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Will We See God the Father after We Are Glorified? Part 1
by Karl Kemp
3/23/2017 / Bible Studies
Will We See God the Father after We Are Glorified?
When is the Father Coming According to the Book of Revelation?
Includes Detailed Studies of 1 John 2:26-3:3 and James 5:7-8
Karl Kemp; January, 2017
All quotations were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Sometimes I make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious. I am using straight quotation marks ("), hyphens (-) instead of dashes, and a few other things like this because some of the internet sites where I post these articles require it. Also they don't allow footnotes. Cf., e.g., means "compare, for example."
CONTENTS (I don't list every subsection here. The page numbers go with the complete edition of this paper.):
1. INTRODUCTION...... 5
1.1. MATTHEW 18:10 IS VERY SIGNIFICANT...... 7
1.2. TWO EVANGELICAL THEOLOGIANS ON THE INVISIBILITY (SUPPOSED INVISIBILITY) OF GOD THE FATHER...... 10
1.3. AN EVANGELICAL THEOLOGIAN WHO LEAVES SOME ROOM FOR US TO ACTUALLY SEE GOD THE FATHER AFTER WE ARE GLORIFIED, EVEN THOUGH HE DOESN'T FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WILL WORK...... 13
1.4. SEEING GOD THE FATHER AFTER WE ARE GLORIFIED, AND ON HIS COMING TO SAVE AND TO JUDGE...... 16
2. DID EZEKIEL SEE GOD THE FATHER?...... 17
2.1. EZEKIEL 1:26-28...... 18
2.2. EZEKIEL 3:22-23...... 20
2.3. EZEKIEL 8:1-4...... 20
2.4. EZEKIEL 9:3a...... 21
2.5. EZEKIEL 9:4; 10:2...... 21
2.6. EZEKIEL 10:1...... 22
2.7. EZEKIEL CHAPTER 43...... 22
2.8. EZEKIEL 10:4, 18-19...... 23
2.9. EZEKIEL 11:22-23...... 23
2.10. EZEKIEL 43:1-4...... 24
3. WE WILL LOOK AT QUITE A FEW OTHER PASSAGES, BESIDES THOSE IN EZEKIEL, WHERE GOD THE FATHER HAS BEEN SEEN IN SOMETHING FAR LESS THAN A FULL, CLEAR SENSE (IN VISIONS, THEOPHANIES). The first two passages listed here are especially relevant because the context confirms that God the Father, not God the Son, was the Person who was seen...... 25
3.1. DANIEL 7:9...... 25
3.2. REVELATION 4:2-3 (WITH 5:7)...... 26
3.3. PSALM 11:7 (with 11:6)...... 26
3.4. PSALM 17:15...... 26
3.5. EXODUS 24:9-11...... 26
3.6. EXODUS 33:18-23...... 27
3.7. EXODUS 33:11a...... 28
3.8. NUMBERS 12:6-8...... 28
3.9. ISAIAH 6:1-5...... 29
4. NOW LET'S LOOK AT SOME MORE PASSAGES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT (BESIDES REVELATION 4:2-3 WITH 5:7) THAT CONFIRM, I BELIEVE, THAT WE WILL SEE GOD THE FATHER: HE ISN'T INVISIBLE...... 31
4.1. MATTHEW 5:8...... 31
4.2. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:12...... 32
4.3. HEBREWS 12:14...... 32
4.3.1. THE GREEK WORD "KURIOS" (LORD) IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS...... 34
4.3.2. SOME COMMENTS FROM COMMENTARIES AND OTHER SCHOLARLY BOOKS ON HEBREWS 12:14...... 34
4.4. 1 JOHN 2:28-3:3...... 36
4.4.1. SOME COMMENTATORS WHO BELIEVE IN, OR LEAVE ROOM FOR, THE VIEWPOINT THAT "WE WILL SEE HIM JUST AS HE IS" REFERS TO GOD THE FATHER IN 1 JOHN 3:2...... 39
5. ANOTHER WAY, PROBABLY A BETTER WAY, TO INTERPRET 1 JOHN 2:28...... 45
5.1. IT WILL BE VERY HELPFUL TO CONSIDER SEVERAL PASSAGES THAT SPEAK OF GOD THE FATHER COMING TO JUDGE, AND/OR JUDGING, AT THE END OF THIS AGE...... 48
5.2. REVELATION 1:4 (and 1:8 and 4:8) AND 11:15-18. As I demonstrate in this paper, the book of Revelation puts a strong emphasis on God the Father's judging at the end of this age. But it is even more important for our study of 1 John 2:28 that the book of Revelation puts a strong emphasis on His coming to save and to judge at the end of this age. As I will show, it clearly speaks of His coming at the time the Day of Judgment begins...... 51
5.2.1. IN REVELATION 1:4 (and 1:8 and 4:8) GOD THE FATHER IS CALLED "Him who is and who was and WHO IS TO COME [my emphasis]."...... 51
5.2.2. IT IS VERY SIGNIFICANT WHAT REVELATION 11:15-18 GOES ON TO SAY...... 51
5.2.3. I'LL INCLUDE SEVERAL BRIEF QUOTATIONS FROM COMMENTATORS ON REVELATION 11:17...... 53
5.2.4. SOME COMMENTATORS ON REVELATION 11:15-18 WHO SPEAK OF GOD THE FATHER BEGINNING TO REIGN THROUGH THE COMING OF THE LORD JESUS...... 54
5.3. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THE OLD TESTAMENT FREQUENTLY SPOKE OF YAHWEH (which typically refers to God the Father in the Old Testament, even as the word "God" typically refers to God the Father in the New Testament) COMING TO JUDGE THE WORLD. (We are still under the major heading 5, "Another Way, Probably a Better Way to Interpret 1 John 2:28.")...... 56
5.4. IT COULD BE QUITE SIGNIFICANT TO THE INTERPRETATION OF 1 JOHN 2:28 IF THE APOSTLE JOHN WROTE 1 JOHN AFTER HE WROTE THE BOOK OF REVELATION, AND THERE IS A VERY GOOD POSSIBILITY THAT IT HAPPENED THAT WAY...... 56
5.5. I'll QUOTE 1 JOHN 2:28 AGAIN (NASB) AND DISCUSS THIS VERSE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW THAT JOHN WAS SPEAKING OF THE COMING (PAROUSIA) OF GOD THE FATHER, OR AS IN THE MARGINAL NOTE OF THE NASB: "IN HIS PRESENCE (PAROUSIA) [THE PRESENCE OF GOD THE FATHER]." Parousia can be translated "coming" or "presence."...... 58
5.5.1. THE GREEK NOUN "PAROUSIA."...... 58
5.5.2. 1 JOHN 2:20, 26-27. THESE VERSES ARE RELEVANT TO THE INTERPRETATION OF 1 JOHN 2:28....... 61
6. JAMES 5:7-8 (WITH JAMES 5:1-12) AND THE LORD'S COMING TO JUDGE, BUT WHO DOES THE LORD REFER TO HERE?...... 65
6.1. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BOOK OF JAMES IS UNUSUAL IN SEVERAL WAYS...... 66
6.2. I'll QUOTE PART OF WHAT PETER DAVIDS SAYS UNDER JAMES 5:7, 8...... 67
6.3. I'LL QUOTE JAMES 5:1-6 AND THEN 5:9-12...... 69
6.4. I'LL QUOTE, AND/OR MENTION A SMALL PART OF WHAT DOUGLAS J. MOO SAYS REGARDING JAMES 5:4, 7-8, 10-11...... 71
6.5. SOME OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES THAT SPEAK OF GOD THE FATHER COMING TO JUDGE, OR JUST JUDGING, AT THE END OF THIS AGE, AND ALSO SOME OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES THAT, WHEN READ IN THE LIGHT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, SPEAK OF THE SON OF GOD COMING TO JUDGE, OR JUST JUDGING...... 72
7. REVELATION 22:3-5, ESPECIALLY VERSE 4, IS AN IMPORTANT PASSAGE THAT CONFIRMS THAT WE WILL SEE GOD THE FATHER AS HE IS...... 73
8. A BRIEF DISCUSSION OF SEVERAL NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES THAT MIGHT SEEM TO DENY THAT GOD CAN EVER BE SEEN (JOHN 1:18; 6:46; COLOSSIANS 1:15; 1 TIMOTHY 1:17; 6:16; AND HEBREWS 11:27)...... 75
9. "THE INVISIBILITY OF GOD: A SURVEY OF A MISUNDERSTOOD PHENOMENON" ARTICLE BY ANDREW S. MALONE...... 80
9.1. THE PROBLEM...... 81
9.2. SOLUTION 1...... 82
9.3. AN EXCERPT FROM JUSTIN'S DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO THAT WAS MENTIONED BY ANDREW S. MALONE...... 86
1. INTRODUCTION. Will We See God the Father in Heaven after We Are Glorified? This is an important question! It seems to rather significantly affect our concept of God and our relationship with Him. Large numbers of Christians (especially the scholars; but ideas trickle down [pour down] from the scholars; from their writings and other teachings, including their teaching in the seminaries and universities) believe that God the Father, by His very essence and nature, always was, and always will be, invisible to us. This view may seem reasonable, but, significantly, I believe the Bible rather strongly supports the idea that we will see God the Father forever and ever after we are glorified. I believe we will see Him after we are glorified, but I don't believe I need to be dogmatic on this point. However, as I mentioned, I believe this is an important question! We will discuss this topic in some detail in this paper, but we will not discuss all the passages of Scripture that are related to this topic.
The New Testament has a lot to say about God the Father sending His Son to judge the world at the end of this age; however, we must not think in terms of the Father being passive or inactive while those judgments are taking place. Far from it! For one thing, I believe it is very important to see that the book of Revelation, which contains God's last word in the Bible on end-time prophecy, puts some emphasis on the fact that GOD THE FATHER WILL ALSO COME IN A VERY REAL SENSE AT THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH AND LAST TRUMPET OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION, AT THE SAME TIME THAT THE LORD JESUS WILL COME. ((I believe this trumpet will sound right in the middle of the seven-year period sometimes called Daniel's 70th week. The resurrection, glorification, and rapture of the believers will take place at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet. See my books, "Mid-Week Rapture" and "Introduction to the Mid-Week Rapture." For most people I recommend reading the second book first. It was taken from radio broadcasts and is easier to read, and it zeroes in on the rapture taking place right in the middle of the seven years.)) God the Father will be directly involved in the Day of Wrath and in the ultimate salvation of His people that will begin at that time. The fact that God the Father will come at that time is not often mentioned, but it is, as I will demonstrate, important information that will help us rightly understand the end times and rightly interpret some very important end-time passages.
Although I have understood for a long time that the book of Revelation shows that God the Father will come and be active in the end-time judgment of the world, for some reason (I suppose I have been influenced by other widespread viewpoints) I have subordinated that information to a significant extent and put most of the emphasis on the coming of the Lord Jesus. After doing this study, I am going to put some emphasis on the coming of God the Father.
The fact that God the Father will come at the sounding of the seventh trumpet (discussed in the last two paragraphs) is relevant to the topic of the visibility (or invisibility) of God the Father that was briefly discussed in the first paragraph. For one thing, this information regarding the coming of the Father probably enables us to better understand 1 John 3:2, which is a key verse regarding our being able to see God the Father after we are glorified. (Many, but not the majority, believe that 1 John 3:2 deals with seeing God the Father, not the Lord Jesus.) 1 John 3:2 is discussed in some detail in this paper.
1 John 2:28 is also discussed in some detail in this paper. I cannot be dogmatic, but I believe 1 John 3:2 and the context (1 John 2:26-3:3; all of these verses are discussed in this paper) rather strongly support the viewpoint that God the Father is the One spoken of as coming in 1 John 2:28 (using the Greek noun "parousia" for His coming). However, there is very widespread agreement that 2:28 speaks of the coming of the Lord Jesus. James 5:7-8, in context with James 5:1-12 and other very relevant passages from the Book of James, are also discussed in some detail in this paper. I believe the Biblical evidence rather strongly favors seeing the coming of God the Father to judge at the end of this age (using the Greek noun "parousia" for His coming) in James 5:7 and 8, not to the coming of the Lord Jesus to judge. There is very widespread agreement that these verses speak of the coming of the Lord Jesus.
Originally this paper was going to be part of a verse-by-verse study of key chapters of the book of Ezekiel. Many of the chapters of the book of Ezekiel that were to be discussed in that paper deal with God the Father's appearing to Ezekiel in visions (theophanies). However, as this present section of that paper kept growing it became obvious that I should have two papers. Now I may not write that paper since much that I wanted to cover in that paper is discussed in this paper.
I am not being dogmatic, and I'm not attacking those who disagree with me, but I don't believe God is invisible to the cherubim, seraphim, angels, etc. now (see the next paragraph), or that He will be invisible to us after we are glorified. I don't believe the Bible backs up the widely held idea of His being invisible in His essential being, essence, nature. It seems clear to me that verses like PSALM 17:15 ("As for me, I shall behold Your face [Yahweh] in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with [Or "with beholding" (a note in the margin of the NASB)] Your likeness when I awake"); MATTHEW 5:8 (JESUS said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD [my emphasis]."); 1 CORINTHIANS 13:12 ("For now we see in a mirror dimly, BUT THEN FACE TO FACE [my emphasis]; now I know in part, but then I will fully know just as I also have been fully known."); HEBREWS 12:14 ("Pursue peace with all men, AND THE sanctification [HOLINESS] WITHOUT WHICH NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD [my emphasis]."); 1 JOHN 3:2 ("Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared [or, probably better, "not been manifested"] as yet what we shall be. We know that when He appears [or, probably better, "when it is manifested"], we shall be like Him [like GOD THE FATHER, whose children we are now, but then we will be His glorified children], BECAUSE WE SHALL SEE HIM JUST AS HE IS [my emphasis]."); and especially REVELATION 22:4 ("THEY WILL SEE HIS FACE [(my emphasis) GOD THE FATHER'S FACE], and His name will be on their foreheads.") suffice to show that we will see God the Father after we are glorified. He won't be invisible to the glorified saints. We will discuss these verses and many others in this paper.
1.1. MATTHEW 18:10 IS VERY SIGNIFICANT! IN FACT IT SEEMS THAT THIS ONE VERSE COULD/SHOULD SUFFICE TO DO AWAY WITH THE CONTROVERSY ON THIS TOPIC: JESUS SAID: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones [There is widespread agreement that "one of these little ones" includes all of God's (God the Father's) humble believers, not limited to literal children.], for I say to you that THEIR ANGELS IN HEAVEN CONTINUALLY SEE THE FACE OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN [my emphasis]." I don't believe it is reasonable to say that this only means that these angels know that they are in the presence of God the Father, or that they know God, or that they know God through being able to see the Lord Jesus, etc. If the angels really can see the face of the Father now, and I have to believe they can, then it is settled that WE WILL SEE THE FATHER, INCLUDING THE FACE OF THE FATHER, AFTER WE ARE GLORIFIED! IF SO HE ISN'T INVISIBLE IN HIS ESSENTIAL BEING, ESSENCE, NATURE! We will discuss this verse (Matt. 18:10) a little as we continue:
I'll quote two verses that the NASB mentions in the margin at Matt. 18:10: LUKE 1:19 (and then Rev. 8:2) (("The angel answered and said to him [to Zacharias, who was to become the father of John the Baptist], 'I am Gabriel, WHO STANDS IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD [my emphasis], and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news." I get the strong impression that the presence of God the Father is localized in a Person Gabriel can see; however, I am not suggesting that God the Father is limited to being localized in a spiritual body, assuming He has a spiritual body, which I do assume. I don't have a problem with acknowledging the omnipresence of God the Father, but I don't believe His omnipresence begins to demonstrate that He cannot have a spiritual body. For one thing, it is possible that the Father's omnipresence is accomplished through the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. The three Persons are very strongly united in the Trinity.
God, who created our present physical world with its space and time and who created all of the spiritual beings in the spiritual dimension, which includes the angels (cherubim, seraphim, etc.) and humans (who have a spiritual and physical existence), is above, and not part of the world and beings that He created. Though He has the knowledge of, and access to, everything taking place in our world, with its spiritual and physical dimensions, He clearly isn't limited to having a place in the world which He created. He was here before these things existed. God is a Spirit, but that doesn't mean that the spiritual bodies of the angels are necessarily like His spiritual body, assuming He has a body, which I do assume. Perhaps He lives in a different dimension than the angels that He created, but it is clear that the angels can, and do, live in His presence. We also know that He doesn't have a physical body. Anyway, as I mentioned, I don't believe God's omnipresence, or anything else, demonstrates that God the Father cannot have a spiritual body, especially when the Bible, both Testaments, speak of seeing Him. Also, to repeat what might be an important point, it seems very reasonable to me that the Father's omnipresence could be accomplished through the Holy Spirit.)); REVELATION 8:2 ("And I saw the seven angels WHO STAND BEFORE GOD [my emphasis], and seven trumpets were given to them." I get the very strong impression that the seven angels are standing before God the Father who is visible to them). Verses like this could be multiplied for a long time.
I'll include one more passage, a very relevant passage, REVELATION 4:2-3 ("Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, A THRONE WAS STANDING IN HEAVEN, AND ONE [God the Father] SITTING ON THE THRONE [my emphasis]. (3) And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance."). These last two verses deal with a vision, but I believe that this vision that the apostle John saw, like so many comparable visions (or theophanies), deals with reality. I don't believe that God the Father, who is pictured here, and so often, in the Bible really was/is invisible, and the thing I am most concerned about in this paper is that I don't believe He will be invisible to us forever and ever after we are glorified.
I'll quote part of what John MacArthur says under Matt. 18:10 ("Matthew 16-23" [Moody Bible Institute, 1988], pages 113-119): "These 'angels in heaven' live in the presence of God [at least they have access to God the Father at any time; they could spend much time on the earth; I assume they have direct access to God even when they are on the earth], where they wait attentively for His commands to serve the people of His love. They 'continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven,' Jesus said [Matt. 18:10]. The implication is that the holy angels never take their eyes off God, lest they miss some direction from Him regarding a task they are to perform in behalf of a believer" (page 118). It seems clear that MacArthur does not believe God the Father is invisible to the angels, and if He is not invisible to the angels, He certainly will not be invisible to us after we are glorified. Why would He be?
Although I believe R. C. H. Lenski is wrong here, I'll quote a sentence from what he says under Matt. 18:10 ("St. Matthew's Gospel" [Augsburg Publishing House, 1943], page 693). "The human term [Lenski has the Greek noun for "face" here: "prosopon"] here used with reference to the Father who has no body of any kind, can have in mind only His glory and his glorious presence - at least, we are able to say no more." Large numbers of Christian scholars agree with Lenski that the Father "has no body of any kind," but I don't believe the Bible backs up that viewpoint. What JESUS (WHO WOULD CERTAINLY KNOW) said here in Matt. 18:10 doesn't fit that viewpoint. I don't claim to know all about God, but I believe (without being dogmatic) that He has a spiritual body and that we will see Him after we are glorified, forever, even as we will be reigning with Him and the Lord Jesus forever (cf. Rev. 22:5).
We always need to aim for the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches on every topic, and all the more so on the topics that are the most important. It is clear that there are passages that speak of the invisibility of God the Father, but I don't believe any of these passages include the idea that He will be invisible to us after we are glorified. (For one thing, as we will discuss, sometimes the meaning of the word "invisible" in the Bible is "unseen," unseen at the present time.) I'll list and quote several key passages (These passages, with the exception of 1 John 4:12, which I will briefly discuss here, are discussed in section 8 of this paper): JOHN 1:18 ("No one has seen God [God the Father] at any time; the only begotten God [referring to the Son of God; I prefer "the unique Son" instead of "the only begotten God"; see my paper on John 1:1-18 on my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching)] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him"); JOHN 6:46 ("Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He [Jesus; the God-man] has seen the Father."); COLOSSIANS 1:15 ("He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation [On the words "firstborn of all creation," see my paper on Col. 1:15-3:17]." The Son of God always existed with the Father.); 1 TIMOTHY 1:17 (referring to God the Father, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."); 1 TIMOTHY 6:16 (referring to God the Father, "who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. [His light will not be unapproachable for us after we are glorified (which includes having maximized holiness [cf. Heb. 12:14; we will discuss this verse in this paper]) any more than it is unapproachable for the cherubim, seraphim, angels, etc. now, and we will, I believe, see Him.] To Him be honor and eternal dominion."); 1 JOHN 4:12 (("No one has seen God at any time [[No humans have seen God the Father (except for the many occasions where He allowed people to see Him in very limited ways in theophanies/visons; they could see something of His glory, His throne, and something of His form, with His appearance being likened to the appearance of a man, for example. We will discuss some key examples of such theophanies/visions in this paper), but it will be different after we are glorified. We will see Him clearly, person to Person, and face to face. I'm confident that the apostle John agrees (I John 3:2; Rev. 22:4, for example). That same John was the one who saw God the Father on His throne in a vision in Rev. 4:2-3; I believe that vision reflected reality. The Biblical evidence again and again fails to support the idea that God the Father is invisible.]]; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."))
For many Christians, especially many scholars, the idea of God's supposed invisibly often comes along with ideas like His infinity, omnipresence, and (even for many who believe in the Trinity) an overemphasis on the oneness (on the one essence, nature, being) of God. (We discussed this point in my last paper, "The Preeminent Role of God the Father in the Trinity," that is on my internet site.) We desperately need to hold the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches.
1.2. TWO EVANGELICAL THEOLOGIANS ON THE INVISIBILITY (SUPPOSED INVISIBILITY) OF GOD THE FATHER. If God the Father is invisible in His essence, nature, being, and large numbers of Christians believe that He is, then no created being, including the angels, will ever see Him. It seems clear to me that the Bible teaches that we will see Him and that the angels, etc. can see Him now. (I'm putting some emphasis on Matt. 18:10.)
I'll include two excerpts from Charles Hodge ("Systematic Theology," Volumes 1 and 3 [Eerdmans 1983 reprint]) that will demonstrate how theologian's concepts of God (of His attributes) typically include the invisibility of God the Father. On pages 384-385 of Vol. 1 Hodge says, "Everywhere in the Old and New Testament, God is represented as a spiritual Being, WITHOUT FORM, INVISIBLE [my emphasis], whom no man hath seen or can see.... ... He is in all, and over all things; yet essentially different from all, being over all, independent, and infinitely exalted. This IMMENSITY and OMNIPRESENCE [my emphasis] of God, therefore, is the ubiquity [being everywhere at the same time] of the divine essence, and consequently of the divine power, wisdom, and goodness. As the birds in the air and the fish in the sea, so also are we always surrounded and sustained by God. It is thus that He is infinite in his being, without absorbing all created beings into his own essence, but sustaining all in their individual subsistence, and in the exercise of their own powers." From this point of view, the way he, and many others, understand these words, there is no way that God can have a form (a spiritual body). However, from my point of view, His having a spiritual body need not take away His omnipresence, and as I have mentioned, it seems quite possible that His omnipresence is accomplished through the Holy Spirit, who is one with (but not the same Person as) God the Father in the Trinity. Also, I don't believe we know enough about God the Father to say that He cannot be localized in a spiritual body and also be omnipresent. I want to know more about Him. Much more important that that, I want to know Him better, much better, Person to person and person to Person.
I'll quote part of what Hodge says about seeing the face of God the Father, which (from his point of view) is not really seeing His face, on page 860 of his Vol. 3. What he says here follows from what he said in the preceding paragraph. "... And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve Him: and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. ... As to the blessedness of this heavenly state we know that it is inconceivable: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.' (1 Cor. 2:9) ... We know however: (1.) That this incomprehensible blessedness of heaven shall arise from the vision of God. [This "vision," the way Hodge is using the word, doesn't include actually seeing God the Father.] This vision is beatific. It beautifies. It transforms the soul into the divine image; transforming into it the divine life, so that it is filled with the fulness of God. THIS VISION OF GOD IS IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST, IN WHOM DWELLS THE PLENITUDE OF THE DIVINE GLORY BODILY. GOD IS SEEN IN FASHION AS A MAN; AND IT IS THIS MANIFESTATION OF GOD IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST THAT IS INCONCEIVABLY AND INTOLERABLY RAVISHING [my emphasis]. ... ...." There is no actual seeing of the distinct Person of God the Father here, including His face.
We will continue this study in Part 2 of this paper.
http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.
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