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  • Writer's picturePhil Rains

They Shall See God

1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” "Blessed are the pure in heart, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD” "Seeing God” is somewhat of a head scratcher. The Scripture is  clear that no one has ever ”seen” God. In John 1:18 it says, rather clearly, "No one has ever seen God”, and again in‭ 1 Timothy 6:16 it says, God “who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.” This verse tells us that not only has no one seen Him, but that we have no prospects of seeing Him. Yet in Genesis 32:30 we’re told by Jacob that;  "I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” And Isaiah in chapter 6 says; "I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.....”. It was said of Moses in Exodus 33:11 that; "the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Yet we have the whole story of Moses requesting to see God's glory later in the chapter, only to be told in verse 20; "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” Obviously, there is an issue of perception and expression. Perception, because there were times when individuals saw God the way they wanted to, or needed to see Him at a particular time in their life. We see God revealing Himself in a burning bush, or a cloud of smoke, or a pillar of fire. Also, there were times when they were speaking to an angelic messenger, only to refer to the encounter as seeing God. These rendezvous with the Almighty were seen from their perception and understanding of God in that moment.This was the reason the second of the Ten Commandments said there should be no ”graven images” to represent Him. Nothing of creation can adequately represent the Creator. Our perceptions of God can never equal the true reality of His glory. Really all we can do is perceive His face. Secondly, there is the issue of expression. Any language has only so many words to describe any given situation. Have you ever heard the expression ”there are not enough words”? There are times when the right words are not available to adequately say what we want to say. Now, imagine having an encounter with God; a fearsome, frightening, awesome, marvelous, wonderful encounter with God. The moment may even include shaking earth, flashing lightning, rumbling thunder, flying objects and loud voices. What do you say about such a moment? Well, you use whatever words you have at your disposal to describe what you have seen; ”there are not enough words.”

I believe that much of seeing God involves a knowledge, an understanding, or a grasp of the Almighty. Through His word and staring steadfastly into Jesus, is how I think we come to a place of ”seeing” God.

With all that said, the most marvelous and complete revelation of God is His Son, Jesus Christ. When we see Jesus, either in vision or through the Word, we are looking into the very face of God.

Listen to the description of His nature in Hebrews 1:3; “He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature ...” Jesus said of Himself in John‬14:9‬; “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

Now, what all that looks like when we get to Heaven, I don't really know. The manifest glory of God, however, will be the light that illuminates the very atmosphere around us. His presence will be manifest, knowable, observable, glorious and eternal. So when Jesus says ”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, I'm not totally sure of all the ramifications, but I am sure it will be welcomed and truly glorious. When we live our lives from a foundation of a pure heart, it puts us in a much better place to move closer and closer to God. The closer we are, the greater the revelation we have of Him. For the closer we draw to Him with a pure heart, the more we can know Him, experience Him;--see Him. So, whatever ”seeing God” means, it's fine with me.

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