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Doctrine of Christophanies/Theophanies of Jesus Christ

February 4, 2016

DOCTRINE OF THE APPEARANCES OF JESUS CHRIST

A. Jesus Christ is God and as God is divine essence; He is the only revealed member of the Trinity.

B. The “angel of Jehovah” is the Lord Jesus Christ.

C. The “angel of the Lord” or JHWH is a theophany, an appearance of Jesus Christ prior to the First Advent. A Christophany is an appearance of Christ after the First Advent.

D. There are four categories of the appearances of Jesus Christ.
1. Theophanies.
2. The incarnation, Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union for thirty-three years on earth.
3. Christophany, an appearance in resurrection body.
4. The Second Advent.

E. The first appearances of Christ as theophanies all occurred in the Old Testament. There are three categories.
1. Christ appears as a man.
2. Christ appears as a phenomenon of nature.
3. Christ appears as the “angel of JHWH.”

F. Theophanies of Christ as a man.
1. Gen 18, He was entertained by Abraham.
2. Gen 32:2432, as a wrestler.
3. Ex 24:911, to the elders of Israel.

G. Theophanies of Christ as a phenomenon of nature.
1. Cloud, Ex 40:38.
2. Pillar of the cloud, Ex 33:923.
3. Burning bush, Ex 3:2; Acts 7:30.
4. As the Shekinah Glory in the Holy of Holies, Ex 25:22 cf Lev 16:2, 13.

H. Theophanies of Christ as the “angel of Jehovah.”
1. Gen 16:713, the angel of JHWH is called God, cf also Gen 22:1118, 31:1113, 48:1516; Ex 3:1 cf Acts 7:3035, Ex 13:21, 14:19; Jud 6:1123, 13:920.
2. The angel of JHWH is distinguished from JHWH in Gen 24:7, 40; Ex 23:20, 32:34; 1 Chr 21:1518; Isa 63:9; Zech 1:1213; Num 20:16.
3. Jesus Christ is the only visible God, Jn 1:18, 6:46; 1 Tim 6:16; 1 Jn 4:12.
4. After the incarnation, the angel of JHWH no longer appears.
5. The angel of Jehovah:
a. Warned Balaam Num 22:22-35.
b. Warned and judged the judges of Israel, Jud 2:14.
c. Judged David’s sin in numbering the people, 2 Sam 24:1417; 1 Chr 21:1130.
d. Killed 185,000 Assyrians, 2 Kg 19:35; Isa 37:36.
e. Provided for Elijah, 1 Kg 19:57.
f. Protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, Dan 3:28, 6:22.
g. Was the revealer of doctrine to Zechariah, Zech 1:9.

I. The Lord Jesus Christ made certain appearances in His resurrection body after the resurrection and before the Second Advent, called Christophanies. He so appeared to:
1. Mary Magdalene, Mk 16:911; Jn 20:1116.
2. Other women, Mt 28:910.
3. Peter, Lk 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5 on Sunday afternoon.
4. Two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Mk 16:1213; Lk 24:1335.
5. The disciples, Lk 24:3643; Mk 16:14; Jn 20:1923.
6. Eleven disciples, Jn 20:2629.
7. Seven disciples, Jn 21:123; Mt 26:32.
8. Five-hundred believers at once, 1 Cor 15:6.
9. James, the Lord’s half brother, 1 Cor 15:7. James was not a believer before the resurrection, Jn 7:5. He became a believer as a result of Jesus Christ appearing to him in a resurrection body, Acts 1:14; Gal 1:19.
10. Eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee, Mt 28:1620; Mk 16:1518.
11. At the ascension, Lk 24:4453; Acts 1:39.

J. There are six Christophanies during the pre-Canon period of the Church Age.
1. After His ascension to Stephen, Acts 7:5556.
2. Paul on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:36, 22:611, 26:1318.
3. Paul in Arabia, Gal 1:12, 17.
4. Paul in the temple, Acts, 22:1721.
5. Paul in prison, Acts 23:11.
6. John on the island of Patmos, Rev 1:1220.

See also the doctrine of Theophanies.