The Living and True God

But Jehovah is the true God, He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to stand His indignation. – (Jeremiah 10:10, Green’s Literal)

(1) Many today have lost all faith that there is a “living and true God.” They hear and listen to the confusing and conflicting ideas presented concerning him from traditional theology and decide that such a god, if he exits, is not worthy of worship. But he who can look into the sky with a telescope, or even with the natural eye alone, and see the immensity of creation, its symmetry, beauty, order, harmony and diversity, and yet doubt that the Creator of these is vastly his superior both in wisdom and power, or who can suppose for a moment that such order came by chance, without a Creator, has so far lost or ignored the faculty of reason as to be properly what the Bible calls him, a fool. (Psalm 14:1) It is a self-evident truth that effects must be produced by competent causes. Every plant and ever flower, even, speaks volumes of testimony on this subject. Intricate in construction, exquisitely beautiful in form and texture, each speaks of a wisdom and skill above the human. How shortsighted the absurdity which boasts of the human skill and ingenuity, and attributes to mere chance the regularity, uniformity and harmony of creation. It has been popular with such to refer to God’s creation as “nature.” But even so, these acknowledge the laws of “nature”, while denying that “nature” has an intelligent Lawgiver.

(2) Some who deny the existence of an intelligent Creator claim that “nature” is the only God, and that from nature all forms of animal and vegetable developments proceeded without the ordering of intelligence, but governed, they say, by some kind of process of evolution.

(3) Various atheistic models have been presented, but, while impressive, the basic theory of human evolution* has not been proven. But many scientists believe that it has been proven, and they speak dogmatically as though it is a proven fact. Concerning this, a biologist by the name of John R. Durant wrote in the LONDON GUARDIAN: “Many scientists succumb to the temptation to be dogmatic, … over and over again the question of the origin of the species has been presented as if it were finally settled. Nothing could be further from the truth…. But the tendency to be dogmatic persists, and it does no service to the cause of science.” (THE GUARDIAN, London, “Beginning to Have Doubts,” by John Durant, December 4, 1980) Although mutations, crossbreeds, and certain changes have been noted within each “kind” of animal, even after decades of repeated endeavors, they have never succeeded in producing a new fixed kind. No instance is known where one kind has changed into another kind. Though there are fish that can use their fins for a moment as wings, and fly out of the water, and frogs that can sing, they have never been known to change into birds; and though there are among brutes some that bear a slight resemblance to men, the evidence is wholly lacking that man was evolved from such creatures. On the contrary, investigations prove that though different varieties of the same kind may be produced, it is impossible to permanently blend the various “kinds,” or for one to evolve from another. For the same reason the donkey and the horse, though resembling each other, cannot be claimed to be related, for it is well known that their offspring is imperfect and cannot propagate either species.
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*Note: We do believe that the Bible allows that a process of evolution may have been used in vegetation and lower animal life, as they are said to have been brought forth. (Genesis 1:11,24) However, according to the Bible, man was a special creation, having been created perfect and without sin, from which state he fell. See also our study: The Ransom For All

(4) Surely if unintelligent “nature” were the creator or evolver she would continue the process, and there would be no such thing as fixed “kinds,” since without intelligence nothing would arrive at fixed conditions. Evolution would be a fact today, and we would see about us fish becoming birds, and monkeys becoming men, etc. This theory we conclude to be as contrary to human reason as to the Bible, when it claims that intelligent created beings were created by a power lacking intelligence.

The heavens declare the glory of God. — Psalm 119:1

(5) The study of creation reveals wonders upon wonders. We will not here go into all the details of creation, and how it confirms that there is an intelligent Creator, We claim, however, that the existence of an intelligent Creator is a clearly demonstrated truth, the proof of which lies all around us, yes, and within us; for we are his workmanship (Psalm 114:4), whose every power and of mind and body speaks of marvelous skill beyond our comprehension. And he is also the Designer and Creator of what many have termed “nature.” We claim that He ordered and established the laws of nature, the beauty and harmony of whose operation we see and admire. This One whose wisdom planned and whose power upholds and guides the universe, whose wisdom and power so immeasurably transcend our own, we instinctively worship and adore.

A Great and Awesome God — Deuteronomy 10:17

(6) To realize the existence of this mighty God is but to dread his omnipotent strength, unless we can see him possessed of benevolence and goodness corresponding to his power. Of this fact we are also fully assured by the same evidence which proves his existence, power and wisdom. Not only are we forced to the conclusion that there is a God, and that His power and wisdom are immeasurably beyond our own, but we are forced by reason to the conclusion that the grandest thing created is not superior to its Creator. Hence we must conclude that the greatest manifestation of benevolence and justice among men is inferior in scope to that of the Creator, even as man’s wisdom is inferior to His. And thus we have before our mental vision the personal traits and attributes of the great Creator. He is wise, just, loving and powerful. The scope of his attributes is, of necessity, immeasurably wider than that of his grandest creation.

(7) But further: having reached this reasonable conclusion relative to the existence and personality of our Creator, let us inquire — “What should we expect from such a being?” The answer would be that the possession of such attributes reasonably argues their exercise, their use. God’s power must be used, and that in harmony with his own nature wisely, justly, and lovingly. Whatever may be the means to that end, whatever may be the operation of God’s power, the final outcome must be consistent with his nature and personal attributes, and every step must be approved of his infinite wisdom.

(8) What would be more reasonable than such exercise of power as we see manifested in the creation of countless worlds about us, and in the wonderful variety of earth? What could be more reasonable than the creation of man, endowed with reason and judgment, capable of appreciating his Creator’s works, and judging of his skill of his wisdom, power and love? All this is reasonable, and all in perfect accord with facts known to us.

(9) But there is more we could reason about the Creator. Should we not suppose that such an infinitely wise and good being, having made a creature capable of appreciating himself and his plan, would be moved by his love and justice to supply the wants of that creature’s nature, by giving him some REVELATION? Would it not be a reasonable supposition, that God would supply to man information concerning the object of his existence, and his plans for the future? On the contrary, we ask, would it not be unreasonable to suppose that such a Creator would make such a creature as man, endow him with powers of reason reaching out into the future, and yet make no revelation of his plans to meet those longings? Such a course would be unreasonable, because contrary to the character which we reasonably attribute to God contrary to the proper course of being controlled by justice and love.

(10) We may reason that in creating man, had divine wisdom decided it inexpedient to grant him a knowledge of his future destiny, and his share in his Creator’s plans, then surely divine justice, as well as divine love, would have insisted that the being would be so limited in his capacity that he would not continually be tormented and perplexed with doubts, and fears, and ignorance. Consequently divine power would have been used under those limitations. The fact, then, that man has capacity for appreciating a revelation of the Creator’s plans, taken in connection with the personal attributes of his Creator as we have presented above, is an abundant reason for expecting that God would grant such a revelation, in such time and manner as his wisdom approved. So, then, in view of these considerations, even if we were ignorant of the Bible, reason would lead us to expect and to be on the lookout for some such revelation as the Bible claims to be. And furthermore, noting the order and harmony of the general creation, as in grand procession the spheres and systems keep time and place, we cannot but conclude that the minor irregularities, such as earthquakes, cyclones, etc., are but indications that the working together of the various elements of this world is not at present perfect. An assurance that all will ultimately be perfect and harmonious on earth as in the heavens, with some explanation as to why it is not so at present, are requests that are not unreasonable for reasoning men to ask, nor for the Creator, whose wisdom, power and love are demonstrated, to answer. Hence we should expect the revelation sought to include such an assurance and such an explanation.

(11) If the Bible presents the personal attributes of God in perfect harmony with what reason as above dictates, we should conclude that it thus proves itself to be the needed and expected revelation from God, and should then accept its testimony as such. If of God, its teachings, when properly appreciated, will accord his personal attributes, which reason assures us is perfect in wisdom, justice, love and power.

An Unknown God

(12) The Bible tells us, however, that there are those that are called gods, and also that “there are many gods.” (1 Corinthians 8:5) This is in accord with the facts, for no matter where you go on earth, you find people worshiping “gods” in some form or another. There are “gods” worshiped in the form of Buddha, Brahma, Allah, and many other names. The people who adhere to these “gods” often use many writings believed to be divine revelations from their own “gods”. In professed “Christian” lands millions claim to know the true God, whom they refer as “the Lord”. But, if we believe the Bible, then very few of these “believers” in various gods have actually come to know the true God. (Matthew 7:13,14,21-23) Both in and out of popular Christianity, the true God is still to most people an “unknown God”, to some degree or other. (Acts 17:23) This is because too many, even though they profess to be Christian, fall short in understanding the Creator’s purposes and have proclaimed counterfeit gospel messages.

(13) Instead of worshiping in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24), many who profess Christianity have adopted false teachings and practices from the Greeks and Romans and proclaim them as “Christian”. Such was foretold in the Bible. (Matthew 13:24-30; Acts 20:29,30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3,4) True, thousands profess Jesus as their savior. But of these thousands, very few take the time to learn the real purposes of their Creator. Even most who do at heart belong to Christ remain as babes in Christ, failing to develop and grow in knowledge and grace. (2 Peter 3:18) The traditions taken from the Greeks and Romans are so embellished with scripture quotations, that the vast majority accept them without further investigation. As a result, for many, worship of God is — to some extent — “in vain.” It was similar with the religious people of Jesus’ day, to whom he said: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you, saying: ‘This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8,9) Such as these, despite all their protestations to contrary, have not yet come to fully understand the true gospel, nor the God who reveals this gospel to us.

I am Jehovah, that is my name. — Isaiah 42:8, American Standard Version

(14) While modern Bible translations may hide it, the God’s Holy Name does appear in the Hebrew Bible over 7,000 times. His name in Hebrew is written by four letters. These Hebrew letters are often called the “Tetragrammaton.” These four letters correspond roughly with the English letters YHWH or JHVH. The Jews became superstitious regarding the pronouncing of this name, so they began to substitute forms of the titles ADON/KURIOS (Lord) and EL/THEOS (God) wherever God’s name appeared. Christians adopted this custom from the apostate Jews, and thus, in English and many other languages, we do not see an actual rendering of God’s name very often. The reason for this is that most translators substitute either “the LORD” or “GOD” for his name. In the popular King James Version, we can find it rendered as directly based on the Masoretic Hebrew text in four places. The first is Exodus 6:3, which reads: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” And again in Psalm 83:18: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” The other two occurrences of his name in the King James Version are Isaiah 12:2 and Isaiah 26:4. However, in most places in the King James Version, God’s name is substituted by the phrase “the LORD” or “GOD” (in all capital letters to denote that the translators substituted such for the Holy Name in those instances). Most other English Bible translations do the same.

(15) Other translations render God’s Holy Name as “Yahweh.” This form, although often heralded as being “Hebrew”, is actually a Latin form based on sounds attributed to a Greek variation of the Holy Name. Nevertheless, either Latin form is acceptable, just as most people accept several forms of other names. The name of our Savior, for instance, is usually rendered in English as “Jesus”, based on the Greek. However, as based on the Hebrew, that same name is usually rendered as “Joshua” or “Jeshua”. Nevertheless, the English “Yahweh” is based on a Greek form of the Holy Name, while the form “Jehovah” is based on the Masoretic Hebrew text. Both are the same name, but expressed in different Latin forms.

(16) There are some professed Christians who do pronounce God’s Holy Name often, but turn around and misrepresent that name by what they teach. Just using and expressing a form of God’s Holy Name does not mean that those who do so are truly bringing honor to that name in all that they teach. Some constantly use a form of the Holy Name, but misrepresent that name as representing as a very cruel God, ready to eternally destroy earth’s present billions because they fail to listen or understand a certain message due their being blinded. In so doing, they are actually bringing reproach upon his name.

(17) The question is, however, should we substitute “Lord” or “God” for his name? The ancient Hebrews several times sought also to substitute God’s name with a Chaldee form of “Lord” that is, “Baal.” This was actually used as the name of of a false idol-god. Jehovah said of various ones who claimed to be “prophets”, that they forsook Jehovah God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked Jehovah’s anger. They forsook Jehovah and served Baal [Lord] and the Ashtoreths, which resulted in the anger of Jehovah against Israel. (Judges 2:13,14; 3:7; 10:6,10) And again in Jeremiah’s time Jehovah spoke against those who were causing God’s people to forget His Name, just as their forefathers had forgotten His name for Baal [Lord]. (Jeremiah 23:27) Since the Bible no where tells anyone to change God’s eternal Holy Name to other words, we have no reason to think that Jehovah approves of the popular custom of substituting “the Lord” (or, “God”) for his name anymore than he approved of how his people in times passed substituted Baal (Lord) for his name. Indeed, such actually changes the Holy Name to either “the LORD” or to “GOD”.

(18) Many claim that one should not pronounce the Holy Name because we don’t know for a certainty how it was originally pronounced. However, should we neglect to use his name simply because we are not sure how it was originally pronounced? Nevertheless, we don’t know of anyone who actually does not give some pronunciation to the Holy Name. Substituting “the LORD”, “GOD”, “ADONAI”, “HASHEM”, etc., actually means that one IS pronouncing the Holy Name by those words, and thereby definitely misrepresenting, as well as mispronouncing, the Holy Name. There have been many arguments presented for pronouncing God’s name one way or another, usually based on some kind of theory of how it was originally pronounced in ancient Hebrew. Some small groups have even went so far as to make individual salvation dependent upon using whatever pronunciation they have chosen for his name, again, something which no where authorized in the Bible. However, if this were true, some people in certain lands may loose out simply because they do not have the same sounds in their language; as a result their pronunciation would be different. For instance, many orientals do not have a sound for “W” in their language. Therefore, they end up pronouncing the “W” similar to a “V”. To make salvation dependent upon a certain pronunciation is very narrow-minded, and we have no reason to believe that God is doing so. — See our studies on God’s Holy Name

(19) But having shown that the God of the Bible is Jehovah (Yahweh), what kind of God is he? How is he described in the Bible? What kind of attributes does He have?

The Attributes of Jehovah

(20) The scriptures declare a “beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14) His qualities and attributes of character were the same then as they are now, since the very name of the Creator means he is who he is; like His Son, God cannot deny Himself as to Who He Is. (Exodus 3:14; 2 Timothy 2:13) Thus, He is constant in His attributes. This is also expressed when God told Israel: “For I, Jehovah, don’t change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” — Malachi 3:6.

(21) The completeness of the divine perfection is revealed in the Bible as such that companionship is not necessary to the happiness of Jehovah. The one who “inhabits eternity” is self-centered. (Isaiah 57:15) The creation of angels and of man was indeed his pleasure, because, lovingly, he desires to do good, to give capacity for pleasure and to afford it opportunity for gratification. (Revelation 4:11) Furthermore, the highest good of his creatures calls for an exhibition to the full of all the elements of the divine personal qualities divine justice, love, power and wisdom.

Is Jehovah Omnipresent?

“And there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to Him to whom we must give account.” — Hebrews 4:13.

(22) Omnipresence is defined as “present in all places at all times.” Usually this is defined as that God’s very being – his substance or body – is present in all places at all times. We need to be very careful in going into extremes either way concerning this. At the same time we should allow the scriptures complete harmony. The Bible teaches a personal God – a great Spirit Being. The Bible, in some places, appear to give Him a home, or locality. It was Jesus who taught us to pray, “Our Father, who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9) Jesus spoke of the “Father who is in heaven” many times. (Matthew 5:16,45,48; 6:1; 7:11,21; 10:32,33; 12:50; 16:17; 18:10,14,19; 23:9; Mark 11:25,26; Luke 11:2) And then again we read: “Jehovah looked down from heaven on the children of men.” (Psalm 14:2) “God is in heaven, and you on earth.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2) “Jehovah is in his holy temple. Jehovah is on his throne in heaven.” (Psalm 11:4) And yet the declaration of the Bible respecting the Creator’s presence is that “the eyes of Jehovah are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3) “Don’t I fill heaven and earth? says Jehovah.” (Jeremiah 23:24) He certainly has the ability to be take knowledge of his creatures in all place at all times, and he is able to be in a multitude of places at the same time, whether the very being of his body is present in all places at all times or not. We therefore make no commitment either way on the matter of His actually being present absolutely everywhere at that same time at all times, for this is a matter not absolutely stated either way in the Bible.

(23) Nevertheless, with this in mind, we should guard ourselves against an unscriptural thought in connection with our heavenly Father, that God’s very being is omnipresent in absolutely every place in absolutely all creation, which in effect, would be equal to saying that God is all creation. This unscriptural declaration has been fruitful of much confusion and error, and may safely, therefore, be attributed to our arch-enemy and adversary, the devil. It seemingly honors God, but in reality paves the way to His dishonor and to the confusion of His people. As an illustration of the confusion that may come from this false doctrine of such an omnipresence of God note the absurdity built upon it by the theosophists, Christian Scientists and, to some extent, by others, errors to which those are liable who receive this kind of doctrine of omnipresence as scriptural.

(24) Thus the argument as used by some of those referred to is that God is everywhere present, therefore, He is in this stone, He is in that piece of wood, He is in that piece of metal, He is in the body of mankind, sinner and saint alike, He is in the horse or the sheep, He is everywhere. Taken to extremes, some have concluded that all of God’s creation IS God Almighty Himself! Such is absurdity and definitely not scriptural! Who could believe it, do you say? Sad to say, forms of this belief is held by many, and it can also be found among Christians. Some also have, in effect, asked, in what way is God in the wood, in the stones, in the iron, or in the trees, in the sheep or in the dog? and they answer their own question, saying, God merely signifies good, and in one sense of the word good is useful; hence, to say that God is in the wood is merely to say that there is something useful in that wood. It can either be used in the construction of buildings or furniture or as fuel, there is something good in it. The same way the argument applies to animals, metals, minerals; according to this theory, they are all good for something, and if good means God, then God is in them all. All of this reasoning, however, is not found in the Bible.

(25) Getting back to the statement in Proverbs 15:3, we note that it speaks of God’s ability to see both good and evil. This statement implies that there are things evil as well as good. There are things that God approves and things that he disapproves. The fact that Jehovah has knowledge of all conditions of things is not out of harmony with the other facts that he permits conditions of which he disapproves, and which he declares that he will ultimately destroy. “All the wicked he will destroy.” — Psalm 145:20.

(26) Thus that which we consider a harmonious scriptural view is that God’s being Himself dwells in the heavens, but that his spirit or power permeates in all places. While the scriptures say that God dwells, or is in, the followers of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:16; 1 John 4:4), we also read that is God’s spirit that lives the believer. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19) This would, then, give evidence that God’s presence is by means of His Spirit. Assuming that this is the correct conclusion, we can further see that He has given this power to be present in more place than one to his Son Jesus (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 5:22-27; 1 Corinthians 15:27), else how could Jesus say to his disciples: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) How is Jesus present with the disciples? The scriptures indicate that he is present by means of the holy spirit, which spirit was given to Jesus by his God. — 1 John 3:24; 4:13; Acts 1:4; 2:33; John 15:26; See also: John 14:17,26; Acts 1:5,8; 9:31; Romans 8:1,9-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 3:3; 12:18; Philippians 2:1; 2 Timothy 1:14.

God’s Arch-Enemy

(27) The Bible also tells us about a self-exalted enemy of God, a being called “Satan.” He is spoken of as “the god of this age.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) He now works in the “hearts of the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2) This implies Satan’s ability to have his presence or power felt in more than one place at once. Being a mighty spirit being, we have no reason to assume that Satan is so limited as not to have this ability, for he is described as “deceiving the entire world.” (Revelation 12:9) Satan is also referred to as Beelzebub [meaning, Lord of the flies], the “ruler of the demons.” (Matthew 12:24-28) These words imply that there are other evil spirit beings, of whom Satan is the ruler and through whom he is working.

(25) Certain statements are made respecting Satan which could not properly be applied to a principle of evil, or to a working of error. For instance, Jesus declared that Satan was a “murderer” from the beginning and a “liar.” (John 8:44) Errors and principles are not murderers and liars. It would be a misuse of language to make such an application. Only an intelligent being can be a murderer or a liar. Hence the whole tenor of the Scriptures upholds the assertion that there is such a being as Satan and that he is in opposition to the living and true God.

(26) If we were to suppose the everlasting continuance of Satan as a being, as an adversary of God, the matter would seem strange to us, because it is irreconcilable with our conception of divine power. We have the statement of the scriptures respecting Satan’s reign and his ultimate destruction. (Hebrews 2:14) With this information we have a reasonable, logical thought on the subject. When we consider the scriptural presentation further, that originally Satan was not an evil being, but that he made himself evil by the exercise of personal liberty and became the enemy of God, the subject seems to be clear and reasonable. In fact, this is the only rational solution to the problem of his existence. — See Ezekiel 28:13-15.

(27) To suppose that there is no personal Satan is to suppose that God has permitted his Word to deceive mankind in this respect, or that the devil is a manifestation of God himself — a position unthinkable. Nor is it logical to say there is a devil, an opponent of God, and at the same time to maintain that God is all things, or that God is present in all things. But we do not find this latter statement to be Biblical. The scriptural proposition is that at the close of the millennial age, when Christ will have destroyed sin and Satan, and when the empire of the universe will be in absolute harmony, then God will be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28) To all eternity there will be no opposition to his will. There is opposition now, however, in many places and at many times. But ultimately, Jehovah will have full control.

The Omnipotence of Jehovah

“Ah, Lord Jehovah! Look, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” — Jeremiah 32:17

(28) To say that God is “all” power is sophistry of language which often misleads the one questioning as well as the one attempting to answer him. The statement could be thought to mean that God’s entire being is nothing but power. If God is “all” power, then he is not love or justice or wisdom. He would thus be limited to the one great attribute of power, or force. Such cannot be the thought entertained by any logical mind. It is, nevertheless, a form of statement that is often used, perhaps unintentionally, but very injurious to the reasoning faculties.

(29) We can say that God is “all power” only in that in him is the source of all power. There is no power — no might* — in the entire universe, aside of him, and no power exists that does not come from him. However, this should not be meant to be understood as saying that God is nothing but power. God is all-powerful. He has the ability to exercise power in any direction to the extent that he wills. If he had chosen, he could have so created Satan that he could not think or do other than in the harmony with the divine will; or he could have exercised his power to crush the adversary and thus have destroyed him long ago. But he has permitted Satan to exist for six thousand years, in the sense that he does not completely restrain the devil from doing evil. The scriptures do tell us, however, that God will eventually destroy him.
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*The Hebrew word for “God” signifies might, strength, power. As applied to He who is the source of all power, might, it takes on the meaning of “Supreme Being.” — John 17:1,3; 1 Corinthians 8:6.

(30) The scope of the exercise of divine power is the universe, but is difficult for our finite minds to comprehend the meaning of this word universe. Astronomers tell us that by the aid of their radio telescopes they can see trillions upon trillions of stars with possible planets traveling around them similar to our solar system. These, some believe, are in the process of development and are being prepared for inhabitants, whom the Creator will in due time provide. From the scriptural standpoint, however, the great work of human creation began with our earth. What a boundless thought we have in the mere suggestion that the trillions of planetary systems are to be inhabited with people, that the lessons of righteousness and sin, of life and death eternal, now being taught to humanity, will never need to be repeated! — Isaiah 65:17.

(31) We stand appalled at the immensity of space and at the law and order which everywhere reigns! We heartily assent to the words of the prophet David: “Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:2,3) The person who can look upon this wonderful display of superhuman power and believe that these immense heavenly bodies created themselves, shows that he has allowed his mind to become sadly disordered, unbalanced.

(32) As scientific instruments demonstrate to us the immensity of the universe, we perceive that the prophet used very moderate language indeed in his description of the majestic power and greatness of the Creator, when he represents Jehovah as weighing the mountains in his balance and holding the seas in the hollow of his hand. (Isaiah 40:12) From Jehovah’s standpoint, a thousand years are but as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4) If, as we realize the immensity of the universe, we are made feel insignificantly small in comparison, how much more we all feel such insignificance in the presence of our God! No wonder some great men are inclined to say that humanity is too insignificant from the divine standpoint to be worthy of the least consideration much less to be objects of divine care and providence! — Psalm 8:3,4.

The Omniscience of Jehovah

“Do you know the balance of clouds, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect (complete) in knowledge? — Job 37:16.

(33) To say that God is all knowledge could also be seen as an inaccurate statement. If God were all knowledge, how could he be all power? God has all knowledge, possesses all knowledge; but this is a different matter. If we say: “The boy has a hoop,” we do not mean that he is a hoop. To be a hoop and to have a hoop are not the same. God is omniscient; that is, he knows all things. This very fact proves that he is a personal God. There can be no knowledge without personality. Knowledge implies cognizance of external things. Among the things outside the divine Person are things both good and evil.

(34) When we read that God created man in his own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26,27), we may know that man is not God. He was merely made in the image of God. Because God is perfect, therefore the human being made in his image would be satisfactory to God. That human being had knowledge. But that first human being neglected the Word of God, and thus he learned something by his neglect. What he learned is mentioned in the scriptures. “He is become as one of us [one of the Elohim (Genesis 3:5) — the spirit beings are all called elohim, gods, that is, mighty ones — Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7], to know good and evil.” (Genesis 3:22) This statement proves that God knows of both good and evil.

(35) Isaiah 40:13,14 describes Jehovah’s omniscience: “Who had directed the spirit of Jehovah, or who as his counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?” The plain implication here is that no one in all creation can teach the all-knowing Jehovah.

(36) The prophet Isaiah says of God: “Truly you are a God who hides yourself.” (Isaiah 45:15) How true! As a result the world by its wisdom does not know God. (1 Corinthians 1:21; 2:7,8) He is near in his wisdom and love, yet he can be seen only by those whose eyes of understanding have been opened. (Matthew 13:13,16; 1 Corinthians 2:10) But we are glad that the time is coming when all the blind eyes will see clearly. “As truly as I live,” says Jehovah, “all the earth will be filled with glory of Jehovah.” “The earth will be filled with knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea.” (Numbers 14:21; Habakkuk 2:14) Then all will see what God has been doing, and the temporary blindness will but accentuate the glorious brightness of his wisdom, justice, love and power. — Isaiah 25:7,8.

“God Is Love”

1 John 4:8

(37) God is love in the sense that the term love represents the central principle of all the divine personal attributes. Love is not an attribute of God’s substance, his spiritual body; it is an attribute of — for lack of a better word — His character. Some would turn John’s statement around, and have it mean some that John did not intend. They would declare that “Love IS God.” John, however, did not say that, nor did John say that God HAS to display love to another living creature in order to BE God. In context, John was saying that that there is nothing in all the attributes of God, or the actions of God, that is contrary to His love. The scriptures do not teach there is nothing except love and that God is everywhere thus that love is everywhere. But they teach that God is a loving person. This does not militate against the other statements that God is just, wise and powerful. But this quality of love best of all represents His divine character. All of his justice is in harmony with his love. He does not exercise his justice or power contrary to his love, for all his attributes work together for good to all his creatures.

(38) The scriptures encourage us to reason from the known to the unknown. (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1,2) They tell us that although God is so great, so wise, so powerful, he is also just and loving. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 9:15; Exodus 34:6) And the more we consider the matter, the more reasonable the Bible description of the Almighty appears. His power we see demonstrated. The wisdom of One so great cannot be doubted. When we come to consider, could One so wise and so powerful be unjust or ungenerous? Our hearts answer, No! No one is really great who is devoid of justice and love. So surely as our God is Jehovah, he must possess these qualities.

(39) All the power, all the justice, all the wisdom of God must be used in accordance with his greatest attribute, which is love. It will therefore be a loving wisdom, a loving justice, which he will use toward all creation in the exercise of his loving power for their good. He created man. (Genesis 1:27;2:4) He permitted Adam to disobey his law, telling us that he knew in advance what man would do and that he permitted man to do wrong. — Isaiah 46:9,10.

(40) In permitting sin to enter the world, God had several ends in view. Both man and angels will have benefited by His permission of sin. (1 Corinthians 1:4:9; 1 Peter 1:12) Man will also learn the results of living a life without God, which results in bondage to corruption and vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 6:11,12; 3:9,10; 8:9; Isaiah 2:4-4) But most importantly Jehovah’s name will finally be glorified worldwide. (Isaiah 12:4,5) God could do all this because he foreknew that he would make provision for man’s release from the curse of vanity and death. (Romans 8:19-22) This release will come by means of a resurrection from the dead. “As in Adam all die, even in Christ will all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

(41) We can only appreciate these matters if we take the Bible as a whole. If we look at isolated scriptures we might find ourselves teaching either universalism on the one hand, or claiming that God has no wisdom in allowing evil, or what not. We would get into all sorts of confusion. But when we see the perfect adjustment of God’s justice, wisdom, love and power, and realize that he has good purposes respecting the evil, that he has fully marked out what it will do and what it will not do, either in its present influence, or its ultimate influence, this gives us confidence in the personal attributes of Jehovah.

The Permission of Evil

(42) From only one standpoint can divine wisdom and love be discerned in connection with the history of mankind. It must include the age about to be ushered in the period of Messiah’s reign of righteousness. This will the time when every member of Adam’s race, sharing the penalty of sin and death because of inheriting his weaknesses, will be set free from these; the time when full knowledge of the glory of Jehovah will be granted to every human being, and when a full opportunity will come to each, by obedience, to live in an Eden-like paradise for all eternity. — Isaiah 29:18-20; Revelation 20:2,3; 12,13.

(43) The lesson thus far taught is the goodness and the severity of God his goodness in bringing us into being, and his severity in the punishment of father Adam’s willful transgression; also to both men and angels, justice, unswerving justice. The next lesson to be taught to God’s intelligent creatures is that God is love. The foundation for these lessons is already laid in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, through and on account of which he becomes the world’s redeemer and restorer. A few can believe this message by faith. But not many have the ear of faith or the eye of faith. Only the truly dedicated ones are able to appreciate this great fact at the present time. — Matthew 11:15; 13:11; 7:13,14.

(44) That which is now secret and understood only by the few is shortly to be made manifest to every creature in heaven and in earth. All will then be able to appreciate the great fact that the redemption accomplished by the sacrifice of Jesus is worldwide and means a full deliverance from the sin and death condemnation which passed upon Adam and all of his race, to all who will accept the same as a gift from God. The remainder will be destroyed in the second death. For scriptural proofs for these statements, please see study: Understanding Kingdom Mysteries.

The Second Death – The Essence of Wisdom

Revelation 20:14,15; Psalm 37:9,10

(45) As for the second death, we easily see that if God created man in his own image, man must of necessity have originally had the ability to decide for himself; otherwise he would not have been in God’s image. If man was created with this ability, he must have the power or privilege to will to do wrong as well as right. If he exercises his power in the direction of evil, God has the power to destroy him. On the other hand, if he lives in harmony with righteousness God has the power to grant him life to all eternity.

(46) The destruction of the wicked in the second death is the essence of wisdom. As to the declaration that God is too pure to look upon evil (Habakkuk 1:13), the thought of the Hebrew text seems to be that God’s personal qualities is so pure and so righteous that he will not continue to look upon evil. He will not permit evil to all eternity, for this condition would not be pleasing to him.

(47) This very thought implies that there is evil to look upon. If not so, how could he look upon it? Ultimately all evil will be destroyed. Ultimately all creatures which are “in heaven and on earth and such as are in the sea” will be heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” — Revelation 5:13.

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