Can Man See God and Live?

by JosephAlward 37 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Not Perfect
    Not Perfect

    Hi Joe and Pom,

    I see God everyday. "Man was made in the image of God", so everytime I look into a mirror or into my loved ones eyes, I see the reflection of the face of my Creator. I see His face and live.

    Not Perfect

  • JosephAlward

    Logical writes,

    "Joe, no man shall see Jah's FACE and live. Simple. Moses saw his back, but not his face. Its not that difficult to figure out. There is only one YHWH."

    In Exodus 33 Moses saw his back, but in Exodus 24, Moses "saw" God, period, with no specification about which part of God was seen. In any case, it doesn't matter whether Moses saw the back or the front, because Exodus 33 says that no man may see God and live; the author notes that the face cannot be seen, but then emphasizes that God may not be seen, period.

    All of this may seem to be, as Logical puts it, "a simple thing." I agree, it's simple, but to those who believe that the writers of the Bible were inspired by God to write his perfect message, it comes as a shock to learn that the writers were imprecise. This is just one example of imprecision and error amongs hundreds.

    Now, consider this. If the Exodus author is correct in writing that no man may see God's face and live, how does Pom explain the following:

    Deuteronomy 5
    1 Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
    The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
    It was not with our fathers that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.
    The LORD spoke to you FACE TO FACE out of the fire on the mountain.

    Is Pom going to tell us that the Deuteronomy author didn't want us to know that Moses looked into the face of God, and God into the face of Moses? The words in Deuteronomy are clear, and they show that the author of this Deuteronomy verse didn't know that the author of Exodus thought that no man could see the face of God and live. This is just one of hundreds of inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible.

    Joseph F. Alward
    "Skeptical Views of Christianity and the Bible"

  • pomegranate

    >>Pom believes that there are two YHWHs, one which is seen only under penalty of death;<<

    That is incorrect. First, death would be resultant of an unavoidable perishing because of the overwhelming granduer and magnificence of a human viewing YHWH Father AND/OR the FACE of YHWH Son. NOT as a "penalty" as if they did something WRONG by looking at God, but death AS A HUMAN because of the inability to be in the presence of such a Being of supreme magnitude.

    The YHWH Father exists and has NEVER BEEN SEEN by ANY man. Not even his pinky toe nail.

    >>this is the YHWH which is responsible for creation,<<

    That is NOT what I understand or communicated to you ever...

    They BOTH (Father and Son) are responsible for creation, as we in image and likeness, as a man and a woman are responsible for our living creations. It takes two to tango even in God:

    1 Cor 8:6
    6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father FROM whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, THROUGH whom all things came and through whom we live.

    Creation is FROM the Father THROUGH the Son. (I and the Father are One)

    Pro-creation is FROM the male THROUGH the female. (The two become one flesh)

    Two in God, two in flesh.

    >>The other YHWH is the one who can be seen--according to Pom. Now, Pom says that the YHWH who speaks in Exodus 24 is the SAME one who speaks in Exodus 33.<<

    The YHWH in both chapters is YHWH Son.

    >>>Now, assuming that Pom agrees with my characterization of his beliefs, let me present my argument again.<<

    I don't, see the clarifications above.

    >>Exodus 33 says that no man may see God, but Exodus 24 says that Moses saw God; this is a contradiction. Here is the evidence:

    "And he said, Thou canst not see my FACE: for there shall no man see me and live." (Exodus 33:20)<<

    Again, Joseph just reads the tiny parts of the Bible he wants to support his argument, and ignores the Bibles further LIGHT on what constitutes or defines what YHWH Son meant by "Thou canst not SEE MY FACE: for there shall no man see me and live."

    It is clear in the text above, that YHWH Son is stating that HIS FACE is the topic of which that cannot be scene by a human and he yet survive it. How do we know? Because emphasis on the FACE not being seen is reiterated for the reader as the AMOUNT of the YWHW Son that cannot be scene without dire consequences.

    Ex 33:22-23
    22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

    Clearly, YHWH Son says to Moses YOU WILL SEE MY BACK. YHWH Son says his FACE must NOT be seen, which sends us back to: "Thou canst not see my FACE: for there shall no man see me and live."

    But YHWH Son's "back" was shown to Moses. The FACE was not seen as BOTH texts plainly state.

    >>"...they SAW the god of Israel..."(Exodus 24:1-11)<<

    They saw the "back" of the YHWH Son. Not the FACE of the YHWH Son. And NOT one itty bitty piece of the Father.

    >>Pom tries to escape this contradiction by arguing that we should assume that the words "shall no man see me and live" actually mean, "shall no man see [my face] and live." Thus, in Pom's mind, because Exodus 24 doesn't specifically say the Moses saw God's FACE, there's no contradiction.<<

    The contextual meaning here is simple. YHWH Son can be seen except for his FACE. FACE, meaning the whole enchalada in relation to the YHWH Son. The YHHW Father and FACE of the YHWH cannot be gazed upon by humans as much as staring at the sun is a sure loosing battle for your eye balls.

    >>Pom, do you REALLY believe the Exodus author wanted his readers to believe that Moses didn't see God's face?<<

    That's exactly what the Bible says Joseph. What I believe on this point is in fact meaningless because the Bible passages are plain as DAY. Do you flatly deny that YHWH Son said his face cannot be seen, and that Moses only saw his "back?"

    Face, back and hand are obvious meanings for an AMOUNT of glory shown and seen. NOT body parts like a physical human.

    >>If that's what he wanted us to believe, wouldn't he have said so?<<

    Seems to me it's like a blinding light. Can't you see it?

    23 "Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

    He said it exactly like it happened Joseph. YOU CAN'T SEE MY FACE. I will only let you see 50 Watts of light NOT 100 Watts. If you look at 100. POOF!!! You're a goner.

    >>Pom wants to argue that death only comes if one sees God's face, but the Bible doesn't say that.<<

    Repetition for emphasis:

    23 "Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

    >>The Bible does say that if one sees God's face, death follows, but it does not say that's the ONLY way you will die; the Bible ALSO says that if anyone sees God, period, one dies. Seeing God's face is just ONE way of seeing the God, not the only way.<<

    You are pulling a classic case of taking a small bit of scripture TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT. This is a classic way people support points of view without a contextual foundation. Just take a small snippet and say SEE!! Look what it says. But DON't bother reader the context, that will make you understand something different...That is an OLD trick the JW's use all the time. I learned my lesson from the KINGS of taking things out of context. You are doing the same thing.

    Seeing YHWH Son's face is one way to expire. Seeing his back is one way one won't expire. So, seeing God, in the CONTEXT of FACE, obviously means the FULL GLORY of the Son, which WOULD CAUSE and early expiration date.

    >>Moses saw God, but Moses didn't die, so the Bible is in error.<<

    The Bible plainly states Moses saw the "back" of the YHWH Son. In the same context of "you can't see me and yet live," is the defining factor in both the texts mentioning FACE. The Bible is consistent in what the ONLY definition of not seeing the YHWH Son meant. Death by viewing FULL GLORY, or the FACE.

    >>Exodus said that Moses SAW God. Why should we assume the writer meant for us to believe that Moses didn't see his face, as well as the rest of him?<<

    First, there is no lie here in these passages. In order to go with your line of thinking above, a lie would have to be proved of which you have not proven in the least sense of the word. So this question has no merit or foundation.

    >>In fact, the writer makes it clear that WHATEVER it was that Moses DID see, it ordinarily would have been enough to God to administer the death penalty, otherwise why would the author tell us that God chose not to lay his hand on Moses?<<

    First, if Moses had seen more that he should have, he would have expired. He didn't, as he only saw the "back" (lesser amount) and survived, as the Bible PLAINLY details. Second, the other text you bring in as a red herring, is talking about the elders disobedience in relation to "going up." That was disobedience to YHWH Son's command where they were to worship him at a DISTANCE. YHWH Son had justifiable reason to raise his hand against THEM, NOT MOSES. Moses did exactly what he was told to do.

    Ex 24:11
    11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites;


    Ex 24:1-2
    24:1 Then he said to Moses, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the LORD; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him."

    Did they OBEY that COMMAND???? Noooooooo. They disobeyed. THAT was the reason why the YHWH Son could have RAISED his hand against THEM, not Moses. NOT because they saw him (WHICH WAS OBVIOUSLY JUST A "BACK" VIEW), but becasue they DISOBEYED a SIMPLE COMMAND: "And the people MAY NOT come up with him."

    Are you really that stubborn so as to not admit to seeing this very simple contextual proof?

    >>Thus, Moses must have done something that ordinarily would have earned him the death penalty.<<

    No. Do your contextual homework Joseph. The seventy elders and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu DISOBEYED GOD by going up instead of NOT going up and staying at a t distance as was COMMANDED them. THAT assuredly earned THEM the death penalty.

    >>The Exodus author seems to be telling us here that Moses is no ordinary man, and that's why God chose to spare him.<<

    Moses was an ordinary man. Just like you.

    >>Nevertheless, Exodus 24 contradicts Exodus 33.<<

    This is getting old. There is no contradiction, just lack of understanding on your part whether it be willing or unwilling.

    >>What the writer SHOULD have said is that no ordinary man can see God, but he would allow the most holy man of Old Testament times to do so. The writer didn't say this, so the writer was wrong about God killing any man who sees him.<<

    You now use circular reasoning to bolster a dead horse argument.

    Good night.

  • pomegranate

    >>There is only one YHWH<<

    Tell that to the Apostle John:

    John 1:1-2
    1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

    I count two. How's your math???

  • pomegranate

    >>I see God everyday. "Man was made in the image of God", so everytime I look into a mirror or into my loved ones eyes, I see the reflection of the face of my Creator.<<

    I agree. I look in the mirror or in my loved ones eyes and I see TWO looking back at me.

  • pomegranate

    >>The LORD spoke to you FACE TO FACE out of the fire on the mountain.<<

    Figure of speech.

    You seem to be scrambling for anything...

  • pomegranate

    Figures of speech.

    After Jacob wrestled a MAN, he says the following:

    Gen 32:30
    30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

    Life spared referencing he got the crap physcially kicked out of him by this man, with his hip joint being dislocated...yet he says "He saw God"...Jacobs figure of speech for dealing with God's representative.

    Ex 33:11
    11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face,

    Here's one where YWHW defines "face to face"

    Num 12:8
    8 With him I speak face to face,
    clearly and not in riddles;

    Again, another example of "face to face" meaning the TWO PILLAR's:

    Num 14:14
    you O LORD, have been seen face to face (TALKING ABOUT THE EGYPTIANS "SEEING" God), that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

    See Joseph? Face to face means here the Egyptians seeing the TWO PILLARS. Face to face is a figure of speech here too in relation to God.

    Deut 5:4-5
    4 The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain.

    Hmmm. Fire has a face now?? Figure of speech...


    Deut 34:10-11
    10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

    FIGURES of SPEECH, Joseph...that is easy GRAMMAR.

    Can we get our debate out of the elementary grammar???

  • Not Perfect
    Not Perfect

    Hi John and Pom,

    You both have an excellent grasp of scripture, but you are missing the point. You know that you could be posting this on a Jewish board or another Christian board, so I ask, "Why here, and why is this so important to you both?" This isn't really a salvation issue. Is it too either of you? If it is, why? I would truly like to understand why this point is so important.

    Not Perfect

  • JosephAlward

    Deut 34:10-11
    10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

    Pomegranate: "FIGURES of SPEECH, Joseph...that is easy GRAMMAR. "

    I think it's clear that even if there were a verse that read, "Moses looked into the face of God," Pom would claim that it was figure of speech of some sort, or if the Bible said that "Moses saw the eyes and nose on the face of God, Pom would conclude that the "face" that couldn't be seen by man was a metaphor for his "soul," or his mind, and that what really couldn't be "seen" (understood) was the mind of God. No matter what, Pom will never admit there's a error in the Bible. In fact, it may not be possible to construct a sentence about anyone seeing God's face that Pom wouldn't be able to explain away. This is standard practice for those who have to believe that the Bible is inerrant in all of its parts, that there isn't an error anywhere.

    I think both Pom and and I have made the points we wished to make, so we can move on to some other topic. May I ask which Bible people use, and whether they believe it's inerrant?

    Joseph F. Alward
    "Skeptical Views of Christianity and the Bible"

  • JosephAlward

    NotPerfect asks, "I would truly like to understand why this point is so important."

    It's extremely important, Not. If one admits that there's a single error in the Bible, then one is vulnerable to the argument that there might be an error anywhere, and that perhaps the story of the resurrection is fictional.

    St. Augustine (354-430) was one of the founders of the Roman Catholic Church. He well understood that Christianity was like a house of cards; if the church dared to admit to even a single error in the Bible, who could say there wasn't an error on every page? The resurrection story might then be false and everyone's hopes are in vain. This is what he said:

    "The most disastrous consequences must follow upon our believing that anything false is found in the sacred books....If you [even] once admit into such a high sanctuary of authority one false statement, there will not be left a single sentence of those books, which, if appearing to anyone difficult in practice or hard to believe, may not by the same fatal rule be explained away as a statement, in which intentionally, the author declared what was not true." --St. Augustine in Epistula, p. 28.

    So, you see, Not, if Pom agrees that the Exodus writers offered contradictory information, Pom would have to agree that the Bible might be in error someplace else, and that perhaps none of the Jesus stories can be believed. That's why this point is so important.

    Joseph F. Alward
    "Skeptical Views of Christianity and the Bible"

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