Q. Through out the Old Testament, there are several personal encounters between Bible characters and Jesus (Angel of the Lord). My heart skips a beat when I read about them, just imagining what it would be like to have a personal encounter with the Lord. This is my question – why did those personal encounters stop? Or haven’t they? Do you have any thoughts on this?
A. According to 1 Cor. 15:5-7 Jesus appeared after His resurrection to the 11 remaining disciples, to James, and to about 500 others. Then He appeared to Paul (Acts 9:4-6). His latest appearance recorded in the Bible was to John in Rev. 1:12-18, which probably happened in about 95 AD.
I suspect that since then there have been many more personal encounters with the Lord than anyone realizes. Most of these take place in dreams and visions.
But here’s what’s different. In the Old Testament, belief in God was based on evidence. He appeared to some people, spoke through others, and publicly demonstrated His power on a regular basis to prove His existence. Then He blessed His people according to their obedience.
During the Church Age belief is based on faith alone, and blessing comes to those who believe without the kind of evidence Old Testament believers had.
In John 20:29 Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” He was referring to us.