Category Archives: Evil

Behold, the man is become as one of us

Gn 3:22 . And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Years ago the above scripture verse jumped out at me from the pages of Genesis and I am still contemplating the implications and questions that arise in my mind concerning it. Is the knowledge of good and evil inherent to being made in the image and likeness of God? Was God the cause of evil in the world, and to that end? Some claim that this cosmos was flawed, by God’s design. So I have been mulling over these questions in my mind in light of scripture. We can only understand the deep things of God by His Spirit, which compares spiritual things with spiritual, 1Co 2:10-13. So by comparing scripture with scripture and using a little deductive reasoning we should be able to arrive at a clearer understand of evil in the world and if in fact, evil was intended to be a part of this world, by God’s design. A long time ago I took a freshman year requirement course in Logic, at a local Catholic College. We learned that God is what is called a First Cause. Pasted below is a definition for the word causality, from a online Dictionary, which is directly related to God being the First Cause.

1. a. the relationship of cause and effect
b. the principle that nothing can happen without being caused
2. causal agency or quality

God is the First Cause, and He created all things through Jesus Christ. God set creation in motion as the First Cause of all things. Imagine a row of dominoes set up with long and many divergent sets of predetermined lines. And then imagine God gently setting the first domino in motion.

Jn 1:1 . In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. NIV
Col 1:16 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:

God is omniscient, possesses foreknowledge and declares the end from the beginning, Isa 46:10. Furthermore, what He purposes will stand, and He will do all that He pleases in the earth, and no one can stay His hand, Da 4:35. It seems a little hard to accept the fact that evil came into this cosmos outside of God’s design, especially since God has foreknowledge. God even states in precise words that He has in fact, created evil.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

It should be noted that the Hebrew word for evil, in the above verse, is the same word translated evil in Ge 3:22. At least according to the Strong’s Concordance which is recognized as a very competent work in defining the Hebrew and Greek words used in the bible. That definition is pasted below.

unhappiness, misery)
1c) evil, displeasing
1d) bad (of its kind-land, water, etc)
1e) bad (of value)
1f) worse than, worst (comparison)
1g) sad, unhappy
1h) evil (hurtful)
1i) bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
1j) bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
1j1) in general, of persons, of thoughts
1j2) deeds, actions

n m
2) evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
2a) evil, distress, adversity
2b) evil, injury, wrong
2c) evil (ethical)

n f
3) evil, misery, distress, injury
3a) evil, misery, distress
3b) evil, injury, wrong
3c) evil (ethical)

It is quite telling that before time began, 2Ti 1:9, God’s purpose in Jesus Christ was already set firmly in place.

Mt 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
1Pt 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

So before Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden, God had already in mind a solution for sin and death, which was brought about by their disobedience, Ro 5:17. And the solution, the sacrifice of Jesus, was designed to bring many sons into glory, 1Pe 1:19-20, He 2:10. If given some thought, you can clearly see that evil as a concept was already in existence before Adam and Eve ate the fruit because the tree was named by God as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Their eyes and mind were opened to the knowledge of good and evil. If you look at scripture, you can clearly see that death came into the world by and through lust.

2Pt 1:4 through which have been presented to us the precious and greatest promises, that through these you may become participants of the divine nature, fleeing from the corruption which is in the world by lust. CLV

Eve in the garden, exhibited lust. If you examined what motives Eve had for wanting to eat of the forbidden fruit, with what the Apostle John had to say about lust, you will see great similarities.

AV Ge 3:6 . And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

1Jn 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Adam and Eve were subject to lust and through Eve’s lust, the serpent beguiled her. And because of their disobedience, death entered into the world. Many times in the New Testament it is stated that all things are of God, 2Co 5:18. God created evil and the inherent propensity for doing evil, in the created beings of this world. Evil is a result of actions based on choices made by creatures who dwell in God’s creation. Now some might ask why God allowed evil to flourish? Evil is a necessary variable in the purpose of God, because it causes suffering, affliction and tribulation, which are integral to the process of producing mature sons of God.

Ro 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word that is translated into the English word “vanity” in Ro 8:20.

G3153 mataiotes mat-ah-yot’-ace

from G3152;

inutility; figuratively, transientness; morally, depravity.

Following is a breakdown of the words in the above definition of vanity which offers insight. The words will not appear in order as I intend to expand on one definition.
inutility- not useful
depravity- moral corruption; wickedness
The following definition is my own and explains and expands on the two words and the dictionary definitions of the two words”transientness; morality”.
transientness; morality- the state or fact of lasting only for a short time in regards to morality.

I can remember when I was stationed at a Army base in Germany in the early 1970’s. There was a significant amount of drug use and drug addiction taking place on the base and many young men were addicted to methamphetamines. It took a short period of time to learn not to lend them money. They would ask to borrow money and promise to pay you back on pay day, but never did. The thing was, when they asked to borrow the money they were so sincere and genuine about promising to pay you back, that you believed them. They actually believed in their heart at the time, that they would pay you back. But they lacked character, they in fact had transient morality. In short, their good intentions were short lived. So after pay day, they would avoid you and if they saw you, they would not look you in the eye. In a real sense they were objects of scorn and sometimes pity. You learned in short order not to lend this type of person any money. Now least any of us consider ourselves any better.

Ro 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my lower self, nothing good has its home; for while the will to do right is present with me, the power to carry it out is not.
19 For what I do is not the good thing that I desire to do; but the evil thing that I desire not to do, is what I constantly do.
20 But if I do that which I desire not to do, it can no longer be said that it is I who do it, but the sin which has its home within me does it. Weymouth

Mankind was subjected by God to vanity in hope, expectation, that the glorious liberty of the children of God would be revealed. When seeking to understand God’s actions in response to evil in the world, one should keep this in mind. So in conjunction with the above verses and definitions, the following verses brings even more clarity of why evil was allowed by God to exist in the world.

He 5:12 For although, considering the long time you have been believers, you ought now to be teachers of others, you really need some one to teach you over again the very rudiments of the truths of God, and you have come to require milk instead of solid food.
13 By people who live on milk I mean those who are imperfectly acquainted with the teaching concerning righteousness.
14 Such persons are mere babes. But solid food is for adults — that is, for those who through constant practice have their spiritual faculties carefully trained to distinguish good from evil. Weymouth

The fruits of righteousness can only come about by being trained or exercised in the choices we make in life regarding good and evil and often times being chastised for making the wrong choices. In short we learn by doing wrong and by God disciplining us.

1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

He 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

The following verses, indirectly, points to Satan’s role in perfecting the Saints of God.

1 Peter 5:8-10 KJVS
[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. [10] But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you .

Accomplished is a interesting word. You have a accomplished pianist, which points to the fact they are well trained and practiced in playing the piano. The Strong’s Concordance definition for the word accomplished.

Strong’s Definition
From G1909 and G5055; to fulfill further (or completely) that is execute; by implication to terminate undergo: – accomplish do finish (make) (perfect) perform (X -ance).

Immature and naive beings cannot be made fully aware of the consequences of their actions and can only be made mature by suffering for the bad choices they make. That is why God has to scourge the sons He loves, He 12:6. We are after all, only children of God but are destined to be mature sons of God, with power and authority, following the first resurrection. That requires training by the Spirit of God, to facilitate character development or as it is put in the New Testament, bringing forth fruit.

Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Unfortunately this fruit cannot be grown in a person without them being tempted or tried by suffering, affliction, temptation and tribulation. It is written that God does not tempt or try a person, Jas 1:13. But did not the Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, Mt 4:1? And when we pray the Lord’s prayer, we pray to the Father not to lead us into temptation. Perhaps Adam and Eve were led or allowed to be tempted by the serpent. The very definition of the word tempted, offers great insight.

G3985 peirazo pi-rad’-zo

from G3984;

to test (objectively), i.e. endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline.

When we, as parents, bring a child into the world we have a responsibility to see that that child grows in maturity for their sake and the sake of society. Now, the environment in which this maturity is learned, is already in existence around the child. A child often learns by trial and error or by making mistakes and one would hope, a parents loving guidance. Many times it has been said, “don’t touch the stove it is hot”. Of course the lesson is often only learned by the child, when they slightly burn their tender fingers and cry from the pain. God of course, saw the need for all of this suffering when he made the cosmos and set upon the course of action of making man in His image and likeness. God exhibits no partiality, Ac 10:34, towards his created children and allows them to suffer so He can give his loving guidance and instill maturity, in the vessels of mercy, Ro 9:23. I can honestly say I do not understood all the ramification and implications regarding evil in the world. But I will share a pertinent experience of my own. In 1984 I was in a car accident and was paralyzed for ten days. I have lived with a spinal cord injury for 30 years which has caused a great deal of pain, suffering and frustration. It is a evil in my life. The day of my accident a Christian woman called me and said that the night before, she had a vivid dream. In her dream, I had been badly injured in a car accident. This woman implored me to drive careful. A little over 12 hours later, driving at a reckless speed, I was in a car accident and broke two vertebrae in my neck, both in three pieces. I have given this much thought over the years and the only real determination I can make of this experience in light of scripture is this.

Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God allows us to make choices and make mistakes. That is partially how maturity or perfection is acquired. We often times suffer because of our choices due to our immaturity. People make choices every day that can lead to great evil in the world. A man will rape a little child and adversely affect that poor young child’s life for years after. Men kill for many reasons, out of anger or because he covets someones property but largely out of immaturity. Many of the choices we make in life, can be in large or small ways, evil, Ac 9:13. Perhaps it is as small as gossiping or a rude comment that hurts another person’s feelings. In big or small ways we all contribute to the evil in this world, and the whole creation suffers because of these choices. It is only out of the furnace of this suffering, affliction, temptation and trial that a mature son of God emerges, fit for the masters use. That maturity is encapsulated by one word, love, Col 3:14.

A roaring lion seeking whom he may devour

1 Peter 5:8-10 KJVS
[[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. [10] But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you .

Many times we cherrypick scripture verses out of context, then use them to draw certain spiritual meanings and lessons from these verses, and miss out on deeper meanings that otherwise could be acquired by reading them in context. Case in point is the oft mentioned phrase “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. A deeper understanding may be had, by reading the verse in context and by study a definition of one of the words in a verse that follows. We are told to resist stedfast the devil in the faith. We are also told that being afflicted by the devil is the same afflictions accomplished in our brethren. The following definition of accomplished offers deeper insight.

Strong’s Number
Strong’s Definition
From G1909 and G5055; to fulfill further (or completely) that is execute; by implication to terminate undergo: – accomplish do finish (make) (perfect) perform (X -ance).
Thayer’s Definition
to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete
to take upon one’s self
to make an end for one’s self
to leave off
to appoint to, impose upon

A online Greek Interlinear renders G2005 like this.


The the noun afflictions is the object of the verb G2005 and the meaning in that sentence is difficult for me to determine. G2005 is often in verses that relate to those in the body of Christ being completed, perfected or finished. I like how the Amplified Bible translates that verse.

1 Peter 5:9 | AMP
9 Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

This verse dovetails nicely with what is stated in the verse that follows verse 9.

1 Pe 5:10 KJVS
[10] But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you .

A few more verses in other epistles that supply additional insight.

1 Thessalonians 3:3 KJVS
[3] That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

The Greek word, G2347, which is translated into the English word afflictions in 1 Th 3:3, is also translated into tribulation in a variety of other New Testament verses. Most notably the following.

Colossians 1:24 KJVS
[24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Granted, Apostle Paul is not specific in regards to who is behind these afflictions or tribulations. Or in many cases what exactly these afflictions and tribulations are, when he mentions these words in many verses in the New Testament. But since Suffering plays a role in our development as children of God, Satan appears to have a role in it. Part of which is this.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 KJVS
[4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

All things are of God, 2 Co 5:18. Is it ordained by God for Satan to blind the eyes to the gospel of those not ordained to see the light? You can not go beyond what is stated in the scriptures. The body of Christ was known in Christ before the foundation of the world, Eph 1:4. The Greek word for foundation has the meaning of something conceived. So before the world was conceived, those in the body of Christ, were known in him. This is a important point that theology conveniently ignores. There are reasons for that. Money, control of people and men building their own kingdoms in this world. God of course foreknew, predestinated and ordained all that goes on in this world directly or indirectly. To ignore this fact is to limit a limitless God. Keep this in mind as we move foreword.

Romans 13:1 KJVS
[1] 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.

After reading Ro 13:1, one might ask if Satan is one of the powers ordained by God? Since he is the God of this world, and all things are of God, one would think so. A couple verses from the epistle of Jude offer some insight.

Jude 1:8-10 KJVS
[8] Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. [9] Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. [10] But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Michael did not bring railing accusation against the devil because the Devil/Satan has a role in the plan and purpose of God. As the god of this world, 2 Co 4:4. And Michael respected God’s established order. Which verses 8&10 makes clear. So that is the context Jude wrote about in regards to Moses’s body. Satan as the accuser of the brethren, as a oppositional force, plays a role in the perfection of the Saints of God. A force that needs to be overcome. More on this later in the article. It is commonly presented that Satan upset the apple cart of God’s perfect creation by enticing Eve and Adam to take a bite out of the fruit off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now granted, that act by Adam and Eve was in direct disobedience of God’s command. But the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil made mankind like God and the Word, Gen 3:22. All that was lacking in humanity at that point, was individual maturity in mankind’s decision making ability in relationship with God and with one another. This lack of maturity is due to the flesh, Ro 8:3. The maturity God has in mind for man is experiential and can only be achieved a couple of different ways. By observing life around us, by being taught/disciplined by worldly authorities. And if one is in the body of Christ, exercised by God’s chastisements in the decisions we make in life. All of which results in greater or lesser degrees of good or evil in this cosmos. Individual thoughts and actions result in good or evil. The following verses apply more to the body of Christ but in principle, apply or will apply in time, to all men.

Hebrews 5:13-14 KJVS
[13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. [14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 12:6,11 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Both sets of verses mention righteousness, which is the end result of being justified and sanctified, Ro 3:20-24. But the not so obvious point that is being made, is that being made righteous, made perfect or mature, cannot take place without the interplay of good and evil in the world. God then needed to create a environment designed to mature and bring many sons into glory,He 2:10-11? Satan as the adversary, has a direct role in the process of the children of God being made mature. Again, this is not obvious due to the fact that Satan is often misrepresented as the perpetrator of evil in this world. A free agent who is intentionally derailing God’s purpose in the world. That is partly true but scriptures indicate there is more going on here than this simplistic representation of Satan. Evil again, is a result of individual choices and actions that are made by all creatures in God’s creation. Choices made by Satan, by sons of God, by Eve and Adam and by all of us. I remember one of my sons complaining to me about a big fine he had to pay. He got a ticket for one thing or another connected to his automobile. He did not pay the ticket for years and down the line it caught up with him and he was forced to pay it, but it was considerably more than the original fine. I told him he learned a valuable lesson. Pay tickets on time. Obey the law. I have often told my two sons, neither of whom the Lord has yet called, that life would teach them everything they needed to know, but they needed to pay attention.

Romans 13:1-4 ESV
[1] Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. [2] Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, [4] for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Now granted, there are varying degrees of good and evil. Just as there are varying degrees of maturity. Maturity is gained by guidance from our parents and from life experience and from the school of hard knocks. Sometimes God’s authorities on this earth punish you in various ways for infractions against the laws. And if you are a Christian, God chastises you based on a more stringent sets of law, the royal law of love, Ja 2:8, and for lack of holiness, He 12:10. The book of James has something to say about man being tempted or being put to the proof, as the Strong’s Concordance defines being tried.

James 1:12-16 KJVS
[12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. [13] 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: [14] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. [15] Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. [16] Do not err, my beloved brethren.

According to these verses in James, God does not tempt any man but the first chapter of Job records a interesting conversation between God and Satan while both were present at the divine council. God draws Satan’s attention to Job and by accentuating how blameless Job is, God provokes Satan into tempting Job with various trials.

Job 1:6-12 ESV
[6] Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. [7] The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” [8] And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” [9] Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? [10] Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. [11] But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” [12] And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Satan’s actions against Job, as the narrative progresses, extends to the point where Satan is allowed by God to torment Job directly by attacking his health.

Job 2:3-6 KJVS
[3] And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. [4] And Satan answered the Lord , and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. [5] But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. [6] And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

I have read the book of Job many times and have come away with a couple conclusions. God proves to Job that he did not established his own righteousness. What is not so obvious is that godly character needs to be put to the proof by adversity, affection and suffering. A important fact to notice in this account, is that Satan required God’s permission to tempt Job and God limited Satan’s actions. Satan is ultimately not a free agent acting on his own. Nebuchadnezzar arrived at the same conclusion regarding himself as a free agent after God had him crawl on his hands and knees eating grass for seven years to humble him. Keep in mind that he was the absolute rule of the known world at that time but he was also God’s servant, Je 25:9. Perhaps that is why God chastised him.

Daniel 4:34-35 KJVS
[34] And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: [35] And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

This divinely inspired conclusion is very similar to what Paul writes in Romans, Ro 9:19-21. A situation Apostle Paul found himself in comes to mind, that is directly related to this subject matter of this article, which demonstrates God’s authority over a messenger of Satan

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJVS
[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Who gave Paul this messenger of Satan to torment him is not made clear but again all things are of God. God gave all judgment to the Lord Jesus Christ, Jn 5:22. The Lord made this statement regarding Saul which is of interest.

Acts 9:15-16 KJVS
[15] But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: [16] For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

The gospels records many instances of the authority Jesus Christ had over devils and demons which are too numerous to list. Jesus Christ even instructed Satan to be quick in using Judas Iscariot to betray him.

John 13:26-27 KJVS
[26] Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it . And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. [27] And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Another interesting episode in the gospels comes to mind, that at first glance seems unremarkable.

Matthew 4:1 KJVS
[1] Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

To have the Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, demonstrates a certain degree of coordination between the Spirit and Satan in regards to time and place. When praying the Lord’s Prayer, we pray to the Father to be led not into temptation, Lk 11:4. There is of course a open conflict between the angels of God and Satan and his angels that emerges from the scriptures. The book of Daniel records one such instance, Da 10:12&13. Personally I view this conflict as real and necessary so as to allow evil to flourish in a controlled manner, so that the body of Christ and all creation to some greater or lesser degrees, achieve maturity due to having their senses exercised to discern between good and evil. In essence, you can’t make a omelet without breaking a few eggs. God apparently needs to immerse the members of the body of Christ in the crucible of suffering, affliction and temptation along with His Spirit poured in, in order to make the new creature in Christ, Ja 1:18. There is more at play here than that, but this article is complicated enough as is. A person can learn a lot when reading scripture by asking yourself questions. Why did God wait till the end of the age to cast Satan out of the third heaven to earth? Especially in light of the fact that both God and Jesus have the ultimate power and authority in heaven, Eph 1:20&21.

Revelation 12:10 KJVS
[10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

The not so obvious answer is, that up until that point Satan had not completed his role as accuser of the brethren. The following definition of the Greek word translated into accuser is of interest, especially in light of the throne of God in the third heaven, and the proceedings that takes place there, He 4:16.

Thayer’s Definition
a. to accuse
before a judge: to make an accusation
b. of an extra-judicial accusation

Conversely we have advocate with God the Father who sits at His right hand.

1 John 2:1 KJVS
[1] My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

That is why it is important to confess our sins, 1 Jn 1:9. I make a habit of saying the Our Father every morning for that reason. Satan’s role as accuser/adversary/prosecutor at the throne of God is necessary in the perfection of the body of Christ. And I admit, Satan’s role in this matter is not evident in a casual reading of scripture. But is apparent upon careful examination of scripture. Let us look again at those verses from the epistle of James.

James 1:12-18 KJVS
[12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. [13] 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: [14] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. [15] Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. [16] Do not err, my beloved brethren. [17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. [18] Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man. Does that mean God does not visit evils upon man? Part of the Strong’s Concordance definition for the Greek word chastening in He 12:5 is pasted below.

Strong’s Number
b. chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

The definition seems clear on who visits evils on man for their amendment but conflicts what is written in Ja 1:13. Perhaps the distinction is that God leads us into temptation rather than doing the evil Himself. The dialogue exchanged between God and Satan in the first chapter of Job again shows the finer nuances on how God performs his will on this earth. Is Satan’s role as the adversary/accuser completed when he is cast down from heaven as described in the 12th chapter of Revelation? From my perspective, his role as the accuser is no longer necessary, since the rapture of the body of Christ takes place at the seventh trumpet, Rev 10:7, 11:15. Keep in mind the three woes are linked to the last three Trumpets, and the third woe is when Satan is cast down to earth, Rev 12:12. At that point the body of Christ, if in fact that is who the man child represents, is without sin and made perfect/mature as the work of justification and sanctification is complete in every member.

Hebrews 9:28 KJVS
[28] So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

To be honest, it is unclear in the above verse that the second appearance of our Lord that is mentioned, refers to when he meets the Saints in the air, 1 Th 4:17, or steps down on the Mount of Olives, Zec 14:4. But this of course has not happened yet. So in the meantime, Apostle John tells us to confess our sins, 1 Jn 1:9. Apostle Paul, in light of what I have just written, gives us insight on why we should do just that.

1 Corinthians 11:28-32 KJVS
[28] But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. [30] For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

The Apostles understood that Satan is the god of this world, 2 Co 4:4, and understood his role as the accuser of the brethren. So then, a person can understand why Apostle Paul told the Philippians’s to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, Php 2:11&12. God knows what is in our hearts and minds and is growing the fruit of the Spirit in each and every member of the body of Christ. He allows any action He deems necessary in order for us to be qualified to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Col 1:12.

Hebrews 12:28-29 KJVS
[28] Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: [29] For our God is a consuming fire.

What is being consumed is our flesh, and what is being grown in us is the fruit of the Spirit. What I see in scripture, is that all things are of God, and even though the struggle between good and evil is diverse and complex, it presents most individuals with a wide range of choices. The overall Matrix, if you will, exposes most all to a reality wherein they acquire varying degrees of maturity due to making choices and suffering the consequences of poor descisions and rewarded for prudent ones. A complex environment that could only come from the mind of God. Since Yeshua is the beginning and the end, everything in between ultimately leads to God’s desired end which fulfilles his purpose in Christ.

Ephesians 1:10 KJVS
[10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: