Do you remember the moment in your childhood when you realized your parents were once children too? You had never thought of them having a life before you until that moment. Your thoughts of their existence began with you, never realizing until that moment they had a life before you came along.
That is how many think of the Lord Jesus
They only know His life from the gospels. But Christ lived before He became a baby in Bethlehem, and was intimately involved in the lives of men and women down through the centuries. It is an eye opening and wondrous thing to consider Christ’s life before being conceived in Mary’s womb as Jesus.
Genesis 1:26: “God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” The Hebrew word for ‘God’ is Elohim. ‘El’ is God and ‘im’ means plural. Literally, “Gods said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
This is the first insight into Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Genesis 2 opens with a summary of creation, then turns to specifics in v7: “And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground…”
We see “Lord God” coming out of Elohim to actually create man, and setting him up in the Garden of Eden. It isn’t the Elohim, but the Lord God – Jehovah Elohim – Who came out among the Elohim to be revealed as the Lord God, or in Hebrew: Yahweh Elohim. (Jehovah/Yahweh is Latin/Hebrew)
The King James Version translates this as ‘Lord God’ (Jehovah Elohim).
It is this ‘Lord God’ (Jehovah Elohim) who came out from the Elohim who formed man’s body, breathing into it causing the molecules to change from clay and dust to flesh and blood.
Genesis 2 through 4 is very specific, telling us this same Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) caused the animals to pass by Adam to see what he would name them. Who caused a surgical level sleep to fall on Adam so He could take of his body to form Eve.
It was this Jehovah Elohim (Lord God) who walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden, confronting them after they had sinned. We are told in Genesis 3: 21 it was the Lord God/Jehovah Elohim who made coats of skins as the first animal sacrifice to cover sin, that became their clothes.
It was this Jehovah Elohim who confronted Cain when the thought of murdering his brother came into his mind, and the one who dealt with him after he refused Jehovah Elohim’s efforts to stop him after the murder.
This same Jehovah Elohim appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Centuries later this same Jehovah Elohim appears to Moses at the burning bush, in Exodus 3: 14 identifying Himself as “I AM”, the ever-present one. In v15 when Moses ask for His name He tells him He is the ‘Lord God’ (Jehovah Elohim).
The Lord God, the I AM, in the flesh
In John 8: 58 Jesus answered the religious leaders when He claimed to have known Abraham: “Truly, truly I tell you. Before Abraham was: I AM.”
At that moment those leaders put it all together – this man standing before them claimed to be the One in the Garden of Eden, the One who appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One who appeared to Moses – and rather than repent on their knees, they picked up stones to kill Him. Christ had a life in ancient history, even pre-history before He became baby Jesus. Standing before them was the Jehovah Elohim in the flesh.
Samuel changed everything
Samuel is the first of Israel’s prophets to the kings. Israel came into being as a nation coming out of the Sea when leaving Egypt. When Moses and later Joshua died, they spent about 300 years being led by various Judges – no king, no legislative body, just Judges. You now some of them: Gideon, Deborah, Samson, and the last one: Samuel.
When Samuel was a boy the Lord God appeared to him. Not understanding it was the Lord calling to him, the boy had to be told by Eli the High Priest who it was. I Samuel 3: 10 says: “And the Lord (Jehovah) came and stood as He had the previous times, and called to him…”
The chapter ends in v21 with this statement, which changed how the Lord would for the rest of the Old Testament, be known: “The Lord appeared again to Samuel at Shiloh, and the Lord (Jehovah) revealed Himself to Samuel (as) the Word of the Lord.”
From this point on, the I AM, the Jehovah Elohim, would be revealed as the Word of the Lord, or, the Word of God. When you read the prophets of the Old Testament, whose works span centuries, you will find in most that “the Word of the Lord” they received, came through a visitation of the Lord – Christ – I AM, Jehovah Elohim.
Jeremiah 1: 2: “The Word of the Lord came to me…” and called him to be a prophet. He objected, saying he is but a child (Hebrew word used for ‘child’ indicates a teen about 13 years old). Then Jeremiah says in v9: “Then He put out His hand and touched my lips…”
Here we see just one example of the Word of the Lord coming as a vision – visitation by Christ, to this OT prophet. (My series, “I AM; Who Jesus is and Where He Came From” goes into more detail on OT appearances by Christ.)
From Isaiah and Ezekiel, to Jeremiah and Hosea
They saw the Word of the Lord, guiding Israel and mankind through the centuries. David knew Him. In Psalm 110:1 he writes: “The Lord (Father) said to my Lord (Christ), be seated until I make your enemies your footstool.”
Peter tells us David saw the resurrection of Jesus by the Holy Spirit, as per Acts 2: 25-31: “…he (David) seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ…”
After centuries and centuries of the Lord God revealing Himself as the Word of the Lord to mankind from Adam to David to the OT prophets, the apostle John opens his gospel with these awe inspiring words: “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and was God…And the Word became flesh and lived among us.”
What an amazing thing
This Word of the Lord, this Jehovah Elohim who sculpted Adam’s body and breathed into it (Holy Spirit was the breath of God), the One who appeared to Abraham and Moses, to Isaiah and Jeremiah – became permanently, a human being!
The relationship between Father and Son changed when the Word of the Father took upon Himself flesh, but even more so when this Word of the Father suffered death. And yet again at His resurrection. The Word of the Father now a human being raised from death – the Man who is God – living forever in a state of ‘is risen’.
This is Christ in you – the One who spoke to Moses, who appeared to Abraham and the prophets – Christ in you. Now doesn’t that end all argument against you being weak? Doesn’t it end all argument if you ‘feel’ you lost your salvation (though a believer) because you did this or that? Doesn’t knowing his end all self-image issues? Doesn’t it end all formulas by which to approach God? No wonder we are told ‘come boldly to the throne to receive mercy and grace! No formula needed – come right to the Father!
We cannot earn that love, we cannot improve upon it. As Romans 8:32 says, the Father who used His Son to create all things, then gave us His Son. Having given us His Son we have therefore, received all things!
Christ in you – amazing grace, you and I are forever living in the power of the is risen. “That you may know the hope of the invitation extended to you, to know the exceeding greatness of His (Father’s) mighty power which He used to raise Jesus from the dead, which power now works in you…” Ephesians 1: 17-23. Period, paragraph, over and out. Amazing grace.
New subject next week, until then, blessings,