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How Does God Reveal Himself?

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In reality, He has done this many times. Eyewitness accounts of human interaction with Him have been recorded and preserved for us in the Bible. But does such documented testimony satisfy skeptics? It never has, and it never will.

If God accepted the challenge of always having to prove His existence, what would it take? Would it have been necessary for Him to personally appear to and perform miracles to every human being ever born? But even that might not be enough to satisfy everyone.

Instead, God long ago decided to provide solid evidence—in the form of His handiwork, human testimony and fulfilled prophecy—that He is the living, intelligent Creator of the universe. This evidence is compelling and powerful to those with an ear to hear and an eye to see. But everyone has a choice. He can face the evidence or scoff at it.

Does God hide Himself?

Let’s briefly examine the record of the Creator God’s revelations of Himself to mankind.

God walked and talked with Adam and Eve. During their close relationship with Him, He gave them specific instructions (Genesis 2:15-17 Genesis 2:15-17 15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
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; Genesis 3:2-3 Genesis 3:2-3 2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.
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). Yet they chose to disobey and then attempted to hide themselves (Genesis 3:8-10 Genesis 3:8-10 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you? 10 And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
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).

Later God reasoned with their son Cain about his unreasonable anger (Genesis 4:5-7 Genesis 4:5-7 5 But to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said to Cain, Why are you wroth? and why is your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him.
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). Cain rejected God’s advice and murdered his brother. Instead of being truly sorry for his deed, Cain “went out from the presence of the LORD” (Genesis 4:8-16 Genesis 4:8-16 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And he said, What have you done? the voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground. 11 And now are you cursed from the earth, which has opened her mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand; 12 When you till the ground, it shall not from now on yield to you her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shall you be in the earth. 13 And Cain said to the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from your face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that finds me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said to him, Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelled in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
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).

God talked with faithful Noah (Genesis 6:13 Genesis 6:13And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
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). Noah was different from others to whom God appeared. He followed God’s instructions (Genesis 7:5 Genesis 7:5And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.
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). The same was true of Abraham. God personally appeared to Abraham and had conversations with him on several occasions (Genesis 12:1-7 Genesis 12:1-7 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land to the place of Sichem, to the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him.
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; Genesis 13:14 Genesis 13:14And the LORD said to Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
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; Genesis 17:1-3 Genesis 17:1-3 1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
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).

God’s willingness to reveal Himself to Moses and the people of ancient Israel is especially important to understand. “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11 Exodus 33:11And the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
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). God attempted to establish a similarly direct relationship with the Israelites. Moses recorded what happened: “The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain … I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain” (Deuteronomy 5:4-5 Deuteronomy 5:4-5 4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the middle of the fire, 5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the word of the LORD: for you were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
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).

The Israelites begged for more distance. They didn’t even want to hear God’s voice (Exodus 20:18-19 Exodus 20:18-19 18 And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said to Moses, Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
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). They requested that in the future He reveal Himself to them only through His prophet.

From that time forward God honored that request. He revealed Himself to ancient Israel through His prophets. He sent them to warn His people and encourage them to be faithful to Him. But their messages went un-heeded. The people cruelly martyred many of those prophets.

God allows man to choose

It was not God’s idea to remove Himself and be seemingly unapproachable. It was mankind’s choice. Beginning with Adam and Eve, God gave humankind freedom of choice. He allows us to choose whether we will believe in Him, accept the knowledge He reveals and obey Him—or not.

God didn’t force Adam and Eve to follow His instructions. They freely chose not to. Humanity has felt the repercussions of that fateful decision ever since.

Neither did God force ancient Israel to obey Him. He clearly offered the Israelites a choice: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses,” He told them. “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
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, NIV).

With their own ears they had heard God at Mount Sinai. They had witnessed miracle after miracle in their trek out of Egypt. Yet the Israelites quickly forgot that evidence and chose to disregard the way of life and blessings God offered (see also Deuteronomy 31:27 Deuteronomy 31:27For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?
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).

Mankind has consistently chosen to turn away from God’s revelation, preferring the way that ultimately leads to curses and death (Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:12There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
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; Proverbs 16:25 Proverbs 16:25There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
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). Nothing has changed today. We are faced with the same two choices: Believe God and obey His laws, or disbelieve and disobey.

Most people like to think they are open-minded, that they wouldn’t be antagonistic or prejudiced against the truth. Yet some of the same people who knew of Christ’s miracles later shouted for His blood. Jesus pointed out that some were so hardened toward God that they wouldn’t accept Him and His ways even if someone were raised from the dead (Luke 16:31 Luke 16:31And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
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).

Human nature hasn’t changed. The same bias and prejudice remain just as deeply entrenched in our modern era. It’s not a pretty thought to consider that a significant part of humanity willingly hardens its thinking against God, yet it happens (2 Peter 3:5 2 Peter 3:5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
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). For the natural human way of thinking is fundamentally hostile to-ward God (Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
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). So people look for ways to dismiss Him from their lives. For some, particularly intellectuals, this takes the form of reasoning around clear evidence for His existence (Romans 1:18-22 Romans 1:18-22 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
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). The heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
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) and convinces the mind of falsehood.

Has God ever provided human beings with absolute, indisputable proof of His existence? Will He ever provide such proof in the future? The answer to both questions is an emphatic  yes.

When God brought ancient Israel out of Egypt, He performed many awesome miracles that demonstrated His existence, power and control over the laws of nature. “Now the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD’” (Exodus 10:1-2 Exodus 10:1-2 1 And the LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him: 2 And that you may tell in the ears of your son, and of your son’s son, what things I have worked in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know how that I am the LORD.
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).

They had their proof, but it quickly faded from their memory. “They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped the molded image . . . They forgot God their Savior, who had done great things . . .” (Psalms 106:19-22 Psalms 106:19-22 19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. 20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their savior, which had done great things in Egypt; 22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.
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).

Later God gave them proof that He was God through the words of His prophets. Fulfilled prophecy powerfully demonstrates the reality of God. He proclaimed, “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9-10 Isaiah 46:9-10 9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
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). Only God can accurately foretell the future and bring it to pass.

Bible prophecy is one proof of God that can be easily verified. Although it is beyond the scope of this publication to explain the many precisely fulfilled prophecies, some examples are readily available to you in our booklet Is the Bible True?

More absolute proof on the way

God has promised that the time is coming—at a time most people don’t expect—when the whole world will witness the same type of miraculous evidence of His existence that He displayed in ancient Egypt.

This coming intervention in world affairs will be unmistakable. You can read about how God plans to reveal His great power and glory in our booklets You Can Understand Bible Prophecy and Are We Living in the Time of the End?

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