The Apple Of God's Eye

October 1, 2009

Why The Religions Of This World Do Not Understand God!

1Well, I have an interesting title, yet the subject is absolutely true, though most will not believe it and may even violently argue it. There is a reason though why I make such a statement, and it does not stem from my own opinion, but from the word of God.

God says the heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9. It is desperately wicked. This includes the mind of ALL men – even great leaders, statesmen and religious heads such as the Pope, Dalai Lama, Mohammed and so on. It does not matter what we are involved in, our mind is at war with God (Rom. 8:7). The mind of the flesh is enmity towards God; and it is not subject to the Law of God. Little wonder then that modern Christianity is throwing the law of God out the window in favour of grace. Who wants to listen to that outdated talk, right? So half the Bible is now invalid because we decide we want a religion of convenience, rather than necessity.

It’s not merely in religious circles that we display the dangerous trait of following other men. God says cursed is the man that trusts in man (Lev. 17:5). That’s right, because men lead us astray. They propagate their own set of beliefs, values and judgments on others, usually formulated in a lukewarm way to be pleasing and easy to follow. That, as God says, they walk after own lusts (Jude 16); their own ways.

Why so much confusion today?

The religions of this world can be defined very broadly as “any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life.” They include the great monotheistic religions, Eastern religions; and Neopagan religions; a wide range of other faith groups, spiritual paths, and ethical systems. There are also sub-Christian, quasi-Christian and anti-Christian groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, cults and sects.

Then there is Christianity which many define in a much more exclusive manner. This term can be defined as: “An individual or group who sincerely, thoughtfully and devoutly believes that they are Christian.”

Not one of these thousands of bickering experiences with so many various doctrinal differences are from God. Sure, members of all different religions can appeal to religious experiences as validating their beliefs. Christians may claim to have had experiences of the triune God, or of Jesus; Hindus may claim to have had experiences of Vishnu, or Ganesha; Buddhists may claim to have experienced transcendence, or unity with the universe. Each of these claims to have experienced religious truth, but they cannot all be valid, for these various religions are mutually inconsistent, and so cannot all be true.

If not all of these claims are valid, then it must be exactly as Christ said – there is only ONE true Church (Matt. 16:18), and the rest are deceived.

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The word “church” literally means “those called out,” and often means an assembly or congregation, NOT a building. It is applied to Christians as being “called out” from the world — the whole body of believers. But it also implies a singular Church. The word “my”Church is # 3450 in the Greek, which means “me, or mine (own). It does not mean all combined religions.

However, men want do what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25), even though religion means we follow God and do as He wants, not as we want (Deut. 13:18). It is the mind of God which must be in us (Phil. 2:5), led by the Spirit of God. It cannot be our own convictions, feelings or moral beliefs. And this can only be achieved if it is God who calls us (John 6:44). We ourselves can’t just decide to become a Christian – that is NOT what your Bible says. Neither are WE to convert others. Go back to John 6:44 and see that it is GOD who calls us – into His one true Church. It is not my place to tell anyone where to go or what to believe, but only to point out the truth.

What is truth? God’s word is truth (John 17:17) and this truth sets us free (John 8:32). It allows us to repent and be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit of God, after being called out of this world (Acts 3). ALL will eventually receive this calling, but most after the resurrection to life.

We will continue to have suppression of truth because the Bible says it is so (Rom. 1:18). Such do not seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33).

Why is the Bible correct?

The Bible is radically different than all other so-called sacred literature. It asserts that it is the divinely inspired writings of a supreme Deity. No other sacred literature makes such a claim. It is full of personal quotes from a very active, living God. Here is an example:

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

The God of the Bible declares the supremacy of His own power. There is none like Him. He is capable of initiating and carrying out a purpose on Earth. A real understanding of God’s purpose shows that there are stupendous and wonderful things ahead for all mankind.

The Bible asserts that it alone contains the divine revelation of that plan—that the Almighty God directed all the writing. Here are some examples:

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel” (Exodus 34:27). God told Isaiah, “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (Isaiah 30:8).

The expression “time to come for ever and ever” is best translated latter days—or our time right now! The entire Bible carries essential knowledge that only God can make known to mankind. This sole piece of sacred literature contains the historical record and prophecies about how God is working out His plans.

The literature of other religions is not subject to scholarly scrutiny simply because the Bible claims to be the express Word of God. No other religions make such a claim for their literature. The Bible speaks out with God’s authority because it is the literal Word of God. Critics may deny this fact, but it is the truth.

February 23, 2009

There Can Only Be One True God!

There are thousands of religions in this world, with the eight major ones comprising Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, and Taoism. Besides these, there are hundreds of sects, cults, beliefs, practices and man-devised idols of bizarre appearance.

For many people, religion is a system involving one supreme God. Other religions have a number of different gods, while some have no specific deity to be worshiped. There are also those who practice their religious beliefs in their own personal way, largely independent of organized religion.

Regardless of participation in a religion, only one God IS God. Therefore 99.9% of all worship is wrong because they abound with homespun ideas of God. Men prostrate themselves before carved stones, wood or even photographs – anything to which mankind has affixed the label “God.” None understand that their practice falls far short of the God of the Bible!

Now, you won’t hear many of them call their practice pagan, but neither did ancient Israel when they worshipped a molten calf at the base of Mt. Sinai (Exod. 32:1). They called it a feast to God (verse 5), even though this golden calf was a mere idol! How did the real God feel about this? Read it yourself:

“Thus they changed my glory into the similitude of an ox that eats grass” (Ps. 106:20).

So that biblical occasion was prophetic of what mankind has done ever since. Modern religion is not much different from the ancient Israelites. There are thousands of gods called the true “God, with myriads of pagan idols, worships and practices running contrary to the Bible. Can all of them be right, or is it as Jesus Christ said: “ I will build My (singular) Church…(Math. 16:19). He does not speak of multiple churches or practices. Someone (or most) have to be wrong. Jesus Christ cannot be wrong!

Which God?

So here’s an analogy. If we have two objects (one true and one false), and call both by the same name, does it make both objects identical? Of course it doesn’t! In the same way, if people worship another god, he is still a false god, no matter if the name of the true God is affixed to him.

The Bible shows that we have to look behind the label “God” to see if the religion we practice is of the true God. He has to be defined, just as Moses had to define the true God from Isis, Osiris or Ra to the Israelites, all which all had the label of “God” (Ex. 3:13). This cuts through the bewildering array of denominational ideas of “God.” You need to be sure you have the right God — your Creator!

Creating Gods

The Bible describes the process of man creating his own gods.

“To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship” (Isa. 46:5-6).

Now Christians may argue with this, but don’t they believe that their Saviour has long flowing hair and soft features? Don’t they know that the Bible states that it is a shame for a man (their Saviour) to have long hair? (I Cor. 11:14).

Where do they get their ideas associated with the term “God”? It isn’t from the Bible! Rather, it was formed from childhood Bible stories, from what parents and friends said, from what was read. People don’t question what they have learned; what they have absorbed from their environment, observed about them at home from parents or heard spoken from the pulpit. Religious prejudices, loyalties and various teachings grow up with them, according to what other people in their lives have come to believe. Religion is also identified with social customs and taboos, so what is religion to one is nonsense to another.

Though a person may adopt a totally different set of convictions later in life, such changes are often based principally on the emotional knowledge that they contrast to former ideas. Few approach scripture with the attitude of correcting their misconceptions. Rather, they simply “choose new gods” (Judges 5:8). Yet, though people change, God says “I change not” (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8).

A different god for different circumstances

Each nation creates its own gods and they always resemble their creators in emotional makeup, power structure, image and patriotic leanings. The earth has a long history of gods who were revengeful, savage, lustful, and ignorant — partial to the people who created them by assisting in robbing and destroying others. Their concept of God can be nothing but their own personal human ideas — unless they know where to go to find the real answer.

Others – free thinkers – have looked at history and spotted this flaw, ultimately concluding that there is no God. But this is an erroneous assumption based on faulty research. They did not look past the false gods that man created, and rejected their merciful, living Creator!

Is God Like Man?

If you really want to know if your “God” is God, then study the Bible, which describes His personal characteristics. God possesses feet (Gen. 3:8), hands (Ex. 31:18), ears (Isa. 59:1), and has a mouth (Isa. 58:14). Various other scriptures show God has feelings, emotions, reason and will. Man is created in the bodily shape and form of the real God (Genesis 1:26-27), with a creative mind like God’s for the vital purpose of being born into the family of God (I John 3:2; Ps. 17:15). Most of this world does not understand this plan of salvation and actually rejects it. But man is wrong in ascribing his wrong motivations to God:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9).

Though man resembles God in physical form, he has much to learn about the characteristics of God’s mind, which are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal. 5:22, 23). The Bible describes the characteristics of the natural human mind as adultery, fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, murders, drunkenness, and similar things (Gal. 5:19-21).

This is important to understand as man has used his false religions to justify covering the earth with blood. Torture, killing, rape and other atrocities were perpetrated for service to this “god.” Great churches were built for worship false images, while dungeons housed prisoners in filth. Clouds were said to be filled with angels, while the earth was stocked with slaves. These acts of evil were done in the name of false gods; as were mistakes in astronomy, in geography, in philosophy, in morality. In other words, their gods were as wise or dumb as their creators, and had the same doctrines (a cruel hell fire or eternal torment) and values (many times murderous) as their creators.

Even today, many people continue to deny their Creator as an infinite fiend because of false assumptions. These belie the truth of God which states, “Love your neighbour” (Lev. 19:18). In fact, any man that hates his brother cannot love God, (I John 4:20). How then can most major religions today, which have a long and bloody history, claim to be guided by God? They are deceived by imputing their own evil nature onto their Creator.

The True Christian Approach

The teaching of the Bible states that a man must acquire God’s divine nature (II Pet. 1:4) and mind (Phil. 2:5) — and give up his own nature. Christ is the Captain and example of our salvation (Heb. 2:10, I Pet. 2:21), and He was  stamped with the very character of God, and with the mind of God (II Cor. 4:4; Phil. 2:5-7; Heb. 1:3). Any opinion of the nature or character of God that conflicts with this example is of our own creation! How unlike what we have just read.

God’s mind comes by the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, which requires repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38). It also requires us to discard our own thoughts and ideas of what God loves or hates, what He will do or won’t do. Everything else is invalid unless backed by God’s Word, the Bible! Otherwise, we are as guilty of creating God in our image as any pagan idol maker. Do we perceive the glory of the true God:

“The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Ex. 34:6).

Why settle for an inferior product? If you want to know if your “God” is the true God, then search the scriptures and find the truth.

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