The Bible tells us that, on earth, man sees “through a glass, darkly” or “through a mirror, dimly” (1 Cor 13:12a), but in Heaven, we will see “face-to-face” (1 Cor 13:12b). In Heaven, we will see God in all His unveiled glory.
Even in ancient days, the Old Testament saints knew that one day they would behold their God. David wrote about seeing God, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness…”(Psa 17:15). And John wrote in his apocalyptic writing (apocalyptic means unveiling) that, in eternity, we “shall see His face” (Rev 22:4). So yes, the Bible says that we will see the face of God in Heaven. But has anyone seen God here on earth? And when we do see God in Heaven, what will He look like?
In Ancient Times
The Old Testament clearly tells that God spoke to Moses, face to face (Ex 33:11) at Mt. Sinai, and yet God said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Ex 33:20). So what did Moses see? He saw God’s glory as it passed by him. He only saw God’s back:
Exo 33:21-23 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”
Isaiah also saw God “sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” (Isa 6:1). So what did Isaiah see? It appears from the text that the Lord was so far above, He was so “high and lifted up,” that the only thing Isaiah saw was “the train of His robe [that] filled the temple” (Isa 6:1).
In the Days of Jesus
- Jesus said, “…he who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9) and ” I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
- John wrote that “…we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father…” (John 1:14)
- Thomas called Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26).
- Peter wrote that Jesus is “God and our Saviour” (2 Pet 1:1).
- Paul wrote, calling Jesus “our great God and Saviour” (Titus 2:13) and that the Christ… “who is over all, the eternally blessed God” (Ro 9:5).
- Even the verse in Revelation 22 that says we “shall see His face…” is preceded with a verse that speaks of the unity of the Father and the Son (Rev 22:3-4).
All these verses reveal the oneness of the Trinity — One God in three distinct Persons. (Read: How Can I Understand the Trinity?)
In Heaven, What will God look like?
The Bible doesn’t give us a description of what God the Father looks like. So we don’t have a definitive answer. However, knowing that Jesus is the “the brightness of [God’s] glory, and the express image of His person…” (Heb 1:3), we can come to a biblically reasoned conclusion that when we see God face-to-face, He will look like Jesus! This should evoke both awe and wonder. While we cannot fully comprehend the mystery of the Trinity, there is much that we can understand:
- The Father is Spirit.
- The Spirit is Spirit.
- The Son took on flesh and became fully man and fully God.
- Those three Persons are One God.
Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that when we see the Triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit—what we will behold is the face of Jesus. And when we look into God’s eyes, we will be looking into the eyes of our God and our Saviour!
Now, this is only biblical reasoning because, until we go to Heaven and stand before God, we can only imagine what we will see. Furthermore, when we see God, His appearance will be more glorious and more awesome than we can possibly imagine or even attempt to put into words. Perhaps that is why the Bible gives so little description of what God will look like in Heaven. It’s possible that our finite minds cannot conceive of any greater detail beyond that which God has already given. And, perhaps, it is God’s desire that His appearance be a mystery so that we stand in awe and wonder when His glory is fully revealed, when we “see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
What We Do Know
We know that we will see Jesus “face-to-face.” What a glorious day that will be. Until that time, take 1 minute to get a glimpse of His face.
Click here to actually see Jesus in your mind’s eye: Close Your Eyes and SEE Jesus!
About Focusing Your Eyes on Jesus
Eph 1:18 [May] the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
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