The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die’…Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 2:8, 9, 15-17, 3:4, 5; emphasis added).
The Principle Represented By The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil
We have seen that the principle Satan devised when he was still Lucifer, came to be represented on earth by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What we shall often refer to as the principle of good and evil was a law devised by Lucifer, a law foreign to anything previously existing in the whole of the universe. He introduced and promoted the principle of good and evil with a definite purpose in mind. His intent was to replace God’s law of love, because from his perspective, God’s agape love, as the rule of law for the governance of the universe, was impractical, inoperative and unrealistic, especially in the face of evil. He in effect said to God, ‘Your law of love works in a perfect world, but now that I have introduced a system contrary to Yours, what will Your law of love do?’
Please take judicious consideration of the fact that Lucifer’s principle was not called the knowledge of evil but the knowledge of good and evil. Because we all know what Satan stands for, one would assume that everything about him would be evil, so what is the good in his law? As we explore his principle, we must keep in mind that he definitely envisioned and instituted good as an indispensable aspect in his rule of law represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He positively did not want evil to be the sole feature in his law, but both good and evil.
Had Lucifer dealt only in evil, he would definitely not have had succeeded in acquiring any followers. But as noted in the previous chapter, he was able to take with him a third of the angels, therefore there must have been something very compelling and attractive about his principle. This hybrid of good and evil in Satan’s principle is expounded in depth in this chapter and further developed throughout this book.
The Principle From The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil Is Arbitrary
The fundamental operating principle behind Lucifer’s new law was the use of a dual set of behaviour motivators, arbitrary reward and arbitrary punishment, which makes his law a hybrid type of law, or principle. It arbitrarily rewards good behaviour, or deeds, on one hand, while arbitrarily punishing evil behaviour, or deeds, on the other. This principle is familiar to all of us, for we are steeped in it, and operate by it every day of our lives. Countries and institutions are built on this system, and it rules every facet of human relationships on earth. The world operates entirely by Satan’s principle that was represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Satan’s Arbitrary Law Removes Our Freedom Of Choice
Lucifer’s principle of good and evil removes the freedom of choice God had given to His creatures. His law is an arbitrary rule of law in which free will is non-existent because in this principle only Satan’s will prevails. The Bible calls his law for governance iniquity, lawlessness, and it is his law that is sin with a capital ‘S’:
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).
Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (KJV).
Satan’s death principle is the transgression of God’s law of agape love, and it eventuates in the death of everyone who partakes of it.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
The Dictionary Definition Of The Word Arbitrary
The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word arbitrary as “1: depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law; 2: not restrained or limited in the exercise of power: ruling from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power; 3a: based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity of the intrinsic nature of something; 3b: existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will.”
Satan’s Tyrannical And Arbitrary Rule Of Law Is Described By Jesus In The Parable Of The Unjust Judge
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterwards he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said’ (Luke 18:1-6).
In this parable, the judge who did not fear God nor regard man is clearly someone who operates by principles other than God’s. The parable says that he did not fear God nor regard man. In this context, the word fear means to respect or be in awe of, and it means that the unjust judge does not recognize God or His law and principles.
Satan’s law is arbitrary and dependent on his own will, and is independent from the law of God. As seen in the previous chapter, Lucifer was perfect in his ways, until iniquity was found in his heart. The law that he devised is therefore iniquity. The word iniquity is the same word as lawlessness. Therefore Satan’s law is by definition lawlessness. The law of good and evil is the law of lawlessness. In other words, it is a law that is contrary and independent of God’s law of agape love.
The power behind Satan’s principle lies in the fact that it is mandatory, arbitrary, inflexible and executable at the prerogative of Satan. Furthermore, in this principle of good and evil both good and evil are unquestionably evil.
Satan’s Law Keeps The Human Race In Bondage
In the following exchange with the Pharisees, Jesus refers to the subjects of Satan’s law as being in bondage. He makes a sharp comparison between the bondage of Satan’s rule, and the freedom of His own law of love:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free (John 8:31-33)?’“
It is interesting to note that by saying that they had never been in bondage to anyone, Jesus’ interlocutors denied their bondage in Egypt, the Passover, the Exodus and thus virtually their whole history! But Jesus’ remark had a spiritual meaning to which they were blind as well.
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father (John 8:34-38).
But now you seek to kill me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father (John 8:40-41).
Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:43-47).
The sole proof Jesus gave His hearers in order for them to identify their true father was the fact that they wanted to kill Him. The principle of murder in their hearts unequivocally placed them as followers of Satan, for it is in his law of good and evil that murder and death was born. This insight from Jesus Christ also applies across the board to all of humanity.
In this exchange, Jesus is saying that His hearers are in bondage to the deeds of their father, Satan. Because they use his death principle, they seek to kill Jesus. Those who are in subjection to Satan’s law are referred to as being in slavery, or in bondage. This bondage is a bondage to the reign of death. Satan’s arbitrary law is the death principle and will culminate in the death of all of his subjects.
Good And Evil Is Antithetical To agape Love
God had informed Adam and Eve that the tree of knowledge of good and evil represented Satan’s principle. It is Satan who uses this principle to arbitrarily reward good works and arbitrarily punish evil works. This principle is absolutely antithetical to God’s principle of agape love, which was represented by the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. God does not and cannot arbitrarily reward and arbitrarily punish anyone for his works because His very essence is agape love, which is unconditional and self-sacrificing. He loves all His creatures unconditionally, whatever state they are in, whether they are good or evil.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:43-45).
The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works (Psalm 145:9).
The above passages tell us that God blesses those who curse Him and does good to those who hate Him. The nature of God’s unconditional love is extremely foreign to our minds because we are born with a carnal nature that is saturated in the principle of good and evil, a principle in which we are arbitrarily rewarded and punished according to our actions and behaviour all the days of our lives.
Good And Evil Is Conditional
It is important to understand that Satan’s law is antithetical to the innermost core of God’s unconditional love. God’s inherently unconditional love was the foundational cause for Satan’s opposition to God. Lucifer was defiantly determined that love must be conditional. Thus, his type of love is a counterfeit to agape love, and it changes as conditions and circumstances demand.
The principle of good and evil can never be unconditional. Satan’s law is a mixture of good and evil, and it is an attempt to mix light with darkness, love with conditions. As a result, his propositions are in direct opposition to God’s principles of agape love, which is unconditional.
Works Of Any Kind Have No Weight Or Influence In God’s Love And Grace Toward Us
The following verses taken from the apostle Paul’s writings clearly and indisputably demonstrate that neither positive nor negative works, actions or behaviour have any influence in God’s grace toward us:
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all , ‘If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of the Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh will be justified (Galatians 2:14-16; emphasis added).
But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7; emphasis added).
One could safely say that the works of the law and the works of righteousness in the above passages refer to so called ‘good works’ from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Notice that the following passage does not characterize these works either as good or evil, but simply as works:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9; emphasis added).
The following passage however, says that it was through evil works that we were once alienated in our minds:
And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister (Colossians 1:21-23; emphasis added).
Here we may reach a bold conclusion: that if man is not justified by the works of the law, then whether man is producing evil works without the law, or whether man is keeping the law in order to obtain justification, man is still in the same condition of producing evil works, for by the works of the law no flesh will be justified. Then all man’s works, in and of themselves, are evil and lead to death. The Bible portrays such works as filthy rags. Again, the following passage makes it obvious that through no kind of works at all are we to find peace with God:
…God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9,10; emphasis added).
God has now, by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, shown us that He has abolished death through the revelation of His agape love, manifested through Jesus Christ, through whom we know we have unconditional acceptance with God regardless of our works. The positive and negative motivational factors used in the principle of the knowledge of good and evil are arbitrary reward and arbitrary punishment. The employment of arbitrary reward and punishment in order to shape human behaviour and determine human value and worth is the distinguishing factor between Satan’s and God’s principles.
In Satan’s principle of good and evil, good actions must be arbitrarily rewarded with the maximum of exposure so that people will continue to choose to do good. The doer of good works is not only honoured with arbitrary reward but with arbitrary recognition, and arbitrary acceptance. When good is performed, the entire world applauds such magnanimity.
Jesus, on the other hand, told us to do our good actions in secret, not seeking worldly recognition. Under the principle of good and evil, the motivations for doing good are immaterial, as long as the end result is achieved. ‘The end justifies the means,’ and arbitrary rewards and punishments are the means by which results are achieved. Therefore, the main emphasis in Satan’s rule of law involves performance and is works oriented.
There is love involved in the good works of the principle of good and evil, but it is a human love which springs from the egocentric, self-oriented human heart. The selfish human modus operandi strives for recognition and applause and will go to great lengths to satisfy its need to rise and distinguish itself above others. It is always judging its position in the ladder of success at the cost of others, and it will reach higher and higher at the expense of others. It may mask its selfishness by good works in order to hide its true ambition, but it nevertheless remains self-oriented. That is the human heart, and there is no escaping it outside of Jesus Christ.
The other motivational factor in the principle of good and evil is the use of punishment in order to elicit or shape good behaviour, and all punishment methods are by definition violent, from the subtle to the overt. In Lucifer’s new rule of law, arbitrary punishment was a pre-requisite. In fact, it was over the issue of arbitrary punishment that he introduced his rule of law in the universe, and this was the foundational issue for his rebellion against God. He claimed that the Achilles’ heel in God’s law of agape love for the governance of the universe was its lack of arbitrary punishment. He claimed and predicted that without arbitrary punishment, God’s rule of law was doomed for failure. Since there was no inherent punishment in agape love, Lucifer himself had the freedom to introduce his law without having to fear punishment or destruction from God. What he did not accept however, even after God had warned him, is that unavoidable and unstoppable punishment and destruction would occur from within his own violent system.
In Satan’s law of good and evil, when evil is perpetrated, it is arbitrarily condemned and punished by the use of verbal or physical violence, ostracism or the imposition of penalties, to name just a few. There are all sorts of negative corrective methods he uses to bring about behavioural change in the subjects at hand. No matter what form these punishments take, they are all violent. The use of physical violence as a mode of punishment is the most visible form of violence, death being the most drastic.
Subtler forms of violence may not appear to be violent but are just as damaging and lethal. They may take the form of rejection, the silent treatment, backbiting, gossip, character assassination, lying, stealing, emotional and psychological abuse, etc…, with various gradations and combinations of the preceding. When we stop using the principle of good and evil and start using God’s unconditional love principle, all the physical, psychological and emotional violence we inflict on others will cease to take place. Instead, their well-being becomes our main concern, and we take responsibility for their welfare even at the expense of our own. That is what Jesus Christ has shown by His own example.
Judging One Another Is The Preliminary Step In The Process Of Arbitrary Reward And Punishment
Once Lucifer discarded the unconditional nature of God’s law of agape love, he automatically instituted a system of judging man’s actions and motives. In Satan’s law of good and evil, one’s culpability or merit must be established before punishment or reward can be meted out. This process of ascertaining and determining one’s guilt or innocence can be done only through weighing people’s behaviour on the balances of good and evil. One side of the balance weighs good; the other side weighs evil. Whichever side leans heavier determines the outcome of the judgment. In Jesus’ words, this is the judgment according to the flesh:
You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me (John 8:15-16).
When Jesus said, you judge after the flesh He meant that those to whom He was speaking used the principle of good and evil as their measuring rod.
By contrast, when Jesus said that He judges no one, He was saying He judges no one according to their actions in order to either arbitrarily reward them or punish them. The type of judgment Jesus uses is the true judgment, a godly judgment, which He called righteous judgment, and which must not be confused with the judgment that is inherent in the principle of good and evil:
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24; emphasis added).
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8; emphasis added).
God’s righteous judgment is always based on His law of unconditional love and is not a judgment that revolves around human behaviour.
Notice in the previous verse that the righteous Judge gives the crown of life to Paul and to all those who love His appearing at that Day. Those who love His appearing are those who died in the hope of the resurrection at the second coming, and those who will be alive on that Day. They have accepted the gift of life freely given to all because they believed the testimony of Jesus regarding the Father’s unconditional acceptance of each one of us.
When the Bible says that we will be judged by our works, it must be understood that works are the only visible evidence of what we believe inwardly. Therefore, by our actions it will become evident whether we have believed what Jesus Christ has told us regarding God’s unconditional love, or whether we have remained in bondage to the principles of Satan’s arbitrary law of good and evil.
God cannot judge in the human sense, after the flesh, and love unconditionally at the same time. The judgment that Jesus referred to as My judgment is true when He said, You judge after the flesh; I judge no one; and yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me (John 8:15, 16), is a judgment based on agape love, not on good and evil.
The Ultimate Judgment Is The Reception Or Rejection Of Jesus’ Revelation Of God’s Love
Jesus Christ is the gift God gave to the world to reveal God’s non-judging and non-judgmental character.
According to the Jewish law, by the mouth of two witnesses was anything established as true, and by His and the Father’s witness was this gift of the revelation of the character of God established as true.
If there is anything negative at all in regards to biblical judgment, as far as Jesus Christ and the Father are concerned, it has to do with our reaction to, and acceptance of the gift we have been given. We have the freedom of choice to either accept or reject Jesus’ testimony, and this will be our judgment. This judgment involves the acceptance or rejection of His principle of love. Jesus’ judgment is put in effect through the giving of the light He came to shed on the character of God, and is therefore the result of the witness He gave regarding His Father’s principles:
And if any one hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak (John 12:47-50).
The apostle John confirms that judgment has to do with our acceptance or rejection of Jesus:
That was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:9-13).
Judgment After The Flesh Is Explained In The Sermon On The Mount
Jesus’ warning against the use of judgment after the flesh refers to our weighing one another’s worth through satanic judgment, and is found in the Sermon on the Mount. Below are both Matthew’s and Luke’s versions:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:37).
The plank that is in our eye is the fact that we are using Satan’s principle of good and evil rather than God’s unconditional love.
The Apostle Paul Warns Us Not To Judge
Further warnings to let go of the judgment involved in Satan’s principle of good and evil is found throughout the apostle Paul’s epistles:
Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand (Romans 14:3-4).
But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way (Romans 14:10-13).
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).
The only hope of humanity is to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, for with Him there is no condemnation and all are absolved. Paul says that in fact he does not even judge himself, and God is able to make him and all stand through His agape love.
He Who Judges According To Good And Evil Judges The Law Of agape Love
James goes as far as to pronounce that he who judges after the flesh, that is, judges and speaks against his brother, judges the Law. How does he judge the Law and which Law does he judge? He judges God’s Law of unconditional love, and is in effect rejecting it in preference to Satan’s law of good and evil. And by rejecting God’s law of unconditional love, he is rejecting God Himself.
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? (James 4:11-12).
There is one Lawgiver. God, the Creator of heaven and earth, has only one ultimate supreme law, and that is agape love. He saves and destroys by giving us the ultimate freedom to choose either Him or Satan. Inherent in the choice we make is either destruction or salvation. Judging one another puts us clearly in Satan’s domain.
Satan Imposes Order By Controlling Behaviour Through Good And Evil
We naively tend to think that Satan is interested only in causing harm, death, destruction and evil, which indeed is the ultimate, true outcome of his principle. But few of us realize that Satan introduced the principle of good and evil in an actual attempt to create order and produce good behaviour as well. Most of us fail to understand that the reason Satan devised his own law in the universe was to implement a new universal order for governance, a new world order, so to speak. That is why in order to promote good behaviour and curb and control evil, Satan uses arbitrary rewards and punishment.
The reasoning behind his principle is based on the premise that people will choose to do good in order to avoid the punishment they would receive if they did evil. This way of thinking was based on the erroneous notion, which human logic has come to accept, that the more rewards there are in place for doing good, the less evil will prevail; but if that doesn’t work, then the more heinous the evil, the more drastic the punishment needs to be in order to bring about good behaviour. Satan believed that his method of bringing about a model society was better than God’s; therefore he promoted this system of good and evil in which he uses a system of arbitrary rewards and punishments to curb and control evil.
Arbitrary reward and arbitrary punishment are innate only to Satan’s domain of good and evil. People will choose to do good because it is a better alternative than the punishment that is received for doing evil. This is efficacious to a certain extent, in particular because the more heinous the evil the more drastic the punishment. He also deals with rewards because the more rewards that are in place for doing good, the less evil will be perpetrated.
Since Adam and Eve followed Satan by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the whole world operates by his principle, from the lowest level of personal relationships to the highest level of government.
Punishment Is Used In Child Rearing
The common saying that many parents use, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child,’ is based on the following verses from the Book of Proverbs:
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24).
Unfortunately, most parents have misunderstood what the rod means. Consequently, they use various forms of physical punishment to discipline their children in an effort to force them towards good behaviour. A better and proper understanding of the rod is that it was used as an instrument by the good shepherd to guide the sheep, but not to hurt them in any way. The rod here referred to is the same rod spoken of in Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:26-27, 12:3-5. In each of these passages the rod of iron refers to the unbreakable nature of God’s eternal law of love as revealed by Jesus Christ:
You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel (Psalm 2:9; emphasis added).
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels – as I also have received from My Father, and I will give him the morning star (Revelation 2:26-27; emphasis added).
Notice in the above verses that Jesus will give power over the nations to those who overcome the principle of good and evil, and they shall rule together with Him, by the law of agape love.
And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne (Revelation 12:3-5; emphasis added).
The fiery dragon drew a third of the stars of heaven into the principle of good and evil and threw them to the earth, where Adam and Eve also adopted his system. But the male Child, Jesus Christ, came to the rescue of His earthly children and gave His life so that the love of God may be perceived.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:11-16).
Jesus Christ, the Faithful and True, The Word of God, makes war in righteousness, which is to say, not with good and evil but with agape love. The sharp sword that goes out of His mouth is the truth about God’s character, with which He should strike the nations. Jesus Christ struck the nations at the cross, where we may observe the ultimate revelation of the love of God. It is by the service of the heart that God elicits obedience, and not by the use of violence. Thus, love is the strongest of all powers and will last when all things fail. Its strength even goes beyond the grave:
Set me a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).
The Worldly Meaning Of The Rod
The laws of not only our country but of the whole world have gravitated towards the principle of good and evil, and why not, as it is so logical to the human mind. To prevent the escalation of crime, our zero tolerance laws mete out severe punishment in an effort to nip wrong actions in the bud. The greatest example of this is capital punishment, the ultimate deterrent. But there is empirical evidence already in existence to prove that this system is a failure.
What is seen in the actions of humanity is proof that Satan’s principle of good and evil is not working. Most of our evil actions are done in secrecy, and if all of these were made known and publicized, we would have the overwhelming proof that Satan’s system has failed. All one needs to do is follow the news to realize this! In spite of its deterrents, the system of good and evil still fails to prevent evil from taking place in the world; people are still breaking the law all the while hoping they will not get caught. Every time we use violence against a child, we are teaching that child to be violent. In fact, instead of stifling evil, this system promotes it, and violence begets violence. This is enough evidence that this system is not from God.
Good and evil Is One Principle, Not Two
We have seen that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents Satan’s principle and character, and the tree of life represents God’s principle and character. By representing Satan’s principle by one tree, God showed even in the garden that this principle of good and evil is not two separate principles but one coalesced principle of two seemingly opposed concepts. Within this system, both good and evil are one and the same principle, and both are completely evil. It is an illusion, a deception that good and evil are two antithetical principles.
We must remember that Satan was able to convince one third of the angels of the value of his principle, and they were brilliant beings; so we are dealing with something that is extremely seductive and convincing. But God made it easy for us, by showing us that one tree represents God’s character and the other tree represents Satan’s character. It is that simple. One tree represents God’s method for governing and the other tree represents that of Satan.
The coalesced principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is antithetical in every way to God’s unitary principle expressed by the tree of life. Plainly stated, one is the source of life and the other is the source of death; one is God’s, the other is Satan’s. Good and evil is therefore the singular governing principle devised by Satan. It is a hybrid principle, and it was the iniquity that arose in Lucifer’s heart.
The Good Of Good And Evil Is Also Evil
The human race has been deceived into believing that the two words good and evil in Satan’s principle of good and evil are opposed to each other: that good is good, and evil is evil. We have divided good and evil, this single, coalesced, depraved, principle of Satan, and made it into two antithetical principles, good versus evil, when in reality good and evil is one single principle. Good and evil in this context are two sides of the same coin, and the coin is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As God’s antagonist, Satan and anything promulgated by him are totally other and apart from God and His principle of agape love. Therefore in God’s spiritual reality, and from a biblical perspective, this good is as immoral and evil as Satan is, in comparison to God.
Though superficially they appear to be opposites, intrinsically, both the good and the evil in Satan’s principle eventuate in destruction and death. When used in the context of good and evil, they are a unitary principle, and they both result in death.
There Is No Freedom Of Choice In Satan’s Principle Of Good And Evil
Because God grants freedom of choice to all His intelligent beings, they can either choose for or against Him. Without this freedom, Satan himself would not have had the opportunity to introduce the principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the universe.
Satan also claims that there is freedom of choice in his principle of good and evil or else he would not have proposed or instituted it. However, if Satan had absolute authority, he would have had autocratic control over which form of government would prevail in the universe. The only rule of law, the only principle that would have been allowed to prevail or be in existence would have been that which the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents. It must be emphasized that Satan would never allow any alternative principles to exist alongside his principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The principle of good and evil does not allow choice or offer it. Inherent in his principle there is no possibility for any alternative choice to be made. Factually, therefore, Satan’s principle allows no freedom at all, for there is no available freedom of choice within his principle. That is why the Bible characterizes Satan’s kingdom as slavery, and the slavery the children of Israel experienced in Egypt is a type of the slavery involved in Satan’s principle. The antitype is the principle of good and evil. Since Adam and Eve partook of this principle, humanity has been held slave to it.
Only Jesus Christ can free us from Satan’s principle of good and evil and leads us to Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey, a symbol of where agape love reigns. As Satan’s principle of good and evil is broadly symbolized by the slavery in Egypt, and more specifically by slavery to our carnal natures, to which we are all shackled at birth, Jesus promises us that as we embrace the truth about God’s character, we will be free indeed.
Good And Evil Does Not Offer Choice Because It Culminates In Death
Even though good and evil appear to represent two different concepts, one good and the other evil, and thus seem to convey the idea that a choice exists within the principle itself, the apparent choice between the two of them is a spiritual delusion. Choice is nonexistent in Satan’s principle since both its good and its evil culminate in death.
But how can destruction and death result from good? How can chaos eventuate from good? For the single reason that in teaming up with evil, this good is not true good at all. The good that is present in the principle of good and evil is antithetical to the very essence of God’s agape love. This good is as antagonistic and opposed, as incompatible and irreconcilable as evil is incompatible and irreconcilable to God’s agape love. Since the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents Satan’s principle, this particular good in his system of governance is also evil and will ultimately culminate in death because God said it would.
Freedom of choice is only a deceptive delusion in Satan’s principle because, as already discussed, we have been deceived into believing that the good and the evil of good and evil are two opposing, separate principles. Those who are cognizant of this deception know for a fact that there is an outright lie in the misrepresentation that there is freedom of choice in Satan’s principle. His principle itself guarantees that there will never be any alternative principle available to choose from, because that intent is resolutely and inherently established in his principle.
The Good Of Good And Evil Is Evil Because It Is Egocentric
Why is the good in Satan’s principle evil? Because inherent in this good is the direct opposite of God’s essence and nature of agape love. This good is egocentric for it seeks the best results for itself. This good seeks to maximize the benefits that are acquired for oneself. Under this good the end will justify the means in order to reap the maximum self-fulfillment and self-gratification. This good is the ultimate form of selfishness, where the primary motivation for one’s actions will be the maximum arbitrary reward that one can acquire. This good might not do any overt harm to anyone else, but if push came to shove, it would seek its own protection when confronted with danger. One may ask, if this good is part and parcel of evil, why would it fear confrontation with evil? The answer is found in the fact that fear is intrinsic to the principle of good and evil, and it permeates all the good and the evil in that domain.
The World Believes That The Good Of Good And Evil Belongs To God
The whole world has gone wrong in that it has accepted Satan’s principle of governance. Even though Satan became the ruler of this world after Adam and Eve sinned, the world still has the same original choice that Adam and Eve had before they sinned. But worse still, all religions of the world have accepted this principle as belonging to God. This is where we have all so profoundly erred in believing that the good from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is of God.
It is critical that we grasp that God has no part in the principle of good and evil. This knowledge provides the essential paradigm that effectively responds to all the otherwise unanswered questions about the apparent vengeful and wrathful God of the Old Testament. It is also imperative that this is flawlessly comprehended because this understanding has eternal consequences both for God and for us.
Note judiciously that the good in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is as much at enmity with the cross principle of agape love as is the evil in the principle of good and evil. The acceptance of the overwhelming inaccuracy that this good is of God has culminated in our thinking and living by Satan’s principles. With this cognitive dissonance we have also failed in accurately interpreting the Bible. Thus we have attributed the characteristics of Satan to God.
We Go Further And Claim That The Evil Of Good And Evil Is Of God
We have actually gone even one step further and taken the evil of Satan’s death principle of good and evil and claim that it too, belongs to God! Thus not only has good and evil’s good become the principle of God because He arbitrarily rewards us for doing good, but evil, the principle of punishment, and even death, is from God! How we have played into Satan’s hands! The reality is that both the good and the evil of Satan’s death principle make up one single evil principle, in which God has no part whatsoever.
Now, The World Believes That The Entire Principle Of Good And Evil Is Of God
The preponderance of believers in God, whether monotheistic or polytheistic, attribute to Him the principle of arbitrary reward and punishment. They think that when they obey God’s laws that command their compliance, their positive behaviour moves God to respond in favourable ways towards them. Having found favour with God by their positive behaviour, they think they will be accepted and rewarded. Arbitrary acceptance and reward are then given to them by Satan and are exhibited in multitudinous favourable and positive ways.
All religions, consciously or unconsciously, have accepted the rule of law of good and evil as emanating from God. They propagate that God has instituted arbitrary rewards for doing good and arbitrary punishments for doing evil; it is taught that this is inherent in His love. Once this so called love becomes the accepted norm and we accept it as God’s love, we succeed in indubitably changing His love into a mutable, conditional, self-centred love that ceases to be divine agape love.
All of earth’s religious systems, including Christianity itself, espouse the same view that it is God who arbitrarily rewards and punishes. This belief, anchored in Satan’s principle of good and evil, proposes that if you do good God will shower you with blessings, and if you do evil He will punish you.
Punishment is an inalienable component of Satan’s principle, which the Christian community insists is God’s righteous, wrathful anger towards sinners who persist in sin and evil. In fact, it is taught that punishment is a much-needed component of His love and is a part of the righteousness of God.
This view proposes that offenders will suffer retribution and punishment from God when His laws and commands are disobeyed. And if they persist in blatant disobedience, they will precipitate His wrathful anger and rejection, and eventually they will suffer violent, brutal death at God’s hands for being violators of His laws. Natural disasters, claimed to be Acts of God, are one example of such so-called retributive punishments from God towards the rebellious and evil. It is immaterial that in the process of the terrible destruction of the wicked, there are also some good people who happen to be in the path of destruction and who, therefore, also suffer.
Good And Evil Has Replaced agape Love
Again, you may ask, how can the good in the principle of good and evil be a principle of death? Simply presented, God decreed it when He stated, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
It cannot be overstated that the good and the evil in this principle are both of Satan and should not be divided to portray the good as of God and the evil as of Satan. That is the reason why it is the principle of death, and the opposite to the tree of life principle.
The natural human mind cannot conceive how it is possible for the good in this system of good and evil not to be of God. It is even more puzzling for us to think that any form of good can be of Satan. It appears the epitome of insanity, irrationality and absurdity to propose that any form of arbitrary good does not come from God, but even worse, that some form of good can come from Satan. It may appear the height of blasphemy to make such claims. But the good in the principle of good and evil is antithetical to God’s agape love, and is opposite to the true ‘goodness’ of God.
Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good teacher, what good shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter life, keep the commandments (Matthew 19:16, 17).’
When addressed as Good teacher by the rich young ruler, Jesus’ reply makes exactly this point: why do you call me good? There is no one good but God. The young ruler’s address to Jesus, Good teacher, was done with a mind governed by the principle of good and evil (he wanted to know what good works would be worthy of the reward of eternal life). The reply Jesus gave appears to indicate that He is claiming not to be good. Now we know that this is not the case, for Jesus was good and He was Divine. So what is Jesus trying to say here?
Jesus was separating the good that is in God from the good that is in the principle of good and evil – why do you call me good? Having done that, He then stated there is no one good but God. All the good that is in the world is only a counterfeit, a deception, for it is flawed by selfish motives and agendas. Only God’s agape love, that good that Jesus referred to when He said there is no one good but God, stands as truly good. The cross is the great demonstration of the good that is of God.
By Misunderstanding Good And Evil We Have Completely Ignored agape Love
The overwhelmingly significant error of dividing Satan’s principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil into two separate principles, as one proceeding from God, the other from Satan, has caused us to completely leave out and even forget the principle from the tree of life. The acceptance of this bifurcation of the principle of good and evil has darkened our minds to God’s principle of agape.
When this mindset is ingrained in us, it causes us to regard the tree of good and evil as containing two diametrically opposed principles and completely takes our focus off the principle from the tree of life.
When the tree of life principle is no longer the core of our cognitive endeavour, there will be no other alternative but to believe and live by Satan’s principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus we are cleverly kept in bondage to the principle of good and evil, within which there is no freedom of choice.
Belief In A God Of Reward And Punishment Elicits Selfish Response
When we believe that God arbitrarily rewards and punishes us according to our works, our responses towards Him will be generated purely from selfish motives. Those who are obedient to God’s laws and commands under such motivations are compliant either because they desire the arbitrary rewards they are offered, or because they wish to avert the negative results of punishment. Those who live in erratic or persistent disobedience to God’s laws and commands dread the arbitrary penalization that they believe God will inflict on them. Thus they live in fear of God. So it is out of fear of arbitrary punishment that they attempt to obey God’s law to the best of their ability.
Both reasons for obedience, one for arbitrary reward and the other for fear of arbitrary punishment, are anchored on selfish motives. This is the outcome of Satan’s principle. The adherents of such a God are incapable of responding to Him with the purity of agape love. They will find it impossible to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Such a God can never be obeyed without a selfish motive, and even though His believers might claim otherwise, they cannot respond to this kind of God in a loving way. It is humanly impossible to respond with agape love to anyone who commands respect and obedience through even an infinitesimal amount of fear or violence. The response to a God who uses the principle of good and evil will always be tainted with fear and self-centredness.
The True Motivation For Obeying God Is His agape Love
Speaking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus said that God was looking for worshipers who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. Jesus claimed to have this knowledge when He informed her that He was the Messiah that was to come: I who speak to you am He.
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’ (John 4:23-26).
What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? Can we worship the Father in spirit and in truth when we have a false knowledge of His character? The words in truth point us to the truth about His character and Jesus, the Messiah who came, did tell us all things about the Father’s character of agape love. Only when we worship the God of agape love do we worship Him in spirit and truth. According to Jesus, the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
Christians Obey God In Order To Receive Reward Or Avoid Punishment
Most of us would agree that believing in God and living by his principles are good pursuits in life. Can anything be more rewarding and fulfilling than having such objectives in mind? After all, salvation, the end result of such quests, is what everyone is aiming for. After death, we all look forward to the reward of a blissful life spent eternally with God. The beneficiary has performed the stipulated requirements to receive this magnanimous arbitrary reward from God; the requirements are fulfilled, and the gift is given. The Benevolent Benefactor and the beneficiary are both very happy. Unfortunately this is a false picture of God’s salvation.
What could possibly be so wrong with receiving the gift of eternal life when the beneficiary meets the requirements?
In this scenario, the maximum benefit the beneficiary receives for believing and obeying God is an endless gratification of self. The Benevolent Benefactor, the God of the gift, was the means by which the end-result was attained. Compliance with all the requirements and stipulations in this formal covenant-contract arrangement was enacted purely in order to receive the promised gift. Believing a certain way and following the stipulated conditions would reap the ultimate benefit of heaven. The good in this academic alliance was dead to any agape love relationship between the recipient of the gift and the Benevolent Benefactor. The arbitrary reward to be received from God was the motivation for complying with the requirement. God’s attitude, however, does not change towards the beneficiary despite the selfish reason behind their compliance to attain the desired reward. This selfish motivation has not impacted or altered God’s attitude even in the least way towards the beneficiary of His gift, and that is the case purely because He is agape love.
Some Obey Out Of Fear
Another, and much more damaging reason for obedience, is fear – fear that God in anger will arbitrarily and capriciously punish the offender. Such a reason for obedience could also be classed as legalism. But it is this response to God that the Christian world calls agape love. This form of obedience is the accepted selfish reason for compliance to God’s requirements, but this is not the divine way in which God desires to be followed.
The Path Of Blessings Is In agape Love
Having said that God does not arbitrarily reward or punish, it cannot be denied however, that when we live by God’s principles, rewards and blessings do follow from His domain. The boundaries are delineated and presented for the path of blessings. Intrinsic in the choice to follow God’s path are found rewards and blessings. It must be understood that these are not arbitrary acts of recompense from an arbitrary and capricious God. One does not live by God’s principle in order to receive rewards and blessings. One lives by His principle after being moved by God’s agape love; it is in response to this great love that one embraces God’s counsels for living.
God Is Not Interested In Behaviour But In Unconditional Love Relationships
God knows that the only thing that will change human behaviour is a change of heart. A change of heart comes only from understanding and experiencing the love of God firsthand and by adopting His principle of agape love. Then the heart will be imbued with the principle of unconditional love that comes only from God Himself. Jesus taught us that if we love Him and all that He represents, we are to love one another as well as our enemies, for these are His commandments. If we have the principle of unconditional love in our hearts, we will be in harmony with Him and the Father, and will have the same mind as they. He gave us this understanding when He said:
If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).
If you keep my commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10).
You shall abide in God’s agape love if you obey God’s directive to love one another unconditionally, with agape, including enemies. Jesus kept His Father’s commandment to live by agape, therefore He abode in God’s agape love. By living by His principle we are in harmony with Him. There is no force or coercion in the above directives; they allow complete freedom of choice and show complete respect for the individual. There is no threat of punishment or promise of reward. Jesus draws us to Himself by love and by love only.
Jesus is the only answer to a failing world, because only Jesus has shown us His infinite love that reaches all regardless of merit. If we have tasted this great love of the Father and Son toward us, we are to be a light to the world and an extension of His arm, loving everyone unconditionally so that they may experience the love of God through us. It is through us that God wants to reach everyone with His agape love, which is the only alternative to the principle of good and evil.
Even Desiring Heaven Can Be Motivated By Selfishness – Reward
The followers of a dual personality, capricious, arbitrary, hybrid God will strive to implement in their lives what He has stipulated and classified as good behaviour in order to earn His favor and be rewarded accordingly. They will promote all sorts of meritorious deeds deserving of reward, and reward will be the most persuasive inducement to act favourably towards God, thus playing a significant part in our relationship with Him.
Most followers of God, including Christians, would agree that there is no greater reward that can possibly be earned than spending eternity with Him. This greatest of all rewards in the merit system of arbitrary reward and punishment is often the only motivation for our relationship with God and is based on a very subtle and disguised form of selfishness. Our hearts and lives are left with a gaping chasm in our relationship with God when the foundational reason for our relationship with Him is this arbitrary reward. If this is not selfishness, what else could it be? If the ultimate and foundational reason for our relationship with God is arbitrary reward of eternal life, agape love will never be the basis of our relationship, and we will miss out on the most amazing experience in the universe, the experience Jesus prayed we would have with Himself and with God the Father:
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father , are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:20-26; emphasis added).
The relationship that God wants to have with us is the same relationship He has with His Son. Can we possibly imagine that? A relationship in which there will be infinite love, that same love that He and Jesus have shared from eternity, from even before the foundation of the world? Eternity with God in heaven is not a reward, but a return to our natural state, a face to face relationship with our God, as it was before evil entered the universe.
The story of the rich young ruler is a perfect example of the fallacy of worshipping a God of reward and punishment. The young ruler had asked Jesus what he could do to inherit eternal life, seeking the reward through his good behaviour. However, when offered a close relationship with the Son of God, he turned sadly away. He was not interested in a relationship of love with His Creator; rather, he was motivated by the fear of eternal death, and hoped to do all he could in his own power in order to please God and attain the reward of eternal life.
Hell – Punishment Is Also A Selfish Motivator For Good Works
On the other side of this coin is the belief that if we execute any acts that God has stipulated as evil He will inflict terrible punishment on us. In this scenario it is thought that He will unleash His punishment upon us and consign us to eternal hell fire if we arouse His wrath by behaving in any way that is contrary to His dictates. Thus the fear of retributive punishment prompts us to make sure we possess a saving faith, and so we try to live in obedience to His commands. Abject fear that God will unleash His vengeance upon us for disobedience would be the foundational reason and rationale for compliance to His commands. agape love is again nonexistent in the relationship with this hybrid God because of the fear of punishment.
Good And Evil Is The Works Of The Law
The New Testament confirms something of paramount significance with respect to the principle of good and evil. It shows us that the principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil involves the works of the law:
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:16).
No one who follows the law to receive an arbitrary reward will be justified; justification will come only from believing, by faith, in the everlasting love of God toward us. So we see that Satan’s principle of doing good in order to receive an arbitrary reward has no place in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul unequivocally nullified and made void Satan’s principle of good and evil by the above statement. The law of God is pure and good and eternal; Jesus said:
For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18).
But if we keep God’s law by the spirit of the principle of good and evil it will have no meaning – it will be dead works. The works of the law are works from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and by the works of this law no flesh will be justified. The moral law of God can be obeyed only in the way it should be obeyed if it is by the principle of agape love, and it is a free act made from a heart that responds to the constraining love of God.
How we keep the law depends on who teaches us how the moral law of God should be viewed. For instance, the law of God categorically commands you shall not commit adultery (Exodus20:16). Under Satan’s principle of good and evil, the act of committing adultery calls for the arbitrary punishment of death, as stated in the Old Testament:
The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 20:10).
Jesus Christ nullified and voided this arbitrary punishment of Satan because it stemmed from the principle of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Stoning was the punishment for adultery as mandated in the Old Testament. When the Scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman before Jesus to have her stoned He did not sanction their demand. This is what Jesus said to them:
He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first (John 8:7).
Jesus denied their demand to stone the adulteress woman without overtly creating a problem, and one by one all the accusers left the scene. Using the principle of agape love, He did not impute this sin to her. Paul confirms the principle behind this act of Jesus when He says:
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin (Romans 4:7-8).
Those of us who believe and live by the principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil have made Satan our spiritual father and teacher. Since Adam and Eve’s choice in the garden, every human being has had either Satan or God as a teacher. Everyone in the world, without exception, is either taught by God’s principle represented by the tree of life or by Satan’s principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Righteousness By Works Is A Part Of Good And Evil The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents the principle that is aligned with righteousness by works. Please take heed that both good works and evil works in the principle of good and evil are inherent components of righteousness by works. Righteousness by works incorporates both good and evil works. In righteousness by works the word ‘righteousness’ is actually unrighteous, because the principle that it reflects is not the righteousness of God. The righteousness of God is explained in Romans 3:21-26:
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The righteousness of God justifies all freely; His righteousness is the passing over of our sins, the forgiveness of all our works done under the law of good and evil. By believing and accepting the love which Jesus Christ demonstrated to us by His death, that is, in His blood, we may fully benefit from this knowledge and be reconciled to God.
In the beginning of the book of Hebrews, its author states that Jesus Christ’s rule of law is righteousness. His rule of law is not based on the principle of good and evil which is iniquity, lawlessness, the principle of arbitrary reward and punishment, righteousness by works. In fact, the verse in question states that He hates iniquity:
But to the Son He [God] says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. A sceptre of righteousness [agape] is the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness [agape] and hated iniquity [GOOD AND EVIL]; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your fellows’ (Hebrews 1:8-9, emphasis added).
No earthly prophet has rightly understood what the sceptre of righteousness means except those who receive their revelation from Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-2 states that God, who at various times and various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these final days spoken by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. The biblical prophets had an incomplete understanding of the character of God, but Jesus, who was in the bosom of the Father, could reveal Him completely.
All belief-systems that are contradictory to the revelation that Jesus Christ gave of the Father are not based on righteousness. Only Jesus Christ has the correct understanding of God, therefore only He can give it to us. Thus the verse says, Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows. John further clarifies righteousness:
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another (1 John 3:10, 11).
Righteousness is agape love toward one another, unconditional, forgiving up to seventy times seven, that is, completely, infinitely.
Most Christians have accepted that righteousness by works is a principle that belongs to Satan and not to God. But they inadvertently fall into believing that righteousness by works is of God when they believe that God arbitrarily rewards good works and punishes evil works. If righteousness by faith is true, and it is, then from God’s side, neither the positive nor the negative works of the law impact God’s attitude and behaviour towards us. God is immutable, He is agape love, and we know that in God’s principle, as represented by the tree of life, no form of works alters God’s attitude towards people.
Righteousness by works is not righteousness at all in its spiritual application. Righteousness by works is not of God for the simple reason that it negates what God, in Jesus Christ, demonstrated on the cross when Jesus died for the sins of the human race. The anti-God theology of righteousness by works promotes the belief that good works are arbitrarily rewarded with salvation and evil works are arbitrarily punished by God. And when such evil activities are pursued continuously, the ultimate punishment from God will be eternal torment. This is the principle that is innate in the principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This iniquity, this lawlessness, is the opposite of God’s righteousness as demonstrated on the cross.
The ultimate purpose of Satan’s system of righteousness by works is to teach us to be good through this reward/punishment mechanism, but it abysmally fails in achieving that purpose.
‘The End Justifies The Means’ And ‘Survival Of The Fittest’ Are From Good And Evil
Satan is the originator of that way of thinking in which ‘the end justifies the means.’ To him it does not matter what methodology is utilized to achieve his agenda as long as it is achieved. If allowed, he would prefer to have exclusive dictatorial sovereignty and control over everyone in order to achieve his end, thus taking away our freedom of choice.
Fortunately, God has not allowed him to have this despotic, dictatorial power over us because He gave us Jesus Christ. Jesus has given us another option, and in a sense, only as we understand His principle can we now have freedom of choice. We are now free to choose to follow and obey either God or Satan and to choose who will have power in our lives. Aside from Jesus, our only option is the principle of good and evil and that is why Jesus is the ultimate revelation for the world to know God.
If it were possible, Satan would have destroyed God without a second thought so that he would have no opposition and become the one and only monarch of the universe. At this point the reader may ask how we can make such bold statements. In Satan’s mode of thinking, and inherent in his principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, there is room for only one at the top. There is only one winner in the struggle for the survival of the fittest, and whatever means are employed to get there are justified:
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:13-14).
Jesus, on the other hand, is moved by an altogether different principle:
[JESUS CHRIST] who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-8; emphasis added).
In Jesus we see a sprit that is even willing to share His throne with humanity:
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne (Revelation 3:21).
Without agape Love All Of Us Default Into Good And Evil
Satan incessantly advocates, and coercively promotes, the principles represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to each one of us. He, and those who utilize his principle, are addressed by Jesus thus:
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10a).
The antithesis to Satan’s work and to all those who live by his principle is shown by Jesus’ statement that:
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10: 10b).
All who have failed to understand God’s love as it was vividly demonstrated on the cross, are imbued with Satan’s principles in their thinking and actions. The God of the Bible is agape love. This agape love is His essence, His law. By His immutable love He governs the entire universe. The revelation of this love was manifested on the cross.
Agape love is constant and is not controlled by changing circumstances. Agape love does not arbitrarily reward those who obey God’s commandments. Its rewards are inherent and intrinsic in God’s commands. Nor does this agape love arbitrarily punish those who do evil by disobeying God’s commandments; God does not use disease, destruction and death to punish the human race, for we are His beloved children.
When we choose to disobey God’s law of agape love, we automatically choose to obey Satan’s law from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and in that domain there is arbitrary punishment. God’s agape love is not affected by our positive or negative actions because agape love is immutable. He only responds with agape love, irrespective of the choices that rule our actions. We should take heed to the fact that when we decide against God, we automatically fall under the jurisdiction of Satan’s rule of law.
Without agape love we all default into living by the principle of good and evil. Therefore it is not a surprise that we would even attribute Satan’s character traits to God. God Himself told us that we would do so when He said:
…You thought that I was altogether like you;
But I will rebuke you, And set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God (Psalm 50:21-23; emphasis added).
The last two sentences of this Psalm can be especially frightening if we have not comprehended God’s principles of non-violence. But when we understand that God is not a destroyer and we then read with a spiritual mind that is in accord with God’s agape love as revealed on the cross, this verse will be understood to mean exactly the opposite of what they seem to say. Paraphrased, it will mean something like this:
‘Mark this, you who forget that God has unconditional love for all, lest you think that He will destroy you and then there will be no one that can help and deliver you because, if you think God is against you, who will be for you? Get to know God’s true character, so that you may offer only thanksgiving and praise to Him instead of the penance of killing animals thinking that this will appease an angry God. It is the one who knows there is nothing to be afraid in God that honours Him. The one who corrects His understanding about God will also correct his behaviour toward his fellow man. To such a one God will show how much He loves him, and what a great salvation He has for him and for the whole human race!’
The phrase “to him who orders his conduct arightly I will show the salvation of God” cannot mean salvation by works, for we have already seen that by the works of the law no one will be saved. The only other possible interpretation is the one offered above. God’s ways are higher than ours because His ways are agape love:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
We must be very careful that we do not make God into a God that is altogether one like ourselves, that is, into a God who uses the principle of good and evil.
Good And Evil Is Self-Destructive But God’s Grace Is Holding The Winds Of Destruction
The principle of good and evil has been given ample and adequate opportunity to prove itself over our earth’s history, but soon it will be demonstrated that innate in this system, in this principle, there is a time bomb that will ultimately culminate in utter disaster and death. Then it will be observed and comprehended that in reality there is no freedom in Satan’s principle of good and evil. His principle has not imploded in self-destruction with its innate speed due to the grace of God, which permeates the universe. God makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Until the final decision is made by every member of the human race, whether to believe and live either by God’s principle or by Satan’s principle, the process of implosion is drastically decelerated. When, with absolute conclusiveness and finality, humanity universally chooses between God’s and Satan’s government, then Satan’s principle will accelerate exponentially and reap its own demise.
Satan Knew What To Attack: The Mind
Satan knew that the mind was the region where the perfect understanding of God’s character in Adam and Eve was localized, and a spiritual deathblow must be executed in this region in order for him to achieve his goals. That is why he brought spiritual death to Adam and Eve in connection with their correct knowledge of God. He knew that he first needed to destroy their minds and bring about the spiritual death which was the loss of the knowledge of God’s character. Once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would have the very opposite view of God than the one they previously had. The proof that they completely lost the knowledge of God’s agape love for them is that an abject fear of God was instantly spawned in their minds.
Some may ask, ‘If Adam and Eve lost their knowledge of God’s agape love, how could present-day humans ever hope to know of it?’ The answer is that Jesus Christ came to earth to give us that knowledge we had lost in Adam. This fact is confirmed by His own words: If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin (John 15:22).
That is why Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the ultimate truth sent to us by God. He came to bring light to a darkened world, and that light shone brightest when He loved us to the extent of giving His life for us on the cross.
Satan’s Law Renders The Mind Incapable Of Understanding agape Love
Satan genuinely believed that it was impossible to govern the universe by agape love. At the outset of Satan’s rebellion, God had told him that the path he was contemplating would lead to the certain culmination of a twisted mind. This cognitive domain would be hopelessly anchored in an irreversible mode of fear, destruction and death. The consequence of having such a mind would be fatal because God’s agape love would have been eternally discarded and rejected by him. But Satan would not acquiesce to God’s wisdom, and he therefore rejected God’s claim that agape love is the only way to govern the universe. Satan did not understand that anything that is not agape love will eventually self- implode and lead to annihilation.
Once Satan became God’s antagonist, it became impossible for him to operate with a pure mind. Once the choice was made to oppose God’s principle of agape love, something automatically and radically different from the nether domain took over his mind, and his mind became incapable of operating with God’s agape love. That is why deception is the preeminent means Satan uses in order to give us the same perverted mind about God. If he manages to get our minds in this skewed condition, he will achieve his goal. Lucifer adopted this disastrous perversion once he determinedly decided to reject God’s agape love principle.
Satan is fully aware that if the purity of agape love is understood and demonstrated, no one will choose or accept to live by his dictum. For Satan to win the great controversy over the character of God, it is vital that the true comprehension of God’s character remain full of misunderstanding and conjectures. Once both principles, God’s and Satan’s, are understood and demonstrated, his deception will be exposed.
Anyone who truly understands God’s agape love principle will not likely ever worship Satan. For this reason Satan has attacked Christianity, perverting the truth of many of its doctrines, so that the true meaning of the cross will be obscured. One such doctrine is the state of the dead. Without a true understanding of that doctrine, one cannot appreciate what Jesus did on the cross for the human race.
For Satan’s deception to be appealing, it had to make such complete sense that logically it would be impossible to deny its validity. To the logical mind, the principle embodied in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil makes far more sense than the principle from the tree of life.
Satan’s law of arbitrary reward and arbitrary punishment is the great deception we have all succumbed to because it seems abundantly plausible to us. The Bible repeatedly warns us about how convincing this deception will be unless it is exposed for the lie it truly is. The event of the cross is the only place where this monumental deception about the character of God is denounced and neutralized.
These are the issues that have precipitated the spiritual battle being fought over the minds of intelligent beings; they are issues that involve a choice between God’s principle of agape love represented by the tree of life and Satan’s methodology of arbitrary reward and arbitrary punishment represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As precisely and concisely as it can be stated, these are the predominant and overriding themes of the Bible. Without the understanding of these themes, it will not be possible for one to arrive at a correct understanding of the Bible or of the God of the Bible, or of Satan for that matter.
The carnal human mind finds Satan’s system faultless, as it makes sense and actually works temporarily as well.
When we say it works, we should qualify that it works to a point and at a cost. Human behavior responds to punishment but at the cost of the relationship. A loving and mutually respectful relationship cannot exist within the confines of arbitrary punishment, and the pain that is caused by these methods is the reason for so much damage to individuals and relationships.
Satan’s Principle Makes Sense To The Carnal Human Mind
If Lucifer’s rule of law were not so exceedingly reasonable and logical, it could not have possibly achieved its deadly outcome. Adam and Eve and all of their descendants would not have fallen prey to his deception. Humanity with all of its acumen has followed a similar path to that of one third of highly intelligent angels. We have capitulated to Satan’s system of governance from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Humanity has fallen prey to Satan’s rule of law because it makes complete logical sense to the carnal human mind. On the other hand, the significance of the tree of life principle, God’s law of agape love which is the essence of His character, and which was demonstrated so completely at the cross, is foolishness to the human mind that does not fully comprehend the ramifications of the statement God is love. This conundrum is expressed by the apostle Paul as follows:
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:17).
The wisdom of the cross is foolishness for those who are captivated by Satan’s principle. The principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the wisdom of this world. Paul reiterates and expands on this fact as follows:
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).
But we speak wisdom among those who are perfect. Who are those that are perfect? They are those who have accepted agape love as their main motivating principle. These will show that they live by God’s principle when they love their enemies:
…Love your enemies… therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:44, 48).
Yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nothing. The wisdom of this world is the use of violence against enemies, and it comes to nothing because it brings death:
For all who take the sword will perish by the sword according to Jesus (Matthew 26:52).
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the principle of agape love, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world for our glory; which none of the rulers of this world knew (for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory).
God’s agape love was hidden because good and evil became our master when Adam and Eve sinned; but it is no longer hidden because Jesus Christ has revealed the God of non-violence. agape love was ordained before the world, it is the eternal principle from eternity past, for our glory – to free us from the slavery of good and evil; none of the rulers of this world knew it, for if they had known it, they would have recognized in Christ the God of agape love, and would not have used violence against Him. We have not received the spirit of the world; we who believe in the God of agape love no longer believe and live by the spirit of arbitrary reward and punishment, but by the spirit of God, by the spirit of agape love.
The arbitrary reward and the arbitrary punishment rule of law is the wisdom of the world. And we have the mind of Christ when we have the agape love of God in our hearts. To have the mind of Christ is to believe and live by this divine wisdom, which is unconditional love.
Only The Cross Unveils The Deception Of Good And Evil
Satan’s principle is so ingenious that the deception within it can be exposed only by comparison with what transpired on the cross. The cross, and the cross only, exposes, unravels, and neutralizes Satan’s rule of law that is the wisdom of the world (1 Corinthians 2:6). Jesus Christ took upon Himself on the cross all the sin that had resulted due to Satan’s principle. On the cross Jesus bore all the effects, the aftermath and consequences that resulted from Satan’s principle of arbitrary reward and punishment. Thus, the entirety of the immediate and eternal fall-out from Satan’s principle has been fully paid by Jesus Christ on the cross.
For He [GOD] made Him [JESUS CHRIST] who knew no sin [GOOD AND EVIL] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God [agape LOVE] in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21; emphasis added).
Those Who Are Perishing Are Living Under The Deceptions Of Good And Evil.
Speaking about the power of God to save us from the principle of good and evil by His agape love, the apostle Paul states:
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For the Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:17-25).
Who are those who are perishing? They are those who, with a carnal, worldly human mind have accepted Satan’s rule of law for governance from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These are those that the prophet Isaiah describes like this:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light of for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)!
Jesus describes them like this:
If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness (Matthew 6:23)!
Looking back at the believers in God at the time of Christ, it is easy to see how the light that was in them was darkness. It was such darkness that they did not recognize the Son of God and put Him to death. What is required to avoid belonging to those who are perishing under Satan’s accursed law of death? We need not perish under Satan’s death law because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). If we choose to believe and live under God’s government of life we will no longer be under Satan’s government of death. If Satan’s rule of law of good and evil was of God, Christ need not have become a curse for us.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Those Who Are Being Saved, Are Being Saved From The Principle Of Good And Evil
But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. When Paul talks about those who are being saved, he is referring to those who no longer believe in and live by Satan’s principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is the power of God: to believe in, and live by His agape love. The cross principle is the power of God. The cross principle is represented by the tree of life and is absolutely antithetical to the power of Satan, which is the power of death.
God’s agape Love Destroys The Wisdom Of Good And Evil
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 1:19).
By the cross, by the tree of life, by God’s agape love principle, God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. The wisdom of this world is the use of the principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The wisdom of this world is the use of the system of arbitrary reward and punishment.
For since, in the wisdom of God, wisdom that was manifested on the cross, the world through wisdom did not know God. That is, the world that thinks that wisdom is the principle of good and evil cannot fathom that God would not use arbitrary punishment on evildoers. It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached, that is, the message of the cross, of the tree of life, which is foolishness to the carnal human mind, to save those who believe and live by the principle of the cross, by God’s agape love. The principle of the cross is foolishness to those who believe in Satan’s rule of law.
Punishment Is Used As A Deterrent Against Freedom To Seek Truth
During the dark-ages when the church had autocratic control over the people, any deviation from the commonly accepted belief systems was vehemently and violently rejected. Most people didn’t dare explore any beliefs that deviated from the beliefs of the prevailing hierarchy. Despotic and repressive methods were used to suppress any challenges to the predominant teachings, even to the extent of using sadistic means for the execution of so-called heretics. Those who entertained any form of objection to the status quo belief system were in some cases given the opportunity to recant. The old- guard established church claimed to have the prerogative, in the name of God and with His authority, to punish all heretics. Horrendous methods of punishment were devised and deemed appropriate to punish the evil of heresy, including execution. Punishment was used as a powerful deterrent against those who harboured or promoted any so-called heretical views.
Barbarity Done In The Name Of God
We have more than enough evidence prevailing in our world as well as in past history that all religions, without exception, have adhered to the worship of the hybrid god from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; these religions have been responsible for atrocities beyond imagination. All of this inhumane barbarity was perpetrated in the name of God and in defence of His principles because people believed that this is how God Himself would have retaliated against all who opposed His commands. For those who believe this way, there is no form of destructive work adequate enough to make sure that God’s commands and directives are obeyed and preserved. Intolerance and punishment are fully justified, permitted and God-sanctioned under any and every circumstances, and used without impunity in this belief-system, because this is how they perceive that God deals with evil.
Violent Reaction Is The Sign Of Good And Evil Principle In Us
It is notable that those who believe in the hybrid God of good and evil generate from within themselves a radical reaction towards all those who oppose their belief. This reactionary response in itself is confirmation that the Creator God of the universe is not the one whom they are worshipping. When the worshippers of this hybrid God are opposed in any way, when their dogma is challenged or contradicted by anyone, they become radical reactionaries of the most debased kind. Their violent adversarial reaction is intrinsic in their belief-system. This reaction was seen at the trial of Jesus Christ. Our subjective reactions are a natural byproduct of our objective reality, whatever that reality is. Unquestionably it can be stated that when such drastic reaction is present, it is, in itself, proof that it is a byproduct, a reflection of the erroneous belief system of good and evil.
All Infirmity, Sickness, Degeneration And Disease Are Caused By Satan’s Domain Of Good And Evil
Jesus on the Sabbath day healed a man with a paralyzed hand. The scribes and Pharisees challenged Jesus for this act of healing on the Sabbath;
Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy” (Luke 6: 9)?
As we look at this episode, note that the prevailing belief in Judaism was that any bodily affliction was a punishment from God because of sin. Jesus’ desire to heal the man’s paralyzed hand would have been something evil if God were responsible for the infirmity as punishment. So if God is responsible for punishing people in this way because of their sins, then Jesus may be charged with doing evil for healing the man. Jesus is also saying that to do good is to save life. To do evil is to destroy. He is clearly communicating the fact that any form of killing or destruction of human life, including physical disease and infirmity, is not caused by God for they do not arise out of His principle. Jesus wants us to understand that to save life from destruction, which involves even healing sickness, is to do good, and this is part of His principle of life. Therefore He healed the paralytic. We may then conclude that any form of infirmity, sickness, death, and for that matter any and every form of degeneration of the human body is regarded as destroying life from God’s point of view, and this is evil in His eyes.