(Go To Meeting)

Durrell Brown—February 23, 2024

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For some reason I was inspired to do a study on Who God is and what we should know about Him and understand about Him so that we can please Him. I was amazed when I saw how much in the Scripture deals with God and Creator and that He IS!

Acts 17:28: "For in Him we live and move and have our being… [an amazing proclamation on the part of God] …as some of the poets among you also have said, 'For we are His offspring.'"

We have learned that earlier in the teachings in our group that God is birthing sons of God and we are in place to become the firstfruits of this noble experiment.

God IS and we are going to see as we approach the Scriptures that describe Him and what He has been doing in the earthly realm since creation. He is an amazing God and we are going to look at some of His attributes.

I was just amazed at how much information and I have been studying the Bible and reading it for a long time, but I was just amazed at how much is said about God and Who He is, what He is and what He is going to accomplish.

The fact that we have been called and chosen at this time to understand Him in His fullness. There are over 2500 mentions about God:

  • Who He is
  • what He is like
  • what He is accomplishing
  • what He has been doing since eternity

"In Him we live, move and have our being."

That is amazing proclamation when we understand that God IS. He has always existed and He has a great awesome plan that since eternity He has been putting into effect.

We find ourselves at this particular juncture on the broad expanse of eternity at one of the most monumental points in the very Plan of God. We come to understand that we are made in His image and our goal is to submit ourselves to be grown into beings just like His Son.

What an awesome thing to comprehend that at this point in the expanse of eternity past and eternity future that we have been called at this particular juncture to be given the opportunity to become the firstfruits of His creation and become like He is.

God IS, v 28: "For in Him we live and move and have our being; as some of the poets among you also have said, 'For we are His offspring.'"

That is an amazing proclamation, an amazing thought that we are the offspring of God. Now, here in this 17th chapter we see that the Apostle Paul's journeying and being escorted:

Verse 2: "And as was the custom with Paul, he went in to them and for three Sabbaths… [in Thessalonica] …reasoned with them from the Scriptures, expounding and demonstrating that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and testifying, 'This Jesus, Whom I am proclaiming to you, is the Christ'" (vs 2-3).

Some of them were convinced. Some of their minds apparently were opened!

Verse 4: "Now, some of them were convinced, and joined themselves to Paul and Silas, including a great multitude of devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few. But the unbelieving Jews became envious and took to them certain evil men of the baser sort; and when they had gathered a huge crowd, they set the city in an uproar; and they assaulted the house of Jason, looking for Paul and Silas, to bring them out to the people. And when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and certain brethren before the city magistrates, crying out, 'Those who have set the whole world in confusion have come here also'" (vs 4-6).

So, the proclamation that God was working and that Jesus Christ was the Son of God caused quite a stir!

"…'Those who have set the whole world in confusion have come here also, whom Jason has received; and these all do what is contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus'" (vs 6-7).

So, we see there was a lot of uncertainty there and they had to secure Jason and get Paul out of there.

Verse 10: "Then the brethren immediately sent away by night to Berea both Paul and Silas, who, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness of mind and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. As a result, a great number of them believed, including not a few of the honorable Greek women and men" (vs 10-12).

Received the message that God is and that He has a great Plan of Salvation!

So, there was trouble beginning there so they secreted Paul

Verse 16: "But while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he saw that the city was wholly given to idolatry, and his spirit was sorely moved within him."

Being as converted as he was and understanding and having experiencing the problems of preaching, the fact that God IS caused him to have a lot of persecution.

Verse 18: "Then some philosophers of the Epicureans and the Stoics encountered him. And some of them said, 'What will this babbler have to say?' And some said, 'He seems to be a preacher of foreign gods,' because he was preaching to them the Gospel of Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to Mars Hill, saying, 'May we know what this new teaching is that is spoken by you? For you are bringing certain strange things to our ears. So then, we desire to know what these things mean'" (vs 18-20).

Verse 21:" (Now, all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning among them spent their leisure in nothing other than to tell and to hear something new.)"

They had a lot of time on their hands, and they were wealthy enough that they could do this. They Spent a lot of time thinking about talking about things that were new.

Verse 22: "Then Paul stood in the center of Mars Hill…"

I've often thought: What would it be like to have been there to see Paul as he made his way into this area and approach the center of Mars Hill and address the men there, the Athenians?

Paul said, "…'I perceive that in all things you are very reverent to deities; for as I was passing through and observing the objects of your veneration, I also found an altar on which was inscribed, "To an unknown God." So then, He Whom you worship in ignorance is the One that I proclaim to you'" (vs 22-23).

It's an amazing thing that the Apostle Paul was that observant and was willing and led by God to make this interaction with the Stoics and the Epicureans.

Verse 24: "He is the God Who made the world and all things that are in it. Being the Lord of heaven and earth, He does not dwell in temples made by hands; nor is He served by the hands of men, as though He needs anything, for He gives to all life and breath and all things. And He made of one blood all the nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, having determined beforehand their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling; in order that they might seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and might find Him; though truly, He is not far from each one of us" (vs 24-27).

I have thought of a number of places I would love to have been and observed what went on as various of the Apostles, Paul and others, interacted with the people that God was attempting to call whose minds were open.

Verse 28: "For in Him we live and move and have our being; as some of the poets among you also have said, 'For we are His offspring.'"

So, God IS, and we come to understand that we are His offspring. Like in Genesis we come to see that we have been created in the image of God, this awesome part of His process. God is doing a wonderful thing here.

Over 2500 times, and I was amazed to realize that, and I've been reading the Bible and studying the Bible for a long time, but I was amazed to see that over 2500 times God is mentioned in Scripture, Who He is and what He has been doing since eternity.

It is an amazing concept that so many of our 'wise men' and people who have great giftedness, who actually read the Bible, who are scientists who have observed things in the heavens. It's amazing they have come to understand so much about this universe, but they can't bring themselves, through their logic and reasoning—to be forced to conclude with all of the billions of stars and galaxies—that something awesomely powerful has to be behind all that is.

When we look at, Job, who was one of the wise men of his age, amazingly understood many of the scientific principles that our scientists yet have not come to understand and see.

I marvel at the fact that they can come so close to being forced to conclude that God IS, but somehow their minds will not allow them to make that step. When you look out into the universe, hundreds of billions of stars and galaxies, there is no explanation for it other than there has to be some Being that has that power to do that kind of creation!

So we see from Scripture that God IS, some over 2,500 times here in the Word of God, we see who God is, and that He is the Creator of all things. He spoke the universe into existence!

Ecclesiastes 3:14: "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God does it so that men should fear before Him."

That's an amazing thing that we learn about God. He has created this awesome universe. Awesome things, unbelievable stuff is going on out there and we now have a number of telescopes helping us to see the awesomeness of God's creation and what He is doing and has been doing since eternity.

I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God does it so that man should fear before Him.

Verse 15: "That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires an account of that which is past."

Here we see part of what the Gospel is about. We have to give account for what we understand and what we see and understand that God is doing in this earthly realm.

Verse 15: "That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires an account of that which is past."

That's an amazing revelation as to how God is dealing with those of us who have been created in his image. We understand that God is and that we have been created, we are the only creatures that have been created in His image!

We understand that in His awesomeness, in His glorification of Who He is and what He is, he will create continuously. He is that loving and kind to continue being in his image.

Verse 17: "I said in my heart, 'God shall judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.' I said in my heart, 'Concerning the matter of the sons of men, may God reveal to them, that they might see, that they themselves are but beasts'" (vs 17-18);

But God has a great plan to change all of that and grow us into beings like His Son. We see in:

Ecclesiastes 1:4: "The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 'Vanity of vanities,' says the Preacher, 'vanity of vanities! All is vanity.' What profit does a man have in all his labor, which he labors under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it arose" (vs 4-5).

This is all God's doing and the circumstances in the universe that are perfectly working is a proof that God IS! To have all of these billions of galaxies—obviously a pattern that only God could design—rotating out there: suns, galaxies, and what is so amazing about it, we have come to see that whole galactic systems going into black holes. That's an interesting concept. It appears that God is recycling His creation into black holes. Nothing seems to be coming out.

It gives me some level of understanding what the end of the fallen angels will be. If they are all dragged into, thrown into a bottomless pit, God concludes His pronunciation of what happens after this phase of His creation process has been brought to a close.

That those who do not grow sufficiently in grace and in knowledge and become like His Son Jesus Christ will end up destroyed and the fallen angels who have sinned will be cast away into a bottomless pit.

It's amazing how much wisdom we come to see and understand as we see that God IS and what His Master Plan is. But it will not cease after these phases of it that we have come to at this point in our existence.

But going back to the fact that God IS, we see what He has been doing in eternity past and we see what He is going to do forever. He is going to create a new heaven and a new earth that all will pass away.

I have wondered and I think I see the answer. I have wondered for those who are not called at this juncture, who come up in the second resurrection as physical entities—since they have died once and been resurrected—to what extent will they be able to remember things that they experienced in their first life.

We know that our sins, as we repent of them, are covered and wiped off of our chart. When we are changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the first resurrection as firstfruits, will we be able to go back and revisit some of the activities in God's Plan that took place that maybe we experienced and that the other generations experienced?

Those of our sins once we repent of them are erased and not held against us. We don't have to worry about them. I ask the question: What happens to those who come up in The White Throne Judgment, who were never called, who are going to be given an opportunity for salvation?

We as those who are part of the firstfruits creation will become the Bride of Christ and assist Him in bringing into the Kingdom of God not only the Millennial generations, but those who come up in the White Throne Judgment.

I wonder, and I have not seen, yet, how much will they remember of their past lives? Since they were not called at that time this will be their first opportunity for salvation. I wonder about Uriah the Hittite—when he reads what David did to him—will he have that memory when he comes up in that resurrection.

I wonder if we will be able to go back and revisit some of those events that shaped the earth and God used to bring not only those of us who are hoping to be in the first resurrection, will we be able to remember; what will we remember?

Once we repented of sins, God cast them away as far as they could be cast and erased those things from our record. So, I have a lot of questions about God's Plan and just what we will be doing, because God ISand 'He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.'

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…"—to die for us! You can't beat that concept of love! Are we willing to give our lives as Christ did?

I toy with the idea that perhaps in some future galaxy we—after this course is finished—may have an opportunity to do a similar thing that Christ did for us. But God IS and 'He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.'

At this juncture our thoughts are not His thoughts, but we are exhorted to put on Christ and put on His mind; let His very mind dwell in us and be grown through our efforts and the empowerment of God's Holy Spirit. To become just like Christ so that we can have a part in this great, awesome creative process where He is going to bring multiple billions of beings created in His image into the Kingdom of God.

After all of that is finished he is going to start over with something that is unimaginable to us at this time. What a great God we serve!  He IS God!

Deuteronomy 7:9: "Therefore, know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. And he repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slow to repay him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face" (vs 9-10).

God is love, but this is the way He deals with sin.

Verse 11: "You shall, therefore, keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments, which I command you today to do them. And it shall come to pass, if you hearken to these judgments to keep and practice them, then the LORD your God shall keep with you the covenant and the mercy, which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your land, your grain, and your wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the flocks of your sheep, in the land, which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all people. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, upon you. But He will lay them upon all who hate you" (vs 11-15).

  • He is God and there's none like Him!
  • He is King
  • He is a forever being
  • He is a helper for everyone who trusts in Him
  • He is our salvation
  • He is a Father to all the fatherless
  • He is a judge
  • He is greatly to be praised
  • He is a merciful God
  • He is the Lord
  • He is awesome
  • He is majestic
  • He is Righteous

and above all

  • He is love
  • He is Holy
  • He is rich in mercy
  • He is great in love
  • He is a jealous God
  • He is a jealous God
  • He IS Holy
  • He IS love

We serve a great and awesome God Who has given us the opportunity to live with Him forever. Scripture says God is and He's a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God…"

We have to stop right there and ponder the awesomeness of that statement: God IS! The statement of this book about God and all that He's doing. It's an amazing work, isn't it?

Verse 1: "In the beginning God… [the Father and the Son—formulated in their mind this plan] …created the heavens and the earth."

What an amazing being He is, and for the purpose He has created it.

We come to a point where we come to see and we must accept this explanation and conclusion:

1-John 4:7: "Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God because God is love" (vs 7-8).

That is the most important aspect of His Being: He is love! He has this kind of outgoing concern in His Majesty to reproduce Himself through creating beings like we are; made in His image who can be grown into His spiritual image!

Verse 9: "In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him." What an awesome purpose and love that God has for Him!

Verse 10: "In this act is the love—not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us. By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him…" (vs 10-13).

What an awesome thing to realize that God is and through the power of his Holy Spirit God is spirit. He is Holy Spirit and He is dwelling in us and God in Him. By this spiritual indwelling the love of God is perfected within us.

What an awesome purpose that is being worked out in us brethren that we could become sons of God just as Jesus Christ came in the incarnation and became one of us. Live the perfect life and set an example to the show that it can be done that God is reproducing Himself and expanding His Kingdom throughout eternity.

We don't know, yet. I have not seen or heard what the next phase will be after Jesus Christ with the Bride brings in the Millennial generations and the White Throne Judgment.

What an awesome thing ahead for us brethren and I hope and trust that we will grasp the fact the reality that God ISand he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.

Scriptural References:

  • Act 17:28, 2-7, 10-12, 16, 18-28
  • Ecclesiastes 3:14-15, 17-18
  • Ecclesiastes 1:1-5
  • John 3:16
  • Deuteronomy 7:9-15
  • Genesis 1:1
  • 1-John 4:7-13

Transcribed: 3/8/24

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