The Apple Of God's Eye

December 22, 2009

Does Luke 16:16 Prove God's Law Is Abolished Today?

http://www.hem-of-his-garment-bible-study.org - The link between the Old and New Testament is the law of God!

Many make long and eloquent arguements to prove that Luke 16:16 means God’s law has been done away.

“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

Some say the “law and the prophets” is a clear reference to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and that the New Covenant is dramatically different from the ‘ministration written on stones. So here, critics of God’s law wish to separate the Ten Commandments from what they say is a new moral code of the heart. But this is not what Jesus meant at all.

What, then, did Jesus mean by the statement, “The law and the prophets were until John?” When Jesus spoke of the “law and the prophets,” He was referring to the Old Testament, and meant that, until the coming of John the Baptist, the Old Testament scriptures were all that was available. The New Testament had not yet been written. It says nowhere that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God does away with the law of God. In fact, Christ says in the very next verse:

“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail”  (verse 17).

Have the starry heavens or the planet earth passed away? Jesus said it would be easier for them to perish or be destroyed than for even one tiny part of God’s law to pass away! THAT is the clear interpretation, and this is backed up by very clear scriptures throughout the New Testament – scriptures which are conveniently ignored by critics.

Christ is indeed talking about obedience to the law of God. Those who disagree say the Old Covenant is no longer in force, which of course by their interpretation nullifies God’s law through the New Testament covenant. No one can deny that the Old Covenant is dead, but that does not mean the law of God is dead. Let’s explain!

Which laws are in force today?

How can you know which laws are no longer binding today? Which laws are we to observe?

The Bible is a book about law, and even a cursory read of this book shows that Jesus Christ did not come to do away with His Father’s law! You can find many references in the Bible to the Ten Commandments, but you can also read a lot about the statutes and the judgments. Then there are the ceremonial rituals and offerings. But which laws are we supposed to observe today?

The mistake lies in assuming the Ten Commandments make up the Old Covenant and that when Christ came, the New Covenant did away with the Ten Commandments and established only grace and promises.

Another mistake is to assume that the Ten Commandments didn’t even exist until God gave them to Moses on tablets of stone; that are simply part of the ritualistic law of Moses.

To begin to understand the truth about the laws discussed in the Old Testament, we must first establish the fact that God’s law existed long before Moses at Mount Sinai! In fact, God’s law existed long before Adam and Eve. Few people realize this fact.

Statutes and Laws Prior to Moses

Abraham was commended for obeying God’s commandments. But it also said he kept God’s statutes and laws. What was this referring to?

Webster’s Dictionary defines statute as, “an established rule or law.” God’s statutes usually command or forbid certain things, in addition to the Ten Commandments. Gesenius’ Lexicon says this about statutes: “An appointed law, a statute, an ordinance…used of the laws of nature [as prescribed by God]…a custom observed as though it were a law.” God’s statutes are based upon the Ten Commandments.

Judgments are binding decisions by judges based on God’s previously revealed law. These decisions are used to settle similar future disputes and to render a sentence or verdict.

God gave statutes and judgments for the general well-being of the people—for the protection of everyone’s legal rights. They are all based on the principle of love toward God and love toward your neighbor.

The difference between them is summed up in these terms: “In general, the Ten Commandments apply to individual conduct, the statutes to national or church affairs, and the judgments to decisions rendered according to the principle of the Ten Commandments and the statutes.”

Law in effect prior to Moses

God’s law was very much in effect prior to the establishment of His covenant with Israel. God revealed His commands and laws to Israel because during their captivity, Israel had lost much of the knowledge of God’s way. They were in bondage to an idol-worshipping nation (Exodus 16:28). This was said before the nation even reached Mount Sinai! God gave them His truth at Mount Sinai because they had lost it. God had to reveal His law to them again before entering into His covenant with them.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day” (Exod. 16:28-30). God had to remind them that this was holy time and they weren’t to violate it by looking for manna. They had lost the knowledge that it had been established long ago (Gen. 2:2-3). Again, this instruction occurred before the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai.

The commandments were NOT instituted at Mount Sinai and were NOT part of the Old Covenant. So once the New Covenant arrived, it cannot annul what was never ratified under the Old Testament. In other words, the dissolving of the Old Covenant could not destroy what it did not bring into existence! The Ten Commandments, which God gave in written form to Moses on Mount Sinai, were not new. Only the codified form in which God wrote them was new.

What is the law of Moses?

The Bible, on several occasions, refers to the law of Moses, but it never says the law of Moses is the Ten Commandments. The law of Moses comprises the statutes and judgments God gave to Moses to give to the Israelites. The difference between the law of Moses and the law of God is that God spoke the Ten Commandments. Moses delivered the statutes and judgments.

Yet we read in Luke 2:22, 39 that the “law of Moses” is called the “law of the Lord.” This is because all law comes from God. He is the lawgiver. Remember that these statutes and judgments had no sacrifices with them originally. The sacrifices were added later. The law of Moses then had two parts: civil and ritualistic. The part given before the sacrificial laws we are to keep and never forget (Mal. 4:4).

When Christ defined the two great commandments in the law in Matthew 22, He quoted out of the “book of the law” (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5), which we are told to remember. Christians are told to obey these two basic laws which God gave to Moses for the people. The civil law of Moses expounds how the Ten Commandments are to be applied. We are to keep this part, not in the letter only, but now in the spiritual intent, as brought out in Matthew 5-7.

Then why are we told in Acts 15 that the Gentile converts do not have to observe the law of Moses, except for four points? (Acts 15:5, 28-29). The answer is cleared up in Acts 21:21. The law called into question involved the customs, mainly circumcision, which were instituted long before the law of Moses. The spiritual intent is not done away today. Just like the Ten Commandments, they are still in force; but like the Passover, the manner of circumcision has been changed. It is now of the heart (Rom. 2:29).

This controversy did not involve the spiritual intent of the civil law of Moses, but the ceremonial additions to it. These scriptures are not saying that adultery or murder is okay now. The Ten Commandments are not being discussed or done away with here.

The four points mentioned here were originally part of the civil law; but they were also added to the ceremonial law to prevent these pagan customs from being practiced by Israel with their sacrifices. The Gentiles ate their sacrifices with the blood. They strangled their animals, presented them to their idols and committed fornication in their religious ceremonies. Because these four points were also included in the ritual laws, some new converts may have thought they were abolished along with the sacrifices when Christ fulfilled them. So the four points mentioned in Acts 15 had to be specifically declared to still be in effect. They remained binding after the abolition of the physical sacrifices and washings.

The civil laws regulating tithing, clean and unclean meats, sexual cleanliness and the annual Sabbaths, for example, are still in effect for the New Testament Church because they help explain what sin is.

Conclusion

God’s spiritual laws describe God’s character and enable us to know what God is like. Since the character of God is unchanging (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8), God’s spiritual law is unchanging. God has lived by this way of love for all eternity.

The only laws that are no longer binding are the ceremonial laws, fulfilled by the sacrifice of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Today we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1-2) in obedience to God’s eternal spiritual law.

We can’t ignore what Christ told a young man seeking the way to eternal life, “If thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS” (Matt. 19:17). How clear!

Advertisements

July 28, 2009

Who Wrote The Ten Commandments?

frmarkdwhite.wordpress.com

frmarkdwhite.wordpress.com

Exodus 34:28 is often misunderstood. Notice what this verse says: “… and HE wrote upon the tables the words of the
covenant, the ten commandments.” Some have assumed the word “he” here refers to Moses — that Moses wrote the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone.

This assumption is wrong. Notice Exodus 24:12. God told Moses, “Come up to me into the mount … and I will give thee tables of stone … and commandments which I have written.” God “gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, WRITTEN WITH THE FINGER OF GOD” (Ex. 31:18).

In Exodus 32:16 we read, “The tables were the work of God, and THE WRITING WAS THE WRITING OF GOD, graven upon the tables.” Moses broke THESE FIRST TABLES of stone (verse 19). Then God commanded Moses, “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest” (Ex. 34:1). Here God plainly said that HE would write them again.

Near the end of the 40 years in the wilderness, Moses rehearsed in the ears of the Israelites the great things God had
done for them. He said, “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount … and he [God] wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me” (Deut. 5:22). Those were the first tables of stone, which Moses broke when he came down from the mount and saw the people reveling in idolatry. Moses then repeated to the Israelites the fact that GOD wrote the Ten Commandments a second time (Deut. 10:1-5).

God, not Moses, wrote the Ten Commandments both times. Those who claim that Moses wrote the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone are denying the Word of God.

July 14, 2009

Where Is God When We Suffer?

ChristianComputerArt.Com

ChristianComputerArt.Com

If God truly loves His spirit-begotten children, why does He sometimes permit suffering and pain? Perhaps we have failed to understand just HOW God expresses His divine love.

IF GOD is wiser than we, His judgment must differ from our own on many things. What seems right to us may be wrong to God and vice versa. We are told by Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isa. 55:8). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the manner in which God expresses His love is not always what we might expect.

A Grandfather — Or a Father?

Humanly speaking, we tend to wish for a God who is a kindly grandfather type, rather than a father. We would like to believe that God is more of a “senile benevolence,” as C.S. Lewis expressed it, who is concerned only that we all have a “good time” here below. We would like God to express His love for us by merely extending kindness (by which we really mean indulgence) as opposed to outgoing concern and involvement. Carnal man would like God to keep him out of painful situations and to bless him with “goodies” and spiritual bon-bons. Human inclination tends to resist too much direct involvement on the part of God.

A plaque in a gift shop reads, “God is not dead — He just doesn’t want to get involved.” This is a shallow slogan reflecting a tragic misunderstanding of God’s nature — typical of most of humanity. Yet when we look around at the world, how much of God’s direct involvement do we actually recognize?

We do see endless suffering and pain. We see injustice of every type. But where is God in all of this?

Who Has Rejected Whom?

The problem, of course, is not that God does not want to “get involved.” Rather, it is that man does not want God to be involved unless it is on man’s terms.

Historically, when God thundered to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai, the people shrank back in fear. This was no kindly, senile grandfather! Rather, the powerful rock-shattering voice of the living God penetrated to the depth of their consciousness! Here was power! Too much power for puny men to cope with. “Let the man Moses speak on behalf of God,” the people pleaded. They wanted to deal with someone who was vulnerable — flesh and blood like themselves. God’s direct involvement was too much for them to handle.

Later, when the children of Israel asked the Prophet Samuel to arrange for them to have a human king like all the surrounding Gentile nations, God clearly framed the real problem. He said: “… they have not rejected thee [Samuel], but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (I Sam. 8:7).

And humanity has been rejecting God ever since. It is man who does not want to get involved with his Creator! Isaiah was inspired to write: “And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee …” (Isa. 64:7).

God’s Love

To extend His love toward His creation, it was necessary for God to make the first move. We are told by the Apostle John that Christ said: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him …” (John 6:44).

It just isn’t in us to automatically love our Creator. God must first express His love toward us before we are able to reciprocate. We are told in Scripture that “God is love” (I John 4:8). He personifies it. He is the ultimate source of all love.

John further states, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us…” (I John 4:10). Man does not by nature love God. In fact, we are instructed that the natural human mind is animosity and enmity toward God! (Rom. 8:7.) How then does a human being ever come to love God? John answers: “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).

But how is the love of God expressed? And how may it be reconciled with the suffering and pain we sometimes are allowed to endure?

God, in His revealed Word, makes several analogies which help throw light on this problem.

The Artist and His Creation

Perhaps the least profound example which may be used to illustrate God’s love for his human creation is the love of the artist for the artifact.

Jeremiah used an illustration from the arts in chapter 18, verse 6 — “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.”

Have you ever seen a landscape or portrait artist lovingly labor over a painting? He plans it, draws it in with loving care, and applies the pigment with careful diligence. Each stroke is significant. All the elements are painstakingly weighed against each other. Color, value, hue, light and shade, intensity and chroma are all evaluated and considered. The artist exults in the rendering and rejoices if the result is what he set out to achieve.

A sculptor may set out to sculpt a magnificent marble piece. He goes to great lengths to select the material with which to work. He may oversee the quarrying of a fine marble monolith. He examines it closely for quality and purity. He makes sure it is carefully protected as it is shipped to his studio. There he begins work by careful planning and measuring. Each stroke of the hammer is cautiously yet authoritatively executed as the chisel does its creative work. Soon the piece begins to emerge. The more it looks like what the sculptor envisioned, the more he delights in his work.

God is a great Artist who is lovingly involved in a great work of art. He is the Master Architect and Builder who is producing a great spiritual house. Peter used this analogy in I Peter 2:5. “Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house … acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Paul also used this analogy: “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we [Christians] …” (Heb. 3:6).

God is also a Master Potter who will not be satisfied with the clay until it has achieved a certain character. Of course, any artist or artisan has to manipulate the materials with which he works. He does so with care and devotion. He pays attention to detail. He plans, he tests, he probes. He works with the end product in mind. So it is with the great Artist of the universe. He lovingly works with man and his environment to produce a glorious product that will give both Himself and the product immense satisfaction upon its completion. Great art glorifies the artist who produced it!

God intends that His children be brought to glory — a condition of spiritual perfection and maturity. This in turn will glorify the Creator Himself. And all of this expresses God’s great love for His human creation.

The Shepherd and the Sheep

A second analogy of God and His people is that of the shepherd and the sheep. Asaph spoke of humanity as “… thy people and sheep of thy pasture …” (Ps. 79:13). This type is used throughout the Bible. Jesus is spoken of as the “good Shepherd.”

This analogy is somewhat more sophisticated than the previous one. The relationship of a shepherd to his sheep — a man to his beast — illustrates some rather important points. Man is responsive and intelligent, yet decidedly inferior to God, as is the sheep to the shepherd. Yet even a human shepherd, far above the intellectual plane of his sheep, is deeply concerned with their welfare. He will fight off bears, wolves and other carnivores who attempt to rob him of his sheep. He will comfort them when they are frightened. He sees that they have adequate pasture and water. The good shepherd goes to great lengths to see that his sheep are well taken care of.

Think of a man and his dog. Why does a man train his dog? Primarily that he may love it, not that it may love him! But in addition, his training also makes the animal better able to serve him, not that he may serve it.

Man does not extend himself to the same degree to train a roach or a rat. The man takes pains with a dog — or a horse — because they are high on the intelligence scale of irrational creatures. A rat or a roach would hardly be worthy of such time and concern. A dog is more naturally lovable. And the man works at making it fully lovable — at least as much as is fitting between a human being and a brute beast.

No ridiculous anthropomorphic analogy should be made of this, of course. This is a limited analogy. But nevertheless God does make it. And we may learn from it.

God takes such pains to express His love to man because man alone is worthy of such concern. He is the apex of God’s creation. God is naturally able to love man quite readily — and yet He strives to make man fully lovable!

Now ask yourself this question. Could a dog who was being house trained or corrected for some social indiscretion possibly conclude that its master was “good”? (I speak facetiously of course, since a dog is incapable of such rationality). Even so we sometimes fail to see the goodness of our Master, His purpose and methods.

Husband /Wife

We may now proceed up the metaphorical ladder. God further explains His love to man by the analogy of the marriage relationship. This very expressive analogy is frequently used in the Bible to depict yet another aspect of God’s divine love for humanity.

Physical Israel was depicted as an abandoned baby girl left to the mercy of the elements. God found her, cleaned her up, reared her and espoused her (Ezek. 16). But when she reached the full flower of her beauty she betrayed her divine husband.  This was spiritual adultery.

The same kind of spiritual marriage relationship is also used to illustrate Christ’s relationship to spiritual Israel — the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify” — set apart or separate — “and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

Now think about this. When a man enters into a love relationship with a woman, does he cease to care about her beauty, her appearance and cleanliness? Of course he doesn’t! He becomes more acutely concerned with such things. Love is more sensitive than hatred to every blemish, every line or wrinkle in one’s beloved. Hatred is disinterested, but love is extremely interested and highly involved. Love pays attention, but hatred ignores.

God, too, is highly concerned with every spiritual wrinkle or blemish a member of His Church may have. His concern and love may be expressed in a way that we do not recognize as love, however.

When God purges us of spiritual blemishes by whatever means He may choose to use, we all too often interpret His correction as undeserved suffering. Did Job take it kindly when God showed His love to him by allowing him to suffer so intensely? Not at all. Job writhed in self-pity. He claimed undeserved suffering. He argued with God and even accused Him! But finally he saw what God was doing and his reciprocal love to God grew even greater and deeper. His latter end was greater than the beginning.

Christ is a loving, concerned husband. He wants a wife who is spiritually healthy, morally clean and deeply affectionate toward Him. He will have such a wife by CLEANSING her in advance of His marriage (Rev. 19). While this cleansing may be painful — much like “grandma’s lye soap” — now, it will be much appreciated later when Jesus comes in His Kingdom!

The Father/Son Analogy

Perhaps the greatest and most profound analogy used by God to illustrate His great love for mankind is the father/son analogy. This reflects the very relationship between God and Christ.

When this analogy was originally made and recorded as scripture, paternal authority stood on a much higher plane than it does today. Today the image of paternal authority is somewhat tarnished. But in biblical times it meant much more.

In this analogy — love between father and son — paternal love is essentially authoritative and the son’s love is that of obedience.

A son is a reflection of the father. Naturally the father wishes that reflection to be favorable. He wishes the son to be honorable — to glorify rather than besmirch the family name. The father uses his authority (if done correctly) to make the son into what the father in his superior wisdom realizes he should be.

God chastens and corrects His children in like manner, to strengthen their quality of character. This chastening is an expression of divine love. If God neglected to do this we could not consider ourselves His children.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth (Prov. 3:11-12).

Discipline is grievous to him who forsakes the way, he who hates reproof shall die (Prov. 15:10).

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Heb. 12:6-8).

Of course we do not rejoice in correction at the time we are receiving it! It is not until later that we realize the good fruit of it. Then we are able to appreciate the love which was extended our way when the punishment was meted out (Heb. 12:11).

Why We Were Created

Was man created so that he could love God? Quite the contrary!

Man was primarily created so that God could take pleasure in and express love toward him. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

God does not exist for the sake of man. Nor does man exist exclusively for his own sake. He exists as an object of God’s outgoing love!

As a great Master Artisan or Craftsman, God takes pains to ensure that His product is of the finest possible quality and beauty. God expresses His love to His sheep by protecting, feeding and caring for them as a concerned shepherd. As a loving husband strives to enhance his wife’s beauty and comeliness, so God purges the Church of blemishes and moral uncleanness. And as a kind, concerned, yet firmly authoritative Father, God chastens and corrects His spiritual children.

All of these biblical analogies can aid us in comprehending the love of God for His human creation. But none of them is truly adequate to convey a really profound understanding of God’s love.

Humanly we are limited. We see as if through a darkened glass. The whole of God’s tremendous love is much greater than we can understand. But we can indeed be grateful God is not limited, and that neither is His boundless love and concern for His human creation — especially His spiritually begotten children.

Source: The Good News, 1973

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.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.