Christian Churches of God

The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)

(Edition 2.1 19980404-19980822) Audio

Radical Unitarianism denies the non-physical pre-existence of Jesus Christ, claiming his existence commenced from his birth through Mariam. Binitarianism seeks to assert two persons to the Godhead. Ditheism asserts the existence of two gods from eternity. Some people jump from Binitarianism to Ditheism not understanding either doctrine or its origin. What is the Bible position?

 


Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright ã 1998 Wade Cox)

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The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ

The question of the pre-existence of Jesus Christ is actually divided into two issues. One is the question of a pre-existence as and with God before the beginning of all creation. In other words, the contention is that he was pre-existent before the spiritual creation. The other aspect is that of Christ being pre-existent as a spiritual being before he became human as the Incarnation. This paper deals with the proposition that he was pre-existent before the physical creation but was not the one true God.

The Bible is clear that there was only one True God and that He sent Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:3). The Bible also declares that no man has ever seen Him or ever can see Him, and He dwells in unapproachable light. He alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16) (see the paper On Immortality (No. 165)). This aspect is further examined below. In this respect, Christ is not pre-existent in the same way God existed. God was alone in His abiding perpetuity. Nevertheless, the Bible is equally specific that Christ had pre-existence as a spiritual being before the foundation of the earth.

The apostle John wrote of Christ and declared, in narrative form, his pre-existence. John 1:1 is rendered by Trinitarians as:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (KJV)

We know this to be an incorrect translation from the Peshitta and the way in which the ancient texts were used. The Peshitta shows that to be so, even through Lamsa’s translation, which in trying to conform to the Trinitarian position renders the text as:

The Word was in the beginning, and that very Word was with God; and God was that Word.

This shows the different word structure of the last clause. The Concordant Literal New Testament shows the actual literal meaning of the words and their structure from the Greek. The actual words are in bold; the words supplied for the English text are in normal type.

In the beginning was the word and the word was toward God, and God was the word. This was in the beginning toward God.

The text speaks of the relationship and orientation of devotion of Jesus Christ towards God. This text continues in John 1:2.

All came into being through it, and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being

Thus, the first text here speaks of the logos as the word. In biblical times they called it the Memra; logos being a Greek term and memra being the Hebrew term for the word of God, as it was understood from the Old Testament.

Radical Unitarians, i.e. those who deny the pre-existence of Christ beyond Mariam (or Mary) claim that this was not Christ but a notional form of the power of God as His divine utterance.

John chapter 1 however, explains this view in greater detail, which would preclude this interpretation.

John speaks of John the Baptist (quoting again from the Concordant Literal New Testament text) from John 1:6-14.

There came to be a man commissioned by God His name was John. This one came for a testimony, that he should be testifying concerning the light, that all should be believing through it. Not he’ was the light, but he came that he should be testifying concerning the light. It was the true light - which is enlightening every man - coming into the world.

In the world, He was, and the world came into being through Him, and the world knew Him not. To his own He came, and those who are His own accepted Him not. Yet whoever obtained Him, to them he gives the right to become children of God, to those who are believing in His name, who were begotten, not of bloods, neither of the will of the flesh, neither of the will of a man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and tabernacles among us, and we gaze at His glory, a glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The logos became flesh and tabernacled among us. We will examine this below.

There is no indefinite article (i.e. a) in the Greek and it must be deduced and applied. This is the problem in the text in John 1:1. Many translators consider it should apply in John 1:1 and translate it and the word was a God. This view has merit as we will see from John 1:18 and other texts. In any case, John 1:1 is incorrect as we see it normally. The correct translation even if the word order is preserved involves the concept of towards and not with as is taught by Trinitarians.

The use here of capitals for Him etc. are A E Knoch’s additions as the uncials were all capitals and so no such distinction is really possible. The text is retained as he translated it.

The Radical Unitarians attempt to place this text as an example of the notional power of God becoming flesh rather than a being becoming flesh. This is the heart of their error.

John the Baptist spoke of Jesus Christ as being before him. There is another alteration to the ancient texts in the Greek Receptus or Received Text of the Reformation, and hence the KJV, as we see from this next section.

John 1:15-18 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. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (KJV)

John clearly says Christ was before him. Yet John we know was six months older than Christ and it was physically impossible for Christ to have been before him. Thus, John speaks of a pre-existence. This pre-existence was as a god, an elohim, or theoi, as we know from the ancient texts and was altered in the Receptus. The Concordant Literal renders the texts as:

John is testifying concerning Him and has cried, saying, "This was He of Whom I said, ‘He Who is coming after me, has come to be in front of me,’ for He was first before me." for of that which fills him we all obtained, and grace for grace. For the law through Moses was given; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. God no one has ever seen. The only-begotten God, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He unfolds Him.

The text here shows the structure of the text regarding John saying Christ was before him. The text in John 1:18 is actually monogenes theos meaning only born God and this is demonstrated from Marshall’s Greek English Interlinear. (It is also seen from the Aramaic of the Peshitta). Dr Hort has written a learned treatise on the occurrence of this term monogenes theos (On Monogenes Theos in Scripture and Tradition; cf. also the paper On Immortality (No. 165)). There is ample evidence that the term is correct. It is simply ignored by mainstream Christianity and the Binitarians who seek to deny the implications of the text.

Ephesians 3:9 might be used to argue pre-existence.

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (KJV, emphasis added)

However, the words by Jesus Christ do not exist in the ancient texts and are a later insertion in the KJV from the Receptus and do not appear in other Bibles (see the note to v. 9 in the Companion Bible).

Hebrews 1:1 in the KJV makes note of the creation of the world by Christ also.

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (KJV, emphasis added)

In like fashion, this text has also been mistranslated because the word is aion and means age not the worlds as the English of the KJV tries to imply (cf. Companion Bible note to v. 2). Christ was made a little lower than the angels, but it was not always so. Hebrews 2:17 shows he was made like his brethren so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest.

The Messiah declared his pre-existence also in a number of texts.

In John 5:37 we see that the Father sent Christ and Christ declares that no man has seen God or heard His voice at any time. So, the two witnesses of John declare that no one has seen God, yet the term elohim is used of the being that spoke to the patriarchs and the prophets of the Old Testament. If this being was not the one true God, who was it?

We will see that it could only have been Christ, but it was called consistently and clearly throughout the Old Testament the Angel of Yahovah and we will find evidence in the New Testament of this terminology also.

There is another aspect of being sent that needs examination.

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; (KJV)

Here the term come from God is argued as being simply that of being begotten as a zygote in Mariam’s womb by Radical Unitarians. Conversely, Binitarians argue it as a form of separation from the one true God. This view entered the Christian Church originally as Modalism, coming from the heathen worship of the god Attis. The adherents of the worship of Attis originally held the aspects of Father and Son to be functions of the one God. This doctrine was adopted as Modalism in Rome but it was biblically incoherent and had to be adapted to become Binitarianism from the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and then Trinitarianism in 381 CE from Constantinople. By the third and fourth century the priests of Attis in Rome were complaining that Christianity had stolen its doctrines (cf. the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).

John 12:44 shows Christ was sent by God.

John 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. (KJV)

This implies a dispatch. Radical Unitarians say it was in a notional sense from the womb. Others vary the relationship trying to accommodate the notion of one true God yet maintain the obvious problematic notion of two beings, one subordinate to the other. However, John 3:17 shows he was sent into the world by the Father thus demonstrating pre-existence.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (KJV)

The notion here of sent needs to be examined in the Greek. The word is SGD 649 apostello meaning to set apart or send out on a mission. The concept of dispatch is also involved and is the sense in the Concordant Literal New Testament. The word SGD 3992 pempo is also involved in the texts meaning to dispatch. The concept from the usage and forms conveys the concept to dispatch by orderly motion on a temporary errand.

This is the concept conveyed in the forms used concerning the actions of God in the human field. Christ’s incarnation was a temporary errand for God in the ongoing plan of salvation.

There are, however, a number of important texts, which declare the pre-existence of Christ and explain the relationship. A major example is Philippians 2:5-7. It is obscured badly in the KJV for Trinitarian reasons but the RSV appears to be a more honest translation.

Philippians 2:5-10 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (RSV)

The text has express meaning for the text in Hebrews. This is a clear statement that Christ was in the form or morphe of God but did not think equality with God was a thing to be grasped at, or seized by force, as Satan had tried to do (cf. Isa. 14:12-14 and Ezek. 28:6-15). He then humbled (or emptied) himself, became a human, and suffered death on the stake or cross (see the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39)). This text is a clear statement of the pre-existence of Christ. Another clear text is John 17:5.

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. (KJV)

Thus, Christ claimed pre-existence in glory before the world came into being. Thus, he claimed a pre-existence at least equivalent to the sons of God present at the creation, as we see from Job 38:4-7.

Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (KJV)

We know Satan is the Light bearer or Morning Star of the planet and we know Christ is to succeed him as Morning Star. The texts indicate he claims pre-existence on a level with these beings (cf. the paper Lucifer: Light Bearer and Morning Star (No. 223)).

Christ also said: I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven (Lk. 10:18). Now he either did, or he did not, see him fall. He had not ascended to heaven at that time because he was not yet dead, let alone arisen. Isaiah and Ezekiel record the fall in their work. Thus if Christ did not have pre-existence he could not have seen this fall. It might be argued that it occurred from the trial in the desert but the OT texts regarding the fall itself are in the past tense (cf. Isa. 14:12). This would rank as fanciful imagination if Christ had no pre-existence. The concept that this is related to the King of Babylon as a human, as some modern apologists are advancing, trivialises the power of prophecy.

Christ is also identified as Lord of the Sabbath. The thrust of this text is that he gave us the Law.

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. (KJV)

From these texts, we see the implications of pre-existence and a knowledge of the Father.

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (KJV)

This knowledge also implies pre-existence as we see also from John 17:24.

Christ is identified in the New Testament on a level with the Morning Stars of the angelic Host as we see from Acts. In Acts 7, we see that it was an Angel of the Lord that spoke with Moses and it was this Angel of the Lord that was with Moses in the wilderness (Acts 7:30, 35-39).

In this text, Stephen identifies Christ as the Angel of the Lord at Sinai and with the church in the wilderness.

The concept of God’s right hand in Exodus 15:6 is that Christ as he acted, is the Old Testament Angel of Yahovah. We see that Christ sits on God’s right hand.

The Septuagint of Isaiah 9:6 clearly states he was the Angel of Great Counsel and the New Testament applies this text to Christ.

Paul claims he was received as an angel of God even as Christ Jesus (Gal. 4:14).

Paul clearly states that Christ was in the wilderness with Israel in the Exodus.

1Corinthians 10:1-4 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; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (KJV)

To suggest that Christ was there only as a notion in the mind of God, whom no one saw anyway, trivialises the use of language and metaphor in the Bible.

Job 33:23-26 refers to the Angel of the One Thousand who ransoms men from the pit.

Job 33:23-26 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: 24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. 25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. (KJV)

Once again, the KJV has been altered in this sense as it is only Christ who is mediator and ransom. The RSV is more consistent.

Job 33:23-26 If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him; 24 and he is gracious to him, and says, `Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom; 25 let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor'; 26 then man prays to God, and he accepts him, he comes into his presence with joy. He recounts to men his salvation, (RSV)

Genesis 48:15-16 also shows the elohim or God of Jacob was the Angel of Redemption.

Genesis 48:15-16 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, 16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. (KJV)

The function of Redemption is the prerogative of Christ. Messiah is the certain candidate for this function. Messiah would thus pre-exist as the Angel of Redemption and the elohim of Jacob or Israel (cf. Ps. 45:6-7 and Heb. 1:8-9). Whoever this elohim was it was not Eloah.

In Genesis 7:16, we see that the elohim commanded Moses. Also Yahovah shut Noah and his family in the ark. It was Yahovah elohim that spoke with Adam in Genesis 3:8.

Deuteronomy 32:8-9 shows that Israel was allotted by the Most High God to Yahovah as his portion. This text was altered by rabbinical Judaism in the Masoretic Text some time after the first century. The alteration is seen in the KJV which reads:

Deuteronomy 32:8-9 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (KJV)

The Septuagint (LXX), Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) and the First Epistle of Clement show that it was originally according to the sons of God, rendered angels of God in the Greek. The RSV renders the text on the ancient manuscripts as:

Deuteronomy 32:8-9 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (RSV)

The Lord here from the Hebrew is Yahovah and he was allotted Israel as his portion by the Most High God.

We have thus established beyond doubt that the New Testament holds from the words of Christ and the apostles from John the Baptist onwards that Christ was pre-existent. In fact, he said (Jn. 8:58) before Abraham was I Am. This was a declaration of his pre-existence. It was also taken to be a declaration of his divinity. Was he God or was he an angel or was he both? The answer is that he was both as we shall see. If he was both, how is that possible?

As we will see the problem lies in the English and not in the Hebrew. English has only one word for God. Hebrew has a number of names. The problem also lies in the theology of the Trinitarians, which comes from ancient heathen theology. Also the word angel is simply a word meaning messenger. He was a son of God of which there were many who were organised under Morning Stars (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7).

Moreover, we know that some texts are simple forgeries by the Trinitarians. Examples are 1Timothy 3:16; 1John 5:7; and also the additions to the early Alpha and Omega texts in the book of Revelation (cf. the paper Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229) and the notes to the texts in the Companion Bible).

We know from the Old Testament that the God Most High was the one true God. He was called Yahovah of Hosts. He was known as Eloah. Thus, Eloah was the singular name for God in the Hebrew which had no plurality whatsoever. We know that Eloah, as singular one true God, was the object of worship in the Temple. From Job 33:26 we see Eloah was the object of prayer.

This distinction was seen as being very important in the days of the last restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah. The Book of Ezra is at pains to show the function and place of the God of the Bible. The name of the one true God is Eloah and this was the name by which he was known when the Pentateuch was written as Eloah occurs on multiple occasions in the book of Job. Job was seemingly written by Moses as perhaps one of the first books of the Bible.

Proverbs shows that the name of the one true God is Eloah from Proverbs 30:4-5. It asks a rhetorical question about the name and makes the son distinct from this being in the same text. The name Eloah is supplied in the next verse.

Ezra shows Eloah is the God of the Temple. From Ezra 4:23 to Ezra 7:26 we are shown the function and the relationship of God to His Temple. The Temple is the House of Eloah and not of Elohim. The elohim ARE the house of Eloah and this is the purpose and symbolic representation of the Temple (cf. 1Cor. 3:17). The prophets prophesied in the name of the Eloah of Israel (Ezra 5:1). Zerubbabel rose and built the House of Eloah with the prophets of Eloah helping him (Ezra 5:2). He is the great Eloah (Ezra 5:8). He is the Eloah of heaven and earth and we are his servants (Ezra 5:11). Our fathers provoked the Eloah of heaven to wrath (Ezra 5:12).

The vessels are those of the House of Eloah (Ezra 5:14), which is in Jerusalem (Ezra 5:15, 17; 6:3). The vessels of Solomon’s Temple were also those of Eloah and they were taken by Nebuchadnezzar and restored to the Second Temple (Ezra 6:5) which was built in its place (Ezra 6:7). The burnt offerings were made to the Eloah of heaven by His priests (Ezra 6:9-10). Eloah has caused His name to dwell there (Ezra 6:12). From Ezra 6:13-22 we see that the House of Eloah was built to Him. The feast of Unleavened Bread was kept there to Him and the priests were set in their division to serve Him as it was written in the book of Moses (Ezra 6:18). They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month (Ezra 6:19). The Law is the Law of Eloah (Ezra 7:14) and Ezra was a scribe of the Law of Eloah (Ezra 7:12). The offerings and requests are also made to Eloah (Ezra 7:14-16).

It is His will, the Will of Eloah that prevails (Ezra 7:18) as Eloah of heaven (Ezra 7:21). It is the Eloah of heaven who commands (Ezra 7:23). The magistrates are set in his name and judge according to His laws and those who do not obey let judgment be speedily executed on them (Ezra 7:25-26).

For this reason those who act in his name as his judges, spiritual or physical, are called elohim because they are plural as a group acting under the will of Eloah. It is written: Thou shalt not revile the gods [elohim] or the ruler of thy people (Ex. 22:28).

These texts show us the relationship between Eloah and His elohim. He is Father and they are all His sons (Job 1:6; 2:1) including Satan. It was because of this law that Michael would not make a railing accusation against Satan when struggling for the body of Moses but said: May the Lord rebuke you (cf. Jude 9)

The terms father and sons are predicated upon a relationship where one group springs from the other, which is singular in its relationship. This fact was understood by the ancient world. This relationship is one of a family. That is why Messiah then can be made an everlasting father from Isaiah 9:6 as the Angel of Great Counsel (LXX). There are many fatherhoods or families in heaven and earth (Eph. 3:15). Thus to say the Bible does not imply God is a family of beings as elohim is grossly misleading. The entire structure of the Bible is based on the family relationship and the entire structure of the law from the first to the tenth commandments is based on the Family of God. Have we not all one Father, did not one God create us all (Mal. 2:10).

The Shema is based on Yahovah Elohenu. God said and it was given to Moses that: I will be what I will become (Ex. 3:14 cf. fn. to Oxford Annotated RSV). Eloah is becoming elohim. He is becoming all in all (Eph. 4:6). This distinction was also seen in the Chaldee. Eloah is Elahh in the Chaldee. Elohim is Elahhin. The term Elahh became the basis of the Arabic term Allah’h. This is the fundamental issue at stake in the first confession of the faith in Islam: There is no Allah’h [Eloah] but Allah’h [Eloah]. The elohim, all of them, derive from Eloah who alone is the Great Eloah of heaven the Elyon or Most High. The term Allah’h is used in Islam only because it admits of no plurality whatsoever, excluding Christ and the elohim Host from the position of one true God.

The angel of Yahovah was an elohim being appointed by Eloah. We are all to become elohim as the Angel of Yahovah at our head (Zech. 12:8). This fact was understood by the early church that declared the pre-existence of Christ and stated that we will become theoi. Paul said there were many gods or theoi (theoi polloi) and many Lords, whether in heaven or on earth (1Cor. 8:5). (This is where the English term the hoi polloi came from). As the fallen host had all been confined to earth when Paul said this he must logically have been speaking about the loyal Angelic Host. The word theoi is the Greek plural of the word theos or God. This is the Eloah/elohim distinction but in the Greek there is another problem introduced in the grammar. Thus the definite article or the accusative case came to be used of God and theos alone was used of a singular elohim, namely Jesus Christ or Satan etc. (cf. Paul refers to Satan as the theos of this world meaning elohim of this world (2Cor. 4:4). The view that there is a distinction between the elohim or theos references in the Bible (and also that we would, all become theoi) was carried from John to Polycarp, Polycrates and the disciples to Europe with Irenaeus (cf. the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127)).

The church understood this concept in the Reformation and reference is made to this argument and the so-called Socinians in the footnote to the 1851 Heydock Commentary to the Douay Catholic Bible for release in the UK and the English speaking world generally. Only the Ha Elohim or the Ho Theos was the one true God.

It is thus from this singular Eloah that we get the word elohim. The plural word elohim applied to a council as we see in the Psalms (cf. the structure in the Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1) CCG, 4th ed., 1996, pp. 2-6,12,27; and also the paper Joshua, the Messiah, the Son of God (No. 134)).

The Bible is clear that the subordinate elohim of Psalm 45:6-7 was Jesus Christ (cf. Heb. 1:8-9). Hosea is clear that this elohim was the angel that wrestled with Jacob (Hos. 12:3-4). We know also that this angel is the elohim at the head of the household of David (Zech. 12:8) (cf. the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 1)). We know that he is called Yahovah and was sent to Israel by Yahovah of Hosts who is God Most High (cf. Zech. 2:3-11).

Thus, we have two Yahovahs one of whom is a subordinate being appointed by the other and both are elohim. We also see from Zechariah 12:8 that we shall become elohim as we see from Psalm 82:6. The logic here is straightforward. There are multiple elohim but one Eloah from which the word elohim is derived. The word elohim is clearly held to apply to a being that is termed the Angel of the Lord who wrestled with Jacob or the Angel of the Presence who was at Sinai and who spoke with Moses. The Angel of the Lord was the elohim who spoke with Abraham in Genesis 22:1-11.

We know also that the term Yahovah was applied to more than one being as we see from the greetings from Abraham to the angels who came to deal with Sodom (Gen. 18:2 ff.). Here the three beings, rendered as men in the English, were elohim. The text in the Hebrew actually says: and lo three men [‘enowshim or mortals] were standing by him. He ran to them and addressed them as adoni (Gen. 18:2-3; cf. Green’s Interlinear Bible). The Bible clearly identifies these three beings as adoni which is a term that can be applied to others simply as Lord (such as from Sarah to Abraham). All were angels and none of whom were God the Father, whom no man has ever seen. The original texts however also show them as being addressed as Yahovah in Genesis 18:27,30,32 which was three of the 134 places in the OT where the Sopherim altered the text to read Adonai.

One of these beings was probably Jesus Christ but the other two were also divine beings. The beings are all identified as Yahovah and hence elohim as we will see and this is deliberately misidentified by Trinitarians and rabbinical Judaism in the Masoretic Text (MT) and hence the KJV to obscure the point.

The entire structure of this Angel of Yahovah is examined in the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 24).

The Shema is also misused as it is Shema Y’isroel Yahovah Elohenu Yahovah Echad. The word elohenu is rendered and claimed to be Elohim, again by Trinitarians or Binitarians based on the same faulty reasoning as found in the application of the other texts. For the same reason the ‘echad here is taken to mean united instead of the ordinal first, meaning alone or altogether in relation to a number of entities (cf. Strongs HD No. 259, see also the paper Joshua, the Messiah, the Son of God (No. 134)).

The Bible is quite clear that there is one true God who is the God Most High – He is Yahovah of Hosts referred to also as Yahovih (SHD 3069). Yahovah is the subordinate elohim of Israel who is the Angel of the Lord.

Elohim is a plural word which is applied to the sons of God to extend the capacity of being God to His sons. In this way we become elohim but we can never be the singular Eloah. There are at least three beings referred to as Yahovah in the Old Testament at the same time, and none of whom was Eloah or God Most High. These three were also referred to as angels in the destruction of Sodom. When they were spoken to by Abraham and Lot, they were also all addressed as Yahovah and the Sopherim altered the texts in Genesis 18:27, 30,32 and 19:18, 24 (and 134 places in total) from Yahovah to Adonai to disguise the fact that there were also multiple Yahovahs. These angels were identified as Yahovah and Adonai, and elohim and angels, all at the same time by the patriarchs and prophets. Genesis 19:24 shows the term Yahovah being used in reference to two Yahovahs where the text says:

Then Yahovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstrone and fire from the Yahovah out of heaven (cf. we from v 13).

The logic of the Bible is simple. There is one true God and He sent Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:3). The one true God alone is God. He dwells in unapproachable light. No man has seen Him or ever can see Him, or has even heard His voice at any time (Jn. 1:18; 5:37 1Tim. 6:16). The only born god (monogenes theos or elohi (cf.. Marshall’s Interlinear and the Aramaic text in the Peshitta)) declared (or spoke; the word Him has been added to the English text). It follows therefore that Christ and the apostles said that no man has seen or heard Eloah (or Ha Elohim) ever and that whatever appeared to the prophets could not have been the being referred to as Eloah or the one true God.

The being known as Yahovah-elohim, however, did appear to men and spoke with them from the Garden of Eden onwards. He also spoke in the plural to the elohim (cf. The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246))

It follows as a matter of irrefutable logic that this being cannot have been the God Most High (Elyon) or Eloah. The name of this being Yahovah-elohim also carries this plural concept elohim. Now unless Moses, the Psalmists, Christ, John and Paul were complete liars, there must be multiple elohim. This fact we also know from the Hebrew texts where elohim is a generic plural term. These beings were not the one true God.

It appears beyond dispute that Christ is identified as the Angel of the Lord or the Angel of the Presence who spoke with Moses and who gave the law at Sinai. He also was the angel as elohim who wrestled with Jacob and saved Hagar as the God who sees (cf.. Gen. 21:17; Gen. 16:7-13). He was the Angel of Redemption of Genesis 48:15-16 and the Ransom and Mediator of Job 33:23-26. In like manner, this being was the God of the House of God or the El Bethel. It is also beyond dispute that the terms elohim, yahovah and adonai are plural and apply to multiple beings who are not the one true God and who are also described as angels. The logic is also irrefutable that, if Christ is not one of these beings, the term applies to even more beings and not less. It appears, however, impossible for Christ not to be one of the angels of the Old Testament on the repetitive testimony of the New Testament text.

He is sent by Yahovah of Hosts to save Zion. The angel delivering prophecy to Zechariah says clearly that he is the one sent by the Lord of Hosts to redeem Zion and the one sent to the nations to spoil them. This activity, from Revelation and the Gospels, vests in Messiah. This being speaking under orders from the Lord of Hosts can only be the pre-existent Messiah or there are two beings given this responsibility when Revelation seems to allocate it to Messiah.

Similarly the Captain of the Host or Captain of the Armies of the Lord that spoke with Joshua is in the position we allot to Christ and the entire story of the Fall of Jericho relates forward to the return of the Messiah and the restoration and subjugation of the nations under Messiah as we see in the story of Revelation (cf. the paper The Fall of Jericho (No. 142)).

Christ was thus not only pre-existent, he was and is the elohim or Elohi of Israel, as Yahovah, sent by Yahovih or Yahovah of Hosts, the Elyon or God Most High. This being, the one true God, is Eloah. He is the object of worship of the Temple as HaElohim or The Elohim or God. Christ is not the one true God. Only this being, Eloah (Elahh to the Chaldeans and Allah’h to Islam) stood alone in abiding perpetuity having nothing coeval or co-existing with Himself (cf. the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127)). Ha Elohim (or The Elohim) was Eloah. He was Messiah’s God and he appointed Messiah and anointed him as elohim with the oil of gladness above his partners (cf. Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8-9) and Christ was faithful to the one who made him (cf. Heb. 3:2 Marshall’s Greek English Interlinear RSV).

The statement of belief of the early church is best embodied in this simple Creed of Ulfilas bishop of the Goths (341-381). These people held this belief long before Nicaea and this belief was held by the early church from John to Irenaeus (cf. Against Heresies ANF vol. 1). It explains exactly what Thomas said.

The Creed [381] of Ulfilas, Bishop of the Goths, 341-81

From A, Hahn, Symbole, 3 198

I, Ulfilas, bishop and confessor, have always thus believed, and in this one and true faith I make my testament before my Lord: I believe there is one God, the Father, alone unbegotten and invisible, and I believe in His Only begotten Son, our Lord and God, Creator and Maker of the whole creation, not having any like unto Him-therefore there is one God of all, who is also God of our God-and in one Holy Spirit, an enlightening and sanctifying power-(as Christ says for warning to His Apostles: "Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but do ye dwell in the city of Jerusalem until ye be clothed with power from on high." And again; "And ye shall receive power coming upon you by the Holy Spirit")-neither [King, but] subjected and obedient in all things to [His] God and Father...through Christ ...in the Holy Spirit.- C.A.A. Scott, Ulfilas, 109

Unfortunately errors were intruding into the faith even here and Ulfilas seemingly edited the Bible and removed the book of Kings because it was too warlike (cf. B. Lehane, Early Celtic Christianity, Constable London, 1994, p. 176).

This creed is based on the theology expressed in Psalm 45:6-7 and Hebrew 1:8-9. It was held by the early apologists such as Irenaeus at Lyons in the second century. This theology was held by the Goths, Vandals, Alans, Suevi, Heruli, Britons, Lombards, Germans, and all the northern tribes commencing from the teachings of theologians and disciples of the apostles that were already centuries old before the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, where many of these bishops were present. The heresy of Binitarianism was commenced from this Council. In 381 the Trinity was declared at Constantinople from the theology of the Cappadocians Basil, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus. The destruction of the faith by the Greeks and Romans had begun to take effect. Trinitarians incorrectly and dishonestly label the creed as Arianism to give the impression that their doctrine is older and this doctrine originated with Arius in the fourth century. The Trinitarians then alternately label the subordinationist Unitarian doctrine after Arius (Arianism) and then Eusebius of Nicomedia (Eusebianism) and other bishops much senior to Arius (who was not even present at Nicaea, only being summoned there for advice on logic), of holding that the Spirit was a creation of the son when in fact that is the doctrine of Filioque advanced from the Council of Toledo by the Catholics themselves in the sixth century. Even the Greeks rejected that view. People who label this view as Arian are either being deliberately dishonest or do not understand enough to know what they are saying.

Our people in the church have held this ancient creed for two thousand years and many have died for that belief and truth (cf. the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170)).

We have been attacked and compromised because of it but never so much as in the twentieth century. Church after church, in every instance, at the behest of its ministry, has compromised the faith without any real persecution and seemingly for social acceptance.

To the church, the pre-existent Christ is not the One True God. Dr. Samuel Kohn says:

The original doctrine of Sabbatarianism proceeds from the Jewish and/or Unitarian proclamation of belief in the one God only:

The first and highest principle of true faith is

That you adhere to one God only (Die Sabbatharier in Siebenburgen ch.10, p. [77]).

This work has now been translated into English (see The Sabbatarians of Transylvania, CCG Publishing 1998), and is recommended reading to show the history of the church position. The denial of the doctrine of the pre-existence of Jesus Christ does not appear to have ever been a doctrine of the central Sabbath-keeping churches over the centuries.

Philosophical and logical basis of the Pre-existence of Christ

The denial of the pre-existence of Christ, as strange as it may seem, is actually another aspect of the heathen doctrines of the worship of the god Attis, in its Binitarian form, where the son is simply an aspect of the god in apposition to the aspect as Father. It is simply a modification of the doctrines, which led to Trinitarianism in the first place, even though it appears much more distinctly opposed to it.

The biblical position is that Christ, as one of the elohim host, emptied himself and returned to God, who then placed him in a womb in human form.

Satan and the entire Host could have done this, but Satan chose to attempt to seize equality with God instead of being obedient. It became necessary for Christ to demonstrate the logic of the plan of God in direct form.

The demons asserted the Trinity from the beginning, in the worship of the Triune God. They denied that Christ was other than an aspect of God, because it was necessary to cover their own error. The deception is centred round our own destiny. We are to become elohim as the angel of Yahovah at our head (Zech 12:8). To demonstrate this fact, Christ as Angel of Yahovah, willingly returned to God and assumed human form at His direction. This act was to also demonstrate the way we will return to God, and be given new form in the Resurrection, yet remain the same entity in effect. This aspect, by itself, demonstrates the power of God.

In the same way the demons will be taken down to the pit and die, and return to God and be resurrected as human beings in the second resurrection, where they will be retrained. The denial of the capacity for the angelic host to be brought down to the pit and die like any man (cf. Isa. ch. 14 and Ezek. ch. 28) is a limitation on the Omnipotence of God. It is a demonic lie. The Trinity is a lie designed to counter the capacity of the elect to become elohim or gods as Christ did. The denial of Christ’s pre-existence is designed to cover the same lie from the other point of view, as a demonic plea in the alternative in the court of human reason. It leads to Buddhism and modern Process Theology, where we all as notional aspects in the mind of God are immortal as God, which is in everything.

The mechanism by which Christ relinquished his divine form and became man, is the same mechanism under the power of God, that we will be resurrected and become elohim or theoi, in other words subordinate gods, as sons of the one true God Eloah.

To deny the pre-existence of Christ is to seek to deny the capacity of the host to be brought down to the pit and to be resurrected. It seeks to place Christ on a separate level and effectively deny the position of humans to become co-heirs with Christ, and for God to become all in all.

The argument that Christ had to be God to atone for the sins of men is philosophical nonsense, based on a linguistic limitation in ancient classical Greek, which had no word for agape as the love of God, and borrowed a Hebrew word (cf. the paper The Purpose of the Creation and the Sacrifice of Christ (No. 160)).

Christ had to demonstrate that he was worthy to become the High Priest of the Host by his selfless sacrifice. Christ had to be one of the host to do this. Men die selflessly for each other all the time. If Christ was not a pre-existent member of the Host, then the role would have had to have been done by another of the host, such as Gabriel. That was one of the premises on which Satan was judged by the trial in the wilderness, after Christ’s baptism.

Christ became a man in the similar process and sequence as we are to become gods. He came down, died, was resurrected and went back again in total obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Omnipotence and Omniscience of Almighty God, Eloah, our Father, and one True God.

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