Beginners Study Pack
by Fred R. Coulter

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Ok. Now the title of the sermon today is, “Is God A Personal Being?” Now this seems so basic and strange from what we know from the Bible to even ask the question. And yet, as you will see from the material that I sent, and also that all the rest of you will get some time this week, that the Worldwide Church of God is going straight back into the strangest type of belief in God that you would ever want to hear or see. So I want to ask the question today, is God a personal being?

Now let me read from this that was sent out by Joseph Tkach. And he says, “I hope that this will help you see why we must teach that there is one God...” Now listen carefully. “...Who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all three in one.” Now then, he says a little later, “The Holy Spirit is not a third separate God, not according to us, and most importantly according to the Bible. There is one God, and that God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are distinct but not separate.” Then he almost contradicts himself in another paragraph here. He says, “Another heresy is the idea that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not distinct but are really the same.” Now my eyes just about go crossed when I read that contradiction. “In other words, the idea that one God is sometimes the Father, sometimes the Son, and sometimes the Holy Spirit, but not all three all the time. These and other related points are explained in the booklet.”

Then he says in another part here, “God transcends our world of time and space.” Now we’ll talk a little bit about transcending here in just a bit. “He created time and space. Think about that. He appears in it when He desires, but He is in no way limited to time and space. He does not need time and space to exist.” See, that’s based on the supposition that spirit does not require space. And that’s a false premise. “We can only think in created terms, in terms of time and space.” Then he says, “Now none of us would want to make God into an image of mortal man. But if we cling to a belief that God has a body, a male body many will attest, or is subject to time and space, Who can only be in one place at one time, and needs to have something in order to create, that He needs a pre-existing substance just like we need physical matter to fashion things, then we have inadvertently reduced God into an image made like to mortal man.” Now that is ending up being a subtle twisting of Scripture.

“God is not created.” We know that. “He does not have a body.” That is a lie. “Bodies are put together or composed, and God is neither put together nor composed. He is the Creator, not the created.” So what they’re actually saying is that if God has a body He’s a created being by something else. Now I know this is a little mind-blowing. It is for me. Everyone who has read this report is still going around in a state of shock, wondering how on earth that could come out of a church of God. This sounds like it’s coming out of the First Hindu Church of New Delhi than anything else. “Until God created, there was nothing. Only God is eternal, only God is un-created.”

Well, let’s understand some basic things in the Bible, and let’s ask the question: is God a personal being? Does He have a body? Does He have a head? A face? Hands? Arms? Legs, the whole thing? Now let’s go to Matthew 11. And there isn’t going to be one single scripture that we’re going to cover today which you do not know pretty much, basically, if not the exact place, you know at least what’s in the verse. And the reason that we have to go through this is because there are so many people who have been out there for so long who have not been studying, who have not been praying, that don’t even understand the Bible that they claim to understand. Now here, we were talking about this a little bit before services began, before your call came in. And here is the thing that’s important. Please understand and note that you cannot understand the Old Testament unless you have the New Testament. And that Jesus makes it very, very, very clear that the God of the Old Testament was not the Father. Now many people believe that the God of the Old Testament was the Father. And if that, then, is accepted as a basic belief, then you end up with the same kind of doctrine that we have here, all of this dribble.

Now here, Matthew 11:25, and we’ve gone over this how many, many times. And I might mention, that if you don’t have the series on “Who Is Jesus?”, maybe some of you there have it. But if you don’t have it, it might be good time to go back and go over that whole series, because we laboriously went through every detail. That’s twelve tapes altogether. Now Matthew 11:25, “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:25-27).

And that’s the whole basis of understanding the entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament. The Jews did not know the Father. The one they knew was the one Who became Jesus Christ. Now let’s go to John 14. And this is a scripture that a lot of people don’t like. And this is the scripture which sets a lot of people on edge, and stokes the fire of their religious intolerance. John 14, let’s pick it up here in verse 6, and then we will find out, does God look like a human being? Because a lot of people say, “Well, He doesn’t look like a human being. God does not have a body.” What is God? Is He a blob? If He’s a blob, then that’s the same that the Hindus believe, or the Buddhists believe, or the Catholics believe with the beatific vision, etcetera.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Now, let’s think about that for a minute. Aside from Jesus Christ, and what is taught in the New Testament, no one has access to God the Father, period, no one. The Hindus don’t; the Buddhist don’t; the Muslims don’t; the Jews don’t; the Catholics, you’d have to say, maybe they have two or three percent access at the most; the Protestants, maybe anywhere from thirty to forty percent, at best. Now let’s go on a little bit further. “If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:6-9).

Now let’s ask a couple of questions. Who did Jesus look like? Exactly, the Father. Was Jesus human? Yes, He was. He was called the Son of man, the Son of God. The New Testament in various places will talk about Jesus seeing, Jesus touching, Jesus walking. And we know that He took upon Himself the human form, Philippians 2. Let’s turn there for just a minute. And it’s amazing how that these basic, basic scriptures are the ones which really anchor us into Christ and God the Father. And these are the ones that are being so totally overlooked. As I mentioned last week, the basic scripture they are forgetting is the basic one in the gospel of John, verses 1 through 3.

Now Philippians 2:6, it says in verse 5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:…” Then in verse 6 it says, “…Who, being in the form of God,...” And that means, existing in the form of God. Now if you are in the form of God, what form are you in? The form of God. That sounds like a stupid question. Especially after just reading it. But apparently some people can’t understand that. And, “...thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).

Alright, so Jesus came. Now let’s come to Hebrews 1, and we’ll put all of these together and see exactly the whole story that this tells us. And I look back and I think, when I remember how many times that even Herbert Armstrong went over these basic scriptures, it seems like he would go over them time, and time, and time, and time again. And I can see why now with all the nonsense that’s going on. Hebrews 1, and we will see exactly what this says about Jesus. Verse 2, “Hath in these last days...” Now, the first verse says that God spoke in different times in different manners to the fathers by the prophets. Now remember what Jesus said when He began preaching. He said, “The law and the prophets were until John. After that the kingdom of God is preached” (Luke 16:16, paraphrased). And the kingdom of God, then, is contained in the New Testament. Those are the preachings of the kingdom of God, which also, then, includes the Old Testament.

But this is telling us, then, that the law and the prophets were not complete. And so when people come to the point of accepting the proposition that the law and the prophets - and you can put in the Psalms there - is the only complete revealed word of God and the New Testament is a bunch of nonsense, then you have cut yourself off from God because you have cut yourself off from Jesus Christ. And no one can go to the Father, no one can go to God except through Jesus Christ. So we see that time and again, how that the superiority of the New Testament, the New Covenant, the revelation that Christ brought in relationship to the Old Testament and the Old Covenant – and as a matter of fact, that’s what the whole book of Hebrews is about - so it’s not unusual that it starts out with that as the basic premise.

Now verse 2, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds;...” So God the Father was the one Who then virtually said to Jesus, “You create the worlds.” We see that verified in many other things: Colossians 1, gospel of John, the first chapter. Now notice verse 3, “…Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person,...” (Heb. 1:2-3). Is God a person? Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” Because He was the express image of God the Father’s person. It’s just like today, how many times do you see a father and then you see his son, and they look almost identical? The only difference being the age. It’s exactly what he’s saying. It’s exactly what is meant here. So yes, God is a person. Jesus was stamped with the expressed image of His person.

“...And upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;…” Uh-oh. God has a right hand. If He’s got a right one, that means what? He’s got a left hand. Didn’t say He sat down on the hand of God. He sat down on the right hand of God. That doesn’t mean sitting on the hand. Who knows what these characters will come up with next? That means sitting next to God at His right hand. Now notice verse 4, “Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (vs. 3-4).

Now let’s go to John 3:16. And I think, you know, years ago we went through the whole gospel of John, and the way it’s going now we may have to go back through it again so we can understand it even more. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,...” Now we saw that the Son looked just like the Father. We saw that He, right here it tells us, that He was begotten of the Father. And I covered the whole part of that in detail in the Passover book about how that was accomplished, and so forth. Now why is it, then, that God can be transformed into that speck of human life to become a human being? Why? The angels can’t. That can’t happen to angels. Let’s go back and look at this. Let’s analyze this just a little bit more. Let’s go back to Genesis 1. I know we covered a little bit of that last week, but I want to put all of this together on one basic tape so we can have this very basic thing, this very basic understanding, that God is a person. And God is a Father. And God also is a family and has a family.

Now let me ask you a question. If you have a father and mother and children, is the father part of the family? Yes. Is the mother part of the family? Yes. Are the children part of the family? Yes. God is going to have every one of these things, isn’t He? So then, is God a family? The answer is yes. Part of a family, because the family includes all the rest. Now let’s, here in Genesis 1, let’s look at this again very carefully. Very carefully. “And God said,…” and we know that that is Elohim, plural. We know that was the one Who became Jesus Christ. “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image,...” (Gen. 1:26). Now in order to have an image you have to have the reality. Is that not true? You cannot make an image of something unless you have the reality. The reality of us, since we’re made in the image of God, is God. Now if we’re made in the image of God, then we look like God. Men go the other way, and we’ll read that in Romans 1, and they try and make gods out of men, who are no gods. All you have to do is read the sports page. I mean, you’ve got it right there. There are all the little demigods that we have today. I think on the San Francisco Giants it’s supposed to be Barry Bonds, and I think on the Atlanta Braves it’s supposed to be Fred McGriff. Anyway, there are the demigods.

Now, let’s notice something else. “...Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness:...” What do you mean, after God’s likeness? It means He gives us ability to think, He gives us ability to make, He gives us ability to create. We are made after the likeness, not only in the image. Now you could make an image of a person. You can have a statue, you could have an icon; you could have an image of a person. But that is not in the likeness, because it is just nothing. It has no life. So we have life. We’re made in the image and likeness of God. We can also create, and because of being male and female. And when you think about - let’s come down here to verse 27. “So God created man...” And that means, not just the man, singular, as a male, but man as the human race, anthropos, if it were in the Greek. “...In His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

Now basically, the only difference between male and female in the human realm is one gene. One gene, and the chemical hormones that God put in the body. That’s a scientific fact. That makes the differences. Now then, we know that he was made out of the dust of the ground. We know that woman was taken from the rib of Adam, and he called her Woman. Now come to chapter 3. We can think a little bit about chapter 2 here for just a minute. Did God talk with Adam? Yes. Did He talk with Eve? Undoubtedly. She quoted some of the things that He said. Now if God doesn’t have a body, please explain to me something here. Let’s go to chapter 3, and verse 8. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden...” Now the voice wasn’t walking. But God was walking and He was talking. Now if you don’t have a body, and if you don’t have legs, and if you don’t have feet, how are you going to walk? Was He a millipede? A centipede? A kangaroo? Of course not. So God obviously had a body. If He talks, that means He had a mouth, correct? And if He saw what they did, that means He had eyes, correct? Yes. And if they talked back to Him and He heard, that means He had ears and He heard, right? Yes.

Now we’re going to hear it said that, let’s just face it right now. Let’s come to chapter 3, and let’s pick it up here in verse 3, because I know exactly what they’re going to do. They’re going to say that salvation does not mean that you are going to become a son of God, made in the same substance that God is made of, at the resurrection. And I know exactly where they’re going to turn. They’re going to say, let’s pick it up here in verse 3, where the woman said, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (vs. 3-5). So they will turn there and say, “See? It is a doctrine of Satan the devil that you will become God.” It’s exactly what a lot of people teach. And that’s exactly what’s going to come out of Worldwide here.

Now, what does this mean? Question: we could answer it when we go through and see the whole occurrence. When they ate it, sure enough, their eyes were opened to see good and evil. Question: did they become as God is God? No. Were they transformed from flesh to spirit? No. What took place? Their minds were opened so they could see good and evil. And by the way, they are now teaching that all of this is a metaphor. The tree didn’t exist, the tree of life didn’t exist, the tree of knowledge didn’t exist; Adam and Eve are a metaphor. This is just sort of a mythological or legendary depiction of how God is expressing something to us in things that are not facts, but in things that are a mystery. Mythology. Now I believe that it was a literal tree, they literally ate of it, and so forth.

But how did they become like God? Obviously not in mind. Obviously not in substance. How did they become like God? Well, in taking of the tree they took to themselves the responsibility to decide what was good and evil. That’s the only way they became like God. In other words, they usurped the prerogative that alone belonged to God. God alone decides what is good. God alone decides what is evil. And that’s the only way they became like God. Now the rest of the Bible, as we go through, which we will learn on the Day of Atonement, how we’re going to be at-one with God, shows that we are indeed going to be just exactly like God. But you see, we can’t be exactly like God in the flesh. So when people decide what is wrong and what is right, when they say, “Here’s how I look at it...” you know, just like the Mormons. And the Mormons say, “We believe the Bible, insofar that it is accurately translated.” Ok, tell us, what is it that you don’t believe is accurately translated? And the bottom line is, “Anything that doesn’t agree with our doctrine has not been accurately translated.” So they took to themselves the prerogative which was not theirs to take.

So you know the rest of the story. And what happened when it came to blaming? Now first of all, the environment didn’t make them do it. And in that garden of Eden they couldn’t say, “Lord, this environment made me do it,” the most beautiful place that there ever was. So then, the woman said, “The serpent;” and the man said, “The woman.” And so God said to the serpent, “Here’s your punishment;” to the woman, “Here’s your punishment;” to the man, “Here’s your punishment.” Why? Because they were all responsible for their choices. So as I mentioned last week, when you come before the judgment seat of God you’re not going to say “The church;” you’re not going to say “The minister.” God is going to look and say, “What did you do?”

Now let’s go to Romans 1 and see what happens when people then reject the true God, accept the lie of Satan the devil that you will become like God, “You can choose what is right; you can choose what is wrong.” And then you end up with what? You end up with the nature of God being expressed, not in the true nature of God, but whose nature is being expressed by these strange doctrines? The nature of demons and the nature of Satan. Let’s come here to Romans 1:21. “…Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful;…” Neither was Adam and Eve, right? No, they weren’t.“…But became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Now that’s the kind of light that Satan brings. He brings darkness. Remember, we just covered the section there in Matthew 6 where it says that, “If the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matthew 6:23, paraphrased). So there is a light which is really darkness that comes from Satan. And this is what happens.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man,...” Now that has no basis at all to say, then, that since man made corruptible images and idols of other men and said, “They are gods,” this is no scripture to go back and say that, “Why, God is not made like a man!” This just shows what men do. This shows nothing at all what God has done. “...And to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (vs. 22-23). Now when that happens, then you read all the rest of it, all the rest of the first chapter of the book of Romans.

Let’s go on now. Now let’s go to John 1:1-3 again. I hope we don’t wear out this place in the Bible, but we need to explain something here just so we can understand Acts 17 in just a minute. And as the Bible teaches, there are two Who are called God. Nowhere in the entire New Testament or anywhere in the Bible does it call the Holy Spirit “God.” Now I’m redoing all of that material that I did on the series, “The Holy Spirit.” So it will be all typeset and look really nice. So I should have that ready, hopefully, by the feast. I’m working at it to try and accomplish that.

John 1:1. We should be able to know this in our sleep, but let’s put it into the record again here. “In the beginning was the Word,...” The Greek there is logos, as you know. “...And the Word was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God.” Now in the ancient Greek religion, they had the main god was called ho theos, or, god. Their logos was the created world and universe. That was the logos. So when John writes and says, “Logos was God,” now, that’s turning the Greek world upside down. That is turning all their religions, all their philosophies totally upside down. Now, their third member of their trinity was called “The World Soul.” And it had the force of good and evil. So when Paul and the apostles came preaching the true God the Father, and Jesus Christ the Son of God, Who was God, He was not the created things around us. Logos was not the manifestation of the physical world. He was God.

Now let’s go to Acts 17 and let’s see what the reaction was to that. Acts 17:6, “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;…” What was being preached by the apostles was literally turning the world upside down. Now you take some of those statements like the apostle Paul said, you know, “The whole thing with Jesus was not done in a corner.” You take this statement here that, “They’ve turned the world upside down,” and you know what an impact that this had. This had a tremendous impact. Because they were coming along saying that there is God Who is the Father, there is God Who is the Son, the Logos. And in the New Testament it reveals those two beings. Now they were coming along and then saying, “You can, through the resurrection, enter into that kingdom of God as a son of God.” Now that was turning the world upside down. It still does today.

Now let’s compare a couple of other verses here. Let’s go back to the book of Genesis again. Genesis 5, and let’s go back and see some more about this “image” and what it literally means by the Scriptures. That it literally means, “in the image; in the sameness; in the likeness.” Now Genesis 5:3, now we know that it says, it is said of Adam he was made in the image and likeness of God. Now notice verse 3. “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:…” Now who did he look like? Just like Adam. In whose likeness? Adam’s. In whose image? Adam’s. Was there the reality of the father, Adam? Yes. And the son, Seth, was in the image and the likeness of his father.

Let’s go chapter 9 now. Let’s pick it up here in verse 5. “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made [created] He man” (Gen. 9:5-6). Now that means, all human beings, in this case. Not just the male. So there again, we have the reality, we have the image, we have all of these things.

Now let’s go to Psalm 8, and let’s see something about what it means concerning human beings, human ability, and what it is that man has really been made. Let’s pick it up here in verse 1. “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! who hast set Thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 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 visitest him?” (Psa.8:1-4). So he’s considering everything that God has made. So he’s saying, “Now what is man? How does man fit into this whole creation that God has made?”

Verse 5, “For Thou hast made him all little lower than the angels,...” Now that, brethren, is a mistranslation. It is true that humans are lower than angels, as far as their existence is fleshly rather than being composed of spirit as angels are. But the Hebrew word here for “angels” is Elohim, the same word for “God.” Everywhere the word “Elohim” is, it is translated “God.” In some cases it refers to other gods. And of course it’s always interesting that that is always in the plural when it refers to other gods. So, “You have made him a little lower than Elohim.” Now that’s something, isn’t it, when you think about that. The ability, the mind, the creation, everything about us. A little lower than God. This also shows our connection with God. We are made in His image, we are made in His likeness; we have free moral agency, we can choose. But the whole point of our conversion is that we see that God alone can decide what is right and wrong. We see that God alone has eternal life. We see that God alone has made us human beings in His image. Now that’s the whole awesome story of the rest of the Bible, if you really want to put it together. And I know that with this thing that’s coming out here, I’ve got to do something on a booklet, “Why Were You Born?” I just have to. I’ve said it a couple times in the past, but I’m just going to have to now.

Now notice. God is not a piker. God is not a miser. God is not stingy. God is great. What did He create for human beings, made in His image, made in His likeness, a little lower than He is? He created the whole world. He created the whole earth for human beings. Now the next time you go out and you see something fantastic that God has created in the creation, remember, God made it all for human beings. Let’s pick it up here in verse 6. “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands;...” Isn’t that something? To have dominion, to have rulership, to use it. Also, to abuse it. Not that we should abuse it at all. But God is not here stopping it, is He? No, He isn’t. “...Thou hast put all things under his feet:…” Everything that there is on this earth we can subdue, and conquer, and control, and use. Now sometimes it takes a while to figure it out. And sometimes people are killed in figuring it out. But nevertheless, they can still figure it out. Someone else can figure it out and do it. So you can look at all the scientific achievements that we have. You can look at all of the things that we have done. Just look at the example of warfare. Boy, we’ve certainly gotten expert at killing, haven’t we? We can make missiles that shoot down missiles. I tell you, it’s something.

Part 2

...New York. I don’t know if I’d want to go to New York anyway. But I tell you what, you just think of those big buildings that are there, how many people are there within - what is it – seventy-five mile radius of the Empire State Building there are twenty five million people. And the Empire State Building is like a city. And I know when we were up in Idaho, in Boise, there was one gal there, she said, “Oh, boy, I gotta move out into the country.” That means out in the boonies. I said, “Well why?” She said, “It’s just getting over-populated here in Boise.” And it had a population of about 50,000 at that time. And I’m sure that in the Empire State Building alone they may have close to that many in it at any one time. But you look at that building. You look at the things that we can do. Look at the planes; look at the rockets. And it seems as though - I was reading the other day a history of all of the failed Mars explorations, the Russians’ and ours. And it seems like every one has been a failure. So the only thing I can do is think on that, “Well, maybe there’s something that God just doesn’t want us to know that’s on Mars.” Because they’re all a failure.

So, “…Hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!” (vs. 6-9). What a fantastic gift that God has given. The whole world to human beings. That’s something. That is really something. So God is not a miser. God is not a piker. God is not trying to take from us, or anything like that.

Now let’s go to Psalm 139. And this psalm is one that people turn to and say, “Aha! God is everywhere all the time; He knows everything that there is about everything in all instances at every second that there is, because God is transcendent.” That means God is everywhere all the time. “And since God is everywhere all the time, then all human beings are, and everything that God has made, is part of God.” Now what I’m giving you is Hindu theology. “And if everything that there is, is part of God, then everything is God. Therefore, you are God.” That’s pure Satanism. And that’s virtually what Satan told Adam and Eve, “You’ll be like God. You are God. Go ahead! Take it! Choose it!”

Now here in Psalm 119, it says, “O LORD, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off” (Psalm 139:1-2). And even Job said, “No thought can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2, paraphrased). Psalm 139? Ah. Sorry. I misled you again. Add twenty to that. Psalm 119 plus twenty. Psalm 139. You knew immediately when I was reading it that that was not it.

All right. Now that we’re back on track here, now how does God know the down-sitting, the uprising, You understand my thoughts afar off, “Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways” (vs. 3). How is God able to know that? Is He just right there watching? Is God right there watching every human being? Is that how God does it? We’ll try and answer it. I think the answer is this: God has given the spirit of man in every human being; He’s made the human mind. He knows how we operate. I mean, to be made like we’re made has got to be planned, right? I mean, you’ve got to plan it. Now what we do to it later is not planned. We understand that. A lot of us are carrying around a lot of unplanned garbage. Baggage. But really, when you think about it, you take the smallest, skinniest person in the world, is still a person and still functions right, and you take the largest most obese person in the world, and it’s really a declaration to God how great that He really is, that human beings function at both extremes. That’s amazing. That God is merciful to let us live, though we do these things to ourselves. So God knows it because He created our minds, He knows the whole functioning of it.

“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, Thou knowest it all altogether” (vs. 4). Does that mean that God knows every word of every human being that’s spoken everywhere? Now, who is this saying this? This is David. Right? Was David chosen of God? Yes. Did David have the Holy Spirit of God? Yes. So you can’t apply this to every human being in the world. Does every human being in the world have the Holy Spirit of God? No. They have the spirit of man. But they don’t have the Spirit of God. So you can’t take this and say that this necessarily, wholly, absolutely applies to every human being. And if it did, we’re going to see how God keeps track of it. He keeps track of it by automation. He doesn’t keep track of it Himself personally. But He has all that information available at any time He needs it.

Ok, now let’s continue on. Verse 5, “Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Why? Because the thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts, as the heavens are above the earth. And our minds, though our minds have a bit of God’s ability, our mind obviously is not like the mind of God. Now notice verse 7, “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?” That’s the key. That’s how God understands that. “...Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?” God can find anyone at any time that He wants to anywhere. “If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee” (vs. 5-12). Now this is a way of expressing the powers that God has which are greater than ours.

Let’s see how God sees. Let’s ask the question, how is it that God sees? Does God see with His own two eyes only, all the time? Now let’s go back to 2 Chronicles 16. Now, how is it that God is able to do all of these things? We’re going to see that God is able to do them because He uses the spiritual power of those things that He has created to do those kinds of functions. And He has the angels to do it. That’s how God knows. Because God is a person, God is a being. God is, Himself, personally, has got to be in one place at one time. And being made of spirit, He undoubtedly occupies space. We occupy space. Now God created the whole universe. Is that not enough space?

2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,...” Now if you took that totally, absolutely, literally, then you would have to say, “Are the eyeballs of God rolling around on the earth?” No. No. But what does it mean? How does God do that? Now notice, it says, “...to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” That’s when Asa went wrong. The whole point is, how does God do this? How do the eyes of God run to and fro through out all the earth? Are they literally the eyes of God, His own two eyes? Well, we’ll find out here in just a minute. Let’s go to Revelation 5, and let’s see how God accomplishes that.

Revelation 5, let’s pick it up here in verse 6 . “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts [or that is, the living creatures], and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes,...” Now let’s just focus in on the seven eyes here, with our two eyes. “...Seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Now this has got to be some sort of, what you might say, remote camera-type thing as we would view it, just in an analogy from what we can do. So God knows because He has seven spirits created especially for knowing what’s going on in the earth. So therefore, God can be in one place at one time and still know all of these things that are going on because He has created special spirit beings and spirit apparatuses, if we could put it that way, to take care of the job. Now for us, we have the Holy Spirit of God within our mind. We have direct connection with God the Father. So we are an entirely different category in that particular sense.

Now let’s come back and look at some other things concerning God. How does God hear? Does He hear everything with His two ears? Now, God has ears. Let’s go to Isaiah 59. God has ears. But does He hear everything with just His two ears? Isaiah 59:1, now it tells us quite a few things here about God. It says, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;...” So God has, it talks about His hand. “...Neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear:…” So God has ears. God hears. But he says, “…But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from You, that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2). Now that’s pretty awesome when you really think about that. We won’t get into that to try and answer that question today.

Let’s ask a little bit more here concerning about how God, what God looks like. Let’s go to Matthew 17. Now this is really the clincher, one of the clinchers, to show what God looks like, what God the Father looks like. Remember it’s says that Jesus was made in His exact image, in the same similitude as His Father. Now this is the account of the transfiguration. Matthew 17:1, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light” (Matt. 17:1-2). Now there is a vision of Jesus being transfigured before their very eyes. Now what does it talk about? It talks about His face and His clothing. Now it didn’t say that He turned into a blob. It didn’t say that He turned into an animal. It didn’t say that He was turned into an angel. But Jesus Himself was transfigured. That means the substance of His body was changed from flesh to spirit. Now we’ll have to think on that one for a while. But this gives us the guarantee that, at the resurrection, that’s what’s going to happen to us. And that was the whole purpose of this transfiguration.

Now granted, it was a vision. Now they could understand this once they saw Jesus transfigured before them. Then they knew that He must have been the LORD God of the Old Testament. Why? Because of the accounts concerning Moses. It’s said of Moses, that Moses talked with God, how? Face-to-face. Now Moses was a man. He had a face. Now I know this is very redundant and basic and almost stupid to bring out. So if he talked to God face-to-face, it means literally, seeing each other. But Christ, when He was talking to Moses face-to-face, could not appear in His great and magnificent form. Let’s go back to the book of Exodus. So obviously, when Moses was talking to Him face-to-face, He was not in His total glorified form. He was not in His total glorified form. That’s why Moses said, “Lord, show me Your glory.” Apparently he understood that God could manifest Himself in a much more glorified manner than in talking to him face-to-face.

Let’s pick it up here, Exodus 33:18. Now after the great sin that the children of Israel sinned, here in verse 17, “And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken [I will spare them]: for thou hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee by name. And he [Moses] said, I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory.” In other words, he wanted some encouragement here at this time. He wanted to know that, you know, God was still with him in spite of all the things that went on. “And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And He said, Thou canst not see My face:...” That is, in its glorified form. Because if Moses talked to Him face-to-face, He could not have been in His total glorified form. “...For there shall no man see Me, and live” (Ex. 33:17-20). Why? Because the power and the existence of God is so great that human flesh cannot exist in its presence. Now we could liken it this way: any more than you could exist on the face of the sun. In other words, the power, the beauty, the splendor, and the radiation coming from God, the radiant power coming from Him, not radiation in the sense of what we would think nuclear radiation; but it is so great that human beings cannot live in the divine presence of God.

So He said, verse 21, “And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by: and I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen” (vs. 21-23). Now this shows that God has everything about Him that we do: face, back, hand. But God’s existence as a spirit being with power is so magnificent and so powerful that human beings cannot live in His presence. Now that’s really something to contemplate. That’s really something to understand.

Now let’s go to John 20, and let’s see that even after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that He still was able to appear to His disciples in a form whereby they could see Him. They could talk to Him; He could manifest Himself to them in such a way that He would look virtually human. Virtually like flesh and blood. But He had additional powers, having been raised from the dead. John 20:19, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Just appeared. Boy, as parents sometimes you wish you had that power with your kids, right? Boy, could you solve a lot of problems instantly, right? Yes. There’s Jesus right in the middle. “And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side…” (John 20:19-20). So when He was resurrected He could appear in a non-glorified form. Just like He did to Moses, just like He did to Abraham, just like He did to Isaac. He could appear in a human form, non-glorified, because in full glory no human being can live.

Now let’s go to Acts 1. And apparently, things like this went on for forty days. Let’s pick it up here in verse… well, we’ll just pick it up here verse 2. No, verse 1. “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus,...” And Theophilus means “lover of God.” Theophilus, by the way, was a name that a lot of the priests took. “...Of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy [Spirit] Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: to whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs,...” When I see Luke at the resurrection I’m going to say, “Why didn’t you give us just a couple of these?” It says “many.” We read just a couple there that John did, that Jesus appeared, walked through the door, showed Himself at that time to all the disciples and then later on again to Thomas. You know the whole account there. “...By many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things [concerning] pertaining to the kingdom of God:…” (Acts 1:1-3). Now obviously, He appeared in such a way that they knew who He was, they could recognize that it was Jesus. So there again, this confirms that God is a personal being. God has a body. God has feet. God has legs. God has arms and hands, and a head, and eyes, and ears, and a mouth to speak. And also, after He was resurrected, He ate food.

Now let’s go to Revelation 1. And I don’t want to give away too much that I’m going to bring for the Atonement sermon, what it means to be at-one with God. But Revelation 1, this shows as much as possible, in language we can understand, the power of the persona of Jesus Christ as a Spirit being in full glory. And this, brethren, is what God has called us to. If you think that it’s fantastic that God created the whole earth for mankind and gave it to mankind, the things that God has promised to us are so great that the human vocabulary is most limited to describe what it is. And so, as Christ mentioned there about the difficulties they have before the feast, I think everyone has their own difficulties that come along. God will see us through it. God wants to know, “Do you think that I’m worth more than anything that there is? Do you think that I, God...” I’m just putting it in the sense that if God were speaking to you directly. I’m not trying to sit in the seat of God to try and do that. But just put it on a personal basis. “Do you think that I’m worth more than any of these things that you’re going through? Do you think that eternal life, to be in My family, is greater than any trouble you have, greater than any other human being you know? Greater than your own personal existence now?” So that’s why we go through these things. And Satan is there trying to do all he can.

But here’s what Jesus looks like in His full glorified form. Revelation 1:13. “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [which are the churches] one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot,...” That’s not so unusual. We’re all clothed down to our feet. Even have them covered with socks. “...And girt about the [chest] paps with a golden [chest plate] girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword [which then is the word of God]: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev. 1:13-16).

Now to me, it’s all I can do to fathom just a little miniscule amount of what it’s going to be like to be as Jesus Christ is. He is a person. God the Father is a person. We are made in Their image. Let’s go back to Philippians 3. And we are going to be made, not only in Their image, but in Their glory and in Their substance. We’re not going to be greater in authority. Absolutely not. Even Jesus said that the Father was greater than He was. But we are going to be the sons of God. We’re going to see Him exactly like He is, which Moses couldn’t do.

Now Philippians 3:20, “For our conversation [or that is, the source of our conduct] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:…” Now verse 21. Now here’s one to really think and understand about as much as you can. It doesn’t matter what your trouble is; it doesn’t matter what your problems are; it doesn’t matter the difficulties you are going through. It says, verse 21, “Who shall change our vile body,...” Compared to God that’s exactly what it is. “...That it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body,...” Made just like it. Fashioned just like it. So when you tie this in with Genesis 1, where God said, “Let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness...”, this verse you can tie right to it. And it also means, “...After Our kind.” After the God kind; after Elohim. “...That it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil. 3:20-21).

Now let’s go to Matthew 13 for just a minute to show that that is absolutely no stretch of the imagination at all. That is not twisting scripture. Now here’s the battle that’s going on. Matthew 13:38, talking about the parable of the field. “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom [that’s us]; but the tares are the children of the wicked one [those are the servants of Satan]; the enemy that sowed them is the devil...” That’s what’s happening in Worldwide right now. “...The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Now here’s this little phrase: “[He] Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (vs. 38-43). And wherever in the New Testament that is, that little phrase, it is there for the purpose of letting us really let it sink in.

And the only thing I’m worried about is that there are just so many people now who are so exhausted from fighting the physical battle, the spiritual battle. There are so many who are weakened because they haven’t studied, and they haven’t prayed, and they’ve virtually given up on God because God has not done a sign or wonder for them. They’ve surrendered their responsibility to a ministry that has been corrupted so that they will blame someone else instead of themselves. Whatever it may be. And to see this coming out of Worldwide is truly, truly, truly mind-boggling of the greatest proportion. And as I said last week, not in my wildest imagination would I have ever thought that I would hear words like that. Especially where it says that, “God doesn’t have a body. God doesn’t need a body.”

 So brethren, let’s stay close to God. Stay close to His Word and close to the things that are in the Bible. And remember, it is so that no man deceive you by any means. By any means. And the slickest means to deceive you is from within, from a ministry that is trusted, supposedly, and that would teach things that are not even in the Bible. So don’t let anyone tell you that God is not a person, God is not a being; that God does not have a body. God does. We are made in His image. We are made in His likeness. And the whole purpose of His plan is that we are made after His kind.

 

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