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Did Jesus exist before Abraham?

Jesus made many statements recorded in the Gospels that garnered great controversy in His day. He said that He came from heaven (John 3:13), had the authority to forgive sins (Luke 7:48–50), and is the “Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). But perhaps His most surprising assertion was given in response to the Jews in John 8. Amid a heated debate over His identity, Jesus told them, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). This declaration is especially significant given that the phrase I am was used as a title for God (Exodus 3:14).

When analyzing Jesus’ comment, it is important to notice what Jesus did not say. He did not say that “before Abraham existed, I existed.” Or, “Before Abraham was, I was.” Rather, He declared that before Abraham was even born, “I am.” Before Abraham was (past tense), Jesus is (present tense). Jesus was claiming pre-existence.

When Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham, His hearers “picked up stones to stone him” (John 8:59). They knew immediately that Jesus’ statement was tantamount to claiming equality with God, and the penalty for blasphemy under Jewish law was stoning (Leviticus 24:16). Jesus’ opponents were unsuccessful, however. John records that “Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:59). Later, in John 13:19, Jesus again applies the divine name I AM to Himself: “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.” The words echo God’s statements in Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’” and in Isaiah 41:4, “Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.”

One day, “the LORD appeared to Abraham” (Genesis 18:1). Throughout the conversation, the Lord is alternately called a “man” and “the Lord” in (Genesis 2; 13; 16; 17; 22). This is a case of an Old Testament Christophany (a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ). Genesis 18 provides further support for Jesus’ claim that He existed before Abraham. Jesus visited Abraham and Sarah in their tent and ate a meal with them.

Yes, the Bible certainly teaches that Jesus existed before Abraham. Jesus was “with God in the beginning” (John 1:2; John 1:14; Colossians 1:16–17), and that predates Abraham by quite a while. Jesus claimed to be divine on numerous occasions, and one such claim was that He existed prior to Abraham. Not only did Jesus exist prior to Abraham, but Abraham gave Him honor (Genesis 18:2–5).

As Jesus’ resurrection from the dead made clear, Jesus’ divine claims were true! So Jesus’ use of the name “I am” was not blasphemy as the Pharisees had supposed. Such an identification with Yahweh was entirely appropriate given who Jesus is. He is the “Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). He is “God over all” (Romans 9:5) and “the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). He was then and will forever be the great “I AM.”


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  1. The Core

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt 22:37-40 (KJV)

    “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” means that the first commandment is to be obeyed under all circumstances. And this love of the first law is “to love (in a social or moral sense) —Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary”, it means to do the right thing.
    And who is God that we are to love no matter the circumstance? …and the Word was God […and the Law was God]. John 1:1 (KJV). God’s word is law (rules, ethics, morals, principles,).
    Man must coexist in order to survive. In order to coexist Man must have laws to protect the rights of all. God gave us laws that would allow us to do just that, live, IF adhered to.
    33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
    Luke 21:33 (KJV).
    Let’s face it the laws that we choose to govern by are not working no matter where you live at in this world.
    It is not enough to just to confess that you believe in the [fairy tales] fables 1 Tim 1:4 (KJV) (the leaven of today’s teachers). You cannot judge angels 1 Cor 6:3 (KJV) unless you know the right laws to judge by. And it is not enough to just know the letter of the law, 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Ex 20:14 (KJV), but you need to know why they are laws and what happens if disobeyed.
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt 5:28 (KJV).
    You need to take it to heart and know that adultery causes strife, contention, and disturbs the peace of all involved and tempts others to do the same. One who loves his neighbor as himself would not want to disturb his neighbors peace. Those that “don’t” only because they are told “thou shalt not” easily fall to temptation because there is no conviction. Those that are sincere in their want for peace and truth are drawn to God because that is what God is, peace IN truth,
    44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:…
    John 6:44 (KJV)
    and
    8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. …10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:8-10 (KJV)
    This is what Jesus and the New Testament do, they teach the true meanings and principles of the laws that are in the Old Testament, “the spirit of the law”.
    Being washed in the blood of the lamb means to learn and follow the true meaning of God’s laws, especially through trials and tribulations, (which is the chastisement of God, thereby showing his love for his children;
    6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb 12:6 (KJV)). That blood washing also being retroactive for those who were sincere in their walk with God since the creation of mankind, hence 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58 (KJV)
    .
    The prophets, which includes Jesus, died BECAUSE of our sins. We (mankind) were ignorant and our leaders were greedy and their deeds were in darkness and they killed the prophets because they brought those deeds to light. Jesus died FOR our salvation by his blood that was shed for the bringing of the New Testament (true meaning to laws), this is why it said that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
    16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. Heb 9:16 (KJV). And he followed those laws as an example for us to follow, being a man and not God.
    21 … because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an EXAMPLE, THAT YE SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS: … 1 Peter 2:21-24 (KJV)
    14 Seeing then that we have a great HIGH PRIEST (not God), that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
    15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but WAS in all points TEMPTED (13 … for God CANNOT be tempted with evil, …James 1:13 (KJV)) like as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:14-15 (KJV).
    {By principle of this; 1 Cor 7:29-30 (KJV) Jesus’ sacrifice can be likened to less than a finger prick if he is THE God.}
    Take a good look at the world and you can plainly see that sin (crime) causes nothing but pain and death.
    To nut shell it, unless you do your very best to put God (the word) before all else you are not worthy of the protection that the word (law) facilitates, Matt 10:37 (KJV). And make no mistake God will not jeopardize the peace of heaven for no one.
    27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:27 (KJV)

    May God have mercy on his children. Amen

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