Does God have a body, how can a spirit have an image, and when was it decided that Judas would betray Jesus?
Hello and thank you for writing,
You asked: "Does God have a body, how can a spirit have an image"
The scriptures help us to see that God is a Spirit and has a Spirit body. It's invisible, but God does have a Spirit body, not like humans of course, but yes he does. (It's noteworthy that 'spirit' has different meanings in the Bible, but I won't go into that now) The Bible says "if there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body." The Bible also helps us to see that the heaven of the heavens can't contain him, yet God has a place of dwelling, helping us to see he has to have a form or body in order to have an established place of dwelling. As in the case of the Bible book of Job when it says all the sons of God took their station before God. Or in the case where Jesus entered heaven to appear before God. This helps us to see God has a body, but it's invisible. Let's read those scriptures:
John 4:24 "God is a Spirit...."
1 Cor 15:44 ".....If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one."
Job 2:1 "Afterward the day came when the sons of the true God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and Satan also entered among them to take his station before Jehovah."
Hebrews 9:24 "For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, so that he now appears before God on our behalf."
1 Kings 8:27 "But will God really dwell on the earth? Look! The heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens, cannot contain you; how much less, then, this house that I have built!"
1 Kings 8:43 "may you then listen from the heavens, your dwelling place, and do all that the foreigner asks of you,......"
Here is a quote from one of our publications using those scriptures listed:
"The great mind responsible for all creation belongs to the person of God. Yes, God has a body, not a physical one like ours, but a spiritual body. “If there is a physical body,” says the Bible, “there is also a spiritual one.” (1 Corinthians 15:44) Explaining the nature of God, the Bible clearly states: “God is a Spirit.” (John 4:24) A spirit has a form of life that differs greatly from ours, and it is invisible to human eyes. (John 1:18) There are invisible spirit creatures as well. They are angels—“the sons of the true God.”—Job 1:6; 2:1.
Since God is an uncreated person with a spiritual body, he logically has a place of residence. Referring to the spirit realm, the Bible tells us that the heavens are God’s “established place of dwelling.” (1 Kings 8:43) Also, the Bible writer Paul states: ‘Christ entered into heaven itself to appear before the person of God for us.’—Hebrews 9:24.
You asked: "when was it decided that Judas would betray Jesus?"
That would be when it first came into Judas' heart to start letting himself be overtaken by sin.
People were created with free will, we are not predestined. God allows us to choose, even if that includes not serving him. As we see today from the billions who do not serve him to just over 8 million who do. Destiny and Good luck are things that God condemns.
Isaiah 65:11 "But you are among those forsaking Jehovah, Those forgetting my holy mountain, Those setting a table for the god of Good Luck, And those filling up cups of mixed wine for the god of Destiny."
Just like with Satan the devil, he was not created to be a wicked angel, he made himself into Satan the Devil when he turned to doing evil. As Jesus said "That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him." (John 8:44). It doesn't make sense that he was a murdered when he began, or was created or even before that, and then turn around and say, he did not stand fast in the truth, because that means he was at one time "in the truth" So he can't be both, he can't be evil from the beginning or when he began or was created and also be in the truth at one time.
So that helps us to see that it's not talking about from the beginning of when he was created or his life. But from the beginning of when he decided himself to turn to being bad, when that first came up into his heart, Jehovah knew it. But before that evil came into Satan's heart so to speak we see Jehovah declare something that a lot of people miss or ignore when it pertains to Satan and evil period. As some people say there can't be good without evil and vice versa, or that God created the devil as such. This is far from true. And Genesis 1:31 helps us to see without a doubt that at one time before the angel who became Satan turned bad, all created things were very good, not some were good and some were not, not partially good except for one evil one, no, everything he had made was very good!
Gen. 1:31 "After that God saw everything
he had made, and look! it was very good"
Satan at one time was a high ranking cherub and was used in the Garden of Eden by God. So when he turned bad, this was the beginning of his downfall. From the beginning of when his heart turned from good to bad. Note the words in bold.
Ezekiel 28:13-15 "You were in Eʹden, the garden of God. You were adorned with every precious stone—Ruby, topaz, and jasper; chrysʹo·lite, onyx, and jade; sapphire, turquoise, and emerald; And their settings and mountings were made of gold. They were prepared on the day you were created. 14 I assigned you as the anointed covering cherub.
You were on the holy mountain of God, and you walked about among fiery stones. 15 You were faultless in your ways from the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you."
Satan was faultless in his ways from the day he was created UNTIL unrighteousness was found in him. The same with Judas, his heart was not always bad, Jesus spent all night in prayer to his Father on which of his disciples he would choose as the 12 apostles. Judas was trusted with being the one who carried the money box. So at one time his heart was pure toward Jesus and God....but that changed, and he thus became a traitor from the time his heart turned bad.
It is unthinkable that God would select Judas to be the betrayer of Jesus from the beginning! Again from the beginning of what? A lot of people take "from the beginning" to mean from the beginning of time or from the beginning of that person's existence or even before. But that's not always the case. When in fact time and space really have no beginning or end. In school most people are taught that time and space are infinite. So we must take things in context and consider and make sure of all things. From the beginning just means from when a specific event or thing first took place or first occurred. So when Judas' heart turned bad that was when the beginning for him of his heart turning bad took place, and Jesus being given the ability by God to read hearts, knew the very second it occurred within Judas.
Judas is introduced into the Gospel accounts in the listing of the apostles sometime after Passover 31 C.E. and about a year and a half after Jesus began his ministry. (Mr 3:19; Lu 6:16) It is logical to conclude that Judas had been a disciple for a time before Jesus made him an apostle. Many writers paint an entirely black picture of Judas, but evidently for a while he had been a disciple who found favor with God and with Jesus; his very selection as an apostle indicates that. Furthermore, he was entrusted with caring for the common finances of Jesus and the 12. That reflects favorably on his dependability at the time and his ability or education, especially since Matthew had had experience with money and figures but did not receive this assignment. (Joh 12:6; Mt 10:3) Nonetheless, Judas did become completely, inexcusably corrupt. No doubt it is for this reason that he is placed last in the list of the apostles and is described as the Judas “who later betrayed him” and “who turned traitor.”—Mt 10:4; Lu 6:16.
Became Corrupt. Near Passover 32 C.E., Judas, with the other apostles, was sent out preaching. (Mt 10:1, 4, 5) Shortly after Judas’ return, and less than a year after he had been made an apostle, he was publicly denounced by Christ, though not by name. Some disciples left Jesus, being shocked over his teachings, but Peter said that the 12 would stick with Christ. In response Jesus acknowledged that he had chosen the 12 but said: “One of you is a slanderer [Gr., di·aʹbo·los, meaning “devil” or “slanderer”].” The account explains that the one who already was a slanderer was Judas, who “was going to betray him, although one of the twelve.”—Joh 6:66-71.
In connection with this incident John says: “From the beginning Jesus knew . . . who was the one that would betray him.” (Joh 6:64) From Hebrew Scripture prophecies Christ knew that he would be betrayed by a close associate. (Ps 41:9; 109:8; Joh 13:18, 19) God also, by use of his foreknowledge, had seen that such a one would turn traitor, but it is inconsistent with God’s qualities and past dealings to think that Judas had to fail, as if he were predestined. (See FOREKNOWLEDGE, FOREORDINATION.) Rather, as already mentioned, at the beginning of his apostleship Judas was faithful to God and to Jesus. Thus John must have meant that “from the beginning” of when Judas started to go bad, started to give in to imperfection and sinful inclinations, Jesus recognized it. (Joh 2:24, 25; Re 1:1; 2:23) Judas must have known he was the “slanderer” Jesus mentioned, but he continued to travel with Jesus and the faithful apostles and apparently he made no changes.
The Bible does not discuss in detail the motives for his corrupt course, but an incident that occurred on Nisan 9, 33 C.E., five days before Jesus’ death, sheds light on the matter. At Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, Mary, Lazarus’ sister, anointed Jesus with perfumed oil worth 300 denarii, about a year’s wages for a laborer. (Mt 20:2) Judas strongly objected that the oil could have been sold and the money “given to the poor people.” Evidently other apostles merely assented to what seemed to be a valid point, but Jesus rebuked them. Judas’ real reason for objecting was that he cared for the money box and he “was a thief . . . and used to carry off the monies” put in the box. So Judas was a greedy, practicing thief.—Joh 12:2-7; Mt 26:6-12; Mr 14:3-8.
Hope that helps,