John Testifies of Jesus from the Beginning

Fred R. Coulter

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John proves that Jesus was God before His human birth. As we have seen, Jesus did not reveal Himself all at once; it was progressive. Then the Spirit of God was to lead them into the understanding of who and what Jesus really was. 

Today we are going to cover the very profound Scriptures that absolutely prove that Jesus: 

  • was God 
  • was in heaven before He became a human being 
  • came down from heaven 
  • lived His life as a human being 

then after He died and was resurrected

  • ascended back to the Father in heaven 

We’re going to see the proof of that from Scripture!

Matthew 13:16: “But blessed are your eyes, because they see…” The things that we’re going to understand concerning Who Is Jesus? and the things that we’re going to understand from Scripture come because of the Spirit of God to lead us into the understanding of God’s Word. 

“…and your ears, because they hear… [How much of a blessing is this?] …For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men…” (vs 16-17). Job, Daniel, Noah, the three most righteous men in the Bible, they never knew; they never understood. They only vaguely contemplated the Messiah Jesus Christ. They didn’t see! Many wanted to know! 

Remember Daniel when he was writing the conclusion of the book and the angel came to him and he asked the angel, ‘How long shall these things be?’ Daniel was told to close the book for it is sealed until the time of the end! All the righteousness of Daniel did not bring him understanding of God’s plan. 

“…many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard” (v 17). 

This is especially true for the apostles at that time. Not only did they physically live with Jesus, they: 

  • saw His works 
  • saw His miracles 
  • heard His teachings 

This blessing that they received comes down to us in the form of the New Testament!

The New Testament is superior to the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the foundation; the New Testament is the entire building. A prophecy is not as substantial or real as the reality. A prophecy of Christ is not as great as the reality of Christ being there. 

What He taught us in the New Testament is really tremendously profound. Let’s see some more about these tremendous things that God is teaching us through His Word, and what the Apostle Peter wrote to those in 1-Pet. 1. We just want to pick out the things that are important and pertinent leading up to the book of John, to prove that John proves that Jesus was God before He became human. 

1-Peter 1:7: “In order that the proving of your faith, which is much more precious than gold that perishes…” That’s how God looks upon conversion! 

Growth in grace and knowledge, belief and love of God is “…more precious than gold that perishes, though it is being tested by fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Whom, not having seen, you love…” (vs 7-8). 

We have a little bit different faith and belief than the apostle who saw Him. Just like it was told to Thomas who said, ‘I’m not going to believe He was raised from the dead until I see Him.’ Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who believe, Thomas, and have not seen!’ We haven’t seen Jesus. We only see Him in the mind’s eye through the words of the Holy Scripture in the New Testament that has been preserved for us. 

“…in Whom, though at the present time you do not see Him, you believe, and rejoice with unspeakable joy, and filled with glory; and are receiving the end of your faith—even the salvation of your souls… [which will come at the resurrection] …concerning which salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you have diligently searched out and intently inquired” (vs 8-10). 

They were the instruments to prophesy, but they didn’t understand it. They were the instruments to give God’s Word in the Old Testament, but then the reality of it—through the coming Jesus Christ and what He did for us—they diligently searched, but they couldn’t understand. 

Verse 11: “Searching into what way and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them was indicating…”: 

  • Were the prophets before Jesus Christ? Yes!
  • Did they prophesy—by the Spirit of God—Yahweh Elohim? Yes!
  • What is that called in the New Testament? The Spirit of Christ!

This again is a direct indication that Jesus Christ was God before He became human, otherwise how could they have the Spirit of Christ in them when they were preaching, prophesying, writing, searching and trying to understand these things. 

“…testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and these glories that would follow; to whom it was revealed that, not for themselves, but to us they were ministering these things, which now have been announced to you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven—into which things the angels desire to look” (vs 11-12). Profound statements! Tremendous statements! Even angels desire to understand what we understand. 

Exactly how to explain that whole thing, I don’t know. But one of these days at the resurrection when we see the angels we’ll ask them: How is that we understood and you didn’t? 

Let’s just review so we get our bearings and we know exactly where we’re going. This is the ending of the book of John. We can have a greater depth of understanding when we go back and read some of the things in the book of John if we keep this in mind. 

John 20:30: “Now then, Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.” 

Of course, everyone wants to know what they were. We don’t know, but it’s going to give us a lot of conversation at the resurrection! Who knows, maybe God has this all preserved for us on what we could call in today’s terminology spiritual DVDs so we can pop them into whatever the machine is and understand exactly what went on. Then we’ll know. 

Verse 31: “But these have been written… [in the book of John] …so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, you may have life through His name.” 

That becomes very important. I want to cover this so we get our bearings and understand where we’re headed in the book of John. 

John 21:24: “This is the disciple who testifies concerning these things and who wrote these things…” 

John is the one who wrote the Gospel of John. He testifies, he verifies, and we’ll see why his Gospel is so different than Matthew, Mark and Luke; and why we cannot have the full understanding of the Gospels without the Gospel of John. 

“…and we… [those elders that were with John who verified his testimony] …know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I do not suppose that even the world itself could contain the books that would be written. Amen” (vs 24-25). What a way to end a Gospel! What a way to end the book explaining about Jesus Christ. 

Let’s learn two other key principle things. John 6:63: “It is the Spirit that gives life…” 

That’s why it’s important that you have the Spirit of God. If you don’t have the Spirit of God in you through Jesus Christ, you have no life in you. Of course, we covered how you receive the Holy Spirit of God. He’s reiterating here. 

“…the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life” (v 63). 

If we don’t have the Gospel of John, do we have the saving words of lifeNO! We’ll see why. 

After some of the disciples left and didn’t come back, v 68: “Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have known that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (vs 68-69). That’s the whole purpose of the book of John

  • to show Who Jesus was 
  • what Jesus was 
  • what He did 
  • the important parts of the spiritual parts of the Gospel of John 

As I did one time before, I’m going to cover parts of the book Restoring the Original Bible by Ernest Martin. I’m going to read several sections to review and also to bring us to the understanding that we need to have as to how important the Gospel of John was. Let me just summarize a couple of things: 

Paul and Peter canonized the New Testament all the way up to the writings of John. Peter and Paul died about 68A.D.—maybe a sometime a little before that. But from 67-68A.D. there was nothing new written that was added to the New Testament. So, we come clear down to the end of the life of John when he was very old. Here we find something very important concerning the Gospel of John: the wesections within 1-John and the Gospel of John: 

Restoring the Original Bible by Ernest Martin: 

The Importance of John’s Elders

There is another historical reference to the Elders who helped John write his Gospel and his three epistles. It is what we today call the Muratorian Canon named after L. A. Muratori who discovered the document in 1740 C.E. It is an account of how some of the books of the New Testament came to be. Though it is written in barbarous Latin, and scholars have argued about its intrinsic worth for years, there are some interesting matters mentioned by the document that refer to the “WE “passages of the apostle John’s writings. And because it has often been dated very early (to about 150 C.E. — though this is disputed), it provides a reasonable witness of what people believed about the origin of the Gospel of John and other books. It will pay us to quote an extensive part of the Muratorian Canon. In the section I will transcribe it. The main topic was the Gospel of John. 

The fourth Gospel is by John, one of the disciples. When his fellow-disciples and overseers of the churches exhorted him he said: ‘Today fast with me for three days, and let us recount to each other whatever may be revealed to each o€ us.’ That same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should write down all things in John’s name, as they ALL RECALLED THEM TO MIND (or could certify to John). So although various points are taught in the several books of the gospels, yet it makes no difference to the faith of believers, since all things in them are declared by one supreme Spirit, concerning [Christ’s] nativity, his sufferings, his resurrection, his talking with his disciples, and his double advent [i.e., his two separate advents]

The two separate appearances that He made to the disciples!

…the first in despised lowliness, which has taken place, and the second glorious with the power of a king, which is yet to come. What wonder then if John so boldly presents each point, saying of himself in his epistle, `What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears, and our hands have handled, these things have we written?’ For so he swears as a witness not only one who saw Christ and a hearer of him, but he was also a writer of all the wonderful works of the Lord in order.” 

(Italics, capitals, and words in brackets are mine)

Dr. Martin writes: There can be no doubt that the writer of this work believed that the Gospel of John, though written under the name of the “beloved disciple” (John), was really a cooperative effort in which several of the apostles and disciples took part. And in effect, this is exactly what the “WE” sections of the Gospel of John and John’s epistles demand. This makes “the Elders” of John take on an importance that many people have not realized. It indicates that John became the writer for the remaining witnesses of Christ who were still alive at the end of the 1st century. John’s circle of friends included some of the most illustrious luminaries who accompanied Christ in his preaching tours of Galilee and Judaea. 

These “Elders” of John were also mentioned by Clement of Alexandria (early 3rd century C.E.) when he discussed the method that John used in writing his Gospel. He said: 

“But last of all, John, perceiving that the observable facts had been made plain in the Gospel [those formerly written]being urged on by friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.”

(As quoted by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History VI.14.7)

That is why the Gospel of John is entirely different. Let’s see why we are told a very important thing as to what the Holy Spirit would do for us, would do for John. 

John 14:26: “But when the Comforter comeseven the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things, and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you.” 

 When they fasted for those three days and came together and began discussing what they needed to put in this Gospel, the Holy Spirit verified was with them, and that’s why the Gospel of John is: 

  1. so powerful 
  2. so spiritual 
  3. so different 

Then they covered all of the topics that were absolutely necessary to show who and what Jesus was before His human birth. 

John 16:12—why Jesus said this: “I have yet many things to tell you…” 

  • He had to reveal it by His Holy Spirit 
  • He had to come and present Himself to them after His resurrection 
  • He had to teach them things, “…many things…” 

“…but you are not able to bear them now” (v 12). This has a profound significance as to why Jesus did not say, ‘I am God in the flesh.’ 

When we get to John 6 and go through our survey in discovering these key, important verses, then we’ll understand why He couldn’t say that, though He was. They couldn’t bear it! They had to have that revealed! They had to grow in the grace and in the knowledge and the will of God the Father and Jesus Christ. 

Here is how Jesus is going to do it, v 13: “However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth…” 

You can do this for a survey on your own; and I can just imagine that you can study the book of John over and over again and still glean and learn more out of it every time. But you will see how many times John talks about: 

  • the Truth 
  • the Spirit of Truth 
  • Jesus Christ Who was the Truth 
  • Jesus Christ Who was the Way 

The Holy Spirit is the one that would reveal it!

“…because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to comeThat one shall glorify Me…” (vs 13-14). It’s going to show the full glory of Christ! 

The full glory of Christ is not found in Matthew, Mark and Luke; it is not found in the Acts; is not found in the Epistle of James and 1st, 2nd Peter. But it is found in 1st, 2nd, 3rd John, the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. It’s not found in all the Epistles of Paul. The full glory, the full meaning is not found until John finishes the New Testament. 

In Restoring the Original Bible it talks about that and especially concerning the witnesses and the works that were already circulating in the time of John. 

Let’s first go to Luke. The reason that we have the writings that we have condensed and complied in the way that we have is because there were many accounts as to what was done and said by Jesus and about His life. There were many people writing different things. None of them have come to us but the New Testament. That becomes important because that shows the hand of God and the Holy Spirit in preserving the New Testament for us, and how God inspired the apostles to finish and write, and then be completed by the Apostle John the whole New Testament. 

Luke 1:1: “Since many have taken in hand to compile a written narration of the matters, which have been fully believed among us, as they delivered them to us, those who from the beginning… [of the Gospel] …had been eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, it seemed good to me also, having accurately understood everything from the very first, to write these things in an orderly sequence to you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you might know the absolute certainty of the things in which you have been instructed” (vs 1-4). 

So, Luke took many of the writings of the different apostles and different eyewitnesses, put those together in the different accounts; so we have the Gospel by Luke. Each one is unique. When we come to the time of the Apostle John he is going to finish the Gospels with the knowledge that was missing. 

(continuing in book) 

John (even in his old age) felt that it was incumbent upon him to clear the air with the truth. He thus asked the witnesses of Christ’s earthly life who were still living (the Elders) to cooperate with him in the production of the final Gospel. This was done just before John’s death (about the time he canonized the Book of Revelation). 

It is for this reason that many features of John’s Gospel can be satisfactorily explained. This is why he could record the incident of Lazarus being resurrected from the dead while the other three Gospel accounts did not wish to do so. 

Why? Because the Jews also wanted to kill Lazarus! Wherever Lazarus was, Lazarus was a target of assassination by the Jews who hated the New Testament Church. They didn’t want to expose it to him. But now that Lazarus had died, John could write about that account. 

Since Lazarus was now likely dead, and this would prevent any harassment from his admirers or his foes, John could tell the story in detail. 

But John left out things too. There is no mention of Christ’s prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem, to which the other three Gospels paid considerable attention. 

Why? Because Jerusalem was already destroyed! Not completely, but the Jews were removed by the time John wrote. 

It would have been unwise to mention matters that many had considered as already taken place (and record them as “future” prophecies). And, after all, the Olivet Prophecies had been adequately covered by the other three Gospels written before the destruction of Jerusalem. John’s task was different and for other reasons. He was simply giving a summary of doctrinal and spiritual matters taught by Christ that the other apostles had left out or did not feel necessary to record. His Gospel was a spiritual one. 

Or we could add: were not inspired of the Holy Spirit at that time to write them.

John 1 becomes very important. In the English, in the first part of John, there is substantially no difference in the meaning of the words, the tense of the words or the meaning of the tenses. They are all virtually identical. I’m going to cover certain basic elements that are used by John in writing, especially the first 18 verses are, by far, the most emphatic and important and revealing parts of the Gospel of John. There are several others in John 5, 6, and 17 especially. We’re going to see that these things answer the questions: who, what, when, where and why. 

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word…” 

The Word in Greek is ‘ho Logos.’ It is true that ‘ho Logos’ could just be a message; ‘ho Logos’ could just be a saying IF one sentence in John were not there. Then perhaps those who claim that the Word—‘ho Logos’—was synonymous to the wisdom of Prov. 8—‘ha sophia’ being one and the same. That possibly could be construed as true. But John is making it absolutely clear for us. 

“In the beginning…” tells us when! As human beings we need that. We’re finite creatures, we need time, we run by numbers. We’re so tall, we weigh so much, we live so long, etc. We come into the world at a certain point. God, on the other hand, does not need to have time. That’s why it says, ‘With God a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day.’ 

“…was the Word… [the Word was already there at the beginning] …and the Word was with God…” (v 1). We have God the Father Who was not revealed until Jesus came! We’ve adequately proved that. 

“…the Word was God” (v 1). Without this little short phrase, we wouldn’t know Who the Word was, except as an idea. But it says very clearly “…the Word was God”—Theos. That’s what the Word was. 

  • When was the Word God? In the beginning!
  • Where was the Word Who was God? With God!
  • Does that not tell us that there are two who are called GodYes!

Verse 2: “He was in the beginning with God…. [it’s stated again] …All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him” (vs 2-3). 

The One Who was the Word—Who was God, Who was with God, in the beginning—was the active creating agent to do all the creating. 

Verse 3: “All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him.” 

That’s a whole tremendous first three verses that are absolutely meaningful as to who was Jesus: 

  • Jesus was God—which it says here was the Word
  • the Word was God
  • the Word was with God—which shows that there are two Who are called God 
  • everything that was made came into being through Him

We saw in part 9 of this series that in Heb. 1 that He created everything, visible and invisible. God the Father apparently delegated all that to Jesus Christ, the One Who became Jesus Christ, called ‘Logos’—the Word; the Spokesman—Who created everything! 

Verse 14: “And the Word became flesh…” That is tremendous in understanding. He didn’t just come in the appearance of flesh, but was really not flesh. He was made flesh! He took upon Himself flesh! There is a reason for that. 

Once we have these things. I want to cover just a few basic things concerning the structure of the Greek, which is also in this case the exact same structure as the English. 

I’m going to read to you from A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Amante. One of the reasons that people have a hard time understanding about language is because, frankly, it’s not taught in school. I know that when I was going to school they didn’t teach me these things. When they tried to teach it, they made it so complicated that, frankly, I had no interest in it and I became an English grammar illiterate, completely! I won’t get into all the details as to how hard I had to work later on to make up for that deficiency. 

Here is something that is very basic. This will help those if they would go back and really understand what is being said. This is confirmed in the Greek. 

A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Amante 

Pg 62—Noun—One of the very first fundamental things we need to learn. A noun is a vocal sound by which one designates a fact of consciousness, which then can be written down. 

What is the noun here in this case? Ho Logos! The Word! A fact of consciousness! A fact of reality! 

Verb—the verb is a vocal sound by which one makes an assertion relative to a fact of consciousness. 

The verb here is was. It tells us something about ‘Logos’; ‘ho Logos’ was. Was what? Was God! Was in the beginning!

Pg 154—The verb is that part of the sentence which affirms action or a state of being. 

“In the beginning was the Word…” It affirms a state of being. The Word was existing in the beginning; not created in Mary’s womb! “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.” 

Then we have another statement of fact: “…and the Word was with God… [that is a dogmatic statement of fact] …and the Word was God.” That’s exactly what the verb does! 

The nature of the verb represents two varieties. 

Pg. 166—There is what is called the indicative mood. 

When I was going to high school, I had completely turned off, my eyes crossed, my eyelids shut, my ears stopped, and I said, ‘Get me out of this room’ when I heard something like this. Now it is fantastic because it really tells you how this is written so we can think properly! Isn’t that what the Holy Spirit wants us to do? Yes!

The indicative is the declarative mood denoting a simple assertion. 

So, what it’s saying, “In the beginning was the Word…” Is that not a simple assertion? Yes!

“…and the Word was with God… [a simple assertion] …and the Word was God.” As a matter of fact it uses that very same example here under what is called the ‘declarative indicator.’ In other words, what is being told is declared. It’s not a question. It’s not a thought. It is an absolute dogmatic simple statement. 

Its basal significance is clearly seen when the indicative is used in the statement of a simple fact. 

Then it quotes: ‘en arche en ho Logos’ which is “In the beginning was the Word…” 

It talks about the tense of the verb. We have the overall verb to be in English. The verb to be is the infinitive. What was the whole question in the play of Shakespeare? To be or not to be, that is the question!And really, that’s what people are asking of Jesus. Who is He? If you understood a little bit of the basic fundamentals of grammar you would know. 

Pg 176—-Tense—No element of the Greek language is of more importance to the student of the New Testament than the matter of tense. A variation in meaning exhibited by the use of the particular tense will often dissolve what appears to be an embarrassing difficulty or reveal a gleam of truth, which will thrill the heart with delight and inspiration. 

Since I’ve been studying Greek for many years, it does do that. You become absolutely thrilled because God inspired it in Greek. When you understand it in Greek, and when it’s properly translated in English it just absolutely sets your mind on fire as to how true the Truth is, and how profound it is. 

The development of the tense in Greek has reached its highest in Greek and presents the greatest wealth of meaning among all the known ancient languages. None distinguish the manifold temporal and module relations of the verb so accurately as does the Greek. 

We will see that this is very important! 

(go to the next track) 

Let’s continue in the Greek grammar book. When we’re dealing with the word was in English, that in Greek is called ‘en’—which is a particular tense of the word to be. Then you have: I am, he is, they are, you are, we are. The word changes with use; likewise in the Greek. 

Pg 178—the important element of the tense in Greek. The chief function of a Greek tense, thus not to denote time, but progress or action, or a state of being. 

There is what is called imperfect past tense. I know it sounds a little complicated, but I hope I can explain it to you. Imperfect past tense shows it was an action, or a state of being, or condition that had been continuously going on in the past

The imperfect may be regarded as sort of an auxiliary to the present tense functioning for it in the indicative. That means a dogmatic simple statement of fact to refer its significance of continuous action in the past time. 

That applies right here to the Gospel of John, the first three verses. “In the beginning was the Word…” Continuous action from the beginning; existence, the Word—imperfect active indicative

“…and the Word was [continuously] with God…” Here’s the real catcher on this]: …and the Word [continuously] was God.” 

There is no way to reason around these Scriptures to try and say that Jesus did not exist except in the foreknowledge and thought of God, except as a spiritual ethereal idea of God until He was created in the womb of Mary. 

That’s why the Apostle John[transcriber’s correction] wrote this. Don’t you think if we can think of that thing today that it was not thought of then? Don’t you think that the reason that the Apostle John wrote the beginning of his Gospel this way was to dispel all of the arguments that Luke said ‘many have taken to write about’ it: 

  • many ideas 
  • many fables 
  • many stories 
  • many counter-evangelists 

sent out by the Jews to try and destroy Christianity. That’s why John wrote it this way; to establish the first most important profound thing we need to know about Jesus Christ was that He existed! He was in existence continuously in the beginning! It doesn’t tell us about time beyond that, because our minds cannot comprehend it. This becomes very important. 

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word… [continuously existing] …and the Word was with God… [continuously existing with God] …and the Word was God”—continuously existing as God!Answering who, what, when, where and why. 

Verse 2: “He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life” (vs 2-4). That is He had life inherent! He had eternal life!

That’s why the Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus Christ, Who living and existing in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself.’ He devoided Himself of His Divinity. We’re going to learn next time what tremendous love that is that God has for us, that God would do that. That God would give up being God to save us, to save you, to forgive your sins! 

As being God, God being eternal cannot die. But if God—because nothing is impossible for God—has Himself made flesh, then He can die IF He takes upon Himself the same kind of flesh that we, as human beings, have. That’s why it says, 

Verse 14: “And the Word became flesh…” The Word came into being as flesh, Who was before as God. There is absolutely conclusive, dogmatic powerful declarative force in the way it’s written, that God became flesh. There’s no other way around it. There is no other way to understand these Scriptures. 

“…and tabernacled among us (and we… [all the disciples and those elders who were with John] …ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and Truth” (v 14). 

The whole life and the ministry of Christ absolutely changed everything; it absolutely turned the world upside down in relationship to what the Jews had. 

Verse 15: “John [the Baptist] testified concerning Him, and proclaimed, saying, ‘This was He of Whom I said, “He Who comes after me has precedence over me because He was before me.”’” The indication is that He existed before John [the Baptist] did! 

This dogmatically and absolutely proves one fact that’s very important: John the Baptist was begotten by his father three months before Mary was begotten by God the Father with the One Who became Jesus Christ. If Jesus did not exist until He was created in the womb of Mary, John could not have said that “…He existed before me.” John, in fact, in the flesh existed three months before Jesus was begotten. 

This proves conclusively that if the One Who was ‘Logos’ was made flesh, was before John [the Baptist], and John said He was before Me, and Jesus was six months younger than John. Then the only way that could be was that Jesus had to exist as God before He became a human being. Rather than following along with what was said, that there’s not a hint in the Bible that Jesus was God before He became human. 

It’s very conspicuous how these Scriptures are voided, or watered down, or turned away, or spiritualized away as not what was being written here. This is why that John wrote this, so we would know. 

“…He was before me.” Remember the imperfect indicative. An action, a state of existence, or being in a continuous time in the past, which was before the existence of John [the Baptist]. 

Verse 16: “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” 

Here’s to tell you how much better the New Testament is than the Old, how much better the ministry of Jesus Christ is than the old, or the religion of Moses. Of course, when you understand: when the Jews look upon Jesus as the ‘greatest fraud,’ the greatest slanderer,’ the greatest blaspheme that has ever occurred in their mind. 

John writes, v 17: “For the Law was given through Moses, but the grace and the Truth came through Jesus Christ.” 

We’re going to see that that is really profound. In another place it says that ‘the Law and the Prophets were until John [the Baptist], and since that time the Kingdom of God is preached’ showing that the Kingdom of God about Jesus Christ and salvation is far superior to anything in the Old Testament. That’s not to do away with the commandments of God. We’re not going to do like the Protestants and throw that away and say we don’t have to keep any laws and commandments of God. But to understand the magnitude of importance. 

Verse 18: “No one has seen God at any time…” This is important because it’s right after talking about Moses. Didn’t Moses see God? Yes! But not God Who—in the New Testament—is called the Father. No one has seen God the Father at any time!

“…the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father… [at the time that this was written] …He has declared Him” (v 18). 

These are such powerful verses that I feel totally inadequate in one, two, three, or maybe even four sermons to bring to you the power, the import and the spiritual meaning of these verses. I’m sure that we’re not going leave it rest just at that. But in order to continue on with the lesson we have to go through the other parts of the book of John to show us the other strong statements that Jesus was God before He became a human being. 

My next sermon is going to begin with John 3:16 that we may understand that and build upon our understanding and knowledge of God and the forgiveness of sin and what God personally did for every human being. 

Right in the middle of the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus we have, John 3:13: “And no one has ascended into heaven…” 

That means that Enoch is not there, Elijah is not there, and as Peter said in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, that ‘David has not ascended into the heavens, but is dead and buried and his sepulcher remains with until this day.’ 

When did John write this? Probably not much before 95A.D.! So, this is a profound statement! Jesus did not say this. This was written by John parenthetically put into that portion of what we call John 3. 

“…except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who… [at the time of this writing] …is in heaven.)” (v 13). 

This tells us that the One Who is the ‘Logos’ Who became flesh came down from heaven—had His full ministry, was offered up as a perfect sacrifice—and ascended back up into heaven (Acts 1) and is there at the right hand of God now. 

Here in v 31 is what John is saying concerning Jesus. Would John know something about Jesus? Do you think that being taught by God that John would know something about Jesus? Absolutely!

Verse 31: “He Who comes from above is above all…. [Who is the One Who came from above? Jesus Christ!] …The one who is of the earth is earthy, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all… [and speaks of those things above all, we could add] …and what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony…. [the religious leaders] …The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God…” (vs 31-34). 

This, brethren, is also a test for today. Out of all the myriad of ministers who claim to be ministers of God, who claim to be of a Church of God or the Church of God, how do you know that they are truly of God. There are satanic moles that get into different organizations who claim that they are of God, but they don’t speak the words of God. 

In other words, they don’t speak what is in the Bible. The Bible says that ‘if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no Light in them.’ In other words, they don’t have the Spirit of God. So, you and I—we—through Jesus Christ and His Spirit have to really understand what is being said and go by the Word of God so that we realize that by the words of God those that God sends you can know that they are of God. 

John 5 is one of the most incredible chapters that there is. Here we find very clearly the Father being revealed. We find that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus just because He said He was the Son of God. He said it very clearly in John 10. He said, ‘Why are you going to stone Me? For which good work?’ They said, ‘We’re not stoning You for a good work, but because You being a man make Yourself equal to God.’ 

Jesus said, ‘You’re going to stone Me because I have said I am the Son of God.’ That’s what they wanted to do in: 

John 5:17: “But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I work.’ So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath…” (vs 17-18). 

A complete misunderstanding of what this really means. He loosed one of the rigid traditional self-made laws of the Jews about not carrying something on the Sabbath. He didn’t ‘break’ the Sabbath in God’s eyes. He loosed it from all the rigamarole that the Jews added on it. 

“…but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing. And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder. For even as the Father raises the dead and gives life, in the same way also, the Son gives life to whom He will.  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son so that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father Who sent Him” (vs 18-23). 

Whoa! These words are so strong to those Jews. Jesus is telling them very clearly. Later He says, ‘I know that you don’t have the love of God in you.’ This is a powerful chapter to show Who Jesus was. 

Verse 24: “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My Word, and believes Him Who sent Me, has everlasting life and does not come into judgment; for he has passed from death into life. Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live. For even as the Father has life in Himself, so also has He given to the Sonto have life in Himself; and has also given Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of man” (vs 24-27). 

Next time I’m going to have an awful lot more to say about the human nature of Jesus. He is the Son of God! He is the Son of man! Had to be in order for God to become a fleshly human being, then live and die and be resurrected from the dead. There’s a tremendous amount of understanding, wisdom and knowledge in that. 

John 6:61: “But Jesus, knowing that His disciples were complaining about this… [to eat My flesh and drink My blood] …said to them, ‘Does this offend you?’” 

It offended a lot. Some of them left and never came back. The ones who said, ‘O Lord, I want to follow You.’ Remember the one who said, ‘Lord, I will follow You wherever you go, but first I have to go back and take care of my father’? And Jesus said, ‘Foxes have holes,’ etc. 

Jesus asked this question, v 62: “What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before?” 

That’s a very key statement, because in the Greek it means where He was in the before. It is in with the definite article, and the definite article in the Greek gives it a real profound emphasis. It means where He was in the time before He became the Son of man.

Now when you understand that He said, “What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before?” Of course, the disciples did see this after He was resurrected (Acts 1). 

Read the rest of it where He says, ‘I am the Bread of Life, which came down out of heaven.’ 

Verse 33: “For the Bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven…” 

He came down out of heaven, but He had to come down as that little impregnation of life to impregnated in the womb of Mary—a virgin—and God gave up all life, except that, and came down out of heaven! So, it was God Who came down out of heaven. That’s why He said, ‘If you see Him ascend back up into heaven…’ 

“‘…and gives life to the world.’ Therefore, they said to Him, ‘Lord, give this bread to us always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time’” (vs 33-35). That’s all in the theme concerning the Passover. 

Study these on your own: 

  • John 7:28-29, 33-34, 40-42 
  • John 8:12-15, 19, 21-29 

John 8:54—just after they accuse Jesus of witnessing for Himself: “Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing….’” We’re going to see that Jesus counted the flesh as nothing. Compared to being God it is nothing!

“‘…It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. Yet, you have not known Him; but I know Him….’” (vs 54-55). That’s really strong telling the Jews they have not known the Father. ‘Them’s fightin’ words!’

“‘…And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar, like you. But I know Him, and I keep His Word. Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced’ Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, before…’” (vs 55-58)—Greek ‘prin’ meaning in a time before. It is talking about a time before Abraham

In Anthony Buzzard book Who Is Jesus? he says that ‘ego eimi’ only means I am He. In some cases that’s what it may mean, but in this case Jesus is talking about in a time before Abraham was, existed!

“‘…before Abraham was born, I AM’” (v 58). He’s literally saying that ‘I existed.’ That’s what ‘I AM’ means in this particular sense in relationship to the sentence, in relationship to the word ‘prin’ or before.

There are some things in John 9 where the man who was born blind after He realized that it was Jesus Who healed him, worshipped Jesus. Even the angels wouldn’t allow a man to worship them, so the worshipping of Jesus is also a strong indication that He was God, otherwise why worship Him as God. 

We will leave some of the other things. I will let you go through and see some of the indications here concerning the powers of Jesus and what He did in chapters 11-14. 

John 17 is the most important for us to cover at this time, and again, we have a verse that conclusively proves that Jesus was God in radiant glory before He became a human being in the flesh. This is the prayer of Jesus. 

Anthony Buzzard in his booklet Who Is Jesus? makes great light of one sentence here about where Jesus talks about the Father as the only true God. Then he lightly covers v 5. We’re not going to lightly cover v 5, we’re going to heavily cover both of those verses so we understand them completely. 

John 17:1: “Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh…’” (vs 1-2). 

That is all who have ever lived; Jesus has authority over all humanity, whether they are in the grave or currently alive, or yet to be born—over all flesh!

The reason He has is because He was God Who became a human being and took upon Him human nature. So therefore, being perfect and having never sinned, He has authority over all flesh!

“…in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send.” (vs 2-3). That’s a really tough statement—the only true God!

It is claimed then that there was only one God. Well, at the time that Jesus was praying, that was a true statement. The only one at the time of Jesus’ prayer Who was truly, truly God—as God is God—was the Father. Jesus had been God, but in human flesh He was not truly God—was He? Though, He was the Son of God and the Son of man, and He carried human nature in Him. 

So, He says, “…that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do” (vs 3-4). 

Verse 5 is a very key verse, and when you tie this together with John 1 and John 6:62, if these were the only Scriptures that conclusively prove that Jesus was God before He was a human being, that is more than sufficient to prove what the Bible is teaching us. And because John wrote so specifically, so powerfully, so spiritually, and recorded for us this prayer of Jesus, this is most profound. 

Verse 5: “And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.” 

There are several things we need to cover here in v 5 so that we know exactly how clearly and what is being said, and why it’s being said. 

“And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self…” In other words, from the radiant glory that comes from God, Who lives in eternity, Whose existence is as the sun in full strength, and so forth—showing that that’s going to come God the Father Himself, from His very being. 

One other thing we need to understand with the phrase: “…before the world existed.” The word before comes from the Greek ‘pro’—which is before in time and place and in order. The word was comes from the Greek infinitive to be; it is the present infinitive. It really in a literally translation would be: And give Me the glory, Father, from Your own self with the glory that I had with You before the world was to be. Before it existed. 

The whole question is, as Shakespeare said, ‘To be or not to be.’ So, we’re dealing with before the world was, which is a correct translation even though we have the present infinitive of the to be verb used in the Greek. 

Verse 24 really ties in with this, and really brings it out in a greater way, which adds to it. This is how you let the Bible prove the Bible, so that you know and understand what you’re doing, what you’re reading and what it means! But you’ve got to get into it and really go through it systematically step-by-step. 

Verse 24—the prayer continues: “Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold… [see] …My glory…” In the Greek it is the glory, namely My own glory!

“…which You have given Me… [that very glory that He’s asking to be given to Him] …because You did love Me before the foundation of the world” (v 24). Nothing could be clearer than that!

Jesus said, v 5: “…Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.” 

Then He said, v 24: “Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world.” 

There’s nothing else that you can conclude other than the fact that: 

  • Jesus was God 
  • He was in glorified form 
  • He was the Yahweh of the Old Testament 
  • He was the One Who became Jesus Christ 

You have no other conclusion to draw!

What does God mean when He says ‘One’? Verse 20: “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word; that they all [everyone] may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me” (vs 20-21). 

What is this telling us? God’s understanding of ‘one’ is different than our understanding of ‘one.’ We know that the whole plan of God is that we be resurrected into His Family, into His Kingdom, and that is called ‘ONE.’ We have the same thing in the Old Testament when it says there is ONE Lord. That does not mean in the way that we understand ‘one.’ God is speaking there and He didn’t reveal all of Himself to the whole world in the Old Testament. 

Verse 21: “That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me…” (vs 21-22). He had already requested it! He said, ‘Father, give Me the glory that I had before the world was.’ 

Just like He raised Lazarus from the dead, He said, ‘Father, I think You that You have always heard Me.’ It was already done. Then He called Lazarus out of the tomb. He’s asking for it because 

  • God isGod
  • God’s Word is true 
  • the Father honors the Son 
  • the Son honors the Father 

That glory at the time that He made the second statement was already as good as given, because He finished the work He was given to do! 

“…in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one…” (vs 22-23). Through the whole process of

  • calling 
  • conversion 
  • receiving God’s Holy Spirit 
  • growing 
  • overcoming 
  • attaining to the resurrection 

To enter into the Kingdom of God through the power of the resurrection!

That’s how God looks at ‘ONE.’ As we have seen all the way through everything we are dealing with here can mean more than one, as we understand the number one as human beings. You could even take the number one and realize how many fractions of one there would be. You could take it out almost to infinity with your decimal points. So, we cannot take just the human reasoning that we have and apply that to what God has not revealed. Rather, we have to go to the Bible, to the entire Bible, and see exactly what it is that God is telling us. 

We have seen, proven by John that

  • In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God
  • Jesus said, ‘What if you see Me ascend up into heaven where I was before; or that is the before?’ 
  • ‘Father, give Me the glory that I had with You before the world existed.’ 
  • ‘You have loved Me before the foundation of the world.’ 

This is clear! There is no doubt! Even if these were the only Scriptures that prove Jesus’ existence as God before He was human, this ought to be sufficient, especially when we understand the late writing of John and the revelation of Jesus to John. 

Scripture from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, a Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 13:16-17
  • 1 Peter 1:7-12
  • John 20:30-31
  • John 21:24-25
  • John 6:63, 68-69
  • John 14:26
  • John 16:12-13
  • Luke 1:1-4
  • John 1:1-4, 14-18
  • John 3:13, 31-33
  • John 5:17-27
  • John 6:61-62, 33-35
  • John 8:54-58
  • John 17:1-5, 24, 5, 24, 20-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Proverbs 8 
  • Hebrews 1
  • Acts 2; 1
  • John 10
  • John 7:28-29, 33-34, 40-42
  • John 8: 12-15, 19, 21-29
  • John 9-14

Also Referenced: Books:

  • Restoring the Original Bible by Ernest Martin (
  • A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Amante
  • Who Was Jesus? by Anthony Buzzard | (

Transcribed: 8-19-13
Reformatted/Corrected: 2/2020