Chapter 4 - Who is the God of Revelation?
BASIC DOGMATIC TEACHINGAn Orthodox Handbookby Protopresbyter Fr. Anthony Alevizopoulos (1931 – 1996)Dr. of Theology, Dr. of Philosophy
1. The hospitality of Abraham
Man cannot possibly know God the way He is in reality. That is, he cannot become acquainted with the essence of God. He can only perceive the uncreated energies of God - the "traces" of God.
However, in the Holy Bible and the Sacred Tradition of the Church, we have certain "portrayals" of God. The most familiar one is that Byzantine icon in which God is portrayed in the form of three angels - the way He appeared before Abraham. The Fathers of the Church say that the excerpt in question actually comprises the very first depiction of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament.
"Now God appeared to him near the oak of Mambre, while he was sitting at the door of his tent at midday.