Since God Almighty Is Invisible, Jesus Being God Is Impossible

The Bible says no sinful, mortal human has ever literally seen God. For example, the Gospel of John says, “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1.18). The Bible further declares that sinful people literally cannot see God and continue to live. Yet most Christians have believed that Jesus was God. How could Jesus have been God if many people saw him and didn’t instantly die?

The Bible relates several incidents in which people thought they literally saw God when they really saw “the angel of the LORD.” (This is further evidence that “the angel of the LORD” in the Old Testament is not actually God.) When it happened, they thought they would die because they believed that human beings cannot literally see God and live. Because of this and other biblical data, scholars describe God as “transcendent,” that is, separate from, or beyond, the material universe.

For example, right after God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt he told Moses he was going to send his angel to guard Israel on its way to the promised land and taking possession of it (Exodus 23.20, 23; 33.2 NASB). But Moses asked God to personally accompany the nation. God replied, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you’” (33.5).

Then Moses said to God, “show me Your glory” (Exodus 33.18). God replied, “no man can see Me and live” (v. 20). Then God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock and showed part of his glory to Moses, but he did not show him his face (vv. 21-23; 24.5-6).

God’s glory is covered with an intense light that is unapproachable to sinful mortals. The psalmist states, “O LORD my God, You are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a cloak” (Psalm 104.2). The Apostle Paul echoes this truth by saying that God the Father “alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6.16). And Paul describes the Father as “immortal, invisible, the only God” (1.17). So, God, who is the Father, is invisible to mortals; whereas Jesus was visible to them. This truth proves Jesus that could not have been God. Notice further that Paul says the Father is “the only God,” so that Jesus cannot also be God.

In the prologue of the Gospel of John the author writes, “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1.18). And in the author’s text he quotes Jesus as saying, “Not that any man has seen the Father” (John 6.46). Then Jesus adds to this concerning himself, “except the One who is from God, He has seen the Father.”

So, Jesus said that no human being except himself had ever seen God. Due to such claims, Jesus’ opponents sometimes questioned who he was (e.g., John 8.25). One time, he answered his interrogators that he was “a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God” (v. 40). In this saying, Jesus clearly identified himself as a man and distinguished himself from God.

The New Testament (NT) often affirms that Jesus was a man. The main reason is that during that first century, incipient Gnosticism existed in the Hellenistic world. It advocated a Greek philosophical dualism—that physical matter is evil, or the cause of evil, and only spirit is pure and good. So, Greeks generally regarded the human body as evil.

Out of Greek Gnosticism arose Docetism. It asserted that Jesus “seemed” (Gr. dokeo=“to seem”) to have had a body of flesh and blood, but he really had only a spirit body. So, Docetists alleged that Jesus’ crucifixion and death were an illusion. The NT refutes this grievous error (John 1.14; 1 John 1.1-3; 4.14; 2 John 7), which is perpetuated in the Qur’an (4:157).

Nicene and post-Nicene Christians, in identifying Jesus as God, have deemphasized that Jesus was a man. Scholars agree that in doing so, such Christians have tended toward Docetism.

Many Christians repudiate the idea that humans will ever literally see God. But they misunderstand the spiritual realm in rightly claiming that God is spirit (John 4.24).

Angels do not possess a fleshly body. Yet, the Bible records many incidents in which they instantly appeared and disappeared to humans. They always appeared human and even could eat food (e.g., Genesis 18.2, 8). Jesus said of children that “their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18.10). Thus, Jesus affirmed that God the Father has a face and that angels in heaven literally see his face.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the future resurrection because some church members denied there would ever be a resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.14). Others questioned the nature of the resurrection body (v. 35). Paul mentions different types of flesh, different glories of stars, and a difference between the heavenly and the earthly (vv. 39-41). Then he states that at the resurrection the human body will be “raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (v. 44). Paul adds that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (v. 50). So, he calls the resurrection body “a spiritual body,” saying it is not made of flesh and blood. But he does not mean that it will be ghostlike, i.e., an apparition that cannot be touched.

The several post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in the NT gospels show what Paul means. The risen Jesus instantly appeared and disappeared, just as angels do. Perhaps the risen Jesus has a body like that of the angels since Paul said there are two kinds of bodies: natural and spiritual. Yet, the disciples sometimes touched the risen Jesus (Matthew 28.9). Once, Jesus said to them, “touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24.39). Then they saw the risen Jesus eat some fish (vv. 41-43).

But the future resurrection of the righteous will enable us to literally see God. Job said of that time, “Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see” (Job 19.26-27). David wrote of that blessed event, saying to God, “I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake” (Psalm 17.15).

Then Jesus’ beatitude will ultimately come true—“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5.8). It will occur in New Jerusalem, where God’s people “will see His [God’s] face, and His name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22.4). Then God’s people will dwell with him forever–God’s ultimate goal for his creation.

(To see a titled list of over fifty, two-three page posts (easily accessible) about the Bible not saying Jesus is God, click here.)

"Recognition of Jerusalem seemed like a no-brainer but moving the embassy is very foolish and ..."

Trump to Move U.S. Embassy to ..."
"Trump missed a few phonics a bit, but nothing that kept the YouTube Closed Captioning ..."

Trump Slurred More than His Speech ..."
"Thank you! Good to know you are on the team. Have an Egg Nogg on ..."

Trump Slurred More than His Speech ..."
"I was about to make the same points, but you said it so much more ..."

Trump Slurred More than His Speech ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • tracie

    Know that God is Almighty alone and that Jesus was Almighty Father God’s very first creation, through Jesus he created everything else, also Father Almighty God in heaven has no beginning or end, Jesus Christ does he was created, no one or nothing God created is above God our Creator, because God wanted us created we should always give him the glory Almighty God, Jesus tell you his Father is greater than I, now if God say for us to bow down to Jesus Christ in prayer then it would be clear to believe that Jesus is our God to worship and only Jesus is to worship Almighty God. We can’t be that slow, let’s research test the spirit, he told us all who read that we are to never put no one before him and to not bow down to graven images or man, I think we should all continue praying and enlightening eachother, Happy Sunday.

  • Luther

    If the word became God? The bible must also be God. after all it is the word of God;
    Luther.

    • Andrew A

      Yes the bible is God to some people,and isn’t it amazing how the supposedly same god of the bible varies in so many ways.

  • Luther

    I don’t think you know who are what you worship.
    A lot of people worship money. Some their church or preacher.
    We are to worship God. No other God. there are no other.
    I could say I worship my wife or maybe not her but the ground she walks on. Jesus was the walking, Talking Word of God. But Jesus was not God. If Jesus was God, Jesus did not have the same will as God, Jesus did not know when this world would end. Jesus could not have been God, and not know what God knew.

  • Luther

    If you see Jesus as the word made flesh. Then I would say you are right.
    If you see Jesus as God you are wrong.
    I think you could be wrong

    I think what would help you, would be to read a little more bible.
    Read it until you find the word trinity. Then read John 20:17 where Jesus said to Mary …….I ascend unto my Father and your Father. Is that saying that Jesus was not the Father? That he (Jesus) was not God? That
    Jesus had the same God as Mary had? The same God, that we have?
    Luther

    • JD

      I should read the Bible more? It seems you have quoted nothing directly but attempted to quote a few verses while changing words and adding your own. I gave plenty of direct scriptures to support my faith in the divinity of Jesus. None of what I am saying contradicts any other scripture. What you are saying contradicts many.

      My body is just as much me as my soul and my spirit but each of those parts is certainly very different and each plays a different role. I hope to keep my body in subjection to my spirit. That does not mean it is not me. No one in their right mind would say it is not me. It seems you don’t understand how God can have different parts that play different roles.

      According to the Bible Jesus is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, the image of the invisible God, the Word who is God, the creator of all things, etc, etc. There are scriptures that say all of those things plainly. You can do what you want with them. I will simply choose to believe them.

      I know the part of God that is invisible, omnipresent and called Father is above Jesus, just like my spirit is above my physical body. I have no problem with all the scriptures about the Father being invisible, no one seeing him at any time, being greater than Jesus, etc. Neither do I have a problem with God eating with Abraham, walking in the garden with Adam, sitting on the throne in Heaven in physical form described in scriptures. These verses don’t contradict themselves when you understand who Jesus really is. Every time anyone saw God they were seeing Jesus, plain and simple. No one has ever seen the invisible, omnipresent Father. They only see His body, His image. He is an invisible spirit.

      • Luther

        Jd
        God is invisible. Jesus is not. No one has seen God at any time.

  • Luther

    I am part of God, I am a son, I am a brother to Christ.
    And if Jesus had been God, no person would ever hard his voice, nor ever saw Jesus. Because No man has seen God at anytime.
    Jesus was the image of God.
    I have a image of myself, I have an image of my wife. They are pictures of me and my wife. But they are not us they are only image of us.
    Jesus was a picture of what God is like.

    • JD

      Who was in the Garden with Adam? Who ate with Abraham? Who is sitting on the throne in Heaven in physical form for all to see? In all the cases the Lord is visible.

      Understanding that the core being of God is an invisible Spirit is elementary. He also has a body called the Word. The Word is with Him and the Word is Him.

      No one has ever seen the omnipresent, invisible God. They have only seen Jesus, the image and body in which the fullness of God resides. Thus the scriptures say no one has seen Him and they also give many examples of people seeing Him. They are not contradictory when you understand the truth concerning Jesus.

  • Luther

    Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the start and the end of salvation.