Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman's Guide to the Nature of God

By Lee Ann Rubsam

Religion & spirituality, Education & teaching, General non-fiction

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The Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha often used the phrase, "As the LORD God lives, before Whom I stand." As in the days of Elijah and Elisha, we live in a confused world, where people do not know Who the true and living God really is anymore. Even in the Church, there are many whose understanding of His nature is fuzzy at best, and quite mistaken at worst. We no longer seem to know the One "before Whom we stand."
Many heresies are afoot in the Church today. Some of them look plausible and appealing on the surface, and their perpetrators use Scripture convincingly to prove their point. Error will usually have enough truth mixed in with it to make it seem right on the surface.
One of the best ways I have discovered to quickly discern whether a teaching about the nature of God is true or not is by asking the question, "Does this idea magnify God to a higher place than the best I could possibly imagine of Him, or does it seek to limit Him and make Him less glorious?" Any doctrine which makes God smaller in our eyes is not truth. God is always bigger and better than our wildest imagination!
When we hear a new teaching which troubles us, but we do not immediately know exactly what is wrong, we should think it through carefully and prayerfully, applying the Word (the Bible) as the plumbline to measure it for truth. If we ask Him to, God will bring specific verses to mind, over a period of time, to either confirm or refute the teaching we are questioning. He is faithful to keep us from error, if we depend upon Him to do so.
This book is not intended to be another theological treatise or a clinical statement of faith as we generally think of those. It is more of an explanation of the essence of the Living God and what that means to those of us who have a hunger to know HIM for Who He really is.
Everything you will read here is built upon the premise that the Bible is infallibly true and is a solid foundation which cannot be shaken. God knows that we humans need firm foundations, so that we may lead secure and happy lives.
I have done my best to explain in the simplest terms possible what the Bible teaches about God's nature. This book is intended to help those who are already Christians to be more certain of what they believe. For those who are not yet Christians, but are open to knowing God as He really is, I hope that what I have written will help you also to more clearly understand what the Bible teaches about Him.
Shall we begin the journey together?

The World's Story (Why We Need God)

Contrary to what many of our educational institutions teach, mankind did not evolve out of some primordial slime pit. We are not anciently related to amoebas, and we are not on an equal plane with the animal kingdom.
The Bible teaches that God made mankind as the highest order of living being in His creation. We are unique in that only humans are created in the image of God, having an eternal soul and spirit (Genesis 1:26, 27). The first man and woman were perfect in every respect, without any malfunctions and without any sin to darken their souls.
But in Genesis 3, a sad story unfolds. The first man and woman chose to disobey the one command which God had clearly laid out to them, thereby breaking their perfect fellowship with Him and bringing both spiritual and physical death into the world. From that point forward, all their descendants were born with a nature predisposed toward wrongdoing. Selfishness became the order of the day, sickness and trouble entered the earth, and perfect happiness was replaced with much sorrow of heart.
God was not taken by surprise with this turn of events. In fact, He had put a strategy in place for how to fix it before even creating the heaven and the earth. That amazing plan involved God becoming a man Himself, living a perfectly sinless life in the midst of all the temptations our world affords, and then satisfying His own holy, righteous justice by paying the penalty for mankind's rebellion in His own body. He took our sin upon Himself and gave us His purity in exchange. He made the way for restored fellowship between man and Himself, and He has been in the process ever since of restoring all things that were originally lost to man.
The culmination of this restoration will involve God and people living eternally in unbroken fellowship with each other, all wickedness and sorrow forever destroyed, and God being adored and glorified by all of His creation. It sounds like an incredible fantasy, and yet it is the very truest of nonfiction.
Each one of us has the choice of whether to embrace the story and the God of the story, or to pooh-pooh it and concoct our own novel. God does not force any of us to believe Him or receive His plan. He opens His hands to us, ready to take us back into perfect relationship with Him, but He leaves the decision to us.
The greatest desire of God’s heart is for each of us to fully know Him and have continual fellowship with Him. This in itself is beyond comprehending, since He is described in Psalm 113:6 as the One "Who humbles Himself to look upon the things that are in heaven and in the earth."
The rest of this book is intended to partly explain the nature of this magnificent Being Who loves us so much. As you read, may you who do not yet know Him fall in love with Him for the first time. And for those of you who are already His, may you fall more intensely in love with Him than you ever have been before.



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