Human Nature: Good or Evil?

By COGwriter

Are human beings naturally good? Are human beings naturally intrinsically evil?

Various people have opinions.

But what does the word of God actually teach?

Are people good or bad or both?

What will happen if God totally left human beings alone? Here are links to two related sermons: Human Nature: Its Cause and Solution and Human Nature: Where Did it Come From?

What is Human Nature?

The late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following:

But What Is Human Nature?

We think customarily, don't we, that human nature is something with which humans are born. But wait a moment. Stop and think. If there be a Creator God, did He design and create within humanity this thing we call human nature? Or, if one accepts the theory of evolution, did man inherit it from a lower species of vertebrates from which he is supposed to have evolved? There are both tame and wild animals. But take, for example, a cow, a dog, or an ape. They have instincts not hereditary in man.

But human nature? Just what is human nature? I define it as vanity, lust and greed toward self — and as jealousy, envy, hostility and resentment of authority against others. The Bible defines it thus: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9) — and: "The carnal [natural] mind is enmity [hostile] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). You cannot ascribe that attitude or nature to the dumb animals.

Does it make sense to suppose a God of love, mercy and great outgoing concern for His human family, deliberately created us to be naturally hostile toward our Maker — not subject to His law, deceitful and desperately wicked? . . . (Armstrong HW. The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like.)

So what did a 'God of love' (2 Corinthians 13:11) do?

God Created Humans Good, but...

Did God create human beings as a evil thing?

Many in the Greco-Roman churches have taught this throughout history.

Herbert Armstrong wrote the following:

Here is a bombshell of truth almost no one has understood. The world's evils are attributed to human nature. But are babies born with this selfish, evil nature? I OVERHEARD one say: Just look at that beautiful, sweet little baby — and to think it's filled with all that evil, despicable human nature!" But was it? (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

Let's answer part of this with what the Bible teaches:

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:26-31, NKJV throughout except as where otherwise noted)

Human beings were part of everything that God made, "and indeed it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).

Yet, notice also the following:

5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. (Genesis 6:5-8, 12)

The pre-flood world had corrupted itself. But not all, Noah found favor in God's sight, as did Abel (Genesis 4:4), Enoch (Genesis 5:24), and likely others after Adam. Humans were made good, but after Satan's influence most choose to corrupt themselves, and all sinned (Romans 3:23).

Human beings were made upright, but are subject to temptations and lusts.

Notice the following:

29 Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

So, human beings were not made as evil sinful beings.

In the third century, Theophilus of Antioch wrote:

For God made man free, and with power over himself. That, then, which man brought upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this God now vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption. (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book II, Chapter 27. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight)

Theophilus understood that God made humans fine, but that they decided to sin against Him. But Theophilus also understood that God has a plan.

The Human Paradox

The human mind can produce wonders. Humans have sent successive teams of people into outerspace and back. We have invented computers, the internet, automobiles, aircraft, refrigeration, etc. Yet marvelous human minds cannot solve various serious problems here on earth — cannot bring the world PEACE!

Think of this paradox! How can it be explained?

Humans are given choices and will not always make the right ones, because of influences of Satan, society, and their own self.

Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree God had forbidden them to eat from.

Which tree?

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)

Notice what the serpent, Satan, told Eve:

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4)

The serpent was partially correct on that last point. Eve would gain knowledge, but not all of it would be good and it would not lead to good. A good food combined with a poison is still a poison.

Even before she ate the fruit, Eve allowed her own desires to override God's instruction, as did Adam:

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:6-7)

Adam, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, attempted to pass the blame to God for making Eve:

12 Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12)

Eve also made her attempt to pass the blame to the serpent that God had made:

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:13)

God, however, did not accept the blame. He did not ask the serpent about its motivations. He immediately announced judgment against the serpent:

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:

"Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:14-15)

And instead of accepting 'the devil made me do it' defense, God then gave His judgment to Eve and Adam:

16 To the woman He said:

"I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you."

17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it':

"Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:16-19)

The notice:

22 Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" — 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24)

Human beings, under the sway of Satan, came to know about good and evil. And with that knowledge did not restrict itself to good.

In the next chapter of Genesis we read that Cain got envious of his brother Abel and actually murdered him:

3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. (Genesis 4:3-8).

Notice that Cain had a choice. God gave Cain a warning after he became angry, but Cain choose of sin.

Human Nature

Violence, war, crime, corruption, dishonesty, and immorality are blamed on human nature.

But where did what we know as HUMAN NATURE come from? We know that the Creator did not instill it within us from creation.

Were we born with it?

Why, as the Bible says, is the heart deceitful above all things? (Jeremiah 17:9).

Did God create in us a nature that "is enmity [hostile] against God"? (Romans 8:7)

To try to answer some of those questions, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

The answer requires a knowledge of the composition and nature of the human mind — accessible only by revelation. WHY does such wonderful MIND power work so much evil? Did an all-loving, all-merciful, almighty GOD deliberately plague the human race He created with an inborn nature of vanity, lust, and greed — with a heart of hostility against God, of deceit, envy, jealousy, and hatred?

Adam at Creation

Few indeed know what a human being really is, HOW we humans came to be here on earth, the real human potential, where we are going, or what is the WAY. In preceding writings I have shown what caused God to create man, why we came to be put on earth, the real PURPOSE for human life, the AWESOME human potential.

Yet we humans seem to be cursed with this evil human nature! In this booklet I want to show what is the real source of this evil nature — why the human mind works as it does. The Bible is our source. So first, let's see what is revealed about the first man, Adam, and his nature at the time of his creation.

The Bible reveals only the most brief high points of human history for the first two thousand-plus years — a third of all the time from the creation of man to now! Only eleven chapters are devoted to the history of that span of time. The account of the first created couple is merely the briefest possible summary. The first humans were the last act of creation on the sixth day of what is commonly called "creation week," recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.

God had created plant life — the flora — on the third day of that week, animal life — the fauna — on the fifth and sixth, each reproducing "after its own kind." Cattle reproduced after the cattle kind (verse 25), lions after the lion kind, horses after the horse kind, etc.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." In other words, "Let us make MAN after the GOD kind!" God was actually reproducing Himself! And notice, the name God — the Hebrew name as originally written throughout Genesis 1, is Elohim. It is a uniplural noun, like family, group, church. It is ONE family composed of more than one person. It is like one team, one church, but each composed of multiple persons. The God to whom Jesus prayed is the FATHER of the FAMILY that is GOD. God IS a FAMILY — but ONE family, ONE GOD.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them." WHY? Because human reproduction is the type of God's reproducing Himself. And physical reproduction requires both male and female. But continue: "And God blessed them ...." Did He bless them by creating in them an evil sinful nature, utterly unable to be subject to God's right way of life? But continue this passage: '... and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28). "And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (verse 31).

If the first humans — as God had created them — were VERY GOOD, could it include a hostile and evil nature that was very BAD? That ought to give every reader something to think about!

No Rebellion

Now what does this record of the creation of the first humans reveal as to Adam's nature at the time of his creation? I repeat: Only the very most brief high spots are recorded here. The little that is revealed gives us, however, all we really need to know. Here it is: "And out of the ground the Eternal God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them ..." (Gen. 2:19). Here, in the briefest of summaries, we may see clearly whether this short account reveals a rebellious and disobedient nature in Adam, or one of compliance and obedience.

Absolutely NO REBELLION is indicated here. We find, instead, the response that Adam gave names to all cattle, to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. This incident reveals Adam's attitude and nature as he was created, PRIOR TO his temptation by Satan (which is recorded in chapter 3). Notice carefully. Absolutely NOTHING in the account of this pre-temptation incident indicates in Adam the presence of an evil, hostile, rebellious attitude or nature. It does not reflect a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, as human nature is described (Jeremiah 17:9), nor a carnal mind that is enmity (hostile) against God and which "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).

Nor, on the other hand, does it reveal a nature filled with the Spirit of God.

Adam had not yet been confronted by Satan, had not disobeyed, nor had he taken of the "tree of life" to receive the indwelling LOVE and POWER of God's Holy Spirit, which would have imparted the DIVINE NATURE (II Peter 1:4).

So prior to the temptation by Satan, we have only the revelation that Adam's NATURE, as God created him, was not evil, hostile and diabolical. There may have been the physical and mental nature of self-preservation and such things. But NOT the evil nature of SELF-centeredness.

We need to realize that God created Adam and the human race for a PURPOSE. We need to have clearly in mind, at this point, WHAT that purpose is. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

Human beings were NOT created intrinsically evil. As far as God's plan for humanity, please also check out the article What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?

Humans have the spirit of man in them, whereas animals, including the other primates, do not. The reality that there is a spirit in humans is taught in both the Old and New Testaments:

8 But there is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (1 Corinthians 2:11)

God gave animals instinct, but not the type of understanding that He gave humans (cf. Job 39:13-17). 

Humans Were Influenced By Satan

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they allowed themselves to be influenced to do something that God taught against. Eve wanted to be wiser and listened to Satan. Adam did not want to be estranged from Eve, so he sinned and sin entered the world (Romans 5:12).

12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:12-15)

They were both influenced by Satan, but in different ways--Satan broadcast what he thought they each would respond to.

Three main factors that cause people to sin are Satan, society, and self. And both Eve and Adam had at least two of those each influence their decisions to disobey God.

Since Satan was mentioned first, a little about Satan should be reviewed.

First, the Bible is clear that Satan was the serpent of old:

9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)

2 ... the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan (Revelation 20:2)

So, Satan deceives the whole world and is the serpent of old. Satan was the deceptive serpent that Adam and Eve encountered.

Notice also the following:

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (John 8:42-47)

But what led to Satan encourage sin?

There were several steps. Herbert Armstrong wrote the following, starting with some background:

Angels had inhabited this planet before the creation of man (II Peter 2:4-6). These angels had sinned. God had set over them a king — Lucifer, a super archangel — to govern them with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:11-17). This super king, Lucifer, was, of all created beings, supreme in created perfection (Ezek. 28:12,15).

But, remember, holy and righteous CHARACTER is something that cannot be created in one instantaneously by fiat. It must be developed in an independent entity through a process in which one comes to recognize the right way from the wrong, to choose the right and reject the wrong even against self desire. The great Lucifer and the angels who followed him (apparently a third of all angels) were originally created as holy beings, composed of spirit, immortal. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

For more on character, see the article Building Character: Going on to Perfection; a related video sermon is also available: Going on to perfection and building character.

Herbert Armstrong continued:

But in order that they have personality and individuality as independent beings, it was necessary that they be provided with faculties for knowing, thinking, reasoning, and making their own decisions and choices. These angels followed their king Lucifer in the decision to turn from and rebel against the GOVERNMENT OF God — God's WAY OF LIFE. That is THE WAY OF LOVE — outgoing concern for the good of others — the way of humility, obedience to and love for their MAKER, of giving, serving, cooperating, and sharing.

They turned to THE WAY of vanity, lust and greed, of rebellion, jealousy and envy, of competition, strife and violence, of resentment, bitterness and destruction. Obviously the other two thirds of the angels and archangels have remained holy, loyal, and obedient to God's government.

God's Purpose

But now, to carry out God's purpose for the inhabitants of this earth, to accomplish the grand and awesome PURPOSE throughout the entire universe that could have been theirs, GOD IS REPRODUCING HIMSELF THROUGH HUMAN BEINGS!

The super archangel Lucifer was the supreme pinnacle of God's creative power in a created being. When he turned to rebellion, it left ONLY GOD Himself who could be utterly relied on NEVER to deviate from God's WAY — God's GOVERNMENT. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

God's way is based on truth and honesty: "it is impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18). Jesus did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Satan tried to tempt Jesus without success (Matthew 4).

God does not sin, because God will not sin. Yet, despite being made perfect, Satan did:

3 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:13-15)

Satan was the one in the Garden of Eden. Despite having no physical needs, Satan sinned.

This should show all that sin does not just happen because humans are physical. And its cause is spiritual:

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:11-12)

Herbert Armstrong wrote it was:

God's purpose to reproduce Himself through human beings. That required the development in human beings of God's own holy, righteous character. It was necessary, for this purpose, that man be composed of physical matter, that he CHOOSE God's government, reject Lucifer's (now Satan's) self-centered rebellious way, and strive to overcome it.

God's PURPOSE in having put humans on earth can be achieved only by man coming to choose God's GOVERNMENT as God s way of life — to reject with utter finality Satan's way, completely overcoming it.

So God created MAN out of physical matter. God created in man a MIND like God's, though of course inferior, because it was composed of physical brain, empowered with intellect by a human spirit (essence) in each. Although the holy and righteous CHARACTER to be developed within man must actually come from God, each human must make his own decision. He must make his own choice to reject Satan's WAY, and to obey God's government.

Adam's Choice

Adam was compelled, therefore, to make the choice. God purposely allowed Satan opportunity to confront Adam with his way of rebellion. But He did NOT allow Satan to get to Adam first. God Himself instructed Adam in GOD'S way — the way of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD based on the LAW OF GOD, just as Lucifer and his angels had been first instructed in the ways of THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.

Then God allowed Satan to confront Adam.

Satan got to Adam through his wife.

Satan subtly deceived Eve into DISBELIEVING what God had taught them.

Adam followed her in choosing rebellion and rejecting God's rule and government over them. They took to themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is evil — deciding for themselves right from wrong. Then, something happened to the minds of Adam and Eve — the eyes of both of them were opened (Gen. 3:7). The spirit and attitude of rebellion had entered their minds. Their minds (hearts) now had become perverted — deceitful and desperately wicked.


They were NOT created with this evil nature.

But how did humanity, today, come to have this evil attitude we call "HUMAN Nature"?

Did the children of Adam and Eve inherit it from them? Or, was it passed on by heredity?

Let me give you an example of heredity. God put Adam to sleep and removed one of his ribs, out of which He made Eve. Do all men today find themselves short one rib by heredity? Of course not. Acquired characteristics are not passed on by heredity.

Evil Nature by Heredity?

Adam and Eve chose and acquired the "nature" or attitude of sin from Satan.

It was not passed on by heredity. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

Through genetics, human beings inherit attributes such as eye color, hair type, facial characteristics, size, and skin tone. But those do not dispose one towards sin. Identical twins can be raised in the same or different families and turn out quite differently. Some can become criminals with others highly productive members of society.

Now the Bible supports the view that certain beliefs and practices can be present in multiple generations, but this is not from genetic inheritance, but is more often the result of parental example and societal influence. But even then, one is not 'doomed' to have to go in the same direction as the Bible states:

16 "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 24:16)

The Bible also teaches repentance (Acts 2:38) and an opportunity for repentance means an opportunity to change.

Jesus taught spoke "the blood of righteous Abel" (Matthew 23:35). Abel was the second listed son of Adam and Eve. Despite this, he was not totally depraved and evil, despite being a child of Adam and Eve.

Herbert Armstrong wrote:

Then how do we humans come to have (universally) this evil attitude we call human nature today?

It's partly explained in the apostle Paul's second letter to the Corinthian church. He said he desired to present that church "as a chaste virgin to Christ. BUT I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor. 11:2-3). Satan was still around when Paul wrote. (The reason is explained elsewhere.) The people at Corinth had not received this evil nature by heredity. Rather, the apostle feared lest they (in this NEW Testament time) should be beguiled into evil attitudes in the same manner as was the original mother Eve — directly by Satan. Eve did not have a mind that was evil before Satan came along and confronted her. But Satan, by subtlety, deceived Eve. Eve's children were not born with this evil nature. Nor were the people of the Corinthian church. But Paul feared lest Satan, still around after some 4,000 years, pervert Corinthian minds directly, as he had done to Eve. Satan was still around when Christ was born. He tried to destroy the Christ child by having Him murdered. Satan was still around when Jesus was thirty and baptized. And he tried to destroy Jesus spiritually then, in the temptation. As Satan destroyed (spiritually) Adam, he tried to destroy the "second Adam."

Satan is still around TODAY!

But the wily Satan has succeeded in deluding many, if not most, of the best minds into believing he is a nonexistent myth. The best minds, unsuspecting, are deceived (Rev. 12:9). Here is a truth you, the reader, need to know!

Satan's Wavelength

To the church at Ephesus, God said through the apostle Paul (Ephesians 2:1-2): "And you [who] ... in time past ... walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience ...." GRASP IT!

Satan is here called "the prince of the power of the AIR!"

I could not have understood that 60 years ago. I did not then realize how communication by sound and by picture can be broadcast instantaneously through the air. I have stressed the point that Satan, the former great archangel cherub Lucifer, was the most perfect and powerful being that God could create as an individual being. He was perfect as originally created. But he is composed of spirit, and thus he is invisible to human eyes.

This great and powerful being, even though evil, has power literally to surcharge the air around this earth. HE BROADCASTS! Wherever you are as you read these words, chances are there are voices and perhaps music in the air around you. A radio or television set tuned to the right wavelength would make them audible to you. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

Satan knows about the spirit in every human being. Satan is broadcasts in a 'wavelength' that that the human spirit can be tuned into.

But what is one of the main reasons that people will sin? Notice something from the Bible:

11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8:11)

Why the delay? To help us build character (Building Character: Going on to Perfection) so they we will be able to be in the family of God, as opposed to being forced to not sin.

Because people do not see the immediate consequences of sin, they sin--they like Eve believe Satan's lies (cf. John 8:44; 1 Timothy 2:14). But once humans have pretty much destroyed the planet, the time will come that they will better understand.

Herbert Armstrong continued:

You don't hear anything because he does not broadcast in words — nor in sounds, whether music or otherwise. He broadcasts in ATTITUDES. He broadcasts in attitudes of SELF-centeredness, lust, greed, vanity, jealousy, envy, resentment, competition, strife, bitterness, and hate. In a word, the selfishness, hostility, deceitfulness, wickedness, rebellion, etc. that we call "Human NATURE' is actually SATAN'S NATURE. It is Satan's ATTITUDE.

And broadcasting it, surcharging the air with it, Satan actually NOW WORKS IN the unsuspecting all over the world today! That is HOW Satan deceives the whole world today (Rev. 12:9; 20:3).

Being invisible, Satan is not seen by people. This prince of the power of the air — this god of this world — IS THE REAL SOURCE OF WHAT WE HAVE COME TO CALL "HUMAN Nature"! Here is the real CAUSE of all the world's evils! But it seems nobody understands it, and therefore the world does nothing about it — except to go along with it, blaming human nature and supposing it was GOD who created us with an evil nature. Actually, it is Satan's nature.

Spirit Communication

Let me give you an illustration of how we can be swayed, influenced, and driven Satan's wrong way by his broadcasting through the air. When God wanted to cause captive Jews in ancient Babylon to return to Jerusalem to build the second temple, He put it in the mind of Cyrus, king of Persia.

The Persian Empire had taken over the rule of empire from Babylon.

Following is the explanation of how God moved Cyrus to do what God wanted. "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia ... the Eternal stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom ..." (Ezra 1:1) that a contingent of Jews return to Jerusalem. God did not speak to Cyrus in words or direct communication, as He talked with Moses and God's prophets. God reached Cyrus through Cyrus' spirit. God stirred up his spirit, causing him to want to do it. God did cause King Cyrus to know that in issuing this proclamation he was doing it according to the will of God.

Utilizing this same principle, Satan, prince of THE POWER OF THE AIR, stirs the spirits of humans, injecting into them attitudes, moods, and impulses of selfishness, vanity, lust, and greed, attitudes of resentment against authority, of jealousy and envy, of competition and strife, of resentment and bitterness, of violence, murder, and war. People do not recognize the source of these attitudes, feelings, motives, and impulses.

As I said, they do not SEE the invisible Satan. They hear no audible voice. They do not know the attitude comes from Satan (Rev. 12:9). But they come to FEEL such attitudes, impulses, and desires. That is how Satan DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD.

Self-Centered Attitude

People will feel depressed and won't realize why. But those unaware of this phenomenon, with this self-centered attitude being broadcast and injected into their unsuspecting minds from earliest childhood, do, to a greater or lesser degree, absorb it until it becomes their normal attitude. It becomes habitual. It does not, of course, exhibit the same degree of effect in all minds — one person will become more evil than another. But the natural tendency is there. They come to have it naturally.

It becomes their very NATURE. And we call it "human nature."

All this is an outstanding example of just how subtle Satan is! The finest and most brilliant human minds have been deceived by it. Thus the WHOLE WORLD has been swayed by Satan into what I often term, simply, the "GET" way of life — the way that has become HABITUAL and NATURAL which we term "HUMAN NATURE." Few realize how many passages in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, warn us about Satan and his subtlety. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

Why would God allow the lying Satan to tempt anyone? Actually, for our good. Notice:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:18-23)

God has given us ways to deal with it:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

8 pray . . . 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:8,13)

Laodiceans and potential Laodiceans (which are the rest of the actual Christians) do not understand verse 12 of 1 Corinthians 10 and will not have the right type of work according to Jesus (Revelation 3:14-22).

Satan is the Prince of the Power of the Air, But ...

The Bible calls Satan the prince of the power of the air:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Herbert Armstrong wrote:

Ephesians. In chapter 1 of this letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul gives thanks and praise to God who has blessed "us" (the converts at Ephesus and Paul — all Christians) with every spiritual blessing within the heavenly sphere. God had chosen us before we were born — before the foundation of the world — predestinated to be called to spiritual studentship. God has richly lavished on us His grace. He shows that we being called in this time — this New Testament "church age" — are the first to be called to this glorious grace (emphasizing that this is NOT the time God is trying to save the world, but only those predestined to be called NOW).

Paul has heard of their faith and never ceases to give thanks for it. He prays for their eyes to be opened fully to the awesome human potential — the supreme greatness of their divine heritage. I urgently suggest the reader carefully read this first chapter in the Moffatt translation. As translated by Moffatt I think it is one of the most beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring pieces of literature I have ever read.

Power of the Air

Now the highlights of chapter 2: You Christians at Ephesus were spiritually dead, but Christ has given you the impregnation of eternal life. You are now spiritually alive. In the past you lived according to the way of this world (the SELF centered way), according to the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR.

In II Corinthians 4:4 Satan is called the god of this world, who has blinded the minds of those who do not believe Christ and His truth. NOT that they inherited this spiritual blindness — but that Satan blinded those living in that generation directly. But here in Ephesians 2 Satan is referred to as the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR! Notice the word POWER — the POWER of the air. Then it calls him the SPIRIT (being) that NOW — the time when they were living — actually was WORKING IN those of the world who were not obedient — that is, the world in general.

The Phillips translation in modern English renders this: "You [then] drifted along in the stream of this world's ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler [who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God]."

Emphatically this shows Satan is the UNSEEN one who, unrealized by the people, is actually swaying their minds, leading them in what I term the "GET" way. The Phillips translation continues (verse 3): "We all lived like that in the past, and followed the impulses and imaginations of our evil nature ... like everyone else." This "nature" has been acquired from Satan. It was not inherited from our parents. It was not created in us by God.

That which has become habitual and therefore natural becomes a NATURE within us. Such nature IS NOT hereditary, but an acquired characteristic. This very passage shows the AUTHOR of this "nature" to be Satan, NOT GOD.

The next words in the Phillips translation are: "being under the wrath of God by nature." It would make no sense at all for God's wrath to be on us BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD PUT WITHIN US. Adam was NOT created with this "EVIL nature." Adam acquired it from Satan. Lucifer (Satan) was created PERFECT. He acquired it by false reasoning.

These Ephesians, in their generation, had acquired it from Satan.

But now, IN CHRIST, through His grace, Christ had given them LIFE, who were spiritually dead because of this acquired evil nature. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

But how about the converted Christian? The Christian was born with a human spirit, like all others. Satan's wavelength is often broadcast to the 'channel' each of us is tuned to.

Effect on Converted Christians ...

The same tendency, just as if this evil nature were inherent in him from birth, is present. Satan has been injecting it since early childhood. But the true Christian has repented of that attitude and WAY. He has REJECTED it. He has turned from it. He has accepted and turned to GOD'S attitude — the way of GOD'S GOVERNMENT!

The passage in Ephesians 2 explains it. People generally, in the world, are spiritually dead. They have gone along with the rest of the world in the self-centered way. As the Phillips translation renders it, they have "drifted along on the stream of this world's way of living." They have "obeyed its UNSEEN ruler [who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God]."

I have quoted from the Phillips translation, not because it is a more accurate or dependable translation, but because it brought out the meaning more clearly in this particular passage. Conversion does not disconnect Satan's wavelength. The tendency to become resentful over real or fancied wrongs or injustices from others, the tendency to try to get the best of others, may still prove a temptation. THESE are the things the converted Christian must strive to overcome! When Jesus spoke of OVERCOMING, He referred to overcoming these attitudes and WAYS of Satan, which are contrary to GOD'S way. The Christian must, as Peter was inspired to write, GROW in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — be a spiritual student.

We read in James 4: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." This is speaking of resisting these very self-centered thoughts, attitudes, tendencies, and ways which Satan injected into us from childhood and is constantly broadcasting and injecting into unsuspecting minds through the spirit in man. However, no man is IMPELLED to respond to and obey these impulses being broadcast by Satan.

Satan has no power to FORCE anyone to think or do wrong. But the unsuspecting automatically do without fully realizing what is taking place in their minds. They drift along.

Evil Nature Acquired

The passage in II Corinthians 4:4 adds clarity to the entire thesis that this evil spiritual nature in humans has been acquired, individually by each person, from Satan. Before I became familiar with radio, I could not have understood HOW Satan injects this evil attitude into humans. He is a SUPER POWERFUL spirit being. He was set on a throne as king over the earth. He himself, by his own reasoning processes, acquired this evil nature. God did not create it in him (Ezek. 28:15).

Though disqualified now to administer the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the earth, he must remain here UNTIL his successor has qualified AND been inducted into office. There is a REASON why Christ has not YET come to take over that office, remove Satan, and restore the government of God. Before Jesus Christ could qualify to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD and RULE all nations, He had to withstand Satan's most severe temptation.

You'll read of that supreme struggle in the 4th chapter of Matthew. Jesus had to — in human flesh — reject Satan's way and teach and prove OBEDIENT to the GOVERNMENT OF GOD — so He can RESTORE it on earth!

It was immediately after that — after Christ QUALIFIED to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to earth — that Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, "The time is fulfilled" (Mark 1:1,14-15).

It was never fulfilled until that titanic struggle in which Jesus resisted Satan, conquered him, and showed His MASTERY over him. Now notice something you probably never realized before: I have said repeatedly THIS IS NOT THE TIME GOD IS TRYING TO CONVERT THE WHOLE WORLD. He is calling only a comparative VERY FEW, now.


WHY does not God call everyone on earth NOW? Are those of us called NOW getting a real SPECIAL deal? Well, THINK OF THIS: We, now called, must resist Satan, who will PULL OUT ALL STOPS to attack and DESTROY those of us called Now! All others are drifting along SATAN'S WAY ANYWAY. Sure, he broadcasts to sway everyone to his SELF-centered way, contrary to GOD'S WAY. But he has the whole world already going his way. But those of us who have turned from his way are fighting to OVERCOME his way, and turning to GOD'S way — the WAY of God's GOVERNMENT — are the ones Satan HATES. He seeks specially to destroy us!

Without God's protection and restraining power over Satan, we could never make it!

The Bible teaches:

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Be humble enough to realize that Satan can influence you--he is happy for you to trust yourself and not fully trust God. Trusting God over oneself can overcome the negative aspects of human nature.

Herbert Armstrong immediately continued with:

We Must Withstand Satan

Few, even among professing converted Christians, realize the vital and SUPREME NEED to be conscious and constantly aware of Satan's efforts to get to US, who already have turned from Satan's way and to the WAY of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Few actively heed what God, through Paul, said later to the Ephesians: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against POWERS, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [wicked SPIRITS] in HIGH PLACES" (Eph. 6:10-12).

There is a reason WHY God allows those predestinated to be called NOW to have to withstand Satan and his REBELLION AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. It is necessary — in order for us to QUALIFY to become rulers (under Christ) in the KINGDOM OF GOD — that we NOT ONLY reject Satan's false way but strive against it until we OVERCOME IT, relying all the while on GOD for the power to do so. As we, from earliest childhood growing up, acquired Satan's nature, so, through conversion and the struggle of OVERCOMING, we rid ourselves of it. We ACQUIRE, instead, the DIVINE NATURE.

Peter wrote that we become "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE" (II Pet. 1:4). We most certainly were not born with it.

So, Lucifer ACQUIRED that Satanic nature by his own reasoning and choice. Humans have ACQUIRED Satan's nature from childhood and call it "human nature."

But converted Christians, who reject Satan's way and OVERCOME it, turning to GOD'S WAY, BECOME PARTAKERS OF — i.e., ACQUIRE — the DIVINE NATURE. But for God's PURPOSE, it was necessary that we first know and totally REJECT Satan's way and accept GOD'S GOVERNMENT.

When God does set out to CALL EVERY HUMAN ON EARTH to spiritual salvation, Satan will be BOUND a thousand years, unable to broadcast his impulses and attitudes. The world will be at PEACE! Those called then will not have to battle what we do now. But why? There has to be a reason!

Qualify to Rule

To those of us being called, now, Jesus said: "And he that overcometh [Satan and his own self], and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron ..." (Rev. 2:26-27). When Christ comes to RULE, as the KING of kings and LORD of lords, we who are called now will rule with and under Him, as He restores the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to this earth.

Notice again: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21). Those who shall reign WITH Christ, when He comes to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, MUST OVERCOME (and that includes overcoming SATAN), EVEN AS JESUS DID!...

But GET THIS CRUX POINT! Jesus had to QUALIFY to RULE the earth. God's WHOLE PURPOSE IS TO RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth and set up the KINGDOM OF GOD. Jesus had to resist and overcome the temptations — very special ones — of SATAN.

Are WE to rule without any such qualifications?

Of course not!

Those who are to rule with and under Christ when He restores the GOVERNMENT to the earth MUST QUALIFY — must turn FROM Satan's WAY TO GOD'S WAY, that is, to the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. We must root out — root and branch — Satan's ATTITUDE and WAY, and so thoroughly that we shall make it IMPOSSIBLE ever to turn again to Satan's way — IMPOSSIBLE TO SIN (I John 3:9). (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

God is aware of Satan's influence:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. ...

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:1-3, 9-21)

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. ...

8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:1-3, 11-14)

Satan influences humanity to sin, but God has a plan--and that is why He sent Jesus:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

8 ... the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

God understood what humans would do and their nature as influenced by Satan, but God always had a plan.

Herbert Armstrong wrote:

God's Government Restored

Notice, Matthew 25 and Revelation 20: First, Matthew 25, beginning verse 31: "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." Christ is coming in all the supreme POWER and GLORY of the Creator GOD! He is coming to RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the WHOLE EARTH — over ALL NATIONS! One SUPER WORLD GOVERNMENT! He will restore the throne of David at Jerusalem. Continue: "And before him shall be gathered all nations" (verse 32).

He is coming to RULE the WORLD — to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD! Every government is founded on a basic LAW. The law of God is unlike any man-made law of any human government. It is a SPIRITUAL law (Rom. 7:14). Unlike man-made government laws, it regulates not alone deeds, doing, BUT attitudes toward God and man that lead to WAYS or ACTIONS. And it is a HOLY law (Rom. 7:12). It is A WAY OF LIFE — God's way!

When people are governed in that attitude and way of life, there will be PEACE, HAPPINESS, JOY, ABUNDANCE! But that basic LAW of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD is also the law of the Christian WAY of life. Sin (spiritually) is the transgression of that law (I John 3:4). Christ is coming also to call ALL PEOPLE to spiritual salvation and eternal life. That is when God will seek to spiritually save THE WHOLE WORLD — and NOT TILL THEN!

Continue: "And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:32-34).

The nations before the king on his throne are the nations of this world. Those called to salvation during the church age and previously (prophets, etc.), will have been resurrected to meet Christ in the air, as He descends to earth on His return (I Thes. 4:16-17). They will be ruling with Christ, already being immortal, composed of spirit (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10). They, with Christ, will compose the Kingdom of God. Government and Kingdom It is necessary, here, to explain the difference between the GOVERNMENT OF GOD and the KINGDOM OF GOD.

The GOVERNMENT of God was established on earth IN PRE-HISTORY OVER THE ANGELS. But the KINGDOM of God is BOTH the GOVERNMENT of God and the FAMILY of God. Those now being saved spiritually will, in the resurrection, INHERIT the Kingdom of God. They shall have been BORN of God — born into the divine FAMILY of God.

They shall be married to Christ. Of this divine spiritual marriage will be begotten and born spiritually children of God all during the thousand years commencing with Christ's return to earth as KING.

Satan Will Be Bound

The Bible tells of a time when Satan will be bound, released, then permanently gone:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished...

7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. (Revelation 20:1-3,7-10)

Herbert Armstrong wrote:

Now let's notice the 20th chapter of Revelation: The apostle John is recording what he saw in vision: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:1-2). When Christ comes again to earth in supreme POWER and GLORY, He shall already have been crowned with many crowns. The coronation ceremony will have taken place in heaven (throne of God the Father) before His return. Christ then shall have been qualified AND inducted into office.

I have said before, Satan must remain on earth swaying the nations his way UNTIL Christ, the successor, has both qualified AND been inducted into office. Immediately on Christ's return, Satan shall be BOUND. Continue: "And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season" (verse 3).

Those resurrected then shall reign over all nations with Christ — and a thousand years of PEACE on earth will ensue. Imagine what it shall be like with Christ and resurrected saints forming the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over all living humans who shall be left alive.

Satan will be restrained from broadcasting. Christ will be ruling with God's way of life.

Satan Loosed

But now notice! Verse 7: "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth ... to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea" (verses 7-8).

Grasp it!

These are people at PEACE! They have not been inoculated with the satanic NATURE we now call "human nature." They shall have been living happily in PERFECT PEACE. Now Satan once more BROADCASTS. Remember these nations are HUMAN. Satan is INVISIBLE to them.

But notice the CHANGE come over them as soon as Satan is loosed and able again to sway humanity: Verse 9: "And they [the human nations] went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city ...."

Immediately "Human Nature" shall have entered into them! Immediately they shall have been filled with envy and jealousy against the saints of God, filled with wrath and violence! But God will not allow them to destroy. They shall have been told — have been warned about Satan. "... And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone ... and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

Great White Throne Judgment

After this shall occur the "Great White Throne Judgment" — the resurrection of all humanity from the time of Adam to Christ's coming who had not been in the first resurrection or called by God. In this judgment is to be "the book of life," meaning many, perhaps most, shall then find spiritual salvation and eternal life. In the time of their judgment, Satan will be GONE!

Up to now, God has called VERY FEW to spiritual salvation, contrary to general tradition and opinion in the "Christian" world! From Adam to Noah we have the record of only Abel, Enoch, and Noah — some 1,900 years! From Noah to Christ, there was Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, prior to calling the children of Israel out of Egypt. ...

From Christ to now, only a VERY MINUTE PORTION of humanity has been called, and they for the SPECIAL MISSION of THE GREAT COMMISSION — "GO ye therefore and TEACH (Matt. 28:19) those who are to be RULERS and TEACHERS (Rev. 5:10) in the Millennium. We who have been called in this "church age" have been called to qualify as rulers with and under Christ in the Kingdom of God, restoring the GOVERNMENT OF GOD; in other words, to develop the holy, righteous CHARACTER of God.

But OUR PART in the GREAT COMMISSION is the assignment God has given as the means of preparing us for rulership with and under Christ when He comes — and that is now soon!

Little Children and Human Nature

This booklet began with the question of whether this evil "human nature" is born in a sweet tiny baby. Let me now, before I conclude, quote three passages from the Bible.

"And they brought unto him [Jesus] also infants, that he would touch them .... Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:15-16). The evil nature which some erroneously have supposed was born in babies is the nature of Satan's kingdom, but "of such" — these babies — is the Kingdom of GOD.

"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:1-3).

"Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). We humans start out at birth all right. But soon we begin to absorb and ACQUIRE the selfish, self-centered attitude broadcast by Satan. But Satan's kingdom of angels — now turned to demons — rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, and it was thus removed from earth. GOD'S PURPOSE in having created and put HUMANS on earth was to develop in them GOD'S own holy and righteous character.

God wants a people who will REJECT and overcome Satan's WAY OF LIFE and turn to THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD — which is GOD'S WAY of life. That GOVERNMENT OF GOD exists at this time on earth only in the one true Church of God. Satan is angry. He hates it! He subtly tries to inject into minds under that government of LOVE a hostility that MISrepresents it as a harsh and cruel government of Satan. But I repeat, LUCIFER was created by God "perfect in all his ways, until iniquity was found in him." He acquired the nature of rebellion and evil by false reasoning. Adam acquired it from Satan. The Ephesians (Eph. 2:1) acquired it from Satan — as has all humanity, except Jesus Christ. But now, IN CHRIST, through His grace, we may ACQUIRE the DIVINE NATURE (II Pet. 1:4).

God's GREAT PURPOSE is to RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD to this earth, in and through the KINGDOM OF GOD! We CAN, by Christ's grace, CHANGE "human nature" and eradicate it entirely from us, replacing it with the divine nature! (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

What about us now?

There is to be a difference between true Christians and others. Satan broadcasts on the carnall human channel. But we need to resist:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:1-15)

19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:19-20)

Carnally-minded means that you are to focused on the here and now to believe you can properly get along by always keeping the Sabbath, always keeping the Holy Days, always avoiding unclean meat, always tithing, always giving holy day offerings, always praying, always striving to grow in grace and knowledge, and always enduring to the end. Christians are to grow in all good things (Ephesians 4:15).

We need to live the love, the give way, not the get way, of life. Herbert Armstrong wrote:

Only Two Basic Philosophies

There are only two ways, or attitudes, of life, broadly speaking: give, the way of love; and get, the way of vanity, selfishness, hostility, resentment. The first man Adam, after Satan got to him through his wife, had turned to the way of get. But we did not inherit that get way of life at birth from Adam. Adam was not created with it — he acquired it from Satan. And acquired characteristics are not passed on by heredity. Those who are called by God, and come to real repentance and belief in Christ, become partakers of — or acquire — the Divine Nature (II Pet. 1:4).

But the children of one who has acquired it will not receive by heredity that divine nature. Adam and Eve, by making the wrong decision, acquired the get attitude from Satan. All their children — the entire human family, with the single exception of Jesus Christ — have acquired it, after birth, from Satan. How, you may ask, can that be? Satan was still around when Jesus was born. Satan tried to have the Christ-child killed. He tempted Christ — unsuccessfully. Satan was still around when the Apostle Paul wrote his inspired second letter to the Church at Corinth. "... I fear," he wrote, "lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted ..." (II Cor. 11:3). Those in the Corinthian Church were not born with this corruption of mind — they were in danger of acquiring it.

Satan Broadcasts! ...

How God Will Change Human Nature

I have said that we shall never have real utopia on earth until human nature is changed, and that human nature is the villain cause of all this world's evils. And I also said that although man can't change his human nature, God can — and will. That is precisely what the glorified world-ruling Christ is going to do when He returns to earth in Divine power and glory. Now we can begin to understand. First, consider how the living Christ, as our High Priest, changes this human nature in those whom God calls to salvation in this present day of man.

Each individual is a free moral agent, and God won't change that prerogative! Each must be brought, of his own free will, to repentance and to faith in Jesus Christ. Those are the conditions. Those do not change human nature. They are the conditions God requires of us. But when we, of our own free choice, do yield to those two conditions, then God starts the changing process. God doesn't abolish human nature — not as long as we are in the human flesh. But He does, upon real repentance and faith, give the precious gift of His Holy Spirit, which enters into the mind of the individual. And this is the Divine Nature. It is not human nature — it is God's Nature. Yet it does not drive out or eliminate human nature.

Satan is still broadcasting — if you will listen.

But if one has really repented, and fully believes, he will want to be willingly led by God's Spirit. And it is "as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14). If one makes the decision to be led by this new Divine Nature, God's Spirit in him is also the power of God and the faith of Christ that will enable him to resist his human nature, and follow the Divine Nature. As the converted individual resists the pulls of human nature, and is led by God's Holy Spirit into obedience to God's ways, he grows in spiritual character, until at the time of the Resurrection, his human nature will be gone — only the Divine Nature will remain. (Armstrong HW. The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like.)

While some physical circumstances are impossible carnally speaking, notice:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Also notice:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

This applies to us. We who are called by God have access to assistance from God.

Notice Jesus' words:

34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)

Adam and Eve sinned and became slaves to sin. Even though,"all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), through Jesus Christ we do not need to e slaves to sin. We can be freed.

We do not have to have the nature of Satan. We do not have to have to be led by carnal human nature.

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

Thiel B. Human Nature: Good or Evil? COGwriter (c) 2014/2017 1118

Here are links to two related sermons: Human Nature: Its Cause and Solution and Human Nature: Where Did it Come From?

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