A certain woman in Samaria (area in Israel) had posed a question to Jesus Christ one day about where people should worship God. It is written, "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:21-22) Jesus further explained, "...the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (John 4:23) Jesus said, "in spirit;" mankind was created by God with a spirit part, but that is out of the scope of this article. Maybe we will cover that in future. In this article I would like to focus on the "in truth" part of Jesus's statement. To worship is to attribute worth. God wants people to acknowledge and act in accordance with who HE is in TRUTH.
Man is a special creation of God's; created in God's own image so that we can personally know God. Notice I said personally know God, not just know about Him, but to actually know God in a two way relationship. [See Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7-25.]
Ancient Athens, Greece was the center of the Western World's ideas about god, man, truth, purpose, etc. When the Apostle Paul visited Athens "his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." (Acts 17:16) On almost every street corner in Athens there was an idol (stone, wood, etc.). These idols were physical representations of men's thoughts about God, gods invented by men. Idolatry is when man defines God in his own way. It is a fiction. Such is a fairytale god--Zeus, The Great Spirit, the Big Man Upstairs, Mary the Mother of God, etc.
God WANTS to be known in truth. In fact, God WILL BE known for who He is in truth. God will not change to fit man.
"I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another,
neither my praise to graven images." (Isaiah 42:8)
"I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed,
when there was no strange god among you:
therefore ye are my witnesses,
saith the LORD, that I am God." (Isaiah 43:11-12)
"I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel,
your King." (Isaiah 43:15)
"Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel,
and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first,
and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6)
Can you imagine how offended and angered you would be if someone said they knew you but completely fabricated an account of what you look like, how you act, the things you are supposed to have done, and slandered your character so that no one knew who you really are! Slander is illegal under most human governments.
Well, under God's government of His Universe slandering God's character and misrepresenting His person and works is also illegal, it is sin.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water
under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them,
nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children
unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me,
and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
1) No one is allowed to take God's place as God.
2) No one is allowed to misrepresent God's person.
3) No one is allowed to misrepresent God's name--His character and works.
These truths about God's determination to be known by mankind brings up one huge question,
How has God made Himself known to man?