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Many people think they know of God, but do they really know Him? Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father to mankind. God is love, and you can know Him!
Many people know of God. But do they really know Him? The truth may surprise you!
"How good it is to know the Lord this morning!" said the emotional preacher.
"Amen," echoed several in the congregation.
Have you heard people talk in this glib manner about their God and Creator? Such folks honestly believe they are glorifying the Eternal God by this kind of talk. They are—on the whole—quite evidently sincere. But many non-religious people, especially those who are less emotional, just smile to themselves when they hear this—and feel that these sentimental people have been misguided into using religion as a means of "letting off steam."
But do any of these people even "know the Lord" at all? Putting our personal feelings and preconceived ideas aside, how can we really "get to know" God?
There are three basic means by which you can come to know and really understand the true God—the Creator of the universe. The first way is by carefully studying what God has produced—His creation—the thing we sometimes call "nature." The Apostle Paul knew this. He was inspired to write: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20).
God's supreme intelligence is so evident in His creation that the atheist is totally without excuse for denying God's existence. This is a law-abiding universe. God is clearly revealed in nature as a God of law and order—of supreme wisdom and purpose behind everything He does.
Try to break the law of gravity sometime! The unity of nature—the constancy of inexorable law—points to the nature and character of the Creator. God's creation did not evolve! Its laws remain the same. Charles Darwin's own son said, "We cannot prove that a single species has been changed." God decreed in Genesis 1:25 that every plant and animal should bring forth "according to its kind." Not once has this decree been violated.
God's laws do not change! All creation thunders forth this truth. This principle applies to spiritual as well as physical things. Study God's creation if you truly wish to understand your Creator. The Bible and "nature" both teach that God's plan and His laws do not change. "The works of His hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness." (Psalm 111:7–8).
In contrast to the united testimony of nature, human beings are divided and confused in their ideas of God. It has been said, "Man creates God in his own image." In the majority of cases, that is true!
People of every nation and tongue have always worshiped something. But their "god" is usually a product of their imagination—a god that conforms to their current human standards, laws and ways of looking at things.
Even today, most professing "Christians" read their own idea of God into the Bible. We all know of people who think of God as a kindly, sentimental and very prudish old fellow who would be shocked to tears and completely upset if any of his children should go to a dance or drink a glass of wine. Their concept of God is just as narrow and limited as their own environment, training and mental outlook has been.
Other people go to the opposite extreme. They think of God as a far-off spiritual power, who has little or no direct interaction with the human family. They imagine that God is "wise" enough to leave us alone to choose our own amusements, society and laws—and even our own religion the way we want to have it. Such people think they are philosophic, cosmopolitan and "modern." So, they picture God in their own image!
The Holy Bible is the revealed word of the Creator God. It was written to show us the nature of God, and how we should live and worship Him, that we might become His children. Diligently studying your Bible is the second way to come to know God. It is the second witness needed to dispel humanity's confusion in its ideas of God.
If you have proved and really believe that the Bible is the inspired revelation from God to man, then you should clearly realize that God's word is not to be argued with—or falsely interpreted to support pet doctrines.
We may have had our own preconceived human idea of God. But if we want the truth, we must put that aside, and search God's word to find out how He reveals Himself to us. Remember: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is meant to correct and reprove us—to show us where we are wrong. Will we let it?
God says, "I am the Lord, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6). We find that Jesus Christ is, "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). The Father and the Son do not whimsically alter their plans and principles—or their laws. They "do not change."
At this point, it is important to realize that Christ was the God or "Lord" of the Old Testament! In John 1:1–5, we find that Christ was the "Word" or "Spokesman" who was with the Father from the beginning. All things were created by Jesus Christ (v. 3; Colossians 1:16). Christ was the spiritual "Rock" who protected the children of Israel, and it was He who gave them the Ten Commandments
(1 Corinthians 10:1–6).
God in the person of Jesus Christ is the One who gave the law that most preachers scorn today! Why do people hide their eyes from the Christ who is supreme Lawgiver? Do they think Christ has changed?
Your Bible says He has not changed!
God's methods and laws are consistent from Genesis to Revelation. But most self-appointed preachers, failing to realize this, will talk about the "God of the Old Testament" in contrast with Christ in the New Testament. They even say that Christ preached the gospel, but the Apostle Paul preached a different gospel. These preachers are in confusion.
In Revelation 17:5, God calls this mixed-up, divided system "Babylon the Great"—which literally means "great confusion." God's true people are commanded to come out of that system (Revelation 18:4).
Because the people in that system do not know the true God! Satan has his own false ministers who appear to be ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15). These false ministers are deceiving people, "whose minds the god of this age has blinded" (2 Corinthians 4:4).
How can these people be so easily deceived? First, because they blindly follow human tradition and its false ministers, and therefore have a false concept of God. Second, because they are spiritually too lazy to study the Bible and come to know the true God and His way.
From Genesis to Revelation, God is revealed as the Creator, the Ruler, and the potential spiritual Father of mankind. In Genesis 2:17, God commanded the first man not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Adam stubbornly disobeyed this command and incurred the death penalty. God had shown himself as Ruler, and His subjects had disobeyed.
Long before God instituted the Old Covenant, He blessed Abraham—because he obeyed God's laws and kept His commandments (Genesis 26:5). Abraham knew God as his Supreme Ruler.
After the Israelites had come out of Egypt, God gave them His commandments, which they had lost since Jacob's time. They were to be ruled by God's laws, the only laws that can truly bring happiness. But the Israelites—having the same human nature we have today—disobeyed God and were driven into captivity.
Why? Because they refused to recognize God—to know God—as their Supreme Ruler.
Jesus came in the flesh to "reveal" the Father. He showed that God's law would be in force until heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 5:18). Christ did not come to destroy God's law, but to fulfill it (v. 17). Remember, to fulfill means to do or perform, not to do away with. When a young man came to ask Jesus how to be saved, he was told to "keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17).
Jesus taught that Christians were no longer to carry out the administration of the civil statutes and judgments for breaking the law (John 8:1–8). Christ's followers are no longer to execute judgment on evildoers (Matthew 7:1–5). The rituals and carnal ordinances of the Old Testament were fulfilled by Christ's sacrifice (Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 7:27). Yet it is that very sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit which now lives within true Christians, that allows us to keep the spiritual commandments (Matthew 5:19).
Indeed, Jesus' whole ministry was one of revealing God as the supreme Lawgiver and Ruler. Christ preached the good news of the coming kingdom—government—of God (Mark 1:14). That is the true gospel—the good news of God's government, God's rule!
The very foundation of Jesus' teaching was that, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). What word? What God? The Jews of Jesus' day knew very well that Christ was referring to the God of the Old Testament—the giver of the law—who was to rule Israel. The only "word" of the true God, at that time, was the Old Testament contained in your Bible! Jesus referred to the "law"—the Old Testament writings—as scripture, and He said, "the scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35).
Yes, you are commanded to live by every word of the true God as revealed by Jesus Christ in the New and Old Testaments of your Bible. Do you know that God? Or do you think Christ did not know what He was talking about?
Please open your mind to this truth!
Most professing "Christian" ministers talk about Christ as some sort of hero and Savior, but they refuse to acknowledge His gospel, His teachings and His example. They picture Jesus as a sweet but helpless little baby at Christmas, and as a Savior who has gone "way off to heaven" at Easter! Their conception is that He came to die for mankind, but that His teaching carries no authority today!
Your Bible says the exact opposite!
We read that Jesus' life was the "light" of men (John 1:4). It was to show them God's way to live. Peter was inspired to write, "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21). Also: "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:6). Or, as the Moffat translation renders that verse: "He who says he 'remains in him' ought to be living as he lived."
Jesus is our perfect example! Those who say they are Christians—that they "remain in Him"—ought to be living as He lived! Are you? If you do not believe in and try to follow Jesus' example, you do not understand what kind of God the true God is. You are ignorant of how to worship and obey the God and Father of Jesus Christ.
What was Jesus' example?
Jesus' entire life is a perfect example of obedience to God's law and His rule! He said, "I have kept my Father's commandments" (John 15:10). His own teaching was simply a magnification of God's law (Isaiah 42:21). Actually, He came in the flesh to magnify His own law—the Ten Commandments! Remember, He was the God of the Old Testament who gave the Ten Commandments and dealt with Israel (1 Corinthians 10:1–6).
When He came in the flesh, Jesus kept that law to set us an example. He was our "light," our example. A true Christian is one who follows Christ—who follows that example.
Do you begin to see the true nature of the living God?
He is the One who has set all physical and spiritual laws and energies in motion. He has an overall plan for this earth—He is Supreme Ruler.
The Word came in the flesh as Jesus Christ, to preach the good news of God's kingdom—His government. Jesus always preached that gospel. Philip preached it (Acts 8:12). The Apostle Paul preached it all through his ministry—even to the Gentiles at Rome (Acts 28:31). It is the only true gospel!
God is a ruler. If we become His begotten children through repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), we can be "born again" into His Kingdom (John 3:1–8). We can be changed into—actually born—of spirit as a literal son of God! God is reproducing Himself! He, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, is begetting human beings through His Spirit to be born as His sons—to be in His own family and inherit eternal life. But before God will make us His own sons and grant us eternal life, we must first learn how to live.
We must develop God's wisdom—His character. We must "live by every word of God." Realizing that our Creator knows best, we should obey Him. To deny this is to admit a profound ignorance of the Eternal God's great wisdom and purpose! It betrays a lack of understanding of the character of the true God.
The Apostle John summed it up when he wrote of Christ—the God of the Old Testament, the giver of the law: "He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4).
God Himself calls lawless ministers liars when they try to deny the authority of His rule, the wisdom of His law and the very basis of His great purpose!
It is time to wake up! May God help you to repent of defying His rule and breaking His laws, and guide you to accept Christ as your Savior from sin. Then you may begin to develop the character of God and be born of the Spirit as His son in the resurrection. You need to come to know the true God as your Father.
Once you actually begin to know the true God—the God revealed by Jesus Christ—you will want to talk to Him. And you can talk to Him in prayer. This is the third way you may genuinely come to know the true God.
As you come to know God in this way, you will soon realize that you need to obey God if you expect an answer. You will also find that God is love, and that He will gladly grant any request that is good for you under the circumstances. You will discover that He has power to heal you when you are sick, to deliver you in miraculous ways from trouble and to bless you in a manner beyond human comprehension.
So, get to know God by talking to Him every day!
And remember—the combined testimonies of nature, of the Bible, and of answered prayer all reveal the same true God. He is the All-Wise, All-Powerful, Law-Giving Ruler of the universe. He is your Father. I hope you will be willing to acknowledge His government, obey His laws, and inherit eternal life as His child!