The Trinity on Trial An in-depth examination of a doctrine

The Pre-existence Question
Regrettable Interpretations

Trinitarians believe the Son of God existed prior to the creation of the world and later came down out of heaven into the womb of the virgin Mary. This article addresses how passages have been mistakenly interpreted by Trinitarians.

A very typical Trinitarian error is to confuse the language of Scripture, especially the words of John. For example, they choose to suppose that since the language of Scripture says Jesus was "sent into the world" that we can therefore imagine that a pre-existing divine Son came down from heavenly realms and "into the world." However,we can quickly see the error of their interpretation when we realize that Jesus said he sent his disciples "just as" the Father had sent him (John 20:21) and even further that just as Jesus had been sent "into the world," he sent his disciples "into the world" (John 17:18). Indeed, we even read that many deceivers have gone out "into the world" and we do not suppose that means they came from heaven and into the world. being from God means that one has come down

Similarly, Jesus said he was from above and not below. He said he was not "of this world." But Jesus also said that his disciples are those who are born from above and they too are not "of this world." And indeed, there are those who are "from God" and those who are not.

Jesus said he was the Bread of Life which came down from heaven. However, he also said that which gives life to the world is that which comes down out of heaven and then he identifies that which gives life as his flesh, something which did not literally come down from heavenly realms and into this created order. And his comments here are clearly an expansion upon his words at John 3:13.

Again at John 8:58, Jesus' words, "Before Abraham was, I am" are taken to mean he was a pre-existent divine son of God existing in heavenly realms before Abraham existed. But the implications of Jesus' words, "Abraham was glad to see my day" are ignored. Why would Abraham need to look forward in time to "Jesus' day" if the intent of the message in this context was that Jesus was a pre-existent divine son?

When all of the data is carefully considered, the truth of the matter becomes quite plain. All of these passages are not about what Trinitarians imagine into them. All of these passages are about a human being not a divine being. God conceived this human being in eternity and because God conceived this human being in eternity, this human being was a reality before the world was. Another major error made by Trinitarians is that reality is not reality unless it is reality from their perspective within this created order of this time and space. God has been finished from all his works from the foundation of the world. This is because God creates all things and makes all things happen by his spoken Word. His Word went out from Him at the foundation of the world and He is therefore finished with all His work. And the will and purpose of His spoken Word will come to pass in our time and space at the proper time, the times and seasons He has fixed by His own authority. Things are not reality until they come to pass in this time and space; things are reality as soon as God speaks them because His word does not fail.

Plainly, being "sent into the world" does not mean being sent down from heaven into the world. Jesus is sending his disciples into the world in the same manner, "just as," the Father sent him into the world. And notice just how Jesus goes about sending them into the world.

Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Can we then surmise that God "sent" the man Jesus "into the world" in the same manner as Jesus sent the disciples into the world by anointing him with the Holy Spirit at the Jordan river?

God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38).

For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

"What do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and 'sent into the world'?" (John 10:36).

How interesting. The Greek word for "Holy" as in "Holy Spirit" is the word hagios. The word used in the above verse is hagizao, to be made holy, to set apart. The word here simply means that Jesus was set apart and sent out into the world by receiving the Spirit at the Jordan.

Jesus "sent" from and came from God

Another mistaken interpretation is to suppose that being sent "from God" means that Jesus had been a pre-existent Son of God who had been sent down from heaven to earth by the Father.

I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. John 1:6.

And just how was John the Baptist "sent from God?" Quite simply, God had filled him with His Spirit from birth. So we can see clearly that John the Baptists was "sent from God" and Jesus sends his disciples "into the world" by anointing them with the Holy Spirit.

This Bread is my Flesh

Another verse which vividly illustrates the facts here is Jesus' own words in John 6:

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh

Now read that very carefully. Jesus says the bread that came down out of heaven IS "my flesh." The bread that came down out of heaven IS Jesus' flesh. Are we to understand that flesh come down out of heaven? No. Then how are we to understand these words? Let us turn back to John chapter one and see what we should have learned:

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.... all things came into being through {the Word}, and apart from {the Word} nothing came into being that has come into being... the Word became flesh... only begotten of the Father."

Yes, God created all things by means of his Word and not one thing exists that was not created through his Word.

By the Word of Yahweh the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. (Psalm 33:6).

Yes all things were created in the Word and by means of God's Word all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through the Word and unto the Word. That Word came down from heaven into the Virgin Mary. The Word of God, God's seed, begat a Son in the womb of a virgin, and that son was Jesus.

Now the parable is this: the seed is the Word of God. (Luke 8:11).

for you have been begotten again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God. (1 Peter 1:23).

The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is begotten of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God. (1 John 3:9).

Yes, God's Word is his seed. The Word by which he created the entire universe is his seed. And that seed entered the womb of Mary and a son was begotten. The Word of God, His seed, had become flesh. The seed of God, His Word, had become a person. The bread of God which had come down from heaven was begotten in Mary. God now had an only begotten Son. The Word had become flesh and that Word of God is for the life of the world. The flesh of Jesus is true food indeed. He was the Word of God and we should consume that Word in all that we do.

The flesh itself counts for nothing. But what if you seen Jesus ascend to where he was "before." (Jn 6:62). What if you see the man Jesus, the man of flesh, the Word of God become flesh, ascending to where he was in the beginning? Indeed, that flesh was the Word that had come down from heaven and became flesh. The Word is God's seed. That Word, the seed of God, had come down into the virgin Mary and became flesh, and in this way, the seed of God had begotten a Son.

In the beginning was God and his Word. The Word became flesh. The Word of God had come down from heaven. God's seed had entered the womb of Mary and God had begotten a Son. God's Word was now flesh, a begotten Son, the man, Jesus of Nazareth. And as our own word expresses us, God's Word expresses Him, God the Father (Jn 1:18). That flesh was God's Word to us. That flesh was the Son of God.

Before he went to Calvary, Jesus prayed to be glorified with the glory he had with the Father before the foundation of the world. Yes, the Word was with God in the beginning. No, the Word was not then a person. The Word was God's seed, and then became the bread which came down out of heaven, and became flesh, the man Jesus.

No, Jesus did not exist as a person before he was born in Bethlehem. But indeed he is the Word of God which was with God in the beginning. God's word had become flesh. God's word had become the man Jesus.

And when the right time came, God sent his only begotten Son into the world, the son who was begotten of the Virgin Mary. He came to the Jordan and was anointed with the Holy Spirit. In this way, God had sent him, his begotten human Son, into the world. And in the same way, the risen Jesus anointed his Apostles with that same Spirit and sent them into the world.

Praise his Holy name.

By the Word of Yahweh the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. (Psalm 33:6).

By the breath of his mouth, the Holy Spirit all the host of heaven was made. And just as our own words are borne upon the breath of our mouth, God's Word was borne along by the Spirit of God having been anointed at the Jordan. He is, this Word of God, the firstfruits of the new creation, the new heavens and earth. Jesus of Nazareth.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world (17:16).