Friday, July 17, 2015

TRUE vs. TRUTH About God

Romans 11:33-36 (ESV)
33  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34  “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
35  “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
36  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Take a good look at the above image. It shows one object illuminated with light from two different directions. In the blue light, the image casts a shadow that appears as a square. In the yellow light, the image casts a shadow in the shape of a circle. I recently saw this image with some graphics added for emphasis. I couldn’t find the image I saw, but recreated it below.

It is TRUE that the blue shadow is a square. It is TRUE that the image created by the yellow light is a circle. However, neither shadow properly describes the original image – TRUTH!

I heard an explanation of the scene in heaven described in Revelation 4:1-11.

Revelation 4:1-11 (ESV)
1  After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
2  At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
3  And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
4  Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
5  From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,
6  and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
7  the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.
8  And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
9  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10  the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

The minister described this scene and then asked, “How could they do this 24/7 for eternity?” He went on to give his thoughts on the scene. Each time the creatures looked at God they saw something in Him they had never seen before. The only response to the majesty and glory of God is to bow down and cry, “Holy!”

When I considered this scene I imagined God being like a diamond. Even though a diamond is finite in the physical size, shape, and number of sides, as you turn the diamond it presents its various facets that give a different picture of the inner beauty contained in the stone. When light hits a diamond from various directions different colors appear due to the prism effect of the diamond. Using this simple illustration it is not difficult to imagine the variety of “facets” you might see in our God. Each time we see Him there is more to behold, more to worship.

I’m convinced the phenomenon that causes so much division in the Body of Christ is the view we have of God. Someone encounters God and sees a “circle”; another, a “square.” Both are TRUE. Neither is TRUTH. Convinced beyond a doubt, they commit their life to sharing their “experience”, totally unaware that they have only seen one glimpse of whom God really is.

This is the reason that I consider the Bible a more reliable source of TRUTH regarding God, and lean much less on my experience. In our finite, 3 dimensional world, objects of greater magnitude, or dimensions, like our God cannot be fully comprehended with just one glimpse. We can spend a lifetime exploring the vastness of God, plumbing the depths, climbing the summit of every peak, and still come way short of truly understanding Him fully. I believe this is where Paul was when he penned the words found in Romans 11 quoted above.

The primary reason I’m pursuing the study of the Names of God found in scripture is to try to put in some ascertainable format a description of God. I hope you will continue on this journey with me. I welcome your thoughts. I would love to hear your favorite perception of God, or the most recent “revelation” you have of Him.