Jesus in the Old Testament

Updated on November 9, 2019
Lou Tenant profile image

Lou Tenant writes articles with a focus on mysteries and unexplained phenomen in the search for the truth. Thanks for reading this!

Face to Face

In Exodus 33, we read about how the cloud of God’s presence, the Shekinah glory, descended to the Tent of Meeting when Moses entered it. It is there that Moses talked to the Lord. Specifically, in verse 9 we read that

When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses.”

In verse 9 we read that the Lord talked to Moses face-to-face:

Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”

Now, jump down to verse 20. Moses has just asked God to show him His glory. God responds by saying that “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” When God appears next, has back is faced towards Moses so that he could not see God’s face directly.

But wait, didn’t Moses just see God’s face like five minutes ago? What changed? This apparent contradiction has two possible answers: that the term “face to face” in verse 9 is not literal, or that Moses talked to an OT appearance of Jesus, called a Christophany, and then talked to the Father.

Christophanies: Explained

A Christophany is a preincarnate appearance of Christ. The example mentioned above is only one of many. Another instance of this can be found in Genesis 18:1-8, when three visitors came to Moses’s tent and ate with him. Also, when Jacob wrestled with God in Genesis 32, he says afterward that he “saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The Angel of the Lord, who had the power to forgive sins and is essentially God, is also thought to be a Christophany.

These physical appearances of God in the form of the Son do not contradict God’s statement to Moses that “no one can see His face and live.” That statement is referring to the Father, who is spirit. Jesus, on the other hand, is man and therefore could be seen face to face without causing instant death.

depiction of Jacob’s wrestle with God
depiction of Jacob’s wrestle with God

Affirming the Trinity

These Christophanies in the Bible can prove the fact that God is indeed a Trinity. We can see how the many different manifestations of God demonstrate His triune nature. There is even an instance in which two members of the Trinity are present at once.

This central tenet of Christianity is important in differentiating God from Islam’s God, Allah, who is not a Trinity. So the next time you run into a Christian who doesn’t believe in a Trinity, you can kindly tell them about Christophanies in the OT.

Conclusion

While we cannot prove undeniably that every Christophany was in fact Jesus, we know that He has always existed.

John 1:1 says, ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

These Christophanies serve to foreshadow His human birth in Bethlehem and show that God is indeed a personal God who is very invested in helping us directly. After all, Jesus quoted many Old Testament verses, and it makes sense- because He was there.

Have you heard of Christophanies before?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Lou Tenant

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      • Lou Tenant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lou Tenant 

        4 weeks ago from Somewhere in America

        Hi Charlie,

        I always welcome a theological discussion as long as everyone can be respectful of each other. Since you do not believe that Jesus is God, I would ask what your interpretation of John 8:58 is. I’m just curious.

      • Lou Tenant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lou Tenant 

        4 weeks ago from Somewhere in America

        Hi Jack, thanks for commenting!

      • celafoe profile image

        charlie 

        4 weeks ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

        Jack- this is not the place to attack me, If you insist on attacking me do it on my articles where I am free to deal with as necessary not on the articles of others.

        I teach from scripture (the doctrines of Christ alone) not catholic or other apostate doctrine of man as you expect.

      • Jack Jenn profile image

        Jack Jenn 

        4 weeks ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

        Charlie,

        There are some things you say that are correct but there are many things you say that are NOT.

        If you expect people to believe what you say, then say the truth.

        The Bible tells us clearly that Jesus was here before creation - why do you not believe that instead of figments of your imagination.

        May I also suggest that you modify your approach instead of being hostile as I have seen you repeatedly do.

        Jack.

      • Lou Tenant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lou Tenant 

        4 weeks ago from Somewhere in America

        Hi Charlie. Jesus repeatedly affirms his identity. He also accepted worship and forgave sins in the NT many times, something only God could do. Remember, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

        Also, I am not Catholic, and the belief that Jesus is God is widely held by most Protestants too. Don’t connect a belief to a church system. This is a biblically based answer.

      • celafoe profile image

        charlie 

        5 weeks ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

        Jesus IS NOT GOD, He is the son of God, a man such as we are. Now since He has been transfigured He is still the son of God but the first born on many Spiritual sons. That He is God is a catholic lie, just like mary being a co-redemptriss is a a lie, as is all ot catholocism. All of the church system of man, all denominations, and false clergy and systems of the system om man are part of the synagogogue of satan. The one and only church of the real Jesus Christ is a Spiritual entity and no carnal man are part of it.

        If they were of God there could be NO homosexuals in their false clergy as all of the above have many of.

      • Lou Tenant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lou Tenant 

        5 weeks ago from Somewhere in America

        Hi Charlie, thanks for commenting. Remember, a Christophany is a *preincarnate* appearance of Jesus. Because Jesus is God, and God has always existed, Jesus has also always existed.

        This verse should clear it up:

        John 8:58- “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

        Of course, Jesus was not called “Jesus” until His birth. So technically, yes, “Jesus” was not in the OT. But the Son has always existed.

      • celafoe profile image

        charlie 

        5 weeks ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

        more unscriptural catholic drivel. Jesus was not, until He was born of Mary. He was a man and the only way a man can enter this world is through the womb of a woman.

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