Lesson 12 - Chapter 1 Verses 18-32

Chapter 1:18-32

The Doctrine of Good and Evil

 

The first time we see the concept of good and evil as it relates to the human race is in the Garden of Eden. God placed Adam and Eve in the garden and certain trees were placed in the garden as a test of man’s volition. The Tree of Life was to be freely eaten of by Adam and Eve. However, God also placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden and Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of it. This was a test to see if man would rebel against God as Satan and the fallen angels had done in eternity past.

The Tree of Life represented the grace policy of God. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represented the works policy of Satan. The difference between good and evil is that evil is the principle and human good is the function. Deceived by Satan, Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil using her volition to make the choice to disobey God. Adam knew exactly what he was doing when he followed Eve in disobeying God, and he knew the consequences of his actions. The decision to disobey God resulted in both spiritual and physical death. Adam also gave up the rulership of this world to Satan.

 

Good

Part of Satan’s genius plan to deceive and distract members of the human race is called human good and was part of the original temptation of man in the Garden of Eden. Human good is contrary to the plan and policy of God for the human race. Human good is never acceptable to God. Human good is produced by unbelievers and out of fellowship believers alike. Human good is a stimulus for arrogance.

As we have seen from the Garden of Eden, human good is the policy of Satan. The opposite of human good is divine good. Satan uses human good to distract unbelievers from believing in Jesus Christ for salvation by convincing them that they can work their way to Heaven. Satan also uses human good to distract believers from the execution of the Christian way of life by convincing them that their human good will please God. Both of these satanic concepts are found in many religions and denominations. Human good is evil. (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9)

Human good originates in the sin nature of man. Human good was rejected at the Cross as a means of salvation and all human good produced after salvation by believers will be destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Satan promotes human good through various means: the social gospel, the brotherhood of man, world peace, brotherly love, helping the poor, feeding the hungry and many other religious and charitable activities. (Isaiah 64:6; I Corinthians 3:11-16; II Thessalonians 2:8-10; I Timothy 4:1)

Human good is not categorized as sin. However, human good is not acceptable to God. For example, giving money to a local church by an unbeliever would be classified as human good. The same is true of an out of fellowship believer. Giving money to a local church by a believer who is in fellowship with God (filled with the Holy Spirit) is divine good. Therefore, human good is not confessed as a sin. Human good is handled by believers when they stay in fellowship with God utilizing the Rebound Technique. (I John 1:9)

 

Evil

The Greek word for evil is “kakos,” which stands for whatever is evil in character. The character of Satan is evil. The Hebrew word for evil is “ra” meaning adversity or calamity, which is consistent with the Greek word.

Evil is any system that is contrary to God’s system. Human good falls under the category of evil because human good is contrary to God’s system of grace. Evil is Satan’s policy for the world system in which we live. Evil became the policy of Satan in eternity past when he decided to rebel against the sovereign rule of God. As a policy perpetrated on the human race by Satan, evil became the adverse trend of society and continues until the millennial reign of Jesus Christ in the future.

Evil is the false concept that man can solve man’s problems by such systems as humanitarianism, philanthropy, religion, legalism, socialism and government control (the welfare state). All of these systems are contrary to the stated policies of God for the human race. God’s policy for mankind is divine establishment principles. When a person or a nation follows divine establishment principles, whether believer/s or unbeliever/s, that person or nation will flourish. Evil distorts the policies of God into a counterfeit system that appears to be “good.”

The concept of the “brotherhood of man” is a distortion of the policy of God. All human beings are not “brothers” and certainly are not all children of God. Only those who have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation are part of the family of God.

The greatest evil ever devised by Satan is religion. Religion is Satan’s counterfeit of Biblical Christianity, which includes but is not limited to social activism as a substitute for true divine production, emotionalism as a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit, human love as a substitute for divine love, tithing as a substitute for grace giving, “sermonettes” as a substitute for Bible doctrine, Christian service as a substitute for spirituality, etc.

Evil distorts anything that God has established as a divine system. For example, sometime in eternity past God the Father designed a plan for mankind based upon His grace, His righteousness, His justice and His perfect character. God is perfect and His plan is perfect, even with the introduction of man, who would become imperfect. God’s plan depends on God’s grace: in salvation Jesus Christ accomplishes the plan; in the Christian way of life the Holy Spirit accomplishes the plan; in eternity God the Father accomplishes the plan. It is always God who accomplishes the plan. Therefore, it is always grace. (John 3:16,18; Ephesians 1:1-14; I Corinthians 12:4-11; II Corinthians 5:8)

As stated, under God’s grace policy certain principles or divine laws were established to ensure the function and the perpetuation of the human race. These principles or laws are called Divine Establishment and were given by God to believers and unbelievers alike. Within these laws there is no discrimination based on race, nationality, gender or any other factor. God’s laws of divine establishment apply equally to all members of the human race in all dispensations. This means that anyone, believer or unbeliever, can have a peaceful, happy life if they apply these principles. On the other hand, failure to abide by these principles or laws by individuals or nations brings only disaster. (Isaiah 47:11)

Evil comes from thinking the thoughts of Satan and his policies. Sin comes from the sin nature. Sin was paid for on the Cross, evil was not. Therefore, the solution to evil is divine viewpoint thinking, not the Rebound Technique. This is the reason that every believer must have his/her thinking renovated by the intake and application of Bible doctrine. Accurate Bible doctrine is the only solution to evil in Satan’s cosmic system. A believer does not confess evil, he/she removes its influence in his/her life by the application of accurate Bible doctrine, resident and circulating in his/her soul. (Romans 12:1-2)

The spiritually maturing believer should be training himself to distinguish between that which is honorable and that which is evil. Hebrews 5:14 says, ”But solid food belongs to the mature, the ones who because of intake and application of accurate Bible doctrine continue to have their spiritual facilities properly trained in order to differentiate between the honorable and the evil.”

Abiding in God’s system is the only real way to protect against evil. I Corinthians 13:5 says, “Virtue-love (impersonal love) does not behave dishonorably, is not occupied with self, is not over sensitive, does not think evil.” Believers can allow themselves to be frustrated by evil if they operate in Satan’s cosmic system. (Romans 7:19-21) Therefore, believers are warned to be aware of those who practice evil and to avoid them. (I Corinthians 15:33; Philippians 3:2; II Thessalonians 3:2-3; III John 11)

God protects the believer who resides in His system from evil. The more mature you become as a believer the more evil you are going to face because Satan is going to do everything in his power to distract you. Remember, mature believers are witnesses for the prosecution in the Angelic Conflict. Satan wants you to let down your guard and become negative toward Bible doctrine. And never forget that Satan is the ruler of this world system in which we live. (Proverbs 2:11-13, 12:21; Psalms 37:17, 84:10; 91:10, 121:7)

The more Bible doctrine you have in your soul the more you will love God and hate evil. The key to insulating yourself against evil is to renovate the way you think by putting Bible doctrine in the place where evil wants to reside – your mind. (Philippians 2:5)

When you begin to align your thoughts with the mind of Christ, you will be able to recognize and resist evil in any form it is presented to you. As you reside in God’s grace system through the daily intake and application of Bible doctrine that you have stored in your soul, you will be utilizing the tenth problem-solving device – Occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ. As a believer, you are occupied with Christ when you have saturated your soul with accurate Bible doctrine to the point that you are literally thinking the way that Christ thinks. (II Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 3:16-17)