International Conferences for Clergy
Questions And Answers
ICC - Questions And Answers - The Fall Of Man, Lucifer And Satan
QUESTION: 1. If God created all things but not Satan, does this mean that Satan stands outside God's power to create or effect?
ANSWER: God created the Heavenly being Lucifer. To state that God did not create Satan, means that God is not responsible for the corruption of Lucifer, the heavenly being who became Satan. Ultimately, it is Adam who must bear the brunt of responsibility for the fall, for if Adam had kept faith in the commandment, the fall would have not taken place. Satan certainly attempts to contest God's power and can, in the temporal, frustrate a particular desire of God (for example Isaiah chapter 5) but that the doom of Satan is assured is of no doubt. God will always get the victory. Why God did not stop the fall (and thus seemingly allow Satan's existence) will be discussed some other time.
QUESTION: 2. You claim that the fallen angel was to serve God's children. Would a just God ask a fallen angel to serve His children?
ANSWER: The fallen angel was not created by God as a fallen angel. Lucifer was created good (see Ezekiel 28:12-19). Lucifer originally had a status and a position of goodness. In that position he was to fulfill a role to guide or protect Adam and Eve in their growth to perfection (he is referred to as a covering cherub in Ezekiel 28:12-19). When the angel fell and tempted Eve, he was in fact also falling away from his God ordained role, not unlike when a preacher called by and inspired by God, turns from that calling and misuses his position to further his own self-centered purpose.
QUESTION: 3. You said that a literal animal could not speak and therefore the serpent in Eden, which spoke, was not literal. What about Balaam's donkey which literally spoke (in Numbers 22:21-32)?
ANSWER: Numbers 22:28 tells that it was the Lord who opened the mouth of Balaam's donkey. This was a miracle of God. Genesis doesn't say that Satan opened the mouth of the serpent or that Satan spoke through the serpent. There is no scriptural evidence that Satan took on the form of a serpent, no more than the Pharisees took on the form of a serpent when Jesus called them serpents, a brood of vipers. The meaning of "serpent" in this case and in Eden is symbolic of wily cunning and corrupted wisdom (see Ezekiel 28:12-19).
QUESTION: 4. Ezekiel 28:12 states that Satan was perfect in beauty, how could he have fallen if he was perfect?
ANSWER: Not Satan, but the angel who fell and was cast out to become the corrupted distorted being Satan. Being perfect in beauty does not mean perfect in quality or spiritual maturity beyond the potential for sin. If the angel was perfect in the truest sense with the regard to the fulfillment of God's plan and potential for him and still corruption was found in him, then we would be making God the author of his corruption. But clearly scripture shows that the angel was responsible for his own corruption, not God.
QUESTION: 5. You completely omit the three part nature of the temptation used by Satan which appealed to their vanity, not sexual intercourse. She thought to be like God, equal with God.
ANSWER: But vanity is a part of the nature of sin, a nature which Eve still in the pure un-fallen state, did not posses. Eve was being deceived. To desire to become like God is not inherently evil nor does it suggest the desire to compete or become equal with God, no more than a child wanting to become like his parent constitute an affront to the position of the parent. The origin of the fall centered in the corruption of love, the result of which are all the natures of sin, pride, arrogance, and many others as well as vanity. Eve's failure was not the result of an already predisposed nature to sin, but rather that she was remiss in her responsibility to obey the commandment in faith, and thus she failed.
QUESTION: 6. Where in God's word is Lucifer called a guardian angel or archangel?
ANSWER: See Ezekiel 28:14, 16. The angel who sins in Eden is referred to as "The Covering Cherub". "Covering in this context (and in the original Hebrew) means something akin to protector or guardian. NIV also uses the term "Guardian Cherub". This is not to be confused, however, with the doctrine of guardian angels.
QUESTION: 7. Please list some scripture which says that Satan was cast into hell.
ANSWER: The Hebrew word for Hell is sheol. Isa. 14:15 indicates that Lucifer was cast into hell (sheol).
QUESTION: 8. What if Satan were successful totally? What would happen to God and his power?
ANSWER: Goodness is predestined. The ultimate accomplishment of God's original will for His Kingdom is also predestined. What is not predestined is when it will be accomplished. That involves man's responsibility: faith in God's word.
QUESTION: 9. How long did it take for Satan to convince Eve to disobey God's word? Was it responsibility or choice? They have a responsibility to keep the garden.
ANSWER: I don't know how long it took. Probably no more than most illicit affairs. Adam and Eve were responsible to obey the commandment in faith. As long as they kept that condition they would have the power to avoid temptation. Once they denied the commandment, they lost the power to avoid the overpowering desire for illicit love, which is the only force stronger than the force of truth. This is why God gave the commandment. The power of faith and the power of love together would be strong enough to keep the power of love in check. As Eve gave up the commandment, she simultaneously lost the freedom to choose and became dominated by sin desire. Therefore, in our view, the fall is not a result of freedom, but rather the result of the loss of freedom in failing to obey the commandment.
QUESTION: 10. Where is Satan now? Does he, in a physical way, have a headquarter somewhere in the world?
ANSWER: Satan is a spiritual entity. Satan does, however, through the work of demons maintain influence on earth. Satan inspired the mind of Judas to betray the Christ, Satan likewise inspired the mind of Karl Marx to invent the ideology or God-denying Communism.
QUESTION: 11. Will Satan live forever or will there come a time when he will cease to exist in our universe?
ANSWER: He is destined for doom at the conclusion of God's dispensation. He will lose his claim and dominion over man an this world.
QUESTION: 12. When Lucifer exalted himself above mankind when he tempted Eve, how can you say that he retained that elevated position when Gen. 3:14 says that the serpent was cursed to be lower than the cattle and every beast of the field, to go on his belly and to eat dust. Were he and the beast above mankind?
ANSWER: God also cursed Adam and Eve, who fell under the rule of the angel. That mankind is under the dominion of Satan can be of little doubt. If we consider scripture declaring Satan to be ruler of this world and god of this world. Also Jesus indicated that sinners do the will of their "father" the devil (2Cor. 4:4; John 12:31; John 8:44).
QUESTION: 13. God cursed the serpent and said you shall eat dust of the ground and go on your belly. What is your understanding of this passage?
ANSWER: It is the symbolic representation of what is literally described in Isa. 14:12-15, Eze 28:12-19, that is, the casting down of the angel from his position and status as a heavenly angel of God.
QUESTION: 14. Is Satan Michael the Archangel?
ANSWER: No, Lucifer (Isa 14:12)
QUESTION: 15. How does your view of Old Testament chronology correspond to the Hebrew view, especially with regard to your assertion that lucifer fell after the creation of Adam and Eve and not before.
ANSWER: Divine Principle views Old Testament chronology in accord with most Old Testament scholars. Basically 4000 years from Adam to Jesus or 3600 years from Adam to Malachi. As far as the timing of the fall, few Hebrews scholars would find a scriptural basis for a pre-creation fall of Lucifer.
QUESTION: 16. Did Lucifer leave or was he booted out? What is the implication of either believe?
ANSWER: Because Lucifer was in violation of God's law and principle, he could no longer remain in the state of heaven. Lucifer was responsible for his own failure and was cast out through the judgement of God's word. Only truthful, principled beings can remain in heaven.
QUESTION: 17. When was the fall and war in heaven that caused Lucifer to be thrown down from Heaven? Was this before or after the creation of Adam and Eve?
ANSWER: Lucifer was cast out of Heaven after the creation of Man. First of all there is no solid scripture which unequivocally dates the fall of the angel before the creation of the world. Mostly it is based on a supposed "gap" between verse 1 and 2 in the first chapter of Genesis. We would not agree with this view. We see the fall of the angel very directly linked to the sin in Eden for which the serpent (the angel) was cursed. Ezekiel 28:12-17 also shows that the angel who is cast down is in Eden and has not yet fallen (is called a model of perfection). The curse to the serpent that he should crawl on his belly on the earth is symbolic of the spiritual casting down of the angel.
QUESTION: 18. Did Lucifer fall after Adam and Eve was placed in the Garden of Eden?
ANSWER: The fall of Lucifer is indelibly linked to the fall of Eve and Adam. We see in Ezekiel 28:12-19, the Angel who falls and is cast out, is in Eden and has not yet fallen. Also we know that the curse to the serpent (Lucifer) came only after the fall of Adam and Eve. The curse that the serpent should crawl on the ground is symbolic of the "casting down" mentioned in Isa 14:12-15, and Ezekiel 28:12-17.
QUESTION: 19. In what way did Adam have spiritual fornication with Lucifer. After all, he ate of the fruit as well. Why would he suddenly seek corrupted love? Wasn't he by his wife's side during all of this?
ANSWER: Lucifer gave the fruit to Eve and then Eve to Adam. This means that Lucifer engaged in spiritual fornication with Eve. The result of the spiritual fall is that the nature of sin (Satan's nature) was transferred from the fallen angel to Eve. Eve then committed fornication with Adam (which was of course spiritual and physical). Through the physical fall, Satan's nature, the sin nature in Eve was passed on to her intended husband Adam. Lucifer, therefore, did not have a direct fornication with Adam. Adam received the sin nature from his relationship with Eve who received it from the fallen angel.
All of the descendants of Adam and Eve received the sin nature by way of the ancestral link to Adam and Eve. For more on the meaning of eating the fruit see Proverbs 30:20 and Song of Songs 4:12-16.
QUESTION: 20. Satan as a being with power, evolved during the intertestamental period, a developed thought that began with the Hebrews during their stay in Persia. Is it your belief that the "Satan" idea has further evolved or that Satan is a being, an entity.
ANSWER: The spiritual world is a real place. After the fall, man lost the ability to perceive and understand the realm. Thus through myths, superstitions and legends, man thought to come to terms with the "hereafter" and the prospects for eternal life. God, through the process of gradual revelation, has been step by step, elevating man's awareness of the truth of the spiritual life and the realities of the spiritual world. This does not mean that our myths and superstitions are just becoming more sophisticated. God through revealing higher and higher degrees of truth in history is moving man from myth to reality, from ignorance to enlightenment. We also fully recognize that process is not exclusive to the Judeo-Christian heritage, as is the Bible not the only inspired book of God. With regard to Satan, let me just say we are dealing with an actual spiritual personality, clothed in thousands of years of mythology, superstition and fear.
QUESTION: 21. Is it wrong to consider the devil (negative force) a necessary part of God? Isn't negativity necessary in order for positivity to have value?
ANSWER: Negativity is not evil. Negativity is a compliment to positivity. Positivity and negativity harmonize centering on a higher common purpose. Good and Evil do not harmonize, have no common higher purpose centering on which they can unite. For this reason good and evil contradict each other. God is a God of goodness, God's plan is for goodness. Anything that falls outside the sphere of relationship with God is evil. In order for a being to maintain it's relationship with God, it must follow the principle of harmonized relationship between subject and object. Any being that stands in defiance of this principle of this principle falls out of relationship with God.
Value is achieved when subject and object, centering on a higher common purpose, achieve harmony.
QUESTION: 22. How could Adam's incidental partaking of Satan's nature through Eve's transgression make him guilty in any way? God asked him what he had done. His response indicated that he had done something when he said the woman "beguiled me".
ANSWER: Eve giving the "fruit" to Adam means that the sin of Lucifer and Eve was repeated with Adam and Eve. Eating the fruit is a symbol for fornication and adultery. Adam is far from being just an innocent bystander in the process of the Original Sin. Adam and Eve received the commandment from God, it was Adam's responsibility to obey that commandment. Not only that, but Adam was to protect and safeguard Eve in her role of faith. Adam's declaration that "the woman beguiled me" is merely a weak attempt to transfer blame from himself (as described in Prov. 30:20). Notice that God does not respond to Adam's claim of innocence and curses him anyway.
QUESTION: 23. What was the sin of Satan?
ANSWER: Tempting Eve with the "fruit". The fruit is a symbol of love. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is a symbol for immature love and therefore should not be "consumed". See Song of Songs 4:12-16 for the meaning of the "fruit". Gen. 6:2 and Jude 1:6-7 give us a clear insight into the sin of the angels. Lucifer engaged in an unprincipled spiritual fornication with Eve which was reciprocated with her intended husband. The nature of the Original Sin has been passed to all the descendants of Adam and Eve.
QUESTION: 24. Was Satan cast down to the Earth before man was created?
ANSWER: There is no scriptural evidence to indicate such, other than an alleged "gap" between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2. There are other reasons why we would not agree with the gap theory: The gap theory becomes even more implausible from the perspective of the original Old Testament Hebrew; It doesn't jive with Ezekiel 28:12-17, which paces the angel, who falls, in Eden in a not yet fallen condition (called a model of perfection); The angel is not cursed until after the fall of man. The curse pronounced to the "serpent" is actually the symbolic representation of what is literally rendered in Isa.14:12-15; That Lucifer wanted to raise his throne above the "stars" of God also indicates the existence of God's children (Adam and Eve). For the meaning of "stars", see Gen. 37:9-10, Rev. 22:16.
QUESTION: 25. You said that the garden incident was not God "testing" His own, yet if it wasn't God permitting the serpent's activities, it would not have happened. How does the garden incident relate to God allowing Satan to test Job?
ANSWER: There is a very significant difference between Adam, before the fall, and Job. Adam, before the fall, is in the state of sinlessness and is within the parameters of God's love. Job is born with the sin nature and in need of salvation. God needs to test sinners. Adam was not yet a sinner, he was a pure child of God. God giving the commandment, therefore, was not a test, but a responsibility to enjoin with God in His own government and discipline. Fulfilling this role would give Adam the moral base for his freedom and thus his potential to be a being of love.
We did not discuss the motive of Eve or Adam because of time. The key, however, is the original motive of Lucifer because he instigated the fallen action, not Adam and Eve.
QUESTION: 26. If God created all things, yet you say He did not create Satan or evil, where did evil or Satan come from? If God created all things good, then would it stand to reason that good of itself is able to corrupt itself?
ANSWER: Satan is the fallen angel Lucifer. God created Lucifer and as an original being of God, was created to be good. Lucifer fell and became the being that we identify with the name Satan. So in answer to your question, Satan came about when Lucifer fell outside the sphere of God's law and love. Evil is the result of any being that is not in relationship with God. Evil is that which is outside the sphere of God's love and principle.
God created all things good, yes, but He did not create all things in the state of perfection. Adam and Eve had to fulfill a responsibility of faith in the Commandment in order to grow to perfection. That ideal of perfection is symbolized by the Tree of Life. Therefore, in the growing period, God's relationship with Adam and Eve is conditional on faith. If Adam and Eve fail in their responsibility, they will fall outside the sphere of God's law and control. Sadly, this is exactly what took place.
QUESTION: 27. Who made Lucifer? How do you identify your theology as different from traditional dualism? That which the Church has called the "Fall" might also be understood as part of Creation's agenda. Choice is one of God's good gifts. To exercise it is not rebellion but rather fulfillment.
ANSWER: God made Lucifer. I never said, nor does the Principle state that Lucifer and angels were not the creation of God. I did say that God did not intend for Lucifer to corrupt himself to become Satan and therefore, Satan, is not a creation of God. I never said that Satan was an eternal creature with no beginning and end, co-existing with God. Satan came about through the self-corruption of Lucifer the angel. We should not confuse the Divine Principle view of "dual characteristics" with the philosophy of "dualism". Divine Principle fully affirms the "ex nihilo" nature of the creation.
Freedom is a conditional environment. Freedom (and free choice) are maintained when Adam would fulfill his responsibility to keep God's commandment. There is nothing inherently good about "Choice". Choice must gain the quality of goodness by following and subjecting itself to a guideline, of truth (and goodness). When "Choice" steps outside that guideline, the quality of freedom is lost. Sin is never really a "choice" resultant of freedom, but rather an act resultant of overwhelming desire. Overwhelming desire is the result of the vacuum created by the rejection of the righteous guideline of true choice. It is why sin carries within it, the nature of habit and the quality of slavery and addiction. Adam and Eve, did not freely choose evil. Adam and Eve failed in their responsibility to maintain their orientation to God's commandment (the guideline of free choice). When they stepped outside that guideline, they were overcome and controlled by excessive desire, resulting in their fall.
QUESTION: 28. Who created Lucifer and the angels other than God, the creator of all? And toward what end? If they were created, as you say, to be servants but they fell, then did God err? Or did these beings come from elsewhere.... as in "dualism"? What is your textual basis for the notion the angels were created before Man?
ANSWER: God did create Lucifer and all the angelic beings. I never said that God did not create Lucifer. I said that God did not create Lucifer to be Satan... God did not create Satan. Satan is the corrupt form of Lucifer. Lucifer corrupted himself to become the being we identify as Satan. No exact chronology of who was created when, exists in the scripture, other then the undeniable fact that Adam and Eve were the last aspect of God's creation, created on the sixth and final day.
QUESTION: 29. Isn't it possible that the serpent could have been used as a medium buy Satan? There area a lot of possibilities here, how could you be so dogmatic?
ANSWER: Our view of the events of the Garden of Eden are not just based on the story of Eden. As we study the entire scope of restoration history recorded in the Bible, the Divine Principle reveals reoccurring patterns in the families of Adam, Noah, Abraham and the ensuing history manifested through the central lineage of Jesus. Those reoccurring patterns find their common parallel with the events in Eden. The reason we can observe this is because the very purpose of history is the cleansing or indemnifying of those events which took place in Eden and thus, Biblical history gives us key insight into what those events were.
QUESTION: 30. If the serpent was only a symbol, how could there be a sexual relationship between a physical being and a symbol?
ANSWER: Serpent is a symbol of the fallen angel Lucifer. It was Lucifer who carried out the fallen relationship with Eve.
QUESTION: 31. If Lucifer fell in Heaven, how is it possible for such corruption to enter Heaven, a holy place?
ANSWER: Corruption did not enter Heaven. Lucifer was in Heaven before he was cast out of Heaven. While Lucifer was in Heaven, he was in a position, status, and identity of goodness. As Lucifer began the process of the fall, the process of his corruption, he became more and more unqualified to remain in the environment of Heaven, which demands total purity. When Lucifer fell with Eve, he was totally disqualified and purged from Heaven.
QUESTION: 32. Do you teach that Adam and Eve did not have sex before Eve sinned with Lucifer? Do you teach that Adam sinned in procreating with Eve? Were both Cain and Abel corrupt?
ANSWER: There is no Biblical evidence that Adam "knew" his wife before they "ate" the "fruit" from the Tree of "Knowledge".
The procreation of a sinful lineage was not the plan of God. However, in spite of Adam's sin, he still had to procreate in order to set the lineage from which ultimately salvation would emerge. The relationship Adam had in eating "the fruit" with Eve was fornication because it passed on the nature of sin that had been imbued to Eve from Lucifer. That sin imbued into Eve, passed on to Adam, is then bequeathed to all of Adam's descendants (Cain and Abel as well as all mankind). Though Abel made a righteous offering and was deemed righteous, he was neither sinless nor free from the need for salvation through Christ, the living Adam ( see Hebrews 11:1-40).
QUESTION: 33. What kind of symbol do you suggest that the serpent was? Why was Eve not surprised by the "symbol" speaking to her?
ANSWER: Symbolic does not mean insignificant or that there is no substantial reality behind the symbol. The "symbol" "serpent" represents the wily cunning of Lucifer the archangel. Lucifer was very real and was the guardian cherub in Eden. He is the tempter, not a literal serpent in Eden.