Has Man Seen God’s Face?

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Alexander Louis Leloir, Jacob Wrestling the Angel, 1865

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.”

This is the most used scripture used by anti-Mormons to show that no man has seen God. But it would be inconsistent with their believe that God is a trinity, because many people saw Jesus who is, according to trinitaroans, God and the trinity. And not only that, the belief that man couldn’t see God’s face was not believed by early Christians. Irenaeus, for instance, had a different way of interpreting this verse. In 180 A.D. he taught that this scripture should be read: “For “no man,” he says, “hath seen God at any time,” unless “the only-begotten Son of God, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared [Him].” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:427, Irenaeus Against Heresies, chap. 6) He knew that righteous men were able to see God. The key word in his usage is “unless”, this makes this out of sync verse, in sync with the rest of the book of John, and the rest of the Bible.
John 6:46–“Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.”
Acts 7:55,56–This is right before Stephen is martyred and he sees both God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Gen. 32:30–This is also a good example of a man seeing God. Jacob saw God face to face and lived. He was obviously astonished by this, but had the protection of the Holy Ghost.
Gen. 17:1, 18:1, Acts 7:2–The Lord appeared unto Abraham
Ex. 3:6–Moses was afraid to look upon God
Ex. 19:11— “I will come down in the sight of all the people”
Ex. 33:11— “and the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to a friend”
Num. 12:7-8–“My servant Moses…with him will I speak mouth to mouth…and the similitude (Hebrew=temunah, meaning shape, image, embodiment) of the Lord shall he behold”
1 Kings 9:2, 11:9— “And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice”
Isaiah 6:1,5— “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple…mine eyes have seen the Lord of hosts.”
Ex. 24:10-11–Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy saw God. This is one of few accounts where more than one person has saw God. There are many instances where man has seen God in one way or another. Sometimes it was just His finger (Ex. 31:18) His back parts (Ex. 33:23) and others see His body in majesty (Acts 7:56, Rev. 5:7)
Deut. 34:10–The Lord knew Moses face to face.
Deut. 5:4–The Lord talked to Moses face to face.
Judges 13:22–Manoah and his wife see God.
Gen. 3–Adam and Eve saw God.
Heb. 11:27–Moses saw the invisible God.
Job 42:5–Job sees the God.
Job 33:26–He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy for he will render unto man his righteousness.
Job 19:26–And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Ez. 1:1, 8:1-4–Ezekiel sees God in vision.
Joshua 5:12-15–Here, the captain of the host of the LORD appeared to Joshua, and he fell down and worshiped. If He were anyone but God, he would have forbidden it as others have (Rev.19:10). He then commands Joshua to remove his shoes, for he is on holy ground, as Moses did in
the presence of God.
Mat. 5:8–“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Rev. 22:4–“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
Heb. 12:14–Must have peace and holiness to see the Lord.
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