Thursday, July 2, 2020

What is ... God?

Greetings friends this glorious, holy, and beautiful Sabbath here in Florida! It’s absolutely lovely outside here today!

“… God …”

Friends, that is one of the words of the very beginning of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew word being Elohim – a plural word – meaning more than one.

But, this very word “God” will now get you into fights, get you barred, rejected, ostracized, burned, beheaded, taken down, and utterly destroyed in the United States of America!

But, does God care!? Does He answer!? Does He even exist!? And if so, where is He!? Why is it that He just doesn’t intervene and solve all of these chaotic problems this world has!?

Does God know what is going on in this world today!? Is He aware of the estimated 226.7 million people starving in Africa – that one in four people suffer from hunger just south of the Sahara!? Or, the rising crime rate all over the world!? Is He even concerned about the rampant prevalence of pedophilia in America? Or, the ever-growing murder rate in Mexico, or St. Louis, or Baltimore, or Detroit in the United States of America – or even Johannesburg, South Africa!? The utter devastation caused by floods, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes – and even the soon-coming collapse of the American economy - Is God aware!?

Does God know about this "war" between China and India!? About impending wars!? And, are there – right now – someone planning an attack on other nations, even the United States of America – Is God aware!?

Does God even know of the tribulations which we are facing here in the United States in 2020 – the racial, ethnic, civil disorder, political division, the totalitarian agenda which the Leftists are carrying out – Is God aware!?

Does God even know about our personal tribulations – our health, our well-being, and our safety!? Does He care about that!?

I can’t help but bring to mind Captain Kirk’s question to a supposed God of the universe – “What does God need with a starship?” And, I suppose that question could be fashioned – What does God need with us?

What is God … anyway!?

Are you able to describe God!? What does He look like – is He mean, wrathful, hateful – or is He sweet, loving, and kind!?

Here lately I’ve been reading a most fascinating book – which my dear Sister sent me – entitled Shocked By The Bible by author Joe Kovacs. In the book he brings out a great truism – the so-called Christians of this world are inundated with a message about God’s love and forgiveness but have never learned about the true nature of God.

Does God hate human beings – or does He have a Master Plan, and look upon us and see our potential!? Why isn’t He stepping in and correcting these overwhelming problems we are facing!?

God is … Spirit.

Turn with me if you will – and please follow along in your own Bible – to John, chapter 4, where Jesus said something so very interesting. And, there are a couple of places in the Bible – and you might be familiar with these passages – where God says, in His own words, His very own description. Now, do you or I have the ability to describe just who God is – and is it even possible!?

I mean – when you set down and truly ruminate on it – how does one describe who God is, or what God is, and just why God is!? What are His characteristics!?

So, there are a couple of places within His living word which says, “God is …”

And here is one occasion in which Jesus says, “’ You worship what you do not know; …’” – and here He was talking to a woman from Samaria. “ … ‘for salvation is of the Jews. 23) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; …’” – and of course speaking here of the great Ancient of Days – God the Father. The very Father of Jesus Christ! “ … ‘for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.’

So, God is a Spirit – a spirit being.

And, as we know, Jesus describes to Nicodemus just what a spirit was – for He says, “’ that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” Those people who will be converted and will eventually be in the God Family will be a spirit being. He goes on to say, it’s like “’ the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’” They are invisible to human eyes. And so, God has this characteristic – He has the ability to be unseen by human eyes. He could walk by you and you would never know that He was there!

Over in Isaiah, chapter 55, he wrote under the inspiration of God’s very Spirit – “’ My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. 9) ‘For as the heavens higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’”

Now, what is fascinating is thinking about ancient Rome and all the statues that they had of their false gods which are made out of stone, marble, wood, and even pewter – of Zeus, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, and of even Venus. There are literally hundreds of them throughout the city of Rome – even today.

We expect God to act like us, to have the same attributes. Like some of these false gods of mythology were depicted as having appetites, with human characteristics – like Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, women, and song – with him holding a bunch of grapes.

But, God says, “My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts. I think higher than that.”

So, God is a spirit being that doesn’t think like we human beings.

God is … holy.

In Leviticus, the 11th chapter, God says, “you shall be holy; for I AM holy.”

So, what does it mean to ‘be holy’ – anyway!?

There are so very many people who use that word a lot – holy this and holy that. Indeed, there are so many people around the world – in probably every language – that say such things as ‘holy dung’ cf. 2 Kings 18:27 – using a word from the King James Version of 1611. And, I believe using the word ‘holy’ in this manner – borders the line of blasphemy. But the very word ‘holy’ means to be dedicated to God and sacred. And, surely, there are not many things in this world which is sacred anymore is there!? A special feeling, a special place – where we lift Almighty God and Jesus Christ above everything else in our life.

Our LORD God tells us to ‘remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ And, for us to keep the holy days – that they are holy. He tells us to anoint the sick with oil – the oil symbolizing His Holy Spirit. Our bodies – which is the temple of the Holy Spirit – is itself holy. Indeed, even in the Old Testament – the inner chamber of the temple, the Holy of Holies – was the holiest place of all – representing God’s very throne. And in the New Covenant – the very presence of Almighty God is now open to all who are called and come before Christ Jesus who opened the way to the Father in heaven, what the Apostle Paul wrote, ‘the third heaven where God’s throne is.’ And, the Prophet Isaiah called it, ‘the farthest sides of the north.’ Recall, on one occasion His living word says that Lucifer walked on ‘the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the fiery stones.’

So we, as human beings, try to put these little pieces of evidence together and try to imagine what the very throne of God must look like – being portrayed by human beings in our limited ability to describe God and His throne.

And, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” And, he was looking further ahead into the future – when God the Father and Jesus Christ will eventually reign on this Earth!

Over in Habakkuk, chapter 1, verse 13 – and not only is this a Book which I quote from quite a lot in our Letter to our Friends, but I’m now going to quote from The Soncino Books of the Bible – “Thou that art of eyes too pure to behold evil, And that canst not look on mischief.”

God is so holy that He can’t even look upon evil – or rather iniquity.

And, turning to the Book of Revelation, the 4th chapter, verse 8, we read that the four living creatures – the holy archangels – do not rest ‘day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is and is to come!’

So, there is a Being out there that is worthy of our worship, praise, and honor – who is holy.

God is … light.

1st John, chapter 1, and verse 5.

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

So, we see here – and it’s interesting that the apostle John wrote about light and darkness. He makes this comparison where he contrasts light and darkness – light being of God, and darkness being of something wicked or evil. And he goes on to say in verse 6 – “If we say that we have fellowship with Him [who has and is light], and we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” – you cannot walk in darkness and be in fellowship with this Being that is of light.

Verse 7 – “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” – so, not only if we walk in the light do we have fellowship with Him, but we have fellowship with our brethren.

Over in John, the 3rd chapter, and verse 20 – and again, John wrote in many places about light and darkness. And this passage strikes a chord with me because I had an insightful thought while listening to a sermon by Mr. Garrett when he stated, “people who are living in darkness don’t want to see the light. And people who are living in the light don’t want to be in the darkness.” And, interestingly enough, when my wife and I settle down in the evenings to maybe watch a movie on television, she turns down the light and I turn up the light - I have no desire to be in darkness.

He speaks of ‘light having come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ As you might or might not be aware – in strip clubs the room is in darkness, in the back rooms of adult novelty shops it is bathed in darkness. And, I’m not necessarily saying that if you go into a strip club or an adult novelty shop that you are evil – but I am saying that surely God’s Spirit is nowhere to be found there! It is as if men are trying to hide their deeds from Almighty God – in darkness.

’ For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.’

So, think about people who commit evil deeds. They – according to the very words of Jesus here – HATE GOD! They hate the light – the very One that is light!

Verse 21 – “’ But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, …’” – a person who is approaching God and exposes all sins – just blurts it out, confesses all things – not trying to hide anything. And, of course, God does recognize this in the heart of this man or woman – and He forgives them. “ … ‘that they have been done in God.’” – meaning, God’s begotten children.

So, not only is God holy, but He is also light.

And, turning over to the Book of James, chapter 1, and verse 17, he says – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, …”

I, personally, love light – and I love sunshine! And, oftentimes overcast days can bring about melancholy or even depression. I recall my wife and I once visited the underground Kartchner Caverns in Benson, Arizona – in which the tour guide shut off all the lights, leaving us in total and complete darkness. The darkest I have ever witnessed – the eeriest feeling. I recall that the guide lit a match – and you couldn’t help but look at that light from that match, hoping that the light would never go out. And, I believe that it is no accident that we, as humans, have this feeling concerning light.

God is … love.

Now, the majority of people are familiar with this characteristic of God – they, as I had mentioned to my dear Sister – they speak of His love, His grace, His mercy, of their trinitarianism, of their glossolalia, they speak of their being given a spirit with the application of an oil and wine mixture (which I still don’t know what that means) – and they quote very liberally the passage of John 3:16 – “’ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

Indeed, God is the personification of true love. And I recalled once while I was meditating Almighty God allowed me to feel just a small portion of the love that He has for me, and in my mind whispered, ‘I cannot let you feel all the love I have for you because your physical body wouldn’t be able to handle it.’ And the very next day being baptized and hands laid upon me. For Scripture says, ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’ And, it also says that ‘love covers a multitude of sins.’

God the Father and our Lord Jesus exhibit perfect love – They are not the gods depicted in statues in Rome, or the infidel hating god of Islam. And Their perfect expression of perfect love is the fact that our Lord Jesus – God the Father’s Son – was given and sacrificed for all the sins of all mankind.

God is … eternal.

I’d like you to turn with me to Psalm 90 – as we look at these different characteristics of God the Father and Jesus Christ –

“Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” – Psalm 90:2.

Indeed, our meaty minds cannot register ‘everlasting to everlasting.’ Now, oftentimes in science fiction movies and television shows you hear the phrase, “the other side of the galaxy.” Or, “the other side of the universe.” Now, man has guesstimated that the observable universe is about 28.5 gigaparsecs (which is 93 billion light-years) across, placing the very edge of the observable universe at 46.5 billion light-years away – a light-year being 5,878,625,373,186.6 miles!!

The universe is infinite! So says the majority of astrophysicist’s – such as Tamara Davis of the University of Queensland who states, “"So, I would say that stating the Universe is definitely infinite may be slightly overstating our claim, since we don't really know that it is infinite beyond our observable universe, but we have no strong reason to believe it is not infinite.” 1 Logic, for man, dictates that there must be an end to the universe – but there isn’t. Scientists look deeper and deeper into the observable universe and find that the universe is actually expanding. 2

Now, like all youngsters who have asked this infamous question – where did God come from!? – well, God has always been. And, this is something that just doesn’t register with us because we have a beginning and an end – and everything that we know has a beginning – like the terrible plight which is happening in Detroit, Michigan. By 1930 Detroit’s population had grown to nearly 1.6 million – and to nearly 2 million by 1950! In the post-war period, the city had lost nearly 150,000 jobs! Now, today, there’s urban decay! Detroit, like all cities – had a beginning and an end. And, indeed, to their credit, investors – such as John Hantz, are attempting to revitalize Detroit using various methods.

But, God’s living word tells us that God the Father and Jesus Christ are eternal. God has no beginning and has no end.

In Psalm, chapter 102.

Verse 12 – “But You, O LORD, shall endure forever, And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.”

Truly, through every generation of mankind – God Almighty and Jesus Christ were there! They witnessed it!

Verse 24 - “ … ‘Your years are throughout all generations.’”

To the people from Adam, to the Middle Ages, to 1899, and on down to today.

“’ Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26) They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. 27) But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.’” – Psalm 102:25-27.

This earth, the galaxies, the stars, the moon, the sun – are eventually going to ‘wax old’ and ‘perish.’ But Almighty God and Jesus Christ will remain the same!

Moving along – to 1st Timothy, the 6th chapter. Now, a lot of people have this idea that the soul is immortal. And, this appears to be one passage which those who believe in the immortality of the soul won’t quote when they talk about immortality.

Verse 13 – “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus …” – the very focus of this Scripture! “ … who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14) that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15) which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate [RULER], the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16) who ONLY has immortality, …”

They never seem to quote this passage when talking about the immortality of the soul. Here it says that ‘ONLY GOD IS IMMORTAL.’ Soon I will do an article on the very difference between immortality and eternal. They aren't the same - 1st Timothy 6:16 indeed indicates that angels are NOT immortal.

“ … dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen OR CAN SEE, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”

The very personality of Jesus Christ – in the God Family – appeared unto Adam, Noah, Moses, and Abraham – and said, ‘I AM WHO I AM!’ And, Jesus said, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM!’ God the Father has never – ever- appeared to a human being.

God is … perfect.

In the Book of Matthew, chapter 5, and verse 48, Jesus said, ‘therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.’

Indeed, friends, God is the standard. And, in a precursor to the New Covenant, God told Abraham, ‘walk before Me and be you perfect.’ – meaning, strive to be spiritually mature. And, this is a tall order – isn’t it!?

I began to think of just what I could use in this world to compare the perfection of God Almighty and Jesus Christ – or, rather the completeness – the spiritually mature. And, I can’t help but think of a single snowflake. There are not too many objects more beautiful than a forming snowflake! Indeed God’s beauty is all around us! This is the closest that I can come!

In Romans Paul said, ‘do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ We are instructed to strive for perfection. This truism is throughout the whole of God’s living word!

God is … righteous.

In Psalm, chapter 48, and verse 10, King David wrote, “Your right hand is full of righteousness.”

Now, God created this earth, but He demanded us to do what is right – and this is what righteousness means, doing what is right. Don’t do wrong – commit evil. Don’t do what is contrary to God’s laws.

You know, just the other day, my wife’s aunt was over – she professes to be a Christian – and she was telling us a story of how she had worked recently being paid ‘under the table.’ And, after she left I told my wife that ‘under the table’ can easily mean stealing. When you get paid under the table, you’re stealing from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – unless you keep track and file yourself. And, to note, this is completely different than getting ‘paid in cash’ and can still be legal if your employer is complying with employment laws and is properly tracking your payments for tax purposes. 3 And, sadly, my wife – being unconverted – said she didn’t consider that stealing.

Indeed, what is expected of all men – ‘Fear God, …’ meaning reverently fear. ‘ … and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ – Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV.

And, how does one know what righteousness is!?

It’s through God’s laws. The laws which existed long before Moses – the laws which tell us what is wrong and what is right.

So, if God is righteous, and if God’s laws are righteous – ‘For all Your commandments are righteousness’ – Psalm 119:172 – then does the God Family abide by Their own standard!? Does God abide by the laws which the LORD God put in place!?

God the Father and Jesus Christ have to - or else His whole Master Plan wouldn’t work at all.

King David also wrote, “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.”

It reminds me of young children who tend not to see problems in abstract terms – the future seems to be entirely concentrated on the now. But God knows the beginning from the end – Isaiah 46:10. God knows all things – 1st John 3:20. God sees all things – cf. Heb. 4:13; Job 34:21; Prov. 5:21.

As I had stated to my wife yesterday of the fact that the United States of America is becoming a ‘modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah’ and the fact that if God doesn’t punish our nation for her grave sins – then He must apologize for the utter destruction of the cities of the plains. God isn’t righteous for one generation and not for the next; God is not judgmental for one generation and not the next – the apostle Paul in Hebrews states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” And, God is fair to every single human being – cf. Rom. 2:11.

God is… power.

Now, as I had said concerning young children who ask infamous questions about God – who instructed God!? “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him?” – Isaiah 40:13. It’s almost as if we’re bringing God down to our level and saying – why can’t You solve these problems!? And, the prophet Isaiah is saying – you don’t truly realize who you’re talking to. You're not speaking of the One  - shamefully portrayed in the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings as a child!

Verse 14 – “With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?”

Verse 15 – “Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales.”

And, indeed, when you look at the Earth some 383 miles above the surface through the WorldView – 3 Satellite, human beings look smaller than the head of a pin.

Verse 17 – “All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. 18) To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?”

Verse 21 – “Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22) It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”

Verse 25 – “’ To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?’ says the Holy One. 26) Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.’”

Of course, He’s talking about all the stars – which He has named.

Verse 28 – “’ Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.’”

As I had mentioned earlier in the Book of James – a brother to our Lord God wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” – James 1:17.

And, in the last Book of the Old Testament God says, “’ I AM the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.’” – but, what is God saying here!? – you’re not consumed!? It means that Almighty God’s mercy lasts from generation to generation. His mercy NEVER ends.

Turning back to Psalm, the 8th chapter, King David wrote, “What is man that You are mindful of him.” Our lives – as it says in several passages – are like a vapor of smoke, here today and gone tomorrow. And, people want to stand up and ask God why He does certain things!? Instead of completely submitting to Him and saying – “Yes, Lord!”

God is … truth.

Over in the Book of John, the 17th chapter, Our LORD God prayed to Father, “’ Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.’

Indeed, the Holy Bible is truth.

Over in Psalm, chapter 89, it says, “Mercy and truth go before Your face.” God is always truthful with us! And, in Psalm, chapter 118, it says, “For His mercy endures forever.”

And, surely, in the world we live in today – the duel prophecy of Isaiah comes to fruition – “truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.” All one needs to do is listen or read this world’s news – the unmitigated fake news that is being flooded into the world!

I had mentioned earlier my wife’s aunt who came over to the house the other day – had stated (just off the top of her head) that here in Florida over 9,000 people had died from COVID-19 – in one day. I asked her where she got this information from. She said, “The news!” I reminded her that you cannot believe all that you hear or read from the mainstream media. Fake news is here. It’s real. Get used to it! It’s absolutely unbelievable!

But, we have a Creator God with truth as one of His characteristics!

King Solomon – David’s own son wrote, “In mercy and truth ATONEMENT is provided for iniquity.”

God is… our Father.

The Holy Bible describes God as our Father – and we’re supposed to have that relationship with Him.

So, with all of these characteristics on display, maybe we can think even more of who God is, and how very great God is. And that God is much more powerful than any of the tribulations which may be going on today. And, God is completely aware of them. He knows about your life. He knows about the tribulations you face. And, God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ are soon to step in and it will be more amazing than any imagination could ever imagine – in the glorious Kingdom of God! □

1 Holladay, April “Where does the universe end?” The Globe And Mail, 14 Dec. 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
2 Keck, W.M. Observatory “A crisis in cosmology: New data suggests the universe expanding more rapidly than believed” Phys Org, 23 Oct. 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2020.

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