Who Is Responsible for Evil?
This is a remake of an older article on the sovereignty of God focusing on the bad or evil things that exist and men do. The absolute sovereignty of God is such an important truth it is useful to remind ourselves often as our own faith will be tested many times to see whom we are holding responsible. All things are being lived and worked for God’s purposes in Jesus Christ.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Jesus is the Lord of heaven and the earth, both the outward and the inward being Lord of ALL. Flesh will naturally glory in itself and take credit for its own works be they righteous or unrighteous. Being converted of these lies will take us a long time and many trials. The Lord has purposed our rebellion and all the evil we will do to teach us in due time.
Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me
Is the Lord just a terrible parent or is our rebellion part of His plan all along? We don’t have to guess as the Scriptures declare the Lord’s sovereignty in all things even our rebellion. It is the Lord who turns man into destruction, into sin and away from His ways and then in the appointed times calls us back home to Himself.
Psa 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
The Lord both turns us away into wicked things and also is the one who grants and causes us to turn back or repent. He is doing it all.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
As we grow in faith, our understanding and application of God’s sovereignty in ALL THINGS is also growing proportionately. Our doubting questions get answered in due time and we learn that we truly do nothing outside of God’s grip on us. Yes, even the evil we do, our very sins are given to us by the Lord. Everything from A to Z is the Lord doing it!
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
It is the fate of all men to first learn the “other jesus” by horribly underestimating the Lord and His sovereignty and exalting the role of man in the affairs of life and the world. The story of Joseph being sold into Egypt by his brothers is a powerful lesson in how God works evil for good. At the end of the story Joseph tells his brothers it was not really them that did the evil, instead, it was God who did it for good in the end.
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
The Lord works evil for good. Look at how powerful and expansive the one true God that only the Elect know who is not dependent upon his creation for anything.
Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
The Truth of God working evil has always been right in front of us, yet we were blinded to see it until we are given the gift of faith and spiritual ears to hear and eyes to see. It is our ability to show these pivotal truths to those God brings to us that opens the eyes of a brother and sister and heals them of their spiritual blindness. Let’s look at some of the black and white verses about the origins of evil.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
It does not get any clearer than Isa 45:7 but when we show most this Scripture they are dumbstruck. But there are more, many more witnesses to this immutable truth.
Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
We will be hated for merely suggesting this most basic truth, yet there will be a few who are given to find the narrow way.
The Purpose of Evil
We must experience evil to learn about evil as indeed to become like God’s we must know both good and evil. Knowing good and evil is of paramount importance for God’s Elect and why we are made to sin.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Evil is used of the Lord to give the opportunity to chasten us and to bring judgment, the very process and fiery grace that will save all men (Eph 2:8).
Ecc 1:13 (CLV) I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
This truth is everywhere once our eyes are open to see it. Who purposefully planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil right in front of Adam and Eve?
Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Who conceived David and by extension all mankind in sin from birth?
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me
Who added the crooked serpent to tempt Adam and Eve in the weakness of their carnal mind and sinful flesh? Satan is the epitome of evil and look who made Satan.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.
Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
Sending Forth of Evil Spirits
It is the Lord who commands and sends forth Satan and his messengers (evil spirits) to accomplish His will in our lives. The story of Job is perhaps the best example demonstrating the Lord commanding the evil to work His work within us.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Satan and his demons are nothing more than servants of the Lord. He is using them, His own creation, to bring about good and to accomplish all his good pleasure in our lives. Let’s check in at the end of the book and see how the experience ends. Evil was worked for good.
Job 42:11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning ….
Here is a verse most have never seen and hate in defense of the false doctrines that God has nothing to do with evil.
Psa 78:49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
Psalm 78 is not talking about the bad people out there. It is talking about ISREAL, God’s own people and you and me if we are God’s people. The Lord sends evil spirits to His own people. The Lord is doing it, He is working all things for good in the end, even sending evil. This is the truth and you are blessed to remove the plank that represents the lie that God is not responsible and is not the author of evil, maybe you will begin to see the truth much more clearly. Here are a couple of more, but there are many others in the sum of God’s word.
1Sa 19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.
1Ki 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
Jdg 9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
Who was behind the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ which was the evilest act of all time? The Scriptures tell us the Truth that is was God who orchestrated the death of Jesus Christ.
Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Many in orthodoxy (our ministry field) can easily believe that the Lord is responsible for tornado’s and hurricanes and outward things, but cannot make the connection about the inward events in our heavens and earth. Evangelizing we learn quickly to wait on the Lord to bring us those prepared who have had their eyes and ears opened to receive the truth.
Pro 20:12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.
Psa 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
When one is so blessed the concept of God’s sovereignty greatly expands and are given power over all the lies and false doctrines (spirits) and our spiritual healing begins.
Luk 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
All Things Truly is All Things
We already have shown the truth via multiple witnesses but know there are many more to support this pivotal truth that apart from the Lord we truly do nothing. It is blasphemy to speak the truth in an orthodox Babylonian setting and especially to suggests that man is not responsible for his own sin. But what says the Scripture?
Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.
Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
The New and the Old Testament agree and truth (treasure) is found in both to prove via the sum of God’s Word what the Truth is (Psa 119:160 ASV).
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever.
The Lord made all things and works all things all the time. He is not a Plan B God that responds and reacts to the messes that man makes. ALL THINGS means exactly what it says and as one grows in the truth faith, your boundaries of all things will continue to expand.
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
When we read about Israel’s rebellion and doing evil against the Lord, we are reading about OUR rebellion and the evil we are doing. The Scriptures make clear that Israel sin and rebellion was caused by the Lord.
Jer 32:42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.
Living in the vine, the Lord causes things to bear fruit (good) and some to not bear fruit (evil). But the point is, even the bad things are done in Christ and all work towards the greater good of bearing more fruit in the end.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
All things are caused by the Lord. Whether it be our obedience unto life or our sinning unto death. It is all His work in us and will all be used to teach and correct us in our day of the Lord which is our day of judgment.
Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Judgment is the true grace which is chastening us and teaching us the right ways of God in response to us first doing it the wrong way and disobeying.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
The pouring out of grace (judgment) by the implanted truth was the promise of the New Covenant and how the Lord is working righteousness and causing us to obey Him.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
The Lord causes us to err and stumble in judgment. In the same way a child learns by making mistakes and be disciplined, so it is in the spiritual and how we learn.
Psa 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
These acts of the Lord are His mercy and are the wonderful works of God to the children of men (Psalm 107) that bring us to our wits end where we cry out for a Saviour. Seeing the evil within and our need for a Saviour is a necessary prerequisite of salvation and the Lord’s mercy.
The story of Samson intermarrying with a forbidden Philistine is our story as are all the stories of good and evil in the Bible. For brevity we won’t cover that story but we are told the Lord did it so He could have the occasion to bring judgment upon our flesh and the Philistine nations and mindset within us (Luk 17:21).
Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
God’s chosen people, His Elect and the Spiritual Jews are those being made righteous by His judgments. Our trials and all the evil we are given to endure are working for the counsel of His will to remake us into mature sons of God.
Psa 34:19 Many are the EVILS (“Ra” not afflictions) of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Evil being manifest within us is necessary for us to be stripped of the self-righteousness of the law that we all find first in trying to perfect ourselves in our own strength. But when judgment has come to God’s house, which house His Elect are, then we will not be able to stand and will come to see that we are the man of sin, an abomination and in great need of a Spiritual Physician.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Contrary to Billy Graham’s famous sermon after 911, where he unequivocally said “The Bible says God is not the author of evil”, God most certainly is the author of evil as the Scriptures declare. If one is so blessed (Mat 13:17) to begin to see and receive the truth of God’s working all things, even evil things; then one is being made ready to lose their old way of life and learn a new one via grace. The world indeed looks different viewed through the lenses of faith and the truth of the Scriptures. We are being made into the image of Jesus Christ who knew what we are learning.
Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
We need to be wise with whom and how we share these truths not cast pearls to swine or engage with heretics. We also need to be prepared for rejection, persecution and false accusations that we are promoting sin with our doctrine. Finally, even though God works all things even evil, we are commanded to strive against evil at every opportunity yet never engage in physical violence or resistance (Mat 5:39, Mat 26:51). The sum of God’s word makes clear we are to be careful to maintain good works and not turn God’s grace into lasciviousness and an excuse for living in sin.
Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.