The Free Age Press

The Lantern

Discovering the true teachings of Christ and applying them to your life.

An unbiased and scripture-based approach to get introduced to christianity.

Join the Church without getting forced into one of the many divided churches.

No dogman tradition or deception here, and corrections and ideas are welcome.

Subscribe to the program to get exclusive access to a two months long extensive introduction to Christianity, comprised of a daily bible study topic and a members-only forum and chat to discuss the truths, deceptions and experiences and progress together with weekly online gatherings.

The teachings of the bible

Who’s God?

Many people think that God doesn’t care about us. They feel that if God really cared, the world would be very different.

We see war, hatred, and misery everywhere. People get sick, they suffer, and they die. Some wonder, ‘If God cares about us, why doesn’t he stop all this suffering?’

Religious leaders sometimes make people believe that God is cruel. When something terrible happens, they say that it’s God’s will. They say that he wanted it to happen. When they say this, they are really blaming God. But the Bible teaches that God is never the source of evil. James 1:13 tells us that God does not test anyone with evil things. It says: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried [or, tested] by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.” This means that even though God hasn’t stopped bad things from happening, he never makes them happen.

(Read Job 34:10-12.)

Let’s use an example.

Imagine a young man who lives at home with his parents. His father loves him very much and has taught him how to make good decisions. Then, the young man rebels against his father and leaves home. He does bad things and gets into trouble. Would you blame the father for what happened because he didn’t stop his son from leaving home? Of course not! (Luke 15:11-13) Like that father, God didn’t stop humans when they chose to rebel and do what is bad. So when something bad happens, we should remember that God didn’t make it happen. It would be unfair to blame God.

There is a very good reason why God has not yet stopped bad things from happening. In Chapter 11, you will learn what the Bible says about this. But you can be sure that God loves us and that he is never to blame for our problems. In fact, he is the only One who can solve them.—Isaiah 33:2.

God is holy. (Isaiah 6:3) Everything he does is pure, clean, and good. So we can trust him. Humans are not like that. They sometimes do wrong things. And even the most honest ruler does not have the power to repair all the damage that bad people do. No one has as much power as God has. He can and will repair all the damage that has been done by bad people. He will remove all evil forever.​—Read Psalm 37:9-11.

How does God feel when he sees what is happening in the world and what you are going through? The Bible teaches that God “loves justice.” (Psalm 37:28) So he cares deeply about what is right and what is wrong. He hates it when people suffer. The Bible says that “his heart was saddened” when he saw the world filled with badness in the past. (Genesis 6:5, 6) God has not changed. (Malachi 3:6) The Bible says that God really cares about you.​—Read 1 Peter 5:7.

The Bible also says that God created us in his image. (Genesis 1:26) This means that God made us with the same good qualities that he has. So if you feel bad when you see innocent people suffer, God must feel even worse when he sees it! How do we know this?

The Bible teaches us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Everything God does is motivated by love. So we love because God loves. Think about this: If you had the power, would you remove all the suffering and injustice in the world? Of course you would, because you love people. What about God? He has the power, and because he loves us, he will remove all suffering and injustice. You can be sure that every one of God’s promises mentioned at the beginning of this book will come true! But to be able to trust these promises, you need to know more about God.

(that’s why Jehovah’s witnesses use the name “Jehovah”, I won’t use it in the following chapters)

If you want to be someone’s friend, what’s the first thing you usually tell him? Your name. Does God have a name? Many religions say his name is God or Lord, but these are not names. They are just titles, like “king” or “president.” God has told us that his name is Jehovah. Psalm 83:18 says: “May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” Bible writers used God’s name thousands of times. God wants you to know his name and to use it. He tells you his name so that you can become his friend.

((God’s name, יהוה, has deep meaning. It means that God can fulfill any promise he makes and can accomplish his purpose. Nothing can stop him. Only God can have this name.

God’s name is יהוה and is understood to mean “He Causes to Become.” יהוה is the almighty God, and he created everything. He has the power to do anything he decides to do.

In Hebrew, God’s name was written with four letters. In English, these are represented by YHWH. God’s name appears in the original Hebrew text of the Bible nearly 7,000 times. People all over the world use different forms of the name Jehovah, pronouncing it in the way that is common in their language.))

As we read earlier, Psalm 83:18 says about God: “You alone are the Most High.” Also, Revelation 15:3 says: “Great and wonderful are your works, God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity.” What does the title “the Almighty” mean? It means that God is more powerful than anyone else in the universe. And the title “King of eternity” means that he has always existed. Psalm 90:2 explains that he is from eternity to eternity. Isn’t that amazing!

When some people read about God’s impressive qualities, they feel afraid and think, ‘God is so powerful, so important, and so far away, why would he care about me?’ But is that how God wants us to feel? Not at all. God wants to be close to us. The Bible says that God is “not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27) God wants you to draw close to him, and he promises that “he will draw close to you.”​—James 4:8.

How can you become God’s friend? Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Keep on learning, and you will come to know God and Jesus. And then you can have everlasting life. For example, we have already learned that “God is love.” (1 John 4:16) But he also has many other beautiful qualities. The Bible tells us that God is “merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love and truth.” (Exodus 34:6) God is “good and ready to forgive.” (Psalm 86:5) God is patient and loyal. (2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 15:4) You will learn much more about his beautiful qualities as you read about him in the Bible.

How can you feel close to God if you cannot see him? (John 1:18; 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17) When you read about God in the Bible, you get to know him as a real Person. (Psalm 27:4; Romans 1:20) As you learn more about God, you will love him more and more and you will feel closer to him.

You will understand that God is our Father. (Matthew 6:9) He gave us life, and he also wants us to have the best life possible. That is what a loving father would want for his children. (Psalm 36:9) Yes, the Bible teaches that you can become God’s friend. (James 2:23) Imagine that. God, the Creator of the universe, wants you to be his friend!

As you study the Bible, there will be things that you don’t understand. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions or to ask for help. Jesus said that we should be humble, like little children. (Matthew 18:2-4) And children ask lots of questions. God wants you to find the answers. So study the Bible carefully to make sure that what you learn is the truth.​—Read Acts 17:11.

The best way to learn about God is to study the Bible. In the next chapter, we will find out why the Bible is different from every other book.