My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. (John 8:54-55)
This is what Jesus taught. The Jews did not believe that he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, and said, “Who do you think you are?” When Jesus answered that Abraham foresaw Jesus and rejoiced, and that before Abraham was born, Jesus was already in existence, the Jews tried to kill him. Jesus did not say to them, “We believe in the same God, only that you are mistaken in your opinion on the Christ.” No, he told them that they merely claimed the Father as their God, but they did not in fact know him.
Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe in the same God? What about Catholics and Mormons, and many others who claim to worship God? Certainly, they do not know God, and they do not worship him. Unless a man believes in Jesus Christ, and believes that he was what he said he was – the unique Son of God, himself God and Christ, and one who existed even before Abraham – this person does not know God. He can claim our Father as his God all he wants. He can think the thoughts and speak the words, but his claim is false.
This is how Jesus talked. He said, “You claim to know God, but you do not. You are liars. But I know God, and if I said I did not, I would be a liar like you.” Today’s Christians would say that it is not Christ-like to talk like this! This is because, although they claim to know Christ, they are liars. They do not know Christ, and they do not approve of him. If he were to walk among us today, they would condemn Christ himself as not Christ-like, as unloving, ungentle, impolite, heretical, and arrogant.
The Jews had an idea of God that was not the God who revealed himself to men, but that was an idol they invented. Likewise, Christians often have an idea of Christ that bears little resemblance to the Christ who revealed himself, but that is an idol of their minds, and a personification of their own ideals, desires, beliefs, and customs. They claim to know Jesus, what he is like, and how he would act, but they are liars. And Jesus would tell them so to their face.
Jesus refused to play their religious games, and he would refuse to play ours. He would not submit to what Christians today consider the proper protocol for religious discussion or what they regard as Christ-like behavior. We ought to follow Christ instead of the bogus ideas that religious hypocrites have about him. Therefore, let us follow his doctrine, and say that those who claim to believe in God do not in fact believe in him or know him unless they believe that Jesus was the incarnation of deity. And let us follow his example, so that whether Christians or non-Christians, when people claim to know God or Christ but in fact do not, rather than submitting to the restrictive rules of men, we will declare to their face, “You are liars! You are liars!”