Why does God permit mankind to be tempted? If God is a good and wise god, why does he not destroy the devil and deliver his children out of temptation forever? Why does God let children suffer? Why does God let people die? I’ve heard these questions all my life and have finally matured enough to find peace in the truth revealed to me through Scripture.
To answer these questions we must go back to the beginning. When Yahweh created humans, he created a unique creature; a creature that is after his likeness. Within each of us dwells the potential to be like our Heavenly Father. Just as a larva appears to be a worm instead of a butterfly, we appear to be completely different than an offspring of Yahweh, but we are.
We are spirit, life-forces, and we came from our Father. We live in fleshly bodies that are stimulated, energized, and activated by our five senses, by word, by the spirits around us, and by the Spirit of Christ. If we (spirit) are immature, we will make immature decisions. This works on the principle of cause and effect. If we are educated, disciplined, and mature, we are more likely to make wise decisions. Any decision we make will have an effect, whether it be instantaneous or in the future, temporary or long-term for that which we sow we will reap (Gal. 6:7).
Our Creator could have given mankind a pre-set brain. He could have programmed us to have instinctive obedience, but then he would only have robots. He could have programmed the robot to praise him and be obedient to his every command, but he would not be able to fellowship with him any more than we can have fellowship with a computer.
As Yahweh’s children, we would not be able to mature into his likeness without freedom to think, to love, to reason, to experience, to judge, and to choose.
In Genesis 1:26, Yahweh said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
Dominion, power, control, and authority are all the same. This is what we are created to do; this is our potential and our inheritance. Taking dominion cannot be fulfilled by a robot.
Just as our parents planned their family to be in their image and after their likeness, so Yahweh did his family. Our parents were not disappointed when they saw their firstborn naked, ignorant, and incapable of good judgment, self-centered, immature, and disabled. They, too, planned for their offspring to have authority over all they had. It is every parent’s delight to have heirs that will carry on their bloodline and accept with honor and pleasure all the assets that reflect their life, their morals, and convictions.
Yahweh’s children are superior to all other life—they are of the earth, earthy, but in the process of taking dominion over the instincts of their flesh and putting on the mind of Righteousness, one is transformed into the image of the Father.
Why does evil and darkness exist? Evil is the product of ignorance, it is the results of our earthly substance which dissolves as the Spirit of Righteousness takes its place.
Our freedom to function in ignorance or righteousness comes with who we are. It is that which is produced when we function in our created state.
Why could not all actions be right? That is like asking, “Why was my child born ignorant and unable to walk or talk?” Remember, this offspring came from you and is of your substance. You are multiplying yourself, so to speak, when you procreate.
Your newborn is physically and genetically connected to you in the flesh, but his spirit is from the Father (Life). You can influence, energize, and strengthen the lust of his flesh by your ideas, your concepts, your morals and your values, but his spirit must be fed in order to develop to his full potential to be in the image of the Heavenly Father.
You can ignore your child’s spiritual need or you can influence him toward righteousness. You can feed his fleshly nature: therefore, keeping him in darkness or you can teach him truth and righteousness. The latter will produce maturity, happiness, freedom, and good health, while the former will encourage more and more corruption.
If we see the devil as a noun, separate from our fleshly nature, then we will not feel responsible for our actions. But if we see the devil as an adjective, as Christ did, when he said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, satan: for you savor not on the things that be of Yahweh (you don’t exercise your mind on the things of Yahweh), but on the things that be of men” (Mark 8:33), then you will feel responsible for the outcome of your actions.
If we truly have dominion, then we are responsible for that which is produced whether it is good or evil.
We were not created to be controlled by the impulses and instincts that govern animals. Animals do not make moral decisions. They have no inherent sense of right and wrong. They may control their behavior out of fear of being disciplined by their master, but they have no comprehension of any moral issues involved. We, on the other hand, are genetically connected to Love, and all Love’s attributes. We have our Heavenly Father’s energy force to produce righteousness. We have a spiritual sense of right and wrong—it is in us from our birth, but untouched by the Anointing, it lays dormant.
Love, Truth, and Righteousness cannot grow and produce fruit of its own kind unless it is nurtured. In ignorance, we cannot develop our full potential.
If we are encouraged to develop according to the lust of our five senses, just as the animal kingdom functions, then we will not see a need to be endued with a higher power, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our parent that nurtures us (his offspring); he is our guide and teacher that will bring us into full maturity, into the image of our Father, into Righteousness.
If we follow every whim and desire of our flesh without judgment and restraint, then we are nothing more than an animal. But we are more than animals; we are children of the most high God. He is spirit and we, too, are spirit. That is why we must worship him in spirit and in truth.
We manifest Righteousness, the nature of our Heavenly Father, only if we abide by the law of Life.
Just as the maker of fine wine cannot enjoy the taste of it if he has not followed the proper procedures, neither will we enjoy the benefits of the Light of Truth if we do not adhere to righteousness. When we accept the Holy Spirit, we have accepted our Guide and Teacher that will bring us into the image of our Father. The supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit works to protect us and to bring us to the place that we will not produce evil. Remember, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
The Holy Spirit that dwells in us is stronger than all other forces. The Holy Spirit is not only our Guide and Teacher, but he is our Comforter and Protector. Without the Holy Spirit, we will not develop in spirit. If we do not develop in spirit, we are in death, in chaos, in ignorance, and will produce the works of the flesh.
Let us analyze Romans 8:2-4 so we might better understand Yahweh’s plan. “For the law of the Spirit of life in the Anointed Savior has made me free from the law of sin and death.” The Spirit of Life (Yahweh) has a law, just as the law of gravity pulls everything toward the earth, so the Holy Spirit pulls his children to righteousness.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Yahweh sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” The law of the Spirit of Life was made visible in the flesh of our Savior. He looked like everyone else, but he was not influenced by his five senses to unrighteousness.
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled “in” us, who walk not after the flesh (see Gal. 5:15-21), but after the Spirit” (see Gal. 5:22-25). Because people were able to see with their own eyes the fruit of Righteousness, the law activated desire within them to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The Ten Commandments reflect maturity. They are the actions, feelings, and thoughts produced by our listening and following after our Guide and Teacher—the “Holy” Spirit.
A strong man develops muscles by lifting weights. A mathematician develops his mind by struggling with equations, and Christians become strong through resisting the temptation to stay in ignorance—they desire to grow up into the image of their Father. The more we resist the pull of our fleshly nature, the more spiritually mature we become.
It is often said that we are tempted by evil, but in reality, we are pulled away by the lust of our own flesh and we produce evil. We then become the tempter that pulls others away from righteousness.
James 1:13-15 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of Yahweh: for Yahweh cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
It is tragic to be around those who willingly sit at the door of temptation so long that they have become weak and backslidden. They become too busy with the cares of worldly things to educate themselves with the things of the Holy Spirit. They are too busy struggling on their on to talk to their Maker, their Guide and their Teacher. They become targets for like spirits to descend upon. In time they find that the forces around them are greater than their ability to resist.
Paul said, in Romans 6:16, “Know ye not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
When our understanding is opened to a truth, we instantaneously exercise our right to accept or reject. We can call it tempted, or we can call it an opportunity to develop spiritual muscles.
“There has no temptation [a putting to proof] taken you but *such as is common to man [*human, after the manner of men]: but Yahweh is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted [to test] above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it [undergo hardship],” 1 Cor. 10:13.
In the natural, we do not require our children to go the next level in school until they are mentally and emotionally ready. Yahweh would certainly be as wise and loving as the wisest of humanity. This is why we are instructed to “count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of our faith works patience” (James 1:2-3).
Most children are excited to go to the next level at school and would be unhappy if they were retained. They know the next level will require that they learn more. It is a test, a challenge, a time to prove what they know or that they can learn.
The teacher does not look at her students and think that they are placed in her class to tempt her with their ignorance. She knows they are ignorant and it is her choice to enlighten them. She will expose them to all her knowledge in the subjects in which they are ready for. This knowledge will prove them ignorant, demand their attention, and require action on their part. Knowledge will soon become one with them.
When we believe in Righteousness, the trying of our faith is a door of opportunity to enlighten the world of the Kingdom of Righteousness; it is a time to function on the next level. It is never the Father trying to see our capabilities, for he already knows our strengths and our weaknesses. It is our time to exercise our spiritual muscles.