Saturday, April 2, 2016

“Genesis 32:30 I have seen the face of God; Jn 1:18; I Jn 4:12. Nobody has seen the face of God.” Which one is it?"


There is a huge debate that the bible is very contradictory because in one passage people say that they have seen God face to face and spoken with him mouth to mouth, but in other passages, they say that no man shall see God and live. Either those people saw God and the Bible is contradictory, or they did not, but people misinterpreted those passages. Permit that I make some juxtapositions with the different verses. In this lesson, I will show what the first and second passages mean; albeit, unraveling simultaneously the seeming contradiction therein. We will start by applying the abstract and concrete series. The first deals with abstract while the second deals with concrete. Rather than seeing the angel in the place of God, the people saw Jesus in the place of God. This is the contradiction again, “Genesis 33:20 I have seen the face of God; Jn 1:18; I Jn 4:12. Nobody has seen the face of God.” Which one is it?"
The usage of the word “see” there is used figuratively as if seeing by a reflection. When the angel; of the Lord met the fleeing Hagar, he advised her to go back to Sarah, her mistress. Then she said, “Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” (Gen 16:13). This was meant to emphasize her relationship with God. It is like when a man starts to woo a lady and she says, I see you coming, even though they are miles apart behind computer screens.  Just past the middle of Genesis, Jacob concluded after his fight with an angel that he had seen the Lord face to face (Gen 32:20). The passage that gives the real meaning of the word “saw” is Exodus 24: 9-16.
When Moses and the elders went to the Mountain, they saw the God of Israel who was hidden in the thick cloud. The anthropomorphic usage authenticates the presence of the Lord because it was the Lord speaking through the cloud. If they see the cloud and heard the voice speaking in the cloud, then they have seen God. When God is rebuking Miriam, in preparation to mete her punishment for challenging the authority of Moses, he told her that he spoke to him “face to face (Ex 32:30; 33:11).”
Again remember that when Moses and the elders went to the top of the mountain, he spoke to him while hidden in the cloud and Moses responded. That is face to face because the cloud is looking at Moses, and Moses is looking at the cloud. The Cloud becomes a representation of God. It is the same application with “mouth to mouth (Num 12;8).” It does not mean that you see them. When Gideon saw the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “"Alas, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!" (Judges 6:22). The angel of the Lord is symbolic of God. It is a clear usage of theomorphism. After Mr. and Mrs. Manoah have seen the angel, Manoah was afraid that he was going to die because they have seen God (Judges 13:22). Again, the angel is representing God, so seeing the angel is seeing God.
John starts by making a categorical statement that, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (I Jn 1:18). The face of God is veiled in the life of Jesus as his son. The face veiled behind the cloud and the face unveiled and glorified face. The abstract is the veiled face behind the cloud and the unveiled face out of the cloud is the concrete.This reminds me of The Minister’s Black Veil. Whereas the veil of Mr. Hopper’s face symbolizes that all humans have a secret sin or sorrow they harbor, the cloud serves as the veil that covers the glory of God from destroying sinful mankind. When Moses requested God to show him His glory, God told him that he was going to place him on the cliff, cover his face with his hand as he passes by, and after passing, he will remove his hand so he can see his back and not his face because You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."”(Ex 33:18-23). That is because God being immortal has a glory that sinful man cannot withstand. It is brighter than the sun and moon (I Tim 6; 16). Therefore, since no one has seen God at any time, the only representation of God we see are human beings. It is only Jesus Christ, his onlt begotten Son who has been with him, who has seen Him. Consequently, if we love others, it means we are showing that God is in us (I Jn 4:12). 

Until then, there is no contradiction.


St Arrey of Ntenako. 

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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