Was the name of the "Word" (in John 1:1) Jesus Christ before He became a human being?


Although this might be surprising to some at first sight, the answer is clearly, “Yes.” Here is why:

In John 1:1, we read that the “Word” (“Logos” in Greek, meaning Speaker or Spokesman) was with God (the Father), and that the Word was also God. That is, both God (the Father) and the Word were members of the Godhead–they were both God Beings. Verse 3 tells us that “all things were made” through the Word, and verse 14 explains that “the Word BECAME flesh and dwelt among us”–as the “only begotten of the Father.” So, clearly, the “WORD” was none other than the second Member of the Godhead, Who became a human being.

Hebrews 1:1-2 reveals that God spoke in these last days by His Son, “through whom also He made the worlds.” Colossians 1:13-16 explains, too, that God created “all things” through “the Son of His love.” The Son then is clearly identical with the Word, as God made everything through the “Son” and through the “Word.”

Notice, however, that Ephesians 3:9 explains that “God… created all things through Jesus Christ.” This shows that the Word is not only identical with the Son of God, but also with Jesus Christ; or, to put it differently, that the Word, the Son of God and Jesus Christ are all names or designations for the SAME IDENTICAL divine Personage in the Godhead.

The Greek expression, “Jesus”, which is identical with “Joshua” in the Hebrew, means “Savior.” The Greek expression, “Christ,” which is identical with the Hebrew expression, “Messiah,” means, “the Anointed One.”

But since when was the “Logos” or “Spokesman,” the “Son of God,” the second member of the God Family, known to God the Father as “Jesus Christ”? Of course, the proper name that we now use, “Jesus Christ,” is conveyed in the Greek language and has come down through approximately two-thousand years of history in its transliterated form. However, the Son was designated and called as the Anointed Savior long before He became a man.

We read that the “Lamb of God”–another expression for Jesus Christ–was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). This means that it was clear at least from that moment in time that the Word would come to this earth–as a human being–to die for our sins–to become the Savior of the world. Further, we read that certain individuals have been predestined and chosen IN CHRIST “before the foundation of the world” to be called to salvation in this day and age (compare Ephesians 1:3-4), and that God promised eternal life “before time began” (Titus 1:1-2). It was made clear “before the foundation of the world”–and in a sense even before time began–that the vast majority of man would NOT be called to salvation in this day and age, but that they would have to wait until the time AFTER Christ’s return.

This means, then, that it was already determined a very long time ago that the Word or the Logos would become a man and die for our sins, thereby making it possible that some–those who were predestined–WOULD and COULD be called to salvation here and now, while most would be called later. The only way that anyone could be called to salvation would be for the Logos to die for our sins so that one could have forgiveness of our sins. And so, the Logos was slain “from the foundation of the world”–that is, it was CERTAIN by that time at least–if not earlier–that He, as the Savior of man, WOULD DIE for man.

The angel Gabriel instructed both Joseph and Mary to call the Word, Who was to become a human child, “Jesus,” the “Savior,” (Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21), as He would “save His people from their sins” (compare again Matthew 1:21). As it was announced to ancient Israel more than 300 years earlier that an Old Testament king with the name of “Josiah” would be born to punish the priests of Baal (compare 1 Kings 13:2; 2 Kings 23:15-16), so it was already known LONG before the human birth of the Logos that His name would become known among men as “Jesus Christ.”

Romans 1:1-3 states: “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised BEFORE through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, CONCERNING HIS SON JESUS CHRIST our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh…” This remarkable summary from Paul acknowledges that the Logos would come as Jesus Christ, as the anointed Savior, and that He was plainly spoken of in the centuries BEFORE His physical birth.

The Bible clearly reveals that Jesus Christ existed–as Jesus Christ–long before He became a man. As we have already seen–in Ephesians 1:3-4–we were chosen IN CHRIST before the foundation of the world. We have also read in Ephesians 3:9 that all things were created through JESUS CHRIST. In addition, please note the following Scriptures:

Philippians 2:5-7 states:

“Let this mind be in you which was also in JESUS CHRIST, who, BEING IN THE FORM OF GOD, did not consider it robbery to BE EQUAL WITH GOD, but made Himself of no reputation, TAKING THE FORM OF A BONDSERVANT, and COMING IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN.”

Please realize WHO was equal with God, and Who became a human being. It was JESUS CHRIST. That is, when He was equal with God, He was ALREADY AT THAT TIME known as Jesus Christ.–the Savior, the Anointed One. This designation applied regardless of the particular language used–whether Greek, Hebrew or even the unique language of the heavenly realm (compare 1 Corinthians 13:1).

Remember that Gabriel, the angel of God, told Mary to name the Child to be born to her “Jesus,” and this was done BEFORE the Child was conceived (compare Luke 2:21). The New Testament record was initially written primarily in Greek. However, the strong indication is that the name that the angel revealed was in the common language of the day–Aramaic, a language closely related to Hebrew and spoken among the Jews at that time. We don’t know the exact language by which Jesus was named, but the evidence strongly suggests that it was not Greek. It is vital that we understand, however, that in whatever “tongue” the name of the Son of God, “Jesus Christ,” was specifically called, that name conveyed His TITLE and ROLE! As we have seen, this stems from God’s plan and purpose–before time began–of “bringing many sons to glory” (compare Hebrews 2:10).

Notice further 1 Corinthians 10:1-4:

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST.”

Realize again Who the Being was in the Godhead Who led ancient Israel in the cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night, going at times in front of them and following them, giving them thereby total and complete protection. Realize, too, Who it was Who gave them both physical and spiritual food and water. It was none other than the ROCK JESUS CHRIST– the anointed Savior Who would become a man to die for our sins and to offer us salvation.

Also take note of 1 Corinthians 10:8-9:

“Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us TEMPT CHRIST, as SOME OF THEM ALSO TEMPTED, and were destroyed by serpents.”

The literal translation of verse 9 is rendered as: “Neither test Christ, as some of them tried Him…”

Realize again Whom the ancient Israelites tried or tested. It was none other than JESUS CHRIST.

Finally, please take note of 1 Peter 1:10-11:

“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WHO WAS IN THEM was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.”

Notice again WHOSE Spirit was in the ancient prophets in Old Testament times. It was the Spirit of CHRIST. That means, the Spirit of the second Member of the Godhead, WHO is identified as Jesus Christ, was already in the Old Testament prophets.

It is important to understand and to realize that none of the above-quoted Scriptures say that the Personage Who dealt directly with ancient Israel and Judah was the One Who would BECOME Jesus Christ. Rather, we read that it WAS the Personage whose NAME WAS Jesus Christ. That was ALREADY His name long before He became a human being.

For further information on the existence of Jesus Christ BEFORE He became a human being, and for additional proof that He was already known as the Son of God PRIOR TO HIS HUMAN BIRTH, please read our free booklet, “God is a Family,” as well as the Q&A in Update #294, titled, “Was Jesus Christ always the Son–even prior to His human birth?” You might also want to listen to Norbert Link’s recent sermon on this topic, titled, “The Son,” dated May 19, 2007, which is posted on our Websites, under Audio.

Based on this awesome truth–that the Word was also the SON of God and Jesus Christ LONG before He became a Man–we understand the undeniable FACT that God IS–and always HAS BEEN–a Family (consisting at this present time of the Father and the Son), and that it is His TIMELESS purpose to reproduce Himself through man, by bringing born-again spirit God beings as sons and daughters into His very Family. Without this priceless knowledge, we cannot really fully comprehend God’s GREAT Master Plan for man–WHY man was created, and WHAT his eternal potential is.

Lead Writers: Norbert Link and Dave Harris

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