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Can a man see God?

“No man hath seen God at any time...”  (1 John 4:12) 
“No man hath seen God at any time...”  (John 1:18) 
“...Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”  (Exodus 33:20) 
The above scriptures in the Bible seem to indicate that “no man” can see God.  But the idea or the above scriptural statements are incomplete.
The above scriptural statements do not match, in and of their self, other recorded scriptures in the Bible. 
The following scriptures give additional information and the conditions whereupon "man" can see God.  
One of the conditions is "save he which is of God".  In other words he must be a person worthy of such a blessing, even a man of God.   (John 6:46) 

 Moses saw the God of Israel. 
The following picture represents Moses talking to Jehovah or Jesus Christ. 

(Copyright 2012 Joseph Brickey. Used by permission.)


<< Moses talking to Jehovah or Jesus Christ.

 "And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”  (Exodus 33:11)  




Moses, Aaron, Nabab, and seventy of the elders of Israel “saw the God of Israel.”
“...They saw the God of Israel...”  “... they saw God...”  (Exodus 24:9-11)  

Jacob saw God.
“...For I have seen God
face to face and my life is preserved.”  (Genesis 32:30)

“And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre...”  (Genesis 18:1) 

 [Jehovah, or Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament.  Jehovah was the pre-mortal name-title given to the firstborn Son of God, Jesus Christ.]


At the time Steven was being stoned, Steven saw both God and Jesus Christ.


At the time Steven was being stoned, Steven saw both God and Jesus Christ in “heaven”.
Note: Steven saw two separate personages.

“But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”   (Acts 7:55)


How did Steven know that Jesus was standing on the right side or "right hand of God" if Steven did not see God?


The 12 Apostles saw Jesus Christ after his resurrection.

 “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”  (Luke 24:36-39) 
 The "servants" of God shall  “see his face...”   (Revelation 22:4)

Jesus Christ testified that the "pure in heart" can see God.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”        (Matthew 5:8) 

The following scripture gives a condition whereupon "man" can see God and that condition is "save he which is of God".  In other words he must be a person worthy of such a blessing, even a man of God.

“Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father" (John 6:46) 

The following Scripture indicates that mortal men must be protected or, "except quickened by the Spirit of God", in order to see God.

“For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.”
“Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.” 
 (Doctrine and Covenants 67:11-12)

God in an introductory way, testified to Peter, James and John that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God.  “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Mark 9:7)
"...on the morning...of eighteen hundred and twenty...."
A young 14-year-old boy had some questions about all of the different churches and the different teachings of these churches.  Having faith in the teachings of the Bible he went into the woods to pray and ask of God for truth.  His prayer was answered and later he told of his experience of seeing and talking to God and Jesus Christ.


<< The fourteen-year-old boy, Joseph Smith, seeing Jesus Christ and God our eternal Father.

“…I saw two personages… standing above me in the air.  One of them spoke unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him...”  (Joseph Smith History 1:17)
"The Restoration"  (19:13 min.)

Note: The following Scripture in the King James version of the Bible.

"...Hear now my words: If there be a Prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision...."  (Numbers 12:6)

"It is the first principle of the Gospel to know with a certainty the character of God, and to know that we can converse with Him as one man converses with another."  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith)

  << Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quprm of the Twelve Apostles

The Character of God, Apostasy and Restoration by Elder Oaks.   (17:47 min.)

  << Elder Jeffery R. Hollandof the Quorm of the Twelve Apostles

The Grander of God, by Elder Jeffery R. Holland,.  (15:29 min.) 

The following list of scriptures in the Bible verify that man can see God.
(All of the following scriptures are linked to the "Authorized King James Version" of the Bible.)

Genesis 32:30
Genesis 17:1
Genesis 18:1
Exodus 3:6
Exodus 19:11
Exodus 33:11
Numbers 12:7-8
1 Kings 9:2
1 Kings 11:9
Isaiah 6:1
Isaiah 6:5
Exodus 24:10-11

Deuteronomy 34:10
Deuteronomy 5:4
Judges 13:22
Job 42:5
Job 33:26
Job 19:26
Ezekiel 1:1
Acts 7:2
Acts 7:55-56

Revelation 22:4

 As stated above the scripture in (1 John 4:12) ,  “No man hath seen God at any time...”  is an incomplete statement.  
"Incomplete", means that additional information is needed or something is left out in order to be able to understand exactly an answer to the question, "Can a man see God?"

<< An engraving of Bishop Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (now Lyons, France) 

A ten-volume set originally printed in 1885 A.D., called Ante-Nicene Fathers, brings together the writings of early Christian writings prior to the fourth century before the promulgation of the Nicene Creed.
One of these 180 A.D. writings was by an early Bishop of Lugdunum, Bishop Irenaeus, who wrote that he felt that the verse in 1 John 4:12, should be read or should have been translated as such;
“For no man hath seen God at any time, unless the only-begotten Son of God, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared [Him]."  The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus) (PDF file)


 << Joseph Smith holding a Bible, 1844 Sketch.
The Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1830’s was commanded to commence correcting various verses that through miss-translations, omission, or other reasons, resulted in various miscellaneous mistakes that ended up in the King James Version of the Bible.   The Prophet Joseph Smith received continual revelation in making various corrections.  These corrections are now called the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

Some of the following verses were corrected, thus bring additional information matching other Bible scriptures that indicate that man, under certain conditions, can see God. 
Some of the verses are as follows:

 1 John 4:12  King James Version
Compared to the Joseph Smith Translation:
“No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe...”  (JST, 1 John 4:12)  
 John 1:18 King James Version
 Compared to the Joseph Smith Translation:
"...no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son..."  (JST, John 1:19)