How Does God Reveal Himself To Us?

by Dr. Michael L. Williams · Print Print · Email Email

Many times when having conversations with non-believers they will say that Christians are deluded into believing in something that they cannot see. Likewise, as part of the same conversation, non-believers will often ask in a sarcastic way, “Have you seen God?” For most believers, the comment often leaves them standing there without an answer and the non-believer is left feeling they have won the argument. For this reason it is important to know the how to answer how does God reveal Himself to us?

Can man see God?

In Exodus 33:12-23 we read the account of when Moses asked God if he could see God’s glory. In verses 12-17, Moses discusses how he has done what God wants him to do and God assures Moses that His presence shall go with Moses and give Him rest. In Exodus 33:1, Moses states clearly, “I beseech the, show me thy glory.” God responds with the following:

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. (Exodus 33:19-20)

How Does God Reveal Himself To Us

It is clear from this passage that man cannot see the face of God and live. Likewise, John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” This is further evidenced by what God said to Moses when Moses asked to see God’s glory as follows:

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. (Exodus 33:21-23)

However, in Exodus 33:11, the Bible says: “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…” Some will say this is a contradiction in the Bible or use this verse to claim we can see God. The words “face to face” do not mean that Moses could see God’s face. They mean that Moses was talking to God in person.

There is a reason that we cannot see God’s face. It is because we are not yet in a perfected state as we will be when we die or if the resurrection occurs if we have trusted Christ as our Savior (1 Corinthians 15:39-55; Thessalonians 4:13-18). As long as we are in our earthly bodies, we cannot be in the direct presence of God such that we can see His face (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Revelation 22:4). Until then no one can see His face (Luke 8:10; Revelation 20:11; John 1:18; John 5:37). However, God promises that believers will see his face (Matthew 5:8; Luke 3:6; John 3:3)

How does God reveal Himself?

If we cannot see the face of God, how can we be assured of His presence? How does He reveal Himself? We see God and He is revealed to us as follows:

– We see God revealed first in the person of Jesus Christ: (Matthew 11:1-6; John 1:18; John 5:19-21; John 9:4; John 10:25; John 14:5-11; John 15:26; 1 John 3:3; 1 John 5:7)

– We see God revealed in His works, which are the evidence of His existence (Psalms 40:1-5; Psalms 66:5-6; Psalms 111:6; Isaiah 52:10; Luke 3:6; Romans 1:18-20; Hebrews 11:1)

– We see God revealed in the good works of His believers who have trusted in Christ (Psalms 9:1; Jonah 3:5-10; Matthew 5:6; John 5:20; John 6:28-29; Acts 26:20; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 2 Timothy 3:17; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 2:12)

– We see God revealed in His Word and through the leading and directing of the Holy Spirit (Psalms 23:3; Ezekiel 12:25; John 14:26; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Thessalonian 1:5. 1 Thessalonians 2:13). When He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, it is not in a loud audible voice, it is in a small voice that brings Bible passages, thoughts, and ideas to us (1 King 19:1-12; Isaiah 55:6-13; Revelation 5-6).

– We see God revealed in the events that we see, hear, and experience. However, in order for us to be able to see God when He reveals Himself to us, we must believe that He is and is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him (John 11:39-45; John 20:27-31; Hebrews 11:6).

Those who do not believe that God is and a is rewarder to those who diligently seek Him, He blinds so that they cannot see Him nor His revelation to their own destruction (Deuteronomy 28:15-29; Matthew 15:10-14; John 12:37-41; Romans 11:7; Romans 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:12-16; Ephesians 4:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12; 2 Peter 1:5-9; 1 John 2:8-11). So, for the non-believer who asks us if we have seen God, we can say not directly, but we see the evidence of Him, which He reveals to those who believe that He is and diligently seek Him. This answer will provide an opening to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Man cannot see God in his current state as a human that has not attained perfection such that he can stand before God without perishing. Although this does not take place until the believer dies or is raptured so that he is absent from he body, and present with the Lord; the believer can see how God reveals Himself. He sees God’s revelation though His Son Jesus, God’s works, and the good works of His believers. God also reveals Himself through His Word and the leading and directing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals God through our experiences, Bible passages, thoughts, and ideas that come to mind in certain situations. However, for anyone to see God’s revelation, they must be a believer and diligently seek God.

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Resources – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version

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