What Kind Of Body Does God Have?

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“God is a Spirit.”—John 4:24.

THE BIBLE describes God as a spirit being. (2Corinthians 3:17) He is “the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible,” says 1Timothy 1:17. The Bible also states: “At no time has anyone beheld God.”—1John 4:12.

“To whom can you people liken God, and what likeness can you put alongside him?” says Isaiah 40:18.

There are, however, intelligent creatures who can see God and even speak with him face-to-face. How so? Because they too are spirits, and they live in heaven. (1Kings 22:21; Hebrews 1:7) Concerning these superhuman creatures, who are also called angels, Jesus Christ said: “[They] always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”—Matthew 18:10.

Is God omnipresent?

“Our Father in the heavens.” (Matthew 6:9) The Bible does not teach that God is omnipresent, or present everywhere at all times, like some impersonal force. Rather, as Jesus’ words found at Matthew 6:9 and 18:10 show, God is a person—a “Father”—and he resides in heaven, his “established place of dwelling.”—1Kings 8:43.

After his death in the flesh and resurrection as a spirit, Christ ascended “into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God.”—Hebrews 9:24.

These facts about God matter. Why? For one thing, because God is a person, we can learn about him and draw close to him. (James 4:8)

The truth about God protects us from false worship, such as the worship of lifeless images and objects. “Little children, guard yourselves from idols,” says 1John 5:21.

How were humans formed in God’s image?

“God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”—Genesis 1:27.

As humans, we have the potential to reflect God’s personality traits, such as his love, justice, and wisdom. The Bible says: “Become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love.”—Ephesians 5:1, 2.

The more we learn about God and imitate him, the more we live the way he intended us to live. As a result, we experience more joy in life, along with genuine satisfaction, inner peace, and contentment. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) God’s endearing qualities drawing honesthearted people to him and setting them on the path to everlasting life.—John 6:44; 17:3.

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How to Be a Good Father

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Admittedly, it is not easy to be a good father. But there are basic principles that can help. Many fathers have found that they and their families benefit when they follow the wisdom found in the Bible. Let us consider some of the Bible’s practical advice that can help fathers.

 1. Make Time for Your Family

As a father, how do you show your children that they are important to you? Surely there are many things you do for your children, including the sacrifices you make to feed them and provide them with an adequate home. You would not do such things if your children were not important to you. Yet, if you do not spend significant amounts of time with your children, they might conclude that you care more for other things, such as your job, your friends, or your hobbies, than you do for them.

Bible Principle: Deuteronomy 6:6, 7, which say: “These words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart; and you must inculcate them in your son and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”

 

2. Good Fathers Are Good Communicators

Listen calmly without being judgmental. In order to communicate effectively with your children, you must be a careful listener. You need to cultivate the ability to listen without overreacting.

Bible Principle: The practical wisdom found in the Bible has proved to be beneficial in many aspects of daily life. For instance, the Bible says: “Every man must be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.” (James 1:19) Fathers who apply this Bible principle are able to communicate better with their children.

 3. Give Loving Discipline and Commendation

Discipline is much more effective when a father commends his children regularly. An ancient proverb says: “As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.” (Proverbs 25:11) Commendation enriches a child’s character.

Bible Principle: “You fathers, do not be exasperating your children, so that they do not become downhearted.”Colossians 3:21.

4. Love and Respect Your Wife

The way a father exercises his role as a husband is certain to affect children. One group of experts on child development explains: “One of the best things a father can do for his children is to respect their mother. . . . A father and mother who respect each other and let their children know it provide a secure environment for them.”—The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children. *

Bible Principle: “Husbands, continue loving your wives . . . Let each one of you individually so love his wife as he does himself.”Ephesians 5:25, 33.

 5. Apply God’s Practical Wisdom

Fathers who have heartfelt love for God can give their children a most precious heritage—an intimate relationship with their heavenly Father.

Bible Principle: “You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force. And these words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart.”Deuteronomy 6:5, 6.

It is obvious that there is more involved in fatherhood than these five points and that, realistically, even when you try your best to be a good father, you are not going to be a perfect one. But to the extent that you apply these principles in a loving and balanced way, you really can be a good father. *

The Trinity—Whose Teaching?

Image“There is one God and Father, one Lord Jesus Christ, and one Holy Spirit, three ‘persons’ . . . who are the same or one in essence . . . ; three persons equally God, possessing the same natural properties, yet really distinct, known by their personal characteristics.”* The Living Pulpit magazine 

The Father—Superior to the Son

 Psalm 83:18 says: “You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Our heavenly Father, whose name is Jehovah, is described in the Bible as being superior to his Son. For example, Jehovah is “from everlasting to everlasting.” But the Bible says that Jesus is “the firstborn of every creature.” That Jehovah is greater than Jesus, Jesus himself taught when he said: “My Father is greater than I.” (Matthew 6:9; Psalm 90:1, 2; Colossians 1:15; John 14:28King James Version) Yet, the Trinity doctrine holds that the Father and the Son are “equally God.” (Photo: Depiction of Trinity from Saint Denis Basilica in Paris.)

The Father’s superiority over the Son, as well as the fact that the Father is a separate person, is highlighted also in the prayers of Jesus, such as the one before his execution: “Father, if you wish, remove this cup [that is, an ignominious death] from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place.” (Luke 22:42) If God and Jesus are “one in essence,” as the Trinity doctrine says, how could Jesus’ will, or wish, seem different from that of his Father?—Hebrews 5:7, 8; 9:24. 

Furthermore, if Jehovah and Jesus were the same, how could one of them be aware of things of which the other was not? Jesus, for instance, said regarding the time of the world’s judgment: “Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father.”—Mark 13:32.

The Christian Century, in its May 20-27, 1998, issue, quotes a pastor who acknowledges that the Trinity is “a teaching of the church rather than a teaching of Jesus.” 

The Trinity and the Church

The Trinity is not a teaching of Jesus or of the early Christians. As noted previously, it is “a teaching of the church.” In its 1999 issue on the Trinity, The Living Pulpit observed: “Sometimes, it seems that everyone assumes that the doctrine of the trinity is standard Christian theological fare,” but it added that it is not “a biblical idea.”

The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) discusses the Trinity at length and admits: “The Trinitarian dogma is in the last analysis a late 4th-century invention. . . . The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century.”

The Trinity’s Early Origins

The worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was also common before Jesus was born. “From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity,” observed historian Will Durant. In the Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings wrote: “In Indian religion, e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of Brahmā, Siva, and Viṣṇu; and in Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.”

AWAKE!, 4/22  2005

See also: “The Truth About the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”, available by download at www.jw.org

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