Who Is God?
And understand that I am He. before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. “I, even I, am the LORD; and there is no savior besides Me.” (NASB) Isaiah 43:10b-11
Looking for the unknown God? Most people (92%) in the United States are religious according to the 1997 U.S. Census. Only 8 percent of the U.S. population said they were not religious or did not respond to the survey. Most of them say that they have found God or they are looking for God. A very small group says that they do not believe there is a God. For them the Bible has a strong warning in Psalms 10:4, “The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God'” (NASB). If you desire to know about God, we hope this study will help you to understand the God of the Bible. For Christians, this study can give you a greater understanding of our God.
Athens was a center of religious activity in the ancient world. Today, one can find the ruins of such temples as the Temple of the Goddess Athene, the Temple of the Furies and the Temple of Theseus. Athens was also known as the university city of the Roman world. Athenians were very educated and yet very religious. Josephus called them the most pious of the Greeks. So it is no surprise to find in Acts 17:22-28 that an altar had been dedicated to the “UNKNOWN GOD.” In fact, there were many altars in Athens to unknown gods. So when the apostle Paul met some of the men of Athens, he said they were “very religious” (Acts 17:22). Paul takes the opportunity to tell them about the God they do not know, the “UNKNOWN GOD.” Who is God? According to Acts 17:24-27, Paul tells them there are eight things that are true about their UNKNOWN GOD. What are the eight truths about God?
1. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:24)
2. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:24)
3. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:24)
4. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:25)
5. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:25)
6. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:25)
7. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:26)
8. ______________________________________________ (Acts 17:26)
How Many Gods?
Who is the God of this universe? Are there any more like Him? There are demons who pretend to be God. Satan or Lucifer really wants to take God’s place – to be God (Isaiah 14:12, 14). The prophet Isaiah tells us who the real God is. In Isa. 43:1 the God of the Bible is talking. He tells us that He is the one who created us. In Isa. 43:10 we discover that no other god existed before Him, and no other god will exist after Him. There is no God but Himself. This eliminates the idea of many gods. What do the following verses reveal about God?
9. ______________________________________________ (Isaiah 43:10)
10. ______________________________________________ (Isaiah 44:6, 8)
11. ______________________________________________ (Isaiah 45:5)
12. ______________________________________________ (Isaiah 45:21)
Finally, in Isaiah 48:12 He again refers to Himself as the “First and the Last” (see Isa. 44:6) and then in Isaiah 48:16 we read,
Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit. (NASB)
Here we discover that this God was sent by the Lord GOD. Who is the Lord GOD? Whoever He is, He also sent the Holy Spirit. Now remember that this God has said there is only one God and it is He! According to the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is also God (Acts 5:3-4). We do not have three Gods. We have three persons who are together one God. Isaiah 6:3 tells us an angel referred to God with “Holy, holy, holy . . .” Genesis 1:26 tells us that God, in a conversation with Himself, said, “let us . . .” Yet the great SHEMA of Deuteronomy 6:4 says,
The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! (NASB) Deuteronomy 6:4
This is wonderful because the Hebrew word for LORD is Jehovah, and the Hebrew word for God is ELOHIM. ELOHIM is plural and so refers to a plural god. Now rewrite Deut 6:4 by replacing LORD and God with the meaning of the Hebrew words,
The UNKNOWN GOD is a plural-one. The Bible teaches that God is a Trinity without using the term. The dictionary says that trinity means three fold. The New Testament agrees with Isaiah 48:16 and clearly tells us who is included in the Trinity. In the blanks below, write the names of the persons of the Trinity in the order in which they are written:
13. ______________________________________________ (Matt. 28:19)
14. ______________________________________________ (1 Peter 1:2)
15. Who always occurred first? _______________
The Trinity is a mystery we do not understand. We know that God is spirit (John 4:24) and that He is invisible (John 1:18).
We do not understand invisibility or spirit beings. We believe they exist, but we do not really understand them. So we should be able to accept the idea of a plural one even if we can not understand Him. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells how to react to this strange idea,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (NASB) Isaiah 55:8-9
There are many truths about God we do not understand – He is God! There have been many attempts to grasp the concept of the trinity. We could think of the trinity as a sphere (see picture) where the name of the sphere is three interchangeable labels: God the Father, God the Son or Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. God is one, yet, three persons. God is not three gods because scripture says He is one God.
Mystery of God.
Who is God? There is more mystery to God than just His being a plural one. God is also infinite, self-existing and unchangeable. The following verses help explain what these words mean. After reading the verse ask yourself, “What did I learn about God?” and then write it in the blank space provided.
16. God is ______________________________________________ (John 5:26)
17. God is ______________________________________________ (Hebrews 1:12)
18. God is ______________________________________________ (Matthew 5:48)
19. God is ______________________________________________ (Psalms 90:2)
20. God is ______________________________________________ (Psalms 139:7-10)
21. God is ______________________________________________ (Job 37:16)
22. God is ______________________________________________ (Luke 1:37)
God is unbelievable. Knowing God is a lifetime adventure for some of us. At first we start to learn about God when we start loving God, we want to know Him. In Psalms 27:8 King David said, “My face desires to seek His face! Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Do you desire to seek His face, to know Him as a friend? David desired to know God face-to-face.
Things to Ponder
1. How has God been revealed to us according to Romans 1:20?
2. Can you name a fact of science that suggests there is a god?
3. How would you explain the Trinity to someone?
4. Someone once asked, “Can God make a rock so big that He cannot move it?” What divine attribute does the question assume God is lacking? The question implies a low view of God.
5. Do you think that God has revealed all there is to know about Himself in the Bible?
6. If the Bible did not teach that God was a trinity, what would this imply about Jesus?
7. Men and women are limited in what we can do and who we are. Name four ways in which God is different from us.
8. Why can we not know God completely. Is this a good thing?
9. What do followers of Jesus have to look forward to in heaven?
10. What did Moses want God to do for him in Exodus 33:13, 18-23.
11. What do you want most in this life? What is your greatest spiritual passion?