Did God appear to human beings in the Old Testament? Part 1 (47)
#47 Did the true God, Yahweh, appear to any human being in the Old Testament period from the time of the Book of Genesis to the Book of Malachi?
Answer: It depends on the meaning we attach to the word “appear” and the context of a passage submitted. There were appearances. Let us note several passages quoted from New King James Version. These appearances could be at various stages or various levels of glory. When a passage says, “no one can see God” it should refer to God’s blinding full glory which could only be enjoyed when the saved shall have put on the resurrection body like that of Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:21), the heavenly or celestial body described by Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:35-50.
Please note that the word LORD is the tetragrammaton YHWH in the Hebrew text, and that name belongs only to the true God. This name YHWH can be proven that the Father wears it, the Son wears it and the Holy Spirit wears it.
Exodus 3:2, “And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. . .”
Please read down to verse 22 and you feel that God Himself personally talks with Moses. Most likely, by logical induction, that should be Christ before His incarnation. Because Christ, the second person in the Triune Godhead is the Sent One, the Sugo. See Micah 5:2 which says that this person has been active from eternity. It says, “whose going forth has been from of old.”
Deut. 5:24, “And you said: ‘Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.” Read down to verse 33, and you feel that it is a personal God who talked with the congregation of Israel.
Judges 6:22-23, “Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.’ The LORD said to him, Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” Please read down to verse 27. Yahweh Himself was the one talking with Gideon but He was called Angel of Yahweh. You also feel from this section that there is the Trinity. There is the Angel of Jehovah and the Holy Spirit in 6:34.
Judges 13:18 & 22, 23, “And the Angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful? x x x x And Manoah said to his wife, ‘We shall surely die because we have seen God! Then his wife said to him, ‘If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.” Note also the presence of the Holy Spirit in verse 25. There is the Trinity: the LORD, and the ANGEL OF THE LORD, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Clearly this is the Trinity: Father, Christ, Holy Spirit in reduced glory in the presence of human eyes.
1 Kings 8:10-11, “And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”
1 Kings 19:11-12, “Then He said, ‘God out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice.”
2 Chronicles 7:12, “Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him; ‘I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.”
It appears that the Hebrews were conditioned to honor the true God and to fear him because He is a fearful God. But God Jehovah has appeared to several people. God, if He wants to, would appear to the naked eye not in His full royal glory. In His heavenly throne, in His full glory, it seems that man has not yet experienced that view. Only Christ has been in that experience of witnessing God’s full glory in heaven before His incarnation says John 1:18. And also now that Christ has his glorified, celestial human body says Philippians 3:21.