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The Problem

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world.... (Revelation 12:9a)

Not long after God created the heavens and the earth, one of His most beautiful and powerful angels became jealous of Him. This angel, named Lucifer, determined that he would overthrow God, taking for himself God’s honor and power. He reasoned that the best way to do this was to destroy mankind’s relationship with God. For Lucifer supposed that if he could trick mankind into thinking that God was not good, then they would turn against God. They would see Him as cruel and unfair, unworthy to be obeyed.

Then Lucifer himself would come to mankind, convincing them that he would give them true freedom and power. But once they followed him, he would use them as his slaves to do his bidding!

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

Now God had said to the man and woman whom He created, that they may eat from the fruit of any tree in the garden where they lived except for one. From the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they were never to eat. For in the day they ate from it they would die. So then, Lucifer (now called Satan) used a clever serpent in the garden to lie to the woman. “You will surely not die,” he said. “But God knows that in the day you eat it you will be as God!” The woman believed the lie of the serpent and took a bite of the forbidden fruit. She even gave it to the man, her husband, and he tasted it also. Then immediately they saw their mistake, for they felt utterly dark inside, with the sense that they had done something very evil. Instead of becoming like God, they felt angry and defiled. Gone was the purity of love they had before. In fact, from this point on, the man and the woman and all their descendents—all of mankind—would experience evil desires in their hearts. They would no longer feel close to God who made them. Instead they would feel unclean and unworthy. Every generation had the same problems, till the earth finally became filled with evil because of them.

It is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

But God, being ruler over all the universe, was very pure and hated wickedness. He could not let evil go unpunished, for if He did, it would destroy all His creation. And so, God punished mankind for their disobedience. Just as He had warned them that eating the forbidden fruit would produce death, so they would be punished with both physical and eternal death for their wrong doing. Now physical death is when the spirit is cut off from the body. The body then decays to dust during which time the spirit goes to a place of gloom under the ground. Eternal death is the final suffering of both body and spirit, reunited, in dreadful flames of fire for all eternity.

Yet God did not want mankind to suffer eternal death. After all, He made them to be His offspring, the highest of His creation. So here was God’s problem. He loved them and wished to win them back to Himself, offering them eternal life. Yet because He could never go against His own purity and justice, He had to punish them as they deserved—with eternal death. But if He did this He would lose them forever! How could He possibly save them if He indeed must condemn them?

(The punishment of Satan and the angels who followed him is told in the seventh jewel, The End.)

*All material on this page copyrighted © 2003-2006 by Diana Rosdail. All rights reserved.