Is the Devil God’s Agent?

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, ...
Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Family Foundation

If God is in Control, Then Why…?
By Craig Hill; 295 pages
Regular Price: $15.00

Excerpt from Craig Hill’s Blog ‘Is the Devil God’s Agent?’ published on September 17, 2013.

When you listen to some Christians speak about the tragedies of life, you might conclude that God uses the devil for our own good.  And even if they don’t believe God authors tragedy, they believe He is complacent and allows the devil to do what he will so God can teach us something.

After all, doesn’t Romans 8:28 say this? ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

Most Christians want to comfort people who are suffering in the midst of tragedy and devastation.  Optimistically, they look for the good things that God has worked in the midst of the tragedy.  And when they find one, they use it to explain why God allowed or caused the destruction in the first place.

Therefore, it may seem like Romans 8:28 is an appropriate scripture to use when bringing comfort to those who are suffering, and it is.  But not for the purpose of explaining why God ‘allowed’ the tragedy. If you subscribe to that line of thinking, your heart will ultimately blame God for devastation and destruction on the earth.  Why, because this type of thinking takes Romans 8:28 out of context and then contradicts other key principles in the Bible.

Saint Michael and the fall of angels – painting by Johann Georg Unruhe ( 1793 ) – detail: Fallen angel via Wikipedia

For example, 1 John 3:8 says, ‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.’  Destroy is a very different concept from use or teach.  If God were using the devil to teach us something, then He would be in conflict with His own purpose for the life of Jesus.

Craig Hill calls this kind of thinking, backwards theology.  Just because you see firemen on the scene of every fire, does not mean that firemen cause fires. Likewise, God is never the author of the works of the devil, and He never uses the devil to teach us anything.  He sent Jesus to destroy the works of the devil and the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and teacher.

To further gain a true biblical understanding of the interaction of God, Satan, circumstances, and their impact on your life, Craig Hill encourages you to read his book on just this topic entitled, If God Is In Control, Then Why? It will change the way you view God and tragedy on the earth.

About the Book

IF GOD IS IN CONTROL THEN WHY..? deals with that difficult question about the nature of God that plagues the minds of most people. Whether you are a lifetime believer in Christ or you have just begun looking for answers, the question, ‘If God is in control, then why…?’ has probably been one you have heard or asked many times in your life. Craig Hill has gifted insight into God’s Word and an ability to teach through riveting real-life stories. This book brings understanding to the issue of God’s sovereignty and will set your heart at peace, allowing you to trust a just God in an unjust world.

E-book versions for Kindle and Nook for this book are now available. Audio Book is also available.

About the Author

Having a specific interest in ministering to marriages and families, Craig Hill pursued an internship and later a volunteer staff position at the New Life Counseling Center in Denver. He subsequently taught counseling and missions on the faculty of the Marilyn Hickey Bible College. In 1987, the Lord raised up Craig as Senior Pastor of a local church where he and Jan served for seven and a half years, until he was called by God to devote his full-time energy to the ministry of Family Foundations International.

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  1. Mike,

    I like this discussion. I can only say that I do not support the idea that God uses evil against his/her children. That doesn’t give me the impression of a Divine (loving) Being. It sounds extremely sadistic to me. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but . . . . does anyone want to have a God like that ruling over them? LOL This isn’t the dark ages.

    It reminds me of karmic contracts. This is the idea that abuse victims voluntarily agree to the offender’s mistreatment so that both parties (to the contract) can receive some enlightening lesson. Please no . . . These ideas are harmful to our psyche.

    I even question the idea that God “allows” bad things to happen to us so that we can learn valuable lessons. There may be something too that, but I’d have to put some thought in to it.

    All the best!



    • As usual Dave, you’ve covered all the bases! I remember when a priest said to me, somewhat firmly, that he didn’t believe in “fate” but rather, “providence.” It sort of registered with me, so I went home and looked up providence and realized it meant that God is a being with a will (providence), rather than the universe just being some impersonal mechanism that merely happens (fate).

      Okay, so God is perfect, has a will… so why evil?

      Later I read the view that God “permits” evil for a greater good. I took that to mean that he only allows so much, so as to prevent evil from winning the day. I think of World War II, and how stressed out Churchill was over the Axis powers. It was close. Too close. But eventually the madman crumbled and suicided. Hitler, that is.

      So I think I tend to go with the “God permits evil” view. I believe God is loving, and have reason to believe this. I also believe God is all knowing and all powerful, (ditto). But I see things around me that can only be understood as evil. So evil does exist.

      It seems like a paradox or contradiction but I don’t think so. I think we just have to expand our perspective to include the everlasting. Everlasting is a loooooooooooooong time. 🙂


  2. The idea of resigning yourself to accept a pre-determined fate is kind of sad. If we believed our fate was sealed at the time of our birth . . . I’ll bet there would be a lot more people committing suicide.

    Fate doesn’t lend itself very well to personal and spiritual growth. It sort of goes against my beliefs. If a person’s life is scripted – what can he or she possibly learn? We learn by thinking and making choices. It’s possible that we are given roles and missions, but I’m guessing we still have some freedom in how we play out these roles.

    I’m thinking that God gives us, or we create for ourselves “outlines” to go by. I call that pre-life planning or pre-designs. You might say to yourself I want to be a chef in this life. I doubt we are told what kind of chef we will be. Maybe you will want be a French chef or maybe you’ll open your own restaurant. It’s much more exciting to believe we have a certain amount of free-will (in creating our life experience), rather than having the belief that we are forced to carry out an someone else’s potentially misguided schemes.



    • It’s a real mystery, one that I’ve thought about quite a bit. We can approach it from various angles. Some think, as I once did, that the occurrence of synchronicity “proves” that we’re on a definite path, and therefore it’s all predetermined, sort of like a cosmic DVD playing out. But a friend of mine once said to me, and I agree, that a whole bunch of different synchronicities could have arisen had we made different choices, created different paths. Not too many realize this possibility. I think it’s important to keep in mind.


  3. My whole life has been about synchroncities, especially the last five months. 🙂 For many years, I had an affinity with the number 23. That’s supposed to be the number that represents synchronicity. You might remember that dark film with Jim Carrie “The Number 23”. I’m not sure I liked it. You’re right though . . . I think a person would get a total different set of synchrocities depending on the choices he/she makes. I never thought of that. Good point Mike!


  4. 23… I wasn’t aware of that! Just looked up the movie. Looks depressing. Also looked up the origins of the 23 theory/belief. Interesting… I like it when I hear about new urban legends, etc that I haven’t come across. Without all the talk on the web I’d be, well, not in the dark but… 🙂


  5. None of us would have a life right? There was a time when Internet did not exist . . . it must have been like what . . . like 100 years ago . . . I can barely recall those feelings of complete boredom and isolation 🙂


    • ha ha… for me the record store was one place of escape! that was a place where you could see what was happening beyond your backyard… that, and the bookstore… the magazine stand… the all-night restaurant with a few buds… Oh, we managed… but not like today! 🙂


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