Seeing visions of God
Does God still show Himself through visions to people today? It certainly wouldn’t be difficult for God, given that He is present in everything around and in us, right here, right now. Moreover, the testimonies on this website show that He still does to some. Jesus has stated that “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” Evidently, seeing visions of God is not a matter of our spiritual gifts, our achievements, or our entitlement – it is a matter of the state of our hearts.
Ephesians 4:6 ESV one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Matthew 5:8 NLT God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
Other prerequisites include our willingness to:
- Be “born again” and filled with the Holy Spirit | John 3:3 ESV Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
- Obey God | Acts 5:32 ESV … the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
- Turn away from things that He calls evil | 3 John 1:11 ESV Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
See testimonies of people who have had visions of God:
- Jesus shows administrator His amazing grace
- Jesus frees manager from blood pact with death
- Jesus frees lecturer from feeling abandoned
Not everyone will get to see visions of God during our lifetimes on earth and this should certainly not be our goal. Our goal should be to revere God and keep His commandments, particularly the two greatest commandments, which is to love God and to love one another.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Jesus has said that we are blessed for believing in Him without seeing God.
John 20:29 ESV Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We will all see God in person one day
Even if we never see God in a vision, there will come a time when every human being, past and present – even those who crucified Jesus – will see God in person. This will be when Jesus returns to judge the world and calls every person who has ever lived to give an account of their lives. We will be there too.
Revelation 1:5-8 ESV … Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Romans 14:11-12 ESV for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
No one has the ability to see God face-to-face in our physical human (and spiritually impure) state and live. His blazing fiery holiness will consume us. If we see God during our time on earth, it will be through our spiritual eyes in visions or dreams.
Exodus 33:18-20 ESV Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”
Numbers 12:6 ESV And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.
When God appears in visions
When God appears to people in visions, it is usually to:
- turn people from their wayward and sinful ways
- reassure and comfort them
- give them instructions
The apostle Paul’s life is a good example. Jesus appeared to Paul (previously known as Saul) and showed Himself to the true Saviour, so that he would repent. God also appeared to Paul another time and gave him the reassurance to stay on in Corinth where he faced opposition while he preached the good news of Jesus. God also instructed Paul not to be silent.
Acts 9:3-5 ESV Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Acts 18:9-11 ESV And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Ensuring our hearts are pure
We may desire to see visions of God to satisfy our own sensual curiousity, pride, insecurity, and other impure motives – without an understanding of what visions are all about.
1. Are we willing to make a sacrifice?
God’s appearances are not for the fainthearted or unfaithful. God’s admonishments, reassurances, and instructions through visions can come at a high personal cost. Many of the prophets who have seen God, for example, were called to speak up for God and were persecuted or endured great suffering as a result. Some met with terrible deaths. (Please scroll down to the table “Examples of people who have seen God from the Bible” below for 15 examples of people who have seen God.)
Colossians 3:5 NIV Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
2. Are we willing to obey?
Moreover, seeing God in visions will be meaningless if we do not revere and obey Him. King Solomon saw God in visions twice and flippantly disobeyed Him towards the end of his life, bringing disaster on the nation and his own family. If God appears to us and reveals His will for us, we cannot ignore it without paying a price for our complete disregard of God’s call on our lives.
1 Kings 11:9-10 ESV And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded.
3. Are we simply chasing signs and wonders?
There are those who will be fascinated with signs and wonders, such as the miracle of seeing God. This is dangerous and can easily lead us to spiritual error. Jesus has warned us that there will be many false signs and wonders in our time and that even some of God’s elect people will be led astray. When we desire to see God more than fear and love Him, we will be readily deceived.
Matthew 24:24 ESV For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Assurances and warnings
Question 1: Is there anything that could block us from seeing visions of God?
The answer is yes.
The Bible gives us a hint as to what blocks us from seeing Him. God shuts the eyes of those who stubbornly harden their hearts towards Him and neglect to obey His Word. Because of our sins, God hides His face from us.
Romans 11:7-8,11 NLT So this is the situation: Most of the people of Israel have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. A few have—the ones God has chosen—but the hearts of the rest were hardened. As the Scriptures say, “God has put them into a deep sleep. To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear.” Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient…
Isaiah 59:2 ESV but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
As we fall deeper and deeper into darkness as we sin, we give Satan the chance to “blind our minds.” Satan does not have the right to prevent us from seeing God. It is only our disobedience that gives him that license to.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Acts 26:18 ESV to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Isaiah 43:8 ESV Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!
Question 2: Is it possible for us to sin and stumble so badly that our spiritual eyes will be forever shut and we cannot see visions of God?
The answer is no. We have the choice to redeem our relationship with God.
God is full of grace, patience and generousity. Praise God that He readily forgives us and welcomes us back when we purify our hearts and repent in Jesus’ name. There is nothing He will not forgive as long as we never blaspheme the Holy Spirit, accusing Him of being evil or wrong. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the only sin God will not overlook for all eternity.
Deuteronomy 4:31 NLT For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.
Matthew 12:31 ESV Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
Question 3: If we don’t see visions of God, does that mean we do not have enough faith?
The answer is no.
Genuine faith is based on what we do not see, contrary to the worldly saying, “seeing is believing.” We are to walk by faith, not by sight. We can put our full faith in God, even if we don’t see visions of Him, especially when we have the Bible and the testimony of many believers before us and around us.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Question 4: Is it possible to use our minds to see genuine visions of God through our imagination or visualization?
The answer is no.
God’s Word shows that it is possible to think we see visions from God that are in reality from our own minds and not God. We must be very careful not to fall into this trap. If God appears to anyone in a vision, it will be at His timing and for His purposes, not ours. For more, please see How our human spirit can corrupt our prophetic gifts
Jeremiah 23:16 ESV Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.
Question 5: Is seeing visions of Jesus the same as seeing God the Father?
The short answer is yes, according to John 14.
John 14:8-10 ESV Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
Question 6: Is seeing visions of angels the same as seeing God?
The answer is no.
In fact, we are warned that Satan can disguise himself as an angel and we should be very cautious about visions of angels, particularly as the doctrines of a number of cults and world religions have been based on “angelic visitations”. For believers, there is only one mediator between God and us, and that is Jesus Christ, His Son.
2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
1 Timothy 2:5 ESV For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1 John 4:1-3 ESV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Examples of people who have seen God from the Bible
When God appeared to people in the Bible, they usually fell onto the ground trembling in worship, in response to their visions. We see that they were imperfect people whose lives changed forever.
When God appeared, Abraham fell on his face in fear and worship and later built an altar dedicated to God in reverence.
Reassurances: God promised to bless Abraham and make him into a great nation, He even made a covenant with him. God gave Abraham (known as Abram at the time) a new name.
Abraham’s obedience: Abraham left the comforts of his home and wandered in the wilderness waiting for God to fulfill all His promises, many of which were only fulfilled much later. He was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, as instructed by God. At one point, Abraham interceded for the people of Sodom, whom God was going to destroy because of their utter wickedness.
|Genesis 12:7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Genesis 15:1 ESV After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
Genesis 17:1-22 ESV When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
Genesis 18:1-6,22-26 ESV And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” … So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
God appeared to Isaac to warn Him not to go to Egypt but follow His instructions to go into the land He had promised Isaac’s father, thereby fulfilling His covenant with Abraham.
Reassurances: God reiterated the same promises He had given to Isaac’s father, Abraham.
|Genesis 26:1-5 ESV Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
Genesis 26:24-25 ESV And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
God appeared to Jacob a few times. Once, Jacob saw God above a ladder angels use to descend to earth and ascend to heaven. Another time, God appeared in human form and wrestled with Jacob to test his will and humble him. God put Jacob’s hip out of joint so that he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. God also gave Jacob a new name, Israel.
Reassurances: God reiterated the same promises He had given to Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham.
|Genesis 28:12-15 ESV And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”’
Genesis 32:24-31 ESV And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
Genesis 35:9-13 ESV God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him.
God appeared to and spoke with Moses many times. The first was out of a burning bush where God told Moses his mission, and later on the mountain and in the Tent of Meeting where God gave instructions for His people.
Reassurances: God reassured Moses He would be with him throughout and enabled Moses to perform powerful miracles.
Moses’ obedience: Moses responded by leading the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land, as instructed, in spite of numerous difficulties and rebellions from the people themselves.
|Exodus 3:4-12 ESV When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Exodus 24:15-18, 25:1-9 ESV Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, goatskins, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.
Exodus 34:34-35 NLT But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the LORD had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the LORD.
|5. The 70 elders of Israel
70 leaders of Israel saw God above what looked like a pavement of sapphire stone.
The elders’ obedience: They followed God’s command to worship Him from afar and waited for Moses to bring back God’s instructions for them.
|Exodus 24:1-2,9-12 ESV Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. Moses alone shall come near to the Lord, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.” Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank. The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.”
|6. Prophet Samuel
God appeared to Samuel when he was still a young boy serving in God’s temple. He tells the boy how He will punish the priest, Eli, for not restraining his own sons from blaspheming God.
Samuel’s obedience: Samuel faithfully followed God all the days of his life.
|1 Samuel 3:10-14 ESV And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
1 Samuel 3:19-21 ESV And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
|7. King Solomon
God appeared to Solomon before he became king of Israel and rewarded him richly for humbly asking for wisdom to rule His people. The second time God appeared to Solomon, He warned king Solomon to remain loyal to God. Otherwise, his kingdom would face disaster.
Reassurances: God promised to bless king Solomon if he remained faithful as his father, king David, was.
Solomon’s disobedience: In spite of seeing God and being blessed with wisdom, Solomon willfully disobeyed God and married foreign women who led him to worship their idols. Solomon even built temples for his wives and worshipped their idols.
|1 Kings 3:5-14 ESV At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
1 Kings 9:1-9 ESV As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”
1 Kings 11:1-14 ESV Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.” And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom.
|8. Prophet Micaiah
God appeared to Micaiah and told Him how a lying spirit would entice the evil king Ahab into battle to die there.
Micaiah’s obedience: The prophet told King Ahab what God had told him. In return, Micaiah was imprisoned for speaking the truth from God.
|2 Chronicles 18:18-27 ESV And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets. The Lord has declared disaster concerning you.” Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the Lord go from me to speak to you?” And Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, and say, ‘Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’” And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”|
|9. Prophet Isaiah
God appeared to the prophet Isaiah, seated on His throne with heavenly beings in worship. Isaiah recognises his own uncleanness before our Holy God and is humbled and terrified.
Isaiah’s obedience: Isaiah volunteered to be sent by God and was wholeheartedly committed to turning people back to God. At one stage, he followed God’s instruction and went around naked and barefoot as a sign against Egypt and Cush.
|Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah’s Commission from the Lord And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
|10. Prophet Ezekiel
God appeared to the prophet Ezekiel, seated on His throne in the likeness of a human being but fiery in appearance. Ezekiel fell on his face in worship.
Ezekiel’s obedience: Ezekiel faithfully delivered God’s warnings against rebelling against Him and called people to turn back to God, in the face of much opposition.
|Ezekiel 1:26-2:3 ESV And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day…
|11. Prophet Daniel
God showed the prophet Daniel His fiery throne and multitudes worshipping Him, and revealed His plans for the distant future. Daniel felt anxious and alarmed by the vision.
Daniel’s obedience: In spite of living in exile in a foreign land and forced to serve a pagan lord, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Daniel stayed faithful to God all his life, even under pressure and intimidation from different kings.
|Daniel 7:9-10,15-18 ESV “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened… “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
|12. Disciple, Stephen (the first recorded martyr for Jesus)
Jesus showed Himself to Stephen as he was Stephen glorified Jesus.
Stephen’s obedience: Stephen boldly testified before the council of elders and scribes that they had betrayed and murdered the Saviour.
|Acts 7:54-60 ESV Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
|13. Apostle Paul
Jesus appeared to Paul (known as Saul at the time) and showed him that He had been persecuting Jesus by persecuting Christians. Paul is temporarily blinded and subsequently fasted for 3 days.
Paul’s obedience: Paul follows Jesus’ instructions and goes into the city to be told what to do.
|Acts 9:3-9 ESV Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
|14. Disciple, Ananias
Jesus appears to Ananias and gives him detailed instructions on how to locate Paul and pray for the man who was severely persecuting the church.
Ananias’ obedience: In spite of his misgivings about Paul, Ananias went to pray for him, even calling him “brother”.
|Acts 9:10-19 ESV Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.|
|15. Apostle John
John saw a vision of God when he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos.
John’s obedience: He faithfully records all that God tells him to write down.
|Revelation 1:9 ESV I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Revelation 4:2-6 ESV At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
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