Who appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre in Genesis 18?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" teaches that Jesus did not pre-exist. However, does Genesis 18 teach that Jesus pre-existed?
When we read Genesis 18, we see that the man who appeared to Abraham must be Jesus.
A man appeared to Abraham.
While Abraham was by the oaks of Mamre, he was visited by three men.
Genesis 18:2 (ESV) - 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth
Abraham spoke to one as foremost of the group, calling him "Lord".
Genesis 18:3 (ESV) - 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.
The man was called God when he spoke.
Genesis 18:10 (ESV) - 10 The LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
The Hebrew word for "LORD" is "YHVH", the divine name of God. This man who brought a message to Abraham was called God.
The man was called God when he left.
We cannot say that the messenger was a mere man who spoke God's words, because the divine name was even used of him, referring to his physical presence.
Genesis 18:22 (ESV) - 22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.
The man speaks of God as a distinct person.
Not only is the man called God, but he also refers to God as a distinct person.
Genesis 18:19 (ESV) - 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
Clearly, the one who chose Abraham is God. However, he speaks of choosing him so that God (a distinct person) may bless Abraham.
This man was Jesus.
Who is the one who took on the form of man, is God, and yet distinct from the Father? It is Jesus! Jesus took on the appearance of a man even before his incarnation to appear to Abraham.
This messenger cannot be the Father, because he appeared as a man. This messenger cannot be a mere man who is not God, because he is called God. This messenger must be Jesus!
The INC foolishly denies the pre-existence of Christ and his deity. If he did not pre-exist and if he is not God, then we would have no way of explaining the man who appeared to Abraham, who is also called God.
The INC should repent of their false doctrine and believe in the true gospel.