10 common satanic behaviors

After doing an in-depth study of the three places in Scripture where we find the voice of the devil speaking directly to someone else, I became convinced that many people look for the Devil in the wrong places.

This becomes even more clear when we observe how Scripture explicitly mentions Satan with reference to the ten characteristics below.

People rarely associate many of these behaviors with the evil one. Yet how do we explain the truth that, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (I John 5:19)?

It seems likely that his ways would be pervasively noticed throughout the world. And, in fact, we find this to be the case when we consider how common these ten characteristics are to human history.

  1. Conceit: (I Timothy 3:6)
  2. Willful rebellion: (Gen. 4:1-14 – observed in Cain – who belonged to the evil one; I John 3:12; cf. Isaiah 14:11-15)
  3. Discontentment: (Genesis 3:1-6)
  4. Selfish ambition: (James 3:13-16)
  5. Anger: (Ephesians 4:26-27)
  6. Murder: (John 8:44).
  7. Lying and deception: (John 8:44; II Corinthians 11:13-15)
  8. Envy: (I John 3:12;Isaiah 14:12-14)
  9. Prideful arrogance: (Luke 22:31-34; I Peter 5:5-9; James 4:6-7)
  10. Sexual temptation: (I Corinthians 7:3-5)

Steve Cornell

An Assault on God’s Care

There are only three narratives in the Bible that chronicle the voice of the devil speaking to someone else.

  1. Genesis 3-4 – Satan slandered God to man
  2. Job 1-2 – Satan slandered man to God
  3. Matthew 3-4 – Satan attacked the God-man

In those passages, themes emerge that provide significant insight into the character and strategy of Satan.

One theme that emerges is an explicit effort on the part of the evil one to assault the truth that God cares for His own.

In this audio message, I explore this assault.

Simply click here to listen: Caring For One Another

Steve Cornell

The history of Envy

The history of envy began with the ambition of a rebellious angel who said, “I will make myself like the Most High,” (Isaiah 14:14). The fallen angel then incited the suspicion of Eden, suggesting to the first humans, “You will be like God…” (Genesis 3:1-6). “Perhaps the Creator was keeping the goods to himself and depriving them of their full potential.”

Envy then appeared in the first human family as the motive to the first recorded act of homicide (Genesis 4). Cain, the first son of the first family was motivated by his envy of his younger brother, Abel.

Envy was the prelude in Cain’s heart that lead to an unimaginable act of homicide (fratricide), (see: Genesis 4). And to intensify the narrative of envy, according to Scripture, Cain “belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother” (I John 3:12).

Envy was also the motive behind the most vicious crime of history, the crucifixion of the Son of God. “The leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy” (Mark 15:10). Once again, the Evil one is behind this crime, for “the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus” (John 13:2).

Envy is a satanic trait. But it’s profoundly sobering and deeply disturbing to consider how envy feeds on the common sins of ingratitude and discontentment. Envy grows on a surveying spirit of resentment that carries the lethal potential of becoming bitter hatred toward the envied

Envy vandalizes joy and joyful community.

Someone suggested that envy is a venom whose anti-venom is hard to find. The only anti-venom powerful enough is love — which “…does not delight in evil” (I Cor. 13:5-6).

Envy (as it intensifies) targets its object to destroy it. An envious person doesn’t merely covet what another has; he resents him for having it. The envious person wants to see you fall; to see you lose; to see you suffer.

Envy is evil and vicious but it ultimately destroys the person who gives way to it. “Envy rots the bones, but a heart at peace gives life to the body” (Proverbs 14:30).

Envy fuels social cannibalism

Envy is a predatory motive behind behavior that can be found early in life. It has a bedfellow that the Germans call schadenfreude — a twisted and sadistic pleasure in the misfortune of others.

We see it in early form when siblings tattle on each other and find pleasure in seeing a brother or sister get in trouble. But don’t think the behavior is left to children. Adults are just as guilty — albeit in more disguised ways.

Envy and its evil cousin schadenfreude are universal evils found in every culture and class of people. They are often more prevalent among refined and ostensibly religious people. Be aware and warned of the lethal power in these evils.

See: “Are you a social cannibal?”

Steve Cornell

What we must know about Satan

The one known to us as Satan is a creature in rebellion against the Creator. The cause behind Satan’s rebellion is not strange to us. It is a strikingly common human characteristic and the cause behind many problems among people. Back to this in a moment.

First we must know that Satan is only a creature. This means that he falls under the sovereign rule of God. Regarding Satan’s activity, God essentially says, “This far and no more.” Satan is leashed and only God extends his leash.

The mystery in this apparent tension between the activity of Satan and the sovereignty of God is found in the severe trials that fell on the godly man named Job (Job 1,2).

Acting on permission from God, Satan attacked Job by using a combination of human malice (the Chaldeans and Sabeans attacked) and natural disaster (the fire of God fell from the heavens; a mighty wind swept in). Yet he acted only on God’s permission. And to take matters to another level, when Satan finished his attack, God took responsibility saying to Satan, “although you incited me against him (Job) to ruin him without any reason” (Job 2:3).

It is equally notable that Job himself did not attribute his calamity to secondary causes. In worship, he said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away,” “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (1:21; 2:10).

We must understand this truth about Satan being a mere creature in rebellion against his creator. Although Satan hopes to take the place of God, the word of the Lord is clear, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5).

Of course, like many other delusional people, Satan believes the version of himself that he has sold to himself. This takes us back to the cause behind his rebellion.

The only explicit reference to the sin that occasioned Satan’s rebellion and fall from his Creator is found in a qualification list for Church leaders. There we learn that an elder of the Church is not to be “a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil” (I Timothy 3:6, NASB).

Conceit is the original sin behind original sin. It is thinking too highly of oneself. Conceit is a pervasively global reality that stands behind countless tragic consequences throughout human history.

Conceit: ”Typhos”- cloud/smoke, to becloud, to be puffed up with an inflated view of oneself. Conceit is a nurtured focus on self that results in a violation of Romans 12:3 (thinking more highly of oneself than one ought). The original sin is conceit!

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm, but the harm does not interest them … or they do not see it, or they justify it … because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves” (T. S. Eliot ).

Have you ever thought of conceit as a Satanic characteristic? Would you think of a conceited person as being Satanic? Perhaps we’ve been looking for the devil in the wrong places!

This makes the warning of Scripture all the more urgent:

  • “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” (Romans 12:3).
  • “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:3).
  • “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (Luke 17:10).

Steve Cornell

A closer look at weakness

In his recent book, “Weakness is the way,” Dr. J. I. packer suggested that, “God does not allow us to stay with the idea that we are strong. O, we may have that idea. But the Lord is going to disabuse us of it one way or another and it will be good for us and give glory to Him when he does so.”  (J. I. Packer).

What do we mean by “weak”?

  • Depleted (during and after a sickness or some great emotional struggle)
  • Inferior
  • Inadequate
  • Insufficient
  • Lacking strength
  • Lacking resources
  • Inept, languid, powerless, feeble, vulnerable

Weakness is likely considered a defect to an otherwise good condition. Weakness can be 

  • a feeling
  • a condition
  • a position

We use the word in common ways:

  • “She is a weak person.”
  • “I have a real weakness for….”
  • “I was caught in a moment of weakness.”
  • “Their team has few weaknesses.”

When asked to fill out a reference form, we’re often requested to list the strengths and weaknesses of the individual.

Scriptures on weakness

  • Matthew 26:41 “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
  • I Corinthians 1:27 “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
  • Romans 8:31  “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”
  • Romans 14:1 “weak in faith”
  • I Corinthians 11:30 “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”
  • I Corinthians 15:43 “sown in weakness, it is raised in power;”
  • Romans 15:1 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.”
  • I Thessalonians 5:14 “we urge you, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak…”
  • Acts 20:35  “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
  • Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” 

Scriptures on strength

  • Joshua 1:5-6 – “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people…” 1:7 – “Be strong and very courageous” 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
  • Ephesians 6:10 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
  • II Timothy 2:1 – “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
  • Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you”
  • Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
  • II Timothy 4:16-17 – “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.”
  • Ephesians 3:16 – “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being”
  • Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

Key text: II Corinthians 12:7-10

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Corinthians 12:7-10).

A basic spiritual principle
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Spiritual power is experienced from a position of trust and dependence on the living God (Deuteronomy 8:3-5; Psalm 62:8;Proverbs 3:5-6).
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The turning point: vv.9-10 

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 

  • Move from passive resignation  (accepting what must be)
  • To active acceptance of God’s plan for giving strength and power through weakness.

Question:

What difference in perspective, attitude and emotion occurs when we exchange a mind-set of passive resignation for one of active acceptance?

Paul recognized the outcome – “so that Christ’s power may rest on me,” or “pitch its tent over me.” Then, in verse 10, he notches it up by offering an expanded list of afflictions: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.”

  • Did his circumstances change? Apparently not.
  • But the way he understood them changed and he received the answer he desired.
  • Was the thorn removed? No.
  • But sustaining grace and increased power turns thorns of Satan into thorns of grace.
  • His agonizing prayer was essentially: “How can I possibly continue with this thorn of affliction?” Answer: “See it as a thorn of grace that brings increased grace and increased power from Christ!”
  • How we choose to see things profoundly affects our perseverance.
  • One’s perspective can strengthen or diminish endurance.
  • We grow weary when we lose perspective in our trials. 

Earlier thought from Dr. Packer

“When we walk along a clear road feeling fine, and someone takes our arm to help us, as likely as not we shall impatiently shake him off; but when we are caught in rough country in the dark, with a storm getting up and our strength spent, and someone takes our arms to help us, we shall thankfully lean on him. And God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn thankfully to lean on him. Therefore he takes steps to drive us out of self-confidence to trust in himself.
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How does God accomplish this purpose? 

“Not by shielding us from assault by the world, the flesh and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstances, nor yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology; but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to him more closely. This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another — it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast”  (quotes above from, J. I. Packer, Knowing God).
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Steve Cornell

What do we know about satan?

“Men don’t believe in a devil now, As their fathers used to do; They reject one creed because it’s old For another because it’s new. If the devil is voted not to be, Is the verdict, therefore, true? Someone is surely doing the work The devil was thought to do. They may say the devil has never lived, They may say the devil is gone; But simple people would like to know Who carries the business on?” (G. Campbell Morgan)

 Giving the Devil his due
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  • Jesus taught his followers to pray (perhaps daily): “deliver us from the Evil one” (Matt. 6:13)
  • Jesus prayed for His followers – “keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
  • The apostle Paul warned believers to: “put on the whole armor of God” Why? So that they could, “…take their stand against the devils schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).
  • In Ephesians 6, believers were instructed to: “…take up the shield of faith” Why? So that they could, “…extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
  • What did the apostle Peter teach? “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith” ( I Peter 5:8,9, NLT).

Satan looks for unsuspecting victims. Be sober! Don’t drop your guard! Don’t under estimate the enemy! We must be informed about the evil one.

A. The origin and fall of Satan:

1. The origin of Satan: Satan originally belonged to the highest rank of angels. Satan was a guardian cherub, belonging to the group of cherubim angels.  The cherubim are those angels with closest access to God (Ex. 25:18-22; Ez. 28:14; 10:1-22; Rev. 4:6-8).  The cherubim had the occupation of guarding God=s holiness.  See also: Jude 9.

a. Ezekiel 28:11-15: The anointed Cherub.

In the above passage the prophet Ezekiel is pronouncing judgment on the King of Tyre. In the first ten verses of the chapter the prophet refers to him as the ruler of Tyre (28:1).  There is an obvious change of content in verses 11-19 where the prophet speaks the word of the Lord to the King of Tyre. Ezekiel was going behind the ruler of Tyre to the source of the evil, Satan.  The language of this passage could not have related to an earthly Ruler. The best understanding is that Satan is spoken of as the King of Tyre.

b. Isaiah 14:12: Lucifer – Morning Star.

The name ascribed to Satan in the above passage is Lucifer which means Star of the morning, or Shining one. Satan’s origin was one of beauty.  He was of the supreme angelic host who had access to the inner circle of God’s presence.  When we see Satan’s origin, it is hard to imagine how low he has fallen.

2. The fall of Satan: Satan was obviously created with a free will. Satan could choose to maintain his blessed position, or he could choose to rebel against God.  The Scripture teaches that Satan chose to rebel against God.

a. Ezekiel 28:15-19: Several things may be noted in the above passage about the fall of the anointed cherub.

1. Wickedness found in him: (v. 15) The wickedness was the sin of pride (v. 17a).  See I Tim. 3:6.
2. He merchandised sin: (v. 16a) Satan was not content to rebel on his own. He marketed his sin.
3. He was expelled from God’s presence; (v. 16b) The mount of God would seem to indicate God’s presence. Satan was expelled from his anointed position before the throne.

Although Satan is still allowed access to God (Job 1:6-12; Zech. 3:1-2), he will one day ultimately be expelled from God’s presence (Rev. 12:7-13).

b. Isaiah 14:12-14: The cause of Satan’s fall. The above passage is evidently a reference to Satan. Take careful note of the great claims in this passage.  The sin behind the fall of Satan was that of pride.  (see also: I Tim. 3:6 – The only explicit reference to the sin that occasioned Satan’s fall)

B. His titles and works

1. Titles: Many things can be learned about Satan and his work through a study of his names and titles.

a. Satan: An adversary (Mt. 4:10, 12:26; John 13:27)
b. The Devil: An accuser, or slanderer: Scripture teaches that there are many demons but only one devil (Heb. 2:14; Eph. 4:27; Matt. 4:1,5).
c. The evil one: I Jn. 5:18, 19 (NIV)
d. The tempter: Matt. 4:3
e. The serpent: Gen. 3:1-14; II Cor. 11:3
f. The great dragon: Rev. 12:7-9
g. The accuser: Rev. 12:10; Zech. 3:1
h. A roaring lion: I Pet. 5:8; Job 1:7
i.  A murderer and liar: Jn. 8:44
j. Disguised as an angel of light: II Cor. 11:14
k. Apollyon: the destroyer: Rev. 9:11
l. The ruler of the Kingdom of the air: Eph. 3;2; 6:11-12
m. The god of this age: II Cor. 4:4
n. The prince of this world: Jn. 14:30

2. Works: There are only three biblical passages where Satan may be observed speaking directly to someone else (Gen. 3 – slandering God to man; Job 1,2 – slandering man to God; Mt. 4 – slandering the God-Man). To gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of Satan’s work, these passages are the most important ones. In an overview of Satan’s work the following points should be considered.

a. He promotes disobedience: Gen. 3:1-6; Eph. 2:2
b. He possesses and works through people: Jn. 8:44; 13:2, 27; Acts 5:3
c. He causes sickness, calamity, and death: Acts 10:38; Lk. 13:16; Job 1:2; Heb. 2:14.
d. He tempts people to sin: I Chron. 21:1; Matt. 4:1-11
e. He disguises himself and his workers: II Cor. 11:14, 15; II Thess. 2:9; Col. 2:18.
f. He promotes disloyalty to God: Matt. 4:8,9.
g. He appeals to physical lusts and pride: Jn. 14:30 w/I Jn. 2:16; Eph. 2:1-3; I Tim. 3:6.
h. He promotes doubt about God’s character and word: Gen. 3:1-6; Jn. 8:44; II Tim. 4:3-4.
i. He hurls accusations against believers: Job 1; Rev. 12:10
j. He works through governments: Matt. 4:8; Dan. 10:13-20; Ez. 28
k. He works through his demons: (fallen angels): Jude 6; I Tim. 4:1-3; Rev. 12:9; Mark 5:1-20; 9:17-29; Lk. 9:37-43.
l. He blinds the minds of people so they will not accept the gospel: II Cor. 4:3,4
m. He prevents the Word of God from affecting certain people: Lk. 8:11-12
n. He promotes false teaching and teachers: I Tim. 4:1-2; II Tim. 3:5; II Pet. 2:1-2; I Jn. 4:1
o. He places false believers among true believers: Matt. 13:38-40; Acts 20:28-30
p. He promotes envy and selfishness: Jam. 3:14-16
q. He persecutes God’s people: Rev. 2:10; I Tim. 3:12
r. He opposes God’s servants: I Thess. 2:18
s. He will energize the antichrist: II Thess. 2:9,10

C. His defeat and destiny

1. Defeat:

Christ conquered Satan at the cross and secured victory for believers (Jn. 12:31; 16:11; Colo. 1:13; 2:14-15; I Jn. 3:8).  While it is true that the battle continues in this age (Eph. 6:10-12; I Pet. 5:8), the outcome of the battle does not hang in the balances. The believer, through Christ, can be aware of, resist, and stand against Satan’s schemes (II Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:27; 6:10-18; Js. 4:7; I Pet. 5:9).  We must always be prayerfully watchful (Col. 4:2; Eph. 6:18; Mk. 14:38; I Pet. 5:8).  Believers are safe from his ultimate designs (Jn. 10:28-29; Rom. 8:38-39).

2. Destiny: Satan’s destructive destiny under the judgment of God is outlined in Scripture:

a. He will be cast out of heaven: Rev. 12:7-12.
b. He will be bound during the thousand year reign of Christ: Rev. 20:1-3
c. He will be released at the end of the reign of Christ at which time he will lead a final rebellion against God: Rev. 20:7-9
d. He will be cast into the lake of fire forever: Rev. 20:10

Note: To order a set of Five CD’s on the character and strategy of Satan that Pastor Steve presented at Sandy Cove Bible Conference, call 717-872-4260. The cost is $10.00 for the set and case (plus shipping)

Steve Cornell

The history of evil

Why is evil a consistent part of human history everywhere in the world and in every human heart? What is evil? We all know that there is something horribly wrong with the world. If some feel an aversion to the word evil, what term do they suggest we use to describe what is self-evident to all?

What is the most plausible account for explaining the origin and reality of evil? There are not many accounts for the origin of evil available to us. 

The way the Bible answers questions about evil seems most plausible to the reality of what we see in the world and feel in our hearts. It tells the story of evil with a convergence of characters (see: Genesis 3:1-6).

It starts with a strange being who approached Eve (the first woman created by God) and offered her an alternative way of understanding God — a view of reality different from the one God revealed to her.

Eve had only known one way of seeing things – God’s way. But this character (whom we know as Satan or the Evil One) offered a different way of looking at life. He offered a different version of God and of what happens when one abandons God’s way.

The offer was made in an alluring context of self-interest. It was not offered in a detached philosophical way. It was a twisted version of reality to lure her to a different way of life – a way centered on self-rule.

It started with a subtle and twisted suggestion that God is overly restrictive in His demands. It moved to a blatant denial of the Divinely stated consequences of disobeying God’s will. Thus was introduced the Suspicion of Eden — the notion that the good life is outside of the will of God, not within it. No philosophical detachment in this offer.

In the predictable pattern of evil, Eve saw what was forbidden, desired it, took it and gave it (Genesis 3:6). The generational consequences have been disastrous! (see: Genesis 3-4; Romans 5:12ff.).

Seven consequences emerge — each affecting a major area of human existence and providing a background to the primary occupational majors at the Universities. 

These consequences correspond directly with the human story from our beginning to this day. They included the following: 

  1. Physiological: death, decay, sickness and suffering (Gen. 3:17-19;Ro. 5:12;8:19ff)
  2. Psychological: shame, guilt, fear (Gen. 3:7).
  3. Sociological: blame-shifting, alienation, separation (Gen. 3:8, 12-13; Isa. 53:6). 
  4. Ecological: ground is cursed, thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:17-19).
  5. Spiritual: hiding from God, enmity: seed of woman and seed of Serpent (Gen. 3:8,15, 4:1-15;I Jn 3:12;Isa. 59:1-2).
  6. Epistemological: distorted thinking, spiritual blindness (II Cor. 4:3-6; Rom. 1:28). The noetic affects.
  7. Criminalmurder! (fratricide) – Genesis 4 – Cain kills his younger brother Abel.

It should not be missed that our Colleges and Universities offer majors related to each of the seven areas above (e.g. doctors, psychologists, sociologists, environmentalists, ministers, philosophers, law enforcement).

Extended Results in Genesis 4

Corresponding with reality on every corner of the globe, throughout all of human history, the results observed in the first offspring of Adam and Eve are tragic expressions of human existence: rebellion, anger, envy, hatred, bitterness, lying and murder. One can only imagine the grief that filled Eve’s heart at the death of her second-born son (Abel) at the hands of her first-born son (Cain). It is without irony that Cain is identified as a member of Satan’s family (I John 3:11-13cf. John 8:44).

Think about it

Because we were made in the image and likeness of God, we see benevolent acts of goodness and heroism among humans. Because we are fallen, we observe (and participate in) malevolent acts and vast degrees of evil and violence on earth.

According to Genesis 3, sin appeared very early in the history of our race. In this chapter our first parents try to be ‘like God, knowing good and evil,’ and succeed only in alienating themselves from God and from each other. They choose to believe the tempter rather than their Maker and turn their garden into a bramble patch.  The good and fruitful earth becomes their foe (Genesis 3:17-18; cf. 4:11-14), and their own sin then rises in a terrible crescendo.  Adam and Eve’s pride and disbelief trigger revolt, scapegoating, and flight from God (Gen. 3:4-5, 10, 12-13).”

“Their first child ups the ante: Cain resents and kills his brother, Abel, launching the history of envy that leads to murder. Like his parents and the rest of the race, Cain refuses to face his sin (‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’) and is exiled by God to a place ‘east of Eden.’ In a phrase that suggests the restlessness of all who are alienated from God, Cain becomes ‘a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth’” (Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not The Way It’s Supposed to Be).

Steve Cornell