Q: I do not understand how evil can still exist, once you attain a certain level (example—Lucifer). If I continue through my levels of existence, can I still do bad, and won't that prevent me from going further?
A: Thank you so much for this question. I hear in your question a bit of uneasiness, that maybe you are somehow going to be stopped in your eternal journey because evil is going to always be with you. Lucifer, a high Son of God, was influenced by evil, so how can you—a mere mortal—ever be free from it?
I have copied off the following discourse in the words of Jesus for you to look over. You will notice that there are three separate areas of separation from the Father—evil, sin, and iniquity—and they are quite different from each other.
I think you can see now, that Lucifer, far from being simply evil, was supremely sinful and iniquitous. And all this arose from his own mind. Likewise, we mortals sin, too. But once we have been born of the Spirit, and we know we are sons of God, our days of real sinning are over, if we are truly sincere in our faith. Wouldn't you agree? Sin is a conscious act—a deliberate transgression against God, and one would have to be pretty insincere in their commitment to God to keep it up for very long...
EVIL, SIN, AND INIQUITY
(148:4.1) .1 It was the habit of Jesus two evenings each week to hold special converse with individuals who desired to talk with him, in a certain secluded and sheltered corner of the Zebedee garden. At one of these evening conversations in private Thomas asked the Master this question: "Why is it necessary for men to be born of the spirit in order to enter the kingdom? Is rebirth necessary to escape the control of the evil one? Master, what is evil?" When Jesus heard these questions, he said to Thomas:
"Do not make the mistake of confusing evil with the evil one, more correctly the iniquitous one. He whom you call the evil one is the son of self-love, the high administrator who knowingly went into deliberate rebellion against the rule of my Father and his loyal Sons. But I have already vanquished these sinful rebels. Make clear in your mind these different attitudes toward the Father and his universe.
Never forget these laws of relation to the Father's will:
"Evil is the unconscious or unintended transgression of the divine law, the Father's will. Evil is likewise the measure of the imperfectness of obedience to the Father's will.
"Sin is the conscious, knowing, and deliberate transgression of the divine law, the Father's will. Sin is the measure of unwillingness to be divinely led and spiritually directed.
"Iniquity is the willful, determined, and persistent transgression of the divine law, the Father's will. Iniquity is the measure of the continued rejection of the Father's loving plan of personality survival and the Sons' merciful ministry of salvation.
"By nature, before the rebirth of the spirit, mortal man is subject to inherent evil tendencies, but such natural imperfections of behavior are neither sin nor iniquity. Mortal man is just beginning his long ascent to the perfection of the Father in Paradise. To be imperfect or partial in natural endowment is not sinful. Man is indeed subject to evil, but he is in no sense the child of the evil one unless he has knowingly and deliberately chosen the paths of sin and the life of iniquity. Evil is inherent in the natural order of this world, but sin is an attitude of conscious rebellion which was brought to this world by those who fell from spiritual light into gross darkness.
"Men are, indeed, by nature evil, but not necessarily sinful. The new birth—the baptism of the spirit—is essential to deliverance from evil and necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but none of this detracts from the fact that man is the son of God. Neither does this inherent presence of potential evil mean that man is in some mysterious way estranged from the Father in heaven so that, as an alien, foreigner, or stepchild, he must in some manner seek for legal adoption by the Father. All such notions are born, first, of your misunderstanding of the Father and, second, of your ignorance of the origin, nature, and destiny of man.
"The Greeks and others have taught you that man is descending from godly perfection steadily down toward oblivion or destruction; I have come to show that man, by entrance into the kingdom, is ascending certainly and surely up to God and divine perfection. Any being who in any manner falls short of the divine and spiritual ideals of the eternal Father's will is potentially evil, but such beings are in no sense sinful, much less iniquitous.
"Thomas, have you not read about this in the Scriptures, where it is written: `You are the children of the Lord your God.' `I will be his Father and he shall be my son.' `I have chosen him to be my son—I will be his Father.' `Bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one who is called by my name, for I have created them for my glory.' `You are the sons of the living God.' `They who have the spirit of God are indeed the sons of God.' While there is a material part of the human father in the natural child, there is a spiritual part of the heavenly Father in every faith son of the kingdom."
If we choose to embrace sin, after having been born of the Spirit, then we alone are responsible for the consequences, and that certainly could mean a blockage in our upward and inward journey to the Father if we don't mend our ways.
In my opinion, it becomes difficult to imagine how anyone who truly knows the love of the Father could keep on committing this or that sin, if they know it is an offense against love. Righteousness demands a change. I am sure you have experienced this, as have so many of our brothers and sisters. As for myself, once I experience the realization that something I am doing is not right, I want to change that behavior, because I know it is against God's will for me, and brings only sorrow and pain.
Now that you better understand this issue a liitle bit better, I hope you feel better...nothing can prevent you from progressing eternally unless you decide otherwise, and I sense from your letter that you are a sincere person, and not likely to go that route!