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    CHRIST BEFORE THE FIRST ADVENT

    Before he was made flesh and dwelt among us, Jesus Christ was manifested upon the earth. One instance is recorded in Exodus 3:2-4: “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.”CAS 5.2

    Two or three scriptures read in this connection will show that the one who appeared in that burning bush was Jesus Christ. The first scripture is in Acts 7:35: “This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.” Who was it that from first to last was with the children of Israel as their guide, their strength, their helper? “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them [or, margin, “went with them”] and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4. In the ninth verse of this same chapter: “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.” Then who was it by whose hand the Lord delivered the children of Israel?-It was our Lord Jesus Christ. Then it was Jesus Christ in his divinity who appeared to Moses in the burning bush. The fire was simply a manifestation of his glory: “And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.” Exodus 24:17. So when Jesus Christ was manifested in his divinity at the burning bush, he was manifested in flaming fire.CAS 6.1

    Again, Christ was manifested at Mount Sinai. The record of this is in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the book of Exodus, and is very familiar: “And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire.” Jesus Christ in his divinity came down on Mount Sinai, and by his voice the ten commandments were proclaimed anew to the people. This statement is susceptible of the clearest proof: “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the Mount Sina, and with our fathers.” Acts 7:37, 38.CAS 6.2

    In Isaiah, the sixty-third chapter and the ninth verse, we have these words: “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them.” Read in connection with that Exodus 23:20, 21: “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, ... for my name is in him.” Put this with Jeremiah 23:6: “And this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” These texts of Scripture brought together show of themselves, without any particular interpretation or explanation, that the Angel of God’s presence who went with them, who spoke to Moses in Sinai, was our Lord Jesus Christ, and when God spoke “all these words,” it was the voice of Christ that was heard.CAS 6.3

    After the death of Moses, Joshua was appointed to lead the children of Israel. They have crossed over Jordan, and Jericho, the walled city, is before them. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” Joshua 5:13, 14. The Captain of the host of the Lord was the one who appeared to Joshua, and who is this? “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Revelation 19:11-14. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:1-14. Who was it that led the armies of heaven, the Captain of the Lord’s host?-It was he whose name is called The Word of God, that is, it was Jesus Christ.CAS 7.1

    Since the entrance of sin into the world, God has never manifested himself to this world in his own person, but always in the person of his Son. This was a part of the plan of salvation. Christ “emptied himself” that the Father might appear, and so “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God to the world. All that we know of God we learn of him in Jesus Christ. Christ is spoken of as the Word of God; that is, he is the expression to the world of the thought of God.CAS 7.2

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