Personality of God


MAN was made in the image of God. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” Genesis 1:26, 27. See also chap. 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7. Those who deny the personality of God, say that “image” here does not mean physical form, but moral image, and they make this the grand starting point to prove the immortality of all men. The argument stands thus: First, man was made in God’s moral image. Second, God is an immortal being. Third, therefore all men are immortal. But this mode of reasoning would also prove man omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, and thus clothe mortal man with all the attributes of the deity. Let us try it: First, man was made in God’s moral image. Second, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Third, therefore, man is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. That which proves too much, proves nothing to the point, therefore the position that the image of God means his moral image, cannot be sustained. As proof that God is a person, read his own words to Moses: “And the Lord said, Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock; and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away mine hand and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:21-23. See also chap. 24:9-11. Here God tells Moses that he shall see his form. To say that God made it appear to Moses that he saw his form, when he has no form, is charging God with adding to falsehood a sort of juggling deception upon his servant Moses.. {1861 JW, PERGO 1.1}


But the skeptic thinks he sees a contradiction between verse 11, which says that the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, and verse 20, which states that Moses could not see his face. But let Numbers 12:5-8 remove the difficulty. “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. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently.” {1861 JW, PERGO 2.1}


The great and dreadful God came down, wrapped in a cloud of glory. This cloud could be seen, but not the face which possesses more dazzling brightness than a thousand suns. Under these circumstances Moses was permitted to draw near and converse with God face to face, or mouth to mouth, even apparently. {1861 JW, PERGO 2.2}


Says the prophet Daniel, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hairs of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Chap. 7:9. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him, and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom.” Verses 13, 14. {1861 JW, PERGO 2.3}


Here is a sublime description of the action of two personages; viz, God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. Deny their personality, and there is not a distinct idea in these quotations from Daniel. In connection with this quotation read the apostle’s declaration that the Son was in the express image of his Father’s person. “God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” Hebrews 1:1-3. {1861 JW, PERGO 3.1}


We here add the testimony of Christ. “And the Father himself which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” John 5:37. See also Philippians 2:6. To say that the Father has not a personal shape, seems the most pointed contradiction of plain scripture terms. OBJECTION. – “God is a Spirit.” John 4:24. {1861 JW, PERGO 3.2}


ANSWER. – Angels are also spirits [Psalm 104:4], yet those that visited Abram and Lot, lay down, ate, and took hold of Lot’s hand. They were spirit beings. So is God a Spirit being. {1861 JW, PERGO 3.3}


OBJ. – God is everywhere. Proof. Psalm 139:1-8. He is as much in every place as in any one place. {1861 JW, PERGO 3.4}


ANS. – 1. God is everywhere by virtue of his omniscience, as will be seen by the very words of David referred to above. Verses 1-6. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high; I cannot attain unto it.” {1861 JW, PERGO 3.5}


  1. God is everywhere by virtue of his Spirit, which is his representative, and is manifested wherever he pleases, as will be seen by the very words the objector claims, referred to above. Verses 7-10. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” {1861 JW, PERGO 4.1}


God is in heaven. This we are taught in the Lord’s prayer. “Our Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2. But if God is as much in every place as he is in any one place, then heaven is also as much in every place as it is in any one place, and the idea of going to heaven is all a mistake. We are all in heaven; and the Lord’s prayer, according to this foggy theology simply means, Our Father which art everywhere, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is everywhere. {1861 JW, PERGO 4.2}


Again, Bible readers have believed that Enoch and Elijah were really taken up to God in heaven. But if God and heaven be as much in every place as in any one place, this is all a mistake. They were not translated. And all that is said about the chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and the attending whirlwind to take Elijah up into heaven, was a useless parade. They only evaporated, and a misty vapor passed through the entire universe. This is all of Enoch and Elijah that the mind can possibly grasp, admitting that God and heaven are no more in any one place than in every place. But it is said of Elijah that he “went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:11. And of Enoch it is said that he “walked with God, and was not, for God took him.” Genesis 5:24. {1861 JW, PERGO 4.3}


Jesus is said to be on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3. “So, then, after the Lord had spoken unto them he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19. But if heaven be everywhere, and God everywhere, then Christ’s ascension up to heaven, at the Father’s right hand, simply means that he went everywhere! He was only taken up where the cloud hid him from the gaze of his disciples, and then evaporated and went everywhere! So that instead of the lovely Jesus, so beautifully described in both Testaments, we have only a sort of essence dispersed through the entire universe. And in harmony with this rarified theology, Christ’s second advent, or his return, would be the condensation of this essence to some locality, say the mount of Olivet! Christ arose from the dead with a physical form. “He is not here,” said the angel, “for he is risen as he said.” Matthew 28:6. {1861 JW, PERGO 5.1}


“And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail! And they came and held him by the feet, and they worshiped him.” Verse 9. {1861 JW, PERGO 5.2}


“Behold my hands and my feet,” said Jesus to those who stood in doubt of his resurrection, “that it is I myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honey-comb, and he took it and did eat before them.” Luke 24:39-43. {1861 JW, PERGO 5.3}


After Jesus addressed his disciples on the mount of Olivet, he was taken up from them, and a cloud received him out of their sight. “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, 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. J. W. {1861 JW, PERGO 6.1}

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