Why Is Evil Allowed in the World?
We have frequently heard that this life is one of free will; that everyone has his or her own choices, and for God to not violate the free will, He can't interfere; that God does not want us to make the wrong choices that hurt our neighbor or ourselves, but with free will, wrong choices are made. OK, that makes sense so far; but, aside from the inherent value of freedom, why do we all have to operate under free will? While desperately praying to the Lord to do something to wake up the millions of people who don't have the faintest clue as to what is expected of them, I heard him say to me, "I could stop two thirds of the world's people dead in their tracks, anytime I choose." Leaving me to wonder: why doesn't he?
It was a few years later when I understood. This is the Lord's garden. He is growing sons of God for duties that include judging the angels. The sons developed from the earth are "first fruits." The first fruits are those to find total union with God while on earth in this life; men and women to become Sons of God. We don't really know what else a Son of God is going to be doing after he or she leaves this planet, but we do know they are going to be Kings and Priests; therefore in God's holy presence constantly. And we can guess that God wants tried and true sons; sons who have tired of the pig fodder which this world offers; sons who have learned the bitterness of lust, selfishness, pride, and "false freedom," never to be tempted with them again; sons who are likely imbued with power, that should it be abused, would bring great sorrow to many if not billions; and sons who are the embodiment of God himself, LOVE. Scripture tells us that to seek God, find him, and be united with him is the single and sole purpose of life. He [God] has made from one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the allotted times and the boundaries of their habitation; so that they should seek the Lord, and perhaps might feel after him and find him, though He is not far from every one of us. For in him we live and move, and have our being. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. We find him when the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus appears in our hearts; and when he appears, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He [Jesus] is pure. As he appears his holy pure light burns away anything unholy, leaving only holiness, leaving only love.
Then, since the purpose of this life is to find god, and that results in love; the purpose of this life is to create love. Love creates love. Love loves love. Just as we humans enjoy obedient and grateful children, so does the Lord enjoy children, who are free from lust and full of love; children he can share his very self with, giving all over eternity. His children can then please their Father forever as they grow forever in his infinite counsel and direction; pleasing their new Father is then the children's joy.
One definition of love I like from eastern religion is: "giving with absolutely no expectation of return."
Paul gives us a wonderful definition of Love:
Love endures long, and is patient and kind; love does not envy; love does not boast, and is not puffed up in pride,
Does not behave itself unseemly, is not self-seeking, is not angry,
Does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth;
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they shall fail; where there are tongues, they shall cease; where there is knowledge, it shall vanish away.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.
From William Penn's Maxims:
"If we believe in a final reckoning and judgment; or think enough of what we do believe, we would allow more love in religion than we do; since religion itself is nothing else but the love of God and man.
He, who lives in love, lives in God, says the beloved disciple; and to be sure a man can live nowhere better.
.. tongues shall cease, and prophecy fail, and faith shall be consummated in sight, and hope in enjoyment; but love remains.
Love is indeed heaven upon earth; since heaven above would not be heaven without it. For where there is not love; there is fear; but perfect love casts out fear. And yet we naturally fear most to offend what we most love.
What we love, we will hear; what we love, we will trust; and what we love, we will serve, yes, and suffer for too. If you love me, (says our Blessed Redeemer), keep my commands. Why? Why then he will love us; then we shall be his friends; then he'll send us the comforter; then whatever we ask, we shall receive; and then where he is we shall be also, and that forever. Behold the fruits of love; the power, virtue, benefit and beauty of love!
Love is above all; and when it prevails in us all, we shall all be lovely, and in love with God and one with another."
Love is a voluntary action.
It cannot be commanded or forced.
Love cannot grow under coercion;
there must be total freedom to choose what is good:
total freedom to seek God,
total freedom to stop serving self and serve others,
total freedom to make mistakes and learn from them,
total freedom to seek to understand the creator,
total freedom to turn away from what inhibits your growth in love,
total freedom to choose to love God,
total freedom to choose to sacrifice your life to please God,
total freedom to choose to lay down your life for the sake of your friends, and even
total freedom to change your mind and return to self, forsaking love.
As we seek God, he shows us the sins in our hearts.
Loving the truth, we turn away from the evil he shows us.
As we shun evil, we naturally gravitate to good, and to God.
The more we learn of evil, the more we appreciate God and his goodness.
As we learn, we see God's humility, purity, kindness, mercy, and wisdom.
We are naturally attracted to his love.
He becomes our only desire.
Once love is chosen, seeking its own source and destination,
then it must be tested, under pressure, to see how certain the choice is;
for is it only a flirtation, or is it a commitment?
Can the choice be solidified, can it be made irreversible;
Or can it be turned back to selfishness?
So, to be sure, the chooser is stretched and exercised,
to grow stronger, to become surer, to become purer.
Like gold that is heated, the dross removed, reheated, dross removed,.... until pure.
The chooser is tested so much that anything but love becomes sickening;
and even when threatened and forced to suffer, he would choose death,
love and return to serving self, back to evil.
For as you learn the ways of love and God,
you learn to hate the life of passions, pride, and pleasures;
for to lose your life is to save it.
Evil becomes repulsive, to be shunned, to be eschewed;
for only then can the miraculous creation of Love be completed and sure.
To create love is the ultimate act of creation. It is the most difficult thing to create. This is God's garden of love, and there are many "other people" not destined, (by their choices),* to be "first fruits;" but these "other people" must not be forcefully interfered with or corrected or restrained for fear of coercing or damaging the tender plants of love, the "first fruits." The "other people" are also learning from their life in the garden; in the next life, their lives will be their reminders of what is really important: learning and love: love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, turmoil vs. peace, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, bitter vs. sweet. We must pass through the earth wise, or else we must learn about sin and righteousness in the next life. Our earth life is a school, the experiences of which the Lord uses to illustrate to us his teachings about righteousness and sin. We learn here through the Holy Spirit, who is ready to teach us all things, who is ready to guide us into all truth, so that we become wise before leaving the earth; or in the next life we must learn the hard way, with less reward for our efforts, (See Is There Hope for All for more); the choice of where to learn is everyone's to make for themselves. God is in us, eager to teach all things, if we will be quiet, listen, and obey; but eventually the scripture will be fulfilled: they will all be taught by God.
* Those who argue for pre-destination and who deny man's free will, make God to be very unjust, for if God pre-destines some to heaven and others to hell, then those who go to hell are there because of God alone and not their faults. God chooses those who are drawn to Him on the basis of His anonymous pleadings to all men to depart from their evil ways, and if they have a love for the truth, they repent; but if they persist in their evil ways, He ignores them. They can later decide to seek Him, and if they show a sincere repentance for their evil ways of the past, He will draw them too. He gives every man equal opportunity to find Him: He gives a small measure or His Spirit to every man in the world so that they might believe the truth of its anonymous pleadings to depart from evil. For additional details on this, see George Fox's writing on Election and Reprobation Clearly Discovered, and the ignorance of many concerning Election and Reprobation of persons, Manifested.
From the Word of the Lord within: "All men are without excuse; if I were silent, they would have an excuse."
Before the earth and man on earth existed, there was a rebellion in heaven led by Satan, who took millions of angels with him. The angels had been created as perfect beings, but they fell to deceptive temptation put forth by Satan; they had never experienced the bitterness of evil before, and so they were deceived. My wife had a vision as to what happened afterwards. Jesus was standing in front of Satan. Jesus held out his hand, full of dust and said, "Do you see this dust Satan? I am going to make this dust greater than you, and there is nothing you can do about it." The dust is us; He formed man from the dust of the earth. Because the whole world lies under wickedness, a man is subject to evil when he is born into the earth. God calls us all; those who respond to His call are drawn to the Lord, which purpose is to create a son of God. To become a son of God, a man must first learn about the evil in himself. On earth in this life, learning about evil is to silently wait on the Lord so the Lord can search a man's heart and expose by his light the sin within it; until the man is shown the depth of the sin in his own heart, he has no idea of his own depravity; nor can a man understand the things of God until he is shown by revelation from God. As man learns about the evil in himself, he recoils in revulsion to what he has become, and he flees to what is good; he is drawn to good, he is drawn to God. The Holy Spirit reproves a man, convinces a man of the righteousness of Christ, and judges a man; which man, if he repents in sorrow over his exposed condition, he has the sin removed from his heart by the Spirit of Grace, one sin at a time. Man's commitment to godliness is also severely tested in tribulation. Those who repent of their evil and endure the testing become sons of God to enjoy peace, unspeakable joy, and righteousness. They know that the least selfish act on their part results in returning to a life cut off from the peace and joy of God, and that is a hellish misery that they have no desire to repeat. So a son of God is created to be a trusted vessel that is immune to any temptation, sanctified and perfected forever. Irreproachable sons who obey him in love are then gifted with greatness, power, and glory that is incorruptible. The world, which exists to produce saints, fulfills its purpose; thus wisdom is justified by her children,
Those who do not pass from this earth wise, not having learned to passionately hate evil while on earth, including evil in themselves, will learn the hard way — in the next life with far less reward; but they will all be taught of God. Everyone will be taught by God, and everyone will be salted with fire. Death of our evil spirit by fire in everyone is necessary so all can live together in peace, love, kindness, and gentleness; all must be purged from the evil in their hearts. This occurs on earth for the few who are voluntarily crucified on the inward cross with great reward. For the great majority of mankind, this purging takes place involuntarily in the next life. All men will learn to hate evil, are drawn to goodness, and to love goodness, which is God. All men are then subject to God's direction, Jesus being the true Lord of all men. Our life on earth is "evil school" where either we voluntarily learn to hate evil in this life; or in the next life we experience all the hurts and harms we have caused by our evil actions and words while alive on earth, thus being repulsed by our past and becoming completely committed to never repeating those mistakes. We learn by our mistakes that we made on earth.
When a first fruit tender plant of love has matured on the earth, then the angels sing and along with Christ come and harvest it, for it is indeed precious. So precious, so valuable, so important to the furthering of the creation, that the whole creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for these tender love plants, the Sons of God, to be known. It all ties together doesn't it? Just a few love plants in the midst of many others. When a love plant matures, it is harvested then, not thousands of years later; and the love plants are precious few, (the narrow and compressed way that few will find).
These adopted Sons of God, grown in the Garden of Earth, are key to the expansion of the creation. They are the lynchpins of the future, a future where the increase of Christ's Kingdom and government is without end — infinite — forever. They are to be Kings in the infinite expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven and its government; (but Kings in heaven are servants like Christ, not rulers as we know them on the earth). Since this expansion of his government continues forever, what does this tell you about the role of earth in the future? Remember, he said "he could stop two thirds of the world's people dead in their tracks anytime he chose."
The price for growing love is total absence of force and coercion from God; this total absence of control from God results in suffering, diseases, wars, famines, etc. Everyone on the planet gets to choose between good and evil, and learn thereby; freedom to choose wrong exists so that love can be created and grow in total freedom, the necessary soil for nourishment.
From the Word of the Lord within:
"If people want to make a bad-choice decision, that's their prerogative."
Every man and woman has their day of visitation where the Spirit of God anonymously reasons with them to alter their ways. The vast majority of men do not comprehend this anonymous pleading to come from God; and so if they don't love the truth of what they have been shown by the light of God within every man, they reject the truth, loving their evil ways, and in effect hating the truth, which is to hate Christ, who is the truth. The few that feel convicted as they are shown their evil ways, who acknowledge the truth of what they have been told, and who resolve to change their life accordingly — because of their love for the truth, those few men and women are then chosen by God to be given a spiritual experience that gives them a taste of the goodness of God, which is given to motivate them to seek He who has been hidden to be revealed.
If we heed the advice of the Spirit or Light within us, we get more counsel. If we ignore the advice, God ignores us until we decide to seek his counsel and direction.
Based on his knowing those who will never give up until union occurs, God chooses those to be his first fruits — he draws them to himself, but in a way that is without fear or compulsion — so they can choose to seek Him out of love. The Father does not try to frighten us into seeking, rather he draws us in love; from the Word of the Lord within: "people cannot come in fear — they have to come in love." With love the Father draws us to himself and creates a hunger in us for more; only a desire for love can motivate a man to lay down his life in obedience. (The Hell-fire and damnation preaching, which tries to frighten people into sects, is an abomination.)
To seek God and find him, (to see him within), is the whole purpose of life. He [God] has made from one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the allotted times and the boundaries of their habitation; so that they should seek the Lord, and perhaps might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from every one of us. For in him we live and move, and have our being; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in you all.
Seek the LORD your God, and you will find him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Those chosen by God are protected by Him while they complete their seeking course; as is written, "all things work together for good to those who love God [or as argued, God loves], and are called according to his purpose." So how does one love God? To love God is to wait on Him as the highest priority in our life and obey what spoken words we hear from Him that command us to do: we wait on Him to hear His words that teach us, convict us, encourage us, change us, and guide us — that is loving God who protects those who wait on Him.
Several years ago, my wife and I experienced that protection from death. We were walking home, crossing a street. Suddenly there was a loud roar as a car with a drunk driver at a nearby stop sign was peeling rubber at full throttle and turning left aimed at us. We saw the danger and ran to get out of its way. Ahead of my wife, at the last split second I sprang forward as far as I could, and the car suddenly stopped. My legs and hips were in contact with the car's left front fender, and my wife's left leg was in contact with the car's front bumper. The driver was so drunk, he could hardly talk. The Lord later told me, "I had to rush into the street to save you." For His life-saving intervention, we are eternally grateful and confident of His protection, providing we continue to seek Him as our highest priority; how we spend our free time shows our priority.
But he only provides protection to those who are seeking him as the highest priority in their life, waiting on Him and obeying Him; from the Word of the Lord within: "All other people, destined* for reconciliation after this life, live without protection," and are therefore subject to accidental death, disease, famine, war, etc. Once when I was contemplating on God's will for the people on this earth, I started thinking about the 6,000,000 Jews put to death by the Nazis; wondering how this could be. I heard Him say to me, "don't you dare ascribe the Holocaust to me." I also listen with great sadness when a preacher tells one of his congregation (living in the false hope) who just tragically lost a child, "it is God's will; he wanted them home with him." It is not God's will that such tragedies happen. Tragedies are the result of the world's free will and are not willed by God to happen. All life is precious to Him, and the tragedies are sadness for Him too — but the price of man's free will, necessary to grow love.
*People are not destined by God; he would have all men saved and united with Him while still alive on earth. People are destined by the choices they make. God anonymously pleads with all men to depart from evil; but men, loving their evil passions and pleasures, discount and ignore those pleadings — they deny and hate the truth, which the light shows to them — so they hate Christ, who is the truth, and love unrighteousness. The light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it. . When men die and are judged, those words of anonymous reasoning from the light of Christ they ignored will be remembered; men will be judged by those words they heard and rejected, ; and they will be deeply ashamed they ignored the gentle pleadings of their loving creator.
Do not think by your telling others of the gospel, they too will be protected. The Lord does the calling. Until you have been sent with specific orders as to what to do, when to do it, and words to say — you will only scatter, and not gather. Do not assume the Lord is asleep at the switch. From the Word of the Lord within: "Let no one think that we don't see and hear all."
The collective suffering of mankind throughout history is a huge price — a colossal price — a price beyond measure. It has to be offset by this thing that he is creating that is infinitely beyond anyone's imagination in its responsibility, authority, and power. These love plants are to be brothers to Christ, who has the fullness of God dwelling within Him; do they also have the fullness of God dwelling within them? It must be close, otherwise the price paid for man's free will is too much to balance against. Don't get me wrong; I shrink in fright at the thought of being given a fraction of such authority — I only mention the possibility to try to help you understand the horrible, but necessary price of "free will." (I serve God, for one reason and only one reason: to hear him say one day, "well done, you good and faithful servant." I live for this hope.)
It is also stated that the purpose of life is to create the body of Christ, so that through the church the manifold [many sided and varied] wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places. . So God is creating clones of Jesus with different experiences retained in their soul, in order to reflect a different facet of the personality of God, to reflect a different facet of the wisdom of God, to his glory. To find God is an individual experience that requires purity and the death of the selfish nature within us.
Purification through the cross of Christ is hard. It involves suffering and tribulation; suffering is necessary to shed the man of flesh, before the Spirit of Christ can replace it. This cross of self-denial is taken up as a sacrifice of our lives — the only gift we are capable of giving to God — the life he gave us to live as we please — to him, to live by his will. As we are cleansed by God to rid us of our selfish spirit, we make many small decisions to repent. Each step away from the world strengthens our resolve to never go back, until the world and all its selfish, greedy, angry, lustful practices become repulsive to us. And the price we pay in suffering creates a resolve to never depart from His ways. We become a tested, trusted vessel — through with sin. In contrast, if we died and were instantly purified, unless our free will was removed, we would go right back into selfish practices; we would miss all our old addictions, which is the old wine, and we would not appreciate the new wine.
If a sinner did not first have the sins slowly purged out of his heart, while learning to hate all evil, even if that sinner were translated into heaven, he would not be happy because he could not pursue all his old addictions. If you died while still sinning, you would be absolutely miserable in heaven; all your pleasures and desires, having not been crucified while on earth, are not available in heaven, and you would be miserable without them. You would be yearning for the old wine, which you think is better than the new wine because you have not been prepared, crucified, purified, (the new wineskin), and freed from lusts, anger, sexual desires, resentment, envy, greed, lying, jealousy, foolishness, revelry, drunkenness, pleasures, etc. Even your thoughts would be heard by everyone around you; you would be terrified and wanting to run to darkness where you hope your thoughts would not be heard by everyone. Jesus told us the same in the parable: No one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires the new wine, for he will say, 'The old wine is better.' . A man must crucify his lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial before he can enjoy fellowship in the heavens.
The world exists to produce saints; the world is just the birth canal to the next eternal life. Life, chronicled in the Old Testament, before Jesus opened up the opportunity of the Kingdom to anyone with faith in his name, was used to create an indelible allegory of the individual's purification experience — for reference, benchmark, understanding, warnings, and encouragement. Instead of purity of an individual, it was purity of his chosen people; they were punished when they didn't obey, and they were told to destroy any other race in their country. The tribes of Canaan who were destroyed by the children of Israel, with God and angels fighting on their side, are an allegory of our spiritual enemies in our heart: lust, greed, covetousness, lying, anger, hate, immorality, etc. The Kings that Joshua destroyed are the allegory of the elements of our own reigning spirits that have to be destroyed. As individuals, we are disciplined, scourged, and chastised by God in our purification, ; but all to our benefit — so that we can be rid of our sinful natures and participate in the divine nature.
- we leave the world behind (Egypt), with the Lord making our way over what seems impossible (parting of the Red Sea),
- to go into waiting quietly on the Lord in spiritual dryness, (wandering in the Sinai desert),
- where we complain and doubt (sin against God),
- where God afflicts us with tribulation (biting serpents),
- where we must look upon Jesus' suffering on the cross to survive (gazing on the flaming serpent on a staff),
- where we doubt we can ever triumph against our massive ego problems, (the giants in the promised land looked unconquerable),
- where our old self dies, with only the new creature that inherits the Kingdom, which flesh and blood cannot (the original Jews died or were not allowed to cross — even Moses; only Caleb and Joshua entered because they were not afraid of the giants.)
- where Christ washes us with holy water inside and out ( we cross the river Jordan )
- and where He purges us with fire, and sprinkles our conscience with his blood. Christ puts to death our pride, covetousness, anger, lusts — the residual spirit of Satan in us, with the brightness of his coming, slaying him with breath, crushing satan under our feet (as the Israelites' enemies fell before them, as Jericho, whose walls tumbled down — and were slain)
- as tiny David slew Goliath by faith in the help of God, so in our weakness we slay the giant of our sin with faith in the true gospel of Christ.
- Moses led the outward Jews to Canaan outward, and they were to conquer and drive out the seven nations before them with outward carnal weapons and armor; but Christ leads his Jews in spirit, in his new covenant, into heaven, and they are to conquer the spiritual wickedness and rulers of darkness, through Christ, with spiritual weapons and armor.
- as the Children of Israel slew the many giants in Canaan by faith in the promises of God, so we obtain a pure heart by faith in obedience to his spoken commands to us.
- when we have conquered our enemies of pride, lust, covetousness, lying, profaneness, etc., we sit down in Christ to enter the rest, (as the Israelites entered the rest when they had finished destroying all the other nations inside the borders of Israel). As Zechariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying: That he would grant to us,
that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
- we arrive at the Kingdom of Heaven, spiritual Israel, pure, perfected, and in union with Christ and God (the promised land of Israel)
- and we are to expel all from our church who continue to practice lying, covetousness, railing, immorality... (all the heathen nations were to be continually purged from Israel)
The allegory goes on and on. The Old Testament is a physical allegory to the new spiritual covenant. Hebrews states several, but there are many, many more. Whatever loss people experienced to create that indelible allegory will be made up by a perfectly just God. And remember, God knows the future. He knows if a people will do nothing but go deeper into evil. Normally, he lets them dig themselves as deep as they choose, until the time of the normal death. But if he knows they will have to go through Hell after death, with no hope of being reconciled with God while alive, and if it suits His broader purpose, their deaths can be merciful. Merciful because they cease digging themselves deeper into the pit of evil, which they will have to dig themselves out of in the next life, called Hell. See Is There Hope for All for the details.
Fortunately, the pain and suffering that people experience in this life will be made up for by God in the next life;
this life being like a distant dream.
And all will be comforted. And all will say that God is righteous.
And all will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. [As in their Lord whom they serve].
And these things will be said in sincerity and honesty by all,
for God would take no pleasure in someone lying under force or threat of force;
these things will be said from the heart by all to the glory of God the Father .
He will swallow up death in victory. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;
and the rebuke of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.
"Declare and bring forward your case; yes, let them take counsel together.
Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I the LORD?
And there is no God beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
Look to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
I have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return,
'That to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.'
They [all] shall say,
'In the Lord is righteousness and strength.'"
All who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed.
So that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth;
And that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. .
Therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God,
who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
(See Hope for All for more detail, including the pain.)
So, all the suffering and pain of earth will be forgotten and made right. And if you feel the draw from God to seek him, (and keep on seeking him, until you are in his arms); then perhaps you will value even more the suffering on the planet — it exists so that you can seek he who has chosen you, free of any coercion; and to grow into a perfected, mature, resurrected Christ. This should be a very humbling realization; certainly not one to take pride in, but rather to motivate you to patiently bear the cross to produce the fruit of the Spirit, thereby bringing joy and glory to Christ and the Father, becoming the crowning glory of their creation — Love.
When you bear (produce or bring forth) much fruit,
my Father is honored and glorified,
and you show that you are truly my disciples [true followers].
I am the vine, you are the branches.
If a man abides in me, and I in him, he produces much fruit;
for without me you can do nothing.
This web site's purpose is to show how to become
free from sin
by benefiting from the changing power of God through the cross,
which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.