Article of the month of November 2008
"Having an Encounter with God"
by Dr. John Williams
 

When a person is anointed by the Holy Spirit, God literally descends from heaven and has an encounter with him. The Spirit of God transcends his whole being. A combination of several things take place when Godís presence comes down and touches a human being. It could be a voice from heaven, a glimpse of Godís glory, a foretaste or a vision of heaven, appearance of angels or a vision of God, accompanied by other physical signs such as a cloud, earthquake, thunder, lightening, bright light, fire and smoke. Anointing is heaven coming down and Godís glory filling our souls. We should realize that when a person is anointed with the Holy Spirit, there is not just a transfusion of some supernatural power or energy. The person of Holy Spirit, the very creator of the whole universe, transcends human being, fills him with His Spirit and dwells in him. For the anointing to be received and retained one has to first have an encounter with God when a mutual commitment is made. Our God is covenant-making God and we see this through out the Bible. This is how God always worked with men. As mentioned earlier, this encounter may not take place exactly at the point of receiving the anointing. It may be a process and it may not be very dramatic and clear cut. A few examples from the Bible about the encounter men had with God will enlighten us more on this subject.

1. ABRAHAMíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In Genesis chapter 18 we read an account about Abrahamís encounter with God. The Lord visited Abraham at noon time in his tent, in the form of an angel along with two other angels and Abraham prepared and served them a meal which they ate. Abraham also had a long conversation with God. First God promised to bless him with a son. Then He told him His plan to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the sins of the people living there were grievous. Abraham pleaded with God to spare those two cities for the sake of even ten righteous men and God agreed. God had an ongoing personal relationship with Abraham.

2. JACOBíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In Genesis chapter 28 beginning with verse 12 we can read about Jacobís encounter with God. In a dream he saw a ladder set up on the earth reaching to heaven, on which angels were ascending and descending. He saw God standing above the ladder. Then God introduced Himself as the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, and promised Jacob that He would give his seed all the land he needed and blessed him. Jacob also had another encounter with God, face to face, which is narrated in Genesis chapter 32 beginning with verse 24. Jacob wrestled with God all night and told Him that he will not let Him go unless he blessed him. At this time God changed his name from Jacob to Israel and said that he will be like a prince and that he will have power with God and with men. Jacob named that place Penile meaning that he saw God face to face.

3. NOAHíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
God spoke to Noah one day and expressed His feelings about the fact that the earth was totally corrupted with evil and filled with violence, and communicated His plan to destroy the whole earth with flood. God gave Noah detailed specifications about the ark that He asked him to make to escape from the flood, with his family. God made a covenant with Noah. Noah found grace in the eyes of God because he was a just man and perfect in his generation.

4. MOSESíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
Moses had a few encounters with God. When Moses came to Mount Horeb, the mountain of God, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush and then God called Moses out of the midst of bush and said He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He said that He had seen the afflictions of His people in Egypt and had come down to deliver them out of the land of Egypt, and bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey. In Exodus 19:16 it is written that God visited Moses at the top of Mount Sinai in a thick cloud with the voice of the trumpet, lightning and thunder, in the sight of the people. Because the Lord descended in fire, smoke was coming out of the mountain like a furnace and the whole mount quaked greatly. In Exodus 24:16 it is written that the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai and the cloud covered it six days. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire, and Moses went into the midst of the cloud and stayed there for forty days without eating bread and drinking water. Because Moses was in the presence of God for a while his face started shining so bright that he had to cover it with a vail or veil. During these encounters God had long conversations with Moses and gave him a specific mission to carry out.

5. ELIJAHíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In I Kings 19:11 a report is given about Elijahís encounter with God in Mount Horeb. When the Lord passed by there was a strong wind, which rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord. Then there was an earthquake after which fire came down. Finally the Lord spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. God directed him to go back to Damascus and anoint Hazel to be King over Syria.

6. ISAIAHíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
Prophet Isaiah had a glorious vision of the Lord. In Isaiah 6:1 it is written that Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and seraphimís crying out holy, holy, holy. Then seraphim flew and touched his lips with a coal of fire and the Lord said whom shall I send and who will go for me. Isaiah respond by saying ďHere am I, send meĒ.

7. EZEKIELíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In the first and the second chapters of the book of Ezekiel, a detailed report is given about the encounter Ezekiel had with God. Godís glory appeared like a bow in the cloud and there was some brightness round about. When Ezekiel saw it, he fell on his face and then he heard a voice. The Lord told him to be the watchman unto the house of Israel and to warn them.

8. DANIELíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In the Book of Daniel chapter 10, it is written that after Daniel had mourned for three weeks, he had an encounter with God in a glorious vision. Daniel describes his experience as follows: He saw a man whose body was like the beryl; his face appeared like lightning; his eyes were as lamps of fires; his hands and feet were like brass; his voice was like the voice of a multitude; a great quaking fell upon them; there remained no strength in him; he heard the voice of his words; he was in a deep sleep on his face which was towards the ground; a hand touched him and set him upon his knees and palms; he had a conversation with him; when he touched him again he regained his strength.

9. ENCOUNTER OF PETER, JAMES AND JOHN WITH GOD
Peter, James and John had an encounter with God when Jesus took them to a high mountain. Jesus transfigured before them, His face shone as the sun and His raiment was white as the light. Moses and Elias appeared unto them. A bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice out of a cloud said, this is my beloved Son and in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him. The disciples fell on their faces. They also said that it was good for them to be there and added that it would be nice to make three tabernacles (one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elias) and stay right there.

10. PETERíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In Acts 10:10 a detailed account is given of Peterís vision. When he went to the top of the house to pray, he fell into a trance and saw a vision. God showed him through this vision that God had cleansed what he called common and directed Peter to go to the house of Cornelius.

11. 120 BELIEVERSí ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
A full description of the visitation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the upper room where the hundred and twenty believers were praying and waiting is given in the second chapter of the book of Acts. Verse 2 to 4 ďAnd suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utteranceĒ.

12. PAULíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
Paulís encounter with God was also very significant. A complete description of this encounter is given in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts. As Paul was journeying to Damascus, suddenly there shone round about him a light from heaven and Paul fell to the earth. Then he heard a voice saying to him ďPaul, Paul, why persecutest thou meĒ. When Paul questioned as to who was talking the voice said that it was Jesus. Then the Lord directed him to a city where he was told that he would receive further directions. It is written that Paul did not heave eye sight for three days and that he did not eat or drink anything during those days.

13. JOHNíS ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In the book of Revelation chapter 1 and verse 10 it is written that John was in the Spirit. John literally had a tour of heaven and God revealed many things to him. John heard a great voice like a trumpet saying ďI am Alpha and Omega, the first and the lastĒ. After revealing the things that were going to take place at the end times and giving warning about the great tribulation that was going to take place, the Lord told him that He was coming quickly.

SUMMARY
In all of these accounts we can notice some similarities, even though these events took place at different times and in different locations. There seems to be a pattern, some consistency and a common purpose, which gives credibility to various accounts given in the Bible. First of all, we should note that God has chosen to meet with men of God, communicate with them, to reveal certain things to prove His existence and His concerns over mankind. From the various accounts of peopleís encounter with God recorded in the Bible we can make the following conclusions.

First of all we can describe manís encounter with God as follows:
1. AWESOME : God is an awesome God and whoever comes into the presence of the Holy God must come with trembling and fear.

2. SUPERNATURAL : God is a supernatural God and whenever He intervenes the human scene, several supernatural things happen.

3. HEAVENLY : Everyone that had an encounter with God had a little bit of foretaste of heaven. The atmosphere was heavenly and they had a great feeling.

4. EARTHSHAKING : Every time God descended to meet with man there was invariably some thunder, lightning, smoke, fire, cloud or tremor. It proves that God is the creator of nature and that He has full control over the entire world and even the nature.

5. GLORIOUS : Whenever man had an encounter with God, he was able to have a glimpse of Godís glory. God revealed His glory to man to some extent. Invariably in every case those who saw the glory of God could not adequately describe what they saw and experienced because it was beyond their intellectual capability.

6. OVERWHELMING : Whenever God appeared before men they were totally lost. They either fell into a trance or were just overwhelmed by His presence because of His glory, majesty, beauty, holiness, power and awesomeness. No one can resist God. Everyone will have to fall prostrate at His feet.

We can see in all of these instances how Godís presence came down and influenced men to follow his plans. Because these men were just, holy and obedient, God could meet with them, enter into a covenant, reveal His plans, manifest his glory a little bit, fellowship with them, impart His power and wisdom, assure them of His love and concern for them and even commission them to carry out His plans. Out God is an unchanging God and He does the same thing even now. God needs us to carry out his plans on this earth. He is interested in making covenants with us even today. God speaks to us even today. He gives visions, and dreams and appears to people in a variety of ways. His presence comes down in a wonderful way. He reveals things to us and manifests a little bit of His glory in many ways. His Spirit transcends our body and mind. He fills us with all of His fullness. He wants to work in and through us. The word anointing includes all of these things in a broad sense. There cannot be any anointing without the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore when the Holy Spirit visits men they have personal encounters with Him which is normal and inevitable. When the Holy Spirit is present there is an anointing and when He touches us we are anointed. This anointing breaks every yoke of the enemy. When the Holy Spirit is poured upon us we are filled, and when we are filled with the Holy Spirit we begin to overflow, which is ministering to the needs of others.

God chooses to have an encounter with man for the following reasons:
To reveal Himself
To manifest His glory
To give a foretaste of Heaven
To commune and fellowship with Him
To communicate His plans
TO give a specific assignment
To impart His power and wisdom

                                                        - The End -