CHAPTER 8

The Origin Of Sin--Part 1

We live in a world that is filled with evil and wrong.  Are the daily newspapers filled only with nice stories about people loving and helping each other? Does the news on television show a world in which everything is happy and peaceful? We live in a world that has a very real need for policemen, soldiers, judges, and prisons. Every car is equipped with locks on the doors. Homes are built so that doors and windows can be locked. All the evidence points to the unmistakable fact that we live in a world that has been spoiled and polluted and defiled by SIN.

Where and when did sin ORIGINATE (see Chapter 1 for the meaning of the words "origin" and "originate")? Where did sin first begin? When did sin first begin? When did sin first begin on planet earth?  Who was the first sinner?

Was there ever a time when there was no sin? Today Godís sinful creatures (men and angels) are at war with God. They rebel against God, disobey God, dishonor God, and turn aside from Godís ways. Was there ever a time when Godís creatures were in perfect HARMONY with God, and, enjoying perfect FELLOWSHIP with Him?

How did sin first originate? Where did it all begin?  Complete the following sentence by circling the correct answer:

SIN FIRST BEGAN . . .

  1. With Eve who ate the forbidden fruit.
  2. With Adam who ate the forbidden fruit.
  3. With Satan who deceived Eve in the garden of Eden.
  4. With Cain, who murdered his brother Abel.

The correct answer is neither a, b, c, nor d!  Sin began before any of these events took place. The origin of sin took place even before Adam and Eve were created (Genesis. 1:26-27). The beginning of sin took place prior to the creation of the heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1). Remember that before Adam sinned, there was already a sinful creature who was in the Garden of Eden and who was in a fallen and wicked condition. Who was this creature (Genesis 3:1 and Revelation 12:9)? ________________ To find out about the ORIGIN of sin, we need to learn about the first sinner. Adam was the first human sinner, but he was not the first sinner.
 

God is not the Author of Sin

Some people who try to blame everything on God might say, "Why did God allow all this evil to come into the world?" "How can a loving God be in charge of a world that is so filled with trouble and evil and sorrow?" Have you ever heard people say such things?

Did God commit the first sin? _________ Is God to blame for the first sin? ______Did sin originate with the Creator or with a creature? _______________________ Godís perfect record of righteousness has never been stained with even one blotch of sin:

"This then is the message which we have heard of [from] Him, and declare unto you, that God is _____________ and in Him is _____     __________________ at all" (1 John 1:5). Sin did not originate with God!
 

God, Many Angels, No People

Long ago and even before this world ever existed, God created the angels. See Colossians 1:16 that says "all __________________ were created  ______     _______, and for Him."   How many angels did God create (Revelation 5:11)?  ____________________________________________

How many evil angels do you think God created? How many demons did God create? How many devils did God create? Today there is one devil and there are many demons (evil angels), but God never made them as evil creatures. Every creature that God made was holy and good and sinless. Not one sinful, wicked creature was ever made by God the Creator, and yet it is possible for a holy and good creature to turn away from God and fall into sin.

The Terrible Fall of Lucifer

As you think of the angels as originally created, circle words that might describe them and their relationship with God and with each other: 

happy complaining worshipful rejoicing
holy harmonious disobedient fighting
hateful loving in fellowship praising
at peace bickering angry jealous

One of these angels was a leading angel. He was a special kind of angel known as a C________________ (Ezekiel 28:14).  The word "cherub" is in the singular; the plural is written as CHERUBIM.  Hence, in speaking of one, you would say "cherub," but in speaking of three of them you would say "cherubim").

This cherub or angel is sometimes referred to by the name L________________ (Isaiah 14:12). This name means "bright one, shining one," and it refers to the brightest star in the sky or the "MORNING STAR" (the planet VENUS). In the Bible, angels are sometimes likened to stars (see Job 38:7; Isaiah 14:13).  Probably they can be compared to stars because:   1) they are heavenly creatures just as the stars are heavenly bodies; 2) they are too numerous to count just as the stars are too many to count (see Revelation 5:11). Out of all the "stars" or angels which God created, Lucifer seemed to shine the brightest (just as VENUS, the morning star, seems to outshine all the others). God created Lucifer as a very special angel and gave him a very special position.

If we were to think of the angels as we would think of a huge army, then we would probably classify Lucifer as a "GENERAL."   Out of all the angels that God created, he was given a very high position.

The Bible provides more information about this angel in Ezekiel 28:11-19. What does Ezekiel 28:12 tell us about the WISDOM of this creature? _____________ What does this same verse tell us about the BEAUTY of this creature? ________________ This angelic creature lived in the heavenly paradise (the heavenly "Eden," see Ezekiel 28:13), and he served in the very presence of God (this is the meaning of Ezekiel 28:14). If any creature knew God and if any creature was close to God, Lucifer was!

Did God create this angel as perfect or imperfect (Ezekiel 28:12,15)? _______________ Did God create a sinful creature or a perfect creature? _____________________

The Fall of Lucifer

Something terrible happened to this shining angel: "How art thou ____________from ____________, O Lucifer!" (Isaiah 14:12). Lucifer had a great fall. Lucifer fell into sin, and this sin is described in Ezekiel 28:17--"Thine heart was _________    _______    because of thy beauty." He became PROUD of his beauty, wisdom, and his power.

Here is what Lucifer should
have said:

My beauty and my wisdom and my power have all come from God who has made me what I am. All that I have I have received from God my Creator.  Therefore my proper response to Him is to thank Him and praise Him and be what He wants me to be, for He is such a great God!

 

Here is what Lucifer did
say:

How beautiful I am! How wise I am! How powerful I am! God is not the only one who is great. I am great also. Why should all the angels worship God? Should they not worship me just as they do God? I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH! (Compare Isaiah14:13-14).

Lucifer never said these words out loud, but he said them in His_____________(Isaiah 14:13). Does God know what people and angels think in their hearts? ________God discovered SINFUL PRIDE in the heart of this angel.

Read Isaiah 14:13-14. What two words do you find repeated five times in these two verses? _________  _______________ Lucifer did not have an "eye problem," but he had an "I problem." We could spell his problem this way:

P R I D E

The humble creature wants to LIFT UP GOD. The proud creature wants to LIFT UP SELF (Ezekiel 28:17).
The humble creature realizes that everything he possesses he has R_____________________ from God (1 Cor. 4:7). The proud creature takes credit himself for all that he has and forgets that he would have absolutely nothing apart from God.
The humble creature says, "NOT  MY WILL, but Godís will be done." (See Luke 22:42). The proud creature says, "I WILL (SELF- WILL), and I care little about GODíS WILL!"
The humble creature is DEPENDENT. ("I need God for everything!") The proud creature is INDEPENDENT. ("I donít need God, and I donít want God. Iíll do my own thing in my own way for my own glory.")

Is P R I D E a problem in our world today? Is this same sin in the hearts of men today? Are there men who have a problem with SELF-WILL?  Is there any person who does not have a problem with SELF-WILL? Are there people who have a spirit of INDEPENDENCE?   In what forms does this thinking display itself in our world today? 

Let us consider the five "I WILLS" of Lucifer as found in Isaiah 14:13-14:

1) "I WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN." Lucifer wanted to mount up or scale to the heavens. He desired to occupy the highest heavens:  to probe, and to penetrate the kingdom of the infinite God. He wanted to have a very HIGH position!

2) "I WILL EXALT MY THRONE ABOVE THE STARS OF GOD." Luciferís position and service before Godís throne was not enough. He wanted a throne from which he could exercise final authority and make decisions pertaining to the angelic host ("the stars of God"). He wanted to rule over all the angels. God had made him an exalted angel, but Lucifer wanted to be exalted even more. (He was not content to shine as the "morning star";  he wanted to shine as the star of stars--with a brilliance that would far outshine all the other stars (even as the sunís brightness makes all the other stars fade away so that you cannot even see them during daylight hours).

3) "I WILL SIT ALSO UPON THE MOUNT OF THE CONGREGATION." He desired to sit or be enthroned in the highest place having all the angelic assemblies in submission to him. He wanted to be the center of attention. He wanted to be IDOLIZED by all.

4) "I WILL ASCEND ABOVE THE HEIGHTS OF THE CLOUDS." "Clouds" are often used in the Bible to speak of the glory of God (see Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:9; Rev. 1:7). Lucifer coveted Godís glory for his own.  He failed to acknowledge that his glory and beauty all came from and was dependent upon God. In his sinful pride, Lucifer wanted a glory that would impress and dazzle all creatures.

5) "I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH." He wanted to be EQUAL with God and to take Godís place as Possessor and Ruler of all. He wanted to become a completely independent creature who was responsible to no one.

Pastor George F. Parsons created this helpful diagram to show Luciferís five haughty "I WILLS":

Lucifer was once PERFECT, but he became imperfect and sinful: "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, until _________________ was found in thee" (Ezekiel 28:15). Lucifer had been SINLESS, but he was sinless no more. God found (discovered) INIQUITY and SIN in the heart of this angel. Lucifer had lifted up his heart and gone off track (like a train that has been derailed). God found an angel whose heart was filled with PRIDE. Today we do not call this angel Lucifer. Today he is known by other names, especially THE DEVIL and SATAN. Remember that God did not create the devil; God created a perfect angel who later sinned and became the devil.

The Devilís Angels

At first the devil was the only fallen creature. The other angels had not fallen into sin. However, the devil did not remain the only sinful creature for long. He was soon able to convince thousands of other angels to join with him in his revolt against God.

After Lucifer fell into sin, God sentenced him and told him what his punishment would be: EVERLASTING ____________________(see Matthew 25:41). The devil then began to do just what his name means. The word "DEVIL" means "one who accuses, one who slanders." The devil (the Accuser) began to ACCUSE God. He may have said something like this: "Thatís not fair! How can a loving God send His creature into a lake of fire forever and ever?"

Note: We learn something of the devilís accusations in Ezekiel 28:16,18. Note especially the word "MERCHANDISE" in verse16. This same word is translated "TRAFFIC" in verse 18. It comes from a verb meaning "to go about from one to another for trade or for gossip." From the same Hebrew verb we get the word "tale-bearer, a trafficker in slander" (Proverbs 11:13 ; 20:19). These verses in Ezekiel imply that the devil used deceitful, slanderous talk against God in order to win an army of sympathizers from among the angels.

When the angels heard the devilís accusations they had to make an important choice. They listened to Satanís slander who may have said something like this: "GOD IS UNFAIR! God is unloving! Is God right to sentence me to the lake of fire? Why? What did I do? You may be next! Join up with me. The choice is yours!"  Each angel had to make a decision whether to join up with Satan or whether to remain loyal to God.

Remember that Lucifer sinned in his heart (Isaiah 14:13). God knew what Lucifer was thinking and judged him accordingly, but the angels could not see his sin as God could. As the devil accused God, every single angel had to make this choice: "ĎShould I agree with Satan that God is unfair, or should I stay on Godís side? Should I join with Satan against God or should I remain loyal to God and stand against Satan?" The word "SATAN" means "adversary, enemy." Satan is Godís enemy, and those angels who became Satanís friends became Godís enemies.

Many of the angels made the wrong decision to follow Satan, and as soon as they made this wrong choice in their hearts, they also sinned. Revelation 12:3-4 seems to indicate that one third (one out of every three) of the angels decided to follow the dragon who is the devil. These angels are called SATANíS ANGELS (see Revelation 12:7 and Matthew 25:41). These evil angels are also called DEMONS or UNCLEAN SPIRITS.

Lucifer was the first creature to sin.  Sin began in Lucifer's heart and mind and spread to other angels who chose to follow Satan. The beginning of sin took place even before planet Earth was created.

Is God falsely accused today? Do men sometimes accuse God of being unfair and unjust? Do you ever hear people say such things as this: "How can God allow people to suffer such hunger and disease and sorrow on this earth?" Others might say, "How can a loving God send anyone to Hell. Thatís not fair!" How would you answer these accusations? Would God be fair and just to allow a guilty sinner to go unpunished? Can God ignore and overlook sin? Was God just and fair in sending His Son to pay the full penalty for sin and to provide salvation for all who will believe on Him?

Watch Out for the Sin of Satan!

Does Proverbs 16:18 remind you of Lucifer? Why? What warning does this verse give to people living today? Consider Luke 18:14. The word "abased" means "to be made low." According to this verse, where does the PROUD person end up? ___________ Where does the HUMBLE person end up?_______________________ What lessons do you learn about PRIDE from 1 Peter 5:5-6 and James 4:6,10? What will happen to the person who lifts himself up? What will happen to the person who bends his heart low before God and others? The way up is the way down, and the way down is the way up!

Remember the sin of Satan, and let it be a warning. This angel had a high position. God had given him wisdom and beauty and power. BUT HIS HEART WAS LIFTED UP.  Instead of giving God glory, he took the glory unto himself.

What can you do to keep yourself from being PROUD? What can you do to AVOID the sin of Satan? Consider the following examples, and for each of them do two things: 1) Think about how you could react or respond in the wrong way (a sinful, proud response); 2) Think about how you could react in a right way (a humble response that gives God full credit and that keeps your heart from being lifted up in the wrong way).

Examples:

  1. You get all Aís on your report card, and you are put on the High Honor Roll.
     
  2. You play the piano or sing a solo before a group of people, and afterwards everyone compliments you and tells you how well you did.
     
  3. Your baseball team is trailing by two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. You step up to the plate with two men on base, and you smash the ball over the fence for your second homerun of the game. Your team wins by one point, and the fans mob you and carry you off the field.
     
  4. You visit a hospital and see scores of handicapped persons unable to walk, etc. You are reminded how healthy you have been. Why are they so handicapped and why are you so healthy?
     
  5. Your neighborís car breaks down. Since you are mechanically minded, you take a look at it, work at it for a couple of hours, and finally fix it (saving your neighbor from paying a big repair bill).  or  A friend is sewing a dress, but she is having difficulty following the pattern. You go over and help her finish the work. She really thanks you for your time and effort!
     
  6. A man has only been a believer for two years, and yet his local church puts him into a position of leadership and makes him an elder (compare 1 Timothy 3:6). Why is this a dangerous thing to do? What will probably happen to this man? How could he easily start thinking wrong thoughts about himself and his new position?  In what way could such a man FALL?

Can you think of other examples? Letís learn a much needed lesson from the sin of Satan lest we fall into the same error (compare 1 Timothy 3:6). In the next chapter we will learn how sin made its entrance into the human race.


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