16 May 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #62, 5934 AM
Is There a God?
You Can Know for a Surety
Wherever you look in today's modern world you will discover that man is basically a dissatisfied and an unhappy creature. He lives in a world which he does not understand, a world so vast that it constantly baffles him. He has a legion of problems - personal problems and larger social problems. He looks at the world in the news and sees that from one year to the next, and generation after generation, that it is in a state of utter confusion and turmoil.
Notwithstanding this, there is no doubt that man has a sense of God whether he tries to to deny it, or argue it away, or not. He has a feeling that things are not as they are supposed to be and that he himself is meant for something bigger. He has a feeling that there is something else, indeed, Someone else. So what is the problem? Throughout the generations man has been trying to arrive at a knowledge of ultimate truth, a knowledge of final reality. The atheists telling him that there is none and that he is irrational to think that there is an ultimate reality and truth. Yet deep down he knows that they can't be right otherwise there would be no purpose for existence in this incredibly complicated and complex world. No matter the denials, he has a constant feeling that somewhere there is a solution.
His instincts lead him to ask some very basic questions: "If there is a God, is He personal or impersonal? If he is personal, how can He be known? If there is an ultimate truth, how can I arrive at it?"
Then man has to ask himself more questions. "Is the search for God instinctive? Does one find Him and Truth by looking within at oneself? Is that where God 'is'?" This mystical or "inner light" approach is common in many religions. Their thinking goes something like this: "Do not reason; do not try to understand. Disengage your thought processes, your feelings, your passions. The ground for God is within yourself. So sink in contemplation into yourself and you will find God." This doctrine of Pantheism or 'God within' rests on a number of shakey assumptions, the major one of which is that the only entity you will find in such a search within is God. Anyone who has listened within knows, though, that there are many voices there that are hard to pinpoint, let alone identify as beneficial or harmful. And if there are many 'entities', how do they fit into the equation of existence?
At the other extreme, there are those who say that it is all a matter of pure, intellectual reason. We must follow a 'scientific' protocol in determining what is real and what is not. You must go out and observe nature, note its order and its design, and so arrive at conclusions. Then you must work out your arguments. Or you must look more closely into history and you will see there a line, plan, or purpose. And from that you will be forced to conclude that there is some kind of Mind behind it. This is the approach of philosophy and reason. But this inevitably and always leads to failure. If you want to discover the fruit of the philosophical approach, read the Bible book, Ecclesiastes. There we read the conclusion of a wise man who tried all, an extremely learned man. He had the best education and advantages of his age. He had tried wisdom, as he tried riches and pleasure, and he had followed various other approaches to the problem. But he always came back to the same point: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity". You would have thought that such a man would have arrived at the summit; but suddenly he finds that he is caught in a circle and is beginning to go back down again. "Everything", he says, "is going round and round in circles."
By your own efforts you never arrive at ultimate knowledge. Thus Paul could say: "the world through wisdom did not know God" (1 Cor.1:21, NKJV). And the world by wisdom still does not know God. Try as it will, it cannot arrive there. And this is inevitable for two reasons. First, because God is God. He is eternal and endless in majesty and might. And second, above all, He is qodesh or Holy. And man is not only finite, he is also sinful. By definition, man can never arrive at an understanding of God. The thing is a sheer impossibility, as impossible as an ant trying to understand a human.
What then is to be done? Man must come to the point at which he must face his failure and realises that he is but a child. What can he do? There is no hope for him unless God in His kindness and grace and love chooses to reveal Himself.
The reason I am here and the full position for which we as Christians or Messianics stand is that God, whose Name is Yahweh, has definitely done just this, and that until any enquirer comes to that point there is really no basis for discussion. Blaise Pascal the great French mathematician and scientist puts it this way:
There is the starting point. Use your reason, use your intellect; do so honestly and you will come to the conclusion that there is a limit to reason. And then wait. It is at that point that Yahweh in His infinite grace and kindness meets us in revelation.
Now it is true that God has revealed Himself in nature and the apostle Paul argues in Romans 1:19ff that we are without excuse if we don't see Him there. The immense complexity in nature tells us that an extraordinary brilliant mind is behind it. The beauty in nature tell us that the character behind it is of extraordinary beauty too. And the simultaneousl ugliness in nature tells us that that something has gone and spoiled it. But even with this limited perception of God in nature we are still blind to the whole picture, a blindness caused by sin.
God has also revealed Himself in history. As we work our way through the Old Testament we discover how He has revealed Himself to great men and women of old. But it is not until we come to the New Testament that we come upon the full revelation of who God the Father is, and we discover that not only is the full revelation of God to be found in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) but that the Old Testament was pointing to Him right from the beginning - from the very first line of Genesis 1:
Almost no English Bible translates the two Hebrew letters 'Alef-Taw', the first and last letters in the Hebrew Alphabet - the translators hop over them because they don't know what to do with them. Odd really since Christ says who those letters represent in the New Testament:
If you don't know who God is or what He is or how He is, then I invite you to view a short movie called Glimpse of Eternity by a former atheist and sceptic, Ian MacCormack, who met God face-to-face in the Maldive Islands. You will be pleasantly surprised.
"'Behold, He (Yah'shua the Messiah, Jesus Christ) is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. I am the Alef (Alpha) and the Taw (Omega), the Beginning and the End,' says the Master, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'" (Rev.1:7-8, NKJV).