Ascendence of the One God


Ever sit down and think about how the concept of One God came about? If you really think about it, its quite unusual. Why only have one almighty, all powerful God? Isn’t it more logical to have many gods who like us form a society but a society at a different spiritual level.

Take for instance, primitive man. If the archeologists would have us to believe, man’s very primal instinct was to worship the sun, the moon, the sky, volcanoes, fire and so on. Man worshipped something that he could not explain but would otherwise give him benefits. If the “being” was happy, he is blessed. If he became angry then bad things happen eg droughts, floods and so on. Yes, this would make sense to the primitive man.

Then the earliest civilisations got a bit more advanced. The Egyptians had a pantheon of gods as did the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Indians, Mayans and the Incas. All these ancient peoples believed that there are a race of beings higher then themselves who control the things around them which they have no control over. The gods they worship were not perfect moral beings, but had flaws just like we do. The difference is that they had power and the gods could control the issues that affect human life that were beyond human control. Things like love, relationship, weather, accidents, illness etc. The basic premise for belief was the same.

Worshipping of these gods, often times would entail sacrifice. In the good old days, human sacrifice, including child sacrifice was common place. The gods had to be appeased, so since the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, children and women were frequently sacrificed to please the gods.

It is in this environment that Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was called by the one God. This God was different from the rest of the gods that were being worshipped at the time. Rather then being a pantheon of gods, He was the one Almighty God. He promised to bless Abraham and through him to establish a people for Himself.

Many years passed and then along came Moses and the burning bush. God revealed Himself as the great I am, the indescribable God who was holy, just and good. Through Moses he delivered the Israelites from Egypt and settled them in Canaan (present day Israel/Palestine). Thus Judaism was born. He gave the Ten Commandments outlining the basic believe system. If you examine the ten commandments and compare it with the believes of the cultures surrounding the Israelites at that time, one will notice the stark differences. The first five commandments dealt with how God should be worshipped. The one thing that God insisted was the acknowledgement that there was only one God and that no other god was to be worshipped. The last five commandments dealt with how people should treat each other viz do not murder, do not covet, do not commit adultery etc.

The worship of the One God was, for 2 millenia, confined to one group of people, viz the Israelites. But remember that God’s promise to Abraham was that he would be the father of many nations. The next great development was the incarnation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ. For centuries, the prophets fortold of the One who would be called the most High God who would like in the days of Moses, save them from their situation. This time, however, the rescue would not come in the form of political, but spiritual salvation. For 3 years, Jesus Christ taught and worked many miracles but after this short period of ministry, the Romans and the Jewish authorities put an end (so they thought) to a brilliant career.

But the worship of the One God was beginning to explode. The death of Jesus was not permanent. Three days later, he rose again and appeared to his disciples and to a multitude of people before he ascended to heaven. 50 days after the passover feast, as the disciples were worshipping, the Holy Spirit whom Jesus had promised to send made His appearance. The Holy Spirit so affected the early disciples that they were transformed from a band of cowardly, fearful peasants into fearsome, miracle working evangelists. So started the early church.

By the 4th century, Christianity was widespread, even though the Roman authorities had tried their best to quell it by throwing christians to the lions and torturing them to death as a kind of public entertainment. Then came the Emperor Constantine, who in a vision was instructed by God to conquer and unite the Roman Empire under the sign of the cross. The One God thus won over the Roman Pantheon of gods, becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire and spreading throughout Europe.

At the beginning of the 7th century, the appearance of Gabriel to the prophet Mohammand heralded the beginning of Islam. The Patriach, Abraham is recognized by all three religions. Abraham had 2 sons. One born from his handmaiden Hagar and one from his wife Sarah. The two sons have been fighting over Abraham’s inheritance since the very beginning. The Jews and Christians both trace their lineage back to Isaac, while the Arabs were descended from Ishmael. The two sons of Abraham are still fighting over the rights of Abraham up till today as evidenced by the conflicts in the middle east.

From the Christian perspective, however, God only recognized Abraham’s second son, Isaac, the child he promised to Abraham and Sarah. Scriptures are clear that God referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “one and only son” when he commanded Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.

Fast forward to the 21st century. There are now 2 billion who claim allegiance to Jesus Christ and one billion who put their faith in Islam. So half of the world’s population now believe in the one God. But that is not all. If you were to look at some of the other faiths, like Hinduism for example, you will note that the Hindus have a concept that the cacophony of gods that they worship, ultimately distills down to a trinity of gods who is ultimately distilled to the one force that governs the universe. Even the Chinese have the concept of one great god who is all powerful over all the other lesser gods.

So how do you explain the ascendence of the One True God?

Let me offer something to think about.

Could it be that when God created man, he placed in his DNA, a program which would over the course of several thousand years result in his discovery of himself, ie a type of self realisation program. This programming would over the millenia be triggered by various events in which God would reveal a part of Himself. Eventually, all of mankind will come to the revelation of the One True God. This process may take a long time in our perspective, but with God, as the scriptures say, “a day is like a thousand years”.

In Christian theology, this is referred to as God’s progressive revelation of Himself to mankind. This process is still ongoing. God is so vast and so undescribable that we have taken so long to learn so little. The Bible is however very clear that at the end of the age, “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord!”

Theories come and go. Fashions come and go. But Truth is unchanging and will always remain to be discovered. So it is that the truth of the One God will continue to grow in influence in our spiritual paradigm.

1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. NIV

Disclaimer:

I am not theologically nor historically trained. These ideas are distilled from information gathered over the years and represents my personal ideas only. It is my intention to stimulate thought and not to create strife between the various religious faith. So if you are offended in anyway, please just don’t read it. But if you have been stimulated to think a bit more about the vast subject of God, then please write in and let’s have a lively discussion

Related Posts

Subscribe
Notify of

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

UNESCO Hawker Food Trail

Knowledge Resource

Ultimate Durian Guide
Learn about MSW, D24, Golden Phoenix, D101, D13, D88 and other durians!
Prawn Files
Learn about all the prawns in our local wet market!
Sushi Files
Resource about all the sushi fish! Otoro, Chutoro, Akami, Aji, Shirodane……..
Local Fish Files
Resource on local fish found in our wet markets