Study The Bible Course Lesson 9: WHY Science Hasn’t “Discovered” God

Bob Thiel, Editor-in-Chief

Published 2016 by the Continuing Church of God

Preface:  This course is highly based upon the personal correspondence course developed in 1954 that began under the direction of the late C. Paul Meredith in the old Radio Church of God.  Various portions have been updated for the 21st century (though much of the original writing has been retained).  It also has more scriptural references, as well as information and questions not in the original course.  Unless otherwise noted, scriptural references are to the NKJV, copyright Thomas Nelson Publishing, used by permission.  The KJV, sometimes referred to as the Authorized Version is also often used.  Additionally, Catholic-approved translations such as the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) are sometimes used as are other translations.

 

GOD REVEALS HIMSELF!

WE LIVE in an age of SKEPTICISM – an age of doubt and disbelief!  We live in an age where more and more scientists in the West are either atheists or agnostics.  An age that in many countries that used to consider themselves to be “Christian,” have more and more laws contrary to the teachings in the Christian Bible.

Why are there atheists?

Here are some views on that:

Spiegel asserts that for many atheists, it’s not “cool, rational inquiry” that led to their atheism. Rather, in many cases it’s complex moral and psychological factors that produce atheism. For example, Spiegel points to research suggesting that some prominent atheists had broken, defective relationships with their fathers. Others live in perpetual disobedience and rebellion—resisting lifestyle changes required upon adopting theism. And still others confess that they just don’t want there to be a God. Spiegel contends that immorality has cognitive consequences—it impedes one’s ability to recognize that theism is true. (Graves S. Why are there still atheists? Christianity Today.  March 28, 2011)

Being an atheist is NOT the result of rational thought, but the result of misunderstanding truth, often shaped by negative experiences and/or improper reactions to other observations.

 

Skeptics either do not believe God exists (atheists) or are not sure God exists, but are open to the possibility (agnostics).

Skeptics dismiss the idea that the Bible is holy or supernatural in any way.

Modern education has put a premium on MATERIALISM. The mere mention of “God” in the classroom provokes LAUGHTER and RIDICULE. Immorality is often part of the curriculum!  In many places, teaching.

Consider also the following headline that was in a San Luis Obsipo County newspaper:

‘There is no other side to evolution’

This happened because a teacher in a local high school was disciplined for exposing  some of the flaws of evolution.  But many did not want to hear about flaws or alternative explanations to evolution.

 

Schools, in the USA at least, were supposed to teach truth and encourage independent thought.  Yet, more and more, the truth is stifled for various false agendas (the homosexual agenda is another that immediately comes to mind).  Forcing the teaching of evolution, while stopping scientific explanations in conflict with it is a prelude to a type of the ‘famine of the word’ which is prophesied to come (Amos 8:11-12).

Notice also the following:

The National Center for Science Education defines dogma as “a system of beliefs that is not subject to scientific test and refutation.” When an organization claims that “evolution is as much a fact as gravity” or that people must “refrain from attacking evolution in public school” they are treating the theory of biological evolution as if it is infallible dogma that is above critique or refutation. It is not, and should not be treated as such.  (Kolibush S. Evolution and creationism could be taught side by side. New Times,  May 2015)

Evolution is a dogma, which is not only unproven, but has parts that are scientifically disprovable. Yet, the ‘skeptics’ tend to embrace it.

People who have seen the Ben Stein movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, realize that the academic community frequently hurts the careers of those who actually have scientific evidence against evolution.

 

Many in academia openly state that God is a myth. Is God an invention of an ignorant, superstitious past? This question still haunts many a mind. Let’s understand the TRUTH!

 

The DEATH of God?

Decades ago, various theologians and ministers, who claimed to be “Christian,” were promulgating the idea that God is DEAD – or that He simply NEVER WAS!

It’s time that “Christian Atheism” was exposed for the fraud that it is.

Why do various ones want to believe God is dead?

The answer is simple.  Many do not want to admit the AUTHORITY of God over their lives. They refuse to accept the Bible as God’s authoritative revelation to mankind!

With a convenient theology where GOD NO LONGER EXISTS, obviously there would be no need to OBEY Him. Everyone can do what is right in his/her own eyes. Everyone can establish his/her OWN moral principles – set up his/her OWN “set of rules” to live by.  Each person thus becomes an authority unto himself/herself! God is totally LEFT OUT of the picture!

In modern times, various theologians have decided it is fine to believe in God, but they have decided to tell many that what the Bible says is evil is good (Isaiah 5:20)—and those with itching ears that wish to engage in immoral behaviours latch on to these false teachings (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Most of the world is IGNORANT of the REALITY AND TRUE TEACHINGS OF GOD! All creation stands as a WITNESS to the existence of a great Supreme CREATOR! That Creator is ALMIGHTY GOD!

And that God INSPIRED the writing of the Bible – His Instruction Book for humankind. People do not need to remain in ignorance of God’s existence and teachings today!

 

WHY God Must Reveal Himself

God is INVISIBLE SPIRIT (John 4:24). But humans – limited by our PHYSICAL senses and instruments – cannot DETECT spirit.  Therefore, God must SPECIALLY REVEAL Himself to mortal humankind.

Because humans are aware of only the physical world around them, many have carelessly ASSUMED that spirit beings do not exist. What folly!

GOD REALLY DOES EXIST – as we are soon going to see! Actually, spirit beings have existed longer, have far superior minds, and are incomparably more powerful than man!

Indeed humans in their present form are as nothing.  God says so! “All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted to Him LESS THAN NOTHING and worthless” (Isaiah 40:17). And they would remain so if God didn’t have marvellous PLANS for mankind!

 

God Challenges the Doubters!

Listen to what Almighty God says to those who DOUBT His existence:

The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ (Psalm 14:1).

Is God unreasonable? Does He expect you to accept and believe in that which is unprovable and unreasonable?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! God says, “Come now, and let us REASON together” (Isaiah 1:18). He WANTS us to have basic PROOFS.  He exhorts us to “PROVE all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).  He knows we will not really be satisfied any other way.

The fact that God COMMANDS us to prove His existence shows that He has made ample provision to satisfy the sound and unprejudiced mind.

Yes, God has made available the MEANS by which you can KNOW HE DOES EXIST! This fact should stand SUPREME above all other knowledge in our minds.

 

The Time to KNOW God!

We are at the virtual END of an age – the 6000-year period in which God has allowed human to be its own master and the molder of its worldly destiny.

We’re now at the very THRESHOLD of the Great Tribulation! It is to be a time such as never was before, nor shall be again (Matthew 24:21). Currently we seem to be in sorrows that precede it (Matthew 24:4-8).

 

Notice Mark’s account of the beginning of sorrows:

 

5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows (Mark 13:5-8).

 

There have been earthquakes in various places, weather issues, and troubles the past several years. So perhaps the sorrows are beginning (and possibly may have began on September 19, 2009 related to ecumenical plans of certain groups that claim Jesus is He).  In Mark’s account the great “tribulation” does not start until verse 19 (essentially after the same events as Matthew’s account lists). Economic recessions and terrorist events can be considered as “troubles.”

The fact is that the coming Great Tribulation involves horrors for physical and spiritual Israel.  About 2.4years after it starts there are to be the heavenly signs (Matthew 24:29), which are followed by the “Day of the Lord, a time of wrath and anger (Isaiah 13:9), which affects the whole world (cf. Matthew 24:30-31, Zechariah 14:1-4).

It’s TIME WE WAKE UP to the realities that confront us! For Almighty God is soon going to intervene in world affairs by great PHYSICAL signs and wonders which humans will actually SEE and FEEL!

God is already beginning to uproot the “little world” we have created for ourselves! DISRUPTIONS on the earth are ALREADY BEGINNING TO OCCUR!  And the prophesied “signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars” (Luke 21:25) will relatively SOON be seen!

GOD IS BEGINNING TO INTERVENE PERSONALLY!!  Here is your opportunity to KNOW THE ETERNAL GOD BEFORE THE FULL FURY OF HIS WRATH IS UNLEASHED!

Yes, God is going to take a very definite and ACTIVE part in your life from here on out!  And when men SEE and FEEL the awesome power of God in action, they will finally be convinced that GOD DOES EXIST!

 

What About In

Just WHO, or WHAT, is God?  When and how did He originate?  Or has He existed forever? Where is He?  What does He look like?  What are His surroundings like?  Does God think as we do?  What great powers and wonderful attributes does He possess?

What is the HOLY SPIRIT? What is God’s relationship to the Holy Spirit? And what is Christ’s relationship to the “Father”?

Did God create the heavens and the earth and all we see therein? Did He formulate laws by which the universe functions? Is God sustainer and ruler of all things?

And is the Bible really God’s INSPIRED Word – can we DEPEND on it?

These, and many other questions, come to mind when the word “God” is mentioned. You will find the answers to all these questions in the following pages of this Study the Bible Course.

Consider that GOD IS ABOUT TO REVEAL HIMSELF in a real and TANGIBLE way that will simply astound you!

And once having revealed Himself, God will give you IRREFUTABLE PROOF that all He says in the Bible is TRUE!

This lesson, like all others, is extremely important to you.  Have you PRAYED to God for understanding?  If not, go to a private place, kneel down, and ask Him for SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING and wisdom.  Ask God to HELP you grasp and APPLY the knowledge this lesson will reveal to you in the Bible.

Don’t forget to WRITE OUT THE SCRIPTURES which answer the questions.  This will help you greatly in REVIEWING and REMEMBERING what you have learned.

Now to begin the lesson itself!

 

 

LESSON 9

WHO-WHAT Is God?

Nearly all of us have been reared from childhood to ASSUME that “God” is ONE INDIVIDUAL PERSON.  But your Bible reveals “God” is a kingdom, or family — composed of MORE than one divine person! Here are the facts:

  1. Did “God” create the universe? Genesis 1:1.  Does Genesis 1:26 reveal that God is a PLURALITY of persons? Notice the words, “GOD said, Let Us ….”

COMMENT:  The original Hebrew word for “God” in Genesis 1:1 and throughout the account of the creation is ELOHIM, which actually means MORE THAN ONE! It is the plural form of the Hebrew word “El,” or “Eloah,” which can be correctly translated as “Mighty One.” The plural form, as used in your Bible, means “The Mighty ONES” – MORE than just one person/being.

Elohim is a UNIPLURAL noun, such as “church,” or “family,” or “kingdom,” which stands for a SINGLE CLASS composed of TWO OR MORE individuals. Elohim, then, means the “God KINGDOM,” or “God FAMILY.”

And so “God” is not merely one person – GOD IS A FAMILY (Ephesians 3:14-15)! God is A KINGDOM – the Supreme Divine Family which CREATED and RULES the universe!

While unitarians claim that if God is one, there cannot be more than one being, this shows a terrible misunderstanding of scripture.  Jesus taught that He and His Father were different, yet were one (John 17:22).  Jesus also taught that in a marriage, two beings (a man and a woman) become one (Matthew 19:4-6).  Hence, while the Godhead consists of more than one being (Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9), there is one Godhead.

The GOSPEL JESUS BROUGHT to humankind is simply the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD – and that Kingdom IS God.  And, incredible as it may sound, Jesus taught that humans can be born into the RULING divine FAMILY of God!  But more about this later.

Now let’s understand WHO are the specific individuals presently composing “Elohim” – the  God Kingdom.

  1. Was the “Word” with God when “God” created the universe?  John 1:1. Is the Word also “God”?  Same verse.  Did the Word do the ACTUAL WORK of creating all things?  Verse 3. And did the Word later become a flesh and blood HUMAN BEING?  Verse 14.

 

  1. Does the Bible plainly tell us Jesus Christ created ALL the material universe – including this earth and mankind?  Ephesians 3:9 and Colossians 1:16. Then does the “Word” of John 1:1 OBVIOUSLY refer to Jesus Christ? And would the OTHER member of the God Kingdom have to be the divine Person who later became known as the “Father”?  1 Corinthians 8:6.

COMMENT:   John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 reveal two beginnings – that God existed and then the original creation of the universe. They both reveal that these TWO Supreme Beings of the God Kingdom, PLANNING IN PERFECT ACCORD, created all things.

The Greek word which is translated into English as “Word,” in John 1:1, is LOGOS.  It literally means SPOKESMAN, or one who SPEAKS. And so everything was MADE by the SPOKESMAN, or the LOGOS, who became CHRIST!

It was the Logos of the God Family who SAID (spoke), “Let Us make man in OUR image,” thus executing His awesome office as the very EXECUTIVE of the God Family!

  1. Notice who is greater in the God Kingdom.  Did Jesus say He and His Father are “one”? John 10:30 and 17:11. But did He also admit that the Father is GREATER in authority than He?  John 14:28.  Notice also 1 Corinthians 11:3.

COMMENT:  Since the Father is greater in authority and since Christ – the “Word,” or Logos (John 1:1) – made all things for the Father, then it is evident that the Father has ALWAYS been in SUPREME command in the Kingdom of God – even BEFORE the beginning of the material creation!

 

A “Father-Son” Relationship

The Father and Christ have been shown to constitute the Kingdom, or FAMILY of God. Now we need to understand how the “Father”-and-“Son” relationship developed between these two Supreme Beings.

  1. Did the Logos (Christ) later BECOME a flesh and blood human being?  Hebrews 2:9; John 1:14. Why?  Hebrews 2:9.

COMMENT:  ALL mankind has sinned (Romans 3:23,).  And “the wages of sin is {ETERNAL} death”! (Romans 6:23.)

The Logos became a mortal man so He could DIE to pay the death penalty for the sins of ALL mankind! For Christ’s human life was more valuable than the lives of all human beings put together because He was God INCARNATE – GOD MADE FLESH!  (John 1:14.)

  1. How did the Logos become a mortal man?  Matthew 1:18-23.  Did Jesus therefore inherit His human nature from His MORTAL mother Mary?

 

  1. Was He BEGOTTEN of the Father by His Holy Spirit?  Verse 20. Then did Jesus (the Logos) become the BEGOTTEN “Son” of God, the “Father”?  And was the Father called “HEAVENLY FATHER” for this miraculous begettal?  Matthew 18:19, 35.

COMMENT:  Jesus was begotten within His human mother Mary.  But unlike all other men, He was MIRACULOUSLY begotten of GOD by the agency and power of God’s SPIRIT.  He thus became the “Son” of God.  He called God His “Father.”  And so formally began the “FATHER”-and-“SON” relationship which is a FAMILY relationship!

  1. After His resurrection from the dead, was Christ restored to His former great power and glory as God? John 17:5; Revelation 3:21. Then will the Kingdom of God plainly be the ruling Family of God – composed at present of the Father and Son – to which the God Family is in the process of adding MANY OTHER Sons of God? Consider Romans 8:29. Notice the words, “FIRSTBORN among MANY brethren.”

COMMENT:   The “Father”-and-“Son” relationship of the God Kingdom clearly began when Jesus was BEGOTTEN in His mother Mary by His heavenly Father.

 

Christ – “LORD GOD” of the Old Testament

  1. Did the One who later became known as the Father limit His direct part in the affairs of this world in Old Testament times? John 1:18 and 5:37.

 

  1. But what does the New Testament say of Christ, the “Word,” who WAS taking an active part then? 1 Corinthians 10:4.  Is the “Rock” one of His titles? Same verse.

 

  1. Was this Rock called the “LORD” in Old Testament times? 2 Samuel 22:2-3.

COMMENT:  In the King James Authorized Version and the New Kings James Version of the Bible, the word “LORD” is frequently used, and usually appears in small capital letters (the New Testament itself frequently does refer to God as “Lord,” despite some false claims that some have made).  Wherever this word appears in CAPITAL letters, it is translated from the Hebrew word “YHVH.”

In writing in Hebrew, the vowels are omitted.  They are supplied only in speaking the language.  Thus the precise pronunciation of “YHVH” is not definitely known. Today it is commonly ASSUMED to be YAHVEH or YAHWEH (the true pronunciation is not known for certain as God did not choose to preserve that).

The YHVH, when more correctly translated, implies “The ETERNAL” or the EVERLIVING ONE, rather than “Lord.”  This Hebrew word reveals that the LORD GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IS THE CHRIST OF OUR DAY!

  1. Did David speak of this SAME Rock or LORD as his “God”? Psalm 18:1-2.

COMMENT:  The word “God” actually has two meanings:  the God Kingdom, or the Family of God; AND the PERSONS/BEINGS composing that Kingdom, or Family.  Christ and the Father are ONE God – one “ELOHIM” – but TWO SEPARATE PERSONS!

But the Lord – YAHVEH – was the ACTIVE PARTNER of the One we now know as the Father, in GUIDING Old Testament Israel. He was “God” – the divine SPOKESMAN, or “Word” of the Godhead – in Old Testament times.  And it was YAHVEH who spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden!

And so the “LORD” who SPOKE and was SEEN of men was always Jesus Christ.  For NO ONE has ever directly seen the Father (John 1:18; 5:37).

  1. Who did Christ tell Israel He was?  Isaiah 48:17.  Is the term “LORD your God” used here? This was the WORD – not the Father – who spoke.  What did He tell Israel He had done, and what He would be to them in the future?  Isaiah 43:15.

 

  1. Was it ALSO the Word – Christ – who GAVE the TEN COMMANDMENTS?  Exodus 20:1-2. Also read verses 3 through 17.

COMMENT:   The Hebrew word for Lord in Exodus 20 is YAHVEH.  So here again it was the Logos – who later became CHRIST – who was doing the ACTUAL WORK of giving the Ten Commandments, for the Father had TURNED THIS WORK OVER TO HIM!

  1. Did this same “LORD God” prophesy that in the future – in the Millennium – He would ACTIVELY gather Israel out of the nations where they had been scattered?  Ezekiel 11:17. And when He, as Christ the Son, has subdued all things, what will He do?  1 Corinthians 15:28.

COMMENT:  The divine Person of the God Family who became the Christ was the ACTIVE “LORD GOD” in Old Testament times (in most Old Testament scriptures) – REPRESENTING and ACTING on behalf of the One who became the Father.  Jesus is to remain subject to the Father!

 

Where Is God?

  1. To whom did Christ tell us to address our prayers?  Matthew 6:9.  WHERE is the One whom we address?  Same verse.  Did Christ make a direct statement that the Father is IN HEAVEN?  Matthew 7:21.

 

  1. Is there MORE than one heaven?  Genesis 2:1.  Was Paul, IN VISION, taken to the “THIRD heaven” of God’s throne?  2 Corinthians 12:1-2, 4.  Did Christ go to the heaven of the Father’s throne after His resurrection?  Revelation 3:21.  Is He still there?  Same verse. And is the Father still there?  Same verse.

 

  1. How do we know the Father is NOT in one of the “heavens” close to this earth?  John 3:13.  Notice the words “no ONE.”

COMMENT:  The Bible clearly shows there are THREE “heavens.” The first consists of the atmosphere surrounding this earth in which the clouds form. The second consists of the vast reaches of space beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

The third heaven is where God’s throne currently is:

4 The Lord is in His holy temple,
The Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men. (Psalms 11:4)

9 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all. (Psalms 103:19)

9… Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)

What is sometimes called the ‘first heaven’ is the area where the atmosphere and clouds are.

23 Yet He had commanded the clouds above,
And opened the doors of heaven,
24 Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the bread of heaven. (Psalms 78:23-24)

15 In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, (Daniel 4:15)

11… the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:11-12)

What is known as ‘outer-space’ is sometimes called the ‘second heaven.’ Below God tells Abram to look in the heaven where the stars are:

5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” (Genesis 15:5)

And also notice:

22 … stars of heaven (Deuteronomy 10:22).

3 … the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven (Deuteronomy 17:3).

10 For the stars of heaven and their constellation (Isaiah 13:10).

1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. (Revelation 9:1)

So, we can see that there are different heavens mentioned in the Bible, as well as what they are.

Today’s modern jet aircraft soar high above the earth in the first heaven. And manned spacecraft have but barely penetrated the second heaven. But the Father is located far beyond the second heaven, for “no ONE” (other than Jesus) “has ascended” to God’s throne in the THIRD HEAVEN!

Notice Hebrews 4:14 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed THROUGH the heavens ….” Christ passed THROUGH the visible first and second heavens to reach the heaven of God’s throne – THE THIRD HEAVEN.

  1. Is God associated with “Mount Zion” as well as with the “HEAVENLY Jerusalem”?  Hebrews 12:22.

COMMENT: The heavenly Jerusalem and God the Father will finally come down to this earth after it is purified. Revelation 21 and 22 describe this wonderful event.  A discussion of this marvelous occurrence is to be taken up in later lessons.

  1. Does God dwell in a TEMPLE in heaven?  Psalm 11:4.  And upon what does He sit?  Same verse.

COMMENT:  Did you know that God’s Plan is DUAL?  In the third heaven exists the heavenly City of Jerusalem. Also this is the Zion where the HEAVENLY temple of the “Jerusalem above” (Galatians 4:26) is located (Hebrews 12:22).

Now in Palestine/Israel today exists the EARTHLY city of Jerusalem. And there has been, and is to be, an EARTHLY “Mount Zion” – the real temple mount of the earthly city of Jerusalem on which the millennial temple of God will stand (Micah 4:1-2).

There is some controversy associated with the actual biblical Mount Zion. Certain Hebrew scriptures, such as Psalm 48:1-2 may seem to have it towards the north of Jerusalem, while the original “Church of God” building is on a western, not northern hill (which seems more consistent with what is suggested in 1 Chronicles 11:4-8) called Mount Zion. Historically not counting possible heavenly references, there may have been three geographical locations all called Mt. Zion, if the old claimed Temple Mount area is included (cf. Pixner B. Church of the Apostles Found on Mt. Zion. Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1990: 16-35,60). It may also be of interest to note the true Church of God seems to collectively be referred to as being part of Mount Zion in Hebrews 12:22-23. Thus, statements about ‘Zion’ can have differing meanings.

The EARTHLY, temporal city and mount are plainly physical TYPES of the heavenly mount and city which are SPIRITUAL. These physical types are but a few of the many earthly REMINDERS of heavenly things so important for us to be aware of!

  1. Will we be able to SEE spiritual objects when we are BORN of God – transformed at the resurrection into spirit beings? 1 John 3:2; cf. 1 Timothy 6:14-16.

 

What Does God Look Like?

Most people think it is impossible to know what God really looks like.  But God HAS made it possible.  And the description is contained in your Bible!

The Father and Christ will now become more REAL and PERSONAL to you than ever before! Here are the details:

  1. Has any human being ever SEEN the Father? John 5:37.

 

  1. Was Christ with the Father before He appeared on this earth as the human Jesus? John 8:38 and 6:46. Then would Christ be in a position to DESCRIBE what the Father looks like?

 

  1. Did Christ reveal the Father to us? John 1:18. Who did Christ say the Father resembled? John 14:9. Was Christ a mortal man when He made this statement?  Does the Father therefore appear like a MAN?

COMMENT:  Christ clearly indicated that the Father has the general FORM and STATURE of a mortal man!

  1. What did God say at creation which further verifies the fact that He has the FORM of a man? Genesis 1:26. Did He declare that the INVISIBLE things – including  God – can be clearly understood by the VISIBLE CREATION – including mortal man – which God made? Romans 1:20, KJV.

 

  1. But there is more to God’s appearance than just His form. What did Christ ask the Father to do just before He was taken to be crucified? John 17:5.

COMMENT:  Christ was soon going to be with the Father again.  He was asking the Father to restore Him to the same GLORIFIED CONDITION which He had with the Father BEFORE He became a mortal being.  He looked forward to having His former great power and GLORIFIED SPIRIT BODY restored to Him once again!

  1. How do Christ’s and apparently the Father’s powerful, GLORIFIED spirit bodies appear?  Revelation 1:13-16.  Remember that the “Son of man” specifically mentioned here is Christ (cf. Daniel 7:13-14; Mark 9:12).

COMMENT:  To be “glorified” means to have GREAT POWER and GLORY!  The power which the Father and Christ have IS SO GREAT that it makes their human-appearing spirit bodies SHINE AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN IN FULL STRENGTH!

 

Has God ETERNALLY Existed?

In the Bible God reveals Himself as the CREATOR of all there is — this vast material universe, angelic beings, light, life (Revelation 4:11).  Now since God created all these, then He certainly existed BEFORE they did. His time goes back BEFORE all of them.

“But WHO created God?” someone is certain to ask. This question does naturally enter our minds.  Let’s learn the simple answer from the Bible.

  1. In Lesson 7, it was shown that the “Word,” or LOGOS – who later became Christ – served in the office of the Father’s High Priest. Christ was the One who was known as the “LORD God” by the Old Testament nations.  Did He have a mother or father – did He ever have a “beginning” when He FIRST came into existence? Hebrews 7:3; John 8:58.

 

  1. How long has God existed? Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 90:2. Will He CONTINUE to exist forever?  Same verses and Isaiah 9:7.

 

  1. Does God promise to give ETERNAL life to the dead in Christ at the resurrection?  John 5:25.  Do the Father and the Son have life of themselves?  Verse 26.

COMMENT:  God is ETERNAL.  GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN!  Do you need a creator for a being that has always existed? Of course not!

In Isaiah 57:15 it states that God “inhabits eternity.”  Now eternity is a difficult concept for humans to fully grasp (Ecclesiastes 3:11). While most of us seem to have no problem envisioning that we could live forever, the idea of something not having a physical beginning is totally foreign to our lives’ experiences.

Notice that God does understand this:

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

26 Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; Nor can the number of His years be discovered (Job 36:26).

5 He does great things which we cannot comprehend. (Job 37:5)

8 And to God I would commit my cause—8 Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number (Job 5:8-9).

So we see that God put eternity in human hearts and God is infinite, but that we cannot fully understand even the work that God does from the beginning to the end.  It is beyond our ability to grasp at this time.  Yet the Bible reveals:

18 Known to God from eternity are all His works (Acts 15:18).

Thus it is clear that God knows all His works from eternity, but that there are some things that humans simply cannot fully understand.

It also seems to be able to be beyond our ability to grasp the entire universe (cf. Jeremiah 31:32). Like God, the dimensions of the universe have no beginning and have no end.  And if one concludes that empty space is the end, where does the empty space end?

Of course, it does not.

Thus, just like no one can go to one end or the other of the universe, no one can get to the beginning or the end of the Godhead.  So even though the idea of an endless universe can be within our hearts and minds, it is a concept, like the eternity of God, that is difficult for humans to fully understand.

The difficulty in understanding ETERNITY lies in our human minds. We deal in FINITE things – dollars and cents, years, miles, acres, gallons, pounds.  We measure, count and estimate in units, always arriving at a DEFINITE quantity.

But eternity is WITHOUT beginning. It is WITHOUT END!  Eternity cannot be limited to a definite number of years. Even as numbers can go on forever, so does God’s life into BOTH the past and the future.

Those things which have not always existed require a creator. But things which have always existed need no creator.

Because there now is existence (and we do not intend to debate this point), then something has always existed.  Either God always existed or matter has always existed. If there was no God, then matter has always existed.

 

Matter, as much as is scientifically known (this author has a Ph.D. in one of the sciences) is composed of atoms which are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons (no one really knows what protons, neutrons, or electrons are composed of—though some type of energy appears probable there are also quarks and other items that seem to be involved).

 

Electrons “orbit” the nucleus of atoms (the nuclei normally consist of protons and neutrons) at incredible speeds. They are always orbiting.  As much as we humans know about energy, is that without an external source, everything will eventually run out of energy.  Thus, it is not logical that matter has always existed.  Also, as much as humans know about motion, it is not possible for something to start moving without being affected by something else; thus it is not logical that electrons would be in motion unless something started them to be in motion.

 

The fact that it appears that there seems to be substantially more matter than antimatter (which in theory would be 50-50 if a non-Divine ‘big bang’ produced the universe) also suggests that the universe was designed (some say that perhaps there is a huge amount of antimatter). If matter/antimatter is not 50-50, then that violates a law of parity/balance in physics. So, this is another reason that physicists should consider a Divine Creator.

 

The fact of radioactivity also suggests that matter has not always existed. Radioactive substances are in a state of constant disintegration, thus if they would have been disintegrating forever, there would be no radioactive matter left. And science has proved that radioactive matter still exists.

 

To get around this point, some scientists suggest that the atomic structure of matter is reconfigured every several billion/trillion years through a hypothesis known as the oscillating universe theory: it is an interesting idea, but one that there is absolutely no proof for—as well as one that violates the known laws of physics as well as the known pattern of the universe. One on its major tenets is that as energy is exhausted from our expanding universe (hence they accept the earlier point that motion cannot continue without an external source), the gravity of the universe finally brings all matter together for a later reconfiguration (and explosion). This concept is absurd: it is like saying that after all material in an explosion stops moving that the attraction of all the material will bring it back together.

 

I (Dr. Thiel) used to use firecrackers as a child and can tell you this does not happen.  I understand about the effects of gravity and friction, but there is no friction in outerspace, thus there is nothing to slow the expansion down.

 

Furthermore, the Hubble telescope has proved that the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing, rather than decreasing, thus totally disproving the oscillating universe theory.  Many scientists now have correctly concluded that the universe will expand.  And is consistent with what the Bible teaches (Isaiah 9:7).  I always felt that the oscillating universe theory violated the known laws of physics and was an attempt by some scientists to try to persuade themselves that there the universe had no beginning and that there was no God.

 

GOD ALONE IS ETERNAL!

God Is Spirit

  1. God has already shown us that He has a body (Revelation 1:13-16).  But what does God say He is COMPOSED of?  John 4:24.

COMMENT:  Now we see one of the great DIFFERENCES between God and man.  God is composed of invisible spirit.  Man is but mortal flesh and blood – composed of the earth (1 Corinthians 15:47,53).

Let’s notice another great difference between God and man.

  1. What is God’s characteristic ATTRIBUTE?  Psalm 99:9 and 1 John 4:8,16.

COMMENT:  The word “holy” means PURE OF HEART or free from sin.  God has pure love.  God is composed of SPIRIT and has this holy attitude of love.

Is there anyone who is as Holy as God? 1 Samuel 2:2.

COMMENT:  Since BOTH the Father and Christ constitute the Godhead – the Family of God – both INDIVIDUALLY have the Holy Spirit. The HOLY SPIRIT is the ONE harmonious power (Ephesians 4:4), which is shared by both Father and Son, but which is available to those that are called and who repent and are baptized.

 

God Is CREATOR and SUSTAINER

  1. Is God’s Spirit also the Spirit of GREAT POWER?  Genesis 1:1-3 and Jeremiah 32:17.

COMMENT:  It was by the Spirit of God that God originally created and later RE-fashioned our earth, as shown in the first chapter of Genesis.

The Holy Spirit is the very POWER of God! It EXPRESSES the unified creative will of the God Family. It TRANSFORMED spirit energy from God into the material world we see about us (Hebrews 11:3).

The Holy Spirit OF God may be compared to a TOOL or MACHINE. A tool serves man in making things. The Holy Spirit serves this same purpose for God. But spirit is capable of infinite work – never running down because of dissipation or friction. And God’s divine Spirit fills the universe.  (Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24).  How clear it is that the Holy Spirit is NOT a THIRD PERSON of the Godhead as taught by the Greco-Roman “trinity” idea!  An idea that the Greco-Roman churches formally adopted in in 381 A.D. at the Council of Constantinople.

Is the Holy Spirit God?

The answer to that question essentially depends upon how that is intended.

Is the spirit in man human?

Essentially since it is part of a human, it is a human spirit.

The same is essentially true of the Holy Spirit.

Since it proceeds from God, it is God’s Spirit. But just like the spirit in man is not a separate person, neither is the Spirit of God a separate persons.

This is why the following verses (which are the ones most frequently cited by trinitarians to supposedly prove that the Holy Spirit is God, thus a third person of their trinity) only show that sin against the Holy Spirit is a sin against God, as opposed to teaching that the Holy Spirit, itself, is a separate God being:

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. (Acts 5:1-5).

There are two main points about the above. The first is that Ananias did lie to men and the Holy Spirit. The second is that Peter and others in the Bible (Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Micah, etc.) ultimately equate all sin to being sin against God.

Perhaps it may be of interest to note that after David sinned against Uriah the Hittite, he claimed he had really sinned against God (2 Samuel 12:13). Notice also the following:

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight (Psalm 51:3-4).

Similarly, all sin is against God.

Is the Holy Spirit in Acts 5 the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of the Lord, or a separate person only called the Holy Spirit? Well, continuing on in Acts 5 we find the answer:

7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”

She said, “Yes, for so much.”

9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.  (Acts 5:7-10)

Notice that Peter makes it clear that both Ananias and his wife Sapphira tested “the Spirit of the Lord.”  This is not some separate being.

Therefore, contrary to the assertion by many trinitarian scholars, Acts 5 is not definitive proof that the Holy Spirit is a separate God or person in any trinity.

What about Acts 13:2? It states:

2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

While some conclude that the above must mean an audible speech, this is not necessarily the case. The Bible is clear that in the past the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets (cf. 1 Kings 14:18; Hebrews 1:1; 2 Peter 1:20). Also, the word translated as “said” (εîπε) can include concepts other than direct personal speech.

Early Christians considered the Holy Spirit as something God used, like His divine power in action. This is  also reflected in symbols of the Spirit used in Scripture. The primary Hebrew word for spirit in the Old Testament is ruach, which essentially means “wind.” The primary Greek word for spirit in the New Testament is pneuma, which means “wind” or “breath.”  Similar to wind and breath, the Holy Spirit is not of itself visible, yet it is powerful (Genesis 2:7; Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8). Also, just as the air we breathe sustains physical life, the Spirit sustains spiritual life (John 6:63).

 

In the 2nd century, Melito of Sardis, to cite one example, wrote that the Holy Spirit was simply the power of God as he wrote:

 

The tongue of the Lord-His Holy Spirit. In the Psalm: “My tongue is a pen.” …

 

The finger of the Lord-the Holy Spirit, by whose operation the tables of the law in Exodus are said to have been written  (Melito. From the Oration on Our Lord’s Passion, IX)

 

Since God had the written the Ten Commandments Himself (Exodus 31:18), this shows that Melito only considered the Holy Spirit to be the power of God, not a separate person.

When we speak of the Holy Spirit, many cannot understand what it is because spiritual qualities and entities seem so unreal to most people. And no wonder. Spiritual things are INVISIBLE, not discerned by the physical senses. They must be REVEALED in writing in the BIBLE!

Only the Bible makes clear the nature of the Holy Spirit. Humankind is matter. God is invisible spirit.  And God’s Spirit, unlike mortal humans, is ETERNAL (1 Corinthians 15:53; Hebrews 9:14).

  1. How did God utilize His Spirit of power to fashion His various creations?  Psalm 148:5. Notice the word “commanded.”  Read also verses 1-4; Psalm 33:8-9 and Genesis 1:2-3.

COMMENT:   Christ – the Logos, or “Word” (John 1:1) – “SPOKE AND IT WAS DONE.”  God said, “Let there be light” – and the Spirit of God, moving over the face of the waters PERFORMED the command, and “there was light” – INSTANTLY!  The Holy Spirit is a miracle-working power!

  1. What does God say to those who do not think He can create things this way?  Romans 1:18-22.

COMMENT:  When God originally created the earth and the heavens, NO MATTER existed. He willed that spirit ENERGY from Himself be TRANSFORMED into physical energy and matter.

But when Christ spoke, the Father could have produced the food in two ways: either by transforming spirit ENERGY into NEW bread and fish, or by transforming the ALREADY EXISTING food material into ADDITIONAL bread and fish.  On another occasion, Christ was also able to still the waves of a roaring sea by the spirit energy which the Father supplied (Matthew 8:23-27).

God WILLS and SPEAKS His will, and HIS SPIRIT ACTS on any and all things He has created.  All nature obeys His commands!  We do not understand, and God does not reveal, the exact mechanism.  But He does reveal enough of the GENERAL PROCESS.  And we do have historical and scientific PROOF that all nature is obedient to Him.  Christ’s miracles are also PROOFS of this.

  1. Does God also use His Spirit of power to SUSTAIN and RULE His vast heavenly and earthly creation?  Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:2-3 and Psalm 66:7.

COMMENT:  God sits at the controls of the entire universe – He rules and sustains everything by the POWER of His Holy Spirit!

  1. Exactly what does God sustain by His power – did He set in motion specific PHYSICAL LAWS by which the material creation functions?  Genesis 8:22.  Does the sun OBEY God?  Job 9:7 and Psalm 104:19. How does the earth APPEAR to be suspended? Job 26:7.

COMMENT:  The dictionary defines the word “sustain” as “to hold suspended, to support, to keep alive, to keep from ruin.”

It has been argued that the fact that there is natural law, design, and order in the universe, this proves that there was a law giver, designer, and order maker in the universe. This is consistent with what the Bible teaches on this subject:

 

19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse

(Romans 1:19-20).

 

The above shows that the Bible teaches that belief in God is logical.

 

Similarly 1 Corinthians notes:

 

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?…27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty (1:20,27).

 

God has designed a functioning universe and the life within it. Yet, some illogically claim to disbelieve that complicated systems require a designer.

 

Does anyone really think that functional laptop computers, for example, randomly have appeared anywhere in the universe, and when they did, they appeared with software on them and electricity to run them? Yet many seem to feel that life, which is so much more complicated even at the cellular level, randomly formed and it randomly came alive. This is illogical to believe, though many who consider themselves educated claim to believe it none-the-less.

Furthermore, God’s creation would literally “fly apart,” were it not for the LAWS He set in motion to govern its functioning.  And God SUSTAINS the laws governing His creation – whether on earth or in the heavens above, whether living or lifeless – by the POWER of HIS SPIRIT!

Thus you might say the creation functions AUTOMATICALLY – much like a sophisticated computer which has been PRE-programmed to perform specific operations.  God’s Spirit is the ENERGIZING force which keeps the laws of the universe operating, just as electrical current energizes and operates a computer.

This little analogy points up the fact that God is a God of law and order (1 Corinthians 14:33).  He CAREFULLY PLANNED and calculated His creation to operate smoothly and efficiently – according to His INEXORABLE “laws of physics”!

Notice, too, that the assignment of God’s energy to the task of maintaining the physical laws of the universe is a LONG TERM assignment, in contrast to most of the SHORT TERM assignments of performing Christ’s miracles.

And so God directs His Holy Spirit in attaining His purpose.  It FLOWS OUT from Him and back again – much like current in an electrical circuit – and is felt EVERYWHERE in good works (Psalm 139:7-11).

 

Attributes of the God Family

  1. Was King Solomon the wisest man who ever lived because GOD gave him wisdom? 1 Kings 3:11-12; 10:24.  Then is the God Kingdom ALL-wise – the SOURCE of all true wisdom?  Daniel 2:20; 1 Timothy 1:17; James 1:5.

 

  1. Does the God Family have PERFECT knowledge? Job 37:14, 16.

COMMENT:   Since the Father and Son together constitute the ONE Godhead, BOTH possess the same characteristics, or attributes.  Remember, Christ said, “I and my Father are ONE” (John 10:30).

  1. Does God know the SECRET of existence without dependence upon anything – needing no food, shelter or other necessities so needful for man’s existence?  What is He called? Isaiah 40:28.

COMMENT:  He is the Everlasting God. The Hebrew word translated “LORD” here can also mean “The Self-Existent One.”

  1. Does God also know about ETERNAL LIFE – life WITHOUT END? John 5:26. Is He tireless?  Isaiah 40:28.

 

  1. Is there any way, on our own, by which we mortals may, OF OURSELVES, learn the secrets of God? Same verse. Also Romans 11:33 and Psalm 145:3. Does God reveal certain secrets?  Daniel 2:22. To whom? Proverbs 3:32b and Psalm 25:14. Does He even reveal the FUTURE to His servants called prophets? Amos 3:7.

 

  1. Is there any limit to God’s understanding? Psalm 147:5

 

COMMENT: While it sometimes seems to us that perhaps God does not understand all we go through, He really does (Romans 8:28).  He has a plan for us and will see us through (Philippians 1:6).

 

  1. And has God UNLIMITED POWER?  Psalm 62:11; Matthew 19:26; 28:18.  Does the fact that it was He created our earth (Genesis 1:1) prove this? Did He also create all of the heavenly bodies – the sun, moon and stars?  Psalm 8:3; 104:2. Can feeble, mortal man COUNT their number? Jeremiah 33:22.  But does God KNOW their number – EVEN THEIR NAMES?  Psalm 147:4

COMMENT:  Our earth is but a tiny SPECK OF DUST compared to other gigantic heavenly bodies.  Take for example our sun.  It is a relatively SMALL star within our “Milky Way” galaxy.

As for the NUMBER of stars in the universe, God says humans are UTTERLY INCAPABLE of counting all of them!  Our Milky Way galaxy is believed to have 300 billion stars.  Scientists have claimed that there are 100 BILLION GALAXIES– each with about as many stars in it as the Milky Way!

  1. Can God FORETELL future events?  Daniel 2:28; Isaiah 46:10.  Consider Daniel 2:20-21. Then can God foretell the future because He has the POWER TO MAKE what He says come to pass? Isaiah 46:11; Matthew 19:26.

 

  1. Does God have a perfect memory? Psalm 147:4-5; Amos 8:7; Hosea 7:2.  Does He also have perfect control over His memory – can He FORGET if He so wills? Jeremiah 31:34.

 

  1. Is God TRUTHFUL?  Titus 1:2. LOVING? 1 John 4:8. JUST? Deuteronomy 32:4. MERCIFUL?  Psalm 136:4.

 

  1. Is God capable of INSTANT COMMUNICATIONS – can He know what is going on EVERYWHERE at all times?  Jeremiah 23:23-24; Isaiah 58:9. What does God say He fills?  Jeremiah 23:24.  How could God be everywhere at one time? Psalm 139:7-8.  Can God, in heaven, even know what a person is thinking here on earth?  Verse 2.

COMMENT:  Mortal humans are limited by time and space. For example, radio contact between Mariner IV (which once took history-making photographs of planet Mars) and earth was limited by the fact that radio waves travel at the “slow” speed of light – 186,000 miles per second. This meant that radio commands transmitted to the space probe took approximately 12 minutes traveling time to reach it as it swung past Mars – 134,000,000 miles from earth! And telemetric data from Mariner IV took another 12 minutes to reach earth – a 24-MINUTE ROUND TRIP!

But because the Spirit of Almighty God is not limited by time and space, God is able to INSTANTLY KNOW what is taking place here on earth, or anywhere else in the universe! By His Spirit, God is able to even READ our very thoughts from heaven above!

  1. And by His Spirit, is God able to “see” what anyone is doing from His throne in heaven – untold millions or billions of miles away? Proverbs 5:21.  Does He give thought to the actions of men?  Same verse and Psalm 139:2. Also notice 2 Chronicles 16:9 and Jeremiah 32:19.

 

  1. Does God KNOW your general ATTITUDE? 1 Kings 8:39.

 

  1. Does He HEAR the groanings of His people? Psalm 38:9. How? Romans 8:23, 26-27.

 

  1. Does God know the number of STEPS you take? Job 14:16 and 31:4.

 

  1. Does God know the number of HAIRS on your head? Matthew 10:30. Does He even take note of a bird when it FALLS to the ground? Matthew 10:29. Do you think these things are impossible?  What does God say? Matthew 19:26. And what did Job say of God? Job 42:2.

 

  1. Is God capable of lightning-like travel? Matthew 24:27. Then will Christ circle the earth with the SPEED OF LIGHT at His second coming so all the world can see Him?  Luke 17:24.

COMMENT:  At Christ’s coming, He will circle the earth with the speed of light and the righteous, who will then be made spirit, will rise to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).  And actually God is not limited to the speed of light.

  1. After His resurrection, did Christ explicitly forbid Mary to TOUCH Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father in heaven? John 20:17. But later that SAME DAY, did Christ allow His disciples to touch His feet? Matthew 28:9. Then did Christ travel the distance to the Father’s throne and back to earth in LESS THAN ONE DAY?

COMMENT:   This account clearly shows that God is capable of traveling through space INCOMPARABLY FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT!

  1. Let’s notice a few other miraculous qualities of the God Family.  After Christ was resurrected and in His spirit body, did He SUDDENLY APPEAR to His disciples? John 20:19. Then is God capable of passing through solids such as doors and walls?  Same verse.  (Notice that the doors were SHUT!)  What was their reaction?  Luke 24:36-37. Did He also manifest Himself in a PHYSICAL BODY of flesh and bone that could be FELT? Verse 39. Could He eat? Verses 41-43.

 

  1. Does the Almighty, Eternal, Creator God – who is rightly able to evaluate – consider that He is INCOMPREHENSIBLY FAR ABOVE man’s PUNY capabilities and accomplishments? Isaiah 40:17-18; 55:8-9.

Should we be thankful that God even considers us at all?  Psalm 8:3-4; 92:1-3.

Just how does man, in his present form, really stand in COMPARISON to Almighty God?  Daniel 4:35.

 

God IMPARTS His Attributes to US!

Incredible as it may sound, God will actually IMPART His spiritual attributes to YOU and ME!

God’s great and wonderful PURPOSE for our existence is revealed in the Bible.  God’s plan is to create perfect SPIRITUAL CHARACTERS out of mortal mankind – literal BORN Sons of God’s Family!

Man’s creation in the Garden of Eden was complete only in the PHYSICAL sense.  He was created a perfect physical specimen – but NOT a perfect SPIRITUAL creation!  He was created WITHOUT the divine SPIRITUAL POWER which God has made available to all humankind – the power to ACCOMPLISH His purpose in us!

Here’s a glimpse of the spiritual creation God wants to produce in you.  And here’s how you CAN RECEIVE the very attributes and power of God!

  1. Is God still in the PROCESS of forming and molding man as a potter works with clay?  Isaiah 64:8.

 

  1. Did Job realize God was forming a SPECIAL CREATION in his life?  Job 14:14-15.

COMMENT:  Notice especially the latter part of Job 14:15: “You shall desire the work of Your hands.”  The “work” was JOB!  Job knew he was merely a piece of divine WORKMANSHIP in the hands of the active Creator.  Merely a piece of PLIABLE CLAY in the hands of the Master Potter!  But that God had a plan for him personally.  God also has a PLAN FOR YOU!

  1. Are spirit-led Christians being fashioned by God for a SPECIFIC purpose?  Isaiah 43:7; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 2:10.

COMMENT:  The word “WE” in New Testament language refers to spirit-directed CHRISTIANS.  WE, then – if we are God’s children – are God’s WORKMANSHIP. Yes, we are “created” – NOW BEING CREATED – FOR GOOD WORKS – unto a perfect SPIRITUAL CHARACTER which can perform wonderful good works.

So what God is actually creating in spirit directed humans is the SUPREME MASTERPIECE of all His works of creation!  He is in the process of creating millions – yes, BILLIONS – of what will become PERFECT, SPIRIT-BORN SONS OF GOD’S FAMILY!

  1. How readily will God GIVE us His Holy Spirit today?  Luke 11:9-13; 1 Timothy 2:3-4.  But are there PRIOR CONDITIONS to receiving it?  Acts 2:38 and 5:32. These CONDITIONS are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER!

COMMENT:  God is creating His supreme masterpiece by two distinct steps: mankind, the clay material creation (Genesis 1), is only the FIRST phase of what is to become God’s finished SPIRITUAL creation.  For humans, the CLAY MODEL, has to be fashioned and molded by EXPERIENCE and with the AID of GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT, into the finished SPIRITUAL masterpiece of all God’s creation!  But before the second phase of humanity’s creation – its spiritual growth – begins, God the Father must FIRST BEGET us by placing His Holy Spirit WITHIN us.  We are then IMPREGNATED, so to speak, by the “seed” or germ of ETERNAL life (1 Peter 1:23).  It is the BEGETTAL of the life of God within our minds!  We then may be compared to a newly begotten fetus in its mother’s womb which BEGINS TO GROW!

  1. Do we become the literal “SONS” of God the Father when He BEGETS us by His Spirit?  1 John 3:1 and Romans 8:14-17.

COMMENT:  SPIRIT-begotten Christians literally become the UNborn CHILDREN of God, the Father, just as an UNborn human fetus is the child of its human parents.

We in the Continuing Church of God teach:

 

Upon receiving the Holy Spirit, Christians are begotten by God (cf. 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 5:1), then after a period of spiritual growth/gestation (cf. 2 Peter 3:18), Christians will literally be born again at the resurrection (John 3:5-7) as Christ was (Romans 1:4-5). (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God)

  1. Do we PARTAKE OF THE DIVINE NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS of God when spiritually begotten?  2 Peter 1:3-4.

 

  1. What are some of the CHARACTERISTICS, or “fruits” that are made manifest in our lives IF we possess God’s Spirit?  Galatians 5:22-23.

 

  1. Which is the GREATEST attribute or characteristic God transmits to us by His Holy Spirit? Is it “LOVE”? 1 Corinthians 13:13 and 1 John 4:16. Is this the SAME love that will enable us to “fulfill” – to OBEY — God’s spiritual laws?  Romans 5:5; 13:10.

 

  1. What SPECIAL “gifts” are bestowed by the Holy Spirit?  1 Corinthians 12:1,4-11.

COMMENT: Just imagine!  These are some of the ADDITIONAL spiritual abilities God gives to those who surrender their lives to Him so they may receive His Holy Spirit!  God divides these special gifts among certain ones in His Church as He wills, and for SPECIFIC purposes.

  1. Does the Father promise to raise spirit begotten Christians to immortality, just as He resurrected Jesus? Romans 8:11 and 1 Corinthians 6:14.

 

  1. If we are begotten by God’s Spirit and grow spiritually, will we – at the resurrection – become as Jesus Christ is today?  Psalm 17:15; Philippians 3:20-21 and 1 John 3:2.  What TYPE of body was Jesus changed into at His resurrection?  1 Corinthians 15:44-47.

COMMENT:  If we become the spirit-begotten children of God, we will be LIKE Him when BORN of His Spirit into His divine Family!  We will be given a SPIRIT body just like Christ’s!

The outstanding difference between the body we now have and the one we will be given is that while the one we now have is a “natural” or MORTAL body, the one we shall receive will be a SPIRITUAL body – COMPOSED OF SPIRIT!

  1. Once made spirit, will we live FOREVER? Luke 20:35-36; Revelation 22:3-5.

 

  1. Will God GLORIFY us at the resurrection by giving us the same great POWER and GLORY of the God Family?  Romans 8:17; Ephesians 3:14-16; Colossians 3:4.

 

  1. Did Jesus give us a fleeting glimpse of this FUTURE GLORIFIED CONDITION when He was “transfigured”?  Matthew 17:1-2.  Notice that this was a VISION they saw concerning the future (verse 9).

COMMENT:  The spiritual power and glory we shall receive at the resurrection will be SO GREAT, it will make our spirit bodies shine as the sun and make our raiment DAZZLING WHITE!

GOD’S INFINITE POWER AND GLORY WILL SOON BE OURS – IF WE HAVE HIS HOLY SPIRIT WORKING WITHIN US NOW!

 

God Has REVEALED Himself!

God has REVEALED Himself to you in a real and tangible way.  No longer does God seem like an ethereal figment of the imagination – a mythological invention of an ignorant, superstitious past!

Through His INSPIRED Word, God told you where He resides, what He looks like, and how long He has existed.  He revealed that the God Family CREATED and RULES the entire universe!  You learned what part God has taken in world affairs since creation.

God also illustrated some of His awesome, but wonderful powers over His material creation. And He has even REVEALED THE GREAT PURPOSE FOR YOUR VERY EXISTENCE!

Yes, you have essentially seen God as He REALLY IS!  You don’t have to GUESS any longer!

Now we need to study the IRREFUTABLE proofs of God’s existence and the veracity of His inspired Word.  In the lessons which will immediately follow, God will give you these proofs in the form of tangible, MATERIAL EVIDENCE that is absolutely astounding!  He wants you to be THOROUGHLY CONVINCED of His existence!  He WILL LEAVE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT in the sane, fair and logical mind!

In your next lesson, you will learn that God is DAILY bringing PROPHECIES to pass – prophecies which He uttered hundreds, even THOUSANDS, of years ago!  And after that, it will also be conclusively proven that our earth could NOT have “ACCIDENTALLY happened into existence.”

These and MANY OTHER WONDERFUL AND EXCITING PROOFS of God’s existence are in store for you in coming lessons!

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