The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
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The International Association Jehovah's Witnesses

Biblical Truths

 
A God of Truth
 
    OPEN your copy of the Bible at the first book thereof, which is called "Genesis", and at the first verse. It matters not whether you use the Catholic Douay Version, or the Jewish Leeser Version, or the Protestant versions, either the King James or the American Revised. They all translate the same opening Hebrew words of the original Bible, B'reshith' bara'Elohim', and they all read the same way: "In the beginning God created."

    These inspired words put God first. They do not begin with raising the question posed by worldly scientists, Is there a God? because, all things considered, that question is foolish. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that does good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God." (Psalm 53:1, 2) The course of action of those who deny or doubt the existence of God, and the outcome thereof, prove them fools. They deny the central truth, and are in bondage to error, which leads to destruction. To get free from such death-dealing error and to come to the great Giver of life and truth, man must believe that God is. There is no end of proof that He is. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a re-warder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11: 6) "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."—Proverbs 1:7; 14:27.

    He is a "God of truth". It is "impossible for God to lie", and "he cannot deny himself". Hence he begins his inspired book of Genesis with the self-evident truth that God is: "In the beginning God created." This could not mean there was a beginning to God; but that he is the Beginner of all things that exist. He is the Creator, the Source of ail creation. The man whom God inspired to write the book of Genesis also wrote: "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thon hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."—Psalm 90: 2.

    It is only fitting of God that his eternal existence should be beyond finding out by lowly man with limited powers and who can not even search out to the bottom the secrets of the wonderful works of God round about him, and of which works man himself is one. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9) Having no beginning, God the Creator is therefore the one and only Being. He is the Supreme One. "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."—1 Timothy 6:16.

    There was a time when God began to create. Before that he was all alone in the universe, for immeasurable time. He was not lonesome; because he is perfect, being complete in himself. Hence his pleasure is absolutely independent of creatures, although he does find pleasure in the exercise of his boundless powers of creation. Those who worship him truthfully say in adoration : "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."—Revelation 4:11.

    There was never a tune when there was chaos, that is, a formless, disorganized and confused state, throughout the universe. It is only pagan Greek mythology that claims that Chaos was the most ancient of the gods. Exposing the foolishness of such idea of pagan science, the divine Word of truth says: "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." "God is not a God of confusion, but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:33, A.V. and A.R.V.) He did not bring order out of chaos, because chaos never existed contemporaneously with "the true and living God", The universe was never out of his control. When He, the sole inhabiter of the universe and of eternity, began to create, he proceeded orderly. Ilia processes of creation, whether instantaneous or progressive, operated under his regula-tion and according to laws which he established to govern the creative process to its perfection. Nothing can get beyond his control and mastery.

    As being undeniable proof of his existence and his supremacy, unsearchable wisdom and almighty power, God calls man's attention to the works visible to man in the heavens, the earth, and the seas, which works operated be-fore man's appearance on the earth and which continue to operate without man's aid and beyond man's power to explain or control,—Bead chapters 38 to 41 of the book of Job.

    The sensible man, marveling at such works of divine power and intelligence, exclaims: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: hut now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." That man appreciates the inspired words of the psalmist: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou viaitest himT" (Job 42: 5, 6; Psalm 8: 3,4) To such honest man the heavens, though silent, testify that God is and is glorious: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language; their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, . . . there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." —Psalm 19:1-6, A.R.V,

    GOD, that is what the Almighty One is. To those who transgress against this truth he says: "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me." (Isaiah 46:9) Religionists point to the fact that the word God here, as well as at Genesis 1:1, is the word Elohim in the Hebrew original, and that Elohim is the plural number of the Hebrew word Eloah. Hence they claim that here in these verses and in others Elohim means "gods" and that this proves that God Almighty is a trinity of persons, all three being uncreated, having an eternity of existence together, and being equal in power and glory. Not only is such teaching of a trinity of persons in one god unreasonable and beyond the ability of these trinity-teachers to explain, but not even the word "trinity", nor even the idea of such, appears in God's Word of truth. The trinity of gods, however, does appear as a teaching of pagan religions in Egypt, Babylon, Greece, China, and elsewhere long before its adoption by the religionists of so-called "Christendom". The foolishness and unscripturalness of such trinity doctrine, and its evident pagan origin, will appear more plainly as this discussion goes along. The brightening truth about the "true and living God" will make you free of one of the greatest blasphemies and confusing doctrines of religion.

    Here let it be sufficient to say that Elohim, though being plural in form, is accompanied by a singular pronoun and a singular verb when it refers to The Supreme and Almighty One. This fact shows his unity and oneness of Being, there existing none besides him, none bike him, none equal to him in power and glory and eternity. Wherefore the plural form Elohim, as meaning God Almighty, is merely the plural of excellence and majesty and means one Person. Eloah (singular) and Elohim (plural) are both enlarged from the original Hebrew noun El; and El is, in turn, drawn from the verb ool, which means to be strong and mighty or to be before or ahead of. Hence the plural Elohim fits and describes the Supreme One as summing up all power and might and as surpassing all and being before all in His excellency and eternal existence.
If GOD is what he is, what is his name? That question was put long before this, even thousands of years ago, in the days of Moses. By the miracle of the burning bush Almighty God manifested his presence to Moses for a very decided purpose. "Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God [Elohim] said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God [Elohim] said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, JEHOVAH, the God [Elohim] of your fathers, the God [Elohim] of Abraham, the God [Elohim] of Isaac, and the God [Elohim] of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations."—Exodus 3:13-15, A.R.V.

    Elohim here is Jehovah, and there are not three persons Jehovah; only one. In the greatest commandment of the law the Lord God says by his prophet Moses: "Hear, 0 Israel: Jehovah our God [Elohim'] is one Jehovah: and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God [Elohim] with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deuteronomy 6: 4, 5, A.B.V.) Thus the argument that the title Elohim supports the trinity doctrine falls flat as foolish.

    By his prophet Isaiah the Lord God announces : "I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images." (Isaiah 42:8, A.R.V.) At what time the Lord God revealed this name to mankind on earth is not definitely stated. It first appears in the Hebrew text of the Bible at Genesis 2:4, and occurs thereafter six thousand six hundred times, from Genesis to Malachi. The English Bible versions, the Catholic Douay, the Jewish Leeser, and the King James or Authorized Version, hide this important truth by translating Jehovah by the words LORD, GOD, and The Eternal. The King James Version makes only four exceptions to this practice which obscures the truth. However, the name Jehovah is found first on the lips of the first woman, at Genesis 4:1, A.B.V. The first man shown to address Him by the name is Abraham the patriarch, "the friend of God," at Genesis 15:2,7,8: God "said unto him, I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, O Lord Jehovah, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?"—A.R.V.

    The Lord God also revealed himself to Abraham under another title: "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God Almighty." (Genesis 17:1, A.R.V.) This title was to strengthen Abraham's faith in God's promise to him of a miraculous birth of a son.

    That Abraham and others before Moses' day knew the name but did not appreciate its inward meaning is stated by God himself: "God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Jehovah : and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them." (Exodus 6:2,3, A.R.V.) Jehovah went on to state his purpose concerning his chosen people, then slaves in Egypt. His purpose was to fulfill a certain part of his covenant made with their forefather Abraham and to make them his covenant people. That was the occasion of making known the inward meaning of God's name. From the emphasis laid upon it on this occasion, and from God's special choice of it in announcing his purpose to vindicate himself and the word of his covenant, it is plain that the name Jehovah means or signifies The Purposer, or His purpose toward his creatures. The name does not call notice to His being the Eternal One, which he is, of course. The name is the causative form of the Hebrew verb havah (to be) and literally means "He causes to he", that is, he causes according to Ms purpose.

    For many centuries, particularly after the days of Jesus and his apostles, the meaning of the name Jehovah has been lost to sight, and even the very name has been pushed into the background. Only in very recent years has God caused his name to be brought forth again to the light and its meaning to be made known to his faithful servants, because it is the due time and the vindication of his name Jehovah draws near." Let none now ignore that name!
At Genesis 2:4 the designation "Jehovah God" first appears in Sacred Writ. Being God {Elohim), Jehovah is divine. He is The Divinity or Divine One. "Being therefore the offspring of God, we must not suppose the divinity to be like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the graving of art, and device of man."—Acts 17: 29, Douay.

    Jehovah is unseen to human eyes, but he gives mankind evidence of his divinity by his works visible to them. "For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity." (Romans 1: 20, Douay) It would be improper to speak of Jehovah as having the "divine nature", because nature means that which is born or produced, or, that which is according to birth and growth; whereas Jehovah is without birth or beginning or growth. He is ever perfect, and produces all things righteous, good and perfect. However, to creatures who prove themselves faithful disciples of Jesus, it is written by the disciple Peter: "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature [(literally) a divine nature], having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3,4) Such faithful disciples, together with Jesus, become partakers of "a divine nature" by reason of being specially begotten by the invisible force of the Divine One, Jehovah God.

    God is invisible, beyond the power and capacity of man to see Him. To the prophet Moses he said: "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." (Exodus 33: 20) Hence human nature could never ascend to heaven and see God. In support of this a disciple of Jesus writes: "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man." (John 1:18; 3:13) This holds true because human nature is "of the earth, earthy", but God is spirit and is The Spirit. Concerning the great Spirit and the manner of worshiping Him, Jesus said: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."—John 4 : 23, 24.

    Is it now necessary to go to some religions temple or cathedral in order to worship God, who is spirit? His servant Paul gives the true answer: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that lie is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; . , , Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."-Acts 17: 24-30; 7:48-50.

    Is, then, anyone worshiping God when he offers incense and bows down to an image of any kind or material and says prayers on his knees before such image I That is the practice of religion, but it is not the worship of God, the God whom Jesus worshiped in spirit and in truth. (John 20:17) All the faithful worshipers of God from Abel to Moses did not worship God in man-made temples or before images. At Mount Horeb, in Arabia, Jehovah God gave a terrifying manifestation of his power and then called Moses up into the mountain and gave to that prophet the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments written in His own hand, "written with the finger of God." The first two of these commandments read: "I am Jehovah thy Go [Elohim], who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God."—Exodus 20:2-5, A.R.V.; and 31:18.

    A religionist may not excuse himself by saying that he merely gives the image "relative honor and worship" and is not worshiping the image itself, but the one for whom the image stands. That is the very argument that the pagan heathen gave as an excuse for using images in their religion and worshiping the sun, moon and stars, and the "queen of heaven", as they called it. (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-25) Such religious practice is self-deception, and God does not excuse the use of images under this pretext, but calls it a snare and expressly forbids it to those who worship him in spirit and in truth. Even to wave the hand and give a salute and throw a kiss was forbidden by him as idolizing the image or thing.

    Therefore God inspired Moses to utter and write down this warning to God's covenant people: "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of form on the day that Jehovah spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flieth in the heavens, the likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth; and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the liost of heaven, thou be drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which Jehovah thy God hath allotted unto all the peoples under the whole heaven." Against such religious practices Jehovah God warned, saying: "Neither slialt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to Jehovah thv God." (Deuteronomy 4:15-19; 7:16, 25, AM.V.) God's Word of truth thus declares that religion is a deadly snare.

    At Psalm 84:11 is the inspired statement: "Jehovah God is a sun and a shield." (A.ll.V.) But that is no justification for worshipers of Jehovah God to kiss the hand to the sun or a shield or to salute them and bow down to them because they are used as symbols of God. From such obeisance to creatures and man-made things the pure and true worshiper of God must hold back, as did the faithful man Job. Said he: "If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth bath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above." —Job 31:24-28; 1 Kings 19:18; Hosea 13:2.

    Nothing could be of greater importance than to worship Jehovah God in spirit and in truth, as Jesus said. This is a God-given right of all His creatures, and no human government, no matter how high it is on earth, has any right to interfere therewith and to dictate contrary to the rule and commandment of the worship of Jehovah God. Jehovah is the Supreme Power. (Ecclesiastes 5:8) The very life of intelligent creation depends upon such true worship of the Supreme Power. "Therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed; to love Jehovah thy God, to obey his voice, and to cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days." (Deuteronomy 30:19,20, A.R.V.; 32:47) "This is the true God, and eternal life." (1 John 5: 20) "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."—Romans 6: 23.