As your an expert maybe you can shed some light?
I have been study genesis lately and have come across some interesting discoveries.
in genesis chapter 18 there is an account of abraham meeting three men one which is called jehovah, do you know anything about this account and could you explain to me how john chapter1 says no one has ever seen the father but abraham seen to have met with jehovah and spoke with him?
Let's reason this one out.
You said "john chapter1 (John 1:18) says no one has ever seen the father". You're correct and it is a true statement.
In fact this was made clear to Moses when he asked Jehovah God the following.
(Exodus 33:18-20) . . .Then he said: “Please show me your glory.” 19 But he said: “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will declare before you the name of Jehovah; and I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy.” 20 But he added: “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”
(Exodus 33:21-23) . . .Jehovah said further: “Here is a place near me. Station yourself on the rock. 22 When my glory is passing by, I will place you in a crevice of the rock, and I will shield you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 After that I will take my hand away, and you will see my back. But my face may not be seen.”
So by Jehovah God's own testimony “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”
Hence any scripture that seem to show that man saw God's face or that he meet God "face to face", like the ones mentioned in Gen 18 MUST be understood in a different way. Otherwise it will contradict God's own word, namely “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”
So since this is the case, who then did Abraham saw and spoke to in the following:
(Genesis 18:1-5) . . .Afterward, Jehovah appeared to him
among the big trees of Mam′re while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men
standing some distance from him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and he bowed down to the ground. 3 Then he said: “Jehovah, if I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant.
4 Please, let a little water be brought and have your feet washed; then recline under the tree. 5 Seeing that you have come here to your servant, let me bring a piece of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. Then you may go on your way.” At this they said: “All right. You may do as you have spoken.”
Was it Jehovah himself that Abraham spoke to "face to face" or was it to an angel - a spokesperson for Jehovah?
Well since we already know that Jehovah said “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”
Therefore the later must be the case.
In fact the context of Gen 18 and 19 show this to be so.
That is, the "three men" Abraham saw were actually angels from God and he clearly recognized them as His representatives. Thus Abraham addressed them as such. As if speaking directly or speaking "face to face" to Jehovah God.
So after acknowledging Abraham's request, "... they said: “All right. You may do as you have spoken.”
Then after eating their meal, one stayed behind and the two went their way to inspect Sodom and Gomorrah.
(Genesis 18:8)" . . .He then took butter and milk and the young bull that he had prepared and set the food before them. Then he stood by them under the tree as they were eating."
(Genesis 18:16) ". . .When the men got up to leave and looked down toward Sod′om, Abraham was walking with them to escort them."
(Genesis 18:22) ". . .Then the men left from there and went toward Sod′om, but Jehovah remained with Abraham."
(Genesis 18:23)" . . .Then Abraham approached and said: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?"
(Genesis 19:1) 19" The two angels arrived
at Sod′om by evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sod′om. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the earth. "
Hence, Jehovah God continued the conversation with Abraham through one of the angel who stayed behind while the two departed.
So clearly it was through angels that Jehovah spoke to Abraham.
The same thing happened to Moses when he was about to get near the burning bush. He was told:
“. . .Then Jehovah’s angel
appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of a thornbush. As he kept looking, he saw that the thornbush was on fire, and yet the thornbush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said: “I will go over to inspect this unusual sight to see why the thornbush does not burn up.” 4 When Jehovah saw that he went over to look, God called to him out of the thornbush and said: “Moses! Moses!” to which he said: “Here I am.” 5 Then he said: “Do not come any nearer. Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground.
”” (Exodus 3:2-5)
So again clearly, it's through angels (as the occasion warranted) that Jehovah spoke to men and women of old.
This is confirmed for us by the apostles when they said:
““This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel: ‘God will raise up for you from among your brothers a prophet like me.’ 38 This is the one who came to be among the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Si′nai and with our forefathers, and he received living sacred pronouncements to give us.
” (Acts 7:37, 38)
“For if the word spoken through angels
proved to be sure, and every transgression and disobedient act received a punishment in harmony with justice,” (Hebrews 2:2)
“Why, then, the Law? It was added to make transgressions manifest, until the offspring should arrive to whom the promise had been made; and it was transmitted through angels
by the hand of a mediator.” (Galatians 3:19)
“Suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood before them
, and Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful.” (Luke 2:9)
“. . .A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent his angel,
and presented it in signs through him to his slave John,” (Revelation 1:1)
I hope these helps.