Introduction: How did evil arise in the perfect universe
created by God? Some Christians say that imperfect humans
can never fully understand a perfect and all-knowing God.
That is true, but some questions go to the very nature of
our relationship with God. Did evil arise because part of
God is evil? Perhaps our perfect universe was not so
perfect? While God tells us in Genesis how evil entered our
world as a result of the decisions of Adam and Eve, how did
evil enter the heart of the serpent (Satan) who tempted them
to embrace evil? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and
see what we can find has been revealed to us by our loving
Father in Heaven!

I. The Mystery

A. Read Matthew 13:27. Is this essentially the
question that we have about how evil came to be
when our God planted “good seed?” (Yes.)

B. Read Matthew 13:24-26 to find Jesus’ answer. Jesus
says this story teaches us a lesson about the
Kingdom of Heaven. What does it teach us about the
origin of evil in this field? (An enemy sowed the
weeds. That is how “evil” appeared in this field
of good seed. “The man” planted good seed.)

1. What questions does this naturally raise? (Who
is this enemy, where did he come from, and
what reason does he have to try to ruin the
field of wheat?)

2. When we apply this parable to humans there is
one problem, it was the “good seed” that
sinned. Satan did not import bad people into
Eden. How do you explain this?

II. The Origin of Evil

A. Read Ezekiel 28:12. What do we learn about the
origin of the “King of Tyre?” (He was the “signet”
of perfection” and “perfect in beauty.” Signet
reminds us of a “signet ring” used to seal
documents. Thus, this means that this person bore
the seal of perfection.)

B. Read Ezekiel 28:13. Wait a minute! How many people
were in Eden, according to Genesis? (We are told
about Adam and Eve, and none other are described
as being present except God and the serpent that
tempted Eve.)

1. Using the process of elimination, who is the
King of Tyre? (He must be the serpent.)

C. Read Genesis 3:1 and Revelation 12:9. Let’s think
about this a minute. Satan is not actually a
snake. He was the power behind the snake (or he
took the form of a snake). Can you see a
similarity with the King of Tyre – that Satan is
the power behind the King or took the form of the
King? (I think that must be the case because I
feel confident Eden had no king, other than God,
and He does not come from Tyre!)

D. Read Ezekiel 28:14. Where else is this King of
Tyre? (“On the holy mountain of God.”)

1. Where is that? (Read Isaiah 14:12-14. This is
a reference to heaven. This guy gets around!)

E. Read Ezekiel 28:15. Note this says that Satan was
created and that at some point in time
“unrighteousness was found in [him].”

1. Does this explain how a perfectly created
being could have unrighteousness suddenly
arise? (No.)

F. Read Ezekiel 28:17-18. What seems to be the defect
in Satan? (Vanity over his beauty.)

1. What do you think is meant by “your trade”
that “profaned your sanctuaries?”

2. Re-read Isaiah 14:12-14 and read Job 1:6-9.
What do these two references suggest is the
nature of the relationship between God and
Satan? (They are rivals in that Satan wants to
be God. This is consistent with Satan’s

3. Can being perfect and beautiful be a defect?

4. Consider your life. If the original sin is
pride (based on beauty) why would Satan
believe that he should take God’s place?

a. Is all pride illogical?

G. I want to take a deeper dive into the pride,
beauty, value question. Re-read Ezekiel 28:13.
When was this jewelry created for Satan? (“On the
day that you were created they were prepared.”)

1. Who prepared this jewelry for Satan? (It must
have been God. Certainly, it had to be done at
His direction.)

2. Is this jewelry part of the pride of beauty
issue? (That is what the text suggests.)

3. What lesson do you learn from this? (Beauty,
precious stones, gold (like money) have
nothing inherently wrong with them. Just the
opposite, they are beautiful. The problem
comes when a human does what Satan did – begin
to believe that they make you more important
that others. In Satan’s case he thought it
made him more important than God. This is the
illogical nature of pride.)

H. Read Revelation 12:4. What results from Satan’s
rivalry with God? (That a third of the angels
supported Satan in his challenge to God.)

1. How could that happen? (We know in that in
Eden Adam and Eve had free choice. This shows
that in heaven, the angels had free choice.)

I. Assume that we have looked at all of the pertinent
facts in the Bible about the origin of sin. What
do you conclude is the “defect” in the perfect
creation that allowed sin to enter? (Pride is the
motivating problem coupled with free choice. Satan
chose to challenge God’s sovereignty. Angels chose
to reject God. We saw that same thing with Adam
and Eve in Eden.)

1. Is free choice a defect? Would you want to
live among people who had no choice about
whether they wanted to be your friend?

J. Read 1 John 4:7. Answer a more fundamental
question, does true love require free choice?
Would you truly feel loved if your spouse and your
children had no choice in the matter?

III. God’s View

A. We have considered the “defect” question. Love
requires free choice and free choice coupled with
illogical pride opens the door to sin. Do you have
mixed feelings about the need for full free

1. There is a strong current among young people
today that individuals should not have free
choice – for example no one should be able to
choose to express hate. No one should be able
to express hate. Do you agree with this?

2. One problem is defining “hate.” Among many
young people “hate” is anything that they do
not like. The Bible, for example, is a source
of “hate” because it declares that certain
choices are sinful and lead to death. Would
any limits on free choice present love

B. Read 1 John 4:9. Put your self in God’s place. You
know that showing absolute love, which requires
complete free choice, means that Your Son will
suffer embarrassment, torture, and death. Would
you give free choice if that was the price? (Our
minds cannot grasp the mind of God, but we can
look at the choices that He made and draw
conclusions from them. The obvious conclusion is
that if God had another way to show absolute love,
He would have chosen it.)

C. Read Matthew 26:39. Was God the Father listening
to Jesus’ prayer?

1. What is the answer to Jesus’ prayer? (There
was no other way. We now are certain that
God’s decision making was just as we
discussed. He had no other way to show
absolute love and free choice.)

2. Think about this with regard to the important
decisions that you make in your life. How
crucial is giving free choice to humans when
it comes to their relationship with God?

3. How important is it in your life to separate
beauty from pride?

D. Friend, when evil comes into your life and you are
tempted to blame God, think about what we have
just studied. God has such absolute love for us
that He was willing to die to allow us to choose
to reject Him. Will you respond to God’s love by
choosing Him?

IV. Next week: Death in a Sinful World.

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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Holy Spirit as you study.