Jacob and his Rival are not gods.
This show in my opinion, has been pretty telling about the origins of all this weirdness. It is the island and is “properties”. Jacob and Rival are just humans like us. Right now I think they are from the future. A future where humanity ends. They came back using the island and it’s properties to do something.
Jacob believes he can change something. The end of the world I am guessing. Which is reflected in his statement “There is only one end. Everything leading up to that, is progress”. Progress toward changing the end I believe. Jacob believes people can change it.
His rival does not see it this way. Maybe he used to? His rival wants it to end, has no faith that it can be changed. That humanity will not change. I would guess he wants it to stop. He is frustrated that Jacob will not let it rest. So he is trapped in some cycle. One Jacob is orchestrating time and time again until it works. This is because Jacob controls the island. The tool I think is from the future.
With this episodes closing screen. We saw the colours inversed. This represents the Rival having now gained control of the situation. The island.
Now in the final act. That will play out. The guard has changed. Someone else is calling the shots. Running the island.
The Island. The main focus of the story is the tool. A tool being fought over by two men (Jacob/Rival) to either change the end, or let it happen.
I just had to get this off my chest! These are Not Gods.