Jesus Christ was not manifested in the Old Testament. Paul explains it: The Old Testament is the dispensation of the law, and the New Testament is the dispensation of grace. The Bible text says: “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; that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News” (Eph. 3:2-6).
The manifestation of Christ is the manifestation of the grace of God. Paul says again: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). At another time, Paul said: “the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:26-27).
Since grace is an ordinance of God to the Gentiles in the New Testament, and Jehovah rejected the Gentiles in the Old Testament as unclean and uncircumcised (Ps. 10:16), Jesus Christ was not manifested in the Old Testament. And Christ was manifested only in the flesh. Paul said: “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). And the apostle John says: “The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
The angels saw Christ only after he had been incarnated. Men also saw Christ only after the incarnation. It is proven that Christ was never manifested before the incarnation. That was the mystery that was hidden from everyone throughout all the centuries.
Let us consider now the reason why Jesus Christ was manifested:
- In the first place Jesus was manifested in the flesh to reveal the grace of God: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). Prior to Christ, ‘salvation’ was for the Jews only.
- “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). This text shows clearly that the works of the devil were not destroyed. In other words, the devil, which is also Satan, did whatever he pleased, and Jehovah pretended not to see. Satan and Jehovah were so intimate that, when David numbered the people of Israel, in 2 Sam. 24:1 we read that Jehovah incited David, and in 1 Chr. 21:1 we read that Satan incited him. Jehovah, who declares to have produced the Old Testament while his spirit put the texts together (Is. 34:16), approves of what is written. In other words, what Jehovah does, Satan equally does, and what Satan does, Jehovah equally does. Another fact that proves this is: Jehovah and Satan agreed to debilitate Job (Job 23:16) and to oppress him (Job 10:2-3).
- Is then proven that Jehovah did not undo the works of Satan in the Old Testament; therefore Jesus was not there, and also Jehovah is not Jesus, as those who do not read the Bible say.
- Jesus was manifested to abolish death. Paul says: “Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News” (2 Tim. 1:8-10). As all were dead, Christ was not there (Rom. 5:17).
- Christ was manifested to reveal the love of God: “By this God’s love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). “Who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake” (1 Pet. 1:20). Wherever there is love, there is no wrath. Paul says that, “Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).
- Jesus manifested the name of God. He said: “I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word” (John 17:6). And Jesus said more: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him” (Luke 10:22). It is obvious that it was not Jehovah, or Yahweh, who revealed his name to Moses in Ex. 3:15 and 15:3. He said to Isaiah: “I am Jehovah. That is my name” (Is. 42:8). “Our Redeemer, Jehovah of Armies is his name” (Is. 47:4). “For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; Jehovah of Armies is his name” (Is. 48:2). Everyone knew the name of Jehovah. Even the harlot Rahab knew it (Ps. 87:4).
If Jesus said that no one knows who the Father is and reveals to men the name of the Father, Jehovah was not the name of the Father.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira