A Voice in the
January 9, 2002
Q/A Topics: -Jesus before His birth?
(Response to: God the Father is a 'man'?)
Most specifically, John ch1 answers this. The "Word" was in the beginning, He was -with- God, and He -was- God. (vs1-2) And then, "the Word became flesh...and we beheld His glory..." (vs14) That was the point at which He became known as "Jesus" or "Immanuel". In the O.T. when He would communicate with people, He was known as the "Angel of Jehovah". (Gen16:10, 22:11-12, Ex3:2-5, Judg6:22, 13:18, etc)
How do we know that these instances of the "Angel of Jehovah" were Jesus Christ? From the passages, themselves. Remember from the expose we observed God telling Moses, "I will send My Angel" (Ex33:2) God (the Father), speaking of an 'other' Person from Himself. Yes, we know that God, Himself, led Israel, as He says, "I will guide you with My eye." (Ps32:8) But we know that these appearances of the "Angel of Jehovah" were God, Himself, and not merely one of God's innumerable Heavenly host of 'angels'.
Gen 16:10 notice that the "Angel of Jehovah said to [Hagar], I will multiply your seed..." Notice, the "angel" does not say, "Thus says Jehovah..." But rather, "I" will do this. But also notice that this "Angel" is not the Father, "..because Jehovah has heard your afflication.." (vs11) Now certainly, if the Son and Father are "one" (Jn10:30), the "Angel" would have seen Hagar's affliction. But if He had been speaking of Himself, would He not have said, "-I- have seen your affliction.." in the same way He says, "-I- will multiply your seed.." See the distinction. But also, that the Angel of Jehovah, from everything else we know of the God-Head, was Jesus Christ.
Gen 22:11 the "Angel of Jehovah" calls to Abraham to keep him from slaying Isaac. Notice, He also says "..that you fear God.." (not "Me"), but then, "..you have not withheld your son, your only one, from -Me-." (vs12) It was "God" (vs1) who was testing Abraham, so Abraham was doing this 'sacrifice' -to/for- "God", not any one of the 'generic' angels of God's Heaven. Again: Jesus Christ.
Ex 3:2-5 the "Angel of Jehovah" appears to Moses from the burning bush. Moses is instructed to remove his sandals because the ground was "holy". It clearly says that Moses "was afraid to look upon -God-"(vs6) The only One to whom 'holiness' is attributed is "Jehovah of Hosts" (Is6:3) When John set about to prostrate himself before the 'generic' angel he was firmly warned, "Look out! No! I am your fellow-servant.." (Rev19:10) He didn't take the hint the first time around, so when he did it again... "Now see here! No! For I am your fellow-servant.." (Rev22:8)
Judg 6:22 when Gideon fears for his life after seeing the Angel of Jehovah, God says, "Do not fear. You shall not die." (vs23) Since "..no man shall see Me, and live" (Ex33:20), again, we must understand that Gideon saw Jesus.
Judg 13:18 When Manoah asks, "What is Your name" the Angel of Jehovah responds with, "Why do you ask after My name in this way? Yea, it is Wonderful." One of the prophesied names for the "Child" that would be born is "Wonderful". (Is9:6)
There are more examples. But I hope this is enough to convince us that the O.T. Angel of Jehovah was, in fact, Jesus Christ.
What kind of -body- did He appear in? I don't know that Scripture says. He was obviously able to eat, because Abraham prepared a meal for Him. (Gen18) So, He obviously appeared in some form of body. But since it is said of Jesus that He took on "flesh and blood" (Heb2:14), I think it would also be clear that it was a different 'kind of' body than "flesh and blood", for the special point to be made, that His birth through Mary was a "flesh and blood" birth. But was it the same kind of resurrection body with which He rose from the dead? Again, I don't know that Scripture says. And I try not to deal in conjecture, especially where the Most High is concerned. If we don't know now, I assume that whatever we are supposed to know, He will reveal to us at the proper time.
In the words of the famous 70-80s? TV sitcom personality, Balki, "Well, of ckkkhhhorss it's not, don't be ridiculous!"
Sigh! My non-catholic background didn't catch that error, while my mind was on the matters which the answer addressed. Please understand that my youth, while hearing the term "immaculate conception", never understood it for its true meaning. Being a younger naive Believer, anything to do with Jesus' conception that should be labelled "immaculate" was the fact that Jesus, Himself, was without sin. (Heb4:15, 2Cor5:21) So, for years, that's what I thought they were talking about.
Back in my high school days, about all I knew of catholicism, living in the middle of a predominantly catholic town in N.Dakota, was the father/priest jokes I would overhear fellow students tell each other. You know, the ones where the "father" would molest the village virgins. And that on Fridays, they ate "fish" (meat), because they could not eat "meat" on Fridays. I did not know all the doctrines of Marialotry. So, anything "immaculate" I could imagine them talking about, was Jesus "sinless" birth. It's only been in recent years that I have come to understand many of catholicism's paganisms. So, with my mind on the topic that I answered (and, I've had a lot of other things on my mind lately, and over a week of sleepless nights, so I've been tired), this matter, out of 'ancient' habit, defaulted into the mode of my 'former' understandings of the terms, while otherwise engrossed in my heart on the topic that was addressed. The 'red flag' did not pop up in my mind. This one slipped by me...Zoooom! Maybe this is 'old age' setting in!! Sigh! I'm sooo 'tired'! Could we please go -HOME- now!
However, this having now been noticed, addressed and rectified, does not change the answers given about 'Jesus' in the O.T., as the "Angel of Jehovah". Amen!