The Attributes and Character of God

Here are nine of what I consider to be the most essential attributes or characteristics that help us understand more about who the God of the Bible is.

Core of the Bible podcast #110 – The Attributes and Character of God

In today’s episode, we are continuing our doctrinal study of the nature of God by looking at how God’s attributes and character are represented throughout the Bible. If we are to strive for the core Bible principles to become evident in our lives, we should understand why we would undertake such a challenging stance in this world. After all, in some ways it would be much easier for us if we didn’t need to act with integrity in every situation or provide forgiveness to others when we don’t feel like it. You see, how we view the nature and character of God influences our motivation for why we are seeking him in the first place, and how we live our lives.

So let me start by saying that I believe that the Bible reveals an almighty God, the Father, and that he is the eternal Spirit and Creator of all. In the Scriptures, his attributes are exhibited as being just, loving, righteous, truthful, all-powerful, demonstrating goodness and mercy, existing as set apart from his Creation, yet intimately engaged with it.

Since the Bible is a revelation of God to his Creation, it makes sense that we would look to definitions God has provided in the Bible about his own nature and character. I have brought together nine of what I consider to be the most essential attributes or characteristics that help us understand more about who the God of the Bible is. While the information presented here is not exhaustive by any means, it does give us a basis for a working understanding of what God wants us to know about himself.

1 – God is the Creator of all

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Psalm 104:30  You send forth Your Spirit, they [all living beings] are created; and You renew the face of the earth.”

Exodus 20:11 For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. 

I believe that in the beginning of what we consider the universe and time, God created all things, and that all existence is therefore dependent upon God who is the Source and End of all things visible and invisible. He created man in His own image, which set man apart from the animal creation. 

The Bible doesn’t tell us when God created everything, but it does tell us that he did. I know that many people have tried to use the genealogies that are recorded in the Bible to calculate the age of the earth; however, in my own studies of this topic I have found that not all of the genealogies are complete nor consistent enough for that type of inquiry. It’s not that the writers of Scripture were forgetful or careless; far from it. It’s just that they didn’t record genealogical information in the same way we do today, and many times they listed only the prominent individuals in a family line.

So, in a practical sense, by saying God created everything, the Bible is only attempting to convey that we are here on a world that came from the hand and mind of God; anything beyond that is speculation. 

2 – God is righteous and holy

Psalm 11:7 For Yahweh is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.

God’s commandments and laws define God’s righteousness (that which is morally and truly right), and by obeying those laws we are imitating him and becoming more like him. In Matthew 5:48 Yeshua taught, “Be perfect [complete; mature], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” So as we continue to conform our lives to his revealed Word, we begin to act in ways that are considered righteous in his eyes.

To be holy is to be set apart from the corruption of worldliness. As the apostle Peter wrote, we are to “Be holy, for he is holy.” This is actually a quote from Leviticus which is repeated several times throughout the book:

Leviticus 11:45 – “For I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy.

Leviticus 19:2 – “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy.

Leviticus 20:26 – “You are to be holy to me because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be mine.

This consecration or set-apartness is both a command and an attribute of those who would choose to follow the God of the Bible. By seeking his ways, we begin to emulate his nature and character, thereby reflecting his image in this world; a trait he desires for all people.

3 – God is compassionate, forgiving, and just

In one of the most famous passages of the Bible, God explains many of his characteristics directly to Moses while on Mt. Sinai:

Exodus 34:6-7 Then Yahweh passed by in front of him [Moses] and proclaimed, “Yahweh, Yahweh God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave [the guilty] unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

Let’s look a little deeper to expand some of these representations of God’s character and his attributes. To be compassionate means he shows favor to those who are in need. His graciousness demonstrates his care for those who may not be in a position to deserve it. He is not easily angered by our unfaithful actions.  Lovingkindness is the only English way of describing his merciful treatment of those who are in need and unable to “pay him back” in kind. He is also forgiving beyond measure. However, we must always keep in mind that he is just, and when all other means of trying to have people do what’s right are exhausted, he will take action against those who maintain a rebellious attitude.

4 – God is the Most Powerful

Genesis 17:1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.

Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Yahweh, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

The word Almighty literally means “most-powerful.” Two of God’s titles in Hebrew are El Shaddai, which is translated “God Almighty,” and El Yon meaning “the Uppermost or Most High God.” In the ancient world, there existed a cosmology of many different gods, all with different traits and characteristics. This is known to us in our day as we can read of the varieties of the classical Greek and Roman gods that existed in the recesses of their various mythologies, yet is still just as prevalent among many of the national peoples today who have elaborate temples and shrines to various deities. This world is still a very religious world and people still worship and honor a variety deities. This is why a recognition that Yahweh is the one true God over all is still a relevant declaration in our day. The Bible has declared from ancient times that Yahweh is the Almighty and most powerful God of all, and the events outlined throughout the Bible relate how he demonstrated that by calling a people to himself, delivering them from their enemies, and fulfilling all that he had promised them through his own Son, the Messiah. He revealed his most dramatic and universal power in the resurrection of the Messiah, demonstrating he is the God of life itself. There is no power of any god above the ability of transcending death and providing eternal life. 

5 – God is all-knowing and all-wise

Psalm 139:1-4 – Yahweh, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, Yahweh, You know it altogether.

Daniel 2:20 Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.

Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered…”

God’s wisdom is so far removed from our ability to comprehend its depths, we can only glean the revealed wisdom of God through the teachings of his prophets and his Messiah, the Anointed One.

Isaiah 46:9-10 – “Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like me.  I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will.”

For God to be able to declare the ultimate fate of an entire people over a millennium in advance and then bring it about down to the minutest detail is a clear and historical demonstration of his wisdom and knowledge of all things. To Abraham, God revealed how his descendants would become a numerous people, fall into slavery, but then be set apart to inhabit a land that he would provide them. Beyond the physical land of Canaan, Abraham was also promised to become the father of many nations, as his faith and those who would believe in his God would become widespread throughout the world.

All of these things have been fulfilled in the physical nation of Israel and spiritually fulfilled in Messiah. Those of us today who believe in the God of the Bible have the rich heritage and benefit of the entirety of the story to have seen it come about just as he had said. This recognition of his wisdom and knowledge should be evident within our own lifestyles as well, as we seek to base our actions upon the firm foundation of his revealed wisdom.

6 – God is present everywhere at once

Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol [in the grave, or in the ground], behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Since God is spirit, his presence is not limited to any one specific location. He has the innate ability to be present at all places at all times. Within his physical Creation, all things are limited by space and time, but the Bible hints to us that in the spiritual realm of God’s existence, those limits do not exist. While it may be difficult for us to grasp this type of thinking, it is not impossible to conceive of the one true God relating to all of his Creation in personal ways which we can only approximate in our human existence on a one-to-one basis. With the spread of Biblical literature throughout the world, the universality of a single, all-powerful and ever-present God has become a recognizable understanding in a world which has always been filled with concepts of multitudes of regional deities. For the past four thousand years, since the time of Abraham, the monotheism of those who believe in the God of the Bible is one of the distinctive qualities that set them apart from all other religious belief, and stands as an ongoing witness against those religious systems.

7 – The Name of God

In the Bible, someone’s name and their character and purpose are very closely linked. For example, God changed the name of Abram (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of a multitude”). This exhibited the change in God’s purpose for Abraham, and was to be memorialized within his very name.

The root of the proper name for God comes from a Hebrew word meaning “(the) self-Existent” or “Eternal.” In English, it roughly translates out to “I am” or “I always have been and will always be”.

Exodus 3:13-15 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

So in this passage, we see how God has revealed his character through his name as Eyeh Asher Eyeh, the “I am who I am,” or “I am that which is,” the Eternal One. He also used the name “Yahweh, the God of your fathers.” Yahweh comes from a root word havah, meaning “to be,” colored with a continuous state or condition of abiding or remaining. These definitions, while weakened through the inferior English rendering, convey a sense of an eternal existence that has just always been. They provide us the insight that the very names of God relate to us that he has had no beginning and will have no end.

Due to the many aspects of ancient languages changing over the ages, currently there are lots of variations of spellings and pronunciations of this Hebrew name as it is attempted to be conveyed into our much more recent language of English. The most popular of these are “Jehovah,” “Yehovah,” or “Yahweh.” Since the J sound is not present in the Hebrew, and the V sound appears to be more recent in reconstructed modern Hebrew, Yahweh seems to be closest that we can get in English.

When this Hebrew proper name of God is represented in most English Bibles, it is typically written as the all-caps “LORD”, a word identifying God’s authority over all. This is based on a Jewish tradition of substituting the word “Lord” for Yahweh out of respect for name of God, which they have considered too sacred to pronounce. However, the deeper Hebrew meaning of Yahweh is colored with more intimacy of self-existence along with closeness, as “the ever-living God who is always with us.” While calling him “Lord” and saying he has authority over all isn’t incorrect, it really doesn’t capture the sense of his eternal and self-existent nature. Based on Exodus 3:15 that we just read, it appears God wanted these concepts of his eternal nature and yet closeness to his people, summarized as the Eternal Yahweh, to be in use as an everlasting reminder of who he is to each generation.

8 – God has all ultimate authority

Psalm 47:2, 8 For Yahweh Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth… God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Deuteronomy 13:4 “You shall walk after Yahweh your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.”

Besides his self-existent, eternal nature, God truly is the sovereign power over everything that was created by him. We have already seen one of his titles, El Yon, means that he is the Most High God. He can rightfully expect complete loyalty, reverence and obedience. Surprisingly, he is saddened when people continue to choose to rebel against him. As believers, we must not allow anything in our lives to rival God. Our faithful obedience to him shows our love for God:

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

9 – Most importantly, God is love

1 John 4:8 – He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Matthew 22:37-39 Yeshua said to him, “‘You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Love really gets to the root of God’s nature, and love is what He most wants to see in the character of His children. Therefore, it’s no surprise that His greatest commandments are to love—to love God and to love people.

This pinnacle of love brings us full circle to the core principles of the Bible once again. To love God and to love people is a summary of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. It is the basis of the eternal Kingdom of God which has its outworking through the faithful obedience of those who claim to be God’s children. While we have only scratched the surface of the character of God, the Bible teaches that those who would claim to be his children should have the same character as the God who birthed them, and that we should recognize his power and majesty in the qualities which are uniquely his.

As the Eternal Creator, the Most Powerful, Most High and ever present God, we should stand in awe, honor and respect of who he is. But as his children, we should seek to emulate his image, his faithful qualities in this world: these are the qualities of righteousness and holiness, compassion, forgiveness, justice, and most importantly, love. As Yeshua taught in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect [complete; mature], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This is our goal and ongoing challenge in a world that desperately needs to see the outworking of the Kingdom radiating to others through the children of God in each generation.

Well, I hope this overview of the character of God brought you some concepts and ideas to meditate on and to study out further on your own. But remember, if you have thoughts or comments that you would like to explore further with me, feel free to email me at

One true God

The Bible teaches there is only one true God. He is known as Yahweh, Almighty God, and the Father, among other names.

Core of the Bible podcast episode #106 – One true God

In today’s article, we will be talking about Yahweh as the one true God, and how I believe this basic Bible truth has become muddled by tradition and orthodoxy.

So to begin with, let me start by saying that I believe that the Bible reveals that there is only one true God, Yahweh, the Father, sole Creator and Maintainer of all that exists. He is the supreme authority of all people. He alone possesses inherent immortality, and has always existed. There is no other God to whom praise, honor, and glory is due.

Deuteronomy 4:35, 39 To you it was shown that you might know that Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him. … “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

One of the primary features of Jewish culture revolves around the reciting of what is known as the Shema. The Shema is based on a very familiar passage to most believers.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one! “You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

The Shema has been the primary defining statement of the Hebrew people since it was revealed to them.  Shema means “hear” and focuses on the primary declaration that Yahweh is one, or is the only God, or is singular in essence. All of these meanings revolve around the idea that there is only one God. Faithful Jews recite the Shema twice a day, and it is traditional for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night. It is such an important Hebraic belief that it is also an ideal for Jews to say the Shema as their last words.

This fierce monotheism is what has distinctly set apart the Hebrew people since God first revealed himself to Abraham in approximately 2000 BC. The Babylonian, Egyptian, and Eastern religions (and later the Greeks and the Romans) have all been polytheistic religions, filled with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of gods. The Hebrews were first and unique in their strict rejection of all other gods but one.

Yeshua himself confirms the importance of this concept of one God through the Shema, as well.

Mark 12:28-29 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that [Yeshua] had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Yeshua answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one…’

Now, here are some other verses confirming the unique authority of one God over all.

Isaiah 44:6, 8 “Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. … ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'”

Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’…”

As would be expected, we find this same emphasis on one God in the New Testament writings.

1 Corinthians 8:4-6 Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him…

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Messiah Yeshua,

So, if this has been the historical understanding of the nature of God as being singular, how is it that over the centuries after Messiah, a concept known as the trinity came about? The philosophy of a trinity suggests that the being we call “God” is a singular entity made up of three “persons”: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In this view, all three have co-existed for all eternity, and all are co-equal with one another and somehow combine to form one God. This very abstract and confusing definition of God’s essence is generally defended by saying that the nature of God is incomprehensible to our human understanding.

While I would agree that God’s ways can be incomprehensible to us as humans, we always need to focus on what the Bible actually reveals about God, not invent how we think God should be, and then try to fit that idea back into the Bible. This involves reading what the Bible says about God, doing our best to understand the literary, cultural, and historical context, and then lining up our ideas with the consistent patterns found throughout Scripture. Therefore, I have come to believe that the concept of a trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God with three eternal persons) is a philosophical misinterpretation of men that was devised hundreds of years after the close of the inspired record of God’s dealings with the Israelite people.

Now, before you write me off as a cultist or assign to me some other unfounded judgment, please consider something very basic about what I am presenting here. One of the most glaring demonstrations of how the concept of the trinity is a tradition invented by men is that it was not even an “official” doctrine of Christianity until approximately three to four hundred years after Messiah lived. Prior to the time of its acceptance, there are only sparse references among a few of what we know as the “church fathers” to a vague trinitarian formula that was to become more firmly defined at this later time.

Three to four hundred years is a longer period of time than it has been for us Americans since the revolutionary war. So if that’s the case, what were the masses of Christians believing about God for all of that time, since they never even heard of a trinity concept? Unfortunately, the early leaders of that time were approaching the idea of God from thinking that was based on Greek philosophy, and not from the Hebraic cultural and historical perspective of the Bible.

To refine this man-made definition of the trinity, many councils were held in the fourth century because there was no firm understanding of this view among the various groups of early Christian leaders. And the establishment of this view was not immediate; it was only after hundreds of years beyond this point that it ultimately spread to become the “orthodox” (established and approved) view, yet it still continued to be refined through further councils, even into the middle ages. All of this debate and definition over such a long period of time does not lead one to conclude this is a clearly revealed truth in the Bible, but rather a manufactured idea of men trying to explain God from a human point of view, the very thing God says is impossible.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Today, the concept of the trinity is so widely accepted it is considered a non-negotiable core doctrine of Christianity. In almost all Christian churches, if one does not accept this view, one is not considered a Christian. However, reviewing the history of debates over the doctrine it is clear that the trinity is not a self-evident concept in the Bible. 

Based on the Hebrew culture and beliefs from which the Bible came forth, the trinity is not only inconsistent, but in direct contradiction with the Hebraic understanding of God being one, as evidenced through the importance and constant recitation of the Shema. The Hebrew understanding of the nature of God has always held to the absolute oneness or unity of God, with no plurality in essence in any way.

Another correlation, at least culturally, is the fact that the other major Abrahamic religion, Islam, also attests to the absolute oneness of God (Allah). According to their own writings, this simple monotheism is the most important creedal belief in Islam. To be clear, I am not here endorsing or validating Islam; I simply mention it to highlight the fact that both of the religions springing from Abrahamic lineage, Judaism and Islam, have this uncompromising view of absolute and singular monotheism which to me is a testament to its historical authenticity. Only Christianity (and only hundreds of years after the fact, so to speak) has claimed a combination of monotheism and plurality, something that differs from the cultural bedrock of these original, near-eastern traditions. The monotheism of Abraham should be the view of those who claim to be Abraham’s sons, a discussion we will have in a future episode.

The trinity was not a concept of God maintained by any ancient Hebrews throughout their recorded history, including the disciples and Yeshua himself. If it was that important of a doctrine between orthodoxy and heresy, then I believe Yeshua would have taught it clearly so that there would not need to be multiple councils over hundreds of years later to define it.

Now that I have stated my initial disagreement with the trinitarian view, I would like to provide some insight into a little-known aspect of Jewish culture that, to my way of thinking, is a much simpler way of understanding the person and work of Yeshua and the nature of Yahweh God. It pulls together and reinforces other passages throughout the Bible helping us to approximate how the ancient Hebrew mindset would most readily have understood these passages that have led to trinitarian thinking.

The passages that cause confusion about the nature of God can be explained in other ways that fit better with the overall context, patterns, and message of the Bible. When reading English versions of ancient semitic documents with our Western mindset and making declarations of absolutism and orthodoxy, we are drifting into areas of pride and tradition that may be interfering with our understanding of what the message of the Bible is really all about. Rather, if we can look up from our creeds and councils long enough to expand our understanding of the ancient semitic culture rather than Greek philosophy, we may find some simplified answers to some of the deep questions we are seeking to resolve.

For me, as I began to dive really deeply into the trinitarian traditions, I was refreshed when I discovered something that I had never been taught in my Christian faith that I’d like to share with you now. It is an ancient cultural concept which the Hebrews labeled as shaliach in Hebrew; in English, we would call it the concept of agency, or one who is sent.

Agency is the historical near-eastern concept that a designated agent is fully vested with the authority of the one who sent them, to the extent that the agent is considered equivalent to the sender. This was a common understanding in the ancient societies of the near east represented in writings that have survived down to our present age. In fact, we see something similar in our culture today in the legal realm. Some modern examples of this would be:

  • A real estate agent represents a buyer or seller as if they were that person themselves
  • A sales agent represents the interests of a company towards buyers
  • A police officer is an agent of the law allowing him to enforce it
  • A lawyer is an agent of the person they represent in court

In a similar way, a misunderstanding of this concept of agency has led to belief in Yeshua as being God himself, when Yeshua explained time and time again he was God’s designated agent, sent by God. 

While there are many biblical examples of this concept, a few of the more familiar examples of agency can be illustrated with the stories of Joseph, Moses, and then also with Yeshua.

Joseph as an agent of Pharaoh

Genesis 41:39-44 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. “You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “[Though] I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Genesis 44:18 Then Judah approached him, and said, “Oh my lord, may your servant please speak a word in my lord’s ears, and do not be angry with your servant; for you are equal to Pharaoh.

Moses as God’s agent

Exodus 3:10 “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Exodus 7:1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, “See, I make you [as] God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.

God’s son as the agent of God

John 12:49 “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.”

John 5:22-23 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

John 14:8-9 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Yeshua said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

So we can see this concept of agency and full representation comes from the culture of the Bible itself, and aligns with the patterns, principles, and standards of torah while enriching our understanding of these, and many other, passages. By contrast, the trinity is a foreign and unnatural concept to the biblical culture, and causes division over man-made philosophical definitions in order to essentially shoe-horn it into scriptural passages.

In my view, how most run-of-the-mill Christians, not theologians, view the trinity being one God is actually a type of practical modalism. I guess I should say, this is how it worked for me since I was raised within the trinitarian tradition. Modalism is the belief that there is only one God who has revealed himself in different ways called modes, faces, or aspects. He has represented himself throughout most of the Bible as Yahweh, but he has also revealed himself as Jesus, and sometimes he appears as the Spirit. Modalism says this is not three different “persons,” just three different ways the one God has revealed himself. I say that this is a type of practical modalism, because this is how a trinitarian belief shakes out in practice; there can only typically be an emphasis on God as the Father, God as the Son, or God as the Spirit at any one time.

However, when viewed through the lens of the historical Hebrew culture, these kinds of distinctions are not necessary. Is it challenging to untangle some of these entrenched views? Absolutely, but it is not impossible. Once I began to see and understand the message of the entire Bible as a cohesive whole, the overwhelming message of the Bible through its literary, cultural and historical basis is that there is only one true God, Yahweh, the Father, God Almighty, the Creator of all, and that he alone is the ultimate authority or King over all.

2 Kings 19:15 Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh and said, “O Yahweh, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.

I know at this point, many of you who have been brought up in the trinitarian tradition will call to mind specific verses that are said to attest to Yeshua’s divinity. That’s understandable, but please know that I would not make a claim against the trinitarian view without having looked at all of the evidence closely. Remember, I was raised with a trinitarian world view, so I totally understand how these types of arguments that I am providing here can appear jaded, or even heretical. I was brought up to believe that if you didn’t believe in the trinity, you were most likely involved in some sort of cult. I can assure you I do not claim allegiance to any one organization or denomination, and I seek to rely only on what I believe God has brought to my attention within his Word.


  • I believe the Bible teaches there is only one true God. He is known as Yahweh, Almighty God, and the Father, among other names.
  • The Shema of Judaism practiced to this day is the echo of the monotheism of Abraham which was even validated by Yeshua himself. This concept of only one God separates a biblical worldview from most of the other world religions besides Judaism and Islam, demonstrating how the Abrahamic tradition was unique in its day.
  • I believe that the trinitarian view was a forced philosophical imposition on the revelation of God within his torah, or his Word, that took centuries to be established and accepted by the Christian people. Instead, the Hebrew concept of shaliach or agency more clearly represents the relationship of Yeshua with his Father, and is reinforced by other similar Bible passages involving Joseph, Moses and Pharoah.
  • In essence, I believe the Bible reveals that the holy Spirit is represented as the life-giving influence of Yahweh God himself, and in the New Testament Yeshua is clearly identified as the divinely born son of God, not God himself.
  • The nature of God is essential to understanding the core principles of the Bible which we discuss here each week, as his Kingdom, the primary emphasis of the whole Bible, is based upon the fact that Yahweh God is the ultimate King over all.

I’m sure that what I have mentioned here raises lots of questions and objections among those of you who have also been taught about the trinitarian world view. While I cannot address every trinitarian verse in the course of these podcasts, I will provide some resources in the show notes for those who would like to look more deeply into specific texts and verses that other, more scholarly folks than me have analyzed so they can draw their own conclusions. For what it’s worth, I do promise we will look more closely at what I believe the Bible reveals about Yeshua (and also the holy Spirit) in the next few upcoming podcasts. Hopefully some of those discussions will also provide you some further insights into my thinking about the nature of God. So, if you feel differently about this topic, I encourage you to continue to hear me out through those discussions, as well.

And I leave you today with one final verse that I believe encapsulates what I’ve tried with the best of my ability to express here today:

John 17:3 – [Yeshua speaking] “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua Messiah whom You have sent.”

Other helpful sites and resources regarding monotheism of the whole Bible:

Trinity Delusion |

What is a Biblical Monotarian – The Biblical Monotarian (Copyright 2023)

Why Biblical Unitarianism? |

Trinities – Theories about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

The UCA Affirmation – Unitarian Christian Alliance

Remember, there is a Core of the Bible virtual study group that is hosted through the Marco Polo video chat app. It is designed to discuss the topics that we cover each week and to help people with responses to questions that may come up. If you are interested in joining the discussion, simply download the free Marco Polo app and email me a request to join the group at I will be happy to send you a link to join the virtual Bible study group. You can also feel free to email me any of your thoughts or comments there, as well.

The undeniable distinction of God’s people

As believers, we should check how much we blend into the background of this world.

As believers, we should check how much we blend into the background of this world.

Leviticus 20:26: “You shall be holy to me; for I, Yahweh, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine.”

This act of God setting his people apart from all other nations was decisive and clear cut. There was not any ambiguity about the requirements that he was establishing for his people. He provided them clarity on many of the main cultural characteristics which were prevalent in that day, as well as today. There was to be an avoidance of idolatry, which was an avoidance of essentially all of the mainstream religions of the day. They were to maintain distinctions based on the food they were to eat, their sexuality, and the types of clothing they would wear, and the calendar they would keep. All of these things played into how God was setting a standard that was in no uncertain terms to distinguish his people from all others.

To illustrate this, the word that is used to describe how they have been set apart is the same Hebrew word that was used in the act of Creation itself, and how God separated and distinguished some things from other things.

  • Genesis 1:4 – God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
  • Genesis 1:6-7 – Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters that were below the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse; and it was so.
  • Genesis 1:14-15 – Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and they shall serve as signs and for seasons, and for days and years; and they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
  • Genesis 1:16-18 – God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; [He made] the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

I don’t think anyone would have a problem telling the differences between the night and the day, or darkness and light. This is the level of distinction (i.e., holiness) that should be evident in God’s people of any generation, even unto this day.

God still calls us to be holy and set apart, not to walk in the compromised ways of the nations where we find ourselves. We should be attentive to the commands and rules that God has set in place since, as our Creator, he knows what’s best for us and what is also in his best interest and purpose.

1 Peter 1:14-16 – “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written: ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”

If you enjoy these daily articles, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

The Kingdom Sabbath is built into Creation itself

The Sabbath has always been intended by God to be a benefit, not a burden, to those in his kingdom.

Core of the Bible podcast #72 – The Kingdom Sabbath is built into Creation itself

Today we will be looking at the topic of the Kingdom, and how the Sabbath has always been intended by God to be a benefit, not a burden, to those in his kingdom.

When he was confronted by religious leaders as to his interpretation of appropriate Sabbath activities, Yeshua replied with the following:

Mark 2:27 – Then he told them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.”

In this simple statement, Yeshua was corroborating several things at once. Firstly, he validated the Sabbath as a viable concept within the eternal counsel of God, not as a mere temporary requirement. Secondly, he defined the Sabbath as being for all men, not as a practice just for Jews. And thirdly, the Sabbath has always been designed for the benefit of man, not for anxiously maintaining a detailed list of rules and regulations. As we examine this topic today, we’ll look at each of these ideas in turn as we explore how the Sabbath is involved with the Kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God has been designed by God to be not just an ideal to strive for, but to be a practical outworking of his desire for human behavior. God’s will is established and conducted through his Kingdom people.

In one scathing denunciation of the Jewish religious establishment, Yeshua told a parable of the owner of a vineyard kicking out the tenants who were not proper caretakers for him.

Matthew 21:43 – I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.

In this statement, we find that those within the Kingdom of God have a responsibility to produce fruit, that is, to act in accordance with the purpose and plan of the owner’s will for the vineyard.

In a similar confrontation on another occasion, Yeshua provides another indication that the Kingdom of God would be different than the Jews had been expecting.

Luke 13:28-29 – “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world–from east and west, north and south–to take their places in the Kingdom of God.”

The Kingdom was to be made up of all kinds of people from all over the world, not just Jews. And they would be individuals who were accomplishing God’s will which was to be exerted through his Kingdom.

Now in many places, I have stated that I believe the Ten Commandments provided to Israel at Sinai were the revelation of the “Kingdom Charter,” the principles that establish the baseline expectations that God has for all participants in his Kingdom. It was presented first to the nation of Israel (along with those who had chosen to leave Egypt with them), it became exemplified through the pinnacle of its outworking in the physical kingdom of David and Solomon, and then further fulfilled and brought to its ultimate fruition in the teaching of Messiah.

Israel’s faithfulness to the Kingdom principles would allow them to be the “light to the nations,” as prophesied by Isaiah.

Isaiah 42:6 – “I, Yahweh, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.”

Isaiah 60:3 – “All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.”

However, if they were unfaithful, their place and their lamp would be removed.

Ezekiel 5:5-7, 11, 14-15 – “This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: This is an illustration of what will happen to Jerusalem. I placed her at the center of the nations, but she has rebelled against my regulations and decrees and has been even more wicked than the surrounding nations. She has refused to obey the regulations and decrees I gave her to follow. “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: You people have behaved worse than your neighbors and have refused to obey my decrees and regulations. You have not even lived up to the standards of the nations around you. … “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yahweh, I will cut you off completely. I will show you no pity at all because you have defiled my Temple with your vile images and detestable sins. … “So I will turn you into a ruin, a mockery in the eyes of the surrounding nations and to all who pass by. You will become an object of mockery and taunting and horror. You will be a warning to all the nations around you. They will see what happens when Yahweh punishes a nation in anger and rebukes it, says Yahweh.”

Of course, all of this came to pass as the physical nation of Israel fell first to the Assyrians, and then to the Babylonians. Then, hundreds of years later, as Yeshua is teaching about the good news or the gospel of the Kingdom that was at hand at that time, he flatly states that the Jews would also lose not only their physical kingdom, but the spiritual kingdom that God had intended for them all along.

Matthew 21:43 – “I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.”

Yeshua came to teach them how to live out the principles of the Kingdom of God, and that those who received the truth of his message would inherit the Kingdom, and with it eternal life. This was corroborated by his disciples decades after Yeshua’s physical death and resurrection.

James 2:5 – “Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?”

Additionally, those who would not inherit the Kingdom were also described, and warned.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people–none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.”

So the kingdom has always been designed to be the earthly representation of God’s people who are faithful to his commands. And, through the example of the nation of Israel, God has demonstrated that he expects his people to abide by his commands.

As the commandments of God are expected by God to be observed by those who love and obey him, there is a specific command within the Ten Commandments wherein lies an aspect of the kingdom that is largely neglected among Christians today. God’s people have been instructed to remember the Sabbath and keep it set apart. It is a gift from him, a sacred memorial honoring the Creator (Yahweh), his provision, and his eternal purpose.

So let’s return to those three aspects of the Sabbath that were upheld by Yeshua in his discussions and debates with the religious leaders of his day.

Firstly, Yeshua validated the Sabbath as a viable concept within the eternal counsel of God, not only as a mere temporary requirement. Most people assume the Sabbath was instituted for Israel at Sinai. However, we find that the seventh day was actually set apart at Creation, as God demonstrated a practice of rest from his work of creating on that day.

Genesis 2:2-3 – “On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation.”

From the very beginning of all things, God declared that this day was to be set apart as special. We also can see from the Torah record that God expected his people to observe the Sabbath even before the Ten Commandments were officially spoken from Sinai.

Exodus 16:23, 29 – He told them, “This is what Yahweh commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for Yahweh … They must realize that the Sabbath is Yahweh’s gift to you.”

Due to their captivity and slavery through their years in Egypt, the Israelites had lost the ability to do maintain their recognition of the seventh day as a day set apart to Yahweh. So this command was a reminder that the Israelites should have been keeping the Sabbath that had been set apart at Creation.

Secondly, in his debate with the religious leaders, Yeshua said “the Sabbath was made for man,” not just as an expected practice for Jews. This had to be the case, since God’s Kingdom was ultimately to include all men, not just Jews.

Isaiah 60:3 – “All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.”

Luke 13:29 – “And people will come from all over the world–from east and west, north and south–to take their places in the Kingdom of God.”

If the commands that were to guide the Kingdom were just for the Jews, then none of the rest of the Ten Commandments should apply as still being universal today. However, almost all believing denominations today accept that the Ten Commandments (minus the Sabbath) should still be practiced today. We still should love God, not worship idols, not bear his name for no purpose, honor our mothers and fathers, avoid killing others, not commit adultery, not steal, not lie, and not covet what others have. Why then do believers skip over the fourth commandment to honor the Sabbath and keep it set apart?

The word Sabbath actually conveys more than just rest, but an intermission; the cycle of days is intentionally interrupted by something different, a unique day unlike the others. It is a day meant for Yahweh, but the rest we can experience is a gift from Yahweh to us. It is the unique day of mutual recognition; God observes it for our benefit and we observe it in his honor. As the Creator of everything that is, he instilled the desire for this day of mutual recognition right into our DNA and into the fabric of Creation itself when he personally exhibited its purpose at the very beginning of all things. If God participates in Sabbath, and if Yeshua and all of the early believers participated in the Sabbath, then it follows as Yeshua’s disciples and as those who are trying to learn from the early believers, we also should observe the Sabbath.

And finally, Yeshua identifies how the Sabbath has always been designed for the benefit of man, not for anxiously maintaining a detailed list of rules and regulations that might offend God. While an exhaustive list of restrictions can be produced by looking up all of the passages where the concept of the Sabbath is discussed in Scripture, out of context the individual things mentioned can total up to a guideline for legalism and judgment of others. This is what the day had become in the time of Yeshua, and he railed against the religious authorities for spending their time being the Sabbath police rather than enjoying the Sabbath for what it was intended to be: a day for the rejuvenation of every man, body and spirit combined.

The exhaustive list contains a host of practices like avoiding stocking firewood, laboriously building fires, and conducting sale and trade on the Sabbath. Yet, when viewed holistically, it becomes readily apparent that these things serve to illustrate how the Sabbath should interrupt our daily routines and remain unique. It is not a day for industry, or extensive cooking and food preparation, or for trade in the marketplace. Those all can take place on the remaining six days. Things on Sabbath are meant to be minimalistic in nature: simple foods prepared ahead of time, time spent with Yahweh in his Word and with like-minded individuals, bonding with immediate family and friends.

During each week as we look ahead to the seventh day, we should be considering what preparations may need to be made ahead of time to allow for a relaxing and focused Sabbath observance. This was and still is a common practice among Judaism to this day, with Fridays being considered “preparation day” before the Sabbath the next day. It is even mentioned in our New Testaments surrounding the events of the crucifixion of Yeshua, as preparation days were also practiced prior to the annual holy Sabbath days, like Passover, as well.

Mark 15:42 – “This all happened on the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath.”

Luke 23:54 – “This was done late afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin.”

John 19:14, 42 – “It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” … And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”

These preparation days were designed as ways of ensuring the “set-apartness” of the Sabbath would be thoughtfully maintained, not just a careless day of not doing anything.

So in conclusion of what we have reviewed today, Yeshua was very pointed in ensuring that the Sabbath day was to be employed for its intended purpose within the Kingdom of God’s people, not hijacked for the strict traditions of religious extremists. Seeing that the Jewish authorities had corrupted the purpose of the day into a long list of requirements and restrictions, Yeshua stated simply that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath. The day was originally and solely intended to be a benefit, not a burden. The New Living Translation brings this out in its rendering of this verse:

Mark 2:27 – NLT – “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”

Taking the whole of the Bible into consideration, it becomes apparent that God intended for the Sabbath to be recognized and practiced by all people, especially exemplified by those representing his Kingdom. As humans come to recognize and honor their Creator and the Kingdom of God expands, the Sabbath cycle instituted at the creation of all things can then continue to grow in influence and benefit, intentionally interrupting our daily routine and becoming the living mode of reconnecting with the Source of our true life.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

The God of all Creation

The example of God’s provision is all around us when we have eyes to see.

The example of God’s provision is all around us when we have eyes to see.

Psalm 135:6-7 – Yahweh does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind from his storehouses.

The fact that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all is provided throughout the Bible as a reason for people to place their trust in him.

Revelation 4:11 – Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.

Yeshua teaches on the natural order as a measure of trusting in God when he speaks of the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

Matthew 6:26, 28-30 – “Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? … “And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. “Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. “If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you ​– ​you of little faith?”

The apostle Paul writes of how the Creation itself should cause men to seek after God.

Romans 1:18-20 – For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

When we look out into the Creation, something we see every day, we should be reminded of the power, majesty, and provision of God in our lives. Even in the cities where almost all is concrete and steel and glass, a glimpse of the sky above, the rain that falls, or the wind that blows down the streets and alleys should remind us that we are part of a world that God has created, and that he retains his privilege over all.

No matter if we lose sight of him, we can place our trust in him since he is still in control of all, even when he is obscured by circumstances of our own making, or through the designs of men all around us. When we recognize him as the Creator of all, we yield to his greater will and purpose and allow his provision in our time of need. Just as he still provides for the natural order of all things, he can still provide for those who place their faith in him.

Matthew 6:30 – “If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you ​– ​you of little faith?”

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

A purposeful faith in the Creator

Believers today are challenged with believing in ancient wisdom or modern speculation.

Believers today are challenged with believing in ancient wisdom or modern speculation.

Revelation 4:11 – “Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.”

Amidst the visions that John experienced in the transmission of the book of Revelation to him, he at one point sees a type of throne room in the heavens. The majesty of the scene and the supernatural beings that are present in this vision speak to the glory of the God of the universe. Along with an eldership of human representation, supernatural beings also exclaim, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come,” (Revelation 4:8).

At least some of the aspects we can learn from this scene that the Almighty God, the Father, is eternal (who was, who is, and who is to come) and that he created and sustains all things. The spiritual heavens are described as a place where this acknowledgement and honor is understood, accepted, and maintained by all those who are present in his eternal kingdom.

Yet, that same acknowledgement does not exist on this earth in our present time. Most of the world in our day and age concludes that the entire universe and everything that exists today on the earth, including humans, began somehow from a single point of time and self-established itself into the myriad levels of variety and complexity that we see today.

This article isn’t an argument to unequivocally disprove evolution, but an illustration how the two worldviews, that of a big bang and that of a beneficent Creator being are incompatible with each other. As believers of an ancient religion in a modern society, we live with this tension every day.

Both of these propositions require faith. As humans living within limited lifetimes, we can no more prove that ancient species evolved into the forms we see today than we can prove God split the Red Sea in two for Moses and the Israelites to cross. There are varying evidences for each, but both of these propositions are unrepeatable and by that very fact beyond the reach of the scientific method.

But viewed from a different perspective, is it more reasonable to conclude that everything sprang from nothing and that meaning, purpose, and consciousness arose out of chaos, or that creative acts of a self-existent Being imbued a definite purpose for this creation and the awareness of its beings based on his own nature?

The evidence around us suggests that organic organisms spring from other organic organisms, although slightly different from their progenitor. Does this lead to evolution where complexity increases, or is it a repeated example over and over of the original creative act of life itself: the Creator imbuing that which is created with a less-encompassing measure of himself?

Faith in God is just that: faith. The thing that makes faith in God real is the purpose and meaning that stems from that faith. Believers can know spiritual things are true that are not evident to others because of recognizing and acknowledging the creative acts of a God with a purpose. If one believes that a creator God exists, then a Bible and all of the meaning and purpose that flow from it become a possibility.

Hebrews 11:6 – “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Faith in the God of the Bible provides meaning and context for the lives we live in the short time that we have on this earth. However, faith in the self-establishing universe of evolution deprives everything and everyone of any higher meaning, as all is a result of chance, defect, and death of the less adapted. There is no need for a Bible or any type of spiritual guide because the only purpose is to survive at all costs without any consequence in doing so.

Which alternative provides the most hope for the future of humanity? Is it the selfish instinct for the individual to survive at all costs, or the power of helping others based on a morality from a beneficent Creator? Does the selfish humanity have the greatest chance of survival or the humanity that finds purpose in helping others who are unable to help themselves?

Choose your faith carefully.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

The wisdom of God that guides believers

Staying close to God should cause us to exhibit his characteristics.

The Bible has many different genres of writings: historical (like the books of Kings, Chronicles, gospels, Acts), general instruction (epistles of Paul), wisdom (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus) and prophecy and apocalypse. Whether one includes the apocryphal books of Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus in the canon, the concept of a personification of Wisdom in a female character is represented in the wisdom literature, sometimes referred to as Lady Wisdom.

The inception of this character is revealed in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 8:22-23 – “Yahweh possessed me at the beginning of his way, before his works of long ago. I was formed before ancient times, from the beginning, before the earth began.”

In the poetic style of the Hebrew, Wisdom is represented as imbued within the very foundation of the Creation itself, guiding and working alongside Yahweh as the reality of this physical universe was created. From this, many Christians have come to see this passage as literally speaking to a pre-incarnate Yeshua as co-Creator with Yahweh God. It is clear that in this passage wisdom is represented as an attribute of God himself, however, I would align this as a figurative representation more closely with his Spirit than a pre-incarnate Yeshua.

As such, the godly aspects of wisdom are said to be desirous for learning, long life, and righteousness. Because of this, believers should demonstrate the same characteristics that are learned by remaining close to the Wisdom of God.

Proverbs 8:6-9 – “Listen, for I speak of noble things, and what my lips say is right. For my mouth tells the truth, and wickedness is detestable to my lips. All the words from my mouth are righteous; none of them are deceptive or perverse. All of them are clear to the perceptive, and right to those who discover knowledge.”

If wisdom is an emanation of godly characteristics, then these qualities should be evident within the lives of believers, as well. Our speech should be based on noble things, speaking what is right at all times, always speaking the truth with righteousness without any deception. The things we say should constantly guide those who desire to know more about God and to help them discover more about him.

As believers in the one true God, we should always represent him honestly and knowledgeably. As an example of this, the apostle Paul’s admonition to Timothy was to ensure he was grounded in the truth, working hard to teach others what was right about God.

2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”

We also should work diligently and prayerfully to ensure we possess the wisdom that comes from God, speaking righteously and honestly about him at all times, so that we may faithfully guide others to also find the truth in him.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

The kingdom ruling over all nations

The Creator of all is in charge of all, whether he is recognized as such or not.

Psalm 22 is remembered as being on the lips of Yeshua as he hung on the cross. The famous phrase, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” is the opening phrase in an all-consuming psalm that cascades into the larger view of God’s ultimate rulership over all people.

Psalm 22:27-31 – All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to Yahweh. All the families of the nations will bow down before you, for kingship belongs to Yahweh; he rules the nations. All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before him — even the one who cannot preserve his life. Their descendants will serve him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. They will come and declare his righteousness; to a people yet to be born they will declare what he has done.

It’s as if Yeshua is making it clear that his symbolic death was prophesied by David as representing and opening a way for those among the nations to be brought to God. The phrase, “All the families of the nations will bow down before you” is also an echo of the prophecy provided even earlier to Abraham: “in you shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

I find it interesting the psalm says, “all the ends of the earth will remember and turn to Yahweh.” This implies that there may be some type of spiritual amnesia that has descended upon the nations that inhibits their ability to acknowledge God as the Creator of all.

Paul writes about it this way:

Romans 1:21-22 – “For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…”

When did all people besides Israel know God? Clearly, God revealed himself to his own people at Sinai and throughout their history, and their rejection of him to serve idols has become a timeless object lesson for all the nations. But Paul mentions a sort of universal revelation that has been evident to all people, even if they choose to ignore it.

Romans 1:20 – For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

Paul says their thinking became darkened when they did not glorify God as God or show gratitude to him. This, then, is the natural result of rejecting the authority of God: a descent into further darkness and apostasy.

If, however, people are without excuse before God, then it is up to us as believers to continue to highlight God’s authority over all nations. Declaring that there is one God ruling in a universal kingdom, a God who has created all things, is the primary way of sparking some innate understanding, some lost understanding, in those among whom we live and work on a daily basis. David, Yeshua, and Paul testify to an awakening, a remembrance, that will cause them to repent of their wickedness and turn to him.

We can rejoice in the ongoing fulfillment of this prophetic reality as we continue to spread the gospel of the kingdom throughout each generation.

Psalm 22:27-28 – “All the families of the nations will bow down before you, for kingship belongs to Yahweh; he rules the nations.”

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

To trust Yahweh is to bear his image in this world

Fear of Yahweh influences every part of the believer’s life.

Psalm 115:9-13 – Israel, trust in Yahweh! He is their help and shield. House of Aaron, trust in Yahweh! He is their help and shield. You who fear Yahweh, trust in Yahweh! He is their help and shield. Yahweh remembers us and will bless us. He will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron; he will bless those who fear Yahweh — small and great alike.

In this psalm is a contrast between those who trust in idols and those who trust in Yahweh.

Psalm 115:4-8 – Their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk. They cannot make a sound with their throats. Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.

By contrast, Yahweh was known to have spoken Israel at Sinai; he listened to their prayers; the sacrifices of Israel were a pleasing aroma to him; Yahweh’s hand brought destruction upon Egypt; the clouds are described as being the dust beneath his feet. This is the God who stood in stark relief against the backdrop of the idolatry of the nations that surrounded Israel.

Fear of Yahweh is set as distinct from idolatry; for whoever trusts in Yahweh, he is to them a help and a shield. This implies that the idols are not a help and a shield to those who trust in them. Yahweh made the heavens and the earth; the idols did not. Yahweh deserves praise; the idols do not.

If those who trusted in their idols became like them, then it implies those who were to trust in Yahweh become like him. The reason idolatry is so wrong because it is assigning to a created thing the image that belongs only to Yahweh. Only Yahweh can assign his image to something, and he did that when he created man and woman.

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.

If men and women are designed to be image-bearers of God, then we should not try to assign that image to anything else in this life.

Psalm 115:1 – Not to us, Yahweh, not to us, but to your name give glory because of your faithful love, because of your truth.

Yahweh is worthy of praise because he is truthful and remains faithful to his covenants. If those who fear him bear his image, then they should be truthful in all things and remain faithful to their covenants. In the psalmist’s view, Yahweh was living and active, a protector and helper of Israel, Aaron, and all who feared him. To become like Yahweh is also to become a protector and helper of those in need.

Fear (that is reverence, respect, awe) of Yahweh influences every part of the believer’s life. As we bear the image of God to the world around us, we stand in contrast to the idolatry that still exists today. Modern idolaters trust in their wealth, in their social status, and in their prideful accomplishments.

However, believers should demonstrate the true power of imaging God: being truthful and faithful in their dealings with others and being protectors and helpers of those in need. By doing these things, we can become a blessing that honors our Maker.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

The awe-inspiring perspective that changes lives

When we live in awe of God’s majesty, we are compelled to act compassionately towards others.

Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

Job 6:14

“The fear of the Almighty” or “the fear of the Lord” are phrases that have fallen out of use in our modern religious vernacular. Rarely is God represented as a being who is to be feared; rather, his mercy and forgiveness are emphasized above and beyond all of the qualities of his being.

To better understand this admonition to fear God, we would do well to investigate the word that is translated in our English versions as “fear.” In regular vocabulary, that word to us means to be frightened or scared of something or someone who might do us harm. However, in biblical terminology, the term goes beyond that into a broader usage of “reverence” or “awe.”

If we have the fear of God, we have the deepest respect and reverence for God, recognizing just how awesome and powerful he really is. Whether we read of his power in the creation of all things, or the separating of the Red Sea, or in the resurrection of Yeshua, we are glimpsing the majesty and glory that sits outside of our natural understanding into the supernatural realm of God’s character and abilities. When we incorporate that perspective of the other-ness of God into our daily lives, we cannot help acting and working differently than others around us who have a physical-only worldview.

In Job’s perspective above, he mentions how the fear of the Almighty is a factor in us helping those around us. If we do not have the fear of God, Job says, we have no motivation for expressing compassion to those less fortunate or those who are going through rough patches in their lives; we withhold kindness. We instead focus on our personal agendas which end up being relatively insignificant by comparison. Having the larger perspective of awe can help us realize that the things we value as important to us in the short term of our temporary lives pale in contrast with the more important things that the God of the universe expects of us, such as helping others.

This concept of perspective-changing awe is a known commodity, even outside of religious environments.

Imagine yourself at a scenic vista somewhere on Earth, such as the rim of the Grand Canyon or the shore of an ocean stretching out past the horizon line. As your brain processes the view and its sheer vastness, feelings of awe kick in. Looking at a photo is not the same, but we might get a dose of that when we look at a particularly sparkly Hubble picture of a star cluster. The experience of awe, whether we’re standing at the summit of a mountain or sitting in front of a computer screen, can lead to “a diminished sense of self,” a phrase psychologists use to describe feelings of smallness or insignificance in the face of something larger than oneself. Alarming as that may sound, research has shown that the sensation can be a good thing: A shot of awe can boost feelings of connectedness with other people.

Galaxy Brain is Real, The Atlantic.

Taken as a whole, the Bible is all about instilling in us a sense of awe and wonder for the God who created all things and who placed us within his creation to make a compassionate difference in the lives of those around us. When we operate within that sense of big-picture reverence for our Creator, we are not only encouraged but compelled to express his compassion. In this way, the two greatest commands, to love God and love others, can be fulfilled in us.