Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jesus's preexistence


Jesus Christ - His Pre-existence


Now that we’ve established the fact that the Bible is completely reliable. let us consider

what it has to say about Jesus Chri

st. Since we can be absolutely c

onfident that the Bible gives us

an accurate record of the importa

nt events, and teachings, in the

life of Jesus Christ, as well as

the beliefs concerning Him held by the first Ch

ristians, let us see Who this Jesus was:

JESUS, A MAN OF HISTORY

That Jesus lived is evident, not only because

Scripture testifies about Him, but, also, because such historians as Polycarp, Eusebius, Iranaeus, Ignatius, Justian, Origin, and others

of the early Church Fathers, proclaim Him, as well as other

non-Biblical sources such as,

Cornelius Tacitus [A.D. 52-54],

Lucian [2nd century], Flavius Josephus [A.D. 66], Tertullian

{A.D. 197], Thallus, the Samaita

in-born historian [A.D. 52],

Letter of Mara Bar-Serapion

[A.D. 73], Pontius Pilate’s report [A.D. 150, and

The Jewish Talmud. It is interesting to note

that the Encyclopedia Britannica

has 20,000 words describing Jesus.

2.

JESUS, HIS PRE-EXISTENCE

A.

BEFORE HIS CONCEPTION

For any one else but Jesus Christ to

make the assertion that He existed

before

He was

conceived in His mother’s womb would be w

ithout warrant. However, Jesus, in John 6:62,

said to some of His followers, “

What if you see the Son of Ma

n ascend to where He was

before!

" Christ lived in heaven before

He was born on this earth. In Hebrews 10:5 we find

Christ talking immediately before His comi

ng into this world and speaking about the

body

which He was to receive upon that advent. Hebrews 10:5 states, “

Therefore, when Christ

came into the world He said: `Sacrifice and offering You

[Speaking to His Heavenly Father]

did not desire, but a

body

You prepared for me.

" In John 1:15 we read these striking words

from the lips of John the Bap

tist concerning the Christ, “

This was He of whom I said, `He

Who comes after me has surpasse

d Me because He was before me

.” Now John was born

before

Jesus was, and yet he says that Jesus existed

before

he did. Let us trace this existence

through the pages of Holy Writ.

The Apostle John tells us in chapte

r one, verse 18, of his Gospel, “

No one has ever

seen God, but God the only Son, who is at

the Father’s side, has made Him known

.”

According to this verse no pe

rson has ever seen God, but

Christ

has

declared

or made known

to men. In the Old Testament times God on numer

ous occasions appeared to individuals. In

these appearances He took the form of either a

man or an angel. If we accept the teaching of

the above verse [John 1:18] , then we must come

to the conclusion that since no man has ever

seen God the Father, it must ha

ve been Jesus Christ the Son Who took upon Himself the form

of an angel or a man and appeared to Old Test

ament characters. With

this thought in mind let

us make a study of some of these appearances. The New Testament will identify Christ in

some of these appearances for us. The context will make it clear that more than merely an

angel is meant.

[Other Scripture to study on this subj

ect would be John 6:38; and 17:5 & 24.]

B.

AT THE TIME OF JEWISH CAPTIVITY


2

The experience of Daniel’s three friends who refused to worship King

Nebuchadnezzar’s image and were thrown into the fiery furnace is a familiar story. In Daniel

3:25, the king looking into the furnace, says, “

Look! I see

four

men walking around in the

fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth

looks like a son of the god

.” No doubt this is the

accurate translation of what the king actually sa

id, however, the translators of the old version

gave us the true situation when they expressed these words , “

The form of the fourth is like

the Son of God

.” Certainly this fourth Person was none

other than Jesus Christ, the Second

Person in the Trinity! In ve

rse 28 the king calls Him an “

angel.

" He no doubt had that

appearance to those who saw Him.

What a comfort to know that the Lord Jesus Christ made His presence

known to those who were going through trials even in the Old

Testament times!

C.

DURING THE TIME OF THE PROPHETS

The Apostle Peter in his firs

t epistle, chapter one, vers

es 10 and 11, speaks about the

Old Testament prophets, when he states, “

Concerning this salvation, the

prophets

, who spoke

of the grace that was to come to you, searched

intently and with the grea

test care, trying to

find out the time and circumstances to which

the Spirit of Christ in them

was pointing when

He predicted the sufferings of Chri

st and the glories that would follow

.”

The Spirit of Christ

was in them. He existed in those days! It is

true that He made Himself known to them

through His Holy Spirit, but it is more than like

ly that at times He actually appeared unto

them in human or angelic form when He reveal

ed to them the teachings which have become

a part of the Word of God. And, how

appropriate that it should be so!

D.

IN THE DAYS OF KING DAVID

When the Lord Jesus debated with His en

emies we find Him using a quotation from

David concerning the Messiah i

ndicating that He was alive in

those days. Matthew 22:41-46

states, “

While the Pharisees were gat

hered together, Jesus asked them, `What do you think

about the Christ? Whose son is he?’ `The son of

David,’ they replied. He said to them, `How

is it then that David , spea

king by the Spirit, calls Him

`Lord’ For he says…

[Jesus, then,

quotes Psalm 110:1]

…`The Lord said to My Lord: Sit at My right hand until I put your

enemies under Your feet.’”

The question, Jesus asks, was, “

Since David calls Him, `

Lord

,’

how is He his son

?” And, verse 46 goes on to say, ‘

No one could say a word in reply, and

from that day on no one dared to ask Him any more questions

.” Here, under divine

inspiration, David listened to

a conversation carried on between God the Father and Jesus

Christ the Son. He wrote down what They said and has given it to us. We need no further

proof than this, that our Savi

or lived in those days when

the Psalms were being written.

E.

AT THE TIME OF THE JUDGES

In the thirteenth chapter of Judges we

find the story of the appearing of the “

Angel of

Jehovah

" unto the parents of Samson. Verse 3 says, "

The angel of the Lord appeared to her

and said, `You are sterile and childless, but

you are going to conceive and have a son

.” In

verse 6 this angel is called “

A man of God

.” In verse 19 he is referred to as “

The Lord.”

Here

then was a revelation of God in human form, and

as we have already seen, it must have been


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3

through the Person of the Second Pe

rson in the Trinity - the Lord

Jesus Christ. Verse 18 is a

further confirmation of this fact, for we read, “

And the angel of Jehovah said unto him, Why

do you ask my name, seeing it is

wonderful

?” [Reminds us of Isaiah 9:6 where Messiah is

named, “

Wonderful

.”]

A similar appearance was made to Gideon in chapter six. Verse 12 states, “

When the

angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, `The

LORD

is with you, mighty warrior

.’” In

verse 22 Gideon talks to the angel and says to him, “

Ah, Sovereign LORD!

" Deity is most

certainly indicated here. And, as no human bei

ng could have looked into the face of God the

Father, we conclude this was once again the

Lord Jesus Christ come down to earth to

encourage one of the Old Testament saints.

F.

DURING THE LIFETIME OF JOSHUA

Joshua and the Israelites had crossed over

the river Jordan, and the manna, the food

from heaven, had ceased. The tremendous task of conquering this land was before General

Joshua and his army. Just here a fresh revelati

on of God was needed to

encourage Joshua and

it was supplied in the Person of Jesus Christ

. Listen to the story in Joshua 5:13-15, “

Now

when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and

saw a man standing in front of him with a

drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, `Are you for us or for our

enemies?’ `Neither,’ he replied, `but as co

mmander of the army of the LORD I have now

come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence and asked him, `What message

does my Lord have for his servant?’ The comm

ander of the Lord’s ar

my replied, `Take off

your sandals, for the place where you

are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.

" After this

remarkable appearance Joshua never needed to be

afraid for the real captain of his army was

the Second Person in the Trinity, whom we know to

be the Lord Jesus Christ. And He is our

Captain today. May we go forth under His ba

nner to win battles under His leadership!

G.

AT THE TIME OF ISRAEL’S EX

PERIENCES IN THE WILDERNESS

Was Jesus Christ present with the Israelites

in their wanderings through the wilderness as

well as their coming forth out of Egypt? He most cer

tainly was. Paul says so twice in the tenth

chapter of his first letter to th

e Corinthians. Verse 9 states, “

We should not test the Lord, as

some of them did - and were killed by snakes

.” Christ was there and

the Israelites tempted

Him by their unbelief. And verse 4 states, “

They drank the same spiritual drink; for they

drank from the spiritual rock that ac

companied them, and that rock was Christ

.” Christ

followed with them all through those wilder-

ness experiences. And He will follow with us,

but may we not tempt Him as they did!

Jesus Christ led the way for the hosts of

the Israelites as they

journeyed on! Exodus

14:19 states, “

Then the angel of God, who had been tr

aveling in front of Israel’s army,

withdrew and went behind them.

" When protection was needed

in the rear His position was

changed. The prophet Isaiah gives us an interesting name for this “

angel

.” In Isaiah 63:9,

refers to this angel as, “

the angel of His presence.

" [Literally translated this verse would read,



the angel of His face

.”] It would be appropriate

then to call the angel, “

The Face of the

Lord

.” And is that not exactly what Jesus Christ

is? It is in the face that a person’s real

character is seen, and when we look at the f

ace of Jesus we see the character of God, His

heavenly Father and ours.


4

H.

AT THE TIME OF MOSES

Moses was one of those highly favored in

Old Testament times by having numerous

revelations of God made known unto him. The fi

rst appearance of God to Moses is found in

Exodus 3:1-6, which states, “

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the

priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the fa

r side of the desert and came to Horeb, the

mountain of God. There the angel of

the LORD appeared to him in

flames of fire from within

a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on

fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, `I

will go over and see this strange sight - why th

e bush does not burn up.’ When the LORD saw

that he had gone over to look, God called to

him from within the bush, `Moses, Moses!’ And

Moses said, `Here I am.’ `Do not

come any closer,’ God said. `Take off your sandals, for the

place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then

he said, `I am the God of your father, the

God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of

Jacob.’ At this Mose

s hid his face, because

he was afraid to look at God.”

In the verses which follow Moses is commissioned to go and

deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Mo

ses then asks God concerning what name he

should use in telling Israel God had sent him

to them. God answers in verse 14 and says, “

I

AM THAT I AM

. This is what you are to

say to the Israelites: `

I AM

has sent me to you.’”

Again and again Jesus Christ used the expression



I am



in making claims of deity for

Himself.

Here are a few of such claims: “

I am

the bread of life.” “

I am

the light of the world.”



I am

the resurrection and the Life.” “

I am

the true vine.” “

I am

Alpha and Omega.” “

I am

the bright and morning star

.” And each time such a statement was made, Jesus was saying, “

I

am

the same Personage who appeared

to Moses in the burning bush

.”

As a result of this appearance to Moses,

he had to make a momentous decision. On the

one hand was Egypt and a position of wealth, in

volving pleasure and popularity. On the other

hand was the wilderness experi

ence with God’s people, and

according to the writer of

Hebrews, the presence of Chri

st. Hebrews 11:25-26 states, “

He chose to be mistreated along

with the people of God rather than to enjoy th

e pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded

disgrace for the sake of Christ as

of greater value t

han the treasures of Egypt, because he was

looking ahead to his reward

.” Moses chose the presence of

Christ, although it meant reproach

rather than all that Egypt had to offer him. Ye

s, Jesus Christ was with Moses in the long ago!

When the Israelites arrived at Mount Sina

i we know that Moses went up into the

mount and there talked with God. The tables of

the law were given and these commandments

were soon broken by the people. But after Moses

had destroyed the golden calf he went into

the tabernacle and there he ta

lked with God. Exodus 33:11 says concerning that conversation,



The Lord would speak to Moses face to

face, as a man speaks with his friend.



[This was a temporary “

tabernacle,

" called the "

the tabernacle of

the congregation

" which the children of Israel worshiped at

before

the Tabernacle, which God commanded, at Sinai, to be

built, was built.]

Could language be any more beautiful than

that? But certainly Moses could not have

looked into the face of God the Father. The A

postle John tells us no man has seen God the

Father at any time. Hence we are driven to th

e conclusion that it must have been the Lord

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, with Whom

Moses held conversation with “

face to face

.” One such


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How far back does the pre-existence of Chri

st extend? Was He in existence when the

world and all the vast universe

was created? When God created

man, we learn from Genesis

1:26, that more than one Person in the Godh

ead was involved, because this verse states,



Then God said, `Let

us

make man in

our

image, in

our

likeness.

" The plural pronouns

indicate that at leas

t two persons of the Godhead had to

do with creation. A careful study of

Scripture will indicate that all Three Persons

of the Godhead had a part in this marvelous

event. But how could this be? A good way to unde

rstand the part each One had in creation is

to think of God as the Archite

ct of the universe…Jesus Ch

rist as the Contractor, or

Builder…and…the Holy Spirit as the Furnis

her, or the One Who bestows life.

Let us see what the New Testament says

about Jesus Christ as the Creator:

John 1:3 says, “

Through Him

[Christ Jesus]

all things were

made; without Him

nothing was made that has been made.



1 Corinthians 8:6 states, “

Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom

all things came and for whom we live; and th

ere is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through

whom all things came and through whom we live

.” Ephesians 3:9 states, “

God, Who

created all things

.” [King James translat

es this verse as, “

Who created all things by

Jesus Christ

.”]

Colossians 1:16 states, “

For by Him

[Jesus Christ]

all things were created: things

in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible

.”

Hebrews 1:2 states, “

…through Whom

[Christ Jesus]

He

[God, the Father]

made

the universe

.”

So what?

What difference will it make to me if I realize that the same Christ Who dwells in

my heart as my Savior is the One

Who created all the vast universe?

A number of year ago a South American

firm purchased from the United States

the first printing press that

was sent down to that land. After it was set up, for some

reason or other it would not work. so word wa

s sent to the ones from which it had been

purchased asking that someone be sent

down who could fix the machine.

However, when the man arrived they refused to let him work on the machine

because he was too young. They wired back to the United States, “

This man you sent is

too young. Send us one more experienced

.”

Back over the wires came this answer, “

This man

made

the machine. Let him fix

it

.” This young man had been instrumental in

making the machine, which had been sent

down, in the first place!

Jesus Christ made me, I ought to have fa

ith to believe He can fix anything about

me that needs fixing! What I need is to r

ealize the tremendous power of the One Whom I

call

my

Savior!


8

O.

BEFORE CREATION

Since Jesus Christ was Creator, then we

know His experience goes back before

creation. In John 17:5 Jesu

s uses the expression, “

before the world was

" to describe His pre-

existence. The Prophet Micah in his famous pr

ediction concerning the birth of the Messiah

says of Him in Micah 5:2, “

whose origins are from of old, from ancient time”

[or from days of

eternity].

Jesus Christ has existed from a

ll eternity! He had no beginning.

There you have the facts - as to understandi

ng those facts, it is beyond the finite mind

of man to grasp such truths.

What was Jesus Christ doing before the

creation? Does the Bi

ble tell us anything

about His activities in the long ago? Yes, we ha

ve a glimpse, but it is sufficient to encourage

our hearts just to have that gl

impse. That glimpse gives us an idea of His condition in relation

to God the Father, and also links us up with

Him through the ages, if our faith is in Him.

Philippians 2:6 tells us that He was on an equalit

y with the Father. John 17:5 tells of the glory

which He had with the Father before the world was. John 17:24 speaks of God the Father

loving Jesus Christ the Son before the foundation

of the world. But what of His relation to us?

Listen to the words of 2 Timothy 1:9, “

Who has saved us and called

us to a holy life - not

because of anything we have done but because

of His own purpose and grace. This grace was

given us in Christ Jesus

before the beginning of time

.” Back there in those days of the eternity

of the past Jesus Christ was busy purposing a

nd planning for your salvation which was to be

on the principle of free grace. What a glorious

salvation is ours! In Ephesians 1:4 we are

given another wonderful thought: “

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to

be holy and blameless in

His sight in love.

" Chosen in Christ in the eternity of the past! We

can scarcely grasp the meaning of it. But what

made it possible? Revelation 13:8 gives the

answer. It states,”

…the Lamb that was slain fr

om the creation of the world

.” The cross of

Christ and the precious blood

of Christ were in the mind and purpose of God throughout all

the ages of the past. And it is this that make

s possible all these wonderf

ul blessings which are

ours in Him.

10

Matthew 13:14-15 states, “

In them

…[that is in the Jews w

ho rejected Jesus as their

Messiah]…

is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: `You

will be ever hearing but never under-

standing; you will be ever seeing but never pe

rceiving. For this people’s heart has become

calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,

and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they

might see with their eyes, hear with their ea

rs, understand with their hearts and turn, and I

would heal them

.” This passage, which Jesus quoted, sta

ting that He, indeed, fulfilled is from

Isaiah 6:8-10, and identifies Him with “

Jehovah

" of the Old Testament.

When John the Baptist announced the appearan

ce of the Messiah, he, of course, was

referring to Jesus Christ

specifically, it is my c

onviction that the word “

Jehovah

,

" more

accurately, really refers to the Godhead…including

Jesus Christ…the Second Person of the Triune

Godhead…and was the physical expression of

that Godhead to man.

Jesus as Jehovah

Said of

Jehovah Mutual Title or Act

Said of

Jesus

Isaiah 40:28

Creator

John 1:3

Isaiah 45:22; 43:11

Savior

John 4:42

1 Samuel 2:6

Raised dead

John 5:21

Joel 3:12

Judge

John 5:27, cf. Mt.25:31

Isaiah 60:19-20

Light

John 8:12

Exodus 3:14

I Am

John 8:58; cf. 18:5-6

Psalm 23:1

Shepherd

John 10:11

Isaiah 42:8; 48:11

Glory of God

John 17:1,5

Isaiah 41:4; 44:6

The First and Last

Revelation 1:17; 2:8

Hosea 13:14

Redeemer

Revelation 5:9

Isaiah 62:5; Hosea 2:16

Bridegroom

Revelation 21:2, cf. Mt.25:1

Psalm 18:2

Rock

1 Corinthians 10:4

Jeremiah 31:34

Forgiver of sins

Mark 2:7, 10

Psalm 148:2

Worshiped by Angels

Hebrews 1:6

Throughout

Old Testament

Addressed in Prayer

Acts 7:59

Psalm 148:5

Creator of Angels

Colossians 1:16

Isaiah 45:23

Confessed as Lord

Philippians 2:11

3.

JESUS, IN HIS DESCENT FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH


11

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s promis

e is that He would enter the human

family…that He would suffer, die, and rise agai

n, in order to redeem the lost world and to

reconcile all things unto Hims

elf. [Note: Genesis 3:15; 49:

10; Micah 5:2;

Daniel 9:25;

Hebrews 1:5-13.]

The Old Testament predicts that the comi

ng Messiah, Who was none other than Jesus

Christ, would be Deity. Matthew

1:21-23 proclaims very clearly

that the Messiah …for Whom

the Jews were looking for…was to

be God Himself in human form…Jesus.

In John 16:28, Jesus tells us, “

I came out from the Father and have come into the

world

"…a fact which is continually confir

med throughout the New Testament in such

Scriptural verses as 1 John 4:9;

Romans 8:3; and 1 Timothy 3:16.

Isaiah 9:6 makes it cl

ear that not only was “

a child

born

" that first Christmas day, but, also,

that “

a Son was

given

.” God

gave

His Son…(eternal Deity)…and, a “

child was

born

"…(born

into the human race)…Christ’s humanity began.


Before we address the point being raised by the objector, we first quote the immediate context of John 8:58 so as to fully appreciate what the Lord Jesus claimed for himself:

"He said to them, ‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.’” John 8:23-24

"Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.’” John 8:42

"‘Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps MY WORD, HE WILL NEVER SEE DEATH.’ The Jews said to him, ‘Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, "If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death." Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. HE SAW IT and was glad.’ So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, AND HAVE YOU SEEN ABRAHAM?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham came into being (genesthai), I AM.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” John 8:51-59
The Lord Jesus, in this reference, states that he is from above, that he came from God, claims he repeated on several occasions:

"‘For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.’ … So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’” John 6:38, 41-42

"Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending TO WHERE HE WAS BEFORE?" John 6:62

"for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John 16:27-28
Jesus says that his word prevents a person from ever dying, a point he reiterates elsewhere:

"Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me SHALL NEVER DIE. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’” John 11:25-27
Jesus also claims that Abraham saw him, and that he existed even before Abraham was created which explains how it was that Abraham could see someone who had walked this earth nearly 2,000 years after him. No wonder the Jews sought to stone him!

Now as far as Christ existing before Adam is concerned note carefully what Jesus says elsewhere:

"And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” John 17:5
Compare this with John’s prologue:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made… He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-3, 10, 14
Not only did the Lord Jesus exist before the world itself, he was also the Agent whom God used to actually create every created thing, which makes him an eternal Being and he therefore existed before the angels. In fact, he created the angels according to John!