Who is God?
Who is God? What is He like? How did He come into existence? Why is He God? This paper is one of a series that focuses on God to reveal a better understanding as to His identity, His nature, and sovereignty.
(Copyright © 2002, 2015, 2018, 2019 Peter Donis)
Who is God?
The three major religions or faiths, Judaism, Islam and Christianity all have their origins in a monotheistic God, that is, a trust that there is one supreme, Almighty being, who alone can be attributed to having created everyone and everything into existence.
It is very clear from the Bible that there is only One True God. He is The Almighty and the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth (Gen. 1.1; Neh. 9:6, Ps. 124:8; Isa. 40:26,28; 44:24; Acts 14:15; 17:24,25; Rev. 14:7). Everything belongs to Him (Deut. 10:14; Ps. 50:10, 12; Hag. 2:8)
Deut. 10:14 Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. (ESV)
This God is a power. More to the point, He is the power. He is the Almighty (Mal. 1:11; Rom. 9:29). He is the Most High God (Dan. 4:17, 24; 7:25). There is no God beside Him in power, authority, eternality, or goodness (2Sam. 7:22; 1Chron. 17:20; Isa. 44:8; Mat 19:17; Mk 10:18; Lk 18:19). This God has no equals. He is not divided into two or equal beings; He is one (Deut. 6:4).
2 Sam. 7:22 Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. (ESV)
This God has no beginning. Before time and space began, this One God existed alone, not needing anything to sustain Him or give Him life. He is the only being who is not dependent on any other to be brought into existence. He is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps. 41:13; Ps. 90:2). This God is unchanging (Mal. 3:6), therefore He cannot cease to exist and thereby cannot die in any form or state of being. He is immortal (1Tim. 6:16).
Time started when God began to create. But before anything came into existence, God reflected upon what He would do and how He would do it. He foresaw the final outcome of everything before He commenced; it is eternally present within Him. God knew all His works from the beginning of the world (Acts 15:18). He knows everything (1Jn. 3:20), comprehending at once all things, be it their causes, conditions, relations, consequences and progressions. He also is in total control of every facet, phase and moment of time. Nothing goes overlooked or undetected (Mat. 10:29; Lk. 12:6). At every stage of creation, God saw that it was good (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). That is for our benefit, so we can rest assured nothing created was wrong, missing, deficient or incomplete.
There is nothing that has happened or will happen for all eternity that God does not know. He even sees and knows the secrets of every person’s heart. (Jer. 23:24; Dan. 2:22; Josh. 22:22; Ps. 44:21). This is called omniscience; total awareness and understanding.
Is Christ the true God?
It is fair to say that any being who is created, or does not know everything, or can and did die and is dependent on another for eternal life cannot be the one true God.
Hebrews Chapter 3 verse 2 is often translated as, "Christ was faithful to Him that appointed him". The word appointed (SGD 4160) has been mistranslated by Trinitarians to disguise the true relationship of God the Almighty and His Son, Jesus. A truer translation would read ‘…Christ was faithful to Him who made him”. Christ, as one of the Sons of God, was generated or made to come into existence at the commencement of creation.
Rev 3:14 "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. (ESV)
Christ revealed that he did not know when he would be sent to restore the planet and begin his rule with the saints. Only his God and Father knows (Jn. 20:17; Mat. 24:36; Mk. 13:32; Acts 1:7).
Mk. 13:32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (NIV; Emphasis added)
Having died as a ransom for all, Christ cannot claim to be immortal, (Mar. 10:45; Rev. 5:9; Tim. 2:5-7).
1Tim. 2:5-7 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (7) For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
It is God the Father who grants eternal life. It is His gift. Because Jesus was faithful, God granted him to have eternal life in himself (Jn. 5:26; Rom. 6:4, 10; Rev. 1:18). Christ did not have that inherent in himself; he was dependant on His God and Father to receive it.
Jn. 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (ESV; Emphasis added)
1Jn 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (ESV; Emphasis added)
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Emphasis added)
The Lord God anointed Christ with His spirit, which is referred to as the oil of gladness above that of his fellow angelic brethren (Ps. 45:7).
Ps. 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (KJV)
Christ is noted as being the Angel of the Lord, who led physical Israel through the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:3-4). From his incarnation as a man and subsequent resurrection from the dead, (from which he had no consciousness or life for 3 full days and 3 full nights), he was advanced above the other Sons of God, the elohim, with power granted to him by God.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (KJV)
Christ and the entire host, both spiritually and physically (mankind) all share the fact we have one Father who created us all.
Malachi 2:10 10 Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? (RSV)
Our eternal life hinges on the fact that we understand that God the Father and Christ are two separate beings; that only the Father is the true God, having existed prior to Christ coming into being.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. (RSV)
He who sends is greater that he who is sent.
Jn. 13:16 Truly, truly, I say to you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (AKJV)
God is Greater
Christ stated plainly the Father is greater than him.
Jn. 14:28 You have heard me tell you, 'I am going away, but I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. (Emphasis added)
Christ was clearly showing that he is a separate being to that of the Father. A being cannot have a part or portion of themselves greater or lesser to that of themselves. It is simply absurd.
Christ plainly pointed out that he is not, and should not be the object of our worship and/or prayers. Christ instructed his disciples to follow his example to worship and offer prayers to his God and Father only (Mat. 6:9-13; Lk. 11:1-4).
Jn. 11:41-42 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. (42) I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (NIV; Emphasis added)
The true God is the object of our prayers. A true God does not pray to another being or to oneself. Christ was heard by his God because of his godly fear.
Heb 5:7-10 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (8) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (10) Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV)
Christ, upon his resurrection, explained to Mary Magdalene a number of significant things.
Jn. 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (Emphasis added)
Firstly, Jesus said to Mary that she was not to cling to him. We could understand this to mean that she was not to hold or cling to Christ and the role he had before his death, and the life she, and the others had with him, and that somehow everything would go back to the way it was. She had to let go of her misconceptions and see that Christ had a greater role to accept and fulfil.
Christ also reiterates that he is not God, but he must ascend to his Father and our Father, his God and our God. Jesus clarified the relationship status between him and his God as well as with us. Christ saw the disciples as his brothers. He dispelled the notion that he was their Almighty, Eternal God. Christ, was at their head, as he is ours, as our appointed king, Lord, Saviour and high priest forever (Eph. 4:15, 1 Cor. 11:3; Php. 2:11; Jn. 13:13-14); Rom. 10:9, 14:9; Ps. 110:1, 4; Lk. 2:11; Heb. 6:20). But at the head of Christ is God (1Cor. 11:3). Christ showed us that his Father is our Father and his God is our God, indicating we all have an origin and that there is only one true God.
Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (KJV; Emphasis added)
Upon his resurrection, God made Christ a high priest. God did not elevate His Son co-equal with himself. One cannot be the object of worship and a high priest to oneself. It is illogical. Christ will always have the role of high priest over the creation at the behest of his God. Physical Israel did not worship nor direct their worship to Aaron, the High Priest of the earthly temple. Nor are we, (spiritual Israel, so to speak) to direct our prayers and worship to our High Priest, Christ, of the spiritual Temple. One cannot elevate Christ to co-equality and/or co-eternality without consequence. The price is one's redemption and resurrection to eternal life as we see in John 17:3.
The apostle John makes the distinction, and clarifies the misconception that Christ had always existed, for John states that eternal life is predicated on the fact ‘that they know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou sent.’ If you claim that Christ has always existed, irrespective if you believe he is co-equal with the Father or not, you deny God the Father the status of being the ‘only true God’, and have by default, established two true Gods. What differentiated Ancient Israel to all the other nations is the same thing that differentiates the Church today to all the other churches and religions, and that is, it worships and acknowledges that there is only one true God.
Christ Continued to Learn
Unlike God, Christ was not exempt from learning.
Heb 5:7-10 ESV In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. (8) Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. (9) And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (10) being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
A true God does not need to fear itself or offer earnest supplications to oneself to be heard. One cannot shut off from oneself, or distance one from oneself if one sins or falls from grace. Christ learned obedience through what he suffered. That is not to say Christ was at some point disobedient, for he was tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Christ's growth came from untested or untried obedience. Where as God the Father, is unchanging, meaning He cannot learn more or grow in understanding, obedience, or strength in any way, shape or form. He alone is all-knowing and all-powerful. He cannot learn, improve, or grow in more power or perfection; He alone is good and perfect. We cannot have one God who is all perfect and all knowing and at the same time does not know all things and learns obedience through what he suffers.
God Alone is Perfect and All Powerful
God the Father alone is all-powerful. There is nothing that God cannot create or do to successfully complete His Plan. He knows what is possible, and He knows the best way to do things every time. God doesn’t guess. He is never in doubt or unsure of an outcome. He never takes a chance on any outcome. This knowledge is truth; God is truth (Deut. 32:4). His will reflects perfection in truth. There is no error in His essence or character. God cannot make a mistake. By being able to work out every possible outcome and avoiding any mishap through His omniscience, God alone is perfect (Mat. 5:48) and the source of all goodness. When someone referred to Christ as “good teacher”, Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good” (Mat 19:17; Mk 10:18; Lk 18:19).
Trust in God
God wants all of us to be one with Him in the same way Christ is one with Him. For this reason, God has established a covenant which He offers to mankind; It is a “covenant of love” (Neh. 9:32). Loving one’s God and neighbour ensures agreement and conformity resulting in peace and harmony. God wants all of us unified. He pleads to each of us to mend our ways and be in one accord and one mind with one another (2Cor. 13:11) towards Him. By obeying the truth, we purify our hearts and minds so that we can then love one another fervently and deeply (1Pet. 1:22). God’s love is even able to cleanse us of secret faults that we harbour which we are not even aware of (Ps. 19:12).
The love of God never gives up and endures through every circumstance. God has ensured every descendant of Adam who never received or accepted an opportunity to know Him will be given a second chance in the resurrection of the dead otherwise termed the second resurrection (Rev. 20:11-15). Things then will be different. There will be no external pressures, each person will be given the optimum environment so as to be healed and be restored and accept God's covenant.
Once we understand more about God we see that the idea of an eternal hell is one of terror and strife, stirred up by hatred (Prov. 10:12) against a loving God. God is working towards freedom and perfection for all (2Chr. 8:16, 24:13; Mat. 5:48; Lk. 13:32; 1Jn. 2:5, 4:12; Jas. 1:4).
Eternal life to every person that has ever lived and the fallen host is only achieved through and in Christ. Eternal life will not be given to any person unless they accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
There are no loopholes in God’s creation. Only those who accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour will be granted an eternal existence. No one will be granted an external existence without repentance, and baptism in Christ (Jn. 14:6; Act 2:38, 10:48, 22:16).
Jn. 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV; Emphasis added)
Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (ESV)
A place of perpetual or eternal punishment or torment is anti-biblical and anti-God. After the great throne judgement, anyone who does not repent and be willing to be baptised and accept Christ as their personal Saviour will not be permitted to exist any further.
Many have fallen victim to the false teaching that those who do not accept God and way now will be tormented eternally in a type of fire. It is not a question of whether or not those who may reject God will be tormented for all eternity in some sort of burning fire, but rather, they will be consumed by an eternal fire.
What many have failed to grasp is that God is a consuming fire, and what He ultimately consumes ceases to exist.
Deu 4:23-24 Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the LORD your God has forbidden you. (24) For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God (ESV; Emphasis added).
Heb 12:28-29 ESV Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, (29) for our God is a consuming fire. (ESV; Emphasis added)
When God consumes something, it ceases to exist. One cannot be consumed by God, a consuming fire, and live. God tells us in Malachi of the day when no trace of evildoers will exist, leaving neither root nor branch.
Mal 4:1 For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch (ESV).
If we choose to cling to God, in Christ, then all our sinful impurities will be burnt up like dross. But if we persist to cling to sin rather than to God and His Word, statutes, laws and commandments, then we, along with sin, will be consumed, leaving no trace of existance behind.
In the end, God will be all in all.
Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. (RSV)
Our God will draw near to us, so close in fact that He Himself will dwell with us.
Revelation 21:3-4 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” (RSV)
God will provide for us a new heaven and a new earth where the former things are no longer remembered (Isa. 65:17). No person will be left to suffer torment for past sins or for having rejected God and His ways. God will see to it that there will be no more mourning, nor crying nor any type of pain any more. All the heartache, sorrow, misgivings as well as all we did that was contrary to the expressed Will of God will be passed over and forgotten.
God the Father has provided all of fallen creation a means of salvation, and one way only, through His Son, Jesus, the Christ. There is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved. God will not accept any other name or way other than through His chosen Messiah.
Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Jn. 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
We are all required to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). Christ should be at our head, leading us, under the direction of God.
1 Cor. 11:3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
There is only one body, one spirit that binds us, one appointed saviour by delegation and one baptism and one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and by His spirit, in us all.
Eph 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
1Jn. 4:14-15 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (15) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
We truly have a wonderful God who is creating and preparing a family to be united in a common desire and with principles that lead to a perfect, peaceful existence with one another. The physical creation and the laws that God put in place to be adhered to are testament to His perfect righteous character and lead us to understand more fully how holy and good God is.
When we are all humbled and obedient to God, subjugating our will to God the Father to the same depth of dedication Christ humbles himself before his God, we will learn one of the greatest things, and that is just to love, and be loved in return.
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