Many Christians imagine that Jesus Christ went up and came down to this world many times, as Jehovah, who came down to the Garden of Eden: “They heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God among the trees of the garden” (Gen.3:8).
When Abraham was ninety-nine years old Jehovah came down for the second time and appeared to the patriarch, saying: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty. Walk before me, and be blameless’” (Gen.17:1). At the time of this apparition he established the alliance of the circumcision (Gen.17:10).
The third time Jehovah comes down to earth he comes in the company of two more angels. These two manifestations of Jehovah happened 2,146 years after Jehovah appeared to Adam. We understand that Jehovah came down and manifested himself to Noah 1,756 years after Adam, at the time of the flood, for it is written that Jehovah closed the ark on the outside (Gen.7:16). And Noah was six hundred years old (Gen.7:11). But let us return to Abraham:
The reason for this apparition was to set the date of the birth of the promised son. Sarah was barren, and Jehovah had been promising a miracle for twenty-four years. In this occasion, in which Jehovah and two more angels had supper with Abraham, Sarah prepared cakes and a tender calf roasted and basted with butter and milk, and Jehovah set the date of the awaited birth of Isaac. Sarah, unbelieving because of the long waiting, scoffed at Jehovah (Gen.18:1-12). We should be reminded that Abraham had also lost hope and laughed (Gen.17:15-17). In Gen.21:1-8 the miraculous birth took place, for Abraham lay with his wife (Heb.11:11). After Abraham died Jehovah personally manifested himself to Isaac (Gen.26:1-5). He appeared again to Isaac (Gen.26:24). The very Jehovah declares that he personally appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex.6:3).
Another great man to whom Jehovah personally manifested himself was Moses, the anointed of Jehovah to deliver Israel from the yoke of Pharaoh, in Egypt. It happened like this: “Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb. The angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Moses said, ‘I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’ When Jehovah saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, ‘Moses! Moses!’ He said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Don’t come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.’ Moreover he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God” (Ex.3:1-6). And Jehovah began to treat Moses so intimately, that at a time when Miriam and Aaron rose against Moses, Jehovah intervened and said: “Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house. With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see Jehovah’s form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses? (Num.12:6-8). It is strange that Jehovah, who considered Moses so highly, would condemn him to death just because he stroke the rock two times (Num.20:11-12). But this is not the most difficult problem. The serious problem for a god is to overlook David’s seduction and adultery, followed by crime and homicide against Uriah, in order to marry the adulterous woman: crimes referred to in the law. The adulterers will be put to death (Lev.20:10), and whoever kills a man will die (Lev. 24:17). And Jehovah thus refers to the crimes of David, for whom he broke his own law, destroying it: “Nevertheless for David’s sake did Jehovah his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem; because David did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and didn’t turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kings 15:4-5). Jehovah did not even mention the shameful adultery of a man who had six wives and ten concubines (2 Sam. 20:3).
Jehovah manifested himself to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others. Let us notice now, through the word of God, how many times Jesus Christ manifested himself to men. It is Paul, the greatest of the apostles, who says: “For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles, if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you; how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words, by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit” (Eph.3:1-5). This mystery had been hidden in God in the past centuries. Not even the angels of heaven had any knowledge of the mystery of Christ (Eph.3:9-10; Col.1:26-27). If Christ had been manifested in the Old Testament in some way, the angels would know. Let us look at when Christ was manifested:
“For Christ hasn’t entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place year by year with blood not his own, or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb.9:24-26). And when was this only time in which Christ was manifested? The same Paul answers: “Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and received up in glory” (1 Tim.3:16).
This is what confessing that Christ came in flesh is (1 John 4:2,3,6).
And Jehovah manifested himself dozens or hundreds of times, and Jesus was manifested one single time: It becomes obvious that Jesus is not Jehovah and the work of Jehovah is not the same as the work of Christ.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira