Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
How our Lord uses anthropomorphism and anthropopathism.

We are still noting the one dispensation that changed human history forever and that is the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.

2020 — basically deals with our physical eyesight though it can also refer to our spiritual eyesight and doctrinal perception.

Most of you need an understanding of what is called Theologically an anthropomorphism as well as an anthropopathism.

Anthropopathism — A word used to ascribe a human thought or emotion to God  a characteristic that He does not actually possess, and one that is not actually a divine attribute.

The purpose of an anthropopathism is to explain a divine policy to man in terms of man’s frame of reference as far as the emotions, fear, anger, worry, and even more that apply a human emotion.

Question: What is an anthropomorphism?


Anthropomorphism — ascribe to God certain parts of human anatomy that He does not actually possess, but to use it as a form of typology to illustrate certain parts of the human body to express the love and unity of God with man.

The word anthropomorphism comes from two Greek words, anthropos, meaning man, and morphe, meaning form. 

Anthropomorphisms use certain parts of the human body, such as the eyes, the ears, the hands, even the physical heart of man to describe the function of the Lord in the spiritual realm.

Anthropomorphisms are used for God acting on behalf of man and using the functions of those human parts to live the spiritual life that God has called us to live.

Human traits and actions such as talking, holding, reaching, feeling, hearing, and the like, all of which are chronicled throughout both the Old and New Testaments, are ascribed to the Creator.

Under this principle we need to know and learn how our Lord uses anthropomorphisms and anthropopathism’s.

DEU 33:27  The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said,   ‘Destroy!’

I really hope that all of you will develop a 2020 attitude as you are seeing things clearly and perceiving things from the divine viewpoint.

When you think of the coming New Year, 2020, I want you think of perceiving with your spiritual eyes.

2020 is used to identify that the individual who has 2020 perception in the spiritual realm and therefore sees things with the eyes of the soul or the eyes of the heart.

The anthropomorphism that is used throughout the Word of God and it is used especially for salvation and spiritual growth.

The word heart is used in the Word of God and I believe that I gave hundreds of times that the word heart is used as an anthropomorphism.

There is the individual who lives in their emotions and feelings as they pound on their chest and tell you that they love God and others with all their heart.

Heart = used over 1,000 times in the word of God both by the Hebrew noun lebh and the Greek noun kardia, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture.

The spiritual heart is used to reveal a person’s true nature and it is the ultimate gift that man can give to God; Pro 2:10; 4:23; 23:26.

PRO 2:10   For wisdom will enter your heart, And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

PRO 4:23  Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

PRO 23:26   Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways.

The Heart occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture.

It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities; sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing.

We should always look at the word heart in the Bible as a system of thinking having nothing to do with our feelings or emotions and everything to do with our thinking and our thoughts.

The Apostle Paul used anthropopathisms and anthropomorphisms to the believers in Ephesus when he said such things as in EPH 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.

Notice that this has nothing to do with the physical eyes or the physical heart but it has to do with the spiritual eyes and the spiritual heart or soul perception. 

Protect the souls of  believers from being discourage or worn out which is one of the many reasons  given in EPH 3:13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

We read of God’s actions, emotions, and appearance in human terms, or at least in words we normally accept and associate with humans.

LEV 20:6, God is said to have a face even though God doesn’t have a face, only the humanity of Jesus Christ has a face  and He was not even born at that time.

The entire Trinity does not have a face, only the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ has a literal face as JOH 4:24 states;  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

LEV 20:6 — the Lord will set His face against that person who rebels against Him and as an anthropomorphism of God’s face shining as a guarantee of fantastic blessings; Num 6:25.

God also uses His hands as His divine guidance;  EXO 7:5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst. 

ISA 23:11  He has stretched His hand out over the sea, He has made the kingdoms tremble;

He also has strong arms of divine protection; PSA 89:10  Thou Thyself didst crush Rahab like one who is slain; Thou didst scatter Thine enemies with Thy mighty arm.

He even uses the anthropomorphism of His knees as he stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth. Psa 113:6.

He keeps his eye on the land; Deu 11:12; to protect His people.

Deu 11:12 a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the   Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous; Psa 34:15.

The earth is His footstool;  Isa 66:1

God is spirit, not flesh and blood, but because we are not spirit, these anthropomorphisms help us to understand God’s nature and actions.
Like parts of the human anatomy, human emotions are also ascribed to God as anthropopathism’s. 

God felt  sorry; Gen 6:6.

God gets jealous; Exo 20:5.

God is moved by pity or compassion; Judg 2:18

God is grieved over making Saul Israel’s first king; 1Sa 15:35.

The Lord changed His mind Exo 32:14.

God is angry with the wicked every day (Psa 7:11).

One of the misunderstood passages in the entire Bible is the anthropopathism behind ROM 9:13, where our Lord said Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.


Anthropomorphisms can be helpful in enabling us to at least partially comprehend the incomprehensible, know the unknowable, and fathom the unfathomable. 

Human words, emotions, features, and knowledge are all that our Creator provided us, so these are all that we can understand in this earthly world at this time.


  1. After salvation, the most important decision that a believer makes in life is in the selection of their right-pastor-teacher.
  2. Divine Discipline.

The most important decision an individual makes after salvation is in the selection of their own pastor-teacher that God the Holy Spirit assigned them to; 1Pe 5:5; Act 20:35.

I don’t care what people say when it comes to doctrinal conclusions, especially if the conclusions are unpopular. 

All you have to do is look at those who judge, gossip, lie, murmur and complain, as the prophet Isaiah put it when he said those carnal individuals have stumbled and fallen because their speech and their actions are against the Lord.

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