I was reading a news article recently about a mother who tortured to death her own child. It was so disturbing, I could not finish the story. I won’t go into details here, however, the incident I was reading about was/is not unique. If you search the internet for “mother tortures child” you will find more than one case. Most “decent” humans would be completely appalled, if not sickened, at such a thought. The natural anger against such atrocities and the heart-rending compassion that we would have for the young victims demonstrates how we feel about outrageous cruelty.
Now, let me ask you. Do you think that we are more compassionate than God is? I don’t think so. And yet some preachers actually teach that God is just as sadistic as parents who torture their own children. Why do I claim that? Their interpretation of John 8:44 and 1 John 3:8. John, both in his gospel account and in his first letter, speaks of Satan’s “beginning”—that he was “a manslayer when he began” and that “he (Satan) has been sinning from the beginning.” Those preachers interpret that to mean that when Satan was created, God created him as an evil being. They claim that God put Satan on the earth to tempt us. In fact, some preachers go so far as to say that in reality, God and Satan are co-workers. That, dear readers, is an incredibly slanderous lie against God.
The only “test” that God is spoken of as putting on humans are tests of loyalty, not of physical, psychological, and emotional tortures. In fact, James makes it very clear that God does not try mankind with evil. If God were collaborating with the Devil, even under many governments today, that would make him co-conspirator. Never will that be, never can that be. In fact, the latter half of 1 John 3:8 indicates that Christ came to break up the works of the devil. If God were responsible for the devil’s acts, then Christ would have to break up God’s works as well—and that would make no sense at all.
So what reasonable conclusion should we reach when reading John’s words? Just as a criminal makes a start for himself (as a criminal) when he first breaks the law, in the same way Satan made a start of his criminal personality in the garden of Eden. It was at the very beginning of mankind’s existence that he became a manslayer because his words and actions resulted in condemnation to death of Adam and Eve—and by extension, to the whole human family. From the very beginning of our existence, Satan saw an opportunity, lied to Eve and has been lying ever since. But before that event, who was the one that became Satan? He was one of tens-of-thousands (if not millions) of other angels that God had made as perfect. This should not be difficult to understand. Our own first parents (Adam & Eve) were also created perfect and chose a selfish course over loyalty to God. The same with Satan.
In summary then, God made a good angel who acted on selfish desire and, in so doing, that angel made himself “Satan.” It is the same exact thing that happened with our first human parents—they were created “in God’s image” (good in every way), but they knowingly acted on a selfish desire.