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Christology; Pre-incarnation

Christology; pre-incarnation is the study of Jesus in the Old Testament.  This is a very important study because this is how the Messianic Jews knew who Jesus was even before he died and rose again.  How did his followers know him as the Messiah, Christ, and Son of God before his crucifixion and resurrection?  By correctly understanding and knowing the Old Testament.  This also shines light how to better understand the Old Testament and have sound hermeneutics.

John 5:39
"39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me."
This begins the correct and incorrect way to understand the Old Testament.  Jesus says they were incorrectly understanding them by assuming and understanding what was taught is about them, their wealth, their health, and their overall happiness and spiritual well being.  Jesus stated that they are wrong.  It is about Him.  That the Old Testament is not about you or me but is about Jesus.  Points to Jesus. Describes Jesus. And helps us understand the mind and heart of God so that we would recognize God in Jesus.

Luke 24:25-27
"25 He said to them, “How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."
 According to Jesus' interpretation of The Old Testament, it is concerning and all about HIM. Not you or me.

Jesus' Actual Appearance In The Old Testament:

Gen 16:7-13
The Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”
She replied, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.”
Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “You must go back to your mistress and submit to her mistreatment.”[e] 10 The Angel of the Lord also said to her, I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count.”
11 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her:
You have conceived and will have a son.
You will name him Ishmael,[f]
for the Lord has heard your cry of affliction.
12 This man will be like a wild donkey.
His hand will be against everyone,
and everyone’s hand will be against him;
he will live at odds with[g] all his brothers.
13 So she called the Lord who spoke to her: The God Who Sees,[h] for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the One who sees me?”[i] 14 That is why she named the spring, “A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.[j] It is located between Kadesh and Bered.
This account is amazing!  First notice a being who Moses initially names "THE Angel of The Lord".  It is a singular noun.  This singular unique angel is OF The Lord.  That means he is directly related to and from God.  Second notice how this unique angel of God speaks.  He states "I Will multiply" her offspring.  But only God can do that... hum... Third also notice the knowledge of this unique angel of God.  He already knows she has conceived and will have a son.  And he knows all that The Lord has heard.  Last, notice her statement: "she called THE LORD WHO SPOKE TO HER".

God the Father is spirit but yet, God physically appears to people in the world.

Gen 12:7; 17:1, 18:1-32 
"18 Then the Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed to the ground. Then he said, “My lord,[a] if I have found favor in your sight, please do not go on past your servant. Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves.[b] This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures[c] of fine flour and make bread.”[d] Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. Then Abraham took curds[e] and milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served[f] them as they ate under the tree."
The Lord in bodily form appears to Abraham and eats with him. 

Isa 63:7-10
In all their suffering, He suffered,[a]
and the Angel of His Presence saved them.
He redeemed them
because of His love and compassion;
He lifted them up and carried them
all the days of the past. 
Here it is revealed that THE Angel of God is the redeemer who also suffered.  Interesting 'alternate' Hebrew tradition added "He did not suffer" but those are only found in manuscripts copied after the time of Jesus.  Sounds a lot like John 3:16


Gen 3:15
"He will strike your head,"
"He" is obviously not referring to Eve or Satan.  Adam was not the subject of discussion here.  So who is "He"?  Look at the action.  Striking the head is a big deal.  It is a decisive move that takes out leadership and organization.  This single HE will do something decisive to Satan, and all Satan will be able to do is strike his heel.  This HE and action was coming and declared way back in Gen 3.

Numbers 24:17-19
17 I see him,[b] but not now;
I perceive him,[c] but not near.
A star will come from Jacob,
and a scepter will arise from Israel.
He will smash the forehead[d] of Moab
and strike down[e] all the Shethites.[f]
18 Edom will become a possession;
Seir will become a possession of its enemies,
but Israel will be triumphant.
19 One who comes from Jacob will rule;
he will destroy the city’s survivors.
God then reveals more about this "He".  We see that "a star" will be a sign of his arrival.  He will be the authority and leader of the world (a scepter).  He will conquer and rule.  "But not now... but not near.".  He is coming.

 Deut 18:17-18
"17 Then the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him."
A great prophet like Moses who will have God's direct words and truths.  He will come "from among their brothers". No one from the time of Mose to Jesus' time ever claimed to be that exact Prophet.

What about Muhammad?

Muslims claim that this prophecy is about Muhammad.  The problem is when we follow the promises of lineage we find that it is in the line of the Jewish people not the Arab peoples.  Following Gen 9:27 to Gen 12:3 all the way to Gen 49:8-12.  The Tribe of Judah of Israel.

We can already see that this coming person will be a Ruler, Leader, Prophet, Conqueror, and Redeemer.  He will have the power to defeat Satan himself.

Davidic Covenant:

2 Samuel 7, 1 Chron 17, and Psalm 132

The place where God would originate his throne, dynasty and kingdom forever. The promise given to King David was so astounding that David cried out in 2 Samuel 7:19c that “This is the law/charter for [all] humanity.” In other words, God had just now conferred on David an enlargement of the promise he had originally made

  1. The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; cf. Mt 1:33). 
  2. His birthplace would be Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; cf. Mt 2:1, 6), 
  3. John the Baptist would be his forerunner (Isa 40:3-5; Mal 3:1; cf. Mt 3:3, Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4-6).  
  4. He would be rejected (Ps 118), and betrayed (Pss 69, 109), 
  5. He will die and be resurrected (Pss 22, Ps 16:8-11; Acts 2:30- 31), 
  6. He would come as Conqueror and Enthroned Ruler (Pss 2, 110), as Planner and Groom (Pss 40, 45), and as Triumphant King (Pss 68, 72).  
  7. The Messiah’s side would be pierced (Zech 12:10; cf. Jh 19:37), 
  8. He would suffer vicariously for the sins of the world (Isa 53:6, 9, 12; cf. I Pt 2:21-25; Rom 4:25). 
  9. Even more dramatically accurate was the fact that Jesus would be killed with the “wicked” ones (Isa 53:9a, note the plural noun in Hebrew) [as he hung between two thieves], yet he would be buried with the rich one (Isa 53:9b, note its singu- lar form in the Hebrew). 
  10. Daniel PREDICTED THE TIME of Jesus' arrival! Read Daniel 9: timeline to the Messiah

All the verses used above are just a fraction of verses that point to the silhouette of Jesus Christ the Son of God and Lord.  Thus, when he came he made it clear IT WAS ABOUT HIM.  Those who truly trusted in God and worshiped God would see that Jesus is it. 

Also read Jesus Is God. 

Modern Problem

American prosperity teachers will take verses from the Old Testament and use them as if the prophet was talking about YOU.  They will skew the context and the subject of who was being discussed and morph it in such a way it sounds like God wants to make you healthy, wealthy, and happy; in reality it is about making Jesus Christ rich with the inheritance of God's Glory by fulfilling the work that only he could do. Taking peoples eyes off Jesus as the Messiah and putting the focus on themselves and material worldly things is exactly what Satan did from day one.

Jesus said the OT is not about you but about HIM so that you may recognize him as the Messiah, son of God, and Lord.

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