Summary: The True God - What is He Like?
We Need to Know Whom We Worship
One of the most important revelations we can receive from the Bible is the character of God. The Bible tells us what God is like - his attributes, his ways in dealing with mankind, his heart. Our traditions, preconceptions, experiences and reasonings do not always tell us the truth about God. The Bible does however.
God wants us to worship Him and know Him personally. This can only happen through the work of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we may know about God, but we will not know Him and experience relationship with Him. God reveals Himself to us through the Word and the Spirit working together. The Spirit will never reveal God as being different to what the Scriptures reveal. We must not believe every spirit, but test the spirits. (1 John 4:1)
It is true that there are many religions in the world today that seek to capture the heart and mind of man. These religions consist in a set of beliefs about the world and what we must do to be all we should be. Religion derives its main sources from the traditions of men, and from the inspiration of Satan and his evil spirits. It always involves man working to make himself better. The power of false religion comes from Satan and evil spirits. Like occultism, false religion is a tool of Satan to deceive people. If necessary, Satan will use visions, dreams and miracles to enslave people in false ways. Many times all he needs to do is to appeal to the pride of man - the desire of man to improve himself and be praised by others.
All forms of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Animism and other non-christian religions - while perhaps containing some elements of truth here and there, are basically the product of evil spirits and the fallen minds of men. As Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.” (John 10:7,8). All witchdoctors, shamans and religious teachers of non-Biblical doctrines and practises being used by Satan to destroy the souls of men, whether they know it or not. Even in this life the destruction coming from their teaching is evident.
True Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. We are called into a relationship with God - not into bondage to a set of rituals, observances, traditions and customs. Many of the largest so-called churches have mixed much paganism and religious tradition with the teaching of the Bible - and thereby teach a false way of salvation. They still teach that man must save himself through rituals, good works and faithfulness to the organisation. This is not the Bible way. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8,9).
We are called to worship God in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). We worship God because of who He is. We must worship from the heart, and according to the truth the Bible reveals of who He is and what He wants from us. No ritual or religious observance or act of charity can ever substitute for our first duty to worship God alone in spirit and truth.
God wants us to know what we worship. We cannot know what God is like except through what he shows us of Himself. We cannot decide who God is, and we cannot know the truth about Him guided by our limited reasoning power alone. A committee of men cannot decide who God is. God cannot accept religious compromise or traditions which contradict His word, no matter how many people want to follow them. His Word is the final authority in matters of worship and faith.
In the ten commandments (Exodus 20) we read:
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or likeness of anything that is in heaven above ... you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.
The second commandment in essence says that we must not falsely represent who God is and worship a God of our own imagination, desires and preferences. We cannot represent God by any object, picture, piece of art. We certainly must not worship or pray to any such representations. Doing this insults God. It would be like someone representing you by a picture of a cockroach.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth! (Jn 4.24)
God is revealed in six ways:
a. Through creation.