually have, over the years, become a bit obscure to the modern English reading public. And we, the students of the Bible, should ever be on a quest (but only with the help of the Holy Spirit), to ascertain their meanings.
At first and second glances, the passages in the English Bible may seem to paint a picture of gloom and doom toward a sinner, and in a very horrid way. For, imagine actual beasts living underneath the literal earth who are being told by the devil to torture poor souls day and night, and night and day, for eternity! And, the entire time satan stands there laughing over the misery . . . indeed, a scary thought.
This picture, though, as was painted so lavishly by St. Augustine*1 (and many other writers), in some scholars' opinions, may not accurately portray the true message of the Written Word. And some do ask: Can those visuals really represent what the original writers of the scriptures were trying to convey to God's children?
But, before we can even tackle scriptures that allude to such thoughts of a literal blazing hell, and of an actual evil Being called the devil, it's very relevant to ask ourselves some important questions first, such as: Where did evil come from to begin with? Did the devil create evil? Is evil almost as powerful as God's power? Who created hell? What purpose do devils, or evil spirits serve? Is satan and the devil the same Being? Etc.
These, at first, may seem strange questions to ask − or, even irrelevant questions to some folks; however, I truly believe that such questions are very relevant to the understanding of God's purpose for His children, and can lead to answers that can, not only expand our knowledge of God's ultimate plan for us, but can, indeed, release us from extreme fear.
First, where did evil come from primarily? Did the devil just decide to create evil one day? Or, did evil just pop up someplace unexpected? . . . If the devil is an actual Being, then what would he have been like at the beginning of creation? Was he a perfect creature, with nothing bad found within him? Did he actually have a good heart before he allegedly fell from grace − and, eventually, fall from Heaven itself? Of course, this will even raise more questions, such as: Where did evil initially come from that he eventually received? Also, how long did it take (years? centuries?) before the evil was found in him?
To answer such questions, we do NOT seek any source outside the Bible, for the scriptures are very clear that the devil was a murderer and a liar from the very beginning − which leaves a perfect creature from the start totally out of the picture . . . Let’s observe:
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 [was there ever truth in him?*2]. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
The only way to interpret scripture is with scripture itself; and, I believe that once we can establish where evil came from in the first place (from the biblical text alone!*3 – Please see this very important Explanatory Note!), then we may be able to grasp the devil situation a little bit better . . . And, I ask for patience as I dig into our subject.
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [H7451]: I the LORD do all these things.
This is the direct approach: basically speaking, Isaiah is saying that God himself created evil – truly? Now, a lot of people might say that what God actually created was merely, and nothing more than calamity.
Calamity (from Webster's Dictionary, published 1828, public domain): Any great misfortune, or cause of misery; generally applied to events or disasters which produce extensive evils, as loss of crops, earthquakes, conflagrations, defeat of armies, and the like. But it is applied also to the misfortunes which bring great distress upon individuals.
However, even though calamity is one of the meanings of the Hebrew word for evil, it is but the mildest of its actual definitions:
Evil, Ra – or, râ‛âh (rah; raw-aw'), H7451, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary (Strong's Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries were Published in 1890, and are public domain): From H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun: - adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease (-ure), distress, evil ([-favouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief (-vous), harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief, (-vous), misery, naught (-ty), noisome, + not please, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st) wretchedness, wrong. [Including feminine raah; as adjective or noun.]
Did God really create all that?*4 Even though the word calamity did make its way in there, the official definition for evil (Ra) far exceeded just that! Showing us that, perhaps, the English word 'evil' just may be the best candidate for our translation. But, honestly, and if so, can that really make any sense?
According to Biblehub.com, when it lists parallel verses for Isaiah 45:7 from other translations, of the 22 different Bible versions compared, only 10 of them use the English word evil for the Hebrew word Ra; insinuating (that is, those who chose another English word for their translation) that what God created, as opposed to wicked evil, was (as some suggested) disaster or calamity. This is completely understandable, since we all know of the goodness of God, and that it is impossible for Him to bask in anything bad; or, for Him to even look upon sin. Therefore, these other versions, which say disaster or calamity, are, instead, suggesting some other type of bad things (as, for instance, natural disasters), rather than actual wicked evil . . . But, are they really justified in using a word other than evil in their translation? As we’ve already seen, the official definition for Ra went a bit further than just some random calamities, especially when the entry included things like: natural or moral evil; wicked; and wretchedness. But, calamity, however, was mentioned only once during the course . . . AMG’s Annotated Strong’s Dictionaries, from 2009 (which tool I highly recommend for my readers; and, of which takes word study to a whole new level), adds-in that Ra displays ten or more various shades of the meaning of evil according to its contextual usage; adding, also, that it’s bad, in a moral and ethical sense, and ultimately describes, along with good, the entire spectrum of both good and evil. Taking on, as well, the aspect of something disagreeable, unwholesome, or harmful; or, even people of wickedness. But, if this really is the case (i.e., that Isaiah’s actual, original meaning was for us to understand that he meant the entire spectrum of this Hebrew word Ra), then could this cause a problem for Christians? Absolutely not! Do we not know that there isn't anything made that wasn't made by the hand of God?
For by him were ALL things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Of which scripture we’ll explore deeper in a moment . . . This passage declared boldly that our Lord had created everything, and that He set all things into motion. But, even if it can be proved that He created evil in the first place (that is, in all of its varied forms), it certainly does not mean that He is evil Himself, or that He takes pleasure in it – as I’ll also continue to explain. But, even so, just exactly why would God create evil in such varied forms? Especially when it is so far from his personality and nature? Perhaps, and as some contend, the original Hebrew understanding didn't really mean that God 'created' evil, but simply meant that He was just a witness to it . . . What is the Hebrew word for 'create' in this passage of Isaiah?
Create, Bara' (baw-raw'), H1254, Hebrew Verb, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: to CREATE, shape, form. to shape, fashion, CREATE (always with God as subject), of heaven and earth, of individual man, of new conditions and circumstances, of transformations. To be CREATED, of heaven and earth, of birth, of something new.
No, not just a witness, but an actual Creator . . . But, and to be quite fair (and I will be amongst them who claim this), that it's really man himself who had become the inventors of evil things...
...inventors of evil things... [Please read Romans chapter 1 for the full gist in so knowing that he is referring to men who are these inventors of evil things.*5 – And, also, see this Explanatory Note]
Yet, and even then, we must still ask where did that evil come from to begin with? We make a full circle with this type of reasoning (that is, that men are inventors of evil things) in that we must still wonder how this type of inventing even got into the Mind of Man to start with? Did the devil just place it within the Mind of Man, or what?*6
Not only does Isaiah 45:7 speak about God creating evil, but so does this scripture in Proverbs:
The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil [Ra].
Made, Pâ‛al (paw-al'), H6466, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: A primitive root; to do or make (systematically and habitually), especially to practise: - commit, [evil-] do (-er), make (-r), ordain, work (-er), wrought.
Wicked, Rasha` (raw-shaw'), H7563, Hebrew Adjective, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: wicked, criminal, guilty one, one guilty of crime (subst). wicked (hostile to God). wicked, guilty of sin (against God or man).
Of course, the Hebrew word used for evil, at the end of this scripture, is "Ra" − the same Hebrew word as in Isaiah. But, is this, again, simply stating that God created calamity only? Actually, this passage really puts a new and different slant onto the thought of God creating evil. Here, it didn't simply say that He made evil, but rather that He made the WICKED for the day of evil. Now, one can argue, first of all, that it didn't actually say that the Lord CREATED the wicked, but rather that He MADE*7 the wicked; and He could have done that in one of several ways: such as simply 'ordaining' something to do a certain purpose (especially since 'ordain' is one of the meanings for the Hebrew word pâ‛al − which is translated as 'made'), or that the true meaning merely gives the sense that God made the wicked people go somewhere, or made the wicked to do something, for either punishment or correction. That is, again, made them as in "to force one to do something, or to go somewhere." However, from our Hebrew dictionary meaning (seen just above for the word 'made'), we not only gather that one could be ordained to do something (as in the thought that God could have taken a Being that was already wicked and caused them to do such and such), but we can also gather from the meaning (especially when it used the word 'wrought' for one of its definitions), that God could 'form' something (like in iron work; or, more specifically, like pottery upon a potter's wheel*8) or even 'create' something from complete scratch . . . Watching how the Bible phrases things, however, I would be more inclined to believe that God actually created the wicked for the day of evil; and, then, molded that wicked thing to serve his purposes − which I will certainly get into more detail of in the following pages. But, watch how this works in another place:
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.
Does this particularly show us that one of our enemies is principalities? Which, according to Strong's Greek Dictionary just means "the first."
Principalities, Archē (ar-khay'), G746, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: From G756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concrete) chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank): - beginning, corner, (at the, the) first (estate), magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule.
Or, and also according to this definition, the very first magistrate; which perhaps means the first magistrate of evil power – whom many consider to be the devil. But, before we get heavily into the devil issue, what's most important at this exact moment is the fact that what we are wrestling with is what the King James Version is calling the very first order of evil. Then, the next thing Ephesians 6:12 mentions, after principalities, is powers:
Power/Authority, Exousia (ex-oo-see'-ah), G1849, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: Power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases. leave or permission. physical and mental power. the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises. the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege) the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed).
But, without trying to make this present thought too complicated, let's explore other areas of the Bible where the Translators made these two words (principalities and powers) in succession of each other; and, then, I'll show you where I'm going with all of this...
Romans 8:38-39 (a summary)
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities [G746], nor powers [G1849] . . . shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And having spoiled principalities [G746] and powers [G1849], he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
In the compounding of these two words (even if they aren't directly side by side in the quotes), these two verses, along with our quote in Ephesians, are declaring boldly that they are speaking of evil things. But, even so, what am I even trying to get at with the mentioning of these principalities and powers? Well, primarily, this:
For by him [i.e. Jesus, as we see from verses 13-15] were ALL things created [including evil?], that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities [G746], or powers [G1849]: ALL things were created by him, AND FOR HIM.
So, what does this mean? Well, it's a different route, but it ends up saying the same thing. That is, that God created good and evil. But, not only, but He created them for Himself – as the end of verse 16 of Colossians chapter 1 declared; and, as our scripture in Proverbs 16:4 said, too: “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” . . . But, then, in this present thought, we get thrown off by these two verses:
To the intent that now unto the principalities [G746] and powers [G1849] in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.
Put them in mind to BE SUBJECT to principalities [G746] and powers [G1849], to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.
First of all, in Ephesians 3:10, we might be thrown off by the fact that these principalities and powers were in heavenly places; and, that they might be known to the Church from God's wisdom. What does that even mean? Well, if this verse stands alone without Titus 3:1 being involved, perhaps we could say that God shows us, like He did Job, that wherever the children of God are gathered that satan always comes in the midst of them (Job 1:6 and Job 2:1), and that they should always stay on their toes to detect evil wherever it may stick its ugly head – even in heavenly places. Or, it could mean, when we do consider Titus 3:1, that perhaps we should know that there are also good principalities and powers . . . Well, neither of our Strong's Greek Dictionary meanings for these two words (seen just above) leads us to believe that either principalities or powers are strictly evil – but, that any agent (whether they are good or evil) can bend principalities and powers into whatever direction they wish for their authority to take them. Only the verses Ephesians 6:12, Romans 8:38-39, and Colossians 2:15 leaned toward the thought of evilness.
So, are we to believe that what Jesus had created was only good principalities and powers but not the bad? That would be a bit presumptuous, would it not? Therefore (and, I'll say this once more), when Colossians 1:16 declares that Jesus had created ALL things, by Him and for Him, that it was all things good and evil. But, even so, and again according to Ephesians 6:12, Romans 8:38-39, and Colossians 2:15 (when it explained the evil principalities and powers), would Jesus (being the creator of them, too) have used those things against us? . . . What kind of a question is that? . . . Well, it certainly did say that we wrestle against principalities, against powers – along with the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12); and, then implied that Jesus Himself initially created them (Colossians 1:16). So, with such thoughts, am I seriously considering that if Jesus had created all things for Himself (again, Colossians 1:16, along with Proverbs 16:4), that He would have used them against us for His plans and purposes? A usage, that is, which the devil only has been accused of for centuries. And, not only, but am I also daring to suggest that God IS evil Himself since He's the creator of it? . . . God forbid! No way! . . . However, when all such scriptures are thoroughly scrutinized – instead of, that is, just quickly passing over them – they all should give us pause for consideration of more than what many have been taught concerning good and evil . . . As I'll continue to show herein, God can be the creator of evil without being affected by it. Such a powerful God can certainly be too strong to give-in to such a mess – proving to us, once again, that He can create it without giving-in to it . . . But, even so, are we really supposed to believe that God created evil with ALL of its aspects? That is, not only calamity, but also wickedness and sin? And (I’ll ask once more), by doing so, is God's own goodness being questioned? . . . Or, can we simply say that God has the extended knowledge to create evil, and He has the ability to start the process, set it into motion (an initial creation − like winding-up a toy, and then letting it go on its own steam from there on), and then to work with it in all of its varied forms afterward? Cannot God have the power and ability to create wickedness without being wicked Himself? Or, without it affecting Him at all? Is that not a possibility? . . . But, that kind of thinking actually raises many more questions, such as: Why would God even want to do that?
Now, please, do not get me wrong, I am NOT leaning toward the thought that God has evil within Him. However, I will say that I do believe that God did, in fact, create evil in ALL of its varied forms as a part of His ultimate plan of salvation; and, I will presently point out how and why. But, if we can see that God Himself really did create evil (again, in ALL of its varied forms − that is, in more than just calamity, but of wickedness, too), and not only so, but uses evil for His salvation plan for us, then we will begin to view the devil's role a bit differently, as well.
But, first, let's continue the pacing of this topic without fully revealing everything just yet – for, other things must be considered also before the entire puzzle can be put together; such as, other pieces of the larger puzzle must be brought to the table, too; so, let's continue with our second word, in Colossians 1:16, after principalities – power. Notice what Paul says here about powers:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
This brings up several interesting points. First noticeable point is that there is NO power but of God. So, what that means is that evil is NOT a separate power unto and of itself − that is, if it's even a power at all − which, it certainly is! The second thought is that ALL POWERS are ORDAINED by God. In other words, anything that has power not only was given permission by God, but was actually commissioned (ordained) by Him − as is observed in the case of satan in the book of Job, which we will see in just a moment. But, first, let's consider Pontius Pilate:
Then saith Pilate unto him [Jesus], Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Notice here that Pilate was given power to do these things to Jesus from above: i.e. from God the Father. Therefore, without God granting permission, or especially that he was ordained for that purpose, Pilate had no power to do the things that he was doing, or could do . . . Next, we must consider Pharaoh, king of Egypt, during the days of the Exodus. What most folks don't know, or consider, is the fact that Pharaoh had absolutely no choice in the matter of letting or not letting the children of Israel leave Egypt; but God did, in fact, force Pharaoh's hand to make the children of Israel stay there longer.
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh...
Poor Man's Commentary by Robert Hawker (published in 1805; public domain – on Exodus 9:12a): Observe the change of expression. Upon several instances before, it is said that Pharaoh hardened his own heart: but here it is said, that the Lord hardened it.
Also seen in Exodus 10:20; 10:27; 11:10; and 14:8.
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Even the hearts of men are in God's hand, and not only their goings, as he had said, Proverbs 20:24. God can change men's minds, can, by a powerful insensible operation under their spirits, turn them from that which they seemed most intent upon, and incline them to that which they seemed most averse to.
Poor Man's Commentary by Robert Hawker: There can be no question but that all hearts, and all the ways of men are, like the current of waters, subject to divine direction.
Geneva Bible Translation Notes (published in 1599; public domain): Though kings seem to have all things at commandment, they are not able to bring their own purposes to pass unless God has appointed: much less are the inferiors able.
This is another thought that we'll continue to explore herein. But, now, on with the thought about satan in the book of Job: let's notice how satan had no power to do anything to Job except he first got permission by God.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Let's consider several key factors here. First, after satan was supposedly kicked out of Heaven (way back in Genesis, perhaps), he appears in Heaven again, conversing with God, sometime after his fall; and, he's also acting more as if he were one of God's servants rather than His enemy. The second thought, or rather question, is can satan actually change God's thoughts to convince God to allow bad things to happen to people? In fact, in the first book of this Evil Side of Creation part of my Teaching Series (in book 1: "Blaming God!"), I asked even more questions concerning satan's role in the book of Job; which were:
"How did satan convince God to allow him to hurt one of His subjects? Can God even be persuaded by the wiles of satan? Why did such a bad-boy like satan have to get God's permission to even hurt somebody to begin with? Being evil as he is, as is taught to us, wouldn't he simply have done so without such permission? And, not only so, but by even speaking to God about it in the first place, didn't he run the risk of God stopping him?"
– Blaming God!, page 43.
It would seem that even Job was convinced of who's hand was causing all his grief:
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Though he [God] slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
And, earlier in the book, Job spoke similarly:
...What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?...
Here, Job does not mention satan at all as to being the cause of his woes; but, suggests, once again, that it was the workings of God. And, he was right, for we already saw how God gave satan the go-ahead on that project in Job 1:12. But, even so, wouldn't Job's observations that it was God's hands, which had caused this grief, upset the Lord? Let's watch the last part of that same thought:
...In all this did NOT Job sin with his lips.
I'm not too sure if a lot of people have even considered these things. However, as we will soon see, the answers to these questions are rather simple. But, by us even considering these questions, they may begin to give us a different view about the role of satan – seeing as he is first ordained by God to have power, and then satan had to get permission from God in order to do the things that he did to Job. Which, again, makes him God's servant rather than His enemy. That's right, this type of agent serves God, does His will, and does not work against Him, but for Him − just as we saw in Colossians 1:16; and, as we will see in a few moments when I'll quote another curious verse from 1st Kings. But, presently, this situation would also remind us of another scripture:
...shall there be evil [Ra] in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible (1748-1763 & 1809, public domain): which is not to be understood of the evil of sin, of which God is not the author, it being contrary to his nature and will.
Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible: Evil is of two sorts, evil of sin, and evil of punishment. There is no other...
As I hope to establish herein, and adding to the thoughts of Albert Barnes (which he further says that he actually got from St. Augustine), I believe that there's really three sorts of evil: the two that he had mentioned in his notes (of sin and of punishment); and a third that many folks don't consider – the evil of correction. A thought which I had spent no less than an entire book explaining – again, in part 1 of the Evil Side of Creation, in: "Blaming God!" I first explained it therein to set us up for this present book. Truly, it would be helpful for one to understand me better to read that volume first; but, no matter – one can always read it after this book for better clarity . . . Correction, as I explained therein, is the force which helps us to become better Christians; i.e. through chastisements, along with trials and tribulations. And, evil (such as afflictions), as I again explained therein, is certainly an agent that is used for that purpose – which ends in salvation for the saint (for, to become an overcomer, there first must be evil to overcome) . . . Certainly, I completely agree with John Gill when he said that the evil (Ra) which God forces on some cities is not sin. Even though sin is certainly an evil thing that God initially created (and, yet, not sin that man’s evil thoughts produce on a daily basis, but the initial creation of there being sin to begin with), it is completely against, and is the opposite to His true nature. Not only, but James is quick to point out that God tempts no person with evil:
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
As the writer of Proverbs points out, God actually hates the evil way:
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Now, before we go any further in this chapter, I truly need to get one thing established on evil (Ra); that, even though I believe God created evil initially – to be able to branch out into men’s minds toward its goals in all of its terrible aspects (for things just don't create themselves – else, there would be creative forces outside the power of God – and, making Romans 13:1-2 a lie!) – that just because He created it, it doesn't mean that He's the distributer of it. As I have already pointed out, in a few instances, God can set things into motion at the beginning, and then allow it to run on its own steam thereafter. Thus, was nature wound-up and set loose to its own circuits at the beginning of time:
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
In consideration that evil was created at the very beginning of God's Work (for, when else could it have been created?), I'd like to point out this verse:
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
This verse, explaining the end of the initial creation, declares that everything that God created was very good. When did, therefore, evil come to be? Did it come after the creation of all things? For, suddenly, the serpent, in chapter 3, pops up out of nowhere! Now, one can argue that there was a second creation in chapter 2, with such verses as these:
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food... [19a] And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air...
We might even go as far as to say that there were two creations of man between chapters 1 and 2:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply...
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
However, at the beginning of chapter 2, it says that God ended the creation. And, that was before this supposed second creation of man:
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
So, did He end the Work or not? For, it seems that just after He rested, He got up immediately and began creating again! . . . Over the years I have seen much confusion over the book of Genesis – that is, over the first four chapters. This is why I go over these first four chapters with a fine-toothed comb in my Series, called: The Spiritual Side of Creation, beginning in a book called: "In the Beginning: It was spiritual from the very start." In fact, I've already declared that what we are seeing aren't two separate "natural" creations in these two chapters of Genesis, but of a "natural" creation in chapter 1, and then a "spiritual" creation in chapter 2. So, what He rested from, at the beginning of chapter 2, was the natural creation that we saw in chapter 1. Therefore, if the devil were a Being to be reckoned with (that is, an actual Being that's as real as God is Himself – for, even though he’s considered a “spiritual” Being, He’s still a literal Being of some sort in many people’s ideas), then it would make more sense that his creation would have been in chapter 1 when God was creating all things "physical," during the time when He was creating the heavens (the cosmos), and the earth – including a supposed fiery furnace at the center of the earth called hell. For, when else would a literal, physical hell have been created if not with all natural and physical elements? For, no scripture can actually be found of its initial creation. And, if this is the case (that is, that the devil and hell were created at the beginning of God's Work during chapter 1 of Genesis), then they would have been put into the category of "very good" things that were created, as says verse 31. But, that wouldn't make much sense with traditional doctrine.
However, as we will continue to observe during the course of this book (and, too, as I had – once again – pointed out in Part 1 of this present Series), the reason that it was “very good” that evil was a part of the initial creation in the first part of Genesis was because without evil being present in this world, we would have nothing to overcome; and, if not overcomers, then how can we ever hope to taste of life eternal? Hence, God’s reasons for creating evil to begin with; and, why it’s a part of His salvation plan.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 John 2:13
…I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one… [2:14b] I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
For the reward of the overcomers, see 1st John 5:4; Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 3:5; 3:12; 3:21; and 21:7.
Let's now consider another scenario in scripture:
1 Kings 22:21-22
And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
Here we have, during the times of the Kings, a lying spirit asking permission of God to do some damage to some prophets. God gave his permission. Yet, notice what happens next:
1 Kings 22:23
Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
Notice that it said that the Lord Himself put the lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets − Could that have been God's plan the whole time, and not necessarily the idea of the lying spirit?
1 Samuel 16:14
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil [Ra] spirit FROM the LORD troubled him.
God Himself put an evil (Ra) spirit into King Saul. So, then, the question has to come to mind: If all the bad spirits fell from Heaven, what were these still doing in Heaven, doing God’s own bidding? Not only that, but if not ALL bad spirits fell from Heaven, does that then make Heaven unsteady, in showing us that there are some bad spirits, or bad angels, still there? The answer may very well lie in the fact of who lucifer and satan really are...
Explanatory Notes for Chapter 1
The Origin of Evil
*1. This picture, though, as was painted so lavishly by St. Augustine... In at least two of his books, St. Augustine gives us extraordinary (though traditional) views on hell that has become standard to many doctrines; or, at least, have paved the way for a lot of modern beliefs on hell. These books are: The Enchiridion, and The City of God.
*2. There is no truth in him [was there ever truth in him?]... This is a good question to ask at this point; yet, not the time to really answer. I first must build my case before boldly laying the chips down upon the table. However, this question is legit – in seeing that most folks will tell you of how perfect a creature he was at the very beginning of time; and, yet, we have Jesus here telling his audience that not only was he a liar and a murderer from the very beginning, but also that there is no – nor ever was – truth found in him.
1 John 3:8b
…the devil sinneth from the beginning…
If that's really the case, we then have to ask, in such circumstances as this, of how he could have been a perfect Being before evil was found in him? ... But, then, somebody could turn right around and say that he was a liar at the beginning of the evilness being found within him. But, according to scripture, and as we will continue to see, that's actually impossible ... Stay tuned!
*3. From the biblical text alone!... As I had pointed out in pretty good detail in my already published book: "In the Beginning: it was spiritual from the very start" (and, as I will continue to point out, with even better detail in my upcoming book: "The Bible is not a Buffet"), all other source materials, other than the original writings of the Bible, should NOT be consulted unless they actually complement the original texts; and, even then, they should be carefully sifted through. In such considerations, we should actually see that other books, on or about the devil (or, even on any other doctrinal issues for that matter), are simply "ideas" and "doctrines" gained from the original scrolls of the Bible – including, even, this book that you are holding in your hands! Of which original sources were actually jotted down by holy men that were inspired by God's Spirit to write them down which we read today...
2 Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Therefore, we need not consult other sources for "better" ideas than those which were already placed upon paper (or, upon stone tablets – then, animal skins) by the original, Godly ordained authors. If, therefore, "other" works and writings complement the Bible, and flow smoothly with its words, then that's really good. But, if things seem contradictory (even if they are writings from as far back as biblical times; i.e., as far back as the Apocryphal books* – which a lot of them were written in-between Malachi and Matthew), then we are not obligated to listen to them ... Let's not be naive in believing that teachers can't make mistakes in their writings (I, myself included! – see: "An important message from the author" at the beginning of this book). However (and, again) as I explore these ideas in my two aforementioned books, I DO believe that our Bibles are accurate to God's Mind. Not necessarily, however, in translations of the original languages, but in the original languages themselves ... Yes, an accurate Bible CAN be found if (just as it had happened to the holy men of old) God's Spirit can inspire us to sift through a lot of messed-up versions to find the pure truth.
*Apocryphal books... What has come to be known to us today as the Apocrypha are a set of books that were written several hundred years before Christ, and also several hundred years after Christ. These books fill the gap between Malachi (the last 'official' book of the Old Testament) and Matthew (the first 'official' book of the New Testament); and, then, continue once again after Revelation (the last 'official' book of the New Testament). There's controversy surrounding them, though, for the argument is whether these 'other' books should also be a part of the 'official' canon of the Bible or not; that is, what's considered authoritative to the Christian community abroad. And, certainly, opinions do vary. This is an argument, believe it or not, that's very relevant to our current study. For, if we say to another person that the belief they have does not correspond to scripture, they may just say that it does, and will be thinking of a book that you do not consider valid. The Roman Catholic Bible, for instance, has many of the Apocryphal books within its pages; but, believe it or not, so did the first printing of the King James Version – the most famous of Protestant Bibles. Later, and because of "puritans" in England, the Apocrypha was finally thrown out of later editions of the KJV; and, therefore, remains out of it to this day for Protestant America. A lot of scholars have looked back into the issue, though, wondering why they were ever taken out of it to begin with; for, who's to decide which books we should keep or get rid of? Mere man? Hence, our problem; for, the Apocryphal books, in a lot of ways, support the doctrinal ideas of many organized Churches in this world, and are therefore useful for their leaders to "prove" what they teach. But, on the other hand, if these ancient books prove to be false (doctrinally on the basis of canon, that is), then so would modern, doctrinal teachings which base their ideas thereon ... As for me, personally, and in my humble opinion, I will say that these Apocryphal books do NOT express the pure truth of God** ... Am I sure? Is this just another "opinion" by mere man? ... Well, I will actually share the main reasons of my decision; and, they're certainly opinions that every person should seriously consider, too ... The first consideration, concerning the canon of the Old Testament, is in the form of both Jesus and His disciples, of when they were quoting Holy Scripture (in the Gospel accounts and in the letters of the New Testament), that even though leaving out only a handful of books of the Old Testament in their quotes (that is, from the Jewish and Protestant Christian's chosen, authoritative books), never, not even once, did any of them quote from what's considered the Apocrypha.*** So, if the Apocryphal books are really considered sacred and holy, then why didn't the founding leaders of Christianity quote from any of them? Or, why didn't the Hebrew Bible itself carry any of them? For, these extra books were certainly available during the Early Church days (i.e. the Septuagint had some – circa 3rd century; and, 200 to 50 BC. See: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocrypha***^); so, the Apocryphal books were certainly known about during the 1st century – as we'll also see in just a moment when I'll quote from Josephus, the famous 1st century historian ... Secondly (and, of which will be a similar case to the canon of the New Testament – as I'll also speak on in a few moments), what the Jews had (and, still do) consider sacred books are those that were written by, or dictated by, a chosen prophet of God ... We can see that this tradition was heavily on the minds of the 1st century Jews, as can be seen by the famous writer Flavius Josephus:
Against Apion, by Josephus, written before AD 100, Book 1, section 8a (public domain – sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/apion-1.htm): For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books,***^^ which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life. It is true, our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time; and how firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation [again, the “authoritative” books only] is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in them; but it is become natural to all Jews immediately, and from their very birth, to esteem these books to contain Divine doctrines, and to persist in them, and, if occasion be willingly to die for them.
Again, and in a similar fashion were the books (or, letters) of the New Testament finally chosen; that is, because they were written by or were dictated by those of whom are considered the founding apostles of the Early Church – as quotes Dr. Bruce Metzger (an accredited biblical scholar, former professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, and former chairman of the New Revised Standard Version Bible Committee – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_M._Metzger), in Lee Strobel's wonderful book 'The Case for Christ' (Zondervan Publishing, 1998), on page 86 in the paperback version ... So, in other words, the books of our Bibles (the 'original' books and letters, of both the Old and New Testaments – minus the Apocryphal book, of course) weren't just randomly stuck in there because of their antiquity, but were picked because of their compositions by, or dictations by the old, chosen prophets and apostles. Therefore, all other books were and still are only intrusions on the true, pure Word of God ... Certainly, much more can be said on this subject – and, certainly, I will speak more on it in my upcoming book, called "The Bible is not a Buffet." Also, I'm speaking a bit more about this in the following Sub-Notes:
**These Apocryphal books do NOT express the pure truth of God... I don't know of any serious scholar that actually believes that the Apocryphal books are trash, or are ready to toss into the dumpster. In fact, they can be extremely useful for biblical studies and historical research. So, that's not the argument or real issue about and against the Apocrypha. The real issue is whether or not these books can be considered 'authoritative' scripture (i.e. canon), as to being the pure Breath of God in every whit – void of any man's flesh ... Whilst a lot of them do complement the authoritative texts in part, some also begin to wander seriously off the beaten path of pure truth. And, if that's really the case, then any serious Bible student should be able to tell you that just a little leaven will leaven an entire lump of bread (Matthew 16:12; 1st Corinthians 5:6-7); that is, if you can't trust any portion of a book, then you should be dubious of any of it, and only read through it very carefully ... Again, I'll explore these issues a bit better in my upcoming book on biblical authority.
***Never, not even once, did any of them quote from what's considered the Apocrypha… And, yet, we do have this witness:
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Admittedly, this is a puzzle to many scholars; and, also admittedly, to myself! No person knows of where Jude got this information (certainly not from Genesis) – but, it’s not a foregone conclusion that it wasn’t a direct revelation from Christ to him. But, perhaps it’s more logical to conclude that he got it from some ancient book that’s completely unknown to us today. Ironically, a book did show up, much later, having the name of Enoch attached; and perhaps even more ironically, it did contain similar wording inside to what Jude says here. Naturally, many have concluded that that’s where Jude got his information – despite the fact that most of that book has outlandish writings in it which do not match up with scripture. Therefore, and because of that, many others have concluded that what was found was actually a later copy (after Jude wrote his words), and simply added in Jude’s words into it to make it appear authentic. Scholars are divided on this. However, such a find does not prove that Jude copied his ideas from that “Apocryphal” book … Despite what is known to us today as the Apocrypha, there certainly are “other” books mentioned by the Bible itself that have not come to light as of yet (i.e. no copy of them is known to exist in our modern times). Which again, these are NOT from the Apocrypha, but were written earlier than those external books – actually written during the Old Testament days themselves. These books are as follows:
– The book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13; 2nd Samuel 1:18)
– The book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14)
– The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (1st Kings 14:19,29)
– The book of Shemaiah the Prophet and Visions of Iddo the Seer (2nd Chronicles 9:29; 12:15; and 13:22)
– The Manner of the Kingdom (1st Samuel 10:25)
– The Acts of Solomon (1st Kings 11:41)
– The Annals of King David (1st Chronicles 27:24)
– The book of Samuel the Seer (1st Chronicles 29:29
– The book of Nathan the Prophet (1st Chronicles 29:29 and 2nd Chronicles 9:29)
– The book of Gad the Seer (1st Chronicles 29:29)
– The prophesy of Ahijah (2nd Chronicles 9:29)
– The books of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2nd Chornicles 16:11; 27:7; 32:32)
– Etc. ... see, for more books,
What this tells us is that there were other books that had the truth of God in them, but (and, also as some believe) they were unnecessary to add to the canon because many of them may actually be repeats of what was already in the actual books of the Bible; or, that God simply didn’t need them within the final collection because His children have enough in what’s considered today as the Old Testament to help them enter unto salvation. Be that as it may, these books remain a mystery for us today … As for my own thoughts, I see the original book of Enoch (if there ever was such a thing) as to being one of these lost books (and, not what has been brought to our attention in our modern times – that obscure version with Enoch’s name attached), and that what Jude had in his possession (or, of what he had read prior to his own letter being written) was one of those lost books that I just got through listing … Now, concerning me pointing out about Enoch’s name being attached to this Apocryphal book, we should know that it had become extremely popular, in the New Testament Apocryphal books (that is, those written after Revelation – and, indeed, even on some that were written after Malachi, before Jesus was born), to attach a famous name to the title page – which fact, also, was pointed out in Lee Strobel's book: 'The Case for Christ.' Such name placing gave those books “weight” to try and prove that what was written within was authentic – though they contradicted the actual scriptures quite often and terribly.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible (published in 1810-1826; public domain): Of the book of Enoch, from which this prophecy is thought to have been taken, much has been said; but as the work is apocryphal, and of no authority, I shall not burden my page with extracts.
The Biblical Illustrator, by Joseph S. Exell (Published in 1900; public domain): There is indeed an apocryphal book, “The Book of Enoch,” which appears to have been often used by the early Fathers, and to have acquired a great celebrity in the first days of Christianity. For centuries this book was supposed to have been lost, and our only knowledge of it was derived from quotations in other writings. An Ethiopic version was at length discovered in Ethiopia, and brought to England by the well-known traveller, Bruce. In this book there are passages which answer very nearly to the prophecy recorded by St. Jude. It has therefore been a common supposition that the apostle derived from this book the prediction which he ascribes to the patriarch. But the likelihood is that the Book of Enoch was written after the Epistle of St. Jude, so that Jude could not have drawn the prophecy from the book; but, rather, the writer of the book inserted in it the prophecy that he might give to his forgery the appearance of truth. We may believe, therefore, that in all probability Jude was informed of the prediction by immediate revelation. But whatever the source whence the apostle derived it, we may be certain that the prophecy was actually delivered by Enoch.
Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible (1847-85, public domain): The source from which Jude derived this passage respecting the prophecy of Enoch is unknown. Amidst the multitude of traditions, however, handed down by the Jews from a remote antiquity, though many of them were false, and many of a trifling character, it is reasonable to presume that some of them were true and were of importance. No man can prove that the one before us is not of that character; no one can show that an inspired writer might not be led to make the selection of a true prophecy from a mass of traditions; and as the prophecy before us is one that would be every way worthy of a prophet, and worthy to be preserved, its quotation furnishes no argument against the inspiration of Jude. There is no clear evidence that he quoted it from any book extant in his time. There is, indeed, now an apocryphal writing called “the Book of Enoch,” containing a prediction strongly resembling this, but there is no certain proof that it existed so early as the time of Jude, nor, if it did, is it absolutely certain that he quoted from it. Both Jude and the author of that book may have quoted a common tradition of their time, for there can be no doubt that the passage referred to was handed down by tradition. The passage as found in “the Book of Enoch” is in these words: “Behold he comes with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal, for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him,” chapter ii. Bib. Repository, vol. xv. p. 86. If the Book of Enoch was written after the time of Jude, it is natural to suppose that the prophecy referred to by him, and handed down by tradition, would be inserted in it. This book was discovered in an Ethiopic version, and was published with a translation by Dr. Laurence of Oxford, in 1821, and republished in 1832. A full account of it and its contents may be seen in an article by Prof. Stuart in the Bib. Repository for January 1840, pp. 86-137.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the whole Bible (published in 1805; public domain): Some say that this prophecy of Enoch was preserved by tradition in the Jewish church; others that the apostle Jude was immediately inspired with the notice of it: be this as it may, it is certain that there was such a prophecy of ancient date, of long standing, and universally received in the Old Testament church; and it is a main point of our New Testament creed.
***^Wikipedia… I'd like to speak my mind quickly about the website Wikipedia, because in this book, as well as my others, I do make use of its wording. Allow me to say, first of all, that I do understand that it cannot be fully trusted 100%. But, then again, what can be totally trusted? – Even some biblical translations have to be investigated before trust can come. However, and what's really good about Wikipedia is the fact that it does give references from which information was taken. That's where the usefulness of it comes – especially since anybody from anywhere can add information to any Wikipedia page. Not that that's especially bad, it just means that all of us must stay on our toes to make sure we aren't taken-in by false information. Therefore, when I refer my readers to this website, I am wishing for them to make use of the source material from which the information was gleaned. Besides, and since a large library of encyclopedias aren't as popular today as they had been yesteryear, Wikipedia has become the king of encyclopedias! And, many people do make use of it on a daily basis. Therefore, it cannot be ignored or overlooked. Until something better comes along, we can make use of it – though being cautious in our endeavors – as well as being cautious with any other source material … The same holds true for all the commentary quotes I make herein from other authors – such as my usage from commentators like Adam Clarke; John Gill; Matthew Henry; John Wesley; Albert Barnes; etc. – and, even from Geneva’s Bible Translation Notes, as well as Bible Dictionaries, such as Smith’s and Easton’s; even Webster’s Dictionary and Strong’s Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Dictionaries. For, just because I occasionally quote them, that certainly does not mean that I agree to everything that they have to say in other places. I pick and choose what I’d like to share in my books; for, surely, if somebody has a great love for the Lord (as I see such men do), then they can’t be all wrong in everything that they say; and, even if they can be wrong on occasion (according to my understanding, that is!), that does not mean they have everything wrong. Again, I see such men as to having the right intentions to begin with. But, there are others (of a few I may also quote) who purposefully forward false ideas for materialistic gain. I will only quote them to show, not only how wrong they are in their doctrinal beliefs, but also of their false intentions for materialistic gain for their own sakes. Therefore, the reader is to take such quotes from all commentators as they will (of those, that is, of whom I’ve named); but, keeping in mind that whomever disagree with their words needs sufficient proof to call their understandings false. And, no, just because another person told you that they were false (such as a minister, and those of authority and in power), it does not legitimize their critiques. As I hope to convey successfully in my Teaching Series, the Word of God has to be the final authority on any doctrinal matter, and not man’s opinions which, when examined thoroughly, cannot be proven as fact. I don’t care who the modern minister is, or of what powerful position they hold, if their words do not match-up accurately with the Word of God, then they are wrong!
***^^Twenty-two books... This count does not correspond to the number of books counted by modern, religious Jews – which are 24 books.***^^^ However, the books are really the very same books as of what's considered sacred today; Josephus just counted them differently. Without getting into a long spiel about it here, there's an excellent website whose author already did some wonderful research for us on the subject, and I highly recommend it for those who are curious: www.askelm.com/restoring/res005.htm … But, basically, here's their suggestive arrangement for the ancient author's count:
7. The Book of Kingdoms
11. The Twelve
THE WRITINGS (PSALMS)
15. Song of Songs
22. The Book of Chronicles
***^^^Which are 24 books... As can be seen from the suggested list above (which counts for Josephus' 22 book count of the Old Testament books), some books are actually combined together; that is, in comparison to the Protestant Old Testament, which counts out 39 books itself. But, all books (whether Josephus' count, the modern Jewish Bible's count, or even the Christian, Protestant Old Testament) are all the same, exact books accounted for. However, in the Protestant Bible, the reason for more books being counted are that some of them were split apart – such as 1st and 2nd Samuel; 1st and 2nd Chronicles; the 'Twelve,' or 'Book of the Twelve,' being split up into twelve separate books – which Protestants call the twelve minor Prophet books. Not that they were minor compared to the major Prophets (such as, not being as important), but were just smaller books in size ... Again, the reason Josephus' count was smaller than the modern Jewish Bible (and, indeed, even St. Jerome agreed with Josephus in a 22-book count) is explained fully in the website address I gave in the last Sub-Sub-Note; namely: www.askelm.com/restoring/res005.htm. All books are the same, even if given in different order or completions or breakings-apart.
*4. Did God really create all that?... In order to quickly rescue us with the problem of God creating evil, such hypothesis as this have emerged:
Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible: And create evil - The parallelism here shows that this is not to be understood in the sense of all evil, but of that which is the opposite of peace and prosperity. That is, God directs judgments, disappointments, trials, and calamities; he has power to suffer the mad passions of people to rage, and to afflict nations with war; he presides over adverse as well as prosperous events. The passage does not prove that God is the author of moral evil, or sin, and such a sentiment is abhorrent to the general strain of the Bible, and to all just views of the character of a holy God.
And yet some will admit to this:
The Biblical Illustrator, by Joseph S. Exell: Soften it down as we will, it is a tremendous claim [of God creating evil], a claim which plunges our thoughts into impenetrable mysteries, and suggests problems we cannot solve ... And how can our hearts be at rest until we know and are sure that God rules over the kingdom of darkness as well as in the kingdom of light; that the evils which befall us are under His control no less than the blessings which enrich and gladden us; that wherever we wander, and through whatever sorrowful changes we pass, we are never for a single moment out of His hand?
As we progress along into our study, we will see if the idea of God creating evil really stops at the doorstep of mere calamity (as Albert Barnes suggests), or if the idea of the scriptures actually give further and deeper meanings – just as the Biblical Illustrator hastened to say: "Soften it down as we will, it is a tremendous claim, a claim which plunges our thoughts into impenetrable mysteries, and suggests problems we cannot solve." However, I do believe that the mystery CAN be solved, but with deeper and further research. And, to which may or may not include Albert Barnes ideas that "The passage [in Isaiah 45:7] does not prove that God is the author of moral evil, or sin, and such a sentiment is abhorrent to the general strain of the Bible, and to all just views of the character of a holy God."
*5. Inventors of evil things... Being an "inventor" of something is not the same thing as being the "creator" of something; for, creation is the very beginning of a thing and not the "continuance" of something that was already created at the beginning of time. Let's take for instance Adam "begetting" Seth in the first part of Genesis chapter 5. We can't say, with accurateness, that Adam "created" Seth – because, even Eve admitted, when baring Cain earlier, that she had "gotten a man from the LORD" (Genesis 4:1). This was a continuing process of child bearing after God had initially created child bearing at the beginning. As we'll explore in this book, God set a process to the initial course of life – as in winding something up, then watching its "random" occurrences proceed afterward; showing us, again, how He merely set the course, and designed us to be capable of inventing evil things on our own – without He ever having to think of a single evil thought for a wicked imagination that man would have thereafter.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in THEIR imaginations [not God’s imagination], and their foolish heart was darkened. [30a] Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things…
Now, let’s continue our thoughts concerning Adam not creating Seth, but of he and Eve birthing Seth – continuing a process that God had initially created…
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in HIS own likeness [after Adam’s likeness], after HIS image [after Adam’s image]; and called his name Seth.
Compare this “continuance” of birthing (not an initial creation) with the two scriptures above this one to see how God started the whole thing off Himself, and with an actual “creation:”
…God created man [i.e. created mankind to begin with], in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam [i.e. man; mankind], in the day when they were created.
Again, when we compare this with verse 3, it does not say that Adam created Seth, but that he and Eve begat Seth; i.e. birthed him ... So, what’s the point to this exercise? I’m trying to show, once again, the difference between “acting upon” something that was already created with comparison to the initial creation of a thing; and, that nowhere in scripture can we find where anything or anyone outside of God has initial, creative power – the power to initially create something – including a literal Being called the devil not having such creative power either; as, also, we’ll continue to see. If this is really true, then we have to ask ourselves where evil came from in the first place? And, if the devil did “create” evil, then where did he get that creative power?
*6. Did the devil just place it within the Mind of Man, or what?... Again, I have to ask that if God didn’t create wicked evil, as many contend, then where did it come from? This reminds me very much about the problem with the Big Bang Theory* of Evolutionists (i.e. of Cosmic or Macro-Evolution**). It’s an elaborate theory about how the universe was formed, and is referenced as The Big Bang; for, it once was considered (and is still considered by many) that a micro, tiny piece of dirt (matter) had spun very fast, then exploded, and then expanded at a rapid rate to form the universe. Of course, that base theory has been updated by some. However, and whatever they may say had exploded, or just simply expanded, they cannot answer the question of where that tiny piece of dirt (matter) had even come from to begin with, which eventually exploded or expanded to make all that we see today … Similarly (as is the case for all the forwarded explanations of what all the “Big Bang” consisted of), folks can say all the day long how that there is a devil, and of what all his activities are, but how can those folks explain where evil come from to begin with? Can it be proved that the devil is a creator, too? If so, where is it written in the biblical text? All I see, once again, is that God created evil. That statement is at least written therein, even if folks have other theories as to what that means … I’ve also heard it explained that evil is just like darkness, in that it wasn’t “created,” it’s just there, and has always been. That answer seems too simplistic to me, and an avoiding of the issue. The same author that I read that from also said that the Bible does NOT say that God created evil. How he missed Isaiah 45:7, along with its Hebrew definitions, I cannot say! But, then he went on to explain that just suddenly, and out of nowhere, people just decided to do bad things that was opposite and contrary to light and goodness. Again, that’s just too weak of an explanation for me. Darkness, light, good and evil are a part of God’s plans – just as much as other things that have parallels, such as cold, hot; happiness, sadness; etc. A lot of people, for years, have been enveloped in the definition that darkness isn’t really in existence, that it’s just an absence of light (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkness). The true answer, for many, though, is just as puzzling and limited as it is to answer where that pesky, little piece of dirt (matter) had initially come from that finally exploded or expanded to make our universe. We’re limited if we believe in science only and not God; a God, that is, who actually created science (of which statement, by the way, is not insinuating that all who believe in science cannot believe in a Supreme Being. But, is a statement for those who don’t believe in God). However, if God is truly God, then His realm has to be outside the confines of science, and outside anything that has to obey the rules of physics and universal laws. Again, we limit ourselves to say that darkness is non-existent; or, that it (as a negative non-component nothingness, which is void of anything observable and demonstratable), has just always been, and that it was never “created.” How can we know that? Especially when we can’t even fathom the thought that God Himself has always been, and had no beginning … Let’s take the air, for instance. We can’t see it, so how do we know that it’s a real thing? Well, we can feel it; we can see its effects when it whisks things away (the same is true, incidentally, for the Spirit of God; in that we can’t literally see it, but we can certainly feel it!). But, darkness actually can be observed itself. Don’t believe it? Then, turn off a light bulb and you’ll see it. How limiting are things, really, when we read this verse, which I’ve already quoted?
For by him were ALL things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Darkness can at least be seen; and, yet, He even created things invisible, too. The absence of light, giving way to darkness, in that darkness isn’t a color or a substance of any sort, we must know is a theory that has been forwarded by man and is not an established fact. Therefore, to say with confidence that there are some things demonstratable and observable by visuals – that are actually subject for dismissal – is something that all scientists should bark about; for, if darkness weren’t a substance, as is said by many, then how do we know it’s even there to begin with? Again, it can be observable by simply turning off of a lightbulb ... The same is true for evil. For, if evil is not real (or, even to say that it just magically popped up somewhere unexpected one day), then why do we even try to fight it? Can evil, as the wind and air, be observable and demonstratable? It certainly can! Therefore, it’s a substance that’s as real as darkness, light, goodness, bad, hot and cold. So, it had to have a beginning sometime. And, if somebody can actually prove that the devil “created” evil (within the confines of the Word of God, and of an initial creation), then I take my hat off to them for being so clever, because I haven’t found any such scripture myself. For, we must remember, and as I had explained in an earlier Explanatory Note, that there’s a huge difference between “creating” something and in “continuing or expanding” in something that had already been initially created by God. The only answer that we can give with absolute confidence, and from the Word of God, is that God Himself had created evil; for, we at least have a scripture that says so! But, not only – the same verse actually says that God “created” darkness, too; showing us that darkness, indeed, is a substance of creation:
I form [H3335] the light, and create [H1254] darkness [H2822]: I make peace, and create [H1254] evil [Ra: H7451]: I the LORD [not the devil!] do all these things.
Form, Yâtsar (yaw-tsar'), H3335, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: Probably identical with H3334 (through the squeezing into shape); (compare H3331); to mould into a form; especially as a potter; figuratively to determine (that is, form a resolution): - X earthen, fashion, form, frame, make (-r), potter, purpose.
Create, Bârâ' (baw-raw'), H1254, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: A primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): - choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
Darkness, Chôshek (kho-shek'), H2822, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: From H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: - dark (-ness), night, obscurity.
What else can be said of this?
*Big Bang Theory… For the record, I just want to say that I do not believe in the Big Bang Theory – as if that’s a surprise for my readers! And, just because I don’t believe it in the way many Evolutionistic teachers and professors explain it, it doesn’t make me a religious fanatic, either. What a lot of folks don’t know or consider these days is that a science theory is just that – a theory! However, and despite this, modern science now concludes that when a theory is a science theory, it’s not a mere theory anymore, it’s now a fact. So, with that, we have to update our dictionary meanings to also mean fact when we look up the word theory. If that’s not so, then anybody should be able to forward a theory without being shot-down by the scientific community – such as, the Christian Creation Scientists. But, saying that a theory is an established, unquestionable fact is all bologna, anyway. Why? Because, with each advancing year, the Evolutionists’ “factual-theories” advance and get updated themselves. So, if it does get updated (i.e. changed), then how was it ever a fact to begin with? … Science is really based on learning and updating when new and better data comes in.
Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang: “Significant progress in Big Bang cosmology has been made since the late 1990s as a result of advances in telescope technology as well as the analysis of data from satellites such as the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), the Hubble Space Telescope and WMAP.”
Well, I say that is fine – but, again, how does that justify past factual-theories as to being actual facts? This is how some Evolutionist Scientists gain the upper-hand in the Evolution versus Creation debate by saying that Creationists are not real scientists, but are, instead, religiously unscientific minded folks – or, are simply religious fanatics – and, that their science theories are just that: unproven theories (a term – theory – which can only be factual for “real” scientists); and, which theories (that, in many cases, are based upon the biblical text), and, in many of their opinions, simply cannot be proven factual in the consideration of earth and steller sciences … However, and despite these sort of thoughts, all endeavors of science (it must be understood) should really be equally looked upon and considered – whether it’s embracing Evolution in its entirety, or toward a strict Christian Creationist model – and, even for those who fall in-between those categories somewhere – especially giving equal times of intelligent consideration for the sakes of students – who deserve a well-balanced education; for, the best observations should be considered and kept, even if it irks many preconceived ideas and biases ... On the Wikipedia webpage, that I gave the address for a moment ago, and when considering the question of what had exploded (or, they’re now saying “expanded”), they have absolutely no answers to give:
“The earliest phases of the Big Bang are subject to much speculation, since astronomical data about them are not available…”
Then, further on, they admit that The Big Bang Theory cannot answer all questions about the beginnings of life:
“One of the common misconceptions about the Big Bang model is that it fully explains the origin of the universe. However, the Big Bang model does not describe how energy, time, and space was caused, but rather it describes the emergence of the present universe from an ultra-dense and high-temperature initial state.”
So, how can it be truly said that it’s impossible for God to have created energy, time, space, matter, and the universal laws? Many avoid such a thought, and with much passion, too! … I’m also well aware that many people see a “harmony” between “science and religion,” saying that God possibly was the one who had “created” the Big Bang. Without getting into that subject here, for I’ve already went-over former college professor Phillip E. Johnson’s wonderful words (from his book 'Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds,' [1997 InterVarsity Press]) in my book “In the Beginning: It was spiritual from the very start,” in saying that there really “isn’t” harmony between Evolutionistic science and – not religion! – but, Creation Science. Please either consult his book for this discussion (which had been well written and thought-out), or my former book on the matter … Big Bang theorists have much to say on their subject, but they cannot explain the very beginnings of the universe, or of how matter came to be. But, if they never consider a Creator to have had a hand in it somewhere, somehow, then they’ll never know; for, first of all, they cannot see or understand the things that are “outside” the realms of science – which is the true origin of natural matter. That is, God created all things!
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…
…the invisible God…
1 Timothy 1:17b
…the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God…
So, if Evolutional science cannot explain the origins of their own theories (for, they have no true model to begin from), then how can we even believe that they have “dates” as to when all this happened? Which “dates,” by the way, extends to billions and billions of years ago.
Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang: “The known laws of physics can be used to calculate the characteristics of the universe in detail back in time to an initial state of extreme density and temperature. Detailed measurements of the expansion rate of the universe place the Big Bang at around 13.8 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the universe.”
Do you not know that anything could have happened in that length of time? Do you realize how long ago that really was? In a YouTube video by credentialed scientist Eric J. Lerner (who, in 1991, wrote the book: “The Big Bang Never Happened”), you can see just how much this man damages the theory, for many things have to be ignored to even believe in it: “The Real Crisis in Cosmology - The Big Bang Never Happened:” www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KkhRibBllU … Also, there are many pages online which refute the theory, as well – and, not all participants can be proved to be religious fanatics … Too, one of the worst things that Wikipedia adds to this topic, and I’ve heard this before, is:
“…it [The Big Bang Theory] has become one of the liveliest areas in the discourse between science and religion…”
Do you see what this is insinuating? Anybody that does not believe the real experts in science are only religious fanatics who scoff at science and are still living in the dark ages. No, this is not a matter of science vs religion, this is a matter of science vs science – and, especially, when it comes to the shaky Big Bang Theory.
**Cosmic or Macro-Evolution… – Of which, The Big Bang Theory is certainly a part of … Actually, and according to creationtoday.org/six-meanings-of-evolution/, there are really six meanings to the one word Evolution: 1) Cosmic Evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the Big Bang; 2) Chemical Evolution: all elements “evolved” from hydrogen; 3) Stellar Evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds; 4) Organic Evolution: life begins from inanimate matter; 5) Macro-Evolution: animals and plants change from one type into another; and 6) Micro-Evolution: variations form within the “kind” … By the way, only the last one of these, Micro-Evolution, has anything to do with real science … When discussing or considering Evolution, you have to take into consideration (and, you'll do yourself a big favor by doing so!) that there is a huge difference between Micro-Evolution and Macro-Evolution (I speak on Macro and Micro Evolution here because it’s the most popular topic that’s discussed on the general subject of Evolution; for, again, Macro says that one kind of an animal can change into a completely, incompatible and different kind of animal) … If you simply say, to those who hold such beliefs, that there’s no Evolution, they'll think you a moron and an uneducated oaf; for, it's now turned into a words-game! So, what's the difference? Micro-Evolution tells us that there are "changes" in and on the earth over time; which, is actually true (as I'll explain further in a moment). But, Macro-Evolution says that there are changes within "species" themselves. Such as a human had "evolved" from a type of a long-ago extinct ape, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years ago. That's where proof is actually lacking. But, Evolutionist educators try to have you buy into Macro-Evolution because they can actually prove Micro-Evolution. It's the 'ol bait-and-switch game! But, even so, what's Micro-Evolution boil down to? Well, you can have small changes within a "species." Such as, you can get a little dog from a bigger dog. You can get a variety of different kinds of dogs from other kinds of dogs. You might even get a wolf from a dog. But, that's just it – they're still changes within the same "kind" of animal. And, that kind of science can actually be observable, demonstrated, and provable – which is what we call "empirical science," or "empirical evidence;" which Wikipedia says "is the information received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and documentation of patterns and behavior through experimentation." But, what's not observable, nor empirical, is that you can get one kind of an animal from a completely different kind. That's where we start having problems with Evolution. For example, you'll never be able to get a deer to mate with a jackrabbit and get a Jackalope. It just simply doesn't happen, folks. And, yet, we're all supposed to buy into it because Micro-Evolution can be observed ... Hum! ... By the way, I purposely "put into quotations" both the words "species" and "kind" because I do not believe there to be such a thing as a species (that is, as the term is so forwarded by Evolutional Scientists – which wording is adopted by them to examine Macro-Evolution***); but, I do believe in kinds, as is so expressed by the Bible.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And, yet, it never said that a different "kind" would come from another different kind. And, again, it cannot be proved by any scientific observations; nor can it ever be empirical science. But, all the year-long we can watch a variety (micro-evolution) of animals breed with each other, who are of the same kind as they ... But, what exactly is a kind, one may ask? Well, it's simpler to answer than of what a species is – that's for sure! There are dog kinds; there's horse kinds; cat kinds; elephant kinds; etc. In other words, animals who can successfully breed with one another are the same kind ... For more information on this controversial debate, please go to: creationscience.com/onlinebook, the official website of Dr. Walt Brown. But, especially beginning on this page: creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences.html, which deals exclusively with Micro and Macro Evolution, and of their differences.
***Which wording is adopted by them to examine Macro-Evolution... No, Evolutionists did not invent the word "species," but they certainly adopted it instead of the word "kind." However, and ironically, the original use of the word, and the original meaning, actually did mean "kind."
etymonline.com/word/species: Late 14c. as a classification in logic, from Latin species "a particular sort, kind, or type" (opposed to genus [which word some scientists may use instead of species, since it may get more specific for them in their minds]), originally "a sight, look, view, appearance," hence also "a spectacle; mental appearance, idea, notion; a look; a pretext; a resemblance; a show or display," typically in passive senses; in Late Latin, "a special case;" related to specere "to look at, to see, behold," from PIE root spek- "to observe." From 1550s as "appearance, outward form;" 1560s as "distinct class (of something) based on common characteristics." [i.e. not different kinds] Biological sense is from c. 1600. Endangered species first attested 1964.
Be that as it may, I guess different folks will observe this word – as they do science – with their own goggles. But, is that wrong to do? That is, to see things how you would like to see them? And, that is, whether it's right or wrong? Nay, friends, it's not wrong. But, what is wrong is in forcing others to believe them with you ... You'll find the guilty parties in all facets of life: in business, in science, in entertainment, in education, etc.; and, even – God forbid – in religion!
*7. Made… What may or may not make much difference to some folks is that the word “made” is actually another word used for “create” in the King James Version’s book of Genesis, during chapter 1, when it’s describing the initial creation of the planet and people. Such as:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:7a And God MADE the firmament…
Genesis 1:16a And God MADE two great lights…
And, etc. Showing us that the words “made” and “create” can be, at times, interchangeable with each other … The only problem, though, is that the original Hebrew word, which was translated into “made” for these Genesis passages, and the Hebrew word for Proverbs 16:4, are NOT the same Hebrew words! (‛Âśâh and Pâ‛al). However, and what should be noted, is that both of the meanings of these two words are very similar to each other – so much so, that the King James translators had used both to describe the English word “made.” Let’s compare them:
Made [from Proverbs 16:4], Pâ‛al (paw-al'), H6466, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: A primitive root; to do or make (systematically and habitually), especially to practise: - commit, [evil-] do (-er), make (-r), ordain, work (-er), wrought.
Made [from Genesis chapter 1] ‛Âśâh (aw-saw'), H6213, Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary: A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application: - accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck, + displease, do, (ready) dress (-ed), (put in) execute (-ion), exercise, fashion, + feast, [fight-] ing man, + finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfil, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great, + hinder, hold ([a feast]), X indeed, + be industrious, + journey, keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer, + officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, practise, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, X sacrifice, serve, set, shew, X sin, spend, X surely, take, X thoroughly, trim, X very, + vex, be [warr-] ior, work (-man), yield, use.
Even though the Hebrew word for “made” in the Genesis account gets into a very long spiel, we should take note of both of their first entries, of how they begin in the very same way: “to do or make…” Which should tell us that both are leaning toward the same idea – of “making” something; and that, and just like the Genesis verses boldly tells us, is from scratch – making something from nothing, and at the very beginning.
*8. Like pottery on a potter's wheel...
Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
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