No one denies that Jesus Christ lived on the earth about 2000 years ago. This is an established fact. However, what is not accepted by all is that Jesus existed even before He lived on the earth as a human being. Yet, the Bible is full of proof that Jesus did exist before He appeared on the earth as Jesus. In fact, it is His pre-existence that proves who Jesus really is.
Jesus Is Eternal
Throughout the Bible, it is declared that Jesus existed before He became the earthly child of Mary. The best passages are found in the Gospel of John. John 1:1-2 (NIV): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” You must remember that Jesus is accepted by all scholars as being the “Word of God.”
Again in John 1:14 (NKJV) it says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Not only did Jesus exist before He became the little baby born inBethlehem, He was the one through which Jehovah created the universe. John 1:3 (NIV): “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
Even Jesus taught that He existed in heaven before He was born on the earth. Not only that, but He taught that the Father sent Him to do His (the Father’s) will. Remember what Jesus said in John 6:38 (NIV)? “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”
Jesus Appeared Several Times In the Old Testament
We need to remember a very important truth proclaimed in the Bible. John 1:18 (NKJV) says: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” Think about what this says. No one, throughout all history has ever seen God. Yet, God appeared to several people in the Old Testament. What does this mean?
John 1:18 explains it. Whenever God appeared in the Old Testament, it was Jesus, the only begotten Son of Jehovah that appeared to these people. The only way that God ever reveals Himself is in the form of Jesus. It is Jesus, throughout history that appeared to people. Look at some of these appearances.
Jesus Appeared To Abraham
Genesis 18 tells us the story of three men who appeared to Abraham to tell him about the coming destruction ofSodomandGomorrah. Most people have assumed these to be three angels. Yet, look closely at the story. Genesis 18:1 (NIV): “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.”
The word translated “Lord” is the Hebrew word “Jehovah.” The story begins with the statement that one of these three “men” is “Jehovah” Himself. Since, “the Father” has never appeared to any human being, the only explanation is that this is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus.
Jacob Wrestled With Jesus
In Genesis 32:24-32 is a very interesting story. Here we find Jacob wrestling with a man all night. Who is this man? The passage does not tell us directly, but Jacob records that he recognized who this man was.
Jacob told this man that he would not let him go until he blessed him. The man asked him what his name was and Jacob told him. The man then said in Genesis 32:28 (NIV): “Your name will no longer be Jacob, butIsrael, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” This passage directly says that it was God that Jacob wrestled with all night.
The interesting part of the story is that Jacob recognized who he was wrestling with. He tells us in Genesis 32:30 (NIV): “So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
Since no one has ever seen the Father, we know that this was another pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus.
Jesus Was In The Fiery Furnace
Daniel 3 tells us the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They had defied a decree that king Nebuchadnezzar had made by continuing to worship God instead of Nebuchadnezzar. He was so furious with them that he had them tied up and thrown into a fiery furnace to be burned to death.
The fire was so hot that it killed the soldiers that threw them into the furnace. Yet, we are told that when Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace that he saw four men walking around in there. Daniel 3:25 (NKJV): “’Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’”
What happened? Jesus came and saved the three Hebrews.
Jesus Appeared To Hagar
When Hagar became pregnant with Ishmael, Sarah became jealous and made Abraham cast her out of the camp in to the desert. There Genesis 16:7 (NIV) says: “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.” Was this an angel? No! Look at what Genesis 16:10 (NIV) says: “The angel added, ‘I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.’”
Does an angel have this power? No! Only God has this power. And since no one has ever seen the Father, this could have only been Jesus, the Son of God. As usual throughout the Old Testament, God appears in the form of Jesus.
What Does This Mean?
There are many more stories in the Old Testament of God appearing to human beings. However, since God, the Father, has never been seen, this can only means that this was Jesus appearing to these people.