THERE IS ONE GOD
THERE IS ONE GOD Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Who is God? What is God like? Is He concerned about us? What is He going to do about the wickedness of mankind? Will there actually be a Day of Judgment? These are the most important questions of all. The human being who goes through life without seeking to find the answers is foolish.
THERE IS ONE GOD
One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:6)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1,2)
Lately I have been reading about the actions of wicked people in religion, in the government, and in other places. Reading about such corruption was not purposeful, the material came to me by chance.
The wickedness! the self-seeking! the lying! the treachery! the destruction of that which is pure and innocent! the perversion! is unbelievable. Truly, man was born in sin and lawlessness.
Being seventy-five years old, and a student of human nature, I have had an opportunity to study people, and life in general. Although there is much sinful, fleshly behavior on the part of Christian believers, it is my opinion that the churches, taken as a whole, include a greater percentage of decent people than can be found in the general population.
This is not to say there are not good, honest, upright, decent people in other religions or who have no religious connection. My thought is that there are. I know the meek will inherit the earth regardless of their religion, because the Lord Jesus, whom I worship as God, said so.
How did all this come about, and where is it all going? Will wickedness endure forever?
There is only "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all," as the Apostle Paul stated.
If the one God were wicked, perverse, a liar, cruel, it would be well we never had come into existence. Somehow we know God is righteous. He is kindly, compassionate, faithful, truthful, merciful, forthright, loving, patient, peaceful, meek, humble.
One might believe I am belaboring the obvious. "Everybody knows that God is good," and this sort of thing.
Actually I am not belaboring the obvious. The most important issue in the entire universe is the Nature of God. It is of extreme importance that God is what He is. People need to understand clearly that God is righteous. Every wicked deed that has ever been performed will be dealt with now, or in the Day of Judgment.
All shall be raised and face the consequences of their deedsall!
The meek need to know this. The wicked continually take advantage of the meek, decent, trusting people of the earthand there are many of these, some of whom are Christians. The meek need to be able to rest in the fact that God knows, God cares, and God will avenge them. They do not have to take matters into their own hands.
Lazarus was taken up to Abrahams bosom, no longer poor. The rich man ended up in torment. It is always so. God never makes a mistake, and He has a perfect memory.
Where God came from we do not know. We do know there is a visible physical creation that God formed.
There is God! He is the Center! He is the ultimate! There is no one in addition to Him, no greater being or authority. There is one God. He is THERE, without reproach, pure, perfect, all-powerful, supreme, and unchanging.
God can do anything He wishes with whomever He wishes, at any time and at any place.
We humans were formed from dust, and dust we are. Dust is the most worthless commodity in the creation. We were formed from dust in order to humble us, because in actuality we, as a creation, are superior to the highest of the angels. We are children of God and are to be made in His image.
Because God is the Center of all there is, and supremely powerful, and eternal, it is fortunate for us that He is righteous, compassionate, and faithful. What if He were not? There is nothing we could do about it.
The Apostle Paul spoke at length about the fact that God creates objects of wrath as well as objects of mercy.
What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrathprepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory Even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:22-23)
We creatures of the dust cannot accept at face value Gods choosing of people. We have our standards of fairness. In fact, we are unwilling to accept anything we cannot understand or cannot evaluate by our criteria. We are ignorant, proud, and ignorant of the fact that we are ignorant and proud.
The truth is, we have no say in the matter. We either can say amen to God or try to judge Him. We are so foolish!
No one can overcome God in judgment, as Job found out. The wisest action anyone can take is to repent in dust and ashes before his Creator.
Since God is All love, All mercy, All goodness, All faithfulness, All truthfulness, where did wickedness come from? The wickedness that has taken place in government and in religion is incredible. It is the opposite of Gods righteous, loving Nature. Yet all creatures came from the one righteous God.
A great portion of the Book of Psalms is a discussion of the wicked and their wickedness.
The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men. (Psalms 12:8)
All wickedness came originally from Satan.
You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:13,14)
Satan was one of the guardian cherubs, apparently, that covered the Throne of God with their wings. He was greatly exalted in beauty and glory.
Notice that he wished to raise his throne above the stars of God, above the other exalted beings. This reminds us of the Apostles arguing among themselves who would be the greatest.
Satan desired to be as great as God. But Satan does not have the same kind of Nature as God. If he did, he would not have attempted to compete with God.
God is just, loving, merciful, faithful. Perhaps Satan at that time was not thoroughly wicked and had some of these characteristics himself. But Satans nature was not as perfect as that of Godnot nearly as perfect. If Satan were at the center of the universe in place of God, chaos eventually would develop. Satan just does not possess the goodness of God, although he may think he does. It is not unusual for the wicked to consider themselves righteous.
Here is the source of all the wickedness we see in government, religion, and other human enterprises. Wickedness springs from people who wish to be like God, and to set their throne, as it were, above their fellows. Without realizing it, perhaps, they desire to be worshiped. They are not content to let the one true God be God, they want to be exalted themselves.
All the evil we see in the world, from the graft and corruption in the highest levels of government and great religious bodies down to the molestation of little childrenall comes from the unwillingness of angels and people to submit themselves to the one true God.
Whenever an angel, no matter how righteous, places himself at the center and asks for adoration, corruption follows.
Whenever a human being, no matter how righteous and well-intentioned, places himself at the center, seeking to be above his or her fellows, corruption ultimately follows.
The problem is, no matter how righteous and well-intentioned an individual may be, his good intentions will fail under enough pressure.
Consider the faithful Peter in the house of the high priest. Peter declared resolutely he never would deny Christ, and he certainly was sincere. But the atmosphere of terror and the chill in the night air, plus the fact that he was tired, soon overcome his righteous intentions.
We can be thankful that God has a plan to put an end to wickedness and injustice. Just how is God going to do this?
First we must consider the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible informs us all things and personages were made by Him.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16,17)
I suspect that Christ dwelled in the Father, and the Father in Christ, from the beginning. Perhaps Christ created all things in the same manner in which He acted while on the earth. That is, He did nothing of Himself but it was the Father in Him who did the works. Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so there is no reason, in Scripture or in logic, to believe He ever has acted apart from the Father who dwells in Him.
Dont you believe I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (John 14:10)
Then who is this Christ through whom God created all things?
Christ has many names and titles, from the Lion of Judah to the Lamb of God.
Two of the more significant names may be The Word, and the Son of God.
"The Word" tells us that Christ fully expresses in His Person the invisible God.
"The Son of God" tells us that Christ stands in relation to God as Son to Father. Christ has been born from the Substance of God Himself, whereas the angels have been created by the Father working through Christ. At least, this is the concept I derive from reading the several relevant passages.
A carpenter can build a table. But the son of the carpenter is a different matter from the table. So it is that Christ has been termed "Son," which is not true of any of the angels.
It appears that at some point in eternity past God, Christ, the angels, the cherubim, the seraphim, the Melchizedekian priesthood, and whomever else Christ had created, dwelled together in the spirit realm.
Then there was a rebellion against God, led by Satan.
God saw that no person other than Himself could be trusted to bring righteousness, peace, and joy into the creation.
So God settled on the Word as being the author of a new creation, a creation that would extend the perfect Nature of God Himself
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery." (Psalms 2:7-9)
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (Psalms 45:6,7)
The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." (Psalms 110:1)
Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Thus has God exalted His Word, whom He now prefers to call His Son.
However, since the original problem was the disobedience of Satan, therefore the Word, the Son, must be tested in obediencesupremely tested in obedience!
When you stop and think about it, it is remarkable that God should bring forth the Word, the Expression of Himself; then create all things through the Word; then tell the Word He is to be made God's Son; then invite the Word to pray that God might give Him the nations and the earththat which the Word Himself created; and then teach the Son obedience through a lifetime of suffering. If you are aware of a mystery greater than this I would like to hear about it.
First, Christ was tested in the wilderness.
Can you imagine Satan, who was created by Christ, asking Christ for worship?
Whenever people seek to exalt themselves they are asking for worship. This accounts for the evil in the governments and in other powerful institutions.
In fact, Antichrist is the worship of self. Satan worships himself and desires that others worship him and worship themselves also. This is why there are wars, why mankind forever is slaughtering itself. The motivating force of wars is the self-seeking into which mankind has been guided by Satan.
Christ was tested throughout His life with all the things we are tested with. Although Christ invited worship, He always made it clear that it was God who had made Him worthy of worship.
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. (John 5:19-23)
Christ never sought His own glory, but the glory of the Father who had sent Him. But God Himself always seeks to glorify Christ.
"I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge." (John 8:49,50)
No angel or human other than Jesus Christ can claim it is God who has made him or her worthy of worship.
We cannot imagine what went on in Gethsemane. I am persuaded Christ was concerned lest He, descending into the darkness with the sins of the world on His back, would never rise again into the Presence of God. The fear of never seeing God again would make anyone sweat blood, but especially Him who was with the Father from the beginning.
No worse test was possible. It was at this point that Christs obedience to the Father was established beyond doubt.
(Let me add that every believer who would be part of the governing priesthood will be tested in the area of obedience in the most difficult way possible. You and I can count on this. God never again will permit disobedience to enter His creation.)
Now we have God, the righteous Center of all, and Christ, the totally obedient One who, because of His perfected obedience, is totally in the image of God and totally at rest in the Center of Gods perfect will and Person.
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillmentto bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (Ephesians 1:9,10)
This is the beginning of the Kingdom of God. The Center of everything has been enlarged to include both the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit meanwhile reflecting Their will and personalities.
The Vine, Christ, Christ, Israel, has been established for eternity.
The Vine is God in Christ serving as the righteous, holy, compassionate Center of the creation. All the universe it to be brought under subjection to the Vine. Then the Vine is to be in subjection to God.
For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (I Corinthians 15:27,28)
What is next? The Vine is to have branches.
What or who are the branches who will become an enlargement of the righteous, holy, compassionate, merciful Center of the universe?
The branches are those persons, chosen from the foundation of the world to be an integral part of the Vine.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruitfruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16)
Fruit is tremendously important. What is the fruit that is to appear on the branches?
The fruit is that which is in the moral image of Christ and dwells for eternity in untroubled rest in the Center of God.
The fruit is not just well behaved Christians. The fruit is that which has been formed from the body and blood of Christ, from the Divine Nature.
Flesh and blood are dustanimal dust and of no profit. It is God alone who is eternally righteous, eternally holy, eternally, incorruptibly merciful and faithful. The Virtue of God is in Jesus Christ to perfection and completeness.
When we are born again we are born of the incorruptible Nature of God. If we fight the good fight of faith, then that which has been conceived in us will come forth as an eternal part of the Vine.
The Divine Seed has been sown in multitudes of people. But how many have borne lasting fruit? Perhaps not as many as we could wish.
But those who have managed to escape the perils of life on earth to the point that Christ has been formed in them are becoming an integral part of Christ, and thus of God.
This is the enlarging of the Center.
Man apart from Christ can be overcome easily by the titans of the spirit world.
But there is no possible way in which the evil in the world can overcome God or Christ or those in whom Christ is dwelling. They have become a part of what God is, and the angels minister to them.
This is Gods answer to the rebellion of the angels.
First there is God, who is the unchanging, incorruptible Center of the universe.
Then comes the Lord Jesus Christ in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.
Next in line are the branches growing out from the true Vine, Christ. Now we have a dependable core of righteousness.
Then there is the remainder of the creation, consisting of righteous and wicked angels and righteous and wicked people.
In the present hour the branches are approaching perfection in Christ. Part of the process of perfecting them will include removing from them all that is not of Gods perfect Character, and then removing from the Vine the branches who are not bearing the fruit God requires.
There indeed shall be an unblemished Church, and we are approaching the accomplishing of this goal. It is not that Christian people through a superhuman effort will throw off all their imperfections. It is rather that God is ready now to issue additional grace that will bring Christ to maturity in His elect.
The angel is flying in midheaven announcing the everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom. The mystery of God, which is Christ in us, is approaching its climax. The revelation is coming to all of Gods chosen, including those on earth and those in the spirit realm. There shall be delay no more.
This is the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. There shall be fantastic rejoicing in the heavens as Satan is overcome and hurled to the earth with his wicked followers. He shall be overcome by those who trust the blood of the Lamb; whose testimony is true and faithful; and who love not their life to the point of death.
We are approaching the age of moral horrors. Out from this darkness shall proceed the maturing of the wheat and the maturing of the tares. Good and evil shall face each other in the final showdown. The end has been written already.
God is going to shake everything so all that has not become a solid, unshakeable part of Himself through Christ will be removed.
Whenever good is not good enough it is always overcome by evil. The good of Gods eternal kingdom is good enough because it is not an imitation of God, or a rigid adherence to His moral law, but is that which proceeds from Gods own Being and Substance. Only what is of the Substance of the Divine Godhead is able to overcome the self-seeking of Satan and his followers.
The Center has been established for eternity. There remains, as we said, the righteous angels, the wicked angels, righteous people, and wicked people. Some of the righteous people are Christians by their statement of faith and some are not. Some of the wicked people are Christians by their statement of faith and some are not.
God is not as interested in our profession of doctrine as He is in our character. This is a great error in contemporary Christian thinking. The people of the world could tell us Christians a thing or two about what God is interested in!
Christ will return to the earth, accompanied by His unblemished Church. The righteous angels will be with Him. The wicked angels and spirits will be driven from the face of the earth, as will wicked people.
Many people will be saved from destruction at this time, for this is what it means to be "saved."
The Lord Jesus will be crowned King on the Throne of David in Jerusalem. His royal priesthood will go out from Jerusalem to the four corners of the earth and govern the nations of saved peoples.
The saved peoples will not be righteous, they will be just as they are today, a mixture of worldliness, of lusts and passions however expressed, and of stubborn self-will. They shall be ruled by the members of the royal priesthood.
Can you imagine what our beautiful earth will be like when sin has been driven out? It seems to good to be true; but such is the promise of God.
The task today is to bring the members of the Body of Christ to spiritual maturity. We cannot bring perfect peace and justice to the nations of the earth until we ourselves have been formed into the image of Christ and are dwelling in untroubled rest in the Fathers will.
We are not waiting for the world to quit sinning. The world is waiting for us to quit sinning, quit refusing to give our lives totally to the Lord Jesus.
From now on there shall be an increase of sin and an increase of righteousness. It is time for the saints to cross the Jordan and enter the spiritual land of promise, so to speak. We must prepare the young people for it is they who will bear the brunt of the battle.
The conflict of the ages is now upon us. God is facing Satan. The Holy Spirit is facing the False Prophet (which is Christian people who are seeking the power of Christ but are not bearing their cross after Christ). Christ is facing Antichrist (which is self-love, self-will, selfish ambition in the heart of man). There will be a person who is Antichrist, but his spirit has been in people from the first century as they have sought to make man his own god.
The coming days will be tumultuous indeed as the spiritual warfare rages. The era of Satans rulership over the earth is coming to a close and he will fight desperately to maintain his grip on the hearts of people, including the hearts of the lukewarm Christians.
No doubt many Christians will be martyred. Some shall fall through deception. There will be insincere people who will seek to gain entrance into the assemblies, but the hypocrites finally will be examined by fire.
People who know their God will display strength. Christ will be helping them from the right hand of the Father.
The Christian religion we are familiar with will develop into babylonish systems as religious leaders attempt to maintain their dominance. But the true saints will be hearing from the Lord and will be directed by Him.
As our own assembly is becoming increasingly involved in outreach programs to other countries, the Lord spoke to one of the sisters: "It is not you who are going but it is I who am going forth."
This might appear to be a trite saying, a typical religious pleasantry.
But it hit me with force and clarity. It is Christ who is ready to go forth. It is true we also are going, but it actually is the Son of God who is going forth to war.
We have been waiting on the Lord for many years, and now He is moving.
For the past two thousand years the Christian Gospel has been proclaimed throughout the world. Almost at its very beginning, the Gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth was changed into the gospel of people dying and going to Heaven.
Now God is restoring the original Gospel of the Kingdom, the kingdom that is coming to the earth. The earth is filled with wickedness as self-seeking people desire the adoration that is to be given to God alone. The meek are trodden under foot by the ruthless and ambitious.
Soon the Servant of the Lord will appear from Heaven. The Servant of the Lord is ChristHead and Body, the Vine and the branches. Then justice shall fill the whole world and the meek shall inherit the earth.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:1-4)