God is Not Finished Yet
The Problem of Evil
While browsing in a department store, I once saw a throw pillow embroidered with the words “God is Not Finished Yet”, and I later realized that I should have bought that throw pillow as it contained the answer to some of life’s most difficult questions. The existence of evil has been a great puzzle and a source of debate throughout the history of religion, but these five simple words explain the existence of evil. God is not finished yet. It is often asked, “How can God allow suffering?”, “What about the holocaust and slavery?”, “What about when a child dies a painful death to cancer as his mother watches helplessly?” God is not finished yet.
A God powerful enough to create the universe, a God who transcends time and space is surely able to repay everyone for their suffering so that everyone will be completely satisfy that they have been fully repaid. Repaid for their emotion suffering, but there is some suffering we deserve and is part of the justice of God. There is some suffering we don’t deserve, but God would allow it to occur if it is crucial to the purpose of creation.
This is not how religious scholars explain evil. They usually say that evil exists since God gave us the ability to freely choose between good and evil. This means God wanted people who freely made the choice to be with Him, so that creation is a test and our fate depends on the choices we make. Creation may look like a test from our perspective, but God transcends time. God knew precisely everything that has happened and everything that will happen.
Creation is not a test from God’s perspective, and it was God who made the decision to create a world of good and evil. But creation of the world wasn’t exactly a decision by God as that implies a moment in time. God transcends time, so creation must be a manifestation of God’s will. Creation must provide something to God that is essential to the essence of God.
The Purpose of Creation
If God allows evil knowing that He will repay us for our suffering, this means our emotional suffering is integral to the reason for creation. An infinitely loving God would of necessity create a world of good and evil in order to know the great array of emotions of the human experience. Through these emotions, a world of good and evil provides an understanding of what love is, and this wisdom would be essential to a loving God. This understanding of what love is would be essential to the essence of God.
It is inconceivable that an omniscient God doesn’t understand the anguish of a mother who has witnessed the death of her child, but emotions must be experienced, and for that heartache and every other aspect of love to be known by God, God had to allow His beloved children to live through painful experiences.
God had to allow the existence of evil confined within time for the understanding of love that comes from creation to exist. Without human suffering many incredible emotions like sorrow, forgiveness, and loneliness would never even exist. Even God would have no real understanding of these emotions. God has a great understanding of all the emotions of human life since He has shared the journey of billions of His children. Since He transcends time, this wisdom has always been part of God.
In the world to come we may learn that some of the most fortunate among us are those who suffered great emotional pain. They will have the gratitude of an incredibly loving God who created the world to share their journey, and who will leave them satisfied that they have been paid a hundredfold for what they endured.
The Design of Creation
Not only did God have to create evil, or create the conditions where evil would form, He also had to create creatures that are both good and evil. Evil comes from the absence of love like darkness is the absence of light. As created by God, all creatures are either given the ability to love others or they are not given the ability to love others. They are either good or evil.
God needed to create creatures that are evil in order to die, but they must also be good in order to grieve when others die, and they needed to have a free will to go back and forth between good and evil. God had to create weak loving creatures influenced by a powerful spirit of selfishness.
Satan is the powerful spirit who does what God created him to do, but to be a selfish influence on the tiny little humans, Satan had to be selfish. Satan was not given the ability to love, and he came to hate God, but he is not so stupid as to openly rebel against God. Satan is still in Heaven doing what God created him to do.
We Need Redemption
In life or after death, God repays the victims, punishes all sins and rewards all righteousness, executing perfect justice before the Day of Judgment. The Day of Judgment is not about punishing sin or rewarding righteousness, that will have already been achieved before the Day of Judgment. The Day of Judgment is to destroy evil as evil is only allowed to exist for a specific purpose for a specific time.
Evil is confined within time, meaning the purpose for which it was brought into existence will be accomplished, and God will then destroy evil. Throughout time God executes justice, but on the Day of Judgment God determines who is worthy of eternal life in Heaven. Heaven will be a perfect world, but this is only possible if all those who are admitted are perfect. The Day of Judgment is for the destruction of all evil.
We are part evil and we are not worthy of eternal life in Heaven, but this doesn’t mean we must simply accept Jesus. We cannot transfer the responsibility for what we’ve done to someone else. We know it is not fair for Jesus to be punished for our sins. Repentance can help us avoid punishment for our sins before the Day of Judgment, but it doesn’t take away our responsibility for sin nor does it change our selfish nature.
Different religions have different methods for getting us to Heaven. Be it repentance, or accepting Jesus, or performing certain rituals, or minimizing our sin, or some type of penance. Either in life or in purgatory, there is a hope that we can gradually improve ourselves, which may be true, but we can never come even close to the perfection that is necessary to enter the perfect Kingdom of God.
We will never be worthy of eternal life with God unless God changes us to make us worthy. God will not change us, and if He did, we would have no security in Heaven as God may later change us again and cast us out of Heaven. And changing us to make us perfect will not erase what we’ve done.
Satan has become evil, but he remains in Heaven because of his powerful will, as he continues to do the job for which he was created. Satan is not in open rebellion against God and He does not openly sin in any way. It is the children of God have no chance of eternal life in Heaven.
God has a solution whereby He will destroy all evil, redeem all His children and achieve the purpose of creation in absolute perfection. Considering the absolute righteousness and greatness of God there can be no other possible outcome. The solution by which God achieves the outcome He desires is the promise God gave to Abraham that the nations would be blessed through his seed.
How We Are Redeemed
We cannot comprehend the structure of time and space, but there is one aspect of time that plays a key role in God’s design. There is only one God, but God created time in a way that allowed Him to send a Part of Himself into time. God transcends time and space, but there is a Part of God or a “Chip off the Old Block”, or a “Son of God” who travels through time. This “Piece” of God is one with God in the infinity that transcends time, but “He” moves through time within the universe that God created.
This Piece of God is the Jewish Messiah promised to Abraham. He doesn’t take our sins upon Himself as the responsibility for sin cannot be transferred. The Messiah was born in the world as a human. He overcame the Law; deserving resurrection to eternal life, and since He must return to oneness with God at the end of time, He must also discard His Earthly body.
The Messiah justifies the separation of our spirit from our flesh. This is a one-time modification to us which is justified by the Messiah who is one of us. Our spirit is found worthy of eternal life and is given a new body. In this way the Messiah redeems to eternal Heaven all the children of God regardless of their religious belief or non-belief.
Only those with a spirit of unselfish love are children of God; they are the only ones who have a spirit within themselves that is worthy of eternal life. Perhaps that is everyone, maybe not, but God will lose none of His children. This does not mean there is no punishment for sin. Punishment for sin is within time and it is ‘an eye for an eye’ which means it is justice.
This is not to say that our flesh is evil, but as Christ said the flesh is weak. The material world is good as God Himself declared in Genesis, but the flesh is weak, and it is manipulated by the devil and caused to sin. This is not to deny the resurrection of the flesh. The flesh is resurrected for the Day of Judgment, but the flesh falls short on the Day of Judgment.
This is also not to deny the unity of flesh and spirit. It is the complete unity of flesh and spirit that requires the death of Christ. We are each, body and soul, one person. Just as our body has different parts but is one body, likewise our spirit and flesh are completely one. Christ is fully God in that the spirit that came into the body of Christ came from the essence of God, but He is also fully human. Christ is one person, spirit and flesh, and it is that complete union of spirit and flesh that makes Him fully human. His voluntary discarding of His flesh justifies our flesh being discarded because He is fully one of us.
God, who transcends time, sees all human experiences and God is witness to the fact that the spirit of love within us has never committed any sin. The spirit of love within us deserves eternal life and can enjoy eternal life. We will not be disembodied spirits; we will have new bodies that will be a great improvement over our current bodies.
Not only is this consistent with the Bible, this is the only interpretation of the Bible that is consistent with the entire Bible. Christians will always stress some verses in the Bible while ignoring or redefining other verses. According to this interpretation of the Bible, God decided who would be born with a spirit of unselfish love, so God did predetermine who would go to Heaven, but we are also judged according to our works. We only make it to Heaven through Christ, yet no one is punished for the sins of someone else and being a Christian is not necessary. There is only one God, yet Jesus is God.
The Messiah is Still Alive
Christians have interpreted the words of Jesus in many ways, and most of them wrong. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah who is now shown to be consistent with the Jewish Scriptures as there is only one God and there is no transfer of responsibility for sin. It is said that Jesus didn’t do everything the Messiah is supposed to do, but you can cross some more things off that list.
The “second coming” is not a reincarnation or a second lifetime. The Jewish Messiah is still alive. He is still living in His first and only human lifetime and is currently almost two thousand years old. Methuselah lived over nine hundred years and he wasn’t even the Lord. We aren’t waiting for Jesus to return from the dead. Like Mosses, He went up to be with God and we are waiting for Him to return.
The Messiah is to restore Israel, and Jesus didn't do that before He was crucified. Jesus was crucified before the destruction of Israel had occurred. Jesus didn’t restore Israel when He was thirty years old, He did it when He was over nineteen hundred years old.
If modern Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy, then the Lord must be the Messiah because it was the Lord who restored Israel through some remarkable events, and it was the Lord who led Israel to a miraculous victory in the Six-Day War. The Messiah is now shown to be the Lord, but He must also be someone who was born Jewish. Not many Jews have claimed to be the Lord, and only one has confirmed it by rising from the dead and flying away.
The Destruction of Evil
There is one more loose end to be tied up. Satan is still in Heaven doing the job for which he was created even though he has come to hate God. The Messiah redeems all love, and He also destroys all evil.
There is only one God, and the inhabitants of Heaven know this to be true. Jesus is at the right hand of God, a place that even transcends Heaven, so even the inhabitants of Heaven don’t know Jesus is still alive and they certainly don’t know that the tiny human Jesus is a Piece of God who came from God and will return to God.
When Jesus was on the cross, God forsook Christ which is to say that God looked away, and Satan didn’t bother to suppress his hatred of God because he believed Jesus was a mere human who had no awareness of the spiritual world. Jesus is not a mere human, and He was able to witness the devil’s hatred of God, and this is one reason Jesus had to be crucified. The physical pain was nothing to the Lord, but the crucifixion did provide cover as He responded to the unimaginable hatred that was directed at Him. As Jesus returns to oneness with God, there is already a second witness against the devil.
This revelation of who Jesus really is, and the true relationship between God and Jesus, reveals how Satan is condemnation under the Law, and this understanding will lead to Satan being cast out of Heaven to await the coming Day of Judgment.
© 2020 Don Herston