After His Incarnation
by Pierre Bittar
During His incarnation, Jesus Christ was named “Lord” by His disciples and by those who believed in Him. He was also named God by His apostle Thomas as written in John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God”.
When John wrote his Gospel, he named Jesus “The Word” which also means God. This is written in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Jesus Himself said that He was God. When He was tempted by the devil, he told the devil in Matthew 4:7 “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Jesus has always said that He and the Father are one, John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.”
700 years before Jesus was incarnated, the prophet Isaiah named Him God. See Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born...And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
From the above, we have all the evidence that Jesus Christ was the incarnated God. But what was He before His incarnation? The following will enlighten us.
God is invisible and He revealed Himself to His angels in heaven and to us on earth through our Lord Jesus Christ. The following verses confirm the above:
God Is Invisible:
Exodus 33:20 The Lord said to Moses “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
God revealed Himself to us on earth through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 40:1,3,5 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. The voice of one crying in the wilderness; “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God....
John 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.
God revealed Himself to His angels in heaven also through Christ.
As listed above in John 1:18, when Jesus said “No one has seen God”, He meant neither humans nor angels, otherwise He would have said “No man has seen God”. Christ who is in the bosom of God reveals the invisible God to all creatures in heaven and earth, angels and human. This is confirmed by Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Because God is invisible and Jesus Christ is His only revelation and also, because Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth, we can conclude that all God’s appearances in the human form mentioned in the old Testament were performed by the pre-incarnated Christ.
When we analyze the old Testament verses, we notice that God has made Himself known to His people in three different ways.
His voice only. Meaning that He was heard but not seen as in the following verses:
Genesis 3:9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
Genesis 4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
Genesis 8:15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying,...
He appears but in a strange form like fire,smoke or cloud. Here are some verses:
Isaiah 19:1 Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud.
Ezekiel 8:2 Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire - from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber.
Psalms 18:8 Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth.
When He appears in human form and converses with His people, He cannot be the invisible God. He must be Christ who came from God’s bosom to reveal Him. In the following verses the “word of God (Christ)” appeared to Abraham:
Genesis 15:4,5 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir, Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
In the following verses, the “Angel of God (Christ)” appeared to Hagar:
Genesis 16:7,8,13 Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, “Hagar, Sarah’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going? Then she (Hagar) called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-are-God-Who-sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”
In the above verses, the “Angel of the Lord” was Christ because Hagar called Him God. Therefore He cannot be a created angel.
To conclude, we can say with certitude, that Christ was and is from eternity the visible God in heaven. He was incarnated and became human and dwelt among us. He was and will always be the revelation of the invisible God. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is the revelation of God in the Spirit, He is always with us to guide, inspire and help us understanding the Word of God. All this can be summarized in the following verse:
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
Many expressions of the past are still in the bible. When read today, they have different meaning which could also be misleading. For example the expression “right hand” was used to indicate “Power”. Let’s select some verses from the bible where “right hand” was applied and replace it with “power”. The result will be very convincing.
Exodus 15:6 “...Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy.”
Job 40:14 “Then I will also confess to you that your own right hand can save you.”
Psalm 78:54“And so he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken.”
Isaiah 63:12 “who sent his glorious arm of power to be at Moses’ right hand, who divided the waters before them, to gain for himself everlasting renown,”
Act 5:31: “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.;
1 Peter 3:22 “who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
If we literally interpret what Peter wrote above, we will think that Jesus is physically sitting or standing at the right hand of God which does not make any sense. First God is invisible [see above Exodus 33:20 and John 1:18] so being physically on His left or right does not make any difference. Second, Jesus has already received “All authority in heaven”[see Matthew 28:18 listed above.] Therefore the above Peter’s verse will have much more sense when interpreted as follows: Who has gone into heaven and is at the “Power” of God.
Like any human being, when a male is born, he automatically becomes a son and has a father. When Jesus was incarnated in the flesh, He became a Son and, as we know, being begotten from the bosom of God, He became the Son of God and God became God the father. This was true during His incarnation and is rightfully repeated many times in the New Testament. But He was not the Son of God Before His incarnation. This can easily be proved because, in the whole Old Testament, their is not any single time that”the Son of God” is mentioned. Furthermore, the name of “God the Father” was correctly justified in the New Testament, but it does not exist in the Old Testament neither. And finally after Christ’s ascension to heaven, He is the only revelation of the invisible God and He is the only God known in Heaven.