Chapter 2:

An Enemy You Must Face,
a Friend Who Will Help

Many who are struggling to improve the world are frustrated. Why is it that not even carefully planned programs achieve the desired results? Why do people insist on hating one another when it is in their best interest to be kind and generous? Why do so many seem to take malicious delight in causing pain, inflicting vicious cruelty on defenseless animals and on other people? What moves some to vandalize and destroy and steal other people’s property, utterly heedless of the suffering they cause? Why is ignorance and confusion about God and the Bible so widespread?

The Bible answers: we are not alone—there is an evil, invisible Enemy. In the Hebrew language, he is called "Satan," which means "opposer." This spirit person is working hard to prevent people from turning to God. He enjoys sowing chaos and inflicting pain. He has a thoroughly twisted mind. He hates God and anything good, but he is very intelligent, and is a master at using cunning deceit to obtain his ends. We cannot outsmart him on our own; those who try may never realise when they are overcome, going to their grave believing they are doing just fine.

God has exposed this enemy in the Bible, and there also we find the help we need to succeed against him. First, where did this Satan come from? Why is he so evil?

Before God created the earth, he created the heavens, both the outer space we can see and a "spirit" realm that we cannot. In this realm of heaven he created many spirit persons. We call them "angels", meaning "messengers", because that is the way they have been used toward us. Many people think that angels are humans who died and went to heaven, but the Bible describes them as applauding and praising God when the planet Earth was first created, long before anyone lived here. —Job 38.4a,7.

The Bible mentions three ranks of angels: cherubs, seraphs and ordinary angels. (Gen 3:24; Isa 6:2, 6; Acts 12:6-10) It does not explain much about these different kinds, but we will no doubt learn much more someday. Cherubs appear to be the highest rank. The Bible also mentions "the archangel", which means "chief angel." By definition, there can be only one. We will discuss him in Chapter 5.

All that God creates is perfect*. He does not want evil, and so would never be the source of it. (Compare De 32:4, 5) So all the angels were created of excellent quality, fit for the position and service for which they were made. None of them were fated or doomed to fail.

Faithful angels do not want us to worship them. Twice, when the apostle John felt moved to kneel in worship before the angel who was showing him the Revelation, the angel rebuked him sharply, saying: “Be careful! Do not do that! I am only a fellow slave of you and your brothers... Worship God!” —Rev 22:8, 9.

Unfortunately, long ago there was one angel who developed a different attitude. The Bible tells us that God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, in the beautiful paradise of Eden. Then He assigned a cherub to be there to watch over them. This cherub betrayed the trust placed in him. Because of his beauty, his heart became haughty, and he moved to have mankind serve him instead of their Creator. —see Ezekiel 28:13-17.

This was rebellion, treason! How could an angel have such ideas? He was not influenced by another rebel, since he apparently was the first. Certainly God would not have been the source of such bad thinking. No, Satan conceived this proud ambition within himself. How could that ever be? Are not perfect creatures incapable of improper thoughts? That is a common misconception. The truth is, God has given most any creature with a brain enough intelligence to discern right from wrong, helpful from harmful, pleasant from unpleasant. Dogs can do it; humans far more comprehensively, and likely angels even more so. By imagination alone we can see the possibility of wrong action. So at the brow of a cliff, we can imagine ourselves jumping off. But if we use our brain, we refrain. The ability to imagine possibilities, and consequences, is good, not bad; it is a natural element of intelligence. We prove our thinking ability and our goodness by turning away from wrong, not by being unaware of it. But if instead we allow ourself to dwell on a wrong idea at length, exploring it mentally, we may find it tempting, we could deceive ourselves into thinking that there may be a way to get away with it. ("If I glue feathers to my arms, I can soar off this cliff.")

It is healthy to feel good about oneself, and proper to take satisfaction in worthy accomplishments. But take care: it can be only a short step from healthy self-esteem to narcissism, excessive pride, and selfishness. That is what happened to the angel who became Satan. His thinking too much of himself has caused a world of problems. —James 1:14, 15, Romans 12:1-3.

No matter how smart we feel, we should realize and accept that we do need guidance in knowing right from wrong, good from bad. On our own, even with a perfectly clear mind, we may have insufficient awareness of all the factors to safely calculate the difference between a wise and a stupid decision. We think ahead for possible consequences of a choice, but as you no doubt know from experience, often not far enough.

Knowing this, God set about lovingly providing guidance to his new creation in Eden. First, to emphasize their need to trust him as their Instructor, he set aside one tree in the garden as ‘off limits’, so’s to speak, forbidding Adam and Eve to eat from it. This did not diminish their enjoyment of life; it merely served as a sign of God’s authority to tell them right from wrong. Just by looking at the tree, they could see no obvious reason why they should stay away from it; they would have to trust God and obey because he said so. If they appreciated that he had given them their beautiful home, each other, and a purpose in life, this would be easy to do. —Genesis 2:16, 17.

In his bid for power, Satan took advantage of this restriction and urged Eve to take from the tree and eat. To speak he used a modest, cautious animal, a snake, like a ventriloquist uses a dummy. Far from frightening Eve (no animals were dangerous in Eden) it was a cunningly disarming approach. He told her that she should break free from God and decide for herself how to live her life; "you will not die." But he was lying; his real aim was, not that she be free and have a better life, but to bring her under his influence. He was also slandering God, calling Him a liar. That is why Satan is also called the "Devil", which means "slanderer". —read Genesis 3:1-7 before continuing.

God did not ignore or excuse their rebellion. They had chosen independence, so he gave it to them: outside the paradise garden! And just as God had warned, they eventually died. —Gen 3:16-19, 23, 24, 5:5.

We can learn an important lesson from this. Have you noticed that when some people are told not to do something, they make it their aim to do that very thing? "Nobody can tell me what to do!" they shout. It is their philosophy in life that all rules are made to be broken, that all restrictions must be defied. Some call that human nature, and believe it is a normal impulse that will always be with us. Immature children—including teens—tend to test limits placed on them, even by caring parents, because they do not yet see the danger their parents want them to respect. Yes, they may gain maturity by pain. Been there, done that, won't try that again. But education by trial can cripple or kill. Observing and listening is better. Instead of diving off the cliff, see how that rock you toss over the edge explodes into powder at the bottom. Listen to the advice of those with more experience and better vision. Do not be stubborn and have to learn the hard way.

It is especially deadly to have a rebellious attitude toward our Creator’s rules. For example, why is cliff-diving hard to survive? Because there is a law of God at work, called "gravity." We can defy that law, but we will still obey it, all the way to the bottom, and it will hurt. The consequences of defying His moral laws are just as sure, but not usually so quick. Short-sighted persons may think they are getting away with things because it doesn't seem to hurt at first. Wiser persons can see further ahead; they also trust God, who can see forever. The Bible promises, "the meek shall inherit the earth." A "meek" person is respectful and submissive to God, not rebellious, determined to refuse all authority. So which choice will you make? Will you gladly submit to God and inherit the whole planet as your home (shared with other good people), or would you rather be dead?

Do you feel like the American revolutionary who said, "Give me liberty or give me death"? We rightly resist being enslaved to other men, but a slave to God has in fact the greatest freedom. (see 1 Pet 2:16 and Rom 6:16-23) So let us be wise in our pursuit of liberty. In reaching out for "liberty", Eve got death. She lost the carefree life of peace and good health she had under God’s rule in Eden. God’s rules had not burdened her, and they will not burden us. We reach out for true liberty by letting God teach us how to live. Satan promises us freedom, but he is lying. Those who know God know they need God, that they cannot be free without Him. The "freedom" of those who reject God will not end well. But Satan can make independence look so alluring! It was his first successful pitch, and it still works for the majority of mankind. Even those who do love God can find it attractive if they focus too much on what feels good at the moment and lose sight of what is coming. —2 Pet 2:18, 19.

We also learn something about God from this. Some parents today make excuses or even laugh when their children are rebellious. These children later become serious problems for society, unless they learn discipline from some other source. God knew he could not just let this disloyalty stand. He had to make sure we learned our lesson from our choice. We should be grateful that He believes in order in His family.

How Much Power Does Satan Have?

It is obvious that Satan’s influence is widespread. But many people assume that it is limited to criminals and low-lifes, drug addicts, drunks and prostitutes. Not at all. The Bible describes highly placed religious leaders as doing Satan’s work, for example, those who hated Jesus for telling the truth about their hypocrisy. Jesus boldly told them to their face: "You are from your father the Devil."— See John 8:42-47.

Nor should it surprise us in this day and time that political leaders are often influenced by this enemy of God. That is why the Bible can say: "the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." (1 John 5:19) The Bible even calls Satan "the god of this system of things." (2 Corinthians 4:4) His power in the political world is so extensive that he could offer Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world and their glory" as a temptation.— Matt 4:8-10, Luke 4:5-8.

So when Jesus later said "my kingdom is no part of this world," (John 18:36) he did not simply mean his kingdom is not based on Earth. Rather, he meant it is not allied with any earthly kingdom, nor does it spring from such. This is a very important fact for us to keep in mind, if we are interested in being part of his kingdom. If we join ourselves in devoted allegiance to any "kingdom" (government) of this world, enthusiastically believing that it will lead us to greatness, supporting it without question, we become part of the world, and not part of God's Kingdom. The world will then lead or press us to do things in opposition to God. For example: those who shouted "Heil Hitler!" and sang the Nazi propaganda songs with all their heart, in time were led to do monstrous things against the Jewish people, and against Christians who did not bow before the State. Can it happen again? It already has, many times. In the end, which side will we be found on? —see John 17:14-16, James 4:4, Revelation 16:13, 14, 19:19. (More on this in Chapter 11, "Loyalty to the Kingdom". Please read Chapter 6, "Let Your Kingdom Come" first, for a clearer picture of what the Kingdom of God is.)

Satan’s influence also extended into heaven; other angels have joined him in abandoning God. Jude 6 mentions "angels that forsook their own proper dwelling place." Genesis 6:1-4 describes how this occurred: “the sons of God began to notice the daughters of men, and they went taking wives for themselves.” The result was a violent, wicked world. These women bore as sons freakish giants, mighty men, called "Nephilim" in Hebrew, which in effect means big bullies, merciless tormenters and killers. Mankind’s survival came to be in grave danger. To protect those who would serve Him, God swept away that world by a great Flood. This killed the giants and all the other wicked people, but not the fallen angels. These are now called demons or wicked spirits. Although they are no longer permitted to materialize to bear children, they still work with Satan to influence men toward evil. They delight in seeing immorality. They take sadistic pleasure in seeing violent conflict and death. Yet, just like Satan did, they can also present themselves as kindly, helpful spirits. Do not be misled; once they get a grip, they often turn to tormenting their helpless victims. Only by heeding God’s advice can we be sure of protection from them. —2 Corinthians 11:13-14, Luke 11:24-26.

We cannot destroy Satan— only God can. Until he and his kind are out of the way, there will be no perfect world of peace and harmony. Jesus cast out demons, assuring us of God’s power over them. (For example, see Mark 5:1-20, Luke 11:14-22.) As for us, we can stand fast against Satan’s guile and intimidation personally, and we can exhort and inspire others to do the same. That will improve the world that little bit. But for Paradise, we must wait on God.

Why Has God Permitted Satan Such Power?

Satan has not achieved his power by pushing God aside; rather, God has allowed him to have it. Why? What good could ever come of that? It all goes back to the claims Satan made to Eve. Remember, he said we did not need God; we would enjoy life more without His control or guidance. Eve fell for it, and Adam went along, desiring his wife more than loving God. God decided that the best solution for this situation was to let us go ahead and try it, to find out for ourselves. We would have to learn the hard way, since we had turned down the easy way. We wanted freedom, so we got freedom. Since then generations have striven hard to prove that they can decide right and wrong for themselves without God. We think we are so smart. He gave us the chance to prove it. What does history show? Have we conquered death? We haven’t even conquered the common cold! Rather, untold millions have been cruelly slaughtered by war, crushed by oppression, cheated and starved by corruption. Now we have reached the brink of the nuclear precipice. Are we smart or what?

In all of this God has not remained silent. He has made sure we have had access to His word on right and wrong, and many have acknowledged the sense of it. Looking at history, insofar as men and nations have at times respected godly standards, there has been some success in enjoying life. But then the people get complacent and self-indulgent, and the cycle of societal decay and collapse returns, as is happening now. —Micah 6:8; Prov 14:12.

Satan has not helped mankind. He has not led us to peace and prosperity, because that is not in him. He gives riches and power for a while to those who do his bidding, then discards them when they cease to be useful. He sees us as mere animals. Those who are meek, trying to be human and humane, he exploits and crushes. God does not permit him to do everything he wants, else we really would be living in hell, as some say we are.* But we have come rather close to it at times, in some places. It is instructive to observe the dynamics of a despotic regime, where one man can impoverish and destroy his own nation, and his paid underlings, with shortsighted craven selfishness, help him do it, while the trodden masses are unable to stop him. This is Satan in miniature, and we should learn from it. We choose to experience these object lessons whenever we put improper confidence in a man, which we do with depressing regularity. God does not entirely protect us from ourselves. He has prevented us from rendering ourselves extinct, and he has interfered whenever we or Satan plotted to do anything that would hinder His purpose. He does provide some protection to those who take his side, but even good people are affected by the environment, the world they live in. God does allow some accidents, and they are really accidents. Scripture does not say that Satan directly causes everything bad. (Ecclesiastes 9:11) And God does sometimes allow Satan to apply some pressure, or persecution, to test our dedication. This does not prove that God does not care about us. We can see such trials as opportunities to demonstrate the quality of our convictions and the steadiness of our loyalty. —James 5:10, 11, Matthew 5:11, 12.

This leads us to the other reason God did not crush the rebels on the spot. His own honor was involved. If he had killed Adam and Eve, he would have wiped out 100% of the human race. That would have in effect been an admission before the angels that this particular creation was defective; humankind was a failure that had to be scrapped and replaced. But God does not create faulty things; he had confidence in the quality of his work. True, those two had used their grant of free will to make a bad choice, but God was sure that that did not mean all humans would. By permitting Adam and Eve to live and have children, he lovingly has given us, their descendents, an opportunity to take our stand on this issue. How well have you been doing with it so far? If we appreciate our Creator and all the goodness that he stands for, we will do our very best to obey him, and not weakly submit to base impulses. In doing this, we honor God. Yes, we can make him glad, as Proverbs 27:11 says: "Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, so that I can make a reply to him who taunts me."

By now the issue has been proven: people can be loyal to God, even when under pressure, and living independently of the Creator does not work. Does this need to go on like this forever? No! And that is one of the main reasons for the Bible: to assure us that this period of suffering will be brought to an end, not when we destroy ourselves, but when God has decided that the time is right. And that time is very soon. Are you ready? (See chapters 8 and 9 for details.)

Escaping Satan’s Control: How To Become Truly Free

How can we become ready? In this regard, Jesus made a very important statement at John 17:3, "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ." Again, at John 8:32, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Satan knows that knowing the truth about God will set us free— of him! So it is very important to him to prevent you from learning this truth. He will try to keep you from reading the Bible, perhaps by distracting you with many other opportunities: don’t you need to work overtime? shouldn’t you get more education by going to school at night? You should relax on weekends, you are too tired to pick up the Bible. That new video game is what you really want to do. And your friends are waiting for you on that social website, your time is best spent killing hours there. And on and on. He will employ well-meaning friends. He will use ridicule, he will use smooth talk, he will use anything, as long as it works. —see Matt 10:22, 36, 37; 13:19-23.

He has even used preachers, who may say, "Reading the Bible will confuse you, just come to church, listen to me explain it for you." This allows that preacher to tell you anything he wants, whether it be in line with the written Word or not. "Oh," you say, "that kind preacher doesn’t want me to get confused. I’m very grateful for his concern. He’s been to college to learn it right and surely I should trust him." That kind preacher isn’t the kind God sends out if he discourages you from checking what he says against the Book. In contrast, Paul, a zealous Christian preacher, was delighted when people took enough interest in what he was preaching to check it out in their Bibles. —Acts 17:11.

There are many other wily ways Satan will try to separate you from knowledge of God. One of the smoothest is to have people say to you, "All you need is the Bible. Read it by yourself and you will learn all you need." That sounds good, doesn’t it? Yet if you read the Bible (and most people who succumb to this reasoning never seem to get around to it) you will eventually learn that that is not what it says. At Romans 10:14, 15 it points out that God sends out people to preach the good news. He would not do that if we did not need their help, would he? At Acts 8:26-35 we read the story of a man who was reading his Bible, but he couldn’t understand what it meant. God sent a disciple of Jesus to help him, which help he humbly accepted. God knows that you too need the help of trustworthy people who have learned the Bible before you. Satan says, "You don’t need help." God says, "Yes, you do."

But who can you trust to really help you? There are so many who are eager to teach you their interpretation of the Bible. It can be very confusing and discouraging to listen to them all. Many have simply given up trying. This confusion is yet again one of Satan’s cunning ploys to keep you away from God. But God encourages us to keep looking: "Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find." (Matt 7:7; see also vs 11) God himself will help our heartfelt, sincere efforts to come to know him.

Jesus knew we would face this problem of false teachers, so he gave some advice: "Be on the watch for the false prophets; by their fruits you will recognise them." (read Matt 7:15-23) So we can discern between true and false Christians by looking at their "fruits": their behavior, and the results of their behavior. Do they promote peace? Do they honor God? Are they loving? —John 13:35.

As with anything else worth doing, this needs to be done carefully. Remember 2 Corinthians 11:13-15: "Satan keeps disguising himself as an angel of light; it is therefore not a surprise that his ministers seem to be ministers of righteousness." And Jesus said they would come "in sheep’s covering." If we are careless, we will be deceived.

On the other hand, those who are God’s workers will be subject to a campaign of slander. Satan will use every sort of lie to make them look bad, to induce earnest people to reject them. Remember that Jesus was called a drunken glutton who spent time with whores. (Matt 11:19, Luke 5:29, 30) Or Satan will have people say, "They’re a cult! They’ll take everything you have, including your soul!" It is prudent to be cautious: cults do exist. But Satan will have achieved his aim if by using such scare tactics he can frighten you away from the people who can help you. So you have to be careful about giving credence to stories people tell about others. As the Bible says, "A naïve person puts faith in every word." —Prov 14:15; see also 2 Cor 6:3-10, Acts 28:22.

One more way that Satan has successfully prevented persons from escaping him is by inducing them to develop an emotional attachment to something that is displeasing to God. For example, many video games are extremely violent, yet you may have grown to enjoy them very much. If then you begin to learn about God, you will soon find out how he feels about that (Ps 11:5). You are then faced with a decision. Satan thinks he knows what you will choose. Will you prove him wrong?

The attachment can be more than emotional: it may be chemical, an addiction. Nicotine, cocaine, heroin, and many other substances have a powerful grip. These too act as the chains of Satan. Even the ungodly world recognizes the harm in these drugs; how do you think God feels about them? For a clue, see 2 Cor 7:1.

At 1 Peter 5:8 we are advised: "Keep your senses, be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone." Lions target the weak and the young, those they can take down easily. Likewise Satan aims for those just learning about God, whose knowledge may not be sufficient for them to answer all the cunning arguments and temptations he throws at them. —compare Acts 13:6-10, 45.

A Friend Who Will Help

Do not be discouraged if you see that the path to everlasting life is harder than you thought. First, remember where it leads: to life eternal in a paradise world, with plenty of exciting and interesting things to do, places to go, things to see, beautiful people to do it all with, along with the intimate friendship with the Supreme Creator. And, consider the alternative: all other roads lead to death. —compare Matt 7:13, 14.

And do not exaggerate the difficulty in your mind. The Bible reassures: "Oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4.7) That doesn’t mean he will give up, but it does mean you can succeed in standing firm against him. The Bible says: "take your stand against him, solid in the faith, knowing that the same things in the way of sufferings are being accomplished in the entire association of your brothers in the world." Yes, many others are standing firm, and they can help us too. Associate with these "brothers" and gain strength. —1 Pet 5:9.

Also, Ephesians 6:11-18 says you must put on a "suit of armor" supplied by God. The illustration below lists the various pieces and their purpose. Begin at once to put this armor on. Then you will be "able to resist in the wicked day" (whenever Satan attacks).

Roman Soldier
helmet—Hope of salvation: having mind on godly things protects thinking
breastplate—Protect heart (conscience) by doing only right, no hypocrisy allowed
shield—Faith means trusting God to be true, gives confident purpose that deflects arrows of doubt, fear or temptation.
sword—Knowledge of God’s inspired word enables one to cut through false reasoning.
belt—Devotion to truth supports the ‘vital organs’, gives sureness of movement in the fight.
feet—Soldier of God moves steadily with endurance waging peace, preaching the Good News.
Spiritual armor against Satan

Do not forget the last part of defensive equipment mentioned: prayer. A soldier who is isolated, cut off from his leaders, is an easy target. For more about prayer and how to overcome bad habits, see Chapter 13, "Wisdom From God to Guide Your Life."

God is patient, merciful, and willing to help. He wants you to succeed. Peter concluded: "But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called you to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish your training, he will make you firm, he will make you strong." (1 Pet 5:10; see also verses 6, 7) God is "near to all those calling upon him, to all who call on him in sincerity... He hears their cry for help, and he rescues them." (Psalms 145:14-20) Have faith that this is true. Satan is an enemy, but God is a friend who will help.
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Job 38.4a,7
Where were you when I founded the earth?
7 When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause.

Gen 3.24
So he drove the man out and posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.

Isa 6.2,6
Seraphs were standing above him. Each one had six wings. With two he kept his face covered, and with two he kept his feet covered, and with two he would fly about. At that, one of the seraphs flew to me, and in his hand there was a glowing coal that he had taken with tongs off the altar.

Acts 12.6-10
When Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping bound with two chains between two soldiers, and guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. But look! Jehovah’s angel appeared, and a light shone in the prison cell. Tapping Peter on the side, he woke him, saying: “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his hands. The angel said to him: “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” He did so. Finally he said to him: “Put your overcoat on, and keep following me.” And he went out and kept following him, but he did not know that what was happening through the angel was real. In fact, he thought he was seeing a vision. Going past the first sentinel guard and the second, they reached the iron gate leading into the city, and this opened to them by itself. After they went out, they made their way down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

Genesis 1:30
“And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it came to be so.

De 32.4,5
The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; Righteous and upright is he. They have acted ruinously on their own part; They are not his children, the defect is their own. A generation crooked and twisted!

Genesis 1:3-26
And God said: “Let there be light.” And light appeared. And God saw that the light was good, and God began to divide the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, but the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day. [It would be easy to assume that this means God here started the Earth turning, causing our familiar 24-hour days and nights, which then controlled the timing of the rest of creation, so that it was all done in less than a week. That would, however, be a mistaken assumption.]
Then God said: “Let there be an expanse between the waters, and let there be a division between the waters and the waters.” Then God went on to make the expanse and divided the waters under the expanse from the waters above the expanse. And it came to be so. God called the expanse Heaven [or Sky]. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Then God said: “Let the waters under the sky be collected together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it came to be so. God called the dry land Earth, but the collecting of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said: “Let the earth cause grass to sprout, seed-bearing plants and fruit trees according to their kinds, yielding fruit along with seed on the earth.” And it was so. And the earth began to produce grass, seed-bearing plants and trees yielding fruit along with seed, according to their kinds. Then God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Then God said: “Let there be sources of light in the expanse of the heavens [Or, let the sources of light be visible in the sky] to make a division between the day and the night, and they will serve as signs for seasons and for days and years. They will serve as lights in the sky above to shine upon the earth.” And so it came to be. And God went on to make the two great lights [appear], the greater one for dominating the day and the lesser one for dominating the night, and also the stars. Thus God put them in the sky to shine upon the earth and to dominate by day and by night and to make a division between the light and the darkness. Then God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. [Note, the word used was "make," not "create," so this is not saying that the sun, moon and stars are younger than the Earth; it just means that viewed from the ground, these luminaries became distinctly discernable. Their diffuse light was already visible, from the first day.]
Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures, and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the sky.” And God created the great sea creatures and all the animals that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters of the sea, and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
Then God said: “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds, domestic animals and creeping animals and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God went on to make the wild animals of the earth according to their kinds and the domestic animals according to their kinds and all the creeping animals of the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said: “Let us+ make man in our image, according to our likeness, . . .”

Genesis 4:17
Afterward Cain [1st generation] had intercourse with his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch [second generation]. Then he worked on building a city and called the city by the name of his son Enoch. Later there was born to Enoch Irad [third generation]. And Irad became father to Mehujael [fourth], and Mehujael became father to Methushael [fifth], and Methushael became father to Lamech [sixth]. And Lamech took two wives for himself. The name of the first was Adah and the name of the second was Zillah. In time Adah gave birth to Jabal [seventh generation]. He became the founder of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. And the name of his brother was Jubal. He became the founder of all those who handle the harp and the flute. As for Zillah, she too gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of every sort of tool of copper and iron.

Ezekiel 28.13-17
You were in Eden, the garden of God. You were adorned with every precious stone —ruby, topaz, and jasper; chrysolite, onyx, and jade; sapphire, turquoise, and emerald; and their settings and mountings were made of gold. They were prepared on the day you were created. I assigned you as the anointed covering cherub [in Eden. Apparently this angel was Adam and Eve's trusted guardian angel.] You were on the holy mountain of God, and you walked about among fiery stones. You were faultless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. Because of your great commercial wealth you became filled with violence, and you began to sin. So I will cast you out as profane from the mountain of God and destroy you, O covering cherub, away from the stones of fire. Your heart became haughty because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom because of your own glorious splendor. I will throw you down to the earth. I will make you a spectacle before kings.

In Ezekiel's context this seems to refer to the (human) king of the city of Tyre, but clearly much of it cannot apply to any man. But how could "commercial wealth" apply to an angel? We do not know anything about how angels live in their realm, or what the angel who became Satan was doing there that led to his pride and downfall. Thinking too much about himself, we can be sure. In any case, this passage gives us a glimpse of that event.

James 1.14,15
Each one is tested by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has achieved conception, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.

Romans 12:1-3
Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For through the undeserved kindness shown me, I tell everyone there among you not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think, but to think so as to have a sound mind, each one as God has given to him a measure of faith.

Genesis 2.16,17
And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 3.1-7
Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” At this the woman said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” Then the woman began to see the tree as good for food and as something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Later she gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it also. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.

[Note: they were not blind before they ate, so this refers to feeling exposed, in other words, they felt guilty.]

Genesis 3:16-19, 23, 24:
To the woman he said: "I shall greatly increase the pain of your pregnancy; in birth pangs you will bring forth children, and your craving will be for your husband, and he will dominate you." And to Adam he said: "Because you listened to your wife’s voice and took to eating from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. And thorns and thistles it will grow for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return." With that Jehovah God put him out of the garden of Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. And so he drove the man out and posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 5:5
So all the days of Adam that he lived amounted to nine hundred and thirty years and he died.

1 Pet 2:16
Be as a free people,and yet holding your freedom, not as a cover for badness, but as slaves of God.
Rom 6:16-23
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone to be his slaves, you will be slaves of the one you obey, either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thanks to God that although you were once the slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over [into slavery]. Yes, since you were set free from sin, you became slaves to righteousness... even as you [formerly] presented your [body] members as slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness... so now present your members as slaves to righteousness... What was the fruit that you used to produce at that time? Things of which you are now ashamed. For the end of those things is death. However, now that you were set free from sin and became slaves to God, you are producing your fruit in the way of holiness, and the end is everlasting life. For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Pet 2.18,19
They make high-sounding statements that are empty. By appealing to the desires of the flesh and with acts of shameless conduct, they entice people who have just escaped from those who live in error. While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for if anyone is overcome by something, he is its slave.

John 8.42-47
Jesus said to them: If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I have not come of my own initiative, but that One sent me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot listen to my word. You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie. Because I, on the other hand, tell you the truth, you do not believe me. Who of you convicts me of sin? If I speak truth, why is it that you do not believe me? The one who is from God listens to the sayings of God. This is why you do not listen, because you are not from God.

1 John 5.19
We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.

2 Corinthians 4.4
Among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the light of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.

Matt 4.8-10
Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”

Luke 4.5-8
So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time. Then the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. If you, therefore, do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”

John 18.36
Jesus answered: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be handed over to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.”

John 17.14-16
I have given your word to them, but the world has hated them, because they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one. They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.

James 4.4
Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is making himself an enemy of God.

Rev 16:13,14
And I saw three unclean inspired expressions [that looked] like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.
Rev 19:19
And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one seated on the horse and with his army.

Jude 6
And the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgment of the great day.

Gen 6.1-4
Now it came about that when men started to grow in numbers on the surface of the ground and daughters were born to them, then the sons of God began to notice the daughters of men, that they were good-looking; and they went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose. After that Jehovah said: "My spirit shall not act toward man indefinitely in that he is also flesh. Accordingly his days shall amount to a hundred and twenty years." The Neph'ilim proved to be in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God continued to have relations with the daughters of men and they bore sons to them, they were the mighty ones who were of old, the men of fame. Now when men started to grow in number on the surface of the ground and daughters were born to them, the sons of God began to notice that the daughters of men were beautiful. So they began taking as wives all whom they chose. Then Jehovah said: “My spirit will not tolerate man indefinitely, because he is acting only according to the flesh. Accordingly, his days will amount to 120 years.” The Neph'i·lim were on the earth in those days and afterward, as the sons of the true God continued to have relations with the daughters of men, and these bore sons to them. They were the mighty ones of old times, the men of fame.

2 Corinthians 11.13-14
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps disguising himself as an angel of light.

Luke 11.24-26
When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it passes through waterless places in search of a resting-place, and after finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I moved.’ And on arriving, it finds the house swept clean and adorned. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and after getting inside, they dwell there. So the final circumstances of that man become worse than the first.

Mark 5.1-20
Then they came to the other side of the sea into the region of the Ger'a·senes. And immediately after Jesus got out of the boat, a man under the power of an unclean spirit met him from among the tombs. His haunt was among the tombs, and up to that time, absolutely no one was able to bind him securely, even with a chain. He had often been bound with fetters and chains, but he snapped the chains apart and smashed the fetters; and nobody had the strength to subdue him. And continually, night and day, he was crying out in the tombs and in the mountains and slashing himself with stones. But on catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down to him. Then he cried out with a loud voice: “What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I put you under oath by God not to torment me.” For Jesus had been saying to it: “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.” But Jesus asked him: “What is your name?” And he replied: “My name is Legion, because there are many of us.” And he kept pleading with Jesus not to send the spirits out of the country. Now a great herd of swine was feeding there at the mountain. So the spirits pleaded with him: “Send us into the swine, so that we may enter into them.” And he gave them permission. With that the unclean spirits came out and went into the swine, and the herd rushed over the cliff into the sea, about 2,000 of them, and were drowned in the sea. But their herders fled and reported it in the city and in the countryside, and people came to see what had happened. So they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who previously had the Legion, sitting clothed and in his right mind, and they grew fearful. Also, those who had seen it related to them how this had happened to the demon-possessed man and the swine. So they began to plead with Jesus to go away from their region. Now as he was boarding the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed pleaded to go with him. However, he did not let him but said to him: “Go home to your relatives, and report to them all the things Jehovah has done for you and the mercy he has shown you.” Then this man went away and started to proclaim in the De·cap'o·lis [meaning 'ten cities', a region with ten towns] all the things Jesus had done for him, and all the people were amazed.

Luke 11.14-22
Later he expelled a demon causing speechlessness. After the demon came out, the speechless man spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said: “He expels the demons by means of Beelzebub [Satan], the ruler of the demons.” And others, to test him, began demanding a sign out of heaven from him. Knowing their thinking, he said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself comes to ruin, and a house divided against itself falls. In the same way, if Satan is also divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say I expel the demons by means of Beelzebub. If I expel the demons by means of Beelzebub, by whom do your sons expel them? This is why they will be your judges. But if it is by means of God’s finger that I expel the demons, the Kingdom of God has really overtaken you. When a strong, well-armed man guards his palace, his belongings remain secure. But when someone stronger than he is comes against him and conquers him, that man takes away all his weapons in which he was trusting, and he divides up the things he took from him.”

Micah 6.8
He has told you, O man, what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you? Only to be just, and to be loyal in your love, and to walk in modesty with your God.

Prov 14.12
There is a way that is seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

James 5:10, 11
Brothers, take as a pattern of the suffering of evil and the exercising of patience the prophets who spoke in the name of Jehovah. Look! We consider happy those who have endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful.

Matthew 5:11, 12
Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and be overjoyed, since your reward is great in the heavens, for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.

Ecclesiastes 9:11
I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all.

Matt 10.22,36,37
You will be hated by all people on account of my name; but the one who endures to the end is the one that will be saved... Indeed, a man’s enemies will be persons of his own household. Whoever has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and whoever has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me.

Matt 13.19-23
Where anyone hears the word of the Kingdom but does not get the sense of it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart; this is the one sown alongside the road. As for the one sown on rocky ground, this is the one hearing the word and at once accepting it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself but continues for a time, and after tribulation or persecution has arisen on account of the word, he is quickly stumbled. As for the one sown among the thorns, this is the one hearing the word, but the anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. As for the one sown upon the fine soil, this is the one hearing the word and getting the sense of it, who really does bear fruit and produces, this one 100 times more, that one 60, the other 30.

Acts 17.11
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·ni'ca, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Romans 10.14
However, how will they call on him if they do not have faith in him? How, in turn, will they have faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”

Acts 8.26-35
However, Jehovah’s angel spoke to Philip, saying: “Get up and go to the south to the road that runs down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) With that he got up and went, and look! an Ethiopian court official, a man who had authority under Can·da'ce, queen of the Ethiopians, and who was in charge of all her treasure. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, but he was returning and was sitting in his chariot, reading aloud the prophet Isaiah. So the spirit said to Philip: “Go over and approach this chariot.” Philip ran alongside and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet, and he said: “Do you really understand what you are reading?” He said: “Really, how could I ever do so unless someone guided me?” So he urged Philip to get on and sit down with him. Now this was the passage of Scripture that he was reading: “Like a sheep he was brought to the slaughter, and like a lamb that is silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. During his humiliation, justice was taken away from him. Who will tell the details of his generation? Because his life is taken away from the earth.” The official then said to Philip: “I beg you, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about some other man?” Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he declared to him the good news about Jesus.

Matt 7.7, 11
Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you. . . 11 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those asking him?

Matt 7.15-23
Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit. A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men. Not everyone saying to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?” And then I will declare to them: “I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!”

John 13.35
By this all will know that you are my disciples— if you have love among yourselves.

Matt 11.19
The Son of man did come eating and drinking, but people say, ‘Look! A man gluttonous and given to drinking wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ All the same, wisdom is proved righteous by its works.

Luke 5.29,30
Then Levi spread a big reception feast for him in his house, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were dining with them. At this the Pharisees and their scribes began murmuring to his disciples, saying: "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"

Prov 14:15
An naive person puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers each step.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10
In no way are we giving any cause for stumbling, so that no fault may be found with our ministry; but in every way we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers, by the endurance of much, by tribulations, by times of need, by difficulties, by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by hard work, by sleepless nights, by times without food; by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by holy spirit, by love free from hypocrisy, by truthful speech, by God’s power; through the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left [both offensive and defensive weapons], through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report. We are regarded as deceivers and yet we are truthful, as unknown and yet we are recognized, as condemned to die and yet look! we live, as punished and yet not handed over to death, as sorrowing but ever rejoicing, as poor but making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things.

Acts 28:22
But we think it proper to hear from you what your thoughts are, for truly as regards this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.

Psalms 11:5
Jehovah examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one, and His soul certainly hates anyone loving violence.

2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in fear [deep respect] of God.

Acts 13:6-10, 45
When they had gone through the whole island as far as Pa'phos, they met up with a Jewish man named Bar-Jesus, who was a sorcerer and a false prophet. He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. Calling Barnabas and Saul to him, this man was eager to hear the word of God. But El'y·mas the sorcerer (for that is how his name is translated) began opposing them, trying to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, also called Paul, becoming filled with holy spirit, looked at him intently and said: “O man full of every sort of fraud and every sort of villainy, you son of the Devil, you enemy of everything righteous, will you not quit distorting the right ways of Jehovah?” ... When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began blasphemously contradicting the things Paul was saying.

Matthew 7:13
Go in through the narrow gate; because wide is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.

James 4:7
Therefore subject yourselves to God, but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Peter 5:9
But take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world.

Ephesians 6:11-18
Put on the complete suit of armor from God so that you may be able to stand firm against the cunning schemes of the Devil; because we have a struggle, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places. For this reason take up the complete suit of armor from God, so that you may be able to resist in the wicked day and, after you have accomplished everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, with the belt of truth fastened around your waist, wearing the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod in readiness to declare the good news of peace. Besides all of this, take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the wicked one’s burning arrows. Also, accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word, while with every form of prayer and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit. And to that end stay awake, constantly making supplication in behalf of all the holy ones.

1 Peter 5:6, 7, 10
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; while you throw all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you. . . But, after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called you to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish your training, he will make you firm, he will make you strong, he will firmly stabilize you.

Psalms 145:14
Jehovah supports all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
All eyes look hopefully to you;
you give them their food in its season.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Jehovah is righteous in all his ways
and loyal in all that he does.
Jehovah is near to all those calling on him,
to all who call on him in sincerity.
He satisfies the desire of those who fear him;
He hears their cry for help, and he rescues them.
Jehovah guards all those who love him,
but all the wicked he will annihilate.

Review of Chapter 2

Why can man not achieve peace?

What are angels?

What is Satan?

How did Satan go bad?

How did God test Adam and Eve, and why?

What did Satan offer Eve?

How did God handle the rebellion and why?

How much power does Satan have?

Why has God permitted Satan so much power?

What does Satan claim about people?

How does God regard mankind?

What are demons?

What are some of Satan's ways to block our approach to God?

What are some chains Satan uses to restrain our approach to God?

What have you overcome to take God's side?

How does God help us?

Describe the spiritual armor God supplies.

How do the pieces fit you at present?

Restore Scripture View

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That does not mean that on their own all physical creatures remain biologically flawless. If a creature fulfills its purpose, it is "perfect" in a relative sense, even though it (and its kind) may degenerate and die (even go extinct) as part of a natural life cycle. Fossil evidence indicates that this has been true long before man was created. The dinosaurs were made "perfect" for their purpose, whatever that was.* God can sustain any creature indefinitely, if he wants to. Without maintenance from him, however, physical life (as we know it) is subject to the limitations of biological chemistry, accumulating genetic defects with time and environmental insult. We do not know if angels have comparable limitations.

The evolutionist says that the DNA accumulates not just defects, but also variations, some of which prove useful, so that what we call "imperfection" is in fact the creative force responsible for the abundant variety of life. Whether God has designed a range of variability into the code, scripture does not say, but we do know that the pattern of life is far from random. Such purposeful mutability (or "phenotypic plasticity" in current jargon*) would not be the same as mutation due to random damage. Researchers have completely failed to "create" improved forms of life by radiation and chemical-induced mutation, despite a century of trying, a fact conveniently absent from evolutionary literature for public consumption.

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Dinosaurs did have their razor sharp teeth and huge claws, matched against elaborate defensive spines and shields. They clearly didn't get along very well. What does that tell us about their Designer? We don't know yet, but clearly the peaceful paradise of Genesis 1:30, where every living animal seems to be transformed into a vegetarian, was a late innovation. We may not understand that verse correctly; familiar mammals have their own killing/defense tools, albeit not as impressive as the earlier models. There is a lot to learn, and it would be hubris to assert that we understand God entirely, based only on scripture. But we can be sure of one thing: God did not create his own adversary to spoil his work. The account is clear: mankind was aimed for peace, not sorrow.

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Especially noticeable in plants. For example, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, squash and gourds (of which alone there are many kinds) are all variations of the same plant, developed long ago by selective breeding of wild variants. This plasticity can act with a swiftness that is amazing to evolutionists, in very few generations (mere years for plants, not many decades even for animals), not the many millions of years they assume. Can it go so far as to become a barrier to viable crossbreeding between the extremes, that is, budding off a new "species"? Perhaps. Could the Creator have designed life to be like clay in His hands, easy to reshape without always resorting to direct creation from dust? Perhaps. But accepting the Bible as also a product of God, we view mankind as an unusual creation, very different from his nearest relatives both extant and extinct, and believe that our Creator did not gradually mold us from more brutish ancestors but did indeed specially create us from inanimate elements, as it says.

As for the time involved, Genesis says God did it all in six days. (see Genesis 1:3-26) What literalists miss is that the word there used for each "day" just means a distinct period of time, often not meaning a single pass of the sun across the sky. The repeated expression "an evening and a morning, [another] day" means, not a literal sunset and sunrise, but that something significant demarcated each period from the preceding one. Science has discovered evidence of cataclysmic extinction events, even using these to mark off their evolutionary epochs. Could those be the "evenings" mentioned in Genesis? Perhaps someday we can know.

Why do evolutionists say that life evolved so slowly, over millions, hundreds of millions, even billions of years? Partly because they calculate that DNA mutates quite slowly; but more so due to lining up fossils with geological formations, then calculating how slowly these formed, based on erosion and deposition rates they observe today. How wrong could they be? Very, it seems. In the ongoing debate between catastrophism and uniformitarianism (not a religion), the truth is likely a mix of both: mostly uniform as we see it today, but with more catastrophe from time to time than we are willing to admit. So although the time involved was certainly far longer than a week, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of years, it is not likely to be very many millions. Strangely, evolutionists seem to think mankind existed in essentially a modern form for many tens of thousands of years before inventing something as obvious as the wheel, or agriculture. How stupid do they really think we are? In contrast, the Bible describes advanced inventions appearing within just a few generations after Adam. That is more believable, considering how observant and ingenious humans can be. Scientists assume life was brutal and short then, so that early man was too preoccupied with killing game and each other, and trying not to get killed, to get much education. Although the Bible says they had to live "by the sweat of their brow," it also says they had very long lifespans in those early days. So although social conditions deteriorated as the centuries passed, it seems they had enough time on their hands to invent things. —see Genesis 4:17-22, also chapters 5 and 6.

As traditionally understood. For example, Google "stalin ukraine famine" and "chinese pollution". (The real scriptural "hell" is explained in chapter 10. It is not what most people have been taught.)