|The mystery of God - In the Beginning|
In 1980, more than 30 years ago, a relative took me to the True Jesus Church in Pudu, Malaysia. I came out of the service, affixed with the question - Who is God? Is Jesus real? and what does He wants from me. As a kid less than 10 years of age, I was asking questions of eternity. God has been talking to me since that day, no longer a mystery but a friend. Later, I had no major issue understanding that homosexuality was not a sin, because I knew the God of the bible, and not only the bible alone. I need not abandon the bible or stripped it apart, for it was Holy Spirit who explained to me the context as I dwelt in the presence of God.
We often proclaim that God is a mystery, and that no one has seen God and come back from dead to give a detailed debriefing. The gods of this world have indeed been a mystery, the various deities that mankind have worshipped throughout history. The gods are quite far away from the people in terms of relationships, and are negatively inclined demanding that we offer certain sacrifices before they act on our behalf, or require appeasement of some sort. There was no particular relationship/communion or closeness with the deities. That makes the God of the bible so unique, and Israel a show room for God, and the bible united by a tread of a story of redemption of God coming out of the closet to show Himself in Christ Jesus, his character and to establish a relationship with us.
God and Creation
(Psa 19:1 NASB) (For the choir director. A Psalm of David.) The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
(Psa 19:2 NASB) Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
(Psa 19:3 NASB) There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.
The writers of the book of Genesis, did not question the existence of God. For them, the existence of God is self evident ie “God exist”. Is this God a mystery? Is the nature and attributes of God knowable and if so what does God wants?
God is not so much a mystery because God chose to make Himself known in creation in Psa 19. In Rom 1:19,20, God wants to be known and has qualities of eternal power. God was in action, His power can be clearly seen. God’s divine nature, everything in creation is a “sermon” declaring who God is.
The context of Romans 1:19,20 was a reference to Israel’s tendency even under the Law to worship other gods, many whom are represented by idols. Whilst the idols are created by our own hands and became dwellings for demonic beings to take the honor of our worship, the God of creation is the “creator” and we are the “created”. Paul was asserting that Christ was the fulfillment of God’s revelation to mankind starting from the beginning of time in nature. God is the creator, and we and the idols and deities we worship are the created.
God and Humanity
(Gen 1:1 NASB) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The first act of God in Genesis was to “create”. The word here is “bara”, creating something out of nothing. This one focused ignition was scientifically unexplainable. The word “bara” was used in another 3 occasions, the creation of creatures from the inanimate to the living, and finally, the creation of humanity taking it to the highest level.
We are created beings made in God’s image – having our identity in God, We are a representation and a reflection of God in the sense of having a creative capacity, and have a spirit within us. We are spiritual beings with a self awareness – able to care for others, to love, to organize, plan for a future, imagine a destiny, experience presence of God, and have a moral conscience. We have the freedom to choose – either for good or for harm.
We do not just “exists” but we “live”. There was a connection of the Spirit of God to our Spirit, which links us to God, and where His power flows through us. when we walk by the Spirit of God.
Satan and Sin
(Isa 14:12 NIV) How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
(Isa 14:13 NIV) You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
(Isa 14:14 NIV) I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
God was no mystery. He chose to be in relationship and intimacy with humanity at the Garden of Eden. However, Satan, a created being, who was a fallen angel who chose to rebel against God, planned to stand in the way and to take the worship for himself. In Isa 14:12-14, Satan was described as a created being who wanted to be God Himself. Satan’s agenda was to make us switch allegiance. He put doubt about God’s word, contradict and add to the Word of God, and tempts humanity with the notion that they can become gods and that somehow God was in the way. When humanity put faith in Satan by the act of eating the apple, in an instance of time, we came under his domain and bore the fruits of sin.
In a general sense, Sin means getting “off course”. God has a direction and purpose for all of us. We have deviated off course and gone into that course that Satan had planned. Whilst we remain on this road to perdition, the fruit of sin continues to come out in our lives and in our choices. Throughout the rest of the bible, we see sin escalating and continued to take humanity off course.
(Gen 6:3 NKJV) And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
In Gen 6:3, the Spirit of God was taken out from humankind, the umbilical cord with the Spirit of man, was disconnected. There after the Spirit of God acts on humanity and not in Humanity. The Holy Spirit comes upon humanity, leaves them. God still saves humanity from the flood but no longer the Spirit of God was in them.
The people missed the Spirit of God, and worshipped other gods and even man made gods. God became a mystery. In Gen 11, they built the tower of Babel because they missed the connection to the spiritual world. At the top of tower, it was said that there were beds where the angels could come down and have sex with the gods! It was not about relationship with God, but they wanted the power and be like gods. Perhaps there was a gateway to the heavens just like the angels guarded the entrance to Eden.
Christ the Salvation
(John 1:1 NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:2 NKJV) He was in the beginning with God.
(John 1:3 NKJV) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
(John 1:14 NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
God didn’t give up on us, His mercy and grace was everlasting, pleading with humanity to come back. The mystery no longer became a mystery, with God revealed in the incarnation of Jesus Christ where God Himself steps down into human history and time.
When John declared in John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word ….”, he was associating Jesus Christ with the God of Genesis. God uses the spoken Word to bring about creation. The creative power in the Word of God becomes the representation of God. Likewise, in Jesus Christ, the Word of God has spoken, the voice of God heard, and God was represented fully in Jesus Christ with the Word made flesh in John 1:14.
(John 20:22 NKJV) And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
Thus the cycle of creation of mankind in Gen 1 through the Word of God, becomes repeated in the “new creation” of mankind through the resurrected Word of God through God’s plan of redemption to bring humanity back to Himself. God sacrificed Himself to bring back humanity into right relationship with Himself.In John 20:22 when Jesus said to the disciples "breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit", we are reminded of creation when the Spirit of God was breathed into humanity.
Knowing God, knowing self
It was in my journey with the Holy Spirit that one day He lovingly reminded me that I was Gay and God knows that deep inside my heart I knew it thus. For first two decades of my Christian walk, it was about knowing and loving God whole heartedly. For the next decade, it was about knowing myself and how God created me wonderfully and beautifully as a gay person. I couldn't really knew the depths of God's heart - His love, mercy and Grace, until I could love and accept myself.
I am not rich, have not much pocessions. Yet, what I have is the Spiritiual blessings, knowledge, understanding of God's Word and communion with the Holy Spirit of God that few can take away. I have nothing much in this life, yet in my nothingness, have the Spirit of God indwelling within.