Lucifer was filled with violence within because his law of iniquity is violent. Iniquity depends on violence and force, because it is arbitrarily enforced upon us; we have no choice in the matter. It is also violent because of the new foreign concept Lucifer introduced in the universe—punishment. Since iniquity does not function by the power of love, its only alternative is to use force through rewards and punishments. Consider the following quote:

The principles of the character of God were the foundation of the education constantly kept before the heavenly angels. These principles were goodness, mercy, and love. Self- evidencing light was to be recognized and freely accepted by all who occupied positions of trust and power. They must accept God’s principles, and, through the presentation of truth and righteousness, convince all who were in his service. This was the only power to be used. Force must never come in. All who thought that their position gave them power to command their fellow beings, and control conscience, must be deprived of their position; for this is
not God’s plan
(RH, September 7, 1897 par. 8, emphasis added).

Satan was in a position of power, and as a light-bearer, he used to present truth and righteousness without force. But at some point he started believing that enforcement and control were necessary. Thus he devised his dualistic system of reward and punishment. Being the enforcer of this new moral system, Satan became a dictator, and as a result he became “filled with violence within.” This
explains why his throne has absolutely no fellowship with God (Psalm 94:20), who rules by
agape love, mercy, freedom, righteousness and goodness.

If Jesus is the final authority on the character of God, and according to the Bible He is, then there is no violence in God. Isaiah tells us plainly that, regardless of appearances (as in the cleansing of the temple and the cursing of the fig tree), Jesus had absolutely no violence in Him:

And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth (Isaiah 53:9).

“Iniquity” makes us miss the mark completely in regards to God’s character because it makes us think that God operates by the confusing duality of Good and Evil. The Knowledge of Good and Evil has twisted our minds to believe that God uses violence and force through arbitrary reward and punishment, in order to lead, control and correct us.

Satan’s violent system was a reaction to God’s nonviolence; it was a repudiation of God’s nonviolent law of love. He became filled with violence within, because he believed force was necessary in order for harmony and stability to exist.

From Satan’s perspective, unconditional love was weak, impractical, inoperative and unrealistic, especially when faced with evil. He did not believe that love was strong enough to keep things in a state of order. He could very well have looked at his own situation and said to God, “Your law of love may work in a perfect world, but now that I have introduced a system contrary to Yours, what will Your law of love do? How are you going to deal with someone like me, without using force?”

But God is against violence—He completely rejects it. And if we look beneath the surface, we will see that this is true throughout the Bible. Let’s look at a few examples. The Bible says that the antediluvians were corrupt and filled with violence.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11, emphasis added).

According to Strong’s Dictionary, the word “corrupt”—Shâchath—means “decay, ruin, destruction, perish, spill, spoiler, make utterly waste.” This is a description of violence. Biblically speaking, then, corruption is equivalent to violence. It was violence that corrupted the people who lived before the flood. Satan “corrupted his wisdom”—the pure agape love he had—because he invented violence.
Thus if we go back to the previous statement which says that Lucifer’s traffick was “an emblem of corrupt administration” we will understand that the word “corrupt” here is equivalent to the word “violent”—“traffick” is an emblem of a
violent administration. {4BC 1163.7} 

And we must not forget that the serpent corrupted Eve’s mind “from the simplicity of Jesus Christ”—from His singleness, His absolutely nonviolent character of agape love. Isaiah described the human race as a “sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters (Isaiah 1:4, emphasis added)!”

Look again at the following quote with this new meaning—violence—added to the word “corrupt:”

The principles of Satan’s working in heaven are the same principles by which he works
through human agents in this world. It is through these
corrupting principles [VIOLENT PRINCIPLES] that every earthly empire and the churches have been increasingly corrupted [BECOMING VIOLENT]. It is by the working out of these principles that Satan deceives and corrupts the whole world from the beginning to the ending. He is continuing this same policy-working, originally begun in the heavenly universe. He is energizing the whole world with his violence with which he corrupted the world in the days of Noah {4BC 1163.8, emphasis added}.

Notice also how other worlds viewed the flood:

The holy inhabitants of other worlds were watching with the deepest interest the events taking place on the earth. In the condition of the world that existed before the Flood they saw illustrated the results of the administration which Lucifer had endeavoured to establish in heaven, in rejecting the authority of Christ and casting aside the law of God. In those high-handed sinners of the antediluvian world they saw the subjects over whom Satan held sway. The thoughts of men’s hearts were only evil continually. Genesis 6:5. Every emotion, every impulse and imagination, was at war with the divine principles of purity and peace and love. It was an example of the awful depravity resulting from Satan’s policy to remove from
God’s creatures the restraint of His holy law {PP 78.4, emphasis added}.

“The condition of the world that existed before the Flood” was a result of “the administration which Lucifer had endeavoured to establish in heaven, in rejecting the authority of Christ and casting aside the law of God.” What was the condition of the world before the flood? “The thoughts of men’s hearts were only evil continually.” By casting aside God’s nonviolent law of agape love and instituting
his moral law of Good and Evil, Satan created a world filled with violence. This violence is what brought about the flood. How, specifically? We don’t know. But we know this: that the people living before the flood were physical and intellectual giants. They also lived close to a thousand years. Who knows what kinds of technologies they could have developed that could have brought about the flood?

As we look at our world today, we see enormous potential for destruction—all at the hands of mankind, who are influenced by Satan. We know that the earth will never be destroyed by water again—the conditions for that to happen are no longer in place. The canopy of water above, and the intricate subterranean irrigation system God had designed below—both were broken, causing the flood. But we know that the next world-wide destruction will be by fire, and we don’t need an “act of God” for that to happen. We have enough fire-power (created by human beings who have bought into Satan’s theory
that violence is necessary for our own protection) to destroy the earth many times over.

Jesus predicted that our days—the last days—would be like the days of Noah. He said that the same conditions would exist: 1. Intemperance and 2. Chaotic human relations (multiple marriages, incest, adultery, promiscuity, gender confusion).

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:37-38).

This disintegration of the family social fabric which God had designed as a blessing to us was also evident before the flood:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose (Genesis 6:1-2).

These two reasons, intemperance and the breakdown of the family, would cause our world to be filled with violence again—on a global scale. It is not hard to see how our own violence can destroy us.

But let’s say that God did destroy the world through the flood. There are some enormous contradictions here. What was the reason for the flood according to the Bible? Wasn’t it the fact that the people were violent all the time—continually?

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

Does it make sense that God would use mega violence—the flood—many times more force than any human being is capable of, to punish the people for being violent? Is God a self-contradictory, illogical, irrational tyrant? How could He punish us for using something that He Himself uses on an exponentially grander scale? Some, in order to defend their position, would say that when God uses violence it is not violence, but mercy. What can one say against such an irrational argument?

Furthermore, what kind of solution was the flood? Does God use solutions that don’t work? Did the flood really solve the problem of violence on the earth? We know it didn’t; we know that violence and iniquity were again perpetuated on the earth after the flood, through the very people that were saved—only eight of them.

So what do we make of verses like this one:

The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth (Genesis 6:13).

What would happen if we looked at this in another way…Let’s say God could predict that through violence mankind was somehow about to put in motion a worldwide catastrophe… Let’s say He could see a leak here and there in the amazing aqua system He Himself had designed…And let’s say that He sat down and did some simple mathematical calculations in a fraction of a millisecond… after all, God is a genius… And let’s say He could see that the beautiful and perfect planet He had created was reaching a tipping point…And let’s assume God looked down here and when He looked at all the people on earth He picked one man who “feared” Him…One man who was open to hear God’s
“still small voice” and take it seriously. And God said to him: “Noah, build a boat because things are going to fall apart soon.”

God tried to save as many people as possible through Noah. But only eight heeded the warning. God was trying to save, not destroy. He could see that in one hundred and twenty years the dam was literally going to break… But as with all that happened in the Old Testament, God received the blame for the destruction. Satan and his principles working through mankind did their work, and God received the blame.

But let’s look at another example. We know that the story of the children of Israel leaving Egypt and entering Canaan is a type of leaving sin—Satan’s principles—and entering the kingdom of God—God’s principles. If we study the book of Hebrews’ summation of what happened in the exodus we will learn that it was violence that disqualified the older generation of the children of Israel
from entering into Canaan, the Promised Land. The writer says:

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God [THE GOD OF LIFE – TREE OF LIFE]; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [THE EXODUS].’ For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those
who sinned, whose
corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-19, emphasis added).

Here we learn that those “whose corpses fell in the wilderness” sinned. What was their sin? They did not obey. How did they not obey? They did not believe. What didn’t they believe? The writer ends there, simply saying that they could not enter the Promised Land because they didn’t believe. And he equates entering the Promised Land to entering God’s rest. So what are we to make of it?

Once we start delving into the words themselves, we find clarity. The Greek word used here for “corpses,” for instance, is kolon, which means “a limb of the body (as if lopped): — carcase,” (Strong’s Concordance). Kolon comes from the word kolazo, which means “properly, to curtail, i.e. (figu-
ratively) to chastise (or reserve for infliction): punish” (Strong’s Concordance). These definitions imply that the cause of death for these “corpses” was violence of some form—these corpses’ limbs were
lopped off !

What does the Old Testament say was the reason for this older generation not entering Canaan? Moses wrote:

And the time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, just as the Lord had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed. So it was, when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people, that the Lord spoke to me, saying: “This day you are to cross over at Ar, the boundary of Moab. And when you come near the people of Ammon, do not harass them or meddle with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to
the descendants of Lot as a possession” (Deuteronomy 2:14-19, emphasis added).

Thirty-eight years of war. At the end of this period, all the men of war had died—through violence—warfare. How did the Lord consume these men? How did He “destroy them from the midst of the camp”? By giving them the freedom to do what they wanted to do, that is, to engage in war—“So it
was, when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people…”

There is a second passage that speaks about these men of war. It is described in the Book of Joshua:

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord—to whom the Lord swore that He would not show them the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” Then Joshua circumcised their sons whom He raised up in their place; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way (Joshua 5:6-7, emphasis added).

Here we see how these men of war “did not obey the voice of the Lord”—they engaged in war, which was not the will of the Lord. It was never God’s intention for them to engage in war to begin with. But what could a freedom-giving God do but allow them to suffer the consequences of their own violence?
They could not enter, as the Book of Hebrews states, because of unbelief in the “living God”—unbelief in the God of
life. They believed in a violent god, the god of death and destruction—they believed in Satan. He was their god.

Canaan was the Promised Land. It was a literal, geographic region. But it was also a metaphor for something much greater—the kingdom of God. Canaan is a symbol of God’s principles of righteousness, His law of agape love, His nonviolent ways. All who believe in violence and live by it cannot inherit the nonviolent kingdom of God. All who reject violence are already in God’s kingdom. Canaan was a metaphor of God’s promised rest for the human heart, a rest that can only come from knowing God as He truly isa God of infinite, unconditional, impartial love in whom there is no violence at all. The Bible describes what that kingdom will be like:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea
” (Isaiah 11:6-9, emphasis added).

“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord (Isaiah 56:25, emphasis added).

He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4, emphasis added).

He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore (Micah 4:3).

The corpses of the men of war were strewn in the desert, dismembered, lopped off because they were trying to enter Canaan through violence. They destroyed themselves and those around them. They were guilty of “an evil heart of unbelief”—in not believing in a “living God”—a non-violent God—a God of life. It was after they were all dead that God basically said to Joshua, “Now, cross over and take possession of the land.”

Another example from the Old Testament is Jonah. He was sent to warn the Ninevites that destruction was coming unless they changed from their evil ways. Notice his message:

And he [THE KING] caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands” (Jonah 3:7-8, emphasis added).

John the Baptist had the same message as Jonah. Notice what he said to the soldiers, of all people:

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, and what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages (Luke 3:14, KJV, emphasis added).

Jesus had this to say about John:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Matt 11:12, KJV, emphasis added).

What was Jesus saying? Could He be saying that the violent want a violent God? That the violent inflict violence onto the kingdom of God because what they want is a God of violence? But notice also what He says about John the Baptist:

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John (Matt 11:13).

What did Jesus mean by this? Could it be that perhaps all the prophets until John believed God to be violent, and that is why they ascribed violence to God? Jesus goes on to say that John was more than a prophet:

But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You’ (Matthew 11:9-10).

John was a “messenger” with a direct message from God. His message pointed to the Lamb—a nonviolent creature, so that we could see Him as the representation of a non-violent God.

The Psalmist writes, regarding violence:

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth (Psalm 11:5 KJV, emphasis added)

And Solomon, speaking about wisdom, states:

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble (Proverbs 4:14, emphasis added).

Demons, who live by Satan’s law of Good and Evil, are imbued with violence, and their behaviour shows it:

When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water (Matthew 8:28-32, emphasis added).

Notice that these demon-possessed men lived amidst the graves and were “exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.” They were filled with thoughts of death and dying—living amidst the graves. They were most comfortable among the dead. Luke adds some more detail to their condition, even though he speaks of only one man:

Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command
them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned (Luke 8:26-33).

Both of these passages also reveal the minds of evil angels. They see God as a “tormentor,” as one who tortures. Their words clearly reveal that is their expectation, that in the future God will do just that to them—“have you come to torment us before the time?”

Those who reject that God’s essence is agape love, and that He has no violence in Him, have “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” They are not worshipping the “living God,” the God of life. Rather, their god is the god of violence and death. In departing from the “living God” they have an evil heart of unbelief and will inherit corruption, death.

Having stated as much, now look at what Paul says:

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:50, emphasis added).

“Flesh and blood”—a metaphor of the fallen, mortal human nature of Good and Evil—cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Neither can “corruption” inherit “incorruption.” These are two ways of saying the same thing. Thus, “flesh and blood” equals “corruption” and “the kingdom of God” equals “incorruption.”

God’s kingdom is everlasting life—incorruption, immortality. The flesh cannot inherit immortality because it is driven by Satan’s violent death principle of Good and Evil. Incorruption is only possible through God’s principle of agape love—the principle of the Tree of Life.

From a logical perspective then, there can be no violence, force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation in God’s kingdom, otherwise, not only would God not be a God of love and freedom, but He would also not be a God of life. If God were violent, He would be corrupt, and as such He could not have “incorruption” and immortality.

Babylon, the city that represents Satan’s kingdom, means confusion—this confusion is caused by the duality of her moral law of Good and Evil. As a consequence, she is also filled with violence. Her demise is caused by her own violence:

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all (Revelation 18:21, emphasis added).

God’s followers cannot resort to violence if they are to be true followers of the “living God.” They can’t use violence to attack or even to defend themselves. They can’t resort to violence even to defend their faith or their loved ones. If they do, they stop being God’s followers and become Satan’s followers.

God’s truth will be challenged, attacked, defied and subjected to intense scrutiny. After all, the world is still under the control of God’s greatest enemy, the one who hates His law of love. But God’s true followers are motivated by agape love, and agape love only will prevail against such attacks. The use of any violence to defend God and His truth is a contradiction. Those who use it prove by their actions
that they have an incorrect or limited understanding of God’s character.

So why does the Bible portray a violent God? Here are some possible answers: 

  1. The writers of the Old Testament had a very limited understanding of the great controversy

  2. “Present truth” is progressive

  3. All human beings are violent, and use violent language to describe God

  4. God takes our violent human language but redefines it — for instance, Jesus destroyed the devil by dying on the cross: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14, emphasis added). God also speaks about using a sword, but His is “the sword of the Spirit:” “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians6:17)

  5. All violence attributed to God was perpetrated by us and by the author of violence—Satan

  6. When God says that He will destroy the wicked He means that He will honour the
    wicked’s choice to be separated from Him, who is the source of life—this is the “wrath of God,” as defined by Romans 1:18-32

  1. God teaches us to “destroy” our enemies by loving them

  2. God “destroys’”nations by giving them freedom and allowing them to go into the domain of the ruler they have chosen—the Destroyer, Satan

  1. God “destroys” sin by giving us truth

  2. God does not ever combat violence with violence

  3. When we say God is violent we are making God in our image, and we show that we ourselves are violent, showing that we want a violent God

  4. We must compare Scripture with Scripture (allow the Bible to be its own expositor) in order to understand the language of the Bible.