2.1.4 The Origin Of Evil
Mr. Mattison, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Afternoon
I'm afraid I have to start off taking very serious issue with something Mark that said to start off with when he said that what we are talking about today is not something that affects our fellowship the one with the other. Now I would suggest to you that if anyone stands up in a public debate and says, well, the thing I'm talking about is not actually fundamentally essential to Bible truth and to fellowship in the Lord Jesus Christ, I would say that is an indication that such a person is not completely convinced from the scripture as to what they believe. Because if you are convinced that what you believe is absolutely fundamental, then it's a truth that you've underlined in your scriptures time and time again the reasons why you believe what you do.
Now this debate then is not an academic debate. We believe that this debate is a debate about the almightiness of God. We are told in Hebrews 2: 14 which is a passage we will be coming back to, and it's a passage I believe the Abrahamic Faith Church can't really handle: in Hebrew 2:14 we are told that when Christ died on the cross he destroyed the devil. Now that shows that understanding the devil is related to understanding the atonement. It's related to understanding the whole basis and the crux of our salvation.
Now the first point I'd like to make is to talk about the powerfulness of God, and then to talk about where evil and disaster come from, and then to talk about where sin comes from. I want to talk about the whole nature of angels, and then to talk about what these words devil and satan mean and about the principle of personification.So, let's start off then about the powerfulness of God. Well, as Mark as rightly pointed out there is this very common belief, a pagan belief, that has got inside Christianity that there are two gods - there is the force of light and of power and of goodness which is God, and then there is this source of evil and darkness which is the devil. He spoke in his talk about the kingdom of darkness which he says belongs to the devil, etc. Now that view, although he says that the Abrahamic Faith Church don't really believe that, in practice you must do, if you say, okay, here is God, and then okay here is this person called the devil who has got the power of temptation and has got the power of death, he is a personal supernatural being. Well, effectively you are believing in two gods, and so Isaiah 45 really answers that in verse 5, where God says, " I am Yahweh, and there is none else, there is no God - no source of power - beside me. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and I create evil." So then God is creating evil / disaster in this world. Now if God is all powerful, then we have to come to the conclusion that the god of this world which Mark says he calls the devil, well, we have to come to the conclusion that that person called the devil is actually given power by God and that God actually enables that person to work. So I've got a number of questions that I'm going to give to Mr. Mattison which if you are interested in finding truth, you will want to see those questions answered.
One of them says, Where does Satan get his power from? because I submit that God is all powerful. God is the source of power. Secondly, does Satan do God's will or his own will? What makes Satan tick? What energises him? If it is God, well we've got this terrible idea then built up that God is somehow tempting us, God is somehow bringing temptation and sinful situations into our lives. We know that God doesn't tempt anybody. Now if Satan is the tempter and the devil is the tempter, well, we can't say that God is empowering Satan to tempt us because we are told that God does not tempt us. Now, because God is all-powerful, there is no other source of power there in heaven. Because of that the will of God is done in heaven. " Thy kingdom come, that thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" . Now if the devil is against God, if the devil is not doing God's will, well, then he can't be in heaven because God's will is done in heaven. Yahweh cannot behold evil in His presence. He cannot have any sinfulness in His presence; so the idea of there being some sinful forces up there in heaven with God is quite anathema to the teaching of scripture.
And so then, where do we get disaster from? Well, Mark has suggested to you that we get it from God via this evil being called Satan. But all through, we are told specifically that evil, for example Micah 1: 12, evil came down from the Lord upon Jerusalem. Amos 3: 6 - " if there is evil in a city, God has done it" . So you would have thought that it would say that the evil came from Satan or the devil, and ultimately from God. But we are told all the time that in fact God is the one who is responsible for these things that happen in life.
Now looking at Job, which we will talk about in our second talk, that point is emphasised time and time again, that the Lord brought disaster upon Job. So then we can't say really, can we, that Satan is somebody in opposition to God? According to Mark's kind of theology that was presented to you just now, Satan is a kind of puppet of God and that is quite contrary to the very clear descriptions that we have in the New Testament of a battle between God and Satan. Very often we are told in scripture that our sufferings, our tribulations, in the long term make us more righteous people. Hebrews 12 verse 6 he says " whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth" , and that chastening yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
It's for that reason that in 1 Cor. 5: 5, we are told that people could be delivered unto Satan that the spirit might be saved. 1 Tim. 1: 20: people were delivered to Satan that they might learn not to blaspheme. It doesn't say to a Satan, it says there to the Satan which is what Mark is trying to tell you is this personal being who is bent on causing temptation and is bent on destroying people's spirituality. Well if that is really so, and that is what you are being asked to believe, if that is really so, well then how come those passages say that satan, the Satan, has a positive spiritual effect on somebody? How come: if this person is in fact the source of temptation in guiding people into sinfulness, which is what the Abrahamic Faith Church believe?