Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The “pure in heart” are obviously those who have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We read of this in 1st Peter 1:22-23, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a PURE HEART, having been BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (NKJV).

In a sense, the believer in Christ sees God even now “by faith” as the Spirit of God presents Christ to us through the Word of God. You may recall that scene in the Upper Room where Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father” (John 14:8). Jesus responded by saying, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’.” What did Jesus mean by that? He was teaching Philip (and us) that Jesus, who is also God (see John 1:1 & 14), was displaying God the Father; that is, He was manifesting God’s NATURE of LOVE and HOLINESS. The apostle John wrote of this later in 1st John 1:1-3, “That which was from the beginning, which WE HAVE HEARD, which WE HAVE SEEN with our eyes, which WE HAVE LOOKED UPON, and OUR HANDS HAVE HANDLED, concerning the Word of life—the LIFE was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” So, the apostles literally saw God in the Person of Jesus Christ, though His full Deity was veiled. As stated earlier, Jesus displayed the very NATURE OF GOD. But through their inspired writings we too can see, by faith, God’s nature of LOVE and LIGHT (see 1st John 1:5 and 4:7-8).

Having said that, I do believe that Matthew 5:8 speaks of the time when believers shall see Jesus Christ “face-to-face” and at that time His Deity will not be veiled. He will still be a Man, but His eternal glory as the Son of God will also be seen. Jesus prayed for this in John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, THAT THEY MAY BEHOLD MY GLORY which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” In verse 5 of that chapter Jesus prayed, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Again, this “OUTWARD GLORY of Deity” was veiled by His humanity when Jesus walked this earth (except for the time that He displayed it to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration…see Matthew 17:1-2) but when we get to heaven His glory will be on full display. The apostle John was given a preview of this glory in Revelation 1:12-18 (which I would encourage you to read). The marvel is that His eternal glory as GOD will be seen AND His glory as the Son of Man. When John saw this vision he states that “I saw…One like the Son of Man” (verse 13). The prophet Daniel experienced the very same thing in a vision for he wrote, “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him” (Daniel 7:13). Daniel was given a vision of Christ coming to establish His 1,000-year kingdom and He will receive it from the God the Father (see verse 14) who is called “the Ancient of Days.” But we know that Jesus is also “the Ancient of Days” for He too is eternal (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:8 and Revelation 1:8 & 17-18).

It should be said, in closing, that Matthew 5:8 is speaking especially of those who will enter into the earthly kingdom when Jesus rules over the earth as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (see Revelation 19:11-16 with Matthew 25:31-34). They too have been “born again” (see John 3:3-5 with Ezekiel 36:25-27) and are thus “the pure in heart.” They, along with the heavenly saints, will literally see the “glory of God in the Person of Jesus Christ.” Some have suggested, based on 1st Timothy 6:16, that no one shall ever see God in His ESSENCE with their physical eyes. That verse declares that God “alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, WHOM NO MAN HAS SEEN OR CAN SEE.” That may be true, but as we have seen God is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ (see John 1:18; 14:9; 2nd Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15 and Hebrews 1:3) and WE WILL SEE JESUS CHRIST “face-to-face” (see 1st Corinthians 13:12 & 1st John 3:3).  (487.3)  (DO)