Greater than Man
We humans have an intellect that makes us greater than any other form of life on this planet. Our brains have the ability to think, reason and achieve things far beyond the capabilities of our fellow creatures. But are we the ultimate in intellectual ability, or is there some-one greater than man?
The Bible says that, “…God is greater than man.” (Job 33:12). Jesus Christ said that his Father is greater than all and the inability of man to pluck the saints out of His hand shows His superiority over mankind, “My Father, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:29). Christ also said that students are not greater than their teachers, nor servants greater than their masters, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” (Matthew 10:24). No one is greater than God.
God is our maker, we are the work of His hand, “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:8). We have been created lower than the spirit realm, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?... …For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:4-5).
We have been created with a spirit that gives us intelligence to understand things around us, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (Job 32:8). But we cannot even begin to understand the things God knows without the additional gift of His Holy Spirit, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (I Corinthians 2:9-11).
This additional spiritual gift comes only through acknowledging His superiority and submitting to Him, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirit).” (Acts 2:38).
Our human abilities are limited compared to His, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalms 147:4-5). His understanding is infinite. The fact that He has created, numbered and named all the billions of stars in the universe shows us how much greater the mind of God is compared to man’s, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” (Isaiah 40:26).
His abilities cannot be denied, “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isaiah 29:16).
He has the power to do with us what He wants, “…cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand,” (Jeremiah 18:6). And woe to those who question what He does, “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?” (Isaiah 45:9).
He has made known what He is doing, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” (Romans 1:18-19).
We are without excuse, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20).
Those Who Refuse
There are those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of a God that they cannot see. They have been puffed up by their own intellect and consequently become foolish in their own wisdom, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” (Romans 1:21-22).
They have rejected the truth about their creator preferring to invent and believe their own lies. Some have even been fooled into worshipping animals and inanimate objects instead of God, “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:23-25).
Because they did not want to know the truth, God has let them believe their own lies and to live their perverse lives. But they are without excuse and will by judged by the truth and suffer the consequences of their choice, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:26-32).
Who Shall be Saved
What they have done is worthy of death and indeed they will die. But can they still be saved? God is greater than man and can achieve what may seem impossible. Christ once said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). This prompted his disciples to ask, “Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).
Look at what God has done for us, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7). Yes we too were foolish, without understanding just like every one else in this world, yet God had mercy on us.
Look at what God did for Paul. As an unbeliever Paul persecuted the church and had saints put to death, yet he was saved, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (I Timothy 1:12-17).
There will come a Time
There will come a time when those who have died in unbelief will be resurrected, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11-12).
What a surprise it will be to experience the incredible miracle of being resurrected by the very God they denied. Revelation tells us that ‘the books’ of the Bible will be opened. The only way they will come to understand the spiritual things contained within those books is if they acknowledge God, repent and are baptised (Acts 2:38). The gift of the Holy Spirit makes them eligible to be written in the ‘book of life’. The ‘Book of life’ is the list of those who can enter God’s Kingdom, “And there shall in no wise enter into it (New Jerusalem) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27). They will then be judged to see if they are willing to change their ways.
The word ‘judged’ means a lot more than just making a pronouncement, it also means to be ruled, or governed. When it says they will be judged out of those books it means that these people with their new understanding will have to live under governance of the laws contained in the books of the Bible for a period of time to prove their commitment and to be judged by God as we are judged now in this day and age.
Despite the evidence in the creation that proclaims the existence of a creator many have refused to believe that there is a God who is greater than man. To those people proof of God will be revealed when they are miraculously resurrection back to life. If they adamantly refuse to repent even when confronted by undisputable proof they will be destroyed forever in the Lake of Fire, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15).
This is known as the second death, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).
After that they will only be ash, “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 4:3).
Although God has created us lower than Himself, He has prepared for us things that are currently beyond the capabilities of our limited human intelligence to understand. If we want to understand these things we must first learn to respect the fact that He is greater than us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7). Once we show that respect and submit to His authority we can learn about Him and eventually come to share in His greatness. But if we refuse to acknowledge Him and show that respect His final judgement for us will be permanent death. The choice is ours!