“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
Since the beginning of the world, mankind has failed to see that God is God and there is no other. All was perfect and beautiful within the Garden of Eden; God had provided rivers of water for drinking (Gen. 2:10-14), verdant trees brimming with nutritious fruit for eating (Gen. 2:9), and an environment teeming with life (Gen. 2:19). Everything that man needed was provided by God Who also imparted dominion over the earth and its creatures to humanity (Gen. 1:26-28). Man would rule over the earth with authority and power exceeded only by that of God Himself. God exalted man to a height that only His own throne would exceed, yet it was that throne for which man would grasp. For Satan tempted Adam and Eve with the notion that they, too, could be like God (Gen. 3:5).
Not much has changed in the time since man was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Mankind has yet to really learn and understand that God is God and there is no other. Consider the false gods and idols worshipped by the ancients. From the primitive heathen who would carve out for himself a “god” from wood and stone to the philosophers of Greece and Rome who would create an entire pantheon of deities and worship the creation of their own imagination, man, frustrated by his inability to raise himself to the throne of God, has sought to place something of his own construction in the place occupied by God alone.
But where are these gods, and whither have gone these idols? What has become of the pantheons of Rome, or Greece, or Egypt? Does anyone yet bow their knee before Osiris, or Zeus, or Mercury? The sands of time have faded their memory and they have been overturned from their places of honor. The false gods and idols of the ancients have been cast down and are worshipped no more. “For I am God, there is no other.“
And what of those who put their hope in philosophy or science? What of those who exalt intellect, knowledge, and “reason” above all else? One has only to look at the history of such pursuits to realize that what we call brilliance today will eventually be seen as foolishness by our grandchildren. The span of two or three generations is usually more than sufficient time for mankind to realize that what he revered as incontrovertible truth just yesterday has come to be shown as nothing in the world but unfounded nonsense and vain imagination. Intellectuals are often seen as the divine prophets for the secularly-minded, but few of their thoughts and ideas will ever stand the test of time and will one day be regarded as the product of the ignorance of a by-gone era. “For I am God, there is no other.”
Can anything different be said of those who would build empires and rule over the lives of others? Is the legacy of one such as Alexander The Great, Caesar, Napoleon, or Genghis Khan any more lasting than the false deities or philosophers of yesteryear? Consider the end of such who sought to be kings and queens over the whole world. Not only have they passed from the world’s stage, but so have the empires and kingdoms which they struggled so hard to build. They sat upon a throne for a moment in time and now only their names survive the decay of history. “For I am God, there is no other.“
The false religions and false gods of today will eventually suffer the same fate as those who came before them, of that we may be certain. Those who put their faith and hope in man have misplaced their faith indeed. Those who follow the teachings of Muhammed will one day be disappointed, because Muhammed is dead and buried. Or those who worship the Buddha will in no way find everlasting life because he, too, is dead and buried. And those who exalt the teachings of people like Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, and others who have founded pseudo-Christian cults above the clear teachings of God’s own Word, the Bible, will find that these men and women were not gods either. The Word of God is eternal and will never pass away (Luke 21:33), but the words of these false prophets and false teachers will one day be proven to be dangerous delusions which deceived many. “For I am God, there is no other.“
Finally, there has been a great return in recent times to that very first idolatry: the exaltation of self. Not that this self-worship has ever really left. Man has continued to believe the serpent’s words in the Garden – “you shall be like God.” Many of those living in modern times say that there is nothing worthy of worship and would agree that all these things we’ve considered are not gods either. Yet they fall down at the altar of their own ego and have replaced faith in anything with pride. Claiming to adhere to a doctrine of atheism, these people put their own success, their own happiness, their own pleasure above everything and are not really atheists at all. They are not without belief in a god because they ultimately consider themselves to be god; at least of their own little world. Perhaps they do not seek to rule upon a throne over others or build their own kingdom, but they do esteem their own will and desire as more valuable and important than that of anyone else. Yet God Almighty says to them:
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:” (1 Peter 1:24-25 KJV)
Though they would exalt themselves above the stars, though they would, as Lucifer, ascend above the heights of the clouds (Isaiah 14:14), though they would happily receive the praise and adoration and worship of men, as did Herod when he spoke and the people cried out, “It is the voice of a god and not a man!” (Acts 12:22), in the end, God will have the final word. “For I am God, there is no other.“
At life’s end, and end it shall, nothing will remain of the fortunes and kingdoms which men have built. Though a man rule over half the world he will, at last, occupy no more than a six foot by three foot plot of land. And though he possesses more riches than can be fathomed, he will leave this world just as he came into it (1 Timothy 6:7). The story is told of John D. Rockefeller, the Bill Gates of his time, dying and his family waiting eagerly outside of his accountant’s office to find out how much of his staggering fortune he had bequeathed to them in his will. When the account emerged, one relative, unable to control his greedy excitement blurted out, “Well, how much did he leave?” The accountant simply responded, “He left all of it.”
God has sought since time immemorial to teach mankind that He is God and there is no other, not so that His ego might be stroked but that man would look unto Him for Salvation. Man has looked unto every other possible source for Salvation, joy, and fulfillment and has come up empty. God alone can save, God alone can provide fulfillment and lasting peace. The first part of the verse we have been considering says, “Turn to Me and be saved...” Do not turn to a false god, or false religion, or some other person, or the works of your own hands. Turn to Me. It is only by turning to Jesus Christ that a person may be saved (Acts 4:12). How do we know that “God” speaking in Isaiah 45:22 is referring to Jesus Christ? Because of what it says in the next verse:
“I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:23)
Let’s compare that to Philippians 2:10:
“So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This demonstrates the truth of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit are One God. So, we are saved when we turn to Jesus. Yet who may turn to Him? All the ends of the earth. This is likely referring to spiritual condition as much as geography. Not only may the man in Australia and the woman in Peru both turn to Jesus and be saved, but so may the drunkard in Belgium and the convicted murderer in India. The dregs of society stand on equal footing with the heads of state when it comes to access to God for Salvation. None are excluded based on location, neither are any disqualified due to transgression. May we all today acknowledge that God is God and there is none else and may we turn to Him and be saved.
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]