The Bible states in more than one place that God is unseen by man. In John 1, it is declared that No man hath seen God at any time
states the same thing in 1 Timothy. In Exodus 33, God Himself declares that "no man can see Me and live"
. This in itself establishes that God
cannot be seen by man. Yet throughout the Bible, there are several instances where "God" was not only seen by humans (who survived the experience),
but also ate, was spoken to face-to-face, forced to give blessings and fails to overpower a man in a wrestling match!
Example 1) Hagar is blessed by an angel who is addressed as "God" (Genesis 16:7-14)
The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And
he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” .... She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You
are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
- Though the text explicitly says Hagar met an "angel", Hagar proclaims she "saw" God.
Example 2) Jacob extorts a blessing from a "man" and then proclaims he has "seen" God. (Genesis 32:24-30)
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him....But
Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”....Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you
have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” .....So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to
face, and yet my life was spared.”
- Obviously, the man was an angel in human form. Like Hagar, Jacob also proclaims he "saw" God, despite the text saying otherwise.
Example 3) An angel tells Jacob in a dream "I am God". (Genesis 31:11-13)
The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said, ‘Look up and see
that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God
of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native
- Here an angel appears in Jacobs dream and tells him he is "God".
Example 4) Moses encounters an angel as a burning bush, who says "I am God" (Exodus 3:2-4)
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was
on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that
he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
- An "angel" appears as fire, which then starts speaking as "God".
From the above, it appears there are two contradictory propositions within the Bible. One being man has not seen God
and the other that man
has seen God
. Logically, they both simply cannot be true at the same time. Either man has seen God or he hasn't.
To complicate matters further, in the 4 examples I've presented, the "angel" of the Lord is constantly referred to and identified as "God". So if the
"angel of the Lord" is not God and if the proposition that man has not seen God
is true, then it can be concluded safely that the angels were
just representing the presence of God in a form visible to humans. The angels were a visible form that spoke for God, who as He declared cannot be
seen. This explanation can be applied to other instances where men supposedly "saw" God, one example being Abraham's encounter with the three "men"
while hearing God's words.
In other words Hagar, Jacob, Moses, Abraham etc all saw visible angels - as men, fires - while hearing the words of God, who spoke through them. God
has never seen by man.
God knows best.
edit on 16-4-2014 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)