The Manifest Presence of God - Part 7
Walter Beuttler

    "If you seek her as silver, and search or her as for hidden treasures; Then shall you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:4-5

We are to place a very high premium on the true "knowledge of God."

Suppose a large sum of money was buried near us, which would be ours if found. We would not sit and think about it, but rather, we would begin to search for it.

The "treasure" of the knowledge of God that is "hidden within" the Word of God is of far greater value than any earthly fortune. And, it also requires that we search for it. This heavenly treasure is purposely hidden, because it is not intended for those who are half-hearted, or indifferent.

There are three tests concerning our qualification to partake of the knowledge of God; it is to be "highly valued, earnestly desired, and diligently sought after."

Moses asked that he might understand the ways of God.

    "If I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You." Exodus 33:13b

The Lord responded to this desire,

    "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14

The knowledge of God and His manifest presence are closely related.

One year, I had laid before the Lord my itinerary from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila, and Singapore. I did not know which way to go from there, as I had invitations which required completely different routes. I could go south to Australia and then back to the west coast, or westward through Europe to the east coast.

I said, "Father, I do not know where to go after Singapore." I then waited in His presence, and suddenly the Lord spoke. The words were, "I will meet you at the pyramids." I knew what He meant, and accordingly laid out the rest of my trip.

In due time, around 3:30 AM, we were approaching Cairo, on an Indian Airlines flight, and I wondered where the Lord would meet me. I said we, as I was alone, but not alone. There is a hotel near one of the pyramids where I stopped several times to rest. I had sat there alone for hours, looking out across the desert toward the pyramids. I thought that this was where the Lord would meet me.

As I watched the city lights in the distance, there suddenly came a strong manifest presence of the Lord. He had come to me before we arrived, and I entered into that lovely country, distinctly aware of His being with me. It was as the Lord had said to Moses, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest."

To "experience" the "manifest presence of the Lord" is a marvelous reality, which quickens and renews every aspect of our being. It produces a "deep inner satisfaction" that cannot be explained, only experienced.

In John 4:24, Jesus said, "God is a Spirit." In Luke 24:39, He said, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me have."

When Jesus was born of Mary, a change took place in the Godhead. The second person of the Godhead, Jesus, took on a body. From that time, one member of the triune Godhead, has a body.

The first person of the Godhead, the Father, is also a person. He can see, feel, hear, and speak. He has a will and emotions. God has all of the attributes of personality, yet He does not have a body. Paul said, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." When we die we are no less a person after our death than we were before our death.

Paul called this body a house. Thus we are not seen, but rather, the house in which we live. Someday, we will vacate it, but still live. This is important, as we must differentiate between personality and corporeality, or a material body. Therefore, I think of God as a person regardless of the fact that He does not have a material body.

Consider Numbers 12:8a.

    "With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold."

"Similitude" speaks of the form, shape, or likeness of the Lord. Thus, it can be said that even though God is a Spirit personality, He nevertheless has a form.

Some theologians say these terms are anthropomorphic. That is, the words that signify form are only used to convey the aspect of spirit being. But to apply this to the shape and form of God is to destroy much spiritual truth in the Word, which should be taken as literal.

For example, the revelation of the shape and form of God is explicit in the following passage of Scripture.

    "And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by: And I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen." Exodus 33:21-22

The Word tells us, "And there shall no man see Me and live." This refers to the face of God, "But My face shall not be seen." When Jesus said, "no man has seen God at any time," He is saying that no man has seen the face, or the full glory of God. But Moses saw other parts of God.

The Lord shielded Moses from seeing His face because, if in his curiosity, he turned to see the face of God, he would die, as he could not stand the revelation of the full glory of God. Notice that God speaks of His hands, His face, and His back. The implication is that God appeared to Moses in human form.

Although God is a Spirit personality with a non-material form, this Spirit form is similar to the human form. When God said let us make man after our own likeness and in our own image, He created man with a physical form like unto His general spiritual form.

    "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." Genesis 1:26a

    "And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth." Genesis 5:3

Notice that the same terms are used concerning the form of God and of man. Therefore, it is logical to assume that there is a certain resemblance, as to form, between God and man.

The Word tells us that the pure in heart shall see God. As we come to the Lord in simple faith and trust, and wait upon Him, He will not only "reveal" His manifest presence to us, but He will make Himself "known" to us, in terms and ways we can understand.