I am sure you never heard “Theophanies” preached at a Sunday morning Service. Jesus’ incarnation is full of information, but I would like to start with the Theophanies, first.
Let me explain:
Although the doctrine of the Triune God was not fully revealed until Jesus’ time, we find that God was preparing humanity for this truth. Jesus, in his incarnate, was the One who dealt with everyone and everything He created.
In the OT, such foreshadowing of God or the personified Christ in a visible form are called theophanies, meaning “appearances of God.” These appearances, for instance include Hagar, the mother of Ishmael:
(Gen 16:7-13 MKJV) “And the Angel of Jehovah found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. vs. 8:
And He said, Hagar, Sarai’s slave, where did you come from? and where will you go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
vs. 9: And the Angel of Jehovah said to her, Return to your mistress and submit yourself under her hands. vs. 10: And the Angel of Jehovah said to her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, so that it shall not be numbered for multitude. vs. 11: And the Angel of Jehovah said to her, Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son. And you shall call his name Ishmael, because Jehovah has heard your affliction. vs. 12: And he will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall live in the presence of all his brothers. vs. 13: And she called the name of Jehovah who had spoken to her, You are a God of vision! For she said, Even here have I looked after Him that sees me?”
This is the least of what I found in the scriptures. The next is the visitor who revealed to Abram and Sarai that they would have a son:
In Genesis we come across Melchizedek.
(Gen 14:18 MKJV) And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And he was the priest of the most high God.
(Gen 14:19 MKJV) And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of Heaven and earth.
(Gen 14:20 MKJV) And blessed be the most high God, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
In this article (blog) I am going to stick with common sense.
In Genesis the Hebrew word used for God is “Elohim.” It is a grammatically plural noun for “gods” or “deity” in Biblical Hebrew. It was meant as three.
If you haven’t read my other blogs, this might surprise you, but Jesus was with God from before the beginning of mankind.
(Col 1:18 MKJV) “And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead, that He may be pre-eminent in all things.
(Col 1:19 MKJV) For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell.
(Col 1:20 MKJV) And through Him having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven.
(Col 1:21 MKJV) And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.”
From (F. B. Meyer) Colossians 1:21-29
LABORING TO PERFECT THE CHURCH
How wonderful is God! His scheme of grace embraces the world of men, but He can concentrate on individual souls as unworthy as ours. You… hath He reconciled. And He will never abandon His work until we arrive in His presence-chamber without spot or blemish or any such thing. But, of course, the putting forth of His power on our behalf is conditioned on our steadfast faith.
Paul drank deeply of the Master’s cup. It seemed as if Jesus had trusted him with participation in the sorrows of Gethsemane and Calvary. And he was thus fitted for the stewardship of two great secrets, which it was his joy to unfold. In Eph 3:1-21 he says that he was commissioned to show the Gentiles that they might become fellow-heirs; but here, Col 1:27, that they might experience the indwelling of Christ. Those who are conscious of that indwelling know its riches of power and joy and victory. Their hope of glory is dimmed by no fear, because they have the Christ; in their hearts, and, therefore, heaven in their hearts, so it follows naturally that their hearts will one day be with Christ in heaven. Christ in us is the hope of glory. Note the individual interest which the true pastor takes in his flock, as shown in the repeated use of every man.
(Col 1:22 MKJV) in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish, and without charge in His sight,
(Col 1:23 MKJV) if indeed you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard and which was proclaimed in all the creation under Heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister,
(Col 1:24 MKJV) who now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and I fill up the things lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, on behalf of His body, which is the church;
(Col 1:25 MKJV) of which I became a minister, according to the administration of God-given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God;
(Col 1:26 MKJV) the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.”
(Col 1:27 MKJV) For to them God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,
With that said, now we go to the OT, which holds the key as to Biblical proof of who He is, and was, and I would like to share it.
(Exo 3:2 MKJV) And the Angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a thorn-bush. And he looked. And behold! The thorn bush burned with fire! And the thorn bush was not burned up.
(Exo 3:3 MKJV) And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the thorn-bush is not burned up.
(Exo 3:4 MKJV) And Jehovah saw that he had turned aside to see. God called to him out of the midst of the thorn-bush, and said, Moses! Moses! And he said, Here I am.
(Exo 3:5 MKJV) And He said, Do not come near here. Pull off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.
(Exo 3:6 MKJV) And He said, I am the God of your fathers, 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.
(Exo 3:13 MKJV) ” And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the sons of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they shall say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?”
(F. B. Meyer) Exodus 3:13-22
MOSES SENT TO DELIVER ISRAEL
How unlike this Moses was to the man who, forty years before, had acted with such impulsive haste, Act 7:23. He had learned much since then, and most about himself. But there should be no shrinking when God says I AM. Fill in this blank check with whatever you need for life or godliness, and God will do that and more also, with exceeding abundance.
Had we been called upon to demonstrate the life beyond death from the Old Testament, we should hardly have turned to this chapter. But our Lord read the profound significance of these august words, Mat 22:31-32. Evidently the patriarchs must have been all living when God spoke, or He would never have described Himself as being still their God. Had they ceased to exist He must have said, not I am, but I was the God of the fathers.
So Jesus identifies himself as the “I AM”. In John 8:58: Jesus says, “Most assuredly I say to you before Abraham, I AM.”
In Exodus Chapter 19, at Mt. Sinai, God showed Himself in the way of thunderings and lightning. A thick cloud descended on the mountain and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Then they stood at the foot of the Mt., because Mt. Sinai was enveloped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in the fire. the trumpet became so loud as God settled on the top of the Mt. and that is when the Lord called Moses to the top of the Mt., along with Aaron and gave them the ten commandments.
In (Exo 33:20 MKJV) And He said, You cannot see My face. For there no man can see Me and live.
(Exo 33:18-23 MKJV) And he said, I beseech You, let me see Your glory.
vs. 19: And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of Jehovah before you. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.
vs. 20: And He said, You cannot see My face. For there no man can see Me and live. vs. 21: And Jehovah said, Behold! There is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon a rock. vs. 22: And it will be, while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. vs. 23: And I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back parts. But My face shall not be seen.
Here’s the crux of it; God is supernatural, He is something we cannot even imagine in our minute brains, but think about this:
Just because we cannot understand the realm in which He lives, that does not mean it is not there. We cannot wrap our heads around this kind of supernatural, with its many dimensions.
Nonetheless, Satan can put thoughts and visions in our heads and we can accept them as our own. This is where discernment comes in and for that we count on God’s Holy Spirit. Believe it.
(Gen 18:1-3 MKJV) “And Jehovah appeared to him in the plains of Mamre, and he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day. vs: 2: And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed toward the ground. vs. 3: And he said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass away, I pray, from Your servant.”
How did Abraham know the Lord on sight?
(Gen 18:16-20 MKJV) “And the men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. And Abraham was going with them to bring them on the way. vs. 17 And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham the thing which I do, vs. 18: And Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the persons of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Here is it obvious that God is contemplating whether or not he should hide. In this section we can “hear his thoughts”, obviously He was upset over the fact that He knew He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, in which his nephew, Lot and his family lived.
vs. 19: For I know him, that he will command his sons and his house after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah, to do justice and judgment, that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him. vs. 20: And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,”
(Gen 18:22-25 MKJV) And the men turned their faces away from there, and went toward Sodom. But Abraham still stood before Jehovah. vs. 23: And Abraham drew near and said, Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? vs. 24: Perhaps there are fifty righteous within the city. Will You also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are in it? vs. 25: Far be it from You to act in this manner, to kill the righteous with the wicked. And far be it from You, that the righteous should be as the wicked. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
I have to laugh, How many ways does Abraham ask the Lord to spare righteous men. You would think he would get the picture after 40 men. and how Abraham asked in humility.
(Gen 18:26-33 MKJV) “And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. vs. 27: And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak to Jehovah, who am but dust and ashes. vs. 28 : Perhaps there will be five lacking from the fifty righteous. Will You destroy all the city for lack of five? And He said, If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it. vs. 29: And he spoke to Him yet again, and said, Perhaps there shall be forty found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. vs. 30: And he said, Oh let not Jehovah be angry, and I will speak. Perhaps there shall be thirty found there. And He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there. vs. 31: And he said, Lo now, I have taken upon me to speak to Jehovah. Perhaps there shall be twenty found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. vs. 32: And he said, Oh do not let Jehovah be angry, and I will speak only once more. Perhaps ten shall be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
vs. 33: And Jehovah went His way as soon as He had left off talking with Abraham. And Abraham returned to his place.”
In Genesis 19:1, we find that the two men with the Lord were Angels. This verse begins the account of God’s judgement on the sinful cities of Sodom & Gomorrah.
Consequently, we can ascertain that Abraham was with none other than the living God. Jesus in the pre-incarnate. So, who is this Lord that can judge the entire earth? Was Abraham talking to Jehovah? Here is where the Jehovah’s Witness’ do not show you the two angels and the Lord, that Abraham mistook for three men. However, he knew as soon as they came closer he recognized the Lord as God.
So, the Lord is standing in front of Abraham and he is looking at God, but is not dead. There is no fire, and Jesus as Jehovah was there for quite a long time and even ate with Abraham. The obvious is that our Lord, before He became Jesus , as we knew Him was God in the flesh. He was fully involved with the creation, as the Bible says in :
(Col 1:15-17 MKJV)”who is the image of the invisible God, the First-born of all creation. vs. 16: For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through Him and for Him. vs. 17: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.”
That is one of the Theophanies. “Appearances of God.”
Another one in Daniel:
(Dan 3:13-25 MKJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar in anger and wrath commanded them to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. vs. 14: Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Do you not serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? vs. 15: Now if you are ready, at the time you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, fall down and worship the image which I have made. But if you do not worship, in that moment you shall be thrown into the middle of a burning fiery furnace. And who is that god who shall deliver you out of my hand? vs. 16: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to return a word to you on this matter. vs. 17: If it is so that our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, then He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. vs. 18: But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods nor worship the golden image which you have set up. vs. 19: Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and the form of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He spoke and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. vs. 20: And he commanded mighty men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to throw them into the burning fiery furnace. vs. 21:
Then these men were tied up in their slippers, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the middle of the burning fiery furnace. vs. 22: Then because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. vs. 23: And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
vs. 24: Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was amazed. And he rose up in haste and spoke and said to his advisers, Did we not throw three men bound into the middle of the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. vs. 25: He answered and said, Behold! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and there is no harm among them. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods.
This all Biblical folks. If it is in the Bible, especially if it is one many scriptures to prove the point, do you listen to the pulpit (tradition) or the Bible. This is very difficult for Christians that have leaned on their preacher for information. Get out f that box! It will not get you into heaven, by saying to Jesus, when you are face to face with Him. “Oh, but I was told otherwise.” It is the Bible you MUST base your faith on, not tradition. Trust me, there are scriptures that you have never seen, and will not unless you “search the scriptures.”
(Joh 5:39 MKJV) “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me,”
(Joh 7:52 MKJV) “They answered and said to him, Are you also from Galilee? Search the scriptures and see that a prophet has not been raised out of Galilee.”
Before Jesus gave himself up to be killed in an ignominious way, he was fully aware what would happen to Him. Aforetime, He came He was glorified and worshipped, for He was God. He knew that His blood would be spilled as a lamb, but this the last sacrifice. So, in that He paid our sins, by being crucified for us, had risen from the grave and the ascended to heaven where he went back to His throne.
Is that love or what? He could have said “no” and the earth would have died, along with everything in it. But the as the scripture says He created us, so therefore His love was ever abounding. Jehovah is part of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is like the wind, a force inside us, that is God.