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Our God

It is very hard to define our God in words. The Bible teaches us some truths about who our God is and how He rules His vast universe. We can also draw suppositions from Bible verses we do not completely understand. Other concepts we will never be able to comprehend about God and His Spiritual Kingdom. For that which we cannot understand we must ask God to instill in our hearts the love and faith needed to trust in Him until all things are explained to us in Heaven above. Many scoff at believing in something you cannot fathom. But one can enjoy the beautiful color and fragrance of a flower without understanding why it looks or smells so good. We still do not understand how or why a tornado occurs, but we are smart enough to get out of its way. We know the peace God brings to our hearts when we talk with Him in prayer, even though we can not comprehend how it is accomplished. Our God is a Spirit, a Spirit of love and power, truth and wisdom, of might and tenderness, of majesty and compassion, of anger at evil and of patience waiting for us to return to the fold. Our God is all knowing and all forgiving, present everywhere in His vast universe, yet living within our hearts. He opens His arms for all to come to Him, yet separates the wheat from the chaff, burning the chaff in Hell. He is truthful keeping all His promises and just, being fair to all, avenging those who have been mistreated. He would talk in prayer with us each day, yet is a jealous God when we put other gods or pleasures before Him. He is the best friend we will ever have, and the most powerful enemy to all who would take us from the His tender care.

God, being a Spirit, has different attributes than man. God has always been and will be forever. He is all powerful and ruler of all. Our God has three distinct persons yet is one God. Like water which can be a liquid, but when frozen becomes a solid and if boiled turns to a vapor, yet still is water in all three forms. God the Father(often called God) is a distinct person and created everything in His Heavenly Universe and in our earthly realm. Jesus Christ, His son, is also a distinct person. Jesus became man to die a human death for the atonement of all manís sins, rose from the dead, and reigns in Heaven above. The Holy Spirit is also a distinct person. He opens our heart, allowing us to love, accept, have faith, and trust in the one true God. Three different persons, the Triune God, yet one God.

The Bible does not elaborate much about Godís creation of His Spiritual Universe. We know we can not even vaguely comprehend itís size. We are told a little more about the most numerous spirits, the angels. We do not know when or how God created the angels, but they live forever and do not die. Angels do not procreate but we do not know if God continually creates more of them. Angels are mentioned throughout the Bible, and they are numerous. For there were multitudes of angels, ten thousand upon ten thousand angels. God gives angels different powers, positions and duties. One unnamed angel slew one hundred eighty five thousand men of a kingís army. Only three angels are named in the Bible are Michael, Gabriel, and Abaddon. Michael being an archangel has reached the highest angelic position, with subordinate angels under him. He is probably one of the most powerful angels, for he has already wrestled Mosesís body away from Satan, and will throw Satan out of the heavens for the last time in the final days. Michael was also assigned the duty of special protector over Israel. Gabriel was used as a messenger angel, to announce the births of John and Jesus as a man. Abaddon is the angel guarding the abyss or Hell. But regardless of their power, duties, or positions, all angels are ministering spirits. They come at our Lordís command to help us. Our God is a jealous God and wants us to serve Him alone. Therefore we do not pray to angels, men, or any other being except our God for anything we need. Angels understand this as they daily help us through our spiritual and physical battles. Angels give all authority and praise to God alone, never following any human instruction or desiring human adulation.

Many angels have been thrown out of heaven for not following Godís commands. Satan was a powerful archangel with many subordinate angels under his command. He rebelled against our God creating sin. Sin is simple to understand, it is just disobeying Godís commands. For this Satan and angels who followed him were thrown out of Heaven. This probably happened after God created man for everything was perfect when creation of our earthly realm was finished, and God rested. We do not know the specific reason Satan was thrown from Heaven, but we do know Satan was a murderer, liar, and had been sinning from the beginning. Satan wants all the power, glory and pleasure for himself.

Satan is the instigator of sin (disobedience to God) in our earthly domain as well. There was no sin until Satan disguised himself as a serpent and deceived Eve into disobeying God by eating fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve then convinced Adam to sin by eating of the same fruit. Man has been given a free will by God that allows him to choose right or wrong, allowing man to sin. God does not tempt man to sin, but God allows Satan to have exposure to man. Satan roams the earth making his throne where evil rules. Satan uses the world and our flesh to deceive us. He is very powerful, conniving, can masquerade as an angel, and is an expert tempter that can get us to do his will. Satan uses rulers and authorities from this world to promote his cause. Satan also has ďlegionsĒ of powerful allies in the demons (angels who disobey God) who follow his command. Daily Satan tricks us into sinning against our Lord, for he is the greatest liar of them all.

There is a great spiritual battle raging daily. God and His angels trying to bring man home to Heaven, while Satan and his helpers try to separate man from God using all their deceptive powers. The war is over when man dies and then the soul is won or lost. God has the ultimate power and glory, but with manís free will Satan is winning the numbers battle in a landslide, luring man with all the pleasures and lies of this world. Man can not overcome Satan without the help of God. Our Heavenly Father will send angels to watch over and minister unto us. Jesus will give us His love to comfort us. The Holy Spirit will fill all with faith and courage. Baptism and Communion renew and strengthen our faith. We also have the Bible. When Jesus was tempted as a man, He quoted scripture to rebuke Satan.

Man must also take Satan seriously. Man knows he sins, but wanting to get on with his life he often puts a band aid over a festering wound. One keeps sinning, asking for forgiveness, never really getting to the source of their problem. Only when one goes down and cuts out the thorn causing the festering can the wound be healed. Satan must be cut out of our life or the festering of sin will always be there. When you leave a void someone will fill it. A void left when man does not take the evil spirit world serious is soon filled to overflowing by Satan. All the dark powers of the spiritual realm are now being considered by society with fascination, without any fear. Society enjoys fortune telling, reading the stars, are amused by witches and warlocks, and even delve into Satanism. They are playing in the backyard of Satan and will soon get burned. Man also does not take the afterlife very seriously, with an attitude of you only live life once, but if you live it right, once is enough. But when the day of reckoning comes, there are only two places one will spend eternity (forever, with no ending). Man will live in Heaven with his God, or be separated from his God in Hell with Satan as a bunkmate. Let us look a little closer at these two destinations.

Hell is a reality that todayís society only remotely considers or fears. Surely our God of love will not send us to torment in Hell. For those who think there is a way around Hell, remember this. God has already condemned His angels who have turned from Him to Hell, without any chance of redemption. Some of the fallen angels God has already thrown in an abyss (Hell) and locked them in. These angels are joined in Hell by all the souls of those who died without coming to God. All of these spirits will remain in Hell until the final judgment day. The joke of burying one face down because they know what direction they will be going to join all of their buddies is only half true. They will be able to recognize their buddies but there will not be many laughs in Hell. The old concept of Satan running around Hell wearing a red suit carrying a pitchfork with red heat and smoke all around is a complete myth. Why would Satan want the anguish of Hell. Satan is living high in the immoral cities, the Babylons of our days, enjoying all the human pleasures one can consume, before that final day. Satanís demons also fear hell. They pleaded with Jesus to be thrown anywhere but into Hell, until their time had come, fearing the last day when they would be cast into Hell. There are many prophecies about the last days. No one really knows Godís specific plan. But at the final judgment Satan and all his demons will be thrown into a everlasting Hell.

The last part of this chapter shall delve with Godís great creation of Heaven. We are aliens to the earthly world. When God created man He gave him a beautiful garden to live in which contained everything man needed or desired. In return all man had to do was love his Creator, and obey His commands. But as we earlier learned, Satan, deceived man into disobeying God and sin was created. Because man sinned God cast him out of his homeland in the Garden of Eden into a sinful earth. Man was a stranger to this new world where man had to work hard to sustain himself. Where pain, suffering, and death were part of life, where Satan tempted all around. God did not put man in this world, man put himself here when he sinned. But God loved man so much He offered salvation to him, a way man could have his sins forgiven and live forever in Heaven with his Lord. God provided ceremonial laws for man to follow until His son, Jesus Christ, came down to the earth and became man. Jesus lived a sinless life and was not required to die. But out of His love for us Jesus suffered a human death as a substitute for man, as an atonement for all the sins of the world. After His human death, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and ascended into Heaven. Jesus lovingly, willing, wants to forgive all of our sins. This is called grace for it is a free gift from Jesus to all who believe in Him and are sorry for their sins. Man will still die a human death because of sin, but Christís death atones for the sins of all that believe, opening the doors of Heaven to them. This sounds so simple there must be a catch to it. But sometimes simple things are the hardest to do, and trying to be strangers to this world is not an easy task. Realizing we will always be aliens, peculiar people on this earth trying to resist all the temptations of sin every day, willing to give up everything we have in the world including our lives, to stay in Christ. Every night praying to our Lord for His Kingdom to come and until it does that His will would be done here on earth as it is in our homeland in Heaven above. Remembering we will be strangers but a short time on earth, a mere lifetime to the eternity we will spend in our homeland above if we follow Jesus. Then each morning we gladly begin the work our Lord would have us do, with an inward peace only He can give, until God calls us to our heavenly homeland above.

The Bible teaches us some of what will happen in the after life. When we die our soul either goes to Heaven or Hell, while our body remains on earth. In Hell there will be torment for all unbelievers, they will be separated from God. Christians will live in Paradise with Jesus and all our brothers and sisters in Christ. There will be much joy being with those who have gone before and those who will come after us, waiting for the final judgment day. There are many prophesies about the final judgment day and what will happen. No one except God knows when that day will come or exactly what will happen, but we do know this. When the final judgment day comes all people, both the living and the dead, will be judged. The dead will be reunited with their bodies and stand before the judgment throne with the living. All will be found guilty of sin, but Christ will intercede and forgive the sins of those who believe in Him. The believers will go to a new Heaven, with glorified bodies, while the unbelievers will be cast into Hell with Satan.

Many believe Heaven will be much like the garden of Eden. Some have had visions of Heaven, how glorious it is. But no one can define or explain exactly what Heaven will be like for God has kept that a secret. Jesus told us if man did not accept His earthly teachings, how could man understand Heavenly truths when he had never been there. What we do know about Heaven is the following:

-We will not become angels with wings in Heaven and fly all over playing a harp. Angels and man are unique beings created by God and will always be separate creations.

-Heaven is Godís home, therefore it will be holy without sin. There will be no pain, suffering or want, only peace and contentment as we live with our Creator. God will provide us with all we could ever want. The humble will be exalted and the proud humbled.

-There will be many blessings stored in heaven. When we suffer or help others out of love for Jesus, desiring no earthly praise, our Lord lays away blessings for us to receive when we come to our Heavenly home.

-In Heaven there will be no marriages, all being brothers and sisters in Christ.

We must always remember how glorious Heaven is. Many times when someone dies, especially when they are young, when we are very close to them, when we feel they were taken too soon or at the wrong time, we feel cheated, almost mad at God. Why has God taken them before they had a chance to enjoy life, finish up what they started? But we are only thinking worldly thoughts, thinking only about ourselves, for we will dearly miss them. Tears will be shed for we still want them to be here on earth with us, knowing without them there will be a temporary void in our lives. But when we really believe in Christ, we know without a doubt, our loved ones have gone to a much better life, a much greater place. They were merely called home before we were. Through faith we will be happy for them, waiting for the day when we will join them in our Heavenly home.

I would like to close this chapter with this thought. Our God is an awesome God. An awesome God for loving us, taking care of us, forgiving us, and when our time comes, bringing us to Heaven to be with Him forever.

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