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We Will See God's Face

Updated on January 23, 2015

There are reports where we hear that someone has seen Jesus in a vision. I will not challenge these reports of whether they truly encountered Jesus or not, but I wonder how much of Jesus did they actually see? And, did they see His face?

The Bible describes in the book of Revelation that God's servants will see His face (Revelation 22:4a).

The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face (Revelation 22:3b-4a).

I note also that this says there is one throne that is the throne both of God and the Lamb. Before moving on to the topic of seeing God's face, you must know that I believe the Lamb is God and God is the Lamb; the 'Lamb' referring to Jesus. (Note also John 14:11.)

There are places in the Bible where it seems to say certain ones have seen God, and even have talked to Him face to face, but let's consider whether anyone of them actually saw God's face.

Saul was blinded

A strange light from heaven shined round him (Acts 9:3).
A strange light from heaven shined round him (Acts 9:3). | Source

What Saul saw on the Damascus road

Ananias was a disciple in Damascus to whom the Lord told in a vision that he was to go to a man named Saul, currently staying at the house of Judas on Straight Street. After hearing the further explanation as to the Lord's designs for Saul, Ananias went to that house and said,

"Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:17).

Ananias says the Lord Jesus appeared to Saul, and Saul had lost his sight when the "light from heaven" had "suddenly flashed around him" (Acts 9:3). It does not say that Saul actually saw Jesus' face and just seeing the light of Jesus' glory had blinded him.

Saul, who became the apostle Paul after this experience, wrote later to the believers in Corinth that he cannot now see God clearly but only indistinctly, like peering through a mist.

"Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror.
Later we will see him face to face." (1 Corinthians 13:12a)

Even after becoming an apostle sent to Gentiles and Jews alike to make known the good news of the gospel of Christ, Paul still says he cannot see God face to face (let alone know everything.)

Moses on Mt. Sinai

by C.F. Vos
by C.F. Vos | Source

Moses talked face to face with God

Moses was afraid to look at God and so he hid his face when God called to him from the burning bush, telling him to not come closer and take of his sandals while he stood on the "holy ground" (Exodus 3). After all the experiences of freeing the Israelites from Pharaoh and leading them out of Egypt, the Lord speaking with him face to face just as a man speaks with his friend in a tent far from the camp, still Moses could not see God's face (Exodus 33). God said,

"You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live" (Exodus 33:20).

Isaiah saw God in heaven

Neither did Isaiah see God's face, though he wrote, "I have seen the King, the LORD All-Powerful" (Isaiah 6:5b). What Isaiah did see was

the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings (Isaiah 6:1a-2b).

However, Isaiah does not say he actually saw God's face. When the Lord asked who he could send, Isaiah could speak in response only having had his lips purified with a live coal from the altar (Isaiah 6:5-8).

Who can see God's face

As hinted by Isaiah when his lips, or mouth, was purified before he could speak in God's presence, holiness is required in order to see God and not be blinded, like Saul had been. Without holiness no one can see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14b).

King David said,

I will see Your face in righteousness (Psalm 17:15).

Jesus is coming back and we who believe will be taken up to meet him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We know, too, that when He appears and we see Him, we will become like Him; righteous. Otherwise, we would not be able to see Him distinctly nor clearly see His face.

One day, however, we who believe will indeed see His face, as stated by John in Revelation 22:4, and also in:

We will be like him, because we will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2b).

Christ by making us pure through His death and resurrection makes it possible for us to one day see His face, God's face.

Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God (Matthew 5:8).

Matthew 5:8 as rendered in a translation for a minority group in Asia:

People's whose minds are upright will be truly happy, because those ones will be able to truly see and know God.

"We Shall Behold Him" - Sandi Patty

© 2011 Deidre Shelden


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    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our joint anticipation--our hope of seeing God's face and our living in the place he is preparing for us! Yes, I believe many have seen Jesus in dreams or visions, Joel 2:28, but no one yet has seen God's face a lived--as you point out, it is more than we in our human bodies can stand. However, Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to comfort us with God's presence (Jhn 14:15-18) as we await Christ's return.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      That will be a glorious day indeed. I have never seen Jesus although I have felt His presence with me and His arm around me once. It is more than a human could stand. I am not calling anyone wrong, I just know my own experiences. Have a great day in Him. HB

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Yes, Betty, Moses spoke so long in God's presence--"face to face"--that his face shown from God's glory, but surprisingly, he still didn't see God's face. And you make a great point about God's face in human flesh having lived 30+ years among men on the earth but, as Paul explains in Php 2, an "emptied" status. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this reminder of that wonderful day that awaits us!

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 6 years ago

      You make excellent points, Ms Dee. If Moses wasn't allowed to see God's face, I don't believe anybody else will either until eternity. Of course, there was that window of 30something years when God walked among men, face and all. But now that face is glorified and I believe we're back to the situation in Moses' day where no one can see God's face and live. Anyway, I really enjoyed your hub. Thank you for reminding us of that wonderful day when we will be privileged to actually see the Lord of glory in all His splendor. And face to face! That will be more awesome than I can even imagine.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I long to see his face and I appreciate this beautiful hub. This is a beautiful hub. Thank you.

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      Beautiful affirmations

    • profile image

      SusieQ42 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing! Beautiful hub. I'm so thankful to be surrounded by fellow believers in our wonderful Lord.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 6 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Good hub and good song, MsDee. You made those verses interesting and easy to read.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Yes! The invisible God will be invisible no more :). So glad you were/are encouraged, Tamarajo.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      What a reward to the blessed of those who believed without seeing that we would see Him face to face.

      Encouraging hub.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Ms. Dee, I look forward to that wonderful day, when we do see him face to face. How amazing! Thanks for this hub: it was inspiring to think about my Saviour and the thought of seeing him. Take care!