Here we're at The Door again. I'm Michael Pearl. I'm here to answer questions that you've sent in. This is question number 17. This is a good one.
Now I can imagine a few of the listeners frowning at the person who asked this, how awful. How awful. But I want to tell you something. I wrote a whole book to answer just that question. This is a question that is probably the most troubling question, probably more atheism is founded on this and more Christian doubt comes from this issue than any other issue. This is really the heart of faith and of our relationship to God, understanding of the world in which we live, so it's a very good question.
“Did God create sin? If so, why? Where did sin come from?”
Now I'm going to answer the question or address the question two different ways.
First, scripturally and then philosophically. Now my book addresses it both ways, but in particular my book called “By Divine Design” addresses it philosophically. We won't be able to go into that much because it's complex.
All right, scripturally, the answer is, and I'm going to show you the scripture from it, that sin came from a finite created being who exercised his free will to impose himself upon God and oppose the plan of God. All right, here it is,
Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven? O Lucifer."
This was an angel whose role was placed to be over the throne of God. He was a cherub, having wings where angels do not. He was a beautiful creature with an ox's face, with feet like a calves foot, with hands under his wings, with jewels in his chest, golden pipes that made music in his body. He was a magnificent creature full of wisdom and glory and was the closest thing to the throne of God. You might say he was God's right-hand man or right-hand cherub. It says,
Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven. O Lucifer," which means light bearer, "son of the morning. How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations. For thou hast said in that heart," and this is the motivation, this is the beginning of sin. Lucifer said, "I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit up on the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height to the clouds. I will be like the most high."
So Lucifer is the one who invented sin and his motivation was to gain a higher level, to gain more glory, more light, more power. "I will ascend above the heights, the clouds. I will be like the most high." The scripture says, "Yet thou shall be brought down to hell to the sides of the pit."
So God created this creature that was called light bearer and light was shed upon him. God was the source of light, but he reflected that light and he rejected the light. When he did, he cast a shadow. He became a wall resisting the light of God and he cast a shadow.
Now, I would ask you, did God create darkness? Actually, he didn't. God created light and darkness is a result of light not being there. So Lucifer is the one who brought in the darkness by blocking the light of God.
John 8:44, this is what the scriptures say, "Ye are of your father, the devil," Jesus says to the scribes and Pharisees, "and the lust of your Father, will you do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there's no truth in him."
See, God didn't create a lie. God created truth. When Lucifer resisted the truth and fabricated with his imagination another concept, then he's the one who created the lie. "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own." What that's saying is he speaks of his own accord or he speaks from his own. In other words, he is the originator of it. "When he speaketh the lie, he speaketh of his own." So we have clear scripture statement that the first lie and the first murder were the creation of Lucifer. The concept originated within him for, "He is a liar and the father of it." In other words, there were no lies before Lucifer did it. So the devil cannot create anything except to reject what God has created, like reject God's light and then he creates darkness or reject the truth and then he creates a lie. Satan is the creator of evil, of darkness, of lie of sin.
Now we're reading James 1:13-17, Listen to this, "Let no man say when he's tempted, 'I'm tempted of God.'" So God is not the one who's creating our temptation. He's not causing us to experience lust or greed or anger. "No man can say when he is tempted, 'I'm tempted of God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." Now God tests and tries his children, but he doesn't tempt us to do evil, "but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust." So this tells us the origin of sin in humanity, That men are drawn away of their own lust and enticed, “and when lust hath conceived” conceived with opportunity, “it bringeth forth sin and sin. when it's finished bring us forth death."
So we see the process here that led to death in hell originated with Lucifer, the first murderer, the first liar, and it originates with us in her own lust, drawn whoever on lust and enticed and lust conceived brings forth sin. Sins finished brings forth death.
James 1:16 "Do not err, my beloved brethren," he says. Immediately following, I'm not skipping any text here, this is James 1:17, "Every good and every perfect gift is from above," So don't err in regard to this. Everything that comes from God is good and perfect “and cometh down from the father of lights with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” In other words, God does not vacillate. He's fully committed to truth, to light, to goodness and righteousness. He does not tempt men with evil. He is not the creator of evil. Evil is a product of free will agents beginning with Lucifer and then continuing with man who likewise has a free will to act.
Now I know here, you're wanting more than this and I appreciate that. I do too. This is a scriptural answer, but it still does not resolve the issue.
Let me state the issue philosophically now. Let me state the issue more succinctly, more thoroughly. I'm asking the question the woman asked, but I'm asking it more intently.
It's simple. If God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, all powerful, all knowing, everywhere and all that is is a product of his work and creation, nothing has been created except he created which is true. There is such a thing as sin in the universe, that it had to have happened on God's watch.
Therefore, the question is, did God decide he wanted sin? And if he decided he wanted it, did he make it happen? If he made it happen, then isn't he responsible for it? If he's responsible for it, why would I be blamed?
That's the logic and it's good logic. It's a good question. That's the reason I wrote that book, Divine Design, is to answer it. Now won't be able to go into all that here, so I'll say it again. Did the God who made light also make the shadow? The answer is no. The shadow is a result of blocking the light.
So God is truth. Everything that exists outside of that truth, everything that contradicts that truth is a lie.
Now, to sum up the content of Divine Design, if God would create human beings like himself, create angels like himself, create personalities that were like him who could return his love, who could fellowship with him, then them necessity had to be like him, which means a free will, means the ability to choose to love some things and hate others, to be discerning, to have discretion, to choose between two options and choose the best.
Yet, to be able to choose between two options and to be able to choose the best is also the ability to choose the worst. To be able to tell the truth, to tell a story, to use your imagination to be creative, which is human and divine, then one must also be able to use that imagination to be destructive, to tell a lie, to create a lie.
To give us any kind of drives, God has drives. To give us any kind of drive like a desire for things beautiful, a desire for music, for art, for comfort, for survival, for sexual drives, food, all the different drives that we humans have, those drives are powerful and they're moving. If they weren't, we wouldn't be human, we'd be robots. That's what sets us apart. Those drives have the ability to allow us to ascend, to be more like God or to descend and be less like God depending on how we choose.
We have a free will, a free and unhindered will. If we didn't have a free will, we'd be Pinocchios and God would be Geppetto holding the strings, and we would dance when he said dance, we'd smile when he pulled the string to smile. Other than that, we'd never get out of line, but when Pinocchio was magically given life, the strings were cut and he began to dance, and Geppetto was thrilled because he was on his way to being a real boy. Not there yet, but on his way, but on this road to becoming a real boy, Pinocchio was drawn away with his drives and he indulged his drives to the point that he became a jackass, if you remember the story. He began to bray like man does. He was on his way to complete loss of his boyhood, his humanity, and destruction like we are today on planet Earth.
Through death, the resurrection and miraculous things, eventually, he repented and by faith, Pinocchio became a real boy. Then he had a relationship with Father, who created him, forever. That Pinocchio was a story based on biblical truth.
You and I are not wooden puppets on strings. We can love God or we can curse him. We can believe him or we can call him a liar. We can join his program of truth and mercy and grace and love and compassion, or we can choose to be mean and cruel and hateful and bitter. That choice is what separates us from a machine, separates us from a cyborg, separates us from robots. It separates us from even the lower animals and makes us special, special so that we can become sons of God instead of just degraded animals. So philosophically, I go into great detail in that with scripture, but let me read you another passage here.
John 8:45 Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Because I tell you the truth, You believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words. You therefore hear them not because you are not of God." So Jesus said the ability to hear and understand and appreciate is based on your choices, your heart.
John 8:31, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, 'If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.'" Remember, Satan is the father of lies, and much of the Book of John is written about two things, the subject of truth and the subject of light.
Get your Bible and look at the word light every time it appears in the Book of John and the word truth every time it appears in the Book of John. It'll be quite a revelation to you to see that that was the subject Jesus had throughout John, that he came as light, he came as truth, to bear witness to the truth. Even in his moments before his death, Pilate stood before him and challenged him saying, "What is truth?" (John 18:38) Because in Pilate's understanding, there was no truth in the world. So Jesus came as the truth against all man's lies and he offered that truth. He said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) So freedom comes in the truth and not the fabrication of lies.
Atheism is a lie. Agnosticism is a lie. Evolution is a lie. The religions of the world are lies. Most of Christianity is a lie. There's very little that's truth. What is truth is the King James Bible in English and the Bible Textus Receptus translated into several hundred other languages around the world. Those books are the truth.
All right, Ephesians 1:3-12, listen to this. This is God's answer to that question. "Blessed to be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" So God did make choices before we were created. He did choose something. He chose that you and I would exist in him without blame, "having predestinated us under the adoption of children." God predestinated that we should be, those that were His, would be children to him, "according to the good pleasure of his will." So that was God's will, that was his pleasure to have children like himself.
"To the praise of the glory of his grace,.. having made known the mystery of His will, according to the good pleasure which he purposed in himself: being predestinated according to the purpose of him who work with all things after the council of his own will that we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ."
Now, I'll confess that I've not answered your question. I confess that your question, did God create sin? I told you that no, Lucifer did, but philosophically, we have to ask again, why did God let him? Why did God create a world wherein that choice could take place? My answer was philosophically speaking, that God, if he would make persons, had no other choice but to permit the possibility of the whole situation running away and falling into sin, rebellion, darkness, and lies.
So God created a fragile balance in the human race, a balance that he knew would bring some to destruction and he knew others would come to truth in light. Apparently, God valued the end of a number of those subjects coming to truth in light, and being elevated to sons of God to reign in glory with him. He felt the cost was worth it.
I made my living as an artist. I used to do some sculpturing and painting. Picture this, a man walks up on a sculptor who has a big rock and he starts chiseling and day after day, he chisels, he hammers and a pile of gravel, splintered pieces of marble pile up on the ground until it's a foot deep. Chips are flying as far as 20 and 30 feet away and somebody comes by and says, "He's making a big mess. Look at all the waste. That marble could have been sliced up into many one inch thick pieces and covered a palace wall, and he's creating gravel out of it,"
But he keeps working, and slowly, an image begins to emerge, and after eight or nine months or a year, there's a delicate, beautiful figure carved out of that rock. 90% of it lies on the ground wasted, but the artist felt it was worth it for the end result of what he achieved, which was a beautiful representation of a person that was magnificent in statue.
God is making something. He's an artist creating something and the scriptures say, "Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, 'Why have you made me thus?'"(Romans 9:20) So a person with humility that walks in the truth and the light may question God, "Why have you made me thus?" But in the end, we surrender that question knowing that there is, for carnal man, no sufficient answer, but trusting in God of truth and God of light.
We know that his purpose is high enough and holy enough and righteous enough that he was willing to permit Satan the opportunity to sin and permit the human race the opportunity to sin, and in the end, provide redemption through Jesus Christ to the point of bringing great glory, great celebration, great victory in eternity. That's my answer.
Get my book "By Divine Design" if you want to get a very detailed analysis from multiple viewpoints. It is very carefully written and it's available through No Greater Joy Ministries. I'm not doing this to sell books. I don't need to do that, but I think it's something that'll be helpful to you. All right.