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In Genesis, God walks on the garden of Eden. Israelites saw a sapphire throne below God's feet. Ezekiel saw a throne and someone sitting on it. So is John in revelation. In Mamre, Abraham saw 3 guys, and Christians believe one of them is God. Does God have a form as seen by John the Apostle?

I saw some atheist sites, that interpret the Bible based on what it actually says, even think that Abraham must have seen 3 gods, El Shaddai, Yahweh, and maybe Elyon, coming to Abraham.

In any case, several times in the bible, God is described as having form. People just can't see it because they die if they do.

Yet we all believe that God has no form. Where in the Bible does it say, "God has no form"?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by El'endia Starman Dec 7 '14 at 23:21

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It seems to me that you are automatically taking a sola scriptura approach. Some Christians do not take a sola scriptura approach in biblical interpretation; they rely on their well-informed, educated priests to interpret the scriptures for them. It would be helpful, if you could cite those "atheist" sites. Those atheists you mention are implicitly taking a sola scriptura approach to the Bible. –  Double U Apr 20 '14 at 23:13
Based on this meta post: "Biblical basis" vs "what the Bible says about a subject" this question is primarily opinion based. –  fredsbend Nov 23 '14 at 18:33
Yet we all believe... We don't all believe anything. –  Flimzy Nov 24 '14 at 13:49
I disagree with the idea that this question is opinion based based on the exact same meta post listed. What the bible says about something is, I agree, opinion based. Where in the bible does it says something is not. –  Sharen Eayrs Dec 24 '14 at 17:57

3 Answers 3

This is a great question. 1 John 4:12, John 1:18, & 1 Timothy 6:16 all cross reference each other and all say that God (the Father in this case; I'll get to this later) has not been seen, and cannot be seen. It doesn't directly say formless, but we interpret it that way as something that can't be seen would logically lack form.

Now, you raised some good points about God walking in Eden, the Israelites seeing someone seated on a throne, etc., but that diverges from your question of God being formless into a discussion on the Trinity. The member/person of the Godhead (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) that is referenced in the verses I referred to is God the Father, and He has never been, nor will ever be, seen. Again, a discussion on the Trinity is a whole new question for another time, and really should be a separate question, but I hope this is simple enough to reference for your question.

Awesome question by the way, IMHO.

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Welcome to the site! This doesn't really have much to do with your answer, but I find that sharing the following tends to help new visitors avoid mistaking the purpose of this site. I do hope to see more from you! When you get a chance, please see How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Apr 21 '14 at 15:17
Thanks David, that gives me a better idea of the format around here, I appreciate it. –  Brad Bouchard Apr 21 '14 at 15:56
I'd also just like to add that my three verses were the reference points here, but thanks. –  Brad Bouchard Apr 21 '14 at 17:05
1 Timothy 6:16 "...dwelling in unapproachable light..." Hence why we can't see him, not because he's the formless blob god of the philosophers. –  david brainerd Apr 22 '14 at 5:55

"Where in the Bible does it say that God doesn't have forms?" It doesn't, of course. This comes from Greek philosophy.

It is excused by the pretense that John 4:24 "God is a Spirit..." means that God is a formless blob. But in reality, such an argument fails miserably, due to Matthew 14:26 "And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear."

From there we see that a spirit may have form. Obviously when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they did not see a formless blob, but the form of a man walking on the water. Yet the said "It is a spirit," showing that the phrase "God is a Spirit" is not a proof that God is formless.

The Bible clearly says that Jesus sits at the Father's right hand (Mark 16:19, Acts 7:56 where Stephen describes it as something he actually saw, and many other passages), and Jesus is intended to be understood as still corporeal, having been bodily raised from the dead (thus, implying an actual seat). This implies that the Father has human form, despite being non-material and a spirit, and it is almost atheistic to buy into the vain philosophy (Colossians 2:8) that says God is formless. People need to quit covering for this antichristian philosophy with a misuse of John 4:24. There is an insistence on scandalizing people with this "God has no form" and pushing it for no other reason than to harm people's faith and create agnosticism, and its sickening.

To the argument in another answer which says that passages which say God has not been seen (1 John 4:12, John 1:18) and one which says he cannot be seen (1 Timothy 6:16) imply formlessness, I would answer with the actual text of 1 Timothy 6:16

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Its not formlessness that's being spoken of, but that the light in which he dwells is so bright we wouldn't be able to see in it.

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The closest thing in the Bible that directly addresses the issue of the "form of God" is Deuteronomy chapter 4.

"Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice" (Deut 4:12)

"Therefore take good heed to yourselves. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth" (Deut 4:15-18).

Although someone could argue that the people didn't SEE a form of God but God may actually have one. That can be answered by the fact that God is a spirit (John 4:24). A "form" is a property of the physical world and not the spiritual world.

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Many things are missing. You saw no form. Doesn't mean that God doesn't have a form. He may be on the other side of the mountain hidden. Also not making any graven images have nothing to do with God having no form. We do not worship every graven image we created right? –  Sharen Eayrs Dec 11 '14 at 8:50
@SharenEayrs, I had already made that point. –  LoveTheFaith Dec 14 '14 at 8:21
It can also be pointed out on the "you saw no form" that this is Moses talking to the great mass of the people who indeed saw no form, while Moses and the 70 elders did see a form in Exodus 24:10. –  david brainerd Dec 30 '14 at 20:23

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