Who was Jesus before he came to earth? Did he even exist before the virgin birth? If so, who or what was he? Is it credible to think he was created and was named Michael the Archangel like the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach or the spirit brother of Lucifer like the Mormons say? Was he God? Does the Bible say anything about that period of time or is it silent?
Those are all valid questions and issues that people have. Some have even built important doctrines around them. The Bible does provide some very surprising answers in various passages! Let’s examine the evidence. When Jesus was on earth he was a man, who prayed to the Father:
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:5)
OBSERVATION: Jesus clearly existed before the world began and he shared glory with the Father. The kind of glory he had then is better understood from other related Scriptures:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1,2)
OBSERVATION: Jesus was God before he came to earth. See also 1 John 5:20. Also, he was NOT called Michael. Instead, he was the Word and was with God (the Father) at the very beginning. John 1:1 also shows he is different from the Father. The Word is not the Father. Since we also know the Word became flesh (Jn. 1:14), we know John 1:1 is referring to the Lord Jesus. Paul wrote:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! (Phil 2:6-8)
OBSERVATION: Again, we learn Jesus (or the Word) was God before he came to earth and became a man. Hence, Jesus was God, who became the God man.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (1 Pet 1:10,11)
OBSERVATION: The prophets of God in the Old Testament predicted the future through the spirit of Christ who was in them! A comparison of OT Scriptures shows they prophesied “thus saith the LORD.” Hence, we have even more evidence that the Word or Jesus is YHWH. All of that helps to better understand the type of glory Jesus had with the Father before he came to earth and he mentioned in John 17:5. The following adds to that:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Mat 28:18)
OBSERVATION: Jesus now has all authority (power) in heaven and it is implied that such was restored to him, since his resurrection–again showing Jesus before earth was deity and called the Word. This evidence also shows he was never created, as does his own name–eternal life (1 John 1:1,2).
At this point in time, he is sitting on the throne of God at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3) and praying for the saints (Heb. 7:25). Do you know him as your own Lord and Savior? He is the only way to escape eternal fire and punishment!