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(All quotations from the King James Authorised translation unless stated otherwise).
There is no power other than God. Both good and evil come from God.
Isaiah 45:6... I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Amos 3:6... shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
The evil that comes from God is collective punishment for the evil which men do in disobeying God’s commandments.
Jeremiah 18:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. 9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
We have an example in the Book of Jonah where Nineveh is spared because they listened to Jonah.
Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
In Deuteronomy 28:15-68 we have the promised evil that would come upon Israel if they turned away from God. This is now historical fact.
Job acknowledges that both good and evil come from God.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
The evil suffered in Job’s case was not punishment for his sin but adversity to try his faith. His experience was a living parable of how we are to understand suffering in this life. This life is temporary and involves suffering to try our faith. If we hold fast and endure, we will attain to eternal life at Christ’s return.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
In the end God will remove all suffering.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The people of God are the descendents of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob known as Israel. God saved them out of Egypt and made a covenant with them through Moses.
The details of God’s dealings with Israel and his promises to them have come down to us as the Old Testament. The Old Testament explains why we die (Because Adam disobeyed God) and how we can be saved from death by resurrection through the promised Messiah. The Messiah was to be a descendent of Abraham through David of the tribe of Judah.
NKJV Jeremiah 23:5 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This descendent was Jesus Christ.
NKJV Matthew 1:21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
In this way salvation comes through the Jews.
NKJV John 4:22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
This is the promise made to Abraham.
NKJV Genesis 22:18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
Paul tells us that this seed is Jesus Christ.
NKJV Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
This brings us to the New Testament. The New Testament is the record of the life, teaching and sacrifice of Jesus Christ the descendent of Abraham and David and the son of God. He fulfilled the Old (Mosaic) Covenant and replaced it by a New Covenant made available to all people.
NKJV Hebrews 8:6 But now He (Jesus Christ) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—9 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. 10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
To have part in this New Covenant we have to believe the Gospel, be baptised by immersion in water for remission of sins and try to live the rest of our lives by the commandments of Christ. By taking heed to the commandments of Christ, God’s law is written in our hearts and we become the people of God.
NKJV Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...
By being baptised into Christ we become Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promise.
NKJV Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
By obedience to the Gospel of Christ we who are not Jews by birth become the people of God by adoption.
If we become Christ’s he will raise us from the dead to everlasting life in the kingdom of God.
We do not go to heaven when we die (as some teach); we sleep in the dust awaiting the return of Christ.
NKJV 1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Paul tells us what is going to happen.
NKJV 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
This will be the fulfilment of the declared purpose of God.
NKJV Numbers 14:21 "but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD—
We shall then truly be the people of God with God dwelling in us forever.
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course available on our website, www.thisisyourbible.com? This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort... You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
I hope this helps.