Get to Know the God of Truth
Who is God? Why is it urgent to know him now?
THERE is an urgent need to know the truth about God. Today, confusion in the churches mounts. Godlessness increases. Crime and violence grow. Nuclear weapons threaten all life.
As a result, many persons, likely you too, ask such questions as: Who is God? Does he care what happens to us here on earth? Will he ever intervene in human affairs to set matters straight? What does the future hold?
To each of these questions, and many more, there is an answer, a basic truth. There are not several conflicting answers all of which are correct.
A GOD OF TRUTH
God has given man the ability to learn certain basic truths about His physical creation. For example, we know that the earth is a sphere. We know that the atom contains tremendous energy. We know that air, water and food are needed to sustain human life.
Now, is it reasonable to think that God gave man the ability to find out truths about creation, but not about the Creator? A loving human father wants his children to know him, to bear his name, to learn the vital things of life. Since “God is love,” would He be any less interested in teaching His children about himself?—1 John 4:8.
Actually, our eternal destiny depends upon our getting to know the truth about God. Jesus Christ himself said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—John 17:3.
“The only true God” is a God of truth. Indeed, the Bible assures us that “God is not a man that he should tell lies,” and that “it is impossible for God to lie.” So the truth-seeker can confidently approach God, knowing that there are fundamental truths about Him that he can learn.—Num. 23:19; Heb. 6:18.
Since God is always truthful, it is reasonable that our worship must also be in harmony with the truth if it is to be acceptable to God. We cannot believe and support falsehood and still please God “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.”—John 4:24.
A LOVING CREATOR
This God of truth is the loving Creator of heaven and earth. His written Word informs us that he ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’ (Rev. 4:11) “He himself gives to all persons life and breath.”—Acts 17:25
So it is God who designed our marvelous body and mind. It is He who made the vegetation, trees and flowers that provide food and are a delight to man. He made available the water and air that sustain life. Obviously, God has shown great love for humankind by giving us life as well as the things needed to sustain and enjoy it.
Yet, people logically ask: If God is such a loving Creator, why has he not stopped wickedness and suffering? Only the Bible provides the truthful answers. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) It tells us of the various issues that were raised after man’s creation, including man’s desire to be like God, that is, independent, determining for himself what was right or wrong. (Gen. 3:1-7) Lovingly, God did not at once destroy the first man Adam for his violation of divine law, thus destroying us as his unborn offspring. Rather, He has allowed us, the offspring of Adam, an opportunity to live and even to gain eternal life by means of Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 3:9) At the same time, the events of history during this time of divine patience have answered the issue raised as to rulership, proving that no government that tries to be independent from God can bring true happiness to its subjects.—Jer. 10:23, 24.
But God’s permission of wickedness will not continue forever. We are now nearing the time long ago foretold in God’s Word when He will use his awesome power to end wickedness! (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Matt. 24:34) For this we can rejoice!
Not only will God soon bring wickedness to an end, but he has made loving provisions to turn this entire earth into a Paradise. No doubt you yourself have prayed for the time when God’s will would be done “in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10, AV; Luke 23:43) In that new order, sickness, sorrow, war, injustice, poverty, suffering and even death will become things of the past. Of the many Bible prophecies concerning these conditions in God’s new order, the one at Revelation chapter 21, verse 4, clearly states that “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more.”
This new order is a certainty, for it is true of all God’s promises: “I have even spoken it; I shall also bring it in.” (Isa. 46:11) To demonstrate what would take place in that new order, God gave Jesus Christ, when he was a man on earth, the power to perform some of the miracles that he would perform earth wide in God’s new order. Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, cured the maimed, even raised the dead! This was visible proof of what God would accomplish by means of his Son in His new order. (Matt. 15:30, 31; Luke 7:11-17; 8:49-56) Were you familiar with these marvelous truths about the Creator’s loving purpose for man?
Of course, for you personally to be among those who will gain life in God’s new order you must meet his requirements. These requirements include knowing and believing what God says about himself in his Word the Bible. How well do you know God? For example: Does God have a name? If so, what is it?
DOES GOD HAVE A NAME?
Jesus often referred to God as “Father,” life-giver. (Matt. 5:16) Does your earthly father have a name? Since man is created in God’s image, is it unusual that God also would have a name?
Does he? Jesus said to his Father in prayer: “I have made your name known to them and will make it known.” (John 17:26) He taught his followers to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” (Matt. 6:9) God himself says: “I shall certainly sanctify my great name.” (Ezek. 36:23) Yes, God has a name.
What is the name? Is it “God” or “Lord” or “Eternal,” as some claim? No, for these are not personal names, but are titles. “God” means “mighty one,” “Lord” means “master,” and “Eternal” means “everlasting.”
If someone asked you what the name of the President or King or Ruler of your country is, would you answer “President,” “King,” “Ruler,” or perhaps “Commander in Chief,” or “Chief Executive”? No, for these are not personal names, but titles. He still has his own personal name in addition to those titles.
What, then, is God’s personal name? He himself answers plainly: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isa. 42:8) And Psalm 83:18, in the King James Version, states: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
True, various Bible versions do not use the name “Jehovah.” But this is not because the name is missing in the original languages of the Bible text. Actually, the name appears about 7,000 times in the Bible! The fault lies with translators who substituted words such as “God” and “Lord” when they came to the name in the text.
HOW IS IT PRONOUNCED?
In Hebrew, God’s name comes from the four letters יהוה, which are all consonants, since ancient written Hebrew had no vowels. The reader had to supply the vowel sounds. However, over the centuries, the correct pronunciation became uncertain.
Some clergymen contend that we should stop using God’s name because we do no know the exact Hebrew pronunciation today. But these same persons will use the word “Jesus” without hesitation. Yet, that is not the way Jesus’ name was pronounced in Hebrew. It was more like Yeshuʹa, or Ye–hoʹshu·a. Today, in Spanish, it is pronounced Hay–soosʹ; in Italian, Jeh–zooʹ; in German, Yeaʹzoos. Should we stop using the name Jesus because it was not pronounced that way in Hebrew or because it is pronounced differently in other languages today?
So too with God’s name. In English it is Jehovah. In Spanish it is pronounced Hay–oh–vahʹ; in Italian, Jeh–ohʹvah; in German, Yeh–hoʹvah. Which is correct? All are usable. What is wrong is to suppress the name of God by failing or refusing to use it.
Acts 2:21 says: “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” Do you ‘call on the name of Jehovah’? Do you regularly use that name in prayer to God and talk about him to others? What about your church? Does it officially highlight God’s name, Jehovah? Does it encourage you to call on God by his own name? If not, is the church really leading you in the way of the truth?
JESUS CHRIST—WAS HE GOD?
Another basic truth has to do with Jesus. Was he Jehovah God who came to earth in human form?
If Jesus was God, then the Creator of the entire universe was in a woman’s womb for nine months. It means that the Almighty crawled on his hands and knees as an infant. Do you really believe this to be the case?
When Jesus prayed, to whom was he praying—himself? Would he teach his followers to pray to someone else and thus deceive them? (Matt. 6:9, 10) Also, when Jesus died, did God Almighty die?
The truthful answers are in God’s own Word. It says of Jehovah that he is “King of eternity,” without beginning or end. (1 Tim. 1:17; Ps. 90:2) But Jesus is called “the beginning of the creation by God.” (Rev. 3:14) That is why Jesus said: “The Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) Repeatedly Jesus called God his Father, his life-giver. Was he lying? Also, Jesus often declared: “I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 5:30) About whom was he talking, if not about another superior personality?
What does your church teach? Does it teach that Jesus was God, part of a Trinity? Why not get a copy of the Athanasian Creed, which sets out the Trinity doctrine, and read for yourself what the Trinity doctrine is. Then ask your minister if your church uses that creed. Compare it with what your own Bible says. If what any church teaches is not in harmony with God’s Word of truth, then as long as a person is a member of that church he is not worshiping God “with spirit and truth.”—John 4:24.
While Jesus was not Jehovah, neither was he merely a “good man.” He was much more: “Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.” (John 20:31) Yes, it was Jehovah who implanted the life force of Jesus in Mary’s womb so that she as a virgin could give birth.—Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:26-35.
Also, Jesus plays a vital and loving role in God’s purpose. After his death, he was resurrected to heavenly life as a powerful immortal spirit creature. (1 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 6:4, 9) He is the King of God’s heavenly kingdom, the government for which Christians are taught to pray. (Matt. 6:9, 10) That heavenly government, with Christ as its chief administrator, will be the instrument God uses to crush out of existence this wicked system of things.—Dan. 2:44; Rev. 19:11-21.
That destruction will usher in God’s new order here on earth. Then peace, justice, health and eternal life will become the rule.
GET TO KNOW GOD NOW
To survive the end of this wicked system into God’s new order, we need to know and advocate the truth about God now. (1 John 2:17; Zeph. 2:3) It does not please Jehovah for a person to remain part of any religious system that misrepresents God.—Rev. 18:4.
What is the best way to get to know God? By a systematic search of his Word, the Bible. So why not begin immediately to take in this knowledge that leads to eternal life? (John 17:3) Jehovah’s witnesses will be glad to help you, free of charge.
Write to the publishers of this magazine, or contact Jehovah’s witnesses near your home, and a qualified minister will call. For one hour a week, at a time mutually convenient and in the privacy of your own home, he will show you what your own Bible says about God.
In a matter of weeks you will find that a large number of your questions have been answered. You will learn such things as where the dead are and what hope there is for them. You will find out what is required in order for one’s prayers to be answered. You will examine evidence proving that the end of this wicked system is very near. You will also learn what God requires of you.
Already, this six-month free home Bible-study course is being held in well over a million homes, in over 200 lands throughout the entire world. This is by far the largest Bible-study program in existence. You can share with this growing multitude of persons who are learning the truth that comes from God. As you get to know the loving Creator, you will come to appreciate that wisdom from God “is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.”—Prov. 3:18.