One of the reasons the powers of darkness can gain a foothold on the earth is because of the ignorance of other people concerning good and evil. Isaiah recognized this problem when he said: “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!” Isaiah 5:20
Jesus also dealt with this: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:27-28.
Why is it that the majority of people call good evil and evil good whenever a teacher appears to help humanity? Why was it that the people thought that Jesus was “mad” and possessed of a “devil” and worked his miracles by the power of the devil, whereas they thought their religious leaders were truly righteous men? Jesus gave the answer: “Ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men”. [Matthew 23:28?] A worker of darkness and ignorance ALWAYS makes an effort to appear outwardly righteous and pure. The worker in the light does not make such an effort. He is more concerned with helping his brother progress and elevating mankind than in appearances. In fact he will sometimes go out of his way to not give a strong appearance of piousness for he wants the people to pay attention to the message and not the man. Thus he will often be mistaken as “mad” and influenced by the devil as Jesus was. He will sometimes be called an unprincipled man of talent, irreverent, and even self seeking. Those on the left hand path, on the other hand, are experts in controlling their image, and thus it takes one who looks deeper than the image to see the “dead men’s bones” underneath.
All forces, powers, and energies are neither good nor evil in themselves. They are completely neutral, but only become good or evil when they are intelligently directed. An energy which is directed to restrict life and imprison it, or take away its freedom of expression in any way becomes evil, but an energy which is directed to free life and give greater room for expression and expansion and joy is good. For instance, atomic energy can be used to power cities or space vehicles and give a greater freedom of expression and movement. The energy released within a car can either be directed toward a collision that will cause death, or to the grocery store for essential food.
This type of good and evil is easy to recognize, but the evil of the brother of darkness is not. The ultimate criteria for defining good and evil in the affairs of man is the final outcome of the directions taken. Jesus recognized this when he said: “Beware of false prophets, men who come to you dressed up as sheep while underneath they are savage wolves. You will recognize them by the fruits they bear. Can grapes be picked from briars, or figs from thistles? In the same way a good tree always yields good fruit, and the poor tree bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, or a poor tree good fruit. And when a tree does not yield good fruit it is cut down and burnt. That is why I say you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20 New English [Matthew 7:15 KJV]
The end result, or the fruit, must always be analyzed and a determination must be made as to whether greater light and love for ALL mankind affected will be the consequence, or will there be a greater restriction of life in the end? “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” [John 8:32] said Jesus. The true knowledge of good and evil is that which makes man free.