Have angels & Satan seen God face to face? Why can't humans look on God and live?
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It is not clear if even the Angels, the Cherubims, or even the Seraphims have seen the face of God. As to say whoever has seen God face to face could be of another meaning, not necessarily to face God directly. Remember what Job says in Job 15:15 "Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight". The question is; Why doesn't God let everyone know Him by letting all men see His face? The first direct answer to this question is; the all Holy and all Righteous God is never compatible with the all sinful and the all unrighteous man. The dividing factor is sin. God detests sin. However though, this had not been the case before man fell into sin. Before Adam and Eve sinned, man had had a wonderful relationship with God and though it does not state whether they faced each other, it is clear that it had been a thriving relationship and the communion too had been excellent. It is after man succumbed to the wiles of the devil that things changed course. Subsequently, all was blown up. To face God while still in the flesh, total purification on the side of man would be required. God keeps away from us because of our impurity. This is evident in Exodus 19:10; that much as they had bathed and washed their linen, in Exodus 19:24, when God had shown up, they could not get anywhere near. The outward purification had hardly gone down to their hearts. But even in this very chapter of Exodus 19, scripture doesn't definitively give us how God looked like when He descended on the Mt. Sinai. It only describes the indicators of God's presence. Had God descended personally? In light of the above, yes the question is clear in terms of wondering why God can't face man so man can tremble and change, but it doesn't describe what type of person God would be facing. If a person preaches to you the gospel, couldn't it have been that God is facing up with you? Additionally, if we ask God to let us see His face, what would we be asking Him to prove to us which He hasn't? John 1:10 tells how God in Jesus in form of a human being showed up but the world could never recognize Him. Similarly, the story of Lazarus and the rich man should teach us much. After this man had realized he is in hell, he asked to come back to earth so he could warn his relatives. He was told they have the prophets, let them listen to those and if they hadn't listened to them, neither would they listen to him. Lesson being, God comes and faces us in many forms but we stubbornly refuse to recognize Him. We can't get God's literal voice as it was in the Old Testament, for all is summarized up in Jesus. The Israelites had heard God's literal voice, yet they still went on to doubt Him. In Exodus 33:20-23, God asks Moses to hide in the cleft of the rock as God passed by, Moses would have surely died if he looked on God' face. The rock is symbolic of Jesus and Jesus Himself. In Jesus we can approach God, without Jesus, we are doomed. Why Jesus? That would be another topic all together. Before God, our flesh is already judged, its only destination is to rot. God's only interest is in our spirits. Now, there is a way to get into the spirit and that is only by accepting CHRIST as Lord and Savior. You will therefore see God in the spirit, not in the flesh. Jesus identified with our flesh by putting it on. Him putting on flesh and accepting to come to us means through Him alone, we have an opportunity to see God. In Jesus is God with us Isaiah 7:14. So, if you ask to see God's face you could have already seen it unknowingly. Because my simple question could be; how could you tell between God and the rest? Apart from John 4:24, where in scripture or else where is God described? If He comes to you, how will you tell He is God? We only come to God by both revelation and faith (Hebrews 11:6), less or more than that, I wonder! God is all around you! Believe!
Well, I most certainly want to see God's face. While it is true that mankind cannot bear to stand before his consuming presence because of our fickle nature (Job 15:14-16), history has shown without any doubt that magnificent experiences of visions and revelations do not necessarily translate into the acquisition of the knowledge of God. The majority of the children of Israel who saw and walked daily with God's cloud and fire and rock for forty years in the wilderness still did not know him nor understand his ways (1Cor 10:1-5). I find more intriguing the fact that Jesus who went about the whole place doing marvellous works, who also was crucified before all men, chose not to display his resurrection in the sight of all. One would have thought that that would have been a most effective message in drawing men to him. However he chose to reveal himself only to those who had known him before his resurrection (Ac 1:3); emphasizing that his word was the more important way of getting the knowledge of the Son of God (Jn 20:28-29). Peter also corroborates this fact stating that the words of prophecy were more sure a testimony of Christ's sonship than the revelation they had seen on the mount of transfiguration (2Pe 1:17-21); a revelation which Jesus hid from all but 3 men. All these leads me to see that we know God more effectively through his words, which is itself God; and those who know him as such then have the promise of seeing his face (Re22:4). Amen.
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