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  #51  
Old 03-28-2021, 11:45 AM
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Michael The Disciple Michael The Disciple is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Matthew 18:10 KJV
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Who or what are these angels?

Who and what exactly are they beholding?

How is this reconciled with "no entity has seen God"?
The angels are created beings in an order above humans. There may be differing categories of them. They serve God as he wills. One of the highlighted tasks is to minister for humans.

In this case Jesus teaches us that at least some of them are assigned to watch over children and perhaps report to God concerning them.

They behold the face of the God on the throne.

As to the reconciliation thats what the teaching of the Logos is all about. No one has seen God at any time. This apparently refers to his essence as omnipresent Spirit.

1 Kings 8:27

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Jeremiah 23:24

Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.


Obviously we cannot see such vastness.

God wanted to be seen by and take an active, personal role within his creation.

So he first formed an image of himself and you know the story. No one seeing God refers to his omnipresence. At the same time angels and men have seen God by or through his personal image or form.

Costeon has asked a very good question in this thread. What happened to the "form" or "representation" of God when the logos was made flesh.

Edit: That was not really his question but needs to be addressed anyway. I will address his actual question soon.

At least two possibilities.

A. The way my Pastor in those days taught it was the omnipresent Spirit reduced the Logos down to the size of a seed and came over Mary and put it in her womb.
He went from the form of God to the form of man.

Phil. 2:6-7

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

So what was the form of God beforehand as Spirit, was made into the form of God as man.

I dont recall any teaching from him or the other teachers of the doctrine explaining what if anything was still visible on the throne during Christs time on Earth.

It could be that the throne of God is surrounded by majesty and unapproachable light that is still representing his person and when Jesus said the angels were beholding the Fathers face in Heaven it was a figure of speech.

That might look like this.

Quote:
1 Tim. 6:14-16

That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
In this case at the ascension of Christ he could simply return to the throne which had been in his absence surrounded by the majestic glory written of in verse 16.

B. The Logos remained on the throne and simply willed a human seed into Marys womb and a visible being was still on the throne during the time of Christs earthly walk.

This would be an explanation for Jesus saying he was still in Heaven while he was on Earth.

John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

For that reason I like B.

Problem is it doesnt appear to allow for there being a transformation of "word to flesh" as in the "word was made flesh".

So until I hear a more balanced and accurate teaching I lean toward A.

Last edited by Michael The Disciple; 03-28-2021 at 12:18 PM.
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  #52  
Old 03-28-2021, 12:04 PM
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Michael The Disciple Michael The Disciple is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Brother, don't be ridiculous. Who said anything about any of this not being real

All I have said is that these things are revealed to us symbolically through visions as if they have three dimensional reality, even though they do not. Just because something is not literal, or tangible to the senses, does not mean it's not real.
I think you are painting with to broad a brush. Sure there are time visions are given that need to be interpreted. And there are times when visions can be very exacting.

How do we know which way God is wanting us to take spiritual revelations? Perhaps the Bible is written in such a way where God is actually showing us spiritual things literally?

Maybe he wants us to think of him as a being seated on a throne who looks like a man because thats the reality of his situation?

Maybe he wants us to think of angels, and a throne with 4 beasts around it because it is that way?

Maybe its what he uses to educate us to his kingdom? He wants to get our minds off the things of this world and allow us to meditate and rejoice in things much higher than ourselves?
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  #53  
Old 03-28-2021, 12:35 PM
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Michael The Disciple Michael The Disciple is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
I have read a couple of Oneness books recently that teach that the Word before the incarnation was the visible image of God.(I believe I have read posts from Michael the Disciple on this forum teaching the same thing.) In heaven, therefore, there was always a visible form of God before the incarnation, and this form was the Word. And, if I understand this view correctly, the Angel of the Lord was the Word and not just a temporary visible manifestation of Yahweh. If you are familiar with this view, when the Angel of the Lord, i.e., the Word, appeared to someone on earth, was the visible form of the Word still in heaven as well?
My thinking is the Logos actually got up and went himself. That seems to have been the point of YHWH having a personal image.

Gen.11:4-6

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

We see the LORD coming down.

When he talked to Abraham:

Gen. 17:22

And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

It seems like the LORD went up and he came down in his journeys. If he (as the image) remained on the throne while he was "down" he would not need to come back "up".

Yes simple but the best I can do.
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  #54  
Old 03-28-2021, 01:05 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael The Disciple View Post
The angels are created beings in an order above humans. There may be differing categories of them. They serve God as he wills. One of the highlighted tasks is to minister for humans.

In this case Jesus teaches us that at least some of them are assigned to watch over children and perhaps report to God concerning them.

They behold the face of the God on the throne.

As to the reconciliation thats what the teaching of the Logos is all about. No one has seen God at any time. This apparently refers to his essence as omnipresent Spirit.

1 Kings 8:27

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Jeremiah 23:24

Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.


Obviously we cannot see such vastness.

God wanted to be seen by and take an active, personal role within his creation.

So he first formed an image of himself and you know the story. No one seeing God refers to his omnipresence. At the same time angels and men have seen God by or through his personal image or form.

Costeon has asked a very good question in this thread. What happened to the "form" or "representation" of God when the logos was made flesh.

Edit: That was not really his question but needs to be addressed anyway. I will address his actual question soon.

At least two possibilities.

A. The way my Pastor in those days taught it was the omnipresent Spirit reduced the Logos down to the size of a seed and came over Mary and put it in her womb.
He went from the form of God to the form of man.

Phil. 2:6-7

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

So what was the form of God beforehand as Spirit, was made into the form of God as man.

I dont recall any teaching from him or the other teachers of the doctrine explaining what if anything was still visible on the throne during Christs time on Earth.

It could be that the throne of God is surrounded by majesty and unapproachable light that is still representing his person and when Jesus said the angels were beholding the Fathers face in Heaven it was a figure of speech.

That might look like this.



In this case at the ascension of Christ he could simply return to the throne which had been in his absence surrounded by the majestic glory written of in verse 16.

B. The Logos remained on the throne and simply willed a human seed into Marys womb and a visible being was still on the throne during the time of Christs earthly walk.

This would be an explanation for Jesus saying he was still in Heaven while he was on Earth.

John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

For that reason I like B.

Problem is it doesnt appear to allow for there being a transformation of "word to flesh" as in the "word was made flesh".

So until I hear a more balanced and accurate teaching I lean toward A.
There is the possibility that John 3:13 is a comment by John (my thread on the Son of Man addresses that issue).

Either way, in my understanding of the Scripture, since the Logos/Word is God expressing Himself to His creation I'm not sure there is a need for the Word to restricted only to a location.

Luke 3:2 KJV
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

This happened after Jesus was born. Yet Jesus did not physically approach John to tell him to start preaching. Also, the voice at Christ's baptism and the appearance of the dove. These are instances of God interacting with His creation and therefore fall under the category of the Word/Logos.
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Last edited by Esaias; 03-28-2021 at 02:25 PM.
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  #55  
Old 03-28-2021, 03:33 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Matthew 18:10 KJV
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Who or what are these angels?

Who and what exactly are they beholding?

How is this reconciled with "no entity has seen God"?
Take a look at the Greek word for "behold":

https://biblehub.com/greek/991.htm

Lots of different meanings based on context, but the one that makes the most sense, at least to me, is the idea of angels being observant, that is, paying heed and attention to, the "face" of the Father.

Now, what is the Father's "face"? Is it a three dimensional, humanoidal countenance made up of skin, muscle, blood vessels, bones, teeth, with eyes, nose, mouth, and etc.?

I suggest to you that is a very carnal way of looking at it.

Rather, we should look to other Scriptures that speak to the face of God and see what we can learn.

One good example is from the Priestly Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27,

Quote:
22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.
What does it mean for YHVH to make His face shine on people?

It is an anthropomorphism designed to call to mind what we do as fathers when our children, before us, do something that makes us smile and be happy. So, when God's face is shining toward us, it means He is pleased with us and ready to bestow a blessing upon us.

Similarly, 1 Chronicles 16:11,

Quote:
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
and Psalm 27:8,

Quote:
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
These are just two examples. There are several more like this.

What then does it mean to seek the face of the LORD? To look about for a humanoidal countenance made up of skin, and etc.?

No, it is again an anthropomorphism designed to teach us to seek God's gracious, loving help and recognition of us as His people.

A common word and idea used throughout the Scriptures is the English word "despise". It comes from a French word meaning "to not look upon or at".

Basically, anything you feel is not worth your time and attention, you then refuse to look at.

In the Scriptures, the prospect of God hiding His face, or turning His face away, was in some sense the equivalent of finding yourself in hell.

If God's face is turned away from us, it is as if He is literally despising us, that is, not looking upon or at us, because we understand ourselves to not be worth His time and attention. That is a dreadful state to be in, real or imagined.

So, when Jesus says that the angels of little ones who believe in the Lord constantly behold the Father's face in heaven, it means they are observant and paying attention to whether or not God is pleased and satisfied, or displeased and dissatisfied with how any of the little ones in question are being treated.

It's anthropomorphic speech. It clues us into something we likely could not otherwise understand, inescapably locked into our perceptions through our senses as we are.

But it's not meant to be taken literally, as though God had an actual face for angels to see.

Otherwise, the potential for misunderstanding and even making a claim of contradiction is possible, in light of John 1:18.
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  #56  
Old 03-28-2021, 03:40 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by Michael The Disciple View Post
I think you are painting with to broad a brush. Sure there are time visions are given that need to be interpreted. And there are times when visions can be very exacting.

How do we know which way God is wanting us to take spiritual revelations? Perhaps the Bible is written in such a way where God is actually showing us spiritual things literally?

Maybe he wants us to think of him as a being seated on a throne who looks like a man because thats the reality of his situation?

Maybe he wants us to think of angels, and a throne with 4 beasts around it because it is that way?

Maybe its what he uses to educate us to his kingdom? He wants to get our minds off the things of this world and allow us to meditate and rejoice in things much higher than ourselves?
I would argue you are painting with too limited a brush, that is, everything in the heavens or spirit realm is to be taken literally. And yet, I have shown in this thread, the literal impossibility of these things being taken literally, almost all of which have gone unaddressed, except for this soundbite.

Does God want us to think of Him in such ways? In a way, yes, if and only because we cannot imagine anything existing outside of our perceptions, primary among them, being our visual sense.

So, for the sake of our own understanding, we are given a fairly constant barrage of anthropomorphisms in the Scriptures so that we can hopefully become cognizant of the realities that lay beyond our material existence.

But correctly discerning these things also requires that we discern these things symbolically. What the symbols represent are real and true, but the symbols themselves are merely that: symbols, or signs intended to usher us into a deeper, unseen truth.
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Old 03-28-2021, 03:52 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by votivesoul View Post
I am sure the vision Micaiah described in 1 Kings 22:19 happened exactly as described, but I urge you to question how literal it was, in the physical sense of Micaiah's actual eyes inside his head transmitting data through his optic nerves into his brain seeing this. Did not rather he perceive it within his spirit, and see those things as inner mental images?

For example, Simon Peter had a vision while in a trance of a sheet being held by its four corners with all manner of unclean animals piled up inside of it, being let down from heaven to earth, three different times no less, while hearing a voice telling him "Rise Peter, kill and eat".

Now, was there an actual sheet being held at the four corners with literal animals in it hanging somewhere in the sky above Simon's head, that he saw with his actual eyes inside of his head, while a disembodied voice spoke to him?

Or was it an audio-visual representation inside his mind, that he saw with and through the inner man of the spirit?
I would think it was through the inner man of the spirit.

When I say the following, I don't intend for it to come across as dismissive in any way, because I don't feel that way regarding your post, but I guess I don't see the significance of needing to understand--I'm not sure how to put this--the physics of revelation.

If, for example, 1 Kings 22.19 did happen exactly as described, isn't that enough to conclude that God had a visible form that sat on a throne in heaven, and even if I don't understand where heaven is or what the throne is made of, or how things are perceived in the spirit world or are revealed to people, I still can and should affirm that he had a form?
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:08 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by votivesoul View Post
For the record, I have no problem with the idea that the Logos is the visual manifestation of YHVH, but ON EARTH, as a regularly occurring theophany, according to the will and timing of God, particularly in the OT leading up to the eventual events described in John 1.

I see no reason, other than theosophical ponderings to recommend that the invisible God, who is Spirit, had to make Himself visible in some kind of literal, three dimensional and physical way to spirit beings (angels, and etc.) who are themselves invisible, immaterial, and intangible, as if they had eyes and needed to actually see Him in order for Him to make Himself known and comprehensible to them.
I tend to agree with you here. I don't see why he "had to." Maybe it's not a matter of had to, but it just "is so." More theosophical ponderings here, but in the "spirit realm" and heaven, maybe angels and God are simply visible--perhaps it's the nature of that dimension for spirit-beings to be visible, whatever the physics of that might be.
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:13 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by votivesoul View Post

In what way then can it be said that angels could see God in some visible form in the heavens?

All visible forms of God recorded in the Bible are not God per se, but rather are theophanic representations of Himself, and Scripturally, all the forms of God that are visible in this way, are either through visions, or dreams, or are temporal, literal manifestations of Himself as physical, three dimensional matter. And they all occur on earth, for the benefit of humanity.

There is no indication, in any way that is literal, and not poetic of prophetic, of God ever appearing in a physical form in the Spirit Realm for the benefit of other spirit beings.
But didn't the angels gather around his throne in 1 Kings 22.19? I thought you agreed in a previous post that this actually happened. Wouldn't that indicate that they perceived a form of God on some sort of "heavenly" throne?
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:21 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by votivesoul View Post
Yes, he states he is orthodox Trinitarian, but in his writings, that honestly does not come across. If I recall correctly, in The Unseen Realm I don't think he even uses the word "trinity" once out of 413 pages. For example, in the Subject Index (looking at it right now in front of me) when you go to the letter "T", the word "trinity" isn't even included.

And in his book Angels the word "trinity" only has three entries in the Subject Index (likewise currently in front of me), all of them footnotes, and in two of them, the footnote entries are only given so that he may refute the notion that Genesis 1:26 is a reference to the Trinity.

I am likewise pretty sure there is no reference to the Trinity in his A Companion to the Book of Enoch, either, which I have, but which doesn't have a Subject Index at the end.

But I don't yet own all of his books, though two are on their way, namely Reversing Hermon and Demons from Amazon.
I'm glad you had mentioned The Unseen Realm earlier. I went ahead and started listening to it, beginning with his teaching on the visible Word being a second Yahweh. He does say trinity and speaks of persons, but it's odd because at other times he says things any Oneness person might say. I think where he goes astray, and I would assume his prior commitment to trinitarianism leads him here, is just assuming and asserting that because there is a visible form it necessarily means this is another person distinct from the invisible Yahweh, the Father.

Have you formed any opinions about his ideas overall, e.g., who the elohim are in Psalm 82? His ideas are pretty new to me.
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