For thousands of years, from the days of ancient
Babylon, men have believed in a triune god. This concept of a triad
of deities is a universally recognized doctrine. Whether speaking of
Hindooism, Taoism, Buddhism or Christianity, all believe in a
trinity. The Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity states that all
three "persons" of the "Godhead" are co-eternal. In order for
Christianity to continue to support such a belief they had to show
that the Messiah, who in their mind is the second person of the
trinity ("God the Son"), always existed. Since there could never be a
time when one of the three persons ("God the Father", "God the Son",
"God the Holy Spirit") existed without the other two, the doctrine of
the Savior's pre-existence came about.
Almighty Yahweh has been calling many people out of Babylon, out of false Babylonian teachings, into the true faith. Many of His people have started out the door, however their foot seems to be caught on the pre-existence doctrine. The purpose of this study is to open the door of truth wider by revealing the correct understanding and translation of those scriptures used to support the pre-existence.
The New Testament uses several phrases that would
suggest that our Savior existed as a being in heaven prior to his
earthly birth. Among those phrases are; "sent His Son," "sent into
the world," "not of this world," "came into the world," and "came
down from heaven." Let's examine "sent His Son" and "sent into the
world" first, since both phrases appear in 1 Jn.4:9,10; "In this was
manifested the love of Yahweh toward us, because that Yahweh
his only begotten Son into the
world , that we might live through
him. Herein is love, not that we loved Yahweh, but that he loved us,
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." A superficial
reading would lead one to believe that Yahshua was at Yahweh's side
somewhere out of this world and eventually was commanded by Yahweh to
come to our planet which he obediently did.
In Ps.78:45 it says Yahweh sent flies upon the Egyptians prior to the exodus of Israel. Are we to believe that these flies were living in heaven prior to their arrival in Egypt? Jn.1:6 tells us that John the Baptist was also "sent from Yahweh." Surely none believe that John pre-existed at Yahweh's side. Notice this verse does not say "sent by Yahweh," but "from Yahweh." A word study of how "sent" was used in Scripture will reveal how Yahweh sent many earthly messengers and prophets to do His will. None of them, however, pre-existed in heaven.
Jn.17:18 helps us to understand the phrase "sent into the world." It reads, "As thou hast sent me into the world , even so have I also sent them into the world. " Obviously, the disciples were not living outside of this world prior to Yahshua sending them into the world. Neither should we believe that Yahshua existed in some other world before being sent by Yahweh into this world.
"Came into the world" is used in 1 Tim.1:15; "This
is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Messiah
Yahshua came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." The
same phrase is used of all men when they are born. Jn.1:9 reads,
"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that
cometh into the
world. " And again in 1 Tim.6:7; "For
we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry
nothing out." So when Heb. 1:6 says, "And again, when he bringeth in
the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of
[Yahweh] worship him," it is talking about the Messiah's earthly
In Jn.8:23, Yahshua said, "Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world." This certainly seems to indicate an existence in another world before coming to this world. This verse is to be understood the same way we are to understand Jn.15:19; "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world , but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." Yahshua chose his disciples out of the world, therefore, they were not of this world. Yahshua said similar words in Jn.17:14; "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world , even as I am not of the world." Yahshua is not of this world because Yahweh chose Him out of the world.
The phrase "came down from heaven" is difficult for many to understand. The Jews did not understand either as we read in Jn. 6:42; "And they said, Is not this Yahshua, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" There is no doubt that Yahshua was emphasizing his heavenly and paternal origin, but in what sense was he declaring this? We have already seen that the phrase "sent from [Yahweh]" does not necessarily mean to exist side by side with and then leave Yahweh's presence. Neither does "came down from" mean something similar.
Was Yahshua a pre-existent spirit being living side by side with Yahweh that was transformed into an embryo placed in Miriam's womb or was he actually "inside" Yahweh? Jn.17:8 teaches the latter. It reads, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee , and they have believed that thou didst send me." The Greek word "exerchomai" translated "came out" specifically means to go out of something that you were inside of. In this case, Yahshua existed "inside" of Yahweh in a similar sense that Levi existed inside the "loins of his father" before he was born (Heb. 7:5-10). In that passage, Levi was not born yet, nor was his father Jacob. Yet, Levi was said to be in Abraham's loins (in the sense of future lineage). (The lineage of Messiah is spoken of in Mic 5:2 and it traces all the way back to his Father Yahweh). While it is difficult to perceive of the Almighty having an "inside," that is what the text is saying. Yet, this, too, is figurative and equates with the mind of Yahweh.
There will be those who will totally misunderstand my words, so let me clarify this. I am not suggesting the Almighty has "loins." Nor am I suggesting Yahshua was conceived in any manner similar to the manner in which all men are conceived (through procreation/copulation). Yahweh is Spirit. His Holy Spirit "came upon" Miriam and miraculously caused her egg to receive the necessary DNA to create a 100% male child in her womb.
Lu 1:35 says, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Yahshua declared this truth in Jn.16:27-30 as
well. "For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me,
and have believed that I came out 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 unto him, Lo, now speakest thou
plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest
all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we
believe that thou camest forth from [Yahweh]." Yahshua could not come
from Yahweh's side and from inside of Yahweh at the same time. Only
one can be true.
A verse that goes hand in hand with the phrase "came down from heaven" is Jn.6:62; "What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?" Yahshua's origin is not in question here. Those who reject the pre-existence doctrine should not reject Yahshua's heavenly origin or that his father was Yahweh. Yahshua was, at one time, in heaven. He existed in the loins of His Father Yahweh (in the sense of future lineage) until the appointed time of his earthly birth. Through Yahweh's miraculous Holy Spirit power He then created in Miriam's egg a 100% man. The belief that Yahshua was a spirit being that was miniaturized and placed directly into Miriam's womb without her egg being involved is unscriptural. If that were true, Miriam would merely be a surrogate mother and Yahshua would not be from the blood line of David.
Jn.1:15 certainly suggests a pre-existence as it appears in the KJV; "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me." First, the idea of preference is not found in the Greek. The word translated "preferred" is the Greek "ginomai". Of the 678 times it was used in the New Testament, it was translated "preferred" three times, once here and in verses 27 & 30 where the same verse is repeated. The word should have been translated "come to be"; "He that cometh after me has come to be before me." As for the latter part of the verse, the word "before" is from the Greek "protos". Of the 105 times this word was used, it was never translated "before". The most common rendering is "first," however, based on the context, it should be translated as the Emphatic Diaglott has it, "for he is my Superior." "Protos" was also translated "chief" nine times in the New Testament.
A favorite verse of pre-existence proponents is Jn.17:24. It reads, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world ." It would seem that the Father and the Son had a loving relationship before the earth was created. Understanding this verse in that way leads to complications in understanding Eph. 1:3,4. Paul says, "Blessed be the Mighty One and Father of our Master Yahshua Messiah, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Messiah: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world , that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" Using the same line of thinking as in Jn.17:24 we would be led to believe that all believers were chosen back in the days when they pre-existed before the earth was created. Both of these verses pertain to Yahweh's foreordained plan, not to pre-existent beings. 1Pe.1:20 says, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world , but was manifest in these last times for you." Why wasn't the "pre-existent Yahshua" made manifest back in Old Testament times? Because he didn't exist at that time except in the foreordained plans of Yahweh. Other references such as Rev.13:8 and 17:8 reveal Yahweh's plan as well.
The following section in blue was revised as of 1/16/06
Following on the heels of the above, John 17:5 states, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Was this glory as the second person of the "Trinity" or is there something here that many people miss?
Yahshua is said to be the Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), yet we have the Bible also saying, "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews 9:25-26) Clearly, the Hebrews passage states that Yahshua was not literally slain from the foundation of the world, but rather was slain in the mind or plan of Almighty Yahweh. This is akin to John 1:1 which speaks of the very word of Elohim being with Elohim in the beginning. This spoken word or plan of Yahweh existed throughout the ions of time. From the beginning of time, Yahweh had Yahshua's sacrifice in His plan for all humankind. For it was through Yahshua that we would receive our justification (Romans 4:25). 1 Peter 1:18-20 continues to explain this by saying:
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."
Notice the use of the word foreordained. Yahshua was foreordained from the foundation of the world, but was made manifest or revealed in these last times. He did not exist as a person or being in former times, but in these last times Yahweh allowed him to be born of a woman (Galatians 4:4) and speaks through him (Hebrews 1:1-2).
It is especially intriguing to find Yahshua praying to the Father, that He would let the disciples share in this glory (John 17:24) and then he in turn mentions the foundation of the world. The disciples would indeed share in the glory of the crucifixion by having their sins washed away, but they definitely did not share Yahshua's glory by themselves being involved in a trinitarian being.
The glory that Yahshua had was as the slain lamb of Yahweh, in the mind of Yahweh, and Yahshua was praying for that glory to be brought about literally, so as to give unto all those who would accept, eternal life. This is why Yahshua began in John 17:1-2 by saying, "These words spake Yahshua, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, 'Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.' " Yahshua wanted to bring about the fruition of eternal life by Yahweh glorifying him as the ultimate sacrifice, and Yahshua in turn glorifying the Father.
Jn.6:46 states Yahshua saw his Father Yahweh. He
said, "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of
Yahweh, he hath seen the
Father ." Does this mean Yahshua
physically saw Yahweh with his eyes or can it be understood a
different way? Yahshua spoke the following words to two disciples,
Thomas and Philip, in Jn.14:7-9; "If ye had known me, ye should have
known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and
have seen him . Philip saith unto him, Master, shew us the Father, and
it sufficeth us. Yahshua saith unto him, Have I been so long time
with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen
me hath seen the
Father ; and how sayest thou then,
Shew us the Father?"
The disciples saw Father Yahweh because they saw Yahshua who is one with Yahweh (not a oneness of being, but a oneness of character, will, Spirit). They had only to look upon Yahshua and see his character to have it said of them, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Yahshua had only to look at himself, his character, his determination to carry out Yahweh's will, etc., to see his Father in himself. The disciples did not have to pre-exist in order to see the Father and neither did Yahshua.
The Greek word translated "seen" in Jn.6:46 is #3708 in Strong's Concordance, meaning "to discern clearly (physically or mentally )." In both of these cases, it was not a physical sighting of the Father, but a mental perception of His character that they were seeing.
Several names and titles have been used in reference to the being that spoke to men in the Old Testament. Among them are Spokesman, Dabar, and Metatron. We are led to believe that they are all references to the pre-existent Son of Yahweh. This, of course, is only an assumption since the Scriptures only identify that being as "the Angel of Yahweh." If the Angel of Yahweh was Yahshua, then Yahshua pre-existed as an angel. This would contradict Heb. 1:1,2,5,7,8,13. Heb.1:1,2 implies that the Son did not speak "in times past unto the fathers." The remaining verses imply that none of the angels were exalted as Yahshua was. Verses 7 & 8 make a clear distinction between Yahshua and angels; the angels were made ministering spirits, but the Son was made King of Yahweh's Kingdom. It is interesting to note all the different ideas as to who Yahshua pre-existed as in times past. Pre-existence proponents have a hard time deciding between the Angel of Yahweh, the Captain of the Host, a second Yahweh, Michael, Melchizidek, and even the Heavenly Father Himself!
What about Daniel's account of the sighting of "the Son of God" in Dan.3:25 (KJV)? It reads, "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." The Revised Version rightfully translates the Hebrew "a son of the Gods." The article "the" is not in the Hebrew. This was an angel sent by Yahweh as revealed in verse 28. What knowledge would this pagan king have of the "form" of Yahweh's Son even if he did pre-exist? In his mind it could only be the form of any divine being.
Prov.8:22-36 have been used quite often to prove
the pre-existence. One need only read verses 1-12 to realize that a
pre-existent Son is not speaking in verses 22-36. The Scriptures
declare the speaker to be wisdom. The glorious wisdom Yahweh
possessed before He created all things is personified in these
verses. Notice, also, that wisdom is personified as a female, not a
male. Pr.8:1 reads, "Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth
her voice?" And Pr.9:1 says, "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath
hewn out her seven pillars." If Yahshua pre-existed as the epitomy of
wisdom, why does Rev.5:12 say he is worthy to receive wisdom? Surely
an all-wise pre-existent being has no need of further wisdom.
1 Cor.1:30 says, "But of him are ye in Messiah Yahshua, who of [Yahweh] is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" This verse declares that Yahshua was "made unto us wisdom." It does not say he existed as wisdom in the past. Ps.104:24 says, "O Yahweh, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." Yahweh used His great wisdom in the creation of all things. It was like a workman at His side.
Two scriptures are often used to show that Yahshua
was the very first act of creation by Yahweh. Everything else is said
to have been created by, or with the help of, Yahshua. Those
scriptures are Col.1:15 and Rev.3:14. Let's look at Col.1:15 first.
"Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of every creature :" What does the latter part of this verse mean? Does
"every creature" include the angels that rejoiced at creation?
To understand this verse, you must first understand that Yahweh is in the process of creating a new world; "the world to come" as Heb.2:5 puts it. Is.65:17,18 speaks of "new heavens and a new earth." Those that will rule in the new earth are those that will be resurrected or "born from above" (Jn.3:7). Ps.102:18-20 puts it very clearly; "This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise Yahweh. For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did Yahweh behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;" These people will be created , or born, at the resurrection.
To clarify even further, we read the following in Ps.104:29,30; "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created : and thou renewest the face of the earth." Yahweh will resurrect the dead through the power of His Holy Spirit. It is said of those that are resurrected that they are "created ."
The first person to be created, or born again from above, was Yahshua. Therefore, he is called the "firstborn." Since there are many that will be born again at the resurrection, he is the "firstborn of every creature (that will be resurrected)." Col. 1:18 elaborates further by telling us what Yahshua is the firstborn of; the dead. This takes place at the resurrection. It is also said of Yahshua that he is "the beginning" (Col.1:18). This is the same term used in Rev.3:14 which reads, "And unto the angel of the assembly of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of [Yahweh]; " Does this beginning refer to a time before the angels were created or does it refer to the new creation? Some would argue that the word "new" is not in the text. Yahweh has shown us, however, that He does not always use the word "new" in describing this new creation. Notice Is.65:17,18; "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." This is speaking of New Jerusalem, yet the word "New" is not used by Yahweh.
Continuing in Colossians to verse 17 we read, "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." As a result of this translation, we are led to believe that Yahshua existed prior to anything else, including the angels. The same Greek phrase, "before all things," is also found in Ja.5:12 and 1 Pe.4:8. Both of those texts read "above all things." That is because the Greek word "pro," translated "before," also carries the meaning of superiority or pre-eminence. Since Col.1:15-18 proclaims the pre-eminence of Yahshua in all things (vs.18), translating verse 17 as "above all things" would fit the context.
It is said that the phrase "according to the flesh," in Rom.1:3, proves Yahshua's pre-existence. It reads, "Concerning his Son Yahshua Messiah our Master, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" It is implied from this that Yahshua existed as a spirit being before he was born according to the flesh, for why else would Paul say this? The simple reason is because Yahshua did not have an earthly father. Therefore, whether he was true flesh and blood and David's seed would come into question. Paul adds "according to the flesh" for the same reason he adds "was made of the seed of David." Even though Yahshua did not have a flesh and blood father, he is still flesh through Miriam. He is not a spirit being or an angel that appeared in the flesh as did those who appeared to Abraham in Gen.18:2; 19:1.
The Trinity doctrine states the Son is coeternal with the Father. Others believe the Son was the first being Yahweh created. Either view believes the "Son" pre-existed prior to his earthly birth. If that is true, how are we to understand the following words Yahweh commanded Nathan to give to David?
"When thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be My son." (2 Sam. 7:12-14)
Although these words primarily applied to Solomon (1 Chr.28:6), ultimately the reference is to Yahshua the Messiah, the "Son of David" (Lu.1:32,33; Heb.1:5). Heb.1:5 reads, " For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?"
Since the New Testament clearly links the words, "I will be his father, and he shall be My son" to Yahshua, note well the future tense used. If Yahshua pre-existed as Yahweh's coeternal Son or as Yahweh's first act of creation, the words "I am his Father," and "he is my son," should have been used. Therefore, this prophetic reference to Yahshua clearly teaches that he became Yahweh's Son at a specific time in history. He did not always exist as Yahweh's Son as the Trinity doctrine teaches. Nor could he have existed as the first act of creation since 2 Sam.7:14 places his becoming the Son at a time that was in David's future.
Rev 5:5 reads, "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." A brother recently asked me what "the root of David" meant. He believed Yahshua (the root) preceded David thereby confirming his preexistence. Rev 22:16 says something similar; "I Yahshua have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."
Isa 11:10 uses the concept of a root as follows "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." This is a messianic prophecy in which Yahshua is the "root of Jesse," Jesse being David's father.
To understand how Yahshua can be the root of both these men and yet not preexist, we need only to look at nature. What comes first, the seed or the root? Obviously the seed. Jesse is the seed out of which comes forth a root (or offspring). In this case it is David. David, then, is the seed out of which comes forth another root or offspring. In this case it is Messiah Yahshua.
When John calls Yahshua the "root and the offspring of David", both terms mean the same thing, a root is an offspring. That is why Messiah is called "the Son of David" in such verses as Mt.1:1and 22:42. Mt 1:20 tells us that Joseph is also a "son of David". Joseph is also a root of David and an offspring of David. The root always follows the seed in time and the seed always precedes the root. David preceded Messiah.
This brings us to the most difficult passage of
Scripture to understand. The key to understanding it lies in your
stand concerning the pre-existence doctrine as a whole. If you reject
what has been written up to this point and continue to hold unto a
belief in the pre-existence, you will most likely fail to comprehend
this last passage as well. Those that are not locked into a
preconceived idea will grasp its meaning much easier.The passage in
question, Ph.2:5-9, reads as follows; "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 Yahweh: But made himself of
no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made
in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he
humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of
the cross. Wherefore Yahweh also hath highly exalted him, and given
him a name which is above every name:" (KJV)
To begin with, what does verse 5 mean? Does it mean that we should have the same mind as Messiah Yahshua before or after his earthly birth? Paul is telling the Philippians to have the same mind as Messiah Yahshua . If Yahshua pre-existed, he certainly did not carry the name Messiah Yahshua. That name can only be applied to the historical Yahshua, not the being who supposedly pre-existed as "the Word." Yahshua did not officially become "the Anointed" or "the Messiah" until he was baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38).
As a child, Yahshua "waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of Yahweh was upon him" (Lu.2:40). Even at that time Yahshua knew who he was, knew who his Father was (Lu.2:49), and knew what he had to do. By the time of his baptism he was so filled with wisdom, knowledge, Spirit, and power that Paul says he was "in the form (or likeness) of Elohim." It does not say he "was Elohim." Yet, Yahshua did not allow that power and wisdom to corrupt him. Nor did he, for one moment, consider himself Yahweh's equal. He knew his Father was greater than himself (Jn.10:29; 13:16; 14:28). The RSV and many other versions correctly translate Ph.2:6 as follows; "Who, though he was in the form of [Elohim], did not count equality with [Yahweh] a thing to be grasped."
Yahshua did not strip himself of any pre-existent power or glory. He simply humbled himself and made himself of no reputation even though he was far more knowledgeable and powerful than any of his contemporaries. Instead of glorifying himself and expecting others to serve him, he chose to become a servant. He became like most men, common and unassuming as compared to the politically powerful and famous.
In addition to not exalting himself in the eyes of man, he further humbled himself by becoming totally obedient to the laws and will of His Father Yahweh. As a reward for his obedience, Yahweh has highly exalted him. A future exaltation will be the reward of all true believers if they, too, will humble themselves as Yahshua did.
This study has only touched upon certain aspects of the pre-existence doctrine. For additional information, please see the study entitled "Yahshua the Messiah is not Almighty Yahweh." That study will explain many other verses used to support the pre-existence. Among the verses discussed are; Ge.1:26; 19:24; Ps.110:5; Ze.12:10; Mi.5:2; Jn.1:1,10; 8:58; 12:37-41; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor.8:6; 10:4; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16; 1 Tim.3:16; and Heb.1:2. The study also explains such terms as elohim and echad.