Many people who believe in our Eloah, whose name is Yahuwah (yah-hoo-WAH), nevertheless do not understand His nature. If they read the Scripture, they tend to think of the "God" revealed in the Ibriy (Hebrew) Scriptures as being Someone totally different from the "God" revealed in the Greek Scriptures. This is because most people think of Yahuwah in the terms that He has been expressed to them by whatever preacher they listen to and never consider what the Scripture, Ibriy (Hebrew) and Greek, has to say of Him. While it is impossible for us, as humans with such limited abilities and senses, to understand or know the mind of Yahuwah, we can get an idea of Yahuwah that is reasonably accurate if we take the time and make the effort to read and thoroughly study His written word. People hear only those attributes these preachers talk about and wind up thinking that Yahuwah is only loving, kind, merciful, and forgiving. All of these attributes are definitely true of Yahuwah, but He has more attributes that also need to be known and understood.
Yahuwah is also:
Shemot (Exodus) 34:14 For you shall worship no other elohiym, for Yahuwah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous Elohiym. . .
YashaYahuw (Isaiah) 34:8 For it is the day of Yahuwah's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Tsiyown (Zion).
Rhomaios (Romans) 12:19 Dearly beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance is mine. I will repay," says Yahuwah.
Psalms 76:7 You, even You, are to be feared, and who may stand in your sight when once You are angry?
Psalms 129:4 Yahuwah is righteous. He has cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
Yahuchanan (John) 17:25 And Righteous Father, the world has not known You. But I have known You and these have known that You have sent me.
and sends evil on those who are deserving.
Judges 9:23 Then Elohiym sent an evil spirit between Abiymelek and the men of Shekem and the men of Shekem dealt treacherously with Abiymelek.
2 Kings 21:12 Therefore thus says Yahuwah, Elohiym of Yisra'el, "Behold! I am bringing such evil upon Yerushalom and Yahudah that whosoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle."
These are just a FEW of the references to these types of attributes of our Eloah that are shown in the Scriptures. There are many more passages confirming this if you care to look them up. The words translated in these verses as jealous, vengeance, angry, and righteous actually and literally mean jealous, vengeance, angry, and righteous.
This is a fact that is so obvious from the scripture and experiential life that it cannot be disputed. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son Yahushua to give His life as a ransom for us. He loves us so much that His love for us continues even when we are not obedient to Him. However, the results of His love will be very different for us depending on whether we are in obedience or whether we are not. The consequences of obedience to Him is life everlasting, just as was originally inferred to Adam (B'ereshiyth [Genesis] 2:17). The consequences of disobedience is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). Harsh? No. Just realistic. There is no such thing as a free lunch. We are given chance after chance to see and understand. If we willfully continue to refuse to accept His gift, that gift will finally be withdrawn.
Yahuwah places limits and conditions on everything that He has promised. Every covenant (testament) that He has ever made with anybody has always had conditions. The gist of ALL of the conditions has always been obedience to His word. He (Yahuwah) is our Father, IF we obey His commandments. IF we love Him, we will obey Him. IF we will obey Him, He will be our Father. IF we obey Him, He will come to us and make His abode with us. IF we obey Him, He will love and guide us. IF we obey Him, we will have salvation. This is shown throughout scripture in all of His dealings with everyone, starting in the Garden of Eden (B'ereshiyth) and continuing right through to the end of the world (Revelation 20:11). He has NEVER made a promise to ANYONE that did not have the condition of obedience attached to it as a qualifier. Some people will call this legalism, but it is not. It is fact. Some people will say this is salvation by works, but it is not. The obedience will come AFTER we believe. From that belief will come all of the things that form obedience. We MUST OBEY Yahuwah!
B'ereshiyth (Genesis) 2:16-17 And Yahuwah Elohiym commanded the man saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it, for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die."
He told Adam that he could freely eat of every tree in the garden EXCEPT the tree of knowledge of good and bad. If Adam wanted to have life everlasting, all he had to do was to OBEY the commandment of Yahuwah and NOT eat of that tree. That was the condition. "Obey Me," Yahuwah said, "or die." Adam ate. Adam died.
As He made promises to various people and placed the deliverance of these promises on this condition of obedience, He also stated the results of disobedience. These results are ALWAYS death of the body and soul. (The soul is not and never has been immortal. See the article "Body, Soul, and Spirit" for further information.) While Yahuwah doesn't enjoy allowing people who are disobedient to Him to die, He also doesn't seem to be overly concerned about the physical deaths of individuals. He is very much more interested in the actions of the individuals while they are incarnate.
Yechezq'el (Ezekiel) 33:11 "Say to them, 'I live,' says the Sovereign Yahuwah, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn you, turn you from your evil ways for why will you die, house of Yisra'el?'"
Just as an example that Yahuwah is loving and merciful, look at what He said about going to war while there was pressing business at home.
Dabariym (Deuteronomy) 20:3-8 And shall say to them, "And he will say to them, 'Hear, Yisra'el! Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart be tender, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them, 4 for Yahuwah your Eloah is He that goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." 5 And the officers shall speak to the people saying, "What man is there that has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, unless he dies in the battle and another man dedicates it. 6 And what man is he that has planted a vineyard, and has not yet eaten of it? Let him also go and return to his house, unless he dies in the battle, and another man eats of it. 7 And what man is there that has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go and return to his house, unless he dies in the battle and another man takes her." 8 And the officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, "What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, unless his brother's heart faint as well as his heart."
This shows that these men who are going to war MAY BE KILLED in the process. Rather than allow their efforts at home to be enjoyed by someone who has not earned that privilege, He says for them to return home and enjoy the fruits of their labors. So the fact that they may be killed is no big thing. Death is part of life. But in His mercy and compassion, He gives them the chance to first enjoy that for which they have worked. (Except in the case of the fearful, and this is so they won't demoralize the rest of the troops and cause more unnecessary deaths.) So the Master sends men in harm's way knowing that it can result in their physical deaths and accepts that as part of the life that He has given them. If these men are in obedience to Him He welcomes their deaths so their spirits can return to Him.
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of Yahuwah is the death of his saints.
Ecclesiastes 12:5-7 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall not bloom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail because man goes to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to the Elohiym who gave it.
To demonstrate that Yahuwah's mercy is NOT shown to those who do not know Him or to those who do NOT obey Him, look at what He told the Yisra'eliym (Isra'elites) to do to those people who they would come across in their trek to the Promised Land. Those outside Kena'an (Canaan) who did not resist them (obedience) would be spared whole if they paid tribute (taxes). Those outside Kena'an who did resist them (disobedience) would have all of their men killed and the remaining women and children would become slaves of Yisra'el after their cities had fallen. Those inside Kena'an were to be destroyed completely whether they resisted or not.
Dabariym (Deuteronomy) 20:9-18 And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people. 10 When you come near a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. 11 And it shall be, if it makes you an answer of peace and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people that are found therein shall be tributaries to you and they shall serve you. 12 And if it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 And when Yahuwah your Elohiym has delivered it into your hands, you shall smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword. 14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, you shall take to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which Yahuwah your Elohiym has given you. 15 Thus shall you do to all the cities which are very far off from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16 But of the cities of these people, which Yahuwah your Elohiym gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but you shall utterly destroy them. Namely, the Chittiy, and the Emoriy, the Kena'aniy, and the Perizziy, the Chiwiy, and the Yebuwsiy, as Yahuwah your Elohiym has commanded you, 18 that they do not teach you to do after all their abominations which they have done to their elohiym, so should you sin against Yahuwah your Elohiym.
Note that this wasn't slaughter for slaughter's sake but a purging of unbelievers for explicit purposes. Yisra'el (Israel) DID NOT OBEY Yahuwah's command in this and they are still paying for that disobedience today.
Now this is a lot of killing! Untold numbers of people of all ages died at the hands of the Yisra'eliym, and countless Yisra'eliym died also. Could this be the same merciful, compassionate, and loving Yahuwah that we believe in today? Yes!
Mal'akiy (Malachi) 3:6 For I am Yahuwah, I change not. Therefore you sons of Ya'aqob (Jacob) are not consumed.
Ya'aqob (James) 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Our feelings concerning the death of someone, whether we know them or not, is not even a consideration in the sight of Yahuwah. He is in control, has been all along, and knows very well what the outcome of all of this will be. How can we, with our puny little intellects, even attempt to place restrictions on what Yahuwah can do with our lives, even to the point of ending them? What we must do is love Him regardless. Those things that we understand we need to build on. Those things that we do not understand, we don't need worry about, for when we do need to understand them, He will open our understanding for that purpose.
When a loved one dies, we grieve. Since many times we do not know the state of their spirit at death, we grieve because of OUR loss, and not because that loved one has died. If we knew the state of their spirit we might grieve even more, because MOST people are not in obedience to the will of Yahuwah. Even those we think of as child of Yahuwah's. If we do know that the person who died was truly a child of Yahuwah, we should not grieve but rejoice, because that person is out of this terrible and degenerate world and with the Sovereign. This should give us even more incentive to seek out and obey the will of the Sovereign.
Where do we find the will of our Sovereign? Not in the mouths of men. Not on some religious radio broadcast. Not from some televangelists such as Billy Graham, Jack Van Impe, Jimmy Swaggart or his son Donnie, or those found on TBN, or the PTL, or the 700 Club, or any other such as these, although we should listen closely to everything that is said by anyone on the subject. After we have listened, we must check out what they have said for ourselves in His written word, for these people often tell us SOME of the truth, but never all of it. Only in His written word will we find the true will of Yahuwah. Even there we must be very careful. There are extant versions, such as the NIV, ASV, RSV, The Living Scripture, etc., that contain translations from corrupt and apostate Greek texts. We must determine which of the modern versions are thus and shun them entirely (except for comparison studies while knowing what they contain). If you want to know the will of Yahuwah, read the word of Yahuwah, and not some vile perversion that is attempting to pass for it. One way to know if it is the word of Yahuwah is to look for copyrights in the front of the version you are reading. The word of Yahuwah cannot be copyrighted by anyone but Yahuwah. His copyright is found in the text, not on the flyleaf. If some earthly company owns the material, it is not the complete and accurate word of Yahuwah.
You may need guidance from someone to help you understand the word of Yahuwah, but again, even if the person is really a child of Yahuwah, he is still just a man. Using someone else's knowledge and understanding of the scripture does NOT absolve you from any error that may creep in. You must test the spirits for yourself to know if what is said is true. The only standard by which to make that test is the Sacred Scripture. Manmade traditions are just that. Manmade traditions. Yahushua had plenty to say about that, and none of it was favorable.
Philippesios (Philippians) 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.