January 28, 2018
L. John Bost
Men have always wanted to be with God, even to see Him. In the book of Job, probably the earliest of the books of the Bible, Elihu told job that a penitent man could see God’s face with joy in a figurative sense (Job 33:23-26). In Genesis 32:30, Jacob (Israel) said, “I have seen God face to face…” But God had appeared to him in the appearance of a man (Gen. 32:24). In 1 Chronicles 16:11, Davis urged Israel in a psalm to “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually,” again in a figurative sense (See Ps. 105:4; Hos. 5:15). God to told Moses in Exodus 33:20, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”
So no one in Old Testament times was able to literally see the face of God. Will we be able to see God face to face? Let us see what the Book says.
The First Century View of God
Many people saw God in the first century. The saw Him in the person of Jesus Christ. John writes in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The “Word,” as John explains in John 1:14, was “the only begotten of the Father.” The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him, “When we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” But the disciples saw Him in a different light. John writes, “We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Saw many saw God as the “only begotten of the Father.” But that was after He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7).
Will we ever be able to see Him as God?
The Promise of 1 John 3
John writes in 1 John 3:2:
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
John says that there are two things that we do not know yet: 1) What we shall be, that is what our appearance will be. 2) He implies that we do not know the current appearance of Jesus. There are three things, John says, that we do know: 1) We are the sons of God. 2) We shall be like Him! 3) We shall see Him as He is!
We know that our weak body will rise a powerful body. Our corruptible body will rise and incorruptible body. Our natural body will rise a spiritual body. And our mortal body will rise an immortal body (1 Corinthians 15:42-53). We do not what such a body will be like until the resurrection. We do not know what God and the Son will look like until the resurrection. The good news is that we will rise and we will see God! We will not see Him as He appeared while here the first time. We will see Him as He was before He came to earth, and after He ascended into Heaven to reign on the Right hand of God (Acts 2:25, 30-35).
Yes, we will see God face-to-face! What a beautiful thought!
In view of this fact, John tells us what we must do: “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).