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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 4

Why Does Evil Exist?

Picture 1 The Moment of Truth Lesson 4
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Welcome to this lesson! Let us ask God to assist us:
Our Heavenly Father,

Why does evil exist? Why do suffering and death dominate on this planet?

Will we be forever captive in a world where everything goes from bad to worse day after day?

We ask you to guide us in the study of Your Word, that we might find the answers to all those questions.

This is our prayer, in Jesus Christ.

Amen.
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Job 3:20-22 Comments
Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul; which long for death, but it comes not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? Job was neither the first nor the last to address this famous question to God: «Why does evil exist?»

Another popular form of this question is: «If God exists, why is the world full of all kinds of evils?»

In this lesson, we will search the Scriptures to find the origin of evil.
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Ezekiel 28:12-14 Comments
Son of man, take up a lamentation on the king of Tyrus, and say to him,

«Thus said the Lord God, “You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering. (...)

You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God.”»
God is speaking to a cherub, that is, a mighty angel who was already living in Eden.

We can see from the above text that God had entrusted this angel with great responsibilities from the beginning.
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Ezekiel 28:15-17 Comments
You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the middle of you with violence, and you have sinned. (...)

Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.
This angel called Lucifer, which means «Light Bearer», was created perfect. Please note that God did not create a devil.

One day, Lucifer, for an inexplicable reason, let pride seize him, and a mad ambition rushed to his mind: to take the place of God Himself!
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Isaiah 14:12-14 Comments
How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart,

«I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on 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.»
Rebellion invaded Lucifer’s heart, and he became Satan, a name which means «Adversary».

He then succeeded in leading a third of the angels to rebel too...
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Revelation 12:7-9 Comments
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 deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Openly declaring war on God, Satan was expelled from heaven, with the angels whom he deceived.

But what became of them on the earth?
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Isaiah 14:12 Comments
How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Satan’s fall to the earth was not announced as a blessing for those who dwell on this little blue planet...
Luke 10:18
And [Jesus] said to them, «I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.»
Revelation 12:12
Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
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Genesis 3:1-5 Comments
[The serpent] said to the woman,

«Yes, has God said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?»

And the woman said to 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 middle of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”»

And the serpent said to the woman,

«You shall not surely die: for God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods.»
As soon as he reached the earth, Satan undertook to deceive the human race.
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Genesis 3:6 Comments
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 to her husband with her; and he did eat. Man’s happiness was linked to his obedience to God.

But God did not want a forced obedience: so He allowed man the freedom to follow the way he preferred. However He gave him a serious warning about the consequences of his choice.

Alas! Satan deceived him in spite of that warning, and got him to disobey.
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2 Corinthians 4:3,4 Comments
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them. «The god of this world», «the prince of this world»... This is how the Bible describes Satan.

When man chooses to believe Satan instead of God, he establishes Satan as the prince of this world.
John 12:31
[Jesus said,] «Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.»
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Luke 4:5-7 Comments
And the devil, taking [Jesus] up into an high mountain, showed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him,

«All this power will I give You, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If You therefore will worship me, all shall be Yours.»
Jesus and Satan agree on this point: after the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the kingdoms of this world became Satan’s property.
John 18:36
Jesus answered, «My kingdom is not of this world.»
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John 8:44 Comments
You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Remember that Satan promised Eve that by disobeying God, she would not die but on the contrary she would become as a god.

The first couple chose to believe Satan.

And what were the consequences of such a choice for the whole human race...?
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Genesis 3:22,23 Comments
And the Lord God said,

«(...) And now, lest [the man] put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever,» therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from where he was taken.
Stained by sin, that is transgression of the divine law, man lost the privilege of living in God’s presence.

And since God is the only source of life, therefore man also lost the right to eternal life.
1 John 3:4
Sin is the transgression of the law.
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Isaiah 59:1,2 Comments
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.
Sin’s most serious consequence is the end of the intimate relationship that existed between God and man before the Fall.

Sin, by staining man, made him unable to bear God’s glory, and therefore to survive in His presence.
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Genesis 3:16 Comments
To the woman [God] said,

«I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.»
Let us take good note of this: God had created man and woman equal.

Unfortunately, the entrance of sin into the world gave man dominance over woman. That domination would be outrageously misused throughout history.

Sin also made the human race subject to suffering, another appalling consequence of the first couple’s choice.
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Genesis 3:17,18 Comments
And to Adam [God] said,

«Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it:” cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field.»
Nature was also marked by the appearance of sin.

The soil no longer cooperated so easily with man. Many beasts became wild. The planet became hostile with its storms, earthquakes, and other disasters.
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Isaiah 1:4-6 Comments
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger. (...)

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.
To choose sin also meant to choose suffering in all its forms: physical suffering, psychological suffering, spiritual suffering...
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Job 2:7 Comments
So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to his crown. Let’s carefully review these verses: who, then, is ultimately responsible for the suffering here on earth? God or Satan?
Luke 13:16
[Jesus said,] «And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, see, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?»
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Genesis 2:16,17 Comments
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,

«Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.»
God did not lie to man: the entrance of sin into the world made the human race subject to death, and deprived us of eternal life.
Romans 5:12
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for all have sinned.
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James 1:15 Comments
Sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Created perfect by God’s hands, Adam, stained by sin, died at 930 years of age (Genesis 5:5).

However, sin rapidly weakened the human body, decreasing its lifespan.

This deterioration was so marked that the psalmist wrote: «The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years...» (Psalm 90:10).
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death.
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Deuteronomy 32:4-6 Comments
[God] is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of His children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

Do you thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not He your Father that has bought you?
God is our Creator, our Father, and our Friend.

If everything goes so badly in the world, we cannot and must not blame Him for this sad situation.
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Proverbs 19:3 Comments
The foolishness of man perverts his way: and his heart frets against the Lord. Satan is really wily: not only did he plunge the human race into a world of darkness, of suffering and death, but he has also succeeded in making millions of people believe that God, rather than he, is responsible for all their misfortunes.
Job 34:12
Yes, surely God will not do wickedly.
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Ezekiel 18:23,32 Comments
«Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?» said the Lord God, «and not that he should return from his ways, and live?» (...)

«For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies,» said the Lord God, «why turn yourselves, and live you!»
God sincerely deplores man’s choice to believe Satan’s lies rather than follow the path He showed him, leading to eternal life.

However God still loves each one of us, and a plan to re-establish the situation has been provided for us.

This plan will be the subject of our next lesson.
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1 John 5:19 Comments
The whole world lies in wickedness. Satan does not match the description made to scare children, with two horns, a tail, and a pitchfork...

No, Satan is an intelligent and very powerful angel. He knows quite well that he will control us more easily if we don’t believe that he exists.
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
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1 Peter 5:8 Comments
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. God is not our enemy, Satan is not our friend.

Satan knows that he has a short time, and his only goal is to lead as many people as possible to perdition.

We can be sure of this: he has a specially designed trap to spring on each one of us, a trap with bait specifically aimed at our own individual weaknesses, a trap able to keep us away from God until it is too late.

If we do not discern his efforts, he will definitely conquer us.
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Ephesians 6:11,14-17 Comments
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (...)

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Only this armor will give us the victory over our enemy, Satan.
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1 John 4:8 Comments
God is love. As this lesson is drawing to its close, you may ask yourself, «Why didn’t God destroy Satan from the beginning, to avoid the entrance of sin into the world?»

Because the basis of God’s government is love.

If God had destroyed Satan immediately, His creation would then have served Him out of fear: so God decided to allow everyone the time to measure the consequences of Satan’s rebellion.

Fortunately, the experiment will soon come to a conclusion...
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Romans 16:20 Comments
The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The experiment is conclusive: sin results in desolation, suffering, and death.

It is therefore with the whole Universe’s consent that God will soon destroy every trace of sin, as well as Satan himself.

This will have been a painful experience for all of us, and especially for God, but necessary in order to guarantee that evil will not appear a second time.
Nahum 1:9
Affliction shall not rise up the second time.
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Let us thank God for His presence during this lesson:
Father,

How comforting it is to understand that even if Satan dominates this world, You will soon put an end to evil here on earth.

Please open our eyes, that we may see the one who is really responsible for our misfortunes, that we may understand that Satan is always trying to keep us away from You by all means, so as to lead us into eternal destruction.

Keep us close to You, in Jesus Christ.

Amen.
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Lesson 4 - Test The test of Lesson 4 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, PVK00170.JPG. Screen 2: BOWER, Maurice. In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 8», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co.Inc., 1968, p.980-d. Screen 3: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM091.BMP. Screen 4: PROVONSHA, Clyde. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.254. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 5: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #3 («Le Vilain du Drame de l’Apocalypse»), p.3. Screen 6: 1. In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.181. 2. STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association , 1950, p.428. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 7: DORE, Gustave. «Satan Falling». In: «Angels: An Endangered Species» (GODWIN, Malcolm), Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990, p.91. Screen 8: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (August 1,1986), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Screen 9: MUSIO, Nino. In: «Illustrated Bible Stories for Children» (HUGHES, Ray), Joshua Morris Publishing, 1988, p.15. Screen 10: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #3 («Le Vilain du Drame de l’Apocalypse»), p.1. Screen 11: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (December 1, 1991), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.9. Screen 12: In: «The Bible for Children - Retold by Bridget Hadaway & Jean Atcheson», Londres, Octopus Books Limited, 1973, pp.12-13. Screen 13: DORÉ, Gustave. In: «La Bible de Gustave Doré», Lausanne, Edita, 1994, p.9. Screen 14: LEE, M. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.43. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 15: In: «Réveillez-vous» magazine (November 22, 1988), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.2. Screen 16: In: «Awake!» magazine (March 8, 1987), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.7. Screen 17: Photo by Publiphoto. In: «L’Omnipraticien» journal (unknown date). Screen 18: BLAKE, William. «Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils» (1826). In: «Angels: An Endangered Species» (GODWIN, Malcolm), Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990, p.87. Screen 19: POPE, Robert. «Family» (1990). In: «Canadian Medical Association Journal» (December 15, 1997), p.1687. Screen 20: In: «L’Omnipraticien» journal (unknown date). Screen 21: RAPHAEL. «The Vision of Ezekiel», Pitti Palace, Florence. In: «Great Bible Stories and Master Paintings» (RACHLEFF, Owen S.), New York, Abradale Press Publishers, p.221. Screen 22: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (September 15, 1994), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Screen 23: GREENE, Nathan. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (August 1989), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.16,17. Screen 24: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (April 1, 1994), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16,17. Screen 25: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (February 1, 1986), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Screen 26: HARLAN, Russell. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.152. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 27: STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.440. Screen 28: Raphael. «Saint Michael» (1505), Musée du Louvre, Paris. In: «Revelation - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.108. Screen 29: Photo by JUDE, Phil. «Primary Rainbow», Science Source, Photo Researchers, Inc. In: «Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition», 1997.
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Lesson 4 - Test The test of Lesson 4 is waiting for you!