Doctrine of Evil
(Underlined verses ref. are from NIV11 unless noted)
I. Hebrew rah
(Note: The most sure way to derive at the definition of a word in Scripture is by its usage.)
1. Of little worth —bad/ugly animals Gen. 41:20,27;
2. Unpleasant, not beneficial —days Gen. 47:9
3. Bad—report Neh. 6:13:Ps. 112:7
4. Morally depraved, reprobate, wicked
a. wicked man 1 Sam. 30:22; Prov. 29:6
b. generation Deut. 1:35; Num. 32:13
c. neighbors Jer. 12:14
d. congregation, community Num. 14:35
e. thoughts of the heart Gen. 6:5 cf. 8:21
f. evil way Prov. 2:12;8:13
g. evil deeds, acts Deut. 19:20;1 Sam. 2:23
h. words Ex. 33:4
i. deeds, acts Deut. 4:25;19:20;28:20
j. publicly defames, bad name Deut. 22:14,19
5. Painful or injurious
1) Painful, sore boils Deut 28:35; Jb. 2:7
2) Harmful, miserable diseases Dt 7:15: Num. 11:1
3) Afflictions (evil sword) Ps. 144:1 b. Mental
1) Displeased Num. 22:34
2) Misery Gen. 44:34
3) badly disposed, sullen, sad Gen. 40:7 6. Evil, sinister, bringing misfortune a. Severe judgments Ezk. 14:21
b. Distressing signs (plagues) Deut. 6:22
c. adversity, disaster Gen. 48:16; Deut. 30:15
d. trouble Ex. 5:19
e. dreadful place Num. 20:5
7. Evil spirit 1 Sam.16:14,16;18:10;19:9
8. Ritual impurity Deut. 23:9
B. Noun Substantive
1. Life-threatening distress, adversity Ps. 23:4
2. Wrongful, injury Ps. 54:5; Prov. 31:12
3. Ethical evil 2 Sam, 14:17; Ams 5:15
4. Deeds of evil Prov. 2:14; Ps. 119:101; Prov. 15:26
5. False prophet or dreamer Deut. 13:5
6. In contrast to good Is. 5:20; Am. 5:14; Deut. 1:39
II. Evil Greek poneros
A. Adjective and noun—evil, wicked
a. Humans Matt. 7:11;12:34-35; 25:26 etc.
b. Generation Matt. 12:39;16:4;Lu. 11:29
c. Servent in parable Matt. 18:32;25:26
d. People in contrast to good Matt. 22:10
e. Spirits/demons Matt. 12:45;Lu. 7:21;8:2;11:26 etc.
a. Thoughts Matt. 9:4;15:19
b. Deeds Lu. 3:19;6:45;2 Tim. 4:18; Jn. 3:19 etc.
1) Envy Mk. 7:22
2) World’s deeds Jn. 7:7
3) Evil boasting Ja. 4:16
4) Work of the false teacher 2 Jn. 11
c. Words Matt. 5:11;3 Jn. 10
d. Age (aioœnos) Gal. 1:4
e. Days Eph. 5:16;6:13
f. Unhealthy eye Matt. 6:23
g. Fruit Matt. 7:17-18
h. Envious eye Matt. 18:32;20:15;Lu. 19:22
i. Things from within man Mk. 7:23
j. Vicious crime, crime Acts 18:14;25:28 k. Suspicions 1 Tim. 6:4
l. Evil unbelieving heart Heb. 3:12
m. Conscience Heb. 10:22
n. Motives Ja. 2:4
o. Reputation or name Lu. 6:22
a. people Matt. 13:49;Lu. 6:35;Acts 17:35;2 Thess. 3:2
b. guilty of perverted sexual sin 1 Cor. 5:13
c. insults Christians Matt. 5:39 2. In contrast to good Matt. 5:45;22:10
3. The evil one, the devil is defined by his evil acts
a. Snatches the word away Matt. 13:19
b. Shoots flaming arrows Eph. 6:16
c. World lies in his power 1 Jn. 5:19
d. Lord protects believer from evil one 2 Thess. 3:3
e. Delivered from the evil one Matt. 6:13;Acts 17:15
f. Young men overcome the evil one 1 Jn. 2:13-14
g. Cannot touch the believer 1 Jn. 5:18
4. Derived from the evil one
a. Cain, who murdered his brother 1 Jn. 3:12
b. Tares, sons of the evil one Matt. 13:38
c. Sons of the evil one Matt. 13:38
5. Some thing evil
a. Every form of evil 1 Thess. 5:22
b. All kinds of evil Matt. 5:11;Rom. 12:9
c. Thoughts Matt. 9:4;Mk. 7:23
d. Deeds, acts Lu. 3:19; Jn. 3:20
6. Some thing poor quality
a. Trees with bad fruit Matt. 7:17
b. Eye is bad Matt. 6:23
c. Sore is malignant Rev. 16:2
III. Evil Defined
A. Range of meanings
1. The opposite of good-meaning bad.
2. Sin—often the most vile sin.
3. Malicious and injurious sin
4. Describes the devil, his world and this age.
B. General definition: Anything that is destructive to life and a relationship with God.
IV. The tree of knowledge of good and evil Gen. 2:9
A. To take of it was to disobey God and die spiritually and physically Gen. 2:17
B. To take of it was to sin act independently of God knowing good and evil Gen. 3:5
V. The general state of the human race before the Flood
Gen. 6:5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. NAS95
VI. Various Teachings on Evil
A. Every human being’s heart is inclined toward evil from childhood (Gen. 8:21).
Gen. 8:21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
B. Speaking evil in the sense of curse Gen. 31:24
Gen. 24:50 ¶ Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The matter comes from the LORD; so we cannot speak to you bad or good. [bless or curse]
C. The Lord takes an evil man’s life
Gen. 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’S sight; so the LORD put him to death. NIV11
D. Under the Mosaic Law, certain violations were considered evil and brought death.
1. Idol-worshippers Deut. 17:2-7
2. Contempt for a judge or priest Deut. 17:12
3. Promiscuous daughter in her father’s house
4. Adulterous couple Deut. 21:22
5. An engaged woman in unforced sex with another man— Deut. 22:24
6. Kidnappers Deut. 24:7
E. Moses predicted that Israel would get into evil idol worship after he left them (Deut. 31:29)
Deut. 31:29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.”
F. God gives common grace to those good and bad.
Matt. 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
G. Believers are not to think evil, that is to have little participation in evil.
1Cor. 14:20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
This is in the context of Paul’s teaching on spiritual gifts, in particular on the sign gift of tongues [a foreign language].The Corinthian Christians were to stop thinking like children when it came to the use of tongues and use the gift as a mature Christian, not misusing it in the local church. Regarding evil, they were to be innocent of it, little or no practice of it.
VII. Confronting Evil
A. Personal confrontation
1. Blessed when persecuted for Christ.
Matt. 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
This is in the context of the beatitude teachings by Jesus in teaching the Kingdom life. To be blessed is to receive
favor and approval from God because you are being persecuted for your righteous life.
2. Non-resistance to personal insults.
Matt. 5:39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
The turning of the other cheek is after a personal insult. We do not insult back or slap back for that matter. We take it, ready for another insult.
3. Pursue what is good when treated with evil.
1 Thess. 5:15 See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.
4. Love your enemies based on God’s model of kindness toward evil men.
Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
5. Believers need their full battle gear on to resist evil.
Eph. 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
6. Warning regarding those who promote evil.
Phil. 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;
7. We should pray for deliverance from evil people.
2 Thess. 3:1 Finally, pray for us brethren, that the word of the Lord spread quickly and be honored just as it was with you
2 Thess. 3:2 and that we be delivered from perverse and evil men. For not all have [apply] faith.
8. Paul’s confidence in the Lord’s protection from evil.
2Tim. 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. NAS95
B. Regarding the evil one, the devil
1. Prayer for deliverance from the evil one, the devil.
Matt. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’
A major point of the Lord’s prayer, actually a prayer model for the disciples includes praying for deliverance from the Devil and his wiles.
2. Jesus prayed for the believer’s protection from the evil one, the devil.
John 17:15 “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.
3. An active and strong faith protects us from the devil’s assaults.
Eph. 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
4. The Lord will protect us from the evil one.
2 Thess. 3:3 But the Lord is faithful who will strengthen us and will protect us from the evil one.
VIII. Rulers and Evil
To be continued