Evidence from archaeological excavations (in the Douglas Adamsian tradition of "The Institute of Taking Impossibly Long Times to Find Out What's Painfully Obvious," as even a cursory reading of the millennia-old Tanakh or Old Testament with a right mind — although we're not sure how often that happens) strongly suggests that YHWH wasn't the only God, just one that Abraham promised to worship so he could take all of Palestine, put the men to the sword, the towns to the torch, and the women to bed. The deal also included sacrificing the good stuff — the gold, silver, wine, and animals — to the Lord, i.e. making His priests rich.
Many traditions see God as incorporeal and eternal, and regard him as a point of living light like human souls, but without a physical body, as he does not enter the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. God is seen as the perfect and constant embodiment of all virtues, powers and values and that he is the unconditionally loving Father of all souls, irrespective of their religion, gender, or culture.[86]
In an early Venetian school Coronation of the Virgin by Giovanni d'Alemagna and Antonio Vivarini, (c. 1443) The Father is depicted using the symbol consistently used by other artists later, namely a patriarch, with benign, yet powerful countenance and with long white hair and a beard, a depiction largely derived from, and justified by, the near-physical, but still figurative, description of the Ancient of Days.[56]

Almighty God, Christ of the last days, expresses words to judge and purify people, and leads them to enter into the new age—the Age of Kingdom. All those who are obedient under the dominion of Christ will be able to enjoy higher truth, obtain greater blessings, truly live within the light, and also gain the truth, the way, and the life.  Read More ›

Allāh (Arabic: الله‎) is the Arabic term with no plural used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians and Jews meaning "The God" (with the first letter capitalized), while "ʾilāh" (Arabic: إله‎) is the term used for a deity or a god in general.[24][25][26] God may also be given a proper name in monotheistic currents of Hinduism which emphasize the personal nature of God, with early references to his name as Krishna-Vasudeva in Bhagavata or later Vishnu and Hari.[27]

Reflecting the Annunciation in Luke 1:35, the early Apostles' Creed states that Jesus was "conceived by the Holy Spirit".[122] The Nicene Creed refers to the Holy Spirit as "the Lord and Giver of Life" who with the Father and the Son together is "worshiped and glorified".[123] While in the act of the Incarnation, God the Son became manifest as the Son of God, the same did not take place for God the Holy Spirit which remained unrevealed.[124] Yet, as in 1 Corinthians 6:19 God the Spirit continues to dwell in bodies of the faithful.[124][125]

Introvigne noted that the position of the members of The Church of Almighty God who accepted and spread the prophecies about the end of the world in 2012, some of whom were expelled from the church, “was not consistent with the theology of the Church. Almighty God does not announce the end of the world, but its transformation. And this will not occur before the work of Almighty God on Earth is completed,” i.e. before the person recognized as Almighty God will pass away, while she was alive and well in 2012.[74]
Third, the omnipotence of God implies that his power is superior to all other powers. During the Summer Olympics one of the camera maneuvers taught me something about the greatness of God. The opening and closing ceremonies were thrilling to most of the people who saw them. The sheer magnitude of the crowds and fireworks and music were a once-in-a-lifetime experience of bigness and grandeur.

Because YHWH so obviously made such a lousy cosmic protector, killing his own vassals with plagues, Hellfire and brimstone, His patron kingdoms being ground into dust by the Assyrians and whatnot, He was beefed up by a merger with El, making Him not only the particular God of the Hebrews but also THE MOST POWERFUL GOD IN THE COSMOS. It's quite clear through even a cursory reading of the Old Testament (e.g. the First Commandment) that even then the Israelites did not consider Yahweh to be the only god, merely the most important one. Needless to say that He's frequently mentioned in plural (Elohim), and the single-most repeated phrase in the Old Testament is, "I am the YHWH your Elohim, the El of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
Jump up ^ Webster's New World Dictionary; "God n. ME < OE, akin to Ger gott, Goth guth, prob. < IE base * ĝhau-, to call out to, invoke > Sans havaté, (he) calls upon; 1. any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature; deity, esp. a male deity: typically considered objects of worship; 2. an image that is worshiped; idol 3. a person or thing deified or excessively honored and admired; 4. [G-] in monotheistic religions, the creator and ruler of the universe, regarded as eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowing; Supreme Being; the Almighty"

The oldest plausible recorded occurrence of Yahweh is as a place-name, "land of Shasu of yhw", in an Egyptian inscription from the time of Amenhotep III (1402–1363 BCE),[19][20] the Shasu being nomads from Midian and Edom in northern Arabia.[21] In this case a plausible etymology for the name could be from the root HWY, which would yield the meaning "he blows", appropriate to a weather divinity.[22][23][23] There is considerable but not universal support for this view,[24] but it raises the question of how he made his way to the north.[25] The widely accepted Kenite hypothesis holds that traders brought Yahweh to Israel along the caravan routes between Egypt and Canaan.[26] The strength of the Kenite hypothesis is that it ties together various points of data, such as the absence of Yahweh from Canaan, his links with Edom and Midian in the biblical stories, and the Kenite or Midianite ties of Moses.[25] However, while it is entirely plausible that the Kenites and others may have introduced Yahweh to Israel, it is unlikely that they did so outside the borders of Israel or under the aegis of Moses, as the Exodus story has it.[27][28]
Those of us who watched it on television could feel some of the thrill when the camera was high enough to take in the whole great sweep of the coliseum. But then something strange happened. The camera continued to recede into the sky where it was perched in the helicopter, and the coliseum became smaller and smaller until it was just a blurry dot on the ground.

He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as Atman by the yogis and as Bhagavan by the bhaktas. The same brahmin is called priest, when worshipping in the temple, and cook, when preparing a meal in the kitchen. The jnani, following the path of knowledge, always reason about the Reality saying, "not this, not this." Brahman is neither "this" nor "that"; It is neither the universe nor its living beings. Reasoning in this way, the mind becomes steady. Finally it disappears and the aspirant goes into samadhi. This is the Knowledge of Brahman. It is the unwavering conviction of the jnani that Brahman alone is real and the world is illusory. All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream. What Brahman is cannot be described. One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person. This is the opinion of the jnanis, the followers of Vedanta. But the bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of the God's power and glory. God has created all these — sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this — the 24 cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. The devotee of God wants to eat sugar, and not become sugar. (All laugh.) Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: "O God, Thou art the Master, and I am Thy servant. Thou art the Mother, and I Thy child." Or again: "Thou art my Father and Mother. Thou art the Whole, and I am a part." He does not like to say, "I am Brahman." They yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. His ideal is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from sense objects and tries to concentrate on the Paramatman. Therefore, during the first stage of his spiritual discipline, he retires into solitude and with undivided attention practices meditation in a fixed posture.
The Church of Almighty God denies the Trinity, teaching a form of modalism. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are seen as three different manifestations of the one God, not three distinct Persons. “The Trinity does not exist anywhere in this universe. God has no Father and no Son, much less is there the concept of an instrument jointly used by the Father and the Son: the Holy Spirit. All of this is the greatest fallacy and simply does not exist in this world!” (op. cit.).
“The state labeled Zhao Weishan’s fake ‘Church of Almighty God’ as a xie jiao, and we label them as ‘evil spirits.” Only Zhang Fan and I, the ‘firstborn sons,’ could represent the real ‘Church of Almighty God.’ Zhang Fan and I are the unique spokeswomen for the real ‘Almighty God.’ The government has been cracking down on the Almighty God that Zhao Weishan believes in, not the ‘Almighty God’ we mention. They are fake ‘Almighty God,’ while we are the real ‘Almighty God’” (The Beijing News 2014).
A member of the Church of Almighty God called Danny answered, and told her: “God has come to do His work on earth and expressed the words to judge and purify man in the last days. I know a sister who has more knowledge of God’s work of the last days. If you like, I can invite her to have a meeting and fellowship with us about it as well as how the little scroll prophesied in Revelation is opened.” Interestingly, and following a pattern repeated in other stories of conversions by Westerners, fellowshipping with the more experienced believer, Sister Flora, also took place on Facebook. She persuaded Ann that “The Word Appears in the Flesh expressed by Almighty God in the last days is precisely the little scroll opened by the Lamb mentioned in the Bible,” and includes all the truths we need to know about the Last Days.

Gods and goddesses are generally mightier than minor supernatural entities like fairies, elves, or spirits; they can alter natural events and help or harm human beings. Most religions believe in one or more deities with distinct characteristics. Typically polytheistic religions rank their deities, some being dominant over others. Sometimes the deity who started the universe up is not seen as involved in human affairs, therefore 'lesser' deities that do things for people may be worshiped much more intensively than the original creator.[2]

Jump up ^ Rowe, William L. (1998). "Agnosticism". In Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-07310-3. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist. In so far as one holds that our beliefs are rational only if they are sufficiently supported by human reason, the person who accepts the philosophical position of agnosticism will hold that neither the belief that God exists nor the belief that God does not exist is rational.
What won him was the doctrine of the two stages of salvation, and the idea that “saved” and “purified” are different concepts. “I got to understand that being saved means that one has received Jesus’ salvation, and will no longer be condemned […] for violating the law. It doesn’t mean that he has been completely purified.” The sinful disposition remains, and is only being eradicated now, by the second appearance of Christ as Almighty God in the Last Days.

An important, if often overlooked, aspect of the beliefs of the Church of Almighty God is its doctrine of beauty. Beauty is, first, an inherent feature of the words of Almighty God, described as uniformly “beautiful and moving” (The Church of Almighty God 2017a: 3). The presence of Almighty God on Earth is not only momentous and decisive: it also creates unprecedented beauty. One of the distinctive characteristics of the new kingdom of God is “beauty” (The Church of Almighty God 2017a: 46, 88). The Word Appears in the Flesh also mentions the “piteous state” of those who, remaining outside the new kingdom, are deprived of this beauty, “watching the beautiful scenes within the kingdom but unable to enter” (The Church of Almighty God 2017a: 166).

Often, men are trapped by younger women who can entice them with sexual advances or even blackmail. Some former members recall being introduced by family members or even in-laws. Members will even target priests and people within high-ranking Christian positions, making the group even more dangerous, as they have members who are willing to do anything for the cause.
Yahweh[Notes 1] was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah.[3] His exact origins are disputed, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and even the Late Bronze:[4][5] his name may have begun as an epithet of El, head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon,[6] but the earliest plausible mentions of Yahweh are in Egyptian texts that refer to a similar-sounding place name associated with the Shasu nomads of the southern Transjordan.[7]
Image on a pithos sherd found at Kuntillet Ajrud below the inscription "Yahweh and his Asherah".[62] The two standing figures are sometimes seen as a representation of the divine couple, while the seated lyre-player behind them is an entertainer.[63] Alternatively, many art historians identify the standing figures as representations of the Egyptian dwarf-god Bes, on account of their distinctively bovine faces.[63] Ziony Zevit has argued that Yahweh was represented as a Bes-figure, though there is little evidence for this.[63] It is also possible that the images on the pot have nothing to do with the inscription at all.[63]
The gender of God may be viewed as either a literal or an allegorical aspect of a deity who, in classical western philosophy, transcends bodily form.[87][88] Polytheistic religions commonly attribute to each of the gods a gender, allowing each to interact with any of the others, and perhaps with humans, sexually. In most monotheistic religions, God has no counterpart with which to relate sexually. Thus, in classical western philosophy the gender of this one-and-only deity is most likely to be an analogical statement of how humans and God address, and relate to, each other. Namely, God is seen as begetter of the world and revelation which corresponds to the active (as opposed to the receptive) role in sexual intercourse.[89]
Among those who accepted the person and the message of Almighty God was Zhao Weishan (Chinese: 赵维山; born December 12, 1951), the leader of an independent branch of the Shouters.[17] While some scholars regard Zhao as the founder of the movement,[18] others believe that this is due to a bias in the Chinese sources, which would not easily accept that a large religious movement was founded by a woman, and in fact the title of "founder" of The Church of Almighty God should rather be attributed to the (female) person the movement venerates as Almighty God.[19] According to Australian scholar Emily Dunn, in 1991, the organization had more than a thousand members. After being investigated and prosecuted by local police station, Zhao left Heilongjiang and continued the organization in Qingfeng County, Henan, where it continued to expand.[20] He was later recognized as the leader and the Priest of The Church of Almighty God. The church insists that it is personally led and shepherded by the person it recognizes as Almighty God, and that Zhao, "the Man used by the Holy Spirit," is the administrative leader of the movement.[21]
In Eastern Orthodox theology, essence of God being that which is beyond human comprehension and can not be defined or approached by human understanding.[130] Roman Catholic teachings are somewhat similar in considering the mysteries of the Trinity as being beyond human reason.[99] However, differences exist in that in Roman Catholic theology and teaching, God the Father is the eternal source of the Son (begot the Son by an eternal generation) and of the Holy Spirit (by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son) and the one who breathes the Holy Spirit with and through the Son, but the Eastern Orthodox consider the Spirit to proceed from the Father alone.[131]
Jump up ^ Kindopp (2004), 141: “Similarly, a disgruntled Protestant Christian named Zhao Weishan broke from his church to establish the Eastern Lightning cult, also in Henan"; Aikman (2003), 242: “"Some time in the 1990s, the man regarded as the founder of Eastern Lightning, Zhao Weishan, came to the United States with a false passport and applied for—and in 2000 was granted—political asylum.”
Bahá'u'lláh taught that God is directly unknowable to common mortals, but that his attributes and qualities can be indirectly known by learning from and imitating his divine Manifestations, which in Bahá'í theology are somewhat comparable to Hindu avatars or Abrahamic prophets. These Manifestations are the great prophets and teachers of many of the major religious traditions. These include Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Muhammad, Bahá'ú'lláh, and others. Although the faith is strictly monotheistic, it also preaches the unity of all religions and focuses on these multiple epiphanies as necessary for meeting the needs of humanity at different points in history and for different cultures, and as part of a scheme of progressive revelation and education of humanity.

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Second Temple Judaism was centered not on synagogues, which began to appear only in the 3rd century BCE, and the reading and study of scripture, but on the Temple itself, and on a cycle of continual blood sacrifice (meaning the sacrifice of live animals). Torah, or ritual law, was also important, and the Temple priests were responsible for teaching it, but the concept of scripture developed only slowly. While the written Torah (the Pentateuch) and the Prophets were accepted as authoritative by the 1st century CE, beyond this core the different Jewish groups continued to accept different groups of books as authoritative.[86]

That Yahweh means “I Am” tells us several important things about God’s identity. First, it shows that the Lord’s character is unchangeable. We can say of ourselves, “I was x last year, but now I am y, and next week I could be z,” but not our Creator. Yesterday He says, “I Am,” today He says, “I Am,” and tomorrow He says, “I Am.” He cannot learn any new information or become more holy. None of God’s perfections can be subtracted or added to. He can never be anything other than what He is today. There is absolutely no shadow of change for our Creator (James 1:17). Importantly, Jesus speaks of Himself in similar terms (the “I Am” sayings of John; see 8:58, for example), which reveals that He is one with the Father and worthy of worship and praise.
Grace means that all our sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More is forgiven when we confess it. But it also means that we receive power to obey the truth that Jesus came with. In this book, Sigurd Bratlie expands upon this, showing the true gospel of God which is obedience to the faith.
The issue is complicated by the question of whether the Israelites were truly one distinct people descended from Abraham who migrated en masse from Egypt to Canaan, rather than a confederation of previously unrelated people who came to accept a common national identity, religious mythology, and origin story. In any case, there is much evidence that the Yahweh-only ideology did not come to the fore among the Israelites until well into the period of Kings, and it was not until after the Babylonian exile that monotheism took firm root among the Jews.

God the Father is symbolized in several Genesis scenes in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, most famously The Creation of Adam (whose image of near touching hands of God and Adam is iconic of humanity, being a reminder that Man is created in the Image and Likeness of God (Gen 1:26)).God the Father is depicted as a powerful figure, floating in the clouds in Titian's Assumption of the Virgin in the Frari of Venice, long admired as a masterpiece of High Renaissance art.[61] The Church of the Gesù in Rome includes a number of 16th century depictions of God the Father. In some of these paintings the Trinity is still alluded to in terms of three angels, but Giovanni Battista Fiammeri also depicted God the Father as a man riding on a cloud, above the scenes.[62]
As to the earlier tradition, Josephus (Antiq., II, xii, 4) declares that he is not allowed to treat of the Divine name; in another place (Antiq., XII, v, 5) he says that the Samaritans erected on Mt. Garizim an anonymon ieron . This extreme veneration for the Divine name must have generally prevailed at the time when the Septuagint version was made, for the translators always substitute Kyrios (Lord) for Jehovah. Ecclesiasticus 23:10 , appears to prohibit only a wanton use of the Divine name, though it cannot be denied that Jehovah is not employed as frequently in the more recent canonical books of the Old Testament as in the older books.

The civil rights movement was just one of many real-world events that made the question seem apt. In 1966, it wasn’t so easy for Americans to believe that a beneficent God was actively steering the lives of man. After years spent battling evil abroad, American Christians watched as Godless communism drew its sinister curtain across the world. And at home, with its million daily inhumanities, their own nation oppressed citizens due to the color of their skin.

I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, "I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued." C.S. Lewis said he remembered, "...night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England."
God's Incarnation Three Stages of God's Work Judgment of the Last Days About the Names of God The Age of Grace and Age of Kingdom Salvation and Full Salvation The Way of Eternal Life God's Work and Man's Work Knowing Christ Knowing God The Bible and God Knowing the Voice of God God Has Descended in China God's Church and Religion The Pharisees The Trinity Truth and Doctrines Following the Will of God The True Way Has Always Been Persecuted The True Meaning of Rapture
The word God is "one of the most complex and difficult in the English language." In the Judeo-Christian tradition, "the Bible has been the principal source of the conceptions of God". That the Bible "includes many different images, concepts, and ways of thinking about" God has resulted in perpetual "disagreements about how God is to be conceived and understood".[82]