SOURCE OF EVIL
[Some thoughts shared about Evil and Wickedness in the world]
You spoke of confusion over many philosophical issues and bad conditions in the world, and are wondering about the source of evil. Let me speak to this by giving a view of what God shows us in the Bible, about mankind and the fall and ruin of man; the evil and wicked works in the world, etc. (see Eccl. 8:12-13).
Recently one raised a similar question, wondering why Satan would turn against his creator as the Bible shows, and I commented briefly on that as follows: Of all the Angels God made, Lucifer (enlightened one ---privileged) was chosen and given special gifts and characteristics to see how he would handle it (and surely God knew). None other Angel or personage was given such liberty, except Man. Lucifer decided to be as God and began to gather Angels to follow him ---which God allowed to accomplish God's purposes, and limited him by setting forth others as "elect angels", who were sanctified: set apart and preserved to obey and serve God. One can read of this in the book of Genesis. Lucifer was cast out of Heaven with his angelic servants (who became his evil servants known as devils), and then God spoke of him as "the wicked one": Satan ---adversary; the source and representative of all influence and thought outside of God ---self-will, rebellion, independence, evil, darkness, chaos, ruin, etc. He became an agent allowed by God to test and try man as to regard and love to God, it appears, to deceive and try to influence man and draw him away from the mind and ways of God to act as man likes ---many souls are willingly pawns in that.
We need to see that God, who knows the end from the beginning, set forth Satan to try man (note 1 Chron. 21:1, Job 1:7-12; Isa. 14:12; Ezek. 28); and God then began what we know as eight Dispensations ---administrations by God with covenants, or ages of promise, trials, and judgment; and one can study this in the Word of God, which seems to be as follows:
1. Edenic: beginning in innocence at Garden of Eden, and then showed man's assertions;
2. Adamic: promise of blessings to Adam with conditions which were ignored;
3. Noahic: principle and trial of Human Government which was abused in extremes;
4. Abrahamic: founding of Israel for privilege, and covenant which was little valued;
5. Mosaic: guidance, rules, and good conditions which were often violated;
6. Palestinian: promises of good and restoration of Israel, little appreciated;
7. Davidic: establishing David and family leading to Christ for eternity;
8. New Covenant privilege: in the Christ for blessings with His sacrifice, resurrection and completeness.
Satan got advantage of man in the beginning when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and listened to Satan. They then fell into a sinful state that has passed upon all men since (an inherited malady). Satan will eventually be cast away to condemnation in Hell after serving God's purposes, and the Lord will reign supreme for evermore with the faithful saints gathered ---a new generation of Israel on earth, and a heavenly Bride in Heaven with Christ. This is just a bit of overview and I hope this brief picture of evil and good will help.
As I said, God knew what would happen in these events, and He already had a plan of redemption to recover mankind. The real reason for this course, I see, is that God created man to be His children, and with desire that they would choose to be faithful, learn to love Him, and obey as faithful children. He did not need more Angels, and created man “in His image”, rather than obedient servants like Angels. This helps to understand the Dispensations or Administrations of God, where He has been testing man through the ages to show him the need of dependence on God, rather than rely on his own ideas and flesh which is weak. The testing time is about over, and the Lord will call His bride (the church) to Himself soon, and then judgment will fall on the rebellious ones on earth who choose to please self, follow man and Satan.
Now, one can follow this in their Bible studies by seeing all the experiences God allowed through the Dispensations (times) of Scripture, see the course of man, the universal Church God established, and the Revelation of the end times. It is quite a full picture of God’s dealing with His marvelous creation, yet He has not told us all things, for as finite creatures we could not understand. We are simply called to obedience and faithfulness, and for patience as we wait upon God’s perfect will.
The most important issue for us, dear friend, is to be sure our natural sinful soul is saved from condemnation by God, and we become a child of God in Jesus, the Christ, and worshipper of Him. That is the truth of the Gospel message in the Bible (read John 3 and note verses 16 and 36; John 14; Romans 3; 1 Jn. 5). Look up always and know God for all goodness!
- R. L. DeWitt: GM67; 12/2010