There is some debate as to how Christ manifested Himself to either Saul/Paul, John, EGW or others after AD 31 when he started his work officially in the sanctuary above. Some argue that it was literally Christ himself, who vacated heaven and appeared to either Saul or John in His glorified personage, while others hold to the idea that it was either a vision or some sort of augmented reality of Christ manifesting Himself in a Spiritual form, I myself lean on the latter. The salient point here though is that, after His ascension, Christ interacted with people on earth without the aid of another divine Being. Some go as far as to say that because Christ took upon humanity, he has been stripped off omnipresence yet they do not understand its omniscience plus omnipotent that makes up omnipresence. Here is the quote sometimes used in this argument:

 

CUMBERED WITH HUMANITY

Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself, divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall [although unseen by you] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you…. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” {Lt119-1895}

 

A brother suggested that Christ is cumbered with humanity and so we have to believe because he has retained with humanity, he is till cumbered and may not be having omnipresent attribute!

 

I believe this is one of the most misused quotes both in Trinitarian and OTG camp. When Christ was on earth yes Phil 2 is clear but he could even read hearts of men while here. HIS cumbering was physical in a sense but not wholly as people suggest. But to go a leap and suggest that he is still cumbered when in John 17 he asked the Father to glorify him again and the Father accepted is willfully ignoring the scripture and inspiration. And haven’t we read Matthew 28:18 he received all power in heaven and on earth unlimited? If you say he was and is not omnipresent and the spirit is not his, please explain this

 

John 2:24:

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

 

Again and again the bearers of the paralytic tried to push their way through the crowd, but in vain. The sick man looked about him in unutterable anguish. When the longed-for help was so near, how could he relinquish hope? At his suggestion his friends bore him to the top of the house and, breaking up the roof, let him down at the feet of Jesus. The discourse was interrupted. The Saviour looked upon the mournful countenance, and saw the pleading eyes fixed upon Him. He understood the case; He had drawn to Himself that perplexed and doubting spirit. While the paralytic was yet at home, the Saviour had brought conviction to his conscience. When he repented of his sins, and believed in the power of Jesus to make him whole, the life-giving mercies of the Saviour had first blessed his longing heart. Jesus had watched the first glimmer of faith grow into a belief that He was the sinner’s only helper, and had seen it grow stronger with every effort to come into His presence.  {DA 268.1}

 

Philip called Nathanael. The latter had been among the throng when the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. As Nathanael looked upon Jesus, he was disappointed. Could this man, who bore the marks of toil and poverty, be the Messiah? Yet Nathanael could not decide to reject Jesus, for the message of John had brought conviction to his heart.  {DA 139.7} At the time when Philip called him, Nathanael had withdrawn to a quiet grove to meditate upon the announcement of John and the prophecies concerning the Messiah. He prayed that if the one announced by John was the deliverer, it might be made known to him, and the Holy Spirit rested upon him with assurance that God had visited His people and raised up a horn of salvation for them. Philip knew that his friend was searching the prophecies, and while Nathanael was praying under a fig tree, Philip discovered his retreat. They had often prayed together in this secluded spot hidden by the foliage.  {DA 140.1} The message, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write,” seemed to Nathanael a direct answer to his prayer. But Philip had yet a trembling faith. He added doubtfully, “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Again prejudice arose in Nathanael’s heart. He exclaimed, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”  {DA 140.2} Philip entered into no controversy. He said, “Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” In surprise Nathanael exclaimed, “Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”  {DA 140.3} It was enough. The divine Spirit that had borne witness to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree now spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Though in doubt, and yielding somewhat to prejudice, Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. His faith went beyond that of the one who had brought him to Jesus. He answered and said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.”  {DA 140.4} 

 

“Jesus of Nazareth, whom he had been persecuting in the person of His saints, appeared before him as the promised Messiah. The persecutor saw Him as the Son of God, the one who had come to the earth in fulfillment of the prophecies and who in His life had met every specification of the Sacred Writings.” (AA, p. 228)

 

Ellen White was physically on earth, but was taken to other worlds. In the early days God gave these signs to her. The fact that only Paul saw Christ backs this up. Just like the fact that only some saw the dove of light and heard God’s voice. This is supernatural power. God is showing something to whom He chooses.

 

Christ was physically on earth for much of Old Testament history. He was the Angel of the Lord theophanies. He was the pillar of cloud/fire. He was the Shekinah. The Shekinah departed at the destruction of the temple and so Christ was free to physically meet with Daniel, just as He did with Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Manoah, etc.

 

There is the spiritual coming as the Comforter “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you”. Then there is the physical coming in verses 1-3. Jesus is not going to come physically until He has finished the work of preparing a place. This preparing a place is His high priestly ministry. And when He does come physically it is to “receive you again to myself”.

 

“On the Isle of Patmos John SAW IN HOLY VISION the One whom he honored and loved above all others. He says, ‘I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.’ See the description in Revelation 1. The words uttered were not alone for John on the Isle of Patmos; they were not for the churches alone; but through these churches was to come the inspired message for the people, to have its powerful impression in every age to the close of this earth’s history. Why is not this being done? Christ presented Himself to John in His glorified humanity. ‘I saw,’ said he, ‘one like unto the Son of man.'” (Ms 53, 1890)

 

So, this was “in holy vision“. But look at the context of chapter 1. Where is Christ seen? In the midst of the candlesticks. This is a vision of the HEAVENLY SANCTUARY. Jesus is not on Patmos, John has been spiritually transported to view a representation of Heaven. Note the following commentary on this:

 

“Christ walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is SYMBOLIZED  His relation to the churches. He is in communion with His people. He knows their true state. He observes their order, their vigilance, their piety, and their devotion. ALTHOUGH He is High Priest and Mediator IN THE SANCTUARY ABOVE, yet He walks up and down in the midst of the churches on earth. He goes from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from soul to soul. He observes their true condition. He IS REPRESENTED AS WALKING, which signifies untiring wakefulness, unremitting vigilance. He observes whether the light of any of His sentinels is burning dim or going out. If the candlesticks were left to mere human care, the flickering flame would languish and die. But He is the true Watchman in the Lord’s house, the true Warden of the temple courts. His continued watchcare and sustaining grace are the source of life and light.” (Ms 100, 1893)

 

She has just quoted large portions of Revelation 1 and then states this. We are clearly dealing with vision. Her next words after this paragraph are “Again as the Holy Spirit rested upon the prophet, he sees a door opened in heaven…” There can be no confusion here. These things were by inspiration of the Holy Spirit! In fact, the Lord is that Spirit. The seven spirits are a combined attribute – the sum of the seven eyes (omniscience) and seven horns (omnipotence) of the Lamb! Look at the seven letters – The introduction is clearly showing that Jesus is dictating these letters. The close of each letter says that the “spirit speaks”.

 

“…CHRIST CAME IN PERSON to the lonely isle of Patmos and showed John the things that must be, that were of the highest importance to His people. (Through the person of his highest angels. He had veiled His own glory.) This message is to come to God’s people straight, sharp, and clean from all mixture of human wisdom and tradition. {Ms139-1903.22}

 

Non-Trinitarians argues about the Holy Spirit is a person but when it comes to reconciling how Christ appears as the personage of the spirit, they would not want to admit this is what happened in Patmos.

 

“…Patmos WAS MADE RESPLENDENT WITH THE GLORY OF A RISEN SAVIOUR. John had seen Christ in human form, with the marks of the nails, which will ever be his glory, in his hands and his feet. NOW HE WAS PERMITTED AGAIN TO BEHOLD HIS RISEN LORD, CLOTHED WITH AS MUCH GLORY AS A HUMAN BEING COULD BEHOLD, AND LIVE. What a Sabbath was that to the lonely exile, always precious in the sight of Christ, but now more than ever exalted! Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth. {YI April 5, 1900, par. 6}

 

“At the sound of the voice John falls down in astonishment as if dead. He is unable to bear the sight of the divine glory. But a hand raises John up, and the voice he remembers as THE VOICE OF HIS MASTER. He is strengthened and can endure TO TALK WITH THE LORD JESUS. {TMK 360.2}

 

“NO LESS A PERSONAGE THAN THE SON OF GOD APPEARED TO DANIEL. THIS DESCRIPTION IS SIMILAR TO THAT GIVEN BY JOHN WHEN CHRIST WAS REVEALED TO HIM UPON THE ISLE OF PATMOS… RH Feb 8, 1881, par. 27}

 

“In the days of the early Christians, CHRIST CAME THE SECOND TIME. His first advent was at Bethlehem, when He came as an infant. HIS SECOND ADVENT WAS AT THE ISLE OF PATMOS, WHEN HE REVEALED HIMSELF IN GLORY TO JOHN THE REVELATOR, who “fell at His feet as dead” when he saw Him. But CHRIST strengthened him to endure the sight, and then gave him a message to write to the churches of Asia, the names of which are descriptive of the characteristics of every church. {19MR 40.4}

 

“John was strengthened TO LIVE IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS GLORIFIED LORD.… {AA 582.3}

 

“Our lesson for the present time is, How may we most clearly comprehend and present the gospel that CHRIST CAME IN PERSON to present to John on the Isle of Patmos…{Lt97-1902.3}

 

“It may seem wonderful to us THAT JOHN SAW CHRIST AS HE IS, and that Christ addressed Himself to the churches… {Ms155-1902.12}

 

“Let every God-fearing teacher consider how most clearly to comprehend and to present the gospel that OUR SAVIOUR CAME IN PERSON to make known to His servant John…. {Ed 191.2}

 

“…When John received it, he was worked by the Holy Spirit, for CHRIST HIMSELF CAME FROM HEAVEN and told him what to write. {Ms139-1903.34}

 

We read about Jesus veiling His glory “through the person of His highest angels.” Why would she even say that? Why say Christ “came the second time” and that “His second advent was at the isle of Patmos” when He revealed Himself in glory to John? How do you answer such questions concerning the appearance of Christ? His omnipresence has to answer these questions.

 

That Christ should manifest Himself to them, and yet be invisible to the world, was a mystery to the disciples. They could not understand the words of Christ in their spiritual sense. They were thinking of the outward, visible manifestation. They could not take in the fact that they could have the presence of Christ with them, and yet He be unseen by the world. They did not understand the meaning of a spiritual manifestation.  {RC 129.2}

 

About the veiling one of the quotes that can address this is:

No traces of His recent agony were visible as Jesus stepped forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples He said, “Whom seek ye?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am He.” As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Saviour’s face, and a dovelike form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back. Priests, elders, soldiers, and even Judas, fell as dead men to the ground.  {DA 694.5}

 

“SAUL WAS *BROUGHT DIRECTLY INTO THE PRESENCE* OF CHRIST.” {AA120.3}

 

Here is what Sister White informs us: “As in vision the apostle John was granted A VIEW OF THE TEMPLE OF GOD IN HEAVEN, HE BEHALF THERE “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” He saw an angel “having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 4:5; 8:3. HERE THE PROPHET WAS PERMITTED TO BEHOLD THE FIRST APARTMENT OF THE SANCTUARY IN HEAVEN; AND HE SAW THERE THE “SEVEN LAMPS OF FIRE” and the “golden altar” REPRESENTED BY THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK and the altar of incense IN THE SANCTUARY ON EARTH. Again, “the temple of God was opened” (Revelation 11:19), and he looked within the inner veil, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld “the ark of His testament” (Revelation 11:19), represented by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God. {PP 356.1}

 

She also speaks of the 7 golden lamps back from chapters 1-3 “The words fall from the lips of One who cannot lie. The picture reveals eternal vigilance. CHRIST IS IN THE MIDST OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS, WALKING FROM CHURCH TO CHURCH, FROM CONGREGATION TO CONGREGATION, from heart to heart. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. If the candlesticks were left to the care of human beings, how often the light would flicker and go out! But God has not given HIS CHURCH into the hands of men. Christ, the One who gave His life for the world, that all who believe in Him may not perish but have everlasting life, is the watchman of the house. He is the warder, faithful and true, of THE TEMPLE COURTS of the Lord…. {7BC 956.2}

 

Again we read: “THE CHURCH OF GOD BELOW is one with the church of God above. Believers on the earth and the beings in heaven who have never fallen constitute one church. Every heavenly intelligence is interested in the assemblies of the saints WHO ON EARTH meet to worship God. In the inner court of heaven they listen to the testimony of the witnesses for Christ IN THE OUTER COURT ON EARTH, and the praise and thanksgiving from the worshipers below is taken up in the heavenly anthem, and praise and rejoicing sound through the heavenly courts because Christ has not died in vain for the fallen sons of Adam… {6T 366.1}

 

That same Jesus who appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos will visit each one of you on your island home. He will be found of all who call upon him, and will manifest unto them his love and the love of his Father. Light from the Son of God shone on the barren Isle of Patmos, making it a heaven to the lonely exile; and if you keep close to Jesus, your Elder Brother, your home will be honored by the divine Presence. Keep your eyes uplifted to Jesus; feel that it is your privilege to come to him with all your griefs and troubles, be they large or small. Trust him as implicitly as a child trusts its parents. {RH, August 4, 1896 par. 4} Is this just divine presence or Jesus?

 

Compare the above with this in the promise of the comforter: John 14:21: He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

 

While Jesus ministers in the true sanctuary above, he is by his Holy Spirit working through his earthly messengers. The word of the living preacher will often accomplish even more than the printed page. As the Lord’s servants go forth trusting in divine power, the Master of the vineyard will work through his chosen ministers, bestowing upon them his Spirit, and fulfilling to them the assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {RH, April 7, 1910 par. 13} While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church. {DA 166.2}

 

“The Lord says this because He knows it is for our good. He would build a wall around us, to keep us from transgression, so that His blessing and love may be bestowed on us in rich measure. This is the reason we have established a school here. The Lord instructed us that this was the place in which we should locate, and we have had every reason to think that we are in the right place. We have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes; that the Lord God is our Keeper and Helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the  mind.” E. G. White, Sermons and Talks Volume Two, pp. 136, 137 (Also in Manuscript Releases Vol. 7, p. 299)

 

“That same Jesus who appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos will visit each one of you on your island home…”

 

“Christ walks unseen through our streets. With messages of mercy He comes to our homes. With all who are seeking to minister in His name, He waits to co-operate. He is in the midst of us, to heal and to bless, if we will receive Him.”  E. G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 107

 

The Lord Jesus standing by the side of the canvassers, walking with them, is the chief worker. If we recognize Christ as the One who is with us to prepare the way, the Holy Spirit by our side will make impressions in just the lines needed. Manual for Canvassers -PG- 40

 

“Remember that Jesus is beside you wherever you go, noting your actions and listening to your words. Would you be ashamed to hear his voice speaking to you, and to know that he hears your conversation?” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, February 4, 1897 par. 3}

 

That Christ should manifest Himself to them, and yet be invisible to the world, was a mystery to the disciples. They could not understand the words of Christ in their spiritual sense. They were thinking of the outward, visible manifestation. They could not take in the fact that they could have the presence of Christ with them, and yet He be unseen by the world. They did not understand the meaning of a spiritual manifestation. The Southern Review- 09-13-98

 

This is answer directly to the promise of John 14. He first manifests himself in spiritual form and when he appears physically it’s to take his children in heaven as per the promise of John 14 and Acts 1. In fact the only time the feet of Jesus will ever touch the ground is when he comes the third time and the New Jerusalem rests on plain of Olivet. In other cases he is seen and he is touching ground prior to the third coming it’s a spiritual manifestation, a real augmentation.

 

Let’s see the Saul experience and compare it with other places, yet am not disputing the unique occurrences if there may be 2Corinthians 12:1: It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2Corinthians 12:2: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 2Corinthians 12:3: And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 2Corinthains 12:4: How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. What is this stuff “whether in the body or out of the body” mean!

 

Jesus did indeed can appear in person after ascension, he can do that sometimes: Mark 16:9: Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. Mark 16:12: After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. Mark 16:14: Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. His omnipotent and Omniscient is what makes up his omnipresent: Revelation 5:6: And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns [OMNIPOTENT] and seven eyes [OMNISCIENT], which are the seven Spirits [OMNISCIENT] of God sent forth into all the earth. NOTICE THIS WAS NOT A VISION: John 20:24: But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. John 20:26: And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. John 20:27: Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. John 20:28: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:29: Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

 

One thing though should not be forgotten, this happened when Christ was not in any apartment officiating. He had just finished his work in the courtyard and before he started his work in the holy place, he appeared to his disciples.

 

When the priest entered the sanctuary for the service, did he ever come out to see how people were doing or waited till he finished the work? If we work on this principle, then after Christ started work in the holy place he never come out till he had finished the work then he could appear then before he starts the work in the most holy place. Other times he is seen while the work is going on in the apartments it has to be understood to be his spiritual manifestations in visions and augmented reality and in person as folks think.

 

John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” He believes that once he comes back literally he would have to “receive us” unto himself, etc so the fact that John and Saul and Ellen were all still left where they were shows he did not come back literally, etc..

 

Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

 

So maybe the thing should be analyzed with the sanctuary service standpoint. If John is writing things concerning Jesus when he is in the Holy Place when he is already there, then it’s a vision and are justified to say what we are saying. Both John, Saul and even Ellen White’s experience was an augmented reality via vision which provided a sensory encounter which made it appear as though real. In vision, John had a flashback of the events of AD 31 during the ascension in Acts, inauguration and a forecast of the future. These things the Father gave to the Son, then the Son to the Angel maybe Gabriel or guardian angel of John who through the ministration of the Spirit worked on his mind. While Jesus ministers in the true sanctuary above, he is by his Holy Spirit working through his earthly messengers. The word of the living preacher will often accomplish even more than the printed page. As the Lord’s servants go forth trusting in divine power, the Master of the vineyard will work through his chosen ministers, bestowing upon them his Spirit, and fulfilling to them the assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {RH, April 7, 1910 par. 13} While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church. {DA 166.2} This now helps us even understand more the ministration of spirit channeling and how it works through angels/pipes and ministers of the sanctuary a revealed in Zechariah 4 hence you can read such quotes as:

 

“…CHRIST CAME IN PERSON to the lonely isle of Patmos and showed John the things that must be, that were of the highest importance to His people. (Through the person of his highest angels. He had veiled His own glory.) This message is to come to God’s people straight, sharp, and clean from all mixture of human wisdom and tradition. {Ms139-1903.22}

 

The vision of John happened in 95-96, Jesus in Rev 1-3 he is preparing or giving the message to the churches but Remember this is a back date of AD 31. In Rev 4 he is between earth and heaven travelling that journey of Act 1, Rev 5-8 its work in the Holy Place so though at the time of giving the vision he is portrayed as being in the HP, it’s something that happened years back that is why its a vision and not a literal thing

 

A point may be made that John knelt to worship him so it is real but that’s a simplistic interpretation of things. Does it matter a thing? Once you are impressed by the loveliness of Jesus whether he is present literally or not, you will kneel to worship him. When we kneel in church or in house to worship him, is it formal, is he literally present!

 

Continuing with the sanctuary theme:

And I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming Chariot go into the Holy of Holies, within the veil, and did sit. There I saw thrones that I had never seen before. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him; and I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after he arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who rose up when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. — Then He raised His right arm and we heard his lovely voice saying, “Wait here–I am going to my Father to receive the Kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to myself.” And I saw a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, and Angels were all around it as it came where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, as He was standing before the Father, a great High Priest. On the hem of His garment was a bell and pomegranate. Then Jesus shew me the difference between faith and feeling. And I saw those who rose up with Jesus send up their faith to Him in the Holiest, and pray–my Father give us thy Spirit. Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In the breath was light, power, and much love, joy and peace. Then I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it.–Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God; I saw them look up to the throne and pray, my Father give us thy Spirit; then Satan would breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived, and to draw back and deceive God’s children. I saw one after another leave the company who were praying to Jesus in the Holiest, and go and join those before the throne, and they at once received the unholy influence of Satan. {Broadside1, April 6, 1846 par. 7}

 

Let’s break down the quote

  1. Holy Place Work is finished, the Father rises because the work is finished and goes into the most holy place. Jesus casts down the censor of the holy place, Rev 8:5
  2. New thrones are being set up in the most holy place Dan 7:9. When this is happening what is Jesus doing? Jesus led them a little way, at this point I believe he can come to the earth personally before he goes to the most holy place.
  3. He tells them wait here, till when? Till I finish the most holy place work again. So again they won’t see him personally again but by his spirit by faith, visions and dreams. He is then taken to the ancient of days to start the MHP work Dan 7:13. Do you notice the period of preparation between verse 9-13?
  4. All the time Jesus is in the MHP, the only work that continues upon those who are waiting upon him is the breathing of the spirit either of God or Satan nothing more nothing less

 

He comes to us personally

Because Ellen White has stated, “CUMBERED WITH HUMANITY, CHRIST COULD NOT BE IN EVERY PLACE PERSONALLY,” (Desire of Ages, p. 669.2) many draw the conclusion that Christ has forfeited His omnipresence. And yet Sister White also wrote such statements as:

 

“I testify to my brethren and sisters that the church of Christ, enfeebled and defective as it may be, is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard. While He extends to all the world His invitation to come to Him and be saved, He commissions His angels to render divine help to every soul that cometh to Him in repentance and contrition, and HE COMES TO US PERSONALLY BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT into the midst of His church. {Lt2d-1892.7}

 

“When Christ ascended to heaven, THE SENSE OF HIS PRESENCE WAS STILL WITH HIS FOLLOWERS. IT WAS A PERSONAL PRESENCE, full of love and light… {SC 73.2}

 

“The work of the Holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this Source that power and efficiency come to the worker for God; and THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE COMFORTER, AS THE PERSONAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST TO THE SOUL.” {Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 177}

 

We see here that there is in one sense that Christ cannot be with us “personally” but then there is in another sense that He can be with us “personally.”

 

Consider the following statements:

“In giving His commission to His followers, Christ did not tell them they would be left alone. He assured them that He would be near them. HE SPOKE OF HIS OMNIPRESENCE IN A SPECIAL WAY. Go to all nations, He said. Go, to the farthest portion of the habitable globe, but know that MY PRESENCE WILL BE THERE. Labor in faith and confidence, for the time will never come when I shall forsake you.” {Ms138-1897.21}

 

“Christ’s VISIBLE PRESENCE was about to be withdrawn, but a new endowment of power was to be theirs. The Holy Spirit was to be given them in its fullness. {TT 18.3}

 

“Christ is withdrawn ONLY FROM THE EYE OF SENSE, BUT HE IS AS TRULY PRESENT BY HIS SPIRIT AS WHEN HE WAS VISIBLY PRESENT ON EARTH. The time that has elapsed since his ascension has brought no interruption in the fulfillment of his parting promise,—“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {ST April 7, 1890, par. 6}

 

“When trials overshadow the soul, remember the words of Christ, remember that HE IS AN UNSEEN PRESENCE in the person of the Holy Spirit {Letter 124, 1897. } 

 

“In the plan of restoring in men the divine image, it was provided that the Holy Spirit should move upon human minds, AND BE AS THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST, a molding agency upon human character (RH Feb 12, 1895)

 

“Whenever it is celebrated, CHRIST IS PRESENT BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT. It is this Spirit that brings conviction to hearts…. {RH November 4, 1902, par. 10}

 

“While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still BY HIS SPIRIT the minister of the church on earth.” {CIHS 44.2}

 

“Christ is withdrawn ONLY FROM THE EYE OF SENSE.” In other words, Christ is present with us not unlike how he was, when he was on earth, but the only difference now is that we cannot see him with our eyes; He is invisible. Thus she is making a distinction between Christ’s physical/visible presence in His incarnate humanity with His spiritual/unseen divine presence via His Spirit.

 

Notice what else Ellen White said,

“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that he should leave them, go to his Father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HIMSELF divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. HE WOULD REPRESENT HIMSELF AS PRESENT IN ALL PLACES BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT, AS THE OMNIPRESENT. ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [This phrase was added by Ellen White.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ [John 14:26]… ‘Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.’ [John 16:7]” {Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 23.3}

 

Note: The above statement says,

 

  1. The HOLY SPIRIT IS HIMSELF divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof.” Who is “Himself”? This is pretty clear. The way that the statement is rendered makes it impossible for “Himself” to mean anyone else other than Christ. Now it has been pointed out that there are no commas within the sentence in this citation, but in her original letter addressed to her children Edson and Emma, the commas do in fact exist as it reads, “The Holy Spirit is Himself, divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof.” {Letter 119, (Feb. 19), 1895 par.18} However, with or without the commas, the meaning of the sentence remains unchanged. Only one divine person can be divested of the personality of humanity, and that is Christ who had clothed His divinity with humanity. In order to be divested of the personality of humanity, one needs to be invested with it first. You cannot be divested of something that you are not invested with in the first place.
  2. HE [Christ] WOULD REPRESENT HIMSELF AS PRESENT IN ALL PLACES BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT, AS THE OMNIPRESENT.” “HE” clearly refers to none other than Christ. If “HE” refers to the Holy Spirit, then the statement would read, “HE (Holy Spirit) would represent himself as present in all places by his Holy spirit, as the omnipresent.” This does not make any sense–the Holy Spirit does not have a Holy Spirit. Furthermore, this is unbiblical for the Holy Spirit was sent to represent Christ, not himself.
  3. “(although unseen by you), [This phrase was added by Ellen White]” as noted by the publisher. Compare this with the following statement:

 

“The Lord Jesus recognizes the REAL VALUE OF SINCERE BELIEF IN HIS PERSONALITY, WHICH THO UNSEEN, IS VIEWED BY THE EYE OF FAITH.” {Letter 248-1906.4}

 

Thus, it is Christ Himself by His own Holy Spirit (His divinity, divested of the personality of humanity), who is present with us, “WHICH THO UNSEEN, IS VIEWED BY THE EYE OF FAITH.”

 

Ellen White explains John 14

  “That Christ should manifest HIMSELF to them, and yet be invisible to the world, was a mystery to the disciples. They could not understand the words of Christ in their spiritual sense. THEY WERE THINKING OF THE ‘OUTWARD VISIBLE MANIFESTATION’. They could not take in the fact that they could have the presence of Christ with them, and YET HE BE UNSEEN BY THE WORLD. They did not understand the meaning of a ‘SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATION.’” {The Southern Work, September 13, 1898}

 

THE DISCIPLES STILL FAILED TO UNDERSTAND CHRIST’S WORDS IN THEIR SPIRITUAL SENSE, AND AGAIN HE EXPLAINED HIS MEANING. BY THE SPIRIT, HE [JESUS] SAID, HE WOULD MANIFEST HIMSELF TO THEM. ‘The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things.’ No more will you say, I cannot comprehend. No longer will you see through a glass, darkly. You shall ‘be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.’ Ephesians 3:18, 19.” {Desire of Ages, p. 669.4-670.1}

 

“Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, ‘the Spirit of truth, which the Father shall send in My name.’ ‘I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you’ [John 14:16, 17]. This refers to the OMNIPRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, CALLED THE COMFORTER.” {Manuscript Releases vol. 14, p. 179}

 

“Though the ministration was to be removed from the earthly to the heavenly temple; though the sanctuary and our great high priest would be invisible to human sight, yet the disciples were to suffer no loss thereby. They would realize no break in their communion, and no diminution of power because of the Savior’s absence. While JESUS ministers in the sanctuary above, HE IS STILL BY HIS SPIRIT the minister of the church on earth. HE IS WITHDRAWN FROM THE EYE OF SENSE, but HIS parting promise is fulfilled, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ Matthew 28:20. While HE delegates HIS power to inferior ministers, HIS ENERGIZING PRESENCE IS STILL WITH HIS CHURCH.” {Desire of Ages, p. 166}

 

The above statements and many others (too many to list them all here) clearly show in an unambiguous language that Christ is omnipresent through His own Spirit.

 

“One thing worth noting is that there’s a need to distinguish the ACTUAL/LITERAL PRESENCE of Christ with His omnipresent Spirit. The actual Person of Christ has a corporeal personality and His visible, physical Self is limited to a local presence, ministering in heaven; He is only omnipresent BY His Spirit. Therefore we do not literally interact with Christ Himself, but rather with some mysterious “AGENCY” (not another being) WHICH IS DISTINCT AND SEPARATE FROM Himself but nonetheless we can indeed experience Christ personally.” Paul Chung.

 

“The Lord’s throne is in heaven” (Psalm 11:4); YET BY HIS SPIRIT HE IS EVERYWHERE PRESENT. He has an intimate knowledge of, and a personal interest in, all the works of His hand. ” { E. G. White, Education , p. 132}

 

“The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy beings, all waiting to do His will. THROUGH THESE MESSENGERS He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. BY HIS SPIRIT HE IS EVERYWHERE PRESENT. THROUGH THE AGENCY OF HIS SPIRIT AND HIS ANGELS HE MINISTERS TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN.”  {MH 417.2} 

 

  • “Does not God say he fills immensity of space? We answer, No. Psalms 137: 7, 8. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there, etc. God by his Spirit may fill heaven and earth, etc. Some confound God with his Spirit, which makes confusion. Psalms 11:4. The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, etc. Habakkuk.2:20; Psalms.102:19. For he hath looked down from the height of his Sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth. 1Peter 3:12. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers, etc. Psalms 80:1. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Isaiah 37:16.

 

  • John 14:2. In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. Revelation 21:2-5; Hebrews 11:6. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, etc. This testimony we deem highly important at this time, to know that there is a God. We have no doubt that if our eyes could be opened in vision, or see as angels see, we should see God in heaven sitting on his throne, and is present to all that exists, however distant from him in his creation. {March 7, 1854 JWe, ARSH 50.10}

 

The appearances of the Father – A Dialogue with Paul Chung from 19th – 23rd September 2019

19 SEPT 2019, 09:25

Paul Chung

“When they [Israel] came to Sinai, He took occasion to refresh their minds in regard to His requirements. –>Christ and the Father, standing side by side upon the mount,<-– with solemn majesty proclaimed the Ten Commandments.”—Historical Sketches, p. 231. (1866). {Ev 616.3}. Did either of them literally vacate heaven when they stood side by side upon the Mt Sinai?

19 SEPT 2019, 15:04

Sami LM Wilberforce

The Father and the Son, attended by a multitude of angels, were PRESENT upon the mount. At the great judgment day Christ will come “in the GLORY OF HIS FATHER with His angels.” Matthew 16:27. He shall then sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations. {PP 339.1}

 

Exodus 33:21: And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22: And it shall come to pass, while MY GLORY passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

 

Exodus 34:5: And the LORD DESCENDED in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

 

In that thick darkness GOD’S PRESENCE WAS HIDDEN. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. THE FATHER WAS WITH HIS SON. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. {DA 753.4}

 

“I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory.” {PP 328.2} God did not rebuke his request as presumptuous; but the gracious words were spoken, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee.” THE UNVEILED GLORY OF GOD, no man in this mortal state can look upon and live; but Moses was assured that he should behold as much of the divine glory as he could endure. Again he was summoned to the mountain summit; then the hand that made the world, that hand that “removeth the mountains, and they know not” (Job 9:5), took this creature of the dust, this mighty man of faith, and placed him in a cleft of the rock, while the GLORY OF GOD AND ALL HIS GOODNESS PASSED BEFORE HIM. {PP 328.3}

 

To the transgressor it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; but Moses stood alone in the PRESENCE OF THE ETERNAL ONE, and he was not afraid; for his soul was in harmony with the will of his Maker. Says the psalmist, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Psalm 66:18. But “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.” Psalm 25:14. {PP 329.1}

 

Burning Bush a Reality.–It will baffle the keenest intellect to interpret the divine MANIFESTATION of the burning bush. It was not a dream; IT WAS NOT A VISION; IT WAS A LIVING REALITY,–something that Moses saw with his eyes. He heard the voice of God calling to him out of the bush, and he covered his face, realizing that he stood in the immediate PRESENCE OF GOD. God was conversing with humanity. Never could Moses describe the impression made upon his mind by the sight he then saw, and by the sound of the voice that spoke to him; but this impression was never effaced. HEAVEN CAME VERY NEAR TO HIM as, with reverent awe, he listened to the words, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” What wondrous condescension for GOD TO LEAVE THE HEAVENLY COURTS, and MANIFEST Himself to Moses, talking with him face to face, “as a man speaketh unto his friend” (YI, Dec. 20, 1900).

 

God left heaven and manifested himself to Moses through Jesus Christ in a burning bush because since the fall, God has done all his communications through Jesus.

 

At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses was sent with Elijah, who had been translated, to talk with Christ in regard to his sufferings, and BE THE BEARERS OF GOD’S GLORY TO HIS DEAR SON. Moses had been greatly HONORED OF GOD. He had been privileged to TALK WITH GOD FACE TO FACE, as a man speaketh with his friend. And God had REVEALED TO HIM HIS EXCELLENT GLORY, AS HE HAD NEVER DONE TO ANY OTHER. {4aSG 58.2}

 

Exodus 24:9: Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10: And they SAW THE GOD OF ISRAEL: and there was UNDER HIS FEET as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the BODY OF HEAVEN IN HIS CLEARNESS. 11: And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also THEY SAW GOD, and did eat and drink.

 

Moses obeyed the command of God, and took with him Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, with seventy of the most influential elders in Israel, who had assisted him in his work, and placed them at such distance that they might behold the MAJESTY OF THE DIVINE PRESENCE, while the people should worship at the foot of the mount. “And they saw the GOD OF ISRAEL, and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand. Also, they saw God, and did eat and drink.” {3SG 271.1}

 

They DID NOT BEHOLD THE PERSON OF GOD, BUT ONLY THE INEXPRESSIBLE GLORY WHICH SURROUNDED HIM. Previous to this, had they looked upon such sacred glory, they could not have lived, for they were unprepared for it. But the exhibitions of God’s power had filled them with fear, which wrought in them repentance for their past transgressions. They loved and reverenced God, and had been purifying themselves, and contemplating his great glory, purity and mercy, until they could approach nearer him who had been the subject of all their meditations. GOD HAD ENSHROUDED HIS GLORY WITH A THICK CLOUD, SO THAT THE PEOPLE COULD NOT BEHOLD IT. The office of the elders whom Moses took with him, was to aid him in leading the host of Israel to the promised land. This work was of such magnitude that God condescended to put his Spirit upon them. HE HONORED THEM WITH A NEARER VIEW OF THE GLORY WHICH SURROUNDED HIS EXALTED MAJESTY, that they might with wisdom act their part in the work assigned them of guiding his people with his fear and glory continually before them. {3SG 271.2}

 

Deuteronomy 4:12: And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: YE HEARD THE VOICE OF THE WORDS, BUT SAW NO SIMILITUDE; only ye heard a voice. 15: Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; FOR YE SAW NO MANNER OF SIMILITUDE ON THE DAY THAT THE LORD SPAKE UNTO YOU IN HOREB OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE FIRE: 16: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.

 

My conclusion from these statements is that The Father, The Son and the angels sometimes leaves heaven and come to earth. But while the Father in special occasions leaves heaven to earth, his glory is ether manifested through Jesus or human beings as it were to Moses and Elijah at the Mt. of transfiguration. For at the Mt. of Transfiguration The Father himself spoke so you can’t argue it was the manifestation of the Son for the Son was already on earth. So the Father came with Moses and Elijah and they bore his glory to the son [At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses was sent with Elijah, who had been translated, to talk with Christ in regard to his sufferings, and BE THE BEARERS OF GOD’S GLORY TO HIS DEAR SON. Moses had been greatly HONORED OF GOD. He had been privileged to TALK WITH GOD FACE TO FACE, as a man speaketh with his friend. And God had REVEALED TO HIM HIS EXCELLENT GLORY, AS HE HAD NEVER DONE TO ANY OTHER. {4aSG 58.2}]

19 SEPT 2019, 17:02

Paul Chung

Well, we know that angels vacate heaven and travel to and fro from heaven to earth-there’s no debate there; we know that Christ vacated heaven to come to earth in his incarnation and I understand that the numerous direct communications or theophanies in the OT were Christ, although we are told that it was the “Almighty” or “LORD” that spoke or was literally present.

 

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, –>I am the Almighty God;<– walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)

 

Gen 48:3 “3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,

 

Exodus 33: 19-23 “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live……And I will take away mine hand, and THOU SHALT SEE MY BACK PARTS: BUT MY FACE SHALL NOT BE SEEN.”

 

I believe it was Christ who appeared in the above instances not the Father.

 

Reason being that, we are told,

 

“And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an ANGEL OF THE LORD [Christ] in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, THE VOICE OF THE LORD* [spoken through the Angel of the Lord] came unto him, Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.” (Acts 7:30-32)

 

“This is he [Moses], that was in the church in the wilderness with the ANGEL [Christ] which SPAKE TO HIM in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” (v. 38) [mine]

 

It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, “I AM THAT I AM…. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14. This was the pledge of Israel’s deliverance. So when He came “in the likeness of men,” He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God “manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. And to us He says: “I AM the Good Shepherd.” “I AM the living Bread.” “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” John 10:11; 6:51; 14:6; Matthew 28:18. I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid. “God with us” is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven.” {DA 24.3}

 

We are also told,

 

John 1:18 “NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

 

John 5:37 “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE at any time, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE.”

 

1 Tim. 6:13-16. “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things…who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; –>WHOM NO MAN HATH SEEN, NOR CAN SEE;<– to whom be honor and power everlasting.”

 

One thing to note is that “God” mentioned in the above passages cannot be referring to Christ because Christ clearly spoke with men and he dwelt among men. Therefore, the term “God” in the above passages must refer to the Father.

 

*Thus we understand that Christ was Father’s mouthpiece and the Father manifested THROUGH the Person of Christ. The difference between OT and the NT is that the OT’s manifestation of the Father through His Son in some cases was the PRE-INCARNATE Christ (NOT incarnate) in all of His glory (as it was the case in showing His back to Moses) though sometimes he appeared without glory when He appeared to Abraham along with angels on the way to Sodom… But I would say that it is not without reason to conclude that the Father might have been physically present but be veiled by the cloud, burning bush, etc.

 

I lean towards Father not being physically present for EGW has said,

 

“SHROUDED IN THE PILLAR OF CLOUD, THE WORLD’S REDEEMER HELD COMMUNION WITH ISRAEL. *LET US NOT SAY, THEN, THAT THEY HAD NOT CHRIST*. When the people thirsted in the wilderness, and gave themselves up to murmuring and complaint, CHRIST WAS TO THEM WHAT HE IS TO US—a Saviour full of tender compassion, THE MEDIATOR between them and God. After we have done our part to cleanse the soul temple from the defilement of sin, Christ’s blood avails for us, as it did for ancient Israel (The Youth’s Instructor, July 18, 1901). {6BC 1061.9}

 

“The proclamation of the law of ten commandments was a wonderful exhibition of the glory and majesty of God. How did this manifestation of power affect the people?—They were afraid. As they saw “the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking,” they “removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Exodus 20:18, 19). They desired Moses to be their mediator. *THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT CHRIST WAS THEIR APPOINTED MEDIATOR*, and that, deprived of His mediation, they would certainly have been consumed. {1SM 238.2}

 

 

Sami LM Wilberforce

What do you do with my last quote about transfiguration?

 

[At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses was sent with Elijah, who had been translated, to talk with Christ in regard to his sufferings, and BE THE BEARERS OF GOD’S GLORY TO HIS DEAR SON. Moses had been greatly HONORED OF GOD. He had been privileged to TALK WITH GOD FACE TO FACE, as a man speaketh with his friend. And God had REVEALED TO HIM HIS EXCELLENT GLORY, AS HE HAD NEVER DONE TO ANY OTHER. {4aSG 58.2}]

 

Paul Chung

Yes, it was the Father who spoke directly… I’m looking for a statement that explains it but I’m not sure if the Father vacated heaven at any time

 

Sami LM Wilberforce

It says that Moses and Elijah bore his glory while he spoke to his son

Sami LM Wilberforce

Also am considering

In that thick darkness GOD’S PRESENCE WAS HIDDEN. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. THE FATHER WAS WITH HIS SON. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. {DA 753.4}

 

Paul Chung

Did Saul bore Christ’s glory on the road to Damascus? He certainly did… Did Christ physically vacate heaven then?

Sami LM Wilberforce

Compare: “Christ and the Father, standing side by side upon the mount” and “God and His holy angels were beside the cross“. What conclusion can you draw? And about Paul and Christ, remember the sanctuary and priesthood analogy we discussed the other time and is in this article above, when the priest was at work he didn’t leave the sanctuary but the case of the priest and God the Father is different

Notwithstanding this special direction of God, some did go out to gather manna on the seventh day, but they found none; and the Lord said unto Moses, “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” That there might be no mistake in the matter, the Father and the Son descended upon Mount Sinai, and there the precepts of His law were spoken in awful grandeur in the hearing of all Israel.—Manuscript 3, 1885.

Should we take this to be their presence or themselves?

 

Paul Chung

I have read those statements to mean that Christ was physically present but the Father was present through the Son

Sami LM Wilberforce

It does not seem so to me because it says the Father and the Son not their presence. Or is this one of the instances we are confounding the presence of God with God himself like James White says. And by the way maybe a good starting point would be, did God ever even appear to Adam before sin?

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”

 

Paul Chung

Here’s something, “He [Satan] was on the ground at the time when Christ presented Himself to John for baptism. He heard the majestic voice resounding through heaven and echoing through the earth like peals of thunder. “He saw the lightnings flash from the cloudless heavens, and heard the fearful words from Jehovah [Father], “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” →HE SAW THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY ← overshadowing the form of Jesus, thus pointing out in that crowd the One whom He acknowledged as His Son with unmistakable assurance. The circumstances connected with this baptismal scene had aroused the most intense hatred in the breast of Satan. HE KNEW THEN FOR A CERTAINTY that unless he could overcome Christ, from thenceforth there would be a limitation of his power. He understood that the COMMUNICATION FROM THE THRONE OF GOD signified that heaven was MORE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE TO MAN. {Con 29.1}

Sami LM Wilberforce

Amazing had never seen that

 

Paul Chung

Satan saw God’s glory and yet we know the Father sat on his throne in heavenHe can speak directly from the throne and yet be heard down here on earth

Sami LM Wilberforce

True. So side by side would mean his omnipresence?

 

Paul Chung

I tend to think so

Sami LM Wilberforce

Now @Paul, the glory of God is his Spirit is it true?

 

Paul Chung

If “glory” is His character and if God’s spirit embodies His character, then yes… and I think we can say that God’s spirit does have physical manifestation by way of light and fire and in the case of Christ baptism, dove-like emblem which is the physical/visual representation of Christ’s character.

Sami LM Wilberforce

We talked earlier about “Christ and the Father, standing side by side upon the mount” Compare with “The Lord Jesus standing by the side of the canvasser, walking with them, is the chief worker. If we recognize Christ as the One who is with us to prepare the way, the Holy Spirit by our side will make impressions in just the lines needed.–Manual for Canvassers, p. 40.”

 

Do you notice how Jesus is interchanged with the Holy Spirit! We know Christ is in heaven so how can it be that it’s said he walks by the side of the canvasser?

 

Paul Chung

Yes, I would say that was the case with the Father…

Sami LM Wilberforce

Christ walks unseen through our streets. With messages of mercy He comes to our homes. With all who are seeking to minister in His name, He waits to co-operate. He is in the midst of us, to heal and to bless, if we will receive Him.” {E. G. White, Ministry of Healing, p. 107}

 

“Remember that Jesus is beside you wherever you go, noting your actions and listening to your words. Would you be ashamed to hear his voice speaking to you, and to know that he hears your conversation?” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, February 4, 1897 par. 3}

 

I would concede the case that this was the omnipresence of God in visual augmentation though the way it’s worded it’s tempting to believe that the Father left the courts of heaven

 

Just then as we know Christ is literally in heaven while it’s the omnipresence that is being spoken above then we should understand the case of the Father, hard stuff

 

20 SEPT 2019, 09:24

Paul Chung

@Sami LM Wilberforce

Below is a variation of the earlier statement

 

“At the Saviour’s baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He saw the Father’s glory overshadowing His Son. He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam’s sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; BUT NOW THAT JESUS HAD COME “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), THE FATHER HIMSELF SPOKE. HE HAD BEFORE COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY THROUGH CHRIST; NOW HE COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY IN CHRIST. Satan had hoped that God’s abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.” DA 116.2

 

Compare above with the earlier statement below:

“He [Satan] was on the ground at the time when Christ presented Himself to John for baptism. He heard the majestic voice resounding through heaven and echoing through the earth like peals of thunder. “He saw the lightnings flash from the cloudless heavens, and heard the fearful words from Jehovah [Father], “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” →HE SAW THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY ← overshadowing the form of Jesus, thus pointing out in that crowd the One whom He acknowledged as His Son with unmistakable assurance. The circumstances connected with this baptismal scene had aroused the most intense hatred in the breast of Satan. HE KNEW THEN FOR A CERTAINTY that unless he could overcome Christ, from thenceforth there would be a limitation of his power. He understood that the COMMUNICATION FROM THE THRONE OF GOD signified that heaven was MORE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE TO MAN.” {Con 29.1} (Brackets supplied)

 

The DA116 seems to explain how the disciples HEARD THE FATHER:

 

John 5:37 “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE at any time, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE.”

 

Sami Wilberforce

They heard it

Matthew 17:5

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the DISCIPLES HEARD IT, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

 

Above text, describing the scene on the Mt of Transfiguration clearly show the Father communicating…saying, “This is my beloved Son” and “the disciple heard it”

 

John 12: 28-30

“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a VOICE FROM HEAVEN, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and HEARD IT, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 30 Jesus answered and said, THIS VOICE came not because of me, but for your sakes.”

 

2Peter 1:16-18

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven WE HEARD, when we were with him in the holy mount.

 

There must be a way to explain the statement that “NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE at any time, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE

 

Paul Chung

Interesting to note, Note: John 5:37 says Father Himself “hath borne witness of me” and yet the latter part says, no one has “heard” his voice at any time;” there appears to a seeming contradiction.

 

Here is how it is explained:

John 5:37 “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE at any time, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE.”

 

“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.” At the baptism the Holy Spirit had descended on Christ, and God’s voice had said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But the Pharisees heard not the voice; they saw not the Spirit of God as a dove hovering over the Saviour. “Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape,” Christ declared. {RH March 26, 1901, par. 6}

 

John 5:37 is spoken to the Pharisees. Hahaa

 

20 SEPT 2019, 12:05

Sami LM Wilberforce

Yes this is how I have always understood the words you have never heard or seen. I came to this understanding when studying Rev 16 about the sixth and seventh plague. The Father says it’s done in vs 17 and announces the hour and day of his coming vs 18, the 144 understands it but the wicked only hear thunders and see lightnings

Also while studying about why Satan would not be able to deceive the very elect to bow to him before Christ appears like small cloud, in his last attempt to get their homage, he nearly deceived them and the angels were standing by with great anxiety while the whole world was bowing at the dazzling majesty of Satan but what kept the saints not bowing is the voice saying? The phrase “look up” [{Ms16-1884.8} LDE 165]. Satan was not allowed to say this phrase in all his counterfeit so it was a watchword phrase for the saints, only when they hear it, then followed with a cloud a size of a hand could they bow. Meaning after probation is closed, the Father will speak to man thrice, it’s done, hour and day of the son’s coming and look up. In all this instances the wicked won’t understand a thing. Daniel 12:10. This is fearful ordeal

 

 

BONUS INFORMATION

 Did Jesus enter the inner part of the Temple when he was on earth?

 The first time we hear of Jesus at the Temple, he is almost seven weeks old, and Mary and Joseph bring him to the Temple courts to “present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22).

 

If you look closely at the temple after settling in the Promised Land, there is a little modification, you’ll see the Court of Women (the open square with four lampstands in each corner):

 

It was a square courtyard, 233 feet on each side (for comparison, a football field is 360 feet long). Within it stood four massive lampstands, each 86 feet tall.

 

It’s not that this was a place only for women, but it was the farthest point that women could go toward the Temple. This is the place where the 84-year-old prophetess Anna worshiped “with fasting and prayer night and day,” and who became a grateful evangelist when she saw Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus at his dedication (Luke 2:36–38).

 

This is the same place 30 years later when Jesus would observe the religious rich making their offerings and the poor widow making hers. Within the colonnades surrounding the court there were 13 wooden boxes for collecting money. Coins would be dropped through a bronze trumpet-shaped receptacle — and you could tell the size of the coin by listening to the sound that it made when the money was deposited. The rich, Jesus observed, “contributed out of their abundance,” while the poor widow gave more—contributing just a fraction of a penny—”all she had to live on” (Luke 21:4). A few years later, after Judas had betrayed Jesus, the chief priests decided that they couldn’t deposit the 30 pieces of silver into this treasury because it was “blood money” (Matt. 27:6). This is the very place I presume Jesus entered not the holy place and moreso he hadn’t started the ministry as a priest in the holy place so going there would have broken the sanctuary pattern.

 

You notice the outer courts were enclosed by magnificent colonnades. Along the east side of the outer court ran what was called Solomon’s Colonnade; it was here that Jesus was seen walking during the Feast of the Dedication and teaching the multitudes. Before long it became a customary meeting-place for the early church Acts 3:11; 5:12

 

The large outer court was called “the Court of the Gentiles” [Rev 11:2 perhaps in the anticipation of the New Model of Solomon’s temple] because it was devoted to the foreigners who had come to worship God at the Temple and they could proceed no further. It is interesting that Jesus chose to stop at this place to show forth His anger toward the moneychangers, the Court of the “Gentiles,” and this was not the first time that He came to the aid of non-Jews. The profanity and abuse of the moneychangers was no small thing. They treated the foreign guests with much contempt and even the Jewish authorities constantly scorned this place and abused the pilgrims who came to worship.

 

Heading east through the Inner Courts one would come to the Court of the Women. Its name is derived from the fact that Jewish women were admitted thus far (but no farther). In this court, at the west end, was the ‘treasury’, the section where there stood thirteen trumpet-shaped containers for voluntary offerings of money. Jesus was sitting ‘opposite the treasury’ when he saw the widow put into one of the containers the two copper coins which were all that she had (Mark 12:41-44).

 

From research you can find that the Temple Proper – original wilderness structure was a separate structure from the outside or “side structures”. They were not considered the “Temple Proper” though they were a part of what was called the “Temple” and were called “Temple Complex ” . Those who were not of the tribe of Levi were allowed into the “Temple Complex”, but not the “Temple Proper”, which was “THE TEMPLE” In the Bible this “Temple Complex” is called “The Temple”, but it was not really the TEMPLE, it was the “Temple Complex” that Jesus taught in. Jesus was barred from entering the actual TEMPLE.

 

The Inner Courts [holy and holy of holies] were on a higher level than the outer court. To enter into the Inner Courts one would have to pass through the western gate of the outer court and up a flight of stairs that had 15 steps to the first court which was the Court of the Israelites. This inner court measured 187 cubits (280 feet) long and 135 cubits (202 feet) wide, and surrounded the whole Temple Proper [the original sanctuary]. Against the walls were chambers which stored the utensils required for the services. There were 3 gates on both the south and north sides, making seven entrances in all. 11 cubits of the eastern end were partitioned off by a stone balustrade 1 cubit high, for the men (the court of the Israelites), separating it from the rest of the space that went to form the court of the priests.

 

The innermost court was the Court of the Priests, which excluded all laymen. In the eastern part of this court, opposite the main gates leading from the other courts and the eastern entrance into the Temple area, so that it could be seen from a distance, stood the great altar of burnt offering.

 

In this latter court stood the altar of burnt offering, made of unwrought stone, 30 cubits (45 feet) in length and breadth, and 15 cubits (22 feet) high. West of this was the Temple, and between the Holy Place and the altar stood the laver of cleansing.

 

At its west side stood the sanctuary proper, comprising (from east to west) the porch, the holy place, and the cubical holy of holies. Into the holy place the priests entered to discharge various duties, in particular to offer incense on the golden-incense altar, as Zechariah did on the occasion when an angel appeared to him and announced the forth

 

Jesus never went into the temple proper that’s the priest section, he was at the  “temple complex” but still classed as IN the temple in the Bible. As you say the glory was greater because Jesus was in the temple, I 100% agree because light shone and these walls of partition were passing away

 

Also, more modern translations say Jesus taught in the Temple COURTS, not in the Temple itself:

 

When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. (Luke 19:45)

 

Matthew 21:12

[Jesus at the Temple] Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

 

Every day he was teaching AT the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. (verse 47 not “in” the Temple)

 

This is only a few examples, there are many more. The Temple Courts were spoken of as the “Temple” in general speech, but they were not really the Temple. The inner courts were “holy ground”, that only Israelites could enter, (women restricted to the woman’s court), but these were still “courts” and not the Temple itself.

Josephus has the following to say

“The Jewish Temple in the First Century A.D.

It is interesting that in the Middle East certain places have remained holy throughout the centuries, even if another religion may have taken possession of them. Today the Moslem Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is the prominent building where the Jewish temple once stood.

 

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, the Temple had just been marvelously rebuilt by Herod the Great. The Temple area had been enlarged to a size of about thirty-five acres. Around the Temple area were double colonnades.

 

The Colonnades:

“All the cloisters were double, and the pillars to them belonging were twenty-five cubits in height, and supported -the cloisters. These pillars were of one entire stone each of them, and that stone was white marble; and the roofs were adorned with cedar, curiously graven. The natural magnificence, and excellent polish, and the harmony of the joints in these cloisters, afforded a prospect that was very remarkable; nor was it on the outside adorned with any work of the painter or engraver. The cloisters -(of the outmost court) were in breadth thirty cubits, while the entire compass of it was by measure six furlongs, including the tower of Antonia; those entire courts that were exposed to the air were laid with stones of all sorts” (Jewish War 5. 5. 2).

 

The eastern portico was named after King Solomon and the part to the south, which overlooked the Valley of Kidron, was called “Royal.” On the east side the high corner was possibly the pinnacle of the temple, mentioned in the story of the temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:5).

 

There were eight gates leading into the temple.

 

There were the two Huldah Gates or “mole” Gates from the south, which passed underneath the Royal Porch.

 

To the east was the Gate of Susa, still visible as the Golden Gate which was walled up by the Byzantines.

 

In the western wall was the main gate named the Gate of Coponius after the first procurator; it was decorated with the golden eagle as a sign that the Temple had been placed under the protection of Rome.

 

Anyone was allowed to enter the outer area, which was therefore called the Court of the Gentiles. The actual Temple was enclosed by a balustrade, and at the entrances to it were warning notices, one of them is now in a museum in Istanbul. It says that foreigners have freedom of access provided they do not go beyond the balustrade which went all around the central edifice and which no uncircumcised could cross without incurring the death penalty.

 

Fourteen steps led through the Beautiful Gate to the Court of the women where the poor boxes were, into one of which the poor widow cast her two mites (Luke 21:1-4).

 

Another fifteen steps led up to the famous Gate of Nicanor, to which Mary had brought the child at the time of his presentation; this led through the Court of the Men to that of the priests, which had in its center the altar for the burnt offerings and to the left of it a large basin called the Brazen Sea resting upon twelve bulls cast in bronze.

 

Further steps led up to the actual temple, a comparatively small building. A priceless curtain, embroidered with a map of the known world, concealed from view what lay beyond, and none except the priest on duty was allowed to go farther.

 

It contained the golden altar at which incense was offered and next to it the seven-branched candelabrum and the table with the twelve loaves of shewbread, which were replaced by fresh ones every sabbath. Beyond it, behind another large curtain, lay the Holy of Holies, which none except the high priest was allowed to enter, and he only on the Day of Atonement. A stone designated the place where once the Ark of the Covenant had stood.

 

Jesus came to the Temple at a very young age and in Solomon’s Porch the boy argued with the rabbis, astonishing them with his questions and with his answers. He remained behind when his parents left, and when his worried mother at last found him he said to her enigmatically: “‘Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”‘ (Luke 2:49).

 

It is one of the most original sayings of Jesus, in which he speaks of God for the first time as “avi” (My Father) which was an expression reserved for the Son of God.

 

Today the Western Wall, the so-called Wailing Wall, is all that remains of the ancient walls of Herod’s Temple; one can still see the pilaster and the beginning of Robinson’s Arch, which was part of a large viaduct leading to the upper city. Excavations in 1967, led by the well-known archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, revealed the cornerstone. Adjacent to it on the southern side remain traces of the road from which the pilgrims entered the gates.”

 

I believe Jesus was only in the camp and outer court and by representation of symbols in the holy place on earth until he went to heaven in the holy place. At the same time, I believe the Father on earth was in the camp for he communed with Adam before sin but I can’t for surety say in the court because immediately after sin, Jesus takes over. But still I can add that the Father was in the Court for at Mt. Sinai he was present with Jesus and the Angels. About The Father, he also was represented by the Bread of his presence on earth. About both being in the holy place literally in heaven, this should not divide us because Daniel 7 reveals he was there in the holy place with Jesus until new thrones were set and he moved in the Most Holy Place in 1844. For the matter of new thrones different from the old ones being set, quote:

 

Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light; many came out from under it and immediately resisted it; others were careless and did not cherish the light, and it moved off from them; some cherished it, and went and bowed down with the little praying company. This company all received the light, and rejoiced in it, as their countenances shone with its glory. AND I SAW THE FATHER RISE FROM THE THRONE, AND IN A FLAMING CHARIOT GO INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES, WITHIN THE VEIL, AND DID SIT. THERE I SAW THRONES THAT I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him; and I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after he arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who rose up when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. — Then He raised His right arm and we heard his lovely voice saying, “Wait here–I am going to my Father to receive the Kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to myself.” And I saw a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, and Angels were all around it as it came where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat. …  {Broadside1, April 6, 1846 par. 7} 

 

BLESSINGS

For pdf please click on the title below

Tentative – Cumbered with Humanity – Issues to do with appearance of Jesus and his Omnipresence

God bless you

 

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