Jesus in the Old Testament
This one's for all the liberal Christians who try to misrepresent Jesus' character. If we look into the Old Testament, we can see that He was right there and played a pivotal role in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the conquest of Canaan and the slaying of God's enemies.
A theophany is a theological term for times when God appeared to people. He appeared to Moses as a burning bush. He appeared to the children of Israel as a pillar of smoke and fire. But sometimes He appeared in human form. The earliest example of this is Genesis 3:8.
Gen 3:8 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 amongst the trees of the garden.
Now we know that Jesus is God and man (Jn 1:14; Col 2:9). We also know that He played a part in Creation (Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:16). But we also have an apparent contradiction. No one has ever seen God (Jn 1:18), and no one can see Him and live (Ex 33:20). Yet Adam and Eve and others in the Old Testament did see God and live. But there are no contradictions in the Bible. We know from the New Testament that people could see Jesus and live, and Jesus is God, so it stands to reason that the verses about nobody being able to survive seeing God are about God the Father. That means that when people saw God in the Old Testament, they saw God the Son. "Contradiction" resolved!
So it was Jesus who cursed Adam and Eve and all of us, their descendants, and the earth in which we live (Genesis 3:8-24) some 4,000 years before He was born.
The next theophany involves Sodom and Gomorrah. God appeared to Abraham with two angels and ate with him (Gen 18:1-33). Remember Jesus' words in John.
Jn 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
After their meal Abraham haggled with Jesus over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Then He went and checked the cities out for Himself before incinerating their residents.
It's possible Melchizedek was a theophany (Gen 14:18-22; cf. Heb 7:1-9). In any case, the passage in Hebrews proves Jesus wants your tithes.
The next definite theophany was when Jacob wrestled with God (Gen 32:24-30). The God-man was no match for Jacob in a round of fisticuffs, but when He couldn't beat him physically, He miraculously dislocated Jacob's hip.
Jesus appeared in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Dan 3:23-25). Even King Nebuchadnezzar saw Him.
Dan 3:25b Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Isaiah saw Jesus (Is 6:1-5). The New Testament confirms it was indeed Jesus he saw (Jn 12:41). Here we see Jesus seated on His throne in heaven about 800 years before was before His birth, death and ascension (Eph 1:20). He had a lovely message for the prophet to share.
9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
Other appearances of what can only be Jesus involve the Angel of the Lord, who is clearly identified as God.
Jdg 6:11 And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
[. . .]
Jdg 6:14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Zech 12:8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
People who saw Him expected to die (Jdg 6:22; 13:22), as you would if you saw God (Ex 33:20), but they didn't so it must have been Jesus. The Angel of the Lord accepted worship (Jos 5:14), which other angels which are not the Angel of Lord don't (Rev 19:10; 22:8-9).
This means Jesus endorsed the conquest of Canaan and toppled the walls of Jericho so that the Israelites could kill everyone in the city (Jos 5:13-6:5); appointed Gideon to defeat the Midianites (Jdg 6:11-24); appointed Samson to defeat the Philistines (Jdg 13:1-25); slew 185,000 Assyrians in their sleep (2 Ki 19:35); and killed 70,000 Israelites with pestilence (2 Sam 24:15-17) because God or Satan moved David to take a census (1 Chron 21:1; 2 Sam 24:1). These are among the mighty deeds of the pre-incarnate Christ.
So anyone who says Jesus isn't like the "God of the Old Testament" needs to actually read the Old Testament. Jesus was the God of the Old Testament.
Re: Jesus in the Old Testament
Excellent scholarship, as always! With you permission, I would like to use this (with proper citations) when I teach heathen students and false Christians about the REAL JESUS, the eternal, pre-existent GOD!
If I may add the well-known verse that without any reasonable doubt prophesied His incarnation:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Yours in Christ,
2 Kings 18:25 Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
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