This Present Evil World

Every day the TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet remind us that we live in what the Bible calls “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). This world has resulted from Adam’s disobedience and the resulting penalty of “dying thou shalt die” which has condemned mankind to a lifetime of imperfection, sin, suffering and finally, death (Gen. 2:17 KJV margin). Because of Adam’s disobedience, man has become a fallen, imperfect creature driven in a large part by selfishness, greed and other unholy motivations.

The evil practiced by man rose rapidly following Adam’s disobedience until it reached a peak in the days of Noah. As a result, God destroyed all mankind except Noah and his family in the flood (Gen. 6:1-8:22). Evil then grew rapidly again until the tower of Babel where God confounded man’s language to limit his ability to band together in evil schemes (Gen. 11:1-9).

Still, since that time, evil has continued to grow as the human family has grown. The powerful continue to oppress and take advantage of the weak. Nations, tribes and religious groups continue to fight competing nations, tribes, and religious groups, all in the name of supremacy. Human history has become a saga of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.

With the increase of knowledge associated with our Lord’s return, evil has increased greatly resulting in world wars, genocide and ethnic cleansing on a huge scale and an enormous gulf between the wealth and privilege of the rich and the poverty and despair of the countless poor (Dan. 12:4). For the past 70 years, man has possessed the potential for destroying himself and the world sits on the brink of annihilation. Jesus prophesied regarding our day, “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved” (Matt. 24:22 NASB).

God had foreseen this development of evil and has both allowed it and overruled it to teach all of His intelligent creation, both men and angels, the ugly result of sin – misery, unhappiness and destruction. God has always had evil under control as the Psalmist writes: “The wrath of man shall praise thee [God]: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Psa. 76:10).

This permission of evil is only half of the lesson God intends to teach his children – “the knowledge of … evil” (Gen. 2:17). God’s plan of salvation also plans to teach mankind “the knowledge of good” through his son’s earthly kingdom. This second phase of God’s plan awaits the completion of the church, Christ’s bride, who then will be joined with her Lord and judge both men and angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3).

The intensity of the trouble today and other signs, such as the re-gathering of the nation of Israel, indicate that we are in the final days of this trouble and this present evil world (Matt. 24:30-33). The trouble will culminate in the attack of Gog and his allies upon Israel and mankind’s descent into the chaos of Armageddon (Ezek. 38,39; Rev. 16:16-21).

God will rescue Israel by defeating the hoard of Gog’s attackers through His miraculous intervention which will reveal himself both to Israel and to all mankind. The trouble

of Armageddon will bring every man’s hand against his neighbor and lead to the complete destruction of all man’s institutions – financial, religious, social and political (Zech. 14:13; 2 Pet. 3:10,11). Everything that man has created with his selfish spirit and fallen wisdom will be removed so that Christ’s kingdom can take its place.

The Apostle Paul describes this trouble saying, “‘YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.’  This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Heb. 12:26,27 NASB).

Under Christ’s kingdom, Satan will be bound, the “stones” of evil influence will be removed and mankind will be taught good (Rev. 20:1-3; Isa. 62:10). In Christ’s kingdom, the Lord’s judgments will be in the earth and the people will learn righteousness (Isa. 26:9). Death and hell will give up the dead that are in them and all who have ever lived will have the opportunity to eat “from the tree of the knowledge of good” (Rev. 20:13; Gen. 2:17).

All mankind will have the opportunity to profit from that knowledge and gain everlasting life by obedience to that knowledge. “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds” (Rev. 20:12 NASB). Christ will judge mankind according to their deeds in that kingdom.

Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats reveals how that judgment will take place (Matt. 25:31-46). Those who learn the lesson of good and demonstrate that knowledge by helping one another through love, will gain everlasting life as part of the sheep class (Matt. 25:34-40). Those who do not learn the lesson of good and thus, fail to help others due to a lack of love, will be destroyed forever as part of the goat class (Matt. 25:41-45).

How thankful we should be for God’s provision to teach all mankind good through His son’s kingdom. This will give each an opportunity to learn the lesson of righteousness and thereby, gain everlasting life.

To learn more, see our ad for the booklet Why God Permits Evil on the back page.

The Flood

Following Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin abounded.  Iniquity came to the full after 1,656 years of man’s existence on the earth. “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Gen. 6:5,7).

However, one man found grace in the eyes of the Lord, Noah (Gen. 6:8).  He was a preacher of righteousness and he had three sons (2 Pet. 2:5; Gen. 6:10). God commanded Noah to build an Ark for the purpose of bringing the animals of each kind, Noah, his wife and his sons and their wives through the flood safely while the rest of the wicked perished in the flood (Gen. 6:13-14).

Prior to the flood, there had been no rain. Instead, a watery canopy encircled the earth in the upper atmosphere and caused the earth to be watered by a mist. It was this canopy that broke and thus, caused the rain and the flood of waters that covered the earth.  It was a natural phenomenon that occurred in God’s due time.  By this flood, God determined to stop the extension of evil from the face of the earth.  It rained for 40 days and nights and the flood waters came upon the earth. No flesh survived save those in the ark.

When the waters subsided, Noah opened the doors and released the animals.  A fresh start began for life to blossom again upon the earth.  What a wonderful vision of the restitution of all things.  As the waters covered the world in Noah’s day, the waters of trouble cover the earth today. After the shaking, breaking and washing away of this present evil world takes place via Armageddon, the Lord will bless His creation with a renewed earth and He will remember their sins no more.

God has promised, the earth abideth forever (Eccl. 1:4). He signified this promise in the heavens with a rainbow which reminds us of God’s promise to never destroy the earth again with a flood (Gen. 9:11-15).

Fallen Angels and the Nephilim

Following Adam and Eve’s disobedience, man “began to multiply on the face of the earth” (Gen. 6:1). As earth’s population grew, some of the angelic “sons of God” saw that the daughters of men were beautiful.  No doubt being instructed by the great Adversary, Satan, these angels materialized on the earth. By all outward manifestation, they seemed to be human beings—men of striking appearance. It was not long before they began to take wives among the “daughters of men,” following which children were born (vs. 2).

Since the mothers of these children were human beings, and the fathers were spirit, or angelic, beings, the resulting offspring were a hybrid race. They were neither human nor angelic, and were not the creation of God. The Bible describes them as “giants in the earth; … mighty men” (vs. 4). The Hebrew word here translated giants is “Nephilim.” As a hybrid race, they were incapable of producing offspring, yet they were evidently very powerful, and capable of wreaking much havoc and evil upon the earth.

Because of the Nephilim’s evil influence upon mankind, “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (vs. 5). As a result, God brought the “world that then was” to an end with the flood—saving only faithful Noah and his family (2 Pet. 3:6).

What happened to the hybrid Nephilim, and to the angels who materialized in an earthly form to produce them? The Nephilim were destroyed in the flood, going out of existence forever. Not being of pure Adamic stock, they could have no part in the “ransom for all” provided by the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5,6). The ransom was for Adam and his progeny—mankind. The Nephilim, however, were the progeny of angelic, spirit beings, to which the terms of the ransom do not apply.

As for the angels who materialized as humans, the Scriptures state that the “Angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, [God] has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day” of Christ’s kingdom (Jude 6 NASB). They await the final judgement of Christ and his church (1 Cor. 6:3).