THE VALUE OF KNOWING THE TRUE GOD

(From Pasugo - INC's Official Publication)

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'And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God.'

To serve and honor God is our inherent duty, for He created us for this purpose. However, we could not render valid service or worship unless we are certain that it is the true God whom we really recognize and worship. This was underscored by the Bible:

'Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Knowthat the LORD is GOD! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.' (Ps 100:2-3, Revised Standard Version)

We should know first that the Lord we are serving is the true God who created us. Why is it important to have knowledge of the true God? the Book of Psalms gives us this answer:

'Oh, continue Your lovingkindess to those who know You. And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.' (Ps. 36:10, New King James Verison)

Those who have come to the knowledge of the true God will continue to receive His loving-kindness. But what about those who have not known the true God? How does the Bible regard them? Apostle Paul said of such people:

'In the past you did not know God, and so you were slaves of beings who are not gods.' (Gal, 4:8, Todays English Version)

Thos who do not know the true God are slaves of false gods. and since they do not serve the true God, they do not belong to Him. The true God does not allow man to have gods other than Himself. Those who serve and worship false gods, like graven images or idols, are commiting a grievous sin before the Lord. They commit idolatry. God says:

'You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.' (Ex. 20:3-5, RSV)

The Father alone is the True God

Many professing Christians believe that in one God, there are three persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that each person is God. This is the doctrine of the Trinity. But, is this doctrine in consonance with the teachings of the Bible? Christ's words enlighten us:

'Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life as to many as You have given Him.

'And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.' (Jn. 17:1-3, NKJV)

Christ introduced the Father as the only true God. He never introduced a trinitarian God. Niether did He introduce Himself as the true God nor teach thea He is one of the persons in the so-called Trinity. And when He introduced Himself as the one sent by the Father, thus distringuishing Himself from God.

The apostles also taught the same about the true God. Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth:

'Yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live,...' (I Cor. 8:6, TEV)

For the true Christians, therefore, the Father alone, is the true God. Christ and the apostles never taught about the so-called Trinity. In fact, nowhere in the inspired writings was the term 'Trinity' ever mentioned.

Not a new doctrine

The doctrine that the Father alone is the true God dates back to His early people. Moses said to the people of Israel:

'For I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Ascribe greatness to our God!... Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?' (Dt. 32:3,6, RSV)

The God of the Israelites is the Father whom they also reconized as the Creator. They had recognized no other God but the Father who created all things. He alone is the true God as emphized further by Prophet Malachi:

'Have we not all father? Has not one God created us?...' (Mal. 2:10, ibid.)

The Almighty God Himself declared this:

'Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have not I told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. I sthere a God besides me? Indeed, there is no other Rock; I know not one.' (Is. 44:8, NKJV)

God Himself recognizes no other god besides Him. And neither does He recognize any to be equal with Him. He said: '... I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me' (Is. 46:9, New International Version).

The Trinity is unscriptural

Although countless people in Christendom embrace the doctrine of the Trinity, Bible scholar readily admit that this is not found in the Bible. Joseph Pohle, a Catholic author, in his book, The Divine Trinity; A Dogmatic Treatise, wrote that, 'It cannot therefore be seriously maintained that the mystery of Divine Trinity was early revealed in the Old Testament' (p. 20). and neither can this doctrine be read in the New Testament as testified to by a catechetical book, The Teachings of Christ; A Catholic Catechism for Adults. The writers of this book catergorically state that, 'The word Trinity' does not appear in the New Testament' (p.177).

The above testimonies are confirmed by Augustus Hopkins Strong, Doctor of Divinity, who says in his book, Systematic Theology, that, 'The term 'trinity' is not found in Scripture' (p. 69). Strong also informs us that 'The invention of the term is ascribed to Tertullian' (Ibid).

Curse for not knowing the true God

The absence of the true knowledge about God has caused the evils in this world. All the wickedness and iniquities present in the world today are consequence of man's refusal to keep the true knowledge about God. The world has been cursed because of people who do not know and recognize Him. God has given over to corrupted mins and left them to do evil deeds (Rom. 1:28-31).

And who are these people who have not known and recognized God? Apostle Paul tells us who they are:

'They exhcnage the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen.' (Rom. 1:25, TEV)

God will exact vengeance on those who have not known and recognized Him. He will punish them with everlasting destruction on the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:8). The scriptures recoreds:

'In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.' (II Thess. 1:8-9, NKJV)

The blessing on those who know God

While those who have not known God will receive His vengeance and punishment, those who have known and recognized Him as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ will receive His love. Christ said:

'Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the ove you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.'(Jn. 17:25-26, TEV)

Christ wants us to receive God's love. God's love will abide in those who recognize Him as He commanded. Above all, tehy will receive the blessing of eternal life:

'Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.

'And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.' (Jn. 17:1,3, NKJV)

Source: Iglesia ni Cristo Unofficial Site/Member Page
<http://geocities.com/iglesia_ni_cristo_philippines/truegod.html>

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