INVESTIGATING THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOD
THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOD PART-1 “ Brethren, my heart desire and prayer for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God but not according to knowledge ” (Romans 10:1-2) People have several opinions about God which affects their relationship with Him; And when a man cannot relate with God as his father, it becomes difficult for him to make any meaningful progress in his Christian walk. As I grew up, I listened to sermons that God was wrongly presented; hardly was He presented to me in the light of the Father that He is. But thank God for the knowledge I have today, that the most and only authentic revelation of God had to be done by God Himself-He God is one who reveals Himself by Himself-the word. Actually, many witnesses before Christ came had glimpses of who God is but they were never the complete picture until He manifested Himself in Christ. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten son, which is in the bossom of the Father, he hath declared him” Jesus said in John 1:18). So we have people who only knew God as much as their parents did (do) and unfortunately for such folks, their parents didn’t really know God. Most of them have already formed thoughts about who God is and who He ought to be. But until your understanding is opened, you cannot understand scriptures and if you don’t understand scriptures, you don’t know God. “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45). This was a vital experience of Jesus’ disciples, they had been with Him arguably thirty one to thirty two years; heard Him preach and heal the sick. But upon His resurrection, they couldn’t recognize Him. Then Jesus had to open their understanding and they saw Him-not in vision. A lot of believers live in error because they only know God based on rumour and this has conditioned the way they think of God. Job said, “ I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:5). Meaning that all that Job knew and said about God from chapter 1 until chapter 42 were hearsay. Job never had a direct revelation of God hence he believed it was God who destroyed his family and business. All Job knew about God was a collection of people’s opinion of God; all claims Job made about God were mere assumptions. Don’t settle for a rumour based knowledge about God because it will push you into superstition-go for a personal revelation about the true personality of God for that is the only way you can relate with Him as a Father. REFERENCES: Job 1:21; Psalm 130:3-4 PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you for the revelation of your true character in Christ. I fellowship with God as my Father, in Jesus name, Amen. I AM A CHILD OF A LOVING FATHER WHO NEVER CHANGES, HIS LOVE FOR ME IS SURE AND TRUE. HALLELUJAH!!! THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOD PART-2
“ In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God… And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we behold his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth…. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten son, which is in the bossom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:1, 14, 18).
A man's ignorance of who God really is, (His true personality, character) is the devil’s greatest weapon against him. Worshipping unknown God (superstition) was commonly seen in the practices of the people of old and it is still ongoing in this dispensation. This same practice can take a whole life span of a person, unfortunately he may not know that he has been in error. But the reality is that God cannot be known by experiences but by direct revelation. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth thee…” (Job 42:5-6). This was Job’s testimony. Job never had a direct revelation of God (Hebrew: shema) when a local church is built on ignorance, it will be very hard to separate the members from superstitious practices because there exist a thin line between ignorance and superstition-religion encourages superstition (Acts 17:21-25). In our theme text, “ word” in *Greek* is “logos” and it means explanation, a thought or idea. So by implication, Jesus Christ is the explanation of all that was written in the Old Testament; the explanation of the thoughts and ideas of God. So having a full revelation of Christ will help you select from the Old Testament what is God from what is not God. It means in the Old Testament, we see God in logos-words. The very first time God was ever seen physically was when He manifested in the flesh (Christ). Jesus explains God; you cannot separate the two personalities; if you miss Christ, you miss God. Jesus corrected every defaulted impression about God’s character in the Old Testament. The word “bossom” in our theme text is the Greek word “ kolpos” which refers to something close to your chest. It means Jesus is the only one on the Father’s chest that can explain Him better; He (Jesus) came to explain God to man. Hence, He told Philip, if you have seen me (Jesus) you have seen the Father (John 14:8-11). God has been explained in Christ hence Jesus rightly said “ Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise”. (John 5:19). Hence all that was said about God’s character in the Old Testament is subject to Jesus’ scrutiny. Man’s misconception of God has been corrected in Christ; what you see Jesus do, is the same that the Father does. Jesus reserves the exclusive right to explain and unveil the Father - Glory!!
REFERENCES: 2 Corinthians 5:19; John 5:39
PRAYER: Dear Father, I thank you for revealing yourself to me in Christ (your word) in Jesus name – Amen.
HALLELUJAH; MY FATHER IS NOT MYSTERIOUS, HE HAS BEEN REVEALED IN CHRIST.
THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOD PART-3 “ For in him dwelleth all fullness of the God head bodily ” (Colossians 2:9) That someone has been in church for many years and zealously participating in activities of the church doesn’t mean he knows God. That a people have been meeting together in a location in the name of Church and the place is bobbling with activities doesn’t mean they know God. Someone can be a pastor also for many years and doesn’t know God. So it’s possible for someone to have experiences without the rightful epignosis (exact knowledge) of God. Know that age doesn’t define truth and also how long/far or age is not the acid test for right revelation. In the Old Testament we see Jesus Christ in “ types”, “ shadows ”, “prophecies” and “promises”. Meaning that the personality of the Christ which is actually the message of the entire 66 books of the Bible, in the Old Testament was concealed. (Genesis to Malachi). These “ types”, “ shadows ”, “ prophecies ” and “promises” took up a bodily form in the synoptic (Matthews, Mark, Luke, John). And it is called the witness account of the *humanity of Jesus* . The climax of this is in the epistles (Acts of the Apostles to Revelation) and it is called the revelation of the scriptures (the scripture here is Genesis to Malachi). For example, Jesus Christ as type and shadow in Genesis 3:15 is addressed as the seed of the woman that will bruise the head of Satan, “ *Seed* ” in this context meant that Jesus will die, be buried and will germinate. And Jesus affirming this said, “verily, verily, I say unto you except a corn of wheat fall unto the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much truth ” (John 12:24). God cannot die as God hence He must become man to die and the process must require a woman (I Timothy 3:16). Jesus is God who came to reveal God to man, and there’s no doubt about this in the epistles (the revelation of scriptures). The word “ *Godhead* ” in our theme verse refers to divinity “ *divinity* ” or *deity* ”, “fullness” is “ *pleroma*** ” in Greek and it means “ *complete*** ”. The word “ *bodily* ” is the Greek word “ *somatikos* ” it implies “ *personality* ”. So, the fullness of divinity is complete in Christ and is made manifest personally in Him. It means anything you see in Christ, is in the Father; what Christ does is what He sees the Father do. So what Christ says about the Father is final. What you saw Jesus did while on earth is exactly what the father does as the son can do nothing of himself, but what He sees the Father do (John 5:19). God is not a MYSTERY and His ways are not MYSTERIOUS. All of God has been revealed in Christ. REFERENCES: John 5:45-46; Job 42:5-6 PRAYER: Dear Father, I thank you for making yourself fully known to me in Christ, in Jesus name – Amen. I'M BOLD AND CONFIDENT KNOWING THAT MY GOD IS LOVING AND CARING.
THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOD PART-4
“ And said, naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord ”(Job 1:21) When you have a distorted knowledge of the true character of God, you are denied the benefits of *Sonship* . Like Job, most people’s claim about God are mere assumptions, and a collection of other people’s experiences. Even in their prayers, you’ll notice a full expression of fear about what Satan may do to them; they express no faith in the love of God. Our theme text indicated that Job was worshiping a God he didn’t really know because he accused God of giving and taking the life of his children. But the question is, why would God give since He knows He will take? Surprisingly, Job is not different from many Christians today who believe that every calamity that befalls them is from God. This category of Christians are worshipping God based on assumption. They have been taught that good and evil precedes from God. When you worship a God you don’t really know, it will trigger fear; Job was practically and intentionally expecting evil and good things from God at the same time, God cannot be good and bad at the same time because His character is constant. To most of us, once things are not working fine, they believe they have sinned, and because of that, God is after them. Job believed that the sins of his children made God send evil their way hence the sacrifices to appease God (Job 1:4-5). But God had no hand in the calamity of Job because the Bible says, “ *The Lord is merciful and gracious slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keeps his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins: nor rewarded us according to our iniquities”* (Psalm 103:8-10). This was even before Jesus died. Like most ignorant Christians today, fear was the motive behind Job’s worship. This is because there was no factual knowledge that his children actually sinned against God. The devil is the source of all evil, not God. Jesus is the manifestation of God to correct man’s misconception about the true character of God. Job at first didn’t know the God he was worshipping but when he knew, his confessions changed. “ I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes* ”. (Job 42:5-6). Finally he understood that it wasn’t God that gave and took his children and that evil things don’t proceed from God. When Job repented, he received the blessing of God and restoration. God is your Father, He wants you to live happily and prospering in everything that you do. So tell the devil to take his hands off your endeavours. REFERENCES: James 4:7; John 5:19 PRAYER: Dear Father, I know that your will for me is to excel in all that I do, I hereby command the devil to take his hands off my endeavours, in Jesus name – Amen. MY GOD IS FULL OF GRACE, MERCY AND TRUTH, AND HE'S A GIVER OF ALL GOOD THINGS. THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOD PART-5 “ For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise unto you of your brethren, like unto me; HIM SHALL YE HEAR IN ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER HE SHALL SAY UNTO YOU. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:22-23) In the Bible we have words of men, angels, the devil and that of God. An essential truth in Bible interpretation is that whenever a text of the scripture is wrongly interpreted, a vital truth is lost and the eventual outcome will be that the audience will be misinformed, misled and misguided. Jesus in Luke 24:27 expounded to His disciples ALL that Moses and the prophet wrote concerning Him; meaning He read through ALL the prophets; He didn’t read all they said, rather He focused on what they said concerning Him. The word “ *expounded* ” is the Greek “ *diermeneuo* ”, implying to explain thoroughly. It therefore mean that in that instance, Jesus explained thoroughly in the scriptures (Old Testament writings) all that was written about Him. The Old Testament prophets spoke in riddles and figures of speech. It was a mode of language or communication used to speak concerning Christ. In Romans 16:25-26 Paul said that these writings were “kept in secret” and it is the Greek “segao” which does not mean absolute silence but implies a “tone”. So you can only know God in the Old Testament when you look at Christ. Jesus is the one that explains God; He corrects every defaulted impression about God’s character; He is the explanation of what was spoken by the prophets in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, the only meaningful thing the prophets said was about Christ, the rest were assumptions and their personal opinions. So according to our theme text, Moses was saying that when Christ comes, all that he (Moses) and all the prophets said will be subjected to Jesus’ scrutiny. It therefore means that all what they (the Old Testament characters) said that sounded authoritative are subject to Jesus' scrutiny. He Jesus must affirm it either by His teaching or action before it can be accepted as God’s character. So all the distortions in the presentation of God’s true character by the prophets are corrected by Christ. We see God in Christ and whatever Christ didn’t do or say cannot be said to be God’s character. Don’t build your life on the assumptions and opinions of Moses, Ezekiel, Isaiah or Job but Christ. In Christ, the true character of God has been revealed. God is good, loving, merciful and compassionate; He doesn’t deal with us according to our mistakes. He loves us unconditionally and there’s nothing we will do that will make Him increase or reduce His love for us. He has lavished us with all of His love and we should be eternally grateful for that. REFERENCES: Psalm 78:2; Romans 16:25-26 PRAYER: Dear Father, I am firmly established on the truth about your character. Nothing can separate me from the love of God, in Jesus name – Amen. THANK YOU JESUS FOR YOUR LOVE FOR ME.