In the previous post we saw that following Jesus was not a continuous struggle of lugging a cross of guilt. No, following Jesus was an exciting opportunity to be part of a kingdom (government) that will right the wrongs in this world! It is following a dynamic leader accredited by the highest authority in the Universe! Now that is quite something isn’t it.
Why then do we have to be willing to die for this opportunity? In fact why does God allow so much evil, like the drunk hit and run driver who killed a young mother crossing the the street?
So let’s set the record straight. Never blame God for things that are wrong. Don’t say why did God allow this or that.
This is Father’s heart: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God created us and he loves us. Isn’t that amazing? God showed His love for mankind in particular by 1) making us in His image and 2) entrusting us to be caretakers of the world (Genesis 1:27-28).
He declared when he was done that “it was very good”. It is impossible for us to imagine how God thinks and designs and feels – does he have a brain for example – but we are created in his image so somehow just as we can design things he does it in a similar ways just infinitely greater.
For his creation to be perfect, he had to allow for freewill, and by extension, for his creatures to will the wrong things. And if they did will the wrong things, he had a plan for that too right – from the beginning. We are created in God’s image but we are notoriously bad at predicting the future. But God, who created humans who can invent supercomputers and artificial intelligence, has no problem in seeing the end from the beginning.
I want to add an aside. The book of Job is said to be the oldest book included in the bible unlike the other books, it never mentions Moses, the Exodus, Isaac or Jacob. It is said of Job that “this man was the greatest of all the men of the east (ancient times)” (Job 1:3) It is said that he was the designer/builder of the pyramids. God rhetorically asks the great Job “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! (I can imagine God pointing out the intricate design of the pyramids that required knowledge of the universe) Job 38:4-7
Whatever reasons Job, and his friends might come up with for the bad things God “allowed” to happen to Job, he acknowledged God’s absolute greatness and that God had perfect reasons for what he did and need not explain his reasons. We now know from chapter 1 that Satan was the one stirring things up.
The Real Enemy
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:12
We are not on vacation, we are at war! The enemy does not want God’s kingdom to succeed, and he is willing to play dirty. He went as far as influencing his seed, people under his influence to kill Jesus.
God does not allow evil, but Satan is constantly using evil because he is quite happy to play dirty. God does not play dirty but he is constantly fighting Satan’s evil projects. God does not fight in the we understand fighting. With one blast from his mouth and Satan is blown away. God never needs to play dirty in order to win. He does not have to bomb schools and hospitals. When you see things like that, it is not something he allows for whatever purpose, but it is Satan’s doing. But our God is brilliant to the extreme and has the advantage of seeing the end from the beginning. He knows what any particular battle project that Satan might come up with will result in. He also knows how he can turn what Satan is doing, to our advantage – to make it work out for the good of all who love him.
When Satan’s schemes causes hurt and even death surely God is able to stop that, like stopping the car of the drunk driver before he ran the mother down. And yes, he can and often does. But his plan to end Satan’s evil allows for the possibility that Satan will hurt and even kill people. But he has the power to resurrect people, as he showed by bringing Jesus back to life. He is so brilliant that he can assess which combination of events will bring the most benefit. Because Satan had his people kill Jesus, God brought his son, our leader back to life, making Jesus the perfect ‘sacrificial lamb‘ so that all can be saved and have eternal life.
Satan thought that he had succeeded in inspiring his people to kill Jesus by hanging Jesus on a tree, no less – what a disgrace he thought! But without having to play dirty, God used his loving brilliance to defeat Satan in a magnificent way!
Satan did not like that, remember he is not some smalltime gangster or crook. He too is magnificent, he is Lucifer, the bringer of light.
“You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.
Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones!” (Ezek 28:14-16)
Satan had the highest executive position in God’s government that a created being can have. He knew he was great and attractive. So pride crept in and he became a sinner. He has used his intelligence God gave him to wheel and deal to gain great wealth and influence for him and his seed. Satan is so impressed with his brilliance that he thinks he can take over from God. Yes, that sounds silly but he is really so brilliant that he thinks his scheme will work. And it will be so convincing that he will convince many.
God is fighting evil, he is not allowing Satan and his demons to play dirty, to run over ladies crossing the street, or bombing schools and hospitals in Mariopol. He will use the most loving means the change what the enemy has orchestrated to the good of everyone.
At the right hand!
Joshua*, our brother, is still our leader, God has anointed him as our lord and savior. Father has placed him “at his right hand”, he now has the highest executive position in Father’s government! Unlike Satan, Joshua has already proven that he is loyal even unto death. (* the transliteration of Jesus in Hebrew – we know from history that Joshua and hid house will follow the Lord).
We are still his troops and we too must fight evil in the same way Father does. Joshua has given us gifts and authority to heal people, to cast out demons in his name.
We are not lugging fake wooden crosses in penance for our many sins, our sins are forgiven. We are loving our neighbor as Joshua taught us. We testify that we believe that Joshua is the Father’s son and that Father has anointed him as the king of his government.
We teach people the true good news that Father gave Joshua to preach and that he has taught us. Joshua told us “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.“ (Mat 24:14)
What a blessing to be a Christian, to know what it means to follow him. He will, together with us his brothers and sisters, defeat Satan with the sword of his mouth – no matter how brilliant Satan’s plan is, Joshua will be able to out-argue him counter his accusations against us. When we are done, Joshua will hand the beautiful kingdom to Father and will come and live with us, just like Father used to enjoy strolling in the garden and chatting with Adam and Eve.
Of course, we are keen to deny ourselves and to follow Joshua. We are on the winning team and have a brilliant leader who leads by example and helps carry the load when we struggle.
Maranatha – Come Joshua, come!