WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?

We have seen many things develop in the course of this site. We have looked at the ancient origins of the trinity doctrine—and its various links with other triune godheads—whether Hindu, Greek, Babylonian or others. We have clarified and demystified various statements from trinitarian thinkers—and have shown the fallacy of this teaching. We then dispelled the so-called biblical proof texts of the trinity, both explaining them and pointing to many scriptures that show otherwise. We have shown that the Holy Spirit is not a person or another god—but rather the power by which God works. Finally, we have seen that the “Jesus” of modern Christendom is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Now that you understand what God is not, the question in this chapter’s title should be at the forefront of your mind: Who and what is God?

Throughout man’s history, he has sought the answer to this intriguing question. It has prompted many to deeply research the subject, almost always starting with what men say. Willing to throw aside the biblical evidence we have seen, so many cling to ideas and traditions of men. To them, God is whatever they were taught that He is—or whatever they want Him to be. This need not be the case with you!

In the Beginning…

There are two verses in God’s Word that begin with the phrase “In the beginning…”—Genesis 1:1and John 1:1. Most are not aware of the important information that can be gleaned from these two passages—and the insight that they provide into the true nature of God.

In order to set the stage for all that is to follow, certain review is important.

Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” We saw that the Hebrew word for “God” is elohim and that it is a collective noun, like family, team or group. For instance, the Hebrew word translated “gods” in Exodus 12:12 is elohim. To the Hebrews, the word elohim referred to either the true Elohim (God) or false elohim (gods). In order to distinguish Himself from the false gods, the true God revealed His name to Israel as YHVH, which means “Eternal.” This was to show Israel that, unlike the false, non-existent gods around them, He is the God that is, always has been and always will be.

Also notice again Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” In this verse, the Hebrew words asah and tselem are translated as “let Us make” and “in Our image” respectively, due to the fact that the Hebrew word elohim is plural. There has to be more than one Person being referred to here.

We must ask again, “How many Beings comprise God?”

John 1:1-3 sheds more light on this question. Notice: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” This passage reveals something very important! It states that the Word was “with” God and “was” God. How is this possible? Remember, God is a collective noun—just like your last name. For instance, if Robert Smith has a son named Paul, it can be said that Paul is with Smith (his father), and that he is Smith (Paul Smith).

But who is the “Word” in John 1? Verse 14 explains: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” In other verses, Christ is called “God in the flesh.” This, coupled with verse 14, clearly shows that the Word was Christ!

And since John makes it clear that the Word created all things, it becomes obvious that Christ was present at the creation of man. Just as the New Testament shows the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, the word Elohim expresses a family relationship. They are both God, but separate Beings. Together, they had thought out and planned the creation of the universe. Christ, the “Word” (Greek: Logos, meaning “Spokesman”), brought those plans to fruition (as John 1:3, Ephesians 3:9 and Colossians 1:16 show). Hebrews 2:10 also shows this: “For it became Him [Christ], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things…”

As we see here, the Bible reveals that there are currently two Beings in the Godhead—the Father and Jesus Christ.

Designer, Creator and Sustainer

Everything in the vast universe was created by God. As Creator, it could be said that He is in the “business” of creating. And even those things that cannot be seen were created by Him.

Notice this all-encompassing statement: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [are held together]” (Col. 1:16-17). When understood, the entire universe, including every atom within it, is quite literally “held together” by the power of God’s Spirit.

God is all-powerful and, therefore, whatever He commands comes to pass. Notice: “…He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psa. 33:9). Unlike man, if God desires, He can create something in an instant, simply by a thought. As we have seen, the power by which He does this is His Holy Spirit. Now read Genesis 1:2: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The next event to take place was that “…God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). God spoke, and the power of His Spirit brought it to pass.

Before building something complex, one must first design and plan it, sometimes extensively. For example, imagine the detailed planning required to build a giant skyscraper—taking months, maybe years. The human body is infinitely more complex than any building. How much more planning was required to create the entire universe? Since God has existed for all eternity, He had prior eternity to plan His final product.

Once God had created man, He had to sustain him. There are countless processes required for this to happen. Human beings also need air, food, water, shelter, etc. If you take all of this into account, God is not only man’s Creator, but also his Designer and Sustainer!

God’s Nature and Character

The Bible reveals that God’s nature—His character—is absolutely perfect and holy. And He is also immutable and unchangeable: “For I am the Lord, I change not…” (Mal. 3:6). Unlike man, when God states that He is going to do something, He does it. His testimony is true and His promises are sure—in fact, His Word declares that He cannot lie! He would never deceive, beguile, delude or confuse.

Notice: “For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise theimmutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation [comfort], who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,both sure [secure] and steadfast” (Heb. 6:16-19). This should give great comfort to those who regularly study God’s Word.

God’s way of life is the give way—outgoing concern—love, helping, sharing, mercy, peace, happiness—in other words, putting others before oneself. On the other hand, man practices theget way—greed, vanity, selfishness, lust, etc. Imagine the chaos—and confusion—if God practiced man’s way! Satan, as the “god of this world,” practices this way—and the world today is the result.

Those who practice the get way do not consider the needs of others. Again, imagine if the Father and Christ did this. However, they understand that if they lived the get way, nothing would ever be accomplished. They live in perfect harmony, peace and cooperation—knowing that without unity of purpose, they could not work together (Amos 3:3). We saw this way of life is embodied in a marvelous spiritual law. Those who practice it reap great joy in their lives. Those who live counter to it—who break this law—reap misery.

Who Is Christ?

We have shown that there are two Beings in the Godhead. However, much confusion about the Person of Christ still abounds—both about who He really is and what He taught. Seemingly, no two denominations agree on what He taught—and there are many differing ideas, even within the trinity doctrine, as to the true nature of Christ’s relationship with the Father. We have already seen that the Holy Spirit is the power by which the Father and Christ work.

When solving a mystery, one must start by getting the facts. Only when all the facts are known is the truth of a matter easily recognized. But most people (including most professing Christians) do not take the time to discern, to prove, the information they are given. They seem willing to “leave the thinking to the experts,” and these are the people who have created the mass confusion and disagreement so prevalent among today’s churches.

But looking beyond the surface of all the religious-sounding rhetoric, and peering directly into God’s Word, reveals a clear picture. In the process, we will more thoroughly prove that Christ was the God of the Old Testament.

Let’s look at several verses to disprove the trinitarian notion that in Old Testament times, God manifested Himself as the Father, and in the New Testament era, He manifested Himself as Christ. Recall that ancient Israel “…drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:4), proving that Christ was the God of the Old Testament.

Now, couple that verse with Christ’s own words in Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this Rock [Christ Himself] I will build My Church.” This proves that this does not mean that the Church was built on Peter, but rather on Christ, with Peter being likened to a small stone.

Also, examine the following Old Testament passage prophesying Christ’s First Coming: “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 3:1). From what we have read above, it is plain that Christ was prophesying His own coming.

But some other questions remain. In Genesis, there is a reference to Melchizedek, to whom Abram paid tithes (14:18-20). Many have wondered who Melchizedek was.

At a council meeting at Avondale School, about the year 1893, there were present Elders Haskell, F.L.H. Baker, G.B. Starr, and their wives, and Sister E.G. White, also W.A. Colcord, who was the editor of the Australian Signs of the Times.

Elder Colcord requested the privilege of reading some articles regarding the personality of Melchisedec. We all listened as he read and were surprised that Sister White listened also, with seeming interest, as she was not accustomed to listening to any argumentative writings.

As Elder Colcord was reading, Sister White interrupted him, saying: “Elder Colcord, I would not publish these articles, if I were you.” “Why not?” He inquired. “Because they are not correct.” She answered.

He then asked, “Who then was Melchisedec?”

She replied, “I will tell you who Melchisedec was. He was the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, who took the form of humanity and represented the Lord Jesus Christ to that generation.

That ended the council on that subject. Elder Colcord offered no argument to refute her position, and we all seemed perfectly satisfied with the statement; in fact, I had never heard an explanation that was satisfactory before.

After the meeting, Elder S.N. Haskell said to me, “Elder Starr, when the Spirit of Prophecy speaks so plainly as that about a matter, it can be proved by the Bible, so let’s look it up.”

We found that description of Melchisedec in Hebrews 7:3 was fully met by the Holy Spirit. “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a high priest continually.

We found that in Hebrews 9:14 that statement, “The Eternal Spirit.” That would meet, also, “Without beginning of days, nor end of life.”

Then in Romans 8:26, “likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (By man). Thus – These statements make the Holy Spirit a high priest forever. Every specification was met by the Holy Spirit, A HIGH PRIEST FOREVER, but cannot be met by any angel or human being.

Elder Haskell published this matter as reported above in his paper at South Lancaster, Mass. Thus we have TWO witnesses of the truthfulness of Sister White’s statement regarding (the person) Melchisedec.
Signed – G.B. Starr

“…A morning talk, given at Battle Creek by Mrs. E.G. White, Jan. 20, 1890, printed in the R & H of 2-18-1890, contains the following statement: ‘It was Christ that spoke through Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High God. Melchisedec was not Christ, but the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father. John14:17,26 and 16:13-15, tell us who represents the Father in the earth. At the baptism of Christ the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove; on the day of Pentecost, as Cloven tongues of fire. It is not unreasonable (therefore) to conclude that the SAME SPIRIT could appear to Abraham in the person of the King of Salem. (“Priest of the most High God.”)

“It was Christ who spoke through Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God. Melchizedek was NOT Christ, but he was the VOICE of God in the world, the REPRESENTATIVE of the Father [MELCHIZEDEK WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT].” – Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 409.

“THE HOLY SPIRIT IS CHRIST’S REPRESENTATIVE, but divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 669:2.

Read the South Lancaster papers by Haskell here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/21265161/Melchizedek-by-Stephen-Haskell

 

The book of Hebrews sheds light on who fulfilled this role. Let’s read: “For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him” (7:1). It is important to note that Melchizedek had two other titles—King of Salem and Priest of the Most High God.

Paul went into greater detail in verses 2 and 3: “To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is,King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually.”

Here, Paul is describing one who existed for eternity. This proves that Melchizedek could not have been a human king. In fact, because it describes Him as not having “beginning of days,” He also could not have been an angel. Only God has existed for eternity. This leaves only two Beings able to fulfill the role of Melchizedek—God the Father or Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 5 removes any doubt: “So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest; but He that said unto Him, You are My Son, today have I begotten You. As He says also in another place, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec” (vs. 5-6). The Moffatt translation best renders “after the order of Melchizedec” as “with the rank of Melchizedec.” Christ held the rank of Melchizedec during the time of Abraham—and, as the God of the Old Testament, is the Being who is referred to as Melchizedec in Genesis.

Hebrews 4:15 offers even more proof: “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus Christ is the only human being who ever lived a completely sinless life (Rom. 3:23). Christ showed who the Most High God is when He said, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).

When one lets the Bible interpret the Bible, the meaning of any subject comes clear. In just a few verses, we have seen that Jesus Christ was both the God of the Old Testament and the One called Melchizedec. It was impossible for this to have been the Father. It required Christ’s First Coming to show the true identity of the Father.

The Father Revealed

As we have seen, the Old Testament shows that there is more than one Being in the God Family. However, this was not clearly understood until New Testament times, when Christ revealed it. We read, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) and, things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27).

It would be impossible for human beings to have a relationship with the Father if Christ had not revealed Him. In essence, one must go through Christ to access the Father.

Thus, as our High Priest, “…He [Christ] entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12). As Isaiah 59:2 shows, “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” If Christ had not “tasted death for every man” (Heb. 2:9), you and I would not have an opportunity for salvation. It was His sacrifice that allowed mankind access to the Father and, in turn, the Holy Spirit.

Conversely, no one can have a relationship with Christ without being first “drawn” by the Father. Notice: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him…Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (John 6:44, 65).

In previous chapters, we have seen that one person must always take the lead for anything to be accomplished. Of course, God understands this. The relationship between the Father and Christ also demonstrates this. The Father—as in a human family—is the Head, with Jesus Christ second. The Father makes the decisions—no doubt through much planning with Christ—and Christ puts them into action. This is why it is the Father who draws one to Christ. It is the Father’s decision to work with a human being, and then Christ effectively “takes over” and works within the person. Notice: “Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever” (Heb. 13:21).

Finally, Christ also said, in John 17:11, “Holy Father, keep through Your own name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” If there were only one member of the Godhead, the Christian conversion process could never be complete. The Father and Christ work together “in bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10), as the next chapter will make plain.

Was Christ a Stumbling Block?

Not understanding that the one who would be the Messiah would come twice, the Jews of Christ’s day rejected His message. They could not accept that the mere son of a carpenter could be the prophesied Messiah (Mark 6:3-4; Matt. 13:55-57; Rom. 9:33; I Pet. 2:7-8). They were seeking a conquering king who would liberate them from Rome. They were looking for a physical deliverer, not a spiritual Savior. Jesus presented a problem for the Jewish religious authorities. They could not see that He had fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, even though they were responsible for painstakingly copying by hand for centuries the Old Testament scriptures that foretold His First Coming.

Isaiah 8:13-14 contains a prophecy about One referred to as the “Lord of hosts.” Notice: “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel…and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

The New Testament proves that this prophecy is a direct reference to Christ. Notice I Peter 2:6-8: “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”

Steeped in Orthodox Jewish teachings of the time, it was nearly impossible for the Jews of Christ’s time to recognize Him for who He really was. Under the oppression of the Romans, the Jews hoped that the coming Messiah would be like the Judges of the Old Testament era—freeing them from oppression.

Even Christ’s disciples did not fully understand His role and purpose, although they had been with Him for three and a half years and had seen Him after His Resurrection: “Lord, will You at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Certain points were lost on them.

The Jews’ solution to the dilemma posed by Christ’s First Coming was to simply reject Him, reject His message and conspire to have Him crucified! Even present-day Orthodox Jews refuse to accept Christ as the prophesied Messiah. As Paul showed in Romans 9 through 11, they are as spiritually blind as Christ’s contemporaries, who found it inconceivable that God could become a flesh-and-blood man.

But the undeniable truth from the Bible is that Christ is a member of the Godhead, who emptied Himself of His power and rule and offered Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Notice Philippians 2:7-8: “But [Christ] made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Christ’s sacrifice makes possible the forgiveness of sin, access to God the Father and, ultimately, allows human beings to fulfill their absolutely incredible potential!

Duality of the Godhead in Old and New Testament

Some have wondered why, if there are two Beings in the Godhead, the Old Testament does not more clearly address the subject. They point to the fact that the Jews of Christ’s time believed in only a Unitarian Godhead—this being part of the reason that Jewish leaders of the time were unable to accept Christ and His divinity. They considered His statements of being God in the flesh as blasphemy. But the Old Testament does contain verses that point to the duality of the Godhead. The Jews could have and should have known.

In the book of Daniel, written nearly six centuries before Christ’s life on earth, we read earlier, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days…” (7:13).

This verse speaks of two Beings: one who is the “Son of Man” who came to the second Being—the “Ancient of Days.” The “Ancient of Days” in verse 13 can only refer to the One called “the Father” in the New Testament because, of course, the Son of Man who …before Him” is Christ. This verse speaks of the Return of Christ to earth to set up the government of God.

Verse 22 makes it even more plain. It can only refer to Christ, as He is the one who will come at the time that “judgment is given to the saints.” This cannot possibly be speaking of the Father. Verse 9 refers to Christ, because this is an “Ancient of Days” who “did sit” at a time when other “thrones” were “cast down” (NKJV: “put in place”). This parallels verse 22 almost exactly, with the other thrones being those of the resurrected saints.

Also consider. Isaiah 9:6 calls the One there who is clearly Christ, “the Everlasting Father”—and yet, we know that Christ is not “the Father.” This verse obviously refers to the fact that Christ is the “Father of Creation.” Verses 6 and 7 could not possibly refer to anyone other than Christ. Since we also know Melchisedec is God's Spirit (Heb. 7:1-17), and that verse 3 describes Melchisedec as “having neither beginning of days, nor end of life,” it is not difficult to understand why He could also be considered “everlasting” in days.

In the parable of the nobleman (Luke 19:12), Christ made reference to the same event that Daniel saw in his vision. In that parable, the nobleman (Christ) went to a far country (heaven) to be given a kingdom and to return. This was a depiction of Christ’s death and Resurrection, and His Return in power and glory as the “King of kings” (Rev. 17:14).

We already saw another plain verse in the Psalms, where King David showed the duality of the God Family: “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit You at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool” (Psa. 110:1). Let’s be reminded that this verse mentions two different Lords. One (“The Lord”) is the Father. The Other (“my Lord”) is the One who would later become Jesus Christ.

Referring directly to Christ, Paul in the New Testament quoted this same verse: “But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool?” (Heb. 1:13). Verse 8 shows that the Son was also God: “But unto the Son He says, Your throne,O God, is for ever…” Here Christ is directly called “God.” Remember, we must always let the Bible interpret the Bible.

Although most Bible students have never had this understanding (and many in the first-century Church, among others today, had it, but lost it and fell away), these verses show that both the Old and New Testaments recognize the Father and the Son as two separate Beings!

The Divine Names and Titles of God

Whether pertaining to heroes, patriarchs, or incidental references in passing, biblical names have specific meaning and are given for a purpose. For example, Adam was created from the ground, and his name in Hebrew simply means “red earth.” Likewise, Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, meaning “a father of many nations.” Also, Jacob’s name (meaning “supplanter”) was changed to Israel (meaning “prevailer with God”).

Another account showing the importance of one’s name is found in I Samuel 25. The wife of Nabal acknowledged that her husband had lived up to his name. Interceding on his behalf for his thoughtless and merciless acts, she pleaded, “Let not my lord...regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name and folly is with him” (vs. 25). The meaning of Nabal is “fool.” The context shows that, by his actions, Nabal fulfilled the meaning of his name.

In these examples, the meanings of the names were emphasized, and this is the case throughout Scripture.

God’s Names Have Meaning

More importantly, the many names of God are also filled with meaning. Shortly after the time of the Exodus, the God who thundered the Ten Commandments was known by the name “YHVH,” a Hebrew word meaning “Eternal” or “Everliving One.” Yet, today, no one knows the exact pronunciation of this name. Some insist that it must only be pronounced as “Yahvah,” while others say “Yehweh,” and still others say “Yahweh.” Due to the fact that the Hebrew written language did not retain vowels, the exact pronunciation cannot be known. (This is but one reason why it is pointless for anyone to insist on using certain “versions” of God’s spoken name.)

The same Personage who addressed Moses called Himself YHVH in Exodus 6:2: “And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord:” The capitalized name “Lord” is always used where YHVH appears in the Old Testament. This is the One through whom God the Father created the universe (Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11) and the One who later became Jesus Christ (I Cor. 10:4; John 1:1-4).

Exodus 6:3 reveals more about the names of God: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty…” The name translated “God Almighty” comes from the Hebrew term El-Shaddai. Note that this was the name God made known unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yet, at the time of Moses, God began to reveal more. Verse 3 continues, “…but by My name Jehovah was I not known to them.” By a casual reading of this verse, one would conclude that “Jehovah” was another—differentrevealed name of God. But a closer examination of this word leads to a different conclusion.

The name “Jehovah” in various Bible translations is a mistranslation. The same Hebrew word translated “Lord” in verse 2 is mistakenly translated “Jehovah” in verse 3. Both of these are YHVH and should have been translated “Lord.”

As explained in the Jewish Encyclopedia, the term “Jehovah” is said to have been the invention of Pope Leo X’s confessor, Peter Galatin. Other Catholic theologians introduced this mistranslation into most Bible transcriptions. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in their translation of the Bible, acknowledge, “While inclining to view the pronunciation ‘Yahweh’ as the more correct way, we have retained the form ‘Jehovah’ because of the people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century.” Clearly, the name Jehovah is not biblical.

Another name of God is revealed in Exodus 3:13-14: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers has sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you.”

We saw that “I AM” comes from the Hebrew word Hayah (HYH), which means “to exist.” The name “I AM THAT I AM” carries a very profound meaning somewhat beyond the English terms used to express it. It conveys the meaning of the “Self-Existent One,” or the Who Is.”

The name I AM THAT I AM only has meaning in the language that one understands. The true God appeared to Moses and instructed him that He was, in effect, “the God who is,” as opposed to “the many gods who are not.”

A New Testament example of “I AM” is found in John 8:58: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” Here, the term “I AM” means the very same thing as the term used in Exodus 3:14. Both mean “to exist” and refer to the Self-Existent One. Certainly, Christ existed before Abraham, since He was the One who created all things (Eph. 3:9).

Thirty-one times in the first chapter of Genesis, the word “God” comes from the Hebrew word Elohim. It means “mighty ones.” The singular term for Elohim is El, which means “a mighty one,” and is also translated “God.” When used with certain other Hebrew words, the term El prefixes a variety of names for God.

Notice these other names of God, each emphasizing different attributes of His nature and character:

• Yahweh-Yireh—the Eternal will provide (Gen. 22:14)

• Yahweh-Ropheka—the God who heals you (Ex. 15:26)

• Yahweh-Nissi—the Eternal God my banner (Ex. 17:15)

• Yahweh-Mekaddishkem—the God who sanctifies you (Ex. 31:13)

• Yahweh-Shalom—the God of, or who sends, peace (Jud. 6:24)

• Yahweh-Sabbaoth—the Lord of hosts (I Sam. 1:3)

• Yahweh-Tsidkenu—the Eternal God our righteousness (Jer. 23:6)

• Yahweh-Shammah—the Eternal is there (Ezek. 48:35)

• Yahweh-Elyon—the Eternal God most high (Psa. 7:17)

• Yahweh-Roi—the Lord my Shepherd (Psa. 23:1)

Now you understand why it is such a terrible offense to break the Third Commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” (Ex. 20:7). While it is impossible to know the exact way that God’s names were pronounced in Hebrew during Old Testament times, studying them helps one learn about God’s nature, and leaves him able to more fully worship God.

Glorify God’s Name

Matthew 10:33 shows the importance of not denying the name of Jesus Christ in word or action: “But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.”

Since those whom God calls must worship Him in spirit and in truth, they must not be at a loss to call upon His name: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psa. 29:2).

God is presently known only by those He has called out of this world. But, in the world to come, God’s name will be called upon by all humanity: “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord; and shall glorify Your name” (Psa. 86:9)!

What Does God Look Like?

It should now be clear who the God Beings are. But some may wonder if we can know what these Personages actually look like. Men have concocted every conceivable thought, idea and theory about the form and shape of God. Trinitarians believe that it is not possible for physical man to comprehend what the spiritual Creator of the universe looks like.

Notice the following examples of how the world sees God: “It says in the Bible that we were made in His image but it’s hard to imagine this big man in the sky, as it were. Does He really sit on a throne? Does He have a beard? If He’s omnipresent and omniscient then how can He be confined to a finite area, i.e., a body, an image? The infinite defies the finite, and our earthly perception really limits what we can comprehend. If we were in a room with Him, He probably wouldn’t extend a hand and say ‘how do you do’ like another person. A direct encounter would be nothing like what we might imagine it would be. It might be like finding ourselves inside the sun, or the center of a hurricane or some other overwhelming natural force” (www.worldcommunity.com).

Amazing! In the first sentence, the author acknowledges the biblical teaching on the subject of what God looks like. However, in the same sentence, he basically rejects what the Bible says. The writer accepts the biblical teaching that God is omniscient and omnipresent, but rejects what God’s Word reveals about God’s form and shape. It is astonishing that approximately two billion professing Christians simply do not believe the bible on this matter!

Another writer views the subject this way: “When the writers in the Bible talk about God, they speak in metaphors. The experience of knowing God is inexplicable in normal human terms—we don’t have the language for it—so they speak of fire and light, of huge thrones and God’s robe filling a gargantuan sanctuary. Mysterious creatures like the seraphim surround God. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. There are intimate metaphors as well, God as a father or mother, God as shepherd. But there is no one single picture that can contain who God is. They are just glimpses. Hints. Clues” (www.morningstarchurch.org, emphasis ours).

It is true that the Bible uses symbols, anecdotes, metaphors and parables. Yet, Scripture also makes many literal statements. The book of Revelation is filled with metaphors and symbols of events that will take place in the near future. But God always explains what the metaphors mean. He does not leave His servants in the dark about them—or leave them open to human interpretation.

For example, Revelation 17:1 describes a “great whore that sits upon many waters.” Throughout the rest of the chapter, God reveals who and what the great whore is, and, in verse 15, He reveals the meaning of the “waters.” This is the pattern throughout the Bible.

We may ask: Would it make sense for God to hide His form and shape in a metaphor and then not explain what it means? Why would the great Creator of the universe reveal the meaning of metaphors and parables in every area except who and what He is, including what He looks like? This makes no sense.

It is interesting that when God means something metaphorically, men seem to turn it into a literal statement. But, when He wants something to be taken literally, men invariably seem to turn it into a metaphor. When people turn literal statements by God into metaphors, they are severely damaging the Word of God—and their own understanding. Whether they know it or not, they are changing God’s meaning.

How many ever think of it this way?

God admonishes all men who study His Word not to add to or take away from it. He promises severe punishment for those who do (Prov. 30:5-6). Notice this concluding warning just to those who alter the book of Revelation: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).

This is a very serious matter—and trinitarians should consider it well. To change the meaning of what God states violates this instruction. None should want to be guilty of such an offense. We repeat yet again: Always permit the Bible to interpret itself. As we saw the scripture states, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psa. 12:6).

The Biblical Teaching

Recall that in the book of Romans, Paul states, “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (1:20).

The Creation account is an all-inclusive and straightforward record of all that God did, leaving no ambiguities or room for doubt.

On the sixth day of Creation, at the end of chapter 1, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” (vs. 26). Man was made to look like, was “made after,” the God “kind.”

Verse 25 reveals that animals were made in a different way and that each was made after “his kind.” Notice: “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind…”

Firmly understand! Man is not part of the animal kind. We do not carry the likeness of any “beast of the earth.”

Some sources claim that the Hebrew word translated “image” has a completely different meaning than the word translated “likeness.” However, a closer study shows something altogether different. The Hebrew word for “image” is tselem and it has the following meaning: “image, likeness, resemblance, illusion; a representative figure, an idol.” The Hebrew word translated “likeness” is dhemuth and it means “likeness, resemblance, similitude; image, model, pattern, shape.” Both words have similar meanings. Therefore, we must conclude that if we look like God, then God looks like us! We will see that God has a head, hair, two ears, a mouth, a nose, two eyes, a torso, two arms, two hands, fingers, two legs and two feet.

The book of Genesis plainly reveals to mankind—including all trinitarians who will honestly reassess their belief—what God looks like. But there are other examples throughout God’s Word that tell us more.

Christ Is Proof of God’s Form

As we have seen in this chapter, Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament. Thus, if we study Christ, we can be absolutely sure of what God looks like. But is there any proof of what Christ looked like before He became flesh?

Notice the account of Moses asking God to show him what He looks like, and God’s answer: “And He said, You cannot see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while My glory pass by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and you shall see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen” (Ex. 33:20-23).

If God is formless—as is often asserted by theologians—why, after Moses asked to see exactly what God looks like, did God speak of a face, back and hands? Because God does have a form and shape.

Before being crucified, Jesus Christ prayed to the Father and asked that He restore Him to the glorified condition that He had before He became a human being (John 17:5).

But what does that glorified spirit body look like?

Notice what John records in Revelation 1:13-16: “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man [Christ], clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters…and His countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.”

John was able to see in vision what Moses saw in person! The only difference is that in vision, John was able to see the face of the Eternal. It is obvious that John knew that what he was seeing was a glorified Christ. In his first epistle, John states that when Christ returns, “we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2).

There are numerous other verses that describe God as having body parts. Turn to and read each of the following verses: Exodus 15:8, 33:11; Deuteronomy 11:12, 34:10; Job 11:5; Isaiah 30:27-28, 59:1-2; Ezekiel 1:27; Hebrews 1:3.

Other Questions

Some may ask, “If we share all of God’s features, does He have a physical body made of flesh and bone?” John 4:24 has the answer: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” God made man out of the dust of the ground, but He Himself was not created. We have seen that He is eternal, “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life” (Heb. 7:3).

When Christ, the God of the Old Testament, came to earth, He gave up His glorified spiritual body to become a flesh-and-blood human being (John 1:14). However, until that time, God was not flesh. Notice how Jesus Christ describes spirit beings: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…The wind blows where it [wills], and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:6, 8).

Others may ask, “What shape and form does the Father have?” Notice what Christ said to His disciples when one of them asked Him this same question: “Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip? He that has seen Me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:9). Christ looked like the Father in character, as well as in form and shape. Once again, the Bible has interpreted the Bible!

God Must Be Worshipped His Way

Now that you understand who and what God is, you must also learn how He is to be worshipped. Some say this is unimportant. However, what men say is irrelevant—what matters is God’s Word.

Notice: “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). It is possible for one’s worship of God to be completely in vain—futile. God does not accept those who worship Him as they choose. He must be worshipped precisely as He instructs.

Notice God’s very specific warning to Israel—and why He warned them as He did: “When the Lord your God shall cut off the nations from before you…and you succeed them, and dwell in their land; take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. You shall not do so unto the Lord your God: for every abomination to the Lord, which He hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters have they burnt in the fire to their gods” (Deut. 12:29-31).

Many similar verses could be examined to amplify and strengthen God’s plain command given here. (See Exodus 34:10-17, 23:28-33; Leviticus 20:22-26; Deuteronomy 20:13-18.) All of these passages make it absolutely clear that worshipping God any way other than His way is simply not acceptable to Him. Let’s look at this more closely.

First, consider for a moment all that you have read in the chapter, “Another Jesus,” remembering that we talked about how Israel worshipped Baal and Ashtaroth in a process described assyncretism. It was explained that this is mixing worship of the true God with false customs, practices and worship of other gods.

We are now prepared for a fascinating look into exactly how the entire nation of Israel disregarded all of the instructions referenced in the passages above, and convinced themselves that they were worshipping God. Here is what they were doing: “They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from there” (II Kgs. 17:33).

Did you grasp this? It appears that Israel “feared” the true God while serving other gods. It is no wonder then that the very next verse explicitly declares that they actually “fear not the Lord” (vs. 34).

This is a crucial point that must be understood by all those who wish to escape the seductive trappings of the trinity and seek to worship the true God. It is impossible for people to follow their own traditions, and serve gods of their own choosing—and be true Christians at the same time. Regardless of what people permit, the God of the Bible does not permit this!

You are urged to carefully ponder what you have just learned!

Some suggest that Christ’s coming changed everything. Is this true? Let’s examine what the New Testament teaches about worshipping God. We have already seen that Christ rebuked the Pharisees for observing their own traditions instead of obeying God’s commandments. Now notice the fuller context of what we quoted several times earlier, regarding what God requires of those who worship Him: “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). What does this mean?

On this occasion, Christ was explaining to a Samaritan woman that the time had come that those who worship God would do this through the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. We saw people need not come together in a literal, physical temple in order to worship God because their human body was to be the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19).

Also, since the Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13), those who have it—who are being led by it—will be worshipping God in truth. Real Christians strive to follow the truth in every matter. They would never follow the “instructions” of the trinitarian god, whose “Jesus” teaches that salvation is entirely by grace, with no works required. Notice just a few scriptures:

·        “And why call you Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

·        “You are My friends, if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).

·        “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (Jms. 1:23-25).

Those who truly seek to serve the God of the Bible must obey Him—and Him only! If they do, the reward will be incredible, and you are now ready to learn what that is.


THE GOD FAMILY

The reader has probably at some time gazed at the sky on a clear night. The natural reaction is to be awestruck by the panorama of seemingly countless stars. King David recorded his response to such an experience: “When I consider your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You visit him?” (Psa. 8:3-4). This king of Israel realized his utter insignificance in comparison to the vast universe—and the One who created it. David marveled that, despite this great difference, God is “mindful of”—concerned with—mankind.

The true God is not a distant, uninvolved Creator, passively observing His Creation from afar. Cited earlier, the words of former Prime Minister of Britain Sir Winston Churchill also correctly express that God has “a purpose being worked out here below.” This chapter will explain the fundamental elements of God’s Master Plan—His supreme purpose for humanity—and where you fit in!

As the reader will learn, this plan is inseparably linked to the truth regarding the nature of God—and represents your potential as one created in God’s image. This is a potential that the trinitarian god precludes. It limits God and blocks the minds of men from learning why they were born!

Understand that what can be included in this chapter is only a small part of a subject that is covered in a variety of booklets and even entire books that we offer. We hope that the reader will be inspired to examine them.

7,000-year Plan

The span of God’s Plan with men encompasses 7,000 years. Cut off from God by sin (Isa. 59:1-2), mankind has believed the lies of the god of this world for 6,000 years. While few have understood this, more have correctly understood at least some little of the verses describing Christ’s coming 1,000-year Reign, to begin at His Return (Rev. 20:4-6). But they know nothing of God allotting 6,000 years, or six millennial days of a “seven-day week,” to man’s rule, under Satan, prior to the seventh 1,000-year “day.” We are very near the end of the “sixth day.”

Let’s understand! The Bible states, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Pet. 3:8; Psa. 90:4). Of course, most are “ignorant” of almost everything that the Bible teaches.

But you can know!

Man (under the invisible sway of Satan) has been given six “days,” or 6,000 years, to try his own ways, governments, philosophies, value systems, forms of education and religions, including devising his own gods. Then, under the influence of Satan, he has practiced sin and disobedience to God’s commands for all this time. He has then tried to treat all of the ill effects this has brought on, instead of the cause, which is the breaking of God’s commandments. God is allowing humanity to learn hard, bitter lessons. The masses, who have never known the precious truth of God, must learn that their own ways do not work!

Created Incomplete

The Psalmist wrote, “…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (139:14). But human beings were made incomplete.

Genesis 1 records the account of man’s physical creation. Adam was created so that he looked like—appeared like—God in physical form and shape. Though physically complete, Adam was spiritually incomplete. A vitally important spiritual component was missing.

Notice Genesis 2:7: “…God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Man is made of physical matter—flesh. While not composed of Spirit as is God, we saw that he is fashioned—formed—in the “image and likeness” of God.

Adam was physical. He breathed air, and required food and water. Without any of these, he could not survive.

Though Adam was made in the form and image of God, there was an obvious—and big—difference between him and God. Adam was made of the dust. He was flesh (Gen. 2:7). Since God is a Spirit, He is made—composed—of Spirit.

Two “Adams” Reveals Supreme Purpose

A vitally important parallel exists between Adam and Christ, who was the God of the Old Testament (John 1:1, 14; I Cor. 10:4). It offers another clue to God’s purpose. Scripture makes the comparison this way: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; thelast Adam [Christ] was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward [at the Resurrection] that which is spiritual. The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy: the second man [Christ] is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also [by the Resurrection] that are heavenly. And as we [converted, Spirit-led people] have borne the image of the earthy [made of flesh], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [be later composed of spirit]” (I Cor. 15:45-49).

Paul’s inspired statement starts with a reference to Genesis 2:7. Notice the phrase there “And so it was written…” This is New Testament verification of the Genesis account! The apostle Paul knew that Adam “was made” by God, that this did happen. He both believed and understood the Old Testament account.

The goal of a Christian is to receive a Spirit body at the Resurrection—to “bear the image of the heavenly.” Just as God created animals—elephants, dogs, cats, horses, etc.—to reproduce after their kind, He (Elohim) created man after the God kind!

Created to Obtain Knowledge

God gave Adam and Eve “dominion” over the earth (Gen. 1:26). This meant that man would be able and need to learn and produce—to generate—much knowledge as he subjugated the planet.

God designed human beings with minds that could create, devise, reason, observe and experiment. Through this inherent ability to reason, physical knowledge could be processed. This was good and right, as long as it was used within the framework that God intended.

All knowledge falls into two categories: (1) the physical knowledge of how to work with matter and physical things, and (2) the spiritual knowledge necessary for people to develop personal relationships with both God and their fellow man. All knowledge is either physical or spiritual.

Adam and Eve’s problem was in reasoning that every kind of knowledge necessary for salvation could be obtained on their own, through experimentation. Once they deviated from God’s intended way, they had no hope of reaching the destination that He purposed for them—and neither does mankind, which followed their choice. Once Adam and Eve accepted the wrong premise as their starting point—that they could reason everything out themselves—they were destined to fail!

The accumulation of vast amounts of knowledge over millennia has not changed—and could never change—the fact that mankind is headed for the wrong destination. Curiously, in its quest for ever more knowledge, but with the trinity as its chosen god, so many have been forced to conclude that they must exist through life devoid of the most important knowledge—that about God!

Revealed Knowledge

Every sophisticated or technical device or product comes with an instruction manual. Without this, the owner would find the object useless. He would not know how to properly operate it. Nor could he repair or maintain it.

God gave an Instruction Manual—the Holy Bible—that contains vital—essential—revealed knowledge, otherwise unattainable. Unlike the modern system of education, it teaches how to live, not just how to earn a living. It explains history, prophecy, important knowledge of doctrine and thousands of other points and principles that govern every aspect of life.

Now understand. The Bible was never intended to contain all knowledge, just that which is necessary for salvation—knowledge that man could not discover through human reason, experimentation, analysis and observation. The Bible was not intended to teach mankind how to design marvels of engineering, telescopes that can probe the outer reaches of the universe or computers that can perform trillions of calculations per second.

Men were given the capacity to reason out and design these and many other highly complex, technical inventions. Education in physical knowledge is important.

Here is why. Most of earth’s population live in abject poverty, disease, filth, squalor and illiteracy. They lack the most fundamental education that the developed “have” nations enjoy. Basic education can lead to physical improvements and advancements for civilization.

But surely, 6,000 years of misery, unhappiness and every conceivable evil, ill and woe that humanity has suffered ought to tell the world that it should carefully heed the Instruction Book of revealed spiritual knowledge that it has ignored. Yet, man continues to reject God’s spiritual revelation.

However, cut off from the right channel and path of spiritually understood cause and effect and from God’s revealed Law, man still possesses the power of physical, human reasoning, which, sadly, has led to weapons of mass destruction and terror, cruelty, slavery, repression, pollution, crime, religious confusion—including a host of invented gods—and so much more.

Hence, man’s misery and woes compound and mount at every turn—and all the religions of this world, with their vast array of false gods, have not been able to solve even mankind’s most basic problems.

But remember, God’s process of spiritual creation is still in progress. It is not complete! Only the few have been shown the purpose for human life—why human existence.

Product of God’s Workmanship

Let’s continue examining the bigger picture of God’s purpose.

Many wonder about God’s overall Plan and whether there is a purpose for human life beyond the present physical realm. Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (14:14).

God inspired him to answer his own question: “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. You shall call, and I will answer You: You will have a desire to the work of Your hands” (vs. 14-15).

Job acknowledged that he was the “work of God’s hands.” He knew God “desired” a certain purpose that involved a process at work within him. He understood that one day God would “call” him from the grave, and that he would “answer,” thus fulfilling his purpose.

This is important knowledge, revealed by God. Job could not otherwise have known it.

God is at work in those He has called. He is fashioning, molding, and building within them His very character. Now notice what Isaiah recorded: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and we all are the work of your hand” (64:8).

Tragically, many fight God’s purpose, thinking they know better than Almighty God who made them. They refuse to be told what to do and to be clay in God’s hands. This was Adam’s problem.

Isaiah also wrote, “Woe unto him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to Him that fashions it, What make You? Or Your work, He [God] has no hands?” (45:9).

Most people have absolutely no idea that God actively works within human beings He has called—or what He is doing when He does. Again, this is spiritually revealed knowledge, unattainable to all whom God has not called to understand His truth (John 6:44, 65; 17:17). But Israel had some knowledge of God’s true purpose, and would have learned more if she had remained faithful. Other gods swept her away into error.

The true Christian increases in understanding and “grow[s] in grace, and knowledge” (II Pet. 3:18). He endures a lifetime of overcoming, because he is in training for a great purpose. Those called understand that “…he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13).

Paul understood how God works in Christians. He recognized that salvation (Rom. 6:23), and even faith to receive it, are free gifts. They cannot be earned. But this does not mean God is not actively working (requiring good works) in human beings, as He reproduces himself.

Consider: “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).

Did you catch the phrase Paul used—“we are His workmanship”? What could be plainer? God has a Purpose at work within each person!

Paul continued by saying that Christians must “walk” in “good works.” The false notion of “just believing in Jesus” thwarts God’s Supreme Purpose of fashioning people through careful workmanship, like a potter with clay.

Salvation, though of “grace…through faith,” involves good works. This means that salvation is a process and not something that happens immediately upon “giving your heart to [the traditional] Jesus.”

Notice this about the process at work within those God calls: “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:23-24). II Corinthians 5:17 puts it this way: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…”

Those whom God is working with are literally a new creation!

The one who serves God is being transformed in his mind. He yields his own will and seeks to replace it with God’s will in all matters. He seeks to please God—not self!

All of this is lost on those who worship the god who declares that “works”—including commandment-keeping—have no place in Christianity. They are left blind to God’s marvelous purpose.

Born to Build Character

Each person that God calls is presented with the same choice that Adam and Eve faced—yielding to God and His government or yielding to Satan and his nature.

Just as little children grow up to look like their physical parents, so also do God’s children slowly take on the spiritual likeness of their Parent, in holy, righteous character—“divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4). Peter described Christians as “partakers of the divine nature”—the nature of God. There is the physical nature of creation, human nature and god’s nature. God is re-fashioning corrupt, carnal human nature into wonderful, glorious, perfect, holy, spiritual character—His divine nature!

Character is understanding—knowing—right from wrong and doing what is right instead of what is wrong! God reveals what is right, but it is through the power of free moral agency, deciding to do what is right, that righteous character is built.

Character is consciously choosing the right way, against resistance. It is not the easy way. It is swimming against the current, rather than drifting lazily in the direction it is flowing. It is building love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control)—all the fruit of the Holy Spirit—wisdom, knowledge, understanding, humility and more. This takes time, because character is built through experience.

God is now actively working in the minds of only those few who have come to know Him and who have His Holy Spirit within them (Acts 2:38). Humans are not born with God’s character. And God cannot instantly infuse them with it. Character must be developed over a lifetime.

God has perfect character in all respects. He is love (I John 4:8, 16). Love is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 13:10; I John 5:3), which requires yielding to God. It is outgoing concern for others, putting them first—ahead of self-interests.

Satan’s nature is selfish, incoming and concerned only with what is best for self and how to get more for self. This is the attitude he injected into Adam and Eve when they ate of the forbidden fruit. He wanted them blinded to their awesome potential.

Are you seeing that, while God made man in the form and shape, physically, of Himself, it does not end there?

You were created to become like god—to build perfect, holy, righteous character. Grasp this astonishing truth. God is reproducing Himself in human beings. Just as you are the child of parents, and possibly have children of your own, God is your Parent. In this life, God begins to spiritually re-form and re-shape those He calls—His children. His Purpose is to build within them His nature.

So then, God is reproducing Himself in those who have received His Holy Spirit. He is creating children that will look and BE just like Him! To build the very character of God is the reason you exist! But there is more to understand.

Your Awesome Future

The book of Hebrews reveals God’s awesome purpose with crystal clarity. The context begins in Chapter 1. Watch as the astounding picture of God’s Plan unfolds.

First, understand that God created angels to be “ministering spirits” to assist the “heirs of salvation” (vs. 14). This is their role within God’s Plan. Angels are not offered membership in the Family of God. This is why Satan (as a fallen angel) so hates the idea that puny, fleshly man can receive what he has never been offered nor can ever achieve.

Paul quotes from two places in the Psalms: “For unto which of the angels said He at any time, You are My Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to Me a Son?” (Heb. 1:5). (Hebrews 2:5 describes the earth under the “subjection of angels” now, but makes clear that these angels will not rule over “the world to come.”)

God has never said any of this to an angel!

Paul then quotes from another Psalm, explaining what has always been God’s Purpose: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom…” (1:8). A scepter is a rod or staff used as a symbol of rulership or authority—and in His kingdom it is God who has all power.

Finally, Paul re-frames the same question about angels: “But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (1:13-14).

This sets the stage for what we must understand! Let’s really comprehend the truly awesome future that God has prepared for all those who serve Him.

This amazing series of verses continues in chapter 2—and builds in understanding and impact. Paul quotes Psalm 8:4-6. As we have seen, David asked the all-important question, “What is man, that You are mindful of him?” (Heb. 2:6). Since God is eternal, and sits over the entire universe and has all power under His control, no wonder David asked, and Paul repeated, this question.

The astounding answer is in the next verse: “You made him [man] a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of Your Hands.”

Paul further explains that God plans to give immense power and authority to His Sons: “You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He leftnothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” (vs. 8). This has not yet happened—but soon will, at the Return of Christ.

When God says that “all things” will be put under the feet of man, this is what He means. The vast universe, with all of its quadrillions of stars and one trillion galaxies, will be put under the authority of men who have been born into the Family of God. In fact, the Moffatt translation renders the Greek word for “all things” as “the universe.”

This is staggering knowledge!—wonderful beyond description! Take time to truly grasp it. Savor what can be your future. It is the reason you exist—it explains why you were born!

Before continuing, consider a fascinating verse about another related aspect of salvation few understand. We have seen that Christians await a truly incredible salvation. But, the whole creation is also intensely awaiting the appearing of all those new sons to be added to God’s Family.

Carefully read the following, previously referenced but now with different emphasis: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation [all things in the known universe] was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation [everything] has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves [Christians], who have the firstfruits of the Spirit [the few now called], groan inwardly as we wait for [birth] as sons” (Rom. 8:19-23, RSV).

All future “children of God”—sons—will be liberators of a creation now in bondage. All humanly-devised gods, worshipped today in such ignorance, will be put aside and exposed for what they were—false!

Many Sons

Now we can continue the all-important account in Hebrews 2: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (vs. 9-10).

Did you catch what was said? Do you grasp it? These verses contain the promise of a staggering future available to mankind. Those called in this age are to inherit “all things” and to be “crowned with glory and honor” through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ—“the Captain of their salvation.”

These verses reveal the marvelous, wonderful potential planned for all Christians. Paul reveals that, when Christ returns, “many sons” will be brought “unto glory,” through the work of the “Captain of our salvation” (Heb. 2:10).

The Bible shows a connection between sons and heirs. An heir has not yet inherited what is to come to him. We read, in I Corinthians 15:50, that we will “inherit the kingdom of God.” But those called now, in this lifetime, are heirs—begotten (not yet born) sons. Paul further explains, “And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise…Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Gal. 3:29; 4:7).

God will share rulership over His entire creation with all of His Sons. Christ is merely the first ofmany. Notice: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).

The birth of a “firstborn” son logically implies the future birth of additional sons (and daughters) to the same family!

Of course, one of God’s biblical names is “Father” (Greek: Pater: see Matt. 5:48, 6:9; Mark 14:36; Gal. 4:6). This word refers to the head of a family—it is, like the word “son”, a family name! A human father and son are members of the same family. This is also true of Spirit-begotten children of God!

Continuing in Hebrews 2, notice that Christ “…is not ashamed to call them brethren [the other many sons—US!]” (vs. 11). Truly, the begotten Christian has been called to “glory” and to be one of “many sons.” Christ’s suffering and sacrifice allow Him to be the “Captain of their salvation”—and potentially yours.

What an incredible future for those whom Jesus Christ “calls…brethren.” Notice again: “For both He that sanctifies [Christ] and they who are sanctified [begotten Christians] are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (vs. 11). There will be no difference between Christ and His younger brothers and sisters, except that He will have greater overall authority within God’s kingdom. All will be of the God kind—God Beings!

If Christ is “not ashamed to call them [us] brethren,” then we, God’s begotten sons, must not be ashamed to defend the very truth that sanctifies us (John 17:17)—and the truth of the gospel (Phil. 1:17). We must “grow up” unto Christ (Eph. 4:13) and hold to the true doctrines of God. We must qualify to stand beside Christ over “all things.”

Do you see what has been described here? The Christian goal is to be born into the kingdom of God—to become an immortal spirit being who will rule under Christ. What could be more wonderful—more glorious—to look forward to?

While the trinity is a mystery that cannot be understood, God’s Plan, while a mystery to the world, can be understood. And His purpose has not changed from the beginning. (I have written a detailed book, The Awesome Potential of Man, is devoted to explaining the truth of the astonishing salvation so few understand.)

The Trinity Doctrine Denies God’s Purpose

The Trinity doctrine portrays God as a closed, indefinable, three-in-one being, rather than a divine Family, currently consisting of the Father and His Son, Christ. Unlike a family, the closed trinity pictures a “static” god, which cannot expand.

The “religious establishment” of the first century rejected the notion that God (Christ) could empty Himself and become a man. Christ countered their error with a verse from the Psalms: “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods [The original Hebrew used the word elohim, the Greek uses theos, meaning “gods”]? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say you of Him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:33-36).

In like manner, professing Christianity—through its convoluted teachings on the nature of God—denies that man can become God! It declares that any who believe this is possible are guilty of blasphemy. Tragically, those who accept the trinity are kept from understanding that they were created to become literal members of the God Family, and to share in ruling the entire universe!

The trinity is just one of many clever counterfeits devised by Satan the devil to deceive humanity. This world’s god does not want human beings to know that they are offered what he can never have. Satan does not want men to know that God is reproducing Himself, expanding His Family in a way that can include them—you! Your destiny is membership in this Family, as a born-again Son of God, ruling with Christ at His now imminent Return.

Do not misunderstand, underestimate or miscalculate the importance of which God you serve. Nothing could be more important!

COLOSSAL DECISION—WHICH GOD?

Earlier, we looked at perhaps the most curious part of trinitarian thinking. The world of Christendom is wrought with division, confusion and disagreement. Instead of getting better, instead of churches coming to, or at least toward, agreement and unity, things only grow worse.

Yet none seem to ask: why? Why all the fighting, competing and multiplying denominations, sects and cults associated with the world’s brand of Christianity?

There is cause and effect in virtually all aspects of life, and this book has at least touched on this great principle. With all these bad effects plaguing the world of traditional, orthodox Christianity, why does no one ask the cause? (When one includes all the religions outside “Christianity,” which encompass over two-thirds of the world’s population, the picture is even worse, the bad effects even greater.)

Remember, the trinity is acknowledged to be a mystery that people are supposed to accept—a god that followers are told they cannot comprehend, and that they should not even attempt to comprehend. Yet, blind worship of this god has produced a “Christianity” that is a tangled mess of utter confusion—truly the blind following the blind.

Why does no one ask: Do we have the RIGHT GOD? Could it be that we are not serving thecorrect God—the TRUE GOD? Why are people not approaching their ministers and demanding answers? Why do so few seem to care? Why are so few able to, or even interested in, “connecting the dots”?

Jesus taught, “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16), and shortly followed this with “Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them” (vs. 20). The fruits of what is labeled “Christianity” are deplorable. If we are to believe Christ, the “god” behind all of this is exposed as one with awful fruits. On the basis of fruits alone, none should want to serve this god!

Yet, billions do!

Many of these will oppose this book, even to the point of vehemently attacking it. Your friends will almost surely resist what it contains. This is because truth, when it disagrees with central tenets of accepted Christianity, is invariably relegated to cult status.

Knowledge Brings Responsibility

It has been said that knowledge is of no purpose unless it is used. This book is no exception. You have been given much truth here in perhaps the most extensive, and certainly the most thorough, book you will ever read on the trinity.

Recall how the prophet Hosea summarized Israel’s problem then, and that of religionists and supposed “rationalists” of the modern age. This verse presents itself again—this time to you. Let’s reread it, and then examine several other vitally important scriptures:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to Me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children” (4:6).

Almost certainly, what you have learned from God’s Word through this book is entirely new to you—truly extraordinary knowledge, completely unknown to you before now. You have received knowledge that only a relative few have understood throughout history. Your mind has been opened to understand precious information. With such a privilege comes responsibility.

Consider for a moment all that you now know: the trinity is not truth, and is not found in the Bible; the origin and history of the doctrine; the convoluted logic of trinitarian thinking; who is behind the triune god; what is the Holy Spirit; the danger of following another Jesus; in what fashion God is one; God will not accept syncretism—mixing the true and the false; how to identify the true Church, Body of Christ and Temple of the Lord; how the three-in-one godhead conceals the true Plan of God; proof that God is a Family, currently composed of two Beings; your marvelous potential within that Family—and much, much more!

You no longer “lack knowledge,” but are now left with the question of whether you will accept or, like Israel, reject this knowledge. Christ stated, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).

With knowledge comes responsibility. It usually means that choices must be made as a result of receiving it.

Which God?

Now notice several examples of how God required Israel to make a decision with the knowledge that He had given them.

Just before he died, and before giving the reins of leadership over to Joshua, Moses spoke this to all Israel on God’s behalf: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: that you may love the Lord your God, and that you may obey His voice…” (Deut. 30:19-20).

Similarly, a generation later, just before Joshua died, he spoke these words to all of Israel, assembled before him: “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:14-15).

We previously described how the prophet Elijah presented a stark choice to Israel, shortly before putting to death in the people’s presence the 450 prophets of Baal. Let’s read the passage one more time: “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (I Kgs. 18:21).

Also, in the New Testament, Christ declared, “No servant 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” (Luke 16:13).

Now Decide!

The decision facing you is the same one that Israel faced over and over again, and that many thousands before you have faced since Christ built His Church.

God tells you that He does not accept indecisiveness—that you cannot serve two masters—that you cannot halt between two opinions as Israel did. God does not permit you to “answer Him not a word.” To make no choice is to make the wrong choice! One must decide whether he will implement knowledge—he must decide which master he will serve—and he must decide which God he will serve!

We saw in the book of Acts that Luke recorded this after describing Paul’s reference to the “unknown god” on Mars’ Hill: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandsall men everywhere to repent” (17:30). Ignorance is the state of being without knowledge. Once knowledge is given—and is received—ignorance is no longer an excuse. God commands the one who has received knowledge to decide what he will do. This begins with the decision to serve “no other gods before” the true God!

This towering question looms: What will you DO with this knowledge? Will you disregard it—reject it—and merely move on with your life? Will you think about it at some more “convenient time”? Or will you act on—put to use—what you have learned and go on to serve the true God—and fulfill your incredible human potential?

The perfect, brilliant, all-powerful and all-wise, eternal God who made the heavens and the earth—and you!—awaits your decision…

 

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