Is it really immaterial to know who the true God is as long as one renders service and worship to a god? What does the Bible say about man’s duty as God’s creation?
TO SERVE AND honor God is man’s inherent duty. This is the purpose of his creation. However, before man could render valid service or worship, he should first be certain that it is the true God whom he really serves or worships. He should be more certain that he is not serving a different god. There are people who think that discussions on who the true God is are trivial and useless. What matters to them is that man recognizes and worships a god regardless of who he may be. Is it really immaterial to know who the true God is as long as one renders service and worship to a god? What does the Bible say about man’s duty as God’s creation? In Psalms 100:2-3, this is written:
“Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Revised Standard Version)
Those who render worship should know first that the Lord they are serving is God, the one true God who made or created man. Why is it important to have knowledge of the true God? The Book of Psalms gives us this answer:
“Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.” (Ps. 36:10 New King James Version)
Those who have come to the knowledge of the true God will continue to receive His lovingkindness. Surely, this is no small matter for this assures man His blessings.
The Father alone is the true God
Many professing Christians believe that God is a Trinity. They tenaciously cling to the concept that God consists of three persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that each person is God, yet all in all, there is only one God. Is this doctrine in consonance with the teaching of the Bible? Christ’s words recorded in John 17:1-3 enlighten us, thus:
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent’.” (NKJV)
The only true God introduced by Christ is the Father. He never introduced a Trinitarian god. Neither did He introduce Himself as the true God nor teach that He is one of the persons in the so-called Trinity. And when He introduced the true God, never did He mention that the Holy Spirit is also God.
Learning from Christ, the apostles also taught the same thing about the true God:
“Yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live.” (I Cor. 8:6 Good News Bible)
For the true Christians, the Father alone, and no other else, is the true God. The apostles never taught of a triune God. They never taught the Son and the Holy Spirit as other gods or persons of the so-called Trinity.
Not a new doctrine
That the Father alone is the true God is not a new teaching. This dates back to the early people of God. Moses said to the people of Israel:
“For I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Ascribe greatness to our God! … Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?” (Deut. 32:3, 6 RSV)
The God of the Israelites is the Father whom they also recognized as the Creator. This belief has been held by them since ancient times (Isa. 64:4, 8 New International Version; Mal. 2:10 RSV).
The true God Himself recognizes no other God besides Him. And neither does He recognize any equal. He said: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isa. 46:9 NIV). Who are we to insist then that aside from Him, there are still other gods who are like Him?
The Trinity is unscriptural
Although countless people in Christendom embrace the doctrine of the Trinity, those in the know readily admit that this is not found in the Bible. Joseph Pohle, a Catholic author in his book entitled, The Divine Trinity: A Dogmatic Treatise, wrote that, “It cannot therefore be seriously maintained that the mystery of the Divine Trinity was early revealed in the Old Testament” (p. 20). And neither can this doctrine be read in the New Testament as testified to by a catechetical book, The Teaching of Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults (p. 177). The writers of this book categorically state that, “The word ‘Trinity’ does not appear in the New Testament …”
The above testimonies are concurred to by Augustus Hopkins Strong, Doctor of Divinity, who says in his book, Systematic Theology, “the term ‘Trinity’ is not found in Scripture.” Strong also informs us that, “The invention of the term is ascribed to Tertullian.” (p. 69)
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the doctrine of the Trinity is not found in any part of the Bible. Believers of the Trinity, themselves, candidly admit that the doctrine is nowhere written in the Old and New Testaments. Such Trinitarian concept of God was only invented by Tertullian who lived sometime in the late second and early third century. Christ then had long ascended into heaven and His apostles had long been dead. Hence, they did not have anything to do with the evolution of such doctrine about God.
The evil of not knowing the true God
Those who belittle the importance of knowing who the true God is are committing a grave error. The absence of the true knowledge about God has been the cause of man’s present sorry state of life in this world:
“Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit, and malice. They gossip and speak evil of one another; they are hateful to God, insolent, proud, and boastful; they think of more ways to do evil; they disobey their parents; they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others.” (Rom. 1:28-31 GNB)
All the wickedness and iniquities present in the world today are the consequence of man’s refusal to keep the true knowledge about God. The world has been cursed because of such people and God has given them over to corrupted minds and left them to do evil deeds. What misfortune awaits those who have not known God and have worshiped a god other than the true one? What will God do to them?
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (II Thess. 1:8-9 NKJV)
God will exact vengeance on those who have not known and recognized Him. He will punish them with everlasting destruction on the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such eternal punishment will be in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).
The fortune of those who know God
Whereas those who have not known God will receive His vengeance and punishment, on the other hand, those who have known and recognized the Father as the only true God will receive His love. Christ said so Himself:
“Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.” (John 17:25-26 GNB)
Christ’s earnest desire in making known that the Father alone is the true God is for us to receive His love. God’s love and that of His Son will abide in those who have received and believed in such knowledge. Above all, they shall receive the blessing of eternal life (John 17:1, 3).
Indeed, knowing and believing that the Father is the only true God is of paramount importance. This has something to do with the attainment of God’s love and the promised life everlasting. The Church Of Christ upholds and teaches this doctrine. Thus, its members have received God’s love and, certainly, eternal life awaits them.
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, May – June 1993 issue.