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Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was One with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character, in purpose,—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).—Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

Jesus said, “I and My Father are One.” The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as He put forth the claim that He and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes.—The Signs of the Times, November 27, 1893, p. 54.

Yet the Son of God was the acknowledged Sovereign of heaven, one in power and authority with the Father.—The Great Controversy, 495.

To save the transgressor of God’s law, Christ, the One equal with the Father, came to live heaven before men, that they might learn to know what it is to have heaven in the heart. He illustrated what man must be to be worthy of the precious boon of the life that measures with the life of God.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 179.

The only way in which the fallen race could be restored was through the gift of His Son, equal with himself, possessing the attributes of God. Though so highly exalted, Christ consented to assume human nature, that He might work in behalf of man and reconcile to God His disloyal subject. When man rebelled, Christ pleaded His merits in his behalf, and became man’s substitute and surety. He undertook to combat the powers of darkness in man’s behalf, and He prevailed, conquering the enemy of our souls, and presenting to man the cup of salvation.—The Review and Herald, November 8, 1892, p. 690.

The world was made by Him, “and without Him was not anything made that was made.” If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore....

There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible.—The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906, p. 8.

The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son, and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.

However much a shepherd may love His sheep, He loves His sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our “everlasting Father.” And He says, “I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.” John 10:14, 15, R.V. What a statement is this!—the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be “the Man that is My fellow” (Zechariah 13:7),—the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!—The Desire of Ages, 483.

Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. “He that hath the Son hath life.” 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.—The Desire of Ages, 530.

Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.”—The Desire of Ages, 469.

The world’s Redeemer was equal with God. His authority was as the authority of God. He declared that He had no existence separate from the Father. The authority by which He spoke, and wrought miracles, was expressly His own, yet He assures us that He and the Father are one.—The Review and Herald, January 7, 1890, p. 1.

Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 305.

Jehovah is the name given to Christ. “Behold, God is my salvation,” writes the prophet Isaiah; “I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day ye shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.” “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”—The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899, p. 2.

The heavenly gates are again to be lifted up, and with ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy ones, our Saviour will come forth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jehovah Immanuel “shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.”—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 108.

This is the reward of all who follow Christ. Jehovah Emmanuel— He “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” in whom dwells “all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:3, 9)—to be brought into sympathy with Him, to know Him, to possess Him, as the heart opens more and more to receive His attributes; to know His love and power, to possess the unsearchable riches of Christ, to comprehend more and more “what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:18, 19)—“This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.”—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 57.

Before the entrance of sin among the angels: Christ the Word, the only-begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character, and in purpose,—the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ, the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings.—The Great Controversy, 493.

If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ, it is in vain to argue the point with them; for no argument, however conclusive, could convince them. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. None who hold this error can have a true conception of the character or the mission of Christ, or of the great plan of God for man’s redemption.—The Great Controversy, 524.

 
 

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The pre-existence of Christ or personal existence of Christ before his conception is shown in the Bible, but the Holy Ghost has to guide us. For some reason, this concept of Christ pre-incarnate or the pre-existence of Christ is very controversial, as people somewhat get confused with the "Title" which refers to Jesus or how He is shown such as the "First and the Last", the "Alpha and Omega" the "Holy One", the "Angel of the Lord". Now we must be clear, Jesus is NOT a created Angel. He is fully Man, fully God, the Messiah, the Christ, and Lord and Saviour. Jesus is Eternal. Jesus was never created. Jesus is Eternal as the Father and Holy Spirit are Eternal. Jesus has always been and always will be and scripture shows existed before He became the earthly child of Mary.

Let us begin with the birth of Christ and we see in Matthew one of the titles, 'God with us'.

Matthew 1:23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Just as the prophecy in scripture fortold that from the house of David he would come of a virgin birth......
Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Here it is clear that Christ is God, but immediatly we are posed with a question that must be answered.
Did the Father create or "procreate" another "God?" If He did, This would mean it would be a sin to worship Jesus, because it would violate the first commandment!
"Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" Isaiah 43:10
The first commandment says,
"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
On two different occasions John was inclined to worship an angel. He was told by the angel, "See thou do it not: I am a fellow servant, and of they brethren that have the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 19:10)
Worship of a creature was clearly prohibited in the Bible. Worship of the Creator was another matter and we see it time and time again that Jesus accepted worship and was worthy to be worshipped. Of the Canaanite woman it was said, "Then came she and worshipped Him..." (Matthew 15:25). When Thomas recognized Him as the risen Christ he said, "My Lord and my God." (John 20:28), and the four and twenty elders give worship to the Creator, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

Now in the resurrection the Bible tells us that men that are saved are equal to angels.“ Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”(Luke 20:36 ) Jesus was not equal to the angels He was equal to God, scripture repeatedly shows us this. 

" Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God"(Php 2:6)
If we look further to the context in Philippians 2:5-8, we understand clearly what Paul is saying:

Talking of Jesus Christ, . . .who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Clearly, Paul shows that he believes that Jesus had existed as a divine Being before His birth, and that He volunteered to divest Himself of much of His glory, power, and prerogatives to become a lowly human being and to die to redeem humanity from its sins. Then we see the following in Hebrews which shows of Christ, 'angels of God worship him' and God says to the Son or Christ, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever', so scripture lays out the path that the Holy Ghost can guide us into understanding.

"4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 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? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom"(Heb 1:4-8 AV).

So you have to look at this issue of worship first, as God alone is entitled to supreme reverence and worship and man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service or worship. So to worship any other is a sin, but then we have the mystery of the Godhead as Christ was not brought into existence, rather He always existed as one with the Father. We see Christ as the Creator, as Jehovah, as the Great I AM, and appeared in different ways more than fifty times in the Old Testament before coming as flesh in the New Testament.

For any creature to claim the right to be worshipped is blaspheme. In fact the Jews falsely accused Jesus of this.“ The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God"(John 10:33 ) Notice these scriptures that show Jesus was worshipped.

Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matthew 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Matthew 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

John 9:38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

Rev 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Then we have Jesus Himself showing us how He existed prior to the Incarnation and His role, it was not hidden, it is right there in the Bible. Speaking to the Jews, Jesus told them:

John 8:56
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see MY day: and he saw it, and was glad.

The Jews were absolutely amazed at what Jesus sad, because Jesus was only in His early thirties, they could not ponder how He possibly have been alive in Abraham's day, so they reacted.

John 8:57-58
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

The Jews understood what was being declared, Jesus equating Himself with the eternal "I AM" Verse 59 says,

"Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him"

You also have these verses....

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Jesus was directly and actively involved in the creation of man. Indeed you find in Genesis, God said...

"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness"; (Genesis 1:26)

Then there is a prediction of Christ's redemptive work on the cross in Genesis 3:15 :
"And I will put enmity between you (the serpent) and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel"

Christ was there at the beginning, from eternity, but there is more...

 

The preincarnate existence of Christ, and His preincarnate works, is important for several reasons. First, His preexistence is a necessary attribute to show who He was when He came as flesh. If Christ did not exist prior to His incarnation, then He cannot be God. Second, it is important that we have a firm understanding of the preincarnate Christ in order to discern what is false doctrine and what is the truth. Third, it gives the Christian a tremendous suriety in whom their faith is and the Bible. So it is essential that the preexistence of Christ be proven in order to prove His deity. Jesus is the angel of the LORD, the angel of God, the Archangel Michael, Jehovah who appeared time and again in the Old Testament to speak directly to His people, prior to the incarnation.

But then there is a second issue that presents itself, the Lord Himself told Moses that man could not be before the awesome glory that is God. Moses had asked to see God's glory as He was told in in Exodus 33 verse 20, "20But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." This awesome glory presented a problem. If men could not live after seeing Him then how could Christ interact with mankind and as the Bible says no man has ever seen God the Father. The Father is spirit. No one has ever seen His face. We first have the appearance of God walking in the garden in the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:8, but this was after sin so they would have died if they had come before God. But the fact is that God has been seen by men! Enoch and Noah both "walked with God" (Genesis 5:24; 6:9)Then you have 'the Lord' appearing to Abraham in Genesis 18 as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day, and we know the many sins of Abraham, but yet he lived. So who have they seen?

So we have to see how scripture clues us in, and the answer was that God placed Himself in veiled form when He came to the people, and it was Jesus Christ in preincarnate appearances. So, how can we know this, that Jesus existed before His incarnation? Well, In Isaiah 6, Isaiah goes to the Temple to mourn the death of his king, and when Isaiah goes there he suddenly sees the King of Kings and Lord of Lords lifted up high and glorious in the Temple as the angels cry 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory'. Ezekiel also saw that "upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man upon it.... This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD (Ezekiel 1:26,28). Then, over in the New Testament, we are told that when Isaiah saw the Lord lifted up high and holy he saw Jesus Christ. John 12:41 tells us that what Isaiah saw was Jesus in "His glory" — the glory He had before He became incarnate (Philippians 2:5-8).

Looking back at Abraham with the three men that visited him while he was at the tent door we find first, that the leader talked with Abraham. Then He inquired about Sarah and made a promise:
Genesis 18
"9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him
a promise to Abraham. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

Later, in Genesis 21:1-2, we are told who the leader is.

“1And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him..”

The One who spoke with Abraham at the tent, was the Lord Himself. But, because of her old age, Sarah had doubted and laughed at the Lord’s promise. The Lord makes a clear promise with a time line in Genesis 18 and fulfilled in Genesis 21, here is His promise.

“Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son” (Genesis 18:14).

In Genesis 18:10, the central figure or leader of the men promised to return a year later. But, in verse 14, it makes it clear it is the Lord and He promised to return a year later. The leader and the Lord are one and he same. Now take a look at this...

“Then the men rose up from there and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. And the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do…’”(Genesis 18:16-17)

Abraham was walking with the three men in the direction of Sodom when the leader (the Lord) spoke to him.

“Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord” (v.22).

There seems to be a problem. If the three men left for Sodom and the Lord remained with Abraham, is the Lord now appearing as a fourth person? Our answer is found in the first part of Genesis 19:1.

“Now the two angels came to Sodom…”

If two angels went to Sodom, then the third angel (or man) remained with Abraham. The third angel was the Preincarnate Son of God. Jesus did see Abraham as He declared in John 8:56-58.

 


 Then in Genesis 32:24-32 we find Jacob wrestling with a man all night, but it is not just a man. The passage does not tell us directly, but Jacob records that he recognized who it was. Jacob told this man that he would not let him go until he blessed him. The man asked him what his name was and Jacob told him. The man then said in Genesis 32:28 “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” This passage directly says that it was God that Jacob wrestled with all night.

The interesting part of the story is that Jacob clearly lets us know he recognized who he was wrestling with. He tells us in Genesis 32:30 : “So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

We also read that Christ in preincarnate also appears as what is called "the Angel of the Lord." That doesn't mean that Jesus is an angel, rather it means He is God's angel. This term means Jesus is a messenger of the Lord as angel means "messenger."

When Moses saw the burning bush, God spoke to him out of the burning bush and told him take his shoes off as that was holy ground. The next verse says, "And who spoke to him was the Angel of the Lord." (Exodus 3:2) Who was the angel? He clearly identifies Himself in these words:

"Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Exodus 3:6)

We also see, "the Angel of the Lord" who found Hagar by a fountain of water in the wilderness (Genesis 16:7), told her to return to her mistress (verse 8), and promised her that her seed would be multiplied (verse 11). Who was this angel, the Bible tells us.

"And she called the name of the Lord that spake to her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?" (Genesis 6:13)

The angel is identified as the "Lord" and "God", but lets go on. When Abraham was about to slay his son, "the angel of the Lord" called to him.

"And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son...." (Genesis 22:15, 16)

Judges 6:22 records, "When Gideon realized that it was the Angel of the Lord he exclaimed, 'O sovereign Lord, I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face,' but the Lord said to him, 'Peace do not be afraid you are not going to die.'" Gideon saw God incarnate, Jesus as the Angel of the Lord.

We also see the Angel of the Lord as the Preincarnate Son of God in Judges 13. It tells us that the Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoab’s wife and promised her that she would conceive and give birth to a son. He gives the instructions for the son who is Samson, note what He says about the child being a Nazarite from the womb:
"3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:"

The Angel of the Lord appeared a second time to Manoah’s wife and she immediately called her husband.

“15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.
16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord."

Burnt offerings are to be presented to God only, and we see it was the Angel of the Lord.

Then what Manoab asks and the answer which is very interesting...
"17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?"

Then the Angle of the Lord performed the wonders as described in verse 19 and 20:

“19... and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.20 For it came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.”

So Manoah and his wife fell on their faces in worship to Him, and we know only God can be worshipped, but now Manoah tells us who the Angel of the Lord who performed wonders is.

“Now the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah or his wife. Then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the Lord (i.e. Deity). So Manoah said to his wife, ‘We shall surely die, foe we have seen God’” (vv. 21-22).

We also have the 'Son of God' appear and walk in the fiery furnace with Daniels three friends.
Daniel 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 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.

Then In his sermon just before martyrdom, Stephen identifies the One that appeared to Moses.

"This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us. (Acts 7:37, 38
The Angel of Jehovah is the One who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, whose name was "I Am." In the New Testament Christ identifies Himself as the great "I Am." (John 8:58)

Exodus 3 13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

John 8 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus Christ himself was telling the Jews that He was the angel in the burning bush speaking to Moses, and therefore was God. This the Jews understood, which is why they picked up rocks to stone him. It was the angel of the Lord within the burning bush who applied the title of I AM to himself, Christ applied the same title to himself.

This Angel of the Lord that appeared was the pre-incarnate Christ, and shown as the Lord. But Christ is clealy not a created angelic being. The divinity of Christ is clearly spelled out in Scriptures. Hebrew the first chapter clearly differentiates between Jesus and those supernatural beings called angels.

"Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they". (Hebrews 1:4)

We find In many places in the Old Testament it refers to the evelasting attribute of God, we see this with Abraham when he called upon the Lord.

Genesis 21:33
And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

God is constantly refered to and His protection, and law, in the Bible but most importantly, His existence is shown as eternal.

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Proverbs 8:23
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

Then we see how the prophecy of Christ as the Messiah describe Him as everlasting and points to His existence from eternity past.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
And many verses confirme the everlasting God as the Creator.

Isaiah 40:28
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding

Then prophecy states that Messiah would come from Bethlehem, and He is described as He "whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

Micah 5:2
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.

This states not only His preexistence but the fact that He has existed from eternity. So then we look at the appearance of God in a physical form and see that it was none other than Christ Himself. If He appeared before His incarnation, then He obviously existed before His incarnation.

In John 1:14, it is written that "the Word became flesh." Now that He became flesh implies that He was not always flesh, i.e., that He existed before His incarnation. In John 3:13, Jesus said that He came down from heaven. Mortal men do not come down from heaven! This implies a previous existence. In John 17:18, we see that the Father sent Him into the world. In Hebrews 2:14 we read that He partook of flesh and blood. All of these things imply that He existed prior to His incarnation.

As we have seen, Christ as the angel of the Lord appears on numerous occasions throughout the Old Testament. And yet it is clear that He is something more than other angels.The Angel of the LORD is often identified as Jehovah.

While the Angel of the LORD is identified as Jehovah, He is also distinguished from Jehovah. In Gen. 24:7, we read of Jehovah sending his angel. Zech. 1:12-13 is the clearest revelation of the distinction, for there we see the Angel of the LORD speaking with Jehovah.
So scripture presents that the Angel of the LORD is identified as Jehovah and yet distinct from Him. This would mean that He is one of the members of the Godhead.
Here are reasons why the Angel of the LORD should be identified as the second person of the Godhead.

First, the second person is the visible God of the New Testament. The Father has been heard, but never seen. The Spirit has been seen only in the form of a dove, and only in one instance. But Christ, indwelt by the fullness of the Godhead, walked among men, visible and touchable. It therefore seems logical to conclude that the Angel of the LORD would be the second person of the Godhead.

Second, the Angel of the LORD no longer appears after the incarnation of Christ. It seems logical to conclude that the reason why He appears no longer is because in the New Testament He appears as the incarnate Christ.

Third, both the Angel of the LORD and Jesus Christ were sent by the Father.

Fourth, the Angel of the LORD could not be either the Father or the Spirit. He could not be the Father because John 1:18 tells us that "No man hath seen God at any time." He could not be the Spirit, since the Spirit is immaterial. Therefore, He must be the Son. Some of these same arguments apply to the other theophanies which scripture gives us.

We go back to Genesis 18, to look at the three men that appear to Abraham. It is apparent that one of them is Jehovah (the other two are probably angels), since the text actually says so (v. 13). Furthermore, He knows of Sarah's laughter within herself, and we see Abraham praying to Him. Like the Angel of the LORD, this is a physical manifestation of Jehovah, and must therefore be a preincarnate appearance of Christ.

In Joshua 5:13-15, we read of a man whom Joshua meets near Jericho. The man identified Himself as "captain of the host of the LORD." He accepted Joshua's worship, and told Joshua to remove his shoes because he was on holy ground, just as Moses had to do when the Angel of the LORD spoke to him from the burning bush (Ex. 3). This demonstrates the deity of the Captain, which leads us to the conclusion that this is another preincarnate appearance of Christ. As the Angel of the LORD, He stopped Abraham when He was about to slay Issac. Also as the Angel of the LORD, He stood between the camp of Egypt and that of Israel while the Red Sea was parting. He was with Israel in the wilderness, and provided water from out of a rock on two occasions (Ex. 17, Num. 20, cp. I Cor. 10:4). Christ, in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, guided the children of Israel in the wilderness.

The scripture in the New Testament also has direct assertions of Christ's preexistence. The first is John 1:1-4,14. In v.1 we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." It was later that "the Word became flesh (v. 14)." If the Word was with God before He became flesh, than He obviously existed before His incarnation. The second is John 6:33-62. There is no need to examine this whole passage. For our purposes, it will suffice just to look at v. 62, where Jesus said to His disciples, "What if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?" The third is John 8:58, where Jesus said to the Jews, "Before Abraham was, I am." Jesus is obviously stating here that He existed before Abraham. The fourth is John 17:5, where Jesus was praying to the Father and said, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." This, too, is an obvious assertion of Christ's preexistence. The fifth is Phil. 2:6, where Paul, speaking of our Lord, says, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." This passage is one of the most difficult to interpret, but for our purposes all we need see is that there was a time, before He took on the form of a man, that Christ existed in the form of God. This, too, is an obvious assertion of Christ's preexistence.

Christ's works as scripture shows, include Creation, the preservation of the universe, and the sustaining of the children of Israel in the wilderness. In order for Christ to have done these things, which happened prior to His incarnation, He had to have existed. Christ's work in creation is plainly revealed in the New Testament. In John 1:3 we read, "All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." In Col. 1:16, we read, "By him were all things created," and in Hebrews 1:10 "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:"

Therefore, His work in creation is obvious, compare this with Psalm 102:25
"Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands."
He is the Creator.

So we begin to understand, that whenever the omnipresent, invisible God has deigned to appear to men, He has done so in the person of His eternal Son, who is "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15).Since the Son is, indeed, "in the form of God—equal with God" (Philippians 2:6), He is omnipotent and thus shows Himself as an angel or a man or even a burning bush. Christ was involved, even before His incarnation, with man's salvation. Scripture does not give us a great amount of detail as to the nature of His saving ministry before the incarnation, but we are told in 2 Cor. 5:19 that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them."

On the basis of the evidence from both Old and New Testaments, anybody who honors the testimony of Scripture must conclude that Jesus Christ has existed from "the beginning" along with God the Father, and is included in the Godhead. The doctrine of the eternity of Christ is most important as if Christ was not eternal, then He came into existence in time and is a created being and vastly different in being and attributes from God Himself. If Christ is eternal, it is affirming that He has no dependence upon another for His existence, that He is in fact self-existent, which is what I accept and believe. Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God, divine, infinite and omnipotent, in union and oneness with the Father. He is the Logos or Word, and before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God, King of Kings, our Lord and Saviour.

Finally lets look at the Second Coming, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 it states that at the second coming the Lord shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel. If he shouts with a voice it must be his voice. The Lord is the Archangel. Furthermore, this voice raises the dead and only God can raise the dead.

Paul frequently refers to Jesus as `Lord' in 1 Corinthians in such a way as to identify him as, or equate him with, the Lord Jehovah of the Old Testament.... Paul says that Christians hope to be found `blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ '(1:8; see also 5:5), whereas the Old Testament spoke of that judgment day as the day of Jehovah (e.g., Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31).... Paul's language clearly refers to Jesus as if he were Jehovah.

Thus Jehovah shows Himself in the position as leader of the angelic host at the day of judgement, or second coming the Lord. It all comes together, Michael represents the pre-existent Jesus in angelic form, the Lord of the Host, before He came down, and as the One who gave Himself for salvation after sin came in, He also in scripture reveals Himself as the Messiah or Christ, as seen in the Second Coming...

Scripture clearly shows that Christ is God, the great I AM, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jehovah...but he also the Angel of the Lord, the Angel of the Host, and Michael the Archangel and there is no conflict here. This is his title when He threw out Satan and when He comes to take the saints and put Satan away forever. Scripture, if you look closely, clearly reveals this and shows us who He is....

 

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