Did Jesus exist in heaven as a person before he was born in Bethlehem? The Bible seems to answer plainly, yes; e.g. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made”; “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven”; “What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?”; “I speak that which I have seen with my Father”; “I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me”; “Before Abraham was, I am”; “The glory which I had with thee before the world was”; “Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world”. The list is formidable, and the meaning is plain. But why are they all in John? With the exception of Hebrews 1 and Colossians 1, easily dealt with separately and easily shown to have no connection with the foregoing, the “pre-existence” of Christ cannot be even traced elsewhere in the Bible. Was John the only inspired writer to have this truth or to believe in it? This consideration should immediately awaken suspicion, for if this doctrine is true it should be one of the salient features of the Divine purpose and revelation. All the other fundamentals of truth can be found scattered throughout the Book. Why this most unexpected exception? Can it be that John has been misunderstood?
b. Besides, what a contrast is presented in Matthew and Luke, where the narratives of our Lord’s birth carry no kind of suggestion that this little baby in a manger was really the metamorphosis of an Eternal Being. Notice Luke 1:32: “He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest”—not: “He is great; He is the Son of the Highest”. And contrast how these future tenses become present tenses when Jesus is born: “A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
c. It is necessary to observe that the Bible speaks of the “pre-existence” of others besides Jesus. [E.g., of Jeremiah:] “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee” (Jeremiah 1:5). “There was a man sent from God whose name was John (the Baptist)” (John 1:6). This example is especially interesting and extremely forceful, for the literal force of the Greek expression is: “a man sent from beside God”! Could words declare more clearly the pre-existence of John? Yet no one believes that John the Baptist existed in heaven as a person before he was born of his mother Elisabeth. More than one enthusiast for the personal pre-existence of Christ has been rendered speechless by this remarkable verse! The “pre-existence” of the saints is similarly implied in Ephesians 1:4: “Chosen in him before the foundation of the world”.
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Author: Harry Whittaker
Keywords: Trinity, Triunity, Three in one, God the Son, Preexistence, Pre-existence, Christ's preexistence, Christ's pre-existence, Christ preexisted, Christ pre-existed, Jesus preexisted, Jesus' preexistence, Jesus' pre-existence, Jesus pre-existed, Preexistence of Jesus, Preexist, Pre exist, Jesus was the Word, The Word was Jesus, Word was God, Messiah, Deity of Christ, Deity of Jesus, Jesus's preexistence, Jesus preexisted before he was born, Spirit of Messiah, Jewish preexistence, Jewish concept of preexistence, Jewish concept of pre-existence, Jewish understanding of pre-existence, Jewish understanding of preexistence, Jewish understanding of preexistence of Messiah, Messiah's preexistence, Messiah preexisted, Messiah pre-existed, Messiah's pre-existence, Before the foundation of the world, Theophany, Word made flesh, Eternal word, Preexistent word, Eternal son, Pre-incarnate, Preincarnate, Jesus always existed, Christ always existed
Bible reference(s): Psalms 139:16, Jer 1:5, John 1:1-3, John 1:6, John 3:13, John 6:33, John 6:38, John 6:58, John 8:23, John 8:42, John 8:58, John 16:33, John 17:5, John 17:12, John 17:5, John 17:24, Acts 15:18, Romans 4:17
Source: “Some Wrested Scriptures (11),” The Christadelphian, 1958, v. 95, pp. 175-6.
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