Jesus’ Life Before He Was “Born”
Some people ask, “You Christians claim Jesus was God and God is one. In that case, there was no God before Jesus was born. In fact, when Jesus died on the cross, once again there was no God.”
These are good thoughts. They seem to come from logic. But this logic is based on partial knowledge. A person has to look at the facts.
In the Qur’an, it says God appeared to Moses in a burning tree, and spoke out of that burning tree. (The Bible has the same story, except it was a burning bush.) Here is the Qur’an version:
When he saw a fire, he said to his family: “Wait! Verily, I have seen a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand there from, or find some guidance at the fire.” And when he came to it (the fire), he was called by name: “O Musa (Moses)! “Verily I am your Lord! So take off your shoes; you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa. (Surah 20:10-12)
(Remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his household: “Verily I have seen a fire; I will bring you from there some information, or I will bring you a burning brand, that you may warm yourselves.” But when he came to it, he was called: “Blessed is whosoever is in the fire, and whosoever is round about it! And glorified be Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). “O Musa (Moses)! Verily it is I, Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Surah 27:7-9).
Then, when Musa (Moses) had fulfilled the term, and was traveling with his family, he saw a fire in the direction of Tur (Mount). He said to his family: “Wait, I have seen a fire; perhaps I may bring you from there some information, or a burning fire-brand that you may warm yourselves.” So when he reached it (the fire), he was called from the right side of the valley, in the blessed place, from the tree: “O Musa (Moses)! Verily I am Allah. (Surah 28:29-30)
Would it have made sense for the other trees to say, “God never entered us and spoke out of us, so we do not believe God really entered and spoke out of that other tree”? Furthermore, would it make sense to say that before that tree was planted, God did not exist; and after that tree died and was blown away, God did not exist?
We could ask the same questions about the fire. Should all other flames of fire say that, since God did not speak out of them, God did not speak out of that fire either? Should all other flames of fire say that, before that particular flame of fire came into being, God did not exist; and after that particular flame of fire was blown out, God went out of existence?
If your answer to both questions is “No, it wouldn’t make sense,” then it does not make sense to deny God put his words in the human body of Jesus just because he didn’t put his words in your human body or any other human body.
JESUS ALWAYS EXISTED
John 1:1-3, in the New Testament half of the Bible, says, Jesus is God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made [spoken into existence]; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
In John 17:5, Jesus said he had glory with God before the world began.
King Solomon, the son of David, wrote this about Jesus, the Word: “The Lord brought me forth [possessed me] as the first of his works before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth [brought forth], when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth [brought forth], before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world” (Proverbs 8:22-26).
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible….He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead” (Colossians 1:16-18).
“Christ Jesus who, being in very nature God…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man” (Philippians 2:5-8).
“He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory” (1st Timothy 3:16)
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful Word. After he provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven ….About the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever.” (Hebrews 1:3, 8).
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared” (1st Peter 1:20)
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God” (1st John 4:15).
Well, how can Jesus be eternal and be created too? Your mind has always existed. Your mind is the father of your words. Any time God thought in Words, that was Jesus before he became Jesus. Any time Jesus spoke in Words, that was Jesus before he became Jesus
Therefore, whenever Jesus said he had to do the will of his Father, he was saying the Words had to obey the Mind.
This also assures us there is only one Word of God.
WHAT JESUS WAS
In the New Testament of the Bible (written for Christians), Jesus’ apostle John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only [there is only one Word of God] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1 & 14).
This same apostle wrote in the very last book of the Bible this: “His name is the Word of God….On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:13 & 16).
WHENEVER GOD SPOKE, THAT WAS JESUS
To understand the Word, it helps to understand the Spirit, for we run into the term Holy Son and Holy Spirit both. You have a mind that is the originator of all things you say and do. You have a spirit within you that keeps you alive; when someone dies, we say their spirit left them. And we’ve already discussed words.
The part God’s Spirit plays is brought out in Genesis 1:1-2 that says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” This is followed in the rest of the chapter with God saying, “Let there be” and something came into existence.
Here we have God, the Mind, speaking something into existence (Jesus, the Word), and God the Spirit making it happen. (For a further study of the Holy Spirit, I have The Holy Spirit in 365 Scriptures, which can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.)
We have instances when God appeared as a man, but it is always explained that the man was God who had temporarily materialized.
Whenever God’s Angel is referred to, that is Jesus. He led the Israelites across the wilderness between Egypt and the future Palestine. God told the Israelites, “Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your rebellion, since my name is in him….My angel will go ahead of you” (Exodus 23:21-23).
Jesus is referred to as God’s Angel also in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. “The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him…He made it known by sending his angel [Jesus] to his servant John. “(See Revelation 1:1-2.)
Furthermore, whenever you read “The Angel of the Lord” (not an angel, but The Angel), in the Old Testament half of the Bible, that is Jesus. Remember, angel simply means messenger. The passages referring to The Angel always explain that it is God speaking; that is, God the Word speaking ~ Jesus.
Abraham ~ 2054 BC
Abraham waited a long time to have a son. When he was finally born, he was a miracle baby, for Abraham was now one hundred years old, and his wife was ninety years old. Later, probably when Isaac was a teenager, God told Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son to him.
(Some ask why Abraham’s first-born, Ishmael, wasn’t considered his begotten son. Ishmael was the son of a slave woman, Hagar, and that made Ishmael a slave too. He was not legally recognized as a son.)
In the Bible account of the sacrifice, it says, “But The Angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son’ “ (Genesis 22:11-12).
Then “The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you…” (Genesis 22:15-17a).
WHENEVER GOD MATERIALIZED, THAT WAS JESUS
Abraham ~ 2067 BC
When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, “The Lord appeared to Abraham….Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby….He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my Lord, do not pass your servant by….Then the Lord said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son….Is anything too hard for the Lord?’” (See Genesis 18:1-14.) We see here that Jesus announced the birth of Isaac.
Abraham – 2067 BC
There were some cities that were very evil and God decided to destroy them completely. “When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom….Then the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?’…Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous’…The [three] men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city?…The Lord said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for heir sake’…When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left and Abraham returned home. The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening….So, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham.” (Genesis 18:16 – 19:1, 29). We see here that Jesus materialized in the form of one of the three men who visited Abraham. When the Lord appeared to Abraham, that was who we would later identify as Jesus.
Hagar ~ 2064 BC
Sarah, the wife of Abraham, could not bear him children. So, according to the custom 4000 years ago, Sarah suggested her husband mate with her Egyptian slave, Hagar, so she could be a surrogate mother for a child for Sarah. But, when Hagan became pregnant, she began acting ugly toward Sarah and taunting her. So Sarah treated Hagar the same way Hagar had treated her, and Hagar ran away.
“The Angel of the Lord found her and told her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” He also told her she would have a son and was to name him Ishmael. Hagar replied, “You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the One who sees me.” (See Genesis 16:9-13.)
Jacob ~ 1906 BC
Years later, Jacob returned home. By this time, he had two wives and twelve sons. He neared his homeland. “So Jacob was left alone, and the man wrestled with him till daybreak…..Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me….Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome….So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared’” (Genesis 32:24-30). Jacob was about to enter a hostile land that God was giving him. That night, when he wrestled all night, he proved he was a man who could stick with something longer than other men could. He had wrestled with a physical manifestation of God, Jesus.
Aaron & Miriam ~ 1445 BC
Jacob, now called Israel, had a son, Joseph who started out as a slave in Egypt and eventually became next to Pharaoh in importance. He brought his father and brothers to be with him in Egypt. But they did not return home. They stayed until the Egyptians turned them into slaves. They were slaves 400 years. Then Moses led them out of their slavery. There were over three million in this family by now and they were called Israelites. Moses had an older sister, Miriam, and older brother, Aaron. Moses led these former slaves for forty years. At one point, his brother and sister resented him being the leader and not them. So, God appeared to them to set them straight.
“Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words: When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Numbers 12:5-8). Notice, the Lord stood and explained that Moses always sees his face and form.
Balaam ~ 1407 BC
A pagan prophet named Balaam wanted to prophesy against the Israelites. So, “The Angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him….the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw The Angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell face down” (Numbers 22:22, 31). We know this was not just an ordinary angel because, when an ordinary angel was bowed down to, he said it was wrong. “Then the angel said to me….At this I fell down at this feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant” (Revelation 19:9-10). The same thing happened in Revelation 22:8 when John was again told not to bow down before an angel.
Joshua ~ 1406 BC
After Moses died, Joshua took his place. As he led the people near Jericho, Joshua “saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. The man said, “ ‘As commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence….The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy’ “ (Joshua 5:13-15).
Joshua & Israelites ~ 1375 BC
Shortly before Joshua died, The Angel of the Lord told the Israelites, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your forefathers. I said I will never break my covenant with you.” Angels did not make covenants with people; only God did.
Gideon ~ 1169 BC
The Israelites settled in their land, but turned from God. Finally Gideon, a supreme judge over Israel was approached by God. “When The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you….The Lord answered, “I will be with you.’ “ At the end of their conversation “The Angel of the Lord disappeared. When Gideon realized it was The Angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, ‘Ah, sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face” (Judges 6:12-16, 21-22).
Samson’s Parents ~ 1090 BC
At a time when the Israelites were being ruled by their enemy because of their sin, The Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife. She told her husband, a man of God came to her who looked like an angel of God, very awesome (Judges 13:3, 6). He later appeared to both Manoah and his wife. Manoah offered to fix him a meal and he turned him down, but said he should prepare a burnt offering to the Lord. “Then Manoah inquired of The Angel of the Lord, ‘What is your name, so we may honor you when your word comes true?’ He replied, ‘Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding’ “. Then Manoah made the burnt offering to the Lord, and “as the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, The Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame…We are doomed to die, for we have seen God!” (Judges 13:12-22)
Elijah ~ 858 BC
The prophet Elijah fled from the evil queen of the Israelites, Jezebel. While he was hiding, The Angel of the Lord touched him and told him to eat because he needed to go to the desert of Damascus. He hid in a cave, then “the word of the Lord came to him” (I Kings 19:7-9).
Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego ~ 603 BC
Eventually, God allowed the Israelites to be taken captive to Babylon (today’s Iraq). There were three godly Jews among them named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to bow down to a statue, so King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that they be thrown into a fiery furnace. “Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet I amazement and asked his advisors, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire…Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a Son of God’ “ (Daniel 3:24-25). Then he ordered the three men to come out of the fire, and they did. The fourth “man” disappeared.
SOMETIMES JESUS APPEARED IN AN OBJECT
A Stairway ~ 1928 BC
After Jacob deceived his father, Isaac, and got the blessing of his older brother, Esau, he had to flee for his life. While on his way to another country, he had a vision of a stairway [ladder] coming down from heaven with angels ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28:12)
Centuries later, Jesus explained he was that stairway. He said, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man” (John 1:51).
A Burning Bush/Tree ~ 1446 BC
The Israelites eventually went to Egypt because of a famine, but never returned home. Eventually they were turned into slaves by the Egyptians because they were another nationality that might try to take over their country. They were slaves 400 years. Then God appeared to Moses to tell him to lead them out of slavery. “There The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush….God called to him from within the bush…’Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’…The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out’ “ (Exodus 3:2-7).
A Pillar of Cloud &/Or Fire ~ 1446 BC
The Israelites did not know where they were going because they had been slaves in Egypt 400 years. So God led them. “Then The Angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel….During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. (See Exodus 14:19-20, 24.)
Later Jesus appeared in a cloud when Solomon finished building and dedicated the temple in Jerusalem. When the sacred ark (golden chest) of the covenant was brought into the temple and put in the Holy of Holies, as the priests were leaving the building through the Holy Place, a cloud filled the temple, “so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (I Kings 8:10-11). That cloud, too, was Jesus.
A Rock With Water ~ 1407 BC
The Israelites were in the wilderness after they left Egypt and became thirsty. So God told Moses and his brother, Aaron (their high priest) to “speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community” Exodus 20:8).
In the New Testament half of the Bible, it says they all “drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ” (I Corinthians 10:4). In fact, Jesus also said he was the water in John 4:14, also in the New Testament half of the Bible.
So, we see in the above that the Word of God (later known as Jesus) had a fairly busy life before he was born in the body of Jesus.
JESUS WAS THE VISIBLE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD
The prophet Isaiah (peace be upon him), wrote that a child would be born some day who will be both the Son that is given and the Everlasting Father, and will be Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).
When the angel, Gabriel, appeared to Joseph to explain that Mary was miraculously pregnant, he told Joseph “they will call him Immanuel, which means “God With Us”. This had been prophesied centuries earlier when it was said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation….For God was pleased to have all is fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:15, 19).
So, when God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8).
Philippians 2:5-8, explains this: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.”
So, why did Jesus become the visible image of God by going into the body of a man? Hebrews 2:11-14, “Both the one who makes men holy [Jesus] and those who are made holy [Jesus’ followers, Christians] are the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers…. ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil.”