20. What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?

The Pre-Existent Christ is the Message of the Bible

There are many ways we have already shown that the man Jesus Christ existed before His birth:

  • Through Jesus’ statement, “Most assuredly, before Abraham was, I am (I exist).”
  • That He was Yihvah, HE WILL BE, who became “I AM.”
  • Through the Apostle’s statements that He was “the firstborn of all creation,” and “the beginning of creation.”
  • Through the Apostles’ statements that all things were created through Him and by Him.
  • Through Paul’s description of Christ as “the image of the invisible God.”
  • Through John’s description of “the Word”—the Speaker—for the invisible God.
  • Through Jesus’ statement, “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.”
  • Through John’s statement, “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with 1 God”
  • Through the expression, “This is My Name Forever,” God contrasted His own name as Yihvah “HE WILL BE” from Christ as Yihvah ELOHIM, who would become I AM.
  • Through the plural expression used for God in the Old Testament “ELOHIM”: used for Christ as speaker for the invisible God, Yihvah, as Moses was an ELOHIM for the invisible God to Pharaoh.
  • Through the statement of John that “no one has seen God at any time,” and through the many statements that Yihvah appeared to Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, and the appearances of the Angel of Yihvah.
  • Through the many “Us” statements that were used by Yihvah.
  • Through the appearance of two Yihvahs in Genesis 19:24.
  • Through Jesus’ statement, “I and the Father are one” the imitation of “Yihvah our ELOHIM, Yihvah, ECHAD (are one).”
  • Through Isaiah’s statement, “thus says Yihvah (HE WILL BE) the Redeemer and King of Israel,” and Jesus’ statement “When you lift up the Son of Man you will know that I AM.”
  • Through Jesus’ statements in John 17, “glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was”; and “for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
  • Through Jude’s statement that God’s glory was through Christ “before all ages.”
  • Through the explanation of Paul that Christ was “in the form” of God but did not count equality with God something to be grasped, and emptied Himself taking on the likeness of men.
  • Through the explanation in Hebrews 7 that Christ was Melchizedek, without Father or Mother.
  • Through the statement of David. “the Lord said to My Lord,” and Jesus’ reference to it.
  • Through the message of Job, “I know that My Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth.”
  • And one we have yet to mention, through the message of Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

Jesus Emphasized His Pre-Existence

As if this was not enough evidence, Jesus Christ made three more very direct statements regarding His pre-existence.

If there is any doubt that the person of the man Jesus Christ existed before His birth, it must be removed by these verses.

Jesus used the expression “the Son of Man” in two of these three verses, to refer to Himself as the person of the man Christ Jesus. This opposes any Modalism theory that says Christ as the Son did not pre-exist, but only God Himself, who was inside of Christ.

Jesus told us, He Himself, the Son of man, existed before His birth.

John 3:13

 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven,
that is, the Son of Man” who is in heaven.

(The oldest manuscripts omit “who is in heaven”)

Here Christ first told us that He, the Son of man, “came down from heaven.”

The fact that the oldest manuscripts omit “who is in heaven” is of no consequence because Christ tells us He came down from heaven—“No one has ascended into heaven but He who came down from heaven.”

 John 6:38

For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will,
but to do the will of Him who sent me.”

Christ again told us that He came down from heaven, and that He was sent by the Father.

In fact, there are several verses where Christ told us “the Father” sent Him into the world. We will discuss this in Chapter 21.

Some have correctly noted that the many verses that say Jesus was “sent” into the world by the Father do not necessarily mean that He pre-existed. In John 17:18, Jesus also said that He “sent” His disciples into the world, but they did not exist before.

But in John 6:38, Jesus clearly tells us that He came down from heaven into the world.

John 6:62

What then if you should see the Son of man ascend to where he was before?

In verse 58, Jesus described Himself as the “bread that came down from heaven.”

Many of His disciples were offended by this, and so He said to them, “What then if you should see the Son of man ascend to where he was before?” The meaning here, that Jesus was in heaven, can by no means be symbolic, for He comforts their faith, telling them He truly existed in heaven. And indeed, as He said, those disciples who remained with Him would truly see Him ascend back into heaven, which is recorded in Acts 1:9.

In Acts 7, Stephen, just before being stoned, saw Him “at the right hand of God.” This was also mentioned in Hebrews 1:3 and 1 Peter 3:22, and was prophetically mentioned in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 80:17). Jesus Christ ascended to where He was before.

  1. The Greek word used for “with” is also of significance, because it implies action of Christ toward God.