God is the Ruler and Creator of the entire universe. He loves each and every one of us, even those who do not believe in Him or acknowledge Him. God will always forgive you, no matter what you do wrong, as long as you have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ as your Savior. Not accepting Jesus as your Savior is the Unforgivable Sin, but anyone can accept Jesus as the Son of God.
God has three primary names, which are:
- JEHOVAH (Exodus 6:3, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah 26:4)
Some other names and titles include:
- ALMIGHTY (Revelation 1:8)
- ALMIGHTY GOD (Genesis 17:1)
- ALPHA (Revelation 1:8)
- BRANCH (Zechariah 3:8)
- FOUNDATION (Isaiah 28:16)
- FOUNTAIN (Zechariah 13:1)
- GOD ALMIGHTY (Exodus 6:3)
- GUIDE (Psalm 48:14)
- HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL (Isaiah 41:14)
- I AM (Exodus 3:14)
- LORD (Genesis 22:16)
- LORD GOD (Genesis 2:4)
- MIGHTY GOD (Genesis 49:24)
- OMEGA (Revelation 1:8)
- PURIFIER (Malachi 3:3)
- REDEEMER (Isaiah 41:14)
- REFINER (Malachi 3:2, 3:3)
- REFUGE (Isaiah 25:4)
- ROCK (Deuteronomy 32:4)
- SAVIOR (Luke 1:47)
- SERVANT (Isaiah 42:1)
- SHILOH (Genesis 49:10)
- SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Malachi 4:2)
- THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:6)
In the original Hebrew Scriptures, God's Name appeared as יהוה. In English, יהוה is usually spelt and pronounced as JEHOVAH. יהוה is usually translated into English as YHWH, but some other translations are YHVH, JHVH, or JHWH. This is known as the Tetragrammaton. Jewish people are forbidden to say or write the Tetragrammaton in the full form, so the word Adonai is used in its place. Most Jewish people do not consider Adonai, which means Master, as a Name of God, but more of a Title of God. El Shaddai (Almighty), Elohim (God or Authority), El (Mighty One) and Avinu (Our Father) are also not considered Names of God, but as Titles of God. In English versions of the Bible, if the term LORD or GOD appears in capital letters or in small capital letters, the term YHWH was used in the original Hebrew language. Some scholars prefer to use YAHWEH in place of JEHOVAH, but JEHOVAH is the most recognised. However, JEHOVAH is becoming less used in many modern-day English versions of the Bible.
As explained by John Piper in one of his sermons , God has no beginning and no end. This leads to the question "who made God?" and the answer is no one. God simply is and always has been. This is also a teaching of Druze, an Abrahamic religion that some people view as a sect of Islam, that God is existence, not above existence. The universe was created by God, and is kept in existence by His constant decision to keep it in existence. God is independent, and the entire universe depends on Him. He does what He wants, and His decisions are always right. Nothing stops Him from doing anything. He is perfect, and complete perfection can't be improved. Such an explanation reminds us of the need of a Mediator, that we might come to His Almighty Spirit through the Name of the Mediator, His Son, Jesus Christ.
Most people would say that God is omnipresent (everywhere at once), as Psalm 139:7-12 states: Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your Hand shall lead me, and Your Right Hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall fall on me, even the night shall be light around me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. (NKJV)
Amos 9:2-3 gives an example of God's Omnipresence: Though they dig into hell, from there My Hand shall take them; though they climb to heaven, from there I will bring them down; and though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them; though they hide from My Sight at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them;
Many people who believe in God have taken the thought of God's Omnipresence in a good way, as it provides good comfort. Isaiah 43:2 is a good example of this. When you pass the through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
Jeremiah 23:23-24 says: Am I a God near at hand," says the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide in secret places, so I shall not see him? says the LORD; Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD.
Genesis 28:15-16 explains how God is everywhere, and how one cannot always feel His Presence: Behold, I am with you and will keep you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you. Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.
Proverbs 15:3 explains God's Balance of seeing all things: The Eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Deuteronomy 4:39 says: Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
God created everything, including humans, animals, angels and the universe around us. In Psalm 147:4, it is mentioned that all stars have names given to them by God. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. (NKJV) After God created everything, He called it 'very good' (Genesis 1:31). God created the universe in six days, and took the seventh day off to rest, thus creating the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3). The order of creation is:
- Day One: Light (so it wasn't just darkness, Genesis 1:3-5)
- Day Two: The sky and the water (Genesis 1:6-8)
- Day Three: The land and the ocean (Genesis 1:9-13)
- Day Four: The Sun, Moon and stars (Genesis 1:14-19)
- Day Five: The fish and the birds (Genesis 1:20-23)
- Day Six: The rest of the animals and humans (Genesis 1:24-31)
- Day Seven: God rested on this day, and preserved the day, creating the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3)
Colossians 1:16-17 tells us: For by Him all things were created on this earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is in all things, and in Him all things consist. (NKJV) This tells us that God has created everything—and everyone—for a reason.
Nehemiah 9:6 explains that God created the angels at some time, and that they have not been there for all eternity, unlike God. You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.
Psalm 148:2-5 also supports this, saying: Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the Name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
While the Bible is not clear on when exactly God created the angels, it is implied that they were created after heaven was created, and before the earth, as Job 38:4-7 says: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or Who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Even though humans were created after the animals, God said that man should rule over them (Genesis 1:26). God formed man out of dust, and breathed into his nostrils the 'breath of life' (Genesis 2:7). God planted the garden Eden, and He put the man in which He created in there to keep it (Genesis 2:8). He called the first man Adam and created woman from him (Genesis 2:21), who was later called Eve, by making Adam fall into a deep sleep, and taking one of his ribs and thus creating woman (Genesis 2:23).
God made laws for man to live by, including the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). As God made man in His Image, He presents them with a choice, just as He has a choice. The choice is whether or not the human decides to believe in God. This is explained in the famous verse John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The part whoever believes in Him means that humans have a choice, and it is not automatic.
God has many personality traits, including:
- Holiness (Leviticus 11:44-45)
- Perfection (Deuteronomy 32:4, Matthew 5:48, John 8:46a, 1 John 1:5)
- Goodness (Psalm 100:5)
- Gentleness (Matthew 11:28-30, 2 Corinthians 10:1)
- Compassion (Deuteronomy 30:1-3, Deuteronomy 32:36, Judges 2:18, 2 Kings 13:23)
- Unchanging (Malachi 3:6a, Hebrews 13:8)
- Faithfulness (Genesis 24:26-27a, Genesis 32:10, Psalm 100:4-5)
- Kindness (Genesis 24:26-27a, Genesis 32:10)
- Love (Psalm 100:5, John 3:16)
- Merciful (Deuteronomy 4:31, 2 Samuel 24:14)
- Forgiving (Mark 11:25, Luke 23:34, Colossians 3:13b)
- Humble (Matthew 11:28-30)
- Meek (2 Corinthians 10:1)
- Just (Deuteronomy 32:4, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 34:17b)
- Impartiality (2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 34:17b-19, Malachi 2:9)
- Anger (Ezra 5:12, Zechariah 1:14-15)
- Wrath (1 Samuel 28:18-19, 2 Chronicles 19:2, 19:10)
- Jealousy (Exodus 20:4-6, 34:14)
- Hates sin (2 Chronicles 19:10)
It is important to note, that God doesn't get angry for no reason and that He is slow to anger (Psalm 103:8). It is also important to note the difference between jealousy and envy - jealousy is protecting someone so they don't get hurt. Envy is being angry over someone else's success.
Another thing worth noting is that even though God hates sin, He still died for us. He took the sins of the world upon His shoulders, doing something that He hates.
Some other traits of God include:
God has made a number of great promises to man, such as:
- Promising to bless Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:2-3)
- Promising to lead the Israelites to a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8)
- Promising to break the bonds of slavery (Leviticus 26:12-13)
- Promising not to lie or change His mind about you (Numbers 23:19)
- Promising that if you search for Him, you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29)
- Promising to protect the ones faithful to Him (1 Samuel 2:9)
- Promising not to judge us by our appearance (1 Samuel 16:7)
- Promising that His love never fails (1 Chronicles 16:34)
- Promising to heal a nation (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- Promising fruitfulness and prosperity (Psalm 1:1-3)
- Promising power (Acts 1:8)
- Promising right standing before Him (Romans 1:16-17)
- Promising all things will work out for good (Romans 8:28)
- Promising comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- Promising new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Promising every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
- Promising salvation (Ephesians 2:8)
- Promising to finish the work He started within us (Philippians 1:6)
- Promising peace when we pray (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Promising to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19)
Views in the Abrahamic Faiths
God is worshiped by the Abrahamic faiths. The four largest ones are:
- Baha'i Faith
In Judaism, God is the Almighty Being that brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. God is an eternal, everlasting Spirit that human beings have a personal relationship with, and God has a personal relationship with them. No actions can affect God, whether they be positive or negative. God has no physical (or human/earthly) form, but a Spirit. People who follow Judaism are called Jews or Jewish people, and they are God's Chosen People. In Judaism, God's existence is almost always accepted without question, without proof, and it is rarely offered. This is because the Torah begins with how God created the universe and earth, without any explanation to where God came from. A belief similar to Christianity is that God is in all places at all times, knows everything, including the future, and can do anything. It is also believed that God has no beginning and no end, and will always exist.
Like Judaism, God is a singular and eternal Being that is in all places at all times, knows everything and can do anything. Jewish and Christian beliefs about God are very much the same, but Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which is what separates Jews from Christians. Some characteristics of God include patience, love, mercy and grace. Jesus states that "No one comes to the Father, except through me." (John 14:6) Christians believe in the Trinity, the belief that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the same Being.
Muslims call God 'Allah', and believe that He is the all-powerful Creator of the universe. Muslims believe that God is loving and merciful, but does not love transgressors, or people who are wicked, arrogant, ungrateful or vainglorious, but will forgive anyone who calls out to Him.
In Baha'i Faith
God is a singular, eternal and personal Being in the Baha'i Faith, the youngest and fastest growing of the world's religions. It teaches that God is too great for human beings to comprehend or see an accurate vision of by themselves. They believe that the purpose of mankind is to learn how to love and know God through reflection, service to mankind and prayer.
Sources and External Links
Books of the Bible (Wikipedia) general source
Books of the Bible (Simple English Wikipedia) general source
Does God Have a Name? Names
God in Judaism (Wikipedia) Religions: Judaism
God in Christianity (Wikipedia) Religions: Christianity
God in Islam (Wikipedia) Religions: Islam
Religions of the World: A Visual Reference Guide to the World's Major Religions, published by Robert Frederick Ltd. in 2006, Views in the Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha'i Faith
- ↑ http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestudyresources/qt/namesofgodjesus.htm
- ↑ http://vimeo.com/49112428
- ↑ http://www.ayoungblog.com/post/43519336443/theological-falcon-punch-to-the-mind-meat-and Transcript
- ↑ http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?ID=364
- ↑ http://christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t005.html
- ↑ http://www.godonthe.net/evidence/personal.htm
- ↑ http://taberstruths.com/gods-promises-in-the-bible God's promises in the Bible