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Chapter 3

JW.ORG

Who Is the True God?

Try to answer in your own words before going to the Answers!

WHEN you look at the sky on a clear night, are you not amazed to see so many stars? How do you account for their existence? And what about the living things on earth—colorful flowers, birds with their delightful songs, powerful whales that leap in the ocean? The list goes on and on. All of this could not have come about by chance. No wonder many agree with the Bible’s opening words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"!—Genesis 1:1.

1. Why do many agree with the Bible’s opening words?

 Mankind is greatly divided on the question of God. Some think that God is an impersonal force. Millions worship dead ancestors, believing that God is too remote to be approached. But the Bible reveals that the true God is a real person who shows warm interest in us as individuals. That is why it encourages us to "seek God," saying: "He is not far off from each one of us."—Acts 17:27.

2. What does the Bible say about God, and what does it encourage us to do?

 What does God look like? A few of his servants have seen visions of his glorious presence. In these he has symbolized himself as seated on a throne, awesome brightness extending from him. However, those who beheld such visions never described a distinct face. (Daniel 7:9, 10; Revelation 4:2, 3) That is because "God is a Spirit"; he does not have a physical body. (John 4:24) In fact, it is impossible to make an accurate physical image of our Creator, for "no man has seen God at any time." (John 1:18; Exodus 33:20) Yet, the Bible teaches us much about God.

3. Why is it impossible to make an image of God?

 

 THE TRUE GOD HAS A NAME

 In the Bible, the true God is identified by such expressions as "God Almighty," "the Most High," "Grand Creator," "Grand Instructor," "Sovereign Lord," and "King of eternity." (Genesis 17:1; Psalm 50:14; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Isaiah 30:20; Acts 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17) Meditating upon such titles can help us grow in the knowledge of God.

4. What are some meaningful titles applied to God in the Bible?

However, God has a unique name that appears almost 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures alone—more often than any of his titles. Some 1,900 years ago, the Jews superstitiously ceased to pronounce the divine name. Biblical Hebrew was written without vowels. Hence, there is no way to be precise about how Moses, David, or others of ancient times pronounced the four consonants (יהוה) that make up the divine name. Some scholars suggest that God’s name may have been pronounced "Yahweh," but they cannot be sure. The English pronunciation "Jehovah" has been in use for centuries, and its equivalent in many languages is widely accepted today.—See Exodus 6:3 and Isaiah 26:4 in the King James Version.

5. What is God’s name, and how often does it appear in the Hebrew Scriptures?

WHY YOU SHOULD USE GOD’S NAME

 God’s unique name, Jehovah, serves to differentiate him from all other gods. That is why that name appears so often in the Bible, especially in its Hebrew text. Many translators fail to use the divine name, but Psalm 83:18 clearly says: "You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." So it is appropriate for us to use God’s personal name when we speak of him.

6. Psalm 83:18 says what about Jehovah, and why should we use his name?

 The name Jehovah is a form of a Hebrew verb meaning "to become." Thus, God’s name means "He Causes to Become." Jehovah God thereby identifies himself as the Great Purposer. He always causes his purposes to become reality. Only the true God can rightly bear this name, for humans can never be sure that their plans will succeed. (James 4:13, 14) Jehovah alone can say: "So my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. . . . It will have certain success in that for which I have sent it."—Isaiah 55:11.

7. What does the meaning of the name Jehovah teach us about God?

 The Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob each "called on the name of Jehovah," but they did not know the full significance of the divine name. (Genesis 21:33; 26:25; 32:9; Exodus 6:3) When Jehovah later revealed his purpose to deliver their descendants, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt and give them "a land flowing with milk and honey," this may have seemed impossible. (Exodus 3:17) Nevertheless, God emphasized the everlasting significance of his name by telling his prophet Moses: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation."—Exodus 3:15.

8. What purpose did Jehovah announce through Moses?

 Moses asked Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to let the Israelites go to worship Jehovah in the wilderness. But Pharaoh, who himself was viewed as a god and who worshiped other Egyptian gods, replied: "Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah at all and, what is more, I am not going to send Israel away."—Exodus 5:1, 2.

9. How did Pharaoh view Jehovah?

 Jehovah then took progressive action to fulfill his purpose, acting in harmony with the meaning of his name. He brought ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians. The last plague killed all of Egypt’s firstborn, including proud Pharaoh’s son. Then the Egyptians were eager for Israel to go. However, some Egyptians were so impressed by Jehovah’s power that they joined the Israelites in leaving Egypt.—Exodus 12:35-38.

10. In ancient Egypt, what action did Jehovah take to fulfill his purpose involving the Israelites?

 Stubborn Pharaoh and his army, with hundreds of war chariots, set out to recapture his slaves. As the Egyptians drew near, God miraculously divided the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross on dry land. When the pursuers entered the seabed, Jehovah "kept taking wheels off their chariots so that they were driving them with difficulty." The Egyptian warriors cried: "Let us flee from any contact with Israel, because Jehovah certainly fights for them against the Egyptians." But it was too late. The vast walls of water crashed down and "covered the war chariots and the cavalrymen belonging to all of Pharaoh’s military forces." (Exodus 14:22-2528) Jehovah thus made a great name for himself, and that event has not been forgotten to this day.—Joshua 2:9-11.

11. What miracle did Jehovah perform at the Red Sea, and what were his enemies forced to acknowledge?

 The name that God has made for himself has great meaning for us today. His name, Jehovah, stands as a guarantee that all he has purposed he will cause to come true. That includes accomplishing his original purpose that our earth become a paradise. (Genesis 1:28; 2:8) To that end, God will eliminate all opposers of his sovereignty today, for he has stated: "They will have to know that I am Jehovah." (Ezekiel 38:23) Then God will fulfill his promise to deliver his worshipers into a new world of righteousness.—2 Peter 3:13.

 All who want God’s favor must learn to call upon his name in faith. The Bible promises: "Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved." (Romans 10:13) Yes, the name Jehovah has rich meaning. Calling upon Jehovah as your God and Deliverer can lead you to endless happiness.

12, 13. (a) God’s name has what meaning for us today? (b) What do people urgently need to learn, and why?

A study of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt highlights four basic qualities that God possesses in perfect balance. His dealings with Pharaoh revealed his awesome power. (Exodus 9:16) The masterful way God handled that complex situation showed his matchless wisdom. (Romans 11:33) He revealed his justice in meting out punishment to stubborn opposers and oppressors of his people. (Deuteronomy 32:4) A preeminent quality of God is love. Jehovah showed outstanding love by fulfilling his promise respecting Abraham’s descendants. (Deuteronomy 7:8) He also showed love by allowing some Egyptians to forsake false gods and benefit greatly by taking their stand for the only true God.

14. What basic qualities of God does the Bible highlight?

 As you read the Bible, you will notice that love is God’s principal attribute, and he demonstrates it in many ways. For instance, it was out of love that he became a Creator and first shared the joy of life with spirit creatures. Those hundreds of millions of angels love God and praise him. (Job 38:47; Daniel 7:10) God also showed love in creating the earth and preparing it for happy human existence.—Genesis 1:1, 26-28; Psalm 115:16.

 We benefit from God’s love in ways too numerous to mention. For one thing, God has lovingly made our bodies in such a marvelous way that we can enjoy life. (Psalm 139:14) His love is shown in that he provides "rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling [our] hearts to the full with food and good cheer." (Acts 14:17) God even "makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45) Love also moves our Creator to help us gain the knowledge of God and serve him happily as his worshipers. Indeed, "God is love." (1 John 4:8) But there is much more to his personality.

15, 16. In what ways has God shown love?

After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they still needed to know God better. Moses felt this need and prayed: "If, please, I have found favor in your eyes, make me know, please, your ways, that I may know you, in order that I may find favor in your eyes." (Exodus 33:13) Moses got to know God better upon hearing God’s own declaration: "Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment." (Exodus 34:6, 7) God balances his love with justice, not shielding willful sinners from the consequences of their wrongdoing.

17. What do we learn about God at Exodus 34:6, 7?

 As Moses learned, Jehovah shows mercy. A merciful person has pity on those who suffer and tries to bring them relief. Thus God has shown compassion for mankind by making provision for permanent relief from suffering, sickness, and death. (Revelation 21:3-5) Worshipers of God may experience calamities because of conditions in this wicked world, or they may act unwisely and meet up with trouble. But if they humbly turn to Jehovah for assistance, he will comfort and help them. Why? Because he mercifully shows tender regard for his worshipers.—Psalm 86:15; 1 Peter 5:6, 7.

18. How has Jehovah proved to be merciful?

 Many people in authority treat others harshly. In contrast, how gracious Jehovah is toward his humble servants! Though he is the highest authority in the universe, he shows outstanding kindness in a general way to all mankind. (Psalm 8:3, 4; Luke 6:35) Jehovah is also gracious to individuals, answering their specific pleas for favor. (Exodus 22:26, 27; Luke 18:13, 14) Of course, God is not obligated to show favor or mercy to anyone. (Exodus 33:19) Therefore, we need to manifest deep appreciation for God’s mercy and graciousness.—Psalm 145:18.

19. Why can we say that God is gracious?

SLOW TO ANGER, IMPARTIAL, AND RIGHTEOUS

Jehovah is slow to anger. Yet, this does not mean that he does not take action, for he did so in destroying stubborn Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Jehovah is also impartial. Hence, his favored people, the Israelites, eventually lost his favor because of their persistent wrongdoing. God accepts as his worshipers people from all nations, but only those who conform to his righteous ways.—Acts 10:34, 35.

20. What shows that Jehovah is both slow to anger and impartial?

 The Bible book of Revelation highlights the importance of learning about God’s "righteous decrees." It tells us that heavenly creatures sing: "Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest." (Revelation 15:2-4) We show wholesome fear of Jehovah, or reverence for him, by conforming to what he says is right. This is made easier by reminding ourselves of God’s wisdom and love. All his commands are for our good.—Isaiah 48:17, 18.

21. (a) What does Revelation 15:2-4 teach us about God?  (b) What will make it easier for us to do what God says is right?

The ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods, but Jehovah is "a God exacting exclusive devotion." (Exodus 20:5) Moses reminded the Israelites that "Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." (Deuteronomy 6:4) Jesus Christ repeated those words. (Mark 12:28, 29) Therefore, those who accept the Bible as God’s Word do not worship a Trinity consisting of three persons or gods in one. In fact, the word "Trinity" does not even appear in the Bible. The true God is one Person, separate from Jesus Christ. (John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 15:28) God’s holy spirit is not a person. It is Jehovah’s active force, used by the Almighty to accomplish his purposes.—Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:1-4, 32, 33; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.

22. Why do those who accept the Bible not worship a Trinity?

 When you consider how wonderful Jehovah is, do you not agree that he deserves your worship? As you study his Word, the Bible, you will get to know him better and will learn what he requires of you for your eternal welfare and happiness. (Matthew 5:36) In addition, your love for God will grow. That is fitting, for Jesus said: "You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength." (Mark 12:30) Obviously, Jesus had such love for God. But what does the Bible reveal about Jesus Christ? What is his role in Jehovah’s purpose?

23. (a) How will your love for God grow?

(b) What did Jesus say about loving God, and what do we need to learn about Christ?

How well do you know the Creator of all things?

I AM GOD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Bible Citations

(Ge 1:1) In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

(Ac 17:27) for them to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.

(Da 7:9-10) "I kept on beholding until there were thrones placed and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white just like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. 10 There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened.

(Re 4:2-3) After these things I immediately came to be in [the power of the] spirit: and, look! a throne was in its position in heaven, and there is one seated upon the throne. 3 And the one seated is, in appearance, like a jasper stone and a precious red-colored stone, and round about the throne [there is] a rainbow like an emerald in appearance.

(Joh 4:24) God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth."

(Joh 1:18) No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.

(Ex 33:20) And he added: "You are not able to see my face, because no man may see me and yet live."

(Ge 17:1) When A´bram got to be ninety-nine years old, then Jehovah appeared to A´bram and said to him: "I am God Almighty. Walk before me and prove yourself faultless.

(Ps 50:14) Offer thanksgiving as your sacrifice to God, And pay to the Most High your vows;

(Ec 12:1) Remember, now, your Grand Creator in the days of your young manhood, before the calamitous days proceed to come, or the years have arrived when you will say: "I have no delight in them";

(Isa 30:20) And Jehovah will certainly give YOU people bread in the form of distress and water in the form of oppression; yet your Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself, and your eyes must become [eyes] seeing your Grand Instructor.

(Ac 4:24) Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God and said: "Sovereign Lord, you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them,

(1Ti 1:17) Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible, [the] only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

(Ex 6:3) And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but as respects my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.

(Isa 26:4) Trust in Jehovah, YOU people, for all times, for in Jah Jehovah is the Rock of times indefinite.

(Ps 83:18) That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

(Jas 4:13-14) Come, now, YOU who say: "Today or tomorrow we will journey to this city and will spend a year there, and we will engage in business and make profits," 14 whereas YOU do not know what YOUR life will be tomorrow. For YOU are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing.

(Isa 55:11) so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.

(Ge 21:33) After that he planted a tamarisk tree at Be´er-she´ba and called there upon the name of Jehovah the indefinitely lasting God.

(Ge 26:25) Accordingly he built an altar there and called on the name of Jehovah and pitched his tent there, and the servants of Isaac went excavating a well there.

(Ge 32:9) After that Jacob said: "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Jehovah, you who are saying to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will deal well with you,’

(Ex 6:3) And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but as respects my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.

(Ex 3:17) And so I say, I shall bring YOU up out of affliction by the Egyptians to the land of the Ca´naan·ites and the Hit´tites and the Am´or·ites and the Per´iz·zites and the Hi´vites and the Jeb´u·sites, to a land flowing with milk and honey."’

(Ex 3:15) Then God said once more to Moses: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to YOU.’ This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.

(Ex 5:1-2) And afterward Moses and Aaron went in and proceeded to say to Phar´aoh: "This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘Send my people away that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.’" 2 But Phar´aoh said: "Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah at all and, what is more, I am not going to send Israel away."

(Ex 12:35-38) And the sons of Israel did according to the word of Moses in that they went asking from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold and mantles. 36 And Jehovah gave the people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that these granted them what was asked; and they stripped the Egyptians. 37 And the sons of Israel proceeded to depart from Ram´e·ses for Suc´coth, to the number of six hundred thousand able-bodied men on foot, besides little ones. 38 And a vast mixed company also went up with them, as well as flocks and herds, a very numerous stock of animals.

(Ex 14:22-25) At length the sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on dry land, while the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all the horses of Phar´aoh, his war chariots and his cavalrymen began going in after them, into the midst of the sea. 24 And it came about during the morning watch that Jehovah began to look out upon the camp of the Egyptians from within the pillar of fire and cloud, and he went throwing the camp of the Egyptians into confusion. 25 And he kept taking wheels off their chariots so that they were driving them with difficulty; and the Egyptians began to say: "Let us flee from any contact with Israel, because Jehovah certainly fights for them against the Egyptians."

(Ex 14:28) And the waters kept coming back. Finally they covered the war chariots and the cavalrymen belonging to all of Phar´aoh’s military forces and who had gone into the sea after them. Not so much as one among them was let remain.

(Jos 2:9-11) And she went on to say to the men: "I do know that Jehovah will certainly give YOU the land, and that the fright of YOU has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have become disheartened because of YOU. 10 For we have heard how Jehovah dried up the waters of the Red Sea from before YOU when YOU came out of Egypt, and what YOU did to the two kings of the Am´or·ites who were on the other side of the Jordan, namely, Si´hon and Og, whom YOU devoted to destruction. 11 When we got to hear it, then our hearts began to melt, and no spirit has arisen yet in anybody because of YOU, for Jehovah YOUR God is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.

(Ge 1:28) Further, God blessed them and God said to them: "Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth."

(Ge 2:8) Further, Jehovah God planted a garden in E´den, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

(Eze 38:23) And I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’

(2Pe 3:13) But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

(Ro 10:13) For "everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved."

(Ex 9:16) But, in fact, for this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.

(Ro 11:33) O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments [are] and past tracing out his ways [are]!

(De 32:4) The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; Righteous and upright is he.

(De 7:8) But it was because of Jehovah’s loving YOU, and because of his keeping the sworn statement that he had sworn to YOUR forefathers, that Jehovah brought YOU out with a strong hand, that he might redeem you from the house of slaves, from the hand of Phar´aoh the king of Egypt.

(Job 38:4) Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? Tell [me], if you do know understanding.

(Job 38:7) When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, And all the sons of God began shouting in applause?

(Da 7:10) There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened.

(Ge 1:1) In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

(Ge 1:26-28) And God went on to say: "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth." 27 And God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 Further, God blessed them and God said to them: "Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth."

(Ps 115:16) As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong, But the earth he has given to the sons of men.

(Ps 139:14) I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, As my soul is very well aware.

(Ac 14:17) although, indeed, he did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving YOU rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling YOUR hearts to the full with food and good cheer."

(Mt 5:45) that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.

(1Jo 4:8) He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.

(Ac 10:34-35) At this Peter opened his mouth and said: "For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.

(Re 15:2-4) And I saw what seemed to be a glassy sea mingled with fire, and those who come off victorious from the wild beast and from its image and from the number of its name standing by the glassy sea, having harps of God. 3 And they are singing the song of Moses the slave of God and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. 4 Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest."

(Isa 48:17-18) This is what Jehovah has said, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: "I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. 18 O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

(Ex 20:5) You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation, in the case of those who hate me;

(De 6:4) "Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.

(Mr 12:28-29) Now one of the scribes that had come up and heard them disputing, knowing that he had answered them in a fine way, asked him: "Which commandment is first of all?" 29 Jesus answered: "The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah,

(Joh 14:28) YOU heard that I said to YOU, I am going away and I am coming [back] to YOU. If YOU loved me, YOU would rejoice that I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.

(1Co 15:28) But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.

(Ge 1:2) Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.

(Ac 2:1-4) Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost was in progress they were all together at the same place, 2 and suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. 3 And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon each one of them, 4 and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance.

(Ac 2:32-33) This Jesus God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised holy spirit from the Father, he has poured out this which YOU see and hear.

(2Pe 1:20-21) For YOU know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. 21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.

(Mt 5:3) "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.

(Mt 5:6) "Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled.

(Mr 12:30) and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’

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Who Is the True God?

1. Why do many agree with the Bible’s opening words?

WHEN you look at the sky on a clear night, are you not amazed to see so many stars? How do you account for their existence? And what about the living things on earth—colorful flowers, birds with their delightful songs, powerful whales that leap in the ocean? The list goes on and on. All of this could not have come about by chance. No wonder many agree with the Bible’s opening words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"!—Genesis 1:1.

 

 

2. What does the Bible say about God, and what does it encourage us to do?

2 Mankind is greatly divided on the question of God. Some think that God is an impersonal force. Millions worship dead ancestors, believing that God is too remote to be approached. But the Bible reveals that the true God is a real person who shows warm interest in us as individuals. That is why it encourages us to "seek God," saying: "He is not far off from each one of us."—Acts 17:27.

 

 

3. Why is it impossible to make an image of God?

3 What does God look like? A few of his servants have seen visions of his glorious presence. In these he has symbolized himself as seated on a throne, awesome brightness extending from him. However, those who beheld such visions never described a distinct face. (Daniel 7:9, 10; Revelation 4:2, 3) That is because "God is a Spirit"; he does not have a physical body. (John 4:24) In fact, it is impossible to make an accurate physical image of our Creator, for "no man has seen God at any time." (John 1:18; Exodus 33:20) Yet, the Bible teaches us much about God.

 

 

THE TRUE GOD HAS A NAME

4. What are some meaningful titles applied to God in the Bible?

4 In the Bible, the true God is identified by such expressions as "God Almighty," "the Most High," "Grand Creator," "Grand Instructor," "Sovereign Lord," and "King of eternity." (Genesis 17:1; Psalm 50:14; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Isaiah 30:20; Acts 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17) Meditating upon such titles can help us grow in the knowledge of God.

 

 

5. What is God’s name, and how often does it appear in the Hebrew Scriptures?

 5 However, God has a unique name that appears almost 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures alone—more often than any of his titles. Some 1,900 years ago, the Jews superstitiously ceased to pronounce the divine name. Biblical Hebrew was written without vowels. Hence, there is no way to be precise about how Moses, David, or others of ancient times pronounced the four consonants (יהוה) that make up the divine name. Some scholars suggest that God’s name may have been pronounced "Yahweh," but they cannot be sure. The English pronunciation "Jehovah" has been in use for centuries, and its equivalent in many languages is widely accepted today.—See Exodus 6:3 and Isaiah 26:4 in the King James Version.

 

 

WHY YOU SHOULD USE GOD’S NAME

 6. Psalm 83:18 says what about Jehovah, and why should we use his name?

6 God’s unique name, Jehovah, serves to differentiate him from all other gods. That is why that name appears so often in the Bible, especially in its Hebrew text. Many translators fail to use the divine name, but Psalm 83:18 clearly says: "You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." So it is appropriate for us to use God’s personal name when we speak of him.

 

 

 7. What does the meaning of the name Jehovah teach us about God?

7 The name Jehovah is a form of a Hebrew verb meaning "to become." Thus, God’s name means "He Causes to Become." Jehovah God thereby identifies himself as the Great Purposer. He always causes his purposes to become reality. Only the true God can rightly bear this name, for humans can never be sure that their plans will succeed. (James 4:13, 14) Jehovah alone can say: "So my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. . . . It will have certain success in that for which I have sent it."—Isaiah 55:11.

 

 

 8. What purpose did Jehovah announce through Moses?

8 The Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob each "called on the name of Jehovah," but they did not know the full significance of the divine name. (Genesis 21:33; 26:25; 32:9; Exodus 6:3) When Jehovah later revealed his purpose to deliver their descendants, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt and give them "a land flowing with milk and honey," this may have seemed impossible. (Exodus 3:17) Nevertheless, God emphasized the everlasting significance of his name by telling his prophet Moses: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation."—Exodus 3:15.

 

 

 9. How did Pharaoh view Jehovah?

9 Moses asked Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to let the Israelites go to worship Jehovah in the wilderness. But Pharaoh, who himself was viewed as a god and who worshiped other Egyptian gods, replied: "Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah at all and, what is more, I am not going to send Israel away."—Exodus 5:1, 2.

 

 

10. In ancient Egypt, what action did Jehovah take to fulfill his purpose involving the Israelites?

10 Jehovah then took progressive action to fulfill his purpose, acting in harmony with the meaning of his name. He brought ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians. The last plague killed all of Egypt’s firstborn, including proud Pharaoh’s son. Then the Egyptians were eager for Israel to go. However, some Egyptians were so impressed by Jehovah’s power that they joined the Israelites in leaving Egypt.—Exodus 12:35-38.

 

 

11. What miracle did Jehovah perform at the Red Sea, and what were his enemies forced to acknowledge?

11 Stubborn Pharaoh and his army, with hundreds of war chariots, set out to recapture his slaves. As the Egyptians drew near, God miraculously divided the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross on dry land. When the pursuers entered the seabed, Jehovah "kept taking wheels off their chariots so that they were driving them with difficulty." The Egyptian warriors cried: "Let us flee from any contact with Israel, because Jehovah certainly fights for them against the Egyptians." But it was too late. The vast walls of water crashed down and "covered the war chariots and the cavalrymen belonging to all of Pharaoh’s military forces." (Exodus 14:22-25, 28) Jehovah thus made a great name for himself, and that event has not been forgotten to this day.—Joshua 2:9-11.

 

 

12, 13. (a) God’s name has what meaning for us today?

12 The name that God has made for himself has great meaning for us today. His name, Jehovah, stands as a guarantee that all he has purposed he will cause to come true. That includes accomplishing his original purpose that our earth become a paradise. (Genesis 1:28; 2:8) To that end, God will eliminate all opposers of his sovereignty today, for he has stated: "They will have to know that I am Jehovah." (Ezekiel 38:23) Then God will fulfill his promise to deliver his worshipers into a new world of righteousness.—2 Peter 3:13.

 

 

 (b) What do people urgently need to learn, and why?

13 All who want God’s favor must learn to call upon his name in faith. The Bible promises: "Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved." (Romans 10:13) Yes, the name Jehovah has rich meaning. Calling upon Jehovah as your God and Deliverer can lead you to endless happiness.

 

 

QUALITIES OF THE TRUE GOD

14. What basic qualities of God does the Bible highlight?

His dealings with Pharaoh revealed his awesome power. (Exodus 9:16) The masterful way God handled that complex situation showed his matchless wisdom. (Romans 11:33) He revealed his justice in meting out punishment to stubborn opposers and oppressors of his people. (Deuteronomy 32:4) A preeminent quality of God is love.

 

 

15, 16. In what ways has God shown love?

15 As you read the Bible, you will notice that love is God’s principal attribute, and he demonstrates it in many ways. For instance, it was out of love that he became a Creator and first shared the joy of life with spirit creatures. Those hundreds of millions of angels love God and praise him. (Job 38:47; Daniel 7:10) God also showed love in creating the earth and preparing it for happy human existence.—Genesis 1:1, 26-28; Psalm 115:16.

16 We benefit from God’s love in ways too numerous to mention. For one thing, God has lovingly made our bodies in such a marvelous way that we can enjoy life. (Psalm 139:14) His love is shown in that he provides "rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling [our] hearts to the full with food and good cheer." (Acts 14:17) God even "makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45) Love also moves our Creator to help us gain the knowledge of God and serve him happily as his worshipers. Indeed, "God is love." (1 John 4:8) But there is much more to his personality.

 

 

SLOW TO ANGER, IMPARTIAL AND RIGHTEOUS

20. What shows that Jehovah is both slow to anger and impartial?

20 Jehovah is slow to anger. Yet, this does not mean that he does not take action, for he did so in destroying stubborn Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Jehovah is also impartial. Hence, his favored people, the Israelites, eventually lost his favor because of their persistent wrongdoing. God accepts as his worshipers people from all nations, but only those who conform to his righteous ways.—Acts 10:34, 35.

 

 

21. (a) What does Revelation 15:2-4 teach us about God?

21 The Bible book of Revelation highlights the importance of learning about God’s "righteous decrees." It tells us that heavenly creatures sing: "Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest." (Revelation 15:2-4)

 

 

 (b) What will make it easier for us to do what God says is right?

We show wholesome fear of Jehovah, or reverence for him, by conforming to what he says is right. This is made easier by reminding ourselves of God’s wisdom and love. All his commands are for our good.Isaiah 48:17, 18.

 

 

JEHOVAH OUR GOD IS ONE

22. Why do those who accept the Bible not worship a Trinity?

22 The ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods, but Jehovah is "a God exacting exclusive devotion." (Exodus 20:5) Moses reminded the Israelites that "Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." (Deuteronomy 6:4) Jesus Christ repeated those words. (Mark 12:28, 29) Therefore, those who accept the Bible as God’s Word do not worship a Trinity consisting of three persons or gods in one. In fact, the word "Trinity" does not even appear in the Bible. The true God is one Person, separate from Jesus Christ. (John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 15:28) God’s holy spirit is not a person. It is Jehovah’s active force, used by the Almighty to accomplish his purposes.—Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:1-4, 32, 33; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.

 

 

23. (a) How will your love for God grow?

23 When you consider how wonderful Jehovah is, do you not agree that he deserves your worship? As you study his Word, the Bible, you will get to know him better and will learn what he requires of you for your eternal welfare and happiness. (Matthew 5:36) In addition, your love for God will grow. That is fitting, for Jesus said: "You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength." (Mark 12:30) Obviously, Jesus had such love for God

 

 

 (b) What did Jesus say about loving God, and what do we need to learn about Christ?

. But what does the Bible reveal about Jesus Christ? What is his role in Jehovah’s purpose?

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