Did Jesus Christ always exist? If so, is there a record of His existence prior to His physical birth?
For many who call themselves “Christian,” everything begins with the birth of Jesus Christ. He is, after all, the author of our salvation. But did you realize that the Being who became Christ has been in existence for all eternity? Without understanding this, it is impossible to understand how great the sacrifice was that He made for you and me. Who was this great Being? What did He risk to become our Lord and Savior?
The Beginning (The Logos)
The first book of the Bible is Genesis, and the account of the re-creation of the Earth can be found there. However, the actual beginning of all eternity is found in John 1:1, a passage that speaks of two Beings, the only ones in existence at the time: God and the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
In Mystery of the Ages, Herbert W. Armstrong explains, “These passages show that the Word, in the beginning—before anything had been created—was with God, and He, also, was God. Now how could that be?
“There might be a man named John. And John might be with the man named Smith, and John might also be Smith because John is the son of Smith, and Smith is the family name. Yet they are two separate persons.”
The Word was “with God.” This expression is defined by Lange’s Commentary: “The word denotes the most intimate and divine sort of relationship to another” and “closest intercommunion.” There has never been a closer relationship than the one between God and the Word. Before the heavens, the Earth or the material universe existed, these two Beings had lived in perfect unity for all eternity. There was nothing else in existence; yet, there was never a disagreement between them.
The Being who would later be “made flesh, and dwelt among us” was then called the Word (verse 14). The Greek word for Word is Logos and it means Spokesman. He was the Spokesman for the Godhead. He was in perfect submission to the one who would become God the Father.
The Genesis 1 account affirms that there was more than one member of the divine family present at the re-creation of the Earth. The Hebrew word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim. It is a singular noun with plural characteristics like family, church or group. These two Beings were in perfect agreement when they said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This declaration, made by the Spokesman, begins to show the incredible potential of man.
A Family of Creators
In John 1:3, we read that all things were made by the Word. Mr. Armstrong explained exactly how this works: “In the first week in January 1914, I was sent by a national magazine to Detroit, Michigan, to interview Henry Ford to obtain material for an article on his sensational new $5-a-day wage policy. I saw Henry Ford in the administration building, wearing a business suit with white collar and necktie. Then I looked across the breezeway into the giant factory (then the Highland Park factory) and I saw perhaps thousands of men in overalls, working at machines powered with electrical energy. Mr. Ford was called the maker of the Ford car. But he made the cars by these workmen, who used the power of electricity and machines.
“In the same manner, God the Father is Creator. But He ‘created all things by Jesus Christ.’ Jesus is the Word. It is written, ‘He spake, and it was done’ (Psalm 33:9). God tells Christ what to do (John 8:28-29). Jesus then speaks, as the workman, and the Holy Spirit is the power that responds and does what Jesus commands” (op. cit.). The one who became God the Father instructed the Word, who then carried out all that was commanded by the power of the Holy Spirit. The instructions were to create!
The God Family is one of creators. Consider how special this job is. God has given humans a tremendous capacity to build and design from the materials He has given us; yet we do not have the capacity to create even a single speck of dirt—only the God Family has the ability to create. They have, in fact, created everything that exists, from the tiniest molecule to the expanse of the universe itself. Genesis 1-2 show this power in action, as the God Family restored the heavens and the Earth in a mere six days, sanctifying the seventh as a day of rest.
And, in fact, the Logos was the executor for Elohim. He carried out the will of God, creating everything that was made. They already shared a strong family bond, and were a family in that sense. The Logos was, however, not yet the Son of God, and God, though supreme Head of the universe, was not yet a Father.
An examination of Hebrews 7 reveals that Christ was also known as Melchizedek in Old Testament times. Melchizedek was the King of Jerusalem and possibly its founder. We read that Melchizedek was the “King of righteousness” (verse 2). He was also “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” (verse 3).
Melchizedek was to abide a high priest continually—and Jesus Christ is now High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). Melchizedek was also “like unto the Son of God.” He and Jesus Christ are, in fact, one and the same. We also read that Abraham paid his tithes to Melchizedek, King of Salem (Genesis 14:18-20). This was the Word, manifested in human form.
Many do not realize that the great God who led Israel out of Egypt was not the one who became God the Father; it was the Word. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).
In Deuteronomy 32:3-4, we find, “Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
The God of the Old Testament manifested Himself to the patriarchs on many occasions. Yet, “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). This is because it was the Word who manifested Himself in human form, not the one who became God the Father. As Spokesman for the God Family, Jesus Christ declared the Father when on Earth.
In Exodus 6:2, the Word revealed His name to Moses. “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord.” The Hebrew word for Lord in this case is yhwh. It actually means, “the One who was, and is, and is to be.” Anytime you read a translation of the word yhwh (in many Bibles, rendered Lord in small caps), it refers to the Word, not to the one who would become God the Father.
These facts are in perfect agreement with what we have already seen. The Word was the one who created all that God designed. As Spokesman for the God Family, He was the one who taught Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it was He who entered into a covenant with ancient Israel. This is one reason that Jesus Christ did not marry during His physical lifetime; He could not because He was already married to ancient Israel (Jeremiah 3:14), and that contract could only be broken by the death of one of the parties—which it was when Christ was crucified.
We now better understand what Christ gave up to become our Passover sacrifice. God and the Word knew how risky this plan was.
As explained in our free book The God Family Vision, this plan “involved tremendous risk! Now God was taking a chance of losing the Word, who later became His Son upon begettal in the virgin Mary. The Word would have to divest Himself of His eternal glory and live a perfect life, as a mortal, human being, to qualify as the unblemished sacrificial lamb to pay the tremendous price for the sins of all mankind (John 1:14). What if the Word were to sin? His death would then only pay for His own sins, and it would not have been possible to resurrect Him. That would have left only one God and no Savior—no family, no future for mankind!”
So consider the status and position of the Word before He risked everything to become our Lord and Savior. God and the Word were already in the most intimate relationship imaginable. They were already in undisputed control of the universe with infinite power and unlimited creative capacity. So why would the Word risk losing all of that, even His own existence? Why would the one who became God the Father risk being left alone forever? Because they wanted a family.
Man, who is made in the image of God, after His likeness, has the potential to be born into the Family of God.
In Romans 8:14, we read, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.” God uses this term sons very carefully: “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 1:5). We will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).
Revelation 19:7 also reveals we have the potential to become the Bride of Christ. The Apostle Paul made this clear in Ephesians 5: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (verses 23-25). The Word risked everything for the Church. All of humanity was created so that God could have a family. It is why we exist. How God and the Word want a family! What a tremendous trial they were willing to go through that we could be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1).
Most do not realize the true history of Jesus Christ: that He was the God of the Old Testament, the Spokesman for Elohim, and the King of Salem, Melchizedek. Yet, how important this history is! As we think on the Passover, we can better understand the tremendous sacrifice that both God the Father and Jesus Christ made when we realize what they were willing to risk so that we could be brought into the Family of God.