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What Does God Require of Us?

Questions for Lesson 2

Who Is God?

Lesson 2.3: No human has ever seen God.

It must be very difficult for Jehovah's Witnesses to behold a God who can be 'seen.' In fact the Jehovah's Witness God cannot be seen because according the JW doctrine he shares many of the same attributes (ie finite) as the pagan counterparts. Therefore 'Jehovah' is limited to a body and confined to fixed space.

First lets review some pertinent scripture passages:

John 1:18 states "No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (NASB)

Exodus 33:20 "And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." (KJV)

Who did the great prophets see? We will define what it means to "see God,' read on...

There are instances in the Old Testament where the 'Angel of The Lord' makes VERY serious claims and speaks on His Own Behalf and for Himself .

If indeed we put our trust in the Holy Sciptures by trying to understand Christ's nature we might better understand the nature certain appearances of the 'Angel of the Lord" take on.

Q: Lets pretend and ask the question What IF Jehovah could manifest himself as an animate or inanimate object before humankind?

Review and reflect on the following questions...

Q: Does God have the capacity or power to appear as fire, or water or even a cloud if he willed it to be so? Is it possible for God to take any form He wishes?

Q: The Angel of the Lord appears to Moses in a burning bush (Exodus 3:2) and is called who??? acccording to Exodus 4:4 (NWT).

Q: If God was in the bush who was controlling the Universe? (Jw's often ask this question to Christians with regards to Jesus Christ!)  Read Jer 23:24...Do I not fill the heavens and the earth? / Ps 139:7-8 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there;...

Jehovah has also appear in more sophisticated forms....

Read John 6:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him (NWT) . Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him (NIV) The verse clearly links 'glory' and 'faith" with Jesus Christ. The NWT links this verse to Isaiah 6:1 "...I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted..."

Q: If this is Jehovah the Father why did Isaiah not die? Who did Isaiah see in Isaiah 6:1?

Q: If this is indeed the Son then it would explain why we can see God and live right?

Genesis 17:1-3 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him,
Q: Who appeared to Abram?

Genesis 22:11-12 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
Q: Who called Abraham from heaven?
Q: Why does vs 11-12 equate the fear of God to be the same as fearing this Angel of God?
Q: Why is it that the Angel of the Lord instructs Abraham that he should not withhold his Son from him? Is the Angel of the Lord and Jehovah in this chapter synonomous ( ie same person? (see Genesis 22:15-16 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, )

No One Has Seen The Father...But Maybe They Saw The Son?

If the gospel of John states " Not that any man has seen the Father, except he who is from God; this one has seen the Father " (NWT), then WHO did Moses see? Who did Abraham talk to?

We must define what Scripture means by "seeing" God. John is very emphatic that no one has ever seen God, BUT he makes the qualifying statement that the MONOGENES THEOS (God the One and Only/Only Begotten)ie.the LOGOS, the Word who shares the very nature of God has "explained" Him or made Him known. Did people "see" God in theophanies? Most definitely but in visible human appearances as in the Angel(Messenger) of the LORD throughout the OT,or in visions like that of Isaiah 6, but they NEVER saw God in His quintessential essence which to do so would bring instant death as the Exodus passage makes clear. Notice that when people claimed to see God in the OT it was always in the context of visions, or human appearances.

It was never God the Father who appeared to men but Jesus Christ (Jesus is not the Father but the Son). This is made clear throughout the NT that the Son is the Revealer of the Father. Genesis 19:24 is absolutely beautiful in the Hebrew because it shows that Yahweh caused fire and brimstone to fall upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha from Yahweh out of heaven.

Consider the following passages: Jesus' name( IMMANUEL) "God With Us" (Mat 1:23) has profound sigificance. Read on....Jesus is the image of the invisible Father (Col 1:15, 2 Cor 4:4), being in the very nature God ...found in appearance a man (Phil 2:6,8, 2 Cor 5:19), and the fullness of God dwells in Jesus ( Col 1:19, 2:9). Indeed the Son is the radiance of God's glory (Heb 1:3), and the WORD of God (John 1:1) that became flesh (John 1:14) sharing the nature of humanity ( Heb 2:14-15 ). In fact, Christ claims the same name and nature as the Father (Jn 8:58). Moreover, to know Jesus is to know the Father (Jn 8:19, Jn 14:9).

Now reread the above scriptures with 'Jehovah the Son' in mind. Make note that NO ONE can see the Father and live, yet the Bible describes several instances of men coming in contact with God. either the scriptures are in ERROR or they have seen the SON.

The Jehovah of the Watchtower is a finite god, he is not omnipresent but much like the Mormon god, he has a body (composed of spirit) and is thus confined to one location at a time. My word! Even the holy spirit of the Watchtower is greater than Jehovah because "it" can be everywhere but Jehovah cannot!

Excerpts of this portion contributed by Tony Costa