Can we really know God?


There are many religions in the world and all of them have some kind of a god. Muslims worship Allah for example and Hindus have  330 million different gods. Can anybody really know 330 million gods?

Muslims say that they know Allah and that he is the true god, yet they have no personal relationship with Allah. A Muslim can never be sure if Allah is pleased with them. Muslims have no assurance of Allah’s love for  them. They weight out their good and bad deeds and hope that the goods deeds will outweigh their bad deeds.  They hope that Allah will be merciful to them. They also have no assurance to make it to heaven i.e paradise. All religions are either based on a works based or man centered relationship with their god(s). That is what religion is,  man trying in vain to reach God on their own merit.

How about Christianity?  Can a Christian truly know God?  When I talk about God, I am referring to the God of the Bible,  the Creator of all things.  The only true and living God.  In all reality, there is only one true God, all others are man-made and do not exist. I know that will offend many religions and religious people, but it is the simple truth. There is only One true and living God and it doesn’t matter how many different gods people worship. Ultimately they will all face the true God, at the day of judgment.

Many people believe that it is impossible to know God. They say that God is incomprehensible, which He is. How can one know Almighty God that spoke the universe  into existence, simply by His Word?  It is way beyond our finite minds. When God spoke, His word traveled in the speed of light which is about 186.000 miles per second.  Awesome, incredible and incomprehensible.  God in the OT was know by Abraham as YHWH and to Moses God revealed Himself as the “I AM that I AM” in the burning bush.  God revealed Himself and His awesome powers through various ways to the OT Saints. Adam and Eve before the fall,  walked with God in the cool of the evening.  How can somebody walk with God Who is Spirit?  Moses wanted to see God and ask Him to show His Glory. “And Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Ex33:18, 20.

God did show Moses some of His Glory, by passing by,  covering the eyes of Moses and Moses saw the back or afterglow of God.  The result of that was that the face of Moses was glowing when he came down from the mountain. The children of Israel saw the presence of God as a flame of fire at night and a cloud during the day after the Exodus from Egypt.  God is so Holy that we as fallen human beings could not stand in His presence and live.

How than can Christians claim to know God personally and have a loving relationship with Him?  A Christian knows God because of Jesus Christ. He has revealed God to them.  Jesus, the second person of the triune Godhead became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14).  Jesus is the exact image of God, His character, nature and all attributes. “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.

In the OT times God  appeared to man as the Angel of the LORD. He appeared and spoke to Abraham in Genesis 18. Whenever God appeared to men in human form, it was through the person of Jesus i.e.the  pre-incarnate Christ.

He was the Angel of the LORD that spoke to Haggar after leaving Abraham with Ishmael. The Angel of the LORD  appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3:2). The Angel of the LORD appeared before Balaam riding his donkey in Numbers 22. He appeared to Gideon (Jdg 6). Manoah, Elijah and many others throughout the OT.

Whenever God communicated with men in human form, it was the person of Jesus. In the gospel of John in chapter 8 the Pharisees once again attack Jesus accusing Him of having a demon.  Jesus is making one of the most profound statements to them: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Jhn 8: 56-58.   Jesus took the very name that the Angel of the Lord revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush. “I AM.”   The Jews understood perfectly well that He said that He is God. That’s the reason they picked up stones to kill Him. Jesus is the great  “I AM”  or the becoming One.

Christians can know God the Father because Jesus declared Him and we know God because we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus left heaven to dwell with man, He humbled Himself and became one of us. He willfully came to the earth dwelled among us and gave His life on the cross. He came to die for  those that would believe  in Him through faith.  Believers in Christ Jesus are forgiven of their sins. The scriptures are very clear, only God can forgive sins. “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  Mark 2:7. They were right, only God can forgive sins and Jesus told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven. They called Jesus a blasphemer.  What they failed to see is that Jesus is God. The Apostle John makes it very clear who Jesus is:  “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.” John 1:1-3.

Christians believe in the trinity or the triune nature of  God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Co-equal, Co-existent, Co-eternal. One God in three distinct Persons but of One Essence.  (please see my article on the trinity).

Jesus showed us God. If we know and learn from Jesus we can know God and have a meaningful and personal relationship with Him by abiding in Christ.   “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:27-30.

As true biblical Christians we can boldly claim to know God, because we know and believe in Jesus who is like the Father and He has shown us the Father. One of His own disciples was asking Jesus: “Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Philip wanted to see God, not realizing that God was in their midst. Jesus said: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” John 14: 9,10.

As Christians we can have assurance of forgiveness and eternal life because of our Lord and Savior. We can also come boldly before the throne of God because Jesus opened the way to the Father, He opened the veil to the Holy of Holiest.

The answer to the question in the beginning is a big YES. True believers in Jesus can know God, His Character, attributes, His kindness, His love, mercy and grace towards those who receive the Son. There is only one way to know God and there is only one way to God.

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

To be absent from the body…


“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2Cr 5:8.

This is one of the verses that many use to explain that as soon as a person dies that they will be with the Lord in an instant. Are they? I was thinking about that the other day and it is only a theory of mine and I am not dogmatic about it. Maybe some of you have a different view and I love your feedback on this. I was just thinking, a person that has died a thousand years ago, has that person been with Jesus for a thousand years by the time I get there? I don’t think so for several reasons.

I believe that once a person dies, they are no longer bound in a time continuum like we are. I was looking at it in this way, if a person goes to sleep at 8pm and awakes at 8am, those 12 hours went by in an instant for the person sleeping. They fell to sleep and woke up. If I would have sat next to the bed awake for 12 hours, time would pass slowly because I was in real-time. I wake up sometimes during the night and to be honest, I could not tell what hour it is. Is it 3am or 5am? I lost all sense of time and how many hours I might have slept before I woke up. What I believe is that we as believers will arrive at the same time to meet the Lord, no matter what century a person may have died.

We will all be there for the marriage supper of the lamb, dressed in white linen. What about the thief on the cross you might ask. Well,  Jesus did say to him that today he will be with Him in paradise. The thief died on the cross and time ceased to exist for him. I think he will be there with us at the same time. I’m not sure about the OT Saints, like Abraham, Moses and Elijah for example that died before Christ went to the cross. Most of us know the passage when Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain and they saw Him transformed before them and Him standing there with Moses an Elijah.

Maybe God worked differently with His chosen people in the OT times. I don’t have all the answers, but it is something to think about and as I said, I cannot be dogmatic about any of this.  It just makes not a lot sense to me that some have been with the Lord for many centuries, and when I get there, I’m the newcomer, the new kid on the block. Well, however it may be, it will be glorious to be with the Lord and spend eternity with Him. Let me know what you think, or if you have something to add.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25, 26.

Relationship or Religion?


True and genuine biblical Christianity is not a religion but rather a close and personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There are many religious people out there that think they have to add to the grace of God by their works. They are trying to please God by their works. The problem with all religions is that man is trying to reach God on their own merits. 

Christianity teaches the opposite, God has reached down to man. The religious people are trying desperately to please God with their righteous works and deeds. It is not the righteousness of man who God accepts, it is the righteousness of Christ which is imputed by God to every genuine believer.  True Christians do not stand on their own righteousness, they stand on the righteousness which is in Christ. 

Our own righteousness are filthy rags before God. “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6

Salvation is believing in Christ alone, not any church, denomination etc.  Jesus had to deal with religious people in His days i.e. the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees were the conservatives and the Sadducess were the liberals of the day.  They were doing all the outward religious practices, the looked and acted holy and people thought of them as the most spiritual people.  Jesus confronted them on many occasions about their religious behaviors and teachings. The religious people thought that they obeyed the law of Moses perfectly. They thought that they have kept the Ten  commandments perfectly.  Jesus showed them otherwise.

In the sermon on the mount in the gospel of Matthew especially chapter five, we find how Jesus looked at the law.  It was not the outward obedience and fulfillment of the letter of the law as the religious leadership believed and taught, but it was an issue of the heart.  Here is one example, “you shall not commit adultery”.  The religious leader would have boasted, “we never slept with a woman besides our wives, thus we never broke that law.”

Here is what Jesus said concerning adultery:“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mat 5:27, 28 Clearly Jesus showed His authority over the law when He said, “but I say to you.” He raised the law up a notch, showing them that it was not the letter, but that the law was written upon every man’s heart.  It was a matter of the heart, the law was a school master to drive man back to God. Jesus also said: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. “These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Mat 15:18-20.

Personally,  I don’t care how religious or good some may think they are, or how spiritual,  if the heart is not right, nothing else matters. How does God view man’s heart? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah17:9, 10

People that are portraying themselves as more spiritual or claim to have more knowledge, often border on self-righteousness.  The bottom line is that religion, certain rituals, church membership, titles, affiliations or head knowledge that will and cannot save a person. Salvation is in Christ alone through faith. Genuine faith is demonstrated in good works, bearing fruit,  we are not saved by working for our salvation.  Salvation is a true gift of God and the person that believes and has received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is justified before God.

Christianity has no room for religion.  Justification by God is a one time deal and cannot be improved on or changed. Sanctification is a life long process in which God changes the believer more and more into the image of Christ. It is Christ that has justified us the believers before God and it is God that works in the lives of every believer until they are face to face with Him.  “..being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;…” Phl 1:6