How is it that Moses saw God face to face as a man speaks with his friend when John 1:18 says, "No one has ever seen God at anytime"?


John 1:11

KJV - 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 14 2013 Image George Delmindo

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Mini Shantkumar S. Kunjam An Indian, Mennonite Church, Pastor, Administrator, Bishop,
Dear friends, it is a must that when we refer what the Bible says we must quote it verbatim. Let us see what Ex. 33:11 says - "So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." Also let us consider Deut. 34:10 - "But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face." (NKJV).

In the first reference "the LORD spoke to Moses face to face" and not that Moses saw God's face. In the second reference, to Moses "the LORD knew face to face", it was not Moses who knew the LORD face to face. But in the question it is stated "Moses saw God face to face". So the question is wrongly worded which may lead us to wrong assumptions.

Now let us consider Ex. 33:20-23 - 'But He said "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live". And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."' (NKJV).

These references make it clear that Moses had not seen God and, hence, the statement in Jn. 1:18 "No one has seen God at any time" is not contradicting. We, the Bible students, must keep Paul's counsel in mind when we do Bible studies "not to think beyond what is written" (1 Cor. 4:6), and also, "rightly dividing the word of Truth." (2 Tim. 2:15). Thanks.

December 17 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
When it says that Moses spoke to God face to face he was speaking to the Angel of YHVH, who God had placed His name upon.

Exodus 23:20-21: Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

Under the law of agency the when the Angel spoke it was as if God was speaking because he was acting as the agent of God - YHVH. 
Thus, when Moses spoke with or before the Angel of YHVH it was as if he were speaking with God. 


Judges 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Notice that the angel of YHVH is speaking as if he is God, because he acted as the agent of God in all he did, and God's name YHVH was upon him. He represented God, and when he spoke it was as if God was speaking.

December 15 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ted Dusablon
#1 John 8:58 is Christ Jesus calling Himself God and is a direct reference to Exodus 3:13-14. This is not an Angel as a previous poster put it. Jesus is not a created, He is The Word Of God who spoke to Moses from the Burning Bush. John 1:1 states this. He is God which is another reference to Genesis 1:1, 26--Revelation 19:13-16. Revelation 1:8 He is Almighty God, as well as the Alpha & Omega, First and Last(Isaiah 44:6) Either there are two firsts and lasts or it`s the SAME Person. One must II Tim. 2:15 diligently trust that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the same Spirit which habitates with those(Romans 8:11) who are born again(John 3). 

If there is a person named Jesus(The Word Of God is another name for Jesus) in the scriptures and He is identified as being God, then He is God, John 8:58 and II Corinthians 4:3-6. If there is a person named the father and he is identified as God, then He is God as well I Peter 1:3, and if there is a Person named the Holy Spirit and He in fact is Named God, then He in fact is God as well Acts 5 (Ananias and Sapphira). If the Scriptures state that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead Rom. 8:11, The father raised Jesus from the dead I Peter 1 and Christ raised Himself from the dead John 10:17-18, then all three persons are God and God is ONE. Man hasn`t the conception of how this works, 3 as one, yet there is plenty of internal evidence to show this to be true. There is much more at hand on information, a great book to own and study is Walter Martin`s Kingdom of the Cults, because it not only deals with the false assumptions and dilemnas. It has great answers for seemingly difficult problems. Shalom and God bless. I only hope that this may add to your Understanding of who God is, any questions I would be more than happy to answer them.

December 24 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Data Pastor Shafer
@ [seen] Greek: horao (GSN-), like our English seen, means to see with the eyes and also see with the mind.
That it means here to comprehend fully or understand is clear from the fact that many men have seen God with the eyes (Gen. 18:2,33; 32:24-30; Ex. 24:10; 33:11; Josh. 5:13; Isa. 6; Ezek. 1:26-28; Dan. 7:9-14; 10:5-6; Acts 7:56-59; Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7). 

We could say, "No man has ever comprehended or experienced God at any time in all His fulness, save the only begotten Son.... He hath declared Him." That Christ is the first to experience God in the fullness of the Holy Spirit is clear from Jn. 3:34; Acts 10:38; Isa. 11:1-2; 61:1-2; Lk. 4:16-18.

December 15 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Al Mari Private practice as a cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon
To answer this question, we need to understand the difference in the identity of the actual Divine Beings identified in the Bible.

The God of the Old Testament is mentioned with a generic description "Elohim" as in Gen. 1:1. In the following chapter Genesis 2:4; and in Psalm 59:5 he is identified specifically with his proper name as YHVH ELOHIM, to differentiate Him from "other gods" (like Satan, god of this world, and other god-idols). See also "above all gods", to be worshipped: YHVH Elohim: is ONE
the Shema doctrine(Deuteronomy 6:4; 11:13–17; Numbers 15:41), he is one and only Elohim to be worshipped as he is above all "gods" (Ps 95:3; 96:4;97:9;135:5; Ex. 15:11; I Chr. 16:25).

Whether the God of the Old Testament, YHVH ELOHIM was seen by Moses "face-to-face" is controversial. 

But, John 1:18 was referring to God the Father who was seen by nobody but Jesus. Not one even the patriarchs, nor Moses has seen this particular God the Father. 

John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." 

Notice, that according to John, this Father God was not "declared" prior to YHVH ELOHIM's incarnation into man-Jesus. Since Jesus as Logos (Jn.1:1-3), knew and was with the Father God from " the beginning", he is the rightful person to "declare" or introduce the Father, no one else can, nor should. 

In summary, while Pastors Kunjam and Shafer (forum members) explained it convincingly, as far as I am concerned, others may find the explanation still inadequate. With specific identification of who the specific God was referred to in the Old and New Testament, the initiating and original question maybe answered completely.

December 17 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Frederick Thomas Rom 3:4 ...let God be true...
Joh 14:9 Jesus *said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 

Joh 14:10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 

Joh 14:11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 

Heb 10:19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 
Heb 10:20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 

Prof. Stuart supposes that the point of the comparison may be that the veil of the temple operated as a screen to hide the visible symbol of the presence of God from human view, and that in like manner the body of Jesus might be regarded as a “kind of temporary tabernacle, or veil of the divine nature which dwelt within him.” 

Also that “as the veil of the tabernacle concealed the glory of Yahweh in the holy of holies, from the view of people, so Christ’s flesh or body screened or concealed the higher nature from our view, which dwelt within this veil, as God did of old within the veil of the temple.”

August 13 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Picture010 Darrell McKnight Minister/Musician, Central Carolina Sch. of Preaching
The meaning of Exodus 33:11 is a symbolism of the closeness between God and Moses.

It's like telling your wife, daughter, son or what have you that "My heart is with you" or "You have my heart". Though they don't physically have your heart it references the intimate nature and love of the relationship. 

The Scriptures are filled with wisdom literature that can be very enigmatic. Parables are as such that's why many did not perceive them outside of the Apostles

Wisdom itself can be obscure to some and riddled with allusive speech. Discerning Scripture properly is for the mature spirit and that's what we should be all striving for.

So in conclusion let us do as 2 Timothy 2:15 says? But also put all that we learn from the Bible into practice. By doing so we solidify the relationship between Christ and us and converse as friends with God!

Thank You.

May 22 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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