Thoughts to Ponder

What is your view of God?

I am worried that people now days are getting so familiar with God or at least their idea of God that they have lost the respect due, to God Almighty. They view Him as little more then a good friend who will understand if they at times don't treat Him as the Creator of the Universe. They have more of a horizontal view of God then a vertical view. This comes from the humanism which has infiltrated even the Evangelical church. We have elevated ourselves, by promoting such things as the need for self-esteem in order to understand God's love for us. We no longer focus on His character but on ours. Or we bring Him down to our level by teaching that there is a time and place for a person to forgive God for the things we have held against Him. "It is no longer sin to hold something against God; it is normal and we should deal with it by letting it go and forgiving Him."

In the Old Testament the people understood that a living person could not see God and live. His glory is too much for a human to behold.

It is believed that Jesus appeared to people in the Old Testament before His incarnation as a human. Many times when the Old Testament says the angel of the LORD, it is believed that it was the pre-incarnate Christ Jesus. Such appearances are called a theophany. Below are some examples which are believed to be theophanies, notice how people reacted when they realized on whom they were looking:

(Judges 6:22-23 NIV) When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!" {23} But the LORD said to him, "Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die."

(Judges 13:20-22 NIV) As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. {21} When the angel of the LORD did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the LORD. {22} "We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen God!"

It is assumed that in the next passage Isaiah was seeing a vision, yet notice how he reacted to that vision: (Isaiah 6:1-5 NIV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. {2} Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. {3} And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." {4} At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. {5} "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

Ezekiel saw what he described as the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD, but look at his reaction: (Ezekiel 1:26-28 NIV) Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. {27} I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. {28} Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

We know that John was the beloved disciple who reclined at the Last Supper with his head on Jesus' chest. He walked with Jesus for three years on this earth, yet look what happened when he saw Jesus in all His glory: (Revelation 1:17-18 NIV) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. {18} I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

We could learn a lot of lessons if we would just read the book of Job and take what it says to heart. At the beginning of the book God asks Satan if he has considered His servant Job. When Satan tries to say that Job only loves God because God has been good to him, God allows Satan to take the comfort and security away. From a human stand point if any human had the right to accuse God of wrong doing or have a reason to forgive God it would be Job. Did God ever apologize to Job for allowing Satan to give him a horrible time? Did God sit still and allow Job to accuse Him of wrong? Was God meek and ashamed of what He had allowed to happen to Job? If you are not sure, you better read Job from start to finish and see how God reacted when Job got irritated about his circumstances. (Job 38:1-3 NIV) Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: {2} "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? {3} Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Sounds like God was still in charge doesn't it? How do you think God would have reacted if Job had said, "I forgive you for what you have done to me."?

How would you like to be in Job's shoes in this passage? How you would like God to look at you and say: "Let him who accuses God answer him!" (Job 40:1-14 NIV) The LORD said to Job: {2} "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!" {3} Then Job answered the LORD: {4} "I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. {5} I spoke once, but I have no answer-- twice, but I will say no more." {6} Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: {7} "Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. {8} "Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? {9} Do you have an arm like God's, and can your voice thunder like his? {10} Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. {11} Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, {12} look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand. {13} Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. {14} Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.

God gives a challenge here, if you have an arm like God's; if you can make your voice thunder like his; if you can adorn yourself in glory and splendor and clothe yourself in honor and majesty; if you can unleash your fury and wrath and bring the proud man low; crush the wicked where they stand; bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave; then He will admit that your own hand can save you. At that point you might be able to get away with forgiving God for whatever you please. Until then you might want to rethink your attitude and your arrogance. God has a sense of humor, but not when His glory and justice is called into question.

It amazes me that Christians would advocate forgiving God for the 'perceived' wrongs He has done. I don't believe any human being when they first behold God in all His glory in the next life will remain standing, much less go up and give Him a high five, or smile and forgive Him for anything. We will all be face down trembling in fear and awe.

Would you excuse your own sinful nature by accusing God of wrong doing? If you every have the audacity to forgive God that is exactly what you are doing. Don't be fooled by this doctrine from the pit of hell, we are no more then dung compared to God, yet we elevate ourselves to His level by allowing ourselves to hold transgressions against Him. Even when leaders tell you that "of course God has not really done any wrong, but if you perceive that you are holding something against Him, go head and forgive Him." It is wrong and it is dangerous. I don't care how many times I hear people tell me that it helped them to forgive God, because now they feel so much closer to Him. You may feel closer but I will guarantee you that you are not.

Let's look at this from a human standpoint for a moment. Let's say your teenager came to you and said Dad or Mom, I know you did not do anything wrong, but I have always felt like you did so I want to officially forgive you. Would you feel closer to that child because they forgave you for what they have held against you even if they admitted they realized it was not true? How about if you are married and your spouse forgave you for some wrong that they claim they know you did not commit but that they have been holding against you? Wouldn't that warm your heart? Of course not, and don't for a moment thing that it warms God's heart or draws you closer to Him to forgive Him.

Satan does not mind you 'feeling' like you are closer to God as long are you aren't really. You cannot trust your feelings. You can trust God's word. Look for yourself. I have taken a lot of heat for the past few articles I have written and to be honest the more heat I get the more I am sure I am on the right track. I don't want anyone to believe me, look for yourself. I only give a few verses in my articles, my point is not to be the final authority, only to get people to think and then go to the finally authority: God's Word.

Let's make sure God has no reason to say this to us: (Isaiah 29:16 NIV) You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

One last thought. I often use the following illustration when talking to people who do not know Jesus as their Savior: Imagine that you murdered someone and were caught. There was no doubt that you did it, it was caught on television and millions of people saw you do it. You go before the judge and he sentences you to death. On the very night that you are to be executed the judge who sentenced you comes and stands at the door of your cell. He explains that he had no choice but to sentence you to death for your crime, but he loves you and if you will just ask he will open the cell and let you go free. You ask him how he can do that? He says he can't change the law, he can't just forgive and forget, but he can serve your sentence for you.

That is where I usually stop with unbelievers and then I tell them that the judge is God and He has sent Jesus to open their cell if they will just ask. But this time I want to speak to you who have already been released from your death row cell. As you leave would you have the audacity to turn to Jesus and forgive Him for anything?

(Job 40:8 NIV) "Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

E-Mail Ralph

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