Does the bible say we can see God?

A friend of mine brought me this question the other day and I promised him I would answer, but I wanted to write up this post in case anyone else has this question.

Here is the verses he brought forth

Gen 32:30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

1 John 4:12:  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Exodus 33:20:  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

His question is simple.  Does the bible say we can see God or not?

I love this question there is so much in it.  Let’s start with Exodus.

Exodus 33:18:  And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

This is Moses speaking.  Now note here what is he asking to see?  God in his full glory.  This is important to understand.

Exodus 33:19:  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.

This is God in all his goodness proclaiming YHVH you don’t get any more real that this.

Exodus 33:20:  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Ok here is God himself saying that you cannot see his face and live so there can be no doubt.  Why?  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:50:  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

The flesh and blood are not good enough.  This is also why we partake of Christ’s flesh and blood.

Exodus 33:21:  And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

Now shapen up.  God is teaching here.  Who is our rock?  It should be Jesus Christ.

Exodus 33:22:  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:

God looks out for those he loves.  Many people cannot understand how when Christ returns the good can be here when his wrath is laid out.  With God there is not collateral damage.  He will keep you in the cleft of the Rock which is Jesus Christ.
Deuteronomy 32:9:  For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
Deuteronomy 32:10:  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

This is a portion of the Song of Moses which is the song the overcomers sing at Christ return.  God keeps us a the apple of his eye.  You see the name Jacob there and think this is just some old Jewish thing consider this: Psalms 105:15:  Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Christ is the anointed one and if you are in him them you are under that protection.

Exodus 33:23:  And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

So Moses only got to see the back of God and even that affected him tremendously .  Let’s skip ahead to see.

Exodus 34:33:  And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.

This is just after Moses comes back down to see the people and he has to keep a vail on his face.

Exodus 34:34:  But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
Exodus 34:35:  And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

His skin glowed guys the word here in Hebrew is interesting:
H7160 קרן qâran kaw-ran’
A primitive root; to push or gore; used only as denominative from H7161, to shoot out horns; figuratively rays: – have horns, shine.

So we are not just talking about the head of Mr. Clean we are talking rays.

Ok I think by now we can all understand 1 John 4:12:  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

So that leaves us with Jacob back in Genesis doesn’t it.

Genesis 32:24:  And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

The word for man here is:  H376  אישׁ  ‘ı̂ysh  eesh.  Meaning man.  Not God and certainly not the full glory of God.

Genesis 32:25:  And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

This here describes Israel’s relationship with God since day one.

Genesis 32:26:  And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Now we know from the upcoming verse that he is wrestling with God and what are they fighting about?  A blessing.  Think on that.  That tells you a lot about how Israel works.  Everything has to be the hard way.  Would God have just given him a blessing?  Well I think so that is what Christ taught, but Jacob needs to go about it the hard way is it no wonder that God calls Israel a stiffnecked people.

Genesis 32:27:  And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
Genesis 32:28:  And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

When God changes names pay attention.  What does Israel mean?

H3478  ישׂראל  yiśrâ’êl  yis-raw-ale’
From H8280 and H410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity: – Israel.

Now did that say maybe?  No and God doesn’t like it says that Israel WILL rule as God.  Why because that is the line in which Christ comes through and it is that vine (Christ) which you must be attached to in order to have a living soul.  Do not forget that Gentiles who attach themselves to the root of Jesse are quickened and they become part of Israel.  If you don’t understand that just put it aside for now.
Do you understand better now when Paul says:
1 Corinthians 15:24:  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1 Corinthians 15:25:  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1 Corinthians 15:26:  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Genesis 32:29:  And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

What is your name? Jacob asks.  Does God answer him? It isn’t written and when God called upon Moses to speak to the children of Israel he asked, “Who should I say sent me?”  So it wasn’t known.

Genesis 32:30:  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Who said he saw God face to face here?  Jacob did not God.  We saw that Jacob wrestled with a man.  Was if God?  Yes Jacob was very clear on that point, but did God show himself in his full glory?  No.  We can even tell this from the word used for God here.  H430  אלהים  ‘ĕlôhı̂ym  el-o-heem’
Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

You can see it wasn’t the sacred name that is used here.  Does that mean it wasn’t God?  No it just shows us that he was presenting himself to Jacob in a form he could understand.  God and sin cannot co-exist.  When God and sin come in contact guess who wins.

Maybe now you can understand how Christ can be God and he was able to be seen.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
John 14:8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 14:10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 14:11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

I will close with a line from Isaiah.

Isaiah 52:8  Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

This is the end friends.  This is when we shall truly see the glory of our Father.  I hope this helped if it did don’t just “like” it “share” it.

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