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Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

If debating Theology isn't quite your style, but you love God's Word, please use this forum to encourage and be encouraged by sharing scripture, your own devotions and short questions to ponder. This is not a place for debate or argument.

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lish1936
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Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby lish1936 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:16 am

Reading through the Book of John... I'm certain there's an answer, but John 6:46... "He has seen the Father" seems contradictory to John 4:24..."God is a Spirit".

Question...How can one see a spirit, or is Jesus speaking of "spiritual" sight? :?:

Blessings,

Lillian
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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby jo555 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Absolutely Lish. Spiritual sight.

I like to see the Holy Spirit as God's heart, and our spirit as our spiritual hearts. I believe the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of our spiritual hearts so that we can see Father. I believe Jesus was saying, in essence, if you've seen me you've seen the Father for we have the same Heart.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby Shann » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:47 pm

Hmm I'm thinking of the Triune God. He is God, Human and Spirit fully and separately. I didn't quite get it until my son who is at Duke Divinity getting his Masters sent me his paper to proof. It kind of hit me but it's such a hard concept for us to wrap our human brains around it. I think lots of times we run into trouble because we think like humans when it can only be answered with a God brain. Though I also like what Jo says too. That mkaes perfect sense to my feeble human brain. :D
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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby swfdoc1 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:42 pm

Lillian, I disagree with your premise, at least as I understand it. John 6:46 doesn’t say “one” can see a God, Who is a spirit; it says exactly the opposite: “not that anyone has seen the Father.” I took you to mean “one” as a human. Jesus’ point was that only He—as God—had seen the Father. And I also disagree with Jo’s answer—again, at least as I understand it. Typically when Christians talk about “spiritual sight” (occultists use the term very differently), they are referring to one of two things: spiritually understanding/discerning or “seeing into the spirit realm.” To me neither of these has any application to John 6:46. (I also am very uncomfortable seeing the Holy Spirit as God’s “heart”; the Holly Spirit is a PERSON of the God Head, as fully God as the Father and the Son. I also think it’s incorrect to see our spirits as our hearts.)

In light of the above, it follows that I think Shann is correct that this is basically a Trinitarian passage, with Jesus asserting His divinity.

But if John 6:46 did say that “one” could see God—Who is a Spirit—I don’t see the problem. Lots of people, both in the Bible and throughout history have seen God and other spirit beings, whether theophanies or visible manifestations of angels or demons. I think in SOME sense we will see God in eternity, even if “seeing” is only as close a concept as we get to whatever our knowledge of being with God will really be like. (Similarly, in SOME sense the Persons of the Trinity “see” each other or have knowledge of each other’s presence.) For us, since we will have spiritual BODIES (presumably with eyes), we very likely will actually SEE God—or whatever manifestations He presents Himself as.
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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby tomoral » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:53 pm

As Jesus is the One and Only Son of God, I believe the Father gave Him the ability to see the true vision of God. I think Jesus had seen God' in a way that no other human could.

Jesus had the power to heal and perform miracles, I believe He had eyes that could "see" God.
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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby jo555 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:56 pm

Steve. I didn't say our hearts are our spirits.

I use it as an example . . . just like Jesus used a root to describe Himself, some times I use the sap of a tree to describe the Holy Spirit. Jesus being the root by which the sap flows from and creates fruit.

It is an example taken from the physical realm.

I describe Father as the Brain in the Trinity, but I don't believe He is a brain per say.

They are one, yet if I were to describe each I would say the Holy Spirit is like the Heart, the Father like the Brain, and Jesus the body.

I believe the physical world is a manifestation of the spiritual realm.

There is more to spiritually seeing than seeing in the spiritual realm. Psychics can see in the spiritual realm, and others.

Seeing at the deepest level is seeing by the Heart of God (Holy Spirit) found in Christ.

Again, I use Holy Spirit as Heart of God as my way of distinguishing.

I used to moderate on a large Christian dreams and visions website and one of the things I often stressed was that just because you can see into the spiritual realm doesn't mean you are seeing at the deepest level, God's Heart.

That's with any spiritual gift.

The Word of God also makes distinctions, even as they are One. Otherwise, why wouldn't it just read God. Must be a reason why God chose to share various aspects of Himself in this way.

Yet, I don't claim to know it all and have it all right. So, just saying.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby jo555 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:32 pm

Oh, sorry. I'm not sure if Jesus did call Himself a root, but He did call Himself the Vine and we the branches. Elsewhere in scriptures are the references to Root which I believe speaks of Jesus.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby swfdoc1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:28 am

Jo,

It’s true that you didn’t say—in the sense that you didn’t say word-for-word—that our hearts are our spirits. But unless you want to distinguish between “our hearts are our spirits” and “our spirits are our hearts,” you did IN EFFECT say this. Inserting the word “spiritual” into your statement doesn’t change that. (But this is a minor clarification.)

Now, I understand that you did not mean that literally, but that you meant it by way of “example” (although I’m pretty sure that’s not the word you really meant). Similarly, I also understand that what you said about the Spirit being the heart of God was also by way of “example.” That is not the ground of my objection.

I agree with you that there are differences between the Persons of the Godhead. To take the easiest—and most timely—example, neither the Father nor the Spirit was crucified. To take another easy but often overlooked example, not all of the commonly so-called spiritual gifts are gifts of the Holy Spirit. SOME are gifts of the Spirit, others are gifts of the Son, and others yet are gifts of the Father. Or we can take an extremely important historical example: the question of whether the Holy Spirit “proceeds “from the Father only or from both the Father and the Son split the Eastern and Western churches. (How sad that today many Protestants aren’t even aware of this issue, don’t understand it, or don’t think it’s important.)

BUT we need to be very careful in addressing those differences. In particular, 2 issues are important. 1) these differences cannot (if one wants to be an orthodox (lower case “o”) Christian), be seen as differences in substance, essence or nature between the three Persons. 2) Just because God uses examples (or illustrations or metaphors or analogies, etc.), doesn’t mean we can freely add ones He did not provide. To some extent, it might be natural to want to employ these devices—I think of the many attempts at finding a helpful analogy the Trinity—but we should remember certain things that would make us loath to add to these devices

First, we are not operating at the level of sermon illustrations, or at the level of exegeting individual passages of Scripture. Rather, these are issues of systematic theology.

And it is at this level that I was not comfortable with your example/illustration/metaphor/analogy of the Holy Spirit as the heart of God. I am no more comfortable with your example/illustration/metaphor/analogy of the Father as the brain of God, or with your example/illustration/metaphor/analogy of the Son as the body of God.

What legitimate doctrines of the Church are clarified by these examples/illustrations/metaphors/analogies? Similarly, what doctrines are clarified by your example/illustration/metaphor/analogy of “our spirit as our spiritual hearts”? That seems very Watchman Nee-ish to me (who, as far as I am concerned, wrote a lot of bad theology). And whether it is Watchman Nee-ish or not (indeed, whether you are familiar with him or not), the question stands: what doctrines does your example/illustration/metaphor/analogy help clarify?
Steve
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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby lish1936 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:46 am

Steve wrote:Jesus’ point was that only He—as God—had seen the Father.


I appreciate all responses. The above statement clarifies what seemed initially to be contradictory and impossible.

:thankssign Lillian
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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby jo555 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:54 am

Personally, I think you are making a bigger deal of it than there is, but if it bothers you, unless God tells me otherwise, I will look to refrain using that anology. I'm not here to cause confusion, etc.

Using the example of Father as the Brain is my way of saying He calls the shots. Of course they are one, but Jesus also came to be Son of Man and in his Earthly life He had another role to fulfill in that regard.

And yes, I do know He allowed Jesus to call shots too, yet speaking overall . . . pass this cup from me if possible, but your will be done.

I think this one will be moved to the theological section.

Don't have too much time this morning but will share these two verses of now.

Luke 6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Galatians:5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby jo555 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:05 pm

I'll have to go over everything you said again, but taking this for now.

Quote: "It’s true that you didn’t say—in the sense that you didn’t say word-for-word—that our hearts are our spirits. But unless you want to distinguish between “our hearts are our spirits” and “our spirits are our hearts,” you did IN EFFECT say this. Inserting the word “spiritual” into your statement doesn’t change that. (But this is a minor clarification.)"

I have never believed our physical hearts are our spiritual hearts.

There is the physical real and the spiritual realm. I do believe the physical realm is a reflection of the spiritual realm.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Stumped! "SEEN the Father???

Postby jo555 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:34 pm

Sorry Steve, as God is my witness when I was writing the post above this one, mom was calling for me as pa was having another panic attack and she couldn't handle the situation by herself, so, I stopped short on my review.

I see now you did say that you realize I didn't mean they are one in the same, but it is confusing for me because in your previous statement you do seem to be saying that is what I meant. Maybe it is my understanding as I can be slow to comprehend at times.

Wanted to add a bit more, I have rarely read anything Watchman Nee has written. I read two small books some time ago (finished one-the message of the cross) - years ago, and I started reading a thick book of his years ago, but was difficult for me to swallow. Then I had a dream where sis was trying to eat this piece of meat and she passed out from it . . . like it was too much for her.

I can't say for sure, but I believe the Lord may have been telling me that it was hard stuff for me to swallow (feel sis represented me in the dream), so I left it alone.

Whether it was a God dream or not, I saw validity in the example given to me in the dream with what was happening to sis, so, as I said, I left it alone.

Nothing against him per say, don't know enough about him. I don't read too much of anyone these days. And, I don't just buy into at heart what anyone has to say. I prayerfully chew on it and allow the Lord's Spirit to reveal.

Not saying that I have never picked up beliefs in the past (in my more naïve days), that still need to go.

Anyway, I can hear stuff getting tense downstairs again and feel like I am robbing my parents of my time now so will be off for now, once again.

A couple more scriptures before I go:

Romans 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs


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