OF THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, Details
[attributes, simple list page]
In many casual conversations about "god", I have
often overheard comments such as, "The god I would believe in wouldn't allow mean things to
happen to good people!"...as if you can choose among "gods". What an amazingly simpleton
notion such a person must have of "his/her god" (it was not until 1992 that it was shown to
me [Dr. Paul Ferris' notes loaned to me by Claude Sandidge] that God had many
attributes...I had not bothered to think of it on my own). Yet many such people have
college or advanced educational degrees.
One can't conceive of that same modern American
saying, "The president I would believe in wouldn't lie to the American people!"...[as if to
deny the existence of Bill Clinton]. People claiming to be atheists challenge and debate with
friends and neighbors about "god"...why would they even bother if they were truly and
finally convinced that God did not exist? Is the "debate" their "cry for
help"...their hope that someone can help them to gain insight...the evidence that God is
drawing them toward Himself? You can bank on the fact that anyone having any interest
whatsoever (positive or negative) in God is being drawn into "God-interest" by God Himself
through His Holy Spirit!
Perfection is...as to any
facet of anything...that state of being or performance, which can not be improved upon.
Integrity...at it's highest, most perfect level...is perfection in the balance and blend of
one's attributes so that one's faculties and attributes are producing the same person 24
hours per day, 365 days per year. The Bible records some of God's actions among a people
during a continuous 3500-5000 years in order that we may know what He is like, His attributes
being listed below (with synthesis elsewhere).
But please keep in mind that, you
can't judge what such a being must or should be like or ought to be like. God is who He is.
In fact, God Himself says in summary as to how He is, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Proverbs 14:12..."There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to
death." Again stated for the second time in Proverbs 16:25..."There is a way that seems right
to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
Therefore, another faith
mystery is why God does not just bring all humans to heaven. It seems right that He should
because He said that He did not want any to be lost. [or, do all go to heaven?] He didn't even save Jesus from the torture of the Cross. Yet the episode of the
Cross was the coronation event, the enthronement, the 1st step of the King, Jesus, beginning
His Kingdom for & of the future!
There is no comparable record for any
other entity held up by any group or culture as a "god", such deficiency being one of the
strongest points of evidence against there being any other god or
Don't stay in the spiritual dead-end trap of
trying to discuss or intellectualize what God is like; could a worm fathom what a human is
like? God has already revealed Himself in the Bible. Read it for yourself. God
delivered this information so that you might know Him accurately! The perfect blend of His
attributes is one of the great mysteries of our Judeo-Christian faith.
JOY, as He created us for His GLORIFICATION and GOOD
PLEASURE...God "enjoys" praise, glorification, and worship (Revelation 4:11 KJV). He
reflects His "joy" most obviously in the person of His aspect as Jesus (Luke 10:21 NIV; Hebrews
12:2 NIV) and in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:7).
LIFE and the ultimate source of all life (Exodus 3:14; Jeremiah 10:10; John
5:26). This being so, He is the ultimate CREATOR..."the uncaused cause, the
- is the SUSTAINER of all
creation (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). In contrast to His creation, the creator never
experiences a loss of energy. And He imparts energy into His creation as one of the basic
factors behind His sustaining of all that He created.
TRUTH, representing agreement and consistency with all that is represented by
God himself (John 14:6 and 17:3); and, therefore, He is GENUINE...real and
true (Jeremiah 10:5-10; John 17:3). And, His "truth" is unchanging (Isaiah 40:8; Psalms 119:89,
- as a "being," God
alone is IMMORTAL (I Timothy 6:16) and eternal (John 1:1-18); whereas, only
the souls or spirits of other beings are immortal and eternal.
- is perfectly and completely HOLY (Leviticus 19:1-2; I Peter 1:16), PURE, and
RIGHTEOUS..."righteousness" being holiness as applied to relationships [God's
law and His actions are exactly right] (Psalms 19:7-9; Jeremiah 9:24). In that He cares about
people, below, He seems to call, by this attribute, people toward "the moral law". Yet, in the
light of His holiness, righteousness, and purity, all humans (on their own) fall short &
are, therefore, SINNERS. But, He wants a RELATIONSHIP with
people & communication with people (fellowship/prayer;
And, though an unchanging God, He unchangeably
varies His relationship with mankind over the eons. As wetness is intrinsic to
water, holiness is intrinsic to God. Holiness is His most distinctive attribute! He cannot overlook
the sinfulness of the tiniest unholy or unrighteous act..."white lies" cannot be overlooked and
ignored by Him. As pastor Tony Evans points out, scripture does not
recite an attribute of God 3 times (extreme emphasis) except as to holiness: Isaiah 6:3, "Holy,
Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts."
As Oswald Chambers put it so succinctly about 100
years ago, "The purity which God demands [Matthew 5:20] is impossible unless I can be remade
within, and that is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His Redemption."
In that God's most distinctive attribute is
"holiness", then it is impossible that any human could not be offending God
by sinning. He requires absolute perfection in anyone who would stand before Him hoping for
eternity with Him in Heaven, yet He is GRACE & LOVE personified. How arrogant that any
human could feel qualified to represent themselves alone & in their own right regarding
eternity (while actually being the offending party) before a holy, almighty
The only acceptable
mediator is one on a par (Christianity uniquely [check it out]
makes this provision) with the almighty & perfect God on high...Himself as His only son
who came to dwell amongst us as a man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. (Job 9:32-34; John
14:6; Hebrews 10:11-14; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6) "We can access God only on the
coattails of the one Man who has the right to enter into His presence." "God does business
with us by doing business with Christ. To stand in the presence of God without representation
would be like standing a hundred yards from the sun; God's holiness would liquefy us."
- is the perfect
embodiment and being of INTEGRITY [note all of the other attributes, and note
citations about immutability].
- possesses an awesome
GLORY (Exodus 33:18 & 21-23; and II Corinthians 3:7) which few have been
allowed to witness.
PERSONAL...relates personally, having self-cognizance, will, intellect, and
self-determination (Genesis 3; Exodus 3:14).
- CARES about people/humans & this may be the basis of
universal attempts at "moral law" in all societies (so, this is not a "deism"
- is perfect
LOVE (Psalms 86:5 & 103:17; Ephesians 2:4-5; I John 4:8, 10). This love as
described by Paul (I Cor. 13:4-7) is perfect & in effect through all ages & times
in His creation & all periods ever mentioned in Scripture, past or yet to come. There are,
so to speak, "two sides to the coin": on one side is love and on the other is
judgment/justice/wrath. God abounds in love (Jonah 4:2-3) that is perfect, dependable, &
- is fully/always and perfectly PURPOSEFUL (Psalms 33:10-11; Proverbs
19:21). He has a plan for everything, and for each of us humans (Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians
2:10). Mankind, however, has been saddled with "free will". So, you might defy and go against
His plan...until you die. Or you may chose to align with God and invite the working out of His
plan for you. His plan for His Church is, likewise,
perfectly arranged (I Corinthians 12:18).
- is perfectly BENEVOLENT and
prefers bestowing benevolence on His creation (Deuteronomy 7:7-8; John
3:16...the first and
- filled with [and
delivering of] MERCY...is as merciful as He wills (Exodus 3: 7 and 17; Psalms
103:13; Matthew 9:36). In His perfect sense of mercy, He sent a savior...an advocate...to
mankind. And He dispenses as His perfect evaluation allows...most liberally through
- possesses a perfect
sense and state of GRACE (Exodus 34:6; Jonah 4:2-3; Ephesians 1:5-8; Titus
2:11). And in His perfect grace, He sent a savior...an advocate...to mankind.
is a GOOD God...as by benevolence, mercy,
and grace [see above] Exodus 33:19; Psalms 145:9).
- has the fundamental
attribute of INFINITY...without boundary, termination, or finitude (I Kings
8:27; Psalms 145:3; Acts 17:24).
- has the fundamental
attribute of ETERNITY...free from succession of time (Genesis 21:33; Psalms
90:2; John 1:1-18). [and so it is with Jesus...John 1:1]
- has the fundamental
attribute of FREEDOM/INDEPENDENCE from any control by His creation or any
other power (Psalms 115:3); He is illimitable.
- possesses perfection
in all factors of DISPENSING of anything (such as grace, love, deliverance,
- possesses perfection
in TIMING of anything.
- possesses perfection
in EXECUTION of anything.
- is perfectly
TRUSTWORTHY...in actually being love and goodness, with perfect
integrity...always speaking the truth (I Samuel 15:29; John 17:17,19; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2).
You can absolutely trust in the fact that He will stand by His WORD...the Bible and its
warnings, commands, and assurances.
- is perfectly FAITHFUL...we
can have full faith in Him...absolutely depend on what He says. He keeps His promises
(Numbers 23:19; Psalms 89:2; I Thessalonians 5:24).
COMPASSION (Lamentations 3:32; Jonah 4:2-3) and is open to giving perfect
FORGIVENESS, especially [even guaranteed] through Jesus. God's perfect balance
of attributes will not allow forgiveness without the application of the rules of justice (see
"justice", below) which require atonement.
- is ultimately
SOVEREIGN...the very top ruler (Ephesians 1). He does whatever He pleases
(Psalms 135:6-7), and He allows whatever He pleases. No entity can over-rule Him. He works so
that ALL things work for the good of those who love Him (Romans
- perfectly, totally, and supremely POWERFUL...OMNIPOTENT
(almighty) (Genesis 17:1; Judges 5:3; Isaiah 17:6; Matt. 19:26; Rev. 19:6). [and so it is with
Elohim...His "names" and their significance] He is in control of it
all. As Martin Luther said, "Even the devil is God's devil." Being ultimately sovereign and all
powerful, George Herbert's (England's poet, 1593-1632, "God helps those who help themselves
[Ben Franklin, 1736 in Poor Richard's Almanac, "God helps them that help themselves"]) famous
quote seems ridiculous. God needs no help.
- possessing of
complete and perfectly accurate OMNISCIENCE [all knowing] (Psalms 139:1-4 and
147:4-5; Matt. 11:21). [and so it is with Jesus...John 16:30]
- possesses complete
and perfectly accurate KNOWLEDGE...in no way limited. He knows our decisions
before we make them and knows, therefore, the future exhaustively and
- possesses perfect
DISCERNMENT of all there is; you can't con or fake Him
- able to
SEE all; nothing can be hidden from Him.
- able to
HEAR all: our joy, our anger, our cursing, and our prayers; and, on hearing,
He is arousable.
OMNIPRESENT...everywhere at all times; He is the PRESENT God...He is here at
all times (Psalms 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:23-24). However, though "present" at all times, He is
careful as to when and whether to manifest His presence. [and so it is with
Jesus...Matthew 18:20 and 28:20]
- possesses perfect
skill at being REDEMPTIVE of (and giving RESTORATION, HEALING, and
REGENERATION to) His children and His creation.
- is perfectly and
completely PERSISTENT...He will complete what He starts
(Psalms 86:15; Romans 2:4 and 9:22; Philippians 1:6). Because mankind is saddled with "free
will," this does not mean that God will necessarily "complete what He starts" to the exact same
end-point whether you are in line with Him or determined against Him. The completion will take
place; but the fullness, richness, breadth and depth, and joy of the completion of what He
started will vary.
- possesses and executes perfect WISDOM, having
total divine knowledge and divinely perfect thinking skills (Psalms 104:24; Romans 11:33; I
Corinthians 1:24; Revelations 7:12).
- possesses the only
full and perfect source and sense of JUSTICE and JUDGMENT.
Requires justice [see vengeance, below; consider "Hell" and it being defined as a state of
eternal separation from God] (Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:11). Depending on the situation, justice
may not be satisfied without atonement, the greatest atonement being the Cross of Calvary
(which must be claimed by being a Jesus believer). To be cursed is to bear His judgment for
IMMUTABLE...all in such supernatural perfection and in such perfect balance
and integrity that He can not change (is unchanging...Malachi 3:6-7) and is the same in eons
past, in the present, and in the future...we can depend upon it (Psalms 102:27; James 1:17).
God does not grow older, wiser, or more mature. As Rev. Billy Graham has said, "The message of
the Gospel never changes...and for good reason: God never changes and neither does our basic
spiritual need nor His answer to that need."
- thus, He is
CONSISTENT and perfectly so.
- He is
PARTICULAR in some instances, as with the directions to bring down the wall of
INSCRUTABLE as to His will, timing, and answers to prayer. As such, He is
MYSTERIOUS. Though we are promised greater wisdom and insight through His Word (the Bible),
there is no hope whatsoever of fathoming the mind of God...He doesn't think like humans think
(Isaiah 55:8). If part of His plan was/is to allow genocide (such as the 6 million Jews killed
in the holocaust) or disasters, such are reminders that this is a God to fear! His ways are
unfathomable (Romans 11:33). John Wesley said, "Bring me a worm who can understand a man, and I
will bring you a man who can understand the triune God."
- yet He is
DISCERNIBLE to a certain extent, though never fully so...He is always to be
much of a mystery. We learn The Truth of God from His written Word (the scripture...the entire
Bible...Psalms 119:89, 152) and The Word in living form, Jesus, and all that
was recorded about Him in the New Testament of the Bible.
- is the source of
SALVATION...therefore He IS salvation, guaranteeing salvation
to the Jesus believer (Acts 4:12).
- is a
JEALOUS God...especially as to a person's interest in idols or other "gods"
(Deuteronomy 6:10-15; Exodus 20:4).
- God can
GRIEVE (Genesis 6:6-7; I Samuel 15; II Samuel 24:16) and
SUFFER, not because He is caught unawares or does so involuntarily. God wills
it so; and in some instances, it actually pleased Him to grieve/suffer (Isaiah 53:10; Ephesians
5:2)! As some have said, "A God who cannot suffer is a God who cannot
- can be VENGEANCE (avenger; revenge; retribution)
SERVING...the great flood of Noah (Genesis 7 and 8), the wiping out of Sodom
and Gomorrah (Genesis 19), especially as to lives, groups or peoples recklessly or defiantly
practicing lives filled with what He hates or detests. There
are at least 33 citations in The Word of God (the Bible) as to His vengeance. [see Isaiah 34:8
"For the Lord has a day of vengeance."] [see Deuteronomy 32:35 vengeance is not to be served by
his children, but by God, Himself: "Vengeance is mine, and retribution..."]. The Lord, Himself,
will avenge the sexual sin one man commits against another (I Thessalonians 4:6); and He will
avenge those who suffer and are afflicted because of the Gospel and bring retribution on the
afflicters (II Thessalonians 1:6-8). His vengeance can even include capital punishment for
disobedience (Joshua 7:12 & 7:25)!! Amazingly, God may find pleasure in delivering His
severe judgments (Deuteronomy 28:63)!
- can be
DISMISSIVE and will ALLOW, in man's state of "free will",
people to hurt (NEGATIVE OUTCOMES) themselves even to the point of a decision (whether
defiantly active or simply due to procrastination over actually making a decision) of
eternal separation from God ("Hell") (God..."gave them over..." Romans
- is perfectly, expertly DECISIVE. There are only a few
instances in the Bible in which God has regretted His move or been persuaded
(decisive but persuadable) by someone to change His mind
(Genesis 6:6-7 and 32:9-14; Exodus 32:11-14 & 31-32; Deuteronomy 9:14-29; Numbers 22:12,
then 22:20; I Samuel 15; Jonah 3:1-10). Though decisive, He will relent as He
sees fit (Jonah 4:2-3). While His decisiveness may seem arbitrary to the human mind, I
AM that I AM is over all of His creation; and, with an array of totally perfect
attributes in perfect balance, He will do what He decides to do! No human has the mental
capacity to understand...to fathom...His ways.
Driven by the sins of mankind to the point of
desiring total condemnation of the human race, God himself changed His own mind
through The Son, Jesus, whose compassion caused God to want, rather, to manifest His
propitious (full of "grace") aspect of His nature. So, God as The Son caused Jesus to be
among His chosen people as a propitiation (a sacrifice bringing forth grace) which allowed
God to change His position of condemnation of humanity to a position of atonement through
Jesus (making Jesus, thereby, the Door or the Way to eternal salvation..."Look, the Lamb of
God, who takes away the sin of the world)!" [John 1:29]).
- God is
- though omniscient
and decisive, He is AROUSABLE. Many times in the Old Testament we read where
God finally responded to the groanings and prayers of the Israelites...especially noteworthy
being the response after 400 years of slavery in Egypt. The "parable of the persistent widow"
(Luke 18:1-8) indicates God being arousable to provision of justice in behalf of those, "...who
cry out to Him day and night?" And, on becoming aroused, He acts (II Chronicles 20:9)! But,
though arousable and persuadable, God cannot be conned or manipulated by people. He responds to
earnest, honest, and totally sincere prayers; and, as noted in the sad case of Jephthah (Judges
11:29-40), we had better be careful of any vows we attach to our prayers (I doubt that vows
ever represent anything other than an effort at manipulation). And, there is at least one
instance in the Bible in which God was incited (therefore God is, but rarely,
INCITABLE) by Satan to allow harm to Job, the most upright and righteous man
on earth (Job 2:3)!
- is perfectly and
fully SUFFICIENT to meet all our needs (Philippians
- is JUST and demands JUSTICE and is willing to be
ANGRY and WRATHFUL, and
PUNISHING...if need be (Romans 1:18..."The wrath of God is
being revealed...". John 3:36, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever
rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him). When the Israelites wanted
a king as with other nations, in His anger, God gave them one and in His wrath, took him away
(Hosea 13:11). But He is slow to becoming angry (Jonah 4:2-3). When the 12 Jewish spies were
sent by Moses to check out the Promised Land, they returned and 10 gave a bad report and set
off widespread grumbling within the people (Numbers 13:31-33) and God struck them dead (Numbers
14:36-37). AND, God declared that none of that generation, except Joshua and Caleb (out of over
1.5 million people) would enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:20-25)...they would wander 40
years until that unbelieving generation died out! God's judgments are unsearchable (Romans
11:33). God can be ever so severe in His JUDGMENTS, and you can 100% bank on
the fact that He will render His judgment...in the end...on each
and every human: the Jesus believers have been judged "righteous through Jesus" and will be
rewarded at "the judgment seat of Christ" (Matthew 16:27 plus Revelation 20:4); and, on the
non-believers throughout history at "the great white throne judgment" (Revelation 20:11)! Can
you imagine the insult to God of a modern person standing at the base of Mt. Sinai, engulfed in
billows of smoke and fire (Exodus 19) saying, "I will come to God on my own terms! We can all
come in our own way!" How confident would you be in facing a felony DUI charge before a judge
without your legal advocate, your lawyer? How confident can any human be in representing
himself before God on judgment day without the only qualified spiritual advocate in the
universe, Jesus [the Christ...check Him out]
of Nazareth? This Jesus is the mediator of God's New Covenant with "man", is king of the New
Kingdom, and is head of the Church universal and each local church. Believe in Him and be saved
(for both eternity and for the duration of this life on earth)...join a body of believers (a
NOTE: In addition to the
inspiration indirectly from Professor Paul Ferris, the 145 page manual, Charts of Christian
Theology and Doctrine by H. Wayne House, was a helpful resource [1992 Zondervan Publishing
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(posted June 1998; latest addition 2 October