One thing has certainly become clear as time moves on in these last days, and such is that the "narrow way" is becoming increasingly more narrow. The text above doesn't just speak of people continuing in the same vein in which they currently are. The word "still" is speaking of a progression; a furthering of degree or increase. For example, "Let those who are unjust be even more unjust". Why does God say this? Because He is revealing the intents of the heart.
You might have been able to fellowship before amongst people with whom you have only had minor doctrinal differences. However, now those slight disagreements have somehow become insurmountable fissures as the depths of these differences are revealed. God is forcing everyone to choose a side. Be either hot or code, but lukewarm is getting spewed out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). He is cleaning up His Church and preparing His Bride for His return.
And as people begin to choose, you had better know where you stand. You cannot believe in something just because another person says it is truth. You must have the fortitude & discipline to study the word of God for yourselves and the ears to hear the Holy Spirit as He reveals its meaning to you. Otherwise, deception will be so great that, if it were possible, even the elect will be deceived (Matthew 24:24). You must know that you know who you know so that you can stand firm.
That stated, I wanted to take time to address a doctrine to which some have ascribed proclaiming that Jesus Christ is a created being. Such a position is not supported by the Scriptures, and I would like to review why. As we examine the Scriptures, we will see that:
- Jesus existed with the Father prior to His incarnation
- Jesus is the Creator of all things and nothing was created outside of His creative work
- Jesus is both fully God and fully man
- Jesus has the same divine nature as the Father, making Him equally God
- Jesus' role in the Godhead does not impune His divine nature
- Being firstborn denotes Jesus' preeminence, not His creation
- Melchizedek is a type or figure for Christ
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made...And the Word was made 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 1:1-3,14
The above text offers two presentations of Jesus: One as the Word and the other as the only begotten of the Father. From this, we can know that the existence of the "only begotten" preceded His being "made flesh". In other words, Jesus was alive before His conception.
Jesus is fully God (Colossians 2:9) and fully man (Philippians 2:7). He is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is not more God than He is man nor more man than He is God. Rather, each attribute exists in harmony with the other (referred to as the hypostatic union).
He was God Himself and existed "in the beginning" with God as the Word. John sets forth the principle that the Word's existence coincides with that of the Father. When God existed, we can know that the Word also was. There is no reference to an age when God existed where the Word was not also in existence. There is no mention of the Word being created. This would be an incredible omission since the entire purpose of this text is to speak of the origins of Christ. There is only the continued reassurance that when God was, the Word was with Him.
The fact that He is God's "begotten" Son does not imply that He has had a beginning to His existence. The word "begotten" refers to a uniqueness in relationship and/or kind. While you and I can be made sons & daughters of God by adoption (Romans 8:15), we have a human nature. The word "begotten" shows us that Jesus alone bears the same divine nature or essence of the Father. We may become partakers of that nature, but we do not possess that nature as Jesus does (II Peter 1:4).
Not only did "the Word" exist prior to the conception of Jesus, but the Word has eternally been in relationship to the Father as a Son (I John 4:9; Hebrews 1:2-3). How is this possible? Because God Himself is outside of time and space. It is moot to ask "when" Jesus became in relationship to the Father as a Son. "When" is an argument of time that is not relevant to One who is eternal. God does not experience time the way that we do (II Peter 3:8).
How could the Lamb be slain from "foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8)? How could your name be written in the Book of Life from the "foundation of the world", before you were even born (Revelation 17:8)? How has He chosen us from the "foundation of the world", before we have even done good or evil (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 9:11)? How can God's work have been finished "from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3)? How could our sins have been covered by His sacrifice when we had not yet committed them? Because God is in the past, present, and future all at the same time. He is not limited by the construct of time. Everything He has done has already been completed; we alone are the ones who must experience this through the lens of time. We are waiting, but for God everything has already been done.
Further, we are told that "all" things were made by Him (the Word). **Notice that "the Word" is not neutral or genderless the Word is a person (not a human), referred to as "Him".** The word "all" references every single act of creation. And just in case that was not clear enough, John reinforces this by stating that succinctly that without Him (the Word) was not any thing made which was made.
This part of Scripture bears repeating: NOTHING was created outside of what Jesus Himself created. So if Jesus was created, then did He create Himself? If not, then at most He becomes the Creator of "most" things or "almost all" things, but certainly not the Creator of all. Scripture is clear that all things in Heaven and Earth were created by Him (Colossians 1:16). Nothing was created apart from what the Word Himself created.
"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of 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." I John 4:2-3
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." II John 1:7
We can say that we have been born, but we cannot say that we have "come in the flesh". This fact puts forth more than the knowledge that Jesus existed prior to being made flesh, confirming what John says in the Gospel. It addresses Jesus' entire nature as being God Himself. Understanding the true nature of Jesus as God is a critical doctrine of the faith and a litmus test for how we are to know who is of God and who is not.
Jesus' Role vs. Jesus' Nature
God changes not, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). To believe that God at some point existed without Jesus means that God's very nature changed.
God is a trinity (I John 5:7). There is God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son.
God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; John 10:30; Galatians 3:20). The members of the Godhead are one in mind, spirit, and purpose.
Go is love (I John 4:8).
God is righteous, holy and without sin (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 33:5, 99:9; I John 1:5).
God is Truth (John 14:16, 16:13).
God is all-powerful (Genesis 17:1; II Peter 1:3).
God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; I Timothy 1:17).
These are just some of the attributes that pertain to the nature of God, however they are applicable to each member of the Godhead. You cannot eliminate these attributes in one without at the same time denying His deity.
Keep this in mind: the things of this world were created to reflect and help us understand the things of God (Romans 1:19-20). However, the standard is always God, not ourselves. It is when we reverse this and start judging God by our reality that we run into error.
For example, some would say, "For God to be the Father, then that must mean He existed prior to the Son because we know that all fathers preexist their children." This is an example of judging God by human standards. You can see how faulty that logic is when you apply it to another example and say, "Because we know our fathers have a specific time when they were born, so God the Father must also have a beginning to His existence." Truth is not defined by our human experiences, but truth is defined by the word of God. While the created things reflect the Godhead, they do not define God.
The word "Father" does not have to denote preexistence, but it can represent preeminence. When Scripture refers to Abraham as being the "father of all who believe", it is not saying that Abraham preexisted everyone in the faith (Romans 4:11-16). It is saying that he is being held as a preeminent example for those in the faith.
preeminence: The quality or state of having paramount rank, of being supreme over or greater than.
Not once does the Scripture ever say that the Father existed before the Son, but it does repeatedly state that the Father is greater than the Son (John 13:16, 14:28). This echoes the truth of preeminence. Similarly, Jesus being called "firstborn" does not mean that Jesus was created, but that He has preeminence amongst those who would follow Him - His brothers and sisters in the faith (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15).
"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18
Examine the use of the term "firstborn" in Scripture. In the New Testament, it is the Greek word prōtotokos, and means literally the first born. It does not mean "first created". If God had wanted to state that Jesus was the "first created", then the Greek word prōtoktizo would have been used, which literally means first created.
The term "firstborn" is not used as a means to show that someone was created, but it speaks to the legal privilege or primacy of one who should receive an inheritance; it speaks of one's birthright (Genesis 29:26, 43:33, 48:14-19; I Chronicles 5:1, 26:10; II Chronicles 21:3). We know that Jesus was born (and that He preexisted His birth), but there is no Scripture which says He was created.
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." Colossians 1:15-16
Jesus is the firstborn (not "first created") of all creation because He is our Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20). He came in the flesh to be a sacrifice for our sin and to show us the way to the Father.
Jesus being a Son to the Father as well as being a Brother to those in the faith does not mean that He was created. In fact, we know from Scripture that He was not.
Melchizedek, No beginning and No end
We first hear of Melchizedek when Abram is returning with the spoils of war from rescuing the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." Genesis 14:18-20
We see that this "King of Peace" was not "a" priest, but the priest of the Most High God and he brought bread and wine to Abram. Later we see that Jesus' priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek.
"The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." Psalm 110:4
"So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec." Hebrews 5:5-10
"Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Hebrews 6:20
Hebrews Chapter 7 tells us a little more about this mysterious figure.
"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually....And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. " Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
Melchizedek is the King of righteousness. He is the King of peace. He is made like unto the Son of God, not having come into being by natural means and neither having beginning of days nor end of life.
was, is, and is to come".
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8
Alpha and Omega refers to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It is used to represent the entirety of something, just as we might say, "From A to Z." There is nothing left out, but the thing described is comprehensive, all-inclusive.
Notice as well that Jesus is not merely "a" beginning, as if there is some existence apart from Him. He is the beginning; there is nothing above or before Him. As John stated, in the beginning, the Word was with God.
"And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 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." Revelation 4:8-11
In simpler terms, this means that Jesus simply exists. He has no beginning and no end. It is the same meaning that God gave to Moses as a descriptor, I Am that I Am (Exodus 3:14); and such also applies to Jesus.
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58
Scripture refers to Jesus as One who is in continuous existence, in the past, in the present, and in the future. Jesus is the "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6). His goings forth have been "from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2), just like that of the Father (Psalm 93:2).
I don't care if someone says that God has given them special revelation that Jesus is created or if they claim the Scriptures have been mistranslated in this regard; you had better rely upon the Lord alone for truth in this matter. It is no light thing to be in error about the nature of Christ's divinity.
As John says in the Gospel, the existence of the Father coincides with that of the Son. The Word, the only begotten Son, was not a "created" being.
"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." II Corinthians 11:4
Jesus' Divinity & His Humanity by Min. David Pawson
The Uniqueness of Christ - When Did His Life Begin? by Min. David Pawson
The Uniqueness of Christ - Who Did He Think He Was? by Min. David Pawson
The Word Became Flesh by Min. David Pawson
The Wonders of Jesus' Story- His Birth by Min. David Pawson
The Wonders of Jesus' Story - His Conception by Min. David Pawson