#9 – FIVE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
FIVE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
Real Human Stories
Taken from the play The PIT: The Road to Salvation
Scene: The event is just beginning. Dennis is speaking to the guests about on his own life experiences as he explains five attributes of God that come to his small mind.
Darryl: [stands] WHEW! It appears that I was truly correct in thinking that this would be a very unusual time. I’ve never attempted to understand things the way you describe but it sounds intriguing so I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll be looking to you for guidance on this. [sits]
Eve: [standing up towards the back] My Name is Eve Anderson. We have four children and I’m a stay at home mom who did not graduate high school. My husband works in the Post Office. One of my daughters is seventeen years old and has been deaf since birth. When her friends are over to the house, I’m always amazed at how they use their sign language to communicate with each other. They somehow have the ability of transmitting emotions, along with their hand and finger movements representing the words. I’ve learned how to do it. I can actually feel and understand them far more than I do when I speak with my other kids using normal spoken language. It’s really something. I think I have some slight idea about what you’re asking us to do in understanding the attributes of GOD. Do continue. [sits]
Dennis: [smiling at Eve] Awesome! [now looking at the audience] I do not believe that any of these attributes are more important than the other. As a matter of fact, since they all work in unison and perfect harmony to define the Living GOD, it matters not the order that I list them.
1 – GOD is Infinite.
This is the most mysterious and difficult to grasp of the attributes. It is also the core reason why we will always grossly underestimate HIS abilities; even when we think GOD can do it all. It represents, in my very humble opinion, the bridge between something and nothing or existence and non-existence. Only GOD can bring forth something from nothing; as he did with us; and the world.
In my opinion, one of the great flaws in the well accepted Big Bang theory on the creation of the universe; is that it cannot and does not explain where the original matter came from for the explosion that they claim took take place around 13 billion years ago. I find it amusing that such a fundamental question is not even talked about by those that profess this theorem to be true and refuse to give GOD the credit for being the creator of the universe.
Juan: [stands up swiftly and apologizes for interrupting] Dennis, my name is Juan Lopez. I’m an electrical engineer for the local power company. Sorry to interrupt you here, but I’ve read about this Big Bang Theory. You’re right, the source of that super dense super hot matter they speak of is never mentioned; I suppose they just assumed matter to have always existed. [sits]
Dennis: [looking unsettled once again] Juan, your observation is on target. No doubt, these scientists are indeed very intelligent people, but conveniently left that out. Listen to this as it will hopefully demonstrate the limits of mathematics, of which science and logic are based on. This could also possibly explain why the Big Bang Theory is so seriously flawed, as you just wisely pointed out.
While I know that I cannot prove this, especially in any set of formulas that would satisfy my mathematical brethren with their sharp minds; I’m nevertheless certain of this. The four basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, for which all advanced math and science is based on, have absolutely no meaning within the infinite and hence, cannot be applied to GOD. For if I’m wrong, and the concept of math does indeed make sense and whole true within the infinite, that would lead us inevitably to some absolutely crazy ideas; like half of GOD, twice GOD, dividing GOD, sharing GOD, GOD squared, multiple GODS, and so on and so on. The first appearance of the concept of math as we know it and thus the finite, started in the very beginning in Genesis 1:4 where it clearly says that GOD divided the light from the darkness. Before this, there was no need of division or any of the other mathematical operations. I therefore claim that the concept of math came into being after GOD created the world. This is a key point and will have more meaning later when we talk of the ‘heart’.
Joe: [in the front row of seats stand to speak] My name is Joseph Colombo. All my friends call me Joe. I have some background in math and I want to know if you can explain your last statement about basic math having no meaning in the infinite a bit more for me, as it sounds somewhat spacey. I know you don’t want to get too involved with intellectual details, but I’m afraid I need just a bit more from you before it makes any sense to me. I’m also trying to understand it, the way you described. [remains standing]
Dennis: [looking relaxed now that the action is cooking] Fair enough Joe. Let’s try to approach this from a different angle. Do you believe that there is one GOD and that he is infinite?
Dennis: Good. Do you believe that GOD takes the time to answer prayers to console HIS children?
Dennis: OK then; let’s say, for arguments sake, that there are about one billion people on this planet who believe in GOD and pray to Him. You say that you have a background in math.
Joe: Continue, please.
Dennis: What is it you think then? Does each person get one billionth of His time? Or; do you think that GOD goes back and forth to each one of us answering our prayers so quickly, that it just seems that HE is everywhere at the same time, but in reality is just very fast? Do you equate such a possibility with the way an advanced computer chip works, making billions of calculations per second? Furthermore, do you think HE has to work faster as more people pray at the same time?
Joe: I’ve never looked at it that way, but no, I don’t believe that any of those scenarios are correct in talking about GOD. They actually sound somewhat silly. It must be something else.
Dennis: We are in agreement then; for they are silly. All the scenarios that I just mentioned involve some form of math. Please do not ask me to explain it much further. With my own very limited intellect, I cannot even begin to fathom how it is that we do not share GOD and that when HE intervenes in our life and answers our prayers, we have HIM in totality …………just as if we were HIS best friend and only soul. I have absolutely no idea or clue how this is possible, I simply know that it is true.
Adrienne: [a woman named Adrienne near the rear door jumps to her feet and shouts] HALLELUYA!!!!
Dennis: [looking at the woman] I hear you! Can you tell us who you are?
Adrienne: [remains standing] I apologize for the outburst, but I couldn’t help myself.
Dennis: [immediately interrupts] Totally unnecessary. One of my prayers for this event is that it be filled with the spirit of GOD; or as we Christians call it, the Holy Ghost. You Madame, have just confirmed that my prayers have been answered, so I say thank you for your presence!
Adrienne: [continues] My name is Adrienne Jackson. You’re not going to believe this, but I’m not even supposed to be here! I thought this was a seminar for selling life insurance for beginning sales people. I feel terrible. I just sat here and ate breakfast under false pretense! [she looks into her briefcase and pulls out a piece of paper] Isn’t this 100 west Monroe Street? [remains standing]
Dennis: [smiling]Adrienne, This is 1100 West Monroe Street. My mother, may GOD rest her wonderful soul, always would say that the LORD works in mysterious ways. I can assure you that you are as welcome as everyone else here and it is quite apparent that for some reason, you are supposed to be here; regardless of your original plans. So do stay, if you are able to do so.
Adrienne: [looking pleasantly surprised] Thanks. I will indeed stay. That is very kind of you. I think you’re right; for some reason, I’m supposed to be here. I will reschedule my sales meeting for later this week. To tell you the truth, I was quite hungry as I was rushing to catch the bus this morning and didn’t get a chance to eat. When I got here, the food smelled delicious. I thought to myself; this is great; just what I need; and for free! I just have to make a quick call to let my kids know where I am in case they need me. What time do you expect this event to be over? [remains standing]
Dennis: [responds] I’m really not sure. Our guests will begin arriving in a few hours. All I can tell you is that we will most likely go well into this evening. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t wrap up until around 9pm; or even later. There will be quite a few quests here and I want to take full advantage of this one time opportunity to speak and interact with them all. I also want for them to have this one time opportunity to speak and interact with each other.
Adrienne: [responds] thanks Dennis. I’ll call my girlfriend and have her take care of the kids until I get home. I have a feeling that I too will be here until the very end. [sits]
Dennis: [looking at the audience] I forgot to mention that lunch and dinner will be served around 1pm and 6pm respectively. The chef is a personal friend of mine so I’m sure we’re in for a real exquisite treat. He told me that he’d surprise me with a special menu and that my guests will leave here well satisfied that they dined wonderfully at my event. I told him: That’s great; for Lord knows you charge enough! [audience starts laughing]
OK. That attribute took a bit longer than I anticipated. Let’s move on to the next attribute. Is everyone still with me? [audience nods Yes] Great. Let us continue.
2 – GOD is Power.
To begin, the Power of GOD is mysteriously interwoven with HIS infinite essence thus making it limitless. Remember, power is not just physical force; it is also the ability to do things that are far beyond our comprehension and abilities. This attribute should hopefully prove a bit easier to understand.
[looks a bit worried once more as he strokes his mustache]
Before I proceed further, I’m afraid that there is a detail here in describing the attributes of GOD that, after second thought, I’ve decided to include after all. My hesitation is due to my lack of confidence in explaining it in such a way that it does indeed make sense to you folks. I think Joe’s adjective of ‘spacey’ would be accurate here. Nevertheless, since you good folks have me feeling somewhat brave, I’ll give it a shot:
In each attribute, I use the verb is. i.e.; GOD is Infinite or GOD is power. In normal use, such as “my house is warm”, we have no problem understanding the meaning of the sentence. We know that a house can be warm or it can be cold. The point of this is that warm and house, are two entirely different things. Such is the same when we say “the toy is broken”. Toy and broken are two entirely different things. The verb is therefore brings the two separate things together to create a single picture in our minds of a warm house or a broken toy. I think you get my point. However, when I use the verb is when describing the attributes of GOD, like: GOD IS power, the verb is takes on a far different purpose. For GOD and POWER are wholly one in the same. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but the verb is would be best understood in the same way it is used when describing the wonderfully beautiful concepts of the Trinity. For when we believe in the Trinity, we say that Jesus is GOD; and that the Holy Ghost is GOD.
Okay then. I think the best way to look at the functionality and purpose of the verb is when describing attributes of GOD would be thus: visually think of the verb is as a door opening up that allows you to see the contents inside. In our case of speaking on the attributes, think of GOD as having several mysterious ‘doors’ that you can open to see the contents inside, in other words, what HE truly is. Remember, this is a mental exercise that requires practice. So when I say, GOD is Love, to get the real meaning, you need to visually think about what pure love might look like to you; possibly the wide toothless smile on your new baby’s face, or the feeling you get when gazing at a beautiful sunset, and expand it in your mind as far as you are capable of expanding it. When your mind is completely filled with this picture of love, you then understand the attribute; and not only understand it, but feel it. For example, in my own case, when I say that GOD is Power, in my mind, I think of a nuclear explosion just going off and the force of the blast quickly expanding in my mind until I can’t see anything else except a constantly and rapidly expanding force. Such a picture then fills me; and because it is about GOD, fills me the way I get filled when I hear a good gospel song; for that awesome feeling goes from deep inside the core of my skeleton all the way to the outer surface of my skin in the form of goose bumps. Anyone who has felt the real power of the Holy Ghost in Church or anywhere for that matter, knows precisely what I am describing. [now smiling at the audience]
Do you think I’ve gone mad? Spacey, isn’t it? Joe, I notice that you’ve been nodding your head over there; what say you to all this?
Joe: Believe it or not, I think I actually understand. There is indeed a beauty in there. The real understanding about GOD then goes past the mind and becomes physical and unique to the individual thus giving it a real personal meaning and beauty.
Dennis: Brother, (Joe is Italian) you’ve just hit the nail right on the head! [smiling] You folks want to see me dance? [feeling his oats now]
I just thought about another example that I think will help explain this ‘GOD is Power’ attribute. It should fit quite nicely here as it is simple and one that most of us can appreciate and relate to.
I was driving home from Church one Sunday a few years ago after hearing another wonderful sermon from Bishop Arthur Brazier of the Apostolic Church of GOD in Chicago. Sorry for the plug again folks, but as a member of this awesome Church, I simply admire this ‘Great Man of GOD’, as do throngs of others, and find myself compelled to mention his name here. I remember thinking that day, that somehow the Bishop knew just what I needed to hear and when I needed to hear it; for the sermon truly hit home. It was also very noticeable during the sermon that the other three thousand plus people in attendance also had a very similar experience and feeling. We’ve all been there. Now, the Bishop is without a doubt a very smart man, however, NO MAN is smart enough to sit down and construct from scratch a speech that will have personal meaning to literally thousands of individuals at the same time!! Only GOD, who is Power, can do this; through his WORD. For it makes not an ounce of difference whether the number of recipients of the WORD be one, or a million; they will all be touched personally and simultaneously. Now THAT is power!!!
3- GOD is LOVE.
As I continue to ride on this train of honesty, I will tell you that I actually froze for a while before starting on this attribute. I knew that there was something major missing in what I was going to say. I decided to go back online and do some more research on what love is and what love means. It didn’t take very long for me to realize what it was that I was missing.
We are discussing the attributes of GOD, not man. Man’s love is conditional. GOD’s love is unconditional.
Imagine that we’re at a wedding ceremony. The pastor asks the husband: Do you take this woman to be your wife, love and honor her, until death do you part? (not sure of the exact phrase) The husband says yes. The wife is asked the same question and gives the same reply: yes. Do they really mean that they will love and honor each other until physical death? Romantically, we would all like to say yes to that question but the sky-high divorce rate strongly suggests something else is actually taking place here.
Bernadette: [someone from the audience jumps up to speak] Dennis; my name is Bernadette King. I’m forty-nine years old and have been married three times; going on my fourth. I am here to tell you that nothing in this life lasts forever. I really did love each one of them in the beginning, but things change over time. We just grew apart and realized that the love is no longer there and decided to go our own ways. Sometimes the love was still there, but other issues prevented us from staying together. I bet that there are many people in this very audience who know exactly what I’m talking about. [sits]
Dennis: [looking at the audience as Bernadette sits back down] How many here understand and agree with Bernadette? [majority raise their hands in agreement] It appears then, that I am on the right track. [pauses before continuing] I think it’s time to talk real here. The truth is that we love people for specific reasons: they’re attractive, they make good love to us, they make us laugh, they have a good job, they take good care of the kids, they have money, they’re kind, etc, etc,. Now add the fact that over time, people gain weight, lose their jobs, lose their finances, lose their sense of humor, lose sexual abilities, desires decrease, see others as more attractive, etc, etc, etc. Mix these all together, stir in our inherent sinful natures, and you get what I call a “devil’s brew”. This brew, once swallowed, is indeed potent and fast acting. It produces an effect that makes you think that your own happiness and survival is on life support and almost dead, unless you change things in a major way; like divorcing your spouse.
Bart: [another person stands up to speak] Dennis: my name is Bart Cummings. I too, have been married multiple times. I am currently starting on a new relationship. Funny, I was just thinking the other day about how many times I will go through this new relationship thing before I get it right. To be honest, it got me depressed. [sits]
Dennis: [looking directly at Bart] I hear you. Before this event is over, I will pray that your heart is lifted so that you may see things in a different light. [now looking at the audience] If the audience does not mind, I would like to cut short this discourse on human love as it is already beginning to weigh on my spirits. Are there any objections?
Unknown person: [someone stands up and speaks without introducing themselves ] I understand what you’re feeling. However, please just give me a quick few words on your opinion of the other kinds of human love; like the love of your job, or the love of a sport, or the love of cooking etc.
Dennis: [looking directly at this person] Those types of human love are also conditional. What about losing your job? What about a debilitating health issue? Surely you know someone to whom these things have befallen. The love of these things are therefore, also conditional. Does that help? [same person nods yes] Good.
Fortunately for us, there is one kind human love that, in some cases, can at least give us a tiny glimpse of what unconditional love is. That is the love a parent, particularly the mother, has for their child. In many cases, that love is very close to being unconditional. I know for certain, that my mother loved me almost unconditionally. She thought that I was the greatest thing since sliced bread (a wonderfully kind delusion) and that I could do no wrong and refused to let anyone even so much as to say anything bad about me. She would have defended me against anyone no matter what I may have done. After she passed, it was immediately clear to me that no one would ever love me that way again in this life; and that left me with an empty feeling that remains to this very day.
This parental love is also very powerful. I remember watching a well-known TV anchor tell of her true inner feelings about protecting her daughter. She had just finished describing herself as a very kind and softhearted person. She said that she remembers one day when she thought her daughter was in danger. (I forgot the circumstances) She had a strong feeling that she would actually kill this person whom she thought was threatening her child. It was somewhat scary to hear her admit this, because you could even feel that she was telling the truth. Some of you mothers may be able to grasp this better than I can.
We cannot even begin to understand just how much GOD loves us. For HIS love is mysteriously interwoven with HIS infinite essence and limitless power supplying a foundation for the saying that “love is the most powerful force in the universe”. As scientists continue to grapple with the “HOW” the universe was created, i.e.; their Big Bang Theory and other theories; I stand here before you this morning to claim that GOD’s LOVE answers the far, far, far more important question about the creation of the universe: “WHY.”
Finally, I return once again to my authority: In John Chapter 3 Verse 16 (NIV) where Jesus says: “For GOD so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In Romans Chapter 5 Verse 8 (KJV), it states: “But GOD commandeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.
In both these divine statements, we find no conditions placed on GOD’s love for us. GOD doesn’t say, “as soon as you clean up your act, I’ll love you;” nor does He say, “I’ll sacrifice my Son if you promise to love Me.” It is crystal clear here that GOD wants us to know that His love is unconditional, so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us while we were still unlovable sinners. We didn’t have to get clean, and we didn’t have to make any promises to GOD before we could experience His love. His love for us has always existed, and because of that, He did all the giving and sacrificing long before we were even aware that we needed His love.
Let us continue.
4- GOD is Perfect. Ever look at the moon right before it is a full moon? Looking closely, you can tell that its roundness is a little bit straight in one quadrant and as a result, not yet perfect. Ever taste your food while it is still cooking? As you add different spices and taste again, you somehow know that it is still not perfect. Ever see someone just come from the barbershop or beauty salon and say that their hair is perfect? I remember washing my car once and giving it a hand waxing. I rubbed and rubbed until my arms were sore waiting for the shine to be perfect. While it never was, I say to this day that I will somehow know when and if I ever see a perfect shine. During the NBA All Star weekend, there is an event called the Slam Dunk contest. All the young high fliers in the league show their most spectacular dunks for the judges, who themselves were once slam dunk champs from years past. The object: that perfect spectacular dunk. The scoring goes from 1 thru 10 with 10 being the best. No doubt, a dunk rating 10, while the highest rating, can still be surpassed by another 10, with the crowd knowing that the latest 10 approached perfection a bit more than the last 10.
What on earth makes us so certain that we know what perfection is? We have no examples of pure perfection in our existence of which we can learn what perfection is. Our finest tools and machines can make things to be very, very, precise …………but not perfect. A mother combs her daughter’s hair in the morning until she sees it close to perfection before she goes to school. A concert pianist has a major show soon, and plays his leading piece over and over until he feels it is finally perfect. I think you folks get the idea here. I am convinced that we know this concept of perfection from memory; from before we were born into this life.
I will have a great deal more to say on this critical point later this evening when I speak on the heart.
5- GOD is Alive. This is the attribute that was by far the most difficult for me to comprehend. I have intellectual issues to this day on this one. Fortunately, my heart knows better.
Sherlock: [someone from the audience interrupts] Dennis, my name is Sherlock Steven Holmes; yes, yes, I know……it is my real name. While never a Churchgoer, I’ve always believed in GOD. However, I always just thought that He simply existed, and was not ‘alive’ as we are. That makes a huge difference in my mind. Please be more concrete in explaining what you mean by GOD being alive. This one is very important to me.
Dennis: [looking directly at Sherlock] Understood. I will surely try my best.
[now looking back at the audience]
Let me start with an example of what I mean and another short story about something that happened to me that I will never forget and that cements the truth about GOD being alive in my heart. Finally, I will once again turn to my authority.
Let us suppose that John Witherton just lost his job unexpectedly. He has three kids that will soon be ready for college and a new mortgage. Needless to say, his job loss is devastating news that immediately has him almost panicking. After two years of searching for a job and going through his savings to get by, he realizes that he is desperate and begins to pray for a miracle. The next week, a job offer from one of his many interviews comes through; with a signing bonus and for more money than he was making two years ago. After hearing this news, he falls to his knees and shouts “Hallelujah and THANK YOU JESUS!!”………….. Now, this is all pretty straightforward and a scenario that, in these times, is easily believable.
Now back to our question of; is GOD alive? No one who believes in GOD would think that he does not know the future; fortunately, we are way past that level of stupidity. My problem is this: how does this scenario support the idea that GOD is alive? On the one side, from GOD’s perspective, all things clearly happened just as they were supposed to and precisely when they were supposed to; for HE knoweth all things and HIS will never fails to materialize. From John Witherton’s perspective, GOD clearly answered his prayers and acted in his behalf when he needed it most. This is what a very dear friend would do for him; a friend that was actually listening to him as he went through this very difficult time in his life. How could he not think and believe that GOD is indeed alive?
However this, at least to my small mind, is still not sufficient enough to declare that GOD is alive. I’m sure some knucklehead will say that even if he did not pray, he still would have got the new job, if that was indeed the will of GOD. Such a person misses the boat entirely. In my opinion, the communication and prayer between John and GOD as he went through these tough times is everything; for it is personal. These kinds of stresses can destroy whole families if it were not for GOD’s mercy. We shall let our knucklehead friend say whatever pleases him, and we will pray for him nonetheless.
Since I cannot come up with a solid explanation based in logic that proves GOD is alive, I therefore confess that once more, my intellect has failed me. For those of you who need such intellectual proof, all I can say is that I’m sorry that I am unable to furnish it to you. Once again, you need to speak with someone far smarter than I. As for me, although I cannot prove via logic, that GOD is alive, I am still nevertheless certain that He is.
Sherlock:[ stands again to speak] Dennis, I like your honesty about your own intellectual limitations and I will indeed seek further logical analysis from someone else on this. But please do continue, for I am anxious to hear the underpinnings of your certainty.
Dennis: [looking over the audience stroking his mustache] Let me tell you good folks what happened to me one day about thirty years ago. It was an experience so rich, that I remember it today as if it happened yesterday.
I used to be a smoker; Winston Lights 100’s, if I recall. I must tell you, I really enjoyed smoking. One day, I was sitting on the rocky shores of Riverside Park just basking in the beauty of a wonderfully gorgeous summer day in New York. As I was just chillin’, I decided to light up a cigarette. After a few relaxing puffs, I looked out onto the Hudson River and noticed what seemed like billions of tiny sparkling bits of light dancing on the surface of the water in a peaceful way that is very hard to describe. It was simply beautiful beyond description. Tears are beginning to appear in my eyes as I write about this some thirty years later. The powerful beauty engulfed me to the point where somehow I knew that my lit cigarette was not a very pleasing part of this delicately awesome scene. As a reflex to this, I put out the cigarette on the rocks and picked up the butt. Then, right before my eyes, about one million of those dancing bits of light broke off from the pack and started moving towards me. Their increasing separation and movement was so noticeable, that I was startled. What was this about? Right before this rogue pack of dancing lights reached the shore of the rocks, I heard a soft and gentle voice say to me; “Thank You”, after which the small rogue pack began dancing backwards all the way to the original pack and blended in once again!!
This, my friends, is indeed a true story. From that day to this moment, my heart now knows for certain that GOD is alive!
Finally, let’s turn again to my authority. In Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 27 (NIV): “So GOD created man in his own image, in the image of GOD created he him; male and female created he them”. This divine statement is more than sufficient for me. If we agree that we are alive, who would not?; and since by Divine Authority, it clearly states that we are created in HIS image, then it logically concludes that GOD IS ALIVE!!![to his surprise, the audience begins to stand up and clap loudly]