Glorious Appearances of God

Introduction

This study’s focus will be on appearances of God that reveal God and the glory of His throne complex. One of the foundational doctrines of God held by Christians is the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is that doctrine which declares that God is one in essence and three in person. Specifically, there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These are not three Gods but three persons of the Godhead. God is invisible and no one has ever see Him in his essence (Exodus 33.20, John 1.18, 5.37, 6.46, 1 John 4.12). Yet the Scriptures are clear that on occasion, God revealed Himself to man. These are called theophanies. That person of the Godhead who becomes visible and who speaks is God the Son.

The God Texts

The first verse of the Scriptures introduces God. The text reads:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1.1).

The word for “God” is “elohim” (אֱלֹהִים) and is a plural noun (the “im” ending in Hebrew is like our “s” in English). Therefore, the word is translated “God” or “gods” depending on the context. When אֱלֹהִים is used for the God of the Bible or Israel’s God it is translated “God.” When found in pagan contexts it is translated “gods.”

The first chapters of Genesis are most interesting in that they introduce God’s personhood. The introduction is brief but it gives is insight into further revelation. Thus, we read:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1.26).

After Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we read:

And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3.22).

The following verse expounds on the plural nature of God’s personality. God says, “let us” and “our.” At Babel is the same thing. In response to the people building the tower, God said,

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11.7).

The same kind of plurality is in the Hebrew word אֲדֹנָי, “Adonay” translated “LORD”.1 The word אֲדֹנָי is a plural noun which literally means “my lords” (Genesis 18.27-32, Exodus 4.10, 13, 5.22, etc.). When it refers to God, it is translated as the singular noun “LORD”.

We find communication among the Godhead in Psalm 110.1-7 in which God (the Father) spoke with God (the Son):2

1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” 
Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, your youth are to You as the dew.
The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift up His head (Psalms 110.1-7).

The above verses record conversation among the Godhead. In contrast these, consider the following passage:

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat” (Genesis 3.8-11)?

In this passage, the “LORD God” (יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים) walked in Eden and spoke to Adam and Eve. Here, a single member of the Godhead acted.

Other instances of God’s individuality are the appearance of the “angel of the Lord” and the Son. With regard to the former are numerous passages (Genesis 16.7, 9-11, 22.11, 15; Exodus 3.2; Numbers 22.22-27, 31-35; Judges 2.1, 4, 5.23, 6.11-12, 21-22, 13.3, 13, 15-21; 2 Samuel 24.16; 1 Kings 19.7; 2 Kings 1.3, 15, 19.35; 1 Chronicles 21.12, 15-18, 30; Psalms 34.7, 35.5-6; Isaiah 37.36; Zechariah 1.11-12, 3.1, 5-6, 8. Matthew 1.20, 24, 2.13, 19, 28.2; Luke 1.11, 2.9; John 5.4; Acts 5.19, 8.26, 12.7, 23). Zechariah identified God with the Angel of the LORD:

The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah. In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12.7-0).

The “Son” passages include the following: Proverbs 30.4; Isaiah 9.6; Psalm 2:7-12; Daniel 7:13-14.

The New Testament reveals the following:

  • God the Son is the visible member of the Godhead (John 1.14; Colossians 1.15).
  • God the Son communicates with man and is the Word of God (John 1.1-2, 14).
  • God the Son created the universe (John 1.1-3; 2 Corinthians 8.6; Colossians 1.16; Hebrews 1.1-2).
  • God the Son holds reality together (Colossians 1.17).
  • God the Son is the redeemer and reconciler of man to God and forgives sin (Luke 5.20-21, Luke 7.48; Colossians 1.13, 20-22; Ephesians 1.7).
  • God the Son is the Head of the Church, which is the body of Christ (Colossians 1.18, 24; Ephesians 5.23).
  • God the Son accepts worship for He is God (Matthew 2.11, 8.2, 9.18, 4.33, 15.25, 18.26, 28.9, 17.
  • God the Son is the source of life (John 1.4, 14.6).
  • God the Son has the divine title of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 11.17, 15.11, 16.31; Romans 1.7, 5.1, 11).

God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore, is the person of the Godhead who communicates with man, is visible to man, is the Creator and Sustainer of creation, is the Savior who fulfilled God’s redemption plan, and is the Head of the Church, the body of Christ.

Lest anyone think God the Holy Spirit is being neglected, He is a member of the Godhead, co-eternal and co-existent with God the Father and God the Son and is introduced in Genesis 1.2 as “moving over the surface of the waters.” He is the One who baptizes believers into Christ (1 Corinthians 12.13; Ephesians 2.22), gives life (John 6.63; Romans 8.9), gives resurrection power (Romans 1.4, 8.11), helps believers pray (Romans 8.26), reveals secrets (1 Corinthians 2.10-13), indwells believers (1 Corinthians 3.16, 6.19; Galatians 3.2), gives believers the love of God (Romans 5.5), guides believers to truth (John 16.13), gives believers assurance of salvation (Romans 8.16; Galatians 4.6), releases believers from the Law of Moses (Galatians 3.18), provides believers with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5.22), gives believers hope (Romans 15.13), strengthens believers (Ephesians 3.16), and equips believers for service (Ephesians 4.11-12).

Theophanies of God

In the Old Testament, before God the Son became incarnate, He made Himself visible to man on certain occasions. These are known as theophanies. The following passages reveal these appearances and provide of with insight into the nature of heaven and the glory of the Son and the throne of God.

Jacob’s Dream

10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28.10-17).

804px-Blake_jacobsladder

Jacob’s Ladder by William Blake

In his tremendous dream Jacob saw a “ladder” (סֻלָּם) between heaven and earth upon which angels were ascending and descending3. The word סֻלָּם is a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον (Genesis 28.12). Comparing this word with the Akkadian simmiltu (Akkadian is a cognate language of Hebrew), a more probable meaning for the word is “stairway” or “ramp” rather than “ladder.” We also learn from the passage that angelic beings have specific responsibilities and activities upon the earth which are directed by the LORD who stood at the top, in the throne complex of heaven and explains Jacob’s remark that this was the “house of God,” the “gate of heaven.”

Moses and the Elders

Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.11 Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank (Exodus 24.7-11).

The above passage lends understanding to Jacob’s dream and better explains the “ladder” he saw. Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 saw a vision similar to what Jacob had witnessed at Peniel. The Hebrew word “pavement” is לִבְנָה and means “whiteness” or “transparency.” God stood on a transparent pavement or ramp. These men were able to see God in His glory and live.

The Scripture records that Moses spoke with God face to face many times yet God hid his glory from him. But God’s glory affected Moses’ appearance.4

Isaiah and His Vision

1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the LORD sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven” (Isaiah 6.1-7).

Isaiah saw God in His glory seated on His throne in heaven. The reader is overwhelmed by Isaiah’s description of God’s Holiness. The angelic seraphim cover their faces and feet with their wings in His presence. Isaiah was overcome with despair at the vision because of his sinfulness. With a howl of woe he expresses his grief. But God restored him and assured him that his sin was removed and forgiven. The passage emphasizes how wholly other God is and demonstrates how incomprehensible is His holiness and glory.

Ezekiel’s Visions

Ezekiel recorded dramatic and glorious visions of the Lord, His throne, and His attendants. These visions were spellbinding. After the first vision, God addressed the prophet. Ezekiel wrote:

1 Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!” As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me (Ezekiel 2.1-2).

Throughout the book, the Lord addressed Ezekiel as “son of man.” In this first occurrence, God gave the prophet his instructions. In this prophetic commission, God told Ezekiel He was sending him to a rebellious people. Ezekiel recorded His words:

Then He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD God”(Ezekiel 2.3-4).

God’s appellation “son of man” for Ezekiel and His statement, “Then they shall know that I am the Lord” characterize the book.

The First Vision

Ezekiel's Vision at the River Chebar.

Ezekiel’s Vision at the River Chebar.

1 Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. (On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him.)

As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. Each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. 10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies. 12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. 14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.

15 Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another. 17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved. 18 As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about. 19 Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. 20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. 21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.

22 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads. 23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other. 24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.

26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. 27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. 28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking (Ezekiel 1.1-26).

Another Vision

Ezekiel's vision of God's glory

Ezekiel’s vision of God’s glory

1 Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them. And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.

Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD. Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks.

It came about when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he entered and stood beside a wheel. Then the cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire which was between the cherubim, took some and put it into the hands of the one clothed in linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.

Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a Tarshish stone. 10 As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. 11 When they moved, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went. 12 Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them. 13 The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. 14 And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

15 Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar. 16 Now when the cherubim moved, the wheels would go beside them; also when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels would not turn from beside them. 17 When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in them.

18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.

20 These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim. 21 Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands. 22 As for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one went straight ahead  (Ezekiel 10.1-22).

Ezekiel’s amazing visions correspond with the visions Jacob, Moses and the elders, and Isaiah received. God was seen attended by strange and terrifying human-like creatures, cherubim, and around His throne was fire, lightening, light, clouds, and precious stones.

Daniel’s Visions

9 “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. 10 “A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened (Daniel 7.9-10).

13 “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed (Daniel 7.13-14).

These visions terrified Daniel (Daniel 7.15, 28). In the first vision he saw God engulfed in flames, fire, and wheels as had Ezekiel. Thousands of angels ministered to Him and tens of thousands of angels stood ready to do His bidding. From all we have seen, this was God the Son (cf. Revelation 1.14-18). In the next vision, God the Son appeared as the Son of man, who approached the Ancient of Days and was given a kingdom and dominion. This is a difficult passage for it seems that the Son approaches the Son. But the following passages seem to confirm this conclusion.

Daniel had another vision of the Son.  Daniel wrote:

1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision.

In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground (Daniel 10.1-9).

Such visions of the Son are consistent throughout the Scriptures. Notice the similarity of Daniel’s experience with that of the Apostle John.

John’s Visions

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades (Revelation 1.12-18).

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great” (Revelation 19.11-18).

In the first passage, the identity of the “son of man” is revealed to be Jesus Christ (Revelation 1.5-11). His wool white hair identified Him as being Whom Daniel saw (Daniel 7.9). The Scriptures declare that the Word of God is a “sharp two-edge sword” (Hebrews 4.12) and John identified Jesus as the Word (John 1.1, 14) in his gospel.

Conclusion

These glorious visions revealed the visible member of the Godhead, God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57.15), is Holy, and all-glorious (Revelation 5.12-13). He is the one who is the Word (Revelation 19.13 cf. John 1.1, 14), the Creator (John 1.3; Colossians 1.15-17; Hebrews 1.2), the One who upholds all things (Colossians 1.17; Hebrews 1.3), the One who has redeemed mankind (Revelation 5.9), the Head of the Body (Colossians 1.18, Ephesians 1.22, 5.23), and the one who will reign as King (Zechariah 14.9; Revelation 19.16, 2.27, 12.15, Psalms 2.6, 8).

It is to be distinguished from the Hebrew יְהוָה, YHVH, which is translated LORD and is always singular. The Lord God (יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים) made the heavens and the earth. We know from a number of Scriptures and from Jesus’ own words that He is YHVH יְהֹוָה. Jesus Christ is the member of the Godhead who created the universe–the heavens and the earth (John 1.3; Colossians 1.15-16; Hebrews 1.2; 1 Corinthians 8.6).
2 See Hebrews 1.8-13.
See Genesis 32.24-30 in which Jacob saw God “face to face” as he wrestled with Him. Jacob called this place “Peniel”, (פְּנוּאֵל) “face of God”. In this manifestation God hid his glory.
See Exodus 33.7-11 in which God would meet with Moses in the tent and speak with him “face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” This is another passage in which God hid his glory. When Moses met with God, even though God hid His glory, the effect upon Moses’ face was that it shone (Exodus 34.29-35 cf. 2 Corinthians 3.13). The Hebrew word for “shone” (קָרַן) means to shine or radiate light. Such is the effect of being in the presence of God. While the Exodus 33 text does not say this, it is likely that this occurred in those meetings. This is the reason why some think the “nakedness” of Adam and Eve was the loss of surrounding “glory.” According to Genesis 2.25 the man and woman were naked but unashamed. However, after they sinned, Genesis 3.7 reads that their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked. Their reaction of sewing fig leaves to cover their nakedness revealed they had shame; they had lost their “covering” of glory.

©2011 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated, 05/19/2016.


Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

9 Responses to Glorious Appearances of God

  1. doctrine doctrine says:

    Daniel’s description of the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7.9) corresponds to the description John gave of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 1.12-16. What makes Daniel’s account particularly interesting is that in Daniel 7.13, the Son of Man, aka the Lord Jesus Christ, approaches the Ancient of Days.

    • Bobbi says:

      Doctrine.
      That is interesting. What are your thoughts on this now? Has anything enlightened your view over the years? It is an awesome view to think on.
      These passages are entirely remarkable! And fun…

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Bobbi,
        These descriptions don’t tell the half of it. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

  2. John Duryea says:

    Simply amazing. Thank you for providing the many awe inspiring visions of God.
    I have always found it curious that in the two similar descriptions of the Living Beings and their four faces, that their faces are identical except for one. In one instance it is the face of a bull but in the other it is described as the face of a cherub. I’ve pondered the significance of that but it appears to be beyond me.
    Thanks again.

  3. Paul Miller says:

    Have you, or do you plan, to do a study like this, but of God the Father?

  4. Doctrine says:

    Doctrine, you’re amazing!! Just wanted to enquire from you as regards a different topic: Old and new testament Jewish prophets vs modern day christian prophets! Someone posed a question sometime ago as to why the old testament Jewish prophets embodied the sure word of God or prophecy? Which Were100 % accurate and came to pass in confirming their prophetic profile of authority And also old testament prophets, demonstrated distinctive supernatural abilities akin to ” Office of a prophet ” which they embodied!! This seams to be none existant in modern xtianity???! It seams old testament prophets exemplified the ” Supernatural ” as Visions or trances as well as physical angelic Ministrations,visitations were common place??! even physical angelic ministration or manifestations were commonplace subsequent or parallel to a old testament prophet’s to lend authenticity to God’s word
    But prophets or their function according to new testament scripture says ” primary role of modern prophecy is to Edifiy, exhort and comfort” 1corinthians 14:31) But old testament and even new testament Jewish prophets like Agabus continued in such trend of discrictive poetic analogies and dramatisations! While new testament prophets only reinforce God’s general plan for specific or group of individuals! Which are largely now tied to sowing of seeds for ” Words of prophecies to come to pass”! It seams you now have to work out your prophecy or it’s manifestations via seed or fasting
    Lastly it says ” We know in part hence prophesy in part! But when the perfect comes we’ll put off imperfection”
    (1corinthians 13:9-10)rigorous rudimentary
    Fastings!! Lastly old testament prophets like Daniel, ezekiel isaiah, jeremiah especially Daniel by reading old testament prophecies, was able to pray and God now unravelling his plan, for Israel considering the times they were in! But though today many xtian prophets abound, none has demonstrated this ability in deciphering God’s will, purposes and reading the times in line with Jewish prophecies from God’s perspective that is! I mean all these blood moon speculation, war in middleeast, global economic catastrophies etc would have been expound and reaffirmed with central theme towards Israel repenting, and also putting the body of Christ in check in excesses where ” Materialism, filt has gained precedence!
    In closing or do you think these ” Works” or ” Prophetic ministry were /are reserved specifically for ” Jewish xtian prophets ” I.e. If the Israeli nation would have now accepted Christ?? Because according to Jewish torah Deutronomy, God specifically chose aaron’s descendants of levi tribe as priests “Throughout their generations “!???
    This means it’s a perpetual or everlasting salt covenant!
    In effect, if Jewish descendants partilineally from Aaron who are now termed ” Kohen” or ” Cohen” were born again, this everlasting covenant of priesthood would have been integrated into new one ” Melkizadek priesthood ” while the everlasting covenant Yahweh made on sanai continues in a new form?!! This means many” Kohen ” are great Jewish apostles and prophets unknowingly!! By covenant! I think this argument ties with the book of revelation when two prophets were commissioned and sent to preach the word and plague the nations which were later said to be slain by the dragon /beast!? But these were Jewish prophets not christian prophets?! I guess it’s prior to this the scripture says 144. 000 Jews were sealed?! Hence they accepted christ and God now confirmed his word via his prophets ministry!?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Doctrine,
      Thank you. The Scriptures are the source of prophecy today. The canon of Scripture is complete and no Christian prophets (foretelling the future) exist. Prophecy was associated with the nation of Israel. No prophecy foretold the Church or its operations. After the Church is removed, God’s plan with Israel and the nations will resume along with signs and wonders. The book of Revelation describes events during this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *