Many people are confused with whom it was that Moses saw, and many believe Moses saw Yahshua. Since scripture cannot contradict itself, let’s examine some of these accounts and see if we can better understand this.

In exodus chapter 33 we read Moses, when conversing with the Lord, saw His backside. Verses 18-23 say;

And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Some believe this account is describing the Father. However, we have two witnesses in scripture that show us no man has seen the Father at any time.

NO MAN has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the FATHER, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

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 honor and power everlasting. Amen.

 Also in Colossians he is called the invisible God, because no one has seen him.

 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)

These passages make it evident it was in Fact Yahshua whom Moses saw. We will have another study entitled “The Glory of Messiah” to further look at what exactly it was that Moses saw. Notice also in verse 20 it says no man shall look upon even Messiahs face and live.

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

We read later however, that Moses did in fact speak with Messiah face to face.

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. (Exodus 33:11)

 Many are confused as to what this passage means. Let’s examine another scripture that say’s the same thing.

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Genesis 32:30)

 There are actually many examples in scripture where it says they have seen God face to face and lived. However, let’s examine a few that give a better description of this.

Genesis 18 describes an account where Messiah and two other messengers meet Abraham before destroying Sodom.

And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. (Genesis 18)

 Here, Abraham also spoke with Yahshua face to face. Yet from this passage we know that Messiah was disguised as a “man.” Again, in Judges 6 Yahshua appears unto Gideon as the angel of the Lord, yet Gideon does not recognize who he was and asks for a sign that it is really the Lord that is speaking with him. Verse 17 says;

And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.

 Notice what verses 21-24 say. In the study entitled “Who is Michael,” we already discovered that the angel of LORD is Yahshua.

Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.

 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! For because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.

 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

 As both these accounts have revealed, Messiah comes to us disguised as a man or an angel: His Glory, is covered. Let’s examine one more account of this. Exodus 24:1-2 says;

And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

 And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.

Later in verses 9-11 however, we read that the Elders of Israel saw God.

Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

 Many take this verse to mean that they saw the image of God. But notice how in these verses it says nothing about what he looks like but rather the place in which he stands: described as the body of heaven.

These verses in context make it clear that these are figures of speech. They are being used to describe the manifestation of Yahshua, not the direct image of his person.

If I were to say, in regard to something pertaining to my own life, “I have SEEN God at work.” All would understand this to be a manifestation of his power not a direct image of His person. We saw before that Abraham also spoke with Messiah face to face, but that he still appeared veiled. This is what it means to see God face to face. It is rather to know God and speak with Him as a friend speaks with a friend. In the context of Moses seeing God face to face, it did not say that he saw him glorified, but rather that he spoke with Him in person.

I hope this study helps you better understand these passages, as well as what it means to be near to God. May we all strive for this oneness. At a later time we will take a look at the accounts of the sightings of Messiah after the cross.


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