Theophany

Bibliology
Christology

“Christ puts Himself at the head of the mystic march of the generations; and, like the mysterious Angel that Joshua saw in the plain by Jericho, makes the lofty claim, “As the Captain of the Lord’s host am I come.” ~Alexander MacLaren

A theophany is an “appearance of God.” Sometimes He is perceived as an angel, sometimes as a man. Commentators do not always agree on whether a “sighting” is a theophany or an angel, but something in the narrative should give us the sense that this was no ordinary event and this was no ordinary angel. The usual clincher is the definite article in the expression “the Angel of the Lord” or “the Angel of God.” Ordinarily worship of angels is forbidden (Revelation 22:8, 9), but “the Angel of the Lord” not only receives worship, but expects it. What if you could have witnessed these theophanies? Where would you have been and what would have been happening? I have attempted such a window on history by journeying through the Bible and pulling out the stories of these physical appearances of God.

HAGAR

When Abraham and Sarah could not have children, http://www.artbible.info/bible/genesis/16.htmland Abraham was panicky that he was never going to have a son, the couple decided on a surrogate: Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid. When the servant conceived Abraham’s child, via natural insemination, Sarah was jealous and wanted to be rid of her. Abraham, having not yet seen his child, had no passion in the matter: “Your maid is in your hand. Do to her as it pleases you” (Genesis 16:6). So Sarah dealt hard with her, and the girl fled.

But “the Angel of the Lord” found her in the wilderness and said, “Hagar, where will you go? Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her” (16:9). At that point we would probably have no way of knowing if this was an angel or a theophany, but then He says something that gives Himself away. I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. You are with child and shall bear a son and shall call his name Ishmael” (16:10-12).

“And Hagar called the name of the Lord that spoke with her, You God see me. Have I also looked on Him who sees me?” (16:13).

ABRAHAM

“The Lord appeared” (Genesis 18:1). I didn’t write those words: God did. “The Lord appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and saw three men; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them and bowed himself toward the ground” (18:2). The three were not the Trinity: they were the Lord (the preincarnate Christ) and two angels.

Abraham invited them to tea, in the manner of the hospitality of the East, and brought some water so they could wash their feet. While they rested under a tree, he told his servant to kill a young calf, “tender and good” (18:7), dress it, and prepare it for dinner. “And they did eat” (18:8), showing that supernatural beings can eat earthly food.

The Lord had not come idly that day, and Abraham knew it. He told him, “I will return to you according to the time of life [nine months from now]: Sarah shall have a son” (18:10). Sarah, who was hiding behind the tent door, laughed, and the Lord, the Omniscient One, who knows all things, knew. On another occasion Abraham also laughed (17:17). The Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I shall return” (18:13, 14).

The three guests rose to leave, and Abraham walked with them. The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am going to do?” (18:17). Then He revealed another reason for His being there. He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah “because their sin is very grievous” (18:20), a warning to us in case we ever become so complacent we mistake the love of God for permission to sin.

The two angels separated from the Lord and went on to Sodom; they reappear in the story of Lot (19:1). “But Abraham stood yet before the Lord” (18:22). Both knew that Lot and his family were living in Sodom, and Abraham was concerned for his nephew. Abraham asked, “Will You destroy the righteous with the wicked? What if there’s fifty righteous persons in the city: would You not spare the place for fifty? [It’s unfair] to slay the righteous with the wicked. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (18:23-25).

“If I find in Sodom fifty righteous persons, then I will spare all the place for their sakes” (18:26).

“I have taken it on me to speak to the Lord: who am I but dust and ashes? What if there’s five short? say forty-five?” (18:28).

“If I find forty-five, I will not destroy it” (18:28).

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/lot-fleeing-from-sodom-benjamin-west.htmlForty? No. Thirty? No. Twenty? No. Ten? No. “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake” (18:32). Then the Lord left off communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.

Sodom was destroyed (19:13), and Lot was airlifted out of there just in the nick of time (19:16). “God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt” (19:29).

ISHMAEL

Sarah did have a son: Isaac. And, as could be expected, the two mothers of Abraham’s two sons didn’t get along. When Isaac was weaned, Sarah insisted that Hagar and her son be physically removed from their lives and from the property, and God concurred (21:12). “Don’t worry about them,” God told Abraham. “Of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is your seed” (19:13). So Abraham with a breaking heart sent away Hagar and the now-teenage Ishmael.

Mother and son were wandering in the Wilderness of Beersheba when they ran out of water. http://www.artbible.info/art/large/82.htmlIshmael must have passed out and was near death. Hagar put him under the shade of a shrub and, weeping, went off to herself so she wouldn’t have to watch him die. The Bible doesn’t say God heard her: it says “God heard the voice of the lad” (21:17). Did you ever think about your unChristian children? that God has His eye on them just because they belong to you? and that He hears their faintest cry?

God was concerned for Ishmael because he was Abraham’s son, but He talked with Hagar because she was now the head of household and she was the one still functioning. “The Angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven: Fear not, God has heard the voice of the lad where he is [he’s still alive]. Arise. Lift up the lad, and hold him, for I will make of him a great nation” (21:17, 18).

God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. Had it been there before? Or did God just improvise? I don’t know, but she filled her water bottle and gave Ishmael a drink. So God was with the boy. He drew up in the Wilderness of Paran and became an archer; and his mother, herself an Egyptian (16:1), took him a wife out of Egypt (21:20, 21).

ISAAC

The story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac on Mount Moriah is well known. Moriah was not nearby, it was several days’ journey from Abraham’s home. When he, his son, and his men reached the place, Abraham separated from his servants. “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (22:5). This was a statement of faith because Abraham had been told to “offer him for a burnt offering” (22:2), but all the while he didn’t really believe that Isaac was going to die (Hebrews 11:17-19): God had already told him that in Isaac would his seed be called (Genesis 21:12).

Abraham went through the motions, prepared the altar for sacrifice, bound Isaac to the altar, and even had the knife posed to slay his son when God stopped him. http://www.religious-art.org/Abraham-Sacrificing-Isaac--1650.htmlThe Angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, “Lay not your hand on the lad. I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son” (22:11, 12). Then Abraham spied a ram in the thicket and substituted the ram for his son.

The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham out of heaven a second time and blessed him. “Because you have not withheld your son, your only son, I will bless you and multiply your seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the seashore. Your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: because you have obeyed My voice” (22:15-18).

JACOB’S LADDER

When Jacob, a late bloomer, left home, he journeyed from Beersheba toward Haran, the home of his mother’s people and his dad’s grandparents. Camping out without adequate supplies, he made a pillow of stones (28:11). As he slept, he dreamed of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending.

http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/Standard%20Bible%20Story%20Reader,%20Book%20Three/target10.htmlAbove the ladder stood the Lord, who told him, “I am the Lord God of Abraham and of Isaac. The land you’re lying on I will give to you and to your seed. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth [for quantity]. They shall spread to the west, to the east, to the north, to the south. And in you and in your seed shall all families be blessed. I am with you and will keep you in all the places you go and will bring you again to this land. I will not leave you” (28:13-15; cf 48:15, 16).

When Jacob awoke, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. How awesome is this place! This is none other but the house of God and the gate of heaven” (28:16, 17). He set up stones as a memorial to mark the spot and called it Bethel (“house of God”).

JACOB’S QUANDARY

After Jacob had been in Padan Aram (Haran) almost two decades, he knew it was time to go back home to Beersheba. He was trying to figure some way to get away with his women, his children, and his cattle: he had served Laban seven years for each daughter and six years for his livestock. Though Abraham and Lot had separated when their herds became too large (13:1-13), Jacob knew that Laban wouldn’t like it if he pulled out with all that rightfully belonged to him, because he now owned more than Laban did.

While Jacob was meditating on this quandary, the Angel of God spoke to him in a dream: “Jacob.”

“Here am I” (31:11)—like the child Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4).

“I have seen all that Laban does to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar, and where you vowed a vow to Me: now get up and get out of here. Return to the land of your family” (Genesis 31:12, 13).

After sharing the dream with Leah and Rachel, Jacob set out, with wives and children, with all his cattle, camels, goats, sheep, donkeys, and all his goods, to go back to Isaac, his father.

JACOB’S WRESTLING

Laban overtook Jacob and tried to stop him, but God had forewarned Laban not to lay a finger on him (31:24, 29). So Laban backed down. Afterward there was the dilemma with Esau. The reason Jacob had left home was that Esau was vowing to kill him, and now here he was with the prospect of facing his brother again. Jacob was afraid.

http://www.artbible.info/art/large/89.htmlThat night a Man wrestled with him till daybreak. And when the Man saw that Jacob was winning, He touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, putting it out of joint. The Man said, “Let Me go, for day is breaking” (32:26).

“I will not let You go except You bless me” (32:26).

“What is your name?” (32:27).

“Jacob.”

“Your name shall no more be Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince you have power with God and with men, and have prevailed” (32:28).

“What is Your name?” (32:29), Jacob asked.

“Why do you ask My name?” as if to say, “That’s not allowed.” And He blessed him.

Jacob called the place Peniel (“face of God”) “for I have seen God face to face, and live to tell about it” (32:30). The sun rose, and he got up; but when he walked, he halted on his thigh, physical evidence of the reality of the experience.

MOSES

Everyone probably knows the story of Moses and the burning bush. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him “in a flaming fire out of a bush” (Exodus 3:2). http://www.soulmunchies.com/and-god-said-to-moses-hearing-god/The bush burned, but wasn’t consumed. It intrigued him so much, he stopped to take a look. When the Lord saw that he turned to see, He called to him from the bush. “Moses, Moses” (3:4).

“Here am I” (3:4)—like the child Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4).

“Don’t come any farther. Put off your shoes, for the place where you’re standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5; cf Joshua 5:15). Moreover, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). Moses hid his face. He was afraid to look on God, an emotion that was to change once the two of them had become better acquainted.

Then the Lord told him why He was there. He’d heard the cry of His people in Egypt and wanted Moses to deliver them. “Come, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people out of Egypt” (3:10).

Moses was the reluctant hero. “When I come to them and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say?” (3:13).

It was here that God gave a further revelation of Himself. “I AM THAT I AM. Tell them I AM has sent me” (3:14).

The Lord rejected most of his excuses, accommodated a few, but in the end Moses did do the work.

ISRAELITES

When the children of Israel left Egypt, “the Angel of God, which went before the camp, removed and went behind, and the pillar of cloud that went before their face, stood behind them. And it came between the Egyptians and the Israelites” (14:19, 20). Wouldn’t you like God to come between you and your enemies?

After the giving of the Ten Commandments (20:1-17) and the conclusion of the Covenant laws, God told Moses, “I am sending the Angel before you”—also called “the Angel of His Presence” (Isaiah 63:9) and “the Messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1)—“to keep you in the way, and to bring you to the place that I have prepared [the Promised Land]” (23:20). “Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him. IF you indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. My Angel shall go before you, and bring you to the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will cut them off” (Exodus 23:21-23). That the KJV here capitalizes Angel and that this Angel has the power to forgive sin shows the Angel is God.

BALAAM

When Israel was coming up the King’s Highway on the east side of the Jordan River, they were like a cloud to cover the land, and many people groups were trying to avoid them. King Balak of the Moabites sent for Balaam, a prophet or shaman in Pethor, to come and curse them for him (Numbers 22:2-6). Balaam refused. Balak kept nagging him. Again Balaam refused. But eventually the offer got to him.

One morning Balaam arose, saddled his burro, and, accompanied by two servants, went with the men of Moab. God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the Angel of the Lord stood in the way opposing him (22:22). The burro saw the Angel with a sword drawn in his hand (cf Joshua 5:13) and, trying to avoid a direct hit, diverted into the field (Numbers 22:23).

Balaam smote the animal, trying to reroute her, but the Angel stood in the path of the vineyard. When the burro saw the Angel, she hit the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot. He smote her again. As burro and rider journeyed on, the Angel stood in a narrow place, where there was no escape. And when the burro saw the Angel, she collapsed beneath Balaam. Angry, Balaam again smote the animal.

Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way, and His sword drawn in His hand (cf Joshua 5:13): and he bowed his head, and fell flat on his face—which was Balaam’s usual way of receiving supernatural revelation: falling into a trance and seeing a vision (Numbers 24:4).

The Angel asked him, “Why have you smitten your burro three times? Behold, I went out to withstand you, because your way is perverse. The burro saw Me, and turned from Me these three times. If she had not turned, surely I would have killed you and saved her alive” (22:32, 33).

Balaam offered to return home, but the Angel told him to continue. “Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto you, you shall speak” (22:35). So Balaam went with the men from King Balak, but when it came time to curse Israel, all that would come out of his mouth was blessing. Isn’t it good to know that nothing our enemies can do against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17)?

JOSHUA

Before the battle of Jericho, Joshua lifted up his eyes and saw a Man with a drawn sword in His hand (cf Numbers 22:23, 31). He must have looked like an ordinary man, because Joshua, assuming Him to be so, had no idea who He was. “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” (5:13).

“Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come” (5:14). http://www.jehova.net/prayer/praise.htmJoshua fell at His feet and worshiped. “Loose your shoe from off your foot; for the place where you are standing is holy” (5:15), the same thing God had said to Moses at the burning bush (cf Exodus 3:5).

At the burning bush God had identified Himself (3:6, 14) to Moses as Yahweh or Jehovah. Here He referred to Himself as Captain of the Lord’s host: Jehovah-Sabaoth (1 Samuel 1:3; Isaiah 1:9; Romans 9:29; James 5:4). The Lord’s host are the unseen supernatural agents (Exodus 33:2; 2 Kings 6:13-18; 2 Chronicles 32:8) working for the children of God. So “fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with [the enemy]” (2 Kings 6:16). Who is in charge of this supernatural company? The Captain of the Lord’s host, the Man who appeared to Joshua. What does it mean? Well, as Joshua was to find out, it meant the battle was not his or his people’s. The battle was the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47).

Of course, you know how Joshua “fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down.” Armed men of war, followed by seven priests blowing trumpets, followed by the Ark of the Covenant, followed by more infantry, walked around the city once a day for six days. Without saying a word. To those inside the walls of the city, the silence must have been deafening. On the seventh day, this same group marched around the city seven times. After which Joshua told them, “Shout; for the Lord has given you the city” (Joshua 6:16). And the walls of Jericho came down.

SAMSON

The period of the judges, like the period of Egyptian bondage, was a dark time in Israel’s history as a nation. When the people disobeyed, God allowed them to fall into the hands of their enemies. Then He would raise up judges to deliver them.

During one of these episodic down times, there was an infertile couple of the tribe of Dan. The Angel of the Lord appeared to the wife, told her she was going to have a son, and warned her not to drink wine or strong drink and not to eat any unclean thing because her son was to be a Nazarite from his mother’s womb: he was never to cut his hair. And God would use him to deliver Israel (Judges 13:3-5).

When the woman told her highstrung husband Manoah, he prayed that the Angel would return and give them more instructions. “Teach us what we shall do” (13:8).

The Angel returned and talked with the woman, again while she was alone. She left to find her husband. When the couple returned, Manoah asked, “Are you the Man that spoke to my wife?” (13:11).

“I am.”

The Angel reiterated that the expectant mother was to avoid strong drink, or any fruit of the vine, and to avoid anything unclean.

Manoah asked the Angel to stay for dinner. The Angel said even if He stayed, He couldn’t eat (cf Genesis 18:1-8). And if they offered sacrifice, they were to offer it to God.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/110749/Sacrifice-of-Manoah-oil-on-wood-panel-by-Pieter-LastmanManoah asked the Man His name (cf Genesis 32:29, 30), but He would not give it. “It is secret” (Judges 13:18); literally, “Wonderful” (Isaiah 9:6).

When Manoah offered a sacrifice, “the Angel did wondrously … for it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame” (Judges 13:19, 20).

It was then that they knew this was a supernatural Being, not a prophet. Manoah, again feeling overwhelmed, said, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God” (13:22).

The would-be mother was more pragmatic. “If the Lord were pleased to kill us, He would not have received our offering, neither would He have showed us all these things, nor would He have told us such things, nor would we be having a baby” (13:23).

The prophesied child, of course, was Samson, Israel’s strong man (13:24).

HEZEKIAH

Ten years after the fall of Samaria (722 BC), Israel (Northern Kingdom), King Sennacherib of Assyria came against all the fenced cities of Judah and took them and was planning to lay siege to Jerusalem. He demanded tribute. To get the money Hezekiah stripped the Temple and gave him silver and gold. This was Sennacherib’s first invasion (2 Kings 18:9-16).

The second time Sennacherib sent Tartan, Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh with a great army against Jerusalem, and they stood by the conduit of the upper pool (2 Kings 18:17). When King Hezekiah became aware, he took counsel with his princes and his “mighty men” to stop the waters, fountains, and brooks. “Why should the king of Assyria come and find water?” (2 Chronicles 32:4). http://www.bibleplaces.com/heztunnel.htmIt was probably at this time that he made the aqueduct known as Hezekiah’s Tunnel and constructed the Broad Wall, a massive defensive structure. He ordered the manufacture of darts and arrows in abundance (32:5), appointed army captains, and spoke the word. “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles” (32:7, 8).

The enemy was threatening: “Why do you trust Hezekiah, who tells you, ‘The Lord our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?’ Don’t you know what I and my fathers have done to all the people of other lands? Were their gods able to deliver them out of my hand? How much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand” (2 Kings 18:28-35; 2 Chronicles 32:10-15; Isaiah 36:13-20).

When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes (a symbol of grief), covered himself with sackcloth, and went to the house of the Lord. Isaiah told him: “The Lord says, ‘Be not afraid of the words you have heard, with which the servants of Sennacherib have blasphemed Me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him. He shall hear a rumor, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land'” (2 Kings 19:6, 7; Isaiah 37:6, 7).

Sennacherib sent another message to Hezekiah: “Let not your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, ‘Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them?” (2 Kings 19:8-13; 2 Chronicles 32:17; Isaiah 37:8-13).

When Hezekiah received it and read it, he went up to the house of the Lord, spread out it before the Lord, so He could read it too, and prayed: “O Lord God of Israel, who dwells between the cherubims, You are God alone. Lord, bow down Your ear, and hear. Open, Lord, Your eyes, and see. Hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God … O Lord, I beseech You, save us out of His hand” (2 Kings 19:14-19; Isaiah 37:14-20).

Hezekiah and Isaiah each prayed (2 Chronicles 32:20; cf Matthew 18:19). Then Isaiah sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘That which you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, I have heard.’ This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him: ‘Whom have you blasphemed? against whom have you exalted your voice? even against the Holy One of Israel … therefore, I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came’ … He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city. For I will defend this city, to save it, for My own sake” (2 Kings 19:20-34; Isaiah 37:21-35).

That night the Angel of the Lord went to the camp of the Assyrians and wiped out 185,000 enemy troops. When Sennacherib arose early in the morning, behold, his army were all dead corpses (2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21a; Isaiah 37:36). So he turned back and, as he was worshiping in the house of his god, his own sons killed him with a sword, as God had said (2 Kings 19:36, 37; 2 Chronicles 32:21b; Isaiah 37:37, 38).

EZEKIEL

Like Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8), Daniel (Daniel 10:5-9), and John the Revelator (Revelation 1:10-18), even Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-12), Ezekiel had a vision of the glory of God. He saw “a likeness of a Man with the appearance of fire; from His waist downward He was like fire, and from His waist upward He had the appearance of brightness like gleaming bronze” (Ezekiel 8:2 Amplified; cf 1:26, 27).

In Ezekiel’s vision this supernatural Being “put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in a vision to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looks toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy [a graven image that provoked God to jealousy]” (8:3). This heathen image was “northward at the gate of the altar … in the entry” (8:5).

The supernatural Being confided in Ezekiel. “Son of Man, see what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, that I should go far off from My sanctuary? but turn, and you shall see greater abominations” (8:6).

At the door of the court of the Temple was a hole in the wall, through which Ezekiel saw creeping things, abominable beasts, and idols portrayed on the inner wall. http://sothl.com/2011/03/23/christs-glory-is-hidden-in-the-rejection-by-his-own-matthew-26-57-68/sanhedrin-dealing-with-jesus/Before these images were seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel (Numbers 11:16)—the Sanhedrin—which shows how depraved the nation was that its civil and religious leaders had corrupted themselves in the accursed thing. They who should have taught the people to do right were themselves doing wrong (Ezekiel 8:11; 11:1, 2).

DANIEL

After his “Daniel fast” of twenty-one days (Daniel 10:5), Daniel was visited by “a certain Man clothed in linen [indicative of the priesthood], whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude” (10:5, 6).

The Man said to him, “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you” (10:11). From the moment his prayer was uttered, it was heard; but there was spiritual warfare in the heavens. Isn’t it refreshing to know that God hears prayer and that sometimes the thing holding back the answer is not God, but the enemy?

ZECHARIAH

Zechariah mentions “the Angel of the Lord” (1:11-14; 3:1-6; 6:5; 12:8), but with the New Testament there is no further reference to “the Angel of the Lord.” The KJV sometimes has the definite article where there should be none (Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 28:2; Luke 2:9; Acts 5:19; 12:7, 23).

TRANSFIGURATION

Jesus took His inner circle—Peter, James, and John—to a high mountain and showed Him His glory, meaning He was transfigured before them. “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light … a bright cloud overshadowed them: and a voice out of the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him” (Matthew 17:1-9; cf Mark 9:2-9).

JOHN

John the Apostle—the same man who accompanied Jesus to the Mount of Transfiguration, the same man who leaned on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper (John 13:23; 21:20)—said he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and heard a voice like a trumpet, saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” (Revelation 1:11). When he turned to look, John saw seven gold candlesticks and “One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow: and His eyes were as a flame of fire. And His feet like to fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was as the sun shining in its strength” (1:13-16).

John also describes the glorified Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. http://undergroundchurch.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/our-coming-king/And He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (19:12-16).

“On the head of Christ are many crowns. He wears the crown of victory; He wears the crown of sovereignty; He wears the crown of creation; He wears the crown of providence; He wears the crown of grace; He wears the crown of glory—for every crown His people owe Him honor.” ~James H Aughey

Copyright © 2013 Alexandra Lee

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15 thoughts on “Theophany

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