Is God really without Form and Substance? Is that what the Bible Teaches? Here's a problem to ponder: Does God's reality consist of Something . . . or Nothing? And if "Nothing" than how does He exist?
The Nicene Creed asserts that God consists of no form, no substance and is "immaterial" — but this description is absolutely NOT established by the Bible! The following statement from the June 2 Heart Of The Matter program, has Shawn McCraney making a non-Biblical assertion that echoes the Nicene Creed:
Shawn McCraney says: "We also learn that when God announced His name to Moses, that He also proclaimed his own immateriality—meaning, He did not have substance. . . . the I AM which is an immaterial being. OK? This simple but insanely deep name automatically refuses the material trappings of shape, color, beginning, or end. . . . He is without form."
Why this is a False Witness: To expose this False Witness, let's go to the Bible and read the words inspired by God; let's go directly to the record of when God supposedly "announced His name to Moses, . . . proclaimed his own immateriality—meaning, He did not have substance. . . . an immaterial being. . . . without form."
I am continually amazed that Shawn McCraney prefers to establish what Christians believe by using his own words, instead of the words of the prophets, and the words of Christ.
When Shawn refers to the "name" of God, he is referring to "I AM." So, let's look at this passage that speaks of God revealing His name to Moses, and supposed establishes God's immateriality — meaning, God has no substance or form. Is that really what the Bible says?
Exodus, Chapter 3
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
I'm looking for the words that establish Shawn McCraney's conclusion that:
"when God announced His name to Moses,
I read ALL of Exodus Chapter 3 Three, and Shawn's assertion is simply NOT there; hence what Shawn McCraney has spoken . . . IS A FALSE WITNESS. I invite the reader to examine all of Exodus Chapter 3 Three, and find the moment, and the words that express what Shawn is asserting:
"when God announced His name to Moses,
It's NOT there. But what IS there, is an assertion of God's form. We find it in verse 20 of Exodus Chapter 3:
20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
God is All Wise and Almighty; thus He is entirely capable of expressing His Form, or lack of Form — we do not need to speculate from vague words. God is infinitely capable of revealing to His prophets the fact of His Substance, or lack of Substance.
So, are you going to believe Shawn McCraney . . . or are you going to believe the Bible? Truth is, there are many Bible passages that clearly assign form to God. Here some of them:
1 - “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
2 - “And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. . . . With him will I speak mouth to mouth.”
3 - “prophet among you, I the Lord” (Gen. 1: 27).
4 - “prophet among you, I the Lord" (Rom. 8: 16)
5 - “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3: 2).
“children of God” (Rom. 8: 16)
“offspring of God” (Acts 17: 29),
“image of God” (Gen. 1: 27)
6 - In the resurrection, we shall appear in the express image of God, and possess the same tangible form and features as the Lord, Jesus Christ--who has a body of “flesh and bones” (Luke 24: 39).
The Bible explicitly describes the Almighty as having form:
7 - “for I have seen God face to face” (Gen. 32: 23-30).
8 - “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33: 11).
9 - “and they shall see his face” (Revelation 22: 3-6).
10 - “With him I will speak mouth to mouth” (Numbers 12: 5-8).
11 - “written with the finger of God” (Deut. 9: 10).
12 - “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen” (Exodus 33: 23).
13 - Further, the Father possesses the “express image” as the Son:
“God . . . spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son--who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1: 1-5).
14 - “Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God” (Philippians 2: 5-6).
15 - “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God” (James 3: 8-11).
16 - “for we are also his offspring” (Acts 17: 24-29).
17 - “For a man ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God” (1 Cor. 11: 7).
18 - “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, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. ” (Acts 7: 56-57).
19 - The Bible establishes the nature of God’s tangible body during the appearance of the resurrected Lord to His apostles:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24: 39).
This particular scripture explicitly describes the bodily form and features of God, whereas John 4: 24 uses the word "spirit" within a context where the primary point is about HOW we should worship--in spirit and in truth.
But if God is a resurrected being of "flesh and bones," then how can He also be "spirit"? This apparent conundrum is clarified by a latter-day revelation:
“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy” (D&C 93: 33-39). Children will become like their Father, destined to be "heirs of God" (Rom. 8: 16-17) as they are faithful and "suffer with Him"—"made perfect" (John 17: 23) like the Father through His grace, and the mediating miracle of the Son.
20 - In response to Christ’s invitation, one of his disciples, doubting Thomas, empirically "handled" the tangible body of God:
“Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side” (John 20: 27).
21 -The resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ will return to usher in the millennium in the same tangible, immortal form that he appeared to his apostles:
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1: 9-11).
There is no verse in the Bible that speaks of the resurrected Christ discarding His tangible body of flesh and bones after leaving His apostles, and ascending into Heaven.
22 - Virtually all His appearances to mortal men, God reveals Himself in the “similitude” and “image” after which is His children are created. Thus, as we allow the Bible to represent the doctrines of True Christianity, we can conclude thus:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3: 2).
23 - Remember, it is the Bible, not merely the Mormons, that explicitly assigns tangible form and features to God: that His children look like their Father, and that the Father looks like His son, Jesus— “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14: 9).
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