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Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 13
Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 13

There is much confusion about the IDENTITY, the NATURE and PURPOSE of God. Even traditional Christianity does not really understand. The astonishing truth about God is found in the Bible, as this lesson reveals!

WHEN Editor-in-Chief Herbert W. Armstrong was in India years ago, he noticed cows and oxen wandering through the streets. Mr. Armstrong asked his driver, “Don't these cattle stray quite a distance from home?”

“Oh, yes,” was the answer.

“But,” Mr. Armstrong asked, “when they wander all over the streets so far away, how do their owners know where to find them, to drive them back home for the night?”

The driver smiled. “The owners don't. The cattle and the oxen know their owners and where they live. They find their own way home in the evening.”

God Not Known Today

The preceding incident illustrates the scripture found in Isaiah 1:2-4: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.”

These words were directed to ancient Israel, a nation to which God had revealed Himself by many infallible proofs and miracles. But the Israelites rebelled against Him and forgot who and what He is. How much less do the nations today know about who and what God is!

Today, modern science does not know whether God even exists – much less who and what He is. Neither does higher education know or teach the amazing truth about God's identity. Rather, modern education has universally accepted the fable of evolution. Evolution is the atheist's attempt to explain the existence of a creation without the preexistence of a Creator. It totally excludes God from the picture.

A World in Religious Confusion!

It seems utterly unbelievable, but the religions of this world do not know who or what God is! Yet, religion is the worship of God. But how can one worship what is unknown?

You live in a world of religious confusion! Among the largest of the world's religions are Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The Christian religion, with its hundreds of denominations and sects, is the largest in number of adherents. Yet not even traditional Christianity really knows who and what God is!

One billion people – nearly a fourth of the world's population – live in China. In ancient times the religion in China was ancestor worship. Then came Confucianism, Taoism, and later, Buddhism. Today, communism prevails and therefore the nation is atheistic.

In India, the second largest nation in population, Hinduism is the chief religion. Do the multiple millions of Hindus know who and what the true God is? The answer is an astounding no!

Russian Orthodox Christianity was once the predominant religion of Russia, the third most populous nation. But now it, like China, is atheistic.

In ancient Egypt, the people worshipped Isis and Osiris – Egyptian gods corresponding to Nimrod and his mother-wife, Semiramis. The ancient Greeks and Romans had mythological gods such as Jupiter, Hermes, Dionysus, Zeus, Apollo, Diana and many others. But they did not know who and what God is, and neither do their modern-day descendants!

There is only one church on earth today that knows WHO and WHAT God is! That one true Church was founded in A.D. 31 by Jesus Christ, and that “little flock” is still in existence today!

The “Unknown God” Revealed

In Acts 17:15-34, we are told of the Apostle Paul's stay in the Greek city of Athens, where he preached God's truth. In the first century world, the Athenians were considered to be the intellectuals. One day, some of the Epicurian and Stoic philosophers encountered the Apostle Paul.

“What will this babbler say?” queried some in ridicule (Acts 17:18). Others said sarcastically, “He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods.”

These intellectuals then brought Paul to Areopagus, the supreme educational and religious court of Athens, located on Mars' hill.

“May we know," they asked, “what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears” (verses 19-20).

Here were the world's most scholarly men. And Paul began preaching the truth of God to them.

“Ye men of Athens,” said the apostle forthrightly and boldly, "I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your [idolatrous] devotions. I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (verses 22-26).

WHO is God? He is the Creator, the One who “made the world and all things therein.” Creation is the basic proof of God's existence. These Athenian Epicureans and Stoics, like the adherents of many religions today, did not even know that.

But what is the real NATURE of the Creator God? Just WHO and WHAT is God? We need a more concrete understanding than to merely say: “the Being who created everything.” Certainly that is the starting point, but there is much more.

Before beginning your study of this all-important subject, be sure to get your Bible so you can look up every verse given in answer to the questions asked in this lesson. This procedure is absolutely essential in your study of the Bible with this course. “Study,” said the Apostle Paul, “to shew thyself approved unto God” (II Tim. 2:15). Be sure to “prove all things,” as Paul exhorted the Thessalonians (I Thess. 5:21).

Now let's begin this fascinating and revealing study of God's Word.