If a person creates a sculpture, paints a picture, or builds a house, whose is it? Obviously the person who made it is the owner. He or she can decide what to do with it. Nobody can take that right away from him, unless he sells it, or somebody steels it from him.
We are used to rich people who own large properties, but the Bible tells us about the biggest property owner of all times. The very first verse in the Bible reveals Him: the God of the universe - 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' (Genesis 1:1). God created all the galaxies, the sun, moon, stars, the earth and all life on planet earth. Logically that means He is the Owner. We are not even told right at the beginning who God is. Only later in the Bible do we learn that He is the all powerful, invisible, Creator God that has existed from all times. One of the biggest reasons we believe that God is the Creator, is because living things are so complex and there are so many different shapes, sizes and colours that they must have been planned by a very intelligent Person. In addition science has never been able to explain how life could have started by itself.
Because God is the Creator, He is the Owner. He says in Jeremiah 32:27, 'I am the Lord, the God of all mankind' and in Psalm 24:1-2, 'The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.' This means He has the right to do with it whatever He plans. What does He plan?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Beginning' implies something will follow. The end process of the beginning of creation is described in the book of Revelation. God's plan is that this present heavens and earth will last only for a few thousand years. Then they will be burnt up and God will create a wonderful new heaven and earth, a place of peace and happiness. We read about it in Revelation 21-22. 'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.... There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.' God said, 'I will make everything new!' There will be no food shortages, storms, hurricanes, climate warming, or anything that will disturb the peace and happiness.
There is just one hitch: this future fountain of youth or eternal Paradise, the new heavens and earth, is reserved only for those who love Jesus. How to love Jesus is described in the Bible. Thus we cannot get to heaven (the new heavens and earth) without the Bible which tells us the way is through Jesus. This sounds so simple, but there is another snag to it. The Bible teaches that God has an enemy. This enemy, called the devil, doesn't want you to know God or learn about Him. That is because he made a terrible mistake. He saw God, worked with God, worked for God, and yet decided he doesn't want to listen to God. He had a better idea, he wanted to be bigger and smarter than God. God expelled him, and his main work now is to tell people that God is not real, is not interested in people, and is not the King of the universe.
How did the devil become God's enemy?
Let us start from the beginning. The Bible tells the history of the universe from the time God created the present heavens and earth until He will create the new heavens and earth. The history begins when God created the earth, the plants, the sun, moon and stars, the birds and fish, the animals and the very first people, Adam and Eve, in six days. Then He put the man and his wife in a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden. God told them to rule over the animals, birds and fish He had made (Genesis 1:26, 28) and to look after the garden and care for it. God came in the evenings and talked to Adam and Eve and they were His friends. But God wanted to make sure they would continue to listen to Him and not do what the devil had done (rebel against Him). So God gave them a test. He told them that they could eat of all the fruit in the garden. That means they had enough food. Only one tree was their test, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They couldn't eat its fruit. Only that one tree was forbidden.
Then Satan or the devil took on the disguise of a snake and spoke to Eve.
(Before this incident, Satan was one of the chief angels that God had created. He will not be part of the new heaven and earth. He will never share in the wonderful peace and happiness there and he has no one to blame but himself. He was very beautiful and brilliant. Because of this his 'heart became proud on account of his beauty, and he corrupted [his] wisdom because of his splendour' [Ezekiel 28:17]. He said, 'I will make myself like the Most High' [Isaiah 14:14b]. He wanted to be like God or even above God. He rebelled against God and influenced many angels to join him to try and usurp God's throne [like rebels who want to take over a country by getting rid of the present government]. For this 'that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray ... was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him' [Revelation 12:9].
For the time being, God is using the devil and his angels to test whether people will be loyal to God or listen to the devil instead. At the end of this age, the devil will be 'thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, where ... he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever' [Revelation 20:10].)
The devil talked through the snake, since he is a spirit (angel). He doesn't have a body that we can see and touch. So he used the snake's body so that Eve could see and hear him. The devil wanted her to be disobedient to God and eat the fruit of that tree.
God had told Adam and Eve if they ate of that tree they would certainly die (Genesis 2:16-17), but the devil told Eve that God had lied to them. They certainly would not die (Genesis 3:4). When she believed the devil instead of God, she took of the fruit and ate it and also gave to her husband and he ate. It had very bad results. Sin (disobeying God or missing the mark of what God planned for you) and death came into the world. Adam and Eve were expelled from the beautiful garden by some of God's workers, the good angels, who then stood guard at the gate that they could not go back in. Their disobedience to God caused God to curse the creation. The original good creation became dangerous in some instances. Thorns and thistles started to grow, some bacteria became lethal, snake bites can kill, animals, insects, birds and others feed on each other, people began killing each other and destroying the planet (for example, they chop down the forests in the Amazon so that there is less oxygen on the earth), some plants and animals became endangered species that go extinct, because the places they lived were destroyed by cities and mines, et cetera.. Relationships between a man and his wife became strained, which means they quarrel at times, and people get divorced. The whole earth began to grow old and fade and deteriorate like clothes that become old and wear out (Psalm 102:25-26).
God created the universe and life very good, but it became corrupted when Adam and Eve obeyed the devil instead of God. When this heaven and earth is finally run down enough it will be burnt up and the elements will melt in the heat. It really makes sense that God will not destroy a good creation, but logically He will destroy an old, worn out creation to give the people who are loyal to Him a wonderful, eternal, new one (2 Peter 3: 10-13).
Another very bad consequence of Adam and Eve's disobedience to God, was that the devil took over their God-given rule over the earth. Thus the devil became the ruler of this world ('the whole world is under the control of the evil one', 1 John 5:19b). He now has the right to influence people to follow him instead of God. The devil uses people to teach other people that God is not the Creator and there is no such a thing as a future new heaven and earth. That is the crux of evolution.
What happened in the garden of Eden is very important to us. There are two voices calling us: God's and the devil's. God speaks through the Bible, and the devil calls through evolution. People have a free will, and can choose whom they will obey. Genesis 1-2 explains how God created the heavens and the earth and all life on earth. The devil opposes it and uses evolution to teach people not to take any notice at all of God's ownership, and His right to 'build' His future paradise.
To recap: The Bible is like a map to help us reach the new heaven and earth. If we believe God and follow His instructions we will be part of that wonderful place and we 'will be his people, and God himself will be with [us] and be [our] God' (Revelation 21:3b). 'The devil doesn't want us to live with God for ever and ever, so he uses evolution to tell us that God is not the Creator of this present heaven and earth, so He will not be the Creator of the new heaven and earth. We need to find out which one is true, creation or evolution?