Vineyard Labourer Bible College

Study 5


To many minds the origin of sin and the reason for its existence are a source of great perplexity. They see the work of evil, with its terrible results of woe and desolation, and they question how all this can exist under the sovereignty of One who is infinite in wisdom, in power, and in love. Here is a mystery of which they find no explanation. And in their uncertainty and doubt they are blinded to truths plainly revealed in God's word and essential to salvation. There are those who, in their inquiries concerning the existence of sin, endeavour to search into that which God has never revealed; hence they find no solution of their difficulties; and such as are actuated by a disposition to doubt and to find fault unnecessarily seize upon this as an excuse for rejecting the words of Holy Writ. Others, however, fail of a satisfactory understanding of the great problem of evil, from the fact that tradition and misinterpretation have obscured the teaching of the Bible concerning the character of God, the nature of His government, and the principles of His dealing with sin.

It is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the final disposition of sin to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in no wise responsible for the entrance of sin; that there was no arbitrary withdrawal of divine grace, no deficiency in the divine government, that gave occasion for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin.

As one views the daily sinister events of death, terror, and violence reported by television, radio, and newspaper, it is evident that a master intelligence is operation in this world. He is at war, not only with God, but with all that is just and good. In many circles today the devil has been voted out of existence. Many equate Satan with evil thoughts or a superstitious carry-over of a medieval fable. Christ and the prophets believed in the existence of an evil being. In the Bible he bears such names as the devil, Satan, the prince of this world, the deceiver, the serpent.

Where did the devil originate? Why hasn't God destroyed him? These and many other questions arise when he is mentioned. Let us turn to the Bible to learn the truth about Satan.


1.   With whom did sin originate? 1 John 3:8.

"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8.

Note: Without the Bible, the question of the origin of evil would remain unexplained.

2.   Was Satan created sinful? Ezekiel 28:15.

"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." Ezekiel 28:15.

Note: This, and the statement in John 8:44, that he "abode not in the truth," shows that Satan was once perfect, and in the truth. Peter speaks of "the angel that sinned" (2 Peter 2:4); and Jude refers to "the angels which kept not their first estate" (Jude 6); both of which show that these angels were once in a state of sinlessness and innocence.

3.   What kind of angel was Satan before his rebellion? Ezekiel 28:12.

"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." Ezekiel 28:12.

Note: Under the figure of the king of Tyre, Ezekiel describes the activities of Lucifer. He was created "perfect," but he abused his power of choice. From an angel of light he turned himself into the devil by an act of his own will.

4.   What exalted position did Satan once occupy in the courts of heaven? Ezekiel 28:14.

"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." Ezekiel 28:14.

Note: As a covering cherub he stood next to God. Psalm 80:1.

5.   What higher position did this exalted being covet? Isaiah 14:12-14.

"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." Isaiah 14:12-14.

Note: Another motive behind his rebellion was pride of his beauty. Ezekiel 28:17.

6.   From what time has the devil been a murderer? John 8:44.

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44.

7.   What is the devil's relationship to lying? John 8:44.

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44.

8.   What did God do when Satan's rebellion led to war in heaven? 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." Revelation 12:7-9.

9.   When he was cast out of heaven, whom did Satan then seek to deceive? Genesis 3:1-6.

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 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." Genesis 3:1-6.

Note: Satan used the serpent as a medium to attract the attention of the woman.

10.   What does Satan now claim as his? Luke 4:5, 6.

"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it." Luke 4:5, 6.

Note: See also Job 1:6-8. Satan appeared at the gates of heaven claiming to be the representative of this world. The "sons of God" mentioned in these verses were the unfallen representative of other worlds.

11.   Who brings sickness and trouble upon mankind? Job 2:7; Luke 13:16.

"So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." Job 2:7.

"And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" Luke 13:16.

12.   How will this evil one finally be destroyed by God? Ezekiel 28:16-19.

"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Ezekiel 28:16-19.

13.   Why does the devil work so viciously now? Revelation 12:12.

"Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Revelation 12:12.

14.   How does Satan work to disguise himself and his activities? 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

15.   What is man's only defence against the devil's deceptions? Ephesians 6:11, 12.

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:11, 12.

16.   How can we gain the victory over this arch-enemy? Revelation 12:11.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Revelation 12:11.

Peter warns us, "Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8. Never have his deceptions been so effective in misleading and destroying men as they are today. He especially directs his anger against those who are loyal to God.

The devil sought to overcome the Saviour before He could accomplish His mission of redemption. Christ was victorious in every battle fought with the deceiver. The Bible tells us that Christ did not sin. By His death on the cross of Calvary He earned the right to deliver those held in bondage by Satan if they will accept His death in their stead. By instigating Christ's death, the devil signed his own death decree.

Satan will soon be destroyed with all those who have yielded to his temptations to sin. The Bible assures us that his end will be complete. But now he seeks to deceive even the children of God. The same Redeemer who gained the complete victory in His battle with Satan is able to give you the victory too if you will place your life in His hands - hands that were pierced for your sins. Trust Him this day, and He will give you forgiveness for past sins and victory over future temptations.

Commitment:- I recognize Christ as my only hope of victory over the enemy.

© S. D. Goeldner, November, 2011. Last updated July, 2019.

Vineyard Labourer Bible College Training for the Christian Walk


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