The word "God" is one of the most commonly used words among those professing the Bible as the basis of their beliefs.
Those most responsible for the widespread use of this word were doubtless the translators of the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Ever since the 1611 A.D. edition inserted it into the translated text, this word has been increasingly on the lips of the growing number of Christian converts the world over.
It is substituted for the Hebrew Elohim in the Old Testament, and for the Greek Theos in the New Testament. This simple replacement allows one, alias God, to get credit for everything from creating heaven and earth to granting eternal life to repentant sinners!
Doesn't it make sense that if someone is going to get that much credit, that someone had better be the right person? If we give that much honor and esteem to the wrong being, then the ONE who really deserves the credit just might not take it lightly!
Would you relish being on the "wrong side" of the REAL CREATOR, the one with infinite power over all the forces of nature?
How would you feel if you invented a new machine or created a new process with worldwide appeal and someone else got all the credit? Would it matter? Of course it would.
Searching for "God"
If we can show just who God is, then we can know whether he deserves all that credit or not.
Just because someone says, "God is the creator of the universe!" doesn't prove that's really who "God" is. Another could say, "Jupiter is the creator of the universe," but that wouldn't necessarily be who Jupiter is or was, either.
In fact, most Bible students would oppose this second assertion, beginning a kind of litany reciting historical passages to show just who Jupiter really was. They might tell us that Jupiter was a pagan deity, the chief Roman deity identified with the Greek "Zeus." And they would be right. But to the Romans he really was the supreme deity as
Zeus was to the Greeks!
Those same Bible students might come back with Acts 14:12-15: "And they (people of Lystra) called Barnabas, JUPITER; and Paul, MERCURIUS......then the priests of Jupiter....brought oxen....and would have done sacrifice....which when the apostles heard....they rent their clothes, and ran among the people,...saying..why do you these things? We preach to you that you should turn from THESE VANITIES (these empty idols, NJB) TO THE LIVING (GOD), which made heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein."
Here the apostles clearly did not acknowledge the deity of Jupiter or Mercurius as the creator of all things, the students would rightfully argue. But why not? Was it not because they felt they knew exactly WHO this creator was? Was it not that they felt they KNEW he was not Jupiter or Mercurius?
If His name was unimportant, why did the Apostles not accept the name Jupiter, and just say that they were really worshipping the same deity but just under a different name? Why did they admonish the people to TURN FROM the vanity of such beliefs which included worshipping men (v 13), because those people thought by doing so they would be worshipping Jupiter and Mercurius?
What was wrong with claiming to worship the creator of all things who they just happened to call Jupiter? For some reason the apostles objected in no uncertain terms.
We notice, very conspicuously, the word "God" translated in verse 15; "...the living God..." Who is this God deity? Did God really create heaven and earth?
Where did the translators get this word to use in the place of the Greek "Theos" of the New Testament? The apostles rejected Jupiter and Mercurius, but the translators interjected God. Would they (Paul and Barnabas) have rejected this deity too? It's not a moot question! Remember they felt they KNEW just WHO the Creator was. They obviously exercised discretion in their selection of names or titles relating to the Creator of all things celestial and terrestrial.
When a church title is given as, say, "The Church of God," and we were to ask what this means of those advocating this title, we are very likely to get something like, "This is the church of the Creator of heaven and earth..." Obviously, this assumes that God is the Creator of all these things. But is he? Jupiter wasn't, but we are asked to believe that "God" is! Would the apostles object?
"God is found in the Bible"
The word "God" is pronounced "gawd." This fact follows from Webster's Dictionary where we find the pronunciation as "god."
The symbol above the letter "o" gives essentially the vowel in "fork," and has also been used to represent the sound midway between the unlauted letter "a" (the diacritical mark [a] placed over the vowel), and (o) heard in an Eastern variant of "fob" (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1962). [I was not able to all the symbol, grater than, pointing up, over the letters.]
To illustrate this rather abstract explanation of (o) notice Webster's pronunciation of several words beginning with the letters "aw:"
awe, (o); [here the 'e' is silent];
[as above, I'm not able to add the symbol, greater than, pointing up, over the letter "o".]
Here we see the pronunciation of "aw" clearly given as "o." So when we find God, the form "gawd" very appropriately gives the correct pronunciation.
Now, why this emphasis on pronunciation of the word God (gawd)? This: If God is a pagan deity of some sort, and is so recognized by the Biblical writers, then we must certainly know what the name is by its sound.
Names are primarily transmitted by the way they are pronounced. The real purpose of the spelling of names is to preserve their actual sound. The Biblical writers would, without doubt, transmit such a pagan name by giving the letters conveying its sound. What better identification than the actual name given according to its proper phonetic resonance?
Turn to Isaiah 65:11. Here is a very interesting verse. Notice what is recorded:
"But ye are they that forsake the LORD (Yahweh), that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop (KJV margin: or Gad), and that furnish the drink offering unto that number (KJV margin: Meni).'
As noted, the margin reads in the place of troop, Gad. And who is Gad? The word troop (Strong's #1409) of this verse means fortune. Notice carefully how Strong says it is pronounced: "gawd." We would ordinarily spell it "god."
The marginal reference translates troop as Gad. Gad (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1408; see also Gesenius, p. 157) is, according to Strong's, "...a variation of #1409; Fortune, a Babylonian deity - that troop."
In other words, Gad is a variation of "gawd" or "god!" He was a Babylonian deity!
As a variation of GOD it is quite certain GAD was pronounced "GOD" in Isaiah's time. Gad is God! He was the Babylonian deity of good luck.
We see today a near universal usage of the term God in religion which refers to a being given all reverence, and every attribute by which he is supposed to insure his worshipers good fortune now and in the hereafter. This is doubtless the origin of the salutation, "Good (god) luck."
Is this a mere coincidence? Or does the fact that we live in a time of religious confusion stemming from the practices of ANCIENT BABYLON have something to do with it?
Detailed studies reveal the amazing fact that many, many of the false doctrines of today go back to ancient Babylon!
Who is God? Is he not the Babylonian deity of good fortune or good luck? "Gad" is "fortune" or "God" with the article "that" attached as found in Isaiah 65:11, "...that troop..."
Notice what Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament says about Gad (SEC 1408):
"'Fortune'; with art., specially the divinity of Fortune, worshipped by the Babylonians AND the Jews exiled among them; elsewhere called Baal...i.e. the planet Jupiter, regarded in all the East as the giver of good fortune (...the greater good fortune). Isa. 65:11." [Emphasis mine]
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown concur with Gesenius on these points, as does Unger's Bible Dictionary. In The Two Babylons, Hislop says in a footnote on page 94:
"The name Gad evidently refers, in the first instance, to the war-god, for it signifies to assault, but it also signifies the assembler; and under both ideas it is applicable to Nimrod..."
Other translations have this part of Isaiah 65:11:
"...who are setting for Gad a table and who are filling fort Meni a mixture..." (Young's Literal Translation.)
"...and worship Gad and Meni, the gods of luck and fate..." (Good News Bible)
"...setting in order a table for the god of Good Luck and those filling mixed up wine for the god of Destiny..." (New World Translation)
"...who lay the table for Gad, who fill cups of mixed wine for Meni..." (Jerusalem Bible)
Notice that Isaiah 65:11 is essentially saying that "You who forsake Yahweh worship God!"
How many people worship God today? How many sing praises to that name or title? Millions; tens of millions.
Does it matter? It does to Yahweh! Here's what He says: "I am Yahweh; that is My Name: AND MY GLORY WILL I NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER, NEITHER MY PRAISE TO GRAVEN IMAGES," (Isa. 42:8).
Other facts about "God"
Look at these additional facts regarding "God." In an article entitled "Facts about God," the Scripture Research Association has the following:
"The Twentieth Century Dictionary confirms the pagan origin of the name GOD. It says, 'It was applied to heathen deities; and, later, when the Teutonic peoples were converted to Christianity, the word was elevated to the Christian sense. There is no connection between 'god' and 'good' in form.'
The Teutonic tribes were Christianized in the seventh century. Thereafter, the pagan tribes continued to call their deities GOD, and the Christian tribes called their deity GOD. The English borrowed it from the pagans. THE HEATHEN TEUTONIC TRIBES WORSHIPPED THEIR DEITY GOD; THE CHRISTIAN GERMANS WORSHIPPED THEIR DEITY AND CALLED HIM GOD. Thus God came into the English language. This was in the seventh century." (Emphasis mine)
They further note that the World's Popular Encyclopedia under the topic "God" says:
"GOD (O.E. god. Dutch God. Ger. Gott) in heathen times an idol, or object of worship. Since the Teutonic acceptance of Christianity it is the name reserved to the Creator of the Universe."
Is "God" really an appropriate name or even title as the Creator of the Universe? Should he be praised as the CREATOR when another has declared that He is the Creator and even gives His Name as Yahweh? Hardly.
The many who claim "...it doesn't matter all that much what He is called..." would not dare sing hymns to Zeus or Jupiter or offer prayers to these admittedly pagan deities.
Yet these same sincere many will gladly sing hymns and offer prayers to GOD, the Babylonian deity of good luck! What's the difference? God is a pagan deity, too!
The Bible clearly exposes Jupiter (Zeus), Mercurius (Hermes), AND God as pagan deities and condemns any worship of them.
All who worship in those names are clearly and defiantly breaking the First Commandment which says we are not to place any other Elohim or Mighty One before Yahweh.
A "Church of God" is just that - a church of or dedicated to the Babylonian deity of good fortune. It is HIS church, not Yahweh's.
Absurd, you say? No, it's not absurd at all. When you examine that church's doctrines you will certainly find that many of its fundamental tenets come directly from ancient Babylon, even though they CLAIM to get them from the Bible.
Examine them in the light of the Bible, and you find they are not there! Shocking, but true! Just because a church says they use the Bible as a basis for their doctrines, doesn't mean a thing.
You can start the examination by seeing just WHOSE church they claim to be. Does the REAL Creator just look the other way in matters regarding worship of the other deities? Of course He doesn't! He clearly has direct prohibitions against such practices! See Exodus 20:3.
Make no mistake about it. If a pagan deity is "named on you," i.e., you worship in that name, that is really who you serve. That is who you really believe in.
You can test that statement by closely scrutinizing the fundamental doctrines you believe. Find out if they really come from the Bible, or from ancient Babylon!
Baal-gad or more currently pronounced Baal-god, is still worshipped today on a grand scale. Satan is the master deceiver behind it all.
Another precautionary note: Conversely so, all who claim to worship Elohim Yahweh are not necessarily who they say they are, either. Many of those literally take or use Yahweh's name in vain also. You see, you have to examine their doctrines, what they teach and practice.
Remember the words of Yahshua: "Many will come in My Name saying, I am Messiah, and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:5)
It really does make a difference WHO you worship, and HOW you worship Him! You can worship Yahshua, but do it all in vain. Yahshua said so! Notice:
"But in vain they do worship ME (Yahshua), teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9)
Quit worshipping God, and start worshipping Yahweh - the True Creator - in spirit and in truth. ~ Gary C. Miller
Gary C. Miller, International Congregation of Yahweh, PO Box 208, Pocahontas, AR 72455. Internet home page: www.icyahweh.org