Who Saw God’s Face to Face in the Bible: Only 6 people in the Universe have been recorded to have seen God; Christ the Messiah, Adam, Moses, Eve, Prophet Isaiah and Apostle John.
There is no more powerful person in this world than God. Every creation in this world is attributed to having been created by God in his divine power. Even the devil himself in his wickedness was one of the creations of God.
The earth and everything in it are under the control of God. According to the theory of creation, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
So is it possible to get so much connected to God to the extent of seeing him? Is it possible for a mortal man to see God? The Bible says that no man can see God and live. But the truth of the matter is that God has violated some of his own rules and allowed some men to see Him.
In today’s article, we are going to look at some of the biblical characters who had an opportunity to see God. Some of them narrated their experience when they had the opportunity. God allowed these mortals to see him and this is because these men had reached the level of having an intimate relationship with God. The following are men who had an opportunity to see God;
1. Christ the Messiah!
Every Christian knows that Christ is the son of God. Being the son of God means he came from God. In the book of John 14:6, Christ said that he is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to God except through him. Having come from the father he definitely has seen the father.
Adam became the first human being to be created. Being the first being, he had a very close relationship with God and would talk to God every time. God would even give him some tasks like naming animals and other things. Before Adam sinned and rebelled against God he would meet and see God every day and face to face and that only changed after he sinned.
Moses is one man that had a very close relationship with God. Being a prophet of God, God used him to perform mighty signs and wonders. In the book of Numbers 12:8 “With Moses I speak face to face clearly and not in riddles, he sees the form of the Lord. God himself gave testimony about Moses. God said that when he speaks to others people, he speaks through dreams and visions but for Moses, it was not through dreams and visions but face to face. In fact, Moses is the one who wrote the story of creation as instructed by God.
Eve became the second person to be created and the first woman to be created. Having stayed in the garden of Eden with Adam, he enjoyed the experience of being visited every day by God every day. And apparently, she happens to be the only woman in the bible who saw God face to face. It was after Eve sinned together with her husband that they were chased away from the presence of God.
5. Prophet Isaiah
Isaiah is one of the major prophets who had an opportunity to see God face to face. Being a major, he prophesied about the coming of Christ. In Isaiah 6: 1 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and exalted and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Isaiah gave the experience of how he saw God and even gives details of how the throne of God is and also says that he saw seraphs who had every 6 wings moving on the throne. This experience changed Isaiah completely and his ministry took a new turn.
6. Apostle John
He was among the 12 disciples of Jesus. And one of the books of the bible which John wrote tells everything about the kind of man he was. Remember among the 12 disciples he was the most loved by Jesus and theologians even believe part of the reward that Christ gave him was to allow him to see God before death. The book of Revelation shows how John went to heaven and had an experience of what it feels to be in the presence of God. Among the 12 disciples, he was the only one who did not die in a cruel manner.
If Moses met face to face with God, why, later, was he not allowed to see God’s face?
Before the official tabernacle was built, “Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp” [Exodus 33:7]. As Moses visited this tent of meeting to intercede for the people of Israel, “the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses” (verse 9). Moses’ position of favour with God is evident in the fact that “the Lord would speak to Moses’ face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (verse 11).
However, later in the same chapter, Moses requests to see God’s glory, and God replies, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. . . . But . . . you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” Exodus 33:19–20. To protect Moses, God put him “in a cleft in the rock” and covered him with His hand as He passed by (verse 22). “Then,” God promised, “I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen” (verse 23).
This passage prompts several questions. Does God really have a “hand,” “face,” and “back”? Why could Moses speak to God “face to face” in verse 11 but could not see God’s “face” in verse 23? What is fatal about seeing God’s “face”?
We know from Scripture (e.g., [John 4:24] that God is spirit. Spirits do not possess physicality. So, when Moses spoke “face to face” with God in [Exodus 33:11](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Exod 33.11), there are only two possible ways to understand it: either Moses was speaking to the pre-incarnate Son of God (a Christophany); or the passage is using a figure of speech called anthropomorphism, in which human qualities are applied to God. While a Christophany is certainly possible, it is probably better to view the chapter as using figures of speech. The terms face, hand, and back in [Exodus 33] should not be taken literally, and face to face, being idiomatic, is also metaphorical.
In verse 11 the idiom face to face can be simply understood to mean “intimately.” Moses spoke with God familiarly, as a man speaks to a friend. In verses 20 and 23, face and back are in reference to God’s “glory” and “goodness” (verses 18–19). Since God is spirit, and since glory and goodness are both intangibles, we can take face and back to signify varying “degrees” of glory. God’s hand (verse 22) is an obvious reference to God’s “protection.”
In the Bible, God often communicates using terms easily understood in the human experience. God’s use of anthropomorphism in [Exodus 33](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Exod 33) was a perfect way to describe what was happening. As humans, we know the importance of one’s face. To readily identify someone, we study his or her face. It is also the face of a person that reveals the most information about his or her character, mood, and personality. However, if all we catch is a glimpse of a person from behind, we are left without a lot of valuable information. It is difficult to identify a person from behind; we know very little about a person if all we can see is a back view.
When God told Moses, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” ([Exodus 33:20], He was saying that truly seeing God as He is, in the fullness of His glory, is more than mortal man can tolerate (cf. [Isaiah 6:5]. Therefore, to protect Moses, God was only going to reveal that portion of His majesty and power that was humanly possible to absorb. God communicated this plan to Moses in a way we can all understand: “You cannot look Me full in the face [it is impossible for you to know everything about Me], but I will allow you to see my back [I will reveal to you a small portion of My nature so as not to overwhelm you].”
All of this makes Jesus’ words to Philip all the more amazing: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” ([John 14:9]. When Jesus walked this earth, His glory veiled, we could look Him in the face. “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” ([Colossians 2:9]. On one brief occasion, Jesus’ glory was revealed in this world, at the transfiguration ([Matthew 17:2](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Matt 17.2)). Interestingly, Moses was there, speaking to the glorified Lord, face to face ([Matthew 17:3].
Apparently, The above are the only people in the bible who had the experience of what it feels to see God. Do you know of any other person you can think of that is not mentioned. Feel free to share with us your thoughts on the comment section below. Also don’t forget to like and also share.