God No One Has Seen At Any Time
“Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε μονογενὴς Θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο” (John 1:18)
“God no one hath ever seen; the Unique God, who is always close to the Father; He has revealed”
This verse is used by some as “proof”, that Jesus Christ cannot be “God”. It is argued, that John is clear here, that no one has ever seen God. Is this correct?
Reading this verse shows this to be wrong. Here we have in the oldest and best textual evidence, dating from the early 2nd century, even in the Gospel of John used by the early heretics. There is no doubt that the Apostle John wrote, “Θεὸν...μονογενὴς Θεὸς”. It should also be noted, that in both places, the noun, “Θεὸς”, is used without the definite Greek article “τὸν Θεόν...ὁ Θεὸς”, as John does in 1:1, “καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος” (and the Word was God). Do we translate John 1:18 as, “god no one has ever seen...the Unique god”? No!
It is very clear from John 1:18, that John is here speaking of the Father, who has never been seen, as “Θεὸν”, is here “τοῦ Πατρὸς” (the Father), Whom Jesus is always close to. In John 6:46, Jesus makes this very clear: “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father”. Jesus here speaks of His eternal existence with God the Father, as we see the same Greek “ὢν”, as in 1:18, which is in the present, continuous tense. Also Jesus says that He is “from God” the Father, which is the preposition, “παρα”, that is, “besides, alongside”.
In Exodus chapter 33, we read, “and Yahweh said to Moses...You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (verses 17, 20). Yet, in verse 11 it says, “So Yahweh spoke to Moses Face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”. “pānîm ’el-pānîm”, can also mean, “Person to person”. It is clear that Yahweh here is Speaking directly to Moses, as do friends with each other. The detailed description shows that it is not a dream or vision. In verse 9 we read, “the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle”, and 10, “All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshipped, each man in his tent door”. Yahweh was in this Pillar of cloud, Whom Moses saw. In Deuteronomy 34:10, we read, “No prophet has arisen again in Israel like Moses, whom Yahweh knew Face to face (pānîm ’el-pānîm)”. It is clear from Exodus 33, that there are TWO Persons Who are Yahweh. The One Who meets Moses “Face to face”, as do humans when they meet each other; and the Other, Who says that no one can ever see His Face and live! The One is Jesus Christ, and the Other, The Father. There is no other explanation for this passage.
In Genesis 32, we read, “Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak” (verse 24). This “Man” Who Jacob wrestled with, was actually “physically” with him. In verse 30, Jacob says, “Jacob then named the place Peniel, For I have seen God Face to face (’ĕlōhîm pānîm ’el-pānîm), he said, and I have been delivered”. Jacob is clear that the “Man”, Whom he wrestled with, is none other than Almighty God.
In Numbers 14:14, “They will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people, how You, Yahweh, are seen Face to face (‘ayin bə‘ayin, Eye to eye), how Your cloud stands over them, and how You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night”
Deuteronomy 5:4, “Yahweh spoke to you Face to face (pānîm ’el-pānîm) from the fire on the mountain”
All these Encounters are without doubt, directly with Almighty God Himself. Who is Yahweh. As this cannot be the Father, it can only be the pre-Incarnational Appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ, known as Theophanies, or Christophanies.
We also have the actual Visit from Yahweh to Abraham, in Genesis chapters 17-19, were we read of Yahweh having his “feet washed”, “eating food”, and “walking with Abraham”; all of which shows that this was not a “dream or vision”, but Yahweh actually with Abraham and Sarah.
In the 6th chapter in the Book of Judges, where we have “The Angel of Yahweh (Mal'âk Ye hôvâh)”, Visit Gideon. In verse 12 we read, “Then the Angel of Yahweh Appeared to him and said: “Yahweh is with you, mighty warrior”. Here “The Angel of Yahweh”, Speaks of Another Who is “Yahweh”. In verse 14 it says, “Yahweh looked (pânâh, to face) upon him and said”, showing “physical” contact. Gideon addresses “The Angel”, “Please, Lord (, the Name used for God), how can I deliver Israel?” (verse 15). Note that “Lord” here is, “’Aḏōnāy”, and not, “’ăḏōnê”. Clearly Gideon knows who this Mal'âk Ye hôvâh is. In the next verse, the Angel replies, “But I will be with you, the Lord said to him”. Here “LORD” is “Ye hôvâh”, Who is The Angel of Ye hôvâh! “I will be”, is in the Hebrew, “hâyâh”, which is the same in Exodus 3:14, “I AM”. Here we have The Angel of Yahweh, Who is also Yahweh, who says to Gideon, “I Am with you”. Language that is impossible for any created being to use! In verse 22 Gideon says, “When Gideon realized that He was the Angel of the Lord, he said, Oh no, Lord God (literally, ’Aḏōnāy Ye hôvâh) I have seen the Angel of the Lord Face to face (pānîm ’el-pānîm)”. Gideon is assured by Yahweh Himself, “But Yahweh said to him, Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die” (verse 23). If this Angel of Yahweh, were a created angel, then Yahweh would not have told Gideon, “Don’t be afraid, for you will not die”, as only those who see God Face to face, will die! Nothing can be clearer from this passage in Judges, that The Angel of Yahweh, Who is clearly distinct from Yahweh, and Himself Yahweh, is The Lord Jesus Christ.
In Malachi 3:1, there is a Prophecy of the First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the Way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the Covenant you desire—see, He is Coming,” says Yahweh of Hosts”
This is a very interesting verse. The Speaker here is “Yahweh of Hosts”. The first “messenger” is to clear the Way for Him, “he will clear the Way before Me”. We then have “hā 'Adônây” (The Lord, not, “Adôn”, Who is here “Mal'âk be rı̂yth” (The Messenger of the Covenant). This “Messenger” is also Coming.
In the Gospels (Matthew 11:10, etc), Jesus Christ quotes from the verse, but makes a change to the personal pronoun. Instead of “Me (μου)”, we have “You (σου). By doing so, Jesus here makes Himself the Speaker in Malachi 3:1, Who is “Yahweh of Hosts”, and He says that John the Baptist, went before Him, to prepare His Way, and that Her is “The Messenger of the Covenant”. This is one of the strongest Testimonies by Jesus Christ, to His own Absolute Deity, as “Yahweh of Hosts”. Nothing else can account for the change of the pronoun by Jesus! Matthew 3:3, etc, with Isaiah 40:3, confirms the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Coming of Yahweh/Elohim.
Jesus Christ clearly identifies Himself as “The Messenger of Yahweh”, in the Old Testament, Who is Himself also Yahweh. Those who still argue that there is only One Person in the Bible, Who is Yahweh, and that this is the Father, are proven to be wrong from the Bible! There is no escaping the facts as taught in the Bible, that BOTH Jesus Christ, and the Father are Yahweh, but not the same Person. The Person Who Spoke with Moses FACE TO FACE, and Who is the “Man” Who Appeared to Gideon, is Yahweh. Yet we are also told that no human can see God and live. We have seen that this refers ONLY to God the Father.