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It should not surprise us that God revealed Himself to Abraham in the

image of man

any more than we are surprised that God would "create man in His own

image."


A few years ago I was present at a luncheon of Christians and Jews in which a

friendly exchange of questions and answers was taking place. In a gracious

way, Jews were challenging Christians and Christians were challenging Jews.

I opened my Bible to Genesis 18 and waited for an opportunity to quiz the

Rabbi leading the discussion. This passage talks about God’s revealing

Himself to Abraham in the form of three men. But I never got to ask my

question. Instead, the Rabbi referred to the incident himself–but without

explaining the dilemma–and from that point on never surrendered the floor for

anyone else to speak. Finally, I realized the dear-man was so afraid of having

to answer inquiries about God appearing in the form of three men that he

would not allow any more inquiries. I understand his crisis. This passage

radically challenges Unitarian-theology.


Those who have difficulty accepting the reality of God revealing Himself in

multiplicity should take heed to the manner in which He displayed Himself to

Abraham. Those of us who embrace the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are not

saying there are three gods, we are saying that the One, all-sovereign Being

who created our Universe three-dimensionally can reveal Himself in that same

trinitarian way if He so chooses. Not only so, but science has confirmed other

dimensions beyond the one we presently know. Heaven is such a dimension.


Genesis 18:1-19:2: Then the Lord appeared to him (Abraham) by the terebinth

trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he

lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and

when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself

to the ground, 20. And the Lord said (to Abraham), "Because the outcry

against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I

will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the

outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know." Then (two of)

the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still

stood before the Lord.


Genesis 19: 1: Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot

was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them,

and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.


The revelation of God to Abraham is this:


1. "The Lord appeared to him." (Yahweh)

In the form of

2. "Three men were standing by him ..." naashiym

3. "The men turned away ..." haaanaashiym but,

4. "Abraham still stood before the Lord." (Yahweh)

5. "Two angels came to Sodom ..." Shaneey

(two) hamal’aakiym (angels)


In God’s plural appearances to Abraham we have one of the most

theologically challenging examples of deity sovereignly transitioning His

nature between the Divine, the angelic, and human essence, at will. We are

introduced to this mystery in the opening chapter of Genesis where--in every

instance and more than 30 times--the name of God appears only in the plural.

The personal pronoun, "we, our" is used consistently.


6. No matter how we divide it, it is the Lord, who appears to Abraham but in

three distinctly divisible components. He is one in three manifestations. As is

water capable of composing itself as a solid, liquid, or a gas. So also, the

physical world is three-dimensional.


Abraham may never have realized the honor God gave him that day in

revealing to him the Trinitarian nature of God. We have this same witness all

around us in that the physical Universe is three-dimensional. — John the

Baptist never knew that he was the promised ‘Elijah who was to come’".


Genesis 1:1-2. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The

earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

God = 'elohiym = plural noun. Created = bara' = a singular verb.


In Hebrew when the plural noun is used for the God of Heaven it is

accompanied by a singular verb. When the same noun is used for other gods it

is always accompanied by plural verbs.


Matthew 28:1-7. AN ANGEL: Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the

week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the

tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord

descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door,

and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as

snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But

the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that

you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.

Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples

that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee;

there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."


Mark 16:1-7. A YOUNG MAN: Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary

Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they

might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the

week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among

themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away — for

it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a

long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to

them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He

is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His

disciples — and Peter — that He is going before you into Galilee; there you

will see Him, as He said to you."


Luke 24:1-6. TWO MEN: Now on the first day of the week, very early in the

morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing

the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from

the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And

it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men

stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their

faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the

dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen!


John 20:11-15. TWO ANGELS: But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping,

and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two

angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the

body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you

weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I

do not know where they have laid Him." Now when she had said this, she

turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was

Jesus.


John 1:1-5."In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and

the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made

through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was

life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and

the darkness did not comprehend it.


John 17:5-6. "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the

glory which I had with You before the world was ."


John 17:20-21. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will

believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are

in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may

believe that You sent Me.


John 17:24-25. "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be

with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given

Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.


1 Peter 1:18-20. "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible

things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition

from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without

blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation

of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.


Colossians 1:15-21. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all

creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on

earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or

powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before

all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the

church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He

may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the

fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him,

whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the

blood of His cross.


Daniel 3:24-26. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in

haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound

into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O

king." "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the

fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God"


HYMN

To the great One in three,

Eternal praises be,

Hence evermore,

His sovereign majesty,

May we in glory see, And to eternity,

Love and adore!


Charles


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