Lesson 4: Where did Sin Come From?

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For many, the existence of sin, with the misery and death that it has brought into our world, is a great mystery. They cannot understand how a God who is loving and kind, would allow something that causes so much misery and hurt to exist. And, while the Bible teaches us that "the secret things belong unto the LORD" (see Deuteronomy 29:29) the origin of sin is not one of Godís secrets. In His Word God has drawn aside the curtain, opening to us the mystery of sin from its very beginning to the present time. More than this, the Bible tells us about a time in the future when there will be an end of sin, sorrow, and death. Be sure to kneel and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you study this lesson!

Origin of Sin and Death

1. With whom did sin begin? 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."

2. What had been Satanís original condition? Ezekiel 28:15.

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

3. What led to his rebellion and downfall? Ezekiel 28:17.

"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."

Note: Some people are confused by the fact that this text refers to the person being addressed as the Ďking of Tyreí. It also goes on, however, to explain that he had been in Eden, the garden of God, and we know the human king of Tyre was never in Eden.

Through the inspired writings of both Ezekiel and Isaiah, Satan is addressed as the king of an earthly empire. In both cases, these city-states were centers of trade, known for their wealth and wickedness. So we see that regardless of who the visible ruler of these great nations was, Satan was seeking to work through them to accomplish his purpose, just as he worked through the serpent in the garden of Eden. The apostle Paul confirms this when, in Ephesians 6:12, he points out that the Christianís real enemies are not men, but spirit beings controlling those in high places.

4. What was Satanís name before he sinned? Isaiah 14:12.

"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!"

Note: Satan was originally a beautiful angel in heaven. The name "Lucifer" means "light bearer," or "Son of the Morning". This gives us some idea of his outstanding glory.

Some say there is no sin and no devil. Satan is pleased with this; for if people say he doesnít exist, they wonít try to avoid his traps. Out in some parts of the Orient people have a strange way of trapping elephants. The natives dig a very large pit and cover it over with leaves and grass. Then they build a stockade (large fence) up toward that hidden pit. With their drums they frighten a heard of elephants toward the stockade, until they crash into the hidden pit and are trapped. Satan is trying to hide himself and his traps so he can catch more of God's children. If an army did not believe their enemy existed, they would certainly loose the war!

5. What rebellious thoughts came into Luciferís heart? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (angels) 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."

Note: Satan was an angel in glory. But he decided that he no longer needed to obey Godís law. Notice the plans he had in mind:
1. "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God." (He wanted to rule over the angels)
2. "I will sit in the sides of the north." (Where Godís throne was.)
3. "I will be like the most High." (He wanted to be God)

Lucifer certainly had "I" trouble!

6. What did Satanís pride and jealousy lead to in heaven? Revelation 12:7.

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels."

7. Having lost the war in heaven, where did Satan go. Revelation 12:9.

"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."

Note: For some time after Satan began planning his rebellion, he worked slyly and deceitfully among the angels, trying to get them to join his side in rebellion against God. By telling them lies about God he got many to join with him. Michael rallied His angels and cast Satan and his rebellious angels out of heaven, down to this earth. Satan has made this earth his headquarters from that time to this.

8. What are some of the things that Satan is to blame for in this world? 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."

Note: Jesus makes it very clear that He knows there is a real devil, Satan, who is to blame for all the lies, lusts, and murders in the world. He shows that Satan is a real being, that he fell from heaven, and that he is carrying on his wicked work on the earth. Those who say they do not believe in Satan, cannot believe in Jesus either!

9. What is Satan able to make himself look like? 2 Corinthians 11:14.

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

Note: You probably have seen Satan pictured with horns, hoofs, spiked tail, etc. But Paul says that the devil appears like an angel of light. It is part of Satanís plan to make his work appear good, like Godís work so he can deceive more people.

10. What did Satan promise Eve she could be? Genesis 3:5.

"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."

Note: It was pride that led Satan to desire to be equal with God and he now tried to make Eve want the same thing. He tempted her to believe that by disobeying God, she would actually become equal to God. As soon as Adam and Eve followed Satan's suggestion and disobeyed God, a change took place within them. Their minds came under Satanís control. No longer were they pure and holy.

11. What was fallen manís attitude toward Godís authority? Romans 8:7.

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

Note: That word Ďenmityí is like Ďenemyí; Satan was Godís enemy and now Adam and Eve had joined him. Man, created to be the image of God (see Genesis 1:26, 27), came under Satanís control. Now, instead of being in harmony with His Creator, he was a rebel.

12. How was the wicked principle of sin soon revealed? Genesis 4:8.

"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew (killed) him."

13. What was Godís response to the sin problem? Romans 8:3.

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."

Note: God might have destroyed man because of his rebellion, but instead, He sent Jesus to die for us. When Jesus came to this earth, He came as our Teacher. As our Teacher, He lived a life of unselfish obedience, setting us an example of what we may become through faith in Him. By His obedient life, He showed that it is possible for us, through His power, to be obedient. With Jesus as our personal Savior, there is no reason for us to continue to sin.

God gave Adam dominion to rule over the world. All creation was placed under Adamís control. However, when Adam sinned, he lost that dominion to Satan, and Satan claimed this world and everyone who lived in it, as his own. At times his power over men seemed to be almost complete (see Genesis 6:5, 6), yet the world still belonged to God. Satan could exercise only that power which he had seized when he deceived Adam and Eve.

When Jesus came to earth as a man He defeated Satan in every contest. Now Satan can no longer claim to have any right to this world, except because most people still choose sin and selfishness instead of obedience to God.

14. Of what importance to us is Christís life of perfect obedience? 1 Peter 2:21, 22.

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."

Note: By His perfect obedience Jesus has shown that it is possible for every human being to obey Godís commandments. In His humanity He worked out a perfect character, and this character He offers to give to each of us, if we are willing to be obedient to Him.

There are some who wonder why God did not destroy Satan when he first sinned. They reason: Would that not have ended sin and saved so much heartache and suffering?

If God had destroyed Satan when he first sinned, the other beings in Godís universe would have obeyed God from fear, rather than love. They would not have understood the result of disobedience, but would have feared to disobey lest they be destroyed. God wants His followers to obey Him because they choose to and not because they are afraid of Him. By allowing the principles of sin to be fully worked out, God has given every being in the universe the opportunity to see just what sin leads to. Having seen sinís awful results, each being in Godís universe can now make an intelligent decision as to whether or not he will obey God.

15. What are the wages of sin? Romans 6:23.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

16. What will be Satanís final reward? Revelation 20:10.

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

Note: Satan is finally to be destroyed by fire.

17. Is there any danger that sin will ever enter Godís universe again? Nahum 1:9

"What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time."

Note: When God finally destroys Satan and sin, it will be the complete end of evil. "Affliction, shall not rise up the second time." Affliction means trouble, torment, suffering and that is exactly what sin has brought to our earth.

AngelsóOur Bodyguards:

18. What is Satan trying to do the Godís children in the earth? 1 Peter 5:8.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

Note: Satan tries to tempt us to sin and to harm us, because he hates God. He knows Jesus loves us dearly and he knows that when he injures us, he is hurting God. Satan wants to destroy the people who are so dear to the heart of God. He even likes to hurt the animals. The nearer we get to the end of the world, the more bitter Satan will become and the more cruelty we shall see. When we sin, we are helping Satanís side, against Jesus.

19. Who watches over the lives of Godís children to protect them from Satanís attacks? Psalm 34:7.

"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

20. How do men compare to angels? Hebrews 2:6, 7.

"But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands."

Note: Man was created lower than the angels. Angels are a higher form of created beings. Angels are sometimes called cherubs, seraphim or cherubim. Some have thought that angels are the spirits of the dead, but before any person had died there were angels (see Genesis 3: 24), so angels cannot be the spirits of the dead. They are entirely different beings than man.

21. What does an angel look like? Matthew 28:3.

"His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow."

Note: Because of sin we are not able to look on the glory of heaven. Angels usually hide their glory when on earth; that is why we cannot see them, though they may be very near.

You may have seen pictures of angels as delicate ladies or little bare babies, this is not at all true! Godís angels are powerful beings. One angel, back in King Hezekiahís time, killed 185,000 enemy soldiers in one night. (2 Kings 19:35) Satan like children to think that his devils are very powerful and Godís angels are sissy and weak, but I assure you it is just the other way around. Satanís angels can never beat Jesus or His angels. Evil is not stronger than good.

22. Who watches over every child? Matthew 18:10.

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

Note: Each child has a guardian angel who watches over him. Even though we cannot see these angels, they are very real. One time (see 2 Kings 6: 16, 17) when a prophet was in great danger, the angels surrounded the hill where he was staying. In order that his servant might have greater faith the prophet prayed, asking God to open his eyes, and then the servant could see the angels. The hill was full of them.

Bring a little radio into the room and turn it on. Suddenly you hear music from every part of the world. Those radio waves were there before, but the radio made it possible for you to hear them. Someday we shall be able to talk with our guardian angels, and they will tell us how they have protected us from harm and danger.

23. What is the main work of the angels at the present time? Hebrews 1:14.

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

Note: The angels seek out every sincere person. God sends them forth to help you when you are in need. That is why you should always pray to the Lord whatever you are doing, so that you will always have the protecting care of the good angels.

24. When there is terrible trouble on every side, what promise has God made to those who obey Him? Psalm 91:10, 11.

"There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."

There may be times when others will make fun of you because you are trying to do right. At times you may even be tempted to consider it old fashioned and sissy to believe in the Bible and prayer. If this happens, remember how comforting it is to know that when trouble comes, you have protection. If you are true to God, you are under the constant care of His angels.

This week as we go about our work and play, let us always remember that our angels are always there to help us in everything. They will even help us to do our work and learn our lessons! Let us pray each day for strength to be a faithful follower, obedient to Godís commands.

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