The Bible teaches that Christ became flesh at His First Coming. Yet you say that Christ already appeared as a human being in Old Testament times. Did He already become flesh on those occasions? Was He still flesh–or did He change to flesh–after His resurrection?


John 1:1 tells us that the “Word” was God. The “Word” is a reference
to Jesus Christ (compare Revelation 19:13; 1 John 1:1-3). John 1:14
tells us that Jesus Christ, the “Word,” “became flesh and dwelt among
us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
existed as a God being long before the events took place, which are
described in John 1:14–that is, long before He “became flesh.”
Philippians 2:5-11 tells us that Christ, who was “in the form of God,”
took “the form of a bond servant” and came “in the likeness of men.”
Hebrews 2:14 confirms that Jesus partook of flesh and blood, so that He
could die. As long as He was an immortal Spirit being, He could not die.

are told that God the Father made everything through Jesus Christ
(Hebrews 2:10; Colossians 1:15-17). We also read that no one has ever
seen God at any time (John 1:18). Christ elaborated to explain that no
one has ever seen the form of the FATHER at any time, nor has anyone
ever heard His voice (John 5:37; 6:46). And yet, we read that some of
the ancients in the Old Testament saw the very form of God, and they
heard His voice (Numbers 12:8; Deuteronomy 5:4). This means, they saw
and heard Jesus Christ, but not God the Father (compare 1 Corinthians
10:1-4, 8-9).

We read that God, in the Person of Jesus Christ,
together with two angels, appeared to Abraham, and they ate and spoke
with him (Genesis 18:1-15). Christ and His angels appeared as men
(verse 2). But this does not mean that they actually WERE men–that is,
flesh and blood human beings. They just manifested themselves AS human
beings. If the two angels had BECOME human beings at the time of
Abraham, they could have died–but God’s Word tells us that His angels
CANNOT die (Luke 20:34-36). If Christ had become a flesh and blood
human being at the time of Abraham, He could have died at that time,
too. But this would have been impossible. He had to become a human
being, at the time of the New Testament, to be able to die.

same is true when reviewing Christ’s manifestations AFTER His death and
resurrection. He was resurrected as a Spirit being–an immortal eternal
God being. As such, He cannot die anymore (Hebrews 9:27-28; 1 Timothy
1:17; Revelation 1:18). What, then, happened when He appeared to His
disciples after His resurrection, claiming that He had “flesh and
bone”? Had He BECOME a human being again? Hardly, as He was able to
appear and disappear at pleasure, and to go through closed doors (Luke
24:31; John 20:19-20). No human being, composed of flesh and blood,
could have done this.

Let us notice what exactly occurred when
Christ appeared to His disciples “in human form.” We explain this in
our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World”, when
discussing the powers of Satan and his demons. The context is the
inability of demons to manifest or materialize themselves–this power
is only reserved for God and His holy angels. To quote from our booklet:

appears from Scripture that demons cannot materialize themselves the
way that angels can. Demons cannot appear as men. They can, however,
create an illusion, or an apparition that might look very real to
people. Examples of those illusions would include the appearance of
‘ghosts,’ or of a ‘lady,’ claiming to be ‘Mother Mary.'”We find the following interesting record in Mark 6:47–50: ‘Now when
evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone
on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was
against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them,
walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw
Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost [Authorized
Version: a spirit], and cried out; for they all saw Him and were
troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of
good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”‘ The disciples thought they saw
a ghost or a spirit, that is, a demon. The Greek word for ‘ghost’ is
‘phantasma,’ which has the meaning of ‘phantasm’ or ‘apparition.’

Luke 24:36–42 we find another passage that sheds some light on the
inability of demons to materialize themselves. We read: ‘Now as they
said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said
to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and
supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you
troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and
My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not
have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He
showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not
believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food
here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.
And He took it and ate in their presence.’

“Christ manifested
Himself to the disciples as a being with flesh and bones. He even ate
food in their presence to convince the disciples that it was He, not a
spirit or a demon. The Greek word for ‘spirit’ is ‘pneuma’ and can
refer to demons (compare Matthew 8:16; 10:1; 12:43, 45; Luke 4:33, 36;
6:18; 7:21, etc.). We understand, of course, that Christ is not a being
with flesh and bones. Rather, at His resurrection He received a
spiritual body and became a life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:44–45,
50). He was able to manifest Himself, however, as a person with flesh
and bones. We saw earlier that angels can manifest themselves as human
beings as well. Demons cannot. Christ used this opportunity to show His
disciples that He was not a spirit or a demon, because demons cannot
manifest themselves as human beings with flesh and bones.

read in Job 4:12–16 about Eliphaz’ encounter with a spirit: ‘Now a word
was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. In
disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep
falls on men. Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones
shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair on my body stood
up. It stood still, But I could not discern its appearance. A form was
before my eyes; There was silence; then I heard a voice…’ Eliphaz saw
some kind of a form before his eyes but he could not discern the
appearance of the spirit. This indicates that it was a demon, as the
Bible does not show that God’s angels appear to man in such a way. It
was something like an apparition—a phantasm. It was what the disciples
thought they saw, too, when Jesus was walking on the water.

encounter with a demon is recorded for us in 1 Samuel 28… King Saul
consulted a witch to find out his future. During a séance, the witch
‘saw’ a demon, who pretended to be the dead Samuel. Saul could not see
the demon. The demon spoke through the witch to Saul. We note again
that the demon did not materialize himself as a being with flesh and
bones. Rather, it was an illusion.”

To summarize, Jesus became
ONLY ONCE a flesh-and-blood human being, living on earth as a man for
33 1/2 years. To accomplish this unique purpose of BECOMING human, God
the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, impregnated the
virgin Mary, so that she conceived and brought forth a child, whose
name was to be Jesus (Luke 1:26-35). Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
NEVER was a human being BEFORE this miraculous event, and He NEVER
again BECAME a human being AFTER His death and resurrection. However,
He did manifest Himself AS a human being in Old Testament times, as
well as after His resurrection. But these were just human
manifestations of the immortal and invisible God Being, Jesus Christ. He
decisively did not BECOME a human being during those manifestations.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

©2023 Church of the Eternal God