Midnight Cry: A Message To All Churches
The Imminent Fall of America
Jesus inspired John to write this controversial statement. What did he mean?
Some ‘theologians’ maintain that this verse means that no one, except Jesus, has ever seen God at any time. Using this as the basis for their reasoning, they then myopically assert that if you claim to have had a vision of God, or an out-of-body experience when you were taken into the presence of God, that such an experience was not valid – that it was not real, or of God, but concocted by the devil.
They allege that the experience falls into the category of bogus occurrences which 2 Corinthians 11:14 classifies as masquerades:
The trouble with their thesis is that it is so devoid of spirituality and discernment! It fails utterly to perceive what John meant in John 1:18!
John didn’t mean that mortals have never, and can never, have a glimpse of God, or a vision of His majestic being. Such a claim would be completely at odds with a number of biblical writers who relate their extraordinary encounters meeting with God.
Here are just some of those affidavits:
God declared to Aaron and Miriam:
Moses pitched the tabernacle outside the camp of the Israelites, and God would meet with him there:
Isaiah told of his shattering experience:
v Ezekiel was equally overcome by what he saw:
What are we to make of these accounts? Do we presume that these men were ‘hallucinating’? Or lying? Or just daydreaming? (As sceptics assert.)
Do we dismiss them just because we read a NT text which seems to say – in our shallow, puerile, physical-mindedness – that no man has seen God with his eyes? (It doesn’t actually say that.)
Or do we question our comprehension of what was meant by seeing God?
Surely we must do the latter!
John meant that no human has properly comprehended God – ‘seen’ Him in a metaphoric sense. No one, other than Jesus, has penetrated His nature and really seen it for what it is! Full of love, full of holy purity, full of grace and truth! (Jn 1:14.) You’ve got to read it in context.
A similarly misunderstood statement appears in John 5:
Jesus did not mean that a human cannot hear the voice of God. He was castigating the unbelieving Jews, who, with sins of malevolence in their hearts against the Truth, rejected anything that did not fit their bigoted viewpoint.
Jesus bluntly told them that their sinfulness prevented them seeing God or hearing from Him.
A similar deep-seated prejudice motivates those who use – or rather, abuse – these scriptures to decry the true Spiritual experiences of believers to whom God has appeared in one supernatural way or another. Because of their pride, they don’t like to think that God would reveal Himself so amazingly to some- one else when He hasn’t revealed Himself to them.
Their arrogance and pride does not permit them to accept the genuine appearances of the Almighty to inconsequential people today. But it happened to Daniel (Dan 7:9,13), because of Daniel’s humility and fear of God. And God has not changed. He is the same today as He was then (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8).
Why did God talk face to face with Moses? For the same reason as He appeared to Daniel:
Conversely, why do most people – even most religious folk – fail to perceive God in depth?
This principle is demonstrated every day, although you and I don’t see all that God does to show Himself to those who seek His face. By faith we know He does so, because He says so. And He has left us examples of it in His Word. (Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, apostles Paul and John and others.)
Besides this company of witnesses, there are numerous contemporary testimonies of people seeing God in NDEs, out-of-body experiences, and visions. (G Scott Sparrow relates many such experiences in his book I Am With You Always, and Raymond Moody describes some of the thousands of NDEs in his book Life After Life.)
It’s a shame that religious people tend to be amongst the most close-minded. If such testimonies don’t fit their bigoted view, they reject them. They prefer to cling to a distorted concept of God or warped reasoning and bent apprehension of Scripture than to admit their failings and accept truth. They are the Pharisees of our time, and they come in so many denominational cliques.
God will not be seen by the unholy. That is why you and I cannot see Him in His immaculate purity and entirety. His wholeness is too much for any of us as mortals to encounter.
Moses asked God:
And God did so, and Moses bowed himself to the ground and worshipped (Ex 34:8). Then he said:
And Moses was there with God 40 days and 40 nights (Ex 34:28).
So, when you read what John wrote:
read it in the context of God’s nature of purity, unlike man’s despoiled character. Then you will understand.
And you can have the love of God also (1 Jn 4:11), instead of the dreadful close-minded bigotry of religious diehards who cannot see God in His beauty.
Malcolm B Heap
Copyright: Midnight Ministries, PO
Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK