Can mortal man see God? John the Apostle wrote in the Gospels, “No man hath seen God…” (John 1:18). Paul the Apostle added in 1 Timothy 6:16, “… whom no man hath seen, nor can see…”. Then John the Apostle wrote again in 1 John 4:12, “No man hath seen God at any time.”
Again, God told Moses in Exodus 33:20, “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”
Did you read that? “FOR THERE SHALL NO MAN SEE ME, AND LIVE”.
The question is why are people claiming to visit heaven or the dwelling place of God and see Him? Or claiming that He visited them in their rooms? Yes, some are lying or daydreaming, but are all of them liars or daydreamers?
There is a possibility that some may be speaking the truth, but our experiences must NEVER be elevated above the Word of God.
Let us examine the subject from the perspective of God’s Word. Mostly, I will be using the King James Version (KJV) for references. Yes, the KJV is the closest to the written Word of God and it is my preference, but there are instances where some other versions may better express the Word for an easier understanding of the context.
We must accept and agree that no one is permitted to generate a PRIVATE interpretation on ANY scripture, otherwise, the person will wreck his life and those of the others’ who listen to him.
Peter the Apostle warned against this in 2 Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
Moses wrote in Numbers 23:19 that “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.” Did you see that? It says, “God is NOT a man”.
Yet, it was the same Moses who also wrote in Exodus 15:3 that “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” He says here that the Lord (Yahweh) is a man.
Are these two statements contradictory? Of course not. Then what is the position of agreement or alignment between the Scriptures Moses wrote in Exodus, Numbers, and a lot of other instances in the Bible?
Before we dig deeper into the answer to this subject, there is a second part. It is the experience of seeing God. At one place the Bible says “No man hath seen God” and at other places, it is reported “and they saw God”. Why?
In the instances, we must not ignore a basic but very important part of scriptural understanding, CONTEXT. The context by which statements are made is very important if ignored, the understanding will be lost.
In Practical Terms
The Scriptures give us examples of people encountering God and claiming to see God. Are those people lying or they actually had the encounters?
Deuteronomy 19:15, “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”
Let us start with Adam. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” [Genesis 3:8] These were both Adam and Eve. The Bible did not tell us directly that they saw God, nevertheless, they “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God”.
If they did not see God, why would they hide? How can someone hide from an invisible person? How would you know that you are hiding in the right place?
From Scriptures, we noticed that Abraham twice had two strange encounters with God. The first instance was when his nephew, Lot, was kidnapped, he went to rescue him. As he returned from the rescue mission he met King Melchizedek, who was also the Priest of God.
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” [Genesis 14:18]
Who was this Melchizedek? There are five major clues as to who this man was. He was the King of Salem. Melchizedek (malkı̂y-tsedeq) is a combination of two words – king and righteous. It means King of Righteousness.
Again, Salem means Peace. So, we can also infer that he was the King of Peace. That country, Salem, has never been found as a geographical location. One of Jesus’ titles is Prince of Peace. Paul explained this in Hebrews 7:2.
Secondly, he was not just any priest, but THE priest of God. He was the first person to be rated as the priest of God.
“For it has been witnessed of him, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” [Hebrews 7:17 Bible in Basic English (BBE)]
Thirdly, he served Abraham and his entourage with bread and wine. He was the first person to serve bread and wine. Who else did this? Jesus Christ. And Jesus in John 6:48 declared, “I am that bread of life.”
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” [Matthew 26:26-28]
In the fourth instance, Melchizedek received tithes of all from Abraham. Tithes were supposed to be given only to God through priests.
Lastly, Paul explained that Melchizedek had no parents, and no birth nor death. “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” [Hebrews 7:3]
All those five attributes can only be assigned to God alone.
The second instance was when Abraham was visited by three men. “And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.” [Genesis 18:2-3]
Abraham served the three men by giving them water to wash their feet, setting a table before them to feed them and seeing them off on their journey.
As Abraham gave them foods to eat. He saw the people he was serving food. They were not invisible. He stood by them under the tree as they ate.
We need to remember that prior to this time, Abraham has been hearing God audibly and his ears have been trained to know when God would speak to him. He knew God’s voice.
“Babies recognize familiar voices even before they’re born, especially Mom’s voice. After your baby is born, he’ll turn his head toward you when you talk, recognizing your voice. You can facilitate his getting to know you by talking to him often even before he enters this world,” wrote Sharon Perkins.
Mahak Arora added, “Many doctors highly recommended that the would-be-dads talk to their babies in the womb. Babies are born with blurry vision and by the time they are few weeks old (in most cases by the time babies turn two) they are most likely to recognise both their parent’s faces.”
As they exchanged communication, Abraham must have sensed the familiar voice. “That voice sounds like the voice of the Invisible God who speaks to me,” he must have reasoned within himself.
As God was about to depart, He revealed to Abraham that He planned to judge the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Once he knew of the impending danger, Abraham started a bargaining type of prayer. They stood together and he pleaded with God by interceding for the cities that they may not be destroyed.
So, we can easily conclude that Abraham saw God twice. He saw Him face to face. He touched Him, they ate and exchanged gifts. These were not dreams nor visions, but real physical encounters.
In Job’s optimism when life had served him hardship, he said, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” [Job 19:26] And he did.
In Job 42:5, he says, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.”
God answering Job “out of the whirlwind” was quite clear. Previous understanding make many people to mistake God for the whirlwind itself. No, He was only riding upon the whirlwind (2 Samuel 22:11). Job SAW God and exclaimed, “Now mine eye seeth thee”.
Jacob, in his troubles, cried and prayed to God all night long until a man appeared to him and he wrestled the man until daybreak when the man blessed him and changed his destiny. Genesis 32:30 records, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
“I have seen God face to face ….”
He further expressed this clearly in Genesis 33:10 when he met his threatening brother, Esau. “And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.”
Again, this was not a dream nor a vision of the night. It was a physical encounter.
The elders of Israel had an experience, too. When God called Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy elders of Israel to a feast on the Mountain, it was recorded that “they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” [Exodus 24:10]
It is clear that they SAW GOD. Not spiritually, but physically and had food served for them. At least, if they did not see His face, they saw His feet and the priceless pavement of sapphire under His feet.
We also have Moses’ experiences. “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 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 clift 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.” [Exo 33:23]
God obliged him. He answered his request.
“And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” [Exodus 34:5-8]
It was after this encounter that Moses’ face began to radiate like the sun. Recorded in Exodus 34:29, “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.”
In Exodus 33:11 we read, “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
Moses saw God and his own physical form began to change!
An Agnostic Can See God?
In Daniel 3:25, we read that even Nebuchadnezzar saw God! “He answered and said, Lo, I see four men
Why? Was he not a wicked king who would not hesitate to throw three innocent Hebrew men into a fiery furnace like barbecue? Yes, but he was also a servant of God. He was an agnostic, who knew there was a God, but did not know him personally. You may check the places where this is affirmed. In Jeremiah 27:6; Jeremiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:28.
Nebuchadnezzar started his relationship with God poorly, from a heathen background not knowing the true God, but over time he learnt about and knew God personally (Daniel 4:34).
Having established that there have been instances where people saw God, how do we reconcile with places where God
A man can see the image of the living God. Paul described Jesus Christ as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”.
In John 14:8, “Philip said to him, Lord, let us see the Father, and we have need of nothing more.”
Verse 9 records a very strong response from Jesus. “Jesus said to him, Philip, have I been with you all this time, and still you have no knowledge of me? He who has seen me has seen the Father. Why do you say, Let us see the Father?” [Emphasis mine]
You Mean I Can See God?
The experience of Balaam reveals the reconciliation; “He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” [Numbers 24:16-17]
Balaam says, I am a man who “saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having [my] eyes open….”
In Matthew 5:8, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Anyone whom God has found their hearts to be pure will see God. He will reveal Himself to them.
Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
ALL the people that saw God had a relationship with God. They had reached the point where He judged them to be of a pure heart to see Him. The purity of heart is a realm that is strange to the natural man.
The realm where God becomes visible to a person has a frequency. It is a frequency that is attainable.
Today, almost everyone in the world is aware of basic WiFi (wireless fidelity) in the form of a mobile phone. This year, 2019, the number of mobile phone users is expected to pass the five billion mark. That is from a population of eight billion people.
The stream of words, text, photos and videos being shared between people are passing invisibly and wirelessly all around you, passing through some medium around you effortlessly. This medium is called electromagnetic waves. If you are able to enter the frequency of these waves, you will visibly see the movement of words, text, photos and videos.
The fact that you cannot see them is because of the limitations of your eyes. The typical human eye is only capable of perceiving light at wavelengths between 390 and 750 nanometers.
The human eye is remarkable, but it only lets us see a very small sliver of electromagnetic waves. It is nearly impossible to imagine what the swathe of the WiFi waves would look like if we could see beyond the visible spectrum, but there are some tools that can help us catch a glimpse of these waves.
Luis Hernan has produced a series of photographs that show the strength of wireless signals according to color. Here is the color code Luis used so you can understand his photos:
Blue – denotes the weakest signal
Violet – slightly stronger
Green – slightly stronger
Yellow – slightly stronger
Red – strongest signal
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus states clearly, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
God also revealed another instance where He qualifies people to see Him. “Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” [John 14:23]
God becomes physically visible in the realm of holiness, love for the Body of Christ. If a man truly loves God, no matter the religion, God will come to him and reveal Himself by His Son. This is why Hindu Priests, Islamic Jihadists, and people of all races and creed and encountering Jesus Christ and turning to Him. He could see that they love God but are just living in ignorance, so He comes to them.
Again, in John 10:30, Jesus authoritatively declared, “I and my Father are one.” A statement that seriously upset the Jews and drew anger from them and wanting to stone Him. He categorically said, “I am God!”
When Jesus walked the earth, it was God who was walking the earth and in all these instances, we can categorically conclude that God reveals Himself to whomsoever He wills and when He chooses to do so. Paul said it like this, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…” [2 Corinthians 5:19]
Pure heart does not mean the person is perfect or has reached a perfected state like angels.
What is a perfected state of existence? It is the state where a believer’s body has been fully redeemed by the Holy (Spirit Romans 8:23).
This means that he is not subjected to the ills of the flesh such as sickness and death. In other words, he has been fully raptured/transformed/changed and enveloped with a new body, which is exactly like that of the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.
Only the spiritual man can see God. The natural man cannot perceive Him even if he sees Him. (1 Corinthians 2:14). Yes, a man can see God. Some who claimed to have seen God are speaking the truth. But, the best person who can have that experience is you!
Purity of heart takes a person through the frequencies of the different realms. The veil of the physical, earth;y realm is pulled aside and the pure in heart encounters God – face to face.
Lastly, Jesus says, “ask and you shall receive”. Moses asked God, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” [Exodus 33:18] God answered his request. Apostle Peter concluded, “In truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34).
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and have purified hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8, Jeremiah 29:12-14)
Double-minded there means a doubter. If you doubt the opportunity to see God, you will miss Him even when He shows up. The Israelites could not inherit this blessing because they were doubters.
Can we say that saints who have gone before can now see God face to face? Saints such as Sarah, Moses, Elijah, Paul, Peter, John, Esther, Ruth, etc, are they seeing God right now? Yes.
Many still believe that they cannot see God until they die. No! If you love God and the brethren, you have passed from death to life. You can easily cross the gates and see God. Jesus Christ removed the veil that blocked people from seeing God face to face.
Here is what the Spirit of prophecy is saying in 1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
It simply means, if you truly love (or have a pure heart), you have PASSED from death to life. It means you have conquered death because the sting of death is sin. And sin has no power over someone with a pure heart.
If you meet His requirements – holiness. You will see Him.
It means you can start experiencing the resurrected life right now. Once you start experiencing the resurrected life, you can easily start seeing your Father when you need to do so. Believe it and live in it – the pure in heart shall see God.
“There has never been a prophet in Israel like Moses; the LORD spoke with him face-to-face.” [Deuteronomy 34:10]
Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” [John 11:40] What He said to her, He now says to YOU.
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