Daily Tidbits 1/8/12 – God of All

All religions point to Jesus Christ, albeit they corrupt His Image.  Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., all have shadows of Messiah.  It is not our job to convert one another to each others religions and our conceived perceptions of God (Matthew 23:15).  It is our job to seek His face and it is through the Holy Spirit that we will be led into truth (John 16:13; 1 John 2:27).  All religions have some truth which is a gift of grace to all of mankind to draw us back to the Most High (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10).  Our job is to walk in truth and be living epistles of the Word (2 Corinthians 3:3).  It is through love that mankind will know the truth, not through our doctrine (John 13:35).

The LORD is the God of All

Rom 3:29  Or is He the God of Jews only, and not also of the nations? Yes, of the nations also,

Jer 32:27  Behold, I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh. Is anything too difficult for Me?

Joh 1:9  He was the true Light; He enlightens every man coming into the world.

Isa 19:24  In that day Israel shall be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,
Isa 19:25  whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people Egypt, and Assyria, the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.

Num 16:22  And they fell on their faces, and said, O God, God of the spirits of all flesh; shall one man sin, and will You be angry with all the congregation?
Num 27:16  Let Jehovah, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation
Job 12:10  in whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all flesh, even of man?
Ecc 12:7  then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
Isa 64:8  But now, Jehovah, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You are our Former; yea, we all are Your handiwork.

God has worked through and for the heathen nations
Deu 2:19  and you shall draw near, across from the sons of Ammon. You shall not besiege them nor be stirred up against them, for I have not given of the land of the sons of Ammon to you for a possession. For I have given it for a possession to the sons of Lot.
Deu 2:20  It is reckoned a land of giants, even it; giants formerly lived in it, and the Ammonites call them Zamzummim;
Deu 2:21  a great and plentiful people, and tall as the Anakim. And Jehovah destroyed them before them, and they expelled them, and lived in their place;
Deu 2:22  as He had done for the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them and they expelled them, and lived in their place until today.
Deu 2:23  And the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Azzah, the Caphtorites coming out of Caphtor destroyed them, and lived in their place.
Jer 27:6  And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant. And I have also given him the beast of the field to serve him.
Jer 27:7  And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the time of his own land comes; also it. And many nations and great kings shall serve him.
Jer 27:8  And it shall be, the nation and kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put its neck in the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation, says Jehovah, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the plague, until I have destroyed them by his hand.

God gave non-Israelites their lands
Deu 2:5  you shall not fight against them, for I will not give their land to you, even to a step of a sole of a foot, for I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.
Jos 24:4  And I gave Jacob and Esau to Isaac. And I gave Mount Seir to Esau, to possess it. And Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.
Deu 2:9  And Jehovah said to me, Do not besiege Moab, nor stir yourself up against them in battle, for I will not give their land to you for a possession. For I have given Ar as a possession to the sons of Lot.
Deu 2:18  You are passing over the border of Moab today, to Ar,
Deu 2:19  and you shall draw near, across from the sons of Ammon. You shall not besiege them nor be stirred up against them, for I have not given of the land of the sons of Ammon to you for a possession. For I have given it for a possession to the sons of Lot.

God delivered ‘heathens’ to their lands.
Amo 9:7  Are you not like the sons of the Ethiopians to Me, O sons of Israel? declares Jehovah. Have I not brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

God ends the exiles of other nations:
Sodom and Gomorrah
Eze 16:53  When I shall return their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then also the captivity of your captivity in their midst;
Eze 16:54  so that you may bear your shame and be disgraced from all that you have done, since you are a comfort to them.
Eze 16:55  When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, then you and your daughters shall return to your former state.

Egypt
Jer 46:25  Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, says, Behold, I am punishing the multitudes of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him.
Jer 46:26  And I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants. And afterward it will be peopled, as in the days of old, declares Jehovah.

Moab
Jer 48:46  Woe to you, Moab! The people of Chemosh have perished. For your sons are taken away into exile, and your daughters into exile.
Jer 48:47  But I will restore the prisoners of Moab in the end of the days, declares Jehovah. So far is the judgment of Moab.

Ammon
Jer 49:6  And after this I will bring again the prisoners of the sons of Ammon, declares Jehovah.

The LORD fights for ‘gentiles’
Deu 2:19  and you shall draw near, across from the sons of Ammon. You shall not besiege them nor be stirred up against them, for I have not given of the land of the sons of Ammon to you for a possession. For I have given it for a possession to the sons of Lot.
Deu 2:20  It is reckoned a land of giants, even it; giants formerly lived in it, and the Ammonites call them Zamzummim;
Deu 2:21  a great and plentiful people, and tall as the Anakim. And Jehovah destroyed them before them, and they expelled them, and lived in their place;

Naaman
2Ki 5:1  And Naaman the commander of the army of the king of Syria was a great and exalted man before his lord, for Jehovah had given deliverance to Syria by him. And he was a brave warrior, but leprous.

Christ came with the message that the love of God extends to all mankind, not just Israel.  Due to the religious spirit of the times, His message was not accepted.

Luk 4:24  But He said, Truly I say to you that no prophet is acceptable in his fatherland.
Luk 4:25  But truthfully I say to you, Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah when the heaven was shut up over three years and six months, when a great famine came on all the land;
Luk 4:26  and yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to Zarephath of Sidon, to a widow woman.
Luk 4:27  And many lepers were in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was made clean except Naaman the Syrian.
Luk 4:28  And all were filled with anger, hearing these things in the synagogue.
Luk 4:29  And rising up, they threw Him outside the city, and led Him up to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, in order to throw Him down.

This was also the message of Paul

Eph 3:1  Because of this, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you, the nations,
Eph 3:2  if, indeed, you heard of the stewardship of the grace of God given to me for you,
Eph 3:3  that by revelation He made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief,
Eph 3:4  by the reading of which you are able to realize my understanding in the mystery of Christ,
Eph 3:5  which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as now it was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit,
Eph 3:6  for the nations to be joint-heirs, and a joint-body and joint-sharers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

Act 22:14  And he said, The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, and to see the Just One, and to hear a voice out of His mouth;
Act 22:15  for you shall be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.

Again the religious spirit of the times would not accept this

Act 22:21  And He said to me, Go, for I will send you to the nations afar off.
Act 22:22  And they heard him until this word, and lifted up their voice, saying, Take such a one from the earth, for it is not fitting that he should live!

ALL flesh seeks the LORD

Psa 65:2  To You who hears prayer, all flesh comes.

All flesh seeks the LORD.  The problem is that man has been deceived by the adversary to make idols that are put in the front of the face of the Father.  Everyone who seeks “God” is seeking the true and Living God of Heaven for there is only One True God (Deuteronomy 4:5, 39; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 45:5-6, 14, 18, 21; 46:9; 47:8, 10; Joel 2:27).  Sadly, most have been deceived into worshiping an Image of who they think He is, not the Truth.

In the end, ALL will come to know Him…our job is not to hate and persecute those who are trying to seek the Almighty but to, by love, lead them to the Truth.

Psa 22:27  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn back to Jehovah; and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.
Isa 66:23  And it will be, from new moon to its new moon, and from sabbath to its sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says Jehovah.
Rev 15:4  Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all the nations will come and will worship before You, because Your righteousnesses were made known.

Luk 3:5  Every valley shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made into straight, and the rough into smooth ways;”
Luk 3:6  “and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Isaiah 40:3-5

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Joh 17:1  Jesus spoke these things and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may also glorify You,
Joh 17:2  as You gave to Him authority over all flesh, so that to all which You gave to Him, He may give to them everlasting life.

All religions are seeking the Most High.  The problem is that religion makes an idol out of the Most High and many times the adversary uses religion to steal worship.  This is why all religions have some truth and a lot of their doctrines trace back to the Scriptures (Psalm 22:27).  We all came from Adam and then from Noah.  Truth permeates through all cultures.

Doctrine is not God.  God is beyond our attempts to explain Him (Job 11:7).  His character is revealed in the Word of God, therefore, the Scriptures are our sole source of ultimate truth, not our our interpretations of the text.

The Sacred Name of God is even embedded in the Human body…that is, the HUMAN body.  ALL men.  Not just those who follow a particular religion.

After the Flood, mankind was divided into three sections according to the sons of Noah.

Gen 10:32  These were the families of the sons of Noah, by their generations, in their nations. And from these the nations were divided in the earth after the flood.

From these 3 families one can trace back the customs of the different peoples that point back to God, back to Genesis.

 

Genesis in Ancient Cultures

All cultures have stories that trace back to creation, the garden of Eden, the fall of man, the flood and most importantly, redemption and return to the Most High.  Many also have stories that trace back to Genesis 6 and the Tower of Babel as well.

Letter of Aristeas
15 our deeds to give the lie to our words. Since the law which we wish not only to transcribe but also to translate belongs to the whole Jewish race, what justification shall we be able to find for our embassy while such vast numbers of them remain in a state of slavery in your kingdom? In the perfection and wealth of your clemency release those who are held in such miserable bondage, since as I have been at pains to discover, the God who gave them their law is the God who maintains your kingdom. They worship the same God – the Lord and Creator of the Universe, as all other men, as we ourselves, O king, though we call him by different names, such as Zeus or
16 Dis. This name was very appropriately bestowed upon him by our first ancestors, in order to signify that He through whom all things are endowed with life and come into being, is necessarily the ruler and lord of the Universe. Set all mankind an example of magnanimity by releasing those who are held in bondage.’

It is evident that in many legends, not only of the Greek but also of the Hindu and other mythologies, that Gentile nations have embodied their remembrances of events, the true record of which is found in the Word of God.

1Ma 3:48  And laid open the book of the law, wherein the heathen had sought to paint the likeness of their images.

E. Raymond Capt writes in his book The Glory Of The Stars, “Agnostics have long offered virgin–born saviours, messiahs, or sons of God, preceding the Christian era, as criticism of the orthodox Christian position. Such claims are no longer valid in the light of Celestial Revelation. All world religions do show a common origin (by similarities) but it only proves that in the beginning, all mankind was given God’s plan for humanity. In such cases, having foreknowledge of a virgin–born savior, it was no problem for corrupt priests to fabricate one, and, every religion did just that. Nor did such practices cease with the birth of Jesus Christ”.
To arrive at the source of a matter, one by necessity, must trace it back to its beginning.  In every nation and culture on the Earth, there can be found in it’s ancient historical writings, a story of a flood, a story of a “god–man”. This is most apparent in the ancient Chinese symbol language, where their symbol for creation is made by combining three separate symbols. The symbol for man, the symbol for dust and the symbol for breath. In a nation whose language goes back more than five thousand years, and whose people have been denied the Bible for so long, it is amazing to find the creation account from Genesis incorporated into the Chinese language in their letter–symbol for creation.”

Rev 1:4  John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

Albert Barnes commentary

It is remarkable that there are some passages in pagan inscriptions and writings which bear a very strong resemblance to the language used here by John respecting God. Thus, Plutarch (De Isa. et Osir., p. 354.), speaking of a temple of Isis, at Sais, in Egypt, says, “It bore this inscription – ‘I am all that was, and is, and shall be, and my vail no mortal can remove’“ –  Ἐγώ εἰμι πᾶν τὸ γεγονός, καὶ ὅν, καὶ ἐσόμενον καὶ τὸν ἐμὸν πέπλον οὐδείς τω θνητὸς ἀνεκάλυψεν  Egō eimi pan to gegonos, kai hon, kai esomenon kai ton emon peplon oudeis tō thnētos anekalupsen. So Orpheus (in Auctor. Lib. de Mundo), “Jupiter is the head, Jupiter is the middle, and all things are made by Jupiter.”

Wis 14:21 And this became a hidden trap for mankind, because men, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority, bestowed on objects of stone or wood the name that ought not to be shared.

Here we see the book of Wisdom speaking of the  name/character of God being made into a false idol.  This is the essence of all religions.  The foundation is the One true God, however His image has been corrupted.

Gen 11:1 John Gill commentary
Abydenus (z) an Heathen historian, speaking of the building of the tower of Babel, says,”at that time men were ομογλωσσους, of the same tongue;”in like manner Hyginus (a), speaking of Phoroneus, the first of mortals, that reigned, says,”many ages before, men lived without towns and laws, “una lirgua loquentes”, speaking one language, under the empire of Jove.”

Jove in Latin could be pronounced as “Yahweh”.

APHRODITE:
E.W. Bullinger Companion Bible appendix 21
“Calling on the Name of the LORD”
What was really begun was the profanation of the name of Jehovah. They began to call something by the Name of Jehovah. The AV suggests themselves in the margin. But the majority of ancient Jewish commentators supply the Ellipsis by the words “their gods”; suggesting that they called the stars and idols their gods, and worshipped them.

The Targum Jonathan says: That was the generation in whose days they began to err, and to make themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the Name of the Word of the Lord.

Pagan emperors admitted that their faith was very similar to that of the Hebrews

“The Jews behave like the Gentiles [Pagans] except that they acknowledge only one god. This is something distinctive to them, but alien to us. As for everything else, though, we share common ground—temples, sanctuaries, altars, rituals of purification, certain injunctions where we do not diverge from one another at all, or only in insignificant ways.” [Julian, emperor, Against the Galileans, fr 72 (306 B) ]

The Origin of Man’s Religions  by Patrick Zukeran
“Anthropologists Dr. Wilhelm Schmidt, author of the 4000 page treatise, The Origin and Growth of Religion, and, more recently, Don Richardson , author of Eternity in Their Hearts, documented this fact in the hundreds of cultures they studied. They discovered that the religion of some of the most ancient cultures were monotheistic and practiced little or no form of animism or magic. In almost every culture around the world, the religion of a particular culture began with a concept of a masculine, creator God who lives in the heavens. He provided a moral law by which the people would enter into a relationship with him. This relationship was broken when the people were disobedient, and as the relationship deteriorated, the people distanced themselves from the creator and their knowledge of him faded. As the civilization moved further away, they began to worship other lesser gods. In their search to survive in a world filled with spiritual forces, they desired power to manipulate the forces, and thus there was an increase in the use of magic.

This theory fits very well with what is revealed in Scripture. Genesis teaches us that God created man and that man lived according to his knowledge of God and His laws. However, from Adam’s first act of disobedience, mankind continued his sinful path away from God. Paul summarizes this history in Romans 1. The theory of original monotheism is the most consistent with Scripture and appears to have strong historical support.

Here are just a few examples.

The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states that the Chinese culture before Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, 2600 years before Christ, worshipped Shang Ti. They understood Him to be the creator and law-giver. They believed that He was never to be represented by an idol. When the Zhou Dynasty controlled China during the years 1066-770 B.C., the worship of Shang Ti was replaced by the worship of heaven itself, and eventually three other religions were spawned in China.

In a region north of Calcutta, India, there lived the Santal people. They were found worshipping elements of nature. However, before these practices developed, they worshipped Thakur Jiu, the genuine God who created all things. Although they knew Thakur Jiu was the true God, the tribe forsook worshipping Him and began entering into spiritism and the worship of lesser gods who ruled over some aspect of creation.

In Ethiopia, the Gedeo people number in the millions and live in different tribes. These people sacrifice to evil spirits out of fear. However, behind this practice is an older belief in Magano, the one omnipotent creator. The Incas in South America also have this same belief. Alfred Metraux, author of History of the Incas, discovered the Inca’s originally worshipped Viracocha, the Lord, the omnipotent creator of all things. Worship of Inti, the Sun God, and other gods are only recent departures from this monotheistic belief.

Don Richardson’s book, Eternity in Their Hearts, illustrates how this theory shaped the missionary effort in China and Korea. In ancient China, the Lord of the Heavens was referred to as Shang Ti. In Korea, he was referred to as Hananim.

Over the centuries, the Chinese departed from the worship of Shang Ti and adopted the beliefs of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism that taught the worship of ancestors and the Buddha. However, even after two thousand years, the Chinese still mentioned the name of Shang Ti. However, even in Buddhism, a shadow of Messiah is seen in the verbal tradition of Gautama Buddha who said that ‘After me will come Phra-Ariya-Metrai, the Lord of Mercy.  When he appears, my followers must all follow him.’ ”

Eternity in Their Hearts pg 88

“Concerning the Shan and Palaung preoccupation with Are-Mataya that ‘no figure in all their religious horizon more quickly rouses their interest.  In one of their books regarding Are-Metaya is found a verse very similar to the book of Isaiah:  ‘Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain,’ and they expect Are-Metaya literally to fulfill this prophecy when he comes.”

In 1884, Protestant missionaries entered Korea. After studying the culture, they believed that Hananim was the residual witness of God. As these missionaries began to preach utilizing this remnant witness, their message was enthusiastically received. Instead of introducing a foreign God from the west, they were reintroducing the natives to the Lord of their ancestors whom they were interested to know. The Catholic missionaries who had been in Korea for decades were still employing designations for God from Chinese phrases like Tien Ju. As a result, the Korean people responded to the message from the Protestant missionaries and Christianity spread throughout the country at an explosive rate.”

Whether it be Abrahamic religions, the ancient Mysteries or Hinduism, Buddhism or the animistic religions…shadows of Messiah are embedded throughout.  This displays the Wisdom and power of our Creator as well as His unfathomable love for ALL mankind.

 

Related Studies:

Jesus & Religion

Daily Tidbits – 5/31 – All the Ends of the World Shall Remember

Testimonies – Maharishi Conversion to Christianity from “Father of Lights”

 

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