Isaiah 40:18 – To Whom Will You Liken God?

Gary W. Ritter

(Isaiah 39-40; Philippians 4)

A full page ad in our complimentary copy of The Epoch Times caught my eye.  The top half displayed the name Shen Yun and a beautiful Chinese dancer in mid-leap.  The text below the fold said: “China Before Communism.”  It went on to mysteriously say:

China was once called “Land of the Divine.”  There was a time when divine beings walked upon the earth, leaving behind wisdom that gave birth to everything from medical innovations to opera, dance, architecture, and even martial arts… A splendid culture flourished in China for 5,000 years.

Upon seeing this, along with the additional ad copy, I was somewhat suspicious.  Given the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party into all strata of American life, this seemed all too convenient.  “A Divine Culture – Lost.  Darkness Spreads from China.  Hope and Renewal.”  Was this a means of presenting the soft and cuddly side of China to counter what many of us see as a threat to our democracy?

Maybe not.  Shen Yun is apparently the official movement of the Falun Dafa, that we may know better as Falun Gong, a dissident, non-Christian group in China that the CCP has persecuted for not toeing the party line.  (https://www.shenyun.com/)  Shen Yun means “Divine Grace.”  The inspiration of Falun Gong and this dance company appears to be Buddhist and Taoist spirituality that has been lost under the tyranny of communism.

Because there are seemingly layers upon layers of intrigue that are deeply ingrained in China, what we see on the surface may or may not be innocuous.  I have no information that Shen Yun has ties of any kind to the CCP.  I hope it doesn’t.  However, even if this theater group isn’t tainted by the devious machinations of those in China who wish to conquer America, there does remain a deeper, darker force behind it.

To understand this, we have to revisit the ad text from above:

There was a time when divine beings walked upon the earth, leaving behind wisdom that gave birth to everything from… 

Seeing this immediately brought to mind the two spiritual rebellions against God that I’ve written of extensively.  The first was the fall of the sons of God (bene Elohim) that we see in Genesis 6:1-4.  The second occurs following the Tower of Babel fiasco in Genesis 11 when God placed His divine sons over the nations into which He had scattered mankind.  All these mighty princes in the heavenlies subsequently chose to oppose God by setting themselves up as gods over their respective nations (Deuteronomy 32:8 – ESV).

This second rebellion provides the basis for this description that Shen Yun gives us.  If you’re familiar with the pseudepigraphal book of 1 Enoch, you know that it expands on these demonic rebellions.  (A pseudepigraphal book is one that uses a famous person’s name as its author but wasn’t actually written by that person.  Thus 1 Enoch wasn’t written by the Biblical Enoch we know from Genesis 5:24, i.e. the first man Raptured.  It was written somewhere in the roughly 500 years during the 2nd Temple Period between the book of Malachi and the destruction of that temple in 70 AD.)

What this ad copy outlines is actually a form of the truth.  The spiritual rebellions against God brought forth the divine beings referenced.  As 1 Enoch tells us, they gave mankind many secrets of heaven exactly as stated:

… everything from medical innovations to opera, dance, architecture, and even martial arts… 

This was not altruistic on the part of these divine rebels.  They also imparted to man the means of making war and of making forbidden love.  Their intent wasn’t to enrich humanity, rather it was to pervert and destroy it.  What they gave to men was the hidden wisdom of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).  What did God warn if Adam and Eve ate of that tree?  “You shall surely die.”  The divine beings exalted by Shen Yun desired to destroy what God had made good; their purpose was to either make men completely depraved, to kill off humanity, or to alter our genetic makeup so that man was no longer fully human.

The bottom line on the Shen Yun production is that whether it’s secretly associated with the CCP or not, there is a more ancient agenda: It is to lead people away from the One true God by glorifying other gods.

But what does the Bible have to say about this?  Let’s look at several verses.  First, consider what Isaiah 40:18-20 conveys:

To whom then will you liken God,

    or what likeness compare with him?

An idol! A craftsman casts it,

    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold

    and casts for it silver chains.

He who is too impoverished for an offering

    chooses wood that will not rot;

he seeks out a skillful craftsman

    to set up an idol that will not move.

It is to the spiritual rebels that idols are made.  But God points out that they are useless.

Isaiah 40:21-23 goes on to make the comparison:

Do you not know? Do you not hear?

    Has it not been told you from the beginning?

    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

who brings princes to nothing,

    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

It was Yahweh who created the heavens and the earth.  He is the architect and builder of all that exists.  Those who oppose Him, whether divine princes of the spiritual realm or kings upon the earth; they have no power and will come to nothing.

The prophet exalts the Mighty One of heaven in Isaiah 40:28:

Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;

    his understanding is unsearchable.

It is He whom we must worship, not because He has attempted to bribe mankind or curry their favor.  No, it is because He is above all these pretenders to the throne, and He is worthy.

Should man glorify other gods in any way?  Absolutely not!  It is only in God alone and through Him that we have life.  Isaiah 40:31 encourages us:

… but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

    they shall walk and not faint.

In these dark days when Satan and the rebellious host of heaven are contending for the souls of men, what should we do in response?

Wait for the Lord.  When we do that, He will renew us and see us through until He brings us home.


[Author Note: Briefly, I want to set the stage for you as to the nature of most of my articles in this season.  Each year I read the Bible through completely at least once – that has been my practice since I came to the Lord in 2005.  I remain astounded at what God has done in my life because of that discipline!  Each day I read from both the Old and New Testaments.  I choose a verse from one of those passages and write my commentary and reflection based on that.  In the title of my article, you’ll see the verse I chose.  In addition, you’ll see the reading for that day if you’d like to follow along with greater context.]

Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author.  His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time.  These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus.  Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for three novels: The Tattooed Cat, Alien Revelation, and for his collaboration with Terry James in writing The Minion Protocols, the third book in James’ Second Coming Chronicles.  Earlier this year Gary released a four-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes that comment verse-by-verse through Scripture from a Biblical prophetic lens.  He is currently editing a sequel to Alien Revelation called Alien Zombie Plague, which he plans to release later in the fall of 2021.  Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform.  That story is called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse.  This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD.  Each day this year Gary has been writing commentary and reflections based on his reading through the Bible in a year.  The intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read.  You can see all his books and blog articles and reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page:  https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390.  You can also see his older video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol, and more recently on Rumble on his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.

10 thoughts on “Isaiah 40:18 – To Whom Will You Liken God?

  1. Pingback: Isaiah 40:18 – To Whom Will You Liken God? — Absolute Truth from the Word of God | Talmidimblogging

  2. rlinaz

    Shen Yun at first glance is fascinating because of the skill of the dancers. However, something in me strongly resisted going to their performances when they came to our community. It just didn’t feel right in my spirit, and now I know why.

  3. Barbara

    I lived in an area of New Jersey saturated by Shen Yun posters in store windows and ads on local TV stations. You have articulated reasons I could not identify about an uncomfortable feeling I had toward Shen Yun. Thank you.

    1. Mark V

      Go back to the earliest history and you will find they believed in one God – Sheng Di (Highest Emperor). Also, Bible references are contained in the Chinese characters from the garden, one man and one woman, the devil + two trees + cover = tempter, 8 people for a large boat, the dispersion from the tower of Babel, and righteousness from a sacrificed sheep. All predating the Mosaic Torah. This is by no means a coincidence. The precious treasure of the Word is found when one digs deep. From the vast heavens to the intricate details of fractals, God has revealed His glory so that none are without excuse.

  4. Karen Kimball

    “The divine beings exalted by Shen Yun desired to destroy what God had made good; their purpose was to either make men completely depraved, to kill off humanity, or to alter our genetic makeup so that man was no longer fully human.”

    Sounds like they are at it again, doing all three of those, in this end of the church age!