by Vance Ferrell
did not create a devil
is not the cause of our sufferings
did not destroy His moral law
does not torture people as soon as they die
will not burn people in hellfire forever
"The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11
"The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me." Psalm 116:6
"In God will I praise His Word. . in God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." Psalm 56:10-11
is a powerful book, which directly answers, from the Bible,
"Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you" 2 Corinthians 18:11
"But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto Him." Psalm 4:8
"I will look unto the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." Micah 7:7
Why God Did Not Immediately Destroy Satan
Many question why God does not get rid of the devil, so he will stop
bothering us. This chapter fully explains how sin began, why Satan is
working in our world today, how Satan will one day be destroyed, and why
it will then be safe to blot him out of existence.
chapter is based on chapter 29 of the best-selling book, Great
Controversy. Paragraphs in bold print have been added to quotations from
People often blame God for not immediately destroying Satan, when he first brought sin into the universe. This chapter will provide you with a solid answer to this question.
government of God is founded on His divine law. Only by obedience to it,
can His creatures be happy.
law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the
happiness of all created beings depended upon their perfect accord with
its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His
creatures the service of love—homage that springs from an intelligent
appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced
allegiance, and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render
Him voluntary service.
The Bible says that "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). That is the only clear definition of sin In the Bible. God did not cause sin to exist.
is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for
its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin
and the final disposition of sin to make fully manifest the justice and
benevolence of God in all His dealings with evil. Nothing is more
plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in no wise responsible
for the entrance of sin; that there was no arbitrary withdrawal of
divine grace, no deficiency in the Divine government, that gave occasion
for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no
reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to
defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its
existence. It would cease to be sin. Our only definition of sin is that
given in the Word of God; it is "the transgression of the
law"; it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law
of love, which is the foundation of the divine government.
Sin, suffering, and death go together. Before sin began, there was no suffering, and there was no death.
the entrance of evil there was peace and joy throughout the universe.
All was in perfect harmony with the Creator's will. Love for God was
supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, the Only
Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father, one in nature, in
character, and in purpose,—the only being in all the universe that
could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ the
Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. "By Him were
all things created, that are in heaven. . whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers" (Col 1:16); and to Christ,
equally with the Father, all heaven gave allegiance.
Satan (originally called Lucifer), by his own decision, chose to sin. He was the first one to do it.
there was one that chose to pervert this freedom. Sin originated with
him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood
highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Before his
Fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled.
saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect
in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious
stone was thy covering. .Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and
I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast
walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect
in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found
in thee."—Ezekiel 28: 12-15.
It is an amazing fact that! In the midst of such perfection and peace, sin began. Lucifer decided to live for himself. But this was not God's fault. It was Lucifer’s own decision, which grew into an obstinate, open rebellion.
heaven had rejoiced to reflect the Creator's glory: and to show forth
His praise. And while God was thus honored, all had been peace and gladness.
But a note of discord now marred the celestial harmonies. The service
and exaltation of self, contrary to the Creator's plan, awakened
forebodings of evil in minds to whom God's glory was supreme. The
heavenly councils pleaded With Lucifer. The Son of God presented
before him the, greatness, the goodness, the justice of the Creator:
and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had
established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer
would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning,
given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance.
Lucifer allowed jealousy of Christ to prevail, and he became the more
in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors
conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and
called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness
and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and
reverenced by the heavenly host. Angels delighted to execute his commands,
and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of
God was the acknowledged Sovereign of heaven, One in power and authority
with the Father. In all the councils of God, Christ was a participant
while Lucifer was not permitted thus to enter into the divine
purposes. "Why," questioned this mighty angel: "should
Christ have the supremacy? Why is He thus honored above Lucifer?"
Repeatedly, God tried to help Lucifer and draw him back from the terrible future he was going to bring on himself and others.
in His great mercy bore long with Lucifer. He was not immediately
degraded from his exulted station when he first indulged the spirit of
discontent, nor even when he began to present his false claims before
the loyal angels. Long was he retained in heaven. Again and again he was
offered pardon on condition of repentance and submission. Such efforts
as only infinite love and wisdom could devise were made to convince
him of his error. The spirit of discontent had never before been known
Just as he does down here on earth, Lucifer used false accusations of God to defend his actions.
forbade Lucifer to submit. He persistently defended his own course,
maintained that he had no need of repentance, and fully committed himself
in the great controversy against his Maker.
the powers of his master mind were now bent to the work of deception, to
secure the sympathy of the angels, that had been under his command. Even
the fact that Christ had warned and counseled him was perverted to serve
his traitorous designs. To those whose loving trust bound them most
closely to him, Satan had represented that he was wrongly judged, that
his position was not respected, and that his liberty was to be abridged.
From misrepresentation of the words of Christ he passed to prevarication
and direct falsehood, accusing the Son of God of a design to humiliate
him before the inhabitants of heaven. He sought also to make a false
issue between himself and the loyal angels. All whom he could not
subvert and bring fully to his side he accused of indifference to the
interests of heavenly beings. The very work which he himself was doing,
he charged upon those who remained true to God. And to sustain his
charge of God's injustice toward him, he resorted to misrepresentation
of the words and acts of the Creator. It was his policy to perplex the
angels with subtle arguments concerning the purposes of God. Everything
that was simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast
doubt upon the plainest statements of Jehovah. His high position, in
such close connection with the divine administration, gave greater force
to his representations; and many were induced to unite with him in
rebellion against Heaven's authority.
Why did God not destroy Satan immediately? That is an extremely important question! The answer explains a lot of things we see around us every day.
in His wisdom permitted Satan to carry forward his work until the spirit
of disaffection ripened into active revolt. It was necessary for his
plans to be fully developed, that their true nature and tendency might
be seen by all. Lucifer, as the anointed cherub, had been highly
exalted; he was greatly loved by the heavenly beings, and his influence
over them was strong; God's government included not only the inhabitants
of heaven, but of all the worlds that He had created; and Satan thought
that if he could carry the angels of heaven with him in rebellion, he
could carry also the other worlds. He had artfully presented his side of
the question, employing sophistry and fraud to secure his objects. His
power to deceive was very great, and by disguising himself in a cloak of
falsehood he had gained an advantage. Even the loyal angels could not
fully discern his character or see to what his work was leading.
It would take time, a lot of time, before all created beings understood the horrible nature of sin.
had been so highly honored, and all his acts were so clothed with
mystery, that it was difficult to disclose to the angels the true nature
of his work. Until fully developed, sin would not appear the evil thing
it was. Heretofore it had no place in the universe of God, and holy
beings had no conception of its nature and malignity. They could not
discern the terrible consequences that would result from setting aside
the divine law. Satan, had, at first, concealed his work under a
specious profession of loyalty to God. He claimed to be seeking to
promote the honor of God, the stability of His government, and the
good of all the inhabitants of heaven. While instilling discontent into
tile minds of the angels under him, he had artfully made it appear that
he was seeking to remove dissatisfaction. When, he urged that changes
be made in the order and laws of God's government, it was under the
pretense that these were necessary in order to preserve harmony in
Lucifer, the bright angel, had changed himself into Satan. He operates through ties and trickery, But God did not come down to his level.
His dealing with sin, God could employ only righteousness and truth.
Satan could use what God could not—flattery and deceit. He had sought
to falsify the word of God and had misrepresented His plan of
government before the angels, claiming that God was not just in laying
laws and rules upon the inhabitants of heaven; that in requiring
submission and obedience from His creatures, He was seeking merely the
exaltation of Himself. Therefore it must be demonstrated before the
inhabitants of heaven, as well as of all the worlds, that God's
government was just, His law perfect. Satan had made it appear that he
himself was seeking to promote the good of the universe. The true
character of the usurper, and his real object, must be understood by
all. He must have time to manifest himself by his wicked works.
Satan blamed God for all of sin's problems and misery. He also declared that God's holy, Ten Commandment Law was defective and cannot be obeyed.
discord which his own course had caused in heaven, Satan, charged upon
the law and government of God. All evil he declared to be the result
of the divine administration. He claimed that it was his own object to
improve upon the statutes of Jehovah. Therefore it was necessary that
he should demonstrate the nature of his claims and show the working out
of his proposed changes in the divine law. His own work must condemn
him. Satan had claimed from the first that he was not in rebellion. The
whole universe must see the deceiver unmasked.
God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that He could not immediately blot out, Satan. For the good of all God's creatures, time must be given for the principles that Satan operated on and the effects of sin—to be clearly understood by all.
when it was decided that he could no longer remain in heaven, Infinite
Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since the service of love can alone be
acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a
conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven
and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or
consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of
God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from
existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love.
The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor
would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. Evil must be
permitted to come to maturity. For the good of the entire universe
through ceaseless ages Satan must more fully develop his principles,
that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their
true light by all created beings, that the justice and mercy of God
and the immutability of His law might forever be placed beyond all
Satan's rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin.
The working out of Satan's rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God's government and His law is bound up the well being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin and suffering its punishments.
Satan uses the same methods today to catch men. He gets them to blame God for everything that happens.
same spirit that prompted rebellion in heaven still inspires rebellion
on earth. Satan has continued with men the same policy which he pursued
with the angels. His spirit now reigns in the children of disobedience.
Like him they seek to break down the restraints of the law of God and
promise men liberty through transgression of its precepts. Reproof of
sin still arouses the spirit of hatred and resistance. When God's
messages of warning are brought home to the conscience, Satan leads
men to justify themselves and to seek the sympathy of others in their
course of sin. Instead of correcting their errors, they excite
indignation against the reprover, as if he were the sole cause of
difficulty. From the days of righteous Abel to our own time, such is the
spirit which has been displayed toward those who dare to condemn sin.
the same misrepresentation of the character of God as he had practiced
in heaven, causing Him to be regarded as severe and tyrannical, Satan
induced man to sin. And having succeeded thus far, he declared that
God's unjust restrictions had led to man's Fall, as they had led to his
But God has clearly told us in the Bible that He is good, and only good. It is Satan and sin that is the problem, not God.
Eternal One Himself proclaims His character: "The Lord God,
merciful, and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and
truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression
and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty:" Exodus
And then God poured out all heaven, in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to our world, suffered at the hands of Satan and wicked men, and died to save us from sin. In view of this, how can we ever doubt God's love for us?
the banishment of Satan from heaven, God declared His justice and
maintained the honor of His throne. But when man had sinned through
yielding to the deceptions of this apostate spirit. God gave an
evidence of His love by yielding up His only begotten Son to die for the
fallen race. In the atonement the character of God is revealed. The
mighty argument of the cross demonstrates to the whole universe that the
course of sin, which Lucifer had chosen, was in no wise chargeable upon
the government of God.
was Satan that prompted the world's rejection of Christ. The prince of
evil exerted all his power and cunning to destroy Jesus; for he saw that
the Savior’s mercy and love. His compassion and pitying tenderness
were representing to the world the character of God. Satan contested
every claim put forth by the Son of God and employed men as his agents
to fill the Saviour's life with suffering and sorrow. The sophistry and
falsehood by which he had sought to hinder the work of Jesus, the hatred
manifested through the children of disobedience, his cruel accusation,
against Him, who’s life was one of unexampled goodness, all sprang
from deep-seated revenge. The pent-up fires of envy and malice, hatred
and revenge, burst forth on Calvary against the Son of God while all
heaven gazed upon the scene in silent horror.
Jesus Christ came to earth to reveal the character of God. While here, He did good and only good. In contrast, the guilt of Satan stood forth without excuse. He had revealed his true character as a liar and a murderer.
was seen that the very same spirit with which he ruled the children of
men, who were under his power, he would have manifested had he been permitted
to control the inhabitants of heaven. He had claimed that the
transgression of God's law would bring liberty and exaltation; but it
was seen to result in bondage and degradation.
lying charges against the divine character and government appeared in
their true light. He had accused God of seeking merely the exaltation of
Himself in requiring submission and obedience from His creatures and had
declared that, while the Creator exacted self-denial from all others, He
Himself practiced no self-denial, and made no sacrifice. Now it was
seen that for the salvation of a fallen and sinful race, the Ruler of
the universe had made the greatest sacrifice which love could make; for
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself." 2
Corinthians 5:19. It was seen, also, that, while Lucifer had opened the
door for the entrance of sin by his desire for honor and supremacy,
Christ had, in order to destroy sin, humbled Himself and become
obedient, unto death.
In answer to Satan’s charges, God did something amazing; He upheld the justice of His Ten Commandment law while justifying all who should a Christ as their Saviour.
had manifested His abhorrence of the principles of rebellion. All
heaven saw His justice revealed, both in the condemnation of Satan and
in the redemption of man. Lucifer had declared that if the law of God
was changeless, and its penalty could not be remitted, every
transgressor must be forever debarred from the Creator's favor. He had
claimed that the sinful race were placed beyond redemption and were
therefore his rightful prey. But the death of Christ was an argument in
man's behalf that could not be overthrown. The penalty of the law fell
upon Him who was equal with God; man was free to accept the
righteousness of Christ and, by a life of penitence and humiliation, to
triumph, as the Son of God had triumphed over the power of Satan. Thus
God is just and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus.
it was not merely to accomplish the redemption of man that Christ came
to the earth to suffer and to die. He came to "magnify the
law" and to "make it honorable." Not alone that the
inhabitants of this world might regard the law as it should be regarded;
but it was to demonstrate to all the worlds of the universe that God's
law is unchangeable. Could its claims have been set aside, then the Son
of God need not have yielded up His life to atone for its transgression.
The death of Christ proves it immutable. And the sacrifice to which
infinite love impelled the Father and the Son, that sinners might be
redeemed, demonstrates to all the universe—what nothing less than
this plan of atonement could have sufficed to do—that justice and
mercy are the foundation of the law and government of God.
Judgment day is coming, when all who have chosen to join Satan's side (Wall themselves in with his lies and reject salvation through Jesus Christ) will quickly perish. Not until then will Satan and his followers admit the truth that God is not to blame for anything that happened.
the final execution of the judgment it will be seen that no cause for
sin exists. When the Judge of all the earth shall demand of Satan,
"Why hast thou rebelled against Me and robbed Me of the subjects of
My kingdom?" the originator of evil can render no excuse. Every
mouth will be stopped and all the hosts of rebellion will be speechless.
cross of Calvary, while it declares the law immutable, proclaims to the
universe that the wages of sin is death. In the Saviour's expiring cry,
"It is finished," the death knell of Satan was rung. The great
controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the
final eradication of evil was made certain. The Son of God passed
through the portals of the tomb, that “through death He might destroy
him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Hebrews 2:14.
Lucifer's desire for self-exaltation had led him to say: "I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God . . I will be like the Most
High." God declares; “I will bring, thee to ashes upon the earth
. . and never shalt thou be any more." Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezekiel
"the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven . . all the proud, yea,
and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh
shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them
neither root nor branch." Malachi 4:1.
whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of
sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have
brought fear to angels and dishonor to God, will now vindicate His love
and establish His honor before the universe of beings who delight to do
His will and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again be
manifest. Says the word of God: "Affliction shall not rise up the
second time." Nahum 1:9. The law of God, which Satan has reproached
as the yoke of bondage, will be honored as the law of liberty. A tested
and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to Him
whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love
and infinite wisdom.
are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of
them all" Psalm 84:19
Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants, and none of them that trust in
Him shall be desolate." Psalm 84:22