Is God by his nature unknowable by mankind? This world is full of people who believe in God; who view him as the first cause of the universe, or the “the old man upstairs.” But, the fact is, to most people, this God is not actively involved in their lives, until tragedy happens, then people want to know where God is.
If we were to study human culture, they all have their ideas about the supernatural. The Jews and Muslims make great effort to teach that God is one. The Buddhists and Hindus hold beliefs that range from impersonal monism to pantheistic polytheism.
Monism means the worship of mothers and motherhood. Pantheistic means the belief or philosophical doctrine which identifies the universe with God. Polytheism means the worship of the plurality of God.
Here in the Western world some classify God as the man upstairs, and some cling to the traditional Catholic and Protestant teaching that God is a Trinity, three persons in one.
With all these ideas about who and what God is, somebody is wrong and someone is right.
What about us in God’s true Church, what do we think God is really like? Do we get our ideas from the Bible or our own human reasoning?
Why doesn’t mankind stop and think and consider; would an all-wise God, who created mankind in the first place give us the ability to think about the Creator and not leave us a record that reveals Himself to us.
Now just looking at the universe, we should be able to deduce that God has great power and intelligence. The problem is this; it tells us nothing about His ultimate plan and purpose for His creation. But God has not left us in the dark, the Bible, which He has given us; tells us about His nature, His will, His character, and His plan and purpose for the universe and for humanity.
God is knowable, and He has chosen to make Himself knowable. “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill and said, men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To the Unknown God, therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you” (Acts 17:22-23).
Paul was explaining to the so-called educated people that the God that they labeled as Unknown was really the sovereign Creator, and Paul begins to tell them about this Great God.
“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. Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and has determined their reappointed time and boundaries of their dwellings. 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 of us” (vs. 24-27).
God has given us His Bible, so that we may learn what God reveals about Himself, and in doing so we gain great insight into His mind and His plan for the entire human race.
From the Bible we learn that God is eternal, immortal and invisible and mighty in power.
“He counts the number of the stars. He calls them all by name, Great is our Lord and mighty in power His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:4-5).
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise be honor and glory forever and ever Amen.” (I Tim. 1:17)
Here is how the Apostle John describes God’s dwelling place: “And He who sat there was like a jasper, and a sardius stone in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne in appearance like an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne preceded lightnings and thundering and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind” Rev. 3:3-6).
“Ten thousand times ten thousands and thousands of thousands of angels” Rev. 5:11).From these verses we see that God dwells in splendor and light and glory surrounded by heavenly creatures and millions of angels. God is not remote nor is He a hanging Judge who gets great pleasure in sending people to an ever-burning hell.
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (I John 4:8). Love is the most fundamental characteristic of God’s nature. And how did God demonstrate that supreme love, by offering His only Son to make possible the reconciliation of sinful mankind to Himself. “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16).
What else is God like? “The Lord is merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us. Nor will He keep His anger forever. (v. 11) For as the heavens are high about the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him”. (Ps. 103: 8-13).
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven, Your faithfulness endures to all generations. You established the earth, and it abides” (Ps. 119:89-90).
God is a God of justice, mercy, and faithfulness and He is actively involved with His creation and has declared the future in advance. “I am God and there is none like Me declaring the end from the beginning. And from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasures” (Isa. 46:9-11).
Now the supreme way in which God chose to reveal Himself was through His son Jesus Christ. Christ was no ordinary man; He was not just a good man or even a prophet. Jesus Christ was nothing less than God with us.
John gives us the most fundamental explanation of the identity of Jesus Christ.
“In the beginning was the Word, (Christ) and the Word was with God (the Father) and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (the Father). All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
“And the Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (v. 14).
Jesus Christ, before His human birth, shared incredible power and glory with God the Father from eternity, but He voluntarily gave it all up, emptied Himself of that power and glory to become the Captain of our salvation, and our Saviour.
Below is a list of ideas from other religions about who Jesus Christ was:
Jewish Rabbi – Christ was a Rabbi and good Jew.
The Koran labels Jesus as a prophet (not the Son of God), but not greater than Mohammed.
Buddhists believe Jesus to have been “an enlightened one.”
Hindus consider Him a guru.
The cross (or the stake) is what separates the Christ of Christianity from every other Jesus.
In Judaism there is no precedent for a Messiah who dies, much less as a criminal as Jesus was. Never mind what the Old Testament scriptures say about the Messiah.
In Islam, the story of Jesus’ death is rejected as an affront to Allah himself. There is no room in other religions for a Christ who experiences the full burden of mortal existence, so there is no reason to believe in him as the divine Son who the Father resurrected from the dead.
Two thousand years later, not mush has changed. Paul called the message of Jesus Christ “ A stumbling block, and foolishness to the world of his day.”
But no matter what these different religions say about Jesus Christ, the Bible reveals from Genesis to Revelation, God has revealed that mankind is cut off from Him as a result of sin, and need redemption and reconciliation.
Just what is the role of the Holy Spirit? “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (or helper), that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot received, because it sees him not, neither knows him; but you know him; for he dwells with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:16-20).
Notice verse 21: “He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.”
Christ is telling us that we would not become orphans, He (Christ) would not abandon us; leave us to ourselves, all alone! “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him and He in Him and by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (I John 3:24).
It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ and the Father dwell inside of true Christians. The Holy Spirit imparts both understanding and strength. “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall over shadow you” (Luke 1:35). This verse tells us that the Holy Spirit is God’s out-flowing power.
The Apostle Paul tells in Romans 5:5 “it (the Holy Spirit) imparts God’s love as it is poured out in the hearts of believers.”
David tells us that the Holy Spirit is the means by which God created the universe. “Thou send forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30).
It is the power which God works in the minds of human beings made in His image. It is also the power by which the lame walked, the blind saw, and the deaf heard, the dead were raised from their graves during Christ’s earthly ministry.
God offers us His Holy Spirit, but for a purpose, through it, we come to share in God’s power, His attitude, His love and His thoughts. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saves us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” God’s Holy Spirit is intended to transform our lives by renewing our minds. We become a new creation, because God is changing us, writing His laws in our hearts and minds.
Perhaps the most profound truth about the nature of God, and this is understood only by a very few people. God is a Family; this truth is utterly obscured by the teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity.
The ultimate destiny of human beings, originally made in God’s image from the dust of the ground, is that they might be converted or changed by an inward spiritual renewal and ultimate born again into the very Family of God at the resurrection.
The Almighty God is bringing many sons and daughters to glory! The real truth of what God is like, and what He is doing, goes far beyond anything that most have ever imagined.
God is knowable, because He has chosen to reveal Himself. Jesus Christ became flesh and blood during His earthly ministry. He is the perfect example of how we should live and what we shall be. At His resurrection, Jesus Christ was born again of the Holy Spirit just as faithful Christians will be when He returns (I Cor. 15:50-54).
Christ was the first to be born of the Spirit as every one of us can be. He is now a member of the Kingdom of God, as every Christian shall be, “That he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). God wants you and I to come to know Him and to build a relationship with Him that will lead to us being a part of His very Family forever. God is real, do you know him?