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Understand God: Astonishing Differences From Your Current Thinking

January 23, 2011 By: alanpg Category: Uncategorized

astonishing

There are many things about God that may surprise you. This is because people have their own individual perceptions about God and many people are highly influenced by “others” and that frequently means by the media, by religious authorities, by friends and family. The net sum of your perceptions is generally wrong because how do any of these people know, how do they really know? How do I know? Well, God has revealed a great deal about Himself and only from that revelation can we understand God. Yes, it is true people can twist what God has said about Himself to fit their own desires. However, the truth holds together perfectly and all those who change what God has delivered create God to fit their personal vision of God. There is a way to sort truth from error. Understand God as He has revealed Himself and then you will see the seriousness of God, the love of God, the might and power of God, and the infallibility of His ways to achieve His purpose. You will realize that God has everything under control and although it may not appear that way to mankind, it was designed to be understood by those who love God. So for many the truth will be a startling revelation.
As we go through some of the characteristics of God you can get a good picture of God in relation to His creation. It is the “Big Picture of God.” Yes, you need to know because you can know, should know and as a result it can impact your actions and consequently help you to a successful end. On the other hand if you understand God as the “world” portrays God you will go through life blindly (as to what matters) and be unsuccessful in the only thing that really matters.

Let’s start out simple as we begin to understand God by looking at His characteristics as He freely provided for mankind:

1) God Cannot Lie

God wants you to understand that He cannot lie and so you should not expect any variance.

Titus 1:1-3

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;


The bible comes “alive” with this understanding of God cannot lie. Jesus told the Jews:

John 8:24

24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”


It was necessary that the Jews believed He was the Messiah or they could not receive forgiveness of sins. There is no room for exceptions. This would then be true for all mankind as Jesus explains:

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Look at all the things God has said and realize they will all happen. A good place to start is in the Garden of Eden and Genesis 3.15 as God lays out the plan for mankind. You will see that everything God had in mind did occur and when Jesus was finally hung on the cross all had been fulfilled concerning Him.

Luke 24:44

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Fulfillment of all things – Your Importance

Of course, all the things leading up to Jesus birth were fulfilled and everything God has said in the New Testament will be fulfilled at the time God ends the opportunity for mankind. So we understand God is perfect, all powerful and that should impress us but also that should concern us, even stir up fear in us. God wants us to grasp the seriousness of life such that we find out the truth and obey it. Amazingly you are not as significant as some of you may think. You are a mere speck, insignificant but more amazingly you are important to God and were created for a purpose and a purpose so great that God sacrificed His own Son to demonstrate that importance. So, you are really important after all. Yet, if you are to succeed you need to be humble, thinking more highly of others than yourself. Acting as a servant both to God in obedience and to mankind in service, helping, kindness, and forgiveness.

  • Read the bible and see all the things God says and be concerned.
  • Read the bible and see the necessity of humility.
  • Read the bible and see the seriousness of God in relation to your salvation or to your demise if you are rejected.
  • Read the bible and see what God requires and its perfection to accomplish His purpose.
  • Read the bible and see the absence of men’s religions in name, in principle and in fact your condemnation if you choose those idolatries. It is the doctrine of Christ and not what man might say is the doctrine of Christ that you must abide.

2 John 1:9

9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

In relation to what God says, the following verse sums up the difference between things coming from man as opposed to those things coming form God.

Romans 3:4

4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.

The only real, meaningful issue, “is can you believe what God says here or will you have to mix God’s word with the teaching of men.”


Since God cannot lie or be deceived or be wrong you need to realize that if God indicated He would deliver His word that indeed it will happen. So many people believe that is impossible, or would say there are so many translations, so many interpretations that how can I know. God could have had celestial beings everyday of your life hand-carry His word to you personally. It would not mean you would believe it or follow after it or even find something wrong with that method. God delivered His word as promised and did it in a perfect way consistent with His purpose. Just as God says unless have a love of the truth you will not be saved. The message will be rejected by the proud because it may not align with what they already believe and/or it may be difficult and life-changing for that person. In effect, unless you humble yourself you will not even get to the truth.

James 4:6

6 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

So we have God’s word delivered consistent with His purpose. God’s history of doing what He says is 100% accurate. His capability to do all things is 100% whether it be the creation of all things, the creation of time or the events prophesied in relation to His Son on earth. For some strange reason many believe God did not deliver His word and in a very understandable way when that word is the critical culmination of God’s plan since He began to reveal it in Genesis 3.15.

Jesus claimed His word would endure.

Matthew 24:35

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

To assure the accuracy of the word Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles.

John 16:13

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth

We are told the scriptures are not of any private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:20

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation

Faith itself was to come from the word of God.

Romans 10:17

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The word of God separates truth from error, good from evil.

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It is the word of God that is to be taught.

2 Timothy 4:2

2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Man is to live by God’s word.

Matthew 4:4

4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”


In view of the previous verses (and really hundreds more on this subject) do you think the word of God is important enough in God’s plan that it would be delivered to man any differently than God intended. Do you think God failed in this? God communicated to man EXACTLY AS NEEDED in order for His plan to succeed. One of the most basic principles for man to grasp is provided in Isaiah 55.9 and Proverbs 14.12. God’s ways are higher and there are ways that seem right to man but they lead to destruction. It should be no surprise that you may not understand God’s ways and yet you can if you are a lover of the truth and possess the other characteristics God looks for in His children. God has provided mankind with sufficient information to have a good understanding of Him.

Isaiah 55:9

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Proverbs 14:12

12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

2) Mankind assumes God will find most people acceptable – the scriptures indicate the opposite

Although God desires none to perish, only those who meet his requirements will find eternal life. Jesus indicates that this will but a few.

Matthew 7.13,14

13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

As mentioned this is not what God wants:

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.


It is not a surprise that God requires high standards for success and these are not high standards as men frequently measure success. There are certain qualities that get people to the truth and then to obedience and then to a faithful life. Those qualities were outlined by Jesus (in Matthew 5.3-12) at His, “Sermon on the Mount.” The truth is essential and the truth is narrow because it is exactly what God required as truth consistent with His purpose and not what men have brought into the “picture.” God commands man to speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4.11) or God breathed speech and that is only found in scripture. So one must carefully handle scripture.

3) God’s emphasis is on the spiritual

Once you understand God in this regard many things will become clear. Things like the validity of various “religious groups.”
God’s purpose for mankind is a spiritual purpose in that it involves the soul and not the body. The body will be corrupted but you will exist forever. Sin does not necessarily destroy the body but it could. Sin however, does corrupt the spirit. All people need forgiveness because “All Sin” according to Romans 3.23. You certainly can live your life without God and without His rules and it is part of God’s plan to allow that. God wants a certain type of person to share eternity with Him. Indeed there will be a very clear delineation in this regard.
To help understand this very important characteristic of God, namely His emphasis on the Spiritual the following sequence may help:

1) Understand God’s purpose

2) Look at how God describes the value of the soul relative to the body.

Matthew 16:26

26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 10:28

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

3) The things related to your eternity are spiritual things, things like: Your salvation, the church, prayer, the doctrine, the honor to God, essentially everything. When men input their beliefs into religion the spirituality is lost. For instance:
3a) When men/women change the word of God, speak differently than the word of God in spiritual matters they destroy the result, dishonor God and place themselves on a path to eternal destruction. THE ONE SOLID THING IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH WE CAN MAKE JUDGMENTS REGARDING LIFE’S PURPOSE, EXISTENCE BEYOND THIS LIFE (AFTER DEATH) IS GOD’S COMMUNICATION WITH MAN. IF YOU TRUST WHAT ANY MAN TEACHES YOU PUT YOURSELF AT RISK. THIS IS GOD’S WAY, HIS PLAN. THAT IS WHY IT IS SO SERIOUS TO CHANGE GOD’S WORD. GOD’S WORD IS THE RULER BY WHICH YOU MEASURE TRUTH AND MOST PEOPLE USE ONE OF MAN’S RULERS.

Galatians 1.6-9

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

God has never allowed man to make the rules – He cannot because man is the creation not the creator. The only way to be consistent, congruent with God is to speak as God speaks. Above in Galatians 1.6-9 God makes it clear that the Gospel which was delivered by Paul, and the apostles directed by the Holy Spirit was not to be changed. In the Old Covenant – It is God giving the instructions and that may have been directly to such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, or to the prophets and whether the direction was verbal or came down in writing by the oversight of God it was not to be changed.

Deuteronomy 4:2

2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

People trying to discredit the scriptures argue over the many possible interpretations, over the accuracy of and the number of different translations. They insinuate that people cannot know the truth because of these difficulties. Since they do not understand God and His purpose they stumble and fall and others fall over them. This is not a trap that God made for them but a trap of their own making conceived with other motives. The design of God’s word and its delivery is such that those who look for problems with it’s delivery or with its accuracy can find and make reasonable cases, albeit they are not true. On the other hand those who love the truth and possess those characteristics previously mentioned are encouraged and grow in certainty by giving daily diligence to God’s word. They are assured they have God’s truth just as much as those looking for problems are certain there are many problems with the bible. Amazing and yet consistent with God’s plan.

3b) The worship of God is in no way a physical worship – this is very clear

John 4:24

24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Acts 17.24-29

24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.

3c) The church has two senses, but the church is spiritual in the first sense and includes all people added to the church by God. The church is the bride of Christ and Christ is the head of the church. The second sense for the church is the local body which is also governed by God’s word. The local church has an organization completely defined by God in the New Testament and worships God in Spirit and Truth. The local church is given certain responsibilities as laid out in the New Testament.
Salvation is a spiritual thing and completely governed by God. After all God has done, men and women come along and change the process of conversion. Do you think anyone is converted in a process different than authorized by God? God has provided the process and given examples of conversions. Why in the world would anyone want to change them?
Today when you say church, people think of a building or “which church.” God’s children are in Christ, and have God’s word written on their hearts, that is God’s word is indeed more than just the truth but it is what they live by – they respect and honor God by obeying Him. Their worship is according to His directions and is sincere, heartfelt. Singing is done making the melody in their hearts – that is what is beautiful to God, not a great voice or sounds from inanimate instruments.

3d) God’s emphasis on the spiritual once understood can to a large extent help you understand God. People question God in almost everything. One of the most frequent things is in relation to pain and suffering and the loss of loved ones. Above it is suggested that understanding God’s purpose is an important place to start to understand God. I will repeat that link here – Understand God’s purpose
So life is about the soul and absolutely nothing else. Its about the battle between you and sin. Its about where you will spend eternity. There is suffering and pain and death and it is all part of the test. Life is short and as God says:

Romans 8:18

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

All you have comes from God …….. your existence your family your friends and in the process of dealing with life and its difficulties you select to follow God or reject God. One surprising thing (for many) is you can’t simply choose God in some mental manner. But you need the truth and then be willing to obey God.

Summary:

We have now covered three basic points regarding understanding God, namely:


1) God cannot lie and this means no compromise in what He delivered to man. The fact that all has happened exactly as God has outlined in advance of those events should make people realize the seriousness of living how God directs.


2) Mankind assumes God will find most people acceptable – the scriptures indicate the opposite.
God’s purpose is to share eternity with those who love the truth and obey it. Such people will have the characteristics God requires since those things enable the attitude that finds and obeys the truth. People who are not open-minded, humble, forgiving, courageous, and unselfish will never even look for the truth much less obey God.


3) God’s emphasis on the spiritual is a huge help in differentiating the religion of men versus the directives of God. The religion of men almost always gravitates to the physical and man-made rule making. The information above very specifically indicates the spiritual nature of Godly things.

We have just scratched the surface in relation to understanding God and the amazing amount of damaging false teaching to which you may have been exposed. There will be more posts on this subject over the next few months. There is already a great deal of material related to understanding God at this website by this author and other sites linked from this site. The book available at the top of the page in the right hand column is subtitled, “Coming to the Correct Understanding Of God and His Purpose for Life.” You need to understand God if you want to understand how to live and why. This book is designed to help you gain a very good understanding of God.

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