God. Allah. Buddha. Baal. Ashtoreth. Diana. Ra. Gaia. Whoever he or she is, your god defines who you are. Your god typifies everything that you aspire to be in life, and possesses all of the attributes which you desire to make your own. You might say that as your god is, so you are – only not quite as good.
But what is a god anyway? Is it something you can go shopping for like lemons or shoes? Can you log into Ebay and type in “god who allows me to do _insert sin here_” and then select a promising candidate and click “buy it now”? Well… it’s a little bit more complicated than that, but… not as much as you might think. In fact, you’ve already done it. You do it every time you make a decision about God that is based on what you “think” is right. Allow me to explain.
You see, six thousand years ago God created man in his own image. And ever since then man has been recreating God in HIS image. Because our God defines who we are. Our God tells us what standards we ought to demand from ourselves. And so if we really don’t like our God, we will find a way to change him. Man has been doing this ever since God said “Don’t touch that tree…” and Eve said “well… maybe God didn’t mean THAT tree… I think that this is what He really wants me to do…” and suddenly Eve was following a new god. A God that was very similar to the real one – but subtly different.
Not too long afterwards, Cain (knowing that God wanted a lamb for a sacrifice) brought God a big armload of carrots instead. But… God didn’t WANT carrots. He wanted what He SAID He wanted. But Cain decided that this was good enough for God and “after all,” he thought to himself, “my heart is in the right place, so how DARE God not accept me!”
And so now the world had a yet another new God. We already had Eve’s god (the one who didn’t care if she ate the forbidden [or only semi-forbidden?] fruit), and Adam’s god (the one who wouldn’t want him to disobey his wife), and Cain’s god who liked vegetables. Of course, Abel had a God too – and his God seems like the right one, but he died soon after this (Cain’s god said it was OK to kill him) and so the world was back to just the other gods – let’s call them “false gods” shall we?
And this process didn’t stop here – on the contrary, God was changed more and more, but He wasn’t merely changed, he was divided and then subdivided each time a man had a sin to justify that he didn’t want to get rid of, and so God’s character was molded and morphed to allow a given man to do whatever it was that he wanted to do, and still not alienate his beloved god.
How was this accomplished? Well, when your god, for one reason or another, disagrees with you, you have a problem. Clearly, a person who is acting contrary to his god’s wishes is headed for trouble – be it plagues, poverty or famine, it definitely means that divine retribution will soon be visiting your hut. And so you are left with only the following and very limited options:
- Change yourself
- Find a god you like better
- Change your god.
To illustrate how this process works, let’s take a practical example; you were raised a good methodist. And every week without fail you went to church on Sunday. That’s when your god (the Methodist god) went to church, you were told. And you weren’t like some people, who only came once or twice a month – you were better than them. (What you didn’t realize is that their god only required them to come to church a few dozen times a year to make him happy. Notice how their god is different than your god was).
Anyway, in due process of time you learned in the Bible that God ACTUALLY went to church on Saturday! And you were shocked to find out that you’d been going to church for YEARS – FAITHFULLY – on the wrong day, a day when God was out working!
And so now you have to make a choice. Do you change yourself, and stop working on Saturday and go to church then? Do you reject this new God and go find a different one? Or do you accept Him – but tweak Him a bit? By tweaking I mean accepting that God goes to church on Saturday, and believing that it’s the right thing to do, but then deciding that “God wouldn’t want me to lose my job!”, or that “I have to have someplace to fellowship, so I’ll keep going to the Methodist Church – God understands!”
See this isn’t what the original God said – this is what your new, improved god (the one you tweaked) thinks though. And so now, instead of the REAL God, you have a better god – a more understanding God. By this reasoning process, God (the one, true God) was molded into a nicer, kindler, gentler god – one that you are more comfortable being around. God, 2.0.
Jeremiah 2:5, 8-11 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? …The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
The last verse is rendered more accurately in the Rotherham Translation:
Jeremiah 2:11 Hath a nation, changed gods, although they were No-gods? Yet my people have changed MY glory for that which could not profit!
God demanded of Israel what sin He had done to them, and told them to go look at the gods of the nations round about and see if they had switched gods and changed them into something else – and they weren’t even gods! But EVERY TIME GOD TURNED AROUND HIS PEOPLE HAD CHANGED HIS GLORY FOR SOMETHING WORTHLESS!
Israel DIDN’T like God’s silly rules and so as soon as they could find a way to do so, they CHANGED HIM into someone nicer. Of course, Israel isn’t alone – every Church Era has done it as well. In fact, every single human since the dawn of time has done this – created a new god in his own image. Of course, since each man’s desires are subtly different, each man’s god is subtly different to match. And so, after nearly six thousand years of this process, we have literally billions of gods in the world. In fact, every person on Earth – as well as all of those who have died – have had a different god. Now some of those are gods were pretty similar – billions of them were named “Jesus”, and billions more were named “Shiva”.
But each Shiva was a little different. Some pictured a Shiva who allowed a given act, whereas the Shiva of the people who lived next door HATED that act! Likewise, one Jesus might require no more of a new convert than to say “I give you my heart, I LOVE YOU Jesus!” in order to embrace him and give him eternal life, while another Jesus (mine, by the way) requires this new convert to actually STOP sinning before He embraces him into His family.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive ANOTHER spirit, which ye have not received, or ANOTHER gospel, which ye have not accepted…
And so, since this Jesus is the god you probably call your own, let’s focus on Him. You and I each have a different Jesus. He has the same name, grew up in the same place and each Jesus died for His follower’s sins. But each is subtly different.
To illustrate what I mean, your Jesus probably thinks that judging a sinner is wrong. He would never condemn anyone who was doing something wrong, and butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Mine on the other hand, both judges sinners and commands us to do the same (see my article “How DARE You Judge Me??”). But the point is that this is a HUGE difference in the fundamental nature of the being we call our savior. A difference that will ripple out and affect huge portions of our understanding, and will require different interpretations of major sections of scripture which deal with judging and condemning sin.
And considering that there are literally thousands of different points such as judging that it is possible to disagree on, our gods are probably very different. Furthermore, statistically, my God probably hates your god. So if you bring your god around me, I’m probably going to try to kill him. (It’s only fair to warn you)
But throughout the thousands of years of God being remade in the image of each generation of man, the REAL God, and the one TRUE Jesus, haven’t changed. After all, they’re the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). But how can we find them? How, out of the tens of billions of gods in existence in the minds of men can we select the ONE TRUE GOD – and how can we KNOW that we are right? Should we just yell out “will the one true God please stand up”?
Well, much like creating a new false god based on our own imaginations of what God would do if He were like me, killing our false God is a fairly simple, if at times agonizing process. Eve created a new god by disobeying the real one, as did Cain, Adam, and you and I. Logically then, we can kill our false god and find the one true God by obeying him. But how can we do that? How can we find the right Jesus, the right Gospel, and how can we find the ONE TRUE GOD?
Why not just ask Him what He is like? He should know, shouldn’t He? But since He doesn’t live in a place that is practical to visit, we are stuck with reading things He wrote about Himself. Oh, yes, I know, this is an anticlimax, but what do you expect me to say? It may seem obvious, but IF YOU HAD DONE THIS, you wouldn’t HAVE A FALSE IDEA OF WHO GOD IS TODAY!
I’m reminded of the story of Naaman the Syrian leper who came to Elisha to be healed, who told him to wash seven times in Jordan, and was infuriated and refused to do it. He said the rivers in Damascus were just as good as Jordan.
2 Kings 5:13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
So now let’s talk about killing your god. How can you kill him and find the REAL one? Remember where Eve’s god came from – she knew the commandment of God, but reasoned her way around it. Therefore to kill Eve’s god (had she wanted to) she would have had to go BACK to the source of the commandment and start over from the ground up with a SOLID foundation.
Similarly, if I were to guess, your god probably believes that getting a copy of a copyrighted program from a friend is perfectly righteous. And he has given you plenty of justifications – the companies overcharge, they’re evil, they’re corrupt and use the money I give them for evil (yes, even Microsoft), and so I’m perfectly justified in stealing from them.
Now that god is a false god. He’s not the real God because what he says is wrong. You can prove this for yourself by going back to your Bible, to what the REAL God said, and reading scriptures like “overcome evil with good”, “avenge not yourselves”, “give place to wrath”, “vengeance belongs to ME saith the Lord”, “turn the other cheek”, “if a man will sue you for your cloak, give him your coat as well”, and about 20 other scriptures that come to mind.
So once you find out about this new God (the one, TRUE God), you have the aforementioned choices -You can reject him altogether and find a better god. Decide that this proof doesn’t matter, God couldn’t possibly mean that, and change your God YET AGAIN to fit your own idea of righteousness, OR you could repent and stop doing it.
By doing this you acknowledge that what you read in the Bible is right and that your God (who just recently allowed you to steal from Microsoft) actually demands that you leave vengeance to him and actually believes that stealing from a thief is wrong. Your idea of who God is has CHANGED – and not a little – back towards the ONE TRUE GOD!
And if Eve had done this right away, Eve would have been worshiping Him. However, I’m sorry to say that your false god is a bit more complex than Eve’s. You’ve probably inherited yours from your parents and grandparents, each of whom had for years been busily working to change God into a nicer god for you, long before you came along. So you are not following a god with only ONE false attribute – that would be too easy – instead, your god’s character is probably different on hundreds of points from the real one. So to get back to the real one, you have to keep slugging away at the deception, shooting it with the bullets of clear scripture, and rejecting the religious dogma of generations of deceived Christians whose primary aim has been to protect their false Jesus from the attacks of the Bible written by the REAL Jesus!
So as I said, this process will probably be agonizing – but no more so than finding in the resurrection day, when you go talk to Jesus (yes, the real one), that He says “I never knew you…”… you of course stammer “B-but that can’t be! I prayed to you EVERY DAY, I went to church SUNDAY AFTER SUNDAY for you!”, and then He says “OH! You must have been worshiping some OTHER Jesus…” (Matthew 7:22-23)
And this process doesn’t require you know EVERYTHING about Jesus – and have EVERYING letter-perfect. That is, of course, the goal – but it IS important that everything you THINK YOU KNOW about Him IS RIGHT!
Imagine if your idea of Jesus, the god you serve hates judging sinners. When the real Christ comes back, and wants you to judge people, you won’t recognize Him, because that’s not what you knew about him, so you’ll be no use to him! If your Jesus wouldn’t call someone a fool (if the situation called for it), then when the REAL Jesus wants you to call someone a FOOL (see Matthew 23:17,19 and Luke 11:40, etc) you wouldn’t do it, and so again, God can’t use you! And if you are wrong about literally hundreds of points like this, can you POSSIBLY hold any value to God as a king and a priest in the first resurrection?? Of course not! If you have been the servant of another Gospel, a Gospel which Christ DID NOT BRING, and which the APOSTLES DID NOT PREACH, YOU ARE DECEIVED AND ARE FAILING THE TEST THAT THIS LIFE IS!
Galatians 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon REMOVED from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL: Which is not another [that is, it is not a true gospel]; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert [CHANGE] the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
This life is about the profound purpose of finding that ONE TRUE JESUS, and worshiping the ONE TRUE GOD, and believing the ONE TRUE GOSPEL and having the ONE TRUE SPIRIT OF GOD LIVING IN YOU! And if you FAIL TO FIND HIM, you will FAIL TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
That process will take TIME, and EFFORT! IT will take reading your Bible – from cover to cover – not merely once, which most church people haven’t even done, but AGAIN AND AGAIN – perhaps DOZENS of times in a lifetime! Only by studying the ONE TRUE JESUS CAN YOU FIND HIM! How much more self-evident can you get??
Only by READING your Bible and humbling yourself before the PLAIN, UNINTERPRETED WORDS OF GOD, untarnished by the words of minister or priest, prophet or well-intentioned friend, (and yes, this includes myself) only by reading it BY YOURSELF and FOR YOURSELF can you finally SLAY THE FALSE GODS OF SUPERSTITION AND TRADITION IN WHICH YOU NOW BELIEVE AND HOPE!
And though we begin our lives lost in a web of deception, OUR LIVES SHOULD NOT END BEFORE WE FREE OURSELVES FROM THE CLUTCHES OF OUR FALSE GODS! For there WILL come a day when those who do FIND and WORSHIP the ONE TRUE GOD in this life will “be like him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). On that day we will at last dwell WITH the ONE TRUE GOD!
Ephesians 4:13-15 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
But for now we speak the TRUTH, and examine each of the doctrines which we hold dear from Christmas to the “third resurrection”, to the meaning of Atonement, and demand proof from the Bible and the Bible alone that this is the ONLY logical explanation, so that we will not be carried away by these other doctrines bandied about and perpetuated by a world full of false gods born in the minds of men carried away by their lusts to sin!
And we will do this until we have GROWN UP and have ourselves come into the unity of the faith, have slain the false gods of our ancestors, and have all AT LAST SUCCEEDED IN FINDING THE ONE TRUE GOD!