Meriam-Webster Dictionary defines evil as simply "morally bad"! That raises two questions: 1) Whose morals and 2) What is bad! It would appear that bad and evil are the same thing. Therefore, the definition doesn't define! I prefer to consult a omniscient person and I only know one! "God, what is evil?"
2 Chronicles 12:14 "And he (King Rehoboam) did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord."The bad king did evil by doing two things: He failed to submit to God and he failed to seek the Lord. Evil then consists of proud hearts and failing to do what's God's will. God has obliged man by giving us all a standard to live by. God wills two things: Love God and Love others! Hence, evil is failure to love... period! The "heart" part is where love should lurk, but evil does often in its place.
God wrote down the "Ten Evil Things Not to Do". They are The Ten Commandments! We are to love God by 1) Placing God above all else, 2) having no idols, 3) honoring God and his name and 4) keeping the Lord's Day holy. Doing evil to God is failure to keep the first four commandments.
We are to love others by: 5) honoring our parents, 6) having sanctity for life, 7) having sex within the bounds of Holy Marriage, 8) being honest, 9) being truthful and 10) being satisfied with what's ours. Doing evil to others is failure to keep the last six commandments. Since, we do the last six to show our love for God (John 14:15), all ten are truly loving God.
What is evil? It's failure to love God and that turns back again to my earlier premise: "evil is failure to love God" period!
When was evil born?
Evil was always there for mankind. It existed in the heavens long before Adam and Eve were ever created! The devil, called the angel Lucifer, was the first evil-doer:
Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."Lucifer, the angel, was the first to do evil, then other angels followed!
Jude 1:6 "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.""The first estate" is their heavenly home! It's the kingdom of God.. Under the English monarchy at the time of King James, there were three estates: the clergy, the nobility and the commoners; the first, second and third, respectively. The clergy were emissaries or messengers of God, as were the angels which means "messengers". Hence, the angels fell out of the graces of the King (God) because they owed allegiance to a "Pretender to the throne". Lucifer was that "pretender" to God's throne just as many of the kings of the middle ages had heirs who would be king.
Who is the author of evil?
Satan who is the angel Lucifer is the author of evil. He did evil first and set the example for mankind. He desired to be King in God's place because he was proud:
Ezekiel 28:17 "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."It's easy to see that Lucifer became an evil-doer because of pride, but too, he corrupted wisdom. He was a liar! Jesus had this to say about Satan:
John 8:44 "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."Satan killed angels who followed him as he did all men since who fail to repent. We all died spiritually by this murderer yet most people still follow him. Why? He's a liar and people believe him! The first evils were pride, murder and lying and Satan did them first!
Why is it important that evil be done?
Evil is necessary for Lucifer because he is a "pretender" to God's throne. His desire is to take God's place. He does evil as rebellion against God. Pretenders have their own armies and fight the legions of kings. Lucifer's angels are his army and he fights God and the angels of light. There is a war going on in heaven and humans are collateral damage. It's a numbers thing. Just as pretenders gained power by killing the most Englishmen, Lucifer gains power by murdering men who were created innocent!
Sometimes in the dark ages, pretenders became kings. At other times the king held onto his power! Our God is "Almighty God" and Satan's fate is the Lake of Fire where he and his angels shall be destroyed. Furthermore, those pawns of his, the collateral damage, will suffer the same fate!
What does evil look like?
Here's a description of what the appearance of evil is:
We can can only see one side of the moon. The far side is forever hidden! There is a dark side never seen by the naked eye!
Evil is like the moon:
On the face of it, Evil has beauty. If it revealed its ugly side, people would never choose to do it. Evil often has a sweet smile, suave ways and beauty to perfection! Only with the best technology can the backside of the moon ever be revealed. Likewise, only with the best discernment can the dark side of evil be seen!
The moon smiles at us from afar, but we are well-acquainted with it! Evil, just like the moon, may be someone or something we know very well. It may be someone who we love or with whom we work. Sometimes Evil is even near in church, sitting quietly beyond suspicion. The best of friends may even be parasites on which Evil steals a ride. We must be careful for Evil lurks around us all the time, but is as clandestine as that dark side of the moon!
Beware of Beowulf's Grendel. Don't get mooned... Grendel will get you if you don't watch out!
In short evil is disguised by beauty and other qualities. Just as the beautiful angel Lucifer did evil, evil has always assumed a pretty face. What is an evil deed? Perhaps pedophilia? Who are the "nicest" people to children? The ones who gives them candy and attention. It's the child molester! Evil works its wicked ways by assuming good characteristics. God's children should beware of Satan the pedophile!
Why do people do evil?
People do evil pretty much for three reasons: 1) pleasure, 2) power and 3) wealth. Secondary reasons are related to these. Pride can be of pleasure, power or wealth. Reason is for power. Knowledge is for power and wealth. You get the drift. Evil is pretty much described by these three components of sin and those were all offered by "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil".
What are the consequences of evil?
Let's be brief! Here is the penalty for engaging in evil:
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death..."Not only will we die a natural death as a result of evil, but also spiritual death! Before Adam sinned he was immortal. After he did evil he died! His death was physical and spiritual, and like him, we too shall die two deaths... unless we're saved from the second death:
Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."Those spiritually dead and those awaiting in the wings of hell will suffer the second death. That is the consequence of worshiping the pretender... being his pawn!
Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 3:5 "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."Those that overcome are those who refuse to be the pretender's pawns. They owe allegiance to King Jesus and not this cheap imitation "Price of the Air"! A name is added to The Book of Life when one pledges allegiance to the King! This person puts on the "full armor of God" and becomes a spiritual warrior for the true King. He's there when the Pretender suffers total defeat and is cast into an eternal hell!
What are the methods of evil?
Evil paints a pretty picture for those gullible. Just as he described the "Tree" in the garden as "was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise (Genesis 3:6). The serpent described the tree as Epicurean, pleasant and able to produce reason. That translates into what I said before: evil is represented by wealth, pleasure and power!
The one who portends to love you most may be the one who leads you most astray. Satan uses evil people, puts demons in their empty souls and those pawns are the serpents which beguile you! It may even be a loved one or a close friend! Beware of Black Knights dressed in garments of white. Beware of Jezebels masquerading as angels of light! "Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing" (from Matthew 7:15).
Who is evil?
Hebrews 3:12 "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."First off, Christians are prone to evil. Satan wars against them first because they stand on The King's front line. They are wearing armor, but the evil Prince looks for a chink in it and attacks there. Once entry is made, unless the armor is sturdy, the entire attire is shredded and the naked soldiers of God mutiny!
Some will be fooled! That's a leaders trick. As George Rogers Clark said as he led the rag-tag army at Vincennes, "The water is getting more shallow! as he led into deeper water! Likewise, General Satan deceives as well. Remember, he's "the father of lies":
Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"In this "progressive" age this is called "spin"! Truth is twisted and falsehoods made truth. It's sort of the Orwellian concept of "doublespeak", a fictional language which disguises, reverses and distorts meanings of words. God warned Isaiah of doublespeak and Isaiah warned us. Orwell warned us again!
What can we do?
Only God is good, but we can endeavor to copy God. We strive to be righteous and that is the absence of evil.
3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.It seems that there are two empires: a righteous one and an evil empire! God gave us the ability to choose sides. We don't have to do evil, but yet most do! It's not that we know we're following the Pretender to the Throne, but because he tells us that wealth, pleasure and power is with him... and people believe him! If you think that's silly, Hitler did the same thing and 93% of Germans voted for him in his last election!
Are we protected from evil?
Those warriors of God fighting in God's army have protection. God puts a hedge around us and gives us his armor and he watches out for his obedient children:
1 Peter 3:12 "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
You see the good King is our Protector. Just as kings were "Protectors of the Faith" in times of old, God is "The Protector of the Faithful" in all times, being the same King yesterday, today and tomorrow!