Before the world began, there was Yahweh, Who had no beginning and Who will have no end. His first creation was very special, illustrating the kind of Mighty One which we serve. This study into His awesome creation will prove to be an inspiring journey into the very Mind and will of our Creator. Learn of His truths and His will for your life as you study this lesson on the pre-existence of His only begotten Son, Yahshua.
The idea of “pre-existence” can be a daunting subject, but the Scriptures have much to say about this important concept. There are many today who believe Yahshua the Messiah did not exist with Yahweh before He came to earth. They want to refute, and rightfully so, the dogma that Yahshua is the Almighty Himself, or co-equal with Yahweh the Father. So, in their honest efforts to refute an error, they fall into another error: denying Yahshua what His Father Yahweh gave to Him. The facts that we can gather from the Scriptures point heavily to a previous existence of the Messiah, before His human birth from the Jewish maiden, Miriam (Mary). In the following passages, Yahshua’s pre-existence is either mentioned or implied.
Pre-existence Supported in the Bible
- Testimony of John the Baptist
“John bore witness of Him, and cried, saying, ‘This was He of whom I spoke: He that comes after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.’ "
“He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: He that comes from heaven is above all,” (John 1:15, 3:31).
- Testimony of John the Disciple
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. The same was in the beginning with Elohim. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.”
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory...as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.”
“No man has seen Elohim at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:1-4, 10, 14 and 18).
The Greek definition of bosom, Strong’s #2859, does not give a clear picture of where Yahshua resided prior to His coming to this earth. The Greek translates bosom as “a bay or creek.” The Hebrew definition of bosom is Strong’s #2436, and means “to enclose,...lap, midst, within.” This gives a better idea of Messiah’s origins—in Yahweh’s midst or where He dwells.
Yahshua was created from the mind of Yahweh and He was with Him in the tabernacle of the heavens, from which earthly copies were made. A copy of the heavenly tabernacle was not the only thing Yahweh placed upon the earth. A replica of the heavenly, eternal High Priest, was established on the earth through Aaron and his sons (Exodus 40:15) and eventually after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20). Yahshua not only became an earthly High Priest, but a King (Psalm 110:4; Luke 23:36-43). According to Paul, “When Messiah came as High Priest of the good things that are already here, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11).
If all things were created by Yahshua and Melchizedek was made like the Son, having neither mother or father, without genealogy having neither beginning of days nor end of life (Hebrews 7:3), who then was Melchizedek? For what purpose did Yahshua create Him? He was a “priest of Elohim” (of the Mighty Ones), a “King of Peace” (Salem or Jerusalem—Genesis 14:18), administering the holy things of the heavenly tabernacle.
All things were purposed before the foundation of the world. Yahweh knows the beginning to the end (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15; Isaiah 46:8-13). He had determined that all of creation would need to be delivered from the bondage of sin, an eternal redemption (1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 3:10-11). Yahweh purposed this deliverance through His wisdom: “It is because of Him that you are in Messiah Yahshua, Who has become for us wisdom from Elohim…” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
There is no doubt that Yahshua was with Yahweh in the beginning. He was His Master Craftsman, (quoted below in Colossians 1:15-17). See also 2 Peter 3:1-5. He was to become the “King of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And as John 3:13 says, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven—the Son of Man.”
- Testimony of Paul
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yahshua: Who being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”
"Who is the image of the invisible El, the firstborn of every creature: for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.”
“Wherefore when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You would not, but a body have You prepared for Me’” (Philippians 2:5-7; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 10:5).
- Yahshua's Own Testimony
“And no man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven.”
“For the bread of Yahweh is He which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world.”
“For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
“What and if you shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?”
“And He said unto them, ‘You are from beneath; I am from Above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.”
“Yahshua said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.’”
“And now, O Father, glorify Me with Your own Self, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
“Father, I will that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 3:13; 6:33, 38, 51, 62; 8:23, 58; 17:5, 24.
According to Revelation 3:14, the Logos was the first created being.
- Other Versions of John 8:58
Moffatt: “I have existed before Abraham was born.”
Goodspeed: “I existed before Abraham was born.”
Pfaefflin: “Before there was an Abraham, I was already there!”
Notice that Yahshua is paralleling His previous existence with the existence of the man, Abraham. If the Logos existed only as a plan or concept in Yahweh’s mind, as some claim, then the parallel He was trying to establish between His pre-existence and Abraham’s existence would be nonsense.
According to these translations, Yahshua never claims to be the “I Am” or Yahweh Himself. John 1:1 is incorrectly translated in the King James version. A correct translation of this verse must take into consideration Hebrew idiom and expression, which was correctly conveyed in the literal Greek translation:
Greek: “Kai ho logos en pros ton theon, kai Theos en ho logos.” This translates: “And the Word was with the Mighty and the Mighty was the Word.”
Goodspeed’s version is worth consideration here: “And the Word was with Eloah and the Word was sublime.” Yahweh created Yahshua and then committed to Him the task of creating every spiritual and physical being. He is the only one of His kind in existence!
Some of the malakim (spirit beings), took the form of men when they appeared to the patriarchs. The Chief of the heavenly malakim became flesh. He existed before, in heaven, in the form of Eloah (Philippians 2:6).
Yahshua gave up His exalted mode of existence in heaven and Yahweh transferred His life to become the seed in Miriam’s womb. As the angel, Gabriel, told Miriam, “Nothing is impossible for Yahweh.”
Why A Virgin Birth?
What is the meaning of Yahshua’s virgin birth? Why was it necessary? The man begotten in Miriam’s womb had to be a new creation—a being without a sinful nature, as in fleshly man. Remember, sin entered the world, not by a woman, but by a man (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Yahshua’s conception was brought about by the Holy Spirit—with a sinless nature—so that He would be qualified to be the Savior of mankind. “...what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give Him the name Yahshua, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20b-21).
Yahshua’s virgin birth was a miracle from Yahweh. His birth, as well as His life, were miracles. The following Scriptures give a clear picture of this: “So it is written: ‘the first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit...the first man was of the dust of the earth, the second Man from heaven...And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the Man FROM heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
Yahshua was the Son of Yahweh, Who was given an undefiled body. He had to be without any imperfections to be acceptable as our sacrifice to Yahweh: “...but with the precious blood of Messiah, a Lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:19b-20).
Yahshua came to earth as a true “second Adam,” Who was innocent—spotless. His death was the death of an innocent; He did not deserve it. This is why His life was worthy enough to be a sufficient ransom to redeem mankind. This could have not been so had He been fathered by a man. Yahshua’s birth was, of necessity, a virgin birth, in perfect harmony with the Scriptural truth of redemption.
Gain Truth from Harmonizing Scripture
We must always keep in mind that the Bible is not composed of just a verse or two on a variety of topics. There are those who find certain verses that “seem” to support their preconceived ideas. After finding them, they do not search any further for other verses that may contradict them. Such is the case with Yahshua’s pre-existence. Some capitalize on verses showing Yahshua as a man, and being a man, His existence must have begun only when He was born of Miriam. But, this is very important to understand—Yahshua was the Dabar, Logos or the Word Whom Yahweh had promised to us through His prophets: “...the good news He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son” (Romans 1:2-3).
John 1:1 is talking about events at the beginning, before the world was created. Paul, on the other hand, was talking about the promise Yahweh made in the beginning after man sinned.
It is true that John 1:1 does not specifically say “Yahshua” was in the beginning with Yahweh. But we have scriptural proof that He was the Word referred to in John 1:1. Revelation 19:13 corroborates this: “And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of Yahweh.”
Logos in Literature
In the Life and Times of [Yahshua] the Messiah, the author writes, “The Logos is the image of Elohim, upon which man was made...the Logos is the instrument through Whom Elohim created all things...The Logos announces and interprets to man the will and mind of Elohim; He acts as mediator; He is the real High Priest, and as such, by His purity, takes away the sins of man; and by His intercession, procures for us the mercy of Elohim...He is also...the Manna, or support of spiritual life; He Who dwells in the soul. And so the Logos is [after the order of] Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High Elohim, the King of Righteousness, and the King of Salem, Who brings righteousness and peace to the soul.” (Author, Alfred Edersheim, M.A. Oxon., D.D., Ph.D., pg. 49)
Albert Barnes, a great writer on Biblical commentary, wrote the following on Hebrews 1:3 regarding the phrase, “...And upholding all things by the word of His power...” Barnes writes, “The phrase “word of His power” is a Hebraism, and means “His efficient command.” There could not be a more distinct ascription of divinity to the Son of [Elohim] than this. He upholds or sustains all things—that is, the universe.
“It is not merely the earth; not only its rocks, mountains, seas, animals and human beings, but it is the universe--all distant worlds. How can He do this who is not [Elohim]? He does it by His word--His command. What a conception! That one simple COMMAND should do all this! So the world was made when [Elohim] “...spoke and it was done” (Genesis 1:3); “He commanded and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9). So the [Master Yahshua] COMMANDED the waves and the winds, and they were still (Matthew 8:26-27).
“Yahshua healed all manner of diseases, brought sight to the blind and commanded the dead to rise (Luke 7:21-22). I do not know how people can “explain away” this ascription of infinite power to the Redeemer.
“There can be no higher idea of omnipotence than to say that He upholds all things by His word; and assuredly He who can “hold up” this vast universe so that it does not sink into anarchy or into nothing, must be [Elohim]. This same power Yahshua claimed for Himself (Matthew 28:18).” (Commentary on the “Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews” by Albert Barnes, 1949 Baker Book House).
Matthew Henry’s Commentary talks about Yahshua’s beginnings in John 1:1, “Here is the word uttered, and this is speech, the chief and most natural indication of the mind. And thus [Messiah] is the Word, for by Him [Yahweh] has in these last days spoken to us (Hebrews 1:2), and has directed us to hear Him (Matthew 17:5). He [Yahshua] has made known [Yahweh’s] mind to us, as a man's word or speech makes known his thoughts, as far as he pleases, and no further...He is the Word speaking from [Yahweh] to us, and to [Yahweh] for us. John the Baptist was the voice, but [Messiah] was the Word: and being the Word, He is the Truth, the Amen, the faithful Witness of the mind of [Yahweh].
“His existence in the beginning: In the beginning was the Word. This bespeaks His existence, not only before His incarnation, but before all time. The beginning of time, in which all creatures were produced and brought into being, found this eternal Word in being. The world was from the beginning, but the Word was in the beginning. Eternity is usually expressed by being before the foundation of the world. The eternity of [Elohim] is so described in Psalm 90:2, ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are Elohim.’”
Matthew Henry continues: “His co-existence with the Father (is shown here): The Word was with [Elohim], and the Word was [Elohim]. [Messiah]...is the very same that we believe in and preach, was in the beginning with [Elohim], that is, He was so from eternity.” (From Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
Here is an explanation of John 1:1 from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary: “The Word, says the Evangelist, was eternal. Yet this was not the eternity of the Father, nor the eternity of a mere attribute of the Father, but of One who is consciously and personally distinct from, and associated with, the Father. But neither is this the distinctness and fellowship of two different Beings—as if there were a plurality of [Mighty Ones], but of two subsistence's…” (From Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft
He Anticipated Glorification
In order to understand the true meaning of the first verses of Romans, we must make sure we understand the context. Paul was called to be a servant and an apostle. He was set apart for teaching the Good News of Yahweh (Romans 1:1). The Glad Tidings were about Yahweh’s Son and His coming Kingdom. This reference is actually revealing the fact that Yahshua did, in fact, pre-exist. Romans 1:3 says that Yahshua was born of the seed of David according to the flesh. If Yahshua were merely an ordinary human being, without pre-existence, there would have been no need for Paul to have added the phrase, according to the flesh. It is, therefore, implied that He did exist with Yahweh as a spirit being in the beginning, before He was born of the flesh.
Continuing to harmonize each Scripture, please read John 17:5 and 24: “And now, O Father, glorify Me in Your own Self with the glory which I had with You before the world was. Father, I will that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” Clearly, Yahshua is explaining to those listening that He did indeed exist before the world was founded.
He divested Himself of the glory which He had in the beginning to take upon Himself the form of a man: “Who, being in very nature Elohim, did not consider equality with Elohim something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a tree!” It goes on to say, “Therefore Elohim exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name…” (Philippians 2:6-9). Further Scriptures for study showing that Yahshua came from the Father are: John 6:46; 7:29; 9:16, 33; 15:26, 16:27 and 18:8.
The Messiah Who Came From Heaven
And so, the truth continues to emerge: Yahweh was the Master Architect, but Yahshua did the actual creating. “He is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth...He is before all things and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). Could this be describing a human being? Certainly not!
Adam and Eve were on this earth long before Yahshua took on human flesh. “These are the generations (#8435 in Strong’s meaning descent, family history…) of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh Elohim made the earth and the heavens…” (Genesis 2:4). “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that Elohim created man, in the likeness of Elohim made He him...” (Genesis 5:1). The generations of man from Adam to Abraham are mentioned in Genesis, chapter 4 through chapter 11.
Then, the Scriptures say, there were 42 generations from Abraham to Messiah. See Matthew 1:17, “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Messiah are fourteen generations.” The earth was well populated when Yahshua came from the heavens to be born of flesh. The Jews could not believe that this man was the One spoken of in the prophets. The Jews asked, “Is not this Yahshua, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I came down from heaven?’” (John 6:42)
Yahshua then answered them in verses 44-51: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of Elohim. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father comes unto Me’...He that believes on Me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life...This is the bread which came down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven…”
Yahshua then asked His disciples, “What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?” (John 6:62)
We must understand the context of this verse in order to determine the message within it. The Jews were demanding a sign from Yahshua as proof that He was sent by Yahweh. They asked Him, “What miraculous sign then will You give that we may see it and believe You? What will you do? Our forefathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Yahshua said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of Elohim is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘from now on give us this bread.’ Then Yahshua declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:30-38).
Yahshua was the true Manna from heaven—the Bread of life. Verse 38 relates that He came down from heaven in order to do the will of the Father. Verses 39-40 say that those who believe in the Son shall have everlasting life. But the Jews murmured at Him because they could not believe what He said. They thought He was their contemporary and that He existed only on the physical plane. Because of their blindness, they would not or could not understand Yahshua’s message: 1) that He had already existed in the beginning and came down from heaven; and 2) that they had to (symbolically) eat His flesh and drink His blood to gain eternal life (verses 51-58).
His Eyes Actually Saw Yahweh
One of the most affirming proofs of Yahshua’s pre-existence can be seen in John 6:46, “No one has seen the Father except the One who is from Yahweh; only He has seen the Father.” What a revelation! Yahshua, Scripture says, is the only One who has seen the Father! The word seen is from the Greek word horao, meaning to perceive with the eyes and is not just a mental discernment. This proves also that Yahshua pre-existed in spirit form. If He were a human being, He would have died when He saw the Father. “And He [Yahweh] said, ‘You cannot see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live’” (Exodus 33:20).
Yahshua was not speaking figuratively or in parables when He was quoted in John 16:27-30, “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came from Yahweh. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said to Him, ‘Lo, now You speak plainly, and no proverb. Now are we sure that You know all things, and need not that anyone should ask You: by this we believe that You came forth from Yahweh.’” The disciples already understood the truth Yahshua wanted them to know—that He pre-existed before becoming a human being. The words came out and came forth in John 16:27 and 30 are from the Greek para, which means from beside.
Notice that Yahshua said He came from the Father, and that He would again be leaving this world (verse 28), meaning that He had already been there. He was the very One who appeared as Yahweh in the Old Testament, not the Father Yahweh. Both Elohim are seen in Genesis 19:24, “Then Yahweh rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh out of heaven.”
The fact that Yahshua was not literally seen descending from heaven does not discredit the Scriptural evidence that He did pre-exist. The fact that manna was not literally seen descending from heaven does not mean that it did not come from heaven. Manna was only visible in the morning when the dew was gone (Exodus 16:14; Numbers 11:9).
In John 17:5, Yahshua is recorded as having said: “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.”
1 Corinthians 8:6 says, “Yet for us there is but one Elohim, the Father, from Whom all things came and for Whom we live; and there is but one Master, Yahshua the Messiah, through Whom all things came and through Whom we live.”
How can one refute the Messiah’s pre-existence? We can see it so plainly in Hebrews 1:1-3, “In the past, Elohim spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, and through Whom He made the universe [this was before He came to earth!]. The Son is the radiance of Elohim’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven.”
Yahshua—Part of the Elohim Family
Yahshua was Yahweh’s creation, so therefore, cannot be equal to Him. He is, though, an Elohim and superior to the angels. “So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did Elohim ever say, ‘You are My Son; today I have become your Father?’ Or again, ‘I will be His Father, and He will be My son.’ And again, when Elohim brings His firstborn into the world, He says, ‘He makes His angels winds, His servants flames of fire.’ But about the Son, He says, ‘Your throne, O Elohim, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your Kingdom’” (Hebrews 1:4-8).
To be able to give Yahshua all the glory due to Him, it is of utmost importance to comprehend that He did, indeed, exist with Yahweh before He was born on this earth. No man of flesh could have fulfilled all the prophecy Yahshua fulfilled. Please notice the following things Yahshua said, while He was on this earth, to describe Himself: “And no man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven;” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven;” “What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?” “You are from beneath; I am from Above;” “And now, O Father, glorify Me...with the glory which I had with You before the world was;” and again, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
To further summarize this subject, please note the things that were said of Yahshua: He is the “image of the invisible Elohim;” “firstborn of all creation;” “through Whom all things were created;” “He was before all things;” “the beginning;” “the firstborn from the dead;” “the Word was in the beginning with Elohim...in Him was life; and the life was the light of men,” meaning no other than Yahshua the Messiah!
As we have seen from this lesson, the pre-existence of Yahshua is, without a doubt, a scriptural certainty. Although it is an abstract concept—one that deserves much study—Yahshua’s pre-existence is very real and the understanding of it should give us complete confidence in the awesome power of His life, death and resurrection!
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