Who/What Is God?
Some intelligent people believe that there is no God. By assuming that if God exists he would be limited like us and by denying the possibility of miracles they prove that there is no God. But their presuppositions are wrong. God is not limited by space and time. He is not human like us. We are three dimensional beings in space falling through a fourth dimension that we call time. When we move really fast in the three dimensions it changes our rate through time. That’s part of the theory of relativity. But God is outside of time and He fills all space. This is hard to understand.
Let’s look at scriptures and examine some of the differences between us and God.
God is a spirit, He is not flesh and bones like us, but he is our father. Although beings made of flesh, we are also spirit too.
John 4:23-24 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
God created the world, we didn’t.
Acts 17:24-25 The God who made the world and all things in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, doesn't dwell in temples made with hands, neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things.
God and space.
God fills all space. He is everywhere.
Jeremiah 23:23-24 "Am I a God at hand," says the LORD, "and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him?" says the LORD. "Don't I fill heaven and earth?" says the LORD.
Psalm 139:7-12 Where could I go from your Spirit? Or where could I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there! If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me; the light around me will be night;" even the darkness doesn't hide from you, but the night shines as the day. The darkness is like light to you.
God and Time
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, before you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night.
God knows the future, to him it is an open book. When he looks at you or me he sees us in the now, but he also sees us back when we were born and even before we were born and he sees when we will die. God is outside of time. He already knows what will happen.
Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well. My frame wasn't hidden from you, when I was made in secret, woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them.
God planned for Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was born.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."
From the beginning of time God planned for his offspring, Christ, the offspring of the woman, to defeat the devil.
Genesis 3:14-15 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel."
Only God can speak of the future in past-tense. God not only knows the future. He speaks of things that don’t exist yet as if they already do exist. He uses past-tense to describe future things.
Romans 4:16-17 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations." This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.
Isaiah 46:9-10 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 things that are not yet done; saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure;
God sees the future and modifies the present to make the future come out the way He wants.
Jeremiah 1:11-12 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, " Jeremiah, what do you see?" I said, "I see a branch of an almond tree." Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well; for I watch over my word to perform it."
God and the Theory of Evolution
Insofar as the theory evolution disproving the existence of God, it doesn't! God created the world and everything in it, perhaps evolution is the path God chose? The Bible describes creation as taking place over a number of days, but doesn't tell how long these days were. The days were periods of time and could have been millions of years. According to Genesis God didn't create the sun until the 4th day. What the Bible does say about time is:
2 Peter 3:8 "But don't forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
God can move through time and space much differently that we humans can. If he chose to take several million years to make the world, it would not contradict the Bible.
God is wise and powerful.
He created the universe by his wisdom.
Proverbs 3:19-20 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth. by understanding, he established the heavens. By his knowledge, the depths were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew.
Jeremiah 51:15 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens:
God's wisdom and understanding is beyond our comprehension.
Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," says 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.
Romans 11:33-36 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has first given to him, and it will be repaid to him again?" For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.
Think of the nearly infinite quantity of information God routinely processes every second. We measure super-computer peformance in mega or giga or tera operations per second, but we have no way to describe what God does. God keeps track of all the stars, black holes, anti-matter, dust clouds, comets, meteors, etc. and us, even the hairs on our heads. God’s information handling capability is far beyond the processing capability of our tiny finite brains.
Isaiah 40:25-26 "To whom then will you liken me? Who is my equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number. He calls them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, Not one is lacking.
Psalm 147:4-5 He counts the number of the stars. He calls them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power. His understanding is infinite.
Isaiah 40:28 Haven't you known? Haven't you heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn't faint. He isn't weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
What is reality? We have much to learn.
To deny the possibility of miracles is to assume that you are God. How can you be sure that miracles are not possible? There are many things which we do not understand. Remember the 18th century German scientist who proved mathematically that heavier than air flight is impossible. What really is mass, energy, inertia, gravity, force, light, electromagnetism, gravitic and electromagnetic fields and waves, particle wave duality, electromagnetic repulsion and attraction, the nuclear bond that binds atoms into molecules, sub-atomic particles: neutrinos, quarks, pions, muons, etc. How and why do they interact? Is there anti-gravity and/or anti-matter? Is Christ the force that holds atoms and molecules together?
Colossians 1:12-17 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.
All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ.
Colossians 2:1-3 For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.
God cares about people
God created the world to be inhabited.
Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn't create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD; and there is no other.
God is Interested in people.
Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven. He sees all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions all of their hearts; and he considers all of their works.
God cares about animals too.
Jonah 4:10-11 The LORD said, "You have been concerned for the vine, for which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. Shouldn't I be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who can't discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much livestock?"
God helps those who seek him, his saints.
Psalm 53:2 God looks down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there are any who understood, who seek after God.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
Psalm 34:6-7 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
God Loves People
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn't send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.
God disciplines those he loves.
Proverbs 3:11-12 --- My son, don't despise the LORD's discipline, neither be weary of his reproof: for whom the LORD loves, he reproves; even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
God is patient with us.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God’s Plan for the world.
Acts 17:30-31 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent, because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.
Acts 17:26-27 He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings, that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us
Why is there so much suffering and evil in the world?
The simple one word answer is sin. There is an active, but finite, powerful being trying to thwart God’s plans by getting humans to sin, to disobey God and do evil.
God was before time. He made some created beings, one of whom turned evil long ago. This prophecy of Tyre in Ezekiel speaks of a created being who turned to evil.
Ezekiel 28:13-15 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz, emerald, chrysolite, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and beryl. Gold work of tambourines and of pipes was in you. In the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers: and I set you, so that you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.
Ezekiel 28:16-17 — you have sinned: therefore I have cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I have cast you to the ground; —.
Here is another snapshot of an evil being cast out of heaven long ago. Notice that he has a lot of helpers.
Revelation 12:7-9 There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. They didn't prevail, neither was a place found for him any more in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Satan deceived Eve causing Adam and Eve to be cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:13-14 The LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
Satan still appears as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Sadly, many people will fall for his deceptions.
Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it. How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.
We are in a war with the devil and his supporters, both people and angels.
Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We should walk in God's light to avoid the devil's traps.
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don't tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
God hates sin and wll not hear the prayer of unrepentant sinners.
Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it can't save; neither his ear heavy, that it can't hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
We all have sinned but God has provided a way to be forgiven.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we haven't sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Here is how to tell if you know God.
1 John 2:1-3 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments.
Good news! We are on the winning side.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.
Is God Unjust?
God hated Esau before he was born. How can this be? Aren’t little babies innocent? Why would God hate a little baby?
Malachi 1:2-3 "I have loved you," says the LORD.Yet you say, "How have you loved us?" “Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" says the LORD, "Yet I loved Jacob; but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness."
Here’s what Abraham said to God when trying to save his nephew, Lot, before the Lord destroyed Sodom for their wickedness,
Genesis 18:25 Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn't the Judge of all the earth do right?"
This question (How could God hate a little baby?) assumes that God is like us: weak and limited in space and time. God who knows the future could hate a little baby, because of what the baby or his offspring would do in the future! Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, hated the Jews and rejoiced when Jerusalem fell. They should have helped the Jews, instead they helped the Jew’s enemies.
Joel 3:19 - - - Edom will be a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
Obadiah 1:10-11 For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you, and you will be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots for Jerusalem, even you were like one of them.
Psalm 137:7 Remember, LORD, against the children of Edom, the day of Jerusalem; who said, "Raze it! Raze it even to its foundation!"
God ordered the destroying of whole nations including children. He knew what the nations he ordered destroyed were doing and what their children would do if allowed to live. So he ordered them to be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 7:1-2 When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before you, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than you; and when the LORD your God shall deliver them up before you, and you shall strike them; then you shall utterly destroy them: you shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy to them;
God waited until the iniquity of the Amorites was ripe. He told Abraham what was going to happen to the Jews several generations before they left Egypt and entered the promised land.
Genesis 15:16 In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full."
God has the ability to see the future, but sometimes he doesn't use it. He was surprised by how evil the humans before the flood had become. But he saw that Noah could father righteous people, so he saved him and his family, but destroyed the wicked in the flood.
Genesis 6:5-8 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart. The LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the LORD's eyes.
God promised Abraham to spare Sodom if he could find just 10 righteous men there.
Genesis 18:32 He said, "Oh don't let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?" He said, "I will not destroy it for the ten's sake."
God would have spared Jerusalem if he could have found just one righteous man there.
Jeremiah 5:1 "Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places of it, if you can find a man, if there are any who does justly, who seeks truth; and I will pardon her.
This should motivate us to try to be righteous not only for our own sake but for the sake of our family and our country. When we do slip and fall, we need to get back up (repent) and keep trying. God loves repentant sinners.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
When a sinner repents, heaven rejoices.
Luke 15:7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
We conclude with Christ’s Invitation from Revelation
Revelation 22:12-14 Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" He who hears, let him say, "Come!" He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Make God your choice, seek Him!