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Christ In The Old Testament
Before Christ Jesus came in the flesh (Jn.1:14; Rom.8:3), what was known about the Old Testament Messiah? According to the Gospels there were 7 known facts concerning the O.T. Messiah and His Coming:
#1 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) would be virgin born in Bethlehem of the heritage of David!
- Virgin born (Mat.1:20-230 Isa.7:14)
- Bethlehem (Mat.2:1-6; Mic.5:2)
- Seed of David (Jn.7:43; Ro.1:3; 2 Tim.2:8; Ps.89:3-4)
People in the Old Testament knew that the Messiah would come in human form (Heb.2:6-8; Ps.8:4-6; 118:25-26; 132:11; Rom. 1:2-3; 2 Tim. 2:8; Heb.1:5; 2 Sam.7:13-14; 1 Chron.17:12-13; Mat.21:9,15; Eze. 37:24-26). Matthew 1:1 traces Jesus from the seed of David; therefore, establishing Christ's kingly heritage. Although Jesus had NO earthly father, Mary was of the kingly line of David.
#2 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) would have a forerunner!
- Forerunner (Jn.1:21-23; Isa.40:3)
There was some confusion in the days of John the Baptist, concerning whether the forerunner was Elijah or not. Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (KJV) http://www.godcannotlie.org/malachi_ch4.htm
Was John the Baptist really Elijah? Consider the following:
- Yes, he was Elijah . . . Matthew 11:13-14 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. (KJV)
- No, he was not Elijah John 1:19-21 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. (KJV)
Malachi 4:5-6 prophesies that Elijah will return before the Lord's Second Coming (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21), at the very end of the Great Tribulation. Jesus quoted Malachi 3:1 concerning John the Baptist, saying that Elijah had come. Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV) . . . See Mat.11:13-14 above. This really confused some of the people (then and now), because John clearly stated that he was NOT Elijah in John 1:21. Yet, Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 11:14 that John the Baptist was Elijah. Why the disagreement? Luke 1:17 gives us the answer:
Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (KJV) http://www.godcannotlie.org/luke_ch1.htm
John the Baptist preached in the spirit and power of Elijah, preparing the hearts of the people to receive their Messiah.
#3 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) would be Jehovah / Eloheem / El in the flesh!
- Jehovah (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible. (Num.21:5,6; Isa.40:3; 60:1; Rev.19:11,16; 20:4-6; Jer.23:5-6; Ps.8:1-2; 22:27-31; 47:1-9; 68:17-19; 96:10; Zec.14:9; Mat.3:3; 21:16; 1 Cor.10:9; Eph. 4:8; 5:14)
- Elohim is a plural noun for ‘gods’ or ‘Deity’ in Biblical Hebrew. (Gen.1:1,26; Ex.15:18; Isa.44:24; 45:22-23; Ps.45:6-7; 82:8; Rom.14:9-12; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph.3:9; Col. 1:16-17; Heb.1:2-3, 8-9; 2:10; Rev. 11:15-18; 19:11-16)
- El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning god or Deity (Isa.7:14; 9:6; Ps.102:24-27; Mat.1:23; Heb. 1:10-12; Rev.1:8). The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) came to this Earth as God in the flesh (Jn.1:14).
#4 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) would be the Son of God!
- Son of God
John 1:48-49 (Nathaniel) – Isa. 9:6-7
Mat. 14:28-33 (Disciples) - Worship (Ex. 20:3)
Mat. 16:13-16 (Peter) – Pro. 30:4
Mat. 26:63-65 (High Priest) - Psalm 110:1
Luke 1:30-35 (Angel) – Isa.7:14
Luke 4:40,41 (Demons)
John 6:67-69 (Peter)
John 11:23-28 (Martha)
John 20:30,31 (John)
Acts 8:26-37 (Ethiopian Eunuch)
Acts 9:17-20 (Paul)
Acts 13:30-33 (Paul) - Psalm 2:7
Heb. 1:5 (write of Hebrews) - 2 Sam. 7:14; 1 Chron.17:13
Hebr. 11:17-19 (writer of Hebrews) – Gen. 22:1-2
JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD - John 10:30-36
#5 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) would be the Saviour of the world!
- God our Saviour (2 Sam. 22:3; Hos.13:4; 1 Tim.4:10; Isa. 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21-22; 49:26; 60:16; 63:8; Titus 1:3-4; 2:10-13; 3:4, 6)
Christ our Saviour (Gen.22:8; Job 19:25; Isa.41:14; 43:14; 44:6; 53:4-10; Jer.50:34; Hab.1:5; Mat.1:21-25; Lk.1:31; 2:11: Jn.1:29; 4:42; Acts 4:11-12; 13:37-41)
Hab. 1:5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. (KJV) . . . The prophet foretold that God would work a work which Israel would not believe. It was a 2-fold prophecy. The second part being that Israel would reject the redemptive work of Christ according to Acts 13:37-41. The Old Testament Messiah IS Christ Jesus, the Saviour (Jn.1:6-8; Lk.2:30-32).
#6 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ) would be the Eternal One!
- Eternal One (Isa.9:6-7; 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Ps.72:15-18; 110:4; Dan.7:13-14; Mic.4:7; Jn.12:32-34; Rev.1:8,11,17)
#7 . . . The Old Testament Messiah (Christ; the Anointed One; the Chosen One; the Holy One) would be a Prophet, Priest and King!
Messiah is mashiach and literally means the anointed one, and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The mashiach is the one who will be anointed as King in the latter days. Mashiach is translated 2 times Messiah (Dan.9:25-26) and 37 times Anointed. http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10729-messiah
In the Old Testament, there are 3 offices that are referred to as anointed . . . those being the offices of Prophet, Priest and King.
- Prophet (1 Chron.16:16-22; Ps.105:9-15; Hab.3:13) Moses
- Priest (Lev.4:3,5,16; 6:22; 8:2, 10-12) Aaron
- King (1 Sam.10:1; 12:3,5; 15:17; 24:6,10; 26:9,11,16,23; 2 Sam.1:14,16) Saul
(1 Sam. 16:6,13; 19:21; 22:51; 23:1; 2 Sam. 5:3; 2 Chron. 6:42; Ps.18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 132:10,17) David (Lam.4:30) Zedekiah (Isa.45:1) Cyrus
These 3 offices clearly picture the 3 great offices of Christ Jesus.
Jesus was/is a Prophet!
John 4:42 (Samaritans) . . . Deut.18:15,18-19
John 7:40,41 (Many people) . . . Deut.18:15,18-19
Acts 3:20-23 (Peter) . . . Deut.18:15,18-19
Acts 7:37 (Stephen) . . . Deut.18:15,18-19
Jesus was/is a Priest.
Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:14-28 (writer of Hebrews) - Psalm 110:4
Jesus was/is a King!
Mat. 2:1-4 (Herod, Priests & Scribes) . . . Micah 5:2 (Ruler) Isa.44:6; 6:1-5; Mat.15:31,32 (Chief Priests & Scribes) . . . Num.24:7, 17-19; 2 Sam. 7:12,13,16; Ps.2:6; Lk.1:31-33 (angel) . . . Ex. 15:18; Ps.45:6; 145:10-13; 146:10; Mat.22:41-46 (Jesus) . . . Ps.110:1-7; Acts 2:30-36 (Peter) Heb.1:13 (writer of Hebrewa)
In Closing . . . Was Jesus the Old Testament Messiah?
- According to Simeon He was! (Luke 2:25-30)
- According to the crowd He was not (Luke 23:34,35)
- According to Andrew He was! (John 1:40-42)
- According to the High Priest (religious people) He was not (Mat. 26:62-66)
- According to the sinful woman at the well He was! (John 4:24-29)
- According to John the Baptist He was! (John 1:6-23)
What you really believe in your heart, will come out when you stand before Judge Jesus, and it will bring His decision down to you! Will it be Heaven? Or will it be Hell? It is YOUR decision as to what you believe! You CANNOT hide anything from Judge Jesus (Lk.8:17).
Appearances of Christ Jesus in the Old Testament
If we carefully study the Old Testament, we can see that it reveals that the pre-incarnate
Christ Jesus made several bodily appearances (Christophany, theophany) long before he entered Mary’s womb.
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)
I believe that this was the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus speaking to Abraham.
Genesis 22:11-18 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (KJV)
I believe that the angel of the LORD here was the per-incarnate Lord Jesus. I believe that the LORD Himself would have wanted to do this special job, rather than send an angel messenger.
Exodus 3:1-6 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (KJV)
Jesus appeared to Moses in a burning bush, telling him to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground. Moses saw a bush burning, with NO fire to ignite it. The bush burned, but it did NOT burn up. Fire is a symbol in the Bible of the Divine holiness and justice of Almighty God, and also of the afflictions and trials with which God proves and purifies His people. God was pleased to manifest Himself and His glory, through the burning bush. Putting off the shoe was a symbol of respect and submission to God. We all should draw nigh to God with sincerity. Jesus does not say, I was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob . . . He says: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face in humility, both ashamed and afraid to look upon God. YES! Jesus IS God! The more we see of God and His grace and covenant love, the more it should cause us to worship Him with reverence and godly fear. http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
Another such appearance was in Gen.18 when Jesus, along with two of his angels, visited Abraham. Starting in Gen. 18:13, this Man is called the LORD. I believe that any time the word LORD appears in Scripture with all capitals (635 times), it identifies God’s Name Jehovah or Yahweh. As chapter 18 ends, two of the men (angels) start a journey to Sodom while Jesus stays behind to tell Abraham that Sodom will be destroyed. When Abraham learns of Sodom’s forthcoming destruction, he really tries to intercede on their behalf to Jesus (Gen.18:24-33). In Genesis 19, the two angels who were with Jesus arrive at Sodom to rescue Lot and his family.
Jesus also made an appearance to Jacob in Gen. 32:24-30 where he wrestled with Jacob all night. Some commentators say that Jacob was just having a mental or emotional battle because of his feeling guilty for taking Esau’s birthright. They say that was NOT a physical one . . . BUT . . . I have never heard of anyone having a mental battle where their hip gets knocked out of joint as Jacob’s did (Ge.32:25). Have you?
Because Jacob held his own against Jesus in the wrestling match, he was granted a blessing. His name was changed to Israel, which proves that this man had to be Jesus. Israel means he who prevails with God or he will rule as God rules. Jacob had literally prevailed with God by wrestling with Him in the Person of the pre-incarnate Jesus. This relates to Jacob’s spiritual growth, in that he could persevere and overcome by faith without cheating as he had done in the past. Jacob knew with Whom he had wrestled. Gen. 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (KJV)
Jesus also appeared to Joshua. Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. (KJV)
Joshua was near Jericho when he saw a Man with a drawn sword. Joshua wanted to know if He was friend or foe and he was told by the Man that He was captain of the Lord’s host. When Joshua heard this, he fell on his face and worshipped Him. This Man did not stop Joshua from worshipping Him as any other servant of the Lord would do (Acts 10:26; 14:15; Rev. 19:10; 22:9) where servants of God (angels or men) stopped other men from worshipping them. Joshua asked Jesus what His message was and Jesus responded by telling Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, because he was on holy ground, which is the same thing He told Moses in Exodus when He appeared to him in a burning bush (Ex.3:5; Acts 7:30-33).
There was a physical appearance of Christ in the Old Testament was in Judges 13:3-23 when he encountered Samson’s parents before Samson was born. He is referred to as the angel of the Lord in this chapter. It seems that Jesus tells Samson’s parents what is required of them to raise Samson. I think the FIRST CLUE we have that this is Christ is when Samson’s father, Manoah, asks the angel what His name is. The angel answers that His Name is secret.
Judges 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? (KJV) . . . This word secret also means wonderful, the adjective version of the noun Wonderful used as one of the Names of Christ in Isaiah 9:6.
The SECOND CLUE is when Manoah and his wife offer a burnt offering to the Lord.
Judges 13:20-23 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. 21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. 23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these. (KJV)
As the offering is burning, the Angel of the LORD ascends up to Heaven in the flames, signifying that the offering is acceptable and pleasing. NO one except God has the right or authority to consider an offering acceptable, so this Angel had to be Christ Jesus. The THIRD CLUE is clearly given to us from Manoah who says we have seen God after the angel ascends in the flames.
WHY is Jesus called an angel when we know Jesus is NOT an angel? We must understand what the word angel actually means. Angel not only refers to the spiritual beings who carry out God’s commands, it also refers to the office one holds as delivering messages from God. In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, the pastors of the seven churches in Asia are called angels based on the second definition. SO, it makes sense that the ultimate Angel, or Messenger of the Lord has to be the Lord Jesus. All through His ministry Jesus repeatedly said that He was spoke what the Father told him to speak (Jn.8:28, 38; 12:49-50; 14:10; 16:25).
Of the 635 times the phrase, angel of the LORD appears in the KJV of the Bible, perhaps when it says THE angel of the LORD, it may be Jesus, and when it says AN angel of the LORD, maybe it is a created being, an angel messenger of the Lord. I do not know. I have a lot of questions to ask the Lord one day, as I sit at His feet as He teaches.
It is clear that all three members of the Trinity played an active role in the affairs of men in both the OT and NT. This proves that the Holy Word of God is consistent and does NOT contradict itself. We serve a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb.13:8).
The Physical Appearances of Christ in the Old Testament
- Gen.16:7-13 (called the angel of the LORD, He blessed Hagar)
- Gen.18:1-14 (called the LORD, He blessed Abraham)
- Gen.32:24-30 (called a man, He blessed Jacob)
- Ex. 3:1-2 (called the angel of the LORD, He instructs Moses)
- Ex.13:21; 23:20-23 (called LORD - leads and protects Israel in the wilderness)
- Ex. 23:20-23 (called an Angel [capital A], He would be an Enemy to thine enemies)
- Ex.32:34 (called mine Angel [capital A], guidance promised to Moses)
- Num. 22:22-35 (called the angel of the LORD, he warned Balaam)
- Josh.5:13-15 (called a man - fought for Joshua and Israel)
- Judges 2:1-4 (called the angel of the LORD, He rebuked Joshua and Israel)
- Judges 6:11-23 (called the angel of the LORD, He fought for Gideon and Israel)
- Judges 13:1-22 (called the angel of the LORD, God, man, He raised up Samson for Israel)
- 2 Sam.24:13-17; 1 Chron. 21:12-18 (called the angel of the LORD, He chastened king David and Israel)
- 1 Kings 19:1-7 (called the angel of the LORD, He strengthened Elijah)
- 2 Kings 1:3,15 (called the angel of the LORD, He protected Elijah)
- 2 Kings 19:35 (called the angel of the LORD, He smote the Assyrians)
- Psalms 34:1-8; 35:4-7 (called the angel of the Lord)
- Isaiah 63:7-9 (called the angel of his presence) Ex. 23:20-23
- Daniel 3:23-28 (called Son of God, He protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)
- Daniel 6:22-23 (called His angel, He saved Daniel from the lions)
Was Jesus Melchizedek?
!!!Jesus, Our Saviour and Lord!!!
JESUS, All About Jesus
Being in Christ
Blood of Jesus Is In Heaven
Characteristics of Jesus
Christ in the Old Testament
Claims of Christ Jesus to be God
Contrasting Believers With Unbelievers
Deity of Jesus
Fullness of Christ Jesus
Gospel Dead Without Faith in Jesus
Gospel Determines Our Destiny
Great Drops of Blood
Holiness of Jesus
Hopes Because of Christ Jesus
Humanity of Jesus
Hypocrisy of False Teachers
Jesus Acknowledged By God and Man
Jesus Brings Division
Jesus Died for Sinners
Jesus IS God
Jesus' Titles and Functions
Listening to God
Major Names of Christ Jesus
Obedience Brings Blessings
Old Testament Prophecies of Christ Fulfilled
Power of Salvation is in the Gospel
Promises Jesus Made to Believers and Unbelievers
Salvation is a Gift
Spirit of Christ
The Cross of Christ
The Doctrine of Christ
The Gospel, Heaven OR Hell
The Real Jesus
The Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ
Walking in the Spirit
WHAT Is the Doctrine of Christ?