IF GOD MAKES YOU DO IT, THEN YOU'RE NOT SINNING
The following is a quotation from A. E. Knoch:
"All evil which is done with due authority, such as paternal or political, whether inflicted by parents upon their children, or masters upon their servants, or the state on its subjects, or God on His creatures (of which the rest are but figures) loses its "immoral" quality because it is salutary and corrective. Its morality lies, not in the evil, but in the relation sustained between the one who inflicts and the one who suffers. Consequently, even moral evil, committed by criminal men, loses its immoral quality when referred back to the One Whose purpose was being effected by the evil and Who not only has the undoubted right to inflict it but Whose every act will yet receive the undivided applause of the universe."
This is my analysis:
Mr. Knoch was in Nazi Germany until he came back to the US in 1939, so you can see why that argument, "I was just following orders", at the War Crimes trial at Nuremburg after the war was so popular among the Nazi's—it was the fatalistic teaching of the State Church of the Lutherans and the atheistic Rationalists (Knoch was influenced by this as it was considered patriotic and intellectually sophisticated). So the argument, that if you are given authority by an evil man or a criminal organization, that the evil you do somehow loses its "immorality", no it is still SIN.
Since God IS good, nothing He causes any of His created beings to do, even if it is said to be "evil" is a sin. Since God is GOOD, everything He creates in its original state will be good, because it is created "out of God", Who is Good.
Gen. 1:3and God saith, `Let light be;' and light is. 4And God seeth the light that [it is] GOOD, and God separateth between the light and the darkness,
Gen. 1:9And God saith, `Let the waters under the heavens be collected unto one place, and let the dry land be seen:' and it is so. 10And God calleth to the dry land `Earth,' and to the collection of the waters He hath called `Seas;' and God seeth that [it is] GOOD.11And God saith, `Let the earth yield tender grass, herb sowing seed, fruit-tree (whose seed [is] in itself) making fruit after its kind, on the earth:' and it is so. 12And the earth bringeth forth tender grass, herb sowing seed after its kind, and tree making fruit (whose seed [is] in itself) after its kind; and God seeth that [it is] GOOD;
Gen. 1:16And God maketh the two great luminaries, the great luminary for the rule of the day, and the small luminary -- and the stars -- for the rule of the night; 17and God giveth them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, 18and to rule over day and over night, and to make a separation between the light and the darkness; and God seeth that [it is] GOOD; 20And God saith, `Let the waters teem with the teeming living creature, and fowl let fly on the earth on the face of the expanse of the heavens.' 21And God prepareth the great monsters, and every living creature that is creeping, which the waters have teemed with, after their kind, and every fowl with wing, after its kind, and God seeth that [it is] GOOD.
Gen. 1:24And God saith, `Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind:' and it is so. 25And God maketh the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, and God seeth that [it is] GOOD.
Gen. 1: 31And God seeth all that He hath done, and lo, VERY GOOD; and there is an evening, and there is a morning -- day the sixth. (Young’s Literal Translation)
The point is, everything God originally creates is GOOD, in fact VERY GOOD, because He is good. Anything done under His power could not be sin; sin can only originate due to a lesser being rebelling against God. If everything Satan did was the result of God doing it, it would be impossible for him to SIN (miss the mark), if what Adam did in the garden, by eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, was God's doing, then it wouldn't have been a sin, or transgression, or disobedience, or an offense against God, since Adam would have only been doing God's will, and since God is Good, and not an evil being, or a criminal organization, it could not have been rebellion, it would have been following God's orders, doing the will of God, even His intention. When God makes a creature do anything, whether it is good or evil, it cannot be a sin, because God is not evil, but GOOD. That is why it is impossible for the lower animals to sin, only man and the previously created celestial beings can sin, because they were created and endowed with certain divine qualities (creative abilities if you will), the ability to think beyond stimuli in their environment, and tool making, and a God awareness. This is where man has much in common with his Creator, the ability to CREATE 1 Pet. 2:12 "having your behavior among the nations ideal, that in that in which they are speaking against you as of evildoers, by being spectators of ideal acts they should be glorifying God in the day of visitation. 13 You may be subject to every human CREATION because of the Lord, whether to the king, as a superior," (CLNT)
Government and the laws of man are an example of human creation; man has this ability in common with God. It is God given, along with the responsibility of the rules to be GOOD.
So if Satan is sinning, he does so in rebellion to God, when God gives permission to Satan for some particular errand, Satan is not sinning in that commission, neither is God, even though it may involve evil and suffering for others (the book of Job being an example of this). But we do read of Satan sinning, could this be a hint as to what occurred in Eden?
John 8:40 Yet now you are seeking to kill Me, a Man Who has spoken to you the truth which I hear from God. This Abraham does not do. 41 Yet you are doing the works of your father." They say to Him, "We were not born of prostitution! One Father have we, God!" 42 Jesus, then, said to them, "If God were your Father, you would have loved Me. For out of God I came forth and am arriving. For neither have I come of Myself, but He commissions Me. 43 Wherefore do you not know My speech? Seeing that you can not hear My word. 44 You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do. He was a man-killer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for truth is not in him. Whenever he may be speaking a lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it. (CLNT)
When did Satan, first LIE? When did he become a MAN-KILLER? Well, the first man was Adam, so Satan couldn't have been a man-killer before there was a man to kill. And if Satan had been doing God's work in the Garden, he wouldn't have sinned, and if what he said to Eve had been God's words, then he wouldn't have been a father of lies or a liar. Here's another passage:
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one be deceiving you. He who is doing righteousness is just, according as He is just. 8 Yet he who is doing sin is of the Adversary, for from the beginning is the Adversary sinning. For this was the Son of God manifested, that He should be annulling the acts of the Adversary. (CLNT)
I believe that everything God creates, in its original state is GOOD. God created several powerful spirit beings, one of them became a diabolos (Satan, mischief-maker). If God had made him this in the beginning, then he could not have sinned, because he would be doing exactly what God had planned for him to do. But if he did evil on his own initiative, and went contrary to God's wishes and disobeyed God, then he would have sinned. We are told very little about Satan's beginning rebellion. Common sense would dictate that we not go beyond what is written, many foolish things have been imagined about Satan, let's not stray far from what God has revealed in His Word.
The earliest record of SIN is recorded in Gen. 2, and Paul in Romans 5 tells us that "through one man sin entered into the world" (Rom. 5:12). Satan was there in the guise of a beautiful Serpent, and Scripture doesn't reveal an earlier sin event. Other scriptures, such as Ezek. 28, Isa. 14, or Job 26:13 are often used as proofs of Satan's first sin, but any honest reader of the text would (in my opinion) have to say that way too much imagination and reading between the lines is required to see that. This is what leads people astray, refusing to take God's plain statements, and looking for answers where they don't exist.
So, the solution to this (sin-evil problem) is not in some sort of Calvinist-Fatalistic nightmare in which the only One Who is GOOD, is really not so good after all, and is a "the end justifies the means" Deity( differing little from a manipulating narcissist). No, the solution is that God has delegated certain abilities to some of His creatures, and given a certain freedom in areas where they will be judged according to what they have done with these powers and abilities (this is why Libertarian Free Will exists within these creatures—man and celestial beings). These creatures, being such, can at any time have their abilities over-ridden or taken away by God, though this is very infrequently done during the course of the eons. God reserves this right of His, and will always have the final say and when needed, give the finishing touch. No matter how far they may stray in getting lost, God as the Good Shepherd will always find them, and after the necessary chastening instructs them in righteousness and goodness, they are brought back to the fold (their lesson having been learned never needing to be repeated). God did a very difficult thing in giving His creation a great amount of liberty, it proved very costly, for many times God was grieved (even to the point of wiping out all but eight people in a flood) as only a Good and Loving Being could be when His creatures misuse their gifts and become lost, and relinquish some of their power to others. To recover His creation, God went the whole way in Christ, to humiliation and even a suffering death on the cross. The consummation results in a universe filled with beings that fully represent and replicate each in turn the God Who created them; Good, Loving, Self-sacrificing, Holy, and Righteous.
Article by RICK FARWELL