Will we see God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in heaven? from Compelling Truth
In Matthew 5:8 Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” And Revelation 22:4 refers to those in the New Jerusalem who “will see [God’s] face.” How can this be, since God told Moses that “no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20 NIV)?
In John 4:24, Christ taught that God the Father is “spirit.” And, of course, the Holy Spirit is spirit as well. Jesus, God the Son, however, has a body. In Luke 24:39, appearing to His disciples after His resurrection, Jesus said, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” Later, Jesus ascended bodily into heaven (Acts 1:9). So God the Father, who is spirit, does not have flesh and bones, and neither does the Holy Spirit. They are therefore invisible to our eyes. In contrast, Jesus is visible: “The Son is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15 NIV). At the Incarnation, the Son of God took upon Himself sinless flesh in order to be our sin-bearer and provide salvation (1 Peter 2:24).
This is not to say that a spirit can never be visible to us. Angels are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14). Yet they have some kind of form and are able to manifest themselves to people when necessary. Gabriel took a visible form when he spoke to Mary (Luke 1:26–38). And the heralding angels were visible when they announced Christ’s birth to the shepherds (Luke 2:9–14).
There are times when God also manifested Himself in ways people could actually see. For example, when the Lord spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” in Exodus 33:11, it must have been what we call a theophany—a limited manifestation of God in human form. Later in the same chapter, Moses asked the Lord to see His glory. The Lord accommodated Moses but told him that no man could see His face and live. God passed by Moses and showed him His “back” but not His face (Exodus 33:18–23). There is no contradiction here regarding the Lord speaking face-to-face with Moses and then telling Moses that he couldn’t see His face and live. In the face-to-face meeting, God veiled His glory. In fact, Moses could very well have been talking to the pre-incarnate Christ. Colossians 2:9 (NIV) says that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”