As John opens his gospel, he informs us that “no one has ever seen God,” but that Jesus, “the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:18). Then, at that time. Later we will see him face to face. The phrase "face of God," as used in the Bible, gives important information about God the Father, but the expression can be easily misunderstood. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out. He does not have a body: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." When grown, he looked like a Jewish man, but no physical description of him is given in the gospels. In Paul’s day, a mirror was formed from polished metal, usually bronze, tin, or silver. According to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as, as. The Ligonier Ministries site requires Javascript, but you’ve got Javascript disabled. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy. Who Is the Angel of the Lord in the Bible? Moses could see God’s back, but not His full glory (that is, His face). The human mind cannot comprehend a being who is pure spirit, without form or material substance. 5:8), Paul makes it clear that such sight cannot come until death, when believers enter God’s presence. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. 22:4). How Did God Appear to Man in the Old Testament? And God saw that the light was good. Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. This echoes Jesus’ statement in John 6:46: “Not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God [that is, Jesus]; he has seen the Father.” Since Jesus is God (the second person of the Trinity), He alone has seen the Father, meaning that Jacob and Moses saw the pre-incarnate Jesus, whose glory was still too great for sinful humans to see. The countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication, presence, person. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. God warns that: "…You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Even though Jesus did not compare his human face in any way with God the Father, he did proclaim a mysterious unity with the Father: Finally, the closest that human beings came to seeing God's face in the Bible was the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, when Peter, James, and John witnessed a majestic revelation of Jesus' true nature on Mount Hermon. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. When Jesus comes back, we will see Him with our own eyes. The last chapter of the Bible includes an exciting prospect. We will know, even as we are fully known. The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God (John 4:24, NIV). While Paul directs us ahead to that glorious day when the Lord returns, the beatific vision has its roots in the Old Testament. This misunderstanding makes the Bible seem to contradict itself on this concept. Through a glass, darkly.--Better, through a mirror in a dark saying. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.’” Moses could see God’s back, but not His full glory (that is, His face). In John 14:8–10, we read the following exchange between Jesus and His curious, but clueless, disciple: “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Ezekiel 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. I'm sure in most of your minds the name of Jesus is foremost. A mirror, looking-glass (made of highly polished metal). After describing the beauty of God’s new world, John says that God’s servants “will see his face” (Rev. On that day, our imperfect knowledge will give way to sight. Just like Moses, one of Jesus’ disciples, Philip, desired to see God. If you were given the opportunity to be transported through time and distance, to meet face to face with anyone you chose at any point in the world's history, whom would you choose to meet?. I suppose that if you were to ask Christians whether or not they would like to “see” God, most would say “yes.” Human curiosity often wins out over our knowledge of biblical passages such as Hebrews 12:29, which informs us that “our God is a consuming fire.” While Scripture promises that the pure in heart will see God (Matt. (Exodus 33:11, NIV). The illustration here is from a mirror when the image appears far behind the mirror itself. Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 1st Person Singular, then shall I fully know even as also I was fully known, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, NT Letters: 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror (1 Cor. A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' in a great variety of applications and with many implications. In Genesis 32:30, we read that Jacob saw God: “So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.’” Moses also saw God. 1 Corinthians 13:9,10 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part…. (primarily physical), I look, see, perceive, discern. What Isaiah saw was a vision of God, a supernatural experience provided by God to reveal information. But God must protect Moses so that Israel’s leader is not consumed. However, the "man" Jacob wrestled with was probably the angel of the Lord, a pre-incarnation Christophany, or appearance of Jesus Christ before he was born in Bethlehem. The word for "glass" here is the same as in James 1:23, and must mean a mirror, and not, as some commentators suggest, a pane of transparent stone or horn, such as was then used, for which a quite different word would have been employed. He was solid enough to wrestle with, but he was only a physical representation of God. Nothing in human experience is even close to such a being, so to help readers relate to God in some understandable way, the writers of the Bible used human attributes to speak of God. Instead, it means that God and Moses shared a deep friendship. Gideon also saw the angel of the Lord (Judges 6:22), as did Manoah and his wife, the parents of Samson (Judges 13:22). He is cohost of The White Horse Inn and author of The Lion of Princeton: B.B. But one day — at the appearing of Jesus Christ — Paul says we will see that which our sin and finitude currently prevents us from seeing (6:14–15). In the New Testament, we learn that Moses and Jacob did not see God in some abstract, intangible way. Now, just now, at this moment. At the time that. The difference will be that, at this point, the faithful will have died and will be in their resurrection bodies. Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 1st Person Singular. From pros and ops; the front, i.e. Unraveling the problem begins with a simple truth: God is spirit. The Bible says believers will, indeed, see the face of God, but in the New Heaven and the New Earth, as revealed in Revelation 22:4: "They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads." Anthropomorphism is a tool for understanding, but a flawed tool. Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. And God separated the light from the darkness. Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

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