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The original pronunciation is lost to history, because the Hebrew Bible contains no vowels, and of course those who would have known the pronunciation are long gone. Further, it was historically considered disrespectful to speak God's name, outside of the most sacred of settings. Even today, conservative and Orthodox Jews generally do not use His name, as they consider it very holy to even pronounce, while the Christians mostly refer to Him as "the LORD".[1]

By the end of the first century, Clement of Rome had repeatedly referred to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and linked the Father to creation, 1 Clement 19.2 stating: "let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe".[27] Around AD 213 in Adversus Praxeas (chapter 3) Tertullian is believed to have provided a formal representation of the concept of the Trinity, i.e. that God exists as one "substance" but three "Persons": The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and with God the Father being the Head.[28][29] Tertullian also discussed how the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[28] While the expression "from the Father through the Son" is also found among them.[30][31][32]
When I caught the nearly-90-year-old theologian by phone, he was in the middle of writing about death. His subject matter has not changed, but the world has. Theology is relegated to the margins. Radical thought is less welcome. God, for better or worse, is not up for debate. He still proclaims his apocalyptic theories, but the ecstasy he felt in 1966 is gone.
The group teaches that in the Old Testament God was known by the name Jehovah. In the New Testament era, God was known as Jesus Christ. Now, in the last days, He is properly known as Almighty God. His work, through the female Christ, is qualitatively different from the work of the apostles. Although God used the apostles, they could only do what men who are used by God can do. The Church of Almighty God is the work of God Himself. According to their official website, the group “was entirely founded by Almighty God personally, and is personally led and shepherded by Him, and it was by no means set up by any man.” Currently, in the Kingdom Age, God is carrying out His White Throne Judgment. All Christian denominations and sects have lost the Holy Spirit, and His power is now concentrated in the Church of Almighty God.
The proper name of God in the Old Testament ; hence the Jews called it the name by excellence, the great name, the only name, the glorious and terrible name, the hidden and mysterious name, the name of the substance, the proper name, and most frequently shem hammephorash , i.e. the explicit or the separated name, though the precise meaning of this last expression is a matter of discussion (cf. Buxtorf, "Lexicon", Basle, 1639, col. 2432 sqq.).

The cult denies that Almighty God’s Church kidnaps people and forces them to accept its message. An article on one of their Web sites ( states that regulations instruct followers not to pressure those who are not willing to believe in God, because the church doesn’t want “worthless” members who do not really believe. The article claims that in 1999 alone the church dismissed 70 to 80 thousand people “who were guilty of misconduct and disobedience to the church’s regulations.”
In God’s infinite patience He is willing to forgive, willing to walk with us, to teach us, to chasten us time and time again as we learn the way to Him. We humans are stubborn, headstrong, weak and stupid by nature, without a natural sense for God’s will and wisdom. We all have to admit that our progress is often slow, with many setbacks. But God never gives up as long as we have the mind and heart to serve Him. The work He has started in us will be completed. No matter how long it takes. (Philippians 1:6)
St. Anselm's approach was to define God as, "that than which nothing greater can be conceived". Famed pantheist philosopher Baruch Spinoza would later carry this idea to its extreme: "By God I understand a being absolutely infinite, i.e., a substance consisting of infinite attributes, of which each one expresses an eternal and infinite essence." For Spinoza, the whole of the natural universe is made of one substance, God, or its equivalent, Nature.[67] His proof for the existence of God was a variation of the Ontological argument.[68]
Algernon Sidney, Discourse Concerning Government, Chapter II. Ovid—Metamorphoses. X. 586. Pliny the Elder, viewing the Eruption of Vesuvius, Aug., 79. Friedrich Schiller, William Tell, I. 2. Simonides is quoted as author by Claudian. Sophocles, Fragments. Terence, Phormio. I. 4. Vergil, Æneid (29-19 BC), X, 284. Quoted as a proverb by old and modern writers
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It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.
However, later on the Hand of God symbol is found several times in the only ancient synagogue with a large surviving decorative scheme, the Dura Europos Synagogue of the mid-3rd century, and was probably adopted into Early Christian art from Jewish art. It was common in Late Antique art in both East and West, and remained the main way of symbolizing the actions or approval of God the Father in the West until about the end of the Romanesque period. It also represents the bath Kol (literally "daughter of a voice") or voice of God, just like in Jewish Art.[citation needed]

When we see God as the Almighty, we are struck by His power and by the fact that He is indeed a great, mighty, and awesome God (Deuteronomy 10:17). The identity of God as Almighty serves to establish the sense of awe and wonder we have toward Him and the realization that He is God above all things without limitation. This is important in view of how He is described next in the Bible. In Exodus 6:2-3, God said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” How is this significant? It is significant because God, whom we previously knew only as God Almighty, has now given a new, more personal and intimate name to Moses (and Israel). This desire on God’s part for a more personal relationship with mankind would culminate later when God Almighty sent His only Son to earth--God in flesh--to die on the cross so that a way for forgiveness of our sins could be provided. The fact that God Almighty would humble Himself in this way for us makes His name all the more remarkable.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
A god is usually characteristic of a certain system of thought or morality. For instance, take the Christian God, the summum bonum: God is love, love being the highest moral principle; and God is spirit, the spirit being the supreme idea of meaning. All our Christian moral concepts derive from such assumptions, and the supreme essence of all of them is what we call God.
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Why is it said that corrupt mankind is more in need of the salvation of God become flesh? What is the difference between the work of God incarnate and the work of the Spirit? The Lord Jesus Himself prophesied that God would incarnate in the last days and appear as the Son of man to do work. What are the essential differences between the incarnate God and those people who are used by God?
The Church defines as its member whoever truly believes in God, has “good humanity,” and is certain that Almighty God is the returned Jesus in our days from China, a country that, according to the Church, represents at the same time the place where the evil dragon of the Book of Revelation manifested itself in the semblance of the Chinese Communist Party and the place where the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the “Eastern Lightning,” must manifest himself.
What is the difference between the words expressed by the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace and the words expressed by Almighty God in the Age of Kingdom? What is the difference between the way the Lord Jesus worked in the Age of Grace and the way Almighty God works in the Age of Kingdom? What is the difference between church life in the Age of Grace and church life in the Age of Kingdom? What is the difference between what the Lord entrusted people with in the Age of Grace and what God entrusts people with in the Age of Kingdom?

First, the omnipotence of God implies that he cannot be stopped from doing what he purposes to do. Daniel 4:35 says, "The Most High does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand." If God purposes with all his heart to do a thing, it simply cannot be stopped by any power in the universe.
The practice of not writing down the name of God, either for fear of its defacement or for the same reason you don't say "Beetlejuice" out loud, has been around since the time of the first major translation of the Old Testament. It has carried over into the King James Version, and all other English translations of the Old Testament that render the Hebrew YHWH as "the LORD".
Prior to the 10th century no attempt was made to use a human to symbolize God the Father in Western art.[101] Yet, Western art eventually required some way to illustrate the presence of the Father, so through successive representations a set of artistic styles for symbolizing the Father using a man gradually emerged around the 10th century AD. A rationale for the use of a human is the belief that God created the soul of Man in the image of his own (thus allowing Human to transcend the other animals).
The second time, God uses again the first person imperfect of the Hebrew verb "to be"; here the Syriac, the Samaritan, the Persian versions, and the Targums of Onkelos and Jerusalem retain the Hebrew, so that one cannot tell whether they regard the imperfect as a qal or a hiphil form; the Arabic version omits the whole clause; but the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Targum of Jonathan suppose here the imperfect qal : "He Who Is, hath sent me to you" instead of "I Am, hath sent me to you: ( Vulgate ); " ho on sent me to you" (Septuagint); "I am who am, and who shall be, hath sent me to you" (Targ. Jon.).
Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, "O Lord, why hast thou done evil to this people? Why didst thou ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he has done evil to this people, and thou hast not delivered thy people at all." But the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, yea, with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."

An article dated January 2004 on one of the cult’s Web sites (, however, denies as “rumor” the reports that Almighty God’s Church believes in “a woman with the surname Deng who was once possessed by a demon in Zheng Zhou of Henan province.” The article explains, “Actually, the place of birth and location where God became flesh is not in Henan province at all. Furthermore, the surname is not Deng.” The article does not, however, identify someone other than Deng as the Christ; rather, it explains why “the flesh of the Almighty God” could not be demon possessed. The fact that no one has ever seen or photographed the woman they call the “female Christ” makes her identity or even her existence difficult to confirm.

The Church of Almighty God has also been accused of predicting the end of the world for 2012, within the global framework of the 2012 phenomenon, based on prophecies attributed to the Maya civilization, causing riots and even crimes around China. This was another justification used by Chinese authorities to arrest a great number of members of the Church. Australian scholar Emily Dunn, in what was the first scholarly book devoted to the Church of Almighty God in 2015, noted that, like many Chinese, some “members of Eastern Lighting embraced the Mayan prophecy” but they “appear to have done so without sanction from the group’s self-proclaimed authorities,” who in fact declared “Mayan” and other theories about the end of the world as theologically and factually “mistaken” (Dunn 2015b: 95). As mentioned earlier, the belief that the world would end in 2012 was inconsistent with the Church of Almighty God’s theology. The Church also maintains that some flyers and brochures depicted in Chinese anti-xie-jiao Web sites as evidence of its 2012 prophecies were in fact either fabricated or derived from alterations with Photoshop and other techniques of existing materials of the Church of Almighty God. Certainly, opponents of the Church of Almighty God resort at time to questionable tactics. In the UK, for example, a false Web site “Church of Almighty God UK” has been created at the address Attempts by the Church of Almighty God to have it removed have been so far unsuccessful. A “Declaration Concerning Websites Imitating The Church of Almighty God” was issued by the Church denouncing the incident (The Church of Almighty God 2017c).
“”I handed them a script and they turned it down. It was too controversial. It talked about concepts like, 'Who is God?' The Enterprise meets God in space; God is a life form, and I wanted to suggest that there may have been, at one time in the human beginning, an alien entity that early man believed was God, and kept those legends. But I also wanted to suggest that it might have been as much the Devil as it was God. After all, what kind of god would throw humans out of Paradise for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. One of the Vulcans on board, in a very logical way, says, 'If this is your God, he's not very impressive. He's got so many psychological problems; he's so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He's a pretty poor excuse for a supreme being.

A book about heresies in mainland China, published in Taiwan by the Christian and China Research Center, contains the testimony of a Chinese house church member who escaped the cult. He says that the cult never acts in the open, but that their activities are always covert and organized. “Wherever they go, they destroy and scatter that church with incredible speed and unmatched means.”
To say that God made the universe gives us no explanation of the beginnings of things. If we are told that God made the universe, the question immediately arises: Who made God? Did he always exist, or was there some power back of that? Did he create matter out of nothing, or is his existence coextensive with matter? The problem is still there. What is the origin of it all? If, on the other hand, one says that the universe was not made by God, that it always existed, he has the same difficulty to confront. To say that the universe was here last year, or millions of years ago, does not explain its origin. This is still a mystery. As to the question of the origin of things, man can only wonder and doubt and guess.
What he says, we can trust. What he promises, can be counted on. When God promises us forgiveness, eternal life, a relationship with himself…we can believe. God is telling the truth. Jesus emphasized this by the many times he said, “Truly, I say to you…” What God reveals about himself and about how to live on this earth is reliable information. More sure than our feelings, thoughts, and limited perception, God is totally accurate and honest in what he says. Every promise he makes to us can be trusted, he means it. We can take him at his word.
The words of Almighty God—Christ of the last days and the return of Jesus—bear witness to the appearance and the work of God and unveil the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan of His salvation for mankind. In this book, selections have been made from the truths expressed by Christ of the last days, in order to resolve the questions about God’s work in the last days of people from all religions and those who thirst for and seek the true way, allowing people to see that His words are the truth, the way, and the life.   Read More ›

According to the Bible, God himself revealed his name to humankind. (Exodus 3:15) Scriptural evidence shows that God’s ancient servants freely used that name. (Genesis 12:8; Ruth 2:4) God’s name was known by other nations as well. (Joshua 2:9) This was especially true after the Jews who had returned from exile in Babylon came into contact with peoples of many nations. (Psalm 96:2-10; Isaiah 12:4; Malachi 1:11) The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible says: “There is considerable evidence that in the postexilic period many foreigners were attracted to the religion of the Jews.” However, by the first century C.E., a superstition about God’s name had developed. Eventually, not only did the Jewish nation stop using God’s name openly but some even forbade pronouncing it at all. Its correct pronunciation was thus lost​—or was it?

O God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.

First, He uses the first person imperfect of the Hebrew verb "to be"; here the Vulgate, the Septuagint, Aquila, Theodotion, and the Arabic version suppose that God uses the imperfect qal ; only the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem imply the imperfect hiphil . Hence we have the renderings: "I am who am" ( Vulgate ), "I am who is" (Septuagint), "I shall be {who] shall be" (Aquila, Theodotion), "the Eternal who does not cease" (Ar.); only the above-mentioned Targums see any reference to the creation of the world.
God, in the meantime, has usually declined to participate in this discussion. This is unfortunate, as it is certain that she would have many fascinating insights to add.[6] However, she is just too busy. (After all, being god, she has other civilisations and even alien races to attend to. You wouldn't expect her not to be busy! Especially if they're as messed up as this species.)
Jump up ↑ For example, no being can be both omniscient and omnipotent. An omniscient being would know everything, including the course of its own future actions; this means that it would be unable to change them, and hence would be denied free will; this denies omnipotence. Conversely, an omnipotent being can do anything, including change its own mind about what it can do, even up to the last moment prior to acting. That means that any attempt at omniscience would fail. This argument is explored in depth in Augustine c. 415, The City of God, and elsewhere
Among the 163 proper names which bear an element of the sacred name in their composition, 48 have yeho or yo at the beginning, and 115 have yahu or yah and the end, while the form Jahveh never occurs in any such composition. Perhaps it might be assumed that these shortened forms yeho, yo, yahu, yah , represent the Divine name as it existed among the Israelites before the full name Jahveh was revealed on Mt. Horeb. On the other hand, Driver (Studia biblica, I, 5) has shown that these short forms are the regular abbreviations of the full name. At any rate, while it is not certain that God revealed His sacred name to Moses for the first time, He surely revealed on Mt. Horeb that Jahveh is His incommunicable name, and explained its meaning.

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.

"Elohim," the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as "God," but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean "goddesses." Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
Maybe the growth of "God" signifies the existence of God. That is: if history naturally pushes people toward moral improvement, toward moral growth, and their God, as they conceive their God, grows accordingly, becoming morally richer, then maybe this growth is evidence of some higher purpose, and maybe — conceivably — the source of that purpose is worthy of the name divinity.[… I]f it is a natural outgrowth of history — then it is more likely that this "growth of God" signifies the existence of God, or at least the existence of something you might call divine, however unlike ancient conceptions of God.
God’s patience is immense. God’s longing is that all people are saved, and He stretches out His hand all day that we should take hold of it. (Isaiah 65:2) But God’s righteousness also means that He has given us a free will, and He will never force us to do anything. If we stubbornly choose to reject His goodness time and time again, in the end He may well just have to say, “All right, have it your way,” and let us reap the evil we have sown. (Psalm 81:11-12; Isaiah 6:9-10)
Yahweh is frequently invoked in Graeco-Roman magical texts dating from the second century BCE to the fifth century CE, most notably in the Greek Magical Papyri,[92] under the names Iao, Adonai, Sabaoth, and Eloai.[93] In these texts, he is often mentioned alongside traditional Graeco-Roman deities and also Egyptian deities.[93] The archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Ouriel and Jewish cultural heroes such as Abraham, Jacob, and Moses are also invoked frequently as well.[94] The frequent occurrence of Yahweh's name is probably due to Greek and Roman folk magicians seeking to make their spells more powerful through the invocation of a prestigious foreign deity.[95]

“Christopher” (not his real name) was a pastor of the International Christian Life Center (ICLC) in the Philippines. Understandably, his testimony is much more theological, yet grounded on his personal experience. He believed to be a good and effective Christian pastor, yet after years of service to his church he still looked on himself as a sinful and less than perfect human being, who easily lost his temper with his family. How was this possible, since he firmly believed he had been saved by Jesus? Almost by coincidence, when performing a different search on the Web, he found a Web site of the Church of Almighty God, became interested in the Church’s theology, and wrote seeking a contact.

After rising from deep meditative absorption (jhāna), the Buddhist meditator is advised to view the physical and mental factors constituting his experience in the light of the three characteristics of all conditioned existence: impermanence, liability to suffering, and absence of an abiding ego or eternal substance. This is done primarily in order to utilize the meditative purity and strength of consciousness for the highest purpose: liberating insight. But this procedure also has a very important side effect which concerns us here: the meditator will not be overwhelmed by any uncontrolled emotions and thoughts evoked by his singular experience, and will thus be able to avoid interpretations of that experience not warranted by the facts.
How wrong it is to use God as a stop-gap for the incompleteness of our knowledge. If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed further and further back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, and is therefore continually in retreat. We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What is the essential difference between the work of God and the work of man? What is the difference between the work of those used by God and the work of religious leaders? One must recognize the differences between the incarnate Christ and false Christs and false prophets. One who believes in God must be able to discern false shepherds and antichrists to cast off religion and return to God.
Maybe the growth of "God" signifies the existence of God. That is: if history naturally pushes people toward moral improvement, toward moral growth, and their God, as they conceive their God, grows accordingly, becoming morally richer, then maybe this growth is evidence of some higher purpose, and maybe — conceivably — the source of that purpose is worthy of the name divinity.[… I]f it is a natural outgrowth of history — then it is more likely that this "growth of God" signifies the existence of God, or at least the existence of something you might call divine, however unlike ancient conceptions of God.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Jump up ^ Rowe 1998: "As commonly understood, atheism is the position that affirms the nonexistence of God. So an atheist is someone who disbelieves in God, whereas a theist is someone who believes in God. Another meaning of 'atheism' is simply nonbelief in the existence of God, rather than positive belief in the nonexistence of God. ... an atheist, in the broader sense of the term, is someone who disbelieves in every form of deity, not just the God of traditional Western theology."
The Church of Almighty God believes that the sacraments, including baptism, were practices of the Age of Grace and have no place in the Age of Kingdom. Accordingly, there is no baptism in The Church of Almighty God, and one becomes a member of the church by confessing that the incarnated Almighty God is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the appearance of the only one true God in the last days, being willing to pray in the name of Almighty God, and being able to understand and accept the beliefs of The Church of Almighty God.[41] The absence of sacraments does not mean that gathering together, praying and worshiping God is not important for the members of the Church of Almighty God. They “fellowship” regularly by meeting and discussing their sacred scriptures, hearing sermons, singing hymns, and sharing testimonies; Italian scholar Massimo Introvigne observes that, in this sense, "the intensity of the religious life contrasts with a minimalist style of worship."[42]
According to the teaching of the Church of Almighty God, Jesus forgave mankind’s sin in the Age of Grace, but His salvation was not complete, because the sin nature remained in mankind. Now, in the Age of the Kingdom, through the teaching of the Christ of last days, mankind can finally be delivered from sin and made fully clean. This is true salvation, available to those who will obey Almighty God’s teaching as revealed in the last days. From the group’s official website, it is hard to pin down exactly what allows one to attain this final level of true salvation. It appears that the most important thing is simply believing the teachings of the Church of Almighty God.
Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow state in their book, The Grand Design, that it is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. Both authors claim however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.[53]