2. The Messenger of His Face

In the next four sections we will look at the Bible’s explanation of the Spirit of Christ in the Old Testament.

Isaiah described the Spirit of Christ as the Messenger of His Face, which Paul called “the Image of the invisible God.”

The apostle John called Christ “the Word.” And Peter told us the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets.

In the Book of Numbers, God took of the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy elders (Numbers 11:25). The Neofiti Targum and the Jerusalem Fragments call it “the Holy Spirit.”

The expression “holy spirit” appears only three times in the Old Testament, and all instances describe Christ.

In Isaiah, we read, “The Angel of His Presence saved them … but they grieved … His Holy Spirit, so He turned against them and became their enemy … [W]here is He who brought them out of the sea? … [W]here is He who put His Holy Spirit within them?” (Isaiah 63:9-11)

The Hebrew word translated as “presence” is “panaw” (פניו). It has no meaning other than “face.” Isaiah described Christ as the “Messenger of His Face”—that is, “the Image of the Invisible God.” Christ was the face of God from Genesis 4:14 to Revelation 22:4.

The Targum translates Isaiah 63:10–11 as “They rebelled against the Word of His prophets; therefore, His Word turned out to be an enemy … [W]here is He who made the Word of His holy prophets dwell among them?”

It was likely due to Isaiah’s description of the Holy Spirit and the sea that Paul said, “All were baptized by Moses in the sea, and all drank the same spiritual drink from the rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:2-4).

In Psalms 51, David said, “Cast me not away from Your Face, O Lord, take not your holy spirit from me” (Psalms 51:1). Here, again, Christ is the Face of God.