Finally, Christ is God because He appeared on earth prior to His incarnation. These preincarnate appearances of Christ are called theophanies. A theophany can only be a preincarnate appearance of Christ as no one has ever seen the Father or the Holy Spirit. The Father and Holy Spirit are revealed through the Son, the Second Person of the Godhead.
- No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. - John 1:18
Many times, Jesus appeared as the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament.
- Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, - Judges 6:11
Not all angelic appearances in the Old Testament are the Son of God. However, when the term angel is used in the phrase angel of the Lord it is a specific title applied to the Second Person of the Godhead appearing in a preincarnate form. The appearance of Lord is the English translator’s means of translating the Hebrews name YHWH.
The term angel means messenger. Hence, the angel of the Lord means messenger of YHWH. A messenger is one who delivers the king’s word. After Christ came in the flesh (i.e., the incarnation) there is no mention of the angel of the Lord. That Christ was existing prior to His incarnation, indicates that He is God.