Most persons will readily admit that the world's concept of God is not what it should be. The human belief is far from correct and mortals suffer many things because of ignorance. Some progress is being made, however, and great good results from the unfolding of the truth. Mortals are beginning to see that the creator of man and the universe is not even indirectly responsible for many things which, in the past, it was believed were not only in accord with the divine will but were the direct result of the divine volition. It is also becoming clearer that the human concept of God does not in any way affect Him or influence His actions. God is not human, but divine. What He is, He is, and what He does, He does, regardless of what He is believed to be or to do. While it is evident that a man's belief as to the nature and character of God cannot change God or interfere with the harmonious action of the divine Mind, yet the man himself is vitally affected by his thought of the Supreme Being. A man's belief robs him of the good already bestowed, for what a man is unconscious of he cannot enjoy even though it is numbered among his possessions. Isaiah declared that the iniquities (erroneous beliefs and evil actions resulting from wrong thinking) of the people had separated between them and their God and robbed them of the blessings of salvation.

Possibly no other error is doing so much to hinder human progress and to make men content with the bondage of materialism, as the belief that God is a respecter of persons. It is little realized how far reaching is the effect of this belief. It has a telling effect upon a man's thinking and doing; it has much to do with his attitude toward others and even molds his opinion of himself. In some instances the belief that God is a respecter of persons may seem to make progress impossible; at other times it can only retard. In the Scriptures we read, "God is no respecter of persons;" "There is no respect of persons with God;" "God accepteth no man's person," and many similar declarations, yet there are many good men and women who to-day believe that the Father of all is a respecter of persons, and they assert that it is in perfect accord with the divine nature and character that He should be so. They now "see through a glass darkly," but the time will come when they shall "see face to face."

Even Peter, one of the twelve chosen by the Master, devoutly believed that salvation was for the Jews only and that Jesus' mission did not extend to the Gentiles. The apostle did not stand alone in this matter, neither was his belief the result of the Master's teaching. It was a conviction so deeply rooted in the Jewish consciousness that its truth was never questioned. Had Peter sufficiently comprehended the teachings of Jesus he would have seen the error and departed from it, even as he did forsake it when he was convinced that among the Gentiles were to be found those who worshiped the God of Israel "in spirit and in truth." He was, however, faithful to what he knew, and the time came when he was called to go and preach Christ to Cornelius and the members of his household. At first he was unwilling to do so, but in a vision it was shown him that he should call no man common or unclean. When Peter beheld the company to whom he was sent and heard the testimony of Cornelius, he said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with him."

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April 4, 1908

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