About Jesus - Steve Sweetman

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Will We Ever See God?

"I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at Him (Job 19:26 - 27)."  Job expected to see God some day.  "I will see your face in righteousness; when I awake (Psalm 17:15)."  David also expected to see God some day, either after he woke from sleep or woke from death in the next life.  Will Job and David ever see God?  Will we ever see God?   


God is invisible to humans (Colossians 1:15) because He is a spirit (John 4:24).  No man, except for Jesus, has ever seen God (John 6:46).  No one can stand in God's presence and live (Exodus 33:20) because He is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29), a fire that will eventually burn the heavens and earth in a torrent of flames on the Day of God (2 Peter 3:7 + 12).  


Did Adam and Eve see God?  Even though Adam heard God's voice prior to the fall (Genesis 2:16 - 17) and Adam and Eve heard His voice after the fall (Genesis 3:8), the text is silent when it comes to them seeing God.  We can't base our thinking on silence. 


Will we ever see God?  Revelation 22:3 and 4 may shed some light on this but that depends partly on how you view God's nature.  "The throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it (the New Jerusalem) and His servants shall serve Him.  And they shall see His face (NIV)." 


According to the grammatical structure of this verse, many but not all, suggest there is one throne that is shared by both God and the Lamb, who is Jesus.  If that is so, then this is a departure from the present reality where both God and Jesus sit on separate thrones.  Jesus now rules from the right hand of God (Acts 2:13, Romans 8:64).  To put it another way, Jesus shares the responsibility of ruling from a place of authority alongside of God.  The term "right hand" as it pertains to ruling in first century culture was a symbolic term signifying one ruling alongside another, not necessarily at the literal right hand of another.  Besides, does an invisible God have a right hand?   Right now, Jesus rules alongside of God, having been given His own sphere of authority (Matthew 28:18, 1 Corinthians 15:27).  He will rule until the day comes when He hands His kingdom back over to God His Father (1 Corinthians 15:24). 


The word "throne" is translated from the Greek word "thronos", which can mean a literal chair someone sits on and rules from.  "Thronos" can also mean a place where rule emanates, whether it's a throne, a room, a building, or a city.  The throne spoken of in Revelation 22:3 might be the central location of rule in the New Jerusalem.  As a matter of fact, the New Jerusalem itself is the seat of power and authority for all nations on the new earth.  The throne spoken of here might not be a literal chair that God and Jesus squeeze into.  Of course, how you understand God and Jesus in this verse depends on if you believe God and Jesus are two separate and distinct personalities.  Not all Christians hold to that view.    


Revelation 22:3 and 4 state that the servants will serve "Him" and will see "His face".  The words "Him" and "His" are singular pronouns.  They are not plural pronouns.  We're talking about serving one person and seeing one face here, even though there are two personalities who are ruling alongside each other.  Whose face are these servants seeing?   


Scripture says that when we see Jesus we see God the Father (John 14:9) because Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30).  Jesus is the visible image of God (Colossians 1:15) and the exact representation of God's being (Hebrews 1:3).  Even though Father and Son are one the words "image" and "representation" suggest a separated duality.  Maybe Job, David, you, and I will see Jesus and by seeing Jesus we see God.  On the other hand Jesus said that the pure in heart shall see God (Matthew 5:8).  He didn't say the pure in heart shall see Me or see God in Me.  The Greek word "horao" is translated into English as "see" in Matthew 5:8.  This word doesn't necessarily have to mean seeing with one's physical eyes.  It can also suggest "to perceive", as in "I perceive the presence of God's face."  Will we see God or simply perceive His presence? 


When you and I visit the New Jerusalem at some future date we will have the same physical form Jesus has, whatever form that may look like (1 John 3:2).  Maybe with this new physical form we will have the ability to see God as He is.  Yes, no man has ever seen God, but, we will not be the men and women we presently are when we reside on the new earth.


Will Job, David, you, and I ever see God?  I know we will see Jesus, but will we see God?  Well, I'm still not sure.  So there you go, I don't have all of the answers after-all, at least not yet. 


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