Only God is God
By Pastor Bill Daniels
We follow a courageous and noble ancestry, we who belong to the God of the Bible. It’s a heritage of heroes who have gone before us – men and women who bravely insisted on the truth and faced down falsehood throughout the centuries, even at risk of greatest loss. It has always been the way of God’s true leaders to either so speak the truth that it becomes obvious that all else are lies, or to openly condemn the false for the deception it is. This has always been the way of God’s men and women of faith.
When King Jeroboam foolishly, fearfully led Israel into idolatry (I Kings 12), the Lord didn’t waste any time in openly condemning that sham “religion” of Jeroboam’s own creation, calling it what it was and prophesying the destruction of its altar (I Ki. 13). And how did God challenge Jeroboam’s phony religion? He sent a man – a “man of God” – a man who disregarded all personal danger and boldly confronted the lie of that false religious system. And a man who immediately found himself in great danger from a human perspective. It was a fearful day and a fearful place to be preaching what that unnamed man was called of God to preach. He was sent right to the bee’s nest carrying a stick with which to thump it. God called that man to boldly confront the menace of evil, to stare wrong in the face, and name it evil, and call it vrot. God called him to go and take His message right into the presence of the king, to face the powerful initiator of the whole mess, right into the temple of idolatry. That took nerve! But the Lord God of heaven and earth was with him and gave supernatural deliverance. When man, in his folly, devises false religion, God sends His man to face it down and call it what it is – lies!
Let’s test your Old Testament knowledge a bit. You’ve heard of Gideon, right? What was the event that rocketed Gideon to a place of leadership in his day? When God called Gideon to leadership, He commanded the man to go flatten that all-too-popular altar to the phony god, Baal. Well, it didn’t take long for Gideon to get into a stack of trouble. The whole community was soon buzzing with anger. After all, what business was it of this man to be condemning the religion of others and altering their altars, right? Live and let live, man! But that’s not the Lord’s way, folks. That’s Satan’s muzzle! Gideon was just man enough to do what the Lord told him to do.
We need to recognize a vital lesson from the Lord in biblical accounts such as these. We need to acknowledge that the Lord does not mess around when it comes to false religion. He does not mind knocking it down. He does not want us to be afraid to do so. The Lord does not want us to comfortably live with Satan’s counterfeits. He calls us to confront and condemn the false. He does not want us to allow fear of the unsaved to move us to cowering, close-mouthed compliance or tolerance.
The Lord commanded, in Psalm 37, “fret not thyself because of evil-doers” (vs. 1). Why? Because, “evil doers will be cut off” (vs. 9). And those who follow false religion are indeed “evil-doers”. They do evil when they reject and replace the truth of God’s words with their lies.
Or consider the Lord’s stirring counsel to His disciples in Matt. 10:28 to “ fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Fear God, not men! And remember the Lord’s assurance through His bold prophet Isaiah, to “fear not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God” (41:10). Surely such assurances from the Lord must have filled Elijah’s heart when he confronted Baal worshippers head-on at Mt. Carmel, and condemned it for the charade that it was (I Kings 18).
The New Testament book of Acts is where we see this biblical principle of intolerance of falsehood extending beyond just the borders of Israel. The Apostle Paul ministered for several years in the city of Ephesus, in western Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). In preaching in that city the gospel of hope in Jesus Christ alone, Paul did not fail to add God’s condemnation of the lie of idolatry, and particularly of the goddess Diana, so popular in that place and time (Acts 19:26). Now many in that day were violently offended that Paul would speak against idolatry, such as the worship of Diana, “saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands”. Wasn’t it true that devotion to Diana was much older than the worship of Christ in that city? It was a religion with an ancient heritage and a very popular following. Paul certainly had the right to disagree, but shouldn’t he have been a bit more sensitive toward the rights of others? Shouldn’t he have just proclaimed his own religious views and left well enough alone as to what others believe? Doesn’t there seem to be an unhealthy dose of arrogance in one who would knock somebody else’s religion as he promotes his own? But we must remember that Paul was not advancing his own ideas or his own private interpretations. He proclaimed the ideas of the true God of heaven! Eternal truths the only Lord of glory has recorded in His Book of books. And Paul lived in all good conscience before the Lord in his ministry.
Now let’s apply these thoughts to you and me in our own day. Does it not seem likely that the Lord would call upon the true church of our day, and of every age, to follow the same course His faithful ones have always followed? Where are God’s brave saints standing up to condemn the false religions of our own day, or so insisting on the truth of the Bible that it becomes quite obvious that the false are indeed false? I think we do wrong before the Lord in holding our tongues. Timid tolerance and social correctitude are the devil’s doctrines more than God’s, designed to button our lips concerning obvious rights and wrongs. I think we do the unsaved a desperate disservice by refraining from due condemnation of the false, and not clearly affirming the exclusive truth of God’s Word. It is the perverted policy of the evil one that has tongue-tied us, my Christian friends. Seems to me it’s high time we cast aside his muzzle!
The Bible verse that impresses me is Isaiah 45:22,where the Lord God of heaven proclaims;
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”Please linger with me for a moment over this lucid statement from the Lord. Many things are quite obvious on the surface of it. To begin with, it’s a command. And the command is for all to look to the only God of the Bible for salvation. We can therefore assume some things – that all people are in need of salvation – that none will be saved without looking to the true God. The need of salvation and the onlytrue source of salvation become immediately clear. The lost condition of all without the Lord God of the Bible and man’s utter dependence on Him are clearly expressed in this verse. And indeed the word “all” is used here. No one can find refuge in the hope that perhaps this “all” refers to all of Israel or all the whites or all the West. The Lord is clearly speaking to “all the ends of the earth” – to every soul on this earth – to the farthest extremities – to YOU, my friend!
“. . . for I am God,” He says, “and there is none else.”
But wait! What of those who bring offerings to their Buddha idols over there in the Far-East? Shouldn’t we perhaps leave them to their own choices? No! Because Buddha is no god! Or what of those who worship their Allah or their Krishna? Alas, these too are no true gods! For “I am God”, says the Lord God of heaven, “and there is none else!” Some would insist that Allah and God are the same being, but this is simply not true. The Bible and the Muslim Koran describe two very different beings, and they cannot both be God! The Allah of the Koran cannot be God, and God be God at the same time. For only God is God! Neither can any of the false gods of the Hindus be God, and God be God at the same time.
“I am God, and there is none else.”
And only God’s truth is truth, and all else that contradicts is lies. We can be certain that the father of lies, Satan himself, is the ignoble author of it all.
God’s people are very quiet about this sort of message today. Nobody wants to be the one to say or write such “judgmental” things. Nobody wants to be “negative” when it’s so terribly fashionable to be positive. But can you not see what results when we’re unwilling to just come clear on this? Think about it! The man on the street does not hear the Lord’s people appropriately condemning the lying false religions of this globe. And precisely because he does not hear the true church clearly disapproving the wrong and insisting upon only God’s right, that man on the street begins to assume some things. He assumes the Lord’s people must be silent because they cannot rightly condemn other religions. And if the true church cannot condemn such contradictory views, then surely it must be because all the differing belief systems are in some way all quite acceptable. Each of those conflicting views must somehow be at the same time “true” for those who hold them. And there follows the conclusion that it must be that there are no fixed rights and wrongs, if opposing views can all somehow be “right”. The tragic result of it is that man no longer feels responsible for his arrogant neglect of the truth of God, through this strange, modern, broadened, false redefinition of truth and right. And a wave of shame sweeps over me when I realize that men have partly been led to that disastrous conclusion through the reticence of God’s own people. For we know truth from error, but have spinelessly allowed ourselves to be muzzled by popular fashion, and the one behind it!
As well, when the Lord’s people begin to join together in unity with other bogus belief systems, as is happening everywhere in the mixed up church of our day, this only adds weight to that same conclusion. Implied approval is granted to any number of false belief systems and lying “gods” today, through unity with such systems and their leaders, and through uneasy silence concerning their error. It must be that they’re all, in some sense, O.K., thinks the man on the street. But error not O.K.!
“I am God, and there is none else”, says the only true God of the Bible.
Do you see how folks are confused? Do you see how we’ve helped them to their confusion? The unsaved looking on are perceptive. They believe what they see more than what they hear sheepishly spoken by a few. And what they’re seeing put into practice out there is that it doesn’t really matter what you believe. There must not be any sharp lines between right and wrong, since nobody is drawing those lines anymore.
But the unalterable truth is that only God is God!And there is none else! All else that would claim to be gods are no gods – false gods – lying gods, whose imaginary glories are sung by their lying prophets and preachers, and whose hapless followers are led by the scores into hell’s destruction!!
God is God, and there is none else. And salvation resides only in Him! “Look unto Me, and be ye saved”, says the only God who is God and the only One who can save, for “there is none else!”
Consider Acts 4:12 (to be proclaimed loudly, clearly, repeatedly, earnestly, exuberantly to our sin-blinded world),
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
The only name implied in this Acts 4 passage is the name of Jesus Christ. And compare I Timothy 2:5;
“For there is one God (and only one), and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
There is simply no other name on this earth whereby a soul can be saved from God’s certain judgment upon man’s sin . . . says the only true God of the Bible.
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Lord, I confess that I am a sinner who deserves no mercy, but only Your righteous judgment . . .
I believe Jesus died in my place for all my sins . . .
I ask you to forgive me . . .
I now receive Jesus as my own Saviour!