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Author Topic: Defining evil?  (Read 1345 times)

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mikeincanada

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Defining evil?
« on: January 30, 2017, 01:11:44 AM »

I was just rereading the Lake of fire 'synagogue of satan' part X.
" God created evil, God does not create things that do not serve a good purpose. "
"Now the word ra does not have a conscience and therefore has no moral bias. 
"Evil is not sin"
"God did not create sin, nor has God Himself ever sinned"

These are quotes..we know sin is missing the mark, but how do we define what evil is?

Rays statement that God didn't create sin struck me as I hadn't ever seen that before
.
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 02:17:22 PM »

Mike, we define words by their usage...and particularly by their usage in Scripture--remembering that the bible was not originally in English.  Bible-dictionaries can help, but only so much.  There are numerous Hebrew and Greek words translated "evil" in many bibles.  Ray mentioned 'ra'.  That's one of them.

"Evil is not sin" is a correct statement.  "Sins", on the other hand, are "evils"--or at the least the result of many sins are evils.  I'll leave it there.  There is a bit of unravelling to do to "unlearn" what most of us were brought up to conflate and confuse all these "negative" bible-words.

For me, I define 'ra' as "bad".  But I define other words translated evil other ways.

But if you are asking, "what is evil" and not "what is the definition of the English word 'evil' in the bible?", then that's a bigger subject.       
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Porter

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 04:28:48 PM »

I thought it was also interesting to note that not only do we define words (like "evil") by their usage, but that through the use of evil by God, it can be defined as a temporary "good" tool that shapes us into His image.

Is it safe to say that when men do evil, it is out of some sinful, selfish and carnal lust or desire of the heart that was already there? Can I therefor also say that sin is only one consequence of evil? As opposed to say an evil like a tornado that maims or kills 20 people? I guess my point is that evil has many forms, and it's not always related to sin.   

Good question mikeincanada, and I hope I didn't confuse you. Dave gave you an excellent answer, and you might be better off thinking about that more than my babbling.  ;D I'm just trying to figure this all out like you.
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John from Kentucky

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 06:10:46 PM »

Evil is the opposite of good.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil (ra) is one tree.  We cannot understand one without the other.

A fundamental aspect of God is that He has knowledge of good and evil.  Genesis 3:22

For mankind to be like God, to be a member of His family or kin, then we must also possess knowledge of good and evil.
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lareli

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 07:01:20 PM »

Evil is the opposite of good.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil (ra) is one tree.  We cannot understand one without the other.

A fundamental aspect of God is that He has knowledge of good and evil.  Genesis 3:22

For mankind to be like God, to be a member of His family or kin, then we must also possess knowledge of good and evil.

Like John said evil is the opposite of good.

If 'evil' has no moral bias then does 'good' likewise have no moral bias?
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 08:40:57 PM »

I thought it was also interesting to note that not only do we define words (like "evil") by their usage, but that through the use of evil by God, it can be defined as a temporary "good" tool that shapes us into His image.

Me too.

Quote
Is it safe to say that when men do evil, it is out of some sinful, selfish and carnal lust or desire of the heart that was already there? Can I therefor also say that sin is only one consequence of evil? As opposed to say an evil like a tornado that maims or kills 20 people? I guess my point is that evil has many forms, and it's not always related to sin.

That first part may be true, but I also think that when men want to and try to do "good", the results may be "evil".  Life is full of unintended consequences for those of us without the wisdom of God.  (That's everybody but God.) 

GOOD and BAD are the biggies.  They outweigh every other adjective we can apply to anything.  Whether something is GOOD or BAD (and to what degree and in what ways) are things we have to learn by experience--even if it is an experience of empathy and compassion.  Giving alms is GOOD, and the spiritual reward is GOOD, even if the temporary reward is BAD.  Making a big show of it is BAD, and the spiritual reward for it is bad, even if the temporary, carnal reward for it is GOOD.

Is that helpful?  Or just mud?

       
Quote
Good question mikeincanada, and I hope I didn't confuse you. Dave gave you an excellent answer, and you might be better off thinking about that more than my babbling.  ;D I'm just trying to figure this all out like you.

...and me too.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 08:45:59 PM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Porter

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 11:02:00 PM »

Yes it is helpful, thanks Dave.
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StevenL

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 04:28:16 PM »

Can a particular occurrence be both 'good' and 'evil' at the same time? Since the partaking of the fruit in the garden was against the command of God, I assume the act was 'evil' and also was a sin. However, since the partaking of the fruit was actually the will of God, I assume it was also 'good'. Is that nutty? If so, please smite me.

I cannot completely define evil. Too ignorant so far. Scrambles my brain.   ;D  I'll have to be satisfied with the fact that the righteous have a Shield against evil, whatever it is.
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Porter

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 05:19:41 PM »

Hi StevenL, and welcome to the forum :)

I guess it depends on who created the "particular occurrence" right? God did say in Genesis that everything He created was good, which includes evil, but that's only because of the benevolent purpose for which He created it for. If men do evil I can't see how that could ever possibly be for a good intention. God means it for good, but man doesn't and is incapable of using evil for a good purpose like God.
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 12:58:20 AM »

These three are a good beginning, I think, to a deeper study of "evil" as far as what the word means.  It can be just as much a struggle out of church-speak to understand what "good" means, as well.   

Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it (the work) be good or whether it (the work) be evil/bad.

Heb 5:14  But solid food is for those full grown, having exercised the faculties through habit, for distinction of both good and bad.

2Co 5:10  For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to what he did, whether (the thing be) good or (the thing be) bad.

 
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

StevenL

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 04:28:53 AM »

Hi StevenL, and welcome to the forum :)

I guess it depends on who created the "particular occurrence" right? God did say in Genesis that everything He created was good, which includes evil, but that's only because of the benevolent purpose for which He created it for. If men do evil I can't see how that could ever possibly be for a good intention. God means it for good, but man doesn't and is incapable of using evil for a good purpose like God.

Hi Porter! Thanks for the welcome.

Since, according to Ray, God creates/causes Every particular occurrence and thought, then I would also have to suppose that man's intent or will doesn't enter into the equation. I can't really know. I suppose it's hard for me to cut through sometime and 'define' these things since many of the 'definitions' of good or evil were kinda defined for me by society and church/religion. My preacher said it's evil to "...drink, smoke, cuss, chew, and go with girls that do". Some things that are 'evil' in my society are 'good' in, say, Sudan or Bangladesh. I may do something 'good' there and get stoned for it. But I think all of us with the Spirit pretty much 'know' evil when we see it, even without a specific definition. Like Dave posted, we're supposed to know good and evil more clearly as we use our spiritual senses. And if we are to judge ourselves, it would really behoove us to know well lest we judge ourselves falsely. I've seen a lot of what I thought was 'good' turn out to be 'evil... and vice versa. Heck, many many people think that messenger of 'light' in the temple of God is 'good' but it is most surely 'evil'. But it is God's will that the masquerader is there, so it's 'good'. So any true 'definition' of evil can only come from the Mind of Christ.

I've pondered this recently also, regarding evil: Evil entered the world in the garden through the first adam. The knowledge of good and evil was already contained in the 'tree' before anybody here ever DID any evil. So what form did 'evil' take before mankind partook of it? Was it something manifested among the angels/messengers? Since the Adversary sinned 'from the beginning', was evil created along with his creation or was it already there before? Dadburn it! Where'd this evil come from? I sure didn't want it from my beginning but I darn sure had it.  :-\   Not calling for answers or replies, just saying some of my musings.

Working on part 4 of the myth of free will letters again. Maybe I'll get it all this time.   :)
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Porter

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 01:24:21 AM »

This thread has been quite the eye opener for me, thanks all. One thing that is really sticking out for me more then anything is that most of humanity (including myself) does not know what is good or bad. Not talking about the obvious forms of good and bad, but the good and bad God wants us to see and understand; what ever that may be.

A few in this age are having their eyes opened like Adam and Eve had their eyes opened after they ate of the tree. They were always, from the start miserable, wretched, poor, naked and blind, but they just didn't know it till after they ate. God then judged them, sentenced (rewarded) them and then clothed them. Sounds very familiar Dave.  8)

This all makes me think this "event" in Genesis didn't all happen in one single day, but rather over a period of time as most things do in Genesis. And as Ray pointed out that time, circumstance and contrast is what is needed to gain a good working knowledge of good and evil.

Notice how God told Adam that he would continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for the rest of his life.

Gen 3:17  And He said to Adam, "Because you listened to your wife's voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'Do not eat from it': The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life.

Anyway I just thought that was interesting.

By the way Steven, and you may already know this and I'm just misunderstanding, but Adam and Eve sinned before they ate of the tree as Ray explained from his papers. If sinning is bad/evil, then isn't it logical to conclude that bad/evil was always within them? The creature was after all created in futility and with an heart too weak to resist sin. Not saying you are wrong, it's just that this is kinda tough to wrap my head around, hence the question.

Like you this is just mostly my musings, but feel free to chime in. We are after all here to discuss what we've learned at BT to hopefully get a better understanding. ;) Lord knows I always need more. Understanding is awesome, especially understanding good and bad. :D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 01:51:51 AM by Porter »
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StevenL

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 03:52:01 AM »


By the way Steven, and you may already know this and I'm just misunderstanding, but Adam and Eve sinned before they ate of the tree as Ray explained from his papers. If sinning is bad/evil, then isn't it logical to conclude that bad/evil was always within them? The creature was after all created in futility and with an heart too weak to resist sin. Not saying you are wrong, it's just that this is kinda tough to wrap my head around, hence the question.

Like you this is just mostly my musings, but feel free to chime in. We are after all here to discuss what we've learned at BT to hopefully get a better understanding. ;) Lord knows I always need more. Understanding is awesome, especially understanding good and bad. :D

I was mainly musing about the existence of evil before adam was formed and placed in the garden. I did read where Ray said Eve sinned before she 'ate', since the coveting took place in her heart. But the coveting didn't enter until she was presented with the beguiling (as far as I know) so ... I don't know whether evil was present with them all along. Seems to me ? they were previously just Ignorant, without knowledge, and completely vulnerable to an outside 'cause' or beguiling, which God provided via the serpent. But I think Ray said that they weren't created evil, they were created weak and unable to resist or combat evil. So when evil presented itself, they were goners.  Ecc 7:29  See, I found this alone: That the One, Elohim, made humanity upright, Yet they seek many devisings."

My main thought was that before the 'eating', before the coveting, the tree already contained the knowledge of evil, so it existed somewhere. It apparently existed in the serpent, from 'the beginning', whenever that was. Then..."And saying is Yahweh Elohim, "Behold! The human becomes as one of us, knowing good and evil". So the 'us' already knew evil. From whence? We may never know. Maybe He'll tell us one day when we become like Him. 

Ecc 8:16  When I applied my heart to know wisdom, And to see the experience that is appointed on earth (For both by day and night, there is no seeing of sleep for Him with His eyes), Ecc 8:17  Then I saw in all the work of the One, Elohim, That a man is not able to find out the work that is done under the sun, Forasmuch as a man may toil in seeking it out but shall not find it; And even if a wise man says he knows, he is not able to find it out."

Yeah, I want all the understanding I can get too! There's nothing like glimpses of the Holy.
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StevenL

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2017, 04:10:06 AM »

BTW, you or anybody else here can say I'm wrong anytime you like. I'm not easily offended and if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I want to KNOW when I'm wrong but I want proof of said evil.   ;D   But I also learned long ago that I'm not necessarily wrong just because someone says I am.

I want to be washed with the Water of His Word. Some of that Water comes through Members of the Body through gifts. We're supposed to be always sharing Food and Drink together.
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indianabob

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2017, 01:53:32 PM »

Hi Steven,

As an aside, I was given to understand that Adam's and Eve's choice was to decide for themselves what was good or bad, rather than to ask God and then obey God's instructions. God told them to "not eat the fruit of or even touch the tree in the midst of the garden, lest you die", Gen 2:17 and 3:3.
So the coveting was first then the action, but they didn't know evil before they choose to decide for themselves to take of that fruit, did they?

Indiana Bob
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StevenL

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2017, 05:11:25 PM »

No Bob they didn't know it before, but It was surely there, wasn't it? Somewhere. In some form. Affecting something or somebody. Just sitting there waiting to be known by the newly-formed humans.

Anyway, my babble is not contributing to knowledge so I'll shut up for now.
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lareli

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2017, 05:48:12 PM »

Porter

"Notice how God told Adam that he would continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for the rest of his life."

Did God say that Adam would eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for the rest of his life? I understand it to say that the ground is cursed and Adam would eat from the ground which he would have to toil after.

On a different note does anyone know if it's of any consequence that the words translated "good and evil" in Genesis are not the same words translated "good and evil" in Hebrews 5:14?

In Genesis it's "towb" for good and "ra" evil.

In Hebrews is "kalos" good and "kakos" evil.
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Porter

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2017, 06:17:31 PM »

Ah yes good catch largeli, I believe you are right. This is why a second witness is important, which I didn't have.

And also thanks StevenL for clarifying that, lots for me to chew on.
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Defining evil?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2017, 06:21:22 PM »



On a different note does anyone know if it's of any consequence that the words translated "good and evil" in Genesis are not the same words translated "good and evil" in Hebrews 5:14?

In Genesis it's "towb" for good and "ra" evil.

In Hebrews is "kalos" good and "kakos" evil.

In Genesis it's Hebrew, and in Hebrews, it's Greek.  That's the short answer.
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