Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"Anthropomorphism" is a very large word that means something, or someone taking on the appearance of a human being. "Anthropo-" is from the Greek anthropos meaning man, and "morphism" is from the Greek morphe meaning changing from one form to another. The Bible has several examples of something "morphing" into, or appearing as, something else: angels appeared as men (Gen. 19:1-26); Satan appeared as a serpent (Gen. 3:1-15 / Rev. 12:9; Satan also appears today as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14); the rod of Moses morphed into a serpent (Ex. 7:8-13); etc. In these and other similar examples, the changes occurred for a time determined by God. Once His purpose for allowing the change to take place has been accomplished, the thing changed returned to its original form. In the case of Satan being seen as an angel of light, that too will end (Rev. 20:10).

As I have written in earlier posts, Theophanies (appearances of God in human form) are actually Christophanies (pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ). Since God, the Father, is Spirit having no body, and since no man has ever seen the Father, appearances of the Lord in the Old Testament must have been Christophanies (compare Gen. 32:30 w/ Jn. 4:24; Jn. 1:18; 6:46; 1 Jn. 4:12, 20). Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am" (Jn. 8:58). Since Jesus is the creator of the Universe, He obviously existed prior to His birth as a human in Bethlehem (Jn. 1:1-3, Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). He had shared the Father's glory prior to becoming "the Lamb Who was slain from the foundation of the world," the very world which He created (Jn. 17:5; Rev. 13:8).

There is a danger in viewing the Son of God becoming a human being as an anthropomorphism, however. While all the anthropomorphic changes in the Bible merely appeared differently to man, Jesus did not just appear to change from being God to being man. Jesus, as a man, was still God. And, though He was, and is, and will always be God, He also will remain in the form of a man for eternity (Rev. 1:13). In Romans 14:11, Jesus is pictured as the Judge of mankind with every person bowing at His feet; God has no feet, but the Son of God, being still in the form of a man, will. He did not cease to be God when he took on the form of man. Jesus was still the Creator. He was still the Second Person of the Trinity. He chose to limit Himself and His attributes out of love for His creation. The Father called Jesus His Son while He was a human being (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; 1 Pet. 1:17). God's plan to redeem fallen mankind required someone without sin to die as a substitute for all of us. Had He sinned, He would have had to die for His own sin, but He was the perfect, sinless sacrifice having no sin or blemish (Gen. 22:8; Heb. 4:15; Ex. 12:5; 1 Cor. 5:7).

His sacrifice began when He agreed to create a world for which He would one day die. It will continue eternally as He will remain the resurrected Son of God, seated on the throne of God. Praise the Lord!

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