While the preexistence of Jesus is a well-known doctrine among Trinitarians, it is highly controversial among those who do not believe in the Trinity. However, there is no necessary connection between Jesus existing beforehand and the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is merely a human-made construct that reflects a false concept of God. But for the preexistence of Jesus Christ, there are countless evidences in the Bible and no specific Bible verses that would refute it.
This article will prove the preexistence through the prophecies in the Old Testament and Jesus’ own words.
This article also exists as video version: Preexistence of Christ – Did Jesus exist before his birth?
The Old Testament makes several statements about the preexistence of Jesus Christ
Job spoke of his Redeemer living and coming to the earth at the end of days.
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. (Job 19:25)
For those who find Job’s statement not explicit enough, consider what David has to say about the preexistence. He also recognizes that he has a Lord to whom his God, YHWH, speaks and whom He has set at His right hand.
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalm 110:1)
Some might argue that this verse is not conclusive. However, Jesus Himself refers to this passage in His conversation with the Pharisees, revealing that the Messiah must have existed before David and cannot merely be his son, as David addresses Him as Lord.
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)
But David makes another statement, referring to the person he calls Lord as God’s begotten Son while providing clear hints that he is, as Job mentioned, the one who will execute the final judgment.
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:2-12)
This passage is also affirmed in the New Testament.
God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (Acts 13:33)
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 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? (Hebrews 1:4-5)
Solomon also asserts that Jesus existed before the creation of the world
Even David’s son Solomon joins the list of people in the Old Testament who recognize that God has a Son, thus confirming His preexistence.
Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? (Proverbs 30:4)
But this is not the only passage where the Son of God is mentioned. The next one couldn’t be clearer. It not only states that God has a preexistent Son but also that He existed before the creation of the world.
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:22-36)
Some critics of the preexistence of Jesus might argue that Solomon is referring to wisdom in this passage. However, these doubts can be easily resolved when considering Paul’s reference to Proverbs 8.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)
For Paul directly links this wisdom to Jesus, saying that this wisdom was predestined for us and that the rulers did not understand it, otherwise they wouldn’t have crucified Jesus. In short, the wisdom referred to by Solomon here is the wisdom of Jesus, who was crucified.
Not only does Paul make reference to this Bible verse, but Jesus Himself also alludes to it when He says:
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:5)
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. (John 17:24)
If some still find these statements not compelling enough, one should look at the prophecy of Micah:
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)
For Micah unequivocally confirms that the Messiah had his origin in ancient times and even eternity, which again confirms the preexistence of Jesus.
Christ says of Himself that He was preexistent
So when Jesus says that He will have the same glory with the Father that He had before coming into the world, it becomes clear to us that Jesus must have existed before. For we know the type of glory He has now with the Father. He is seated at His right hand as the following Bible verses state:
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:22)
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. (Luke 22:69)
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. (Acts 7:55)
So if we reject that Jesus was preexistent, then we are making Jesus a liar.
However, these are not the only statements made by Jesus indicating His preexistence. There are countless statements Jesus has made throughout His life regarding this matter.
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (John 3:13)
What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (John 6:62)
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38)
And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.(John 8:23)
Jesus existed before Abraham and John the Baptist
Jesus said to the Pharisees that He existed even before Abraham.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58)
Some opponents of Jesus’ preexistence argue that in this statement, Jesus says “I am” instead of “I was” before Abraham. They base this on the idea that Jesus is the firstborn of the new creation and therefore ranks above Abraham, which is indeed correct. However, they often overlook the context in which Jesus says that Abraham rejoiced to see His day.
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. (John 8:56)
If Jesus had not existed during Abraham’s time, this would not have been possible because He hadn’t been alive yet.
But it’s not just Jesus’ statement alone that indicates His preexistence. John the Baptist also tells us that Jesus was already before him.
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. (John 1:15)
However, we know from the Bible that John the Baptist was born before Jesus, which means Jesus must have been preexistent.
Elijah ascended to God and later returned in the form of John the Baptist
The fact that Jesus could go to the Father and return in the End of days confirms that His preexistence is not impossible. For those who need more evidence, we can provide an example with Elijah and John. It is also said about Elijah that he would return before the Day of Judgment. And Jesus and an angel of God have also said that John was Elijah and that his spirit and power would work through him.
And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias. (Luke 1:17)
And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. (Matthew 11:14)
But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. (Matthew 17:12)
Jesus has no beginning of days just like Melchizedek
When discussing the doctrine of the preexistence, it’s essential to talk about Melchizedek as well. Melchizedek was a man to whom Abraham gave his tithe, acknowledging him as higher in rank than himself.
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace. (Hebrews 7:1-2)
But what’s even more significant are the characteristics attributed to Melchizedek. In the Bible, we read that Melchizedek had neither a beginning of days nor an end, and that he had no father or mother.
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:3)
The most crucial point we can gather from this Bible passage is that he was compared to the Son of God. This provides us with insight that Jesus also had no beginning of days but existed before the creation of time. This statement is supported by the following Bible verse.
Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 6:20)
And also in the Psalms, it is written:
The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalm 110:4)
Jesus was predestined but revealed in the end of times
In the Bible, it is written that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. (Colossians 1:15)
Critics of the preexistence of Jesus Christ argue that this passage refers to the new creation of God and thus does not prove the doctrine.
It is often argued that according to the Bible, Jesus was foreseen before the foundation of the world but did not exist, yet.
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. (1 Peter 1:20)
However, this Bible verse states that He was revealed at the end of time, indicating that He must have existed before this revelation.
The Bible also mentions that Jesus humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant, and became like a human. This statement would only make sense if He had existed in a different form before.
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7)
Additionally, John also indicates a preexistence in the first epistle of John by saying that we will see Jesus as He is.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
However, this statement would have been meaningless without Jesus having existed before, as John had seen Him in person in his lifetime. Furthermore, this Bible verse is reinforced by the fact that it states we do not yet know what we will be, but we do know that we will be like Him, since we already share the similarity of being human.
Even the demons confirm that Jesus already existed before his birth
In the Bible, demons repeatedly indicated that they knew Jesus even before his appearance on Earth. Whenever they confronted Jesus, they were filled with fear and reverence because they knew exactly who was standing before them – the Son of God and the Messiah. This is why Jesus had to threaten them to keep quiet, preventing them from revealing his true identity early.
And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. (Luke 4:41)
And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. (Mark 3:11)
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (Mark 5:6-7)
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29)
Jesus also testified that he saw Satan fall from heaven like a lightning, which confirms that he must have existed before his appearance on Earth.
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (Luke 10:18)
As we can see, there are numerous passages in the Bible that point to Jesus Christ’s preexistence. According to the Bible, Jesus existed even before His appearance on Earth. This fact is not only confirmed by people from the Old Testament but also by Jesus Himself multiple times. One should be really careful to not believe the words of our Messiah. The exact nature of His appearance remains a mystery until His return, at which point He will be revealed in His full glory as the Son of God.
To understand why Jesus is not God despite His preexistence, you should read this article: All “Jesus is God” Bible passages and claims debunked!
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