DELIVER US FROM EVIL
By John C. Carpenter
 
After going up onto a mountain, Jesus's disciples came unto Him, and he taught them (Mat 5:1): And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Mat 6:5-13). In verse 13 above, what is the evil that Christ referenced in His prayer?
 
WHAT IS EVIL?
 
We should ask, what is evil? It is somewhat difficult to define. When we do an internet search for a definition of evil, we find that very few have an opinion about what evil really is. One of the few places to look for a definition is online dictionaries. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines evil as morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked, and arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct. Wikipedia encyclopedia defines evil as, in a general sense, the absence of that which is described as being good. The English Oxford Living Dictionary defines evil as profound immorality and wickedness, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. In one last search for a definition of evil, Collins English Dictionary says evil is a powerful force that some people believe to exist, and that causes wicked and bad things to happen. Unger's Bible Dictionary defines evil as the comprehensive term under which are included all disturbances of the divinely appointed harmony of the universe.
 
There are quite a few quotes on the world wide web about evil made by famous individuals. These quotes concede that evil exists, but rarely attempt to define it, possibly because they do not really know what evil is. Sophocles, for example, said all concerns of men go wrong when they wish to cure evil with evil. Albert Einstein said, the world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Buddha is quoted as saying, It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?, said Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Aristotle said, fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil, while Ralph Waldo Emerson gives us a simplification: the meaning of good and bad, of better and worse, is simply helping or hurting. Lastly, the reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was quoted as saying, he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
 
So much for what man thinks and says about evil, but what does God say in the scriptures about evil. In the new testament, the English word evil is translated from several different Greek words, and therefore can take on different meanings. The Greek word, kakia for example, means badness, depravity, malice, naughtiness, trouble, or wickedness. Kakologeo meansto revile, curse, or speak evil of, while kakopoieo means to be a doer of bad, to injure, or to sin. In the Greek, Kakoo means to injure, harm, hurt, or vex. The Greek word poneroteros means to become more wicked, bad, grievous, lewd, malicious, whereas in the Greek ponos refers to toiling or struggling with anguish and pain. In the Greek, the word sapros means bad, corrupt, putrefy, rotten, or worthless often resulting in loss or destruction, but especially degeneracy from the original condition, while the Greek word kakosmeans bad, harmful, ill, or noisome, but especially intrinsically worthless. Phaulos in Greek means fowl, full of flaws, or wicked.The Greek word phobos, from which we get phobia, means to be put in fear, be alarmed or frightened, have exceeding fear, or terror.
 
In our subject verses, the word evil is translated from the Greek word poneros, which means bad, calamitous, diseased, derelict, vicious, grievous, harmful, lewd, malicious, or wicked; and most often refers to something which is hurtful in effect or influence. Poneros is derived from the Greek word ponos, which means to toil, or by implication, anguish and pain. Ponos is derived from the Greek wordpenes, which means starving, indigent, or poor, and specifically refers to toiling for daily subsistence. To summarize the meaning of the word evil in verse 13 of our subject verses, we could reasonably conclude that evil [Greek: poneros] refers to anything which is hurtful in effect and that it causes anguish and pain, with which we regularly struggle.
 
HE MAKETH HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE GOOD AND THE EVIL
 
What do the scriptures say about evil (poneros)? What activities or behaviors in the scriptures are described as evil? First of all, because of their faith, Christians shall be hatred, rejected, reproached, and considered and referred to as being evil: Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake (Luke 6:22). Excessive conversation is also considered by God to be evil. Christ taught His own disciples, But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Mat 5:34-37). The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:6-8). God the Father loves the just and unjust, those who He considers good as well as those He considers evil. In an effort to encourage us to love our enemies, look at the example Christ gives us: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he [our heavenly Father] maketh his sun [a type of Christ] to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain [a type of the Holy Spirit] on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Mat 5:43-46). Christ adds, love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he [God the Father] is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:35-36). God the Father considers our seeing and lusting after worldly treasures to be evil. Christ tells us, Lay not up for yourselves treasures [to deposit to your account, to gain wealth] upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures [things of spiritual and eternal value] 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 [thoughts, mind, feelings] be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single [your desires are folded together or intertwined with the desires of God into one piece], thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil [Greek poneros, i.e., hurtful accompanied by anguish and pain, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 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 [the lust for worldly riches and things] (Mat 6:19-24). Christ considers man, as well as His own disciples, to be evil. Christ was speaking to His own disciples when He told them, If ye then, being evil [Greek: poneros], know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Mat 7:11). In the introduction of his letter to the Galatian believers, Paul described the age or time of his letter as evil: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil [poneros] world [age, course, time without end], according to the will of God and our Father (Gal 1:3-4).
 
Additionally, scriptures teach us that evil comes from evil sources. Christ pointedly taught His disciples, Beware of false [untrue, religious impostor, erroneous, wicked] prophets [who represent sources of wickedness and evil], which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt [rotten, worthless, bad, perishing] tree bringeth forth evil [poneros] fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil [Greek:poneros] fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Mat 7:15-20). Scriptures also teach us that the heart of mankind is evil, and that it is from our hearts that evil proceeds. The old testament book of Genesis instructs us that God, Himself, recognizes the evil in the hearts of man: GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart (Gen 6:5-6), And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done (Gen 8:21). Referring to Judah, God said through the prophet Jeremiah, But this thing commanded I them [Judah], saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward (Jer 7:23-24). Jesus told some Pharisees, leaders of the Jewish church, Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things (Mat 12:33-35). Responding to a question posed by the Jewish scribes and Pharisees, Jesus taught them that evil proceeds from the heart: those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man (Mat 15:18-20).
 
Within the scriptures, Satan is described as the evil one, the great instigator of evil. In explaining the meaning of the parable of the sower, Christ identified Satan as the evil one: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked [Greek: poneros, evil] one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side (Mat 13:19). The apostle Peter teaches us about the evil of the devil, or Satan, and the anguish and suffering that can result, when he exhorts us to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour [drown, swallow up]: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world (1 Peter 5:8-9). Within the scriptures, sin is often considered synonymous with the evil instigated by the Devil, or Satan: He that committeth sin [trespass, offend] is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
 
Christ describes as evil an unforgiving and pitiless spirit. Look what the Lord taught His disciples: Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Mat 18:32-35). Holy Scriptures also teach us that many are bidden, or invited, to the wedding [ or marriage] to Christ, including whom God the Father considers good and evil. Look what Jesus said to some Jewish church leaders:Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid [invite] to the marriage [to Jesus Christ]. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests (Mat 22:9-10). Christ elsewhere verified that He came not to call [bid, invite] the righteous [the good, i.e., those who believe on Christ], but sinners [the evil, i.e., those who do not believe on Christ] to repentance (Luke 5:32).
 
Evil is the biblical term used to label and describe various harmful and destructive spirits: And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them (Act 19:11-12). Evil spirits can even talk and display considerable power: the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded (Acts 19:15-16). Evil is sometimes used to describe days, periods of time, seasons, or occasions. Paul told the believers in Ephesus, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Eph 5:15-16). According to the scriptures, false teachers and preachers express false conjectures, ideas, and opinions are described as evil: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings (1 Tim 6:3-4). The apostle Paul adds in his second letter that in the end times evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Tim 3:13).
 
Writing to holy brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling, that is, fellow believers, Paul explained that unbelief is described as an evil heart. Paul warned, Take heed, brethren [fellow believers], lest there be in any of you an evil [poneros] heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God (Heb 3:12). Arrogantly boasting about our future plan is described in the scriptures as evil. James wrote the twelve tribes, Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil (James 4:13-16). Lastly, the scriptures teach that murder is a work of evil. The apostle John explains, For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous (1 John 3:11-12).
 
LET NOT SIN [AND EVIL] THEREFORE REIGN IN YOUR MORTAL BODY
 
Many people ask, is sin evil? If you search the internet, articles, and books, you will get primarily two answers: yes and no. Some think sin is not evil, whereas others believe sin is nothing but evil. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, and there are plenty of opinions out there. Based upon our previous definition that evil is something which causes anguish and pain with which we regularly struggle, I believe that sin can certainly be described as evil. The English word sin is translated from the Greek word hamartia, and means offense. Hamartia is derived from the Greek word hamartano, which means to miss the mark and so not share in the prize, to err, to offend or trespass. Paul said, I press toward the mark [the goal or target of righteousness] for [resulting in] the prize of the high calling [to eternal life] of God in Christ Jesus (Php 3:14). The sinner fails, or is in error, and therefore misses the mark, or goal, of righteousness, and is therefore excluded by God from the prize of eternal life. In my view, sin certainly involves a regular struggle that results in anguish, pain, and suffering.
 
All believers in Christ occasionally struggle with sin and suffer anguish and pain. Unbelievers may not struggle with temptations and sin [since they easily and willingly submit to sin], but they usually suffer, in one form or another, anguish and pain resulting from their sin. Therefore, since we are to seek prayerful deliverance from sin and evil, which must also include sin, we should ask what instructions the scriptures give us regarding sin? Since the scriptures instruct us that...all have sinned [and committed evil], and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and the wages of sin [and evil] is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:23), we all should be prayerfully seeking God's deliverance from thoughts and actions of sin. As the psalmist reinforces, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy (Pro 28:13). The great apostle Paul tells us, For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin (Rom 6:5-7). Paul also wrote the Colossian believers, Mortify [to deaden, subdue] therefore your members [bodily parts] which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience (Col 3:5-6). John exhorts us to confess our sins: ...if we walk in the light [revelation of the truth], as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:7-10). Paul warned the believers in the Galatian church [and us], Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21). Paul advises us, therefore, The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness [lies, deception, untruth], and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof (Rom 13:12-14). Paul simply instructed Timothy to Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim 2:22). We all should also confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Because God has experienced and understand our struggles with sin and evil, He will respond favorably to our prayers for deliverance from the temptations of sin and evil: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry (1 Cor 10:13-14). For us, Paul concludes, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin [and evil]: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin [and evil] shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Rom 6:12-14).
 
SOURCES OF EVIL: MAN AND SATAN
 
Many individuals believe that evil exists. We feel it's presence and influence in our lives, or even see the hurtful and destructive fruit of evil. From an academic standpoint, evil is usually thought of as falling into one of two categories: natural [physical] evil, or moral [spiritual] evil. Physical evil is thought of a something bad that man is unwillingly subjected to by forces other than himself and in which he has no control over, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, illness, droughts, or plagues. Moral evil is thought to involve the free, painful and destructive immoral choices made by man, which include such things as rape, murder, theft, crime, greed, jealousy, hatred, and so many more. Many of us are also puzzled by the question of where evil comes from, it's source. Does evil even have a source, and, if it does, what are the sources of evil? How does evil manifest itself? Scriptures indicate that there are two sources of evil in the world: man, and satan.
 
First, scriptures clearly teach us that evil can proceed from mankind. Jesus taught that our mouth speaks the evils that exist in our heart when He said to His disciples, Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man (Mat 15:17-20). Jesus also referred to the evil deeds of men when He said, He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:18-19), as well as, The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil (John 7:7). It is our own lust that leads to our temptation: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (James 1:13-14). Christ echoed this idea when he said to His disciples, For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man (Mark 7:21-23). Ezekiel prophesied that man can certainly commit iniquity, wickedness, and evil: When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive (Eze 18:26-27). The apostle Peter recognized that mankind had the potential to commit evil: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9); in fact, we know that the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19). As Paul taught, it is our very evil that separates us from God:And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by [because of your] wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Col 1:21). Jesus explains that the evil that comes out of our mouths is the result of the evil in our hearts. Jesus chastened some Pharisees,O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things (Mat 12:34-35). The preacher, the son of David, teaches us that the hearts of men are full of evil: This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead (Ecc 9:3). Not only is man's heart full of evil, but, before we come to faith in Christ, so is our conscience. Scriptures instruct us to draw near [to God the Father] with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:22). In a psalm of David, we learn that Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. (Psalms 52:1-3). Writing to Roman believers, the apostle Paul gives us insight into Paul's own personal struggle with sin and evil: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (Rom 7:18-25). Mankind was so evil, in fact, that God was sorry He had created man. Look what God said in Genesis: GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart (Gen 6:5-6).
 
Second, evil originates from Satan. The apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian believes about the danger of demonic, spiritual evil when he wrote, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Eph 6:10-13). In the parable of the sower, Christ teaches us that the wicked one, Satan, can attempt to destroy the gospel word of the kingdom within our hearts: When any one heareth the [gospel] word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, thencometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side (Mat 13:19). Christ later adds that The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares [unbelievers] are the children of the wicked one (Mat 13:38).
The apostle John not only identifies Satan as the source of original evil, but also explains that those who sin are children of the devil: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother (1 John 3:7-10). Isaiah mentions Satan's rebellion against God and punishment when he prophesies, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit (Isa 14:12-15). Ezekiel described God the Father's conversation with Satan: Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee (Eze 28:14-15). Satan first manifested his evil lies with mankind in the garden east of Eden, with Adam and Eve. Scriptures instruct us, Now the serpent was more subtil [cunning, crafty, deceptive, smooth] than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:1-4). As a result of Satan's manifestation of evil in the garden, God spoke directly to Satan and condemned him: the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Gen 3:14-15). More specifically, Jesus Christ described Satan's eternal punishment for his rebellion and evil when He referred to the ...everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Mat 25:41).
 
IS GOD THE FATHER CAPABLE OF COMMITTING EVIL?
 
At first glance, Holy scriptures give the impression that God the Father can also be a source of evil. Within the scriptures, it appears that God does not generate evil, but certainly can and does send and utilize evil according to His own will and purposes. In considering the earlier definition of evil [poneros], even God's own creation contained evil, as found in the word darkness. Scriptures instruct us that In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form [vain, worthless, waste, wilderness], and void [empty, a vacuum, ruin, void]; and darkness [misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, obscurity] was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light [illumination, brightness, clarity]: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good [beautiful, best, better, bountiful, fine, pleasant, bring pleasure, prosperity, sweet, wealth, well favoured]: and God divided [separated, distinguish, differ, make separate, sever out] the light [revelation] from the darkness [obscurity] (Gen 1:1-4). God's purpose, in these verses, was to distinguish light, which He described as clarity and good, from void and darkness, which He described as worthless, wasteful, and wicked. We don't think of God as being capable of subjecting any man or woman to an evil spirit, but in one instance this occurred, with old testament Saul: And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand (1 Sam 19:9). As prophesied by Isaiah, God Himself said, I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness [misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, obscurity]:I make peace, and create [chooses, selects, feeds in formative processes, make fat, dispatches] evil [adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, evil favouredness, grief, hurtful, misery, unpleasing, sorrow, wickedness, wretchedness, wrong]: I the LORD do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (Isa 45:5-9). God certainly engineers evil from time to time, and according to His purposes. The prophet Amos prophesied about evil sent from God: Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all? Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:1-6). Habakkuk prayed to God the Father about His use of evil in His efforts to correct: O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth (Hab 1:2-4). The scriptures teach us that evil cannot occur without the knowledge and will of God: Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil [adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, grievous, hurtful, misery, trouble] and good? [beautiful, better, bountiful, favour, gracious, kindness, loving, pleasing] (Lam 3:37-38). God the Father alone determines whether we are honorable or dishonorable [associated with evil]. Paul wrote Roman believers, Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [despised, without dignity, reproached, shame, vile] (Rom 9:18-21).
 
To those who devise iniquity, God responds with affliction, distress, and misery: Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil [adversity, affliction, distress, grief, hurt, misery, sorrow], from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil (Mic 2:1-3).
 
The scriptures surely convey, if we are honest in our study, that God the Father, although not the source, does occasionally engineer our circumstances in order to bring us into contact with evil. We must understand, though, that God the Father never subjects us to evil for the purpose of tempting us to commit sin, or for the purpose of destroying us. Let no man say when he is tempted [to sin or evil], I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man [to commit sin and evil] (James 1:13). We are instructed in the scriptures that, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry [image or object worship] (1 Cor 10:13-14). When our heavenly Father sends evil our way, it is always for the purpose of correction, and He uses it, according to His own will and purposes, to bring us unto repentance and life.
 
Because of His nature and personality, God the Father may use worldly evil for His own purposes, but he does not generate, nor is He the source of moral, destructive evil. Engineering and using whatever circumstances that serve His purposes, God always does what He considers good, even if that good involves the use of evil: ... the LORD do [does] that which seemeth him good (2 Sam 10:12). The Lord tell us that, there is none good but one, that is, God (Mar 10:18). God also does what is right. Regarding the destruction of the righteous, Abraham said to God, That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Gen 18:25). God eventually told Abraham, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake (Gen 18:32). In a psalm of praise, David says The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works (Psa 145:17). John tells us that God is righteous when he wrote, If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him (1 John 2:29), then later adds, Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even [specifically] as he is righteous (1 John 3:7). Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment (Job 34:12). The one true God, God of heaven and earth, is also holy. The prophet Samuel instructs us that God is holy: There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God (1 Sam 2:2). David tells us, But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Psa 22:3). God, Himself, says I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King (Isa 43:15). Neither is God wicked in any way: Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding:far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity (Job 34:10). In fact, God even hates evil. The psalmist instructs us, Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man [of evil] (Psa 5:6). David elsewhere says of God, For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee (Psa 5:4). The psalmist explains Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (Psa 147:5), while scripture refers to the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? (Job 37:16). Indeed, The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth (Psa 33:13-14). The apostle John specifically says that God the Father ...knoweth all things (1 John 3:20). God is mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? (Job 9:4). Understanding the complete power of God, John prophesied of end times, And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent [all ruling, sovereign, vigor, strength, having complete dominion and power] reigneth (Rev 19:6). Regarding God's omnipresence, the psalmist explains Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there (Psa 139:7-8), while Jeremiah asks, 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 (Jer 23:24). The ever wise Solomon exclaims, The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good (Pro 15:3).
 
Because God is all knowing, all powerful, and ever present, He knows when we are confronted by evil, and could certainly use His power to prevent us from coming into contact with evil if it were His will to do so; and in many cases He does prevent our contact with evil and the damage and destruction it intends to subject us to. That prevention is often referred to in the scriptures as deliverance.
 
EVILDOERS SHALL BE CUT OFF
 
Holy scriptures certainly teach that evil exists, but what do the scriptures teach are the end results of evil? First of all, God punishes evil. Isaiah said God will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity (Isa 31:2). Micah warns that God, in an effort to correct, will punish evil: Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work [do, make, practice] evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise [conceive, fabricate, plot] an evil [adversity, misery, trouble], from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil (Mic 2:1-3).
 
Death is another result of evil rebellion, disobedience, and sin. Paul wrote believers in Corinth, For since by [the disobedience and rebellion of] man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor 15:21-22). Although we suffer evils from time to time, scriptures indicate that evil is temporary and will eventually lead to eternal glory. Paul wrote believers in Corinth: For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor 4:15-18). Those who perform evil shall perish, while the sanctified shall receive an abundance of peace. The psalmist wrote, For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. Butthe meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psa 37:9-11). Occasionally God pronounces woe, that is, future suffering, grief, and pain, upon those who confuse good and evil. Look what the prophet Isaiah said: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa 5:20). Affliction, anguish, and destruction shall be the final outcome of those who do evil: But unto them that are contentious [cause strife, violently resist], and do not obey the truth [of the gospel], but obey unrighteousness [iniquity, unjust, wrong], indignation [fierce destruction] and wrath [anger with vengeance], Tribulation [affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, trouble] and anguish [calamity, distress], upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (Rom 2:8-10). The Lord warned His disciples, and us, what will eventually happen to those who do evil: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing [crying, sobbing, lamentation] and gnashing [grating while in pain and rage]of teeth (Mat 13:47-50). Yet, Christ encourages and comforts us, ...but he that endureth to the end shall be saved (Mat 10:22), and assures us that in His time 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. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Rev 21:4-6). And, lastly, Satan, a source of destructive, moral evil shall eventually receive his just reward: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night (Rev 12:9-10).
 
I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE
 
Evil may touch our lives, but we must remember that we are not involved in the struggle against evil alone; God is always with us, watching over us, and protecting us, according to His will and purpose. No matter how life appears to us, He is still in control. Although it goes against our nature and inclination, Christ specifically teaches us not to worry: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Mat 6:25-33). God will watch over us and meet our needs. Jesus specifically instructed and encouraged His disciples to fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows (Mat 10:28-31). The psalmist encourages us, For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast. Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan: And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people. Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations (Psa 135:5-13). Deep within our hearts, we should say, Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation (Exo 15:11-13). As the scriptures clearly instruct us,Let your conversation [way of life] be without covetousness [avaricious, fond of things and money]; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave [slacken, desert] thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me (Heb 13:5-6). When Satan desires to attack and afflict us, even he must obtain God's permission to do so. Consider what happened with Job. Scriptures tell us the story: And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown (Job 2:3-7). Satan could afflict Job only when God allowed such to happen.
 
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
 
As we have seen from the scriptures, and from our own life and experience, evil is certainly all around us. We see it in the world. We see it in people. We even see it in ourselves, if we are being truthful. So what are we to think about evil, and how are we to react to it? Let us take a look at what the scriptures have to say. First of all, believers in Christ are, generally speaking, intended to be delivered and preserved from evil. Regarding His disciples in particular, and all believers in general, Christ prayed to His Father in heaven, I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep [to watch and guard from injury or loss potentially caused from evil] them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:15-16). Believers in Christ are also to loathe, denounce, and even hate evil. As Paul said, Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor [to utterly detest] that which is evil; cleave to that which is good (Rom 12:9).
 
We should heed Paul's warning which says that unbelievers are filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness [malice, plots, and iniquity that hurts self and others], covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters,inventors of evil [ depraved, harmful, injurious, worthless] things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Rom 1:29-32).
 
The apostle Paul wrote believers in Galatia that they were to receive the grace and peace provided from God the Father through Christ, who suffered and died for our sins so that we believers could be rescued from an evil world: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Whogave himself for our sins, that he might deliver [tear out, pluck out, rescue] us from this present evil [poneros] world, according to the will of God and our Father (Gal 1:3-4). Believers are to Prove [test, discern] all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance [and experience] of evil [poneros] (1 Thess 5:21-22). Additionally, believers in Christ are to pray for deliverance from evil. Paul wrote believers in Thesallonica, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith (2 Thes 3:2). Butthe Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil (2 Thess 3:1-3). Paul's desire, hope, and prayer was that the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever (2 Tim 4:18). Paul also instructed the church in Rome, and us, to Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21). Regarding evil and the actions of the evil one, Satan, we are to Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph 6:11-18).
 
Scriptures instruct us that The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth (Pro 8:13). Isaiah says, Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil [afflicted, to spoil, break to pieces, to be good for nothing, to be bad physically, socially, or morally] (Isa 1:16). For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil (1 Peter 3:10-12). Paul exhorts us: Your glorying [boasting] is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven [boasting, pride] leaveneth [to ferment, to boil up] the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:6-8).
 
Where evil is concerned, we are instructed in the scriptures to Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil [and his temptations to evil], and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded (James 4:7-8). Regarding evil in the world, Christ taught His disciples, Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist [stand against, oppose] not evil [poneros]: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (Mat 5:38-39). The apostle John taught that those who know God through faith in Christ watch and protect themselves from the influence of Satan. John wrote, We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth[to watch and guard from injury or loss] himself, and that wicked one [poneros] toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:18-19). Within our subject verses, Jesus summarized our desired response to evil when He instructs us to pray the prayer that God the Father desires we pray: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead [to carry toward, be driven toward] us not into temptation [a putting to proof, adversity, experience of evil, solicitation, provocation to perform evil], but deliver [rescue] us from evil.  AMEN.

 

 
 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"Grace be to you
and peace from
God the Father,
and from our Lord
Jesus Christ, Who gave himself
for our sins, that he might deliver us
from this present
evil world, according to the will of
God and
our Father"
(Gal 1:3-4)




 
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