face to face
By Craig C. White
Recently I was asked by a young Muslim, How can the bible say that “Moses spoke to God face to face”, and also say that “no man has seen God”?
Here is my answer:
Exo 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Here is the original Hebrew word used in Exodus 33:11 above. As you can see the term face to face can be used figuratively. This seems like an awfully weak argument to use to discredit the Bible.
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פּנה pâneh, paw-neh’; from 6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively)
So John’s statement below holds true. Are you willing to risk your eternal soul over such minutia? Don’t do it!
Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
No man has seen God. When a man can’t see the truth of the Bible it isn’t because the truth can’t be seen. But, it is because he is blind. Pray to God in the name of Jesus that you would not be blind.
2Co 3:13-18 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
1 Timothy 6:16 below also states that no man has seen God. In this instance Timothy is saying that Jesus is God! And that we will see him at his coming!
1Ti 6:14-16 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Considering your line of questioning I thought that the beginning of this chapter was appropriate.
1Ti 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
You are right. There are many sinners mentioned in the Bible(Gen 19:32-36). Don’t you know that every person has sinned?
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
I know that I am a sinner. If you say that you have not sinned then you will be judged by God according to your own works.
Rom 2:1-11 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
It isn’t our own righteousness that commends us to God. Righteousness comes by faith (or belief) in God and through the payment for our sins by Jesus Christ.
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
God bless us as we read his word and believe!