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Lesson Two
God
YHWH
(Hebrew name of God, usually spelled out LORD, but sometimes pronounced Jehovah or Yahweh)

ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ‘Ο ΤΗΕΟΣ
(Greek name of God, usually translated the LORD God)

“I am the LORD your God … You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:1-3

1. Who is God and what does the Bible tell us about Him?

Isaiah 42:8: I am the LORD, that is My name.

Jeremiah 10:10: But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and an everlasting King.

Psalm 90:1-2: Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.

The true God is the LORD God — or Jehovah God — of the Bible. He is the living and eternal God who always was, who is, and who always will be.

2. How many true Gods are there? How many Persons are true God?

Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is one!

1 Corinthians 8:4: There is no other God but one.

Matthew 28:19: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …

2 Corinthians 13:14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Isaiah 48:16-17: Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there I am. And now the LORD GOD has sent me and His Spirit. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.

Numbers 6:22-27: The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is how you will bless the children of Israel, saying to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the LORD lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace. They will put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

1 John 5:7: There are three who testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and the three are one.

There is only one true God, but the one true God is three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but one God, for God is one. This teaching of the Three/One or Triune God is taught throughout the Bible, beginning in the very first chapter of Genesis and continuing through the last chapter of Revelation.

3. What else does God tell us of Himself in the Bible?

John 4:24: God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.

Malachi 3:6: For I am the LORD, I do not change.

Psalm 102:27: You are the same, and Your years shall have no end.

Genesis 17:1: I am Almighty God.

Luke 1:37: For with God nothing will be impossible.

Matthew 19:26: With God all things are possible.

Psalm 139:1-4: O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thought from far off. You search my path and my lying down and are aware of all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it fully.

John 21:17: Lord, You know everything.

Jeremiah 23:24: Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I do not see him? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD.

Proverbs 15:3: The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Leviticus 19:2: I the LORD your God am holy.

Isaiah 6:3: Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.

Deuteronomy 32:4: He is the Rock; His work is perfect; for all His ways are just. He is a God of faithfulness and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.

2 Timothy 2:13: He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Psalm 145:8-9: The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His compassion is over all His works.

Exodus 34:6-7: The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.

1 John 4:8: God is love.

The Bible teaches us much about the true God. We call some of these qualities and characteristics of God the attributes of God. God, Himself, tells us in His Word that He is eternal, unchangeable, all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, holy, just, impartial and fair, faithful, good, merciful, kind, gracious and loving.

4. Can one worship or serve the true God if he denies the trinity or unity of God or if he does not trust in Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God and the Savior of mankind from sin and its consequences?

John 3:18,36: He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. … He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:23: All men should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

John 8:23-24: [Jesus said:] You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.

John 8:42: Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and proceeded into the world. I did not come of My own authority, but He sent Me.”

John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 17:3: This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

1 John 2:23: No one who denies the Son has the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father.

1 John 5:11-12: And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

One cannot reject the three persons of the Godhead — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — nor can one reject the unity of the Godhead — that God is one — and worship or serve the true God who has revealed Himself in the Holy Scriptures. And apart from knowing and trusting in Jesus Christ as God the Son in the flesh and mankind’s only Savior, one cannot know or serve the true God. Therefore, we condemn as idolatry the religions of those who reject the Triune God of the Bible or seek to worship and serve Him apart from faith in Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God who came into this world a true man to redeem fallen mankind. And, it is for this reason that Christians do not take part in syncretistic prayers or worship or join together with lodges and other organizations which include prayers or duties toward a god other than the Triune God of the Bible or apart from faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the only way to worship and serve the true God.

SUMMARY
We believe that there is only one true God (Isaiah 44:6; I Corinthians 8:4). This God (called the LORD or JEHOVAH) is one divine Being or Essence, but three distinct Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (thus the name, Triune or Three/One God), each being eternal and equal in power and majesty because each Person is the LORD God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7; Isaiah 48:16-17; John 1:1; Colossians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 4:14). We believe that no one can worship or serve the Triune God except he believes that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and the Savior of mankind from sin and its consequences (John 3:18,36; 5:23; 14:6; 1 John 2:23; 5:11-12). Hence, all who deny the Trinity of God (that God is three Persons) or the Unity of God (that God is one divine Being), or who do not trust in Jesus Christ, the Son, for salvation, do not worship and serve the true God.

[Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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“In a little while you will not see Me. And then after a little while you will see Me, because I am going to the Father.” Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this He is telling us: ‘In a little while you will not see Me; and then after a little while you will see Me,’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” Then they said, “What is this He is telling us: ‘In a little while’? We do not know what He is saying.” Then Jesus knew that they wanted to ask Him. So He said to them, “Do you inquire among yourselves concerning what I said: ‘In a little while you will not see Me; and then after a little while you will see Me’? Truly, truly I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has pain, because her hour has come. But as soon as she delivers the child, she no longer remembers the anguish for joy that a child is born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow. But I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:16-22

On the night when Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples these words in John 16:16: “In a little while you will not see Me. And then after a little while you will see Me, because I am going to the Father.”

Even though Jesus had often explained that He would be betrayed into the hands of the chief priests and scribes, be condemned to death, handed over to the Gentiles, mocked, scourged, crucified, and that He would rise again on the third day (Matt. 20:18-19), His disciples did not understand what He meant when He said, “In a little while you will not see Me. And then after a little while you will see Me, because I am going to the Father.” (v. 16; cf. v. 17-19).

Jesus explained briefly in verses 20-22: “Truly, truly I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has pain, because her hour has come. But as soon as she delivers the child, she no longer remembers the anguish for joy that a child is born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow. But I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

What Jesus meant became clear to them only after it came to pass, when Jesus appeared to them on that first Easter evening and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19).

That “little while” began on that very night when Jesus was betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. It continued as Jesus was tried, condemned, crucified and laid in the tomb. Jesus had been taken from His disciples and crucified. He was dead and enclosed in a tomb! All appeared to be hopeless and their faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah and Savior was crushed.

And they had great sorrow because Jesus, in whom they had trusted and whom they had followed for three years was now dead. And they, His own disciples, had betrayed Him, denied Him and fled from Him in fear for their own lives! And now Jesus was taken from them and gone — their faith and hopes were dashed!

As Jesus said, “You will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.” The disciples of Jesus sorrowed but the world rejoiced at the death of Jesus.

No longer would the enemies of Jesus have to hear Him pointing out their sinfulness, their hypocrisy, and their need to repent and to look to God for mercy and forgiveness. No longer would they have to hear Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God and their Messiah and Savior and the only way of salvation!

But the disciples’ sorrow and the world’s rejoicing were short-lived! The disciples’ sorrow was turned into joy when they saw Jesus alive from the dead on the third day? And their rejoicing grew, even more, when Jesus opened up their hearts and minds to understand the Scriptures and they came to understand what Jesus had accomplished through His death and resurrection — that He had made full atonement for the sins of all and was risen again in victory, that all who repent and look to Jesus for pardon and forgiveness could have God’s pardon and peace and the certain hope of being raised up again unto everlasting life (cf. Luke 24:44ff.; Rom. 4:23ff.; 1 John 2:1f.; 1 Cor.15:20ff; 1 Pet. 1:3ff.).

Like a woman in pain as she gives birth forgets that pain and rejoices when her child is born, so the pain and anguish — the sorrow — suffered by Jesus’ disciples was nothing in comparison to their joy when He appeared to them alive again, having won salvation for all!

But, imagine the shock when the chief priests and elders of the Jews heard the soldiers’ report of an angel, the stone rolled back, and an empty tomb (cf. Matt. 28:2-4,11-15)! Their rejoicing was turned into fear because Jesus had risen from the dead as He said, proving He truly is the Son of God and that His words and teaching are true!

These words of Jesus about the “little while” have yet another application that applies to all of us. On the 40th day after Easter, Jesus ascended into heaven and was exalted to His position of power and glory at the right hand of God the Father.

We cannot see Him now but He is present with us and rules over all that He might establish His everlasting kingdom (cf. Matt. 28:16-20; Eph. 1:18-23). He sends His ministers to call people to repent and believe the Gospel of forgiveness of sins and life everlasting through faith in the crucified and risen Savior! He sends out His Holy Spirit, who works through the Word to convict people of their sins and to give and assure to them the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting Jesus won for them on the cross, by simply trusting in Jesus and His atoning sacrifice for their salvation (cf. Eph. 1:3ff.; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13-14).

But, as we live out the remainder of our lives here in this world, our lives are full of sorrow and pain. Not only are we ridiculed by the world for our faith in Christ Jesus, but some are also persecuted and suffer for their faith. Large numbers are still killed today because of their testimony regarding Jesus and His teaching — especially in Islamic countries.

Sometimes we may lose sight of Jesus and all He accomplished for us. We may forget that He is with us always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20), and will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

But our sorrows and all our suffering will be turned to joy when we see Jesus coming again in the clouds of glory. The world will weep and lament, but we will lift up our heads in joy (cf. Rev. 1:7; Luke 21:28).

St. Paul assures us in Romans 8:18: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.”

Now, we may weep and sorrow as we suffer in this world and are under constant attack by the devil and his evil angels, by the unbelieving world and even from our old sinful flesh which causes us to doubt and despair and which seeks to lure us back into sin.

That is why the Scriptures warn us in 1 Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I implore you as aliens and refugees, abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.”

And the world (all who remain impenitent and without faith in Christ Jesus for mercy) rejoices. The world rejoices to see the true church diminish in numbers and influence. The world rejoices when the true message of the Bible is silenced or contradicted because, then, people don’t have to hear of their sinfulness and of their need to repent and look to Jesus for salvation. People rejoice because they can continue on in their sinful ways without being reminded of their guilt and the coming judgment of God upon them.

To paraphrase the words of John 3:19, people love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil and they do not wish to have their sinful ways exposed by the light of God’s Word.

Though the world rejoices now as Christianity and the true preaching of God’s Word appears to wane in the face of constant attack, this rejoicing will be shortlived because, in “a little while,” Jesus will return in judgment. In the words of Revelation 1:7, “He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.”

But, though we, like Peter after He denied Jesus, may weep and sorrow in this world because of our own sins and failures, though we may be troubled because of the world’s hatred and persecution, though we may sorrow as our loved ones die and we too face temporal death, our sorrow will be turned to joy when Christ Jesus returns to receive us into His everlasting kingdom of glory.

The Bible assures us this in the words of Revelation 21:3-4: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, ‘Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death.” Neither shall there be any more sorrow nor crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away.’”

Or, in the words of Revelation 7:13-17: “Then one of the elders asked me, ‘Who are these clothed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ He said to me, ‘These are those who came out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. “They shall neither hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them,” nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and “He will lead them to springs of living water.” “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”’”

For a little while, we may grieve and sorrow — though we still have hope because we know Jesus rose from the dead and will return to raise us up and give us the everlasting joys of heaven. But, in a little while, when Jesus comes again, we shall rejoice with joy inexpressible!

As the psalmist writes in Psalm 16:11: “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

We thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for the comfort of knowing that our sorrows are only for a little while, that in a little while You will appear again in the clouds of glory to receive us and all who have trusted in Your name to the everlasting joys of heaven. Grant us Your Holy Spirit and the faith to believe and take hold of the Gospel promises of forgiveness and life eternal for the sake of your blood, shed upon the cross for the sins of the world. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

1. Why do we study the Bible? What does it teach us?

2 Timothy 3:14-17: But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing those from whom you have learned them, and that since childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 Peter 2:2-3: As newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow, if it is true that you have experienced that the Lord is good.

We study the Bible because it is the inspired Word of God and it teaches us about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Through the study of the Bible, we learn the true doctrine and teaching of God, and we are taught how to walk in His ways.

2. What is unique and special about the Bible?

2 Peter 1:19-21: And we have a more reliable word of prophecy, which you would do well to follow, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of the Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. For no prophecy at any time was produced by the will of man, but holy men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

1 Corinthians 2:13: These things also we proclaim, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

2 Samuel 23:1-2: The oracle of David the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the favorite psalmist of Israel: The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.

The Bible is special and unique because it is God’s Word to man. It was not written by the will of man. God Himself moved men to write and guided and directed them in the thoughts they expressed and in the words they wrote.

3. Does the Bible have mistakes and errors in it?

Proverbs 30:5: Every word of God is pure.

Psalm 119:160: Your word is true from the beginning.

John 17:17: Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

John 10:35: The Scripture cannot be broken.

All that the Bible teaches and says is true because it is inspired by God Himself and is His Word.

4. Has the Word of God been corrupted or lost?

Psalm 119:89: Forever, O Lord, Your word is established in heaven.

Isaiah 40:8: The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.

1 Peter 1:24-25: For “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” This is the word that was preached to you.

Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Not only did God give His Word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He has and continues to preserve His Word as a true and faithful witness to all the people in the world of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

5. What does God say about changing His Word — adding to it or taking away from it?

Deuteronomy 4:2: You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor shall you take anything from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Proverbs 30:6: Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.

Matthew 5:18-19: For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 22:18-19: I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City and out of the things which are written in this book.

Jeremiah 23:28: And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

God forbids us to change His Word — to add to it or to take away from it. We are to speak and teach it faithfully. For this reason, we use great care to teach nothing more and nothing less than what God has revealed to us in the Bible. And we seek to use translations of God’s Word which are fully faithful to those texts which God has preserved and which have been widely used by the churches down through the centuries.

6. What use should we make of God’s Word?

Luke 11:28: Indeed, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Psalm 119:97: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

We should read and study the Bible, learn its teachings and meditate upon it because it is God’s Word to us and reveals our sinfulness and God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. It also teaches us how we ought to live, as believers, in service to our God and Savior.

Look in the front of your Bible at the listing of books there. You will find our Bible has a total of 66 books — 39 Old Testament Books and 27 New Testament Books. Memorize these books of the Bible in order so that you can easily find them when studying God’s Word. Also, memorize the Bible passages listed above — memorize them all if you can — for they are God’s Word and will help you learn of Him and grow in your faith in Christ Jesus.

SUMMARY
We believe that all of the Bible, and each and every word of the Bible (the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament canonical books), were given by inspiration of God and are, therefore, the true and unerring Word of God (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Samuel 23:1-2). We also believe that the Word of God has not been lost or corrupted but has been faithfully preserved by God down through the centuries as a witness to all the nations (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Matthew 24:14,35). We believe that it is still accurately recorded in the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Majority (or Received) Texts and that it can be read and studied in faithful Bible translations, such as Luther’s German Bible, the King James Version, the Modern English Version and the New King James Version of the Bible, and other faithful translations. We discourage the use of texts and translations of the Bible which are unfaithful and thus corrupt the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4:2; Jeremiah 23:28; Matthew 5:18-19; Revelation 22:18-19).

Since all of the Bible is God’s true and unerring Word, we teach that the Bible is to be the source and judge of all Christian teaching. What is not in accord with God’s Word is not to be taught as Christian Doctrine (Isaiah 8:20; Jeremiah 23:28-32; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11). The Bible is also its own interpreter; thus, passage interpretations that are not in agreement with other clear passages of Holy Scripture are to be rejected (2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 8:20). We teach that the Bible is to be diligently studied and heard; for it reveals to mankind the only way of salvation, which is through faith in Christ Jesus, and it guides the Christian in living according to God’s Holy will (John 5:39; 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 119:105).

[Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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Some people wonder how a virus so small we can’t even see it (except with an image created by an electron microscope) can cause illness and even death and so change the world in which we live. This unseen enemy is causing illness, sometimes severe and life-threatening, and wreaking fear and havoc upon our lives. Why?

While I hate to speculate into the unknown or try to understand the workings of the Divine Creator, there are certain things He has revealed to us and we would do well to take them to heart.

First of all, consider the words of Psalm 2: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (verses 1-3).

It’s happening! Our people, our teachers, our leaders are raging against the LORD and His Anointed (Christ means anointed). They deny Him as their Creator, they reject His commandments and they do not look in faith to Christ Jesus. In fact, in so many ways we fight against God and His Word — neglecting to hear and learn His Word or worship and honor Him, killing millions of unborn children He is creating in the womb, rejecting His design for marriage between a man and a woman and flaunting our own wickedness on TV and computer screens.

But, as the psalm says (verses 4-9), “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

People reject the LORD God who created them and gives them life, and they reject God the Son who came into this world to pay the price for their sins and win for all pardon and forgiveness, and so they come under God’s judgment — Christ Jesus will be their judge!

I think of God’s warnings to His own people in Deuteronomy 28:15, 20-21: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee … The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.”

There are the four horses of Revelation 6:1-8: “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

Think of how this has been fulfilled over the centuries and even in our own lifetimes. How many millions have died in wars and battles between nations and kingdoms? How many have died from crimes and violence? How many have died from famines and food shortages? And how many have died from disease and famine and other causes of death? Why? The Bible reveals to us that it is a part of the curse of sin upon this world and God permits it to bring us to examine our ways and look to Him for mercy and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ, God the Son.

So, why the coronavirus and disease and death? I cannot tell you the specific reasons known only to God, but I can tell you from the Bible that God removes His hand of protection over us and allows us to suffer the consequences of our own sins and of sin in general in an effort to wake us up and make us see our own frailty and our need to repent of the sin and evil in our lives and then look to Him for mercy in the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus. And God does judge wickedness and disobedience — consider what happened to the wicked and unbelieving in the days of Noah, at Sodom and Gomorrah, and even to His own people again and again throughout the history recorded in the Bible.

If we do not repent, things will get worse and not better — the four horses will continue their work of vengeance and judgment in this world.

But God also gave this promise to His people: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

Even if the rest of this world continues to rage against the LORD God and His Christ, it is certainly time for all who call themselves God’s people to examine their ways in the light of God’s Word, humbly repent of their sins and disobedience and look to Him for mercy for the sake of Jesus and His blood, shed upon the cross.

“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:10-12).

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Who is the Creator? The Bible, which is God’s inspired account, tells us that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

And, who is this God? The Hebrew word Elohim, which is the plural form of God, is the name used to describe the Creator (cf. Gen. 1:26-27). He is also called by the name Jehovah (some pronounce it Yahweh or Yehuvah), often translated LORD. “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4).

The Bible further defines God, when it says: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Cor. 8:6). Thus, we see that all things were created by God the Father through Jesus Christ.

God’s creation account also tells us that, in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). And so we see that the Holy Spirit, too, was active in the creation of all things.

The opening verses of John’s Gospel tell us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). And so, we learn that the Word, Jesus Christ, identified in verse 14 as God Himself in the flesh and the only-begotten Son of the Father, created all things and is the giver of life, both physical and spiritual.

In St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the inspired Scriptures say of Christ Jesus, that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:15-17).

So, who is the Creator? It is God, the God the Scriptures identify for us as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Though God is one – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deut. 6:4) – God is also three – thus, the command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

This is why the God of the Bible is often called the Triune (three/one) God, because He is one God and yet three distinct Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet, there are not three Gods, but one God.

The Bible also tells us “there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).

Though beyond our ability to comprehend, this is how God has revealed Himself to us – it is His account and His word. And it is this God who has created all things and given us life.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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