​DID MESSIAH HAVE A PRE-EXISTENCE? “Before Abraham was I Am"

by Mark Heber Miller (Used by permission from Shawn Miller)
The following words have been changed:
God was changed to Most High, Elohim or יהוה
Yehowah was changed to Yahweh
Jesus was changed to Yahshua
Christ was changed to Messiah
Bible was changed to Scriptures
There are some Believers who teach that Yahshua the Messiah the Nazarene had no pre-existence before His birth in Bethlehem. While most in the Christian Church accept the pre-existence of the Messiah before His human birth, are their reasons based on the Scriptures?
For nearly two-thousand years some worshippers of Elohim have believed the foretold Messiah would come from heaven and would have existed before His human birth. This is suggested, according to some Biblical scholars as early as the first and second centuries of Christianity.
Note :

Mishle (Proverbs) 8:22  [Septuagint]
22 “Yahweh created me as the beginning of his way. He established me before time began, in the beginning, before He made the earth…When He prepared the heaven I was present with Him.”
 That Messiah would have a pre-existence was foretold by the prophet Mikah:
Mikah (Micah) 5:2  [NCMM-Nazarene Commentary 2000©]
“From [Bethlehem] will come out to me the One who is to become ruler in Israel, whose origin is from ancient times, from before the Periods of time began.”
Despite these prophecies, there is a small group of students of  Scripture, and so-called Christian “scholars,” who claim Yahshua of Nazareth had no previous existence before His human birth. In considering one popular book and the arguments there presented one discovers:
a) the misapplication of Scriptures
b) the omission of important key texts
c) the tyranny of authority [“leading scholars”]
d) straw-man arguments
e) sweeping generalizations without support [the Magic Wand and Fairy Dust]
However, what of the Nazarene Writings (New Covenant writings)? Did inspired Nazarene preachers and teachers originally believe that Messiah would have a pre-existence? Or, did they believe He would only first come into existence at His human birth?
Consider 16 proofs that Scripture clearly teaches the pre-existence of  Messiah:

1. The first one to testify regarding this was the beloved apostle John. He introduces his own Gospel with the words suggesting the pre-existence of the Messiah:
Yohanan (John) 1:1-3, 10 [NCMM]“In [the] beginning the Word existed, and the Word faced toward The God, and the Word was divine.
 2 This same one was facing toward The God in the beginning.
3 By means of him everything came into existence and without him nothing came into existence
 10 The social order of humanity came into existence by his agency."    
Those who believe Yahshua had no pre-existence argue that the “Word” [or LOGOS] here are the words of Elohim expressed from his own thoughts. However, the Greek word “PROS” suggests someone facing another to receive something. Compare the phrase “PROS TON THEON” in the Jewish Greek Septuagint at Exodus 3:15, 16 in the example of Aaron facing Moses to receive Elohim’s words.
Some also argue that the “AUTOU”  is only “it” and not “him”, but a consideration of the Greek “AUTOU ” in John 1:1-18 will reveal right there it is often used clearly as “him.” We have John’s own testimony that the Lamb of Elohim was also “the Word of the Elohim” at Revelation 19:13, using “AUTOU ” in the same breath as “him.” Consider also:
 
Yohanan Aleph (1 John) 1:1,2  [NCMM Paraphrase]
1 “The Word of Life [TOU LOGOU] -- He was from the beginning [ARCHES] and we actually heard him! We actually saw him with our own eyes and our hands actually touched him!
2 That Life was made manifest and what we saw we are relating to you. We are giving our own eyewitness evidence regarding that everlasting Life. That Life actually faced toward[PROS] the Father! And he appeared to us!”

Did any 1st Century non-Christian Jews agree with the idea that the LOGOS was a Son begotten of Elohim? Consider the 1st Century Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaea:

“But the aeonian LOGOS [WORD] of the Eternal יהוה  is the most strong and firm support of the universe.
He [AUTO] it is who, being extended from the middle to the ends and from the extremities to the middle, runs the full length of nature’s invincible course, bring all the parts together and binding them fast. For the Father who begat Him made Him an indissoluble bond of the universe since the Divine LOGOS sets Himself as a boundary of the elements.”
[Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel]

Having based his arguments on the Hebrew Scriptures, as well as 1st Century Jewish scholars, he concludes regarding the pre-existence of the Son:

“Such are the doctrines received from the Hebrews which we have preferred to the erroneous polytheism and demonism of the Greeks…For even the only-begotten god [HO MONOGENES THEOS = John 1:18] and Firstborn of the whole world [Colossians 1:15], the beginning of all, commands us to believe his Father alone true Elohim[John 17:3] and to worship only Him.”
[Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel, volume 1, page 327]

2. John the Baptist was also inspired to know that Messiah had a pre existence. He speaks to the Jews in this manner:

Yohanan (John) 1:15, 30
 15  “The one who follows me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.
30 This is the One about whom I said, ‘The one who follows me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.
The Baptist repeats this twice. Since John was about six months older than Yahshua there is no way that Messiah could have first come into existence in Mary’s womb and still existed before John. Clearly, the Baptist believed Yahshua had a pre existence before His birth.
Yahshua Himself taught on several occasions that He had a pre existence. Compare the following statements He made in the hearing of  His disciples:
3.
Yohanan (John) 3:13
 13 “And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Adam. 
If the Son of Humankind “descended from heaven” it strongly infers He had a pre existence.
4.
Yohanan (John 6:62)
62 “What if you behold the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?”
[The Nazarene makes clear He had existed “before” becoming a human being. (Daniel 7:13)]

5.  

Yohanan (John) 8:58
58 “I existed before Abraham came to be.”
Though translators show their bias – whether trinitarian or unitarian – there are enough of them who agree with this rendering to suggest strongly that Yahshua is stating He existed before Abraham.
6.
Yohanan (John) 17:5 
5 “Father, now glorify me with the glory I had at your side with the glory I possessed beside You before the human social order existed.”

7. Paul also taught the pre existence of Messiah. Note the following:

Romiyim (Romans) 10:6 [NCMM]
 6 “In contrast, that righteousness resulting from conviction says, “Do not state in your heart [Deuteronomy 9:4], ‘Who will ascend into the heavens,’
 [that is to bring Messiah down].”

Paul’s inspired interpretation of Deuteronomy 30:12, 13 has several views. In Deuteronomy, the context is the Saying or RHEMA in the LXX [Septuagint] and Paul goes on to interpret this as the “Saying of Conviction.” Later Jewish Targums viewed the phrase as trying to ascend to Sinai to bring Moses down (called the Messiah at Hebrews 11:26); or, descending into the sea to bring up Jonah, both Messiah-types. Beyond accepting Paul’s interpretation we leave other views to speculations. It seems to fairly prove that Paul believed in the pre-existence of Messiah.
8.

Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 10:4   [NCMM
 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed, and the Rock was Messiah. 

It is believed by some that Paul refers to the Angel of יהוה who followed the Israelites in the wilderness and represented the Rock. This “angel of יהוה” was the pre-existent Messiah. [Exodus 3:2; 14:19; 23:20, 23; 32:34; 33:2]
9 .

Eph'siyim (Ephesians) 4:8, 9  [NCMM (paraphrase)]
  8 “That is why David writes, ‘When he ascended on high he led in procession captives as prisoners of war and these he gave as gifts to people.’
 9 Now what does, ‘he ascended,’ mean but that Messiah also descended into the lowest places on earth?

The person who descended to the earth is the same one who ascended above the entire celestialum. This was so that Messiah might fulfil completely everything (purposed).”  Paul references Psalm 68 and then gives his inspired application of the implications of the word “ascended.” He argues this leads to the conclusion that had to first descend to the earth, thus indicating a pre-existence.
10.

Philipiyim (Philippians) 2:5-11 [NCMM]
5 ‘This be the mind in you which was also in Messiah Yahshua
6 who was existing in a form of a god (but) thought not equality with the divine as something to cling to
7 but he emptied himself taking a form of a slave having been born in likeness of men
8 and having been found in fashion as a man becoming obedient he humbled himself unto death (but death of a stake).
And thus, also, The God exalted him and gave him the name above every name
10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend ---those in heaven and on earth and underground ---
11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’

Is it unfair to conclude that here the Messiah pre-existed first in the “form of a god” [or, “divine” as Martin Werner, Professor Emeritus of Bern University has it] and then after became a human being?
11.

Qolasim (Colossians) 1:15-17
  15 He is the image of the invisible God– the First-born of all creation[Proverbs 8:22-30] 
  16 and by his agency everything in heaven and on earth was created, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulerships or authorities – everything was created through his agency and for his [inheritance].
 17 He existed before everything and by means of him the whole Universe adheres and is held together.

Several matters point to a pre existence of Messiah:
He was present at creation
He was the agent of creation;
He is called “the beginning” which would not be the case if he only existed first from conception in the womb.
12.

Ib'rim (Hebrews) 1:1-3   [NCMM]
  1 “On many occasions, and in a variety of ways in ancient times, The God spoke to our [Hebrew] forefathers by means of the Prophets.
 2 In these last days He spoke to us [Hebrews] by means of a Son whom He appointed heir of the Universe. By means of [His Son] [The God] made the Periods of Time.
 3 [The Son] is ‘the very reflection of  His glory’ [Wisdom 7:22] and the very ‘imprint of His substance’. [Wisdom 7:22] [The Son] upholds the Universe by his powerful word. After [the Son] made a cleansing of the sins, ‘he sat down at the right hand of’ [Psalm 110:1] the Majesty in exalted places.
 4 [The Son] became so much better than the angels, becoming very much different compared to them by inheriting a superior name.”

Paul writes that the Son was the agent of creation [Wisdom personified at the beginning of the Universe]. It is difficult not to read Proverbs 8:22-30 and Wisdom 7:22 into these allusions.

13.
Hebrews 1:6
  6 “And again, when He brings His Firstborn [Psalm 89:27] again into the inhabited world of humankind, He says, “And let all God’s angels bow before him.” [Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX-Septuagint]
 One view held by serious Scripture students is that the word “again” suggests Messiah was brought into the earth twice:
a) Messiah was born into the earth; and,
b) upon Messiah’s resurrection He was brought back to the earth again.
Some see the allusion to a pre-existence, particularly based upon the context in the introductory verses.
14.
Hebrews 2:9
9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the messengers, יהושע [Yahshua], because of the suffering of death crowned with esteem and respect, that by the favour of Elohim He should taste death for everyone. 
When was Messiah made “less than the angels” [or, Hebrew, “god”]? The suggestion is that Messiah was once either equal or superior to the angels in general. This infers a pre-existence when the Son was a unique being as “the only-begotten god.” [John 1:18]
Only-begotten god:
King James Version: the only begotten Son
The Centenary Translation: God, only begotten
James Moffatt Translation [1913] : the divine One, the only Son.
Most modern versions agree THEOS should occur here. There are two Gods in the verse: the one no one as ever seen (the Father), and the “only-begotten god.”
This is similar to verse 1 which also had two gods: “The God” of phrase b and “a god” of phrase c. Two Gods is shown in Psalm 45:6, 7 and Hebrews 1:8, 9.
The Greek MONOGENES (mono/only) + genes) infers the Son is “monogenetic” that is unique and one of a kind, the only one genetically related to the Father. [Proverbs 8:22-30]
[Nazarene Commentary 2000©]

15.
Jude 9
  9 “But (in contrast) Michael the Archangel, when disputing with the Devil, he argued about the body of Moses but did not dare bring a blaspheming condemnation against him. Rather, Michael said, “The LORD rebuke you! 
Some sincere Scripture students believe one of the names of the pre-existence Messiah was Michael, which means either   “WHO IS LIKE GOD?” or “(the one) WHO IS LIKE GOD
16.
Revelation 3:14
14 ...This message is from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, [Psalm 89:37] the beginning of the creation of The God. [Proverbs 8:22]

If this is the correct rendering [Trinitarians disagreeing] then the Messiah had to have a pre-existence in order to be the “beginning of  the creation of  יהוה.”

There seems considerable Biblical evidence that Messiah DID have a pre-existence.