In all wisdom and prudence making known to us the mystery of His will according to His
good pleasure which He purposed in Him the plan for the fullness of the times
the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, in Him ….
(Ephesians 1:8b-10)
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Article #41
Good, Evil, & the Crooked Serpent
March 2012
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NASB)
"For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being," declares the Lord.
(Isaiah 66:2 NASB)
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities―all things have been created through
Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16 NASB)
(19) Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident
to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power
and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so
that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20 NASB)
By faith we understand that the worlds [eons, ages] were prepared by the word of God, so
that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3 NASB [CV,
By faith we understand the ages [eons] to have been fitted together by declaration of God, to
the end that not of things appearing should that which is seen have come into existence.
(Hebrews 11:3 REB [CV])
The above verses make it abundantly clear that God created all things; that is, everything, both
seen (visible) and unseen (invisible), has been created by God. To be more explicit, all things
have been made by God the Father through His Son, our Lord Jesus (Colossians 1:15-16).
Further, whether man believes in God or not, God has revealed Himself and His very nature to
all mankind through the things He has made. All matter is an expression of who God is. The fact
of the matter is that man, the highest expression of matter, was created to be in the image and
likeness of Elohim . Of course, this image is on a much higher plane than simply matter; it is a
joining of the spiritual and the physical, for God is spirit (John 4:24).
As a side note, the words Yahweh and Elohim are transliterations from the Hebrew language;
considered by some commentators to be the more accurate and appropriate words. Yahweh is
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March 2012
the proper or personal name of the Almighty. Elohim , which is in the plural form, means
"subjector(s)" and refers to God, as well as to lesser subjectors such as judges or false gods.
God Particle
It is interesting that some scientists are searching for what they call the " God particle ," which is
thought to be the foundation block of all matter. Science first declared that everything in the
universe is made up of what are called elements , 94 elements to be exact, and the smallest
measure of these elements is called an atom , which means it cannot be divided. In other words,
when the atom was discovered, it was thought to be the smallest particle of matter.
Although not described this way, it could have been called the God particle. But then, physicists
discovered that the atom is actually made up of three particles, the electron, proton, and
neutron. These are called subatomic particles . However, as physicists have delved further into
their theories about matter, the number of particles has grown to something like 57
fundamental particles, and now they talk of such things as fermions, quarks, leptons, and
bosons, to name a few. Searching for the God particle ties in with the theory that the universe
began with a big bang. According to this theory, the universe began as a very hot and dense
spot of radiation (light) of almost no size that expanded rapidly. Consequently, some have
described the universe as a patch of light that has evolved .
Sound familiar? Don't get hung up on the word evolve . The first words of God recorded in the
Bible are: "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3). It seems that man has expended a lot of energy
trying to come up with his own theories, only to prove the accuracy of God's Word.
However, scientists are not satisfied with God speaking light into being or that light somehow
began to expand. What puzzles them is how this light became matter, that is, how it became
something visible as physical matter like, for example, rocks and stones. Using their jargon, they
have sought to solve the mystery of how light (energy) acquired mass and became things like
quarks, then atoms, gases, and rocks. And of course, they add us, that is, mankind, to the list.
Putting the whole matter of evolution aside, mankind, in fact, was created by God from the soil
of the earth, so our physical bodies are composed of the same elements of the universe that
came forth from light. This is fascinating stuff to inquisitive minds. But it does not stop here, for
in the 1960s, Peter Higgs, an English physicist, theorized that there is a God particle that holds
the key to this mystery.
This particle is actually called the Higgs boson , which, by the way, has never been observed; it is
just a theory. According to the theory, this phantom particle first existed about a tenth of a
billionth of a second after the big bang, which changed radiation (i.e., light, energy) into a
universe of stuff (i.e., matter).
Well, this is all fascinating stuff in its own right, but we need to be reminded that this is man's
attempt to explain what God did to bring creation into existence. What we know to be fact and
not theory is that, in the beginning, whenever that was, God created the heavens and the
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earth, and when He restored a wasted earth, He spoke, "Let there be light," and there was
The Then World Ended with Disruption
In Genesis 1:2, we discover that the earth was something other than an inhabitable ordered
world; it was a dark chaotic world. Yet the earth became a chaos and vacant, and darkness
was on the surface of the submerged chaos (Genesis 1:2 CV). Another translation reads: The
earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep (NASB).
Did something happen to bring the earth into this condition after it was first created? Some
people believe that something did happen, and yet, others believe this is simply how God
created; that is, God sort of flung parts throughout the universe and then went about
organizing them over a long period of time. In other words, God made the universe in a chaotic
state and then made order out of it. Of course, others say this is not possible, for God is not one
of disorder. However one views this, it is clear that God speaks and whatever He desires comes
about, and there are many mysteries yet to be unveiled.
Let us consider some Scripture.
(4) "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have
understanding, (5) who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on
it? (6) "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, (7) when the morning stars
sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 NASB)
According to God, when the very foundation of the earth was laid, the earth was a sight to
behold, for the angels shouted for joy. Surely, if the earth was a place of chaos and disorder,
the angels would not have been rejoicing. This is supported by the word spoken through Isaiah.
For thus says the LORD [ Yahweh ], who created the heavens (He is the God [ Elohim ] who
formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but
formed it to be inhabited). (Isaiah 45:18 NASB [REB/TSS])
From these two sets of verses, it appears that the earth was created with perfect order and
beauty. How could the morning stars sing, if it were anything other than glory? Thus, the angels
could not withhold their shouts of joy as they saw the glory of the Lord shining forth in the
heavens and the earth. It was created as a place to be inhabited.
God is a God of order, not of chaos. God is light, and when He speaks forth, His creative power
brings forth life and order. Are we to believe that Elohim started with chaos and created order?
Let us look at Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 in some detail.
Seven Hebrew words (ten English words; ten is the number of completion) are recorded in the
beginning of the prophetic word of God.
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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
Seven is the number of divine perfection and refers to perfection of what is in view. When God
created, He created with divine perfection. It was a complete and perfect work. He created the
earth to be inhabited. It was not created to be a waste place.
However, the first part of the next verse reveals something that seems entirely contrary to
God's creative power:
Yet the earth became a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged
chaos. (Genesis 1:2a)
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the
Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 NASB)
Some (not all) scholars of the Hebrew language state that "and the earth was " should be
translated "but the earth became ." Adding this thought to the meaning of the words which
follow—formless, void, darkness and deep—gives a much different picture of the earth that in
the beginning was created in divine perfection as a place of habitation. It was just the opposite
of a place to be inhabited, and the sons of God surely were not excited about this place before
God spoke light into it.
The Hebrew word for formless is tohuw , which comes from another word which means "to lie
waste; a worthless thing." Attached to this word is the sense of confusion, vanity and
wilderness. In other words, the earth was in a vain, worthless condition; it was in chaos.
The Hebrew word for void is bohuw , which comes from another word which means "to be
empty" or "an indistinguishable ruin." The earth was an empty ruin; it was vacant.
The Hebrew word for darkness is choshek , which means "the dark", or "something in misery,
destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness." The sun was no longer giving light to the
earth, and it was in misery. The earth was in misery or wickedness because there was darkness;
the sun had ceased to give its light. Most likely, the heavens were disrupted as well.
The Hebrew word for deep is tehowm , which refers to "an abyss, as a surging mass of water."
The waters on the face of the earth were not quiet and gentle but were raging.
When all these words are studied together, a picture is presented of the earth as a dark
(without sunlight), worthless, wasted ruin with raging waters flowing over its surface. The earth
was in vanity and chaos.
Peter adds to our understanding of this matter, for in his second epistle he takes us back to the
very beginning, to the heavens and earth of old, which he called the then world . This indicates
that there was an orderly arrangement or a world in existence on this earth, but something
must have happened to it for it to be deluged by water.
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(5) For they want to be oblivious of this, that there were heavens of old, and an earth
cohering out of water and through water, by the word of God; (6) through which the then
world, being deluged by water, perished. (2 Peter 3:5-6 CV)
These verses are often thought to refer to the flood of Noah's day; however, they seem to refer
to a time before man was created in which this world or earth went through a major change
called the disruption , which corresponds with Genesis 1:2. The earth was covered by water due
to a cataclysmic event or series of events that brought the earth and the then world into chaos.
It must have destroyed the entire world order.
So, there was a beginning and then there was a disruption , which means that there was a world
( the then world ) that existed from the beginning until it was brought into chaos, that is,
disruption , for it was disrupted from its original, pristine state.
The word disruption is a translation of the Greek word katabole , which means "down-casting."
Most English Bibles translate this word as foundation , but the Concordant Literal New
Testament (CV) uniformly uses the word disruption . Physiologically speaking, it refers to the
discharge of the seed from the woman's ovaries (Hebrews 11:11 CV). The same Greek word is
used in reference to the Lamb who was slain from the disruption of the world (Revelation 13:8
CV; also see Matthew 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter
1:20; Revelation 17:8), which refers to a time before sin entered the world. In the English
language, disruption means "a forcible separation, a breach." Thus, it speaks of a time when
something was discharged or breached and before sin entered into man's kosmos (world).
To add to all of this, consider this prophetic word from Jeremiah.
(23) I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; and to the heavens, and they
had no light. (24) I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills
moved to and fro. (25) I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the
heavens had fled. (26) I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its
cities were pulled down before the LORD, before His fierce anger. (Jeremiah 4:23-26 NASB)
This language could be viewed as signifying something spiritual. Perhaps, Jeremiah was given a
glimpse of a time ages ago that seems to fit the description given to us in Genesis 1:2 of the
earth as formless, void and dark (no light).
Obviously, there was no man at this time, for Adam came along in the sixth day of restoration.
If we accept that Jeremiah saw the disruption of the ancient earth, then we have to accept that
there was life on earth prior to the restoration of the earth. We could say that there was an age
or eon prior to the eon that started with Adam, and this eon had inhabitants on the earth who
occupied cities that ultimately were completely destroyed. This leaves us wondering who or
what lived on the earth at that time. Perhaps, it was the angelic host or a precursor to man. We
can only conjecture, but for those of us with inquisitive minds, the thought of it is most
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The first eon (or, perhaps, a series of eons) ran from the beginning of creation to the disruption
of the heavens and the earth, and possibly the entire universe. We are not given any
information about this eon other than it existed. It is possible that many of the mysteries about
this earth, such as the origin and extinction of dinosaurs and the multitude of fossils, are all
hidden in this eon. It is possible that this eon and even the disruption lasted for millions of
Undoubtedly, to some believers, this last suggestion is most untenable, for they see Genesis 1:2
as the beginning of the universe as well and thus place the age of the universe at about 6,000
years. However, the evidence does not support such a theory and Scripture does not declare it
What does seem to be supported is that there was perfect order, and then there was disorder
or chaos.
In the natural world, chaos never proceeds to order, but order left untended will proceed to
disorder or chaos. This is best seen in a cultivated garden. Ignore a garden and in time it goes to
seed and all sorts of weeds pop up until they overtake the once beautiful garden. A garden will
never grow on its own into a beautiful, cultivated garden. It takes man tilling the soil and caring
for the garden for it to thrive. If order goes to chaos or ruin if let untended, then how can chaos
or ruin ever be expected to produce order on its own?
As a side note, most likely, the planets in our solar system give us an indication of the condition
of our earth during the disruption. All the planets show signs of great upheaval and change.
However, we do not have to gaze into space to see such upheaval; all we need to do is look at
our own home called earth . It obviously has undergone great change since its beginning.
Further, if we look at the planet Saturn, we discover rings around it; it has several heavens
rotating around it. Our earth was created with heavens around it as well, not just one heaven.
We know that in the ancient world, the earth was watered from below and that there was an
atmosphere of water covering the earth. This all changed after the deluge and has continued to
our day.
It is interesting Peter wrote that at the end of the day of the Lord, which refers to the millennial
Kingdom of Christ, the heavens shall dissolve along with this earth, and new heavens and a new
earth will come into view in the day of God (2 Peter 3:10-13). Perhaps there will be rings or a
cloud of water vapor rotating the earth once again, or perhaps God has something entirely
In His wisdom, God has not revealed all the secrets of the universe or the many secrets hidden
in our earth. The more men seek to understand the universe in which our little planet resides,
the more men see the unfathomable extent of this universe and the vast number of secrets
hidden within it. This should remind us of the unsearchable or unfathomable riches of Christ,
the One who upholds the entire universe.
Well, let us return to the matter of light.
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God is Light
It is really fascinating that scientists acknowledge light became matter. John tells us that God is
light (1 John 1:5). Light, along with love and spirit, is the very essence of God. It is who He is. So,
it only makes sense that in the beginning, the very source of life is light, love, and spirit.
Consequently, light went forth to bring into being matter or the physical world and all that we
can see, including us. As the Word of God tells us, God created the visible out of the invisible or
the seen out of the unseen, and in the visible world or universe, we see and know God, that is,
His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and His divine nature. It is as if God exploded Himself
into creation, metaphorically speaking.
By the way, many assume that God created out of nothing, but this is not true. He created out
of what was not seen or visible; that is, He created out of the invisible. Paul brings this to light.
(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (16) For by Him all
things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones
or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
(17) He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17 NASB)
God being invisible does not mean that He has no substance or form. It just means that from
the physical realm, we cannot see Him. We must be in His realm, which is spirit and light.
If we accept these thoughts, then we also must accept that all matter is an expression of the
very Creator who is Light. If we accept that light created matter and the source of this light is
God is light, then His invisible attributes are the very core and fiber of all matter, that is, the
God particle. Consequently, everything of creation, from the smallest and least significant mass
to the largest and most significant mass, is of God.
The Creator of Evil
Now, stick with me; if this is true, then what is the source of evil? Man has postulated many
answers to this question. Of course, most Christians believe it came from a fallen angel
supposedly called Lucifer and the first man's free will gone bad in the Garden of Eden; or, going
back even further, it came about some time after the original creation of the heavens and the
earth and before the disruption of the earth, as some sort of heavenly host rebellion.
But how could this be if all that is in the universe came forth from God in the first place?
Whether there was a rebellion in heaven between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 or not, the question
remains the same. After all, from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans
11:36). It is as if something foreign entered into God's creation. How did it get there in the first
place if God is the Creator and the Sovereign of His creation, meaning He alone is responsible
for it? There is only one answer; it too came from God, which is what Scripture tells us.
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these
things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)
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If you will, picture God creating His universe and then injecting evil, a foreign substance, into
it, much like a doctor injecting a foreign substance (vaccine) into the human body. Only God
could do this, for if it came from any other source, then God is not truly God and the ultimate
Sovereign of His creation.
Creation ─ A Stringed Instrument
Another way to look at it is to picture the entire universe as if it were strung like a violin. This is
not too farfetched because some physicists have described the universe in this fashion. They
see the universe connected from one end to the other by an unseen force (God particles?) that
moves like a wave or like strings on a stringed instrument. Given this picture, perhaps God
purposely plucked a note of discord, called evil , into His creation, and His plan is based on
removing this discord. Today, the universe is not in tune, so to speak, and God's plan is to
restore all things, bringing His entire creation back into tune so that all are singing in perfect
harmony. In that day, God will be all in all new.
The fact that God is the Creator and the Sovereign of His entire creation cannot be emphasized
enough. He alone set into motion His purpose and His multi-faceted plan to achieve His
purpose. If something outside of His creative sovereignty could ever enter His creation apart
from His will, then it could alter His plan and purpose. If it were possible, which I contend it is
not, then it would mean that He could not prevent something contrary to His will from entering
into His creation that could alter the ultimate destiny He has set for His creation.
As God of His creation, He alone is responsible for everything that happens in His creation
and is responsible for bringing His creation into His ultimate purpose of ALL . Think about it!
I realize this is a challenge for many that have been taught otherwise, but this challenge can be
overcome once we see that God not only created evil but also created the ancient, crooked
serpent, the devil, as a sinner in order to fulfill His purpose and plan for all mankind and
The Source of the Old Serpent
For the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to
destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8 NASB)
According to John, the devil was created by God as a sinning, lying being, not as a perfect being
that fell in sin. Do not take this to mean that God is evil or that He misses the mark. No; it is as if
God created a being totally opposite in character to Himself to be His and our adversary for His
purpose. However, the good news is that God has provided the antidote; His name is Jesus,
the Son of God .
It is a sure thing that most of us have been taught that Satan was created a perfect, beautiful
angel, but his pride got the best of him, and he fell in sin when he sought to rise above the
throne he was given, even to rise to the level of God. This teaching is based on Isaiah 14 and
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Ezekiel 28. However, a careful study of these texts presents some difficulties that cannot be
resolved if they are left to apply to Satan.
For example, Ezekiel 28 is about the king of Tyre, a human and not an angel.
(9) "Will you still say, 'I am a god,' in the presence of your slayer, though you are a man and
not God, in the hands of those who wound you? (10) You will die the death of the
uncircumcised." (Ezekiel 28:9-10 NASB)
Scripture clearly states that he is a man who was created and is subject to death, something to
which angels are not subject. The king of Tyre has gone the way of all mankind.
Further, an argument could be made that this describes Adam who, before his fall, was perfect
in beauty, walking in the Garden of Eden. He was a covering cherub because he possessed the
throne (canopy) over the earth at that time. He was the first king of the earth.
Also, Isaiah 14:12 is often translated as referring to Lucifer, son of the morning , which most
people believe speaks of Satan before his supposed fall. However, the word Lucifer is not the
best translation from the original Hebrew. The word should be rendered howl : Howl, son of the
On careful examination of Isaiah 14:9-17, it should become apparent that this does not refer to
Satan and some fall in the past but most likely refers to the lawlessness of man that has gone
forth in an attempt to conquer the world (Revelation 13:1-6).
(16) Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, (17) who made the
world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?
(Isaiah 14:16-17 NASB)
This is a description of lawless mankind , the man of sin, the man of lawlessness, or the son of
stubbornness energized by Satan's power.
Today, Satan is the prince of the air associated with this earth. As such, he is still in the heavenly
places (not in a fictitious hell ) as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). In The
Revelation of Jesus Christ , John perceived a battle between the dark angelic forces in heaven
and the Lord's angelic hosts.
And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent called Adversary and Satan, who is
deceiving the whole inhabited earth. It was cast into the earth…. (Revelation 12:9 CV)
In this description of Satan, we discover the key to his origin. He is called the ancient serpent . In
Job, considered one of the oldest writings of Hebrew Scripture, there is a reference to the
By His spirit the heavens were made seemly, His hand travailed with the fugitive [crooked,
fleeing] serpent. (Job 26:13 CV [GB, REB])
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First, by His Spirit, God made the heavens. There were no hands involved and there was no
effort on His part. It was done with ease. The word seemly means "pleasing in appearance,
suitable, proper, or fitting." This is how the heavens were created, and we could say that it was
a pleasing sight. It was good!
Second, by His hand, God made or formed the fugitive, crooked or fleeing serpent. It was not
done by His Spirit but by His hand, which implies an effort on the part of God. We labor with
our hands, and when we do, the object of labor is at a slight distance from our body. In like
fashion, God labored over or travailed with the serpent, keeping it at a distance. God travailed
in forming the serpent. The forming of this creature was not suitable or seemly; it was, we
could say, dirty work.
Why would God travail over the making of the serpent? There is only one answer that makes
any sense; the serpent was not something pleasant. It could be said that in the Garden of Eden,
the ancient serpent was odious, something unpleasant. John the apostle gives us the answer.
He who is habitually guilty of sin is a child of the Devil, because the Devil has been a sinner
from the very beginning. The Son of God appeared for the purpose of undoing the work of
the Devil. (1 John 3:8 WNT)
In this one verse, there is little doubt that the devil, who is the ancient serpent, was a sinner
from the very beginning. But there is more.
You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do.
He was a man-killer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for truth is not in
him. Whenever he may be speaking a lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar, and the
father of it. (John 8:44 CV)
The ancient serpent was created a sinner, and this is why God had to form him from a distance
with His hand and why it was such travail to God. Satan was created a sinner and a man-killer,
the waster, to be the adversary of God and of mankind.
The Lord declared to Isaiah: I have created the waster to destroy (Isaiah 54:16 ASV; also CV,
KJV, JPS, LITV, MKJV); and I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil.
I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things (Isaiah 45:7 ASV; also DNT, GB, HNV, LITV, MKJV).
With these verses, there should be little doubt that God created evil itself and created the
serpent to be the administrator of evil.
In the day of the Lord, the Lord will come and deal with the man-killer, the ancient serpent, the
dragon (monster). Isaiah was given a prophecy of that day, and again, John confirms it.
(26:21) For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of
the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed, and will no longer cover
her slain. … (27:1) In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing [pearcing] serpent,
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with His fierce and great and mighty sword, even Leviathan the twisted [crooked] serpent;
and He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea. (Isaiah 26:21-27:1 NASB [GB])
And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent called Adversary and Satan, who is
deceiving the whole inhabited earth. (Revelation 12:9 CV)
When all these Scriptures are looked at together, it becomes apparent that they refer to one
and the same being or entity. Some people insist that the devil should be referred to as an it .
Scripture seems to support this thought as well.
This being or entity was created evil and a sinning adversary; it was created this way to be
God's means by which to introduce sin (missing the mark) into His creation. Like a great
physician, God created and then injected this evil into His creation in accord with His plan to
bring about His purpose of the eons. Why is this part of His plan?
Making Fit for the Kingdom
One answer to this question is seen in the lives of Job and Paul; God used Satan to make His
vessels fit for His kingdom.
Job was a righteous man, and Satan was allowed to test him. In the first test, God told Satan he
could not touch Job's body, but then He gave him permission to touch his body but not to kill
him (Job 1:12; 2:6). In the end, God received the glory from Job's life.
(5) "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; (6) therefore I
retract, and I repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5-6 NASB)
Paul was given abundant revelations from God, and, most likely, to keep Paul from exalting
himself and creating a "ministry" centered on himself, God sent a messenger (an angel) of Satan
to buffet Paul the rest of his life (2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul asked for the messenger to be taken
out of the way, but the Lord answered: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power (My power)
is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Thus, God used Satan to keep Paul from relying
on himself.
We must keep a proper perspective. In both cases, it is important to note that Satan was
limited in what he could do. Satan cannot work outside the will of God and is used by God to
bring about His purpose.
However, let us not make the mistake of giving credit to Satan for everything bad or evil. We
must not forget that man partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and sin reigns
in his body of death. Man can create his own mischief without the aid of Satan and the demonic
Without much doubt, it is safe to say that the suggestion that God created evil goes against the
grain, so to speak, of most Christian theology. After all, it is commonly taught that God created
beings, whether heavenly or earthly, with free will to choose to sin or not to sin, or to rebel or
Good, Evil, & the Crooked Serpent
March 2012
not to rebel. However, the real issue is not free will but whether God is able and willing to
overrule the will of His creation. This is a major topic unto itself and beyond the scope of this
article. Besides, I have written on this elsewhere.
It is as if God, knowing full well that His creation would revolt against Him, had to make plans to
correct this aberration once it occurred. Even among commentators that I share much in
common with as far as interpreting Scripture, I get the distinct impression that many of them
see evil and sin as an aberration that came into creation that somehow put a damper and a
delay on God's purpose and plan for mankind and all creation. Some acknowledge that God
knew it would happen; nevertheless, sin entering into creation was not in the plan of God. I
don't agree; I see sin and failure, that is, all falling short of the mark or glory of God, in full
accord with the purpose and plan of God.
In writing of the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, Paul
declared that God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all (Romans
11:32). I cover this in other writings as well; but it is clear to me that He purposely brought forth
the devil and mankind with failure in mind in order to reveal His glory and His very essence of
spirit, life, light, and love.
To add to our understanding, consider how A. E. Knoch explained this matter in his Concordant
Commentary on the New Testament on page 154 (Concordant Publishing Concern 1968, Santa
Clarita, CA):
"All sin, in the Scriptures, seems to be traced back to the Adversary or Satan. Adam
sinned at his suggestion. He is the father of all that is false. Being a creature of god, it has
been a perplexing problem to account for him without incriminating God Himself. It is
usual to insist that he was created perfect and, at a later stage, fell into sin. But this is no
real relief. The impulse to sin, in that case, came from without instead of within, and it, in
turn, demands an explanation. The Adversary sinned from the beginning. He was a
murderer from the beginning. The Scriptures plainly teach that he was created an
Adversary and a Satan."
"The solution of the ultimate source of sin lies in its nature. Sin is essentially a mistake. It
means to miss the mark, to fall short of a given standard. With this definition in mind, it is
easy to see how God could create a creature to sin, if that were necessary to the
fulfillment of His purpose. He would not be making any mistake in doing this. He would
not sin. On the contrary, if He created Satan perfect, and had no intention or desire that
he should sin, then God did make a mistake. The sinfulness of Satan is the strongest
evidence of the sinlessness of God."
"The essence of God is love. It demands exercise. God must be made known. He will be a
Saviour; His purpose demands the presence of sin. He makes a medium—the Adversary—
to inject the virus into creation. He rescues His creatures and gains their affection. He
banishes sin. Sin is His servant. He will justify all sin when He has made it a means of
bringing His creatures into heart intimacy with Himself."
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March 2012
A Contrast
This leads to the most compelling answer to the question of why evil. To truly know God's
character and nature of love, mankind needs a contrast to His character and nature of love!
How else do we know love and good if we do not know hate and evil?
Simply, the plan of God is driving toward the consummation of the eons when all creation will
come to know God the Father and His Son, and part of God's plan to achieve this purpose is for
creation to see and experience that which is in opposition or antagonistic to His very nature and
essence, that is, the very antithesis to who He is.
It is with this thought in mind that God created the crooked, ancient serpent, the devil, as an
adversary not only to mankind but to Himself. May the Spirit of God open our eyes!
To repeat what has already been mentioned, Isaiah gave us a truth that many have not fully
understood: Former of light and Creator of darkness, maker of good and Creator of evil (Isaiah
45:7 CV).
Do you see the significance of this word? God is the Creator of evil. He alone is responsible for
evil. Consider Solomon's wisdom.
The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.
(Proverbs 16:4 NASB)
God is not evil in any sense of the word. He is merely the Creator. He could be likened to a chef
baking a cake. The chef can bake a cake without ever eating it. He knows what went into the
cake, and it comes out in the form he planned for it, but if he never takes a bite of it, he has no
idea what the cake tastes like. Likewise, God does not partake of evil in any manner
whatsoever, but He is still its Creator, for all comes forth from Him.
Seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all: to Him be the glory for the eons!
(Romans 11:36 CV)
What is evil? Is it not the antithesis of good? Only God is good (Matthew 19:17)! Consequently,
the devil was created to be the adversary of God, His evil antagonist, so that mankind would
have a stark contrast to God, not in God but in His adversary. By having a contrast, mankind
would come to know the one true God of love and light, in whom there is no darkness (1 John
1:5). Every step that God has taken has been followed by Satan. Satan is like a shadow; for
every step God takes in the light, there is a shadow of darkness cast upon creation in general
and mankind in specific.
This is by God's design. If it were not so, how would we know good from evil, or light from dark,
or love from hate, or peace from war, or life from death? Mankind needs the contrast to know
God. This is the glorious wisdom of God that answers the age-old question of why things are as
they are. It is God's doing until the consummation when God will be All in all.
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March 2012
Some might still retort that mankind was never created to know evil; but Scripture surely does
not state this. On the contrary, God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the
garden with full expectation that Adam and Eve would partake of the tree. It was no accident
that the tree was placed in full view of mankind's parents and that the serpent of old was
waiting for its moment of deception.
After all, if we accept that God is the Supreme and the Sovereign of all, and all things come
through Him, then we must conclude that the whole drama played out in the garden was
written and directed by God.
Some believe that prior to his fall, Adam was in the age of innocence and that he had to be
tested to see if he would obey God's one command. If this is true, then it sure sounds like a
formula for failure. The serpent, the father of lies, was not ignorant of God's ways, and it had a
purpose to fulfill as part of God's plan. The eternal God knows all and sees all, and He knew that
in their current state, Adam and Eve were no match for the devil. Besides, God put them in the
garden with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil staring them in the face, as if to say,
"Go ahead and eat!" Adam, the new kid on the block, so to speak, had little experience with
death, so how was he to know what it meant to die? Even if he saw animals die, if they did
before the fall, that does not mean Adam knew what it meant for him and his wife.
God's plan for man to reach the tree of life was and still is for him to live for a long season by
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Adam was simply outgunned and destined to fail. Plus, Eve was out of his body, bone of his
bones, and flesh of his flesh. Based on God's absolute law of love , Adam had to love his body.
He had to follow his wife in eating of the forbidden fruit because he loved her as his own body.
This is what Paul tells us in his Ephesians epistle as he compares Christ and His body to Adam
and his body.
(28) So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his
own wife loves himself; (29) for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes
it, just as Christ also does the church, (30) because we are members of His body. (31) FOR
WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. (32) This mystery is great; but I am speaking
with reference to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:28-32 NASB)
Paul simply drew from the book of beginnings and unveiled a mystery that had been hidden for
4,000 years.
(22) The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and
brought her to the man. (23) The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my
flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (24) For this reason a
man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become
one flesh. (Genesis 2:22-24 NASB)
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March 2012
Paul called the mystery of Christ and the ecclesia a great mystery, and hidden within this
mystery is the mystery of body love as exemplified by Adam in his love for Eve who literally
came forth from his body.
Of course, there are many types and antitypes in the account of Adam and Eve, but its primal
presentation reveals failure as ordained by God. Adam had no choice but to sin because God
had given him no choice in the matter. If he had left Eve alone, Adam would have broken the
much higher law of love, meaning he would have hated his body.
So, the next time you hear some preacher beat up on Adam in one of his sermons, think of love
and have some compassion on the first man. Better yet; if you are married, reflect on the love
you have for your wife. Do you have Adam's body love for your wife? Again, better yet; do you
sense the love of Christ for His body? Great is the mystery!
Knowing Good and Evil
After our first parents partook of the tree, what did God declare? "Behold, the man has
become like one of Us, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:22).
Man was created to be perfected into the image of God, and this requires that he have
knowledge of both good and evil. But this knowing was only the beginning of the process to
conform mankind into the image of the Son. It was God's full intention that mankind would not
only partake of this tree but also live by this tree, at least for 6,000 years.
However, mankind requires more than mere knowledge of good and evil. He must experience
both. He must have the contrast of the two, just as he must experience the countless contrasts
found throughout God's creation (e.g., light and dark, love and hate, victory and defeat, peace
and war, life and death, health and sickness, up and down, hot and cold, soft and hard, wet and
dry, to name a few). Prior to their fall, Adam and Eve had no knowledge of the contrast to God
their Creator.
Some state that Adam and Eve were created perfect and that they were in the perfect image of
God right from the start. But were they; for if they were perfect, how could they have partaken
of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Wouldn't they have had all the intelligence and
knowledge to recognize that when the serpent said they would not die, it was a lie? But they
fell for the lie, and death entered into all mankind from that day forward. Then why was Eve
first deceived by the serpent, and then Adam followed? Isn't the answer that they were not
created perfect; they had to be perfected , as all of us do, and that requires failure?
We are to learn to become like God by experiencing not only the glorious attributes of God but
also the antithesis of His attributes. When the consummation of the eons comes, all mankind
and all creation will know that God the Father and His Son alone were responsible for the
outcome and that nothing that occurred was outside the will of God but all was planned to
bring about His intended purpose for glory.
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March 2012
(22) "Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
(23) "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and
will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. (Isaiah
45:22-23 NASB)
(10) At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and
under the earth, (11) and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory
of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11 NASB)
Before moving on, there seems to be another lesson for us to learn from the experience of
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We are not given much information about what was
transpiring in the garden on that infamous day, especially why Eve was the first to be tempted. I
have heard much taught on this over the years, but most of it is speculation.
Could it be that there is a lesson in this for all of us that has to do with dependence on God and
one another? We assume that Eve acted alone when she partook of the fruit. If this is so, then
would she have partaken of it if she had consulted Adam first, or if she had waited for the Lord
to appear in the cool of the day and inquired further of Him regarding what the serpent had
told her? Probably not! Although this too is speculation, it fits Scripture.
(4) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the
vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (5) "I am the vine, you are the branches; he
who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5 NASB)
Before closing, there is one more thought that adds to and even ties all of this together.
To Him are All Things
In chapter 5 of his Romans epistle, Paul presented the glorious truth of the justification and
restoration of all mankind, meaning that everyone born of flesh and blood from Adam to the
last man or woman standing, no matter how evil or wicked they were in life, will be reconciled
(returned, restored) to God, not all at the same time but all eventually, for as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).
(18) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so
through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (19) For as
through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the
obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19 NASB)
Paul contrasted two men and their acts, the first man Adam and the second Man or last Adam,
Jesus ( Yeshua ) the Christ or Messiah, the Anointed One. The first Adam transgressed (sinned)
against God's command and brought condemnation to all men, for through sin death passed
through into all mankind (Romans 5:12 CV). There are no exceptions to the condemnation that
brought death unto all mankind, for all humans die, as evidenced by the countless number of
graves throughout the earth. The expression all mankind is fully and absolutely comprehensive.
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March 2012
However, the good news is that the one act of righteousness of God's Son resulted in
justification of life to all men. All men, none excluded, are justified before God through His Son.
We could say that what the first Adam brought upon his race is overturned by the last Adam.
Whereas the first Adam brought death to all, the last Adam brought life to all.
Don't water down the word all . Paul uses it in the fullest sense of the word.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many
died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ,
abound to the many. (Romans 5:15 NASB; also 5:19)
This is a vital point in understanding Paul's thought and his logic. He singled out two men, the
first Man, Adam , who became a living soul and is a type of Him who was to come , and Jesus,
the second Man , the last Adam who became a life-giving spirit and is the antitype of the first
Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47).
These two men stand apart from the rest of mankind. It is Adam plus the many and Christ plus
the many .
So many have been taught that "many are going to hell" that the temptation is to read Paul's
many as referring only to believers, as if they are the only ones to receive the justification of life
while the rest of mankind gets to toast in hell. Let us not be deceived; Paul taught that all shall
be made alive in Christ, not all together but every man in his own order or troop . Ultimately, all
things shall be subjected to Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23-28).
As he was concluding his section on the national salvation of all of Israel (Romans 9-11), Paul
summed up God's plan for mankind.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. (Romans 11:32
Here is that pesky little word all that so many seem to ignore. Paul's logic demands that we see
all mankind is locked up so that God Himself may show His mercy to all mankind. Is it merciful
to throw billions upon billions into a torture chamber of literal fire and burning sulfur?
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has
mercy. (Romans 9:16 NASB)
Born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13
Surely, as he contemplated these truths, Paul got caught up in the glory of God's plan for all
mankind. He quoted both Isaiah and Job.
(33) O the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How
unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (34) "For who has known the
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March 2012
mind of the Lord? Or who became His counselor?" Isa. 40:13 (35) 'Or who first gave to Him,
and it will be repaid to him?' Job 41:11 (Romans 11:33-35 LITV)
Who of us mere mortals truly has known the mind of the Lord? We see things through a glass
darkly or a cloudy mirror, and then we paint over it with the traditions of men until we create a
God in our own image that is full of rage and anger, hell-bent on torturing most of mankind
forever and ever. Let us never be persuaded from the truth: God is love and full of mercy! His
heart will win All.
Now, Paul concludes Romans 11 with what is the summation of all Scripture. It is the ultimate
purpose of God. Four different translations are presented to get the full picture.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. (Romans 11:36 NASB)
For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory.
(Romans 11:36 NLT)
For the universe owes its origin to Him, was created by Him, and has its aim and purpose in
Him. (Romans 11:36 WNT)
Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him.
(Romans 11:36 CEV)
As shown already, in Hebrews 11:3, Paul stated that what is seen was not made out of things
which are visible , meaning that matter is made out of things that we cannot see with our naked
eye. God did not make things out of nothing; rather, He made them out of what some physicists
call God particles . The point is that all things come from God, which is the tenet of the
creationist worldview .
Next, all things go through Him. Paul began Hebrews (1:2, 3) by declaring that God made the
eons (ages, time) through His Son who upholds all things. The eons speak of the history of
mankind and God's divine plan being worked out through His Son, even as most of mankind has
been and continues to be blinded to His plan and ultimate purpose.
Finally, all things are to Him, meaning it is His full intent to restore and reconcile all things to
Himself until He is All in all new (1 Corinthians 15:28; Revelation 21:5). Simply, every God
particle must find its way back into the love and will of God; it all must return to God is love ,
including every single human being ever born of Adam's race and everything in all creation.
Think about it; how can all things be to Him if one single particle of His creation is outside of His
love and will? Where is the glory in man's evil concept of hell? Where is the glory in the
doctrine of an eternal separation from God?
Is it any wonder that Paul declared: To Him be the glory throughout the Ages! Amen .
Oh, the wisdom of God!