Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?

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I have been a follower of Jesus for years and have spent a lot of time reading His Word, so I sometimes forget that not everybody knows the basic beleifs of Christianity. I take it for granted that people just believe the stuff every Christian should know.

Take for example this simple question, “Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?” Before anything was created, before time, did Jesus exist in the beginning? I asked sixteen professing believers I work with this question, and was shocked at how few knew the answer.  Twelve of those sixteen did not believe that Jesus existed in the beginning, and was just the first created thing.

Did Jesus exist in the beginning?

John 1:1-2 simply states this when it says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

And who was the Word? Just a few verses later John clearly tells us

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:14-15)

Who was it that became flesh to dwell among us, the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16)? Who was it that John bore witness to? It was Jesus. Jesus existed in the beginning with God, and not just existing with God, but Jesus was God in the beginning! (He is still God today of course. :) )

Isaiah the prophet heard a message from God where God the Father said

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘ I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

God is the First and the Last, nothing existed before God and nothing will exist after Him, He is it, the first and the last. In Revelation Jesus identifies himself as ” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13) The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet, in English it would be the A and the Z. There are no letters before A, and none after Z. Jesus is the first and last, the beginning, and the end.

How is it that both God the Father and Jesus can be the first and the last? This is only possible because Jesus is God. Remember what John 1:1 said, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both are God, both are one being, one diety, even though they are individual.

I Am

In the Old Testament God would refer to himself as simply “I Am” (Exodus 3:14). That in itself is an awesome statement, which I will cover in a future article. Jesus later when talking to the Jews told them “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”” (John 8:58). Jesus is not only saying that he existed since before his physical birth on earth, but he is identifying himself as being God, as being the I Am. Jesus again identified himself as the I am when he was being arrested in the garden. The soldiers asked if Jesus was “Jesus of Nazareth” and Jesus replied in such away that the soldiers fell to the ground. “Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)

Jesus is the Creator

When God is creating man He says “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Genesis 1:26). Who is God talking to here? Who is God refereing to by saying “Us” and “Our”? God is not a single being but three, completely seperate beings, three deities that are the same. The Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1). This is an example of how Jesus did exist in the beginning.

Not only was Jesus with God in the beginning, before creation, but Jesus is the creator. John 1:3 says “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Jesus did not come to die for his Father’s creation, but his own. Isn’t this amazing? Jesus knew what he would have to go through, he knew all of the suffering he would face before he created us, yet he still choose to do so!

Why is this important?

The final question I want to look at is why is it important that Jesus existed in the beginning with God?
If Jesus did not exist in the beginning with God, then you must conclude that Jesus was not God and therefor could not live a perfect life and die for our sins, or you must conclude that God can make other gods. If God could make other gods then it makes God a lot less unique in the universe and we could claim that there are other gods to follow and Jesus isn’t the only way.

No, Jesus had to be God, part of the Trinity, One God.  As we read and study the Bible, and as we get to know Jesus closer, we cannot help but conclude that Jesus did indeed exist in the beginning with God.

Jon Zenor

Jon is the founder and leader of ETM, a ministry dedicated to sharing the gospel across the Internet.

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About Jon Zenor

Jon is the founder and leader of ETM, a ministry dedicated to sharing the gospel across the Internet.
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30 Responses to Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?

  1. Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?: I have been a follower of Jesus for years and have spent a lot of ti… http://bit.ly/jQPQZ9

  2. Steven Rivera says:

    Very good article! May God continue to bless you.

  3. Jon Zenor says:

    Thank you for the comment Steven. I am glad you enjoyed the article. :)

  4. Pingback: JonZ (@JonZenor)

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  6. Allison says:

    Thank you very much for this. It was a pleasure to study on this after skipping through many websites denying Jesus as God.
    “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

  7. Maycol says:

    Very well explained brother!

  8. FELIPE DIAZ says:

    I agree that the scripture says that jesus is god’s word and that god is plural when he created man ( male and female ) and that everything came into being through god’s word since he said and it was done. but to think that jesus as such existed with god seems to me like something from the urantia book. I have to dwell into the word more :)

    • JDH says:

      Hi Felipe,
      Thanks for your post.
      This is a heady topic, no?

      You said:
      “but to think that jesus as such existed with god seems to me like something from the urantia book. I have to dwell into the word more…”

      Amen brother. It is always good to go back to the Word.

      It seems maybe you’re struggling with the ‘as such.’ I’m assuming the ‘as such’ references the way we find Jesus in the Gospels. If that was what Jon was claiming in his article, I can understand the confusion. But I don’t think that is the case.

      If your struggle is with finding Jesus as we find him in the Gospels, i.e. as a human, in the beginning before there were humans, I think I have an answer for you.

      If you look at John 1:14, you have the key: The Word became Flesh.

      The Word is the identity of Christ before the “incarnation,” a fancy theological term for the act of the Son of God (2nd Person of the Trinity) becoming human while retaining his deity.

      Jesus wasn’t as he is now in the beginning with God. He submitted to the Father and took on human nature, not a fallen, flawed human nature, but a sinless one.

      He endured a human life, died a human death and rose from the grave–all to obey the Father’s will.
      But when the Father Raised him and Glorified him, Jesus didn’t go back to being like he was before the incarnation, because the incarnation was/is permanent.

      So, yes, Jesus was with God in the beginning, but as the Logos. He hadn’t taken on humanness yet.
      There is a Trinity, but the Son of God, he changed forever at his conception in the womb of Mary. Today He sits at the right hand of God, as the God-Man. This is one of the key mysteries of the faith that no one understands fully.
      However, if you want to see the idea that Jesus is God and man brought out as fact by John the Baptist and Jesus himself, keep reading the Gospel of John.

      You don’t need the Urantia book, because this extraordinary mystery is in the Bible.

  9. Brian Wright says:

    Jesus is god there is no trinity John 1:1 clearly states that jesus was in the beginning with god but only in the mind of god thats why adam and eve didnt catch god off guard when they sinned because god had a plan since the beginning. Jesus was conceived of the holy spirit and brought forth by mary (woman) the only holy spirit we know in the OT is god (yaweh) so for anyone to say they are different and god was with jesus in the beginning needs to rightly divide the word of truth and get that revelation of who jesus christ really is

    • Jon Zenor says:

      Only in the mind of God? Where is that ever in scripture? And how do you rectify that point of view compared to the other points I brought up in this article?

    • JDH says:

      Hi Brian,
      Thanks for your post. Your claims made me curious to understand more about where you’re coming from.

      From my church background, the Trinity is a basic Christian concept and John 1:1-18 is one of the classic proof texts for it.

      Did you mean to say Jesus was a thought in God’s mind before Creation, because God is all knowing?

      If that is not the case, my apologies for misunderstanding. Posts leave out the human element so much of the time. If you would, I’d enjoy hearing what you meant to communicate.

      If that is the case, and you interpret John 1:1-18 is teaching that Jesus was a thought in God’s mind, would you share with everyone the method you used to interpret John 1:1-18 this way?

  10. Great article! Amen! He was with God in the beginning, and was God. He became flesh and dwelt among us! The Gospel of John declares the deity of the Son through the entire book! In 1 John he goes on to say, anyone that denies the Father and the Son is that spirit of the anti-Christ. When one denies the very trues of scripture and teaches the WORD was just a thought in Gods mind, they are really denying Jesus of his deity. He now has become just a plan in Gods mind. I say let God be true and every man a liar. The truth is the Son has always been and always will be! The book of Hebrews declares = But of the Son , He (Father) says, Thy throne oh God is forever and ever! Great article man!

    • Jon Zenor says:

      Thanks Joey! :)

      You are not related to Erik Galloway by chance are you? Glad you found my blog. Feel free to subscribe and get our new articles delivered via email.

  11. Mark says:

    We know that God said that he created Man and Women in his image but he said “In OUR Image”. To me that proves that Jesus pre-existed according to Genesis. One Hebrew word for Go is Elohim , which to my understanding is Uni-Plural. Singular in the fact that it means a Group thus One Group, Plural in the sense that perhaps God was taking to Jesus and Himself at creation. We know from the Gospel of John that Jesus stated that No one has seen the Father except he who is from the Father. The New Testament also states in various places that Jesus was God come in the flesh. Any thoughts on this matter.

    P.S. I have a copy of the Complete Jewish Bible which helped me reach my conclusion along with prayer.

  12. Rachel says:

    Hi, Jon
    Your blog has been very helpful to me! I’m involved in spiritual debates with a Mormon friend and your resources are very useful. Thanks!

  13. Michelle says:

    I am a christian but I often get very confused and cannot comprehend the idea of how Christ was there from the beginning (which I believe he was), but I just cannot rap my head around it. I believe in the bible with my whole heart. There is no other God I wish to serve. I just get scared sometimes since I do not understand the trinity but I do believe in it, is it okay that my mind is not able to comprehend God’s amazing love and amazing grace or comprehend that Christ and the holy spirit are separate from the father but also one?

    • Jon Zenor says:

      Michelle,

      Understanding the nature of God is, well, impossible. It is fun and humbling to study the nature of God, but at some point we need to realize that God is totally beyond comprehension and we just need to accept what is revealed about Him in the Word of God.

  14. Wanda says:

    Thank you so much for this explanation. It makes so much sense to me. I just recently started studying the bible and I have been stuck on Gen 1:26 and John 1:1-2.

  15. EDEM says:

    TRULY JESUS IS God and existed from beginning. Thats why He His God

  16. john lebeoa says:

    thank you for these very helpful words. i believe jesus do exist before time. because he is the word and throught words(prural) the world is made. confirms the ‘let us’make man into our own image.
    by the way, let me ask these question; if jesus claimed to be the son of god is ‘word’ is that mean that father of word(jesus) is THOUGHT? (because “word” comes out from thought)

    • Jon Zenor says:

      I do not think that “thought” is God… God is an actual being, not just a thought. Also I do not think that Jesus being called the “Word” is a litteral word.

  17. EJK says:

    IN GOD’S MIND : Jesus, that is Christadelphian’s belief, that He was in God’s mind, and Jesus is only existant from his birth as God’s son, according to CD’s Jesus is the son of God and not God- I understand that Nicean council said that TRINITY was the Godhead, however prior to that I am not sure what christians were thinking. However I do believe that He existed from the beginning. Is God triune God ? not sure, but God acted in Jesus and acts in Holy Spirit.

    • Jon Zenor says:

      Jesus did not exist “only in God’s mind”… He existed in every sense except human. Jesus is the one who created everything, so yes, He existed. :)

  18. Abby James says:

    Amen! Wonderful explanation :-)

  19. Sheila says:

    Hi Jon, I am still new in Christ, so I don’t know the bible as well as others, but I get confused about John 1:1, because of other scriptures like Matthew 26:39 Jesus pray to the father. So my question is why do he pray to the father if he is God, why do he pray to himself? There are other scriptures where Jesus pray to God. I just don’t understand why God would pray to to himself?

    • Jon Zenor says:

      John 1:1 does not just say that God and Jesus are the same, but it also says they are separate. This is the great mystery of God, how can He be 3 persons and 1 at the same time? I don’t have an answer for you there. But if Jesus prayed to God, and they are the same, how much more important is it that WE pray to God?

  20. Hank Burns says:

    God is so superior to us and our minds that we cannot comprehend or understand all that had taken place or is in the Bible. Many people try to dispute the Bible and make their own theory but they are not trusting in God’s word. The word is very clear and God wants us to simply Believe, trust and have faith. His word and all writers of the Bible are very clear on how to live like Jesus ,

  21. DEB says:

    Jon,
    Both in your article, and on Jan 22nd, 2014 you stated that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are separate from each other. That John 1:1 states separateness. I read John 1:1 and the word separate isn’t there. We know that God is a triune being. I am wondering: if we are made in His image, Spirit, Soul and Body, could it be possible that God is also Spirit (the Father), Soul (the Holy Spirit) and Body (Jesus)? We are also 3 entities – not separate – for one cannot exist without the other. We return to spirit when we die, as did Jesus, yet fully spirit, living in a body here on earth. If God also chose US before the foundation of the world, Eph 1:4, didn’t we, in some way, also exist with God as did Jesus? Even if we were just a ‘thought’ in the mind of God, did we then, somehow exist with Him at that time? I know this is heavy, but I could use your insight. Thanks

    • Jon Zenor says:

      DEB,

      Getting a message like this is a great way to start out my day, forcing me to focus on the Word.

      There is a place near where I live that is absolutely beautiful. I love to go there and take pictures. The problem is the photos that I take never seem to capture the beauty that I see with my eyes. If you look at the photograph I have taken (This photo, for example), you can get a general sense of the colors and the environment, but you don’t see everything that is beyond the frame of that photo. You can’t tell the exact depth between the elements within the photo. You can’t hear what I was hearing, smell what I was smelling, or even feel the temperature of the air or feel the relief of the sun warming my skin despite the cold air.

      In the same way, we are made in the image of God, simply a simple snapshot of the real thing. The analogy that you bring up of God being in the same way one physical being with three parts, spirit, body, and soul, is okay for a simplistic understanding of who God is, but it comes nowhere near close enough to describe who God really is. While Jesus was on earth in physical form the Father was still in heaven in His form, as was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is here with us physically today, empowering and working through His church.

      Your application of Ephesians 1:4 is interesting, I have never heard that before. But I don’t believe it is entirely accurate. The phrase used “before the foundation of the world” can be used to help understand this. God didn’t just chose us and know us before, He also knew the world, what it would be like, what history it would have, how it would end. But does that mean it existed with God in the beginning too? It didn’t exist and neither did we. Jesus knew we *would* exist and to what capacity our lives would affect things, but we didn’t exist in the same sense that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit existed before the beginning.

      I hope I helped you gain some understanding with this passage. Thank you for asking the question and challenging me this morning.

      - Jon

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