Origin of Sin

Scripture: John 8:44, 1 Peter 5:8, Ezekiel 28:12-17
Is there a devil? Many people do not believe there is a devil. But what does the Bible say about the reality of Satan. Originally, Lucifer was an angel in heaven who turned away from God. The Bible teaches who he was, what happened, and how he was cast out of heaven.
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Several years ago when China was still staving off the approaches of a communist take-over, the United States had some B-29 bombers based at certain military fields on the mainland of China. As one of those giant planes thundered down a runway for take-off one day, a Chinese civilian suddenly dashed across in front of the bomber, barely escaping the whirling propeller. The man was taken into custody and questioned about his suicidal actions. This was the explanation he gave: "There was a devil chasing me, and I ran in front of the plane so that the devil would be killed if he came behind me."

We may all have to agree that this act was based upon superstitious fears, but that man did believe in the existence of a devil, at least. In that sense he was much better off than thousands of Christian theologians who question even the existence of such a being. It is hard to believe friends, but in a poll taken of 500 leading preachers, it was found that 54% did not believe in a personal devil. Those men are the worse fooled men in the world. And Satan is very happy to have it that way, believe me. He is delighted when men preach that he is not real, that he is only an evil influence or bad thought.

Let us see what Jesus, the master teacher, had to say about the reality of the devil. In John 8:44, He describes Satan as a murderer and the father of lies. Now that's the teaching of Christ on the subject.

Can an influence tell a lie? Can an influence kill? Of course not! Again in James 2:19 we are told that even the devils believe and tremble. It takes a personality, an intelligent mind, to believe. The devil then is not a mere fantasy, but a reality. Listen to the words of the Bible in 1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." The devil is just as real as a lion is real. In the New Testament alone, there are seventy-one direct references by name to this prince of evil.

Well, where did the devil come from? Who made him anyway? To answer that question we must go back to the ages of the past before the creation of this world. We have to consider the glorious host of angels, whom God made as His ministering spirits, and who lived there in the very presence of God. Among the angels was one called "Lucifer" which means "Day Star." He was the most beautiful of all, holding the highest position, right by the very throne of God. My friends, one day something happened to this angel which had never happened to any creature in all the universe before. He first became dissatisfied with his position and began to covet the place of God himself. Here we have the record of the first sin that ever existed. I would like to read a few texts from the Bible about this impressible story.

First let us read about his beauty and position in Ezekiel 28:12,14,15, 17. "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom. and perfect in beauty. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth: and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; . . .Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, until iniquity was found in thee. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou has corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Under the figure of the king of Tyrus, this description is given of Satan as he existed once in the councils of God in the beautiful paradise.

Now reading in Isaiah 14:12-14, describing that beautiful angel once more. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most High." Notice how he kept talking about himself and how "I, I, I will do these things", "I will take God's place." Lucifer coveted the right to rule the universe. He introduced rebellion in the ranks of the angels of heaven.

The concord of the universe was broken, friends, and slowly this spirit spread from one to another until one-third of the angels had become disaffected with God. The result of this is pictured in Revelation 12:7-9. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Again Jesus said these words in Luke 10:18, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Just think of it, there was war in heaven, Christ and the good angels fought against the dragon and those who had joined with his rebellion. And the result was that the Devil was cast out into this earth with one-third of the angels who joined him in this rebellion against God.

And so this great controversy between good and evil was started in heaven and then transferred down to this earth. No longer was Lucifer called the "Day Star," his name now was changed to "Satan" which means "adversary." Now why did he sin? Friends, there is no explanation for it whatsoever. To explain it would be to excuse it. The most we can say is that he had "I" trouble. He was an angel with "I" trouble. He used that word "I" five times in the two verses of Isaiah 14:13, 14. His beauty, his position, became an obsession with him, and he would not stifle that spirit of self-seeking. How many others have fallen victim to that same delusion and suffered an eternal loss as a result.

Now we learn how the human race became involved in the conflict. God made a beautiful garden called the Garden of Eden, in which he placed Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. In that garden was one tree which God commanded them not to touch or eat, and it was to this forbidden tree that Satan came, and by his subtle deceit caused first Eve and then Adam to taste of that fruit. With this first sin the penalty of death passed upon the human race, because God had said that if they disobeyed "Thou shalt surely die." Adam and Eve were driven from the beautiful garden home, and death entered the family of men, and Satan has been here ever since, deceiving and destroying. What does he look like, friends? Most people have seen him painted as a horrible red creature with a long forked tail and a pitch fork in his hand. Is that the true picture? Absolutely not. If it were true very few people would want to follow him. The fact is that Satan was the most beautiful of God's creation. He makes his appearance before this world with glitter and glamor, his appeal is in the bright lights, the loud laughter, the fine clothes. The snares of the devil are clothed with outward respectability and beauty. He is so subtle that he never appears in the habit of his ugly repulsive self. The ugliness appears after the trap is sprung.

Now right here I am going to anticipate a question that is already forming in your mind. You are wondering why God did not destroy Lucifer before he could spread this deadly spirit of sin and rebellion. You are wondering now if God isn't responsible for sin, since He created Lucifer, who became the devil. Now let us see if we can find the answer to this question. First let me say that God didn't create a devil at all. He made a beautiful, sinless creature who was full of holy innocence. Let us try to illustrate this for a moment.

Let's say that a mother has a beautiful son born to her, whom she names John, John Doe. She tried to train him in the right way, but he got in the wrong company and became a drunkard. His life became an embarrassment to his own friends. One day we see him lying in the gutter, loathsome, repulsive. Could we say, concerning that man, "Look, see what a revolting creature Mrs. Doe brought into the world." Of course we could not say that, because she bore a sweet innocent baby. He made himself loathsome and drunken.

My friends, in the same way God made a cherub full of purity and innocence. He was perfect in all his ways until iniquity was found in him. You say, But why did God make him so that he could become imperfect?" There we come right back to the question of power of choice and reason. It is true God could have made automatic-like angels; He could have made them without the power to think, to reason, or to choose. But He wouldn't be satisfied to receive forced adoration and worship. God delights in the voluntary, spontaneous service of love. Even sinful men do not appreciate a service that must be compelled. No man wants his family to respect him merely from a sense of duty. I feel sure that God bestowed the power of choice so that His creatures could be happier, and to demonstrate His justice to all. I am sure also that God recognized the dangers that were involved. He knew that sin was now within the realm of possibility, because the angels could choose to disobey if they so desired. All these things God took into consideration, and even made provision for the terrible emergency that might arise. Still He saw fit to bestow the gift of choice, instead of making just machines. In this, no one can accuse God of injustice nor charge Him with the responsibility of sin.

Now we come to another question. Why didn't God destroy Lucifer in the very inception of sin? The answer is obvious. The angels didn't know what sin was. They did not know what the consequences of sin were. They had never seen death. Now Lucifer is accusing God of injustice, he is attacking His government. If God plucked out that rebel and destroyed him, the angels could not have understood why. The charges of Lucifer would have been unanswered. Fear would have spread to the utmost limits of the universe. The question would remain as to the truth of Lucifer's charges. God had but one wise choice. The stability of the universe for ages was at stake. He must permit Satan to demonstrate his kind of government. There was no short cut. It would take time, it would take sacrifice, but it would eventually vindicate the justice of God's government and His dealing with sin. Today as the world hastens on to its end, as sin and crime multiply around us, Satan is furiously working to ensnare and destroy. He knows that his time is short. (Revelation 12:12.) He knows that he is without hope and his government is soon to topple. In desperation he seeks to carry with him every soul who can be influenced by his deception. Friends, are you avoiding this great deceiver and his enticements? Have you accepted the safety provided by God's great plan of salvation? Men will not be lost because they fell into Satan's traps. They will not lose eternal life because they were enticed to steal, kill and commit any other sin. Men will be lost because they will not accept God's plan of deliverance from sinful conditions. Have you accepted it now?

It's not so mysterious that man is a sinner, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But it is a mystery that so many continue to choose sin instead of choosing deliverance through Christ. Accept Him now, He's the door to life and eternal salvation.

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