The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psa 19:1
There are many different interpretations of who God is and what name He or “she” should be called. The more people you talk to the more variety of ways you find about people’s beliefs about God. Some people insist that God is male while others insist that God is female. Some people believe God is only a spirit that never came in the flesh body of Jesus Christ. Some people call God Allah, some Jehovah, some Buddha, or various other names for pagan gods and some call Him Lord or Jesus. There is so much confusion in the area of religious faith even among professing Christians. Some Christians are changing long-held beliefs and teachings about who God is in order to follow the world’s beliefs. History reveals that there have always been times of dissension from the faith as people threw off religious restraints to follow the world into the fleeting pleasures of sin.
One sure thing is that if you diligently seek God, you will find Him (Mat 7:7; Psa 91:15; Act 17:27). The One True God, who is Sovereign over the world, wants to be found even though He is ever so close to each of us, directing our lives into that discovery. Jesus is today revealing Himself to people who are Muslims, Buddhists, spiritualists, atheists and agnostics. Someone said concerning man’s faith in difficult situations: “There are no atheists in a foxhole”. There is an inner knowing in every person that realizes there is a God. God is the Creator Who gives every man the breathe of life and He has declared through Apostle Paul’s writings His efforts to reach to every soul:
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom 1:19-21
From the native Indian and African tribes, who believed in spirits; to the erroneous Gnostics Christians, who were spiritualists; to today’s debate about the names, forms and person of God’s Messenger; there have been constant controversies in belief about God. Religious wars have been fought between Christians and Muslims during the 10th through 12th centuries A.D Crusades and religious disagreement still exists. But even those, like Saul (Act 9:5) who resist the Christian faith, are still being led to the discovery of who God is in Jesus Christ and will to know Him eventually as Judge or Lord.
God uses the Word of God to appeal to all kinds of people. Here are just a few categories:
- Scientists – the bible declares the beginning of all things that is being confirmed by science. The accurate accounting of time itself requires the bible confirmation of the day lost when God held up time for a day of battling Israel’s enemy. George Washington Carver, a black scientist, asked God for help and made hundreds of discoveries from the peanut.
- Poets – David was an avid writer of songs and poetry as inspired by God, as was his son, Solomon, who wrote Proverbs.
- Intellectuals/Atheists – God answers the questions of skeptics and atheists in Job (Job 38:4), where God ask the question: Where was man when He, God, formed the world? Job’s confrontation by God caused him to shut his mouth from speaking (Job 40:4).
- Astrology – the book of Matthew shows that the wisdom of the wisest men and astrological study led them to seek the Christ, who would rule as king of kings and be Supreme Master of all possible wisdom. The wisdom of the bible still explains the mystery of the heavens and discusses past and future movements of the stars and moon.
- Experts in Anatomy – God not only made the first man but also performed the first operation and discussed the physique, diseases and cures for the body before modern medicine and technology.
- Psychiatrists –the causes of a deranged mind and the cure as well as the knowledge of developing and keeping a healthy mind are clearly explained in Scripture (Is 26:3).
- Architects – Jesus, known as the Chief Corner Stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone and a sure foundation instructs throughout Scripture the building a sure house.
- The Rich or Impoverish – Job the richest man of his time described God as He who gives and takes away. Satan is actually the thief, but God is the gracious Giver of wealth.
- Men of Strength or Weakness – the examples of Samson and Gideon show that God can use either weak or strong men because the source of the power is God, who works through men.
- Athletes and Artists – the strongest man (Samson) and wisest man (Solomon) were given strength by God, as were all the men gifted in workmanship for building the Temple.
- Sexual Perverts – In Romans One, God challenged mankind about their original gender, sexual purpose and their end through rebellion.
- Idolaters and False Prophets – were put to the test by God through the leadership of Moses and Elijah to settle issue of who is really God. False gods were overthrown by God.
- Power Brokers – God proved His supreme power by destruction of earth by flood, with the exception of eight people who trusted God and God promise destruction by fire in the end (Rev 9:18).
Regardless of the challenge or question, God has already answered it in His written word for everyone from the pauper to the King. And because the end of the earth has already been written even before it occurs, we know that God will have the final word. When asking the question: Who is he, God has chosen to answer through what He does in the elements by fire, water; clouds; whirlwind; through His voice speaking in the mountain, bush or sky; through His prophets; the Word and finally through Jesus Christ. He declares that “I AM that I AM” (Exo 3:14). God is whatever we need Him to be at any time. God is our Father, but promises to be a husband to the barren, our friend, our healer, our deliverer, etc. Jesus calls believers His brethren. God is:
- El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
- El Elyon (The Most High God)
- Adonai (Lord, Master)
- Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
- Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
- Jehovah-Raah or Ro’i (The Lord My Shepherd)
- Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
- Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
- Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
- El Olam (The Everlasting God)
- Elohim (God) The Lord, Yahweh the God of Israel in contrast to false gods of other nations
- Qanna (Jealous)
- Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
- Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
- Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
- Theos: Greek word translated “God.”
- Kurios: Greek word translated “Lord.”
- Despotes: Greek word translated “Master.”
- Father: God becomes our personal Father, revelation through faith in Christ
The Word of God declares who God is but God is willing to prove Himself to anyone who personally challenges His authority as He did with the Old Testament King Nebuchadnezzar:
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: Dan 4:30-34
God proved Himself to idolatrous Israel through His prophet Elijah:
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 1Ki 18:36-39
Christians believe by faith what God has said about Himself in His Word and we accept the authority of what He has said. This faith gives to the Christian righteous standing with God that unbelievers do not have. Unbelievers may insist on proof of God but that proof is before them every day in the majesty of God’s earth while their harden hearts refuse to believe. Yet the Long-Suffering Lord is willing to show up to win every soul. He has spoken for Himself through the prophets of the Old and the New Testaments:
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Isa 44:6-7
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Joh 10:25-30
The question is not really about God, who needs not validation, but rather about man’s choosing to believe the God that IS. If a man is without a harden heart, he can be persuaded by faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Salvation will come from the drawing of the Lord and the Holy Spirit’s personal dealings with man to convict him. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…” (Heb 11:6). Jesus spoke very clearly on our choice to believe:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Joh 3:17-21
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Joh 3:16