Was God Surprised by the Fall?

Another flaw in the “Satan’s-Gain theory” is that it makes God look rather stupid, as if He was caught off-guard by the events of the fall and as a result found Himself in a sad predicament. Did God not know that Satan would tempt Adam and Eve and that the fall of man would result? If God is all-knowing, and He is, then He must have known what was going to happen. That is why the Bible informs us that He made plans to redeem humanity even before He created humanity (see Matt. 25:34; Acts 2:2-23; 4:27-28; 1 Cor. 2:7-8; Eph. 3:8-11; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Rev. 13:8).

God created the devil knowing he would fall, and He created Adam and Eve knowing they would fall. There is absolutely no way that Satan could have tricked God and gained something that God would rather Satan not have.

Am I saying that God wants Satan to be “the god of this world?” Yes, for as long as it suits His divine purposes. If God didn’t want Satan to operate, He would simply stop him, as we are told in Revelation 20:1-2 He will one day do.

I am not saying, however, that God wants anyone to remain under Satan’s rule. God wants everyone to be saved and escape the domain of Satan (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9). Yet God permits Satan to rule over everyone who loves darkness (see John. 3:19)—those who continue in their rebellion against Him.

But isn’t there anything we can do to help people escape Satan’s dark kingdom? Yes, we can pray for them and call them to repent and believe the gospel (as Jesus has commanded us). If they do, they’ll be delivered from Satan’s authority. But to think that we can “pull down” the wicked spirits that hold people in their grasp is erroneous. If people want to stay in darkness, God will let them. Jesus told His disciples that if people in certain cities did not receive their message, they should shake the dust off their feet and go to another city (Matt 10:14). He did not tell them to stay and pull down the strongholds over the city so that the people would become more receptive. God allows wicked spirits to hold in bondage those who refuse to repent and turn to Him.