The Logical Argument for God
- Logical Argument for God
- The Religion of Jesus Christ Fits these Criteria
- Prelude to Explaining the Gospel of the Kingdom
- The Good News and Imminence of the Kingdom
- The Time of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
- Examining Jesus's lack of Drink
- A Refusal to Drink
- Jesus Drinks!
- The Easy Food Confirmation
- Other Confirmation
- The Kingdom has Come in its Fullness
- The Will of God
- God's Will is Purely in the Resurrection at the Last Day
- There is no other Will of God
- These are the Children of the Kingdom
- A Definition of Sin
- A Review of the Will of God
- Parallels to the Prodigal Son
- Jesus was Tempted
- How did Jesus's Death Bring the Kingdom?
- Reevaluating the Phrase, "The Will of my Father"
- Jesus's Great Principle
- Returning to our Logical Argument
- The Priority of the Kingdom for Us
- Born Again and the Separation of Man and God
- The Hostility of the World
- We Cannot Abandon our Earthly Responsibilities
- Some Implications for Life in this World
- Jesus's Command to Listen Only to Him
- Five reasons the Churches Don't Proclaim Jesus's Gospel
- Implications for the Churches (a Little Against Sacrificial Atonement)
- Reviewing One Odd Condition for the Logical Argument
- Verses that proclaim some aspect of God's Omniscience
- Definition of Repentance
- God Repents, Therefore he is not Omniscient
- How to Prove this Theory is Wrong
- The Future of this World
Atheists claim there is no logical argument for the existence of a "benevolent" god because of human suffering. They say if a god exists, he would relieve human suffering. The lack of relief is evidence of a lack of god. Atheists haven't considered why a "benevolent" god would allow human suffering.
We can make a logical argument for a god despite human suffering, noting no god has made themselves known to us.
If a creator god wants a place where everything is perfect, he can make one easily. Some religions call this place "heaven." If a creator god then wants recreations of himself that can also think and act for themselves and have this loosely-defined "free will" that the creator god definitely has, then he'd need to put these recreations of himself somewhere else. Some religions call this place "Earth," and the recreation beings "human beings."
Thus, these recreation beings would then undergo life and use their free will by thinking and acting however they want, in contrast to how the creator god uses his own free will. If this creator god wants to put those with compatible wills in heaven, where there is perfection, then all he needs to do is select the recreation beings with compatible wills. Thus, all this creator god has to do is watch his recreation beings be themselves. He does not have to intervene or stop anything. Besides creating everything, he doesn't really need to do anything with his creation, ever. When a recreation being dies, its will can be judged. It doesn't matter to the creator god how many recreation beings die, suffer, or fail to have compatible wills that the creator god wants, as his creation will keep going on.
This is the logical thing for a creationist god to do. Instead of having perfect robots, he can now create beings that will think and do unexpected things independent from himself, while being assured that the harmony of what he has already created will be preserved. This would probably bring much amusement to a perfect, and therefore boring, universe.
Let us consider some consequences of this logical argument.
- 1. The creator god has to make the recreation beings with free will.
- - 1 provides the impetus to make the world that we live in. Without this, why make beings that can feel suffering?
- - If 2 or 3 occurs, then all the recreation beings would attempt to trick the creator god into allowing them into that perfect place, which would result in imperfection.
- - If 4, then there is no purpose for this place. He could just create all those that would have compatible free wills at that point that they would have those compatible free wills. Thus, this recreation place would not be needed.
- - 5 provides the other impetus to make the recreation beings. Without this, why even bother?
We can also make a critical assumption on at least one thing the creator god is looking for in the wills of his creation beings. He is looking for recreation beings that do not want to be a part of the recreation place he has made, and who do not act as part of that recreation place. After all, if those recreation beings love a place that has horrid suffering, how can they be fit for a perfect place that has no suffering?
We can plainly see how this logical argument corresponds to our own world. We human beings seem to have free will. A creator god has not made himself definitively known. The purpose of our lives or that of Earth remains unknown. We see that we exist, and that there is suffering. We could, for all we know, be living in the recreation place for the purpose of an unknown being identifying our wills for his own purposes.
However, the suffering in our world is great enough for many people to question the purpose and functionality of life. If this attitude is one that can help form the will that the creator being wants, then it would make sense for the creator being to let those people know the mere possibility that there might be an answer to this.
Given this argument, and these consequences, we can now find a logically based religion. Of course, if we make up a religion having known this argument, there is no way that it can be true. Therefore, we must browse the thousands of religions in our world to determine which one(s) agree with this logical argument. And there is at least one religion that fits these requirements.
The Religion of Jesus Christ Fits these Criteria Back to Top ↑
The religion of the Jesus Christ as found in the canonical gospels based solely on the sayings he made, but excluding the sayings of anyone after him, including especially Paul of Tarsus, preaches exactly this logical argument. For Jesus, God is the creator god, Earth is the recreation place, human beings are the recreation beings, God's will is the will that the creator god is looking for, and the phrase "eternal life" shows the place and location of perfection.
Corresponding with consequence 1, Jesus implies that humans have free will by saying things such as,
Consequence 2 and 3 are self-evident. If 2 or 3 have happened, then we would already definitively know a god and the reason for our lives. As it stands, humanity has not come together for an answer in either consequence, and thus the events they speak of have not occurred.
Consequence 4 is shown with an in-depth look at the verses that appear to proclaim Jesus's god as omniscient. In actuality, there exist no such verse, and thus we cannot conclude that Jesus's god is omniscient. See Reviewing One Odd Condition for the Logical Argument for more information.
Consequence 5 is the very reason that Jesus came. See Jesus's Purpose in Coming to Earth for an in-depth look at every reason Jesus came, and they are all secondary to Jesus's primary purpose of coming to Earth: to do the will of the Father. This will that Jesus's god is looking for can be shown with a wide variety of verses:
Jesus espouses the hatred of this world vividly and repeatedly, saying things like:
Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. Luke 12:15 Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. John 6:27 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Matthew 19:21 If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Matthew 19:23 Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Mark 8:34 Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
This is the gospel of the kingdom, which Jesus was unique in uttering. And in fact, it is why Jesus came. Before he came, God's will was not done on Earth, and that is why God sent Jesus. There is no purpose to Earth if it is not producing the people that God wants for his kingdom. Thus, God sent Jesus to ensure his will would be done.Jesus said of his first coming,
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. John 4:34 My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:39-40 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 7:17 My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
God's will is exactly as we concluded from the logical argument we made earlier, that we should hate this recreation place and want to be somewhere else. And this is how we can see that God does not really care for the suffering of the world. Yes, it grieves him deeply, but now we know why he doesn't intervene. It would ruin his perfection if he allowed everyone into it. After all, Jesus said,
How can we be sure that we have the will of God?
Prelude to Explaining the Gospel of the Kingdom Back to Top ↑
We cannot expect that a few verses given with little context can explain the purpose of Earth, our lives, and God's plan for us, while also explaining suffering. Therefore, let us dig deeply into Jesus Christ's "gospel of the kingdom" to determine why he stated everything previously mentioned, as well as answer many supplemental questions along the way.
Jesus, the speaker of the religion that conforms to the Logical Argument came in the framework of Hebrewism. Therefore, we must also look at Jesus through Hebrewism. We must draw our vision of the gospel of Kingdom from the prophet that God put his words in.(Deuteronomy 18:18-19, John 12:49.) We create this vision by listening to Jesus as recorded in the four canonical gospels. Jesus devoted most of his message to the kingdom, who the authors of the gospels assure us he preached everywhere he went:
All four gospels record many sayings specific to the kingdom, and the gospel writers recorded Jesus's parables of the kingdom in detail. Jesus intended these sayings to enhance our understanding of a new and unique conception of the rule of God. We should also note that according to Jesus, before he came, the will that God was looking for was not being done on Earth. As such, we have a very definitive timeframe we can look at, and say, "in all events previous to this event, the will of the creator being was not being done."
The Good News and Imminence of the Kingdom Back to Top ↑
This event was the coming of the kingdom of God that Jesus preached. It was this "kingdom of God" that Jesus called the "gospel." And it is the good news because it precedes the fulfillment of God's promise to the nation of Israel, that the kingdom of David and Solomon would stand forever.(2nd Samuel 7:13.) When the physical nation fell, God continued to promise via his prophets that he would restore the nation under a messiah who was to arise from the line of David.(Amos 9:11-15.) During the first century, this restoration was the hope of Israel, then in Roman dominion.
The gospel authors summarized Jesus's early announcements as,
Some churches will balk at this. They'll say, "An event as large as the kingdom of God coming to Earth would surely have been established in the record of history!" But those who balk show that they do not listen to Jesus.(Luke 17:20.) The fact remains simple: Either the kingdom of God must be here already, or Jesus Christ is a false prophet and everything we've discussed previously is useless. There are no other alternatives.
The Time of the Coming of the Kingdom of God Back to Top ↑
Jesus made other statements showing just how close the kingdom was, giving us a more specific timeframe than "at hand." Speaking to a gathering, he once said,
Why did Jesus use these peculiar ways to describe how close the kingdom of God was?
If we believe that Mark 9:1 simply shows that the kingdom was to come before all of his listeners died, then it would not have been good news to those hearing it, it would have been good news to their children. Those men and women could very well be dead by the time the kingdom came in force. Such an interpretation does not agree with the phrase "at hand." The death of a group is much too far away to be "at hand." Jesus clearly understood the time of the coming to be very near, because he knew during the Last Supper he was going to die soon. Jesus focused his entire ministry on the nearness of the kingdom. If he does not bring it, if he has to die before it appears, then some explanation is required. Jesus never gave such an explanation, however.
So, how do these statements help? The disciples must have been bitterly disappointed immediately after his death. Two disciples who were walking the road to Emmaus, even remarked,
Examining Jesus's lack of Drink Back to Top ↑
Let us look a verse again,
So let us determine when he next drank of the fruit of the vine, or if he has still not drank any fruit of the vine in the last 2000 years. If we can also find an incident where he refused such a drink, then we can also determine that the kingdom had not yet come.
Following the supper, all the disciples,(except Judas, obviously) went with Jesus to Gethsemane,(Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32) on the Mount of Olives. There, the disciples slept while Jesus agonized in prayer, saying,
Many people think the cup is a metaphorical "bitter cup of his suffering" that was to just begin. But if we take these verses in context to what Jesus had just earlier said, it takes on a new meaning.
Following this prayer, Judas and company(Matthew 26:47 cf. Mark 14:43 Luke 22:47-48, John 18:3) seized Jesus and brought him to the house of Caiaphas the high priest.(Matthew 26:57 cf. Mark 14:53-54, Luke 22:54-55, John 18:24) Here, they sought testimony against Jesus, condemned him, mocked him, and beat him. It was also here that Simon uttered his third and last denial against Jesus.(Matthew 26:75 cf. Mark 14:72, Luke 22:61-62, John 18:27)
At this point it was daybreak, and Jesus still had not eaten or drank anything. Jesus had now been tried, condemned, mocked and beaten, but he had not eaten or drank anything. We're led to believe then, that we must be looking at a very thirsty man, whose mouth was already fulfilling the psalm,
Following this, there were three or four more hours of trials, interrogations and abuse. Then they sent him off to be crucified at the third hour,(Mark 15:25 Note that John reckons by Jewish time, so it would have been the sixth hour, as we confirm in John 19:14.) roughly 9AM. In all this time, he has had nothing to eat or drink, so he must be incredibly thirsty.
A Refusal to Drink Back to Top ↑
Finally, moments before Jesus is crucified, Mark records,
Jesus Drinks! Back to Top ↑
After his refusal, Jesus is immediately crucified, and for about six hours no one gave him anything to drink. While all the gospels recorded Jesus's crucifixion, it is only in the Fourth Gospel that we can see what Jesus did immediately prior to his death. Here, it is written,
This is noteworthy. Despite his terrible thirst, Jesus refused drink until his very last moment of his death, when he knew that
Then, amazingly, a bowl full of vinegar(a sour wine, and therefore a fruit of the vine just as the vinegar mixed with gall in Matthew 27:34 was) was nearby. They took a sponge full of vinegar
Jesus told us he would not again drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom came.(Luke 22:18.) Then, at the last moment possible, he drank of the fruit of the vine. Do you see how carefully the author of the Fourth Gospel told us he received the vinegar? And how carefully he noted that Jesus knew the end had come? And how in the same sentence as receiving the vinegar, Jesus said,
The Easy Food Confirmation Back to Top ↑
This is an absurd claim to those who have not listened to Jesus, so let us confirm it with Jesus's sayings. First, let us look at the food situation. Jesus said,
So we see Jesus drank of the fruit of the vine when the kingdom came and then confirmed it by eating food with his disciples.
Other Confirmation Back to Top ↑
But this isn't the only confirmation that Jesus gave. Prior to Jesus's ascension, but after his resurrection, Jesus said,
This particular manifestation of the kingdom that was the hope of Israel will never appear. This idea was so close to the heart of the disciples that Jesus could not get them to understand and so avoided a direct answer to their question and simply said,
Contrast this with Matthew's version. Here, Jesus bluntly said,
It is the announcement of that prayer's fulfillment. Jesus has been invested with kingly authority, with all authority, in heaven as on Earth. Therefore, the kingdom has come on Earth as it is in heaven. This is precisely what the prophets and the Psalms had prophesied. Jesus now reigns from the right hand of God(See Psalm 110.) in heaven and on Earth. There is nothing more to give him.
The Kingdom has Come in its Fullness Back to Top ↑
Now that we know that the kingdom of God came on earth at the moment of Jesus's death, we should look at the evidence and essence of the kingdom. We are interested in how Jesus preached a religion conforming to the Logical Argument. The Jews were the inheritors of the divine promises that God would set a son of David on his throne in Jerusalem and redeem the nation, thus establishing his kingdom.(See, for example, Jeremiah 23:5.) This clearly never occurred.
Most of Christendom is yet looking for the return of Jesus to Earth to establish his heavenly kingdom on Earth and to reign from Jerusalem over the nations. This has not yet come to pass. For most, the obvious conclusion must be that whatever occurred at the death of Jesus must only have been the beginning of a long process that would eventually produce the kingdom of God on Earth. This idea is very appealing to many people who see God's will as building the kingdom.
But it is incorrect. Jesus spoke of the coming of the kingdom that took place at his death, and he always used grammar(The Greek aorist tense, specifically.) that said the coming of the kingdom and its completeness would be at one point in time. This absolutely excludes any thought of a process of a kingdom coming that is continuous in time. Like a gunshot, it happened instantaneously and completely. This is the way it has to be. No king rules until the moment of his investiture at the coronation. That is not the beginning of a process, for the king has all authority immediately.
So then, if the kingdom is fully here, then what is it? Jesus answered this question when he instructed his disciples to pray,
Therefore, God's kingdom came on Earth at the very moment his will began to be done on Earth. God's kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, that shall never pass away.(Daniel 7:27, Psalm 145:13) Therefore, the will of God was beginning to be done on Earth when Jesus died, and it will continue to be done on Earth until Earth dies. This conforms to our Logical Argument. The will that the creator being is looking for results in the inclusion of the kingdom of God in the recreation beings, at least according to Jesus.
The Will of God Back to Top ↑
This idea that doing the will of God results in the kingdom of God will probably be preposterous to many that had listened to the churches. Many have a general conception of the will of God that sees its fulfillment in terms of the perfection of human society, or that sees its fulfillment in the specific desires of the life of an individual. "Should I take this job?" "Should I marry this person?" "Should I join this church?" These people are earnestly desire finding God's will for every day of their lives and for every serious decision or action.
This seems admirable, but they have misconceived the whole idea of the will of God. For these people, we should go back to Jesus and seek the will of God through his eyes in the conviction that Jesus correctly defined God's will for all time and eternity. It was Jesus who linked the coming of the kingdom with the doing of the will of God, and it was Jesus who revealed that the kingdom came at his death. Therefore, Jesus must have understood the will of God to first be done on Earth when he died on the cross. So, what did Jesus mean by his expression,
Jesus's usage of the phrase,
- The will of God is absolute and has no particular relevance to any human condition of situation.
- Therefore, God is not concerned with human activity or with changing society.
- Men can do the will of God only as individuals and that for each individual it represents exactly the same decisive response to the initiative of Jesus Christ.
- This will of God does not change across the full span of time and space in the history of man.
This might seem hard to defend, but it isn't. Jesus said,
When individuals are doing God's will as they understand it, and when it is also something they wish to do, they are not doing God's will. For instance, a minister who seeks to become a pastor receives multiple offers from different churches in the area. He sits down and prayfully considers which of them God would have him accept. He then ponders them and selects one that pleases him. He has only done his own will. The will of God has not been done.
Jesus's statement that his purpose in coming down to Earth was to do God's will implies that God's will was not being done on Earth, that no one prior to Jesus had never done it on Earth. If someone had already done it, or if people were already doing it on Earth, then why would God have needed to send Jesus to do it?
God's Will is Purely in the Resurrection at the Last Day Back to Top ↑
Jesus succinctly sums up the will of God, saying,
God's will is the resurrection at the last day, and can only be fulfilled in the resurrection from the dead to eternal life. God's will is not life in time and has no ultimate fulfillment in time. It does not involve the considerations of human options in time, and God is not concerned with anything except for that which can contribute to the resurrection at the last day. Jesus defines this contribution as seeing the son and believing in him.
Jesus was sent to do the will of God on Earth, and to do it as a leader. If we understand and follow Jesus in doing God's Will, then we too can do God's will. But if we do not believe in Jesus, then there is no way we can do God's will or take part in the resurrection at the last day, which is the fulfillment of the will of God. If God is only concerned with the resurrection at the last day, then he is not concerned with who we marry, or what jobs we get, or our monetary investments, or with any temporal consideration whatsoever, unless it contributes to the resurrection at the last day. God has sent Jesus into the world to be and show the way to eternal life by manifesting the will of God.
Whenever Jesus spoke of doing the will of his Father, it was of this unique event, the resurrection, that he spoke of. Thus, when he taught his disciples to pray,
Note how the resurrection of the last day into eternal life is exactly the same result that the creator being from our Logical Argument desires. A will that desires the complete separation of the recreation place.
Jesus specifically did not ask for them to pray for the realization on Earth of any general human condition. Only Jesus understood the will of God, and only he had been commissioned to do it on Earth at that time. Therefore, the kingdom of God could come on Earth only through the activity of Jesus. The will of God would then be done on Earth, and Earth would enter the realm of God. Jesus's disciples, seeing and believing in him, would continue to do God's will on Earth through following him, and by doing so would maintain Earth within the realm of the kingdom of God and so also taking part in the resurrection at the last day. Therefore, this is also a prayer for Jesus's disciples, that they would continue to follow him so as to do on Earth what Jesus did that day.
When Jesus came to his last day of life on Earth, he had still not yet fulfilled God's will. When he went to Gethsemane to pray, he kept saying,
It might sound weird that Jesus had asked his disciples to pray for him to do God's will
If you were in such a situation, wouldn't you exercise every resource available? Even the prayers of your closest disciples?
There is no other Will of God Back to Top ↑
The will of God was never defined in any other terms by Jesus. It is only in the fulfillment of the resurrection that we can define God's will. If there are any other valid definitions, Jesus did not present them, and by not presenting them, he would have misled us regarding the definition of the will of God by allowing only this one definition.
So why do men seek nearly any other definition? It is likely only through prolonged exposure to false concepts of the will of God by the churches. They have long since determined that God's will must reflect an ideal state of affairs on Earth. They pray for such temporal things every time they lead their congregations in prayer. Sometimes in personal and individual affairs, and sometimes in terms of nation and world affairs, but their conceptions of God's will are mostly earthbound.
These are the Children of the Kingdom Back to Top ↑
Those that do the will of God are those same ones that are brother, sister, and mother to Jesus, just as Jesus said,
With this in mind, we can now understand some of Jesus's other sayings, such as
Little children also have no sense of pride. They cry easily. They pee their pants. They ask for dinner and to be picked up and hugged. They have no awareness of the hardships they can bring to their parents, yet most parents beam in positivity at their little troublemakers. These children are all doing the will of their parents, even though they have no pride and are therefore completely humbled. It's only as the children grow up into teenagers that they learn shame. They make sure their pants are always on. They hide their laundry. They try not to be a burden on their parents and learn to do their chores. At this point, children also start to manifest their own will, and do things on their own initiative.
They're not longer always doing the will of their parents.
But those in the kingdom of God do the will of the King. Those that do the will of the King are the brothers, sisters, and mothers of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Therefore, they are family to Christ, and children of the King. Thus, they do the will that the creator being that created the recreation place wants them to do.
A Definition of Sin Back to Top ↑
Now that we have defined the will that us recreation beings need as being the will of God, we can define sin simply as, "that which goes against the will of God."
Murdering others would be a sin, because these other people might have developed within themselves the will of God had they not been murdered.
Going to work is sin, as it does nothing to result in the resurrection at the last day.
Driving a car to visit family is sin, as it does nothing to result in the resurrection at the last day.
We can see that nearly anything is a sin with this definition. This is more or less Jesus's overall point. To do anything in this world is sin. There is nothing here for us. Everything that God wants for us is at the resurrection. There are only two things that we can do. First, and obviously, we can prepare ourselves for the resurrection by studying and living by the principles that Jesus laid out.
And second, we can teach other people to rely on Jesus and his principles. The entire world is against this, just as they were against Jesus, so this can keep us fully occupied once we, ourselves, are grounded.
Thankfully, Jesus assured us,
And this is not a sin from God unto us, for we do not love this world, but want to rush to God's side.
A Review of the Will of God Back to Top ↑
Consider what we have covered. Jesus defined God's will as the resurrection at the last day. Therefore, the only way for Jesus or anyone else to do God's will on earth is to contribute to that end goal, the resurrection at the last day. Jesus came to Earth uniquely commissioned to do this, yet in his last hours of life, he had not yet done God's will on Earth, because we find him agonizing in Gethsemane and praying that God's will, not his own, be done. He had finished the work that he came to do, but he had not yet done God's will on Earth.
However, we know that Jesus did God's will at the moment of his death. We know this because he revealed to us that the kingdom of God came in that moment as a result of his death. Since the kingdom comes when and where the will of the king is done, we know also that the will of God was done on Earth at that moment.
Parallels to the Prodigal Son Back to Top ↑
So, what did Jesus do that was so crucial to the resurrection at the last day? He died. There's more to it than that, of course. The Romans crucified thousands of people, but none of them did will of God until Jesus was crucified.
Jesus answered this question for us in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.(Luke 15:11-32.) The symbols here should be interpreted with the father's house as heaven, the father is God, and the far country as this planet Earth. The prodigal son then represents, individually, all the people who are striving, in the darkness of this world, to find their life-fulfillment before they come to the grave.
In order to find out what the prodigal son did in that far country that contributed to his father's will, we first have to know what the father wanted. The father said,
There was nothing that the son could do that would have pleased his father because the place was wrong and the life was wrong, yet the son loved both. He left his father's house because he hated it, and thus he hated his father by leaving him. But he returned to the love of his father when he yearned to return to him and his house. This returning of the prodigal son corresponds to death to this world that leads to the arising, or resurrection of the children of God at the last day. Just as the father in the parable said,
When the son left that far country, his attitude to life in that far country underwent a radical reversal. He went there in love with that life, but on the day he departed, he hated it. That is exactly what Jesus did when he laid down his life to leave this "far country" and go to Father's house. And this is exactly the attitude we concluded the creator god would want his recreation beings to have in the recreation place.
Jesus's Death in Light of the Parable of the Prodigal Son Back to Top ↑
We must examine Jesus's death to perceive its full significance as the first true performance of the will of God on Earth. Jesus understood from a very early time in his ministry that he must lay down his life to accomplish his unique mission on Earth. Matthew and Mark record Jesus teaching his disciples that they cannot lord over one another, saying,
In the Parable of the Good Shepherd,(John 10:1-18.) Jesus presents himself as the Good Shepherd saying,
This is not something that Jesus, that man, wanted. He did not want to leave the glory of God in heaven to come into Earth to lay down his life as a man. He said this plainly,
Jesus was Tempted Back to Top ↑
Helping as evidence to this conclusion, we can see that Jesus was subject to fierce temptation to do his own will. Satan came to him to divert him from the completion of his purpose, either by tempting him to save his life at the crucial moment, or by throwing it away before his hour had come. This dual temptation appears in the wilderness when he resisted both the temptation to command stone to become bread,(Matthew 4:3.) thus, saving his life, or to cast himself down from the temple,(Matthew 4:6.) thus losing his life. When people sought to take him by force to make him their king,(Such as in John 6:15.) Jesus instead withdrew to a solitary place to pray and restore his resolve to give his life at the proper time. This earthly kingdom was also one of the wilderness temptations. To accept the kingdoms of the world, thus saving his life.(Matthew 4:8-9.)
When Jesus revealed to the disciples that he must suffer and be killed, Simon began to rebuke him.(Mark 8:32.) This was clearly a temptation to save Jesus's life, but Jesus recognized the source and responded,
When he was arrested, he stopped any defense by his disciples and said,
Not even on the cross, when his pain was most terrible and he was continually tempted, did Jesus save his life and come down from the cross. Consider how tempted Jesus must have been to come down in response to the taunters shouting,
Jesus knew that God's will was for him to lay down his life on Earth and arise back to God, thus doing God's will on Earth and bringing about the kingdom of God on Earth. As a man, he did not want to do that; it wasn't his will. Prior to the actual moment of his death, he could have yielded to the many temptations and come down from the cross, but he didn't. Therefore, his death was the crucial moment, for it was the moment of no return. It was the moment of victory when God's will was done beyond recall.
How did Jesus's Death Bring the Kingdom? Back to Top ↑
How did Jesus's death constitute the overthrow of satanic authority on Earth and replace it with the rule of God?
It was the first direct, open, and public manifestation of God's will on Earth. And God's will is simply this, for all his children on Earth to come home.(John 6:40.) Exactly the same as the will of the prodigal son's father. Jesus acknowledged this when he said in his prayer to God,
Jesus was the first man to lay down his life to go to God out of love for God, and so he was the pioneer who conquered death and showed the way for us.
In as far as it concerns us human beings, this is the exclusive will of God. His will is that we arise and come home - nothing else. Therefore, nothing that we do here on Earth can be in accordance with his will unless it leads us or others home to him. There is only one barrier that separates us from him: death. Therefore, everyone who fears death, those who are committed first to saving life and who delay their deaths by any means possible, are all transgressing the will of God. He wants only that they, through death, come home to him. Those who love life in this world and want to preserve it for as long as possible do not do God's will. They have the love of life, which is the essence of sin. It is the ultimate transgression of the will of God.
Satan had the power of death, and he used that power to inspire the fear of death in human beings, preventing our going gladly to God through death. Therefore, Satan held all in bondage through the fear of death, and this gave him effective dominion over the world and all of its nations, whose kings rule through force and fear of death.
Jesus implicitly acknowledged Satan's dominion during the wilderness temptations. After all, it wouldn't have been a temptation if Satan did not have the power to offer Jesus all the kingdoms of the world.
Some might say, "I'm not afraid of death, but I am afraid of the torturous pain that might accompany it." It is helpful for us to see that Jesus the man chose a terribly painful and prolonged death on the cross. He wants us to understand hat our life of God must transcend every fear, both the torment and the death. That is why he gave his painful death as an example.
But Jesus the man overcame the fear of death, thus destroying Satan, who had power of death and taking away his dominion over the nations. Those who fear death or love life hate God because they do not want to go to him. Those who follow Jesus in overcoming the fear of death hate life and love God, because they want to go to him. They are the uniquely begotten of God, from above, and can see the kingdom even now, in this life. They know the truth, and they are free of the bondage and tyranny of life, just as Jesus promised,
It was thus that God's kingdom came to Earth at the death of Jesus, and it was how God's will was done on Earth as it is in heaven. This is the good news, the gospel of the Kingdom, preached for two millennia through the divine words of Jesus Christ... but not preached in the churches.
Reevaluating the Phrase, "The Will of my Father" Back to Top ↑
We previously listed a few things pertinent to the will of God. We said,
1. The will of God is absolute and has no particular relevance to any human condition of situation.
This must follow from the fact that his will is exclusively concerned with receiving his children through the resurrection at the last day. His focus is on the resurrection, and Jesus revealed that this is solely his will for eternity. He wants this and nothing but this.
1.1. Therefore, God is not concerned with human activity or with changing society.
The prodigal son's father concerned himself not a whit with the affairs of the far country where his lost son resides, nor with the circumstances of his son's life. The father considered the son to be dead, lost, and therefore beyond his concerns.
2. Men can do the will of God only as individuals and that for each individual it represents exactly the same decisive response to the initiative of Jesus Christ.
This is because is it exclusively a matter of the individual's decision to love God and go to him in the wake of Jesus. This is individualism to perfection, for there is absolutely no group that can make such a decision.
This will of God does not change across the full span of time and space in the history of man.
God wants nothing else, and has wanted nothing else, than for us human beings on Earth to come home to him. That is his only will, first manifested on Earth by Jesus so that the rule of God could become active on Earth. This is the gospel of the kingdom.
You might ask, "If this is all God ever wanted, then why did he wait until Jesus to make his will known to humanity?" This is a great question.
There is a point of view besides our temporal one, it's God's viewpoint. He has been planning from the beginning for the rescue of his servants and children from the futility of creation to join him in heaven. This has always been his purpose, and God hasn't altered from it since the beginning.
Jesus's Great Principle Back to Top ↑
Hiding in each of the canonical gospels is a fact that is often overlooked, even though it is clearly and obviously stated. Barely anyone ever shares it, and yet, there it is. Jesus said,
This is the Great Principle that Jesus, as a man, attained eternal life with. Had he loved his life on Earth, he would have lost his eternal life, just like any other man. Had he saved it, he would have lost it. Had he tried to "find his life" through fulfillment on Earth, he would have lost it. Jesus said,
This commandment is perfectly consistent with the Great Principle. When one loves God, one wants to go to God, to dwell in his house. The person does not want to cling to their life on Earth. Earth only separates us from God. We can see how the Great Principle correlates perfectly with the Great Commandment. One who loves God necessarily hates their life in this world.
Suicide? Back to Top ↑
A quick analysis of these premises might lead one to conclude that suicide is the answer, but the Great Principle is not a validation of suicide. Jesus himself refused suicide when Satan tempted him by saying,
Even in the most bitter persecutions that will come shortly before Jesus's return, he says to his disciples,
Returning to our Logical Argument Back to Top ↑
This world is a bittersweet mix of joy and sorrow, happiness and despair, pain and consolation, justice and injustice. Some people seem to experience the brunt of sorrow and pain, while others seem relatively free. Yet all die. If God only wants us to come directly to him, then why has he put us here? Why has he not created us directly in his house? How can he subject us to torment, but still love us?
God did not simply stick us in a sorrowful far place and stand back to wait for us to come to him. He manifested his love for us in the person of Jesus. Jesus suffered for us, and he suffers with us. Yet we are dead to God while we remain bound to life. When the prodigal's son left, the father did nothing to dissuade him from his course of action. That is because there is no place in the father's house for a rebellious child.
Likewise, there is no rebellion in heaven. That is precisely why we must first be here, in a far place, so we can resolve our rebellion against God. We have done that only when we want for ourselves what he wants for us, to be with him in heaven! God wants a harvest of children from this world, not servants, slaves, or robots.
It is the children of the King who inherit the kingdom. So God created us in his image with free will and independent minds. We bear the image of God in us. And he placed us here until we learn to seek his will. And since God created this Earth, we can even conclude that he created it expressly for us, to provide an optional place and an optional life where he could reveal himself to us and where we could learn to seek his will. And the world, with its pain, pleasures, distractions, and the time limit on our lives is perfect for this purpose.
If God made this world without pain or sorrow, who would ever want to leave Earth for heaven? It took a famine to bring the prodigal son home, and for some people, it takes similar things here to want to bring us home to God. If God had only filled the world with pain and sorrow, then who wouldn't want to escape it to God's house? In that circumstance, it would be only to get relief, and not out of a love for God, that people would want to escape. Also, the knowledge that God has a heaven prepared for us must be by faith. If God's plan was plainly visible to us, who wouldn't want to move to heaven? In all these cases, rebellious, self-willed children would populate heaven, and it would soon be Earth in heaven.
The Priority of the Kingdom for Us Back to Top ↑
Every patriotic Jew(such as Simeon in Luke 2:25 or Joseph of Arimathea in Luke 23:51 cf. Mark 15:43) was seeking this kingdom and earnestly looking for the messiah. Jesus himself made this searching of the kingdom paramount when he said,
Born Again and the Separation of Man and God Back to Top ↑
The author of the Fourth Gospel records,
And so it was that Jesus told Nicodemus,
When we are born again in the spirit, we become the children of God, and he becomes our father. All the old relations are superseded and of null effect. God is the only father of those who are born again, and we must recognize that by obeying the commandment of Jesus,
This juxtaposition of earth/heaven and man/God is characteristic of Jesus, and reveals that they are contrary to one another. Jesus is unique in doing this, and held it rigidly, applying it to his own family relations. He refused to acknowledge Abraham(John 8:58.) or David(Matthew 22:42-45.) as his father, but held to the exclusive fatherhood of God. When others spoke to him of Mary and his siblings as "your mother and your brothers," he corrected them immediately.
The spiritual relations supplant the carnal ones. If God is my father, he is my only father. The will of God is the resurrection, but it is more than that, for it is that we rise to him as his dear children, who look only to him as our father.
The family of Earth and men is only a shadow of that much better thing that is of heaven and God. But it serves a vital purpose, because, without it, we would have no experiential basis for comprehending the will of God. We know that will of God, who only wants us to come to him as dear children, only because we have had fathers according to the flesh, and also mothers and perhaps brothers and sisters. Even an infant can comprehend these familial relations as it seeks its mother's breast.
Thus, God designed creation specifically to give us the family experience as a basis for understanding what he wants of us. But having embraced the new, the old must pass away. That is why Jesus so clearly said,
Jesus left no family members out, because our relationship with God as our father is absolutely exclusive, just like the relationship with a husband or wife. Also excluded is one' own life in this world, because God has a much better one stored up for us.
The Hostility of the World Back to Top ↑
Jesus juxtaposed man and God, Earth and heaven, family of Earth and family of heaven. Everything earthly becomes a human option to the will of God, and therefore a continued devotion to the things of Earth is exactly contrary to the will of God, and lies at the root of all evil. This is one of the most difficult things to accept for those who have already devoted themselves to the things of Earth and man, such as the home, family, or nation. Nevertheless, we must deal with it. Jesus used extreme care to state the extreme nature of this demand. He said,
This helps to expose the tension between man and God in the lives of the children of God while they're on Earth, and accounts for the hostility of the powers of the world, both Roman and Jewish, toward Jesus. This hatred is there, and we must acknowledge it if we are to make any serious effort to follow Jesus.
The earthly powers, from the nation to family to the individual's very life in this world, continue to claim us. But they cannot have us if we are the children of God. Jesus set the standard when he answered the question concerning taxes. He told them to,
The nations of men, committed to and motivated by the love of life, can never be identified with the kingdom of God. Had the nation of Jews responded to Jesus differently, then it is conceivable that the kingdom would have formed around them as a governing entity. But alas, we can never know what form the kingdom would have taken because they "received him not."(John 1:11.) Jesus said of them,
What is this nation, or ethnic unit, to which the kingdom was to be given? Jesus said,
We Cannot Abandon our Earthly Responsibilities Back to Top ↑
Naturally, this does not imply that we must abandon our normal responsibilities toward our earthly relatives. Jesus, as one of his last acts made provision for the care of his earthly mother, Mary.(John 19:25-27. Note that Jesus never called Mary or Joseph by their title of "mother" or "father," or any diminutive thereof, either.)
Becoming a child of God does nothing to relieve us of any purely earthly burden. It only adds to our responsibilities. Jesus manifested and kept obedience to the fifth commandment,
The reason given for this commandment also tells us the purpose for the commandment, which is to ensure that elderly persons are cared for. But not, having heard the gospel of the kingdom, we do this not based on the fifth commandment, but on the basis of Jesus's second commandment,
Some Implications for Life in this World Back to Top ↑
Jesus's gospel of the kingdom has radical implications for the children of God who continue to abide in this world. But that doesn't mean everything is changed. The children of God still bear the responsibility to care for their earthly family, as noted previously. Naturally, paying taxes to the state is the same. That money belongs to the state. We no longer pay taxes citizens though, but as aliens who no longer belong to the state. We have to acknowledge the earthly limits of state authority, which our king has authorized from the right hand of God. Third, we must continue to abide by the beneficent laws of whatever nation we live in. Not as citizens, but as alien disciples of Jesus in obedience to his Second Commandment,
When we were living as the children of Earth, our interests and actions were motivated by our desire to protect our lives and property and enhance our earthly existence. Now that our relatives are heavenly ones and our treasures are in heaven, our hearts are also in heaven, and so are not set on Earth or its earthly matters. Just as Jesus said,
Under this condition, we can respond to those normally hard sayings of Jesus, in particular to the antitheses of the Sermon on the Mount. Where once we could only hate our enemies, now we can love them.(Matthew 5:44.) Where once we were compelled to resist the evil one, we can now offer no resistance.(Matthew 5:39.) Where once we feared every threat to our lives in this world, now we no longer fear him who can only destroy our bodies.(Luke 12:4.) Where once we were anxious for the provision of tomorrow's needs, we no longer suffer such anxiety.(Matthew 6:25, 30-34.)
Jesus's Command to Listen Only to Him Back to Top ↑
Jesus came in the Hebrew framework. As such, we must accept at least the portions that Jesus accepted, if not the whole of what we now call the Old Testament.
One thing that happened within Hebrewism were prophets. These were people who God spoke to, and gave the task to spread what the God told them. For instance, Moses was one.
And by looking at these two examples, we can define a prophet as "a human that speaks to humans as commanded by God, with words heard directly from God." We cannot call anyone who does not have this qualification a prophet. For instance, Daniel, who wrote most of the book of Daniel and quite a bit of prophecy, was not a prophet. He never claimed to hear words directly from God, instead it was by dreams or by angels that Daniel heard from God.
Jesus, who came to deliver us the creator god's will for us, claimed to be one such prophet.
So we see Jesus claimed himself to be a prophet. He spoke the words that he heard directly from God, who he called "Father."
There was one other prophet contemporary with Jesus Christ, and that was John the Baptist. And we know he was a prophet not because he claimed to be one, but because Jesus, a prophet, affirmed John to be one. A prophet will not misidentify others.
Thus, John the Baptist was a prophet. But John wasn't the last prophet, he was instead a transition figure.
Jesus, as a prophet, said something very important.
Jesus's apostles were not prophets because they did not receive the word of God directly from God. Jesus didn't title them prophets, but gave to them the lesser title apostle. They were commanded to be his witnesses. Consider these statements by Jesus,
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 16:12-16 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. John 17:6-8 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Jesus was a prophet and received his message directly from God to deliver to man. The apostles received messages from the prophet Jesus, and thus they were not prophets in and of themselves.
In the Parable of the Good Shepherd, Jesus relates how he is the shepherd who guides his sheep to pasture. Jesus says,
If everyone who came before Jesus is a thief and a robber, and if everyone who doesn't use the door is a thief and a robber, then we simply need to determine who the door and shepherd are. Jesus said,
But here's the problem for any future teachers, even prophets. Jesus also said,
And this makes sense. Jesus has given us everything that we need to know.
We can further confirm this by Jesus's other sayings,
This is just as Ezekiel prophesied. He said,
There is none other but Jesus.
Five reasons the Churches Don't Proclaim Jesus's Gospel Back to Top ↑
If Jesus is correct and not a false prophet, and the kingdom has truly come, then how come the churches don't preach it?
There are five reasons.
First, the Ear Problem.
Jesus has explained everything, rather clearly and straightforwardly, but these churches aren't listening. Instead, they're listening to other New Testament speakers instead of Jesus. They prefer those profound interpretations of the Revelation of John or the arcane theology of the self-proclaimed apostle rather than acknowledge and teach the simple truth that Jesus spoke. This has terrible implications because Jesus said on one hand,
He then concluded,
Second, the Eye Problem.
They want to see the kingdom of God, but they cannot see it. Thus, they conclude it has not come. They are looking for signs and wonders, such as Jesus descending in glory with his holy angels, the purification of earth, the end of war and all evil, a rapture, the millennium and many wonderful things, all happening on Earth.
They aren't looking correctly because of their eye problem. If they listened, they would hear Jesus saying,
Is it possible for Jesus to be any clearer or simpler? This was Jesus's answer to the Pharisees, who had just asked him the same question we have responded to here, "When is the kingdom of God coming?" Of course, Jesus presented the fundamental diagnosis of the eye problem when he said to Nicodemus,
Third, the Mouth Problem.
Since childhood, people in the churches and into their adulthood have taught others to pray for the kingdom to come. To them, they say that it obviously hasn't come, because if it had, why then would they be praying for it to come? The children growing up in the church are so conditioned by this viewpoint that when they become adults it filters out the truth. Jesus said,
Fourth, the Heart Problem.
This underlies the preceding ones because what one is willing to hear, able to see, and eager to say all spring from the heart. It is in their hearts that the churchmen harbor the vision of a redeemed planet Earth perfected by Jesus and inherited by saints. This vision is the treasure they seek and which most earnestly strive to attain as they labor to change the world and build the kingdom of God on Earth. It is a treasure that has Earth as its location and is precisely the core of the problem. Jesus said,
Treasuring earthly things, be them material objects, goals, persons, or kingdoms testifies that our hearts are on Earth, because, as Jesus says,
Don't misunderstand, the churches also treasure heavenly things. They hope to receive an eternal blessedness, to inherit the kingdom and an eternal life, and to reign with Jesus at God's right hand. But this mixing and mingling of the heavenly and the earthly in the heart of man is precisely what Jesus abhors. His first commandment
This has the most terrible implications for everyone who has polluted their hearts by seeking to mix the earthly with the heavenly treasure, for it implies that they will not see God. We all, therefore, must seek to purge our hearts of all earthly defilement and earnestly offer a prayer, much like David who wrote,
Fifth, the Life Problem.
This is the fundamental problem that underlies all other problems, and leads to the ear, eye, mouth, and heart problems.
The love of life is the root of all evil from which all sin springs. It is the most natural, inevitable thing in the world. It is ubiquitous, not just with humans, but in all living creatures. Jesus's Great Principle,(
Therefore, for two millennia the churches have been reading right past the Great Principle without having it register. And yet, this love of life fuels every anxiety and every threat, every hostile response, every greedy deed and every act of violence. It is impossible to deal with sin while people enshrine the love of life, therefore it is only in Jesus that humans can overcome evil. Jesus alone, out of all men, has told us the truth about it. No one comes to the Father but by him,(John 14:6.) through the hatred of life, the resurrection from the dead, and the love of God.
Implications for the Churches (a Little Against Sacrificial Atonement) Back to Top ↑
When I say in Jesus's name that his death on the cross was not a sacrifice for sin, it is because Jesus, himself, said that God does not desire sacrifice. It was Jesus's death, and he ought to know. Jesus lifted the prophecy of Hosea as the divine words of God when he quoted him, saying,
Consider his assertion,
Jesus didn't come to make a sacrifice by his death, but to destroy sacrifices. Before that generation passed away, the temple was destroyed and the sacrifices ceased. The entire concept was heinous to Jesus, who made his point perfectly when he drove the sacrificial animals out of the temple.(John 2:13-17.) If there were no animals to sacrifice, then there could be no sacrifice. Would Jesus then make himself to be a sacrifice? Absolutely not.
The churches, following Paul, trust in the death of Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement for sin,(1st Corinthians 15:1-4.) by which they are accounted righteous before god. They believe themselves to be "in Christ"(1st Corinthians 1:30, 4:10, Galatians 3:26, 28, Ephesian 2:13, Philippians 4:21, Colossians 1:27...) so that the righteous of Christ is imputed to them and their sins are forgiven. But didn't Jesus plainly state that he came not to call those righteous, who in Jesus's time placed their trust in sacrifices? Didn't Jesus plainly state that he came to call sinners?
What then does God desire?
Mercy. Jesus began enshrining this attitude in the beatitudes, saying,
Jesus does not expect us to forgive other people more easily than God will forgive us. If we sin against God himself seventy times seven times, but repent and ask for forgiveness, he forgives us. No sacrifices required. Only two things are required: That we are merciful and forgive others when they sin against us, and that we repent and seek forgiveness when we offend God.
Jesus told the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant(Matthew 18:23-35.) to illustrate this. Our king willingly forgives every debt, no matter how large or how often incurred, when the debtor truly repents and asks forgiveness. But if that same debtor is unmerciful towards those who owe him, there is no mercy for him. When Jesus taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer, he taught them to pray,
No sacrifice is required.
Continuing on this thought, Jesus never called himself a lamb. When using the pastoral metaphor, he was always the shepherd. Jesus said,
Therefore, he could not have died as a lamb in any sense whatsoever, because he died as a shepherd. We are the lambs and the sheep of his pasture.
Nowhere in the gospels did Jesus say anything to indicate that God requires sacrifices to affect forgiveness or that Jesus should be considered a lamb for sacrifice. Instead, he plainly declared that it was as the shepherd that he laid down his life for the sheep. Therefore, he did not die as a lamb.
But John the Baptist said Jesus was a Lamb of God! Back to Top ↑
It is true the John the Baptist called Jesus the lamb of God.(John 1:29.) But John the Baptist later doubted Jesus, even sending two of his disciples to Jesus to ask him,
Jesus later said of John the Baptist,
But Jesus was to be a Ransom for Sin! Back to Top ↑
When ransoming something, the good party pays a fee(called the ransom) to the evil party to redeem goods. But in a sacrifice, the evil party sacrifices goods to the good party. Do you understand? Jesus's death could not have been a sacrifice, because it was a ransom.
Consider how the self-proclaimed apostle states that God requires the death of an innocent one, Jesus, as a sacrifice of atonement that we must believe in so that he will forgive out sins. Churches often explain this evil sacrifice is needed because sin is so terrible that it cannot be forgiven without consequences. They say that for God to forgive freely would make a mockery of justice.
But that mocks the love of God. God is like the prodigal's father, who can forgive freely if he merely chooses to.
Place yourself in Jesus's position as a sacrifice. Consider yourself as the innocent son who has many very wicked brothers and sisters. Your dad is going to require you to suffer immensely and shed your blood unto death so that he can forgive your brothers and sisters. Where is the justice in that?
One Cross? Back to Top ↑
The churches tell us that Jesus is our substitute and that he suffered for our sins so that we do not have to suffer for them.(Romans 3:25.) This is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. In this view, only one cross matters, that of Jesus's. They tell us to trust in the cross of Christ. This is contrary to Jesus, who said,
Everyone has their own cross to bear. Jesus was the leader who showed the way. We are not, as the self-proclaimed apostle taught, "crucified with Christ."(Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20.) Only two men were crucified with Christ, and only one of them was redeemed. The one who repented, hated his life, and had no desire to save it.(Luke 23:39-43.)
Reviewing One Odd Condition for the Logical Argument Back to Top ↑
- For an in-depth look at God's Omniscience, see God's Omniscience and the Problem of Evil
When giving the Logical Argument previously, we provided for one odd condition, that the creator god cannot know all things at all points in time. The logic given is fairly obvious too: If he knew all things at all times, then there is no purpose for this place. The creator god could just create all those that would have compatible free wills at that point that they would have those compatible free wills, and the recreation place wouldn't be needed.
Thus, what follows is not for the atheist, but the Christian or Jew or Muslim that believes that God is truly omniscient. The question they need to answer, but cannot, is, "Why does evil still exist?" God could have formed those that would have been acceptable to him on Earth directly, without them having to experience those things of Earth.
So, let us show that the Bible, nor Jesus, teaches that God knows all things at all times. Instead, it is his knowledge of the past and present that is perfect, but not his knowledge of the future.
Verses that proclaim some aspect of God's Omniscience Back to Top ↑
There are several verses that people point to that proclaim God's omniscience, but none of them allude towards the future.
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.1st Samuel 2:3 Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?Job 37:16
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.Psalm 147:5
For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven.Job 28:24 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.Proverbs 15:3 For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.Jeremiah 16:17 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.Jeremiah 23:24 Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.Job 42:2 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.Psalm 44:21
Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.Isaiah 42:9
So, those who claim that God knows everything that have some explaining to do. That is a teaching that isn't taught in the Bible.
Definition of Repentance Back to Top ↑
The crux of this argument against God's future omniscience is the simple fact that God repents. Thus, we need to know what repentance is.
First, we know that God does not sin. Moses, a prophet, once said,
Thus, God does not sin. However, God repents.
Now that the common definition of repentance has been torn away, we need to find the correct one, and this is easily supplied in the Greek word that most translations translate as "repent," μετανοώ (metanoó). This word literally means, "a change of mind." When Jesus said,
And we can see that when we look at the prophets. God repented twice for actions he had taken in the past.(Genesis 6:6-7 and 1st Samuel 15:11.) God also says that repents of a future action he was about to do at least eleven times.(Exodus 32:12-14, 2nd Samuel 24:16, 1st Chronicles 21:15, Psalms 106:45, Jeremiah 4:28, 18:8, 26:3, 13, 19, 42:10, Joel 2:13-14, Amos 7:3, 6, Jonah 3:9-10, 4:2.)
We also have some examples of the Bible saying that God does not repent, but these are regarding a specific action that God will take, and not an overall claim to himself.(Psalm 110:4, Jeremiah 4:27-28 and Ezekiel 24:14.)
More important are two verses which indicate more strongly that God does not repent.
First is a verse from Balaam, who later led Israel into much sin.(See Numbers 31:16.)
Both verses say that the Lord's decision is final in their respective matters. They are not saying that God never repents.
God Repents, Therefore he is not Omniscient Back to Top ↑
And now we can see that God is not omniscient regarding matters in the future. Only one example is needed, so let us look at the first time God is noted as repenting.
The first time God repents, is when he thinks about how evil humanity is! But, if God knew how every single one of these humans would act in the future, would he then have created humanity? No, of course not, for we just read,
And of course, God repents again in the very next verse when he thinks about the people he will destroy, and finds Noah.
Thus, we know God is omniscient regarding the past and present, but not to the future. Any events he prophecies to occur only occur because of his omnipotence, not his omniscience.
How to Prove this Theory is Wrong Back to Top ↑
Most people do not say how their own arguments can be undone. Most people simply do not want to deal with it. We are not that way; we want this argument to be undone so that we can join the world in its worldly wonders and become one with the world again.
As such, I thought I would state some things that would show this theory to be definitively incorrect.
1| God definitively proves his existence.
Jesus never said that God would prove his existence on Earth. Instead, he said that people will be harvested from Earth,(Matthew 13:30.) likely in their death. The only time people would meet God might be when they are judged, but possibly not even then. Jesus said,
Thus, if a god definitively proves his existence, that means that Jesus is a false prophet,(Therefore we can base nothing on him.) and that the conditions for the logical argument are not met, and thus all of this study is a waste. Besides, we would be listening to the god at that point, anyway.
2| The creator god makes the purpose of Earth definitively known to humans.
In such a scenario, every human would try to enter heaven, which goes against one tenet of the logical argument. If the logical argument is broken, then it, and any conclusions being derived from it might not be correct. It wouldn't make Jesus to be a false prophet, however it would mean that his way is useless,(Unless the purpose of this god requires him.) and so we can look elsewhere.
3| Jesus is proven to be a false prophet.
Jesus is not the only preacher to make a religion regarding our purpose on Earth based on the Logical Argument. In fact, if we allow ourselves to make our own religions, we can come up with infinitively many religions that all align with the facts of this world and a benevolent God using the structure of the Logical Argument and Jesus's example. For instance, we could make a religion wherein we state that the creator being's will is for his recreation beings to destroy the planet to symbolize their hatred of his creation. Alternatively, we can make a religion wherein we, as humans, should work to make the sentient AI that will become the creator being, a la Roko's Basilisk.
Thus, if we somehow prove Jesus to be a false prophet, then we can dismiss him and the religion he preached, and move onto another religion that agrees with the Logical Argument, or abandon religion altogether. But with what methods can we prove him to be a false prophet?
3a| A prophecy of Jesus is demonstrably false.
If we find a prophecy that Jesus made of the future, and it does not come to pass, and is proven to never be able to come to pass, then it is a failed prophecy. Naturally, we must give Jesus the benefit of the doubt, as we have during all of this study. Some common, but false, examples of Jesus's giving false prophecies include this saying,
They simply must be fulfillable in some manner that is also consistent with all other prophecies from Jesus and their factual or potential fulfillments. This can be quite difficult, as shown by literally 2,000 years of arguments that Christians have had with everyone, including themselves, over the gospels. We do not think this will come to pass.
3b| A saying of Jesus disagreed flatly with another saying of Jesus.
Jesus claimed he spoke only truth, and only words from God, saying things such as,
Thus, if we find a contradiction between two of Jesus's statements, then God said two contradictory things, and that makes God, Jesus, or both false. Let us classify these contradictions into three categories: not-Jesus's-saying, plausibly-transcribal, and serious.
3b a| not-Jesus's-saying
Let us note that the doctrine of scriptural inerrancy is false. Jesus did not say to believe in the authors of the gospels, but in the words that he said. Thus, when we find errors between the gospels, that doesn't mean that Jesus is a false prophet. That means the author, or the person speaking, did not fully understand Jesus. We have already explained the easiest example of this, when John the Baptist called Jesus the lamb of God.(John 1:29 and 36. See But John the Baptist said Jesus was a Lamb of God!) For similar reasons, we can only look for discrepancy in what Jesus himself is recorded as saying.
Another contradiction can be found when we ask, "who carried Jesus's cross?" Was it Simon(Matthew 15:21, Mark 27:32, Luke 23:26) or Jesus?(John 19:17) Ignoring that it could have been Jesus at first, and then Simon, or vice-versa, this discrepancy doesn't come from the mouth of Jesus, but from the authors. Jesus never said that those who write his words would also write other words that would be from God and therefore true.
3b b| plausibly-transcribal
The contradiction in Jesus's sayings needs to be stronger than a mere word that the original authors or a transcriptionist might have wrongly put. For example, when Jesus sent out his disciples, he said,
The contradiction here is in the staff. Were the disciples to take a staff or not? While this discrepancy can easily be explained by referring to the Greek, or by believing that these were two different instances, the fact of the matter is simple: This simply doesn't matter theologically. No one pins any beliefs on whether a staff was taken. Imperfect men recorded Jesus's words years after he died, therefore we should look for stronger contradictions than cannot be explained simply by men being imperfect.
3b c| serious
This has to be the easiest way to undo all of this argument for the religion of Jesus. And yet, after much desperate searching, there are no contradictions between the words Jesus spoke. Even in the books and books of biblical contradictions, none that do not fall into either of the two groups above can be found.
From as early as the Apocriticus(circa 4th century AD) to the advent of the internet and proliferation of webpages, there are no serious contradictions have been found in what Jesus said. You can find as many contradictions as you want regarding Jesus, such as his supposed virgin birth, but these are not things that Jesus said himself. These are traditions that men have assigned to him throughout time.
If no serious contradictions can be found, then it confirms Jesus to be a prophet, for multiple reasons, but most easily explained by his saying,
Alleged Serious Contradictions Back to Top ↑
In our desperate search for serious contradictionsm we have fun several potential ones. However, when they are looked at in context, they turn out not contradictions at all.
Jesus's Testimony of Himself.
Jesus also said,
So, is Jesus's bearing record of himself true or not? Let's look into it. In both cases he brings up another witness, in John 5, he mentions John the Baptist. In John 8, he specifically says that
In both cases he claims he has testimonies from at least two people, himself and the Father. Given that Jesus specifies "testimonies" in John 8 implies that there could be a meaning that we are missing in "bearing records." For instance, Jesus might bear records of himself alone, but the two witnesses and testimonies of his record being true are himself and the Father. There is no contradiction here.
It should also be noted that during the events of John 5, John the Baptist was still alive. However, we do not know if John was still alive when the events of John 8 came around.(The Gospel of John is silent on this matter.) John the Baptist could very well have been forcibly executed by that time. Needless to say, it's not a strong argument to ask, "Where are your witnesses?" when they have all been beheaded.
The World Hates and Does Not Hate You.
So, can the world hate the disciples of Jesus? Yes, of course. This is no contradiction at all. When Jesus spoke in John 7, the disciples were not yet fully believers in Jesus. They were still looking toward worldly desires,(such as a physical kingdom on Earth or a high office in this physical kingdom) and so the world could not hate them. Jesus's saying wasn't unconditional or eternal here. By the time John 15 came, the disciples were still worldly people, and so the world did not hate them, yet. But Jesus is warning them, using the important conditional word, ‘if.' Because soon after this, Jesus will die on the cross and bring the will of God to the children, and they will cease to desire worldly things. This will result in the world hating those disciples.
Love or Hate other people?
So, should you love each other, or hate each other? This is answered in context, which we purposefully showed here. In John 13 and 15, Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples and friends, those who will also be in the kingdom of God and children of God. In Luke 14, Jesus is talking about how a man must hate those that are not in the kingdom of God, and also themselves, to be a disciple. Thus, disciples, who have no earthly attachment and do the will of God in desiring to go to him, should in fact hate their worldly family and themselves. But those disciples who can desire to go to God should love each other. It is very interesting that those who bring up this false contradiction never also bring up this saying of Jesus,
Jesus says in Mark 10 that people will leave their earthly families and gain many more family members in return. It only makes sense then that a child of God would hate those family members that he left, but love those that he gained.
Peace or Sword and Fire
The contradiction here only appears when you pick out verses. In John, Jesus says he's bringing peace. In Matthew and Mark, a sword or fire. However, in both Matthew and Mark, Jesus speaks not about personal or national disruption, but familial disruption, just as Jesus has said elsewhere. The peace Jesus speaks of in John is a personal peace for the children of God, who have already left their families and become disciples.
Likewise, Jesus also says,
Jesus also says,
To the Nation of Israel or to All the Nations
First, let us note that Jesus himself indeed came for those in the house of Israel, as he stated in Matthew 15. But he never stopped to help others, like the very person he spoke that verse to.
Second, Jesus's commandment during Matthew 10 was before the kingdom of God had come, and it was a temporary commandment, the disciples were to return to Jesus. Jesus's commandment in Matthew 28 is enduring and still applicable today. Again, there is no contradiction here.
Those that say "You fool!" are in Danger of hellfire.
There is no contradiction. The scribes and Pharisees are not family to Jesus. Even if they were, Jesus has a very solid cause to be angry with them. To allege a contradiction on the merits of these two versus indicate a very shallow understanding of Jesus Christ and a strong hatred of him and all that God stands for. The resolution of this contradiction is so easily understood that it requires blind hatred to not understand it.
Showing Good Deeds
Again, not a contradiction. When doing a good deed, it is impossible to hide it completely. After all, the person who you did the good deed towards will know of your deed. As such, Jesus is saying in Matthew 5 to not hide your good deeds, and in Matthew 6 he is saying to not do your good deeds specifically for them to be seen. Simply do them for their own sake, and for the sake of the person in need, but not for yourself and especially not for your own social standing. We might say today that we shouldn't "virtue signal" ourselves. Jesus said,
Changing the Law
Here, people say that Jesus is changing the law of Moses to allow all foods to be eaten. However, that's not what Jesus is saying. In context, they are talking about two things in parallel, how the Pharisees teach doctrines that man came up with,(Mark 7:7.) and how the particular doctrine of washing hands before eating does not matter.(Mark 7:3.)
This doctrine of washing hands did not come from God or Moses, and Jesus explains why.
This contradiction is by far the most compelling, and yet it is not compelling enough to say that Jesus is a false prophet.
After 2,000 years, we have not found a serious contradiction.
The Future of this World Back to Top ↑
Many people have great hopes for Earth. They still pray and work for the coming of the kingdom, on Earth as it is in heaven. But Jesus has shown this idea to be a fantasy. Jesus uttered two prophecies that, between them, summarize all we need to know for the future of the world. These are prophecies that pertain to the destiny of the children of God who are in the world, and to the world itself. Concerning the children of God, he simply said,
And what of the future of the world? This isn't a question that concerns the children of God. The prodigal son was not concerned with the future of the far country on the day that he left it. Neither did his father manifest any concern for that country. No, he was only concerned for his son. A dominant concern for the future of life on Earth shows a heart that is set on Earth.
Jesus made one more prophecy that concerns both the children of God, and the future of the Earth, that contains everything that we need to know.