Revelation 22:4

They shall see His face
They shall see is ὄψονται [opsontai] , middle tense: they themselves will see. The saints will see His face firsthand!

The full glory of God has never been available to sinful man, for God’s fire consumes sin (Ex. Ex. 24:17; Num. Num. 16:35; Deu. Deu. 4:24; Heb. Heb. 12:29). Therefore, God has never been seen fully by men in the flesh (1Jn. 1Jn. 4:12). When God met with the children of Israel “face to face” on Mount Sinai, His presence was so terrifying that the children of Israel requested that Moses mediate between them and God (Deu. Deu. 5:4-5). Even Moses, whom God later said He spoke with “face to face” (Ex. Ex. 33:11; Num. Num. 12:8; Deu. Deu. 34:10), was afraid to look upon God:

Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. (Ex. Ex. 3:6)

When Moses asked to see the glory of the Lord, God only permitted him a passing glimpse in order that he might not be consumed:

But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” (Ex. Ex. 33:20-23)

Many times, God was represented in the first person by the Angel of the Lord, the preincarnate Jesus Christ (John John 1:18). Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord and called the place Peniel (face of God) because he had seen God face to face, but lived (Gen. Gen. 32:30). But this was not God’s unveiled glory. When Elijah fled from Jezebel to Mount Horeb, when he sensed God’s presence, he took care to wrap his face in his mantle lest he see God’s glory directly (1K. 1K. 19:13). When Isaiah saw God in the heavenly Temple, he realized he would be consumed because of his sinful state. But a seraph flew to him with a coal and cleansed his sin (Isa. Isa. 6:5-7).

As early as the book of Job, it has been the hope and dream of the redeemed to see God firsthand:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job Job 19:25-27)

The psalmist also understood that one day, in a righteous state, he would see God’s face:

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. (Ps. Ps. 17:15)

In the scene before John, the many promises of Jesus that the righteous would have intimacy with God, now find their fulfillment:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Mtt. Mat. 5:8)

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John John 14:3)

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. (John John 17:24)

Paul and John also looked forward to this day:

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1Cor. 1Cor. 13:12)

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1Jn. 1Jn. 3:2-3)

See Hide and Seek. See The Abiding Presence of God.

His name shall be on their foreheads.
Jesus told the church at Philadelphia that the overcomer would have three names written upon him: (1) the name of God; (2) the name of the New Jerusalem; and (3) Jesus’ new name (Rev. Rev. 3:12+). His name was written on the forehead of the 144,000 Jews of the Tribulation (Rev. Rev. 7:3+; Rev. 14:1+). In a similar way to which the Beast worshipers received the mark of the Beast as an indication of their identity with the Beast (Rev. Rev. 13:16+), the servants of God will be dedicated to Him. See commentary on Revelation 7:3 and Revelation 13:16. This name upon their foreheads recalls the dedication of the high priest who wore a plate of gold upon his headdress which was engraved: “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” (Ex. Ex. 28:36).

Read Revelation 22:4