I have been listening to Hazakim’s Theophanies CD for the past few days and learned about the theophanies that appear in the bible. I’ve tried to provide a concise post for those unable or unwilling to listen through the whole CD to understand the full context of what Mike & Tony were sharing from scripture. I have included a snippet from Dr. Michael Brown (from the CD) below; so here we go!
The conflict that some have with the incarnation of Jesus as man is a verse in Exodus 33:20. In this verse God said, “You can not not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” and some would use this to say that Jesus could not have become flesh, because mankind would have seen Him and therefore contradicted scripture.
In Genesis 18 we see that Abraham saw three “men” arrive at his camp, but Abraham recognizes one as the LORD. At first glance this may not be blatantly apparent, but if you go back to chapter 17 we see that Abraham starting in verse 1 begins speaking with the LORD. This LORD clearly declares in the same verse that HE is “the Almighty God”. As we continue through chapter 17, the conversation does not end, but right into chapter 18. So as we arrive back at chapter 18 we see the following:
“And he lift 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 himself toward the ground, And said, My LORD, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant” Genesis 18:2-3
and furthermore showing us that He is the LORD, we see Him declare His attribute of omnipotence:
“And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Genesis 18:13-14
In the book of Job, we see an appearance in a physical form to correct (perhaps even rebuke) Job for questioning God. Although the LORD doesn’t condemn Job, He does clarify His almighty power and reminds Job that He is the creator and is not answerable to man. The specific passage Hazakim is referencing are chapters 38 through 42. Due to the length of the passage I haven’t included more than the introduction of the LORD; I would suggest reading the full passage to see the full story. In a whirlwind, God appears to Job saying:
“Then the LORD (A)answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding”
In this passage we see that not only can and does God appear in the form of a man, but He also appears in a less rigid, but nonetheless, physical form.
Which leads us to the book of Exodus. For those of you that have read the book of Exodus, you know that the LORD chose to lead the people through the desert in the form of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire at night. Again showing God’s willingness to appear in physical form. We know that this is more than a sign, but a physical manifestation because the word says that the people worshiped Him:
“When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” Exodus 33:10-11
I had planned on going more in-depth, but hadn’t consider the how lengthy this post has become. Due to that, we see just from a small number of passages (and there are numerous more) that it is completely logical and possible for Jesus to be “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” If you have any further questions or corrections, feel free to leave a comment below, email me, or connect with me on one of the social networks at the top-right of the page.
Grace and peace,