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chad
Apr 21st 2009, 11:19 AM
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm:

Tonton
Apr 21st 2009, 12:05 PM
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm:

Here is my take on it:

In the beginning, the Trinity was together in heaven, then God greated Earth, and dwelled here Himself, then earth got corrupted, and God gave His Law (on stone), then Jesus came and fulfilled the Law, then He went back to God, and then the Holy Spirit came to us to bring God's law to our hearts.

Although God is omnipresent, the Trinity was together in the beginning, when Jesus was baptised (remember the dove and Gods voice acknowledging Jesus as his Son), when Jesus returned to God (ascension) and will again be together when we are all in the New Jerusalem.

Hope it makes sense?

Anton

Walstib
Apr 21st 2009, 12:18 PM
HI Chad,

Just a general reminder that this is not the place for the refuting of trinitarian doctrine. That said.

One thing to think of here is that no one has seen The Father.



Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!" And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" Then the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. "Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen."(Exo 33:18-23 NASB)

"Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. (Joh 6:46 NASB)


To think of Our Father as having a body that sits on an physical throne may be what leads to confusion here. The passage you are asking of is one that speaks of a place of authority in heaven and not physical or non-physical essence.

Is heaven part of the creation? If so the Father cannot be wholly within the creation at any time to be seen. I am not sure we will ever really see the Father even in the life to come. Jesus being the part of God (*Poor terminology really ..begotten Son) we have the ability to commune with, see and talk to face to face.

I don't know how well I am explaining myself this morning....

Peace,
Joe

matthew94
Apr 21st 2009, 12:30 PM
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm:

It might be helpful if you get more specific about what it is you're wondering about. From your typed, you could be wondering about how it is that Jesus died if He is God OR why He's at the right side (is He less powerful?) OR why the Father is referred to as God (instead of as the Father). Could you tell us what specific issue you are interested in?

I'm going to guess that you're interested in the 2nd and 3rd questions. If Jesus is God, why does He sit next to God? First, we should note that many times in Scripture the Father is referred to simply as God. I don't think there's any question that Jesus sits next to the Father (so to speak). But why next to Him? I think the answer is that within the Trinity, there is a voluntary submission of the Son to the Father. As the Son submits to the Father, the Father honors the Son (the right hand is a place of honor).

Teke
Apr 21st 2009, 02:46 PM
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm:

"Right hand" is an idiom for that which is right or righteous. Meaning from that which righteousness comes. ie. in the OT the fathers blessing came from their right hand
God's righteousness was manifested to us by the Incarnation.

Br. Barnabas
Apr 21st 2009, 08:07 PM
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm:

The Trinity is 3 persons which make up one God. In the West we are so influenced by monarchian language that we have trouble remembering that it is three persons that make up our one God. They are individual yet also one. God is not just the Father, but also the Son and the Spirit without all three there is no God. The Son became separate from the Father at the very beginnng of creation. When God spoke the Word burst froth from the Father and made creation. Even before that we see the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) hovering over the waters of creation. Since the Son had become incarnate he cannot return to the same being as the Father, it is part of his humbling himself, but they still share the same mind. The Father's thoughts are the Son's thought are the Spirit's thoughts.

But to fully answer your question you will have to explain what you are having trouble with.

chad
Apr 21st 2009, 08:09 PM
Hi Matthew,

To be more specific, when I was reading a some verses regarding this and was wondering how it fit in. Jesus was resurrected in body and he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God.

I guess my question is, If Jesus is God, why does He sit next to God?

When I read it, it sort of occured to me that there were 2 in heaven, God and Jesus - so I was wondering how that fits, in terms of the trinity?

I'm not saying the belief in the trinity is a false teaching, i'm just wondering how it fits in, as we know the trinity is one of those mysteries, which is hard to understand.


(Acts 7:55 NIV) But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (56) "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

(Rom 8:34 NIV) Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

(Eph 1:20 NIV) which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

(Col 3:1 NIV) Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

(Heb 1:3 NIV) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

(Heb 1:13 NIV) To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?

(Heb 8:1 NIV) The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,

(Heb 10:12 NIV) But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

(Heb 12:2 NIV) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(1 Pet 3:22 NIV) who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.


Thanks


Chad



It might be helpful if you get more specific about what it is you're wondering about. From your typed, you could be wondering about how it is that Jesus died if He is God OR why He's at the right side (is He less powerful?) OR why the Father is referred to as God (instead of as the Father). Could you tell us what specific issue you are interested in?

I'm going to guess that you're interested in the 2nd and 3rd questions. If Jesus is God, why does He sit next to God? First, we should note that many times in Scripture the Father is referred to simply as God. I don't think there's any question that Jesus sits next to the Father (so to speak). But why next to Him? I think the answer is that within the Trinity, there is a voluntary submission of the Son to the Father. As the Son submits to the Father, the Father honors the Son (the right hand is a place of honor).

Scruffy Kid
Apr 21st 2009, 11:21 PM
Dear chad,
I know you've been here about 6 months, but I think we've never met!
Hi!! Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's great to have you here!!! :pp :pp :pp
And thanks for your questions!
Question about the Trinity
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm: Actually it seems to me that there are several different questions which come together in your post. One concerns the nature of the trinity. One concerns the relationship between the human nature of Christ and His Divine nature. And one concerns the nature of language: specifically, language we use referring to God.

As you rightly say in your last post "the trinity is one of those mysteries, which is hard to understand"! Naturally, these are matters that it takes a while to think through.

Before I can really answer your question as I understand it, though, I have to digress to explain about the fullness of Being God is and has, and His eternal life. Only then can we start to understand the life of the Trinity. And only after that can we see what happened when Jesus was incarnate (made flesh) or "came to earth", and when he "ascended" or "returned to the Father"


God's own Divine Nature, and Eternal Fullness of Being
God is very different from any created thing, any created being.
If someone (human being, or angel) or something (tree or rock) has been created, than that is something that would not have to exist. It does happen to exist, but it might not have existed. But God is not like that. God is not a created being, and doesn't owe his being to any external cause. Instead, God has within Himself the fullness of being, and is the ground of His own existence. It is impossible that God not be: His own being is so great, and so good, that He exists just because of His own goodness, not because of any external thing.

For this reason the Divine Nature -- the way God exists, the mode of His existence, the essence of His being -- by the very way it is cannot cease to be. God is immortal: God cannot die, for the inexhaustible fullness of being that is God's cannot be quenched. This is expressed in the revelation to Moses of a bush which burned and is not consumed. That image conveys that God cannot be tired out, used up, exhausted, as we can. Rather, the fullness of life and energy which is God's can pour out that light and warmth forever, without itself being diminished at all. The same idea is expressed in the words that God spoke to Moses, giving Moses His name. The name of God is not just some ordinary name: God calls himself "I AM" or "I AM THAT I AM". Thus He indicates that he is the complete fullness of being, Himself. He has no need of anything beyond Himself, and in fact, everything that is beyond Himself is something that He has made.

Naturally, God who made all things, cannot be located here or there. It'd be silly to say that God lives in Peoria, or Dallas, for instance. God is not that way, does not exist in that way. Rather, God holds all existence -- all stars and galaxies are made and sustained in being by Him. So God is not locally present, here or there, as we are -- nor is He spread throughout space like some diffuse fog. Actually, not only the objects we find in our cosmos, but also the arrangement or possible arrangement of those items -- that is, space itself -- and also the laws of nature, are things made by God. He has made and sustains the entire framework of our being -- space, time, the laws of nature, and so on -- as well as the particular things in the world He has made (light, water, seas, skies, earth, trees, sun, moon, stars, birds, fish, lions, and ourselves, for instance).

Not only is God not located in space as we are, He is not subject to time as we are. God dwells beyond the framework of space and time, for He made these things, and the laws of geometry and energy and so on which go with this framework. Just as God not only doesn't live on this or that street, nor does He roam the earth -- rather He "holds the whole world in His hands"! and all the universe as well -- in the same way, God doesn't live at one particular time, nor does He move through time as we do. Rather, He holds all of time, as well as all of space, and all of the things that exist in time and space, in being; but He himself is beyond those things, and more real and fundamental.

You might think of this by analogy with a person who writes a play, or a novel. The author has made up the whole story in the play -- and the places and times through which the characters move, as well as the characters themselves, are simply brought into being from the author's mind. The author sustains every moment, every person or thing, every location, in the play. But the author lives in a different (and much more substantial) world. The difference, or weakness with the analogy, is that the author in our analogy is a human being, who has lacks and needs and depends on various things, while God as author of the universe does not: all God's being is sustained by Himself. Again, the analogy is only approximate because the ideas that the author makes up never come into real existence, but the cosmos, the world, which God spoke forth does really exist -- it's the world we live in! -- and the characters God has brought into being (you and me) are real people with thoughts and loves and choices of their own, we can really do this or that.


God as Trinity

Jesus taught the disciples, concerning Himself, that He Himself was God, just as the Father is God. And He taught that the Holy Spirit is God, and taught the apostles to baptize people into God's own life and kingdom by baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Again, John says of Christ: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But later he adds that the Word became flesh -- took on human nature -- and lived among us. We see Jesus praying to God the Father, and Jesus says that he imitates the Father. Jesus also says, of course, that He and the Father are one. So Jesus is distinct from the Father, and has a relationship of love with Him. This is implied also when John says that the Word was with God, as well as that He was God. All this (and many other passages) are teaching us that Jesus is fully God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but also distinct from them. We cannot fully understand this, but we do know something about oneness with other people we love. That oneness is much greater, qualitatively different, in God. Thus God is one God, yet God subsists in three beings, three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are distinct from one another, and each is fully God, and they live in an eternal relationship of love.

This eternal fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- of which we know because Jesus taught us that, and the apostles set Jesus' teaching down in the Scriptures -- is the life, the eternal life, of God, beyond (and prior to) all time and space, and every thing which has been made. God's life, God's eternal life of love, is lived in complete fullness and joy quite apart from whether God had chosen to create us or not. Just as an author might live with his family, in great happiness, before he ever started to write, and apart from his choice to write a play, so God's eternal life exists in fullness of being, and doesn't depend on the things that He has authored into being, the things that He has graciously chosen to create.

Thus, the Trinity -- the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- has a perfect and eternal life, quite apart from us or anything that has been made. We are not necessary to the life of God, but we utterly depend for our own existence upon God's existence. And God has made us so that we might enjoy fellowship with Him: which is eternal life!!

It is a mistake to think of the life of the Trinity simply in terms of what God does in our lives, or our world. Rather God's being exists quite apart from this or any other world which God chose to create! And the life of fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an eternal life, with fullness far greater than all of time and space could support or sustain! And yet, in His kindness, He loves us! It is wonderful that we can realize, to a degree, God's greatness, and also that He has, out of love for us, chosen to create us, so that we might come to know Him! Praise and thanks be to God!!


God becomes man: Jesus is born to Mary!

What happens when the Eternal Word, God the Son, "takes flesh, and lives among us"? God is invisible, immortal, all-wise, and beyond time and space. God is infinite, in the full sense, beyond all limits, and the very fount of being. He cannot be injured or killed, He does not change, His life is far greater than the life of the whole universe. How then can God become a human being?

The answer is that God miraculously creates a human life -- the life of a baby within Mary's womb -- and that the eternal Word, God the Son, assumes, takes up, lives out, that life. God (God the Son) lives the life of this particular human baby conceived in Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the human (fully human) life of Jesus (baby, child, adolescent, man ...) the person living is the person of God the Son.

What does that mean?

We might think of it somewhat as you live as a character in dreams you have. When we dream, we are present in the dream as a character, a person, who has to deal with other people and circumstances in that dream. There are lots of characters in some of my dreams, and of course it is my mind that holds the whole dream and all its characters in existence, but I also exist within the dream as one particular character -- and I experience life as that character in the dream.

In fact, when I dream I am somewhat like an author who makes up a story, a play, and has the play performed, but himself takes a particular part in the play.

In a somewhat similar way (though of course not exactly the same) God who holds the whole world and all its story in existence takes up a particular part in the story also: becomes a particular person, a particular character, in the whole story of the world which He is holding in being. Somewhat as I who hold my dream in being also become a particular character within my dream, so God the Son, the Eternal Word of God, which formed and governs the whole universe and holds it in being, simultaneously becomes a particular human being in the time and space of the universe: besides being the eternal God of all, He is also the baby boy who comes to life in Mary's womb.

Of course, the analogy is not exact! Our universe, and our life in it, is not just a dream or made up story. The people among whom Jesus lives are people who are free to make their own choices -- to crucify Him, for instance. There are other points of difference.

But what these analogies seek to do is to help us understand that Christ exists in two ways -- (1) in His eternal and deathless nature as the Lord of the universe and of all time and space, and also (2) as a simple human being, who is born, and needs food and care and family and friends just like any child, who learns as we learn, learns to be a carpenter, and plies that trade until He is 30 years old, and who is capable of being hurt or wounded, and ultimately of dying, of being put to death. The same person, Jesus Christ, as God is the Author of life, and eternal omniscient God, and governor and maker of all things, and as man is a helpless baby, a young carpenter, a preacher, and finally a man who is taken by the police and crucified. Yet Christ Jesus -- existing in both natures, both modes, (1) as immortal God and ruler of all, and (2) as human being, fully human, being born at a particular time and place, and dying at a particular time and place -- is one person, one heart, somewhat as I when dreaming am one person, yet am both (1) the creator of the world of my dream and of its characters and also (2) a particular actor, or person, in that dream.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 21st 2009, 11:23 PM
"Right hand" is an idiom for that which is right or righteous. Meaning from that which righteousness comes. ie. in the OT the fathers blessing came from their right hand
God's righteousness was manifested to us by the Incarnation.


Bingo. Dead on spot.

As far as spacial placement of the Trinity in regards to the Incarnation, I think we can safely "retreat" into mystery.

keck553
Apr 21st 2009, 11:31 PM
We have a human example of the positional relationship in Josef's relationship to Pharoah.

Did I say that right?

Scruffy Kid
Apr 21st 2009, 11:52 PM
Now at last I'm in a position to answer your question!

Sorry for the long detour!!


What happened when Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven?

When Jesus "came to earth" as a man, a human being, what happened was not that the Divine Nature was squeezed into a tiny human frame, or that God the Son suddenly forgot all He knew about the whole universe (and the Hebrew language), and needed milk in order to go on having the strength to govern the stars. And when Christ died, what happened was not that the Divine Nature, the eternal Divinity of God the Son, was wounded and came to an end of life. That couldn't happen!!

Rather what happened was that God the Son started living the life of a human being, and as a human being was weak, needing food, having to grow and to learn just as we do. As He grew up, of course, He learned, and He started making tables and chairs and houses, and then became a teacher, the teacher of Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ. And then He was arrested, beaten, spat upon, and crucified, and He died. What died was the human being whose life the Eternal Word and God the Son was living (somewhat as I can live as a character in a dream I dream).

And just as this human being (Who, in his ultimate and true identity was God, God the Son) died, He rose from the dead on the third day (for death could not hold Him!) and appeared to the disciples. When He appeared to Mary Magdalen, He said to her "Don't hang onto me, for I have not yet ascended" to God the Father.

(It was this incident with Mary Magdalen which once made me wonder, a couple of decades ago, about the thing which, I think, you are wondering about in this thread: what does it mean that Christ "ascended to the Father" and "sat at His right hand"?)

Now what is it that had not yet ascended?

Not (as I understand it) the Eternal Word in His Divine Nature. God is eternal and immortal. God the Son never ceased to be in the presence of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, and every thing that is governed in the universe was always governed by God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There was no need for Christ in His Divine Nature to ascend, for in the Divine Nature, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternally in their fellowship of complete love and unity.

Rather, what is taken up to heaven, in the ascension, is the human life of Jesus, soul and body and all, wounds and all -- Christ (having taken on human nature in his incarnation and birth, and -- himself without sin -- having taken on and overcome the brokenness and sinfulness of our humanity in its fallenness) ascends, rises to the presence of the Eternal life of God. In this, He incredibly brings our lives, our fellowship with Him, with Him: In this he brings humanity into the holy of holies, the presence of God.

What does that mean exactly?

Well of course I don't know exactly. But it means something like this: that somehow, in Christ, our lives, and our human family as we have put our trust in Him, is transformed and carried, somehow, into the very presence of God, so that we may see God face to face.

No more wonderful thing could be conceived of. It far surpasses all we could ever ask for or imagine! Somehow, we ourselves, in Christ, will enter into life, enter into the fellowship of the Blessed Trinity, enter into the eternal fellowship of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

The Psalmist writes:
One thing I have desired of THE LORD
That is what I will seek!
That I may dwell in the house of THE LORD
All the days of my life
To behold the fair beauty of THE LORD
And to enquire in His temple! (Psalm 27:4) and again:
Hear O LORD when I cry aloud
Be gracious unto me and answer me
You have said to me "Seek my face"
My heart says to you: your face LORD, do I seek!
Do not hide your face from me! (Psalm 17:7-9) In Christ's ascension, somehow we who are found in Christ will see God face to face, and be brought into the very presence of God, and share in the eternal fellowship of love of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


What, then, is this about sitting at the right hand of God?

In the first part of my answer, I said that "God holds the whole universe in existence", and sustains and governs it, or as the popular chorus says "He's got the whole world in His hands."

Of course when I said that here's what I did not mean: I didn't mean that God is a physical being, with a physical body (like you and me) and that God has hands like yours and mine (only maybe larger?) and that God is physically carrying the universe, or "holding the whole world in His hands." I suppose no one thinks that. But we don't really pay attention to the fact that "has the whole world in His hands" is a figurative expression which helps us to grasp, in terms of human experience which we can understand, the idea that God upholds and sustains and governs the universe. Using figurative language like this is, of course, the only way we can understand or express what God is doing when he "upholds and sustains and governs the universe" for of course "uphold" and "sustain" and "govern" are words we know the meaning of because they refer to actions that human beings do. But God does not "uphold, sustain and govern" as we do. We have to use words that we know the meaning of -- because we can experience them -- as a way of expressing, figuratively or analogously, what God does, because we have no direct personal experience of what it is like to be God "upholding, sustaining and governing" in the way that God does. We don't have and can't have such experience because we're not and can't be like God in that way. So we use these figurative words to help us understand and picture God's creation and preservation and rule of the universe. And when we may sing "He's got the whole world in His hands" we are, similarly, using human language to express and grasp a truth which is far beyond human experience or understanding. And we usually do this effortlessly, without having to think much about why we say "He's got the whole world in His hands" or the sense in which we are using figurative language (such as speaking of God as if He had hands) to express a true thought.

The expressions about "sitting at the right hand of God" in Scripture are, in my opinion, similar.

God does not have hands, or physical body. The eternal fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit means that they are always in each other's presence, and in intimate fellowship with one another. (But the words "in each other's presence" usually means, in our experience, physically close to one another, but with God it must be something different from that. "Intimate fellowship" conveys the truth of the eternal love of Father Son and Holy Spirit, but does so by using words whose meaning to us is drawn, necessarily, mainly from our experiences of human fellowship.) The Father dwells in the Son, and the Son in the Father (and the Holy Spirit is in them, and they in Him), as Jesus tells us in John 17, among other places. But of course that does not mean that the Father is just like a house that the son, like a person living in a house, "dwells in" and vice versa. Rather these words "in" and "dwell" and so on are word which, by using the human meaning they have for us, help us to understand realities that are far beyond us and the way we experience things.

So to say that Jesus "ascended" and went "to heaven" (the sky) and "sat down at the right hand of God" are not physical descriptions of some physical location where God has a physical body, and Jesus sits next to it. They are using human language which is meaningful to us because it takes as its starting point human experiences that we can experience, to meaningfully and truly express to us the relational reality of Christ's human nature (bearing with it our human nature) somehow "entering into the very presence of God" and "ruling at God's right hand".

We don't know exactly what that is like, as it occurs in God. It's not physical, because God is not in time and space, or certainly not in time and space as we know them, for God is the source of all being and reality, and He cannot be subject to them, in them, as we are.

But just as with "He's got the whole world in His hands" we ordinarily do not have to think about the fact that the language "ascended and sat down at the right hand of God" and so on is language conveying to us in human terms and images a far greater reality than we can imagine or understand in full detail. For me, ordinarily, both before I started thinkig this all out some 20 years ago, and now after I have thought it out, I just say "ascended" and "sat down at the right hand of God" with simple devotion, awe, and happiness, knowing that my Lord Jesus, who came to be God with us, has overcome death and sin for me, and enters for me into God's very presence, and that He will bring me also there, where I can gaze upon Him in love, and behold God's face!

chad
Apr 22nd 2009, 10:52 AM
Hi Scruffy Kid,

Thanks for the reply. It is a very interesting answer indeed.

I sort of wonder, where Acts 7:55 fits into it all. As stephen was being stoned he saw the heavens open, where Jesus was standing at the right hand of God?


(Acts 7:55 KJV) But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

(Acts 7:56 KJV) And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

(Acts 7:57 KJV) Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

(Acts 7:58 KJV) And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

(Acts 7:59 KJV) And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

(Acts 7:60 KJV) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

(Acts 8:1 KJV) And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

To digress a bit, how did the writers of Acts actually know that Stephen had a vision?

After his speech to the sanhedrin Acts 6:15-7:53) they stoned him to death? So how could Stephen had told anyone of his vision before he died? From reading Acts it appears the crowd was so angry they stoned Stephen before he was able to tell anyone or write it down?

Br. Barnabas
Apr 22nd 2009, 11:58 AM
Chad in answer to your question about the vision of Stephen the answer is simple look at verse 56. He tells them that he is having a vision and what he sees. Luke simply narrates the event as well.

chad
Apr 22nd 2009, 12:06 PM
Oh yeah, Thanks. I was just re-reading it in the bible and saw it in vs56 Stephen says Look I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.




Chad in answer to your question about the vision of Stephen the answer is simple look at verse 56. He tells them that he is having a vision and what he sees. Luke simply narrates the event as well.

Walstib
Apr 22nd 2009, 12:07 PM
Hi Chad,

How I read it in verse 56 it say that "he said" meaning Stephen exclaimed what he saw with the best words he had at the time.

I mean, I don't think it is possible to accurately describe heavenly things.


I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows-- was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. (2Co 12:2-4 NASB)

"It was like a ____ that moved like a _____." Is the best one can do.


I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. (Dan 10:5-6 NASB)

The conclusion can be drawn from Stephen's words that he was using imagery he was familiar with to proclaim the indescribable. That Jesus' body had been resurrected, ascended in heaven and was in the place of authority planed from the foundation of the world.

Peace,
Joe

Bladers
Apr 22nd 2009, 01:07 PM
To think of Our Father as having a body that sits on an physical throne may be what leads to confusion here. The passage you are asking of is one that speaks of a place of authority in heaven and not physical or non-physical essence.

Peace,
Joe


That would be wrong according to Jesus statement. Jesus himself testified that the Father has a shape and a form!

Teke
Apr 22nd 2009, 01:26 PM
Hi Scruffy Kid,

Thanks for the reply. It is a very interesting answer indeed.

I sort of wonder, where Acts 7:55 fits into it all. As stephen was being stoned he saw the heavens open, where Jesus was standing at the right hand of God?


(Acts 7:55 KJV) But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

(Acts 7:56 KJV) And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

(Acts 7:57 KJV) Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

(Acts 7:58 KJV) And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

(Acts 7:59 KJV) And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

(Acts 7:60 KJV) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

(Acts 8:1 KJV) And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

To digress a bit, how did the writers of Acts actually know that Stephen had a vision?

After his speech to the sanhedrin Acts 6:15-7:53) they stoned him to death? So how could Stephen had told anyone of his vision before he died? From reading Acts it appears the crowd was so angry they stoned Stephen before he was able to tell anyone or write it down?

Stephens vision is both a revelation and a proclamation. The writer of Acts knew these things because he was told.
And his revelation/vision was known because there was a witness there. Saul, who later became Paul (v58 ..."And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul")

Stepehens proclamation is a confirmation of God's plan. Which from the very beginning was to unite mankind with Himself. By the Incarnation Jesus assumed our humanity within Himself, thereby was it assumed to God and sanctified, resulting in the bodily Resurrection. Mankind can now stand righteous before God through Jesus. Which is why the wording "Son of Man" is used in this part of scripture. Jesus is the God Man, fully God and fully man.

"What is not assumed is not healed" GrgN


Mankind was in need of healing as well, because of the fall in Genesis. Now through Christ mankind is acceptable to God.

Here is how Isaiah states our spiritual state before Jesus, "Isa 1:5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Isa 1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment."

Teke
Apr 22nd 2009, 01:32 PM
That would be wrong according to Jesus statement. Jesus himself testified that the Father has a shape and a form!

What scriptures?

Walstib
Apr 22nd 2009, 02:47 PM
That would be wrong according to Jesus statement. Jesus himself testified that the Father has a shape and a form!

Hi Bladers :)

I hope we are just missing each other and talking about two different things. Not that I understand everything but any sort of shape and form of the Godhead within the creation seems to me to be expressed through Jesus. Consider this passage....


For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.(Col 1:13-20 NASB)

Peace,
Joe

chad
Apr 22nd 2009, 08:38 PM
Is this referring to Genesis 3:8?

(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.



That would be wrong according to Jesus statement. Jesus himself testified that the Father has a shape and a form!

Bladers
Apr 22nd 2009, 09:15 PM
Hi Bladers :)

I hope we are just missing each other and talking about two different things. Not that I understand everything but any sort of shape and form of the Godhead within the creation seems to me to be expressed through Jesus. Consider this passage....



Peace,
Joe

Yet this invisible God has a shape and form. You do not need physical or spiritual body to have a shape/form. God is Spirit, a Spirit has a form/shape. We don't have to see him but Angels does.

Jesus while on the earth told the pharisees that they have never seen HIS shape. This tells me that God the Father is not a formless, shapeless cloud. He has a shape, that is why we are created in His image. It does not matter if we can see him or not, The angels sees him. But we cant right now. But we will be able to see Him later on in heaven.


How many people did Stephen say he saw? 2, The Father and the Son.
How many people could he see? 1, only Jesus.
What did Stephen say about the other person? He said he saw the Glory of God, because HE couldn't see His face, His person. All he could describ was the Glory of His Person. That is why God told Moses, "you cant see my face or you will die."

This flesh cant handle GOD!

John 5:37 - And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

Bladers
Apr 22nd 2009, 09:31 PM
Is this referring to Genesis 3:8?

(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

No, i was commenting on Walstib's statement.

chad
Apr 23rd 2009, 04:36 AM
Hi Bladers,

I am wondering if God had a bodily form when he was walking in the Garden of Eden. If you read the NIV translation, it sort of reads - that God was walking in the Garden of Eden, and you imagine God walking as in a physical being, although the scripture does not say that.

In the KJV, it say it was the Voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. How can Gods voice walk? and what is meant by this in Genesis 3:8?


(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

(Gen 3:8 KJV) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.


Thanks


Chad.


No, i was commenting on Walstib's statement.

Walstib
Apr 23rd 2009, 11:10 AM
Yet this invisible God has a shape and form. You do not need physical or spiritual body to have a shape/form. God is Spirit, a Spirit has a form/shape. We don't have to see him but Angels does.

Hey Bladers,

I won't say I can understand what you mean in full, but that is sort of part of this eh. We can't know in full. I'm going to start a new thread, is heaven created, maybe we can find our agreement there. :)

Peace,
Joe

BadDog
Apr 23rd 2009, 03:16 PM
When Jesus died and rose again, after he appeared to his disciples and others then he ascended to the right hand side of God in heaven?

How does this relate in terms of the trinity? :hmm:
I'm going to guess that you're wondering why the Father is referred to as "God," or why it says that Jesus ascended to the right hand of God? Here's some verses that make it clear that the throne is that of the Father:

Acts 2:33 Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear.

Revelation 3:21 The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Sometimes the Father is simply referred to as God, as is the Son. At other times "God" is referring to the Son or the Holy Spirit. If you read the first few verses of Acts 5 it becomes clear that the Holy Spirit is referred to as "God":

Acts 5:3, 4 "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? Wasn't it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn't it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!"

There are many texts that refer to the Son as God. I don't have time now--gotta go, but if you really question that, we can supply them.

BD

BadDog
Apr 23rd 2009, 03:18 PM
Hi Bladers,

I am wondering if God had a bodily form when he was walking in the Garden of Eden. If you read the NIV translation, it sort of reads - that God was walking in the Garden of Eden, and you imagine God walking as in a physical being, although the scripture does not say that.

In the KJV, it say it was the Voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. How can Gods voice walk? and what is meant by this in Genesis 3:8?


(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

(Gen 3:8 KJV) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.


Thanks


Chad.
Chad,

Only the Son took on flesh, and became fully human. The Father, Son or Holy Spirit can take on a form to appear to people at will. But the Father does not have a physical human body. The Father never "became flesh."

BD

Teke
Apr 23rd 2009, 05:13 PM
Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, the glory of Christ is the image of God.
In John 14:9 Jesus says to the Apostles that "he who has seen Me has seen the Father".

Colossians 2:9 says "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead"

In Trinity theology the Son is not apart from the Father.

Bladers
Apr 23rd 2009, 06:27 PM
Hi Bladers,

I am wondering if God had a bodily form when he was walking in the Garden of Eden. If you read the NIV translation, it sort of reads - that God was walking in the Garden of Eden, and you imagine God walking as in a physical being, although the scripture does not say that.

In the KJV, it say it was the Voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. How can Gods voice walk? and what is meant by this in Genesis 3:8?


(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

(Gen 3:8 KJV) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.


Thanks


Chad.

Your answer is found in the event of God the Father revealing himself to Moses on the Mount Sinai!

Also i will restate, to have a form/shape does not mean physical body as in flesh.

Jesus said that the Father has a shape/form. Point Blank.

God is a Spirit, Satan is also a spirit, Demons are spirits. But they have a form/shape.

Satan is not formless, Neither is God!

John146
Apr 23rd 2009, 06:55 PM
Hi Matthew,

To be more specific, when I was reading a some verses regarding this and was wondering how it fit in. Jesus was resurrected in body and he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God.

I guess my question is, If Jesus is God, why does He sit next to God? God the Son sits at the right hand of God the Father. Not literally, though. God does not have a literal physical right hand because He is Spirit. The Father is not a physical being who would be sitting on a physical throne. The throne is a figurative reference to the Father's place of power and authority. Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father means He is in a place of power and authority along with the Father. At His ascension, Jesus was raised up to the right hand of the Father and was given a position of supreme authority that we normally only think of the Father having.

Ephesians 1
20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Here, we see Christ being given by the Father the kind of power and authority that only God can have. It isn't that the Father gave His power away to the Son and left His place of power and authority. They share in that supreme power and authority side by side in a spiritual sense.


When I read it, it sort of occured to me that there were 2 in heaven, God and Jesus - so I was wondering how that fits, in terms of the trinity?It's not God and Jesus, as if they are completely separate beings. It's the Father and the Son. Both are God. Not two Gods, but one God in two persons. Of course, the Holy Spirit is together with them as the third person of the Godhead or "Trinity".


I'm not saying the belief in the trinity is a false teaching, i'm just wondering how it fits in, as we know the trinity is one of those mysteries, which is hard to understand.It isn't easy to understand, that is true. That's not an excuse for not believing in it, though. I'm not saying you don't believe in it. You are just trying to understand it better, which is a good thing.

Bladers
Apr 23rd 2009, 07:06 PM
God the Son sits at the right hand of God the Father. Not literally, though. God does not have a literal physical right hand because He is Spirit. The Father is not a physical being who would be sitting on a physical throne. The throne is a figurative reference to the Father's place of power and authority.

According to the Bible you are WRONG.
According to Jesus own words, you are WRONG.
According to what Moses saw on the Mount Sinai, you are WRONG.

John146
Apr 23rd 2009, 07:18 PM
According to the Bible you are WRONG.
According to Jesus own words, you are WRONG.
According to what Moses saw on the Mount Sinai, you are WRONG.:rolleyes: Yeah, these types of comments really get us somewhere. Would you mind backing up your rude statements with scripture and show me where it says God the Father is a physical being? Or was there something else you are saying I'm wrong about?

BadDog
Apr 23rd 2009, 07:55 PM
Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, the glory of Christ is the image of God.
In John 14:9 Jesus says to the Apostles that "he who has seen Me has seen the Father".

Colossians 2:9 says "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead"

In Trinity theology the Son is not apart from the Father.Good ones, and I like Titus 2:13, which unfortunately the KJV translators messed up on their translation:

Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

BD

chad
Apr 23rd 2009, 08:41 PM
Hi Bladers,

I think I understand it better now. God apeared to Moses and the people, but Gods form was not a physical man. They heard the voice of God.

So when God appeared in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, it was not God in a human body, but Gods presence (form) in the garden of Eden and Gods voice spoke to Adam and Eve as God did to Moses. Adam and Eve also hid themselves from the presence of God in the trees.


I guess the term "walking" as stated in Genesis 3:8 meant that Gods presence was moving in the garden of eden, and that walking was the only way they could describe it.
I guess it's hard to understand, becuase as created beings, When someone says walking, we think of a human person with feet and a body.

I guess it is like the Serpent in Genesis 3:14. Before it was cursed by God, it could walk, even thou it didn't have feet (No that we know of). But when it was cursed, it had to crawl on it's belly. I guess thats another question? Did the serpent have feet?


(Exo 19:9 NIV) The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

(Exo 19:11 NIV) and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

(Exo 19:17 NIV) Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

(Exo 19:18 NIV) Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently,

(Exo 19:19 NIV) and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

(Gen 3:14 NIV) So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.



Thanks




Chad.



Your answer is found in the event of God the Father revealing himself to Moses on the Mount Sinai!

Also i will restate, to have a form/shape does not mean physical body as in flesh.

Jesus said that the Father has a shape/form. Point Blank.

God is a Spirit, Satan is also a spirit, Demons are spirits. But they have a form/shape.

Satan is not formless, Neither is God!

Teke
Apr 23rd 2009, 08:48 PM
Good ones, and I like Titus 2:13, which unfortunately the KJV translators messed up on their translation:

Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

BD

Hey BadDog, Good to see you. :hug: More bright in my Bright Week (Resurrection feast week in my church).

I see your still focusing on those rascal translations. An eye doctor told me that he looks at the eyes of people on TV, a habit from his job too.

chad
Apr 23rd 2009, 10:29 PM
Hi John146,

Stephen recieved a vision just before he died of Jesus standing (not sittiing) at the right hand of God. There was God and Jesus. As described in Acts 7:55 the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

(Acts 7:55 NIV) But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

(Acts 7:56 NIV) "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

Because the Holy Spirit gave Stephen the vision, do you think Stephen actually saw Jesus standing next to the Glory of God, or was the vision given as something to be interpreted (Like Peters vision in Acts 10:9-16); That being Jesus authority being equal to God in the kingdom of God?


Thanks


Chad.



It's not God and Jesus, as if they are completely separate beings. It's the Father and the Son. Both are God. Not two Gods, but one God in two persons. Of course, the Holy Spirit is together with them as the third person of the Godhead or "Trinity".

It isn't easy to understand, that is true. That's not an excuse for not believing in it, though. I'm not saying you don't believe in it. You are just trying to understand it better, which is a good thing.

Scruffy Kid
Apr 23rd 2009, 11:54 PM
Dear Chad,
Though you asked John14:6, not me, I'll give my take on this:
Stephen recieved a vision just before he died of Jesus standing (not sittiing) at the right hand of God ... [a]s described in Acts 7:55 ....

Because the Holy Spirit gave Stephen the vision, do you think Stephen actually saw Jesus standing next to the Glory of God, or was the vision given as something to be interpreted (Like Peters vision in Acts 10:9-16) ... I don't suppose that the God the Father is Himself visible, so I believe that visions like that in Acts 7:55, Daniel 7 (and the NT quotations of it by Christ) and Isaiah 6 are more like that of Acts 10:9-16 than like actual seeing. When God is revealed to Moses in a burning bush, likewise, I don't think that this is a direct-seeing-of-God, but rather a form God uses by way of revealing Himself.

When Zeke (Ezekiel) describes his vision in Ezek. 1 he says the things he saw were "like the appearance" of wheels, men, beasts, and so on, and then further distances these semi-seeings from any presumption that he's directly apprehending God by saying (1:28) that all these were "This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." Zeke is more explicit in emphasizing the distance of his seeings from the unknowable greatness of God, but, I think much language used in Scripture about these things is intended, similarly, to be describing the ways in which God vouchsafes (graciously grants) to human beings some humanly apprehensible experience through which we can perceive Him.

Thus, unlike some, I take the account of God's passing by Moses to be similarly an experience given Moses in which he perceives truly things of God, but through the experiencing of a vision-like interaction which has no direct implications for "what God looks like" or His "shape" or anything of that sort.

In the particular case of the vision vouchsafed to Stephen at his death, I take the fact that Jesus was standing to be a gracious welcoming, or cheering, of the first martyrdom of one of His followers. "Jesus (in the vision) stood to honor Stephen" or something like that.

Of course, the risen Jesus is a physical man (but with a body glorified and risen, and unlike bodies we have in some important ways), and ascends to God (as I suppose) in his human nature (bearing the glorious wounds of His passion. Thus it could be that the standing of Jesus is a vision of a physical standing, and the context, the being at-the-right-hand-of-God, is of some other or mixed sort.

Finally, though, it is not a matter of great importance to me. The language, imagery, events, and so on of the Bible are conveying to us what God wants to teach us; not details of how the heavenly realm is arranged. Jesus' life is clearly set forth as a detailed human historical narrative (as are many other events, such as the life of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, David, and the prophets). The visions they saw are clearly something of human contact with a spiritual reality of a kind that doesn't correspond to our usual world or sensory perceptions. Thus just what was happening in those visions or seeings, on the side of the mechanics of it, is far less crucial than the meaning or spiritual truth that God brought through them. Whether or not the sheet and animals Peter saw in Acts 7 were merely visual images, or corresponded to actual animals, really doesn't affect what the Lord was telling Peter. The essential point, concerning the unfettered reach of the gospel to people of every nation, is crucial.

Bladers
Apr 24th 2009, 01:08 AM
:rolleyes: Yeah, these types of comments really get us somewhere. Would you mind backing up your rude statements with scripture and show me where it says God the Father is a physical being? Or was there something else you are saying I'm wrong about?

Jesus said in john that God the Father has a form/shape. But i do not think you understand that. You keep thinking of physical being, what is a physical being?

You have you start thinking of Spiritual Being. God is a Spiritual Being, demons are spiritual beings, satan is a spiritual being, we are spiritual beings. But they have a form/shape. God the father is not a mist or a cloud, He has a hand, legs, face, body.

Moses saw the back side of God.

John146, you should know these things. Unless you know them but deny them.

Bladers
Apr 24th 2009, 01:14 AM
Hi Bladers,

I guess it's hard to understand, becuase as created beings, When someone says walking, we think of a human person with feet and a body.

Thanks
Chad.

Chad, the fact is that you do not have to posses a Physical human body to have legs, hands and so fought.

Again i repeat, Moses SAW the BACK sides of God. He SAW HIS HANDS, FINGERS, LEGS. We are created in the image of the Father.

The 10 commandments are written by the Fingers of God.

God covered Moses with his HAND.

Jesus said the Father has a shape/form.

I repeat, The Father is not shapeless, He is not a mist or a cloud.

Scruffy Kid
Apr 24th 2009, 02:22 AM
Hi Bladers!
Peace be to you! :hug:

There are several points, I think, where we may disagree. However, there's another matter that might help us all discuss things more effectively, first.

It seems that to you, your own way of understanding the Scriptures seems so self-evident that it's hard for you to see that others aren't quite sure what you are saying, or why. For instance you say
Jesus said in john that God the Father has a form/shape. I know John's gospel fairly well, but I have no idea what passage you are referring to here. Why not just give us the verse, or the citation, so we could try to understand your point better.

When, instead of giving verse references you say
you should know these things. Unless you know them but deny them. you seem to be scolding us for our ignorance, and implying that perhaps we are willfully denying what we actually know. This is not a very helpful way to conduct discussion. Why not just give your arguments and try to understand, and explain calmly, where we are (in your view) in error?

In friendship, :)
Scruffy Kid

Scruffy Kid
Apr 24th 2009, 02:49 AM
Jesus said in john that God the Father has a form/shape. But i do not think you understand that. You keep thinking of physical being, what is a physical being?

You have you start thinking of Spiritual Being. God is a Spiritual Being, demons are spiritual beings, satan is a spiritual being, we are spiritual beings. But they have a form/shape. God the father is not a mist or a cloud, He has a hand, legs, face, body. I see it quite differently. Jesus says "God is spirit." But that is very different from saying that God is "a spirit."

As I understand Christian and biblical teaching, God is something far greater than any created being. God is not the same sort of thing as an angel or a spirit any more than he is the same sort of thing that we are, or that animals are. God is a completely different order of being than any of these created beings, for He exists eternally, and created all things.

The fact that God created all things means that His existing can't be confined by the things He created. God made time and space, as well as the various entities (things) that dwell in time and space, like trees, giraffes, human beings, angels, and so on. Beings like us generally are located here or there, in Chicago in 2009, or in Lisbon in 1755. But God is not like that: God is independent of time and space.

In saying "God is spirit" I don't think that the Bible is saying that He is a spirit in the way an angel or demon is: that would put him on the same level as created beings. Rather, I think the thought in saying "God is spirit" (or "God is wind" or "God is breath" -- these words are indistinguishable in Greek and Hebrew, and in Latin also) the Bible is telling us that He is etherial, not confined to a particular location or form or shape, and certainly not one that we know. How could he be, for he made all forms and shapes and times and places!?
Again i repeat, Moses SAW the BACK sides of God. He SAW HIS HANDS, FINGERS, LEGS. We are created in the image of the Father.

The 10 commandments are written by the Fingers of God.
God covered Moses with his HAND.

Jesus said the Father has a shape/form.
I repeat, The Father is not shapeless, He is not a mist or a cloud. Well of course God is not shapeless, and not a mist or a cloud. But that does not mean that he has a shape.

You seem to suppose that God is locally present in Moses's vicinity when the dialogue in Exodus 33 is going on. But that seems to raise great problems. You see, I think scripture teaches that God holds the whole universe in order, and governs it all. But if God is locally present on Sinai, in a definite and limited body, how is God watching over people in China at the same time? How is he making sure the planet mars stays in its orbit? How does he govern distant galaxies? So I don't think that the Bible is telling us that God has a size and location just like created things. I think it uses language about God's hand, or finger, and so on metaphorically, to express in words and concepts that we human beings can understand easily that God is doing these things by his skillful power.

Again, you seem to think (please forgive me if I have misunderstood: I am trying to understand what you say) that humanity being made "in the image of God" means that we physically resemble Him. I don't see it that way at all. For one thing, if you suppose God has a body, you must suppose it to be male or female, I suppose. But God creates humanity, male and female, "in His image." Thus it can't mean that God creates both man and woman to be exact replicas of His own body. That way of looking at things leads to one absurdity after another.

Instead, I understand the Genesis account to mean God made humanity in His image in the sense that God loves and knows, and that we are beings who, like God, can love and know things. God is a creator, and as soon as He forms humanity He puts them in the garden to care for it -- in effect participating in His act of creation. He makes us creators, in a small way, as He creates in a more fundamental way. Within God there is an eternal love and friendship, a fellowship, of the Father and the Son (and the Spirit). God, similarly makes humanity to dwell in families, with man and woman together living out the live of friendship and dialogue which mirrors the eternal love of the Father and the Son (and Holy Spirit).

I don't expect that you will agree at once with the way I see it, of course, just as I don't at once see it your way.

Blessings, :hug:
Scruff

Bladers
Apr 24th 2009, 04:28 AM
Well of course God is not shapeless, and not a mist or a cloud. But that does not mean that he has a shape.

Blessings, :hug:
Scruff


Again the scriptures says otherwise, even from Jesus own words. I have posted this before and i will post it again.

John 5:37 - And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.


You seem to suppose that God is locally present in Moses's vicinity when the dialogue in Exodus 33 is going on. But that seems to raise great problems. You see, I think scripture teaches that God holds the whole universe in order, and governs it all. But if God is locally present on Sinai, in a definite and limited body, how is God watching over people in China at the same time? How is he making sure the planet mars stays in its orbit? How does he govern distant galaxies? So I don't think that the Bible is telling us that God has a size and location just like created things. I think it uses language about God's hand, or finger, and so on metaphorically, to express in words and concepts that we human beings can understand easily that God is doing these things by his skillful power.

Omnipresent, Even Jesus who has a physical body is everywhere at the same time. God can manifest himself to me as he did to moses, and at the same time. He can be manifesting it in 1 million other places. Why? because He is God. Having a shape does not limit your omnipresence. God does not dwell in the Universe, The Universe dwells in God!

The thing you are missing to understand is, A Spirit is not shapeless nor formless.

Jesus has a shape
the Father has a shape
the Holy Spirit has a shape

They are neither shapeless nor formless. Listen to Jesus own words.
Another thing to consider is God revealed HIMSELF to moses.
Keyword : "HIMSELF" and HIMSELF included fingers, hands, legs, back!

Another thing to consider is what Daniel, John, Ezekiel and so many other prophets experienced...

He is the Ancient of Days

BroRog
Apr 24th 2009, 05:29 AM
The thing you are missing to understand is, A Spirit is not shapeless nor formless.

To piggy back on what Scruffy Kid said,

When something has shape or form it has particular, identifiable spacial attributes, which have a visual or tactile appearance defined by a boundary, a limit, or an extent.

God, however, is both omnipresent and limitless.

If God had a shape, then he would exist within a boundary in which God has being inside a space which is not part of God's being. God would have an inside and an outside. And if this were so, he would not be limitless, since there would necessarily be a place "outside" of God.

Also, if God had form or shape, this would mean that he not only had a limit but he could be located at a particular point in space, which would mean he isn't omnipresent. He can't be everywhere if he is somewhere in particular.

God has the characteristic of transcendence, a state of being or existence above and beyond the limits of material experience. As such he has no limit or particular place to exist as he exists everywhere. A being with shape or form will not be transcendent because shape and form are the result of constraints put on the natural world. But as the transcendent creator, God is not bound by the constraints of the natural world.

chad
Apr 24th 2009, 06:20 AM
Hi scruffy kid,

I don't mind if you give your take on what I asked John146.

What do you think regarding the trinity and creation account. Is there any sign of the Trinity in Genesis 1:1-6 and John 1:1-11. (Ie. God's creation vs 1, Spirit of God vs 2, Creation forming out of the word of God in verse 3;John 1:1-11)


Thanks


Chad.



Dear Chad,
Though you asked John14:6, not me, I'll give my take on this: I don't suppose that the God the Father is Himself visible, so I believe that visions like that in Acts 7:55, Daniel 7 (and the NT quotations of it by Christ) and Isaiah 6 are more like that of Acts 10:9-16 than like actual seeing. When God is revealed to Moses in a burning bush, likewise, I don't think that this is a direct-seeing-of-God, but rather a form God uses by way of revealing Himself.

Bladers
Apr 24th 2009, 11:18 AM
To piggy back on what Scruffy Kid said,

When something has shape or form it has particular, identifiable spacial attributes, which have a visual or tactile appearance defined by a boundary, a limit, or an extent.

God, however, is both omnipresent and limitless.

If God had a shape, then he would exist within a boundary in which God has being inside a space which is not part of God's being. God would have an inside and an outside. And if this were so, he would not be limitless, since there would necessarily be a place "outside" of God.

Also, if God had form or shape, this would mean that he not only had a limit but he could be located at a particular point in space, which would mean he isn't omnipresent. He can't be everywhere if he is somewhere in particular.

God has the characteristic of transcendence, a state of being or existence above and beyond the limits of material experience. As such he has no limit or particular place to exist as he exists everywhere. A being with shape or form will not be transcendent because shape and form are the result of constraints put on the natural world. But as the transcendent creator, God is not bound by the constraints of the natural world.

BroBrg, Dont listen to me. Listen to Jesus:
a Shape doesnt not limit God, You are still stuck on earthly boundaries. There is no boundary with God.

Look at the Holy Spirit, He divides hiimself and dwells in millions of believers. Yet he is not limited, He is still as powerful.

Jesus has a human body, But that does not limit him. He can be 1 billions places with his body at a time.

Jesus said: John 5:37 - And the Father himself... Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

LISTEN TO JESUS AND THE BIBLE, Do not make your own interpretation and believes.

Our small little minds cant comprehend God, so stop trying to. He has a shape and He has no limit.

I'm tired of repeating myself when people do not want to open up their bible.

GOD does not dwell in the Universe, The universe dwells in GOD.

BroRog
Apr 24th 2009, 02:37 PM
BroBrg, Dont listen to me. Listen to Jesus:
a Shape doesnt not limit God, You are still stuck on earthly boundaries. There is no boundary with God.

Look at the Holy Spirit, He divides hiimself and dwells in millions of believers. Yet he is not limited, He is still as powerful.

Jesus has a human body, But that does not limit him. He can be 1 billions places with his body at a time.

Jesus said: John 5:37 - And the Father himself... Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

LISTEN TO JESUS AND THE BIBLE, Do not make your own interpretation and believes.

Our small little minds cant comprehend God, so stop trying to. He has a shape and He has no limit.

I'm tired of repeating myself when people do not want to open up their bible.

GOD does not dwell in the Universe, The universe dwells in GOD.

Hi Bladders,

When you say that the universe dwells in God, you are expressing the idea of transcendence, I think, which is close to what I said toward the end of my previous post. So, we could be in agreement there.

Now, I wonder when Jesus says that no one has see God's shape, whether that means that God has no shape to see?

Bladers
Apr 24th 2009, 06:40 PM
Hi Bladders,

When you say that the universe dwells in God, you are expressing the idea of transcendence, I think, which is close to what I said toward the end of my previous post. So, we could be in agreement there.

Now, I wonder when Jesus says that no one has see God's shape, whether that means that God has no shape to see?


Jesus did not say, No one has seen His shape because moses did.
Jesus was talking to the pharisees and he said. You have never heard His Voice nor seen His shape.

He has a voice and a shape!
You dont have to try to twist the scripture around to mean what you want.

keyword: "His shape", meaning He has a definite shape.

Moses saw it.

BroRog
Apr 24th 2009, 07:28 PM
Jesus did not say, No one has seen His shape because moses did.
Jesus was talking to the pharisees and he said. You have never heard His Voice nor seen His shape.

Okay, I see your point.


He has a voice and a shape!
You dont have to try to twist the scripture around to mean what you want.
I agree. That's good advice. We don't want to twist scripture.



keyword: "His shape", meaning He has a definite shape.

Moses saw it.

What do you make of the fact that Moses also saw God in a burning bush? Perhaps, and I'm just asking, maybe God doesn't have a permanent shape? Maybe he can manifest himself in whatever shape suits the occasion?

John146
Apr 24th 2009, 08:16 PM
Jesus said in john that God the Father has a form/shape. But i do not think you understand that. You keep thinking of physical being, what is a physical being?One with a body of flesh and blood like you and I have.


You have you start thinking of Spiritual Being. God is a Spiritual Being, demons are spiritual beings, satan is a spiritual being, we are spiritual beings. But they have a form/shape. God the father is not a mist or a cloud, He has a hand, legs, face, body.

Moses saw the back side of God.

John146, you should know these things. Unless you know them but deny them.All I said, big guy, is that God is not a physical being. It turns out that you actually agree with me because you said yourself He is a Spiritual Being. Of course, as Scruffy Kid pointed out in post #40 of this thread, God is not a created being so He should not be seen in the same light as angels or demons.

As far as His form/shape, do you believe He exists within the realm of time and space (even though He created it)? Or do you believe that He takes form/shape within the realm of time and space despite also being outside of it?

Bladers
Apr 24th 2009, 08:33 PM
What do you make of the fact that Moses also saw God in a burning bush? Perhaps, and I'm just asking, maybe God doesn't have a permanent shape? Maybe he can manifest himself in whatever shape suits the occasion?

Exodus 3 does not say anything about God manifesting Himself. All it says is the angel of the Lord appeared as flames of fire.

Is God an angel of the Lord? NO!

Moses did not see God, He heard the voice of God.

In Mount Sinai, Moses indeed saw GOD. For God revealed Himself!

Also Remember who Jesus is:

Heb 1:3 - The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being (express image of his person)...

What Jesus is in his physical body, God is spiritually. God is a Spiritual Being!

Now what did Moses see on the mount Sinai? The Glory of God.
What did stephen see? The Glory of God.
What did the prophets see? The Glory of God.

Jesus is the exact representation of that Glory which Moses had a glimpse of!
That shape/form, which is God's Gory, which moses saw. Was made flesh and dwelt among men.
Yet, God the Father still has that Glory of His Person. He is still a Spiritual Being with shape as Jesus said!
Yet, He is not limited.

BadDog
Apr 29th 2009, 05:10 PM
Hi Bladers,

I think I understand it better now. God apeared to Moses and the people, but Gods form was not a physical man. They heard the voice of God.

So when God appeared in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, it was not God in a human body, but Gods presence (form) in the garden of Eden and Gods voice spoke to Adam and Eve as God did to Moses. Adam and Eve also hid themselves from the presence of God in the trees.


I guess the term "walking" as stated in Genesis 3:8 meant that Gods presence was moving in the garden of eden, and that walking was the only way they could describe it.
I guess it's hard to understand, becuase as created beings, When someone says walking, we think of a human person with feet and a body.

I guess it is like the Serpent in Genesis 3:14. Before it was cursed by God, it could walk, even thou it didn't have feet (No that we know of). But when it was cursed, it had to crawl on it's belly. I guess thats another question? Did the serpent have feet?


(Exo 19:9 NIV) The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

(Exo 19:11 NIV) and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

(Exo 19:17 NIV) Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

(Exo 19:18 NIV) Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently,

(Exo 19:19 NIV) and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

(Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

(Gen 3:14 NIV) So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

Thanks

Chad.[
Chad,

That sounds close. God can appear in the form of a human being, without actually becoming a human being. Jesus actually became a human being. When Abraham was visited by 3 "people" (Genesis 18), two appear to have been angels, and they were sent down to the valley to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. You can read about the two angels visiting Sodom and Lot in Genesis 19. But the inhabitants of Sodom assumed that the angels were men, and Abraham did not realize who his visitors were at first either.

But the third visitor spoke to Abraham at the end of chap. 18 and it seems that this was God speaking to Abraham in the form of a man. Now He did not become a man, He just came in the appearance of a man. This happened to Joshua (Joshua 3) and to the parents of Samson as well (Judges 13). God appeared to Moses in the form of a bush burning that was not burned up. The Creator of everything can appear as He wills.

But Jesus Christ actually became a human being. He will always be a human being... big difference. If you want to read up on it, search for the "hypostatic union" of Christ. Jesus has not only a divine nature, but a human one as well. The Father and the Spirit do not have a human nature. The Messiah was to be sent by the Father to save mankind (as God) and to sit on the throne of David (as man). To do so He needed to die. Only as man could He die. He needed to rise victorious over death, and only as God could He do so. So Jesus needed to be both God (in nature or essence) as well as human (in nature or essence).

In the 4th and 5th century Christians debated over the specifics of this - it is not easy to understand. But it is clear in scripture that Jesus is God and that He became a human - became flesh - as well. The specifics of how this was done may not be clear, but that it was done is biblical.

Take care,

BD

Watchmen
Apr 29th 2009, 05:56 PM
God the Son sits at the right hand of God the Father. Not literally, though. God does not have a literal physical right hand because He is Spirit. The Father is not a physical being who would be sitting on a physical throne. The throne is a figurative reference to the Father's place of power and authority.


According to the Bible you are WRONG.
According to Jesus own words, you are WRONG.
According to what Moses saw on the Mount Sinai, you are WRONG.Didn't John the Revelator see God sitting on His Throne?

BadDog
Apr 30th 2009, 08:38 PM
God is spirit, and canít be seen apart from some sort of divine enabling. (This was true even of the angels (2 Kings 6:17). So what people saw of God must have been some kind of partial manifestation of God. When our Lord came to the earth, men did see God manifested in human flesh, but still not in the full radiance of His glory, as John seems to indicate in 1 John 3:2.

1 John 3:2 Dear friends, we are Godís children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. Yet we know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

At the mount of transfiguration, Peter, John and James saw some of the glory of God. Human beings are not able to look upon a holy God in our present sinful condition. But based on 1 John 3:2 it would seem that there will come a time when we shall see Him "as He is," when we behold Him in glory. This may also be related to Paulís words in 2 Corinthians 12, where he spoke of being "caught up into the third heaven" and seeing glorious things, and yet he was not permitted to speak of them. These were "heavenly things" which earthly beings are not able to "see" at present, while on this earth and in our mortal bodies. But when we receive our new resurrected bodies then we will see Him "as He is" and truly experience fellowship and intimacy with God.

BD

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:24 PM
Didn't John the Revelator see God sitting on His Throne?Yes, and he also saw a beast with seven heads and ten horns. Literal or symbolic? There are verses that say heaven is God's throne. Is God a huge being in the sky who sits on heaven (whatever that means) or is that to be understood in a spiritual sense?

Walstib
May 3rd 2009, 12:01 AM
Closing for now... see if we can open it back up later...

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